Wednesday, 18 December 2013


A continual source of disturbance in Switzerland arises from the supremacy of the Jesuits in certain of the cantons, and their incessant attempts to procure influence in all. These bold, restless, and unscrupulous emissaries of Rome effected a settlement in Switzerland about the end of the sixteenth century, not without great difficulty, and in the face of much opposition from the people. Since then, their history in this country has much resembled their history in most other parts of Europe where they have had settlements. It has verified the almost prophetic declaration of the third general of their order, Francis of Borgia,—"We shall insinuate ourselves like lambs, and govern like wolves, men shall drive us out like dogs, but like the eagle we shall renew our youth." Under the most plausible disguises, and by the most unscrupulous means, they have effected an entrance into districts which seemed the most firmly barred against them; and wherever they have entered they have laboriously pursued their career of intolerance and self-aggrandisement. Again and again has the popular indignation burst out against them, and driven them from the country, and as often as they have been expelled they have returned to attempt new aggressions upon human liberty, and perpetrate new audacities against the dearest rights of the people. Their principal seat of power is Freyburg, where they have a college, and where they reign with unquestioned supremacy. In Soleure, Schwietz, and Haut Valais, they also exist in considerable strength. From Freyburg, as their centre, they send forth missionaries, whose duty it is to perambulate the whole country, and by all means in their power to promote the objects of the party. What these objects are they do not conceal. The entire extirpation of Protestantism the complete triumph of Ultra-montanism in the Catholic Church, the overthrow of political liberty, and the appropriation by their order of the entire work of education : these are the objects to which the Jesuits of Switzerland are devoting their energies. In 1843 a great association was formed under Jesuit influence, which took the name of "The Catholic League" (Katholisches Bund). This was instituted after the Reaction party, as the Jesuit adherents are called, had sustained a defeat in the Diet, upon the question of permitting monasteries and nunneries to be re-established in Switzerland. No sooner was his decision given, than a meeting was called of the cantons of Lucerne, Uri, Schweitz.Unterwalden, Zog, and Freyburg, at Lucerne, and there,on the 13th September, 1843, was originated this Catholic association. So strong was the feeling pervading its members, that it was even proposed they should make a repeal of the Helvetic confederacy their war-cry, or, at any rate, seek the separation of the associated cantons from the rest. From this league, as a centre, has proceeded all the reactionary effort which, of late years, has kept Switzerland in a perpetual ferment. The great objects proposed by the Catholic League, as in the first instance to be secured, were the following :—1. The establishment of a bishopric in St. Gall, in the hope of bringing that canton entirely under ultramontane influence; 2. The overthrow and annihilation of the liberal party in Valais; and 3. The accomplishment of an old project, the recall of the Jesuits into Lucerne—a project which the League held to be, of all the rest, the most important. In a country where so much intelligence and love of liberty exists among the people, as is the case in Switzerland, it is not to be supposed that schemes like these could be carried on without provoking much opposition, and leading to much popular excitement. Accordingly, wherever the Jesuits and the Catholic League have attempted to carry out their projects, the consequence has been civil commotion, and in some cases civil war. They have thrown St. Gall, heretofore one of the most quiet cantons, into fierce contention; in Valais and Lucerne they have been the sole causes of the late insurrections and bloodshed ; and even in some of the Protestant cantons they have not remotely led to much of the disorder of which these cantons have been the scene. It is impossible to observe the workings of this mischievous body in Switzerland without fully assenting to the following remarks of a Swiss writer: "The Jesuits are the enemies of Switzerland, because they hate and would obliterate Swiss feeling and Swiss nationality. They are the enemies of Switzerland, because they detest and aim at overthrowing our freedom. They are the enemies of Switzerland, because wherever they are they try to appropriate the civil power, to abrogate free institutions, and to degrade the Swiss people into the condition of slaves under a priestocracy —Alexander's Switzerland.

 Geelong Advertiser and Squatters' Advocate 23 March 1847,

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