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COMMUNION IN ONE KIND.
Abortive project of reform at Rome-Death of Julius III.-Election
of Marcellus II.-His death-Election of Paul IV.- Peace of Passau-Arrogant behaviour of the Pope-His pretended anxiety for reform-Proceedings of the Inquisition in Italy_State of affairs in Europe in 1559—Death of Paul IV.- Election of Pius IV. -Re-assembly of the Council projected-Negotiations on that subject-Nuncios sent to Germany and other countries—Appointment of Legates-Re-opening of the Council-SEVENTEENTH SESSION—The prohibition of books considered-Historical notices -EIGHTEENTH SEssion-Decree on prohibited books—Safeconduct issued to the Protestants-Debates on the divine right of residence-NINETEENTH SESSION—Arrival of the French ambassadors—their reception-Treatment of the reforming bishops TWENTIETH SESSION—Debates on Communion in one kind, and the concession of the cup to the laity-Efforts of the Bavarian, Imperial, and French ambassadors to procure that privilege-Postponement of the question-TWENTY-FIRST SESSION—Decree on communion in one kind-Observations-Decree on reform.
It was decreed that the council should be suspended for two years. Ten years, however, elapsed before it was re-assembled. The events that occurred in the interval must be briefly detailed.
When the Pope saw that he was delivered from the council, he affected to think that the best means of preventing the disquietude which the existence of such an assembly always occasioned in the minds of the Roman Pontiffs would be to set about ecclesiastical reform.With this view he appointed a committee or congregation, composed of a large number of cardinals and prelates, to whom this important affair was entrusted. But the hindrances and objections that arose in the papal court were so great, and the opposition of interested persons so powerful, that this project shared the fate of its predecessors, and was almost entirely unproductive of good. 31
At the expiration of the term for which the council was suspended, a meeting of the consistory was held, and the propriety of summoning that assembly again was debated. The majority were of opinion that a dormant evil should not be roused, and that since both princes and people seemed to have forgotten the council, the best policy would be to say nothing about it. To this the Pope agreed, and a profound silence was cbserved on the subject. 3 3
Julius III. died March 23, 1555. His character requires no comment. Proud, crafty, fierce, luxurious, dissolute and profane, he lived without honour and died unlamented. 3 3
The choice of the conclave fell on Marcellus Cervinus, the cardinal Santa Croce, one of the former legates at Trent. It soon appeared that his views differed greatly from those of his predecessors, for he signified his intention to re-assemble the council as early as possible, and avowed the conviction of his mind that the interests of the church would be best promoted by a vigorous and extensive reform, in prosecuting which he purposed that the luxury and pomp of the prelates should be effectually retrenched. In furtherance of these designs a congregation of cardinals was appointed, and the well known sincerity and uprightness of the Pontiff induced the belief that his would be a pure and energetic administration. But these expectations were disappointed by the early and sudden death of the Pope. The excessive fatigue attendant on the burdensome ceremonies of Easter week was more than his feeble frame could bear. An attack of apoplexy was the result, and Marcellus died April 30, having enjoyed the pontificate but twenty-one days. 34
31 Pallav. I. xiii. c. 10. Sarpi, I. v. s. 1. 32 Sarpi, ut sup. 8. 11.
33 Pallav. ut sup. The cardinal is sadly perplexed with Julius's character, and labours hard to modify the censure he feels compelled to pass upon him : his concluding words are, “ for his greater faults had the appearance of virtues, although, perhaps, the real character of vices." * See also Thuan. Hist. 1. xv. s. 7." Wolf, Lect. Mem, ii. p. 638.
