A priest friend of mine sent me the text of an Allocution to Jesuits made by Pius XII on 10 September 1957 (AAS 49 – pp. 802-812). I haven’t found it in English and I don’t have the time today to render it for you, but here are a couple savory bits.
Pius is clearly concerned that the Jesuits are drifting from their moorings. He reminds them of their Founder’s ideals for them and the special vows they make. They are to be especially obedient, hierarchical, sound in doctrine, austere and detached from worldly things. Note especially:
Sane inter praeclara facinora maiorum vestrorum, quibus iure gloriamini quaeque aemulari contenditis, illud ceteris praestat, vestram nempe Societatem, Cathedrae Petri quam intime adhaerentem, doctrinam a Pontifice illius Sedis, ad quam «propter potentiorem principalitatem necesse est omnem convenire Ecclesiam, hoc est eos qui sunt undique fideles» propositam, semper intactam custodire, docere, defendere, promovere conatam esse; nec quidquam quod periculosam vel non satis probatam novitatem sapiat tolerare.
Hanc autem laudem rectitudinis doctrinae et fidelitatis in obedientia Christi Vicario debita, nemo a vobis tollat; nec locus sit inter vos cuidam superbiae «liberi examinis», heterodoxae potius quam catholicae mentis propriae, qua unusquisque ea etiam quae a Sede Apostolica emanant, ad trutinam proprii iudicii revocare non refugit; nec toleretur coniventia cum quibusdam autumantibus magis ex iis quae fiunt quam ex iis quae fieri debent normas agendi atque ad aeternam salutem contendendi esse desumendas; nec sinantur pro libitu sentire et agere ii quibus disciplina ecclesiastica videatur res antiquata, vanus, ut aiunt, «formalismus», quo quis, ut veritati serviat, se facile eximat oportet. Si enim eiusmodi mens, ab incredulorum coetibus mutuata, in agmine vestro libere serperet, nonne brevi inter vos reperirentur indigni et infidi filii vestri Patris Ignatii, quamprimum e corpore vestrae Societatis resecandi?
HA! And if they were to get rid of harmful elements quamprimum… as soon as possible… from their own body, does it not stand to reason that, if they don’t do that, the Church should – quamprimum – get rid of that harmful foreign body from the body of the Church?
Because Pius seems to have thought that the Jesuits were getting too worldly, he beats them for a couple paragraphs with exhortations not to use to many conveniences or travel much or spend time outside of religious houses. They should practice mortifications. He even says that they should stop using tobacco: “Inter ea annumerandus est usus, qui hac nostra aetate tantopere diffunditur, tabaci, quo variis formis adhibito homines delectantur.” Jesuits have, in the past, had quite the relationship with tobacco, especially as missionaries in the New World and the Far East.
If I may be allowed a digression, I will observe that Leo XIII, St. Pius X, Pius XI and John XXIII used tobacco, either via snuff, cigars or cigarettes.
If memory serves, when younger so did Benedict XVI (some say he liked US Marlboros). [UPDATE: Apparently not.] Not to get too far from the point of this post – the swift reformation of the Jesuits or their rapid suppression – my favorite papal tobacco story remains – and always will remain – that of the great Papa Lambertini Benedict XIV (whose Z-SWAG is available HERE – read more about it HERE with explanations). Lambertini was a lover of tobacco in the form of snuff, which was very popular in the 18th century. Decorative snuff boxes of the era are found in every great museum of the world. One day, in a great gesture of friendly papal condescension, Benedict offered to a cardinal a pinch of snuff from The Apostolic Snuff Box. The cardinal declined, saying, “Thank you, no, Your Holiness. I don’t have that vice.” Never at a loss for words, Benedict retorted, “Your Eminence, were it a vice, you would have it.”