« AnteriorContinuar »
It is en
of the Nor. mans.
Conflict between the Emperor not from his ancestor. In the trials to which she was perpetually exposed, there could be no doubt that by such persons her interest would be best served.
In these circumstances, Gregory VII. took his course. The synod held at Rome in the first year of his pontificate denounced the marriage of the clergy, enforcing its decree by the doctrine that the efficacy of the sacraments altogether depended on their being administered by hands sinless in that respect,
and made all communicants partners in the pastoral crime. The Pope With a provident foresight of the coming opposition, he carried friendship out the policy he had taught his predecessors of conciliating
the Normans in the south of Italy, though he did not hesitate to resist them, by the aid of the Countess Matilda, when they dared to touch the possessions of the Church. It was for the sake of this that the Norman invasion of England under William the Conqueror had already been approved of, a consecrated standard and a ring containing a hair from the head of St. Peter sent him, and permission given for the replacement of Saxon bishops and other dignitaries by Normans. It was not forgotten how great had been the gains to the Papacy, three centuries before, by changing the dynasty of the Franks; and thus the policy of an Italian town gave a permanent impress to the history of England. Hildebrand foresaw that the sword of the Italian-Norman would be wanted to carry out his projected ends. He did not hesitate to authorize the overthrow of a Saxon dynasty by the French-Norman, that he might be more sure of the fidelity of that sword. Without the countenance of the Pope, the Norman could never have consolidated his power, nor even held his ground in England.
From these movements of the Papacy sprang the conflict with the Emperors of Germany respecting investitures. The Bishop of Milan-who, it appears, had perjured himself in the quarrel respecting concubinage—had been excommunicated by Alexander II. The imperial council appointed as his successor one Godfrey; the Pope had nominated Atto. Hereupon Alexander had summoned the emperor to appear before him on a charge of simony, and granting investitures without his approbation. While the matter was yet in abeyance, Alexander
The conflict on investi. tures.
died; but Gregory
up the contest. A synod he had assembled ordered that, if any one should accept investiture from a layman, both the giver and receiver should be excommunicated. The pretence against lay-investiture was that it was a usurpation of a Papal right, and that it led to the appointment of evil and ignorant men; the reality was a determination to extend Papal power, by making Rome the fountain of emolument. Gregory, by his movements, had thus brought upon himself three antagonists—the imperial power, the Italian nobles, and the married clergy. The latter, unscrupulous and exasperated, met him with his own weapons, not hesitating to calumniate his friendship with the Countess Matilda. It was also suspected that they were connected with the outrage perpetrated by the nobles that took place in Rome. On Christmas Outrage on night, A.D. 1075, in the midst of a violent rain, while the Pope brand. was administering the communion, a band of soldiers burst into the church, seized Gregory at the altar, stripped and wounded him, and haling him on horseback behind one of the soldiers, carried him off to a stronghold, from which he was rescued by the populace by force. But, without wavering for a moment, the updaunted pontiff pressed on his conflict with the imperial power, summoning Henry to Rome to account for his delinquencies, and threatening his excommunication if he should not appear before an appointed day. In haste, under the auspices of the king, a synod was assembled at Worms; charges against the Pope of licentious life, bribery, necromancy, simony, murder, atheism, were introduced, and sentence of deposition pronounced against him. On his side, Gregory assembled the third Lateran Council, A.D. 1076, placed King Henry under interdict, absolved his subjects from allegiance, and deposed him. A series of constitutions, clearly defining the new bases of the Papal system, was published. They were He defines
the position to the following effect :-"That the Roman pontiff can alone be called universal; and he alone has a right to depose bishops ;
Church, that his legates have a right to preside over all bishops in a general council; that he can depose absent prelates ; that he alone has a right to use imperial ornaments; that princes are. bound to kiss his feet, and his only; that he has a right to de
pose emperors; that no synod or council summoned without his commission can be called general; that no book can be called canonical without his authority ; that his sentence can be annulled by none, but that he may annul the decrees of all; that the Roman Church has been, is, and will continue to be infallible ; that whoever dissents from it ceases to be a Catholic Christian, and that subjects may be absolved from their allegiance to wicked princes.” The power that could assert such resolutions was near its culmination.
And now was manifest the superiority of the spiritual over comes the King of the temporal power. The quarrel with Henry went on, and, Germany.
after a hard struggle and many intrigues to draw the Normans over to him, that monarch was compelled to submit, and in the depth of winter to cross the snowy Alps, under circumstances of unparalleled hardship, to seek absolution from his adversary. Then ensued the scene at Canosa,-a penitent in white raiment standing in the dreary snow of three winter days, January, 1077, cold and fasting at the gate, seeking pardon and reconciliation of the inexorable pontiff; that penitent was King of Germany.
