By Joseph McCabe
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Extra info for A Candid History of the Jesuits
One who aspires to enter the Society passes two years of trial as a “ novice,” then takes “ simple ” (or dissolvable) vows and becomes a “ scholastic ” (student). In the other monastic bodies, which now have simple vows, the aspirant takes his “ solemn ” (or indissoluble) vows three years afterwards, before he becomes a priest. The peculiarity of the Jesuits is that they defer the taking of the “ solemn ” vows for a considerable number of years, and they thus have a large body of priests who are not rigidly bound to the Society and cannot hold important office in it.
46 THE JESUITS In this genial atmosphere the Society flourished. Its chief college was at Coimbra, the great university centre, where the Jesuits rapidly ran their course. At first they shocked staid Catholics with the excesses of their zeal. A youth in the college confessed to temptations of the flesh, and was ordered to walk the streets at mid-day without a hat or a cloak, holding a skull in his hand. Another student went forth almost naked in a cold wind, begging from door to door; and, finding a crowd of folk dancing and singing in a church, he mounted the pulpit to admonish them, and was dragged out and severely chastised.
Here and there, however, some scandal was so widely known in their day, and so eagerly pressed by their opponents, that it were wiser to put a bold gloss upon it than to ignore it, and thus we of the later date can just discern the human form under the thick veil of panegyric. It becomes more and more apparent after the death of Ignatius. Father Sacchini, who takes up the pen laid down by Orlandini, is just as loyal to his order, but it becomes more frequently necessary to excuse and explain, and at times he candidly censures.
A Candid History of the Jesuits by Joseph McCabe