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The tranquillity which ensued was of shortcontinuance. The archbishop was banished from the capital for reviving the dispute, and some inferior ecclesiastics of his party were more rigorously punished. The clergy sat in council for several months, in 1755, without terminating the schism. They addressed a letter to pope Benedict, who, in an indecisive answer, seemed to leave the settlement of the affair to his most Christian majesty. The embarrassed monarch, after various temporising measures, held a bed of justice, in which he peremptorily ordered all his subjects to pay respect and submission to the bull, without considering it, however, as a rule of faith, although the bishops, in the late council, had declared that it bore that character. By another ordinance, he regulated the meetings and altered the constitution of the magistracy; and two courts of the parliament immediately resigned their functions in disgust.
The Jesuits were highly pleased at the spirit which the king evinced on this occasion; but, while they exulted in the depression of the parliament, they did not foresee that their own ruin was approaching. The intrigues of the members of that order in Portugal had induced Joseph, sovereign of that realm, to watch them closely, and to make such reformative arrangements as disgusted the fraternity. Hence, when his life was threatened by a conspiracy, from which he had a narrow escape y, it was found that many Jesuits were concerned in the nefarious plot, particularly father Gabriel de Malagrida, whom the court, however, out of regard to the church, did not put to death as a traitor, but as a heretic. The incensed monarch now suppressed the colleges of the Jesuits; and, to restrain the future attempts of ecclesiastics against the state, he insisted upon a grant (from the pope) of perpetual jurisdiction over the whole clerical body, in cases of treason and
y In September 1758.
sedition. Clement promised to accede to the demand, if a prelate nominated by him or any of his successors should preside on such occasions : but he afterwards consented that the king should name a bishop for these trials 2.
No intercession in behalf of the Portuguese Jesuits could soften the inflexibility of Joseph, who, in addition to the guilt of the late conspiracy, accused them of an usurpation of sovereign power in South America, alleging that they had concurred with their Spanish brethren in tyrannising over the natives of Paraguay, whom they had tutored to take arms against him and his catholic majesty. On account of their various enormities, all the members of the fraternity were declared out-laws, in 1759, and banished from the dominions of Portugal; and other courts were invited to follow the rigorous example.
In the mean while, the Parisian parliament, so hostile to the Jesuits, procured from the court a full re-establishment; and, at the same time, the clerical éxiles were recalled. The magistracy now resumed the proceedings against the with-holders of the sacramental favors, and waited for an opportunity of wreaking signal vengeance upon the sons of Loyola. Their commercial rapacity furnished the desired opportunity. Two merchants whom they were bound to supply with articles of traffic, stopped payment on the seisure of those goods by British cruisers; and the Jesuits did not take prompt or adequate measures to avert the shock. Numerous creditors appeared against them: and the cause was referred, at their desire, to the grand chamber of the parliament. They disavowed the imputed agency of Father de la Valette, the manager of their trade, whose offence against the church, by engaging in commerce, only concerned himself: but it was maintained against them, that their superior, or
z Historia de Portugal, Lisb. 1802; tom. iv. p. 22, 27.
general, superintended their trade, as well as other concerns, and directed the conduct of the agent. The judges insisted upon seeing the constitutions of the society; and an exposure was consequently made of the devoted submission of all the members to a foreign head, and of their dangerous maxims in politics and morality. It also appeared that they did not constitute a regular religious order, as the intended contract between them and the state had never been completed: their fraternity had been merely tolerated, not adopted. Their enemies took advantage of these circumstances, and represented in so strong a light the danger of keeping such men embodied, that the king resolved to suppress the society; not, however, before the general had refused to submit to a plan of regulation, proposed by the French court. The parliament ordained, on the 6th of August, 1762, that the Jesuits of France should no longer wear the habit of the society, live in community, or obey the orders of foreign directors. Their partisans loudly exclaimed against an edict which they considered as extremely severe and unjust, because those whom it affected were not heard in their own defence, and were condemned upon false reports, for misrepresented doctrines and unproved delinquency. The opinion of the lawfulness of regicide in certain cases, they said, seemed to be the chief offence of the fraternity; but it ought first to be proved that this was truly imputable to the Jesuits, who, as their enemies knew, had no concern in Damien's attempt to assassinate the French king; and were also entirely innocent with regard to other crimes of the same nature, of which they had been malignantly accused a.
A regular edict of suppression was delayed for some years : but it was at length registered, on the yth of December, 1764, and promulgated by the royal authority. The parliaments of Normandy and
a Vie Privée de Louis XV.
Bretagne followed, with little hesitation, the example of the Parisian magistracy; but other parliaments were not fully convinced of the justice or expediency of the measure. The pope was shocked at the profane audacity of a court that could act with such determined hostility against a holy society : but his bull, for the reinstatement of the fraternity, was suppressed in France by an arrêt of parliament, and was declared inoperative in Portugal by the king's express command.
The king of Spain was not more friendly to the Jesuits than Louis or Joseph. He was disgusted at their intriguing spirit, and resolved, not merely to humble them, but to annihilate their power in his dominions. He seised their temporalities in 1767, and banished them, as dangerous subjects, from every part of Spain and its dependencies. His son Ferdinand also freed the kingdom of Naples and the island of Sicily from the obnoxious fraternity. A great number of these exiles were admitted into the Roman territories, and some other parts of Italy; and many found protection among Protestants. The duke of Parma, soon afterwards, commanded all members of the order to retire from his dominions; and he, at the same time, hazarded an open rupture with the see of Rome, by abolishing the papal jurisdiction in Parma and Placentia. His holiness declared the duke's ordinance to that effect null and void, and menaced its promulgator with the thunders of the church. Being supported by the majority of the catholic princes, the duke persisted in his purpose; and the pontiff was equally resolute. With a view of intimidating him into a revocation of his brief, the French king dispossessed him of Avignon; and some portions of his Italian territory were seised by his Neapolitan majesty. His spiritual authority and his revenues were diminished by the duke of Modena; and the Venetians, of whose republic he was born a subject, assailed him with similar hostilities. Mortified at this treat
ment, yet unwilling to yield, he was observed to decline gradually in his health. Uneasiness and chagrin hastening the effect of age, he died in his seventy-sixth year b, with the character of a pious and well-ineaning prelate, who was, however, more influenced by the zeal of bigotry than by common sense or wisdom. He ought to have been content with maintaining the doctrine and worship of the church, without obstinately upholding papal usurpations.
The enemies of the Jesuits had in vain solicited the dissolution of that order, while Clement XIII. filled the papal chair: but they conceived strong hopes of success, when a prelate of a more philosophical character was chosen pontiff. This was a Franciscan monk named Francis Laurence Ganganelli, who thought proper to assume the name of his immediate predecessor.
Instead of conciliating the new pope, the king of France declared that he would retain Avignon and its dependencies ; but he condescended to offer a sum of money for a dereliction of them on the part of his holiness. The king of Naples also insisted upon the cession of the district which he had seised, and concurred with Louis in urging Clement to suppress that society which was so odious to the Christian world: but the importunities of these princes, aided by the influence of Spain and Portugal, were for some years unsuccessful. Clement XIV. felt the difficulties of his situation, and demanded time for mature reflexion. He conceived it to be his duty to patronise and support a religious order, if its utility to the church or to society overbalanced its demerits; and, at the same time, he wished to avoid a rupture with those courts which had evidently the power, and seemingly the inclination, to inflict serious wounds on the papacy.
b In February, 1769.