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pontiff, was nominated by Lewis in opposition to the majority of the Roman clergy; when he ventured to oppose his creator he saw his city occupied by a Lombard army, and soon had to make his peace. Hadrian II. who followed Nicolas was no less content to keep on good terms with the emperor, whom he praised as ‘the sovereign who wars not, like other kings, against Christians, but only against the sons of Belial, the enemies of the Christian faith; wherefore the hand of the Apostolic See will always be strong on the side of this most pious emperor, and the great Dispenser of battles, through the intercession of the chief of the apostles, will ensure his triumph.” The success of Lewis in keeping the Papacy in hand was all the more notable because the three popes Benedict, Nicolas, and Hadrian were all men of mark, who Quarrel of left their impress for ever on the history of the Benedict and Roman See. It was Benedict who began that * quarrel with the patriarch Photius of Constantinople which brought about the final schism between the Eastern and the Western Churches. Starting with a mere dispute as to the validity of the election of Photius, it was soon complicated by wrangles about the supremacy of the Roman See over the Illyrian and Macedonian bishoprics, a supremacy which had ceased to be real since Leo the Isaurian had declared them to owe no obedience save to Constantinople." Benedict died in 858, but his successor Nicolas kept up the struggle with vigour, styling Photius an intruder and usurper, because his predecessor had never legally resigned the patriarchate, and finally declaring him deposed from his metropolitan throne. That one patriarch should venture to remove and excommunicate another without the aid of a general council, and merely in virtue of his power as the successor of Peter, appeared monstrous to the Byzantine clergy. They paid no attention to the letters of Nicolas, and the emperor Michael the Drunkard threatened to make his arm felt in Italy, and to
* See page 284.
reclaim by the sword the right of the successor of Justinian over Rome. Nicolas replied by comparing the Byzantine Breach be- ruler to Sennacherib, and by taunting him with tween Eastern the loss of Sicily and Calabria to the Saracens, and Western which had deprived him of any opportunity of Churches. - - - - - exercising his power west of the Adriatic. After seven years of wrangling the division between East and West was finally formulated by the Synod of Constantinople (866), where the patriarch, the emperor, and a thousand bishops and abbots drew up the eight articles which declared the Roman Church to have departed from the orthodox faith and discipline. Six of the articles only dealt with small ritual matters, such as the observance of Lent and the shaving of the clergy. But the third, which denounced the enforced celibacy of the priesthood as a snare of Satan, and the seventh, which condemned the Roman doctrine as to the procession of the Holy Ghost, were all-important. The Eastern Church now formally stated that the Western Church, by declaring that the Holy Spirit proceeded both from the Father and the Son, fell into ‘a heresy so awful as to deserve a thousand anathemas.” Photius was soon afterwards deposed, but his fall did not heal the breach between the churches, for the Byzantine emperors and clergy all adhered to the statements of doctrine contained in the decree of the Synod of Constantinople. To this day they are held by the Eastern Church. Nicolas I. was not only the pontiff who precipitated the quarrel with the Eastern Church; he will also be remembered as the protector of the injured queen Teutberga, and the chastiser of the adulterous king Lothair of Lorraine, whose fortunes we have related in another chapter." But he has won his greatest fame from being the first Pope who used the The False famous “Forged Decretals.” Up to his time the Decretals, collection of the letters and edicts of the bishops of Rome, which all the Church knew and used, extended no * See page 428.
