صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

this time, as Hoveden reports, they used to bring up all HENRY their dead to be buried at London.

This year, an end was put to the schism which had lasted eighteen years in the see of Rome. The accommodation between the emperor Frederick and pope Alexander was finished at Venice. And here, Johannes de Struma, Calixtus III., was degraded, and renounced by the emperor and all the ecclesiasticks and secular princes of his dominions. All the archbishops, bishops, and abbots of the empire, who had been ordained by the two antipopes, Octavian, called Victor IV., and Guy de Crema, called Paschal III., were likewise degraded.

II.
K. of Eng.

Chronic.

Gervas.
Hoveden,

Pope Alexander III. wrote a letter to the archbishops of Canterbury and York, and their suffragans, to acquaint fol. 325. them with this accommodation.

About this time, Peter, a cardinal legate, and formerly bishop of Meaux, was sent into France, and threatened to put Normandy and all the king of England's dominions under an interdict, unless he gave his son Richard, earl of Poictou, leave to marry Alice, daughter to Lewis, king of France. This princess it seems, was detained in the king of England's custody, beyond the time of the articles. The king of England, to stop the legate's censure, appealed to the pope in person, and going into Normandy soon after, made it appear before the legate, that the king of France had broken his articles. However, by the interest of the cardinal, and the great men of England and France, the difference was adjusted, and peace renewed between both the kings.

Hoveden,

fol. 325.

abbot of St.

archbishop

This year there happened a dispute upon the exemption A contest of some of the more considerable religious houses from the about exemption bejurisdiction of their ordinary. For the purpose; one Roger tween the being elected abbot of St. Augustine's, Canterbury, applied Augustine's to the archbishop for his benediction. He was not qualified and the to act in his station without it. The archbishop consented of Canterto complete his character, but required a profession of bury. canonical obedience: the abbot, after consulting with his convent, told the archbishop he could not make this submission unless there was a salvo inserted to secure the privileges of both societies: this clause being refused as an innovation, Roger took a journey to Rome, and putting his

VOL. II.

A a

ARD,

RICH- convent under the pope's protection, got his character conAbp. Cant. firmed. firmed. This favour, according to Gervase of Canterbury, was a very injurious diminution to the archbishop. About the same time, the abbot of Malmsbury claimed the same privilege, and declined the authority of his bishop. Richard, archbishop of Canterbury, took hold of this opportunity to make a remonstrance to the pope and began his complaint with the case of the bishop of Salisbury.

387.

He acquaints the pope, that the monastery of Malmsbury had lately chosen an abbot: that their diocesan, the bishop of Sarum, charged the abbot elect not to receive the episcopal benediction from any other prelate but himself. That, instead of obeying the order of his diocesan, the elect went privately into Wales, got a clandestine benediction from the bishop of Llandaff, and acted as abbot upon this authority. The bishop of Salisbury complaining of this encroachment to the archbishop of Canterbury, he suspended the bishop of Llandaff and the abbot, till they could produce a warrant to justify the liberty they had taken. And both parties appearing in the archbishop's court, it was found upon enquiry, that the abbot's bulls of exemption had strong marks of forgery. The abbot endeavoured to support his pretensions by living witnesses, who deposed that his predecessors had taken the solemn blessing from what prelate they pleased; and that without any encumbrance of canonical obedience. On the other side, the bishop alleged a great many precedents to prove the abbots of Malmsbury had professed their subjection both to his predecessors and himself. At last, the abbot finding himself pressed, demurred to the jurisdiction of the court, and declared he would be questioned about this matter before no prelate but the pope: adding withal, that the abbots were a sluggish cowardly sort of people for not disengaging themselves from the bishops' jurisdiction; since, for the yearly payment of one ounce of gold, they might purchase their freedom at the court of Rome.

The archbishop proceeds to remonstrate, that the abbot of Malmsbury's misbehaviour was common to others of his order: that the infection was almost epidemical. "The abbots," says he, "grow haughty towards their superiors, and treat their primates and bishops with disregard. Obedi

II.

ence, the cement of society, and the old remedy against HENRY disorder, is counted an unfashionable restraint. The abbots K. of Eng. hate to have any corrector of their irregularities: they grasp at an unlimited liberty: they are for relaxing the discipline of the cloister, and give pleasure and fancy their utmost range. From hence it is that the revenues of the monasteries are so often squandered away, or wrongfully seized. For the abbots, provided they can eat well and live splendidly, take little care either of the interest or discipline of the house. As for the monks, they spend their time in idleness; they live perfectly at licence, without anything, either of precedent or authority, to keep them in order. Instead of silence and quiet, there is nothing but clamour and disputes among them; and the cloister is as noisy and troublesome as the lawyers' bar. And if your holiness," says he, "does not give a check to these disorders, and step in with a seasonable relief, it is to be feared, that as the abbots have revolted from their bishops, the bishops may act upon their example, and renounce their archbishops: and then the deans and archdeacons may probably follow the mode, and take the same liberty with their diocesans. Now what sort of government, what sort of justice is this, to order scholars not to be managed by their master, to bid children to disobey their parents, soldiers to take no notice of their general, and servants to refuse their master's command? What is the meaning of exempting abbots from the jurisdiction of their bishops? Is it any other than a privilege for contumacy and rebellion, and a licence for children to fly in their father's face? I humbly conceive, those who are in the supreme post of authority should consider these things, and take care that injury and encroachment may not flow in upon us from the fountain of power and law, and proceed from that place whence justice and equity is expected. It may be," continues the archbishop, "we may be thought to have opened our grievance with too much freedom: but there is nothing of haughtiness in the representation; for the affront is too big for patience, and the mischief too publick to be gently touched."

