BY WILLIAM BARRY, D.D.
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THESE pages do not undertake to frame or to resolve religious problems; they are not a treatise in Canon Law; neither will they attempt Church history in any proper sense of the word. I have called my little book a "political sketch," and in that light, with all due courtesy, it is offered to the Home University collection. Its purpose may be stated in a sentence. I desire to explain how it is that the Twentieth of September, 1870, when I saw the Italian army enter Rome, forms a landmark in the story of Western Europe and, by consequence in the development of modern society on both sides of the Atlantic. For if the scene is Rome, the horizon is America. There are three terms of comparison involved--the Papacy, the Absolute State, and the American Constitution, which last, derived from England, owes its principles to the Great Charter and to Edward the Confessor. Putting these high abstract forms into the concrete, we may behold on our stage, Washington, Napoleon, and Hildebrand. Of these, Washington needs no description; he shines by his own splendour in the sky of liberty, sua se luce signat. Hildebrand, the least known to men at this hour, is by no means the least important. He stands outside my limits, but in theory and ideal he pervades the whole narrative, from Boniface VIII. to Pius IX. As for Napoleon, he is Cæsar come to life again, inheriting from the Roman Empire, from Philip the Fair and Louis XIV., his conception of untrammelled power, and from many an Italian tyrant his ambition to found a Kingdom of Italy. Napoleon first abolished the Temporal Power in principle and in fact; he is the true author of the Venti Settembre.
But its causes go very far back; it was already preordained as a fatal term to this unique dominion from the day of Anagni, September 7, 1303, when Colonna, the Roman prince, and Nogaret, the French lawyer, outraged Pope Boniface on his throne--"that throne," says Lecky, "which was once the centre and the archetype of the political system of Europe, the successor of Imperial Rome." Now the Pope sits like a prisoner in his Vatican over against the Italian king, who, from within the usurped chambers of the Quirinal, governs on the lines of Napoleon's famous Code (though with some figure of a Parliament), his modern revolutionary State. The situation has lasted forty years. It is unique, dramatic, pregnant of consequences. To sum up, the Papacy was for hundreds of years suzerain over kings, and the Holy Roman Empire was its armed defender. It is now the head of a worldwide voluntary association which wields no sword but its faith, and which owes nothing to secular governments. How so remarkable a transformation came to pass, and what it means politically, is the subject I have taken in hand. It is a chapter in the history of spiritual freedom. So long as the Vatican endures, Cæsarism will not have won the day.
I speak, of course, always under correction, with a deep sense of my own inadequacy in grappling with matters so difficult and so controverted; nor am I able, as I should like, to express my gratitude to the writers, past and present, by whose light I travel. Let me beg the reader's indulgent sympathy.
IN FESTO S. PETRI AD VINCULA,
August 1, 1911.
PROLOGUE, THE VATICAN AND THE ROMAN FATHER
I. FROM AVIGNON TO CONSTANCE
II. FROM CONSTRANCE TO THE SACK OF ROME
III. FROM THE SACK OF ROME TO THE BEGINNINGS OF THE THIRTY YEARS' WAR
IV. FROM THE ESCURIAL TO VERSAILLES
V. FROM LOUIS XIV. TO THE REVOLUTION
VI. FROM THE REVOLUTION TO WATERLOO
VII. FROM WATERLOO TO THE FALL OF ROME
THE PAPACY AND MODERN TIMES
THE VATICAN AND THE ROMAN FATHER
(AENEID, ix., 449)
Two thousand years ago, in round numbers, the Italian city called Rome had brought under its sway all those peoples, civilised or barbarian, who dwelt between the Euphrates and the Atlantic, south of Rhine and Danube, and north of the African deserts. This great confederation was known as the Roman Empire. Its ruler held at once the supreme civil power and the control of religion. He bore as a title in the secular State the name of Cæsar; as chief priest that of Pontifex Maximus. So had events determined after the battle of Actium ( 31 B.C.), when the old Republic was changed into an absolute monarchy (though disguised by keeping the popular designations), the head of which was Augustus, grand-nephew of that Julius whom Shakespeare extols as "the foremost man of all this world."
Imperial Rome, likewise, though in a somewhat hard, military fashion, took to itself the culture of Hellas, which it has taught Europeans to miscall Greece. It had long struggled against foreign religious rites, and often put them down by law; especially the frenzied cults of Bacchus and Isis. But when the native Italian blood had been recklessly spilt in civil wars, and Rome grew Orientalized by its multitudes of slaves and parasites from Eastern lands, such secret, fantastic, and professedly wonderworking forms of worship gained an immense influence. They brought to the capital of civilisation an idea as of something universal, which corresponded with its own dignity and its office towards mankind. There was conceivable a deep interpenetration of the outward Roman framework of society by a spiritual force. But these old heathen superstitions were not destined to achieve so noble an enterprise. For Israel had already learnt from its prophets the true Religion of Humanity. Judaism was enlarged in thought and outlook until it became the Catholic Church. The first Rome had been established on the Palatine Hill. A second now sprang into being on the Vatican.
Jew conquered Roman as Roman had conquered East and West. We may fix the date and symbolize the consequences of this greater triumph in a description left us by Tacitus, the most philosophical among Latin historians, of Nero's dealings with a certain folk, "hated for their general wickedness, whom the vulgar called Christians" ( Annals, xv., 44).
Outside the city walls, and across the Tiber to the north-west, rises, not quite one hundred feet above the Mediterranean level, Mons Vaticanus, the Hill of Prophecy. It had its name perhaps from an Etruscan oracle. Its gardens belonged to Agrippina, Nero's mother, and thus came to him; on their site Caligula and Claudius had built a circus for chariot-racing which Nero haunted. The goal was an obelisk from Heliopolis, standing nearly where the high altar of St. Peter's now stands. And the obelisk adorns the centre of the great square, with this writing upon it, "Christ conquers, Christ reigns, Christ commands; Christ defend His people from all harm." The words sum up a revolution and a history. They bring back that First of August, 64 (the year of Rome, 817), when the Vatican gardens blazed with living victims, whose alleged crime it was that they had set the city on fire. They are associated with the martyrdom of St. Peter and St. Paul, whom the Roman Church reveres as its founders. They imply, as St. John does in the Apocalypse, that the persecuting Emperor was Antichrist. In their triumphant tone we listen to the battle-cry of centuries, during which Catholicism fought its way to victory. The Palatine is a heap of ruins; St. Peter's Confession draws pilgrims from the ends of the earth. And so the Vatican dominates those "seven lordly hills" which Martial celebrates on our titlepage.
All things that seemed fatal to this new birth of time favoured it. "The blood of martyrs," said Tertullian, "became the seed of the Church." Vespasian and Titus made Rome the centre of Christian hopes when they destroyed Jerusalem. When, after Severus, the West fell into anarchy; when riches, peace, and learning were more and more the heritage of countries lying east of the Adriatic, St. Peter's successor was gathering strength. St. Cyprian of Carthage venerated the Apostolic Chair; we hear already the term Pontifex Maximus applied to the Pope. Constantine erected a temple on the spot where St. Peter was crucified. He paved the way for a division of the Empire by founding his new capital on the Bosporus over against Asia; thus abandoning Rome, Italy, Spain, Gaul, Germany, to this undaunted power.
The Popes were statesmen; they refused to be mere metaphysicians; and their calm adherence to tradition gave them the casting-vote when Antioch quarrelled with Alexandria, when Constantinople was torn by religious factions, when orthodox and heterodox alike appealed to Julius, Celestine, Leo--names of majesty, not soiled by disputes or degraded in the strife of councils. The calamities which overtook this degenerate civilization left the Vatican sacred and secure. Leo, deservedly known as the Great ( 440-461), stopped the march of Attila. The Vandals ruined Carthage; but, in deference to the same eloquent Pontiff, they spared the Roman shrines. Islam afforded to the Popes during nearly eleven hundred years a definite and urgent plea for exercising in defence of Christendom almost a dictator's office. Mohammedan fury laid waste Egypt, Africa, Syria; it humbled the proud Byzantine Emperor; it subdued Spain, and invaded France. As the eighth Christian century ended it was manifest that none but the Roman Father could bestow on Europe, from Illyria to Ireland, a humane religion or the elements of civilized life.
Two names cast a gleam upon the darkness which followed the inroads of Barbarians and Islamites--St. Benedict, who appears as a lawgiver, shaping monastic rules into principles by which order was brought out of chaos; and St. Gregory, who laid in desolate Rome the great bases of a future Christian commonwealth. To them we owe it that the sovereign city was "victorious in her mourning weeds." Benedict, in the cloister, began to create an order of peace and industry, making labour a divine service. Gregory fed the multitude, resisted the yet half-savage Lombards, sent missionaries to Britain, and saw the Barbarians turning from Arianism to the Catholic faith. He claimed a suzerainty over the Spanish Kings; he became a friend of that nation born to illustrious fortunes, the Franks. Another Gregory, in the quarrel with Leo, breaker of sacred images, did all he could to preserve Italy for its Byzantine masters while resisting their fanaticism ( 726-731). He failed; the Romans acclaimed him deliverer, and gave to St. Peter the Eternal City. Thus began what is now known as the Temporal Power of the Popes. "Their noblest title," says Gibbon as he relates this memorable transaction, "is the free choice of a people whom they had redeemed from slavery."
But observe their condition henceforth. Supreme guardians of religion over the whole West, they are viewed at Constantinople as rebels. They must keep a hand on the "Roman People," proud and turbulent, hating strangers, though supported by contributions from foreign pilgrims ad limina --at the Apostle's threshold--and ready to break out on every pretext. Between the Lateran "clergy" and the "army" of the Palatine friction is unceasing. To the north, pressing continually down from their Alps, we see a fierce ambitious tribe of Lombards, who covet the wealth and splendour of the golden city. South of the Papal territories and behind them lies the Sicilian world, menaced by Greeks and Saracens, open later on to a famous Norman Conquest. Here is the key of the situation. Whoever holds at one time Milan or Pavia together with Naples, can take the Vatican as in a net.
This combination no Pope would ever willingly allow To be the subject of a Western prince would dishonour the Supreme Pontiff; but if he is to enjoy freedom, then a balance of power in Italy and a distant protector, whom he can call in and send home again, will alone secure it. When the Lombards threaten, he appeals to the Frankish dynasty --to Pepin, whom Zachary, in 752, crowned King by the hands of St. Boniface. Pepin crosses the Alps, defeats Astolf, gives his spoils to the Holy See. That is Pepin's donation ( 756). Fresh troubles bring his son, Charles the Great, to Rome in 774. Pope Hadrian declares him Patrician, and obtains for the Roman Duchy those limits which it preserved almost down to 1870. To the south all that Byzantium lost the Papacy won. Hadrian assumed regal state. But it was Leo III., who by a bold and happy stroke created the Holy Roman Empire on Christmas Day, 800. Meekly prostrate before him in St. Peter's, Charles received the crown, and was hailed Augustus by a rejoicing people.
This magnificent sight was often to be renewed during six hundred and fifty years, but seldom without bloodshed. To our ancestors, the wild men who occupied Europe by right of their swords, the Pax Romana was a term void of understanding. Feudalism supposed and perpetuated the state of war; peace could be only a "Truce of God," a Sabbath interval. When Henry III., as Emperor, extended it to half the year, his nobles loudly protested. Not until Amalfi, Venice, Genoa began to flourish, was an industrial pacific order of things conceivable. We must imagine the "war of all against all" as never wholly ceasing, until its ferocity was lifted to enthusiasm by crusading ardour, and expeditions to Palestine allowed the peasant, the farmer, the merchant of the West a chance to develop their resources in their own way. Mediæval Europe was a camp with a church in the background.
Rome, in particular, had neither industry nor commerce. Its brigand-chiefs, Frangipani, Orsini, Colonna, entrenched themselves in the mighty ruins, built hundreds of towers from their brick or marble, and sallied forth morning after morning bent on revenge or robbery. The Church became, in spite of laws and saints, a feudal preserve. Its wealth went on growing, until it held from one-third to one-half of all the land in Europe
Its bishops were princes, its abbots great lords. And the protection of sanctuary, the power of mortmain, were defended by "excommunication" which cut off assailants from holy things, or by "interdict," which deprived a whole country of religious observances. These were strong but often necessary measures. Yet the kings and nobles who had enriched the Church took away with one hand what they gave with the other. They made of their children, legitimate or illegitimate, "spiritual persons" enjoying the privileges of clerics; thrust them into well-endowed sees; and created the enormous scandal of boy-bishops and even boy-Popes. A mailclad hierarchy turned the crozier into a sword. Meanwhile, Charlemagne's descendants broke up and lost his wide Empire. The Papacy fell into unspeakable degradation. It was exploited during eighty-two years by the House of Theophylact ( 882-964). There comes a ray of troubled sunshine when the German Otho I. appears as a "tenth-century Charlemagne." At the sad millennium after Christ we admire and pity the swiftly-passing, gracious figures of Otho III. and Silvester II. Otho, was made to be the soldier of the Cross, and Silvester was the first French Pope, a man of letters who meets Arabian science on its own ground, while he projects though he cannot execute the first Crusade.
Christendom, in spite of the Iron Age, was forming little by little. The Vatican blessed or sent forth missionaries to the heathen, Patrick, Augustine, Columban, Boniface, Cyril, Adalbert. Cloisters grew into cities. Teutonic and other knights compelled the pagan nations to come in. Stephen of Hungary converted his people, took his crown from the hands of St. Peter, and was Papal Legate in his own dominions. St. Olaf rudely constrained the Norsemen to receive baptism, and as much as could be given them of southern culture. Their seafaring cousins settled in France as Normans; sailed round to Sicily; captured Pope Leo IX. at Civitella in 1053; obtained his pardon with the investiture of Naples; and under a certain William well known to us conquered at Hastings in 1066. The lineaments of modern Europe begin to appear. At this turning-point the Papal succession was reformed. Benedictine monks, trained under the influence of French Cluny, ascended St. Peter's Chair. Hildebrand, a Catholic and monastic Julius Cæsar, governed the Church as archdeacon or pope for thirty-seven years ( 1048-1085). He may be said to have given to mediæval Europe its definite form.
The Church and the Empire--an ecclesiastical order with its own courts, jurisdiction, properties, immunities, facing a secular order with its tenures, claims, ambitions; and above each its crowned representative supreme --such is the shape into which Christian society falls during the Middle Ages. Every king except the King of France had, at one season or another, become liegeman to the Pope, or, at any rate, wielded his sceptre by approval at Rome. Even William the Conqueror accepted from Alexander II. a consecrated banner on his expedition; though England did not become a fief of the Holy See until Henry II., and most explicitly King John, put it into sanctuary as a defence against their subjects. But now, under Hildebrand, when he was made Gregory VII., and when Henry IV. was the German Cæsar, an opposition broke out which had long been threatening, and which these two men, so strangely unlike, brought to a crisis. Investiture, the mystic ceremony by which prelates took possession of their dignities and emoluments, was claimed as a right on both sides. This confusion of powers seemed likely to reduce the Papacy itself to an imperial "fief," or the Empire to a Papal "benefice." Rome, in its distress, could always refuse acknowledgment by any and every cleric of secular authority, thus setting up a kingdom apart, though scattered, throughout the West. Cæsar learned to reply with anti-popes and intruded prelates; he could lay violent hands upon Church property, exile its lawful holders, and scorn interdicts. These things all came to pass. But Henry IV. was no match for Gregory VII., and the Emperor's three days' penance in the snow at Canossa ( January, 1076) alone saved him from deposition by the Roman Pontiff. Canossa meant victory for the cleric over the layman, and the layman never forgot it.
Hildebrand's "imperial mind," as Newman called it, had seen and brought out the complete idea of the Papacy. By insisting on a celibate priesthood, by strict alliance with monasticism, by use of the deposing power, by Roman Councils, and by taking up once more the design of a crusade against Islam, he intended to establish beyond peril of defeat a theocracy according to the New Testament. This was to be the reign of the Saints. It did not find its charter, Gregory would have said, in Constantine's alleged donation or in the "False Decretals" presented to Pope Nicholas I. On the contrary, its rights were all summed up in St. Leo's pregnant language as "Petri privilegium," St. Peter's Gospel-right. The Holy See judged all and was judged of none. The sword of the flesh must obey the sword of the spirit. Although Cæsar might claim the things which were Cæsar's, for him to meddle with the things that were God's was sacrilege. The Pope taught the creed, gave or withheld crowns on appeal, acted as commander-inchief of Christendom, and raised a steadilyincreasing revenue on behalf of the Holy War. Gregory's French successor, Urban II., opened at Clermont in 1095 the era of expeditions to Palestine, which preserved Europe from becoming a Mohammedan province, and brought back dangerous but fruitful trophies of civilisation from Syria. The Crusades, properly so termed, went on with intermission between 1099 and 1272. But as late as Clement XI. ( 1700-1721) the Roman Pontiffs were still lifting up the cross against the crescent. It is their distinction and their glory.
Investitures had been settled by a fair compromise between Callixtus II. and Henry V at the second Council of Lateran ( 1123), which ratified the Concordat of Worms and recognized the double aspect incident to temporal possessions in the hands of the clergy. But if we assign the modern movement in politics, philosophy, and letters to the twelfth century, we must look to Paris and France for its origin. France was the brain, the eye, the armed right hand of mediæval Europe. Paris now became to Catholic studies that which Athens had been to the Greeks,--a living university where ideas and systems fought their battle. The school philosophy--a blend of Aristotle and Plato in somewhat disguised Latin forms with Church tradition--started on its brilliant course from the abbey of Bec in Normandy. Among its first lights were Lanfranc and St. Anselm, who both ruled England as Archbishops of Canterbury. Urban II., Callixtus II., were French Popes St. Bernard, king of the age, soul of the Second Crusade, dictator to the Vatican itself, where his disciple Eugenius III. reigned, was a Burgundian.
Abelard ( 1079-1142), the ancestor of Descartes and Chateaubriand, came from Brittany to Paris, and there opened the movement of Free Thought by his amazing audacity and eloquence. He trained Arnold of Brescia, democratic agitator, champion of the "voluntary system," who was opposed to temporal dominion whether of Pope or bishop, and who died a martyr under the Englishman, Hadrian IV., on account of his opinions. Hadrian broke the Roman Republic which Giordano the Patrician, with Arnold to counsel him, had set up. But the sturdy Saxon found a terrible opponent in Frederick Barbarossa, the Hohenstauffen Emperor; and the hundred years' war between Ghibelline and Guelf may be dated from 1155.
Frederick the Redbeard has been compared to Hannibal in Italy. His twenty-two years struggle with Hadrian IV. and Alexander III., with Lombard cities and their League of Freedom, was an effort to restore in the West such an absolute imperial authority as the Emperor of Byzantium exercised. A pure German, he claimed to be the old-time Cæsar. His appeal rang out to Roman law, and was enforced by the massacre of Roman citizens, by the destruction of Milan in 1162, and by the usual device of an Anti-pope. Ghibellines discovered their political theory in the Code and Institutes of Justinian, to which Irnerius at Bologna (about 1100) had drawn his scholars' attention. This proved to be an event of far-reaching importance. Hitherto, the Vatican had ruled by means of Canon Law, to which only barbarian or local systems of legislation could be opposed. But now the Emperor (at Roncaglia, 1158) proclaimed his boundless rights over clergy and laity in virtue of an independent Code, which the Popes had not created and were unable to modify. The secular State, first appearing in the shape of this imperial supremacy, was born. Frederick would not hear of a selfgoverning Italy or a Pope who declined to be his subject. Alexander III. called upon Lombards, Romans, Venetians, to defend their freedom; and in 1176, thanks to the victory of Legnano, Alexander won. He took the public homage of Barbarossa, himself throned at St. Mark's, Venice, while the Emperor bent his knee, on July 24, 1177. But there was now a duel to the death between the Hohenstauffen and the Papacy. Guelf and Ghibelline tore Italian civilisation to pieces. By the marriage of Redbeard's son Henry V. to Constance, Sicily was added to the Empire; their child was the accomplished, fascinating, unhappy Frederick II., in whose tomb at Palermo the dynasty lies buried ( 1198-1250).
We have come to Innocent III. ( 1198-1216), who put the Western Church in possession of Constantinople by the Fourth Crusade; who set up Emperors in Germany and pulled them down again; who smote the Albigenses in a religious war until they were consumed; who brought King John to his knees in the Temple Church at London, and made England a fief of the Holy See; who gave to Italy peace and good laws; who had for his champions the Friars, sent forth over Christendom by Francis and Dominic; and who, lastly, by recognizing Frederick II. as lawful Cæsar, bequeathed to his own successors an Iliad of woes. The thirteenth century saw Catholicism triumph in its mighty volumes of Canon Law--the Decretals. It beheld the glory of scholastic wisdom in St. Thomas Aquinas. It served as a stage to the tragedy of the Hohenstauffen,--Frederick II. deposed at the Council of Lyons in 1245 by Innocent IV.; Conradin executed on the scaffold at Naples in 1268. Its culminating point was perhaps reached in 127 4, when Gregory X. sat in another Council of Lyons amid five hundred bishops, seventy abbots, and a thousand of the clergy. The Churches of East and West uttered there a common creed and acknowledged one Pope, who confirmed Rudolph of Habsburg as German Emperor, recognized the claims of Michael Paleologus to the throne of Constantinople, and laid down wise rules for Papal elections in the future. But with Frederick II. had in truth expired the Holy Roman Empire. The long succession of Teutons henceforth proceeds on a line of its own, not that traced by Charlemagne or seen in vision by Dante. In France St. Louis leaves the world to Philip the Fair and his lawyers. The last Crusade is over in 1272. When Acre falls in 1291 the Holy Land ceases to inspire European politics. When Boniface VIII. was elected Pope at Naples, in December, 1294, and the great Jubilee followed in 1300, a catastrophe was hanging over the Papacy with which we may affirm that the Middle Ages came to an end.
This change from sacerdotal to secular supremacy, or from the hieratic to the modern State, had been long preparing. Norman Kings like William of England and Henry II.; Sicilian, of the same blood, not less determined and astute; Aragonese and Angevin, quarrelling for the succession of Naples; all these were driven by a similar impulse, which they obeyed without seeking to explain it. The Franconian Emperors did not realize that its philosophy might be found in legislation stamped with the names of Justinian, Theodosius, and the Antonines. But Barbarossa knew, and Frederick II. acted upon this memorable discovery. They underwent defeat. The idea of an Imperial law, a crown not granted by the Vatican, a subjection to the king from which no exemption might be pleaded, was at length translated into French terms and carried into execution by French logic. Disputes of a transient importance had arisen between Boniface VIII. and Philip the Fair. Boniface upheld ancient clerical immunities, the doctrine of the two swords, the deposing power, in language borrowed from Innocent III., from Gregory VII. Philip answered with scorn and defiance. The Pope fixed a day for his deposition, September 8, 1303. On the day preceding, Nogaret, Philip's minister of vengeance, rode into Anagni with three hundred horse, and the mediæval, the sacred order of things which had lasted under conflict during five centuries, expired in that crime which Dante has likened to the crucifixion itself:
"Lo, the flower de luce
Enters Alagna; in His Vicar Christ
Himself a captive, and His mockery
The story which we now attempt begins when Boniface is dead, the Vatican deserted, King Philip master of the Sacred College, and Avignon looms on the horizon. It fills five hundred and seventy years, more than as much as the sad and glorious period from Charlemagne to this "new Pilate," in whose keeping the successor of St. Peter lay a prisoner. Its commencements are tragical; but it shows the power of the Spirit traversing many vicissitudes; by captivity and schism, by Renaissance and Reformation, by heresies and enlightenment and a still greater French Revolution arriving at an independence of earthly forces, most honourable to the something in man which despises outward constraint. These highest things always admit of an interpretation according to the mind that views them. To measure their greatness demands sympathy; and sympathy is kindled only by a vivid fancy, a heart susceptible to human touches, to pity and love. The Vatican is a name more august than the Parthenon, more abounding in situations that excite all human emotions than the stage of Dionysus at Athens, full of millennial hopes and the pathos of man's history, not yet illuminated by any visible and reconciling last scene. To the Catholic who reads, I would commend the exercise of his faith, having trust in the event, t? te´?e? p?´st?? fe´???. To the general student and curious dilettante in man's ways, let me say, "These too had their sorrows, their heavy task, ere they passed into the unknown. Remember that they were like unto thee as thou art like unto them. We will look over these chronicles together, and learn from them how divine, how helpless, how much to be pitied and wondered at a thing is human nature."
FROM AVIGNON TO CONSTANCE, 1305-1417
(DANTE, PURG. xxxii)
WHEN, on December 29, 1170, Thomas Archbishop of Canterbury was murdered in his cathedral, the King whose satellites had wrought this great outrage lost all he had been contending for. Retribution followed on the heels of sacrilege; and Henry II. bared his back to scourging at the martyr's tomb. Clerical immunities were saved in England. The royal supremacy was adjourned for three hundred and sixty years. Very different were the consequences of that morning at Anagni. Philip not only kept his threatened crown; he led the Papacy captive. Benedict XI., a mild Dominican, who for one moment occupied St. Peter's Chair, released the French King and his people from censure. He explained the Papal document "Clericis laicos" so that it should not imply feudal claims over the realm of St. Louis. He died (by poison, said the vulgar talk); a vacancy of nine months ensued; and Philip in secret made an unholy compact with Bertrand, Archbishop of Bordeaux, by which the tiara was sold and bought. The King undertook to have his Gascon subject chosen; the Gascon promised to condemn Boniface; to grant full pardon for the past; to give the Colonna their lands again; and, as is thought, to let Philip plunder and destroy the Knights Templars. Bertrand was elected, crowned at Lyons, and speedily environed with a college of French Cardinals. He never set foot in Rome. He revoked the Bull "Clericis" and gave a non-contentious meaning to the "Unam Sanctam" which had haughtily asserted the doctrine of the two swords, one to be wielded, the other to be guided by Christ's Vicar on earth. In 1309 Clement V. took up his abode at Avignon, a city belonging to Philip's kinsman, Charles II. of Naples.
The seventy years of Babylonish captivity had begun. Seven French Popes ruled in succession from the wind-swept heights and in the sunburnt luxurious palace--a fortress, church, prison, as it proved--of this false Rome.
Hitherto, France had offered a constant refuge to the Pontiffs in their troubles. As far back as 754 Stephen III. had taken shelter with Pepin at Ponthion from the Lombard Astolf. John VIII., after 874, fled to Louis the Stammerer Leo IX. at Rheims, in 1050, deposed simoniacal French prelates, and demonstrated the Primacy by Canon Law. Hildebrand at Tours, as Papal commissioner, put down the free-thinking Berengar; under Victor II. he compelled a multitude of guilty bishops and dignitaries to surrender their ill-gotten trusts. Urban II., French by extraction, announced the First Crusade at Clermont in 1095, while Philip I., King of France, lay under the Church's ban. Calixtus II., formerly Guido of Vienne, renewed the Truce of God at Rheims in 1119, while Henry I. of England and Louis VI. pleaded before his tribunal against each other. Eugenius III. took refuge at Dijon in 1147 For three years Alexander III., escaping from Barbarossa, became Louis VII.'s guest at Courcy-sur-Loire. In the French city of Lyons (as yet Imperial and Free) two General Councils were held--that of 1245 by Innocent IV., and that of 1274 by Gregory X. Gallic influences were now prevailing in the Sacred College. In 1261 Pantaleon of Troyes was made Pope Urban IV. He offered the crown of Naples to St. Louis, who would not accept it. Then this disposer of kingdoms bestowed it on Charles of Anjou, Count of Provence. Clement IV., a southern Frank, succeeded to Urban in 1265; during his stormy reign Manfred was defeated and slain at Benevento, Conradin perished; Charles of Anjou then dictated the Papal elections. Martin IV., a Frenchman of Tours, came on in 1281. Next year the Sicilians massacred their French masters and gave themselves to Aragon (the Sicilian Vespers, Easter Tuesday, 1282). It was from the Counts of Provence, to whom the Holy See had presented Naples on a feudal tenure, that Clement V. received hospitality at Avignon in April, 1309.
Philip the Fair had thus accomplished a design which, five centuries later, tempted Napoleon to imitate it; but the mighty Emperor failed where the King succeeded. In truth, its long struggle with Teutonic Cæsars and the Ghibellines of many Italian cities had exhausted the strength as well as daunted the courage, even of unwearied Rome. For a long and dreary interval, Vatican and Capitol lay desolate. Many Pontiffs had been driven into exile; but an absentee Pope, deliberately resident beyond the bounds of Italy, struck men as something portentous; and patriots now with Dante, Petrarch, Rienzi lamented or rebelled against the discrowning of their native land, to heighten Gallic insolence. Dante, born three centuries before Shakespeare ( 1265-1564) burns into his glowing enamel the figures which he loved and hated, stamping with infamy Boniface, Clement, John XXII., Philip and his kinsfolk, one among whom, Charles of Valois, gave occasion that the poet should suffer lifelong banishment from Florence. An ardent Ghibelline henceforth, the exile's hopes were blasted by the untimely death in 1313 of Henry of Luxemburg. Dying himself brokenhearted at Ravenna, seven years afterwards, Alighieri left his "mystic unfathomable song" to body forth in its gloom and splendours, by its tears of fire and mingling of angelic harmonies with outbursts of violent passion against those who had done him wrong, the very "form and pressure" of his age.
But now, says Lord Acton, "the Popes were forced to rely on the protection of France; their supremacy over the states was at an end; and the resistance of the nations commenced." Germany led the way
Though Clement V. was the creature and the tool of King Philip, sacrificing to his greed the Templars ( 1310), he found some compensation in having behind him the strength of France. He was free from the tumults which in Rome had so often compelled the Popes to bow under a popular yoke. In 1313 Clement interpreted the oath taken by an elected "King of the Romans" to the Holy See as an act of feudal homage. He appointed Robert of Naples as Imperial Vicar in Italy. When he died and John XXII. succeeded, the Germans who stood by Louis of Bavaria began their long quarrel with Avignon, which may be described as a rehearsal between 1322 and 1347 of the Reformation on a minor scale.
