Saturday, May 31, 2003

Interesting paragraph...
from "A Popular History of the Catholic Church" by Philip Hughes ( 1947)

" A more hidden force than this militant company (ed. the Jesuits), and one just as vital to the ultimate success of Trent and all that Trent stood for, was the influence of the Florentine priest St. Philip Neri (1515-1595), who for forty years, from his obscure room in Rome, directed the salvation of the great world of the Curia. To his work, the personal direction of innumerable souls, as much as to the violence of Paul IV, is due the final banishment of sinful life from those high places. The terrible pope cast out devils, and in the clearance St. Philip Neri worked, simply, unostentatiously, jestingly almost, building a new type of spiritually minded clerical official, a new race, whence were to come nuncios, cardinals, legates and popes. In the work of the Roman Oratory, which St. Philip founded, the best of the old humanist tradition was preserved, and a refuge provided for such religious spirits as the forbidding Theatines failed to attract, or the barrack square efficiency of the great Spanish company. "


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