Pope Urban IV (c. 1195 in
– December 2, 1264 in
born Jacques Pantaléon, was
from 1261 to 1264. He was not a
and there have been several Popes since him who have not been Cardinals,
Urban IV was the son of a cobbler of Troyes, France. He studied theology and common law in Paris, and was appointed a canon of Laon and later Archdeacon of Liège. At the First Council of Lyon (1245) he attracted the attention of Pope Innocent IV (1243-1254) who sent him on two missions in Germany. One of the missions was to negotiate the Treaty of Christburg between the pagan Prussians and the Teutonic Knights. He became the bishop of Verdun in 1253. In 1255, Pope Alexander IV (1254-1261) made him Patriarch of Jerusalem.
He had returned from Jerusalem, which was in dire straits, and was at Viterbo seeking help for the oppressed Christians in the East when Alexander IV died, and after a three-month vacancy Pantaléon was chosen by the eight cardinals of the Sacred College to succeed him, on August 29, 1261, taking the name of Urban IV.
The Latin Empire of Constantinople came to an end with the capture of the city by the Greeks (led by their Emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos) a fortnight before Urban IV's election; Urban IV endeavored without success to stir up a crusade to restore the Latin Empire. The festival of Corpus Christi ("the Body of Christ") was instituted by Urban IV in 1264.
Italy commanded Urban IV's full attention: the long confrontation with the late Hohenstaufen Frederick II had not been pressed during the mild pontificate of Alexander IV, while it devolved into interurban struggles between nominally pro-Imperial Ghibellines and even more nominally pro-papal Guelf factions, in which Frederick II's heir Manfred was immersed. Urban IV's military captain was the condottiere Azzo d'Este, nominally at the head of a loose league of cities that included Mantua and Ferrara. Any Hohenstaufen in Sicily was bound to have claims over the cities of Lombardy, and as a check to Manfred, Urban IV introduced Charles of Anjou into the equation, to place the crown of the Two Sicilies in the hands of a monarch amenable to papal control. Charles was Comte de Provence in right of his wife, maintaining a rich base for projecting what would be an expensive Italian war. For two years Urban IV negotiated with Manfred regarding whether Manfred would aid the Latins in regaining Constantinople in return for papal confirmation of the Hohenstaufen rights in the regno. Meanwhile the papal pact solidified with Charles, a promise of papal ships and men, produced by a crusading tithe, and Charles' promise not to lay claims on Imperial lands in northern Italy, nor in the Papal States. Charles promised to restore the annual census or feudal tribute due the Pope as overlord, some 10,000 ounces of gold being agreed upon, while the Pope would work to block Conradin from election as King of the Germans.
Before the arrival in Italy of his candidate Charles, Urban IV died at Perugia, on December 2, 1264. His successor was Pope Clement IV (1265-1268), who immediately took up the papal side of the arrangement.
Pope Clement IV (Saint-Gilles-du-Gard,
year ca. 1195 –
born Gui Faucoi called in later life le Gros (English:
Guy Foulques the Fat;
Guido Fulcodi il Grosso), was elected
that took four months, while cardinals argued over whether to call in
Anjou, the youngest brother of
Louis IX of
France (1226–70), to carry on
the papal war against the last of the house of
Guy had been an unlikely candidate for holy orders: widowed and the father of two young women before taking orders, he had been successively a soldier and a lawyer, and in the latter capacity had acted as secretary to Louis IX of France, to whose influence he was chiefly indebted for his elevation to the cardinalate. Upon the death of his wife, he followed his father's example and gave up secular concerns for the Church. His rise in the church was rapid: in 1256, he was Bishop of Le Puy, in 1259, Archbishop of Narbonne and in December 1261, he was the first cardinal created by Pope Urban IV (1261–64), in the see of Sabina. He was the papal legate in England, 1262–64. He was named grand penitentiary in 1263.
