Anthony Guggenberger.

A general history of the Christian era : for Catholic colleges and reading circles and for self-instruction (Volume 2) online

. (page 1 of 49)
Online LibraryAnthony GuggenbergerA general history of the Christian era : for Catholic colleges and reading circles and for self-instruction (Volume 2) → online text (page 1 of 49)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


3 3433 06819320 4










The Protestant Revolution,



Professor , of; rtistdry'.isit C^nlsi-is ^-jMege, Buffalo, N. Y.

■ siiVE'^TJ-j^iE^ITION.

ST. LOUIS, MO., 1913.



•Mibil ©bstat.


Buffalo, N. Y., Feb. 15, 1901.





R 191* . L

Copyrighted 1901, by


A. C. Q. 9, 25. = American Catliolic Quarterly. Vol. 9, p. 25.

D. R. '79; 1, 2, 3, 4. = Dublin Review. 1879. January, April, July, Oc-


M. '90; 1, 2, 3. = Month. 1>!!)0. Jan. -April, May-Aug., Sept.-Dec.

St. 40, 110. = Stimmeu aus Maria Laach. Vol. 40, p. 110.

I. K. Z. '85. = Zeitschrlft fur katliol. Theologie, Innsbruck. 1885.

E. H. R. 10, p. 250. = English Historical Review. Vol. 10, p. 250.

E. R. '(J8; 1, 2, 3, 4. = Edinburgh Review. 1868. Jan., April, July, Oct.

Q. R. '91; 1, 2, 3, 4. = Quarterly Review. (London.) 1891. Jan., April,
July, Oct.

C. T. S. P. = Catholii3CTrntl' Society rublicat'ous.

St. of N. S. = Story ot Na'ticns' Series'. " '', " '".

H. P. B., V. 90, p. 112.'-='HiStb?:iWch Poiitische Blatter. Vol. 90, page 112.

H. J-B. = Gorres Gesellschaf t ;„ Hjst9j*i.^cl\es Jahrbuch.

' * '. ^ \.\ (3)





§ 1-

1. Clement V. , 1305-1314 — Transfer of the Papal Resi-
dence to Avignon, — A new period in the history both of the
Church and of the State began in the latter years of the reign of
Philip the Fair. The removal of the papal residence from Rome to
southern France suddenly interrupted the course of development
which had been going on for centuries in the relations between the
Church and the State. A new condition of things was gradually
substituted, in which the prestige of the Holy See sank to a lower
level, the State became bolder in its encroachments on the rights of
the Church, and revolutionary ideas and heretical doctrines grew
apace with the revival of classical learning, which gave to the period
the name of the Renaissance. But Divine Providence watching
over the Holy See carried it through the storm of the times to
new splendor and victories.

After the short Pontificate of Benedict XL, 1303-1304, Bertrand
de Goth, Archbishop of Bordeaux, was elected, chiefly through the



influence of Philip the Fair. There existed, however, no bargain or
preliminary agreement between the king and the Archbishop ©f
Bordeaux. The Pope-elect assumed the name of Clement V.
Shrinking from the troubles which the Italian factions were stirring
up in Rome, Clement took his abode, first at Lyons, where he was
crowned, and from 1309, at Avignon, a city on the Rhone, held by
the kings of Naples as counts of Provence.

During the corouation procession at Lyons a falling wall killed Gailard
de Goth; the Pope's brother, the duke of Brittany and other nobles^ unhorsed
the Pope and knocked the tiara from his head. It was under such auspices
that the papal residence was for the next seventy years aud more transferred
from Rome to France. The Italians called this sojourn of the Popes at
Avignon with some reason and much exaggeration the Babylonian exile of
the Papacy. Clement V. was of a yielding disposition, aud in many respects
open to the influence of Philip the Fair. He not only abolished the Bull
Clericis laicos, but removed from the other Bulls of Boniface VIII. all state-
ments reflecting upon the acts of the king. He created uiue French Cardi-
nals, and granted for the next five years the use of the church tithes to the
insatiate Philip, who during his reign received or appropriated 400,000,000
francs from the ecclesiastical property of France. With difficulty Clemeut
evaded the royal demand to condemn Boniface VIII. as a heretic, whilst he
gave pretty free scope to Philip in prosecuting the Order of the Templars
whose immense wealth the greedy monarch coveted.

