Today 247 years ago marked one of the most breathtaking, ruthless and efficiently organised moments in the Suppression of the Society of Jesus. Unlike other chief perseccutors of the Jesuits, Pombal in Portugal, the French Parlement, Charles faith, devotion and piety were above suspicion in Rome. This made him the prosecutor par excellence of the Jesuits. Easily swayed by key advisors who were rabidly anti-Jesuit, Tannuci and Aranda the King soon resolved to deal with Jesuit problem swiftly and decisively. A forged letter in which the Fr General Ricci questioned the Kings 'legitimacy' sparked a rage in the King that would never be calmed.
An far reaching inquiry had been set up into the Jesuits, a secret inquiry that could be carried out extensively in the land of the Inquisition. Within six months a huge file had been assembled and was submitted at the end of January to an Extraordinary Council. The decision to banish the Jesuits was made, and the precision and the secrecy of the plans to carry this out was remarkable. Only four men apart from the King knew of the plans including Aranda and Monino in Rome. All the orders to be dispatched at home and abroad were sealed in envelopes and instructions were sent that no envelope was to opened under pain of death until the evening of April 2, 1767. In a similar way a letter was sealed and sent to all governors. It is worth reading -
"I clothe you with my whole authority and royal power that you may make war, with a strong hand, against the Jesuit congregation. You are to seize all the religious and have them brought within twenty-four hours to the nearest port, where they will be embarked on specially commissioned vessels. On arresting them, you will affix seals to the house archives and the papers of individuals, not allowing any one of them to take anything with him but his prayer books and what clothing is strictly necessary for the journey. If, after this embarkment, a single Jesuit — even sick or dying — remains in your governmental department, you will be punished by death - So Orders the King of Spain"