As most of you readers know, I am fond of Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey/Maturin series.
In Reverse of the Medal (the 11th ) we find some comments about Jesuits and their schools. Keep in mind that Dr. Maturin, a master of invective, is speaking in early 19th century, not the early 21st!
Context: Capt. Jack Aubrey has just met a son whom he fathered out of wedlock many years before, and he is distressed to learn that the young man is a – godforbid – a Papist. Jack worries that young man, a seminarist, was being trained by -godforbid – Jesuits.
Jack says to Stephen (also a Papist):
‘You remember the Gordon riots, and all the tales about the Jesuits being behind the King’s madness and many other things. By the way, Stephen, those Fathers were not Jesuits, I suppose? I did not like to ask straight out.’
‘Of course not, Jack. They were suppressed long ago. Clement XIV put them down in the seventies, and a very good day’s work he did. Sure, they have been trying to creep back on one legalistic pretext or another and I dare say they will soon make a sad nuisance of themselves again, turning out atheists from the schools by the score; but these gentlemen had nothing to do with them, near or far.’
When I am elected Pope, I shall have to consider taking them name… Clement.