It was not the vacillating Bavarian that signified, but under his flag were collected many forces until then separate. John XXII. (of Cahors), a severe Church lawyer, who brought in the later system of Papal finance, could not suffer Louis to assume the title of Rex Romanorum--which carried with it the Imperial succession--unless he sought its confirmation from the Pope. But to German feeling the Pope and France were now identical. Weak as the Empire might be, its princes would not yield. The crown lawyers pleaded against Canon Law. They were supported by Marsilius of Padua, then high in the Paris University, and more strangely still, by the Franciscan General, Michael of Cesena, and by the leading philosopher of the day, William of Ockham (called Occam by foreign writers), also a Minorite Friar. These men drew, from different points of the compass, towards a political theory with which the claims of any and every Pope would be incompatible. Fierce contentions had broken the Order of Assisi into Spirituals, who held a mystic and extreme view of monastic poverty, and Moderates, who conformed in principle to the received ideas. To the Spirituals, overcome in previous contests, the Papacy now seemed a carnal Church; they called the Pope Antichrist; they longed for the new dispensation of the Holy Ghost, and preached the "Eternal Gospel" announced by the Calabrian prophet, Joachim of Flora ( 1145-1202). They revered the memory of Celestine V. who, in Dante's contemptuous language, "by cowardice made the great refusal." Now these "Little Brethren" ( Fraticelli) brought their wild doctrines and unconquerable fanaticism to aid in setting up an Emperor whose will should be law, while St. Peter's successor lived as a mendicant friar. John XXII. was the last man to accept such a position. "Spiritual" heretics were condemned and executed at Narbonne, at Toulouse, and elsewhere. Then Michael of Cesena revolted. Occam opposed the Bible to the Church, rejected the Pope's infallible teaching, and disowned the Temporal Power. When Luther came to a full knowledge of himself, he recognized his master in Occam, the "Irrefragable Doctor."
But in the eyes of modern readers it is Marsilius of Padua, the cool-headed student and no fanatic, that will claim importance. His "Defender of the Peace" appeared in 1327. It represented the whole community as sovereign law-giver and the "prince" as holding of the people. Clerics, including the Pope, have no right to exercise "coercive" jurisdiction; they may persuade, they must not compel by temporal pains and penalties. Like other men, they are subject to the common law, not exempt, nor entitled to courts of their own. Excommunication does not belong to an individual priest; it should be the act of the body altogether, i.e. of the State. As regards heresy, the civil power deals with it only as an infraction of public order. The prince ought to appoint and deprive ecclesiastics. In fine, the plenitude of Papal power is the corruption of the Church.
These were startling doctrines. They anticipate Luther by two centuries. They were acted on by Henry VIII. and Elizabeth. Erastus, the Swiss, with whose name it is usual to associate them, did not write until 1568, nor Grotius, the Dutch Arminian, who is more properly their representative, until 1604 and 1625. We trace them fully developed, with peculiar applications, in Hobbes' "Leviathan" and Rousseau's "Social Contract." Wherever they prevail, the mediæval idea of a Catholic Church supreme over all authorities by direct or indirect jurisdiction from on high, finds an enemy in law as well as in practice. Thanks, on the whole, to this Marsilian view, the "secular State" flourishes in Latin countries. Vigorously condemned by Clement VI., and rightly assimilated by Gregory XI. in 1377 to the system of Wycliffe, it reversed the position held since Gregory VII. at common law in Western Christendom, putting instead of the Papal Monarch an absolute prince of this world, from whom there was no appeal.
Louis of Bavaria halted many leagues this side of Marsilius. True, he went down into Italy, was chosen Emperor by the populace in Rome ( 1328), set up as antipope a Minorite friar calling himself Nicholas V., and, with intervals of submission, continued Emperor till 1347. But his end was defeat. When he died, and an orthodox Catholic, Charles of Bohemia, humbly accepted the Pope's bidding, "it might seem to Clement VI.," says Creighton, "that Boniface VIII. had been avenged, and that the majesty and dignity of the Papal power had been amply vindicated."
Avignon, melancholy as the name sounds in retrospect, could not but appear as a brilliant scene and highly successful Court of the West to French pontiffs. Their wealth became immense; their luxury has passed into a proverb. No longer able to count on the revenues of Rome or the gifts of pilgrims to St. Peter's shrine, John XXII. had perfected a scheme of reservations, expectatives, annats, and other sources of income which for the time brought him in riches beyond calculation. In principle, no Catholic would refuse to contribute towards the necessary expenditure of a system which was international, open to virtue and ability through all its degrees. The Pope also, as Father of the Faithful, was the only possible guardian of the war-chest accumulated for defence against Mohammedan assaults. Parliaments granted subsidies, the clergy were taxed by Curial enactments, and in their assemblies were willing to tax themselves, on this understanding. But very great abuses followed. "The Avignon system of finance," says Pastor, a most competent witness, "contributed more than has been generally supposed, to the undermining of the Papal authority," and it "soon aroused passionate resistance." Among the evils which it fostered, none perhaps wrought more deadly harm than the intrusion of foreigners, French or Italian chiefly, into English and other Northern sees and benefices. These men were, as a rule, non-resident; their claim was felt as a burden; and from the time of Henry III. to Richard II. a series of protests, passing into legislative acts (Provisors and Præmunire, 1351-1353), warned thoughtful men that resistance might turn to revolt. In Germany "grievances" now became a standing quarrel, which was never laid to rest until the catastrophe of 1520 had been precipitated beyond recovery.
While Avignon flourished in the sun, Rome fell desolate. Benedict XII. began in 1889, high above the banks of the turbid Rhone, that vast palace-prison (des Doms), which seemed as if destined to be the "eternal abode," says Gregorovius, of the Papacy. Clement VI., from Limoges ( 1342-1352), was learned, gracious, extravagantly profuse, addicted even more than other French pontiffs to nepotism. He has left a doubtful reputation; he had quite abandoned the thought of returning to the Apostolic See. But the ruins and the walls of Rome were eloquent. In 1841 Petrarch had been crowned with laurel as first of living poets on the Capitol. With his delicate Italian verse and flowing Latin prose, no longer unpolished and barbarous, the Renaissance was attempting its first flight. Again, if Clement VI. would not take possession of his Lateran basilica, there was another that would, and did-Rienzi, called "Last of the Tribunes," a strange figure suddenly visible to all Italy, clad in shreds and tatters of imperial purple, and for seven months a stage Augustus whom nobles and plebeians obeyed (May-December, 1347).
Rienzi was a Roman, a kind of artist, an orator and a dreamer, intoxicated with antiquity. He had seen Avignon, charmed the Pope, won Petrarch's friendship. At Whitsuntide, May 20, 1847, he inaugurated the Revolution which was to execute the "Laws of the Good Estate," in plain terms, of the Roman Republic. He did not deny Clement's authority, but passed beyond it. Within fifteen days all orders, including the Patricians, and at their head Colonna, took the popular oath. Rienzi was named dictator for life. He ruled justly, received appeals from Joan of Naples and Charles of Durazzo, was knighted in the Lateran, and sent banners to twenty-five Italian republics-among them Florence and Siena. He was crowned with seven crowns in August; was denounced from Avignon, was overthrown, and became a fugitive to the Fraticelli, who hid themselves among the glens of the Abruzzi, in December. The year 1848 is marked as a dividing line between mediæval and modern Europe; for it brought the Black Death, which swept off one-third at least of the population everywhere. Clement VI. lived in quarantine behind his thick walls, and would admit no man to audience. Next year came the Jubilee, when Rome was crowded. A great wave of religious excitement passed over the nations. Rienzi, now most likely insane, went on a prophet's errand to Charles IV. at Prague. Charles gave him up to Clement, who put him in prison, but did not take away his "Livy" or his Bible--books on which Rienzi fed his mind. Innocent VI., an admirable Pope ( 1352-1362), made the warlike Cardinal Albornoz his legate to Rome, and despatched Rienzi with him in 1353. The former Tribune now became Senator; but his mad caprice and "unmitigated tyranny" drove the people to rebel. On October 8, 1354, he was murdered below the lion's cage at the foot of the Capitol.
Marsilius of Padua had foreseen and delineated the absolute State which was to come in when Empire and Papacy had lost the joint rule of Christendom. Rienzi believed in "a confederation, with Rome for its head, under a Latin Emperor elected by the people." Italy was to be united and independent By this strictly national conception Rienzi transcended the Dantean ideas which we read in " De Monarchia "; for Dante's Holy Roman Empire would have been something like the Church, universal, not simply Latin, though continuing Cæsar. But the Tribune, as Machiavelli did two centuries and a half later, bestowed on his time an image of Italy free, self-sustained, indivisible; and that almost in the hour when Charles IV., by his electors' Golden Bull of 1355, created the new German Empire. Tacitly, Charles renounced interference in the Peninsula. The Alps became a political boundary. Meanwhile, the Spaniard, Albornoz, subdued the Papal States, north and south ( 1358). Rome expressed again its allegiance to an absentee Bishop. Innocent VI. was followed in 1362 by a saintly Benedictine monk, Urban V., who broke the chain of captivity, despite his cardinals, and went back amid the world's applause to Rome, in 1367. It was upwards of sixty-two years since the Vatican had witnessed St. Peter's successor kneeling at St. Peter's shrine, and singing mass at the high altar.
But how times were changed! Philip the Fair might have brought down a curse on his dynasty; for the line of Capet lost all its male heirs. The hundred years' war was to end on both sides of the Channel in a royal despotism. French power had sunk to the lowest ebb; it could no longer threaten or uphold the Papacy at Avignon Edward III. of England was little disposed to grant more than lip obedience to one who had been a French subject. Petrarch raised his voice in stern rebuke of the sinful city on the Rhone. At last the Pope said Mass in St. Peter's; he crowned Charles IV in 1368 where Charlemagne had lain prostrate --it was a splendid but hollow ceremony-and two years afterwards returned to his more pleasant exile at Avignon, though speedily to die. Gregory XI., nephew of Clement VI., amiable, erudite, pious, but no strong character, who came next, made a secret vow that he would restore the Holy See to Rome. Unless it were soon done, tyrants like the Visconti, "vipers of Milan," or Free Companies like that of Hawkwood, the Englishman, might be expected to carve princedoms for themselves out of the Church's ill-governed provinces. Even Florence, Guelf and Catholic beyond all other cities, was at war with the Pope. St. Brigit of Sweden uttered her warning; a still more exquisite and singularly winning apparition, St. Catherine of Siena, who may perhaps be termed the Italian Joan of Arc, was beheld in the court at Avignon, as messenger of peace from Florence. To her pleadings and the force of events Gregory yielded. The Florentines vehemently protested that his coming would destroy Italian freedom. But on January 15, 1377, he sailed up the Tiber to St. Paul's on the Ostian Way, and so entered Rome. To restore peace he found was beyond his power. Robert of Geneva, the handsome and truculent soldier-cardinal, taking into his pay Breton mercenaries as well as Hawkwood's desperadoes, smote Faenza and Cesena with a horrible slaughter, in which thousands perished. Gregory himself expired on March 27, 1378, and his death opened an immediate way to the Great Schism of the West.
THE "OBEDIENCES" AND THE "NATIONS" (1378-1417)
WHETHER Bartholomew Prignani, Archbishop of Bari, chosen by all the Cardinals assembled in the Vatican while the Roman mob howled at their gates, was lawful Pope, is a question never formally decided. If he was, the succession at Rome from 1378 of Urban VI. and his line carries the Papacy forward; any other cannot be recognized. This, also, appears to be the almost unanimous opinion of historians on the Catholic side. It prevails in the Roman Chancery. From a different point of view, and regarding the national interests or rivalries which gave birth to the Reformation, we may consider the Great Schism as an attempt, premature but fertile in consequences, to break up mediæval Europe ecclesiastically among the French, Italians, Spaniards, Germans, and English. The "nations" that voted at Constance were superseding and casting aside the Empire. They were also, in fact, debating whether each of the European chief divisions should not have its own Church. Instead of the one Pope, General Councils were to govern; and under this parliamentary system, as it turned out, laymen would control the clergy, while the civil ruler took to himself supreme jurisdiction, and the Roman Pontiff sank to be a Doge of Venice. These were the real points in dispute. On the surface it was a matter of Canon Law to be settled by jurists. And in its earlier stages the Schism renewed that long debate between Rome and Avignon, on the part of French Cardinals who would not stay to be the sport of a ferocious people. " France and Italy," says an English writer, "were at strife for the Popedom." That was the salient, but by no means the ultimate, issue.
Urban VI. had been elected and obeyed by all the Cardinals who now at Fondì, in September, 1378, voted for Robert of Geneva. They made him, so far as lay in their power, Pope by the name of Clement VII.
After sundry adventures, Robert fled from Naples to Marseilles, and, entering the deserted palace of Avignon, became to France and Scotland St. Peter's true successor. The lines of demarcation were strictly political, not drawn from religious motives at all. Milman has described them with an ironic touch. " Italy, excepting the Kingdom of Joanna of Naples," he says, "adhered to her native pontiff; Germany and Bohemia to the pontiff who had recognized King Wenceslaus as Emperor; England to the pontiff hostile to France; Hungary to the pontiff who might support her pretensions to Naples; Poland and the Northern kingdoms, with Portugal, espoused the same cause." An extraordinary man, Cardinal Pedro de Luna, whose fortune it was to create the Schism, to continue it, and to survive it, had first managed the election of Urban, then denied him in favour of the Antipope, and now detached from Rome the Spanish kingdoms, Castile, Aragon, and Navarre. This Pope-maker was not a disedifying soldier in a cassock, such as Robert of Geneva had been. Neither was he half-mad and horribly cruel, as Urban speedily showed himself to be. Pedro de Luna possessed many of the great qualities which went to the making of Hildebrand. Blameless in conduct, he was learned and devout, dexterous and winning, but over-subtle and obstinate as a Spaniard or an Arab in pursuing his own fancy. To him, who revered St. Catherine of Siena, and who longed to see the Church renewed, this forty years' division of Christendom is mainly due. He was by far the strongest character among the popes, kings, prelates, and politicians who attempted to deal with it. Pedro de Luna, historically speaking, was a Gregory VII. committed to a false and fatal position. It required a Council of the whole Church to put him down; but in his own thought he died a conqueror.
Not so Urban the Unwise. This rude reformer lost Naples by quarrelling with Queen Joan, whom he might have kept loyal, and with Charles of Durazzo, whom he crowned. He permitted Charles to put the Queen to death. That unhappy Joan was a Southern anticipation of Mary Stuart in her marriages, her alleged crimes, and her fearful end ( May 22, 1382). Then he fell out with his own nominee, whose Constable besieged him in Mohammedan Nocera. The Pope suspected his Cardinals of plotting against him; he escaped to Genoa, taking five of the Sacred College with him as prisoners, who all died mysteriously. Afterwards he returned to Rome, and there breathed his last, October 15, 1389. St. Catherine, worn by austerities and the Church's tribulations, had gone before, in April, 1380. Throughout, she had acted as Urban's friend and counsellor; but he was incapable of taking her advice. A great Spanish saint, Vincent Ferrer, is conspicuous on the other side. The Church, sorely perplexed, fell into "obediences." For Clement VII., so-called, would not resign; the Roman cardinals elected Boniface IX., and the Schism gained a fresh lease of life ( 1389-1404).
Boniface IX., like his predecessor and his successor, was a Neapolitan. Under him, says Pastor, Rome lost the last remains of municipal freedom. His devices to create a revenue were of the old and scandalous kind familiar to Avignon. His attempted grants in England led to resistance; they provoked the final statutes of Provisors and Præmunire under Richard II. But it is significantly observed by Creighton that "the clergy did not regain the rights of which the Pope had deprived them; the gain went to the Crown." We shall see this law of spoliation enforced on a great scale whenever princes undertake, as they say, to defend the Church; it was exemplified in the gradual but never-halting process by which monastic possessions and, at length, all spiritual lordships, dominions, and tenures of whatsoever description were secularized. Its final term arrived in 1870 with the fall of the Temporal Power. Boniface, however, was fortunate enough to reconstitute the States of the Church, and to hold out against Ladislaus of Naples. In 1394 Clement VII. passed away. He had done nothing memorable beyond "exhausting the countries subject to his obedience" by oppressive tolls and taxes. Now the Schism should have come to an end. But Pedro de Luna had himself chosen Pope as Benedict XIII.;
France and Spain acknowledged their own man, who, once elected, would not be compelled by Crown or university to abdicate. His tactics were as brilliant as they were evasive. The French in 1898 withdrew their allegiance. Benedict stood a four years' siege in his rock-fortress at Avignon, until he escaped down the Rhone in March, 1403. He won back France. He made a show of negotiating with Boniface. He continued his diplomacy with Innocent VII., who was elected under some degree of compulsion from Ladislaus, at that time ( 1404) advancing upon Rome. Innocent's troubled pontificate lasted two years. On his death an aged Venetian became the Roman Pope, Gregory XII., and pledged himself to abdicate; but like Benedict he would not take the first step. What was the Church to do?
So far back as 1381 Henry Langenstein, a German of the Paris University, had written his " Consilium Pacis," advising an assembly of the whole Church to decide between the Popes. In that title we hear an echo of Marsilius the Paduan. Now the University, which held in its ranks the most learned men of Christendom, and was itself a standing Council where theological questions found their answer, was driven reluctantly to further this expedient. Nicholas de Clémanges, who had been its Rector, and Pierre d'Ailly, an expert scholar, both moderate men, were for a while adherents of Benedict. He had made Clémanges his secretary, and installed D'Ailly in the rich and extensive bishopric of Cambray. During the fruitless conferences, embassies, and pleadings which came to a head in the Council of Pisa, these two excellent writers and diplomatists played a creditable part. But they could not persuade Benedict to resign, and when he lost their services he fled to Perpignan, June, 1408. In the previous August, Gregory XII., helpless and afraid of the Neapolitan king, left Rome, and began his wanderings over Italy. Most of the Cardinals on both sides now withdrew their obedience, and, by an unprecedented exercise of authority, convoked a General Council in the Ghibelline city of Pisa. Ladislaus did all in his power to prevent it from meeting. But with France supporting it and Florence barring the Neapolitan's march against it, this anomalous yet dignified assembly came together in the stately Duomo, March 25, 1409.
Just upon a century had elapsed since the French Council of Vienne had taken place under Clement V. In various respects local, its recognition as something cumenical was due to the Pope's presidency and subsequent approbation. The meeting at Pisa, congregated in spite of protests from both claimants (one of whom in the Catholic view must have been legitimate) and approved only by the two Popes who derived from it their election, remains in history the unique thing that it was, a revolutionary attempt to heal a situation without parallel. Gregorovius calls it, "an act of open rebellion against the Pope." Cardinals on either side became accusers and judges of the Holy See; other deputies, who were not even bishops but merely theologians, shared in that solemn sentence whereby Gregory XII. and Benedict XIII. were simultaneously deposed. Gerson, a devoutminded French canonist, who may be considered the first Gallican strictly so-called, put forward his doctrine, on which Pisa founded itself, that the Church could exist without a Pope, and that the Pope was subject to a General Council. "This was the first real step," concludes Gregorovius, "towards the deliverance of the world from the Papal hierarchy; it was already the Reformation."
On June 5, 1409, the above memorable decree was voted; twelve days later the Cardinals, not without previous licence from the Council, elected a Greek of Candia--the Franciscan friar and archbishop of Milan, Filargi--to that which they deemed the vacant See of Rome. Alexander V. was a good friar, but made confusion worse confounded by accepting a debated dignity. Three Popes astonished and saddened the Catholic world. In a few months Alexander was gone; and Baldassarre Cossa, the Cardinal of Bologna, who had been the soul of the Pisan Council, took his place. John XXIII., last of that name, is a portent in the succession to which he effected a forcible entrance. Of Neapolitan descent, and of a naval family, the legend affirms that in his youth he had been a corsair. Like so many able and disedifying ecclesiastics, Cossa took to the Church simply as to the profession most lucrative in honours and emoluments then open to genius. He studied law at Bologna, knew little of theology, did not pretend to be a saint, but was a valiant fighting man, who proved himself equal to the stern duties of Cardinal Legate when he had in hand the second Papal city, or was keeping back Ladislaus from Pisa.
To choose a pontiff "altogether null and inept in things spiritual" has been called a grotesque incongruity on the part of Cardinals lately vociferating the need of reform. But John was acknowledged by all the States which had owned Alexander V. Several months after his election he entered Rome ( April, 1411) with his French ally, Louis of Anjou, at his side, the latter being now this Pope's candidate for Naples, and bent on its conquest. But though Louis gained the victory of Rocca Secca, it profited him nothing. Ladislaus kept his crown; John made peace with him. Gregory XII., at Rimini, found a champion in the one honourable and thoroughly Christian prince of this decadent age, Carlo Malatesta. And now, at length, a clear field was discovered on which to end the Schism. On July 21, 1411, Sigismund of Hungary, brother to the deposed Wenceslaus, became by the electors' unanimous vote King of the Romans. He allowed, and the Empire allowed with him, John's ostensible claim to the Papacy. But he determined that Christendom should meet in council; he fixed on the city of Constance; and John, who foresaw what would happen to such a pontiff as himself when brought to judgment, gave his unwilling adhesion.
This Council of Constance, which opened on November 5, 1414, was not only the largest in point of attendance, lay and ecclesiastical, but also the most imposing ever held. As a great representative assembly, it exhibits the Church and State of the Middle Ages in a magnificent array of pomp and power. It was the Parliament of the West, dealing with rival Popes, defining dogma, putting down heresies, contemplating reform in head and members of the religious institution which it ruled over during three eventful years. Constance became the capital city of Europe. It was a fair, a camp, a forum of debate, diversified with ceremonial as august as Roman and mediéval tradition could prescribe. One hundred thousand persons thronged into the little town and neighbourhood. They were well-managed, with excellent order in most things. Civilization had made great strides when the European nations could thus meet peaceably and decorum be so finely observed.
The Council went through dramatic vicissitudes. It brought in from Paris University the method of voting by nations--in this instance the German, French, English, and Italian, to which Aragon was added later --thereby depriving John XXIII. of his chief support, the Roman and other prelates who would have formed an hierarchical majority. John fled from Constance on March 20, 1415. But Sigismund held firm. The Council would not break up. Ten days elapsed, and Cardinal Zabarella proclaimed the famous decree of the Fourth Session, which declared the Council superior to the Pope. Although D'Ailly was not present, we must attribute this revolutionary Gallican dogma to him and his French associates, Gerson and Filastre. The Cardinals, recruited from all three "obediences," protested in accord with tradition that apart from the Roman Church a Council had no authority. Frederick of Austria, hitherto John's friend, submitted under compulsion to Sigismund. John himself, whose conduct betrayed a broken spirit, and who had promised to abdicate, was now charged with crimes of every colour, and on May 29, 1415, was deposed. The long indictment, founded to some extent on hearsay, he would neither read nor answer. We may believe that much of it is untrue. On July 4, 1415, Gregory XII., by his proctor, Malatesta, handed in his own resignation after constituting the Council in a formal Bull. This, on
Roman principles, gave the Fathers a status which they had not possessed until then. At last the Holy See was manifestly vacant; for no one heeded Benedict XIII. at Peñiscola, though his actual deprivation did not take place until July 26, 1417.
At Constance, therefore, the Gallican movement won; and by the decree "Frequens," it was now resolved that from henceforth Councils to be called every five years should govern the Church. It was an innovation without precedent in East or West. On the other hand, a movement destined to be much more formidable, beginning in England with Wycliffe, and then alive in Bohemia, was the subject of stern repression. Wycliffe had "attacked in unmeasured terms the foundations of the ecclesiastical system," as Creighton allows; and "it was felt that he threatened the existence of the Church, and even of civil society." His "Lollards" were associated in popular opinion, but still more in the eyes of authority, with all the disorders which vexed England, leading to Archbishop Sudbury's murder, and menacing rank, property, the Crown itself. Their petition to Parliament in 1895 denounced the Mass, the celibacy of the clergy, prayers for the dead, auricular confession, monastic vows.
Rome had gone astray, England, they said, had followed her example. In 1897 Archbishop Arundel condemned eighteen propositions of Wycliffe. In 1401, on petition from the clergy, Parliament enacted the clause, " de heretico comburendo," and William Sautre was burnt as a heretic. The nation pronounced against Lollardy. But it had already migrated to Bohemia, where the flourishing University of Prague became its headquarters. A doctrine which meant nothing less than subversion of dogma, discipline, and authority, as hitherto recognized by Catholic Church and Christian State, was not likely to be suffered at Constance. All the world knows under what affecting, as well as much-debated, circumstances John Hus and Jerome of Prague met their fiery doom, Hus on July 6, 1415, Jerome on May 30, 1416. According to the judicial procedure which then prevailed, their trial was fair and their sentence merited.
Gregory XII. died in October, 1417. On St. Martin's Day, November 11, the Cardinals and their appointed associates elected Oddo Colonna, belonging to the illustrious and turbulent Roman house which had withstood so many Popes and insulted Boniface VIII. at Anagni. The new Pontiff, Martin V., was admirable in character and blameless in conduct. He approved now of what had been done "conciliariter," that is to say, in obedience to Catholic principles, by this long-continued assembly, and, dissolving it on April 22, 1418, put an end to the Great Schism, though Benedict's last followers held out until 1429
FROM CONSTANCE TO THE SACK OF ROME 1417-1527.
(SAVONAROLA, ON "THE CHURCH'S DOWNFALL")
WHEN Martin V confirmed the rules of the Roman Chancery, which he did without delay, his action put off all serious amendment of abuses until another Council, that of Trent, utterly opposed in spirit to Constance, undertook the task, by which time, in Biblical language, Israel had been rent from Judah. When the new Pope set out for Florence and Rome, he was moving towards a world into which German ideas could not penetrate, and where German grievances would be unheeded. Coming up from South and East, the mighty wave of Renaissance was to lift the Church and carry the century forward upon its bosom, in brilliant sunshine. Italy, said Filelfo, was to present the spectacle of a second Magna Græcia, in art and letters unrivalled by the "Barbarians" north of the Alps; while Rome, for the first and last time, appeared as a modern Athens, the capital of learning and of civilization at its highest point since the age of the Antonines; in general culture supreme. "The eminence of the Papacy consisted at that time," says F. X. Kraus, "in its leadership of Europe in the province of art." But the same writer grants elsewhere that, when Medicean Rome drew admiration to its marvels, "the religious and moral point of view was ignored in this domain of worldly aims and ideas." From such a mingled Renaissance to the Sack of Rome in 1527, the stages of righteous tragedy, purifying as by fire the rebellious and sinful people with their rulers, may be plainly followed, as in some prophecy of the Old Testament. It is foreshadowed by Savonarola's canzone of 1475 on "The Church's Downfall."
There is another general tendency worth observing. Mediaeval Europe had cherished freedom. Its feudal services, chartered privileges, popular franchises, Parliaments and Diets, had restrained the sovereign power. Not even the Holy See could escape censure and sometimes vehement opposition from representative bodies. All this was rapidly changing. The quarrels of Armagnacs and Burgundians, the English invasion and loss of France, did but seem to justify Louis XI. in exercising absolute rule. The Wars of the Roses destroyed an old aristocracy to make room for a new one, while giving to the Tudors a dominion the alternative of which was anarchy. Among Italians this period is the "Age of the Tyrants"--men like Francesco Sforza, who rose to be Duke of Milan; like the Malatesta at Rimini, the Baglioni at Perugia, the Estensian princes of Ferrara, the Bentivogli at Bologna; and pre-eminent in all the arts, villanies, and accomplishments needful for so perilous a task, the Medici, who did not yet call themselves Lords of Florence, but with Augustan dexterity ruled as if over free citizens. From the Assembly of Pisa, in 1409, till the last vestiges of the Schism at Basle melted away in 1449, has also been termed the "Age of the Councils." But its end was defeat, inflicted on the parliamentary or constitutional idea, which Gerson would have subst tuted for the Papal Monarchy. Pisa, Constance, Basle left the Pope unlimited sway among the world-powers which were not less bent on striking down opposition. Not until the Puritans rallied to a conception which won its triumph at Naseby in 1645, did it seem possible to overthrow the Roman, without enhancing the Royal supremacy.
But Martin V. also began, however cautiously, a counter-movement to the classic Republican spirit, which Rienzi had stirred up and which survived him. The Popes now aimed steadily at becoming masters in their own capital; and they succeeded. A still more difficult but imperative duty, if they were to feel themselves independent, was the reduction of local tyrants under their yoke--or a real, and not merely nominal, grasp of the Papal States. In this undertaking it was likewise their fortune to prosper, and by the strangest means. They became effective temporal sovereigns at the very moment when their spiritual jurisdiction was cast aside by one-half of Christendom, exactly the reverse of that which was to happen in 1870. All these converging events meet in the same decisive era. When Clement VII. came back to Rome in 1528, and crowned Charles V. at Bologna, the year following, two series of opposed developments in history were fixed and certain The Protestant Reformation was to run its course; the Popes were to become unchecked sovereigns of Rome--which no enemy would capture, and only one for an instant approach, during the two hundred and sixty years which preceded the opening of States General at Versailles, May 4, 1789.
In 1419, Rome and Benevento were held by Joan II., Queen of Naples. Bologna had declared itself a free Republic. By granting the Queen investiture and making terms with Braccio, then the rival brigand to Sforza of Attendolo, Pope Martin V. was enabled to take possession of the Eternal City, "devastated by pestilence, famine, sword, and revolt," on September 80, 1420. He found ruins on every side, a scanty population, the Vatican gardens waste, and the walls about St. Peter's broken down. Martin restored St. John Lateran as well as other churches; built for himself a modest palace on the Quirinal; and inaugurated, by his patronage of Gentile and Masaccio, the decorative works which were to transform this "city of cowherds" into the most beautiful of European capitals. He left the municipal liberties of Rome untouched. But he put down brigandage; recovered Perugia in 1424 and Bologna in 1429, and was a model Pope, save only that he greatly aggrandized the house of Colonna. Papal families were now to play their splendid, but too often disastrous and even criminal part, on the Roman stage, in presence of a scandalized world. It has been fairly argued that by promoting his kinsfolk the Pontiff made sure of ministers on whom he could rely, and that nepotism helped him to keep in check the Roman Patricians, most insolent and lawless of their kind. The story, however, may be allowed to preach its own moral, both good and bad. There was little need to exalt the Colonna, whose cup of wickedness had not yet been filled to the brim.
