I THINK THAT it is time that the Society of Jesus gets back to its historical mission for the conversion of China. One reason can be seen here. As China becomes more wealthy and powerful, these problems can get worse, and her errors could spread far beyond her borders. The Chinese need the Gospel, and its government leaders need it very much. But what do the Jesuits have that the Chinese would want?
The Society was the premier religious order of the Counter-Reformation, but lost its way after the Second Vatican Council. But that does not mean that the Society is now irrelevant and is deservedly dying. This is not inevitable: the Benedictines, who kept culture together during the Dark Ages, flourished during the Middle Ages, and the Medieval orders of Franciscans and Dominicans have labored in the Lord's vineyard ever since. Is there still a grand role for the Society in the future?
Religion is organized as a department of government in China, as this illustrates. This is unacceptable, undoubtably even to the most jaded Jesuit. But someday, instead of being despised as a despotic regime, China can be lauded as being the most Christian realm on earth, with a harmonious, beautiful, chivalrous, and moral society, truly living up to the old ideals of the Middle Kingdom.
But what can be done, and how can the laity help?