At this time the Holy See was engaged in a conflict with Manfred, the illegitimate son and designated heir of Frederick II of Hohenstaufen, but whom papal loyalists, the Guelfs, called "the usurper of Naples". Clement IV, who was in France at the time of his election, was compelled to enter Italy in disguise. He immediately took steps to ally himself with Charles of Anjou, his erstwhile patron's brother, the impecunious French claimant to the Neapolitan throne. Charles allowed the Pope to be his feudal overlord (a bone of contention with the Hohenstaufen) and was crowned by cardinals in Rome, where Clement IV, permanently established at Viterbo, dared not venture, the Ghibelline party was so firmly in control. Then, fortified with papal money and supplies, Charles marched into Naples. "Papal legates and mendicant friars appeared upon the scene, preaching a formal crusade, with the amplest indulgences and most lavish promises" (Catholic Encyclopedia). Among the Italians who failed to see any nobler crusading purpose in the conflict was Dante (Inferno, Canto xxvii). Having defeated and slain Manfred in the great Battle of Benevento, Charles established himself firmly in the kingdom by the conclusive Battle of Tagliacozzo, in which Conradin, the last of the house of Hohenstaufen, was taken prisoner. Clement IV is said to have disapproved of the cruelties committed by his protegé, and there seems no foundation for the statement by Gregorovius that Clement IV became an accomplice by refusing to intercede for the unfortunate Conradin whom Charles had beheaded in the marketplace of Naples.
Within months Clement IV was dead too, and buried at Viterbo. Owing to unbridgeable divisions among the cardinals, the papal throne remained vacant for nearly three years.
Clement IV's private character was praised by contemporaries for his asceticism, and he is especially commended for his indisposition to promote and enrich his own relatives. He also ordered the Franciscan scholar Roger Bacon to write his Opus maius, which is addressed to him. He was buried at Viterbo, where he had resided throughout his pontificate.
In 1264, Clement IV, assigns Talmud censorship committee. He ordered that the Jews of Aragon to submit their books to Dominican censors for expurgation.
Pope Gregory X (Piacenza
born Tebaldo Visconti, was
from 1271 to 1276. He was elected by the
the longest papal election in the history of the Roman Catholic Church.
He succeeded Pope Clement IV (1265–68) after the papal chair had been vacant for three years (1268–71) due to divisions among the cardinals; the equally split French and Italian cardinals wanted a Pope from their country due to the ongoing political situation with Charles of Anjou. The deadlock was finally broken when the citizens of Viterbo, where the cardinals were assembled, removed the roof from the building where the cardinals were meeting and locked them in, only allowing them bread and water; three days later, Pope Gregory X was elected by the papal election, 1268–1271, the longest papal election in the history of the Roman Catholic church. Gregory X was considered a strong choice because although he was Italian, he had spent most of his career north of the Alps and thus had not been embroiled in recent Italian political controversies.
His election came as a complete surprise to him, occurring while he was engaged in the Ninth Crusade to Acre with Edward I of England (1239 - 1307) in Palestine. Not wanting to leave his mission, his first action as Pope was to send out appeals for aid to the Crusaders, and at his final sermon at Acre just before leaving to sail for Italy he famously said "If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning."
On his arrival at Rome his first act was to summon the council which met at the Second Council of Lyons in 1274 for the purpose of considering the East-West Schism, the condition of the Holy Land, and the abuses of the Roman Catholic Church. It was while returning from that council that he died at Arezzo, where he is still buried inside the Cathedral Church, on January 10, 1276. To him is due the bull which, subsequently incorporated into the code of canon law, regulated all conclaves for papal elections until the reforms of Pope Paul VI (1963–78).
He was succeeded by Pope Innocent V.
Pope Martin IV
(between 1210 and 1220 –
born Simon de Brion, held the
until his death.
