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    IN Boniface VIII the papacy had reached the pinnacle of worldly power and glory. All the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them were hers. And now she entered diligently upon the enjoyment of it all. And the conduct of the popes in the enjoyment of this power and glory, was exactly after the order of that of the emperors of ancient Rome in the enjoyment of the power and glory to which Rome had attained in the reign of Augustus. With but little more change than the insertion of the names of the popes in the place of the names of the Caesars—Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, Nero,—Suetonius’s account of the lives of the Caesars would very easily fit the lives of the popes in the fourteenth century.ECE 509.1

    2. The immediate successor of Boniface VIII reigned less than a year, Oct. 27, 1303, to July 6, 1304. It seems that he really made honest efforts at a reform of the ecclesiastics, which excited such a violent opposition and hatred toward him as to cause his term to end as soon as it did, by poison. At his death there were two rival parties which aimed at the possession of the papacy. These two parties were the Guelphs and the Ghibellines. The influence of these two parties amongst the cardinals was so evenly balanced that the cardinals were obliged to break up their conclave without an election. But by the interference of King Philip the Handsome, of France, an election was reached in the choice of the archbishop of Bordeaux. He was installed at Lyons. “The ceremonies took place in the church of St. Just on the 14th of November, 1305, in the presence of an immense concourse of bishops, archbishops, kings, princes, and lords.” He took the name of—CLEMENT V, NOV, 14, 1305 TO APRIL 20, 1314. “After mass he returned to his palace, followed by cardinals, nobles, and monks, and an immense escort of people: the kings of France and Aragon led by the bridle a white horse, on which the pope, clothed in his pontifical ornaments and wearing his tiara, was mounted.ECE 509.2

    3. “The procession having arrived at the foot of the hill on which the church of Saint Just is built, the kings yielded their place, by the side of Clement, to Charles of Valois and Louis d’Evreux, the two brothers of Philip. Scarcely had this change been made, when a horrible crash was heard; an old wall, on which a scaffolding had been erected [for the crowd of sight-seers], fell on the train and drew down in its fall all who were on it. The count de Valois and the king of France were badly wounded; the pontiff himself was thrown from his horse, and in the tumult a large diamond of considerable value was stolen from his tiara. His brother, Gaillard de Got, was instantly killed, with the duke of Brittany and a large number of lords and priests. Several cardinals, already discontented with Clement took occasion of this accident to proclaim openly their intention of returning to Italy; but the pope promptly informed them that he knew how to constrain them to obey his will, and to inhabit the city in which he pleased to dwell.ECE 510.1

    4. “Some days afterward, Clement celebrated his first pontifical mass, and gave a grand entertainment to all his court. As we might suppose, the most delicious meats and wines of France were lavished at it; so that toward the end of the banquet, their heads being exhilarated, they laid aside reserve. An imprudent word brought on a quarrel between the cardinals and the holy father; from words they came to blows, daggers leaped from their sheaths, and one of the brothers of the pope was slain before his eyes.”—De Cormenin. 1[Page 510] “History of the Popes,” Clement V.ECE 510.2

    5. “During his sojourn at Lyons, the pontiff, though much grieved by the death of his brothers, did not forget the interests of his see. He extorted enormous sums from the bishops and abbots of France who came to his court; and when he perceived that a fear of being mulcted prevented the clergy from visiting him, he determined to make a tour through the dioceses. He passed through a great number of cities, and everywhere carried off treasures from the churches and monasteries. It is related that he took five whole days to carry away from the rich abbey of Cluny the gold and silver that he found in the cellars of the monks. He compelled Giles, the archbishop of Bourges, to pay so large a fine for not having visited him, that the unfortunate prelate was compelled forever after to live on alms. Not content with his own extortions, on his return to Bordeaux, he sent three legates—Gentil de Montesiore, Nicholas de Freauville, and Thomas de Jorz, to squeeze the lower clergy of the Gallic Church. They imposed such onerous contributions on the priests, and exacted the payment so rigorously, that the latter, in their despair, complained to the monarch.ECE 510.3

    6. “Philip instructed Milon de Noyers, the marshal of France, to complain to the holy father against his extortioners, and to obtain their recall. But this embassy, instead of arresting the evil, increased it. The pope, fearing lest energetic measures would be taken to shackle his financiering expedition, urged the receipt of the money, and ordered his legates to increase their severity and set all ecclesiastical dignities up at auction. He also resolved to use the tribunals of the Inquisition, with which Blanche of Castlle and St. Louis had endowed France, so as to avail himself of the decrees of the fourth council of the Lateran, which provided that the property of heretics and their accomplices belonged to the holy see, without the children or relatives of the condemned being able to claim the least part. As Philip alone could offer any serious opposition, he determined to associate him with him in its benefits, and offered to divide with him the immense wealth of the templars and hospitalers, whom he proposed to attack as heretics.”ECE 511.1

    7. This scheme was carried to successful issue; and the pope and the king “divided between themselves the riches of the Templars. Philip kept the land, and Clement took all the ornaments of gold and silver, and the coined money.” 2[Page 511] Id. The pope established his residence at the city of Avignon, which for seventy-four years—1304-1378—continued to be the residence of the popes. Clement held a general council at Vienna. Henry VII was to be crowned emperor. The imperial crown could be received only in Rome. The pope “commissioned five cardinals to proceed, in his place, to the coronation of the emperor, and sent a bull in which all the pontifical audacity was exhibited to the light of day.” In the bull Clement V said to Henry VII:—ECE 511.2

    “Know, prince, that Jesus Christ, the King of kings, having given to His Church all the kingdoms upon earth, emperors and kings should serve on their knees, us, who are the representatives and vicars of God.”ECE 511.3

    8. When Clement died “his treasures were pillaged. The cardinals seized on enormous sums of coined money. Bernard, Count de Lomagne, nephew and minion of the dead pope, carried off chalices and ornaments worth more than a hundred thousand florins. The Countess de Foix stole as her share all the jewels of the holy father. And there were no minions nor mistresses of the cardinals who were not enriched by the spoils of the sovereign pontiff.... When there was nothing more left in the treasury of the Church, the cardinals, twenty-three in number, went to Carpentras, and shut themselves up in the episcopal palace, to proceed to the election of a new pope. Scarcely had they done so, when a dreadful tumult broke out in the city; the priests of the court of Clement, and the domestics of the cardinals who had not formed a part of the cortege of the pope, and who consequently had not had part of the plunder, arrived at Carpentras, furious at having been deprived of such rich booty. As they knew the impossibility of their masters opposing their designs, they traversed the streets with lighted torches, and set fire to the houses, that they might more easily rob the inhabitants in the general alarm. Fortunately, these soon gained the ascendence, and laid strong hands on the stranger priests. In consequence of this outbreak, a panic seized the cardinals; they left Carpentras furtively, to escape the popular vengeance, and retired to their magnificent palaces at Avignon, or to their country houses, without caring otherwise for Christianity than to spend with their mistresses the money which the faithful had given to Clement the Fifth, and which they had divided amongst themselves.” 3[Page 512] Id.ECE 512.1

    9. Two full years passed without any election of a pope. At last the king of France “went to the city of Lyons, from whence he wrote to the cardinals to come to him secretly, promising the tiara to each one of them. On the appointed day they all arrived, mysteriously, in the city, and went to the monastery of Preaching Brothers, where Philip was. As soon as they appeared at the convent, they were arrested and confined in a large hall. Philip then informed them that he should keep them prisoners until they had named a pontiff.” The king commanded that they be fed only on bread and water. At the end of forty days, having not yet come to an agreement in the choice of a pope, they did agree “to commission the cardinal James d’Ossa to choose the worthiest among them as sovereign pontiff.” The worthy cardinal “placed the tiara on his own head.” And since it was the unanimous choice of the cardinals that James d’Ossa choose the pope, and he had chosen himself, his election was counted unanimous, and he was proclaimed Pope—JOHN XXII, SEPT. 21, 1316, TO DEC. 4, 1334.ECE 512.2

    10. John was seventy years old. From the fact that the cardinals could unite in trusting him to choose the worthiest amongst them to be pope, it is evident that he had some claims to their confidence. But if this be so, and whatever claims to worthiness he might have had, after he became pope “he became prouder, more deceitful, and greedier than his predecessors. He was not content with the ordinary revenues of the Church, and with the enormous sums the inquisitors paid him as his share of the confiscations, but he increased them by speculating in human corruption, and publicly sold absolution for parricide, murder, robbery, incest, adultery, sodomy, and bestiality. He himself reduced to writing this tax of the apostolic chancery, that Pactolus which flowed over all the vices of humanity changed into livres tournois or handsome golden pennies—and which rolled into the pontifical treasury, the true ocean in which the wealth of nations was engulfed. It was he also who first added a third crown to the tiara, as a symbol of the triple power of the popes over heaven, earth, and hell, and which they have made the emblem of their pride, their avarice, and their lubricity.”ECE 513.1

    11. The list of taxes drawn up by John XXII, as levied upon the licentious practices of ecclesiastics, priests, nuns, and the laity; on murder and other enormities, as well as on lesser crimes and breaches of monastic rules and Church requirements; is sufficient to cover almost every sin that mankind could commit. Yet, all these sins were regularly taxed at a certain rate, to the single “sou” (cent), and even to the “denier.” So that it is literally true that no inconsiderable portion of the revenues of the papacy were derived from a regularly assessed tax upon the sins of men. Well did the abbot of Usperg exclaim: “O Vatican, rejoice now, all treasuries are open to thee,—thou canst draw in with full hands! Rejoice in the crimes of the children of men, since thy wealth depends on their abandonment and iniquity! Urge on to debauchery, excite to rape, incest, even parricide; for, the greater the crime, the more gold will it bring thee. Rejoice thou! Shout forth songs of gladness! Now the human race is subjected to thy laws! Now thou reignest through depravity of morals and the inundation of ignoble thoughts. The children of men can now commit with impunity every crime, since they know that thou wilt absolve them for a little gold. Provided he brings thee gold, let him be soiled with blood and lust; thou wilt open the kingdom of heaven to debauchees, Sodomites, assassins, parricides. What do I say? Thou wilt sell God himself for gold!” 4[Page 514] De Cormenin’s “History of the Popes,” John XXII, where a considerable portion of the list is given.ECE 513.2

    12. In 1319 Pope John discovered that Clement V, “before his death, had deposited a vast amount in money, in gold and silver vessels, robes, books, precious stones, and other ornaments, with important instruments and muniments in the castle of Mouteil,” in the care of the lord of the castle. The pope demanded that the lord of the castle should deliver all this wealth to him. It amounted to nearly four and a half million dollars’ worth. The lord in whose charge it had been deposited, pleaded that it had been all spent, and chiefly by others than himself. He allowed himself to be put upon trial rather than to pay; and in the trial secured an acquittal. But the transaction gives indisputable testimony as to what the popes did with the vast treasures that were pouring into their hands from all Europe.ECE 514.1

    13. The emperor Louis of Bavaria was under the displeasure of John. The city of Rome was exceedingly jealous of the city of Avignon because Avignon had the glory, the pomp, and the expenditures of the papal court. Rome called upon Pope John to come with his court to Rome. John still remained in Avignon. Rome notified him that if he did not respond to their call, they would receive his enemy, Louis of Bavaria; for “a court they would have: if not the pope’s, that of the emperor.” There was more than this in their threat. For, if the emperor came to Rome to be crowned, being at war with Pope John, and it being essential that he should have a pope to crown him, he could do as many emperors had done before,—create a pope,—then they would have both an emperor’s and a pope’s court. By ambiguous sentences, implying half-promises or not, John replied to the Romans as to his going to Rome with his court; but as to their receiving the emperor, he sought to dissuade them from joining with the enemy of the Church. But, since John did not comply with their call, Rome did welcome the emperor, and fought for him against his opponents in Italy.ECE 514.2

    14. Sunday, Jan. 17, 1328, was the day chosen by the emperor for his coronation. Two bishops supplied the place of pope and cardinals, in his crowning. Then, being emperor, the next day he ascended a lofty stage in front of St. Peter’s, and “took his seat on a gorgeous throne. He wore the purple robes, the imperial crown; in his right hand he bore the golden scepter, in his left the golden apple. Around him were prelates, barons, and armed knights; the populace filled the vast space. A brother of the Order of Eremites advanced on the stage, and cried aloud: ‘Is there any procurator who will defend the priest, James of Cahors, who calls himself Pope John XXII?’ Thrice he uttered the summons; no answer was made. A learned abbot of Germany mounted the stage, and made a long sermon in eloquent Latin, on the text: ‘This is the day of good tidings.’ The topics were skillfully chosen to work upon a turbulent audience. ‘The holy emperor beholding Rome, the head of the world and of the Christian faith, deprived both of her temporal and her spiritual throne, had left his own realm and his young children to restore her dignity. At Rome he had heard that James of Cahors, called Pope John, had determined to change the titles of the cardinals, and transfer them also to Avignon; that he had proclaimed a crusade against the Roman people; therefore the Syndics of the Roman clergy, and the representatives of the Roman people, had entreated him to proceed against the said James of Cahors as a heretic, and to provide the Church and people of Rome, as the emperor Otto had done, with a holy and faithful pastor.”—Milman. 5[Page 515] “History of Latin Christianity,” Vol. vii, book xii, chap 7, par. 36.ECE 515.1

