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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death. Several cities and caRles i;;- the k'ngdom
of N;;iples and the eccUrfiaRical Rita's were iak^n
and deftroyed, as alfo manv churches and monaf-
teries ; and marders, pilla^^ics. and oihcr rri'nes
were withcut number. T ir Clementine?: (iiffcr-
ed as much as the U:hanifts. Many prrlons took
their party through fear, and many fold then obe-
dience for money or preferment, which of couffa
produced the promotion ot unvcorthy perfons;
and the fame evils prevailed in both obediences.
Open hodilities were, however, chiefly coi fined
to Italy, which was divided between the two poj^es.
On the 30th of April Urban got poiTciTioa of the
caflle oi St. Angelo, which till then had bc-cii
held by the Clementines ; and his parufans a? To
gained a viiSlory over the Gafcons, and Brito'^s ia
Italy, who fupported the interell of Clement.
Thefc advantages were by many afcribed to tiie in-
terccffion of St. Catherine of Sienna, who cx<^rtcd
herfcif sreatlv in favour of Urban, and who, "oiri^
to Rome a little hd'ovQ her death, exhorted the car-
dinals to continue firm to his inrerefl.

Urban b^ing exceedingly provoked at the cojs-
ducl of the queen of Naples in deferting hi» inte-
reft, excommnnicated her, abfolved all her iub-
je£ls,from their oath of allegiance, and declared all
her goods confiscated. To exrcate thefe threats,
he invited Charles duke ot Dai'as £0 {ake poileiJt,


on of her kingdom; and as he wiS in want of mo-
liey, the pope fold a great part of the patrimony of
thjs church, and the monaftcries in Rome, to the
amount of t\ghty thoufand florins. He alfo fold
the gold and filver chalices, croffes, images of
faints, and other valuable things belonging to
churches. Bat he obliged Charles to give hi$
nephev Francis di Prignano many valuable e(late$
in his {»gdom. In order to guard herfcil againil
this formidable invafion, the queen adopted Lewis
duke of Anjou, and mvited him to come to her
aiSflance. But before his arrival Charles got pof-
feifion of Naples, feized herperfon, and foon aftejr
put her to death.

On the 19th of May a. d. 1380 the king of
Caftilc, after much deliberation, declared for Cle-
ment; but upon condition that he fhould appoint
only natives of Caftile to any benefices in his king-
idom, not referve to his own ufe the revenues or
goods of dying prehtes, and exa6l no tenths, or
pecuniary fublidies. Urban hearing of this dc*-
tedion of the king of CaRile, publifhed a violent^
bull againfthim, excommunicating him, depofing
him, and even ordering him to be kept a cloie pri-
Xoner. He alfo publifhsd a crufade againft him,
with the ufual indulgences. In this bull, \vhicl|
was publiflied the 28th of M^rch a. d. 1382,
Fleury fays Urban exhaufted all the molt rigoroufi



tlaufey of the Roman chancellry. And as Lewi«
of \nj-)u marched with an army again Pi Chatles^
TJrh;in alfo publifhed a crufade againfl him in thd
ufual terms. Thefe iiieafure5:, howevcV, "bad little
effcd. Some troops wtrc indeed raifed in England
with the tenths of the church living.^, ind the com-
mand of them was given to the bifhcp ot Norwich;
bat inftead of marching againft the French, who
were the chief (uppo iters of Clement, he attacked
the Flemings, tho' they were Urbanifts as well as
the Englifh, and being oppofed by the French, hfc
returned without tfF.ding any thing.

l/rban, dilFalisfied with the condu6l of Charles,
chiefly becaufe he did not put his nephew into the
poffelfion of the places he had agreed to give him,
went to Nap'es, tho' againft the advice of all his
friends ; and becaufe fome of the cardinals did
not chufe to accompany him, he publ.fhed a vh-
olent bull againft them, threatening to deprive
them of theii dignities if they did not foon follow
him. The pope, however, fooo found reafon to
fepent of the ftep that he had taken. For tho'
Outwardly Charles fhewed him all refptci, whea.
he arrived in Naples, he in effeft kept him a pri-
foner, as well as his nephew, who was a man w ho-
ly abandoned to vice. While he was in Naple*
at this time, he took by force a nun of St. Clair,
^d kept her at his lodgings ; and when the pope



was told of hii. diGjrders, he apulojized for him. as
a young TT;an, rho' he was then more than forty
years ol J. For this outrage, however, the king
had him condemned fo die; but the pope inter-
ct ding for him, he was riot only pardoned, but a
peace being mide beivveen them, he married a re-
iHtion of !.he king.

