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Thirteenth Century

The new pope was Innocent III, who had been Cardinal Lothair Conti, a nephew of Clement III. He was but thirty-six and had written a book On the Contempt of the World. He was vigorous and able, good and clever, a right man at a most critical period for the coming of the XIIIth century was a time when the feudal structure, so indispensable, apparently, to the framework of the Church, was weakening before the formations of nationalism. The temporal power of the papacy was negligible and there was a growing disrespect for its spiritual mission. The writings of Aristotle had been rediscovered and, with all the errors accumulated by centuries of Persian, Armenian, and Arabian translators as yet unpurged, were being avidly studied, though not quite understood, by scholars throughout Europe. St. Thomas Aquinas, the great interpreter of Plato's student, had not yet appeared and error and doubt were in profusion. Men were seeking logic and reason in all things, groping even at the stars to find by astronomy an astrological rule for life. With the learned engaged in such practices it was small wonder that necromancy

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flourished and charlatans abounded. There were the grave errors of fanatics, too. Preaching a religious revolt and wandering from town to town were bands of misguided zealots who, shocked by the state of the world and in particular by the loose living of certain rich prelates, refused to believe that sacramental powers could be invested in unfit hands.

The horizon was not entirely dark. There was now no all-powerful Barbarossa seeking to dominate the papacy and in fact the son of Henry, Frederick, was committed by the widow Constance to the guardianship of the pontiff. Perhaps it was but the obvious anxious gesture of a worried mother to ensure a consecrated crown for her son but it was an act that also made Innocent, as regent, the ruler of Sicily. It was a gift, an opportunity, which was not dissipated. As suzerain of Sicily he was able by treaty and by alliance to ensure the independence of the Papal States and thus to remove the menace of German domination. He soon became the real ruler of Italy and his influence came to be felt at every court in Europe. There was disagreement in Germany between the electoral princes as to who should take the Imperial mantle, Otto of Brunswick or Duke Philip of Swabia. The Pope unhesitatingly declared in favor of Otto and named him Emperor whereupon the princes complained that the pontiff was interfering with their electoral privileges. His answer was that while it was true theirs was the right to elect a king it was his duty, as Pope, to judge upon the fitness of any candidate to the title of Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. "Princely power," he said, "is exercised over earthly things, priestly power over heavenly things. One rules the body, the other governs the soul. Hence, the priesthood is as much superior to royalty as the soul is to the body."

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Eventually Otto received his crown in Rome and soon after, with base ingratitude, violated his oath and attempted to follow the anti-papal policies of the previous Emperors. He was promptly excommunicated by Innocent and deposed by the German Princes. Innocent followed the same lofty program as Gregory VII. He demanded and received universal allegiance, the papal dignity grew and no monarch could escape, if the occasion demanded, from the sting of his ire or the lash of his chastisement. The scandals of princes were no longer protected by the complacency of private chaplains, for few courts were exempt from the cold scrutiny of this strong Pope. The kingdoms of Philip Augustus of France and Alphonse IV of Leon were placed under the dreaded penalty of interdict until their rulers conformed with the marriage laws of the Church. To the adulterous French king he wrote: "The Holy See cannot leave persecuted women without defence; the dignity of a king does not dispense you from your duties as a Christian." He curbed the invalid venturings of the English King John when that notorious ruler schemed against the appointment of Cardinal Langton to the See of Canterbury. His judgment as arbitrator was accepted in the selection of the rulers of Hungary, Poland, and Norway. He united the Kings of Castile, Aragon, and Navarre in a crusade which led to the defeat of the Moors in Spain; but unfortunately another crusade, the Fourth Crusade to the Holy Land, which he sponsored in 1202, did not have the same success. The expedition set out with the same laudable objective which inspired all such campaigns but because of the usual bad leadership plus the connivings of the wily Venetians, who had other purposes than the liberation of the Holy Places, the cavalcade was diverted to Constantinople instead of the Saracen strongholds. The Christianity of the City did not

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save it from the greed and cruelty that was now unleashed. The Byzantine Emperor was murdered, the Patriarch evicted, altars profaned and churches looted! "The Latins," Innocent wrote angrily to one of his Cardinals, "have given an example only of perversity and works of darkness. No wonder the Greeks regard them as dogs. These soldiers of Christ are drenched in blood."