    15. The preacher next arraigned Pope John on charges of heresy. He charged that, when Pope John had been urged to war against the Saracens, he replied; “We have Saracens enough at home.” He charged that Pope John XXII had said that Christ, “whose poverty was among His perfections, held property in common with His disciples.” He charged that Pope John had asserted that “to the pope belongs all power, temporal as well as spiritual;” “contrary to the gospel which maintains the rights of Caesar, and asserts the pope’s kingdom to be purely spiritual. For these crimes therefore, of heresy and treason, the emperor, by the new law, and by other laws, canon and civil, removes, deprives, and cashiers the same James of Cahors from his papal office, leaving to any one who has temporal jurisdiction, to execute upon him the penalties of heresy and treason. Henceforth no prince, baron, or commonalty is to own him as pope, under pain of condemnation as fautor of his treason and heresy: half the penalty to go to the imperial treasury, half to the Roman people.” He then announced that the emperor, Louis of Bavaria, promised that in a few days “he would provide a good pope and a good pastor for the great consolation of Rome and of all Christendom.”ECE 515.2

    16. April 23, in the presence of senators and people, the emperor published a law “that the pope about to be named, and all future popes, should be bound to reside, except for three months in the year, in Rome; that he should not depart, unless with the permission of the Roman people, above two days’ journey from the city; and, if summoned to return, and disobedient to the summons, he might be deposed and another chosen in his place.” May 12, the emperor again took his place upon the throne, with a certain friar, Peter di Corvara, at his side. A sermon was preached from the text: “And Peter, turning, said, The angel of the Lord hath appeared and delivered me out of the hand of Herod.” Pope John was Herod, and the emperor was the angelic deliverer. Then a bishop called three times to the populace, whether they would have “the brother Peter for the pope of Rome.” The answer was loud and unanimous, in the affirmative. The decree was then read, “the emperor rose, put on the finger of the friar the ring of St. Peter, arrayed him in the pall, and saluted him by the name of—NICHOLAS V, MAY 12, 1328, TO AUG. 24, 1329.ECE 516.1

    17. The emperor had himself crowned again by the new pope. The new pope immediately created seven cardinals, and thus formed a papal court; and he who had been proclaimed as the representative of apostolic poverty, began immediately to display all the style of a court. His cardinals rode forth “on stately steeds, the gift of the emperor, with servants, even knights and squires;” they enjoyed splendid and costly banquets. And the new pope, like the popes at Avignon, maintained these extravagances of his court by the sale of ecclesiastical privileges, and benefices, and confiscating the wealth, even the lamps, of churches. The contest between the two popes “divided all Christendom. In the remotest parts were wandering friars who denounced the heresy of Pope John,” and advocated the cause of the emperor and Pope Nicholas. “In the University of Paris were men of profound thought who held the same views, and whom the ruling powers of the University were constrained to tolerate.” The whole of Europe seemed about to be divided. Two men were burned in Rome for denying that Nicholas V was lawful pope; and Pope John was burned in effigy. Pope Nicholas “threatened all who should adhere to his adversary, not merely with excommunication, but with the stake.” 6[Page 517] Id. pars. 43-45.ECE 516.2

    18. In October, the emperor and Nicholas went first to Viterbo, and then to Pisa, Nicholas on every occasion issuing edicts anathematizing the “so-called pope,” John XXII. The emperor retired to Trent, in the Tyrol. Pisa repudiated Pope Nicholas V. He fled; then stole back and took refuge in the palace of a nobleman who was his friend. To the nobleman Pope John XXII wrote a letter, urging him to “surrender the child of hell, the pupil of malediction.” Pope Nicholas V surrendered, and threw himself upon the mercy of Pope John XXII. To Pope John he wrote thus:—ECE 517.1

    “I heard brought against you and your court accusations of heresy, exactions, simony, debaucheries, and murders, which rendered you, in my eyes, the most execrable of pontiffs. I then thought it my duty not to refuse the tiara, in order to deliver the Church from a pope who was drawing the faithful into an abyss. I have since learned, from my own experience, how difficult it is to live a holy life in the chair of the apostle, and I avow that no one is more worthy of the papacy than yourself. I thus renounce this dignity, and I will abdicate solemnly in your presence, in such place as you shall please to designate.” 7[Page 517] De Cormenin’s “History of the Popes,” under Nicholas V. antipope.ECE 517.2

    19. The nobleman under whose protection Nicholas was, required of John XXII that the life of Nicholas V should be spared, and that he should be absolved of the crime of having been pope. Pope John XXII commissioned the archbishop of Pisa to receive the submission of Pope Nicholas V. In the great cathedral of Pisa, Pope Nicholas V renounced the popedom, and condemned as heretical and impious all his acts of pope. He was then conveyed to Avignon, to Pope John XXII. “The day after his arrival at Avignon he was introduced into the full consistory with a halter round his neck. He threw himself at the pope’s feet; imploring mercy and execrating his own impiety.” A few days afterward he appeared again before the pope and cardinals, read a long confession, renounced and condemned the emperor Louis as heretical and schismatical. He was allowed to live in the papal palace; but “closely watched and secluded from intercourse with the world, yet allowed the use of books and all services of the Church.”ECE 518.1

    20. A section of the Franciscan monks were wandering everywhere, preaching absolute poverty as the perfection of Christianity. They denounced the luxury of the popes; and even denounced the papacy itself as “the great harlot of Revelation.” Clement V had persecuted many of them to death; and John XXII followed it up. “Wherever they were, John pursued them with his persecuting edicts. The Inquisition was instructed to search them out in their remotest sanctuaries; the clergy were directed to denounce them on every Sunday and on every festival.”ECE 518.2

    21. The claims of the papacy were by no means slackened. Pope John XXII, in one of his edicts, declared that—ECE 518.3

    “He [the pope] alone promulgates law; he alone is absolved from all law. He alone sits in the chair of St. Peter, not as mere man, but as man and God.... His will is law; what he pleases has the force of law.” 8[Page 518] Milman’s “History of Latin Christianity,” Vol. vii, book xii, chap 6, par. 5 from end.ECE 518.4

    22. He published a treatise, in which he set forth the claims of the papacy as follows:—ECE 518.5

    “As Jesus Christ is recognized as the Pontiff, King and Lord of the universe, so His vicar upon earth can have no equal. And since the whole world belongs to God, it should equally appertain to the pope. Emperors, kings, and princes can not then be recognized as lawful unless they have received their States as fiefs from the chief of the Church, who possesses this immense power, not by the right of the sword, but by divine right. For Jesus gave to St. Peter the keys, not the key of the kingdom of heaven only, that is one for spiritual and another for temporal things. The faithful should obey only God and the pope. And when kings refuse obedience to the holy see they place themselves without the bosom of the Church; they condemn themselves with their own mouths as heretics; and should consequently be handed over to the inquisitors to be burned for the edification of the faithful.” 9[Page 519] De Cormenin’s “History of the Popes,” under Nicholas V, antipope.ECE 518.6

    23. Pope John XXII died in 1334, at nearly the age of ninety years. “After his death they found in his treasury eighteen millions of florins [about forty-three and a half millions of dollars] in coined money, besides his vessels, crosses, miters, and precious stones, which were valued at seven millions of florins [about seventeen millions of dollars]. I can render certain testimony to this, because my brother, a man worthy of belief, who was one of the purveyors of the pontifical court, was at Avignon when the treasurers made their report to the cardinals. This immense wealth, and the still greater which the holy father had expended, were the proceeds of his industry, that is, of the sale of indulgences, benefices, dispensations, reserves, expectatives, and annates. But what contributed the most to increase his treasures was the tax from the apostolic chancellors for the absolution of all crimes.” 10[Page 519] Id. Cardinal Villani, under John XXII, sole pope. This same writer well remarks: “The good man had forgotten that saying, ‘Lay not up your treasures upon earth.’” And this vast sum that was found in the coffers of John XXII after his death, was that which was left over “beyond and above the lavish expenditure on the Italian wars; the maintenance of his martial son or nephew, the cardinal legate, at the head of a great army; his profuse provision for other relatives;” and the enormous expenditures of the papal court of Avignon. From all of this it may be conjectured as to what was the immensity of the papal revenues.ECE 519.1

    24. “One large source of his wealth was notorious to Christendom. Under the pretext of discouraging simony, he seized into his own power all the collegiate benefices throughout Christendom. Besides this, by the system of papal reserves, he never confirmed the direct promotion of any prelate; but by his skillful promotion of each bishop to a richer bishopric or archbishop, and so on to a patriarchate, as on each vacancy the annates or first fruits were paid, six or more fines would accrue to the treasury. Yet this pope—though besides his great rapacity, he was harsh, relentless, a cruel persecutor, and betrayed his joy not only at the discomfiture, but at the slaughter of his enemies—had great fame for piety as well as learning, arose every night to pray and to study, and every morning attended mass.”—Milman. 11[Page 520] “History of Latin Christianity,” Vol. vii, book xii, chap 7, last paragraph.ECE 519.2

    25. When the cardinals, after the death of John, entered into conclave for the election of a new pope, there were the same difficulties as formerly in reaching an election; for they would not, if they could avoid it, elect as pope a man who would not remain in Avignon. There was quite a general agreement in favor of one of their number; but they required a promise that he would continue to reign in Avignon, to which he replied: “I would sooner yield up the cardinalate than accept the popedom on such conditions.” This destroyed all his chances; and, in playing against time, each thought to throw away his vote by casting it for one whom no one would ever expect could be chosen pope. But, as it happened, in thus seeking to throw away their votes, enough of them threw their votes to the same man to elect one who, when to the surprise of all it was discovered, exclaimed: “You have chosen an ass!” He toke the name of Pope—BENEDICT XII, DEC. 20, 1334, TO APRIL 25, 1342. He immediately dismissed a vast number of hangers-on at the papal palace, and declared that he found great difficulty in finding ecclesiastics who were worthy to be appointed to vacancies. He bestowed upon the cardinals one hundred thousand florins ($242,000) of the many millions left in the treasury by John XXII. Also from these treasures he began the building of a magnificent palace.ECE 520.1

    26. The king of France, and the emperor Louis, were under excommunication, from Benedict’s predecessors; and not only the sovereigns, but the imperial diet, sought earnestly, by humiliating concessions, to have Benedict XII to release them. But the pope delayed so long that the sovereigns and the nobles grew weary. The emperor appeared before a diet at Frankfort, and complained of the obduracy of the pope. The diet declared that he had done enough to satisfy the pope, and, since it was all in vain, they pronounced null and void the excommunication and all the other papal proceedings in the case. And, at a diet at Rhense, July 16, 1337, at which all but one of the electors were present, the imperial office was declared independent of the papacy.ECE 520.2

    27. “They solemnly agreed that the holy Roman Empire, and they, the prince-electors, had been assailed, limited, and aggrieved in their honors, rights, customs, and liberties; that they would maintain, guard, assert those rights against all and every one without exception; that no one would obtain dispensation, absolution, relaxation, abolition of his own vow; that he should be, and was declared to be, faithless and traitorous before God and man, who should not maintain all this against any opponent whatsoever.” August 8 following, a diet, held again at Frankfort, “passed as a fundamental law of the empire, a declaration that the imperial dignity and power are from God alone; that an emperor elected by the concordant suffrage, or a majority of the electoral suffrages, has plenary imperial power, and does not need the approbation, confirmation, or authority of the pope, or the apostolic see, or any other.”ECE 521.1

    28. In response to this Benedict declared the throne vacant, and named himself protector of the empire. But death prevented him from any further aggression. An epitaph describes him as “a Nero, death to the laity, a viper to the clergy, without truth, a mere cup of wine.” To the customary vices of the popes of the time, he added that of drunkenness to such a degree that his example gave rise to the proverb, “As drunk as a pope.” He was succeeded by—CLEMENT VI, MAY 7, 1342, TO DEC. 6, 1352.ECE 521.2

    29. What little check had been put upon the hangers-on at the palace by Benedict XII, was more than swept away by Clement VI. He actually published a letter giving notice that “all poor clergy who would present themselves at Avignon within two months, should partake of his bounty.” An eye-witness declares that a hundred thousand greedy applicants crowded the streets of Avignon. “If Clement acted up to his maxim, that no one ought to depart unsatisfied from the palace of a prince, how vast and inexhaustible must have been the wealth and preferment at the disposal of the pope!” Where Benedict XII hesitated to fill ecclesiastical vacancies, because of the dearth of those worthy to fill them, Clement VI not only filled all the vacancies that could be found, but a great number of bishoprics and abbacies he declared vacant, in order that he might fill them. This was for revenue, because every appointment to a vacancy brought a considerable sum of money, according to the dignity and wealth of the position. When it was objected that no former pope had assumed this power, he merely answered: “They knew not how to act as pope.”ECE 521.3

    30. “If Clement was indulgent to others, he was not less so to himself. The court at Avignon became the most splendid, perhaps the gayest, in Christendom. The Provencals might almost think their brilliant and chivalrous counts restored to power and enjoyment. The papal palace spread out in extent and magnificence. The young art of painting was fostered by the encouragement of Italian artists. The pope was more than royal in the number and attire of his retainers. The papal stud of horses commanded general admiration. The life of Clement was a constant succession of ecclesiastical pomps and gorgeous receptions and luxurious banquets. Ladies were admitted freely to the court, the pope mingled with ease in the gallant intercourse. If John XXII and even the more rigid Benedict, did not escape the imputation of unclerical license, Clement VI, who affected no disguise in his social hours, would hardly be supposed superior to the common freedom of the ecclesiastics of his day. The countess of Turenne, if not, as general report averred, actually so, had at least many of the advantages of the pope’s mistress—the distribution of preferments and benefices to any extent, which this woman, as rapacious as she was handsome and imperious, sold with shameless publicity.” 12[Page 522] Id., chap 9, pars, 1, 2. Petrarch declared that Avignon was one vast brothel.ECE 522.1

