For more than thirty years the new religious movement continued to spread with alarming rapidity. Nation after nation either fell away from the centre of unity or wavered as to the attitude that should be adopted towards the conflicting claims of Rome, Wittenberg, and Geneva, till at last it seemed not unlikely that Catholicism was to be confined within the territorial boundaries of Italy, Spain, and Portugal. That the world was well prepared for such an outburst has been shown already, but it is necessary to emphasise the fact that the real interests of religion played but a secondary part in the success of the Protestant revolt. Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, and Knox may be taken as typical of the new apostles, and however gifted and energetic these men may have been, yet few would care to contend that either in their own lives or in the means to which they had recourse for propagating their views they can be regarded as ideal religious reformers.
Protestantism owed its success largely to political causes, and particularly in the case of Lutheranism to its acknowledgment of the principle of royal supremacy. At its inception it was favoured by the almost universal jealousy of the House of Habsburg and by the danger of a Turkish invasion. If attention be directed to the countries where it attained its largest measure of success, it will be found that in Germany this success was due mainly to the distrust of the Emperor entertained by the princes and their desire to strengthen their own authority against both the Emperor and the people; in Switzerland to the political aspirations of the populous and manufacturing cantons and their eagerness to resist the encroachments of the House of Savoy; in the Scandinavian North to the efforts of ambitious rulers anxious to free themselves from the restrictions imposed upon their authority by the nobles and bishops; in the Netherlands to the determination of the people to maintain their old laws and constitutions in face of the domineering policy of Philip II.; in France to the attitude of the rulers who disliked the Catholic Church as being the enemy of absolutism, and who were willing to maintain friendly relations with the German Protestants in the hope of weakening the Empire by civil war; in England, at first to the autocratic position of the sovereign, and later to a feeling of national patriotism that inspired Englishmen to resent the interference of foreigners in what they regarded as their domestic affairs; and in Scotland to the bitter rivalry of two factions one of which favoured an alliance with France, the other, a union with England. In all these countries the hope of sharing in the plunder of the Church had a much greater influence in determining the attitude of both rulers and nobles than their zeal for reform, as the leaders of the so-called Reformation had soon good reason to recognise and to deplore.
Protestantism had reached the zenith of its power on the Continent in 1555. At that time everything seemed to indicate its permanent success, but soon under the Providence of God the tide began to turn, and instead of being able to make further conquests it found it impossible to retain those that had been made. The few traces of heresy that might have been detected in Italy, Spain, and Portugal disappeared. France, thanks largely to the energy of the League and the political schemes of Cardinal Richelieu, put an end to the Calvinist domination. Hungary and Poland were wrested to a great extent from the influence of the Protestant preachers by the labours of the Jesuits. Belgium was retained for Spain and for Catholicity more by the prudence and diplomacy of Farnese than by the violence of Alva; and in the German Empire the courageous stand made by some of the princes, notably Maximilian of Bavaria, delivered Austria, Bohemia, Bavaria and the greater part of Southern Germany from Protestantism.
Many causes helped to bring about this striking reaction towards Catholicism. Amongst the principal of these were the reforms initiated by the Council of Trent, the rise of zealous ecclesiastics and above all of zealous popes, the establishment of new religious orders, especially the establishment of the Society of Jesus, and finally the determination of some of the Catholic princes to meet force by force. Mention should be made too of the wonderful outburst of missionary zeal that helped to win over new races and new peoples in the East and the West at a time when so many of the favoured nations of Europe had renounced or were threatening to renounce their allegiance to the Church of Rome.
-- -- -- -- --
(a) The Council of Trent.
Le Plat, /Monumentorum ad historiam concilii Tridentini spectantium amplissima collectio/, 7 vols., 1781-5. Theiner, /Acta genuina S. oecumenici Concilii Tridentini/, etc., 1874. /Concilium Tridentinum Diariorum, Actorum, Epistularum, Tractatuum Nova Collectio Edidit Societas Goerresiana/, vols. i., ii., iii. (/Diariorum/), iv., v. (/Actorum/), 1901-14. Pallavicino, /Istoria del Concilio di Trento/, 3 vols., 1664. Maynier, /Etude historique sur le concile de Trent/, 1874. Mendham, /Memoirs of the Council of Trent/, 1834. Marchese, /La riforma del clero secondo il concilio de Trento/, 1883. Deslandres, /Le concile de Trente, et la reforme du clerge/, 1906. /Canones et decreta sacrosancti oecumenici concilii Tridentini/.
For more than a century and a half reform of the Church |in its head and members| was the watchword both of the friends and the enemies of religion. Earnest men looked forward to this as the sole means of stemming the tide of neo-paganism that threatened to engulf the Christian world, while wicked men hoped to find in the movement for reform an opportunity of wrecking the divine constitution that Christ had given to His Church. Popes and Councils had failed hitherto to accomplish this work. The bishops had met at Constance and Basle, at Florence and at Rome (5th Lateran Council), and had parted leaving the root of the evil untouched. Notwithstanding all these failures the feeling was practically universal that in a General Council lay the only hope of reform, and that for one reason or another the Roman Curia looked with an unfavourable eye on the convocation of such an assembly. Whether the charge was true or false it was highly prejudicial to the authority of the Holy See, and as a consequence of it, when Luther and his followers appealed from the verdict of Leo X. to the verdict of a General Council, they evoked the open or secret sympathy of many, who had nothing but contempt for their religious innovations. Charles V., believing in the sincerity of their offer to submit themselves to the judgment of such a body, supported strongly the idea of a council, as did also the Diets held at Nurnberg in 1523 and 1524.
The hesitation of Adrian VI. (1522-3) and of Clement VII. (1523-34) to yield to these demands was due neither to their inability to appreciate the magnitude of the abuses nor of their desire to oppose any and every proposal of reform. The disturbed condition of the times, when so many individuals had fallen away from the faith and when whole nations formerly noted for their loyalty to the Pope threatened to follow in their footsteps, made it difficult to decide whether the suggested remedy might not prove worse than the disease. The memory, too, of the scenes that took place at Constance and Basle and of the revolutionary proposals put forward in these assemblies, made the Popes less anxious to try a similar experiment with the possibility of even worse results, particularly at a time when the unfriendly relations existing between the Empire, France, and England held out but little hope for the success of a General Council. As events showed the delay was providential. It afforded an opportunity for excitement and passion to die away; it helped to secure moderation in the views both of the radical and conservative elements in the Church; and it allowed the issues in dispute to shape themselves more clearly and to be narrowed down to their true proportions, thereby enabling the Catholic theologians to formulate precisely the doctrines of the Church in opposition to the opinions of the Lutherans.
Clement VII. (1523-34), one of the de' Medici family, succeeded to the Papacy at a most critical period in the civil and religious history of Europe. The time that he spent at the court of his cousin, Leo X., and the traditions of his family and of his native city of Florence made it almost impossible for him to throw himself into the work of reform or to adopt the stern measures that the situation demanded. Instead of allying himself closely with Charles V. or Francis I. of France, or better still of preserving an attitude of strict neutrality towards both, he adopted a policy of vacillation joining now one side now the other, until the terrible sack of Rome by the infuriated and half- savage soldiery of Germany forced him to conclude an agreement with the Emperor. During the earlier years of Clement VII.'s reign the German people, Catholic as well as Lutheran, demanded the convocation of a general or at least a national council, and their demands met with the approval of Charles V. The naturally indolent temperament of the Pope, the fear that the eagerness for reform might develop into a violent revolution, and the danger that a council dominated by the Emperor might be as distasteful to France and England as dangerous to the rights and prerogatives of the Holy See, made him more willing to accept the counsels of those who suggested delay. When peace was at last concluded between the Pope and the Emperor (1529) Charles V. had changed his mind about the advisability of a General Council, having convinced himself in the meantime that more could be done for the cause of peace in his territories by private negotiations between the different parties.
It was only on the accession of Paul III. (1534-49) that a really vigorous effort was made to undertake the work of reform. The new Pope, a member of the Farnese family, was himself a brilliant Humanist, a patron of literature and art, well known for his strict and exemplary life as a priest, and deservedly popular both with the clergy and people of Rome. His one outstanding weakness was his partiality towards his own relatives, on many of whom he conferred high positions both in church and state. In justice to him it should be said, however, that the position of affairs in Rome and in Italy made such action less reprehensible than it might seem at first sight, and that he dealt severely with some of them, as for example, the Duke of Parma and Piacenza, once he discovered that they were unworthy of the confidence that had been reposed in them. He signalised his pontificate by the stern measures he took for the reform of the Roman Curia, by the appointment of learned and progressive ecclesiastics like Reginald Pole, Sadoleto, Caraffa, and Contarini to the college of cardinals, and by the establishment of special tribunals to combat heresy.
After a preliminary agreement with the Emperor, Paul III. convoked the General Council to meet at Mantua in 1537; but the refusal of the Lutheran princes to send representatives, the prohibition issued by Francis I. against the attendance of French bishops, and the unwillingness of the Duke of Mantua to make the necessary arrangements for such an assembly in his territory unless under impossible conditions, made it necessary to prorogue the council to Vicenza in 1538. As hardly any bishops had arrived at the time appointed it was adjourned at first, and later on prorogued indefinitely. Negotiations were, however, continued regarding the place of assembly. The Pope was anxious that the council should be held in an Italian city, while Charles V., believing that the Lutherans would never consent to go to Italy or to accept the decrees of an Italian assembly, insisted that a German city should be selected. In the end as a compromise Trent was agreed upon by both parties, and the council was convoked once more to meet there in 1542. The refusal of the Lutherans to take part in the proposed council, the unwillingness of Francis I. to permit any of his subjects to be present, and the threatened war between France and the Empire, made it impossible for the council to meet. Finally, on the conclusion of the Peace of Crepy (1544), which put an end to the war with France, the council was convoked to meet at Trent in March 1545, and Cardinals del Monte, Reginald Pole, and Marcello Cervini were appointed to represent the Pope. When the day fixed for the opening ceremony arrived, a further adjournment was rendered imperative owing to the very sparse attendance of bishops. The First Session was held on the 13th December 1545, and the second in January 1546. There were then present in addition to the legates and theologians only four archbishops, twenty-one bishops, and five generals of religious orders.
These two preliminary sessions were given over almost entirely to a discussion of the procedure that should be followed. In the end it was agreed that the legates should propose to the council the questions on which a decision should be given, that these questions should be examined by committees of bishops aided by theologians and jurists, that the results of these discussions should be brought before a full congregation of the bishops, and that when a decision had been agreed to the formal decrees should be promulgated in a public session. The novel method of voting by nations, introduced for the first time at Constance and Basle, was rejected in favour of individual voting, a definitive vote being allowed only to bishops, generals of religious orders and abbots (one vote to every three abbots). Procurators of absent bishops were not allowed to vote, though later on a special concession was made in favour of some German bishops detained at home by the serious religious condition of their dioceses. The legates were anxious that the dogmatic issues raised by the Lutherans should be dealt with at once, while the Emperor was strongly in favour of beginning with a comprehensive scheme of reform. By this time he had made up his mind to put down his opponents in Germany by force of arms, and he believed that if nothing were done in the meantime to widen the breach the defeat of the Lutheran princes might make them more willing to take part in the council. As a compromise it was agreed that doctrine and discipline should be discussed simultaneously, and, hence, at most of the public sessions two decrees were published, one on matters of faith, the other on reform (/De Reformatione/).
It was only at the 4th public session (8th April 1546) that the first doctrinal decree could be issued. Since the Lutherans had called in question the value of Tradition as a source of divine revelation, and had denied the canonicity of several books accepted hitherto as inspired, it was fitting that the council should begin its work by defining that revelation has been handed down by Tradition as well as by the Scriptures, of which latter God is the author both as regards the Old Testament and the New. In accordance with the decrees of previous councils a list of the canonical books of the Scriptures was drawn up. Furthermore, it was defined that the sacred writings should not be interpreted against the meaning attached to them by the Church, nor against the unanimous consent of the Fathers, that the Vulgate Version, a revised edition of which should be published immediately, is authentic, that is to say, accurate as regards faith and morals, and that for the future no one was to print, publish, or retain an edition of the Scriptures unless it had been approved by the local bishop.
The next subject proposed for examination was Original Sin. The Emperor showed the greatest anxiety to secure a delay, and at a hint from him several of the Spanish bishops tried to postpone a decision by prolonging the discussions and by raising the question of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin. That the Fathers of Trent were not opposed to this doctrine is clear enough from the decrees they formulated, but the majority of them were of opinion that purely domestic controversies among Catholic theologians should be left untouched. In the fifth general session (17th June 1546) it was defined that by his transgression of the commandment of God the head of the human race had forfeited the sanctity and justice in which he had been created, and had suffered thereby in both soul and body, that in doing so he had injured not merely himself but all his descendants, to whom Original Sin is transmitted not by imitation merely but by propagation, that the effects of this sin are removed by the sacrament of Baptism, necessary alike for adults and infants, and that the concupiscence, which still remains in a man even after baptism has produced its effects, is not in itself sinful. It was declared, furthermore, that in the decrees regarding the universality of Original Sin it was not intended to include the Blessed Virgin or to weaken the binding force of the decrees issued by Sixtus IV. regarding her Immaculate Conception.
The way was now cleared for the question of Justification. This was the doctrine on which Luther first found himself in disagreement with the Church, and which he put forward in his sermons as the foundation of his new gospel. The importance of the subject both in itself and in the circumstances of the time cannot be exaggerated, nor can it be contended that the Fathers at Trent failed to realise their responsibilities or to give it the attention it deserved. Had they done nothing else except to give to the world such a complete and luminous exposition of the Catholic teaching on Justification their meeting would not have been held in vain. In the 6th public session (13th January 1547), at which there were present besides the legates, ten archbishops, forty-two bishops, two procurators, five generals of religious orders, two abbots and forty-three theologians, it was defined that, though by the sin of Adam man had lost original justice and had suffered much, he still retained free-will, that God had been pleased to promise redemption through the merits of Jesus Christ, and that baptism or the desire for baptism is necessary for salvation. The decrees dealt also with the method of preparing for Justification, with its nature, causes, and conditions, with the kind of faith required in opposition to the confidence spoken of by the Reformers, with the necessity and possibility of observing the commandments, with the certainty of Justification, perseverance, loss of Grace by mortal sin, and with merit. The 7th public session (3rd March) was given to decrees regarding the Sacraments in general and Baptism and Confirmation in particular.
Meanwhile the long-expected civil war had begun in Germany, and Europe awaited with anxiety the result of a struggle upon which such momentous interests might depend. Charles, supported by most of the Catholic and not a few of the Protestant princes, overthrew the forces of the Elector of Saxony and of Philip of Hesse (1547) and by his victory found himself for the first time master in his own territories. Coupled with rejoicing at the success of the imperial arms there was also the fear in many minds that the Emperor might use his power to overawe the Council, and force it to agree to compromises, which, however useful for the promotion of unity in Germany, might be subversive of the doctrine and discipline of the Church and dangerous to the prerogatives of the Holy See. The selection of Trent as the place of assembly for the council was never very satisfactory to the Pope, but now in the changed circumstances of the Empire it was looked upon as positively dangerous. An epidemic that made its appearance in the city afforded an excellent pretext for securing a change of venue, and at the 8th public session (11th March 1547) a majority of the members present voted in favour of retiring to Bologna. The legates accompanied by most of the bishops departed immediately, while the bishops who supported the Emperor remained at Trent. For a time the situation was critical in the extreme, but under the influence of the Holy Ghost moderate counsels prevailed with both parties, and after a couple of practically abortive sessions at Bologna the council was prorogued in September 1549. A few months later, November 1549, Paul III. passed to his reward.