2. Arrest of the Knights Templars, 1307. — The Templars numbered
at the time a standing army of 1<),000 knights distributed among the chief
countries of Europe. Their separate aud independent organization was an
object of dislike to an absolute monarch like Philip the Fair. They had
sided with Boniface VIII., and had assisted in the expulsion of the French
from Sicily. Besides, he owed them money, and on one occasion had been
forced to seek a humiliating refuge in the Temple, their fortified residence,
when the people had risen against a new scheme of oppressive taxation.
Rumors of idleness, luxury and evil life had previously circulated, and sev-
eral Popes and synods had censured the Templars for grave disorders. But
now Philip's agents set to work systematically to spread charges of the most
incriminating nature. Jacob of Molay, the grand-master, asked Clement V.
for an investigation. By a secret order, however, and without consulting
the Pope, Philip effected the arrest of Jacob of Molay aud of all the Templars
of France on one and the same day, and took possession of their property.
Clement V. protested at first, but finally joined the king in calling upon all
the princes of Europe to arrest the Templars and detain them in the name
of the Holy See.


3. Trial of the Templars. — The Templars were tried before
two distinct tribunals : the individual members before a court of
inquisitors and French bishops, chiefly dependent on the king ; the
Order as such, its laws and usages, before a papal commission. In
the former coui't the rack was freely used ; the papal commission
employed no tortures and ordered no executions. The king's
inquisitors carried on the penal investigation for nearly two years
before the papal commission began its hearings. In May, 1308,
before any ecclesiastical decision had been given, a Parliament of the
Three Estates at Tours condemned the Order and adjudged its mem-
bers guilty of death.

Jacob of Molay and other superiors of the Order made incrimi-
nating confessions both before the inquisitorial and the papal com-
missions. There exists no contemporaiy evidence that Jacob of
Mola}^ was ever tortured. Templars who confessed were absolved ;
those who did not confess, or who revoked their confessions, were
treated as obstinate heretics and handed over to the secular arm.
Forty-five Temjilars thus condemned by a synod at Paris were burnt
by the order of Philip (1310), seven others at Senlis. The number
of executions at Paris gradually rose to 113. These executions
accomplished the royal purpose of preventing an organized hearing
before the Council of Vienne. Many of the Templars who had offered
to defend the Order made haste to withdraw from the intended defense.

4. Result of the Investigations. — As to the result of the investigations
in France before both commissions, out of 510 who were examined, 441 con-
fessed denial of God or of Christ; 441, dishonoring the cross; 227, immoral
practices; 20, the adoration of an idol. Many of them declared afterwards,
that their confessions had been wrung from them on the rack. On the other
hand a great number of knights, among them seveuty who were examined by
the Pope himself, made confessions without being subjected to any torture.
They maintained, however, while admitting personal guilt, that the Order
as such was innocent. In Calabria, too, many confessions were obtained.
In England the confessions were local and individual. In Castile and
Aragon, in Gennany, in the greater part of Italy aud in the island of Cyprus
the investigations were favorable to the Order. The fact that there were so
many more cases of corruption unearthed in France than in other countries,
is partly explained by the circumstance, that Albigensian heresies and
practices had found their way into the houses of the Templars as they had
into many other noble houses of southern France.


5. The Council of Vieiine and the Suppression of the
Order, 1311-1312. — The XV. General Council which Clement V.
had summoned to decide on the affairs of the Templars met at
Vienne in 1311. All the depositions of the Templars were placed
before a numerous commission of prelates representing the different
Catholic countries of Europe. The first question, " Can a judicial
sentence of heresy be passed against the Order without further in-
vestigation," was answered by a declaration of four-flfths or five-
sixths of the commission to the effect, that the judicial condemnation
of the Order on the strength of the confessions heretofore made
would be impossible without an offense of God and a violation of
justice. Nearly half a year passed, before a final decision was given.
Strongly urged by Philip the Fair, Clement at last chose a middle
course, and decreed in the interest of public welfare, the dissolution
of the Order by an administrative measure of discipline, " by way
of apostolic provision ' ' because the Order was at least suspected of
heresy ; the confessions obtained had sullied its reputation and made
it odious to the Catholic world ; respectable persons would no
longer join the Order ; its existence had become useless for the
cause of the Holy Land ; a longer delay might bring about the com-
plete loss of its property, donated or willed for the defense of
Christendom against the enemies of the cross.

6. Death of Clement and Philip, 1314. — Clement V. allowed the flnal
decision on the fate of the highest dignitaries of the Order, which he had
reserved to himself, to slip out of his hands. Accordingly Jacob of Molay
and the Grand Visitor, after publicly asserting the innocence of the Order,
were burnt on an island of the Seine. Philip IV. reaped the material gain
of the measure. Whilst the trial was still in progress he w^asted a large
part of the property. In spite of the Bull by which Clement V. appointed
the Knights of St. John heirs to the Templars, Philip retained the adminis-
tration of the property till his death. He appropriated 500,000 livres, for
which he had been indebted to the Templars. The Knights of St. John had
to pay him 260,000 livres for costs and pretended claims against the
Templars. When the Knights of St. John obtained possession under Louis
X., the king kept one-half of the movable property and of the church treas-
ure for himself. The property of the Templars was similarly dealt with by
the rulers in England and other countries.

