網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

it subsequently acquired. The canons of various cathedral chapters, notably those of Milan, Eavenna, Fermo, Cologne, Salerno, Naples, Compostella, &c, were gratified with the appellation of cardinals. There are passages of ancient writers from which it appears clear that at one period all the clergy of the Eoman churches were called "cardinals." In France those priests empowered to hear confessions and give absolution seem to have been called "cardinals."*

In fact the use of the word, and the practice in assuming and conceding the title, seems to have been, bike so much else in those ages, exceedingly vague. Nor for a long time was the restriction of the title to the class which now alone uses it decisive and fixed. It appears gradually to have been understood to appertain only to those whom the Pope specially created cardinals. At last, in 1567, Pope Pius V. definitively -f decreed that none should assume the name or title of cardinal save those created such by the Eoman Pontiff; and from that time to the present day the name has been exclusively applied to the body of men who are now so called.

Thus much for the name. That the dignity existed in such sort, that the cardinals of the Eoman Church, or rather of the Church at Eome, were deemed of far superior rank and dignity to those of any other church, who more or less abusively called themselves by that name, at least several centuries earlier, has been sufficiently seen. But it does not appear that the idea of the Sacro ColUgio—of a collegiate body composed of the cardinals, and of them alone—arose till long after the earliest mention of cardinals. It is said that traces of such a conception may be found in the life of Leo III., created in 795, which is extant by Anastasius. Moroni cites a variety of writers and documents of the centuries between that date and the end of the eleventh century, for the purpose of showing that at all events by the end of that time the body of cardinals was recognised as a collegiate corporation. And he then proceeds, "Having fixed the epoch at which the cardinals were known even by name as the Sacred College," &c But in fact his citations show nothing of the sort, and appear to me to indicate rather the reverse. At all events he fails to adduce any instance in which the phrase in question is used.* Nor have I been able to discover when the body of cardinals was first so called. The institution, indeed, seems to have continued in a very fluid state till a much later date. And it is not till Sixtus V., by the Bull Postquam, dated the 3rd of December, 1585, finally regulated the composition of the Sagro Collegio, that we find ourselves on solid ground. Up to this time not only was the number of cardinals exceedingly variable in fact, but the theory of what the number ought to be, as far as any theory existed on the subject, was equally uncertain. Thus John XXII., when requested to create two French cardinals in 1331, replied that there were only twenty cardinals, that seventeen of these already were Frenchmen, and that he could therefore only consent then to create one French cardinal. And at the death of Clement VI. in 1352, the cardinals determined that their number should not exceed twenty. Urban VI. (ob. 1389) created a great number; and the College made representations to Pius II. (ob. 1464), to the effect that the dignity of the purple was diminished by such excess. Sixtus IV. (ob. 1484), however, multiplied the number of his creations to a hitherto unexampled degree. And Alexander VI. (ob. 1503), who drove a very lucrative trade in cardinal-making, exceeded him. But Leo X. (ob. 1521), having no regard, as we are told, for all that had been said or done by his predecessors, created thirty-one cardinals at one batch. He created in all forty-two in the short space of eight years and eight months, and left at his death no less than sixty-five, a number unprecedented up to that day. Paul III., however, the Famese Pope (ob. 1549), created seventy-one. But Paul IV. (ob. 1559), after consulting the Sacred College, issued the Bull called Compactum, by which it was decreed that the number of cardinals should never henceforward exceed forty, and that no new cardinal should be created till the existing number had fallen to at most thirty-nine. Despite this, however, his immediate successor Pius IV. (ob. 1565) raised the number of the cardinals to forty-six. Finally Sixtus V. (ob. 1590) established, by the Bull mentioned above, seventy as the fixed number—i.e. the maximum number—of the College, "after the example of the seventy elders appointed by God as counsellors of Moses." And this number has never since been exceeded, and may be considered at the present day as representing the complement of the Sacred College, though it is expressly laid down by the authorities on the subject that no canonical disability exists to prevent the Pope from exceeding that number if he should see fit to do so.