In the conclave that followed the cardinals were divided into three parties, namely, the Imperial, the French, and the followers of the Farnese family. By an agreement between the two latter Cardinal del Monte was elected against the express prohibition of Charles V., and took as his title Julius III. (1550-5). He was a man of good education, of sufficiently liberal views, and with a rather large experience acquired as a prominent official in Rome and as one of the legates at the Council of Trent. While acting in the latter capacity he had come into sharp conflict with the Emperor, but as Pope he found himself forced by the conduct of the Farnese family to cultivate friendly relations with his former opponent. The alliance concluded with the Emperor turned out disastrously enough owing to the French victories in Italy during the campaign of 1552, and in consequence of this Julius III. ceased to take an active part in the struggle between these two countries. During the earlier years of his reign the Pope took earnest measures to push forward the work of reform, patronised the Jesuits, established the /Collegium Germanicum/ at Rome for the use of ecclesiastical students from Germany, and succeeded in restoring England to communion with the Holy See, but as time passed, discouraged by the failure of his cherished projects, he adopted a policy of /laissez-faire/, and like many of his predecessors laid himself open to damaging though to a great extent unfounded charges of nepotism.
Julius III. was anxious to continue the work of reform that had been begun in Trent. In 1550 he issued a Bull convoking the council to meet once more in Trent on the 1st May 1551. When the papal legates attended at the time fixed for the opening of the council they found it necessary owing to the small numbers present to adjourn it at first till the 1st September, and later till the 11th October. On account of the unfriendly relations existing between France and the Empire regarding the Duchy of Parma, and to the alliance of the Pope and the Emperor, the King of France would not permit the French bishops to attend. The majority of the bishops present were from Italy, Germany, and Spain. In the 13th public session (11th Oct.1551), at which there were present in addition to the legates, ten archbishops and fifty- four bishops, decrees were passed regarding the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, Transubstantiation, the institution, excellence and worship of the Eucharist, its reservation and the conditions necessary for its worthy reception. In the 14th public session (25th Nov.1551) the council dealt with the sacraments of Penance and Extreme Unction. In the meantime the Emperor was negotiating with the Lutherans with the object of inducing them to send representatives to Trent. Some of their procurators had arrived already, amongst them being the well-known theologian and historian John Sleidanus of Strassburg, but their demands, including the withdrawal of the decrees contravening the articles of the Augsburg Confession and the submission of the Pope to the authority of a General Council, were of such an extravagant character that they could not be entertained. While the subject was under consideration news arrived that Maurice of Saxony had gone over to the side of the Lutherans, that there was no army in the field to hold him in check, that the passes of the Tyrol were occupied by his troops, and that an advance upon Trent was not impossible. Many of the bishops took their departure immediately, and in April 1552 against the wishes of a few Spanish bishops the council was suspended for two years. As a matter of fact close on ten years were to elapse before the work that had been interrupted could be resumed.
On the death of Julius III. (1555) Marcellus II. succeeded, but his reign was cut short by death (22 days). In the conclave that followed Cardinal Pietro Caraffa, the first general and in a certain sense the founder of the Theatines, received the required majority of votes notwithstanding the express veto of the Emperor. He was proclaimed Pope under the title of Paul IV. (1555-9). During his life as an ecclesiastic the new Pope had been remarkable for his rigid views, his ascetic life, and his adherence to Scholastic as opposed to Humanist views. As nuncio in Spain he had acquired a complete distrust of the Spanish rulers, nor was this bad impression likely to be removed by the treatment he received from the Austro-Spanish party when appointed Archbishop of Naples. The conclusion of the religious peace of Augsburg (1555) and the proclamation of Ferdinand I. were not calculated to win the sympathy of Paul IV. for the House of Habsburg. Hence, he put himself in communication with the Italian opponents of Philip II. of Spain, and concluded an alliance with France. The French army despatched to Naples under the leadership of the Duke of Guise was out-manoeuvred completely by the Spanish Viceroy, the Duke of Alva, who followed up his success by invading the Papal States and compelling the Pope to sue for peace (1556). The unfriendly relations existing between Paul IV. and Philip II. of Spain, the husband of Queen Mary I., rendered difficult the work of effecting a complete reconciliation between England and the Holy See. Owing to the disturbed condition of Europe and the attitude of the Emperor and the King of Spain, it would have been impossible for the Pope even had he been anxious to do so to re-convoke the council. He would not so much as consider the idea of selecting Trent or any German city as a fit place for such an assembly, while the Austro-Spanish rulers were equally strong against Rome or any other place in Italy. But of his own initiative Paul IV. took strong measures to reform the Roman Curia, established a special commission in Rome to assist him in this work, stamped out by vigorous action heretical opinions that began to manifest themselves in Italy, and presided frequently himself at meetings of the Inquisition. He even went so far as to arrest Cardinal Morone on a suspicion of heresy, and to summon Cardinal Pole to appear before the tribunal of the Inquisition. By the Romans he had been beloved at first on account of his economic administration whereby the taxes were reduced considerably, but the disastrous results of the war against Philip II. in Naples effaced the memory of the benefits he had conferred, and he died detested by the people. After his death the city was at the mercy of the mob, who plundered and robbed wholesale for close on a fortnight before order could be restored.
In the conclave that followed the two great parties among the cardinals were the French and the Austro-Spanish, neither of which, however, was strong enough to procure the election of its nominee. After a struggle lasting three months Cardinal Giovanni Angelo de' Medici, who was more or less neutral, was elected by acclamation. He was proclaimed under the title of Pius IV. (1559-65). The new Pope had nothing of the stern morose temperament of his predecessor. He was of a mild disposition, something of a scholar himself, inclined to act as a patron towards literature and art, and anxious to forward the interests of religion by kindness rather than by severity. He was determined to proceed with the work of the council at all costs, and as a first step in that direction he devoted all his energies to the establishment of friendly relations with the Emperor Ferdinand I. and with Spain. In all his schemes for reform he was supported loyally by his nephew, Charles Borromeo, whom he created cardinal, and to whom he entrusted the work of preparing the measures that should be submitted to the future council.
When all arrangements had been made the Bull of re-convocation, summoning the bishops to meet at Trent at Easter 1561, was published in November 1560. Though not expressly stated in the document, yet it was implied clearly enough that the assembly was not to be a new council but only the continuation of the Council of Trent. This was not satisfactory to France, which demanded a revision of some of the decrees passed at Trent, and which objected strongly to the selection of Trent as the meeting-place. The Emperor Ferdinand I. and Philip II. expressed their anxiety to further the project of the Pope. Delegates were sent from Rome to interview the Lutheran princes and theologians, but only to meet everywhere with sharp rebuffs. In an assembly held at Naumburg in 1561 the Lutherans refused to attend the council, unless they were admitted on their own terms, while many of the Catholic princes and bishops showed no enthusiasm to respond to the papal convocation. When the legates arrived to open the council they found so few bishops in attendance that nothing could be done except to prepare the subjects that should be submitted for discussion.
It was only on the 15th January 1562 the first (17th) public session could be held. There were present in addition to the legates, three patriarchs, eleven archbishops, forty bishops, four generals of religious orders, and four abbots. From the very beginning the legates found themselves in a very difficult position owing to the spirit of hostility against the Holy See manifested by some of the bishops and representatives of the civil powers. At this session very little was accomplished except to announce the formal opening of the council, to fix the date for the next public session, and to prepare safe conducts for the delegates of the Protestant princes. Similarly in the 18th public session (25th February) no decrees of any importance could be passed. Despite the earnest efforts of the presidents it was found impossible to make any progress. Grave differences of opinion manifested themselves both within and without the council. The question whether bishops are bound to reside in their dioceses by divine or ecclesiastical law gave rise to prolonged and angry debates. Spain demanded that it should be stated definitely that the council was only a prolongation of the council held previously at Trent, while France insisted that it should be regarded as a distinct and independent assembly. The Emperor put forward a far-reaching scheme of reform parts of which it was entirely impossible for the legates to accept. At length after many adjournments the 21st public session was held (16th July 1562), in which decrees regarding the Blessed Eucharist were passed. It was defined that there was no divine law obliging the laity to receive Holy Communion under both kinds, that the Church has power to make arrangements about Communion so long as it does not change the substance of the sacrament, that Christ is really present whole and entire both under the appearance of bread and under the appearance of wine, that infants, who have not come to the use of reason, are not bound to receive Holy Communion because they have been regenerated already by baptism. At this session there were present six cardinals, three patriarchs, nineteen archbishops, and one hundred and forty-eight bishops.
In the 22nd public session (17th Sept.1562) decrees were published concerning the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. It was laid down that in place of the sacrifices and the priesthood of the Old Law Christ set up a new sacrifice, namely the Mass, the clean oblation foretold by the prophet Malachy (Mal. I., 11) and a new priesthood, to whom the celebration of the Mass was committed, that the sacrifice of the Mass is the same sacrifice as that of the Cross having the same high priest and the same victim, that the Mass may be offered up for the dead as well as for the living, that it may be offered up in honour of the Saints, that though the faithful should be advised to receive Holy Communion whenever they assist at Mass, yet private Masses at which nobody is present for Communion are not unlawful, and that, though it was not deemed prudent to allow the sacrifice to be offered up in the vulgar tongue, it was the earnest wish of the council that priests should explain the ceremonies of the Mass to the people especially on Sundays and holidays. The question of allowing the laity to receive the chalice was discussed at length, and it was decided finally to submit it to the decision of the Pope. Pius IV. did, indeed, make a concession on this point in favour of several districts in Austria; but as the Catholics did not desire such a concession and the Lutherans refused to accept it as insufficient the indult remained practically a dead-letter, and later on was withdrawn.
The next session was fixed for November 1562 but on account of very grave difficulties that arose a much more prolonged adjournment was rendered necessary. During this interval the old controversies broke out with greater violence and bitterness, and more than once it appeared as if the council would break up in disorder; but the perseverance, tact, and energy of the new legates, Cardinals Morone and Navagero, strengthened by the prudent concessions made by the Pope, averted the threatened rupture, and made it possible for the Fathers to accomplish the work for which they had been convoked. Cardinal Guise (de Lorraine) accompanied by a number of French bishops and theologians arrived at Trent in November 1562. His arrival strengthened the hands of those Spanish bishops who were insisting on having it defined that the obligation of episcopal residence was /de jure divino/. The question had been adjourned previously at the request of the legates, but with the advent of the discussion on the sacrament of Orders further adjournment was impossible. Several of the bishops maintained that the obligation must be /jure divino/, because the episcopate itself was /de jure divino/. From this they concluded that the bishops had their jurisdiction immediately from Christ, not mediately through the Pope as some of the papal theologians maintained. Consequently they asserted that the subordination of the bishops to the Pope was not, therefore of divine origin, thereby raising at once the whole question of the relations of a general council to a Pope and the binding force of the decrees regarding the superiority of a council passed at Constance and Basle.
At the same time danger threatened the council from another quarter. The Emperor, Ferdinand I. had put forward a very comprehensive scheme of reform. Some portions of this were considered by the legates to be prejudicial to the rights of the Holy See, and were therefore rejected by them after consultation with the Pope. Ferdinand annoyed by their action asserted that there was no liberty at the council, that it was being controlled entirely from Rome, and that the assembly at Trent had become merely a machine for confirming what had been decreed already on the other side of the Alps. At his request several of his supporters left Trent and joined him at Innsbruck, where a kind of opposition assembly was begun. Cardinal Morone, realising fully the seriousness of the situation, betook himself to Innsbruck (April 1563) for a personal interview with the Emperor. The meeting had the result of clearing away many of the misunderstandings that had arisen, and of bringing about a compromise. At the same time the Pope wrote a letter pointing out that it was only reasonable that the Head of the Church, not being present at the council, should be consulted by his legates in all important matters that might arise.
Meanwhile the council was still engaged in discussing the authority of the bishops. On the ground that the Fathers should define at one and the same time both the rights of the bishops and the rights of the Holy See Cardinal Guise, who represented the Gallican school of thought, brought forward certain proposals highly derogatory to the prerogatives of the Pope. In face of this counter-move the legates were firm but conciliatory. They pointed out that the whole question of the jurisdiction of the Holy See had been decided already by the Council of Florence and that the decrees of Florence could not be watered down at Trent. On this question the Italian bishops found themselves supported by the vast majority of the Spanish, Austro- German and Portuguese representatives; but in deference to the request of the Pope, who wished that nothing should be defined unless with the unanimous consent of the Fathers, and to the feelings of the French, whose secession from the council was anticipated, it was agreed to issue no decree on the subject. As the supreme authority of the Pope had been recognised implicitly by the council no definition was required.
As a result of the negotiations inside and outside the council it was possible to hold the 23rd public session on the 15th July 1563. In this it was defined that the priesthood of the New Law was instituted by Christ, that there were seven orders in the Church about two of which, the priesthood (/de sacerdotibus/) and the diaconate (/de diaconis/) express mention is made in the Scriptures, that the bishops who have succeeded to the place of the Apostles pertain especially to the hierarchy and are superior to priests, that neither the consent of the people nor of the civil power is necessary for the valid reception of orders, and that bishops who are appointed by the authority of the Roman Pontiff are true bishops. The question whether the duty of episcopal residence is /de jure divino/, about which such a protracted and heated controversy had been waged, was settled amicably by deciding that the bishops as pastors are bound by divine command to know their flocks, and that they cannot do this unless they reside in their dioceses. At this session there were present four cardinals, three patriarchs, twenty-five archbishops and one hundred and ninety- three bishops.
Many of the bishops were anxious to return to their dioceses, and nearly all of them hoped for a speedy conclusion of the council. The Pope, the Emperor, and the King of France were in agreement, though for different reasons, in endeavouring to dissolve the assembly as soon as possible. The sacrament of Matrimony was next proposed for discussion. The French party wished that marriages contracted without the consent of the parents as well as clandestine marriages should be declared invalid, but the council refused to make the validity of marriage dependent upon parental consent. In deference to the wishes of Venice, which stood in close relation to the Greeks, it was agreed to define merely that the Church does not err when she states in accordance with the apostolic and evangelic teaching that the bond of marriage is not broken by adultery. In the 24th public session (11th Nov.1563) the decrees on Matrimony were proclaimed.
The greatest anxiety was displayed on all sides to bring the work to a conclusion. The action of the papal legates in proposing that the interference of Catholic rulers in ecclesiastical affairs should be considered and if necessary reformed did not tend to delay the dissolution. The princes were most anxious to reform the Pope and clergy, but they were determined not to allow any weakening of their own so-called prerogatives. In accordance with the general desire the addresses were cut short, and so rapid was the progress made that the last public session was held on the 3rd and 4th December 1563. The decrees on Purgatory, on the honour to be paid to relics and images of Saints and on Indulgences were passed. It was agreed, furthermore, that in regard to fast days and holidays the usage of the Roman Church should be followed, and that the Holy See should undertake the preparation of a new edition of the missal and breviary. The decrees that had been passed under Paul III. and Julius III. were read and approved. The legates were requested to obtain the approval of the Holy Father for the decisions of the council, and Cardinal Guise in the name of the bishops returned thanks to the Pope, the Emperor, the ambassadors of the Catholic nations, and to the legates. Finally the Fathers subscribed their names to the acts of the council. There were then present six cardinals, three patriarchs, twenty-five archbishops, one hundred and sixty-seven bishops, and nineteen procurators.
