The Jesuits: William of Orange

The Jesuits: William of Orange


William of OrangeWilliam of Orange (William I, prince of Orange, surnamed the Silent: 1533 – 84) was the principal founder of Dutch independence and the guarantor of Protestantism in the Netherlands and therefore a hated enemy of Jesuits.

He was born in Germany to Protestant parents and was heir to the holdings of the branch of the Nassau family in the Low Countries and the principality of Orange in Southern France. The Holy Roman Emperor Charles V (1500 – 58), whose favourite page he became, insisted that William was reared a Roman Catholic. In 1555, William was made stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland, and Utrecht.

By the abdication of his father, Charles V, Philip II of Spain (1527 – 98) William became sovereign of the Low Countries and took up the government of the Seventeen Provinces, which he found at the zenith of their prosperity.

William ably served Philip as a diplomat but the encroachments by the unscrupulous monarch on the liberties of the Netherlands and the introduction of the demoniacally inspired Spanish Inquisition by Cardinal Granvelle (1517 – 86) forced William to turn against the king.

The Spanish Inquisition, the Commissaries of the Holy Office in Spain, which under the wicked Tomas de Torquemada (1420 – 98) the inquisitor-general caused the death of thousands of Saracens, heretics, apostates, suspected witches and Jews. Torquemada became confessor to the young infanta Isabella (1451 – 1504), the future Queen of Castile whose marriage to Ferdinand V (1452 – 1516) marked the beginning of the modern state of Spain.

Torquemada made Isabella promise that when she became queen she would make it her principal business to chastise and destroy heretics. Torquemada convinced Ferdinand and Isabella that it was essential to their safety to reorganise the Inquisition, which had since the 13th century (1236) been established in Spain, and make it a more potent weapon against the supposed enemies of Catholicism.

The Friars Preachers, the Dominicans, “the Dogs of the Lord” (Domini canes), of which Torquemada was preeminent, took the lead in the ensuing barbarism. Commissaries of the Holy Office were dispatched to different provinces, and ministers of the faith were established in the various cities to take cognisance of the crimes of not only heresy and apostasy, but also sorcery, sodomy and polygamy. These too were considered implicit heresy.

Torquemada and those who served under him were evil men who served a different God than that in the Bible. They, under the cloak of Catholicism, submitted accused heretics to horrific tortures or condemned them to extraordinary punishments. Anyone with the sensitive eye of the proper student of history will see in the operation of the Holy Office the higher hidden hand of the Dark God, Ahriman in all its activities.

In the person of Phillip, who continued the policy of the Catholic Ferdinand and Isabella, and the Evil of Torquemada and his “the Dogs of the Lord,” we find a more modern equivalent. Because of his cruelty in the suppression of the Lutheran heresy” and his ruthless pursuit of the decrees of the Council of Trent, and for the strict execution of the placards against heretics, Phillip succeeded in exterminating Protestantism in Spain.

The king and his cohorts in this evil were the very same souls that would reincarnate in a later century, together, and pursue this Evil Agenda again. The wicked Phillip and his Dominican henchmen who revelled in this vileness were the very same souls who would reappear in the persons of Hitler and the Nazi hierarchs that plotted to march Europe back into the Dark Ages.

Reincarnation is fact of human creation and endemic to the human condition that has purposefully been expunged from orthodox Christianity by men who desire to deny the Truth to the masses and thereby control them all the better. The  truth of reincarnation is denied by those who do not understand or do not know the way of Creation: it is also denied by those who do know but wish to deny this knowledge to the rest of humanity.

Proper Students of History, those with eyes to see and the ears to hear, understand this. The soul that was Phillip II of Spain was the same soul that would reincarnate on Earth as Adolf Hitler, and the souls of the wicked evil persecutors and torturers of the Spanish Inquisition were the Nazi henchmen who incarnated along with their leader to continue their assault on Natural Moral Order on Earth.

This is the truth of the matter and one can either accept it or reject it. Where the fool would laugh aloud at such things the wise would ponder upon this, the weightiest of matters.

