Login Register

All times are UTC - 5 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic Page 1 of 1   [ 18 posts ]   
Author Message
 Post subject: Can a priest be a member of more than one religious order?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:58 pm 
Offline
King of Cool

Joined: Sun May 11, 2003 1:30 pm
Posts: 75375
Religion: Anticukite Catholic
I am reading, again, the D'Artagnan Romances by Alexander Dumas, the series that begins with the celebrated novel The Three Musketeers, and I'm reading the final book in the series 'The Vicomte de Braggelone' which is such a ludicrously long book (roughly 3000 pages in print) that it is usually split into 3 volumes.

Among the many absurd things that happens in course of the series is that Aramis, one of the original 'three musketeers' from the title of the first novel, becomes a priest (or as the French say 'an abbe'), then a bishop and finally he becomes the superior general of the entire Jesuit order when he becomes the hand-picked successor of the previous superior general (whom Aramis secretly poisons to ensure that he gets the job), and the previous superior general is a Franciscan.

That the superior general of the entire Jesuit would be a Franciscan monk who is also somehow a Jesuit (or as Dumas calls him 'an 11 year Jesuit' which means that he is 'privy to all of the order's secrets'). Dumas indulges in all the most insane anti-Jesuit conspiracy theories in the series, I for one am of the opinion that the real main villain of the entire series is the musketeer Aramis, who is a total hypocrite who pretends to be holy, and claims to be 'studying theology' when he is actually pursuing romantic entanglements with multiple married women. Over the course of the series, betrays all of his friends causes the death of one of them and ends up being the only character to survive the carnage of the denouement of his plan to replace the king of France, Louis XIV, with his twin brother Philip, who is locked in the Bastille (the so-called 'Man in the Iron Mask', even though in Dumas' telling of the story, Philip doesn't wear the iron mask until the very end of the tale).

I am not sure I would call the series anti-religious, but it is definitely anti-clerical and particularly anti-Jesuit. On the other hand, given the time period in French history in which the story takes place, namely 1625-1661, it absolutely was true that there was a great deal of worldliness and corruption within the French clergy, and to the extent that Aramis' behavior reflects reality it could be defended by saying that 'truth is the best defense'.

Except, of course, for the elaborate Jesuit conspiracies, there never was any truth to that notion.

There are all sorts of absurdities that abound in this book, such as the idea that superior general of the Jesuit appoints his own successor, when in fact the superior general is elected by the entire membership of the order, and the idea that is 'levels' of membership similar to the Freemasons, so that only those at the tippy top are aware of all of the conspiracies that the Society is involved in, to the idea that the Jesuits are openly plotting the assassination of the Pope (something which Aramis promises to do as a condition of his appointment, but surely the most absurd thing is the idea that one can be both a Franciscan and a Jesuit.

Or is that really all that absurd? Is that even possible? Could someone be both a Franciscan and a Jesuit?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Can a priest be a member of more than one religious orde
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2018 10:09 pm 
Offline
Jedi Master
Jedi Master
User avatar

Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2002 9:55 am
Posts: 78009
Location: 1.5532386636 radians
Religion: Catholic
Church Affiliations: 4th Degree KofC
Not at the same time. It's possible (though not easy) to switch orders.

_________________
Nos autem in nomine Domini Dei nostri

Need something to read?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Can a priest be a member of more than one religious orde
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2018 10:48 pm 
Offline
King of Cool

Joined: Sun May 11, 2003 1:30 pm
Posts: 75375
Religion: Anticukite Catholic
Well, in the novel, the unnamed monk is dressed as a Franciscan, and everyone thinks he is a Franciscan until he conveys through a secret code of hand signals (yes, Dumas seemed to think that Jesuits were just like the Freemasons a century later :roll: ) to only a handful of compatriots who are also Jesuits disguised as someone else, that he too is a member of the order. So he definitely is both simultaneously.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Can a priest be a member of more than one religious orde
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 7:46 am 
Offline
Criminally Insane Cucumber
Criminally Insane Cucumber
User avatar

Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 2:20 pm
Posts: 32629
Location: The countertop
Religion: The True One
Church Affiliations: OblSB
I believe all Jesuit assassins are also members of Opus Dei. Does that count?

