Laboring for the principle of the absolute authority of the pope in all realms of life, the Jesuits proceed on the basis that the papal ecclesiastical power is over every other power. The pope is the only real earthly power over all churches and over all governments. The pope is subject to no civil power. Roman office bearers under any civil government have their first responsibility not to that government, but to the pope, who is regarded as the divine head of that government. Allegiance to the country in which they are ostensibly citizens is only nominal, if it suits them: and often in the interests of the society they are indifferent to the welfare of their country, and even to its existence.
They were also strong advocates of Ultra-montanism (from ultra montes, “beyond the mountains,” i.e. the Alps from France and Germany into Italy, where the pope is settled). This is the philosophy of an Italian-Vatican-centered papacy. Its point of view is something like this: No infallible pope in Rome, no Roman Catholic Church, no Christianity; no religion, no civilized society. Every society and civilization in the world, then, is regarded as stemming from the hub of the Vatican.
The society also assumes the right to stamp out all heresy, by force if necessary. Great efforts in this direction have been expended in the Romish Inquisition, by the King of Spain against the people of Holland, and the expulsion of the Huguenots from France. These persecutions were deemed necessary in order to stamp out the plain teaching of Scripture, which gives no credence to hierarchy, formalism or salvation by works of man. To further accomplish this dark purpose, when they “convert” the heathen to Rome, they by all means permit them to retain their heathenism, making no effort toward a change of their heart, life or moral character. No wonder the world began to ask sarcastically, Have the Jesus converted the heathen” or the heathen the Jesuits?
Its Downfall in Europe
Great power and influence was gained through indefatigable ambition, and, as the society itself admits, by intrigue, by fomenting conspiracies, interfering in politics, becoming spying members of civil councils, enkindling wars, the doing of missionary work in the guise of civilians, going into seclusion under a change of name (even of nationality). What are the principles of this movement? It is difficult to say, because of the practice of so much secrecy, which they disavow, and the withholding of constitutions from the public eye, even from court scrutiny when subpoenaed by law. Much of their principles ceased to be published since 1672.
They were brought into disfavor because they were independent, intolerant of any but their own teaching and methods, forcing every other type of Romanism – Franciscan, Benedictine, Dominican, Vincentian, Paulish, Augustinian, Carmelite- into the narrow Jesuit form. They persisted in accommodating their brand of “Christianity” to the heathenism of their converts, in meddling in politics to the extent of causing the nomination or appointing of public officials who would be acceptable to the order, in entering colonial trade and in forming colonial rule. They also incurred general disapprobation for their opposition to Jansenism, another movement in the Roman Catholic Church. The Jansenists had Augustinian tendencies, were inclined to the idea of salvation by grace, but were fought by the Jesuits who popularized the semi-Pelagian philosophy of salvation by self-effort. To avoid this opposition, the Augustinian monks do not hold Augustine’s Augustinianism, i.e. his doctrine that salvation is according to the electing grace of God alone, and that good works are the fruit of election and grace.
The Jesuits were prosecuted and expelled from England by law under pain of death in 1579, 1581, 1584, 1586, 1602, 1604 and in 1829. They were expelled from Venice in 1606, from the Netherlands in 1622, from Paraguay in 1733, from Portugal in 1578, 1759, 1834, 1910; from France in 1594, were reinstated in 1603, only to be expelled again in 1764 through the influence of Mme, Pompadour. From Spain and Sicily they were expelled in 1767, but were re-established in Spain in 1815 and reinstated with the possession of all their ancient property. The order was abolished by Pope Clement XIV in 1773, but was permitted in parts of Russia in 1776, and again in 1820. In 1806 the order was restored in the USA. In 1814 it was restored officially throughout the world by Pope Pius VII. In 1872 it was expelled from Germany.
Its Part in Modern History
It was through Jesuit influence that in France the political alliance between the Catholic and the Conservatory party, as it was called, and the Fascist-Royalist element was effected. Although in World War II Christendom battled Nazism, still it is undeniable that Romanism prepared the way for the enslaving dictatorship which was Fascism. The Roman church went Fascist, supporting the Italian hoodlum, Mussolini, and thus the basis for effective resistance to Hitler in Romish countries was destroyed. Romanism from old has fostered totalitarian government throughout the world However, in our country, it is more popular for the order and the church to collaborate with democracy. In Germany, the Romish element demanded the intervention of the Reich to secure the right of the pope to be more than a “prisoner in the Vatican” and to stay in Rome and retain the city as his worldly dominion. It is history, too, that the pope made a concordat with Hitler.
It is a Jesuit tactic to make Romanism look as though it is the happy mean between two horrible extreme, to be the only way off the horns of a dilemma. For example, in Europe there were, politically, the Communists on the left, and liberals and radicals on the right. The “Catholic” (Romanist) parties represented the conservatives in the middle. Ignorant Protestants have been thus maneuvered into accepting the lesser of the existing evils. That is, they were led to believe that Romanist dominance would be better than Communist or Nazi dominance. However, history shows that such Romish countries as Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Poland, Germany, Italy, Spain, Mexico and South America are all characterized by leanings toward dictatorship, and contain strong roots of feudalism in their social structures.
