11 April 2017

Father Zed, Eamon Duffy, and the Jesuits

Fr Zed, archiblogopoios, has, this morning, at the head of his blog, very jolly pictures of Pope Clement XIV ... including a medal presumably struck under that Pontiff . On the reverse, it shows our Lord dismissing the Jesuits with the words Nunquam novi vos: discedite a me omnes. But I can't read what it says in the exergue. Can anybody help? Father changes his heading every day, so you may need to be quick.

Eamon Duffy's splendid new book of essays has a sparkling piece on the internecine war in the English Recusant community between the secular clergy and Jesuits (they seem to have hated each other distinctly more than they hated the common enemy, the Protestants). Apparently, the seculars referred to the Jesuits as "the Walkers".

Presumably an insulting term ... but what does it actually mean? Could it have been the usage of the Catholic Squirearchy, who may have preferred to have a nice comfortable amenable resident Chaplain, while the J's tended to move around being spectacular and leaving other people to clear up after them?

I am happy to be sent witty explanations, but I would also like to know the real reason!

15 comments:

tradgardmastare said...

Six for the six proud walkers from Green grow the rushes.
Perhaps the Jesuits were seen to be filled with pride in their own importance?

Benjamin Ekman said...

Here's a link to images and transcriptions of the medal in question, I think: http://www.csun.edu/~hcfll004/Clem14.html

1569 Rising said...

Now now, Father. Don't you think the Jesuits have much to be proud about, especially in the field of Education. They did, after all, educate Robert Mugabe, and made a fine job of that!

Mike Sheil said...

From the link above provided by Benjamin – "Artaud is surely correct as to the style, and he draws attention to the inability to discover the reverse legend in Psalm 117. 23. He does not find the quotation at all, but it does appear in the gospel of Matthew 7. 23: et tunc confitebor illis quia numquam novi vos discedite a me qui operamini iniquitatem. The papal mint is unlikely to have made such an egregious error."
Palm 117:23 from the Douay translation – 'This was done by our Lord; and it is marvelous in our eyes.'
Hardly an error; seems very apposite to me.

Sean W. said...

Benjamin found the same source I did, per which it says, in exergue:

"EXAVG • SOC • IESV • MEMOR • | MDCCLXXIII | PS • C.XVII. 23"

Pastor in Monte said...

Gyrovagues, as in the Rule of St Benedict?

AEDG1 said...

I must mention the dissertation at Columbia by a now deceased priest, very close to me, on this topic: Fr. Robert Ignatius Bradley, SJ; "Blacklo: an essay in Counter-Reform." For those interested in the topic even beyond Duffy's essay, which I have not been able to read, (and most probably only those in the U.S.) I suggest using interlibrary loan to access to dissertation.

Steve Perisho said...

According to the OED, "Walker" did mean, in the 16th century, "itinerant beggar," "vagrant". Somebody should search Early English Books Online.

English Ex-Pat said...

Well I for one am mildly surprised by the rejection of the Jesuits by English recusants because I was recently reading the history of Catholic survival in Lancashire where the Jesuits were particularly active until their suppression. During their suppression they continued their labours but were eventually asked by the regional bishop with responsibility for northern England to transfer the church of St. Mary's in Liverpool to the Benedictines. It would be the Benedictines that then spread Catholicism throughout the city and surrounding area but the early congregants at St. Mary's opposed the arrival of the Benedictines and held fast to the Jesuits. There was a kind of lay trusteeism at work. Eventually the bishop managed to calm down the situation but it took more than 50 years (according to Burke's Catholic History of Liverpool published in 1910 - which, despite the title, deals extensively with the history of the North West which was almost entirely in the hands of the Jesuits). Lest it be objected that Liverpool's Catholicism was heavily Irish - this part of the history precedes the large influxes which would take place later. Hence the English Catholics resented the Benedictines and supported the Jesuits - in this case at least.

Mike Hurcum said...