_________________
Image
The Medal of St. Benedict

Suscipe me secundum eloquium tuum, et vivam: et non confundas me ab exspectatione mea.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Can a priest be a member of more than one religious orde
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 12:50 pm 
Offline
There Can Be Only One
User avatar

Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 10:44 pm
Posts: 12089
Location: Nuevo Mexico
Religion: Catholic
Only if they are albino. Or not.

_________________
Where’er the Catholic sun doth shine,
There’s music and laughter and good red wine.
At least I’ve always found it so.
Benedicamus Domino!
~Hilaire Belloc

Semper Fi!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Can a priest be a member of more than one religious orde
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2018 12:48 pm 
Offline
Some Poor Bibliophile
User avatar

Joined: Thu Feb 20, 2003 10:22 pm
Posts: 18617
I must say that the OP impresses me tremendously.

_________________
"I tell you naught for your comfort,
Yea, naught for your desire,
Save that the sky grows darker yet
And the sea rises higher."


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Can a priest be a member of more than one religious orde
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2018 3:10 pm 
Offline
King of Cool

Joined: Sun May 11, 2003 1:30 pm
Posts: 75375
Religion: Anticukite Catholic
GKC wrote:
I must say that the OP impresses me tremendously.


Does it? Oh my. Have you never encountered before the theory that Aramis is the real villain of the series? I assume that you're familiar with the storyline beyond the first novel.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Can a priest be a member of more than one religious orde
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2018 4:10 pm 
Offline
Some Poor Bibliophile
User avatar

Joined: Thu Feb 20, 2003 10:22 pm
Posts: 18617
Doom wrote:
GKC wrote:
I must say that the OP impresses me tremendously.


Does it? Oh my. Have you never encountered before the theory that Aramis is the real villain of the series? I assume that you're familiar with the storyline beyond the first novel.


Only through the 2nd, and possibly MAN IN THE IRON MASK, published separately. Nor any of the other, later titles, by divers hands. Nor do I recall Aramis as the real villain. But I read Dumas in the 6th grade. I recall more of the version of Wyss' SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON I read than the Musketeers.

_________________
"I tell you naught for your comfort,
Yea, naught for your desire,
Save that the sky grows darker yet
And the sea rises higher."


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Can a priest be a member of more than one religious orde
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2018 4:47 pm 
Offline
King of Cool

Joined: Sun May 11, 2003 1:30 pm
Posts: 75375
Religion: Anticukite Catholic
GKC wrote:

Only through the 2nd, and possibly MAN IN THE IRON MASK, published separately. Nor any of the other, later titles, by divers hands. Nor do I recall Aramis as the real villain. But I read Dumas in the 6th grade. I recall more of the version of Wyss' SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON than the Musketeers.


Well, the series is technically a trilogy

The Three Musketeers
Twenty Years After
The Vicomte de Braggelone

Braggelone is technically only one book, but it is so ludicrously long, approximately 1/3 longer than the first two novels combined, around 3000 pages when printed in a single volume, that it is usually split into three volumes:

The Vicomte de Braggelone
Louise de La Valliere
The Man in the Iron Mask

So, retroactively, it has become a kind of inadvertent pentalogy

Many readers, many, don't seem to be aware that Dumas never wrote a book titled 'The Man in the Iron Mask', that this is a title created long after Dumas death by later editors. And so what many people do is they jump directly from 'The Three Musketeers' to 'The Man in the Iron Mask', and thus miss most of the story.

Anyway, in the first novel, it is subtle, but upon re-reading it, it becomes clear that D'Artagnan doesn't really like and doesn't trust Aramis, although Athos and Porthos do. This is because the other two musketeers take everything Aramis says at face value, whereas D'Artagnan doesn't. Aramis is constantly making references to theology and to his desire to be ordained as a priest, and he makes comments that make it seem like he is really, deeply religious.

There is a scene in 'The Three Musketeers' which completely deflates this, however, where Aramis tells the other musketeers that he is going 'to study theology', and D'Artagnan, suspicious that this was really what he was going to do, follows him and sees that Aramis was actually making a romantic rendezvous with a married woman. This scene shows that Aramis is a liar and that nothing he says can be believed.

