Monday, October 1, 2012

Lesson 27 - The Council of Constance and Conciliarism


-       Although canon law provided that in case of emergency a general council can solve the disputed questions, the principle that no one might judge the pope (Prima sedes a nemine indicetur) and that he was only responsible to God had increasingly received recognition since the early Middle Ages.
-       This concept developed to protect the pope against deposition by emperors and the despotism of roman noble families in the saeculum obscurum.
-       Gregory VII à Dictatus Papae, 1075) à Innocent III à Boniface VIII > decline

-       There is a possibility that even a pope could fall into heresy or mental illness
-       If a Pope fell into heresy, there would have to be a board which could note the fact and draw the proper consequences; it was impossible that a heretic could be a legitimate pope, and then he simply was no longer pope and would have to be removed from the papal throne.
-       This determination has to be made by a general council and the incumbent cardinals and the emperor as the protector of the Roman Church must convoke and conduct the council.
-       Canonists and papalists like Aegidius Romanus[1] (+1316), Augustinus Triumphus (+1328), and Alvarus Pelagius (+1349) agreed to this maxim

-       It must be conducted with a Pope. A council without a Pope is unthinkable. That is why there’s hesitation in the via concilii.
-       The Pope has the exclusive right to call an ecumenical council (16th proposition, Dictatus Papae, 1075)

First Lateran Council
Calixtus II
It extends the validity of the Concordat of Worms to the whole Church
Second Lateran Council
Innocent II
It ends the schism of Anacletus
Third Lateran Council
Alexander III

Fourth Lateran Council
Innocent III
For the reform of the Church
First Council of Lyons
Innocent IV
Depose Emperor Frederick II
Second Council of Lyons
Gregory X
Negotiation for a crusade and regarding a union with the eastern Church; rules of conclaves[2]
Council of Vienne
Under the influence of the French monarchy through the weak Avignon Papacy
Trial of the Templars
General Council at Pisa
13 cardinals of both obediences

-       against the will of their masters, 13 cardinals of both obediences call the council of Pisa (1409)
-       > 100 bishops attended + another 100 sent delegates with powers of proxy + plenipotentiaries of > 200 abbots, cathedral chapters and universities.
-       They elected a new Pope, Alexander V who died the following year and the notorious cardinal Cossa (John XXIII) became his successor.
-       The council of Pisa was legally valid. But Gregory XII and Benedict XIII still refused to be replaced.
-       There are now 3 Popes of equal measure which can be viewed as legitimate or illegitimate.
-       The obediences of Gregory XII and Benedict XIII diminished and now Alexander and then John had the greatest obediences.

-       There are now 3 Popes of equal measure which can be viewed as legitimate or illegitimate.
-       King Sigismund[3] (1410-1437) favored the Pisan Pope John XXIII and calls for a new council to heal the triple split in Christendom.
-       John XXIII opens the Council of Constance (Nov. 1414) who hopes that the council will declare him sole legitimate pope (but this was not to be)
-       Under the influence of Cardinals d’Ailly, Fillastre, Zarabella and the chancellor of the University of Paris, Gerson à unity could only achieved if all three popes were to resign.
-       Manner of voting: In order to break the Italian majority, French, Germans, and English forced the procedure of voting according to “nations” not according to number; each of the 4 nations have one vote in the general voting. It succeeded in overcoming the superior strength of John XXIII and the Italians.
-       Fifth vote is cast by the college of Cardinals

-       When he saw that his chances disappear and realized that because of his former transgression he would be put on trial, John XXIII secretly fled (March 20/21, 1415)
-       From Schafhausen he attacked the council with accusations and threats.
-       He almost succeeded in dissolving the council when he fled.

-       King Sigismund intervened and proclaimed that the council would continue its work even without the Pope
-       March 23 – John Gerson gave a speech and established the reason why pope had no right to dissolve the council.
-       March 26 – fist session without a Pope
-       Card. Zabarella pushed a motion of not dispersing until schism is resolved.

