At one point in their history, the Jesuits were known as “the Pope’s shock troopers.” That was long, long ago, however. The 1960s did for the Jesuits what it did for so much of Western society: insinuated a cancerous element of self-loathing masquerading as liberation.
One regular side-effect of this pathology is a susceptibility to co-optation: various extreme ideologies, like opportunistic infections, feed on the self-loathing and flatter the fantasies of self-righteousness.
The latest example to come to my notice is from the Georgetown University Hospital. Now Georgetown is a Jesuit Institution. That used to imply that it had a recognizably Roman Catholic identity. No longer. These days Georgetown is proudly latitudinarian: they call “ecumenical.” What it means in practice is that, like the Unitarians of yore, the institution professes a belief “in one God at most.”
The result? Well, according to a story in Belief.net, one result is that this supposedly Catholic Institution has decided to put Muslim prayer rugs at the back wall of its supposedly Catholic Chapel. Not only that: they also removed the Stations of the Cross facing Mecca. You can’t be too careful about offending Muslim sensibilities, you know, and a total repudiation of your own religious practice is obviously a small price to pay to avoid “Islamophobia.” I’d say it was incredible but you would have to be awfully credulous not to credit it.
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