Violence might be deplored but it was the habit of the time. That is the only excuse that can be advanced for the great massacres which in the name of the true religion took place in the south of France where large sections of the population were falling under the influence of Albigensianism, a heretical doctrine which taught amongst other errors that there could be no resurrection of the body and that the sacraments, including that of marriage, were sinful. More Christian methods to combat such evils were utilized by the good friar St. Dominic, founder of the great Order which carries his name. Another similarly minded saint of this period, whose simple but burning piety and great goodness resulted in the founding of an Order, is St. Francis of Assisi. Once again holy men, pledged to the service of God in its most austere form, were on the march, begging from the rich and giving to the poor, nursing the sick and chiding the wicked, fearlessly preaching against the vicious profligacies and gross laxities of those in high places. In 1215, one year before he died, Innocent assembled the Fourth Oecumenical Council of the Lateran. For eighteen months he had prepared the event and an immense gathering of prelates justified his hopes. Seventy-one patriarchs and archbishops, four hundred and twelve bishops, and nine hundred abbots and priors came to Rome and from their discussions seventy canons were promulgated. Here was pronounced that famous law which imposed upon all Catholics the obligation

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of annual confession and communion and here was given the doctrinal definition of transubstantiation.

Innocent's successor, Honorius III, was elected by "compromise." Two cardinals, with the consent of their colleagues, made the decision at Perugia just two days after the death of Innocent and their choice rested upon the cardinal-priest of SS John and Paul, Cencio Savelli. He was an old man, well over eighty, and to be his opponent in the apparently endless struggle that surrounded the temporal claims of the papacy was a prince just emerging from adolescence, Frederick II. With the acquisition of maturity the erstwhile papal ward was developing the traits so tenacious to the Barbarossa blood, the same driving impulses which had governed his father and grandfather. He was a handsome youth, tall, blue-eyed, well-formed and possessed of a rare intelligence. Unfortunately, however, the ceaseless flattering attendant to his station and an abundance of evil influences had perverted his natural faculties and had resulted in a spirit of cynicism and scepticism which were reflected in his every act. He lived more like an Eastern potentate than a Christian king and his court became a scene of Arabic splendor and luxury including the maintenance of a large harem. "One day," says the historian Bonnefon, "he had a man thrust into a barrel which was then hermetically sealed, in order to prove that when the victim should at length be suffocated and the lid removed, no such thing as a soul would wing its way to heaven."

Honorius, continuing then along the same path as Innocent, put the seal of his approval upon St. Dominic's Friars Preacher and a few years later bestowed the same favor upon the Friars Minor of St. Francis. In Palestine the rule of the Carmelite Friars also received papal confirmation and in that same country, with hopes no less

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than those of his predecessor, the Pope yearned to set free the Holy Places. He preached a crusade but his words seemed only to breed a base deception on the part of Frederick for, realizing that with the Pope's support his plans to dominate all Italy would be the easier, the perfidious prince promised solemnly that if he were consecrated Emperor he would form and lead a crusade. The Pope accepted the bargain and in 1220 put the diadem upon the royal head. The following year was supposed to witness the despatch of the promised expedition against the Saracen but neither that year nor any other before his death, in 1227, was Honorius to have his wishes fulfilled.

The next pope was, at his election, almost as old as Honorius had been but he was far more vigorous and displayed rapidity in decision and action. He was Cardinal Ugolino Conti, a kinsman of Innocent III, and a staunch friend to the newly formed Franciscans. With the tiara he became Gregory IX and one of his first acts was to excommunicate Frederick. It could not have been otherwise for typical of the Emperor's temper was his statement: "That the world has been deceived by three impostors: Jesus Christ, Moses and Mahomet; that two of these died in honor; the third, Jesus Christ, was hanged on a tree; that those are fools who aver that God, the omnipotent Creator of the world, was born of a virgin; and that man ought to believe nothing but what he can understand and prove by reason!"

Yet, blasphemer though he was, the sceptical prince gained success where a nobler knighthood failed. He did not lead a crusade but nevertheless he made peace with the Saracens and added King of Jerusalem to his title. Not by force of arms but because of his adept diplomacy a treaty with the Sultan of Egypt was made and the Holy Places were once again opened to the devout. Mahommedans

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living in the vicinity were to remain subjects of their Sultan and allowed free practice of their own religion. After this feat and laden with easy promises Frederick, seeking to dominate by wile, negotiated an uneasy peace with Pope Gregory. It did not endure. It could not for, like the policy of his forbears, his unwavering design was to suppress the power of the papacy. His easy promises were soon broken and he embarked upon a savage and clever campaign to divorce the allegiance of Christian princes from the pope. While his couriers intrigued in near and distant courts other agents proclaimed that the Church should be reformed and returned to primitive austerity. In Rome, always so fertile in plots, he fomented trouble amongst the factions and throughout Italy any noble intrepid enough to support the pontiff became a target for his anger. He declared no pope had the power to excommunicate him and in 1240 when the alarmed Gregory sought to convene a General Council of the Church the Imperial troops intercepted over a hundred English and French prelates and held them prisoner. This was an outrage that the King of France, regardless of a treaty with Frederick, could not ignore and because of his strong representations the churchmen were released.