Both Clement V. and Philip the Fair died in 1314. The Pope left a
College of Cardinals numbering eight Italians and fifteen Gascons or French-


men. Philip's memory was so liateful that many of the clergy had to he
compelled by force to celebrate his funeral service.

Books for Consultation. — R. Parsons, D. D. : Studies, vol. II., Pope Boniface
VI 11., p. i\\; 'J'lie Al/er/ed liargaiii of Pope Clement /'. icith Philip the Fair, p. 4.35; The
Fifteenth (Jeueral Council — Sequel of the Contest vith Philip the Fair, p. i-Ui; The Sup-
pression of the Templars, 'p. 454; The Popes at Avignon, p. 487. — Addison: The Knights
Templars. — F. C. Woodhouse: Military Religious Orders. — \my Grange: The Fall of the
Knights of the Temple; D. R. '95, 4, p. ii'29. — Boutarlc : La France sous Philippe-le-Bel;
Clement J'., Philippe-le-Bel et les TenipUers. — Lavocat: Proces des Freres et de Vordre
du Temple. — Abbe Christophe: Histoire de la Papaute pendant le XIV. Steele, vol. I.
(French and German). — Loiseleur: La Doctrine Secrete des Templiers. — Dupuy:
Histoire de la condemnation des Templiers. — R. Jungmann : De Abolitione Ordinis Templa-
riorum; vol. VI., dissert .SI, pp. 78-149.— Clemens ]'. und die Aufhebung des Templer-
orders, I. K. Z., '81, pp. 1, 81, 380, 581. — Rjittinger : Die Aufliebung des Templerordens uml
die aeltesten geschichtlichen Zeugen; St. v. 33, p. 482. — See also H. P. B., v. 9, p. 490. —
Wilcke : Geschichte des Ordens der Tempetherren. — The Bull of Suppression in Civilta
Catholica, Aug. and Sept., 1866; TUbinger Theol. Quartalschrift, 1866. — Documents in
Michelet: Proces des Templiers. — Hefele: C. G., v. VI. — Daraberger, v. 12. — Hergen-
roether: K. G., v. 2, p. 8. — Alzog-Byrne : v. 2, p. 819. — Darras, vol. 3, p. iffy. — Revue des
Questions historiques, 1872, vol. 12, pp. 21-39.




7. Adolf of Xassau, 1292-1298. — After the death of Rudolf
of Hapsburg the electors commissioned the Archbishop of Mainz to
designate a successor. Passing over Albrecht, Rudolf's son, he
appointed a kinsman, the powerless count Adolf of Nassau. The
princes suppoi-ted the king as long as he complied with their de-
mands, but when he undertook to establish a dynastic power by
warfare, purchase and the annexation of fiefs to the crown, and to
assume an independent attitude, a number of electors deposed him at
Mainz, and chose Albrecht of Austria. Adolf of Nassau fell at
Goelheim near "Worms in a cavalry fight with Albrecht, 1298.

8. Albrecht of Austria, 1298-1308. — Albrecht sought his support amoug
the cities, which he favored in every way and united against the princes to
enforce the peace of the land. He was a stern but just ruler, and the people
had the benefit of his rule. The three Rhenish electors formed a league
against the king, whose display of independence sorely disappointed them.
Albrecht defeated the League, broke the castles of the insurgents, forced
them to restore the crown domains, and abolishing the tolls opened the
Rhine to free commerce. He was less fortunate in his wars with Meissen
and Bohemia, undertaken to increase his dynastic power.


Albrechtl. fell the victim of a conspiracy of German princes, by the hand
of his nephew John Parricida. From Albrecht sprang all the later dukes,
kings and emperors of the House of Hapsburg or Austria.

9. Election of Henry VII., 1308-1313. — Disregarding the French at-
tempts to capture the imperial crown, the German electors chose the high-
minded Henry of Luxemburg as Henry VII. The king-elect took the usual
oaths to Clement V. and was recognized as king of the Romans. Before
crossing the Alps to restore, as he hoped, the splendor of the Holy Roman
Empire, he laid the foundation for the greatness of his House in Bohemia.
The dynasty of the Pi'emyslides, who had ruled Bohemia nearly 600 years,
had died out with Wenceslas III. Henry married his son John to Wen-
ceslas' sister Elizabeth, invested him with the kingdom of Bohemia, and
appointed him regent during his absence in Italy.

