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forty votes out of the fifty-two cardinals who went into Conclave, and the result could not be doubtful. The new Pope was the man of his choice, and that fell on Alexander Ludovisi of Bologna, who was elected Pope, as Gregory XV., on the 9th of February, 1621.
The selection of Ludovisi marks the tendency of the time as distinctly as that of the Caraffas and Ghislieris had marked the preceding epoch. He had been known as an able and successful diplomatist. But he was now an old and broken man, and reigned only two years and five months.
His nephew, the magnificent and splendid Cardinal Ludovico Ludovisi, an able energetic man of only fiveand-twenty at the time of his uncle's election, exercised, in fact, the sovereign power during the short reign of Gregory XV. Ludovisi, though a worldly and worldloving man, was not negligent of the duties of his station as he understood them. His tenure of power was marked by the establishment of the celebrated Propaganda,* and by the canonization of the two first generals of the Jesuits—both events also marking the character of the period.
The election to be now made was the first under the new regulations which had been laid down by Gregory XV. in his Bulls of the 15th of November, 1621, Eterni Patris Filius, and of the following
* It is perhaps hardly necessary to say that the full title of this world-famous College is the "Sacra Congregationo de Propaganda Fide." The first planning of the institution dates from the time of Gregory XIII.—but it was not effectually founded till the reign of Gregory XV., and mainly by the efforts and munificence of the Cardinal Ludovisi.
15th of March, Decet Romanum Pontificem. These Bulls of Gregory XV. make no change whatever in the principle and theory of the election, but only regulate the mode of procedure and ceremonial, and they form the basis of Conclave law and practice at the present time. The most important innovation made in them seems to have been that which orders that the scrutiny shall be in future secret. We have seen enough of the disorders to which the proceedings were rendered liable by the practice of open voting to appreciate the motives of Gregory's ordinance. These Bulls also repeat and renew the strictest prohibitions to the cardinals from conferring with any one, even with their own colleagues, on the Pope to be elected, or from forming factions and parties in the Conclave, or from communicating to the world outside aught that passes within it. We have seen how far such rules were observed in the Conclaves heretofore—what sign there has been perceptible that any of the parties concerned thought any obedience was due to any such rules. And it is difficult to understand how Gregory himself, who knew well what Conclaves were, could have supposed that such rules would or, one may almost say, could be observed.
Father Theiner, in his very able history of the pontificate of Clement XIV., declares that these regulations go beyond what is humanly possible. Still, as Mr. Cartwright remarks,* he makes the distinct admission that in the correspondence written from the Conclave the cardinals violated obligations by which
* "Constitution of Papal Conclaves," p. 112.
they had bound themselves. It might be added that they subjected themselves to penalties which it is incredible that they would have incurred if they had believed in them. "How, it will be asked," says Father Theiner, "could some cardinals venture on such an open violation of the above constitution (that of Gregory XV.) as to communicate so freely to their Court all that passed in the Conclave as was the case with the French cardinals and with Orsini?" To which the author attempts so lame an answer, that the reader can hardly help feeling that it was imprudent on the part of an orthodox writer to have asked it, or to avoid the conclusion that the true answer is, because they had no belief in the sacred nature of the command or in the punishment of the violation of it, but regarded the whole thing as a solemn sham and farce!
The constitution of Gregory enjoining the secrecy of the votes given in scrutiny was observed on the next following election, and has been the rule ever since, no doubt to the great increase of order and regularity of proceeding in the Conclaves—not that the plan is otherwise than an immoral one, and the necessity for it discreditable to the electors of the Sacred College. There should be nothing to prevent a conscientious man in that position from declaring openly in the face of bis fellows the name of him whom, as before God, he considers most fitted to assume the government of the universal Church; but, as the electors are, and as the elections are, no doubt the secrecy of the voting has contributed to order and regularity.
But if the attention of Gregory had been drawn to the expediency of providing for the better ordering of the proceedings of the Conclaves, he omitted to attempt anything towards ameliorating that terrible evil and scandal to Eome and its priestly government—the state of the city during the interregnum between one Pope's reign and that of his successor. 11 Let no man say that he has seen Eome," says the historian of a Conclave of this period, "who has not been there during a vacancy of the Holy See! The authority of the tribunals is then at an end, and every one is free to speak and to write and to say openly that which on all accounts at any other time it was necessary to keep concealed." The remark is very characteristic of Eome and its social atmosphere at that period; but it would have been well if the general unloosing of tongues and pens had been all the licence to which the interregnum gave occasion. Here is a passage from Girolamo Gigli, quoted by Cancellieri, who calls him a most accurate writer of the things which happened in his time, giving some account of the state of things during the interregnum between Gregory XV. and Urban VIII. It is abundantly confirmed in all respects by other writers. The interregnum in question, as has been seen, did not continue beyond the normal time. What must the state of Eome have been when the period of utter lawlessness was prolonged for months!
"Not a day passed," says Gigli, "without quarrels, homicides, and ambuscades. Many men and women were found killed in various parts of the city; many headless bodies were found, many, also headless, which had been thrown into the Tiber; many houses were broken into by night and sacked; doors were broken open; women were done violence to, some killed, and others carried off by violence; many young girls were dishonoured, forced^, and taken away. All the officers of justice who made any attempt to take any man to prison were either killed or badly wounded and maimed. The governor of Trastevere was stabbed while making the round of his district; and other governors of districts were in great peril of their lives. But many of these disorders and audacious crimes were committed by soldiers whom different lords and princes kept at Home for their own protection. Such was the case especially with the guards whom the Cardinal of Savoy had brought to Eome with him, by whom a large number of the officers of justice, who had taken one of their band into custody, were slain. In short, the evil went on increasing from day to day, till it was thought that Eome would be brought to a bad pass indeed if the Conclave were to last as long as there was much reason to fear it might!"
Gregory XV. had died in the Quirinal Palace on the evening of Saturday, the 8th of July, 1623; and on the morning of the 19th fifty-two cardinals, after hearing mass in St. Peter's, went into Conclave in the Vatican. Three other cardinals arrived in Eome subsequently, and entered Conclave, making the number fifty-five; but Cardinal Peretti having been obliged to quit it on account of illness, the number of those who took part in the election was eventually fifty-four. Thirty-six, therefore, was the required majority of two-thirds necessary to make an election.