Gregory died soon after this incident. Like many of his predecessors he had not neglected, despite struggles with rulers, the ecclesiastical province of his stewardship. He sought to heighten the standard of learning amongst the clergy and in his time authoritative decisions were made on questions of discipline. The years between 1225 and 1240 saw the establishment of the Inquisition and the association with that institution of the Dominicans.

A sinister reputation has grown to surround their efforts and particularly in Spain (some two or three centuries later) were there to be dark tales of cruelty and torture;

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but in Spain the civil power intruded strongly upon Church administration. As to this first institution by Gregory IX, it is to be noted that the Emperor Frederick II had already made heresy punishable by burning. Why did so irreligious a man as Frederick II decree that heretics should die by fire? Not in the interests of religion certainly. The answer seems to lie in the special nature of the heretics against which Emperor and Pope alike were striving. We have already seen some of the doctrines of the Albigensians (or Catharists). Their teachings, especially on the sinfulness of procreation, were liable to destroy the social order and it was in the defense of the social order that Frederick moved against them. It is possible, though not certain, that the Pope established the Inquisition as a check to Frederick and an assertion of the Church's right to decide who was or was not a heretic. What is quite certain is that both rulers and populace acted against the Catharists before the Church herself. As to the Church courts thus set up, there were, of course, abuses, but has there ever been any organization devised by man which has not seen error? The Inquisition was actually a system of ecclesiastical courts inaugurated to detect heresy. Once detected, and persisting in his error, a heretic was delivered to the civil courts for punishment. Heresy was regarded in the same manner as high treason might be regarded in modern times and in those days torture and death were sentences common to many crimes. Leniency in criminal codes is of very modern origin. The days of Botany Bay are not far distant. The gallows and the gibbet had heavy trade and for slight cause in the England of a century and a half ago.

The Cardinals had difficulties in the selection of a new pope. They were twelve in number. Two were prisoners of Frederick and the other ten made their decisions under

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the "protection" of the Orsini family. Two months elapsed before a choice was announced. It was the Cardinal Godfrey Castiglione, an aged Cistercian monk, and he chose to be called Celestine IV; but before he could be enthroned he died. Two years passed before his successor was named for there was deadlock and coercion, confusion and intrigue. Most of the Cardinals, in order to preserve some degree of independence, had retreated to Anagni. There they refused to make a decision until Frederick released those Cardinals whom he held captive and ordered his troops from the Roman vicinity. Finally, because of the efforts of King Louis of France, Frederick agreed to their terms and soon after, on June 25, 1243, Cardinal Sinibaldo Freschi was elected and named Innocent IV. He was a Genoese nobleman and had been a friend of the Emperor which was perhaps a factor to influence the Cardinals, so weary of the seemingly perpetual struggle, in making their choice. If so, they were doomed to disappointment. "My friendship with a cardinal is possible," the Emperor is reputed to have said, "with a pope, never." It is understandable why the two should have been friends. The new pope was no gentle cleric with a yielding nature. He was as ruthless, when occasion demanded, as his new adversary and as harsh in his terms. Negotiations were begun between the two soon after the papal election. Frederick was quick to make his usual promises, with a great display of obeisance and deference but at the same time moving his troops in such a manner as to make the Pope his prisoner. Innocent was too alert for the manoeuvres to succeed. Dressed as a knight he escaped from Rome to Genoa where after a favorable reception from the people of that port he embarked for France.

These were strange times, patterned violently with tragedy and crime but with saintliness too, for it was the

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age that produced St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Dominic, St. Francis and the rest of a great company, this age that saw the most depraved of criminals, often as not wearing a mitre or crown, exercising their villainies in all directions. Anarchy was collapsing the Empire and was threatening the Church. Heresies in every land were rampant and the Pope was forced from his own city. Genghis Khan was on the march and his Mongols having conquered most of Asia, had driven deep into Europe. Rich abbots defied richer bishops while barefooted monks preached and prayed and fasted and gave hospitality to all who came to their doors. It was a miserable era in many ways yet not without glory. High chivalry, founded on Christian ideals, was practiced even though the most abominable cruelties were countenanced. These were the days indeed when the Vicar of Christ and the inheritors of Charlemagne's crown sorely needed each other's support but they were antagonists and fought and conspired while the entire fabric of Europe was rent with strife.

