Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Jesuit Robert Parsons Was The Most Reviled Man In England

Evelyn Waugh, in his great biography of Edmund Champion, described Robert Parsons as the exemplar of the sinister Jesuit of popular imagination. Stonyhurst ignores its founder; it celebrates Campion day instead. For a century after his death, Parsons remained ‘the great enemy’, the most reviled man in England. The 1913 edition of the Catholic Encyclopaedia summed him up thus: ‘Though his services in the mission field, and in the education of the clergy were priceless, his participation in politics and in clerical feuds cannot be justified except in certain aspects.’ Seldom has an individual’s reputation been so comprehensively trashed. The time has come for a re-appraisal.
Link (here) to the entire article entitled, Robert Parsons: A Jesuit for today? to Thinking Faith a Jesuit electronic publication of England.


Anonymous said...

One of Parson's legacies in England was a permanent distrust of Jesuits and Catholics generally. This was mainly achieved by his developed capacity for equivocation. But he was also considered bad news before his conversion.

The reason why he is not commemorated at Stonyhurst is because he was neither a martyr, nor beatified, nor canonized

Joseph Fromm said...

Any story suggestions?