Next we approach a time in the history of man and of the RCC that is to say the least filed with more evil than is usual but not unexpected. As the Bible says by their fruit they will be known and this is where we have arrived at, the period some called The Midnight of the Dark Ages. This was a time of crime and evil unparalleled but what do you expect when you serve a master that is of darkness.
Next we will look at some of the Popes and their crimes and it is not dipping your hand in the wine and licking your finger or eating two wafers at a time kind of crime!
Let’s explore this first with the Catholic Encyclopaedia’s version and then the version of Henry Halley (1895—1965) and see the difference, obviously you can decide as a whole with all the above information what the truth is or your prayer will let the Comforter discern the truth for you.
Pope Sergius III (904-911)
Date of birth unknown; consecrated 29 Jan., 904; d. 14 April, 911. He was a Roman of noble birth and the son of Benedict. He became a strong upholder of the party opposed to Pope Formosus; as this party was not ultimately successful, the writings of its supporters, if they ever existed, have perished. Hence, unfortunately, most of our knowledge of Sergius is derived from his opponents. Thus it is by an enemy that we are told that Sergius was made Bishop of Caere by Formosus in order that he might never become Bishop of Rome. However, he seems to have ceased to act as a bishop after the death of Formosus, and was put forward as a candidate for the papacy in 898. Failing to secure election, he retired, apparently to Alberic, Count of Spoleto. Disgusted at the violent usurpation of the papal throne by Christopher, the Romans threw him into prison, and invited Sergius to take his place. Sergius at once declared the ordinations conferred by Formosus null;
but that he put his two predecessors to death, and by illicit relations with Marozia had a son, who was afterwards John XI, must be regarded as highly doubtful. These assertions are only made by bitter or ill-informed adversaries, and are inconsistent with what is said of him by respectable contemporaries. He protected Archbishop John of Ravenna against the Count of Istria, and confirmed the establishment of a number of new sees in England. Because he opposed the errors of the Greeks, they struck his name from the diptychs, but he showed his good sense in declaring valid the fourth marriage of the Greek emperor, Leo VI. Sergius completely restored the Lateran Basilica, but he was buried in St. Peter's. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/13729a.htm
Henry Halley (1895—1965)
Said to have had a mistress, Marozia. She, her mother Theodora, and her sister, “filled the Papal chair with their paramours and bastard sons, and turned the Papal Palace into a den of robbers!”
Pope John X (914-928)
Born at Tossignano, Romagna; enthroned, 914; died at Rome, 928. First a deacon, he became Archbishop of Ravenna about 905, as successor of Kailo. In a document dated 5 February, 914, he still appears as archbishop. Shortly afterwards, owing to the influence of the nobles dominant in Rome, he was made pope in succession to Lando. The real head of this aristocratical faction was the elder Theodora, wife of the Senator Theophylactus. Liutprand of Cremona ("Antapodosis," II, ed. in "Mon. Germ. Hist.: Script., " II, 297) affirms that Theodora supported John's election in order to cover more easily her illicit relations with him. This statement is, however, generally and rightly rejected as a calumny. Liutprand wrote his history some fifty years later, and constantly slandered the Romans, whom he hated. At the time of John's election Theodora was advanced in years, and is lauded by other writers (e.g. Vulgarius). John was a relative of Theodora's family, and this explains sufficiently why she secured his election. The new pope was an active and energetic ruler, and exerted himself especially to put an end to the Saracen invasions. He brought about an alliance between Prince Landulph of Beneventum, Berengarius of Friuli, King of the Lombards, and other Italian rulers, and, when Berengarius came to Rome in 915, the pope crowned him emperor.
John himself led against the Saracens a large army gathered by the allied Italian princes. The Saracens had built fortresses on the river Garigliano, but in August, 916, John completely routed them near the mouth of that river.
Concerning the ecclesiastical administration of this pope we possess many particulars. He sent to Germany his trusted friend Petrus, Bishop of Orte, who held in 916 a synod at Hohenaltheim (near Noerdlingen), and entered into friendly relations with King Conrad. John also concerned himself with affairs in France, where Count Heribert of Aquitaine held King Charles a prisoner, and demanded the election of his five-year-old son, Hugh of Vermandois, as Archbishop of Reims. John unhappily confirmed this choice after Heribert had promised the king's release. He further sought to bring the Slavs of Dalmatia into closer relations with Rome, and strove to induce the Archbishop of Spalato to adopt Latin as the liturgical language. His efforts to promote a more intimate union between the Bulgarians and Rome were frustrated by the opposition of the Patriarch of Constantinople. Another opportunity offered, when later the Byzantine patriarch, Nicolaus Mysticus, sought the aid of the pope. The patriarch had been deposed by a synod, because he would not recognize the fourth marriage of Emperor Leo VI. Before his death, however, Leo restored Nicolaus to his office, and the new emperor (Alexander) was also on his side. But many bishops were yet opposed to the patriarch on account of his deposition by the earlier synod. Under these circumstances Nicolaus wished to have the decree of deposition declared invalid by another council, and towards this end desired the assistance of John. But John remained true to the discipline of the Western Church, which permitted as valid even a fourth marriage. Meanwhile, he was active in the political life of Italy. After the murder of King Berengarius in 924 the pope supported Hugh of Burgundy, and, when the latter landed in Pisa, John sent his legate to meet him and form an alliance. The dominant Roman faction disliked these measures. Foremost among them was the elder Marozia, daughter of Theophylactus and Theodora. After the death of her first husband Alberic, Marozia had married (926) Guido, the powerful Margrave of Tuscany. The alliance of John and Hugh of Burgundy seemed to endanger her power in Rome, and so with her husband's aid she decided to remove John. Petrus, Prefect of Rome and brother of the pope, was murdered in June, 928. The pontiff himself was seized and cast into prison, where he died shortly after. According to a rumour recorded by Liutprand, and thus little to be relied on, he was smothered in his bed. Flodoard of Reims asserts that he died of anxiety. He was probably buried in the Lateran, for the restoration of which he had been particularly zealous. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08425b.htm
Henry Halley (1895—1965)
Pope John X (914-928), “was brought to Rome, and made Pope by Theodora for the more convenient gratification of her passion.” He was smothered to death by Marozia, who, then, in succession, raised to the Papacy, Popes Leo VI (928-929), and Stephen VII (929-931), and John XI (931-936) — her own illegitimate son!
Another of Marozia’s sons appointed the four following Popes: Leo VII (936-939), Stephen VIII (939-942), Martin III (942-946), and Agapetus II (946-955)
Pope John XII (955-963)
Date of birth unknown; reigned 955-64.
The younger Alberic, after the downfall of his mother, Marozia (932), was absolute ruler at Rome. Before his death he administered an oath (954) to the Roman nobles in St. Peter's, that on the next vacancy of the papal chair his only son, Octavius, should be elected pope. After the death of the reigning pontiff, Agapetus II, Octavius, then eighteen years of age, was actually chosen his successor on 16 December, 955, and took the name of John. The temporal and spiritual authority in Rome were thus again united in one person — a coarse, immoral man, whose life was such that the Lateran was spoken of as a brothel, and the moral corruption in Rome became the subject of general odium. War and the chase were more congenial to this pope than church government. He was defeated in the war against Duke Pandulf of Capua, and at the same time the Ecclesiastical States were occupied by Berengarius, King of Italy, and his son Adalbert. In this dilemma the pope had recourse to the German king, Otto I, who then appeared in Italy at the head of a powerful army. Berengarius, however, did not risk an encounter, but retired to the fortified castles. On 31 January, 962, Otto reached Rome. He took an oath to recognize John as pope and ruler of Rome; to issue no decrees without the pope's consent; and, in case of his delivering the command in Italy to any one else, to exact from such person an oath to defend to the utmost of his ability the pope and the patrimony of St. Peter. The pope on his part swore to keep faith with Otto and to conclude no alliance with Berengarius and Adalbert. On 2 February, 962, Otto was solemnly crowned emperor by the pope.
On the twelfth a Roman synod took place, at which John, at Otto's desire, founded the Archbishopric of Magdeburg and the Bishopric of Morseburg, bestowed the pallium on the Archbishops of Salzburg and Trier, and confirmed the appointment of Rother as Bishop of Verona. The next day, the emperor issued a decree, the famous Diploma Ottonianum, in which he confirmed the Roman Church in its possessions, particularly those granted by Pepin and Charlemagne, and provided at the same time that in future the popes should be elected in canonical form, though their consecration was to take place only after the necessary pledges had been given to the emperor or his ambassadors. The authenticity of the contents of this much-discussed document is certain, even should the extant document be only a duplicate of the original (Sickel, "Das Privilegium Ottos I, für die römische Kirche", Innsbruck, 1883). On 14 February the emperor marched out of Rome with his army to resume the war against Berengarius and Adalbert. The pope now quickly changed his mind, while Otto on his part urged the imperial authority to excessive limits. John began secret negotiations with Adalbert, son of Berengarius, and sent envoys with letters to Hungary and to Constantinople for the purpose of inciting a war against Otto. They were, however, seized by the imperial soldiers, and the emperor thus learned of the pope's treachery. John now sent an embassy to Otto to propitiate the latter, and at the same time to explain the pope's grievance, which was that the emperor had received for himself the oath of allegiance from those cities of the Ecclesiastical States, which he had reconquered from Berengarius. Otto sent an embassy to refute this accusation. At the same time Adalbert came in person to Rome, and was ceremoniously received by the pope. The faction of the Roman nobles which sympathized with the emperor now broke into revolt against John. Otto appeared for the second time in Rome (2 November, 963), while John and Adalbert fled to Tivoli. In the emperor's entourage was Liutprand, Bishop of Cremona, who thus describes the occurrences as an eyewitness. Otto now probably renewed and extended the settlement formerly effected, by obtaining from the nobles a promise on oath not to elect or consecrate a pope without the consent of the emperor.
On 6 November a synod composed of fifty Italian and German bishops was convened in St. Peter's; John was accused of sacrilege, simony, perjury, murder, adultery, and incest, and was summoned in writing to defend himself. Refusing to recognize the synod, John pronounced sentence of excommunication (ferendæ sententia) against all participators in the assembly, should they elect in his stead another pope. The emperor now came forward to accuse John of having broken the agreement ratified by oath, betrayed him, and called in Adalbert. With the imperial consent the synod deposed John on 4 December, and elected to replace him the protoscriniarius Leo, yet a layman.
The latter received all the orders uncanonically without the proper intervals (interstitia), and was crowned pope as Leo VIII. This proceeding was aginst the canons of the Church, and the enthroning of Leo was almost universally regarded as invalid. Most of the imperial troops now departing from Rome, John's adherents rose against the emperor, but were suppressed on 3 January, 964, with bloodshed. Nevertheless, at Leo's request, Otto released the hundred hostages whom he had called for, and marched from Rome to meet Adalbert in the field. A new insurrection broke out in the city against the imperial party; Leo VIII fled, while John XII re-entered Rome, and took bloody vengeance on the leaders of the opposite party. Cardinal-Deacon John had his right hand struck off, Bishop Otgar of Speyer was scourged, a high palatine official lost nose and ears. On 26 February, 964, John held a synod in St. Peter's in which the decrees of the synod of 6 November were repealed; Leo VIII and all who had elected him were excommunicated; his ordination was pronounced invalid; and Bishop Sico of Ostia, who had consecrated him, was deprived forever of his dignities. The emperor, left free to act after his defeat of Berengarius, was preparing to re-enter Rome, when the pope's death changed the situation. John died on 14 May, 964, eight days after he had been, according to rumour, stricken by paralysis in the act of adultery. Luitprand relates that on that occasion the devil dealt him a blow on the temple in consequence of which he died. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08426b.htm
Henry Halley (1895—1965)
Pope John XII (955-963), a grandson of Marozia, was “guilty of almost every crime! He violated virgins and widows; lived with his father’s mistress; made the Papal Palace a brothel; and was killed while in the act of adultery by the woman’s enraged husband!”
Pope Boniface VII (984-985)
(Previously BONIFACE FRANCO)
A Roman and son of Ferrucius; was intruded into the Chair of St. Peter in 974; reinstalled 984; died July, 985. In June, 974, one year after the death of Emperor Otto I,
Crescentius the son of Theodora and brother of John XIII, stirred up an insurrection at Rome, during which the Romans threw Benedict VI into the Castle of Sant' Angelo, and elevated as his successor the Cardinal-Deacon Franco, who took the name of Boniface VII. The imprisoned pontiff was speedily put to death by the intruder. But in little more than a month the imperial representative, Count Sicco, had taken possession of the city, and Boniface, not being able to maintain himself, robbed the treasury of the Vatican Basilica and fled to Constantinople. After an exile of nine years at Byzantium, Franco, on the death of Otto II, 7 December, 983, quickly returned to Rome, overpowered John XIV (April, 984), thrust him into the dungeons of Sant' Angelo, where the wretched man died four months later, and again assumed the government of the Church. The usurper had never ceased to look upon himself as the lawful pontiff, and reckoned the years of his reign from the deposition of Benedict VI in 974. For more than a year Rome endured this monster steeped in the blood of his predecessors. But the vengeance was terrible. After his sudden death in July, 985, due in all probability to violence, the body of Boniface was exposed to the insults of the populace, dragged through the streets of the city, and finally, naked and covered with wounds, flung under the statue of Marcus Aurelius, which at that time stood in the Lateran Palace. The following morning compassionate clerics removed the corpse and gave it Christian burial.
Henry Halley (1895—1965)
Pope Boniface VII (984-985), murdered Pope John XIV, and “maintained himself on the blood-stained Papal Throne by a lavish distribution of stolen money.” The Bishop of Orleans, referring to Popes John XII, Leo VIII and Boniface VII, called them “monsters of guilt, reeking in blood and filth; Antichrist sitting in the Temple of God!”
Pope Benedict VIII (1012-1024)
Date of birth unknown; d. 9 April, 1024. The first of the Tusculan popes, being the son of Gregory, Count of Tusculum, and Maria, and brother of John XIX, he was, though a layman, imposed on the chair of Peter by force (18 May, 1012). Nevertheless, dislodging a rival, he became a good and strong ruler. On the 14th of February, 1014, he crowned the German king, Henry II, emperor (Thietmar, Chron., VI, 61), and ever kept friendly with him.
The peace of Italy was promoted by his subjugating the Crescentii, defeating the Saracens, and allying himself with the Normans, who appeared in its southern parts in his time. Going to Germany, he consecrated the cathedral of Bamberg (Ann. Altahen. Majores, 1020; Chron. Cass., II, 47), visited the monastery of Fulda, and obtained from Henry a charter confirmatory of the donations of Charlemagne and Otho. To restrain the vices of clerical incontinence and simony, he held, with the emperor, an important synod at Pavia (1022 — Labbe, Concilia, IX, 819), and supported the reformation which was being effected by the great monastery of Cluny. To further the interest of peace, he encouraged the "Truce of God" and countenanced the ecclesiastical advancement of Gauzlin, the natural brother of Robert the Pious, King of France. This he did because, though illegitimate, Gauzlin was a good man, and his loyal brother was very desirous of his promotion (cf. life of Gauzlin, in "Neues Archiv.", III). Benedict VIII was one of the many popes who were called upon to intervene in the interminable strife for precedence between the Patriarchs of Grado and of Aquileia (Dandolo, Chron., IX, 2, n. 2). In 1022 he received Ethelnoth of Canterbury "with great worship and very honourably hallowed him archbishop", and reinstated in his position Leofwine, Abbot of Ely (A.S. Chron., 125, 6, R.S.). A friend of St. Odilo, Abbot of Cluny, and one of the few popes of the Middle Ages who was at once powerful at home and great abroad, Benedict VIII has, on seemingly insufficient grounds, been accused of avarice. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02428e.htm
Henry Halley (1895—1965)
Pope Benedict VIII (1012-1024), bought the office of Pope with open bribery. This was called SIMONY, that is, the purchase or sale of Church Office with money.
Pope John XIX (1024-1033)
Enthroned in 1024; d. 1032. After the death of the last patricius of the House of Crescentius, the counts of Tusculum seized the authority in Rome,
a scion of this family was raised to the papal throne as Benedict VIII, while his brother, Romanus, exercised the temporal power in the city as consul and senator. After Benedict's death Romanus, though a layman, was elected pope between 12 April and 10 May, 1024, immediately after which he received all the orders in succession, took the name of John, and sought by lavish expenditure to win the Romans to his cause. Soon after his elevation the Byzantine Emperor, Basil II, sent ambassadors to Rome to request in his name that the pope would recognize the title of oecumenical patriarch, which the patriarchs of Byzantium had assumed, thus sanctioning the latter's headship of all the Oriental Churches. Rich presents brought by the envoys were intended to win over the pope, and indeed he seemed not disinclined to accede to the Byzantine wishes. Though the negotiations were kept secret the affair became public, and roused to action the religiously minded circles, especially the promoters of ecclesiastical reform in Italy and France. Public opinion compelled the pope to refuse the Byzantine requests and gifts, whereupon Patriarch Eustachius of Constantinople caused the pope's name to be erased from the diptychs of his churches. John invited the celebrated musician, Guido of Arezzo, to visit Rome and explain the musical notation invented by him. In Germany, after the death of Henry II (1 July, 1024), Conrad the Salian was elected king, and was invited by the pope and also by Archbishop Heribert of Milan, to come to Italy. In 1026 he crossed the Alps, received the iron crown of Lombardy, and proceeded to Rome, where on 26 March, 1027, he was crowned emperor. Two kings, Rudolph of Burgundy and Canute of Denmark and England, took part in this journey to Rome.
On 6 April a great synod was held in the Lateran basilica, where the dispute between the Patriarchs of Aquileia and Grado was decided, through the emperor's influence, in favour of the former. Poppo of Aquileia was to be sole patriarch, with the Bishop of Grado under his jurisdiction. Moreover, the Patriarch of Aquileia was to take precedence over all the Italian bishops. Two years later (1029) John XIX revoked this decision, and at a new synod restored to the Patriarch of Grado all his former privileges. King Canute of Denmark and England obtained from the pope a promise that his English and Danish subjects should not be annoyed by customs duties on their way to Italy and Rome, and that the archbishops of his kingdom should not be so heavily taxed for the bestowal of the pallium. John granted the Bishop of Silva Candida, near Rome, a special privilege to say Mass in St. Peter's on certain days. A dispute regarding precedence between the Archbishops of Milan and Ravenna was settled by the pope in favour of the former. He took the Abbey of Cluny under his protection, and renewed its privileges in spite of the protests of Goslin, Bishop of Mâcon; at the same time he rebuked Abbot Odilo of Cluny for not accepting the See of Lyons.
The feast of St. Martial, reputed disciple of the Apostles and founder of the church of Limoges, was raised by John to the rank of the feast of an Apostle. In the case of certain French bishops the pope maintained the rights of the Holy See. He seems to have been the first pope to grant an indulgence in return for alms bestowed. He died towards the end of 1032, probably on 6 November. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08429b.htm
Henry Halley (1895—1965)
Pope John XIX (1024-1033), Bought the Papacy. He passed through all the necessary clerical degrees in one day.
Pope Benedict IX (1033-1141)
The nephew of his two immediate predecessors, Benedict IX was a man of very different character to either of them. He was a disgrace to the Chair of Peter. Regarding it as a sort of heirloom, his father Alberic placed him upon it when a mere youth, not, however, apparently of only twelve years of age (according to Raoul Glaber, Hist., IV, 5, n. 17. Cf. V, 5, n. 26), but of about twenty (October, 1032). Of his pontifical acts little is known, except that he held two or three synods in Rome and granted a number of privileges to various churches and monasteries. He insisted that Bretislav, Duke of Bohemia, should found a monastery, for having carried off the body of St. Adalbert from Poland. In 1037 he went north to meet the Emperor Conrad and excommunicated Heribert, Archbishop of Milan, who was at emnity with him (Ann. Hildesheimenses, 1038). Taking advantage of the dissolute life he was leading, one of the factions in the city drove him from it (1044) amid the greatest disorder, and elected an antipope (Sylvester III) in the person of John, Bishop of Sabina (1045 -Ann. Romani, init. Victor, Dialogi, III, init.). Benedict, however, succeeded in expelling Sylvester the same year; but, as some say, that he might marry, he resigned his office into the hands of the Archpriest John Gratian for a large sum.
John was then elected pope and became Gregory VI (May, 1045). Repenting of his bargain, Benedict endeavoured to depose Gregory. This resulted in the intervention of King Henry III. Benedict, Sylvester, and Gregory were deposed at the Council of Sutri (1046) and a German bishop (Suidger) became Pope Clement II. After his speedy demise, Benedict again seized Rome (November, 1047), but was driven from it to make way for a second German pope, Damasus II (November, 1048). Of the end of Benedict it is impossible to speak with certainty. Some authors suppose him to have been still alive when St. Leo IX died, and never to have ceased endeavouring to seize the papacy. But it is more probable that the truth lies with the tradition of the Abbey of Grottaferrata, first set down by Abbot Luke, who died about 1085, and corroborated by sepulchral and other monuments within its walls. Writing of Bartholomew, its fourth abbot (1065), Luke tells of the youthful pontiff turning from his sin and coming to Bartholomew for a remedy for his disorders. On the saint's advice, Benedict definitely resigned the pontificate and died in penitence at Grottaferrata. [See "St. Benedict and Grottaferrata" (Rome, 1895), a work founded on the more important "De Sepulcro Benedicti IX", by Dom Greg. Piacentini (Rome, 1747).] http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02429a.htm
Henry Halley (1895—1965)
Pope Benedict IX (1033-1141), Was made Pope as a boy of 12 years old, through a money bargain with the powerful families that ruled Rome. “He surpassed Pope John XII in wickedness; and committed murders and adulteries in broad daylight! A hideous criminal — the people drove him out of Rome!” Some call him the worst of all the Popes!
Pope Gregory VI (1045-1046)
Date of birth unknown; elected 1 May 1045; abdicated at Sutri, 20 December, 1046; died probably at Cologne, in the beginning of 1048. In 1045 the youthful libertine Benedict IX occupied the chair of Peter. Anxious,
in order so it is said, that he might marry, to vacate a position into which, though wholly unfit, he had been thrust by his family, he consulted his godfather, John Gratian, the Archpriest of St. John "ad portam Latinam", a man of great reputation for uprightness of character, as to whether he could resign the supreme pontificate. When he was convinced that he might do so, he offered to give up the papacy into the hands of his godfather for a large sum of money. Desirous of ridding the See of Rome on such an unworthy pontiff, John Gratian in all good faith and simplicity paid him the money and was recognized as pope in his stead. Unfortunately the accession of Gratian, who took the name of Gregory VI, though it was hailed with joy even by such a strict upholder of the right as St. Peter Damian, did not bring peace to the Church. When Benedict left the city after selling the papacy, there was already another aspirant to the See of Peter in the field. John, Bishop of Sabina, had been saluted as Pope Sylvester III by that faction of the nobility which had driven Benedict IX from Rome in 1044, and had then installed him in his stead. Though the expelled pontiff (Benedict IX) soon returned, and forced John to retire to his See of Sabina, that pretender never gave up his claims, and through his party contrived apparently to keep some hold on a portion of Rome. Benedict, also unable, it seems, to obtain the bride on whom he had set his heart, soon repented of his resignation, again claimed the papacy, and in his turn is thought to have succeeded in acquiring dominion over a part of the city.
With an empty exchequer and a clergy that had largely lost the savour of righteousness, Gregory was confronted by an almost hopeless task. Nevertheless, with the aid of his "capellanus" or chaplain, Hildebrand, destined to be the great Pope Gregory VII, he essayed to bring about civil and religious order. He strove to effect the latter by letters and by councils, and the former by force of arms. But the factions of the antipopes were too strong to be put down by him, and the confusion only increased. Convinced that nothing would meet the case but German intervention, a number of influential clergy and laity separated themselves from communion with Gregory or either of the two would-be popes and implored the warlike King Henry III to cross the Alps and restore order. Nothing loath, Henry descended into Italy in the autumn of 1046. Strong in the conviction of his innocence, Gregory went north to meet him. He was received by the king with all the honour due to a pope, and in accordance with the royal request, summoned a council to meet at Sutri. Of the antipopes, Sylvester alone presented himself at the synod, which was opened 20 Dec., 1046. Both his claim to the papacy and that of Benedict were soon disposed of. Deprived of all clerical rank and considered a usurper from the beginning, Sylvester was condemned to be confined in a monastery for the rest of his life.
Benedict's case also presented no difficulty. He had now no claim to the papacy, as he had voluntarily resigned it. But it was different with Gregory. However, when the bishops of the synod had convinced him that the act by which he had become supreme pontiff was in itself simoniacal, and had called upon him to resign, Gregory, seeing that little choice was left him, of his own accord laid down his office. A German, Suidger, Bishop of Bainberg (Clement II), was then elected to replace him. Accompanied by Hildebrand, Gregory was taken by Henry to Germany (May, 1047), where he soon died. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06791a.htm
Henry Halley (1895—1965)
Pope Gregory VI (1045-1046), Bought the Papacy. There were three rival Popes at this time: Benedict IX, Gregory VI, Sylvester III. “Rome swarmed with hired assassins!”
Pope Clement II (1046-1047)
Date of birth unknown; enthroned 25 December, 1046; d. 9 October, 1047. In the autumn of 1046 the King of Germany, Henry III, crossed the Alps at the head of a large army and accompanied by a brilliant retinue of the secular and ecclesiastical princes of the empire, for the twofold purpose of receiving the imperial crown and of restoring order in the Italian Peninsula. The condition of Rome in particular was deplorable. In St. Peter's, the Lateran, and St. Mary Major's, sat three rival claimants to the papacy. (See BENEDICT IX.) Two of them, Benedict IX and Sylvester III, represented rival factions of the Roman nobility. The position of the third, Gregory VI, was peculiar. The reform party, in order to free the city from the intolerable yoke of the House of Tusculum, and the Church from the stigma of Benedict's dissolute life, had stipulated with that stripling that he should resign the tiara upon receipt of a certain amount of money.
That this heroic measure for delivering the Holy See from destruction was simoniacal, has been doubted by many; but that it bore the outward aspect of simony and would be considered a flaw in Gregory's title, consequently in the imperial title Henry was seeking, was the opinion of that age.
Strong in the consciousness of his good intentions, Gregory met King Henry at Piacenza, and was received with all possible honours. It was decided that he should summon a synod to meet at Sutri near Rome, at which the entire question should be ventilated. The proceedings of the Synod of Sutri, 20 December, are well summarized by Cardinal Newman in his "Essays Critical and Historical" (II, 262 sqq.). Of the three papal claimants, Benedict refused to appear; he was again summoned and afterwards pronounced deposed at Rome. Sylvester was "stripped of his sacerdotal rank and shut up in a monastery". Gregory showed himself to be, if not an idiota, at least a man miræ simplicitatis, by explaining in straightforward speech his compact with Benedict, and he made no other defence than his good intentions, and deposed himself (Watterich, Vitæ Rom. Pont., I, 76); an act by some interpreted as a voluntary resignation, by others (Hefele), in keeping with the contemporary annals, as a deposition by the synod. The Synod of Sutri adjourned to meet again in Rome 23 and 24 December. Benedict, failing to appear, was condemned and deposed in contumaciam, and the papal chair was declared vacant. As King Henry was not yet crowned emperor, he had no canonical right to take part in the new election; but the Romans had no candidate to propose and begged the monarch to suggest a worthy subject.
Henry's first choice, the powerful Adalbert, Archbishop of Bremen, positively refused to accept the burden and suggested his friend Suidger, Bishop of Bamberg. In spite of the latter's protests, the king took him by the hand and presented him to the acclaiming clergy and people as their spiritual chief. Suidger's reluctance was finally overcome, though he insisted upon retaining the bishopric of his beloved see. He might be pardoned for fearing that the turbulent Romans would ere long send him back to Bamberg. Moreover, since the king refused to give back to the Roman See its possessions usurped by the nobles and the Normans, the pope was forced to look to his German bishopric for financial support. He was enthroned in St. Peter's on Christmas Day and took the name of Clement II. He was born in Saxony of noble parentage, was first a canon in Halberstadt, then chaplain at the court of King Henry, who on the death of Eberhard, the first Bishop of Bamberg, appointed him to that important see. He was a man of strictest integrity and severe morality. His first pontifical act was to place the imperial crown upon his benefactor and the queen-consort, Agnes of Aquitaine.
The new emperor received from the Romans and the pope the title and diadem of a Roman Patricius, a dignity which, since the tenth century, owing to the uncanonical pretensions of the Roman aristocracy, was commonly supposed to give the bearer the right of appointing the pope, or, more exactly speaking, of indicating the person to be chosen (Hefele). Had not God given His Church the inalienable right of freedom and independence, and sent her champions determined to enforce this right, she would now have simply exchanged the tyrrany of Roman factions for the more serious thraldom to a foreign power. The fact that Henry had protected the Roman Church and rescued her from her enemies gave him no just claim to become her lord and master. Short-sighted reformers, even men like St. Peter Damiani (Opusc., VI, 36) who saw in this surrender of the freedom of papal elections to the arbitrary will of the emperor the opening of a new era, lived long enough to regret the mistake that was made. With due recognition of the prominent part taken by the Germans in the reformation of the eleventh century, we cannot forget that neither Henry III nor his bishops understood the importance of absolute independence in the election of the officers of the Church. This lesson was taught them by Hildebrand, the young chaplain of Gregory VI, whom they took to Germany with his master, only to return with St. Leo IX to begin his immortal career. Henry III, the sworn enemy of simony, never took a penny from any of his appointees, but he claimed a right of appointment which virtually made him head of the Church and paved the way for intolerable abuses under his unworthy successors.
Clement lost no time in beginning the work of reform. At a great synod in Rome, January, 1047, the buying and selling of things spiritual was punished with excommunication; anyone who should knowingly accept ordination at the hands of a prelate guilty of simony was ordered to do canonical penance for forty days. A dispute for precedence between the Sees of Ravenna, Milan, and Aquileia was settled in favour of Ravenna, the bishop of which was, in the absence of the emperor, to take his station at the pope's right. Clement accompanied the emperor in a triumphal progress through Southern Italy and placed Benevento under an interdict for refusing to open its gates to them. Proceeding with Henry to Germany, he canonized Wiborada, a nun of St. Gall, martyred by the Huns in 925. On his way back to Rome he died bear Pesaro. That he was poisoned by the partisans of Benedict IX is a mere suspicion without proof. He bequeathed his mortal remains to Bamberg, in the great cathedral of which his marble sarcophagus is to be seen at the present day.
He is the only pope buried in Germany. Many zealous ecclesiastics, notably the Bishop of Liège, now exerted themselves to reseat in the papal chair Gregory VI, whom, together with his chaplain, Henry held in honourable custody; but the emperor unceremoniously appointed Poppo, Bishop of Brixen, who took the name of Damasus II. (See GREGORY VI; BENEDICT IX.) http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04017a.htm
Henry Halley (1895—1965)
Pope Clement II (1046-1047), was appointed Pope by Emperor Henry III of Germany “because no Roman clergyman could be found who was free of the pollution of Simony and Fornication!”
(1073-1085). The two prevailing Sins of the Clergy were immorality and simony. The Church owned a large share of property, and had rich incomes. Practically all Bishops and Priests had paid for their office, for it gave them a chance to live in luxury. Kings habitually sold Church Offices to the highest bidder, regardless of fitness or character!
Pope Innocent III (1198-1216)
One of the greatest popes of the Middle Ages, son of Count Trasimund of Segni and nephew of Clement III, born 1160 or 1161 at Anagni, and died 16 June, 1216, at Perugia.
He received his early education at Rome, studied theology at Paris, jurisprudence at Bologna, and became a learned theologian and one of the greatest jurists of his time. Shortly after the death of Alexander III (30 Aug., 1181) Lotario returned to Rome and held various ecclesiastical offices during the short reigns of Lucius III, Urban III, Gregory VIII, and Clement III. Pope Gregory VIII ordained him subdeacon, and Clement III created him Cardinal-Deacon of St. George in Velabro and Sts. Sergius and Bacchus, in 1190. Later he became Cardinal-Priest of St. Pudentiana.
During the pontificate of Celestine III (1191-1198), a member of the House of the Orsini, enemies of the counts of Segni, he lived in retirement, probably at Anagni, devoting himself chiefly to meditation and literary pursuits. Celestine III died 8 January, 1198. Previous to his death he had urged the College of Cardinals to elect Giovanni di Colonna as his successor; but Lotario de' Conti was elected pope, at Rome, on the very day on which Celestine III died. He accepted the tiara with reluctance and took the name of Innocent III. At the time of his accession to the papacy he was only thirty-seven years of age. The imperial throne had become vacant by the death of Henry VI in 1197, and no successor had as yet been elected. The tactful and energetic pope made good use of the opportunity offered him by this vacancy for the restoration of the papal power in Rome and in the States of the Church. The Prefect of Rome, who reigned over the city as the emperor's representative, and the senator who stood for the communal rights and privileges of Rome, swore allegiance to Innocent. When he had thus re-established the papal authority in Rome, he availed himself of every opportunity to put in practice his grand concept of the papacy. Italy was tired of being ruled by a host of German adventurers, and the pope experienced little difficulty in extending his political power over the peninsula. First he sent two cardinal legates to Markwuld to demand the restoration of the Romagna and the March of Ancona to the Church. Upon his evasive answer he was excommunicated by the legates and driven away by the papal troops. In like manner the Duchy of Spoleto and the Districts of Assisi and Sora were wrested from the German knight, Conrad von Uerslingen. The league which had been formed among the cities of Tuscany was ratified by the pope after it acknowledged him as suzerain.
The death of the Emperor Henry VI left his four-year old child, Frederick II, King of Sicily. The emperor's widow Constance, who ruled over Sicily for her little son, was unable to cope singly against the Norman barons of the Sicilian Kingdom, who resented the German rule and refused to acknowledge the child-king. She appealed to Innocent III to save the Sicilian throne for her child. The pope made use of this opportunity to reassert papal suzerainty over Sicily, and acknowledged Frederick II as king only after Constance had surrendered certain privileges contained in the so-called Four Chapters, which William I had previously extorted from Adrian IV. The pope then solemnly invested Frederick II as King of Sicily in a Bull issued about the middle of November, 1198. Before the Bull reached Sicily Constance had died, but before her death she had appointed Innocent as guardian of the orphan-king. With the greatest fidelity the pope watched over the welfare of his ward during the nine years of his minority. Even the enemies of the papacy admit that Innocent was an unselfish guardian of the young king and that no one else could have ruled for him more ably and conscientiously.
To protect the inexperienced king against his enemies, he induced him in 1209 to marry Constance, the widow of King Emeric of Hungary.
Conditions in Germany were extremely favourable for the application of Innocent's idea concerning the relation between the papacy and the empire. After the death of Henry VI a double election had ensued. The Ghibellines had elected Philip of Swabia on 6 March, 1198, while the Guelfs had elected Otto IV, son of Henry the Lion and nephew of King Richard of England, in April of the same year. The former was crowned at Mainz on 8 September, 1198, the latter at Aachen on 12 July, 1198. Immediately upon his accession to the papal throne Innocent had sent the Bishop of Sutri and the Abbot of Sant' Anastasio as legates to Germany, with instructions to free Philip of Swabia from the ban which he had incurred under Celestine III, on condition that he would bring about the liberation of the imprisoned Queen Sibyl of Sicily and restore the territory which he had taken from the Church when he was Duke of Tuscany. When the legates arrived in Germany, Philip had already been elected king. Yielding to the wishes of Philip, the Bishop of Sutri secretly freed him from the ban upon his mere promise to fulfil the proposed conditions. After the coronation Philip sent the legates back to Rome with letters requesting the pope's ratification of his election; but Innocent was dissatisfied with the action of the Bishop of Sutri and refused to ratify the election. Otto IV also sent legates to the pope after his coronation at Aachen, but before the pope took any action, the two claimants of the German throne began to assert their claims by force of arms. Though the pope did not openly side with either of them, it was apparent that his sympathy was with Otto IV. Offended at what they considered an unjust interference on the part of the pope, the adherents of Philip sent a letter to him in which they protested against his interference in the imperial affairs of Germany. In his answer Innocent stated that he had no intention of encroaching upon the rights of the princes, but insisted upon the rights of the Church in this matter. He emphasized especially that the conferring of the imperial crown belonged to the pope alone. In 1201 the pope openly espoused the side of Otto IV. On 3 July, 1201, the papal legate, Cardinal-Bishop Guido of Palestrina, announced to the people, in the cathedral of Cologne, that Otto IV had been approved by the pope as Roman king and threatened with excommunication all those who refused to acknowledge him. Innocent III made clear to the German princes by the Decree "Venerabilem" which he addressed to the Duke of Zähringen in May, 1202, in what relation he considered the empire to stand to the papacy. This decretal, which has become famous, was afterwards embodied in the "Corpus Juris Canonici".
It is found in Baluze, "Registrum Innocentii III super negotio Romani Imperii", no. lxii, and is reprinted in P.L., CCXVI, 1065-7. The following are the chief points of the decretal:
to assist the pope in the exercise of his suzerainty over Sicily; to grant freedom of ecclesiastical elections; unlimited right of appeal to the pope and the exclusive competency of the hierarchy in spiritual matters; he had, moreover renounced the "regalia" and the jus spolii, i.e., the right to the revenues of vacant sees and the seizure of the estates of intestate ecclesiastics. He also promised to assist the hierarchy in the extirpation of heresy. But scarcely had he been crowned emperor when he seized Ancona, Spoleto, the bequest of Matilda, and other property of the Church, giving it in vassalage to some of his friends. He also united with the enemies of Frederick II and invaded the Kingdom of Sicily with the purpose of wresting it from the youthful king and from the suzerainty of the pope. When Otto did not listen to the remonstrances of Innocent, the latter excommunicated him, 18 November, 1210, and solemnly proclaimed his excommunication at a Roman synod held on 31 March, 1211. The pope now began to treat with King Philip Augustus of France and with the German princes, with the result that most princes renounced the excommunicated emperor and elected in his place the youthful Frederick II of Sicily, at the Diet of Nuremberg in September, 1211. The election was repeated in presence of a representative of the pope and of Philip Augustus of France at the Diet of Frankfort, 2 December, 1212. After making practically the same promises to the pope which Otto IV had made previously, and, in addition, taking the solemn oath never to unite Sicily with the empire, his election was ratified by Innocent and he was crowned at Aachen on 12 July, 1215. The deposed emperor Otto IV hastened to Germany immediately upon the election of Frederick II, but received little support from the princes. In alliance with John of England he made war upon Philip of France, but was defeated in the battle of Bouvines, 27 July, 1214. Then he lost all influence in Germany and died on 19 May, 1218, leaving the pope's creature, Frederick II, the undisputed emperor. When Innocent ascended the papal throne a cruel war was being waged between Philip Augustus of France and Richard of England. The pope considered it his duty, as the supreme ruler of the Christian world, to put an end to all hostilities among Christian princes. Shortly after his accession he sent Cardinal Peter of Capua to France with instructions to threaten both kings with interdict if they would not within two months conclude peace or at least agree upon a truce of five years. In January, 1198, the two kings met between Vernon and Andely and a truce of five years was agreed upon. The same legate was instructed by the pope to threaten Philip Augustus with interdict over the whole of France if within a month he would not be reconciled with his lawful wife, Ingeburga of Denmark, whom he had rejected and in whose stead he had taken Agnes, daughter of the Duke of Meran. When Philip took no heed of the pope's warning Innocent carried out his threat and on 12 December, 1199, laid the whole of France under interdict.
For nine months the king remained stubborn, but when the barons and the people began to rise in rebellion against him he finally discarded his concubine and the interdict was lifted on 7 September, 1200. It was not, however, until 1213 that the pope succeeded in bringing about a final reconciliation between the king and his lawful wife Ingeburga.
Innocent also had an opportunity to assert the papal rights in England. After the death of Archbishop Hubert of Canterbury, in 1205, a number of the younger monks of Christ Church assembled secretly at night and elected their sub-prior, Reginald, as archbishop. This election was made without the concurrence of the bishop and without the authority of the king. Reginald was asked not to divulge his election until he had received the papal approbation. But on his way to Rome the vain monk assumed the title of archbishop-elect, and thus the episcopal body of the province of Canterbury was apprised of the secret election. The bishops at once sent Peter of Anglesham as their representative to Pope Innocent to protest against the uncanonical proceedings of the monks of Christ Church. The monks also were highly incensed at Reginald because, contrary to his promise, he had divulged his election. They proceeded to a second election, and on 11 December, 1205, cast their votes for the royal favourite, John de Grey, whom the king had recommended to their suffrages. The controversy between the monks of Christ Church and the bishops concerning the right of electing the Archbishop of Canterbury, Innocent decided in favour of the monks, but in the present case he pronounced both elections invalid; that of Reginald because it had been made uncanonically and clandestinely, that of John de Grey because it had occurred before the invalidity of the former was proclaimed by the pope. Not even King John, who offered Innocent 3000 marks if he would decide in favour of de Grey, could alter the pope's decision. Innocent summoned those monks of Canterbury who were in Rome to proceed to a new election and recommended to their choice Stephen Langton, an Englishman, whom the pope had called to Rome from the rectorship of the University of Paris, in order to create him cardinal. He was duly elected by the monks and the pope himself consecrated him archbishop at Viterbo on 17 June, 1207. Innocent informed King John of the election of Langton and asked him to accept the new archbishop. The king, however, had set his mind on his favourite, John de Grey, and flatly refused to allow Langton to come to England in the capacity of Archbishop of Canterbury. He, moreover, wreaked his vengeance on the monks of Christ Church by driving them from their monastery and taking possession of their property. Innocent now placed the entire kingdom under interdict which was proclaimed on 24 March, 1208.
