Page images
PDF
EPUB

Deventer, Leeuwarden, Groningen and Middelburg. These dioceses, which corresponded as far as possible to the frontiers of the separate provinces, and to the divisions of the two languages of the country, were placed under the three metropolitan churches of Cambrai, Utrecht and Malines. According to this arrangement, the Archbishop of Malines was to have the dioceses of Antwerp, Bois-le-duc, Ghent, Bruges, Ypres and Roermond under him; the Archbishop of Cambrai was to have those of Tournai, Arras, St. Omer and Namur, and the Archbishop of Utrecht those of Haarlem, Middelburg, Deventer, Leeuwarden and Groningen.

For this reorganization, which was very excellent from an ecclesiastical point of view, the Pope had to make an important concession to the exertions of Philip II. on behalf of his national church. The Spanish king received the right to propose suitable candidates for the fourteen new dioceses, as well as for those of Utrecht, Tournai and Arras; the king was to remunerate the new bishops from his own treasury, until a fixed income was allotted to them, and to choose the candidates carefully from among the doctors or licentiates of theology. In spite of this limitation, the measure meant an immense strengthening of the royal power. Whether the natives of the Netherlands, who were so jealous of their liberties, would quietly accept it, was another question. Besides this, the new bishoprics could not very well be endowed, except at the expense of the monasteries and collegiate foundations.1 Consequently, there was considerable excitement among the nobility of the Netherlands, which spread among the influential clergy of the monasteries and foundations. Naturally, all those who were inclined to the new doctrines, regarded the prospect of an increased and more severe ecclesiastical super

1 The reasons for this compensation are explained in the judgment of the Cardinals cited supra p. 321, n. 2, that the "bona monasteriorum hodie non Christo, sed privatorum commodis et vitae voluptatibus serviant, eo quod in eis non admodum regulariter vivatur.”

THE REFORMERS AND FRANCE.

323

vision with great aversion. The new measure,1 which was promulgated by a bull of May 12th, 1559,2 proper and salutary as it was in the abstract, nevertheless contained the germ of grave complications.

In the neighbouring kingdom of France, which was so closely associated with the Netherlands by so many intellectual and material ties, Henry II. was watching, with no less decision than Philip II. was doing in his dominions, over the maintenance of the external stability of the old Church, which had brought so many advantages to the crown by means of the concordat.3 The hopes which the reformers had built on the alliance of the French king with the German Protestant princes against the Emperor, had not been realized. Purely political reasons alone had tempted Henry II. to this course, and the persecution of the Protestants continued during the alliance just as severely as before. After the death of Julius III. it was again politics which had brought about a close union of Henry II. with the Pope.

Paul IV. did not delay in making his alliance with France useful for ecclesiastical purposes as well. If the nuncio, Gualterio, had already been active in exhorting the king to

1 * *Questa sera N.S. ha fatto congregatione di molti cardinali sopra la divisione et erectione dei vescovadi di Fiandra. B. Pia to Cardinal E. Gonzaga, dated Rome, April 22, 1559 (Gonzaga Archives, Mantua).

2 Bull., VI., 559 seqq.; cf. GULIK-EUBEL, III., 38; MASIUS, Briefe, 318-319; BROWN, VII., n. 75. RIESS (p. 73) erroneously places this bull of May 12, 1559, in connection with the autoda-fé of May 31, 1559; he also maintains that Philip II. did not obtain the right of appointment for Malines and Antwerp, which is contradicted by the text of the bull. Cambrai alone is not mentioned there. As early as August 8, 1559, Philip II. addressed a letter to the bishops of the Netherlands concerning the extirpation of heresy; see Compte rendu de la Comm. d'hist., Ser. 3, IX., 300 seqq.

3 Concerning the action taken against the innovators in France since 1551, see AUBERT in the Rev. des quest. hist., LXXXIII. (1908), 107 seq.

take energetic steps against the innovators,1 Cardinal Carafa lost no time, on his appearance at the French court, in proposing, in the Pope's name, the introduction of the Roman Inquisition into France.2 The king willingly promised to do everything to suppress heresy in his kingdom. He also promised to observe the agreement regarding the concordat entered into with Julius III., which had been so often broken.3 On account of the opposition of the Paris Parliament to the introduction of the Roman Inquisition, Henry II. and Paul IV. arranged a compromise, according to which three French Cardinals should conduct the Inquisition in France, under the direction of the Holy See. A brief of April 25th, 1557, entrusted Cardinals Lorraine, Bourbon and Châtillon with the necessary powers for so doing. This arrangement, which the Parliament also resisted, lasted for so short a time that the Pope revoked it as early as June, 1558, and entrusted the work of the Inquisition once more to the diocesan bishops.5 They, however, as well as the secular tribunals, were often wanting in decision. It is no wonder that those of the new religion were always growing bolder. Their number was constantly increasing, especially because the unprincipled king misused the privileges granted him by the concordat in the most shameful manner. Ecclesiastical benefices were used for the reward of those who had rendered services in war or at the court; the younger nobles received them for their maintenance, for which reason the benefices were entered in a false name. It thus happened that officers serving in the army were also receiving the revenues of rich abbeys, and, what was still worse, several of

1 See Nonciat., II., 340.

2 See RIBIER, II., 677.

3 See Nonciat., II., 354, 415, 459; cf. RAYNALDUS, 1555, n. 41. 4 RAYNALDUS, 1557, n. 29. RIBIER, II., 677. The letter of thanks for the brief from Cardinal Lorraine to Paul IV., in the Zeitschr. für Kirchengesch., V., 611.

