Father Fessio (letter)

Father Fessio (letter)

P.A. McKenna

My nine years of Jesuit education was a solid foundation for vigorous tertiary and adult Catholic education. On this basis I comment on the restrictions placed upon the much-admired Fr Joseph Fessio SJ by his superior.

No matter how wonderful Fr Fessio's work may have been, no matter how imprudent the orders given by his superior, worldwide protests are unjustifiable. Fr Fessio's own response (May AD2000) was impeccable - a wonderful example of a good Jesuit showing great holiness. He could have disobeyed only if he had been instructed to do something sinful, e.g., perhaps to make a public statement supporting a heresy. But he was actually instructed to do a good act which needed doing. So he obeyed.

The "worldwide" protests remind one of Peter's protest in Matthew 16, verse 22 (note the proximity to the more-often-quoted verses 15 to 19). Our Lord's response to Peter's protest was "Go behind me Satan," etc (verse 23).

Indeed, God's purposes for Fr Fessio may be best suited by the current circumstances. Instead of protesting, let us pray for this saintly priest and for his superior.

Mount Waverley, Vic

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