When this proved of no avail and the king committed acts of cruelty against the clergy, the pope declared him excommunicated in 1209, and formally deposed him in 1212. He entrusted King Philip of France with the execution of the sentence. When Philip threatened to invade England and the feudal lords and the clergy began to forsake King John, the latter made his submission to Pandulph, whom Innocent had sent as legate to England. He promised to acknowledge Langton as Archbishop of Canterbury, to allow the exiled bishops and priests to return to England and to make compensation for the losses which the clergy had sustained. He went still further, and on 13 May, 1213, probably of his own initiative, surrendered the English kingdom through Pandulph into the hands of the pope to be returned to him as a fief. The document of the surrender states that henceforth the kings of England were to rule as vassals of the pope and to pay an annual tribute of 1000 marks to the See of Rome. On 20 July, 1213, the king was solemnly freed from the ban at Winchester and after the clergy had been reimbursed for its losses the interdict was lifted from England on 29 June, 1214. It appears that many of the barons were not pleased with the surrender of England into the hands of the pope. They also resented the king's continuous trespasses upon their liberties and his many acts of injustice in the government of the people. They finally had recourse to violence and forced him to yield to their demands by affixing his seal to the Magna Charta. Innocent could not as suzerain of England allow a contract which imposed such serious obligations upon his vassal to be made without his consent. His legate Pandulph had repeatedly praised King John to the pope as a wise ruler and loyal vassal of the Holy See. The pope, therefore, declared the Great Charter null and void, not because it gave too many liberties to the barons and the people, but because it had been obtained by violence.
There was scarcely a country in Europe over which Innocent III did not in some way or other assert the supremacy which he claimed for the papacy. He excommunicated Alfonso IX of Leon, for marrying a near relative, Berengaria, a daughter of Alfonso VIII, contrary to the laws of the Church, and effected their separation in 1204. For similar reasons he annulled, in 1208, the marriage of the crown-prince, Alfonso of Portugal, with Urraca, daughter of Alfonso of Castile. From Pedro II of Aragon he received that kingdom in vassalage and crowned him king at Rome in 1204. He prepared a crusade against the Moors and lived to see their power broken in Spain at the battle of Navas de Tolosa, in 1212. He protected the people of Norway against their tyrannical king, Sverri, and after the king's death arbitrated between the two claimants to the Norwegian throne. He mediated between King Emeric of Hungary and his rebellious brother Andrew,
sent royal crown and sceptre to King Johannitius of Bulgaria and had his legate crown him king at Tirnovo, in 1204; he restored ecclesiastical discipline in Poland; arbitrated between the two claimants to the royal crown of Sweden; made partly successful attempts to reunite the Greek with the Latin Church and extended his beneficent influence practically over the whole Christian world. Like many preceding popes, Innocent had at heart the recovery of the Holy Land, and for this end undertook the Fourth Crusade. The Venetians had pledged themselves to transport the entire Christian army and to furnish the fleet with provisions for nine months, for 85,000 marks. When the crusaders were unable to pay the sum, the Venetians proposed to bear the financial expenses themselves on condition that the crusaders would first assist them in the conquest of the city of Zara. The crusaders yielded to their demands and the fleet started down the Adriatic on 8 October, 1202. Zara had scarcely been reduced when Alexius Comnenus arrived at the camp of the crusaders and pleaded for their help to replace his father, Isaac Angelus, on the throne of Constantinople from which he had been deposed by his cruel brother Alexius. In return he promised to reunite the Greek with the Latin Church, to add 10,000 soldiers to the ranks of the crusaders, and to contribute money and provisions to the crusade. The Venetians, who saw their own commercial advantage in the taking of Constantinople, induced the crusaders to yield to the prayers of Alexius, and Constantinople was taken by them in 1204. Isaac Angelus was restored to his throne but soon replaced by a usurper. The crusaders took Constantinople a second time on 12 April, 1204, and after a horrible pillage, Baldwin, Count of Flanders, was proclaimed emperor and the Greek Church was united with the Latin. The reunion, as well as the Latin empire in the East, did not last longer than two generations. When Pope Innocent learned that the Venetians had diverted the crusaders from their purpose of conquering the Holy Land he expressed his great dissatisfaction first at their conquest of Zara, and when they proceeded towards Constantinople he solemnly protested and finally excommunicated the Venetians who had caused the digression of the crusaders from their original purpose. Since, however, he could not undo what had been accomplished he did his utmost to destroy the Greek schism and latinize the Eastern Empire.
Innocent was also a zealous protector of the true Faith and a strenuous opponent of heresy. His chief activity was turned against the Albigenses who had become so numerous and aggressive that they were no longer satisfied with being adherents of heretical doctrines but even endeavoured to spread their heresy by force. They were especially numerous in a few cities of Northern and in Southern France.
During the first year of his pontificate Innocent sent the two Cistercian monks Rainer and Guido to the Albigenses in France to preach to them the true Faith and dispute with them on controverted topics of religion. The two Cistercian missionaries were soon followed by Diego, Bishop of Osma, then by St. Dominic and the two papal legates. Peter of Castelnau and Raoul. When, however, these peaceful missionaries were ridiculed and despised by the Albigenses, and the papal legate Castelnau was assassinated in 1208, Innocent resorted to force. He ordered the bishops of Southern France to put under interdict the participants in the murder and all the towns that gave shelter to them. He was especially incensed against Count Raymond of Toulouse who had previously been excommunicated by the murdered legate and whom, for good reasons, the pope suspected as the instigator of the murder. The count protested his innocence and submitted to the pope, probably out of cowardice, but the pope placed no further trust in him. He called upon France to raise an army for the suppression of the Albigenses. Under the leadership of Simon of Montfort a cruel campaign ensued against the Albigenses which, despite the protest of Innocent, soon turned into a war of conquest (see ALBIGENSES). The culminating point in the glorious reign of Innocent was his convocation of the Fourth Lateran Council, which he solemnly opened on 15 November, 1215. It was by far the most important council of the Middle Ages. Besides deciding on a general crusade to the Holy Land, it issued seventy reformatory decrees, the first of which was a creed (Firmiter credimus), against the Albigenses and Waldenses, in which the term "transubstantiation" received its first ecclesiastical sanction.
The labours of Innocent in the inner government of the Church appear to be of a very subordinate character when they are put beside his great politico-ecclesiastical achievements which brought the papacy to the zenith of its power. Still they are worthy of memory and have contributed their share to the glory of his pontificate. During his reign the two great founders of the mendicant orders, St. Dominic and St. Francis, laid before him their scheme of reforming the world. Innocent was not blind to the vices of luxury and indolence which had infected many of the clergy and part of the laity. In Dominic and Francis he recognized two mighty adversaries of these vices and he sanctioned their projects with words of encouragement. The lesser religious orders which he approved are the Hospitallers of the Holy Ghost on 23 April, 1198, the Trinitarians on 17 December, 1198, and the Humiliati, in June, 1201. In 1209 he commissioned the Cistercian monk, Christian, afterwards bishop, with the conversion of the heathen Prussians.
At Rome he built the famous hospital Santo Spirito in Sassia, which became the model of all future city hospitals and exists to the present time (see Walsh, "The Popes and Science", New York, 1908, p. 249-258; and the article HOSPITALS). The following saints were canonized by Innocent: Homobonus, a merchant of Cremona, on 12 January, 1199; the Empress Cunegond, on 3 March, 1200; William, Duke of Aquitaine in 1202; Wulstan, Bishop of York, on 14 May, 1203; Procopius, abbot at Prague, on 2 June, 1204; and Guibert, the founder of the monastery at Gembloux, in 1211. Innocent died at Perugia, while travelling through Italy in the interests of the crusade which had been decided upon at the Lateran Council. He was buried in the cathedral of Perugia where his body remained until Leo XIII, a great admirer of Innocent, had it transferred to the Lateran in December, 1891. Innocent is also the author of various literary works reprinted in P.L., CCXIV-CCXVIII, where may also be found his numerous extant epistles and decretals, and the historically important "Registrum Innocentii III super negotio imperii". His first work, "De contemptu mundi, sive de miseria conditionis humanæ libri III" (P.L., CCXVII, 701-746) was written while he lived in retirement during the pontificate of Celestine III. It is an ascetical treatise and gives evidence of Innocent's deep piety and knowledge of men. Concerning it see Reinlein "Papst Innocenz der dritte und seine Schrift 'De contemptu mundi" (Erlangen, 1871). His treatise "De sacro altaris mysterio libri VI" (P.L., CCXVII, 773-916) is of great liturgical value, because it represents the Roman Mass as it was at the time of Innocent. See Franz, "Die Messe im deutschen Mittelalter" (Freiburg, 1902), 453-457. It was printed repeatedly, and translated into German by Hurter (Schaffhausen, 1845). He also wrote "De quadripartita specie nuptiarum" (P.L., CCXVII, 923-968), an exposition of the fourfold marriage bond, namely,
"Commentarius in septem psalmos pœnitentiales" (P.L., CCXVII, 967-1130) is of doubtful authorship. Among his seventy-nine sermons (ibidem, 314-691) is the famous one on the text "Desiderio desideravi" (Luke 22:15), which he delivered at the Fourth Lateran Council. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08013a.htm
Henry Halley (1895—1965)
Pope Innocent III (1198-1216). He was the “most powerful of all the Popes.” He claimed to be “Vicar of Christ,” “Vicar of God,” and “Supreme Sovereign over the Church and the World.” He claimed the right to depose Kings and Princes; and that “All things on earth and in Heaven and in Hell — are subject to the Vicar of Christ.”
He brought the Church into supreme control of the State. The Kings of Germany, France, England, and practically all the Monarchs of Europe, obeyed his will. He even brought the Byzantine Empire under his control. Never in history has any one man exerted more power! He . . .
ordered two Crusades,
confirmed Confession to priests,
declared Papal Infallibility,
forbade the reading of the Bible in the vernacular,
ordered the extermination of heretics,
instituted the Inquisition, and
ordered the Massacre of the Albigenses!
More blood was shed under his direction, and that of his immediate successors, than in any other period of Church history, except in the Papacy’s effort to crush the Reformation in the 16th and 17th centuries. One Would think Nero, the Beast — had come to life in Name of the Lamb!
Papal power was maintained by the Inquisition. The Inquisition, called the “Holy Office,” was instituted by Pope Innocent III, and perfected under the second following Pope, Gregory IX. It was the “Church Court for Detection and Punishment of Heretics.” Under it, everyone was required to inform against Heretics. Anyone suspected, was liable to torture, without knowing the name of his accuser. The proceedings were secret. The Inquisitor pronounced sentence, and the victim was turned over to Civil Authorities to be imprisoned for life — or to be burned! The victim’s property was confiscated, and divided between the Church and the State.
In the period immediately following Pope Innocent III, the Inquisition did its most deadly work against the Albigenses — but also claimed vast multitudes of victims in Spain, Italy, Germany and the Netherlands.
Later on, the Inquisition was the main agency in the Papacy’s effort to crush the Reformation. It is stated that in the 30 years between 1540 and 1570 — no fewer than 900,000 Protestants were put to death in the Pope’s attempt for the extermination of the Waldenses.
Think of Monks and Priests, in holy garments — directing, with heartless cruelty and inhuman brutality — the work of torturing and burning alive innocent men and women, and doing it in the Name of Christ — by the direct order of the “Vicar of Christ!”
The Inquisition was the most notorious and devilish thing in human history! It was devised by Popes, and used by them for 500 years, to maintain their power. For its evil record — none of the subsequent line of “Holy” and “Infallible” Popes have ever apologized!
Pope Boniface VIII (1294-1303)
Born at Anagni about 1235; died at Rome, 11 October, 1303. He was the son of Loffred, a descendant of a noble family originally Spanish, but long established in Italy--first at Gaeta and later at Anagni. Through his mother he was connected with the house of Segni, which had already given three illustrious sons to the Church, Innocent III, Gregory IX, and Alexander IV. Benedetto had studied at Todi and at Spoleto in Italy, perhaps also at Paris, had obtained the doctorate in canon and civil law, and been made a canon successively at Anagni, Todi, Paris, Lyons, and Rome. In 1265 he accompanied Cardinal Ottobuono Fieschi to England, whither that prelate had been sent to restore harmony between Henry III and the rebellious barons. It was not until about 1276 that Gaetani entered upon his career in the Curia, where he was, for some years, actively engaged as consistorial advocate and notary Apostolic, and soon acquired considerable influence.
Under Martin IV, in 1281, he was created Cardinal-Deacon of the title of S. Nicolò in carcere Tulliano, and ten years later, under Nicholas IV, Cardinal-Priest of the title of SS. Silvestro e Martino ai Monti. As papal legate he served with conspicuous ability in France and in Sicily (H. Finke, Aus den Tagen Bonifaz VIII, Münster, 1902, 1 sqq., 9 sqq.).
On the 13th of December, 1294, the saintly but wholly incompetent hermit-pope Celestine V, who five months previously, as Pietro di Murrhone, had been taken from his obscure mountain cave in the wilds of the Abruzzi and raised to the highest dignity in Christendom, resigned the intolerable burden of the papacy. The act was unprecedented and has been frequently ascribed to the undue influence and pressure of the designing Cardinal Gaetani. That the elevation of the inexperienced and simple-minded recluse did not commend itself to a man of the stamp of Gaetani, reputed the greatest jurist of his age and well-skilled in all the arts of curial diplomacy, is highly probable. But Boniface himself declared through Ægidius Colonna, that he had at first dissuaded Celestine from taking the step. And it has now been almost certainly established that the idea of resigning the papacy first originated in the mind of the sorely perplexed Celestine himself, and that the part played by Gaetani was at most that of a counsellor, strongly advising the pontiff to issue a constitution, either before or simultaneously with his abdication, declaring the legality of a papal resignation and the competency of the College of Cardinals to accept it. [See especially H. Schulz, Peter von Murrhone--Papst Celestin V--in Zeitschrift für Kirchengeschichte, xvii (1897), 481 sqq.; also Finke, op. cit., 39 sqq.; and R. Scholz, Die Publizistik zur Zeit Philipps des Schönen und Bonifaz VIII, Stuttgart, 1903, 3.] Ten days after Celestine the Fifth's gran rifuto the cardinals went into conclave in the Castel Nuovo at Naples, and on the 24th of December, 1294, by a majority of votes elected Cardinal Benedetto Gaetani, who took the name of Boniface VIII. (For details of the election see Finke, op. cit., 44-54.) With the approval of the cardinals, the new pope immediately revoked (27 December, 1294) all the extraordinary favours and privileges which "in the fullness of his simplicity" Celestine V had distributed with such reckless prodigality. Then, early in January of the following year, in spite of the rigour of the season, Boniface set out for Rome, determined to remove the papacy as soon as possible from the influence of the Neapolitan court. The ceremony of his consecration and coronation was performed at Rome, 23 January, 1295, amid scenes of unparalleled splendour and magnificence. King Charles II of Naples and his son Charles Martel, titular king and claimant of Hungary, held the reins of his gorgeously accoutred snow-white palfrey as he proceeded on his way to St. John Lateran, and later, with their crowns upon their heads, served the pope with the first few dishes at table before taking their places amongst the cardinals.
On the following day the pontiff issued his first encyclical letter, in which, after announcing Celestine's abdication and his own accession, he depicted in the most glowing terms the sublime and indefectible nature of the Church.
The unusual step taken by Celestine V had aroused much opposition, especially among the religious parties in Italy. In the hands of the Spirituals, or Fraticelli, and the Celestines--many of whom were not as guileless as their saintly founder--the former pontiff, if allowed to go free, might prove to be a dangerous instrument for the promotion of a schism in the Church. Boniface VIII, therefore, before leaving Naples, ordered Celestine V to be taken to Rome in the custody of the Abbot of Monte Cassino. On the way thither the saint escaped and returned to his hermitage near Sulmona. Apprehended again, he fled a second time, and after weary weeks of roaming through the woods of Apulia reached the sea and embarked on board a vessel about to sail for Dalmatia. But a storm cast the luckless fugitive ashore at Vieste in the Capitanata, where the authorities recognized and detained him. He was brought before Boniface in his palace at Anagni, kept in custody there for some time, and finally transferred to the strong Castle of Fumone at Ferentino. Here he remained until his death ten months later, 19 May, 1296. The detention of Celestine was a simple measure of prudence for which Boniface VIII deserves no censure; but the rigorous treatment to which the old man of over eighty years was subjected--whoever may have been responsible for it--will not be easily condoned. Of this treatment there can now no longer be any question. The place wherein Celestine was confined was so narrow "that the spot whereon the saint stood when saying Mass was the same as that whereon his head lay when he reclined" (quod, ubi tenebat pedes ille sanctus, dum missam diceret, ibi tenebat caput, quando quiescebat), and his two companions were frequently obliged to change places because the constraint and narrowness made them ill. (In this connexion see the very important and valuable paper "S. Pierre Célestin et ses premiers Biographes" in "Analecta Bolland.", XVI, 365-487; cf. Finke, op. cit., 267.)
Thoroughly imbued with the principles of his great and heroic predecessors, Gregory VII and Innocent III, the successor of Celestine V entertained most exalted notions on the subject of papal supremacy in ecclesiastical as well as in civil matters, and was ever most pronounced in the assertion of his claims. By his profound knowledge of the canons of the Church, his keen political instincts, great practical experience of life, and high talent for the conduct of affairs, Boniface VIII seemed exceptionally well qualified to maintain inviolate the rights and privileges of the papacy as they had been handed down to him.
But he failed either to recognize the altered temper of the times, or to gauge accurately the strength of the forces arrayed against him; and when he attempted to exercise his supreme authority in temporal affairs as in spiritual, over princes and people, he met almost everywhere with a determined resistance. His aims of universal peace and Christian coalition against the Turks were not realized; and during the nine years of his troubled reign he scarcely ever achieved a decisive triumph. Though certainly one of the most remarkable pontiffs that have ever occupied the papal throne, Boniface VIII was also one of the most unfortunate. His pontificate marks in history the decline of the medieval power and glory of the papacy.
Boniface first endeavoured to settle the affiars of Sicily, which had been in a very distracted condition since the time of the Sicilian Vespers (1282). Two rivals claimed the island, Charles II, King of Naples, in right of his father Charles of Anjou, who had received it from Clement IV, and James II, King of Aragon, who derived his claims from the Hohenstaufen, through his mother Constance, the daughter of Manfred. James II had been crowned King of Sicily at Palermo in 1286, and had thereby incurred the sentence of excommunication for daring to usurp a fief of the Holy See. On his succession to the throne of Aragon, after the death of his brother Alfonso III, in 1291, James agreed to surrender Sicily to Charles II on condition that he should receive the latter's daughter, Blanche of Naples, in marriage, together with a dowry of 70,000 pounds of silver. Boniface VIII, as liege lord of the island, ratified this agreement 21 June, 1295, and further sought to reconcile the conflicting elements by restoring James II to peace with the Church, confirming him in his possession of Aragon, and granting him the islands of Sardinia and Corsica, which were fiefs of the Holy See, in compensation for the loss of Sicily. By these measures Boniface VIII merely adhered to the traditional policy of the papacy in dealing with Sicilian affairs; there is no evidence to show that, either before or shortly after his election, he had pledged himself in any way to recover Sicily for the House of Anjou. Sicily was not, however, pacified by this agreement between the pope and the kings of Aragon and Naples. Threatened with a renewal of the detested rule of the French, the inhabitants of that island asserted their independence, and offered the crown to Frederick, the younger brother of James II. In an interview with Frederick at Velletri, the pope sought to dissuade him from accepting the offer by holding out prospects of a succession to the throne of Constantinople and a marriage with Princess Catherine of Courtenay, granddaughter and heir of Baldwin II, the last Latin Emperor of the East. But the young prince would not be dissuaded. The papal legate was expelled from the island, and, against the protests of Boniface VIII, Frederick was crowned King of Sicily at Palermo, 25 March, 1296.
He was at once excommunicated and the island placed under interdict. Neither the king nor his people paid any heed to the censures. At the instigation of the pope a war ensued, in which James of Aragon, as Captain-General of the Church, was compelled to take part against his own brother. The contest was brought to a close (1302) through the efforts of Prince Charles of Valois, whom the pope had called to his assistance in 1301. Frederick was to be absolved from the censures he had incurred, to marry Eleanora, younger daughter of Charles II, and to retain Sicily during his lifetime. After his death the island should revert to the King of Naples. Though frustrated in his hopes, Boniface VIII ratified the treaty 12 June, 1303, and agreed to recognize Frederick as vassal of the Holy See.
In the meantime Boniface VIII had directed his attention also to the north of Italy, where, during a period of forty years, the two rival republics of Venice and Genoa had been carrying on a bitter contest for commercial supremacy in the Levant. A crusade was wellnigh impossible without the active co-operation of these two powers. The pope, therefore, commanded a truce until 24 June, 1296, and ordered both the contestants to send ambassadors to Rome with a view to arranging terms of peace. The Venetians were inclined to accept his mediation; not so the Genoese, who were elated by their success. The war continued till 1299, when the two republics were obliged finally to conclude peace from sheer exhaustion, but even then the intervention of the pope was rejected.
The efforts made by Boniface VIII to restore order in Florence and Tuscany proved equally futile. During the closing years of the thirteenth century the great Guelph city was torn asunder by the violent dissensions of the Bianchi and the Neri. The Bianchi or Whites, of Ghibelline tendencies, represented the popular party and contained some of the most distinguished men in Florence--Dante Alighieri, Guido Cavalcanti, and Dino Compagni. The Neri or Blacks, professing the old Guelph principles, represented the nobles or aristocracy of the city. Each party as it gained the ascendancy sent its opponents into exile. After a vain attempt to reconcile the leaders of the two parties, Vieri dei Cerchi and Corso Donati, the pope sent Cardinal Matteo d'Acquasparta as papal legate to mediate and establish peace at Florence. The legate met with no success and soon returned to Rome leaving the city under an interdict. Towards the end of 1300, Boniface VIII summoned to his aid Charles of Valois, brother of Philip the Fair. Appointed Captain-General of Church and invested with the governorship of Tuscany (in consequence of the vacancy of the empire), the French prince was given full powers to effect the pacification of the city. Valois arrived at Florence on 1 November, 1301.
But instead of acting as the official peacemaker of the pope, he conducted himself as a ruthless destroyer. After five months of his partisan administration, the Neri were supreme and many of the Bianchi exiled and ruined--among them Dante Alighieri. Beyond drawing on himself and the pope the bitter hatred of the Florentine people, Charles had accomplished nothing. (Levi, Bonifazio VIII e le sue relazioni col commune di Firenze, in Archiv. Soc. Rom. di Storia Patria, 1882, V, 365-474. Cf. Franchetti, Nuova Antologia, 1883, 23-38.) It may be noted here that many scholars of repute seriously question Dante's famous embassy to Boniface VIII in the latter part of 1301. The only contemporary evidence to support the poet's mission is a passage in Dino Compagni, and even that is looked upon by some as a later interpolation.
While thus endeavouring to promote peaceful relations between various states in Northern and Southern Italy, Boniface had himself become engaged in a desperate struggle at Rome with two rebellious members of the Sacred College, Jacopo Colonna and his nephew Pietro Colonna. The Colonna cardinals were Roman princes of the highest nobility and belonged to a powerful Italian family that had numerous palaces and strongholds in Rome and in the Campagna. The estrangement which took place between them and Boniface, early in 1297, was owing chiefly to two causes. Jacopo Colonna, upon whom the administration of the vast Colonna family possessions had been conferred, violated the rights of his brothers, Matteo, Ottone, and Landolfo, by appropriating the property rightfully belonging to them, and bestowing it on his nephews. To obtain redress they appealed to the pope, who decided in their favour, and repeatedly admonished the cardinal to deal justly with his brothers. But the cardinal and his nephews bitterly resented the pope's intervention and obstinately refused to abide by his decision. Moreover, the Colonna cardinals had seriously compromised themselves by maintaining highly treasonable relations with the political enemies of the pope--first with James II of Aragon, and later with Frederick III of Sicily. Repeated warnings against this alliance having availed nothing, Boniface, in the interests of his own security, ordered the Colonna to receive papal garrisons in Palestrina--the ancestral home of the family--and in their fortresses Zagarolo and Colonna. This they declined to do and forthwith broke off all relations with the pope. On the 4th of May, 1297, Boniface summoned the cardinals to his presence, and when, two days later (6 May), they appeared, he commanded them to do three things: to restore the consignment of gold and silver which their relative Stefano Colonna had seized and robbed from the pope's nephew, Pietro Gaetani, as he was bringing it from Anagni to Rome; to deliver up Stefano as a prisoner to the pope; and to surrender Palestrina together with the fortresses Zagarolo and Colonna. They complied with the first of these demands, but rejected the other two.
Thereupon Boniface on the 10th of May, 1297, issued a Bull "In excelso throno", depriving the rebellious cardinals of their dignities, pronouncing sentence of excommunication against them, and ordering them, within a space of ten days, to make their submission under penalty of forfeiting their property. On the morning of the same day (10 May) the Colonna had attached to the doors of several Roman churches, and even laid upon the high altar of St. Peter's, a manifesto, in which they declared the election of Boniface VIII invalid on the ground that the abdication of Celestine V was uncanonical, accused Boniface of circumventing his saintly predecessor, and appealed to a general council from whatever steps might be taken against them by the pope. This protest compiled at Longhezza, with the assistance of Fra Jacopone da Todi and of two other Spirituals, had somewhat anticipated the papal Bull, in answer to which, however, the Colonna issued the second manifesto (16 May) containing numerous charges against Boniface and appealing anew to a general council. The pope met this bold proceeding with increased severity. On the 23rd of May, 1297, a second Bull, "Lapis abscissus", confirmed the previous excommunication, and extended it to the five nephews of Jacopo with their heirs, declared them schismatics, disgraced, their property forfeited, and threatened with the interdict all such places as received them. Boniface at the same time pointed out how the Colonna cardinals had themselves favoured his election (in the conclave they had voted for Gaetani from the first, as they had been among those who counselled Celestine's abdication), had publicly acknowledged him as pope, attended his coronation, entertained him as their guest at Zagarolo, taken part in his consistories, signed all state documents with him, and had for nearly three years been his faithful ministers at the altar. The rebels replied with a third manifesto (15 June), and immediately set about preparing their fortresses for defense.
Boniface now withdrew from Rome to Orvieto, where, on the 4th of September, 1297, he declared war and entrusted the command of the pontifical troops to Landolfo Colonna, a brother of Jacopo. In December of the same year he even proclaimed a crusade against his enemies. The fortresses and castles of the Colonna were taken without much difficulty. Palestrina (Præneste), the best of their strongholds, alone held out for some time, but in September, 1298, it too was forced to surrender. Dante says it was got by treachery by "long promises and short performances" as Guido of Montefeltro counselled, but the tale of the implacable Ghibelline has long since been discredited. Clad in mourning, a cord around their necks, the two cardinals, with other members of the rebellious family, came to Rieti to cast themselves at the feet of the pontiff and implore his forgiveness.
Boniface received the captives amid all the splendours of the papal court, granted them pardon and absolution, but refused to restore them to their dignities. Palestrina was razed to the ground, the plough driven through and salt strewn over its ruins. A new city--the Città Papale--later replaced it. When shortly afterwards the Colonna organized another revolt (which was however speedily suppressed), Boniface once more proscribed and excommunicated the turbulent clan. Their property was confiscated, and the greater part of it bestowed on Roman nobles, more especially on Landolfo Colonna, the Orsini, and on the relatives of the pope. The Colonna cardinals and the leading members of the family now withdrew from the States of the Church--some seeking shelter in France, others in Sicily. (Denifle, see below, and Petrine, Memorie Prænestine, Rome, 1795.)
Early in the reign of Boniface, Eric VIII of Denmark had unjustly imprisoned Jens Grand, Archbishop of Lund. Isarnus, Archpriest of Carcassonne, was commissioned (1295) by Boniface to threaten the king with spiritual penalties, unless the archbishop were freed, pending the investigation of the matter at Rome, whither the king was invited to send representatives. The latter were actually sent, but were met at Rome by Archbishop Grand, who had in the meanwhile escaped. Boniface decided for the archbishop, and, when the king refused to yield, excommunicated him and laid the kingdom under interdict (1298). In 1303 Eric yielded, though his adversary was transferred to Riga and his see given (1304) to the legate Isarnus. In Hungary Chambert or Canrobert of Naples claimed the vacant crown as descendant of St. Stephen on the distaff side, and was supported by the pope in his quality of traditional overlord and protector of Hungary. The nobles, however, elected Andrew III, and on his early demise (1301) chose Ladislaus, son of Wenceslaus II of Bohemia. They paid no heed to the interdict of the papal legate, and the arbitration of Boniface was finally declined by the envoys of Wenceslaus. The latter had accepted from the Polish nobles the Crown of Poland, vacant owing to the banishment (1300) of Ladislaus I. The solemn warning of the pope and his protest against the violation of his right as overlord of Poland were unheeded by Wenceslaus, who soon, moreover, allied himself with Philip the Fair.
In Germany, on the death of Rudolph of Hapsburg (1291), his son Albert, Duke of Austria, declared himself king. The electors, however, chose (1292) Count Adolph of Nassau, whereupon Albert submitted. Adolph's government proving unsatisfactory, three of the electors deposed him at Mainz (23 June, 1298) and enthroned Albert. The rival kings appealed to arms; at Göllheim, near Worms, Adolph lost (2 July, 1298) both his life and crown.
Albert was re-elected king by the Diet of Frankfort and crowned at Aachen (24 August, 1298). The electors had sought regularly from Boniface recognition of their choice and imperial consecration. He refused both on the plea that Albert was the murderer of his liege lord. Very soon Albert was at war with the three Rhenish archbishop-electors, and in 1301 the pope summoned him to Rome to answer various charges. Victorious in battle (1302), Albert sent agents to Boniface with letters in which he denied having slain King Adolph, nor had he sought the battle voluntarily, nor borne the royal title while Adolph lived, etc. Boniface eventually recognized his election (30 Apr., 1303). A little later (17 July) Albert renewed his father's oath of fidelity to the Roman Church, recognized the papal authority in Germany as laid down by Boniface (May, 1300), and promised to send no imperial vicar to Tuscany or Lombardy within the next five years without the pope's consent, and to defend the Roman Church against its enemies. In his attempt to preserve the independence of Scotland, Boniface was not successful. After the overthrow and imprisonment of John Baliol, and the defeat of Wallace (1298), the Scots Council of Regency sent envoys to the pope to protest against the feudal superiority of England. Boniface, they said, was the only judge whose jurisdiction extended over both kingdoms. Their realm belonged of right to the Roman See, and to none other. Boniface wrote to Edward I (27 June, 1299) reminding him, says Lingard, "almost in the very words of the Scottish memorial", that Scotland had belonged from ancient times and did still belong to the Roman See; the king was to cease all unjust aggression, free his captives, and pursue at the court of Rome within six months any rights that he claimed to the whole or part of Scotland. This letter reached the king after much delay, through the hands of Robert of Winchelsea, Archbishop of Canterbury, and was laid by Edward before a parliament summoned to meet at Lincoln. In its reply (27 Sept., 1300) the latter denied, over the names of the 104 lay lords, the papal claim of suzerainty over Scotland, and asserted that a king of England had never pleaded before any judge, ecclesiastical or secular, respecting his rights in Scotland or any other temporal rights, nor would they permit him to do so, were he thus inclined (Lingard, II, ch. vii). The king, however (7 May, 1301), supplemented this act by a memoir in which he set forth his royal view of the historical relations of Scotland and England. In their reply to this plea the representatives of Scotland re-assert the immemorial suzerainty of the Roman Church over Scotland "the property, the peculiar allodium of the Holy See"; in all controversies, they said, between these equal and independent kingdoms it is to their equal superior, the Church of Rome, that recourse should be had.
This somewhat academic conflict soon seemed hopeless at Rome, owing to the mutual violence and quarrels of the weaker party (Bellesheim, "Hist. of the Cath. Church of Scotland", London, 1887, II, 9-11), and is of less importance than the strained relations between Boniface and Edward, apropos of the unjust taxation of the clergy.
In 1294, of his own authority, Edward I sequestered all moneys found in the treasuries of all churches and monasteries. Soon he demanded and obtained from the clergy one half their incomes, both from lay fees and benefices. In the following year he called for a third or a fourth, but they refused to pay more than a tenth. When, at the Convocation of Canterbury (November, 1296), the king demanded a fifth of their income, the archbishop, Robert of Winchelsea, in keeping with the new legislation of Boniface, offered to consult the pope, whereupon the king outlawed the clergy, secular and regular, and seized all their lay fees, goods, and chattels. The northern Province of York yielded; in the Province of Canterbury many resisted for a time, among them the courageous archbishop, who retired to a rural parish. Eventually he was reconciled with the king, and his goods were restored, but as Edward soon after demanded in his own right a third of all ecclesiastical revenues, his recognition of the Bull "Clericis laicos" was evanescent.
The memorable conflict with Philip the Fair of France began early in the pope's reign and did not end even with the tragic close of his pontificate. The pope's chief aim was a general European peace, in the interest of a crusade that would break forever, at what seemed a favourable moment, the power of Islam. The main immediate obstacle to such a peace lay in the war between France and England, caused by Philip's unjust seizure of Gascony (1294). The chief combatants carried on the war at the expense of the Church, whose representatives they sorely taxed. Such taxation had often been permitted in the past by the popes, but only for the purpose (real or alleged) of a crusade; now it was applied in ordre to raise revenue from ecclesiastics for purely secular warfare. The legates sent by Boniface to both kings a few weeks after his elevation accomplished little; later efforts were rendered useless by the stubborn attitude of Philip. In the meantime numerous protests from the French clergy moved the pope to action, and with the approval of his cardinals he published (24 Feb., 1296) the Bull "Clericis laicos", in which he forbade the laity to exact or receive, and the clergy to give up, ecclesiastical revenues or property, without permission of the Apostolic See; princes imposing such exactions and ecclesiastics submitting to them were declared excommunicated.
Other popes of the thirteenth century, and the Third and Fourth Lateran Councils (1179, 1215), had legislated similarly against the oppressors of the clergy; apart, therefore, from the opening line of the Bull, that seemed offensive as reflecting on the laity in general (Clericis laicos infensos esse oppido tradit antiquitas, i.e., "All history shows clearly the enmity of the laity towards the clergy,"--in reality a byword in the schools and taken from earlier sources), there was nothing in its very general terms to rouse particularly the royal anger. Philip, however, was indignant, and soon retaliated by a royal ordinance (17 Aug.) forbidding the export of gold or silver, precious stones, weapons, and food from his kingdom. He also forbade foreign merchants to remain longer within its bounds. These measures affected immediately the Roman Church, for it drew much of its revenue from France, inclusive of crusade moneys, whence the numerous papal collectors were henceforth banished. The king also caused to be prepared a proclamation (never promulgated) concerning the obligation of ecclesiastics to bear the public burden and the revocable character of ecclesiastical immunities. (For the generous contributions of the French clergy to the national burdens, see the exhaustive statistics of Bourgain in "Rev. des quest. hist.", 1890, XLVIII, 62.) In the Bull "Ineffabilis Amor" (20 Sept.) Boniface protested vigorously against these royal acts, and explained that he had never meant to forbid voluntary gifts from the clergy or contributions necessary for the defence of the kingdom, of which necessity the king and his council were the judges. During 1297 the pope sought in various ways to appease the royal embitterment, notably by the Bull "Etsi de Statu" (31 July), above all by the canonization (11 Aug., 1297) of the king's grandfather, Louis IX. The royal ordinance was withdrawn, and the painful incident seemed closed. In the meantime the truce which in 1296 Boniface had tried to impose on Philip and Edward was finally accepted by both kings early in 1298, for a space of two years. The disputed matters were referred to Boniface as arbiter, though Philip accepted him not as pope, but as a private person, as Benedetto Gaetano. The award, favourable to Philip, was issued (27 June) by Boniface in a public consistory.
In the Jubilee of 1300 the high spirit of Boniface might well recognize a compensation and a consolation for previous humiliations. This unique celebration, the apogee of the temporal splendour of the papacy (Zaccaria, De anno Jubilæi, Rome, 1775), was formally inaugurated by the pope on the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul (29 June). Giovanni Villani, an eyewitness, relates in his Florentine chronicle that about 200,000 pilgrims were constantly in the City. It was necessary to make an opening in the wall of the Leonine City, near the Tiber, so that the multitude might have a larger freedom of movement. Pilgrims came from every country in Europe and even from distant Asia.
Ominously enough, if we except the elder son of the King of Naples, none of the kings or princes of Europe came to pay their respects to the Vicar of Christ. The second crown in the papal tiara, indicative of the temporal power, is said to date from the reign of Boniface, and may have been added at this time.
In the meantime Philip continued in a merciless way his fiscal oppression of the Church, and abused more than ever the so-called regalia, or royal privilege of collecting the revenues of a diocese during its vacancy. Since the middle of 1297 the exiled Colonna had found refuge and sympathy at the court of Philip, whence they spread calumnious charges against Boniface, and urged the calling of a general council for his deposition. The royal absolutism was now further incited by suggestions of a universal Christian dominion under the hegemony of France. The new state was to secure, besides the Holy Land, a universal peace. Both empires, the Byzantine and the German, were to be incorporated in it, and the papacy was to become a purely spiritual patriarchate, its temporalities administered by the French king, who would pay the pope an annual salary corresponding to his office. Such was the new Byzantinism outlined in a work on the recovery of the Holy Land ("De recuperatione terræ sanctæ", in Bongars, "Gesta Dei per Francos", II, 316-61, ed. Langlois, Paris, 1891), and though only the private work of Pierre Dubois, a civil servant of Philip, it probably reflected some fantastic plan of the king (Finke, Zur Charakteristik, 217-18).
In the first half of 1301 Boniface commissioned Bernard de Saisset, Bishop of Pamiers (Languedoc), as legate to Philip. He was to protest against the continued oppression of the clergy, and to urge the king to apply conscientiously to a crusade the ecclesiastical tithes collected by papal indults. For various reasons De Saisset was not a welcome envoy (Langlois, Hist. de France, ed. Lavisse, III, 2, 143). On his return to Pamiers he was accused of treasonable speech and incitement to insurrection, was brought to Paris (12 July, 1301), thence to Senlis, where he was found guilty in a trial directed by Pierre Flote, and known to modern historians (Von Reumont) as "a model of injustice and violence". De Saisset in vain protested his innocence and denied the competency of the civil court; he was committed temporarily to the care of the Archbishop of Narbonne, while Pierre Flote and Guillaume de Nogaret went to Rome to secure from Boniface the degradation of his legate and his delivery to the secular authority. Boniface acted with decision. He demanded form the king the immediate liberation of De Saisset and wrote to the Archbishop of Narbonne to detain the latter no longer.
By the Bull "Salvator Mundi" he withdrew the indults by which the French king collected canonically ecclesiastical revenue for the defence of the kingdom, i.e., he re-established in vigour the "Clericis laicos" and in the famous Bull "Ausculta Fili" (Listen, O Son) of 5 Dec., 1301, he stood forth as the mouthpiece of the medieval papacy, and as the genuine successor of the Gregories and the Innocents. In it he appeals to the king to listen to the Vicar of Christ, who is placed over kings and kingdoms (cf. Jeremiah 1:10). He is the keeper of the keys, the judge of the living and the dead, and sits on the throne of justice, with power to extirpate all iniquity. He is the head of the Church, which is one and stainless, and not a many-headed monster, and has full Divine authority to pluck out and tear down, to build up and plant. Let not the king imagine that he has no superior, is not subject to the highest authority in the Church. The pope is concerned for the welfare of all kings and princes, but particularly for the house of France. He then goes on to relate his many grievances against the king, the application of ecclesiastical goods to secular uses, despotic procedure in dragging ecclesiastics before civil courts, hindrance of episcopal authority, disrespect for papal provisions and benefices, and oppression of the clergy. He will no longer be responsible for the protection (custodia) of the monarch's soul, but has decided, after consulting his cardinals, to call to Rome for 4 Nov., 1302, the French bishops and doctors of theology, principal abbots, etc., to "dispose what is suitable for the correction of abuses, and for the reformation of the king and the kingdom". He invites the king to be present personally or through representatives, warns him against his evil counsellors, and finally reminds him eloquently of the royal neglect of a crusade. An impartial reader, says Von Reumont, will see that the document is only a repetition of previous papal utterances and resumes the teaching of the most esteemed medieval theologians on the nature and extension of papal authority. It was presented to the king (10 Feb., 1302) by Jacques de Normans, Archdeacon of Narbonne. The Comte d'Artois tore it from the Archdeacon's hands and cast it into the fire; another copy destined for the French clergy was suppressed (Hefele, 2d ed., VI, 329). In the place of the "Ausculta Fili", there was at once circulated a forged Bull, "Deum time" (Fear God), very probably the work of Pierre Flote, and with equal probability approved by the king. Its five or six brief haughty lines were really drawn up to include the fateful phrase, Scire te volumnus quod in spiritualibus et temporalibus nobis subes (i.e., We wish thee to know that thou art our subject both in spiritual and in temporal matters). It was also added (an odious thing for the grandson of St. Louis) that whoever denied this was a heretic.
