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a Pope of headstrong passions like Boniface VIII. must absolutely be precluded from exposing the Church again to grave peril for the sake of purely personal hatred and ambition. Accordingly, just thirteen years after the memorable degradation of the Colonna Cardinals, a Bull in reference to Papal elections was issued by Clement v., in which the following most remarkable clause was inserted:— But in order that, as concerns the before-mentioned elections, dissensions and schisms be so much the more avoided, as the occasion for dissent is removed from those elections, we decree that no Cardinal may be expelled from the said elections on the ground of any excommunication, suspension, or interdict whatsoever.’ The provision thus made has been subsequently confirmed by Pius Iv. and Gregory xv. in so full a manner as to remove all ambiguity on this head, for not only have those under sentence been declared relieved at election times from the disabilities involved thereby,but,what was quite as necessary,their colleagues were dispensed, during the interval, as regarded them alone, from the obligation to hold no intercourse with an excommunicated and censured individual. There are instances of Cardinals who since this enactment have undergone extreme penalties, even decapitation, but we know of no instance in which this particular provision in regard to the indelible right of franchise has been set at naught. In the time of Leo x, several Cardinals were convicted of a conspiracy against his life. Of these, one, Cardinal Petrucci, was strangled in the Castle of St. Angelo on the 6th June 1517, while Cardinals Saoli and Soderini were indeed degraded, and declared stripped of both active and passive voice in a Conclave—that is, of the power of either voting or being elected; but this sentence was cancelled before the Pope's demise tested its validity. Under Leo's successor Cardinal Soderini again stood convicted of conspiracy, and was imprisoned in the Castle of St. Angelo; but on the last day of the Pope's obsequies he was let out by the Sacred College, and gave his vote in Conclave for Clement vii., by whom he was then restored to all the honours of his rank. But the ruling case on this point is that of the notorious Cardinal Coscia, who under Benedict XIII. (1724–30) wielded the whole power, and dispensed the whole patronage of the State. On this Pope's death, his favourite was so universally an object of detestation, from his iniquitously corrupt proceedings, that he fled from fear of popular vengeance to Cisterna, then as now the family seat of the Duke of Sermoneta, who, in a letter to Cardinal Bar
berini, preserved in the Gaetani archives, describes him to have arrived more dead than alive from fright. Under the protection of a safe-conduct from the Sacred College, Cossia stole back into Conclave. The new Pope, Clement xII. (Corsini), was unable to withstand the clamour of denunciation which from all sides was raised against the member of the Sacred College. Cardinal Coscia was brought to trial for fraud, malversation, and peculation of the most scandalous kind; the charges were fully established, and he was sentenced to a fine of 200,000 crowns, to ten years' close confinement in St. Angelo, deprivation of his see of Beaevento, and to absolute degradation from the rank and privileges of the Cardinalate. Before long the Pope felt misgivings about the sentence so pronounced, and wrote a Chirograph bearing date 11th December, 1734, to regulate and modify the conditions of Coscia's penalties. This Chirograph we have found in a volume” of manuscript documents in the Corsini Library, relating to the Conclave held on the Pope's death, which is manifestly composed of papers that belonged to the Cardinal-Nephew of Clement xII. There does not exist a more remarkable Papal utterance than this document, wherein the Pope explains fully the afterthought that induced him to revoke his first sentence as objectionable, if not actually faulty in principle, in spite of his having pronounced it, as he admits, with the deliberate intention of cancelling the binding force of previous Papal edicts of limitation. That a person laboring under such grave convictions as Coscia should have part in creating a Pope was contrary to propriety; therefore, said Clement xII., it has been originally pronounced that every election in which he intervened should be ipso jure null and void, “every power and faculty being taken away of calling the said Cardinal Coscia to give his vote in such election on the ground of any claim or motive specified in canon law, or in virtue of any constitution whatsoever of Pius IV., Gregory xv., and other our predecessors.” A more carefully worded expression of Pontifical plenitude so as effectively to override every apparently opposing enactment cannot be conceived. Yet Pope Clement goes on to state that having reflected on the grave consequences that might follow on such annullations and invalidations, he feels himself bound to put forward the declaration that he did not in any way pretend of his authority to impugn the validity of a yet future election. “Wherefore,' writes the Pope,
* Vol. 1618 in Catalogue of Mss. in Corsini Library.
