Tuesday 27th January 2015

Home » Frontpage » Currently Reading:

Revisiting The Restoration Of The Jesuits

August 6, 2014 Frontpage No Comments

By RAY CAVANAUGH

Many assume that Jesuits have existed without much official opposition. Such has not been the case. This August 7 will mark the 200th anniversary of the issuing of the papal bull, Sollicitudo omnium ecclesiarum, which restored the Jesuit power that had been suppressed for some 41 years. The post-Restoration decades would see a mighty rebound, as Jesuit institutions — including many in the U.S. — began to flourish.
Established in 1540 by Ignatius of Loyola, the Society of Jesus consisted of members known as Jesuits who each desired “to serve as a soldier of God.” By the 1750s, there were over 20,000 Jesuits across the world.
Aside from converting countless souls to Catholicism, they were an intellectual force, having founded several hundred seminaries and colleges worldwide; they were also the preeminent scholastic influence in Europe.
With such power, however, came controversy and enemies. Anti-Jesuit sentiment was championed by leading philosophers of the Enlightenment era, which bloomed as the 1700s progressed. Aside from this opposition in the intellectual climate, Jesuits were viewed as meddling too much in governmental affairs and not deferring sufficiently to the European monarchs.
God’s Soldiers by Jonathan Wright tells how the first nation to turn against the Jesuits was Portugal. There was already tension between the Jesuits and the Spanish and Portuguese empires over the handling of Jesuit settlements in South America. Aside from conflict with the leadership, the Society irked much of the regular population when, in the aftermath of an immensely destructive 1755 earthquake, Jesuits blamed the event on the nation’s sinful climate.
In 1758, there was an unsuccessful assassination attempt on King Joseph of Portugal. The Jesuits were blamed for this act, and in February of the following year, the government took severe action.
All of the country’s Jesuits were restricted to three of their buildings, and their other properties went to auction. April 1759 saw the official banishment of the Society; over 1,000 Jesuits were exiled, and 250 were sent to prison.
After Portugal, came France. There, the monarchy had grown tired of disputing with the Society over its handling of French territories in the Caribbean. Inspired by the recent Portuguese turn of events, the French government declared in March 1762 that the Society had never held genuine legal status.
Many Jesuit works were cast into the fire, and the closure of all Jesuit schools began. Though the Society was officially dissolved in 1764, the terms were not quite as harsh as in Portugal, and ex-Jesuits were allowed to remain in the country.
After France, came Spain. Following a substandard harvest in 1766, the people of Madrid began to riot, lashing out against the increasing cost of bread. Amidst this climate of tumult and misery, the Jesuits became a scapegoat. In January 1767, Spain dissolved the Society and also expelled all of its members from Spanish America. Within one year, Naples and Sicily followed suit with their own official dissolutions.
As each leading Catholic monarchy had dissolved the Society, a universal Jesuit suppression seemed imminent. In Rome, Pope Clement XIV tried to delay any such suppression, but his effort was futile. Jean Lacouture, author of Jesuits: A Multibiography, writes how in 1773 Pope Clement XIV, “jostled, harassed, and threatened” by the worldly powers that be, succumbed to their wishes and formally ended the Jesuit Society by issuing the papal bull Dominus ac Redemptor.
There had been scant Jesuit resistance in Western Europe, where many members seemed resigned to the turn of events. However, there was passive rebellion among many Jesuits in faraway lands who, deciding that they were too geographically distant to be effectively disciplined, simply ignored the fact that their Society had been dissolved and went on with their work as if nothing had occurred.
Even in Western Europe, not every banished Jesuit met a grim fate; many instead joined a different religious order. Additionally, a number of former Portuguese Jesuits found their way to China. It appeared the Society had spread its tentacles too far to be fully extinguished.
Furthermore, two non-Catholic monarchs — Frederick the Great of Prussia and Catherine the Great of Russia — helped indirectly ensure the survival of the Jesuits in Europe; as these monarchs proudly refused to acknowledge any papal authority, Jesuits were allowed to ignore the Pope’s official dissolution.
Of course, the Jesuit question did not remain a top priority; plenty was going on in Europe — such as the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars — during the four decades of official Jesuit suppression. Some war-weary Catholics wondered if the suppressed Society might have had a mitigating effect on all of the bloodshed and terror. Perhaps mankind’s Enlightenment was not all it was advertised to be.
The 19th century began with a new Pope, Pius VII, in Rome. He had long wanted to restore the Jesuits, but felt he did not have sufficient authority until August 7, 1814, when he issued a papal bull reading: “With one voice the Catholic world demands the reestablishment of the Company of Jesus. . . . We have decided to do today what we would have wished to do at the beginning of our pontificate.”
Thus began the official Jesuit Restoration.
In the Restoration’s first years, things seemed somewhat less than auspicious, as almost every returning Jesuit was a very old man. Soon enough, though, younger members were recruited, and a full-fledged recovery was underway. The Society gathered particularly good momentum in the United States, where 22 Jesuit colleges were established in the 19th century.
Among the most notable of these institutions was Boston College, where a conference was held this June to “shed new light on neglected aspects” of the Jesuit Restoration. Though the Jesuits, like many religious orders, have seen a decline in recent decades, these “soldiers of God” continue to serve in well over 100 countries: Only the Apocalypse could suppress them now.