The conflict between D'Artagnan and Aramis comes to a head in the second novel, when they are actively working at cross purposes, with D'Artagnan working for Cardinal Mazarin in France, who is allied with Oliver Cromwell, while Aramis is in England working for Charles I, they eventually reconcile and all four musketeers try (and fail obviously) to save Charles I from execution

The relationship between Aramis and D'Artagnan comes to a head in 'The Vicomte de Braggelone' where they are open enemies, even while pretending to be friends. D'Artagnan is loyal to Louis XIV, while Aramis concocts a plot to overthrow the king and replace him with his twin brother Philip who is locked in the Bastille. Aramis' reason for doing this is because he wants a king who will be totally loyal to himself and who will hire Aramis as his prime minister, and thus Aramis will become a kind of power behind the throne. Movie adaptations tend to sanitize Aramis' motives, for example, by portraying Louis as an out of control lunatic and Aramis wanting to rid the country of a tyrant, but that isn't his motive in the book, in the book his motives are much more sinister, he is simply seeking power for its own sake, his ultimate goal is to get Philip to help elect him Pope.

Anyway, Aramis plan goes awry and Louis wants to arrest him and Porthos, whom Aramis has roped into his plans without telling him just what his final plan was. During the final confrontation, Porthos is killed, and later both Athos and D'Artagnan die, and Aramis is the only one alive at the end of the series, and the final scene reveals that he is now in Spain, serving as an ambassador to the French court, who have succeeded in getting him made a Cardinal. So, the ending is very depressing, because Aramis, the least honest and least honorable of the original four, is not only the only one who survives but ends up prospering despite the fact that it was his duplicity and betrayal led directly to all the tragic events of the ending, and led directly to the death of Porthos.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Can a priest be a member of more than one religious orde
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2018 4:57 pm 
Offline
King of Cool

Joined: Sun May 11, 2003 1:30 pm
Posts: 75375
Religion: Anticukite Catholic
The series is one of my favorites, what I love about it is the history. Dumas did excellent historical research, and almost everything that happens fits into real history pretty well. It is actually so well researched that it becomes difficult to figure out which characters are real historical characters and which ones are fictional that Dumas invented.

I just love the idea that when Charles I was beheaded, that there was a secret trap door under the platform with Athos in it ready to spring it at the last second to prevent Charles' execution, as Dumas presents it. This is just one of many real historical events that Dumas puts his own unique 'twist' on to fit his characters into.

And the 'man in the iron mask' was a real person (although there is no evidence that he was a secret twin brother of Louis XIV of course), in fact, all four of the Musketeers are loosely based on real men who served in the king's Musketeers during the reign of Louis XIV.

The more research I do of this time period in French history, the more impressed I am with the quality of Dumas' research, when reading about this era, I often read something that makes me smile and say to myself 'so, Dumas was right about this point too!'


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Can a priest be a member of more than one religious orde
PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:35 am 
Offline
Some Poor Bibliophile
User avatar

Joined: Thu Feb 20, 2003 10:22 pm
Posts: 18617
Doom wrote:
The series is one of my favorites, what I love about it is the history. Dumas did excellent historical research, and almost everything that happens fits into real history pretty well. It is actually so well researched that it becomes difficult to figure out which characters are real historical characters and which ones are fictional that Dumas invented.

I just love the idea that when Charles I was beheaded, that there was a secret trap door under the platform with Athos in it ready to spring it at the last second to prevent Charles' execution, as Dumas presents it. This is just one of many real historical events that Dumas puts his own unique 'twist' on to fit his characters into.

And the 'man in the iron mask' was a real person (although there is no evidence that he was a secret twin brother of Louis XIV of course), in fact, all four of the Musketeers are loosely based on real men who served in the king's Musketeers during the reign of Louis XIV.

The more research I do of this time period in French history, the more impressed I am with the quality of Dumas' research, when reading about this era, I often read something that makes me smile and say to myself 'so, Dumas was right about this point too!'


If that period of French history were a favorite of mine, I'd be into the Musketeers, too. OTOH, something like Eric Flint's (et alia) RING OF FIRE series does cover the 17th century European (and beyond) world. And I'm pleased when it touches on historical points I am familiar with, worked into an alternate historical time-line.

