Society of Jesus

Almost at once the Jesuits leaped to a position of leadership in the councils of the Church. As missionaries and as heresy hunters they were absolutely devoted to their purpose. They did much to save southern Europe for the Catholic Church. Yet the Jesuits were also charged with encouraging superstition and the order became so distrusted and disliked that it was suppressed in one country after another until Pope Clement XIV abolished the order in 1773 – a decision later reversed by Pope Pius VII.

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