Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Restoration of the Jesuits

(I haven't verified all the data in this website that comes from Global Security. It seemsl ike it is basically on target.)

Restoration of the Jesuits

Eventually, circumstances took a favorable turn for them in Rome. Clement XIV died 1774, and his successor soon showed himself the friend of the society, which was yet very far from being extinct. The ex-Jesuits, who were deprived at once of their offices by the decrees of abolition, having been condemned unheard, still remained respectable clergymen, who had powerful friends in all classes, and were entrusted with important stations in the church and offices of instruction. In the year 1780, there were 9000 of them out of Italy, who were thought to maintain a constant union, under private directors or superiors.

They were also thought to have possessed themselves of the secrets of the Rosicrucians, and to have taken a part in the schemes of the Illuminati. They were charged, moreover, with a plot to destroy Protestantism. But the clamor against them was, no doubt, often unfounded. But Jesuitism was still understood, not only the opposition to all ideas and institutions unfavorable to the Roman church, but also the sly and insidious arts of intrigue, the acting according to the principle that "the end sanctifies the means," the concealed movements of a maneuvering ambition, under the mask of piety and devotion to the public good, which had become a second nature with many of the followers of Loyola.

Undaunted by these assaults of an often unjust prejudice, the ex-Jesuits, firmly united to each other, were hoping in the meanwhile for the restoration of their order, on which, according to their belief, the welfare of mankind depended. An attempt, in 1787, to revive their order, under the name of Vicentines, was unsuccessful. Fathers of the faith, an ecclesiastical order founded by Paccanuri, a Tyrolese enthusiast, and formerly a soldier of the pope, under the patronage of the arch-duchess Mariana, was composed mostly of Jesuits, and put in operation at Rome, by the aid of the easily persuaded pope, as a new form of the society of Jesus, under altered regulations ; but they were never recognized, by the secret superiors of the ancient Jesuits, as their brethren.

The plans of the Jesuits were aided by Pius VII, who established their order in White Russia and Lithuania, where it continued in operation, but confined to offices of teaching and priestly duties, under the vicar-general, Daniel Gruber ; and silently restored them, in 1804, in the island of Sicily, which was entirely separated from Europe by the fate of the continent. Hence it excited no surprise, among observing men, that this pope, who, in 1806, had canonized a Jesuit, should make use of the first opportunity to revive the order. The bull issued to this effect (Solicitude omnium, Aug. 7, 1814). speaks of urgent entreaties and a general desire of the Christian princes and bishops for the restoration of the society, intimating that it would appear again in precisely the same form in which it had fallen. Accordingly, the novitiate at Rome was solemnly opened, Nov. 11, 1814, and about 40 men, mostly eminent for rank and attainments, had been admitted. In 1824, they took possession of the collegium Romanum in that city. In 1815, a college was granted them at Modena, and they did not delay to accept the invitations of the kings of Sardinia, Naples and Spain. Ferdinand VII (May 29, 1815) reinstated them in the possession of all the privileges and property which had been taken from them in 1767. He subsequently appointed St. Ignatius captain-general of the Spanish army, and conferred on him the grand cross of the order of Charles III. The Helvetic canton of Friburg, also (Sept. 15, 1818), restored the old Jesuit college, formerly established there, for the instruction of youth. The Spanish revolution of March, 1820, was followed by their banishment from the kingdom ; but they were restored again at the re-establishment of absolute power in 1823.

Thus, in the conduct and the fortunes of the order, had been fulfilled the prophetic words of their third general, Francis Borgia: "Like lambs have we crept into power, like wolves have we used it, like dogs shall we be driven out, but like eagles shall we renew our youth." Portugal alone steadfastly adhered to its ordinance of Sept. 3, 1759, which banished the Jesuits out of the kingdom. Germany had hitherto refused to admit them ; but the Paccanarists and Redemptorists in Austria had much in common with this society : some of the Jesuits, indeed, were allowed to take refuge there, after their banishment from Russia, but were commanded, in 1825, on pain of exile, to acknowledge the archbishop of the province as their supreme head.

In France, the ultra-royalists succeeded in causing their presence to be connived at, and they already had congregations and seminaries at Montrouge, St. Acheul, &c., previous to the revolution. In Russia, where they had been expelled by Peter the Great, and readmitted by Catharine II, it appeared that they were using their endeavors to win over the sons and daughters of distinguished families to the Catholic church, and they were banished in consequence, by an u'kase of Jan. 1, 1817, from Moscow and Petersburg. But, still carrying on their proselyting schemes, and making themselves obnoxious to the government by secret intrigues of all sorts, an imperial ukase of March 25, 1840, abolished their order forever in Russia and Poland, and provided that the whole body of its members should be transported beyond the boundaries of these two countries, at the expense of the government, having regard to the age and bodily condition of individuals ; that the valuable estates of the order should be confiscated, and the academy at Polotzk abolished.

In England, the tolerating spirit of the British constitution permitted them, to have a college at Stonyhurst, near Preston in Lancashire, with an academy of 500 pupils, and several smaller boarding-schools, from which they carry on with success, the propagation of the Catholic faith. They had also three colleges in Piedmont, one in Ferrara, one in Ireland, one in Friburg in Switzerland, and two colleges in the United States, one in Georgetown, in the district of Columbia, the other at St. Louis, Missouri. The Jesuits have outlived their power ; the age rejects them.

The world is ruled by a spirit with which this fraternity, now inconsiderable in point of numbers, talent and influence, could not keep pace. The sagacious statesmen of the present day need not to be reminded of the answer of Maintenon, the mistress of the great patron of the Jesuits, who, on having chosen Lazariste forme spiritual guides of her pupils at St. Cyr, was asked why she had not taken Jesuits; "Because," she replied, "I would be mistress in my own house." The order originated in a wise view of the state of the world on the part of leading Catholics, who saw that the rapid advances of the Protestants in learning and science would soon throw the old system of ignorant mendicant order into contempt. They therefore trained a new breed of combatants for the Church in the use of intellectual weapons ; hut the advantages, which they thus obtained originally, have been lost in the general spread of intelligence, and the Jesuits were considered as a part of the old regime, and no longer influenced public opinion.

The disposition to adapt them to the new order of things, however, was shown in the acquittal, by the court of Rome, of two Jesuits charged with having spoken well of republics, on the ground that, being citizens of the United States, they had a right to defend republican principles.

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