further back than those of Siricius. (A.D. 384.) But there was brought to Rome about the year 860 a collection of fifty-nine decretals, which purported to be those of the Popes of the second and third centuries, and thirty-nine more which were interpolated among the real documents extending from Siricius down to Gregory II. (384-731.) There was also in this precious collection the celebrated donation of Constantine and the acts of several councils. This wonderful series of documents, it was said, had been discovered in Spain by Riculf, archbishop of Mainz. It was at once incorporated in the authentic series of Acts of Councils, edited by the great Isidore of Seville, and the new as well as the old documents were in future called by his name. To any one with a competent knowledge of early church history, or with a turn for textual criticism, the False Decretals would have betrayed their character at once. But these accomplishments were rare in the ninth century, and the few who could have exposed the new decretals were precisely the persons most interested in proving them to be authentic. For, as was natural considering their origin, they were full of authoritative decisions on the points in which the ninth century clergy were interested. What could be more delightful than to find St. Clement or St. Felix giving just such decisions on the questions of church lands or clerical celibacy as would have been given by the reigning pontiff? To inquire whether the Church had any lands in the second century, or whether the idea of clerical celibacy had then been broached, would have been not only impious but unwise. So the False Decretals with all their anachronisms and confusions of persons and impossiblities of style and form were greedily manense of swallowed by the Pope and the whole clerical the False body, and promptly turned into weapons of war Pe***. against the civil power, the Eastern church, and any other enemy for whose discomfiture they were suited. It is impossible not to suppose that Nicolas I. knew what he was doing in accepting the Decretals: he had in his own hands the genuine decrees of the Popes from 384, preserved with care and accuracy; how was it possible that more should exist in a corner of Spain than in the papal chancery P. Would the most important title-deeds of the Roman See, which proved that from the days of the apostles downward the Popes had exercised the power of legislating for the whole Western Church, have been suffered to pass into oblivion ? On such points Nicolas must have had his own views : but the documents were too tempting to be neglected, and from henceforward they were freely used as a basis for the monstrous claims of the mediaeval papacy. Who forged the Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals we shall never know. They were first heard of at Mainz, and it would seem that it was either at Mainz or at Rheims that they were com— posed. Rome, though she used them, did not have the shame of framing them. Indeed they were originally intended to serve the ends of the local bishops rather than those of the Pope. The first time that they were used in a case of im– portance was in 866. Hincmar, archbishop of Rheims, had deposed Rothad, bishop of Soissons, for incompetence. Rothad appealed to Nicolas I., on the plea that according to the Decretals the power of deposing a bishop lay with the Pope alone, and not with the archbishop. Nicolas then restored the bishop of Soissons to his see to the great wrath of Hincmar, who would have repudiated the decretals but for the unfortunate fact that he himself had used them in the previous year. He had to content himself with the cautious saying that the documents were “a mousetrap for archbishops’ —circumposita omnibus metropolitanis muscipula—because they threw all power into the hands of the Roman pontiff. But we must return to the secular affairs of Italy. In 853 the emperor Lewis made the first of his attempts to expel the Saracens from the peninsula ; it failed owing to the slackness or treachery of the duke of Benevento, who bought a private peace for himself from the Sultan of Bari, and rejoiced to see the worst of the Moslem raids turned off against his neighbours of Salerno. Naples also long remembered the day when Mofareg forced his way to its very gates, and sat in triumph on a heap of corpses by the bank of the Sebeto, while his soldiery laid the heads of their victims at his feet. Some years later Lewis began a second series of campaigns against the infidel. At first he met with many checks, but in 867 he forced the dukes of Benevento and Salerno to do him homage and to join his Lombards in the field. He took one after another many of the towns of Apulia, and at last in 868 laid siege to Bari itself. The leaguer lasted no less than three years, but while it was in pro- :ve, gress Lewis was clearing Lucania and Calabria of the Moors, the enemy. Yet as long as the sea was open Bari -875. never failed to obtain provisions and reinforcements, and Lewis was forced to find some naval power to back him. He asked the aid of the emperor Basil the Macedonian, who had just succeeded Michael the Drunkard on the Byzantine throne. Accordingly the admiral Nicetas Oriphas swept the Adriatic with a hundredships and drove the Moslems out of its recesses. He then blockaded Bari for a space, but soon quarrelled with Lewis and withdrew. The Sultan, however, deprived of the command of the sea, had been driven to extremity, and in February 871 the emperor succeeded—even without Byzantine aid—in storming the city. The garrison was put to the sword, all save the Sultan, whom duke Adelgis of Benevento had captured in the citadel. Lewis now turned to seize Taranto, the last Saracen stronghold in Apulia, and spoke of completing his work by clearing Calabria and attacking Sicily. But treachery frustrated this grand and salutary scheme. While the emperor was paying a visit to Benevento, in company with his wife and daughter, the new duke Adelgis treacherously seized him and threw him into a dungeon. - The traitor is said to Lewis Lia. have been persuaded by his prisoner the Sultan napped by of Bari that the further success of Lewis would duke Adelgis. mean the annexation of all Italy to the imperial domain