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Ecclesiastical Empire

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    CHAPTER XV - THE HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE

    WHEN thus it was with the branches, what else could be the tree at its root? Rome it was which, more than anything else, was the cause of the terrible condition of things amongst the nations. What, then, must have been Rome herself!ECE 272.1

    2. Leo III was pope at the crowning of Charlemagne and, in that, the re-establishment of the Western Empire. Thus “at the beginning of the ninth century, the holy see found itself freed from the yoke of the Greek emperors, the exarchs of Ravenna, and the Lombard kings. The popes, by crowning Charlemagne emperor of the West, had procured for themselves powerful and interested protectors in his successors, who, in order to maintain their tyranny over the people, compelled all the bishops to submit, without any examination of them, to the decisions of the court of Rome. But a strange change was soon seen at work in religion: holy traditions were despised, the morality of Christ was outraged; the orthodoxy of the Church no longer consisted in anything but the sovereignty of the pope, the adoration of images, and the invocation of saints; in sacred singing, the solemnity of masses, and the pomps of ceremonies; in the consecration of temples, splendid churches, monastic vows and pilgrimages.ECE 272.2

    3. “Rome imposed its fanaticism and its superstitions on all the other churches; morality, faith, and true piety were replaced by cupidity, ambition, and luxury; the ignorance of the clergy was so profound that a knowledge of the singing of the Lord’s prayer, the creed, and the service of the mass was all that was demanded from princes and ecclesiastical dignitaries. The protection which Charlemagne had granted to letters was powerless to change the shameful habits of the priests, and to draw them from the incredible degradation into which they had been plunged.”—De Cormenin. 1[Page 272] “History of the Popes,” Stephen the Fifth. All the quotations in this chapter, not otherwise specially credited, are from De Cormenin. This work is made the standard because (1) it is written by a Catholic, and (2) it is the latest complete history of the popes. It was translated into English in 1846. Louis Marie de in Haye. viscount de Cormenin, was a French jurist, political writer, a leading statesman, an advocate of religious liberty, member of the Institute de France, and commander of Legion of Honor. He died May 6, 1868.ECE 272.3

    4. The first pope after the crowning of Charlemagne was—STEPHEN V, JUNE 21, 816, TO JAN. 24, 817. Charlemagne’s son Louis was now emperor. To make certain his standing with the new emperor of the West, and to secure the support of Louis against any assertion of power in the West by the emperor of the East, the first thing that the new pope did was to send legates into France, to represent to Louis the papal situation. It seems, however, that his need was so urgent that Stephen, without waiting for the return of his legates, went himself to France, to meet the emperor. As soon as Louis learned that the pope was coming, he sent messengers to the king of Italy, directing him to accompany Stephen over the Alps; and also sent ambassadors and guards to escort the pope to the city of Rheims, where the meeting was to be.ECE 273.1

    5. As Stephen approached Rheims, “the emperor ordered the great dignitaries of his kingdom—the archchaplain Hildebald; Theodulf, bishop of Orleans; John, metropolitan of Arles, and several other prelates to go to meet the pope with great ceremony. He himself advanced with his court as far as the monastery of St. Remi, and as soon as he perceived the pontiff, he dismounted from his horse, and prostrated himself before him, exclaiming: ‘Blessed is he who cometh in the name of the Lord.’ Stephen took him by the hand, replying, ‘Blessed be the Lord, who has caused us to see a second David.’ They then embraced, and went to the metropolitan church, where they sung a Te Deum. Both prayed for a long time in silence; finally, the pope rose, and in a loud voice thundered forth canticles of gladness in honor of the king of France. The next day he sent to the queen and the great officers of the court the presents which he had brought from Rome; and the following Sunday, before celebrating divine service, he consecrated the emperor anew, placed on his head a crown of gold enriched with precious stones, and presented to him another destined for Irmengarde, whom he saluted with the name of empress. During his sojourn at Rheims, Stephen passed all his days in conversing with Louis the Easy, on the affairs of the Church, and obtained from him all he desired: he even induced him to place at liberty the murderers who had attempted the life of Leo III.” Before the end of the year Stephen “returned to Italy, laden with honors and presents.” He died Jan. 22, 817, and was succeeded by—PASCAL, JAN. 25, 817, TO FEB. 10, 824.ECE 273.2

    6. Pascal did not wait for the arrival of the envoys of the emperor to witness his consecration. This brought a rebuke from the emperor. The pope laid the fault to the urging of the people. “Louis then notified the citizens of Rome, that they should be careful for the future how they wounded his imperial majesty; and that they must preserve more religiously the customs of their ancestors. But this easy prince soon repented that he had written so severely; and in order to atone for his fault, he renewed the treaty of alliance which confirmed to the holy see the donations of Pepin and Charlemagne, his grandfather and father; he even augmented the domains of the Church, and recognized the absolute sovereignty of the pontiff over several patrimonies of Campania, Calabria, and the countries of Naples and Salerno, as well as the jurisdiction of the popes over the city and duchy of Rome, the islands of Corsica, Sardinia, and Sicily.... The court of Rome thus became a formidable power; nor were the popes possessed only of immense revenues, but the sovereigns of the West placed armies under their command, ruined empires, exterminated people in the name of St. Peter, and sent the spoils of the vanquished to increase the wealth of the Roman clergy, and to support the monks in idleness and debauchery. The pontiffs were no longer content to treat on equal terms with princes; they refused to receive their envoys, and to open their messages.”ECE 274.1

    7. In the year 823, Lothaire, the eldest son of the emperor Louis, “having come to Rome to be consecrated by the pontiff, was scandalized by all the disorders which existed in the holy city, and particularly in the palace of the pope, which resembled a lupanar in those evil cities destroyed in former times by fire from heaven. He addressed severe remonstrances to Pascal, and threatened him in the name of the emperor, his father, to hand over an examination of his actions to a council. The pontiff promised to amend his morals; but as soon as the young prince quitted Italy, he arrested Theodore, the primiciary of the Roman Church, and Leo, the nomenclator, two venerable priests whom he accused of having injured him to the young prince. He caused them to be conducted to the palace of the Lateran, and their eyes to be put out, and their tongues dragged out, in his own presence; he then handed them over to the executioner to be beheaded.”ECE 274.2

    8. When word of this reached the emperor, he sent to Rome two envoys to make inquiry concerning it. This inquiry, however, Pascal would forestall by sending two legates to the court of the emperor in France, “to beseech the monarch, not to credit the calumnies which represented him as the author of a crime in which he had no participation.” Nevertheless the emperor sent his two commissioners to Rome, with full powers to investigate the matter. As soon as they arrived in Rome, the pope, with a company of his clergy, called on them and claimed the right “to justify himself by oath” in their presence, and in the presence of a council. Accordingly, “the next day he assembled in the palace of the Lateran thirty-four bishops, sold to the holy see, as well as a large number of priests, deacons, and monks; and before this assembly swore that he was innocent of the deaths of the primiciary and the nomenclator.ECE 275.1

    9. “The envoys of France then demanded that the murderers should be delivered up to them; the pontiff refused to do so, under the pretext that the guilty were of the family of St. Peter, and that it was his duty to protect them against all the sovereigns of the world. Besides, added he, ‘Leo and Theodore were justly condemned for the crime of lesemajeste. The holy father then sent a new embassy composed of John, a bishop; Sergius, the librarian; and Leo, the leader of the militia, to convince the monarch of the sincerity of his protests. The emperor Louis did not judge it opportune for the dignity of the Church, to push his investigations and researches any further, fearing to find himself forced, in order to punish a crime, to deliver up to the executioner the head of an assassin pontiff.”ECE 275.2

    10. At the death of Pascal, May 11, 824, there were two rival factions at Rome, each of which set up a pope. The nobles, the magistrates, and the clergy chose a priest named Zinzinus: the populace were more powerful than the other party, and compelled Zinzinus to yield the place to their candidate, and so— EUGENIUS II—FEB. 14, 824, TO AUG. 27, 827—became pope. He immediately sent legates to the emperor in France, asking him to punish the opposing party for sedition. The emperor sent his son Lothaire to deal with the matter. “The prince, on his arrival in the holy city, having caused it to be announced that he would hear all the complaints of citizens, entire families cast themselves at his feet, demanding justice against the holy see; and Lothaire was enabled to judge for himself how many unjust condemnations the unworthy predecessor of Eugenius had made for the sole purpose of seizing upon the riches of the people. He ordered the holy father to restore to families the lands and territories which had been unjustly confiscated; and, in order to prevent new abuses, he published the following decree before the people, assembled in the cathedral of St. Peter:—ECE 275.3

    “It is prohibited, under penalty of death, to injure those who are placed under the special protection of the emperor.ECE 276.1

    “Pontiffs, dukes, and judges shall render to the people an equitable justice. No man, free or slave, shall impede the exercise of the right of election of the chiefs of the Church, which appertains to the Romans, by the old concessions made to them by our fathers.ECE 276.2

    “We will, that commissioners be appointed by the pope to advise us each year, in what manner justice has been rendered to the citizens, and how the present constitution should have been observed. We will also, that it should be asked of the Romans under what law they wish to live, in order that they may be judged according to the law which they shall have adopted, which shall be granted to them by our imperial authority.ECE 276.3

    “Finally, we order all the dignitaries of the State to come into our presence, and to take to us the oath of fidelity in these terms: ‘I swear to be faithful to the emperors Louis and Lothaire, notwithstanding the fidelity I have promised to the holy see; and I engage not to permit a pope to be uncanonically chosen, nor to be consecrated until he has renewed before the commissioners of the sovereigns, the oath which is now framed by the pontiff actually reigning, Eugenius the Second.’”ECE 276.4

    11. When Lothaire returned to France, he found there ambassadors from the emperor of the East, who had been sent to complain to him, as king of Italy, against the pope, for instigating priests and monks in the Eastern Empire, to take the crosses from the churches and replace them by images, to scratch the colors from the pictures, and to do a number of other things in the promotion of image worship, in the dominions of the Eastern Empire. The French bishops asked of Eugenius authority to assemble a council in Gaul “to examine the question of the images,” Eugenius granted the request, and the emperor directed the bishops of Gaul to assemble at Paris, Nov. 1, 826. After an examination and discussion of the question, they addressed to the emperor a letter, in which they said:—ECE 276.5

    “Illustrious Emperor: Your father, having read the proceedings of the synod of Nice, found in them several condemnable things: he addressed judicious observations on them to the pope Adrian, in order that the pontiff might censure, by his authority, the errors of his predecessors; but the latter, favoring those who sustained the superstition of the images, instead of obeying the orders of the prince, protected the image worshipers.ECE 277.1

    “Thus, notwithstanding the respect due to the holy see, we are forced to recognize, that in this grave question it is entirely in error, and that the explanations which it has given of the holy books, are opposed to the truth, and destructive of the purity of the faith.ECE 277.2

    “We know how much you will suffer at seeing that the Roman pontiffs, those powers of the earth, have wandered from divine truth, and have fallen into error; still we will not allow ourselves to be stopped by this consideration, since it concerns the salvation of our brethren.”ECE 277.3

    12. “The disorders and debaucheries of the clergy in this age of darkness, had entirely destroyed ecclesiastical discipline; the corruption of morals was frightful, especially in the convents of the monks and nuns. Eugenius the Second undertook to reform the abuses, and convoked a synod of all the prelates of Italy. Sixty bishops, eighteen priests, and a great number of clerks and monks assembled, by the orders of the holy father. This assembly brought together all the ablest prelates of Italy; their ignorance was, however, so profound, that they were obliged to copy the preface of the proceedings of a council held by Gregory the Second, to serve them as an initiatory discourse.” The council framed come decrees to secure the education and the better behavior of the clergy; yet these “had not the power to reform the corrupt morals of the priests, nor to excite them to study. The clergy changed none of their vicious habits, and remained plunged, as before, in an ignorance so profound, that those were quoted as the best informed among the bishops, who knew how to baptize according to the rules, who could explain the pater and the credo in the vulgar tongue, and who possessed a key to the calendar of the Church.”ECE 277.4

    13. Eugenius died Aug. 27, 827, and was succeeded by—VALENTINE, who is described as specially a model of piety. But his reign continued only five weeks. He died Oct. 10, 827, and was succeeded by—GREGORY IV, OCTOBER, 827, TO JAN. 25, 844, whose means of acquiring the pontificate were so scandalous and violent, that the emperor, some time afterward, “enlightened by the reports of his ministers as to the conduct of the pontiff, wrote him a severe letter, and threatened to depose him if he did not repair the scandal of his election by exemplary conduct. From that time Gregory vowed an implacable hatred to the prince.” In 833 the sons of the emperor Louis all set themselves against their father; and Gregory took advantage of this occasion to be revenged upon the emperor, and intrigued with the sons. The better to accomplish his purposes, he went into France. The clergy of France who were faithful to the emperor, wrote to him demanding that he leave France, declaring “that if he should undertake to lay an interdict on them, they would return against him the excommunication and the anathemas, and would solemnly depose him from his sacred functions.” Gregory replied that “the power of the holy see is above thrones,” and that “those who have been baptized, no matter what their rank, owe to him entire obedience.”ECE 278.1

    14. When Gregory had arrived at the camp of the emperor, under pretense of seeking to establish concord between the sons and their father, he obtained access to the emperor’s court. “He remained several days with the emperor, and whilst making protestations to him of unutterable devotion, he was assuring himself of the defection of the troops by presents, promises, or threats; and on the very night of his departure, all the soldiers went over to the camp of Lothair. The next day, Louis, having been informed of this odious treason, perceived that he could no longer resist the criminal projects of his sons. He called together the faithful servants who remained about his person, went to the camp of the princes, and delivered himself into their hands. The plain on which these events occurred lies between Basel and Strasburg: since that time it has been called ‘the plain of falsehood’ [German, Lugenfeld: Latin, campos mentilis, campus mendacii], in remembrance of the infamy of the pontiff.”ECE 278.2

    15. The emperor was obliged to resign his imperial office, and to make a public, enforced confession of a long list of sins and crimes, written out for him. “Having rehearsed this humiliating lesson, the emperor laid the parchment on the altar, was stripped of his military belt, which was likewise placed there; and, having put off his worldly dress, and assumed the garb of a penitent, was esteemed from that time incapacitated from all civil acts. The most memorable part of this memorable transaction is, that it was arranged, conducted, accomplished, in the presence and under the authority of the clergy. The permission of Lothair is slightly intimated; but the act was avowedly intended to display the strength of the ecclesiastical power, the punishment justly incurred by those who are disobedient to sacerdotal admonition. Thus the hierarchy assumed cognizance not over the religious delinquencies alone, but over the civil misconduct, of the sovereign. They imposed an ecclesiastical penance, not solely for his asserted violated oaths before the altar, but for the ruin of the empire.”—Milman. 2[Page 279] “History of Latin Christianity,” book v. chap 2, pars, 11, 12 from end.ECE 279.1

    16. The emperor Louis, after all this, repented of his repentance, and was restored in full measure to his imperial office, which he held till his death, June 20, 840. But neither by the clergy nor by the pope was there ever lost the memory of their humiliation of an emperor. And it was made the precedent and the basis of the assertion by the popes of later times, of absolute authority, civil and ecclesiastical, over all powers of earth. Gregory died Jan. 25, 844, and was succeeded by—SERGIUS II, FEB. 10, 844, TO JAN. 27, 847, who, amidst the usual rivalry and rioting, was placed on the papal throne. He likewise was consecrated without his election having first been confirmed by the emperor. Upon learning this the emperor Lothaire appointed his son Louis king of Italy, and sent him to Rome “to testify his discontent with the holy see, and to prevent the future consecration of popes without his authority.”ECE 279.2

