F. X. von (Franz Xaver) Funk.

A manual of church history (Volume 2) online

. (page 12 of 34)
Online LibraryF. X. von (Franz Xaver) FunkA manual of church history (Volume 2) → online text (page 12 of 34)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


ever. This explains why Pope Innocent X protested against
the peace and declared it invalid (Bull, Zelo domus Dei, 1648).
No heed was, however, paid to him. Considering all the changes
which had occurred during the last century, the papal protest
was a mere matter of form, and the signatory powers had
already excluded it beforehand (XVII, 3).



VOL. TI,



CHAPTER II

THE REFORMATION IN THE REST OF EUROPE

§ 171

Prussia, Livonia, Curland, Poland, Hungary, and Transylvania

I. In dealing with the further progress of the Reformation, we
must first speak of a territory which, though it still nominally formed
a part of the Empire, grew more and more estranged from the
remaining German States. This was the northern portion of the
country controlled by the Teutonic Knights. The grand-master
Albert of Brandenburg i had constituted the Baltic provinces into
a duchy of Prussia, of which the suzerain was Poland. The
Reformation which he then introduced into the country soon in-
volved Samland and Pomerania, the two bishops George von Polentz
and Eberhard von Quels making over their temporal sovereignty to
the new duke, and themselves adopting Lutheranism. In 1612 the
duchy came into the possession of the elector of Brandenburg, and
at the demand of his overlord the king of Poland, the new sovereign
promised to the Catholics freedom of worship, removed their dis-
abihties to hold office in the State, allowed them to exercise the right
of patronage, and gave permission for the erection of a church at the
capital Konigsberg. The concessions wrought, however, very little
alteration, and the Augsburg Confession remained the prevalent
religion. In consequence of this the headquarters of the Teutonic
Knights was removed to Mergentheim.

II. Much the same happened in Livonia. 2 The army-master
Walter von Plettenberg was favourable to the Reformation from the
beginning, and as soon as the margrave WiUiam of Brandenburg,
brother to the duke of Prussia, was made archbishop of Riga (1539),
the older religion was doomed. The cession of Livonia to Poland by

1 J. RiNDFLEiscH, HcYzog A. voti Hohenzollem, der letzte Hochm. u. d. Re/,
in Preussen, 1880 ; E. Joachim, Die Poliiik des letzten Hochmeisters i. Pr.
Albrecht v. Br. 3 vol. 1892-95 (Publ. from the Prussian State Archives) ;
J. KoLBERG, Einfiihrung der Reformation im Ordenslande Preussen, 1S97
(Kath. 1897) ; F. IDittrich, Gesch. des Katholizismus in Altpreussen, I, 1901.

' Helmsing, Reform. -Gesch. Livlands, 1S6S.



Reformation in Eastern Europe 115

the army-master Gotthard Kettler (1561) effected no change, as
it was only made conditionally on the maintenance of the Protestant
religion in that land. Far from losing ground, Lutheranism was soon
to gain both Curland and SemgallenJ Following the example of
Albert of Brandenburg, Kettler transformed this territory into an
hereditary duchy under Polish suzerainty, and imposed the Augsburg
Confession throughout his dominions.

III. In Poland in spite of the efforts of king Sigismund I (1506-
48) to maintain his kingdom in the Catholic Faith, a certain number
of Protestant communities established themselves at Danzig, Elbing,
and Thorn. During the reign of Sigismund Augustus (1548-72),
himself a Protestant, the Reformation, under both Lutheran and
Calvinistic forms, was steadily pushed forward. The most pro-
minent apostle of the new faith was John a Lasko ; its greatest
opponent was Stanilaus Hosius, bishop of Ermeland. After the
king's death, the Protestant nobility, when meeting for the election,
carried through a motion by which Protestantism was explicitly
recognised. According to the religious peace arranged at Warsaw
[Pax dissidentium) in 1573, Catholics and Protestants were to enjoy
the same rights, and to live henceforth at peace with each other.
King Vladislaus (1632-48) indeed endeavoured to bring about a
reunion, and a conference was held in 1645 at Thorn, though
without any result. Cp. O. Koniecki, Gesch. der Ref. in Polen,
3rd ed. 1904. Bg. of J. a Lasko by Dalton, 1881 ; Pascal, 1894 ;
Jacobi, Das liehr. Rel.-Gesprdch von Thorn, 1895 ; Z. f. KG. XV,
1895.