At Lyons Innocent convened a General Council where not only was excommunication levelled against the Emperor but with solemn ceremonial a sentence of deposition was pronounced. At this gathering a new Crusade, the Sixth, was also called, for Frederick's insecure treaty with the Sultan of Egypt had been broken and Jerusalem was once again held by the Mahommedans. The only monarch to heed the call was the good French king, Louis IX. He departed for the Holy Land during the summer of 1248 but the campaign, lasting six years, was doomed to failure and Louis suffered the shame not only of defeat but of capture. Eventually, he was released at the cost of a huge ransom. Meanwhile, without his active assistance, Innocent, although secure at Lyons, was forced to employ every resource in order to obtain finances for his fight against

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the Emperor. Special tithes were levied and loud were the protests against them. In England the Bishop of Lincoln wrote a burning letter on the subject; for English bishops were being forced to pay as much as £40,000 upon succeeding to their Sees.

As has been seen death to either a Pope or an Emperor sometimes brought a shifting of sorts in the long drama of their relationship, if not a complete end to the bitter struggle. The time came for Frederick to die and he succumbed to fever at Fiorento just before the Christmas of 1250. He who had been so avowedly sceptical turned to his religion eagerly when the end came, making his final confession and receiving absolution through the ministrations of the Archbishop of Palermo. He begged that his son Conrad IV should succeed him with papal approval; but the Pope who had pronounced a sentence of deposition against him refused now to recognize his son as rightful heir to the diadem and gave his recognition and support to the claims of Count William of Holland. At the same time Innocent proposed that Charles of Anjou, brother of his benefactor, King Louis, should occupy the kingdom of Sicily. If this plan succeeded the Papal States would no longer be faced with the danger of a united power surrounding them.

But Charles of Anjou refused as did the brother of Henry III of England, and in a somewhat desperate move Innocent then offered the bait to Conrad's brother, Manfred, an illegitimate son of Frederick who was of a nature not content to accept the limitations of his birth. The high drama took another turn with the death of Conrad who left as heir his infant son, Conradin, and who on his deathbed made a bold diplomatic gesture in naming Innocent, rejecter of his claims, as guardian of his son. Out of the tangle wrought by this latest circumstance loomed one

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clear fact. Innocent, without any princes’ support, was suddenly, as Regent, the temporal lord of Sicily as well as the Papal States. It was a situation not accepted gracefully by his erstwhile candidate, Manfred. A quarrel was born and Manfred turned to those Saracens who had been his father's friends. His appeals were not rejected and an able army was soon pledged to his cause. It was an army which roundly defeated the papal troops and before the resourceful Innocent, who would never accept defeat, could turn the tide of fortune, death suddenly came to him at Naples on the 7th December, 1254. Charges of nepotism, cruelty, treachery, and unscrupulousness have been levelled against his memory. Nevertheless, his record as a pope must be recognized as that of an able and determined administrator. Occupied though he was with his wars against temporal encroachments his vigor was also reflected in missionary fields. In his time, as one of his biographers writes: "The Holy See had survived one of the most terrible crises it had ever faced, thanks to the sangfroid, the decision and incomparable tenacity of this great pope." In an age when papal authority was being questioned in every quarter he brought it strength by his clear definition of canon law, his courageous decisions, and his indomitable will to enforce those decisions.

The lot of the papacy was not so fortunate under the uncertain guidance of his successor who also was his kinsman, Cardinal Rinaldo Conti, Alexander IV. The election was held at Naples and controlled by the Conti family yet the new pope was no evil conspirator nor is there evidence to believe he had other than distaste for his new role. He had been a good cleric, a friend of the Franciscans, and able enough in the rule of a diocese. But it was not enough, for with all Christendom suddenly made his responsibility, his energies, his initiative seemed to

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disappear. In a vain effort to follow the policies of Innocent he hawked the Sicilian crown to the English Edmund of Lancaster. The price was to be the assumption of the debts of the Papal States and an army was to be provided to carry on the fight against Manfred, who was gaining victory after victory. The bargain was made but the months, even years, passed and no help came from England for in truth that island kingdom was too occupied with internal affairs to permit of adventurings in distant lands. And England's king had been the only ruler even to listen sympathetically to the Pope's plight. All others were too busy with their own miserable quarrels. In vain Pope Alexander pleaded and begged and threatened while Manfred possessed all Italy, crowning himself, in 1258, King of Sicily and Palermo and laughing, as had his father, at the anathema that came from the despairing Pope. Even the satisfaction of voicing the sentence from Rome was denied the unhappy Alexander for there, without a strong hand to control them, the factions were at war again and the pontiff had been forced to flee to Viterbo where he died on May 25, 1261.