In this connection, we may say that the public school movement was established to prevent the whole of education from falling entirely into the hands of the Jesuits who come as experts of education. Public schools were established in Europe as the result of the French Revolution and the conquests of Napoleon. France’s National Convention, the new “republic” which destroyed the old Bourbon monarchy, also tried to destroy the Roman Catholic Church, but failed. Members of the hierarchy refused to recognize the “republic.” Napoleon was the kind of ruler who would use whatever religion was in power to gain his own ends. He said, “If I had to govern a nation of Jews, I would rebuild Solomon’s temple.” Since he governed a nation largely Romish, he conciliated the Romanists. (Although while he was in Egypt he became a Mohammedan!) By his concordat of 1801 the papacy was forced to compromise to the point of accepting the new “republic”, and of agreeing to the principle of freedom of religion. The schools had been under control of the Romish church. Napoleon re-established them under the control of the new “republic.” Freedom to be Roman Catholic he could tolerate, but not Jesuitism. “The recall of the Jesuits I will not permit! Let no one mention that idea to me again, “ he charged.
Since frequent and fierce charges incessantly have been lodged against the order throughout all its history, the society has deemed it necessary to defend itself with what it regards as certain irrefutable principles. Naturally, it would only be detrimental to their cause to flatly deny these charges, or to bear them with an injured tone. There must be an intelligent and effective apologetic employed. Hence, the principle that Jesuits are fallible is laid down. Is this an appeal to man’s sense of logic? For the logic of it is something like this: All men are sinners (fallible). The Jesuits are men. Therefore the Jesuits are sinners (fallible.) The implication is that even Jesuits are only human. The defense is “Tis human to err. There are, to be sure, some Jesuit writers, e.g., who must be censored and censured; yet it should be remembered that these are a mere child’s handful as compared to the well over one hundred thousand Jesuit writers, and so we must not judge an entire organization by a few of its rash members. Why should such an orthodox body as the Sanhedrin be condemned because a few of its members connived with Judas? However, it should be noted that the Sanhedrin was not a presbyterial, but a hierarchical order, and had no basis in the Jewish Old Testament, nor in the Christian New Testament. It was therefore not only extra-church, but extra-biblical, extra-scriptural and foreign to the interests of both Israel and the church. The Sanhedrin was established with a view to providing legal sanctuary for the church’s enemies, to aid and abet their false teaching within the church, and through this means to permeate the church with what was considered a more modern philosophy.
Another principle of defense is, Consider the source (of the accusations). Charges of intellectual aberration coming from the imbecilic or the ignorant cannot have any weight. This would apply to an attack of atheists upon the religious society. The infidel state persecuted Christ. Dictators have ever hampered the church. The law of separation of church and state is a suppressive and oppressive imposition which only cripples and enslaves the hierarchy and the entire clergy. The implication is, Consider the source: these evils could only spring from democracy’s horrible origin – from Rousseau and Voltaire. Nevertheless, a genuinely divine institution need not sound so affronted by man’s judgment. One may, indeed, gain much insight by taking heed to the criticism of one’s enemy. Only let not that enemy be the Word of God. For “there is one that accuseth you,” “one that judgeth” . . . “the Word that I have spoken, the same shall judge in the last day” (John 5:45; 12:48) Nor is there any appeal from that judgment. We must always go back to that source. “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this Word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isa. 8:20)
An additional principle is, Consider the times. It is true that not only heretics, but Roman Catholic membership have opposed the society, but this is understandable in the light of the times! They were times of knightly honor and dwelling, and even clerics became imbibed with the pugnacious spirit of the day. After all, King David “brought out the people and cut them with saws and with axes” (I Chron. 20:3), and Protestantism has its extremist John Calvin. One wonders – would this not exonerate Judas? For was he not a product of the times, and of the Jewish political mind? But then would this not also condemn worthy men such as Luther and Christ Himself? Was not their doctrine of justification by faith alone apart from works, a product of the times? A spirit of rebellion against the established religion? The truth is, men and societies must be judged not merely in the “light” of the times, or within the context of their dark ages, but in the white light of God’s holiness and on the basis of His infallible Word.
Another thrust of defense is made in the principle, What do you expect? Why be so self-righteously shocked at the vilification and persecution heaped on the Jesuits? For do not politicians often elicit more castigation, caricature and condemnation in a month than all Jesuits do in a year? Why then permit yourself to be influenced by the political strategies of satire, sarcasm and invective? But this seems less apologetic and more an attempt to find comfort in the thought that some false prophet do not raise the eye of suspicion, or evoke the noise of denunciation as much as other false prophets do.
Finally, there is the so called Jesuit legend. It is really all fable and myth, these charges of secrecy, interference in politics, state and civil affairs, the plot to control public education, the aim to spread Romanism by every available secular power?
Jesuitism has been fictionalized into a cloak-and-dagger clan master-minded by some insidious Dr. Fu Manchu. One must admit the Jesuit legend is rather bizarre, and reads much like the adventures of the characters created by Chester Gould. Sometimes legend does degenerate to caricature, and caricature to ridicule. But the “legend” argument becomes a convenient dumping ground where all charges, difficulties, “lies” and offences may be easily disposed. But orthodox, historical Christianity has never feared such flimsy shafts, such stubble-tipped arrows. What is legend in the face of history? In the face of a position firmly entrenched upon the impregnable rock of Holy Writ? What shall we think of an organization which must defend itself by all kinds of sophistical subtleties and clever casuistries,, instead of submitting to the test of scripture? Instead of making a direct appeal to, or challenge to evaluate according to the judgment of the Divine Word?