Page images


saw the greatest danger just where none at all existed. A little want of care, or an ambiguous expression sufficed to give rise to the suspicion of heresy. The hasty and credulous Pope lent a willing ear to every denunciation, even the most absurd.1 Neither rank, nor dignity nor merit weighed in the balance in the case of anyone suspected of heresy; he would be treated with the same ruthless severity by the Inquisition as if he were the open and declared enemy of the Church. The Inquisitors, constantly urged on by the Pope, scented heresy in numerous cases where a calm and circumspect observer would not have discovered a trace of it, however strictly it might be measured by the standard of the doctrines of the Catholic Church. The envious and the calumniator were kept hard at work snapping up suspicious words fallen from the lips of men who had been firm pillars of the Church against the innovators, and in bringing groundless accusations of heresy against them.2 It thus came to accusations being made and proceedings being taken against bishops and even Cardinals, which are as incomprehensible as they were baseless. An actual reign of terror began, which filled all Rome with fear.3

It is only with great sorrow that we can look back on that time of terror, mistrust and confusion, when men were brought by false arts under the suspicion of wandering from the Catholic faith, to which they were in reality devoted, heart and soul.

1 The pious Cardinal Alfonso Carafa, who was specially trusted by Paul IV., complained bitterly in August, 1559, to the French ambassador, about the "malice de ces cagots, desquels une grande partie estoient eux mesmes heretiques et remplissoient de calomnies les oreilles et le cerveau de S.S." RIBIER, II., 815.

2 No less a person than Gropper (see Histor. Jahrb., VII., 596) whom Cardinals Truchsess and Madruzzo praised as having always been a firm pillar against the heretics in Germany; see Zeitschr. für Kirchengesch., V., 613 seq.

3 This is quite openly stated in the *Avvisi; see e.g. the *Avviso of December 31, 1558. (Vatican Library).

4 In consequence of the uncertainty and confusion, it also occasionally happened that undoubtedly guilty persons were

Many of the occurrences which took place in Rome at that time remind one of those dreadful scenes which sometimes occur in the fury of battle, when the soldier no longer distinguishes between friend and foe, and mistakenly falls upon his comrade and kills him.

interceded for by good Catholic authorities. The most striking example of this is the case of P. Carnesecchi. He was cited before the Roman Inquisition in 1557, and as he did not appear, was condemned on April 6, 1558, in contumaciam. On April 11, 1558, Cardinal Madruzzo recommended this man to Cardinal Carafa and the Bishop of Pola (Zeitschr. für Kirchengesch., V., 612 seq.). The *letter in which Carnesecchi is recommended to Cardinal Madruzzo as the friend of Pole and Morone is dated Venice, March 22, 1558; the signature is illegible. I found this letter in Cardinal Madruzzo's correspondence in the Viceregal Archives, Innsbruck.



It was on May 31st, 1557, that a report was circulated in Rome, which occasioned the deepest sorrow in every quarter of the city. One of the most respected and most virtuous members of the Sacred College, as well as one of the most zealous for reform, Cardinal Morone, had been arrested and taken to the Castle of St. Angelo.

As nuncio and legate Morone had rendered the Church most distinguished services, under the most difficult circumstances; as Bishop of Modena he had combated error, introduced reforms, and energetically supported the Jesuits.2 Under Julius III. he had even belonged to the Roman Inquisition. All his services, however, as well as his blameless manner of life, were alike disregarded by Paul IV. With complete disregard of all legal procedure, he caused a Cardinal to be thrown into prison who was one of the best men in the Curia. No wonder that such a proceeding caused the most painful impression, not only in Rome, but everywhere else as well, even so far off as Poland.3

Already, on May 22nd, Morone's maggiordomo had been arrested in his presence and thrown into the prisons of the Inquisition. This proceeding was looked upon as being due

1 Delfino testifies to this in his *report to Ferdinand I., dated Rome, June 5, 1557 (Court and State Archives, Vienna).

2 Cf. Vol. XI. of this work, p. 510, and infra p. 295 seq., also TACCHI VENTURI, I., 184, 284, 509 seqq., 541 n. 5. Morone was also actively employed in reform as administrator of the Bishop of Novara; see Appendix Nos. 46-47 ; ibid. Morone's care to have good Catholic preachers at Modena and Novara.

