The Dynamics of Anti-Jesuitism in the History of the Society of Jesus

in Jesuit Historiography Online
Pierre-Antoine Fabre
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José Eduardo Franco
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Carlos Fiolhais
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(12,041 words)

Pierre-Antoine Fabre,  José Eduardo Franco, and Carlos Fiolhais Last modified: November 2018

This contribution was jointly conceived by one specialist in the history of the Society of Jesus and another in the history of anti-Jesuitism. We found this to be a good approach with which to demonstrate the ways in which both histories are, in the long run, inseparable. We will first recall three significant moments in the history of anti-Jesuitism: primitive anti-Jesuitism, synthetic anti-Jesuitism, and global anti-Jesuitism, three moments which together make it possible to examine the problem of the effects of anti-Jesuitism in three different ways. We will then will focus more closely on the Portuguese sphere, which was the setting for several of the essential phases of anti-Jesuitism. As a result of the position of the Society of Jesus in the global history of Portugal from the time of the “great discoveries,” Portugal has also been home to the most important political developments of anti-Jesuitism and, from this perspective, one might say that the period of the government of Sebastião de Carvalho e Melo, the Marquis of Pombal (1699–1782), upon which we will focus in the second part of this article, marks a milestone in the genesis of the modern European state. This state would break many of its ties with the church and, at the same time, it would also break with a part of its international roots (aristocratic and/or ecclesiastical), and implement new forms of public communication.1

I. The Three Ages of Anti-Jesuitism

1. Primitive Anti-Jesuitism: The major features of the anti-Jesuit discourse can be traced in the last decades of the sixteenth century, with their expulsion from the kingdom of France, followed by the Interdict of Venice in 1607. From a historiographical point of view, the anti-Jesuitism of the nineteenth century (which overlapped considerably with anti-clericalism, even though the Jesuits were still seen negatively by a segment of the Catholic Church) has concealed this first modern anti-Jesuitism, which has only been rediscovered by recent research on the history of the Society of Jesus in the modern era and which has considerably enriched this history. But in addition, even more recently, by the work on the history of the Society of Jesus after its restoration.2

When François Xavier de Ravignan (1795–1858) replied in 1844 to the “anti-Jesuit” pamphlets of Edgar Quinet (1803–75) and Jules Michelet (1798–1874) in his Des jésuites, he dated the beginnings of the history of the Jesuits to the moment of their first interdiction, in 1606 in Venice, and thus revealed to us how far the history of the Society is intertwined with that of its contestation. Why? Because, in the nineteenth century, Jesuits experienced the greatest difficulty in writing their history,3 the story of their “great” suppression between 1773 and 1814. They had to suture this wound, and this suture led, almost by necessity, to the superposition of suppression and restoration, that is, in the end, to say, suppression and foundation, if we consider, as is historically legitimate, that the “return” of 1814 was actually a reinvention of the Society, in an entirely new era, with new goals and new conditions of practice. But it is precisely this other Society that had to be denied to preserve the idea of a sole and unique Society, which had existed since the first foundation of 1540, and this is why Ravignan, in 1844, was almost forced to condense into a single episode the first foundation and the first suppression of the Society. But in doing so, he contributed to causing the re-emergence of the torments of modern Jesuit history, and in particular the innumerable interdictions, expulsions, and “persecutions,” to which they were subject from the beginning, even before the interdiction of Venice, since their first expulsion from the kingdom of France dated back to 1594.

One might recall here that the very term “Jesuit” is an anti-Jesuit word, a mark of this close solidarity between the Society of Jesus and its contrary forces. More generally, one could say that the Society of Jesus has always experienced itself as “anti,” an anti-body in the church,  on a double front: the first front, the Protestant Reformation whose “venom” it set itself to fight from the middle of the sixteenth century, and the second, the Counter-Reformation, in which it sided with Rome against the most progressive movements of the Catholic Church (those which have been called the Catholic Reformation), well established in the north of present-day Italy, movements that the first Jesuits knew well since they themselves had been suspected for a long time of heterodoxy: let us remember the numerous trials to which Ignatius of Loyola (c.1491–1556) was subject in Spain, France, and Italy between 1525 and 1538.4

2. Synthetic Anti-Jesuitism: Very different—even opposing—factions of the Catholic Church found in the eighteenth century a common ground (at times their only common ground, a guarantee of a fragile continuity in an otherwise contested church) in their opposition to the Society of Jesus: Gallican, and indeed Italian, Jansenism, as well as the Roman Curia, and Enlightenment Catholicism. One might also say—to extend the definition of the primitive form of anti-Jesuitism—that the Society opened an anti-Jesuit front within itself when, under the generalate (1687–1705) of Tirso González de Santalla (1624–1705), at the very end of the seventeenth century, it took sides, at the level of its government5 against the “permissive” Society, the moral theology contested by Blaise Pascal (1623–62), that is to say, against a considerable part of its own forces in the modern Catholic Church.

This anti-Jesuit solidarity, found even in the very heart of the order (which, of course, found itself weakened) explains the suppression of the Society of Jesus in 1773, and enters today in the historiography of the causes of the suppression. This second anti-Jesuitism is all the more valuable for our reflection here in that it helps us to distance ourselves from the first: indeed, the testimony of the victims of the “catastrophe” of 1773—that of Lorenzo Ricci (1703–75), last superior general of the Jesuits (1758–75), for example—displayed a desire to reverse the plurality of causes (a desire which would ultimately be difficult for the Society itself, since it would encounter herein the limits or even reversal of its hegemonic pretensions) to explain it as a kind of absurdity, a senseless “catastrophe” that in the end prefigured the storm of revolutions (as Lorenzo Hervás y Panduro [1735–1809] and others would say). Prefiguration: here we find ourselves no longer searching for causes, but reading portents. Of what was the suppression of the Society of Jesus the portent? But we find here, indeed, one of the essential inspirations of primitive anti-Jesuitism: the collusion of suppression and foundation, the conversion of a past (before the suppression) into a future (after the foundation).

The works produced and animated by José Eduardo Franco have shown the multiplicity of the causes of anti-Jesuitism in the history of Portugal, and the political concentration of these multiple causes in the time of Pombal6: we will come back to this point later.

But I would like to emphasize here a little-known point. The restoration of the Society of Jesus did not put an end to this anti-Jesuit solidarity. The clearest symptom—I use this word because the decision to restore the order by Pius VII (1742–1823, r.1800–23) did not give rise to open opposition—is the complex history of the bull for the re-establishment of the Society in 1814. The archive consists of four texts: the original of the Breve per la ripristinazione della Compagnia di Gesù (the term then disappears from the pontifical literature);7 the copy of the brief of August 7, Sollicitudo omnium ecclesiarum; the Osservazioni sulla detta minuta del P. Merenda; the copy “della bolla Dominus ac redemptor e dell’altra Gravissionis ex causis” of Clement XIV (1705–74, r.1769–74), that is, the bull for the suppression of the twenty-first of July, 1773, and the following one from the sixteenth of August, which concerns the application of the first to all the members of the Society. Angelo Maria Merenda (1751–1820), a Dominican, had been commissioner of the Holy Office since March 18, 1801 until June 7, 1814, when Pius VII replaced him with Tommaso Arezzo (1756–1833)—very soon after the composition of this document.

It is tempting—without being able to go further for now8—to establish a link between the two facts, all the more since Tommaso Arezzo, cardinal in 1816, spent several years in Russia at the beginning of the century, where he was extraordinary nuncio in Saint Petersburg, where he defended the positions of the Jesuits, such as he knew them in this Russian period, in which the Society of Jesus privileged (because it was central to the conditions imposed by Catherine II (1729–96, r.1762–96) their teaching function, an emphasis which recurs in the final bull.

