The General Assembly of Jesuits will meet with Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican on April 22. In the letter convening the 35th General Congregation for the year 2008, the Superior General Fr. Hans Kolvenbach announced his wish to retire. A new Superior General will therefore be elected in January 2008.
A high ranked Jesuit spoke to CNA on condition of anonymity, and gave us the names and profiles of possible frontrunners for the election of the successor of Peter Hans Kolvenbach.
P. Franco Imoda, S.J., former Rector of the Gregorian University. He is an Italian
psychiatrist. He is well known in the Vatican, and would represent the Italian Jesuits and the educational sector of the Company.
Fr. José Morales Orozco, S.J, current rector at the Iberoamerican university of Mexico. Former provincial of Mexico, and advisor to Kolvenbach for formation. He knows well the Company worldwide and is well appreciated internationally. He would represent Latin-America as well the Faith and Justice and educational sectors of the Company.
Fr. Elias Royon Lara, S.J, current provincial for Spain for the second time. He was also master of novices, rector in Philosophy and provincial of Toledo, vice-rector of the University of Comillas in Spain, advisor to Fr. Kolvenbach for Italy, Spain and Portugal and co-president of the Conference of Religious people in Spain. Well known and respected by the Spanish bishops and the Vatican. He is older than the others, but it might work in his favor if the election is controversial and a compromise candidate is sought.
Fr. Mark Raper, S.J, current provincial of Australia. Former director of the Jesuit Refugee Service. He knows Rome and is well known there. He would represent the movement of Faith and Justice in the Company.