There were only eight cardinals to decide as to who should be the next pope yet it took them three months before a decision was made and it is probable the time would have been even longer had not the Patriarch of Jerusalem come to Viterbo, the scene of the conclave. His manifest ability was a solution to the deadlock and so Jacques Pantaleon, son of a French cobbler, became Pope Urban IV. To erase that condition which had, in a manner, been responsible for his own election he promptly named fourteen new cardinals. Most of them were French and thus sown were those seeds of discord which were to cause so much trouble in the future. Urban was never to occupy Rome but, resembling Innocent IV in his determination,

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he established a court at Orvieto and from there behind the remnants of a defeated army he directed steady opposition to Manfred. With England still unable to help, the Sicilian crown was once again offered to Charles of Anjou. Manfred countered by having himself elected Patrician of Rome but other factions in that unruly city had paid the same honor, so dubious now, to the French prince. The resultant confusion and violence made even the papal retreat at Orvieto insecure and Urban went to Perugia. Again it must be emphasized that even in the midst of personal dangers and struggles a pope did not neglect that large province which was his ecclesiastical interest. His envoys were not only busy at the courts of Christendom but also in the abbeys and in the palaces of distant prelates. A truce, after much negotiation, was made with Michael Palaeologus, the Byzantine Emperor who had driven the Latin dynasty from Constantinople and in the year the Pope died, 1264, he instituted, for the whole Church, the feast of Corpus Christi.

Four months passed before the cardinals could agree and again it was a Frenchman who won their choice. He was Guy de Gros, Clement IV, a cardinal of noble birth who at the time of his election could count but ten years as a cleric. He had been a married layman, a father of two daughters, and had sought the ecclesiastical life only after the death of his wife. Despite the fact of parenthood and in an age when nepotism was the rule rather than the exception Clement never, either before or after his acceptance of the tiara, allowed his family to sway favor or judgment in the execution of his office. He was not unequipped for the great position and, brief though his career as a churchman had been, it shone with achievement. He had been the Archbishop of the great See of Narbonne and had acted as the papal legate to England.

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[paragraph continues] When a layman he had been an adviser to the French King but neither the wisdom accumulated by his long experience as an accomplished administrator nor the stern piety that was his sincere vocation was able to bring success or harmony to his pontificate. He dreamed of inaugurating a Crusade and negotiated with the kings of England and France for this purpose but his end was to come before they were brought to action. No aid could be expected from Germany for that region was chaotic with a general and seemingly endless anarchy. War still despoiled Italy with Charles of Anjou gradually emerging as the victor and revealing himself to be a tyrant of no mean scope with each new success. At the battle of Benevento, February, 1266, he defeated and killed his rival Manfred and furthered his triumphs by crushing a revolt which was led by the young Conradin. The Pope had recognized Charles as King of Sicily and as Senator of Rome but his support seems to have borne little influence when against his wishes and spirited objections Conradin, not yet seventeen years old, who had been taken prisoner, was put to death. The Pope lamented the evil deed but it was done; and so perished the grandson of Frederick II, the last of the Hohenstaufen, the bewildered scion of a haughty dynasty which had thought an Empire its property for evermore, the final heir of that proud House which had promised to subjugate the papacy but which was to achieve naught save quick extinction, stained by murder.

Clement never occupied Rome and for the most part his three years as pope were spent at Perugia although at the time of his death, on the 29th November, 1268, he was in residence at Viterbo. There were only fifteen cardinals to select his successor but not for three years was one chosen. This interregnum, one of the longest vacancies

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recorded in the story of the Roman See, was due to the intense rivalry between the French and Italian cardinals. It was finally agreed that the selection should be made by "compromise" and so, as in the case of Honorius III, a small number of cardinals was entrusted with the decisive powers. Their favor, guided, it is said, by the influence of the great Franciscan cardinal, St. Bonaventure, fell to the archdeacon of Liege, Theobald Visconti who was at this time in Palestine, serving as Papal legate with the Crusaders. On receiving the news Visconti hurriedly received the orders of priesthood which he had not previously held and journeyed on to Viterbo and then to Rome. There he was consecrated on the 27th March, 1272, and there he was proclaimed Pope Gregory X. The task he set himself was herculean for he proposed to resuscitate the Empire, to bring the Byzantines back to the papal fold, to free Palestine, and to pacify Rome. Four days after his installation he gave notice that in two years' time a general council of the Church would be convened at Lyons. Thus prelates and canonists both near and far had ample time for preparation and travel.