    17. When Louis had arrived at Rome, Sergius “sent to meet him the magistrates of Rome, the children of the schools, the companies of the miltia with their leaders, all thundering forth songs in honor of the young sovereign, and bearing crosses and banners at the head of the procession, as was practiced in the reception of the emperors.” Thus he was escorted through the city to the church of St. Peter. On the porch of the church “stood the pontiff Sergius, surrounded by his clergy, and clothed with ornaments glittering with gold and precious stones. When the king had mounted the steps of the church, the two sovereigns embraced, and both entered the court of honor, holding each other by the hand. At a signal of the holy father, the inner gates, which were of massive silver, closed as if of their own accord. Then Sergius, turning toward the prince, said to him: ‘My lord, if you come hither with a sincere desire to contribute with all your efforts to the safety of the capital State and Church, I will cause the sacred gates to open; but if not, you shall not enter the temple of the apostles.’ The king assured him that he had come with no evil intent. Immediately the doors swung open again, and the pope conducted the king to the tomb of St. Peter, while the accompanying clergy sang, ‘Blessed is he who cometh in the name of the Lord.’ECE 279.3

    18. “Still, notwithstanding the pacific assurances of the young monarch, the soldiers of his escort, encamped around the city, had orders to ravage the country, to punish the Romans for having ordained a pope without waiting for the arrival of the commissioners of the emperor. The French prelates and lords even assembled to examine if the election of Sergius was regular, and if they should drive from the pontifical throne the audacious archpriest. This assembly, composed of twenty-three bishops and a great number of abbots and lords, was so indignant at the intrigues and machinations of the holy father, that Angilbert, metropolitan of Milan, loudly accused Sergius of having excited, by his ambition, all the disorders which desolated the holy city, and declared that the separated himself from his communion.ECE 280.1

    19. “Viguier also affirms that during the reign of Sergius, the priests enjoyed every license. He adds, ‘The pope had a brother named Benedict, a man of a brutal character, who seized upon the ecclesiastical and political administration of the city of Rome. By his avarice he introduced disorder everywhere, and wore out the people by his exactions. He publicly sold the bishoprics, and he who gave the highest price obtained the preference. He at last rendered the usage of simony so natural to the Italian clergy, that there did not exist in this corrupt province a single bishop or priest, animated by laudable motives, who did not address complaints to the emperor to put an end to this abominable traffic. The divine Providence, wearied of these abominations, sent the scourge of the pagans to revenge the crimes of the court of Rome. The Saracens, urged on by the hand of God, came even into the territory of the Church, to put to death a great number of persons, and sacked villages and castles.’ECE 280.2

    20. “Such was the frightful position of Rome six months after the enthronement of Sergius. Nevertheless, the young prince, seduced by the presents and the flattery of the pontiff, confirmed his election, notwithstanding the advice of his counselors, and only exacted that the citizens of Rome should renew their oath of fidelity to him and his father. The ceremony took place in the church of St. Peter; the Italian and French lords, the clergy, the people, and the pontiff, swore before the body of the apostle, entire submission to the emperor Lothaire and his son, after which Louis received the crown at the hands of Sergius, who proclaimed him king of the Lombards.” Sergius was succeeded by—LEO IV, APRIL 11, 847, TO JULY 17, 855.ECE 281.1

    21. The invasion of the Saracens had become so threatening that the people thought they could not wait for the regular confirmation of the emperor, and again ordered a pope without it; however, with the declaration that they by no means intended to derogate from the just rights of the imperial crown. The time and efforts of Leo IV were mainly spent in restoring the churches of St. Peter and St. Paul, which had been rifled and damaged by the Saracens; and, in fortifying the city against those invaders. The church of St. Peter he decorated “with a cross of gold, with chalices and chandeliers of silver, with curtains and tapestries of precious stuffs; he placed in front of the confessional of the pretended sepulcher, tables of gold, enriched with precious stones and adorned with paintings in enamel, representing his portrait and that of Lothaire. The sepulcher was surrounded by large frames of silver, richly worked, and all these ornaments were covered by an immense tabernacle of silver, weighing sixteen hundred pounds, These embellishments and the revenues which he appropriated to the priests of this Church amounted to more than three thousand eight hundred and sixteen pounds’ weight of silver, and two hundred and sixteen pounds of gold.” Leo IV was succeeded by—BENEDICT III, SEPT. 29, 855, TO APRIL 8, 858.ECE 281.2

    22. Benedict was regularly chosen and seated on the pontifical throne. Deputies were sent to the emperor to receive his confirmation of the election. But a certain Anastasius, who had been deposed from the bishopric by Leo IV and a council, gathered about him a number of clergy and secured the support of the representatives of the emperor and numerous troops, and entered the city to seize for himself the throne of the papacy. At the head of his company he “first entered the church of St. Peter to burn the tableau of the council, on which was inscribed his deposition. He then invaded the palace of the Lateran, and ordered his satellites to drag Benedict from the pontifical throne. He himself despoiled him of his pontifical ornaments, overwhelmed him with reproaches, struck him with his bishop’s cross, and then gave him over to priests who had been deposed from the priesthood. These to obtain the favor of their new master, bound the unfortunate Benedict with cords, and drove him from the palace, striking him with sticks.ECE 282.1

    23. “Anastasius, left master of the palace, declared himself pope, and mounted upon the chair of St. Peter in the presence of the clergy and the soldiers. Rome was then plunged into consternation and affright.” The great mass of the people called upon the commissioners of the emperor to restore to them Benedict. But the commissioners insisted that they should receive Anastasius: they even threatened to strike with their swords the representatives of the people. But all remained firm in their demands that Benedict should be pope. After several days of this universal confusion in the city, the commissioners were obliged to yield to the populace. But, since Anastasius was already in possession, he had now to be driven out, in order that Benedict might be seated. Amidst more riot and confusion, however, this was done, and Benedict thus finally became pope.ECE 282.2

    24. During the reign of Benedict, in 856, King AEthelwolf of England “made a pilgrimage to Rome, and placed his kingdom under the protection of the pope. He offered to St. Peter a crown of gold weighing forty pounds and magnificent presents; he made great largesses to the clergy and the people, and constructed new buildings for the English school which had been burned down. On his return to Great Britain, he held a council at Winchester, in the church of St. Peter; and made a decree by which for the future the tenth part of the land in his kingdom appertained to the Church and was exempt from all charges; he re-established Peter’s pence in all his kingdom, and finally left by will a rental of three hundred marks of gold payable yearly to the holy see.” Benedict III was succeeded by—NICHOLAS, APRIL 24, 858, TO NOV. 13, 867.ECE 282.3

    25. Nicholas was elected and consecrated in the presence of the emperor, who arrived in Rome one month after the death of Benedict III, and the emperor’s presence prevented the usual factions, rioting and violence. The first thing of importance that engaged the attention of the new pope, were appeals that came up to him from the Eastern emperor and the patriarch of Constantinople. The emperor had removed from the patriarchate Ignatius, and had established Photius in his place. And, both the emperor and the new patriarch sent letters and ambassadors to the bishop of Rome, to have him confirm that which had been done. Not to enter into the details of the long, drawn-out controversy, it is sufficient only to say that the opportunity was used to the full by Nicholas to exalt the honors and prerogatives of the bishopric of Rome.ECE 283.1

    26. Photius was a layman. But, as in many other instances both in the East and the West, he was put through the several steps of the ecclesiastical order unto the archbishopric, to qualify him for the office. When the emperor sent word of this to the pope, for his approval, Pope Nicholas required that all the particulars of the whole affair, the case as it stood against Ignatius, and as it stood in favor of Photius, should be presented to him, before he would pronounce anything upon the matter. Therefore he sent legates to Constantinople to hold a council and investigate the whole subject. The legates allowed themselves to be bribed, and agreed with the council in approving the emperor’s deposition of Ignatius and the promotion of Photius.ECE 283.2

    27. As soon as the news of the action of his legates reached Nicholas in Rome, he called a council of the Roman clergy, and repudiated all that the council and the legates had done in his name. Later, in a council called for another purpose, the principal one of the legates who had been sent to Constantinople “was convicted of simony and prevarication on his own avowal,” and was therefore deposed and excommunicated. “After this the holy father thus spoke:—ECE 284.1

    “In the name of the holy Trinity, by the authority transmitted to us from the prince of the apostles, having taken cognizance of all the complaints brought against the patriarch Photius, we declare him deposed of his sacerdotal functions, for having sustained the schismatics of Byzantium; for having been ordained bishop by Gregory, bishop of Syracuse, during the life of Ignatius, the legitimate bishop, of Constantinople; for having corrupted our envoys, and finally, for having persecuted the orthodox priests who remained attached to our brother Ignatius.ECE 284.2

    “We have discovered Photius to be guilty of crimes so enormous, that we declare him to be forever deprived of all the honors of the priesthood, and divested of all clerical functions, by the authority which we hold from Jesus Christ, the apostles St. Peter and Paul, from all the saints, and the six general councils.ECE 284.3

    “The Holy Spirit pronounces by our mouth a terrible judgment against Photius, and condemns him forever, no matter what may happen, even at the moment of death, from receiving the body and blood of the Saviour.”ECE 284.4

    28 When this anathema of the pope reached Constantinople the Eastern emperor sent to Italy a representative “bearing a letter to the pontiff from his master, in which that prince threatened to chastise the holy see, if it did not immediately revoke the anathema launched against Photius.” To this letter Nicholas replied:—ECE 284.5

    “Know, prince, that the vicars of Christ are above the judgment of mortals; and that the most powerful sovereigns have no right to punish the crimes of popes, how enormous soever they may be. Your thoughts should be occupied by the efforts which they accomplish for the correction of the Church, without disquieting yourself about their actions; for no matter how scandalous or criminal may be the debaucheries of the pontiffs, you should obey them, for they are seated on the chair of St. Peter. And did not Jesus Christ himself, even when condemning the excesses of the scribes and Pharisees, command obedience to them, because they were the interpreters of the law of Moses?...ECE 284.6

    “We have regarded with pity that abominable cabal which you call a council, and which, in you made pride, you place on an equality with the general Council of Nice. We declare, by virtue of the privileges of our Church, that this assembly was sacrilegious, impure, and abominable. Cease, then, to oppose our rights, and obey our orders, or else we will, in our turn, raise our power against yours, and will say to the nations, People, cease to bow your heads before your proud masters. Overthrow these impious sovereigns, these sacrilegious kings, who have arrogated to themselves the right of commanding men, and of taking away the liberty of their brethren.ECE 284.7

    “Fear, then, our wrath, and the thunders of our vengeance; for Jesus Christ has appointed us with his own mouth absolute judges of all men; and kings themselves are submitted to our authority. The power of the Church has been consecrated before your reign, and it will subsist after it. Do not hope to alarm us by your threats of ruining our cities and our fields. Your arms will be powerless, and your troops will fly before the forces of our allies.ECE 285.1

    “Many thousands come to Rome every year, and place themselves devoutly under the protection of St. Peter. We have the power of summoning monks, and even clergy, from every part of the world: you, O emperor, have no such power; you have nothing to do with monks, but humbly to entreat their prayers.” 3[Page 285] Milman’s “History of Latin Christianity,” book chap 4, note to par. 11.ECE 285.2

    29. In the exercise of his power over kings and their affairs, Nicholas had excommunicated Lothaire, the king of Lorraine. The archbishop of Cologne and his clergy had also incurred the displeasure of the pope by resisting his arrogance. King Lothaire sent a representative to Rome with overtures for peace. “To his letters was attached an act of submission from the bishops of Lorraine. Nicholas replied to them in these terms:—ECE 285.3

    “You affirm that you are submissive to your sovereign, in order to obey the words of the apostle Peter, who said, ‘Be subject to the prince, because he is above all mortals in this world.’ But you appear to forget that we, as the vicar of Christ, have the right to judge all men; thus, before obeying kings, you owe obedience to us; and if we declare a monarch guilty, you should reject him from your communion until we pardon him.ECE 285.4

    “We alone have the power to bind and to loose, to absolve Nero, and to condemn him; and Christians can not, under penalty of excommunication, execute other judgment than ours, which alone is infallible. People are not the judges of their princes; they should obey, without murmuring, the most iniquitous orders; they should bow their foreheads under the chastisements which it pleases kings to inflict on them; for a sovereign can violate the fundamental laws of the State, and seize upon the wealth of citizens, by imposts or by confiscations; he can even dispose of their lives, without any of his subjects having the right to address to him simple remonstrances. But if we declare a king heretical and sacrilegious,—if we drive him from the Church,—clergy and laity, whatever their rank, are freed from their oaths of fidelity, and may revolt against his power...”ECE 285.5

    30. “Nicholas at the same time wrote to Charles the Bald, to excite him against the king of Lorraine:—ECE 286.1

    “You say, my lord, that you have induced Lothaire to submit to our decision, and that he has replied to you that he would go to Rome to obtain our judgment upon his marriage. But are you not aware that he has himself already informed us of this design by his ambassadors, and that we have prohibited him from presenting himself before us in the state of sin in which he is? We have waited long enough for his conversion, deferring even unto this time from crushing him beneath our anathema, in order to avoid war and effusion of blood. A longer patience, however, will render us criminal in the eyes of Christ, and we order you, in the name of religion, to invade his States, burn his cities, and massacre his people, whom we render responsible for the resistance of their bad prince.”ECE 286.2

    31. The Bulgarian king Bagoris had lately become a Catholic, and he sent an embassy to the pope in 866 with a list of one hundred and five questions, asking for instruction concerning the new faith. Bagoris had undertaken to compel his people to adopt his new religion. This caused revolt, and in putting down the revolt Bagoris had massacred a number of his nobles, and even their innocent children. One of his questions to the pope was whether in this he had sinned. In answer, Nicholas told him that he had undoubtedly sinned in putting the children to death, who had no share in the guilt of their fathers; but as for the rest of his conduct Nicholas wrote thus:—ECE 286.3

    “You advise us that you have caused your subjects to be baptized without their consent, and that you have exposed yourself to so violent a revolt as to have incurred the risk of your life. I glorify you for having maintained your authority by putting to death those wandering sheep who refused to enter the fold; and you not only have not sinned, by showing a holy rigor, but I even congratulate you on having opened the kingdom of heaven to the people submitted to your rule. A king need not fear to command massacres, when these will retain his subjects in obedience, or cause them to submit to the faith of Christ, and God will reward him in this world, and in eternal life, for these murders.... You must feast on Sunday, and not on Saturday; you should abstain from labor on the days of the festivals of the holy Virgin, of the twelve apostles, the evangelists, Saint John the Baptist, Saint Stephen the first martyr, and of the saints, whose memory is held in veneration in your country.ECE 286.4

    “On these days, and during Lent, you should not administer judgment, and you should abstain from flesh during the fast of Lent, on Pentecost, on the Assumption of the Virgin, and on Christmas; you must also fast on Fridays, and the eve of great feasts. On Wednesdays you may eat meat, and it is not necessary to deprive yourselves of baths on that day and on Fridays, as the Greeks recommend. You are at liberty to receive the communion daily in Lent, but you should not hunt, nor gamble, nor enter into light conversation, nor be present at the shows of jugglers during this season of penitence. You must not give feasts, nor assist at marriages, and married people should live in continence. We leave to the disposal of the priests the duty of imposing a penance on those who shall have yielded to the desires of the flesh.ECE 287.1

    “You may carry on war in Lent, but only to repel an enemy. You are at liberty to eat all kinds of animals, without troubling yourself about the distinction of the old law; and laymen, as well as clergy, can bless the table before eating, by making the sign of the cross. It is the custom of the Church not to eat before nine o’clock in the morning, and a Christian should not touch game killed by a pagan....ECE 287.2

    “Before declaring war on your enemies, you should assist at the sacrifice of the mass, and make rich offerings to the churches; and we order you to take, as your military ensign, instead of the horse’s tail, which serves you for a standard, the cross of Jesus Christ. We also prohibit you from forming any alliance with the infidels; and when you conclude a peace in future, you will swear upon the evangelists, and not upon the sword.”ECE 287.3

