The Superior General of the Jesuits, Fr. Adolfo Nicolas announced that he plans to submit his resignation, during the Order’s 36th General Congregation Meeting. If approved, the congregation will then elect its new leader.
The General Congregation will take place in 2016. Fr. Nicolas made his announcement with this letter. He says Pope Francis has been informed and the decision approved.
The General Congregation is the governing body of the Jesuits, which includes members from all over the world. It manages specific matters pertaining to the Order and that includes the election of its Superior General.
Being elected as the Superior General is a post that can have a life term, but there’s also the option to resign. Back in 2008, the former Superior General, Fr. Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, resigned with the approval of Benedict XVI.