To a gentleman condemned to death for heresy, who had reproached him for his cruelty, Phillip replied:

“If my own son were guilty like you, I should lead him with my own hands to the stake.”


Lucifer atop Dark Empire of Secret Societies Such pitilessness, such wickedness, such Evil was what William of Orange pitted himself against, a decision that would eventually result in his assassination by a Jesuit agent.

The zeal of Phillip for carrying out the decrees of the Jesuit inspired Council of Trent caused a spirit of rebellion to sweep the Low Countries. With the help of counts Egmont and Hoorn, William orchestrated a policy of constitutional opposition, but under the regency of Margaret of Parma, disorders grew in the Netherlands and the situation became more serious.

In the spring of 1564 the constitutional opposition of the great nobles to the policy of the king appeared to be successful when Phillip removed Granvelle. Orange, Egmont and Hoorn returned to the Council they had left in protest believing that things had changed for the better, but they were soon disabused of this notion when they realised that things did not mend.

Although Granvelle had gone, the royal policy was unchanged and Phillip was bent upon pursuing the ambitions of the Jesuit inspired Council of Trent.

The wild iconoclastic riots and outrages by fanatical Protestant groups at Antwerp and elsewhere greatly angered Philip who vowed vengeance. Civil war looked imminent but William managed to assuage the anger of the populace at great risk to his one life and succeeded in bringing about an accord. It was his final act of loyal service to Phillip for even at this time William knew from secret emissaries that he kept at Madrid, that Phillip had plotted the destruction of himself and his friends.

William in vain endeavoured to rouse other prominent leaders to take steps, if necessary by armed resistance, to avert their doom. To no avail, and so William, after resigning all his posts, left the country (22 April 1567), and took up his residence with his family at the ancestral home of the Nassaus.

On October 23 1573, Orange had clarified his position in a public profession of the Calvinist religion. William the Silent was never a bigot in religious matters and hated religious tyranny whether it was exercised by Papist or Calvinist, and his political aims were not self-seeking. He was driven by a higher purpose whose object was to secure the liberties of the Netherlands from being destroyed by a foreign despotism.

His loyalty to Phillip broke because of that monarch’s despotism and naked ambitions for absolutism and he did not counsel the provinces to retract their allegiance to Philip, until he found the Spanish king was intractable. But, when the retraction became a necessity William sought to find a sovereign possessing sufficient resources to protect the land from Phillip and looked to Elizabeth of England and Francis, duke of Alenon and Anjou, for help on this matter.

On September 23 1577, he entered Brussels in triumph as the acknowledged leader of the whole people of the Low Countries, both Catholic and Protestant, in their resistance to foreign oppression.

Philip promulgated a ban (25 March 1581) against the prince of Orange, in which William was denounced as a traitor and enemy of the human race, and a reward of 25,000 crowns in gold or land with a patent of nobility was offered to any one who should assassinate him.

William defended himself from the accusations brought against him in a lengthy document, called “the Apology,” an even charged the Phillip with a series of misdeeds and crimes. An attempt was made upon William’s life (March 18) in Antwerp by a Biscayan youth, named Juan Jaureguy, who feigning to offer a petition fired a pistol at William’s head, the ball passing in at the right ear and out by the left jaw.

Although William recovered, the shock and anxiety proved fatal to his third wife, Charlotte de Bourbon, who expired less than a month later after a very short illness.

The machinations of those who saw in William the Silent a most dangerous enemy were ceaseless in their attempts at murder. William was finally assassinated by his enemies, shot dead at Delft by a French Catholic fanatic, the Burgundian, Balthazar Gerard, on July 8, 1584, as he was leaving his dining hall. His last words were:

“God be merciful to these poor people.”


His enemies hated William of Orange because not only was he the father of religious liberty but also because they perceived him to have betrayed their cause which was the utter destruction of Protestantism.

While out hunting with the king of France, the king lay bare to him their plans to destroy all the Protestants in the Low Countries, a diabolic plan upon which William did not comment. He kept silent, a prolonged silence on the matter that garnered for him the sobriquet “William the taciturn,” or “William the Silent.”