IV. Lutheranism was at an early date preached in Hungary, and,
favoured by the political troubles, it took firm root, in spite of the
repressive measures enacted by the government. Later on Calvinism
proved even more successful. The Reformers soon became so
powerful that, at the peace of Vienna (1606), it was necessary to
grant them full freedom of worship. Cp. J. Borbis, Die luth. K.
Ungarns, 1861.

V. Transylvania had, since the time of St. Stephen, been sub-
ject to Hungary, but had been given by Ferdinand I (1538) as an
independent princedom to the woivode John Zapol3'a, a rival
claimant to the Hungarian throne left vacant by the demise of Lewis
(1526). Luther's works were introduced into the country by mer-
chants from Hermannstadt (1521). In that town the Reformation
made so many converts that the Catholics were soon after expelled
(1529). A little later (1545), the entire nation of the Transylvanian
Saxons adopted the Augsburg Confession. The movement also
spread to the Hungarians and Seklers settled in the country, though

'they finally went over, not to Lutheranism, but to Calvinism. Cp.
G. D. Teutsch, Urkuudenb. d. ev. Landesk. in Siehenbiirgen, 1862 ;
Die Ref. im siebenb. Sachsen, 1876.

' Th. Kallmever, Die Ref. in Kurland. iS68.



Ii6 A Manual of Church History

§ 172
The Reformation in the Scandinavian Kingdoms

In Denmark! king Christian II (1513-23) had supported
the cause of the Reformation, his efforts being directed partly
to making an end of the abuses prevalent in the Church, partly
to breaking the might of the clergy and nobility. His tyranny
indeed brought about his deposition, but his uncle and successor
Frederick I (1523-33) was also a supporter of the movement,
though at his election he had bound himself to repress it.
He began by favouring it in the duchies of Schleswig and
Holstein, which had belonged to him previously, and as soon
as he had sufhciently established his power, he proceeded to do
the same in Denmark itself. Aided by the zeal of John Tausen,
Lutheranism now advanced rapidly. After having obtained
toleration at the parliament of Odense (1527), it was definitively
established by Christian III (1536). The bishops were cast
into prison to force them to surrender their dignities, and
Bugenhagen was summoned from Wittenberg to undertake the
organisation of the new Church. Not long after, the Catholics
were deprived of all political rights, and priests were forbidden
to enter the country on pain of death.

Norway and Iceland, owing to their connection with
Denmark, were infected with Lutheranism by Christian III. In
Iceland, however, the new religion did not gain the day until
after the execution of John Aresen II, the heroic bishop of
Holum (1550).

In Sweden ^ the two brothers Olaf and Lawrence Peterson
had been sowing the seeds of the Reformation since 1519.
The country, which ever since the union of Kalmar (1397) had,
like Norway, been under the suzerainty of Denmark, for
some time past had been seeking to free itself from the foreign
domination. In spite of the Stockholm massacre (1520), by

1 F. MiJNTER, KG. von Ddneniark u. Norwegen, vol. Ill, 1883 ; Karup,
Gesch. d. kath K. in Dan. Germ. Trans. 1863 ; Dahlm.\nn-Schafer, Gesch.
von Ddnemark, I-V, 1840-1902 ; L. Schmitt, Der Karmeliter Paulus Helta,
1893 ; Johann Tausen, 1894 ; Die Verteidigung der kath. K. in Ddnemark
gegen die Religionsneiierung tin 16 Jahvh. 1899.

