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was completed before the irruption of the populace. Besides, there was the still more conclusive fact of the perfect adhesion of the cardinals to their choice during three months. The rebels, however, proceeded to hold a Conclave, which professed to elect the Cardinal Eobert of Geneva Pope, by the name of Clement VII., "but in truth," says the conclavist, "rather erected an idol, and called him so."
And thus began the great schism, which lasted thirtynine years, and was only closed by the irregular election of an undisputed Pontiff in the person of Martin V., by the authority of the Council of Constance, in 1417.
This election, or pretended election, of an Antipope divided all Europe, and was the cause of a long and sad series of evils, as those who engaged in it must have known that it would be. All Italy (except the Count of Fondi and the prefect of the city, who had from the first joined the rebel cardinals in their conspiracy against Urban), all Germany, all England, and Portugal, maintained their allegiance to Urban. France and Spain adhered to the Antipope. "And thus," says the Conclavist, "followed difficulties and very many errors among Christian people. And what one Pope bound the other loosed. And hence arose legal processes, and deprivations, and anathematizations, to the great disgrace of the Church and of Christendom. From the same cause it came to pass that the same benefice often was given to two persons, and the matter was frequently settled by force of arms, -whence followed the deaths of many men, the depopulation of the country, and the destruction of many. Hence, too, followed the great war between the Duke of Burgundy and him of Liege, in which, as it is said, thirty thousand men perished."
The very important results that followed from the circumstances of this Conclave, and the singularity of them, have seemed to afford a reason for relating the details of it at greater length than can be afforded to the story of many of them. But the history of this Conclave of Urban VI., and of the terrible results of it, will be worth remembering when we come to the description of the minute and elaborate precautions and ceremonies, the main object of which has been to render any, even the smallest, irregularity in the action of the Conclaves impossible.
The whole tone and style of the proceedings which have been related contrasts amusingly with the more staid and solemn, but not a whit more sincere or honest, doings of the Conclaves of later times. And there is a flavour of masterful directness and reckless violence mingled with a sort of naive semi-barbarian simplicity, which, as characteristic of the times, has suggested the heading of this book of my story.
Conclaves during the Period of the Schism.—Council of Pisa.—Abnormal and Irregular State of Things in the Church.—Council of Constance.—Decrees which put an end to the Schism, by the Election of Martin V.—Difficulties arising from the Action of the Council of Constance.—Their Effect as regarding Modern Theories of Infallibility.
The notices that have been preserved of the Conclaves which elected the Popes during the period of the schism —from the election of Urban VI., that is to say, in 1378, to that of Martin V., in 1417—contribute nothing of special interest to a history of the Conclaves. The story of the Church, indeed, during those disastrous years is full enough of interest. But it would require the entirety of a volume as large as the present to give a detailed and intelligible account of the struggles, plottings, and counter-plottings, of the rival Popes, of whom there were at one time three in the field. For the Council of Pisa, 1409 (the legitimacy of which is itself disputed, on the ground that no Pope summoned or presided over it), deposed, or pretended to depose, both Gregory XII. and the Antipope, Benedict XIII., and elected Alexander V. But neither Gregory nor Benedict would consider themselves to be deposed, though the former renewed the ofter which he had before made as regarded Benedict, to resign the Papacy if both his rivals would do the same. The cardinals who elected his predecessor, Innocent VII., in 1404, had in Conclave all sworn, each for himself, that if elected Pope he would pledge himself to resign if the Antipope would do so also. But Innocent no sooner was elected than he dispensed all the cardinals, himself included, from the observance of the vow!—a notable instance of the futility of any attempt to bind a Pope by any moral sanction. In the Conclave which elected Gregory XII. the same oath was taken by all the cardinals, and one cannot but feel astonishment that they should have had the face, each in presence of his fellow, to go through such a solemn farce so shortly after the experience they had had of the efficacy of the oath in question, and astonishment still greater at the simplicity of those, if such there were, who could imagine that they were binding an infallible being, armed with such authority as a Pope wields!
Gregory XII. did not, indeed, forthwith repudiate his oath, as Innocent did. On the contrary, he continued to protest his readiness to abdicate if his rival would do so too. But the promise was one which it was very safe to make. He promised also on oath in Conclave to create no more cardinals than such as should be sufficient to keep his College of Cardinals as numerous as that of the Antipope. But as soon as ever it became convenient to him to do so he violated his oath, declaring that he was not guilty of any perjury because circunistances had changed since he made the promise.
Alexander V., the Pope elected by the self-constituted Council of Pisa, died in 1410, after a reign of only ten months and eight days. His name appears in the official lists of the Popes, and he is recognised by the Church as having been such;—strangely enough! For it follows that there were two legitimate Popes (beside the Antipope) at one and the same time. The list published in the official Pontifical Calendar declares Gregory XII. to have resigned in 1409, the date of his deposition by the Council of Pisa; and places the election of Alexander in the same year, avoiding the appearance of two contemporary Popes on the face of the list. But in the list of the Popes given in the "Eelazione della Corte di Eoma," by the Cavaliere Lunadoro—a useful little work recognised by the ecclesiastical authorities, and reprinted again and again in Eome—the following is the statement made respecting Gregory XII.: "His Pontificate, according to the opinion of those who think that it terminated in the fifteenth session of the Council of Pisa, lasted two years, six months, and four days; and according to the opinion of such as prolong his reign till the fourteenth session of the Council of Constance, at which time Gregory solemnly renounced the Papacy, it lasted eight years, seven months, and three days." And in truth the resignation of Gregory did not take place till he sent it by his plenipotentiary, Carlo Malatesta, to the Council of Constance, at the fourteenth session of that body on the 14th of July, 1415. And during all the time from the election of Alexander by the selfcreated Council of Pisa, in 1409, to the 14th July, 1415, there were two Popes, neither of whom has the Church agreed to consider spurious and illegitimate. For though Alexander V., the first creation of the rebellious and schismatic cardinals, died at Bologna ten months