Chapter 5. The Jesuit Teaching on Regicide, Murder, Lying, Theft, Etc. The Maxims of the Jesuits on Regicide — M. de la Chalotais’ Report to the Parliament of Bretagne — Effects of Jesuit Doctrine as shown in History — Doctrine of Mental Equivocation — The Art of Swearing Falsely without Sin — The Seventh Commandment — Jesuit Doctrine on Blasphemy — Murder — Lying — Theft — An Illustrative Case from Pascal — Every Precept of the Decalogue made Void — Jesuit Morahty the Consummation of the Wickedness of the Fall.
The three great rules of the code of the Jesuits, which we have stated in the foregoing chapter — namely, (1) that the end justifies the means; (2) that it is safe to do any action if it be probably right, although it may be more probably wrong; and (3) that if one know to direct the intention aright, there is no deed, be its moral character what it may, which one may not do: All which may seem to give a license of acting so immense that to add thereto were an altogether superfluous, and indeed an impossible task. But if the liberty with which these three maxims endow the Jesuit cannot be made larger, its particular applications may nevertheless be made more pointed, and the man who holds back from using it in all its extent may be emboldened, despite his remaining scruples, or the dullness of his intellectual perceptions, to avail himself to the utmost of the advantages it offers “for the greater glory of God.” He is to be taught, not merely by general rules, but by specific examples, how he may sin and yet not become sinful; how he may break the law and yet not suffer the penalty. But, further, these sons of Loyola are the kings of the world, and the sole heirs of all its wealth, honors, and pleasures; and whatever law, custom, sacred and venerable office, august and kingly authority, may stand between them and their rightful lordship over mankind, they are at liberty to throw down and tread into the dust as a vile and accursed thing. The moral maxims of the Jesuits are to be put in force against kings as well as against peasants.
The lawfulness of killing the excommunicated, the Protestant, and kings, the Jesuit writers have been at great pains to maintain, and by a great variety of arguments to defend and enforce. The proof is as abundant as it is painful. M. de la Chalotais reports to the Parliament of Bretagne, as the result of his examination of the laws and doctrines of the Jesuits, that on this point there is a complete and startling unanimity in their teaching. By the same logical track do the whole host of Jesuit writers arrive at the same terrible conclusion, the slaughter, namely, of the sovereign on whom the Pope has pronounced sentence of removal. If he shall take meekly his extrusion from power, and seek neither to resist nor revenge his being hurled from his throne, his life may be spared; but should “he persist in disobedience,” says M. de la Chalotais, himself a Papist, and addressing a Popish Parliament, “he may be treated as a tyrant, in which case anybody may kill him. Such is the course of reasoning established by all authors of the society, who have written ex professo on these subjects — Bellarmine, Suarez, Molina, Mariana, Santarel — all the Ultramontanes without exception, since the establishment of the society.”
But have not the writers of this school expressed in no measured terms their abhorrence of murder? Have they not loudly exclaimed against the sacrilege of touching him on whom the Church’s anointing oil has been poured as king? In short, do they not forbid and condemn the crime of regicide? Yes: this is true: but they protest with a warmth that is fitted to awaken suspicion. Rome can take back her anointing, and when she has stripped the monarch of his office he becomes the lawful victim of her consecrated dagger. On what grounds, the Jesuits demand, can the killing of one who is no longer a king be called regicide? Suarez tells us that when a king is deposed he is no longer to be regarded as a king, but as a tyrant: “he therefore loses his authority, and from that moment may be lawfully killed.” Nor is the opinion of the Jesuit Mariana less decided. Speaking of a prince, he says: “If he should overthrow the religion of the country, and introduce a public enemy within the State, I shall never consider that man to have done wrong, who, favoring the public wishes, would attempt to kill him. It is useful that princes should be made to know, that if they oppress the State and become intolerable by their vices and their pollution, they hold their lives upon this tenure, that to put them to death is not only laudable, but a glorious action It is a glorious thing to exterminate this pestilent and mischievous race from the community of men.”