The “Observations” of this Dominican, along with the Commissioner of the Holy Office, Angelo Maria Merenda, enriched the debate. I can offer here only an outline for reading this difficult document: Merenda’s recurring criticism of the first version of the brief is its strong relationship (“consonanza”) with another text, the Memoria cattolica da presentarsi in Sua Santità, published in a clandestine edition in 1776, just three years after the suppression of the order, the year of death and the funeral oration of Lorenzo Ricci.9

Marina Caffiero has treated this text and its author in his contribution to a collection of studies I coordinated in 2009 with Catherine-Laurence Maire, on the Antijésuites:

Under the mask of falsehood and secrecy hides the ex-Jesuit Carlo Borgo, apologist of the Society and pestilential proponent of its suppression, to the point of shattering the proverbial Jesuit fidelity and obedience to the papacy with his apocalyptic thunderclaps [...]. This text retains an unprecedented violence in its frontal attack on Pope Clement XIV, compared directly to Nero and Diocletian, the persecutors of Christians, and identified with the Antichrist. The brief of Clement was declared “null and void,” an “odious act, animated by a diabolical hostility,” and a “sacrilegious abuse.” A few years later, in 1787, a new text appeared, anonymous but again produced by Borgo, the Anecdoti interessanti di storia e di critica sulla Memoria cattolica, providing numerous details about the story of this scandalous Memoria, adding to it new information. Pius VI, the successor of Clement XIV, had ordered the burning of the Memoria for its “scandalous, reckless, erroneous, insulting, and seditious propositions, suspected of heresy and tending towards schism,” and the anonymous text called this ‘a blow from below, an extortion,” and an act “null and void.”10

3. Finally—Portugal leads to, or leads back to, the “wide world”— Global Anti-Jesuitism: the extra-European spaces intervene in the dynamics of the anti-Jesuitism of the seventeenth century, giving the world a certain reality, which reverses the Eurocentric schema still so active in the historical disciplines: Europe did not merely project its own conflicts into external theatres—to mimic current military language—as if they were peripheral splatters; it also “cashed out” specific regional social, political, and religious dramas, as in the example of the controversy of the Chinese rites, which was not merely a European ecclesiastical and philosophical debate, but which was also linked to evolutions peculiar to the Chinese empire and its religious policy, as well as to apostolic strategies adapted in the Chinese world.11 A second example is the defeat of the Society of Jesus in Brazil—bound to the destiny of part of the indigenous population in the border conflicts between the two empires, Portuguese and Spanish, through the policy of the Jesuit “reductions”—which decided its expulsion several years before the European wave of suppressions.

I would like to mention here a remarkable dossier, which has not yet been fully studied,12 which shows how the New Spanish prelate Juan de Palafox y Mendoza (1600–59) was rediscovered in the late eighteenth century through his writings, hostile to the strategy of the Society of Jesus in China (in the context of the Chinese Rites Controversy), a century after the writing of these texts. This dossier demonstrates not only the existence of areas of intense anti-Jesuitism outside Europe, but also the articulation of these regions, not from the perspective of “world history,” but in the knowledge and the actions of the protagonists themselves.13

The confrontation between the bishop of Puebla de los Ángeles, Juan de Palafox, and the Jesuits—which was, moreover, one of many conflicts between the secular church and the Society of Jesus in Latin American, often linked to conflicts over privileges, territorial or jurisdictional rivalries, etc.—would lead to three letters sent by the bishop to Pope Innocent X (1574–1655, r.1644–55), the three Inocencianas. In the second, he dealt with the disobedience of the Jesuits in adopting Confucian rites, and specifically the ancestor cult. If these letters would not carry much weight in the middle of the seventeenth century, at a time when the “Chinese Rites Controversy” had not yet reached its intercontinental zenith (the conviction of the Jesuits came, as we may recall, in 1724), they would be used extensively in the years directly preceding the expulsion.14 Between 1643 and 1646, Palafox inquired about the debate and the controversy opened ten years earlier by the Franciscans and Dominicans against the “Chinese rites,” which a significant part of the missionaries of the Society of Jesus accepted and in which they participated. These dates are contemporaneous with the first developments of the controversy and thus testify to a rapid flow of information in the Spanish empire. The prelate recounts that in 1649, while leaving for Spain, he gave the order to collect in a volume a series of treatises and apologias that he had compiled on the “ecclesiastical controversies of China,” to which he added a brief relation in which he reconstructed “the manner and means by which these apologias had come to him.”15 The most important use of this volume was by Pedro Rodríguez de Campomanes (1723–1802), who, in his Dictamen de expulsión de los jesuítas de España (1766–1767)—which opened the way for the final sentence of expulsion of the Society—drew upon the writings assembled by Palafox.

St. Clair Segurado notes that

for the opponents of the Society, idolatry was a capital error suffered by their missions in China. Concerning this aspect of Jesuit conduct, Juan de Palafox y Mendoza would be one of the main sources to whom those interested in ruining the Society of Jesus would resort in the eighteenth century. Evidence of this can be found in the writings of prosecutor Pedro Rodríguez de Campomanes and in the Spanish bishops, who based their accusations of idolatry on the Inocencianas of the prelate, usually copying or paraphrasing, principally points 138, 139 and 140.16

Idolatry: the word is interesting, because it brings us back, here in time, and not in space, to the last decades of the sixteenth century, to the first establishment of the Jesuits in New Spain, and to the development of an “anti-idolatry” offensive based on the counter-model of “holy images” and relics, an offensive that was itself considered idolatrous by the Franciscans.17

Three historiographical perspectives, then, on anti-Jesuitism over the longue durée. One might observe that I have here moved backwards, into the past, and thus, more and more, towards a deeply interwoven history of the mutual development of the Society of Jesus and anti-Jesuitism. But primitive anti-Jesuitism also bore us as far into the nineteenth century as into the sixteenth: thus, in these three perspectives, we must see less a periodization than the sedimentation of three dimensions of anti-Jesuitism, which constitute both its historiography and its history.

II. Anti-Jesuit Historiography in Portugal before the Expulsion of the Society of Jesus

The history of the Society of Jesus is connected to the history of Portugal of the last five hundred years. Portugal was the first monarchy to receive and support, through King João III (1502–57, r.1521–57), the order of St. Ignatius. In Portuguese soil, the Society found conditions for an exponential expansion. The first province of the order was established there in 1546, and its works were multiplied with the creation of dozens of colleges and missions, within the Portuguese padroado, spread across four continents. The Society became the most influential religious order at court and among the aristocracy, providing confessors and counsellors to the royal family and to the most powerful families. But, in a twist of fate, it was also a Portuguese king, José I (1714–77, r.1750–77) that, in 1759, through the Marquis of Pombal, was responsible for the expulsion of the Jesuits that led to their universal extinction by Pope Clement XIV in 1773.

The Jesuits immediately attracted unconditional admirers, but, on the other hand, their dazzling success also brought adversaries to whom the Society was one of the reasons why the country had fallen so far behind. This love-hate relationship is also reflected in historiography. Until the twentieth century, it is hard to find balanced evaluations of the Jesuits legacy. We need to perform two exorcisms: banishing the demon of enchantment with the organization, effectiveness, and the work of the Jesuits, imposed by the Jesuit books, and the demon of accusation of their wicked actions, inculcated by the vast literary sources that gave anti-Jesuit stereotypes that have persisted in Lusitanian culture. Intellectual asceticism is necessary if we aim at a critical history, distanced from the courtroom history that has divided Portuguese historiography from Pombal’s epoch up to the twentieth century.18

The Jesuit myth, similar to its international counterpart, became one of the most significant of Portuguese culture. It was fostered by members of the clergy. During the Enlightenment, adversaries of papal supremacy cultivated an anti-Jesuit tradition, which, during the liberal and republican regimes, was carried on by secular and anticlerical cultural elites. Abundant anti-Jesuit documentation is found in Portuguese and foreign libraries and archives, being difficult to draw a line between history and fiction. The negative myth created by that documentation is part of the broader genre of conspiracy myths (e.g., Jewish and Masonic conspiracies), and constructs a representation of the Jesuit as Other, not an ordinary stranger, but someone with exclusive allegiance to his institution, considered a “machine” that causes the ruin of nations, with the purpose of implanting the universal rule of the Society. The conspiracy myth, present in various guises in Western societies, is a system of history interpretation, in which history is reduced to a single explanatory principle.19 The anti-Jesuit myth, based on the fears of a powerful institution obedient to Rome, was established in Portugal by Pombal. He forged the dark image of the Jesuits in his anti-Jesuit catechisms, portraying them as conspirators. The state invested in the translation of these books into the main languages with the purpose of spreading to other European countries his campaign against an institution seen as a contagious disease corrupting society. Pombaline anti-Jesuitism is the current of thought and political action that fought against an institution considered essential to the historical reading of the kingdom.