5 This fact, hitherto unknown to all investigators, including HINSCHIUS (VI., 342), I have taken from an *Avviso di Roma of July 2, 1558 (Vatican Library). Concerning the resistance of the Parliament see SOLDAN, I., 252.

FRENCH CATHOLICS DISUNITED.

325

these holders of benefices also wanted to administer the office assigned to them. A Venetian ambassador remarked with astonishment how quickly soldiers and merchants in France were often turned into bishops and abbots. The ecclesiastical state consequently degenerated more and more, and it not infrequently happened that dioceses were abandoned by their bishops, or else possessed none at all. This neglect of their duty on the part of the superiors had the most disastrous effect on the lower clergy. In spite of all this, however, the Church still had deep roots among the people, though the great evils which had taken possession of them rendered them incapable of offering an effective resistance to the innovators.1 A regeneration of ecclesiastical conditions might have been introduced by the Jesuits, but the University and the Parliament just at that time put the greatest obstacles in the way of any extension of their activities.2

The Catholics, therefore, remained weak, disunited and badly organized; the innovators, on the other hand, kept firmly together, and steadily developed a methodical agitation, under the direction of Calvin. It is not, therefore, to be wondered at, that they were increasingly successful. Indeed, in the spring of 1559, a minority in the Parliament of Paris was favourable to them, and resisted the former severe measures against them. The king, who was more than ever inclined to a decisive resistance to heresy,3 since the peace of CateauCambrésis had been concluded with Spain in April, 1559, endeavoured to silence the opposition by appearing suddenly in the Parliament on June 10th. He had, however, to meet with violent resistance. If Parliament had hitherto attacked, in a thoroughly Gallican way, the Roman Curia as the source of all the evil, they did not now fail to turn also against the 1 See Soranzo in ALBÈRI, Ser. I., II., 409; DE MEAUX, Luttes religieuses, 46 seqq.; MARCKS, Coligny, 262 seq.

2 Cf. Vol. XIII. of this work, p. 203 seq.

3 Cf. SOLDAN, I., 266 seqq., where the decisions on the religious questions and the influence of the peace are made clear, and it is shown that no secret article concerning the extirpation of heretics existed.

king, whose loose manner of life afforded many points of attack. With unmistakable allusion to him, Anne Dubourg called out: "Adultery and debauchery swagger about unmolested, but who are those who are condemned to death? Those whose crime consists in, having uncovered the Roman shame, and having striven to bring about a salutary reform." Henry II. answered by ordering the arrest of Dubourg, and addressing a circular to the Parliament and the courts of justice, admonishing them to the most severe measures against those who had fallen away from the faith.1

All

It was expected that Henry II. would see to the carrying out of his orders by making a tour of his kingdom, and, in alliance with the Duke of Savoy, undertaking an expedition for the destruction of Geneva, the head-quarters of Calvinism. plans of this kind, however, were destroyed by the sudden death of the king, at the age of only forty-two; he succumbed in July to a wound he had received in a tournament. Two months before this, the preachers of eleven heretical conventicles assembled secretly in the suburb of St. Germain, and there drew up a confession of faith, and a system of church government, both thoroughly imbued with the spirit of Calvin.2 The number of the adherents of Calvin at this time in France amounted to 400,000,3 if the Venetian ambassador, Soranzo, is to be believed. Under such circumstances the Parliament entrusted with the care of the country, and which was now entering upon office after the death of Henry II., would be a specially fateful one for France. Paul IV. feared that it would prove indulgent to those who had fallen away from the faith, and held up Philip II. before it as a model.4

1 See DE MEAUX, Luttes relig., 56 seqq.; cf. SOLDAN, I., 277 seq., and RANKE, Franzosische Geschicte, I.2, 187 seq., Ranke erroneously makes the king appear in the Parliament as early as March 10. See also AUBERT, loc. cit., III seq.

2 See HERZOG'S Realenzyklopädie, III.3, 784 seq. ; VI.3, 232 seq. 3 See ALBÈRI, Ser. I, ii., 409; cf. ibid., iii., 425 seq.

4 Cf. besides RIBIER, II., 811, 815, the report of B. Pia to Cardinal E. Gonzaga, dated Rome, July 19, 1559 (Gonzaga Archives, Mantua).

« PreviousContinue »