Wherever the Jesuits have planted missions, opened seminaries, and established colleges, they have been careful to inculcate these principles in the minds of the youth; thus sowing the seeds of future tumults, revolutions, regicides, and wars. These evil fruits have appeared sometimes sooner, sometimes later, but they have never failed to show themselves, to the grief of nations and the dismay of kings. John Chatel, who attempted the life of Henry IV., had studied in the College of Clermont, in which the Jesuit Guignard was Professor of Divinity. In the chamber of the would-be regicide, a manuscript of Guignard was found, in which, besides other dangerous articles, that Father approved not only of the assassination of Henry III. by Clement, but also maintained that the same thing ought to be attempted against le Bearnois, as he called Henry IV., which occasioned the first banishment of the order out of France, as a society detestable and diabolical. The sentence of the Parliament, passed in 1594, ordained “that all the priests and scholars of the College of Clermont, and others calling themselves the Society of Jesus, as being corrupters of youth, disturbers of the public peace, and enemies of the king and State, should depart in three days from their house and college, and in fifteen days out of the whole kingdom.”
But why should we dwell on these written proofs of the disloyal and murderous principles of the Jesuits, when their acted deeds bear still more emphatic testimony to the true nature and effects of their principles? We have only to look around, and on every hand the melancholy monuments of these doctrines meet our afflicted sight. To what country of Europe shall we turn where we are not able to track the Jesuit by his bloody foot-prints? What page of modern history shall we open and not read fresh proofs that the Papal doctrine of killing excommunicated kings was not meant to slumber in forgotten tomes, but to be acted out in the living world? We see Henry III falling by their dagger. Henry IV perishes by the same consecrated weapon. The King of Portugal dies by their order; The great Prince of Orange is dispatched by their agent, shot down at the door of his own dining room. How many assassins they sent to England to murder Elizabeth, history attests. That she, escaped their machinations is one of the marvels of history. Nor is it only the palaces of monarchs into which they have crept with their doctrines of murder and assassination; the very sanctuary of their own Popes they have defiled with blood. We behold Clement XIV signing the order for the banishment of the Jesuits, and soon thereafter he is overtaken by their vengeance, and dies by poison. In the Gunpowder Plot we see them deliberately planning to destroy at one blow the nobility and gentry of England. To them we owe those civil wars which for so many years drenched with blood the fair provinces of France. They laid the train of that crowning horror, the St. Bartholomew massacre. Philip II and the Jesuits share between them the guilt of the “Invincible Armada,” which, instead of inflicting the measureless ruin and havoc which its authors intended, by a most merciful Providence became the means of exhausting the treasures and overthrowing the prestige of Spain. What a harvest of plots, tumults, seditions, revolutions, torturings, poisonings, assassinations, regicides, and massacres has Christendom reaped from the seed sown by the Jesuits! Nor can we be sure that we have yet seen the last and greatest, of their crimes.
We can bestow only the most cursory glance at the teaching of the Jesuits under the other heads of moral duty. Let us take their doctrine of mental reservation. Nothing can be imagined more heinous and, at the same time, more dangerous. “The doctrine of equivocation,” says Blackwell, “is for the consolation of afflicted Roman Catholics: and the instruction of all the godly.” It has been of special use to them when residing among infidels and heretics In heathen countries, as China and Malabar, they have professed conformity to the rites and the worship of paganism, while remaining Roman Catholics at heart, and they have taught their converts to venerate their former deities in appearance, on the strength of directing aright the intention, and the pious fraud of concealing a crucifix under their clothes.
Equivocation they have carried into civil life as well as into religion. “A man may swear,” says Sanchez, “that he hath not done a thing though he really have, by understanding within himself that he did it not on such and such a day, or before he was born; or by reflecting on some other circumstance of the like nature; and yet the words he shall make use of shall not have a sense implying any such thing; and this is a thing of great convenience on many occasions, and is always justifiable when it is necessary or advantageous in anything that concerns a man’s health, honor, or estate.” Filiutius, in his Moral Questions, asks: Is it wrong to use equivocation in swearing? I answer, first, that it is not in itself a sin to use equivocation in swearing. This is the common doctrine after Suarez.” “Is it perjury or sin to equivocate in a just cause?” he further asks. “It is not perjury,” he answers. “As, for example, in the case of a man who has outwardly made a promise without the intention of promising; if he is asked whether he has promised, he may deny it, meaning that he has not promised with a binding promise; and thus he may swear.”
