John Allen..on some rumors

Somewhat buried in a response to a post from January 25, on NCR’s website, John Allen quashes some popular (and widespread) rumors about the election of Father Nicolas, courtesy of the Jesuits’s press officer, Jose de Vera. Here is Allen, reporting on de Vera’s answer to a question at the press conference: "Speaking informally to reporters, Jesuit spokesperson Fr. Jose de Vera clarified a couple of points about the election process. Formally speaking, he said, Pope Benedict XVI did not ’approve’ the election, but was merely informed of it before it was made public. In this case, de Vera said, a telephone had been installed in the meeting room so that someone could call the pope, and the delegates remained in the room until this had been done. (De Vera said he wasn’t sure who made the call, or whether this person spoke directly to the pope or perhaps to his secretary.) Contrary to an earlier report in NCR, de Vera also said that no list of candidates was submitted to Benedict XVI prior to the election of the new Father General. On the other hand, since the custom is for the general to be elected from among the delegates to the General Congregation, theoretically the Vatican could have expressed reservations about a particular candidate well in advance. In any event, de Vera said, to the best of his knowledge neither the pope nor any Vatican official expressed any ambivalence about Nicolás." Also take a look at Allen’s latest interview, dated Feb. 1, with the former Jesuit provincial of South Africa, David Smolira. Father Smolira is currently the director of the Jesuit Institute in Johannesburg, South Africa. When asked by Allen if the Jesuits needed to turn over a new leaf with the pope, he answered, "I’m not sure that there’s a new leaf to turn over. The relationship between the Society and the church has always been good. We have always been faithful." "John Allen on Nicolas" His post also includes a more detailed description of how the pope was "informed" of the election of the new Superior General of the Jesuits. (Above: American Jesuit delegates with Father Kolvenbach and Father Nicolas. Photo by Don Doll, S.J.)
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