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Pope Francis skilled in Ignatian discernment

09:50 PM April 18, 2013

I recently saw a picture of Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict having a chat. What were they chatting about?

My guess is that Pope Francis was exercising his skill in Ignatian discernment. He needs to know directly from his predecessor all the reasons for his decision to resign. Most of those reasons have already been published in the book “The Future and Faith.” But the details have to be kept in absolute secrecy.

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Ignatian discernment includes a process of reviewing all the experiences of spiritual consolation and spiritual desolation that preceded, accompanied and followed the tentative decisions and the final decision. The process has to be done with the guidance of a competent spiritual director.

On this point, I can be very sure that Pope Francis is very competent. As a Jesuit, he used to make an 8-day retreat every year, using the “Spiritual Exercises” of St. Ignatius. He continued this as a bishop. Oh, yes, he is very competent.

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—VICENTE MARASIGAN, SJ,

Loyola House of Studies,

Ateneo de Manila University

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TAGS: Discernment, Letters to the Editor, opinion, Pope Francis, St. Ignatius
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