PopeWatch: Jesuits

PopeWatch wishes he could say that he was surprised by this:


A new photo exhibit on atheism and unbelief — featuring a homosexual couple, a transhumanist and a witch who advocates “human extinction” — opened today in the main atrium of the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.

Readers will recall that, despite its rich history, the Jesuit-run pontifical university has in recent years been the site of key events including a secret meeting that sought to sway the 2015 Family Synod to accept same-sex unions, and a public lecture by then newly-appointed Pontifical Academy for Life member, Fr. Maurizio Chiodi, undermining Humanae Vitae. 

The exhibit — titled “Unbelievers” — is being hosted in conjunction with the university’s faculty of theology. On display from May 28-30, it features portraits and stories of atheists and unbelievers from across the world.


Visitors see and learn about London-based “practitioner of chaos magic,” Patricia MacCormack, who says her “interest in occultism” is about “resisting God as the overarching white patriarchy.” The exhibit notes that “she is also an advocate for human extinction.”

Young religious sisters from developing countries who study at the Gregorian, together with their fellow students, then meet Sergio Viula (55), a former evangelical pastor photographed with his homosexual lover. They read that Sergio “converted” to atheism and “now lives happily with his husband Andre (28) in Rio de Janiero, Brazil.”

Perusing the portraits, one then encounters ‘Apostle’ Erlon Jacques, whom we are told  leads the last active congregation of “Comptean positivists” at the “Temple of Humanity in Porto Alegre, Brazil.”

‘Apostle’ Erlon asks: “Why do we have a religion without God?” He responds: “People think too much about the holy books and forget about love and respecting each other. The essence of our religion is human connection through altruism. It’s a natural religion. We have faith in love, science and humanity.”

“Comte taught us to continuously update the dogma to reflect the changing times and knowledge,” he notes.

Visitors to the exhibit then meet Betina (29), an agnostic transhumanist living in Rio de Janiero who “would like to extend life forever.” Betina “argues that we are closer than we think to the paradigm shift needed to make technologies such as cloning ethically acceptable.” 

Go here to read the rest.  Never again a Jesuit Pope.

More to explorer


  1. For years I have always held the Jesuits as top notch in academic, intellectual and theological standing, founding great institutions of learning, however since the proverbial “60’s” more and more of them are off the rails. I’m not sure why it is but it’s disconcerting when ever there is some sort of Catholic event and the media marches out it’s own “Jesuit” which they keep in the back of the studio somewhere for times such as these, and as soon as he opens his mouth confusion reigns as to what he says and what the Church teaches. Am I describing the Pope? Perhaps but I’m writing about Jesuits in general, especially the ones in media and popularity. I’ve felt this way long before the Pope came on the scene. He was just the icing on the cake.

  2. [A comment box was placed next to the exhibit to take visitors’ comments.

    According to sources at the university today, one student put in the comment box: “Satanic.”]

    I agree with that student.

  3. “Comte taught us to continuously update the dogma…”
    Yeah, like putting a perfectly baked cake back in the mixer.

  4. And the point of the exhibit is?
    Not even a sign, “Please pray for them”?
    It’s the equivalent of exhibiting Maplethorpe’s “art” of crucifix in urine.
    Actually it’s worse. Much worse.

  5. “And the point of the exhibit is?” Poke in the Church’s eye.
    ‘We can do it and no one is going to stop us!! So there! Na na, na na naaaaaaa!

  6. I can picture some intellectuals standing around one of the exhibits- one hand on chin, one arm folded- contemplating the wonder of their pointless existence and marvelling at the hopelessness of their life beyond death. Atheism is such an awful, depressing state of being.

    I remember recently reading that St Therese of Lisieux suffered the “dark night of the soul” in the last few months before her death from tuberculosis and battled the temptation that Heaven was just an illusion. “If you only knew what darkness I am plunged into,” she was quoted as saying. It lifted just before her death. St Mother Theresa suffered this for decades. Can you imagine feeling this for decades? “In my soul I feel just that terrible pain of loss..of God not wanting me — of God not being God — of God not existing.”
    These faithful Saints of our Church endured this deep suffering because God used their suffering for greater Glory. But I can’t understand why anyone would want to deliberately live in denial of a hope in life after death. To will yourself to misery and despair. To deny a God who is loving and wants us to be with Him. To reject eternal happiness with Him.

  7. A Jesuit pope would be great, it’s the guys who are so intellectual that they spin entire sand-castles on a cloud that need to be avoided!

  8. Poking around more, this is a silly complaint, and Lifesite should be ashamed– and I’m embarrassed I didn’t read more critically, because they did link it, but so subtly that I didn’t even notice it until AFTER I found out why this exibit is there.

    The conference is this:
    Conference “Cultures of Unbelief”, Rome, 28-30 May 2019
    As the global population of religious ‘unbelievers’ continues to grow, the Cultures of Unbelief conference brings together leading academics, leaders of religious and nonreligious groups, journalists, educators and many others to understand what it really means to be a religious ‘unbeliever’. Cultures of Unbelief will explore how ‘unbelievers’ engage with religion, their diverse existential, metaphysical and moral beliefs, and prospects for dialogue and collaboration between believers and unbelievers.

