with those on the outside unaware of all of what's inside
The circumstances of Wlodimir Ledochowski’s ascent to the Black Papacy February 11, 1915 -- namely the statistically unlikely day apart sudden deaths of his predecessor, 25th Jesuit Order Superior General Franz Wernz, and Pope Pius X in August 1914, just weeks after WWI’s outbreak -- is suggestive of a power struggle by an entity with a deeper counter reformation agenda, perhaps too extreme for some within the Vatican to support, and hence cloaked.
Yet other goals, consistent with the idea of extending Rome’s power, more extreme, and plausibly too extreme for others to support, required a second and bloodier such war.
Dr. Nicholas Murray Butler, who met Father Ledochowski in 1930, wrote later that "everyone in Rome I was told that Father Ledochowski would rank as one of the two or three greatest heads of the Jesuit Order," an estimate which would group him with such men as Ignatius Loyola, the first [Jesuit] general, Francisco Borgia, the third, and [Claudius] Aquaviva, the fifth.
It was during the twenty-seven year Generalate of Father Wlodzimierz Ledochowski (1915-1942) that the traditional character of the Society received the firmest stamp and clearest definition since the Generalate of Claudio Acquaviva in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. One might even say that Ledochowski insisted on fidelity to the structure of Jesuit obedience, was an almost merciless disciplinarian, and maintained a stream of instructions flowing out to the whole Society about every detail of Jesuit life and Ignatian ideals. He know exactly what Jesuits should be according to the Society’s Constitutions and traditions; and under strong hands of two quite authoritarian Popes, Pius XI and Pius XII, he reestablished the close ties that had once linked papacy and Jesuit Generalate. Ledochowski, in fact, gave renewed meaning to that old Roman nickname of the Jesuit Father General, “the Black Pope. Just as Pius XII can be described as the last of the great Roman Popes, so Ledochowski can be called the last of the great Roman Generals of the Jesuits.
There seemed, indeed, during those years of Ledochowski, Pius XI, and Pius XII, no real limit to what both Jesuitism and overall Roman Catholicism could achieve. Even – especially, we should say – in the afterglow of Ledochowski’s long reign and into the Generalate of his successor, Belgian Jean-Baptise Janssens, the magic power of the momentum seemed to continue.
Ledochowski can be called the last of the great Roman Generals of the Jesuits