In vain did the pope and the cardinals protest against the forgery; in vain did the pope explain, a little later, that the subjection spoken of in the Bull was only ratione peccati, i.e., that the morality of every royal act, private or public, fell within the papal prerogative. The general tone of the "Ausculta Fili", its personal admonitions couched in severe Scriptural language, its proposal to provide from Rome a good and prosperous administration of the French Kingdom, were not calculated to soothe at this juncture the minds of Frenchmen already agitated by the events of the preceeding years. It is also improbable that Boniface was personally very popular with the French secular clergy, whose petition (1290) against the encroachments of the regular orders he had rejected in his rough sarcastic manner, when legate at Paris (Finke in "Römische Quartalschrift", 1895, IX, 171; "Journal des Savants", 1895, 240). The national concern for the independence and honour of the French king was further heightened by a forged reply of the king to Boniface, known as "Sciat maxima tua fatuitas". It begins: "Philip, by the grace of God King of the Franks, to Boniface who acts as Supreme Pontiff. Let thy very great fatuity know that in temporal things we are subject to no one.…" Such a document, though probably never officially presented at Rome (Hefele), certainly made its way thither. After forbidding the French clergy to go to Rome or to send thither any moneys, and setting a watch on all roads, ports, and passes leading to Italy, Philip forestalled the pope's November council by a national assembly at Paris (10 April, 1301) in the Cathedral of Notre Dame. The forged Bull was read before the representatives of the three estates; the pope was violently denounced by Pierre Flote as aiming at temporal sovereignty in France; the king besought as their friend, and as their ruler commanded all present to aid him with their counsel. Nobles and burghers offered to shed their blood for the king; the clergy, confused and hesitating, sought delay, but finally yielded so far as to write to the pope quite in the sense of the king. The lay estate directed to the cardinals a defiant protest, in which they withheld the papal title from Boniface, recounted the services of France to the Roman Church, and re- echoed the usual royal complaints, above all the calling to Rome of the principal ecclesiastics of the nation. The letter of the bishops was directed to Boniface and begged him to maintain the former concord, to withdraw the call for the council, and suggested prudence and moderation, since the laity was prepared to defy all papal censures. In the reply of the cardinals to the lay estates, they assert their complete harmony with the pope, denounce the aforesaid forgeries, and maintain that the pope never asserted a right of temporal sovereignty in France.
In his reply Boniface roundly scourged the bishops for their cowardice, human respect, and selfishness; at the same time he made use, after his fashion, of not a few expressions offensive to the pride of French ecclesiastics and poured sarcasm over the person of the powerful Pierre Flote (Hefele). Finally, in a public consistory (August, 1302) at which the envoys of the king were present, the Cardinal-Bishop of Porto formally denied that the pope had ever claimed any temporal sovereignty over France and asserted that the genuine Bull (Ausculta Fili) had been well weighed and was an act of love, despite the fatherly severity of certain expressions. He insisted that the king was no more free than any other Christian from the supreme ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the pope, and maintained the unity of ecclesiastical authority. The Apostolic See, he said, was not foreign territory, nor could its nominees be rightly called foreigners. For the rest, the pope had full authority in temporal matters ratione peccati, i.e., in as far as the morality of human acts was concerned. He went on, however, to say that in temporal jurisdiction one must distinguish the right (de jure) and its use and execution (usus et executio). The former belonged to the pope as Vicar of Christ and of Peter; to deny it was to deny an article of faith, i.e., that Christ judges the living and the dead. This claim, says Hefele (2d ed., VI, 346), "must have appeared to the French as quite destructive of the aforesaid limitation ratione peccati. Gregory IX had maintained (1232, 1236), in his conflict with the Greeks and with Frederick II, that Constantine the Great had given temporal power to the popes, and that emperors and kings were only his auxiliaries, bound to use the material sword at his direction (Conciliengesch., 2d ed., V, 102, 1044). This theory, however, had never yet been officially put forth against France, and was all the more likely to rouse opposition in that nation, since it was now a question not of a theory, but of a practical situation, i.e., of the investigation of Philip's government and the menace of his deposition." He refers to the closing words of the discourse with which Boniface supplemented that of the Cardinal-Bishop of Porto, viz., that his predecessors had deposed three French kings, and, though unequal to such popes, he would, however sorrowfully, depose King Philip, sicut unum garcionem (like a servant); he thinks it not impossible (Hergenröther, Kirche und Staat, 229; Hefele, IV, 344) that the present harsh conclusion of the discourse of Boniface is one of the numerous forgeries of Pierre Flote and Nogaret. In the first half of this discourse the pope insists on the great development of France under papal protection, the shameless forgeries of Pierre Flote, the exclusive ecclesiastical nature of the grant (collatio) of benefices, and the papal preference for doctors of theology as aginst lay nepotism in matters of benefices. He is wroth over the assertion that he claimed France as a papal fief.
"We have been a doctor of both laws (civil and canon) these forty years, and who can believe that such folly [fatuitas] ever entered Our head?" Boniface also expressed his willingness to accept the mediation of the Duke of Burgundy or the Duke of Brittany; the efforts of the former, however, availed not, as the cardinals insisted on satisfaction for the burning of the papal Bull and the calumnious attacks on Boniface. The king replied by confiscating the goods of the ecclesiastics who had set out for the Roman Council, which met 30 Oct., 1302.
There were present four archbishops, thirty-five bishops, six abbots, and several doctors. Its acts have disappeared, probably during the process against the memory of Boniface (1309-11). Two Bulls, however, were issued as a result of its deliberations. One excommunicated whoever hindered, imprisoned, or otherwise ill-treated persons journeying to, or returning from, Rome. The other (18 Nov., 1302) is the famous "Unam Sanctam", probably the composition of Ægidius Colonna, Archbishop of Bourges and a member of the council, and largely made up of passages from such famous theologians as St. Bernard, Hugo of St. Victor, St. Thomas Aquinas, and others. Its chief concepts are as follows (Hergenröther-Kirsch, 4th ed., II, 593): (1) There is but one true Church, outside of which there is no salvation; but one body of Christ with one head and not two. (2) That head is Christ and His representative, the Roman pope; whoever refuses the pastoral care of Peter belongs not to the flock of Christ. (3) There are two swords (i.e., powers), the spiritual and the temporal; the first borne by the Church, the second for the Church; the first by the hand of the priest, the second by that of the king, but under the direction of the priest (ad nutum et patientiam sacerdotis). (4) Since there must be a co- ordination of members from the lowest to the highest, it follows that the spiritual power is above the temporal and has the right to instruct (or establish--instituere) the latter regarding its highest end and to judge it when it does evil; whoever resists the highest power ordained of God resists God Himself. (5) It is necessary for salvation that all men should be subject to the Roman Pontiff--"Porro subesse Romano Pontifici omni humanæ creaturæ declaramus, dicimus, definimus et pronunciamus omnino esse de necessitate salutis". (For a more detailed account of the Bull and several controversies concerning it see UNAM SANCTAM.)
Philip had a refutation of the Bull prepared by the Dominican Jean Quidort (Joannes Parisiensis) in his "Tractatus de potestate regiâ et papali" (Goldast, Monarchia, ii, 108 sq.), and the conflict passed at once from the domain of principle to the person of Boniface.
The king now rejected the pope as arbiter in his disputes with England and Flanders, and gave a courteous but evasive answer to the Legate, Jean Lemoine, whom the pope sent (February, 1303) on a mission of peace, but with insistence, among other conditions, on recognition of the aforesaid rights of the papacy. Lemoine was further commissioned to declare to Philip that, in default of a more satisfactory reply to the twelve points of the papal letter, the pope would proceed spiritualiter et temporaliter against him, i.e., would excommunicate and depose him. Boniface also sent to Lemoine (13 Apr., 1303) two Briefs, in one of which he declared the king already excommunicated, and in the other ordered all French prelates to come to Rome within three months.
In the meantime there was brewing at Paris the storm in which the pontificate of Boniface was so disastrously to close. Philip concluded peace with England, temporized with the Flemings, and made concessions to his subjects. Boniface on his side acknowledged, as aforesaid, the election of Albert of Austria, and brought to an end his hopeless conflict with the Aragonese King of Sicily. Otherwise he seemed politically helpless, and could only trust, as he publicly stated, in his sense of right and duty. Later events showed that in his own household he could not count on loyalty. In an extraordinary session of the French Council of State (12 March, 1303) Guillaume de Nogaret appealed to Philip to protect the Holy Church against the intruder and false pope, Boniface, a simonist, robber, and heretic, maintaining that the king, moreover, ought to call an assembly of the prelates and peers of France, through whose efforts a general council might be convoked, before which he would prove his charges. Such an assembly was called for 13 June, and met at the Louvre in Paris. The papal messenger with the aforesaid Briefs for the legate was seized at Troyes and imprisoned; Lemoine himself, after protesting against such violence, fled. At this assembly, packed with friends or creatures of Philip, the knight Guillaume de Plaisians (Du Plessis) submitted a solemn accusation against the pope in twenty-nine points, offered to prove the same, and begged the king to provide for a general council. The Colonna furnished the material for these infamous charges, long since adjudged calumnious by grave historians (Hefele, Conciliengesch., 2nd ed., VI, 460-63; Giovanni Villani, a contemporary, says that the Council of Vienne, in 1312, formally absolved him from the charge of heresy. Cf. Muratori, "SS. Rer. Ital.", XIV, 454; Raynaldus, ad an. 1312, 15-16). Scarcely any possible crime was omitted--infidelity, heresy, simony, gross and unnatural immorality, idolatry, magic, loss of the Holy Land, death of Celestine V, etc.
The king asserted that it was only to satisfy his conscience and to protect the honour of the Holy See that he would co-operate in the calling of a general council, asked the help of the prelates, and appealed (against any possible action of Boniface) to the future council, the future pope, and to all to whom appeal could be made. Five archbishops, twenty-one bishops, and some abbots sided with the king. The resolutions of the assembly were read to the people, and several hundred adhesions were secured from chapters, monasteries, and provincial cities, mostly through violence and intimidation. The Abbot of Cîteaux, Jean de Pontoise, protested, but was imprisoned. Royal letters were sent to the princes of Europe, also to the cardinals and bishops, setting forth the king's new-found zeal for the welfare of Holy Church.
In a public consistory at Anagni (August, 1303) Boniface cleared himself on his solemn oath of the charges brought against him at Paris and proceeded at once to protect the Apostolic authority. Citations before the Holy See were declared valid by the mere fact of being affixed to the church doors at the seat of the Roman Curia, and he excommunicated all who hindered such citations. He suspended Archbishop Gerhard of Nicosia (Cyprus), the first signatory of the schismatical resolutions. Pending satisfaction to the pope, the University of Paris lost the right to confer degrees in theology and in canon and civil law. He suspended temporarily for France the right of election in all ecclesiastical bodies, reserved to the Holy See all vacant French benefices, repelled as blasphemies the calumnious charges of de Plaisians, saying "Who ever heard that We were a heretic?" (Raynaldus, ad an. 1311, 40), and denounced the appeal to a future general council which could be convoked by none other than himself, the legitimate pope. He declared that unless the king repented he would inflict on him the severest punishments of the Church. The Bull "Super Petri solio" was ready for promulgation on 8 September. It contained in traditional form the solemn excommunication of the king and the liberation of his subjects from their oath of fidelity. Philip, however, and his counsellors had taken measures to rob this step of all force, or rather to prevent it at a decisive moment. It had long been their plan to seize the person of Boniface and compel him to abdicate, or, in case of his refusal, to bring him before a general council in France for condemnation and deposition. Since April, Nogaret and Sciarra Colonna had been active in Tuscany for the formation, at Philip's expense, of a band of mercenaries, some 2,000 strong, horse and foot. Very early on the morning of 7 September the band appeared suddenly before Anagni, under the lilies of France, shouting, "Long live the King of France and Colonna!" Fellow-conspirators in the town admitted them, and they at once attacked the palaces of the pope and his nephew.
The ungrateful citizens fraternized with the besiegers of the pope, who in the meanwhile obtained a truce until three in the afternoon, when he rejected the conditions of Sciarra, viz., restoration of the Colonna, abdication, and delivery to Sciarra of the pope's person. About six o'clock, however, the papal stronghold was penetrated through the adjoining cathedral. The soldiers, Sciarra at their head, sword in hand (for he had sworn to slay Boniface), at once filled the hall in which the pope awaited them with five of his cardinals, among them his beloved nephew Francesco, all of whom soon fled; only a Spaniards, the Cardinal of Santa Sabina, remained at his side to the end.
In the meantime the papal palace was thoroughly plundered; even the archives were destroyed. Dino Compagni, the Florentine chronicler, relates that when Boniface saw that further resistance was useless he exclaimed, "Since I am betrayed like the Saviour, and my end is nigh, at least I shall die as Pope." Thereupon he ascended his throne, clad in the pontifical ornaments, the tiara on his head, the keys in one hand, a cross in the other, held close to his breast. Thus he confronted the angry men-at-arms. It is said that Nogaret prevented Sciarra Colonna from killing the pope. Nogaret himself made known to Boniface the Paris resolutions and threatened to take him in chains to Lyons, where he should be deposed. Boniface looked down at him, some say without a word, others that he replied: "Here is my head, here is my neck; I will patiently bear that I, a Catholic and lawful pontiff and vicar of Christ, be condemned and deposed by the Paterini [heretics, in reference to the parents of the Tolosan Nogaret]; I desire to die for Christ's faith and His Church." Von Reumont asserts that there is no evidence for the physical maltreatment of the pope by Sciarra or Nogaret. Dante (Purgatorio, XX, 86) lays more stress on the moral violence, though his words easily convey the notion of physical wrong: "I see the flower-de-luce Anagni enter, and Christ in his own Vicar captive made; I see him yet another time derided; I see renewed the vinegar and gall, and between living thieves I see him slain." Boniface was held three days a close prisoner in the plundered papal palace. No one cared to bring him food or drink, while the banditti quarrelled over his person, as over a valuable asset. By early morning of 9 September the burghers of Anagni had changed their minds, wearied perhaps of the presence of the soldiers, and ashamed that a pope, their townsman, should perish within their walls at the hands of the hated Francesi. They expelled Nogaret and his band, and confided Boniface to the care of the two Orsini cardinals, who had come from Rome with four hundred horsemen; with them he returned to Rome. Before leaving Anagni he pardoned several of the marauders captured by the townsmen, excepting the plunderers of Church property, unless they returned it within three days.
He reached Rome, 13 Sept., but only to fall under the close surveillance of the Orsini. No one will wonder that his bold spirit now gave way beneath the weight of grief and melancholy. He died of a violent fever, 11 October, in full possession of his senses and in the presence of eight cardinals and the chief members of the papal household, after receiving the sacraments and making the usual profession of faith. His life seemed destined to close in gloom, for, on account of an unusually violent storm, he was buried, says an old chronicler, with less decency than became a pope. His body lies in the crypt of St. Peter's in a large marble sarcophagus, laconically inscribed BONIFACIUS PAPA VIII. When his tomb was opened (9 Oct., 1605) the body was found quite intact, especially the shapely hands, thus disproving another calumny, viz., that he had died in a frenzy, gnawing his hands, beating his brains out against the wall, and the like (Wiseman).
Boniface was a patron of the fine arts such as Rome had never yet seen among its popes, though, as Guiraud warns us (p. 6), it is not easy to separate what is owing to the pope's own initiative from what we owe to his nephew and biographer, the art-loving Cardinal Stefaneschi. Modern historians of Renaissance art (Müntz, Guiraud) date its first efficient progress from him. The "iodolatry" accusation of the Colonna comes from the marble statues that grateful towns, like Anagni and Perugia, raised to him on public sites, "where there once were idols", says a contemporary, an anti-Bonifacian libel (Guiraud, 4). The Anagni statue stands yet in the cathedral of that town, repaired by him. He also repaired and fortified the Gaetani palace in Anagni, and improved in a similar way neighbouring towns. At Rome the Palace of the Senator was enlarged, Castel Sant' Anagelo fortified, and the Church of San Lorenzo in Panisperna built anew. He encouraged the work on the cathedral of Perugia, while that gem of ornamental Gothic, the cathedral of Orvieto (1290-1309), was largely finished during his pontificate. For the great Jubilee of 1300 he had the churches of Rome restored and decorated, notably St. John Lateran, St. Peter's and St. Mary Major. He called Giotto to Rome and gave him constant occupation. A portrait of Boniface by Giotto is still to be seen in St. John Lateran; in our own day M. Müntz has restored the original concept, and in it is seen the noble balcony of Cassetta, whence, during the jubilee, the pontiff was wont to bestow upon the vast multitude the blessing of Christ's vicar. In the time of Boniface the Cosimati continued and improved their work and under the influence of Giotto rose, like Cavallini, to higher concepts of art. The delicate French miniaturists were soon equalled by the pope's Vatican scribes; two glorious missals of Oderisio da Gubbio, "Agubbio's honour", may yet be seen at the Vatican, where lived and worked his disciple, likewise immortalized by Dante (Purg., XI, 79), who speaks of "the laughing leaves touched by the brush of Franco Bolognese".
Finally, sculpture was honoured by Boniface in the person of Arnolfo di Cambio, who built for him the "Chapel of the Crib" in St. Mary Major, and executed (Müntz) the sarcophagus in which he was buried. Boniface was also a friend of the sciences. He founded (6 June, 1303) the University of Rome, known as the Sapienza, and in the same year the University of Fermo. Finally, it was Boniface who began anew the Vatican Library, whose treasures had been scattered, together with the papal archives, in 1227, when the Roman Frangipani passed over to the side of Frederick II and took with them the turris chartularia, i.e. the ancient repository of the documents of the Holy See. The thirty-three Greek manuscripts the Vatican Library contained in 1311 are pronounced by Fr. Ehrle the earliest known, and long the most important, medieval collection of Greek works in the West. Boniface honoured with increased solemnity (1298) the feasts of the four evangelists, twelve Apostles, and four Doctors of the Church (Ambrose, Augustine, Jerome, Gregory the Great, egregios ipsius doctores Ecclesiæ) by raising them to the rank of "double feasts". He was one of the most distinguished canonists of his age, and as pope enriched the general ecclesiastical legislation by the promulgation ("Sacrosanctæ", 1298) of a large number of his own constitutions and of those of his predecessors, since 1234, when Gregory IX promulgated his five books of Decretals. In reference to this the collection of Boniface was entitled "Liber Sextus", i.e., Sixth Book of Pontifical Constitutions (Laurin, Introd. in Corp. Juris can., Freiburg, 1889), being constructed on the same lines. Few popes have aroused more diverse and contradictory appreciations. Protestant historians, generally, and even modern Catholic writers, wrote Cardinal Wiseman in 1844, class him among the wicked popes, as an ambitious, haughty, and unrelenting man, deceitful also and treacherous, his whole pontificate one record of evil. To dissipate this grossly exaggerated and even calumnious view, it is well to distinguish his utterances and deeds as pope from his personal character, that even in his lifetime seemed to many unsympathetic. Careful examination of the sources of his most famous public pronouncements has shown that they are largely a mosaic of teachings of earlier theologians, or solemn reenforcements of the canons of the Church and well-known Bulls of his predecessors. His chief aims, the peace of Europe and the recovery of the Holy Land, were those of all preceding popes. He did no more than his duty in defending the unity of the Church and the supremacy of ecclesiastical authority when threatened by Philip the Fair. His politico-ecclesiastical dealings with the kings of Europe will naturally be blamed by Erastians and by those who ignore, on the one hand, the rapacity of an Edward and the wily vindictiveness and obtuse selfishness of a Philip, and on the other, the supreme fatherly office of the medieval pope as the respected head of one mighty family of peoples, whose civil institutions were only slowly coalescing amid the decay of feudalism and ancient barbarism
(Gosselin, Von Reumont), and who were long conscious that in the past they owed to the Church alone (i.e., to the pope) sure and swift justice, equitable courts and procedure, and relief from a feudal absolutism justified as yet by no commensurate public service. "The loftiest, truest view of the character and conduct of the popes has often been overlooked", says Cardinal Wiseman (op. cit.); "the divine instinct which animated them, the immortal destiny alloted to them, the heavenly cause confided to them, the superhuman aid which strengthened them could not be appreciated but by a Catholic mind, and are too generally excluded from Protestant historians, or are transformed into corresponding human capacities, or policies, or energies, or virtues." He goes on to say that, after examination of several popular assertions affecting the moral and ecclesiastical conduct of Boniface, this pope appeared to him in a new light, "as a pontiff who began his reign with most glorious promise and closed it amid sad calamities; who devoted, through it all, the energies of a great mind, cultivated by profound learning and matured by long experience in the most delicate ecclesiastical affairs, to the attainment of a truly noble end; and who, throughout his career, displayed many great virtues, and could plead in extenuation of his faults the convulsed state of public affairs, the rudeness of his times, and the faithless, violent character of many among those with whom he had to deal. These circumstances, working upon a mind naturally upright and inflexible, led to a sternness of manner and a severity of conduct, which when viewed through the feelings of modern times, may appear extreme, and almost unjustifiable. But after searching through the pages of his most hostile historians, we are satisfied that this is the only point on which even a plausible charge can be brought against him."
The memory of Boniface, curiously enough, has suffered most from two great poets, mouthpieces of an ultra-spiritual and impossible Catholicism, Fra Jacopone da Todi and Dante. The former was the "sublime fool" of spiritual love, author of the "Stabat Mater", and chief singer of the "Spirituals", or extreme Franciscans, kept in prison by Boniface, whom he therefore satirized in the popular and musical vernacular of the peninsula. The latter was a Ghibelline, i.e., a political antagonist of the Guelph pope, to whom, moreover, he attributed all his personal misfortunes, and whom he therefore pilloried before the bar of his own justice, but in quivering lines of immortal invective whose malignant beauty will always trouble the reader's judgment. Catholic historians like Hergenröther-Kirsch (4th ed., II, 597-98) praise the uprightness of the pope's motives and that courage of his convictions which almost on the eve of his death made him count as straws all earthly rulers, if only he had truth and justice on his side (op. cit., II, 597, note 4).
They admit, however, the explosive violence and offensive phraseology of some of his public documents, and the occasional imprudence of his political measures; he walked in the footsteps of his immediate predecessors, but the new enemies were more fierce and logical than the extirpated Hohenstaufen, and were quicker to pervert and utilize the public opinion of young and proud nationalities. A contemporary and eyewitness, Giovanni Villani, has left in his Florentine chronicle (Muratori, XIII, 348 sqq.) a portrait of Boniface which the judicious Von Reumont seems to consider quite reliable. According to it Boniface, the most clever canonist of his time, was a great-hearted and generous man and a lover of magnificence, but also arrogant, proud, and stern in manner, more feared than loved, too worldly-minded for his high office and too fond of money both for the Church and for his family. His nepotism was open. He founded the Roman house of the Gaetani, and in the process of exalting his family drew down upon himself the effective hatred of the Colonna and their strong clansmen. Gröne, a German Catholic historian of the popes, says of Boniface (II, 164) that while his utterances equal in importance those of Gregory VII and Innocent III, the latter were always more ready to act, Boniface to discourse; they relied on the Divine strength of their office, Boniface on the cleverness of his canonical deductions. For the process against his memory see CLEMENT V. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02662a.htm
Henry Halley (1895—1965)
Pope Boniface VIII (1294-1303), in his famous papal bull, “Unam Sanctam,” said, “We declare, affirm, define, and pronounce that it is altogether necessary for salvation — that every creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff!” However, he himself was so corrupt that Dante, who visited him during his pontificate, called the Vatican, “A sewer of corruption!” and assigned him, along with Popes Nicolas III and Clement V — to lie in the lowest parts of Hell!
(1305-1377), These are the 72 years in which Papal Palace was at Avignon, France. The avarice of the Avignon Popes knew no bounds! Burdensome taxes were imposed. Every Church Office was sold for money, and many new offices were created to be sold — to fill the coffers of Popes and support the luxurious and immoral Court. Petrarch accused the papal household of rape, adultery, and all manner of fornication. In many parishes, men insisted on priests keeping concubines, as a protection for their own families!
(1377-1417), During these 40 years, there were two sets of Popes — one at Rome, and one at Avignon, each claiming to be “Vicar of Christ,” hurling anathemas and curses at each other!
Pope John XXIII (1410-1415)
Antipope of the Pisan party (1400-15), b. about 1370; d. 22 November, 1419. Cardinal Baldassare Cossa was one of the seven cardinals who, in May, 1408, deserted Gregory XII, and, with those belonging to the obedience of Benedict XIII (see PEDRO DE LUNA), convened the Council of Pisa, of which Cossa became the leader.
Descended from a noble but impoverished Neapolitan family, he embraced in his youth a military career, but later forsook it for the service of the Church. Endowed with great energy and very talented, he studied law at Bologna, where he took his doctor's degree, and then entered the service of the papal curia. On 27 February, 1402, Boniface IX made him Cardinal-Deacon of St. Eustachius, and in the following year appointed him legate of Romandiola. On 17 March, 1403, he set out for Bologna, where, until 1408, he proved himself an astute financial administrator of the papal territory, as well as a skilful statesman and able commander. At the same time he was utterly worldly-minded, ambitious, crafty, unscrupulous, and immoral, a good soldier but no churchman. He played an important part in the Council of Pisa (1409), and, when the two popes, Gregory XII of Rome and Benedict XIII of Avignon, were deposed, he conducted the election of Pietro Philarghi, who was elevate to the papacy and crowned as Alexander V. The new pope was entirely under the influence of Baldassare Cossa. The latter supported Louis of Anjou in a military expedition against Ladislaus of Naples. Louis seized on several fortresses in the Ecclesiastical States, and in 1400 captured Rome. Alexander V was now proclaimed pope at Rome, but refused to leave Bologna, where he died on 3 May, 1410. In the hope of procuring an understanding with that pope, Prince Malatesta of Rimini, protector of Gregory XII, begged the cardinals of the Pisan obedience to defer a new election. These cardinals assembled at Bologna would not consent, but, supported by Louis of Anjou and the city of Florence, elected Baldassare Cossa, 17 May, 1410. On 24 May Cossa was ordained priest, and on the following day was consecrated and crowned pope, taking the name of John XXIII.
Soon after he ascended the throne, John received an ambassador from Sigismund of Hungary, who wished to confer with him about the political and religious affairs of his kingdom. On 18 May King Ruprecht of Germany, the firm supporter of Gregory XII, died.
The electors of Mainz and Cologne wrote informing John that they intended to elect Sigismund, King of Hungary, as King of Germany. As Sigismund had, even before he heard of Ruprecht's death, entered into negotiations with the Pisan pope, John exerted himself all the more readily on his behalf, and on 21 July Sigismund, who had become reconciled with his brother Wenzel of Behemia, was chosen King of Germany. Sigismund's election was also recognized by Gregory XII. In April, 1411, John XXIII advanced with Louis of Anjou upon Rome, where they vigorously prosecuted the war against Ladislaus of Naples, and completely routed him at the battle of Roccasecca (19 May, 1411), but made no use of their victory. Soon afterwards, Louis of Anjou returned to France, thus enabling Ladislaus to rally his troops and strengthen his positions. Subsequently, John began negotiations with Ladislaus in spite of the excommunication of 11 August, 1411. Ladislaus thereupon abandoned the cause of Gregory, and acknowledged John as legitimate pope, in recognition of which the latter withdrew his excommunication, enfeoffed Ladislaus with the Kingdom of Naples, consented to his conquest of Sicily, appointed him gonfalonier, or standard-bearer, of the Roman Church, and gave him financial aid (16 October, 1412).
In conformity with a resolution passed at the Council of Pisa, John had summoned a new council to meet at Rome on 29 April, 1412, for the purpose of carrying out ecclesiastical reforms. He also appointed a number of new cardinals, among whom were many able men, such as Francesco Zarabella of Florence, Pierre d'Ailly, Bishop of Cambrai, Guillaume Fillastre, dean of Reims, and Robert Hallam, Bishop of Salisbury. From the beginning of 1412 conferences and meetings of the clergy had been held throughout France in preparation for this council, among the representatives appointed by the king being Cardinal Pierre d'Ailly and Patriarch Cramaud, created cardinal in 1413. But, when the council was opened in April, there were so very few participants that it had to be prorogued several times. When the sessions finally began, the only thing accomplished was the condemnation of the writings of Wycliff, the council being dissolved in March, 1413. John's regrettable weakness in dealing with Ladislaus of Naples soon led to another attack by the latter upon papal territory. In May, 1413, he invaded the Roman province, and John was compelled to fly with his cardinals. He escaped to Florence, where he sought the protection of Sigismund, King of Germany, then labouring in Northern Italy for the convocation of a general council to put an end to the unfortunate schism. John's legates were authorized to come to an understanding with Sigismund on this matter, and Sigismund took advantage of the pope's predicament to insist on the selection of Constance as the meeting-place of the council.
On 30 October, 1413, Sigismund invited Popes Gregory XII and Benedict XIII and all Christendom to attend, and prevailed on John XXIII, with whom he had a meeting at Lodi towards the end of November, to issue the Convocation Bull (9 December, 1413) of the general council to be opened at Constance on 1 November, 1414.
By the sudden death of Ladislaus (6 August, 1414) John's position in Italy was improved, and he could now return to Rome. But the cardinals urgently protested that his presence was needed at the Council of Constance, and that he must adhere to his promise of presiding in person, and direct there the treatment of all ecclesiastical matters. On 1 October, 1414, John set out for Constance with a large following and supplied with ample means, but with heavy heart and anxious forebodings. Timidity and suspicion had replaced the warlike spirit he had shown as cardinal. On his way through the Tyrol he formed an alliance with Frederick of Austria, who was on terms of enmity with Sigismund. John and his nine cardinals made their entry into Constance on 29 October, 1414, and on 5 November the council was opened. The prospects of the Pisan pope became daily more hopeless. The emperor had not bound himself by any permanent obligation towards John. He had needed this pope, as possessing ;the largest obedience, to bring about the council, but, from the summer of 1413, he had come to the conclusion that unity could be promoted only by the abdication or the deposal of all three claimants of the papacy. John at first dominated the council, while he endeavoured to increase his adherents by presents, and, by the aid of spies, to learn the temper of the members. However, the hostility of the council towards him became ever more apparent. The chief spokesmen among his cardinals were Pierre d'Ailly and Fillastre; after Sigismund's arrival even these plainly expressed their opinion that the only way to put an end to the schism was by the abdication of all three popes.
In the second session of the council, John was persuaded to read aloud a formal promise of voluntary abdication of the papacy (2 March, 1415), and to repeat this promise in a Bull of 8 March. But on 20 March he fled secretly from Constance to Schaffhausen in the territory of Duke Frederick of Austria, and thence to Freiburg im Breisgau, which belonged to the Duke of Burgundy, also his adherent. John's flight, in consequence of the great difficulties it caused the council, only increased the hostility towards him, and, while he himself tried to negotiate further concerning his abdication, his supporters were obliged to submit to Sigismund. Formally deposed in the twelfth session (29 May, 1415), John made his submission and commended himself to the mercy of the council. John was accused of the gravest offences in several inimical writings as well as in the formal charges of the council.
Undeniably secular and ambitious, his moral life was not above reproach, and his unscrupulous methods in no wise accorded with the requirements of his high office. On the other hand, the heinous crimes of which his opponents in the council accused him were certainly gravely exaggerated. After his abdication he was again known as Baldassare Cossa, and was given into the custody of the Palatine Louis, who had always been his enemy. The latter kept him confined in different places (Rudolfzell, Gottlieben, Heidelberg, and Mannheim). At the forty-second session of the council, 28 Dec., 1417, after Martin V had been elected, the release of Cossa was decreed. It was not, however, till the following year that he recovered his liberty. He then set out for Florence, where Martin V was staying, and did homage to him as the Head of the Church. On 23 June, 1419, the new pope made him Cardinal-Bishop of Tusculum. But Cossa was completely crushed, and died a few months later at Florence, where he was buried in the baptistery beside the cathedral. Cosimo de Medici erected a magnificent tomb to his memory. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08434a.htm
Henry Halley (1895—1965)
Pope John XXIII (1410-1415), was called by some, “the most depraved criminal who ever sat on the Papal Throne!” He was guilty of almost every crime! As cardinal in Bologna, 200 maidens, nuns and married women fell victims to his amours! As Pope, he . . .
violated virgins and nuns;
lived in adultery with his brother’s wife;
was guilty of sodomy and other nameless vices;
bought the Papal Office;
sold Cardinal offices to children of wealthy families;
and openly denied the future life.
Pope Pius II (1458-1464)
Born at Corsignano, near Siena, 18 Oct., 1405; elected 19 Aug., 1458; died at Ancona, 14 Aug., 1464. He was the eldest of eighteen children of Silvio de' Piccolomini and Vittoria Forteguerra. Although of noble birth, straitened circumstances forced him to help his father in the cultivation of the estate which the family owned at Corsignano. This village he later ranked as a town and made an episcopal residence with the name of Pienza (Pius). Having received some elementary instruction from a priest, he entered, at the age of eighteen, the University of Siena. Here he gave himself up to diligent study and the free enjoyment of sensual pleasures. In 1425 the preaching of St. Bernardine of Siena kindled in him the desire of embracing a monastic life, but he was dissuaded from his purpose by his friends. Attracted by the fame of the celebrated Filelfo, he shortly after spent two years in the study of the classics and poetry at Florence. He returned to Siena at the urgent request of his relatives, to devoted his time to the study of jurisprudence. Passing through Siena on his way to the Council of Basle, Capranica, Bishop of Fermo, invited Enea to accompany him as his secretary. Bishop and secretary arrived there in 1432, and joined the opposition to Pope Eugene IV.
Piccolomini, however, soon left the service of the impecunious Capranica for more remunerative employment with Nicodemo della Scala, Bishop of Freising, with Bartolomeo, Bishop of Novara, and with Cardinal Albergati. He accompanied the latter on several journeys, particularly to the Congress of Arras, which in 1435 discussed peace between Burgundy and France. In the same year his master sent him on a secret mission to Scotland. The voyage was very tempestuous and Piccolomini vowed to walk, if spared, barefoot from the port of arrival to the nearest shrine of Our Lady. He landed at Dunbar and, from the pilgrimage of ten miles through ice and snow to the sanctuary of Whitekirk, he contracted the gout from which he suffered for the rest of his life. Although on his return from Scotland Cardinal Albergati was no longer at Basle, he determined to remain in the city, and to his humanistic culture and oratorical talent owed his appointment to different important functions by the council. He continued to side with the opposition to Eugene IV, and associated particularly with a small circle of friends who worshipped classical antiquity and led dissolute lives.
That he freely indulged his passions is evidenced not only by the birth of two illegitimate children to him (the one in Scotland, the other at Strasburg), but by the frivolous manner in which he glories in his own disorders. The low moral standard of the epoch may partly explain, but cannot excuse his dissolute conduct. He had not yet received Holy orders, however, and shrank from the ecclesiastical state because of the obligation of continence which it imposed. Even the inducement to become one of the electors of a successor to Eugene IV, unlawfully deposed, could not overcome this reluctance; rather than receive the diaconate he refused the proffered honour.
He was then appointed master of ceremonies to the conclave which elected Amadeus of Savoy to the papacy. He likewise belonged to the delegation which was to escort to Basle in 1439 the newly- elected antipope, who assumed the name of Felix V and chose Piccolomini as his secretary. The latter's clearsightedness, however, soon enabled him to realize that the position of the schismatic party could not fail to become untenable, and he profited by his presence as envoy of the council at the Diet of Frankfort in 1442 again to change masters. His literary attainments were brought to the attention of Frederick III, who crowned him imperial poet, and offered him a position in his service which was gladly accepted. On 11 Nov., 1442, Enea left Basle for Vienna, where he assumed in January of the following year the duties of secretary in the imperial chancery. Receding gradually from his attitude of supporter of Felix V, he ultimately became, with the imperial chancellor Schlick, whose favour he enjoyed, a partisan of Eugene IV. The formal reconciliation between him and this pope took place in 1445, when he came on an official mission to Rome. He was first absolved of the censures which he had incurred as partisan of the Council of Basle and official of the antipope. Hand in hand with this change in personal allegiance went a transformation in his moral character and in March, 1446, he was ordained subdeacon at Vienna. The same year he succeeded in breaking up the Electors' League, equally dangerous to Eugene IV and Frederick III, and shortly afterwards a delegation, of which he was a member, laid before the pope the conditional submission of almost all Germany. In 1447 he was appointed Bishop of Trieste; the following year he played a prominent part in the conclusion of the Concordat of Vienna; and in 1450 he received the Bishopric of Siena. He continued, however, until 1455 in the service of Frederick III, who had frequent recourse to his diplomatic ability. In 1451 he appeared in Bohemia at the head of a royal embassy, and in 1452 accompanied Frederick to Rome for the imperial coronation. He was created cardinal 18 Dec., 1456, by Calixtus III, whose successor he became.
The central idea of his pontificate was the liberation of Europe from Turkish domination. To this end he summoned at the beginning of his reign all the Christian princes to meet in congress on 1 June, 1459. Shortly before his departure for Mantua, where he was personally to direct the deliberations of this assembly, he issued a Bull instituting a new religious order of knights. They were to bear the name of Our Lady of Bethlehem and to have their headquarters in the Island of Lemnos. History is silent concerning the actual existence of this foundation, and the order was probably never organized. At Mantua scant attendance necessitated a delay in the opening of the sessions until 26 Sept., 1459. Even then but few delegates were present, and the deliberations soon revealed the fact that the Christian states could not be relied on for mutual co-operation against the Turks. Venice pursued dilatory and insincere tactics; France would promise nothing, because the pope had preferred Ferrante of Aragon for the throne of Naples to the pretender of the House of Anjou. Among the German delegates, Gregory of Heimburg assumed an ostentatiously disrespectful attitude toward Pius II; the country, however, ultimately agreed to raise 32,000 footmen and 10,000 cavalry. But the promise was never redeemed, and although a three years' war was decreed against the Turks, the congress failed of its object, as no practical results of any importance were attained. It was apparent that the papacy no longer commanded the assent and respect of any of the Powers. This was further demonstrated by the fact that Pius, on the eve of his departure from Mantua, issued the Bull "Execrabilis", in which he condemned all appeals from the decisions of the pope to an oecumenical council (18 Jan., 1460).
During the congress war had broken out in southern Italy about the possession of the Kingdom of Naples. The pope continued to support Ferrante against the Angevin claimant. This attitude was adverse to ecclesiastical interests in France, where he aimed at the repeal of the Pragmatic Sanction of Bourges. At his accession to the throne in 1461, Louis XI suppressed indeed that instrument; but this papal success was more apparent than real. For Louis's expectation of support in southern Italy was not realized; and opposition to the suppression manifesting itself in France, his dealings with the Church underwent a corresponding change, and royal ordinances were even issued aiming at the revival of the former Gallican liberties. In Germany Frederick III showed readiness to comply with the obligations assumed at Mantua, but foreign and domestic difficulties rendered him powerless. Between Pius II and Duke Sigismund of Tyrol, however, an acute conflict developed concerning the Bishopric of Brixen. Likewise the refusal of the Archbishop of Mainz, Diether of Isenburg to abide by the pope's decree of deposition led to civil strife. Diether was ultimately defeated and supplanted by Adolf of Nassau, who had been appointed in his stead.
More difficult to adjust were the troubles in Bohemia. Hussitism was rampant in the kingdom, which was governed by the wily George Podiebrad, a king seemingly devoid of religious convictions. He had promised in a secret coronation oath personally to profess the Catholic faith and to restore, in his realm, union with Rome in ritual and worship. This was tantamount to a renunciation of the "Compact of Basle", which, under certain conditions subsequently not observed by the Bohemians, had granted them communion under both kinds and other privileges. The pope, deceived for a time by the protestations of royal fidelity, used his influence to bring back the Catholic city of Breslau to the king's allegiance. But in 1461 Podiebrad, to further his fanciful schemes of political aggrandizement, promised his subjects to maintain the Compact. When in 1462 his long- promised embassy appeared in Rome, its purpose was not only to do homage to the pope, but also to obtain the confirmation of that agreement. Pius II, instead of acceding to the latter request, withdrew the misused concessions made by Basle. He continued negotiations with the king, but died before any settlement was reached.
The prevalence of such discord in Christendom left but little hope for armed opposition to the Turks. As rumours had been circulated that the sultan doubted the faith of Islam, the pope attempted to convert him to the Christian faith. But in vain did he address to him in 1461 a letter, in which were set forth the claims of Christianity on his belief. Possibly the transfer with extraordinary pomp of the head of St. Andrew to Rome was also a fruitless attempt to rekindle zeal for the Crusades. As a last resort, Pius II endeavoured to stir up the enthusiasm of the apathetic Christian princes by placing himself at the head of the crusaders. Although seriously ill he left Rome for the East, but died at Ancona, the mustering-place of the Christian troops.
There have been widely divergent appreciations of the life of Pius II. While his varied talents and superior culture cannot be doubted, the motives of his frequent transfer of allegiance, the causes of the radical transformations which his opinions underwent, the influences exercised over him by the environment in which his lot was cast, are so many factors, the bearing of which can be justly and precisely estimated only with the greatest difficulty. In the early period of his life he was, like many humanists, frivolous and immoral in conduct and writing. More earnest were his conceptions and manner of life after his entrance into the ecclesiastical state. As pope he was indeed not sufficiently free from nepotism, but otherwise served the best interests of the Church.
Not only was he constantly solicitous for the peace of Christendom against Islam, but he also instituted a commission for the reform of the Roman court, seriously endeavoured to restore monastic discipline, and defended the doctrine of the Church against the writings of Reginald Peacock, the former Bishop of Chichester. He retracted the errors contained in his earlier writings in a Bull, the gist of which was "Reject Eneas, hold fast to Pius". St. Catherine of Siena was canonized during his pontificate.
Even among the many cares of his pontificate he found time for continued literary activity. Two important works of his were either entirely or partly written during this period: his geographical and ethnographical description of Asia and Europe; and his "Memoirs", which are the only autobiography left us by a pope. They are entitled "Pii II Commentarii rerum memorabilium, quae temporibus suis contigerunt". Earlier in his life he had written, besides "Eurialus and Lucretia" and the recently discovered comedy "Chrysis", the following historical works: "Libellus dialogorum de generalis concilii auctoritate et gestis Basileensium"; "Commentarius de rebus Basileae gestis"; "Historia rerum Frederici III imperatoris"; "Historia Bohemica". Imcomplete collections of his works were published in 1551 and 1571 at Basle. A critical edition of his letters by Wolkan is in course of publication.
Henry Halley (1895—1965)
Pope Pius II (1458-1464), was said to have been the father of many illegitimate children, spoke openly of the methods he used to seduce women, encouraged young men to, and even offered to instruct them in methods of immorality!
