Friday, April 27, 2012

The Great Catholic Reaction Against Protestantism

Thomas Babington Macaulay
The outward and immediate success of the Society of Jesus justified the hopes of its founder Ignatius of Loyola and the wisdom of his plans. At the time of his death the society had thirteen provinces, chiefly in Spain, Portugal, and Italy. In 1762 they had forty provinces, twenty-four houses of the professed Jesuits, six hundred and sixty-nine colleges, and twenty-two thousand members. The influence of this order was very great . The Jesuits spread over Europe in a few years, taking possession of the pulpits, the schools, and the confessionals. They were most accomplished and popular preachers, and filled anew the deserted churches. They supplanted other priests in the care of consciences, and their schools were filled with the children of all classes; for they taught not only gratuitously but well . "With what vehemence," says Thomas Babington Macaulay, " with what policy, with what exact discipline, with what dauntless courage, with what self-denial, with what forgetfulness of the dearest private ties, with what intense and stubborn devotion to a single end, with what unscrupulous laxity and versatility in the choice of means, the Jesuits fought the battles of their Church, is written in every page of the annals of Europe during several generations. The history of the Order of Jesus is the history of the great Catholic reaction against Protestantism in the seventeenth century."
Link (here) to Events and Epochs in Religious History

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