    32. Nicholas is very worthily classed with Leo I and Gregory I, as deserving of the title of “the Great,” for “never had the power of the clergy or the supremacy of Rome been asserted so distinctly, so inflexibly. The privileges of Rome were eternal, immutable, anterior to all synods or councils, derived from none, but granted directly by God himself; they might be assailed, but not transferred; torn off for a time, but not plucked up by the roots. An appeal was open to Rome from all the world, from her authority lay no appeal.”—Milman. 4[Page 287] “History of Latin Christianity,” book v. chap 4. par. 11. He died Nov. 13, 867, and was immediately succeeded by—HADRIAN II, DEC. 13, 867, TO NOV. 26, 872, who also was consecrated and enthroned without the emperor’s sanction. But when the emperor called him to an account for it, the excuse was again presented that it was not out of any disrespect to the emperor, but because he was overborne by the urgency of the multitude. The emperor accepted the plea and confirmed the election.ECE 287.4

    33. Hadrian immediately pardoned all those who had been deposed or anathematized by Nicholas, and did everything in his power to exalt the name and memory of Nicholas. He gave a grand banquet to a great number of Eastern monks who had been persecuted by Nicholas, at which he treated them with the greatest deference, even serving them with his own hands. When the banquet was finished and the monks had risen from the table “Hadrian prostrated himself before them with his face to the earth, and addressed them as follows:—ECE 288.1

    “My brethren, pray for the holy Catholic Church, for our son the most Christian emperor Louis, that he may subjugate the Saracens; pray for me and beseech God to give me strength to govern his numerous faithful. Let your prayers rise in remembrance of those who have lived holy lives, and let us all thank Christ together for having given to his Church my lord and father, the most holy and most orthodox pope Nicholas, who has defended it like another Joshua against its enemies.”ECE 288.2

    34. The monks responded: “God be praised for having given to his people a pastor so respectful as you are toward your predecessor.” And then they three times exclaimed: “Eternal memory to the sovereign pontiff Hadrian, whom Jesus Christ has established as universal bishop.” Hadrian seeing that they avoided saying anything in praise of Nicholas, checked them, and said:—ECE 288.3

    “My brethren, I beseech you in the name of Christ, that your praises be addressed to the most holy orthodox Nicholas. Established by God sovereign pontiff and universal pope; glory to him the new Elias, the new Phineas, worthy of an eternal priesthood, and peace and grace to his followers.”ECE 288.4

    35. This ascription the monks repeated three times after the pope, and the assembly dispersed. Next he wrote to the metropolitans of France as follows:—ECE 288.5

    “We beseech you, my brethren, to re-establish the name of pope Nicholas in the books and sacred writings of your churches, to name him in the mass, and to order the bishops to conform to our decision on this subject. We exhort you to resist with firmness the Greek princes, who undertake to accuse his memory or reject his decrees; still, we do not wish to be inflexible toward those whom he has condemned, if they will implore our mercy, and consent not to justify themselves by accusing that great pope, who is now before God, and whom no one dared to attack whilst living.ECE 288.6

    “Be then vigilant and courageous, and instruct the prelates beyond the Alps, that if they reject the decrees of a pontiff, they will destroy the supreme authority of the ministers of the Church; all should fear lest their ordinances be despised, when they have attained the power which rules kings.”ECE 289.1

    36. In the year 869 King Lothaire died, leaving no children that could inherit his dominion. His brother, the emperor Louis, was therefore the rightful heir to the kingdom of Lorraine. But, for fear of Charles the Bald, Louis would not enter his claim until he had enlisted in his interests the pope. Hadrian wrote to the lords and prelates of the kingdom of Lorraine, commanding them to recognize the emperor Louis as the legitimate heir of the kingdom, “and to yield neither to promises nor threats” from any other claimant. He also sent letters to the metropolitans, dukes, and counts of the kingdom of Charles the Bald, containing “threats of excommunication against those who did not arrange themselves on the side of the emperor; and recalled to the recollection of the French the solemn oaths by which the grandchildren of Charlemagne had bound themselves to observe religiously the agreements which had governed the division between them and their nephews; and added:—ECE 289.2

    “Know, bishops, lords, and citizens, that whosoever among you shall oppose himself to the pretensions of Louis whom we declare sovereign of Lorraine, shall be struck by the arms which God has placed in our hands for the defense of this prince.”ECE 289.3

    37. The pope’s commands, however, arrived too late to be of any warning, because, at the first news of the death of Lothaire, Charles the Bald had entered the kingdom; and at Metz was already crowned king of Lorraine. When the pope learned of this, he immediately wrote to Charles the Bald, that what he had done was an insult to the authority of the pope; accused him of having treated with contempt the pope’s legates, instead of prostrating himself at their feet as other sovereigns had done; and closed thus:—ECE 289.4

    “Impious king, we order thee to retire from the kingdom of Lorraine, and to surrender it to the emperor Louis. If thou refusest submission to our will, ourselves go into France to excommunicate thee and drive thee from thy wicked throne.”ECE 290.1

    38. At the same time he wrote to the archbishop of Rheims, reproving him “for not having turned aside the king from his projects of usurpation; and reproached him with having rendered himself guilty, through his weakness, of being a criminal accomplice in the rebellion of the monarch. He ordered him to repair his fault by anathematizing Charles, by not having any communication with him, and by prohibiting all the bishops of Gaul from receiving the usurper in their churches under penalty of deposition and excommunication.” At the same time he gave secret instruction to his legates to incite the son of Charles to revolt against his father. This they did; but Charles, learning of it, caused his son’s eyes to be put out with hot lead, because he considered death too light a penalty. The pope then sent an abusive letter condemning Charles for this ill-treatment of his son, and ordering the king to re-establish the son—ECE 290.2

    “in his property his honors, and his dignities, until the time in which our legate shall go into thy accursed kingdom, to take, in behalf of this unfortunate, the measures which we shall judge proper. In the meantime, whatever may be the enterprises of Carloman against thee, we prohibit thy lords from taking arms in thy defense, and we enjoin on the bishops not to obey thy orders, under penalty of excommunication and eternal damnation; for God wills that division shall reign between the father and the son to punish thee for the usurpation of the kingdoms of Lorraine and Burgundy.”ECE 290.3

    39. In reply to the letter which the pope had sent to the clergy in the dominions involved in this quarrel, the archbishop of Rheims, in behalf of himself and them, wrote as follows:—ECE 290.4

    “When we exhort the people to dread the power of Rome, to submit to the pontiff, and to send their wealth to the sepulcher of the apostle in order to obtain the protection of God, they reply to us: Defend then, by your thunders, the State against the Normans who wish to invade it; let the holy see no more implore the succor of our arms to protect it.ECE 290.5

    “If the pope wishes to preserve the aid of our people, let him no more seek to dispose of thrones; and say to him that he can not be at once king and priest. That he can not impose on us a monarch, nor pretend to subjugate us—us who are Franks, for we will never support the yoke of the slavery of princes or popes, and will follow the precepts of Scripture, combating without ceasing for liberty, the only heritage which Christ left to the nations when dying on the cross.ECE 290.6

    “If the holy father excommunicates Christians who refuse to cringe blindly beneath his authority, he unworthily abuses the apostolic power, and his anathemas have no power in heaven; for God, who is just, has refused to him the power of disposing of temporal kingdoms.ECE 291.1

    “I have done my best to lead our prelates into sentiments more conformable to your wishes; but all my words have been useless; I ought not then to be separated from your communion for the sins of others. Your legates are my witnesses, that in the execution of your orders, I have resisted the lords and the king, until they have threatened me, that if I persisted in defending you, they would make me sing alone before the altar of my church, and would take from me all power over the property and persons of my diocese. Threats more terrible still have been made against you, which they will not fail to execute, if God permits. Thus I declare to you, after having had sad experience, that neither your anathemas nor your thunders will prevent our monarch and his lords from keeping Lorraine, on which they have seized.”ECE 291.2

    40. As for king Charles, he replied to the pope as follows:—ECE 291.3

    “In your letter concerning Hincmar of Laon, you write to us thus: ‘We will and command, by our apostolic authority, Hincmar of Loan to be sent to us.’ Did any of your predecessors ever write in the like style to any of ours? Do you not thereby banish Christian simplicity and humility from the Church, and introduce worldly pride and ambition in their room?...I wrote to you formerly, and now write to you again lest you forget it, that we kings of the Franks, come of royal race, are not the vicegerents of bishops, but lords and masters of the world...We therefore entreat you nevermore to write such letters to us, or to the bishops and lords of our kingdoms, that we may not be obliged to treat with contempt both the letters and the bearers. We are willing to embrace what is approved by the holy see, when what the holy see approves is agreeable to Scripture, to tradition, and to the laws of the church. If it interferes with them, know that we are not to be frightened into it with menaces of excommunication and anathemas.” 5[Page 291] Bower’s “Lives of the Popes,” Hadrian II, par. 3 from end.ECE 291.4

    41. These bold words of both the bishops and the king had a wonderfully subduing effect upon the loftiness of the pope; for he immediately wrote to the king as follows:—ECE 291.5

    “Prince Charles, we have been apprised by virtuous persons that you are the most zealous protector of churches in the world; that there exists not in your immense kingdom any bishopric or monastery on which you have not heaped wealth, and we know that you honor the see of St. Peter, and that you desire to spread your liberality on his vicar, and to defend him against all his enemies.ECE 291.6

    “We consequently retract our former decisions, recognizing that you have acted with justice in punishing a guilty son and a prelatical debauchee, and in causing yourself to be declared sovereign of Lorraine and Burgundy. We renew to you the assurance that we, the clergy, the people, and the nobility of Rome wait with impatience for the day, on which you shall be declared king, patrician, emperor, and defender of the Church. We, however, beseech you to keep this letter a secret from your nephew Louis.”ECE 292.1

    42. These latter letters were written in 871, and Hadrian II died Nov. 26, 872, and was succeeded by—JOHN VIII, DEC. 14, 872, TO DEC. 14, 882; and the emperor, happening at that time to be in Italy, his deputies were present at the consecration of the new pope. Aug. 13 or 14, 875, the emperor Louis died at Milan; and immediately upon learning of it the pope “sent a pompous embassy to Charles the Bald, inviting him to come to Rome to receive the imperial crown, which he offered him as a property of which the popes had the entire disposal.” Charles was only too glad to receive such an invitation, and instantly set out for Rome, where, upon his arrival, he was received by the clergy and the magistrates, and the schools, with banners and crosses and great display, as had the great ones before him; and on Christmas day 875, he was crowned emperor by the pope. “In placing the crown on the brow of the monarch, John said to him: ‘Do not forget, prince, that the popes have the right to create emperors.’”ECE 292.2

    43. Immediately after the coronation of the emperor, he and the pope went together to Pavia, where the pope assembled a council which went through the form of electing Charles the Bald as king of Lombardy. The assembled prelates addressed Charles as follows:—ECE 292.3

    “My lord, since divine goodness, through the intercession of St. Peter and St. Paul, and the ministry of Pope John, has elevated you to the dignity of emperor, we unanimously select you for our protector, submitting joyfully to your will, and promising to observe faithfully all that you shall order for the utility of the Church and our safety.”ECE 292.4

    44. This form of an election to the kingship of Lombardy was essential to give to Charles the show of legality as ruler of Italy, because Charles had no legitimate claim to the imperial crown. True, the emperor Louis had left no male heirs; but he left two uncles, who, if there were to be any claim to the imperial office by right of descent, were legitimate heirs. But the pope, seeing in this failure of direct descent an opportunity of further confirming the papal prerogative of bestowing empire, seized the occasion offered in the ambition of Charles the Bald, to demonstrate to the world the supremacy of the papacy over all earthly power. “Maimbourg affirms that this council was convened by John VIII, only for the purpose of rendering it manifest to the world that Charles had not become emperor by right of succession, but that he had obtained his dignity by an election.” Indeed this is shown in a letter written by the pope himself at the time. For he said:—ECE 293.1

    “We have elected and approved, with the consent of our brothers, the other bishops, of the ministers of the holy Roman Church, and of the Senate and people of Rome, the king Charles, emperor of the West.”ECE 293.2

    45. But all this that the pope bestowed on Charles, much as in itself it redounded to the exaltation of the pope, was not without return from Charles to the pope. “The historians are almost unanimous as to the price which Charles was compelled to pay for his imperial crown. He bought the pope, he bought the senators of Rome; he bought, if we might venture to take the words to the letter, St. Peter himself [Beato Petro multa et pretiosa munera offerens in Imperatorem unctus et coronatus est.... Omnem senatum populi Romani, more Jugurthino corrupit, sibique sociavit.]”—Milman. 6[Page 293] “History of Latin Christianity,” Vol. iii, book v. chap 6, par. 2. But it was not only in the Jugurthine extravagance of bribery that Charles rewarded the papacy for his crowning. “In order to obtain the principal scepter, against the hereditary rights of the legitimate successors of Charlemagne, he yielded to the pontiffs the sovereignty which the emperors exercised over Rome and the provinces of the Church; and he declared the holy see to be an independent state.”ECE 293.3

    46. Nor was it alone honors to the papacy in Italy that Charles bestowed. Immediately upon his return to France he convened “a synod of bishops in the city of Ponthion, at which he caused them to recognize the supreme authority of the popes over France. The Roman legates named the deacon John, metropolitan of Sens, and Ansegisus, primate of the Gauls and Germany, with the title of vicar of the holy see in the two provinces. They conferred on this last named the power of convening councils, of signifying the decrees of the court of Rome, of judging ecclesiastical causes, of executing the orders of the pope, and they only reserved appeals to Rome in the greater cases. The prelates of France protested with energy against such an institution which destroyed all the liberty of the Gallican Church; but the emperor maintained the sacrilegious compact which he had made with John: he declared that he had a commission to represent the pope in this assembly, and that he would execute his orders. He then commanded a seat to be placed on his right hand, and Ansegisus seated himself by him in his quality of primate.”ECE 293.4

    47. In the year 876 the Saracens became so strong in Italy as seriously to threaten the very existence of the papal State. The pope wrote most appealingly to the emperor Charles, saying:—ECE 294.1

    “Do not believe that our evils only come from the pagans. Christians are still more cruel than the Arabs. I would speak of some lords, our neighbors, and chiefly of those whom you call marquises or governors of frontiers: they pillage the domains of the Church and cause it to die, not by the sword, but by famine. They do not lead people into captivity, but they reduce them into servitude; and their oppression is the cause why we find no one to combat the Saracens. Thus, my lord, you alone, after God, are our refuge and our consolation. We beseech you then, in the name of the bishops, priests, and nobles, but above all, in the name of our people, to put forth a hand of succor to the Church, your mother, from which you hold not only your crown, nut even the faith of Christ; and which has elevated you to the empire, notwithstanding the legitimate rights of your brother.”ECE 294.2

    48. But, just about that time, died Louis the German, at Frankfort; and the emperor, Charles the Bald, immediately marched with an army to seize that kingdom. However, he was totally defeated by the son and successor of Louis the German, and was pursued even into his own kingdom. This made it impossible for him to furnish any help to the pope in Italy. Yet more, his nephew Carloman, king of Bavaria, taking advantage of Charles’s defeat, invaded Italy, claimed the kingdom of Lombardy, and designed to secure the imperial crown if possible. Pope John assembled a council in the Lateran, which he opened with the following speech:—ECE 294.3

    “According to ancient usage, my brethren, we solemnly elevated Charles to the imperial dignity, by the advice of the bishops, of the ministers of our Church, of the Senate, and of all the people of Rome, and, above all, to accomplish the thought which had been revealed to Pope Nicholas by a heavenly inspiration. The election of Charles is then legitimate and sacred. It emanates from the will of the people, and the will of God. We therefore declare anathematized him who would condemn it, and we devote him to the execration of men, as the enemy of Christ, and the minister of the devil.”ECE 295.1

    49. When the emperor learned that Carloman had entered Italy, he himself marched to Italy. But nothing definite came of it, except his death, which occurred Oct. 6, 877, as he was about to return to France. Carloman now seeing that there was possibly some hope of his receiving the imperial crown, “wrote to the pontiff letters of submission and claimed from the master and dispenser of the imperial crown. Before, however, consecrating the new prince, he wished to profit by circumstances to insure material advantages to his see. He replied then to the king of Bavaria:—ECE 295.2

