Jesuit priests at the time of their solemn and final profession in the Society of Jesus promise: I will never strive or ambition, not even indirectly, to be chosen or promoted to any prelacy or dignity in or outside the Society; and I will do my best never to consent to my election unless I am forced to do so by obedience to him who can order me under penalty of sin (Constitutions S.J., Part X, N°6 ).
Yet because of various reasons and in different circumstances—for example, need of a bishop in an area where the Church has still to be developed, recognition of a theologian's outstanding contribution to theological reflection, etc.—several Jesuits have been made bishops or even cardinals. In such cases they remain only nominally Jesuit, as they lose active and passive voice within the Order and are no longer under the obedience of the Superior General. In 2013 the first Jesuit Pope was elected, Pope Francis.
|Current Jesuit Cardinals||Date of Birth
|Elevated to Cardinal||Order|
|Julius Riyadi Cardinal Darmaatmadja, S. J.
Archbishop Emeritus of Jakarta
|December 20, 1934
81 years, 284 days
|November 26, 1994
Pope John Paul II
|Albert Cardinal Vanhoye, S. J.
|July 23, 1923
93 years, 69 days
|March 24, 2006
Pope Benedict XVI
+ All current Jesuit Cardinals are over 80 years of age and hence unable to participate in conclaves.
+ The last Jesuit Cardinal to die was Ján Chryzostom Cardinal Korec, S. J., who died on October 24, 2015.