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Bellarmine on the Roman Pontifs, chup. 9, book 4. But Athanasius and Jerome in the passages quoted openly affirm, that he was at length through the tediousness of his banishment induced to subscribe to the heresy. To these we may add Hilary.
Andrè du Chesne, Historiographer of the King of France. But, alas, how different was he when he returned from his former self, when he voluntarily departed in the defence of the faith. During his absence the Arian bishops assembled at Sirmium, prevailed upon Hosius, one of the greatest and the most celebrated of the orthodox bishops, to subscribe to the rule of their first doctrine. This subscription was a lamentable shock, by which the firmest and most solid stones of the catholic universe were shaken. For, not to dwell upon all the persons of distinction who imitated him, he notoriously carried along with him in his fall the Supreme Bishop of the entire orthodox church.
Platina's Life of Damasus Ist. An. Dom. 366. But Damasus, when he was elected to assume the Pontificate, had the deacon Ursicinus for a rival in the church called Sicinus, where many were killed on both sides in the church itself, since the matter was not only discussed by votes, but by force of arms.
FIFTH CENTURY. The Ecclesiastical Annals of Baronius, vol. 6th, An. Dom. 440.
* * * The state of the church was most disturbed ; for as the eastern church was much agitated by conflicts by reason of the Nestorians, so also was the western disturbed by the continual battles of the Manichæans perpetually growing in a more fruitful soil, and of the Pelagians again rising against her, for it happened that besides those heretics, who either openly or secretly were more active in Italy and in the city itself, bands of the Manichæans driven from the distant provinces captured by the barbarians, and more particularly from Africa, had introduced themselves into the city to the great injury of the citizens. But the evil was the more deadly in proportion as the poison the more secretly crept about, and Pope Leo was constrained to labour earnestly to detect them, and to bring them from their hiding places into light and to condemn them, &c.
Baronius, vol. 6, p. 532, An. Dom. 498. For many being bribed, he (that is the emperor) brought it to pass, that contrary to custom, a certain bishop should be elected, a Roman named Laurentius. For the sake of these persons, murders, robberies, and numberless other evils, were perpetrated at Rome. * * *
And not only did the clergy, but also the Roman senate, strive against each other upon this account with mutual dissensions and
Bellarm. de Rom. Pont. c. 9. lib. 4. • Athanasius verò et Hieronymus locis citatis apertè dicunt, eum tædio exilii inflexum, tandem fuisse ad subscriptionem hæreseus. Quibus addi potest Hilarius.
Andrè du Chesne, Historiographe du Roi. Mais belas! coinbien retourva-t'il autre et different d'avec soimême lorsqu'il sén etoit volontairement allé pour la défense de la foi. Pendant son absence les Evêques Ariens, convoquès a Sirmium, firent tant qu'Osius l'un des plus grands et celebres prelats des orthodoxes, souscrivit a la formule de leur première doctrine. Cette souscription fut une miserable sécousse par laquelle les plus fermes et solides pierres de l'univers catholique furent ébranlées. Car afin de ne m'arrêter point a tous les personnages de renom, qui l'imiterent, il emporta notamment par sa chute le suprême evêque de toute l'eglise orthodoxe.
Platina de vita Damasi 1. Chr. 366. Damasus autem electus ad Pontificatum obeundum, Ursicinum diaconum competitorem habuit in Basilica quæ Sicini appellatur, ubi multi utrinque cecidêre in ipso templo, cùm res non fuffragiis tantùm, sed vi et armis tractaretur,
* Ecclesiæ status turbulentissimus habebatur : sicut enim orientalis ecclesia Nestorianorum causâ, magnopere conflictationibus erat exagitata, ita et occidentalis Manichæorum jugiter fæcundiori cespite pullulantium, Pelagianorum rursùs insurgentium erat assiduis præliis perturbata; accidit enim ut præter hæreticos illos, qui vel palam vel clanculo in Italia, et in ipsâ urbe potissimum agerent, ab externis quoque provinciis a barbaris captis, præsertim verò ex Africâ, pulsa Manichæorum agmina se in urbem intulerint, magno civium detrimento. Sed ed lethalius erat malum, qud occultiùs ejusmodi eorumdem venenum serpebat; quibus detegendis, et in apertum e latebris adducendis atq damnaudis, haud leviter insudandum fuit ipsi Leoni summo Pontifici, cujus adversus eos res gestas inferius ordine temporum enarrabimus.
