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solicited. (Acta Vaticana ; apud Baronium.) Many German Bishops, knowing Gregory's inordinate ambition and violence of temper, urged Henry to apoul his election ; but he disregarded their advice, and ratified it; of which he had immediate rea-on to repent ; for Gregory soon after called a Council, in which he alone, instead of the Emperor, presided, and over which he had complete control. By this council it was decreed, that any ecclesiastic who received, or any layman who conferred, a benefice in the Church, should be excommunicated, as a heretic, (Decret. ii. caus. 16.9.7. c. 12. 13.) He considered it essential to his ambitious scheme of humbling the power of Princes, and of raising the Church above the State, to have all ecclesiastics dependent op him, as his spies and vassals ; so that, through them, he might enforce his spiritual thunders, by iociting their subjects to rebel. He was the first Pope who usurped a supremacy, and claimed a right to depose Princes, and to absolve subjects from their oaths of allegiance. (Otto Fring. Chron. lib. V. cap. 35.)
In order to attach the Bishops in every Christian State to the Holy See, and to make them completely subservient to it; he prescribed an oath of fidelity and obedience, which they were required to take to the Pope; which oath contains the following paragraphs :-“ I, elect, of the Church of B. from this hour forward, will be faithful and obedient to St. Peter the Apostle, and the Holy Roman Church, and to our Lord the Pope, and his successors, canonically entering. The rights, honour, privileges and authority of the Roman Church, and of our Lord the Pope, and his successors aforesaid, I will be careful to preserve, defend, enlarge and promote. I will not be concerned in Council, Act, or Tretty, wherein any thing disadvantageous, or prejudicial to our said Lord, or the Roman Church, their persons, right, honour, state and power, shall be devised. And if I know any such things to be treated of, or intended, by any person whatsoever, as far as I am able, I will prevent the same; and as soon as possible, I will give information thereof to our said Lord, or to some other person, by whose means it may come to his knowledge. All Heretics, Schismatics, and Rebels, against our said Lord, and his succese sors aforesaid, I will to the utmost of my power, persecute and oppose." - By various General Councils, convened after Gregory's usurpation, particularly the 4th Lateran, Constance, and Basil, " Bishops are required, under pain of deprivation by the Popo, to enforce the punishment and extirpation of heretics."
Richerius, an eminent Romish Divine, and a doctor of the Sorbonne, of the 16th century, truly observes, “ that Gregory, contrary to the custom used in the Church, for more than 1000 years, introduced that order, that all Bishops should swear obedience to the Church of Rome; whence," he says, “ the liberty of all subsequent councils was taken away'; but much more by the Pope's arrogating to himself the collation of all ecclesiastical benefices ; so that as long as his government in the Church continues, it seems altogether impossible to have a free council.” (Richer. Apol, ax. 22. et in epilogo:) He further observes, “ that from the time of Gregory VII. to the Council of Constance, 340 years, the Popes used arbitrarily to impose lau's on the Church, and having formed canons and definitions at home, to call upon Synods, and imperiously to impose ibem ; when none dared so much as murmur at them.'' (Idem: ax. 38.) -- This was universally allowed to be the case with the 4th Lateran Council, The SEED PLOT OF TREASON AND REBELLION, held under Pope Innocent III. in the year 1215, which Doctor Milner; in his Ecclesiastical Democracy, page 97, calls the Grand Council, by way of distinction. The better 10 attach the Clergy to the interest of the Roman Church, it was decreed, in different Councils, in which Gregory alone presided, that they should not marry, and that such of them as had 'wives should dismiss them, under pain of deprivation. This was to insulate their affections, and to prevent them from being attached to their respective communities, by the tender lies of father and husband. Father Paul observes on this :-"If the Clergy were allowed to marry, the consequence would be, that, having families, they would no longer be dependent on the Pope, but on their own Sovereign į and their affection for their children would make them comply with any thing to the prejudice of the Romish Church.” (Hist. Concil. Trent. lib. v. p. 446. ed. 1566-)
Gregory having usurped the investiture of benefices, previously enjoyed by Soverei, n-Princes, had the Emperor exconimunicated for simony, and merely because he exercised the right of conferring them. He issued an anathema against him, in which he pronounced him to be deprived of the imperial dignity, and declared all his subjects absolved from their oaths of fidelity to him, and the German Irelates, who adhered to him, excommunicated. (Maimnbourg, lib. iii. p. 237.) . ' .