“we declare that never has it been our wish or intention to prejudice the canonical election of our successor, or the supreme dignity and authority of the Church which after our demise shall be lawfully vested in the person of him who has been chosen with the accustomed forms, it being according to neither reason nor equity that the transmis. sion to his person of a penalty attaching to the delinquent be assumed capable of occurrence, and that injury should befall the freedom and union of the Apostolical College in its so needful mystic body.' By this Chirograph the Pope accordingly abrogated the sentence, stamping with invalidity an election in which Coscia took part, with the proviso, however, that an election, to be canonical, must not gain its obligatory majority of two-thirds by his individual vote, and that during his ten years of strict confinement this Cardinal's electoral privileges should be restricted to voting, and not entitle him to obtain the suffrages of the Sacred College, because it would be unseemly to consider eligible for Head of the Church an individual let out of prison only for as long as a Conclave lasted. This is what happened therefore on the death of Clement XII. In the same volume containing the chirograph, there is the autograph letter of Cardinal Coscia, dated the 6th February 1740, from the Castle of St. Angelo, and written to the Cardinal-Nephew of the late Pope, in which he claims to be set free for admission to Conclave, a request which was at once conceded. The President de Brosses, as he was going home from witnessing the procession of the Cardinals walking met “Coscia in the shut chariot of Cardinal Acquaviva, who had been to fetch him from prison in the Castle of St. Angelo, and was taking him to his cell.'" The precedent furnished by this case has never been reversed, although sentences of degradation have since been launched against Cardinals. In a secret Consistory of the 13th February 1786, Pius v1. suspended and declared stripped of both active and passive voice in Papal elections, Cardinal Rohan, for having violated his duties by acknowledging the jurisdiction of the Parliament of Paris, a lay tribunal,t unless within six months he exculpated himself before the Holy See for this dereliction of his obligations. Far more sweeping and absolute was the condemnation
* “Coscia, Minister under Benedict xiii., meriting the gallows—condemned to imprisonment for life in St. Angelo, where, it is said, he throve wondersully, because it cost him nothing, and he was hoarding money,' is the character given by the President of the notorious Cardinal.
# In the matter of the Diamond Necklace.
pronounced by the same Pope on the 26th September 1791 against Cardinal Lomenie de Brienne, for having sworn the civil constitution of the clergy that had been voted in France. He was pronounced to be a schismatic, and as such perjured, degraded, and wholly stripped of all his dignities and privileges. But it happened that both these Cardinals died before there had been any opportunity for testing the validity of these sentences to disable them from claiming at election time to be admitted to the exercise of indelible rights. The stormy days in the wake of the French Revolution furnished also some instances of Cardinals smitten with the prevailing passion for repudiating oldfashioned institutions, and indulging in a display of new ideas. During the heyday excitement of a republic that seemed established on the Capitol, two Cardinals, of whom one belonged to a great and princely family in Rome, thought it good policy to turn their backs on what looked like a foundering fortune. In March 1798, Cardinal Altieri wrote to the Pope expressing his wish to divest himself of the purple, on the ground of a growing sense of bodily infirmities. But Pius vi., who knew that other motives prompted the unusual application, addressed a letter to the Cardinal, remonstrating against his setting an example of faint-hearted desertion. Before this appeal reached Cardinal Altieri, he had however already taken an irrevocable step, and sent his absolute renuneiation of the Cardinalate to the Pope, in imitation of Cardinal Antici, who, on the 7th March had done the same in two letters, one addressed to the Pope, and the other to the two consuls of Rome. Yet Pius VI. declined to accept these renunciations, and continued to regard the two renegades as still Cardinals, and canonically not relieved from their obligations, until the consideration of the consequences that might follow from their claiming, in virtue of this refusal on his part, to take part in the Conclave, induced him from his prison at the Certosa, by two briefs of the 7th September 1798, to declare Altieri and Antici, on their own renunciation, stripped of all the privileges and rights appertaining to their former dignity, especially any voice, active or passive, in Pap
