Joseph Priestley.

A general history of the Christian church, from the fall of the western empire to the present time (Volume 2) online

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The pope, flrengthened by thefe alliances, de-
clared himfelf not fatisfied with the apology of the.
king ; and in a letter addreffed to the cardinal
Le Main, then in France, April 13, a. d. 1303, he
ordered him to denounce the king as an excommu-
nicated perfon, and alfo thofe who fhould admi-
nifler the facrament to him, or celebrate niafs in
his prefence, of what rank foever they might be,
even tho' they were archbilhops. .

On this the king called a council of his nobles
and prelates the 13th of June, when the principal
nobility did not hefitate to declare ^againft Boni-
face ; faying that the church was in danger under
his condudl, and that the king ought to procure
the calling of a general council. But the clergy
defired time to deliberate. The next day Willi-
am de Pleflis produced a writing, containing twenty-
nine articles of accufation againfl the pope, among
which were his difbelief of the immortality of the
foul, and of tranfubftahtiation. He alfo alleged
that it was commonly faid that he did not believe
fornication to be a fin, that he paid no regard to
the lafts of the church, but ate flefh at all times
a,nd without any reafon. After this he repeated his
requell to the king and the prelates, to call a gene-
ral council, and in the mean time to make their
appeal to it.



On this the king recited his a6l of appeal, and
defired the clergy to procure the calling of a coun-
cil as foon as pofTible. However, the clergy faid
that they would not make themfelves parties in the
cafe, but, conftrained by neceffity, they joined in
the appeal to a future council, and declared that
if the pope fliould proceed againll the king by ex-
communication, they would not be influenced by
it, but defend tlie king, and thofe who adhered to
him, wiih all their power. In return, the king
promifed to defend them all againfl: the pope.
Purfuing this condud, he ordered the eftates of all
foreign prelates to be fcized. The univerfity and
the chapter of Paris, and the Dominicans who were
there, declared their adherence to the appeal, and
in Auguft and September the king had received
more than feven hundred public a6ls ot the fame
nature, from blUiops, chapters of cathedral
chur,ches, abbots, and monks of divers orders, uni-
verTi'ies, lords, communities, and cities.

The pope hearing of this, publilhed feveral
bulls on the 15th of Augufl. in which he treated
the charge of herefy againll himfelf as a mere ca-
lumrjy, and the callmg of a council without him
as a thni" mipoilirjle; and concluded with threaten-
in«j^ the kmg to proceed againfl; him, and all his
adherents, in a proper time and place. As thefe
bulls could not now be delivered in the ufual form


IKi .J« ' J.u:4


in France, he made a conflitution, by which their
being pubhflied in Rome was declared to be fuffi-

In the mean time the king, having determined
on his meafnres, fent Siephen Colonnn, and other
Italians, men ot ability and fpirit, with VVm. De
Nogaret, to feize the pope, and bring him to Ly~
ons, where the council was to be held, while the
pope was at Anagni, with his cardinals and his
court, thinking himfelf perfedly fafe in his native
city; and there he drew up another bull, in which
he faid that, tho', as vicarof Jefus Chrift, he had
the power of governing kings with a rod of iron
and breaking them as a potter's veffel, he had ufed
the moft gentle means with the km'^ of France •
but that thefe having had no efFea, he now abfolv-
ed all his fubjeas from their oath of alle iance
forbidding them, under pain of anathema, to obey
him, or render him any fervice, and declaring all
his treaties with other princes null.

But the day before this bull was to have been
publiflicd, Sept. yth, William de Nogaret, ac-
companied by Sciaira Colonna, and fome lords of
the country, with three hundred horfemen, and
many foot foldiers, who had been fent into the
country in fmall bodies, and m difguife, entered
Anagni, crying, " Long live the king of France,
" and die the pope." Being then joined by the ci!



tizens, they feized the pope after fome refiftance,
the cardinals flying, and hiding themfelves. Bo-
niface now finding himfclf in their power, and ex-
pe6ling nothing lefs than death, put on his ponti-
fical drefs, faying he would die in it, and taking
in his hands the keys and the crofs, placed him-
felf in the pontifical chair.

