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(ecclesia), which according to him can be described as being the community of all who believe in Christ, be they priests or laymen. The following chapters deal with the authority of the pope to act as judge and ruler. By means of a vast array
of biblical passages quoted in the manner usual in the scholastic school, the writer endeavours to prove that the pope has no legislative or punitive power over laymen, or even over priests, except so far and so long as it is granted to him by the temporal authorities. In chapter seven, Marsiglio proceeds to dispute the papal right to excommunicate temporal sovereigns or officials--a power that the popes had during their prolonged struggles with the German and French sovereigns frequently misused. The right of excommunication, according to Marsiglio, belongs only to the whole Christian community or to a general council representing it. Marsiglio then expresses disapproval of the exemption of the clergy from temporal jurisdiction, a rule that then and for many years afterwards was universally accepted. He next denies the power of the popes to inflict temporal punishment on heretics. Such men, he writes, should be punished by the civil power, but only if their conduct is also in opposition to civil law. After these deductions of which I have here only given a brief outline-limiting in many respects the then generally admitted powers of Rome, Marsiglio devotes the following chapters to a definition of apostolic poverty. Like all antagonists of papacy, he lays great stress on this point, which, in consequence of the luxury, immorality, and avarice of the clergy of that time, was always before the mind of all thoughtful men. Christ, Marsiglio writes, did not sanction this pride and avarice; He, though it was in His power to appear in the world as a great king, yet preferred poverty. Marsiglio then studies the constitution of the church; like many other church-reformers he declares that the distinction between bishops and priests (presbyteros) does not go back to the time of Christ, but was established far later.1
Compare Hus, De Ecclesia, chapter xv.: “Tunc autem non ordinaverat (Deus) nisi Diaconos et Presbyteros, tunc etiam idem presbyter erat et episcopus, ut ait Hieronymus ut et patet ex texto Apostoli.
In chapter seventeen, which treats of the "authority by whom bishops and other priests and servants of the church should be appointed," Marsiglio declares that Christ alone is the Head of the church. The apostles were consecrated by Christ Himself, and the apostles ordained their immediate successors. Afterwards the priests were chosen by the community of the faithful, or by persons delegated by them. The writer then maintains the unity of the church, which can have but one creed founded exclusively on the teaching of Scripture. Scripture undoubtedly requires interpretation, and we cannot accept any other interpreter than a universal council inspired by the Holy Ghost. No such authority can be claimed by the popes, who have frequently erred and even fallen under the suspicion of heresy. Marsiglio then again refers to the gradual development of the papal primacy. Beginning, as was customary, with the donation of Constantine, he notes how the power of the Roman bishops, and with it the self-assertion of the pontiffs in their relations to temporal rulers, continued uninterruptedly to increase. After strongly insisting on the depravation of the papal court and of the higher ecclesiastics, who despised theological studies while they cherished the legists who were, through their knowledge of canonic law, able to support the unjustified claims of the priesthood, Marsiglio proceeds to discuss the conflict then raging between papacy and his patron, King Louis. It is difficult to overrate the historical importance of the Defensor Pacis. Many subsequent church-reformers have, perhaps unknowingly, borrowed from him; for the ideas contained in the Defensor seem to have been so generally shared by the thinkers of the time that they had almost become common property. As regards Hus, Dr. Lenz has, writing on the treatise De Ecclesia of Hus, declared-rightly from his standpoint as a Roman Catholic
1 The passage is so important that it may be given in Marsiglio's own words:
Expedit narrare primum institutionis et determinationis episcoporum seu presbyterorum modum circa statum et initium ecclesiae primitivae unde cetera postmodum derivata sunt. Horum autem omnium principium accipiendum est a Christo qui caput est et petra super quam fundata est ecclesia catholica secundum quod dixit Apostolus ad Ephesios." (Defensor Pacis, ii. chap. xvii.)
priest—that many statements contained in the treatise De Ecclesia had already been declared heretical when Pope John XXII., in 1327, decreed that the Defensor Pacis was a work“ false, heretical, and contrary to Scripture."1
The writings of William of Occam also express views on the government of the church and the power of the pope which anticipate those of Wycliffe and Hus. Occam's work was written during the pontificate of John XXII., who, mainly from political motives, and through the influence of France, waged a bitter and prolonged war against Germany. Though himself accused, not entirely without foundation, of professing heretical views, John XXII. expanded the pretensions of the papal see in a manner that none of his predecessors had attempted. Occam writes as a strong defender of the authority of temporal rulers. The pope, he declares, has no right to secular authority. Christ neither exercised nor claimed such a power.
This brief note on the state of Europe about the time of the birth of Hus is in many respects applicable to Bohemia. Yet the geographical and ethnographical position of the country and its history placed Bohemia in a position that was somewhat different from that of Western Europe. The country first received Christianity from the East, and though it afterwards acknowledged the rule of Rome-forming at first part of the archdiocese of Maintz in Germany, and being since the time of Charles IV. under the jurisdiction of the archbishop of Prague-yet it is certain that many of the rites and regulations of Rome were accepted in Bohemia later than in most European countries. Celibacy of the clergy became general at a late period and very gradually.
