.- Fr. Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, SJ, who was previously expected to step down as Superior General of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) after their General Congregation scheduled for January 5, 2008, could now remain the Jesuit superior after Pope Benedict XVI expressed his opinion.
Fr. Kovenbach, officially convoked the 35th General Congregation with a written communicaton dated February 2nd 2006. In his letter the Jesuit superior announced that the Jesuit summit would elect a new Superior General.
Now however, less than a month before the fourteen members of the "Coetus Praevius" meet in Rome on March 15th to study and organize the approximately 350 proposals sent by the Provincial Congregations in preparation for the Congregation, Fr. Kolvenbach has sent a letter to the world’s Jesuit superiors communicating Pope Benedict's wish that the Jesuit Superior General's term remain a lifetime one, but with "provisions for stepping down for serious reasons."
The Pope's desire opens the door for Fr. Kolvenbach to be re-elected rather than replaced in 2008, unless he presents his resignation.
Born in Druten, Holland in 1928, Fr. Kolvenbach was elected the 29th Superior General of the Society of Jesus in September of 1983 during the 33rd General Congregation.