Jesuit Expulsion in the New World

So as not to fatten up the page on Jesuit Mining activities, I will provide separate pages for historical facts and proofs of claims.

First, a quick background on what was going on with Spain in this time period:

Pope Benedict XIV, in 1741, issues a Papal Bull that effectively disowns the Order of Jesus. He dies in March of 1767, and is replaced by Pope Clement XIII, who will support the Jesuits.

King Charles III had taken the throne in 1760. He did not like the Inquisitions or Inquisitors. He supported a new movement called "The Enlightenment". The Jesuits supported the Inquisitions which were attacking the Enlightenment. In 1761, Charles exiles the Inquisitor-General (Quintano) from Madrid. Charles was surrounding himself with people who would help him drive out the Inquisitions. The Jesuits were said to be spreading rumors that Charles was illegitimate, and not fit to be King.

There had been much intrigue in Portugal in 1759. A group of nobles had attempted to assassinate the King, and when it all washed out, the Jesuits received the blame. This led to their expulsion from all of Portugal's Provinces.

Spain lost much in its' War with Britain in 1762. They lost most all of the Caribbean and Manilla in the Philippines (although they got some back in the treaty signed). Losing wars does not make a King popular. His Minister of Finance (Squillacci), was very unpopular. High prices on staples of living and other things led to a rebellion in 1766. The Jesuits were found to have been the instigators of the rebellion.

France had just expelled the Jesuits from all of her Provinces Worldwide, and now Charles (who had been receiving advice from a small group of people who despised the Jesuits), saw no recourse but to follow suit and expell the Jesuits from all of Spain's Provinces as well.

In Europe, it happened in 02 April 1767. All the Jesuits were rounded up just after midnight, and shipped to Corsica.

The Jesuit Expulsion in The New World happened quickly and quietly as well. As had been done in all of Spain's European Provinces, King Charles III sent letters to all the King's Representatives anywhere there were Jesuit Holdings. These letters gave no reasoning nor did they express any charges, they simply stated that at just after midnight on 25-26 June 1767, every Jesuit was to be arrested and marched to ports to be shipped to Europe.

One of the very few exceptions allowed, was to Father Joseph Och SJ. He was bedridden and could not be moved. He was allowed some time to to rest to be able to travel.

We know exactly how the expulsion happened, because many of the Jesuit Fathers kept diaries, and wrote all about exactly what happened. All of the Jesuit Holdings were now owned by the Spanish Crown. They were either sold off to the highest bidder or transferred to the Franciscans.

Here is the text of the Royal Decree of King Charles III that officially suppressed the Jesuit Order:

Having accepted the opinion of the members of my Royal Council in Extraordinary, which met on the 29th of last January for consultation concerning past occurrences and concerning matters which persons of the highest character have reported to me; moved by very grave causes relative to the obligation under which I find myself placed of maintaining my people in subordination, tranquility, and justice, and other urgent, just, and necessary reasons, which I reserve in my royal mind; making use of the supreme economical authority, which the Almighty has placed in my hands for the protection of my vassals, and the respect of my crown; I have ordered that the Jesuits be expelled from all my dominions of Spain, the Indies, and Philippine Islands, and other adjacent regions, priests as well as coadjutors or lay-brothers, who may have made the first profession, and the novices, who may wish to follow them; and that all the properties of the Society in my dominions be taken; and for the uniform execution of this decree throughout these dominions I give you full and exclusive authority; and that you may form the necessary instructions and orders, according to your best judgment, and what you may think the most effective, expeditious, and peaceful method for carrying out these instructions and orders. And I wish that not only the magistrates and superior tribunals of these kingdoms may execute your mandates punctually, but that the same understanding may be entertained concerning those which you may direct to the viceroys, presidents, audiencias, governors, corregidores, alcaldes mayores, and any other magistrates of those kingdoms and provinces; and that in response to their respective requests, all troops, militia or civilian, shall render the necessary assistance, without any delay or evasion, under pain of the delinquent's falling under my royal indignation; and I charge the provincials, presidents, rectors, and other superiors of the Society of Jesus to accept these provisions punctually, and in carrying them out the Jesuits shall be treated with the greatest regard, attention, honesty, and assistance, so that in every respect the action taken may be in conformity with my sovereign intentions. You will keep this in mind for its exact fulfillment, as I very confidently expect from your zeal, activity, and love of my royal service; and to this end you will give the necessary orders and instructions, accompanying them with copies of my royal decree, which being signed by you shall be given the same faith and credit as the original.

The King also sent a letter to Pope Clement XIII, explaining his actions (although this letter was meant to be opened AFTER the roundup had happened):

Most Holy Father, your Holiness knows well that the first duty of a Sovereign is to guard the security and tranquility of his state and the well-being and peace of his subjects. In the fulfilment of this duty I have found myself in the urgent necessity of promptly expelling from my kingdom and its dominions the Jesuits who have been residents within them, and of sending them to the States of the Church, where they may be under the wise and holy direction of your Holiness, the worthy Father and Teacher of all the Faithful. I should be actingwithout due regard for the Apostolic Camara if I were to oblige it to burden itself with the maintenance of those Jesuits who were my born subjects, but I have made provision so that each may have a sufficient subsistence as long as he lives. I trust that your Holiness may take this my determination simply for what it is, namely, an indespensable administrative decree, made after previous inquiry and deep reflection; and that whilst doing me this justice you will not hesitate to send me, as I supplicate you, your Holy and Apostolic Blessing, both on this and all others of my actions which are similarly directed to the greater honour and glory of God.

The Pope replied in a several page letter describing how disappointed he was in the King's Actions.

If you noticed in the original decree of expulsion, there were no specific charges levied against the Jesuits, and that Charles explained that the charges he held in his breast. He did send some letters to some key trusted people in which he explained his reasoning. None of the letters exist now, but some of the people who received them have written about them.

One is the Marquis d'Ossun. He was given a private audience with King Charles III, and he wrote of that audience:

He swore that he had no personal feelings against the Jesuits, and until the most recent plot, had declined on several occasions to adopt counsels adverse to their interests. He had in this way disregarded the warnings of faithful servants, who had told him how, since 1759 the Religious had not ceased to revile his Government, defame his character, and even to question the sincerity of his religious faith; and had replied (to these faithful servants) that he believed them to be predjudiced and misinformed. The insurrection of 1766 had, however, openeed his eyes, for he was certain that the Jesuits had fomented it, and had proofs that it was so, since several members of the Society had been arrested while distributing money to groups (of rioters)...............................

There, you have the Suppression of the Jesuits.

Was mining involved? Due to many writings I will provide on another page, yes. But Jesuit Mining and stealing from the Crown were hardly enough for King Charles III to suppress an entire Religious Society all over the world. It was just another nail in the coffin of the Order of Men in the Company of Jesus (Jesuits). Were all the charges levied against the Jesuits factual and true? We will never know with 100% certainty. We do know that there were many people surrounding King Charles III that despised the Jesuits, and were not above trumping up charges to get them in hot water.