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|Society of Jesus|
|Formation||15 August 1534|
|Type||Catholic religious order|
Church of the Gesu,|
|Superior General||Adolfo Nicolás|
|Key people||Ignatius of Loyola — founder|
The Monita Secreta, also known as the "Secret Instructions of the Jesuits" was published (1612 and 1614) in Kraków, and is alternately alleged to have been written by either Claudio Acquaviva, the fifth general of the society, or by Jerome Zahorowski. The document appears to lay down the methods to be adopted for the acquisition of greater power and influence for the order and for the Roman Catholic Church. Sympathizers for the Society of Jesus argue that the Secreta were merely fabricated to give the Jesuits a sinister reputation; it has become widely considered a forgery by Zahorowski.
Henry Garnet, one of the leading English Jesuits, was hanged for misprision of treason because of his involvement in the Gunpowder Plot. The plan had been an attempt to kill King James I of England and VI of Scotland, his family, and most of the Protestant aristocracy in a single attack by blowing up the Houses of Parliament in 1605; another Jesuit, Oswald Tesimond, managed to escape arrest for involvement in the same plot.
Jesuit Robert Southwell was arrested while visiting the house of Richard Bellamy, who lived near Harrow and was under suspicion on account of his connection with Jerome Bellamy, who had been executed for sharing in Anthony Babington's plot. He was hanged for treason.'
John Ballard (also Jesuit) was executed for being involved in an attempt to assassinate Queen Elizabeth I of England. The same fate struck Edmund Campion, a Jesuit priest unjustly sentenced to death as a traitor.'
They have also been accused of using casuistry to obtain justifications for the unjustifiable (See: formulary controversy; Blaise Pascals' Lettres Provinciales). In English, according to the Concise Oxford Dictionary, "Jesuitical" has acquired a secondary meaning of "equivocating". The Jesuits have also been targeted by many anti-Catholics like Jack Chick, Avro Manhattan, Alberto Rivera (who claimed to be a former Jesuit himself), and the late former Jesuit priest, Fr. Malachi Martin.'
Within the Catholic Church, some Jesuits are criticized by some parties for allegedly being overly liberal and allegedly deviating substantially from official Church teaching and papal directives, especially on such issues as abortion, priestly celibacy, homosexuality, and liberation theology.
However, the last two Popes have appointed Jesuits to notable positions within the Church. For instance, John Paul II appointed Roberto Tucci, S.J., to the College of Cardinals, after serving for many years as the chief organizer of papal trips and public events. In all, John Paul II and Benedict XVI have appointed 10 Jesuit Cardinals. Benedict XVI has appointed several Jesuits to positions of prominence in his curia, such as Archbishop Luis Ladaria Ferrer, S.J. as Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and Rev. Federico Lombardi, S.J., Vatican Press Secretary.