The Portuguese anti-Jesuit literature includes historical, legal, and theological treatises, novels, government papers, reports, laws, people's representations, apologetic works, controversies, satires, poetry, academic theses, public notices, pastorals, sermons, political programmes, brochures, conferences, journal chronicles, plays, songs, anecdotes, caricatures, etc. These works are intended to fight an enemy that was believed to be everywhere. The later anti-Jesuit thinking reissued the Pombaline theses, adapting them and making new additions. In a strong counter-attack, Jesuit historians wrote works in which they mustered documentation to refute their adversaries. This historiography, which corrects many historical errors, does not escape, however, the Jesuit imprint. In these works, the dark image of the Society is interpreted as a legend and not as a myth. The analysis of the anti-Jesuit image as a myth offers, however, a better explanation. The study from a legendary perspective turns the anti-Jesuit campaign into a mere process of falsification, typically used in courtroom history. Instead, analyzing the Jesuits’ image as a myth allows to understand the historical meaning of a blurring, paying less attention to the distinction between true and false than to the socio-political and cultural function of the mythologizing process.

In the Pombaline construction of this myth, it is more important to consider the creation of an anti-Jesuit mentality, which reacted against the signs, configurations, and models condemned by this matrix, than to analyze the mythical imagery as a theoretical construction. The anti-Jesuit culture and mentality became increasingly disseminated among the elites that were challenging the status quo. These currents used the clichés established by the Jesuit myth against the return of the Jesuits, or any manifestations of the old social order. The myth of Jesuitism tended to be stylized; culturally embedded as an explanation of an oversimplified evil, it established the way to act against a feared opponent.20

Although he had inherited an anti-Jesuit tradition, Pombal ushered in a new era when he created an ideological school. He reworked that tradition, giving it enough content to justify his measures against the Society. His work in comprehensively structuring a view of these religious, condensed in paradigmatic works, granted him the status of father of the Jesuit myth. Jesuitism, understood as a philosophy of action, explained all negative things that had happened to the country since the arrival of the Society in Portugal. With Pombal, anti-Jesuitism was no longer a set of disparate manifestations, which lacked doctrinal unity and effectiveness. Now, the myth, with all its symbolic and mobilizing strength, emerged as an overarching explanatory model. He established a reading of the past that justified the reforms of enlightened absolutism. The myth created by King José’s powerful minister supports and guides the government’s political program.

Pombal became one of the most controversial figures in Portuguese history, not only due to his persecution of the Jesuits, but also due to the development of a royalist policy that led to the subordination of the church to the state. In a not so distant past, unilateral explanations divided historians who adopted ideological perspectives. Both camps were radicalized, with authors sympathetic to anti-Jesuitism valuing Pombal and the others denouncing him.21 We shall attempt to dismantle the Pombaline myth by analyzing its cultural, political, and social context, in order to uncover the set of motivations, opportunities, and needs that allowed its emergence. This ideological process, which had long-term cultural consequences in Portugal, cannot be seen as a mere result of the bad character of a minister, but should be viewed in the context of a confrontation of cultural and political paradigms. Our hermeneutic objective is to know the motivations, understand the problems, and analyze the historical solutions, in order to contribute to the fulfilment of the function of history as the broadening of consciousness.

Pombal efficiently marshalled the dissatisfaction felt towards the Jesuits that had emerged in Brazil. During the long reign of King João V (1689–1750, r.1706–50), two figures countered the influence of the Jesuits at court, securing the settlers’ interests. One of them was a former governor, Bernardo Pereira de Berredo (1718–22), who completely dismissed the natives. The other was Paulo da Silva Nunes (dates unknown), former collaborator of Berredo, who called for the secularization of the missions. The conflict intensified in the first half of the eighteenth century. Another major critic of the Jesuits was Diogo de Conceição (dates unknown), who, in 1738, in a petition to the monarch, criticized the Jesuits missionary system. As a solution, he agreed with Nunes proposal to hand the missions over to the secular clergy. The settlers planned to make the Brazilian territory profitable by using slave labor, while the Jesuits gave priority to pastoral matters. The Jesuits managed to stem the current that was disputing control of their areas of influence, but not for long. The misfortune of the Jesuits reached its peak with their expulsion by Pombal, culminating a growing trend.

The Society soon realized that, in Brazil, the communities demanded an intercultural approach strategy. Thus, it wanted to go further than the simple exercise of worship, on behalf of its program for transforming men and societies. With its pragmatism, the Society concluded that it needed economic and political power, ending up entangled in dilemmas that their opponents exploited. In order to advance their religious projects, Jesuits often had to choose between expanding their missions, which required managing properties, or give up this expansion. They chose the way of commercial activity to support their growing missionary activities. Economic issues were always at the heart of the anti-Jesuit controversies in Brazil. These disputes created a negative image, which Pombal would use to make Jesuits a scapegoat.

In order to understand Pombal’s anti-Jesuitism, we must look at the Pombalism—anti-Pombalism dialectic. Conditioned by Pombal’s anti-Jesuit campaign, many studies on Pombal are ideologically unsound. We find both the highest praise and the fiercest criticism. Therefore, the request made by Marc Bloch (1886–1944) to Portuguese historians makes sense: “Pombalists, anti-Pombalists, just tell us who Pombal was.”22 This period is one of the most marked by ideological interpretations of history, dividing opinions and perspectives.23 We must strip away the ideological garb and try to cut our way through the deep motivations that will allow to understand the myth created by Pombalism. We will try to do this within a framework of change in political and social mentalities: it is necessary to discern which “social forces are present,” as well as the “means available” and the “projects being developed.”24 Above all, it is necessary to characterize the political philosophy that drove Pombal.

We should not disregard the temperamental causes for Pombal’s unremitting persecution of the Jesuits. Nor should we overlook economic motivations, given that the Society possessed many proprieties and “the royal treasury found itself lacking, sometimes even exhausted and it was necessary to replenish it.”25 But the ultimate legitimacy was coming from the underlying ideological-political system, which was also used to justify the government’s programme. These political ideals were expressed in the Pombaline utopia: the reform of Portugal by European standards to cure the collective frustration that came after the heroic deeds of the discoveries. In this context, the Society was chosen to offer the counter-utopian explanation,26 embodying all negative influences. Pombal’s utopian ideals stem from a theory on the nature and exercise of power that guides a project and a political practice. The key to understanding the Jesuit myth lies in the question of power, or rather in the relation between politics and religion.

III. Works of the Pombaline Anti-Jesuitism

Under Pombal’s patronage, several writings were aimed at promoting the state anti-Jesuitical policy. The principles of the Jesuit myth have informed the main works of this literature, which keep repeating themselves.27 Five works stand out: they establish the myth, present its meaning, list the arguments, and define a style. They are pervaded by the anti-Jesuit obsession that establishes the Jesuits as the diabolic source of the nation’s evils: they were, with hyperbolic powers, on the dark side of history. All these books, which structure and systematize the doctrine on the basis of the myth, bear the imprint of Pombal. He managed a team of well-prepared intellectuals, who furnished the books with abundant scholarly apparatus, casuistry, and argumentation, although they were published either anonymously, or under a borrowed name or the authority of an institution, hiding Pombal’s influence. But the authorial unity that the ideological stylistic and unity suggests is confirmed by historical evidence. Even if Pombal was not the author of these works, he was certainly their mentor, on behalf of a patriotic fight against an evil. The rhetoric was intended to convince readers of this evil, stressing their darkest colors.

