« PreviousContinue »
fines, fasts, imprisonment, and scourging, because without this external power the Church could not last to the end of the world. She herself is to fix the limits of this power, and he is a rebel against God who denies it. Schneemann does not conceal his grief that the present world is so far gone from the apprehension and application of these wholesome truths : “We see that the State does not always fulfil its duties towards the Church according to the divine idea, and, let us add, cannot always fulfil them, through the wickedness of men.
And thus the Church's rights in inflicting temporal punishment and the use of physical force are reduced to a minimum.” 1
It was from the spirit here manifested that Pius IX. in 1851 censured the teaching of the canonist Nuytz in Turin, because he allowed only the power of spiritual punishment to the Church. And in the Concordat made in 1863 with the Republics of South America, it
1 Schneemann's Die kirchliche Gewalt und ihre Träger forms vol. vii. of the Stimmen aus Maria Laach (Freiburg, 1867). The passages quoted are from pp. 18, 41. The article of the Civiltà referred to appeared in 1854, vol. vii. p. 603. It is said expressly of the Church that against those "che ricusano la soggezione dello spirito, operi per via di castighi temporali, multandoli nelle sostanze, maurandoli con privazioni e digiuni, affligendoli con carcere e battiture.” The other references to the Civiltà are from vol. viii. pp. 42, 279-282.
2 The works censured are Juris Ecclesiastici Instit. and In Jus Eccles. Univ. Tractat.
is laid down in Article 8 that the civil authorities are absolutely bound to execute every penalty decreed by the spiritual courts. In a statement addressed by Pius ix. to Count Duval de Beaulieu, published in the Allgemeine Zeitung of November 13, 1864, the power of the Church over the government of civil society, and its direct jurisdiction in temporal matters, is expressly guarded.
It follows that they are greatly mistaken who suppose that the Biblical and old Christian spirit has prevailed in the Church over the mediæval notion of her being an institution with coercive power to imprison, hang, and burn. On the contrary, these doctrines are to receive fresh sanction from a General Council, and that pet theory of the Popes—that they could force kings and magistrates, by excommunication and its consequences, to carry out their sentences of confiscation, imprisonment, and death--is now to become an infallible dogma. It follows that not only is the old institution of the Inquisition justified, but it is recommended as an urgent necessity in view of the unbelief of the present age. The Civiltà has long since described it as "a sublime spectacle of social perfection ;"1 and the two recent
1 In 1855, vol. i. p. 55, the Inquisition is called “un sublime spettacolo della perfezione sociale.”
canonizations and beatifications of inquisitors, following in rapid succession, gain in this connexion a new and remarkable significance.
(2.) According to Schrader's affirmative statement of the twenty-third proposition of the Syllabus, the Popes have never exceeded the bounds of their power or usurped the rights of princes. All Catholics must for the future acknowledge, and all teachers of civil law and theology must maintain, that the Popes can still depose kings at their will, and give away whole kingdoms and nations at their good pleasure.
When, for instance, Martin Iv. placed King Pedro of Aragon under excommunication and interdict for making good his hereditary claim to Sicily after the rising of the Sicilians against the tyranny of Charles I. (in 1282), and then promised indulgences for all their sins to those who fought with him and Charles against Pedro, and finally declared his kingdom forfeit, and made it over for a yearly tribute to Charles of Valois—a step which cost the two kings of France and Aragon their life, and the French the loss of an army,2—this was not,
1 The Syllabus condemns the following proposition (23), “Romani Pontifices et Concilia Ecumenica a limitibus suæ potestatis recesserunt, jura Principum usurparunt.” Cf. Schrader, ut sup. p. 63.
? See Raynald. Annal. Eccles. (ed. Mansi), vol. iii. pp. 183-4. The Bull of Martin Iv. against Peter of Aragon runs thus : “Regnum Aragoniæ cæter
as the world in its false enlightenment has hitherto supposed, a violent usurpation, but the application of a divine right which every Pope still possesses in full, though prudence may require that for the moment, and perhaps for some time to come, they should let it lie dormant, and adopt meantime a waiting attitude.
Pope Clement iv., in 1265, after selling millions of South Italians to Charles of Anjou for a yearly tribute of eight hundred ounces of gold, declared that he would be excommunicated if the first payment was deferred beyond the appointed term, and that for the second neglect the whole nation would incur interdict, i.e., be ileprived of sacraments and divine worship. asque terras Regis ipsius exponentes, ut sequitur, ipsum Petrum regem Aragonum eisdem regno et terris regioque honore sententialiter, justitiâ exigente, privamus; et privantes exponimus eadem occupanda Catholicis, de quibus et prout Sedes Apostolica duxerit providendum, in dictis regno et terris ejusdem Ecclesiæ Romanæ jure salvo.” The Pope required of Charles of Anjou, “quingentas libras parvorum Turonensium" as Papal tribute, and for this consideration had a crusade preached against Peter, with the following promise (1283): “Omnibus Christi fidelibus qui contra Kegem Aragoniæ nobis, Ecclesiæ vel Regi Siciliæ astiterint, si eos propterea in conflictu mori contigerit, illam peccatorum suorum, de quibus corde contriti et ore professi fuerint, veniam indulgemus quæ transfretantibus in terræ sanctæ subsidium consueverit." It is noteworthy that Martin Iv. compelled several German churches (Liége, Metz, Verdun, Basle) to pay a tenth of all ecclesiastical property to France for carrying on this war. When Rudolph of apsburg reclaimed vigor against so unheard of a demand, Martin's successor, Honorius iv., exhorted him “to submit patiently to the exaction out of reverence for the Papal See.” Raynald. ut sup. pp. 600-1.
i Raynald. p. 162. “Quod si in secundo termino infra subsequentes 1 The Syllabus condemns the prop. (30), “Ecclesiæ et personarum ecclesiasticarum immunitas a jure civili ortum habuit."
Nevertheless, the Bishops of the future Council are to make it an article of faith that the Pope did not thereby exceed the limits of his power; in other words, that he could at his mere caprice, and for purely political or pecuniary ends, deprive millions of innocent men of what, according to the teaching of the Church, are the necessary means of salvation.
(3.) If the Council executes the programme of the Civiltà, it will also undertake a correction of the hitherto prevalent estimate of history. We now read in all historical books and systems of Church law that the immunities of the clergy (e.g., the privilegium fori, the unrestricted right of acquiring property, and exemption from civil functions) were gradually conceded to the Church by the Roman emperors and later kings, and have therefore a civil origin. This will be characterized as heresy.
Those also will become guilty of heresy who write or teach that the extravagant pretensions of the Popes contributed to the separation of the Eastern and Western Churches, though this may be discovered in official duos menses eundem censum sine diminutione quâlibet non persolveritis, totum regnum ac tota terra predicta ecclesiastico erunt supposita inter. dicto.”