In the evening Nogaret informed him of the
caufe of his fcizurc, which he aJDTuied him was not
to offer him any violence, but to condudl him to
the general council, which would be held whether
he confented to it or not. Colonna behaved with
lefs ri'fpeft, and infulted him ; but tho' they ur^td
him much to rehgn, he declared he would not,
but would rather die. After (ome days, the in-
habitants of Anagni, repenting of their having
abandoned the pope, and perceiving the fmall
number of thofe who had feized mm, rofc againft
the French ; crying, " Long live the pope, and
" die the treators," and with fome difficulty they
drove them from the palace and the city. The
pope, being now at liberty, immediately left the
place, and went diredly to Rome, determined to
affemble a council, and take his full revenge on the
kin<T of France; but on the nth of 06lober he
died, in confequence of the mortification to which
he had been expofed,




Clement V, who fucccedcd Boniface, was
a Frenchman, and before his eleflion entered in-
to feveral ftipulations with Philip, * whole
concurrence had great influence in his eleftion,
and in confequence of this, he annulled all th6
cenfures of Boniface againft the king ; but he de-
clined doing what the king much infilled upon
with refpeft to ihat pope, whom he would have
condemned as a heretic, and his bones dug up
and burned.


Of thi Contejls between the Popes and Lewis of Ba-


HE conteft of the popes with the
emperor Lewis of Bavaria was of longer continu-
ance than that with Philip Le Bel, and ended more


* On the death of Boniface there was a difpute a-
mong the Italian and French cardinals ; but it was
compromifed by the latter naming three of their coun-
trymen, and the former chufing one of the three. The
king, being apprized of their intended choice, viz.
Bertrand de Got archbiihop of Bourdeaux, entered into
ftipulations with him, the pope engaging to grant him
fix things, five of them named at the lime, and one to
be mentioned afterwards.


favourably for them. Lewis, at his cle£lion in
A. D. 1314, had a rival in Frederick duke of Auf-
tria, and the fon of Albert; but in a. d. 1323 he
defeated him in a pitched battle, and obliged him
to renounce his pretenfions to the empire ; fo that
he remained without a rival. But he incurred the
dtfpleafure of John XXII by taking the part of
the Gibellines in Italy, at the head of whom were
the Vifconti's of Milan, who had been declared
excommunicated and heretics. Perfifling in this
oppofition to the pope, he was, in a. d. 13'^3,
warned todefifl; horn the adminiftration of the em-
pire, and the prote£lion of the enemies of the church,
under pain of excommunication ; and all perfons
ecclefiaflical and fecular were charp^ed, under ihe
fame pesa'ty, not to obey him. Lewis remon-
flrated, that he knew nothing of the herefy of the
Vifconti, but fuppofed that the pope confidered
thofe as rebels to the church who were f. ithful to
the empire, and faid that the pope himfelf was a
favourer of heretics, in his proceedings againfl the
Fratricclli, of which an account wi'l be given here-
after. Me therefore appealed, as Philip of Fiance
had done, to a general council. He alfo publiflied
in Germany, that the obje£l of the pope was to de-
prive the el eftors of their light. This, however,
the pope faid he was far from doing ; and that the
patrrnal hand which had raifed thtrn could not




mean to injure them. This he faid on the idea that
Gregory V had given to the electors the right of
chufing an emperor.

