Page:Vactican as a World Power.djvu/296

This page needs to be proofread.


Propaganda needed a diplomat as much as it did a pulpit orator. Charlemagne had cleared a path for the Church with the sword. The Popes of the Counter-reformation made use of the advance-guard of their diplomats and agents at the Courts. The Nuncios began their well-planned but soon hated activities, and the confessors of Catholic princes and political leaders whispered and acted behind the scenes. All the arts of sail-trimming were employed in order to get across the sea, regardless of whether the wind was favourable or whether there was merely a breeze. Now the spirit of Loyola had its great oppor- tunity and its age of glory. "The Janissaries of the Holy Father" were also the most imperturbable agents of Curial policy during the era of the Counter-reformation, No matter what they may have failed to accomplish or what they may have ruined, the fact remains that when one regards their work from a sufficient distance one sees that they played in a tragic drama. For the sake of what was holy they involved themselves so deeply in what was unholy that scandals were bound to come . . . and woe to those by whom scandal comes! Georges Goyau says that the Jesuits smoothed off certain corners on the Catholic edifice without removing a single stone. By way o making concessions they often gladly sacrificed the relative to the absolute; and when tempted by the hope of success, they also stressed the relative to the point of sacrificing the absolute. They were the most glowing defenders of Roman doctrine, and yet they were some- rimes to enkindle in wholly candid minds a feeling of tension, even of hatred, towards Rome, One does not know them all, the Jesuits, if one holds the same view either good or evil of them all. French disciples of Loyola flattered their kings by declaring that a monarch had no master above him on earth save God. But though Suarez did not proclaim tyrannicide legitimate as did his fellow Jesuit Mariana, he nevertheless terrified the parliament of Paris by opposing to the absolutistic theory of James I of England the teaching that sovereignty is conferred by society and that revolution is lawful when directed against princes who disregard either the contractual agreement between the sovereign and his people or the laws of natural reason. As a buffer state between king and Pope, the Order of St. Ignatius could not escape meeting the natural fate of such states. We shall see how this was visited upon the Jesuits.