The gaying and graying of Jesuits leaves its mark

As reported in the London, England-based Catholic Herald:

Two elite private Jesuit schools in Australia have cautiously endorsed same-sex marriage, citing the teaching of Pope Francis.

In a message to parents, staff and students, St Ignatius’s College in Sydney and Xavier College in Melbourne, while not explicitly endorsing a “yes” vote, urged parents to reflect on Pope Francis’s teaching on love, mercy and non-judgmentalism.

And why not? The young have spoken:

As Australia prepares for a referendum on the issue, the Sydney Morning Herald reports Fr Chris Middleton, rector of Xavier College, said young people overwhelmingly backed same-sex marriage.

“In my experience, there is almost total unanimity amongst the young in favour of same-sex marriage, and arguments against it have almost no impact on them,” Fr Middleton wrote.

“They are driven by a strong emotional commitment to equality, and this is surely something to respect and admire. They are idealistic in the value they ascribe to love, the primary gospel value.”

Or it’s the Francis Effect.

As for graying and gaying, the phrase is from a book for which I declined to be interviewed some years back, Passionate Uncertainty: Inside the American Jesuits, by Peter McDonough and Eugene C. Bianchi, and elsewhere.

I declined because I had my own book — inside me, germinating — Company Man: My Jesuit Life, 1950-1968,  which came forth ten years later — in which I cited the McDonough-Bianchi book as attributing rise in numbers of aging and same-sex-attracted Jesuits to the exodus from Jesuit ranks beginning in the ’60s.

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