The silence was because William harboured in his heart the desire for religious freedom and thus he went back to Holland determined that he would deliver the Calvinists and the Protestants from their doom. This is exactly what he achieved although it cost him dearly.

The Jesuits were in the vanguard of the Spanish Inquisition transported onto Dutch soil and the fanatical Roman Catholic Spanish armies that traversed the Low Countries were led in all spiritual matters by the Jesuits.

William was a great inspiration to the Protestant cause that Jesuits desired snuffed out and they finally achieved this when their agent, Balthazar Gerard, shot William in his own house.

Providence moves mysteriously thorough history and so it is the case here. The two great Jesuit outrages before the Suppression, the murder of Coligny at the St. Bartholomew’s Massacre and the assassination of William of Orange, were linked not only by the evil of the Jesuits but by its polarSpartan opposite.

The brave, noble William had married Louise de Coligny, the daughter of the famous Huguenot leader.

Such is the subtle working of Providence and a verity of human hope, which the Spartan poet Simonides, engraved on the ancient monument commemorating the battle Thermopylae, crystallised thus:

“Go tell the Spartans, stranger passing by, that here obedient to their laws we lie. What a strange thing virtue is, and what a wondrous thing a person is. And what a strange thing war is, too, most hideous of all human enterprises.

A mad monster, in whose service, however, a man need not go mad.”


 The Gunpowder Plot

V Mask civil disobedience


In 1605, Guy Fawkes (1570 – 1606) was arrested for attempting to blow up the Houses of Parliament in London and thereby kill the first Stuart King of England, James I (1566 – 1625), his Danish wife and his children. There would also have been the probable deaths of over 2000 Protestant and Catholics within the blast area not to mention the deaths from the resulting fires that would have swept through London killing thousands more.

The plot was exposed at the last minute and Fawkes was arrested near 36 barrels of gunpowder hidden in the cellar. Fawkes, a Jesuit dupe, used by the English Catholic elite as a convenient stooge if the plot went wrong, which it did, and Fawkes paid for his treachery with his life.

Henry GarnetThe act of treason was called the Gunpowder Plot, in which Henry Garnet (1555 – 1606), the superior of the Society of Jesus in England was implicated. Garnet was educated at Winchester and studied law in London, and after become a Roman Catholic he went to Italy and joined the Society of Jesus in 1575.

In 1586 returned to England, part of the so-called English Mission; a Jesuit inspired intrigue, becoming superior of the province on the imprisonment of William Weston (c.1550 – 1615) in the following year. In 1598, he was professed of the four vows and thus introduced to the inner workings of the Order.

The troubles of the English College, Rome, spread to England and led to a renewal of the “Wisbech stirs,” that is the dispute between the Jesuits and the secular clergy (1595 – 96), in which Garnet zealously supported Weston in his resistance to any compromise with the civil government. Garnet’s hostility to the secular clergy was also shown later, when in 1603, he, with other Jesuits, betrayed to the government the “Bye Plot,” or ” Watson’s plot” contrived by William Watson (c. 1559 – 1603), a secular priest.

It was a harebrained plot whose essence was the capturing of the Tower of London, converting the king to Romanism, and making Watson lord keeper. The plot was a complete failure for Henry Garnet and other Jesuits betrayed it to the authorities resulting in the capture and execution of its principal authors.

The life of Garnet was one of concealment and disguises as he covertly supervised the Jesuit mission in England for eighteen years. His aliases were variously “Farmer, Marchant, Whalley, Darcey Meaze, Phillips, Humphreys, Roberts, Fulgeham, Allen”.

A bounty was put on his person by the government but he was dauntless and tireless in carrying on his propaganda and in ministering to the scattered Catholics. Although he gained many converts, and the number of Jesuits in England increased during his tenure of office from three to forty, it is his connection with the Gunpowder Plot that he is best remembered.