Baron, vol. 6, p. 532. Ch. 498. Multis enim pecunia corruptis, id perfecit, ut præter consuetudinem episcopus quidem eligeretur, Romanus natione, nomine Laurentius. Quorum gratiâ Řomæ cædes, rapinæ, et alia innumera mala perpetrantur. At nou clerus tantùm, sed
senatus Romanus ea de causa mutuis inter se discordiis nixisque certavit; partis alterius nempe Laurentii
quarrelling. Festus and Probinus, two very powerful senators, undertaking the patronage of the one party, namely, that of Laurentius, and Faustus the ex-consul and the other senators favouring the party of the other, namely, that of Symmachus. The conflict between these is described by Anastasius, but we shall relate every thing in its proper place accordiug to the dates. For there was not a contest of this nature in the Roman Church for one year only, but for many years, which when frequently lulled to sleep, revived again with a more vehement eruption. Very great strength was added to the party of Laurentius, from the circumstance of his having as an abeltor Paschasius, a deacon of the holy Roman Church, a man, who both by bis learning and holiness of life, had obtained for himself the highest reputation, and one by whom the people could easily be excited. *
The state of the Church of Rome this year, was most turbulent, since the clergy divided among themselves, contended with each other, and the senators of the highest rank fought among themselves very obstinately at a great risk of destroying the whole city.
An. Dom. 540. Thus, therefore, in an unhoped-for manner, after the dreadful storms by wbich the Church of Rome was agitated, God directing the winds and the sea, a great tranquillity was brought about, forasmuch as Vigilius, who had hitherto devised evil, as soon as he was the lawful Bishop began to watch over the universal flock. Let us bear how this was effected. These things, therefore, which have been related having been lawfully completed by Vigilius concerning the abdication of his see, the votes of Belisarius were taken, who incited the people and the senate to desire that the same Vigilius should be elected Pope. The clergy was brought into a great difficulty, and for a length of time, and with many consultations, debated what they should do; and first of all greatly abhorring the idea of raising to the pontificate a man implicated in so many crimes, more particularly as this was prohibited by the sacred laws of the church, and because there was besides a great danger that Vigilius, yielding to the wishes of the Empress, would pollute the apostolical see, if not with heresy, at least with a correspondence with heretics, they showed themselves more and more averse to his election. These were weighty reasons, so that the best ainong
them could not be prevailed upon to elect Vigilius by any reasoning ; but the love of right induced them all to be still more disinclined to his election as to esecrable wickedness. Those on the other hand, who took a more correct view of the matter, manifestly perceived that if they elected any other person pope, the church would quickly be rent by a dreadful schism, forasmuch as Vigilius would again be raised to the popedom by secular power, through the wishes and commands of the Empress Theodora, that the idol would again be
patrocinium suscipientibus Fasto et Probino potentissimis senatoribus, alteri verd parti, Symmachi videlicet, Fausto excobsule et aliis senatoribus faventibus, quorum inter se conflictus ab Anastasio de scribitur ; nos verd pro temporis ratione suis quæque reddemus locis. Haud enim anni unius, sed plurium fuit ejusmodi in ecclesia Romana certamen ; quod sæpe consopitum, vehementiore eruptione recrudiret. Parti quidem Laurentii, additæ vires vehementer ex eo fuerunt, quod idem habuit promotoren Paschasium sanctæ Romanæ ecclesiæ diaconum; virum, qui tum ex doctrinâ, tum etiam ex vitæ sanctitate, summam sibi gloriam compararat, quo populus perfacilè commoveri posset.
