Obrázky na stránke
PDF
ePub

be an universal monarch, passed naturally enough from the Epistles to the writings of one of their earliest followers. In a letter of Clement, quoted by Cotelius, (p. 540) he found it expressed, that “those who were not in peace and communion with Clement, were to be numbered with those, who wished to destroy the Church of God.” From which passage with his usual logical accuracy he inferred, that he might himself with all imaginable propriety depose the emeror Henry. Who could refute such reasoning? I confess Y. unable to reply to such arguments. If I were living then, and had been consulted, I should have read as my only reply a chapter from St. Paul to Timothy, in which he recommends above all o to be offered up for those who are in high station, whether they were acquainted with Clement, or even with Christ himself or not, that all might be enabled to lead quiet and holy lives; or I should have submitted to him who had consulted me the declaration of our Lord before Pilate, who instead of asking his Father for legions of angels to depose him, who was about to condemn to death the Author of life, declared, that the power of this judge, though grossly abused, was given him from above, and that though he himself was a king, his kingdom was not of this world. Such reflections, it is true, might have little or no weight with men blindfolded by habitual prejudices, and urged on, as some men still are, in their course of ruin b pride, interest, or ambition: but I should at least have washed my hands amongst the innocent, and have been clean of the blood which flowed in such torrents, in consequence of the decisions which they were about to pronounce. These tests, for who can call them proofs, were adduced by Gregory in his own justification, in his answer to Herman of Metz. I have cited them here because they were his only arguments, if I except some facts to which he refers, not as precedents but as affording some colouring to his proceedings, but which unfortunately for him, were either opposed to his conduct, or perfectly irrelevant to his purpose. To dwell upon them here would be to imitate in some degree the impiety of Noah's son, who scoffed at the parent whose nakedness he should have concealed. (p. 52, 57.)

(P. 6679) He had, as he imagined, now secured his ower over the empire; he next turned his attention to France, he accordingly writes to his legates (lib.8. Epis. xxiii.) You are to command all the Franks, and command them upon their true obedience, that they pay, each house, agreeably to ancient custom, a penny each year to St. Peter, if they acknowledge him to be their pastor and father. The French, however, were not duped by him. He next turned his attention to William, who had possessed himself of England, and with the most consummate address, and flattery, endeavoured to induce the hardy Norman to subject to the pontifical authority his newly *. kingdom, observing at the same time, that it was y tributary to the holy see. William was too warlike and successful to become a dependant.” - - - He made a similar application to Sweine, king of Denmark, which does not seem to have been more successful, though he offered him as a present in return for the allegiance which he claimed as a right, a province in Italy, to which he probably had an equally valid claim as to Denmark itself. From the shores ofo #. he proceeded to those of the Mediterranean. At this time the greater part of Spain was go by the Saracens, and as a stimulus to the struggling Spaniards to extricate themselves from one yoke, Gregory, out of the plenitude of his generosity, presented them with another. - - The Pope supposing that the Goths busied in the field, had not much time to examine records, wished to spare them all trouble, as to the verification of his claim; hence he informs them, “we wish (he says, lib. iv. epist. 28.) to furnish you with a piece of intelligence, and which it is not ous to withhold from you, but which will secure to you great glory in this world and the next. Know ye then that the kingdom of Spain, was given in property to St. Peter and to the holy Roman Church, by ancient grants, which on account of the revolutions which since occurred, and the negligence of some of my predecessors have been lost sight of .

Gregory advanced similar claims to Sardinia, to Hungary, to Dalmatia, and lest the occupation of these several kingdoms, when taken in a bulk, might not be sufficiently secure, he set up from time to time distinct and separate titles to several cities and provinces of them.

* Gregory's letters are given at full in Manse's and Labbaeus' Councils, and are well worth translating and publishing.

Gregory withdrew to a better world, abashed and broken hearted at the slow, but partial, success which attended his enterprise; but he did not retire without leaving his successors a plan of operations, which, with signal success, with the most consummate skill and perseverance they laboured for centuries to execute. They were frequently successful, and not less frequently defeated; but they never desisted until their efforts became fruitless, and their labours utterly unavailing. They constantly employed their o: prerogatives to enforce their temporal pretensions. By wielding the holy names of the Apostles, and exalting the privileges of their see, they established generally throughout the world a persuasion, that to question their rights to the kingdoms of the earth, as the patrimony of St. Peter, was to oppose the jurisdiction with which that Apostle had been invested by Christ. He had been commissioned to administer the law of God in a kingdom which was not of this world, and to do so not by violence, but freely; not by lording it over God's inheritance, but by being o a pattern to the flock from the heart: but they seemed to reverse that rule, and to appropriate all the kingdoms of this world, and to govern them at least occasionally with an iron rod. - -

Thus it was, my Lord, that in bad times, in times of turbulence and barbarism, the claims of the Popes to the sovereignty of almost every kingdom in Europe grew up in silence, and were admitted and sanctioned by nearly all the ruling powers. It must be quite obvious that those claims had not their origin in the Gospel, nor in the doctrine of the Catholic Church, but in the state of society, in the mistaken zeal, or in the ambition of some Popes; a zeal or an ambition excited and directed by an insatiable aparice, pride, and thirst of power, in their followers and dependants.”