The conspirators included:

Robert Catesby, John Wright, and Thomas Wintour, the originators, Christopher Wright, Robert Winter, Robert Keyes, Guy Fawkes, a soldier who had been serving in Flanders, Thomas Percy, John Grant, Sir Everard Digby, Francis Tresham, Ambrose Rookwood, and Thomas Bates, Catesby’s servant, all, with the exception of Bates, being men of good family and all Roman Catholics.


Gunpowder Plot-plotters


The Jesuits, Oswald Tesemond, known as Father Greenway, and Father Garnet, were both cognisant of the plot.

The conspirators, who began plotting early in 1604, had expanded their number to a point where secrecy was impossible and their intrigue eventually became known to the lawful government of England.

On the eve of the plot, the king ordered the earl of Suffolk, as lord chamberlain, to examine the buildings, who upon arriving at the cellar, which housed the gunpowder, the door was opened to him by Fawkes.

This aroused suspicion and so it was ordered that Thomas Knyvett, a Westminster magistrate should make a further search who, coming with his men at night, discovered the gunpowder and arrested Fawkes.

Guy FawkesIn 1602, Garnet had received briefs from Pope Clement VIII directing that no person unfavourable to the Catholic religion should be allowed to succeed to the throne of England. About the same time Garnet was consulted by traitors Catesby, Tresham and Winter, all afterwards involved in the Gunpowder Plot, on the subject of the mission to be sent to Spain to encourage Philip III (1578 – 1621) to invade England.

In June 1605, Catesby asked Garnet whether it was lawful to enter upon any undertaking, which should involve the destruction of the innocent together with the guilty. Garnet using the cherished maxim of the order as authority, the end justifies the means, answered in the affirmative, giving as an example the fate of persons besieged in a town in time of war.

By this device the Jesuit superior in England was made aware of the Catholic intrigue from one of the key plotters and, importantly, outside the sanctity of the confessional.

On the point that the pope may have been minded to forbid Catholic rebellion in England or the Jesuits as protagonist of in it, which manifested in a reluctance by Garnet to proceed, we have the testimony of Sir Everard Digby on the matter:

“That they were not (meaning the priests) to undertake or procure stirs, but yet they would not hinder any, neither was it the pope’s mind they should, that should be undertaken for Catholic good.

This answer, with Mr Catesby’s proceedings with him and me, gave me absolute belief that the matter in general was approved, though every particular was not known.”


According to the testimony of Garnet, he was only informed of the nature and scope of the plot by the Father Greenway “by way of confession,” when, as he declares, he expressed horror at it and urged Greenway to do his utmost to prevent its execution.

Because Greenway related the matter to Garnet in confession, the Jesuit superior of the province was bound to the mystical compact between confessor and priest and thus fell into silence and tacit support of the treason.

Garnet did keep knowledge of the plot a secret, a tactic that has caused controversy ever since, not only between Roman Catholics and Protestants, but also amongst Roman Catholic writers themselves. Defenders of Garnet admit that he knew of the plot through confession but had to keep the seal of the confessional, a meaningless concept to the civil authorities, and was sent to the gallows because he would not break it.

A Jesuit, Father Martin del Rio, writing in 1600, discusses the exact case of the revelation of a plot in confession. Almost all the learned Catholic doctors, he wrote, declare that the confessor may break the seal of the confessional and reveal it, but that:

“… the contrary opinion is the safer and better doctrine, and more consistent with religion and with the reverence due to the holy rite of confession.”


BellarmineAccording to Robert Francis Romulus Bellarmine (1542 – 1641) the distinguished Jesuit theologian, writer, and cardinal Garnet’s zealous friend and defender:

“If the person confessing be concealed, it is lawful for a priest to break the seal of confession in order to avert a great calamity.”


Nevertheless, he justifies the silence of Garnet by insisting that it was not lawful to disclose a treasonable secret to a heretical king. However, Garnet was not under the seal of the confessional when he was made aware of the treasonable intrigue with Philip III, the king of Spain in 1602, and had not thought it his duty to disclose this knowledge to the authorities.

The inactivity of Garnet now tells against him, for, even allowing that he was bound by confessional secrecy from acting on Greenway’s information, he had still Catesby’s earlier revelations to act upon and avert a great calamity.