Lewis perfifting in his oppofition, by afiifling
the GibeUines in Italy, the pope, on the 15th of
July A. D. 1324, publifhed a definitive fentence
againfl; him, depriving him of his title and office,
under pain of excommunication, if he did not make
his fubmiflion before the firft of Odober. But fo
far was Lewis from making any fubmiffion, that,
ia a great diet at Saxenhaufen, he treated the pope
as an enemy of the peace both in Italy and Ger-
many, as having publicly faid, that when the fecu-
lar princes were divided, then the pope was really
pope, and feared by all the world ; that he con-
fidered all his enemies as heretics, efpecially if they
were faithful to the empire. He then charged him
with herefy in his condemnation of the Fratricelli,
and again appealed to a general council.

In A. D. 1327 Lewis, being arrived in Italy,
again denounced John XXII as a heretic, and
unworthy of being pope • objeQing to him fix-
teen articles of accufation, which he did with the
advice of many bifhopSj other prelates, and many
Francifcans ; and with them was the mailer of
the Teutonic kni^h^s, and all the fchifmatics.
The chief of thefe articles of accufation was, that
he was an enemy of the poverty of Jefus Chrift,



in maintaining that be had fomething in property.
In contempt of the pope's excommunication, he
had always perfons to perform divine fervice for
him, and who moreover excommunicated the
pope, caUing him in derifion preller John. In
anfwer to this, the pope charged Lewis wuh the
herefies fpecified in his bulls, declared him again
deprived of all his dignities, and forbad any per-
fon to obey him.

Lewis entered Rome January 7th, a. d. 1^28,
and caufed himfelf to be crowned emperor on the
17th, by James Albertin, who had been bifhop of
Caftello or Venice, but had been depofed by John
XXII ; and alter enumerating the crimes with
which he charged the pope, (amcjng which he reck-
oned his employing ecclefiaftical perfons 10 fight
for him, his affuming temporal as .ell as fpiiitual
power, which Jefus Chrifl had diflinguiflied, and
put into different hands ; when he faid, " My king'
" dom is not of this world," and his refufing to re-
fide in Rome) he folemnly pronounced his depo-
fition from the papal dignity.

Before the emperor left the city James Colon-
na, the friend of Petrarch, dilUnguiflied himfelf
by the bnldnefs of his condu-M in favour of the
pope. Standing in the public fquare of St. Mar-
cel, in the hearing of more tlan a thoufand pv^r-
fons, he read a bull of the pope againll Lewis,
^- declar-


-declaring that John was a Catholic and lawful
popp, and Lewis and all his adhcFents excommu-
nicateJ. He alfo offered to prove what he had
advanced by rcafon, and if necelFary by the fword,
in a proper place. Then, without oppofition, he
fiKcd the pope's bull to the door of the church of
St!. Marcell, and immediately mounting his horfe,
luade his efcape.

After liJs coronation, L^wis proceeded to ap-
point another pope, and made choice of Peicr Rai-
nallucci, a Francifcan, who took the name of Ni-
rjlas V. He pubhihed bulls ag;iinft John, as
J *hn, in rffurn, did againft him. Pr>.fently afr^r
this, the aff wrs of Lewis beginning to decline, be
was obliged to leave Rome and ah foon as he w«s
gone, the cicixens returned to the obedierice of

The pontificate of Nicolas was of no ttmg con-
tinuai>c»f. Bfiug fe'zed by count Bonifare m a*
D 1330 he was delivertd up to the pope at Avig-
Jion. where he mad(" ana -^ple confcffion of evtry
th)ng that he had done, and accurdin^ to the llipu-
laious with the count, his life was fpared, and he
hid every indulgence that h^ could have in a ftate
of confinement, in which he lived three years.
Afttr this, L'M'is was very defiious of bemg recon-
eded to the pope, provided he might be acknow-
ledged emperor, but this the pope refufed. How-
VoL. IV. A a ever


ever the king of Bohemia, who made the propofal
for him, did not abandon him, but went into Italy,
as his vicar of the empire.

