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Church from imminent danger should make it necessary for them to do so.
"VIII. If any cardinal shall not enter into Conclave, or shall by reason of sickness quit the Conclave, let the election be proceeded with all the same without such cardinal. If, however, he that has quitted the Conclave should recover let him be readmitted. Let the cardinals also who shall arrive after the others have entered the Conclave be admitted, for no one shall give any vote in the election except in Conclave. Besides which entrance cannot be denied even to cardinals who may have been censured or excommunicated. No one can be declared Pope unless at least two-thirds of the electors shall have concurred in electing him. Not only the cardinals, even those absent from the Conclave, but any other person, not incapacitated by just impediment, may be elected to the Papacy in this manner."
The provision as to the admission to the Conclave of cardinals under censure or excommunication is a very important one; and at one time during the present Pontificate it seemed likely to become very immediately important. And it will be necessary to return to the subject in a subsequent chapter. Evidently the intention of the rule was to put it out of the power of a Pope to ensure the election of such or such a successor by excluding from the Conclave all such cardinals as were not disposed to vote for him, which a Pope might easily have accomplished if his censure could suffice to deprive a cardinal of his vote.
As to elections of persons not present in Conclave, it may be noted that the last instance of the election of an absent cardinal was that of Florenz the Fleming as Adrian VI. in 1522 j and the last instance of the election of a Pope who had not been a cardinal was that of Prignani, a Neapolitan, and Archbishop of Bari, as Urban VI. in 1378.
"IX. If the Pope shall have died outside the city in which he was residing with his court, the cardinals shall hold the Conclave in the city within whose territory the Pope died. But if this city be under interdict or in rebellion, they shall hold the Conclave in the nearest city.
"X. The governors and officials of the city in which the Conclave shall be held shall see to the observance of the prescribed rules.
"XI. As soon as ever the tidings of the Pope's death shall be received, such governors shall swear, in the presence of the clergy and people, who shall be assembled for that purpose, that they will observe the above rules.
"XII. If such governors should not observe such rules, let them be excommunicated, and perpetually infamous; let them lose their charters, and let the city be placed under interdict and lose the rank of an episcopal see.
"XIII. Let the cardinals engaged in the election lay aside entirely all private affections, and let them take heed solely to the common welfare of the Church.
"XIV. No one of the sacred electors shall speak to, make promise to, or entreat in any sort any one of the other cardinals with a view of inducing such cardinal to incline to their own wishes in the matter of the election, under pain of excommunication. Let, on thecontrary, all bargains, all agreements, all undertakings, even though they may have been corroborated by an oath, be held to be of no validity; and let him that breaks them be deemed worthy of praise rather than of the blame of perjury."
This rule, all-important, were it not that all hope of the observance of it is absolutely futile and vain, was confirmed by Innocent VI. in 1353; and Julius II., in 1505, issued a Bull against the simoniacal election of a Pope, in which it is declared that "the election of a Pope tainted by simony must be considered to possess no validity; that the man so elected, even though he should have the vote of all the sacred electors, must be considered a heresiarch, and deprived of all honour and dignity; that a simoniacal election does not become valid either by enthronement, by adoration, by the lapse of time, nor by the obedience of the cardinals; that, on the contrary, it shall be lawful for the cardinals, for the clergy, and the Eoman people to refuse obedience to a Pope simoniacally elected."
The enactment of such a law is surely a very curious instance of the simple-minded, unreasoning, unforeseeing, naivete of the medieval mind, which is thus shown to us as childlike as that of a Eed Indian. No provision is made for the authoritative decision of the question whether an election have been vitiated by simoniacal bargainings or not; but each unit in the whole social body is empowered to do his best towards breaking up the whole framework of society if the election of a Pope have been simoniacal — that is, necessarily, if he, the unit, think so. The French ecclesiastical historian, Jean Sponde,* better known by the Latin form of his name, Spondanus, remarks (a.d. 1505), obviously enough, that the remedy provided by Julius II. -would be of considerably difficult application; "wherefore," he proceeds to add, with an amount of audacious and brazen-fronted hypocrisy and falsehood hardly to be paralleled, "God has provided that there has never been need of it." The perhaps most grossly and notoriously simoniacal election, that of Alexander VI. in 1492, was still fresh in men's minds, besides numerous other examples in more remote times. The very next election after that of Julius II. himself, when these denunciations and threats of his were brand new and fresh, that of Leo X., was unquestionably simoniacal. And the probability is that scarcely one, if one, election could be adduced during the last three centuries which has not been tainted by simony as understood and defined by Julius II.
"XV. In all cities and places of importance, as soon as the death of the Pope is known, solemn obsequies shall be celebrated; and during the vacancy of the see prayer shall be every day made to God for the speedy, unanimous, and judicious election of a new Pontiff, which the prelates shall also strive to promote by prescribing days of fasting."
Such are the constitutions of Gregory X., which,
* Sponde was born at Mauleon in 1568. His " Ecclesiastical Annals" are in fact an abbreviation of the great •work of Baronius, who was his intimate friend.
though modified by subsequent Pontiffs in many respects, and supplemented by more minute regulations in yet more, remain to the present day the foundation and origin of all the law and usage observed in the papal elections up to this time, and may therefore be considered as putting an end to the fluid state of matters which has been described in the preceding chapters, and to this our first book.