Reluctantly enough, Martin V., who had reconciled Aragon and so cleared away the last remnants of schism, allowed the promised Council to meet at Basle. Cardinal Cesarini, learned and high-minded, was to preside over its discussions Eugenius IV. succeeded Martin, being a Venetian, a friar of St. Francis, a strict and saintly man, but no politician. The Council opened July 23, 1431. In December, Eugenius dissolved it But this democratic meeting, where bishops found themselves jostled, says Æneas Sylvius, by cooks and stable-boys, renewed the decrees of Constance, summoned and finally deposed the Pope, though undoubtedly legitimate, usurped his government in Avignon, laid taxes on the Church at large, and may be called in ecclesiastical annals the Long Parliament, for it went on during eighteen years, till 1449. Recognized for a while by the secular powers, alternately approved and condemned by Eugenius, it made the "compacts" which brought peace to Bohemia, where Ziska and his Taborites waged a sanguinary contest.
Sigismund, like the Pope, was now with the Council and now against it. But when Amadeus of Savoy had been elected on these new and revolutionary principles at Basle as Felix V., he proved to be the last of the Antipopes. Eugenius, headstrong but honest, was driven from Rome in 1484, and took refuge in Florence. By degrees the old Catholic idea to which, under extreme difficulties, he remained faithful, won back from the tumults and ineptitudes of Basle moderate men like Cesarini, Cusa, and Æneas Sylvius. The Pope at Ferrara and Florence received from the Greek Emperor, now desperately seeking help against the Turks, an enforced homage. For one moment the
Churches of East and West joined in the same profession of faith. But even at this, their hour of doom, the Greek people would not accept the Union. There was no hope of saving Constantinople after the fatal day of Varna ( 1444) in which Cesarini fell, and the Christian host was cut to pieces. Eugenius went back to Rome and died there. Few pontiffs had undergone greater humiliations; but he was the last whom Roman violence compelled to flee from the Eternal City until Pius IX. quitted it in 1848. And the Long Parliament at Basle did not succeed in its endeavour to substitute for the Pope an oligarchy or a democracy, as supreme over the Church.
From henceforth the Conciliar movement was dead. Reform, still desired by Germans, pursued later on with apostolic zeal by Cardinal Cusa in his thrice-famous Visitation ( 1451), did not much trouble the conscience of Italy, now absorbed in its vision of the ancient classic world. Florence, under its Medicean rulers, became a centre of Greek studies, of art grandly imagined, of literature, both Latin and Tuscan, as well as of a Paganism slightly or not at all disguised. The Papacy itself, which had employed
Humanist scholars, but without enthusiasm, in the days of Martin and Eugenius, took on the air of a liberal university when Nicholas V. was elected. Nicholas reigned only eight years ( 1447-1455). But he wrought wonders in that brief space. He planned and partly executed the design of laying out Rome as an architectural whole. He began the Vatican palace, did much to restore St. Peter's, and gave the Leonine City its present shape. He was resolved to identify the Christian religion with art and learning. By the execution of Porcaro in 1452 he put an end to all hopes of a Roman Republic. During the next seventy years Rome, politically no longer free, was to lead Europe in the paths of the Renaissance, to be "the true seat and home of all Latin culture," or as Erasmus described it, "the common country of learned men." Mediæval and modern thought came together; but in the first raptures which followed on the discovery of noble antique art, and when scholasticism had decayed into pedantry or barbarism, more than a little wrong was done to the earlier Middle Age. Southern nations were instinctively breaking away from the Teutons, English, and Scandinavians by their preference of the Latin civilization before the less brilliant but more profound, if still narrow, conceptions which were afterwards to be called Puritan. During the whole period between Nicholas V. and the Council of Trent, monastic ideals underwent an eclipse.
But in helping to form one great synthesis where all the perfect achievements of humanity might blend with religion and give it glory, the Popes were obeying right reason. As in the year 800 Pope Leo III. created a new Roman Empire on the ruins of the old, thereby offering to Franks and Teutons a principle of unity which served its purpose until the tribes of the Barbarians were ripening into nations, so during the half century between Nicholas V. and Leo X., they did a bolder thing--they accepted the Greek idea of culture. This, when we reflect on the peculiar cast of tradition and policy at Rome, was infinitely more daring than to make of Charlemagne a Western Cæsar. For Christianity and civilization are each deal wholes, self-centred and self-sustained. Accordingly, the Middle Ages end when the Renaissance begins. That Higher Synthesis of Rome and Athens could not be effected without powers of mind, without moral earnestness greatly enhanced beyond any to which the fifteenth century might lay claim. It was from many points of view a decadent era. Its attempts at philosophy were feeble. Cardinal Cusa was but a link between the mystic reveries of Tauler, the Dominican, and later German theosophies, such as Jacob Behmen's; he did not possess the true notion of history. In like manner at Florence Marsilius Ficinus translated Plato and dreamt that he was reviving Platonism; but he sacrificed reason to Alexandrian dreams. The princes of Italy treated literature mainly as an adornment of their courts, and art as the splendid framework of their shows, their intrigues, and their ambitions.
To the Popes we may ascribe, as a dynasty, loftier aims. When at command of Julius II., in 1508, Raffaelle began to fresco the walls of the Camera della Segnatura, he gave, under the Vatican roof, an expression which remains to this day of the great reconciling thought, in itself justified, that antiquity has furnished a fit prelude to the Christian Faith by its poets, philosophers, men of science, and supreme artists. The Sistine Chapel repeats and enforces the lesson. Dating from Sixtus IV. ( 1473), under whom its walls were painted by Florentine and Umbrian pencils--by Botticelli, Ghirlandajo, Perugino, and others--it became the scene of Michael Angelo's triumph in design, in teaching, in magnificent harmonies of thought as of colour, between 1508 and 1512. Three dispensations are illustrated within this Papal precinct--the Old Testament leading up to the New, and the Sibyls, as Divine messengers among the heathen, confronting the prophets of Israel. Facing the unknown future rises before us that tremendous symbolic picture of the Last Judgment (painted 1534-41), which in its dreadful outlines was to be accomplished on Church and State as the years went forward. But who can misconstrue the announcement thus perpetuated of a superhuman idea, in which Rome signifies unity, and all the ways of progress meet at its Golden Milestone?
As eight hundred years earlier the conquests of Mohammed's lieutenants had given to Catholic Rome a victory over Syrian and Egyptian sectaries, so now by the destruction of the Greek Empire a second Mohammed turned the course of civilized mankind definitely westward. Constantinople fell in 1453, suddenly, not without heroism. Divided Europe had surrendered the Queen City to be trampled on by Turkish hordes. In 1204 the filibustering expedition known as the Fourth Crusade, disobeying Innocent III., had captured New Rome, hitherto inviolate. A succession of Latin Emperors till 1261; feudal chiefs whom their subjects detested; the commerce and rivalries which were exercised by Venetians and Genoese; the great robber-bands from Spain, celebrated as the Catalan Company--all these elements combined to weaken that first line of Christian defence. The Popes were willing to aid Byzantium if it would grant precedence to the Vatican. But it never would, and the disunion of the Churches opened a breach in the walls of Valens through which Mohammed II. entered. He made of Turkey a European State. He became suzerain over Greek Christians and appointed their Patriarch. He meditated on the exploits of Alexander; he was resolved to conquer the whole West; and by his subjugation of Servia and the Morea, by his raid on Otranto, he proved that it could be promisingly attempted. He died in 1481.
Meanwhile, the Papal throne had been occupied by a fiery Spaniard, Calixtus III. ( 1455-1458) ; a man of letters, Pius II. ( 1458-1464); a Venetian dilettante, Paul II. ( 1464-1471); and a Franciscan friar of Genoa, Sixtus IV. ( 1471-1484), all of whom professed that the Crusade against Islam was their dearest concern. Europe would not be convinced. The Spaniard, whose name was Borgia, sent funds and preachers to Hunyadi, sent him the legate Carvajal, the astonishing friar, John Capistrano; and thus enabled the Magyar hero to relieve Belgrade ( July, 1456), though he died of the plague a month later. The Turks lost fifty thousand men; but they annexed Servia, Bosnia, Herzegovina. Pius II., who had been Æneas Sylvius, journalist, adventurer, statesman, cardinal, and Pope, interesting as a modern figure and forerunner of Erasmus, displayed the rare quality of a genius that grew with circumstances. He was enthusiastic for the Holy War; but his early escapades, the frequent diversion of crusading taxes to purposes neither good nor lawful, and the criminal adherence of Venice to Mohammed's policy, defeated Pius, who showed in his travels to Mantua and his death-journey to Ancona qualities which demand our admiration. Paul II., a fine character, misunderstood by the Italian Courts, which never dreamt that a Pope could be an honourable man, did his utmost to encourage Scanderbeg, otherwise George of Albania, who for ten years defended Illyria, foiled the Turk, and stood between Venice and Mohammed. George died in 1467. Negropont ( Euba) was lost in 1470. But the Sultan's decease gave to the Knights of St. John at Rhodes a breathing-space of forty years (besieged 1480; surrendered 1522)
SECULAR POMP AND SPIRITUAL DECAY (1471-1527)
We come now to an outwardly brilliant but in itself deplorable episode of Vatican history which, though in some sense relieved by the feats and glories of Julius II., fills the period commencing with Sixtus IV. ( 1471), and cannot be held to have terminated before the double Sack of Rome ( May-September, 1527). These sixty years witnessed a degradation of the Papacy into a mere Italian princedom, while its sacred prerogatives were employed as "reasons of State," with scandal to present and after ages. Yet we must be on our guard, as De Quincey points out when dealing with Cicero and his times, against "that masquerade of misrepresentation which invariably accompanied the political eloquence of Rome." Calumny more atrocious than was practised by pamphleteers, ambassadors, diarists, biographers, and literary men at large, during the Humanist Era, it is impossible to imagine. For a long while it was taken as true, and especially since religious opinions were affected by it. Now we understand that no statement, even if it defames the Borgias, can be admitted without scrutiny, or when wanting in confirmation. Monstrous caricatures, designed for the ends of faction, ought not to be looked upon as faithful portraits.
Moreover, it should be remembered, to the credit of Vatican diplomacy, that the Popes aimed at Italian independence of the foreigner, and that they were bound to make of the Papal States a power which could maintain itself erect between Naples and Milan on one side, Florence and Venice on the other Their policy changed with bewildering suddenness; but its motive was generally apparent and, though sadly too often self-regarding, it led at a critical moment to the end they had in view. Thanks to their persistent efforts, Rome was not absorbed in the French or the Spanish Empire. For nearly three centuries it remained the one free spot in Southern Europe, as Holland became the free meetingplace of the Protestant North.
From 1471, therefore, down to 1527, is a chapter of Roman and Papal story which bears the most curious resemblance to that of the Cæsars who followed Augustus and preceded Trajan. It finds in Guicciardini some depraved imitation of Tacitus; in the diaries of Infessura scandals which would have pleased Suetonius by their enormity --perhaps of lying as well as of delineation --and in Machiavelli such perverted wisdom mingled with sublimer traits as to remind us of Seneca, Nero's panegyrist and victim. Let us not forget, however, that genius of the highest rank has immortalized a period abounding in vital energy no less than in crime. Italy brought forth not only politicians who gave to Europe shrewd and wicked counsels, but poets, painters, sculptors, orators, explorers, among whom we may range from Ariosto, Leonardo da Vinci, Michael Angelo, Titian, Raffaelle, to Columbus and Amerigo Vespucci. Italian greatness, on every line except that of military skill, is incontestable. It was hereafter to equal in the Catholic Reformation the mighty works which it did under the impulse of revived antiquity. Nothing to compare with Italian art has been achieved since Michael Angelo's decline. No modern cities--we will doubtfully except Paris--have made on the world such a deep impression of beauty, life, and power as Venice, Florence, Rome. The Renaissance triumphed in these marble palaces and squares, on the shores of Tiber and Arno, amid the gleaming lagoons, as never since or before. But it was a time of moral anarchy, which Ægidius of Viterbo sums up in the strong words, "Aurum, vis, Venus imperitabat." Violent desire, violent achievement mark that age.
Alonzo Borgia, who became Calixtus III., was born in 1378, the year of the Schism. A Catalan by descent, he sided with Benedict XIII., but afterwards acknowledged Pope Martin. His services to the King of Aragon in governing Naples gave him dignity, and with his election Spanish vigour but Spanish truculence also ruled the Sacred College. He created in 1458 two of his nephews Cardinals, giving them his family name--Rodrigo, afterwards Alexander VI. (born 1431), a youth of twenty-five; and Luis Juan, still younger. He made Pedro Luis, who was not in orders, Captain-General of the Church, Governor of St. Peter's patrimony, the district adjoining Rome, and Prefect of the City. Rodrigo was appointed legate (that is, Papal resident) in Ancona and Bologna; he then appeared as ViceChancellor, second in authority to the Pope; and during the next forty-seven years he is a leading man in the Curia and above it. Calixtus claimed the kingdom of Naples, chiefly that he might bestow on Pedro Luis the principalities of Terracina and Beneventum. History calls this method of government "nepotism." It enabled the pontiff at once to exalt his own family, to keep a hold on the temporal power which was always slipping away into the hands of local tyrants, to resist the great Roman houses, and to feel at home in the Vatican. Its disadvantages are equally apparent; it lowered the Papal prestige; it gave rise to infinite abuses; it was the origin of many wars and of continual plots and counterplots; nor can it be said of the two most conspicuous groups of Cardinals and lay-rulers whom it produced in the licy-day of the Renaissance, that they were anything else than a calamity to the Church and to Christendom.
These were the Catalan house of Borgia, and the Genoese house of Riario-Rovere. A third line of nepotism starts with Giovanni dei Medici, son of Lorenzo the Magnificent, who was Cardinal at fourteen ( March, 1489), and who became Leo X., to be succeeded by his cousin Giulio, the unhappy Clement VII. Thus Naples, which was dependent on Spain, Genoa which commonly yielded to French influence, and Florence identified with the Medici, exercised in turn the immense political, financial, and spiritual powers, now that all hopes of reform had died away, of a secularized Popedom. Efforts were made to break up this concentrated sovereignty, sometimes by the Colonna, again by the Orsini, representing old feudal brigandages; or yet again by Cardinals like Ascanio Sforza, who was Milan's ambassador in the Sacred College. But they were all baffled and came to naught.
The striking group, Riario-Rovere, sprang from a humble folk at Savona. Its founder, Sixtus IV. ( 1471-1484), had been General of the Franciscans. He was learned in mediæval fashion, devout, and personally blameless But his sudden elevation to the Papacy impaired his judgment, while the favours which he lavished on his nephews amazed even a corrupt world. The riches, honours, vices, and pleasures of Pedro Riario, "a mendicant friar made Crsus," Cardinal at twenty-five, consumed by his intemperance at twentyeight ( December, 1471-March, 1474), take the reader back to Sejanus and cast over Sixtus IV. the shadow of Tiberius. Another nephew, Girolamo, tyrannized Rome in the Pope's name, trampled down the Colonna, married the virago of Milan, Caterina Sforza, got from Sixtus Imola and Forlì, and was murdered as a "second Nero" by his own guard ( April 14, 1488), who flung his naked corpse out of the palace window.
But the great man of whom Sixtus might well be proud was Julian della Rovere, also a friar, member of the Sacred College at twenty-eight ( 1471), and declared Pope Julius II. in 1508. Created archbishop of Avignon and Bologna, bishop of Lausanne, Coutance, and other widely-scattered sees, abbot of Nonantola and Grotta Ferrata, this young man, for whose sake the Canon Law and the claims of the electors were so shamelessly flung aside, was not without some sparks of nobility. He stands high above all the Popes that have reigned since the Middle Ages, and by his determined action, in which nepotism had no place, the Papal States were at length permanently established. Sixtus, who rode roughshod over Italian schemes and policies, was, in Machiavelli's opinion, "the first Pope who began to show the extent of the Papal power." He left Bohemia and Hungary to themselves. He did nothing to stem the Ottoman advance. In the splendours, architectural and spectacular, of this son of St. Francis we feel that a Nemesis lurks, and that the "Eternal Gospel" will take its revenge
To what extent Sixtus may be held responsible for the treachery and sacrilege combined which make up the conspiracy called "of the Pazzi," is a question that has been vehemently debated. On April 26, 1478, Giuliano dei Medici was brutally slain, and Leonardo wounded, during High Mass in the Duomo at Florence. A plot to overthrow their government had been discussed before the Pope, who considered Lorenzo his enemy, and was approved by him; but he said, "I do not wish the death of any man on my account." Sixtus cannot have known the details of the assassination beforehand, or that it would take place in Sta. Maria del Fiore, since all this was arranged suddenly and after another plan had been given up. "It is, however, deeply to be regretted," says Pastor, "that a Pope should play any part in the history of a conspiracy." His friends not only failed to oust the Medici from Florence; they suffered instantly for their evil deeds; and Salviati, archbishop of Pisa, who went to seize the Palazzo Pubblico, was himself seized and hanged from one of its windows. These atrocious scenes, characteristic of Italian politics, were but an instance of that which in every city throughout the Peninsula might be witnessed when parties were engaged in conflict. We shall not in our pages do more than allude to them; but they were constantly enacted and must not be forgotten.
Passing over the insignificant years of Innocent VIII. ( 1484-1492), who was merely intent on aggrandizing his children's estate, we come to the election, bought with money and promises, of Rodrigo Borgia, who took, as he said, the name of the "invincible Alexander" ( August 10, 1492). Singularly handsome and dignified in person, frank to cynicism, astute, indefatigable, good-natured and unscrupulous, Alexander was hailed like a demigod at his coming in. Of him and of Julius II. one has said excellently that they were Emperors rather than Popes. This Borgia left his name hanging like a thundercloud over the Vatican. He has a legend so black that to relieve it of a single stain may be deemed apologizing for iniquity. Yet no pontiff could have dared such crime or earned such an infamous reputation had the Rome, the Italy of his day, not condoned or even admired his "magnificence in sin."
Alexander was no hypocrite. Beautiful and strong, with fierce primitive instincts, he answered to some old pagan ideal, cherished by the Southern imagination. That he had not the virtue of a priest and did not trouble himself concerning the Church's welfare; that he was an open profligate who turned the sacred palace into a Pompeian house of pleasure; that he made his bastard son a Cardinal, and entrusted the government of the Vatican to his bastard daughter, Lucrezia; that murder seemed to dog his footsteps; and that the foulest wickedness was thought credible when reported of him--who is there that has not read these things? We may take Lord Acton's estimate, which would be fair, even though domestic sacrileges and tragedies had been wanting in the chronicle. "Alexander," he says, "fills a great space in history, because he so blended his spiritual and temporal authority as to apply the resources of the one to the purposes of the other." He was an Italian sovereign who made the Church a means to accomplish political, nay personal, ends.
This indefinite, unconquerable power it was which, as the Borgias applied it, roused Machiavelli's admiration, not without a sense of terror. His model "Prince," consummate in strategy, striking hard and aiming high, pure intellect unfettered by a sense of crime, was Cæsar Borgia. Cæsar ( 1475-1507), Roman Cardinal, French duke, captain of cut-throats, putter down of tyrants, ran in his short life through so many vicissitudes, grim and gay, between the altar, the camp, the throne, and the prison, that it is not easy to believe he was only in his thirtysecond year when he fell fighting at the siege of Navarrese Viana. So perfect an exemplar of Renaissance beauty, craft, and violence did this splendid youth appear to be that the Malatesta, Baglioni, Medici paled beside him. Cæsar Borgia subdued Alexander VI. himself, as though he were a sardonic Mephisto scorning the too-facile emotions of Faust. In that world where Law and Gospel served but as a two-edged sword of earthly dominion, these men prospered. It was their hour, and the power of darkness.
A regular drama now begins, falling into three acts, which we might name Charles VIII., Savonarola, Cæsar Borgia. Over against them lies the vast New World, touched as in a dream by Columbus ( October 12, 1492), which Alexander in three several documents assigned to Spain, subject to the rights of any other Christian communities, and provided that Portugal's monopoly of the African coast was not infringed. The Borgia Pope thus won for himself a place, where he is still to be seen giving his award, on the great gates of the Capitol at Washington. He was acting as Catholic tradition warranted. But Italy, too, had become a New World, abounding in treasures of civilization, tempting the less favoured peoples, or at least their sovereigns, to make of it a prey. France, consolidated under Louis XI., had now gained Brittany by the somewhat shameful marriage of its Duchess Anne to Charles VIII. Charles, an ugly dwarf, but attractive, and by temperament a crusader, had claims through the house of Anjou on Naples, on the Holy Land. He was invited across the Alps by Ludovico il Moro, Duke of Milan, and reached Asti September 9, 1494. His advent, as a saviour and a scourge, had been foretold by Savonarola, whose mighty words were shaking Florence and Italy.
Girolamo Savonarola ( 1452-1498) was a Dominican, last of the great mediæval friars, prophet and martyr of the Catholic Reformaton, which he did not live to see. Coming to Florence in 1481, his rudeness of speech (he was a native of Ferrara, not a Tuscan) gained him scanty audience. At San Gemignano he beheld the vision of the sword over Italy; the Church was to be chastened and renewed. His sermons at Brescia, strongly marked by symbolism, were echoed far and wide; when he came back to Florence in 1489 his lectures on the Apocalypse threw men into ecstasy, and he carried the people with him. The friar was not an obscurantist; but he mourned over the ruin of the Church; he detested the wickedness of prelates and Cardinals; he spoke vehemently in condemnaton of the cancerous vices with which Humanism dealt so lightly; and he foresaw that a catastrophe was inevitable. Lorenzo dei Medici treated this new preacher with kindness; but Savonarola would not take his side. After Lorenzo's death, when the foolish Pier misgoverned Florence, the prophet announced coming woes in accents that struck terror; and on September 21 his text was "Behold, I bring a flood of waters upon the earth." It proclaimed that the French were in Italy.
The Florentines sent ambassadors to Charles, among them Savonarola. November saw the Medici driven out and the French king received in state by a free people Savonarola pressed upon Charles the duty of going to Rome and reforming the Church. Alexander, threatened with a General Council, admitted the King, who was overmatched in policy and yielded to him the obedionce of France. Charles' regiments conquered Naples; Italy fell prostrate before him; then at Fornovo ( July 5, 1495) he lost all that he gained. The French passed away like a vision of the night. Still Florence, which was now all one with Savonarola, clung to the Gallic alliance. On the other side Alexander formed the Italian League. He despised the sermons, though pointed at himself, of the "chattering friar," but he was resolute in capturing the city on the Arno for his projects. He called Fra Girolamo to Rome, and, on his disobedience, found ostensible motives to silence, excommunicate, and degrade the prophet, whom Florence now rejected as violently as she had followed him. Trial, torture, execution upon a high gibbet too much resembling a cross--such were the rewards of Savonarola for preaching righteousness under Alexander VI. ( May 23,1498).
Two acts of the play were played out; the Pope had triumphed over king and friar. Turning as with a flash, Alexander took up the French alliance in 1499, to defeat which in 1498 he had burnt Fra Girolamo. His eldest son, the Duke of Gandia, had been murdered and flung into the Tiber; accordingly Cæsar Borgia threw off the Cardinal's robes and became a layman that he might found a dynasty in Romagna to which the Papal succession could be attached. Long ago the house of Theophylact had annexed to itself the Holy See for more than eighty years
Why should not the house of Borgia do as much? Cæsar went on embassy to Louis XII. at Chinon; he married Charlotte of Navarre, being now Duke of Valentinois; and when Louis entered Milan as a conqueror ( October 6, 1499), the Pope's captain-general set about reducing the tyrant lords of Romagna with a nondescript army of hired ruffians, French, Spaniards, and Italians.
Cæsar captured Faenza, menaced Florence, and was bought off with a large ransom, while Alexander blessed the partition of Naples between France and Spain, humbled the Colonna, and had his daughter Lucrezia married to Alfonso d'Este. On the last day of December, 1502, Cæsar had all his worst enemies in hand at Sinigaglia. Having taken them by a transcendent act of treachery, whom he would he slew; and the Pope, not to be more scrupulous, smote the rest of the Orsini, and left their Cardinal to die in Sant' Angelo. Men trembled and admired. There seemed no reason why Cæsar should not make himself king of Italy. The French lost Naples again in May, 1503 In August Rome was visited with malarial fever. Alexander and Cæsar both sickened of it. On August 18 the Pope died, and with him every hope of a Borgia dynasty expired. On All Saints" Day, November 1, 1503, his life-long enemy, Julian della Rovere, was elected to St. Peter's Chair by an unanimous vote. Julius II. compelled Cæsar to yield up all his conquests and castles. The once invincible chief took service under his father-in-law, the King of Navarre, and though he died bravely, came to an inglorious end. His epic or epitaph we may consider was written by Machiavelli in the "Prince," which raises political science "beyond good and evil," to a height of wisdom or infamy.
Julius II. had spent his storm-tost days chiefly in the service of France, to whose martial enterprising genius he felt allied. We might describe him shortly as the Antipope of Avignon (where his escutcheons and monuments remain) while Alexander VI. anathematized him at Rome. He made an indifferent friar, a disedifying bishop, and a great Pope. His unvarnished tongue, rough Genoese vigour, contempt for literary grimaces, and large designs, reveal the soldier-pontiff, whom Italy should have taken for its king. He was neither honest nor virtuous; but he knew how to rule better than his brutal cousin, Girolamo Riario; and unlike Alexander VI. he had no family ambition. While trafficking in sacred things, and purchasing his own election by lavish engagements, he put forth a Bull which condemned simony, with effective though tardy consequences. But his eminent fame is due to actions of a mixed baseness and grandeur. Julius II. had noble aspirations. He meant the Holy See to enjoy freedom and Italy to see the Barbarians turn their backs. One power alone hindered this consummation--stealthy, politic, grasping Venice, which, in the tremulous equilibrium of five States and a score of principalities, pursued its fatal idea of acquiring a Terra Firma from the Alps to the Apennines. Venice never gave up its attempts on Ravenna, Rimini, and the old "Pentapolis," which had been given to the Apostolic See by Pepin as long ago as 756. We must sadly own that the Republic of St. Mark, by its foolish and unjust measures to keep that which did not belong to it, ruined Italian freedom.
Julius II. was not a man to be trifled with. He formed the League of Cambray in 1508, after recovering Bologna from the Bentivogli. It aimed at nothing less than the partition of Venetian territories among the French, German, Spanish, and other allies, including the Pope. At Vaila the Republic suffered a crushing defeat ( May 14, 1509) which is reckoned the beginning of its decline. Julius humbled the Venetians to the dust; he set up once more the States of the Church in Central Italy. Then he turned on his confederate Louis XII. He captured Mirandola, himself acting as general, failed at Ferrara, and might seem to be overwhelmed when young Gaston de Foix won the bloody battle of Ravenna, Easter Sunday, April 11, 1512. But Gaston was killed in the moment of victory; and Julius outmanuvred the French schismatics with his Lateran Council, got Bologna the second time, restored the Medici at Florence with Spanish help, not without frightful scenes at Prato, and died, February 20, 1518, the strongest Pope that was to be for centuries. He had driven out the French. They would return more than once, to be finally defeated by Spain, which was now rising to Imperial dominion on both sides of the Atlantic.
Strange things were coming to pass. The nephew of Sixtus IV., whose endeavours to oust the Medici from Florence had involved him in conspiracy, and left to his apologists no tolerable burden, was now their restorer. His vacant throne would be occupied for well-nigh twenty years by Leo X., the son of Lorenzo, and Clement VII., son, but not legitimate, of the murdered Giuliano. Under the mild and seductive Leo ( 1513-1520) Rome enjoyed all that the Renaissance could give; it became "the revel of the earth, the masque of Italy"; but a Pope who desired to be called "deliciæ generis humani,"--a Christian Emperor Titus--was not made for success in politics or war. Leo treated with all the powers; practised Medicean arts of diplomacy to the utmost; but unluckily took sides against France when its new young king, Francis I., was on the eve of gaining the battle at Marignano where the Swiss infantry lost its invincible character ( September 14, 1515). He had no choice but to submit. The final result was a victory won by the French crown over the Gallican Church.
In 1516 a decree was passed by the Lateran Council, which did away with certain exemptions and prerogatives hitherto claimed for the King of France, and known as the Pragmatic Sanction. But a Concordat was entered into by the high contracting parties, the Crown and the Curia, which allowed the king most extensive liberties in dealing with ecclesiastical affairs; and he might henceforth nominate to all the bishoprics and abbeys in his realm. The Concordat granted a royal supremacy of which more was to be heard under Louis XIV.; but these consequences would not have prevented Leo from signing it.
On March 16, 1517, the Fifth Lateran Council was dissolved. It had not been able to reform abuses, redress grievances, or unite the warring nations of Christendom against Islam. That same year, on All Hallows Eve, an Augustinian friar named Martin Luther fastened on the door of the Castle Church at Wittenberg in Saxony ninety-five theses, or propositions, on the subject of indulgences. The Reformation, which was specially designed to attack the traditional beliefs touching the Communion of Saints, reckons this as its birthday. German grievances would avenge themselves on Rome by laying waste the German Church. It was time that Leo X. quitted the stage where he had been acting a somewhat frivolous part. He died of joy and fever at his country house of Magliana, on hearing that the French were driven from Milan ( December 1, 1521). Six years later Rome fell into the hands of a Spanish and Lutheran host, which ended the triumphant days of Humanism. We must now draw nearer to that heart-shaking event, and describe how it came to pass
FROM THE SACK OF ROME TO THE BEGINNINGS OF THE THIRTY YEARS' WAR 1527-1618.