The duke of Anjou found himfelf unable td
cflect any diing againll Charles. For not being a-
b^^to bring him tb a battle, his army perifhed
by licknefs or fmall fkirmiihes ; and at lenoth he
himfelf died of chagrin the £o^-h of September,
leaving his pretenfions on the kingdom oj Naples
to his fon Lewis who was fcarce eight years old.

Charles, having now vo rival in Italy, kept no
meafures with the p^'pc. They were at open va-
rifince, and had no communication together, the
pope rhufing to refide at Nocera, when tlie king
Wifhedto have himac Naples. Thither, however, he
at length thought proper to go, tho* not long after he
returned. The cardinals urgedthe pope to make
his peace with the king ; and not furcceding, fome
of therj; formed a fchcme to deprive him of his
powtr. But he being informed of it, put fix ot
them into clofe cailody. Being tortured by his
Kcphew, thev couieired the crime, and the pope
deprived them o: their dignities and confifcatcd
thnr goods. Afterwards he in a particularly fo-



lemn manner on the 15111 of January a. d. 13S5,
excommunicated not only them, but Charles, Cic-
inent, his cardinals, and all who adhered to him.

This violent condu6l of the pope provoked the
king to fend troops to Nocera, who plundered the
villages in the neighbourhood, and feized all they
could of the pope's friends. They then took tlte
city by aflault, and befieged the pope in the caOIei
which however he held feven months.

Raimond de Beauce coming with an army to
the relief of the pope, a confiftory v.-as held in his
prefcnce, in which the cardinals who were prifon-
ers v/ere told, that if they would freely confefs their
crime, they would be forgiven ; but perfilling ia
afferting their innocence, they were kept in prifon,
where tjiey fuSPered moil dreadfully by hunger,
third, cold, and vermin. Not fatisfied with this
CTuelty, the pope had them put to the torture-onc«
more, but without producing any con'efTion. Afr
ter this the king promifcd a reward to any perfoa
who would bring the pope alive or dead, and iht
cardinals who were of Naples, (hocked at his vio-
lence, wrote to the clergy at Rome; fa}ing, that
his condufk was the principal caufe of the fclMfin,
and propoling to meet them, in order to take mea-
fures for putting an end to it, but this had no efi




Bv til? afli lan€e of Ray^nond, Urban left No-
cera Au^uR 8 h, a. d. 138-; and c.nrritd bis pn-
foners along with him ; but one of them no' being
able to travel fall enough, in confequcnce of what
ht had luffcied by the torture, he was by the pope's
order put to death. In gallies fent by the Genos-
cfe he wen'c fiift to Siei'y, and then to Genoa,
where he a.rived September the 3d. When he
was here, feveral attempts having been made to de-
liver the fix cardinals, fome by force, and fome by
intreaty, hedifmilTiJ one of them, b'jt caufed tht
five others to be put to death in December Sh, a.
D. 1386. and foon after tins he left Genoa, and
went to Lucca, where he confinued nine months.

In this year Urban was relieved from one of his
enemies. For king Charles, having fucceeded to
the kingdom of Hungary, went thither, and was
there murdered by the order of Ehzabcth, the wi-
dcr'v o( his predeccff>r, who had fhe government of
the kingdi.-m after the death of her hulbmd. Ur^
ban, however, was not btnrfired by this event.
Fur on the death of Charles the parrv of Lewis of
Aiij >u who were in the intercfl of Clement, got
the upper naua in Naples, queen Margaret retiring

fo Gaeta.

A( this time Urban was at Lucca, where he
was urged by fome of the piinces of Germany to
have a coiifevence with Cicuicut, 111 order to unite




the church. But be was fo far from liflening to
fhe propofal, that on the 29th ot Augufl; a. d.
1387, iie pubUfhed a new bull, addreffed to the
bifliops, in which he exhorted all Catholic princes
tojoinagainft-Clement, promifing plenary indul-
gences as in the Wars of the holy land. This, how-
ever, produced nothing in his favour, and Charles
king of Navarre, who always kept himfelf neuter,
dying the ill of January a. d. J387, his fon de-
clared for Clement, as alfo did John king of Ar-
ragon on the death of his father Peter, the fifth of
the fame month, To that now the whole of Spain,
except Porttigia!l, was in. his obedience.