    “We consent to recognize you as emperor of Italy; but before giving you the crown, we demand that you should pour into the purse of St. Peter all the sums which are in your treasury, in order that you may be worthy to receive the recompense of him who promised to honor in another world those who honor him in this. We will send you shortly the articles which treat of that which you should grant to the Church; we will then address you a more solemn legation, in order to conduct you to Rome with the honors due to your rank. We will then treat together of the good of the State and the safety of Christian people. Until that time, I beseech you to give no access near to you of infidels, or of such as wish our life, whatever may have been your anterior relation with them; and I conjure you to remit the revenues of the patrimony of St. Peter, which are situated in Bavaria.”ECE 295.3

    50. Carloman was not in a position to grant all this at once, and so the pope, not receiving either money or the aid of troops, was obliged to secure relief from the Saracens by an agreement “to pay them twenty thousand marks of gold annually” to redeem from them the States of the Church, which they had already taken. In 878 the pope was so harassed and abused by Lombard princes that he “caused all the sacred treasures to be conveyed from St. Peter’s to the Lateran, covered the altar of St. Peter with sackcloth, closed the doors, and refused to permit the pilgrims from distant lands to approach the shrine. He then fled to Ostia and embarked for France.”—Milman. 7[Page 296] “History of Latin Christianity,” book v, chap 6, pars 8. Through all his journey and in France, he was received with greatest honors. In France he held councils and dealt out anathemas and excommunications on every hand, and against all whom he chose to decide had infringed in any way, whatever he might presume were the rights or the laws of the papacy. Before the end of the year he returned into Italy.ECE 295.4

    51. Carloman in 879 was supplanted in his claims upon Italy by his brother, Charles the Fat. Shortly afterward Carloman died; and, leaving no children, his kingdom fell to his second brother Louis. To make sure of his hold on the kingdom, against his brother Charles, Louis renounced, in Charles’s favor, all claim to the kingdom of Lombardy, and also to the imperial title. Pope John, learning of this, wrote to Charles to come to Italy and receive the imperial crown. As Charles came, the pope met him at Ravenna, informing him that “we have called you by the authority of our letters, to the imperial sovereignty, for the advantage and exaltation of the Church.” He also enjoined Charles to send before him to Rome his chief officers to ratify “all the privileges of the Roman see, saying that “the Church must suffer no diminution, but rather be augmented in her rights and possessions.” 8[Page 296] Id., par. 8. They came together to Rome, where, on Christmas day, 880, in the church of St. Peter, Charles the Fat was crowned emperor by Pope John VIII.ECE 296.1

    52. The bishop of Naples was also duke of Naples. He had secured the safety of his dominions from the Saracens by entering into an alliance with them. The pope visited Naples in order to persuade the episcopal duke to break off his alliance with the Saracens and join in a general league against them; and, because Anastasius would not do so, John excommunicated him, April, 881. The following year Athanasius sent a deacon to the pope with the word that he had broken his alliance with the Saracens and would stand with the pope. The pope would not accept his word alone, but required of Athanasius, as a surety of good faith, “that he should seize the chiefs of the Mohammedans, send them to Rome, and massacre the rest in the presence of the pope’s legates.” By this treacherous and barbarous act, “demanded by the head of Christendom, the duke-bishop of Naples was to obtain readmission to the Catholic Church, and the right to officiate there as a Catholic bishop! 9[Page 297] Milman’s “History of Latin Christianity,” Vol. iii, book v. chap 6, par. 16.ECE 296.2

    53. John VIII was succeeded by—MARTIN II, DECEMBER, 882, TO MAY, 884, who “proved to be as depraved in his morals, as treacherous in his policy, and as proud in his conduct, as his predecessor, John the Eighth.” But, in his short reign, no special occasion was offered for the manifestation of the special characteristics of a pope. He was succeeded by—HADRIAN III, JUNE, 884, TO JULY 2, 885, who took another step in the supremacy of the papacy, by decreeing “that the new pope should be thenceforth consecrated without waiting for the imperial envoys to assist at his consecration.” He was succeeded by—STEPHEN VI, JULY, 885, TO SEPTEMBER, 891.ECE 297.1

    54. The emperor of the East had written to Pope Hadrian III, resenting the pope’s interference with the government of the Eastern Church; but, Hadrian dying, it fell to Stephen to answer the letter. And in his answer he said:—ECE 297.2

    “God has given to princes the power of governing temporal things, as He has given to us, by the authority of St. Peter, the power of governing spiritual things. Sovereigns have the right to repress a rebellious people, to cover the land and sea with their soldiers, to massacre men who refuse to recognize their rule, or obey the laws which they make for the interests of their crown. To us, it appertains to teach the people, that they ought to endure the tyranny of kings, the horrors of famine, even death itself, in order to obtain eternal life. The ministry which Christ has confided to us is as high above yours, as heaven is above the earth, and you can not be the judge of the sacred mission which we have received from God.”ECE 297.3

    55. In January, 888, died the emperor Charles the Fat, leaving no male heir. The Lombard dukes and people thought to have one of their own nation to be king of Italy. But there was no unanimity as to the choice, and violent confusion reigned. The pope invited Arnulf, king of Germany, to Italy to receive the kingdom and the imperial crown; but Arnulf could not respond at once, and the pope and city of Rome declared for Guido, duke of Spoleto. This turned the balance in his favor: he defeated in battle his rival, in 890, and thus became king of Lombardy; and, Feb. 21, 891, he was crowned emperor by the pope.ECE 297.4

    56. Stephen VI was succeeded by—FORMOSUS, SEPTEMBER, 891, TO APRIL 4, 896, who, in 876, had been excommunicated by Pope John VIII, in a council held at Rome, “on the charge of conspiring against the emperor as well as against the pope,” and “caballing to raise himself from a smaller to a greater Church, even to the apostolic see.” Pope John had also required of Formosus an oath that he would never return to Rome, would never exercise any episcopal functions anywhere, but would content himself with lay communion as long as he lived. From both the excommunication and the oath, Pope Martin II had absolved him, reinstating him in the honors and dignities of his original bishopric of Porto.ECE 298.1

    57. The emperor Guido died in 894, and was succeeded by his son Lambert, whom Formosus crowned emperor. But the authority of Lambert was disputed by a Lombard duke, Berengar; and a destructive war followed. The pope sent word to Arnulf of Germany, promising to crown him emperor if he would come and restore peace in Italy. Arnulf reached Rome in 895. The city at first resisted him; but as soon as he had captured the outer city, “the Senate and the nobility, submitting to the conqueror, came out in a body with their standards and crosses to receive him, and to implore his protection against the insults of his victorious army. The pope received the king upon the steps of St. Peter’s church, and attending him with the whole body of the clergy, to the tomb of the apostles, he anointed and crowned him emperor that very day.”—Bower. 10[Page 298] “Lives of the Popes,” Formosus, par 7. Shortly afterward Arnulf returned to Germany. As soon as he was gone, the claimants to the kingdom of Lombardy began their war again, which, by the intercession of the pope, ended in the division of Lombardy into two parts to satisfy both claimants.ECE 298.2

    58. Formosus was succeeded by— BONIFACE VI, who, for the crimes of adultery and murder, and for a wicked and scandalous life in general, had been deposed, first from the office of sub-deacon, and afterward, even from the priesthood. But he died at the end of a reign of only fifteen days, and was succeeded by—STEPHEN VII, JULY, 896, TO MAY 2, 897, who, “intruded himself by force and violence into the see.” The first thing that Stephen VII did after his installation, was to bring to trial Pope Formosus, who had been dead more than three months. He assembled a council, and had the dead body of Formosus taken out of the grave and brought before the council. And “there in the midst of the convention, the dead body of Formosus was placed on the pontifical seat, the tiara on its head, the pastoral baton in its hand, and clothed with the Sacerdotal ornaments.” A deacon was appointed as counsel and advocate for the corpse. Then Pope Stephen VII addressed the corpse in the following words:—ECE 298.3

    “Bishop of Porto, why hast thou pushed thy ambition so far as to usurp the see of Rome, in defiance of the sacred canons which forbade this infamous action?”ECE 299.1

    59. The advocate who had been appointed, of course confessed him guilty; whereupon Pope Stephen “pronounced a sentence of deposition against the bishop of Porto; and, having approached the pontifical seat, he gave a blow to the dead body which made it roll at his feet. He himself then despoiled it of all the sacerdotal vestments, cut off three fingers from the right hand, and finally ordered the executioner to cut off the head, and cast the dead body into the Tiber.” Some fishermen found the body, where it had floated ashore, and it was again given burial. Pope Stephen next called to him all the clergy whom Formosus had ordained, declared the ordination void, and himself ordained them all anew. He even declared the emperor Arnulf deposed, because Formosus had crowned him emperor; and crowned Lambert, duke of Spoleto, emperor of the West.ECE 299.2

    60. In the short time that had elapsed since Hadrian III had decreed that the pope should be crowned without waiting for the approval of the emperor, the violence accompanying the election of the popes had grown so great that Stephen VII was constrained to issue the following decree:—ECE 299.3

    “As the holy Roman Church, in which we preside by the appointment of God, suffers great violence from many at the death of the pontiff, owing to the custom which has been introduced of consecrating the elect without waiting for the approbation of the emperor, or the arrival of his envoys to assist at his ordination, and prevent, with their presence, all tumults and disorders, we command the bishops and the clergy to meet when a new pontiff is to be chosen, and the election to be made in the presence of the Senate and the people; but let the elect be consecrated in the presence of the imperial envoys.”ECE 300.1

    61. Stephen VII, a master of violence, was soon overtaken by his own example; he was soon dethroned, was cast into prison, and was there strangled. The papal annalist Cardinal Baronius declares that Stephen VII richly deserved the fate that overtook him—“since he entered the fold like a thief, it was just that he should die by the halter.” He was succeeded by—ROMANUS, JULY 11 TO OCTOBER, 897, who “preserved his rank among those execrable popes, though he only occupied the holy see for four months.” He was succeeded by—THEODORE II, NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER, 897, who restored the dead Formosus to the place from which Stephen VII had cast him down. He reversed all the acts of Stephen against Formosus, declared all the acts of Formosus legal and valid, and with great honor and papal solemnity, restored his body to its sepulcher in the Vatican.ECE 300.2

    62. Theodore was first succeeded by a certain Sergius; but, as there were rival parties, Sergius was driven out before he was consecrated, and—JOHN IX, JANUARY, 898, TO JULY, 900, was pope. John was not satisfied with Theodore’s vindication of Formosus; but since Stephen VII had condemned Formosus by a council. John IX would have him vindicated by a council. Accordingly, John’s council declared:—ECE 300.3

    “We entirely reject the council held by the pontiff Stephen; and we condemn as baneful to religion, the convention by which the dead body of Formosus was torn from its sepulcher, judged, and dragged through the streets of Rome: a sacrilegious act, until that time unknown among Christians...The bishops who assisted at this judgment having implored our pardon, and protested that fear alone forced them into this horrible synod, we have used indulgence in their behalf; but we prohibit the pontiffs, our successors, from hindering in future liberty of deliberation, and from doing any violence to the clergy.... The unction of the holy oil that was given to our spiritual son, the emperor Lambert, is confirmed...ECE 300.4

    “The proceedings of the conventions which we have censured shall be burned; Sergius, Benedict, and Marin, can no longer be regarded as ecclesiastics, unless they live in penitence. We declare them separated from the communion of the faithful, as well as all those who violated the sepulcher of Formosus, and who dragged his dead body into the Tiber.ECE 301.1

    ” The holy Roman Church suffers great violence on the death of a pope. Disorders attend the elections, which are made to the insult of the emperor, and without waiting, as the canons ordain, the presence of the imperial commissioners. We ordain that in future the pontiffs be elected in a convention of the bishops, at the request of the Senate and the people, and under the auspices of the prince; and we prohibit the exaction from him of oaths which usage shall not have consecrated.ECE 301.2

    “The times have introduced a detestable custom: on the death of a pontiff, the patriarchal palace is pillaged; and the pillage extends through the whole city; episcopal mansions even are treated in the same way on the death of bishops. It is our will that this custom shall cease. Ecclesiastical censures and the indignation of the emperor will punish those who shall brave our prohibition.ECE 301.3

    “We also condemn the usage of selling secular justice: if, for example, prostitutes are found in a house belonging to a priest, judges or their officers drag them from it with scandal, and maltreat them until they are ransomed by their masters, in order to acquire the right of prostitution.”ECE 301.4

    63. When the emperor Arnulf died, in the year 909, the clergy of Germany thought it necessary to apologize to the pope for choosing his son—seven years old—to be king of Germany without waiting for his “sacred orders;” and the bishops of Bavaria wrote to him acknowledging that he occupied “God’s place on the earth.”ECE 301.5

    64. The eulogy that Cardinal Baronius bestows on John IX is that he was “the best of the bad popes.” And of the papacy in general in the ninth century, which closed with the reign of John IX, the same writer says:—ECE 301.6

    “Never had divisions, civil wars, the persecutions of pagans, heretics, and schismatics caused it [the holy see] to suffer so much as the monsters who installed themselves on the throne of Christ by simony and murders. The Roman Church was transformed into a shameless courtezan, covered with silks and precious stones, which publicly prostituted itself for gold; the palace of the Lateran was become a disgraceful tavern, in which ecclesiastics of all nations disputed with harlots the price of infamy. Never [before] did priests, and especially popes, commit so many adulteries, rapes, incests, robberies, and murders; and never was the ignorance of the clergy so great, as during this deplorable period.... Thus the tempest of abomination fastened itself on the Church, and offered to the inspection of men the most horrid spectacle! The canons of councils, the creed of the apostles, the faith of Nice, the old traditions the sacred rites, were buried in the abyss of oblivion, and the most unbridled dissoluteness, ferocious despotism, and insatiable ambition usurped their place.” 11[Page 302] Quoted by De Cormenin under Stephen VII.ECE 301.7

    65. But soon events demonstrated that the tenth century must witness a yet worse condition of the papacy. And, of this the cardinal is obliged to write that it was “an iron age, barren of all goodness; a leaden age, abounding with all wickedness; and a dark age, remarkable, above all the rest, for the scarcity of writers and men of learning. In this century the abomination of desolation was seen in the temple of the Lord; and in the see of St. Peter, reverenced by angels, were placed the most wicked of men, not pontiffs, but monsters.” 12[Page 302] Quoted by Bower under Benedict IV. And King Eadgar of England, in a speech to the assembled bishops of his kingdom, declared: “We see in Rome but debauchery, dissolution, drunkenness, and impurity; the houses of the priests have become the shameful retreats of prostitutes, jugglers, and Sodomites; they gamble by night and day in the residence of the pope. Bacchanalian songs, lascivious dances, and the debauchery of a Messalina, have taken the place of fasting and prayers.” 13[Page 302] Quoted by De Cormenin, under Benedict IV.ECE 302.1

    66. BENEDICT IV, AUGUST, 900, TO OCTOBER, 903, was the first pope in the tenth century. But of him there is nothing definite recorded as of the popes both preceding and following him, except that he crowned as emperor, Louis, King of Arles, or Provence—Burgundy. His epitaph says that he was kind to the widows, the poor, and the orphans, cherishing them like his own children, and that he preferred the public to his private good. He was succeeded by— LEO V, NOVEMBER, 903, in opposition to the partisans of Sergius, who had been defeated and driven out by John IX. But, before two months were passed, Leo was dethroned, was cast into prison, and was strangled by one of his own presbyters and chaplains, who thus became Pope—CHRISTOPHER, DECEMBER, 903, TO JUNE, 904. But in less than seven months that Sergius, who had already been twice defeated in his attempts upon the papal throne, became Pope—SERGIUS III, JUNE, 904, TO AUGUST, 911, by dethroning Christopher, and imprisoning him first in a monastery and afterward in a dungeon, where he died. The party that from the beginning, had sustained Sergius in his aspirations to the papal throne, had for its chief the duke of Tuscany, the most powerful and the most wealthy, at that time, of all the nobles of Italy. And he, in turn, was supported by Charles the Simple, king of Germany.ECE 302.2