2 Geijer, Engl. Trans. History of the Swedes, 1845 ; Theiner, Schweden
u. s. Stellung zum HI. Stuhl unter Johann. Ill, Sigismund III und Karl IX,
2 vol. 1838 ; J. Martin, G, Vasa et la re/orme en Suede, 1906,



Reformation in England 117

which Christian II fancied he had stamped out insubordination
for ever, Gustavus Vasa succeeded in the following year in
delivering his country, and two years later was elected its
king. The new sovereign adopted Lutheranism, and within
six years, by craft and violence, he had imposed it on all his
subjects. One of his sons, Eric XIV (1560-68), sought to
introduce Calvinism, but lost his crown in the attempt ; the
other, John III (1568-92), attempted, though \\athout success, to
rejoin the Cathohc Church. With the advent of Sigismund III,
son of the latter, and at the same time king of Poland, the
country again came under a Cathohc sovereign. The difference
of faith gave a pretext to the king's Protestant uncle to seize
the crown ; on his ascending the throne in 1604 as Charles IX,
an end was made of the prospect of restoring the Catholic
religion in Sweden.



§173
The Reformation in England and Ireland*

I. Motives of the lowest character were responsible for
the change of religion in England. Henry VIII ^ proved
himself a zealous defender of the Catholic Faith. In his
Assertio septem sacramentontm (1521) he even took up the
pen against Luther, and was rewarded by the title of Defensor
fidei conferred on him by the Holy See. His sensuality,
however, involved him in a breach with Rome, and under
his successors the schism grew ever deeper.

In his passion for Anne Boleyn, the king had been seeking,
since 1526, for a divorce from Catherine of Aragon, the
widow of his brother Arthur. On behalf of the project it
was urged that the Levitical law (xviii. 16) forbade marriage

' J. LiNGARD, History of England, copyright ed. lo vol. 1888 ; Ranke,
Engl. Gesch. vorn. tin 17 Jahrh, 9 vol. 2nd ed. 1870-72, Engl. Trans. History
of England principally in the lyth century, 6 vol. 1875 ; Gasquet, Eve of the
iieforfnation, 1905 ; J. Spillmann, Gesch. d. Katholikenverfolgung in England,
1535-1681, 5 vol. 1899-1905.

^ A. Du Bois, Catherine d' Aragon et les origines du schisme anglican,
1880; Hist. J. 1888-92 ; Hist. Taschenhuch, 1889-90; Ehses, Rom. Dokum.
z. G. d. Ehescheidung Heinrichs VIII v. E. 1893 .' Gasquet, Henry VIII
and the English Monasteries, 18S8-89 ; E. L. Taunton, Th. IVolsey, igoi ;
G. Cavendish, Card. IVolsey, 1905 ; A. Hope, The First Divorce of Henry VIII,
1894.



Ii8 A Manual of Church History

with a brother's wife, a plea whi( h appealed to many theo-
logians of the time, who considered that the commandment in
question was really obligatory. The majority were, however,
of a different opinion, urging that even Deuteronomy (xxv. 5)
admitted an exception to the rule. It was also pointed
out that Arthur's marriage with Catherine had never been
consummated. Under these circumstances, counsel for the
king's ' private matter ' saw fit to question the validity
of the dispensation which had been granted by the Holy See
for the king's marriage, maintaining that it had been secured
by false pretences and had never been demanded by Henry
personally. This objection, considering that Henry and
Catherine had long cohabited, was, of course, utterly puerile,
but the king's heart was fixed on a divorce, and, as was to
be expected, he found support in plenty. A court party, \
headed by the duke of Norfolk, Anne's uncle, seized the I
occasion as a pretext for involving in disgrace the Lord '
Chancellor, cardinal Wolsey. Wolsey himself, as soon as
he realised that the king had made up his mind, sought to
prove his loyalty and retain his position by using his influence
to obtain the divorce. Clement VH gave a conditional
dispensation from any impediments against the new marriage,
should the previous one turn out to be invalid (December 17,
1527). At the imperative demand of Wolsey, the Pope
even went further and declared in a Bull that a divorce
was possible, apparently supporting the view that the com-
mand of Leviticus (xviii. 16) was a part of the Divine law,^
and as such could admit of no dispensation. The wording
of the decretal is, however, unknown, for the document,
after having been read to the king and Wolsey, was burnt.
Cardinal Campegio, the papal legate, who brought over the
Bull, proceeded to London with Wolsey in the autumn,
1528, to investigate and pass judgment on the matter.
The legate strongly urged Catherine to take the veil,
pointing out that by this means the matter would be more
easily solved and great evil averted. The jurisdiction of
the two legates was suspended by Catherine appealing to
the Pope in 1529, and the trial was transferred to Rome.
On this occasion not only the two English Universities, but
also several Universities on the continent, whose support had