    31. Pope Clement VI took yet another turn to increase the revenues of the papacy. It will be remembered that Boniface VIII established the jubilee, to be celebrated each hundredth year, with complete indulgence to all who would make the pilgrimage to Rome. The result of the jubilee appointed by Boniface was such that a writer who was present, said: “I can bear witness to it, since I dwelt in that city: by day and by night, there were two clerks at the altar of St. Paul, with rakes in their hands to rake up the gold which the faithful unceasingly threw down there. Boniface amassed an immense treasure from these donations, and the Romans were enriched by selling their wares, at excessive prices, to the simple people who came to obtain indulgences and empty their purses.” 13[Page 523] De Cormenin, Boniface VIII.ECE 522.2

    32. And now the people of Rome were more urgently than ever pressing the pope to remove his court to that city. They sent an embassy “to offer the pope, in the name of their fellow-citizens, the posts of first senator and captain of the city, provided he would return to Rome, and reduce the interval of the jubilees, from one hundred to fifty years, in order to multiply the causes of the prosperity of Italy, and increase the imposts of the holy city. Clement accepted the dignities and magistracies which were offered to him, and assured the ambassadors that he had the re-establishing of the holy see much at heart, and that he would engage to do it as soon as possible. As a proof of the sincerity of his word, he fixed the period of the new jubilee for the year 1350. The following was the bull published on the occasion:—ECE 523.1

    “The Son of God, by expiring on the cross, my brethren, has acquired for us a treasure of indulgences, which is increased by the infinite merits of the holy Virgin, the martyrs, and the saints; for you know that the dispensation of these riches belongs to the successors of St. Peter. Boniface the Eighth has already ordered the faithful to make a pilgrimage to the churches of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, and his bull grants entire absolution of sin to those who make this journey at the commencement of each century. We, however, consider that in the Mosaic law, which Jesus Christ came to accomplish spiritually, the fiftieth year is that of jubilee or the remission of debts. For this reason, then, on account of the short duration of human life, and that the greatest number of Christians may participate in this indulgence, we grant full and entire absolution to those who shall visit the churches of the two apostles, and that of St. John of the Lateran, in the year 1350, during thirty days, if Romans, and during five months, if strangers.” 14[Page 523] Id., Clement VI.ECE 523.2

    33. Clement lived to see this jubilee that he had appointed, and to enjoy the rich returns that came to the papal treasury. “Annibal Cecano placed his soldiers around the church of St. John of the Lateran; and at the end of the year he left Rome followed by fifty wagons loaded with gold and silver, which he conducted to the holy father under the charge of a good escort. Clement himself had not remained inactive: he had sold a goodly number of dispensations to kings, princes, and lords who could not go to Rome; and they counted that the jubilee produced incalculable wealth to the court of Avignon.” 15[Page 524] Id., Clement VI.ECE 523.3

    34. Benedict XII had failed to raise the excommunication from the emperor Louis. The emperor besought Clement VI so earnestly to release him, and the pope held him off so long, that, at last, he offered to allow the pope himself to dictate the terms of his release. This, of course, the pope willingly did; and, amongst the terms, he stipulated that the emperor should never issue any ordinance “as emperor or king of the Romans, without special permission of the Roman see; and that he would supplicate the pope, after absolution, to grant him the administration of the empire; and that he would make the States of the empire swear by word and by writing to stand by the Church.” Even to these terms the emperor agreed. But the nobles of the empire denounced him for it. They also protested to the pope, and began to say that an emperor who had so debased the imperial office, ought to be compelled to abdicate.ECE 524.1

    35. Yet even after the emperor had done all this, under the plea that the emperor had not fulfilled the treaty with becoming promptness Clement VI issued the following bull, “which in the vigor and fury of its curses transcended all that had yet, in the wildest times, issued from the Roman see:”—ECE 524.2

    “We humbly implore the divine power to confute the madness and crush the pride of the aforesaid Louis, to cast him down by the might of the Lord’s right hand, to deliver him into the hands of his enemies, and those that persecute him. Let the unforeseen snare fall upon him! Be he accursed in his going out and his coming in! The Lord strike him with madness, and blindness, and fury! May the heavens rain lightning upon him! May the wrath of Almighty God, and of the blessed apostles St. Peter and St. Paul, turn against him in this world and in the world to come! May the whole world war upon him! May the earth open and swallow him up quick. May his name be blotted out in his own generation; his memory perish from the earth! May the elements be against him; his dwelling be desolate! The merits of all the saints at rest confound him and execute vengeance on him in this life! Be his sons cast forth from their homes and be delivered before his eyes into the hands of his enemies!” 16[Page 525] Id., par. 15.ECE 524.3

    36. In 1347 Rienzi roused Rome to the establishment of a new republic, with Rienzi himself as great tribune. Clement VI condemned Rienzi and his whole proceedings, denounced him “under all those terrific appellations, perpetually thundered out by the popes against their enemies. He was ‘a Belshazzar, the wild ass in Job, a Lucifer, a forerunner of antichrist, a man of sin, son of perdition, a son of the devil, full of fraud and falsehood, and like the beast in the Revelation over whose head was written, Blasphemy.’ He had insulted the holy Catholic Church by declaring that the Church and State of Rome were one.”—Milman. 17[Page 525] Id., under Rienzi, par. 19 from end.ECE 525.1

    37. In the year 1348 the black plague swept over Europe, and caused multitudes to perish. The clergy had neglected the attentions due to the suffering, the dying, and the dead; and the friars everywhere had administered those offices. This everywhere turned the gratitude of the people to the friars, and brought to the friars vast numbers of gifts in wills and offerings. “Cardinals, many bishops, a multitude of the secular clergy, thronged to Avignon. They demanded the suppression of the mendicants. By what authority did they preach, hear confessions, intercept the alms of the faithful, even the burial dues of their flocks? The consistory sat, not one was present who dared to lift his voice in favor of the friars. The pope arose...He defended them with imposing eloquence against their adversaries. At the close of his speech he turned to the prelates,” and thus addressed them:—ECE 525.2

    “And if the friars were not to preach to the people, what would ye preach? Humility? you, the proudest, the most disdainful, the most magnificent among all the estates of men, who ride abroad in procession on your stately palfreys! Poverty? ye who are so greedy, so obstinate in the pursuit of gain, that all the prebends and benefices of the world will not satiate your avidity! Chastity? of this I say nothing! God knows your lives, how your bodies are pampered with pleasures. If you hate the begging friars, and close your doors against them, it is that they may not see your lives; you had rather waste your wealth on panders and ruffians than on mendicants. Be not surprised that the friars receive bequests made in the time of the fatal mortality, they who took the charge of parishes deserted by their pastors, out of which they drew converts to their houses of prayer, houses of prayer and of honor to the Church, not seats of voluptuousness and luxury.” 18[Page 526] Id., chap 11, par. 1.ECE 525.3

    38. At the death of Clement the cardinals met in their solemn conclave. They first unanimously enacted a law for themselves, ordaining that the pope should create no cardinal till the number of the cardinals was as low as sixteen, and then could not increase the number beyond twenty: that he must not nominate cardinals without the consent of the whole college of the cardinals, or, in extremity, at least two thirds: that likewise, without their consent, he could neither depose a cardinal, nor put one under arrest, nor seize nor confiscate their property; and that the college of cardinals were to have one half of the total revenues of the papacy. All solemnly swore to obey the law which they had made to bind themselves: some with the reservation “if it be according to law.”ECE 526.1

    39. A proposal was made to elect a certain one of their number; but another of the number warned them that if that man were made pope, the “noble horses of the cardinals” would “in a few days be reduced to draw wagons, or to toil before the plow.” This dire consideration put an end to that cardinal’s candidacy. The choice finally fell upon the bishop of Clermont, who took the name of Pope—INNOCENT VI, DEC. 18, 1352, TO SEPT. 12, 1357. His very first act as pope was to release himself from his oath to observe the statute that he with the other cardinals had framed, and then to declare that statute void and illegal from the beginning.ECE 526.2

    40. He tried to stir up a crusade to help the emperor of the east to defend Constantinople against the Turks. But the only monarch who received his call with any favor, was Charles of Germany; but even he was prevented from rendering any aid by the protest of his chancellor, Conrad of Alezia, who called upon him to “recollect that the popes have always regarded Germany as an inexhaustible mine of gold; and that they have their hands constantly extended toward us to despoil us. Do we not send enough money to Avignon for the instruction of our children and the purchase of benefices? Do we not furnish every year sufficiently large sums for the confirmation of bishops, the impetration of benefices, the pursuit of processes and appeals; for dispensations, absolutions, indulgences, privileges; and, finally, for all the simoniacal inventions of the holy see? Lo, the pope demands still a new subsidy. What does he offer us in exchange for our gold?—Inefficacious blessings, anathemas, wars, and a disgraceful servitude. Arrest, prince, the course of this evil, and do not permit pontifical despotism to make a second Italy out of Germany.” 19[Page 527] Id.ECE 526.3

    41. When Innocent died, and the cardinals met in a conclave to elect a successor, a whole month was spent without their coming to agreement. Believing that they could not agree upon any one of their number, it was proposed that they choose for pope some one who was not of the college of cardinals. This was agreed to; and William Grimoardi, abbot of St. Victor at Marseilles, was chosen, who took the name of Pope—URBAN V, OCT. 28, 1362, TO DEC. 19, 1370. He had been sent as legate to the kingdom of Naples, by Innocent VI, and so was absent from Avignon when chosen. When he heard of the death of Innocent, he had remarked: “Could I but see a pope who would return to his own Church at Rome, and quash the petty tyrants of Italy, I should die with great satisfaction the next day.”ECE 527.1

    42. And now, finding himself to be pope, he carried out this, his wish, and removed from Avignon to Rome in 1367, arriving in that city October 16. “He was greeted by the clergy and the people with a tumult of joy. He celebrated mass at the altar of St. Peter: the first pope since the days of Boniface VIII.” In August, 1368, the emperor Charles IV came to Rome, and was crowned by the pope. The emperor led the pope’s horse from the castle of St. Angelo to St. Peter’s Church, and performed the office of deacon to the pope, in the service at St. Peter’s. But Urban did not remain long in Rome; for September, 1370, he went to Avignon. He arrived at Avignon September 24; he was taken sick on that very day, and died December 19.ECE 527.2

    43. Through a regular election by the cardinals, Urban V was succeeded by Peter Roger, a nephew of Clement VI, who took the papal name of—GREGORY XI, DEC. 30, 1371, TO MARCH 27, 1378. Since the desolation poured upon the country of the Albigenses by Innocent III, Christianity had permeated France, and was specially prevalent in the Province of Dauphine. The local officials would not execute the decrees of the Church against them. Therefore Gregory addressed to King Charles V of France the following letter:—ECE 527.3

    “Prince, we have been informed that there is in Dauphiny, and the neighboring provinces, a multitude of heretics, called Vaudois, Turlupins, or Bulgarians, who are possessed of great riches. Our holy solicitude is turned toward that poor kingdom, which God has confided to you, to extirpate the schism. But your officers, corrupted by the gold of these reprobates, instead of assisting our dear sons, the inquisitors, in their holy ministry, have themselves fallen into the snare, or rather have found death. And all this is done before the eyes of the most powerful lords of Dauphiny. We order you, then, by virtue of the oath you have taken to the holy see, to exterminate these heretics; and we enjoin you to march, if necessary, at the head of your armies, to excite the zeal of your soldiers, and reanimate the courage of the inquisitors.”ECE 528.1

    44. “Charles the Fifth, called the Wise, seconded well the pope in his sanguinary plans. Soon a general massacre of the unfortunate Turlupins took place throughout all France. The dungeons of the Inquisition were encumbered with victims, and they had even to build new prisons at Embrun, Vienne, Avignon, and a great number of other cities, to hold the accused.... At Toulouse and Avignon the flames devoured several thousands of these unfortunates, who were gangrened and poisoned by heresy, as the holy father expressed it. These terrible executions brought in magnificent recompenses to the persecutors, as a letter of Charles the Fifth, addressed ‘to Pierre Jacques de More, grand inquisitor of the Bulgarians, in the province of France,’ attests. The sect of the Turlupins was finally entirely annihilated, and the coffers of the apostolic chancellery were gorged with riches.”—De Cormenin. 20[Page 528] “History of the Popes,” Gregory XI.ECE 528.2

    45. There were urgent calls for the papal court to come again to Rome. One day, in Avignon, Gregory had demanded of an ecclesiastic: “Why do you not betake yourself to your diocese?” He received the pointed reply: “Why do you not betake yourself to yours?” In response to these calls, Gregory set out with his court (with the exception of six cardinals who remained at Avignon), in the month of October, 1376, and arrived at St. Peter’s in Rome, April 17, 1377. But, early in the year 1378, he had resolved to go again to Avignon, but was prevented by his death, March 27.ECE 528.3

    46. As soon as it was known in Rome that Gregory XI was dead, the whole city rose in a riotous tumult, demanding that a Roman pope should be elected. Sixteen of the college of cardinals were in Rome. In regular course they assembled in conclave. The populace surrounded the place, demanding “a Roman pope! We will have a Roman pope!” They demanded to be allowed to speak to the cardinals. The cardinals consented, not daring to refuse. The spokesman of the people related how that, for seventy years, the people of holy Rome had no pastor: said that there were many wise and noble ecclesiastics in Rome who were able to govern the Church: and if not in Rome such could be found in Italy. They told the cardinals that the people were so determined in that matter that, if the conclave did not comply with their demand, there was danger of a general massacre, in which the cardinals would certainly perish.ECE 529.1