elections. Altieri died soon after, in 1800, without seeing any turn in Pontifical fortunes which ...i. made him regret his step as hasty. Not so Antici, who not only witnessed the restoration of Pius VII. to his dominions, and of the Sacred College to its good estate, but when he looked on all this pleasant recovery, tried himself to participate in it. On the death of Pius VII. Antici addressed the Sacred College to be admitted to the Conclave, on the plea that his privileges had been merely superseded. The request was at once rejected, and Moroni says that the letter written in reply to the communication of this decision was signed Thomas Antici, late Cardinal. He ended his days in obscurity at Recanati.” The question of how far a Cardinal can be stripped of his privileges by the Pope has recently acquired interest in connexion with the proceedings understood to have been instituted against Cardinal Andrea. That prelate left Rome surreptitiously about two years ago, and took up his residence at Naples, on the plea that his health absolutely required a change of residence, for which he had vainly sought the Pope's sanction. By a Bull of Innocent x., a Cardinal absenting himself from Rome without the Pope's permission, is declared liable to forfeit all emoluments from any benefice he may hold. It is confidently asserted that the intention was entertained at Rome to exceed the limits of these penalties. The political opinions to which the Cardinal has freely given expression inspired the Pope with the desire to degrade him completely, so as to prevent his possibly proving the means for the importation of an element of disunion in the next Conclave. For a while it was whispered that the appointed congregations were actually engaged in drawing up the capital sentence against the recusant Cardinal—a sentence which would at the same time elevate the absoluteness of Pius Ix. to a point beyond all challenge. Nevertheless, no such sentence has been promulgated, and hitherto the Cardinal has suffered only that loss of income to which he was liable by the terms of Innocent the Tenth's Bull; nor is it believed that the original idea of proceeding to extreme penalties is any longer entertained in the Vatican. It may therefore be considered an established point, surrounded with as many guarantees as can exist against the action of an authority which claims in principle to be above all limitations, that a Pope may send a Cardinal to the scaffold, but that he cannot, by any sentence of excommunication or degradation, deprive him of the power of giving his vote at a Papal election. Everything else can be taken away, but this right, once conferred, would seem to be indelible, except in the one case of a Cardinal having himself discarded the purple, when precedent proves him to be certainly debarred from again resuming it of his own accord at a change of humour. As the Quirinal Palace contains only one chapel, the Paolina, this has to be arranged
so as to serve the Cardinals both for mass and voting. The balloting accordingly takes place in the presbytery, in front of the altar, the floor of which, covered with a green carpet, is brought on a level with the base of the pontifical throne, which is removed; while on the Gospel side of the altar a chair is put for the new Popé, from which to receive the adoration of the Cardinals immediately after election. Inside the railing of the presbytery are the seats of the Cardinals, each with a canopy of green for those of older date, and of violet for those created by the late Pope. As soon as an election has taken place, these are lowered, the canopy over the new Pope remaining alone aloft. Before each Cardinal is a table with all the materials required for writing and registering his vote, while in the middle six such tables stand apart for those Cardinals who might fear being overlooked if they wrote and folded their ballot-papers at their own stalls. On the Gospel side the Cardinal Dean occupies the first seat, being followed by the others in the order of precedence, so that the senior Deacon sits opposite to him on the Epistle side of the altar, in front of which is a large table, with the chalice serving as a ballot-box, while at the back is the fire-place, wherein, after an inconclusive ballot, the papers are burned, whose smoke, issuing through the chimney, is watched-for at a set hour by the crowd on the Piazza as the signal that Rome is without a Sovereign-the Church still without a Head. The ingenuity of some ecclesiastical antiquaries has amused itself in fancifully recognising infinite variations in the modes of Papal elections. But even if warranted in fact, these distinctions must be held to be without any living value, for the bull of Gregory xv., which is the capital statute on the subject, explicitly declares that there are only three modes in which a Pope can be lawfully created: by inspiration, by compromise, and by ballot. The first, which requires that, spontaneously, without any kind of previous conference, all the electors of one accord should simultaneously proclaim the same individual, may be dismissed without further comment as an altogether ideal conception,-in spite of ecclesiastical writers giving a list of Popes created by this process. Of much greater practical importance are the conditions regulating the second form, which we have seen was invented by the instinct of the Church, as a means to put an end to the intolerable state of affairs which weighed upon it in the interminable Conclave held at Viterbo. The expedient of delegating to a small committee of Cardinals the power which the whole body found itself too much torn by dissension to exercise, has been resorted to on several