* See the letter of A. Patricius, dated Cracow, July 6, 1557, in MORAWSKI, A. Patrycy Nidecki, Cracow, 1884, 105.

4 See Navagero's report in BROWN, VI., 2, n. 898, and AMABILE, I., 150.




to the fact that Morone was considered to be an Imperialist, and unfavourable to the Carafa. The Cardinal knew very well that he had this reputation, nor did it escape his notice that his orthodoxy was suspected. In his open and straightforward way he spoke himself to Cardinal Carafa of the charges brought against him, and pointed out to him how groundless were the rumours concerning him; at the same time he also expressly reminded Carafa of the great share he had had in bringing about the election of Paul IV. Cardinal Carafa answered that he entertained no suspicions against Morone, that everyone was free as to his political opinions, and that he was not concerned with religious questions.1 The conversation thus ended to their mutual satisfaction. Consequently Morone, who had nothing on his conscience, felt no anxiety when on the morning of May 31st, Cardinal Carafa again asked him to visit him, as he had an important communication to make to him. Morone had hardly reached the anticamera when all the doors were closed. Thereupon Cardinal Carafa appeared and informed his colleague that the Pope had ordered his incarceration in the Castle of St. Angelo. Morone replied, without a trace of excitement: "I am not aware of having failed in any way; besides, I should in any case have hurried here, even from a great distance, to obey the orders of the Holy Father." Then the Cardinal was taken in custody through the covered passage which connects the Vatican with the Castle of St. Angelo. They left him three of his servants, but placed in his cell a guard of four soldiers, whom he had to pay out of his own pocket. Morone preserved, in these painful circumstances, that peace of mind which only true piety and the consciousness of innocence can give. He caused his mother to be informed by letter that she must have no anxiety on his behalf.2

1 See BROWN, VI., 2, n. 913.

2 Besides MASSARELLI, 310, and the report of Navagero of May 31, 1557 (translated in Brown, VI., 2, n. 910) and that of Carne in TURNBULL, n. 625, also MASIUS, Briefe 291, see especially the report from a very well-informed source *Captura del card. Morone in Roma all' ultimo di Maggio 1557 (Ambrosian Library, Milan, R. 833) used by SCLOPIS (p. 22 seq.). BENRATH (Herzog's



On the same day the legal officials seized all the papers and books in Morone's palace, which adjoined S. Maria in Trastevere, and took his private secretary to the prison of the Inquisition. There was no doubt that an accusation of heresy was in question. Nevertheless, it was believed that for the arrest of so eminent a member of the Sacred College, who had been repeatedly named by the Imperialists as the future Pope, and who was highly esteemed by Philip II. and Mary of England, other grounds must exist. In many quarters, therefore, it was current that a question of some political offence, concerned with treasonable relations of the Cardinal with the political enemies of Paul IV., was at the bottom of the matter.1

This view, however, was soon denied from an influential quarter. On June 1st, Paul IV. informed the Cardinals in a General Congregation, that he had ordered the arrest of Morone on account of a suspicion of heresy, which he had entertained against him even in the time of Paul III. The Inquisition would conduct the trial, and the sentence would be laid before the Sacred College.2 The Pope spoke to the same effect next day to Navagero. It was not a question of a crime against the state, but of one against the faith. It had come to his knowledge that even in the Sacred College there were men infected with heresy. He had been obliged to take measures against the terrible danger which this involved. "To tell the truth," he continued, "we wish to meet the dangers which threatened in the last conclave, and to take steps during our lifetime, so that the devil may not succeed in days to come in placing one of his own on the throne of St. Peter." He said

Realenzykl., XIII.3, 481) erroneously gives the date of Morone's imprisonment as June 12, BERNABEI (p. 70) says in June, RIESS (p. 249), May 30, AMABILE, (I., 229), June 2. Navagero expressly says in his letter of May 31: questa mattina " (State Archives, Venice). The bad impression made by the arrest is testified to by Delfino; see STEINHERZ, I., xxxvii., n. 2.


1 See the report of Navagero mentioned in the previous note. 2 See in Appendix No. 37 the *Acta consist (Consistorial Archives) and Navagero's report of June 1, 1557, in BROWN, VI., 2, n. 913; cf. also Carne's report in TURNBULL, n. 625.

« PreviousContinue »