    47. All the time of this audience the crowd was clamoring about the building, crying: “A Roman pope! If not a Roman, an Italian!” To the spokesman of the crowd the cardinals very piously replied that “no election of a pope could be by requisition, favor, fear, or tumult; but only by the interposition of the Holy Ghost. ‘We are in your power; you may kill us, but we must act according to God’s ordinance. To-morrow we celebrate the mass for the descent of the Holy Ghost: as the Holy Ghost directs, so shall we do.’ The people responded: ‘If ye persist to do despite to Christ, if we have not a Roman pope, we will hew these cardinals and Frenchmen in pieces.’”ECE 529.2

    48. The intruders were persuaded at length to leave the hall, and the cardinals began their deliberation. All night the crowd kept up their cries: “A Roman pope! A Roman pope!” In the early morning some men had climbed to the belfry of St. Peter’s, and were clanging the bells as though the city were on fire; and the vast crowd were still demanding “A Roman pope!” The day passed with no election. All night again the crowd continued their cries, and the clanging of the bells, and the beating upon the doors of the building where the cardinals were. Morning came with the tumult increasing. The cardinals tried to speak to the crowd from the windows; but all their efforts were answered only with the shout: “A Roman! A Roman!” By this time not even an Italian would be accepted. By this time also the crowd had succeeded in breaking open the pope’s cellar, and gaining access to the abundance and variety of rich wines there stored. Thus drunkenness was added to their fury.ECE 529.3

    49. Eleven of the sixteen cardinals were French, and, of course, would, if possible have a pope who would sit at Avignon. But, now the crowd had become so violent that the whole conclave were in danger of being massacred; and they finally agreed, and chose the archbishop of Bari, Bartholomew Prignani, as pope. But as he was not a Roman, the cardinals feared to let it be known, until they had made good their escape. They therefore had the cardinal of St. Peters to appear at the window “with what either was or seemed to be the papal stole and miter.” Instantly the multitude triumphantly shouted the joyful acclaim, “We have a Roman pope! The cardinal of St. Peter’s. Long live Rome! Long live St. Peter! The crowd now actually broke into the hall of conclave, pressed around the aged cardinal of St. Peter’s, and, in their wild congratulations, almost smothered him, in spite of his protest that he was not the pope. One portion of the multitude hurried to his palace, broke it open, threw the furniture into the streets, and sacked it from cellar to garret.ECE 530.1

    50. When the crowd broke into the hall, the cardinals succeeded in making their escape through secret passages. The real pope-elect hid himself, fearing that he should be massacred because he was not a Roman, but only an Italian. The next day, however, the Roman cardinals found him, and sent notice to the Roman officials of his election. And, since the crowd had in great measure spent its fury, they were allowed to proceed with the ceremonies of the installation. The installation seremon was from the text: “Such ought he to be, an undefiled High Priest.” He was proclaimed Pope—URBAN VI, 21[Page 530] Milman’s “History of Latin Christianity,” Vol. vii, book xiii, chap 1. APRIL 9, 1378, TO OCT. 15. 1389.ECE 530.2

    51. On the same day that Urban VI was ordained to the papacy, “the cardinals at Rome wrote to the six who had remained at Avignon, to acquaint them with the election of the archbishop of Bari,” as follows:—ECE 530.3

    “Our late Father Gregory of holy memory, having left us to our unspeakable concern on the 27th of March, we entered into the conclave on the 7th of April to deliberate about the election of a new pontiff. The next day being enlightened by the rays of that Sun that never sets, about the hour when the Holy Ghost descended upon the apostles, we all freely and unanimously elected for high pontiff our reverent father and lord in Christ, Bartholomew, archbishop of Bari, a man endowed, in an eminent degree, with every virtue becoming so high a station. The news of his election was received with loud acclamation by an innumerable multitude of people. On the 9th he was placed in the apostolic throne, taking on that occasion the name of Urban VI. On the day of the resurrection of our Lord he was solemnly crowned, according to custom, in the basilic of St. Peter. We have thought it necessary to transmit to you this account, containing the truth, and nothing but the truth, of what has passed within these few days in the Roman Church. You may safely rely upon what we write; and it is incumbent upon you to contradict, as absolutely false, all reports to the contrary.” 22[Page 531] Bower’s “Lives of the Popes,” Urban VI.ECE 531.1

    52. Of Urban it was written by a papal historian, that he was “a prelate who would have been regarded as most worthy of the papacy, if he had never been pope.” And a writer of the times who was favorable to him as pope, said: “In Urban VI was verified the proverb: None is so insolent as a low man suddenly raised to power.” He preached a sermon from the text: “I am the good Shepherd,” in which he rebuked the cardinals for their indulgence of wealth and luxury, and their grand banquets; and threatened to cut them down to only one dish each at the table. For these reasons it was but a few days before the cardinals began to repent that they had elected him pope, and to seek for a way by which they might repudiate him. The wild and dangerous attack of the people gave them ground to claim that his election was forced, and, therefore, was not valid. He himself, while in the conclave, in the presence of the tumult of the populace, had said to the other cardinals: “You see what methods are used. He who shall be thus elected will not be pope. For my own part I would not obey him, nor ought he to be obeyed by any good Catholic.”ECE 531.2

    53. The French cardinals were, of course, opposed to a pope who would not sit in Avignon; and the other cardinals were galling under the new pope’s rule. The cardinals fixed their residence at Anagni. The pope went to Tivoli, and summoned the cardinals to that city. They replied that they had been put to large expense in establishing their residence at Anigni, and they had not the means to do the same thing a second time, in addition to the expense of removing to Tivoli. There were at Anagni twelve cardinals. Four cardinals were with the pope at Tivoli. Aug. 9, 1378, the twelve cardinals “publicly declared in encyclic letters addressed to the faithful in all Christendom,” as follows:—ECE 531.3

    “We have already informed you of the fury of the Roman people and their leaders, as well as of the violence done to us by forcing us to choose an Italian pope whom the Holy Spirit had not chosen. A multitude, carried away by fanaticism, wrested from us the temporary appointment of an apostate, a murderer, a heretic soiled with every crime; he himself had recognized that his election was to be only provisional. In contempt of his oath, he, however, compelled us by threats of death to elevate him to the chair of the apostle, and to cover his proud forehead with the triple crown. Now that we are beyond the reach of his anger, we declare him to be an intruder, usurper, and antichrist; we pronounce an anathema against him, and those who shall submit to his authority.” 23[Page 532] De Cormenin, under A. D. 1378.ECE 532.1

    54. And now that the papacy had attained and steadily held the pinnacle of absolute and irresponsible worldly power, she proceeded to take the next logical step—to gnaw her own vitals and tear herself to pieces. The chamberlain of Pope Urban left the castle of St. Angelo and the cause of Urban, and came to the cardinals at Anagni, bringing the jewels and ornaments of the pope. One of the cardinals that stood by Urban, died, leaving only three; while at Anagni there were thirteen against him, and at Avignon, six. Urban had announced that he was going to create nine new cardinals; but, all at once, he created twenty-six: which was more than there were already, all put together. This action estranged those who had stood by him, and united against him the whole number—twenty-two—of the original cardinals; and now this college of the twenty-two original cardinals proceeded without delay to elect another pope, Robert of Geneva, who took the papal name of—CLEMENT VII, SEPT. 20, 1378, TO SEPT. 16, 1394. “The qualifications which, according to his partial biographer, recommended the cardinal of Geneva, were rather those of a successor to John Hawkwood or to a duke of Milan, than of the apostles. Extraordinary activity of body and endurance of fatigue, courage which would hazard his life to put down the intrusive pope, sagacity, and experience in the temporal affairs of the Church; high birth, through which he was allied with most of the royal and princely houses of Europe: of austerity, devotion, learning, holiness, charity, not a word.”—Milman. 24[Page 533] “History of Latin Christianity,” Vol. vii, book xiii, chap. 1, last paragraph but one.ECE 532.2

    55. It thus came about that there were two popes elected by the same identical cardinals. There was therefore spread through Christendom the question as to which pope was really at the head of the Church. Consequently the whole of Christendom was divided. Urban was recognized as lawful pope by Germany, Hungary, England, Poland, Bohemia, Denmark, Sweden, Prussia, Norway, Holland, Tuscany, Lombardy, and the duchy of Milan. The king of France assembled a council, and asked that they decide in favor of the one whose election was the least scandalous. On that issue the council unanimously voted in favor of Clement. Then France formally recognized Clement, in which she was joined by Lorraine, Savoy, Scotland, Navarre, Aragon and Castile, Sicily, and the islands of Rhodes and Cyprus.ECE 533.1

    56. Thus at the heads of the two parts of divided Christendom stood these two rabid and determined popes. They were both men “from whom profound devotional feeling could not but turn away abashed and confused.... Acts of most revolting cruelty to his own partisans showed Urban to be a type of that craft, treachery, and utter inhumanity which were hereafter to attaint the bad Italian popes. He might almost seem to confirm the charge of madness. On the other hand, the highest praise of Clement was that he was a sagacious and experienced politician, a valiant captain of a free company.”—Milman. 25[Page 533] Id. chap 2, par. 1. Each promptly issued a bull denouncing the other as “antichrist.”ECE 533.2

    57. As the natural consequence “a bitter war then commenced between the two popes. Anathemas, interdicts, depositions, and maledictions were the prelude to the bloody strife which was soon to overwhelm the Western nations. Urban launched a bull against his competitor, and cited him to appear before the court of Rome to be judged and condemned as antipope. Clement, on his side, fulminated a terrible decree against his enemy, and cited him before the consistory of Avignon to be judged for his usurpation of the apostolic chair. Finally, both having refused to appear, they anathematized each other by the ringing of bells and the light of torches, declaring each other apostates, schismatics, and heretics. They preached crusades against each other, and called to their aid all the banditti and malefactors of Italy and France, and let them loose like wild beasts on the unfortunate inhabitants who recognized Clement or preferred Urban.ECE 533.3

    58. “In the States of the Church the Clementists made horrible havoc, ruined castles, burned villages, and even several cities; they penetrated as far as Rome, under the leading of Budes, a Breton captain, seized on the fortress of St. Angelo, and committed atrocities in all parts of the city. In Naples and Romagna the Urbanists, commanded by an Englishman named Hawkwood, a former leader of free companions, took their revenge and committed reprisal. Everywhere pillage, rape, incendiarism, and murder were committed in the name of Clement, or in the honor of Urban. The unhappy cultivators fled with their wives and children, to escape the satellites of the Roman pontiff, and were massacred by the soldiery of the pope of Avignon.ECE 534.1

    59. “Everywhere hamlets and villages exhibited only ruins blackened by the flames; the dead bodies of thousands of men and women lay unburied in the fields; the flocks wandered without resting places; the crops were trampled under feet for want of reapers to harvest them; and these magnificent provinces were threatened to be converted into immense deserts, had not Captain Hawkwood taken prisoner the leader of the Clementists and thus arrested the devastations for a time.”—De Cormenin. 26[Page 534] “History of the Popes,” under Urban VI and Clement VII.ECE 534.2

    60. “Urban’s great difficulty was the disorder and poverty of his finances. The usual wealth which flowed to the papal court was interrupted by the confusion of the times. The papal estates were wasted by war, occupied by his enemies, or by independent princes. Not only did he seize to his own use the revenues of all vacant benefices, and sell to the citizens of Rome property and rights of the churches and monasteries (from this traffic he got 40,000 florins 27[Page 534] A florin was equal to?$2.421/2.); not only did he barter away the treasures of the churches, the gold and silver statues, crosses, images of saints, and all the splendid furniture, he had recourse to the extraordinary measure of issuing a commission to two of his new cardinals to sell, impawn, and alienate the estates and property of the Church, even without the consent of the bishops, beneficed clergy, or monasteries.”ECE 534.3

    61. “Everywhere might be found divisions, spoliations, even bloodshed; ejected and usurping clergy, dispossessed and intrusive abbots and bishops; feuds, battles for churches and monasteries. Among all other causes of discord, arose this the most discordant: to the demoralizing and unchristianizing tendencies of the times was added a question on which the best might differ, which to the bad would be an excuse for every act of violence, fraud, or rapacity. Clement and his cardinals are charged with great atrocities against the adherents of Urban. The Italian partisans of Clement, who escaped the cruelty of Urban, crowded to the court of Clement, but that court, at first extremely poor, gave but cold entertainment to these faithful strangers: they had to suffer the martyrdom of want for their loyalty. When this became known, others suppressed their opinions, showed outward obedience to the dominant power, and so preserved their benefices.ECE 535.1

    62. “France at times bitterly lamented her indulgence of her pride and extravagance, in adhering to her separate pontiff. If France would have her own pope, she must be at the expense of maintaining that pope and his conclave. While the Transalpine kingdoms in the obedience of Urban rendered but barren allegiance, paid no tenths to the papal see, took quiet possession of the appointment to vacant benefices; in France the liberties of the Church were perpetually invaded. The clergy were crushed with demands of tenths or subsidies; their estates were loaded with debts to enrich the apostolic chamber.ECE 535.2

    63. “The six-and-thirty cardinals had proctors in ambush in all parts of the realm, armed with papal bulls, to give notice if any large benefice fell vacant in cathedral or collegiate churches, or the priories of wealthy abbeys. They were immediately grasped as papal reserves, to reward or to secure the fidelity of the hungry cardinals. They handed these down in succession to each other, sometimes condescending to disguise the accumulation of pluralities by only charging the benefices with large payments to themselves. ‘So,’ says an ecclesiastic of the day, ‘the generous intentions of kings and royal families were frustrated, the service of God was neglected, the devotion of the faithful grew cold, the realm was drained; many ecclesiastics were in the lowest state of penury; the flourishing schools of the realm were reduced to nothing; the University of Paris mourned for want of scholars.”—Milman. 28[Page 536] “History of Latin Christianity,” Vol. vii, book xiii, chap 2.ECE 535.3