Reformation in England 119

been obtained by pressure or bribery, gave it as their opinion
that no marriage between brother-in-law and sister-in-
law was possible. On the other hand, Catherine could count
on the help of Charles V, who was supreme in Italy, and
whose wishes the Pope could not therefore neglect. As a
matter of fact Clement VII gradually assumed an attitude of
greater determination, in spite of the constant appeals which
reached him from the English lords, both spiritual and
temporal, who alleged that the dissolution of Catherine's
marriage was desirable in the interests of the royal succes-
sion, seeing that the queen had only one daughter alive.
The next step was taken by the king himself. Thomas
Cromwell, who had come to power on the fall of Wolsey
(t 1530). pointed out to the king a way by which his plan
could be carried through without any help from the Pope ;
this was to follow the example of the German princes, and
cut himself loose from Rome. Soon after this, the king was
actually proclaimed supreme head of the Church of the
land by Convocation and Parliament (1531). It is true
that the clause, added at the suggestion of Warham, arch-
bishop of Canterbury, ' So far as the law of God permits,'
involved a restriction, but even this was to disappear. Henry's
passions were soon to lead to a complete breach with Rome.
The new wedding was celebrated in 1533, x\nne Boleyn being
at the time already with child, and the previous marriage
with Catherine was declared invalid by Thomas Cranmer,
who, in the meantime, had been appointed archbishop
of Canterbury. In 1534 the Act of Supremacy was passed,
by which the king was declared sole and exclusive head of
the Church of England, and received practically the same
rights as had formerly been exercised by the Pope. Any
refusal to admit the new order of things was to be con-
strued as an act of high treason. Among the first victims
of the new despotism were John Fisher, the worthy bishop
of Rochester 1 and the famous chancellor Thomas More,- both
of whom were beheaded in 1535. Other changes were soon
to follow : the suppression of the monasteries, the destruction

1 Bg. by Kerker, i860; Baumstark, 1879; Van Ortroy, 1893:
Bridgett, 1S90.

- Bg. by Rudhart, 2nd ed. 1853 ; Bridgett, 1891.



120 A Manual of Churcli History

of relics and of many images. As for the rest, the older faith
remained in possession, the king persecuting indiscriminately
both Papists and Protestants from the continent.

In the six Articles of 1539, belief and acceptance of the following
were made obligatory on pain of death: (i) Transubstantiation ;
(2) Communion under one kind ; (3) the celibacy of the clergy ;
(4) the binding force of the vow of chastity ; (5) masses for the dead ;
(6) auricular confession.

Though Henry VIII had been content with establishing
a schism, under his successor (his son by Jane Seymour),
Edward VI (1547-53), the Reformation made great pro-
gress, mainly owing to the labours of Henry's own creature,
archbishop Cranmer of Canterbury. Images were removed
altogether, celibacy was abolished, a new liturgy was
created in the Book of Common Pra3^er,i Communion under
both kinds was introduced, and a Calvinistic Confession of
Faith was drafted in forty-two Articles. Though the latter
is founded mainly on the teaching of the Genevese reformer,
the worship and constitution of the new Church was indebted
more deeply to Catholicism than to either Luther or Calvin.
Amongst other things the Church of England, or the Church
as by law established, retained its old hierarchical form. The
English Reformation accordingly stands by itself side by
side with the Lutheran and the Reformed Churches of Central
Europe. The Anglicans themselves even claim, in one or
other of its meanings, the attribute of Catholicit}^ As yet
the work was not, however, firm. Edward died an early
death, and the new sovereign, Mary I (1553-58),^ the daughter
of Catherine of Aragon, with the help of her cousin, cardinal
Reginald Pole,^ though not without considerable bloodshed,
restored the older worship. Two hundred and ten Pro-
testants, among them Cranmer, were put to death. Not
a few of these, however, were politically suspected, or had
incurred the ruler's displeasure by deriding Catholic practices.
In the next reign the country was to revert definitively to
Protestantism.

