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The Great Schism Of The \7est

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EDITED BY THE REV. JOHN MORRIS,

S.J.

No. XIII.

THE GREAT SCHISM OF THE WEST.
FEB231957
BY THE REV, SYDNEY
F,

SMITH,

S.J.

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so largely encrusted over by and intermixed with the evil and the scandal arising out of human sinfulness. one time the world saw 13 for forty years the spectacle . With one such perplexing blending of incomThe Holy See is patibles we now propose to deal. This is especially necessary history of the Papacy. and to ascribe each only to its own source. and its endurance in that character is perhaps the crowning marvel of human history and yet at . We must learn to disengage the gold from the ore. in dealing with the In the long line of Roman Pontiffs. SYDNEY SMITH. the divinely appointed centre of unity to the Catholic Church. God is ever careful to leave a large scope for the exercise of free-will. We must not forget this. like the gold in the ore. the divine stands out in- will the clearest. the most dazzling. element as well which at times obtrudes an unwelcome demand on our notice.(Sreat Scbism of tbe F. brightness to all who observe it with open eyes but there is a human . and seems so incompatible with the divine as to excite astonishment. for it is only by bearing it constantly in mind that we can explain the large extent to which even the noblest and divinest of God's works present themselves to our gaze. alike in their personal character and in their government of the Church. BY THE REV. West S. the divine from the human. to distinguish the good from the evil.J. IN His dealings with man.

each claiming to be the line of Roman Pontiffs. but to explain ihow it originated we must first understand what were its predetermining causes. the story of the Great Western shall be in a position to answer The Schism commenced in 1378. and then we difficulty. and for a portion of this period of three. and each launching out denunciations and excommunications against the adherents of the other two. If there can be so serious and itself. But if an English subject. he was naturally French in his sympathies. each gathering round itself a portion of the divided Christendom.2 The Great Schism of the West.. Clement V. is it long-enduring a Papacy possible to believe that governmental unity is an essential property of the Catholic Church and the Papacy its divinely appointed bond ? schism in the But the let us tell Schism.Western France. and was on friendly terms with the reigning King. if we disregard the short reign of Benedict XL. Seventy years earlier. subject of the English King Edward I. succeeded. distinct conflict of two. He was of Gascon origin and was He was therefore the Archbishop of Bordeaux. many circumstances com- bined to keep him In the all through his pontificate on place the state of parties French soil. When the news of his election to the Papacy reached him Clement was at Bordeaux. to the rule and the difficulties of Boniface VIII. Philip le Bel. whose dominions at the time included South. first . successions of prelates engaged in bitter legitimate with one another. and although he official .appears to have purposed setting out for Rome after his coronation at Lyons.

and it remained a Papal possession century. through its proximity to France. and against the large wealth of the Knights of the Temple. and their courts became predominantly French in composition. and most were of Gascon origin. From them it was purchased by Clement's successor. Every one of the seven Popes from to Clement V. It may be that Clement. It belonged to the Counts of Provence. no unready ear to the persuasions of Philip nor ought we to credit him with the foresight of all the evils destined to follow from his ill-fated resolution. vassals of the Holy See.. less were always more or state of things could not fail to impair the reverence . Gregory XL were of French. The pleasant city of Avignon. John XXII. and in the latter capacity. was such as to suggest that if in Rome the Pope would not be allowed a free hand in the government of the Church. and in particular at Rome.. a residence there rendered the Popes subject to French influences. till it was annexed by the French the close of the last Republican Government at Nevertheless. listened with . on the left bank of the Rhone. with the result that the Avignon Popes overawed by the French Kings. 3 Italy. and on the other hand Philip was most anxious to keep the Pope in France in the hope of converting him into a tool for the furtherance of his own designs against the memory of Boniface VIII. and French Cardinals were Such a in a large majority in the Sacred College. which was eventually selected as the Papal residence in France. who were also Kings of Naples. who was of a pliant disposition and was fond of his native land.The Great Schism of in the West. was not in Philip's territory.

disengaged from entanglement in the rival policies of the different nations. they had been able in some degree to keep within bounds the turbulence of the conflicting parties. History has at last done them justice and acknowledged that they kept realizing its it sedulously in view r 1 requirements in Still. 6l. While the Popes were present. as a power placed on an eminence apart.. We do not mean by this to acknowledge that the Avignon Popes were incapable of rising to the true ideal of their office. their absence tended to render the state of things much worse. their sojourn on French soil it spite of their is untrue to in all many striking ways. Eng. Trans. vol. And this desolation of the Italy which they had abandoned reacted on the exiled Popes. were fast no longer draw their accustomed revenues. Pastor. now that the restraining hand had been converting the garden of Europe into a pile of ruins and a desert waste. They could withdrawn. If the condition of Italy was a motive impelling the Popes to absent themselves from its midst. and the suspicions were not without solid grounds. many apostolic works. History of the Popes. and rendered these Avignon Popes suspect to the nations. There were also other evils arising from the same cause. other way could they carry on the government of 1 Cf. and impartially surveying events from the lofty standpoint of Christian principles. which.4 The Great Schism of the West. and were compelled to impose numerous and heavy taxes on In no ecclesiastical property throughout the world. in although themselves French say that they submitted respects to the dictation of the monarchs. i. p. with which Catholic nations should regard the Holy See. .

Still these' charges were made by the victims of the taxation. seem to have had the duty of return efforts constantly in mind. On the other hand.. however. The Romans especially were urgent that the Popes should return to their natural home. and remained in Rome or its neighbourhood for wish were not his continued to presence heal the three years. and the charge that in taking ruin it they were reducing the local churches to was doubtless much exaggerated. was succeeded . then returned to Avignon. project and into made effect. Blessed Urban V. after died. were as strenuous in urging the continuance of a state of things out of which they found so much profit. Urban V.. 5 the Universal Church. who succeeded Clement VI. if he made no attempts and showed no anxiety to return. the sense of these evils connected with it became more and more acute in the hearts of those who suffered from them. at least told the Roman ambassadors that to return would be his in France between the Kings quarrel necessary of France and England. and he. where he shortly He. and maintain such splendour in their courts as their high office seemed to them to require. actually did return in 1367. and the Papacy became proportionately unpopular. The Popes placed between these two contending parties. periodical to carry the The only Avignon Pope of whom this cannot be said was Clement VI..The Great Schism of the West. It right to take this was most unjust to deny them the course. the French Sovereigns. and the classes out of whom the Papal Court was mainly recruited. As the residence in Avignon went on enduring. although they were all of French birth.

1378. the Pope under whom the final departure from Avignon took place. and on that account excited general a dislike which they seem to have provoked dislike . These. although they had entered into a treaty with their returning sovereign. and had received him with all the marks of intense rejoicing. which occurred in March. During the absence of the Popes from Italy they appointed Legates to govern the Papal provinces in their stead. followingJanuary. It was under these circumstances that. had promised him a peaceful rule. At translated itself into a war against the Sovereign Pontiff. attended by his Court. There were sixteen Cardinals in Rome at the . being members of the Sacred College. and reached Rome in the. in some cases siderate acts. at that time. and a largely successful endeavour up rebellion in the Papal cities. were almost of necessity of French origin and sympathies. however. by Gregory XL. in by singularly injudicious and inconSuch conduct on the part of the Legates 1375. did not come to it Florence to stir a head. it soon appeared how unready they were to subject selfish interests to the fulfilment of their promise. of a movement which. to set up an Antipope. led. to a general uprising of the Italians In Rome this feeling took the form against them. Gregory had an unquiet life during the short time which intervened before his death.6 The Great Schism of the West. Although the Romans had realized so forcibly that the welfare of their city was bound up with the presence of the Pontiff in their midst . The tension in Italy was then at its highest. Gregory took his departure in the autumn of 1376.