    67. “With Sergius, the vindictive spirit of the priest, the lubricity of the monk, and the violence of the fanatic, were placed on the throne of St. Peter. This pope, regarding John IX, and the three popes who had preceded him, as usurpers, erased all their acts, and spoke out against the memory of Formosus.” By a council “he approved the proceedings of Stephen VII, against the dead Formosus;” and again by Sergius and his council” Formosus was solemnly declared to a sacrilegious pope, and his memory was anathematized.” Cardinal Baronius says of Sergius III that “he was the slave of every vice, and was the most wicked of men.” Thus much on his own part. But, in addition to his, it was during his reign of seven years that the papacy was delivered, and by him, to the influence and power of three licentious women and their paramours. For it was then that there began in Rome the reign of “the celebrated Theodora and her two daughters Marozia and Theodora. They were of a senatorial family, and no less famous for their beauty, their wit and address, than infamous for the scandalous lives they led. Theodora, and afterward her daughter Marozia, were the mistresses of Adalbert, duke of Tuscany. Adalbert seized the castle of St. Angelo, in the city of Rome, and gave it to Theodora and her daughters, who “supported by the marquis and his party, governed Rome without control, and disposed of the holy see to whom they pleased. Adalbert had a son by Marozia, named Alberic; but she nevertheless prostituted herself to the pope, and his Holiness had by her a son called John, whom we shall soon see raised to the papal chair by the interest of his mother.”—Bower. 14[Page 304] “Lives of the Popes,” Sergius III, par. 1. Also De Cormenin, under Sergius III, and Milman’s “History of Latin Christianity,” Vol. iii, book v, chap 11.ECE 303.1

    68. Sergius was succeeded by—ANASTIUS III, SEPTEMBER, 911, TO OCTOBER, 913, and he by—LANDO, OCTOBER, 913, TO APRIL, 914. But of these is nothing more than the scant record. Following Lando came—JOHN X, MAY 15, 914, TO JULY, 928, who was made pope by the interest of Theodora the Elder, who was his paramour, both before and after his elevation to the papal chair. He had been a deacon, and entered into an intrigue with Theodora, and shortly afterward was made bishop of Bologna. But, before he was consecrated to that office, the archbishop of Ravenna died, and Theodora secured from Pope Lando the appointment and ordination of John, her paramour, to the archbishopric of Ravenna. And then, when Pope Lando died, “Theodora, exerting all her interest, as she could not live at the distance of two hundred miles from her lover, got him preferred to the pontifical chair.”—Luitprand. 15[Page 304] Quoted by Bower, under John X.ECE 304.1

    69, John X succeeded in forming against the Saracens in Italy a league of the dukes and the king of Lombardy, and even the emperor of the East; and, “with his casque on his head and his sword by his side, took the command of the troops, fought a great battle with the Arabs, and drove them entirely from the provinces which they occupied.” And King Berengar, having assisted the pope in his campaign against the Arabs, the pope, in return, crowned him emperor, march 24, 916.ECE 304.2

    70. About this time it seems that both Adalbert and Theodora the Elder died. Marozia married Alberic, marquis of Camerina, by whom she had a son whom she named Alberic. About 925, Alberic Marozia’s husband, died, and she then married her step-son, Guido, the son of Adalbert, duke of Tuscany. John X incurred the displeasure of Marozia by allowing his brother Peter more of a place in his counsels than he gave to Marozia and her husband. For this Marozia stirred up Guido against him. Guido, with a band of followers, invaded the Lateran palace, killed Peter, seized the pope, and dragged him to prison, where, later, he was smothered. And—LEO VI, JULY, 928, TO FEBRUARY, 929, was made pope, but continued only about seven months, when he was succeeded by—STEPHEN VIII, FEBRUARY, 929, TO MARCH, 931, of whom nothing more is said. But, upon his death, Marozia was able to elevate to the papal throne her son, by Pope Sergius III, who, at the age of eighteen, reigned as—JOHN XI, MARCH, 931, TO JANUARY, 936.ECE 304.3

    71. Guido died about the time of the elevation of John XI to the papal throne, and Marozia married Hugh of Burgandy, or Provence, who had become king of Italy. Hugh required of Marozia’s son Alberic to hold the basin of water in which the king would wash his hands. Alberic happened to spill some of the water upon which Hugh struck him in the face. Alberic rushed out of the palace, exclaiming: “Shall these Burgundians, of old the slaves of Rome, tyrannize over Romans?” A bell was tolled, and the people flocked together, and, led by Alberic, they attacked the king in the castle of St. Angelo. King Hugh managed to escape. But the castle and Marozia were taken by Alberic; and, though Marozia was his mother, and the pope was also her son, Alberic imprisoned them both, and kept John a prisoner for four years, till the day of his death. Having possession of the castle of St. Angelo, and the favor of the nobles, Alberic II continued master of Rome as long as he lived—twenty-two years. While still in prison, John XI was pope beyond the Alps. He was succeeded by—LEO VII, JANUARY 9, 936, TO JULY 18, 939.ECE 305.1

    72. It was not in Rome and Italy alone that riot and disorder reigned: though there the conditions were worse than elsewhere. Leo VII wrote to all the kings, dukes, bishops, and archbishops of Germany, “exhorting them to join in extirpating, with their temporal as well as their spiritual power, the many disorders which he was informed prevailed among them.” He was succeeded by—STEPHEN IX, JULY, 939, TO DECEMBER, 942. Stephen was made pope by a faction that was opposed to Alberic II. Whereupon the party of Alberic raised a riot, stormed the papal palace, and so disfigured the pope that he would never afterward appear in public. He espoused the cause of Louis d’Outremer of France, and wrote letters to the nobles and people of France and Burgundy, commanding them to submit to Louis d’Outremer as their lawful sovereign, and to obey him whom God had placed over them, and before Christmas to send deputies to Rome, to announce that they did receive and obey him, or else suffer excommunication.ECE 305.2

    73. Stephen IX was succeeded by—MARTIN III, DECEMBER, 942, TO JUNE, 946, whom Alberic II caused to be elected a few days after the death of Stephen IX. “It is related of him, that during the three years and a half of his pontificate, he applied himself to nothing but the duties of religion and monastic practices. In consequence thereof, the priests of Rome exhibited a great contempt for this pontiff. They said of him, ‘that Christianity had never had such a pope; and that the reign of a man who understood the art of increasing the possessions of the holy see, and of causing the money of the people to flow into his purse, was of more advantage to them.’ ...Martin the Third, scrupulous and a bigot, allowed the temporal power, which was necessary for the maintenance of the spiritual, to weaken in his hands; hence he has come down to posterity with the reputation of having been a bad pope.”ECE 306.1

    74. Martin III was succeeded by—AGAPETUS II, JUNE, 946, TO 956; and he by—JOHN XII, NOVEMBER, 956, TO NOVEMBER, 963, who was the son of Alberic II, who was the son of Marozia. Alberic II had died, in 954, and his son Octavian succeeded to the sovereignty of the city of Rome. And now, 956, this Octavian, the grandson of Marozia, being the supreme power in Rome, caused himself to be made pope, changing his name to John XII; and still retaining and exercising his power as civil governor in his name of Octavian. He was but eighteen years of age when he became pope. The first thing that is recorded of him is his putting himself at the head of an army, in an attempt to seize the duchy of Spoleto. But, in the battle, he was defeated, and narrowly escaped falling into the hands of his opponents. He then disbanded his army, returned to Rome, “and there abandoned himself to all manner of wickedness and debauchery.”ECE 306.2

    75. King Berengar of Italy and his son Adalbert had made themselves so oppressive to all the people that there was a great cry for deliverance. John XII, therefore, sent two representatives into Germany, to ask King Otto, the Great to come to Italy to deliver the Church and receive the imperial crown. Otto responded to the call, and marched to Italy in the end of the year 961. He went first to Pavia. On his arrival Berengar and Adalbert shut themselves up in their strongest fortresses, which relieved Italy of their oppressions. At Pavia Otto was crowned king of Lombardy, and, in February, 962, he arrived at Rome to be crowned emperor of the West. On his arrival” the entire population poured forth to meet him with cries of joy. The pope crowned him emperor, and swore on the body of the holy apostle Peter, never to renounce his obedience, nor to give any succor to Berengar, nor his son. The citizens, the priests, and the lords took the same oath. The new head of the empire of the West then restored to the Church all the territory of which it had been deprived by the deposed princes. He made to the sovereign pontiff in particular magnificent presents of gold and precious stones. He confirmed to the holy see, by an authentic deed, the immense donations of Pepin and Charlemagne, comprising Rome, its duchy and dependencies, several cities in Tuscany, the exarchate of Ravenna, the Pentapolis, the duchies of Spoleto and Beneventum, the isle of Corsica, the patrimony of Sicily, and several other places in Lombardy and Campania. ‘If God puts them in our power,’ he adds with a wise restriction. This donation was copied word for word from that of Louis the Good-natured. Otto annexed to it Rieti, Amiterne, and five other cities of the kingdom which he came to conquer. At the end of this deed was placed this important and remarkable clause: ‘Saving our own power, and that of our son and descendants.’ “ECE 307.1

    76. After this the emperor returned to Pavia. Although Pope John had taken such a solemn oath of allegiance to Otto, yet the emperor had barely left Rome before John sent emissaries to Adalbert, who had taken refuge among the Saracens, proposing that they unite their interests in a revolt from the authority of Otto. Word of this was brought to Otto, but he would not believe it. He chose rather to think that some ill advisers had attempted to persuade John to such a thing, and that on account of the pope’s youth, the suggestion might have received some attention; and he hoped that the young pope might be influenced by better advisers. He therefore sent two ambassadors to Rome, to inquire into the matter, and, that if it were found that there was truth in the report, John might change his purpose. The ambassadors not only found it to be true, but they returned to Otto with a long list of charges against John, made “by the unanimous voice of Rome” (Milman), as follows:—ECE 307.2

    “John the Twelfth hates Otto for the same reason that the devil hates his Creator. You, my lord, seek to please God, and desire the good of the Church and the State; the pope, on the other hand, blinded by a criminal passion, which he has conceived for the widow of his vassal, Rainier, has granted to her the government of several cities, and the direction of several convents; and to heighten the scandal, he has paid for his infamous pleasures with the golden crosses and chalices of the church of St. Peter.ECE 308.1

    “One of his concubines, Stephenette, died before our very eyes, in the palace of the Lateran, in giving birth to a son, whom she declared was the pontiff’s. The sacred residence of the popes has become, under the reign of John, a frightful brothel, the refuge of prostitutes. Neither Roman nor strange females dare any longer to visit the churches, for this monster causes wives, widows, and virgins to be carried off from the very steps of the altar! Rich dresses or tattered rags, beauty or homeliness, all alike are used to gratify his execrable debaucheries! The temples of the apostles are falling into ruins, the rain of Heaven inundates the sacred table, and the roofs even threaten to bury the faithful beneath them. Such are the reasons why Adalbert is more agreeable to the pope than the emperor.”ECE 308.2

    77. Otto was still inclined to excuse the pope on account of his youth, and to make allowance for the possible exaggeration of enemies; especially as John promised amendment. Yet, instead of making any amendment, the pope openly declared for Adalbert; sent ambassadors to Constantinople to secure the alliance of the Eastern emperor, against Otto; and sent representatives to Hungary, for a like purpose there. These agents of the pope, Otto captured, with the pope’s correspondence under his own signature and seal. The pope sent two legates to Otto at Pavia, to justify his alliance with Adalbert by charging Otto with having seized two of the pope’s men, and compelling them to swear allegiance to himself; and with having failed to keep his oath to restore the pope’s dominions. Otto answered that the two men whom he had seized were at the time on a mission to Constantinople hostile to him; and that others had been captured, who, under pretense of a religious mission to the Hungarians, were charged by the pope to stir up the Hungarians against the emperor Otto. He told the pope that these things did not rest upon rumor, nor even upon a formal report; but upon the pope’s own letters, which he then had in his hands.ECE 308.3

    78. Shortly afterward Adalbert was received into Rome by the pope Otto marched to Rome; but the pope and Adalbert did not wait to defend themselves or the city. They plundered the church of St. Peter, and fled with the spoils. Otto was received by the nobles and people of the city, who took a new oath of allegiance to him, pledging themselves never to choose a pope without his consent or that of his successor. Three days afterward, at the request of the nobles, clergy, and people of Rome, Otto assembled a council for the purpose of bringing order, if possible, out of this Roman chaos. “At this council the emperor presided in person; and there were present thirteen cardinal priests, three cardinal deacons, the archbishops of Hamburg and of Treves, the bishops of Minden and Spire, and almost all the bishops of Italy, with many priests, deacons, and the chief nobility of Rome.”—Bower. 16[Page 309] “Lives of the Popes,” John XII, par. 8.ECE 309.1

    79. Pope John was summoned by the council; but he made no response. The emperor asked the assembly why John stayed away. The council answered with one voice:—ECE 309.2

    “We are surprised that you should not know what is well known to the Babylonians, the Iberians, and even to the Indians. So public are his crimes, and he is so lost to all shame, that he does not even attempt to conceal them. He is not a wolf that condescends to sheep’s clothing: his cruelty, his diabolical dealings, are open, avowed, disdain concealment.” 17[Page 309] Bower, John XII, par. 7: Milman’s “Latin Christianity,” Vol. iii, book v. chap 12. par. 7.ECE 309.3

    80. The emperor asked whether more specific charges could be made. “All the bishops and cardinals immediately arose spontaneously, and one after another spoke against the pope, accusing him of being guilty” of celebrating mass while he was drunk; of having ordained a deacon in a stable; of having ordained bishops for money, and among them had ordained as bishop of Todi a child ten years old; of having treated Benedict, his spiritual father, with such cruelty that he died under the hands of the executioner; that he had caused to be put to death in his presence, John, a subdeacon, after having mutilated him; of having “traversed the streets of Rome with a sword by his side, a casque on his head, and clothed with a cuirass; of keeping a pack of dogs and of horses for the chase; and of having turned the papal palace into a brothel:” with yet more shameful things.ECE 310.1

    81. Upon these awful charges, Otto remarked: “It sometimes happens, as we know from our own experience, that men who are elevated to dignities, are calumniated by the envious. Do not be astonished, if I am distrustful on hearing the horrible accusation which has been read by the deacon Benedict. I therefore conjure you, by the name of God, whom we can not deceive, by that of the holy mother, and by the body of the holy apostle Peter, in whose presence we are assembled, I beseech you to lay nothing to the charge of the pontiff John the Twelfth, of which he is not truly guilty, and which has not been seen by men worthy of credit.”ECE 310.2

    82. To this speech the whole council again answered:—ECE 310.3

    “If Pope John is not guilty of the crimes laid to his charge, and of many other still more detestable enormities, may St. Peter, who opens the gates of heaven to the just, and shuts them against the unworthy, never absolve us from our sins; and let us be placed on the left hand at the last day. If you do not believe us, believe your army, who beheld him but five days ago, having a sword by his side, and armed with a shield, with a helmet and a cuirass.”ECE 310.4

    83. The emperor observed: “There are as many witnesses of it as there are soldiers in my army. I believe all; and besides, do I not myself know that John has become guilty of perjury toward us, by his alliance with Adalbert? We will, however, hear his defense before condemning him.”ECE 310.5

