In the 1570s the structure of the Catholic Church had collapsed in the Dutch Republic, but soon after 1580 a process of reconstruction set in. At first exorcism and other types of faith healing were deployed by both secular and regular Catholic clergy. In time the secular clergy became less willing to respond to requests for this type of assistance. The regular clergy and particularly the Jesuits continued, however, to render this service just as frequently as before. The Jesuits did this in order to convert Protestants but after 1650 the secular clergy came to replace the Protestants as their main opponent. In the eyes of the Jesuits many secular priests were Jansenists and the production of miracles was now largely intended to increase support for the Jesuits among lay Catholics. In 1703 this conflict resulted in a schism in the Dutch Catholic Church. © 2009 The Author. Journal compilation © 2009 The Historical Association and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.