Relação abreviada

The first work of the Pombaline Jesuit myth was a pamphlet published in 1757 in the aftermath of the execution of the Treaty of Borders in Brazil: Relação abreviada da República que os Religiosos Jesuítas das Províncias de Portugal, e Espanha, estabeleceram nos Domínios Ultramarinos das duas Monarquias, e da guerra, que neles tem movido, e sustentado contra os Exercitos Hespanhoes, e Portugueses… (Abbreviated report of the republic that the Jesuits of the provinces of Portugal and Spain established in the overseas territories of the two monarchies and the war they promoted and supported against the Spanish and Portuguese Armies).28 It reports the obstacles raised by the Jesuits to the official Portuguese and Spanish commissions that were in Brazil to define borders. It was published in Lisbon, with no attribution, place or date, and without license from the censors. Twenty thousand copies were printed, which at the time meant a massive dissemination. Pombal sent this book, which became known as the Relação abreviada, to the greatest figures in Portugal, in order to blame the Jesuits for the disastrous process of border demarcation and for the reorganization of their missionary settlements. He also ordered its dissemination through diplomatic channels (the Portuguese diplomat in the Holy See offered it to Pope Benedict XIV (1675–1758, r.1740–5829). Having been published twice in Lisbon, the Relação abreviada was published in French, Spanish, German, Italian, and Latin, with a good reception in anti-Jesuit circles in Europe.30

The Relação abreviada is an administrative report on a surprising discovery made in Brazil by the Portuguese-Spanish border committee. According to it, the Jesuits had built a secret and autonomous republic in the missionary settlements in Paraguay without the knowledge of the Iberian states. To prove authenticity, it includes alleged correspondence between the committee and the Iberian governments. Its content is very curious, due to the unusual nature of the “discovery.” But it was not new: it reproduces the historical fiction forged by King Nicholas I of Paraguay, which was circulating in Europe.31 Pombal thus began a campaign enacted in several fronts, where coercive measures were supported by strong international propaganda. Relação abreviada established one of the elements of the Jesuit conspiracy: their project of a universal empire, whose starting point would be this fantastic republic of the Guarani. Pombal’s government’s efforts to disseminate this booklet betrays the identity of its author. In a royal charter dated 1759, it was even confirmed that this document was published by order of the king.32

The Relação abreviada marked the beginning of the serious accusations, within a rhetorical apparatus, that marked anti-Jesuitical literature. It became a central part of the Pombaline campaign and an essential reference in the associated ideology. The myth would be extended to the kingdom and to Europe, reaching the remote places where the Jesuits had a presence.

Erros ímpios e sediciosos

In 1759, following the conviction of those considered guilty of attacking the king, allegedly mentored by the Jesuits, a new volume denouncing the Society’s doctrines was published: Erros ímpios, e sediciosos que os Religiosos da Companhia de Jesus ensinarão aos Reos, que forão justiçados, e pretenderão Espalhar nos Póvos destes Reynos (Wicked and seditious offences that the religious of the Society of Jesus taught the convicted, who were condemned, and intended to spread to the people of these kingdoms). This short text, printed in Lisbon by Miguel Rodrigues (dates unknown), typographer of the cardinal patriarch, first circulated anonymously and autonomously, and was later distributed, as a supplement to the royal charter of 1759, to the bishops of the metropolis and overseas territories for them to warn the faithful against pernicious doctrines. The book sets out to transmit a paradigmatic image of Jesuit morality and reveal the guiding principles of their practices, which would have inspired the attempted regicide.

In this document, four types of wicked deeds are attributed to the Jesuits: their morality is presented as a refined form of Machiavellianism. The first deed is the plausibility of vilifying monarchs and governments with the purpose of destroying the government works. The second consists of justifying murders according to some interests. Extracts from several theologians who were allegedly members of the Society are used to prove this deed. The possibility of using lies to protect people’s safety, honor, and property is the third deed, based on quotations of Society priests that are set against theologians of the church. The booklet closes with the fourth deed, based on a letter that a Spanish anti-Jesuit bishop sent to the pope in 1649. The Society is accused of having a secret side, ruled by “private and hidden constitutions,” which was illegal and anti-canonical. Hiding everything related to their government, “as if it were a mystery,” only a small number of initiates could enter the “impenetrable institutions”: there, the most hideous crimes were planned, and the most terrible deeds were committed against state and society. After denouncing the illegality and the immorality of this organization, it blames the initiates for plotting the monstrous Jesuit morality and its implementation in the attempted regicide, that “most horrible insult.”

In order to prove the charges made against the secret government of the Society, the document draws on one of the most denigrating European catechisms written against the Jesuits in the previous century: the Monita secreta. 33 The Society is here presented as a cryptic organization. The Jesuits would refer to themselves as “Ours” and to the non-Jesuits as the “Outsiders.” “Ours” should always compete with the “Outsiders” to benefit the institution. It also invokes a series of anti-Jesuit authorities to show that their warnings and prophecies were correct. Erros ímpios is based on unfounded assumptions, especially since some of the authors cited as Jesuit scholars were not Jesuits. However, it had a strong influence in shaping ecclesiastical and secular opinion.34

Dedução cronológica e analítica

The contents of the previous two books, which came out in the first decade of Pombal’s government, were incorporated35 in the following decade in what may be called the bible of Pombaline anti-Jesuitism: Dedução cronológica e analítica (Chronological and analytical deduction). This book was first published in three luxuriously bound volumes in 1767–68, with a second printing in five volumes in 1768, totalling 1,387 pages. It came to light in Lisbon with “royal privilege” by Miguel Manescal da Costa (dates unknown), printer of the Holy Office, without any licence, since the government was already in control of censorship. The subtitle makes its purpose plain: Where it is shown that in every successive reign of the Portuguese monarchy, held since the government of King João III until our days, the horrible damages that the “Society” named “of Jesus” has done to Portugal and all of its domains because of a Plan and system it has followed since arriving in this kingdom, until it was outlawed, expelled by the just, wise and provident law of September 3, 1759. The work was attributed to José de Seabra da Silva (1732–1813), the chancellor of the House of Supplication and prosecutor for the crown.

The first part analyzes Portuguese history in the last two centuries to prove that the Jesuits were responsible for the decadence of the kingdom’s institutions. The second part enumerates the nefarious activities of the Jesuits at the heart of the church, which led it into decline: Where it is explained what has successively happened in the different periods of the church about the censorship, prohibition and printing of books: we show the intolerable damages that their abuse has done to the same church of God and to all the monarchies, to all sovereign states and to the public peace of the whole universe. It describes the Jesuit perversions that were undermining the church and reflects the attempt of the royalist ideology to revoke religious privileges. The final volume contains the “evidence,” encompassing assorted documents, allegedly taken from the kingdom archives.

Although Silva appears as author, in fact the book was conceived and directed by Pombal, probably with the collaboration, besides the nominal author, of Friar Manuel do Cenáculo (1724–1814) and Father António Pereira de Figueiredo (1725–97). This is supported by several witnesses: After being exiled overseas by Pombal, Silva confessed he was no more than a collaborator.36 Pombal is also identified as the author in a letter by Figueiredo, a close collaborator of Pombal, addressed to one of his Oratorian confreres in 1771,37 and Friar Cenáculo confirms the same  in his Diary. 38 If there were doubts left, we have the palaeographic proof of Pombal’s authorship, provided by the original manuscript, which contains his corrections and additions.39

There were two print runs of thousand copies of the Dedução cronológica in Portuguese, which entered in the market and were sent to the civilian and religious authorities of the kingdom and overseas territories. Internationally, various translations were made, paid for by the Portuguese government. We highlight the Latin translation made by Figueiredo.40 Of these, two Italian translations stand out, made with the purpose of appraising the Roman Curia of Pombal’s arguments.41 There were also French,42 German,43 and Spanish44 editions. But the most surprising thing was Pombal’s concern with promoting the translation of a summary in Chinese.45 Those responsible for the translations of Dedução cronológica presented this work as a model for the readers to be warned against the Jesuits.

This monument of anti-Jesuitical literature, which has been described as the work “peut-être le plus important de tous ceux qui ont été publiés contre la Compagnie de Jésus”46 cannot be taken out of the context of the tension that emerged during the 1760s between Portugal and the Roman Curia. This disagreement reached its peak with the publication of the briefs of Pope Clement XIII, thwarting Portuguese expectations. The Dedução cronológica was intended to legitimize, on the one hand, the expulsion of the order from Portugal, and, on the other hand, to present the reasons that had motivated this decision in order to justify its universal application.

The Dedução cronológica is, among the Pombaline anti-Jesuitical works, that which offers the most extensive and detailed explanation of the ideological aspects of the myth of the Society. Borges de Macedo wrote that “the Dedução cronológica launched an overt and officially partisan historiography that has continued to the present day.”47 The volumes reflect the theses about the foundations and practices of absolutism and royalism. This manual of anti-Jesuitism, where legal, canonical, and historical arguments are intertwined, is, above all, a political and ideological work48 that purports to reaffirm the supreme power of the king, which prevails not only over the church, but also over nobility. Only absolute monarchy could restore the dignity of the kingdom and create Enlightenment in Portugal, contrasting with a past that should be wiped clean. It is a work crafted to support official theses, bringing to the fore the conclusions best suited to the Kingdom idealized interests.