    84. Accordingly, the emperor sent to Pope John the following letter:—ECE 311.1

    “Being come to Rome for the service of God, and not finding you here, we asked the Roman bishops, the cardinals, the presbyters, deacons, and people, why you had withdrawn from the city at our arrival, and would not see your defenders, and the defenders of your Church. They in their answer, charged you with such obscenities, as would make us blush, were they said of a stage-player. I shall mention to you a few of the crimes that are laid to your charge; for it would require a whole day to enumerate them all. Know, then, that you are accused, not by some few, but by all the clergy, as well as the laity, of murder, perjury, sacrilege, and incest with your own relations, and two sisters; that you are said to have drunk wine in honor of the devil, and to have invoked, at play, Jupiter, Venus, and the other demons. We therefore earnestly entreat you to come and clear yourself from these imputations. If you are afraid of being insulted by the multitude, we promise you, upon oath, that nothing shall be done but what is warranted by the canons.”ECE 311.2

    85. To this letter John returned the following short answer:—ECE 311.3

    “John, servant of the servants of God, to all bishops: We hear that you want to make another pope. If that is your design, I excommunicate you all in the name of the Almighty, that you may not have it in your power to ordain any other, or even to celebrate mass.”ECE 311.4

    86. The council sent yet another letter to the pope, as follows:—ECE 311.5

    “Most holy father, you have not yet replied to the emperor Otto, and you have not sent deputies to explain your defense. Are you willing to give us the motives for so doing? If you come to the council, and clear yourself from the crimes that are laid to your charge, we shall pay all due respect to your authority. But if you do not come, and are not detained by lawful impediment, as you have no seas to cross, nor a very long journey to perform, we shall make no account of your excommunication, but retort it upon you. The traitor Judas received of our Lord the power of binding and loosing as well as the other apostles; and with that power he was vested so long as he continued faithful to his divine Master and Lord. But by betraying Him he forfeited all his power and authority, and could thenceforth bind none but himself.”ECE 311.6

    87. Two members of the council were sent with this letter, to find John. But all the information they could obtain was that “the pope was gone out to shoot.” Upon this the emperor appealed to the council for their judgment as to what should be done. The council replied:—ECE 311.7

    “Such an extraordinary evil must be cured by an extraordinary remedy. Had he hurt none but himself, he might, in some degree, be borne with: but how many has his example perverted! How many, who would, in all likelihood, have led a pure and irreproachable life, have abandoned themselves to all manner of wickedness ! We beg, therefore, that this monster, without one single virtue to atone for his many vices, may be driven from the holy apostolic see; and another, who will set us a good example, be put in his room.”ECE 311.8

    88. The emperor then declared: “It is our pleasure; and nothing will give us greater satisfaction than your raising to the holy apostolic see a person of that character.” Accordingly, John was deposed Dec. 4, 963, and the council unanimously chose a layman, whom they in swift succession ordained to all the clerical offices from neophyte to pope; all of which and finally the emperor approved, and so he became Pope—LEO VIII, DEC. 6, 963.ECE 312.1

    89. This seemed to the emperor to have brought peace to the city; and he therefore dismissed a considerable portion of his army. This was no sooner discovered by John, than he succeeded in raising a furious insurrection against the emperor and the new pope. The emperor put down the insurrection, and would have executed terrible vengeance upon the people, except for the pleadings of Pope Leo. Not long after this, the emperor himself marched away from Rome, against Berengar and Adalbert. But no sooner had he gone than the feminine partisans of John raised an insurrection against the new pope, and opened the gates of the city to John. John entered, Leo fled, and—JOHN XII, FEB. 2 TO MAY 14, 964, resumed his place upon the papal throne. Then “surrounded by Bacchantes, with disheveled hair, and his hideous satellites, John rose from his seat and pronounced the following discourse:—ECE 312.2

    “You know, my dear brethren, that I was torn from the holy see by the violence of the emperor. The synod also which you held during my absence and in contempt of ecclesiastical customs and canons, should be at once anathematized. You can not recognize as your temporal ruler, him who presided over that impious assembly, nor as your spiritual guide him whom you elected pope.”ECE 312.3

    90. The council replied:—ECE 312.4

    “We committed a prostitution in favor of the adulterer and usurper Leo.”ECE 312.5

    John,—“You wish to condemn him?”ECE 312.6

    The council.—“We do.” John.—“Can prelates ordained by us, ordain in our pontifical palace? And what do you think of the bishop Sicon, whom we consecrated with our own hands, and who has ordained Leo, one of the officers of our court, neophyte, leader, acolyte, subdeacon, deacon, priest, and, finally, without putting him to any proof, and contrary to all the orders of the Fathers, has dared to consecrate him to our episcopal see? What do you think of the conduct of Benedict, bishop of Porto, and of Gregory, of Albano, who blessed the usurper?”ECE 313.1

    The Council.—“Let them be sought out and brought before us; if they are discovered before the expiration of our third sitting, they shall be condemned with the antipope, in order that for the future, none of the officers, neophytes, judges, or public penitents shall be rash enough to aspire to the highest honor in the Church.”ECE 313.2

    91. Pope John then pronounced the sentence of condemnation upon Leo VIII, declared him deposed from all sacerdotal honors and all clerical functions, with a perpetual curse if he should attempt to re-enter the city of Rome. He degraded from their station all who had been ordained by Leo, requiring all of them to appear before him in their clerical robes, and to write with their own hand the confession: “My father, having nothing himself, could not lawfully give me anything.” John then solemnly reinstated them all exactly as they were before. He next had brought before him three of the partisans of Leo and Otto: of one of these he caused the right hand to be cut off; another he caused to be horribly mutilated; and the third he caused to be whipped almost to death. Not long afterward John XII, still in the practice of his vices, was killed by the just indignation of a husband, whose home he had invaded.ECE 313.3

    92. At the death of this terrible John,—BENEDICT V, 964, succeeded to the papal throne, though Leo VIII, who had been driven out by John, was still living. At the time that Leo VIII was appointed pope by the emperor, the prelates and people, Benedict amongst them had taken an oath to acknowledge no other pope than Leo, while he lived; and not to allow any pope to be ordained without the emperor’s consent. Nevertheless, John was no sooner dead than they all followed up their rebellion in restoring him, by electing and ordaining Benedict. But, as soon as the emperor heard of it, he marched to Rome. Benedict defended the city against him: himself mounting “the ramparts, clothed in his pontifical habit, with a battle-ax in his hands, and from the top of the walls launched anathemas upon his assailants, and beat back the enemy who mounted to the assault.”ECE 313.4

    93. Otto, however, captured the city and the pope. He reinstated,—LEO VIII, 964, and then assembled a council. Benedict was brought before the council in his full pontifical robes, when the cardinal archdeacon addressed him thus:—ECE 314.1

    “By what authority or by what law hast thou assumed these ornaments in the lifetime of the venerable pope Leo, whom thou madest choice of together with us in the room of John, whom we all condemned and rejected? Canst thou deny thy having promised upon oath to the emperor never to choose, nor to ordain a pope without his consent, or that of his son, King Otto?” 18[Page 314] Bower’s “Lives of the Popes,” Leo VIII, par. 6.ECE 314.2

    94. Benedict answered: “I have sinned, take pity on me.” The emperor asked the council to deal mercifully with Benedict, “provided he acknowledged his fault in the hearing of the whole council. At these words Benedict, throwing himself at Leo’s feet, and the emperor’s, owned aloud that he was a usurper, and begged the pope, the emperor, and the council to forgive him. He then took off his pall, and delivered it to the pope, with the pastoral staff, which Leo immediately broke, and showed it thus broken to the people. After this Leo ordered him to sit down on the ground, and having stripped him, in that posture, of all the pontifical ornaments, he pronounced the following sentence:—ECE 314.3

    “We divest Benedict, who has usurped the holy apostolic see, of the pontifical dignity, and the honor of priesthood. However, at the request of the emperor, who has restored us, we allow him to retain the order of deacon, but upon condition that he quits Rome, and goes into perpetual banishment.”ECE 314.4

    95. The place of his exile was Hamburg, in Germany. Leo VIII died at the beginning of March, 965. The Romans sent an ambassador to Otto, who was then in Saxony, to ask him to name a successor. Otto was so pleased at this token of respect that he gave them full liberty themselves to choose the new pope; and they immediately chose Benedict, who had been exiled to Hamburg. To this the emperor even consented; but, while these negotiations were being carried on between Rome and Saxony, Benedict died, July, 965. Then the Romans unanimously chose the bishop of Narni, who became Pope—JOHN XIII, OCT. 1, 965. Although he had been unanimously chosen, he acted so tyrannically that, before the end of the year, he was unanimously driven out. He took refuge in Capua, whence he appealed to the emperor, who, in 966, again marched to Rome, restored John to the pontifical throne; and he and the pope took a terrible vengeance upon the leaders of those who had driven out John. After this John was suffered to occupy the papal chair until his death, Sept. 5, 972. He was succeeded by—BENEDICT VI, DECEMBER, 972-973.ECE 314.5

    96. Otto the Great died May 7, 973. This was no sooner known in Rome than there occurred a violent insurrection, led by Crescentius, governor of Rome, who was the grandson of Theodora and Pope John X. He invaded the Lateran palace, seized Pope Benedict VI, cast him into a dungeon, where, soon afterward, he was strangled; and Francon ascended the papal throne as Pope—BONIFACE VII, 974. But, within a month, he was driven out. He took all the treasures and all the sacred vessels from the church of St. Peter, and fled to Constantinople. The faction that had driven him out placed in the papal chair—BENEDICT VII, 975-984. Benedict was no sooner ordained than he assembled a council in the Lateran, by which he deposed, excommunicated, and anathematized Francon, Boniface VII.ECE 315.1

    97. By the support of Otto II, Benedict was able to maintain himself on the papal throne; for they simply terrorized the city. The emperor and the pope prepared in the Vatican “a sumptuous entertainment, to which were invited the grandees of Rome, the magistrates, and the deputies of the neighboring cities. Otto at first labored to inspire his guests with joy. Perfumed wines were poured out in profusion; exquisite dished succeeded each other, without interruption, on the table, and the brightest gayety shone on every face. Then, upon a signal from the prince, a troop of soldiers suddenly entered the festive hall, with their drawn swords in their hands, and three guards placed themselves behind each guest. A spectacle so strange filled their hearts with fright, and the dread increased when an officer of the palace, displaying a long list, called out in a loud voice the unfortunate men who were destined for the executioner. Sixty victims were led from the banquet hall, and pitilessly massacred. During this butchery, Otto and the pope preserved the same amenity in their words and gestures. They pledged their guests in the best wines, and pointed out to them the most delicious dishes. But the frightful image of death was before all eyes, and their faces remained icy with terror. At length the horrible banquet was concluded.”ECE 315.2

    98. In the time of Benedict VII, the thirst for money had grown so great “that they even sold the right to seats in the churches; from whence has arisen the traffic in chairs in the churches, which has been perpetuated to our own times, and still brings in immense revenues to the clergy.” Benedict was succeeded by—JOHN XIV, JULY, 983. But when he had reigned eight months, he was deposed, imprisoned, and either starved or poisoned, by—BONIFACE VII, MARCH, 984, who had returned from Constantinople and had been able to raise sufficient power thus to seize upon the papal throne. However, his career ended in less than a year. At the conclusion of a debauch, he died of apoplexy or of poison, and by the populace his dead body was torn from its coffin, was dragged through the streets, and was hung up by the feet at the equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius.ECE 316.1

    99. JOHN XV, 986-996, was the next pope. He was soon driven out by Crescentius, but was able to make terms by which he was allowed to resume the throne, without having to contest it with another pope. During his pontificate, king Hugh Capet assembled a council at Rheims, to try the archbishop of Rheims, for treason. The king wrote and sent ambassadors to the pope, to inform him of this. The bishops of the see of Rheims also wrote to the pope “to testify to the horror with which the treason of their superior inspired them.” But neither to the king nor to the bishops did the pope make any reply whatever. The representatives of the king and the bishops went three days in succession to the pope’s palace in Rome, each time waiting all day for some sort of a message; but they were utterly ignored, and were obliged to return to France without any answer.ECE 316.2

    100. The council assembled July 17, 991. Since the pope had completely ignored them all, it became necessary for them first of all to establish canonically the authority of the council. Some of the arguments by which this was done are worth quoting here. In the name of the king, the bishop of Orleans delivered a speech, the substance of which, if not the speech itself, had been composed by Gerbert, the secretary of the archbishop of Rheims, who had been educated in the Mohammedan school of Cordova. In it are the following passages:—ECE 317.1

    “We believe, my brethren, we should always honor the Roman Church, in memory of St. Peter, and we do not pretend to place ourselves in opposition to the pope. We, however, owe an equal obedience to the Council of Nice, and the rules laid down by the Fathers. We should consequently distrust the silence of the pope and his new ordinances, in order that his ambition or cupidity may not prejudice the ancient canons, which should always remain in force.ECE 317.2

    “Have we attained the privileges of the court of Rome by assembling regularly?—No. If the pope is commendable for his intelligence and his virtues, we have no censure to fear. If, on the contrary, the holy father suffers himself to err through ignorance or passion, we should not listen to him. We have seen upon the throne of the apostle a Leo and a Gregory, pontiffs admirable for their wisdom and science, and yet the bishops of Africa opposed the vaunting pretensions of the court of Rome, because they foresaw the evils under which we now suffer.ECE 317.3

    “In fact, Rome has much degenerated! After having given shining lights to Christianity, it now spreads abroad the profound darkness which is extending over future generations. Have we not seen John the Twelfth plunged in ignoble pleasures, conspire against the emperor, cut off the nose, right hand, and tongue of the deacon John, and massacre the first citizens of Rome? Boniface the Seventh, that infamous parricide, that dishonest robber, that trafficker in indulgences, did he not reign under our very eyes?ECE 317.4

    “To such monsters, full of all infamy, void of all knowledge, human and divine, are all the priests of God to submit: men distinguished throughout the world for their learning and holy lives? The Roman pontiff who so sins against his brother, who often admonished refuses to hear the voice of counsel, is as a publican and a sinner. Though he be seated on a lofty throne, glittering with purple and gold; if he be thus without charity, thus puffed up by vain knowledge, is he not antichrist? He is an image, an idol, whom to consult is to consult a stone.ECE 317.5

    “We must, however, avow that we are ourselves the cause of this scandal; for if the see of the Latin Church, before resplendent, is now covered with shame and ignominy, it is because we have sacrificed the interests of religion to our dignity and grandeur. It is because we have placed in the first rank, him who deserves to be in the last! Do you not know that the man whom you place upon a throne will allow himself to be beguiled by honors and flatteries, and will become a demon in the temple of Christ? You have made the popes too powerful, and they have become corrupt.ECE 318.1

    “Some prelates of this solemn assembly can bear witness, that in Belgium and Germany, where the clergy are poor, priests are yet to be found who are worthy of governing the people. It is there that we must seek for bishops capable of judging wisely erring ecclesiastics; and not at Rome, where the balance of justice does not incline but under the weight of gold; where study is proscribed and ignorance crowned.ECE 318.2

    “There is not one at Rome, it is notorious, who knows enough of letters to qualify him for a doorkeeper. With what face shall he presume to teach, who has never learned? If King Hugh’s ambassadors could have bribed the pope and Crescentius, his affairs had taken a different turn.ECE 318.3

    “The proud Gelasius said that the Roman pontiff should govern the whole world, and that mortals had no right to demand an account from him of the least of his actions. Who, then, gives us a pope whose equity is infallible? Can one believe that the Holy Spirit suddenly inspires him whom we elevate to the pontificate, and that he refuses his light to the other bishops who have been named? Has not Gregory written to the contrary, that bishops were all equal, so long as they fulfilled the duties of a Christian?ECE 318.4

    “If the arms of the barbarians prevent us from going to the holy city, or if the pontiff should be subjected to the oppression of a tyrant, would we then be obliged to hold no more assemblies, and would the prelates of all the kingdoms be constrained to condemn their princes, to execute the orders of an enemy who held the supreme see? The Council of Nice commands us to hold ecclesiastical assemblies twice a year, without speaking at all of the pope; and the apostle commands us not to listen even to an angel who would wish to oppose the words of Scripture.ECE 318.5