    64. Having thus a general view of the misery of the world under this horrible anarchy of the papacy, it will not be necessary to follow in detail any more than the course of the individual popes who, on their respective sides, not only kept up but increased this anarchy, for a period of fifty years. Urban VI discovered that some of his cardinals had spoken of appointing guardians for him, because of his extreme and desperate conduct. The six who seemed to have thought of it were arrested by him, and, loaded with chains, and were “cast into a close and fetid dungeon, an old tank or cistern.” The inquisitors whom he sent to question them were so affected by their sufferings that when they returned to report to the pope “two of them burst into tears. Urban sternly taunted their womanly weekness. Theodoric by his own account ventured to urge the pope to mercy. Urban became only more furious; his face reddened like a lamp, his voice was choked with passion.”ECE 536.1

    65. After having kept the cardinals some time in the dungeon, causing them to “suffer from hunger, thirst, cold, and reptiles,” Urban next caused them all to be horribly tortured. This occurred in Nocera. Urban was besieged in Nocera; but, by a sally, he escaped. “He dragged with him the wretched cardinals. During the flight to the galleys, the bishop of Aquila, enfeebled by torture, could not keep his sorry horse to his speed. Urban, suspecting that he sought to escape, in his fury ordered him to be killed; his body was left unburied on the road. With the rest he started across to Sicily; thence to Genoa. The cardinals, if they reached Genoa alive, survived not long. By some accounts they were tied in sacks and cast into the sea, or secretly dispatched in their prisons.” Only one of the six was spared. Pope Urban’s madness was simply the intoxication of absolute power, and jealousy of rivalry in that power; precisely as was that of Caligula, Tiberius, or Nero.ECE 536.2

    66. In April, 1389, Urban VI, the more to fill his coffers, resorted to the scheme of reducing yet further the term at which the papal jubilee should recur: he made it each thirty-third year beginning with a jubilee the following year. “Christendom was summoned to avail itself of the incalculable blessings of a pilgrimage to Rome, with all the benefits of indulgencies. The treasury of the holy see was prepared to receive the tribute of the world.”—Milman. 29[Page 537] “History of Latin Christianity,” Vol. vii, book xiii, chap 2, par. 4 from end. However, Urban did not live to reap the coming harvest of gold.ECE 537.1

    67. At the death of Urban VI, Oct. 15, 1389, the remaining cardinals, seventeen in number, whom he had appointed proceeded to the election of a successor, meeting in conclave at Rome, or near by; and chose Peter Tomacelli, who took the name of—BONIFACE IX, NOV. 2, 1389, TO OCT. 1, 1404. He immediately created four new cardinals. When the jubilee expired, he sent his collectors into all the countries that were partisans of this side of the schism, “with full power to grant the indulgences of the jubilee to such as had been prevented by sickness or any other lawful impediment, from going to Rome. Thus were immense sums collected.” Further to gather money, he reduced to a thorough system the sale of Church offices, from cardinalates to the lowest that was within his reach. “To indulge, palliate, and establish this simony,” he established “as a permanent tax the annates, or first fruits, of every bishopric and rich abbey, calculated on a new scale, triple that in which they stood before in the papal books. This was to be paid in advance by the candidates for promotion, some of whom never got possession of the benefice. That was a matter of supreme indifference to Boniface, as he could sell it again. But as these candidates rarely came to court with money equal to the demand, usurers, with whom the pope was in unholy league, advanced the sum on exorbitant interest. The debt was sometimes sued for in the pope’s court.”ECE 537.2

    68. “The smaller benefices were sold from the day of his appointment with shameless and scandalous notoriety. Men wandered about Lombardy and other parts of Italy, searching out the age of hoary incumbents, and watching their diseases and infirmities. For this service they were well paid by the greedy aspirants at Rome. On their report the tariff rose or fell. Benefices were sold over and over again. Graces were granted to the last purchaser, with the magic word ‘Preference,’ which cost twenty-five florins. That was superseded by a more authoritative phrase (at fifty florins), a prerogative of precedence. Petitions already granted were sometimes canceled in favor of a higher bidder: the pope treated the lower offer as an attempt to defraud him.ECE 537.3

    69. “In the same year the secretary Theodoric a Niem had known the same benefice sold in the course of one week to several successive claimants. The benefices were so openly sold that if money was not at hand, the pope would receive the price in kind, in swine, sheep, oxen, horses, or grain. The officers were as skillful in these arts as himself. His auditors would hold twenty expectatives, and receive the first fruits. The argus-eyed pope, however, watched the deathbed of all his officers. Their books, robes, furniture, money, escheated to the pope. No grace of any kind, even to the poorest, was signed without its florin fee. The pope, even during mass, was seen to be consulting with his secretaries on these worldly affairs. The accumulation of pluralities on unworthy men was scandalous even in those times.” 30[Page 538] Id., chap 3, pars.2.3.ECE 538.1

    70. Of course, “on his side, Clement, in point of exactions, was not behind his competitor. He ruined the clergy of France and Spain by enormous impositions, and extorted incredible sums from the faithful.... Whilst Italy was thus squeezed by an avaricious pontiff, France was groaning beneath the weight of imposts, which had accumulated in that country, to support the prodigalities of the pope at Avignon, his thirty-six cardinals, mistresses, and minions. At last the prelates of the kingdom, tired of paying to Clement, now a tenth, now a twentieth of their revenues, assembled at the university, and appointed fifty-four doctors to decide upon the steps to be taken to re-establish union in the Church, and in order, as they said, ‘to have but one pope to fatten.’”—De Cormenin. 31[Page 538] “History of the Popes,” under A. D. 1389.ECE 538.2

    71. The doctors of the university, after faithfully considering the situation, issued the following letter:—ECE 539.1

    “The Church has fallen into contempt, servitude, and poverty. Two popes elevate to prelacies only unworthy and corrupt ministers, who have no sentiments of equity or shame, and who think only of satiating their passions. They rob the property of the widow and the orphan, at the same time that they are despoiling churches and monasteries. Sacred or profane, nothing comes amiss to them, provided they can extract money from it. Religion is for them a mine of gold, which they work to the last vein. They sell everything from baptism to burial. They traffic in pyxes, crosses, chalices, sacred vases, and the shrines of the saints. One can obtain no grace, no favor without paying for it. It is not the worthiest, but the richest, who obtain ecclesiastical dignities. He who gives money to the pope can sleep in safety, though he may have murdered his own father; for he is assured of the protection of the Church. Simony is publicly exercised, and they sell with effrontery to the highest and last bidder dioceses, prebends, or benefices. Thus do the princes of the Church. What shall we say of the lower clergy, who no longer administer the sacraments but for gold? What shall we say of the monks, whose morals are more corrupt than those of the inhabitants of ancient Sodom? It is time, illustrious prince, that you should put an end to this deplorable schism, proclaim the freedom of the Gallican Church, and limit the power of the pontiffs.” 32[Page 539] Id.ECE 539.2

    72. This letter was sent by ambassadors to Pope Clement at Avignon. The ambassadors secured a full conclave of the cardinals, with the pope present, to whom they read the letter in full. After the reading, the ambassadors presented the request of the king and the university to Clement, to renounce the pontificate. At this, Clement sprang from his seat, grabbed the document, tore it to pieces, and trampled it under his feet. He appealed to the cardinals, to know what punishment was fitting for those who had used such language as that in the letter. The cardinals surprised him by saying that the counsel offered by the university was worthy of serious consideration: that all the resources for gathering means had been exhausted, and their supply of money was falling off. This only increased his rage. He reproached them with traitorous cowardice, and, in his rage, left the council, retired to his chamber, where his excessive anger threw him into apoplexy, from which he died the third day afterward.ECE 539.3

    73. As soon as the death of Clement was known in Paris, the university addressed the king, begging him to prohibit the cardinals at Avignon from electing another pope. The king sent a message to this effect to the cardinals at Avignon. The king of Aragon also addressed them to the same purpose. The archbishops of Treves, Mayence, and Cologne made the same request. And Pope Boniface, of course, did the same. But the cardinals had taken precaution, and forestalled all these things: being in solemn conclave, they refused to receive any communications of any kind whatever until their deliberations might be ended. They agreed, however, amongst themselves, and took a solemn oath, that “whoever was chosen should at once resign the papacy at the request of the cardinals, provided Boniface also would resign.”ECE 540.1

    74. The conclave chose the cardinal of Luna, who had repeatedly lamented the schism, and had openly declared that if he were pope, he would put an end to it at once. And when he sent to the king of France the notice of his election, he informed the king that it was only the importunity of the cardinals that had compelled him to accept the unwelcome office of pope; but that he was fully prepared to do whatever was advisable to bring peace to the Church. The University of Paris received this word with joy, and sent to him an address, in which they recognized him as pope, and highly commended his noble sentiments. To this he replied anew, suiting his action to the word: “I am as ready to resign the office as to take off this cap.” Before the death of Clement VII, Boniface IX had made proclamation to the world that he was anxious to end the schism. But each pope was willing to end the schism only by having the other one resign. The two popes were now—BENEDICT XIII (AT AVIGNON), SEPT. 28, 1394, TO NOV. 29, 1424, BONIFACE IX (AT ROME), NOV. 2, 1389, TO OCT. 1, 1404.ECE 540.2

    75. The miseries of this papal anarchy had now become so great that the king of France took the lead in having the great powers of Christendom unite to save the papacy from itself. He sent representatives to Germany and to England, to further this purpose. The University of Paris entered a standing appeal from all the acts of Benedict XIII to a future one who should be true and universal pope. Benedict issued a bull denouncing this as defamatory libel. A national assembly of the State and Church of France met in Paris, approved the king’s plan, and sent ambassadors to Benedict beseeching him to comply. He made answer as follows:—ECE 540.3

    “Know all of you, princes of the State and Church, that you are my subjects, since God has submitted all men to my authority! Know that the cardinals have no other power than that of choosing as pope the most worthy of their number, and as soon as they have declared him supreme chief of the Church, the Holy Spirit suddenly illuminates him. He becomes infallible, and his power equals that of God: he can be no longer subjected to any sway. He is placed above the powers of the earth, and he can not be deposed from the apostolic throne, even by his own desire. The dignity of the pontiff is finally, so redoubtable that the world should listen to our decrees, bend in the dust, and tremble at our word!” 33[Page 541] De Cormenin’s “History of the Popes,” under year 1389.ECE 541.1

    76. Two years passed, and the efforts of the king of France were so well received by powers of Europe that, in 1398, at an assembly of the States and clergy of France, it was announced that not only the king and Church of France had determined to demand the renunciation of the papacy by both popes, but that in this were united the kings of Hungary, Bohemia, England, Aragon, Castile, Navarre, and Sicily. This same assembly unconditionally withdrew allegiance from Benedict XIII, and this act was published by letters throughout the kingdom of France. When these letters reached Avignon, even the cardinals there withdrew from Pope Benedict. A representative of the emperor, of the king of France, and of the clergy of both Germany and France, was sent to Rome, to present to Boniface IX their request for his renunciation. When the pope’s attendants began to show some fear that he might concede the request, he said to them: “My good children, pope I am, pope will I remain; despite all entreaty of the kings of France and Germany!”ECE 541.2

    77. The representative returned to France, and was sent on a like errand to Pope Benedict XIII, at Avignon. The only answer he could get from Benedict was: “Let the king of France issue what ordinances he will, I will hold my title and my popedom till I die!” The ambassador begged of him to consult his cardinals. He consented, and the cardinals assembled in full consistory. He made to them a speech, and withdrew. The cardinals consulted, and advised him to submit to the request of the kings. But he declared: “I have been invested by God in the papacy. I will not renounce it for count, nor duke, nor king!” The cardinals then sent again to Benedict—this time the king’s ambassador. But Benedict again replied:—ECE 541.3

    “Pope I have written myself; pope I have been acknowledged by all my subjects; pope I will remain to the end of my days. And tell my son, the king of France, that I thought him till now a good Catholic: he will repent of his errors. Warn him in my name not to bring trouble on his conscience.”ECE 542.1

    78. Next a marshal of France, with troops, was sent to remove Benedict and to compel him to resign. Even the citizens of Avignon were in favor of compelling him to resign. But to this he replied: “I will summon the gonfalonier of the Church, the king of Aragon, to my aid. I will raise troops along the Riviera as far as Genoa. What fear ye? Guard ye your city, I’ll guard my palace!” But Benedict’s “gonfalonier of the Church” would not respond, except with the words: “Does the priest think that for him I will plunge into a war with the king of France?”ECE 542.2

    79. The people of Avignon and the cardinals surrendered to the marshal at the first summons. Benedict endured a short siege, but surrendered. He was not really taken a prisoner. He was allowed to remain in his palace and grounds, but was held thus a prisoner for five years, 1398-1403. In this time divisions had arisen amongst the nobles. The king of Sicily forced his way into the presence of Benedict, and assured Benedict of his full and loyal allegiance. March 12, 1403, Benedict escaped in disguise from his palace, took a boat, dropped down the River Rhone, and took refuge in the strong fortress held by 500 soldiers of the king of Sicily. There he summoned to him his cardinals. They went; and he was complete pope again.ECE 542.3

    80. Before an assembly of the clergy in Paris two cardinals appeared, to plead the cause of Benedict. The University of Paris itself was divided. The king of France changed his attitude, and restored to Benedict the allegiance of the realm, declaring: “So long as I live, I will acknowledge him alone as the vicar of Christ.” To the king and the whole kingdom Benedict still made his loud professions of his eagerness to quench the schism. He sent an embassy to Boniface in Rome. Boniface refused to receive them unless they would come before him, recognizing him as pope. Some of them did so, and pleaded with him to appoint a place to meet with representatives of Benedict, and discuss their rival claims, with a view to quenching the schism. Boniface answered: “I alone am pope, Peter de Luna is an antipope.” The ambassadors remarked: “At least our master is guiltless of simony.” This struck Pope Boniface IX so straight as to rouse his anger to such a pitch that he fell into a fit, and had to be carried to his bed, upon which, three days afterward, he died, Oct. 2, 1404.ECE 542.4