Pope Paul II (1464-1471)
Born at Venice, 1417; elected 30 August, 1464; died 26 July, 1471; son of Niccolo Barbo and Polixena Condulmer, sister of Eugene IV. Although he studied for a business career he received an excellent religious education and, at the elevation of his uncle to the papacy, entered the ecclesiastical state. He became Archdeacon of Bologna, Bishop of Cervia and of Vicenza, and in 1440 cardinal-deacon.
Noted for his generosity and imposing appearance, the Cardinal of Venice, as he was called, was very influential under Eugene IV, Nicholas V, and Calixtus III, less so under Pius II. He became the latter's successor, and owed his election partly to the dissatisfaction of some of the cardinals with the policy of his predecessor. To this could be traced the oath which Barbo swore to at the conclave, but which he rightfully set aside after election, since it was opposed to the monarchial constitution of the Church. Paul II delighted in display. He introduced splendid carnival festivities, built the palace of S. Marco (now di Venezia), revised the municipal statutes of Rome, organized relief work among the poor, granted pensions to some cardinals, and to all the privilege of wearing the red biretta. His suppression in 1466 of the college of abbreviators aroused much opposition, intensified by a similar measure against the Roman Academy. Platina, a member of both organizations, who had been repeatedly imprisoned, retaliated by writing a calumnious biography of Paul II.
That Paul II was not opposed to Humanistic studies, as such, is evidenced by the fact that he protected universities, encouraged the art of printing, and was himself a collector of works of ancient art. The suppression of the Roman Academy was justified by the moral degeneracy and pagan attitude which it fostered. On the other hand the charge of immorality brought against Paul II by Gregory of Heimburg is untenable. The pope punished the Fraticelli in the Papal States, prosecuted heretics in France and Germany, decreed in 1470 the observance of the jubilee every twenty-five years, and made an unsuccessful attempt at uniting Russia with the Church. The Turkish question received his earnest attention, particularly after the fall of Negropont (1470). Financial assistance was granted to Hungary and the Albanian leader Scanderbeg. No general results were obtained, however, owing to the lack of co-operation among the Christian powers; to disturbances in the Papal States, where Paul II suppressed the robber knights of Anguillara, and perhaps chiefly to the conflict between the papacy and King George Podiebrad of Bohemia. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11578a.htm
Henry Halley (1895—1965)
Pope Paul II (1464-1471), “filled his house with concubines.”
Pope Sixtus IV (1471-1484)
Born near Abisola, 21 July, 1414; died 12 Aug., 1484. His parents were poor, and while still a child he was destined for the Franciscan order. Later he studied philosophy and theology with great success at the University of Pavia, and lectured at Padua, Bologna, Pavia, Siena, and Florence, having amongst other eminent disciples the famous Cardinal Bessarion. After filling the post of procurator of his order in Rome and Provincial of Liguria, he was in 1467 created Cardinal of S. Pietro in Vincoli by Paul II. Whatever leisure he now had was devoted to theology, and in 1470 he published a treatise on the Precious blood and a work on the Immaculate Conception, in which latter he endeavoured to prove that Aquinas and Scotus, though differing in words, were really of one mind upon the question. The conclave which assembled on the death of Paul II elected him pope, and he ascended the chair of St. Peter as Sixtus IV.
His first thought was the prosecution of the war against the Turks, and legates were appointed for France, Spain, Germany, Hungary, and Poland, with the hope of enkindling enthusiasm in these countries. The crusade, however, achieved little beyond the bringing back to Rome of twenty-five Turkish prisoners, who were paraded in triumph through the streets of the city. Sixtus continued the policy of his predecessor Paul II with regard to France, and denounced Louis XI for insisting on the royal consent being given before papal decrees could be published in his kingdom. He also made an effort like his predecessor for the reunion of the Russian Church with Rome, but his negotiations were without result. He now turned his attention almost exclusively to Italian politics, and fell more and more under his dominating passion of nepotism, heaping riches and favours on his unworthy relations. In 1478 took place the famous conspiracy of the Pazzi, planned by the pope's nephew — Cardinal Rafael Riario — to overthrow the Medici and bring Florence under the Riarii.
The pope was cognizant of the plot, though probably not of the intention to assassinate, and even had Florence under interdict because it rose in fury against the conspirators and brutal murderers of Giuliano de' Medici. He now entered upon a two years' war with Florence, and encouraged the Venetians to attack Ferrara, which he wished to obtain for his nephew Girolamo Riario. Ercole d'Este, attacked by Venice, found allies in almost every Italian state, and Ludovico Sforza, upon whom the pope relied for support, did nothing to help him. The allied princes forced Sixtus to make peace, and the chagrin which this caused him is said to have hastened his death.
Henceforth, until the Reformation, the secular interests of the papacy were of paramount importance. The attitude of Sixtus towards the conspiracy of the Pazzi, his wars and treachery, his promotion to the highest offices in the Church of such men as Pietro and Girolamo are blots upon his career. Nevertheless, there is a praiseworthy side to his pontificate. He took measures to suppress abuses in the Inquisition, vigorously opposed the Waldenses, and annulled the decrees of the Council of Constance. He was a patron of arts and letters, building the famous Sistine Chapel, the Sistine Bridge across the Tiber, and becoming the second founder of the Vatican Library. Under him Rome once more became habitable, and he did much to improve the sanitary conditions of the city. He brought down water from the Quirinal to the Fountain of Trevi, and began a transformation of the city which death alone hindered him from completing. In his private life Sixtus IV was blameless. The gross accusations brought against him by his enemy Infessura have no foundation; his worst vice was nepotism, and his greatest misfortune was that he was destined to be placed at the head of the States of the Church at a time when Italy was emerging from the era of the republics, and territorial princes like the pope were forced to do battle with the great despots. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14032b.htm
Henry Halley (1895—1965)
Pope Sixtus IV (1471-1484). Sanctioned the Spanish Inquisition. Decreed that money would deliver souls from Purgatory. Was implicated in a plot to murder Lorenzo de Medici, and others who opposed his policies. Used the Papacy to enrich himself and his relatives. Made eight of his nephews Cardinals, while as yet some of them were mere boys. In luxurious and lavish entertainment — he rivaled the Caesars. In wealth and pomp — he and his relatives surpassed the old Roman Families.
Pope Innocent VIII (1484-1492)
Born at Genoa, 1432; elected 29 August, 1484; died at Rome, 25 July, 1492. He was the son of the Roman senator, Aran Cibò, and Teodorina de' Mari. After a licentious youth, during which he had two illegitimate children, Franceschetto and Teodorina, he took orders and entered the service of Cardinal Calandrini. He was made Bishop of Savona in 1467, but exchanged this see in 1472 for that of Molfetta in south-eastern Italy and was raised to the cardinalate the following year. At the conclave of 1484, he signed, like all the other cardinals present, the election capitulation which was to bind the future pope. Its primary object was to safeguard the personal interests of the electors. The choice fell on Cibò himself who, in honour of his countryman, Innocent IV, assumed the name of Innocent VIII. His success in the conclave, as well as his promotion to the cardinalate, was largely due to Giuliano della Rovere. The chief concern of the new pope, whose kindliness is universally praised, was the promotion of peace among Christian princes, though he himself became involved in difficulties with King Ferrante of Naples. The protracted conflict with Naples was the principal obstacle to a crusade against the Turks; Innocent VIII earnestly endeavoured to unite Christendom against the common enemy. The circumstances appeared particularly favourable, as Prince Djem, the Sultan's brother and pretender to the Turkish throne, was held prisoner at Rome and promised co-operation in war and withdrawal of the Turks from Europe in case of success. A congress of Christian princes met in 1490 at Rome, but led to no result. On the other hand, the pope had the satisfaction of witnessing the fall of Granada (1491) which crowned the reconquest of Spain from the Moors and earned for the King of Spain the title of "Catholic Majesty". In England he proclaimed the right of King Henry VII and his descendants to the English throne and also agreed to some modifications affecting the privilege of "sanctuary". The only canonization which he proclaimed was that of Margrave Leopold of Austria (6 Jan., 1485). He issued an appeal for a crusade against the Waldenses, actively opposed the Hussite heresy in Bohemia, and forbade (Dec., 1486) under penalty of excommunication the reading of the nine hundred theses which Pico della Mirandola had publicly posted in Rome. On 5 Dec., 1484, he issued his much-abused Bull against witchcraft, and 31 May, 1492, he solemnly received at Rome the Holy Lance which the Sultan surrendered to the Christians.
Constantly confronted with a depleted treasury, he resorted to the objectionable expedient of creating new offices and granting them to the highest bidders. Insecurity reigned at Rome during his rule owing to insufficient punishment of crime. However, he dealt mercilessly with a band of unscrupulous officials who forged and sold papal Bulls; capital punishment was meted out to two of the culprits in 1489. Among these forgeries must be relegated the alleged permission granted the Norwegians to celebrate Mass without wine. See "Bullarium Romanum", III, iii (Rome, 1743), 190-225. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08019b.htm
Henry Halley (1895—1965)
Pope Innocent VIII (1484-1492). Had 16 children by various married women. Multiplied Church Offices, and sold them for vast sums of money. Decreed the extermination of the Waldenses, and sent an army against them. Appointed the brutal Thomas of Torquemada as the Inquisitor General of Spain, and ordered all rulers to deliver up heretics to him. Permitted bull-fights on St. Peter’s Square.
Pope Alexander VI (1492-1503)
Rodrigo Borgia, born at Xativa, near Valencia, in Spain, 1 January, 1431; died in Rome, 18 August, 1503. His parents were Jofre Lançol and Isabella Borja, sister of Cardinal Alfonso Borja, later Pope Callixtus III.
The young Rodrigo had not yet definitely chosen his profession when the elevation of his uncle to the papacy (1455) opened up new prospects to his ambition. He was adopted into the immediate family of Callixtus and was known henceforward to the Italians as Rodrigo Borgia. Like so many other princely cadets, he was obtruded upon the Church, the question of a clerical vocation being left completely out of consideration.
After conferring several rich benefices on him, his uncle sent him for a short year to study law at the University of Bologna. In 1456, at the age of twenty-five, he was made Cardinal Deacon of St. Nicolo in Carcere, and held that title until 1471, when he became Cardinal-Bishop of Albano; in 1476 he was made Cardinal-Bishop of Porto and Dean of the Sacred College (Eubel, Hierarchia Catholica, II, 12). His official position in the Curia after 1457 was that of Vice-Chancellor of the Roman Church, and though many envied him this lucrative office he seems in his long administration of the Papal Chancery to have given general satisfaction. Even Guicciardini admits that "in him were combined rare prudence and vigilance mature reflection, marvellous power of persuasion, skill and capacity for the conduct of the most difficult affairs". On the other hand, the list of archbishoprics, bishoprics, abbacies, and other dignities held by him, as enumerated by the Bishop of Modena in a letter to the Duchess of Ferrara (Pastor, History of the Popes, V, 533, English tr.) reads like the famous catalogue of Leporello; and since, notwithstanding the magnificence of his household and his passion for card-playing, he was strictly abstemious in eating and drinking, and a careful administrator, he became one of the wealthiest men of his time. In his twenty-ninth year he drew a scathing letter of reproof from Pope Pius II for misconduct in Sienna which had been so notorious as to shock the whole town and court (Raynaldus Ann. eccl. ad. an. 1460, n. 31). Even after his ordination to the priesthood, in 1468, he continued his evil ways. His contemporaries praise his handsome and imposing figure, his cheerful countenance, persuasive manner, brilliant conversation, and intimate mastery of the ways of polite society. The best portrait of him is said to be that painted by Pinturicchio in the Appartimento Borgia at the Vatican; Yriarte (Autour des Borgia, 79) praises its general air of grandeur incontestable. Towards 1470 began his relations with the Roman lady, Vanozza Catanei, the mother of his four children: Juan, Caesar, Lucrezia and Jofre, born, respectively according to Gregorovius (Lucrezia Borgia 13) in 1474, 1476, 1480, and 1482.
Borgia, by a bare two-thirds majority secured by his own vote, was proclaimed Pope on the morning of 11 Aug., 1492, and took the name of Alexander VI. [For details of the conclave see Pastor, "Hist. of the Popes", (German ed., Freiburg, 1895), III, 275-278; also Am. Cath. Quart. Review, April, 1900.] That he obtained the papacy through simony was the general belief (Pastor, loc. cit.) and is not improbable (Raynaldus, Ann. eccl. ad an. 1492, n. 26), though it would be difficult to prove it juridically, at any rate, as the law then stood the election was valid. There is no irresistible evidence that Borgia paid anyone a ducat for his vote; Infessura's tale of mule-loads of silver has long since been discredited.
Pastor's indictment, on closer inspection, needs some revision, for he states (III, 277) that eight of the twenty-three electors, viz. della Rovere, Piccolomini, Medici, Caraffa, Costa, Basso, Zeno, and Cibò, held out to the end against Borgia. If that were true, Borgia could not have secured a two-thirds majority. All we can affirm with certainty is that the determining factor of this election was the accession to Borgia of Cardinal Ascanio Sforza's vote and influence, it is almost equally certain that Sforza's course was dictated not by silver, but by the desire to be the future Pontiff's chief adviser.
The elevation to the papacy of one who for thirty-five years had conducted the affairs of the Roman chancery with rare ability and industry met with general approbation; we find no evidence of the "alarm and horror" of which Guicciardini speaks. To the Romans especially, who had come to regard Borgia as one of themselves, and who predicted a pontificate at once splendid and energetic, the choice was most acceptable; and they manifested their joy in bonfires, torchlight processions, garlands of flowers, and the erection of triumphal arches with extravagant inscriptions. At his coronation in St. Peter's (26 Aug.), and during his progress to St. John Lateran, he was greeted with an ovation, "greater", says the diarist, "than any Pontiff had ever received". He proceeded at once to justify this good opinion of the Romans by putting an end to the lawlessness which reigned in the city, the extent of which we can infer from the statement of Infessura that within a few months over two hundred and twenty assassinations had taken place. Alexander ordered investigations to be made, every culprit discovered to be hanged on the spot and his house to be razed to the ground. He divided the city into four districts, placing over each a magistrate with plenary powers for the maintenance of order; in addition, he reserved the Tuesday of each week as a day on which any man or woman could lay his or her grievances before himself personally; "and", says the diarist, "he set about dispensing justice in an admirable manner." This vigorous method of administering justice soon changed the face of the city, and was ascribed by the grateful populace to "the interposition of God."
Alexander next turned his attention to the defence and embellishment of the Eternal City. He changed the Mausoleum of Adrian into a veritable fortress capable of sustaining a siege. By the fortification of Torre di Nona, he secured the city from naval attacks. He deserves to be called the founder of the Leonine City, which he transformed into the most fashionable quarter of Rome. His magnificent Via Alessandrina, now called Borgo Nuovo, remains to the present day the grand approach to St. Peter's. Under his direction, Pinturicchio adorned the Appartimento Borgia in the Vatican, pointing the way to his immortal disciple, Raphael.
In addition to the structures erected by himself, his memory is associated with the many others built by monarchs and cardinals at his instigation. During his reign Bramante designed for Ferdinand and Isabella that exquisite architectural gem, the Tempietto, on the traditional site of St. Peter's martyrdom. If not Bramante, some other great architect, equally attracted to Rome by the report of the Pope's liberality, built for Cardinal Riario the magnificent palace of the Cancellaria. In 1500, the ambassador of Emperor Maximilian laid the cornerstone of the handsome national church of the Germans, Santa Maria dell' Anima. Not to be outdone, the French Cardinal Briçonnet erected SS. Trinità dei Monti, and the Spaniards Santa Maria di Monserrato. To Alexander we owe the beautiful ceiling of Santa Maria Maggiore, in the decoration of which tradition says he employed the first gold brought from America by Columbus.
Although he laid no great claim to learning, he fostered literature and science. As cardinal he had written two treatises on canonical subjects and a defence of the Christian faith. He rebuilt the Roman University and made generous provision for the support of the professors. He surrounded himself with learned men and had a special predilection for jurists. His fondness for theatrical performances encouraged the development of the drama. He loved pontifical ceremonies, to which his majestic figure lent grace and dignity. He listened to good sermons with a critical ear, and admired fine music. In 1497, Alexander decreed that the "Praefectus Sacrarii Pontificii", commonly called "Sacristan of the Pope", but virtually parish-priest of the Vatican and keeper of the Pope's conscience, should be permanently and exclusively a prelate chosen from the Augustinian Order, an arrangement that still endures.
Alexander earned the enmity of Spain, the obloquy of many narrow minded contemporaries, and the gratitude of posterity, by his tolerant policy towards the Jews, whom he could not be coerced into banishing or molesting. The concourse of pilgrims to Rome in the Jubilee year, 1500, was a magnificent demonstration of the depth and universality of the popular faith. The capacity of the city to house and feed so many thousands of visitors from all parts of Europe was taxed to the utmost, but Alexander spared no expense or pains to provide for the security and comfort of his guests. To maintain peace among Christians and to form a coalition of the European Powers against the Turks was the policy he had inherited from his uncle. One of the first of his public acts was to prevent a collision between Spain and Portugal over their newly-discovered territories, by drawing his line of demarcation, an act of truly peaceful import, and not of usurpation and ambition [Civiltà Cattolica (1865), I, 665-680].
He did his best to dissuade Charles VIII of France from his projected invasion of Italy; if he was unsuccessful, the blame is in no slight degree due to the unpatriotic course of that same Giuliano della Rovere who later, as Julius II, made futile efforts to expel the "barbarians" whom he himself had invited. Alexander issued a wise decree concerning the censorship of books, and sent the first missionaries to the New World.
Notwithstanding these and similar actions, which might seem to entitle him to no mean place in the annals of the papacy, Alexander continued as Pope the manner of life that had disgraced his cardinalate (Pastor, op. cit., III, 449 152). A stern Nemesis pursued him till death in the shape of a strong parental affection for his children. The report of the Ferrarese ambassador, that the new Pope had resolved to keep them at a distance from Rome, is quite credible, for all his earlier measures for their advancement pointed towards Spain. While still a cardinal, he had married one daughter, Girolama, to a Spanish nobleman. He had bought for a son, Pedro Luis, from the Spanish monarch the Duchy of Gandia, and when Pedro died soon after he procured it for Juan, his oldest surviving son by Vanozza. This ill-starred young man was married to a cousin of the King of Spain, and became grandfather to St. Francis Borgia, whose virtues went a great way towards atoning for the vices of his kin. The fond father made a great mistake when he selected his boy Caesar as the ecclesiastical representative of the Borgias. In 1480, Pope Innocent VIII made the child eligible for Orders by absolving him from the ecclesiastical irregularity that followed his birth de episcopo cardinali et conjugatâ, and conferred several Spanish benefices on him, the last being the Bishopric of Pampeluna, in the neighbourhood of which, by a strange fatality, he eventually met his death. A week after Alexander's coronation he appointed Caesar, now eighteen years old, to the Archbishopric of Valencia; but Caesar neither went to Spain nor ever took Orders. The youngest son, Jofre, was also to be inflicted upon the Church of Spain. A further evidence that the Pope had determined to keep his children at a distance from court is that his daughter Lucrezia was betrothed to a Spanish gentleman, the marriage, however, never took place. It had already become the settled policy of the popes to have a personal representative in the Sacred College, and so Alexander chose for this confidential position Cardinal Giovanni Borgia, his sister's son. The subsequent abandonment of his good resolutions concerning his children may safely be ascribed to the evil counsels of Ascanio Sforza, whom Borgia had rewarded with the vice-chancellorship, and who was virtually his prime minister. The main purpose of Ascanio's residence at the papal court was to advance the interests of his brother, Lodovico il Moro, who had been regent of Milan for so many years, during the minority of their nephew Gian Galeazzo, that he now refused to surrender the reins of government, though the rightful duke had attained his majority.
Gian Galeazzo was powerless to assert his rights; but his more energetic wife was granddaughter to King Ferrante of Naples, and her incessant appeals to her family for aid left Lodovico in constant dread of Neapolitan invasion. Alexander had many real grievances against Ferrante, the latest of which was the financial aid the King had given to the Pope's vassal, Virginio Orsini, in the purchase of Cervetri and Anguillara, without Alexander's consent. In addition to the contempt of the papal authority involved in the transaction, this accession of strength to a baronial family already too powerful could not but be highly displeasing. Alexander was, therefore, easily induced to enter a defensive alliance with Milan and Venice; the league was solemnly proclaimed, 25 April, 1493. It was cemented by the first of Lucrezia's marriages. Her first husband was a cousin of Ascanio, Giovanni Sforza, Lord of Pesaro. The wedding was celebrated in the Vatican in the presence of the Pope, ten cardinals, and the chief nobles of Rome with their ladies, the revelries of the occasion, even when exaggerations and rumours are dismissed, remain a blot upon the character of Alexander. Ferrante talked of war, but, through the mediation of Spain, he came to terms with the Pope and, as a pledge of reconciliation, gave his granddaughter, Sancia, in marriage to Alexander's youngest son Jofre, with the principality of Squillace as dower. Caesar Borgia was created Cardinal 20 September. Ferrante's reconciliation with the Pope came none too soon.
A few days after peace had been concluded, an envoy of King Charles VIII arrived in Rome to demand the investiture of Naples for his master. Alexander returned a positive refusal, and when Ferrante died, January, 1494, neglecting French protests and threats, he confirmed the succession of Ferrante's son, Alfonso II, and sent his nephew, Cardinal Giovanni Borgia, to Naples to crown him. The policy of Alexander was dictated not only by a laudable desire to maintain the peace of Italy, but also because he was aware that a strong faction of his cardinals, with the resolute della Rovere at their head, was promoting the invasion of Charles as a means towards deposing him on the twofold charge of simony and immorality. In September, 1494, the French crossed the Alps; on the last day of that year they made their entry into Rome, needing no other weapon in their march through the peninsula, as Alexander wittily remarked (Commines vii, 15), than the chalk with which they marked out the lodgings of the troops. The barons of the Pope deserted him one after the other. Colonna and Savelli were traitors from the beginning, but he felt most keenly the defection of Virginio Orsini, the commander of his army. Many a saintlier pope than Alexander VI would have made the fatal mistake of yielding to brute force and surrendering unconditionally to the conqueror of Italy; the most heroic of the popes could not have sustained the stability of the Holy See at this crucial moment with greater firmness.
From the crumbling ramparts of St. Angelo, the defences of which were still incomplete, he looked calmly into the mouth of the French cannon; with equal intrepidity he faced the cabal of della Rovere's cardinals, clamorous for his deposition. At the end of a fortnight it was Charles who capitulated. He acknowledged Alexander as true Pope, greatly to the disgust of della Rovere, and "did his filial obedience", says Commines, "with all imaginable humility"; but he could not extort from the Pontiff an acknowledgment of his claims to Naples. Charles entered Naples, 22 February, 1495, without striking a blow. At his approach the unpopular Alfonso abdicated in favour of his son Ferrantino, the latter, failing to receive support, retired to seek the protection of Spain. Whilst Charles wasted over two months in fruitless attempts to induce the Pope by promises and threats to sanction his usurpation, a powerful league, consisting of Venice, Milan, the Empire, Spain, and the Holy See, was formed against him. Finally, on 12 May, he crowned himself, but in the following July he was cutting his way home through the ranks of the allied Italians. By the end of the year the French had re-crossed into France. No one wished for their return, except the restless della Rovere, and the adherents of Savonarola. The story of the Florentine friar will be related elsewhere, here it suffices to note that Alexander's treatment of him was marked by extreme patience and forbearance.
The French invasion was the turning point in the political career of Alexander VI. It had taught him that if he would be safe in Rome and be really master in the States of the Church, he must curb the insolent and disloyal barons who had betrayed him in his hour of danger. Unfortunately, this laudable purpose became more and more identified in his mind with schemes for the aggrandizement of his family. There was no place in his programme for a reform of abuses. Quite the contrary; in order to obtain money for his military operations he disposed of civil and spiritual privileges and offices in a scandalous manner. He resolved to begin with the Orsini, whose treason at the most critical moment had reduced him to desperate straits. The time seemed opportune; for Virginio, the head of the house, was a prisoner in the hands of Ferrantino. As commander of his troops he selected his youthful son Juan, Duke of Gandia. The struggle dragged on for months. The minor castles of the Orsini surrendered, but Bracciano, their main fortress, resisted all the efforts of the pontifical troops. They were finally obliged to raise the siege, and on 25 January, 1497, they were completely routed at Soriano. Both sides were now disposed to peace. On Payment of 50,000 golden florins the Orsini received back all their castles except Cervetri and Anguillara, which had been the original cause of their quarrel with the Pope. In order to reduce the strong fortress of Ostia, held by French troops for Cardinal della Rovere, Alexander wisely invoked the aid of Gonsalvo de Cordova and his Spanish veterans.
It surrendered to the "Great Captain" within two weeks. Unsuccessful in obtaining for his family the possessions of the Orsini, the Pope now demanded the consent of his cardinals to the erection of Benevento, Terracina, and Pontecorvo into a duchy for the Duke of Gandia. Cardinal Piccolomini was the only member who dared protest against this improper alienation of the property of the Church. A more powerful protest than that of the Cardinal of Sienna reverberated through the world a week later when, on the sixteenth of June, the body of the young Duke was fished out of the Tiber, with the throat cut and many gaping wounds. Historians have laboured in vain to discover who perpetrated the foul deed, but that it was a warning from Heaven to repent, no one felt more keenly than the Pope himself. In the first wild paroxysm of grief he spoke of resigning the tiara. Then, after three days and nights passed without food or sleep, he appeared in consistory and proclaimed his determination to set about that reform of the Church "in head and members" for which the world had so long been clamouring. A commission of cardinals and canonists began industriously to frame ordinances which foreshadowed the disciplinary decrees of Trent. But they were never promulgated. Time gradually assuaged the sorrow and extinguished the contrition of Alexander. From now on Caesar's iron will was supreme law. That he aimed high from the start is evident from his resolve, opposed at first by the Pope, to resign his cardinalate and other ecclesiastical dignities, and to become a secular prince. The condition of Naples was alluring. The gallant Ferrantino had died childless and was succeeded by his uncle Federigo, whose coronation was one of Caesar's last, possibly also one of his first, ecclesiastical acts. By securing the hand of Federigo's daughter, Carlotta, Princess of Tarento, he would become one of the most powerful barons of the kingdom, with ulterior prospects of wearing the crown. Carlotta's repugnance, however, could not be overcome. But in the course of the suit, another marriage was concluded which gave much scandal. Lucrezia's marriage with Sforza was declared null on the ground of the latter's impotence, and she was given as wife to Alfonso of Biseglia, an illegitimate son of Alfonso II.
Meanwhile, affairs in France took an unexpected turn which deeply modified the course of Italian history and the career of the Borgias. Charles VIII died in April, 1498, preceded to the tomb by his only son, and left the throne to his cousin, the Duke of Orléans, King Louis XII, who stood now in need of two papal favours. In his youth he had been coerced into marrying Jane of Valois, the saintly but deformed daughter of Louis XI. Moreover, in order to retain Brittany, it was essential that he should marry his deceased cousin's widow, Queen Anne. No blame attaches to Alexander for issuing the desired decree annulling the King's marriage or for granting him a dispensation from the impediment of affinity.
The commission of investigation appointed by him established the two fundamental facts that the marriage with Jane was invalid, from lack of consent, and that it never had been consummated. It was the political use made by the Borgias of their opportunity, and the prospective alliance of France and the Holy See, which now drove several of the Powers of Europe to the verge of schism. Threats of a council and of deposition had no terrors for Alexander, whose control of the Sacred College was absolute. Della Rovere was now his agent in France. Ascanio Sforza was soon to retire permanently from Rome. Louis had inherited from his grandmother, Valentina Visconti, strong claims to the Duchy of Milan, usurped by the Sforzas, and he made no secret of his intention to enforce them. Alexander cannot be held responsible for the second "barbarian" invasion of Italy, but he was quick to take advantage of it for the consolidation of his temporal power and the aggrandizement of his family. On 1 October, 1498, Caesar, no longer a cardinal, but designated Duke of Valentinois and Peer of France set out from Rome to bring the papal dispensation to King Louis, a cardinal's hat to his minister D'Amboise, and to find for himself a wife of high degree. He still longed for the hand of Carlotta, who resided in France, but since that princess persisted in her refusal, he received instead the hand of a niece of King Louis, the sister of the King of Navarre, Charlotte D'Albret. On 8 October, 1499, King Louis, accompanied by Duke Caesar and Cardinal della Rovere made his triumphal entry into Milan. It was the signal to begin operations against the petty tyrants who were devastating the States of the Church. Alexander would have merited great credit for this much-needed work, had he not spoiled it by substituting his own family in their place. What his ultimate intentions were we cannot fathom. However, the tyrants who were expelled never returned, whilst the Borgian dynasty came to a speedy end in the pontificate of Julius II. In the meantime Caesar had carried on his campaign 80 successfully that by the year 1501 he was master of all the usurped papal territory and was made Duke of Romagna by the Pope, whose affection for the brilliant young general was manifested in still other ways. During the war, however, and in the midst of the Jubilee of 1500 there occurred another domestic murder. On 15 July of that year the Duke of Biseglia, Lucretia's husband was attacked by five masked assassins, who grievously wounded him. Convinced that Caesar was the instigator of the deed, he made an unsuccessful attempt, on his recovery, to kill his supposed enemy, and was instantly dispatched by Caesar's bodyguard. The latter, having completed, in April, 1501, the conquest of the Romagna, now aspired to the conquest of Tuscany; but he was soon recalled to Rome to take part in a different enterprise.
On 27 June of that year the Pope deposed his chief vassal, Federigo of Naples, on the plea of an alleged alliance with the Turks to the detriment of Christendom, and approved the secret Treaty of Granada, by the terms of which the Kingdom of Naples was partitioned between Spain and France.
Alexander's motive in thus reversing his former policy with respect to foreign interference was patent. The Colonna, the Savelli, the Gaetani and other barons of the Patrimony had always been supported in their opposition to the popes by the favour of the Aragonese dynasty, deprived of which they felt themselves powerless. Excommunicated by the Pontiff as rebels, they offered to surrender the keys of their castles to the Sacred College, but Alexander demanded them for himself. The Orsini, who might have known that their turn would come next, were so shortsighted as to assist the Pope in the ruin of their hereditary foes. One after another, the castles were surrendered. On 27 July, Alexander left Rome to survey his conquest; at the same time he left the widowed Lucrezia in the Vatican with authority to open his correspondence and conduct the routine business of the Holy See. He also erected the confiscated Possessions of the aforesaid families into two duchies, bestowing one on Rodrigo, the infant son of Lucrezia, the other on Juan Borgia, born to him a short while after the murder of Gandia, and to whom was given the latter's baptismal name (Pastor, op. cit., III 449). Lucrezia, now in her twenty-third year, did not long remain a widow; her father destined her to be the bride of another Alfonso, son and heir of Duke Ercole of Ferrara. Although both father and son at first spurned the notion of a matrimonial alliance between the proud house of Este and the Pope's illegitimate daughter, they were favourably influenced by the King of France. The third marriage of Lucrezia, celebrated by proxy in the Vatican (30 December, 1501), far exceeded the first in splendour and extravagance. If her father meant her as an instrument in her new position for the advancement of his political combinations, he was mistaken. She is known henceforth, and till her death in 1519, as a model wife and princess, lauded by all for her amiability, her virtue, and her charity. Nothing could well be more different from the fiendish Lucrezia Borgia of the drama and the opera than the historical Duchess of Ferrara. Caesar, however, continued his infamous career of simony, extortion, and treachery, and by the end of 1502 had rounded out his possessions by the capture of Camerino and Sinigaglia. In October of that year the Orsini conspired with his generals to destroy him. With coolness and skill Caesar decoyed the conspirators into his power and put them to death. The Pope followed up the blow by proceeding against the Orsini with greater success than formerly. Cardinal Orsini, the soul of the conspiracy, was committed to Castle St. Angelo — twelve days later he was a corpse.
Whether he died a natural death or was privately executed, is uncertain Losing no time, Caesar returned towards Rome, and so great was the terror he inspired that the frightened barons fled before him, says Villari (I, 356), "as from the face of a hydra". By April nothing remained to the Orsini except the fortress of Bracciano and they begged for an armistice. The humiliation of the Roman aristocracy was complete; for the first time in the history of the papacy the Pope was, in the fullest sense, ruler of his States.
Alexander, still hale and vigorous in his seventy-third year, and looking forward to many mere years of reign, proceeded to strengthen his position by repleting his treasury in ways that were more than dubious. The Sacred College now contained so many of his adherents and countrymen that he had nothing to fear from that quarter. He enjoyed and laughed at the scurrilous lampoons that were in circulation in which he was accused of incredible crimes, and took no steps to shield his reputation. War had broken out in Naples between France and Spain over the division of the spoils. Alexander was still in doubt which side he could most advantageously support, when his career came to an abrupt close. On 6 August, 1503, the Pope, with Caesar and others, dined with Cardinal Adriano da Corneto in a villa belonging to the Cardinal and very imprudently remained in the open air after nightfall. The entire company paid the penalty by contracting the pernicious Roman fever. On the twelfth the Pope took to his bed. On the eighteenth his life was despaired of; he made his confession, received the last sacraments, and expired towards evening. The rapid decomposition and swollen appearance of his corpse gave rise to the familiar suspicion of poison. Later the tale ran that he had drunk by mistake a poisoned cup of wine which he had prepared for his host. Nothing is more certain than that the poison which killed him was the deadly microbe of the Roman campagna [Pastor, op. cit., III, 469-472; Creighton, Hist. of the Papacy (London 1887), IV, 44]. His remains lie in the Spanish national church of Santa Maria di Monserrato.
An impartial appreciation of the career of this extraordinary person must at once distinguish between the man and the office. "An imperfect setting", says Dr. Pastor (op. cit., III, 475), "does not affect the intrinsic worth of the jewel, nor does the golden coin lose its value when it passes through impure hands. In so far as the priest is a public officer of a holy Church, a blameless life is expected from him, both because he is by his office the model of virtue to whom the laity look up, and because his life, when virtuous, inspires in onlookers respect for the society of which he is an ornament. But the treasures of the Church, her Divine character, her holiness, Divine revelation, the grace of God, spiritual authority, it is well known, are not dependent on the moral character of the agents and officers of the Church.
The foremost of her priests cannot diminish by an iota the intrinsic value of the spiritual treasures confided to him." There have been at all times wicked men in the ecclesiastical ranks. Our Lord foretold, as one of its severest trials, the presence in His Church not only of false brethren, but of rulers who would offend, by various forms of selfishness, both the children of the household and "those who are without". Similarly, Ho compared His beloved spouse, the Church, to a threshing floor, on which fall both chaff and grain until the time of separation. The most severe arraignments of Alexander, because in a sense official, are those of his Catholic contemporaries, Pope Julius II (Gregorovius, VII, 494) and the Augustinian cardinal and reformer, Aegidius of Viterbo, in his manuscript "Historia XX Saeculorum", preserved at Rome in the Bibliotheca Angelica. The Oratorian Raynaldus (d. 1677), who continued the semi-official Annals of Baronius, gave to the world at Rome (ad an. 1460, no. 41) the above-mentioned paternal but severe reproof of the youthful Cardinal by Pius II, and stated elsewhere (ad an. 1495, no. 26) that it was in his time the opinion of historians that Alexander had obtained the papacy partly through money and partly through promises and the persuasion that ho would not interfere with the lives of his electors. Mansi, the scholarly Archbishop of Lucca editor and annotator of Raynaldus, says (XI, 4155) that it is easier to keep silence than to write write moderation about this Pope. The severe judgment of the late Cardinal Hergenröther, in his "Kirchengeschichte", or Manual of Church History (4th. ed., Freiburg, 1904, II, 982-983) is too well known to need more than mention.
So little have Catholic historians defended him that in the middle of the nineteenth century Cesare Cantù could write that Alexander VI was the only Pope who had never found an apologist. However, since that time some Catholic writers, both in books and periodicals, have attempted to defend him from the most grievous accusations of his contemporaries. Two in particular may be mentioned: the Dominican Ollivier, "Le Pape Alexandre VI et les Borgia" (Paris, 1870), of whose work only one volume appeared, dealing with the Pope's cardinalate; and Leonetti "Papa Alessandro VI secondo documenti e carteggi del tempo" (3 vols., Bologna, 1880). These and other works were occasioned, partly by a laudable desire to remove a stigma from the good repute of the Catholic Church, and partly by the gross exaggerations of Victor Hugo and others who permitted themselves all licence in dealing with a name so helpless and detested. It cannot be said, however, that these works have corresponded to their authors' zeal. Dr. Pastor ranks them all as failures. Such is the opinion of Henri de l'Epinois in the "Revue des questions historiques" (1881), XXIX, 147, a study that even Thuasne, the hostile editor of the Diary of Burchard, calls "the indispensable guide of all students of Borgia history".
It is also the opinion of the Bollandist Matagne, in the same review for 1870 and 1872 (IX, 466-475; XI, 181-198), and of Von Reumont, the Catholic historian of medieval Rome, in Bonn. Theol. Lit. Blatt (1870), V. 686. Dr. Pastor considers that the publication of the documents in the supplement to the third volume of Thuasne's edition of the Diary of Burchard (Paris, 1883) renders "forever impossible" any attempts to save the reputation of Alexander VI. There is all the less reason, therefore, says Cardinal Hergenröther (op. cit., II, 583), for the false charges that have been added to his account, e.g. his attempt to poison Cardinal Adriano da Corneto and his incest relations with Lucrezia (Pastor, op. cit., III, 375, 450-451, 475). Other accusations, says the same writer, have been dealt with, not unsuccessfully, by Roscoe in his "Life of Leo the Tenth"; by Capefigue in his "Église pendant les quatre derniers siècles" (I, 41-46), and by Chantrel, "Le Pape Alexandre VI" (Paris, 1864). On the other hand, while immoral writers have made only too much capital out of the salacious paragraphs scattered through Burchard and Infessura, there is no more reason now than in the days of Raynaldus and Mansi for concealing or perverting the facts of history. "I am a Catholic", says M. de l'Epinois (loc. cit.), "and a disciple of the God who hath a horror of lies. I seek the truth, all the truth, and nothing but the truth Although our weak eyes do not see at once the uses of it, or rather see damage and peril, we must proclaim it fearlessly." The same good principle is set forth by Leo XIII in his Letter of 8 September, 1889, to Cardinals De Luca, Pitra, and Hergenröther on the study of Church History: "The historian of the Church has the duty to dissimulate none of the trials that the Church has had to suffer from the faults of her children, and even at times from those of her own ministers." Long ago Leo the Great (440-461) declared, in his third homily for Christmas Day, that "the dignity of Peter suffers no diminution even in an unworthy successor" (cujus dignitas etiam in indigno haerede non deficit). The very indignation that the evil life of a great ecclesiastic rouses at all times (nobly expressed by Pius II in the above-mentioned letter to Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia) is itself a tribute to the high spiritual ideal which for so long and on so broad a scale the Church has presented to the world in so many holy examples, and has therefore accustomed the latter to demand from priests. "The latter are forgiven nothing", says De Maistre in his great work, "Du Pape", "because everything is expected from them, wherefore the vices lightly passed over in a Louis XIV become most offensive and scandalous in an Alexander VI" (II, c. xiv). http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01289a.htm
Henry Halley (1895—1965)
Pope Alexander VI (1492-1503), called the most corrupt of the Renaissance Popes. He was licentious, avaricious, and depraved! He bought the Papacy; made many new cardinals, for money; had a number of illegitimate children, whom he openly acknowledged and appointed to high church office while they were yet children — who, with himself, murdered cardinals and others who stood in their way. Had for a mistress, a sister of a Cardinal.
Pope Julius II (1503-1513)
Born on 5 December, 1443, at Albissola near Savona; crowned on 28 November, 1503; died at Rome, in the night of 20-21 February, 1513. He was born of a probably noble but impoverished family, his father being Raffaelo della Rovere and his mother Theodora Manerola, a lady of Greek extraction. He followed his uncle Francesco della Rovere into the Franciscan Order, and was educated under his tutelage at Perugia. With the elevation of his uncle to the papacy as Sixtus IV on 9 August, 1471, begins the public career of Giuliano. On 15 December, 1471, he was created Cardinal Priest of San Pietro in Vincoli, and thereafter literally overwhelmed with benefices, although during the lifetime of Sixtus IV he never took a prominent part in ecclesiastical diplomacy. He held the episcopal sees of Carpentras (1471-2), Lausanne (1472-6), Catania (1473-4), Coutances (1476-7), Mende (1478-83), Viviers (1477-9), Sabina (1479-83), Bologna (1483-1502), Ostia (1483-1503), Lodève (1488-9), Savona (1499-1502), Vercelli (1502-3), and the Archiepiscopal See of Avignon (1474-1503). In addition he was commendatory Abbot of Nonantola, Grottaferrata, and Gorze, and drew the revenues of various other ecclesiastical benefices. These large incomes, however, he did not spend in vain pomp and dissipation, as was the custom of many ecclesiastics of those times. Giuliano was a patron of the fine arts, and spent most of his superfluous money in the erection of magnificent palaces and fortresses.
Still his early private life was far from stainless, as is sufficiently testified by the fact that before he became pope he was the father of three daughters, the best known of whom, Felice, he gave in marriage to Giovanni Giordano Orsini in 1506.