Clement difcovered a better difpofition thatt
Urban. For in November a. d. 1387 he fentam-
baffadors to the people of Florence, defiring that
tlrey would procure the calling of a g^n-eral coun-
cil, in order to heal the fchifm in the church • pro-
mifing that if he fhouU he declared pope, he would
Jnake Urban a cardinal, and that if Urban fhould
have the preference, he would be at his mercy.
"But they declined interfering in the bufinefs, as
they faid it belonged to the lovereign princes to
call fuch a council, and continued in the obedience
of Urban. .He, pretending that the kingdom of
Naples was devolved to him,, on the death of king
Charles, fet out for that kingdom ; but falling
from his horfe, and alio not having money to pay
Vox. IV, B b the


the troops that accompanied him, he w as-obliged
to go to Rome, which he entered in the beginning
of Oftober, and where he died two days after.

The friends of Clement, who was a much
younger man than Urban, had flattered themfelves
that the fchifm would end with his life. But in
this they were greatly difappointed. For on the
2d of November the cardinals of Urban chofe Peter
Tpmacelli, the cardinal of Naples, for his fuccef-
for; 3nd he took the name of Boniface IX. He
was a man who fpake well, but not underftanding
arammar, he could not write any thing ; and being
ignorant of the bufinefs of the court of Rome, he
often fifrned what was presented to him without
underftanding it. As to the fchifm, there was no
profpe£l of any termination of it; as the two popes
fulminated bulls againft each other, with equal
violence, but equally without effed.

Boniface finding him felf unable to fupport the
war that Urban had undertaken for the ccnqueft of
Naples, admitted the claim of Ladiflas the fon of
-Charles Duras, then feventeen years^ old, and ab-
folved him from all ecclefiaftical cenfures. Lewii
of Anjou, however, havingembarked at Marfeilles,
took poffeffion of Naples, and on the loth of April
gained a coniiderable advantage over the party of
Ladiflas, whom Boniface fupported at a great ex-
pence; lb that his finances being exhaufted, he fold




eftates belonging to the church, as his predecefTor
had done in fupport of the father. He alio or-
dered to be paid into the apoftolic chamber half
the fruits of the firft year of all the benefices in the
gift ot the holy fee. * Clement alfo, being in the
fame want of rnoney, exa£led a tenth of all the
church livings in France, and even of the revenues
of the univerfity of Paris, which, tho' with much
reludance, was paid. He was alfo the firft who
attempted to introduce into France the cuftom of
feizing the goods of deceafed bifhops and abbots,
and the revenues of churches and monafteries dur-
ing a vacancy. But Charles VI prevented it.
Giannone, Vol. 2. p. 232.

In A. D. 1392 two Carthufians were fent by
Boniface to Clement, and to the king of France,
to propofe an union. Clement refufed to give
them a hearing ; but at length they obtained one
from the king, who promifed to do every thing irl
his power to promote it. Upon this the univerfity
of Paris took up the queftion, and procured feveral
fciemorials to be drawn up about the beft methods
of putting an end to the fchifm. Thefe were re-

B b 2 duced

* It is faid that Boniface made annates perpetual,
as infeparably attached to the church of Rome ; where-
as his predeceflbrs had required them only on particu-
lar occafions and pretences, and as a free gift. UEn^
■fanfs Pise J p. 101.


duced to three, viz. the ceffion of both the popes,
a compromife between them, or a general council.
But nothing would fatisfy Boniface Ihort of the ex*
pulfion of Clement.

From this time the members of the univerfity
took up the bufinefs with great zeal, and in a long
difcourfe drawn up by Nicolas de Clemangis, r6-
prefented the ftate of the cafe to the king, drawing
an affiefting picture of the evils that arofe from the
fchi!m, fuch as the prevalence of fimony, inconfc-
quence of which the mofl unworthy perfons were
raifed to ecclefiaftical dignities, intolerable exaft-
ions on the minifters of religion, the fale of relicks,
croflfes, and every thing of value belonging to
churches, the fale even of the facram.ents them-
felves, efpecially that of penance, the diminution
of divine fervice, the contempt of the church by
Mahometans, and the encouragement of heretics.
But the cardinal de Luna, fent as a legate by Cle-
ment, and who did not wifli for a termination of
the fchifm, managed in fuch a manner that the
king torbad the univerfity to proceed any farther ia
the affairs. The difcourfe, however, being fent
to Clement, gave him great diftuibance. From
this time he was obferved to be extremely dejefted,
and penfive. and foon after, being feized with an
apoplexy, he died on the i6ih of September a. d.




