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Theatines

An order founded early in the sixteenth century by Gaetano of Tiene, Bonifazio da Colle, Paolo Consiglieri, and Giovanni Pietro Caraffa (later Pope Paul IV) to combat heresy. Growing out of the work of the Oratory of Divine Love, this order made up of regular clergy sought to maintain the integrity of the Roman Catholic Church primarily by preaching, although in cooperation with the Inquisition* it became one of the principal instruments for suppressing the Reformation in Italy. The order spread across the Alps into France, Germany, Poland, and Spain. In some ways it provided a pattern for the organizational structure of the Society of Jesus.*