My favourite Jesuit, Teilhard de Chardin, in 1913, arrived just in time at Piltdown to discover the critical tooth to establish the credibility of the Piltdown skull hoax.
My least favourite Jesuit: Robert Cardinal Bellarmine the only Jesuit on the Sacra Congregatio Romanae et Universalis Inquisitionis seu Sancti Officii when they sent Giordano Bruno to the stake. The other Inquisitors General were all Dominicans, more usually associated with torture, perhaps. Bruno himself was a Dominican, but not convincingly. . .Bruno was born in 1548, 400 years before me. Burned in the flower market in Rome 17 Feb 1600.
....from the sec Dialogue of De la causa, principio e uno :
The universal Intellect.. "As for us, we call it the 'internal artificer' because it shapes matter, forming it from inside like a seed or root shooting forth and unfolding..."
"The hermeticists say it is 'most fecund in seeds' or yet that it is the 'seed sower', because it impregnates matter with all forms, which, according to their nature and manner of being, succeed in shaping, forming and weaving matter in ways that are so remarkable and numerous that they cannot be ascribed to chance, nor to any other principle incapable of differentiation and arrangement"
Exactly, Giordano, and let me introduce you to the principle of Natural Selection, which is indeed so Capable. You can add it to the list of 34 heresies (Infinite space, Copernicanism, Anti-trans-substantiation...) (infinite space is again a heresy with new balloon XRay results tending to confirm the BigBang-Inflation theory)
Bellarmini wasnt yet a Cardinal in 1600. He was when he showed the instruments of torture to Galileo 32 years later.
"The irony is that the Roman church was always, up to the Enlightenment, the biggest supporter of astronomy, (surely not merely to establish the date of Easter). Ptomely knew that summer was several days longer than winter (in the North) so he offset the pure circle of the sun's 'orbit'. "one key difference between the two [Keplarian and Ptolemaic] is that the distance between the centre of Kepler's ellipse and the focus..coincident with the sun, is equal to half the distance between the earth and the centre of the eccentric circle in Ptolemy's model".. in 1651, Giovanni Cassini , before he moved to Paris to be the Sun King's astronomer, drilled a hole 27m up in the wall of the basilica of San Petronio in Bologna, in the heart of the Papal states. He measured the size of the suns image on the basilica floor, in winter and summer, to an accuracy of within 8mm. This accuracy was beyond telescopes of the day. His observations were confirmed by the leading Jesuit astronomer, Giambattista Beccaria. "Thus the Jesuite confirmed the bisection of the eccentricity, implicitly supporting Kepler's position and the Copernican theory they were forbidden to teach." (from J L Heilbron "the Sun in the Church" The Sciences Sep99)