-       Because of John XXIII’s disturbance in dissolving the council, the council on April 6, 1415 passed the famous decree Haec Sancta.
-       It is a decree that solemnly declared that it regarded itself as duly summoned, acting in the Holy Spirit, representing the whole Church militant, and receiving its authority directly from God; therefore, every Christian, even the pope, hade to be obedient to the council “ in what is decided with respect to the faith, the overcoming of the schism, and a general reform in head and members”
-       It is not a dogmatic definition of faith. Like what Marsilius of Padua had advocated i.e. the Pope is subordinate to the council.

-       He tried to escape across the Rhine into Burgundy to continue his attacks to the council there.
-       Sigismund arrested him and tried.
-       John XXIII was deposed on May 29, 1415.

-       He announced his voluntary resignation on July 4, 1415
-       This nonagenarian is unshaken in his conviction that he is the legitimate pope
-       He convoked the council once more in his own name and his request was granted, even though or precisely because, no one attributed any importance to the act (Haec Sancta).

-       Sigismund personally negotiated at Perpignan without any result.
-       At least other followers defected, principally Spaniards so that Spain constituted the Fifth Nation.
-       Proceeding against Benedict were initiated which ended in his deposition on July 26, 1417.


-       He was born in 1370 in Husinec[4], studied in Prague and was ordained priest in 1400
-       During his studies he acquainted with the ideas of John Wyclif who since 1374 attacked Fiscalism of Avignon Papacy, wealth of the Church of prelates, and the hierarchy while at the same time contrasting it to the Church of the predestined which was to renounce property and live in apostolic poverty. Wyclif declared that in the true church of Christ only those who lived in state of grace had a place; most of all, no mortal sinner can have a leading position in the Christian Society (Church or State).
-       Hus denied the Church as a sacramental community of redemption in Christ.
-       Hus adopted Wyclif’s tenets and found a strong response among his Czech listeners.
-       Wyclif is theologically, politically, and sociologically revolutionary because you remove the sinners from public life.

-       There was an anti-German sentiment in the ruling clergy in Bohemia which fused with ecclesiastical and religious tendencies which were determined by Wyclif’s idea.
-       Pope Alexander V ordered the Archbishop of Prague (a German) to take step against Wyclif’s heresies. It was defended by Hus.
-       He appealed to John XXIII but the Archbishop had also turned to John XXIII
-       He was excommunicated by the Pope but the Bohemian King Wenzel protected him
-       Add to this to the tension à John XXIII trade in indulgences for he needed money for war against Ladislaus of Naples.

-       Sigismund insisted that Hus be death with the council of Constance and offered him safe conduct
-       The Pope lifted the ban and he can now move freely.
-       Nov 28 – first hearing of Hus and following he was imprisoned although Sigismund protested vehemently.
-       His case receded in the background because of the overshadowing question of unity.
-       In the wake of John’s flight to Constance, and Haec Sancta à they deal with Hus and a chance to prove independence in matters of faith.

-       Doubtless intellectual and moral qualities
-       They are not Germans but French (so national sentiment can’t be involved)
-       They are not Papalists but moderate conciliarists
-       Opponent of John XXIII and other popes of the Schism

-       Hus defended himself in the accusation of being heretic
-       (+) 30 heretical compositions in his writings whom he did not deny to have been written but defended its orthodoxy.
-       When he did not recant, they asked him to recant even their wrong meaning. He retorted that he cannot recant what he never had had in his mind.
-       He obstinately rejected subjection and idea of recanting.
-       D’Ailly, Zabarella and Sigismund vainly persuaded him to recant
-       Sentence:   Because he had dogmatized, defended and preached the heresies of Wyclif he was sentence to death (burning at the stake) on July 6, 1415
-       Sigismund asked him for the last time in the fire but he refused
-       History avenged Hus terribly with the Hussite Wars (1420-1431) in Bohemia and Germany

-       All agreed in the necessity of the reform but when is the proper timing to discuss it.
-       Is it before or after the election of the new Pontiff?