* Cave, writing of Anastasius the Eoman librarian (vol. ii. p. 56. col. 2.), says that he was ordained by Leo IV. about the year 848 presbyter of the titular church of St. Marcellus, and quotes the words of Pope Leo: "Presbyter cardinis nostri quem nos in titulo, B. Marcelli Martyiis atque Pontificis ordinavimus." That is to say, continues Cave, that that church was specially intrusted to him, that he might continually be busied in the care of it, "Tanquam janua in cardine Buo," and so commonly called a cardinal.

t Moroni, Dizionario, tom. ix. p. 247.

* "The institution of cardinals properly so callod," says Cave, "is referred to the middle of this century—the eleventh. There were indeed cardinals in the Eoman Church before this, that is to say, clerks fixed in and taking titles from the more celebrated churches of the city. Nor were cardinals wanting in others of the most important churches. But about this time they were enrolled—asciti sunt—in an Apostolic College, as counsellors of the Pope, assistant judges—conjudices—senators of tho city and the world, true hinges of the world—veri mundi cardines."Cave, Scrip. Ec. Hist. Lit., tom. ii. p. 124, col. 2.

By the same Bull, Postquam, of 1585, Sixtus V. also determined that the seventy of the Sacred College should consist of six cardinal bishops, fifty cardinal priests, and fourteen cardinal deacons. The first arc the bishops of the sees immediately around Eorne. The deacons take their titles from the diaconie, established in the earliest centuries, and attached to certain churches, for the assistance and support of the; widows and orphans of the faithful; and the cardinal priests take theirs from the most noted, venerable, and ancient of the parish churches in Eome.

As mistakes are frequently made about the assumption and "choice" of their titles by newly-created cardinals, it may be as well here to give a list of the titles, or sees or churches, after which the cardinals are designated. The cardinal bishops are the holders of the sees of—1, Ostia and Velletri; 2, Porto and St. Eufina; 3, Albano; 4, Frascati; 5, Palestrina; 6, Sabina. The fifty "titular" churches are St. Lorenzo in Lucina, St. Agostino, St. Alessio, St. Agnes, St. Anastasia, Saints Andrew and Gregory on Monte Celio, the Twelve Apostles, St. Balbina, St. Bartholomew in the Island, St. Bernard at the Diocletian Baths, St. Calistus, St. Cecilia, St. Clement, St. Chrisogonus, St. Cross of Jerusalem, St. John at the Porta Latina, Saints John and Paul, St. Jerome of the Slaves, St. Laurence in Damaso, St. Laurence in Panisperna, Saints Marcellinus and Peter, St. Marcellus, St. Mark, St. Mary of the Angels, St. Mary of Peace, St. Mary of Victory, St. Mary of Piazza del Popolo, St. Mary in Aracoeli, St. Mary in Traspontina, St. Mary in Trastevere, St. Mary in Via, St. Mary sopra Minerva, Saints Nereus and Achilleus, St. Onophrius, St. Pancras, St. Peter in Montorio, St. Peter in Vincula, St. Prassede, St. Prisca, St. Pudenziana, the Four Crowned Saints, Saints Quiricus and Julietta, St. Sabina, Saints Sylvester and Martin on the Hill, St. Sylvester in Capite, St. Sixtus, St. Stephen on Monte Celio, St. Susanna, St. Thomas in Parione, the Holy Trinity on Monte Pincio. The fourteen deaconries are as follows: St. Mary in Via Lata, St. Adrian in the Forum, St. Agatha alia Suburra, St. Angelo in Peschiera, St. Cesareo, Saints Cosmo and Damian, St. Eustache, St. George in Velabro, St. Mary ad Martyres, St. Mary della Scala, St. Mary in Aquiro, St. Mary in Cosmedin, St. Mary in Dominica, St. Mary in Portico, St. Nicholas in Carcere, Saints Vitus and Modestus.

As regards these different orders of cardinals, it may be said that for most practical purposes, specially for all

« 上一頁繼續 »