The head of the world’s biggest religious order, in a rare and stinging statement, condemned the United States’ planned attack on Syria as an “abuse of power” that he found “extremely upsetting.” Fr Adolfo Nicolas, superior general of the Society of Jesus, popularly known as the Jesuits, also said the US should stop acting like the world’s “big boy.” “I have to confess that I cannot understand who gave the United States or France the right to act against a country in a way that will certainly increase the suffering of the citizens of that country, who, by the way, have already suffered beyond measure,” Nicolas said in an interview published by the Jesuits on Wednesday, September 4. Nicolas leads the 18,000 members of the Society of Jesus, which runs prominent schools such as Georgetown University in the United States and the Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines. Pope Francis, then Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, also belongs to the influential group. By issuing these statements, Nicolas joined the growing clamor against the planned attack in Syria.
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