-       If before the Papal election, it means the pope will be fundamentally subordinate council. Therefore, was Haec Sancta limited to this exceptional case or was it intended fundamentally to subordinate the pope to the council?
-       Strict conciliarist asserted that it was intended fundamentally to subordinate the pope to the council.
-       German and English[5] took the view that the authority of the general council should bind the pope.

-       If after the papal election, it means that reforms are part of the normal administration of the Church and were reserved to the pope.

-       Compromise: 5 decrees which previously had been debated were passed on October 9, 1417. among them was the decree Frequens.[5points]
-       FREQUENS is a conciliar document which provided for the regular ecumenical council to celebrate every ten years and the Pope has to be obliged.
-       The English and Germans finally agreed and election proceeded.

-       In addition to 26 cardinals, 6 representatives from each of the five nations were included in the conclave  (Nov. 8, 1417) = 56 electors
-       Within 3 days election was finished despite of complex electoral procedure.
-       Nov.11, 1417 – Cardinal Odo of Colonna (Martin V) was elected.
-       The unity of the body of Christ has been restored.

-       The leadership of the council passed to the new pope.
-       April 22, 1418 - he concluded the council. Questions on Haec Sancta and Frequens in a conciliarist sense were rejected. The two decrees were ambivalent and can be understood in a moderate, orthodox sense or radical, heretical, conciliarist sense
-       The majority non-conciliarist understood the decrees as conservative and moderate.
-       The minority conciliarist did not accept defeat and soon were to assume dangerous proportion.

17th GENERAL COUNCIL AT BASLE (July 23, 1431)
-       Eugene IV (1431-1447) called the council
-       Dissension between him and the council members who keep the conciliarist theory begin to regard themselves as superior to the pope. The pope will be the last resort in the legal and administrative concerns of the Church.
-       Eugene transferred the problem from Basle to Ferrara (1437). But a small group of radical conciliarist remained in Basle until 1449 and proclaimed supremacy of the council over the pope as doctrine of faith; they deposed Eugene and elected an Anti-Pope Felix Và SCHISM AGAIN! But the last in the church history.
-       1449, Felix V resigned, the end of radical conciliarism in the Church
-       but the effect of conciliarism is to be felt for a long time.

[1] He participated in the formulation of the Unam Sanctam.
[2] It provides that the cardinals were to congregate 10 days after the death of Pope at the place of death in strict privacy (conclave) for the election of a successor and should be forced to a quick conclusion of the election through increasing reduction of daily food rations.
[3] The life and soul of the council of Constance
[4] Southern Bohemia
[5] Conciliaristic ideas took progress in Germany and England which is not true with regard to other nations.

Lesson 26 - The Babylonian Captivity of the Papacy and the Great Western Schism

-     Because of the French influence more and more Frenchmen were included in the college of
      Cardinals so the next popes were Frenchmen.
-       Clement V (1305-1314) did not think it necessary to go to Rome. He was consecrated in Lyons and remained in France à resided in Avignon à Babylonian Captivity[1]

-       It refers to the Papacy's sojourn in Avignon between 1309 and 1378, when the Popes became  irresolute tools in the hands of power-hungry French rulers and toy of international politics therefore seen by some as "captives" of the French Kings .As a consequence, the papacy renounced its freedom of decision and lost its supra-partisan universal ecclesiatical authority.
-       Repercussion: The transfer from Rome to Avignon  is the shifting of spiritual and political center of gravity.
-       The Eternal City of Rome is connected to
  1. century old tradition
  2. succession to the apostolic see of St. Peter
  3. concept of a western universalism founded by the Imperium Romanum.