The quarrel of John XXII was taken up by
Clement VI, who in a. d. 1343 publifhtd a bull
againft Lewis, requiring him ro defifl Ircm the
title of emperor, and the adminiftration of the tm-
pire, and appear before him within three months;
declaring that o'herwife he would proceed againft
him according to the enormity of his gftions.
This term having expired without his making any
fubmiflion, he was declared to be contamacious.
But Lewis threatening the king of France, that if
any thing was done againft him he would confider
him as the author of it, and Philip interceding
with the pope in his favour, nothing further was
done asainft him at that time.

The next year Lewis was near being reiionciledl
to the pope, but it was on the moil humiliating
terms. He confenfed to confefs all the errors and
herefies that had been laid to his charge, to re-
nounce the empire, to refume it as a favour from
the pope, and leave himfelf, his queen, his goods
and eftates, at the pope's difpofal. He alfo fwore,
in the prefence of a notary fent by the pope, that
he would obfcrve all thefe terms, and never re-
voke them. But the princes oi the empire had
snore fpirit than their head. They objeaed to




thefe terms, as tending to the detlrucilon of the
empire, and remonilratcd with the pope on the
eccafion. At this he was mnch off uded, and pro-
ceeded to take farther meafures agaiuft Lewis.

In A. D. 1346 Clement pronounced a fentcnce
of depofition againft Lewis, and invited the elcftors
to chufc another king of the Romans ; and Charles
of Luxemburg promifing that, if he were chofen,
he would fulfil all the engagements of his grand-
father Henry and his predeceffors, that he would
revoke all that had been done by Lewis, that he
would not take poffeflion of Rome or any place
belonging to the church, in or out of Italy, or of
the kingdoms of Sicily, Sardinia, or Corfica; that
lie would not even enter Rome till the day of his
coronation, and leave it the day after, and that he
would never return into the terntories of the church
Without the pope's leave, he recommended him ;
and when he was clefted, he confirmed the eleQien,
in a bull in which he faid " God had given to the
" pope, in the perfon of St. Peter, full power of
" ecclefiaftical and terreftrial empire."

Henry Bufman, archbifhop of Mayence, tak-
ing the part of Lewis of Bavaria, Clement VI pro-
jiounced his depofition, and appointed, a
fon of the count of NalTauj in his pl^ce ; but Hen-
ry defpifed the fcntence of the pope, and there was
a fchifminthat church on this account- ei^ht years,

A a 2 t%


as Jong as Henrv lived, each of theclaimarts exer**
citing the fpjiifual and temporal power where they
pievailc«i, and excommunicating each other. la
fact they were at open war, and by plundern gand
burnmg places, the diocefe fuffered fo much, that
it did n -t recover in an age the Icffes of theie eight

Lewis, however, continued in a ftate of con-
tempt of the pope and his excommunicatif ns till
his death, which was fadden, on the iithof Oflo-
ber A. D. 1347 ; and notwithflanding this, he wa*
buried with great ceremony, as emperor, by hi*
fon Lewis marquis of Brandenburgh; After hi§
death Charles was foon univerfally actftowledcred
emperor, the other competitors making terms witis


The liijlory of the gnat Schijm in the Wcji,

J. HE firm hold which the idea of the
neceflity of a head of the church had taken on the
minds of the generality of Chr (lians was never fo
ftrongly evidenced, as in the hiflory of the great
Jchifm, which took place in the popedom on thfe
death of Gregory XI. Had the fun in the fir-


mament been divided into two parts, the Chriftiaq


world could not have been m^re difturbed. In-
deed, in that (late of mens minds, the evils which
aroCe from the fchifm were very great ; the vioKnce
of the parties againft each other being exctffive,
and the exactions of the rival popes to augment
their revenues and increafe their power moll op-
preffivc ; not to mention the many lives that were
loft in the quarrel.

