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to say, at the “ rota” * in the presence of the officials appointed for the service of the Conclave on the inside, and on the outside the prelates and others appointed for guarding the assembly. But it will be very readily understood that, if a private communication were desired, there would be little difficulty in shutting the ears of undesired hearers, especially when the person desiring so to shut them may, within a few hours, be the despotic sovereign of the hearers in question.
“IV. Nevertheless, let an opening of the Conclave be left, by which food may be conveniently passed in to the cardinals, but such that no one can pass in to them by that means. [The 'rota’ spoken of.']
“V. If at the end of three days from the entry into Conclave the election of the new Pope has not been accomplished, the prelates and others deputed to guard the Conclave shall, during the next five days, prevent more than one single dish from being served at the table of the cardinals either at dinner or at supper. And when these five days shall have passed, they shall after that not permit the cardinals to have aught save bread and water until such time as the election shall be completed.”
Clement VI. modified this rule also. Such severity, it is stated, was found to injure the health of those in Conclave; and Clement therefore contented himself with recommending a “moderate frugality” during
* The “rota,” of which much will be heard in connection with the interior arrangements and practices of the Conclave, are the apertures, with turning tables, after the fashion of the means provided for receiving infants at continental foundling hospitals, which are used for passing food into the Conclave, and other necessary communications.
the entire time of the Conclave. He laid down rules, however, for the more precise defining of this moderate frugality. Meat or fish, or eggs, together with salted things, vegetables, and fruit, might be used, whether at dinner or supper. But Clement expressly forbad the cardinals from accepting any of these things one from another. It would seem that the object of this last prohibition must have been to prevent their Eminences from clubbing their provisions together, and so securing a more varied repast. Pius IV., an ascetic and zealous man, recalled into vigour these rules, decreeing that the cardinals should be content, as they were bound to be, with one sole dish, whether at dinner or supper. Whereupon an erudite prelate* wrote a long and learned work on papal elections, in the course of which he treats at great length on the permissible component parts of this one dish.
“VI. The cardinals shall, during the time of the Conclave, take nothing from the apostolic treasury or from its revenues, which shall during the vacancy of the see remain in the custody of such faithful and upright person as shall have the custody of them. With the death of the Pope let all ecclesiastical offices and the tribunals of the Courts cease and determine, with the exception of the Chief Penitentiary and the Treasurer, who shall continue in office during the vacancy of the see.
“ VII. Let the cardinals treat of no other business in the Conclave save that of the election of a new Pope, unless the necessity of defending the territory of the * Monsigr. Cumarda, De Elect. Pont.
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. Nit 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 Conclavc,
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; 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 the contrary, 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 Roman 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, naïveté of the medieval mind, which is thus shown to us as childlike as that of a Red 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