Simon de Brion, son of Jean, sieur de Brion, was born at the château of Meinpicien in the province of Touraine, France, in the decade following 1210. The seigneurial family de Brion, who took their name from Brion near Joigny, flourished in the Brie française. He spent time at the University of Paris, then reportedly studied law at Padua and Bologna. Through papal favor he received a canonry at St-Quentin, which he enjoyed in 1238, and spent a period 1248-1259 as a canon of the cathedral chapter in Rouen, finally as archdeacon. At the same time he was appointed treasurer of the church of St. Martin in Tours by Louis IX, an office he held until he was elected pope in 1281. In 1259, just as he disappears from the documents at Rouen, he was appointed to the council of the king, who made him keeper of the great seal, chancellor of France, one of the great officers in the household of the king.
He returned to France as a legate for Urban IV and also for his successor Pope Clement IV, in 1264-1269 and again in 1274-1279, under Pope Gregory X. In the negotiations for papal support for the assumption of the crown of Sicily by Charles of Anjou, he became deeply politically entwined. As legate he presided over several synods on reform, the most important of which was held at Bourges in September, 1276.
Six months after the death of Pope Nicholas III in 1280, Charles of Anjou intervened in the papal conclave at Viterbo by imprisoning two influential Italian cardinals, on the grounds that they were interfering with the election. Without their opposition, Simon de Brie was unanimously elected to the papacy, taking the name Martin IV,on February 22, 1281.
Viterbo was placed under interdict for the imprisonment of the cardinals, and Rome was not at all inclined to accept a hated Frenchman as Pope, so Martin IV was crowned instead at Orvieto, on March 23, 1281.
Dependent on Charles of Anjou in nearly everything, the new Pope quickly appointed him to the position of Roman Senator. At the insistence of Charles, Martin IV excommunicated the Byzantine Emperor Michael VIII Palaeologus (1261-1282), who stood in the way of Charles' plans to restore the Latin Empire of the East that had been established in the aftermath of the Fourth Crusade. He thus broke the tenuous union which had been reached between the Greek and the Latin Churches at the Second Council of Lyons in 1274, and further compromise was rendered impossible.
In 1282, Charles was overthrown in the violent massacre known as the Sicilian Vespers. The Sicilians had elected Peter III of Aragon (1276-1285) as their King and sought papal confirmation in vain, though they were willing to reconfirm Sicily as a vassal state of the Papacy; Martin IV used all the spiritual and material resources at his command against the Aragonese, trying to preserve Sicily for the House of Anjou. He excommunicated Peter III, declared his kingdom of Aragon forfeit, and ordered a crusade against him, but it was all in vain.
Among the seven cardinals created by Martin IV was Benedetto Gaetano, who afterwards ascended the papal throne as the famous Pope Boniface VIII (1294-1303).
Pope Honorius IV (c.
born Giacomo Savelli, was
for two years from 1285 to 1287. During his unremarkable pontificate he
largely continued to pursue the pro-French policy of his predecessor,
Pope Martin IV
(1281–85). He was the last Pope who was married before he took Holy
Savelli was born in Rome, into the rich and influential Roman family of the Savelli. Initially, he was married and had at least two sons. One of them became podesta of Urbino and died before 1279, and another one was senator in Rome and died in 1306. After the death of his wife, he entered ecclesiastical state.
He studied at the University of Paris, during which time he held a prebend and a canonry at the cathedral of Châlons-sur-Marne. Later he obtained the benefice of rector at the church of Berton, in the diocese of Norwich, in England, a nation he never visited.
In 1261 he was created Cardinal Deacon of Santa Maria in Cosmedin by Pope Urban IV (1261–64), who also appointed him papal prefect in Tuscany and captain of the papal army. Cardinal Savelli pursued a diplomatic career. Pope Clement IV (1265–68) sent him and three other cardinals to invest Charles of Anjou as King of Sicily at Rome on 28 July 1265. After the long deadlocked vacancy in the papal see after Clement IV's death, a vacant seat of three years, he was one of the six cardinals who finally elected Pope Gregory X (1271–1276) by compromise on 1 September 1271, in a conclave held at Viterbo because conditions in Rome were too turbulent.