The false Decretals. Histoire Ecclesiastique par M. Fleuri, Prêtre, prieur d'Argenteuil et confesseur du roi, Louis XV. Tom. vi. p. 506. (a Nismes, 1778.) Livre 44. An. 785. Magenaire avoit succede dans l'abbaye de S. Denys a Fulrad mort en 784 le seiziéme de Juillet.

son successeur dams la charge d'archiehapelaine fut Ingelram WOL. II. 2 G

ou Enguerran evêque de Metz, a qui l'on attribue une collection de canons, qui porte aussi le nom du Pape Adrien, comme l'ayant donnè a Enguerran le treiziéme des calendes d'Octobre, indiction neuviéme, c'est-a-dire le dix neuviéme de Septembre 785, lorsque l'on examinoit sa cause. Mais d'autres exemplaires portent que ce fut Enguerran qui la presenta au pape, ce qui est plus vraisemblable, vu la difference qu'il y a entre cette collection et le code des canons que le Pape Adrien donna au roi Charles environ dix ans auparavant. La princiale différence consiste dans les extraits des fausses decretales d'Isidore, dont est remplie la collection d'Enguerran; et c'est la premiére fois que nous trouvous ces décrétales employées. a collection où elles se trouvent porte le nom d'Isidore Mercator, qui paroit avoir été Espagnol. Il dit dans la preface, qu'il a été obligé a faire cet ouvrage par quatre-vingts et autres serviteurs de Dieu ; et qu'apres les canons des apôtres, il y a inseré quelques lettres decretales des Papes, c'est adire de Clement, d'Anaclet, d'Evariste et des autres, jusqu'a Sylvestre, mais il ne dit point ou il les a trouvées. Elles etoient inconnues a Denys † etit, qui recueillit deux cents ans auparavant les decretales des Papes, seulement depuis S. Sirice. D'ailleurs elle portent des caractéres visibles de fausseté. Toutes sont du même style, et qui convient mieux au huitiéme siécle, qu'aux trois premiers ; longues et remplies de lieux communs et comme on a decouvert en les examinant curieusement, remplies de divers passages de S. Leon, de S. Gregoire, et d'autres auteurs posterieurs aux Papes dont elles portent le nom. Leurs dates sont presque toutes fausses. La matiére de ces lettres en découvre encore la supposition. Elles parlent d'archevéques, de primats, de patriarches ; comme si ces titres avoient été reçus dès la naissance de l'eglise. Elles defendent de tenir aucun concile, même provincial, sans la permission du Pape, et representent comme ordinaires les appellations a Rome; on s'y plaint des usurpations frequentes des biens temporels des églises. On y met en maxime, que les evêques tombés dans le péché peuvent, apres avoir fait penitence, exercer leurs fonctions comme auparavant, contre ce que j'ai rapporté en divers endroits. Enfin la principale matiére de ces decretales sont les accusations de ces evêques ; il n'y en a presque aucune qui n'en parle et qui ne § des régles pour les rendre difficiles. Aussi Isidore fait assez voire dans sa préface, qu'il avoit cette matiére fort a cœur. Il y sontient qu'il y avoit plus de vingt canons du concile de Nicée, et parle du sixieme concile tenu

l'an 680, ce qui montre qu'il ne†" être, comme quelquesuns ont cru, Saint Isidore de Seville. Outre les décrétales des Papes, la collection d'Isidore contient les canons des conciles d'orient, d'une version plus ancienne que celle de Denys le petit, et plusieurs canons des conciles de Gaule et d'Espagne. Cependant son artifice tout grossier qu'il etoit imposa a toute l'eglise Latine.* Les fausses decretales ont passé pour vraies pendant 800 ans, et a peine ont-elles été abandonnées dans le dernier siécle. Il est vrai qu'il n'y a plus aujourdhui d'homme mediocrement instruit en ces matiéres, qui n'en reconnoisse la fausseté.

Ibidem. Tom. xi.
Quatrieme discours sur l'histoire ecclesiastique.

Le decret de Gratien acheva d'affermir et d'étendre l'autorité des fausses décretales que l'on y trouve semées partout ; car pendant plus de trois siécles on ne connoissoit point d'autres canons que ceux de ce recueil, on n'en suivoit point d'autres dans les écoles et dans les tribunaux. Gratien avoit meme encheri sur ces décrétales, pour étendre l'autorité du Pape soutenant qu'il nétoit point soumis aux canons : ce qu'il dit de son chef et sans en apporter aucune preuve d'autorité. Ainsi se forma dans † latine une idée confuse que la puissance du Pape etoit sans bornes; ce principe une fois † on en a tiré plusieurs consequences audelà des articles exprimés formellement dans les fausses decretales, et les nouveaux théologiens n'ont pas assez distingué ces opinions d'avec l'essentiel de la foi catholique, touchant la primauté du Pape et les régles de l'ancienne discipline.

The forged donation of Constantine.
Ibidem.
Puissance temporelle de l'eglise.

Leon IX. et les papes qui entreprirent de reparer les ruines du dixiéme siecle, et de remettre l'eglise Romaine dans son lustre, voulurent aussi retablir sa puissance temporelle, qu'ils fondoient premiérement sur la donation de Constantin, puis

* What a farce it is to talk of the infallibility of the Church of Rome with such a fact staring one in the face ! The Popes and the Church of Rome have never condemned these decretals. They have been convicted of forgery by the investigation of learned individuals. The same may be said of the forged donation of Constantine.

« PredošláPokračovať »