Monday, May 1, 2017

Roman Catholic orders. . . so now you know

If you are like me, it is easy to be confused by the orders that divide monasteries and convents.  We who live on the outside of Roman Catholicism might assume that they are all pretty much the same.  Maybe not.  Anyway, here is some information to inform us as to the founders and orders they founded.


Jason said...

What? Martin Luther not listed as a notable saint of the Augustinians? ;)

Jason Kiefer

John Joseph Flanagan said...

Some of them are or were very good, but others among this group were formed to further the Countereformation and implement the Inquisitions, torturing non conforming Christians before having them burned at the stake. One may attempt to whitewash the past, or overlook sin, but the past is really not so easily dismissed.

Anonymous said...

Some founding dates would have been useful information.


James Kellerman said...

"Others among this group were formed to further the Counter-Reformation and implement the Inquisitions," etc. Which ones? The only orders listed here founded at the time of the Reformation or thereafter are the Jesuits, the Salesians, and the Missionaries of Charity. The Missionaries of Charity devote themselves to the care of the poor, as we all know; it was founded by Mother Theresa long after Roman Catholicism stopped trying to stamp out Protestantism by force. The Salesians started out as a 19th century outreach to Italian youths. Today they are known mostly for their attempt to prove that Roman Catholics too can write as sappy booklets as "Guideposts" does for Protestants.

The only order in the list that was founded to oppose the Reformation was the Jesuits. But the Jesuits were not inquisitors. They aped Lutherans as much as possible (such as encouraging frequent communion and mimicking a Lutheran approach to education) to win over Lutheran converts on the premise of "If you can't join them, beat them (at their own game)." The pre-19th century Jesuits also had a reputation for trickery and flexible ethics. "Jesuit casuistry" came to be a byword for justifying regicide, among other things. To what degree that reputation is justified is another question.