But beyond their own inclinations. and believed that only by this means could the evils of a renewed Avignon residence be prevented.The Great Schism of the West. and of these four only were of Italian nationality. and of these ten five were Limousins. it was natural to anticipate that they would demand a Pope of their majority. the Limousins desiring. The " Ultramontane" 1 Cardinals were. that is south of. of whom six were at Avignon. . There were besides seven absent Cardinals. The Italian Cardinals naturally desired an Italian Pope. the choice of a Limousin. but proceed to terminate the anxieties and dangers of the interregnum by an immediate election. however." was in those days a designation given by In modern usage. and as they had Avignon by their own mind and therefore of their own nationality. the Cardinals present at Rome were not to await the arrival of their absent colleagues. the Italians to the nationalities north of the Alps. There was. term has an opposite meaning. One. the Alps. All these were likewise of French birth. was Spanish. a division among the Ultramontanes themselves. Pedro de Luna. of this cleavage was to make the balance of parties in the Conclave more equal. there was a grave external consideration for the electors to take 1 This word which etymologically signifies "natives of the regions beyond the mountains. nevertheless. 7 time of Gregory's decease. in a large shown their attachment to endeavours to prevent the late Pope from quitting the pleasant abode. and to give the Italians a better chance. In virtue of a Constitution published by Gregory XL just before his death. and the The effect rest opposing. The other ten were French. having been devised by the Gallicans to describe adherents of the theology which they chose to regard as localized beyond.

elected the Archbishop of Bari. On the other hand. Peter's. that when place. lest another Avignon residence should be the and they were taking measures to force their result will upon the Cardinals. and had contracted in some degree the manners of the might therefore be hoped that. They caused. aged . they speedily agreed among themselves. and eventually all. or protect in their at least encouraged.8 The Great Schism of the West. It by origin. 1378. Bartholomew Prignani. The Roman citizens were bent on doing utmost to prevent the election of another French Pope. the Cardinal of St. and into account. the Cardinals seem to have been lest the Roman people should be enraged at their choice. partly armed. Pierre de Monteruc. How far the Cardinals to this is in yielded pressure dispute. the spread of the rumour that an Tibaldeschi. Prignani obtained at once fourteen out of the But so fearful do sixteen votes. their . A mob. they adopted a stratagem to broke their persons from violence. had lived a long time at Avignon. whether through the pressure or in spite of it. This much is certain that. impatience to hasten the election. though Italian he would in gratitude continue to stand by the party with which he had been hitherto associated. was " about the We wish for a going city crying out Roman Pope or at least an Italian one." It did not hesitate to assail the Conclave itself. Prignani was a Neapolitan. the populace into the Conclave. and so far likely to be acceptable to the Romans. and perhaps to threaten the electors with death if the popular desire should be disregarded. and it is out of this dispute that the schism arose. : on April 9. he owed his promotion from humble rank to the Limousin Cardinal of Pampeluna.

They were. however. i. and had acquired an unusual knowledge of affairs. his simplicity. he had fulfilled the duties of the office in an exemplary manner. for their fear. however. had appointed him to supply the place of the absent Vice-Chancellor. The day after his He rated the coronation he began to give offence. Bishops present for being and 1 called Vol. 1 he wore a the Church. He was harsh and unbending in his measures. and meanwhile they themThere seems to have As soon as the people elect. and more for the conscientious zeal with his ecclesiastical duties. 9 elected. who took the name of Urban VI. nothing was more hateful to him than simony. selves withdrew to safe places. Holy Scriptures in his hands. hair-shirt. eventually quieted down. Austere and grave by nature. experienced in business. and The new Pope temperance. perjured villains. that and strictly observed the fasts of He When Gregory XL He had. they were with indignation. almost all his contemporaries are unanimous in praise of his purity of life. . There is agreement that till his election Urban was a man whose conduct had given edification. rough and rude in his manner. from their absent dioceses. one great fault. He told the p. nnd immorality in any grade of the clergy. had been been reason filled the West. them I2i. and showed himself to be utterly without tact or considerateness. yet He was also esteemed It for his learning. a fault which sometimes accompanies the burning zeal for reform of a good man and frustrates all his efforts.The Great Schism of Roman. rest at night with the which he discharged was said that he lay down to was. and [says Pastor] was adorned by great rare qualities . and the Cardinals being brought back proceeded to complete the election and crown the discovered that Prignani was the new Pope. moreover. worldliness.

of quitting Rome for Avignon. managed to offend the royal pair by his brusque refusal. Otho of Brunswick. and that. and to solicit for the said Otho the succession to the Neapolitan crown which was a fief of the Holy See. a town on the neighbouring hills. instead of gratifying. to prevent that calamity ever happening again. which lay This further withdrawal Neapolitan domains. Joanna of Naples was naturally Campanian in the well disposed towards Urban. On the plea of avoiding the summer heats. he was proposing to restore the balance in the Sacred College by creating a large number of Italian Cardinals. Feeling themselves now sufficiently strong to take a up position of declared opposition. and they at once took against him and were glad to invite the recalcitrant Cardinals into their territory. these Cardinals wrote to their four Italian colleagues who were still . and soon after to Fondi. Cardinals they were gluttons. to salute him on his election. Urban. and she sent her husband. When a collector came in with the results of his collection. and threatened to take upon himself the regulation of their houses and tables. he was rudely told to take his money and These were small matters in themperish with it. but they foreboded a mode of treatment the prospect of which filled the worldly-minded electors with fear.io The Great Schism of the West. and to fear was added intense disappointment when Urban announced that he had no intention selves. they obtained leave from the Pope to withdraw to Anagni. at this The Ultramontane Cardinals prospect forgot their internal differences and banded together for self-protection. to Fondi was rendered possible by another blunder on the part of Urban.

who took the title of Clement VII. . on September i8th." i. We must pass over all intermediate events and say that Clement was shortly after compelled to withdraw from Italy and take up his residence at Avignon. Creighton tells us that declared and the two parties stood in avowed opposition. Urban. pp. but eventually adhered to Clement. Flanders. 1 1 Urban. It is instructive to notice on what plan this division of the nations between the two obediences was formed. and by Scotland. of all Italy. he went the length of creating. save the Neapolitan territory. the Count of Provence. but declined On their refusing this offer and absolutely to resign. retained the allegiance of Germany. the aged Cardinal of St. was on his death-bed). Sweden. to elect the Cardinal Robert Thus of Geneva. The Spanish kingdoms remained for a time neutral. Urban on this sent the Italian Cardinals to Fondi to negotiate. Hungary. on the other hand. allies began to gather round each from motives which were purely 1 1 political. &c. He was recognized as Pope by the King of France. and summoning them to Anagni to consider what should be done to remove the scandal from the Church. on September 2Oth. They proceeded. of England. to draw off from him even the three Italian managing invalid Cardinals (the fourth. 66. Joanna of Naples. Peter's. History of the Papacy. the schism was commenced. He offered to submit the case to a General Council. asserting that his election had been on account of the violence to which the electors had been subjected.The Great Schism of with the West. " when the schism was Dr. twenty-eight new Cardinals. This determined the Cardinals at Fondi. 65. vol.