(ST. IGNATIUS OF LOYOLA'S " SPIRITUAL EXERCISES")
ST. PETER'S at Rome, so men believed during the Middle Ages, was founded by the first Christian Emperor, Constantine, and consecrated by St. Silvester on November 18, 326. The Popes dwelt in their Lateran house beside St. John's, which was their Cathedral; but St. Peter's lifted its majestic height over the tomb of the Prince of the Apostles. Spared by Alaric, Genseric, Totila, it ran some risk of destruction from the Lombards, who, under Luitprand, took away its sacred lamps in 788. Their sacrilegious attempt brought down Pepin and his Franks upon them, with such consequences as we have briefly told. In 800 Charlemagne's coronation began a long and most romantic series of these imperial rites, constantly dabbled in blood.
Saracens from Kairouan plundered the Basilica in 846, which necessitated the erection of walls about it by Leo IV., and gave rise to the Leonine City. In St. Peter's Charles the Bald was crowned Emperor by John VIII. ( 875). When Otho I. "translated the Roman Empire to the Eastern Franks" ( 962), he knelt inside the great doors and did homage to the fisherman of Galilee. There in 996 Otho III. received consecration from his youthful cousin, the saintly Gregory V. There was Henry VI., last of the Franconians, crowned by his prisoner and victim Paschal II. There, again, did Frederick Barbarossa in 1155 seize the Roman diadem, while his lanzknechts outside massacred a thousand of the Roman people. There his grandson, Frederick II., was recognized as lord of the world by Honorius III. Another and a weaker prince of that name, but a Habsburg not a Hohenstauffen, Frederick III., ends the shining procession rather ignominiously, under Nicholas V., in 1452. Since that year no Emperor has been crowned in Rome or Constantinople. Sancta Sophia was degraded into a mosque; St. Peter's, which had fallen into decay while the Great Schism went on, was slightly restored by the care of Nicholas, but awaited demolition from the rude hands of Julius II.
Julius, designing himself a tomb (such is the vanity of mortals) gave the commission for it to Michael Angelo. The Florentine exceeded all former Papal monuments in his vast and beautiful drawings; but where was room to be found? His patron resolved to destroy the Basilica which over thirty generations of Catholics had visited, and he called in Bramante to do it--an architectural genius but enemy of all that was not classic in style. Bramante's conception of a Greek cross and lofty domes to replace the old St. Peter's has been praised by every succeeding judgment; so much of it as was carried out entitles the later Church to our warm admiration. But there was no need to shatter and tear down the venerable fabric, as Julius II. tore it down in one single year, 1505. He little saw how wide a gulf he was opening between the united Christendom of past ages and the centuries to come
The new St. Peter's became a field of battle, a sign that was at once spoken against. Without gifts from the whole West it could never fulfil the Pope's colossal ambition. Those gifts were sought by the system of Indulgences, now elaborately adapted to bring in revenues of war and peace, which the Roman Chancery could employ as it listed. Theologians, like Cardinal Cajetan, were carefully explaining on what principles such donations might be asked and given. Their theory was unimpeachable; but the nations north of the Alps, and at their head Germany, murmured against a method of taxation which was liable to every sort of abuse, which maintained in the Holy Place men so dissolute as the Renaissance had fostered--boy-cardinals, nonresident bishops, secularized popes. Questions of morals, finance, religion, national differences, were brought to a definite and dangerous burning-point by the Indulgences given to build St. Peter's. "When Indulgences were extended, multiplied, and converted into money transactions," says Pastor, "it was obvious, taking into account the covetousness of the age, that the greatest abuses should prevail."
But these were symptoms rather than causes of a change long foreseen by the wise, to which the Conciliar movement, the cry for reformation in head and members, the "hundred grievances of the German nation," the Hussite revolts, the French Pragmatic Sanction, the English Acts of Parliament against Papal "provisions," and pecuniary demands, had pointed the way. On viewing the whole field where squadrons now began to form, we perceive that the object of attack was Italian supremacy. If doctrine was called in question, yet the first line of assault did not throw itself against dogma but against Canon Law. "By putting forward a decree of Clement VI.," says Lord Acton of Cajetan, "he drove Luther to declare that no Papal decree was a sufficient security for him." The campaign moved from abuse of such decrees to the authority of Popes, of Councils, of the whole hierarchical system. In 1517 Luther did not deny that Indulgences might be good in themselves; before three years had elapsed he burnt Leo X.'s Bull condemning him, and in 1525 his marriage declared monasticism to be unchristian, while his impetuous disciples had been foremost in taking away the Mass. Instead of Church tradition, Luther substituted "the Bible and the Bible only"; this gave him the principle of dogma. For grace conferred by the sacraments which a priest administered, he lighted upon the hitherto disregarded idea of imputation by faith apprehending its Redeemer; this made ordinances superfluous or mere signs, and the priesthood fell into a subordinate rank, while the preacher dictated laws from his pulpit.
By 1520 Luther's position was clear. It reversed Catholicism when it recognized that the individual Christian, united with his fellows, made the Church, and not the Church the Christian. Luther did not trouble about history; he knew nothing of art; his Latin studies had left him quite untouched by the liberal spirit which distinguished men of the Renaissance type. He was a Roman neither by taste nor temperament. We may find his ancestors in the "De Moribus Germanorum" of Tacitus; and that is why he carried the nation with him.
Under what scandalous conditions Leo X. revived the Petrine indulgence, despite his oath to the contrary, and shared its profits with Albert, Archbishop of Mayence, we may learn from historians. In 1517 the German Church was a confederacy of high-born prince-prelates, enormously rich, too often dissolute, and at best men of the world who left their spiritual charge to others. There was evidence of much piety in the middle and lower classes; but the clergy were impoverished, the religious orders had fallen back after Cardinal Cusa's reform. These evils were aggravated by the weakness of the Empire, sunk under Maximilian to its lowest ebb. At Rome, in a world of art and luxury, political intrigue was always rampant; but no court official studied the German problem or could have gained a glimpse of what the Renaissance on that side of the Alps foreboded. Tetzel, whom Luther's propositions assailed point-blank, was supported by his own order, the Dominicans. Accordingly, one Dominican, Prierias, "Master of the Sacred Palace," replied to Luther; and a second, Cardinal Cajetan, cross-examined him at Augsburg ( October, 1518). Cajetan's procedure involved the Holy See where Tetzel alone had been compromised. Miltitz, who came next, put the Dominican preacher aside and granted the fact of abuse. John Eck argued against Luther's appeal to a Council. He took the whole case to Rome, and he assisted in drafting the Bull, "Exurge Domine," by which forty-one Lutheran theses were condemned and their author was excommunicated ( June 15, 1520).
By this time, events had come to pass which determined the future of Germany and of Europe. In June, 1519, the Flemish or Spanish prince Charles had been elected Emperor, greatly to the disappointment of Leo; for the Pope judged, and history confirms his judgment, that Italian independence would perish under Charles V. As much, if not more important, was the discovery Luther made that he could write and speak a German which would kindle his nation to mutiny. His tracts in 1520, "To the Christian Nobles," on "The Babylonish Captivity of the Church," and on "The Freedom of a Christian Man," have been called "half-battles"; their language by sheer brute force thundered down opposition. Luther was the strong man armed, who felt that Germany would delight in his strokes against Rome. The Latin elegants who thronged about Leo could never grasp such weapons; in fighting this Teuton spirit they were dealing with the unknown.
Charles V. had his personal views; to him the Lutheran trouble was a politician's resource; he would use it in restraint of the Curia. Hence the Diet of Worms, the defence permitted to an open heresiarch, and his safe retirement. Charles was ever orthodox; but no ruler could be more absolute. He outlawed Luther; he would never have given him up to a Roman Inquisition. During Luther's stay at the Wartburg he translated the New Testament. This was not for lack of German Bibles; there is abundant proof that Scripture was well known, preached and commented on long before Wittenberg saw the friar among its professors. He meant his New Testament to serve as an appeal and a standard. It became the type of High German literature; it was a rival to the Vulgate and hung out as the national flag of defiance.
While Luther lay in hiding, Leo X. died. By an extraordinary turn the cardinals chose a Fleming to be Pope, as the German Electors had made one an Emperor. Adrian VI., Regent of Spain, was a noble but not attractive person, who tried by individual effort to reform Rome, and who acknowledged to the Diet of Nuremberg that these frightful evils had their origin at the Papal Court. But he understood so little of the inward meaning of Luther as to remark that no novice in theology would have fallen into his errors. The expression has a double edge. Granting Catholic principles and Catholic logic, Adrian was fully justified. But Erasmus might have replied, "Holy Father, Lutheranism is not a heresy; it is a religious revolution." For, as Lord Acton says, "There was no question at issue which had not been pronounced by him ( Luther) insufficient for separation, or which was not abandoned afterwards, or modified in a Catholic sense by Melanchthon. That happened to every leading doctrine at Augsburg, at Ratisbon, or at Leipzig." The Pope by himself could not work a reformation; but Adrian has the glory of tracing its design. When he died one thing was manifest, that the dreaded council would have to be convoked. Another, still more astonishing, was hidden from men's eyes, that where the Regent of Spain failed, though seated in the Papal Chair, a saint from the old Catholic land of Biscay would succeed. Adrian, a little before he laid his burden down, had given to Ignatius of Loyola in Rome the pilgrim's licence to set out for Palestine. Ignatius entered Jerusalem on September 4, 1528. Ten days afterwards the last non-Italian Pope expired; reform was delayed until the founder of the Company of Jesus could take it in hand. At this time Luther was forty years old; Loyola was thirty-two. But their attitude towards one another is that of action and reaction; these eight years divide two generations.
Julius dei Medici now, by deliberate effort, made himself Pope, after a conclave which lasted fifty days. Cold, hesitating, timid, all Clement VII. desired was to continue the policy of the Borgia, but so that his own family should profit by it. He held Rome and dominated Florence. The Colonna were his deadly enemies, the Orsini his kinsfolk. He leagued himself with France for the sake of Milan in December, 1524. And on February 24, 1525, Francis I. lost the Battle of Pavia, lost his freedom, and fell into the hands of Charles V. In the negotiations that followed, Emperor, Pope and King were deceivers and deceived. Charles imposed on his captive at Madrid impossible conditions, making probably the chief political blunder of his life. Clement is reported to have said that it was an excellent Treaty if Francis did not observe it. And the French King gained his liberty at the expense of his honour. Whether the Pope released him from his oath is uncertain; that he never meant to keep it every one but Charles V. took for granted. Clement, however, was so ill-advised by Giberti as to conclude against the Emperor an alliance with Francis once more. He offered Charles's general Pescara, the crown of Naples as a bribe for desertion. Outrageous despatches on both sides brought matters to a crisis, and on June 28, 1526, Clement plunged into the last war undertaken by a Pope on behalf of Italian independence.
It is hard to condemn and difficult to excuse a policy as unfortunate as it was tortuous. The Pope did not see that he was tying the Emperor's hands, thereby assisting Luther and the Protestant revolt. But Charles, deeply exasperated, and as it were struck with madness, himself became the author of a series of events which have left on his memory an indelible stain. To his envoy, Moncada, he suggested that the Colonna, headed by their unspeakable Cardinal Pompeo, should assail Clement in Rome. To the Lutherans he sent a message that they were wanted against the Turk, and they would know what Turk he meant. On September 19, 1526, his first charge was executed. Spaniards and Colonnesi rode in through the Lateran Gate. Next morning Clement fled into St. Angelo; the Vatican was plundered, St. Peter's horribly desecrated, and the Pope's life threatened. Under compulsion he pardoned the Colonna, but in November out-lawed them and seized their strong places A doubtful truce carried him on to February, 1527, when the Lutheran free captain, Frundsberg, joined forces with Bourbon, a French traitor, and their undisciplined army began its expedition towards Rome. Frundsberg died at Ferrara in March. The Pope offered an armistice, sent a ransom, but could not hinder these miscreants, after they had found Florence on its guard, from pushing on to the Eternal City. They reached Isola Farnese on May 4, 1527. Clement had taken courage again, and would not treat with Bourbon. May 6 arrived, a misty morning, and the General ordered the assault. He was himself killed immediately; the Prince of Orange (a name destined to be ominous in the wars of religion to Catholics) took the command. Again Clement crept into St. Angelo by subterranean ways; and before two in the afternoon Rome was captured.
Thus a Medici Pope and a Catholic Emperor delivered the Capital of Christendom into Lutheran hands, six years after Charles had put Luther to the ban. For eight days the sack of Rome continued. Murder, lust, sacrilege, avarice, held high festival; and Spaniards outdid Germans in riot and pillage.
The people fled; cardinals and clergy were tortured to disclose their treasures; the beautiful things which had been created by the Renaissance underwent violent handling or were destroyed. Nine months passed before the lawless soldiery quitted their prey Florence expelled the Medici; Clement was a prisoner. He escaped on December 6, 1527, to Orvieto, despoiled of all his possessions, and with him the joyous days of a paganized humanism fled from Rome. By the Treaty of Cambray Francis I. yielded to the Spaniard his claims on Italy ( August 3, 1529). The Pope forgave Charles, and crowned him at Bologna, February 24, 1580, anniversary of the Battle of Pavia and the Emperor's birthday, Florence, which had gallantly struggled for freedom, with Michael Angelo among its defenders, capitulated on August 12 of the same year. Italy was now to become a geographical expression. Venice cowered behind its lagoons. The Reformers strode on to the League of Schmalkald, where princes led and preachers followed. Clement was willing to call a Council, to make unheard-of concessions, or so he professed. Charles in 1582 granted large toleration to Protestants at Nuremberg.
When this ill-starred pontiff died, September 25, 1534, England, Denmark, Sweden, part of Switzerland, one half of Germany, were in revolt. To the interests of his family, to the possession of Florence or Milan, he had sacrificed the Church.
England was lost by Clement; but the honour of religion was tardily saved. After Lollardy sank into discredit, no heresies troubled the nation. Henry VIII., as every coin of the realm bears witness, wrote against Luther, and in return was named Defender of the Faith by Pope Leo. Wolsey made himself Papal Vicar when Clement lay captive in St. Angelo. Then the King's "case of conscience" and "great matter" was put before him at Orvieto. He seemed willing to go to any length in concession, if we may believe the English envoys. But the Holy See must be judged by its formal acts, and during six years the Pope fenced, but did nothing beyond permitting his legates, Wolsey and Campeggio, to open their court in England. Queen Katharine appealed to Rome. Henry got his divorce from Cranmer in May, 1533, after marrying Anne Boleyn in January. Cranmer's action signified that the King, and not the Pope, had supreme spiritual jurisdiction, or as men said in mediæval language, "the whole power of the keys." Convocation had been coerced into declaring him head of the Church. Parliament by various measures gave him fresh prerogatives consequent on his new title. Rome must move at last. The tribunal of the Rota declared Henry's marriage with Katharine valid; and Clement VII., in secret consistory ( March 24, 1584), confirmed that finding. He was answered by the Act of Royal Supremacy with its "terrible powers," in November; and the connection of England with Papal Rome, which went back nine hundred years and more, was severed at a stroke. But Clement had passed away before the axe fell.
THE CATHOLIC REVIVAL (1534-1616)
THAT year, 1584, is commonly and rightly reckoned a turning-point in the history of the Vatican. Paul III., elected October 18 by an almost unanimous vote, marks in his own person the change from an unreformed Papacy to another and a higher type. As Cardinal Farnese, it was believed that he owed his elevation under Alexander VI. to his sister Giulia's dishonour. He had children born out of wedlock, one of whom, when he was Pope, he made a prince at Parma and Piacenza--miserable little towns, of which the names have ever proved disastrous to the Holy See. For his son's advantage he thwarted Charles V., now resolved on exterminating Protestants by iron as well as by fire. But Paul III. likewise opened the Sacred College to reformers on the Catholic side--to Reginald Pole, Sadoleto, Contarini; and to Erasmus, who declined the purple and died at Basle in 1586. A new company was entering on the scene. By the momentous Bull, " Regimini Militantis Ecclesiæ," in 1540, the company of Jesus had its approval from Paul III., who exclaimed after reading a draft of its constitution, "The Finger of God is here." In 1542 the Universal Inquisition was set up in Rome, under the Pope's immediate presidency. His reforming cardinals were urging him to comply with the Emperor's insistent demands by convoking a General Council. After various attempts, and not very willingly, at last he appointed its meeting at Trent, in the Tirol, for March, 1545
So, on these different lines, the influence of Spain was shaping war and controversy and legislation into a crusade against Protestants, wherever found. It is obvious that the motives which stirred Englishmen and Teutons to cast off their allegiance to Rome, did not for the most part exist south of the Alps and the Pyrenees. Moreover, as writers observe who are by no means friendly to Catholicism, "a reform of the Spanish clergy, secular and regular, had taken place before Luther arose." Thanks to such earnest rulers as the Cardinals Mendoza and Ximenes, to saints like Thomas of Villanova, and to the action of bishops and synods, the moral condition of ecclesiastics in general "was immeasurably superior to that of the clergy in any other part of Western Christendom." Learning, too, had revived. The University of Alcalá was founded by Ximenes, and has given its name to the great Complutensian Polyglot, which he published from its presses. Spaniards now held the largest empire that had ever been known. They were masters of Germany and the Netherlands, of Italy north and south, of a vast and growing dominion in America. The resources of Pope and Emperor combined were immensely superior to those which could be mustered by small German princes and the multiplying sects of the Reformers. England was pursuing its own eccentric course under Henry VIII., who never became a Lutheran. France had been defeated again and again by Charles V. But this new crusade was calling for a leader and a plan of campaign. Both were now furnished in the person of Ignatius of Loyola, and by means of the company of Jesus which he created.
One man had found the secret of combating evil within and without the Catholic Communion. It is written in the "Spiritual Exercises," of which a marvellous meditation on the "Two Standards," --the standard of Christ and the standard of Satan--forms, as it were, the strategical centre. The effect was speedily apparent
"In a single generation," says Macaulay, "the whole spirit of the Church of Rome underwent a change." But that change was a reversion to Catholic principles, overlaid though not extinguished by the secular ambition of prelates, and the pagan luxury to which they yielded themselves. Ignatius could, therefore, as Lord Acton observes, undertake to reform the Church by the Papacy. Luther was for destroying the Papacy. Loyola built his plans on the very admission of all that it claimed. He compelled the Pope, we may say, to realize his own ideals; and Ignatius was canonized, whereas Savonarola had been burnt. His genius moved by the logic of an absolute sincerity. Given the Catholic faith, reason might apply it freely to every subject; but to save the Faith was the first step.
"The history of the order of Jesus is the history of the great Catholic reaction." Loyola, to give him his conventional name, created the associations of romance, self-sacrifice, discipline, learning, and infinite courage, that set a man against a man--himself becoming the protagonist of Luther--until then unaccountably wanting in Catholicism under the Renaissance. Yet the world had been impressed already by the stupendous greatness of Michael Angelo; by the imperturbable heroism, smiling on death, of Sir Thomas More; it was Rome that appalled and saddened the faithful. Now Rome had its heroes, its resident saints. Contarini was an apparition of light; Pole, a gracious and gentle St. John, opposing his meekness to Henry VIII.'s tyranny; the stern Caraffa showed, at least, a fanaticism which must be admired. And it was no small thing that even the shifty, worldlyminded Clement VII. had let the Kingdom of England go, rather than violate the sanctity of the marriage-contract. This was the more significant that, left to himself, the Medici would have bartered all laws, divine and human, for revenge on Charles V whose kinswoman he was protecting in Christ's Name.
New organs of combat and acquisition, in a life and death struggle, were needed, unless Italy, invaded by German heresies after German legions, and France, which had lately produced Calvin, were to be wrested from the Popedom, seemingly on the edge of dissolution. The old Orders had been cast into the fire of adversity, and came out a .heap of ashes. Calumny has fastened on them charges not proven or much exaggerated. It is undeniable, however, that the leading men of the Reformation were many of them bred in the cloister; that riches and ease had relaxed the fibres of discipline; that neither Cusa, nor Capistrano, nor Traversari, nor Pius II., nor Ægidius Viterbo in the Lateran Council, did more than touch the fringe of inveterate abuses. The commission appointed by Paul III. went so far as to recommend that existing Orders and Communities should take no fresh novices; an entirely new generation must begin the better time. The Cardinal of Lucca, Guidiccioni, would reduce them to four, and these of strict observance. In 1528, the Capuchins had restored the early Franciscan model; but when Ochino, their superior, fell away to Protestantism, they ran no slight risk of suppression. Other less important attempts were made by the Barnabites and Theatines. It was Caraffa, the Neapolitan, of this last foundation, who noted Ignatius with his companions at Venice and bade him go to Rome, where the Crusade against the new Mohammedans called him.
Ignatius obeyed, and, in spite of opposition, persuaded Contarini, Guidiccioni, and Paul III. himself, that the Company of Jesus ought to be allowed to exist. The name gave offence. The freedom from monastic usages provoked remonstrance. Ignatius, a soldier who had undergone conversion from worldly aims to follow his Captain Christ, had been imprisoned by the Spanish Inquisition; he had composed at Manresa while yet a layman his "Spiritual Exercises;" he had travelled over Europe, lived as a poor student in Paris, and trained half a dozen men (including Francis Xavier) to be heroes in the Catholic War. He required from his comrades military obedience. They pledged themselves to go wherever they might be sent by the Holy See. On April 7, 1541, Ignatius was elected general for life. On the same day Xavier set sail from Portugal for the East Indies.
Absolute government and religious freedom are ideas not easy to reconcile. The sixteenth century was struggling with both of them--a Rebecca who was to bring forth Jacob and Esau, enemies from their birth. Luther's Christian State, Henry of England's Royal Supremacy, Calvin "Institutes," the "Spiritual Exercises" of St. Ignatius, the Augsburg Confession, the decrees of Trent, the Thirty-Nine Articles, the Westminster Catechisms, are all framed on the principle of submission to the powers that be. Voluntary association, if at all dreamt of, is instantly set aside. Heresy was treason, and treason was heresy. None (except a small detested minority, afterwards Socinian) complained of rulers because they persecuted dissent. The question turned not on freedom, but on truth. Rome, indeed, whose tribunals judged heretics, assimilated baptism to the oath of allegiance and held that Protestants were rebels. Over the unbaptised Rome did not pretend to exercise jurisdiction. But Protestant rulers--how were they to behave towards their Catholic subjects-and their subjects towards them? By Canon Law (especially the Fourth Council of Lateran, 1215), a Christian prince lapsing into heresy forfeited his sovereign rights. He was excommunicated by the very fact; and it was the Pope's duty, unless repentance followed, to depose him. Paul III. in 1535 drew up, and did his best to publish, his Bull of deposition against Henry VIII., according to mediæval precedent and in the strong language of the Roman Chancery. If execution did not take place, the reason was that Charles V. had other burdens on his shoulders, not that he questioned the Papal prerogatives. For Canon Law was the law of Christendom.
Catholics, it has been said on their behalf, condemned "aggressive" intolerance, while defending by the sword society against anarchists, the moral order against immoralists, the faith against apostates. But Luther, Melanchthon, Calvin, Knox, approved of rooting out idolatry and error by the "civil magistrate." Melanchthon has recorded his theory in a sentence, "Non enim plectitur fides sed hæresis"--the judge chastises heresy, not faith. For example, the Catholic Mass implied false doctrine and was the practice of idolatry, therefore governments must put it down. Melanchthon, again, contended that "obstinate" Anabaptists should be done to death; and Beza would have the same penalty inflicted on Anti-Trinitarians. He was defending the course taken with Servetus, betrayed, arrested, condemned, and executed ( October 27, 1558), under Calvin's direction. Calvin himself published next year, "A Defence of the Orthodox Faith, showing that heretics ought to be punished by the sword." All the early Reformers taught passive obedience to governors, however tyrannical; but the ruler must take his doctrine from the clergy.
Charles V. naturally proceeded to act on this principle, only that he preferred the old clergy to the new. But he still hoped for a reconciliation, and the "Interim" of June, 1544, tolerated the confession of Augsburg, until the Church by its oecumenical judgment should decide the points at issue. The Council of Trent opened with a few prelates at the appointed time, too late for an agreement with men who were hardened against Rome by twenty-five years of controversy. In 1547 the Emperor, commanding Italian and Papal troops, won the great victory of Mühlberg over the Lutherans. It decided nothing. At Passau, and then at Augsburg in 1555, a regular peace was concluded by which these same Lutherans gained toleration for themselves, but other sectaries were left without recognition. No man, however, was henceforth to suffer death on account of his nonconformity; but dissenters might be expelled. This was the principle "Cujus regio, ejus religio," the creed followed the prince. By another clause, of "ecclesiastical reservation," if a Catholic prelate fell away he thereby lost his "spiritual" dominions. In virtue of this exception, territories extending from Austria to the Rhine and as far down as Holland were preserved "under the crozier." But to the apprehension of Charles V. the Peace of Augsburg took from the Holy Roman Empire its sacred character and its meaning. His long day was going down in defeat. "He had neither reconciled the Protestants nor reformed the Church." Under somewhat affecting circumstances he laid down his dignities one by one, and expired at the convent of St. Juste, September 21, 1558. His son, Philip, inherited the Spanish legacy and the Catholic interest, which he upheld or exploited during the next forty years.
Francis I., who died in 1547, fulfilled that saying, "Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel." He wavered from side to side, although the French policy was always now, in effect, anti-Roman. It demanded a servile Papacy, of which Avignon afforded the type; a Gallican Church whose "liberties" should be interpreted by the Crown lawyers; and a balance of power to check the Austrian-Spanish pretensions. To drive the wedge of Lombardy between Vienna and Madrid was the object of those repeated Italian campaigns. Had France embraced the Reformation, it might have attained in this reign to a success that did not come until Richelieu had frankly allied himself with German and Swedish Protestants. But Luther's intense Germanism, which swept away Roman opposition in the Fatherland, could not charm the delicate French temperament; to chivalry, as Francis I. still conceived of it, a Saxon peasant's language and manners were revolting. But neither would the King of France, who had already sent Protestants to the stake, be persuaded by Master John Calvin to break with Rome.
Calvin ( 1509-1564), a scion of the middle class, wrote his "Institutes" before he was six-and-twenty, addressing the Crown on behalf of loyal yet persecuted "Reformed" Christians. This volume, the "Social Contract" of the century, became to all the Churches that went beyond Luther but did not advance so far as Socinus, an inspired comment on the Bible. It brought back the idea, which Luther discarded, of a Church with coercive powers; "new presbyter is but old priest writ large," said Milton, and history echoes him. Yet there was a difference. The Papal authority, existing alongside of feudalism, and displayed in courtly forms, had lost its earlier popular aspect. The Reformation, though used by kings and nobles for their own purposes, was chiefly a middle-class movement. In all countries it took hold of the industrial centres; it flourished in the towns. We may say that it disdained ritual, rejected chivalry, and tended to overthrow government, even while its preachers talked of passive obedience. The Calvinist, above all men, was not passive, and was not obedient, except to his clergy, who directed all affairs, public and private.
France by her Huguenots, Scotland by her Presbyterians, the Netherlands by their "Gueux," England by her Puritans, gave proof that in the teaching of Calvin there was danger to royalty; at all events, so thought anointed persons who had to deal with its uprisings. Luther was a mystic, not a constructive politician. Calvin was a lawgiver, a Lycurgus at Geneva; his Christian Commonwealth did not grant much power to kings in the long run, as Rousseau demonstrated Geneva, the Rome and Sparta of the North, reckoned these two men, who were alike in principle absolute, among her citizens. Let us mark the word "citizen" which in political science was to replace the word "subject." At once Protestant and revolutionary, it tells us why no French king could become a Huguenot, and why Henry of Navarre sacrificed his creed to his crown
When Charles V. abdicated, he made over his hereditary dominions to Philip II., at that time King of England. Philip's appearance in the English statute-book, like Charles's capture of Rome, constitutes an era. The Sack of 1527 finished, as no other event could, a Renaissance that dishonoured religion. The fires of Smithfield gave Elizabeth her sovereign power, which no arbitrary conduct of ministers and no conspiracies, at home or abroad, could weaken. Spain and England, warily diplomatizing with each other until the Armada was ready, held the future between them in a doubtful balance. The Spanish Empire, extending from Sicily to Mexico, secure while France was torn by the Guises, the Condés, the Colignys, had one vulnerable spot--the Netherlands, where, thanks to Philip and his lieutenant Alva, reform broke out into revolution. The United States of Holland were baptized in blood. Elizabeth also, intent on making Ireland Protestant by confiscation, by laying Munster waste, by hunting the "mere Irish" down to starve and die, entered on the remarkable experiment which has bound the Island of St. Patrick more closely than ever to Rome, and sent forth its exiles as pioneers of Catholicism in three Continents. These results were certain by the end of the sixteenth century. What of Austria and the German empire? Would central Europe return to its Roman allegiance, or become altogether Protestant? That question was answered by the Thirty Years' War and the Peace of Westphalia.
"Unreformed and disorganized," the government of which Paul III. was the last representative had been shattered as by an earthquake. But the Catholic Church remained. Gathering her resources, first in the Jesuit Order, then in the Council of Trent, and putting them into the hands of a renovated Papacy, she went forward in the New and the Old World undauntedly. The Council, divided into three periods ( 1545-47; 1551-52; 1562-64), "showed the Church as a living institution, capable of work and achievement; it strengthened the confidence both of her members and herself; and it was a powerful factor in heightening her efficiency as a competitor with Protestantism, and in restoring and reinforcing her imperilled unity." Such is the judgment of a modern historian, not a Catholic. Trent undid the effects of Constance and Basle by its entire submission to guidance from the Vatican. Its theological decisions were shaped in large measure by the Jesuits Laynez and Salmeron. Though scantily attended, the Council expressed so unmistakably the voice of tradition that no genuine disciple of the Reformers could accept it, and all true adherents of the Papacy gave it a hearty welcome. France, indeed, and even Spain, faithful to their royal despotism, would not suffer its decrees to modify the civil legislation. Philip II. was tenacious of his quasi-spiritual rights; France of her Gallican liberties. The German Empire formally did not recognize the Council. It is among the fatalities of this and succeeding times, that so-called Catholic powers checked the victory of their own faith, lest the medæval theocracy should be restored.
