The Jesuits, veterans of tense times with Vatican

By By FRANCES D’EMILIO, Associated Press
VATICAN CITY (AP) — While the Vatican has picked the highly disciplined Jesuits as advance men for planning papal pilgrimages and to run its worldwide broadcasting network, the notion of a Jesuit pope is still being absorbed in the Holy See.

Before Pope Francis, no one from the nearly 500-year-old missionary order had been pope.

Previous popes have punished Jesuit theologians for being too progressive in preaching and teaching. The last pontiff, Benedict XVI, sent a polite but firm letter inviting the order’s worldwide members to pledge “total adhesion” to Catholic doctrine, including on divorce, homosexuality and liberation theology.

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