    “Let us follow, then, these sacred laws, and ask for nothing from that Rome which is abandoned to every vice, and which God will soon engulf in a sea of sulphur and brimstone. Since the fall of the empire, it has lost the churches of Alexandria and Antioch, those of Asia and Africa. Soon Europe will escape from it; the interior of Spain no longer recognizes its judgments; Italy and Germany despise the popes: the man of sin, the mystery of iniquity.ECE 318.6

    “Let Gaul cease to submit to the disgraceful yoke of Rome, and then will be accomplished that revolt of the nations of which the Scriptures speak.” 19[Page 319] De Cormenin, under John XV: Milman’s “Latin Christianity,” Vol. iii, book v, chap 13, par. 11. The Scripture here referred to is Revelation 17:16, 17: “And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. For God hath put in their hearts to fulfill His will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.”ECE 319.1

    101. Gerbert himself was elected archbishop of Rheims, in place of the deposed prelate. The pope, by a council of his Roman Clergy, issued a bull, annulling the ordination of Gerbert, and putting the see of Rheims under an interdict. Gerbert tore to pieces the bull, and forbade the clergy to respect the interdict. In 995 the pope sent a legate into France to execute on the spot the decree of the pope; and in 996, rather than to persist in an interminable war, Gerbert let them have the pope’s way, and retired to the court of Otto III.ECE 319.2

    102. Under John XV, in 993, was begun the papal custom of canonizing saints; which is but a papal form that corresponds to the pagan Roman custom of deifying their heroes—placing them among the gods. When John XV died, Otto III was in Italy; and he appointed as pope his nephew Bruno, twenty-four years old, who took the title of—GREGORY V, 996. But as soon as Otto had left Italy, the new pope was driven out by Crescentius, who set up as pope a certain Philagathes, archbishop of Placenza, who took the name of—JOHN XVI, 997. Otto returned from Germany, John XVI fled, but was captured, and with the usual dreadful mutilations, was either exiled or executed, and—GREGORY V, 997, was reinstated, and reigned undisturbed till his death, Feb. 18, 999. In 998 the emperor Otto III had appointed Gerbert to the archbishopric of Ravenna. And now that Gregory was dead, the emperor appointed Gerbert to the vacant pontificate. He took the title of—SYLVESTER II, APRIL, 999, TO MAY 12, 1003.ECE 319.3

    103. At the installation of Gerbert, the emperor issued the following decree:—ECE 320.1

    “We declare Rome to be the capital of the world, the Roman Church the mother of the churches; but the dignity of the Roman Church has been obscured by her neglectful and ignorant pontiffs; they have alienated the property of the Church without the city to the dregs of mankind [these were the feudatory princes of the Roman States], made everything venal, and so despoiled the very altars of the apostles. These prelates have thrown all law into confusion; they have endeavored to retrieve their own dilapidations by the spoliation of us; they have abandoned their own rights to usurp those of the empire.” 20[Page 320] Milman’s “Latin Christianity,” Id., par. 3 from end.ECE 320.2

    104. Otto declared that the immense donations of Constantine and Charlemagne to the papacy were prodigal and unwise. Nevertheless, he himself added to all the donations made by all the emperors before him, yet eight counties of Italy, out of gratitude to his friend Gerbert. Otto III was poisoned, and died in Rome, Jan. 22, 1002. The next year, May 12, 1003, Sylvester died, and was succeeded by—JOHN XVII, Whose reign continued only from June to December, 1003. He was succeeded by—JOHN XVIII, DEC. 25, 1003, TO MAY 31, 1009; he by—SERGIUS IV, JUNE, 1009, TO JUNE, 1012; and he by—BENEDICT VIII, 1012-1024. Benedict was driven out by a certain—GREGORY, who took the chair as pope. Benedict fled to Germany, to the protection of Henry II. Henry sent troops to accompany him to Italy. Gregory was then driven out, and— BENEDICT VIII was again seated.ECE 320.3

    105. In 1014 Henry went to Rome, to be crowned emperor by the pope. Henry confirmed all the donations of the emperors, from Charlemagne to Otto III, and added to them yet more. After Henry had gone from Italy, the Saracens made an inroad and overspread all the coast of Tuscany. Benedict put himself at the head of an army and marched against him. The expedition was successful; many of the Saracens were slain, and the chief’s wife was captured and delivered to the pope, who cut off her head and stripped her body of its golden jewels, of the value of a thousand pounds, and sent them as a present to the emperor Henry. On Good Friday, 1017, there was a heavy storm that continued through the following day, during which an earthquake was felt. The pope having been informed that some Jews were worshiping in their synagogue at the time, caused them all to be put to death: after which, says the historian of the time, the storm fell and there was no more earthquake.ECE 321.1

    106. About 1020 Benedict held a council at Pavia, at the opening of which he “read a long discourse in which he strongly censured the licentious lives of the clergy; he accused the priests of dissipating in orgies the property they had received by the liberality of kings, and of employing the revenues of the Church in the support of their prostitutes.... He invoked against them the canons of Nice, which recommended to ecclesiastics to preserve continence, and prohibited them from living with concubines; finally he called to their remembrance the decrees of St. Siricius and St. Leo, who condemned the marriage of priests and even of subdeacons.” He went even beyond this, and “made a decree, divided into seven articles, to prohibit ecclesiastics from having wife or concubine; he extended it to all the clergy, regular and secular, without exception; he declared that the children of ecclesiastics should be regarded as serfs, and should belong to the dioceses, although the mothers were free women.” When, in opposition to this, the Scriptures were cited which permit marriage, he declared that this was “not intended to apply to priests, but to laymen; and that those who should maintain this heresy should be excommunicated.”ECE 321.2

    107. Benedict VIII was succeeded by his brother John, who bribed his way to the throne, and reigned as Pope—JOHN XIX, 1024-1033. In 1027 he crowned as emperor Conrad II, king of Germany; King Canute of England and King Rudolf of Burgundy being present and assisting in the ceremony. There were present also the archbishops of Milan and Ravenna. Each of these archbishops claimed the dignity of occupying the place at the right hand of the emperor. The archbishop of Ravenna boldly put himself in that place. But, by the direction of the pope, the emperor withdrew his hand from that of the archbishop, and called the bishop of Vercelli to his right hand. But the archbishop of Ravenna would not yield. The dispute became a fight amongst the partisans of the two archbishops. The party of Ravenna was defeated. A council then took up the question and gravely discussed it, and finally decided that the honor of a place at the right hand of the emperor or of the pope, should belong to the archbishop of Milan. But the archbishop of Ravenna rejected the decision.ECE 322.1

    108. John XIX was succeeded by his nephew, Theophylactus. He was a favorite of the counts of Tusculum, who by “intrigues, money, and threats,” procured for him the papal throne, though he was only about ten or twelve years of age. He took the name of—BENEDICT IX, 1033. He made himself so odious by his vices and depredations that he was driven out of Rome. He was reinstated in 1038, by the emperor Conrad II. Pope Victor III declared that Benedict IX was “the successor of Simon the sorcerer,” rather than of Simon the apostle; and that he led “a life so shameful, so foul, and execrable, that he shuddered to describe it. He ruled like a captain of banditti, rather than a prelate. Adulteries, homicides perpetrated by his own hand, passed unnoticed. Unrevenged; for the patrician of the city, Gregory, was the brother of the pope: another brother, Peter, an active partisan.”—Milman. 21[Page 322] Id., chap 14. par 7.ECE 322.2

    109. In 1044 Benedict had again become so unbearable that again he was driven out, and another, who took the title of— SYLVESTER III, was set up in his stead; but in three months the new pope was driven out, and—BENEDICT IX was again restored. This time, in order that he might continue his dissipations without the danger of being driven out, after the manner of the emperors of earlier Rome’s worst days, Benedict IX deliberately sold the office of pope, to John, his own archpriest, for fifteen thousand pounds. This John was said to be the most religious man in Rome. He was enthroned and ordained by Benedict himself, who had sold to him the papacy; and he reigned as—JOHN XX, 1045.ECE 322.3

    110. And now Sylvester III, who had been driven out by Benedict IX, came back with a strong force, and took possession of the Vatican, as pope. Benedict IX, also, having dissipated the money for which he had sold the office of pope, gathered a force, and drove out of the Lateran palace John, to whom he had sold the papacy, and whom he himself had ordained; and set himself up again as pope, in the Lateran. John established himself in Santa Maria Maggiore. Then these three—SYLVESTER III, BENEDICT IX, JOHN XX, finding that in their rivalry they could not fare so well as they desired, joined their interests, and unitedly put up the papacy at public auction, to the highest bidder.ECE 323.1

    111. The papacy was bought this time by John Gratian, a priest who had heaped up enormous wealth “for pious uses,” one of which uses, he said, was his own advancement; and another was that, by distributing it in general bribery, he should restore to people their right of election. This new buyer of the papacy reigned as Pope—GREGORY VI, 1045-1046. But he was deposed by the emperor Henry III and a council. Then the emperor asked the council to name another man for pope. But the assembled clergy declared that there was not a man among the Roman clergy whom they could by any means recommend. The emperor then selected the bishop of Bamberg, in Germany, who was in his train. This man was immediately consecrated Pope—CLEMENT II, DEC. 25, 1046, TO OCT. 9, 1047.ECE 323.2

    112. Clement crowned Henry III as emperor the same day that he himself was made pope. He also immediately assembled a council, to reform the Roman clergy. He proposed the deposition of all the bishops who had bought their way to the episcopate. But he was informed by the council that to do so, the Church would be undone; because there would not be left enough clergy to conduct the services in the churches. All that could be done was to enact canons forbidding the practice: and this by clergy who were all guilty of it! The thing that occupied most of the attention of the council, was another dispute between the archbishop of Milan and the archbishop of Ravenna, as to which should occupy the place of honor at the right hand of the pope. Again, after much discussion and grave deliberation, the question was decided; this time, in favor of the archbishop of Ravenna.ECE 324.1

    113. On the death of Clement III, the papacy was again seized by—BENEDICT IX, NOV. 8, 1047, TO JULY 17, 1048, who had twice sold the papacy at auction. But the emperor, Henry III, having chosen and sent to Rome to be pope, a certain Popponius, of Bavaria, Benedict yielded to the emperor’s power, and Popponius reigned twenty-three days as Pope—DAMASUS II, JULY 16 TO AUG. 8, 1048. Upon the death of Damasus, the emperor assembled a council in Germany, at Worms, to elect a pope; and bishop Bruno of Toul was chosen. He arrived in Rome at the end of the year 1048, and was enthroned as—LEO IX, FEB. 2, 1049, TO APRIL 13, 1954. He, too, assembled a council to reform the Roman clergy. Again it was proposed to depose all who had bought their way to holy orders; but again this purpose had to be abandoned, because to do so would inevitably dissolve the Church: as they declared, it would “subvert the Christian religion.” The new pope, therefore, had to be content with the confirming of the decrees of Clement III, which imposed penalties and fines, and prohibited it for the future. This course was readily approved by the council of confessed bribers.ECE 324.2

    114. Leo next thought to push his reforming zeal amongst the clergy in France and Germany. He held a great council at Rheims. There, likewise, as already twice in Rome, the first important thing to be decided was a dispute between archbishops—this time of Rheims and of Treves—as to which should have the honor of sitting at the right hand of the pope. Leo not knowing how many more claimants there might be, cut the knot by having them all sit in a circle, with himself in the center. By this council very little more was done than by the councils that had already been held at Rome. After Leo had returned to Rome, Peter Damiani addressed a letter to him, asking for instruction in relation to the scandalous conduct of the clergy of his province; in which he said:—ECE 325.1

    “We have prelates who openly abandon themselves to all kinds of debauchery, get drunk at their feasts, mount on horseback, and keep their concubines in the episcopal palaces. These unworthy ministers push the faithful into the abyss, and the mere priests have fallen into an excess of corruption, without our being able to exclude them from sacred orders. The priesthood is so despised, that we are obliged to recruit ministers for the service of God from among simoniacs, adulterers, and murderers. Formerly, the apostle declared worthy of death, not only those who committed crimes, but even those who tolerated them! What would he say, if he could return to earth and see the clergy of our days? The depravity is so great now that the priests sin with their own children! These wretches make a pretext of the rules of the court of Rome, and, as they have a tariff for crimes, they commit them in all safety of conscience.”ECE 325.2

    115. Peter complained of the lightness and the inequality of these tariffs, and then declared further:—ECE 325.3

    “I declare that the popes who framed these miserable laws are responsible to God for all the disorders of the Church; for the decrees of the synod of Ancyra condemn to twenty-five years of penance mere laymen who are guilty of the sin of the flesh. St. Basil and Pope Siricius declared every one suspected of these crimes unworthy of the priesthood. I hope, then, your Holiness, after having consulted the legislation of the Church and the doctors, will make a decision which will repress the disorders of our priests.”ECE 325.4

    116. The only instruction that Leo was able to send in this matter, was that the sins which Peter had censured “deserved to be punished with all the rigor of the penitential laws, and by the deprivation of orders; but that the number of guilty clerics rendered that proceeding impracticable, and obliged him to preserve even the criminal in the Church.”ECE 326.1

    117. Some Normans had penetrated into Italy and had taken possession of the province of Apulia. Leo IX led in person an army to drive them out, and take possession of that province for the papacy. June 16, 1053, his army was utterly routed, and he was taken prisoner. The Normans were all devout Catholics: and though a prisoner, Leo was allowed still to conduct the affairs of the papacy. The patriarch of Constantinople had written a letter in which he mentioned some points of difference between the Roman Church and the Eastern Church. This letter was brought to the attention of Leo, whereupon he wrote to the patriarch as follows:—ECE 326.2

    “They assure me, unworthy prelate, that you push your audacity so far as openly to condemn the Latin Church, because it celebrates the eucharist with unleavened bread. According to your opinion, the Roman pontiff, after exercising sovereign power for ten entire centuries, should learn from the bishop of Constantinople the proper mode of honoring their divine master. Are you ignorant then that the popes are infallible—that no man has the right to judge them, and that it belongs to the holy see to condemn or absolve kings and people? Constantine himself decreed that it was unworthy of the divine majesty that the priest to whom God had given the empire of heaven, should be submissive to the princes of the earth. Not only did he give to Sylvester and his successors temporal authority, but he even granted to them ornaments, officers, guards, and all the honors attached to the imperial dignity. In order that you may not accuse us of establishing our sway through ignorance and falsehood, we send you a copy of the privileges which Constantine had granted to the Roman Church.”ECE 326.3

    118. The emperor of the East, Constantine Monomachus, wrote to Leo a very favorable letter, to which the pope replied thus:—ECE 326.4

    “Prince, we praise you for having bowed before our supreme power, and for having been the first to propose to re-establish concord between your empire and our Church; for, in these deplorable times, all Christians should unite to exterminate that strange nation which wishes to raise itself up in opposition to us, the vicar of God. These Normans, our common enemies, have put to death our faithful soldiers beneath their swords; they have invaded the patrimony of St. Peter, without regarding the holiness of our residence; they have forced convents, massacred monks, violated virgins, and burned churches. These savage people, the enemies of God and man, have resisted the prayers, threats, and anathemas of the holy see; these barbarians, hardened by pillage and murder, no more fear the divine vengeance. We have been obliged to call in aid from all sides to tame these northern hordes; and we, ourselves, at the head of an army, have wished to march against them, and to unite with your faithful servant, the duke of Argyra, in order to confer with him about driving them from Italy; but these incarnate demons suddenly attacked us, cut all our troops to pieces, and seized upon our sacred person. Their victory, however, has inspired them with great fear, and they doubt lest Christian prices should come to crush them and free us from their hands.ECE 326.5

    “We will not falter in the holy mission which God has confided to us: we will not cease to excite other people against them, in order to exterminate this evil race. We will not imitate our predecessors, those mercenary bishops, who were more engaged with their own debaucheries than with the interests of the Roman Church. For our part, it is our desire to re-establish the holy see in its former splendor, and we will spare neither gold nor blood to render our throne worthy of the majesty of God. Already is the emperor Henry, our dear son, advancing to our aid with a powerful army; and we hope that you yourself will soon cover the Bosphorus with your sails, for the purpose of disembarking your soldiers on the shores of Apulia. What ought I now to hope, with such powerful aid, for the glory of the holy see!”ECE 327.1