But no restoration came of the system which Gregory VII. had affirmed as a theory and sealed by Henry IV.'s submission at Canossa. Paul III. could not wrest the English sceptre from Henry Tudor. When Caraffa became Paul IV. ( 1555-59) his Neapolitan aversion to the Spaniards, and his headstrong temper, led him to declare war against Philip II., whom he threatened with forfeiture of all his crowns. Once more a Spanish army came up towards Rome, under the Duke of Alva, who, like a second Moncada, extorted peace at the point of the sword. When we reflect on Alva's later fame in the Low Countries, on Paul's defenceless position, and on Philip's place in history as champion of Papal claims, a more amazing comedy of crosspurposes can hardly be imagined. Paul IV. was a vigorous reformer, yet he gave the sacred purple to nephews who, for manifest crimes, were put to death by his successor. Mary Tudor and Cardinal Pole had brought England back to the Roman Communion. This, surely not clear-eyed, Pontiff expended on Mary some of the thunder with which he meant to strike her husband, suspended Pole from the legatine dignity, and thought of proceeding still further when queen and cardinal died. In 1566 the Cardinal of Alessandria, who had presided over the Inquisition with great energy, was elected, and under the name of St. Pius V., holds a place in the Church's calendar. By this time, religion, diplomacy, war, and tyrannicide were occupying one stage and exchanging parts in a world-wide confusion. St. Pius V., by the solemn act "Regnans in excelsis," declared Queen Elizabeth fallen from her royal estate, and bade her subjects give up their allegiance. These were measures which had no prospect of success; on the contrary, as Urban VIII. afterwards took note, they bore most heavily on English Catholics, charged with treason, and from that day liable to its atrocious penalties. Bulls of deposition belonged to an irrecoverable past.
In Gregory XIII.'s reign occurred the massacre of St. Bartholomew ( 1572), devised by the French Court, and still to be seen depicted, though without its historical inscription, on the walls of the Vatican sala regia. We need not stir the embers of that fire. Catherine dei Medici let Queen Elizabeth know that she might do with her Catholic subjects even as Charles IX. had done with his Huguenots, "cujus regio, ejus religio,"--a truly Medicean philosophy. The Catholic League, the War in the Netherlands, the Spanish Armada, had religion for a pretext, to some extent for a motive. But the Popes were beginning to establish a balance of European powers instead of the mediæval suzerainty snatched from their grasp. Sixtus V. ( 1585-1 590), a strong ruler, magnificent in his plans, the founder of a new system of government in the Curia, and of the Rome which lasted in its main lines down to 1870, excommunicated Henry of Navarre, and joined the League.
But Sixtus could not overcome Henry. It was the unmistakable feeling of the French nation which compelled the Béarnais to quit his Calvinism; and Clement VIII., who absolved him, desired to make France a counterpoise to the Spanish monarchy. This was the long duel that created alliances and wars until an effective solution was reached in the Treaties of 1648, when the old-world system passed finally away. But thirty years of battle and of German anarchy went before the triumph of France.
FROM THE ESCORIAL TO VERSAILLES 1563-1715.
(CERVANTES, "DON QUIXOTE"; BOSSUET, "FUNERAL ORATIONS")
PHILIP II, a man of mediocre ability, unpleasing character, and conscientious attendance to duty, ruled his empire from his desk, in the granite palace of the Escorial, by slow unscrupulous methods, not without some degree of success. That empire, which he held during all but five years of Elizabeth's reign (in fact from 1556 to 1598) was bound together only by religion; and for a time it seemed that Philip's dominions would be coextensive with the Roman Church. From 1580 he was master of Portugal and all its colonies. He exploited, and his missionaries converted, the American Indies, from which the Silver Fleet brought infinite and fatal wealth to be hoarded in his treasury. Spain was governed on the lines of High Protection --the Faith was to be defended, especially against Luther (whose name comprised all heretics); and the world's bullion was to be held as a reserve in Castilian coffers. To purge the realm, all non-converted Jews had been expelled in 1492 by Ferdinand and Isabella. The rigorous Inquisition, a political no less than ecclesiastical engine of government, kept watch over the Maranos, or "New Christians," whose Hebrew descent was more certain than their belief in the creed of the Church. These unhappy thousands suffered at home, or fled abroad--to Italy first, and then to liberated Holland. In 1567 the Moriscoes, equally suspected and exasperated, rose in revolt; they were overcome, to be expelled in 1610 by Philip III. It is not now imagined that Spanish commerce or credit were immediately affected by driving out the Jews.
Until France recovered from its long agony, the Empire of Castile was safe, incomparably rich, valiant, and adventurous. As Giberti had warned Clement VII., the Pope was become a Spanish chaplain, seated at Rome between Philip's viceroys of Naples and Milan. The victorious Company of Jesus could not fail to strengthen a power which had protected them almost from the beginning. English Catholic exiles, Father Parsons at their head, were usually "hispaniolated," although a few in Flanders, of whom Paget was the spokesman, remained loyal, despite their sufferings. The earlier bonds of patriotism had melted in the furnace of religious heats, and the Leaguers in France, Cardinal Allen in Rome, were willing to yield the crowns of their respective countries to his Catholic Majesty. The impending war with Spain had provoked Coligny's murder and the massacre of St. Bartholomew--an event, said Lord Clarendon, which all pious Catholics at the time abominated. In 1585, when the League was formed, Philip stood at the zenith of his power; he meant that his daughter, Isabel, should be Queen of France; and on the Armada's triumph he was to be himself King of England. Had Farnese, Prince of Parma, succeeded in bringing his army across the Channel, that usurpation might easily have been effected. For the SpanishItalian soldiers were the best in Europe. But the Armada was wrecked; Jacques Clement, a crazy Dominican friar, stabbed Henry III.; and the House of Bourbon commenced the final stage of French monarchy.
In 1592 Farnese, the great-grandson of Paul III., and famous champion of the League, died.
Under Henry IV. the French, returning to their old ways, became Royalist and Gallican once more. England, delivered from fear of Spanish invasions, nursing its Puritan youth for the most revolutionary movement in modern history, bided its time. The Low Countries, which in 1566 had risen only to be defeated, in 1572 revolted again, and in 1579 the United States of Holland became a Republic. They found a leader in William the Silent, Prince of Orange. He was killed in 1584 by an "obscure fanatic" named Gérard, who acted upon the doctrine of assassination which divines allowed and statesmen practised. Coligny, Burghley, William the Silent himself, Queen Elizabeth, and other chiefs of parties or rulers of States, entered into murder-plots. Mariana, the Spanish Jesuit, defended tyrannicide and Jacques Clément in a notorious book, afterwards condemned by the superiors of the Society; but his views were generally admitted, and the contrivers of the Powder Plot (whoever these happened to be) knew that it was so.
The triple alliance of France, England, and the United Provinces in 1596 denoted two conclusions of far-reaching importance.
Holland was, though grudgingly, recognized as a sovereign power which would hold the commerce of the seas until Cromwell's Navigation Act gave it to Great Britain; and the French government, professing itself Catholic, was taking up an attitude towards Spain and Austria such as to make a universal Catholic restoration impossible. The dying Philip gave what was left of the Netherlands to his daughter and her husband, the "Archdukes." A truce of twelve years, thanks to Henry IV., divided Belgium from the Dutch Republic, and Henry, preparing to invade Germany, fell under the poignard of Ravaillac in 1610. The mission of this Bourbon prince, always half a Protestant, was to be taken up by Richelieu, the Cardinal-Duke, orthodox and intolerant at home, a Calvinist in his policy on the Meuse and the Rhine, who must be held to have sacrificed his own religion in order that France might seize the paramount power, slipping now from the feeble hands of Spain.
The Thirty Years' War, at which we have arrived, is not unfairly summed up as the last of the Crusades, or wars on behalf of Catholicism. It was a desperate struggle to revive the Holy Roman Empire, which could not be done without opposing the extension of privileges, already acquired by Lutherans, to their Calvinist rivals. Had these latter been worsted, the Confession of Augsburg would have lost its legal status also. Bohemia naturally offered the ground of battle. There, after 1390, the Wyecliffite movement had assumed a significance for Central Europe, and had sown the seed from which Luther reaped a hundredfold. Its King, George Podiebrad ( 1458-1471), fought dexterously against Roman influences, leaving the country prepared to welcome any change that would enable it to cast off the Pope's authority. Lutherans abounded in Bohemia; for under Maximilian II. Austria had the least intolerant of governments. Hungary, too, was largely Protestant, while the Emperor brought in "a conciliatory, neutral, unconventional Catholicism," the scorn of earnest believers, whether orthodox or reformed. Poland, by reason of a similar policy, was fast becoming the Promised Land of Socinians.
But all this while the Catholic Revival was advancing along the German rivers, ever since the Jesuits had daringly established themselves in Ingolstadt under the Duke of Bavaria ( 1544). Learning, zeal, and political influence, including that of Charles V., were at their disposal. St. Peter Canisius, their young and brilliant German disciple, persuaded Charles to depose Archbishop von Wied of Cologne; it was a warning to every prelate in the Fatherland that reform could no longer be put off. Canisius, preaching and teaching, did a marvellous work among his fellowcountrymen. He was ably seconded by the third General, who astonished Rome by the spectacle of a Borgia, Duke of Gandia, greatgrandson of Alexander VI., as remarkable for every Catholic virtue as his Papal ancestor had been for the opposite.
St. Francis Borgia founded the Roman College, or central university, as it proved, of the Society; he enlarged the German College, due to St. Ignatius, where priests of that nation might be trained in strict discipline and devotion to the Holy See. Rome was the meeting-place of saints as it had formerly been of poets and men of letters. The Vatican put on the air of a monastery. Ignatius, Charles Borromeo, Cardinal Ghislieri, afterwards Pius V., Philip Neri, and many others who have been canonized, were fellowcitizens or contemporaries in this new age, fertile beyond description in a type of exalted and passionate sanctity that drew back from no self-sacrifice on behalf of the Creed of Trent. The Jesuits excelled by virtue of their military yet flexible system, and displayed personal enthusiasm which the "Exercises" enlightened, while obedience gave it a definite scope. They were taught to dislike Erasmus; but in their schools the Erasmian ideas of education prevailed, and a graceful literary style, a rhetoric persuasive though tending to be florid, announced that these Clerks Regular were genuine heirs of the Renaissance. Like Francis Bacon, who praised their methods of teaching unreservedly, they took all knowledge for their province. Soon they could reckon names of eminence in every department of research and discovery. Their divines, Laynez, Suarez, and in the next generation the French patristic scholar, Petavius, made a distinct advance on the older theological methods. Their most original writer was the Spaniard Molina, who refuted Calvin and by anticipation Jansenius.
Rome, it has been said, was now "serious and repentant," notwithstanding some great tragedies of crime. By the side of the German College similar institutions sprang up. The Canon Law was revised, the Vulgate Bible edited under Sixtus V. and Clement VIII. The Jesuit Cardinal Bellarmine shaped the controversy with Reformers into the position which it kept afterwards until Joseph de Maistre gave it an entirely new basis. Cardinal Baronius, the Oratorian, published in eleven folios a history of the Church that for largeness of design and patience of learning has never been surpassed. But while Rome was concentrating her forces, "the first explosion of private judgment," says Lecky, "had shivered Protestantism into countless sects." In this hurly-burly, which was fast becoming a civil war, the Lutherans lost, the Calvinists gained, but the common cause suffered. It would be the task of genius to better Macaulay's description of this wonderful change in the tide of human affairs by which the Popes, driven back to their Roman ramparts, advanced with freshly-recruited legions a hundred years later almost to the shores of the Baltic. "At first," writes Macaulay, "the chances seemed to be decidedly in favour of Protestantism; but the victory remained with the Church of Rome. On every point she was successful. If we leap over another half-century (from about 1580 to 1630) we find her victorious and dominant in France, Belgium, Bavaria, Bohemia, Austria, Poland, and Hungary. Nor has Protestantism, in the course of two hundred years, been able to recover any part of what was then lost."
Much had been done for the Catholic cause in Styria and Carinthia by the Archduke Ferdinand, who, in 1617, became King of Bohemia and Emperor-elect. In this larger world he followed up the same policy. He did not shrink from acts of repression, justified as he held by violations of law on the part of his Protestant subjects, which led to revolt and his attempted deposition by them. They offered the crown to Frederick V., elector palatine, son-in-law of James I., and thus ancestor of the Hanoverian Stuarts, our present reigning family. Frederick came to Prague, and the most desolating of modern wars began ( 1618-1648). In this wild encounter it is hard to disentangle secular from religious motives. The Pope of the day, Urban VIII. ( 1623-1644), faintly shadowed forth in his learning, ostentation, nepotism, and ambitious aims, the fiercer memories left him by the Renaissance. Urbino fell by reversion to the Holy See in 1631. But Urban's own war of Castro for the duchy of Parma was humiliating and unsuccessful. He leaned on France; distrusted and offended the Emperor Ferdinand; won for himself a bad name from uncompromising Catholics; and died without having contributed decisive help to his own cause in Germany.
Richelieu came on the scene at the States General of 1614, where he represented the clergy of Poitou. This assembly, the last of its kind until 1789, was Catholic in its sympathies, while asserting the King's divine right in opposition to Paul V. But Richelieu's lease of absolute power, unbroken henceforward, began in 1624. The Cardinalminister finished with his Huguenots at La Rochelle ( 1628) but did not revoke the Edict of Nantes. The Dutch fleet helped this Catholic prelate to conquer their coreligionists; and he in turn protected Holland against the united forces of Spain and the Empire. He could not, however, prevent the victorious onset of Tilly, an orthodox general, devoted to the Jesuits, who for ten years carried all before him. Frederick, the "Winter King," lost Prague; Max of Bavaria became Catholic elector instead of the fugitive and deposed Lutheran; the "League" was triumphant. Wallenstein, a convert, also a Jesuit pupil, created the Austrian army, by way of enabling Ferdinand to balance his own allies, now become too hard for him. The League was, indeed, a religious confederation, but its members did not want the Emperor to be strong.
Wallenstein, whom for an instant we may compare with Richelieu, would have made the Habsburg master of all German princes, as the Cardinal in France was breaking the noblesse. But the Emperor did not second Wallenstein. He published in March, 1629, the Edict of Restitution and dismissed the lieutenant who had overcome his opponents gloriously, but who would not execute these orders. By the Edict, all Church lands in the possession of Protestants since the arrangement at Passau ( 1552) were to be given back. Lutherans and Calvinists joined forces. Richelieu had perhaps contrived the dismissal of Wallenstein; now he called to the Swedish King, Gustavus Adolphus, and sent him into Germany as the Protestant champion ( 1680). Gustavus, no doubt, proposed to defend his religious brethren; but the reward was to be Sweden's leadership of Reformed Europe. His star ascended high in the heavens. Tilly won Magdeburg, which lying rumour accused him of burning; but the King defeated the Catholic in a tremendous battle at Breitenfeld, swept down the "Church lane" from Würtzburg to the Rhenish electorates, and turned on Bavaria. Tilly died of his wounds at Ingolstadt. Wallenstein was persuaded to save Austria and the League. He repulsed Gustavus, who had come within sight of the Alps; but who had wasted his chance of marching to Vienna. At Lützen ( November 6, 1632) the Swedish hero was killed; his star flashed and went out like a meteor Wallenstein offered Saxony and Brandenburg peace with religious freedom; but in so doing, fell into treason. His death, which is the subject of Schiller's finest tragedy, was sanctioned by the Emperor. With a deed of assassination the German crusade came to an end ( 1634). But its fruits were not scanty. Ferdinand had inherited lands ninetenths of whose inhabitants, it is said, held the Reformers' faith. He reversed these numbers, made Bohemia, Austria, and the adjacent territories Catholic, and decided that the Danube, as well as the Rhine, should flow through orthodox fields. The Imperialist victory at Nördlingen ( 1635) avenged Breitenfeld, but left Saxony Lutheran.
Richelieu continued the war. His armies were successful in Roussillon and Savoy; his Swedish mercenaries invaded Silesia. The two chief Catholic powers were brought low by a Roman Cardinal. He died in 1642; but his diplomacy had traced the lines which in 1648, by the Peace of Westphalia, determined for one hundred and forty years the balance of European power. France, allied to the belligerent disciples of Luther and Calvin, flung Austria back upon its hereditary dominions, curbed Spain, and fulfilled the ambitious dreams which Francis I. had dreamt in vain, of a Gallic supremacy. Protestants were shut out from every province of the Habsburgs except Silesia; the general position reverted to that of 1624. Propaganda by the sword was given up on both sides. But the Reformed Churches sank under the jurisdiction of secular princes, and every petty Cæsar became a Pope. Innocent X. protested against the principle thus made public law--formulated, curiously enough, in these very years by Hobbes in his "Leviathan"--and Innocent's protest, says Lord Acton, "is one of the glories of the Papacy" It was a plea for liberty of conscience against "an ecclesiastical authority more arbitrary than the Pope had ever possessed." The Treaty bears date October 24, 1648. In effect it dissolved the Empire. It brought France to the Rhine. It secularized a large portion of ecclesiastical territory. By recognizing the independence of Switzerland and the United Provinces it acknowledged what have since been termed "accomplished facts." Three "confessions," or religious creeds, now divided Western Europe, of which the Catholic faith was only one. The Roman Curia, looked upon as a foreign power in Germany, excluded from interference in Spain by the Inquisition, and held at a distance by Mazarin no less than by Richelieu, could no longer issue decrees which carried a political importance. The interdict, launched by Paul V. against Venice in 1605, was a failure and never repeated. The deposing power was extinct. Brandenburg, founded as a secular State by an heretical Grand Master of the Teutonic Order, was growing up to be the Kingdom of Prussia in 1701.
THE "GREAT KING," LOUIS XIV (1643-1715)
BUT few coincidences are more remarkable than that which links October 24, 1648, with January 80, 1649. German Protestants were yielding submission to the civil magistrate at the moment when English Puritans were beheading their King in front of Whitehall. At Naseby the Ironsides trained by Cromwell had dashed to pieces the old Cæsarism, which claimed to establish, and thereby to enslave, religion. On that stricken field the Declaration of Independence was born. In all countries, too, where penal legislation pressed hard on Catholics, an escape was sought. Jesuit arguments anticipated the Whig limits to State authority; while in Maryland the famous Act of Toleration, likewise drawn up in 1649, announced that Catholics and Protestants could live in peace under the same laws. This was not a Puritan measure but was due to Lord Baltimore, whose father had joined the Roman Church. He "was the first," says Bancroft, "to make religious freedom the basis of the State."
Religious unity was declared to be impossible by the Acts of Westphalia. Cromwell stood for Independence against Presbyterians after he had smitten the head of the Anglican Establishment. He aimed at oligarchy, but the event was other than he intended. To cite the Greek illustration, every chief would assign the first place to himself; but all gave the second to Themistocles. Innocent X. decried the axiom, "Whosoever has the land shall write the creed." Jeremy Taylor, in hiding as a loyal Anglican, composed his defence of the "Liberty of Prophesying." Milton in "Areopagitica" lifted the freedom of the press to an epic grandeur. Grotius had discovered, not without help of St. Thomas Aquinas, that there is a Higher Law, and that government implies a contract between ruler and subjects. On the other side were Richelieu, Hobbes, Bossuet, Louis XIV. The debate which was thus opened will carry us down to the American and the French Revolutions, both founded on the doctrine of responsible authority and the right of resistance to its unjust use.
In France it was a question of the Crown. Cardinal Bellarmine's volume, defending the high Papal view of jurisdiction over sovereigns, was burnt in 1610 by order of the Parlement of Paris. The answer which Suarez wrote to James I.'s exaltation of his royal prerogatives met with a similar fate in 1614. "They saw," observes Lecky of these and like-minded Jesuits, "that a great future was in store for the people, and they laboured with a zeal that will secure them everlasting honour to hasten and direct the emancipation." It was not now the Supreme Pontiff only, but the nation, that might depose and execute a tyrannical sovereign. The Jesuits maintained these startling doctrines, of course, as weapons to pull down heretical Tudors, or the faithless Valois, Henry III., or Henry of Navarre, not yet converted. But others besides the outspoken Mariana taught them from Spanish chairs of theology and in Rome. It was from Suarez immediately that Grotius, the Dutch Arminian, drew his own general principles. On the other hand, French jurists could point to the murder of these two French kings as a dreadful comment on theories of tyrannicide. Between the social contract and the divine indefeasible right of their glorious monarchy no reconciliation seemed to them possible.
These differences had broken into violent discussions at the States-General of 1614, when the anti-regal tractate of Suarez was committed to the flames. Crown lawyers prepared the way for a Jansenist revolt against Jesuit direction, though as yet Jansenism was not. Later on, there was coming a strange, three-cornered alliance of Royalist, Gallican, and Port Royal, each attacking the Great Company from a special point of view, and at last effecting its overthrow. But the Regalists under captains like Charles du Moulin led the charge, although as early as 1554 the Sorbonne had condemned certain Jesuit propositions. In 1594 they were banished the kingdom. Henry IV. gave them leave to return. While Richelieu lived he was master, and wielded the two swords like any Pope. The Roman authorities tolerated an imperium in imperio which they were unable to subdue; moreover the Cardinal was undoubtedly zealous for religion, though with political by-ends.
The Jansenist controversy, which Richelieu endeavoured to stifle at its birth by imprisoning that gloomy genius, St. Cyran, in Vincennes, is usually dated from 1640. Its effect was to display the Papal prerogative of determining dogma, without appeal to Council or hierarchy, on the widest of theatres. When Innocent X. proscribed the famous "Five Propositions," which represented as in a scientific formula the doctrine of Jansen (consigned to his great volume the "Augustinus "), France and Catholic Christendom bowed to the ruling. The Vatican decrees of 1870 were anticipated by these acts; nor did the French bishops venture to complain.
According to a picturesque figure, the Reformation had created within the Church a state of siege. Power was by necessity centred in the Pope's hands, so that while his temporal jurisdiction was falling away, his teaching and administrative functions grew more active than ever. Hence the defeat of Port Royal. Though betraying affinities of doctrine and temper with Calvin-whose logic must always impress the minds of Frenchmen--Port Royal would never have dared to turn Huguenot. Freedom, religious or political, was unknown to the age of Louis XIV. But, in any case, the Council of Trent had shown that it was impossible to defend the ancient creed while disobeying that Papal authority in which, as Bellarmine argued, the sum of it was contained Port Royal, therefore, cast aside all that the Pope rejected; but distinguishing between doctrine and fact, it was eager to remove St. Cyran, its late director, beyond the suspicion of formal Jansenism. The distinction was not allowed and the famous Abbey became a desolation. Though Pascal, its one man of genius (whom it did not train), assumed with magnificent strategy the offensive against the Society of Jesus, bringing it into the line of fire, he could not save a cloister which the King hated because it drew away from him the eyes of Paris, and which Bossuet condemned for standing out when authority required it to submit. In the historical perspective we recognize that if the "solitaries" had not been put down the Church of a middle way would have arisen in France, anti-Roman from the southern point of view, anti-Protestant from the northern. Louis and Bossuet were Gallican according to the formula of Pisa, Constance, Basle--French Councils which would fain have made the Pope a constitutional monarch, while the King was to be absolute. But Louis XIV. could not have grasped the spiritual sense of St. Cyran; nor had the incomparable orator of Meaux any sympathy for a doctrine which he must have thought less human than the Gospel, and less coherent than Calvinism. Bossuet was an Augustinian, not a Jansenist.
Louis XIV., during his reign of seventytwo years ( 1643-1715), arrogated to himself a dominion over Church and State like that of Philip II., to whose unique position among monarchs he succeeded. He was at once the protector of Catholic faith at home and abroad, the persecutor of Huguenots, the trial and terror of the Holy See. Ill-instructed, dissolute, worshipping himself as others worshipped him, the "Great King" had wit enough to discern capacity and to reward merit. His inheritance from the age of Louis XIII. gave to the first half of his reign a lustre which was tarnished by defeat and misfortune in the second. But Catholic learning, eloquence, devotion--its benevolent enterprises and missionary zeal, lent to the Church of France, under the greatest of the Bourbons, a distinction which none other could rival. It had saints of charity like Vincent de Paul; preachers and apologists like Bossuet and Fénelon; the lonely splendour of Pascal, the pathos and harmonies of Racine. Even Port Royal, which Roman orthodoxy cannot approve, adds to the glory of the days of Louis by its austere unworldliness, its erudition--witness the names of Tillemont and Sacy--its proud resistance to King and Council.
But Döllinger has laid bare the vice of that Gallican system which for sixty years and more set no bounds, short of manifest heresy, to royal despotism. If passive obedience carried to the extreme was a badge of Anglicans at this time, so was it of Bossuet and the contemporary divines across the Channel, who did not perceive that they were applauding the wicked principles of Westphalia condemned by the Pope. For if it was chiefly the sovereign's will on which these Gallicans relied to destroy Port Royal, and if by it they justified the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, how could their successors argue against the absolute State which exiled the clergy and suppressed the religious orders? From 1685 to 1789 the fatal logic that deduces anti-clericalism as a consequence of court-idolatry at Versailles moves on step by step. The persons of the drama exchange parts; the plot remains the same.
It was not, therefore, by accident that Louis, in the same years when he meditated the forced conversion or banishment of his Huguenot subjects (as truly French as any Bourbon), found himself at enmity with the Holy See. But the moment proved decisive of many things. Looking back we observe how Charles II., purchased by French money, had so irritated and alarmed Protestant England that an imaginary Popish Plot drove the nation mad. This was to be followed up by the double intrigues of Versailles, which Barillon conducted in London. They were designed to weaken English power, and only in the second place to forward the progress of Catholicism. James II. was in the eyes of Frenchmen a tributary viceroy of the "Grand Monarque," and England a subject province.
Now in St. Peter's chair from 1676 to 1689 sat Innocent XI., a saintly, reforming Pontiff. He dreaded the overweening pretensions of which Louis had given proofs no less in sacred than in secular departments. Like his predecessors he clung to the balance of power, alone adapted, since the Popes could no longer depose Kings, to secure the possessions of the Roman Church and his own independence. Louis XIV. had extended, with a haughty indifference to the Curia, his so-called "regal rights" over the property of vacant bishoprics. Innocent remonstrated to no purpose, as Clement X. had done before him. A succession of able writers, high prelates among them, Richer, De Marca, Launoy,
Dupin, had published abroad or were still expounding the doctrine of a royal supremacy not much less limited than was maintained by Hooker and Andrewes. The French bishops obeyed their King with trembling. Louis, who knew nothing of theology, convoked them to Paris in 1682. This Gallican assembly was intended to resume the attitude of Constance and to win for itself the authority of a General Council. Bossuet, the last of the Church doctors, profoundly Catholic, but misled by the philosophy of Hobbes, which on this point he took to be scriptural, paid an excessive deference to the King, whom he should have warned against meddling with matters too high for him. A schism appeared to be imminent, and the Bishop of Meaux preached his masterpiece of rhetoric on the "Unity of the Church," exalting Papal claims, but demanding as if a novelty that the Holy See should govern by Canon Law. The bishops subscribed to the "Four Articles," which rejected utterly the Pope's power in temporals outside his own states, and denied that he was infallible ex cathedra. Louis imposed this declaration on the whole French clergy, and even the Jesuits submitted under constraint. Galican theology and Regalist law had joined hands. But the strife was not ended. Louis would yet discover, in the apt words of Macaulay, that "having alienated one great section of Christendom by persecuting the Huguenots, he alienated another by insulting the Holy See."
Thanks to these opposed but not unseasonable blunders on the part of Louis, the Vatican at this critical turn in affairs escaped a grave calamity. Whoever persecuted the French Calvinists, it was not Innocent XI., for he raised his voice against "dragooning" them by "armed apostles," into a feigned acceptance of beliefs which they rejected in their hearts. He is likewise happily free from a share in the procedure, as disastrous as it was short-sighted, of James II. James, a devout profligate, had imbibed Gallican ideas, which the crafty Barillon did his utmost to encourage. And by this dream of royal omnipotence the King drove Tory Oxford and Protestant England to put in practice the Jesuit principle of resistance, upheld by Suarez against James's own grandfather. The situation had its ironies for observant spectators. Innocent counselled prudence and moderation. He declined to make the Jesuit Father Petre a Cardinal His representative at the court of St. James's, Count d'Adda, submitted with reluctance to public honours which would only vex and scandalize a Protestant nation. And the insolent policy of Louis compelled the Holy See, while supporting ecclesiastical immunities on the Rhine, to strengthen the hands of William of Orange. William broke his promise to the Vatican of toleration for Catholics when Innocent had passed away. But even so late as 1697 feeling in Rome continued to be anti-Jacobite. To such unexpected consequences did the "Four Articles" lead. Once more a French King ruined the fortunes of militant Catholicism, as a French Cardinal had ruined them in the Thirty Years' War.
It was characteristic of Louis XIV. that he trampled on the helpless. Three times he had ostentatiously insulted the Popes in their own capital. Nevertheless, over those Four Articles he was beaten into submission. Alexander VIII. condemned them formally in 1691. Innocent XII., an admirable pontiff, whom our English poet, Browning, has analysed after his peculiar fashion in "The Ring and the Book," dictated to the French bishops an act of contrition which their royal master permitted them to sign in 1697. Bossuet, doomed to weave and unweave the Penelope-web of a "Defence of 1682" never entirely to his mind, left it in manuscript, crying " Abeat quo libuerit," let the Declaration take care of itself. From the Roman point of view this sublime genius had betrayed his fellow-clergy into the "servitudes of the Gallican Church," as Fleury, once their advocate, bitterly called them. Noble and grave as a prophetic teacher when he surveys the truths of religion, but like a chained eagle in the court of Versailles, Bossuet illustrates its grandeur and its fall. He it is in effect that utters the funeral oration of Louis Quatorze; and he passes with his King.
His rival, his successor, was Fénelon, Archbishop and Duke of Cambray, whose " Télémaque " is a satire on absolute monarchy, and his submission to Rome the severest censure on the Articles of 1682. Fénelon is unmistakably the first French "ultramontane," as we understand the word. He is also the first French democrat, of the haughty Mirabeau type, strong on the popular side because he has a quarrel with Versailles. He stands on the threshold of a new century, and hails the dawn of light and freedom. There was coming indeed a false dawn before the true.