34 Pallav. I. xiii. c. 11. Sarpi, 1. v. s. 14.
Cardinal Caraffa was chosen to succeed Marcellus, and assumed the name of Paul IV. This election was viewed by many with great alarm. Caraffa had always affected severe sanctity, and was equally noted for the austerity of his manners and his ferocious disposition. He had founded the order of the Theatine monks, and was supposed to be the sworn enemy of all indulgence and display; hence the creatures of the court expected nothing less than a sweeping reformation. But no sooner had he ascended the pontifical chair than he laid aside his austerity and self-denial. When he was asked how he wished to be served, he replied, “splendidly, as becomes a great prince.” His installation was unusually magnificent, and at all public solemnities he chose to appear with more than ordinary pomp. 35
By the peace of Passau, confirmed by the decree of the diet of Augsburg, 36 the Protestants of Germany were not only secured from molestation, but also acquired the complete recognition and establishment of their religious freedom. The struggles of the preceding twenty-five years had issued in the erection of this bulwark of their liberties, which, though it was not raised without great sacrifices, and the loss of much precious blood, was worth allthat it cost, and happily proved firm and secure. It must be confessed, indeed, that the edict was far from being perfect, since it included in its provisions those Protestants only who followed the confession of Augsburg, and it may be doubted whether either party acted from enlightened views of the rights of conscience. But a great point is gained when opposing sects agree to let each other alone, whatever may be the motives by which they are influenced. Almost three centuries have passed away since this celebrated decree was published, and still there are those to be found who claim the privilege of dictation to their brethren, and deny to others the liberty which they demand for them. selves. It will be a happy time for the Christian church when the apostolic law shall be universally obeyed “Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.”
The pontiff was excessively irritated at the result of
35 Sarpi, ut sup. s. 15.
36 A. D. 1552–1555.
the diet of Augsburg and its "pernicious” decree, as he chose to call it.37 He expressed his dissatisfaction in the most violent manner, and even threatened the emperor with excommunication, unless the decree were repealed. When the imperial ambassador urged the power of the Protestants, his master's late defeat, and the solemn oaths by which he was bound to fulfil his engagements, the Pope replied that he would release him from those oaths, and command him not to keep them! All this was in perfect accordance with his known character. Few Popes have had such high conceptions of the dignity of their office as Paul IV. He advanced the most extravagant pretensions, and supported them with a violence and haughtiness of demeanour that have been seldom equalled. He claimed absolute domination over all orders of men, civil and ecclesiastical, and the right to dispose of kingdoms. No prince, he said, should be his companion; he would be above them all, and (stamping on the floor, and thus suiting the action to the word,) he would have them all under his
feet. 3 8
Paul IV. professed great concern for reform, and within a few months after his election had established a numerous congregation, consisting of twenty-four cardinals, forty-five bishops, and other learned men, amounting in the whole to a hundred and fifty persons. He charged them to inquire into the abuses connected with simony, and sent notifications of his proceedings to all the sovereigns of Europe, that they might procure the assistance and advice of the universities in an affair of so great importance. Not indeed, he said, that he himself needed instruction, for he understood all the commands of Christ; but in a matter of universal concern, he was desirous that it should be seen that he did not take every thing upon himself. To this he added, that when he had reformed his own court, and thus prevent. ed the application of the proverb, “Physician, heal thyself," he intended to show that simony prevailed also in the courts of princes, which he would take care should be reformed in their turn. Several meetings of the congregation were held, and various opinions expressed :
37 Le Plat, iv. p. 569.
38 Sarpi, lib. v. s. 17.
some thought that money might be taken for the use of the church, provided that it was not received as the price of an office, but from some other motive; others judged it unlawful under any pretence whatever. The Pope took the severest view of the subject, and designed to publish a bull declaring it utterly unlawful to ask or receive a price, a present, or a voluntary alms, for any spiritual favour. But so many difficulties and delays intervened, that his resolution was never carried into effect. 8 9
Some of the cardinals having ventured to suggest that these matters should be discussed in a general council, he flew into a violent passion, and said that he needed no council, for he was above them all. It was observed, that though a council added nothing to the authority of the Pope, it was useful in devising the means of executing his designs. Whereupon he replied, that if there must be a council, he would have it at Rome, and no where else; and that he would suffer none but bishops to attend it. He had always objected to Trent, because it was situated in the midst of heretics : it was a foolish thing to send some threescore bishops and forty divines among the mountains, and to suppose that they were better able to reform the world than the vicar of Jesus Christ, aided by all his cardinals, and prelates, and divines, the most learned in Christendom, who were always to be found at Rome in greater numbers than had ever assembled at Trent. He would have another council in the Lateran, and he enjoined the ambassadors at his court to send information of his purpose to their respective masters. How far he was sincere may be justly questioned; for while he avowed this intention in public, he was engaged in intrigues that involved almost all Europe in war, and entirely precluded the possibility of the projected assembly.40
The resignation of the empire by Charles, in favour of his brother Ferdinand, afforded another opportunity for the display of the insufferable pride and haughty pretensions of the pontiff. A meeting of the electors was held at Frankfort, Feb. 24, 1558, when the instrument of
39 Sarpi, ut sup, s. 22.