In the course of the letter, the archbishop takes the liberty to charge the pope with the inhumanity of the rich man Nathan mentioned to David. "For to make good the

RICH- parallel, who has so many sheep," says he, "as the universal ARD, Abp. Cant. pastor the pope? And who can be poorer than the church of Canterbury, which has never an abbey but that of St. Augustine's? And yet this rich man the prophet speaks of, for I am loath to say the pope, has seized this poor piece of property, and set up a title of his own. Now, if a man might speak his thoughts, these strains of authority are by no means serviceable to the bishop of Rome: for is it not an incomprehensible sort of justice to oblige by encroaching, and enrich one person by robbing another? And if that latitude is taken in the Church, which would not pass without censure in the state, must it not be a blemish upon the spiritual administration? The apostle bids' every soul be subject to the higher powers:' this command was directed to the Roman Church in particular. Now I would gladly know whether any person within that see is so hardy as to contradict the apostle's doctrine? To mention one text more; the author to the Hebrews speaks expressly, 'Obey them that have the rule over you.' And to go to a class of superior beings: there is government and subordination among the angels themselves. the angels themselves. And when one of these spirits attempted to break through this order, and make himself independent, he lost his station, and sunk to a devil. Thus the modern grasping at liberty proves the ruin of a great many people. But possibly it may be said that to question the sovereign bishop's proceedings is an intolerable presumption: to this I answer, that not to give a man the liberty to defend himself, is no fair way of arguing the case and that the contest is very arbitrarily managed, where one of the parties is only passive under blows, and has his hands tied up from striking."

388.

Apud Petr
Blesens.
Epist. 68.

He puts the pope in mind, that these exemptions occasioned so much disorder and poverty in the monasteries, that some houses refused the offer of the privilege, and others threw it up. And in the conclusion of the letter he gives the pope to understand, that there was a great deal of foul play in the monasteries, and that most of their bulls of exemption were counterfeited; and therefore desires there may be a strict enquiry made into the pretensions of the abbot of Malmsbury.

This remonstrance was no more than a just complaint

II.

against the encroachments of the court of Rome. These ex- HENRY emptions of abbeys from the jurisdiction of their ordinary has K. of Eng. a strong appearance of design. It looks like an artifice to create dependence, and aggrandise the Roman see. The popes, too many of them, were too forward in lessening the ordinaries' jurisdiction. They loved to brandish their supremacy over the bishops, to put them in mind of their inferiority, and that they held at the will of their sovereign lord at Rome: but from the beginning it was not so: when the monastick order appeared first in Christendom, they were all under the government of their diocesan. But in process of time, when monasteries were richly endowed and governed by abbots of great quality, some of these men, presuming upon the strength of their interest, began to withdraw by degrees from the customary submission to their bishops. To check these enterprising motions, the bishops, it is probable, might watch their excursions, and keep a stricter guard upon them. The abbots, to cover their ambition, and to discharge themselves from subjection to their ordinaries, procured grants from the court of Rome, to be received into St. Peter's protection, and put immediately under the pope's jurisdiction. Thus, to mention no others, the Cluniacs and Cistercian monks were wholly exempted. By this means, the pope's authority was strangely increased: thus he was furnished with a new set of dependents in all places, who stood up stiffly for his authority, and were reciprocally abetted by him. This invention was not at all commended by St. Bernard, a monk of the Cistercian order. This father took the freedom to tell Eugenius III. that these new expedients were all no better than abuses; that it was by no means defensible for an abbot to disobey his bishop, or the bishop his metropolitan; that the Church militant should be governed by the precedent of the Church triumphant, in which no angel ever said, I will not be under the jurisdiction of an archangel.

Soave

Council of

Sarpi's And as these exemptions were unprecedented in the Hist. ofthe earlier ages of the Church; so neither was there any just Trent, p. claim to such a liberty in the present case. For, though 206, 207 Alford will needs have the pope in the right, and declares positively for the exemption of the abbey of St. Augustine's, yet the archbishop denies the fact in his letter to Alex

« السابقةمتابعة »