When Jesuits and Franciscans come together

This article appears in the Pope Francis feature series. View the full series.

Now let’s see if I have this straight.

The Jesuit, Jorge Bergoglio, gets elected pope.

He takes the name “Francis,” after the founder of the Franciscan order, St. Francis of Assisi.

The Jesuit pope, in his first major appointment, names a Franciscan, Father José Rodriguez Carballo, the head of the Franciscan order and president of the Union of Superiors General (USG), the umbrella group for representatives of men's religious orders, to be secretary of the Vatican’s Congregation for Religious.

The Jesuit pope then names Franciscan, Cardinal Sean O’Malley, to be his U.S. personal advisor, in an effort to help Francis reform church governance.

This week, we celebrate the first anniversary of the launch of our podcast, NCR in Conversation. Catch the latest episode here.

Yesterday, Jesuit Father Adolfo Nicolas, the worldwide leader of the Jesuit order, was named to fill the vacated Franciscan Carballo USG spot.

Our Jesuit Bishop of Rome – he does not refer to himself as “pope” – who took the name “Francis,” is leading the church into a new era. (Do we call this a “papacy” if Francis does not call himself pope?)

This new moment is beginning to have a unique Jesuit/Franciscan spirituality and mission.

Stay tuned.



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