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enmities as irreconcilable, divided the members of the Sacred College. Benedict had liberated Philippe le Bel from the censures which Boniface had fulminated against him; but the cardinals were on many grounds divided into two parties—the one favourable to the French King, the other entirely Italian in its proclivities. That other and more intimate causes of hatred and partisan feeling divided them may be sufficiently learned from the fact that the friends of the Orsini were on the one side, and those of the Colonnas on the other !
The cardinals went into Conclave at Perugia, and remained there more than ten months without coming to an election, so even was the balance, and so great the animosity between the two parties. At last the Conclave agreed to make an election “by compromise,” intrusting the nomination of the pontiff to the two heads of either faction, the Cardinal Albertino da Prato and the Cardinal Gaetani. The latter, who was opposed to the French interest, and wished to favour the party of the cardinals created by Boniface VIII., proposed that they should agree to elect one of the three archbishops created by Boniface. Now one of these was Archbishop of Bordeaux, who was known to be on bad terms with the King, on account of offences given to the Archbishop's family at the time of the war in Gascony—the lure to Gaetani being, of course, the prospect of thus electing either an enemy to the French King, or, in any case, one of Boniface's creatures. But Cardinal Albertino being a man, as Moroni tells us, of very acute shrewdness—di finissima politica—determines that the Archbishop of Bordeaux shall be the real man, and sends off a
messenger to him in all secresy to strike a bargain with him for his elevation to the papal throne. The messenger found the Archbishop, Bertrand de Got, in the monastery of St. John at Saintonge, and there quickly came to terms with him. De Got promised on oath that, if he were made Pope, he would grant to Albertino six favours. Four of these had reference to the matters which had been in dispute between the French King and Pope Boniface; the fifth was that the clergy of France should be excused from paying tithes to the Roman See for the next five years; and the sixth not to be declared till after the Archbishop should be crowned Pope! This bargain was successfully struck, and Bertrand de Got became Pope by the name of Clement V.
This grossly simoniacal bargain and election was made just thirty-one years after Gregory X. had in his celebrated constitutions above quoted * fulminated excommunication against all who should in any way by promise, entreaty, persuasion, or bargain, tamper with a papal election! It is needless to point out how flagrantly such bargaining was in violation of the solemn pledges given by a cardinal at his creation, or how shamelessly it contradicts the whole theory and professions on which the election by the cardinals is based. Yet the recognized and official historian, Spondanus, as has been shown, declares that God's providence has ordained that the case of a simoniacal election should never occur! And the writer + who has quoted
• Chapter iv. book i.
† Moroni. It is perhaps inaccurate to speak of Moroni as a “writer." The cavaliere Moroni was the barber who attended the Carnaldolese prior, who became afterwards Gregory XVI. Moroni followed the
this passage from Spondanus narrates the history of this simony with no word of remark, save that it was an act of " finissima politica !” It is utterly out of the question to suppose that any of these men, either the purchaser or the seller of the papacy, could have had any real belief in any portion of the matter,—either in their own solemn pledges; or in the yet more solemn declaration, that the work of the election proceeded under the special influence of the Holy Ghost; or in the validity and significance of the excommunication pronounced by their own Pope when they had elected him! What could this Bertrand de Got's own idea of his own Bulls and fulminations and declarations of the faith, when he had ascended the seat of St. Peter, have been ?
The election thus scandalously brought about was as disastrous to the Church, and especially to Italy, in its result, as it was unblushingly infamous in its initiation. For it was this Frenchman, Bertrand de Got, who transferred the See to Avignon, which “ Babylonish captivity," as the ecclesiastical writers have been fond of calling it, endured till the death of Gregory XI. in 1378, a period of seventy-three years. During this time the See was held in succession by seven Frenchmen, John XXII., Bendict XII., Clement VI., Innocent the VI., Urban V., and Gregory XI. That nothing might be wanting to the sinister auguries with which this papacy, the first of the “Babylonish captivity," commenced, the ceremony of the French Pope's coronation was marked by a terrible catastrophe. Clement refused the prayer of the cardinals that he would go to them at Perugia, and insisted that on the contrary they should come to him at Avignon. They did so, and the tiara was transported thither from Rome with immense ceremony by the Cardinal Ranieri, as Camerlengo of the Holy See. Clement was desirous of imitating the pompous progress made by Boniface from St. Peter's to the Lateran. There was no St. Peter's and no Lateran at Avignon. But still he could ride from one church to another in Avignon; and this he did, or at least attempted to do, with the Duke of Brittany, and Guglielmo de Got his brother, holding the bridle of his palfrey on either side. But the concourse of people and the crush were so terrible in those narrow streets that a wall was thrown down, as the Pope was passing, which killed twelve of the barons who were nearest to him in the procession, the Duke of Brittany and the Pope's brother among them, wounded the King of France, and Charles of Valois, and many others, and threw the Pope himself from his horse, causing the sacred tiara to roll from his head, and thereby to lose from it a ruby worth, says the chronicler, six thousand golden florins.
fortunes of his patron, was a great favourite with the late Pope, became his first “Gentleman of the Chamber," and was, or was supposed in Rome to be, able to obtain any favour from Gregory. Roman gossip tells that the good-natured but not scrupulously conscientious Pontiff, would say to his favourite, when disposing of some benefice or office at his solicitation, “ you make 'em pay for it, I hope ? They pay well, I hope!” Thence when it came into the head of the first gentleman of the Chamber to bring out a “ Dizionario di Erudizione Storico-ecclesiastica,” (in 103 volumes, 8vo. 1840-1861), he had no difficulty, as may easily be understood, in obtaining all his articles from the men most competent to treat each subject. And the barber's book is thus an extremely valuable one; grievously in want of an Index, which, it is said, he has caused to be prepared, but will not print because of the “ perversity of the times.”
Clement proceeded to fill the Sacred College with French cardinals, whose scandalous quarrels and grossly simoniacal proceedings caused, at his death in 1314, an interregnum of two years, five months, and seventeen days. Two Conclaves were held during this time, one in Carpentras and one in Lyons; at the last of which, a "compromise" having at length been agreed to, and the French Cardinal Jacopo d’Euse having been intrusted with the nomination of the Pope, and the cardinals having bound themselves, as is the essential condition of an election by “compromise,” to accept his nominee as the legitimate Pope, he forthwith declared “Ego sum Papa !” “I am the Pope,” and was elected accordingly. The reasons assigned by Novaes * for not believing this story seem to me extremely futile. They consist mainly in the new Pope's declaration in a letter to Robert of Sicily that he had been elected “nemine discrepante," and in the declaration of a Portuguese bishop, writing to another Pope, to the same effect. But this D'Euse, John XXII., was in perfect truth elected unanimously by all the cardinals, in accordance with their agreement so to elect his nominee.
The Conclave which assembled at Avignon, on the death of John XXII., who after ruling the Church for eighteen years and three months, died in his ninety-first year, on the 13th of December, 1334, was almost as disgraceful an one as that which elected the Pope who led the Church into “Captivity," Clement V. The spirit which animated its members is sufficiently shown by the offer which they made of the Papacy to John de Com
• "Dissertazioni Storico-critichi.” Diss. iii. sec. 47.