10. The State of Italy at the Beginning of the Fourteenth Century. —
At the beginning of this period most of the free municipalities of Italy had
given way to petty tyrannies, absolute government being wielded by some
noble house. Milan and the Lombard cities were alternately ruled by the
Guelflc Delia Torre and the Ghibelline Visconti families. Mantua was
swayed by the Gonzagas, Modena and Ferrara by the Estes, Rimini by the
Malatestas. In Piedmont the counts of Savoy fought for supremacy with
rival barons. In Rome the Ghibelline Colounas and the Guelflc Orsinis
filled tlie city with ruin and desolation in their contest for power. The
kingdom of Naples was ruled by the House of Anjou, and Sicily by a side-
line of the House of Aragon. Venice had become an oligarchy. The powers
of the doge had passed over to the Great Council of 480 members who instead
of the people henceforth elected the doge. In 1297 this body declared
itself hereditary and in 1311 instituted the famous Council of Ten, who had
unlimited power of arrest and punishment, and rendered any popular con-
spiracy impossible. Apart from minor towns the Republican form of gov-
ernment was still maintained in Genoa, the commercial rival of Venice, and
in turbulent Florence, the stronghold of the Guelflc party. At the head of
the popular government stood the "captain of the people." The provost
of the guilds and the banner-bearers of justice had to watch over the " Or-
dinances of Justice," passed in 1293 which excluded nobles altogether from
oflace. In the continued warfare of Guelfs and Ghibellines the victory of one
party usually resulted in the expulsion from city or territory of every prom-
inent man of the opposite faction.

11. Henry VII. in Italy, 1310-1313. — Heuiy VII. was at
first well received in Italy by both the Guelfs and Ghibellines. Dante,
the author of the Divina Comedia, the Ghibelline exile of Florence,
greeted him as the savior of Italy. Milan gave him the Italian
crown. But upon a rising of the Milanese the Guelfs were banished,


and the power of the Viscontis was secured by the appointment of
Matteo as imperial vicar. The opposition of Florence induced
Henry to assume the leadership of the Ghibellines. King Robert
of Naples, the Pope's vicar for the Romagna, was the soul of the
Guelfic opposition. Reaching Rome in 1312, and finding the
Leonine city and the capitol in the hands of the Guelfs, Henry oc-
cupied the city proper, captured the Capitol, and received the im-
perial crown in the Lateran from three Cardinal Legates of Clement
V. Failing in the siege of Florence after his coronation, the Emperor
allied himself with Frederic, king of Sicily, and put Robert of Naples,
who as count of Provence was his vassal, under the ban of the Em-
pire for felony and rebellion. Clement V. took the part of Robert
against the Emperor, and threatened excommunication. But before
the allied forces could join, the Emperor died near Siena of a fever
contracted in his camp at Brescia, 1313. The Empire being vacant,
Clement V. appointed Robert of Naples imperial vicar for Italy dur-
ing the vacancy.

12. Ludwig the Bavarian, 1314-1347, and Frederic of
Austria, 1314-1330. — Fifteen mouths after the de^th of
Henry VII. a double election resulted in the choice of Frederic
of Austria and Ludwig the Bavarian, both grandsons of Rudolf
of Hapsburg. Ludwig and Frederic received each two valid
votes, but the two additional votes of Ludwig, and the one addi-
tional vote of Frederic were challenged by the princes as unlaw-
ful. Ludwig was crowned by the legal official, the Archbishop of
Koeln, but at Bonn ; Frederic was crowned in the legal coronation
city at Aachen, but by the Archbishop of Mainz. Hence the claim
of either king-elect was doubtful. But the tenacity with which both
parties clung to their choice plunged Germany into a civil war. Of
five encounters between the contestants only the last was decisive.
At Ampflng on the Inn, 1322, the Austrian cause succumbed to
the Bavarian claimant and Frederic became the prisoner of Ludwig.
Henceforth Frederic's brother, Leopold of Austria, supported by
John XXII., was the champion of the Austrian claims, and continued
the war.

