Secret Instructions of the Jesuits - Diego Laynez

Chapter III:
Attracting Those with Authority

In what manner the society must act with those who have great authority in the state: and how others, although not rich, can nevertheless aid us in various ways.

I. Besides all the before mentioned principles, which will be proportionally applicable here, we must secure the favor of these persons against our adversaries.

II. Let their authority, wisdom, and prudence, be used for the acquisition of property, and various offices, will be really enjoyed by us; and even let their names, where they are perfectly confidential, be quietly, and with great secrecy, used to augment our temporal wealth.

III. They are to be employed in soothing and restraining meaner men, and common people, opposed to the society.

IV. From bishops, prelates, and other superior ecclesiastics, according to the diversity of our occasions, and their disposition towards us, those things must be obtained which shall be needful to us.

V. In some places it will be sufficient to procure prelates and curates to do what they can, that those under their direction should reverence the society. And that they themselves, will not impede our ministeries. In others, where they can do more, as Germany, Poland, etc., they are to be most profoundly honored, that by their influence and that of rulers, we may obtain the control of monasteries, parishes, priories, patronages, foundation of masses, and religious places. And we can very readily accomplish these things in places where Catholics are intermixed with heretics and schismatics. It must be shown to these prelates, that immense advantage and merit will arise from such changes, which could not be expected from priests, seculars or monks. If they will do what we desire, their zeal is to be openly applauded and the memory of the action made perpetual.

VI. For this purpose, exertion should be used, that such prelates should resort to our confessions and counsels, and if they have any hope, or ambition for higher honors, from the Roman See, they are to be favored by every exertion and effort of our influential friends, concentrated from every quarter, upon this object.

VII. We should be watchful of bishops and rulers, when they found colleges or parochial churches that the society may have the power of appointing the vicars who have the care of souls; and that one superior of that place, for the time being, be appointed curate; and so the whole government of that church will be ours, and all the parishioners become so subject to the society, that we can obtain any thing from them.

VIII. Whenever the principals of academies oppose us, or the Catholic or heretical citizens hinder our foundations, we must manage the prelates that the principal pulpits may be occupied by us: for it will thus occur that the society will some time at least, have a suitable occasion to explain their necessities and wants.

IX. The prelates of the Church must be greatly caressed when any thing is to be done respecting the beatification and canonization of any of our members, and then by all means, letters should be procured from great men and rulers, by which the business may be forwarded at the Papal See.

X. If it should happen that prelates or noblemen obtain legations, it should be diligently guarded and prevented, that they should not employ any religious orders who oppose us, lest they might communicate disaffection to them, and they spread it into the provinces and states in which we reside. And if legates of this kind, should pass through those provinces and states where the society has colleges, let them be received with great honor and affection, treated with all the distinction consistent with religious decorum.