On this event the univerfity, and the king of
France, did every thing in their power to prevent
the eleftion of another pope; but the cardinals,
being determirred upon it, would not open the
king's letters that were fent for the purpofe, well
knowing the purport of them. However, before
they proceeded to the ele6lion, they all took an
path that in cafe of their eleftion they would do
every thing that fhould be in their power to pro-
mote the union of the church, tho' it fhould re-
quire their ceilion, if the cardinals fhould think
th?t meafure expedient. After this they unani-
moufly chofe Peter de Luna, who took the name
of Benedi6l XIII; he having al'.vays exprelfed rhe
greatell zeal for the union, and having blamed
Clement for not being in earneft about it. After
his eledlion he continued to exprefs the fame zeal
for the extin£lion of the fchifm, whatever might
be the facrifice with refpe6l to himfelf. But the
whole of his fubfequent conduct fhewed that this
was mere hypocricy, and Boniface was as little de-
firous of the termination of the fchifm as himfelf,
except by bringing the whole chriftian world to
his obedience.

The king and his council, feeing much time

loft in deputations and embaflies, convoked a great

affembly at Paris for the 2d of February a. d

1 395. Mere than fix hundred prelates were fum-

B b 3 moned,.


moned, and many attended. It continued a month,
and at the conclufion of it the dukes of Berry and
Burgundy, the king's uncles, and the duke of Or-
leans, were deputed to wait upon BenediQ;, to re-
quefl; that he would fix upon one of the three me-
thods of promoting the union propofed by the u-
niverfity, and recommending that of ceffion. Ac-
cordingly they waited upon him ; but all that
he would promife was, that he was ready to con-
fer with Boniface and his cardinals on the fubjeft.
The cardinals approved of the method of cef-
iion. The fame was alfo more ftrongly recom-
mended by fhe univerfity of Paris, from which a
letter was addreffed to all the other univerfities in
Europe on the fubjeft ; but the univerfity of Ox-
ford recommended a general council.

The court of France was far from being fc tis-
iied with the condu6t of Benedict ; and the uni-
verfity feeing him to be inflexible, advifed the
withdrawing of obedience from him, and drew up
a folemn aft of appeal from his cenfure to a future
pope. This provoked Benedift to publifh a bull,
in which lie declared that appeal to be null, as
being contrary to that plenitude of power which
St. Peter and his fucceffors had received from
Chr'ft, and the facred canons, which forbad any
appeal from the holy fee. He alfo threatened to
proceed farther againd them as their violence might



deferve. The univerfity then applied to the cardi-
nals, and drew up a fecond z6k of appeal.

In January a. d. 1396, ambaffadors from fe-
veral of the princes in the obedience of Boniface
waited upon him, to perfuade him to adopt the
method of ceffion, and confent to a new eleftion ;
ailuring him that Benedict would do the fame.
But he was no lefs obftinate than his antagonift ;
replying that he was indubitably pope, and would
not renounce his dignity on any conhderation. In
A. D. 1398 he received a deputation from princes
in both obediences, the king of France, together
with the emperor fending Peter D' Arlli arch-
bifhop of Cambray to perfuade him to confent to
a ncwcle£lion. But having advifcd with his car-
dinals, he would return no other anfwer than that
when Benedid had refigned, he would slQ. in fucb
a manner as fhould give them fatisfadtion.

On the 5th of June this year another great af-
fembly of prelates and do6iors met at Pans, when
it was agreed to withdraw all obedience from both
the popes ; making provifion for the difpofal of
benefices, and the receipt of fuch fums as had hctn.
ufually paid to the pope ; and the cardmals of Be-
nedid concurred in this meafure. But when this
refolution, to which the court acceded, was fi unifi-
ed to this pontiff, he declared tliat he would keep
his dignity until his death ; and when the marfhal

B b 4 of


ef Leaucicourt iv-as fent to compel him to rrfipn,
and get pcffelEcn of the city of Avignon, he ftood
a fiege'in the place the whole winter, having be.
fore band made provifion for fuch an event ; and
he perfiiled in this refolution, tho' many perfons
about him died of the wounds they received, and
for want of viduais and medicines. At length the
king of Cailile alfo withdrawing his obedience
Irom him, he agreed to the terms propofed by the
king oi France, which were to renounce the ponti-
ficate in cafe that Boniface fhould do the fame, or
die, or be depofed, provided that proteclion fhould
be given to himfelf and his friends. He was not,
however, permitted to leave the palace till the u-
nion fhould be accompiifhed.

