The Jesuits, 1534-1921
Thomas Campbell

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Seaman – Map of Jesuit Missions in the United States.

Marshall – Christian Missions.

Bancroft – Native Races of the Pacific States.

Campbell – Pioneer Priests of North America.

Charlevoix – Histoire du Japon.

Charlevoix – Histoire du Paraguay.

Charlevoix – Histoire de la Nouvelle-France.

Crasset – Histoire de l'église du Japon.

Avril – Voyage en divers états d'Europe et d'Asie.

Thwaites – Jesuit Relations.

Bolton – Kino's Historical Memoir.

Janssen – History of the German People.

Lavisse – Histoire de France.

Ranke – History of the Popes.

Lingard – History of England.

Tierney-Dodd – Church History of England.

Pollen – The Institution of the Archpriest Blackwell.

Haile-Bonney – Life and Letters of John Lingard.

Pollock – The Popish Plot.

Guilday – English Catholic Refugees on the Continent.

MacGeoghegan – History of Ireland.

Flanagan – Ecclesiastical History of Ireland.

O'Reilly – Lives of the Irish Martyrs and Confessors.

Rochefort – Histoire des Antilles.

Eyzaguirre – Historia de Chile.

Tertre – Histoire de St. Christophe.

Rohrbacher – History of the Church.

Hübner – Sixte-Quint.

Huc – Christianity in China, Tartary and Tibet.

Robertson – History of Charles V.

Shea – The Catholic Church in Colonial Days.

Pacca – Memorie storiche del ministero.

Sainte-Beuve – Causeries.

Petit de Julleville – Histoire de la littérature française.

Godefroy – Littérature française.

Schlosser – History of the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries.

Cantü – Storia universale.

The Cambridge Modern History, Vols. VIII, XII.

The Month.

The Catholic Encyclopedia, passim.

The Encyclopedia Britannica, passim.

Realencyclopädie für protestantische Theologie und Kirche, passim.



The Name – Opprobrious meanings – Caricatures of the Founder – Purpose of the Order – Early life of Ignatius – Pampeluna – Conversion – Manresa – The Exercises – Authorship – Journey to Palestine – The Universities – Life in Paris – First Companions – Montmartre First Vows – Assembly at Venice. Failure to reach Palestine – First Journey to Rome – Ordination to the Priesthood – Labors in Italy – Submits the Constitutions for Papal Approval – Guidiccioni's opposition – Issue of the Bull Regimini – Sketch of the Institute – Crypto-Jesuits.

The name "Jesuit" has usually a sinister meaning in the minds of the misinformed. Calvin is accused of inventing it, but that is an error. It was in common use two or three centuries before the Reformation, and generally it implied spiritual distinction. Indeed, in his famous work known as "The Great Life of Our Lord Jesus Christ," which appeared somewhere about 1350, the saintly old Carthusian ascetic, Ludolph of Saxony, employs it in a way that almost provokes a smile. He tells his readers that "just as we are called Christians when we are baptized, so we shall be called Jesuits when we enter into glory." Possibly such a designation would be very uncomfortable even for some pious people of the present day. The opprobrious meaning of the word came into use at the approach of the Protestant Reformation. Thus, when laxity in the observance of their rule began to show itself in the once fervent followers of St. John Columbini – who were called Jesuati, because of their frequent use of the expression: "Praised be Jesus Christ" – their name fixed itself on the common speech as a synonym of hypocrisy. Possibly that will explain the curious question in the "Examen of Conscience" in an old German prayer-book, dated 1519, where the penitent is bidden to ask himself: "Did I omit to teach the Word of God for fear of being called a Pharisee, a Jesuit, a hypocrite, a Beguine?"

The association of the term Jesuit with Pharisee and hypocrite is unpleasant enough, but connecting it with Beguine is particularly offensive. The word Beguine had come to signify a female heretic, a mysticist, an illuminist, a pantheist, who though cultivating a saintly exterior was credited with holding secret assemblies where the most indecent orgies were indulged in. The identity of the Beguines with Jesuits was considered to be beyond question, and one of the earliest Calvinist writers informed his co-religionists that at certain periods the Jesuits made use of mysterious and magical devices and performed a variety of weird antics and contortions in subterraneous caverns, from which they emerged as haggard and worn as if they had been struggling with the demons of hell (Janssen, Hist. of the German People, Eng. tr., IV, 406-7). Unhappily, at that time, a certain section of the association of Beguines insisted upon being called Jesuits. There were many variations on this theme when the genuine Jesuits at last appeared. In Germany they were denounced as idolaters and libertines, and their great leader Canisius was reported to have run away with an abbess. In France they were considered assassins and regicides; Calvin called them la racaille, that is, the rabble, rifraff, dregs. In England they were reputed political plotters and spies. Later, in America, John Adams, second President of the United States, identified them with Quakers and resolved to suppress them. Cotton Mather or someone in Boston denounced them as grasshoppers and prayed for the east wind to sweep them away; the Indians burned them at the stake as magicians, and the Japanese bonzes insisted that they were cannibals, a charge repeated by Charles Kingsley, Queen Victoria's chaplain, who, in "Westward Ho," makes an old woman relate of the Jesuits first arriving in England that "they had probably killed her old man and salted him for provision on their journey to the Pope of Rome." No wonder Newman told Kingsley to fly off into space.