Those last days of Fénelon and Massillon witnessed the early unripe essays of Voltaire ( 1694-1778) in prose and rhyme; while the huge volumes of Saint-Simon's "Memoirs" were growing in secret, which contain in his enormous style the epitaph of old France;--of its King, its nobles, its Churchmen, its light ladies, its decadent yet still not white-livered chivalry. We turn back to consider the course of those hundred and twenty years past-the Armada that was blown to all the winds of heaven, the Thirty Years' War, the Puritan Revolt, the double failure of Louis and James which bears in England the title of a Revolution, and is dated 1688. What does it all portend? A recent philosophic estimate assures us that these were steps in a process which has taken from the "modern State" its ascendancy over conscience, and shown it to be incompetent where the Christian faith is concerned. How, without legal enactment, society was to be kept in possession of the greatest of all treasures, that process did not show. It made for freedom, but did it not also make for anarchy? Such was the problem which the advancing years of the eighteenth century were called upon to resolve.
FROM LOUIS XIV. TO THE REVOLUTION 1715-1789.
(ROUSSEAU, "THE SOCIAL CONTRACT"; BURKE, "ON RECONCILIATION WITH AMERICA")
A CENTURY of enlightenment or dissolution, the eighteenth has been also termed the "Age of Reason." When it began with its unnecessary war of the Spanish Succession, Europe south of Alps and Pyrenees had exhausted the mental vigour which produced the Renaissance, as well as the ardour of crusading whereby Castile and Aragon had in a short generation acquired the Empire now crumbling to pieces. The Turk was making his last attempt on Christendom. Russia suddenly filled the eastern sky as a Colossus armed for battle against the Crescent. In this one direction the Papacy, faithful to a tradition seven hundred years old, was deservedly a victor. St. Pius V., the soul of the expedition, had furnished to the hero, Don John of Austria, no small contingent of those galleys with which near the Gulf of Lepanto he shattered the Turkish fleet and swept it from Ionian waters, October 7, 1571. From that day the naval power of the Moslems declined. In 1606 Austria concluded an honourable peace with Ahmed I., which indicated that the mighty empire of Islam had lost its long-enduring vital force Yet Poland was compelled to pay tribute in 1672, and eleven years later Hungarian Protestants brought up a great Turkish army to the walls of Vienna. The Pope, Innocent XI., did his utmost to aid the Christian cause, and John Sobieski, "sent from God," raised the siege. A war of twenty years followed with varying success; but in 1697 Prince Eugene broke the infidel ranks at Zenta and completely routed them. It will be observed that France and England almost always behaved as friends of the Turk. The Peace of Carlowitz, January, 1699, checked the Sultan's aggressive power; he entered on compulsion the European system of politics; and in Holy Russia, with its pride of faith and lust of conquest, he found his waning strength overmatched.
Eight Popes, from Clement XI., elected in November, 1700, to Pius VI., dying in exile at Valence, August 29, 1799, fill the years of which every Catholic will say that he has no pleasure in them. Years when the spirit which had animated Christians to such lofty deeds was everywhere yielding before its assailants. After the Treaty of Westphalia, the bounds were fixed between Catholics and Reformers as they have since remained. Looking at the map of Europe, we are struck by observing that the limits which the Roman Church preserved very nearly coincide with those of the Western Empire, at the time that Theodosius divided East and West (395). North and east of Danube, Main, and Rhine the Catholic dominion is met by peoples whom that Empire never held or imperfectly subdued. But beyond its range Poland on one side, Ireland on the other, furnish examples of the Roman faith, enthusiastically maintained under pressure from the alien Governments of Moscow or London. Across the Atlantic, Rome may point to the whole South American continent, to the Central States, Mexico, and French Canada as her own. She has called a new world into being to repair the losses inflicted on Catholicism in the old. Her missionaries have penetrated into India, converted multitudes in Japan, found a welcome at the Court of Peking. These were, in largest measure, trophies of the heroism which has at all times marked Jesuit enterprise among the heathen. St. Francis Xavier, a Christian Alexander, meditated the conquest of Farther Asia, and left to his successors a promising empire, which Japanese persecution, Dutch intrigue, and the opposition of other Catholics hindered from its due expansion. But the pride of the Great Company was Paraguay, civilized and defended as an Indian Paradise by these "blackrobes," who renewed on their own principles a polity resembling in more than one feature the social institutions which Pizarro found existing under the Incas of Peru.
And now, when Louis XIV. had acquired for his house the throne of Spain, supplanting the Habsburgs, and securing to the Bourbons a masterdom over the Latin nations, there was approaching a universal change which constituted, as Macaulay reckons it, "the fourth great peril of the Church of Rome." On lines not similar but converging the attack was directed, by Jansenist lawyers, philosophic thinkers, and the party of letters and fashion called Libertines.
First came so determined a recoil from the austerity which Louis affected after his marriage with Madame de Maintenon, that Lecky describes it as a "moral chaos." Such was the period of the Regency, illustrated for later ages in Saint-Simon's "Memoirs"--a picture to frighten and appal. It was an era closely imitating that of Charles II., but adding the touch of sacrilege in a prelate like Cardinal Dubois, who disgraced the See of Cambray which Fénelon had lately adorned. We may fix the date by Montesquieu's "Persian Letters," brilliant and corrupt, appearing in 1722. This daring mockery of Christian beliefs occupies the same place, as regards the "Enlightenment," which Luther's "Babylonish Captivity" holds in the story of the Reformation. It is a prophecy and a form of strategy, well named "persiflage." Luther's weapon was vehement satire, descending to coarseness. The weapon of the "philosophes" was irony which spared no dogma, however sacred. All along, from the earliest period when literature began to revive, this temper had shown what it could achieve in French writings. But Rabelais was often grotesque, Montaigne was archaic. The scepticism of Charron had been coloured to resemble Christian humility. And though Descartes is justly esteemed the Father of Rationalism, he professed the Catholic creed. But his creed was forgotten, while his method formed Spinoza, Locke, and the whole eighteenth century.
Since Pascal and Molière, the French language, conscious of its power to charm, to explain, to persuade, while it amused, was fast becoming the speech of cultivated men and women all over Europe. Not, however, the French of Bossuet, but the French of Saint Evremond, soon to be sharpened into an edge of lightning by Voltaire. Unbelief had fashioned a tongue marvellously adapted to the task it set itself of destructive analysis. English Deism in Locke and his followers gave the ideas which, by passing into lucid French epigrams, became the sovereign commonplaces on which laws were to be reformed, schools turned to seminaries of propaganda, the clergy put to shame, the Church annihilated. By opposing Protestant objections to Catholic dogma, and to both a Christianity without mysteries, the first steps were taken. Religion had been an engine of state; reduced to a superstition or a sentiment, how could it survive when scientific investigation disclosed its origin, and history narrated its abuses? The "Encyclopædia," or sum of knowledge, treated Catholic and Protestant alike with transcendent disdain. They belonged to the past, they destroyed one another. The record of persecution condemned them both.
Such were Voltaire's tactics, made perfect in a long career of reflection and subterfuge. His hundred volumes contain the gospel of "Enlightenment"; but, though a prince among unbelievers, he had companions not less ardent or less resolute, in all ranks of society. Governments adopted large portions of the new faith, many years before it touched the people. On the side of orthodoxy no David came out to answer the challenge. It is remarkable that we cannot quote one single classic in French, Spanish, or Italian, belonging to this period and professing to defend Christianity, after the death of Fénelon till the Revolution. In England, writers of eminence, from Butler to Paley, answered the Deists and silenced them; but under Louis XV. the thrice-miserable disputes concerning the Bull "Unigenitus" of Clement XI., which convulsed Court and Parlement, and which ended in the downfall of the Society of Jesus, appear to have absorbed whatever intellectual zeal was left in the clergy. It was a time of decadence among believers, and of assaults upon them continually growing in boldness, during which "acts of power," feebly attempted from above, were met with defiance, or parried by connivance of the authorities themselves.
"Louis XV.," wrote in his secret Memoirs the Marquis d'Argenson, "has not known how to govern as a tyrant or as the chief of a republic." These words express the vacillating policy of a court which felt already the ground trembling beneath it. By the Constitution " Unigenitus," which Louis XIV. obtained from the unwilling Pope, Clement XI., in 1718, it was intended that the King should be enabled to scatter the remnants of Jansenism. But Jansenism, ceasing to be a definite heresy, had grown into a temper of mind, rebellious towards Rome, Gallican and disloyal, or at least in sympathy republican. It took refuge from its enemies at Versailles in the Parlement of Paris, where D'Argenson found the "leaders of this revolution" which he saw coming, and which was to open with "the slaughter of priests in the streets of Paris." In 1780 the Papal Bull was made a law of the land. But the Parlement (which we must not confound with our English institution of the like name) resisted, and got itself exiled to Pontoise, to Soissons. Church and State lay under the heel of a Madame de Pompadour, whose influence was courted by virtuous prelates, such as Cristophe de Beaumont, Archbishop of Paris, and by austere jurists, while she wavered to and fro, now telling the Archbishop that the Jesuits ought to be suppressed as a "scourge to Kings," and again, when the mood of repentance took her, choosing a Jesuit confessor. To record ignominies of this kind is humiliation enough
The Parlement won its great victory over the Jesuits after 1757, when Damien made his insane attempt on King Louis. Rumour falsely charged both religious parties with Damien's guilt. The public conscience felt a shock; but it was the Society of Jesus that paid the penalty. Toulouse and Paris joined against them, and their standard book of moral theology, "Busenbaum," was burnt by the public executioner, on the ground that it made the Pope superior to princes and appeared to countenance assassination. In brief, the Jesuits were now to suffer destruction as Utramontanes, democrats, and regicides. Like the Christians as described in Tacitus, they were called "enemies of the human race." This was the Jesuit legend, in which serious men have professed to believe, and which has gone the round of the world.
From Portugal, decrepit since its heroic adventures in the East, the first blow came.
We should fix clearly in our minds that the Society of Jesus formed the Old Guard of a religion which these Latin States had protected by fire and sword against Mohammed, against Luther, and that their Governments knew this well. Moreover, it was impossible to dissolve the Society without using violence, moral and even physical, towards the Pope whose chosen instrument it had ever been. The English parallel of Charles I. and Strafford corresponds exactly to the situation. But Strafford had some kind of trial, though his judgment was decided by attainder, not upon evidence. The Jesuits underwent banishment, confiscation, dishonour, and dissolution without trial, or definite charges, or opportunity of self-defence. The argument of lawyer St. John, pleading for Strafford's doom, would have mightily persuaded Pombal and Aranda, "It was never accounted either cruelty or foul play to knock foxes and wolves on the head as they can be found, because they be beasts of prey." As Clarendon remarks of the earlier injustice," the law and the humanity were alike."
The Bourbons destroyed the Jesuits, and were themselves destroyed in turn by the forces which they had let loose. Their chief ministers, and Pombal who set the example at Lisbon, belonged to a new class, fiercely anti-clerical, inspired by "philosophy," by the regalist conception of absolute power. Such were Choiseul in France, Aranda at Madrid, Tanucci at Naples. Liberty of the subject was to all of them an unknown idea, voluntary association an act of treason. But they justified their lawless proceedings under the specious popular terms of humanity, freedom, and light. As Damien's attempt on the King proved the beginning of sorrows to French Jesuits, so did a like assault on Joseph of Portugal, September, 1758, enable his minister, Pombal, to complete the work already in hand, by which he intended to get rid of the Society in that kingdom. They were accused of regicide; flung on board a number of transports, and shipped off to the Papal States. All the possessions of the Jesuits were seized; Malagrida, though charged with complicity in the attack on King Joseph, was put to death not as a traitor, but as a heretic. The real offence, which Pombal could not overlook, was that in America the Jesuits had opposed a scheme by which their Indian converts were to be forcibly taken from the "Reductions" and transferred to the Portuguese crown. Paraguay fell into its primitive wildness; the Society perished in the cause of civilization.
Now came their last days in France. One of their Fathers, Lavalette, had engaged at Martinique in business on a large scale, contrary to the spirit of the Society, if not to its rules. He owed three millions of francs to houses at Marseilles. The ships which were taking his merchandise across the Atlantic fell into British hands; and in 1761 Lavalette was declared a bankrupt by the Grande Chambre of Paris. The General of the Jesuits, Ricci, declined to be responsible. The Parlement examined and condemned the Rule of the Order; burnt many more of their books; and compelled Louis XV. to ask at Rome for a French Vicar who should govern in his kingdom without consulting the General. He was answered by Ricci or Clement XIII., "Let them be as they are, or not be at all." The second alternative was adopted. On August 6, 1762, the Parlement flung one hundred and sixty-three Jesuit writings into the flames and announced that the Society was dissolved in French territory Diderot exulted; Voltaire pointed to the ruins of Port Royal, and observed pleasantly that Père Letellier, confessor of Louis XIV., had sown where Lavalette reaped. Shut out from their own schools, reduced to beggary, driven into exile, the formal decree which made an end of them was published by Louis XV. in November, 1764. Not a single French Jesuit underwent trial; their suppression, with its attendant robbery and suffering, was an act of legal or illegal violence.
Clement XIII. undertook to defend the Society in the Constitution "Apostolicum," January, 1765. It led by reaction to the secret ordinance of Charles III., King of Spain--composed by his Prime Minister, Aranda--which on April 2, 1767, dissolved the greatest of all Spanish religious companies, and drove them out of the land as if they had been Moors or Jews. Five thousand, despatched to Civita Vecchia, found a refuge in Corsica, not until they had endured frightful miseries. The "philosophers" were not sure that to destroy the Jesuits would be entirely to their own advantage. D'Alembert wrote on behalf of the Society; Voltaire preferred the Jesuit fox to the Jansenist wolf. The Parlement of Paris had burnt many antiChristian pamphlets; and, in fact, the Civil Constitution of the Clergy, to be promulgated during the Revolution, was due to Gallican authors, not to the "Enlightenment." Voltaire detested every shade of Calvinism; he had begun to write an answer to Pascal's "Provincial Letters"; and, as owing much to his old Jesuit teachers, he felt an attachment to the Society which was remarkable in so determined an enemy of their faith.
Rousseau, the lay Calvin, now published his "Emile," which set forth a secular programme of education, and the "Social Contract," destined to be the cornerstone of all future democracy, as understood and practised by Jacobins. No defence of the Jesuit doctrines or principles appeared. They took their fate in silence. Even at Rome they waited with apprehension for the stroke which might be dealt by the hand of St. Peter's successor. Clement XIII. died on the eve of a consistory, where the question of their abolition was about to be considered, in 1769. On May 19, Ganganelli, a Franciscan friar, began to reign in his stead.
This is the unhappy and much criticized Clement XIV., whose brief days were consumed in a struggle for and against the Society. But no human power could avert their doom. A strange sight was now witnessed. The Bourbon powers urged their instant dissolution as an alternative to worse things. France held Avignon and proposed to incorporate it with the monarchy, unless Clement gave in without delay. He was able to rejoin that Protestant Governments (he meant Frederick II. of Prussia) and the Empress Catherine, were opposed to any change in the religious status of their Catholic subjects. But on July 22, 1769, Cardinal Bernis, himself no pattern of priestly decorum, representing Louis XV., made a formal demand in the name of France, Spain, and Naples, that Rome should abolish the Order. Bernis offered as a lure the restoration of Avignon and Beneventum, which latter had been occupied by Naples. The Holy See had indeed fallen from its high estate when effete Bourbon princes could deal with it so despitefully. Clement XIV. might have compared his position to that of Clement V., except in so far as he had made no bargain with the French King. And the Jesuits were, at least, as innocent as the great body of the Templars; but not even the shadow of a particular examination was vouchsafed to them. For an hour, in 1771, on the disgrace of Choiseul, men thought they were saved. D'Aiguillon, grand-nephew of Richelieu, succeeded--by grace of Madame du Barri, as the wits of Paris cried out--and D'Aiguillon was no Jansenist. These hopes were vain. The Brief of dissolution, submitted to Versailles but sent back unread to the Spanish Court, where it had been approved, was delivered on the evening of August 16, 1773, to the General of the Jesuits in his own house at Rome. Ricci was taken to the English College, and thence to St. Angelo, where he died next year.
The Society, as a religious corporation, had ceased to exist.
It may be worth while to remark that the Brief "Dominus ac Redemptor," of July 21, 1773, by which this momentous transaction was formally concluded, is not in any sense, on Catholic principles, dogmatic or infallible. It gave effect to a measure of high policy, done by Clement XIV. as ruler of the Church and on motives of interest, not of doctrine. That such a measure lay within the Papal competence, on which religious orders depend for approval, has never been questioned. It did not, however, imply that the Holy See withdrew from the teaching of former Jesuits any favour bestowed; and their remarkable attempt to substitute for the severe systems of Aquinas or Augustine the milder view which Molina and his school defended, was permitted still. The shafts of Pascal had pierced a too-indulgent morality, not peculiar to those individua Jesuits who maintained it, nor of their invention. Pope Innocent XI. had condemned propositions that relaxed the fibres of Christian ethics. But the Jesuit system, as a whole, was renewed by St Alfonso dei Liguori during the years which we are now describing, and the fact signifies much. As a school of theology and morals, the Company of Jesus underwent no censure from Rome. It was not condemned but dissolved.
The circumstances which attended its dissolution prove that Clement XIV. acted under extreme pressure from the Church's enemies. The terms of his preamble, which recites how complaints and controversies had waited on the steps of the Society from its first days, are deliberately chosen, so as to avoid a judgment on the merits. The Order was to be sacrificed that peace in the Church might be restored. Cardinal Bernis considered the Brief "as lenient as possible towards the Jesuits." They were gently dealt with; yet not unfairly they claimed some of the honours of martyrdom. In Prussia and Russia, where the Papal decree was never legally published, they found protection and continued to exist, not without such approval as the Holy See could venture to give. This has been made a reproach to the Fathers; but if they took advantage of technical points and tacit understandings, who shall be hard on them? Nothing was more evident than that the Holy See would reinstate them as an order on the first opportunity given. The Silesian Jesuits elected a Vicar-general; those in White Russia did the same in 1782. Though smitten, as it would seem, unto death, a future was in store for the Society; but another world-wide movement must avenge them on the Bourbons ere it dawned.
OLD MONARCHIES AND THE AMERICAN STATES (1763-1789)
THESE kings, of whom the least incapable was Charles III., did all they knew to hasten its coming. In the German Empire, that confused welter of principalities, lay and ecclesiastical; in Austria, when the noble woman Maria Theresa passed away, the like suicidal policy was adopted. The electors along the Rhine, prelates of great houses who committed their spiritual duties to inferior bishops and went hunting or did worse, thought to be independent of the Holy See, as already they had shaken off the Imperial yoke. A semi-Jansenist, semiGallican coadjutor of Treves, Von Hontheim, composed the manifesto which none of them could write, and gave it to the world in 1763 under the name of Febronius. It is a plea for national Churches in the spirit of Henry VIII. Going far beyond the language and ideas of Bossuet or Fleury, it would have set up the mere episcopal system after pulling down the Pope, making him a titular first among equals, with no jurisdiction outside Rome. Febronius underwent condemnation by the Holy See; he denied his book, and formally submitted. But the electors did not cease from troubling by their "Articles" of Cologne and "Points of Ems," until the Revolution came and took them all away.
In Austria, Joseph II., whom "Old Fritz" called "my brother the sacristan" ( 17801792), reproduced the mighty Tudor legislation in a very poor copy, suppressing monasteries, regulating public worship, while he was scorned by Freethinkers as by earnest Catholics, and displayed the peculiar incompetence of a royal person who meddles with religion. Protestants and Jews were relieved from their disabilities, for toleration had been proclaimed the order of the day. But all monasticism was put down, for Enlightenment demanded that superstition should no longer be encouraged; neither did it object to the confiscation by the State of property held on a religious tenure. Pope Pius VI., the "Apostolic pilgrim," travelled to Vienna in 1782, hoping that he might persuade Joseph II. to alter his policy. The journey gave striking evidence that a Roman Pontiff could still reckon upon the devotion of multitudes in Catholic lands. It was a first intimation that the Church would one day throw herself upon the people. But no other good came of that pilgrimage; and it furnished a precedent when Napoleon summoned Pius VII. to crown him at Notre Dame as the new Charlemagne.
We have uttered the spell-breaking and spell-binding name which tells us that Revolution stands at the doors. It had crossed the Atlantic with Franklin and Lafayette.
America, says a thoughtful writer, applying Bacon's phrase about his own system to facts in history, was "the greatest birth of time." Emphatically the "New World," it not only doubled man's earthly dominion but gave to his experiments a scope without limit Utopia might be found or created across the ocean. To plant a second Europe, the mere imitation of the first, on Atlantic shores, was not possible; for how set up Emperor, Pope, or a permanent feudal system where no such institutions had grown, while the original claimed supremacy and would not suffer competition? In the secrets of the future lay two ideas which America was destined to realize, and which their advocates would term Democracy and Disestablishment. The people were to be the State, and the State was not to be lord of the Church. In Europe, hitherto, a republic had been no more than a monarchy discrowned; man, as man, was not a citizen, but only man as in some way qualified; such is the exact meaning of the term "franchise," a right which I have and you have not. The liberties of a city were its boundaries, shutting out king, noble, prelate. Individual freedom could not exist save by a charter. Humanity, in itself, gave no claim at law. It is true that Roman jurisconsults employed a language that has left its traces on the political dissertations of the eighteenth century. But until America "shouted to Liberty," as Grattan finely said, all freedom was privilege. When her voice was heard privilege made ready for battle. This is the story of mankind since, in Boston Harbour, certain chests of tea were flung overboard by the natives of Massachusetts disguised as Red Indians. America has led, Europe has followed. Bishop Berkeley sang this great consummation,
Westward the course of empire takes its way.
The first four acts already past,
A fifth shall close the drama with the day.
Time's noblest offspring is the last.
While Christendom was one, and religious unity existed, the ideal embodied in the Holy Roman Empire could inspire poets, govern laws, and protect faith. In the century of enlightenment, as Voltaire said, the phantom which bore this title was "neither holy, nor Roman, nor empire"; religious unity had given place to sects ever more numerous; unbelievers were to be found in every country of Europe. How then was. it possible to carry on a government which supposed that all its subjects held one creed? Establishment and a Test Act had been the rule in England. The wars of religion laid waste Germany. To banish Huguenots and put Jansenists outside the law had failed to bring religious peace among Frenchmen. Now the Society of Jesus was persecuted in its turn; and where would the lex talionis end its ravages?
One thing was clear,--the old foundations of the State were hopelessly shattered
Monarchy, as D'Argenson perceived before 1750, was undermined by the Republican sentiment which demanded equal laws and liberty of conscience for all. These conclusions, not due to speculative philosophers, came as a natural consequence after Versailles had shown how impotent was a "Great King" to secure the prosperity of his kingdom. The banished Huguenots had beaten Louis XIV.; Port Royal in ruins was a Jansenist victory. Elsewhere, Penal Statutes were falling into discredit; and the Catholic Church, in Ireland or in Austria, sighed for freedom. In a divided Christendom the system of the Middle Ages could no longer be maintained. It was fast becoming a memory or an ideal.
Lord Baltimore had recognized these facts, at the very time when Puritans were building states in New England on the principle of exclusion. The Statutes of Maryland mark the beginnings of equality before the law, as it was afterwards proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence (1776). The first amendment of 1791 to that Declaration says, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press." Religious liberty was thus made a fundamental law of the United States. It had been already admitted in Pennsylvania. Now it became a cornerstone of Democracy, to he practised on the largest dimensions of any political organism extant among men. The Amendment directly contradicted the Jus reformandi granted to rulers by the Peace of Westphalia. It withdrew from cognisance of the State religious questions, leaving them to be decided by a higher tribunal.
Such was the American solution, which we may associate with Washington's name. The French, to be considered hereafter, was derived in its earlier stage from the Jansenists, who dictated the Civil Constitution of the clergy in 1790; and its final shape as the Concordat is due to Napoleon. It contradicts the American idea no less evidently than the American overthrows the system of Westphalia. In the French declaration of the Rights of Man and the citizen "liberty of worship" is described as so natural that only the presence of tyranny requires it to be explicitly mentioned. The Constituent assembly and Napoleon thought otherwise. To the Catholic religion, in particular, so the Constitution and the First Consul declared, protection was due; but from the clergy both exacted a servitude as complete as it had ever been under Louis XIV.
Let us take these clues to guide us through the French Revolution, which was wrecked as a movement towards freedom when it touched the Rock of St. Peter. That is no figure of speech, it is truth of history. Or, looking upon the peace and progress whereby the American Union has become, in Lord Acton's words, "a community more powerful, more prosperous, more intelligent, and more free than any other which the world has seen," we may ask the reason why. So far as language can make them identical, the French Rights of Man do not differ from those upheld by the Declaration of Independence. Why then, had France religious troubles culminating under the Republic in the Vendean tragedy, while Napoleon after signing the Concordat deposed and imprisoned the Pope with whom he had made it? The answer to this question, if it can be found, will give us a master key to present and future problems on both sides of the Atlantic.
FROM THE REVOLUTION TO WATERLOO 1789-1815.
(CHATEAUBRIAND, "GENIUS OF CHRISTIANITY." CONSALVI AND PACCA, "MEMOIRS")
THE American Revolution nearly coincides with the death of Louis XV. Counting from 1624, when Richelieu took the reins, one hundred and fifty years had gone by, during which the French King was the State and the Church personified; but the people, the Tiers Etât, were nothing. The clergy, indeed, constituted a self-taxing body, and as an estate of the realm met regularly for the despatch of business. High Court prelates, in France as elsewhere, often led unchristian lives. A few bishops and abbots enjoyed excessive revenues; the clergy were ill-paid, shamefully neglected, and handled with a deal of scorn, even by that Cristophe de Beaumont already named, who was an edifying Archbishop of Paris, and very unlike Cardinal de Retz, his predecessor of the Fronde in 1660. Living away from Marly and other king's houses, the French priest was, by the testimony of all that knew him, devout, unworldly, his people's friend, and at heart democratic, but not disloyal. In 1789 he was called upon to send his representatives to the States-General at Versailles. He did so, and these "democrats in cassocks," to the number of one hundred and forty-nine, went over en masse to the Third Estate ( June 19, 1789), to be followed by the rest of the clerical deputies, thus creating a National Assembly that was to "conquer its king." To this extent the clergy made the Revolution with a willing heart.
They did more. On August 4, 1789, in one single session at night, the whole régime of feudalism was overturned. It is not easy to improve on the sentence in which this portentous change has been summed up, "Liberty, until now known as privilege, was henceforward to be identified with equality." The clergy were willing to commute their tithe; they surrendered to the nation rights held sacred and inviolable for over a thousand years. The Fourth of August is certainly a touching moment in human story. It lays bare the generous heart of France; it justifies the enthusiasm which burst into lyric expression on the lips of Charles Fox and in the poetry of Wordsworth; but it was a moment too beautiful to last. And as regards the clergy, their action grandly illustrates the saying of the Italian priest who was likewise an Italian patriot, Rosmini, at another critical epoch, "Liberty and equality are the essence of the priesthood." When, on August 8, 1789, the Marquis de Lacoste moved to pay a new loan out of Church funds and to abolish tithe, not one ecclesiastic opposed him. Sieybs, keenest and strangest of French clerics who have been statesmen, protested that the landlord would gain what the clergy lost, and this very thing came to pass. On August 11 the Church gave up its claim. Disendowment was begun; but disestablishment, which would have brought freedom to religion, was an idea too liberal for any French Government effectively to grant it.
On August 26 the Declaration of the Rights of Man was voted; it makes no mention of an established Church. The "voluntary system" would have implied one of two things--either to give the Free Church compensation for its property, now taken over by the State; or to let it go penniless and find support in the generosity of its adherents. A third course was decreed in the Civil Constitution of the Clergy. They became salaried officials governed by a Minister of Worship; and a department of State like any other Priests were to be appointed, by election, that is to say, by the votes of citizens, no matter what their belief; and the Holy See was no longer to institute bishops. In one word, the Rights of Man had brought forth a National Church unable to move hand or foot without permission of a State official who need not be a Christian. This pattern has been imitated in all Constitutions moulded on the principles of 1789. It is the Latin democratic model. It led up to the flight and execution of Louis XVI., the Reign of Terror, the War in La Vendée. It created the deep gulf which on the Continent separates Rome from the modern State. As in substance adopted by the Bourbons after their Restoration in 1814, it weakened and divided their followers until they were thrust out for good and all during the Three Days of July, 1880.
But to leave these consequences for the present, we remark that Talleyrand, still Bishop of Autun, and Mirabeau ( October 10, November 10, 1789) carried through the Assembly a law which placed the whole property of the French Church at Government disposal; and notes assigned on it, "assignats," were issued soon afterwards. In February, 1790, monastic vows were deprived of legal effect, religious orders suppressed, and all future institutions of the kind forbidden. "Liberty of worship" was guaranteed by the Rights of Man. These measures furnished a commentary on them, speaking more loudly than that most eloquent text, and pointing its significance to Catholics outside France. But the Assembly went farther. It imposed an oath, amounting to a dogmatic affirmation, on bishops and clergy, which "broke the alliance between the curés and the commons," and compelled the Holy See to intervene. Jansenist influences, guided by Le Camus and Treilhard, decided its form. The month of May, 1790, marks the dividing and fatal line, at which the Revolution broke off from the Roman Church. By "a series of hostile enactments, carefully studied and long pursued," the Assembly turned into implacable enemies a clergy that desired nothing more ardently than freedom. America, choosing to stand by its Declaration, had secured to itself the world's leadership. France, wedded to Louis XIV., in spite of its bill of divorce, entered on the path of anti-clerical persecution which it is treading still, one hundred and twenty years after religious liberty was proclaimed to be the inalienable right of all men.
