Okay, so one makes jokes about how terrible the Jesuits are. Did I tell you (this is an anecdote, not a joke) about my friend who was looking at orders a couple of years ago and spent Easter with the Jesuits somewhere in England? They had massage on Good Friday. He joined the Capuchins. But then you get priests like the late Fr Senespleda, who are devout, hard-working and kind. I am finding it hard to believe, but it must all have been a front!

Yes, kind readers, you, like me,  thought the terribliness of the Jesuits stemmed partly from a dubious voluntarism in their spirituality and partly from trauma caused by seeing how terrible the situtation of the poor in South America is. However, it now seems clear to me that this must have been a giant camuoflage  (?sp.?) exercise, to make them more establishment-friendly. I have, thanks to the good offices of the European Institute of Protestant Studies, read the terrible oath sworn when “a Jesuit of the minor rank [elsewhere in the text described as “the postulant”] is to be elevated to command”. Here’s the bloodiest bit:

I do further promise and declare that I will, when opportunity presents, make and wage relentless war, secretly and openly, against all heretics, Protestants and Masons, as I am directed to do, to extirpate them from the face of the whole earth; and that I will spare neither age, sex nor condition, and that will hang, burn, waste, boil, flay, strangle, and bury alive these infamous heretics; rip up the stomachs and wombs of their women, and crush their infants’ heads against the walls in order to annihilate their execrable race. That when the same cannot be done openly I will secretly use the poisonous cup, the strangulation cord, the steel of the poniard, or the leaden bullet, regardless of the honour, rank, dignity or authority of the persons, whatever may be their condition in life, either public or private, as I at any time may be directed so to do by any agents of the Pope or Superior of the Brotherhood of the Holy Father of the Society of Jesus. In confirmation of which I hereby dedicate my life, soul, and all corporal powers, and with the dagger which I now receive I will subscribe my name written in my blood in testimony thereof; and should I prove false, or weaken in my determination, may my brethren and fellow soldiers of the militia of the Pope cut off my hands and feet and my throat from ear to ear, my belly be opened and sulphur burned therein with all the punishment that can be inflicted upon me on earth, and my soul shall be tortured by demons in eternal hell forever.

I do hope the Rev. Paisley is blissfully ignorant of the crap being published under his name (did you notice the Institute’s domain name?). Otherwise he’s fallen rather in my estimation.