1 Prof. Dr. Lenz, Uaeni Mistra Jana Husi (The Teaching of John Hus), p. 48.
* It is beyond the purpose of this work to enter into this matter. Pope John XXII. was accused of having said that it was only after the day of judgment that the chosen enter heaven.
Papa non est magis exemptus a jurisdictione imperatoris, quam fuit Christus, sed Christus in quantum homo mortalis subjectus fuit jurisdictioni imperatoris, ergo et Papa modo simili, et par consequens imperator est judex ordinarius Domini Papae." (" Ockam Dialogus," p. 50, in Goldastus, Monarchia Imperii Romani, vol. ii.)
Communion in the two kinds continued to be customary up to the fourteenth century, though the learned work of the gifted Professor Kalousek has proved that it had probably died out before the time of Hus. The Bohemian exile, Paul Stranský, writing in the seventeenth century, states that the Eastern Church continued to have adherents among humbler men in Bohemia even after Romanism had been generally accepted. If we consider the great tenacity of the Bohemian people, which has so often been blamed by its enemies and praised by its friends, it does not appear improbable that this may have been the case, at least for a considerable period. Thus when the terrible persecution of all opponents of Rome that began in Bohemia in 1620 was ended by the “ Toleranz Patent ” of the Emperor Joseph II. in 1781, it was ascertained that in outlying parts of the country many peasants had, during this long period, continued to hold religious services according to the Hussite rites.
It is at any rate certain that, during the latter part of the nineteenth century, many prominent Russian scholars such as Novikov, Helferding, Vasiljew, and Palmov have, following the example of Stranský, maintained that the connection of Bohemia with the Eastern Church was of more importance and longer duration than had formerly been supposed. Some of these writers have even maintained that the Hussite movement itself was an attempt of the Bohemian people to return to the church from which it had first received Christianity. This supposition is entirely unfounded. It can be stated positively that we find in Hus no trace of the influence of the Eastern Church, though we cannot affirm this with the same certainty with regard to Jerome of Prague. It is a proof of the close connection between political and ecclesiastical matters that exists up to the present day in
"O Historii Kalicha v. dobach predhusitskych (The history of the chalice in the period anterior to Hus).
2 Paul Stranský writes: “Nobilitas praecipue et plerique omnes qui cum Germanis vicinis frequentiores esse, commerciaque habere consuerant a ritibus Graecis recesserunt. Tenuiores duntaxat et plebs rebus domi praesentibus contenta Graeci ritus sacra tenaciter servabat.” (Respublica Bojema, P. 271.)
Austria, Bohemia, and Eastern Europe, that the question of the connection of Bohemia with the Eastern Church acquired a certain political importance during the period (1866-1872) when Russian opinion, and to a far lesser extent Russian diplomacy, supported the Bohemians in their struggle against the centralist policy of Vienna.
At the time when Bohemia first became part of the domain of the Western Church, it appears to have preserved a far greater degree of independence than did countries lying farther west. Immediately after the acceptation of the Roman rites the country was under the rule of the German Bishop of Regensburg; but when in 973 the bishopric of Prague was founded, it was but loosely connected with Rome. Its administrators were, on the other hand, greatly dependent on the rulers of Bohemia who considered them as their chaplains." For several centuries after the foundation of the bishopric of Prague, the influence of the papal see on the lands of the Bohemian crown? was very insignificant. The supremacy of Rome, indeed, only finds expression in the fact that the popes confirmed the most important decrees of the Bohemian sovereigns which referred to ecclesiastical matters. This state of semi-independence in the course of time became displeasing to the rulers of the Western church. On several occasions papal legates appeared in Bohemia, who endeavoured to bring the Bohemian Church into closer subjection to Rome. They, however, encountered the hostility both of the sovereigns and of the people of Bohemia,
1 As late as 1182, when the Bishop of Prague attempted to appeal to the German Emperor against a decree of Duke Frederick of Bohemia, the latter
fertur respondisse per procuratorem suum: Cum sit omnibus notum Pragensem episcopum meum fore capellanum, sicut omnes praedecessores sui patrum et avorum meorum fuerunt capellani, discernite quaeso si liceat ei agere contra dominum suum, vel si tenear ex aequo respondere capellano
(Chronicle of Jarloch Fontes Rerum Bohemicarum, ii. p. 480.) 2 The lands of the Bohemian crown are Bohemia, Moravia, and Silesia, though Lusatia was for a time also considered a land of the Bohemian crown.
3 The interesting question of the relations of the Bohemian Church to Rome in the pre-Hussite period was formerly very obscure. Recently (1904 and 1906) Dr. Krofta has in the Cesky Casopis Historicky (Bohemian Historical Review) published a valuable series of articles on this subject. I have here largely used these studies.