Nj Iclulm was produdive of fo much evil as
this. The competitors, not content with thunder-
ing their anathemas againfl each other, defolated
Europe, and efpecialiy Itaiy, with thtir armits,
and thofe of their pirtifans. There were treafons,
poifonings, maHicres, afrd(Ii lations, furiouj b itiies,
robberies, and piracies evi ry whcrt. Tiiis ichii'm
was alfo the occafion of civil wirs in all the Hates
of Chriftendom. For in the countries in which
any of the competitors was generally ackuowledj^ed,
there was always fome cit) or community that held
for the other; and frequently the lame city and tha
fame family was divided, fo that there was no reil
or fafety any where. L' Enfant' i Pife^ Vol. i.

We fee in the flrongeft: light in this hlftory,
the inflicnce of power on the mind of man. la
almod all the: cafes of the death of any pope, choice
was made ot a fuccefTor, who pra^ifed the fairefl

A a 3 t»


to be ready to refign his office, in order to promote
the peace of the charch; bat in all the cafes, from
being apparently the moft meek and unambitious, (hey proved to be the mofl; tenacious of
their power, and averfe to every meafure that tend-
ed to deprive them of it, notwithflanding the be-
nefit that would manifeflly have aecmcd to th(?
church, and to the world, from their ceffion.

Many had been the attempts of the people of
Rome to bring the popes fiom Avignon, where
they had refided near a century, to their city. But
befides that they had ail been Frenchmen, they
found themfeives more ut their oafe at a diflance
from that turbulent city, and their power in other
refpefts was not dimunfhed. At length, however,
Urban V yieldtd to their importunity, and adual-
ly went to Rome, bat he returned to Avignon be-
fore his death. * Gregory XI, who alfo wer.t.

* On the irth of April a. d. 1370 Urban V left
Rome to go to Avignon, on the pretcpce of negotiating
a peace between the kings of France and England, tho'
St. Brigitte of Sweden, a woman in great fame for her
,fan6lity, and the founder of anew order ol nuns, con-
Jfirmed 9y this pope, told him that his rtfolution was a ^
foolilh one, and he would never accomplilli his journey.
He arrived, howerer, at Avignon the 24 th oi SepteBi-
ber, but he died the 19th of December following, be-
foie he had proceeded lo far as he had inieaJtd, ia ox-
ikr to uegociate thi, p,.Atc,

r^K» J


thither, was determined to have returned, but he
tiied before he could execute his refolution the
27th of March a. d. 1378.

At the time of his death there were fixteen car-
dinals at Rome, of whom four were Italians, fix
at Avignon, and one on a mifhon in Tufcany.
Before they proceeded to the ele£lion of a fucceffor
to Gregory, the citizens of Rome made a ftrong
remonftrance againlt their chufing any other than
an ItaHan, reprefenting to them, that during the
refidence of the popes at Avignon, the <ities be-
longing to the church had revolted, the people
having been oppreffed by the officers, who were
flrangers, and the revenues of the church exhauft-
ed in wars to recover them ; and that not only
Rome, but all Italy, had fufFered greatly bv this
m;;ans. While the cardinals were alTembled in
the conclave, the populace were exceedmgly cla^
morous tor a Roman pope, and alter fome debate
they agreed in the choice of Barthelemi di Prig-
nanx), a native of Naples and archbifhop of Bari j
but as they had not chofen a native of Rome, they
were afraid of the populace, and difperfcd. How-
ever, the magiflrates of the city, when they were in-
formed of the ele£lion, were well fatisfied with it,
and waited upon the new pope to pay him their
refpecls, Lho', in this ftage of the bufinefs, he re-
fii.fed any other appellation than th.^t of archbifhop

A a 4 mi


f'f Baric O'l this, fix of the cardinals, who had
rctuxid to -h-c cdil & of St. Angeio, at the icqueft
of the in )- lU'dfe J came to the palace, and joining
five others, repea'ed the elediion for rhe greater
fa^ty. The ne^v pojxe then accepted their nomi-
j;auon in the ufual form, and was enthroned by
the name of Urban VI. This was April gtli, Ar.