    81. The cardinals in Rome immediately assembled to elect a pope. First of all, they pledged one another in a solemn oath that whosoever of them should be chosen to the papacy, he would abdicate just as soon as Benedict XIII would do the same. Cosmo Megliorotto was elected, and took the name of—INNOCENT VII, OCT. 12, 1404, TO NOV. 13,1406. The anarchy grew so great in Rome that the pope and his cardinals were compelled to flee for their lives. They took refuge in Viterbo. Ladislaus, the king of Naples, undertook to take possession of the city of Rome. “The whole city was a great battlefield. The soldiers of Ladislaus set fire to it in four quarters.” However, he was compelled to withdraw, and the people begged the pope to return. This he did March 13, 1406, where he remained until his death, November 13 of the same year.ECE 543.1

    82. Immediately the cardinals, fifteen in number, again entered into conclave, took the usual solemn oath that whosoever of them might be elected would renounce his office, when the rival pope at Avignon would do the same. The one of their number who had most constantly, and seemingly most earnestly, deplored the schism—Angelo Corario—was elected, at the age of nearly eighty years, taking the papal name—GREGORY XII. NOV. 19, 1406, TO OCT. 18, 1417. After his election, as well as before, he proclaimed his profound interest in quenching the schism of the Church. He declared that “his only fear was lest he should not live to accomplish the holy work.” At his coronation he renewed, with tears, this affirmation. And, in private, after his coronation, he declared that “for the union of the Church, if I had not a galley, I would embark in the smallest boat; if without a horse, I would set out on foot with my staff.” But his very first act betrayed the hypocrisy of all these professions: he wrote a letter to Benedict XIII, addressed: “To Peter de Luna, whom some nations, during this miserable schism, call Benedict XIII.” Benedict answered in a letter addressed: “To Angelo Corario, whom some, in this pernicious schism, name Gregory XII.” Benedict exhorted Gregory: “Haste! Delay not! Consider our age, the shortness of life, embrace at once the way of salvation and peace, that we may appear with our united flock before the Great Shepherd.”ECE 543.2

    83. Each of them pledged himself to make no new cardinals—except to keep their numbers equal. Gregory wrote to the king of France such beautiful letters on the evils of schism and his heart’s deep longing to heal this schism, that the king was persuaded that he was fairly an angel of light. Progress was made to the point at which a meeting was actually arranged for the two popes, at Savona, in 1407. Pope Gregory set out from Rome, in great state, traveled to Viterbo, where he remained two months. Next he traveled to Sienna. The meeting of the rival popes was appointed for September 29. Partisans of Gregory—monks and friars—began to preach against his going to the meeting. Gregory himself drew up a statement containing twenty-two objections to Savona as the place of meeting. He demanded that the place of meeting be some town in the possession of a neutral power—Carrara, Lucca, Pisa, or Leghorn. Benedict XIII, on his part, advanced at about the same rate as did Gregory; and so came finally to Spezzia. Gregory advanced to Lucca.ECE 544.1

    84. They were now about forty-five miles apart. One was on the seashore, and the other was inland. There they stood. As related by one who was present, and an eyewitness to the whole procedure, “being now at no great distance, letters and embassies passed daily between them. Both pretended to have nothing so much at heart as the unity of the Church, but both were equally averse to the means of procuring it. They pretended to be desirous of conferring in person, but no place could be found to which the one or the other did not object. Gregory excepted against all maritime places, and Benedict against all at a distance from the sea. You would have thought the one a terrestial animal that hated the water, and the other an aquatic that dreaded the dry land. This conduct gave great offense to all sensible and well-meaning men, who could not but see that their fears were affected, and dangers were pretended where there was nothing to fear. All loudly complained of so palpable and criminal a collusion: and how shocking it was to see two men, both at the age of seventy and upward, sacrificing their reputation, their conscience, and the peace of the Church to their ambition, to the desire of reigning but a few days.”—Leonardo of Arezzio. 34[Page 545] Bower under Gregory XII.ECE 544.2

    85. Gregory XII first showed his hand through these pretensions. He broke the agreement to appoint no new cardinals, by appointing four at once. The former cardinals were summoned before him. He informed them that he had determined to resume the full exercise of the papal power. They fled to Pisa, and appealed to a general council. Benedict XIII on his part, resumed full papal functions by issuing two bulls at once, each one excommunicating the king of France. He sent the bulls by messengers instructed to deliver them into the king’s own hands, and to return with all speed. They delivered the bulls, as instructed; but, instead of returning, they were captured, and put in prison.ECE 545.1

    86. The king assembled some members of his parliament, and the deputies of the University of Paris, with nobles and prelates. One of the prelates preached a sermon from the text: “His iniquity shall fall on his own head,” and presented thirteen charges against “Peter de Luna, called Benedict XIII.” Amongst these were charges of perjury and of heresy. The bulls were declared, by the council, “illegal, treasonable, and injurious to the king’s majesty.” The king told his chancellor to “do what is right.” The chancellor tore each of the bulls in two. One half he gave to the nobles, the other half to the prelates and the delegates of the university. These tore the bulls into shreds. A proclamation was published in Italy, announcing the neutrality of France in the contest between the popes; “asserting the perjury, treachery, and heresy of both popes;” and calling upon all churches to abandon both.ECE 545.2

    87. “Christendom had beheld with indignation this miserable game of chicanery, stratagem, falsehood, perjury, played by two hoary men, each above seventy years old...The mutual fear and mistrust of the rival popes was their severest self-condemnation. These gray-headed prelates, each claiming to be the representative of Christ upon earth, did not attempt to disguise from the world that neither had the least reliance on the truth, honor, justice, religion of his adversary. Neither would scruple to take any advantage of the other; neither would hesitate at any fraud, or violence, or crime; neither would venture within the grasp of the other, from the avowed apprehension for his liberty or his life. The forces at the command of each must be exactly balanced; the cities or sovereigns in whose territories they were to meet must guarantee to give hostages for their personal security. They deliberately charged each other with the most nefarious secret designs, as well as with equivocation, evasion, tampering with sacred oaths, perjury.”—Milman. 35[Page 546] “History of Latin Christianity,” Vol. vii, book xiii, book xiii, chap 4, par. 13.ECE 546.1

    88. Both colleges of cardinals now united against both popes. The two colleges of cardinals met in one, at Leghorn. There they agreed, and decided to set their authority above that of the popes; and, on that authority, to call a general council to assemble at Pisa, March 25, 1409. Each company of cardinals sent a summons to its respective pope, and circular letters throughout the realms of Europe that recognized the respective popes.ECE 546.2

    89. Benedict’s cardinals charged him with being “the author and maintainer of the schism,” and as “wicked as the Jews and the heathen soldiers who would rend the seamless robe of Christ.” They charged him with insincerity, artifice, obstinacy, and contempt of his oaths. Gregory’s cardinals charged him with being “a man of blood, without honor, the slave of his carnal affections, a drunkard, a madman, a proclaimed heretic, a subverter of the Church of God, an accursed hypocrite.” They charged him and Benedict XIII with all the evils that accompanied the schism. They declared that they had chosen Gregory XII “as the best and most holy of their Order; he had sworn deeply, repeatedly, solemnly, to extinguish the schism by renunciation. He had afterward declared such renunciation diabolic and damnable; as though he had taken the keys of St. Peter only to acquire the power of perjuring himself, and of giving free license of perjury to others.” 36[Page 547] Id., pars. 14, 15.ECE 546.3

    90. The two popes, seeing that a general council was to be assembled, each himself called a general council! But the general council called by the cardinals became the real one. In the general council of Pisa thus called, there were twenty-six cardinals; four patriarchs; twelve archbishops, eighty bishops, in person; and fourteen archbishops and a hundred and two bishops by their representatives. There were eighty-seven abbots in person, and two hundred by representatives. The generals of the four great Orders of the Church were present; delegates from thirteen of the great universities of all Europe were there—Paris, Toulouse, Orleans, Angers, Montpellier, Bologna, Florence, Cracow, Vienna, Prague, Cologne, Oxford, Cambridge—and the chapters of a hundred metropolitan and collegiate churches. There were three hundred doctors of theology and of canon law. There were ambassadors of the kings of France, of England, of Portugal, Bohemia, Sicily, Poland, and Cyprus; of the dukes of Burgundy, Brabant, Pomerania; of the margrave of Brandenburg; and the landgrave of Thuringia, with many other German princes.ECE 547.1

    91. After the formal opening of the council, proclamation was made at the doors of the cathedral, “demanding whether Peter de Luna or Angelo Corario were present, either by themselves, their cardinals, or their procurators.” Three days in succession this proclamation was made. Then, as there was no answer from either of the popes, they were pronounced “in contumacy.” Then resolutions were adopted “that the holy council was canonically called and constituted, by the two colleges of the cardinals now blended into one; that to them it belonged to take cognizance of the two competitors for the papacy.” Then there was read a full account of the origin and progress of the schism up to that time, the account concluding as follows:—ECE 547.2

    “Seeing that the contending prelates have been duly cited, and, not appearing, declared contumacious, they are deprived of their pontifical dignity, and their partisans of their honors, offices, and benefices. If they contravene this sentence of deposition, they may be punished and chastised by secular judges. All kings, princes, and persons of every rank or quality are absolved from their oaths, and released from all allegiance to the two rival claimants of the popedom.”ECE 547.3

    92. Following this several days were devoted to the hearing of the testimony of witnesses. But it was soon found that witnesses who could be easily found, were innumerable; and so, not to prolong the council to unnecessary length, they declared that the main facts were “matters of public notoriety,” and, in the next session, proceeded to definite sentence. The session was opened with a sermon from the bishop of Sisteron, who had been a strong partisan of Benedict XIII. He preached from the text: “Purge away your old leaven,” and in his sermon declared that Benedict XIII and Gregory XII were “no more popes than my old shoes.” He pronounced them “worse than Annas and Caiaphas,” and compared them even to “the devils in hell.” Then the sentence of the council was pronounced as follows:—ECE 548.1

    “The holy universal council, representing the Catholic Church of God, to whom belongs the judgment in this cause, assembled by the grace of the Holy Ghost in the Cathedral of Pisa, having duly heard the promoters of the cause for the extirpation of the detestable and inveterate schism, the union and re-establishment of our holy mother Church, against Peter de Luna and Angelo Corario, called by some Benedict XIII and Gregory XII declares the crimes and excesses, adduced before the council, to be true, and of public fame. The two competitors, Peter de Luna and Angelo Corario, have been and are notorious schismatics, obstinate partisans, abetters, defenders, approvers of this long schism; notorious heretics as having departed from the faith; involved in the crimes of perjury and breach of their oaths; openly scandalizing the Church of their manifest obstinacy, and utterly incorrigible. By their enormous iniquities and excesses they have made themselves unworthy of all honor and dignity, especially of the supreme pontificate; and though by the canons they are actually rejected of God, deprived and cut off from the Church, the council nevertheless excommunicates, rejects, and deposes them, and pronounces them excommunicated, rejected, and deposed by the present definitive sentence; forbids them henceforth to assume the name of high pontiffs, and all Christians, on pain of excommunication, to obey them, or lend them any assistance whatever: annuls all the judgments they have hitherto given, or may henceforth give, as well as the promotion of cardinals made latterly by either—by Angelus Corarius since the 3rd of May of the preceding year, and by Peter de Luna since the 15the of June of the same year; and lastly declares upon the whole for further security, the apostolic see to be at present vacant, and the cardinals at liberty to proceed to a new election.” 37[Page 549] “Milman’s “History of Latin Christianity,” Vol. vii, book xiii, chap. v; with Bower’s “Lives of the Popes,” under Gregory XII.ECE 548.2

    93. The next thing was the election of a new pope. This could not be by the council, but only by the cardinals. The twenty-six cardinals spent eleven days in conclave, and then announced the election of friar Peter Chilargi, more than seventy years old, who was proclaimed pope under the name of—ALEXANDER V, JUNE 26, 1409, TO MAY 3, 1410. It was very soon discovered that, instead of Christendom’s having now one pope, it had three: that the efforts of the council and the cardinals in setting up a new pope, instead of having brought peace to the world, had only increased the confusion; for Alexander V immediately bestowed papal honors upon the members of his Order. He issued a bull by which he “invested the Friar Preachers, the Friar Minors, the Augustinians, and the Carmelites, in the full, uncontrolled power of hearing confession and granting absolution in every part of Christendom. It rescinded, and declared null, if not heretical, seven propositions advanced or sanctioned by other popes, chiefly John XXII.... This bull was not only the absolute annihilation of the exclusive prerogatives and pretensions of the clergy, but it was ordered to be read by the clergy themselves in all the churches in Christendom. They were to publish before their own flocks the triumph of their enemies, the complete independence of their parishioners of their authority, their own condemnation for insufficiency, their disfranchisement from their ancient immemorial rights.ECE 549.1

    94. “Henceforth there was a divided dominion in every diocese, in every parish there were two or more conflicting claimants on the obedience, the love, and the liberality of the flock. Still further, all who dared to maintain the propositions annulled by the bull were to be proceeded against as contumacious and obstinate heretics. Thus the pope, who was to reconcile and command or win distracted Christendom to peace and unity,—a narrow-minded friar, thinking only of his own Order,—had flung a more fatal apple of discord into the world, and stirred up a new civil war among the more immediate adherents of the papacy, among those who ought to have been knit together in more close and intimate confederacy.” 38[Page 550] Id.ECE 549.2