So many books, so little storage space. And time. I never thought time would be as big a limiting factor as storage space.

_________________
"I tell you naught for your comfort,
Yea, naught for your desire,
Save that the sky grows darker yet
And the sea rises higher."


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Can a priest be a member of more than one religious orde
PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:21 am 
Offline
King of Cool

Joined: Sun May 11, 2003 1:30 pm
Posts: 75375
Religion: Anticukite Catholic
For me, it's the other way around. I'm fascinated with this period in French history BECAUSE of my fascination with this series by Alexandre Dumas. It is reading this series that made me interested in this period in French history, because whenever I read a work of historical fiction, I always wonder 'how much of this is actually true?' and I want to find out.

As for why I ever became fascinated with the Musketeers in the first place, I attribute that to director Richard Lester, who in the early 1970's who produced what I regard as the best dramatization of the first novel in the series ever made in his two movie series 1973's 'The Three Musketeers' and it's second part 1974's 'The Four Musketeers', starring Raquel Welch, Charlton Heston, Christopher Lee, Michael Finley, Oliver Reed, Richard Chamberlain and Faye Dunaway. I don't remember exactly when I first saw this movie, but I do know that it had a huge impact on me, I loved all the sword fights, the dueling, and the swashbuckling, and I remember that for months afterward, any kind of long rod or whatnot immediately became a sword and my brother and I would run through the house sword fighting and trying to imitate the scenes in the movie. I imagine my mother came to regret ever letting us see it. I remember that I had kind of redacted kid's editions of 'The Three Musketeers' and 'The Man in the Iron Mask' that I read and re-read 1,000 times, I remember being confused by 'The Man in the Iron Mask' because even though I recognized that it featured the same characters, I didn't understand the connection between the two stories. As soon as I was old enough to read the real 'Three Musketeers' novel by Alexandre Dumas, I did.

As far as it goes, some of the historical characters of the era are interesting in their own right. Cardinal Richelieu is one of the most important and influential figures in European history. Henry Kissinger, in his book 'Diplomacy', in which he expresses his own theory of diplomacy and foreign relations and to do so begins by recounting the history of diplomacy in western civilization in the modern era, calls Richelieu the greatest statesman in European history and credits him with inventing the concept of the modern nation state. Of course, once you read Kissinger's account of Richelieu's diplomacy, it becomes completely clear why Kissinger idolizes him, because Richelieu practiced exactly the same kind of cynical, amoral realpolitik that Kissinger himself is famous for, and often criticized for. So I would probably be interested in Richelieu regardless of my interest in the Musketeers.

The other historical figure I am interested in from this era is Cardinal Mazarin, because he figures prominently in '20 Years After' and the first 1/3 of 'The Vicomte de Braggelone' but there is virtually no information available about him in English. One of these days, I'm going to have to just break down and buy one of the numerous French biographies about him and try to translate it into English, but that is a project for another day.

What I would really love to do is produce a kind annotated Musketeers, similar to the kind of annotated books that Martin Gardner used to make, which would breakdown all of the historical references and explain which parts were real and which were made up and how all the events of the novels fit into real history. But that's such a huge project I'll probably never have time for it.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Can a priest be a member of more than one religious orde
PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:02 am 
Offline
Prodigal Son of Thunder
Prodigal Son of Thunder
User avatar

Joined: Mon Dec 23, 2002 10:54 am
Posts: 39671
Location: Ithilien
Religion: Dunedain Catholic
Church Affiliations: AWC, CSB, UIGSE-FSE (FNE)
Doom wrote:
Or is that really all that absurd? Is that even possible? Could someone be both a Franciscan and a Jesuit?

Is "monk" your word, or is someone actually described as a "Franciscan monk"?

_________________
Formerly Bagheera

"Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the King." (1 Peter 2:17)
Federation of North-American Explorers - North Star Group - How You Can Help


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Can a priest be a member of more than one religious orde
PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:39 am 
Offline
King of Cool

Joined: Sun May 11, 2003 1:30 pm
Posts: 75375
Religion: Anticukite Catholic
Peregrinator wrote:
Doom wrote:
Or is that really all that absurd? Is that even possible? Could someone be both a Franciscan and a Jesuit?

