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JESUITICA: The price of a Jesuit

penaldays_03Three hundred years ago, with Penal Laws at their stiffest in Ireland, the bishop of Kerry recorded the scale of rewards for priest-hunters. It was: £30 for a simple priest; £40 for a Vicar-General; £50 for a bishop; and £50 for a Jesuit. This inflated price reflected the Protestant ascendancy’s exaggerated fear of Jesuits, because of the Society’s  international network. An Irish Jesuit superior acting through his General could even nudge the English into moderating the treatment of Catholics in Ireland, and that was seen as a threat by the minority government in Dublin. Pictured here is a Mass rock from penal days.