Dissolution of the Jesuit Order



Established by St. Ignatius of Loyola and approved by Pope Paul III. in 1540, the Jesuit Order became the main instrument of the Counterreformation. The ruler of a country would invite the Jesuits, who would establish a college in the country. The Jesuits would be given a monopoly on the education system - protestant schools were closed down, protestant teachers and priests given the choice either to convert or to emigrate. The next generations of teachers and priests were educated by Jesuits. Jesuits were in control of censorship and of the inquisition; stubborn protestants neither willing to convert nor to emigrate were treated by her, as heretics.
The Jesuit system of higher education had the primary object to produce loyal Catholic priests, and therefore emphasized the classic languages - Latin, Greek, Hebrew, while both modern languages and natural sciences were largely neglected.
In France, the power of the Jesuit Order was broken with (and immediately following) the Synod of French bishops held in 1682 which established the liberties of the Gallican Church.
In Spain, Portugal, the Austrian lands, Poland-Lithuania and Italy the Jesuit Order held on to her control over the education system, censorship and the inquisition.
In the middle of the 18th century, the Jesuit Order came under pressure in most of the Catholic countries. Following a conflict between the Jesuit Order and Portugal's first minister, the Marquis de Pombal, over the Jesuit missions (also called reductions) in Latin America, the Jesuit Order was banned from Portugal in 1759. In France, the Jesuit Order was formally suppressed in 1763/1764, their colleges closed down, the Jesuit Order was expelled from Spain and from the Two Sicilies in 1767, from Parma in 1768. In 1773, Pope Clement XIV., under heavy pressure from the Bourbon Dynasties (France, Spain, Two Sicilies, Parma) suppressed the Jesuit Order altogether. Now, in Catholic countries such as Austria, Malta and the Princebishopric of Münster, the possessions of the Jesuit Order were confiscated, her colleges transferred into universities or high schools.
In Poland-Lithuania, the Jesuit Order escaped state suppression. In 1814 the Jesuit Order was reestablished.






EXTERNAL
FILES
Article Society of Jesus, from Catholic Encyclopedia
A Brief hronology of the Jesuit Order, from sjweb
DOCUMENTS
REFERENCE
VIDEO The Mission, 1986, cc, featuring the dissolution of the Jesuit Missions in Guarani territory in the 1750es



This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on September 11th 2003, last revised on April 29th 2005

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