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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 theSacred College.—Gradual Progress of Encroachment.—Abnormal Elections.—Early Eequisites 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 Eules for a papal Election mado by Gregory X. —Basis of Conclave Legislation ever sinco.
Mr. Cartwbight, 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 Eoman 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 Eoman 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.
poribus ad eam usque diem particeps fuerat, spoliaverat."* Pagi says that Innocent II., already before the election of Celestine, had been elected by the cardinals alone, without the "assistance" of the clergy and people. Otto of Freisingen declares in his chronicle, that Eugenius III. (oh. 1153) was elected in 1445, "communi roto cleri et populi." And he says that in 1154 the ''clerici et laici pariter conclamantes intronizarunt Hadrianum quartum," the English Pope. The fact is not only that apparently contradictory statements by the dozen may be found, but that the language of all these statements is so vague, uncertain, and plastic, that it is impossible to say what the precise meaning was which the writer intended to convey; or useless rather, as it might perhaps be better put, to attempt to extract from their words a precision of statement, which the subject they were treating of did not admit, and the necessity or desirability of which they had no conception of. This at least is clear, that during all that period of fluidity, as I have ventured to call it, the line of demarcation between de jure and de facto was oscillating, changeable, and vacillating; but that the general tendency was always advancing towards the recognition of an exclusive right to elect the Popes, in the College of Cardinals.
So far, however, was the matter from being definitively settled by the Bull of Nicholas II., or by the practice that had prevailed during the next hundred and twenty years, that the first attempt made to effect an election, that of Alexander III. (ol. 1181), without
* Breviar., tern. i. p. 669.
the participation of the clergy and people, led to a schism among the cardinals, and the election of an Antipope, -who called himself Victor IV. Four Antipopes in succession sprung from and supported the schism, and contested the election and the sovereignty of Alexander III. He lived, however, to overcome his enemies, and heal the wounds of the Church in the course of a papacy of all but twenty-two years. And before his death, he assembled the third Lateran Council, which among other matters decreed that no future election to the Papal Throne should be deemed valid .without the votes of two-thirds of the College of Cardinals, a regulation which has been observed ever since, and is the law which regulates the proceedings of the Conclaves to the present day.
Nevertheless we have not yet by any means reached the latest case of an altogether abnormal election, though we have made considerable progress towards ascertaining what the norma was to be. As late as 1417, Martin V. (ob. 1431) was elected for the closing of the schism, which had so deeply wounded the Church, not only by the members of the Sacred College, created by Gregory XII. (renounced, 1415), and those of the deposed John XXIII. (deposed, 1415), and those created (or rather professed to be created) by the Antipope Benedict XIII.; but also by thirty other prelates, six for each of the five nations which contributed to the Council.
As far, however, as regards the final attribution of the power of electing the Pontiff to the College of Cardinals exclusively, we may consider that the practice of the Church was fixed, as it has ever since remained, by the