The Council of Trent met in peculiarly difficult circumstances, and it carried on its work in face of great opposition and disappointments. More than once it was interrupted for a long period, and more than once, too, it was feared by many that it would result in promoting schism rather than unity. But under the Providence of God the dangers were averted, the counsels of despair were rejected, the arms of its enemies were weakened, and the hearts of the faithful children of the Church throughout the world filled with joy and gratitude. It found itself face to face with a strong and daily increasing party, who rejected the authority that had been accepted hitherto without difficulty, and who called in question many of the most cherished doctrines and practices of the Catholic world. Without allowing themselves to be involved in purely domestic disputes among Catholic theologians or to be guided by the advice of those who sought to secure peace by means of dishonourable compromises, the Fathers of Trent set themselves calmly but resolutely to sift the chaff from the wheat, to examine the theories of Luther in the light of the teaching of the Scriptures and the tradition of the Church as contained in the writings of the Fathers, and to give to the world a clear-cut exposition of the dogmas that had been attacked by the heretics. Never had a council in the Church met under more alarming conditions; never had a council been confronted with more serious obstacles, and never did a council confer a greater service on the Christian world than did the 19th ecumenical council held at Trent (1545-63).
It was of essential importance that the council should determine the matters of faith that had been raised, but it was almost equally important that it should formulate a satisfactory scheme of reform. Reform of the Church in its Head and members was on the lips of many whose orthodoxy could not be suspected long before Luther had made this cry peculiarly his own, the better thereby to weaken the loyalty of the faithful to the Holy See. As in matters of doctrine so also in matters of discipline the Council of Trent showed a thorough appreciation of the needs of the Church, and if in some things it failed to go as far as one might be inclined to desire the fault is not to be attributed to the Popes or the bishops, but rather to the secular rulers, whose jealousies and recriminations were one of the greatest impediments to the progress of the council, and who, while calling out loudly for the reform of others, offered a stubborn resistance to any change that might lessen their own power over the Church, or prevent the realisation of that absolute royalty, towards which both the Catholic and Protestant rulers of the sixteenth century were already turning as the ultimate goal of their ambitions.
The council struck at the root of many of the abuses that afflicted the Christian world by suppressing plurality of benefices, provisions, and expectancies, as well as by insisting that, except in case of presentation by a university, nobody could be appointed to a benefice unless he had shown that he possessed the knowledge necessary for the proper discharge of his duty. It determined the method of electing bishops, commanded them to reside in their dioceses unless exempted for a time on account of very special reasons, to preach to their people, to hold regular visitations of their parishes, to celebrate diocesan synods yearly, to attend provincial synods at least once in three years, and to safeguard conscientiously the ecclesiastical property committed to their charge.
It put an end to abuses in connexion with the use of ecclesiastical censures, indulgences, and dispensations, and ordained that all causes of complaint should be brought before the episcopal court before being carried to a higher tribunal. It made useful regulations concerning those who should be admitted into diocesan chapters, defined the relations between the bishop and his canons, and arranged for the administration of the dioceses by the appointment of vicars-capitular to act during the interregnum. It ordered the secular clergy to be mindful always of the spiritual dignity to which they had been called, not to indulge in any business unworthy of their sacred office, condemned concubinage in the strongest terms, and commanded priests to look after the religious education of the young, to preach to their flocks on Sundays and holidays, and to attend zealously to the spiritual wants of the souls committed to their charge.
The council recognised, furthermore, that the best method of securing a high standard of priestly life was the careful training of ecclesiastical students. Hence it ordained that in the individual dioceses seminaries should be established, where those who were desirous of entering the clerical state should live apart from the world, and where they should receive the education and discipline necessary for the successful discharge of their future obligations. It put an end to many abuses of monastic life, suppressed questing for alms, drew up rules for the reception of novices, gave the bishop power to deal with irregularities committed outside the monasteries, and subjected all priests both regular and secular to episcopal authority by insisting on the necessity of Approbation for all who wished to act as confessors. Finally, in order to apply a remedy against the many scandals and crimes that resulted from secret marriages, the Council of Trent laid it down that those marriages only should be regarded as valid which should be contracted in the presence of the parish priest of one of the contracting parties and two witnesses.
On the conclusion of the Council of Trent Cardinal Morone hastened to Rome with the decrees to seek the approval of the Pope. Some of the Roman officials, who felt themselves aggrieved by the reforms, advised the Pope to withhold his approval of certain decrees, but Pius IV. rejected this advice. On the 26th January 1564 he issued the Bull of confirmation, and set himself to work immediately to put the reforms into execution. To assist him in this design he appointed a commission, one of the ablest members of which was his own nephew, Charles Borromeo, and he despatched representatives to the princes and bishops to ensure their acceptance of the decrees. As an example to others he established the Roman Seminary for the education of priests for the city. All the princes of Italy received the decrees in a friendly spirit and allowed their publication in their territories, as did also the King of Portugal. Philip II. acted similarly except that he insisted upon the addition of a saving clause |without prejudice to royal authority.| The Emperor Ferdinand I. hesitated for some time, but at last he accepted them in 1566. In France very little opposition was raised to the dogmatic decrees, but as several of the practical reforms, notably those relating to marriages, benefices, ecclesiastical punishments, etc., were opposed to civil law, permission to publish them was refused.
A profession of faith based on the decrees of the Council of Trent and of previous councils was drawn up by Pius IV. (13th Nov.1564), and its recitation made obligatory on those who were appointed to ecclesiastical benefices or who received an academic degree as well as on converts from Protestantism. The Catechism of the Council of Trent (/Catechismus Romanus/) was prepared at the command of Pius V. and published in 1566. It is a valuable work of instruction, approved by the highest authority in the Church, and should be in the hands of all those who have care of souls.
-- -- -- -- --
Hefner, /Die Enstehungsgeschichte des trienter
Pastor, op. cit., v., Ciacconius, /Vitae et res gestae Pontificum Roman/, 1677. (741-98).
Bromato, /Storia di Paolo IV./, 1748.
Kassourtz, /Die Reformvorschlage Kaiser Ferdinands I. auf dem Konzil von Trient/, 1906.
Guillemin, /Le Cardinal de Lorraine, son influence politique et religieuse/, 1881.
Denzinger, /Enchiridion/, 11th edition, 1908 (nos.859, 903, 968, etc.)
Op. cit., nos.958-69.
English translations by Donovan (1829), Buckley (1852), and Dr. Hagan (1912).
(b) The Reforming Activity of the Popes.
Pastor, /Geschichte der Papste im Zeitalter der Renaissance und der Glaubenspaltung/ (Eng. Trans. /History of the Popes/). Ciacconius, /Vitae et res gestae Roman. Pontificum/, 1688. Ranke, /Die Romischen Papste/ (vols.37-39), 1894 (Eng. Trans., 1847). Von Reumont, /Geschichte der Stadt Rom./, 3 Bde, 1867-70. Artaud de Montor, /History of the Popes/, 1867. Theiner, /Annales ecclesiastici/, etc., Rome, 1856.
The Council of Trent had accomplished the work for which it was called. Though it failed to extinguish the rising flames of heresy or to restore peace to the Christian world, it had swept away most of the glaring abuses that had proved the main source of Luther's success, and rendered impossible for the future any misunderstanding about the doctrines that had been called in question. The Catholic Church, purified by the severe trials through which she had passed, stood forth once again active and united under the leadership of the Successor of St. Peter, still face to face it is true with a powerful opposition, but an opposition on which the disintegrating influence of private judgment was already making itself felt. Thus the foundations of the great Catholic Counter-Reformation were laid securely, and a movement was begun which stayed the further advance of Protestantism, secured the allegiance of individuals and nations that were wavering, and won back many who had been seduced from the faith during the early days of the religious upheaval.
But if the labours of the Fathers of Trent were to be productive of the good results that might be anticipated, earnest, religious, energetic Popes were required to give a lead to their spiritual children, whose courage had been damped by over thirty years of almost uninterrupted defeats, to put into force the valuable reforms that had been planned with such minute care, and above all to make the court and city of Rome an example for the princes and people of the world. Here, again, the providence of God watching over His Church was manifested in a striking manner. Pius IV. deserves to be remembered with gratitude by all future generations for the part that he took in bringing to a successful conclusion the Council of Trent in face of almost insuperable difficulties, for having taken such energetic and withal such prudent action to secure the acceptance of its decrees and their reduction into practice, and for having given to Rome and to the Catholic Church so gifted, so saintly, and so disinterested an ecclesiastic as his nephew, the Cardinal-Archbishop of Milan, St. Charles Borromeo.
On the death of Pius IV. the conclave, mainly through the exertions of Cardinal Borromeo, elected Cardinal Ghisleri, who took the title of Pius V. (1566-72) in memory of his predecessor. In his youth the future Pope joined the Order of St. Dominic, and for years had acted as professor of theology, master of novices, and prior. He was noted specially for his simplicity and holiness of life, a holiness which it may be remarked had nothing in common with the morose rigour of Paul IV., for his humility, his love of silence and meditation, and for his kindness towards the poor and the suffering. As a man of good education and of conservative tendencies he was summoned to assist Cardinal Caraffa, then president of the Holy Office, and when the latter became Pope he was created cardinal and appointed Grand Inquisitor. After his election Pius V. followed still the strict life of fasting and prayer to which he had been accustomed as a Dominican friar. He did not seek to create positions, or to carve out estates from the papal territories for his relatives. Anxious to promote the temporal as well as the spiritual welfare of the people in his temporal dominions he took steps to see that justice was meted out to poor and rich, banished women of loose character from the streets, put an end to degrading amusements, enforced the observance of the Sunday, and, backed by St. Charles Borromeo and the princes of Italy, he changed the whole face of the capital and the country. Rome was no longer the half-pagan city of the days of Leo X., nor yet did it partake of the savage rigour of Geneva.
Pius V. was most anxious to enforce the decrees of Trent, and it was for the accomplishment of this object that he had prepared for the instruction of pastors the Catechism of the Council of Trent. In compliance with the wishes of the bishops he published also a revised edition of the Roman Breviary and of the Missal. With the Catholic princes of Europe he maintained very friendly relations. He furnished supplies to Charles IX. of France in his struggle with the Huguenots, and to Philip II. of Spain in his wars against the Calvinists of the Netherlands. He encouraged the Emperor, Ferdinand I., and Maximilian of Bavaria to stand firm against the further encroachments of the Lutherans, and sympathised actively with the unfortunate Queen of Scotland. Having realised that Queen Elizabeth was lost hopelessly to the Church and that she was making every effort to involve the whole English nation in heresy, he directed against her a Bull of excommunication and deposition. But though he endeavoured to cultivate friendly relations with the Catholic rulers he had no intention of abandoning the rights of the Church or of yielding in the slightest to the increasing demands of the civil power. Against the wishes of some of his advisers and to the no small annoyance of the Catholic princes he republished the Bull, known as the /In Coena Domini/, because he commanded that it should be read in all churches on Holy Thursday.
Like his great namesake Pius II. he had especially at heart the defence of Europe against invasion by the Turk. Owing to the religious controversies and the eagerness of some of the princes to ally themselves with the Sultan the followers of Islam had grown bolder, and had shown that they dreamed still of overcoming Western Europe and of planting the crescent even in the very city of the Popes. Pius V. appealed to the rulers of Europe to close up their ranks against their common enemy. He granted generous subsidies to the Knights of Malta and the rulers of Venice and Hungary upon whom the brunt of the struggle must inevitably fall. When on the accession of Selim II. in 1570 the danger was pressing, the Pope succeeded in bringing about a Christian confederacy composed of Spain, Venice, and the Papal States with Don Juan of Austria in command of the Christian forces. For the success of the enterprise the Pope ordered that public prayers and particularly the Rosary should be recited in the churches throughout the world. The decisive struggle between the two forces, as a result of which the Turkish fleet was almost completely annihilated, was fought in the Bay of Lepanto on Sunday, 7th October 1571. In memory of this great victory the Pope instituted the Feast of the Holy Rosary to be celebrated for ever on the first Sunday of October. While he was engaged in making arrangements to follow up his success by driving the Turks beyond the Bosphorus he was called to his reward. Even by his contemporaries Pius V. was regarded as a saint. It is not to be wondered at, therefore, that one hundred years after his death he was beatified, and forty years later, in 1712, he was canonised formally by Clement XI.
When the cardinals met in conclave, mainly by the intervention of Cardinal Granvelle, viceroy of Philip II. in Naples, Cardinal Buoncompagni was elected almost immediately, and proclaimed under the title of Gregory XIII. (1572-85). He had been a distinguished student and professor of law at the University of Bologna, where he had the honour of having as his pupils many of the ablest ecclesiastics of the age. Later on he was sent as confidential secretary to the Council of Trent. On his return from this assembly he was created cardinal, and appointed papal legate in Spain. At the time of his election to the Papacy he had reached his seventieth year. As a young man his life was not blameless from the point of view of morality, but after he became a priest nothing could be urged against his conduct even by his worst enemies. Though it must be admitted that he was not of such an ascetic and spiritual temperament as his predecessor, he was a man of irreproachable character, not over anxious to promote his own relatives, and determined to strengthen the Catholic Church by raising the standard of education and by appointing to the episcopate none but the most worthy ecclesiastics. Hence he drew lavishly upon the funds of the Holy See to erect Catholic Colleges in Rome and in several countries of Europe. He founded the magnificent /Collegium Romanum/ for the education of students from all parts of the world, and placed it under the administration of the Jesuits, in whom he reposed the most signal confidence. As the circumstances that led to the establishment of the /Collegium Germanicum/ had not improved, he conferred on it more generous endowments, and united it later on with the college which he had founded for the Hungarians. Owing to the persecutions in England and Ireland and the suppression of institutions for the education of the clergy, Gregory XIII. founded an English College (1579) and provided funds for the erection of an Irish College. The money intended for this latter institution was spent in assisting the Irish in their wars against Elizabeth. In addition to this, more than twenty colleges situated in various parts of Europe, amongst them being the Scotch College at Pont-a-Mousson, owe their origin in whole or in part to his munificence. He was, also, very determined that none but the most worthy men should be appointed to episcopal sees, and with this object in view he took pains to inquire personally about the merits of distinguished ecclesiastics in each country, and to prepare lists of them for use as vacancies might arise. He was equally careful in the appointments which he made to the college of cardinals. In order to keep touch with the progress of affairs in Germany he established a nunciature at Vienna in 1581, and another at Cologne in the following year. The results of this experiment were so successful that in a short time nunciatures were established in nearly all the Catholic countries.
Like his predecessor he was determined to continue the war against the Turks, but the circumstances were unfavourable in France and in the Empire, while Venice and Spain, the former allies of the Holy See, concluded peace with the Sultan. In England and Ireland neither by peaceful measures nor by the expeditions fitted out by him in connexion with the Desmond Rebellion was he able to achieve any lasting results. His legates succeeded in inducing John III. of Sweden to abjure heresy and to return to the bosom of the Catholic Church, but, unfortunately, the conversion lasted only until political circumstances demanded another change. In Russia his representatives arranged a peace with Poland, and put an end for the time to any active persecution of Catholicism within the Russian dominions. In all parts of Europe, where Catholic rulers found themselves in difficulties, subsidies were sent by Gregory XIII. to their assistance. Charles IX. in France, Philip II. of Spain, Austria, the Knights of Malta, and the Catholics of England and Ireland shared largely in his munificence.