Be fair you guys. There were certainly a long line of Jesuits that crossed the channel during Elizabeth's reign. Read the Jesuits I cannot find the book somewhere on my shelves. A very good history. One o the best priestly writers in the US today is Fr James Schall SJ look him up on the internet. It may have slipped many of your minds that Jesus respected the pharisees for what they were and sat hard on those of his time. St Mary's on the Quay in Bristol, Fr Lawrence Creehan parish priest was always good to me and in the late 50's under the choir master Fr Duggan we packed the Church at High Mass. Even the Vienna Boys Choir came to sing with us. we sang Palestrina. Mozart etc. A huge no. of the place names on the moon are named for Jesuits. Many English martyrs in the middle ages are Jesuits. Newton had a funny Italian Gent visiting him and helped him with his Physics. He was a Jesuit priest. Quinine was Jesuit introduction to the west. The Jesuit book on natural medicines is responsible for so many drugs that cure us. The catholic Truth Society of Farm St taught so many children of my age the catholic faith. The Farm st Jesuits one in particular was very responsible for many of the conversions of Catholic Writers and artists who coined a saying it is either Fr(??) or suicide. Don't believe me read "Literary Conversions" Fr Schall has a donkey as a pet I wonder if he calls it Francis.

Rose Marie said...

Today's Jesuits, as exemplified by their Superior General, are often a plague, although there are still good Jesuits who have been made to suffer greatly. We shouldn't confuse this situation, centered on doctrinal issues, with the arguments in the 18th century, which where mostly about political and economic conflicts, often driven by monarchs influenced by Enlightenment anti-Catholicism and eager to sieze the very considerable Jesuit assets. The suppression of the Jesuits was much like the suppression of the Templars and the dissolution of the English monasteries. It would be an act of historical sleight-of-hand to celebrate Pope Clement's suppression as we might a similar papal decree today.

Anyway, it's not going to happen in this pontificate.

John Vasc said...

Mike H - Yes: 'were', was', 'had' and 'did'.

It's the present tense that's infinitely more problematic. Fr Schall (who has recently written a courteous but forensically probing critique of AL) is an honourable and noteworthy exception to an otherwise rather grimly predictable rule.

Athelstane said...

Even the 18th century Jesuits were not without their theological difficulties.

I am brought to mind of one of my favorite passages from Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin series. In the Reverse of the Medal, Jack Aubrey is gnawed by the fear that his recently discovered illegitimate son has gotten mixed up with the wrong element. That is to say: The Jesuits. His Papist friend Stephen Maturin reassures him.

Jack: "You remember the Gordon riots, and all the tales about the Jesuits being behind the King’s madness and many other things. By the way, Stephen, those Fathers were not Jesuits, I suppose? I did not like to ask straight out."

Stephen Maturin: ‘Of course not, Jack. They were suppressed long ago. Clement XIV put them down in the seventies, and a very good day’s work he did. Sure, they have been trying to creep back on one legalistic pretext or another and I dare say they will soon make a sad nuisance of themselves again, turning out atheists from the schools by the score; but these gentlemen had nothing to do with them, near or far.’

Plus ├ža change.

Mike Sheil said...

--Psalm 117:23 from the Douay translation – 'This was done by our Lord; and it is marvelous in our eyes.'
Hardly an error; seems very apposite to me.--
The citation is apposite because is is directly under a depiction of our Lord Himself, not Pope Clement, expelling/dismissing the Jesuits.
Whether or not the suppression of the Jesuits was right in the 18th century is beside the point I was trying to make.
For what it's worth though, I spent eight years being educated in Jesuits schools. When Jesuits are good, they are very good, and I met a small number of them during those eight years.

Arthur L. Gallagher said...

We must not confuse today's Jesuits with those of penal times. The old secular clergy, who came out of the culture of Catholic England, with its own devotional practices, its own rites of mass, its own saints, and sacramentals, such as the holy bread and holy water made each Sunday (not to be confused with the Sacrament)were bound to be uncomfortable with the militant, specially trained, Romanizing warriors of the faith that the jesuits then were. Chalk and cheese.