II. i. her constant allies." 1 In France the Court party were intensely mortified . at the loss of the advantages to their national interests of a French Papacy. we must account it signiSpanish decision in favour of Clement an important royal marriage and with synchronized ficant that the 1 Dollinger. almost at any cost. for other essentially the only support of the schism nations were involved in it merely by their connexion with her. France of course had her case to present in justification of the part she was taking. should be biassed in its favour. in fact. nize that they remained strictly neutral until they had first taken elaborate evidence from witnesses on behalf of both parties. take sufficiently into account the hold which the Catholic faith has.T2 This The Great Schism of is the West. . and were determined to get it back again. and it was natural that the Scotch. " From France the evil proceeded. on the hearts of its adherents. 281. French influence also is discernible in the part eventu- While we must recogally taken by the Spaniards. we soon perceive that the charge of acting under political bias (for even there it did not amount to more than a strong bias) lies exclusively at the door of France and those rulers who were under her influence. and France was the chief and. If we examine into the facts more carefully. Lehrbuch der Kirchengeschichte. It does not. with vindictiveness against Urban for the There may also be some ground for attributing the part taken by distant Scotland to its hostility to England. and ever has had. Joanna of Naples was filled rebuffs experienced at his hands. however. a way of which is not unnatural interpreting what happened in a Protestant writer.

an alliance sorely needed by each of the parties to strengthen them against their common English foe. In this respect Urban had countries. 50. in ann. Ecdes. the Neapolitans rose up against him and showed their teeth so decidedly that he was constrained to embark Clement And when twelve years later. year the Jubilee was held at Rome. The Archbishop of Ban was just the one candidate 1 Anna!. 1378. We must besides bear in mind that where the sovereign adhered to one of the rival obediences the sympathy of all his subjects was not necessarily in the same direction. 1 But can we come to any conclusion as to which of the two elections was valid ? Certainly if we are to be led by the authorities collected long since from the Vatican archives by Rinaldi. Nor does there seem sufficient reason for attributing the adherence of the vast majority of the nations to Urban to exclusively political motives. Thus. there cannot be any doubt in the matter. were the only countries which adhered to Clement. 1378. n. of Urban's successor. 2 Ibid. where French influence is so clearly discernible. in ann. the continuer of 2 Baronius.. when Joanna of Naples first went over to and invited him to her territory. They are as convincing a statement of Urban's case as we can find anywhere. The grounds on which the English accepted Urban are given by Rinaldi.The Great Schism of the West. 13 consequent alliance between Spain and France. . as if anxious to use the opportunity offered of showing whither their hearts inclined them. These also probably the allegiance of the vast majority. Boniface IX. in the first the Eternal City. it was noticed how numerous were the French pilgrims who flocked to at once for Provence.

to an agreement and the proposal to elect him actually came from the Limousins. but that he was refusing While the invaders were forcing the aged to accept. they used the opportunity to escape from the Vatican and secure themselves. . Without protest they permitted Urban to receive even from the representatives of the sovereign powers. They caused the idea to get about that the Roman Cardinal Tibaldeschi was the elect. the less unpopular in their own residences within the walls. as we have said. They actually came back the next day (all save the four outside the walls) from their places of security to complete their act by enthroning the elect. whom the three Italians. the parties of the Conclave. to ideas. on account of his previous connexions. some in the fortified Castle of St. by all in a second was deemed that account when likely to dissatisfy the Romans. and a few days later they all without exception conducted the coronation with all the accustomed ceremonies. man on to the throne and vesting him. govern according to their He was elected and. the measures to entangle the invading and excited crowd in a misapprehension. and the others could come . some in castles outside the city. and on the latter broke into the Conclave.14 in The Great Schism of the West. who regarded him. as one likely. according to election held for the sake of greater certainty during a lull in the clamour going on outside. the Limousins. many witnesses. Angelo. in the Papal garments. With their own hands they wrote letters abroad to their respective sovereigns homage from all classes. . His election by nearly all the first time. in spite of his electors took own protests and resistance. his instead of making name known at once.

which strong in themselves would seem still more convincing if adequately stated as they are to be found in Rinaldi. .The Great Schism of and the West. they convey the impression that Urban had been truly and unanimously elected. and that he was in their estimation the kind of Pope who t should give general satisfaction. and Baluze's Lives of the Avignon Popes certainly presents a very forcible case in favour of the rival line. 2nd Edit. to the Emperor Charles destined IV. the preponderance of opinion has continued to be in favour of the Roman line nor. 1 The most renowned Pastor. And although. as John of Bartolomeo of Saliceto. cit. (German). Pastor says : jurists of that age. 15 both public and and them a official letter to the among private. And in these letters. App. and "not till the end of July that they declared their opposition. besides Rinaldi there is Baluze to reckon with. Specially noteworthy among these letters is one written six days after the election 1 and before the coronation. For three months the Cardinals continued in during which time they frequently solicited and obtained favours for themselves and their friends. not in mere formal terms. n. composed Baldi of Perugia. Lignano. but with a certain cordiality their respective friends. joint Cardinals remaining at Avignon. but of Protestant writers . . and took their proper place and part in all the It was not till the early summer that Consistories. letters of language. Pope. On these grounds. 14. it would seem certain that Urban's election was valid. op. they withdrew from Rome to Anagni. by the Cardinal Robert of Geneva. so soon to be set up as the opposition this course. of Catholic opinion only.also.

Hergenrother. They consist. Hinschius. by the Abbe Gayet in his Grand Schisme d' Occident. . These new documents. Pastor describes Gayet's work as one of which the value is derived exclusively from the Appendices. from nearly all the seceding Cardinals. as Hefele r . the performance by them of which has been taken as evidence that they had freely concurred in Urban's election. . caused Pastor's second edition to enter into a 1 much Ibid. from the text of the newly published docubut at all events. Papencordt. have at least shown us that we had not previously the full strength of the case for the seceding Cardinals placed before us. Probably this verdict of the historians wilF continue in spite of the additional documents from the Vatican secret archives. for the sake of the Spanish Sovereigns. such as Leo. Lindner. . of taken. Gayet's documents have ments . the victims of a most abject fear. elaborate judgments in favour of the validity of Urban's and the most distinguished Catholic investigaelection tors of our days have taken the same side. mixed They exhibit the Cardinals to us in a pitiable plight. Siebeking. 102. and purely under the impulse of that fear performing every one of those duties of electors. from the moment when they entered the Conclave to the time when three months later they found themselves at Fondi. as also many Pro- testant writers. however. Erler. 1 Gregorovius. Heinrich. p. first published in 1889. that is.. with an exception or two. who were up in the events of the disputed election.1 6 The Great Schism of the West. and from other persons of importance through their depositions position or means of observation.

and that the Cardinals had solid reasons for thinking that their lives were in peril. how soon they began. Hist. and that the Archbishop of Bari was the sort of candidate in that whom be expected to agree as soon as the three sets might it became manifest none could carry if its even 1 the violence of the own special favourite. as stated above. For it is clear that the Cardinals were. Nor can it be denied that the Cardinals were influenced by the : The threats to some extent. in spite of Baluze and Gayet 1 It is necessary to begin with an important distinction. but whether its application was the determining cause of the election of Urban. The rapidity of the choice : was certainly due to this cause for had it not been present. may be disputed but that there were threats. and how much they meant. question on which all turns is not whether there was force applied by the Romans. the balance of feeling among the electors pointed to a long Conclave. 1 7 more careful discussion of the story of the election than the author had previously considered necessary. on account of the dissension between the Limousins and the other Ultramontanes. may allow also that the demand of the mob entered into the motives We which caused the choice to fall upon Urban. But Romans did not primarily fresh For a profouncler and excellent discussion of the question. seems established beyond the possibility of question. We must be content to give very briefly our reasons for considering that Rinaldi's verdict still holds the ground. To what extent the threats of the Roman mob went. see Valois' article in Quest.The Great Schism of the West. split up into three sets. 1890. in which documents are utilized. I 3 B . It seems quite certain that they did not exclusively cause it.

1 8 The Great Schism of the West. could doubtless be found." the threats they said with . nothing to press these names on the Conclave. in the Conclave. Did the pressure succeed in rendering the election null by it rendering A first no true exercise of judgment at all ? answer in the negative to this question slightest seems to be that the Romans never made the attempt to press upon the Cardinals any particular " We want a Roman. hand. An abundance of suitable Italians. and On the other in fact no one of them was chosen. who took evidence later on. but it intense feeling of the future Pope's immediate subjects that they ought to have a Pope who would remain among them was a should have entered The material point for the electors to consider quite as material as their own strong desire to have a Pope who would lead them back to Avignon. Not only might in. knowing the usual practice of elections. Presumably. and even of Romans. it enter in. . P. determine the election of Prignani. they thought of the four Italian. any one of whom the Romans were prepared to accept. or the two Roman Cardinals. pp.J. ii. is applied the crucial point? It is this. or at least an individual. the demand was in itself both reasonable and moderate. and. from witnesses who had been mixed up in the affair. 1 Still they did for the sake of the King of Castile. the Spanish representative. 139. they most certainly never pressed upon the 1 Gayet. it must at least have entered in later as an important reason for electing him. Italian. and this is how their clamours were interpreted by Roderigo Bernardi. What then . although we must condemn which they accompanied their demand. 140.