    95. The effect of this act of Alexander V was to throw back to Benedict XIII and Gregory XII the sympathy of many; and also to cast discredit upon the Council of Pisa that had chosen a pope who could act only in a way to make confusion worse confounded. “Murmurs were heard in many quarters that the council instead of extinguishing the schism, had but added a third pope.” This increased confusion also encouraged the other two popes; and it very shortly appeared that now there were indeed three popes instead of one. Gregory XII was acknowledged as pope by the king of Sicily, by some of the cities of Italy, and by Rupert, king of the Romans. Benedict XIII was acknowledged as lawful pope by the kings of Aragon, Castile, and Scotland, and the earl of Armagnac. Alexander V was acknowledged to be pope by the remaining princes of Europe.ECE 550.1

    96. Benedict XIII was now under the protection of the king of Aragon; and he issued his anathemas against the Council of Pisa and the other two popes. Gregory XII was in the territories of Venice. He by his general council published sentences of excommunication and anathema against the other two popes, declaring that “the election of the one and the other was uncanonical and sacrilegious; both were pronounced schismatics and heretics; their acts were all annulled, and all were forbidden, on pain of excommunication, to obey the one or the other.” Gregory also published again his many times repeated and broken profession that he was ready to resign immediately, provided the other two popes would do “the same, at the same time, and in the same place.” He further declared that “if the two intruders did not agree to these terms, he granted them leave to assemble a general council of the three obediences, at which he said he was ready to assist in person, and to acquiesce in their decrees, provided his two competitors engaged to assist at it in person as well as he, and to stand to the determination of that assembly.”—Bower. 39[Page 550] “Lives of the Popes,” Alexander V.ECE 550.2

    97. Instead of following the example of his immediate predecessors, in hoarding vast treasures, Alexander V plunged to the other extreme, and gave everything away. He declared that as a bishop he had been rich, as a cardinal he had been poor, and as pope he would be a beggar. “On the very day of his enthronement his grants were so lavish as to justify, if not to give rise to, the rumor, that the cardinals, on entering into the conclave, had made a vow that whosoever should be elected would grant to the households of his brother cardinals the utmost of their demands.” Alexander V put himself under the care of his favorite, Balthasar Cossa, cardinal legate of Bologna. He went with the cardinal to the city of Bologna; and there he died May 3, 1410. The cardinals had gone to Bologna with Pope Alexander. The twenty-four cardinals unanimously elected as the successor of Alexander V Balthasar Cossa, who took the papal name of—JOHN XXIII, MAY 25, 1410, TO JUNE 14, 1415.ECE 550.3

    98. John XXIII is the last of the Johns, and also the worst. “John XXIII is another of those popes, the record of whose life, by its contradictions, moral anomalies, almost impossibilities, perplexes and baffles the just and candid historian. That such, even in those times, should be the life even of an Italian churchman, and that after such a life he should ascend to the papacy, shocks belief. Yet the record of that life rests not merely on the concurrent testimony of all the historians of the time, two of them secretaries to the Roman court; but is avouched by the deliberate sanction of the Council of Constance.”—Milman. 40[Page 551] “History of Latin Christianity,” Vol. vii, book xiii, chap 5, under John XXIII. While only a plain cleric, Balthasar Cossa had been a pirate; and his piratical disposition as well as “the pirate’s habit of sleeping by day and waking by night,” remained with him after he had ceased the actual practice of a professional pirate and had become successively archdeacon, pope’s chamberlain, pope’s cardinal legate, and pope.ECE 551.1

    99. It was Pope Boniface IX who had appointed Balthasar Cossa his legate “to wrest the city of Bologna from the domination of the Visconti. The legate fulfilled his mission; the poor student of law, the archdeacon of Bologna, became the lord of that city with as absolute and unlimited dominion as the tyrant of any other of the Lombard or Romagnese commonwealths. Balthasar Cossa, if hardly surpassed in extortion and cruelty by the famous Ecceline, by his debaucheries might have put to shame the most shameless of the Viscontis. Under his iron rule day after day such multitudes of persons of both sexes, strangers as well as Bolognese, were put to death on charges of treason, sedition, or other crimes, that the population of Bologna seemed dwindling down to that of a small city. He used to send to the executioners to dispatch their victims with greater celerity.ECE 551.2

    100. “Neither person nor possession was exempt from his remorseless taxation. Grain could not be ground, nor bread made, nor wine sold without his license. From all ranks, from the noble to the peasant, he exacted the most laborious services. He laid taxes on prostitutes, gaming-houses, usurers. His licentiousness was even more wide and promiscuous. Two hundred maids, wives, and widows, with many nuns, are set down as victims of his lust. Many were put to death by their jealous and indignant husbands and kindred. The historian wonders that in so rich and populous a city no husband’s, or father’s, or brother’s dagger found its way to the heart of the tyrant.ECE 552.1

    101. “So is Balthasar Cossa described by Theodoric à Niem, his secretary. Leonardo Aretino, another secretary, in pregnant and significant words, represents him as a great man, of consummate ability in worldly affairs, nothing or worse than nothing in spiritual.... The conclave refused to remember the enormities of the life of Balthasar Cossa. The pirate, tyrant, adulterer, violater of nuns, became the successor of St. Peter, the vicegerent of Christ upon earth!” 41[Page 552] Id. The three-headed monstrosity of the papacy now stood—BENEDICT XIII, GREGORY XII, JOHN XXIII.ECE 552.2

    102. Eight days after his accession to the papacy, John XXIII made his grand entry into the city of Rome, where his rule, while he stayed, was akin to what it had been in Bologna. There was deadly enmity between John and the king of Sicily; and their wars desolated vast regions of Italy. As a consequence of his wars, John was obliged to leave Rome, and he came again to Bologna. There was enmity also between Pope John and the emperor Sigismund. But, to strengthen himself in his contest with the king of Sicily, John sought an alliance with the emperor. But the only terms upon which the emperor would accept John’s proposal of an alliance, were that the pope should agree to the assembling of a general council to quench the schism in the Church, and to heal the miseries of Christendom. These terms could not well be refused by John on also another ground: The Council of Pisa whose action was the sole basis of John’s position as pope, had decreed that either that council or another general council should meet in three years. John consented to the terms demanded by the emperor, and Constance was fixed upon as the place where the coming council should be held. An imperial letter and a papal bull were sent throughout Christendom “to summon the general council of Christendom to meet at Constance toward the close of the ensuing year”—1414.ECE 552.3

    103. The Council of Constance met Nov. 1, 1414, and continued till April 22, 1418. The total number of the clergy alone present at the council, though perhaps not all of them all the time, was four patriarchs, twenty-nine cardinals, thirty-three archbishops, one hundred and fifty bishops, one hundred and thirty-four abbots, two hundred and fifty doctors, and lesser clergy, amounting to eighteen thousand. With the emperor and his train, kings, dukes, lords, and other nobles, the numbers were ordinarily fifty thousand. At certain periods of the conference there were as many as one hundred thousand present. Thirty thousand horses were fed, and thirty thousand beds were provided by the city.ECE 553.1

    104. The council was opened with John XXIII presiding. Deputies were present from both Gregory XII and Benedict XIII. Gregory’s deputies promptly declared, in behalf of their master, that he was ready to resign, upon condition that both the other popes should resign at the same time. They also presented to the emperor a petition asking that John XXIII should not be allowed to preside at the council. To consider this subject there was appointed, apart from the council, a general assembly of the heads of the nations who were present. They reported a recommendation that the three popes should voluntarily resign. Pope John instantly agreed, and himself drew up a form of resignation. But, as the assembly was not satisfied with it, he left it with them to frame.ECE 553.2

    105. To this assembly of the nations there was presented a memorial containing a long list of the crimes of the life of John XXIII, stating that these crimes could be proved by unexceptionable witnesses, if the council chose to hear them. As the crimes were notorious already, and undeniable, even by John, he proposed to the assembly that he should plead guilty before the council, reminding them of the generally received maxim that “a pope could not be deposed for any crime except that of heresy.” But this proposition was refused by the assembly, on the ground that they could not think it decent that such heinous crimes should be laid publicly before the council, to be narrowly inquired into. They therefore advised the memorial be suppressed, provided John would consent to the resignation which they would frame. To this John agreed. The assembly therefore drew up the form of the proposed resignation as follows:—ECE 554.1

    “I, Pope John XXIII, for the peace of the whole Christian world, declare, promise, vow, and swear to God, to His holy Church, and to this holy council, to give peace to the Church by the way of cession, or resignation of the pontificate, and to execute freely and spontaneously what I now promise, in case Peter de Luna, and Angelus Corarius, called in their obediences, Benedict XIII and Gregory XII, in like manner resign their pretended dignity; and also in case either of resignation, of death, or in any other, when my resignation may give peace to the Church of God, and extirpate the present schism.” 42[Page 554] Bower’s “Lives of the Popes,” John XXIII. The whole account of the Council of Constance is drawn from Bower’s record.ECE 554.2

    106. This form of resignation Pope John read the next day to the full council; and when, in the reading, he reached the words: “I vow, and swear,” he rose from his throne and knelt before the altar, and, laying his hand upon his breast, said: ‘I promise thus to observe it.’” Then he resumed his seat upon the throne. The emperor laid off his crown, prostrated himself before John XXIII, “kissed his foot, and thanked him in the name of the whole council, for his good resolution. At the same time the council, the princes who were present, and the ambassadors of those who were absent, engaged to support him, to the utmost of their power, against his two competitors, if they followed not his example.”ECE 554.3

    107. But it was very soon made plain to all that John had no intention whatever of resigning the papacy. For, when the emperor and the assembly of the nations requested him to carry out the agreement, he asked that it be put off a while. When they insisted, then, by means of the duke of Austria, who was his ally, he fled to Schaffhausen. From there he wrote, the evening of the same day, and sent to the emperor, a letter, asking him to excuse his flight, in which he addressed the emperor, saying:—ECE 554.4

    “My dear son, by the grace of Almighty God, I am arrived at Schaffhausen, where I enjoy my liberty, and air that agrees with my constitution. I came hither, unknown to my son, the duke of Austria, not to be exempted from keeping the promise I have made to abdicate for the peace of the holy Church of God; but, on the contrary, to do it freely, and without endangering my health.”ECE 555.1

    108. John’s purpose in all this was to break up the council, because he supposed that, in the absence of the pope, the council would dissolve. But in this his calculations failed. The emperor Sigismund, attended by the marshal of the empire, rode through the city, with trumpets sounding before him, proclaiming that the council was not dissolved by the flight of the pope, but that he would defend the council to the last drop of his blood. The chancellor of the University of Paris presented an argument before the emperor and the assembly of the nations, to prove “that a general council is superior to the pope, and that its determinations hold good whether the pope be present or absent, whether he approve or disapprove of them.ECE 555.2

    109. Accordingly, the council met in regular session, and adopted the following articles:—ECE 555.3

    “I. That the council had been lawfully assembled in the city of Constance.ECE 555.4

    “II. That it was not dissolved by the withdrawing of the pope and the cardinals.ECE 555.5

    “III. That it was not be dissolved till the schism was removed and the Church reformed in its head and members.ECE 555.6

    “IV. That the bishops should not depart, without a just cause approved by the deputies of the nations, till the council was ended; and if they obtained leave of the council to depart, they should appoint others to vote for them as their deputies or proxies.”ECE 555.7

    110. The cardinals who were with John now returned to the council. The emperor discovered that the duke of Austria had aided John in his flight, and therefore put the duke under the ban of the empire, and sent troops to invade his dominions. Upon learning of this, John forsook Schaffhausen and fled to Lauffenberg. In his note to the emperor, John had declared that it was not from fear that he had left Constance. At Lauffenberg he secured a notary, and, in the presence of witnesses, certified that everything he had agreed to at Constance was because of his fear; and that his pledges there being made under duress, he was not obliged to keep his oath.ECE 555.8

    111. The council met again in regular session, and made the following declaration:—ECE 556.1

    “The present council lawfully assembled in the city of Constance, and representing the whole Church militant, holds its power immediately of Jesus Christ, and all persons of whatever state or dignity (the papal not excepted) are bound to obey it in what concerns the faith, the extirpation of the schism, and the reformation of the Church in its head and members.”ECE 556.2

    112. The council sent messengers to John, notifying him that there was no violence intended him, and giving the emperor’s assurance that none should be offered him. Therefore, if he refused to return, or to appoint deputies to effect in due form his resignation for him, then the council would proceed against him as guilty of perjury and the author of the schism. The messengers found John at Brisac. He promised them an audience the next day. But, in the interval thus gained, he fled again. The messengers followed, and overtook him at Friburg. They made sure that he should not again have a chance to escape by putting them off: they invaded his bedchamber, and delivered their message to him as they found him in his bed.ECE 556.3

    113. To the messengers John replied that he was ready to perform his promise to resign the papacy “upon the following conditions, and no other:—ECE 556.4

    “I. That the emperor should grant him a safe conduct in due form, such as he himself should dictate.ECE 556.5

    “II. That a decree should be issued by the council, granting him entire freedom and security, and exempting him from being molested upon any account whatever.ECE 556.6

    “III. That a stop should be put to the war against the duke of Austria.ECE 556.7

    “IV. That after his resignation, he should be appointed perpetual legate over all Italy, or enjoy, during life, the Bolognese and the county of Avignon, with a yearly pension of thirty thousand florins of gold; and that he should hold of no person whatever, nor be obliged to give an account to any person of what he had done or might thenceforth do.”ECE 557.1