Is "monk" your word, or is someone actually described as a "Franciscan monk"?


Monk is Dumas' word


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Can a priest be a member of more than one religious orde
PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2018 12:02 pm 
Offline
Prodigal Son of Thunder
Prodigal Son of Thunder
User avatar

Joined: Mon Dec 23, 2002 10:54 am
Posts: 39671
Location: Ithilien
Religion: Dunedain Catholic
Church Affiliations: AWC, CSB, UIGSE-FSE (FNE)
Ah - because Franciscans are mendicant friars, their communities are not self-supporting as a monastery would be -- in fact, not owning property and depending entirely on what people give to them is an important part of the Franciscan rule.

It's possible that "monk" is the translator's word - Dumas might have used religieux ("religieux franciscain") instead of moine, or moine might have a broader meaning in French and include both monks and friars.

_________________
Formerly Bagheera

"Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the King." (1 Peter 2:17)
Federation of North-American Explorers - North Star Group - How You Can Help


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Can a priest be a member of more than one religious orde
PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:58 pm 
Offline
King of Cool

Joined: Sun May 11, 2003 1:30 pm
Posts: 75375
Religion: Anticukite Catholic
I would assume that the French use is different than it is everywhere else in the world, this does tend to be the case for many other words.

For example, in every part of the world except France, the title of 'Abbot' applies only to a monk who is the head of a monastery. In France, an abbot is simply a parish priest, every priest is an 'Abbé. This confused me greatly the first time I read Dumas, because he constantly refers to Aramis, after his ordination to the priesthood, as 'the Abbé d'Herblay', I was confused 'if he is a parish priest, why is he the head of a religious order? It was then that I learned that the Church in France had received special permission to refer to every priest as an Abbé.

Another word that has special usage in France is 'monsignor', everywhere in the Church except France, 'monsignor' is a title that is reserved to only priests who have received certain special honors from the Pope. But in France, Monsignor' is a generic title of respect that is used to refer to anyone in a position of authority, whether a cleric or not. Again, I first became aware of this by reading Dumas he has his characters addressing government ministers as 'Monsignor', it confused me 'this character is not even a priest, let alone a Monsignor, why is everyone calling him that?' when I looked it up, I discovered that in France is used as a generic term of address similar to the English 'sir', if you were to meet the president of France, you wouldn't call him 'Mr. President' or 'Mr. Macron', you'd address him as 'Monsignor.'

It wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if words like 'monk' or 'friar' have different meanings in France than they do anywhere else.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Can a priest be a member of more than one religious orde
PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2018 4:24 pm 
Offline
Prodigal Son of Thunder
Prodigal Son of Thunder
User avatar

Joined: Mon Dec 23, 2002 10:54 am
Posts: 39671
Location: Ithilien
Religion: Dunedain Catholic
Church Affiliations: AWC, CSB, UIGSE-FSE (FNE)
Actually "monsignor" is often used around the world as an address for a bishop.

I think the French honorific "M. l'Abbé" is actually a bit novel when applied to diocesan clergy (I know the French use it today, even trads, but still). The old title was "M. le Curé". The French also sometimes use "père": "mon père", "le Révérend Père", etc.

_________________
Formerly Bagheera

"Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the King." (1 Peter 2:17)
Federation of North-American Explorers - North Star Group - How You Can Help


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Can a priest be a member of more than one religious orde
PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2018 5:23 pm 
Offline
King of Cool

Joined: Sun May 11, 2003 1:30 pm
Posts: 75375
Religion: Anticukite Catholic
Whenever these practices began, they were apparently common in Dumas' day, because he has his characters do it all the time, and not just in The Three Musketeers.

In The Count of Monte Cristo, the title character has several identities that he uses, and one of them is an Italian priest, the Abbé Busoni. Another of his identities is an English noble, Lord Wilmore. One of the funniest scenes in the book has Edmund Dantes (his real name) appear to one of the men he is seeking revenge on first as the Count of Monte Cristo, who tells him to go see Lord Wilmore, and Lord Wilmore tells him to go talk to the Abbé Busoni, it's just hilarious that Dantes is sending him around from person to another, with the man totally unaware that he is speaking to the same person each time.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic Page 1 of 1   [ 18 posts ]   


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests


Jump to: