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acquainted with this document. salvi's recently published Memoirs there occurs no confirmatory notice of such a rescript; but from their fragmentary nature this fact would not suffice by itself to disprove a statement made with so much circumstantial detail by a writer in so favoured a position as Moroni for intimate knowledge of Vatican secrets. Our own efforts have indeed failed to glean any additional evidence for this curious story, which would be of evil omen for the purpose which alone could prompt Pius Ix. to the step he has been credited with, since, in spite of the special privileges thus supposed to have been extended to it, the Conclave which met in Venice was neither short nor harmonious. Pius vii. expired in the Quirinal (1823), and, in accordance with the letter of the law prescribing a Conclave to be held in the very palace in which the Pope dies, the Cardinals congregated there. Since then, however, they have continued to do so on each vacancy, without any warranty of the kind. The Vatican is now therefore deserted for those Conclave doings with which its name stands so closely associated. Not that Papal elections were uniformly held there. The churches of Rome abound in historical memories connected with the scenes of Conclaves. Several memorable Popes were created in the Church of Minerva; and even St. Sabina, that stands in solemn loneliness upon the unpeopled heights of the desolate Aventine, once was the scene of eager contests after the death of Honorius Iv. of the Savelli blood (1288), in the adjoining family palace, the picturesque remains of which are still so strikingly conspicuous. The earliest Conclave recorded to have met within the Vatican precincts is that of 1303; and not till the election of Urban vi. (1378), did a second assemble at the same spot. Then there followed again a series in various localities, until, in 1455, a succession of Vatican Con..claves began with Calixtus III. that was not broken until this transfer to the Quirinal in 1823.
Although apparently the Vatican has now become obsolete for electoral uses, its name stands so closely associated with the eventful traditions of Conclaves, that the reader will excuse a few words on the arrangements which on such occasions were made in this celebrated locality. The whole of the first floor of the pontifical palace was strictly shut off for the accommodation of the Cardinals and of the throng of individuals of various degrees who were appointed to share their imprisonment. The Cardinals were lodged each in a booth by himself, technically termed a cell, erected in the vast halls
In Gon- constituting the Vatican apartments, each
of which contained a number of these wooden huts that were divided into a couple of small ground-floor rooms, occupied by the Cardinal, and similar accommodation above for his confidential attendants, the Cardinals created by the late Pope having their cells hung with violet cloth, in sign of mourning, while those of the others were draped in green; and this distinction is still observed. When the Sacred College was so numerous as to cause a pressure for accommodation, the gallery over the vestibule of St. Peter's used to be also given to the Cardinals, as was the case in the Conclave of 1740, witnessed by the President de Brosses. The distribution of these diminutive houses was always by lot. The one who had fared best in the raffle on the above occasion was Cardinal Tencin, who had drawn the hut in the middle of the gallery, so that the niche of its big central window, walled up until a new Pope has to be proclaimed therefrom, formed a spacious extra apartment at the back of his booth. “But,’ adds the President, “for this convenience he will also be prettily rifled and pulled to pieces when the new Pope comes to the balcony to give his blessing to the people in the square below.” The great hall at the top of the Scala Reggia, which serves as a vestibule to the Sistine and Pauline chapels, remained always free, and was the playground of the imprisoned Cardinals, the spot in which they met and walked up and down together for recreation or consultation. Also, the same hall has been the scene of many stirring encounters and sly colloquies. In the Pauline Chapel it was usual to erect six supplementary altars, whereat each Cardinal and Conclavist performed his appointed daily mass, while the Sistine was always set apart for voting operations. It was the polling-booth of the Conclave, and popular tradition ascribes the injured condition of the paintings on its walls and ceiling in great degree to the effect of the smoke from the o regularly set on fire in the chapel after every unsuccessful ballot. No plea could enable a Cardinal, or any one belonging to the establishment in Conclave, to extend his steps beyond the precincts of the first floor, every window and aperture in which—especially the arches of the Loggie, running round the court of Saint Damasus— were jealously walled up, with only so much window left as must needs be preserved to let in an indispensable amount of light— the spared panes being, however, protected against an illegitimate gaze by a covering of oilcloth. The doors at the top of the Scala Reggia, leading into the great hall between
