The Jesuits and Papal Murders
Popes were murdered in office on many occasions, and for various reasons – usually by poisoning – prior to the sixteenth century when the Jesuit Order came into being. But once the Jesuits rose to become the dominant power within the Roman Catholic institution, they also became the predominant murderers of popes who stood in their way. As their power and sinister influence over the papal European nations grew, they became so hated and feared by Papists themselves that there were loud calls for their suppression and abolition. And at one time or another they were expelled from virtually every Papist nation in Europe. But they always returned.
Calls for the suppression of the Jesuits came from powerful Papist kings, who even threatened the pope of Rome himself if he did not act. Finally, Clement XIII, pope of Rome from 1758 to 1769, capitulated and agreed to act against them. He made a proclamation announcing the suppression of the entire Jesuit Order. But before the document was made public, Clement was suddenly seized by a mysterious illness as he was going to bed, cried out, “I am dying”, and expired in great agony, experiencing convulsions. Rumours swirled that he had been poisoned; and the document disappeared before it was made public.
He was succeeded as pope by Clement XIV. He actually took the extraordinary step of writing a papal bull abolishing the Jesuit Order in 1773 – and he even had the Jesuit general imprisoned! But he knew that in taking this step he had forfeited his life. “Clement XIV knew very well that, by signing [the Jesuits’] death warrant, he was signing his own as well: ‘This suppression is done at last’, he exclaimed, ‘and I am not sorry about it… but this suppression will kill me.’” As he signed it, he was heard to whisper, “I am lost.” And after issuing it he tried to withdraw it, so greatly did he fear what would happen to him; but the Spanish ambassador had already dispatched it to Madrid, so it was too late. A few days after it was published, “posters started to appear on the palace’s walls which invariably displayed these five letters: I.S.S.S.V., and everyone wondered what it meant. Clement understood immediately and boldly declared: ‘It means “In Settembre, Sara Sede Vacante”, (In September, the See will be vacant – that the pope will be dead).’” He fell into what was described as “a singular state of agonizing prostration”, and died a very painful death. It was believed that he had been poisoned by the Jesuits, and there is no reason to doubt this and every reason to believe it. His body decomposed so swiftly that his face could not be shown to the public, and his funeral was hastened and conducted without the usual rites.
“Here is another testimony: ‘Pope Ganganelli [Clement XIV] did not survive long after the Jesuits’ suppression’, said Scipion de Ricci. ‘The account of his illness and death, sent to the Court of Madrid by the Minister for Spain in Rome, proved that he had been poisoned; as far as we know, no inquiry was held concerning this event by the cardinals, nor the new pontiff.’”
“We can positively affirm that, on the 22nd September 1774, Pope Clement XIV died of poisoning.”
But let it not be assumed for one moment that such murders are a thing of the past! Let us come to very modern times. There is every reason to believe that Pius XI was murdered in office. And there is solid evidence that John Paul I was murdered in 1978. Were the Jesuits involved? They were certainly not the only ones who had reasons to want modern popes dead, but there is every reason to believe they played an important role as well.
And then there was all the intrigue around, and the attempted murder of, John Paul II (1978-2005). This Polish pope, Karol Wojtyla, was anti-Soviet Marxism, but pro-Roman Catholic Marxism; in other words, he supported a brand of Marxism controlled from the Vatican, not Moscow. He was also a pro-Washington pope. In Latin America the Jesuits were up to their dog-collared necks in promoting the radical Catholic-Communist teaching known as liberation theology. John Paul II was not against liberation theology, but his American backers – namely, the Reagan Administration – wanted him to put the brakes on the Jesuits’ violent and bloodthirsty liberation theology activities in Latin America, because their huge support for Marxist revolutions on that continent was a threat to Washington’s own interests and plans. So John Paul II told the Jesuits to curtail their revolutionary activities there. This the Jesuits refused to do. Pedro Arrupe, the Jesuit general at the time, met with the pope in early 1981, but no common ground could be reached because Arrupe was supportive of the old alliance between the Vatican and Moscow, whereas John Paul II supported the new alliance between the Vatican and Washington. John Paul II then took the unprecedented step of ordering the Jesuit general to “retire”. This was a huge risk to take, and John Paul must have known it. Popes had tried to rein in, and even suppress, the Jesuits before, and had paid with their lives; would John Paul succeed?