+    +    +

(Ray Cavanaugh has written for such publications as Celtic Life, History Today, and New Oxford Review.)

Share Button

Comment on this Article:

Notre Dame theologian known for books, liberal stands, dies

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — The Rev. Richard McBrien, a University of Notre Dame theologian known for his unabashed liberal stands on various church teachings and his popular books on Catholicism, died Sunday in his native Connecticut, according to the…Continue Reading

Bankruptcy case brings financial fears for Catholic schools

As president of an inner-city Catholic grade school that depends critically on donations, Helen Dahlman admits to an unconventional fundraising strategy. “We believe in miracles, so we pray a lot,” said Dahlman, who leads Risen Christ School in south Minneapolis,…Continue Reading

Cardinal: No pro-life victory without reaching the marginalized

Washington D.C., Jan 22, 2015 / 03:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- For the pro-life movement to truly succeed, it must fight not only abortion, but also the broader “throwaway culture” wherever life is being discarded, said Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston…Continue Reading

70 Churches Destroyed in ‘Anti-Charlie Hebdo’ Protests

The Christian community in Niger says it is in shock in the wake of weekend violence that has claimed the lives of 10 people and led to the destruction of dozens of places of worship and Christian homes. The protest,…Continue Reading

ITALY: Muslims smash, urinate on statue of Mary

A man was kneeling in prayer before the statue of the revered Madonna, with the photograph of a loved one in hand, in the small chapel of St. Barnabas in Perugia (Italy), when he was attacked by five “immigrants.” The…Continue Reading

At new in-flight press conference Francis says good Catholics are not required ‘to be like rabbits’

Catholics fail to practise “responsible parenthood” when they have too many children, Pope Francis has said during an in-flight press conference on the way home from Manila. He also denounced the teaching of “gender theory” in schools, likening it to…Continue Reading

CRUX’s “spirituality columnist” is “devastated” the Pope upholds Catholic teaching

Margery Eagan appears to be angling for a job as editor of National “Catholic” Reporter. Or perhaps spokesman for the LCWR: The news that Pope Francis has strongly defended the Church’s ban on artificial birth control left me, in a word, devastated. Goodness. Even…Continue Reading

St. Paul-Mpls. archdiocese declares bankruptcy in response to abuse lawsuits

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Friday, saying it cannot meet its financial obligations from an unprecedented wave of clergy sex abuse lawsuits. The move freezes lawsuits against the church, protecting the archdiocese…Continue Reading

Pope Francis strongly defends church teaching against contraception

Pope Francis issued his strongest defense yet of church teaching opposing artificial contraception on Friday, using a rally in Asia’s largest Catholic nation to urge families to be “sanctuaries of respect for life.” Francis also denounced the corruption that has plagued…Continue Reading

Bella Dodd, who rejected Communism in favour of faith, is a lesson for young jihadis

Her story shows how easily the best human impulses can be twisted to evil Having blogged last week about John Beaumont’s book, The Mississippi Flows Into The Tiber, with all the extraordinary, uplifting and grace-filled stories of conversion that it…Continue Reading

Fox News’ Bret Baier, actor Gary Sinise cancel on Catholic group after gay gripes

FOX News Channel’s chief political anchor, Bret Baier, has shown himself to have a thinner skin than might be guessed from his on-air persona.  Baier has caved in to pressure from the homosexual activist group ‘Good as You’ to back…Continue Reading

Federal judge strikes down South Dakota’s gay marriage ban

SIOUX FALLS – A federal judge has declared South Dakota’s same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional, but has stayed the decision pending appeal. U.S. District Judge Karen Schreier on Monday issued a summary judgment in favor of the six couples who filed…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our new website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for over 145 years in our weekly print edition. Now we are introducing the online daily version of our print journal.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to subscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 145 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.

 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

A Powerful Weapon: 15 Quotes on the Holy Rosary

We live in evil times. I hardly need elaborate the multitude of crises that fill the globe. Sadly, many are being swept away by this flood of evil and are succumbing to an overwhelming anxiety and discouragement. But no matter how tempting it is, we must not shrink back. We must pray and fast with a living faith and a firm confidence—and there is no better way to…Continue Reading

12 Ways to Become a Committed Catholic Man

There is a Catholic “man-crisis.” Large numbers of men who were baptized Catholic have left the Church and the majority of those who remain are “Casual Catholic Men”, men who do not know the Catholic faith and don’t practice it. This large-scale failure of Catholic men to commit themselves to Jesus Christ and His Church has contributed to the accelerating…Continue Reading

Today . . .