He issued a new edition of the Roman Martyrology in 1584, and directed that it should be used to the exclusion of all others. His predecessor had appointed a committee of jurists to prepare a revised edition of the Decrees of Gratian. He had been a member of that commission, and as Pope he brought the work to a successful conclusion. But the achievement for which he will be best remembered is undoubtedly the Gregorian Calendar. The errors of the calendar had been noticed by many, but how to correct them and prevent them for the future was the problem that was still unsolved. Gregory XIII. appointed a body of experts to examine the subject, the most prominent of whom were the Jesuit Father Clavius and Cardinal Sirleto. The committee had the advantage of having before them the papers of the Italian scientist, Lilius, and the suggestions of the Catholic universities. In 1582 the Gregorian Calendar was published, and was accepted generally in all the Catholic countries of Europe. But for a long time the Protestant countries, believing that nothing good could come from Rome, remained attached to the old style. It was only in 1700 that the Gregorian Calendar was accepted in Germany and Holland, and at a still later period (1752) England consented to the change. The following year Sweden followed suit, and by 1775 the use of the new calendar had become general outside Russia and the other countries involved in the Eastern schism, in which the old style is followed till the present day.
The immense sums expended by Gregory XIII. in endowing colleges and subsidising Catholic sovereigns proved too great a strain on the resources of the papal treasury. To raise funds the Pope was obliged to increase the taxes, to impose tariffs on imports and exports, to curtail the privileges of certain sections of his subjects, and to recall many of the fiefs granted to feudal proprietors. These measures led to grave discontent among all classes. Secret societies were formed, in which the dispossessed nobles encouraged their poorer followers to acts of violence. Robber bands led by some of the younger barons made their appearance in all parts of the Papal States, so that even in the very streets of Rome the lives of the papal officials were not secure. Gregory XIII. was too old to cope with such a serious situation. Before order could be restored he passed away leaving his successor a very difficult task.
After a conclave lasting only four days Cardinal Felice Peretti, better known as the Cardinal di Montalto, secured the required majority of votes, and ascended the papal throne under the name of Sixtus V. (1585-90). He belonged to a very poor family in Italy, had joined the Franciscans as a boy, and had risen from office to office till at last in 1570 he was created cardinal. At the time of his election he was practically unknown, partly because he was not a scion of one of the leading families of Italy, partly, also, because during the reign of Gregory XIII. with whom he was in disagreement he lived a retired life, devoting himself almost completely to the preparation of an edition of the works of St. Ambrose. Throughout the Catholic world the news of his elevation was received with joy. He was a man of strict life and tireless activity, more inclined to act than to speak, unwilling to burthen his spiritual or temporal subjects with new laws, but fully determined to enforce those already made, and almost unchangeable in his views once his decision had been given.
The restoration of order in the Papal States and the suppression of the robbers who terrorised peaceful citizens were the first work to which he directed his attention. Nor was it long till the severe and almost extreme measures he adopted, and in which he was supported by the Italian princes, produced their effect. The bankrupt condition of the papal treasury necessitated a close revision of the papal finances, and so well did Sixtus V. succeed in this respect that he was able to bequeath to his successor immense reserves. Though very careful about expenditure for his own uses or on the papal court he spent money freely on the erection and decoration of churches, and on the improvement of the city of Rome. He extended the Vatican Library, in connexion with which he established a new printing-press, provided a good water supply (/Acqua Felice/), built the Lateran Palace, completed the Quirinal, restored the columns of Trajan and Antoninus, erected the obelisks of the Vatican, St. Mary Major, the Lateran and Santa Maria del Popolo, and built several new streets to beautify the city and to prevent congestion.
His administrative ability manifested itself in the establishment of various congregations, to each of which was committed some particular department of work in the administration of the Church and of the Papal States. Hitherto most of this work had been done by the /auditores/ or the /penitentiarii/ according as it belonged to the external or internal forum, or else in consistories of the cardinals. The idea of Sixtus V. was not entirely a novel one. The Congregation of the Index (1571) and the Holy Office (1588) had been established already, as also a commission to watch over the execution of the decrees of the Council of Trent (1564). By the Bull, /Immensa Aeterni Dei/ (11th Feb.1588) Sixtus V. established fifteen different congregations, the most important of which were the Congregation of the Index, of the Inquisition, of the Signatura, of the Council of Trent, of Rites and Ceremonies, and of Bishops and Regulars. By means of these various bodies the work was done better and more expeditiously without impairing in the slightest the authority of the Pope. In 1586 he issued the Bull, /Postquam verus/ by which he fixed the number of cardinals at seventy, namely, six cardinal-bishops, fifty cardinal-priests and fourteen cardinal-deacons. He had prepared and published a new edition of the Septuagint (1588) as a preparation for the revised edition of the Vulgate, which was brought out later, and was of so faulty a character that it was necessary to withdraw it from circulation.
Sixtus V. had great hopes of inducing the princes of Europe to form an alliance against the Turks, and, indeed, it was with a view to some such struggle that he laid aside such immense reserves, but his hopes were doomed to disappointment. In England no progress could be made, more especially as the defeat of the Spanish Armada served only to strengthen the throne of Elizabeth. The condition of affairs in France was calculated to cause the Pope great anxiety. The murder of the Catholic leaders and the alliance of Henry III. with the Calvinist King of Navarre compelled the Pope to espouse warmly the cause of Spain and the League. But towards the end of his reign Sixtus V. began to realise that Spain's intervention in favour of the League was not nearly so disinterested as it might seem, and that the aim of Spanish statesmen was the union of the two countries in one great empire, an event which, were it to come to pass, might be as dangerous for the Holy See as for the succession of Henry of Navarre. He was, therefore, more inclined to compromise than to fight.
After the death of Urban VII., Gregory XIV., and Innocent X., who followed one another in rapid succession, a large number of the cardinals, determined to put an end to the dominating influence of Spain, put forward as the candidate of their choice Cardinal Aldobrandini, whose election had been vetoed twice before by the Spanish representatives. Notwithstanding the opposition of Spain they succeeded in their effort, and Cardinal Aldobrandini was proclaimed under the title of Clement VIII. (1592-1605). The character of the new Pope both as a man and an ecclesiastic was beyond the shadow of reproach. He was the special disciple and friend of St. Philip Neri who acted as his confessor for thirty years. As Pope his choice of a confessor fell upon the learned and saintly Baronius whom he insisted upon creating cardinal. His activity and zeal were manifested soon in the visitation which he undertook of the churches and institutions of Rome, and during the course of which he suppressed many abuses.
The situation in France was sufficiently delicate. Henry IV. was beginning to recognise that notwithstanding his victories he could never reign as a Calvinist over a united France. Clement VIII. was very decidedly in favour of a solution that would put an end to the war and would prevent France from degenerating into a Spanish province. Hence as soon as the conversion of Henry IV. was proved to be genuine the Pope acknowledged his title as king of France, and exhorted French Catholics to receive him as their ruler. Such a course of action was of necessity displeasing to Spain, but a few years later the Pope had the happiness of putting an end to the struggle between these two countries. During his term of office Clement VIII. founded at Rome a national college for providing priests for the mission in Scotland, issued a revised edition of the Vulgate (1598), of the Breviary, the Missal, the Caerimonial and the Pontifical, and instituted the /Congregatio de Auxilis/ to investigate the matters in dispute between the Thomists and the Molinists. He presided personally at many of its sessions though he never issued a definite sentence. It was also during his reign that the infamous ex-monk Giordano Bruno was condemned by the Inquisition, handed over to the secular power, and burned at the stake (17th Feb.1600). In his youth Giordano joined the Dominicans, from which order he fled because definite charges of heresy, the truth of which he could not deny, were brought against him. Later on he was excommunicated by the Calvinists of Geneva and the Lutherans of Germany, and refused permission to lecture by the professors of Oxford when he visited that seat of learning. Many of his writings are strongly anti-Christian, and some of them thoroughly indecent. He was condemned to die solely on account of his denial of the Divinity of Christ and other heretical views and not, as is said by some, because he defended the Copernican system.
Leo XI. succeeded, but survived his election less than a month. The choice of the conclave then fell upon Cardinal Borghese who took as his title Paul V. (1605-21). He had been a distinguished law student of Bologna and Padua, a papal legate in Spain, and under Clement VIII. cardinal-vicar of Rome. He was a man of great energy and zealous for the promotion of religion. During his reign he canonised St. Charles Borromeo and issued a decree of beatification in favour of Ignatius of Loyola, Francis Xavier, and Philip Neri, provided generous subsidies for the advancement of the missions, endeavoured to bring about a re-union with some of the separated religious bodies of the East, and spent money freely on the decoration of the Roman churches, notably St. Peter's, which he had the honour of completing. Like his predecessors he was desirous of continuing the war against the Turks, but the state of affairs in western Europe rendered such a scheme impossible of realisation. With France and Spain he preserved friendly relations, tried to put an end to the rivalries that weakened the House of Habsburg and the Catholic cause in the Empire, and despatched supplies of both men and money to the assistance of Ferdinand II. in his struggle with the Protestants. He wrote to James I. of England (1606) congratulating him on his accession and his escape from death and asking for toleration of the Catholic religion, in return for which he promised to induce the Catholics to submit to all things not opposed to the law of God. The reply of the king to this overture was the well-known Oath of Allegiance, that led to such ugly controversies among the Catholic body.
As an earnest student of canon law Paul V. was too inclined to maintain all the rights and privileges of the Church as they were expounded in the decretals of the Middle Ages. This attitude of mind brought him into a prolonged and inglorious conflict with the republic of Venice. This latter state, regardless of the /privilegium fori/ imprisoned two clerics without reference to the ecclesiastical authorities, and about the same time gave great offence by passing laws rendering it difficult for the Church to acquire ownership of landed property, to build new churches or monasteries, or to found new religious orders or societies. Paul V. lodged a solemn protest against these innovations. When his demands were not complied with he issued a sentence of excommunication against the Doge, Senate, and Government, and later on he placed Venice under interdict (1606). The quarrel was so bitter that at one time it was feared that it might end in separating the republic from the centre of unity. Cardinals Baronius and Bellarmine entered the lists in defence of the Pope, while the notorious ex-Servite, Paul Sarpi (1552-1623), undertook to reply to them on behalf of Venice. The government forbade the promulgation of the interdict, and threatened the most severe punishment against all clergy who should observe it. With the exception of the Jesuits, Capuchins, and Theatines who were expelled, the clergy both secular and regular took no notice of the interdict. It was feared that in the end the issues could be decided only by war in which Spain was prepared to support the Pope, but through the friendly intervention of Henry IV. of France peace was concluded without any very decisive victory on either side (1607). The clergy who were expelled for obeying the interdict were allowed to return except the Jesuits. These latter were permitted to settle in Venice again only in 1657.
On the death of Paul V. Cardinal Ludovisi ascended the papal throne under the title of Gregory XV. (1621-23). The new Pope had been educated by the Jesuits, and had risen rapidly in the service of the Church. At the time of his election he was old and infirm, but by the appointment of his nephew Ludovico to the college of cardinals he secured for himself an able and loyal assistant. To put an end to several abuses that had taken place in connexion with papal elections he published the Bull, /Decet Romanum Pontificem/ (1622), in which were laid down minute regulations about conclaves, the most important of which were that the cardinals should vote secretly, that they should vote only for one candidate, and that no elector should vote for himself. In providing funds for the assistance of the Catholic missions Gregory XV. was very generous as was also his cardinal- nephew. The success of the missionaries had been so great, and the conditions of the various countries in which they laboured so different, that proper supervision of the new provinces of the Church was by no means easy. Gregory XIII. and Clement VIII. had appointed commissions to look after the spiritual wants of particular districts, but it was reserved for Gregory XV. to establish a permanent congregation, /De Propaganda Fide/ (Bull, /Inscrutabili/, 1622) to superintend the entire field of Catholic missions. He had the honour, too, of canonising St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Francis Xavier, and St. Philip Neri, and of approving the foundation of several new religious orders.
During the Thirty Years' War he afforded every possible assistance to Ferdinand II., and helped to secure the Palatinate for Maximilian of Bavaria on the expulsion of Frederick. In return for this favour Maximilian presented the Pope with a goodly portion of the library of Heidelberg. By the judicious interposition of Gregory XV. war was averted between Spain and Austria on the one side and France, Venice, and Savoy on the other regarding the possession of the Valtelline, while in England, though the Spanish Match which he favoured was broken off, he succeeded in securing some respite for the persecuted Catholics.
In the conclave that followed upon the death of Gregory XV. Cardinal Barberini received the support of the electors and was proclaimed Pope as Urban VIII. (1623-44). The new Pope was a man of exemplary life whose greatest fault was his excessive partiality towards his relatives, though it must be said that some of the relatives on whom he bestowed favours were by no means unworthy of them. As a native of Florence he seems to have caught up something of the spirit of classical learning for which that city had been so renowned, as was shown unfortunately too clearly in the Breviary that he published in 1632. He issued the Bull, /In Coena Domini/ in its final form, founded a national college in Rome for students from Ireland, and issued a series of strict and minute regulations on canonisation and beatification, many of which remain in force till the present time. The interests of the foreign missions were specially dear to the heart of Urban VIII. To provide a supply of priests for them he established the celebrated /Collegium Urbanum/ (1627), and established there a printing-press for the use of the missionaries. He reduced the number of holidays of obligation, opened China and Japan, till then reserved for the Jesuits, to all missionaries, and forbade slavery of whatsoever kind in Paraguay, Brazil and the West Indies.
For many reasons the political policy of Urban VIII. has been criticised very severely. Too much money was wasted by him in fortifying the Papal States and on the disastrous war with the Duke of Parma (1641-44). He has been blamed also for his failure to support Ferdinand II. more energetically during the Thirty Years' War, but in reality this hostile view is based largely on a distorted view of the war itself and of the policy of the Pope. It is not true that the Pope sympathised with Gustavus Adolphus or that he grieved over his death. Neither is it true that he procured the dismissal of Wallenstein from the imperial service. It is a fact undoubtedly that he did not take energetic measures to prevent the French from assisting the Protestant princes and the Swedes against the Emperor, but it remains to be proved that any remonstrances from the Pope, however strong, would have proved effectual in the circumstances. In the later stages at any rate the war could not be regarded at first sight as a religious one, but at the same time it is to be regretted that Urban VIII. did not recognise that the triumph of the enemies of the Emperor meant a triumph for Lutheranism. In the war between Spain and Portugal consequent upon the proclamation of the Duke of Braganza he endeavoured to preserve an attitude of neutrality by refusing to appoint to episcopal sees in Portugal the candidates presented by the new king. The policy of Urban VIII. in regard to England and Ireland will be dealt with under these countries.
When the conclave met to elect a successor to Urban VIII. it was soon discovered that some of the cardinals wished to elect a Pope friendly to Spain, wile others favoured a pro-French Pope. At length, as neither party was sufficiently strong to ensure the required majority for its nominee, a more or less neutral candidate was found in the person of Cardinal Pamfili who took the title of Innocent X. (1644- 55). He was a man of advanced years, who had served in many offices with success, and who possessed many of the qualifications required in a good ruler of the Church. Unfortunately, his flagrant nepotism did him much harm and gave occasion to ugly rumours utterly devoid of truth. Finding the papal treasury empty after his election and believing that the relatives of the late Pope were responsible for this, he took steps to secure a return from them; but they fled to France, where they placed themselves under the protection of Cardinal Mazarin, who succeeded in bringing about a reconciliation. Innocent X. restored order in the Papal States, punished the Duke of Parma for his crimes, especially for his supposed connexion with the murder of the Bishop of Castro, and maintained friendly relations with Venice, which he assisted against the Turks. He was deeply pained by the terms of the Peace of Westphalia (1648) against which his representatives had protested in vain, and which he condemned in the Bull, /Zelus Domus Dei/ published in November 1648.
-- -- -- -- --
/Catena, Vita del gloriossisimo Papa Pio V./, 1587. Gabutius, /De Vita et rebus gestis Pii V./, 1605. Antony, /Saint Pius V./, 1911. Grente, /Saint Pie V./, (|/Les Saints/|), 1914.