Garnet took no steps whatsoever to prevent the crime, beyond writing to Rome in vague terms that “he feared some particular desperate courses,” which aroused no suspicions in that quarter. More tellingly, at the same time he wrote to a Father Parsons on September 4 averring that:

“as far as he could now see the minds of the Catholics were quieted.”


Movements of Garnet also heap suspicion on his motives and character. Shortly before the expected meeting of parliament on the 3rd of October, Garnet organised a pilgrimage to St Winifred’s Well in Wales, which started from Sir Everard Digby’s house in Buckinghamshire and stopped at the houses of John Grant and Robert Winter, three of the main conspirators. According to witnesses, Garnet asked during the pilgrimage for the prayers of the company”

“for some good success for the Catholic cause at the beginning of parliament.”


After Garnet returned he went on October 29 to Coughton in Warwickshire, near which place it had been agreed that the conspirators were to assemble after the explosion. Following the failed plot, on November 6, Bates, Catesby’s servant and one of the conspirators, brought him a letter with the news of the failure and desiring advice.

On November 30, Garnet addressed a letter to the government, protested his innocence, and with the most solemn oaths, “as one who hopeth for everlasting salvation.”  On December 4, Garnet and Greenway were finally implicated in the plot by the confession of Bates.

Garnet and Greenway sought refuge at Hindlip Hall, near Worcester, a house furnished with cleverly contrived hiding-places for the use of  proscribed priests. However, unable to bear the close confinement any longer, they surrendered on January 30, 1606 and were taken up to London.

Garnet was cross-examined by the council on February 13 and frequently questioned during the following days, but refused to incriminate himself, and a threat to inflict torture had no effect upon his resolution. Garnet and another captured priest called Oldcorne were placed in adjoining rooms and their conversations eavesdropped whereby considerable information was obtained.

At first Garnet denied all speech with Oldcorne, but subsequently on March 8 confessed his connection with the plot. He was tried twenty days later at the Guildhall and executed on May 3, 1606. Garnet was, beyond reasonable doubt, guilty of misprision of treason. Of having concealed his knowledge of the crime, of hiding a crime, that he knew of the crime, and although he was not involved in it he did not report it to the authorities.

In England, this is an offence, which exposed him to perpetual imprisonment and forfeiture of his property. The law of England did not consider religious scruples or professional etiquette a legal defence when holding them permit the execution of a preventable crime.

Jesuit apologists assert that the trial was not conducted in a manner which would be permitted in more modern days, especially that the rules of evidence, which now govern the procedure in criminal cases, did not then exist. Garnet’s trial, like many others in this period, was influenced by the political situation.

So, the case against Garnet was thus supported by general political accusations against the Jesuits as a body, with, especially, the evidence of their guilt in former plots against the government. However, the conduct of Garnet during is interrogations deeply prejudiced his cause by his numerous false statements, but especially his adherence to the doctrine of equivocation. Garnet claimed to limit the justification of equivocation to cases:

“of necessary defence from injustice and wrong or of the obtaining some good of great importance when there is no danger of harm to others.”


Garnet could justify his mendacity to the counsel for the crown by their own conduct towards him, namely, treacherous eavesdropping, fraud and threats of torture.

The attempt of the prosecution counsel to force the prisoner to incriminate himself was opposed to the whole spirit and tradition of the law of England. Sophistical arguments aside, Garnet was declared guilty and, despite the irregular character of his trial, substantial justice was indeed done by his conviction.

Garnet acknowledged himself justly condemned for his concealment of the plot, but maintained to the last that he had never approved it. There is no reasonable doubt that he and other Jesuits were legally accessories to the Gunpowder Plot and thus guilty of High Treason and the condemnation of Garnet as a traitor was therefore substantially just.

That the Jesuits were the instigators of the plot there is no evidence, but that the condemned were in close touch with the conspirators, of whose designs they, but especially Garnet, had a general knowledge.

