ePub 版

direct action of the Holy Spirit. He adds that the delay could not be due to the want of any person among their own body fitted for becoming Pope, inasmuch as no less than four of those then present became subsequently Popes, under the names of Adrian V. (ob. 1276), Nicholas III. (ob. 1280), Martin IV. (ob. 1285), and Honorius IV. (ob. 1287). Unquestionable, however, as the "papability,"—to use a word which has become a cant one in Conclave language—of all these four may have been, the cardinals at Viterbo could not come to an election, for the opposing parties were so evenly balanced, and the interests at stake so great, that neither side would yield. Charles of Anjou came to Viterbo, and remained there, hoping that by throwing the weight of his personal presence into the scale, he might intimidate the cardinals on the opposite side. He had not calculated on the patient obstinacy of an Italian who trusts for victory to the policy of doing nothing! The desired election was none the nearer for the presence of the foreign prince, who was so odious to all save his own creatures in the College.

The citizens of Viterbo, and the town captain, oneEanieri Gatti, who as such had the custody of the Conclave, which seems to have implied the imprisonment of the cardinals, in his hand, understood their countrymen better. Despairing of seeing an end put to the shocking condition of disorder and anarchy, which always, down even to quite modern times, made the Pontifical States a hell upon earth during the period of every interregnum, they resorted to the novel expedient of unroofing the palace in which the Conclave was sitting, at the same time graduaUV diminishing the rations supplied to the cardinals. But not even did this strong measure succeed in producing the desired result. There is a curious letter extant, addressed by the cardinals to Gatti, the town-captain, the purpose of which was to request him to allow one of their number, the Cardinal Henry of Ostia, to quit the Conclave on the ground of illness. This letter is dated in Palatio discoperto Episcopatus Viterbiensis, VI. Idus Junii MCCLXX., Apostolicse sede vacante: *—" From the unroofed episcopal palace of Viterbo."—The letter in question is curious, moreover, from the statement specially made in it, that the cardinal, whose release from Conclave is requested, has altogether renounced his right to vote on this occasion.f But not for more than a year after this incident,—and more than a year, therefore, after the unroofing of the palace,—did the imprisoned cardinals, exposed to the elements as they were, come to an election. At last, moved, it is said, not by any threats or persuasions from without, nor by their own sufferings within their prison, but by the persuasions of the Cardinal Bishop of Porto, and those of the Franciscan Saint Buonaventura, the Conclave was


* Cancellieri, p. 6.

J Mr. Cartwright remarks that the "insertion of this clause in the letter deserves attention, as proving that, at this period, it had not yet been definitely ruled that every cardinal's active participation was not an indispensable condition for setting a papal election beyond challenge." It does not seem likely to me, that the insertion of the clause in question was dictated by any such intention. I am not aware that it was ever held, that the active participation of every cardinal is necessary to a canonical election. And it seems to me, that the notification that His Eminence of Ostia had renounced all right and purpose of voting, was intended to assure those outside that his departure from the Conclave need not be speculated on as exercising any influence over the result of the contest.

persuaded, not to elect in the usual way,—that would have involved an abnegation of which those fierce partisans and good haters were incapable,—but to consent to appoint six of their number to nominate a Pope, pledging themselves to agree to and confirm the nomination so made.

These six electors, thus empowered, named Theobald Visconti, at that time Archdeacon of Liege, who was not a cardinal, and who at that time was at Acre, having left England, where he had contributed to the successful establishment of Henry III.'s throne, for the purpose of accompanying the crusaders as Papal Legate; an election which has been commemorated in the following characteristic lines, by Giovanni of Toledo, the then Bishop of Porto:—

"Papatus munus tulit Archidiacomis umis
Quern Patrem Patrum fecit discordia fratrum."

This was the first instance of that mode of election, which has since taken its place as one of the three recognized methods by which a Conclave may elect a Pontiff, and which is known as Election by Compromise. But of this it will be necessary to speak by-and-by in its proper place.

This Theobald Visconti, whom the Bishop of Porto somewhat superciliously thus speaks of as "one archdeacon," being recalled by the news of his totally unexpected elevation to the Papacy, reached Viterbo on the second of February, 1272, and was subsequently orowned in Eome as Gregory X. (ob. 1276).

Mindful of the evils which had in very terrible abundance visited the Church and the States of the Church by reason of the interregnum, and of the difficulties and scandals attending such a Conclave as the last, Gregory called a General Council of the Church (the fourteenth), at Lyons, in 1274, by which the following code of laws for the regulation of future Councils was established. Here at last, then, we do touch solid ground, and the fluid state of the institutions on which the elections of the Popes depend may be said to come to an end with the constitution of Gregory X.

The rules in question are somewhat lengthy, and all of them are not of equal importance. But inasmuch as they are the foundation and charter of that which has been, for the last six centuries, the practice of the Conclaves, it will hardly be thought unnecessary to give them—not quite in extenso, but with considerable fulness.

"I. When the Pope is dead, the cardinals shall wait for those who are absent ten days only; at the end of which, having for nine days celebrated the obsequies of the deceased Pontiff in the city in which he resided with his Court, they shall all shut themselves up in the palace which the Pope inhabited, contenting themselves each with one sole attendant, either clerk or lay, unless there shall be evident necessity for two, for whom permission may be in such case granted; the choice of such attendant being left to each cardinal for himself."

Pius IV. by Bull bearing date 9th October, 1562, declared that the day of the Pope's death should be counted as one of the ten days. And ecclesiastical writers maintain that it is within the competency of the College to defer the election beyond the time specified, in case any danger threatening the interests of the Church should require it.

"II. In the palace in which the Pontiff dwelt, let a Conclave be formed in which let all the cardinals live in common, without any wall, or curtain, or veil to separate them from one another, one secret chamber being reserved. Let this Conclave be so closed on every side that nobody can enter or go out of it."

The rigour of this rule was in some degree moderated by Clement VI., by a Bull dated 6th December, 1351, permitting the beds of the cardinals in Conclave to have simple curtains.

"III. Let there be no access to the cardinals shut up in Conclave. Let no one have the possibility of speaking to them secretly; nor let it be possible for them to receive anybody, save such as may be summoned by the consent of all present solely on matters pertaining to the election. Let no one have the power of sending messages or writings to the cardinals, nor to any of the conclavists,* under pain of excommunication."

The strictness of this -well-intentioned rule also has been modified in practice, to the facilitating of intrigues, which it was the object of Gregory to render impossible. In modern times, whoso wishes to speak with a cardinal, or with any of those shut up in Conclave, is not prevented from doing so, except, as regards the cardinals themselves, during the actual time of the voting. Such speaking must take place, however, in public, that is

* These are the attendants provided for in the first rule. They are in practice always clerks, are always two if not more (the latter very rarely), and are very important personages in the conduct of all the affairs of the Conclave.


« 上一頁繼續 »