Filiutius asks yet again, “With what precaution is equivocation to be used? When we begin, for instance, to say, I swear, we must insert in a subdued tone the mental restriction, that to-day, and then continue aloud, I have not eaten such a thing; or, I swear — then insert, I say — then conclude in the same loud voice, that I have not done this or that thing; for thus the whole speech is most true.” What an admirable lesson in the art of speaking the truth to one’s self, and lying and swearing falsely to everybody else!
We shall offer no comment on the teaching of the Jesuits under the head of the seventh commandment. The doctrines of the society which relate to chastity are screened from exposure by the very enormity of their turpitude. We pass them as we would the open grave, whose putrid breath kills all who inhale it. Let all who value the sweetness of a pure imagination, and the joy of a conscience undefiled, shun the confessional as they would the chamber in which the plague is shut up, or the path in which lurks the deadly scorpion. The teaching of the Jesuits — everywhere deadly — is here a poison that consumes flesh, and bones, and soul.
Which precept of the Decalogue is it that the theology of the Jesuits does not set aside? We are commanded “to fear the great and dreadful name of the Lord our God.” The Jesuit Bauny teaches us to blaspheme it. “If one has been hurried by passion into cursing and doing despite to his Maker, it may be determined that he has only sinned venially,” This is much, but Casnedi goes a little farther. “Do what your conscience tells you to be good, and commanded,” says this Jesuit; if through invincible error you believe lying or blasphemy to be commanded by God, blaspheme.” The license given by the Jesuits to regicide we have already seen; not less ample is the provision their theology makes for the perpetration of ordinary homicide; and murders. Reginald says it is lawful to kill a false witness, seeing otherwise one should be killed by him. Parents who seek to turn their children from the faith, says Fagundez, “may justly be killed by them.” The Jesuit Amicus teaches that it is lawful for an ecclesiastic, or one in a religious order, to kill a calumniator when other means of defense are wanting. And Airult extends the same privilege to laymen. If one brings an impeachment before a prince or judge against another, and if that other cannot by any means avert the injury to his character, he may kill him secretly. He fortifies his opinion by the authority of Bannez, who gives the same latitude to the right of defense, with this slight qualification, that the calumniator should first be warned that he desist from his slander, and if he will not, he should be killed, not openly, on account of the scandal, but secretly.
Of a like ample kind is the liberty which the Jesuits permit to be taken with the property of one’s neighbor. Dishonesty in all its forms they sanction. They encourage cheats, frauds, purloining, robberies, by furnishing men with a ready justification of these misdeeds, and especially by persuading their votaries that if they will only take the trouble of doing them in the way of directing the intention according to their instructions, they need not fear being called to a reckoning for them hereafter. The Jesuit Emmanuel Sa teaches “that it is not a mortal sin to take secretly from him who would give if he were asked;” that “ it is not theft to take a small thing from a husband or a father;” that if one has taken what he doubts to have been his own, that doubt makes it probable that it is safe to keep it; that if one, from an urgent necessity, or without causing much loss, takes wood from another man’s pile, he is not obliged to restore it. One who has stolen small things at different times, is not obliged to make restitution till such time as they amount together to a considerable sum. But should the purloiner feel restitution burdensome, it may comfort him to know that some Fathers deny it with probability.
The case of merchants, whose gains may not be increasing as fast as they could wish, has been kindly considered by the Fathers. Francis Tolet says that if a man cannot sell his wine at a fair price — that is, at a fair profit — he may mix a little water with his wine, or diminish his measure, and sell it for pure wine of full measure. Of course, if it be lawful to mix wine, it is lawful to adulterate all other articles of merchandise, or to diminish the weight, and go on vending as if the balance were just and the article genuine. Only the trafficker in spurious goods, with false balances, must be careful not to tell a lie; or if he should be compelled to equivocate, he must do it in accordance with the rules laid down by the Fathers for enabling one to say what is not true without committing falsehood.
Domestic servants also have been taken by the Fathers under the shield of their casuistry. Should a servant deem his wages not enough, or the food, clothing, and other necessaries provided for him not equal to that which is provided for servants of similar rank in other houses, he may recompense himself by abstracting from his master’s property as much as shall make his wages commensurate with his services. So has Valerius Reginald decided.”