' Gasquet-Bishop, Edward VI and the Book of Common Prayer, 1890.
- A. ZiMMERMANN, Maria d. Katholiscke, 1890; Kard. Pole, 1893; J- M.
Stone, The History of Mary I, 1901.
* Mg. by Martin Haile, 1910.



Reformation in England 121

Elizabeth (1558-1603)/ during the reign of her half-
sister, had embraced Catholicism, and at her coronation
she took the oath to preserve the existing religion. As,
however, she was a daughter of Anne Bolej^n, and was accord-
ingly accounted illegitimate by the Church, and incapable
of succeeding to the throne, and as Paul IV, on being notified
of her succession, had refused to acknowledge her rights, she
soon found it advisable to return to her former Protestantism.
The measures of Edward VI were re-enacted, and Matthew
Parker, as archbishop of Canterbury, became the head of
the reformed hierarchy (1559). The forty-two Articles
were reduced to thirty-nine (1562), and a new step was taken
to uproot Catholicism. The acknowledgment of the royal
supremacy in Church matters had even previously been
required as a condition of promotion to a royal fief, to any
office in the State, to a benefice or to office at the Universities,
The oath was now imposed on the members of the House
of Commons, on all schoolmasters and solicitors, and on all
persons suspected of leanings towards the older religion,
a second refusal on the part of the last category entailing
death. The measure was tantamount to suspending the
sword of the headsman over every Catholic, and though, at
first, the penalty usually consisted onl}^ of fines and imprison-
ment, increasing in severity when Pius V pronounced
Elizabeth's excommunication and deposition (1570), ulti-
mately recourse was also taken to the executioner. Among
the Catholics who perished were the Jesuit Edmund Campion
and nine other CathoHcs (1581). In 1587, when Philip II of
Spain, husband of Mar}^ I, made his famous attempt to invade
England, with the aid of the Armada, over 100 persons died
for their faith. The persecution was directed especially
against the priests. It thus became necessary to educate
them abroad. William Allen founded the Enghsh seminary
at Douai (1568) - and Gregory XIII the English college
at Rome (1579).

The Tudor dynasty having come to an end. King James

^ F. G, Lee, The Church under Queen Elizabeth, 2 vol. 2nd ed, 1893 '•
Prothero, Select Statutes, 1894 ; Gasquet, Hampshire Recusants, 1896 ;
Rquh. 1895, II) 456-517 ; R. Simpson, Edm. Campion, 2nd ed. 1896,

