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XIII. Lyons, 1. A.D. 1245.

The Romans account as their 13th General Council, a synod of 140 bishops, assembled at Lyons, in France, under Innocent IV., in the year 1245. They met chiefly for the purpose of excommuni. cating the Emperor Frederic (EE), who had rendered himself obnoxious to the Roman Pontiff. They also made seventeen canons, none of which, however, bear upon the present subject.—Conc. xi. 633_674.

XIV. Lyons, 2. A.D. 1274.

The 14th General Council, according to the Romans, is that of 500 bishops, assembled at Lyons, in the year 1274, under Gregory X. The Pope alleged three causes for summoning it. 1st, To send relief to the Holy Land; 2, to endeavour to bring the Greeks under the Roman yoke; 3, to rectify discipline, especially in the election of Popes.

The Roman writers boast much of the success of the Roman Pontiff in the second point, the Greek deputies having acquiesced in all his demands. But their triumph is without cause ; for these deputies were not representatives of the Greek Church, but merely of the Greek Emperor, Michael Palæologus, whose political affairs made him desire to purchase peace with Rome, on almost any terms. The Patriarch of Constantinople, Joseph, would neither come to the council nor send a representative to it; and after the agreement between the Pope and the Greek Emperor's deputies, he persisted in refusing to come into it. For which cause he was deposed by the Emperor, and another, John, a favourer of the Latins, intruded into his See. Under John things were managed more to the Emperor's mind, and, in 1277, a Council at Constantinople, for the time, established the Papal dominion. The intruder did not long enjoy his dignity; he found things so uncomfortable that he resigned his Patriarchate, after holding it seven years, in the year 1282, when Joseph was restored. In which year the short-lived agreement between the Pope and the Greek Emperor, came to an end; the Emperor forbidding the Pope to be prayed for (FF), at Constantinople, and the Pope (Martin IV.), excommunicating the Emperor (GG). The Roman writers talk of the Patriarchs of Constantinople and Antioch being present at this Council; but these are to be understood as was observed before, of the Schismatical Roman Bishops, whom the Crusaders had appointed in those places, in direct violation of the canons. See Le Quier, Oriens Christ. i. 285-288.-Conc. xi. 937—998. ibid. ibid. 1032. Mosheim, iii. pp. 183, 184.

XV. Vienne, A.n). 1311.

The Romans reckon as their fifteenth General Council, a Synod of 300 bishops who were convened at Vienne, in France, in the year 1311, by Clement V., for the suppression of the Knights Templars; and to check the fanatical Beguards. There is nothing worthy of notice, as connected with the present work, among the transactions which took place there.Conc. xi. 1537, &c.

AquileiaPerpignanPisa, A.D. 1409. The style of a General Council was assumed by each of the synods of Aquileia, Perpignan, and Pisa, which assembled in the year 1409. That of Aquileia was under Gregory XII., and that of Perpignan under Benedict XIII, the two rival popes. The third, namely that at Pisa, was assembled by a portion of the college of cardinals without any ecclesiastical sanction but their own. They summoned the rival popes before them, and, upon their not appearing, passed sentence upon them declaring them to be notorious heretics (HH), and disturbers of the peace of the Church, and deposing them both from the Papal dignity, a compliment which Gregory and his synod at Aquileia were not slow in returning (11), after which they elected another to that office by the name of Alexander the Fifth. Thus there were three rival Popes instead of two. Some writers call the Synod of Pisa the sixteenth General Council(KK). Conc. xi. 2102—2140.

Constance, A.D. 1414.

The next General Council recognized by the Romans, is that of 250 bishops who assembled at Constance in the year 1414, under John XXIII., the successor of Alexander V., mentioned above. They met for the purpose of putting an end to the schism in the Papacy, which they accomplished for a time by deposing two of the rival popes(LL), Benedict XIII. and John XXIII.(MM), (Gregory XII. sent in his resignation), and electing in their stead Martin V. This Council also passed a decree by which the bishops of the Christian Church were restored to their Apostolic privileges, and no longer deemed the vassals of the usurping Bishop of Rome. They declared that a General Council was superior to the single bishop who held the Roman See, and he amenable to that tribunal (nn). The Council is also remarkable for the sentence of heresy pronounced against Wickliffe, who was dead, and against John Huss, and Jerome of Prague, who were burned alive at the instigation of the council, in violation of the Emperor's safe conduct. But that which renders this council most worthy of note as concerns the present inquiry, is its impious decree concerning the administration of the Eucharist in only one kind. Thc Church of Rome chooses only to consider as of authority, the decrees of this council in matters of faith (oo), and in the condemnation of Wickliffe and the others. Its decisions in regard to the superiority of a General Council over the Bishop of Rome, were reprobated by the subsequent Councils of Florence, and the fifth Lateran.—Conc. xii. 1-294.


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The style of a General Council was assumed by that which assembled (pursuant to a decree of Constance(PP), at Pavia in 1423, under Martin the Fifth, and was thence removed to Sienna on account of pestilence. In this Council there was much deliberation concerning the attempted reduction of the Greek Church under the Roman yoke. The style assumed by the Pope, through his ambassadors, when treating with the Greek Patriarch, as mentioned in this Council, is, perhaps, worth noticing. It is as follows, “ The most holy and most blessed, who hath the Heavenly judgment, who is Lord upon earth, the successor of Peter, the anointed of the Lord, the Lord of the Universe, the Father of kings, the Light of the World, the Supreme Pontiff, Pope Martin.”

The acts of this Council are not deemed of authority in the Church of Rome; nor does it hold a place in the list of their General Councils.-Conc, xii 365 -380.

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