Julien, /Papes et Sultans/, 1880. De la Graviere, /La Guerre de Chypre et la bataille de Lepante/, 1888.
Pieper, /Zur Enstehungsgeschichte der standigen Nuntiaturem/, 1894.
Pierling, /Gregoire XIII. et Ivan le Terrible/ (/Revue des Quest. Histor./, 1886).
Hubner, /Sixte-Quint/, 3 vols., 1870.
/Bullar. Rom./, iv.4, 392.
Wadding, /Vita Clementis VIII./, Rome, 1723.
McIntyre, /Giordano Bruno/, 1903.
Bzovius, /Vita Pauli V./, 1625.
Campbell, /Vita di Fra Paolo Sarpi/, 1875. /Irish Ecc. Record/ xv., 524-40.
/Bullar. Romanum/ (xii., 662 sqq.).
Chinazzi, /Sede vacante per la morte del papa Urbano VIII. e conclave di Innocenzo X./, 1904.
(c) The Religious Orders and the Counter-Reformation.
Helyot, /Histoire des ordres monastiques religieux/, etc., 8 vols., 1714-19. Heimbucher, /Die Orden und Kongregationen der Katholischen Kirche/, 1907-8. Mabillon, /Annales Ordinis Sancti Benedicti/, 1703-39. Albers, /Zur Reformgeschichte des Benediktiner-ordens im 16 Jahrhundert/ (/Stud. u-Mitteil/, 1900, 1901). Daurignac, /Histoire de la comp. de Jesus/, 1862. Cretineau-Joly, /Histoire religieuse, politique et litteraire de la comp. de Jesus/, 1859. Huber, /Der Jesuitenorden Duhr, Jesuitenfabeln/, 1904. Abelly, /Vie de Ven. serviteur de Dieu, Vincent de Paul/, 1891. Bougaud-Brady, /History of St. Vincent de Paul, etc./, 1908. Boyle, /St. Vincent de Paul, and the Vincentians in Ireland, Scotland, and England/, 1909.
The religious orders, like most other institutions of the age preceding the Reformation, stood badly in need of re-organisation and reform. Various causes had combined to bring about a relaxation of the discipline prescribed by their holy founders, and to introduce a spirit of worldliness, that boded ill both for the individual members as well as for the success of the work for which these orders had been established. The interference of outside authorities lay or ecclesiastical in the appointment of superiors, the union of several houses under one superior, the accumulation of wealth, the habitual neglect of the superiors to make their visitations, and a general carelessness in the selection and training of the candidates to be admitted into the various institutions, were productive of disastrous results. It is difficult, however, to arrive at a correct estimate as to the extent of the evil, because the condition of affairs varied very much in the different religious orders and in the different provinces and houses of the same order. At all times a large proportion of the religious of both sexes recognised and deplored the spirit of laxity that had crept in, and laboured strenuously for a return to the old ideals long before the Lutheran campaign had made it necessary to choose between reform and suppression.
The Benedictines, who had done excellent work for the promotion of the spiritual and temporal welfare of the people amongst whom they laboured, suffered more than any other body from the interference of lay patrons in the appointment of abbots, as well as from the want of any central authority capable of controlling individual houses and of insisting upon the observance of the rules and constitution. Various efforts were made, however, to introduce reforms during the sixteenth century. In France the most important of these reforms was that begun in the abbey of St. Vannes by the abbot, Didier de la Cour. Recognising the sad condition of affairs he laboured incessantly to bring about a return to the strict rule of St. Benedict. His efforts were approved by Clement VIII. in 1604. Many houses in France having accepted the reform, it was resolved to unite them into one congregation under the patronage of St. Maur, the disciple of St. Benedict. The new congregation of St. Maur was sanctioned by Louis XIII. and by Pope Gregory XV. (1621). The Maurists devoted themselves to the study of the sacred sciences, more especially to history, liturgy and patrology, and set an example of thorough scholarship which won for them the praise of both friends and foes. The names of D'Achery, Mabillon, Ruinart, Martene, Thierry, Lami and Bouquet are not likely to be forgotten so long as such works as the /Amplissima Collectio Veterum Scriptorum/, /Thesaurus Anecdotorum/, /Gallia Christiana/, /Histoire Litteraire de la France/, /De Re Diplomatica/, /L'Art de verifier les dates/, the /Receuil des historiens des Gaules/, etc., survive to testify to the labours and research of the Congregation of St. Maur.
The reform movement among the Dominicans had made itself manifest from the days of Raymond of Capua (1390), who ordered that in every province there should be at least one house where the rule of St. Dominic might be observed in its original strictness. The success of the reform varied in the different countries and even in the different houses of the same province, but in the sixteenth century the general tendency was undoubtedly upwards. The religious rebellion inflicted serious losses on the order and led to the almost complete extinction of provinces that once were flourishing; but the Spanish and Portuguese discoveries in America and the spread of the missionary movement opened up for the order new fields, where its members were destined to do lasting service to religion and to win back in the New World more than they had lost in the Old. Discipline among the Cistercians, too, had become relaxed, but a general improvement set in which led to the formation of new congregations, the principal of which were the Congregation of the Feuillants approved by Sixtus V. (1587), and of the Trappists, which take their name from the monastery of La Trappe and owe their origin to the zealous efforts of the Abbot de Rance (1626-1700).
The Franciscans were divided already into the Observants and the Conventuals, but even among the Observants the deteriorating influence of the age had made itself felt. Matteo di Bassi set himself in the convent of Monte Falco to procure a complete return to the original rule of St. Francis, and proceeded to Rome to secure the approbation of Clement VII. In 1528 by the Bull, /Religionis Zelus/ the Pope permitted himself and his followers to separate from the Observants, to wear the hood (/cappuccio/, hence the name Capuchins) which Matteo claimed to have been the dress of St. Francis, to wear the beard, to found separate houses in Italy, and to preach to the people. Soon the Capuchins spread through Italy, and so popular did they become that Gregory XIII. withdrew the regulations by which they were forbidden to found separate houses outside of Italy. The new order suffered many trials more especially after the apostasy of its vicar- general Ochino in 1544, but with the blessing of God these difficulties were overcome. The Capuchins rendered invaluable service to religion by their simple straightforward style of preaching so opposed as it was to the literary vapourings that passed for sermons at the time, by their familiar intercourse with the poor whom they assisted in both spiritual and temporal misfortunes, by their unswerving loyalty to the Pope and by the work they accomplished on the foreign missions, more especially in those lands which had once been the glory of the Church but where religion had been extinguished almost completely by the domination of the Saracen.
The revival was not confined, however, merely to a reform of the older religious orders. The world had changed considerably since the constitutions of these bodies had been formulated by their holy founders. New conditions and new dangers necessitated the employment of new weapons and new methods for the defence of religion. Fortunately a band of zealous men were raised up by God to grapple with the problems of the age, and to lay the foundation of religious societies, many of which were destined to confer benefits on religion hardly less permanent and less valuable than had been conferred in other times by such distinguished servants of God as St. Benedict, St. Dominic, and St. Francis of Assisi.
The Theatines, so called from Chieti (Theate) the diocese of Peter Caraffa, had their origin in a little confraternity founded by Gaetano di Tiene a Venetian, who gathered around him a few disciples, all of them like himself zealous for the spiritual improvement of both clergy and people (1524). During a visit to Rome Gaetano succeeded in eliciting the sympathy of Peter Caraffa (then bishop of Theate and afterwards cardinal and Pope) and in inducing him to become the first superior of the community. The institution was approved by Clement VII. in 1524. Its founders aimed at introducing a higher standard of spiritual life amongst both clergy and laity by means of preaching and by the establishment of charitable institutions. The order spread rapidly in Italy, where it did much to save the people from the influence of Lutheranism, in Spain were it was assisted by Philip II., in France where Cardinal Mazarin acted as its patron, and in the foreign missions, especially in several parts of Asia, the Theatines won many souls to God.
The Regular Clerics of St. Paul, better known as the Barnabites from their connexion with the church of St. Barnabas at Milan, were founded by Antony Maria Zaccaria of Cremona, Bartholomew Ferrari and Jacopo Morigia. Shocked by the low state of morals then prevalent in so many Italian cities, these holy men gathered around them a body of zealous young priests, who aimed at inducing the people by means of sermons and instructions to take advantage of the sacrament of Penance. The order was approved by Clement VII. in 1533, and received many important privileges from his successors. Its members worked in complete harmony with the secular clergy and in obedience to the commands of the bishops. They bound themselves not to seek or accept any preferment or dignity unless at the express direction of the Pope. In Milan they were beloved by St. Charles Borromeo who availed himself freely of their services, and they were invited to Annecy by St. Francis de Sales. Several houses of the Barnabites were established in Italy, France, and Austria. In addition to their work of preaching and instructing the people they established many flourishing colleges, and at the request of the Pope undertook charge of some of the foreign missions.
The founder of the Oblates was St. Charles Borromeo (1538-84) who was created cardinal by his uncle Pius IV., at the age of twenty- three, and who during his comparatively short life did more for the reform of the Church and for the overthrow of Protestantism than any individual of his age. It was due mainly to his exertions that the Council of Trent was re-convoked, and to his prudent advice that it was carried to a successful conclusion. Once the decrees of the Council had received the approval of the Pope St. Charles spared no pains to see that they were put into execution not only in his own diocese of Milan but throughout the entire Church. For a long time personal government of his diocese was impossible as his presence in Rome was insisted upon by the Pope; but as soon as he could secure permission he hastened to Milan, where he repressed abuses with a stern hand, introduced regular diocesan and provincial synods, visited in person the most distant parts of the diocese, won back thousands who had gone over to heresy in the valleys of Switzerland, and defended vigorously the rights and the liberties of the Church against the Spanish representatives. In all his reforms he was supported loyally by the religious orders, more especially by the Jesuits and the Barnabites, with whom he maintained at all times the most friendly relations. At the same time he felt the need of a community of secular priests, who while remaining under the authority of the bishop would set an example of clerical perfection, and who would be ready at the request of the bishop to volunteer for the work that was deemed most pressing. he was particularly anxious that such a body should undertake the direction of the diocesan seminary, and should endeavour to send forth well educated and holy priests. With these objects in view he established the Oblates in 1578, and the community fully justified his highest expectations.
The Oratorians were established by St. Philip Neri (1515-95) the reformer and one of the patrons of Rome. He was a native of Florence, who when still a young man turned his back upon a promising career in the world in order to devote himself entirely to the service of God. Before his ordination he laboured for fifteen years visiting the sick in the hospitals, assisting the poorer pilgrims, and instructing the young. He formed a special confraternity, and gathered around him a body of disciples both cleric and lay. After his ordination they were accustomed to hold their conferences in a little room (/Oratorium/, Oratory) over the church of St. Girolmao. Here sermons and instructions were given on all kinds of subjects, particularly on the Sacred Scriptures, the writings of the Fathers, and the leading events in the history of the Church. The society was approved by Gregory XIII. (1575) under the title of the Congregation of the Oratory. It was to be composed of secular priests living together under a rule, but bound by no special vows. St. Philip Neri was convinced that the style of preaching in vogue at the time was responsible in great measure for the decline of religion and morality. Being a man of sound education himself he insisted that his companions should devote themselves to some particular department of ecclesiastical knowledge, and should give the people the fruits of their study. Baronius, for example, the author of the celebrated /Annales Ecclesiastici/, is said to have preached for thirty years on the history of the Church. In this way St. Philip provided both for sound scholarship and useful instruction. Many branches of the Oratory were founded in Italy, Spain, Portugal, and in the Spanish and Portuguese colonies in South America.
Recognising the need for an improvement in the education and lives of the French clergy and mindful of the benefits conferred on Rome by the community of St. Philip Neri, the Abbe, afterwards Cardinal, Pierre de Berulle determined to found an Oratory in Paris. The Paris Oratorians were a community of secular priests bound by no special vows, but living under a common rule with the object of fulfilling as perfectly as possible the obligations they had undertaken at their ordination. The project received the warm support of Cardinal Richelieu and was approved by Paul V. in 1613. At the time clerical education in Paris and throughout France was in a condition of almost hopeless confusion. The French Oratorians, devoted as they were themselves to study, determined to organise seminaries on the plan laid down by the Council of Trent, and to take charge of the administration of such institutions. In philosophy the Oratory produced scholars such as Malebranche, in theology Thomassin and Morin, in Scripture Houbigant and Richard Simon, and in sacred eloquence such distinguished preachers as Lajeune and Massillon. The Oratorians survived the stormy days of the Jansenist struggle though the peace of the community was disturbed at times by the action of a few of its members, but it went down before the wild onslaught of the Revolution. It was revived, however, by Pere Gratry in 1852.
The Brothers of Charity were founded by a Portuguese, who having been converted by a sermon of St. John d'Avila, devoted himself to the relief of human suffering in every form. On account of his great charity and zeal for souls he received the surname, St. John of God. He gathered around him a band of companions who assisted him in caring for the sick in the hospital he had founded at Granada. After his death in 1550 the work that he had begun was carried on by his disciples, whose constitutions were approved by Pius V. in 1572. Soon through the generosity of Philip II. and of the Spanish nobles hospitals were established in various cities of Spain, and placed under the control of the Brothers of St. John of God. They were invited by the Pope to open a house in Rome, and they went also to Paris on the invitation of the queen (1601). At the time of the French Revolution they had charge of forty hospitals, from all of which they were expelled. The founder was canonised in 1690, and named as patron of hospitals by Leo XIII. in 1898.
The Piarists or Patres Piarum Scholarum were founded by St. Joseph Calazansa (1556-1648), who had been vicar-general of the diocese of Urgel in Spain, an office which he resigned in order to betake himself to Rome. Here he began to gather the poorer children for instruction, and as the teachers were unwilling to assist him unless they were given extra remuneration, he opened a free school in Rome in 1597. The school was taught by himself and two or three priests whom he had interested in the work. From these unpretentious beginnings sprang the society of the Fathers of the Pious Schools. The object of the society, which was composed of priests, was the education of the young both in primary and secondary schools. The society was approved by Paul V., and established finally as a recognised institution by Gregory XV. (1621). It spread rapidly into Italy, Austria, and Poland. Somewhat akin to the Piarists were the Fathers of Christian Doctrine, founded by Caesar de Bus for the purpose of educating the young. The society was composed of priests, and received the approval of Clement VIII. in 1597. Later on it united with the Somaschans, who had been established by St. Jerome Aemilian with a similar purpose, but on account of certain disputes that arose the two bodies were separated in 1647.
The Brothers of the Christian Schools were founded by John Baptist de la Salle (1651-1719). The founder was a young priest of great ability, who had read a distinguished course in arts and theology before his ordination. Having been called upon to assist in conducting a free school opened at Rheims in 1679 he threw himself into the work with vigour, devoting nearly all his energies to the instruction of the teachers. These he used to gather around him after school hours to encourage them to their work, to suggest to them better methods of imparting knowledge and generally to correct any defects that he might have noticed during the course of his daily visits to the schools. In this way he brought together a body of young men interested in the education of the children of the poor, from which body were developed the Brothers of the Christian Schools. At first he intended that some of the congregation should be priests, but later on he changed his mind, and made it a rule that none of the Brothers should become priests, nor should any priest be accepted as a novice. For a long time the holy founder was engaged in an uphill struggle during which the very existence of the institute was imperilled. Distrusted by some of the ecclesiastical authorities, attacked by enemies on all side, deserted by a few of his own most trusted disciples, a man of less zeal and determination would have abandoned the project in despair. But de la Salle was not discouraged. He composed a constitution for his followers, and in 1717 he held a general chapter, in which he secured the election of a superior-general. From this time the Institute of Christian Brothers progressed by leaps and bounds. The holy founder of the society was a pioneer in the work of primary education. In teaching, in the grading of the pupils, and in constructing and furnishing the schools new methods were followed; more liberty was given in the selection of programmes to suit the districts in which schools were opened; normal schools were established to train the young teachers for their duties, and care was taken that religious and secular education should go forward hand in hand. The society spread rapidly in France, more especially after it had received the approval of Louis XV., and had been recognised as a religious congregation by Benedict XIII. (1725). During the Revolution the society was suppressed, and the Brothers of the Christian Schools suffered much rather than prove disloyal to the Pope. In 1803 the institute was re-organised, and since that time houses have been opened in nearly every part of the world. John Baptist de la Salle was canonised by Leo XIII. in 1900.