the two chapels, alone were left unwalled, for the admittance of Cardinals who might arrive after the commencement of business, or the ceremonial visits conceded as a privilege to royal persons who might happen to pass through Rome during a Conclave. But these doors, except on such occasions, were kept carefully closed with four locks, two on the outside, the keys of which were entrusted to the Marshal, as porter of this ; two on the inner side, the key of one eing in charge of the Camerlengo, and of the other in charge of the Master of Ceremonies. By the side of the door there were two wheels, or rather turning-boxes, for the admission of objects declared free from suspicion, after inspection by the officers on guard against the introduction of correspondence, and in other parts of the building there were six other such, similarly guarded, for the admission of the many .. without which it was physically impossible for so large a congregation of human beings to get on. The shape of these wooden turningwheels is the same as those used in the ‘parlatories' of nunneries, and their application is ascribed to the ingenuity of Paris de Grassis, who officiated as Master of the Ceremonies at the Conclave which elected Julius II. (1503), up to which time everything admitted had to be let through an aperture in the wall, as prescribed in the bull of Gregory x. Outside the palace there were posts of soldiers around its walls, and at every approach, and no one was permitted to pass the barriers erected on the Bridge of St. Angelo and at the gate of the Leonine city who was not furnished with a passmedal, so that the quarter of the Borgo was practically shut off from circulation during the sitting of a Conclave. In the locality that is now used there is no longer any need for the erection of wooden booths. The portion of the Quirinal Palace devoted to the accommodation of a Conclave is that which runs along from Monte Cavallo to Quattro Fontane. Here there is probably the longest corridor in the world, upon which opens at equal intervals a succession of doors—exactly like those of monks' cells in a convent corridor—that lead into apartments comprising each three or four rooms. Here are the habitations of the Cardinals during Conclave, who draw lots for them exactly as they did for the booths. On all points of form and ceremonial, however obsolete for practical purposes, there is observed a minute imitation of what was the rule in the Vatican. As formerly the Borgo, so now the street running towards Porta Pia, is closed by chains, while at the top of the great staircase are met the WOL. XLV. N–11
same turning-boxes that figured at the head of the Scala Reggia. Some avowed relaxation indeed appears to have become sanctioned from the absolute seclusion to which the Cardinals are condemned by the tenor of Papal Bulls, which are, however, unrepealed. At these wheels Cardinals are allowed occasionally to converse with visitors," —but always so as to be overheard by attendant guardians,—as also to receive letters under the restriction of their being first perused by these. It is superfluous to add that in spite of the severe penalties launched with the full weight of Pontifical anathema against every violation by an inmate of the Conclave of the command not to hold intercourse with the world, the correspondence between the Cardinals within and their political friends without has at all times been general. As a rule, the secret of sitting Conclaves has not been denser to penetrate for those having an interest to do so than the secret of pending conferences generally are for the parties engaged in working and counter-working political plots. In Father Theiner's elaborate History of Clement xiv., for the vindication of his election against the charge of uncanonical engagements beforehand to sacrifice the Jesuits, we have been furnished with the confidential correspondence kept up day by day by immured Cardinals with their confederates outside. Also it is amusing to read the involved explanations through which the perplexed author tries to extenuate this flagrant violation of the plain letter of Papal Bulls. There is no publication which sheds so full a light upon the whole process of Conclave proceedings as these pages inFather Theiner's book. When all preliminary observances are over, the Cardinals assemble in the church of St. Sylvester, on the Quirinal, opposite the Rospigliosi Palace, known to visitors of Rome for the paintings it contains by Domenichino, but possessed of a yet higher interest as having been the scene where Wittoria Colonna, who resided in the adjoining convent, used on Sundays to hold deep colloquies with Michael Angelo and other choice spirits, of which a striking record has been strangely preserved in the diary of a Flemish painter, which some years ago was discovered in the Lisbon Library. In this
* No one is permitted access to these wheels— termed le rote nobile—unless provided with a small staff painted green or violet, and bearing some Cardinal's arms, or with a pass-medal from the Camerlengo, or Maggiordomo, or Governatore, or Marshal, or General Auditor of the Ap. Chamber.