The Great Schism of the West. and received it with expressions of intense Thus in their selection of Prignani from indignation. they tell us they as a locum tenens only. 157. . But in putting forward this explanation of their action. Peter's. they could elect again properly as soon as the present danger was past because also they believed him to be one. ii. p. selecting him for this function because they deemed him to be one who would make a good Pope. should think good afterwards to disregard him. the Cardinals cannot reasonably be said to have been following any In short. however. if they . who. 19 Conclave the Archbishop of Bari. the Cardinals practically gave away their case. a man whose name was so little known to them. that at least they did not elect him to be the Pope. would be quite willing to withdraw. in their Encyclical from Anagni. not yielded to. or so far as it was yielded to. the indefinite number of Italian prelates. named him Finding their liberty destroyed. 1 Gayet. they mistook it for the name of another who was specially displeasing. attempted to break the force of this argument against them by the plea that they did not elect Bartholomew Prignani at all while in the Conclave. have the deposition of the Cardinal de Luna of him line. We . it was intimidation resisted. and whom. second Pope of the opposition 1 who became the and was not likely According to this to err in favour of his adversaries. yielded to only to the extent of hiding the true choice for a while and protecting it by the counterfeit presentation to the intimidators of the Cardinal of St. there was intimidation. that when they first heard it mentioned as that of the elect. if he should be proved to suit. The Cardinals. although other preference save their own.

him the nature of his position ? Certainly if they did practise upon him so odious a deception. deposition. a secret reservation of this kind must be deemed null. on the the Cardinals who morning after the election. Prignani had been most certainly and validly elected. is it credible Pope. Prignani sent for De Luna. and asked him whether he had been De Luna's answer was that truly elected or not. Certainly if they did. none of the electors could have signified to Urban that they were not choosing him as a true. they had no cause for surprise when afterwards he refused to believe what was in its own nature so incredible. that if the Cardinals had meant to elect him only provisionally. and that is why we submit that in urging this strange plea they were giving away their case. when had fled from the Vatican were still hiding in St. and we have learnt otherwise . he had supposed that the others also had meant to choose him for the true Pope that it was only when he heard at Anagni the explanation which the rest gave of the nature of their votes. If in their Encyclical letter the Cardinals were obliged to acknowledge that they had at least in some sense elected Urban. Nor is there any suggestion that this answer was rendered in De Luna's case for himself in fear. three months later. that he perceived the election to have been unreal. but only as a provisional And yet. and it would be hard to contest it. Angelo and elsewhere.2O The Great Schism of the West. they could have failed to signify to . is that he personally did really mean to elect Urban. answer to the interrogatories of the King of Aragon. given six years later. and that till he went to Anagni. Now if this statement of De Luna's is correct. on the other hand.

used the form. 23. him to be the true at least nine Cardinals. and d'Aigrefeuille 2 in giving " I their elect votes. 322. Being asked how she knew this she answered that she had heard it from the Cardinal of Poitiers. and perhaps others. of that it is they had no thought of proved If of the other seven a electing provisional Pope. 2 Gayet. in which it stated that While the Cardinals were in the Conclave.*. Catharine of Sweden. and whose sanctity is a guarantee for her truthfulness and impartiality. the adverthe Clementines] were agreed about electing the [/. certain nothing Pope. n. we have further evidence that many of them professed clearly that the was without any reservation whatever. the Cardinals of Limoges. Also St. 1379. This is certainly true of Pedro de Luna. namely. made a deposition. and the Italian Cardinals also persisted throughout in the same story saying that they themselves had meant to elect him. Lord Urban. i. when at Anagni. . then Archbishop of Bari. of Viviers. but that they had been . we may at least. that they had elected the said Supreme Pontiff unanimously and with a good and perfect will. to believe the election invalid. induced. as we have heard. in ann. elected canonically and at the saries bidding of the Holy 1 Spirit. whose rank gave her access to reliable information. is directly known.The Great Schism of the West. and many other Cardinals." Thus we have whom 1 Rinakli.. Further. who was present in Rome during the Conclave. a Swedish princess. and exhorted the said lady [herself] to believe and hold firmly that he was the true and legitimate Pope. 2 1 was purely externally election that whatever reservation they may have intended internal. because the votes of the rest turned out to have been unreal.

Having given the example themselves. set the elect on the throne. gave a real and not a that the delusive vote. to the And they persist in this fraud for three not disclosing it until the disclosure became desirable in order to secure themselves against Empire. although if their later witness is true. that even in : their interest their witness we is should prefer to disbelieve it.'s son. such as the promotion of Charles IV. And to these arguments add this last. when supported by think it the evidence previously given. If ! what men they must have been In Cardinals of Holy Church one would expect to find a noble Christian courage. but true. and believe Urban's incomes. that act was sacrilegious. contemplated reform in their lives and Is it not more rational to reject a story which lands us in so many contradictions. and yet they represent themselves to us as the victims of the most abject. the validity or invalidity of which affected the peace and well-being of kingdoms. They return from their place of security the next day. They elect under fear. They actually go through the religious ceremony of crowning him. whatever in common that probable with the three above-mentioned Ultramontanes they may have said at Anagni. these also. proclaim him to all. They co-operate with him in public acts of the highest importance. Cardinals by their story are compelled to bear witness against themselves witness so terrible. Wenceslaus. elect fraudulently. months . the most grovelling fear. they stand by watching.22 The Great Schism of the West. while others on the faith of their word pay homage to one whom they would not dream of kneeling to unless he were the true Pope. .

Catharine of Sweden. iii. 22. had many scholars learned in theology and canon law all the time that the schism lasted. however. 23 that these Cardinals. Antoninus. Catharine of Siena and her namesake of Sweden stand opposed to St. that they had been unable to find out which was the true Pope. nay (what is more) men illustrious for miracles j nor could the question ever be so cleared up as not to leave doubts in the minds of many. and was familiar 1 Chronic.The Great Schism of the West. though they afterwards drifted into a grievous sin. an excellent lived on the borders of that age and wrote its history. They St. . and upright men afterwards confessed. Vincent Ferrer and the Blessed Peter of Luxemburg. and even men of the greatest piety. St. 138. ~ Ibid. and had the question brought under their notice from the moment when it first arose. and involved the Church in a long schism. cap. 1 And Pastor tells us that The extreme confusion is evidenced by the fact that canonized saints are found amongst the adherents of each of the rivals. were guiltless at the time of the Conclave of the multiplied wickedness with which they afterwards charged themselves ? To say. We have witness who the testimony of St. who acknowledged the French All the writings of the period give more or less Popes. St. evidence of the conflicting opinions which prevailed. however. that the two It Catharines were in a better position to estimate the evidence than the other two mentioned. p. lived nearer to the spot. was in Rome at the time of the Conclave. and who tells us. pt. that the Urbanist succession was valid is by no means the same as to assert that it was seen to be valid by the world at that time. that Each party or obedience. as we have said. 2 must be observed. 2. tit.

though at Florence. (Ibid. this disastrous schism was running its Uncertainty [says Pastor] as to the title of its ruler is ruinous to a nation this schism affected the whole of Christendom. Vincent Ferrer. mainly France and Spain from his allegiance. and did not come into contact with any of the persons concerned till seven years later.24 The Great Schism of the West. when he heard the story from the interested lips of Pedro de Luna. although for a long time he adhered to Pedro de Luna at Avignon. The discord touching its Head necessarily permeated the whole body of the Church . St. then but ten years contact with the party and he died at the early that Pedro was in the and as in detaching w instrumental wrong.) . Catharine of Siena. In the testimony and conduct of these saintly persons. Blessed Peter of Luxemburg was also far off in his own country. in many dioceses two Bishops were in arms for the possession of the episcopal The confusion throne. with most of those who took part in it St. elected. have terrible accounts of the condition of the We Church while course. He was in He also only came of Clement some years later. and still younger when Urban was old. p. and had her hand on the springs of authentic information. had for some time been labouring actively in the cause of the re-establishment of the Papacy in its natural home. was at the time of the all Conclave a young Dominican at Barcelona engaged in his studies. two abbots in conflict for an abbey. 141. we have the advantage of evidence which is at least free from r became afterwards convinced the suspicion of insincerity or of any lower motives. St. too. . age of eighteen. was indescribable. and -called the very existence of the Church into question. on the other hand. Vincent.