In 1274 he accompanied Gregory X to the Council of Lyon where it was established that only four mendicant orders were to be tolerated: Dominicans, Franciscans, Augustinians and Carmelites. In July, 1276, he was one of the three cardinals whom Pope Adrian V (1276) sent to Viterbo with instructions to treat with the German King, Rudolf I of Habsburg (1273–1291), concerning his imperial coronation at Rome and his future relations towards Charles of Anjou, whom papal policy supported. The death of Adrian V in the following month rendered fruitless the negotiations with Rudolf I.
Pope Nicholas IV
(September 30, 1227 – April 4, 1292), born Girolamo Masci, was
to April 4, 1292. A
monk, he had been
to the Greeks under
Pope Gregory X
(1271–76) in 1272, succeeded
as general of his order in 1274, was made
Patriarch of Constantinople by
Bishop of Palestina by
Pope Martin IV
(1281–85), and succeeded
after a ten-months' vacancy in the papacy.
Masci was born at Lisciano, near Ascoli Piceno. He was a pious, peace-loving monk with no ambition save for the Church, the crusades and the extirpation of heresy. He steered a middle course between the factions at Rome, and sought a settlement of the Sicilian question. In May 1289 he crowned King Charles II of Naples and Sicily (1285–1309) after the latter had expressly recognized papal suzerainty, and in February 1291 concluded a treaty with Alfonso III of Aragon (1285–91) and Philip IV of France (1285–1314) looking toward the expulsion of James II of Aragon (1285–96) from Sicily. The loss of Acre in 1291 stirred Nicholas IV to renewed enthusiasm for a crusade. He sent missionaries, among them the celebrated Franciscan missionary, John of Monte Corvino, to labour among the Bulgarians, Ethiopians, Tatars and Chinese.
Nicholas IV issued an important constitution on July 18, 1289, which granted to the cardinals one-half of all income accruing to the Roman see and a share in the financial management, and thereby paved the way for that independence of the College of Cardinals which, in the following century, was to be of detriment to the papacy.
Nicholas IV died in the palace which he had built beside Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore.
Pope St. Celestine V
(c. 1215 –
born Pietro Angelerio, also known as Pietro da Morrone
(according to some sources Angelario or Angelieri or Angelliero or
Angeleri), was elected
in the year 1294. He was elected by the
the last non-conclave in the history of the Roman Catholic Church.
According to a tradition, he was born in 1215 in the village of Sant'Angelo Limosano, in Molise, the son of Angelo Angelerio and Maria Leone. Recently, the towns of Isernia and Sant'Angelo in Grotte, have been mentioned as his possible birthplaces. His date of birth has been also assigned to 1209.
After his father's untimely death he started to work in the fields. His mother Maria was a key figure in Pietro's spiritual development: she imagined a different future for her deeply beloved son than just becoming a farmer or a shepherd. From the time he was a child, he showed great intelligence, and love for his fellow beings. He became a Benedictine monk at Faifoli in the diocese of Benevento when he was seventeen. He showed an extraordinary disposition toward asceticism and solitude, and in 1239 retired to a solitary cavern on the mountain Morrone, whence his name. Five years later he left this retreat, and betook himself, with two companions, to a similar cave on the Mountain of Maiella in the Abruzzi region of south Italy, where he lived as strictly as was possible according to the example of St. John the Baptist. Terrible accounts are given of the severity of his penitential practices. While living in this manner he founded, in 1244, the order subsequently called after him, the Celestines.
The cardinals assembled at Perugia after the death of Pope Nicholas IV (1288–92) in April of 1292. Morrone, well known to the cardinals as a Benedictine hermit, sent the cardinals a letter warning them that divine vengeance would fall upon them if they did not quickly elect a Pope. Latino Malabranca, the aged and ill dean of the College of Cardinals cried out, "In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, I elect brother Pietro di Morrone." The cardinals promptly ratified Malabranca's desperate decision. When sent for, Morrone obstinately refused to accept the Papacy, and even, as Petrarch says, attempted flight, until he was at length persuaded by a deputation of cardinals accompanied by the Kings of Naples and Hungary. Elected July 7, 1294, he was crowned at S. Maria di Collemaggio in the city of Aquila (now called L'Aquila) in the Abruzzi, August 29, taking the name of Celestine V. He issued two decrees – one confirming that of Pope Gregory X (1271–76), which orders the shutting of the cardinals in conclave; the second declaring the right of any Pope to abdicate the Papacy – a right that he himself exercised, at the end of five months and eight days, at Naples on December 13, 1294.