# It has been printed in part in Les Arts en Portugal. Pat le Comte A. Raczynski, 1846.
church they attend a mass of the Holy Ghost, and listen to a sermon, after which, preceded by their attendants, and the full string of office-bearers, the Cardinals walk in procession across the Piazza, and solemnly enter Conclave, which, however, is not finally closed until a late hour in the evening. Till that moment the Conclave presents a scene of busy activity; for it is customary for every person of rank in Rome to pay his respects to each Cardinal in his cell. The Conclave therefore offers the gay appearance of a public State reception such as every ambassador holds in Rome on his arrival, and every Cardinal on his nomination, with this difference, that only the male sex is present at the Quirinal. But there is more done on this afternoon than merely to whisper words of compliment. The swarming hive of busy beings hurrying from cell to cell is alive with political emotions. Hither hie, then, all the ambassadors, and envoys, and political agents in Rome, to snatch the last opportunity afforded for unrestricted conference, to give the last stroke to eager appeals of soft persuasion or deterring menace, the last touch to cunning combination, and particularly to deposit in the hands of an intimate confederate the knowledge of those whose nomination their Courts will absolutely not brook. At the third ringing of a bell, three hours after sunset, the Master of the Ceremonies makes his appearance, and calling aloud “Extra omnes,” obliges strangers to withdraw beyond the sacred precincts, to which every ingress is then jealously walled up, except the door at the head of the principal staircase, on which bars and bolts are drawn, and heavy locks are turned, with due formality—those on the outside in presence of the Prince Marshal—those within, of the Camerlengo and his three Cardinal colleagues; and now is proclaimed the commencement of that solemn confinement, which by law should be absolute until a new Pope has been created, or at all events, according to the constitution of Gregory x., until a vote of two-thirds of the immured Cardinals shall have ruled its suspension. Often, however, this preliminary work of clearance has proved a task of trouble, and poor Masters of the Ceremonies have been driven distracted by the obduracy of ambassadors in giving no heed to their repeated summonses, and earnest supplications that the final conferences with confidential Cardinals should be concluded. Before proceeding to actual business, the Cardinals go through the formality of proving their right to attend Conclave. In reality, this is nothing more than a form glibly run through, for there can be no danger of
personation in this small constituency. But this ceremony affords the opportunity of saying a few words on a point about which, more than any other connected with Roman ceremonial, there prevails misapprehension —the real nature and position of a Cardinal. That laymen can be made Cardinals is generally known; but we venture to say that whoever has tried to elicit an explanation in Rome of the particular distinction between such lay Cardinals and their colleagues in holy orders—the difference is standing between the two—will have been perplexed with the confused answers he will probably have received to his inquiries. The only means of obtaining the requisite information is by a perusal of #. edicts. The Sacred College is now fixed at seventy members— six Cardinal Bishops, fifty Cardinal Priests, and fourteen Cardinal Deacons,—according to a rule that has been in force since 1585.” Now, there is no canonical injunction which imposes any qualification for a Cardinal that can limit a Pope's selection, except, it would appear, the condition of celibacy. Provided a man has not a wife alive, he is quite able to be promoted to this rank in the Church any moment it may suit a Pope to confer it. It is a more perplexing point to ascertain how far, as Cardinal, the layman is subject to ecclesiastical obligations, and can return to the world with only the sanction of the Pope. A long list of Cardinals who have done this can be made out, but in almost every instance the change in condition happened by special dispensation from the Pope. The only instances in which, to our knowledge, Cardinals returned to the former state without the Pope's declared assent, are against their having the privilege of taking by themselves such a step; for they are instances of Cardinals, like Chatillon, in rebellion against the Church. On the other hand, the instances on record of Cardinals who were relieved from their ecclesiastical obligations are extremely curious, and testify strikingly to the wonderful elasticity in the regulations of the Church. These dispensations constitute a highly instructive, but also a little-read chapter in the history of the Romish organization. Cardinals even in orders have repeatedly been permitted to divest themselves of their dignity and to marry; but in every such case well-defined political influences appear to have been the predominating cause that induced the Pope to concede the favour. Thus in 1588 we find Ferdinand Medici authorized to throw off the purple, and become Grand Duke of Tuscany; in 1642 Cardinal Maurice of Savoy to take a wife and a duchy; in 1695 Cardinal Rainaldo of Este to make the same change in his condition. On the death of King Ladislas of Poland, his brother Casimir, a member of the Society of Jesus, and named Cardinal in 1646, received a dispensation not merely to abandon the purple, but also to marry the King's widow, his sister-in-law, Mary Gonzaga. Still more astonishing were the favours conceded to two brothers of this lady's house. To prevent extinction of the family, Paul v., in 1615, permitted Cardinal Ferdinand Gonzaga to go back into the world. On this change he became enamoured of a woman of inferior rank, Camille Erdizzani, and married her; but becoming afterwards tired of his wife, he sought and procured the Pope's authority for repudiating her, when he espoused Catherine Medicis, daughter of Duke Cosimo II. But there was at the time a second Cardinal Gonzaga—Vincenzo, the brother of Ferdinand,-and he also succeeded in obtaining permission to give up the Church for the sake of indulging his passion for a kinswoman, Isabella Gonzaga. * . In all these cases, it is clear that some orders had been taken; and therefore, in the strict sense of the term, these Cardinals were no
* It adds much to the confusion on this subject, that this division into classes is often only nominal, a Cardinal being put by favour or for other reasons into an order he does not belong to. The present Dean of the College, Cardinal Mattei, for a long time figured as a Cardinal Deacon, although he had taken priest's orders. . More perplexing is it to find Cardinal Priests who have never taken these orders. Such was the case with Cardinal Dandini, who, when merely a deacon, was made in 1823 a Cardinal Priest and Bishop of Osimo. ‘Only nine years later," says Moroni, ‘did he take priest's orders, having in the interval taken part in three Conclaves as a Cardinal Priest, without really having that char acter.' Nor is this all. Moroni speaks of persons having ranked amongst six Cardinal Bishops when they had never been more than deacons.