With princes Gregory seemed to have the fortunate touch. Even the difficult Charles of Anjou appeared to have no wish other than to please him and sought the ceremonial privilege of holding the Pope's stirrup when he mounted and the honor of serving his masses. His arbitration was welcomed in the selection of the candidates for the Imperial honor and his judgment gave the diadem to Rudolf, Count of Hapsburg. Thus the Great Interregnum was ended and the Holy Roman Empire once again had a recognized leader, albeit his power was far less than those former wearers of the purple who had been so formidable in both their animosities and friendships to the papacy. With the Greek emperor Michael VIII Palaeologus,

Boniface VIII. Reigned from 1294 to 1303.

Pope Boniface VIII.
Click to enlarge

Pope Boniface VIII.

See pages 177 to 181. Philip of France called him, "Your Supreme Foolishness."

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[paragraph continues] Gregory's negotiations were blessed with equal good fortune. The Byzantines sorely needed protection from the Turks and to get it were apparently willing to shed their prejudices against the Holy See. At least this was the will of their Emperor who, after silencing the patriarch Joseph I by imprisoning him in a secluded monastery, dispatched more agreeable churchmen to represent him at Lyons. Over fifteen hundred prelates came to form the Council and before them the Byzantine envoys professed submission and with elaborate ceremony the schism of the East was pronounced to be at an end. But ceremony born of political expediency is a poor foundation for matters involving faith and within eight years the frail union was ended and the schism was in being once again.

St. Bonaventure played a leading part at the gathering where amongst the measures adopted—not without protest from some prelates—it was resolved that a tax consisting of a tenth of all ecclesiastical revenues for the next ten years should be imposed to finance the Holy War. In order to prevent long and dangerous vacancies of the Holy See rules were formulated, such as the drastic curtailment of food after three days, with a view to hastening the decision of cardinals in conclave. Other decrees were aimed to control new religious orders and it was at this Council that Avignon was given to the papacy in return for the forfeit of certain rights in Provence. The result of Gregory's wide interests and zeal was inevitable. His strength became overtaxed and instead of resting after the Council he journeyed to Lausanne where he made treaty with the new Emperor, Rudolf. From there he went to Milan and then to Drezzo when suddenly an illness overwhelmed him and so weakened was his condition because of overwork that he succumbed immediately. Thus passed an able pope. Three great contemporary champions of the church, St.

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[paragraph continues] Louis, St. Thomas, and St. Bonaventure, had preceded him to the grave and there seemed nobody of similar stature on the horizon. Who then was to perpetuate the ideals and precepts of medieval Christianity, that thing which had eclipsed the greatness of the Roman Empire? And which now, by the relentless process called progress, was undeniably, despite the vastness of its structure and the glory of its ideals, faced with decline.

The legislation governing conclaves which Gregory had sponsored resulted in a new pope very quickly. Innocent V, formerly known as Peter of Tarentaise, was a Frenchman and a Dominican scholar of great repute who, in addition to his learning, had experience as an administrator for he had been both Archbishop of Lyons and Cardinal-Bishop of Ostia. On the assumption of his office his energies were immediately occupied by efforts at peacemaking, efforts that were directed to the realms of both religion and politics. He saw that the unity of the Greeks and the Latins as proclaimed at Lyons was on a precarious basis and he set out to try and strengthen the frail union. Charles of Anjou did not welcome the pretensions of the new Emperor, Rudolf of Hapsburg, and a quarrel seemed likely in that direction which Innocent resolved to prevent. He was only fifty years old but suddenly death, caused by a rapid fever, halted his activities after a pontificate of only five months. Brief though his term had been that of his successor, the Italian Cardinal Ottobuono Fieschi, Pope Adrian V, was even briefer for this pope only survived his election by five weeks. He resided and died at Viterbo and the most important feature of his reign was the fact that, attributing his own ill health to hardships suffered whilst in conclave, he suspended those regulations which had been made at Lyons and which had been formulated to prevent time-wasting deadlock.

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Deadlock then was at the next conclave but after a month it was broken because of the ugly mood of the townspeople of Viterbo who, rioting outside the quarters of the congregated cardinals, made it emphatically known that they were resolved there should be no long vacancy again. Neither a Frenchman nor an Italian was chosen this time although there was little doubt that the new pope, John XXI was supported by the Italian faction. He was a native of Portugal and had been both friend and physician to Gregory X whom he had accompanied to the Council of Lyons. He seems to have been an able man of many parts for in addition to his skill in the science of medicine he was a philosophical author of repute and as a churchman he had been Archbishop of Braga and later cardinal-priest of Frascati. He was in his middle fifties when elected and possessing splendid health and vigor he energetically embarked upon a programme which was modeled upon the wide policies of his patron, Gregory X. His representatives left for Constantinople in an effort to stimulate and strengthen the supposed union of the Eastern and Latin chuches, while others of his legates worked strenuously to keep a state of peace between the Emperor Rudolf and the still truculent Charles of Anjou. In England Edward I was reminded that certain taxes promised to the papacy had been in arrears for over fifty years and at Viterbo envoys from the Khan of Tartary received sympathetic attention. Because of this visit, Franciscan missionaries were soon after sent to China and Persia. The country of the pope's birth, Portugal, also felt his influence with the improvement of certain ecclesiastical conditions. Because of his magnificent health and because of his great energy it was thought on all sides that the reign of Pope John would be both long and fruitful but only eight months after his installation he died of injuries received

