priests, and monks assailed Rome with complaints, and in 1656 Pascal opened the attack onthem in Europe by the scalding charges, especially of lax principles and leniency to vice, of his famous Provincial Letters.The Popes repeatedly condemned their practices (1710, 1715, 1742, and 1744), butdreaded their power and vindictiveness. More than one Pope is said to have been poisoned bythem, and we smile at the ingenuous Jesuit plea that we cannot prove it. But Europe had now begun to feel a power more subtle, yet more honest, than that of the Society ² that of Voltaire ² and the great statesmen who were his pupils moved against them. The Marquis dePombal got them expelled from Portugal in 1759. Choiseul exposed their trickery and their vast wealth in France and secured their expulsion (1764). Count D'Aranda had themsuppressed in Spain (1767), and Tannucci in the Kingdom of Naples. A tense and dramaticstruggle now proceeded at Rome, the Jesuits using every device in their large repertory toavert the suppression which the Catholic monarchs demanded, but in 1773 Pope ClementXIV, in the Bull Dominus ac Redemptor Noster, abolished the Society ³for ever.´The charges against the Jesuits were in large part brought by bishops or priests of highcharacter, but the Jesuit writers airily dismiss them by giving the reader the impression thatthey were fabrications of wicked enemies of Christ. It would be fatal to admit that the Popeendorsed the indictment, so the apologists uniformly say, in one of their most brazen perversions of facts, that in the Bull ³no blame is laid by the Pope on the rules of the Order,or the present condition of its members, or the orthodoxy of their teaching.´ (That is thelanguage of the Catholic Encyclopaedia).The Pope is represented as being reluctantly forced by circumstances to suspend theSociety for the time. The truth is that the Pope enumerates at length all the charges against theJesuits and fully endorses them. He recalls that thirteen previous Popes have condemned their practices and their doctrines after full inquiry, but he says the remedies had ³neither efficacynor strength to put an end to the trouble.´ Therefore, ³recognizing that the Society of Jesuscan no longer produce the abundant fruits and the considerable advantages for which it wascreated,´ he ³suppresses and abolishes the Society for ever.´Catholic writers in grossly misrepresenting the Pope's action, take advantage of thefact that no English translation of the Bull is available, the last published being in
by R. Demaus (1873). The essential parts of it are translated from Latin by the present writer in the book listed below. The Society was restored in the sanguinary reaction that followedthe fall of Napoleon and the Jesuits returned to their pernicious intrigues. To-day they are a body of very comfortable mediocrities confining their love of intrigue to the capture of richCatholics for their own parishes for which most priests cordially detest them and angling for aristocratic or semi-aristocratic converts. They have no distinction in learning or literature inspite of their wealth and leisure and they are superior to the other clergy only in their audacityin untruth and their solicitous ministration to the wealthy.See McCabe's Candid History of the Jesuits (1913). F. A. Ridley's The Jesuits (1938)is a sound, shorter, but broader study. A. Close's Jesuit Plots Against Great Britain (1935) isgenerally reliable. Of the works recommended in Robertson's Courses of Study, all of whichare outdated, Nicolini's History of the Jesuits (1853) is unreliable, and Crétineau-Joly's
Histoire religieuse, politique, et littéraire de la Compagnie de Jesus
(6 vols., 1845-6), whichall encyclopaedias recommend as the standard authority, is a monstrous piece of Jesuitrysubsidized by the Jesuits themselves.
he Jesuit Historian, Nicolini, stated in regard to the Jesuits:
raw the character of the Jesuit as he seems in London and you will not recognizethe portrait of the Jesuit in Rome. The Jesuit is a man of circumstances, despotic in Spain,