The following blasphemous anathema which appeared in one of his Circular Letters, is still extant, and forms part of the Canon Law ;- On the part of the Omnipotent God, I forbid Henry to govero the kingdonis of Italy and Germany ; I absolve all his subjects from every oath which they have taken, or may take, to him; and I excommunicate every person who shall obey him as a King" (Gregory's Epistles, lib. v. epist. 24.) Gregory persuaded Henry's subjects to rise in rebellion against him, and to elect Rodolph Duke of Suabia, his vassal, Emperor in his room. Such was the force of superstition, in that age of midnight ignorance, that through its influence, he prerailed on the Empress Agnes his mother, the
Datchess Beatrix.his aunt, and the Countess Matilda his cousin-german, a most powerful Princess, to join in the confederacy against him. Henry, overpowered by the combination of bis rebellious subjects, was compelled like King John of England, to resigo his crown and sceptre into the hands of this arrogant Pontiff, and to submit, by way of penance, to the inost abject humiliation and the most degrading indignities, in order to obtain absolution from him. (Maimbourg, lib, iii. p. 254, 257. Greg. epist. lib. iv. cap. 12.)-Machiavel, in his history of Florence, lib. i, ironically observes, that “ Henry was the first Prince who had the honour of being made sensible of the weight of spiritual weapops."-It may be supposed Pat the Emperor reluctantly submitted to, and would eagerly embrace an opportunity of rescuing himself from the degraded state to which he was reduced by this inselent Pootiff; and having been encouraged to resistance by the Lombards, he took the field, at the head of a powerful aray, and fina ly conquered his rival Rodolph, who died of the wounds which he received in battle, loading with execrations the Pope, at whose instance he. Fose in rebellion against his rightful Sovereign, in violation of bis oath of allegiance. Henry, then convened a council at Mentz, in which Gregory was deposed, and Guibert, Archbishop of Ravenna, was elected in his room, taking the name of Clement 111* Such was the founder of the Papal Supremacy, who, fallen from his high estate, fied to Salerno, where he died in poverty, on the 24th of May, 1083. ,
From the infamous character of Gregory VII, one would suppose, that the nieaibers of the Romish Church would wish to have it expunged from the rage of history; but instead of this, his memory has been held in such peneration, that even so late as the 17th century, Pope Paul V. instituted a feast in honour of him, as a saint.+ Victor III. his successor, had all his usurpations contirmed in a council held at Benevento, in which he presided; and in the following councils, an anathema was denounced against any laymen who should confer, and against any ecclesiastics who should receive from them, any benefices in the Church ; ove held at Rome in 1039, another in 1102, and in one held at Vienne in the same year, and in ano: her held at the Lateran, in 1116. Such was the origin of the Papal Supremacy, which occasioned more treasonable conspiracies, civil wars, massacres and assassinatioas, tiran any other source of discord and dissention; and, borrid to relate, the Irish Roman CATHOLICS INFLEXIBLY MAINTAIX, AND ADHERF TO, THAT SUPREMACY IN THIS ENLIGHTENED). AGE! A learned historian observes, that it produced no less than 60 pitch
* His name is not inserted in the ordinary lists of the l'opcs.
+ He is styles Saint Gregory in the list. VOL. I. Pil. Adr. Feb. 1813.) ?