occasions, and is still considered in Rome as not obsolete. The most memorable instance of its application was furnished when the impossibility for the Cardinals assembled in 1304 to agree on a candidate induced them to intrust the election to a delegation out of their own body, which gave to the Church Pope Clement v. (1305-14), who then transferred to Avignon the Holy See. It is affirmed by the Cavaliere Borgia, in the life he wrote of his uncle, Goi Borgia,” that when the Conclave held at Venice, after the decease of Pius vi. (1799), reached the third month, it was contemplated to invest nine Cardinals, amongst whom was his uncle, with the duty of selecting a Pope, and that the idea was not followed up only because at the nick of time the votes of the College happily concurred in-creating Pius VII. It is true that here again Consalvi's Memoirs fail in speak. ing to the correctness of this assertion; but, as we have before remarked, the absence of such confirmation in this quarter does not seem to us of itself necessarily to invalidate its authenticity. Gregory xv. has closely prescribed the forms to be employed for the mode of election, but they are not of his own invention, being only an adaptation of those already contained in an ancient Ritual by Cardinal Giacomo Gaetani Stefaneschi, to be found in Mabillon’s Museum Italicum. The ordinary election by ballot is performed by two processes repeated daily,– one in the forenoon, which is a simple ballot; the other in the afternoon, which consists in the process technically called of acceding, whereby an elector, revoking his morning's ballot, transfers his vote to some one whose name had that morning already come out of the ballot-box. Hence the designation of the supplementary ballot, for in it the faculties of electors are strictly limited to the power of adhering to some Cardinal whose name at the early ballot has been drawn. The voting papers are square, and folded down, so as at each end to have a sealed portion, within the upper one of which is written the voter's name, to be opened only under special circumstances; and in the other, sealed with the same seal, some motto from Scripture, which, once adopted, must be the same at all ballots,
* The latest case of a Cardinal divesting himself of the purple occurred in 1838, when Cardinal Odescal
chi insisted on entering the order of the Jesuit monks, and would not be content until the Pope in Consistory had acquiesced in his ascetic propensities.
* Notizie Biografiche del Card. St. Borgia del ch. Constantino Borgia, 1843.
and serves ordinarily as the means for identification of the vote. In the middle space, which is left open, stands the name of the candidate. Advancing to the altar, after a short prayer in silence, and an oath aloud, wherein the Saviour is called to witness that the vote about to be given is dictated by conscientious convictions, each Cardinal drops his paper in the chalice upon the altar. When all have voted, the examination of the papers is made by the scrutators, three Cardinals selected by lot, who successively hand to each other every paper, which is by the last filed on a pin. Should a candidate come out with just a majority of two-thirds, it then becomes necessary to open the upper folded portions of the ballot-papers, with the view of ascertaining that this majority is not due to the candidate's own vote; it being not lawful for a Pope to be the actual instrument of his own creation. In the case of no adequate majority, these papers are preserved, so as to be able to check, through the mottoes, the votes given in the supplementary ballot, it being, of course, unlawful for a Cardinal to repeat a second vote in behalf of the candidate for whom he had already voted in the morning. The form of tendering this second vote is by writing ‘Accedo domino Cardinali,” while those who persist in their morning's choice insert the word ‘Nemini.” Should both ballots fail in producing the legal majority, then the papers are burnt, while in all cases the portion containing the voter's name is to be opened by the scrutators only in the event of some suspicion of fraud or of a vote being invalid, through some violation by the elector of the prescribed forms. In the Conclave of 1829 Cardinal Castiglione came out of the ballot with thirty-five votes, against twenty for Cardinal Gregorio, and twelve for Capellari, afterwards Gregory xvi. On examining the papers, the scrutators, however, found two votes dropped into the afternoon ballot with mottoes that did not tally with any amongst the morning's votes. Two Cardinals are named as suspected of having committed this act, probably with the vain hope of defeating Castiglione's election. All it effected was to vitiate the ballot of the day, and on the following morning Castiglione became Pius vii.I. by an increased majority. The election of Urban viii. (1623) was put off for a day by a yet more unworthy trick. When the papers were being looked through one was found wanting, and, although the canonical majority had been secured, the election was nevertheless void—as every Cardinal in Conclave must lodge his vote. Suspicion fell on one of the scrutators, who is believed to have abstracted the paper from the chalice, and dropped it into his sleeve, solely to prevent an otherwise inevitable