Jan Roothan was elected the 21st General of the Society of Jesus today. He was elected in the 21st General Congregation which was the second of the restored Society. He had served as vice-provincial of Italy before summoned to join the Congregation. There were relatively a small number of delegates due to the fragile nature of the Society which was still rebuilding after its universal restoration. The Congregation would issue 28 decrees which give a valuable insight to the concerns of the Jesuits in this moment of history.
For instance Decree 4 stated that the assistances should be called by the previous name - so the Congregation had a strong tone of Restoration. Similarly Decree 10 stated that procurator and provincials congregations were not to be omitted and should be held at their proper times. In a similar way it was allowed to continue operating farms in order to sustain colleges or religious houses. A lovely moment is in Decree 26 which urges the publishing of useful books, whils continuing to state that ' At present we could do less to encourage Ours to write and more of them to resist their itch to write'.
A large amount of the decrees where to do with the educational apostolate - and formation. The tone was very conservative, encouraging the retention of scholastic theology, with latin retained for the teaching of disputations were to be held (suitably controlled) but questions were to be avoided. There was talk about the danger of novelty and how it should be met 'head on'. The need for the Ratio Studorium to be adapted to the 'needs of our times' was accepted but with great caution. Excellence in physics and mathematics was important when someone's final grade was to be established.