Although the selves differently different nationalities ranged them- around the in rival claimants to the Papacy. The fact that all through the schism a preacher like St. for the good corn to hold its ****** own in the midst of the tares.The Great Schism of " the West. theologians against theologians. deplored the . and supported exclusively by his own obedience and the Churches of France soon discovered how heavy a financial burden. Vincent Ferrer could be passing through imagine things to every country." says Abbot province against province. and How the good must have And the evil needs no explanation. far exceeding the taxation against which they had complained in former days. And then an Antipope needed to be supported. was now laid on their shoulders. and ance. We have been worse than they really were. parents Kingdom rose Ludolf of Sagan. evils all the more lamentable because the schism occurred just when life there was urgent need for large reforms in the of clergy and people. and arousing sinners to penance on every side. " against children. and children against parents." And we can readily imagine what further evils must have sprung from the all-pervading discord. stimulating the fervour of the just. in all were united its demanding removal. deploring the schism. however. clergy against clergy. so grave an unsettlement of consciences as a sovereign found it hard to deal with. SA . 25 up against kingdom. shows how possible it was even then for the spiritual power of the Church to assert itself. must not. worldly-minded sovereigns also soon discovered that they had more to lose than to gain by its continuRival Popes meant contests everywhere.

after an eleven years' reign. Boniface. But how was the reunion of the two obediences ? Urban. They accordingly elected Peter Tomacelli. This plan was not acceptable to the Cardinals. The first plan . But the Roman Cardinals were not prepared to pay for reunion so great a price as the acceptance of another Avignon succession. to the French King. When Urban died in 1389.26 The Great Schism of the West. proposed the convocation of a General Council and to be obtained offered to submit to its verdict on the facts. General Council should be convened. find the University taking proposed three plans : (i) that Boniface and Clement should simultaneously resign and a new appointment be made by the two Colleges of Cardinals fused into one (2) that the question should be referred by the contending parties to arbitrators by whose sentence they would undertake to abide (3) that a . who took the name of Boniface IX. begging him to work for reunion. and offering in that case to make him Apostolic Legate to the lands which were at the present acknowledging his authoWhen this offer was refused he next sent legates rity. on his election. It to consider the best steps to heal the schism. and discussions of the points of law involved. urging him to resign. . of the schism the efforts for reunion took chiefly the form of inquiries into the facts of Urban's election. wrote in friendly terms to Clement. as we have already heard. hopes were for the moment formed that a settlement might be reached by the general recognition of Clement. and passed In the earlier years out of account till much later. This led to the University of Paris being invited by the King and from that time we the lead.

Before the election. and the Univeropportunity ending of Paris the King of France to use his sity urged influence with Clement's Cardinals. they resolved to anticipate its arrival. 27 seemed the best. and elected Cardinal Pedro de Luna.The Great Schism of the West. and pressed it upon their master. one might have imagined that the But the desired peace would not be long delayed. and it was at once proposed to the two Pontiffs. and each engaged that if elected he would be ready to resign the dignity whenever such a course should seem to the majority of his Cardinals to be required by the interests of peace. however. 1394. But the Avignon Cardinals. As Boniface was like-minded. and induce them to delay filling up the vacancy until it had been first ascertained what Boniface was willing to do for the peace of the Church under the new circumstances. and was fearful lest resignation should be taken to imply a doubt about its validity. for whatever reason.) of the schism. The Cardinals at Avignon found it But acceptable. and having heard of the message from the King while it was on its way. were not of that mind. It is to this effect that Pedro de Luna expresses himself in his answer to the French King's messengers when shortly after his election and finding him installed they arrived at Avignon already in the place of . Clement upon this was so enraged that his health became seriously affected. Here was another good (September 16. and very soon after he was seized by a stroke of apoplexy and died. difficulty was that each party believed firmly in his own title. who took the title of Benedict XIII. all the Cardinals bound themselves by oath to work for the extinction of the schism.

Pedro's refusal on these grounds naturally aggravated the ambassadors immensely. the University of Paris recommended that pressure should be put upon Benedict and by withdrawing allegiance from him. and as the greater part of his Cardinals joined in it. transferring it to Boniface. and making the French King some overtures which proved to be delusive. Boniface. also that his own Cardinals now united with the royal ambassadors in pressing it upon him. whose plan for abolishing the schism was General predecessor. however. held some discussions with the legates of his adversary.28 The Great Schism of the West. Clement. their perplexity how to do it except by the way of mutual cession. he was acknowledged in France once more. The withdrawal took place in July. when on Benedict escaping from the captivity in which he had been held at Avignon. This state of things lasted for five years. 1398. Another excellent opportunity Cardinals at once inquired thus arose. without. proposed to him the plan of simultaneous resignation. In their desire to end the schism quickly. seeing that he had himself quite recently been striving in favour of the plan and had urged it on his predecessor seeing . Benedict found himself almost entirely without a following in France. and thereby supplied the condition on which he had undertaken to resign when he took the oath previous to election. the summoning of a Council. but in the midst of them succumbed to a disease from which he had been for like that of his some time suffering. It was at this time that in order to give some evidence of sincerity he sent an embassy to Rome. and the Roman .

(1404. Angelo Corario was at an age when personal ambition seemed no longer conceivable. it was known that Benedict On had been coerced by the sovereigns of his obedience to promise resignation when either his rival should promise the same. were accordingly driven to proceed at once to the After each had choice of a successor to Boniface. character of the reign came to an end. offering that in that case they would delay the election of another Pope until arrangements could be made for the two Colleges to unite in conducting it. bound himself the cause of reunion require if elected. or should be removed by death. It may be said why in that case did the Roman . known to be most anxious for reunion. effectually prevented this Council from being held at the appointed time. at Rome in a year's time. But seditions. and he at once proceeded to summon one to be held it. But Benedict had no intention of resigning.) Innocent followed his predecessors in looking to a General Council as the true remedy. 29 the legates had authority to promise resignation on the part of Benedict.The Great Schism of if the West. He was. who took the name of Innocent VII. should they elected Cardinal Cosmato Migliorati. and his legates had received no faculties The Roman Cardinals to promise this in his name. as before to resign. in and the following year (1406) Innocent's short conceived from the next Pope of the Roman line. arising in the city from the substitution of a weaker hand for the strong rule of Boniface. moreover. the other hand. The fairest hopes were and the confidence Cardinals in who elected him felt implicit the sincerity of his intentions.

after some delay and negotiations. Eventually. in the disturbed state of Italy. was taken as evidence that he was insincere after of readiness to sacrifice himself It may well be that he had good sound reasons for his refusal. Still. and he offered to accept any place of meeting which his rival might select.30 The Great Schism of the West. named Savona. it is at least Benedict's Cardinals also at this time departed from their chief in the conviction that no effectual measure . whether these suspicions were well grounded or not. sent at once to propose a personal interview with Benedict to arrange for their mutual resignation. and though much disappointed and full of anxiety. he drew He was greatly blamed for this step. and so it seemed better to elect one who had bound himself like the Church's interests required trusted not to break his word. Cardinals not defer the election ? But it was dangerous. to leave Rome without a ruler. where Gregory would have been completely in his power. with more craft than generosity. which back. at the first agreed to the nomination. however. nevertheless. Cardinals shared false. and who could be by He Gregory XII. certain that Gregory's own the opinion that he was playing and seven out of the eleven abandoned him. suspected Benedict of foul play. Benedict to resign if it. and so ensure the continuance of the rival line. a town in Savoy. moved in that direction. (for so the new Pope styled himself) his first step justified the confidence placed in him. Benedict. of endeavouring to draw him into hostile territory. Gregory. not with any view to mutual resignation. but only to get possession of his person. Rightly or wrongly he all in his professions for the cause.

