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Jesuits [Paperback]

Malachi Martin
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Feb. 15 1988
In The Jesuits, Malachi Martin reveals for the first time the harrowing behind-the-scenes story of the "new" worldwide Society of Jesus. The leaders and the dupes; the blood and the pathos; the politics, the betrayals and the humiliations; the unheard-of alliances and compromises. The Jesuits tells a true story of today that is already changing the face of all our tomorrows.

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Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter 1


Every Pope worth his salt sets a dominant strategy for his papacy. He formulates many policies, pursues various particular aims: but all policies and each single aim are framed within the scope of that strategy.

The Society of Jesus was established by the papacy in 1540 as a very special "fighting unit" at the total and exclusive disposal of the Roman Pope -- whoever he might be. From their beginnings, the Jesuits were conceived in a military mode. Soldiers of Christ, they were given only two purposes: to propagate the religious doctrine and the moral law of the Roman Catholic Church as proposed and taught by the Roman Pope, and to defend the rights and prerogatives of that same Roman Pope. Purely spiritual and supernatural purposes. And specifically Roman Catholic. Surprisingly enough, given this mandate of the Society, papal strategy itself has become the wedge of separation between Jesuits and papacy -- indeed, the very arena where the lethal battle between the two is being fought.

Plus XII, Pope from 1939 to 1958, had found himself in a new world dominated by two rival superpowers, one of which -- the USSR -- he held in anathema. His postwar policy was one of intractable opposition to Soviet Marxism, and of support for "Western" civilization, centered in Europe and protected by the United States.

John XXIII, Pope from 1958 to 1963, was convinced that an "open windows, open fields" policy would induce others -- including the Soviets -- to refashion their own attitudes and policies. Pope John lowered as many barriers between the Church and the world -- including the Soviet Union -- as he could in his short, action-packed pontificate. He even went so far as to guarantee the USSR immunity from attacks by the Church, a stunning reversal of papal attitudes.

It was a huge gamble. And it could only work if an adequate amount of goodwill reigned among his opposite numbers.

The gamble failed. The great poignancy was that when he died, Pope John, peasant-realist that he was, knew that his openness had been seen as weakness, and had been taken advantage of by men of much smaller spirit.

Pope Paul VI, 1963-1978, blind to the deficiencies of John's policy, further refined it. The Holy See became nothing less than a plaintiff at the bar of Soviet power, pleading on diplomatic grounds for a hearing; instituting cautious conversations; practicing the week-kneed art of concessionary approaches -- and even stooping to mean-spirited deception and betrayal of the admittedly difficult Primate of Hungary, Cardinal Mindszenty, in order to please the Soviets and their castrated Hungarian surrogate, Janos Kadar.

In all of this, Paul VI, personally the gentlest of all modern Popes, unwittingly compromised his papal authority. His grand strategy for his Church was taken over and prostituted by others, reducing him to an impotence that scarred his last disease-ridden years until his death on August 6, 1978.

Still, it was Paul VI who, very late in the day of his papacy, realized that the original dual purpose of the Society of Jesus had been changed. Under his pontificate, an extensive critical dossier about the Society was compiled. It is enough for the moment to say of that dossier that its contents were damning. It was a portrait, in effect, of a Jesuit Order that, like a weathervane atop a roof, had been turned by a different wind. For Jesuits, the papacy no longer held primacy of position. The corporate aim of the Society was now to place itself and the Church at the disposal of a radical and purely sociopolitical change in the world, without reference to -- indeed, in defiance of -- papal strategy, policies, and aims.

In 1973, Paul VI, alarmed more than ever by the way the Society's members were behaving, tried to stop the onrush of events. He met with the head of the Order, Jesuit Father General Pedro Arrupe, several times. More than a few of those interviews between the two men were stormy. More than once, Paul wanted Arrupe to resign. One way or the other, Arrupe survived all papal attacks. Paul VI did insist that Arrupe convey to his Jesuits "Our demand that the Jesuits remain loyal to the Pope." Arrupe and his assistants in Rome at that time were intent on preparing for another international assembly of the Order, a General Congregation, as such an assembly is called. So he bought time, valuable time. Paul, in his weakness, could find no alternative but to wait.

