Hello. Inasmuch as this is my first post here at Catholic Answers Forum, I should mention that do not want to spend too much time dwelling on controversial subjects, however, I am would like to ask whether any others at this forum might care to attempt an informed response to the some claims made by anti-Catholics. On a different forum site, I noticed a post composed of quotes by great men of history who, supposedly, denounced the Society of Jesus.
N.B.: Responding to charges of scandal, and calumnies, has been a well-established practice of Catholic apologists, going back to 2nd century Church Father Atheanagoras of Athens and St. Justin Martyr. On this occasion, I am not posting to debate the pros and cons of addressing such charges directly. While I respect the views of those who find this subject troublesome, if you find this subject too troublesome for your own sensibilities, please disregard this post. While I am suspicious of all of these quotes, on this occasion, my focus is on composing a well-informed, factual reply, so, please, if you believe these quotes are fake/misquotes, present some relevant facts, rather than just replying that these sound nutty, or suspicious.
Here follows a selection of some of the relevant quotes:
“My history of the Jesuits is not eloquently written, but it is supported by unquestionable authorities, [and] is very particular and very horrible. Their [the Jesuit Order’s] restoration [in 1814 by Pope Pius VII] is indeed a step toward darkness, cruelty, despotism, [and] death. … I do not like the appearance of the Jesuits. If ever there was a body of men who merited eternal damnation on earth and in hell, it is this Society of [Ignatius de] Loyola.”
John Adams (1735-1826; 2nd President of the United States)
“It is my opinion that if the liberties of this country – the United States of America – are destroyed, it will be by the subtlety of the Roman Catholic Jesuit priests, for they are the most crafty, dangerous enemies to civil and religious liberty. They have instigated MOST of the wars of Europe.”
Marquis de LaFayette (1757-1834; French statesman and general. He served in the American Continental Army under the command of General George Washington during the American Revolutionary War.)
“The Jesuits are a MILITARY organization, not a religious order. Their chief is a general of an army, not the mere father abbot of a monastery. And the aim of this organization is power – power in its most despotic exercise – absolute power, universal power, power to control the world by the volition of a single man *. Jesuitism is the most absolute of despotisms [sic] – and at the same time the greatest and most enormous of abuses…”
Napoleon I (i.e., Napoleon Bonaparte; 1769-1821; emperor of the French)
“All these things cause the Father-General [of the Jesuits] to be feared by the Pope and sovereigns… A sovereign who is not their [the Jesuits’] friend will sooner or later experience their vengeance.” (1852)
Luigi Desanctis (Official Censor of the Inquisition)
“The favorite policy of the Jesuits [is] that of assassination.”
Brigadier General Thomas M. Harris*