In 1880, his name appears in the list of the 2nd appendix of the Menology of England and Wales compiled by R. Stanton by order of the cardinal archbishop and the bishops of the province of Westminster where he is styled:

 “a martyr whose cause is deferred for future investigation.”


Garnet paid the ultimate price for his duty to the Jesuit crusade, which is to aid and abet all men and all causes that weaken and subvert Protestant nations and Protestant kings even at the expense of personal integrity.


Blaise Pascal

Blaise PascalIn 1656 the French mathematician and religious philosopher, Blaise Pascal (1623 – 62) opened the attack on them in Europe in his famous Provincial Letters by laying on the Order damning charges, especially of lax principles and leniency to vice.

Pascal was a Huguenot, a French Calvinist, or more accurately, he embraced Jansenism, and understood immediately the danger the Jesuit Order posed to religious freedoms in Europe. Jansenism was a Roman Catholic doctrine of Cornelis Jansen and his disciples wherein salvation is limited to those who are subject to supernatural determinism and the rest are assigned to perdition.

The Jesuits hated this creed.

The Jesuits of the Sorbonne had publicly denounced Antoine Arnauld, the Jansenist mathematician, as a heretic who asked is friend, Blaise Pascal, to intervene in the dispute. Pascal was also a fearless man who knew the danger of what he did. On the 23 January 1656, he published, under the pen name of Louis de Montalte, the first of eighteen letters, the Provinciales, the last on March 1657, which became immensely popular and successful.

This series of letters, written to and from provincials, represented a formidable assault on Jesuit moral theology. Dripping with wit, irony and eloquence and with a perfectly finished in form guaranteed instant celebrity for them as well as securing a reputation as one of the great French classics. DescartesIn literary style, Pascal’s indebtedness to Rene Descartes (1596 – 1650) is unquestionable.

The literary importance of the Provinciales is not only in its style, but also its content and delivery, since it was the first example of polite controversial irony since the Greek satirist and rhetorician, Lucian (c.117 – c.180). The Provinciales furnished a model to successive generations of satirists but it has continued to be the best example of the genre. In short, the Provinciales of Pascal are considered exemplars of the art of political satire. Pascal had attacked in brilliant fashion Jesuit posturing and the Order’s use of jargon, casuistry and moral laxity.

Although Pascal failed to save Arnauld, his efforts undermined forever Jesuit authority and prestige. Pascal’s scalding attacks, using brilliant satirical humour and passionate eloquence, on the Society of Jesus prompted them to react at once.

The immediate Jesuits response to Pascal was The Discourses of Cleander and Eudoxus by Père Daniel, which could not compete with the brilliancy, wit or style of the Provinciales. However, the Jesuit reply to Pascal’s charges of lax morality, apart from mere general denials, is broadly as follows:

  • The founder of the Society, Ignatius Loyola himself had a special aversion to untruthfulness in all its forms, from quibbling, equivocation or even studied obscurity of language, and it would be contrary to the spirit of conformity with his example and institutions for his followers to think and act otherwise. Any who practised equivocation were, so far, unfaithful to the Society.
  • Several of the cases cited by Pascal are mere abstract hypotheses, many of them now obsolete, argued simply as intellectual exercises that having no practical bearing whatever.
  • Although we belong to the sphere of actual life, our nature of counsel is akin to spiritual physicians and deal with the remedies of exceptional maladies. It was never intended to fix the standard of moral obligation for the public.
  • The theory that they were intended to fix the standard of moral obligation for the public, and do represent the normal teaching of the Society, becomes more untenable in exact proportion as this immorality is insisted on. Because it is well known that the Jesuits themselves have been singularly free from personal, as distinguished from corporate, evil repute. Moreover, no one pretends that the large number of layman whom they have educated or influenced exhibit greater moral inferiority than others.


Jesuit apologists assert that Pascal, at his best, has mistaken the part for the whole. That he charges to the Society what, at the most, are the conduct of individuals and from these personal, private transgressions he avows the degeneration of the Order from its original standard. The more vigorous the life and extensive the natural development the more possibility of the marks of degeneration.