Paul did make one last but equally ineffective attempt to recall the allegiance of the Society to the papacy during the ninety-six-day international assembly of Jesuit leaders, the 32nd General Congregation of 1974-1975. His effort met with total incomprehension and stubborn -- some said even self-righteous -- opposition from the Order. Pope and Jesuits simply could not agree. The Jesuits would not obey. Paul was too weak to force the issue farther.

"When you have people [the Jesuits]," wrote Jesuit Father M. Buckley about Paul's attitude to that 32nd General Congregation, "who do not think they have made errors either in content or procedure, and when they are suspected, resisted or reproved by the very man they are attempting to have...a very serious religious problem."

To say the least.

Cardinal Albino Luciani of Venice was elected to succeed Paul VI on August 26, 1978. Even before he became Pope, he had apparently made up his mind unfavorably about the Society.

And apparently the Society had already made up its mind about Pope John Paul I. No sooner had he been elected than the Jesuits asserted themselves. Father Vincent O'Keefe, the most prominent of the four General Assistants to Arrupe, and the one being groomed to succeed Arrupe one day as Father General of the Order, told a Dutch newspaper in an interview that the new Pope should reconsider the Church's ban on abortion, homosexuality, and priesthood for women. The interview was published.

Pope John Paul I was incensed. This was more than contempt. It was an assertion that the Society of Jesus knew better than the Pope what morals Catholics should practice. And it was an assertion that the Society had the authority to speak out; that is, it was a direct appropriation of the authority that belonged exclusively to the papacy.

John Paul I summoned Arrupe and demanded an explanation. Arrupe humbly promised to look into the whole matter. But John Paul could read the handwriting on the wall as clearly as any Pope. On the basis of Paul VI's critical dossier, and with the help of a very experienced old Jesuit, Father Paolo Dezza, who had been Confessor to Pope Paul VI and now was John Paul I's confessor, the Pope composed a hard-hitting speech of warning. He planned to deliver it to the international assembly of Jesuit leaders and Father General Arrupe at another of their General Congregations to be held in Rome on September 30, 1978.

One of the striking features of his speech was John Paul I's repeated reference to doctrinal deviations on the part of Jesuits. "Let it not happen that the teachings and publications of Jesuits contain anything to cause confusion among the faithful." Doctrinal deviation was for him the most ominous symptom of Jesuit failure.

Veiled beneath the polished veneer of its graceful romanità, that speech contained a clear threat: the Society would return to its proper and assigned role, or the Pope would be forced to take action.

What action? From John Paul's memoranda and notes, it is clear that, unless a speedy reform of the Order proved feasible, he had in mind the effective liquidation of the Society of Jesus as it is today -- perhaps to be reconstituted later in a more manageable form. John Paul I had received the petitions of many Jesuits, pleading with him to do just that.

The Pope never delivered that speech of warning. On the morning of September 29, after thirty-three days on the Throne of Peter, and one day before he was to address the Society's General Congregation, John Paul I was found dead in bed.

In the following days, Jesuit Father General Arrupe petitioned Cardinal Jean Villot, who as Vatican Secretary of State ruled the Holy See in the interim period between John Paul I's death and the election of his successor: Could the Jesuits have a copy of that speech?

After a discussion with the College of Cardinals who were helping him to prepare for the election of the next pope, the Cardinal prudently refused. Arrupe was told instead that in the opinion of Villot and the Council, "it was high time the Jesuits put their affairs in order."

For their part, Arrupe and the Jesuits decided to sit the time out and see who would become the next Pope. Time was the commodity they always sought to have.

