« PoprzedniaDalej »
Charles's abdication was laid before them. Ferdinand was immediately chosen as his successor, and shortly after solemnly installed into office. But the Pope refused to admit the validity of the election, and never acknowledged the new emperor. He pretended that the empire ought to have been resigned into his hands, and that the appointment of a successor rested with him also; besides this, three of the electors were heretics, and therefore the whole proceeding wus null and void.” 1
But the fierceness of his anger was reserved for heretical pravity. The establishment of the inquisition in Italy was chiefly owing to his zeal. In full unison with the principles of that infamous tribunal, he issued a decree, (February, 1558,) by which all the ancient canons and edicts against heresy, of whatever age, were revived, with the censures and penalties enacted by his predecessors ; obsolete and forgotten laws were renewed; and all prelates, princes, kings, and emperors who should fall into heresy, were declared to be ipso facto deprived of their benefices, dominions, kingdoms, or empires, which his Holiness bestowed on the first good Catholic who was strong enough to lay his hands on them.43 Men smiled at the childish ravings of the old man; but he seriously meant all he said, and those who were within reach of his power felt it to their costDuring his government the inquisitors found ample employment; the dungeons were crowded with prisoners, and the dreadful work of torture and death was plied with unremitting diligence. “The inquisition spread alarm every where, and created the very evils which it sought to allay Princes and princesses, priests, friars, and bishops, entire academies, the sacred college, and even the holy office itself, fell under the suspicion of heretical pravity. The conclave was subjected to an expurgatory process. Cardinals Morone and Pole, with Foscarari, bishop of Modena, Aloysio Priuli, and other persons of eminence, were prosecuted as heretics. It was at last found necessary to introduce la ymen into the inquisition, 'because,' to use the words of a contemporary
Pallav. I. xiv. c. 6. Sarpi, s. 37. 42 Sarpi, s. 36. Raynald, ad An. 1558. s. 14.
writer, 'not only many bishops, and vicars, and friars, but also many of the inquisitors themselves, were tainted with heresy.'.... Such was the frenzied zeal of this infallible dotard, that, if his life had been spared a little longer, the poet's description of the effects of superstition would have been realized, 'and one capricious curse enveloped all.' 143
The peace of Cambray (April, 1559.) restored general tranquillity to Europe. By one of its articles, the contracting parties (the kings of France and Spain) bound themselves to use their utmost endeavours to procure the resumption of the council. The execution of their design would probably have involved them in a quarrel with the Pope, since it is not likely that he would have met their wishes, either as to the place of meeting or the method of procedure. But his death removed every difficulty out of the way.
At his advanced age, (he was upwards of eighty) and in the shattered state of his health, which had been long declining, Paul was ill prepared to struggle with disappointment and mortification. Several events occurred about this time that deeply affected his mind, filled him with anxiety and alarm, and ultimately brought him to the grave.
At home, the popular discontent was daily increasing. The general distress occasioned by the late war, and the heavy taxes with which the people had been burdened in order to carry it on, together with the violent and sanguinary proceedings of the pontiff, had completely alienated from him the affections of his subjects, so that he had become the object of universal detestation, and only the supposed sanctity of his office prevented open rebellion. 4 4
Abroad, there was no cheering prospect to counterbalance these evils. Protestantism was almost every where triumphant, and bade defiance to the efforts which had been employed for its suppression. Spain itself was not free from the infection, and even the household of the late emperor had been suspected of the taint of heresy. In France, the labours of Calvin and Beza, and
