Jesuits Dismiss One of Their Own
|Fr. John Dear|
dismissed from Jesuit order
A Jesuit priest who is well known for pacifism and civil disobedience has been dismissed by his religious order.
The Jesuit order has called Fr. John Dear, who has been arrested some 75 times for civil disobedience actions across the country during his 32 years as a Jesuit, “obstinately disobedient to the lawful order of Superiors in a grave matter." Among the issues which Father Dear, a National Catholic Reporter columnist, has protested are U.S. policies on Latin America, nuclear weapons development, and the cooperation of Jesuit educational institutions with American military recruiting programs such as the ROTC.
According to a report in the National Catholic Reporter, the dismissal also raises the specter of Pope Francis, the first head of the Catholic church to belong to the Jesuit order, having to confirm the dismissal of one of the order's members.
Fr. George Murphy, rector of the order's community in Berkeley, Calif., called Father Dear "a fine man." He said, "I think he was a little impulsive and I suspect he's still got a bit of that in him—but he's just got a keen sense of justice and a desire for peace in the world."
Father Dear, while no longer a member of the Jesuit order, is still an ordained priest. However, he will be unable to serve in any public ministry until a diocesan bishop grants him faculties to minister in a particular diocese. Father Dear says, in a column today announcing his dismissal from the Jesuits, said that he does not know whether any U.S. bishops will welcome him into their diocese, and he is unsure if he will remain a priest.
The National Catholic Reporter has the full story.