-       situated completely within the sphere of power of the French Monarchy
-       Even if Clement VI purchased Avignon in 1348  and become an independent papal territory à still surrounded on all sides by th French Kingdom
-       Repercussion:   The Popes of the 11th and 12th centuries were free from the superiority of the emperor.They defended succefully the struggles against the Staufic Sicilian policy à now voluntary surreder to the French King by the French Popes

CLEMENT V (1305-1314)
-       The first Avignon Pope
-       As “Captive”
    1. He had to give in to the demand French king to open proceedings against the late Boniface VIII
    2. He was quiet to the request of Philip the Fair to destroy the Templars.
-       the king coveted the wealth & privileges of the Templars
-       1307 – Philip slandered by accusing them of heresy and sodomy.
-       2,000 Templars were arrested, their estates confiscated.
-       Philip used torture to extract confessions and fictitious accusations
-       Clement V take no step and after initial hesitation he also accused them of heresy
-       Clement V dissolved the Order of the Knights Templar on March 22, 1312 at the Council of Vienne.
-       Philip the Fair took their possessions and made over into Knights of St. John à Clement V is silent.
-       Clement V tolerated Philip the Fair when he burned Grand Master Jacques de Molay and other Templars in Paris in 1314 despite his protestation of innocence

JOHN XXII (1316-1334)
-       The pope removed King Louis the Bavarian (1314-1347) in office in 1323 under a shabby pretext.
-       Last great battle between the sacerdotium and imperium à issue is not one of ideas but naked political goals.


-       For the first time, there’s an imperial counterattack is not against individual pope but the papacy as an institution.
-       The Pope is just a human creation who must be in the service of the people of God.
-       In 1324, Louis the Bavarian moved against John XXII by appealing to the General Council.
-       All opponents of the pope were gathered including two scholars from the University of Paris, Marsilius of Padua and John Jandun who fled from France.
-       The General Council presented Louis as Defensor Pacis
a.     He questioned the hierarchical order of the Church and demanded a democratic structure.
b.     He denied the papal primacy and assigned the supreme power of the Church to the people alone.
c.     He asserted that the Church was the community of all believers and that the clergy is not superior to the laity.

-       The theory that basically placed the general council above the Pope.
-       Neither popes nor bishops nor priests had received an independent function from Christ; they officiated merely as agents of the congregatio fidelium which was represented by the general council.
-       General Council is the highest authority in the Church which transformed the papacy into a mere executive organ of the council, subordinated it to the council, and obliged the pope to be obedient to the council which had the right to demand an account from him at any time and if necessary, to remove him from office.
-       Radical point:   the Papacy is simply a human institution and that the real congregatio fidelis is the general council.
-       Popes and bishops are merely human creation therefore Popes can be opposed because they are not the Vicarius Christi.
-       It is extremely revolutionary ideas. It is a clash of theological, ideological ideas not physical. Papacy sank more and more.


-       It is the acquisition of money, resources, and taxes to run the Curia
-       Reasons for Fiscalism:  
a.       The Papal court had to replace the failing revenues of the Papal States.
b.     The Papacy has to adapt itself to the new circumstances of transition from agrarian to money economy which takes place because of the flowering of mercantile cities.
-       Fiscalism caused anger and disturbance because
a.       the fees for dispensation, privileges and pardons often is full of simony
b.     there were fees for provisions, reservations and expectancies
c.     payment to the archbishop for receiving the pallium
d.     Annate and spoils from the revenues of the first year and the property of deceased prelates.
e.     Crusade tax though there were no crusades.
f.      Feudal taxes and taxes from the countries which become fiefs under Innocent III
g.     And many more…
-       These demands were exacted ruthlessly under threats of censure and excommunication esp. Germany where attitude of Papacy to Louis Bavarian was considered hostile to Germany à resentment grows à this resentment found reflection in the 15th century Gravamina Nationis Germanicae[2] and final effect in the 16th century mass defections at the time of the Reformation.

-       The Avignon exile  contributed to the great crisis which followed:   The Great Western Schism (378-1415) and the epoch of Conciliarism

-       Schism[3] occurred with the death of Gregory XI (1370-1378) the schism occurred. Influenced by the great prophetic announcements of Catherine of Siena (+1380) and Bridget of Sweden[4] (+1373) + the chaotic conditions in the Papal States.  Gregory XI returned to Rome in 1377 but died before he can leave again.