The Congregation of the Priests of the Mission, better known as Lazarists from the priory of St. Lazare which they occupied in Paris, and as Vincentians from the name of their founder, St. Vincent de Paul, was established in 1624. St. Vincent was born at Pouy in Gascony in 1576, received his early education at a Franciscan school, and completed his theological studies at the University of Toulouse, where he was ordained in 1600. Four years later the ship on which he journeyed from Marseilles having been attacked by Barbary pirates, he was taken prisoner and brought to Tunis, where he was sold as a slave. He succeeded in making his escape from captivity (1607) by converting his master, a Frenchman who had deserted his country and his religion. He went to Rome, from which he was despatched on a mission to the French Court, and was appointed almoner to queen Margaret of Valois. Later on he became tutor to the family of the Count de Gondi, the master of the French galleys. During his stay there St. Vincent found time to preach to the peasants on the estate of his employer, and to visit the prisoners condemned to the galleys. The splendid results of his labours among these classes bore such striking testimony to the success of his missions that St. Vincent was induced to found a congregation of clergymen for this special work. Something of this kind was required urgently in France at this period. The absence of seminaries and the want of any properly organised system of clerical education had produced their natural consequences on the clergy. In the country districts particularly, the priests had neither the knowledge nor the training that would enable them to discharge their sacred functions. From this it followed that the people were not instructed, and the sacraments were neglected.
By opening a house in Paris in 1624 St. Vincent took the first practical step towards the foundation of a religious congregation, that was destined to renew and to strengthen religion in France. Later on the society received the sanction of the Archbishop of Paris, and of Louis XIII., and finally it was approved by Urban VIII. in the Bull, /Salvatoris Nostri/, dated 12th January 1632. In the same year St. Vincent took possession of the priory of St. Lazare placed at his disposal by the canons regular of St. Victor. The Congregation of the Mission was to be a congregation of secular clergymen, bound by simple religious vows. Its principal work, besides the sanctification of its own members, was to give missions to the poor particularly in country districts, and to promote a high standard of clerical life. The bishops of France were delighted with the programme of the new congregation. Invitations poured in from all sides on the disciples of St. Vincent asking them to undertake missions, and wherever they went their labours were attended with success. As a rule St. Vincent established a confraternity of charity in the parishes that he visited to help the poor and above all to look after the homeless orphans.
It was not long until he discovered that, however successful his missions might be, they could effect little permanent good unless the priests in charge of the parishes were determined to continue the work that had been begun, and to reap the harvest which the missioners had planted. At that time there were no seminaries in France, so that candidates for the priesthood were ordained on the completion of their university course without any special training for their sacred office. At the request of some of the bishops St. Vincent determined to give retreats to those who were preparing for Holy Orders. At first these retreats lasted only ten days, but they were productive of such splendid results that they were extended to several months. Finally they led to the establishment of clerical seminaries, of which institutions St. Vincent and his associates took charge in several of the dioceses of France. Before his death they had control of eleven French seminaries; and at the time of the Revolution fully one-third of the diocesan seminaries were in the hands of his disciples. By means of retreats for the clergy, and spiritual conferences organised for their improvement St. Vincent kept in close touch with those whom he had trained, and afforded them an opportunity of renewing their fervour and completing their education.
It was fortunate for France that God had raised up a man so prudent and zealous as St. Vincent to be a guide to both priests and people during the difficult times through which the country was then passing. From without, danger threatened the Church on the side of the Huguenot heretics, and from within, Jansenism and Gallicanism bade fair to captivate the sympathy of both clergy and people. At first St. Vincent was on friendly terms with the Abbot de St. Cyran, the leader of the Jansenists in France, but once he realised the dangerous nature of his opinions and the errors contained in such publications as the /Augustus/ of Jansen and the /Frequent Communion/ of Arnauld he threw himself vigorously into the campaign against Jansenism. At court, in his conferences with bishops and priests, in university circles, and in the seminaries he exposed the insidious character of its tenets. At Rome he urged the authorities to have recourse to stern measures, and in France he strove hard to procure acceptance of the Roman decisions. And yet in all his work against the Jansenists there was nothing of the bitterness of the controversialist. He could strike hard when he wished, but he never forgot that charity is a much more effective weapon than violence. In his own person he set the example of complete submission to the authority of the Pope, and enjoined such submission on his successors. St. Vincent died in 1660. His loss was mourned not merely by his own spiritual children, the Congregation of the Mission and the Sisters of Charity, but by the poor of Paris and of France to whom he was a generous benefactor, as well as by the bishops and clergy to whom he had been a friend and a guide. To his influence more than to any other cause is due the preservation of France to the Church in the seventeenth century.
But the work of the Congregation of the Mission was not confined to France. Its disciples spread into Italy, Spain, Portugal, Poland, Ireland, and England. They went as missionaries to Northern Africa to labour among the Barbary pirates by whom St. Vincent had been captured, to Madagascar, to some of the Portuguese colonies in the East, to China, and to the territories of the Sultan. At the Revolution most of their houses in France were destroyed, and many of the Vincentians suffered martyrdom. When the worst storms, however, had passed the congregation was re-established in France, and its members laboured earnestly in the spirit of its holy founder to recover much of what had been lost.
The founder of the Sulpicians was Jean Jacques Olier (1608-57) the friend and disciple of St. Vincent de Paul. Impressed with the importance of securing a good education and training for the clergy, he and a couple of companions retired to a house in Vaugirard (1641), where they were joined by a few seminarists, who desired to place themselves under his direction. Later on he was offered the parish of St. Sulpice, then one of the worst parishes in Paris from the point of view of religion and morality. The little community of priests working under the rules compiled by Olier for their guidance soon changed completely the face of the entire district. House to house visitations were introduced; sermons suitable to the needs of the people were given; catechism classes were established, and in a very short time St. Sulpice became the model parish of the capital.
In 1642 a little seminary was opened and rules were drawn up for the direction of the students, most of whom attended the theological lectures at the Sorbonne. Priests and students formed one community, and as far as possible followed the same daily routine. During their free time the students assisted in the work of the parish by visiting the sick and taking charge of classes for catechism. At first Olier had no intention of founding seminaries throughout France. His aim was rather to make St. Sulpice a national seminary, from which young priests might go forth properly equipped, and qualified to found diocesan institutions on similar lines if their superiors favoured such an undertaking. But yielding to the earnest solicitations of several of the bishops he opened seminaries in several parts of France, and entrusted their administration to members of his own community. The first of these was founded at Nantes in 1648. During the lifetime of the founder a few of the Sulpicians were despatched to Canada, where they established themselves at Montreal, and laboured zealously for the conversion of the natives. Like St. Vincent, the founder of the Sulpicians worked incessantly against Jansenism, and impressed upon his followers the duty of prompt obedience to the bishops and to the Pope, lessons which they seem never to have forgotten. The Sulpicians according to their constitution are a community of secular priests bound by no special religious vows.
The religious order, however, that did most to stem the advancing tide of heresy and to raise the drooping spirits of the Catholic body during the saddest days of the sixteenth century was undoubtedly the Society of Jesus, founded by St. Ignatius of Loyola. By birth St. Ignatius was a Spaniard, and by profession he was a soldier. Having been wounded at the siege of Pampeluna in 1521 he turned his mind during the period of his convalescence to the study of spiritual books, more particularly the Lives of the Saints. As he read of the struggles some of these men had sustained and of the victories they had achieved he realised that martial fame was but a shadow in comparison with the glory of the saints, and he determined to desert the army of Spain to enrol himself among the servants of Christ. With the overthrow of the Moorish kingdom of Granada fresh in his mind, it is not strange that he should have dreamt of the still greater triumph that might be secured by attacking the Mahomedans in the very seat of their power, and by inducing them to abandon the law of the Prophet for the Gospel of the Christians. With the intention of preparing himself for this work he bade good-bye to his friends and the associations of his youth, and betook himself to a lonely retreat at Manresa near Montserrat, where he gave himself up to meditation and prayer under the direction of a Benedictine monk. The result of his stay at Manresa and of his communings with God are to be seen in the /Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius/, a work which in the hands of his disciples has done wonders for the conversion and perfection of souls, and which in the opinion of those competent to judge has no serious rivals except the Bible and the Imitation of Christ. From Manresa he journeyed to the Holy Land to visit its sacred shrines, and to labour for the conversion of the Infidel conquerors, but having found it impossible to undertake this work at the time he returned to Europe.
Realising that his defective education was a serious obstacle to the establishment of the religious order that he contemplated, he went to work with a will to acquire the rudiments of grammar. When this had been accomplished successfully he pursued his higher studies at Alcala, Salamanca, and Paris, where he graduated as a doctor in 1534. But while earnest in the pursuit of knowledge he never forgot that knowledge was but a means of preparing himself for the accomplishment of the mission to which God had called him. While at Paris he gathered around him a group of students, Francis Xavier, Lainez, Salmeron, Bodadilla, Rodriguez and Faber, with which body Lejay, Codure and Broet were associated at a later period. On the feast of the Assumption (1534) Ignatius and his companions wended their way to the summit of Montmartre overlooking the city of Paris, where having received Holy Communion they pledged themselves to labour in the Holy Land. Having discovered that this project was almost impossible they determined to place themselves at the disposal of the Pope. In Rome Ignatius explained the objects and rules of the proposed society to Paul III. and his advisers. In September 1540 the approval of the Pope was obtained though with certain restrictions, which were abolished in 1543, and in the following year Ignatius was elected first general of the Society of Jesus.
St. Ignatius had the greatest respect for the older religious orders, the Benedictines, the Dominicans, and the Franciscans, to all of which he was deeply indebted; but he believed that the new conditions under which his followers would be called upon to do battle for Christ necessitated new rules and a new constitution. The Society of Jesus was not to be a contemplative order seeking only the salvation of its own members. Its energies were not to be confined to any particular channel. No extraordinary fasts or austerities were imposed, nor was the solemn chanting of the office or the use of a particular dress insisted upon. The society was to work |for the greater glory of God| in whatever way the circumstances demanded. On one thing only did St. Ignatius lay peculiar emphasis, and that was the absolute necessity of obedience to superiors in all things lawful, and above all of obedience to the Pope. The wisdom of this injunction is evident enough at all times, but particularly in an age when religious authority, even that of the successor of St. Peter, was being called in question by so many. Members of the society were forbidden to seek or accept any ecclesiastical dignities or preferments.
The constitution of the Society of Jesus was not drawn up with undue haste. St. Ignatius laid down rules for his followers, but it was only when the value of these regulations had been tested by practice that he embodied them in the constitution, endorsed by the first general congregation held in 1558. According to the constitution complete administrative authority is vested in the general, who is elected by a general congregation, and holds office for life. He is assisted by a council consisting of a representative from each province. The provincials, rectors of colleges, heads of professed houses, and masters of notices are appointed by the general, usually, however, only for a definite number of years, while all minor officials are appointed by the provincial. The novitiate lasts for two years during which time candidates for admission to the order are engaged almost entirely in prayer, meditation, and spiritual reading. When the novitiate has been completed the scholasticate begins. Students are obliged to read a course in arts and philosophy and to teach in some of the colleges of the society, after which they proceed to the study of theology. When the theological course has been ended they are admitted as coadjutors or professed members according to their ability and conduct. Between these two bodies, the coadjutors and the professed, there is very little difference, except that the professed in addition to the ordinary vows pledge themselves to go wherever the Pope may send them, and besides, it is from this body as a rule that the higher officials of the order are selected. Lay brothers are also attached to the society.
When the Society of Jesus was founded, Protestantism had already made great strides in Northern Europe, and though the Latin countries were not then affected no man could foresee what change a decade of years might bring. St. Ignatius adopted the best precautions against the spread of heresy. While he himself remained in Rome engaged in organising the members of his society and in establishing colleges and charitable institutions, he sent his followers to all parts of Italy. Bishops availed themselves freely of their services as preachers and teachers. Colleges were opened in Venice, Naples, Bologna, Florence, and in many other leading cities. St. Charles Borromeo became the patron and defender of the society in Milan. Everywhere the labours of the Jesuits led to a great religious revival, while by means of their colleges they strengthened the faith of the rising generation. In Spain, too, the home of St. Ignatius the Jesuits received a friendly welcome. Their colleges were crowded with students, as were their churches with the faithful. Difficulties, indeed, arose owing to the tendency of some of the Spanish Jesuits to have none but Spanish superiors, but with a little prudence these difficulties were overcome in 1593. Most of the best known writers on ecclesiastical subjects, Vasquez, Suarez, De Lugo, and Ripalda on Dogmatic Theology, Sanchez on Moral Theology, and Maldonatus and Pereira on Scripture belonged to the Spanish province.
In France the society met with serious difficulties at first. Hatred of Spain and of everything that savoured of Spanish origin, dislike of what was considered the excessive loyalty of the society to the Pope, and jealousy on the part of the University of Paris were the principal obstacles that were to be overcome. But notwithstanding these the Jesuits found a home in Paris, where they opened the College de Clermont (Louis-le-Grand), and they founded similar colleges in several of the leading cities of France. In the struggle against the Calvinists they were of great assistance to the Catholic body. The progress of their numerous colleges and the influence which they acquired over the young men roused the fierce opposition of the University, but being befriended by the court, where they were retained as royal confessors, the Jesuits were enabled to hold their ground. During the wars of the League against Henry III. and Henry of Navarre, though their position was one of extreme delicacy, the prudent action of their general, Aquaviva, in recommending his subjects to respect the consciences of both parties saved the situation. They were, however, expelled from Paris in 1594, but Henry IV. allowed them to return in 1603.
In the German States, Hungary, and Poland, where the fate of Catholicity seemed trembling in the balance, the Jesuit Fathers stayed what threatened to be a triumphal progress for Protestantism. St. Ignatius soon despatched some of his disciples to the scene of conflict under the leadership of the Blessed Peter Canisius. By his sermons, his lectures as professor, his prudent suggestions to those in authority, as well as by his controversial writings, and more particularly his celebrated Catechism, Canisius did more to stay the advance of Protestantism in Germany than any single individual of his age. Colleges were founded in Vienna, Ingoldstadt, Treves, Mainz, and in most of the cities of Germany that were not subject to the Protestant princes. From these colleges went forth young men who were determined to resist the further encroachments of heresy. Maximilian of Bavaria and the Emperor Ferdinand II., both of whom took such a prominent part in the Catholic Counter-Reformation, were pupils of the Jesuits, and were but types of the men who left their colleges. In Hungary, too, and in Poland the tide was turned in favour of the Catholic Church mainly by the exertions of the Jesuits. In Ireland, England and Scotland, in the Netherlands, and Sweden, in a word wherever Catholic interests were endangered, the Jesuits risked their lives in defence of the Catholic religion. It is on account of the defeats that they inflicted on heresy at this period that the hatred of the Jesuits is so deep-rooted and so universal amongst Protestants even to the present day.