In the formal instrument of his renunciation he recites as the causes moving him to the step, "the desire for humility, for a purer life, for a stainless conscience, the deficiencies of his own physical strength, his ignorance, the perverseness of the people, his longing for the tranquility of his former life"; and having divested himself of every outward symbol of dignity, he retired to his old solitude.
Celestine V was not allowed to remain there, however. His successor, Pope Boniface VIII (1294–1303), sent for him, and finally, despite desperate attempts of the former Pope to escape, got him into his hands, and imprisoned him in the castle of Fumone near Ferentino in Campagna, where, after languishing for ten months in that infected air, he died on May 19, 1296. Some historians believe he might have been murdered by Boniface VIII, and indeed his skull has a suspicious hole. He was buried at Ferentino, but his body was subsequently removed to Aquila, where it still lies. Many early commentators and scholars of Dante have thought that the poet stigmatized Celestine V in the enigmatical verse Colui che fece per viltade il gran rifiuto, Who made by his cowardice the grand refusal (Inferno, III, 59). Most later commentators, however, refute such an identification and believe Dante might have intended the verse to refer to Pontius Pilate or someone else. Celestine V, like Pope Celestine I (422–432), is recognized by the Church as a saint. No subsequent Pope has taken the name "Celestine."
Although generally deemed a saintly man Celestine V has received some criticism. As mentioned above, in the Divine Comedy Dante might have placed him near the gates of Hell, but not in Hell precisely, because he deemed him indecisive, and also because his resignation led to the reign of Pope Boniface VIII. Others felt that his austere hermit-like life made him naive and unsuited for the job as Pope. This criticism may be more fair as he himself wished to retire due to the pressure. Others argue the opposite: his abdication of such immense power, wealth, and material comfort, in pursuit of austere, humble surroundings, was a most pious and admirable sacrifice demonstrating Celestine V's profound and rare degree of spiritual fortitude and virtue.
Another thing he did which may be noted (it seems to be the only instance in the history of the Church) is that he empowered one Francis of Apt, a Franciscan friar, to confer the clerical tonsure and minor orders on Lodovico (who would later become Bishop of Toulouse), the son of the King of Sicily. However, this decree seems not to have been carried out.
Pope Boniface VIII
(c. 1235 –
born Benedetto Caetani, was
Church from 1294 to 1303.
Caetani was born in 1235 in
c. 50 kilometers southeast of
He was the younger son of a minor noble family, the
and became a
of the cathedral in Anagni in his teens. In 1252, when his uncle Peter
bishop of Todi,
Benedetto went with him and began his legal studies there. Benedetto
never forgot his roots in
later describing the city as "the dwelling place of his early youth,"
the city which "nourished him while still of tender years," and as a
place where he "held lasting memories". In 1260, Benedetto acquired a
in Todi, as well as the small nearby castle of Sismano. Later in life he
repeatedly expressed his gratitude to Anagni, Todi, and his family.
In 1264, Benedetto became part of the Roman Curia where he served as secretary to Cardinal Simon of Brie on a mission to France. Similarly, he accompanied Cardinal Ottobono Fieschi to England (1265-1268) in order to suppress a rebellion by a group of barons against Henry III, a churchman in England. Upon Benedetto's return from England, there is an eight year period in which nothing is known about what occurred in his life. After this eight year period of uncertainty, Benedetto was sent to France to supervise the collection of a tithe in 1276 and then became a papal notary in the late 1270s. During this time, Benedetto accumulated seventeen benefices which he was permitted to keep when he was promoted, first to cardinal deacon in 1281 and then 10 years later as cardinal priest. As cardinal, he often served as papal legate in diplomatic negotiations with France, Naples, Sicily, and Aragon.