In June, 1474, Giuliano was sent at the head of an army to restore the papal authority in Umbria. He succeeded in reducing Todi and Spoleto, but for the subjugation of Città di Castello he needed the assistance of Duke Federigo of Urbino. In February, 1476, he was sent as legate to France to regulate the affairs of his Archdiocese of Avignon, and probably to oppose the council which Louis XI intended to convene at Lyons. In 1480 he was sent as legate to the Netherlands and France to accomplish three things, viz. to settle the quarrel concerning the Burgundian inheritance between Louis XI and Maximilian of Austria, to obtain the help of France against the Turks, and to effect the liberation of Cardinal Balue whom Louis XI had held in strict custody since 1469 on account of treasonable acts. After successfully completing his mission he returned to Rome in the beginning of 1482, accompanied by the liberated Cardinal Balue. At that time a war was just breaking out between the pope and Venice on one side and Ferrara on the other. Giuliano made various attempts to restore peace, and was probably instrumental in the dissolution of the Veneto-Papal alliance on 12 December, 1482. He also protected the Colonna family against the cruel persecutions of Cardinal Girolamo Riario in 1484. After the death of Sixtus IV on 12 August, 1484, Giuliano played a disreputable role in the election of Innocent VIII. Seeing that his own chances for the papacy were extremely meagre, he turned all his efforts to securing the election of a pope who was likely to be a puppet in his hands. Such a person he saw in the weak and irresolute Cardinal Cibo, who owed his cardinalate to Giuliano. To effect the election of his candidate he did not scruple to resort to bribery. Cibo ascended the papal throne as Innocent VIII on 29 August, 1484, and was greatly influenced during the eight years of his pontificate by the strong and energetic Giuliano. The war that broke out between the pope and King Ferrante of Naples must be attributed chiefly to Giuliano, and it was also due to him that it did not come to an earlier conclusion.
After the death of Innocent VIII on 25 July, 1492, Giuliano again aspired to the papacy, but his great influence during Innocent's pontificate and his pronounced sympathy for France had made him hateful to the cardinals. He was shrewd enough to understand the situation. He was, however, loath to see the tiara go to Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia, not because the latter was an unworthy candidate, but on account of his personal aversion towards the Borgia. Despite Giuliano's efforts to the contrary, Rodrigo Borgia was the successful candidate, and ascended the papal throne as Alexander VI on 11 August, 1492.
Fearing for his safety in Rome, Giuliano withdrew to his strongly fortified castle at Ostia towards the end of 1492. An apparent reconciliation between Alexander VI and Giuliano was effected in July, 1493, but Giuliano did not trust in the sincerity of the pope and fled by way of Genoa to the court of Charles VIII of France, whom he induced to make an expedition into Italy with the purpose of dethroning Alexander VI. Giuliano accompanied the king on his expedition, but by liberal concessions Alexander gained Charles to his side. In the treaty effected between them, it was stipulated that Giuliano should remain in possession of all his dignities and benefices, and should be guaranteed secure and undisturbed residence in Rome. Giuliano, however, still feared the secret machinations of Alexander and returned to France. Another apparent reconciliation took place in June, 1497, when Giuliano assisted the pope in the matrimonial affairs of Cesare Borgia. But Giuliano's distrust of Alexander remained. He evaded Rome, spending most of his time in France and Northern Italy.
After the death of Alexander on 18 August, 1503, he returned to Rome on 3 September to take part in the election of the new pope. He was again a strong candidate for the papacy, but his great ambition was not yet to be realized. The sick and aged Francesco Piccolomini ascended the papal throne as Pius III, but died on 18 October, 1503, after a reign of only twenty-six days. Giuliano's chance of being elected was now better than at any previous election. To ensure his success he made great promises to the cardinals, and did not hesitate to employ bribery. The conclave began on 31 October, and after a few hours the cardinals united their votes on Giuliano, who as pope took the name of Julius II. It was the shortest conclave in the history of the papacy. In the capitulation preceding the election, the following terms were secured by the cardinals: (1) the continuation of the war against the Turks; (2) the restoration of ecclesiastical discipline and the convocation of a general council for that purpose within two years; (3) that no war was to be undertaken with another nation without the consent of two-thirds of the cardinals, who were to be consulted on all important matters, especially concerning the creation of new members for the Sacred College; (4) that the pope with two-thirds of the cardinals were to determine upon the place of the next general council. Such an unlawful restriction of papal rights no pope could tolerate, much less the impatient, irascible, ambitious, and warlike Julius II, whose fearless and awe-inspiring presence gained for him the epithet of pontefice terribile. The chief task of his pontificate he saw in the firm establishment and the extension of the temporal power. For the accomplishment of this task no pope was ever better suited than Julius, whom nature and circumstances had hewn out for a soldier.
Venice was the first to feel the strong hand of Julius II. Under pretence of humiliating Cesare Borgia, whom Alexander VI had made Duke of the Romagna, the Venetians had reduced various places in the Romagna under their own authority. The Romagna was ecclesiastical territory, and every one of its cities added to the Venetian republic was lost to the papacy. Julius, therefore, ordered Cesare Borgia to surrender the fortified places of the Romagna into his own hands. Cesare Borgia refused and was arrested by the pope's order. Venice, however, stubbornly refused to give back the cities which it had previously taken. A temporary settlement was reached in March, 1505, when Venice restored most of its conquests in the Romagna. Meanwhile trouble was brewing at Perugia and Bologna, two cities that belonged to the Papal States. At Perugia the Baglioni and at Bologna the Bentivogli were acting as independent despots. The warlike Julius II personally directed the campaign against both, setting out at the head of his army on 26 August, 1506. Perugia surrendered without any bloodshed on 13 September, and the pope proceeded towards Bologna. On 7 October he issued a Bull deposing and excommunicating Giovanni Bentivoglio and placing the city under interdict. Bentivoglio fled, and Julius II entered Bologna triumphantly on 10 November. He did not leave the city until 22 February, 1507, arriving again at Rome on 27 March.
The Venetians meanwhile continued to hold Rimini and Faenza, two important places in the Romagna: they moreover encroached upon the papal rights by filling the vacant episcopal sees in their territory independently of the pope, and they subjected the clergy to the secular tribunal and in many other ways disrespected the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of Julius II. Unable to cope alone with the powerful Republic of Venice, he reluctantly joined the League of Cambrai on 23 March, 1509. This League had been formed by Emperor Maximilian I and Louis XII of France chiefly with the purpose of forcing Venice to restore its recent continental conquests to their original owners. On 27 April, 1509, Julius II placed Venice under interdict and dispatched his troops into the Romagna. Venice was too weak to contend against the combined forces of the League, and suffered a complete defeat at the battle of Agnadello on 14 May, 1509. The Venetians were now ready to enter negotiations with Julius II, who withdrew from the League and freed the Venetians from the ban on 24 February, 1510, after they agreed upon the following terms. (1) to restore the disputed towns in the Romagna; (2) to renounce their claims to fill vacant benefices; (3) to acknowledge the ecclesiastical tribunal for ecclesiastics and exempt them from taxes; (4) to revoke all treaties made with papal cities; (5) to permit papal subjects free navigation on the Adriatic.
Julius II was now again supreme temporal master over the entire Pontifical States, but his national pride extended beyond the Patrimony of St. Peter. His ambition was to free the whole of Italy from its subjection to foreign powers, and especially to deliver it from the galling yoke of France. His efforts to gain the assistance of Emperor Maximilian, Henry VIII of England, and Ferdinand of Spain, proved futile for the moment, but the Swiss and the Venetians were ready to take the field against the French. Julius II inaugurated the hostilities by deposing and excommunicating his vassal, Duke Alfonso of Ferrara, who supported France. Louis XII retaliated by convoking a synod of French bishops at Tours in September, 1510, where it was decreed that the pope had no right to make war upon a foreign prince, and, in case he should undertake such a war, the foreign prince had the right to invade the Ecclesiastical States and to withdraw his subjects from their obedience to the pope. The synod also threatened the pope with a general council. Taking no notice of this synod, Julius again assumed personal command of his army and set out for Northern Italy. At Bologna he fell severely sick, and would probably have been captured by the French had it not been for the timely appearance of the Venetians. He had scarcely recovered, when, braving the inclemency of the weather, he marched against Mirandola which he took on 20 January, 1511. On 23 May, 1511, the French made a descent upon Bologna which Julius II had left nine days previously, drove out the papal troops and reinstated the Bentivogli.
Some of the cardinals were displeased with the pope's anti-French policy, and five of them went so far as to convoke a schismatic council at Pisa on 1 September. They were supported in their schism by the King of France and for some time also by Emperor Maximilian. The pope now looked for aid to Spain, Venice, and England, but before completing negotiations with these powers he fell dangerously sick. From 25 to 27 August, 1511, his life was despaired of. It was during this sickness of Julius II that Emperor Maximilian conceived the fantastic plan of uniting the tiara with the imperial crown on his own head (see Schulte, "Kaiser Maximilian als Kandidat für den papstlichen Stuhl", Leipzig, 1906; and Naegle, "Hat Kaiser Maximilian I in Jahre 1507 Papst werden wollen" in "Historisches Jahrbuch", XXVIII, Munich, 1907, pp. 44-60, 278-305). But Julius II recovered on 28 August, and on 4 October the so-called Holy League was formed for the purpose of delivering Italy from French rule. In the beginning the League included only the pope, the Venetians, and Spain, but England joined it on 17 November, and was soon followed by the emperor and by Switzerland. Under the leadership of the brilliant Gaston de Foix the French were at first successful, but after his death they had to yield to the superior forces of the League, and, being defeated in the bloody battle of Ravenna on 11 April, 1512, they were driven beyond the Alps.
Bologna again submitted to Julius II and the cities of Parma, Reggio, and Piacenza were added to the Ecclesiastical States.
Julius II was chiefly a soldier, and the fame attached to his name is greatly due to his re-establishment of the Pontifical States and the deliverance of Italy from its subjection to France. Still he did not forget his duties as the spiritual head of the Church. He was free from nepotism; heard Mass almost daily and often celebrated it himself; issued a strict Bull against simony at papal elections and another against duels; erected dioceses in the recently discovered American colonies of Haiti (Espanola), San Domingo, and Porto Rico; condemned the heresy of Piero de Lucca concerning the Incarnation on 7 September, 1511; made various ordinances for monastic reforms; instituted the still existing Capella Julia, a school for ecclesiastical chant which was to serve as a feeder for the Capella Palatina; and finally convoked the Fifth Lateran Council to eradicate abuses from the Church and especially from the Roman Curia, and to frustrate the designs of the schismatic cardinals who had convened their unsuccessful council first at Pisa, then at Milan (see LATERAN COUNCILS). Julius II has also gained an enviable reputation as a patron of arts. Bramante, Raphael, and Michelangelo gave to the world some of their greatest masterpieces while in his service. He laid the cornerstone of the gigantic Basilica of St. Peter on 18 April, 1506, and conceived the idea of uniting the Vatican with the Belvedere, engaging Bramante to accomplish the project. The famous frescoes of Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel and of Raphael in the Stanze, the Court of St. Damasus with its loggias, the Via Giulia and Via della Lungara, the colossal statue of Moses which graces the mausoleum of Julius II in the church of San Pietro in Vincoli, and many other magnificent works in and out of Rome are lasting witnesses of his great love of art. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08562a.htm
Henry Halley (1895—1965)
Pope Julius II (1503-1513), the richest of the Cardinals, with vast income from numerous bishoprics and church estates — bought the Papacy. As a Cardinal he had made sport of celibacy. Involved in endless quarrels over the possession of cities and principalities, he maintained and personally led vast armies. Called the Warrior Pope. Issued indulgences for money. Luther visited Rome — and was appalled at what he saw!
Pope Leo X (1513-1521)
Born at Florence, 11 December, 1475; died at Rome, 1 December, 1521, was the second son of Lorenzo the Magnificent (1449-1492) and Clarice Orsini, and from his earliest youth was destined for the Church. He received tonsure in 1482 and in 1483 was made Abbot of Font Douce in the French Diocese of Saintes and appointed Apostolic prothonotary by Sixtus IV. All the benefices which the Medici could obtain were at his disposal; he consequently became possessed of the rich Abbey of Passignano in 1484 and in 1486 of Monte Cassino. Owing to the constant pressure brought to bear by Lorenzo and his envoys, Innocent VIII in 1489, created the thirteen year-old child a cardinal, on condition that he should dispense with the insignia and the privilege of his office for three years. Meanwhile his education was completed by the most distinguished Humanists and scholars, Angelo Poliziano, Marsilio Ficino, and Bernardo Dovizi (later Cardinal Bibbiena). From 1489 to 1491 Giovanni de' Medici studied theology and canon law, at Pisa, under Filippo Decio and Bartolomeo Sozzini. On 9 March, 1492, at Fiesole, he was invested with the insignia of a cardinal and on 22 March entered Rome. The next day the pope received him in consistory with the customary ceremonies. The Romans found the youthful cardinal more mature than his age might warrant them to expect. His father sent him an impressive letter of advice marked by good sense and knowledge of human nature, besides bearing witness to the high and virtuous sentiments to which the elder Lorenzo returned towards the end of his life. In this letter he enjoins upon his son certain rules of conduct, and admonishes him to be honourable, virtuous, and exemplary, the more so as the College of Cardinals at that time was deficient in these good qualities.
In the very next month Lorenzo's death recalled the cardinal to Florence. He returned once more to Rome for the papal election, which resulted, very much against his approval, in the elevation of the unworthy Alexander VI, after which Giovanni remained in Florence from August, 1492, until the expulsion of the Medici in 1494, when he fled from his native city in the habit of a Franciscan monk. After several fruitless attempts to restore the supremacy of his family, he led the life of a literary and artistic amateur.
Patronage, liberality, and poor financial administration frequently reduced him even then to distressing straits; indeed, he remained a bad manager to the last. But though his manner of life was quite worldly he excelled in dignity, propriety, and irreproachable conduct most of the cardinals. Towards the end of the pontificate of Julius II (1503-1513), fortune once more smiled on Giovanni de' Medici. In August, 1511, the pope was dangerously ill and the Medici cardinal already aspired to the succession. In October, 1511, he became legate in Bologna and Romagna, and cherished the hope that his family would again rule in Florence. The Florentines had taken the part of the schismatic Pisans (see JULIUS II) for which reason the pope supported the Medici. Meanwhile the cardinal suffered another reverse. The army, Spanish and papal, with which he was sojourning, was defeated in 1512 at Ravenna by the French and he was taken prisoner. But it was a Pyrrhic victory, for the French soon lost all their possessions in Italy, and the cardinal, who was to have been taken to France, succeeded in making his escape. The supremacy of the Medici in Florence was re-established in September, 1512, and this unexpected change in the fortunes of his family was only the prelude to higher honours.
Julius II died on 21 February, 1513, and on 11 March Giovanni de' Medici, then but thirty-eight years old, was elected pope. In the first scrutiny he received only one vote. His adherents, the younger cardinals, held back his candidacy until the proper moment. The election met with approval even in France, although here and there a natural misgiving was felt as to whether the youthful pope would prove equal to his burden. In many quarters high hopes were placed in him by politicians who relied on his pliancy, by scholars and artists of whom he was already a patron, and by theologians who looked for energetic church reforms under a pacific ruler. Unfortunately he realized the hopes only of the artists, literati, and worldlings who looked upon the papal court as a centre of amusement.
Leo's personal appearance has been perpetuated for us in Raphael's celebrated picture at the Pitti Gallery in Florence, which represents him with Cardinals Medici and Rossi. He was not a handsome man. His fat, shiny, effeminate countenance with weak eyes protrudes in the picture from under a close-fitting cap. The unwieldy body is supported by thin legs. His movements were sluggish and during ecclesiastical functions his corpulence made him constantly wipe the perspiration from his face and hands, to the distress of the bystanders. But when he laughed or spoke the unpleasant impression vanished. He had an agreeable voice, knew how to express himself with elegance and vivacity, and his manner was easy and gracious. "Let us enjoy the papacy since God has given it to us", he is said to have remarked after his election.
The Venetian ambassador who related this of him was not unbiased, nor was he in Rome at the time, nevertheless the phrase illustrates fairly the pope's pleasure-loving nature and the lack of seriousness that characterized him. He paid no attention to the dangers threatening the papacy, and gave himself up unrestrainedly to amusements, that were provided in lavish abundance. He was possessed by an insatiable love of pleasure, that distinctive trait of his family. Music, the theatre, art, and poetry appealed to him as to any pampered worldling. Though temperate himself, he loved to give banquets and expensive entertainments, accompanied by revelry and carousing; and notwithstanding his indolence he had a strong passion for the chase, which he conducted every year on the largest scale. From his youth he was an enthusiastic lover of music and attracted to his court the most distinguished musicians. At table he enjoyed hearing improvisations and though it is hard to believe, in view of his dignity and his artistic tastes, the fact remains that he enjoyed also the flat and absurd jokes of buffoons. Their loose speech and incredible appetites delighted him. In ridicule and caricature he was himself a master. Pageantry, dear to the pleasure-seeking Romans, bull-fights, and the like, were not neglected. Every year he amused himself during the carnival with masques, music, theatrical performances, dances, and races. Even during the troubled years of 1520 he took part in unusually brilliant festivities. Theatrical representations, with agreeable music and graceful dancing, were his favourite diversions. The papal palace became a theatre and the pope did not hesitate to attend such improper plays as the immoral "Calendra" by Bibbiena and Ariosto's indecent "Suppositi". His contemporaries all praised and admired Leo's unfailing good temper, which he never entirely lost even in adversity and trouble. Himself cheerful, he wished to see others cheerful. He was good-natured and liberal and never refused a favour either to his relatives and fellow Florentines, who flooded Rome and seized upon all official positions, or to the numerous other petitioners, artists and poets. His generosity was boundless, nor was his pleasure in giving a pose or desire for vainglory; it came from the heart. He never was ostentatious and attached no importance to ceremonial. He was lavish in works of charity; convents, hospitals, discharged soldiers, poor students, pilgrims, exiles, cripples, the blind, the sick, the unfortunate of every description were generously remembered, and more than 6000 ducats were annually distributed in alms.
Under such circumstances, it is not surprising that the large treasure left by Julius II was entirely dissipated in two years. In the spring of 1515 the exchequer was empty and Leo never after recovered from his financial embarrassment. Various doubtful and reprehensible methods were resorted to for raising money. He created new offices and dignities, and the most exalted places were put up for sale.
Jubilees and indulgences were degraded almost entirely into financial transactions, yet without avail, as the treasury was ruined. The pope's income amounted to between 500,000 and 600,000 ducats. The papal household alone, which Julius II had maintained on 48,000 ducats, now cost double that sum. In all, Leo spent about four and a half million ducats during his pontificate and left a debt amounting to 400,000 ducats. On his unexpected death his creditors faced financial ruin. A lampoon proclaimed that "Leo X had consumed three pontificates; the treasure of Julius II, the revenues of his own reign, and those of his successor." It is proper, however, to pay full credit to the good qualities of Leo. He was highly cultivated, susceptible to all that was beautiful, a polished orator and a clever writer, possessed of good memory and judgment, in manner dignified and majestic. It was generally acknowledged, even by those who were unfriendly towards him, that he was unfeignedly religious and strictly fulfilled his spiritual duties. He heard Mass and read his Breviary daily and fasted three times a week. His piety cannot truly be described as deep or spiritual, but that does not justify the continued repetition of his alleged remark: "How much we and our family have profited by the legend of Christ, is sufficiently evident to all ages." John Bale, the apostate English Carmelite, the first to give currency to these words in the time of Queen Elizabeth, was not even a contemporary of Leo. Among the many sayings of Leo X that have come down to us, there is not one of a sceptical nature. In his private life he preserved as pope the irreproachable reputation that he had borne when a cardinal. His character shows a remarkable mingling of good and bad traits.
The fame of Leo X is due to his promotion of literature, science, and art. Under him Rome became more than ever the centre of the literary world. "From all parts", wrote Cardinal Riario in 1515 to Erasmus at Rotterdam, "men of letters are hurrying to the Eternal City, their common country, their support, and their patroness." Poets were especially numerous in Rome and few princes have been so lauded in verse as Leo X. He lavished gifts, favours, positions, titles, not only on real poets and scholars, but often on poetasters and commonplace jesters. He esteemed particularly the papal secretaries Bembo and Sadoleto, both celebrated poets and prose writers. Bembo charmed everyone by his polish and wit. His classic Ciceronian letters exhibit a remarkably varied intercourse with almost all the celebrities of his day. Among other things, he prepared a critical edition of Dante's works and was a zealous collector of manuscripts, books, and works of art. His conduct was not in accord with his position as papal notary, count palatine, and incumbent of numerous benefices, for he was worldly and self-indulgent. Sadoleto was quite another man. He led a pure and spotless life, was a model priest, united in himself the different phases of ancient and modern culture and was an ardent enthusiast for antiquity.
In elegance and polish he was in no way inferior to Bembo. Among the Latin poets of Medicean Rome we may briefly mention Vida, who composed a poem of great merit, the "Christiade" and was extolled by his contemporaries as the Christian Virgil; Sannazaro, author of an epic poem on the birth of Christ which is a model of style; the Carmelite Spagnolo Mantovano with his "Calendar of Feasts"; Ferreri, who in the most naïve way recast the hymns in the Breviary with heathen terms, images, and allusions. The total number of these poets exceeds one hundred; and a lampoon of 1521 says they were more numerous than the stars in heaven. Most of them have fallen into well-deserved oblivion.
This is equally true of the contemporary Italian poetry—more prolific than notable. Among the Italian poets Trissino wrote a tragedy, "Sophonisba", and an epic "L'Italia liberata dai Gothi", but had no real success with either in spite of earnest purpose and beauty of language. Rucellai, a relative of the pope, whose clever and sympathetic didactic poem on bees met with great approval from his contemporaries, owed his reputation chiefly to an inferior work, the tragedy of "Rosmonda". The celebrated improvisatore, Tebaldeo wrote in both Latin and Italian. Towards Ariosto the pope was remarkably harsh. Archæology received great encouragement. One of its most distinguished representatives was Manetti. In 1521 the first collection of Roman topographical inscriptions appeared and introduced a new era. Important progress was due to the works of the learned antiquary, Fulvio. Fulvio, Calvo, Castiglione, and Raphael had planned an archæological survey of ancient Rome with accompanying text. Raphael's early death abruptly interrupted the work which was carried on by Fulvio and Calvo. The Greek language also found favour and encouragement; Aldus Manutius, the Venetian publisher, whose excellent and correct editions of Greek classics became so popular, was one of Leo's protégés. Andreas Johannes Lascaris and Musurus were summoned from Greece to Rome and founded a Greek college, the "Medicean Academy". Moreover, the pope encouraged the collection of manuscripts and books. He recovered his family library which had been sold by the Florentines in 1494 to the monks of San Marco, had it brought to Rome, and enforced the regulations of Sixtus IV for the Vatican Library. The most distinguished of his librarians was Inghirami, less indeed through any learned works than for his gift of eloquence. He was called the Cicero of his age and played an important rôle at court. In 1516 he was succeeded by the Bolognese Humanist Beroaldo. Leo tried, as Nicholas V had formerly done, to increase the treasures of the Vatican Library, and with this object sent emissaries in all directions, even to Scandinavia and the Orient, to discover literary treasures and either obtain them, or borrow them for the purpose of making copies. The results, however, were unimportant.
The Roman university, which had entered on decay, was reformed, but did not long flourish. On the whole, Leo, as a literary Mæcenas, has been overrated by his biographer Giovio and later panegyrists. Relatively little was accomplished, partly on account of the constant lack of money and partly because of the thoughtlessness and haste which the pope often showed in distributing his favours. He was in reality only a dilettante. Yet he gave an important stimulus to scientific and literary life, and was a potent factor in the cultural development of the West.
More important results ensued from his promotion of art, though he was unquestionably inferior in taste and judgment to his predecessor Julius II. Leo encouraged painting beyond all other branches of art; pre-eminent in this class stand the immortal productions of Raphael. In 1508 he had come to Rome, summoned by Julius II, and remained there until his death in 1520. The protection extended to this master genius is Leo's most enduring claim on posterity. Raphael's achievements, already numerous and important, took on more dignity and grandeur under Leo. He painted, sketched, and engraved from antique works of art, modeled in clay, made designs for palaces, directed the work of others by order of the pope, gave advice and assistance alike to supervisors and workmen. "Everything pertaining to art the pope turns over to Raphael", wrote an ambassador in 1518. This is not, of course, the place to treat Raphael's prodigious activity. We limit ourselves to brief mention of a few of his works. He finished the decoration of the Vatican halls or "Stanze" begun under Julius II, and in the third hall cleverly referred to Leo X by introducing scenes from the pontificates of Leo III and Leo IV. A more important commission was given him to paint the cartoons for the tapestries of the Sistine Chapel, the highest of Raphael's achievements, the most magnificent of them being "St. Peter's miraculous draught of fishes" and "St. Paul preaching in Athens". A third famous enterprise was the decoration of the Vatican Loggia done by Raphael's pupils under his direction, and mostly from his designs. The most exquisite of his paintings are the wonderful Sistine Madonna and the "Transfiguration". Sculpture showed a marked decline under Leo X. Michaelangelo offered his services and worked from 1516 to 1520 on a marble façade for the church of San Lorenzo in Florence, but did not finish it. On the other hand the pope gave especial attention and encouragement to the minor arts, e.g. decorative carving, and furthered the industrial arts. The greatest and most difficult task of Leo was in the field of architecture and was inherited from his predecessor, viz., the continuation of the new St. Peter's. Bramante remained its chief architect until his death in 1514. Raphael succeeded him, but in his six years of office little was done, much to his regret, through lack of means.
We may now turn to the political and religious events of Leo's pontificate. Here the bright splendour that diffuses itself over his literary and artistic patronage, is soon changed to deepest gloom. His well-known peaceable inclinations made the political situation a disagreeable heritage, and he tried to maintain tranquillity by exhortations, to which, however, no one listened. France desired to wreak vengeance for the defeat of 1512 and to reconquer Milan. Venice entered into an alliance with her, whereupon Emperor Maximilian, Spain, and England in 1513 concluded a Holy League against France. The pope wished at first to remain neutral but such a course would have isolated him, so he decided to be faithful to the policy of his predecessors and sought accordingly to oppose the designs of France, but in doing so, to avoid severity. In 1513 the French were decisively routed at Novara and were forced to effect a reconciliation with Rome. The schismatic cardinals (see JULIUS II) submitted and were pardoned, and France then took part in the Lateran Council which Leo had continued.
But success was soon clouded by uncertainty. France endeavoured to form an alliance with Spain and to obtain Milan and Genoa by a matrimonial alliance. Leo feared for the independence of the Papal States and for the so-called freedom of Italy. He negotiated on all sides without committing himself, and in 1514 succeeded in bringing about an Anglo-French alliance. The fear of Spain now gave way to the bugbear of French supremacy and the pope began negotiating in a deceitful and disloyal manner with France and her enemies simultaneously. Before he had decided to bind himself in one way or the other, Louis XII died and the young and ardent Francis I succeeded him. Once more Leo sought delay. He supported the League against France, but until the last moment hoped for an arrangement with Francis. But the latter shortly after his descent upon Italy, won the great victory of Marignano, 13-14 September, 1515, and the pope now made up his mind to throw himself into the arms of the Most Christian King and beg for mercy. He was obliged to alter his policy completely and to abandon to the French king Parma and Piacenza, which had been reunited with Milan. An interview with King Francis at Bologna resulted in the French Concordat (1516), that brought with it such important consequences for the Church. The Pragmatic Sanction of Bourges (1438), deeply inimical to the papacy, was revoked, but the pope paid a high price for this concession, when he granted to the king the right of nomination to all the sees, abbeys, and priories of France. Through this and other concessions, e.g. that pertaining to ecclesiastical jurisdiction, the royal influence over the French Church was assured. Great discontent resulted in France among the clergy and in the parliaments. The abolition of the Pragmatic Sanction, drawn up in compliance with the decrees of the Council of Basle, affected the adherents of the conciliar system of church government.
The abolition of free ecclesiastical elections affected grievously the interests of many and opposition to the Concordat was maintained for centuries. The advantage to the Church and the pope of such a great sacrifice was that France, hitherto schismatical in attitude, now stood firmly bound to the Holy See, which thus turned aside the danger of complete estrangement. However, the way in which the French crown abused its control over the Church led at a later period to great evils.
Meanwhile the Lateran Council, continued by Leo after his elevation to the papacy, was nearing its close, having issued numerous and very timely decrees, e.g. against the false philosophical teachings of the Paduan professor, Pietro Pompanazzi, who denied the immortality of the soul. The encroachments of pagan Humanism on the spiritual life were met by the simultaneous rise of a new order of philosophical and theological studies. In the ninth session was promulgated a Bull that treated exhaustively of reforms in the Curia and the Church. Abbeys and benefices were henceforth to be bestowed only on persons of merit and according to canon law. Provisions of benefices and consistorial proceedings were regulated; ecclesiastical depositions and transfers made more difficult; commendatory benefices were forbidden; and unions and reservations of benefices, also dispensations for obtaining them, were restricted. Measures were also taken for reforming the curial administration and the lives of cardinals, clerics, and the faithful. The religious instruction of children was declared a duty. Blasphemers and incontinent, negligent, or simoniac ecclesiastics were to be severely punished. Church revenues were no longer to be turned to secular uses. The immunities of the clergy must be respected, and all kinds of superstition abolished. The eleventh session dealt with the cure of souls, particularly with preaching. These measures, unhappily, were not thoroughly enforced, and therefore the much-needed genuine reform was not realized. Towards the close of the council (1517) the noble and highly cultured layman, Gianfrancesco Pico della Mirandola, delivered a remarkable speech on the necessity of a reform of morals; his account of the moral condition of the clergy is saddening, and reveals the many and great difficulties that stood in the way of a genuine reform. He concluded with the warning that if Leo X left such offences longer unpunished and refused to apply healing remedies to these wounds of the Church, it was to be feared that God Himself would cut off the rotten limbs and destroy them with fire and sword. That very year this prophetic warning was verified. The salutary reforms of the Lateran Council found no practical acceptance. Pluralism, commendatory benefices, and the granting of ecclesiastical dignities to children remained customary. Leo himself did not scruple to set aside repeatedly the decrees of the council.
The Roman Curia, then much despised and against which so many inveighed with violence, remained as worldly as ever. The pope was either unwilling or not in a position to regulate the unworthy and immoral conduct of many of the Roman courtiers. The political situation absorbed his attention and was largely responsible for the premature close of the council.
In March, 1516, Emperor Maximilian crossed the Alps to make war on the French and Venetians. The pope followed his usual course of shifting and dissimulation. At first, when events seemed favourable for the French, he supported Francis. But his former double-dealing had left Francis in such ill-humour that he now adhered to an antipapal policy, whereupon Leo adopted an unfriendly attitude towards the king. Their relations were further strained apropos of the Duchy of Urbino. During the French invasion the Duke of Urbino had withheld the assistance which he was in duty bound to render the pope, who now exiled him and gave the title to his nephew, Lorenzo de' Medici. The French king was highly displeased with the papal policy, and when Francis I and Maximilian formed the alliance of Cambrai in 1517 and agreed on a partition of Upper and Central Italy, Pope Leo found himself in a disagreeable position. In part by reason of his constant vacillation he had drifted into a dangerous isolation, added to which the Duke of Urbino reconquered his duchy; to crown all other calamities came a conspiracy of cardinals against the pope's life. The ringleader, Cardinal Petrucci, was a young worldly ecclesiastic who thought only of money and pleasure. He and the other cardinals who had brought about Leo's selection, made afterwards such numerous and insistent demands that the pope could not yield to them. Other causes for discontent were found in the unfortunate war with Urbino and in the abolition of the election capitulations and the excessive privileges of the cardinals. Petrucci bore personal ill-will towards the "ungrateful pope", who had removed his brother from the government of Siena. He tried to have the pope poisoned by a physician, but suspicion was aroused and the plot was betrayed through a letter. The investigation implicated Cardinals Sauli, Riario, Soderini, and Castellesi; they had been guilty at least of listening to Petrucci, and perhaps had desired his success, though their full complicity was not actually proved. Petrucci was executed and the others punished by fines; Riario paid the enormous sum of 150,000 ducats.
The affair throws a lurid light on the degree of corruption in the highest ecclesiastical circles. Unconcerned by the scandal he was giving, Leo took advantage of the proceeding to create thirty-one new cardinals, thereby obtaining an entirely submissive college and also money to carry on the unlucky war with Urbino. Not a few of these cardinals were chosen on account of the large sums they advanced.
But this wholesale appointment also brought several virtuous and distinguished men into the Sacred College, and it was further important because it definitively established the superiority of the pope over the cardinals. The war with Urbino, encouraged by Francis I and Maximilian for the purpose of increasing Leo's difficulties, was finally brought to a close, after having cost enormous sums and emptied the papal treasury. Lorenzo de' Medici remained in possession of the duchy (1517). Faithful to the ancient tradition of the Holy See, from the very beginning of his reign, Leo zealously advocated a crusade against the Turks, and at the close of the war with Urbino took up the cause with renewed determination. In November, 1517, he submitted an exhaustive memorial to all the princes of Europe, and endeavored to unite them in a common effort, but in vain. The replies of the powers proved widely dissimilar. They were suspicious of one another and each sought naturally to realize various secondary purposes of its own. Leo answered a threatening letter from the sultan by active exertions. Religious processions were held, a truce of five years was proclaimed throughout Christendom and the Crusade was preached (1518). The pope showed real earnestness, but his great plan miscarried through lack of cooperation on the part of the powers. Moreover, Cardinal Wolsey, Lord Chancellor of England, thwarted the pope's peaceful efforts and thus dealt a grievous blow to the international prestige of the papacy. When the Crusade was preached in Germany, it found a large section of the people strongly predisposed against the Curia, and furnished them with an occasion to express their views in plain terms. It was believed that the Curia merely sought to obtain more money. One of the numerous spiteful pamphlets issued declared that the real Turks were in Italy and that these demons could only be pacified by streams of gold. The good cause was gradually merged with an important political question, the succession to the imperial throne. Maximilian sought the election for his grandson, Charles of Spain. A rival appeared in the person of Francis I, and both he and Charles vied with each other in seeking to win the pope's favour by repeated assurances of their willingness to move against the Turks. The event of the election relegated the crusade to the background. In 1519 the pope realized that there was no longer any prospect of carrying out his design.
Leo's attitude towards the imperial succession was influenced primarily by his anxiety concerning the power and independence of the Holy See and the so-called freedom of Italy. Neither candidate was acceptable to him, Charles, if possible, less than Francis, owing to the preponderance of power that must result from his accession. The pope would have preferred a German electoral prince, that of Saxony or later, the Elector of Brandenburg.
He "sailed", as usual, "with two compasses", held both rivals at bay by a double game played with matchless skill, and even succeeded in concluding simultaneously an alliance with both. The deceitfulness and insincerity of his political dealings cannot be entirely excused, either by the difficult position in which he was placed or by the example of his secular contemporaries. Maximilian's death (January, 1519) ended the pope's irresolution. First he tried to defeat both candidates by raising up a German elector. Then he worked zealously for Francis I in the endeavour to secure his firm friendship in case Charles became emperor, an event which grew daily more likely. Only at the last moment when the election of Charles was certain and unavoidable did Leo come over to his side; after the election he watched in great anxiety the attitude the new emperor might assume.
The most important occurrence of Leo's pontificate and that of gravest consequence to the Church was the Reformation, which began in 1517. We cannot enter into a minute account of this movement, the remote cause of which lay in the religious, political, and social conditions of Germany. It is certain, however, that the seeds of discontent amid which Luther threw his firebrand had been germinating for centuries. The immediate cause was bound up with the odious greed for money displayed by the Roman Curia, and shows how far short all efforts at reform had hitherto fallen. Albert of Brandenburg, already Archbishop of Magdeburg, received in addition the Archbishopric of Mainz and the Bishopric of Hallerstadt, but in return was obliged to collect 10,000 ducats, which he was taxed over and above the usual confirmation fees. To indemnify hiim, and to make it possible to discharge these obligations Rome permitted him to have preached in his territory the plenary indulgence promised all those who contributed to the new St. Peter's; he was allowed to keep one half the returns, a transaction which brought dishonour on all concerned in it. Added to this, abuses occurred during the preaching of the Indulgence. The money contributions, a mere accessory, were frequently the chief object, and the "Indulgences for the Dead" became a vehicle of inadmissible teachings. That Leo X, in the most serious of all the crises which threatened the Church, should fail to prove the proper guide for her, is clear enough from what has been related above. He recognized neither the gravity of the situation nor the underlying causes of the revolt. Vigorous measures of reform might have proved an efficacious antidote, but the pope was deeply entangled in political affairs and allowed the imperial election to overshadow the revolt of Luther; moreover, he gave himself up unrestrainedly to his pleasures and failed to grasp fully the duties of his high office.
The pope's last political efforts were directed to expanding the States of the Church, establishing a dominating power in central Italy by means of the acquisition of Ferrara. In 1519 he concluded a treaty with Francis I against Emperor Charles V. But the selfishness and encroachments of the French and the struggle against the Lutheran movement, induced him soon to unite with Charles, after he had again resorted to his double-faced method of treating with both rivals. In 1521 pope and emperor signed a defensive alliance for the purpose of driving the French out of Italy. After some difficulty, the allies occupied Milan and Lombardy. Amid the rejoicings over these successes, the pope died suddenly of a malignant malaria. His enemies are wrongly accused of having poisoned him. The magnificent pope was given a simple funeral and not until the reign of Paul III was a monument erected to his memory in the Church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva. It is cold, prosaic, and quite unworthy of such a connoisseur as Leo.
The only possible verdict on the pontificate of Leo X is that it was unfortunate for the Church. Sigismondo Tizio, whose devotion to the Holy See is undoubted, writes truthfully: "In the general opinion it was injurious to the Church that her Head should delight in plays, music, the chase and nonsense, instead of paying serious attention to the needs of his flock and mourning over their misfortunes". Von Reumont says pertinently—"Leo X is in great measure to blame for the fact that faith in the integrity and merit of the papacy, in its moral and regenerating powers, and even in its good intentions, should have sunk so low that men could declare extinct the old true spirit of the Church." http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09162a.htm
Henry Halley (1895—1965)
Pope Leo X (1513-1521), was made an Archbishop at the age of 8; and a Cardinal at 13. Was appointed to 27 different church offices, which meant vast income, before he was 13. Was taught to regard ecclesiastical office purely as a source of revenue. Bargained for the Papal chair. Sold church honors. All ecclesiastical offices were for sale, and many new ones were created. He appointed Cardinals as young as the age of 7. He was in endless negotiations with kings and princes, jockeying for secular power, utterly indifferent to the welfare of the Church. He maintained the most luxurious and licentious court in Europe! His Cardinals vied with kings and princes in gorgeous Palaces and voluptuous entertainment, attended by trains of servants.
Yet this voluptuary re-affirmed the Unam Sanctam, in which it is declared that “every human being must be subject to the Roman Pontiff for salvation.” He issued indulgences for stipulated fees; and declared that the burning of heretics was a divine appointment.
Pope Paul III (1534-1549)
Born at Rome or Canino, 29 Feb., 1468; elected, 12 Oct., 1534; died at Rome, 10 Nov., 1549. The Farnese were an ancient Roman family whose possessions clustered about the Lake at Bolsena. Although counted among the Roman aristocrats, they first appear in history associated with Viterbo and Orvieto. Among the witnesses to the Treaty of Venice between Barbarossa and the pope, we find the signature of a Farnese as Rector of Orvieto; a Farnese bishop consecrated the cathedral there. During the interminable feuds which distracted the peninsula, the Farnese were consistently Guelph. The grandfather of the future pontiff was commander-in-chief of the papal troops under Eugenius IV; his oldest son perished in the battle of Fornuovo; the second, Pier Luigi, married Giovannella Gaetani, sister to the Lord of Sermoneta. Among their children were the beautiful Giulia, who married an Orsini, and Alessandro, later Paul III. Alessandro received the best education that his age could offer; first at Rome, where he had Pomponio Leto for a tutor; later at Florence in the palace of Lorenzo the Magnificent, where he formed his friendship with the future Leo X, six years his junior. His contemporaries praise his proficiency in all the learning of the Renaissance, especially in his mastery of classical Latin and Italian. With such advantages of birth and talent, his advancement in the ecclesiastical career was assured and rapid. On 20 Sept., 1493 (Eubel), he was created by Alexander VI cardinal-deacon with the title SS. Cosmas and Damian.
He wore the purple for over forty years, passing through the several gradations, until he became Dean of the Sacred College. In accordance with the abuses of his time, he accumulated a number of opulent benefices, and spent his immense revenue with a generosity which won for him the praises of artists and the affection of the Roman populace. His native ability and diplomatic skill, acquired by long experience, made him tower above his colleagues in the Sacred College, even as his Palazzo Farnese excelled in magnificence all the other palaces of Rome. That he continued to grow in favour under pontiffs so different in character as the Borgia, Rovera, and Medici popes is a sufficient proof of his tact.
He had already on two previous occasions, come within measurable distance of the tiara, when the conclave of 1534, almost without the formality of a ballot, proclaimed him successor to Clement VII. It was creditable to his reputation and to the good will of the cardinals, that the factions which divided the Sacred College were concordant in electing him. He was universally recognized as the man of the hour, and the piety and zeal, which had characterized him after he was ordained priest, caused men to overlook the extravagance of his earlier years.
The Roman people rejoiced at the election to the tiara of the first citizen of their city since Martin V. Paul III was crowned 3 Nov., and lost no time in setting about the most needed reforms. No one, who has once studied his portrait by Titian, is likely to forget the wonderful expression of countenance of that worn-out, emaciated form. Those piercing little eyes, and that peculiar attitude of one ready to bound or to shrink, tell the story of a veteran diplomat who was not to be deceived or taken off guard. His extreme caution, and the difficulty of binding him down to a defininte obligation, drew from Pasquino the facetious remark that the third Paul was a "Vas dilationis." The elevation to the cardinalate of his grandsons, Alessandro Farnese, aged fourteen, and Guido Ascanio Sforza, aged sixteen, displeased the reform party and drew a protest from the emperor, but this was forgiven, when shortly after, he introduced into the Sacred College men of the calibre of Reginald Pole, Contanini, Sadoleto, and Caraffa.
Soon after his elevation, 2 June, 1536, Paul III summoned a general council to meet at Mantua in the following May; but the opposition of the Protestant princes and the refusal of the Duke of Mantua to assume the responsibility of maintaining order frustrated the project. He issued a new bull, convoking a council at Vicenza, 1 May, 1538; the chief obstacle was the renewed enmity of Charles V and Francis I. The aged pontiff induced them to hold a conference with him at Nizza and conclude a ten years' truce.