longer laymen. The real state of the case is that the rank of Cardinal is an ecclesiastical dignity, but that practically it has been conferred on laymen by the intervention of a fiction like that invented to make Protestants capable of receiving the cross of St. Louis in France, which was given only for ninety-nine years to heretics, who forfeited it, if still unconverted at the end of that pe. riod. So also laymen were named Cardinals only for twelve months, being bound within that period to take deacon's orders; but then the same plenary power which had elevated them could extend its favours to an indefinite renewal of the expired dispensation at the end of each year. By the Bull of Pius IV. it was, however, distinctly ruled that no Cardinal still a layman could exercise the privileges of his dignity in Conclave. To be entitled to vote in the election of a Pope he must have taken deacon's orders, and this rule has been observed in practice until in Rome it is the general off. hand statement that this is so fixed by canon law. But here we find, on going to the fundamental authorities, that, as is so often the case in all matters connected with the subject of Conclaves, the current version is not accurate. In Gregory xv.’s (1621–23) elaborate Bull and Ritual, which are at the present moment the ruling statutes for Papal elections, it is distinctly laid down that this exclusion is only against such lay Cardinals as may not be furnished with a specific Papal dispensation. The power of especial favour here recognised has not been exercised generally, and it may be practically correct to say that lay Cardinals have had, as a rule, to take orders before being admitted to a Conclave. In this century, this was certainly the case with Cardinal Albani, who be. came a deacon only when in 1823 the Pope's death offered the opportunity of giving a vote." One instance of a lay &#. admitted to Conclave did, however, certainly occur when Sixtus v. was elected (1855.) The Cardinal Archduke Albert (who eventually married) arrived in hot haste from Innspruck, and having exhibited his license from the late Pope, was permitted to co-operate with his fellow Cardinals in giving a new chief to Catholic Christendom, although, as is explicitly stated, he never had taken any orders. At the present moment there are no lay members of the Sacred College; but this is so only since, quite recently, the reigning Pope expressed his desire that those amongst the Cardinals who had not taken deacon's orders should do so. Amongst the number was Cardinal Antonelli. A freshly-named Cardinal is subjected to a form of novitiate, during which he is technically said to be cum ore clauso, being invested with the symbols of his rank, but precluded from uttering an opinion on or taking an active part in any matters falling within a Cardinal's sphere, until he shall have been relieved from apprenticeship by the Pope solemnly unsealing his mouth. Of late this phase of preparatory state has in practice been reduced to a mere form—the closing injunction and the opening confirmation in full rights being performed in one consistory. Still, this is as yet an innovation, without written authority, and a return to stricter observance of primitive custom is at any time quite possible. At the time when this novitiate was a reality, it was a matter of importance to decide how far this limitation of powers in a Cardinal actually created could extend even to the suspension of the franchise belonging to his rank in the event of the Pope's demise before his mouth had been solemnly unsealed. Eugenius IV. (1431–47), by , a Constitution prohibited Cardinals in this state from taking part in elections; but that prohibition was repealed by Pius iv., and the question must be considered absolutely set at rest by the confirmatory ruling of Gregory xv., that every promulgated Cardinal (in distinction to those in petto) has an inalienable right to particiate in Conclaves, which ruling has been still further confirmed by the circumstances which marked the Conclave convened on the death of Clement IX. in 1670. At that moment there were seven Cardinals cum oribus clausis. All went into Conclave, and one of their number, Altieri, came out of it as Pope. A Cardinal's right to record his vote at Papal elections is regarded as so sacred that it has been guarded § perfectly exceptional provisions, such as seem to constitute in canon law the single limitation set on the Pope's plenary authority. It has been distinctly