It is fair, however, that the pupil be cautioned that this lesson cannot safely be put in practice against his teacher. The story of John d’Alba, related by Pascal, shows that the Fathers do not relish these doctrines m praxi nearly so well as in thesi, when they themselves are the sufferers by them. D’Alba was a servant to the Fathers in the College of Clermont, in the Rue St. Jacques, and thinking that his wages were not equal to his merits, he stole somewhat from his masters to make up the discrepancy, never dreaming that they would make a criminal of him for following their approved rules. However, they threw him into prison on a charge of larceny. He was brought to trial on the 16th April, 1647. He confessed before the court to having taken some pewter plates, but maintained that the act was not to be regarded as a theft, on the strength of this same doctrine of Father Bauny, which he produced before the judges, with attestation from another of the Fathers, under whom he had studied these cases of conscience. Whereupon the judge, M. de Montrouge, gave sentence as follows: “That the prisoner should not be acquitted upon the writings of these Fathers, containing a doctrine so unlawful, pernicious, and contrary to all laws, natural. Divine, and human, such as might confound all families, and authorize all domestic frauds and infidelities;” but that the over-faithful disciple “should be whipt before the College gate of Clermont by the common executioner, who at the same time should burn all the writings of those Fathers treating of theft; and that they should be prohibited to teach any such doctrine again under pain of death.”
But we should swell beyond all reasonable limits our enumeration, were we to quote even a tithe of the “moral maxims” of the Jesuits. There is not one in the long catalogue of sins and crimes which their casuistry does not sanction. Pride, ambition, avarice, luxury, bribery, and a host of vices which we cannot specify, and some of which are too horrible to be mentioned, find in these Fathers their patrons and defenders. The alchemists of the Middle Ages boasted that their art enabled them to operate on the essence of things, and to change what was vile into something noble. But the still darker art of the Jesuits acts in the reverse order; it changes all that is noble into all that is vile. Theirs is an accursed alchemy by which they transmute good into evil, and virtue into vice. There is no destructive agency with which the world is liable to be visited, that penetrates so deep, or inflicts so remediless a ruin, as the morality of the Jesuits. The tornado sweeps along over the surface of the globe, leaving the earth naked and bare as before tree or shrub beautified it; but the following summers re-clothe it with verdure and beautify it with flowers, and make it smile as sweetly as before. The earthquake overturns the dwelling of man, and swallows up the proudest of his cities; but his skill and power survive the shock, and when the destroyer has passed, the architect sets up again the fallen palace, and rebuilds the mined city, and the catastrophe is effaced and forgotten in the greater splendor and the more solid strength of the restored structures. Revolution may overturn thrones, abolish laws, and break in pieces the framework of society; but when the fury of faction has spent its rage, order emerges from the chaos, law resumes its supremacy, and the institutions which had been destroyed in the hour of madness, are restored in the hour of calm wisdom that succeeds. But the havoc the Jesuit inflicts is irremediable. It has nothing in it counteractive or restorative; it is only evil. It is not upon the works of man or the institutions of man merely that it puts forth its fearfully destructive power; it is upon man himself. It is not the body of man that it strikes, like the pestilence; it is the soul.
It is not a part, but the whole of man that it consigns to corruption and ruin. Conscience it destroys, knowledge it extinguishes, the very power of discerning between right and wrong it takes away, and shuts up the man in a prison whence no created agency or influence can set him free. The Fall defaced the image of God in which man was made; we say, defaced; it did not totally obliterate or extinguish it. Jesuitism, more terrible than the Fall, totally effaces from the soul of man the image of God. Of the “knowledge, righteousness, and true holiness” in which man was made it leaves not a trace. It plucks up by its very roots the moral constitution which God gave man. The full triumph of Jesuitism would leave nothing spiritual, nothing moral, nothing intellectual, and nothing strictly or properly human existing upon the earth. Man it would change into the animal, impelled by nothing but appetites and passions, and these more fierce and cruel than those of the tiger. Society would become simply a herd of wolves, lawless, ravenous, greedy for each other’s blood, and perpetually in quest of prey.