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when scaffolding collapsed in the library of the papal palace which he was rebuilding at Viterbo.

For six months the Cardinals deliberated before the name of the Cardinal Gaetano Orsini, a member of the powerful Roman family, was given. This was a distinct rebuff to Charles of Anjou who was seeking the tiara for a candidate of his liking and patronage. The new pope was called Nicholas III and although his career, under eight pontiffs, as a high ranking cleric had been without reproach it was now sullied by frank and unrestrained nepotism as to the Orsini brood went a steady flow of rich benefices, high offices, and special privileges. Of the six cardinals he created three were of his family and the weak explanation was that he desired to clean Rome of all alien influences. Highly apprehensive of the French he tried strenuously to combat the intrigues of Charles of Anjou and from that ruler was taken the dignity of the Roman Senatorship whilst to Charles’ enemy, the Emperor Rudolf, who extravagantly made fervent confirmation of all former Imperial promises and grants to the Holy See, went special expressions and tokens of approval.

The affection Nicholas held for Rome had one advantage: for while workmen swarmed busily, making repairs and additions to the Lateran and Vatican palaces, the papal purse was opened still further to finance a programme which brought wide beauty and ornament to the entire city. Outside this sphere however his plans had little success and when he died of apoplexy at Viterbo during the summer of 1280 the alert Charles of Anjou was on hand, determined this time that his will should sway the opinions of the conclave. His machinations succeeded but not with ease for again six months of dispute and deadlock passed before a pope was made. He was Simon de Brion and he took the name of Martin IV (actually he

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was but the second Martin but chose to be called the fourth to avoid confusion with the Popes Marinus). He was a Frenchman and a cardinal-priest and was without any doubt under the complete domination of the now triumphant Charles to whom victory brought neither temperance in judgment nor moderation in action. Once again this prince gave to himself the titular glory of being called Senator of Rome although the city was too dangerous a residence either for himself or for his pope who was installed at Orvieto where he awaited such directions as he received with quick obedience and smooth docility. As the previous pontiff had given to his family, so now the favours were poured, without stint or discretion, to the French. And punishments, under the same solemn authority, were delivered against all who dared to oppose the whims of King Charles. Excommunication was the quick lot of the Eastern Emperor for the alleged violation of those convenient promises made at the Council of Lyons; and similar sentences came flood-like but unheeded when in Sicily there was a revolt against the tyranny of the French and when, after a bloody massacre of the intruders by the dangerous tempered Sicilians, they proclaimed the rightful monarch to be, not Charles, but Peter of Aragon, son-in-law of Manfred. Before he could fully cope with these circumstances Charles died on January 7, 1285 and the pope followed him a few months later. During their last days and whilst calamity was in Sicily all pretence of the Eastern Church's being in communion with the Latin was completely dissipated by the new Emperor of the East, Andronicus II, who upon succeeding to his throne broke all former pacts with Rome and restored those Byzantine prelates, including the Patriarch of Constantinople, who had been ousted by Michael.

Pope Martin had died on the 25th of March 1285 and

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within a week the cardinals, gathered in hasty conclave at Perugia, selected a Roman, Giacomo Savelli, Cardinal deacon and papal prefect of Tuscany, to be his successor. No great deeds could have been expected of him by his electors for he was five years beyond the normal span and so infirm that he was forced to celebrate mass sitting down. Honorius IV was the style he chose and leaving Perugia after his election he was able to take up residence in Rome. His reign lasted two years and during that time he proved to be a notable patron of the Mendicant Orders and the universities, particularly that of Paris which was his Alma Mater and where he caused to be established the teaching of Oriental languages so as to make easier the relations of the Church with the Eastern peoples.