Boniface was not treated with the fame fe veri-
fy, and being in want of money to fupport himfelf
and Ladiflas, he fold every thing that was in his
gift. He moreover claimed, as a perpetual right,
the fiift fruits of all church livings, and the reve-
nues of monaderies, whether the perfons to whom
they were given lived to take poffeflion of them or
not. Sometimes he fold the fame benefice to two
perfons, and in order to render ufelefs the ex-
pedative graces which he had given, he gave the
farce over again with a later date, but with a claufe
of preference ; fo that for a long time no perfon
would buy of him. He afterwards recalled all his



expeftative graces, even thofe which had the claufe
oi preference, and likewife all his plenary indulg-
ences for the jubilee or the holy land, and all dif-
penfations to the mendicants to hold church livings.
But this H-as only a pretence for granting freft
graces, and getting more money. He was the
more ftraitened when, on the death of Charles IV,
be loft the obedience of Bohemia, by oppofing the
eleftion of Winceflas, and alfo that of Hungary,
in confequence of crowning Ladiflas king of

Benedi£1; continued four years in his palace at
Avignon. But m a. d. 1403 he mad- his efcape,
and many of the people of that part of the country
taking his part, his cardinals did the fame, afking
his pardon on their knees for their defertion of him.
In thefe advantageous circumftances he fent two of
the cardinals to the king, and he, on farther deli-
beration, and findina that Boniface retained the
obedience of all his friends, he thought proper to
return to his. But he v,-culd not permit the pope
to make any new difpofition, which he infided
upon, of the benefices which had been conferred
while the obedience was withdrawn. lathis ftate
of thin'^s Benedict, willin'r to lliew that the con-
tinuance of the fchifm was not his fault, fent an
embaffy to Boniface. But tho' this pope gave the
ambairadors a hearing, he was fo much irritated by

B b 5 it,


it, that, added to the jftone hy which he had fufFer-
cd much, he took his bed, and died Oftober ift,
A. D. 1404.

This was another opportunity of clofing the
fchifm. But notvvithftanding the remonftrances
of the legates of Benedi6l, and of the king of France,
the cardinals proceeded to a new ele6tion ; when
they chdfe Cofmas de Meliorati, a native of Sal-
mona, then very old, who took the name of Inno-
cent VII. However, previous to the eleftion, all
the cardinals took an oath to do every thing in their
power to promote the union of the church, tho' it
iliould require them to 1 enounce the pontificate.

The people of Rome difcovering fome jealoufy
with refpefl; to their privileges, Innocent, to pre-
vent any difpute with them, made them feveral
concLiTwns ; but as they made new demands, he
was obiij'ed .to arm in his own defence, and his
captains feiziog feme of the heads of the oppofi-
lion, and putting them to death, the people rofe
upon the courtiers, plundered their houfes, and
appeared in fach great force that the pope fled to
Viterbo. But the pope himfelf not having had
any band in the murders, the people afterwards
relented in his favour ; and giving up to him the
feigniory of Rome, he returned to the city in
March a. d. 140'^.



For the purpofe of having a conference with
Innocent, Benedict went to Genoa in May ; but
the plague coming into that city, he returned :o
Marfeilles. Both the popes pubHfhed writings in
their own vindication, throwing the blame of the
continuance of the fchifm on each other, but*
neither of them was really willing to put an end to
it, when Innocent died fuddenly the 6th of No-
vember A. D. 1406. This opportunity, however,
of clofing the fchifm was loft, as well as ali the
former, by the cardinals again proceeding to a
ele6lion. As ufual, however, they all took an
oath that the perfon chofen Ihould refign if the an-
tipope fiiould refign, or die; and then they chofe
Angelo Corrario, a Venetian, who took the name
oi Gregory XII. He was a man of an excellent
charafVer, and who, as foon as he was chofen, ex-
prefTed the moft earneft defire to clofe the fchifm ;
faying he would go to any place of conference for
that purpofe, tho' it (hould be on foot, or in the
fmalleft bark. His letters to Benedi6l and the
-princes of Europe expreffed the fame rcfolution;
but his fubfequent condu6l by no means corre-
fponded to his declarations. This, however, L.
-Aretinc, his fecretary, afcribed not fo much to
himfelf, as to thofe about him, who had an inter-
cft in his retaining his power.



In A. D. 1406 the parliament of Paris, after a
long debate on the fubje£t, once more detevmined
to withdraw all obedience from Bericdidt ; and
that in the mean time the church Hiould be govern-
ed as it had been during the former fublraftion.
At the fame time, agreeably to the advice of the
univeriity, the king declared that a general council
fhould be called for the reformation of the church
in the head and the members. This is the firfV
mention of this obje6^, which afterwards engaged
To much of the attention of the chrillian world, an
objecl: that was always kept in view by the friend
of religion, but always defeated by the manage
ment of thofe who were interefted in the continu-
arxe of the abu fes.

In confequence of the refolution of the parlia-
ment of Paris, ambafTadors were lent to Benedict •
but having the liberty to aft according to circum-

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 22 of 30)