Besides the impact this work had in building the negative image of the Jesuits, its influence outlived its time. It marks a new cycle, an anti-reactionary, anti-obscurantist and anti-Scholastic cycle. It will establish a new historiography. In fact, anti-Jesuitism will thrive on the reverberations of the Dedução cronológica.

Compêndio histórico

Pombal sponsored and oversaw an essential work for the negative perception of the pedagogical activity of the Jesuits carried out from the University of Coimbra: Compêndio histórico do estado da universidade de Coimbra no tempo da invasão dos denominados jesuítas [Historical compendium of the state of the University of Coimbra in the time of the invasion of the so-called Jesuits], published in 1771.49 The educational paradigm that the Pombaline reform set out to replace is identified with Jesuit Scholasticism, which would had cast Portuguese letters and science into a darkness that should be countered by radical reform. This report analyses the causes of the decline of that university, held to be the source of education decadence at large.

The book, which was the first work of the Board of Literary Providence, which had been established by a royal charter in 1770, accuses the Society for bringing the University into disrepute. The five-hundred-page volume reports the “damages” and the “stratagems” that the Jesuits had dealt and orchestrated since their establishment in Portugal. The first part presents a diachronic analysis of the decadence of university education.50 In the second, the damages done to various subjects and courses are analysed. The historical-ideological scheme is the same as in the Dedução cronológica and its conclusions are identical, some passages being copied ipsis verbis. The Appendix lists the “atrocities” committed by the Jesuits.

Some of the most highly qualified members of this Board, directed by Pombal, participated in the creation of this report: Friar Manuel do Cenáculo (1724–1814),51 from the order of St. Francis, bishop of Beja and president of the Royal Censorship Bureau, Francisco de Lemos Pereira Coutinho (1735–1822), deputy of the Inquisition and rector of the University of Coimbra, and Judge José de Seabra da Silva. The author of Appendix was Pereira de Figueiredo, as he recalls this fact in a letter to Friar Manuel in 1774.52 The original title was Appendix to the second chapter of the second part to serve as a supplement to the text of damages and impediments for which the Society of Jesus was responsible and accumulated in order to corrupt and place obstacles, and the state of canonical and civil Jurisprudence with the introduction and propagation of the Ethics of Aristotle.53 This work, which circulated separately,54 is almost a copy of the booklet Assertions des jésuites, published in Paris.55 Figueiredo’s version was also published in Latin with royal patronage, but without author attribution.56 It consists of a collection of maxims expressing doctrines attributed to the malignant workings of Society priests. They are not quotations from Jesuit works, but a summary whose content is manipulated to smear the intellectual and scientific contributions of the Society teachers. Figueiredo’s Appendix is organized in twenty-two atrocities, adding to those in the French work others carried out in Portugal: for instance, the Society used the confession to convert professors and students to their “mundane, carnal and horrible” doctrines.

The teaching of the Jesuit masters had allegedly corrupted Christian morality. The ruin of the university had started in 1598, when new statutes, authored by the Jesuits, were published. The source was the opting for the ethics of Aristotle, a “pagan philosopher,” who had degraded university life. This statement reappeared in the new statutes, also drafted by the board57 and published just after the Compendium. Aristotle’s ethics are deemed “unworthy of Christian schools” and the Jesuits had intended to “corrupt the souls of the whole universe in order to dominate it.”58 Therefore, the Compendium, its Appendix and the Statutes constitute a whole that marks a new era in Portuguese higher education.59 These documents accuse the Jesuits of being responsible for university education until Pombal, and make them managers of this institution. However, the Jesuits were only in charge of the minor schools, in the College of Arts.

Regimento pombalino da inquisição

The Pombaline anti-Jesuitism model is also reflected in the Pombaline Regimento do Santo Ofício da Inquisição dos Reinos de Portugal (Statute of the Holy Office of the Portuguese kingdom), published in Lisbon in 1774. As part of the reform of the system of surveillance of religious and moral orthodoxy in Portugal, already started with the creation of the Royal Censorship Board, it intended to put into the hands of the State these powerful institutions.

The Statute was introduced by Cardinal Joao Cosme da Cunha (1715–83), the “archbishop of Évora, of the council of state and the cabinet of the king, ruler of justices and general inquisitor in these kingdoms and lordships of Portugal.” Its first book deals with “the ministers and officials of the Holy Office and of the things that are part of their competences”; the second legislates the “form and order of the judgements of those accused of crimes to be judged by the Holy Office,” and the third establishes a criminological typology and defines penalties. The edition is completed with the Royal Charter approving the new legislation, followed by its promulgation, corroborated by João Baptista de Araújo (dates unknown) and José Basílio da Gama (1740–95), to whom the authorship is attributed.60 In fact, the Statute was written under the aegis of Pombal61 by Basílio da Gama, author of the anti-Jesuit poem Uraguai. It is presented as necessary to cleanse the bad image of Portugal in Europe:  an obscurantist country subjugated by the Inquisition.

In the Statute, the Society is condemned for being responsible for the legislation and proceedings that made this court a symbol of terror. The Inquisition’s persecution was a Jesuit instrument to oppress the country. The new regulation would complete the Pombaline project to enlighten the kingdom and fight the “empire of darkness” perpetrated by the Jesuits. This work institutes one of the themes of the Jesuit myth: the close alliance between the Jesuits and the Inquisition for destroying national prestige.

IV. Analysis of Pombaline Anti-Jesuit Literature

Pieces of Pombaline literature are characterized by a style that, together with the hermeneutic model they establish, reappears in a number of texts. This style is verbose and monotonous, filled with metaphors and adjectives, all intended to contrast irreconcilable worlds: light and darkness, good and evil, sickness and health.62 The doctrine conveyed by this literature manicheistically separates a past to be wiped out from a future to be opened up. Produced in a context of escalating absolutism in Portugal, these books reflect the belief that the State is above any criticism. As structuring works in the creation of the Jesuit myth, they create not only a literary genre but also a system of interpretation of the social, political, cultural, religious and pedagogical reality, calling for an urgent reform, consisting in the opposite of Jesuitism. With two conflicting representations, the Jesuits were the main target of reforms instituted by the sovereign will of the monarch and his minister.

The Pombaline myth of the Jesuits is fleshed out in a dogmatic reading of the history of Portugal. It transposes to the history of the kingdom the nefarious activities of the Jesuits that started in Brazil. The secret project of world domination attributed to the Society is given a broader scope, beginning in its early days and growing until the time of the Enlightenment. The pursuit of this plan is presented as a negative epic as opposed to the positive epic that the Portugal had achieved up to the arrival of the Jesuits. The Relação abreviada was intended to denounce the advances of this Jesuit plan on a socio-political and economical level. The Erros ímpios aimed to reveal the basis of the theological and moral principles of the Society. The Dedução cronológica uncovers the concept of Jesuit conspiracy, applying it to the history of the kingdom and reinterpreting their long-term conspiratorial activities to explain Portuguese decline. Finally, the Compêndio and Regimento are intended to radically change two national institutions.

This historiology is based on a mythical vision of the past, where all evils are attributed to a single entity. In this construction, the term “machination,” which appears repeatedly, has a conspiratorial sense, connected to the destruction of social institutions. The discourse that frames this “exemplary history” is typical of the Enlightenment, dividing history in good and evil, through the dualism of light/darkness, progress/decadence, obscurantism/enlightenment, etc.63

The argument that structures this vision of the Portuguese history is explained at the beginning of the Dedução cronológica. Here we find a golden age that was flourishing when the first Jesuits arrived in Portugal. The incoming priests, in connivance with the interests of their group, triggered an age of decadence in Portugal. The Dedução cronológica characterizes these decadent activities in a damning tone. The Society’s activities are compared to a military campaign, with the purpose of ruining the Kingdom and subjecting it to the Jesuits rule. This analogy is clear from the use of terms such as “invasion,” “domination,” “subjugation,” “destruction,” “war without mercy,” “arms.” “Machination” gains the meaning of “war machine,” the idea that the order was a monstrous machine and its members were cogs, obeying the father general. Although the degeneration of the Society was placed in its inception, Pombal does not touch the sanctity of St. Ignatius, in order not to contradict the official judgement of the church. Thus, the beginning of the decadence of the Society is attributed to his successor, Diego Laínez (1512–65, in office 1558–65), of Jewish heritage, who was charged with the distortion of St. Ignatius’s project.