13. John XXII. and the German Election. — At the outbreak of the war,
Pope John XXII., the successor of Clemeut V., admonished the pretenders and


the German princes to settle their dispute in peace. Both claimants rejected
the contention of the Pope that before his decision neitlier was king of the
Romans, but only king-elect (electiis in regem). In accordance with tliis
principle John, through his vicars, continued to exercise the rights of regency
in Italy, as right and custom entitled him to do during a vacancy of the Em-
pire. Under the public law then in force, a vacancy lasted from the death
of the previous Emperor to tlie coronation of the succeeding one. At the
same time the claimants, too, had appointed their own respective vicars.
The revolt against the papal authority of a par y of Franciscan friars, previ-
ously condemned for heresy in a dispute about apostolic poverty, added a
new element to the strife. The Fraticelli, as they were called, found a will-
ing patron in Ludwig the Bavarian. Under their influence he inflicted on
John XXII., the gravest insult which can be offered to the head of the Church ;
he charged him with heresy, and appealed to a General Council to sit in
judgment on the Sovereign Pontiff. John excommunicated Ludwig as a
usurper of imperial authority, and whilst confirming the rights of the Ger-
man electors, declared that Ludwig had forfeited the kingdom. The meas-
ure added new strength to the Austrian party. At Bui-gau Ludwig had to
flee in haste before Leopold of Austria, and thought it wise to grant Frederic
a conditional release from prison. Frederic had to renounce his right to the
kingdom, and to promise to gain over his party to the side of Ludwig. Fail-
ing to do so, Frederic voluntarily returned to his jailer, but was henceforth
treated by Ludwig as a brother and co-regent. The claimants were recon-
ciled, but not the parties. New summonses and censures of the Pope, fresh
negotiations between Geimnany and Avignon, failed of effect. The death of
Leopold of Austria, 132(5, enabled Ludwig to transfer the contest to Italy.

Ciird. Hergenrother : Catholic Church and Christian State from Kudolfof Hapshrirg to
Henry VII., v. 2, pp. 44-51 ; Louis of Bavaria and Frederic of Austria, pp. 52-60. — Creigh-
ton: History of the Papacy during the Period of the Reformation, y. 1, Introduction. — L.
Leger : Hist, of Austria. — Coxe : Hist, of the House of Austria, — Pasquale- Linde Villari :
The First Two Centuries of Florentine History: The Republic and Parties of the
Time of Dante. — R. Tarsons, D. D. : On Dante, vol. II., p. 508. — Dante, A. C Q., v. 5, p.
715. — The Age of Dante in the Florentine Chronicles, D. R. '79, 4, p. 279. — R. W. Church :
Dante: an Essay. — G. Procter; W. Hunt: Hist, of Italy. — .1. F. Andre: Histoire politique
de la monarchic pontificale auXIV., siecle, ou la papaute a Avignon. — Reumont: Geschichte
der Stadi Rom: Das babylonische Exil, vol. 2, pp. 715-844. — C. Hoefler: Aus Avignon:
Almanack d. Kaiserl. Akademie d. Wissenschafte?}., 21, pp 233-285. — Wenck : Clement V.
undHeinrich VII.—OnHenry T//., H. P.JJ., v. 36, p. 49; vol. 48, p. 591.


14. Tlie Roman Expedition of Ludwig, 1327-1330.—

In 1327 Ludwig crossed the Alps. The principal- representatives
of the ecclesiastical and political revolt gathered around him, among


them Michael Caesena, "William Occam, the English controversialist,
Marsiglio of Padua and John of Jandun, the joint authors of the
Defender of Peace (Defensor Pacis).

In this and other books they spread doctrines implying a complete revolu-
tion of the existing order. By their doctrines tliey desei've to be regarded as
the forerunners of tiie modern Revolution even more than Wyclif and Hus,
Luther and Calvin. The Fraticelli and their supporters were the tirst in the
Western Church to deny the infallibility of the Pope. The Defensor Pacis
maintains the unconditional sovereignty of tlie people and tlie absolute de-
mocracy of the Chui-ch. According to this theory the General Council, com-
posed of the members of the clergy and of laymen chosen by the people and
summoned and directed by the State, stand at the head of the universal
Churcii. The authority of the Pope is derived not from Christ, but from the
Council and from the State. By divine right, all tlie members of the clergy
have equal powers. The Council has legislative, the Pope only executive
power. The Emperor, as the representative of the people, has the right of
appointing, deposing and punishing priests, l)ishops and Popes. The supreme
disposition of all ecclesiastical property belongs exclusively to the State.
Unfortunately some imprudent defenders of the Church, too, exaggerated the
rights of the Pope beyond all reasonable bounds.

From Milan, where he received the Iron Crown from two deposed
prelates, Ludwig marched to Rome. Meanwhile the Guelfic rule of
Robert of Naples had been overthrown by the Ghibellines, who now
admitted Ludwig into the city. Proclaimed Emperor in the name of
the Roman people, Ludwig was crowned b}' Sciarra Colonna of

Online LibraryAnthony GuggenbergerA general history of the Christian era : for Catholic colleges and reading circles and for self-instruction (Volume 2) → online text (page 1 of 49)