As a token of good will, a granddaughter of Paul was married to a French prince, and the emperor gave his daughter, Margaret, to Ottavio, the son of Pier Luigi, founder of the Farnese dynasty of Parma.
Many causes contributed to delay the opening of the general council. The extension of power which a re-united Germany would place in the hands of Charles was so intolerable to Francis I, that he, who persecuted heresy in his own realm with such cruelty that the pope appealed to him to mitigate his violence, became the sworn ally of the Smalcaldic League, encouraging them to reject all overtures to reconciliation. Charles himself was in no slight measure to blame, for, notwithstanding his desire for the assembling of a council, he was led into the belief that the religious differences of Germany might be settled by conferences between the two parties. These conferences, like all such attempts to settle differences outside of the normal court of the Church, led to a waste of time, and did far more harm than good. Charles had a false idea of the office of a general council. In his desire to unite all parties, he sought for vague formulæ to which all could subscribe, a relapse into the mistakes of the Byzantine emperors. A council of the Church, on the other hand, must formulate the Faith with such precision that no heretic can subscribe to it. It took some years to convince the emperor and his mediating advisors that Catholicism and Protestantism are as opposite as light and darkness. Meanwhile Paul III set about the reform of the papal court with a vigour which paved the way for the disciplinary canons of Trent. He appointed commissions to report abuses of every kind; he reformed the Apostolic Camera, the tribunal of the Rota, the Penitentiaria, and the Chancery. He enhanced the prestige of the papacy by doing single-handed what his predecessors had reserved to the action of a council. In the constantly recurring quarrels between Francis and Charles, Paul III preserved a strict neutrality, notwithstanding that Charles urged him to support the empire and subject Francis to the censures of the Church. Paul's attitude as a patriotic Italian would have been sufficient to prevent him from allowing the emperor to be sole arbiter of Italy. It was as much for the purpose of securing the integrity of the papal dominions, as for the exaltation of his family, that Paul extorted from Charles and his reluctant cardinals the erection of Piacenza and Parma into a duchy for his son, Pier Luigi. A feud arose with Gonzaga, the imperial Governor of Milan, which ended later in the assassination of Pier Luigi and the permanent alienation of Piacenza from the Papal States.
When the Treaty of Crespi (18 Sept., 1544) ended the disastrous wars between Charles and Francis, Paul energetically took up the project of convening a general council.
Meanwhile it developed that the emperor had formed a programme of his own, quite at variance in some important points with the pope's. Since the Protestants repudiated a council presided over by the Roman pontiff, Charles was resolved to reduce the princes to obedience by force of arms. To this Paul did not object, and promised to aid him with three hundred thousand ducats and twenty thousand infantry; but he wisely added the proviso, that Charles should enter into no separate treaties with the heretics and make no agreement prejudicial to the Faith or to the rights of the Holy See. Charles now contended that the council should be prorogued, until victory had decided in favour of the Catholics. Furthermore, foreseeing that the struggle with the preachers of heresy would be more stubborn than the conflict with the princes, he urged the pontiff to avoid making dogmas of faith for the present and confine the labours of the council to the enforcement of discipline. To neither of these proposals could the pope agree. Finally, after endless difficulties (13 Dec., 1545) the Council of Trent held its first session. In seven sessions, the last 3 March, 1547, the Fathers intrepidly faced the most important questions of faith and discipline. Without listening to the threats and expostulations of the imperial party, they formulated for all time the Catholic doctrine on the Scriptures, original sin, justification, and the Sacraments. The work of the council was half ended, when the outbreak of the plague in Trent caused an adjournment to Bologna. Pope Paul was not the instigator of the removal of the council; he simply acquiesced in the decision of the Fathers. Fifteen prelates, devoted to the emperor, refused to leave Trent. Charles demanded the return of the council to German territory, but the deliberations of the council continued in Bologna, until finally, 21 April, the pope, in order to avert a schism, prorogued the council indefinitely. The wisdom of the council's energetic action, in establishing thus early the fundamental truths of the Catholic creed, became soon evident, when the emperor and his semi-Protestant advisers inflicted upon Germany their Interim religion, which was despised by both parties. Pope Paul, who had given the emperor essential aid in the Smalcaldic war, resented his dabbling in theology, and their estrangement continued until the death of the pontiff.
Paul's end came rather suddenly. After the assassination of Pier Luigi, he had struggled to retain Piacenza and Parma for the Church and had deprived Ottavio, Pier Luigi's son and Charles's son-in-law, of these duchies. Ottavio, relying on the emperor's benevolence, refused obedience; it broke the old man's heart, when he learned that his favourite grandson, Cardinal Farnese, was a party to the transaction. He fell into a violent fever and died at the Quirinal, at the age of eighty-two. He lies buried in St. Peter's in the tomb designed by Michelangelo and erected by Guglielmo della Porta.
Not all the popes repose in monuments corresponding to their importance in the history of the Church; but few will be disposed to contest the right of Farnese to rest directly under Peter's chair. He had his faults; but they injured no one but himself. The fifteen years of his pontificate saw the complete restoration of Catholic faith and piety. He was succeeded by many saintly pontiffs, but not one of them possessed all his commanding virtues. In Rome his name is written all over the city he renovated. The Pauline chapel, Michelangelo's work in the Sistine, the streets of Rome, which he straightened and broadened, the numerous objects of art associated with the name of Farnese, all speak eloquently of the remarkable personality of the pontiff who turned the tide in favour of religion. If to this we add the favour accorded by Paul to the new religious orders then appearing, the Capuchins, Barnabites, Theatines, Jesuits, Ursulines, and many others, we are forced to confess that his reign was one of the most fruitful in the annals of the Church. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11579a.htm
Henry Halley (1895—1965)
Pope Paul III (1534-1549). Had many illegitimate children. He was a determined enemy of the Protestants; and offered Charles V an army to exterminate them!
Enter the Jesuits! They were an order founded by Ignatius Loyola, a Spaniard, on the principle of absolute and unconditional obedience to the Pope — having for its object, the recovery of territory lost to Protestants and Mohammedans, and the conquest of the entire heathen world for the Roman Catholic Church. Their supreme aim was the destruction of heresy — that is, thinking anything different from what the Pope said. For the accomplishment of which — anything was justifiable — deception, immorality, vice, even murder! Their motto, “For the greater glory of God.”
They set up schools, seeking especially the children of ruling classes, aiming in all schools to gain absolute mastery over the pupil. They used the Confessional, especially with Kings, Princes and Civil Rulers — indulging them in all kinds of vice and crime, for the sake of gaining their favor!
They used force, persuading rulers to execute Inquisition sentences. In France, they were responsible for . . .
St. Bartholomew’s Massacre,
Persecution of the Huguenots (French Christians)
Revocation of the Toleration Edict,
and the French Revolution.
In Spain, Netherlands, South Germany, Bohemia, Austria, Poland and other countries — they led in the massacre of untold multitudes! By these methods, they stopped the Reformation in Southern Europe, and virtually saved the Papacy from ruin.
Pope Gregory XIII (1572-85)
Born at Bologna, 7 Jan., 1502; died at Rome, 10 April, 1585. He studied jurisprudence at the University of Bologna, from which he was graduated at an early age as doctor of canon and of civil law. Later, he taught jurisprudence at the same university, and had among his pupils the famous future cardinals, Alessandro Farnese, Cristoforo Madruzzi, Otto Truchsess von Waldburg, Reginald Pole, Carlo Borromeo, and Stanislaus Hosius. In 1539 he came to Rome at the request of Cardinal Parizzio, and Paul III appointed him judge of the Capitol, papal abbreviator, and referendary of both signatures. In 1545 the same pope sent him to the Council of Trent as one of his jurists. On his return to Rome he held various offices in the Roman Curia under Julius III (1550-1555), who also appointed him prolegate of the Campagna in 1555. Under Paul IV (1555-1559) he accompanied Cardinal Alfonso Caraffa on a papal mission to Philip II in Flanders, and upon his return was appointed Bishop of Viesti in 1558. Up to this time he had not been ordained a priest. In 1559 the newly-elected pope, Pius IV, sent him as his confidential deputy to the Council of Trent, where he remained till its conclusion in 1563.
Shortly after his return to Rome, the same pope created him Cardinal Priest of San Sisto in 1564, and sent him as legate to Spain to investigate the case of Archbishop Bartolomé Carranza of Toledo, who had been suspected of heresy and imprisoned by the Inquisition. While in Spain he was appointed secretary of papal Briefs, and after the election of Pius V, 7 Jan., 1566, he returned to Rome to enter upon his new office. After the death of Pius V on 1 May, 1572, Ugo Buoncompagni was elected pope on 13 May, 1572, chiefly through the influence of Cardinal Antoine* Granvella, and took the name of Gregory XIII. At his election to the papal throne he had already completed his seventieth year, but was still strong and full of energy.
His youth was not stainless. While still at Bologna, a son, named Giacomo, was born to him of an unmarried woman. Even after entering the clerical state he was worldly-minded and fond of display. But from the time he became pope he followed in the footsteps of his holy predecessor, and was thoroughly imbued with the consciousness of the great responsibility connected with his exalted position. His election was greeted with joy by the Roman people, as well as by the foreign rulers. Emperor Maximilian II, the kings of France, Spain, Portugal, Hungary, Poland, the Italian and other princes sent their representatives to Rome to tender their obedience to the newly-elected pontiff. At the first consistory he ordered the Constitution of Pius V, which forbade the alienation of church property, to be read publicly, and pledged himself to carry into execution the decrees of the Council of Trent. He at once appointed a committee of cardinals, consisting of Borromeo, Paleotti, Aldobrandini, and Arezzo, with instructions to find out and abolish all ecclesiastical abuses; decided that the cardinals who were at the head of dioceses were not exempt from the Tridentine decree of episcopal residence; designated a committee of cardinals to complete the Index of Forbidden Books, and appointed one day in each week for a public audience during which everyone had access to him. In order that only the most worthy persons might be vested with ecclesiastical dignities, he kept a list of commendable men in and out of Rome, on which he noted their virtues and faults that came to his notice. The same care he exercised in the appointment of cardinals. Thirty-four cardinals were appointed during his pontificate, and in their appointment he always had the had the welfare of the Church in view. He cannot be charged with nepotism. Two of his nephews, Filippo Buoncompagni and Filippo Vastavillano, he created cardinals because he considered them worthy of the dignity; but when a third one aspired after the purple, he did not even grant him an audience. His son Giacomo he appointed castellan of St. Angelo and gonfalonier of the Church, but refused him every higher dignity, although Venice enrolled him among its nobili and the King of Spain appointed him general of his army.
Like his holy predecessor, Gregory XIII spared no efforts to further an expedition against the Turks. With this purpose in view he sent special legates to Spain, France, Germany, Poland, and other countries, but the discord of the Christian princes among themselves, the peace concluded by the Venetians with the Turks, and the treaty effected by Spain with the Sultan, frustrated all his exertions in this direction.
For stemming the tide of Protestantism, which already had wrested entire nations from the bosom of the Church, Gregory XIII knew of no better means than a thorough training of the candidates for holy priesthood in Catholic philosophy and theology. He founded numerous colleges and seminaries at Rome and other suitable places and put most of them under the direction of the Jesuits. At least twenty-three such institutions of learning owe their existence or survival to the munificence of Gregory XIII. The first of these institutions that enjoyed the pope's liberality was the German College at Rome, which for lack of funds was in danger of being abandoned. In a Bull dated 6 August, 1573, he ordered that no less than one hundred students at a time from Germany and its northern borderland should be educated in the German College, and that it should have an annual income of 10,000 ducats, to be paid, as far as necessary, out of the papal treasury. In 1574 he gave the church and the palace of Sant' Apollinare to the institution, and in 1580 united the Hungarian college with it. The following Roman colleges were founded by Gregory XIII: the Greek college on 13 Jan., 1577; the college for neophytes, i.e. converted Jews and infidels, in 1577; the English college on 1 May, 1579; the Maronite college on 27 June, 1584. For the international Jesuit college (Collegium Romanum) he built in 1582 the large edifice known as the Collegio Romano which was occupied by the faculty and students of the Collegium Romanum (Gregorian University) until the Piedmontese Government declared it national property and expelled the Jesuits in 1870. Outside of Rome the following colleges were either founded or liberally endowed by Gregory XIII: the English college at Douai, the Scotch college at Pont-à-Mousson, the papal seminaries at Graz, Vienna, Olmutz, Prague, Colosvar, Fulda, Augsburg, Dillingen, Braunsberg, Milan, Loreto, Fribourg in Switzerland, and three schools in Japan. In these schools numerous missionaries were trained for the various countries where Protestantism had been made the state religion and for the missions among the pagans in China, India, and Japan. Thus Gregory XIII at least partly restored the old faith in England and the northern countries of Europe, supplied the Catholics in those countries with their necessary priests, and introduced Christianity into the pagan countries of Eastern Asia.
Perhaps one of the happiest events during his pontificate was his arrival at Rome of four Japanese ambassadors on 22 March, 1585. They had been sent by the converted kings of Bungo, Arima, and Omura, in Japan, to thank the pope for the fatherly care he had shown their country by sending them Jesuit missionaries who had taught them the religion of Christ.
In order to safeguard the Catholic religion in Germany, he instituted a special Congregation of Cardinals for German affairs, the so-called Congregatio Germanica, which lasted from 1573-1578. To remain informed of the Catholic situation in that country and keep in closer contact with its rulers, he erected resident nunciatures at Vienna in 1581 and at Cologne in 1582. By his Bull "Provisionis nostrae" of 29 Jan., 1579, he confirmed the acts of his predecessor Pius V, condemning the errors of Baius, and at the same time he commissioned the Jesuit, Francis of Toledo, to demand the abjuration of Baius. In the religious orders Gregory XIII recognized a great power for the conversion of pagans, the repression of heresy and the maintenance of the Catholic religion. He was especially friendly towards the Jesuits, whose rapid spread during the pontificate was greatly due to his encouragement and financial assistance. Neither did he neglect the other orders. He approved the Congregation of the Oratory in 1574, the Barnabites in 1579, and the Discaleed Carmalites in 1580. The Premonstratensians he honoured by canonizing their founder, St. Norbert, in 1582.
Gregory XIII spared no efforts to restore the Catholic Faith in the countries that had become Protestant. In 1574 he sent the Polish Jesuit Warsiewicz to John III of Sweden in order to convert him to Catholicity. Being then unsuccessful, he sent another Jesuit, the Norwegian Lawrence Nielssen in 1576, who succeeded in converting the king on 6 May, 1578. The king, however, soon turned Protestant again from political motives. In 1581, Gregory XIII dispatched the Jesuit Antonio Possevino as nuncio to Russia, to mediate between Tsar Ivan IV and King Bathory of Poland. He not only brought about an amicable settlement between the two rulers, but also obtained for the Catholics of Russia the right to practice their religion openly. Gregory's efforts to procure religious liberty for the Catholics of England were without avail. The world knows of the atrocities committed by Queen Elizabeth on many Catholic missionaries and laymen. No blame, therefore, attaches to Gregory XIII for trying to depose the queen by force of arms. As early as 1578 he sent Thomas Stukeley with a ship and an army of 800 men to Ireland, but the treacherous Stukeley joined his forces with those of King Sebastian of Portugal against Emperor Abdulmelek of Morocco.
Another papal expedition which sailed to Ireland in 1579 under the command of James Fitzmaurice, accompanied by Nicholas Sanders as papal nuncio, was equally unsuccessful. Gregory XIII had nothing whatever to do with the plot of Henry, Duke of Guise, and his brother, Charles, Duke of Mayenne, to assassinate the queen, and most probably knew nothing whatever about it (see Bellesheim, "Wilhelm Cardinal Allen", Mainz, 1885, p. 144).
Some historians have severely criticized Gregory XIII for ordering that the horrible massacre of the Huguenots on St. Bartholomew's Day in 1572 be celebrated in Rome by a "Te Deum" and other marks of rejoicing. In defence of Gregory XIII it must be stated that he had nothing whatever to do with the massacre itself, and that he as well as Salviati, his nuncio in Paris, were kept in ignorance concerning the intended slaughter. The pope indeed participated in the Roman festivities, but he was probably not acquainted with the circumstances of the Parisian horrors and, like other European rulers, had been informed that the Huguenots had been detected in a conspiracy to kill the king and the whole royal family, and had been thus punished for their treacherous designs. But even if Gregory XIII was aware of all the circumstances of the massacre (which has never been proven), it must be borne in mind that he did not rejoice at the bloodshed, but at the suppression of a political and religious rebellion. That Gregory XIII did not approve of the massacre, but detested the cruel act and shed tears when he was apprised of it, is expressly stated even by the apostate Gregario Leti in his "Vita di Sisto V" (Cologne, 1706), I, 431-4, anad by Beautome, a contemporary of Gregory XIII, in his "Vie de M. l'Amiralde Chastillon" (Complete works, The Hague, 1740, VIII, 196). The medal which Gregory XIII had struck in memory of the event bears his effigy on the obverse, which on the reverse under the legend Vgonotiorum Strages (overthrow of the Huguenots) stands an angel with cross and drawn sword, killing the Huguenots.
No other act of Gregory XIII has gained for him a more lasting fame than his reform of the Julian calendar which was completed and introduced into most Catholic countries in 1578. Closely connected with the reform of the calendar is the emendation of the Roman martyrology which was ordered by Gregory XIII in the autumn of 1580. The emendation was to consist chiefly in the restoration of the original text of Usuard's martyrology, which was in common use at the time of Gregory XIII. He entrusted the learned Cardinal Sirleto with the difficult undertaking. The cardinal formed a committee, consisting of ten members, who assisted him in the work. The first edition of the new martyrology, which came out in 1582, was full of typographical errors; likewise the second edition of 1583.
Both editions were suppressed by Gregory XIII, and in January, 1584, appeared a third and better edition under the title of "Martyrologium Romanum Gregorii XIII jussu editum" (Rome, 1583). In a brief, dated 14 January, 1584, Gregory XIII ordered that the new martyrology should supersede all others. Another great literary achievement of Gregory XIII is an official Roman edition of the Corpus juris canonici. Shortly after the conclusion of the Council of Trent, Pius IV had appointed a committee which was to bring out a critical edition of the Decree of Gratian. The committee was increased to thirty-five members (correctores Romani) by Pius V in 1566. Gregory XIII had been a member of it from the beginning. The work was finally completed in 1582. In the Briefs "Cum pro munere", dated 1 July, 1580, and "Emendationem", dated 2 June, 1582, Gregory XIII ordered that henceforth only the emended official text was to be used and that in the future no other text should be printed.
It has already been mentioned that Gregory XIII spent large sums for the erection of colleges and seminaries. No expense appeared too high to him, if only it was made for the benefit of the Catholic religion. For the education of poor candidates for the priesthood he spent two million sendi during his pontificate, and for the good of Catholicity he sent large sums of money to Malta, Austria, England, France, Spain, and the Netherlands. In Rome he built the magnificent Gregorian chapel in the church of St. Peter, and the Quirinal palace in 1580; a capacious granary in the Thermae of Diocletian in 1575, and fountains at the Piazza Navona, the Piazza del Pantheon, and the Piazza del Popolo. In recognition of his many improvements in Rome the senate and the people erected a statue in his honour on the Capitoline Hill, when he was still living.
The large sums of money spent in this manner necessarily reduced the papal treasury. Acting on the advice of Bonfigliuoto, the secretary of the Camera, he confiscated various baronial estates and castles, because some forgotten feudal liabilities to the papal treasury had not been paid, or because their present owners were not the rightful heirs. The barons were in continual fear lest some of their property would be wrested from them in this way. The result was that the aristocracy hated the papal government, and incited the peasantry to do the same. The papal influence over the aristocracy being thus weakened, the barons of the Romagna made war against each other, and a period of bloodshed ensued which Gregory XIII was helpless to prevent. Moreover, the imposition of port charges at Aneona and the levy of import taxes on Venetian goods by the papal government, crippled commerce to a considerable extent. The banditti who infested the Campagna were protected by the barons and the peasantry and became daily more bold.
They were headed by young men of noble families, such as Alfonso Piccolomim, Roberto Malatesta, and others. Rome itself was filled with these outlaws, and the papal officers were always and everywhere in danger of life. Gregory was helpless against these lawless bands. Their suppression was finally effected by his rigorous successor, Sixtus V. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07001b.htm
Henry Halley (1895—1965)
Pope Gregory XIII (1572-85), celebrated, in solemn mass, with thanksgiving and joy — the news of St. Bartholomew’s Massacre!
Popes Clement VIII (1592-1605), Leo XI (1605), Paul V (1605-1621), Gregory XV (1621-1623), and Urban VIII (1623-1644), with aid of Jesuits — blotted out Protestants in Bohemia.
Pope Clement XI (1700-1721)
Born at Urbino, 23 July, 1649; elected 23 November, 1700; died at Rome 19 March, 1721. The Albani were a noble Umbrian family. Under Urban VIII the grandfather of the future pope had held for thirteen years the honourable office of Senator of Rome. An uncle, Annibale Albani, was a distinguished scholar and was Prefect of the Vatican Library. Giovanni Francesco was sent to Rome in his eleventh year to prosecute his studies at the Roman College. He made rapid progress and was known as an author at the age of eighteen, translating from the Greek into elegant Latin. He attracted the notice of the patroness of Roman literati, Queen Christina of Sweden, who before he became of age enrolled him in her exclusive Accademia.
With equal ardour and success, he applied himself to the profounder branches, theology and law, and was created doctor of canon and civil law. So brilliant an intellect, joined with stainless morals and piety, secured for him a rapid advancement at the papal court. At the age of twenty-eight he was made a prelate, and governed successively Rieti, Sabina, and Orvieto, everywhere acceptable on account of his reputation for justice and prudence. Recalled to Rome, he was appointed Vicar of St. Peter's, and on the death of Cardinal Slusio succeeded to the important position of Secretary of Papal Briefs, which he held for thirteen years, and for which his command of classical latinity singularly fitted him. On 13 February, 1690, he was created cardinal-deacon and later Cardinal-Priest of the Title of San Silvestro, and was ordained to the priesthood.
The conclave of 1700 would have terminated speedily with the election of Cardinal Mariscotti, had not the veto of France rendered the choice of that able cardinal impossible. After deliberating for forty-six days, the Sacred College united in selecting Cardinal Albani, whose virtues and ability overbalanced the objection that he was only fifty-one years old. Three days were spent in the effort to overcome his reluctance to accept a dignity the heavy burden of which none knew better than the experienced curialist (Galland in Hist. Jahrbuch, 1882, III, 208 sqq.). The period was critical for Europe and the papacy. During the conclave Charles II, the last of the Spanish Hapsburgs, had died childless, leaving his vast dominions a prey to French and Austrian ambition. His will, making Philip of Anjou, grandson of Louis XIV, sole heir to the Spanish Empire, was contested by the Emperor Leopold, who claimed Spain for his second son Charles. The late king, before making this will, had consulted Pope Innocent XII, and Cardinal Albani had been one of the three cardinals to whom the pontiff had entrusted the case and who advised him to pronounce secretly in its favour. This was at the time unknown to the emperor, else Austria would have vetoed the election of Albani. The latter was finally persuaded that it was his duty to obey the call from Heaven; on 30 November he was consecrated bishop, and on 8 December solemnly enthroned in the Vatican. The enthusiasm with which his elevation was greeted throughout the world is the best evidence of his worth. Even Protestants received the intelligence with joy and the city of Nuremberg struck a medal in his honour. The sincere Catholic reformers greeted his accession as the death-knell of nepotism; for, though he had many relatives, it was known that he had instigated and written the severe condemnation of that abuse issued by his predecessor. As pontiff, he did not belie his principles.
He bestowed the offices of his court upon the most worthy subjects and ordered his brother to keep at a distance and refrain from adopting any new title or interfering in matters of state. In the government of the States of the Church, Clement was a capable administrator. He provided diligently for the needs of his subjects, was extremely charitable to the poor, bettered the condition of the prisons, and secured food for the populace in time of scarcity. He won the good will of artists by prohibiting the exportation of ancient masterpieces, and of scientists by commissioning Bianchini to lay down on the pavement of Sta Maria degli Angioli the meridian of Rome, known as the Clementina.
His capacity for work was prodigious. He slept but little and ate so sparingly that a few pence per day sufficed for his table. Every day he confessed and celebrated Mass. He entered minutely into the details of every measure which came before him, and with his own hand prepared the numerous allocutions, Briefs, and constitutions afterwards collected and published. He also found time to preach his beautiful homilies and was frequently to be seen in the confessional. Though his powerful frame more than once sank under the weight of his labours and cares, he continued to keep rigorously the fasts of the Church, and generally allowed himself but the shortest possible respite from his labours.
In his efforts to establish peace among the powers of Europe and to uphold the rights of the Church, he met with scant success; for the eighteenth century was eminently the age of selfishness and infidelity. One of his first public acts was to protest against the assumption (1701) by the Elector of Brandenburg of the title of King of Prussia. The pope's action, though often derided and misinterpreted, was natural enough, not only because the bestowal of royal titles had always been regarded as the privilege of the Holy See, but also because Prussia belonged by ancient right to the ecclesiastico-military institute known as the Teutonic Order. In the troubles excited by the rivalry of France and the Empire for the Spanish succession, Pope Clement resolved to maintain a neutral attitude; but this was found to be impossible. When, therefore, the Bourbon was crowned in Madrid as Philip V, amid the universal acclamations of the Spaniards, the pope acquiesced and acknowledged the validity of his title. This embittered the morose Emperor Leopold, and the relations between Austria and the Holy See became so strained that the pope did not conceal his satisfaction when the French and Bavarian troops began that march on Vienna which ended so disastrously on the field of Blenheim. Marlborough's victory, followed by Prince Eugene's successful campaign in Piedmont, placed Italy at the mercy of the Austrians. Leopold died in 1705 and was succeeded by his oldest son Joseph, a worthy precursor of Joseph II.
A contest immediately began on the question known as Jus primarum precum, involving the right of the crown to appoint to vacant benefices. The victorious Austrians, now masters of Northern Italy, invaded the Papal States, took possession of Piacenza and Parma, annexed Comacchio and besieged Ferrara. Clement at first offered a spirited resistance, but, abandoned by all, could not hope for success, and when a strong detachment of Protestant troops under the command of the Prince of Hesse-Cassel reached Bologna, fearing a repetition of the fearful scenes of 1527, he finally gave way (15 Jan., 1709), acknowledged the Archduke Charles as King of Spain "without detriment to the rights of another", and promised him the investiture of Naples. Though the Bourbon monarchs had done nothing to aid the pope in his unequal struggle, both Louis and Philip became very indignant and retaliated by every means in their power (see LOUIS XIV). In the negotiations preceding the Peace of Utrecht (1713) the rights of the pope were studiously neglected; his nuncio was not accorded a hearing; his dominions were parcelled out to suit the convenience of either party. Sicily was given to Victor Amadeus II of Savoy, with whom from the first days of his pontificate Clement was involved in quarrels on the subjects of ecclesiastical immunities and appointments to vacant benefices. The new king now undertook to revive the so-called Monarchia Sicula, an ancient but much-disputed and abused privilege of pontifical origin which practically excluded the pope from any authority over the church in Sicily. When Clement answered with bann and interdict, all the clergy, about 3000 in number, who remained loyal to the Holy See were banished the island, and the pope was forced to give them food and shelter. The interdict was not raised till 1718, when Spain regained possession, but the old controversy was repeatedly resumed under the Bourbons. Through the machinations of Cardinal Alberoni, Parma and Piacenza were granted to a Spanish Infante without regard to the papal overlordship. It was some consolation to the much-tried pope that Augustus of Saxony, King of Poland, returned to the Church. Clement laboured hard to restore harmony in Poland, but without success. The Turks had taken advantage of the dissensions among the Christians to invade Europe by land and sea. Clement proclaimed a jubilee, sent money and ships to the assistance of the Venetians, and granted a tithe on all benefices to the Emperor Charles VI. When Prince Eugene won the great battle of Temesvár, which put an end to the Turkish danger, no slight share of the credit was given by the Christian world to the pope and the Holy Rosary. Clement sent the great commander a blessed hat and sword.
The fleet which Philip V of Spain had raised at the instigation of the pope, and with subsidies levied on church revenues, was diverted by Alberoni to the conquest of Sardinia; and though Clement showed his indignation by demanding the dismissal of the minister, and beginning a process against him, he had much to do to convince the emperor that he was not privy to the treacherous transaction. He gave a generous hospitality to the exiled son of James II of England, James Edward Stuart, and helped him to obtain the hand of Clementina, John Sobieski's accomplished granddaughter, mother of Charles Edward.
Clement's pastoral vigilance was felt in every corner of the earth. He organized the Church in the Philippine Islands and sent missionaries to every distant spot. He erected Lisbon into a patriarchate, 7 December, 1716. He enriched the Vatican Library with the manuscript treasures gathered at the expense of the pope by Joseph Simeon Assemani in his researches throughout Egypt and Syria. In the unfortunate controversy between the Dominican and the Jesuit missionaries in China concerning the permissibility of certain rites and customs, Clement decided in favour of the former. When the Jansenists provoked a new collision with the Church under the leadership of Quesnel, Pope Clement issued his two memorable Constitutions, "Vineam Domini", 16 July, 1705, and "Unigenitus", 10 September, 1713 (see UNIGENITUS; VINEAM DOMINI; JANSENISM). Clement XI made the feast of the Conception of the B.V.M. a Holy Day of obligation, and canonized Pius V, Andrew of Avellino, Felix of Cantalice, and Catherine of Bologna.
This great and saintly pontiff died appropriately on the feast of St. Joseph, for whom he entertained a particular devotion, and in whose honour he composed the special Office found in the Breviary. His remains rest in St. Peter's. His official acts, letters, and Briefs, also his homilies, were collected and published by his nephew, Cardinal Annibale Albani (2 vols., Rome, 1722-24). http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04029a.htm
Henry Halley (1895—1965)
Pope Clement XI (1700-1721), declared that Kings reign only with his sanction; and issued a Bull against Bible Reading.
Pope Pius VII (1800-1820)
Born at Cesena in the Pontifical States, 14 August, 1742; elected at Venice 14 March, 1800; died 20 August, 1823.
His father was Count Scipione Chiaramonti, and his mother, of the noble house of Ghini, was a lady of rare piety who in 1763 entered a convent of Carmelites at Fano. Here she foretold, in her son's hearing, as Pius VII himself later related, his elevation to the papacy and his protracted sufferings. Barnaba received his early education in the college for nobles at Ravenna. At the age of sixteen he entered the Benedictine monastery of Santa Maria del Monte, near Cesena, where he was called Brother Gregory. After the completion of his philosophical and theological studies, he was appointed professor at Parma and at Rome in colleges of his order. He was teaching at the monastery of San Callisto in the latter city at the accession of Pius VI, who was a friend of the Chiaramonti family and subsequently appointed Barnaba abbot of his monastery. The appointment did not meet with the universal approbation of the inmates, and complaints were soon lodged with the papal authority against the new abbot. Investigation, however, proved the charges to be unfounded, and Pius VI soon raised him to further dignities. After conferring upon him successively the Bishoprics of Tivoli and Imola he created him cardinal 14 Feb., 1785. When in 1797 the French invaded northern Italy, Chiaramonti as Bishop of Imola addressed to his flock the wise and practical instruction to refrain from useless resistance to the overwhelming and threatening forces of the enemy. The town of Lugo refused to submit to the invaders and was delivered up to a pillage which had an end only when the prelate, who had counselled subjection, suppliantly cast himself on his knees before General Augereau. That Chiaramonti could adapt himself to new situations clearly appears from a Christmas homily delivered in 1797, in which he advocates submission to the Cisalpine Republic, as there is no opposition between a democratic form of government and the constitution of the Catholic Church. In spite of this attitude he was repeatedly accused of treasonable proceedings towards the republic, but always successfully vindicated his conduct.
According to an ordinance issued by Pius VI, 13 Nov., 1798, the city where the largest number of cardinals was to be found at the time of his death was to be the scene of the subsequent election. In conformity with these instructions the cardinals met in conclave, after his death (29 Aug., 1799), in the Benedictine monastery of San Giorgio at Venice. The place was agreeable to the emperor, who bore the expense of the election. Thirty-four cardinals were in attendance on the opening day, 30 Nov., 1799; to these was added a few days later Cardinal Herzan, who acted simultaneously as imperial commissioner. It was not long before the election of Cardinal Bellisomi seemed assured. He was, however, unacceptable to the Austrian party, who favoured Cardinal Mattei. As neither candidate could secure a sufficient number of votes, a third name, that of Cardinal Gerdil, was proposed, but his election was vetoed by Austria. At last, after the conclave had lasted three months, some of the neutral cardinals, including Maury, suggested Chiaramonti as a suitable candidate and, with the tactful support of the secretary of the conclave, Ercole Consalvi, he was elected. The new pope was crowned as Pius VII on 21 March, 1800, at Venice. He then left this city in an Austrian vessel for Rome, where he made his solemn entry on 3 July, amid the universal joy of the populace. Of all-important consequence for his reign was the elevation on 11 Aug., 1800, of Ercole Consalvi, one of the greatest statesmen of the nineteenth century, to the college of cardinals and to the office of secretary of state. Consalvi retained to the end the confidence of the pope, although the conflict with Napoleon forced him out of office for several years.
With no country was Pius VII more concerned during his reign than with France, where the revolution had destroyed the old order in religion no less than in politics. Bonaparte, as first consul, signified his readiness to enter into negotiations tending to the settlement of the religious question. These advances led to the conclusion of the historic Concordat of 1801, which for over a hundred years governed the relations of the French Church with Rome (on this compact; the journey of Pius VII to Paris for the imperial coronation; his captivity and restoration, see CONCORDAT OF 1801, CONSALVI; and NAPOLEON I). After the fall of Napoleon a new concordat was negotiated between Pius VII and Louis XVIII. It provided for an additional number of French bishoprics and abrogated the Organic Articles. But liberal and Gallican opposition to it was so strong that it could never be carried out. One of its objects was later realized when in 1822 the circumscription Bull "Paternæ Caritatis" erected thirty new episcopal sees.
At the Peace of Lunéville in 1801, some German princes lost their hereditary rights and dominions through the cession of the left bank of the Rhine to France.
When it became known that they contemplated compensating their loss by the secularization of ecclesiastical lands, Pius VII instructed Dalberg, Elector of Mainz, on 2 Oct., 1802, to use all his influence for the protection of the rights of the Church. Dalberg, however, displayed more ardour for his own advancement than zeal in the defence of religious interests, and the seizure of ecclesiastical property was permitted in 1803 by the Imperial Deputation at Ratisbon. The measure resulted in enormous loss for the Church, but the pope was powerless to resist its execution. The ecclesiastical reorganization of Germany now became a pressing need. Bavaria soon opened negotiations in view of a concordat and was shortly after followed by Würtemburg. But Rome would rather treat with the central imperial government than with individual states, and after the suppression of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, Napoleon's aim was to obtain a uniform concordat for the whole Confederation of the Rhine. Subsequent events prevented any agreement before Napoleon's downfall. At the Congress of Vienna (1814-15) Consalvi in vain advocated the restoration of the former ecclesiastical organization. Soon after this event the individual German States separately entered into negotiations with Rome and the first concordat was concluded with Bavaria in 1817. In 1821 Pius VII promulgated in the Bull "De salute animarum" the agreement concluded with Prussia, and the same year another Bull, "Provida Solersque", made a fresh distribution of dioceses in the ecclesiastical province of the Upper Rhine. An arrangement with Rome based on mutual concessions was likewise contemplated in England in regard to Irish ecclesiastical affairs, notably episcopal nominations (the veto). The papal administration favoured the project the more readily seeing that common resistance to Napoleon had brought the Holy See and the British Government more closely together, and that it still stood in need of the assistance of English might and diplomacy. But Irish opposition to the scheme was so determined that nothing could be done, and the Irish clergy remained free from all state control. Similar freedom prevailed in the growing Church of the United States, in which country Pius VII erected in 1808 the Dioceses of Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Bardstown, with Baltimore as the metropolitan see. To these dioceses were added those of Charleston and Richmond in 1820, and that of Cincinnati in 1821.
One of the most remarkable successes of his pontificate was the restoration of the Pontifical States, secured at the Congress of Vienna by the papal representative Consalvi. Only a small strip of land remained in the power of Austria, and this usurpation was protested. In the temporal administration of these states some of the features making for uniformity and efficiency introduced by the French were judiciously retained, the feudal rights of the nobility were abolished, and the ancient privileges of the municipalities suppressed.
Considerable opposition developed against these measures, and the Carbonari even threatened rebellion; but Consalvi had their leaders prosecuted and on 13 Sept., 1821, Pius VII condemned their principles. Of a more serious nature was the revolution which in 1820 broke out in Spain and which, owing to its anticlerical character, gave great concern to the papacy. It restricted the authority of ecclesiastical courts (26 Sept., 1830); decreed (23 Oct.) the suppression of a large number of monasteries, and prohibited (14 April, 1821) the forwarding of financial contributions to Rome. It also secured the appointment of Canon Villanueva, a public advocate of the abolition of the papacy, as Spanish ambassador to Rome, and, upon the refusal of Pius VII to accept him, broke off diplomatic relations with the Holy See in 1823. This same year, however, the armed intervention of France suppressed the revolution and King Ferdinand VII repealed the anti-Catholic laws.
During the latter part of the reign of Pius VII, the prestige of the papacy was enhanced by the presence in Rome of several European rulers. The Emperor and Empress of Austria, accompanied by their daughter, made an official visit to the pope in 1819. The King of Naples visited Rome in 1821 and was followed in 1822 by the King of Prussia. The blind Charles Emmanuel IV of Savoy, and King Charles IV of Spain and his queen, permanently resided in the Eternal City. Far more glorious to Pius VII personally is the fact that, after the downfall of his persecutor Napoleon, he gladly offered a refuge in his capital to the members of the Bonaparte family. Princess Letitia, the deposed emperor's mother, lived there; likewise did his brothers Lucien and Louis and his uncle, Cardinal Fesch. So forgiving was Pius that upon hearing of the severe captivity in which the imperial prisoner was held at St. Helena, he requested Cardinal Consalvi to plead for leniency with the Prince-Regent of England. When he was informed of Napoleon's desire for the ministrations of a Catholic priest, he sent him the Abbé Vignali as chaplain.
Under Pius's reign Rome was also the favourite abode of artists. Among these it suffices to cite the illustrious names of the Venetian Canova, the Dane Thorwaldsen, the Austrian Führich, and the Germans Overbeck, Pforr, Schadow, and Cornelius. Pius VII added numerous manuscripts and printed volumes to the Vatican Library; reopened the English, Scottish, and German Colleges at Rome, and established new chairs in the Roman College. He reorganized the Congregation of the Propaganda, and condemned the Bible Societies. In 1805 he received at Florence the unconditional submission of Scipione Ricci, the former Bishop of Pistoia-Prato, who had refused obedience to Pius VI in his condemnation of the Synod of Pistoia.
The suppressed Society of Jesus he re-established for Russia in 1801, for the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies in 1804; for America, England, and Ireland in 1813, and for the Universal Church on 7 August, 1814.
On 6 July, 1823, Pius VII fell in his apartment and fractured his thigh. He was obliged to take to his bed, never to rise again. During his illness the magnificent basilica of St. Paul Without the Walls was destroyed by fire, a calamity which was never revealed to him. The gentle but courageous pontiff breathed his last in the presence of his devoted Consalvi, who was soon to follow him to the grave. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12132a.htm
Henry Halley (1895—1965)
Pope Pius VII (1800-1820), issued a Bull against Bible Societies, restored the Jesuits, and decreed one “infallible” Pope.
Pope Leo XII ( 1821-1829)
Born at Cesena in the Pontifical States, 14 August, 1742; elected at Venice 14 March, 1800; died 20 August, 1823.
His father was Count Scipione Chiaramonti, and his mother, of the noble house of Ghini, was a lady of rare piety who in 1763 entered a convent of Carmelites at Fano. Here she foretold, in her son's hearing, as Pius VII himself later related, his elevation to the papacy and his protracted sufferings. Barnaba received his early education in the college for nobles at Ravenna. At the age of sixteen he entered the Benedictine monastery of Santa Maria del Monte, near Cesena, where he was called Brother Gregory.
After the completion of his philosophical and theological studies, he was appointed professor at Parma and at Rome in colleges of his order. He was teaching at the monastery of San Callisto in the latter city at the accession of Pius VI, who was a friend of the Chiaramonti family and subsequently appointed Barnaba abbot of his monastery. The appointment did not meet with the universal approbation of the inmates, and complaints were soon lodged with the papal authority against the new abbot. Investigation, however, proved the charges to be unfounded, and Pius VI soon raised him to further dignities. After conferring upon him successively the Bishoprics of Tivoli and Imola he created him cardinal 14 Feb., 1785. When in 1797 the French invaded northern Italy, Chiaramonti as Bishop of Imola addressed to his flock the wise and practical instruction to refrain from useless resistance to the overwhelming and threatening forces of the enemy. The town of Lugo refused to submit to the invaders and was delivered up to a pillage which had an end only when the prelate, who had counselled subjection, suppliantly cast himself on his knees before General Augereau. That Chiaramonti could adapt himself to new situations clearly appears from a Christmas homily delivered in 1797, in which he advocates submission to the Cisalpine Republic, as there is no opposition between a democratic form of government and the constitution of the Catholic Church. In spite of this attitude he was repeatedly accused of treasonable proceedings towards the republic, but always successfully vindicated his conduct.