ed battles in the reign of the Emperor Henry IV. and 18 in that of Henry V. when the claims of the Pope finally prevailed. Gregory's inordinate ambition was such, that he aspired to reduce most of the European States to his usurped supremacy : England, France, Spain, Russia, Denmark, Sweden, Poland, Hungary, Saxony, Dalmatia, Sardinia, Corsica, and Italy, to whose Sovereigns he wrote insulting letters. For nearly 200 years after Gregury VII.'s death, two, and at times even three Popes, claimed to be the true successors of St. Peter ; and the city of Rome was often deluged with blood, by the factions which supported their respective pretensions. The Romans, galled by the exactions of the Papal government, frequently rose in arms to restore those rights which existed before the Pope acquired temporal power; and in one of these conflicts, Pope Lucius II. lost his life, in the year 1145. Rome often exhibited such scenes of turbulence, that, at times, there was a necessity of holding the election of Pope in other parts of Italy; and even after the election, some of the Pontiffs were driven from their capital, and were compelled 10 seck an asylum in a foreign country. Muratori observes, in his annals, that thirty-six of Gregory VII.'s successors, till their retreat to Avignon, maintained an unequal contest with the people of Rome, and were often driven from it. (Vol. jii. p. 1. p. 277, 685.) Such scenes of discord and sanguinary strife were not confined to Italy; as the rival Popes contrived, by the force of superstition, to draw most of the European States into the voriex of their criminal ar.bition. Thus, on the death of Pope Honorius II. in the year 1130, a furious contest took place between Anaclitus and Indocent II. in which not only the Italian States, but the Emperor and the Kings of England and France became partizans. During these contests, the Pope raised the son in rebellion against his father, the subjects against jheir Sovereign, and one King was committed in warfare against another. Conrad, King of the Romans, received the benediction of Pope Pascal II. for having endeavoured to dethrose his father, in the year 104. In a little more than a century after the death of Gregory VII. the Pope B8· COUNUNICATED no less than eight Emperors, some of whom they deposed.
Having assumed the blasphemous and extravagant titles of Vicegerent of God, and Vicar of Christ, they thought their power limited, as long as Kings and Emperors were not, even in temporals, subject to them; and, therefore, from the time of Gregory VH. they claimed a right of deposing Sovereign Prices, and of absolving subjects from their oaths of fidelity; which they could easily accomplish, as there were always other ambitious Princes, ready to invade and seize the dominions of a Sovereign deposed for beresy ; and a monarch thus denounced by the Pope, bad less reason to dread the assaults of foreign enemies, tban domestic treasons from bis own
SUBJECTS, whom the Clergy could, and were bound, to raise in rebellion against him,
While the Emperors maintained a supremacy, disputed elections for the Popedom were of short daration, for they were soon decided by them, as stated in my first leiter ; but after the usurpation of it by Gregory VII. and his successors, they often lasted for years, and produced long and destructive wars, in which most of the European States were involved. As it would exceed my circumscribed limits, to eoumerate the wirole of them, I shall select the following leading ones :- In the year: 1080, the peace of Europe was disturbed by a war between Gregory VIII. and Clement III. In the year 1115, begun the schism between Gregory VIII. and Gelasius II. io which the Emperor, the Kings of England and France, and the Italian States took a part. On the death of Gelasius, it was continued between Gregory and Calixtus; but the latter put an end to it, having, with the assistance of a powerful army, taken his rival prisoner. After the death of Pope Adrian IV. in the year 1159, a contest between Victor IV. and Alexander VII. disturbed the peace of Europe, tor 19 years; and though the latter succeeded to the chair of infallibility, he was after wards condemned and deposed, as an Anti-Pope. But of all disputes the most grievous was that which began in the year 1378, between Urban VI. and Clemeut V[12; during which the fornier kept his court at Rome, the latter at Avignon, The Germans, Hungarians, English, and part of Italy supported Urban ; the French and Spaniards Clement. The former created 54 Cardinals, the latter 36. This division of ipfallibility lasted about 50 years, or as others say, (who account that between Felix and Eugenius as part of it) 70 years ; doring all which time, there were two opposite linés of succession to St. Peter's chair, till the council of Basil, at the instance of the Emperor, compelled Felix to surrender his pretensions; and NicdioLas V. was appointed sole Pontiff to the Roman throne, in the line of Urban* Of all sects of Christians, Roman Catholics sbould be he least inclined to upbraid the Church of England with sch57 ; for ibe line of succession was so often brcken by it, that it would be difficult, pay impossible, to determine, which of two, or, at times, three competitors for the Popedom, was the tree representative of St Peter. Platina, an eminent historian of the Roinish persuasion, who wrote the Lives of the Popes, observes, “ the Papacy was come to that pitch, iliat he who exceeded not in piery and learning, but in corruption and ambition, oblained that dignity,
• Here we may ask; how was the Apostolical succession preserved, in the line of the Bishops, Prusis, and Deacons, appointed by Clement an: his adheren:s ?