D- 1379-

Urban is univerfally allowed to have been a

man of an excel ent private cbara^cr, learned, de-
vout, and a great enemy of Cmuny, but too auftere
in his manners. On the i8th of April he was fo- crowned with all the ufual ceremonies, atU
the fixteen cardinals aflifting : For the four ^Jio
had gone out of Rome were returned ; and tor
three months they all lived with Urban as pope.
They, moreover, all joined in a letter to their
brethren at Avignon, to inform them of their pro-
ceedings, and oi their having unanimoufl) eltdcd
Urban; and thefe, in their anfwer, acknowltdgt d
the ele6Hon. Alfo he that was in Tufcany, com*
ingto Rome joined the reft, and faluied Urban as
pope ; fo that he was now exprtfsly acknowledged
ty all the twenty- tliree cardinals of whom the col-
lege was com po fed.

It is probable, therefore, that the validity df
bis ele6lion would never have been diiputed, if he
h^d not given offence by the haiihiicfs of his man-


Bers. Very fvon. however, he ofFendcd many of
the cardm^j's by his fevere reproaches of thtm for
their bad moials, and efpecially for leaving iht-ir
proper churches, and refiding at his court. Bujt
IK) rcfentment of this appeared till the middle of
May, when thirteen of the cardinals went to Anag*
nt, on the pretence of avoiding the great heats of
Rome. But vvh'^n they were there, they faid, tha{
the elecl O-i of Urban was null, as hiv.n^- been
nici ie thro' fr^rce, au-l goJ B rnar i de Sale a,
G^tfcon captrjiu then at Vitubo, to be their guajd*
He pafli ig near Rome met with many who op-
pofed him, and coming to an afl'on. h< rou.. d
them, killing about five hundred. He then pro-
ceeded to Anagni, while the people of Rome took
their revenge un the French who were there, kill-
ing many of them. Alfo Joan queen of NapJes
fent two fhoufand hotfemen and OiiC hundred foot
for the defence of the popa.

The cardinals at Anagni having now obtained
a protection, on the 9th of Augull pub.rihud a de-
claration againft the validity of Ui baa's eledlion.
And on the 27th of the fame month they went to
Forli, where the three Ifalian cardinals joined J-hera,
each of the three, 11 is faid, having been privately
afiured, that if he dint, he would be ek^led.
The other Italian cardinal being lil reuiauied at
^.ome, where he ibon after dii.a. i'iuccu cardj-

A a c uals


nals being now alTc^mbkd, on the 20th of Sep-
tember, they made choice of Robert of G< neva,
who took the name of Clement VII. He was a
man 'vvcll veiTed in public bulinefs, and related to
mofl of the great princes of Europe. The fix car-
dinals of Avignon approved of this eleOion ; and
on the 13th of November the king of France,
tlio' after much hefitation, but with the advice of
his ncblcs and clergy, did the fame. His party
was alfo joined by Joan queen of Naples, tho' at
the fisH: flie had approved of the ele6lion of Urban,
who was flill favoured by the people. The obe-
dience of Urban comprehended a great part of Ita-
ly, Germany, England, the greatefl; part of the
Low Countries, and Hungary, Spain continue4
ibme time undecided.

Clement, after his eleflion, went to Naples ^
but being ill received by the people, he went by
fea to France, and took up his refidence at Avig-
non, where he was received with great joy; and
then he publiilieda bull againll Urban, as Urbaa
had belore done againft him, promifmg the fame
indulgence to thofe who Ihould join in a crufadc
againll him, as if they had gone to the holy land.
This violence of the chiefs exafperated the parti-
fans of both, and in confcquence of it many pre-
lates in the obedience of Urban were feized by the
favourers of Clement, and lome of them put t&

Online LibraryJoseph PriestleyA general history of the Christian church, from the fall of the western empire to the present time (Volume 2) → online text (page 21 of 30)