    Cultures of Unbelief also marks three significant anniversaries in the academic study of ‘unbelief’: the 50th anniversary of the Vatican’s pioneering ‘Culture of Unbelief’ conference in 1969; the 10th anniversary of the Nonreligion and Secularity Research Network’s (NSRN) 1st conference (Oxford University, 2009); and, the work of the landmark $3m research programme, Understanding Unbelief, funded by the John Templeton Foundation (University of Kent, 2017-20).

    So the big shock is a bunch of people who are supposed to try to convert people to the Catholic faith are trying to figure out why those folks believe what they do.

    Next up, water wet?

  9. Going to be a wall of text, sorry.

    Here’s the draft program for the conference:

    And here’s a press release with their reasoning:
    Key findings from the research include:

    *Unbelievers exhibit significant diversity both within, and between, different countries
    *In all six countries, majorities of unbelievers identify as having ‘no religion’
    *Relatively few select ‘atheist’ or ‘agnostic’ as their preferred (non)religious or secular identity
    *Popular assumptions about ‘convinced, dogmatic atheists’ do not stand up to scrutiny
    *Unbelief in God doesn’t necessarily entail unbelief in other supernatural phenomena and the majority of unbelievers in all countries surveyed expressed belief in one or more supernatural phenomena
    *A common supposition – that of the purposeless unbeliever, lacking anything to ascribe ultimate meaning to the universe – does not bear scrutiny
    *Most unbelievers endorse objective moral values, human dignity and attendant rights, and the ‘deep value’ of nature, at similar rates to the general populations in their countries
    Unbelievers and general populations show high agreement concerning the values most important for ‘finding meaning in the world and your own life’. ‘Family’ and ‘freedom’ ranked highly for all.

  10. This was a celebration of unbelief, not some sort of intellectual exploration of the topic. Wake me the next time the Jesuits hold such a celebration of Catholic traditionalists.

  11. however since the proverbial “60’s” more and more of them are off the rails.

    When your institutional mission is the pursuit of single-malt scotch and sodomy, I’d say so.

  12. “This was a celebration of unbelief, not some sort of intellectual exploration of the topic.” Those that identify themselves as staunch athiests are usually the ones who consider belief in a religion or higher power archaic and “backwards”. This is what’s happened in Europe. They consider thems “evolved”. In their eyes, you and I and every other faithful Christian are still following fairytales.

  13. Those that identify themselves as staunch athiests are usually the ones who consider belief in a religion or higher power archaic and “backwards”.
    I’ve found that usually they were lied to when they were kids, and then got stuck where if they admit they were wrong, they’ve done really stupid, bad things, so they resist being corrected. Sometimes they’ll actually listen if you explain things in a way that they’ll hear.

    This was a celebration of unbelief, not some sort of intellectual exploration of the topic.

    Based on what? The write-up by the guys who didn’t mention that it’s part of a conference on atheism?

  14. “I’ve found that usually they were lied to when they were kids”

    Not always. I have an uncle who left Lebanon after school to pursue his studies in Belgium where he now lives. He dumped the Maronite Catholic Faith of his birth taught to him by his parents (my grandparents). My late grandmother would pray the Rosary in the morning and at night, never missed a Sunday Mass- they both put God at the centre of their world. My grandad was so furious his son refused to baptise his children- my cousins remain unbaptised and their children are not baptised and are athiests. My uncle, one of 5 children, along with my other uncle who lived in France, both dumped the Catholic Faith of their birth and upbringing. The other siblings are still faithful Catholics (including my mother). My uncles weren’t lied to as children. They just chose to follow this European ideology that religion is for the peasants, the stupid. Now the only surviving uncle has to live in a Belgium that is over run with even more “stupid” religion- but this time it isn’t the religion of his birth- Christianity. Its much worse. It’s Islam. Oh well.

  15. I’ve run into a few folks where it’s scorn, yeah– but a lot more where their religious education either was Because I Said, or the teacher’s personal judgement was equated to the binding teaching of the Church.

    My sample might be greatly tainted by being a gamer– those who will actually talk to me frequently mention that they were driven out by an aunt or other teacher who insisted that the Church taught you can’t play D&D.
    And if they’d mentioned it to anybody after that, they got brow-beaten about “choosing D&D over God.”
    When the actual problem was that someone lied to them about God and indicated that He was something He is not.

    Being responsible is a hard enough sell without making the One telling you what is responsible into an ass.

  16. Foxfire- I hear you. You reminded me….a few parents at my daughters school were recently “warning” other parents that the reason Harry Potter was written was to brainwash children into following Occult practices. (My kids love the Harry Potter book series and the movies and they don’t follow Occult practices or partake in this stuff). But these parents refuse to read the books to test their theory, even when challenged. Yes it deals with magic, but it has a strong theme about the battle between good and evil, holds traditional family values with high esteem, doesn’t contain smut, has historical symbols pertaining to Christianity and is just good storytelling. As does many of our Classic literature , Shakespeare included! Yes we need to have a healthy fear of the devil and his power. But I hate this fear that some people put into their children, as if God is out to get you if you put a foot wrong. It sets kids up for a rude surprise when they are older. You are right, it is a lie.

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