Then ensued the dramatic scene at the sacrament, in which the grey-haired pontiff called upon Heaven to strike him dead upon the spot if he were not innocent of the crimes of which he had been accused, and dared the guilty monarch to do the same.
Whoever will reflect on these interesting events cannot fail to discern two important conclusions. The tone of thought throughout Europe had changed within the last three ages; ideas were entertained, doctrines originated or controverted, a policy conceived and attempted altogether in advance of the old times. Intellect, both among the clergy and the laity, had undergone a great developement. But the peculiar character of the Papal power is also ascertained,—that it is worldly, and the result of the policy of man. The outrage on Hildebrand shows how that power had diminished at its centre, but the victory over Henry, that it maintained its strength at a distance. Natural forces diminish as the distance increases; this unnatural force displayed an opposite quality.
Gregory had carried his point. He had not only beaten
Conclu. sions from these events.
tion of the
back the Northern attack, but had established the supremacy Culminaof the ecclesiastical over the temporal power, and that point, ecclesiastiwith inflexible resolution, he maintained, though in its consequences it cost Germany a civil war. But, while he was thus unyielding in his temporal policy, there is reason to suppose that he was not without misgivings in his theological belief. In the war between Henry and his rival Rodolph, Gregory was compelled by policy to be at first neutral. He occupied him. self with the Eucharistic controversy. This was at the time Friendship that he was associated with Berengar, who lived with him for brand and
Berengar. a year. Nor did the Pope think it unworthy of himself to put forth, in excuse of the heretic, a vision, in which the Virgin Mary had asserted the orthodoxy of Berengar; but, as his quarrel with King Henry went on to new excommunications and depositions, a synod of bishops presumed to condemn him as a partisan of Berengar and a necromancer. On the election The Gerof Gilbert of Ravenna as Antipope, Gregory, without hesita- test retion, pushed his principles to their consequences, denouncing kingship as a wicked and diabolical usurpation, an infraction of the equal rights of man. Hereupon Henry determined to destroy him or to be destroyed; and descending again into Italy, A.D. 1081, for three successive years laid siege to Rome. In vain the amorous Matilda, with more than the devotion of an ally, endeavoured to succour her beleaguered friend. The city surrendered to Henry at Christmas, A.D. 1084. With his Antipope he entered it, receiving from his hands the imperial
The Norman allies of Hildebrand at last approached in strength. The emperor was compelled to retreat. A feeble attempt to hold the city was made. The Normans took it by surprise, and released Gregory from his imprisonment in the Castle of St. Angelo. An awful scene ensued. Some conflicts between the citizens and the Normans occurred, a battle in the streets was the consequence, and Rome was pillaged, sacked, and fired. Streets, churches, palaces, were left a heap of smoking ashes. The people by thousands were massacred. The Saracens, of whom there were multitudes in the Norman The Mo
hammedans army, were in the Eternal City at last, and, horrible to be said, support were there as the hired supporters of the Vicar of Christ. Hilde
Hildebrand's Defeat and Death.
women, and children were carried off and sold as slaves. It Rome, and was the treatment of a city taken by storm. In consternation, death of the the blasted pontiff retired, with his infidel deliverers, from the Pope.
ruined capital to Salerno, and there he died, A.D. 1085.
He had been dead ten years, when a policy was entered sades.
upon by the Papacy which imparted to it more power than all the exertions of Gregory. The Crusades were instituted by a French Pope, Urban II, Unpopular in Italy, perhaps by reason of his foreign birth, he aroused his native country for the recovery
of the Holy Land. He began his career in a manner not now unusual, interfering in a quarrel between Philip of France and his wife, taking the part of the latter, as experience had shown it was always advisable for a Pope to do. Soon, however, he devoted his attention to something more important than these matrimonial broils. It seems that a European crusade was first distinctly conceived of and its value most completely comprehended by Gerbert, to whom, doubtless, his Mohammedan experiences had suggested it. In the first year of his pontificate, he wrote an epistle, in the name of the Church of Jerusalem, to the Church throughout the world, exhorting Christian soldiers to come to her relief either with arms or money. It had been subsequently contemplated by Gregory VII. For many years, pilgrimages to Palestine had been on the increase; a very valuable export trade in relics from that country had risen; crowds from all parts of Europe had of late made their way to Jerusalem, for the singular pur. pose of being present at the great assize which the Scriptures were supposed to prophesy would soon take place in the Valley of Jehoshaphat. The Mohammedans had inflicted on these pious persons much maltreatment, being unable to comprehend the purport of their extraordinary journey, and probably perceiving the necessity of putting some restriction upon the apparition of such countless multitudes. Peter the Hermit, who had witnessed the barbarities to which his Christian brethren were exposed, and the abominations of the holy places now in the hands of the infidel, roused Europe, by his preaching, to a frantic state; and Urban, at the Council of Clermont,