The Legacy of CP71

The 71st Congregation of Procurators has ended and the delegates have returned to their home Provinces. They came to Loyola, Spain - to the birthplace of the founder of the Society of Jesus - ostensibly to discern a single question: “Should Fr. General Arturo Sosa ask the Holy Father for permission to convene the 37th General Congregation of the Society of Jesus?” In the final session of the Congregation, after an 8-day guided retreat, hundreds of hours of sharing and reflection, and a full week of discussion and discernment, the Procurators voted “Non Cogenda”- an official recommendation to Fr. General that no General Congregation was required at this time.

While voting “Cogenda/Non Cogenda” is the primary responsibility of a Congregation of Procurators, what happened - and what happens next - is more nuanced that a simple “yes or no” vote.

In the five centuries of the history of the Society of Jesus, only 36 General Congregations have been called. The vast majority of them took place in order to elect the 31 Superior Generals that have led the Society of Jesus. The Procurators understood that, barring the election of a new Superior General, a “Cogenda” vote should only be called if they believe that there are vitally-important, time-sensitive issues affecting the Church and Society of Jesus that must be dealt with by the delegates of a General Congregation. The “yes or no” vote wasn’t just a question of “would it be good for us to gather?” but rather, “is the Spirit DEMANDING that we convene a General Congregation?”


This isn’t to say that there are no vitally-important issues facing the Church and Society of Jesus. In fact, those issues formed the bulk of the agenda for the Congregation of Procurators. From concerns about vocations, to the safeguarding of minors, the vows, governance, the worldwide ministry of Jesuits and beyond - the retreat, reflections and Congregation gave the Procurators the forum to discuss an impressive slate of important issues with their brother Jesuits, as well as to learn both about what the Society is doing well, and what it COULD be doing better.

Though the Cogenda/Non-Cogenda vote is, on paper, the primary reason for having a Congregation of Procurators, these discussions that led to the vote will be the lasting legacy of CP71. The Procurators are now tasked with taking what they’ve learned from back to their Provinces to prayerfully spark discussion in local communities. In effect, they have been missioned to bring the lessons of CP71 to their brothers, to reignite fires that may have cooled.

If you would like to have a better idea of what happened at CP71, the Curia Communications team has created a 4-minute video to give you a behind-the-scenes look of a Congregation of Procurators.

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Posted by Communications Office - Editor in Curia Generalizia
Communications Office
The Communications Office of the General Curia publishes news of international scope on the central government of the Society of Jesus and on the commitments of the Jesuits and their partners. It also handles media relations.

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