- A. Bellesheim, Allen «. die en§l. Seminare auf d. Festlande, 1885,



122 A Manual of Church History

VI of Scotland, the son of Mary Stuart (Queen of Scots),
became King of England under the title of James I (1603-25),^
uniting the three kingdoms under a single sceptre, his accession
also putting new hopes into the Catholics. As, however,
the laws against them not only remained on the statute-
book, but continued to be severely enforced, a few Catholics
were led into a conspiracy against king and Parliament.
The Gunpowder Plot (1605), which was discovered in time,
made the situation of the Catholics yet worse ; they were
now forced to take the oath of allegiance (or abjuration),
in which the opinion that the Pope had the right to depose
princes was declared a godless and damnable doctrine.
Under Charles II (1660-85) two yet more stringent laws
were passed. One, the so-called Test Acts (1673), by obliging
all officials to take the oath of allegiance and of the Royal
supremacy and to receive the Anglican Communion, pre-
cluded Catholics from assuming any office in the State.
The other (1678) forbade them to sit in Parliament. The
former Act was the outcome of the Fire of London (1666),
which the Protestants with no more ado ascribed to the
Catholics ; the other was the result of the Popish Plot which
Titus Gates purported to have discovered. Charles, who
died a Catholic, was succeeded by King James II (1685-88) ,2
who had already joined the Church long before, and whose
first endeavour it was to abolish the penal laws and the Tests.
His plan led to his deposition, and the crown fell to his son-
in-law William of Orange, who granted toleration to the
dissenting Protestant sects, but during whose reign Catholics
continued to be prosecuted. They were now no longer
liable to the death penalty, but a law of William III (1700)
declared them incapable of acquiring property (by inheritance
or purchase), and adjudged such property to their nearest
Protestant relatives. The saying of Mass and the keeping
of schools were threatened with imprisonment for life, and
informers against Catholic worship were to be well rewarded.
Matters remained in this position until danger, threatened
by America and France, induced the State to be more

' Quellen ri. Forschungen atts ital. Archiven u. Bibliotheken, VII, 26S-306
(Clement VIII and James I).
■ B. Qu. 1903, pp. 56-So,



Reformation in Ireland 123

compassionate. In 1778 the laws of William of Orange were
partly abolished and partly amended.

II. As the English rule extended over a portion of Ireland ^
the latter island was also touched by the Reformation.
Under Henry VIII the Irish Parliament acknowledged
the royal supremacy over the Church (1536), and under
Elizabeth (1560) adopted the new worship. The decisions
of Parliament did not, however, express the feelings of the
nation, and Protestantism made but little headway. Henry
had deprived the clergy of their right of voting, and many
of the leading men were absent from the debates. Under
Elizabeth, only a fourth of the nation was represented.
The Irish as a nation remained true to the faith of their
fathers. Their persistence furnished the English with a
pretext for seizing the whole island, a plan which was accom-
plished in 1603, 600,000 acre5 of land being confiscated.
Together with their sovereignty the English endeavoured
to impose their Church. The Irish, however, stood firm by
their belief, and as they were subjected to constant oppression
and the confiscations continued, they rose in rebellion in 1641
against the tyrants. The result was that Cromwell again
reduced the island {1652), and whatever remained of the
population after the eleven years of warfare was pushed back
into the deserts of Connaught, all the possessions which were
still in Irish hands being seized by the English. The persecu-
tion was also made more severe. A price was set on the head
of every priest. Under Charles II and William III there were
new confiscations, so that ultimately only about one-eleventh
of the arable land of the country was left to the natives.
Under Queen Anne the Catholics even lost the right of
purchasing land from a Protestant, or of acquiring it by
inheritance or as a gift, or even of renting it on a lease of
more than thirty years. They were also deprived of all
civil rights, and discouraged from engaging in trade. Though
the treaty of Limerick (1691) had assured them freedom
of conscience, the oath of supremacy was again imposed,
thus practically closing Parliament against them ; later on

^ R. Hassencamp, Gesch. Irlands von d. Ref. bis ztt seiner Union mit
England, 1886 ; A. Bellesheim. Gesch. d. k. K. in Irland, vol, II-III, 1890 f . ;
Ch. Firth, Oliver Cromwell, 1900,



124 ^ Manual of Cliurch History

still they were to lose even the suffrage (1727). Both in
education and in worship they laboured under great dis-
abilities ; they were forbidden to establish schools, their
chapels were not to be provided either with steeples or
with bells, whilst on the other hand they were compelled to
pay tithes and stole-fees to the Church as by law established.
These intolerable laws remained in force till nearly the end
of the period ; only in the latter half of the eighteenth century
were they somewhat relaxed in practice, the more obnoxious



Online LibraryF. X. von (Franz Xaver) FunkA manual of church history (Volume 2) → online text (page 12 of 34)