According to an ordinance issued by Pius VI, 13 Nov., 1798, the city where the largest number of cardinals was to be found at the time of his death was to be the scene of the subsequent election. In conformity with these instructions the cardinals met in conclave, after his death (29 Aug., 1799), in the Benedictine monastery of San Giorgio at Venice. The place was agreeable to the emperor, who bore the expense of the election. Thirty-four cardinals were in attendance on the opening day, 30 Nov., 1799; to these was added a few days later Cardinal Herzan, who acted simultaneously as imperial commissioner. It was not long before the election of Cardinal Bellisomi seemed assured. He was, however, unacceptable to the Austrian party, who favoured Cardinal Mattei. As neither candidate could secure a sufficient number of votes, a third name, that of Cardinal Gerdil, was proposed, but his election was vetoed by Austria. At last, after the conclave had lasted three months, some of the neutral cardinals, including Maury, suggested Chiaramonti as a suitable candidate and, with the tactful support of the secretary of the conclave, Ercole Consalvi, he was elected. The new pope was crowned as Pius VII on 21 March, 1800, at Venice. He then left this city in an Austrian vessel for Rome, where he made his solemn entry on 3 July, amid the universal joy of the populace.
Of all-important consequence for his reign was the elevation on 11 Aug., 1800, of Ercole Consalvi, one of the greatest statesmen of the nineteenth century, to the college of cardinals and to the office of secretary of state. Consalvi retained to the end the confidence of the pope, although the conflict with Napoleon forced him out of office for several years.
With no country was Pius VII more concerned during his reign than with France, where the revolution had destroyed the old order in religion no less than in politics. Bonaparte, as first consul, signified his readiness to enter into negotiations tending to the settlement of the religious question. These advances led to the conclusion of the historic Concordat of 1801, which for over a hundred years governed the relations of the French Church with Rome (on this compact; the journey of Pius VII to Paris for the imperial coronation; his captivity and restoration, see CONCORDAT OF 1801, CONSALVI; and NAPOLEON I). After the fall of Napoleon a new concordat was negotiated between Pius VII and Louis XVIII. It provided for an additional number of French bishoprics and abrogated the Organic Articles. But liberal and Gallican opposition to it was so strong that it could never be carried out. One of its objects was later realized when in 1822 the circumscription Bull "Paternæ Caritatis" erected thirty new episcopal sees.
At the Peace of Lunéville in 1801, some German princes lost their hereditary rights and dominions through the cession of the left bank of the Rhine to France. When it became known that they contemplated compensating their loss by the secularization of ecclesiastical lands, Pius VII instructed Dalberg, Elector of Mainz, on 2 Oct., 1802, to use all his influence for the protection of the rights of the Church. Dalberg, however, displayed more ardour for his own advancement than zeal in the defence of religious interests, and the seizure of ecclesiastical property was permitted in 1803 by the Imperial Deputation at Ratisbon. The measure resulted in enormous loss for the Church, but the pope was powerless to resist its execution. The ecclesiastical reorganization of Germany now became a pressing need. Bavaria soon opened negotiations in view of a concordat and was shortly after followed by Würtemburg. But Rome would rather treat with the central imperial government than with individual states, and after the suppression of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, Napoleon's aim was to obtain a uniform concordat for the whole Confederation of the Rhine. Subsequent events prevented any agreement before Napoleon's downfall. At the Congress of Vienna (1814-15) Consalvi in vain advocated the restoration of the former ecclesiastical organization.
Soon after this event the individual German States separately entered into negotiations with Rome and the first concordat was concluded with Bavaria in 1817. In 1821 Pius VII promulgated in the Bull "De salute animarum" the agreement concluded with Prussia, and the same year another Bull, "Provida Solersque", made a fresh distribution of dioceses in the ecclesiastical province of the Upper Rhine. An arrangement with Rome based on mutual concessions was likewise contemplated in England in regard to Irish ecclesiastical affairs, notably episcopal nominations (the veto). The papal administration favoured the project the more readily seeing that common resistance to Napoleon had brought the Holy See and the British Government more closely together, and that it still stood in need of the assistance of English might and diplomacy. But Irish opposition to the scheme was so determined that nothing could be done, and the Irish clergy remained free from all state control. Similar freedom prevailed in the growing Church of the United States, in which country Pius VII erected in 1808 the Dioceses of Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Bardstown, with Baltimore as the metropolitan see. To these dioceses were added those of Charleston and Richmond in 1820, and that of Cincinnati in 1821.
One of the most remarkable successes of his pontificate was the restoration of the Pontifical States, secured at the Congress of Vienna by the papal representative Consalvi. Only a small strip of land remained in the power of Austria, and this usurpation was protested. In the temporal administration of these states some of the features making for uniformity and efficiency introduced by the French were judiciously retained, the feudal rights of the nobility were abolished, and the ancient privileges of the municipalities suppressed. Considerable opposition developed against these measures, and the Carbonari even threatened rebellion; but Consalvi had their leaders prosecuted and on 13 Sept., 1821, Pius VII condemned their principles. Of a more serious nature was the revolution which in 1820 broke out in Spain and which, owing to its anticlerical character, gave great concern to the papacy. It restricted the authority of ecclesiastical courts (26 Sept., 1830); decreed (23 Oct.) the suppression of a large number of monasteries, and prohibited (14 April, 1821) the forwarding of financial contributions to Rome. It also secured the appointment of Canon Villanueva, a public advocate of the abolition of the papacy, as Spanish ambassador to Rome, and, upon the refusal of Pius VII to accept him, broke off diplomatic relations with the Holy See in 1823. This same year, however, the armed intervention of France suppressed the revolution and King Ferdinand VII repealed the anti-Catholic laws.
During the latter part of the reign of Pius VII, the prestige of the papacy was enhanced by the presence in Rome of several European rulers.
The Emperor and Empress of Austria, accompanied by their daughter, made an official visit to the pope in 1819. The King of Naples visited Rome in 1821 and was followed in 1822 by the King of Prussia. The blind Charles Emmanuel IV of Savoy, and King Charles IV of Spain and his queen, permanently resided in the Eternal City. Far more glorious to Pius VII personally is the fact that, after the downfall of his persecutor Napoleon, he gladly offered a refuge in his capital to the members of the Bonaparte family. Princess Letitia, the deposed emperor's mother, lived there; likewise did his brothers Lucien and Louis and his uncle, Cardinal Fesch. So forgiving was Pius that upon hearing of the severe captivity in which the imperial prisoner was held at St. Helena, he requested Cardinal Consalvi to plead for leniency with the Prince-Regent of England. When he was informed of Napoleon's desire for the ministrations of a Catholic priest, he sent him the Abbé Vignali as chaplain.
Under Pius's reign Rome was also the favourite abode of artists. Among these it suffices to cite the illustrious names of the Venetian Canova, the Dane Thorwaldsen, the Austrian Führich, and the Germans Overbeck, Pforr, Schadow, and Cornelius. Pius VII added numerous manuscripts and printed volumes to the Vatican Library; reopened the English, Scottish, and German Colleges at Rome, and established new chairs in the Roman College. He reorganized the Congregation of the Propaganda, and condemned the Bible Societies. In 1805 he received at Florence the unconditional submission of Scipione Ricci, the former Bishop of Pistoia-Prato, who had refused obedience to Pius VI in his condemnation of the Synod of Pistoia. The suppressed Society of Jesus he re-established for Russia in 1801, for the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies in 1804; for America, England, and Ireland in 1813, and for the Universal Church on 7 August, 1814.
On 6 July, 1823, Pius VII fell in his apartment and fractured his thigh. He was obliged to take to his bed, never to rise again. During his illness the magnificent basilica of St. Paul Without the Walls was destroyed by fire, a calamity which was never revealed to him. The gentle but courageous pontiff breathed his last in the presence of his devoted Consalvi, who was soon to follow him to the grave. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12132a.htm
Henry Halley (1895—1965)
Pope Leo XII ( 1821-1829), condemned all religious freedom, tolerance, Bible societies and Bible translations! He declared that “Everyone separated from the Roman Catholic Church, however unblamable in other respects — has no part in eternal life.”
Pope Pius VIII (1829-1830)
Born at Cingoli, 20 Nov., 1761; elected 31 March, 1829; d. 1 Dec., 1830. He came of a noble family and attended the Jesuit school at Osimo, later taking courses of canon law at Bologna and Rome. In Rome he associated himself with his teacher Devoti, assisted him in the compilation of his "Institutiones" (1792), and, when Devoti was appointed Bishop of Anagni, became his vicar-general. He subsequently filled the same position under Bishop Severoli at Cingoli, and, after some time, became provost of the cathedral in his native city. In 1800 Pius VII named him Bishop of Montalto, which see he shortly afterwards exchanged for that of Cesena. Under the French domination he was arrested, having refused to take the oath of allegiance to the King of Italy, and brought to Macerata, then to Mantua, and finally to France. In 1816 the pope conferred upon him the cardinal's hat, and in 1822 appointed him Bishop of Frascati and Grand Penitentiary. As early as the conclave of 1823, Castiglione was among the candidates for the papacy. At the election of 1829, France and Austria were desirous of electing a pope of mild and temperate disposition, and Castiglione, whose character corresponded with the requirements, was chosen after a five weeks' session. His reign, which lasted but twenty months, was not wanting in notable occurrences. In April, 1829, the Catholic Emancipation Bill, which made it possible for Catholics to sit in Parliament and to hold public offices, was passed in England. Leo XII had taken a great interest in Catholic Emancipation, but had not lived to see it become law. On 25 March, 1830, Pius published the Brief "Litteris altero abhinc", in which he declared that marriage could be blessed by the Church only when the proper promises were made regarding the Catholic education of the children; otherwise, the parish priest should only assist passively at the ceremony.
Under his successor this matter became a cause of conflict in Prussia between the bishops and the Government (see CLEMENS AUGUST VON DROSTE-VISCHERING). The pope's last months were troubled. In France, the Revolution of July broke out and the king was obliged to flee, being succeeded on the throne by the younger Orléans branch. The pope recognized the new regime with hesitation. The movement, which also affected Belgium and Poland, even extended to Rome, where a lodge of Carbonari with twenty-six members was discovered. In the midst of anxiety and care, Pius VIII, whose constitution had always been delicate, passed away. Before the coronation of his successor, revolution broke out in the Papal States. The character of Pius VIII was mild and amiable, and he enjoyed a reputation for learning, being especially versed in canon law, numismatics, and Biblical literature. In addition, he was extremely conscientious. Thus, he ordered all his relatives, upon his accession to the pontifical throne, to resign the positions which they held. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12134a.htm
Henry Halley (1895—1965)
Pope Pius VIII (1829-1830), Denounced liberty of conscience and Bible Societies.
Pope Gregory XVI (1831-1846)
Born at Belluno, then in the Venetian territory, 8 September, 1765; died at Rome, 9 June, 1846. His father, Giovanni Battista, and his mother, Giulia Cesa-Pagani, were both of the minor nobility of the district and the families of both had in former times been prominent in the service of the state.
When eighteen, Bartolomeo gave evidence of a religious vocation, and after some opposition on the part of his relations, was clothed in 1783 as a novice in the Camaldolese monastery of San Michele di Murano, taking the name Mauro. Here, three years later, he was solemnly professed, and was ordained priest in 1787. The young monk soon showed signs of unusual intellectual gifts. He devoted himself to the study of philosophy and theology, and was set to teach these to the juniors at San Michele. In 1790 he was appointed censor librorum for his order, as well as for the Holy Office at Venice. Five years later he was sent to Rome, where he lived at first in a small house (since destroyed) in the Piazza Veneta, afterwards in the great monastery of San Gregorio on the Coelian Hill. The times were not favourable to the papacy. In 1798 took place the scandalous abduction of Pius VI by General Berthier, at Napoleon's orders, and in the following year the death of the pope in exile at Valence. It was this very year, 1799, that Dom Mauro chose for the publication of his book, "Il trionfo della Santa Sede", upholding papal infallibility and the temporal sovereignty. The work, according to Gregory himself, did not attract great attention till after he had become pope, yet it attained three editions and was translated into several languages. In 1800 Cardinal Chiaramonti was elected pope at Venice, and took the name of Pius VII, and returned to Rome the same year. Early in that year Dom Mauro had been nominated Abbot Vicar of San Gregorio, and in 1805 the pope appointed him abbot of that ancient house. He retired to Venice to rest, but returned in 1807 as procurator general, only to be driven out in the following year, when General Miollis repeated on the person of Pius VII the outrage of Berthier on Pius VI. Dom Mauro returned to Venice, but San Michele was closed as a monastery the next year by the emperor's orders. In spite of this the religious remained, in secular habit, at the monastery, and Dom Mauro taught philosophy to the students of the Camaldolese college at Murano. But, in 1813, the college was transferred to the Camaldolese convent of Ognissanti at Padua, Venice being too disturbed and inimical. The following year Napoleon fell from power, Pius VII returned to Rome, and Dom Mauro was at once summoned thither. In rapid succession the learned Camaldolese was appointed consultor of various Congregations, examiner of bishops, and again Abbot of San Gregorio. Twice he was offered a bishopric and twice he refused. It was considered certain that he would become a cardinal, and it caused general surprise when, in 1823, Pius VII chose in his stead the geographer, Dom Placisdo Zurla (also a Camaldolese). In that year the pope died, and Cardinal della Genga, who took the name of Leo XII, was elected. On 21 March, 1825, the new pope created Dom Mauro cardinal in peto, and the creation was published the following year. Cappillaria became Cardinal of San Callisto and Prefect of the Congregation of Propaganda.
It was in this office that he successfully arranged a concordat between the Belgian Catholics and King William of Holland in 1827, between the Armenian Catholics and the Ottoman Empire in 1829. On St. George's Day of the latter year Cardinal Capillaria had the joy of learning that Catholic Emancipation had become a fact in the British Isles.
On 10 February, 1829, Leo XII died, and Pius VIII, broken by the revolutions in France and in the Netherlands, followed him to the grave on 1 December, 1830. A fortnight later the conclave began. It lasted for seven weeks. At one time Cardinal Giustiniani appeared likely to secure the requisite number of votes, but Spain interposed with a veto. At last the various parties came to an agreement, and on the Feast of the Purification, Cardinal Capillaria was elected by thirty-one votes out of forty-five. He took the name of Gregory XVI, in honour of Gregory XV, the founder of Propaganda. Hardly was the new pope elected when the Revolution, which for some time had been smouldering throughout Italy, broke into flame in the Papal States. Already on 2 February the Duke of Modena had warned Cardinal Albani that the conclave must come to a speedy decision, as a revolution was imminent. The next day the duke caused the house of his erstwhile friend, Ciro Menotti, at Modena, to be surrounded, and arrested him and several of his fellow conspirators. At once a revolt broke out at Reggio, and the duke fled to Mantua, taking the prisoners with him. The disturbance spread with prearranged rapidity. On 4 February Bologna revolted, drove the pro-legate out of the town, and by the eighth had hoisted the tricolour instead of the papal flag. Within a fortnight nearly the whole of the Papal States had repudiated the sovereignty of the pope, and on the nineteenth Cardinal Benvenuti, who was sent to quell the rebellion, became a prisoner of the "Provisional Government". Even in Rome itself a rising projected for 12 February was only averted by the ready action of Cardinal Bernetti, the new secretary of state. In these conditions, the papal forces being obviously unable to cope with the situation, Gregory decided to appeal to Austria for help. It was immediately forthcoming. On 25 February a strong Austrian force started for Bologna, and the "Provisional Government" soon fled to Ancona. Within a month the whole movement had collapsed, and on 27 March Cardinal Benvenuti was released by the rebel leaders, on the understanding that an amnesty should be granted by the pope. The cardinal's action, however, was without authority and was not endorsed, either by the papal government or by the Austrian general. But the rebellion, for the moment, was crushed, and after an abortive attempt to seize Spoleto, from which they were dissuaded by Archbishop Mastai-Ferretti, all the leaders who were able to do so fled the country. On 3 April the pope was able to assert that order was re-established.
In the same month, the representatives of the five powers, Austria, Russia, France, Prussia and England, met in Rome to consider the question of the "Reform of the Papal States". On 21 May they issued a joint Memorandum urging on the papal government reforms in the judiciary, the introduction of laymen into the administration, popular election of the communal and municipal councils, the administration of the finances by a skilled body selected largely from the laity. Gregory undertook to carry out such of these proposed reforms as he deemed practicable, but on two points he was determined not to yield: he would never admit the principle of popular election to the councils, and he would never permit the establishment of a council of State, composed of laymen, parallel to the Sacred College. By a succession of edicts, dated 5 July, 5 October, and 5 and 21 November, a comprehensive scheme of reform of the administration and of the judiciary was set afoot. The delegations were to be divided into a complex hierarchy of central, provincial and communal governments. At the head of each of these bodies respectively was to be a pro-legate, a governor or a mayor, representing the pope, and assisted by, and (in financial matters) controlled by, a council who was selected, out of a triple-elected list, by the government. All these bodies were to keep the pope informed as to the wished and requirements of his subjects. The reform of the judiciary, as regards civil litigation, was even more thorough. An end was put to the confusing multiplicity of tribunals (in Rome no less than twelve out of the fifteen conflicting jurisdictions, including that of the arbitrary uditore santissimo, were abolished), and three hierarchies, composed each of three civil courts, one for Bologna and the legations, one for Romagna and the Marches, and one for Rome, were established. In each of these the agreement of any two courts inhibited further appeal, and most of the courts were to be composed largely of laymen skilled in the law. The criminal courts were not so radically reformed, but even in these an end was made of the vexatious and often tyrannous secrecy and irregularity that had hitherto prevailed.
All these reforms, however, despite their extent, were far from satisfying the aims of the revolutionary party. The Austrian troops were withdrawn on 15 July, 1831, but by December much of the Papal States was again in revolt. Papal troops were dispatched to the aid of the legations, but the only result was the concentration of 2000 revolutionists at Cesena. Cardinal Albani, who had been appointed commissioner-extraordinary of the legations, appealed on his own authority for aid to the Austrian General Radetsky, who at once sent troops. These forces joined the papal troops at Cesena, attacked and defeated the rebels, and by the end of January had taken triumphant possession of Bologna.
This time France intervened, and as a protest against the Austrian occupation, seized and held Ancona, in sheer violation of international law. The pope and Bernetti protested energetically and even Prussia and Russia disapproved of this act, but though, after long negotiations, the French commander was ordered to restrain the outrages of the revolutionists in Ancona, the French troops were not withdrawn from that city until the final departure of the Austrians from the Papal States in 1838. The rebellion, however, was quelled and no further serious outbreak occurred for thirteen years. But, amidst all these disturbances in his own kingdom, Gregory had not been free from anxieties for the Faith and the Universal Church. The revolutions in France and the Netherlands had created a difficult situation: the pope had been expected by the one party to condemn the change, by the other to accept it. In August, 1831, he issued the Brief, "Sollicitudo Ecclesiarum", in which he reiterated the statements of former Pontiffs as to the independence of the Church and its refusal to be entangled in dynastic politics. In November of the same year, the Abbé de Lamennais and his companions came to Rome to submit to the pope the questions in dispute between the French episcopate and the directors of "L'Avenir". Gregory received them kindly, but caused them to be given more than one hint that the result of their appeal would not be favourable, and that they would be wise not to press for a decision. In spite, however, of the representations of Lacordaire, Lamennais persisted, with the result that, on the feast of the Assumption, 1832, the pope issued the Encyclical "Mirari vos", in which were condemned, not only the policy of "L'Avenir", but also many of the moral and social doctrines that were then put forward by most of the revolutionary schools. The Encyclical, which certainly cannot be considered favourable to ideas that have since become the commonplaces of secular politics, aroused a storm of criticism throughout Europe. It is well to remember, however, that some of its adversaries have not read it with great attention, and it has been sometimes criticized for statements that are not to be found in the text. Two years after its publication, the pope found it necessary to issue a further Encyclical, "Singulari nos", in which he condemned the "Paroles d'un croyant", the reply of Lamennais to "Mirari vos".
But it was not only in France that errors had to be met. In Germany the followers of Hermes were condemned by the Apostolic Letter, "Dum acerbissima", of 26 September, 1835. And in 1844, near the end of his reign, he issued the Encyclical, "Inter praecipuas machinationes", against the unscrupulous anti-Catholic propaganda in Italy of the London Bible Society and the New York Christian Alliance, which then, as now, were chiefly successful in transforming ignorant Italian Catholics into crudely anti-clerical free-thinkers.
While he was engaged in combating the libertarian movements of current European thought, Gregory was obliged also to struggle with the rulers of States for justice and toleration for the Catholic Church in their realms. In Portugal the accession of Queen Maria da Gloria was the occasion of an outburst of anti-clerical legislation. The nuncio at Lisbon was commanded to leave the capital and the nunciature was suppressed. All ecclesiastical privileges were abolished, bishoprics filled by the ex-king, Dom Miguel, were declared vacant, religious houses were suppressed. The pope protested in consistory, but his protest only led to severer measures, and no efforts on his part were successful until 1841, when the growing popular uneasiness forced the queen to come to terms.
In Spain, too, the regent, Queen Maria Cristina, was able, during the minority of her daughter, Queen Isabella, to carry out an anti-clerical programme. In 1835 the religious orders were suppressed. Then the secular clergy were attacked: twenty-two dioceses were left without bishops, Jansenist priests were admitted to the committee appointed to "reform the Church", the salaries of the priests were confiscated. In 1840 bishops were driven from their sees, and when the nuncio protested against arbitrary acts of the government in power, he was conducted to the frontier. Peace was not restored to the Church in Spain till after Gregory's death.
In Prussia, at the very commencement of his reign, the question of mixed marriages was causing trouble. Pius VIII had dealt with these in a Brief of 28 March, 1830. This, however, did not satisfy the Prussian Government, and von Bunsen, the Prussian ambassador, exhausted every means, honest and dishonest, of bringing about a modification of the Catholic policy. The Archbishop of Cologne and the Bishops of Paderborn, Munster, and Trier were induced, in 1834, to enter into a convention not to put into execution the papal legislation. But the archbishop died the following year, and his successor, von Droste zu Vischering, was a man of very different calibre. In 1836 the Bishop of Trier, feeling his end approach, revealed the whole plot to the pope. Events moved quickly. The new Archbishop of Cologne announced his intention of obeying the Holy See, and was in consequence imprisoned by the Prussian Government. His arrest caused general indignation throughout Europe, and Prussia endeavoured to justify its action by inventing charges against the prelate. Nobody, however, believed the official story, and the Archbishop of Gnesen and Posen, who had imitated the courageous example of his brother of Cologne, was also imprisoned. But his arbitrary action aroused the indignation of German Catholics, and when King Frederick William III died in 1840 his successor was more ready to come to terms.
In the end Archbishop Droste zu Vischering was given a coadjutor, and retired to Rome; the Archbishop of Gnesen was released unconditionally and the question at issue was quickly allowed to be decided in favour of the Catholic doctrine.
But no such success was possible in Poland and France. In the former unhappy country the Catholic religion was, then as now, inextricably united with the nationalist aspirations. As a consequence the whole force of the Russian autocracy was employed to crush it. With monstrous cruelty the Ruthenian Uniats were driven or cajoled into the Orthodox communion, the heroic nuns of Minsk were tortured and enslaved, more than 160 priests were deported to Siberia. The Catholics of the Latin rite were no better treated, bishops being imprisoned and prelates deported. Gregory protested in vain, and in 1845, when the Emperor Nicholas visited him in Rome, rebuked the autocrat for his tyranny. We are told that the Czar made promises of reform in his treatment of the Church, but, as might have been expected, nothing was done.
In France, the success of the Catholic revival had been so great that the anti-clericals were infuriated. Pressure was brought to bear upon the Government to obtain the suppression of the Jesuits, always the first to be attacked. M. Guizot sent to Rome Pellegrino Rossi, a former leader of the revolutionary party in Switzerland, to negotiate directly with Cardinal Lambruschini, who had replaced Bernetti in 1836 as secretary of state. But Gregory and Lambruschini were both firmly opposed to any attack on the society. Rossi, therefore, turned his attention to Father Roothan, the General of the Jesuits, and through the Congregation of Ecclesiastical Affairs, was successful in obtaining a letter to the French provincials advising that the novitiates and other houses should be gradually diminished or abandoned.
The reign of Gregory was drawing to its close. In August, 1841, with the intention of entering into closer relations with his people, he undertook a tour throughout some of the provinces. He travelled through Umbria to Loreto, thence to Ancona, and on to Fabriano, where he visited the relics of St. Romuald, the founder of the Camaldolese. He returned by Assisi, Viterbo and Orvieto, reaching Rome by the beginning of October. The progress had cost 2,000,000 francs, but it is very doubtful whether it had the intended result. Cardinal Lambruschini, to whom the pope as he grew older confided more and more of the actual direction of state affairs, was even more arbitrary and less accessible to modern political doctrines than Bernetti; the discontent grew and threatened. In 1843 there were attempts at revolt in Romagna and Umbria, which were suppressed with relentless severity by the special legates, Cardinals Vannicelli and Massimo. In September, 1845, the city of Rimini was again captured by a revolutionary force, which, however, was obliged to retire and seek safety in Tuscany.
But the impassioned appeals of Niccolini, of Gioberti, of Farini, of d'Azeglio, were spread throughout Italy and all Europe, and the fear was only too well founded that the Papal States could not long outlast Gregory XVI. On 20 May, 1846, he felt himself failing, and ordered Cretineau-Joly to write the history of the secret societies, against which he had struggled vainly. A few days later the pope was taken ill with erysipelas in the face. At first the attack was not thought to be serious, but on 31 May his strength suddenly failed, and it was seen that the end was near. He died early on 9 June, with but two attendants near him. His tomb, by Amici, is in St. Peter's.
Gregory XVI has been treated with but scant respect by later historians, but he has by no means deserved their contempt. It is true that in political questions he showed himself almost as opposed as his immediate predecessors to even a minimum of democratic progress. But in this he was but similar to most rulers of his time, England itself, as Bernetti sarcastically remarked, being ready enough to suggest to others reforms it would not try at home. Gregory believed in autocracy, and neither his inclinations nor his experience was such as to make him favourable to increased political freedom. Probably the policy of his predecessors had made it very difficult for any but a very strong pope to oppose the growing revolution by efficient reforms. In any case both his temperament and his policy were such that he left to his successor an almost impossible task. But Gregory was by no means an obscurantist. His interest in art and all forms of learning is attested by the founding of the Etruscan and Egyptian museums at the Vatican, and of the Christian museum at the Lateran; by the encouragement given to men like Cardinals Mai and Mezzofanti, and to Visconti, Salvi, Marchi, Wiseman, Hurter, Rohrbacher, and Guéranger; by the lavish aid given to the rebuilding of St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls and of Santa Maria degli Angioli, at Assisi; by researches encouraged in the Roman Forum and in the catacombs. His care for the social welfare of his people is seen in the tunnelling of Monte Catillo to prevent the devastation of Tivoli by the floods of the river Anio, in the establishment of steamboats at Ostia, of a decimal coinage in the Roman States, of a bureau of statistics at Rome, in the lightening of various imposts and the re-purchase of the appanage of Eugene Beauharnais, in the foundation of public baths and hospitals and orphanages. During his reign the losses of the Church in Europe were more than balanced by her gains in the rest of the world. Gregory sent missionaries to Abyssinia, to India, to China, to Polynesia, to the North American Indians. He doubled the number of Vicars-Apostolic in England, he increased greatly the number of bishops in the United States. During his reign five saints were canonized, thirty-three servants of God declared Blessed, many new orders were founded or supported, the devotion of the faithful to the Immaculate Mother of God increased.
In private as in public life, Gregory was noted for his piety, his kindliness, his simplicity, his firm friendship. He was not, perhaps, a great pope, or fully able to cope with the complicated problems of his time, but to his devotion, his munificence, and his labours Rome and the Universal Church are indebted for many benefits. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07006a.htm
Henry Halley (1895—1965)
Pope Gregory XVI (1831-1846), was an ardent advocate of Papal Infallibility, and condemned Bible Societies.
Pope Pius IX (1846)
Before his papacyHis early yearsAfter receiving his classical education at the Piarist College in Volterra from 1802-09 he went to Rome to study philosophy and theology, but left there in 1810 on account of political disturbances. He returned in 1814 and, in deference to his father's wish, asked to be admitted to the pope's Noble Guard. Being subject to epileptic fits, he was refused admission and, following the desire of his mother and his own inclination, he studied theology at the Roman Seminary, 1814-18.
Meanwhile his malady had ceased and he was ordained priest, 10 April, 1819. Pius VII appointed him spiritual director of the orphan asylum popularly known as "Tata Giovanni", in Rome, and in 1823 sent him, as auditor of the Apostolic delegate, Mgr Muzi, to Chile in South America. Upon his return in 1825 he was made canon of Santa Maria in Via Lata and director of the large hospital of San Michele by Leo XII. The same pope created him Archbishop of Spoleto, 21 May, 1827. In 1831 when 4000 Italian revolutionists fled before the Austrian army and threatened to throw themselves upon Spoleto, the archbishop persuaded them to lay down their arms and disband, induced the Austrian commander to pardon them for their treason, and gave them sufficient money to reach their homes. On 17 February, 1832, Gregory XVI transferred him to the more important Diocese of Imola and, 14 December, 1840, created him cardinal priest with the titular church of Santi Pietro e Marcellino, after having reserved him in petto since 23 December, 1839. He retained the Diocese of Imola until his elevation to the papacy. His great charity and amiability had made him beloved by the people, while his friendship with some of the revolutionists had gained for him the name of liberal.
His electionOn 14 June, 1846, two weeks after the death of Gregory XVI, fifty cardinals assembled in the Quirinal for the conclave. They were divided into two factions, the conservatives, who favoured a continuance of absolutism in the temporal government of the Church, and the liberals, who were desirous of moderate political reforms. At the fourth scrutiny, 16 June, Cardinal Mastai-Ferretti, the liberal candidate, received three votes beyond the required majority. Cardinal Archbishop Gaysruck of Milan had arrived too late to make use of the right of exclusion against his election, given him by the Austrian Government. The new pope accepted the tiara with reluctance and in memory of Pius VII, his former benefactor, took the name of Pius IX. His coronation took place in the Basilica of St. Peter on 21 June. His election was greeted with joy, for his charity towards the poor, his kindheartedness, and his wit had made him very popular.
Temporal aspect of his papacyWithin the Papal StatesConciliatory policies (1846-1848).-- "Young Italy" was clamouring for greater political freedom. The unyielding attitude of Gregory XVI and his secretary of state, Cardinal Lambruschini, had brought the papal states to the verge of a revolution. The new pope was in favour of a political reform.
His first great political act was the granting of a general amnesty to political exiles and prisoners on 16 July, 1846. This act was hailed with enthusiasm by the people, but many prudent men had reasonable fears of the results. Some extreme reactionaries denounced the pope as in league with the Freemasons and the Carbonari. It did not occur to the kindly nature of Pius IX that many of the pardoned political offenders would use their liberty to further their revolutionary ideas. That he was not in accord with the radical ideas of the times he clearly demonstrated by his Encyclical of 9 November, 1846, in which he laments the oppression of Catholic interests, intrigues against the Holy See, machinations of secret societies, sectarian bitterness, the Bible associations, indifferentism, false philosophy, communism, and the licentious press. He was, however, willing to grant such political reforms as he deemed expedient to the welfare of the people and compatible with the papal sovereignty. On 19 April, 1847, he announced his intention to establish an advisory council (Consulta di Stato), composed of laymen from the various provinces of the papal territory. This was followed by the establishment of a civic guard (Guardia Civica), 5 July, and a cabinet council, 29 December.
Failure of appeasement (1848-1850).-- But the more concessions the pope made, the greater and more insistent became the demands. Secret clubs of Rome, especially the "Circolo Romano", under the direction of Ciceruacchio, fanaticized the mob with their radicalism and were the real rulers of Rome. They spurred the people on to be satisfied with nothing but a constitutional government, an entire laicization of the ministry, and a declaration of war against hated and reactionary Austria.
On 8 February, 1848, a street riot extorted the promise of a lay ministry from the pope and on 14 March he saw himself obliged to grant a constitution, but in his allocution of 29 April he solemnly proclaimed that, as the Father of Christendom, he could never declare war against Catholic Austria.
Riot followed riot, the pope was denounced as a traitor to his country, his prime minister Rossi was stabbed to death while ascending the steps of the Cancelleria, whither he had gone to open the parliament, and on the following day the pope himself was besieged in the Quirinal. Palma, a papal prelate, who was standing at a window, was shot, and the pope was forced to promise a democratic ministry. With the assistance of the Bavarian ambassador, Count Spaur, and the French ambassador, Duc d'Harcourt, Pius IX escaped from the Quirinal in disguise, 24 November, and fled to Gaëta where he was joined by many of the cardinals.
Meanwhile Rome was ruled by traitors and adventurers who abolished the temporal power of the pope, 9 February, 1849, and under the name of a democratic republic terrorized the people and committed untold outrages. The pope appealed to France, Austria, Spain, and Naples. On 29 June French troops under General Oudinot restored order in his territory. On 12 April, 1850, Pius IX returned to Rome, no longer a political liberalist.
His subsequent rule (1850-1858).-- Cardinal Antonelli, his secretary of state, exerted a paramount political influence until his death on 6 November, 1876. The temporal reign of Pius IX, up to the seizure of the last of his temporal possessions in 1870, was one continuous struggle, on the one hand against the intrigues of the revolutionaries, on the other against the Piedmontese ruler Victor Emmanuel, his crafty premier Cavour, and other antipapal statesmen who aimed at a united Italy, with Rome as its capital, and the Piedmontese ruler as its king. The political difficulties of the pope were still further increased by the double dealing of Napoleon III, and the necessity of relying on French and Austrian troops for the maintenance of order in Rome and the papal legations in the north.
Intrigues against the Papal States (1858-1878).-- When Pius IX visited his provinces in the summer of 1857 he received everywhere a warm and loyal reception. But the doom of his temporal power was sealed, when a year later Cavour and Napoleon III met at Plombières, concerting plans for a combined war against Austria and the subsequent territorial extension of the Sardinian Kingdom. They sent their agents into various cities of the Papal States to propagate the idea of a politically united Italy. The defeat of Austria at Magenta on 4 July, 1859, and the subsequent withdrawal of the Austrian troops from the papal legations, inaugurated the dissolution of the Papal States. The insurrection in some of the cities of the Romagna was put forth as a plea for annexing this province to Piedmont in September, 1859. On 6 February, 1860, Victor Emmanuel demanded the annexation of Umbria and the Marches and, when Pius IX resisted this unjust demand, made ready to annex them by force. After defeating the papal army at Castelfidardo on 18 September, and at Ancona on 30 September, he deprived the pope of all his possessions with the exception of Rome and the immediate vicinity. Finally on 20 September, 1870, he completed the spoliation of the papal possessions by seizing Rome and making it the capital of United Italy. The so-called Law of Guarantees, of 15 May, 1871, which accorded the pope the rights of a sovereign, an annual remuneration of 3¼ million lire ($650,000), and extraterritoriality to a few papal palaces in Rome, was never accepted by Pius IX or his successors. (See STATES OF THE CHURCH; ROME; LAW OF GUARANTEES).
Outside of the Papal StatesThe loss of his temporal power was only one of the many trials that filled the long pontificate of Pius IX. There was scarcely a country, Catholic or Protestant, where the rights of the Church were not infringed upon. In Piedmont the Concordat of 1841 was set aside, the tithes were abolished, education was laicized, monasteries were suppressed, church property was confiscated, religious orders were expelled, and the bishops who opposed this anti-ecclesiastical legislation were imprisoned or banished. In vain did Pius IX protest against such outrages in his allocutions of 1850, 1852, 1853, and finally in 1855 by publishing to the world the numerous injustices which the Piedmontese government had committed against the Church and her representatives. In Würtemberg he succeeded in concluding a concordat with the Government, but, owing to the opposition of the Protestant estates, it never became a law and was revoked by a royal rescript on 13 June, 1861. The same occurred in the Grand Duchy of Baden where the Concordat of 1859 was abolished on 7 April, 1860. Equally hostile to the Church was the policy of Prussia and other German states, where the anti-ecclesiastical legislations reached their height during the notorious Kulturkampf, inaugurated in 1873. The violent outrages committed in Switzerland against the bishops and the remaining clergy were solemnly denounced by Pius IX in his encyclical letter of 21 November, 1873, and, as a result, the papal internuncio was expelled from Switzerland in January, 1874. The concordat which Pius IX had concluded with Russia in 1847 remained a dead letter, horrible cruelties were committed against the Catholic clergy and laity after the Polish insurrection of 1863, and all relations with Rome were broken in 1866. The anti-ecclesiastical legislation in Colombia was denounced in his allocution of 27 September, 1852, and again, together with that of Mexico, on 30 September, 1861. With Austria, a concordat, very favourable to the Church, was concluded on 18 August, 1855 ("Conventiones de rebus eccl. inter s. sedem et civilem potestatem", Mainz, 1870, 310-318). But the Protestant agitation aginst the concordat was so strong, that in contravention to it the emperor reluctantly ratified marriage and school laws 25 March, 1868. In 1870 the concordat was abolished by the Austrian Government, and in 1874 laws were enacted, which placed all but the inner management of ecclesiastical affairs in the hands of the Government.
With Spain, Pius IX concluded a satisfactory concordat on 16 March, 1851 (Nussi, 281-297; "Acta Pii IX", I, 293-341). It was supplemented by various articles on 25
November, 1859 (Nussi, 341-5). Other satisfactory concordats concluded by Pius IX were those with:
Henry Halley (1895—1965)
Pope Pius IX (1846), decreed Papal Infallibility; proclaimed the right to suppress heresy by force; condemned separation of Church and State; and commanded Catholics to obey the Pope, rather than Civil Rulers! He denounced liberty of conscience, liberty of worship, freedom of speech and freedom of the press! He decreed the Immaculate Conception and Deity of Mary! He condemned Bible Societies; declared that Protestantism is “No form of the Christian Religion”; and that “Every dogma of the Roman Catholic Church has been dictated by Christ, through His Viceregents the Popes.”
Pope Pius IX (1854)
Religious aspect of his papacyHis greatest achievements are of a purely ecclesiastical and religious character.
Battle against false liberalismIt is astounding how fearlessly he fought, in the midst of many and severe trials, against the false liberalism which threatened to destroy the very essence of faith and religion. In his Encyclical "Quanta Cura" of 8 December, 1864, he condemned sixteen propositions touching on errors of the age. This Encyclical was accompanied by the famous "Syllabus errorum", a table of eighty previously censured propositions bearing on pantheism, naturalism, rationalism, indifferentism, socialism, communism, freemasonry, and the various kinds of religious liberalism. Though misunderstandings and malice combined in representing the Syllabus as a veritable embodiment of religious narrow-mindedness and cringing servility to papal authority, it has done an inestimable service to the Church and to society at large by unmasking the false liberalism which had begun to insinuate its subtle poison into the very marrow of Catholicism.
Previously, on 8 January, 1857, he had condemned the philosophico-theological writings of Günther, and on many occasions advocated a return to the philosophy and theology of St. Thomas.
His promotion of the inner life of the ChurchThrough his whole life he was very devout to the Blessed Virgin. As early as 1849, when he was an exile at Gaëta, he issued letters to the bishops of the Church, asking their views on the subject of the Immaculate Conception, and on 8 Dec., 1854, in the presence of more than 200 bishops, he proclaimed the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin as a dogma of the Church. He also fostered the devotion to the Sacred Heart, and on 23 Sept., 1856, extended this feast to the whole world with the rite of a double major. At his instance the Catholic world was consecrated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus on 16 June, 1875. He also promoted the inner life of the Church by many important liturgical regulations, by various monastic reforms, and especially by an unprecedented number of beatifications and canonizations.
Convocation of the Vatican CouncilOn 29 June, 1869, he issued the Bull "Æterni Patris", convoking the Vatican Council which he opened in the presence of 700 bishops on 8 Dec., 1869. During its fourth solemn session, on 18 July, 1870, the papal infallibility was made a dogma of the Church. (See VATICAN COUNCIL..)
Appointments and foundationsThe healthy and extensive growth of the Church during his pontificate was chiefly due to his unselfishness. He appointed to important ecclesiastical positions only such men as were famous both for piety and learning. Among the great cardinals created by him were: Wiseman and Manning for England; Cullen for Ireland; McCloskey for the United States; Diepenbrock, Geissel, Reisach, and Ledochowski for Germany; Rauscher and Franzelin for Austria; Mathieu, Donnet, Gousset, and Pitra for France. On 29 Sept., 1850, he re-established the Catholic hierarchy in England by erecting the Archdiocese of Westminster with the twelve suffragan Sees of Beverley, Birmingham, Clifton, Hexham, Liverpool, Newport and Menevia, Northampton, Nottingham, Plymouth, Salford, Shrewsbury, and Southwark. The widespread commotion which this act caused among English fanatics, and which was fomented by Prime Minister Russell and the London "Times", temporarily threatened to result in an open persecution of Catholics (see ENGLAND). On 4 March, 1853, he restored the Catholic hierarchy in Holland by erecting the Archdiocese of Utrecht and the four suffragan Sees of Haarlem, Bois-le-Duc, Roermond, and Breda (see HOLLAND).
In the United States of America he erected the Dioceses of: Albany, Buffalo, Cleveland, and Galveston in 1847; Monterey, Savannah, St. Paul, Wheeling, Santa Fe, and Nesqually (Seattle) in 1850; Burlington, Covington, Erie, Natchitoches, Brooklyn, Newark, and Quincy (Alton) in 1853; Portland (Maine) in 1855; Fort Wayne, Sault Sainte Marie (Marquette) in 1857; Columbus, Grass Valley (Sacramento) Green Bay, Harrisburg, La Crosse, Rochester, Scranton, St. Joseph, Wilmington in 1868; Springfield and St. Augustine in 1870; Providence and Ogdensburg in 1872; San Antonio in 1874; Peoria in 1875; Leavenworth in 1877; the Vicariates Apostolic of the Indian Territory and Nebraska in 1851; Northern Michigan in 1853; Florida in 1857; North Carolina, Idaho, and Colorado in 1868; Arizona in 1869; Brownsville in Texas and Northern Minnesota in 1874. He encouraged the convening of provincial and diocesan synods in various countries, and established at Rome the Latin American College in 1853, and the College of the United States of America, at his own private expense, in 1859.