The climax of calumny was reached in a decree of the Parliament of Paris, issued on August 6, 1762. It begins with a prelude setting forth the motives of the indictment, and declares that "the Jesuits are recognized as guilty of having taught at all times, uninterruptedly, and with the approbation of their superiors and generals, simony, blasphemy, sacrilege, the black art, magic, astrology, impiety, idolatry, superstition, impurity, corruption of justice, robbery, parricide, homicide, suicide and regicide." The decree then proceeds to set forth eighty-four counts on which it finds them specifically guilty of supporting the Greek Schism, denying the procession of the Holy Ghost; of favoring the heresies of Arianism, Sabellianism, and Nestorianism; of assailing the hierarchy, attacking the Mass and Holy Communion and the authority of the Holy See; of siding with the Lutherans, Calvinists and other heretics of the sixteenth century; of reproducing the heresies of Wycliff and the Pelagians and Semi-Pelagians; of adding blasphemy to heresy; of belittling the early Fathers of the Church, the Apostles, Abraham, the prophets, St. John the Baptist, the angels; of insulting and blaspheming the Blessed Virgin; of undermining the foundations of the Faith; destroying belief in the Divinity of Jesus Christ; casting doubt on the mystery of the Redemption; encouraging the impiety of the Deists; suggesting Epicureanism; teaching men to live like beasts, and Christians like pagans (de Ravignan, De l'existence et de l'institut des Jésuites, iii).

This was the contribution of the Jansenists to the Jesuit chamber of horrors. It was endorsed by the government and served as a weapon for the atheists of the eighteenth century to destroy the religion of France, and finally the lexicons of every language gave an odious meaning to the name Jesuit. A typical example of this kind of ill-will may be found in the "Diccionario nacional" of Domínguez. In the article on the Jesuits, the writer informs the world that the Order was the superior in learning to all the others; and produced, relatively at every period of its existence more eminent men, and devoted itself with greater zeal to the preaching of the Gospel and the education of youth – the primordial and sublime objects of its Institute. Nevertheless its influence in political matters, as powerful as it was covert, its startling accumulation of wealth, and its ambitious aims, drew upon it the shafts of envy, created terrible antagonists and implacable persecutors, until the learned Clement XIV, the immortal Ganganelli, suppressed it on July 21, 1773, for its abuses and its disobedience to the Holy See. Why the "learned Clement XIV" should be described as "immortal" for suppressing instead of preserving or, at least, reforming an order which the writer fancies did more than all the others for the propagation of the Faith is difficult to understand, but logic is not a necessary requisite of a lexicon. "In spite of their suppression," he continues, "they with their characteristic pertinacity have succeeded in coming to life again and are at present existing in several parts of Europe." The "Diccionario" is dated, Madrid, 1849. In other words, the saintly Pius VII performed a very wicked act in re-establishing the Order.

Of course the founder of this terrible Society had to be presented to the public as properly equipped for the malignant task to which he had set himself; so writers have vied with each other in expatiating on what they call his complex individuality. Thus a German psychologist insists that the Order established by this Spaniard was in reality a Teutonic creation. The Frenchman Drumont holds that "it is anti-semitic in its character," though Polanco, Loyola's life-long secretary, was of Jewish origin, as were Laínez, the second General, and the great Cardinal Toletus. A third enthusiast, Chamberlain, who is English-born, dismisses all other views and insists that, as Loyola was a Basque and an Iberian, he could not have been of Germanic or even Aryan descent, and he maintains that the primitive traits of the Stone Age continually assert themselves in his character. In reading the Spiritual Exercises, he says, "I hear that mighty roar of the cave bear and I shudder as did the men of the diluvial age, when poor, naked and defenceless, surrounded by danger day and night, they trembled at that voice." (Foundations of the Nineteenth Century, I, 570.) "If this be true," says Brou in "Les Jésuites et la légende," "then, by following the same process of reasoning, one must conclude that as Xavier was a Basque, his voice also was ursine and troglodytic; and as Faber was a Savoyard, he will have to be classified as a brachycephalous homo alpinus." Herman Müller, in "Les Origines de la Compagnie de Jésus" claims the honor of having launched an entirely novel theory about Loyola's personality. "The 'Exercises' are an amalgam of Islamic gnosticism and militant Catholicism," he tells us; "but where did Ignatius become acquainted with these Mussulmanic congregations? We have nothing positive on that score, though we know that one day he met a Moor on the road and was going to run him through with his sword. Then too, there were a great many Moors and Moriscos in Catalonia, and we must not forget that Ignatius intended to go to Palestine to convert the Turks. He must, therefore, have known them and so have been subject to their influence." Strange to say, Müller feels aggrieved that the Jesuits do not accept this very illogical theory, which he insists has nothing discreditable or dishonoring in it.
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