* Perhaps the most remarkable dispensation on record is one granted by Alexander III. for the express purpose of preventing the extinction of the Giustiniani family, then reduced to one male member, Niccola Giustiniani, a Benedictine monk who has since been beatified. In virtue thereof Niccola left his convent, married the daughter of the Venetian Doge Micheli, and when he had begotten a suf. ficient number of sons to secure the continuation of the line, went back to his religious profession. Amongst the curiosities of Papal history that are little known, is the fact that the chair of St. Peter has been occupied successively by father and son— Pope Silverius, 536, who was followed by his son Hormisdas. In this instance the Pope had become a widower before election. But in the third portion of the Annales Bertinianorum, written by the celebrated Archbishop Hincmar, and to be found in Pertz, Mon Germanica, vol. i., there is given an account of the abduction of a daughter and the wife Stephania of Pope Hadrian in 868—that is to say, a period to which the Archbishop was a contemporary witness. The story is narrated with much detail, nd with the name of all the parties implicated.
* Cardinal Albani's proceedings are recounted in the following way by Crose, Sardinian Envoy to Rome, in a confidential dispatch: ‘Another historical observation is supplied by Cardinal Albani, who at the period of Conclave was not yet ordained. Until then he had always expressed his intention to abandon the purple and to marry, with the view of not letting his most noble family become extinct. While in this state of hesitation, he had always obtained from the Pope a prolongation of the terms within which he had to come to a decision; but it happened that this term would have expired just during Conclave, so that he would have been obliged to go out of it, inasmuch as, during the vacancy of the See, there existed no authority which could renew the requisite authorization. From a sense of this, Cardinal Albani made up his mind to become Sub-deacon on entering Conclave, and thus he was qualified to exercise his influence in behalf of the Imperial Court.”—Bianchi, Diplomazia Europea in Italia, vol. ii. p. 389.
ruled that no censure, suspension, interdict, nor even excommunication, can involve forfeiture by a Cardinal of his right to exercise this specific privilege of his order. There is no more startling provision in the whole Roman organization; indeed it is so startling that many Catholics will be disposed at the first blush to doubt its authenticity. Yet does this enactment stand not merely as an obsolete curiosity on some forgotten page in the statute-book; Roman Curialists hold it to be still in full force, and when the last case in point occurred, in 1740, with Cardinal Coscia, it was invoked, and strictly acted upon without discussion. The principle dictating this provision is to be found in the feeling (very natural in times of bitter feuds) that, unless this particular privilege of Cardinal were set beyond the reach of confiscation, a Pope of strong partisan views would have only to impose from his plenary authority ecclesiastical penalties to disable Cardinals of a faction opposed to his own from having any weight in the choice of his successors. Nor were such apprehensions without their warrant in facts. Like all the organic laws concerning the mode of Papal elections, this provision was due to no abstract theory, but was simply the result of a want that had been practically encountered. On the 10th May 1297, Boniface viii., blinded by furious passion against the house of Colonna, excommunicated and degraded from their rank the Cardinals James and Peter Colonna, declaring them stripped of every privilege appertaining to their dignity. The extraordinary severity of a sentence, manifestly dictated by the bitter hatred of family feuds, because not justified at the moment of promulgation by adequate canonical delinquencies on the part of these Prelates, produced a profound sensation. It was evidently a point of principle with Boniface viii. to wield his power for extermination of the Colonna influence, if not for actual extinction of the race. Solemnly degraded from their rank, these Cardinals, on the death of Boniface, found themselves excluded from the Conclave, and vainly sought from his successor restitution to rights which they declared to have been taken away in defiance of justice. The consequence was a protracted state of angry feelings, rendered formidable by the material power of the malcontent Colonnas, and accompanied by muttered protests against the canonical legality of a situation in which dignitaries of the Church were arbitrarily excluded from their inherent prerogatives. A sense of the danger to be apprehended from the recurrence of arbitrary acts of the same nature was awakened. It was felt that