Jesuit activities are associated with the semantics of disease. The destruction of the “glorious body” of Portugal, worlds apart from the mythical epic of Portugal (on which patriotic historiography conferred the dignity of a kingdom elected by God), is attributed to the Jesuits educational work. Through their teaching, the Ignatian priests had destroyed every aspect of the kingdom. They also sought positions close to the kings and influential men in order to realize their plan, using deceit and intrigue.

This Jesuit anti-epic was inspired by their anti-Christian morality, guided by their ambition of world domination, for which Portugal was seen as a launching pad. Pombal appeared as the denouncer of this diabolical plan, methodically carried out by the conspiracy against legitimate authorities:

And all the main authors of the corrupted morals of the so-called Jesuits, manifesting what they speculatively and practically taught and executed at all times (by an uniform system that was followed for almost two hundred years) the abominable atrocities; of ruining everyone who stood in their way with slanders; of swearing false oaths and providing false counsel in their own interests; of arming the people against their rulers to destroy the public and reduce the world to a monarchomachy, where there is no supreme authority that can restrain them.64

In the early days of the reign of King José, the Society would had reached the peak of their destructive capabilities. It had met the conditions necessary to build the domination over the ruins of the Portuguese empire. But the determination of an enlightened king and his minister had stemmed the course of destruction. Among other malevolent actions in the early days of this reign, was the attempt on the king’s life in 1758. This attack was plotted by the order’s secret council, in an act of desperation. The king had started to “repair the damage” caused to the kingdom. This renovatio temporum was based on the most important theme of absolutist philosophy: the reinforcement of royal authority. The restoration of the kingdom has to be brought about through the concentration of powers, with a view to bringing back the golden age.

The inauguration of the statue of King José I in 1775, with the medallion showing his minister, was the apotheosis of the Pombaline government and its leader. The statue, symbol of Enlightenment, was erected in the centre of the Terreiro do Paço in Lisbon, raised from the ashes of the earthquake. As Lúcio d’Azevedo notes, “under the figure of the king was the deified minister.”65 This monument meant a new golden age. The monarch, mounted on a horse, was a symbolic eminence, and under his shadow, Pombal was the true mentor, fighting against the obstacles represented by the serpents that the royal horse is trampling. The bronze medallion of Pombal on the royal monument proclaims the authorship of the political reform celebrated here.

In the Observações secretíssimas de Pombal (The very secret observations of Pombal) addressed to the king in 1775, the minister praises his work, elaborating on the meaning of the inauguration.66 Pombal, attributing his work to the king,67 affirms the triumph of the age of reason against the age of darkness: the Enlightenment in Portugal was complete. With his government, Portugal re-achieved historical wholeness, having the reformation caused “the astonishment of all national and foreign nations.”68 He presents examples of progress: in economy, liberal arts, education, commerce, social harmony, and state authority. This laudatory discourse contrasted with the real difficulties. Indeed, many of the reforms were unable to overcome the economic crisis the plagued the last years of King José. However, Pombaline politics should be evaluated in the long term rather than in the short or medium terms: Pombal had undoubtedly the merit of breathing the new political trends of Europe into people’s minds.69

Both in the Dedução cronológica and Observações secretíssimas, Pombal presented national history in three ages: the golden age before the Jesuits, the iron age during their presence and the age of light created by him. King José’s minister built a mythical history where the past is reconstructed to accommodate his view. The concept of history which underlies this vision, clearly presented in the Dedução cronológica, is a courtroom history, where the conclusions are conditioned by ideology. It is on a dialectic discourse, opposing present and past that the cry to re-establish nationhood is modelled. The Jesuit myth is confronted with the Enlightenment myth.

The anti-Jesuitical culture and mentality began to spread. As an example, we point out the manuscript translation of an anonymous Italian work from 1800 entitled The Wandering Jesuit, or Letters from Father Afonso, Portuguese Jesuit, Addressed to the Father General of His Order in Rome. 70 It is a set of letters, attributed to a Portuguese Jesuit, which incriminates the Jesuits. The Portuguese translator declares “the strongest antipathy towards anything related to the clergy.” Here is the first move from anti-Jesuitism towards anticlericalism. The translator intends to say “a couple of words about this animal called Jesuit,” adding that they “were not unfit to be kept in a barn.” He emphasises that Ignatius created the order in a state of mental weakness, in order to demonize all of its subsequent actions. He adds that the Jesuits aimed only at the disseminating the Jesuit race. For the first time in Portugal, the Jesuits are considered a new race.

In short, the Jesuit myth constructed by Pombal was a product of his time. The suppression of the Society in Portugal and later worldwide has to do with a deep crisis in the power of the Catholic Church. At the height of the Age of Reason, ministers of Catholic monarchies made the pope sign the document officialising the extinction of the Jesuits. It was more than the extinction of one of the strongest orders of the church: it was the subjugation of the church to the states. As we have proposed on the beginning of this contribution, the extinction of the Jesuits represents, in fact, a redefinition of church–state relationship and the advance of secularisation.

(translation of the first part by Korshi Dorsoo)


1 The first part of the article was written by Pierre-Antoine Fabre, the second by José Eduardo Franco, in collaboration with Carlos Fiolhais.

2 I would like to refer to a number of recent publications to which I will later return in greater detail on its different aspects: Pierre-Antoine Fabre, “L’historiographie de l’ancienne Compagnie de Jésus au XIXe siècle,” in José Martínez Millán, ed., Los jesuitas: Religión, política y educación (siglos XVI–XVIII), 3 vols. (Madrid: Universidad Pontificia de Comillas, 2012), 1795–1810; Fabre, “La suppression de la Compagnie de Jésus (1773): Interprétations eschatologiques et hypothèses historiographiques,” in e-Spania, doi: 10.4000/e-spania.21458 (accessed October 28, 2018); “Il caso della Compagnia di Gesù tra fondazione e soppressione: Commento ai contributi di Fernanda Alfieri e Claudio Ferlan,” in P. Pombeni,  ed., La transizione come problema storiografico (Bologna: Il Mulino, 2013); “La Antigua Compañía americana en el imaginario de la Nueva: Apuntes para un bicentenario,” Silex (Lima: Universidad Montoya: 2014): 15–31 (republished in Juan Dejo, ed., Actas del simposio internacional “El imaginario jesuita en los reinos americanos (ss. XVI–XIX) (Lima: Universidad Antonio Ruiz de Montoya, 2016): 48–59; “De la Antigua a la nueva Compania de Jésus: Ramos para una herencia discursiva,” Historia y grafía 43 (2014): 77–102; “Abraham, lui, avait épargné Isaac: La suppression et le rétablissement de la Compagnie de Jésus (1773–1814),” Rivista di storia del cristianesimo 9, no. 2 (2015): 265–84.

3 It is on the basis of this observation that I was led to pay close attention to the history of the processes of beatification and canonization which, in the nineteenth century, form a kind of pathway for the writing of history, because the long duration of these procedures, most often begun in the seventeenth century, were resumed in the eighteenth century and completed in the nineteenth. See in particular Pierre-Antoine Fabre and Gérard Neveu, “La extensión continental del Restablecimiento: la vuelta de las causas de los santos jesuitas. Continuidad y rupturas de las narraciones hagiográficas,” in Fabre et al., eds., La Compañía de Jesús en América Latina después de la restauración (Mexico City: Ediciones de la Universidad Iberoamericana, 2014), 35–123.

4 On these points see the recent biography by Enrique García Hernán, Ignacio de Loyola (Madrid: Taurus, 2012) (translated into French and prefaced by Pierre-Antoine Fabre, Ignace de Loyola: Une biographie [Paris: Seuil, 2016]).

5 Jean-Pascal Gay has admirably demonstrated the importance of this moment in his Jesuit Civil Wars (Farnham: Ashgate, 2012).