and on this account ipso facto deprived of their office. 31 be expected of him. on the plea Council voking that Pisa was an unsafe place for him to attend and Benedict for the same reasons convoked one at Perpignan. within the Spanish borders. are pronounced to be notorious schismatics. heretics. Germany. say depose. doctors of Gregory and theology. Hungary. The Council of Pisa met at the appointed time. Thus was formed a of neutral party. 1408. an Benedict 'were also called upon to appear and . proposing to itself to work for the union of the conflicting obediences by compelling The the resignation of the two claimants. Only on position The two Popes . and after useless negotiations to obtain the presence or submission of the contending Popes. reflecting the doubts about the legitimacy of their which were current among the members. The seceding together at issued Cardinals of both obediences met in Leghorn Etruria in July. and princes of Christendom. France. proceeded to depose them both. and summoning to attend it the bishops. but there is a We tone of hesitation in the language of the sentence. it would competent to act independently of their this step Gregory responded by cona of his own at Aquileia. and Kings Navarre likewise withdrew from their previous allegiance to Benedict and Gregory. To . and perjurers. a city which at that time lay just itself deem sanction. and Encyclical letter convoking a General Council for the following year at Pisa. and were told that if they refused to confirm the action of the Council. prelates. fulfil their promises to resign.The Great Schism of for the restoration of unity could the West.

this basis its does the Council modestly venture to add declaratory sentence of deprivation. to pass that. and : Apostolic Church. There were now three lines of claimants to the Papacy instead of two for when Alexander died in the . Catholic." Having deposed the two Popes. the Council which had sought to extinguish the schism succeeded only in aggravating it the more. Peter Philargi. But there was a theological opinion. who took came the name of Alexander V. Thus they sought to discover constructive heresy in conduct which might be deemed to imply contempt of the article " of faith I believe in One. It was in connection with the summoning of the Council of Pisa that certain theories concerning the relation of the Pope to the Church came into promi- . since their And thus it Gregory and Benedict still ground and retain the allegiance of many. who took the name of John XXIII. continued to hold following year his Cardinals elected Baldassare Cossa. that a Pope who should lapse into open heresy ipso facto ceased to be Pope. The charge of perjury had reference to the oath each Pope had taken at his election to resign when the cause of reunion demanded it. and they were anxious to avail themselves of this idea to supply for the uncertainty of their own judicial competence. of a somewhat academic character.32 The Great Schism of own the West. Holy. The charge of schism meant that they were dividing the Church for their of heresy is personal harder to make out. own The charge Gregory or Benedict. Certainly there was not the faintest trace of heresy to be detected in either interests. they proceeded to elect another.

it is not so difficult to understand how these doctors could devise the doctrine that although the Pope is the lawful superior of every individual member of the Church. They were all zealous adherents of the Church. But we allowance for the bewilderment caused by the schism. which had hitherto been unheard of. assisted by the difficulties of the time. were notoriously disloyal spirits. The University of Paris was at the time the most distinguished home of theological science in the world. The fact is that Gallicanism. However. commended 13 C . more usually : from his native place John Gerson. and when that is done. the doctrine subordinating a Pope to a General Council. and that the doctrine called Ultra- montanism is the only doctrine which has a true title to be styled primitive. and therefore to a General Council in which the entire Church finds a voice through her This. Naturally the discussion of the most legitimate means of extinguishing the schism fell into their hands. Jean Chartier. does not go back beyond the time of this schism. he is not superior but subject to the Church as a whole. Gerson's influence. and prominent among its doctors were three men Pierre d'Ailly. it will be recognized. fundamental tenet of Gallicanism. It is imagined by some that Gallicanism is the primitive Catholic doctrine which has had to give way before a more modern Ultramontanism. like Occam and Marsiglio of Padua. and Nicholas de Clemanges. 33 nence. who would not wittingly called have set forth theories opposed to orthodoxy or destructive of the must make large Church's constitution. or at least heard of only among men who. is the representatives.The Great Schism of the West.

which is the true Pope. must it not belong to the same persons to decide. to be a flaw in this argument on account of which it ought to be rejected. if the doubt be insoluble. But if it belongs to the Cardinals. They have argued that the Church. where. argument presents them to the belief though no legitimate was within its competency in deposing Gregory and Benedict and electing Alexander. although he himself was not present. so they need not to be convoked by a living head. the power to determine the doubt might reasonably be ascribed to the . not to convey the authority. We shall hear more of the doctrine presently. This Gallican theory is of course not tenable. as from the nature of the case they cannot. but even after it has been set aside we may still inquire whether the proceedings at Pisa were justifiable and valid. novel theory to the Council of Pisa. Excellent authorities have deemed that they were. Their task is to determine the person. as represented by the Cardinals. has the right to elect a Pope when the Holy See is vacant. or otherwise in their default. There seems. however. in case of doubt. or for exercising superior authority over the Church. it found its exponent in his friend Pierre d'Ailly. to elect the Pope. If indeed the contending Pontiffs had titles which were iw themselves doubtful. or in their to a representative assembly. Council for passing decrees on matters of faith. to set both aside default and elect a third ? So at least the itself to many minds and leads that the Council of Pisa.34 his The Great Schism of the West. and that for this purpose. His authority is conveyed to the elect direct from God. and even.

was the undoubtedly legitimate Pope. the Pope would be subject to a General Council. were in an extremely have seen that the result return to history. but only to the views concerning its validity entertained by a large body of the faithful. placed as they difficult position. Believing this. faith of the None the less we can recognize the good members of the Council. For the reasons given it does not seem to us that it had. . There were present three patriarchs. Of course. we cannot feel surprise that the result of the unauthorized action of the Council of Pisa aggravated instead of removing the evil. 35 College of Cardinals. this time at Constance.The Great Schism of the West. if Gerson's doctrine were correct. and so things lasted through the next five years. as the successor of Urban. But if the doubt in regard to one or other of the claimants attached not to the character of the election in itself. For the Pope thus truly elected is the true Pope endowed with the plenitude of power by direct grant from our Lord. and at no other Council had a greater multitude been brought together. and is therefore as the supreme ruler of the Church in no sense subject to the jurisdiction of others for the examination of his title. but we are discussing now only whether apart from Gerson's doctrine the Council of Pisa had any standing ground. It was convoked by John XXIII. then it is not so easy to see on what ground the Cardinals or a Council could claim any such competence. of the Council of Pisa was only to add a third line of claimants. since we take it as demonstrated already that Gregory. and in their default or with their permission to a General Council. To We Then (1414) another Council assembled.

it is clear that the numbers present were very large. but to give representation to all Hence all present were divided Catholic interests. to support he was in the that feeling way. right of suffrage in her Councils. about a hundred and bishops. four into nations. together with a vast number of noblemen of all ranks. these desires abeyance the question of the legitimacy previous Council and the statiis of John. and they only.36 The Great Schism of the West. In both The general he was disappointed. who have the At Constance. and it is they. and representatives of all the Courts in Christendom. at every step by the Italians. was desirous that this Council should regard itself as on which counting his own a continuation of that of Pisa. were added the Emperor Sigismund in person. and although all such com- putations are wont to be gross exaggerations. the other nations not wishing to be outvoted Again. He was him against a growing also. on the large preponderance of Italian prelates in the assembly. and having greater influence with the holders of power. the one claim to authority rested. . German. and innumerable ecclesiastics. was to secure the anxiety resignation of the three and therefore to do claimants. twenty-nine archbishops. three hundred doctors of To these theology. . Italian.000. the idea was not to elicit the voice of the teaching body. French. obtained an unprecedented voting arrangement. The bishops and to leave in of the prelates are the authoritative teaching body in the Church. however. John XXIII. The accretion on the ordinary population of the town was estimated at 100.a fifty hundred abbots. English. nothing which would this It seemed better therefore impede eventuality.