Rome, as its custom is, moved slowly, out of consideration for Louis XVI., and because any concessions to the new order of things would instantly provoke similar demands on the part of Continental rulers elsewhere. The new bishoprics, revenues, and local powers of election, if safeguarded, might not be altogether declined; but the Holy See would never give up the right of institution. While the Cardinals were deliberating, Louis, under the eyes of an infuriated populace, set his seal to the Constitution. Thus were created, says Lord Acton, "the motive and the machinery of civil war." It broke out immediately. The country rang with dissensions between "Nonjurors" and "Constitutionals." The Abbé Grégoire took the oath ( December 27, 1790), and many thousands of clergy, perhaps nearly one-third, followed his example. But Pius VI. in March, 1791, condemned the Church legislation, and it was rejected without delay by all except a handful of bishops, by the clergy at large, and by most Catholics.
Here, too, was a fresh beginning. The Pope came into direct contact with a Church that his predecessors had been accustomed to guide by means of the State. The Civil Constitution, by which it was intended to set up a Gallican democracy, called out the reaction whose mouthpiece, in the next period, would be Count Joseph de Maistre. When the French Church rose again, it would have ceased to be Gallican, and the Articles of 1682 would no longer awaken fervour in clerical assemblies. Rather than swear an oath which Rome considered equal to apostasy, the King fled. He was brought back in triumph; and the Legislative proceeded to deprive "refractory" priests of their stipends and to decree their banishment. These measures of November, 1791, and May, 1792, Louis refused to sign. He became "Monsieur Veto." The Tuileries were stormed on August 10, 1792, and the monarchy of Clovis, Charlemagne, and St. Louis, the oldest in Europe, fell before the Paris commune, led to the assault by Jacobins.
After this fashion, thanks to a union of forces partly Gallican, partly anti-Christian, France at one blow lost King and Constitution. Nonjuring priests were ordered to leave the country without delay. For such as refused obedience, transportation to Guiana was the penalty. A price was set on their heads. Their crime the new rulers called "incivisme." The word was happily chosen; the idea came from Rousseau and the Social Contract. Priests who would not swear to the religion of State were to be deprived of its protection, put outside the law, and treated as wild beasts to be shot wherever seen. In September, 1798, atheism was decreed. The Christian year had been abolished twelve months earlier. Churches were closed all over France or became "Temples of Reason." Grégoire, sitting alone in the Convention as a legal bishop, defended freedom even for Catholics. But the guillotine, the drownings in the Loire, the destruction of La Vendée, gave him his answer. Persecution renewed the scenes of primitive martyrdom, the catacombs, the prisons sanctified by Christian heroism. Monks and nuns were slaughtered; the French wife and mother now became enthusiastically Catholic, while the husband was indifferent or a poltroon. The two Frances, never since reconciled, were definitely forming.
The Terror passed; but even in October, 1797, death was ordered by law to be inflicted on emigrant priests who should return, and until the elections of 1797 "every priest was in fact, as well as in theory, in deadly peril." There was a remnant of the Constitutional Church, discredited and enslaved. What the French Catholics wanted was the old religion; many were no longer royalists; and if the American statesmen had been consulted they would have given the word "freedom" as their advice to governors and governed. On September 1, 1797, a law was enacted, but almost immediately repealed, which looked in this direction. Between that date and November, 1799, letires de cache t, involving transportation or death, were issued against 9951 priests in France and Belgium, accused of "fanaticism." Bonaparte might well ask, as he did at Toulon on his way to Egypt, "Have the soldiers of liberty become executioners?"
But the speaker himself had made possible the crime which in these words he reprobated; for it was Bonaparte who, on the 18 of Fructidor ( September 4, 1797), gave supreme power into the hands of the Jacobin Directory. His campaigns in Italy were for conquest and plunder, varnished with phrases taken from the revolutionary jargon. But he was pursuing a definite personal aim; and he thought the Italians unworthy, the French incapable, of freedom. He had no scruples; religion did not trouble him. In June, 1796, he had invaded Bologna, a Papal city, where the Senate swore an oath of allegiance to the Republic, and trees of Liberty were planted. Pius VI. was compelled to buy a truce from Bonaparte (June 28, 1796) on heavy condiditions which he was unable to fulfil. Then the young general seized Ancona; but he paused on the way to Rome at Tolentino, and there made peace. The Pope surrendered his claim to Avignon, Bologna, Ferrara, Romagna; he gave up manuscripts and treasures of art; he was fined many millions. His sacrifices availed nothing. Disorders in Rome led to a French intervention under Berthier in February, 1798. The Roman Republic was proclaimed by "Jews, apostate monks, and rebels," said Bonaparte afterwards. On February 20, Pius VI., escorted by Republican soldiers, was made to quit the Vatican for a long and painful pilgrimage to parts unknown. It ended eighteen months later at Valence, in Dauphine, where he died, and where his body remained another four months without burial. "It is not strange," says Macaulay, summing up these events, "that in the year 1799 even sagacious observers should have thought that, at length, the hour of the Church of Rome had come."
THE FORTUNES OF PIUS VII. (1800-1815)
CERTAINLY it was, in Biblical language, the "consummation of the age." But this had been preparing since America declared its independence in 1776; and the Catholic Restoration was heralded by singular tokens. When France, Spain, and the United States combined in 1778 against England, the Penal Laws were straightway relaxed. Irish and English Catholics, as it was said, saw the day dawn across the Atlantic. Their colleges abroad were dissolved by the French Revolution; and Pitt associated himself with Burke in founding a seminary for priests at Maynooth. Burke, religious and conservative by temper, proclaimed with matchless eloquence the principles of a society in which were to be united liberty and authority under the true Law of Nature. The prophet of what has been called since that time Ultramontanism, a Savoyard by birth, a Frenchman by mastery of the language, Count de Maistre, was already committing to print views and opinions which would transform the Gallican clergy to apostles of the Vatican. A marvellous prose-poet, traveller in American wilds, mystic and politician at once, Chateaubriand, was meditating on the "genius of Christianity." And O'Connell and Lamennais were born, and with them Cavour's formula, "A Free Church in a Free State."
The Directory might imprison or deport the clergy; but thousands of parishes in France now had their Mass and their priests as of old, with a devotion intensified by all that, during ten years of glorious sufferings, had endeared the pastor to his flock. Freedom, so long the enemy of religion, had become its friend. A vicious prelacy could not exist in days of persecution. The Church lands were gone; monasteries, in ruins or converted to secular uses, were memories of a past remote by comparison with Republican atrocities of yesterday. Nothing was more evident than that the French Church would revive; that the people desired it; and that if it could preach and teach freely, it would exercise a power such as it had never possessed under the Crown. Would any Government, however framed and named, allow it such liberty while the inveterate tradition of Regalism held sway at Paris? The First Consul replied by inventing the Concordat of 1802.
Napoleon's reign in France lasted under the titles of Consul and Emperor about fifteen years. It restored the monarchy of Louis XIV. as designed by Richelieu, without nobles or intermediate self-sustaining bodies of any kind. Richelieu, Bonaparte, the Revolution, "one and indivisible," agree that all agencies in Church and State shall take their orders from a minister, and the minister from the Chief of the executive power. The Girondists attempted a Federal system and were guillotined in consequence. Robespierre, perhaps we should say Carnot, interpreted the principles correctly which have always inspired French statesmen; and no doubt it was Bonaparte's unrivalled feeling for reality that, by giving these principles an application in detail at once striking and successful, convinced the nation of his right to govern them. The French desire to be much "administered"; they adore a strong man; and their idea of strength is to interfere decisively in another man's business. Philosophers recognize the military type as at all times dominating French history; and Napoleon, who was constructing a barrack for his twenty-five millions of subjects, did not refuse them a chapel within the enclosure. Its chaplain was to be the Pope, receiving a salary, bound by the Articles of 1682, resident in Paris or Avignon. Such is the whole purpose of the Concordat, which its creator would never look upon as a treaty between equal contracting parties; it merely regulated that department of the State known as the Catholic Church. "I regard religion," he said in 1806, "not as the mystery of the Incarnation, but as the secret of social order." He had acted on this view in Egypt; he was now meaning to apply it in France.
And so he turned to Pius VII., lately elected at Venice, but in his sympathies not Austrian, who had entered Rome, July 8, 1800. In June, the battle of Marengo had given Italy once more to the French. Bonaparte sent a sketch of the future agreement, as he conceived of it, to the Pope on June 25, and a remarkable outline it is. The Constitutional Church was to disappear; the number of bishoprics must be reduced, and many emigrant bishops deprived; the clergy would have adequate but not luxurious stipends; the Pope might freely exercise spiritual jurisdiction over the Gallican Church, and he alone should give its prelates canonical institution, but the State was to nominate them. Finally, the First Consul would reinstate the Pope in all his dominions.
It was a tempting offer, and almost a miracle in the light of previous events. The Revolution had done its utmost to destroy Catholicism; it was now prepared to recognize and establish the ancient Church not on a Gallican but on a Papal foundation.
What was the alternative? Madame de Staël (a woman of rare genius and insight, but Napoleon's enemy) tells us that sincere Catholics would have been well content with an American system, which she calls "toleration." The American Constitution does not "tolerate" religion; it respects conscience and leaves religious associations to manage their own affairs. But she would probably have in view such a law as that of September 29, 1795, by which the French Government decreed separation of Church and State with consequent freedom of worship. This plan had never been carried through. In all European countries except Holland free religious association was a thing unknown and not understood. The Cardinals of the Roman Curia had been accustomed for centuries to see religion either protected or persecuted by the State; and these appeared still to be the alternatives under an absolute ruler like Bonaparte. No doubt they were. Could the Holy Father, then, ask the muchtried French Catholics, who were now beginning to breathe freely, that they should forego manifest advantages, submit to fresh tribulations, and withstand the conqueror at the moment when he was holding out to them an olive branch? Pius VII. was neither a Hildebrand nor an Innocent III. He was a gentle and most engaging Benedictine monk, of Hildebrand's monastery at St. Paul's outside Rome, but cast in another mould. On the ordinary laws of prudence, in the interest of the Church, he could not but accept the first Consul's invitation. Accordingly, he sent his Secretary of State, Cardinal Consalvi, to Paris.
Consalvi, by far the ablest man associated with Vatican memories in the last century, until Leo XIII. rose to be "Lumen in clo," was by birth Roman, by descent Pisan. He had suffered with Pius VI., and on the Pope's exile was committed for several months to the Castle of Sant' Angelo. Secretary of the Conclave in Venice, he was now launched on the career of danger and vicissitude to which all were exposed who had dealings with Bonaparte. But the Pisan proved a match for the Corsican, except that he could not fall back on thirty legions. Arriving in Paris, June 20, 1801, he was graciously received at the Tuileries by Napoleon amid his court as in a theatre. Negotiations went on with Bernier, Joseph Bonaparte, and the First Consul himself, whose method, made as it was of promises, threatenings, and deceit, no statesman of the Renaissance could have bettered.
The dramatic story of one project torn up by Napoleon and flung in the fire, of a false copy substituted for the true, and discovered only at the last moment, must be read in Consalvi's memoirs. On July 15, 1801, the document was at length signed which bound the Church by links of steel and gold to every French Government down to the year 1905. On Easter Day, 1802, this mariage de convenance, as it was wittily called, found solemn expression at the High Mass in Notre Dame, attended by the Consuls with military pomp. Chateaubriand's dazzling rhetoric in his "Genius of Christianity" hailed it with an epithalamium unequalled for magnificence and pathos in any French prose later than Bossuet. Consalvi had won a diplomatic victory. The First Consul had overcome resistance from his ministers and generals, from freethinkers, Liberals, and the constitutional clergy. Pius VII. never forgot, in all his subsequent misfortunes, this "saving act of Christian heroism," on the part of Napoleon. To speak as the French love to do, "the Revolution had gone to Mass." Louis XVIII. and the emigrants protested; but the land had religious peace.
What, then, was the Concordat? In substance, it renewed that of 1516 with Francis I. Government appointed, Rome instituted the bishops of France. But instead of a propertied Church there were salaried officials. The various rights of patronage ceased; and every bishop named the curés in his diocese, with their assistants during pleasure, all paid rather scantily from the State exchequer. Religious orders were not mentioned; they had no legal existence. Other worships, Protestant and Hebrew, were put on a similar establishment by decrees with which this Concordat was not implicated But, on the one hand, Bonaparte required from Pius VII. an act of power without precedent; on the other he added such an epilogue to the paper he had signed as to transform its character. The act which Pius VII. executed on compulsion was to break up the old French hierarchy, dating in popular belief from companions of the Apostles, to deprive thirty-seven emigrant bishops who would not resign, to persuade many others, and to accept the Government plan of a new ecclesiastical France. Most of the former bishops yielded gracefully. But for some years a "Petite Eglise" stood out against Rome.
The abolition and reconstitution of the Gallican Church by the Pope was, although Bonaparte did not perceive it, the end of Gallicanism. It was the Fourth of August over again. For on that night privileges were swept away and only the supreme authority was left. Napoleon, therefore, is the chief precursor of the Vatican Council, and of its decree which recognizes in the Pope ordinary jurisdiction over every bishop in Christendom. But this logic was hidden from his eyes, and he proceeded to tack on to the Concordat his "Organic Articles," which may be shortly described as French Acts of Præmunire, making the entrance and publication of Papal documents to depend on a Government placet, forbidding recourse of the bishops to Rome, and compelling the clergy to subscribe the Declaration of 1682.
All this meant more than the old servitude, especially as the Articles forbade every Church establishment except the seminaries of the bishops. It reduced that which had been an estate of the realm to a department like the University. It divided the bishops from the Holy See and the clergy from the people. A system no less illogical than despotic, it sowed the seeds of religious war by creating a perpetual antagonism between the head of the Government and the Roman Curia.
Napoleon had employed Pius VII. to get rid of the old Church in its historical form, and of the new or constitutional. He then wished to make of the Pope a mere formal instrument, such as the servile ministers were who wrote out his decrees. When he became Emperor, the sovereign Pontiff was brought in triumph to Paris, that the scene of Charlemagne's consecration as Emperor of the West might be renewed. It was done,--with a significant variation, for Napoleon crowned himself. At Milan he assumed the Iron Crown of Lombardy, setting in motion another train of ideas and aspirations. For the Italian kingdom was a sign lifted up to modern Ghibellines, to those who knew the name and projects of Rienzi, to readers of the marvellous page where Machiavelli in his "Prince" concludes with an exhortation to let the "Liberator of Italy" appear. Would Milan be his capital when he came? The Italians worshipped Napoleon, but they began to dream of Liberty.
And so Pius VII., once more in Rome, was a target for the imperial shafts. He could not agree to the organic Articles; the Legations and other provinces of the Holy See were denied him; the new Charlemagne talked of Rome as his own city. The crisis arrived with a strong letter of Napoleon's, dated February 18, 1806, in which he said, "Your Holiness is Sovereign in Rome, but I am the Roman Emperor." Pius VII. must break off diplomatic relations with the enemies of France, expel their subjects, and close his ports to them. He refused, Consalvi retired, and Napoleon made up his mind to incorporate the capital of Catholicism with his growing Empire. On February 2, 1808, General Miollis entered by the Porta del Popolo. He occupied the city until June 10, 1809, when the Papal arms were torn down from the Castle of St. Angelo, and the tricolour was hoisted. By a decree at Schönbrunn the victorious Emperor had united the Pope's territories to his own dominions. The Pope solemnly excommunicated him on that very day. Pius would not abdicate, and on July 6 he was taken off to Florence. His captivity lasted nearly five years.
This inevitable outcome of Napoleon's policy was a profound mistake. Had he been opposed by an Innocent III., public opinion might have condoned his forcible acts, though never his brutality. But Pius VII. was an angel of peace, not intriguing and not resisting, who still with patient firmness held the ground of principle when other sovereigns lay in the dust before this Corsican Attila. And Attila was resolved on a divorce that he might found a dynasty; but the Pope his prisoner would not break a marriage that, to the Pope's knowledge, was valid. Furthermore, the demi-god, which Napoleon now was in his own esteem, demanded from all future pontiffs an oath of allegiance to the French Emperor.
While he kept the defenceless old man in a lonely prison at Savona, he drove the Cardinals together at Paris. He degraded those who would not attend his wedding with Marie Louise; and, when the Pope declined to institute his bishops, called a Council in Notre Dame, which was to act without and contrary to Papal authority. The Council met, trembled, but would not obey ( June 17August 5, 1811). Under extreme pressure, it asked the Pope to sanction the institution of bishops by the archbishop in an emergency, and he did so. Before starting for Moscow, the Caliph (as Napoleon was fond of describing himself) ordered that Pius should be taken to Fontainebleau, there to await the victor's return. When that happened, the Papacy was to be transferred to Paris, the spiritual to be separated from the temporal power, and, said Napoleon in the same breath, "I would have governed the world both of politics and religion." His dream vanished amid the snows of Russia; it dropped with his soldiers' muskets on that wintry march, and sank in the ice-drifts of the Beresina.
But he would not let his victim go free. The Pope lingered at Fontainebleau, half dead and with enfeebled mind, from June 16, 1812, until the Emperor suddenly came thither, on January 18 of next year, to enforce fresh demands. The beaten man was playing for desperate stakes. Without help or advice on which he could rely, the Pope yielded so far as to sign a new Concordat, giving up his right of institution. The effort almost deprived him of reason, and on March 24 he withdrew his signature, extorted thus by sheer violence after a long imprisonment. It was clear to all the world that constraint alone had wrung from the Holy Father a momentary adhesion to the Emperor's wishes. The Concordat was published and had force of law, during the brief period now remaining before Napoleon himself abdicated under the same roof at Fontainebleau.
By that date the Pope was taken back to Savona, which he left again on March 19, 1814, a few days previous to the decision made at Dampierre by the Allies to advance on Paris. May 24 saw the Apostolic prisoner free, and triumphantly returning to his capital, where Spanish and Sardinian sovereigns and Marie Louise of Etruria waited for him. During the Hundred Days he retired before Murat to Genoa; but on June 17, 1815, he made his fourth and last entrance into Rome. Two days afterwards the Congress of Vienna resolved that St. Peter's successor should have restored to him not only the Patrimony, but the Marches, the Legations, Beneventum and Pontecorvo. This extraordinary event was due to Consalvi, who had proved himself equal to the assembled diplomatists of Europe, as he had previously withstood Napoleon to his face.
The fallen Emperor set out on his voyage to St. Helena in the British vessel "Northumberland," on August 10, 1815. He died at Longwood, May 5, 1821; and the Pope, whom he had so deeply injured, lamented him with tears. Manzoni chanted his requiem in the musical and sympathetic ode which stirred Italian hearts to their deepest. After all, the genius of Napoleon was native in its origin to Florence; and they might claim the conqueror and lawgiver of Europe as their kith and kin.
FROM WATERLOO TO THE FALL OF ROME 1815-1870.
(DE MAISTRE, "ON THE POPE"; NEILSEN, "PAPACY IN XIXTH CENTURY," II.)
THE Holy Alliance, Metternich, the Carbonari, the Sanfedisti, the Ordinances and the Three Days of July, Lamennais, the "Affairs of Rome," Thiers and Guizot, the "Year of Revolutions"--who is there now living that has a clear remembrance of these things and the period to which they belong? They are gone "with the years beyond the Flood." Reader, can you make an effort of goodwill and imagination, to recall for one brief moment this interlude between the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo and the rise of Italy to independence? It has ended in the setting up of a new and Protestant German Empire on the ruins of that which for a thousand years had professed to be Holy and Roman. It has brought in the reign of democracy acknowledged and making laws in all Parliaments. From the Congress of Vienna to the Council of the Vatican is, it would now appear, but an episode, at the close of which, and on the fall of Rome, that spirit, imprisoned rather than set free in the Declaration of 1789, was to come into possession of the world-powers, and to dictate the programme of history.
Rome is, in the era which we have yet to sum up and consider, strangely symbolical. The European movement centres round it. We may fruitfully compare the Pope's situation to that of St. Gregory the Great, between a dying Empire which he would have gladly defended, and the onset of barbarian tribes. St. Gregory was loyal and despairing--we see it in his letters, we hear it in his discourses to the Roman people. In the nineteenth century the Pope's encyclical epistles are great laments, uttered as the ancient order of things is breaking up and is falling into the gulf of oblivion. They are full of pathos, while they provoke the aspiring Liberal to scorn them as impotent, and the revolutionary to continue his successful assault on institutions which he hates, but has not altogether destroyed. Yet on a large review those allocutions will be found to have pleaded the cause of spiritual freedom. Their opposition to Cæsar has made for progress. And if we discern, as we ought, the severe classic features of Napoleon behind every enactment that strikes at the claim to voluntary association with which religion is connected, we shall come to understand that there is a democracy whose rights the Vatican watches over. The Pope can never be a Regalist; the absolute State will always persecute him.
For lack of spiritual insight Napoleon, though so amazing a man of genius, had made war on nationality in England, Spain and Russia; on religion in all his dominions; and on freedom everywhere. The nations had risen and had pulled down the Colossus. But when the Allies were settling Europe at Vienna, while professing to defend religion, they conspired against liberty, and they trampled on national feelings. Especially did they cut and carve the Italian peninsula, as though it were nothing better than the corpse of antiquity. But nations were no longer minded to be the playthings of dynasties, old or new. Ireland, Poland, Greece, Belgium, uttered their claim for recognition as loudly as Spain or Germany, flushed with pride after a war of Liberation. The principles of '89 had been written in an abstract dialect; but the nations were stubborn realities, each determined to live its own life.
Again, the movement in literature called Romanticism favoured every attempt which revived home memories, gave new charm to the ancient language and customs of the race, and protected smaller communities from absorption in a colourless civilization. We feel the oncoming of this great change in Chateaubriand's writings, in Scott, Byron, and above all in Goethe, from whom these poets and story-tellers learnt much of their craft. And how should Italy not be touched by the same influence? But Austria held Lombardy and Venetia in an iron clasp. Naples had been given back to the Bourbons. Even Consalvi, more of a politician than a poet, failed to enter into the significance of Romanticism, and kept up the French system of government in the Papal States. That Italy must be developed on the sound and splendid traditions which were still its own, did not occur to this otherwise clear-eyed ruler of men. Thus, after 1815, the " Risorgimento " --a word as inspiring as the Renaissance three centuries earlier--seemed to portend rebellion from the Alps to Palermo.
Metternich, called by those whom he kept down Mitternacht, or the Prince of Darkness, had come into power when the French Empire was at its height. Without more scruples than Kaunitz, but made by circumstance the champion of Christendom, he first allied the Austrian monarchy with Napoleon by the iniquitous marriage that sacrificed Marie Louise, and then declared against him in time for the Battle of the Nations at Leipzig (October 16-18, 1813). During the next thirty-five years Metternich stood as the Reaction incarnate before Europe. In conjunction with Alexander of Russia, a sentimental dreamer, and with lesser royal personages, he formed the Holy Alliance, which was intended to support absolute governments by appealing to religion and patriotism. But he dreaded Alexander as capable of exploiting the Jacobin movement, still making itself felt everywhere, to his own advantage. For the Tsar posed as the "Liberator" of Europe. France and Italy were the smoking furnaces of revolution always. The Bourbons could set up old forms again, but to give them life was impossible. A Charter "conceded" by grace of the Crown, English constitutional peculiarities transplanted to Paris, the Concordat of 1516 brought out of its tomb, but ministers like Fouché and Talleyrand retained--the sum of these things was confusion. As Chateaubriand wrote, "Religion, ideas, interest, language, earth and heaven, all were different for the People and the King, separated by twenty-five years which were equivalent to centuries." Russia, so Metternich believed, was provoking the Liberals in Latin countries to secret confederacy and open revolt. The rising in Naples of 1820 enabled him, once for all, to get from Alexander an approval of the Austrian system, which reduced Italy to a name on the map, and made its potentates, including the Holy See, subject to Vienna.
Thus, by methods of repression, as Napoleon by setting on his brows the Iron Crown, Metternich awoke in many minds, and especially among the youth growing to manhood, a deep yearning for the free united Italy to be restored, which had once been mistress of the world. A boy-poet, Leopardi, gave piercing expression to these dangerous thoughts. In the Two Sicilies, a kind of political camorra sprang up, whose members, bound by secret oaths and advocates of regicide doctrines, called themselves Carbonari, charcoal-burners. The Papal Government, transformed by two French occupations, was neither old nor new. Chateaubriand says brilliantly that in Rome"the French left their principles behind them"; it would be more exact to observe that they had created a problem and left its solution to others.
Italians, and among them the Holy Father's subjects, were ambitious of a share in the world's progress, material and industrial no less than political. But the famous question demanded a reply, "How was the government to be carried on?" Nepotism, which gave the Pope trusty ministers, was dead long ago. The Cardinals had lost their wealth, and could not, as in times past, spare the people from heavy burdens of taxation. Clerics alone occupied important posts and administered the offices of State. Moreover, on the Napoleonic system, which Consalvi did not alter, a centralized rule swept away local customs and privileges, dear to these old cities, which in their fierce self-idolatry were as Greek as Thebes or Megara had been.
When Pius VII. died Consalvi's reign was over. Leo XII. governed with a reformer's zeal and severity. But the Romans, it is said, did not like him at all; his Vigilance Committee was hated; and Cardinal Rivarola's action in putting down the Carbonari at Ravenna ( 1825) excited widespread indignation. A veiled civil war is the only description that will express the condition of Italy and the Papal States during the years from 1820 to 1848. Amid such a conflict of ideas and parties reform could be hardly attempted, nor was it likely to succeed. Leo XII. was not opposed to the Charter in France nor unwilling to recognize that the world had entered on fresh paths. He said to the remarkable man whom we have quoted above, and whose memoirs give a lively picture of the times, "The Catholic Church has prospered in the midst of republics as in the bosom of monarchies; it has made immense progress in the United States; it reigns alone in Spanish America." Consalvi had advised Leo to treat directly with insurgent peoples across the Atlantic, disregarding Spain's pretensions, and the Holy See did so, following its rule of setting religious interests before old alliances. But Chateaubriand held that the Papal Government needed young blood, and instruments not yet created. Cardinals born previous to 1789 were by temper and experience strengthened in their resistance to ideas that had been bathed in blood. Moreover, Rome could not boast of the resources that were necessary to carry through an extensive programme. It was clear to observers that events in the great world outside would determine the future of the Holy See.
These events were not slow in coming. The Restoration, kept afloat by Louis XVIII., a fatigued Voltairian, suffered shipwreck under his light-minded brother Charles X. It vexed earnest Catholics by a sort of feeble Gallicanism, irritated Liberals, led to the definite rise of the "anti-clerical," who ever since has made war on Jesuits, and gave itself over to the "ignorant and visionary" Polignac, who, by advising the ordinances of July, 1830, against the liberty of the press, brought the Bourbon monarchy to the ground. Louis Philippe, son of "Egalité" and citizenking, took its place. The "Three Days of July" were a victory for Liberal ideas but not a defeat for the Church. Why not? Because, answers M. Faguet, in 1830 the Constitution took away from Government its monopoly of education (insisted upon by Charles X. in 1828), and so gave to Catholics, above all to religious orders, a freedom which would have made them independent. This observation is profoundly just. The struggle in modern times between Christian and unchristian theories (which decides every other) must be fought out in the schools.
But that victory, so far as gained, was due to a man of rare genius, a Breton, a priest, and a journalist whose name was Lamennais. He on the Catholic side, as Lafayette on the Liberal, had struck for freedom. Lamennais was neither a republican nor a revolutionist. To him religion meant everything he held dear. He longed that the Catholic Church should have power as it has authority, but power by methods apostolic and proper to itself, not by coercion from without but by persuasion of the candid soul. He had published in 1819 his "Essay on Indifference in Matters of Religion," on the appearance of which Frayssinous, the Gallican bishop, exclaimed, "It is a book to awaken the dead." It electrified the reading world in France by its sombre, incisive eloquence. Its author was hailed as the Catholic Rousseau; and like his Genevan prototype he showed himself almost morbidly sensitive to criticism. Leo XII. welcomed him at the Vatican, set up the French apologist's portrait in his private room, and as it would seem, created him cardinal " in petto "; but he was not allowed by the French Government to announce his elevation.
On April 20, 1826, the extraordinary sight was seen of a priest charged before the magistrates in Paris by the public prosecutor, under a Catholic ministry, with having, by a recent pamphlet, "effaced the boundaries which separate spiritual from temporal power; proclaimed the supremacy and infallibility of the Pope; and admitted in the Roman Pontiff the right of deposing princes and releasing their subjects from the oath of fealty." The priest was the Abbé de Lamennais. He refused the Court's jurisdiction; reiterated the statements of which he was accused; and was fined thirty francs --say thirty pieces of silver. Various prelates sent up loyal addresses to the throne. Lamennais reminded them scornfully that "there was in the world a person named the Pope." So low had Gallicanism fallen! The vision of a Catholic democracy dawned on him, as he contemplated Ireland rising with O'Connell and forcing an alien Protestant Parliament to grant emancipation. Another country, Belgium, free from the Gallican taint, had begun its fight for independence and the old creed which it was speedily to win. But neither Belgians nor Irish Catholics suffered from "the terrible disease called Royalism."
Such were the sentiments that moved Lamennais to answer the ordinances of 1828 by his work "On the Progress of the Revolution and the War against the Church," in February, 1829. It insisted as a right on liberty of the press, of education, of conscience. The stir which it created was indescribably great. Its author had crossed the gulf opened in 1790 between Catholicism and the Revolution. The Days of July followed, and liberty was promised in the Charter, but the promise was broken without delay. Then Lamennais founded L'Avenir to propagate his doctrine, and L'Agence Catholique to denounce the assaults of Government officials on religious freedom. Trials, condemnations, could not stop the movement. Ministers were alarmed, bishops charged against L'Avenir. In an unlucky moment three "pilgrims of liberty" made their way to Rome--Lamennais, Lacordaire, Montalembert. They would not be satisfied until Gregory XVI. had pronounced judgment on their politico-religious views.