More than either of his two immediate predecessors, Karol Wojtyla of Poland, elected as John Paul II on October 16, 1978, could not afford to hesitate in this matter of the Jesuits. John Paul II's grand papal strategy embraced the First World of capitalism, the Second World of Soviet Communism, and the Third World of so-called underdeveloped and developing countries.

Wojtyla was extremely hard-headed in analyzing the character and limitations of papal strategy since 1945. In his view, Plus XII had guided the Church on the basis of a "siege" mentality, permitting papal strategy only clandestine movement within the Soviet empire, but providing no challenge to the continual erosion of the Church in that area. John XXIII's policy of "open fields" had been a failure. Paul VI's policy had consisted merely of a refinement of an already faulty and failed policy. By the time of Paul VI's death in 1978, his Secretariat of State had managed to work out protocol agreements with more than one member-government of the Soviet Socialist "fraternity," but none had been initialed, let alone signed and sealed into law. In any case, even had those protocols been ratified, it had already become clear enough that they would have made no difference to the status of Roman Catholics under Soviet rule.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
This book is excellent, there's no other way of putting it. I am a Catholic, and it is very sad for me to witness people leaving the Church day by day, because of the mistakes of Vatican II. (Guatemala, my home country, used to be 99% Catholic, and now that's down to 60%. Priests do not preach anymore, they stay inside their churches and do nothing, while people look for salvation elsewhere.)
This book will tell you what those mistakes were, and the struggle of various popes against the cancer of modernism in the Catholic Church.
When I was younger, I wanted to become a Jesuit, but some friends cautioned me of the changes that have taken place in the Society. So I did some research here in my country (Guatemala), and everything this book says is true. Jesuit fathers left their 400 years old Ignatian tradition of Papal obedience, stopped fighting for the growth of Catholic Faith, and started fighting for communism, temporal justice, and other worldly causes.
Their numbers have dwindled from 32,000 members in the 70s, to just above 16,000 in the present, and still they do not realise that the Society of Jesus that San Ignacio de Loyola created was a gift from God, and the new society of Jesus they have formed is an aberration that goes against everything Catholic.
Read this book if you are a God loving Catholic, and then help our Holy Church regain its identity. It is up to us to show these "renewed" priests that we want the "old" Roman Catholic Church back.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Martin tells it like it is... June 25 2002
Any individual who thinks Martin's revelations about the Jesuits are absurd obviously does not attend a Jesuit university in the year 2002. I do attend a highly respected Jesuit university and I can assure you that most of his claims are completely accurate. The Jesuits do have an agenda. They seek to undermine the Church in every way possible.
As I sit through my theology classes, Martin's prophetic writings are all too real. Anyone who in unaware of the Jesuit power agenda needs to read this book. As a staunch Catholic and one who loves the Church, I assure you that the Jesuit order is overrun with immorality and apostasy. The amazing thing is that many of the Jesuits no longer even make an attempt to hide their corruption. Make no mistake; many of them are quite comfortable with it.
As a Catholic and a student at a major Jesuit university, I urge you to read this book. I also urge anyone thinking of attending a Jesuit institution to reconsider. If I had read this book four years ago, it might have saved me from untold amounts of spiritual anguish.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
In a perfect world, this type of book on the Jesuits would have never been written. But unfortunately, man has a fallen nature and the world is not a perfect place. This also points toward the religious orders. Malachi Martin, a close advisor to Pope John XXIII takes the Jesuit order and exposes this order of men. From the time of the foundation of the Society of Jesus, this order has been scrutinized. But for the first 400 years of their existence, the devil attacked the order from the outside. But in this book, we find that the devil has been able to penetrate the Jesuits and corrupt this order from the inside. Fr. Martin has gone to great pains to give us a fair account of what has occurred throughout the age of Jesuitism. Through his friendship and close relationship to the Vatican hierarchy, Fr. Martin has been able to give very detailed and initmate accounts that no other man could have given us. For many people who are loyal to the Papacy, this book would come to a shock and sadness to their hearts. This book portrays the ugly, but accurate, side of the last 30 years of Jesuitism. From open refusals by the General Superior to submit to the Pope to public tirades by Jesuit priests against the Pope, this order has gone from loyal protectors of the Pope to open dissidents against the Pope. This book may have been written 10 years ago, but to this day, we see the Jesuits continue in their betrayal to the Papacy, from which they derived their existence.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The beginning of the end of the Catholic Church Dec 16 2002
