The Jesuits Before and After Their Suppression

Christopher Hollis asserts that few societies of the Roman Catholic Church have exercised a more powerful influence than the Jesuits, both in Europe and overseas. Founded in 1540, suppressed in 1773, they were officially restored in 1814.

In the middle of the Sixteenth Century the Catholic Church seemed in grave danger of disintegration. Northern Europe, including England, Germany and the Scandinavian countries, had openly revolted against it. In France there were many Protestants, and in Italy there was much open unbelief; everywhere, even among those who still called themselves Catholics, Christians were sceptical of the Church’s traditional teaching and careless of its practice.

The Mohammedans had been expelled from Spain in the West; but in the East the Turks were still threatening to march up through the Balkans into the centre of Europe. The new spirit of nationalism menaced the old Catholic unity. Patriotic Englishmen objected to paying money to a Papacy that might use it to finance a war against their own country; and patriotic Germans objected to paying money that would go over the Alps to enrich unpopular Italian ecclesiastics.

To continue reading this article you will need to purchase access to the online archive.

Buy Online Access  Buy Print & Archive Subscription

If you have already purchased access, or are a print & archive subscriber, please ensure you are logged in.

Please email if you have any problems.