He did so in the Encyclical " Mirari Vos " ( August 15, 1832). His judgment was a condemnation. The pilgrims received word of it at Munich and submitted. It has been well said that their appeal to Rome was "the first act in that long agony of Gallicanism which ended with the Vatican Council." As regards L'Avenir, this is what Montalembert wrote long afterwards: "To new and reasonable ideas, honest in themselves, which have for the last twenty years been the daily bread of Catholic polemics, we had been foolish enough to add extreme and rash theories, and to defend both by means of an absolute logic such as will be sure to ruin, if it does not dishonour, every cause."
We may illustrate these words from the actual situation. Lamennais had committed himself to principles which betrayed undoubted tendencies towards anarchism; and this at a moment when Europe was shaken by a political earthquake. His reasoning was as inexorable as his temperament; and the consequences might have been disastrous wherever Catholics dwelt. Risings in Belgium and Poland had taken place after the Revolution of July. Two months of interregnum followed the death of Pius VIII. on the last day of November, 1830. A monk of Camaldoli was elected Pope at Candlemas, 1831; and two days later Bologna revolted, put the Cardinal Legate in prison, and set up a government animated by Carbonari principles. The Austrian troops, hardly waiting for leave from Rome, entered the Legations. France sent a detachment to Ancona. The rebels meanwhile had denounced the Pope's temporal power as a usurpation. Was this a time solemnly to approve of a programme which asserted popular sovereignty in the crudest form, and preached the sacred duty of resistance to rulers without reserve or limits, as in the columns of L'Avenir had been repeatedly lone? Gregory XVI., in affirming the traditional principles of obedience and authority, had a strong case; nor was it difficult to show that the Catholic Church had always quoted the language of St. Paul in reference to "the powers that be."
A further observation is to the purpose. The work "De Regimine Principum," ascribed to St. Thomas Aquinas, and the writings of Suarez on political theories, may be taken as representing another aspect of the Catholic doctrine, in which an "essential" democracy, liberty, and right of self-defence are maintained. These complementary views require to be fully considered, if we would know what is the orthodox tradition as a whole. But it would be too much to expect that the sovereign Pontiff should, on a practical issue and in moments of crisis, defeat his own action by an academic balancing of phrases when the time calls for guidance, and social interests are at stake. Gregory XVI. spoke as the Church's governor; while Lamennais would have persuaded him to throw in his lot with French democracy, mostly unbelieving, and already moving towards anarchical Utopias.
By this date of 1832 the fiery Breton had himself become an enemy of the whole social order. He was meditating and had begun to write "The Words of a Believer" which, in tones and colours borrowed from the Apocalypse, portended a third Revolution. The blood-stained "Days of June" in 1848, with all their violence and atrocity, cannot be wholly dissociated from the passions thus excited. They would never have come to pass had Pope Gregory's Encyclical been obeyed. Lamennais went his way, from one excess of doctrine to another. He tasted the bitterness of prison at Sainte Pélagie; his last years were spent in poverty and isolation; and he lies in a nameless tomb at Père la Chaise. "Nothing must mark my grave," said the dying man. As Savonarola was the martyr of the Renaissance, so Lamennais was the victim of the Revolution. " Sunt lacrymæ rerum!"
Although reforms had been urged upon Gregory XVI. by Metternich and the Powers ( May 21, 1831), his reign passed without undertaking any change. Lamennais, who saw the future in his dreams, prophesied that a beginning would be made "in the next pontificate." Italy was once more producing notable if not great men. In 1826 the " Promessi Sposi " --a romance after Scott, historical and patriotic--by the Lombard Manzoni appeared. In 1830 the Genoese Mazzini transformed the earlier Carbonari movement to "young Italy," insurgent, republican, idealist. The "mysterious and terrible conspirator" lay under sentence of death from his native Government until 1866. Among the devout adherents of the Papacy another conception ruled. They desired to set the Holy Father in his mediæval throne, to federate the Italian States under him as suzerain, and thus to restore the civil no less than the intellectual primacy which they claimed for the Peninsula.
These were the "new Guelfs," led by Gioberti, of Turin, and Rosmini, of Rovereto, philosophic priests and admirable writers. Cesare Balbo, the historian, belonged to their school; and Austria was their enemy. But so was France. The battle between Gallicans and Utramontanes went on in Paris; with denial of free education, though promised by the Charter; with episodes like the anti-Jesuit lectures of Quinet and Michelet, which prompted Guizot to demand in 1845 at Rome that the Society in France should be dissolved. It is matter of history that the new Guelfs were not friendly to the Jesuits; but they believed in freedom. Gregory XVI. had no choice but to yield; and Pellegrino Rossi, June 23, 1845, announced to his Government that the French Jesuit province would be abolished. An unsuccessful rising of Mazzinians in the Legations led to the execution of seven conspirators by Cardinal Vannicelli's orders. At Rimini the insurrection failed likewise; but Farini put forth a manifesto which renewed the demands of the Great Powers in 1831, and claimed an amnesty for political offences. Nearly two thousand Papal subjects, it is said, were "in exile, proscribed, or under prosecution" when Gregory XVI. died, May 31, 1846.
THE LOUIS XVI. OF THE PAPACY (1846-1870)
THEN the change came which Lamennais foresaw. Pius IX. was elected. He opened the prison-doors, and men cried to one another that at last the Papa Angelico had appeared, in whose reign all things were to be made new. Handsome, winning, devout, kind-hearted, of large, benevolent designs, Giovanni Maria Mastai took the Italians captive at once. He was called in Vienna disdainfully a "reforming pontiff"; and the amnesty provoked Metternich to declare that it invited robbers to set the house on fire. But the Pope was without strong advisers, and he had no definite policy. To put himself at the head of an Italian League was not in his thoughts. The Austrian Chancellor knew that Europe slept on a volcano; Cesare Balbo warned the Holy Father not to trust in popular manifestations. They continued for many months; a council of ministers ( July 12, 1847) seemed to promise constitutional government; and in the Forum was heard Sterbini's patriotic chant, the Roman Marseillaise. Not Pius IX. but Rienzi; nor yet the new Guelfs, but Mazzini and young Italy, inspired the captains who now led this agitation. Metternich sent Austrian troops into Ferrara. The Pope granted a representative assembly, the Consulta, with responsible ministers; but Mazzini was conquering.
On January 12, 1848, the long expected upheaval of the Continent began with a revolution at Palermo. The Roman populace shouted, "Down with a clerical ministry."
Pius IX. granted all he deemed possible. Then the French in February drove out Louis Philippe. Constitutions were the order of the day in Italy, and Charles Albert gave his Sardinians the "Statuto" which was destined to grow into the law of the whole country under Victor Emmanuel. The new Papal Statute was published on March 14, 1848. It could not hinder the enforced retirement of the Jesuits from Rome. Metternich had been overthrown and was a fugitive in England. The Piedmontese marched against Austria, camped in the plains of Lombardy. Detachments of the Papal army, blessed by Pius IX., were joining the devout and chivalrous Sardinian King, Charles Albert. Would the Pope don the harness of Julius II., and help to drive the Barbarians out of Venice which they had usurped, from the Lombard cities where their rule was detested? Rosmini, "the most enlightened priest in Italy," held the war to be a just one; but he deprecated its renewal by Piedmont alone; he drew up a plan for the confederation of Italian States under the Pope; and meanwhile he strongly approved of the allocution ( April 29, 1848) in which Pius declined to fight against a Christian Power.
At Turin confusion reigned; ministries rose and fell from one month to another. Public voices charged the Vatican with deserting the national cause. In Rome a decided anti-clerical cabinet was formed by Mamiani. The other illustrious priest, Gioberti, who shared with Rosmini fame and influence, made a triumphal progress to and from the Eternal City during these weeks; but he was by now devoted to the attainment of "Italia una," with or without the Pope. Rosmini held to his idea of a Federal union. Sent by Charles Albert to the Holy Father in August, 1848, and promised the Cardinal's hat, this high-minded counsellor of moderation could only look on at the approaching catastrophe, due in the main to Italians themselves, who would not combine or cease their quarrelling while Austria took up arms once more. Pellegrino Rossi, named Prime Minister by the Pope on September 6, was murdered by a set of conspirators on the stairs of the Cancellaria, when he was entering the hall of Parliament, Novembe 15, 1848. The assembly took no notice, and "passed to the order of the day." Two days later the Quirinal was besieged by a howling mob, determined to massacre the Swiss guard and take the Pope prisoner. His secretary was shot by his side when Pius appeared on the great balcony. Mazzinianism had conquered by the use of the dagger. On November 24 the Pope in disguise fled to Gaeta and the King of Naples.
In this interval France had undergone the agony of a social uprising known as the "Days of June"; the millions in alarm chose for their President Louis Bonaparte on December 10, 1848. The Austrians overpowered Charles Albert at Novara, March 28 of the succeeding year; within six days the Roman Republic was proclaimed from the Capitol by Garibaldi, triumvirs were appointed, and Mazzini became master of Rome. In Gaeta the Pope lingered doubtful of his course. Two men strove before him as in the arena for their respective policies--they were Rosmini and Antonelli. But the saintly philosopher went back, without his Cardinal's hat, to Stresa, defeated. Of his victorious opponent Marion Crawford wrote, "Antonelli was the best hated man of his day, not only in Europe and Italy, but by a large proportion of Churchmen. He was one of those strong and unscrupulous men who appeared everywhere in Europe as reactionaries in opposition to the great revolution.
On a smaller scale he is to be classed with Disraeli, Metternich, Cavour, and Bismarck." Named to the Sacred College in June, 1847, he was never ordained priest. From now onwards until his death, November 6, 1876, he stood at the Pope's right hand, unremoved by any combination of enemies or disasters in the political sphere. "He was a fighter and a schemer by nature," says Crawford again. His despatches were universally admired, and, with an army behind him, Antonelli might have done memorable deeds At no time a Liberal, he resolved that Pius IX. should return to Rome unfettered by constitutional engagements. Rosmini warned him that this was equivalent to losing the temporal power; but he went his way.
Catholics in France, growing more and more Papal, urged upon the Prince President that he should despatch an armed expedition against the new Roman Republic, which was becoming the focus of European disorder. He did so. But the motley array under Garibaldi fought well; and it was not until July 8, 1849, that General Oudinot made his entrance into the Eternal City, "when from Janiculan heights thundered the cannon of France." Garibaldi and his troop escaped by the Trastevere, being reserved for greater things. But how would the Pope come back to his capital, of which General Niel presented him with the keys at Gaeta? Antonelli decided. The Holy Father returned April 12, 1850, as, in the witty language of the Romans, Pio Nono the Second, to whom the idea of reform was a dream in the night that is past. A French garrison occupied the city; the Legations were held by Austria. Charles Albert, abdicating, had gone away to die in Portugal.
But in this tragic hour the makers of Italian unity were found. A statesman, a king, and a freebooter, wrought out this drama between them. The statesman was Cavour, the king Victor Emmanuel, the freebooter Garibaldi. And Piedmont, the Italian Macedon, was to accomplish a design to the conception of which Dante, Rienzi, Machiavelli, Cæsar Borgia, Napoleon, Manzoni, Gioberti, had in their several ways given form and substance. Manzoni, in 1886, had declared to Montalembert that a united Italy under the House of Savoy was the one solution. Gioberti, leaving his Guelfism, had pointed to the same royal house in expectation of its future expansion, and proclaimed its leadership. The proverb ran, "Savoy will eat up the Italian artichoke, leaf by leaf." Gioberti was no great politician. But Cavour, who now took Piedmont in hand, united policy with daring, and when he assailed Austria next, it would be with the arms of France.
Yet Cavour made the old Regalist mistake, and it cost him dear For the modern State abroad, Henry VIII.'s legislation has a fatal charm; but the language employed in reproducing it is taken from the Declaration of the Rights of Man. So it was that Victor Emmanuel in 1849 announced his intention of putting in force the great principle of equality before the law, meaning to abolish clerical immunities and monastic institutions, and to bring in "civil marriage,"--this last measure a serious blow at the Church in his dominions, where the people had always been profoundly Catholic. The author of the new projects, Siccardi, was despatched to Pius IX., then in exile at Portici; but he could not win the Pontiff's assent. Troubles ensued; Cardinal Franzoni and the Archbishop of Cagliari were thrown into prison; Cavour, the henchman of Siccardi, was obliged to resign. But he soon became Foreign Minister, and these laws were all passed. The Pope, on July 26, 1855, uttered the great excommunication against every one concerned in them. Between Cavour and the Temporal Power it was now a struggle to the death. His anti-clerical attitude, however, gave the Holy
See an advantage, and, as will appear in due course, led to the violent solution by cannonshot in September, 1870, of the Roman Question. Cavour professed Liberal sentiments, but he was resolved--they are his own words--not to suffer an Ultramontane Church to grow up, relying on the people, such as he beheld in Ireland or Belgium. The traditions of Joseph II. of Austria had been transplanted long ago into Sardinian seminaries; and they made of Piedmont an enemy whom the Pope soon recognized as more dangerous than Mazzini.
The futile Crimean War gave Cavour his chance; he seized it boldly. By agreement in January, 1855, Sardinia, which had no interest at stake in the Orient, joined the allied Western Powers. At the Congress of 1856, held in Paris, the Piedmontese minister demanded that Austria should withdraw from the Legations and a lay Government rule them in the Pope's name. Lord Clarendon, the English envoy, used strong language in condemnation of the Vatican, to which Antonelli replied. The Emperor of the French wavered, now and always, between a policy inspired by his Catholic adherents, and a policy of advance which was called for by the Liberals all over Europe. His letter in 1849 to Edgar Ney, requiring the Holy Father to grant a lay administration, was an unredeemed pledge In 1857 Pius IX. made the last Papal progress through his northern states. He was kindly received, but did not mention the word reform. Antonelli had no programme; he waited simply on Providence.
A Roman conspirator and exile, Orsini, brought the situation to a crisis on January 14, 1858, by attempting the life of Napoleon III. in the open day as he was driving to the opera. Condemned to death, Orsini addressed the Emperor in an historic letter on February 11, pleading for the liberation of Italy. Cavour turned the whole incident adroitly against Rome; he met Napoleon secretly at Plombières, July 20, 1858; and a kingdom of twelve millions, from the Alps to the Adriatic, was designed under the house of Savoy. War was in immediate prospect. The Temporal Power had been supported by a truce between the two empires on whose armed occupation Antonelli relied. If they fought, and Austria were beaten, the Pope's richest provinces would be lost, a new Lombard Kingdom set up not far from the gates of Rome. Now then a French army landed at Genoa in May, 1859. The victory of Magenta followed, and on June 11 the Austrian troops left Bologna. "It was the spark which set all Italy ablaze." The Legations declared for Victor Emmanuel; a revolt at Perugia was quelled, not without bloodshed; the Peace of Villa Franca satisfied neither French Liberals nor Italian patriots; and Cavour resigned. Farini constructed the "interim" State of Emilia.
Still halting between two policies, Napoleon talked of an Italian Federation with Pius IX for its president. The Pope declined; French Catholics were enraged with a Government that wanted to despoil the Holy See; and to no Congress would a Papal representative be accredited unless the former boundaries of its dominions were guaranteed. This was the celebrated " Non possumus." An Encyclical letter in January, 1860, rejected the Emperor's plan, while Dupanloup of Orleans and Pie of Poitiers answered his pamphlets in uncompromising terms. The temporal power might fall, but it was utterly destroying Gallicanism. Everywhere Catholics held meetings to express their abhorrence of the Revolution and their devoted attachment to the Holy Father. An English convert, Henry Edward Manning, drew the notice of all by his vehement defence of Papal principles. Such an explosion of enthusiasm on behalf of St. Peter's successor had not been witnessed in modern history. The Pope was taking up on different lines that movement of democracy which he had blessed in 1846; and, though Italians were divided, the Catholic Church answered even passionately to his impulse. He had lost the Legations; he was master, as though Innocent III. had risen again, of believing multitudes in Europe and America. The year 1860 marks a revival of Roman power, spiritual and democratic, which has gone forward ever since without pause.
But the political fifth act was not to be avoided. Bishops might send up addresses by the hundred to Rome; men of such unlike temper as Veuillot and Lacordaire, Villemain and De Sacy, Disraeli and Guizot, might insist, as if at a General Council, on the necessity for the Pope's temporal independence and territorial sovereignty; they could not prevent the conquest of the Two Sicilies by Garibaldi; or Cavour's daring stroke, the march of Italian troops towards Ancona; or the defeat of Lamoricière and his Papal forces, however gallant their behaviour, at Castel Fidardo, September 18, 1860. Yet, says De Cesare, who did not love the old régime, no occasion or pretext presented itself for declaring war on the Pope, invading his provinces, breaking up his army, and so marching on Naples. But Cavour was not deterred by these obstacles. Admiral Persano bombarded and took Ancona. On October 26, 1860, Garibaldi met Victor Emmanuel at Teano, and saluted him as King of Italy.
The first Italian Parliament assembled on February 18, 1861, at Turin. France, getting Nice and Savoy, had consented to the final incorporation of Romagna with Victor Emmanuel's new kingdom. To the Holy See was left, under French protection, the Patrimony or old Duchy of Rome, largely a desert, and some half million of subjects. International law could not justify the Piedmontese invasion; Conservatives smiled at the "plébiscites" which followed obediently where the victor's sword pointed. Romagna had always, except during the Austrian occupation, enjoyed Home Rule; but Cavour, in October, 1860, affirming the independence of Italy, declared that Rome must be its capital. The word was spoken. And "a Free Church in a Free State" was held out to the Pope in exchange for his sovereignty of a thousand years.
Negotiations were at once set on foot. Pius IX., without allies or auxiliaries, listened to Cavour's proposals. Antonelli permitted a sort of protocol to be discussed; and Passaglia, the famous ex-Jesuit, was conducting the great business, as it seemed, to a successful end. But here the Siccardi laws warned Pius that if the Italians came to Rome they would suppress the monasteries, confiscate Church property, and in spite of their liberal formula, make the clergy a department of State. "Jacobin decrees" at Naples and Palermo confirmed this judgment. He roused himself to deliver an allocution, March 18, 1861, in which he flung back the attempts at an insidious reconciliation based on robbery, and refused to come to terms with it. Cavour died on June 6, and the Roman Question entered its last phase.
A convention between France and the King of Italy was signed in September, 1864, binding the latter to respect what was left of the Papal territories, and the French to withdraw their garrison by degrees from Rome. But Napoleon required that a new capital should be definitely chosen, as some guarantee of peace. The Government, accordingly, moved down to Florence. By the end of December, 1866, all the French troops had left Roman soil. No stir was made. The people of the Eternal City were little disposed to embark on a revolution; they felt a sincere attachment to Pius IX., who treated them kindly, whatever his officials might do; and, as Napoleon III. believed, they would never rise of themselves. Neither did they. Garibaldi formed committees of insurrection, and openly undertook the liberation of Rome, while Rattazzi, the new premier, looked on. The general was interned September 24, 1867, in his island of Caprera; but his son Menotti crossed the Papal frontier, and there was fighting at Monte Libretti. While Napoleon was hesitating Garibaldi escaped, traversed Tuscany, and captured Monte Rotondo, less than twenty miles from the gates of Rome. The French Catholics, the Empress, the leader of the bishops, Dupanloup, insisted on sending help to the Holy Father. Napoleon's lieutenant, Rouher, declared in the Chamber amid applause that the Italians should "never" enter Rome. This "jamais" was not forgotten when Napoleon sought for an ally at Florence in 1870. The expedition sailed. Garibaldi had drawn close to the Porta Salara, but Rome would not rise; the free companies which he brought were drifting in all directions; and, as he was retiring upon Tivoli, November 8, 1867, a detachment of French, coming to aid the Papal troops, defeated him at Mentana. His army broke and fled. The September Convention was no more.
That insignificant skirmish at Mentana had world-wide consequences. It brought back the French to Castel Sant' Angelo, where they proved a fatal hindrance to Italian unity as it was now conceived. It gave time for the assembling of the Vatican Council, and the passing of those decrees by which Gallican principles were stricken to death and the Pope was proclaimed infallible ex cathedra, in St. Peter's Chair. Like the affair of Bouvines, it was fought with a handful of soldiers, but has proved to be one of the decisive battles of the world. For the French empire and dynasty Mentana was a disaster, coming after its moral defeats in the Danish, Mexican, and Austrian wars, every one of which had darkened its fame and lessened its influence. Italian opinion would not suffer a single regiment of Bersaglieri to make common cause with French generals in 1870, who had boasted in 1867 that the chassepots had gone off of themselves on the approach of Garibaldi's volunteers. Austria, now, as well as Italy, demanded that Rome should be left open to the Sardinian advance. Napoleon could not agree; and his efforts to create alliances against Prussia were broken upon this denial. Mentana was the prelude to Sedan.
But if the Temporal Power from this day was visibly doomed to disappear, a movement parallel but in the contrary direction, had been proceeding, which would exalt beyond measure the cause of Papal Rome. Since the return from Gaeta pilgrims had thronged to the Holy City as never before. Three great meetings of bishops, in 1854, 1862, and 1867, had assured Pius IX. of his unbounded influence over the Catholic world. His reply to the September Convention had been the Encyclical " Quanta Cura," and the Syllabus or Index of propositions condemned during his pontificate, which, though chiefly a conservative document in accordance with principles of authority received everywhere, was cleverly turned by the revolutionaries, whom it struck hard, into an attack upon civilisation. Bishop Dupanloup showed its true meaning, and three hundred and sixty bishops wrote to signify their agreement with the Bishop of Orleans. French prelates led the Church at this time, somewhat as their cavalry ride into battle, a pas de charge. But in views they were not of one mind. Some Gallicans were left; the ambiguous party called Liberal Catholics had a policy of their own. Among Germans, and especially at Munich, there was a school which had never been, or had ceased to be, ultramontane, controlled by the historian Döllinger. Moderate men asked for a Council in the hope of certain reforms. On prelates like Manning, Martin, Bonnechose, Deschamps; on laymen such as Veuillot and Ward, it was borne in by the course of events that to save society spiritual authority must be concentrated in the hands of the Pope, whom all acknowledged as the highest representative of Christian principles in the world. These writers had their own way of reasoning, no doubt; their moving impulse, however, was quite as much a social necessity as a deduction from grounds of doctrine; and its perfect expression was given by Joseph de Maistre when he published his treatise "Du Pape" after Napoleon's downfall. The Vatican Council was intended to protect Catholic interests from anarchy, by completing the work begun at Florence and left unfinished at Treat, of defining "St. Peter's privileges" in his successor
This was done, amid conflicts into which we need not enter, between December 8, 1869, and July 18, 1870. No larger Council of Ecclesiastics has ever met. All continents were represented. The extraordinary growth of Catholicism in free countries was evidenced by new hierarchies in England, Canada, the United States, the British Empire at large. Its persistence under suffering was a jewel on the foreheads of Irish, South American, and missionary bishops, who saw one another face to face in what seemed to devout onlookers the full assembly of the Saints. A young American Bishop of Richmond, Virginia, who has lived to be Cardinal Gibbons of Baltimore, could tell us lately that the Church, neither persecuted nor favoured by civil power, in those United States now reckons twenty-two millions, and is on the way to become the largest as well as the strongest of religious associations in the Western world.
Against these mighty currents what could the Gallican or the Regalist achieve with his worn-out traditions? One of the wisest observations ever made on the whole subject is that of Count von Moltke--"The future of Rome does not depend on Rome itself, but on the direction that religious development will take in other countries." And Lord Acton has written, "Pius IX. knew that in all that procession of seven hundred and fifty bishops one idea prevailed. Men whose word is powerful in the centres of civilisation, men who three months before were confronting martyrdom amongst barbarians, preachers at Notre Dame, professors from Germany, Republicans from Western America, men with every sort of training and every sort of experience, had come together as confident and eager as the prelates of Rome, to hail the Pope infallible." But with his doctrinal authority went an ordinary supreme jurisdiction, which not only shattered in pieces the Articles of 1682, but enabled the Pope to govern local Churches as the Bishop of bishops. Moreover, in the presence of a universal dissolving movement, anti-social no less than anti-Christian, a perpetual dictator was needed, and who could it be save the Pontifex Maximus? These measures were taken as by foreboding of the crisis that came suddenly upon Europe. The last session of the Vatican Council was held in St. Peter's amid thunder and lightning on a July day, while France and Germany rushed to arms. The war which was to decide the temporal fate of Rome had been declared three days previously ( July 15, 1870). On the morrow it broke out.
In that burning summer-time, we who were staying in Rome saw the French bishops depart, and knew that the French soldiers would soon follow them from the Aventine.
They went, those heroic young men, to be defeated in the battles of August; and the Papal Zouaves, who were faithful to the last, were destined to win the field of Patay. But no one was acquainted with the mind of Germany; and on that mind we waited, while the Empire was falling to pieces. Thirty thousand Italian troops kept a watch on the frontier, ready to break in if the Romans would seize Rome. But, as ever, the Romans did no more than buy flags which might be hung out according to fortune, the Pope's colours so long as they were needed, the tricolour invented long ago by Republican Bologna when King Victor's regiments should come marching in. The King himself was torn between feelings of gratitude to France and the conviction that if he did not put an end to the Temporal Power it would cost him his throne. The Revolution was alert in Naples and Milan. But the ghost of the September Convention vanished when a Republic succeeded to the Empire. Count Bismarck had purchased Italian neutrality by giving a free hand to the Government at Florence. After a moment of hesitation ministers were allowed to act. Ponza di San Martino brought a royal letter to the Vatican, in which "with the devotion of a son, the faith of a Catholic, the loyalty of a king, and the heart of an Italian," Victor Emmanuel told Pius IX. that he intended to occupy the Papal States. The Pope answered by a single word--"Might then comes before right." When for the last time, at the Piazza dei Termini, he made an official appearance in public, the Holy Father was greeted by the Romans with frantic enthusiasm. But they had their two sets of flags ready.
On September 11 General Cadorna, who had once served in the sanctuary, crossed the Papal boundaries and made straight for Rome. Mazzini lay in prison at Gaeta; Garibaldi in Caprera was closely watched. The Italian Government had resolved that none but itself should crown the edifice built up during twenty years of war and diplomacy to the honour of Savoy. The new French Republic called away the Antibes legion of volunteers on September 13, not wishing that their tricolour should be seen in conflict with the Piedmontese. From all European capitals word arrived in Florence allowing the invasion to proceed. The Pope stood alone. " Venit summa dies et ineluctabile tempus." It was the last day of his earthly dominion.
September 20, 1870, dawned in a pure sky, with golden fringes edging the clouds that lay along on the Latin Hills. It had been a week of dust and sunshine in beleaguered Rome. Count Arnim, the Prussian, had gone busily to and fro between the camp outside and the Vatican, desirous that a peaceable entry might be made, and the clatter of artillery might not announce to Europe this portentous violation of domicile. His halfsmiling intervention had failed. On the evening of September 19, the Holy Father drove across Rome to the Piazza of St. John Lateran, ascended the Scala Santa, and gave his blessing to the troop which held that gate. He was never afterwards seen in the streets of Rome. General Kanzler had it in command to resist until wall or gate was battered down. And so, in the clear air of that September morning, the twentieth, we saw the smoke of the cannonade rise like an exhalation from Porta Salara round to Porta Pia, and at other gates there was a feigned attack; but the headlong General Bixio furiously assailed the Porta San Pancrazio, while his grenades struck the windows of the Vatican and his artillery accompanied with its volleys the Mass which Pius IX. was saying in his private chapel. The corps diplomatique waited round him, having no commission but to look on. Some misunderstanding prolonged the resistance and multiplied the casualties. At ten o'clock we saw the white flag waving high over St. Peter's dome. We heard afar off from our College roof the thunder of the captains and the shouting, as through the shattered walls of Porta Pia streamed in a mixed array of soldiers, refugees, campfollowers, along the street afterwards named from the Twentieth of September. Early in the afternoon we saw Italian standards floating from the Capitol. Rome had once conquered Italy. Now Italy had conquered Rome.
The usual plébiscite followed. By national decree the City of the Popes was elevated or degraded into the chief town of a modern State, created yesterday. King Victor Emmanuel broke his way with crowbars into the Quirinal. Monasteries were transformed into ministries, said the satire-loving Romans. The Jesuits were suppressed, and their escutcheon over the great door of the Roman College was hammered to pieces. The Siccardi law, despite guarantees, was extended to the former Papal States, justifying Pius IX. in his presentiments. But he, without so much as the Leonine City left to him, put aside civil lists and legal establishments, living on the alms of the faithful, visited in his Apostolic prison by multitudes, year after year, who bore witness to his growing religious influence over the millions for whom they were ambassadors. The King died on January 9, the Pope on February 7, 1878. Pius IX. had outlived the "years of Peter"; and he had followed the Temporal Power to its grave.
"No human pen," says Lecky in a fine passage, "can write its epitaph, for no imagination can adequately realize its glories. In the eyes of those who estimate the greatness of a sovereignty, not by the extent of its territory, or by the valour of its soldiers, but by the influence which it has exercised over mankind, the Papal government has had no rival, and can have no successor. But though we may not fully estimate the majesty of its past, we can at least trace the causes of its decline." He goes on to enumerate them; but the sum is this--once Religion flourished by means of establishments and coercive power, now politics and religion are divorced for ever
But let us not confound the social organism with political machinery It remains always true, as Auguste Comte perceived, that society rests on a creed, explicit or latent, in which its members are united; that its law is ethics and its standard conscience. True likewise it is that the Pope cannot deny his origin, which was not a victory of the strong arm, but was due to the free immortal spirit. He never can be absorbed by the absolute State, for he is the pilgrim of eternity And thus, a prisoner in the Vatican, without kingdom or army, Leo XIII., succeeding immediately to Pius IX., began and ended a reign of twenty-six years, the most brilliant in its manifestations and most fruitful in results of any since the Sack of Rome. Allowing that American forms of government will more and more prevail, that privilege will give place to liberty, and free association limit the State itself, what does it all mean? Surely the triumph of principle over force, of moral influence over legal enactment. But so it was that the Roman Church began, "presiding in love," as said St. Ignatius of Antioch; so did she attain to her supremacy in the ages called of Faith. Her appeal is to the Cross.
"Christ conquers, Christ reigns, Christ commands;
Christ defend His people from all harm."
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