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Society of Jesus
| Christ died so we may|
write articles about
|A multi-chef broth|
|Devil's in the details|
|The pearly gates|
It is an evangelistic order practicing missionary work and education, with many Jesuit schools around the world. The Jesuits, beginning their founding in 1530 by Ignatius of Loyola, actively recruited among the Conversos for their first 30 years (Catholic converts of Jewish heritage). After that, an anti-Converso faction took over that strictly forbade Conversos, or even their descendants, from the order.
During the Holocaust some German Jesuits risked their lives to rescue or protect Jews. Jesuits also spread disease in the new world, though obviously not realizing it at the time, and killed off native populations. With so many mysterious deaths occurring around them, some natives were wary of Jesuits. The Jesuits blamed these deaths on the natives' heretical religion and converted those who believed them.
The head of the order is the Superior General, based in Rome, sometimes referred to as the Black Pope because of his black priest's garments (in contrast to the Pope's white robes) and influential position.
Criticism of Jesuits
The Jesuit order has come under strong criticism, largely from Protestants, since its inception in the 15th century. During the Reformation era, it seemed to the Puritans to personify the wealth and corruption they perceived in the Catholic Church, and was constantly suspected of subversion. Often these fears were well founded, as Jesuits were implicated in numerous political intrigues and conspiracies, including the Gunpowder Plot.
Jesuits also tend to attract the ire of ultratraditionalist and hard-conservative Catholics for being "liberal" and more "scientific" than religious. Never mind that there are quite a few conservatives among the order and that in the Church, "liberal" can mean anything from liberation theology to heresy.
Distrust of Jesuits, and conspiracy theories about the order, have continued into the modern era. These theories often focus on the Black Pope, portrayed as the real power behind the Papacy and the Church.
A number of websites posit that the Black Pope has a negative influence on world events (including getting rid of white Popes who refuse to obey their bidding), being linked to Satan, general destruction, and the New World Order. Just to make things more interesting, the current pope is a Jesuit - the first Jesuit pope ever.
The Library of Congress claims to have the Jesuit Oath which has stirred up controversy between Anti-Jesuit and Catholics whether it is valid or not. It has lead to massive criticism against the Jesuits.
“” I furthermore promise and declare that I will, when opportunity present, make and wage relentless war, secretly or openly, against all heretics, Protestants and Liberals, as I am directed to do, to extirpate and exterminate them from the face of the whole earth; and that I will spare neither age, sex or condition; and that I will hang, waste, boil, flay, strangle and bury alive these infamous heretics, rip up the stomachs and wombs of their women and crush their infants' heads against the walls, in order to annihilate forever their execrable race. That when the same cannot be done openly, I will secretly use the poisoned cup, the strangulating cord, the steel of the poniard or the leaden bullet, regardless of the honor, rank, dignity, or authority of the person or persons, whatever may be their condition in life, either public or private, as I at any time may be directed so to do by any agent of the Pope or Superior of the Brotherhood of the Holy Faith, of the Society of Jesus.
|—"Jesuit Oath" Library of Congress|
- "St. Ignatius of Loyola and the Jews" by James W. Reites (1981). Studies in the Spirituality of Jesuits. St. Louis, Missouri: American Assistancy Seminar on Jesuit Spirituality. 13 (4). ISSN 2328-5575.
- "El Estatuto de Limpieza de Sangre de la Compañía de Jesús (1593) y su influencia en el Perú Colonial" by Alexandre Coello de la Rosa (2011) Archivum historicum Societatis Iesu. Institutum Societatis Iesu 159:45–93.
- http://www.remnantofgod.org/blackpope.htm and http://www.sherryshriner.com/black-pope.htm