German Version

September 27th 1540 - 'Regimini Militantis Ecclesiae'

At the end of March 1539 the companions, who had their lodging then in the Piazza Frangipani, began their consultations with prayer. The point in question was whether they wanted to remain together in a religious order or not. In the middle of April they were in agreement: Yes, we want to remain together, and to make the vow of obedience to a head that has to be chosen. On May 3rd they summarized the results in eleven short chapters and until June 24th also all other questions were clarified: such rather peripheral things like choir prayer, clothes, penitential exercises, studies, finances. Also the name 'Society of Jesus' was laid down. At the end of June Ignatius compiled the 'Summa Instituti', the prime document of the Constitutions of the Order.

Cardinal Gasparo Contarini presented the document to Pope Paul III. Contarini was Venetian and belonged to the most illustrious minds in Italy at that time. Paul III had called him, to the astonishment of everybody, from the layman position into the highest senate of the church. His deeply religious nature was convinced that the church needed a reform.

The Pope let the document examine by the scholarly Dominican Tommaso Badia (1483-1547). Badia belonged to the circle of reformers around Contarini. On September 3rd Paul III gave gladly his verbal confirmation in the Papal Palace of Tivoli.

It came nevertheless now to great difficulties and curial fights because of the upsetting novelties in that design of an order. Above all the Cardinals Ghinucci and Guidiccioni raised canonistic objections. They belonged to a conservative group, which strove for reconciliation between the reformers and the tradition of the church. Guidiccioni rejected new orders generally. There were already much too many. He wanted to limit them to four.

Ignatius moved heaven and earth, promised 3000 Masses, and requested expert opinions of high personalities, e.g. of the Duke of Ferrara, the King of Portugal, and some cities in Italy. Cardinal Rodolfo Pio Carpi supported the Society of Jesus. He had been Nuncio in France, and was now Bishop von Faenza. He was and remained for his whole life an understanding friend of the Society of Jesus. He helped the young Order in multiple way very much. His mansion at the Monte Cavallo (Quirinal) was for Ignatius a valuable foothold.

Finally, after more than one year, the Papal Bull 'Regimini Militantis Ecclesiae' was executed in the Palace San Marco. The Society of Jesus was established.


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Link to 'Public Con-Spiracy for the Poor'