    114. Meanwhile the council met in its fifth regular session, in which it confirmed all the transactions of the previous sessions, especially that which related to the superiority of the council to the pope. In this session it was further decided that the pope was obliged to obey the decrees of the council, and to stand to its decisions: that if he refused to resign, the faithful should all withdraw their obedience from him, and he should be held as actually deposed: that his flight from Constance was unlawful, and prejudicial to the unity of the Church: that if he would return, a most ample safe conduct should be granted to him: and if he fulfilled his promise to resign, he should be provided for during life in such manner as should be arranged by four persons named by him and four by the council.ECE 557.2

    115. At the next session the council adopted the form of renunciation of the papacy which the assembly of the nations had framed, which John had read to the council, and to which he had agreed. At the next session the pope was officially summoned to appear at the council, to justify his flight from Constance, and to clear himself of the crimes of heresy, schism, simony, etc., laid to his charge. Other matters occupied the council at the next two sessions, except that John was officially summoned again. But as John paid no attention to any of the overtures of the council, and the emperor’s forces were raiding the dominions of the duke of Austria, the duke made his peace with the emperor, and two archbishops, with three hundred troops, arrested Pope John at Friburg, and confined him in a castle about ten miles from Constance.ECE 557.3

    116. At the tenth session of the council, May 14, 1414, there was read the list of accusations against Pope John, consisting of seventy articles, twenty of which were too shockingly scandalous to be publicly read, even in that rough and scandalous age. At the next session, May 25, all the articles against John, which had been read in the previous session, were read again. As they were read, one by one, there were also read the deposition of the witnesses, and the characters of the witnesses, without their names. When all had been read, the council declared fully proved the whole list—those which had been read, and those not fit to read; and then unanimously declared that “the said lord pope John ought to be suspended from all administration, in spirituals as well as in temporals, belonging to him as pope; and we declare him accordingly actually suspended for his notorious simony and wicked life.” Notification of this sentence was sent to Pope John; to which he replied that he “entirely acquiesced in the sentence which they had already pronounced, and was ready, to submit to any sentence that they should pronounce, as he knew that the council could not err.”ECE 557.4

    117. The messengers returned with John’s answer, and, in the twelfth session of the council, May 29, the following sentence of deposition was pronounced:—ECE 558.1

    “The general Council of Constance, having invoked the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and examined, in the fear of God, the articles exhibited and proved against John XXIII, and his voluntary submission to the proceedings of the council, does pronounce, decree, and declare by the present sentence, that the nocturnal escape of the said John XXIII, in disguise and in an indecent habit, was scandalous; that it was prejudicial to the unity of the Church, and contrary to his vows and oaths; that the same John XXIII is a notorious simonist; that he has wasted and squandered away the revenues of the Roman Church and other churches; that he has been guilty in the highest degree of maladministration both in spirituals and temporals; that by his detestable behavior he has given offense to the whole Christian people; that by persevering in so scandalous a conduct to the last in spite of repeated admonitions, he has shown himself incorrigible; that as such, and for other crimes set forth in his process, the council does declare him deposed and absolutely deprived of the pontificate, absolves all Christians from their oath of allegiance to him, and forbids them for the future to own him for pope, or to name him as such. And that this sentence may be irrevocable, the council does from this time, with their full power, supply all the defects that may afterward be found in the process; and does further condemn the said John XXIII to be committed, in the name of the council, to some place where he may be kept in the custody of the emperor, as protector of the Catholic Church, so long as the council shall judge necessary for the unity of the Church, the said council reserving a power to themselves to punish him for his crimes and irregularities according to the canons, and as the law of justice or mercy shall require.”ECE 558.2

    118. While the council had been disposing of John, ambassadors from Gregory XII had arrived. They were sent by Gregory “to resign the pontificate in his name, and all right and title to that dignity. But they came not to the council: Pope Gregory XII would not recognize the legitimacy of a council convened by Pope John XXIII. Therefore, these messengers were commissioned to the emperor, and were empowered to treat with him. They were directed to inform the emperor that if he and the heads of the nations would allow the council to be convoked anew by Pope Gregory XII, then Pope Gregory XII would recognize it as lawful council, but not otherwise. To this the emperor and the heads of the nations agreed.ECE 559.1

    119. Accordingly, at the fourteenth session, July 4, 1415, one of Gregory’s nuncios took the chair, and from Gregory read two bulls: the one convoking the Council of Constance, and, when thus convoked, owning it as a lawful council: the other empowering this nuncio to act as Pope Gregory’s proxy, and, in that character, to submit to the decisions of the council when lawfully convoked as Gregory’s council. When the bulls had been thus read, the council was declared convoked in the name of Pope Gregory XII. Then the proxy announced to the council that Gregory XII was ready to sacrifice his dignity to the peace of the Church, and to submit to their disposal of him as they should see fit.ECE 559.2

    120. Then the regular president of the council took the chair, and the emperor his throne. A third bull from Gregory was then read, giving his proxy full power to resign the papal dignity in his name. Then the renunciation of Gregory was made by the proxy, in the following words:—ECE 559.3

    “I, Charles Malatesta, vicar of Rimini, governor of Romagna for our most holy father in Christ Lord Pope, Gregory XII, and general of the holy Roman Church, being authorized by the full power that has just now been read, and has been received by me from our said Lord Pope Gregory, compelled by no violence, but only animated with an ardent desire of procuring the peace and union of the Church, do, in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, effectually and really renounce for my master Pope Gregory XII the possession of, and all right and title to, the papacy, which he legally enjoys, and do actually resign it in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of this general council, which represents the Roman Church and the Church Universal.”ECE 559.4

    121. This act of resignation of Pope Gregory XII was received with thunderous applause by the council. The Te Deum was sung, and mighty commendations were bestowed upon Gregory. Then the council decreed that Benedict XIII should be required in like manner to resign within ten days after he received the notice of the council; and that if he did not resign within that time, he should be declared “a notorious schismatic, and an obstinate and incorrigible heretic; and as such be deprived of all honor and dignity, and cast out of the Church.”ECE 560.1

    122. The council next decreed that Gregory “should retain the dignity of cardinal bishop so long as he lived; that he should be first in rank after the pope, unless some alteration should be judged expedient, with respect to this article, upon the resignation of Peter de Luna; and that he should be perpetual legate of the Marches of Ancona, and enjoy undisturbed all the honors, privileges, and emoluments annexed to that dignity. The council granted him besides a full and unlimited absolution from all the irregularities he might have been guilty of during his pontificate, exempted him from giving an account of his past conduct, or any part of it, to any person whatever, and forbade any to be raised to the pontificate till they had promised upon oath to observe this decree, notwithstanding all the canons, constitutions, and decrees of general councils to the contrary.”ECE 560.2

    123. Benedict XIII insisted that now that the other two popes had resigned, this left him sole and indisputably lawful pope. The emperor and a large number of attendants made a journey of nearly five hundred miles to Perpignan, in France, on the Gulf of Lyons, near the Spanish border, where they met the king of Aragon and all the princes who recognized Benedict as pope. They held a congress and sought by every possible means to persuade Benedict to resign; but all in vain. At one of the sessions he argued for seven hours at a stretch, although he was seventy-seven years old, that he alone was lawful pope; and that, if the good of the Church required him to resign, he alone had the right to elect a new pope, being the only undoubted cardinal then alive, as having been created before the schism, and, consequently, by an undoubted pope. He declared that he “never would abandon the Church which it had pleased the Almighty to commit to his care; and at the same time declared excommunicated all who did not acknowledge him, whether emperors, kings, cardinals, patriarchs, archbishops, or bishops; and declared them to be rebels to St. Peter and his Church.”ECE 560.3

    124. His adherents all, except four cardinals, deserted him, and recognized the Council of Constance. Then the Council of Constance deposed him, July 26, 1417. But Benedict excommunicated and anathematized “the schismatic assembly at Constance, and all the princes and bishops who assisted at it or received its definitions or decrees calculated to foment and perpetuate so dangerous a schism in the one holy Catholic and apostolic Church; so that the only holy Catholic and apostolic Church was now to be found only at Peniscola,” where Benedict then was. He persisted unto the moment of his death, that he was the only pope. As long as he could speak he maintained it; and “when he could no longer speak, he wrote down, with great difficulty, the following injunction addressed, as his last will, to his cardinals:—ECE 561.1

    “I enjoin you, upon pain of an eternal curse, to choose another pope after my death.”ECE 561.2

    125. The three cardinals did elect another pope after the death of Benedict, who took the title of—CLEMENT VIII, NOV. 29, 1424; but he abdicated in favor of the pope who had been elected by the Council of Constance,—MARTIN V, NOV. 8, 1417, TO FEB. 20, 1431.ECE 561.3

    126. Martin V left Constance for Rome, May 16, 1418. He remained a season in Geneva; then passed to Florence, where he arrived Feb. 27, 1419. While at Florence John XIII, in June, 1419, “throwing himself at his feet, without any previous stipulations or conditions whatever, acknowledged him for the lawful successor of St. Peter and Christ’s vicar upon earth.” On the fourteenth of June, Balthasar Cossa “ratified and confirmed all the decisions of the Council of Constance relating to himself, and relating to the election of Martin V; renounced in a solemn manner all right and title to the popedom; was thereupon created by the pope cardinal bishop of Tusculum, was made dean of the sacred college; and it was ordained that he should always sit next to the pope, and his seat should be somewhat raised above the seats of the other cardinals.” He died December 20 following.ECE 561.4

    127. Thus by the efforts and authority of the nations, the anarchy of the papacy was ended; and the papacy was saved from herself. As the nations had now resumed their legitimate place and power as superior to the papacy, the absolutism, as well as the anarchy, of the papacy was ended. In complete and horrible measure there had been demonstrated to all the world that the essence of the papacy and the ultimate of her rule, is only anarchy. The fearful iniquities of the popes continued; but after the thorough demonstration of the essential anarchy of the papacy that had been presented to the world, in the further career of the papacy there could be nothing new except the official crowning of the whole arrogant, deceitful, licentious, bloody, and anarchistic record, by Pope—PIUS IX, JUNE 16, 1846, TO FEB. 8, 1878, with the attribute of divinity, in his proclamation of papal infallibility, as an article of faith because of divine revelation.ECE 562.1

    128. And even this is but the logic of the theocratical theory upon which the foundation of the papacy was laid in the days of Constantine. For, the papacy being professedly the government of God, he who sits at the head of it, sits there as the representative of God. He represents the divine authority; and when he speaks or acts officially, his speech or act is that of God. But to make a man thus the representative of God, is only to clothe human passions with divine power and authority. And being human, he is bound always to act unlike God; and being clothed with irresponsible power, he will often act only like Satan. Consequently, in order to make all his actions consistent with his profession, he is compelled to cover them all with the divine attributes, and make everything that he does in his official capacity the act of God.ECE 562.2

    129. This is precisely the logic and the profession of papal infallibility. It is not claimed that all the pope speaks is infallible; it is only what he speaks officially—what he speaks ex cathedra, that is, from the throne. The decree of infallibility is as follows:—ECE 562.3

    “We teach and define that it is a dogma divinely revealed, that the Roman pontiff, when he speaks ex cathedra, that is, when in discharge of the office of pastor and doctor of all Christians, by virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine regarding faith or morals to be held by the universal Church, by the divine assistance promised to him in blessed Peter, is possessed of that infallibility with which the divine Redeemer willed that his Church should be endowed for defining doctrines regarding faith or morals; and that therefore such definitions of the Roman pontiffs are irreformable of themselves, and not from the consent of the Church.ECE 562.4

    “But if any one—which may God avert—presume to contradict this our definition, let him be anathema.ECE 563.1

    “Given at Rome in public session solemnly held in the Vatican Basilica, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventy, on the eighteenth day of July, in the twenty-fifth year of our pontificate.” 43[Page 563] Schaff’s “History of the Vatican Council,” Decrees, chap 4. The pontificate” is that of Plus IX.ECE 563.2

    130. Under this theory, the pope sits upon his throne as the head of the government of God, and as God indeed. For the same pope who published the dogma of infallibility, consistently published a book of his speeches, in the preface to which, in the official and approved edition, he is declared to be “the living Christ;” “the voice of God;” and further of him it is declared: “He is nature, that protests; he is God, that condemns.” 44[Page 563] Speeches of Pope Plus IX, pp. 9, 17; Gladstone’s Review, p. 6. And fully up to the measure of these declarations, Pope—LEO XIII, FEB. 20, 1878—published, June 21, 1894, a communication addressed “to the princes and peoples of the universe,” in which he said to them: “We hold the regency of God on earth.” A regency is the office and administration of a regent. A “regent is an administrator of a realm during the minority or incapacity of a king;” “one who rules or reigns, hence one invested with vicarious authority; one who governs a kingdom in the minority, absence, or disability of the sovereign.” A regency of God on earth, therefore, can exist only upon the assumption of the “minority, absence, or disability” of God as to the affairs of the earth, which assumption can not possibly be anything short of supremely blasphemous.ECE 563.3

    131. Thus in the papacy there is fulfilled to the letter, in completest meaning, the prophecy—2 Thessalonians 2:1-9 - of “the falling away” and the revealing of “that man of sin,” “the son of perdition, who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.”ECE 563.4

    132. This is the inevitable logic of the false theocratical theory. And if it be denied that the theory is false, there is logically no escape from accepting the whole papal system. Thus so certainly and so infallibly is it true that the false and grossly conceived view of the Old Testament theocracy, contains within it the germ of THE ENTIRE PAPACY. 45[Page 564] Neander’s “History of the Christian Religion and Church,” Vol. ii, sec. ii, part i, div. ii, par. 29.ECE 564.1

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