by which he was quickly deposed. as Head and members. and submitted . who. they drew up two decrees to the effect that they were "a Council legitimately assembled. to which every man. to the extinction of the schism. This put the Council in a great perplexity. the right of voting being accorded not to prelates only. of whatever state and dignity. This arrangement was disastrous to the hopes 1 1 1. they decided on their competency to continue without him. he resign. was brought back a short himself to the Council. In the separate assemblies of each nation the subjects were first considered and determined by a majority of votes. The sentence makes mention of charges similar to those laid at Pisa at the absence. and meeting. and. in which the the decision thus taken was next referred to a General Congregation of the whole Council for final acceptance. and the reforma- tion of the Church in its decrees were of great importance. 37 which four a fifth was afterwards added for Spain. presently withdrew by secret flight to Schaffhausen.. How could they proceed further ? However. in a fourth and XX fifth session. even if it were Papal." These we shall see in a after moment.The Great Schism of to the West. and having authority immediately from God. and even to the laymen. but to the clergy of the second order. and induced to promise that he would But thinking that his life was in danger. Then succeeded a general " " nations cast their votes. John XXIII. was of John brought to his knees. representing the Universal Church. perceiving it. They were now a headless assembly. was bound to submit in everything appertaining to the faith. while they took measures to bring back the fugitive.

John. he was not the monster which the Council makes him out to be. arising. added his own personal act of resignation to the sentence of his self-appointed judges. The Council was saved. however. Nevertheless. and Zabarella who thought with the two distinguished Parisians. This being so. We Alexander and John never obtained the rights of the Papacy but had they done so on the principle that. the deposition of John at Constance would have been altogether invalid. need not inquire into their door of Gregory XII. But what was to be done ? The members of the Council were under the predominating influence of D'Ailly. Gerson. which have been mentioned. and thereby prevented any theological difficulty from . and things returned to their previous condition.38 The Great Schism of the West. thoroughly worldly and with a bad record of past conduct. in view of the uncertainty of title in Gregory and Benedict. The mischief wrought at Pisa was now remedied. . of the fourth and fifth session were intended as a basis for such action. and proceeding to a new election. at least during his earlier life. We have given our reasons for accounting Gregory to have been throughout the true Pope and therefore unaffected by the proceedings of Pisa. They were thus inclined to give practical effect to the doctrine which these divines had recommended so enthusiastically to their notice. the Council of Pisa was competent to set those aside and elect Alexander. truthfulness. but we may say incidentally that John was a very different man from Gregory. and exercise their pretended supremacy even over valid Popes by confirming the sentence of Pisa against Gregory and Benedict. The decrees.

however. King Sigismund. but now he determined to trust the Council of Constance and go beyond his undertaking. 39 by a however. Malatesta. he sent his and supporter. and many days were over the convocation and the were made. John of Malatesta. Although to Sigismund went in person to Spain to induce him add his resignation to the others. he continued immoveable. first to convoke the Council in his name. Benedict was the only still remaining. Benedict.The Great Schism of the West. obstacle resignation (both of which Gregory at once confirmed) By July. and Navarre came to an agreement with Sigismund to withdraw allegiance from a man . used his great influence with Benedict's supporters to cause them to abandon him. Gregory had bound himself to resign when Benedict did. when the Kings of Castile. was not like Gregory. Vincent Ferrer. and begged that Sovereign in his quality of Protector of the Church to preside If this were done over the assembly for the moment. Aragon. It was then that St. from repeating the scandal of Pisa magnanimous step on the part of Gregory. he authorized his representative. a come meeting was held at Narbonne. Learning that John was now deposed. 1415. Largely owing to St. thereby giving it full conciliar status^ and then into the hands of the Council so convoked to resign his Papacy. who had originally held by this claimant but had gradually to disbelieve in him. there can be no doubt before it was accepted with the greatest joy. Although some pretence was made by the members of vindicating excellent friend to their previous intentions by declaring that Gregory's offer was only accepted ex abundantia. Vincent's exhortations.

off the Spanish coast. and with the growing weariness there was mingled the growing realization that it was impossible by any previous engagement to bind the subsequent conduct of a Pope. From that moment his following dwindled away into insignificance. years end by his pseudo-Cardinals electing Martin V. and he retired to hide himself in the rocky fortress of Peniscola. who had already been acknowledged for twelve years by the entirety of Christendom. And in any his fourteen later succession came to an case. they could come to no agreement over the reforms required. Whatever he might agree to previously to Papal right. . the only corner of the sYorld where he could still is difficult find recognition.4O who The Great Schism of the West. But since a separation of the entire Church from its rightful Head is impossible. John and Gregory having resigned. and during that time the Council sought to agree upon measures of reform. it to see how withdrawal of allegiance from him on the part of those who believed in his title could be justifiable. Had he been a valid Pope. under which name they included certain limitations of the exercise of which they hoped to press the more efficaciously on the new Pope if previously enacted by themselves. two years were allowed to recognize. in his obstinacy seemed to them to stand selfcondemned. the isolation in which Benedict stood from that time onwards can at least be taken as a sign that his title had been bad from the first. intervene owing to the false principles in favour at Constance.. and Benedict having become utterly discredited. However. the way was now open for the election of a Pope whom all would Nevertheless.

If after election he should see sound reasons for changing his mind. 41 he could agree to only on the condition continue to appear to him expedient should that for the good of the Church. The Emperor himself. . which is reckoned at eighty thousand. it the West. who raised him up. it would be his duty as well as his right to change it. Cardinal Otho Colonna was elected Pope by a unanimous vote of the Conclave. The schism of thirty-eight years was at last over. though supreme over every individual member of the Church. Accordingly. on November n. but sufficiently to let the reader see what theological issues Our ****** . It will be convenient to consider first the latter of these two questions. and acknow1 ledged that to him the peaceful result was chiefly due. arising out of the broad fact of the long continued are involved. and as it was St. which was stated at the commencement of this tract. All the bells of Constance sent forth peals of rejoicing. that the Pope. These issues are two in number one. p. 396. and fell down before the Pope. not indeed adequately. Did the Church become in any way committed to the doctrine broached at Constance. 1417. he would be called Martin V.The Great Schism of election. flocked from all quarters to the scene of the election. Martin's day. : schism the other emerging out of the history of the methods employed to terminate it. and there was no earthly power above him to restrain him. A story is now told. forgetting the restraint of state. hurried into the room where the electors were assembled. and people hardly knew how to contain themselves for joy. is not superior over but subject to General Councils ? 1 Robertson's History of the Chttrch^ vii. multitude. embraced him.

for only thus could the Church become committed It is claimed by Gallican writers to its acceptance. be permit. and not merely the subordination of the particular Popes. ever gave his confirmation to the decree. that he did. and they used Gerson's own phraseology. and as the intention of the framers was manifestly to accede to Gerson's doctrine. Towards the close of the Council Martin V. voting. it seems to us. concluded. and decreed by the present Council. accounted shall We the fourth and to be doubtful. " wished to observe and not in any way to that he contravene all and everything that had been determined. conciliariter and " in matters of faith'' " is The Gallicans argue that matters of faith a phrase which . were intended to declare the abiding subordination of Popes to Councils. we prefer to those side with Hefele to affirm a and hold that the decrees were meant permanent and constitutional supremacy of Councils over Popes.. tried to explain the decrees in that more tolerable sense which the words taken alone do undoubtedly But the decrees must. Still what the framers of the decree may have consequence.42 The Great Schism of the West. whose conduct was then under examiAn important class of Catholic writers have nation. not attempt to deny that the decrees of fifth sessions. At that time they were but a headless body. in terms which are preserved to us in the Acta of the Council. of which we have given the purport. then Pope. and they did not even follow the usual precedents in their mode of intended is of small direct The question of consequence is whether Martin V. read in the light of the sentiments entertained by who framed them. declared by word of mouth.