6 I will only recall here his great work on O mito dos jesuítas em Portugal no Brasil: Séculos XVI–XX, 2 vols. (Lisbon: Gradiva, 2006–7).

7 The term “ripristinazione” means “re-establishment,” which emphasizes the principle of restitution to an identical state, in all the functions and privileges which existed prior to 1773, something that would be far from the actual case.

8 I am very grateful to David Armando, a specialist in the Italian revolutionary period, for having recently provided me with this archive, the complete study of which is a work in progress.

9 I recall that this oration, pronounced at Breslau in 1776—an extraordinary text, and published at the time in several languages—pushes to the extreme that which I have designated above as the conversion of the causes of the “catastrophe” into the signs that emanate from it, and thus the conversion of suppression into re-foundation.

10 Marina Caffiero, “La rhétorique symétrique, discours et stratégies d’autolégitimation des jésuites,” in Pierre-Antoine Fabre and Catherine Maire, eds., Les antijésuites (Rennes: PUR, 2009), 197–220.

11 See now on this subject Antonella Romano, Impressions de Chine (Paris: Fayard, 2016).

12 See, however, Antonella Romano Impressions de Chine, 261–88, and some suggestive indications of Eva María St. Clair Segurado, “El obispo Palafox y la cuestión de los ritos chinos en el proceso de extinción de la Compañía de Jesús,” Studia historica: Historia moderna 22 (2000): 145–70. On the Palafox dossier, see also José A. Ferrer Benimeli, El obispo Palafox y los jesuítas (Mexico City: UIA, 2013).

13 As Romano has demonstrated, the retroactive use of Palafox was facilitated by Palafox's own interpretation of the “Tartar Invasion” in his History of the Conquest of China by the Tartars: it substituted an idolatrous culture with one indifferent to the gods, which consequently offered virgin ground, more favorable to evangelization than that in which, according to him, the Jesuits had lost themselves. But Palafox—and those who later used him—dissolved the distinction upon which at least part of the Jesuit readings of the “Chinese religion” operated, between a natural religion and its idolatrous corruption.

14 The first re-use of Palafox came, however, in the posthumous publication of his History of the Conquest of China, in 1670.

15 See St. Clair Segurado, “El obispo Palafox y la cuestión de los ritos chinos.”

16 “Para los oponentes de la Compañía, la idolatría era un error capital del que adolecían sus misiones en China. En lo relativo a esta conducta de los jesuitas, sería Juan de Palafox y Mendoza una de las principales fuentes a la que recurrirían en el siglo XVIII los interesados en hundir a la Sociedad de Jesús. Evidencias de ello las encontramos en el fiscal Pedro Rodríguez de Campomanes y en los obispos españoles, que fundamentaron sus acusaciones de idolatría en la Inocenciana del prelado, por lo general copiando o parafraseando, principalmente, los puntos 138, 139 y 140.” St. Clair Segurado, “El obispo Palafox y la cuestión de los ritos chinos.”

17 I have addressed this conflict in two recent studies: “Reliques romaines au Mexique,” in Stéphane Baciocchi and Christophe Duhamelle, eds. Reliques romaines (Rome: École française de Rome, 2016), 575–93; and “Qu’est-ce que la postérité du Concile de Trente?: Le cas du ‘culte des images,’” in Michela Catto and Adriano Prosperi, eds. Trent and Beyond: The Council, Other Powers, Other Cultures (Turnhout: Brepols, 2016): 83–100. See also on this subject the works of Pierre Ragon and, older but pioneering, Marcel Bataillon's research on the Erasmian inheritance in Franciscan New Spain.

18 Jorge Borges de Macedo, “Vias de expressão da cultura e da sociedade portuguesa nos séculos XVII e XVIII,” suppl. Revista da Academia Internacional de Cultura Portuguesa (1968): 345–64; and Borges de Macedo, O Marquês de Pombal (1699–1782) (Lisbon: Biblioteca Nacional, 1982).

19 Lucian Boia, Pour une histoire de l’imaginaire (Paris: Les Belles Lettres, 1999), 192ff.

20 Michel Leroy, Le mythe jésuite: De Béranger à Michelet (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1992), 368–69; and Magali Souillard, Les jésuites en question: Écrits polémiques de 1815 à nos jours (Paris: Université de Paris X Nanterre, 1982).

21 E.g., Menéndez Pelayo called the government of Pombal the work of cannibals. See Gustavo Ramos, “A propósito das comemorações do 4.º centenário da extinta universidade de Évora,” Memórias da Academia das Ciências de Lisboa 45, no. 3 (1976): 212–34, here 215. Some saw the anti-Jesuit measures as a conspiracy against the church, given Pombal’s alleged Masonic membership, e.g.: A. Neves da Costa, Pombal: Mentira histórica, revisão e restituição de factos e de figuras (Lisbon, 1968). The Jesuit António Lopes tried to explain Pombal’s anti-Jesuit obsession in psychiatric terms: António Lopes, Enigma Pombal: Nova documentação; Tentativa de interpretação (Lisbon: Roma Editora, 2002).

22 See Joel Serrão, “Repensar Pombal,” in Pombal revisitado, 2 vols. (Lisbon: Estampa, 1984), 1:353.

23 Luís Reis Torgal, História e ideologia (Coimbra:  Minerva, 1989), 47.

24 Jorge Borges de Macedo draws attention to the need for historians to go beyond the tradition in which stories about Pombal were an extension of the Dedução Cronológica e Analítica: Na qual se manifesta pela successiva serie de cada hum dos Reynados da Monarchia Portuguesa, que decorrerão desde o governo do Senhor Rey D. João III até o presente, os horrorosos estragos, que a ‘Companhia’ denominada de ‘Jesus’ fez em Portugal, e todos seus Domínios por hum Plano, e systema por ella inalteravelmente seguido desde que entrou neste Reyno, até que delle foi proscripta, e expulsa pela justa, sabia, e providente Ley de 3 de Setembro de 1759, 3 vols. (Lisbon, 1767–68).

25 Manuel Antunes, “O Marquês de Pombal e os Jesuítas,” in Como interpretar Pombal?: No bicentenário da sua morte (Lisbon: Brotéria, 1983), 132.

26 Luís Filipe Barreto, “Utopia e heterotopia,” Brotéria 106 (1978): 275–79.

27 Gilbert Durand, Les structures anthropologiques de l'imaginaire: Introduction à l'archétypologie générale (Poitiers: Bordas, 1969), 417. See also Vilfredo Pareto and Giovanni Busino, Mythes et idéologies (Geneva: Droz, 1966).

28 More recent editions of this document came from Brazil: República jesuítica ultramarina (Porto Alegre: Martins Livreiro Editor, 1989) and Os jesuítas do Brasil, Paraguai e Uruguai segundo […]. Documento de 1757 (Bahia: n.d.). A transcription of Relação abreviada was presented in the appendix of the work by José Caeiro, História da expulsão da Companhia de Jesus da província de Portugal, 3 vols. (Lisbon: Verbo, 1991), 1:315–30.

29 Collecção dos negócios de Roma (Lisbon, Imprensa Nacional, 1874–75), 41ff.

30 Publicações do Ministro de D. José I, APPCJ, folder 615, n. 2. Besides a second edition made in Lisbon in 1758, other editions with slightly different titles were published, e.g., La République des Jésuites, ou le Paraguay renversé contenant une Relation authentique de la Guerre que ces Religieux ont osé soutenir contre les Monarques d'Espagne & de Portugal en Amerique […] (Amsterdam: Aux Dépens de la Cie, 1759); and Relazione breve della Republica che i religiosi gesuiti delle province di Portogallo… (Lisbon, 1757).

31 Francisco Mateos, Historia de la Compañía de Jesús en la Provincia de Paraguay, según los documentos originales del Archivo General de Índias (Madrid: V. Suárez, 1912–49).

32 Collecção dos negócios de Roma, part 1: 78.

33 Collecção dos negócios de Roma, part 1: 78.

34 The invectives from this booklet were translated and included in documents that sustained the international anti-Jesuit campaign, e,g.: Les jésuites criminels de leze majesté dans la théorie et dans la pratique (Amsterdam: Pour le bien public, 1760).

