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Paul III., Farnese (ob. 1549), made his nephew, Alexander Farnese, a cardinal at fourteen ; his grandson, Guido Ascanio Sforza, son of his daughter Costanza, at sixteen ; his cousin, Niccolò Gaetani, at twelve; and a second grandson, Ranucio Farnese, at fifteen, to whom he had a year before given the archbishopric of Naples ! He also created Charles of Lorraine, son of the Duc de Guise, and brother of Mary Queen of Scots, cardinal at twenty-two, although he had at the time a brother in the Sacred College, which was contrary to the constitutions and the decree of one of his predecessors. Lastly, he made his relative, Giulio Feltre della Rovere, brother of the Duke of Urbino, a cardinal at eleven!
Julius III. (ob. 1555) created Innocenzo del Monte cardinal at seventeen, and his two nephews, Roberto dei Nobili at fourteen, and Girolamo Simoncelli at twenty-one. The latter is noted as having been a cardinal during sixty years! The zealous and earnest Pius IV. (ob. 1565), besides creating several cardinals at from twenty to twenty-three, made Ferdinand de Medici a cardinal at fourteen. Gregory XIII. (ob. 1585) made Andrew of Austria, a natural son of the Archduke Ferdinand, a cardinal at eighteen; and Albert of Austria, son of Maximilian II., at the same age. He also created Charles of Lorraine at sixteen, and Francesco Sforza at twenty. The high-handed reformer, Sixtus V. (ob. 1590), made his nephew, Alexander Peretti, cardinal at fourteen; and Innocent IX. (ob. 1591), found time in his two months' papacy to create his nephew, Antonio Fachinetti della Noce,
at eighteen. Innocent was aware, probably, that he had no time to lose !
Clement VIII. (ob. 1605) made Wilhelm, son of the Duke of Bavaria, a cardinal at twenty: but he had been Bishop of Ratisbon ever since he had been in the cradle! Clement also created his relative, Gio. Battista Deti, cardinal at seventeen, and his nephew, Silvestro Aldobrandini, at sixteen, although he had previously raised to the purple his brother, Pietro Aldobrandini, at the age of twenty-two, despite the papal decree forbidding two brothers to belong to the Sacred College at the same time.
Paul V. (ob. 1621) created Maurice of Savoy at fourteen; Carlo de Medici at nineteen; and Ferdinand of Austria, son of Philip III. of Spain, at ten!
Urban VIII., Barberini (ob. 1644), although he had already placed in the Sacred College Francesco and Antonio Barberini, his brother and his nephew, created his other nephew, Antonio, at the age of twenty.
Innocent X., Pamphili (ob. 1655), made the nephew of his sister-in-law, the celebrated Olympia, cardinal at seventeen; and Clement IX. (ob. 1669) made Sigismund Chigi, the nephew of Alexander VII., a cardinal at nineteen, in return, we are told, for the purple which he had himself received from Alexander VII.
Alexander VIII. (ob. 1691) created Lorenzo Altieri, the nephew of Clement X., cardinal at nineteen; Clement XII. (ob. 1740) made Luigi di Borboni, son of Philip V. of Spain, archbishop of Toledo and cardinal at the age of eight; and, finally, Pius VII. (ob. 1823) created Luigi di Borboni, the son of the above-mentioned Archbishop of Toledo, cardinal at twenty-three.
I have somewhat grudged the space that has been needed to complete the list of these precocious dignitaries, but I have thought that it was worth giving for the sake of the illustration it affords of the genuineness, sincerity, and state of mind generally of those, ecclesiastical writers and others, who on the same page which records these monstrous promotions, tell us of the infallibility and, in many cases, of the saintly virtues of the Pontiffs who made them, and of the awful sanctity and tremendous responsibilities of those who are called to the assumption of a dress whose colour is the symbol of their being ever ready to shed their blood in defence of the Church! It is also curiously illustrative of the utter futility of attempting by any rules, canons, or constitutions whatever to bind the hands of one who may at his pleasure " dispense" with all laws and rules.
Steps by which the Papal Election was attributed exclusively to the
Sacred College.-Gradual Progress of Encroachment. —Abnormal Elections.-Early Requisites for the Validity of an Election.Earliest Examples of the Conclave.-Notable Conclave at Viterbo in the thirteenth century.-First example of Election by “Compromise.”—The Fifteen Rules for a papal Election made by Gregory X. -Basis of Conclave Legislation ever since.
MR. CARTWRIGHT, in his able and interesting little volume, “ On the Constitution of Papal Conclaves,” says, quite correctly in my opinion, that, “ from the Bull of Nicholas II.,” which I have spoken of at the beginning of my second chapter, “dates the first organic consummation of a revolution that had long been working its way underground, by which the highest constitutional functions of the Roman See came to be taken away definitively from the ecclesiastical body at large." He adds, however, “and vested exclusively in this corporation” (the Sacred College), which cannot, I think, be said with accuracy. Indeed he goes on to state with entire correctness, what shows this not to have been the case. Quoting the same Bull, which I have referred to, he adds, “ so that the cardinals have the lead in making choice of Popes, the other but following them.” But it
may be seen from the words of promulgation used in · declaring the election of Hildebrand in 1073, already
cited above in the first chapter, “we the cardinals, and
the clergy, acolytes, subdeacons, and priests elect,” &c., &c., that fixity of election, by the Sacred College, had by no means been yet reached. The language of the Bulls and decrees on the subject, and that of the very many writers who have striven to throw light on the question, all go to show that no clear and certain rules or practice in the elections of the Popes had yet been attained. The impression left on the mind by reading these declarations, and the commentaries on them, is that it was the wish and purpose of the Popes and of the cardinals to vest the election exclusively in the latter body ; but that they were not able, or could not venture to affirm distinctly that such was the case, or to decree that it should be the case. The utterances both of Bulls and decrees and of the subsequent ecclesiastical writers seem to be studiously wavering and uncertain; such, in short, as it might be expected to be in registering and describing the advance of an abusive encroachment. The Bull of Nicholas II. declares the assent of the clergy to be necessary to an election. To demand an assent implies the power of refusing that assent. An election made without that assent would according to the terms of the Bull of Nicholas have been void.
Moroni, quoting the commentaries of Panvinius on Platina, tells us that Celestine II. (ob. 1144) was the first Pope elected without the intervention of the Roman people. And Sigonius,* quoted by Moroni, says of Celestine's predecessor, Innocent II. (ob. 1143), “Populum Pontificiorum jure comitiorum, cujus a primis tem
* De regno Italico, lib. x. an. 1143.