The Ursulines, so called from their patron St. Ursula, began as a religious association of pious ladies formed by Angela de' Merici (Angela of Brescia) in 1537. At first the aim of the association was to reclaim fallen women, to visit the sick, and to educate the young. The members lived in their own homes according to a scheme of life drawn up for their guidance, meeting only for certain spiritual exercises. In 1535 the foundress succeeded in bringing a few of them together into a small community. After her death in 1540 the community increased in numbers, and was approved by Paul III., who allowed the Ursulines to change their rules according to circumstances. For a long time the Ursulines did not spread outside Brescia, but as their work became known, particularly their work as educationalists, they were invited to other parts of Italy. In Milan they had a warm friend in the person of its Cardinal Archbishop, St. Charles Borromeo. The first community of the Ursulines was formed in France by Madame de Beuve. A rule was drawn up by Father Gonterey, S.J., and others of his society, and approved by Paul V. (1612). In a comparatively short time the Ursulines spread over most of the Catholic countries of Europe, so that nearly all the most modern and best equipped schools for Catholic girls were in their hands. In 1639 they went to Canada where they opened the convent known as the Hotel-Dieu at Quebec, and in 1727 they settled in New Orleans.
St. Teresa (1515-82) is the reformer rather than the foundress of the Carmelite nuns. Being anxious from an early age to follow her religious vocation, much against the wishes of her father she entered the convent of the Carmelite nuns at Avila (1535). After her profession she fell ill, and for years was subject to excruciating torture. During this period she turned her mind completely to spiritual subjects, and was visited by God with most extraordinary marks of divine favour, an account of which is to be found in her life written by herself, in her /Relations/, and in many other of her works. She determined to return to the primitive austerity of the Carmelite rule, and in 1562 she founded the first convent of Discalced Carmelite nuns at Avila. Through her exertions other convents of the order adopted the reform, and in 1580 the existence of the Discalced Carmelites as a separate order was approved. She died in 1582, and forty years later she was canonised by Gregory XV.
The Sisters of the Visitation were established by St. Francis de Sales and St. Frances de Chantal. St. Francis de Sales (1567- 1622), so called from the castle of Sales in Savoy at which he was born, made his rhetoric and philosophical studies at Paris under the Jesuits. From Paris he went to Padua for law, and having received his diploma he returned to his native country, where his father had secured for him a place as senator and had arranged a very desirable marriage. But St. Francis, feeling that he had been called by God to another sphere of life, threw up his position at the bar, accepted the office of provost of the chapter of Geneva, and received Holy Orders (1593). A great part of the diocese of Geneva was at this time overrun by the heretics. St. Francis threw himself with ardour into the work of converting those who had fallen away especially in the district of Le Chablais, where he won over thousands to the faith. He became coadjutor-bishop of Geneva, and on the death of his friend Claude de Granier he was appointed to the See (1602). In conjunction with Madam de Chantal he established a community of women at Annecy in 1610. His idea at first was that the little community should not be bound by the enclosure, but should devote themselves to their own sanctification and to the visitation of the sick and the poor. Objections, however, having been raised against such an innovation, he drew up for the community a rule based mainly on the rule of St. Augustine. In 1618 the society received recognition as a religious order under the title of the Order of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin. The order undertook the work of educating young girls as well as of visiting the sick. It spread rapidly in Italy, France, Germany, Poland, and later on in the United States.
The Sisters of Charity, or the Grey Sisters as they were called, were founded by St. Vincent de Paul. While St. Vincent was cure of Chatillon-les-Dombes he established in the parish a confraternity of charitable ladies for the care of the sick, the poor, and the orphans. The experiment was so successful that he founded similar confraternities in Paris, and wherever he gave missions throughout the country. Having found, however, that in Paris the ladies of charity were accustomed to entrust the work to their servants he brought a number of young girls from the country, who could be relied upon to carry out his wishes. These he looked after with a special solicitude, and in 1633 Madam Le Gras took a house in Paris, where she brought together a few of the most promising of them to form a little community. In 1642 after the community had moved into a house opposite St. Lazare, some of the sisters were allowed to take vows. The Sisters of Charity have been at all times exceedingly popular in France. By their schools, their orphanages, their hospitals, and by their kindness to the poor and the suffering they won for themselves a place in the hearts of the French people. For a while during the worst days of the Revolution their work was suspended, and their communities were disbanded; but their suppression was deplored so generally that in 1801 the Superioress was commanded to re-organise the society. Outside France the Sisters of Charity had several houses in Poland, Switzerland, Spain, and Germany.
Mary Ward (1585-1645) was born of a good Catholic family in England. She joined the Poor Clares at St. Omer in 1600, but, preferring an active to a contemplative life, she gathered around her a few companions, and formed a little community at St. Omer mainly for the work of education. According to her plan, which was derived in great measure from the constitution of the Society of Jesus (hence the name Jesuitesses given to her followers by her opponents), her sisters were not bound by the enclosure, were not to wear any distinctive dress, and were to be subject directly only to Rome. Serious objections were raised immediately against such an institute, particularly as Pius V. had declared expressly that the enclosure and solemn vows were essential conditions for the recognition of religious communities of women. Branches were opened in the Netherlands, Austria, and Italy under the patronage of the highest civil authorities. As the opponents of the community continued their attacks the foundress was summoned to Rome to make her defence (1629), but in the following year the decree of suppression was issued. The house in Munich was allowed to continue, and at the advice of the Pope she opened a house in Rome. The principal change introduced was that the houses should be subject to the bishops of the dioceses in which they were situated. At last in 1703, on the petition of Maximilian Emanuel of Bavaria and of Mary the wife of James II., the rule was approved formally by Clement XI. The society continued to spread especially in Bavaria. The followers of Mary Ward are designated variously, the Institute of Mary, Englische Fraulein, and Loreto Nuns from the name given to Rathfarnham, the mother-house of the Irish branch, founded by Frances Ball in 1821.
-- -- -- -- --
/Histoire du Ven Didier de la Cour, reformateur des Benedictins/, 1772.
De Lama, /Bibliotheque des ecrivains de la congregation de St. Maur/, 1882.
Da Forli, /Annali Cappuccini/, 1882.
Dumortier, /Saint Gaetan di Thiene/, 1882.
Dubois, /Le bienheureux A. M. Zaccaria fondateur des Barnabites/, 1896.
Sylvain, /Histoire de St. Charles Borromee/, 3 vols., 1884.
Perraud, /L'Oratoire de France au XVIIe et au XVIIIe siecle/.
Perraud, /L'Oratoire de France au XVIIe et au XVIIIe siecle/, 1866.
Girard, /La vie de St. Jean de Dieu/, 1691.
Hubert, /Der hl. Joseph Calasanza, stifter der frommen Schulen/, 1886.
Ravelet-O'Meara, /The Life of the Blessed John Baptist de la Salle/, 1888. Lucard, /Annales de l'Institut des Freres des Ecoles Chretiennes/, 1883.
Paris became an archiepiscopal See in 1622.
Lorti, /Saint Vincent de Paul et sa mission sociale/, 1880.
Degert, /Histoire des seminaires francais/, 1912.
Faillon, /Vie de M. Olier/, 3 vols., 1873. Thompson, /Life of Jean Jacques Olier/.
Thompson, /Life of St. Ignatius/, 1910. Clair, /La vie de S. Ignace/, 1894.
/Constitutiones Societatis Jesu Latine et Hispanice/, 1892.
Duhr, /Geschichte der Jesuiten in den Landen Deutscher Zunge/, Bd. i., 1907.
O'Reilly, /Life of St. Angela/, 1880. Meer, /Die ersten Schwestern des Ursulinenordens/, 1897.
/Autobiography of St. Teresa/, tr. from the French by B. Zimmerman, 1904.
Hamon, /Vie de St. Francois de Sales/, 2 vols., 1875.
Bougaud, /Histoire de Ste. J. F. Chantal et des origines de la Visitation/, 1899.
Marcel, /Les Soeurs de Charite/, 1888.
Salome, /Mother Mary Ward, a Foundress of the 17th Century/, 1901.
(d) The Thirty Years' War.
See bibliography, chap. ii. (a). Klopp, /Der Dreissigjahrige Krieg bis Zum Tode Gustav. Adolfs u.s.w./, 3 Bde, 1891-6. Bougeant, /Histoire des guerres et des negociations qui precederent le traite de Westphalie/, 3 vols., 1751. Ritter, /Deutsche Geschichte im Zeitalter der Gegenreformation und des Dreissigjahrigen Krieges/, 1889. Huber, /Geschichte Osterreichs/, Bd. v., 1896. /Nunziaturberichte aus Deutschland/, 1892. De Meaux, /La reforme et la politique Francaise en Europe jusqu' a la paix de Westphalie/, 1889. /Cambridge Modern History/, vol. iii. (chap. iii.).
The Religious Peace of Augsburg (1555) did not put an end to the struggle between the Catholics and Protestants in Germany. Feeling on both sides was too intense to permit either party to be satisfied with the arrangement or to accept it as a permanent definition of their respective rights. The German Catholics were indignant that a party that had sprung up so recently and that had done such injury to their Church and country, should be rewarded for heresy and disloyalty to the Emperor by such concessions. Nor was their indignation likely to be appeased by the manner in which Lutheran and Calvinist preachers caricatured and denounced the doctrines and practices of the Catholic world. Possibly it was, however, the clause of the Augsburg Peace known as the /Ecclesiasticum Reservatum/ that gave rise to the most heated controversies, and played the greatest part in bringing about civil war. By this clause it was provided that in case any of the bishops and abbots passed over to the reformed religion they could not bring with them the ecclesiastical property attached to their office. The Lutherans, who had benefited so largely by such secessions from the Church in the past, objected to this clause at the Diet, and protested against the decision when their objections were overruled.
Having realised that the Emperor was unable or unwilling to prevent them they continued to act in open defiance of the /Ecclesiasticam Reservatum/. Where the territories of a Catholic bishop were situated in close proximity to the states of Protestant princes recourse was had to various devices to acquire the lands of the Church. Sometimes the bishop was induced to surrender them in return for a fixed grant or pension, sometimes the chapter was persuaded to elect as bishop some scion of a princely family, who was well-known to have leanings towards Protestantism, and in a few cases the bishops themselves solved the problem by seceding from the Catholic Church while continuing to administer the territories to which their episcopal office was their only title. In this way two archbishoprics and fourteen bishoprics, amongst them being such wealthy Sees as Magdeburg, Bremen, Brandenburg, and Osnabruck had passed into the hands of the Lutherans, and it required a very special effort to prevent two such important centres as Cologne and Aachen from meeting with a similar fate. Gebhard, Archbishop of Cologne, a man of scandalously immoral life, completed his infamous career by taking as his wife one who had been his concubine, announcing at the same time that he had gone over to Calvinism. The chapter of Cologne Cathedral backed by the people took steps to rid themselves of such a superior, and the chapter was supported warmly by both Pope and Emperor. Gebhard was obliged to escape to Strassburg in the cathedral of which he held a canonry, and where he succeeded in creating confusion. Two archbishops claimed the See of Strassburg, one loyal to the Catholic Church and one favouring Protestantism. This disgraceful contention went on for years, till at last the Protestant champion was induced to surrender on the payment of a large composition. The See of Aachen was seized by force in 1581, and was held for fifteen years, at the end of which the Protestants were obliged to abandon their claims.
Unfortunately for the Catholics the Emperors who succeeded Charles V. were not strong enough to deal with such a dangerous situation. Ferdinand I., sincere Catholic though he was, mindful of the terrible disasters brought upon his country by the religious wars, strove with all his might against their renewal. His successor Maximilian II. (1564-76) was so strongly inclined towards Protestantism that he made many concessions to the Protestants even in his own hereditary dominions. He invited distinguished Lutheran preachers to Vienna, conferred on Protestants influential positions at court, and gave permission for Protestant religious services at least to the nobles of Bohemia, Silesia, and Hungary. Several of the prince-bishops anxious to stand well with the Emperor attempted to introduce reforms in Catholic liturgy and Catholic practices without any reference to the Holy See. The alarming spread of Protestantism in Austria, Hungary, Bohemia, and Silesia, fostered as it was by the general policy of the Emperor, tended to make the position of the Catholic Church extremely insecure.
But fortunately at that time a strong Catholic reaction began to make itself felt. The reforming decrees of the Council of Trent did not fail to produce a decided improvement in the condition of the bishops and clergy. The new religious orders, particularly the Jesuits, had thrown themselves into the work of defending the Catholic position, and the colleges established by the Jesuits were turning out the younger generation of Catholics well-equipped for the struggle that lay before them. The catechisms which the Jesuit preachers scattered broadcast through the country, and the attention paid by them to the proper religious instruction of the people helped to remove the bad impressions produced by the misrepresentations of the Lutherans, and tended to arouse a strong, healthy, educated Catholic opinion in public life. Fortunately, too, at the time when the Emperors were a danger rather than a protection to the Church, the rules of Bavaria undertook boldly the defence of the old religion, and placed themselves at the head of the Catholic forces. Albert V. (1550-79) insisted on the promulgation of the decrees of the Council of Trent, and made an oath of loyalty to the Catholic Church an indispensable condition for office in his kingdom. He favoured the Jesuits, encouraged their schools, and did everything in his power to strengthen Catholicism amongst his subjects. His policy was continued by Maximilian I. (1598-1651), who became the recognised leader of the advanced Catholic party in Germany.
This general unexpected revival, the success of which was shown by the fervour of the people, the unwillingness of the authorities to make any further concessions, and the determination of all parties to insist on the strict observance of the /Ecclesiasticum Reservatum/ filled the Protestants with such alarm that their princes began to insist on new guarantees. The Emperor, Rudolph II. (1576-1612), though, unlike his predecessor, a good Catholic, was a most incompetent ruler, devoting most of his time to alchemy and other such studies rather than to the work of government. He endeavoured to solve the religious difficulties in Silesia and Bohemia by yielding to the Protestant demands (1609), but the interference of his brother Matthias led to new complications, and finally to Rudolph's abdication of the sovereignty of Bohemia (1611). Frederick IV. of the Palatinate was a strong Protestant, and was closely connected with the reforming party in England, Holland, and France. He thought he saw in the strife between the members of the House of Habsburg an opportunity of improving the position of Protestantism in the empire, of weakening the claims of the House of Habsburg to the imperial dignity, and possibly also of establishing himself as ruler of a united Germany.
An incident that took place at Donauworth, a city near the Rhine, helped him to realise his scheme of a great Protestant federation. This city was almost exclusively Catholic in 1555, but in one way or another the Protestants had succeeded in improving their position till at last only the abbey church remained to the Catholics. Here on the Feast of Corpus Christi in the year 1606 the customary procession of the Blessed Sacrament was attacked and dispersed, and the Catholics were treated with the greatest cruelty. When the matter was brought before the Emperor the city was placed under the ban of the empire, and Maximilian I. of Bavaria was entrusted with the task of carrying out the decree. He advanced with a strong army and captured the city. As the war indemnity could not be raised he retained possession of it, restoring to the Catholics everything they had lost. Frederick IV. made a strong appeal to the Protestant princes to show their resentment at such an act of aggression, pointing out to them that the fate of Donauworth would be the fate of all their territories unless they took united action. As a consequence when both parties met at the Diet of Regensburg (1608) the excitement was intense, and when the Emperor appealed to his princes for support against the Turks, the Protestants refused to lend their aid unless they received satisfactory explanations. The Catholics, encouraged by Maximilian, were equally unconciliatory, with the result that the Diet disbanded without having been able to arrive at an agreement.