Turbulentissimus quidem hoc anno fuit status Romanæ ecclesiæ, cum et clerici inter se mutud scissi certarent, et senatores amplissimi ordinis magno periculo totius perdendæ urbis inter se invicem obstinatis animis conflictarent. * *
Baronii Annales Ecclesi. tom. 7. Ch. 540. Sic igitur ex insperato tandem post diras, quibus agitata est ecclesia Romana procellas, inspirante Deo ventis et mari, facta est tranquillitas magna; cùm, qui hactenus ad malum Vigilius vigilasset, cæpit pro universo grege agere vigil excubias, ubi legitimus esse cæpit Episcopus. Quomodo autem hæc facta sint, audiamus. His igitur quæ dicta sunt, a Vigilio legitime de sedis abdicatione completis ; mox studia Belisarii, ut idem eligeretur Pontifex, suffragantur, populum ad id petendum impellentis atque senatum. Tunc clerus in maximas conjectus angustias, quid ageret, agitabat diù multumq mutuis consultationibus, primum longè abhorrens ut hominem tot criminibus implicatum in sedem eveheret Pontificiam, id præsertim sacris ecclesiæ legibus prohibentibus, sed et quod immineret periculum, ne obsequens Vigilius votis Augustæ, eamdem sedem Apostolicam (quod nunquam acciderat) si non hæresi, saltem communicatione cum hæreticis inita macularet, ab ejus electione sé magis magis exhibuit alienum. Magna quidem erant ista, adeo ut ad eligendum Vigilium nullis adduci rationibus possent, qui essent optimi; sed omnes, ut ab execrando facinore, ab ejus electione longè longius abhorrere, suadebat ipsa recti amans ratio. Contrà verd accuratiùs rem expendentes, manifestè cernebant, si quemcumq alium eligerent summum pontificem, scindendam mox fore ecclesiam diro schismate, quod potentiâ seculari, ex sententiâ jussisq Theodoræ Augustæ, rursus evehendus in Pontificiam sedem Vigilius esset, rursus idolum collocandum in templo, conspiciendamq abominationem desolationis stantem in loco sancto, per quem
timerent simul cuni schismate etiam hæresini inducenduin : utpote indi-, gentem Vigilium auxiliis Theodoræ, ut iu sedé semel adepta
placed in the temple, and that the abomination of desolation would be seen standing in the sacred place, and they had reason to fear that heresy would be brought in with the schism, for that Vigilius, having need of the aid of Theodora to keep and strengthen himself in the see, when he had once obtained it, would do all things in her favour against him whom the clergy should elect as Roman pontiff, and that it would happen that no one else would sit as long as Theodora lived.
Thus, therefore, the council, being, as was proved by the event divinely inspired, acceding to the common wish, and transacting the business with solemn ceremonies according to the custom of the ancients, and receiving from Vigilius himself the profession of the Catholic faith, with the execration of all heretics, raised him to the apostolic throne, and created him Pope, on the 6th day, as it is said, after the death of Silverius.
Who is there who does not perceive that these things respecting the election of Vigilius, a wicked man, were permitted by the divine counsel ; lest any one should think that he is to be despised, if he sees a pope, not representing Peter by merit but in name only, sitting in the apostolic chair ! Let him recollect that even to the shadow of Peter immense virtue is given by God. For although a shadow appears to be something altogether empty, nevertheless it proves that the shadow is illuminated by the sun, and thus from the divine promise that was made to Peter, the popes, who when created appeared by reason of their weakness to be the shadows only of his body, are not wholly devoid of apostolic virtues.
Baronius' Ecclesiastical Annals, Vigil. 9—An. Dom. 548. Under the pretence of defending the Council of Chalcedon, a great
schism arose in the church of God, Pope Vigilius being every where calumniated as if he had come with the purpose
protecting those who attacked the council, which was the cause of certain bishops separating from his communion, and others abstaining from visiting him till things were cleared up.
Rusticus was not the only one who wrote against Vigilius on account of his defence of these chapters, but also Liberatus, Deacon of the Church of Carthage, Facundus, Bishop of Hermianum, and Victor, Bishop of Tunis.
Thus therefore to the great hurt of the Catholic church, there were every where conteutions, strife, quarrelling and dissention; the orthodox fighting against each other and mutually contending, being divided by an enormous schism ;. whence the whole of this age was evidently rendered most unhappy.
Vig. 2- An. Dom. 550. But let us return to Vigilius, who was so barrassed by the faction of the schismatics, that, deserted even by many of his own clergy, he was most indecorously urged both by words and writings, and