ConclusionHis was the longest pontificate in the history of the papacy. In 1871 he celebrated his twenty-fifth, in 1876 his thirtieth, anniversary as pope, and in 1877 his golden episcopal jubilee. His tomb is in the church of San Lorenzo fuori le mura. The so-called diocesan process of his beatification was begun on 11 February, 1907.
Henry Halley (1895—1965)
Pope Pius IX (1854), proclaimed the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of Mary. Its reception emboldened him to call the Vatican Council (1870), for the express purpose of having himself declared Infallible, which, under his skillful manipulation, they did. The decree reads that it is “divinely revealed” that the Pope, when he speaks “ex cathedra,” is “possessed of Infallibility in defining doctrines of faith and morals,” and that “such definitions are irrevocable.”
Pope Leo XIII (1878-1903)
Born 2 March, 1810, at Carpineto; elected pope 20 February, 1878; died 20 July, 1903, at Rome. Gioacchino Vincenzo Raffaele Luigi was the sixth of the seven sons of Count Lodovico Pecci and his wife Anna Prosperi-Buzi. There was some doubt as to the nobility of the Pecci family, and when the young Gioacchino sought admission to the Accademia dei Nobili in Rome he met with a certain opposition, whereupon he wrote the history of his family, showing that the Pecci of Carpineto were a branch of the Pecci of Siena, obliged to emigrate to the Papal States in the first half of the sixteenth century, under Clement VII, because they had sided with the Medici.
At the age of eight, together with his brother Giuseppe, aged ten, he was sent to study at the new Jesuit school in Viterbo, the present seminary. He remained there six years (1818-24), and gained that classical facility in the use of Latin and Italian afterwards justly admired in his official writings and his poems. Much credit for this is due to his teacher, Padre Leonardo Garibaldi. When, in 1824, the Collegio Romano was given back to the Jesuits, Gioacchino and his brother Giuseppe entered as students of humanities and rhetoric.
At the end of his rhetoric course Gioacchino was chosen to deliver the address in Latin, and selected as his subject, "The Contrast between Pagan and Christian Rome". Not less successful was his three years' course of philosophy and natural sciences.
He remained yet uncertain as to his calling, though it had been the wish of his mother that he should embrace the ecclesiastical state. Like many other young Romans of the period who aimed at a public career, he took up meanwhile the study of theology as well as canon and civil law. Among his professors were the famous theologian Perrone and the scripturist Patrizi. In 1832 he obtained the doctorate of theology, whereupon, after the difficulties referred to above, he asked and obtained admission to the Academy of Noble Ecclesiastics, and entered upon the study of canon and civil law at the Sapienza University. Thanks to his talents, and to the protection of Cardinals Sala and Pacca, he was appointed domestic prelate by Gregory XVI in January, 1837, while still in minor orders, and in March of that year was made "referendario della Segnatura", which office he soon exchanged for one in the Congregazione del Buon Governo, or Ministry of the Interior for the Pontifical States, of which his protector Cardinal Sala was at that time prefect. During the cholera epidemic in Rome he ably assisted Cardinal Sala in his duties as overseer of all the city hospitals. His zeal and ability convinced Cardinal Sala that Pecci was fitted for larger responsibilities, and he again urged him to enter the priesthood, hinting in addition that before long he might be promoted to a post where the priesthood would be necessary. Yielding to these solicitations, he was ordained priest 31 Dec., 1837, by Cardinal Odeschalchi, Vicar of Rome, in the chapel of St. Stanislaus on the Quirinal. The post hinted at by Cardinal Sala was that of Delegate or civil Governor of Benevento, a city subject to the Holy See but situated in the heart of the Kingdom of Naples. Its condition was very unsatisfactory; the brigands of the Neapolitan territory infested the country in great numbers, survivals of the Napoleonic Wars and the guerrilla of the Sanfedisti. Gregory XVI thought a young and energetic delegate necessary. Cardinal Lambruschini, secretary of state, and Cardinal Sala suggested the name of Mgr. Pecci, who set out for Benevento 2 February, 1838. On his recovery from an attack of typhoid fever, he set to work to stamp out brigandage, and soon his vigilance, indomitable purpose, and fearless treatment of the nobles who protected the brigands and smugglers, pacified the whole province. Aided by the nuncio at Naples, Mgr. di Pietro, the youthful delegate drew up an agreement with the Naples police for united action against brigands. He also turned his attention to the roads and highways, and arranged for a more just distribution of taxes and duties, until then the same as those imposed by the invading French, and, though exorbitant, exacted with the greatest rigour.
Meanwhile the Holy See and Naples were discussing the exchange of Benevento for a stretch of Neapolitan territory bordering on the Papal States. When Mgr. Pecci heard of this he memorialized the Holy See so strongly against it that the negotiations were broken off.
The results obtained in three years by the delegate at Benevento led Gregory XVI to entrust another delegation to him where a strong personality was required, though for very different reasons. He was first destined for Spoleto, but on 17 July, 1841, he was sent to Perugia, a hotbed of the anti-papal revolutionary party. For three years he improved the material conditions of his territory and introduced a more expeditious and economical administration of justice. He also began a savings bank to assist small tradesmen and farmers with loans at a low rate of interest, reformed educational methods, and was otherwise active for the common welfare.
In January, 1843, he was appointed nuncio to Brussels, as successor of Mgr. Fornari, appointed nuncio at Paris. On 19 Feb., he was consecrated titular Archbishop of Damiata by Cardinal Lambruschini, and set out for his post. On his arrival he found rather critical conditions. The school question was warmly debated between the Catholic majority and the Liberal minority. He encouraged the bishops and the laity in their struggle for Catholic schools, yet he was able to win the good will of the Court, not only of the pious Queen Louise, but also of King Leopold I, strongly Liberal in his views. The new nuncio succeeded in uniting the Catholics, and to him is owing the idea of a Belgian college in Rome (1844). He made a journey (1845) through Rhenish Prussia (Cologne, Mainz, Trier), and owing to his vigilance the schismatic agitation of the priest Ronge, on the occasion of the exposition of the Holy Coat of Trier in 1844, did not affect Belgium. Meanwhile the See of Perugia became vacant, and Gregory XVI, moved by the wishes of the Perugians and the needs of that city and district, appointed Mgr. Pecci Bishop of Perugia, retaining however the title of archbishop.
With a very flattering autograph letter from King Leopold, Mgr. Pecci left Brussels to spend a month in London and another in Paris. This brought him in touch with both courts, and afforded him opportunities for meeting many eminent men, among others Wiseman, afterwards cardinal. Rich in experience and in new ideas, and with greatly broadened views, he returned to Rome on 26 May, 1846, where he found the pope on his deathbed, so that he was unable to report to him. He made his solemn entry into Perugia 27 July, 1846, where he remained for thirty-two years.
Gregory XVI had intended to make him a cardinal, but his death and the events that troubled the opening years of the pontificate of Pius IX postponed this honour until 19 December, 1853. Pius IX desired to have him near his person, and repeatedly offered him a suburbicarian see, but Mgr. Pecci preferred Perugia, and perhaps was not in accord with Cardinal Antonelli. It is certainly untrue that Pius IX designedly left him in Perugia, much more untrue that he did so because Pecci's views were liberalistic and conciliatory. As Bishop of Perugia he sought chiefly to inculcate piety and knowledge of the truths of Faith. He insisted that his priests should preach, and should catechise not only the young but the grown up; and for this purpose he wished one hour in the afternoon set apart on Sundays and feast days, thus forestalling one of the regulations laid down by Pius X in 1905 for the whole Church. He brought out a new edition of the diocesan catechism (1856), and for his clergy he wrote a practical guide for the exercise of the ministry (1857). He provided frequently for retreats and missions. After the Piedmontese occupation and the suppression of the religious orders the number of priests was greatly diminished; to remedy this lack of ecclesiastical ministers, he established an association of diocesan missionaries ready to go wherever sent (1875). He sought to create a learned and virtuous clergy, and for this purpose spent much care on the material, moral, and scientific equipment of his seminary, which he called the apple of his eye. Between 1846 and 1850 he enlarged its buildings at considerable personal sacrifice, secured excellent professors, presided at examinations, and himself gave occasional instruction. He introduced the study of the philosophy and theology of St. Thomas, and in 1872 established an "Accademia di S. Tommaso", which he had planned as far back as 1858.
In 1872 also he introduced the government standards for studies of the secondary schools and colleges. When the funds of the seminary were converted into state bonds, its revenues were seriously affected, and this entailed new sacrifices on the bishop. With the exception of a few troublesome priests who relied on the protection of the new government, the discipline of the clergy was excellent. For the assistance of many priests impoverished by the confiscation of church funds, he instituted in 1873 the Society of S. Gioacchino, and for charitable works generally, conferences of St. Vincent de Paul. He remodelled many educational institutions for the young and began others, for the care of which he invited from Belgium nuns of the Sacred Heart and Brothers of Mercy. During his episcopate thirty-six new churches were built in the diocese. His charity and foresight worked marvels during the famine of 1854, consequent on the earthquake which had laid waste a large part of Umbria.
Throughout the political troubles of the period, he was a strong supporter of the temporal power of the Holy See, but he was careful to avoid anything that might give the new government pretext for further annoyances.
Shortly after his arrival in Perugia there occurred a popular commotion which his personal intervention succeeded in appeasing. In 1849, when bands of Garibaldians expelled from Rome were infesting the Umbrian hills, the Austrians under Prince Liechtenstein hastened to occupy Perugia, but Mgr. Pecci, realizing that this foreign occupation would only increase the irritation of the inhabitants, set out for the Austrian camp and succeeded in saving the town from occupation. In 1859 a few outlaws set up in Perugia a provisional government; when the cardinal heard that, few as they were, they were preparing to resist the pontifical troops advancing under Colonel Schmidt he wrote a generous letter to try and dissuade them from their mad purpose and to avoid a useless shedding of blood. Unfortunately they spurned his advice, and the result was the so-called "Massacre of Perugia" (20 June). In February, 1860, he wrote a pastoral letter on the necessity of the temporal power of the Holy See; but on 14 September of that year Perugia and Umbria were annexed to Piedmont. In vain he besought General Fanti not to bombard the town; and during the first years that followed the annexation he wrote, either in his own name or in the name of the bishops of Umbria, eighteen protests against the various laws and regulations of the new Government on ecclesiastical matters: against civil marriage, the suppression of the religious orders and the inhuman cruelty of their oppressors, the "Placet" and "Exequatur" in ecclesiastical nominations, military service for ecclesiastics, and the confiscation of church property. But withal he was so cautious and prudent, in spite of his outspokenness, that he was never in serious difficulties with the civil power. Only once was he brought before the courts, and then he was acquitted.
In August, 1877, on the death of Cardinal de Angelis, Pius IX appointed him camerlengo, so that he was obliged to reside in Rome. Pope Pius died 7 February, 1878, and during his closing years the Liberal press had often insinuated that the Italian Government should take a hand in the conclave and occupy the Vatican. However the Russo-Turkish War and the sudden death of Victor Emmanuel II (9 January, 1878) distracted the attention of the Government, the conclave proceeded as usual, and after the three scrutinies Cardinal Pecci was elected by forty-four votes out of sixty-one
Shortly before this he had written an inspiring pastoral to his flock on the Church and civilization. Ecclesiastical affairs were in a difficult and tangled state.
Pius IX, it is true, had won for the papacy the love and veneration of Christendom, and even the admiration of its adversaries. But, though inwardly strengthened, its relations with the civil powers had either ceased or were far from cordial. But the fine diplomatic tact of Leo succeeded in staving off ruptures, in smoothing over difficulties, and in establishing good relations with almost all the powers.
Throughout his entire pontificate he was able to keep on good terms with France, and he pledged himself to its Government that he would call on all Catholics to accept the Republic. But in spite of his efforts very few monarchists listened to him, and towards the end of his life he beheld the coming failure of his French policy, though he was spared the pain of witnessing the final catastrophe which not even he could have averted. It was to Leo that France owed her alliance with Russia; in this way he offset the Triple Alliance, hoped to ward off impending conflicts, and expected friendly assistance for the solution of the Roman question. With Germany he was more fortunate. On the very day of his election, when notifying the emperor of the event, he expressed the hope of seeing relations with the German Government re-established, and, though the emperor's reply was coldly civil, the ice was broken. Soon Bismarck, unable to govern with the Liberals, to win whose favour he had started the Kulturkampf, found he needed the Centre Party, or Catholics, and was willing to come to terms. As early as 1878 negotiations began at Kissingen between Bismarck and Aloisi-Masella, the nuncio to Munich; they were carried a step farther at Venice between the nuncio Jacobini and Prince von Reuss; soon after this some of the Prussian laws against the Church were relaxed. From about 1883 bishops began to be appointed to various sees, and some of the exiled bishops were allowed to return. By 1884 diplomatic relations were renewed, and in 1887 a modus vivendi between Church and State was brought about. Bismarck proposed that Pope Leo should arbitrate between Germany and Spain. The good feeling with Germany found expression in the three visits paid Leo by William II (1888, 1893, and 1903), whose father also, when crown prince (1883) had visited the Vatican. As a sort of quid pro quo Bismarck thought the pope ought to use his authority to prevent the Catholics from opposing some of his political schemes. Only once did Leo interfere in a parliamentary question, and then his advice was followed. In 1880 relations with the Belgian Government were again broken off à propos of the school question, on the pretext that the pope was lending himself to duplicity, encouraging the bishops to resist, and pretending to the Government that he was urging moderation. As a matter of fact, the suppression of the Belgian embassy to the Vatican had been settled on before the school question arose. In 1883 the new Catholic Government restored it.
During Pope Leo's pontificate the condition of the Church in Switzerland improved somewhat, especially in the Ficino, in Aargau, and in Basle. In Russia Soloviev's attempt on Alexander II (14 April, 1879) and the silver jubilee of that czar's reign (1888) gave the pope an opportunity to attempt a rapprochement. But it was not until after Alexander III came to the throne (1883) that an agreement was reached, by which a few episcopal sees were tolerated and some of the more stringent laws against the Catholic clergy slightly relaxed. But when in 1884, Leo consented to present to the czar a petition from the Ruthenian Catholics against the oppression they had to suffer, the persecution only increased in bitterness. In the last year of Alexander III (May, 1894) diplomatic relations were re-established. On the day of his election, Leo had expressed to this emperor the wish to see diplomatic relations restored; Alexander, like William, though more warmly, answered in a non-committal manner. In the meantime Leo was careful to exhort the Poles under Russian domination to be loyal subjects.
Among the acts of Leo XIII that affected in a particular way the English-speaking world may be mentioned: for England, the elevation of John Henry Newman to the cardinalate (1879), the "Romanos Pontifices" of 1881 concerning the relations of the hierarchy and the regular clergy, the beatification (1886) of fifty English martyrs, the celebration of the thirteenth centenary of St. Gregory the Great, Apostle of England (1891), the Encyclicals "Ad Anglos" of 1895, on the return to Catholic unity, and the "Apostolicæ Curæ" of 1896, on the non-validity of the Anglican orders. He restored the Scotch hierarchy in 1878, and in 1898 addressed to the Scotch a very touching letter. In English India Pope Leo established the hierarchy in 1886, and regulated there long-standing conflicts with the Portugese authorities. In 1903 King Edward VII paid him a visit at the Vatican. The Irish Church experienced his pastoral solicitude on many occasions. His letter to Archbishop McCabe of Dublin (1881), the elevation of the same prelate to the cardinalate in 1882, the calling of the Irish bishops to Rome in 1885, the decree of the Holy Office (13 April, 1888) on the plan of campaign and boycotting, and the subsequent Encyclical of 24 June, 1888, to the Irish hierarchy represent in part his fatherly concern for the Irish people, however diverse the feelings they aroused at the height of the land agitation.
The United States at all times attracted the attention and admiration of Pope Leo. He confimed the decrees of the Third Plenary Council of Baltimore (1884), and raised to the cardinalate Archbishop Gibbons of that city (1886). His favourable action (1888), at the instance of Cardinal Gibbons, towards the Knights of Labour won him general approval. In 1889 he sent a papal delegate, Monsignor Satolli, to represent him at Washington on the occasion of the foundation of the Catholic University of America.
The Apostolic Delegation at Washington was founded in 1892; in the same year appeared his Encyclical on Christopher Columbus. In 1893 he participated in the Chicago Exposition held to commemorate the fourth centenary of the discovery of America; this he did by the loan of valuable relics, and by sending Monsignor Satolli to represent him. In 1895 he addressed to the hierarchy of the United States his memorable Encyclical "Longinqua Oceani Spatia"; in 1898 appeared his letter "Testem Benevolentiæ" to Cardinal Gibbons on "Americanism"; and in 1902 his admirable letter to the American hierarchy in response to their congratulations on his pontifical jubilee. In Canada he confirmed the agreement made with the Province of Quebec (1889) for the settlement of the Jesuit Estates question, and in 1897 sent Monsignor Merry del Val to treat in his name with the Government concerning the obnoxious Manitoba School Law. His name will also long be held in benediction in South America for the First Plenary Council of Latin America held at Rome (1899), and for his noble Encyclical to the bishops of Brazil on the abolition of slavery (1888).
In Portugal the Government ceased to support the Goan schism, and in 1886 a concordat was drawn up. Concordats with Montenegro (1886) and Colombia (1887) followed. The Sultan of Turkey, the Shah of Persia, the Emperors of Japan and of China (1885), and the Negus of Abyssinia, Menelik, sent him royal gifts and received gifts from him in return. His charitable intervention with the negus in favour of the Italians taken prisoners at the unlucky battle of Adna (1898) failed owing to the attitude taken by those who ought to have been most grateful. He was not successful in establishing direct diplomatic relations with the Sublime Porte and with China, owing to the jealousy of France and her fear of losing the protectorate over Christians. During the negotiations concerning church property in the Philippines, Mr. Taft, later President of the United States, had an opportunity of admiring the pope's great qualities, as he himself declared on a memorable occasion.
With regard to the Kingdom of Italy, Leo XIII maintained Pius IX's attitude of protest, thus confirming the ideas he had expressed in his pastoral of 1860. He desired complete independence for the Holy See, and consequently its restoration as a real sovereignty. Repeatedly, when distressing incidents took place in Rome, he sent notes to the various governments pointing out the intolerable position in which the Holy See was placed through its subjection to a hostile power. For the same reason he upheld the "Non expedit", or prohibition against Italian Catholics taking part in political elections. His idea was that once the Catholics abstained from voting, the subversive elements in the country would get the upper hand and the Italian Government be obliged to come to terms with the Holy See.
Events proved he was mistaken, and the idea was abandoned by Pius X. At one time, however, "officious" negotiations were kept up between the Holy See and the Italian Government through the agency of Monsignor Carini, Prefect of the Vatican Library and a great friend of Crispi. But it is not known on what lines they were conducted. On Crispi's part there could have been no question of ceding any territory to the Holy See. France, moreover, then irritated against Italy because of the Triple Alliance, and fearing that any rapprochement between the Vatican and the Quirinal would serve to increase her rival's prestige, interfered and forced Leo to break off the aforesaid negotiations by threatening to renew hostilities against the Church in France. The death of Monsignor Carini shortly after this (25 June, 1895) gave rise to the senseless rumour that he had been poisoned. Pope Leo was no less active concerning the interior life of the Church. To increase the piety of the faithful, he recommended in 1882 the Third Order of St. Francis, whose rules in 1883 he wisely modified; he instituted the feast of the Holy Family, and desired societies in its honour to be founded everywhere (1892); many of his encyclicals preach the benefits of the Rosary; and he favoured greatly devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Under Leo the Catholic Faith made great progress; during his pontificate two hundred and forty-eight episcopal or archiepiscopal sees were created, and forty-eight vicariates or prefectures Apostolic. Catholics of Oriental rites were objects of special attention; he had the good fortune to see the end of the schism which arose in 1870 between the Uniat Armenians and ended in 1879 by the conversion of Mgr. Kupelian and other schismatical bishops. He founded a college at Rome for Armenian ecclesiastical students (1884), and by dividing the college of S. Atanasio he was able to give the Ruthenians a college of their own; already in 1882 he had reformed the Ruthenian Order of St. Basil; for the Chaldeans he founded at Mossul a seminary of which the Dominicans have charge. In a memorable encyclical of 1897 he appealed to all the schismatics of the East, inviting them to return to the Universal Church, and laying down rules for governing the relations between the various rites in countries of mixed rites. Even among the Copts his efforts at reunion made headway.
The ecclesiastical sciences found a generous patron in Pope Leo. His Encyclical "Æterni Patris" (1880) recommended the study of Scholastic philosophy, especially that of St. Thomas Aquinas, but he did not advise a servile study. In Rome he established the Apollinare College, a higher institute for the Latin, Greek, and Italian classics. At his suggestion a Bohemian college was founded at Rome. At Anagni he founded and entrusted to the Jesuits a college for all the dioceses of the Roman Campagna, on which are modelled the provincial or "regional" seminaries desired by Pius X.
Historical scholars are indebted to him for the opening of the Vatican Archives (1883), on which occasion he published a splendid encyclical on the importance of historical studies, in which he declares that the Church has nothing to fear from historical truth. For the administration of the Vatican Archives and Library he called on eminent scholars (Hergenröther, Denifle, Ehrle; repeatedly he tried to obtain Janssen, but the latter declined, as he was eager to finish his "History of the German People"). For the convenience of students of the archives and the library he established a consulting library. The Vatican Observatory is also one of the glories of Pope Leo XIII. To excite Catholic students to rival non-Catholics in the study of the Scriptures, and at the same time to guide their studies, he published the "Providentissimus Deus" (1893), which won the admiration even of Protestants, and in 1902 he appointed a Biblical Commission. Also, to guard against the dangers of the new style of apologetics founded on Kantism and now known as Modernism, he warned in 1899 the French clergy (Encycl. "Au Milieu"), and before that, in a Brief addressed to Cardinal Gibbons, he pointed out the dangers of certain doctrines to which had been given the name of "Americanism" (22 Jan., 1899). In the Brief "Apostolicæ Curæ" (1896) he definitively decided against the validity of Anglican Orders. In several other memorable encyclicals he treated of the most serious questions affecting modern society. They are models of classical style, clearness of statement, and convincing logic. The most important are: "Arcanum divinæ sapientiæ" (1880) on Christian marriage; "Diuturnum illud" (1881), and "Immortale Dei" (1885) on Christianity as the foundation of political life; "Sapientiæ christianæ" (1890) on the duties of a Christian citizen; "Libertas" (1888) on the real meaning of liberty; "Humanum genus" (1884) against Freemasonry (he also issued other documents bearing on this subject).
Civilization owes much to Leo for his stand on the social question. As early as 1878, in his encyclical on the equality of all men, he attacked the fundamental error of Socialism. The Encyclical "Rerum novarum" (18 May, 1891) set forth with profound erudition the Christian principles bearing on the relations between capital and labour, and it gave a vigorous impulse to the social movement along Christian lines. In Italy, especially, an intense, well-organized movement began; but gradually dissensions broke out, some leaning too much towards Socialism and giving to the words "Christian Democracy" a political meaning, while others erred by going to the opposite extreme. In 1901 appeared the Encyclical "Graves de Communi", destined to settle the controverted points. The "Catholic Action" movement in Italy was recognized, and to the "Opera dei Congressi" was added a second group that took for its watchword economic-social action. Unfortunately this latter did not last long, and Pius X had to create a new party which has not yet overcome its internal difficulties.
Under Leo the religious orders developed wonderfully; new orders were founded, older ones increased, and in a short time made up for the losses occasioned by the unjust spoliation they had been subjected to. Along every line of religious and educational activity they have proved no small factor in the awakening and strengthening of the Christian life of the whole country. For their better guidance wise constitutions were issued; reforms were made; orders such as the Franciscans and Cistercians, which in times past had divided off into sections, were once more united; and the Benedictines were given an abbot-primate, who resides at St. Anselm's College, founded in Rome under the auspices of Pope Leo (1883). Rules were laid down concerning members of religious orders who became secularized.
In canon law Pope Leo made no radical change, yet no part of it escaped his vigilance, and opportune modifications were made as the needs of the times required. On the whole his pontificate of twenty-five years was certainly, in external success, one of the most brilliant. It is true the general peace between nations favoured it. The people were tired of that anticlericalism which had led governments to forget their real purpose, i.e. the well-being of the governed; and, on the other hand, prudent statesmen feared excessive catering to the elements subversive of society. Leo himself used every endeavour to avoid friction. His three jubilees (the golden jubilees of his priesthood and of his episcopate, and the silver jubilee of his pontificate) showed how wide was the popular sympathy for him. Moreover, his appearance either at Vatican receptions or in St. Peter's was always a signal for outbursts of enthusiasm. Leo was far from robust in health, but the methodical regularity of his life stood him in good stead. He was a tireless worker, and always exacted more than ordinary effort from those who worked with him. The conditions of the Holy See did not permit him to do much for art, but he renewed the apse of the Lateran Basilica, rebuilt its presbytery, and in the Vatican caused a few halls to be painted. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09169a.htm
Henry Halley (1895—1965)
Pope Leo XIII (1878-1903), claimed that he was appointed to be Head of All Rulers, and that he holds the place of Almighty God on this earth! He emphasized Papal Infallibility; pronounced Protestants “enemies of the Christian Name,” claimed complete submission to the Roman Pontiff, and denounced Americanism.
Pope Pius X (1903-1914)
Born 2 June, 1835, at Riese, Province of Treviso, in Venice. His parents were Giovanni Battista Sarto and Margarita (née Sanson); the former, a postman, died in 1852, but Margarita lived to see her son a cardinal. After finishing his elements, Giuseppe at first received private lessons in Latin from the arch-priest of his town, Don Tito Fusaroni, after which he studied for four years at the gymnasium of Castelfranco Veneto, walking to and fro every day. In 1850 he received the tonsure from the Bishop of Treviso, and was given a scholarship of the Diocese of Treviso in the seminary of Padua, where he finished his classical, philosophical, and theological studies with distinction. He was ordained in 1858, and for nine years was chaplain at Tombolo, having to assume most of the functions of parish priest, as the pastor was old and an invalid. He sought to perfect his knowledge of theology by assiduously studying Saint Thomas and canon law; at the same time he established a night school for adult students, and devoted himself of the ministry of preaching in other towns to which he was called. In 1867 he was named arch-priest of Salzano, a large borough of the Diocese of Treviso, where he restored the church, and provided for the enlargement and maintenance of the hospital by his own means, consistently with his habitual generosity to the poor; he especially distinguished himself by his abnegation during the cholera. He showed great solicitude for the religious instruction of adults. In 1875 he was made a canon of the cathedral of Treviso, and filled several offices, among them those of spiritual director and rector of the seminary, examiner of the clergy, and vicar-general; moreover, he made it possible for the students of the public schools to receive religious instruction. In 1878, on the death of Bishop Zanelli, he was elected vicar-capitular. On 10 November, 1884, he was named Bishop of Mantua, then a very troublesome see, and consecrated on 20 November. His chief care in his new position was for the formation of the clergy at the seminary, where, for several years, he himself taught dogmatic theology, and for another year moral theology. He wished the doctrine and method of St. Thomas to be followed, and to many of the poorer students he gave copies of the "Summa theologica"; at the same time he cultivated the Gregorian Chant in company with the seminarians.
The temporal administration of his see imposed great sacrifices upon him. In 1887 he held a diocesan synod. By his attendance at the confessional, he gave the example of pastoral zeal. The Catholic organization of Italy, then known as the "Opera dei Congressi", found in him a zealous propagandist from the time of his ministry at Salzano.
At the secret consistory of June, 1893, Leo XIII created him a cardinal under the title of San Bernardo alle Terme; and in the public consistory, three days later, he was preconized Patriarch of Venice, retaining meanwhile the title of Apostolic Administrator of Mantua. Cardinal Sarto was obliged to wait eighteen months before he was able to take possession of his new diocese, because the Italian government refused its exequatur, claiming the right of nomination as it had been exercised by the Emperor of Austria. This matter was discussed with bitterness in the newspapers and in pamphlets; the Government, by way of reprisal, refused its exequatur to the other bishops who were appointed in the meantime, so that the number of vacant sees grew to thirty. Finally, the minister Crispi having returned to power, and the Holy See having raised the mission of Eritrea to the rank of an Apostolic Prefecture in favour of the Italian Capuchins, the Government withdrew from its position. Its opposition had not been caused by any objection to Sarto personally. At Venice the cardinal found a much better condition of things than he had found at Mantua. There, also, he paid great attention to the seminary, where he obtained the establishment of the faculty of canon law. In 1898 he held the diocesan synod. He promoted the use of the Gregorian Chant, and was a great patron of Lorenzo Perosi; he favoured social works, especially the rural parochial banks; he discerned and energetically opposed the dangers of certain doctrines and the conduct of certain Christian-Democrats. The international Eucharistic Congress of 1897, the centenary of St. Gerard Sagredo (1900), and the blessing of the corner-stone of the new belfry of St. Mark's, also of the commemorative chapel of Mt. Grappa (1901), were events that left a deep impression on him and his people. Meanwhile, Leo XIII having died, the cardinals entered into conclave and after several ballots Giuseppe Sarto was elected on 4 August by a vote of 55 out of a possible 60 votes. His coronation took place on the following Sunday, 9 August, 1903.
In his first Encyclical, wishing to develop his programme to some extent, he said that the motto of his pontificate would be "instaurare omnia in Christo" (Ephesians 1:10). Accordingly, his greatest care always turned to the direct interests of the Church. Before all else his efforts were directed to the promotion of piety among the faithful, and he advised all (Decr. S. Congr. Concil., 20 Dec., 1905) to receive Holy Communion frequently and, if possible, daily, dispensing the sick from the obligation of fasting to the extent of enabling them to receive
Holy Communion twice each month, and even oftener (Decr. S. Congr. Rit., 7 Dec., 1906). Finally, by the Decree "Quam Singulari" (15 Aug., 1910), he recommended that the first Communion of children should not be deferred too long after they had reached the age of discretion. It was by his desire that the Eucharistic Congress of 1905 was held at Rome, while he enhanced the solemnity of subsequent Eucharistic congresses by sending to them cardinal legates. The fiftieth anniversary of the proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception was an occasion of which he took advantage to enjoin devotion to Mary (Encyclical "Ad illum diem", 2 February, 1904); and the Marian Congress, together with the coronation of the image of the Immaculate Conception in the choir of St. Peter's, was a worthy culmination of the solemnity. As a simple chaplain, a bishop, and a patriarch, Giuseppe Sarto was a promoter of sacred music; as pope, he published, 22 November, 1903, a Motu Proprio on sacred music in churches, and at the same time ordered the authentic Gregorian Chant to be used everywhere, while he caused the choir books to be printed with the Vatican font of type under the supervision of a special commission. In the Encyclical "Acerbo nimis" (15 April, 1905) he treated of the necessity of catechismal instruction, not only for children, but also for adults, giving detailed rules, especially in relation to suitable schools for the religious instruction of students of the public schools, and even of the universities. He caused a new catechism to be published for the Diocese of Rome.
As bishop, his chief care had been for the formation of the clergy, and in harmony with this purpose, an Encyclical to the Italian episcopate (28 July, 1906) enjoined the greatest caution in the ordination of priests, calling the attention of the bishops to the fact that there was frequently manifested among the younger clergy a spirit of independence that was a menace to ecclesiastical discipline. In the interest of Italian seminaries, he order them to be visited by the bishops, and promulgated a new order of studies, which had been in use for several years at the Roman Seminary. On the other hand, as the dioceses of Central and of Southern Italy were so small that their respective seminaries could not prosper, Pius X established the regional seminary which is common to the sees of a given region; and, as a consequence, many small, deficient seminaries were closed. For the more efficient guidance of souls, by a Decree of the Sacred Congregation of the Consistory (20 August, 1910), instructions were given concerning the removal of parish priests, as administrative acts, when such procedure was required by grave circumstances that might not constitute a canonical cause for the removal. At the time of the jubilee in honour of his ordination as a priest, he addressed a letter full of affection and wise council to all the clergy. By a recent Decree (18 Nov., 1910), the clergy have been barred from the temporal administration of social organizations, which was often a cause of grave difficulties.
The pope has at heart above all things the purity of the faith. On various occasions, as in the Encyclical regarding the centenary of Saint Gregory the Great, Pius X had pointed out the dangers of certain new theological methods, which, based upon Agnosticism and upon Immanentism, necessarily divest the doctrine of the faith of its teachings of objective, absolute, and immutable truth, and all the more, when those methods are associated with subversive criticism of the Holy Scripture and of the origins of Christianity. Wherefore, in 1907, he caused the publication of the Decree "Lamentabili" (called also the Syllabus of Pius X), in which sixty-five propositions are condemned. The greater number of these propositions concern the Holy Scripture, their inspiration, and the doctrine of Jesus and of the Apostles, while others relate to dogma, the sacraments, and the primacy of the Bishop of Rome. Soon after that, on 8 Sept., 1907, there appeared the famous Encyclical "Pascendi", which expounds and condemns the system of Modernism. It points out the danger of Modernism in relation to philosophy, apologetics, exegesis, history, liturgy, and discipline, and shows the contradiction between that innovation and the ancient faith; and, finally, it establishes rules by which to combat efficiently the pernicious doctrines in question. Among the means suggested mention should be made of the establishment of an official body of "censors" of books and the creation of a "Committee of Vigilance".
Subsequently, by the Motu Proprio "Sacrorum Antistitum", Pius X called attention to the injunctions of the Encyclical and also to the provisions that had already been established under Leo XIII on preaching, and proscribed that all those who exercised the holy ministry or who taught in ecclesiastical institutions, as well as canons, the superiors of the regular clergy, and those serving in ecclesiastical bureaux should take an oath, binding themselves to reject the errors that are denounced in the Encyclical or in the Decree "Lamentabili". Pius X reverted to this vital subject on other occasions, especially in those Encyclicals that were written in commemoration of St. Anselm (21 April, 1909) and of St. Charles Borromeo (23 June, 1910), in the latter of which Reformist Modernism was especially condemned. As the study of the Bible is both the most important and the most dangerous study in theology, Pius X wished to found at Rome a centre for these studies, to give assurance at once of unquestioned orthodoxy and scientific worth; and so, with the assistance of the whole Catholic world, there was established at Rome the Biblical Institute, under the direction of the Jesuits.
A need that had been felt for a long time was that of the codification of the Canon Law, and with a view to effecting it, Pius X, on 19 March, 1904, created a special congregation of cardinals, of which Mgr Gasparri, now a cardinal, became the secretary.
The most eminent authorities on canon law, throughout the world, are collaborating in the formation of the new code, some of the provisions of which have already been published, as, for example, that modifying the law of the Council of Trent on secret marriages, the new rules for diocesan relations and for episcopal visits ad limina, and the new organization of the Roman Curia (Constitution "Sapienti Consilio", 29 June, 1908). Prior to that time, the Congregations for Relics and Indulgences and of Discipline had been suppressed, while the Secretariate of Briefs had been united to the Secretariate of State. The characteristic of the new rule is the complete separation of the judicial from the administrative; while the functions of the various bureaux have been more precisely determined, and their work more equalized. The offices of the Curia are divided into Tribunals (3), Congregations (11), and Offices (5). With regard to the first, the Tribunal of the Signature (consisting of cardinals only) and that of the Rota were revived; to the Tribunal of the Penitentiary were left only the cases of the internal forum (conscience). The Congregations remained almost as they were at first, with the exceptions that a special section was added to that of the Holy Office of the Inquisition, for indulgences; the Congregation of Bishops and Regulars received the name of Congregation of the Religious, and has to deal only with the affairs of religious congregations, while the affairs of the secular clergy are to be referred to the Congregation of the Consistory or of that of the Council; from the latter were taken the matrimonial cases, which are now sent to the tribunals or to the newly-created Congregation of the Sacraments. The Congregation of the Consistory has increased greatly in importance, since it has to decide questions of competence between the various other Congregations. The Congregation of Propaganda lost much of its territory in Europe and in America, where religious conditions have become regular. At the same time were published the rules and regulations for employees and those for the various bureaux. Another recent Constitution relates to the suburbicarian sees.
The Catholic hierarchy has greatly increased in numbers during these first years of the pontificate of Pius X, in which twenty-eight new dioceses have been created, mostly in the United States Brazil, and the Philippine Islands; also one abbey nullius, 16 vicariates Apostolic, and 15 prefectures Apostolic.
Leo XIII brought the social question within the range of ecclesiastical activity, Pius X, also, wishes the Church to co-operate, or rather to play a leading part in the solution of the social question; his views on this subject were formulated in a syllabus of nineteen propositions, taken from different Encyclicals and other Acts of Leo XIII, and published in a Motu Proprio (18 Dec., 1903), especially for the guidance of Italy, where the social question was a thorny one at the beginning of his pontificate.
He sought especially to repress certain tendencies leaning towards Socialism and promoting a spirit of insubordination to ecclesiastical authority. As a result of ever increasing divergences, the "Opera die Congressi", the great association of the Catholics of Italy, was dissolved. At once, however, the Encyclical "Il fermo proposito" (11 June, 1905) brought about the formation of a new organization consisting of three great unions, the Popolare, the Economica, and the Elettorale. The firmness of Pius X obtained the elimination of, at least, the most quarrelsome elements, making it possible now for Catholic social action to prosper, although some friction still remains. The desire of Pius X is for the economical work to be avowedly Catholic, as he expressed it in a memorable letter to Count Medolago-Albani. In France, also, the Sillon, after promising well, had taken a turn that was little reassuring to orthodoxy; and dangers in this connection were made manifest in the Encyclical "Notre charge apostolique" (15 Aug., 1910), in which the Sillonists were ordered to place their organizations under the authority of the bishops.
In its relations with Governments, the pontificate of Pius X has had to carry on painful struggles. In France the pope had inherited quarrels and menaces. The "Nobis nominavit" question was settled through the condescension of the pope; but the matter of the appointment of bishops proposed by the Government, the visit of the president to the King of Italy, with the subsequent note of protestation, and the resignation of two French bishops, which was desired by the Holy See, became pretexts for the Government at Paris to break off diplomatic relations with the Court of Rome. Meanwhile the law of Separation had been already prepared, despoiling the Church of France, and also prescribing for the Church a constitution which, if not openly contrary to her nature, was at least full of danger to her. Pius X, paying no attention to the counsels of short-sighted opportunism, firmly refused his consent to the formation of the associations cultuelles. The separation brought some freedom to the French Church, especially in the matter of the selection of its pastors. Pius X, not looking for reprisals, still recognizes the French right of protectorate over Catholics in the East. Some phrases of the Encyclical "Editæ Sæpe", written on the occasion of the centenary of St. Charles, were misinterpreted by Protestants, especially in Germany, and Pius X made a declaration in refutation of them, without belittling the authority of his high office. At present (Dec., 1910) complications are feared in Spain, as, also, separation and persecution in Portugal; Pius X has already taken opportune measures. The new Government of Turkey has sent an ambassador to the Pope. The relations of the Holy See with the republics of Latin America are good. The delegations to Chile and to the Argentine Republic were raised to the rank of internuntiatures, and an Apostolic Delegate was sent to Central America.
Naturally, the solicitude of Pius X extends to his own habitation, and he has done a great deal of work of restoration in the Vatican, for example, in the quarters of the cardinal-secretary of State, the new palace for employees, the new picture-gallery, the Specola, etc. Finally, we must not forget his generous charity in public misfortunes: during the great earthquakes of Calabria, he asked for the assistance of Catholics throughout the world, with the result that they contributed, at the time of the last earthquake, nearly 7,000,000 francs, which served to supply the wants of those in need, and to build churches, schools, etc. His charity was proportionately no less on the occasion of the eruption of Vesuvius, and of other disasters outside of Italy (Portugal and Ireland). In few years Pius X has secured great, practical, and lasting results in the interest of Catholic doctrine and discipline, and that in the face of great difficulties of all kinds. Even non-Catholics recognize his apostolic spirit, his strength of character, the precision of his decisions, and his pursuit of a clear and explicit programme. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12137a.htm
Henry Halley (1895—1965)
Pope Pius X (1903-1914), denounced leaders of the Reformation as “enemies of the Cross of Christ.”
Pope Pius Xl (1922-1939)
Henry Halley (1895—1965)
Pope Pius Xl (1922-1939), in 1928, he re-affirmed the Roman Catholic church to be the Only Church of Christ; and the re-union of Christendom impossible except by submission to Rome.
The Papacy’s Methods: It brought itself to power by shrewd political alliances, and by deception, and by armed force; and by armed force and bloodshed, it has maintained itself in power.
Papal Revenues: Through a large part of its history the Papacy, by the sale of ecclesiastical office, and its shameless traffic in Indulgences — has received vast revenues that enabled it to maintain, for much of the time, the most luxurious Court in Europe.
Personal character of the Popes: Some of the Popes have been good men; some of them have been unspeakably vile; the most of them have been absorbed in the pursuit of secular power.
Papal Claims: Yet, in spite of the character of the general run of Popes, their methods, and the bloody record of the Papacy — these “Holy Fathers” claim that they are the “Vicars of Christ,” “Infallible” and that they “hold the place of Almighty God on this earth,” and that obedience to them is necessary to salvation.
The Papacy and the Bible: Pope Hildebrand ordered Bohemians not to read the Bible. Pope Innocent III forbade the people reading the Bible to their own language. Pope Gregory IX forbade laymen possessing the Bible, and suppressed translations. Translations among the Albigenses and Waldenses were burned, and people burned for haying them. Pope Paul IV prohibited the possession of translations without permission of the Inquisition. The Jesuits induced Pope Clement XI to condemn the reading of the Bible by the laity. Popes Leo XII, Pius VIII, Gregory XVl and Pius IX all condemned Bible Societies. In Catholic countries, the Bible is an unknown book.