43 M'Crie’s History of the Reformation in Italy, p. 269. 44 Pallav. l. xiv.c. 9.
their excellent coadjutors, had produced a very considerable impression. The reformed opinions were adopted by the king and queen of Navarre, many members of the legislature, and great numbers of the people. Paul had hoped that the king's avowed zeal for popery would have sufficed to check the growing evil, and indeed he had already commenced a course of energetic measures, and signified his intention to proceed with unrelenting severity; but his death disappointed these expectations. His son and successor, Francis II. was but sixteen years of age, and it could not be supposed that during his minority he would be able to carry into effect his father's plans. But no where was the defection from the Roman Catholic church so marked and extensive as in Flanders. Fifty thousand persons had been put to death for their attachment to the Protestant faith, and still that faith prevailed. Added to this, England was again separated from the holy see by the accession of Elizabeth, and Germany was farther removed than ever from re-union. At a diet held at Augsburg in the early part of the year, Ferdinand had made a last effort to restore the Protestants to the bosomn of the church, by again urging them to yield submission to a general council, should one be convened. But they steadfastly refused to obey the decrees of such an assembly, unless on the conditions which had been repeatedly proposed in former years, and as often rejected by the Roman pontiffs. The emperor knew that it would be useless to refer such propositions to the Pope; he therefore confirmed the peace of Passau and the proceedings of all subsequent diets, and thus finally settled this long-agitated controversy. 45
Such was the state of affairs in 1559. It was contemplated by Paul with much apprehension and concern. He saw enemies on every side-he had no friends. Worn out with grief and vexation, he found death fast approaching, and summoned the cardinals to his bedside. But it was not to give utterance to pious emotions, nor to discourse on the solemn truths and realities of religion. His last breath was spent in commending to their attention the office of the holy inquisition, as
45 Pallav. ut sup. Sarpi, l. 7. s. 40.
their best defence against prevailing heresies. Thus he died, Aug. 18, 1559. No sooner was his death announced, than the populace rose in tumultuous fury, forced open the prison of the inquisition, liberated all the prisoners, burned the building to the ground, pulled down the Pope's statue, which he had set up only three months before, broke off its head and right hand, and after having dragged the head through the city with every mark of ignominy, threw it into the Tiber. They carried their indignation so far, that the very name of Caraffa was proscribed, and the venders of earthenware who were accustomed to cry in the streets, bichieri, caraffe, (cups, pots,) were compelled to change the latter word for another (ampolle,) though less proper. The cardinals saw that it was impossible to quell the storm, and judged it best to let it spend its fury. They waited eight days beyond the usual time for this purpose, and then went into conclave to elect a new Pope. 4 6
The intrigues of opposing parties protracted the election till Christmas-day, when cardinal de Medici was chosen, and assumed the name of Pius IV. Agreeably to resolutions which had been passed by the cardinals before proceeding to the election, he immediately declared his intention to acknowledge Ferdinand as emperor of Germany, and to convene a general council as quickly as possible. 4 7 He also professed great concern for reform, and directed the cardinals to inquire into all alleged abuses, and point out suitable remedies. But these professions speedily evaporated and vanished
Like his predecessors in the papal chair, Pius IV. cherished mortal hatred against all dissidents from the Romish faith, and was by no means scrupulous in the choice of preventing or exterminating measures. Like them also, he dreaded a council, unless controlled and directed by himself, and consequently divested of all freedom. For this reason, hoping to divert the minds of men from that hated subject, by lighting up the flame of general war, he proposed to the French King a crusade against Geneva, the residence of Calvin and nursery
46 Pallav, ut sup. Sarpi, ut sup. s. 46. . 47 Le Plat, iv. p. 612.
of the reformed faith.4 8 When this proposition was rejected, he began to consult in earnest with the cardi. nals respecting the convocation of a council, or rather the resumption of that which had already met twice at Trent. But he was resolved not to suffer the former decrees of that assembly to be re-examined, or called into question ; in order to which, it was decided that it should be considered as a “continuation" of the proceedings at Trent and that those subjects only should be discussed which were then left unsettled. The Pope's intention was communicated to the foreign ambassadors at an extraordinary meeting called for the purpose, at which his Holiness addressed them at great length, and concluded by expressing his conviction that no benefit would result from the council, unless the Catholic princes would form a general league to execute its decrees by force of arms. 4 9
The sovereigns most interested were the kings of Spain and France, and the emperor of Germany. When the intelligence reached them, they severally communicated to the Pope their opinions and wishes. The king of Spain readily acquiesced in the views of his Holiness. The king of France received the intimation with much pleasure, but strongly objected to Trent, and suggested Constance, Treves, Spire, Worms, or Haguenau, as much more convenient, both for his subjects and the Germans; neither would he consent that it should be considered as a continuation of the former meeting, but required that it should be entirely a new council : on no other terms could he anticipate the submission of the Protestants in his kingdom. A long memorial was sent by the emperor, in which, besides alleging the same objections as had been advanced by the king of France, he stated that he could not answer for the German princes and states, whose views and intentions could only be known by summoning a diet; and that even with regard to his hereditary dominions, he had no hope of procuring subjection to the council, unless the use of the cup and the marriage of the priests were conceded, and a thorough reform accomplished. 5 0
48 Sarpi, ut sup. s. 53, 54. Thuan. Hist. 1. xxvi. s. 16.'