Hi - this is my first posting, so I hope I’m doing this right. Has anyone heard of a “Jesuit Oath” that a friend sent me on the internet - it’s a long oath where Jesuits swear to kill, strangle, dismenber heretics and those who oppose the Pope. Is this a true hisorical document? If so, how do we respond?
You can rest assured that the “Jesuit Oath” you’re referring to is a complete fabrication with no basis in fact whatsoever. According to the *Catholic Encyclopedia * (see “Jesuit Apologetic” link below) this oath was the product of the imagination of the forger Robert Ware (mid to late 1600’s).
Here’s an excerpt from the *Catholic Encyclopedia * article “Impostors”:
"Robert Ware the forger, the author of “Foxes and Firebrands”, who has of late years been so thoroughly exposed by Father Bridgett, traded upon the same prejudices. His more public career began contemporaneously with that of Oates in 1678, and by sheltering himself behind the high reputation of his dead father, Sir James Ware, amongst whose manuscripts he pretended to discover all kinds of compromising papers, he obtained currency for his forgeries, remaining almost undetected until modern times. Many foul aspersions upon the character of individual popes, Jesuits, and other Catholics, and also upon some Puritans, which have found their way into the pages of respectable historians, are due to the fabrications of “this literary skunk”, as Fr. Bridgett not unjustifiably calls him (see Bridgett, “Blunders and Forgeries”, pp. 209-296).
Some other vindictive and unprincipled scoundrels whose impostures for the most part took a literary form may also be mentioned here, though without any hope of exhausting the list. Foremost among them comes the Abbé Zahorowski, a Jesuit expelled from his order in which as a young scholastic he had been guilty of certain mean and discreditable tricks. In revenge for his expulsion he contrived to write and publish the notorious “Monita Secreta”, which, as a code of secret instructions issued by authority, pretended to lay bare the shameless and Machiavellian policy followed by the Society of Jesus. That the “Monita Secreta” are a forgery is now universally admitted even by opponents, and since the publication of the memoirs of Father Wielewicki (Scriptores Rerum Polonicarum, vols. VII, X, XIV) no doubt remains that Zahorowski was the author (see Duhr, “Jesuitenfabeln” No. 5; Brou, “Les Jésuites de la Légende”, I, 281).
Hardly less dear to the no-popery champion than the “Monita Secreta” is the fictitious “Hungarian Confession” or “Fluchformular”. It is a profession of faith supposed to have been exacted of converts to the Church in Hungary (c. 1676), by which among other things they were required to declare that the pope ought to receive Divine honours, and that the Blessed Virgin ought to be held higher than Christ himself. The forgery seems to have been traced to the door of George Lani, an Evangelical minister, sent to the galleys for political intrigues against the Government in Hungary, who first published it in a work called “Captivitas Papistica”. Whether it was his own fabrication is not, however, certain. He may possibly have adopted, seriously and in good faith, some satirical composition in circulation at the time (see Duhr, “Jesuitenfabeln”, No. 7, and S. F. Smith in “The Month”, July-August, 1896)."
For full text, see Impostors
*Blunders and Forgeries: Historical Essays * by Rev. T.E. Bridgett
For more examples of Robert Ware’s anti-Catholic fabrications click here.
(From the book *History of the Catholic Church * (Chapter 9) by James MacCaffrey).