A short time after the Diet most of the Protestant princes met at Ahausen and formed a confederation known as the /Union/ (1608) at the head of which stood Frederick IV. of the Palatinate, while a little later a large number of the Catholic princes bound themselves together in the /League/ and accepted Maximilian of Bavaria as their leader (1609). Thus Germany was divided once again into two hostile camps, and only a very trifling incident was required to plunge the country into another civil war. For a time it seemed as if the succession to the Duchy of Cleves was to be the issue that would lead to the catastrophe. Duke John William of Cleves had died without any direct heir, and as the religious issue was still undecided in his territory, the appointment of a successor was a matter of the greatest importance to both parties. The Emperor with the approval of the /League/ nominated his brother Leopold as administrator, while the /Union/, having strengthened itself by an alliance with France, was prepared to take the field in favour of a Protestant. Henry IV. of France, anxious to turn the disputes that had broken out between the different members of the imperial family to the advantage of himself and his country, was actually on his way to take part in the campaign when he was assassinated. On his death both parties agreed to a temporary truce (1610), and thus the outbreak of the war was delayed for some time.
This delay was very fortunate for the Catholics in Germany. With such an Emperor as Rudolph pitted against a man like Henry IV. there could have been very little doubt about the issue. Even in his own territories Rudolph could not maintain his authority against his brother Matthias, in whose interest he was obliged to abdicate the throne of Bohemia (1611). On the death of Rudolph (1612) Matthias succeeded though not without considerable difficulty. As Emperor he showed himself much less favourable to the Protestants than he had been during the years when he was disputing with his brother, but, however well inclined, he was powerless to put an end to the division that existed or to control the policy of the /League/ or the /Union/. The Duchy of Cleves was still an object of dispute. While the German Protestants invoked the aid of William of Orange and the Dutch Calvinists, the Catholics called in the forces of Spain. The Emperor could merely look on while his subjects allied themselves with foreigners to settle their own domestic troubles.
Meanwhile far more serious trouble was brewing in Bohemia, where the followers of Hus had blended with the disciples of Luther, and where in many centres there was a strong feeling against the Catholic Church. According to the concessions granted by Rudolph (1609), knights and free cities were at liberty to build Protestant churches, but a similar concession was not made to the subjects of Catholic lords. Regardless of or misinterpreting the terms of the concession, however, the Protestant tenants of the Archbishop of Prague and of the Abbot of Braunau built churches for their own use. The archbishop and abbot, considering themselves aggrieved, appealed to the imperial court. According to the decision of this court the church built on the lands of the archbishop was to be pulled down, and the other on the lands of the abbot was to be closed (1618). A deputation representing the Protestant party was appointed to interview the imperial representatives at Prague, and the reply to their remonstrances being regarded as unfavourable, the mob attacked the building, and hurled the councillors who were supposed to be responsible for it through the windows.
Under the direction of Count Thurn and some other Protestant nobles a provisional government was established in Bohemia, arrangements were made to organise an army, and as a beginning in the work of reform the Jesuits were expelled. Owing to the strong anti-German feeling of the populace the rebellion spread rapidly in Bohemia, and Count Mansfeld hastened to the relief of the insurgents with an army placed at his disposal by the /Union/. Most of the cities of Bohemia were captured by the rebels, and the whole of northern Austria stood in the gravest danger. At this critical moment the Emperor Matthias passed away, and was succeeded by Ferdinand II. (1619-37). The latter was a devoted Catholic, trained by the Jesuits, and had already done immense service to the Church by wiping out almost every trace of heresy in his hereditary dominions. That such a man should succeed to the imperial dignity at such a time was highly distasteful to the Protestants of Bohemia. It was not, therefore, to be wondered at that they refused to acknowledge him as king, and elected in his stead Frederick V. of the Palatinate (1619).
The situation looked exceedingly serious for Ferdinand II. On the one side he was being pressed hard by the Turks, and on the other he was beset so closely by the Bohemian rebels that even the very city of Vienna was in danger of falling into their hands. His opponent Frederick V. could rely upon the forces of the /Union/ in the campaign, and besides, as the son-in-law of James I. of England and the nephew of Maurice of Orange the successful leader of the Dutch and the sworn ally of the French Huguenots, Frederick had little difficulty in persuading himself that at last Europe was to be freed from the domination of the House of Habsburg. He marched into Bohemia, and was crowned solemnly at Prague in 1619. But if Frederick could count upon support from many quarters so, too, could Ferdinand. Maximilian II. of Bavaria was active on his side, as were indeed the whole forces of the /League/. Saxony, too, which was devoted to Lutheranism and detested the Calvinist tendencies of Frederick, fearing that a victory for him might mean a victory for Calvinism, ranged itself under the banner of the Emperor. The Pope sent generous subsidies, as did also Spain. Finally, during the course of the campaign Ferdinand was fortunate in having the service of two of the ablest generals of their time, Tilly, who commanded the forces of the /League/, and Wallenstein who had charge of the imperial troops. Maximilian of Bavaria marched into Austria at the head of the army of the /League/ and drove the rebels back into Bohemia, whither he followed them, and inflicted upon them a severe defeat in the battle of the White Mountain (1620). Frederick was obliged to save himself by flight after a reign of a few months. The leaders of the rebellion were arrested and put to death. In return for the services he had rendered Maximilian of Bavaria became ruler of the Palatinate, from which Frederick had been deposed. But though Frederick was defeated the struggle was by no means finished. The Count of Mansfeld, acting on behalf of the /Union/, espoused the cause of the Palgrave and was supported by an army led by Christian IV. of Denmark, Frederick's brother-in-law, who marched into Germany to the aid of his friends. James I. of England, though unwilling to despatch an army, helped by grants of money. The war was renewed with great vigour, but the allies had little chance of success against two such experienced generals as Tilly and Wallenstein. Christian IV. suffered a terrible defeat at the Barenberg near Lutter (1626), and three years later he was forced to agree to the Peace of Lubeck (1629), by which he promised to withdraw from Germany and never again to mix himself up in its domestic affairs.
The forces of the Emperor and of the /League/ were so victorious all along the line that the former felt himself strong enough to deal with the burning question of the ecclesiastical property that had been seized. In a short time he issued what is known as the /Edict of Restitution/ (1629), by which he ordered that all property acquired by the Protestants contrary to the /Ecclesiasticum Reservatum/ clause of the Peace of Augsburg (1555) should be restored. He commanded, besides, that the terms of the Peace of Passau-Augsburg should be strictly observed, allowed Catholic and Protestant princes the right of establishing their own religion in their own territories (/Cuius regio illius religio/), and permitted Protestant subjects of Catholic princes who felt their consciences aggrieved to emigrate if they wished to do so. About the justice of this decree there could be very little dispute, for it dealt only with the return of what had been acquired by open or veiled spoliation, but it may well be doubted whether it was prudent considering the circumstances of the case. In the first place, it meant the loss of enormous territories for some of the Protestant princes who had enriched themselves from the lands of the bishops and abbots. During the earlier stages of the war many of those men had stood loyally by the Emperor in his struggle against rebels and foreign invaders, but now, mindful of their own temporal interests and the future of their religion, they were prepared to range themselves on the side of their co-religionists in what had become purely a religious war. France, too, alarmed by the victory of Ferdinand II., and fearing that a victory for the House of Habsburg might lead to the establishment of a united empire and the indefinite postponement of the project of securing for France the provinces along the Rhine, was only too glad to pledge its support to the Protestant princes in the war against the Emperor. The young and valiant king of Sweden, Gustavus Adolphus, was a keen spectator of the trend of affairs in Germany, and was anxious to secure for his country the German provinces along the shores of the Baltic. He was not without hopes also that, by putting himself forward as the champion of Protestantism and by helping the Protestant princes to overthrow the House of Habsburg, he might set up for himself on the ruins of the Holy Roman Empire a great Protestant confederacy embracing most of Northern Europe. Finally, even though Saxony had been induced by special concessions to accept the Edict of Restitution, it might have been anticipated that in a purely religious struggle between Catholics and Protestants hatred of the Roman Church would prove stronger than the prejudices against Geneva, and its ruler would be forced to join the enemies of the Emperor.
Gustavus Adolphus, having strengthened himself by a formal agreement with France, marched into Germany at the head of a body of picked troops (1630). He issued a proclamation announcing that he had come to free the Germans from slavery, and he opened negotiations with the Protestant princes, some of whom to do them justice showed themselves very reluctant to become allies of a foreign invader. Ferdinand II. was but poorly prepared to meet such an attack. The imperial troops had been disbanded, and what was much worse, Wallenstein had retired into private life. Many of the Catholic princes, notably Maximilian of Bavaria, resented his rapid promotion and the grant that had been made to him of the Duchy of Mecklenburg. They prejudiced the mind of Ferdinand against him just at the time his services were most urgently required. Nor, when the first fit of zeal had passed away, were all the Catholic princes anxious to hasten to the support of the Emperor. Tilly with the forces of the /League/ advanced to bar the progress of the Swedes. He was defeated at Breitenfeld (1631) and his army was nearly destroyed. Gustavus Adolphus pushed rapidly forward towards Bavaria, captured the cities of Wurzburg, Mainz, and Augsburg, and for a time it seemed as if his advance to Vienna was going to be a triumphal march. Over-joyed with the success of his campaign he began to act as if he were really emperor of Germany, thereby giving great offence to many of his German followers. His dreams of power were, however, brought to an abrupt termination. In April 1632 he fought an indecisive battle at Rain on the Lech, where Tilly was wounded mortally, but in November he was slain at Lutzen though his army was victorious.
Ferdinand found himself in great danger. He appealed for aid to Urban VIII. and to Spain but at first the former, believing that the struggle was more political than religious, refused to assist him, though later on, when he realised that the very existence of the Catholic Church in the empire was endangered, he changed his mind and forwarded generous subsidies. Maximilian of Bavaria, who had held aloof for a time, espoused warmly the cause of the Emperor, and Wallenstein, who had been recalled in the hour of danger, raised an immense army in an incredibly short space of time. Oxenstierna, the chancellor of Sweden, took up the work of his master Adolphus and succeeded in bringing about an alliance with the Protestant princes (1633). So low had the national feeling sunk in the empire that the Protestant princes consented to appoint this upstart as director of the campaign and to fight under his command. France supplied the funds to enable the Swedes to carry on the war. For some time very little was done on either side. Negotiations were carried on by Wallenstein with the Swedes, with Saxony, and with France. It was represented to the Emperor that his chosen general was guilty of gross disloyalty. Though the charge of absolute disloyalty has not been proved, still certain actions of Wallenstein coupled with his inactivity gave good colour to the accusation. The Emperor dismissed him from his command, and a little later he was murdered by some of his own soldiers.
The war and the negotiations were renewed alternately, but without any result as peace was not desired by either Sweden or France. At last the forces of the Emperor gained a signal victory at Nordlingen (1634). This success had at least one good result in that it detached the Elector of Saxony from the side of Sweden. He had never thrown himself whole-heartedly into the struggle, as he disliked the idea of supporting a foreign invader against his own Emperor, and was not sorry to escape from a very awkward position. The Peace of Prague was concluded between the Emperor and Saxony (1635), according to which the Edict of Restitution was abandoned in great measure, and religious freedom was guaranteed to the Protestants of Silesia.
But to promote their own interests the Swedes and the French insisted on complete equality between the Protestants and Catholics as an indispensable condition for peace. From this time onward it was a purely political struggle, inspired solely by the desire of these two countries to weaken Germany and to break the power of the House of Habsburg. On the death of Ferdinand II. in 1637 it was thought that the war might have been ended, but these hopes were disappointed. Ferdinand III. (1637-57) who succeeded offered a general amnesty at the Diet of Regensburg (1641) without avail. French soldiers crossed the frontiers to support the Swedes and the Protestants. Finally after long negotiations the Peace of Westphalia (1648) put an end to a struggle, in which Germany had suffered enormously, and from which foreigners were to derive the greatest benefits.
The Peace of Westphalia was dictated to Germany by France and Sweden. As a reward for the injury they had inflicted on the country both received large slices of German territory. France insisted on getting possession of Alsace, while Sweden received large grants of territory along the Baltic together with a war indemnity of five million thalers. In order to provide compensation for the secular princes, portion of whose territories had been ceded to these two powers, and also to reward others who had suffered for their alliance with Sweden, the secularisation of a considerable amount of the ecclesiastical states was arranged. Saxony, Brandenburg, Hesse-Cassel, Brunswick, and Mecklenburg were enriched by the acquisition of lands formerly ruled over by the bishops and abbots. This step meant that the Protestant states of Germany were strengthened at the expense of the Catholic Church, and that the people of these districts being now transferred to Protestant rulers were in great danger of being drawn over to the religion of their new masters. The jurisdiction of the bishops was abolished in these territories, and even in some of the new chapters, as for example at Osnabruck, Protestant canons were installed side by side with Catholics.
Furthermore, it was arranged that the terms of the Peace of Augsburg should be observed, with this important change, that the rights guaranteed in it to the Lutherans should be extended even to those who did not accept the Augsburg Confession. This concession was intended to meet the demands of the Calvinists. Again, complete equality was established between Catholics and Protestants in the empire. To give effect to this clause it was arranged that in all imperial committees and courts both parties should be represented in equal numbers. In case religious issues were discussed at the Diet, where the Catholics still had the majority, it was agreed that the matter should not be decided by voting but by friendly compromise. The princes were permitted to determine the religion of their subjects, the principal restriction being that those subjects who were in the enjoyment of a certain form of public or private religious worship in 1624 should not be forced to change their religion. For the others nothing remained but to seek a home where their conscientious convictions might be respected. In regard to ecclesiastical property the year 1624 was taken as the normal year, the property that the Protestants held in that year being allowed to remain in their hands. The /Ecclesiasticum Reservatum/ clause was retained, and made obligatory on both parties. These terms, it was provided, should not extend to the Protestants in the hereditary dominions of the Emperor.
The Peace of Westphalia by its practical recognition of state neutrality in religious matters put an end to the constitution of the Holy Roman Empire, and reduced the Emperor to the position of a mere figurehead, depending for strength entirely on his own hereditary states. Instead of preventing disunion it made national unity almost impossible, and exposed Germany to attack from any hostile neighbour who might wish to strengthen himself by encouraging strife amongst its various states. Besides, it inflicted a severe injury on the Church not merely by its recognition of the Protestant religion, but by the seizure of ecclesiastical property, the abolition of bishoprics, the interference with cathedral chapters, and the recognition of the right of the temporal sovereign to determine the religion of his subjects. It was no wonder then that the papal legate Fabio Chigi lodged a strong protest against the Peace, and that the protest was renewed in the most solemn form by Innocent X. (1648). This action was not inspired by the Pope's opposition to peace. On the contrary, again and again during the civil war the Holy See had sought to bring about a friendly understanding, but no Pope, unless he was disloyal to the trust confided in him, could permit such interference in purely religious matters without making it clear that he was not a consenting party. Innocent X. foresaw that this was but the herald of new claims on the part of the civil rulers, and that in a short time even the Catholic sovereigns would endeavour to regulate the ecclesiastical affairs of their subjects without reference to the authority of the Church. Nor was it long until events showed that his suspicions were not without good foundation.
-- -- -- -- --
Losche, /Geschichte des Protestantismus in Osterreich/, 1902.
Hartmann, /Der Prozess gegen die Protestantischen Landstande in Bayern unter Albrecht V./, 1904.
Stieve, /Der Kampf um Donauworth/, 1875.
Villermont, /Tilly ou la guerre de trente ans/, 1860.
Halwich, /Geschichte Wallensteins/, 1910.
Gfrofer, /Gustav. Adolf./, 1863.
Bull, /Zelo domus Dei/.