-       The law on Papal election requires that the conclave had to be held in Rome for the first time in 70 years.
-       11 out of 16 Cardinals were Frenchmen and Romans fear that another Frenchman would be elected Pope
-       To prevent à they put the electors under severe pressure, armed bands made it to the conclave and demanded that a Roman be elected.
-       The cardinals realized that they have to acquiesce of they want to survive the conclave.
-       April 8, 1378 à Urban II, an Italian was elected
-       The Cardinals fled the city for safety and they return for Urban’s coronation on April 18, 1378 and swore allegiance to him.

-       3 months later, 11 Frenchmen and a sole Spaniard Peter Luna[5] left Urban’s court and declared that because of the use of force, under grave fear and coercion, the election was annulled.
-       September 20, 1378 à French Pope Clement VII (1378-1394) was elected. He stayed in Avignon.
-       The three Italian Cardinals (the fourth had died) renounced Urban and supported Clement VII
-       The Church now has two popes!
-       Although French nationalistic and egoistic intrigues were a major cause of the double election, the fact of the riotous character of Urban’s selection cannot be denied.
-       Under such circumstances the validity of Urban’s election cannot be proven, conversely the invalidity of Clement’s election cannot simply be maintained either.

-       After Urban VI inauguration, he showed himself so overbearing, cruel, and fanatical not only to the cardinals but also his curial officials and supporters were of the opinion that his sudden elevation had left him mentally deranged.
-       According to canon law, the election of a mentally deranged person to the papacy is invalid.

-       St. Catherine of Siena defended Urban VI sole legitimacy
-       St. Vincent Ferrer stood for the exclusive validity of Clement VII’s election.

-       Both Popes were so deeply convinced of their own legitimacy and the illegality of other.
-       They regarded it as a principle of conscience to defend the Papacy with all means and to combat their opponent
-       To voluntarily resign from the papal office to free the way of the Church to unity, which was suggested to them frequently, was rejected  by both popes with Non Possumus
-       It is in first person plural, we which means the Church is involved.
-       Given the conviction of their conscience such a step had to appear to them as treason to the legitimacy and validity of the apostolic succession which is obligated to them by God to preserve.

ROMAN LINE OF SUCCESSION                                                                                                                                                                
Urban VI (1378-1389)                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
Boniface IX (1389-1404)  

AVIGNON LINE OF SUCCESSION                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
Clement VII (1378-1394)
Benedict XIII (1394-1417)[6]
Innocent VII (1404-1406)                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
Gregory XII (1406-1415)

-       In 1394, the University of Paris suggested three alternatives.
a.     Via Cessionis (voluntary renunciation)
b.     Via Compromissi  (submission of the Pope to arbitration)
c.     Via Concilii (Decision by a general council)

a.     Western Europe was politically divided over which pope to support. Of course France supported the Avignon pope. Along with France were Sicily, Scotland, Castile, Aragon, and Portugal. On the other side, Rome supported the Roman pope, as did Flanders, Poland, Hungary and Germany.
b.     There was a constitutional crisis between two popes. The two popes were constant rivals. De facto all Christianity was under ban. The subjects of the one pope was excommunicated the other. It was common to hear each calling the other the anti-pope and also trying to get him out of a position of leadership.
c.     The influence extended to all countries, dioceses and parishes and caused discord and conflict, as both popes appointed their own candidates and all offices were filled doubly.
d.     Many citizens were confused over this split.” The papal office suffered the most; the pope's authority diminished as pious Christians became bewildered and disgusted."

[1] It refers to the Papacy's sojourn in Avignon between 1306 and 1378, when the Popes were seen by some as "captives" of the French Kings.
[2] Gravamina Nationis Germanicae (Grievances of the German “Nation”) is the articulation of grievances of various   German princes and Holy Roman Emperors against Rome which started as early as 1417 Council of Constance.
[3] Schism is the refusal of submission to the Roman Pontiff or of the communion with the members of the Church subject to him (CCC 2089)
[4] She went to see the Grandeur of the Eternal City as a pilgrim of Rome for the Jubilee of 1350 but what she saw was a shocking despicable place. 
[5] The future Avignonese Pope Benedict XIII (1394-1417)
[6] Peter Luna