    119. In another letter to the patriarch of Constantinople, he said:—ECE 327.2

    “It is said you are a neophyte and have not mounted by the proper steps, to the episcopate. It is said that you have dared to menace the patriarchs of Alexandria and Antioch, with depriving them of their ancient prerogatives, in order to subjugate them to your sway, and that by a sacrilegious usurpation, you take the title of universal bishop, which only belongs to the bishop of Rome. Thus, in your pride, you dare to compare yourself with us, and to contest our infallibility in contempt of the decisions of the Fathers and orthodox councils; and even against the apostles. Finally, you persecute the faithful who receive the eucharist with unleavened bread, under the pretext that Jesus Christ used leavened bread in instituting the sacrament of the altar. I forewarn you, then, that your impious doctrines will be anathematized by our legates, and that your conduct will be publicly condemned, if you persist in refusing to take the oath of obedience to us.”ECE 327.3

    120. The patriarch would not yield to the pope. The emperor tried to compel to submit; but he told the emperor that he might remove him from the patriarchate, but that no power on earth could ever make him betray his trust by subjecting the see of the imperial city of Constantinople to that of Rome. Accordingly, the threat made by Leo was carried out by his legates in Constantinople, July 16, 1054, in their pronouncing a long arraignment and excommunication of the patriarch of Constantinople, and “all who should thenceforth receive the sacrament administered by any Greek who found fault with the sacrifice or mass of the Latins.” A few days afterward that sentence was followed by another in the words: “Whoever shall find fault with the faith of the holy see of Rome, and its sacrifice, let him be anathematized, and not looked upon as a Christian Catholic, but as a Prozimite heretic. Fiat, fiat, fiat!” 22[Page 328] Bower’s “Lives of the Popes,” Leo IX, par. 5 from end.ECE 327.4

    121. However, before these excommunications were actually pronounced, Leo’s career had ended, he having died April 19, 1054. The people of Rome would not take any steps toward the election of a new pope without the express directions of the emperor. They therefore sent a subdeacon, Hildebrand, to the emperor in Germany, to ask him to name the one whom he should consider most worthy. Hildebrand had already, in his own mind, decided as to who should be chosen—one to whom it was hardly possible that the emperor could object—Gebhard, bishop of Eichstadt, the emperor’s chief counselor. Hildebrand drew to his scheme the prelates of Germany, who begged the emperor to nominate Gebhard. Gebhard was chosen; and was installed as Pope—VICTOR II, APRIL 13, 1055, TO JULY 28, 1057.ECE 328.1

    122. In 1056 the emperor Henry III finding that his end was drawing near called the pope to him in Germany. The emperor committed to the pope the care of his young son Henry IV, then about five years old, and died October 5. The emperor’s widow was named as regent during her young child’s minority. But with Pope Victor as the chief counselor of the widow, and also practically the child’s guardian, the pope was practically emperor as well as actually pope. And this was recognized by the pope; for “the ambition of Victor rose with his power; his grants assumed a loftier tone; the apostolic throne of Peter, the chief of the apostles, is raised high above all people and all realms, that he may pluck up and destroy, plant and build in his name;” but “he suddenly died at Arezzo, and with him expired all these magnificent schemes of universal rule.”—Milman. 23[Page 329] “Latin Christianity,” Vol. iii, book vi, chap 3, par. 8. He was succeeded by Frederick of Lorraine, who had been chancellor of the papacy and one of the legates to Constantinople to pronounce against the patriarch of Constantinople the excommunication launched by Leo IX. Frederick reigned as Pope—STEPHEN X, AUG. 2, 1057, TO MARCH 29, 1058.ECE 328.2

    123. The new pope attempted to reform the clergy, and held several councils on the subject; but, as with former attempts, all that was done was to enact canons condemning their practices. He appointed to the cardinalate Peter Damiani, the monk who had written so plainly to Leo IX of the condition of the clergy. And as cardinal, Peter still kept up his exposure of the evil practices of the clergy. He wrote:—ECE 329.1

    “Ecclesiastical discipline is everywhere abandoned; the canons of the Church are trampled underfoot; priests only labor to satisfy their cupidity, or to abandon themselves to incontinence. The duties of the episcopate only consist in wearing garments covered with gold and precious stones, in enveloping one’s self in precious furs, in possessing race horses in the stables, and in sallying forth with a numerous escort of armed horsemen. Prelates should, on the contrary, set an example for the purity of their morals and all Christian virtues. Misfortunes turn on those who lead a condemnable life, and anathemas on those who intrigue for the dignity of bishops for a guilty end. Shame on ecclesiastics who abandon their country, follow the armies of kings, and become the courtiers of princes, to obtain, in their turn, the power of commanding men, and of subjugating them to their sway! These corrupt priests are more sensitive to terrestrial dignities than to the celestial recompenses promised by the Saviour; and to obtain bishoprics, they sacrifice their souls and bodies. It would, however, be better for them openly to purchase the episcopal sees, for simony is less a crime than hypocrisy. Their impure hands are always open to receive presents from the faithful; their heads are always at work to invent new means of squeezing the people, and their viper-tongues are prodigal, by day and night, of flattery to tyrants.—Thus I declare the bishops who have become the slaves of kings, three times simoniacal, and thrice damned!”ECE 329.2

    124. Before his death, Stephen had required the clergy to promise that they would not choose a pope before the return of Hildebrand, who was then in Germany. But, no sooner was Stephen dead than a strong party, led by the counts of Tusculum, chose the bishop of Veletri; and, against the opposition of the cardinals, they by night installed him as Pope—BENEDICT X, APRIL TO DECEMBER, 1058.ECE 330.1

    But when Hildebrand returned from Germany, he caused the archbishop of Florence to be elected pope, who took the title of—NICHOLAS II, JANUARY, 1059, TO JULY 22, 1061.ECE 330.2

    125. Thus again there were two popes at once. Peter Damiani being asked which of these was the true pope, who should be obeyed, replied:—ECE 330.3

    “He who is now upon the holy see was enthroned at night by troops of armed men, who caused him to be elected by distributing money among the clergy. On the day of his nomination, the patines, the holy pyxes, and the crucifixes from the treasury of St. Peter, were sold throughout the city. His election was then violent and simoniacal. He alleges in his justification, that he was forced to accept the pontificate; and I would not affirm that it is not so; for our pope is so stupid, that it would not be at all extraordinary if he were ignorant of the intrigues which the counts of Tuscanella have carried on in his name. He is guilty, however, for remaining in the abyss into which he has been cast, and for being ordained by an archpriest whose ignorance is so great, that he can not read a line without spelling every syllable. Although the election of Nicholas the Second was not entirely regular, I would submit more willingly to the authority of this pontiff, because he is sufficiently literary, possesses an active mind, pure morals, and is filled with charity. Still, if the other pope could compose a line, I will not say a psalm, but even a homily, I would not oppose him, and would kiss his feet.”ECE 330.4

    126. A council was called by Nicholas, at Florence, which was attended by the cardinals and most of the bishops of Italy, to consider how to gain possession of the papal throne in Rome. The council unanimously declared Nicholas to have been lawfully elected, and passed a sentence of excommunication upon Benedict X. And, since Nicholas and his council had the support of Duke Godfrey of Lorraine, as the representative of the emperor, Benedict yielded without any further contest. The excommunication was removed: he was deposed from the priesthood, and was required to spend the rest of his days in a monastery.ECE 330.5

    127. Nicholas assembled a council in Rome, and made the usual endeavor to reform the clergy, and with the usual results. With regard to those who had bribed their way to clerical office, he was obliged to confess:—ECE 331.1

    “As to those who have been ordained for money, our clemency permits them to preserve the dignities to which they have been promoted; because the multitude of these ecclesiastics is so great, that by observing the rigor of the canons with regard to them, we should leave almost all the churches without priests.”ECE 331.2

    128. By this council the election of the pope was taken from the populace, and even from the clergy in general, and was confined to the cardinals: though there was left to the people a vague sort of right of approval. A heavy curse was laid by the council upon whomsoever should disregard this new law. They declared against him an irrevocable excommunication, and that he should be counted among the wicked to all eternity; and closed with the following words:—ECE 331.3

    “May he endure the wrath of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and that of St. Peter and St. Paul, in this life and the next! May his house be desolate, and no one dwell in his tents! Be his children orphans, his wife a widow, his sons outcasts and beggars! May the usurer consume his substance, the stranger reap his labors; may all the world and all the elements war upon him, and the merits of all the saints which sleep in the Lord confound and inflict visible vengeance during this life! Whosoever, on the other hand, shall keep this law, by the authority of St. Peter, is absolved from all his sins.”ECE 331.4

    129. Nicholas made peace with the Normans, to the great advantage of the papacy, both spiritually and temporally. For to the pope the famous Norman, Robert Guiscard, took the following oath of fealty:—ECE 331.5

    “I, Robert, by the grace of God and St. Peter, duke of Apulia and Calabria, and future duke of Sicily, promise to pay to St. Peter, to you, Pope Nicholas, my lord, to your successors, or to you and their nuncios, twelve deniers, money of Pavia, for each yoke of oxen, as an acknowledgment for all the lands that I myself hold and possess, or have given to be held and possessed by any of the ultramontanes; and this sum shall be yearly paid on Easter-Sunday by me, my heirs and successors, to you, Pope Nicholas, my lord, and to your successors. So help me, God, and these His holy Gospels.” 24[Page 332] Bower’s “Lives of the Popes,” Nicholas II, par. 10.ECE 331.6

    130. Upon the death of Nicholas, the clergy and people were again divided into two powerful factions, each vigorously striving for the power that accrued in the electing of the pope. Neither party being able to prevail at once, messengers were sent into Germany, to the court of the child-emperor, to have the imperial council to name a man to be pope. But, for some reason, the messengers could not obtain an audience at the imperial court, and were obliged to return with the seals of their letters unbroken. Hildebrand then took the bold step of having a pope elected without any word at all from the imperial court; and the new pope was duly installed as—ALEXANDER II, OCT. 7, 1061, TO APRIL 21, 1073. The opposing faction sent off messengers to the emperor: a council was assembled at Basle, which declared Alexander deposed; and then elected as his successor the bishop of Parma, who was proclaimed and consecrated Pope—HONORIUS II, OCT. 28, 1061, TO 1066.ECE 332.1

    131. This Honorius is described by Cardinal Damiani as having been “plainly a disturber of the Church, the overturner of apostolic discipline, the enemy of human salvation,...the root of sin, the herald of the devil, the apostle of anti-Christ; and what should I say more? He is an arrow from the quiver of Satan, the staff of Assur, a son of Belial, the son of perdition who is opposed and exalted above all that is called God, or that is worshiped: the gulf of lewdness, the shipwreck of chastity, the opprobium of Christianity, the ignominy of the priesthood, the progeny of vipers, the stench of the world, the smut of the race, the disgrace of the universe, ...a slippery serpent, a crooked snake, a sink of crime, the dregs [Latin, sentina,—bilgewater] of vice, the abomination of heaven, outcast from Paradise, food for Tartarus, the stubble of eternal fire.” This does not exhaust the list of expletives applied by the cardinal to the new pope; but it is sufficient to give an idea of the character of Honorius II, or of Cardinal Damiani himself: possibly of both.ECE 332.2

    132. There being now two popes, the next thing to be settled, of course, was which should be pope alone. Honorius II, with an army, marched from Basle direct to Rome. Pope Alexander fled; but Duke Godfrey, who had espoused his cause, met the army of Honorius and defeated it. Honorius himself was taken prisoner, but bribed his captors and escaped. When Alexander learned of the defeat of Honorius, he returned to Rome and occupied the papal chair. Honorius had gathered a stronger army, and in the spring of 1062, marched again into Italy, where he was received with joy by a large number of the bishops of the Lombard cities. The bishop of Albi went to Rome as the emissary of Honorius and the ambassador of the emperor. He there steadily worked by speech and by money, in the interests of Honorius. There was a great assembly in the hippodrome, at which Pope Alexander appeared on horseback. There in the presence of all, the bishop of Albi denounced Pope Alexander II: “Thou hast obtained thy election to the popedom by the aid of Normans, robbers, and tyrants, and by notorius bribery. Hildebrand, that son of Simon, Magus, was the chief agent in this detestable merchandise, for which ye have both incurred damnation before God and man.” He commanded him to go to the court of the emperor to do penance. Alexander replied that in receiving the office of pope he had not broken his allegiance to the emperor, and that he would send his legate to the court of Henry. Then, amid the hootings of the crowd—“Away, leper! Out, wretch! Begone, hateful one!”—Alexander rode away.ECE 333.1

    133. The supporters of Alexander met bribery with bribery. Nevertheless, the bishop of Albi was enabled to form in Rome a powerful party in support of Honorius; and, meanwhile, Honorius was marching with his army toward Rome. As he drew near, the army of Pope Alexander went out of the city to meet him. In the battle Alexander’s army was defeated, and was obliged to take refuge within the walls of Rome. The army of Honorius was not sufficiently powerful to force the gates or walls, and he camped in the territory of the count of Tusculum, who was grandson of the famous Alberic, the son of Marozia. Just at this point the duke of Tuscany, who had not taken either side in this papal quarrel, appeared with an army more powerful than that of either pope, and demanded that hostilities should cease; and that the rival popes should retire, each to his city, and await the decision of the emperor upon their rival claims.ECE 333.2

    134. About this time also the partisans of Alexander, in Germany, had made a powerful stroke in his favor: the principal archbishops and nobles had, by force, taken the young emperor from the care of his mother into their own hands. And now, in his name, a council was assembled at Augsburg, at which Cardinal Damiani was the chief pleader in behalf of Alexander. He justified the action of the archbishops in setting aside the emperor’s mother, and taking him into their own control, by the argument that “in temporal affairs the mother of the emperor might guide her son; but the Roman Church was the mother of the emperor in a higher sense, and as his rightful guardian was to act for him in spiritual concerns.” The council decided in favor of Alexander II, and declared him the rightful pope to whom belonged all the powers of the papacy.ECE 334.1

    135. However, Honorius was still alive, and had his friends, and even his army; and one of his friends even held the castle of St. Angelo, in Rome. In the spring of 1063, at the solicitation of his supporters in Rome, Honorius led his army again to that city. His faction held the gates of a portion of the city, and Honorius was enabled to enter the city without a battle. The troops of Alexander held the other parts of the city: a battle was fought: Honorius was defeated, and took refuge in the castle of St. Angelo, where he maintained himself for two years. “Rome had two popes with their armed troops glaring defiance at each other from opposite quarters of the city. The spiritual thunders—each of course, and each in his synod, had hurled his direst excommunication at the other—were drowned in the louder din of arms.”—Milman. 25[Page 334] “History of Latin Christianity,” Vol. iii, book vi, chap 3, par. 30 from end.ECE 334.2

    136. In May, 1064, another council was assembled to decide the question again, as to who was rightful pope. This council met at Mantua, in Lombardy. The rival popes were summoned to appear at the council. Alexander, knowing that the managers of the council were favorable to him, went. Honorius refused to go, declaring that no power could rightly summon him, as his election had been regularly accomplished by a council, and confirmed by the imperial authority. The council declared Alexander II to be legitimate pope. A portion of the army of Honorius raided the city of Mantua while the council was sitting. But Duke Godfrey had accompanied Alexander with an army, guaranteeing his safety, and these drove out the soldiers of Honorius. The episcopal partisans of Honorius in Lombardy deserted his cause and begged the forgiveness of the council. But Honorius II still held to his title of pope unto the day of his death, in 1066; and Alexander II reigned in papal peace for seven years, until April 21, 1073, when he also died, and was succeeded by the monk Hildebrand, as Pope—GREGORY VII.ECE 334.3

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