Bull for the reestablishment of the Jesuit order
Bull of Pope Pius VII for the reestablishment of the Jesuits
Given at Rome August 7, 1814.
"Bull for the Re-establishment of the Order of the
"Pius, Bishop, Servant of the servants of God (ad perpetuam rei memoriam).
" The care of all the Churches confided to our humility by the Divine will, notwithstanding the lowness of our deserts and abilities, makes it our duty to employ all the aids in our power, and which are furnished to us by the mercy of Divine Providence, in order that we may be able, as far as the changes of times and places will allow, to relieve the spiritual wants of the Catholic world, without any distinction of people and nations.
"Wishing to fulfil this duty of our apostolic ministry, as soon as Francis Karew (then living) and other secular priests, resident for many years in the vast empire of Russia, and who had been members of the Company of Jesus, suppressed by Clement XIV., of happy memory, had supplicated our permission to unite in a body, for the purpose of being able to apply themselves more easily, in conformity with their institutions, to the instruction of youth in religion and good morals, to devote themselves to preaching, to confession, and to the administration of the other sacraments, we felt it our duty the more willingly to comply with their prayer, inasmuch as the reigning emperor, Paul I., had recommended the said priests, in his gracious despatch, dated 11th August 1800, in which, after setting forth his special regard for them, he declared to us that it would be agreeable to him to see the Company of Jesus established in his empire under our authority; and we, on our side, considering attentively the great advantage which these vast regions might thence derive, considering how useful those ecclesiastics, whose morals and learning were equally tried, would be to the Catholic religion, thought fit to second the wish of so great and beneficent a prince.
"In consequence, by our brief, dated 7th March 1801, we granted to the said Francis Karew, and his colleagues, residing in Russia, or who should repair thither from other countries, power to form themselves into a body or congregation of the Company of Jesus; they are at liberty to unite in one or more houses, to be pointed out by their superior, provided these houses are situated within the Russian empire. We named the said Francis Karew General of the said congregation; we authorised them to resume and follow the rule of St Ignatius of Loyola, approved and confirmed by the Constitutions of Paul III., our predecessor, of happy memory, in order that the companions, in a religious union, might freely engage in the instruction of youth in religion and good letters, direct seminaries and colleges, and, with the consent of the ordinary, confess, preach the Word of God, and administer the sacraments. By the same brief, we received the congregation of the Company of Jesus under our immediate protection and dependence, reserving to ourselves and our successors the prescription of everything that might appear to us proper to consolidate, to defend it, and to purge it from the abuses and corruptions that might be therein introduced; and for this purpose we expressly abrogated such apostolical constitutions, statutes, privileges, and indulgences, granted in contradiction to these concessions, especially the apostolic letters of Clement XIV., our predecessor, which begun with the words Dominus ac Redemptor Noster, only in so far as they are contrary to our brief, beginning Catholicae and which was given only for the Russian empire.
"A short time after we had ordained the restoration of the order of Jesuits in Russia, we thought it our duty to grant the same favour to the kingdom of Sicily, on the warm request of our dear son in Jesus Christ, King Ferdinand, who begged that the Company of Jesus might be re-established in his kingdom and states as it was in Russia, from a conviction that, in these deplorable times, the Jesuits were instructors most capable of forming youth to Christian piety and the fear of God, which is the beginning of wisdom, and to instruct them in science and letters. The duty of our pastoral charge leading us to second the pious wishes of these illustrious monarchs, and having only in view the glory of God and the salvation of souls, we, by our brief, beginning Per alias, and dated the 30th July 1804, extended to the kingdom of the Two Sicilies the same concessions we had made for the Russian empire.
"The Catholic world demands with unanimous voice the re-establishment of the Company of Jesus. We daily receive to this effect the most pressing petitions from our venerable brethren, the archbishops and bishops, and the most distinguished persons, especially since the abundant fruits which this Company has produced in the above countries have been generally known. The dispersion even of the stones of the sanctuary in these recent calamities (which it is better now to deplore than to repeat), the annihilation of the discipline of the regular orders (the glory and support of religion and the Catholic Church, to the restoration of which all our thoughts and cares are at present directed), require that we should accede to a wish so just and general.
"We should deem
ourselves guilty of a great crime towards God, if, amidst these dangers
of the Christian republic, we neglected the aids which the special providence
of God has put at our disposal, and if, placed in the bark of Peter,
tossed and assailed by continual storms, we refused to employ THE VIGOROUS
"In fine, we recommend strongly in the Lord, the Company and all its members to our dear sons in Jesus Christ, the illustrious and noble princes and lords temporal, as well as to our venerable brothers the archbishops and bishops, and to all those who are placed in authority; we exhort, we conjure them, not only not to suffer that these religious be in any way molested, but to watch that they be treated with all due kindness and charity.
"We ordain, that the present letters be inviolably observed according to their form and tenor, in all time coming; that they enjoy their full and entire effect; that they shall never be submitted to the judgment or revision of any judge, with whatever power he may be clothed; declaring null and of no effect any encroachment on the present regulations, either knowingly or from ignorance; and this notwithstanding any apostolical constitutions and ordinances, especially the brief of Clement XIV. of happy memory, beginning with the words Dominus ac Redemptor Noster, issued under the seal of the fisherman, on the 22d day of July 1773 which we expressly abrogate as far as contrary to the present order.
"It is also our will that the same credit be paid to copies, whether in manuscript or printed, of our present brief, as to the original itself, provided they have the signature of some notary public, and the seal of some ecclesiastical dignitary; that no one be permitted to infringe, or by an audacious temerity to oppose, any part of this ordinance; and that, should any one take upon him to attempt it, let him know that he will thereby incur the indignation of Almighty God, and of the holy apostles Peter and Paul.
Given at Rome, at
Sancta Maria Major,
Nicolini, G.B. History of the Jesuits: Their Origin, Progress, Doctrines and Designs. George Bell & Co., London & New York, 1893.