&c. do they at all point to it. Bishops. 43 includes the decree in question. but only what had been done against the Hussites and some The very occasion which other similar heretics. Thus Papal confirmation was demonstrably never given to Gerson's doctrine. dispensations. as a doctrine subversive approve he everywhere else interpreted it. reservations. is a point which may not at once be clear to . and the reformaThese tion of the Church in Head and members. : three phrases are continually being employed by the members. his so-called confirmation shows this to have been his mind. on part of Pope and Hence when Martin approved of what had been done in reference to faith. This. The Council of Constance had before it three subjects for consideration the faith. of . it is Papal confirmation only which would have committed the Church to its acceptance. But this is an argument so insufficient that the marvel is how any one can be moved by Martin was most unlikely to it.The Great Schism of the West. and that therefore they were accepted by Martin. and. so of Papal power.. he was not contemplating the two decrees under notice. The ambassador of the Grand Duke of Lithuania was anxious for the condemelicited nation by the entire Council of a book written by John Falkenburg which was said to contain false doctrine. however. as we have already observed. We ought there- fore to require the clearest evidence before taking Nor his words of approval as bearing that meaning. the extinction of the schism. By the faith was meant the affair of the Hussites by the reform of the Church in Head and members was meant the restriction of simony.

Peter that the Bishops. an influence rendered the greater by the distinguished talent of the French theologians but it spread somewhat beyond the borders of France. are these. then. and. the Church is above the Pope. The doctrine lived on. as it is of consequence. with the view of suggesting that it is only the opinion of a school and not the doctrine of the Church. but their counsels and support him by The new doctrine. Being found by the French Kings a most serviceable fore also inferior to a General Council. the reader. holds that the supreme authority in the Church is by Divine appointment in the successor of St. when the antiquity and truth of the opposite . who is therethe which is but Church finding voice in her representatives.44 The Great Schism of the West. Thus it came to bear the name of Gallicanism. or collected . instrument in their persistent policy of subordinating Church to State interests. till the Vatican Council. whether as individuals . The conflicting doctrines. a few words of further explanation seem required. France was throughout the focus of its influence. it was taken up by them and assiduously fostered. The ancient doctrine. together in Council are always his subjects and that accordingly their office in a General Council to aid is him with not to rule or revise his government. born as we have seen of the difficulties in terminating the schism. called by its adversaries Ultra- montanism. as we all know. held that. : and in particular took root among English and Irish theologians. to whom perhaps it commended itself the more as being more acceptable to the Protestant sovereigns whose penal laws they were deprecating. loyal adhesion to his judgments. since the Pope is for the Church.

The Great Schism of the West. it bore upon ples. nition was that of Pope and Council combined. be urged by non-Catholics that Papal Infallibility stands self-condemned. With the aid of this brief statement. since at Constance it sanctioned the Gallican doctrine contained in the said decrees. 45 As the Vatican defidoctrine was solemnly defined. but persons already infected with the poison of heresy. That the decrees by themselves could advance no claim to infallibility is at least clear to all Catholics from the Vatican decisions. even according to Gallican princi: stamp of infallible authority and accordingly those Gallicans who were genuine Catholics had no adhering to it in the spirit of loyal obediIn so doing they were only acting in conIf there sistency with their own previous principles. Martin V. difficulty in ence. while in the Vatican Council it condemned it. however. never gave any sanction at all to of the fourth and . it was because Catholicism these were not mere Gallican Catholics. the its face. it can seen now be why in estimating the significance of the decrees fifth sessions of Constance we are concerned only to ascertain whether they received Papal confirmation. were some who stood out and drifted into " Old " and such-like heresies. It might. Such a charge needed to be examined and refuted but we have seen that it can be refuted with complete success. can unity be an essential mark of the Church. the two unorthodox decrees. if a schism lasting so long can destroy the Church's at its unity very centre ? The answer is not so difficult as might be The second ****** How . question we have to consider is this.

and we have spoken of But this schism was not the Great Western Schism. nation has been retained. and to all those who through no personal fault were in overt communion with his rival. were utterly unable to discover which was the true Pontiff. for the fact that this truth was involved in doubt for true did not make it less a truth and this was a true fountain of authority and a true Pope centre of unity to all the world. because they acknowledged the Papal authority. Throughout this tract the customary desigthought. they were enjoying the fruits of his jurisdiction to . For by schism is ordinarily meant withdrawal of obedience from one who is known to be the unquestionably It is legitimate Roman Pontiff. and the whom we cannot but identify with the Cardinals who withdrew from Urban after electing him. brand those who were only the victims of inculpable error. These were not schismatics. and were prepared to submit at once when the discovery was made. since his excommunication were never meant many minds . To the large numbers who were in overt communion with him he was centre of unity and fountain of authority in the formal and direct sense. and in return. There was. moreover. were schismatics in But the name is not truly applicable the true sense. It was he towards whom their efforts to ascertain the truth were leading them. amidst so many conflicting testimonies.46 The Great Schism of the West. likely that the authors of quite possible mischief. he was still centre of unity and fountain of authority in a very real sense. a true Pope all the time. did their best to discover who was its true living incumbent. a schism in the ordinary sense of the term. to the vast number of prelates and Christian people who.

as in the perpetuation of other Divine institutions and where there is an elective . If they seem to us at times as in the case of the great schism to be perplexing.The Great Schism of in their reception of the the West. granting all that you say. And at the same time we must be careful not to fix our attention so exclusively on the dark side of the events which . and then go on to read the actual determinations of His Providence in life. will the actual events. specially to prevent these. that God could have permitted such general uncertainty as to the true occupant of the Apostolic See to endure for nearly forty years? The answer to this whom we can only gather what is consistent with from the actual facts. But it will be said. we must await the day when God's counsels will disclose themselves to us under a clearer light. God might interpose certainly watch lest the effects should be so far-reaching as to destroy and He will altogether an institution whose continued existence is essential to the continued existence of the Catholic Church. system there is a necessary liability for doubts and disputes over the results to arise. antecedent presumption gathered from His general dealings with man's free-will in other departments of We human evil which indicate that the permission of probably be very large. 47 sacraments from the pastors they deemed to be legitimate. deciding at But beyond that we have no means of what point God must owe it to His own can only start from the Majesty to interpose. God has Providence God's chosen to invite the co-operation of man's will in is that the election of Popes. is it conceivable on the supposition that the Papacy is the divinely appointed centre of the Church's unity.

let us not attempt to deny that it was a terrible scandal and did incalculable harm. did In the one case the result was to involve the later. and is still The responsibility for so much evil must continuing. true lesson of the schism to teach us The how much in harm can be done by powerful sovereigns when. have pressed heavily on its reckless authors when they stood to render their account at the bar of the Divine justice. and in weakening the reverence for It Papal authority it paved the way for the real schism which arose a century and a half later. is it not a still greater marvel and a manifest proof of the supernatural character of the Papacy.48 The Great Schism of the West. the furtherance of their purely temporal interests. that it should have been able to survive so great a strain. they use the sword to overthrow God's appointed order. In the other the result was to involve a noble people in the still worse calamity of utter and far more prolonged separation from their rightful participation in the Church's sacraments. and it would have been well if the warning of their example had been more assiduously before the minds of those who came is after them. if we must be careful not to exaggerate the laceration of the Church's unity through this schism of thirty-eight years. must have caused the loss of innumerable soulswhile it lasted. the Papacy should have been allowed to last for forty years. The French Kings were doing exactly what Henry VIII. entire Church in the calamities of a thirty-eight years' schism. and recover all and more than all its pristine majesty? Still. . in this and subordinate Church to State. trouble us as to forget that there is another challengIf it is a marvel that a schism in ing our attention.

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Sydney Fenn.f BX 1301 .56 1900 IMS Sjith. The Great Scnisri of the west PONTIS-lCAli OP MEDIAEVAC STUDIES 59 QUEEN'S PARK .

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