result from being arrived at that morning. The narratives of Conclaves are filled with accounts of election manoeuvres practised by plotting Cardinals with the view of bringing about, by underhand tactics, some preconceived result. The whole system of these proceedings bears the visible impress of that cautious and cunning temperament which never operates but under a mask, and never contemplates to work otherwise than by stratagem. Of these tricks the most common—indeed so common as to be an established feature in Papal elections—is the naming of sham candidates by the rival sections. The general object of this device is to elicit the exercise of the veto vested in certain Catholic sovereigns, and which can be given but once. If it be intended to carry a Cardinal known to be obnoxious to a sovereign possessed of this privilege, then some other Cardinal, also known to be distasteful to him, is started, and pushed to the very verge of the required majority, in the hope of causing the veto to be pronounced, when no obstacle from that quarter can any longer stand in the way of the concealed candidate, who had all along been the real object of predilection. The origin of this privilege of excluding from the Papacy is involved in mystery, but its existence is formally recognised by the Court of Rome, although there has been much dispute about the claims which the Crowns of Portugal and Naples always put forward to its posses. sion.” As regards France, Austria, and Spain, the privilege is, however, absolute; and its exercise is surrounded with all the accurate formality of a publicly admitted right. On the occurrence of a Conclave, the secret determination to protest against particular Cardinals is confided by each Court to some member of the Sacred College, who is trusted with the duty of making this known at the proper moment; or, in the event of a Court having no Cardinal on whose fidelity it can rely, then this knowledge is deposited with the Cardinal Dean. For a protest to have effect it must, however, be lodged before a canonical majority has been actually obtained; for a Pope, once created according to the prescribed forms, cannot be unmade by the intervention of any power. So it is said that in 1823 Leo XII. owed his election to a surprise—the French Cardinals, Clermont and De la Fare, who were instructed to exclude him, having been
* The claims of the latter would naturally descend to Italy.
outwitted by the stealthy suddenness of the final ballot. The latest instance of exclusion was in 1831, when Cardinal Giustiniani was excluded by Spain, at which Court he had been Nuncio. Moroni gives a detailed account of the proceedings observed on this occasion. The Cardinal was visibly on the verge of election; on the day's ballot he counted twenty-one votes, and it wanted only twenty-nine to secure his triumph, when Cardinal Marco-y-catalan informed Cardinal Odescalchi, nephew to Giustiniani, and the Cardinal Dean Pacca, that he was charged to exclude him by order of the King of Spain. The communication was not expected, and doubt was expressed as to the reality of this expressed intention. Thereupon Cardinal Marco produced a letter from the Spanish Ambassador, Gomez Labrador, dated 24th December 1830, instructing him, “at the express order of his Catholic Majesty, to exclude his Eminence Cardinal Giustiniani from the pontifical throne.’ This despatch the Cardinal Dean then read out to his assembled colleagues before proceeding to the morning ballot on the 9th January; after which Cardinal Giustiniani addressed them, expressing ignorance of what he could have done to make the King of Spain take this step, but professing to thank him for the greatest favour he could have bestowed by keeping him from the Papal throne.” ‘S. mel exclusus semper exclusus’ is a saying not absolutely true; for Clement v1.11. had i. excluded in three Conclaves by Spain, and Innocent x, was elected with a French exclusion suspended over him. As for the category of Cardinals who have the best chances of gaining the suffrages of their colleagues, there is a Roman proverb which says that three are the streets leading
* At the Conclave of 1824 Austria excluded Cardinal Severoli through the agency of Cardinal Albani. A despatch of the Sardinian representative in Rome, published in the valuable appendix to the second volume of Bianchi's Storia della Diplomazia Europea in Italia, dell' anno 1814, all’ anno 1861, gives very curious details of the incidents that marked this proceeding. The veto was so unpopular, that it was sought to be set aside on the plea of Cardinal Albani's not having been duly invested with the formal authority to exercise this privilege on its behalf by the Court of Vienna; so that Severoli continued to poll votes after the protest had been lodged, until Count Apponyi, then Austrian ambassador, handed in a note, the text whereof is given by the Sardinian diplomatist, confirming Albani's authority. The Cardinal's exclusion was conveyed in the following terms. In my capacity of Extraordinary Ambassador to the Sacréd College met in Conclave, . . . I fulfil the displeasing duty of declaring that the Imperial Court of Vienna is unable to accept His Eminence Severoli as Supreme Pontiff, and gives him a formal exclusion (gli da una formale ecclusive).'