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ROME (CNS) -- Jesuits are called to face the challenges of today's world and contribute toward "reconciliation among human beings and, at the same time, a reconciliation with God and creation," the newly elected Jesuit superior general said.
"This is a great call to reconciliation. The kingdom of God cannot be present, cannot exist among us if we do not understand each other, if we do not recognize each other as people, if we do not try to have a situation in which the world can live in peace," said Jesuit Father Arturo Sosa Abascal.
Holding his first meeting with the press Oct. 18, Father Sosa also said Christians should heed Pope Francis' message on caring for the environment and reconciling with creation because "we are so wounded that we even put the planet Earth at risk."
A member of the Jesuits' Venezuelan province, Father Sosa was elected Oct. 14 after four days of prayer, silence and quiet one-on-one conversations among the 212 voting delegates gathered in Rome for the 36th General Congregation of the Society of Jesus.
Regarding his election, Father Sosa told journalists that while he was surprised, he was also "serene" and "grateful to the Lord."
"I feel ready to respond with joy to the Spirit who, through the congregation, has called me unexpectedly to be the next superior general," he said.