35 Relação abreviada appears in the first part of the Dedução cronológica, as proof LXI.

36 José Barbosa Figueiredo Castello-Branco, Estudos biographicos ou notícias das pessoas retratadas nos quadros históricos pertencentes à Biblioteca Nacional de Lisboa (Lisbon: F. A. da Silva, 1854), 313; and “Cópia do Aviso em que D. Maria I manda vir do degredo a José de Seabra da Sylva,” BNL, Secção de reservados, codex 10971.

37 Letter of April 24, 1771; Luís António Verney, Cartas aos Padres da Congregação do Oratório (Nova Goa: Imprensa Nacional, 1858), 15.

38 In 1768, Cenáculo wrote that Pombal had sent him the second part of “his” work, the Dedução cronológica. Cf. António Lopes, Vieira, o encoberto (Cascais: Principia, 1999), 24.

39 BNL, Colecção pombalina, codex 444–46. See illustration no. 4. The fact that Pombal had other works with similar titles and styles is another argument confirming this authorship: Dedução chronologica de algumas infracções dos Tratados de paz, praticados pelos ingleses. Cf. BNL, Secção de reservados, codex 13287.

40 Joseph de Seabra da Sylva, Deductio chronologica analytica... (Lisbon, 1771).

41 Joseph de Seabra da Sylva, Deduzione cronologica e analitica, in cui, per la successiva serie di tutti governi della Monarchia portoghese, decorsi dal Re D. Giovanni III tino al presente [...], 3 vols. (Lisbon, 1767). And a second edition made with excerpts together with the process incriminating the Jesuits in the attempted regicide. Seabra da Sylva, Prove, e confessioni autentiche, estratte dal Processo che dimonstrano la reità de’ gesuiti nell’attentato regicidio di S.M. Fedelissima D. Giuseppe II, re di Portogallo: E compendio di quanto è passato nel suo regno... (Venice, 1768).

42 Joseph de Seabra da Sylva,  Recueil chronologique et analytique de tout ce qu’a fait en Portugal la Société dite de Jésus, depuis son entrée dans ce royaume, en 1540, jusqu'à son expulsion en 1759, 3 vols. (Lisbon, 1769).

43 Joseph de Seabra da Sylva, Vorstellung der Umstände, in welchen sich die Portugiesische Monarchie befindet, seit die Gesellschaft Jesu aus Frankreich und Spanien verbannt ist (Wittenberg, 1770).

44  Joseph de Seabra da Sylva, Deducion chronologica y analitica…, trad. Joseph Maymó y Ribes, 3 vols. (Madrid, 1768).

45 Friar Juan Rodriguez made the Chinese translation. Cf. “Dedução chronologica vertida em Chinês,” in Archivo universal, 3rd series, no. 19 (May 1860): 322–23; cf. ANTT, Livros das Monções, no. 152, fol. 242.

46 Augustin Theiner, Histoire du Pontificat de Clément XIV: D’après des documents inédits des Archives Secrètes du Vatican (Paris: Firmin Didot, 1852), 1:94.

47 Jorge Borges de Macedo, “Marquês de Pombal,” in Dicionário de história de Portugal, ed. Joel Serrão, 7 vols., (Lisbon: Iniciativas Editoriais, 1968), 5:113.

48 José Sebastião da Silva Dias, Pombalismo e teoria política (Lisbon: Centro de História da Cultura da Universidade Nova de Lisboa, 1982), 10. We should add to Pombal’s works the Tentativa teológica by Pereira de Figueiredo, completing the set of Portuguese ultra-royalist treatises.

49 A luxurious first edition was printed in the Royal Typography Workshop in 1771, and in the following year there was a second printing in other format to facilitate distribution.

50 Ibid., 1–96.

51 This cleric explains, in his Diary, that they met at the home of the Marquis or Cardinal Cunha. Teófilo Braga transcribed this Diary in his História da Universidade de Coimbra, 3 vols. (Lisbon: Academia Real das Ciencias, 1892–1902), 3:398–414.

52 Cf. BPE, codex CXI/2–11, no. 1.

53 BPE, codex CXI/2–11, no. 1.

54 Doutrinas da Igreja sacrilegamente offendidas pelas atrocidades da moral jesuítica, que foram expostas no “Appendix” do Compendio Historico, e deduzidas pela mesma ordem numeral do referido ‘Appendix’, para servirem de correcção aos abomináveis erros, e execrandas impiedades daquella pretendida Moral, inventada pela Sociedade Jesuítica para a Conquista, e destruição de todos os Reinos, e Estados Soberanos (Lisbon: Regia Officina Typografica, 1772).

55 Cf. Recueil par ordre de dates, de tous les Arrêts du Parlement de Paris, déclarations, Edits, Lettres Patents du Roi, autres Pieces, concernant les ci-devant soi-disan Jésuites, 2 vols. (Paris: P. G. Simon, 1762).

56 Probationes appendicis breviario historico subjectae. A copy can be found in BPE, codex CXI/2–11, no. 1.

57 Estatutos da Universidade de Coimbra, compilados debaixo da imediata e suprema inspecção de El-Rei D. José I, Nosso Senhor para a restauração das Sciencias, e Artes Liberais nestes reinos, e todos os seus domínios ultimamente roborados por Sua Majestade na sua Lei de 28 de Agosto deste presente anno (Lisbon: Regia Officina Typografica, 1772), 107.

58 Estatutos da Universidade, 90. Figueiredo translated both the Compêndio histórico and the Estatutos into Latin with the goal of showing to Europe the Portuguese renovation.

59 Joaquim Ferreira Gomes, “A reforma pombalina da Universidade,” Revista portuguesa de pedagogia (1972): 25–63; and Ferreira Gomes, “Pombal e a reforma da universidade,” Brotéria 114 (1982): 536–52.

60 Raul Rego, O último regimento da Inquisição portuguesa (Lisbon: Excelsior 1971).

61 Pereira Caldas, Os regimentos da Inquisição em Portugal (Braga: Tipografia lusitana, 1877), 5; cf. Jácome Ratton, Recordações de Jacome Ratton: Sobre ocorrências do seu tempo, de maio de 1747 a setembro de 1810, 2nd ed. (Coimbra: Imprensa da Universidade, 1920).

62 Michel Leroy, “Mythe, religion et politique: La ‘légende noire’ des jésuites,” Lusitania sacra 12 (2000): 267–376.

63 See Pedro Calafate, “A filosofia da história,” in História do pensamento filosófico português: As Luzes, 5 vols. (Lisbon: Caminho, 2001), 3:23–44.

64 Calafate, “A filosofia da história,” vi–vii.

65 João Lúcio d’Azevedo, O Marquês de Pombal e a sua época (Rio de Janeiro: Annuario do Brasil, 1922), 320.

66 “Observações secretíssimas do Marquez de Pombal, Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo na ocasião da Inauguração da Estatua Equestre no dia 6 de Junho de 1775...,” in Cartas e outras obras selectas do Marquez de Pombal, 4th ed., 2 vols. (Lisbon, 1848), 1:15–39.

67 In this king panegyric, the era of prosperity is attributed to his merits. But Pombal knew that all criticism and praise by the country reforms were directed to him. His role can be read between the lines, due to his great efforts in denying it.  Cf. d’Azevedo, O Marquês de Pombal e a sua época, 321.

68 D’Azevedo, O Marquês de Pombal, 17.

69 Many of the Pombaline laws were innovative: the university reform, the nationalization of censorship, the limitation of the Inquisition, the abolition of slavery in the kingdom, the centralization of the Treasury, etc. The symbol of Pombaline policy was Lisbon’s reconstruction after the 1755 earthquake. Cf. Kenneth Maxwell, O Marquês de Pombal (Lisbon: Presença, 2001), 36ff., and Joaquim Veríssimo Serrão, O Marquês de Pombal, o homem, o diplomata e o estadista (Lisbon: Câmaras de Lisboa, Oeiras e Pombal, 1982), ch. 12.

70 “O jesuita errante ou cartas do padre Affonso, jesuíta portuguez ao geral da sua Ordem em Roma: com as respostas deste, sobre a conjuração de Lisboa, e seus cruéis efeitos..., Em Roma, 1800,” ACL, Manuscritos vermelhos, codex 854, fol. 20.

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