Today, 245 years ago, acting under orders of the King of France, Louis XV, the French Ambassador, Aubeterre, presented to Pope Clement XIII a summary demand for the total suppression of the Society. He found the Pope unbending. Louis XV had already given a royal order that the Jesuits could only remain in France if they elected a French Vicar General who would be independent of the General in Rome. When they didn't comply he had expelled them from France
This is important in our journey of understanding the Suppression and the Restoration of the Society of Jesus. It indicates the immense pressure that Clement XIII persistently resisted on behalf of the Jesuits. It also led to the issue of the survival of the Jesuits to become the key issue for the conclave to elect his successor. Clement XIII was to be succeeded to by Clement XIV who eventually gave way to such pressure and would promulgate the brief that supressed the Societty. Four years before Clement XIII had warmly espoused the Jesuit order in a papal bull Apostolicum pascendi, published on 7 January 1765, which dismissed criticisms of the Jesuits as calumnies and praised the order's usefulness; it was largely ignored by the Bourbon monarchs: by 1768 the Jesuits had been expelled from France, the Two Sicilies and Parma.
History tends to judge the reign of Louis XV in a very harsh way. Most scholars believe Louis XV's decisions damaged the power of France, weakened the treasury, discredited the absolute monarchy, and made it more vulnerable to distrust and destruction. Such a long reign of nearly 60 years - is often portrayed as a period of stagnation which weakened the monarchy and aristocracy and lead to the French Revolution, which broke out 15 years after his death. 'The Terror' which followed the revolution, a period of infighting between the Girondins and the Jacobins, and marked by mass executions of "enemies of the revolution" led to the political conditions and a chastened House of Bourbon which allowed the restoration of the Jesuits.