González de Santalla, Tirso
GONZÁLEZ DE SANTALLA, TIRSO
Theologian and 13th general of the Society of Jesus; b. Arganza, Spain, Jan. 18, 1624; d. Rome, Oct. 27, 1705. He entered the Jesuits in 1643 and taught philosophy and theology at Salamanca (1655–65, 1676–87). He preached popular missions (1667–76) and was general of the Jesuits from 1687 to 1705.
In the late 17th century the Jesuits, most of whom held probabilism, were under attack for a lax interpretation of moral matters. In 1674 González wrote a book strongly opposing probabilism in favor of stricter doctrine. The book was refused publication by Jesuit reviewers. He continued to urge probabiliorism and received the support of Innocent XI. At the urging of Innocent, Gonzalez was elected general of the Society of Jesus. He then attempted to publish his previously rejected book, but his assistants blocked publication. The controversy caused considerable dissension in Jesuit circles. Innocent XII ordered a new examination, and a much-revised edition was published in 1694, a work applauded by the strict Bossuet, but judged excessively rigorist by St. Alphonsus Liguori. When the controversy continued, a general congregation of the Jesuits considered the case in 1696. A solution reaffirmed the freedom of Jesuit moral theologians to hold either system. Although muted for several years by this controversy, Jesuit moralists recovered to continue among the foremost advocates of probabilism.
González's most important work was the controversial Fundamentum Theologiae Moralis (Rome 1694). He also composed apologetical works, among which are Selectae disputationes ex universa theologia (4 v. Salamanca, 1680–86), directed against Neothomists and Jansenists; Manductio ad conversionem Mahometanorum (2 v. Madrid 1687); and treatises on the Immaculate Conception and on papal infallibility.
Bibliography: a. astrain, Historia de la Compañia de Jesús, 7 v. (Madrid 1902–25) 6:172–372. Pastor 32:435–441, 621–633. m. p. harney, The Jesuits in History (New York 1941; repr. Chicago 1962). Sommervogel 3:1591–1602. p. bernard, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique 6.2:1493–96.
[w. r. callahan]