In addition, a society like the Jesuits has no difficulty in asserting its life independently of such unhealthy offshoots or, in time, in freeing itself from them.

The apologists condemn Pascal for opening up the entire Roman Church to attack by, in the words of the Catholic Encyclopedia:

“… unjustly blamed the Society of Jesus, attacking it exclusively, and attributing to it a desire to lower the Christian ideal and to soften down the moral code in the interest of its policy; then that he discredited casuistry itself by refusing to recognize its legitimacy or, in certain cases, its necessity, so that not only the Jesuits, but religion itself suffered by this strife, which contributed to hasten the condemnation of certain lax theories by the Church.

And, without wishing or even knowing it, Pascal furnished weapons on the one hand to unbelievers and adversaries of the Church and on the other to the partisans of independent morality.”


A persistent charge made against the Society is that it teaches that the end justifies the means and the words of Busembaum, Jesuit moral theologian, are quoted in proof.

Hermann Busembaum (1600 – 68), who attained fame as a master of casuistry, was also the author of the infamous book, Medulla theologiae moralis (1645), manual that was widely popular and passed through over two hundred editions before 1776.

Busembaum uses these words, Cul licitus est finis etiam licent media, which is an old legal maxim and which are, say the apologists, taken wildly out of context. Admittedly, Busembaum used them, but if proper study of the work is done, these Jesuit apologists point out, it will clearly be seen that the author is making no universal application of the old legal maxim.

Busembaum is merely treating a particular subject (pertaining to certain lawful liberties in the marital relation) beyond which his words cannot be forced. In fact, the apologists assert that the axiom in the context that Busembaum and other Jesuit theologians such as Paul Laymann (1575 – 1635) and Ludwig Wagemann (1713 – 92) use it, is merely a harmless piece of common sense.

For instance, if it is lawful to go on a railway journey it is lawful to buy a ticket. That being so, then no one would not assert that it would be lawful to defraud the company by stealing a ticket to make that journey.  What should always be understood is that the means employed should, in themselves, not be bad but good or at least neutral.

Another example is the act of shooting, which in itself is a neutral act, neither good nor bad in itself. The morality inherent in any specified shooting depends upon what is shot, and the circumstances attending that act.

Shooting a man in self-defence is out of fear for one’s own life, and is as a moral act, on an entirely different moral plane than shooting a man in murder.

Such is the defence of the Jesuit morality that the means justify the end.

And such is the assertion by Jesuit apologists that it has never been proved, and never can be proved, although the attempt has frequently been made by enemies of the Order, that the Jesuits ever taught the wicked proposition imputed to them. The teaching of this maxim would entirely subvert all morality: a thing the Society of Jesus being the paragon of virtue could never do.

Furthermore, the Doctrine of Probabilism is utterly misunderstood and intentionally so by enemies of the Jesuits who desire its demise. Probabilism, say the apologists, is based on an accurate conception of law, and law that is meant to bind must be clear and definite, if this is not the case, then its obligation ceases and liberty of action remains.

No probable opinion can stand against a clear and definite law, however, when a law is doubtful in its application, in certain circumstances, then so is the obligation of obedience. As a doubtful law is, for practical purposes, no law at all, then it claims no real obligation. Hence a probable opinion is one, founded on reason and held on serious grounds, that the law does not apply to certain specified cases; and that the lawmaker therefore did not intend to bind.

In short, the Doctrine of Probabilism is the principle of equity applied to law. More importantly and pertinent to the defence of Jesuitism, is that in moral matters a probable opinion, held on no trivial grounds, but by unprejudiced and solid thinkers, has no place where the voice of conscience is clear, trenchant and formed.

Especially suspect in Busembaum’s Medulla theologiae moralis were sections on murder, especially on regicide, and consequently the book was severely handled by the Parlement of Paris during its investigation of Jesuit activity in France.

Although the offending sections were repudiated by the heads of the Jesuit colleges, the Medulla was publicly burned, at Toulouse in 1757 and the episode undoubtedly led the way to Etienne-Francois, the Duc de Choiseul’s attack on the society.

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