aA
aA
aA
History of the Christian Church, Volume V: The Middle Ages. A.D. 1049-1294.
« Prev Pascal II. and Henry V. 1099-1118 Next »

§ 20. Pascal II. and Henry V. 1099–1118.


The letters of Paschalis II. in Migne, 163.—W. Schum: Die Politik Papst Paschalis II. gegen Kaiser Heinrich V. Erfurt, 1877. —- G. Peiser: Der deutsche Investiturstreit unter Heinrich V. bis 1111. Berlin, 1883.—Gregorovius Iv., Hauck Iii., Pflugk-Harttung: Die Bullen der Päpste. Gotha, 1901, pp. 234–263.—Mirbt, art. Paschalis II in Herzog, XIV. 717–725, and the literature there given.


Pascal II., a monk of Cluny and disciple of Hildebrand, but less firm and consistent, was elected in July, 1099, and reigned till 1118. Clement III., the anti-pope, died in September, 1100, weary of the world, and left a reputation of integrity, gentleness, and dignity. The imperialist clergy of Rome elected another anti-pope, Sylvester IV., who soon disappeared noiselessly from the stage.

Pascal gained a complete victory over Henry IV. by supporting the wicked rebellion of his second son, Henry V., the last of the Salic or Franconian line of emperors, 1104–1126.

The unfortunate father died under the anathema in misery at Liège (Lüttich), Aug. 7, 1106. The people of the city which had remained faithful to him, lamented his death; but the papal agents commanded the bishop of Liège to remove his body from consecrated ground to an island in the Maas. Henry V. had not lost all feeling for his father, and complied with his dying request for burial in the imperial sepulchre at Spires. The clergy and the citizens accompanied the funeral procession to the cathedral of St. Mary, which the departed sovereign had himself built and richly endowed. He was buried with all honors. But when Bishop Gebhard, one of his fiercest persecutors, who was absent at the time, heard of it, he caused the body to be forthwith exhumed and removed, and interdicted all services in the church till it should be purified of all pollution. The people, however, could not be deterred from frequent visits to the unconsecrated chapel where the dishonored remains of their monarch and patron were deposited. At last the pope dissolved the ban, on the assurance of Henry V. that his father had professed sincere repentance, and his body was again deposited in the cathedral, Aug. 7, 1111. By his moral defects and his humiliation at Canossa, Henry IV. had promoted the power of the papal hierarchy, and yet, by his continued opposition after that act, he had prevented its complete triumph. Soon after his death an anonymous writer gave eloquent and touching expression to his grief over the imperial lord whom he calls his hope and comfort, the pride of Rome, the ornament of the empire, the lamp of the world, a benefactor of widows and orphans, and a father of the poor.9696    The tract is more eloquent than accurate. It is ascribed by Goldast, Floto, and Gieseler to Bishop Otbert of Lüttich (Liège); by Dr. Jaffé, to an unknown writer in Mainz (see the preface to his German translation, Das Leben Kaiser Heinrich des Vierten, Berlin, 1858); by Druffel and Giesebrecht, to Bishop Erlung of Würzburg, who was chancellor of the emperor from 1103 to 1105. For a good characterization of Henry IV. see Giesebrecht, III. 764-768, and on this biography, pp. 1050 sq.

Pascal had to suffer for his unscrupulous policy. When Henry V. came into full possession of his power, he demanded the right of investiture over all the churches of the empire, and coronation at Rome. The pope was imprisoned and so hard pressed by Henry, that he resolved to buy the spiritual freedom of the Church by a sacrifice of its temporal possessions (except the patrimony of Peter). A compact to this effect between him and the emperor was signed provisionally, April, 1111. Henry was crowned emperor of the Romans in St. Peter’s. But after his return to Germany, a Lateran synod rejected the compact, March, 1112. The pope represented to the synod that, while in the custody of the emperor, with many bishops and cardinals, he had conceded to him the right of investiture to avoid greater evils, and had promised him immunity from excommunication. He confessed that the concession was wrong, and left it with the synod to improve the situation. He made in the sixth session (March 23) a solemn profession of the Catholic faith in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament, the Canons of the Apostles, the four Oecumenical Synods of Nicaea, Constantinople, Ephesus, and Chalcedon, and the decrees of Gregory VII. and Urban II. against lay-investiture and all other crimes which they had condemned. Then the synod, while the pope kept silent, resolved to annul the treaty which he had been forced to make with King Henry. All exclaimed, "Amen, Amen, fiat, fiat." Twelve archbishops, a hundred and fourteen bishops, fifteen cardinal-priests, and eight cardinal-deacons signed the decree.

The zealous Gregorians wished to go further and to declare lay-investiture a heresy (which would imply that Pope Pascal was a heretic). A French Synod of Vienne, Sept. 16, 1112, passed three decrees: 1) Investiture by a layman is a heresy; 2) the enforced compact of Pascal with Henry is null and void; 3) King Henry, who came to Rome under the pretext of peace, and betrayed the pope with a Judas-kiss, is cut off from holy Church until he gives complete satisfaction. The decisions were submitted to the pope, who approved them, October 20 of the same year, to avert a schism. Other provincial synods of France, held by papal legates, launched anathemas against the "tyrant of Germany."

But Henry defied the pope, who had pledged himself never to excommunicate him on account of investiture. After the death of Countess Matilda, July 24, 1115, he hastened for a third time to Italy, and violently seized the rich possessions which she had bequeathed to the chair of St. Peter. Pascal fled to Benevento, and called the Normans to his aid, as Gregory VII. had done. Henry celebrated the Easter festival of 1117 in Rome with great pomp, caused the empress to be crowned, showed himself to the people in his imperial purple, and amused them with shows and processions; but in the summer he returned to Germany, after fruitless negotiations with the pope. He lived to conclude the Concordat of Worms. He was an energetic, but hard, despotic, and unpopular ruler.

Pascal died, Jan. 21, 1118, in the castle of St. Angelo, and was buried in the church of St. John in Lateran. He barely escaped the charge of heresy and schism. He privately condemned, and yet officially supported, lay-investiture, and strove to satisfy both his own conscience and his official duty to the papacy. The extreme party charged him with the sin of Peter, and exhorted him to repent; milder judges, like Ivo of Chartres and Hildebert of Le Mans, while defending the Hildebrandian principle of the freedom of the Church, excused him on the ground that he had yielded for a moment in the hope of better times and from the praiseworthy desire to save the imprisoned cardinals and to avoid bloodshed; and they referred to the example of Paul, who circumcised Timothy, and complied with the wish of James in Jerusalem to please the Jewish Christians.



« Prev Pascal II. and Henry V. 1099-1118 Next »

Advertisements


| Define | Popups: Login | Register | Prev Next | Help |