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masterful and high-handed, if times were rude and men violent in France, the men into the midst of whom the Popes were importuned to return were a herd of raging ruffians, cut-throats, and poisoners. The former were men who could always be awed into reverence by a due exhibition and administration of Papal Mumbo-jumbo. The latter were men whom no Mumbo-jumbo could awe into a reverence which was alien to their nature, or into superstition which too long a close acquaintance with, and handling of, Mumbo-jumbo had utterly liberated them from.
And the great and all-important fact of a definitive restoration of the Papal Court to Eome was accordingly brought about by an accident after all.
Gregory XI., having left Avignon, as has been said, on the 10th of September, 1376, celebrated his Christmas mass at Corneto, on his arrival in Italy. He was received with the utmost possible enthusiasm by all classes, and with the greatest pomp and magnificence; and at once began active endeavours to repair the evils, material and moral, which had resulted from the absence of the Popes from Eome. But it was uphill work! The Florentines were at open war with him. The petty tyrants of the papal cities joined themselves to them, whenever they were disposed to rebel against the Pope. The Eoman barons showed not the smallest disposition to obey him. And the Gascon and Breton troops, whom he had brought with him to protect him, found it hard work to do so. Gregory, we are told, was stricken with melancholy from the day of his arrival in Eome. How well we can imagine that it should have been so! A gloomy, savage-looking, and half-ruined city grovelling amid the majestic ruins of the Paganism which still survived in the blood of the descendants of those who had raised them; lawless and knowing no authority save that of the ruffian barons and their retainers, who were ever snarling over the carcass; desolate in the midst of the ever sad and dreary
Campagna! Yes! It may be understood that
the Languedoc Pope should have been stricken with melancholy at the sight of the surroundings, and the life, and the work before him.
He seems very soon to have begun to make up his mind that it would not do, and that he must return! That, however, was far more easily said than done. The Eomans, who would not obey him, were by no means willing that he should depart. It is probable that they would have attempted, and probably succeeded, in detaining him by violence. And it is to be remembered that his death at Eome would have suited their plans and wishes just as well as his continuing to live there. For in that case there would be a Conclave at Eome, and the probability of a Pope who would continue to reside there.
Gregory had, however, determined to return. But he was continually tormented by an incurable and painful illness, and he began to foresee that he might never see his Languedoc again! And his last act seems to indicate a conviction, not only that he had make a mistake in moving to Eome, but that it would be desirable for his successor, be he whom he might, to continue to keep the Papacy in France; for his last act was the preparation of a dispensing Bull, empowering the cardinals to elect his successor either in or away from Eome, wherever the greater number of the members of the College might be. Now as the major part of the cardinals were then in Eome, and as they had all been most urgent with the Pope to return to France, this Bull would seem to contemplate their going away from Home to make the election elsewhere.
Gregory" indeed was destined never to leave Home. His last illness overtook him before he could put his intention of returning into execution; and he died on the evening of the 27th of March, 1378, having reigned seven years and all but three months, of which the last year and three months were passed in Italy.
And thus ended the "Babylonish Captivity."
Sacred College at the Death of Gregory XI.—Anecdotes of the Conclave that elected Urban VI.—Turbulence of the Roman People.—Alarm of the Cardinals.—Circumstances -which led to the great Schism.— Doubts respecting the Canonicity of the Election of Urban VI.— Other Causes leading to the Schism.—Irregular Election of Robert of Geneva by the dissenting Cardinals as Clement VII., -who has always been held to bo an Antipope.—Schism of thirty-nine Years.
The death of Gregory XI., which overtook him at Eome when he was meditating his return to Avignon, was the means of restoring the Papacy to the Eternal City, but by no means smoothed away or cut the knot of the difficulties by which that restoration was surrounded. The details of the story of the Conclave which elected his successor, Bartolommeo Prignani, Archbishop of Bari, who was not a cardinal,* as Urban VI., are curious and strongly marked by the characteristics of the times. They have been preserved in the Latin relation of a contemporary, probably a "Conclavista,"j- which is printed in the collection published in 1691, by G. L.J
* Since him no Pope has been elected who was not at tho time a member of the Sacred College.
t I.e., one of the " attendants" provided for in the constitutions of Gregory. They may in accordance with them be oither clerks or laymen. In practice they are always clerks.
X Gregorio Leti. The edition cited is a reprint mado at Cologne, and is in 12mo. The original edition in 4to. has no date of place or year. Gregorio Leti was born in 1630. His inexactitude as an historian is notorious. But in the case of these relations of the Conclave, ho is merely the collector of tho accounts of others. That of tho Conclave of
Gregory left the Sacred College consisting of twentythree cardinals, of whom four only were Italian. There was one Spaniard, and all the others were French. Some of these had remained at Avignon; and sixteen only (as Moroni says, reckoning one Spaniard, eleven French, and four Italians; or seventeen, as the old Conclavista says) entered into Conclave on the 7th of April, 1378.* But, as the Conclavista relates, without the smallest appearance of any consciousness that he is telling that which vitiated the whole election, t they met beforc entering into Conclave to discuss the matter, and see what prospect there was of coming to an agreement. This at once appeared to be but small. For although the eleven French cardinals were strong enough to have elected one of their own body, who would have carried the Papacy back into France, as they ardently wished, if they had been unanimous, there was a principle of division among them which deprived them of their power. The difficulty arose from the fact that the French cardinals, though all French, were not all from the Diocese of Limoges; as (from the circumstance of three out the line of seven French Popes, Clement VI., Innocent VI., and Gregory XI., having been natives of
Urban VI. is shown to be by a contemporary, by the statement that Joanna of Naples "was and is" a person much esteemed by the cardinals.
* Cancellieri, with his usual carelessness, says on the 11th of September, which could in no wise have been the case; a blunder which is the more strange in that in the samo passage he quotes Leti's Conclavista, who gives the date correctly.
f Hi" words are, " Cardinales ante ingressum Conclavis simul in certo loco aliquando congregati inter se colloquium habuerunt super persona (sic) futuri Pontificis tractantes et colloquentes, qui tamen non potuerunt concordare." Compare this with the 14th of Gregory X.'a rules.