The next pope was an Italian also but not until six wasteful months of dispute after the death of Honorius was his name announced. He was Nicholas IV and while of humble origin was General of the Franciscans and had been known as the Cardinal Jerome Masci of Ascoli. In the sphere of missionary and educational activities his endeavours met with success. The universities of Montpelier, Lisbon, and Gratz in Styria were founded in his reign and in Pekin Franciscan fathers threw open the doors of their chapel and displayed the solemn pageantry of the Mass and its mysteries to the wondering natives. In other fields however Pope Nicholas had not the same happy success. He was closely, too closely, associated with the Colonna family and faction and perhaps it was they, possessed and driven by the familiar Roman appetite, who influenced his actions in the fields of diplomacy. Two of them he had created cardinals, another was made Count of the Romagna, and a fourth became Roman Senator. With the approval of these friends the papal endorsement was given to Charles, the son of the late Charles of Anjou,

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as Sicilian monarch but in reality it was James of Aragon who was to hold that unstable throne. The Pope opposed the nominee of the Emperor Rudolph for the crown of Hungary and put forward his own candidate but the fierce-willed Hungarians would have none of either and selected their own ruler, Prince Andrew, who was so invested and from then on clung staunchly to his throne.

In vain Nicholas threatened punishment. The papal displeasure seemed to mean little to the temporal ruler now, and if further proof was needed of waning authority and influence there came the news of the fall of Acre, a final and complete Saracen victory in the Holy Land. Despite the desperate efforts of the pontiff no new crusade was undertaken. He tried to outfit a fleet and muster an army but except for some interest in England the princes of Christendom remained lethargic to his entreaties and Palestine was forced to remain Mohammedan property until six centuries later. The year following this calamitous event witnessed the death of Nicholas on April 4th, 1292, but not until two years and three months had passed was there another pope. The most vigorous action was needed to unify Christendom but the response of the cardinals was an unsavoury and disgraceful exhibition of procrastination and intrigue. The scene of the Conclave shifted from Rome to Perugia and as the first year of vacancy passed, then the second, it appeared that the quarrelsome and often base schemes of the jealous and obstinate prelates would never be guided by high purpose or be cemented with unanimity.

One of the older cardinals, an Orsini, finally proposed the measure which was adopted to end the disagreeable situation. It was his idea that the electoral gaze should be directed beyond the College of Cardinals and someone be found who was free from the prejudices of factions or the

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favour of princes. The suggestion was received by his colleagues with approval and when the name of Peter of Morone was advanced the applause continued for Peter of Morone was an eighty-year-old peasant-born hermit renowned for virtue and piety. He had started his monastic life as a Benedictine but in time had sought an even more austere existence by forming a community known as the Benedictine Celestines on Monte Morone. To this place three cardinals deputized by their comrades journeyed and made known their decision. The consternation which replaced the usual placidity of the monastery can well be imagined. Peter was terrified and retreating to his cell tearfully set forth that his age, his infirmities, his ignorance of the world, could not allow of acceptance. But the cardinals were firm and their suave arguments made so solemn and awesome by the authority of the Conclave overwhelmed the protestations of the trembling monk and eventually convinced him that a refusal of their entreaties would be a rejection of Divine Will. Thus convinced that the new role was a duty of his vocation he ventured forth from the walls which had been the boundaries of his world for so long and was led, the centre of a noisy and triumphant assemblage, to Aguila. Here he was crowned and given the name of Celestine V.

Once again there was a pope and he was truly good and pious and humble but unfortunately these simple virtues do not in themselves constitute that talent which is demanded in a leader. Celestine was not only innocent of wickedness but he was also ignorant of its forms and devices. Truly Christian, he was willing to accept any man for the values he professed and for what he seemed to be. When Charles II of Naples, who was as astute and ambitious as his late parent, held the papal stirrup and was sweetly submissive with the downcast eyes of a true

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penitent the Pope was enchanted. Thinking he had found a true friend, wise in the art of government and high of principle, he accepted with sighs of gratitude and relief the advice of the wily monarch. Royal wishes soon became papal proclamations and under such auspices twelve new cardinals were made (with the French outnumbering the Italians). Favours and benefices were lavished upon those who, held the King's good will and who in the presence of the pontiff were suitably correct in the outward forms of devotion. Under such conditions the papal court became a place of mockery and tragic mummery and when realization came to the startled pontiff he retreated to a cell, hastily improvised in the papal palace, where he sought a solution to his troubles by fasting, prayer, and mortification. Then, after consulting canonists, he announced he would abdicate "because of my lowliness, my desire for a more perfect life, my great age and infirmities, my inexperience and ignorance of the world's affairs." (He was one of the six pontiffs who have ended their reigns by resignation. The others were Marcellinus, Liberius, Benedict IX, Gregory VI, and Gregory XII.)

Next: Fourteenth Century