The recently-deceased Fr. Malachi Martin was, at the time of his death, writing a book that predicted the coming end of the Catholic Church, at least as it has existed for the last 2000 years. Unfortunately, that book will never be completed.
The seeds of the demise appear in this book. The Church will die because it has been infiltrated by liberals. In the 1960s, the Jesuits decided that the great, successful 450-year old Order founded by St. Ignatius had it all wrong. So, it allied itself with Marxists, among other far-left movements, most of whom had no tolerance for religion.
The gross disobedience demonstrated by the Jesuits, who take a special vow of obedience to the Pope is shocking. Martin, a former Jesuit himself, writes glowingly of the first 400+ years of good, almost miraculous works. It simply makes the degeneration of the Jesuits all the sadder.
If you want some insight into why the Catholic Church is falling apart, this book is enlightening.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
As a practicing catholic and graduate of a jesuit high school and college, this book held special significance. The historical account of the society and the Ignatian principles upon which it was founded and governed is detailed with amazing insight and clarity. The politics and intrigue that have confronted Pope JPII are outlined magnificently. This book is an intellectual delight and contains suspense and gepolitical analysis that is a true education. the Jesuits are a special order and this book will clearly outline why. Regrettably, Martin shows in a thorough and convincing manner how they have arrogantly abandoned Ignatius and the Pope. Highly recommended.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Well-written and fascinating
This book is so well written that it was a pleasure to read notwithstanding the fascinating content. Read more
Published 11 months ago by kathleenhh
4.0 out of 5 stars It is my policy to "Source" data used to add within my own Works......
While I'd purchased this book for a "Reference Material" to use within another of my books I further intend to list on Read more
Published 15 months ago by Ronald Malloy
5.0 out of 5 stars Under the influence of S....
Who else than an insider (himself a Jesuit priest)could relate the story of his
own religious Order that ran off the rails after the second world war. Read more
Published on Oct. 20 2010 by Cécilien Pelchat
1.0 out of 5 stars sad trash
malachi martin has used the prestige he once had as a priest in the Roman Catholic Church (and as a former Jesuit) to aid the gross spirit of anti-Catholicism in every way that he... Read more
Published on July 1 2004 by Boots
2.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining book..merely propaganda
This book is mildly entertaining, but the views expressed by Martin should be taken with a grain of salt. Read more
Published on Dec 25 2003
4.0 out of 5 stars The Jesuits is an accurate look at the war we are in.
While I have doubts about the reasons behind Martin's leaving the Order, or his dispensation from Poverty granted him by Paul VI, I have no doubts about his Marxist-Jesuit... Read more
Published on Feb. 25 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Sad but true
Presents a detailed and easy to follow explanation for how the once faithful Jesuit order became a haven for heretics and atheists. Read more
Published on Jan. 8 2002 by "faithful_catholic"
1.0 out of 5 stars shockingly biased
I admit I did not get too far in this book. Mr. Martin attacked, attacked, attacked. He did not seem at all interested in bringing a fair and even-handed discussion. Read more
Published on Nov. 15 2001 by Sandra E. Sledge
1.0 out of 5 stars Jesuit Teaching
I was an alter boy, but I got tired of drinking the mass wine and waking up with strange Priests
Published on Oct. 30 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars Malachi Martin
If you like religio-political controversy,and intrigue this is the book for you.
Martin is a conservative Catholic, steeped in dogma and mysticism who is often critical of... Read more
Published on Aug. 6 2001 by Professor Emeritus P. Bagnolo
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