Scrap the Jesuits and Start Over


August 30, 2019

Imagine what Church historians of the future will say about the Jesuits:

“The Society of Jesus was founded in 1540 by St. Ignatius of Loyola and played a crucial role in the Church’s efforts to extinguish the nascent Protestant heresy. Over the centuries, however, it became the stronghold of another heresy—Modernism—and was eventually suppressed on the orders of Pope Pius XIII. Remnants of the order persisted in the United States through the middle of the 21st century, mostly due to the value of the land upon which they had built college campuses. Then, in the year 2103, the Society’s seven remaining priests were collectively re-ordained in the Episcopal Church, briefly doubling the number of Episcopalian clerics.”

Harsh? Maybe. But what reason do we have to be optimistic about the Jesuits’ future in the Catholic Church?

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Just last week, the Superior General of the Society of Jesus, Fr. Arturo Sosa—he’s the chap in the mustaches, above—was upbraided by the International Association of Exorcists for calling Satan a“symbolic reality, not as a personal reality.”

The IAE pointed out to Fr. Sosa that the “real existence of the devil, as a personal subject who thinks and acts and has made the choice of rebellion against God, is a truth of faith that has always been part of Christian doctrine.”

“The finest trick of the devil is to persuade you that he does not exist,” as Charles Baudelaire quipped. Well, the leader of the world’s 16,000 Jesuits fell for it.

Somehow, it gets worse. On August 28th, both secular and Catholic outlets reported that an elderly gay man with an aggressive tumor in his throat received a blessing from a Jesuit priest in Seattle shortly before “marrying” his partner and committing medically-assisted suicide. “I have absolutely no reservations about what I am doing,” Robert Fuller wrote on Facebook shortly before taking his own life. “And my pastor/sponsor has given me his blessings. And he’s a Jesuit!!!”

Pray for the repose of Mr. Fuller’s soul, and pray hard. There’s a chance his culpability in these two grave sins was diminished if a competent authority—namely, Fr. Quentin Dupont, SJ—told him his actions were consistent with the Catholic faith.

If that’s the case, however, Fr. Dupont will have to give an account of his actions on the Last Day. So, better pray for him, too.

Then, of course, there’s Fr. James Martin, SJ. We needn’t go into his campaign to erode Church teachings on human sexuality, or to ruin the lives of those faithful Catholics working to oppose his subterfuge. We needn’t touch on the hard work of his magazine to rehabilitate communism for the Catholic masses. No, we can learn everything we need to know about Fr. Martin’s intellectual silliness by looking at commemorating the Feast of St. Augustine, depicting the Doctor of Grace as a gentleman of Sub-Saharan extraction.

In fact, Augustine was a Berber: a light-skinned African of Eurasian extraction.

Not that his skin color should matter, of course. But, if you’re really just an SJW in a Roman collar, you might consider willfully misleading your 250,000 Twitter followers just to own the conservabigots.

No orthodox Catholic should gloat over the sad decline of the Society of Jesus. There are few greater saints in the history of the Anglosphere than Jesuits Edmund Campion and Robert Southwell. The Jesuits were instrumental in giving us the Douay-Rheims Bible, the only English translation of Sacred Scripture to rival the King James Version in pure lyrical beauty. None did more to convert this land than the glorious Martyrs of North America. This generation of American Catholics was nourished by two luminary priests of the Society of Jesus, Frs. James V. Schall and Francis Canavan. Fr. Robert McTeigue, SJ, is one of the most popular and thoughtful apologists in the country.

But there won’t be many more like them. The SJ’s leadership is corrupt from top to bottom. All that remains is for a small, brave clique of young priests to split and form a reformed order. They could call themselves “Discalced Jesuits,” or maybe “Ignatians of the Primitive Observance.” Just pray they move swiftly. Never before has the Church so badly needed that fearless and uncompromising devotion to orthodoxy that earned the Society of Jesus its nickname “God’s Marines.”


  • Michael Warren Davis

    Michael Warren Davis is a contributing editor of The American Conservative and the author of The Reactionary Mind (Regnery, 2021). He previously served as editor of Crisis Magazine and U.S. editor of the Catholic Herald of London. His next book, After Christendom, will be published by Sophia Institute Press. Follow his Substack newsletter, The Common Man.

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