Pope’s Morning Homily: Obeying God’s Will is the Path to Holiness

Rome, January 27, 2015 (Zenit.org) Junno Arocho Esteves Obedience to the will of God is the path of holiness. This was the main theme of Pope Francis’ homily during his daily morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta. Today’s first reading from the Letter to the Hebrews explained that the sacrifices of old were not enough “for it is impossible that…Continue Reading

Pope Francis: Women First And Foremost In Transmitting Faith

pope714

(Vatican Radio) The primary and indispensable role of women in transmitting the faith to new generations: this was the focus of Pope Francis’ remarks to the faithful following the readings of the day at Mass on Monday morning in the chapel of the Santa Marta residence in the Vatican. On the day when the Church celebrates the memory of Saints…Continue Reading

Pope Angelus: Jesus Wanted United Christians

(Vatican Radio) On Sunday and before the Angelus, the Pope recalled the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity and its theme, “Give me a drink”, the sentence uttered by Jesus to the Samaritan woman. He told the faithful gathered that the “desire for unity” of the disciples of Jesus is part of our “thirst not only material for water, but…Continue Reading

Pope Francis: Religious who pray for Christian unity an “invisible monastery”

(Vatican Radio) The vital role that men and women religious of different Christian Churches play in the ecumenical journey was at the heart of Pope Francis’s meeting on Saturday with participants in a conference on consecrated life and the search for Christian Unity. The three day meeting, which concludes on Sunday, comes in the context of both this Week of…Continue Reading

Obama’s Tax On Stay-At-Home Moms

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY President Obama’s disrespect for motherhood has manifested itself in policies ranging from support for same-sex marriage to defense of a form of abortion that involves forcing a baby into a drug-induced premature delivery and then leaving that little one to die. When it comes to the most vulnerable and innocent human…Continue Reading

A Book Review… Dietrich Von Hildebrand’s Heroic Witness In Perilous Times

By STEPHANIE BLOCK My Battle Against Hitler: Faith, Truth, and Defiance in the Shadow of the Third Reich by Dietrich von Hildebrand. Translated and edited by John Henry Crosby with John F. Crosby, Image Books (2014); $28.00; 335 pages. My Battle Against Hitler, a posthumously published memoir and collection of essays by “20th century Doctor…Continue Reading

“I Can’t Breathe”… The Plight Of The Preborn

By REY FLORES (Editor’s Note: This article is reprinted from www.all.org, the website of American Life League. All rights reserved.) + + + This past year has seen race relations decline as a result of a well-orchestrated attempt by a corrupt government that wants to divide us at all costs. And the propaganda peddlers known…Continue Reading

“Flee Immorality,” Church Unity, & Right To Life March

By JOHN F. KIPPLEY (Editor’s Note: John F. Kippley is the author of Sex and the Marriage Covenant: A Basis for Morality and other books and articles. With his wife Sheila, he is a coauthor of Natural Family Planning: The Complete Approach and cofounder of NFP International. This commentary appeared on his January 18 blog…Continue Reading

A Book Review . . . Christianity’s Gift To The World

By JUDE DOUGHERTY Siedentop, Larry. Inventing the Individual: The Origins of Western Liberalism. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press, 2014. Pp. viii + 434. Does it still make sense to still talk about the West in what some call a “post-Christian world”? Larry Siedentop, emeritus fellow of Keble College, Oxford, asks, “Can the West still be…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

A Leaven In The World.. Papal Bloopers And Catholic Teaching

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Pope Francis continues to grab headlines, not only by setting a new record for drawing the largest crowd in history, but also by his question and answer sessions on the planes to and from his pastoral visits. On the plane to the Philippines, the Pope responded to questions about free speech and violent responses to…Continue Reading

Mary’s Perpetual Virginity . . . The Faith Of The Early Christians

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 6 What did the Early Christians believe about the Catholic doctrine on the perpetual virginity of the Mother of Jesus? Those men, women, and children who sacrificed everything for the true faith — even their very own lives? They were imprisoned, tortured, murdered. Some were burned alive, racked, beheaded. Others were crucified, flayed alive,…Continue Reading

I Believe — We Believe

By DON FIER Over the past three weeks of this series on the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), we have been reflectively examining the characteristics of the indescribably wonderful gift of faith that Almighty God has so generously availed mankind. As so adeptly summarized in the Compendium of the CCC, we know that faith is “the supernatural virtue which…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. I remember a nun telling us back in Catholic school that after God ejected Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden, He promised that He would eventually send them a Messiah. Where is that in the Bible? — M.R., Indiana. A. In chapter 3 of the Book of Genesis. Actually, the promise was made before God expelled our…Continue Reading

Joy And Fulfillment

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Fourth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR B) Readings: Deut. 18:15-20 1 Cor. 7:32-35 Mark 1:21-28 In the first reading today God makes a promise and a command. He promises that He will raise up for the people a Prophet like Moses. At the same time, He requires that the people will listen to that Prophet because…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Mutien Marie Wiaux

By CAROLE BRESLIN A few decades ago, when Catholic schools taught religion from the Baltimore Catechism, one of the first questions children learned was, “Why did God make you?” The answer was, “God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him forever in the next.” The Catechism…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Anthony Of Egypt, Abbot

By CAROLE BRESLIN While we can understand that God is infinite, it is difficult to comprehend the stretch of such infinity. Certainly our finite minds cannot begin to comprehend it. Hence, since our minds our finite, the more we have cluttering our minds with worldly affairs such as possessions, relationships, and activities, the less time and room we have in…Continue Reading