He was elected in December 24, 1294 after Pope Celestine V abdicated in December 13. There is a legend that it was Boniface VIII's doing that Celestine V renounced the papacy - for Boniface, previously Benedetto, convinced Celestine V that no person on the earth could go through life without sin. However, in later times, it is a more common understanding that Celestine V resigned by his own designs and Benedetto merely showed that it was allowed by Church law. Either way, Celestine V left and Boniface VIII took his place as pope. One of his first acts as pontiff was to imprison his predecessor in the Castle of Fumone in Ferentino, where he died at the age of 81, attended by two monks of his order. In 1300, Boniface VIII formalized the jubilees, which afterwards became a source of both profit and scandal to the church. Boniface VIII founded the University of Rome La Sapienza in 1303.
Boniface VIII put forward some of the strongest claims to temporal, as well as spiritual, supremacy of any Pope and constantly involved himself with foreign affairs. In his Bull of 1302, Unam Sanctam, Boniface VIII proclaimed that it "is absolutely necessary for salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman pontiff", pushing papal supremacy to its historical extreme. These views and his intervention in "temporal" affairs led to many bitter quarrels with the Emperor Albert I of Habsburg (1291-1298), the powerful family of the Colonnas, with Philip IV of France (1285–1314) and with Dante Alighieri (who wrote De Monarchia to argue against it).
Conflicts with Philip IV
The conflict between Boniface VIII and Philip IV of France came at a time of expanding nation states and the desire for the consolidation of power by the increasingly powerful monarchs. The increase in monarchical power in the rising nation states and its conflicts with the Church of Rome were only exacerbated by the rise to power of Phillip IV. In France, the process of centralizing royal power and developing a genuine national state began with the Capetian kings. During his reign, Phillip surrounded himself with the best civil lawyers, and decidedly expelled the clergy from all participation in the administration of the law. With the clergy beginning to be taxed in Theri and England in order to finance their ongoing wars against each other, Boniface took a hard stand against it. He saw the taxation as an assault on traditional clerical rights, and ordered the Bull Clericis laicos in February 1296, forbidding lay taxation of the clergy without prior papal approval. In the bull, Boniface states "they exact and demand from the same the half, tithe, or twentieth, or any other portion or proportion of their revenues or goods; and in many ways they try to bring them into slavery, and subject them to their authority. And also whatsoever emperors, kings, or princes, dukes, earls or barons...presume to take possession of things anywhere deposited in holy buildings...should incur sentence of excommunication." It was during the issuing of Clericis Laicos that hostilities between Boniface and Philip began. Philip retaliated against the bull by denying the exportation of money from France to Rome, funds that the Church required to operate. Boniface had no choice but to quickly meet the demands of Philip by allowing taxation only "during an emergency."
After complications involving the capture of Jean Lemoine by Philip, the conflict was re-ignited. In December of 1301, Philip was sent the Papal Bull Ausculta fili ("Listen, My Son"), informing Philip that "God has set popes over kings and kingdoms."
The feud between the two reached its peak in the early 14th century when Philip began to launch a strong anti-papal campaign against Boniface. On November 18, 1302, Boniface issued one of the most important papal bulls of Catholic History: Unam Sanctam. It declared that both spiritual and temporal power were under the pope's jurisdiction, and that kings were subordinate to the power of the Church.
In response, Guillaume de Nogaret, Philip's chief minister, denounced Boniface as a heretical criminal to the French clergy. In 1303, Philip and Nogaret were excommunicated. However, on September 7, 1303 an army led by Nogaret and Sciarra Colonna of the Colonna family surprised Boniface at his retreat in Anagni. The King and the Colonnas demanded that he resign, to which Boniface VIII responded that he would "sooner die". Boniface was beaten badly and nearly executed but was released from captivity after three days. He died a month later, on October 11, 1303.
A process (judicial investigation) against the memory of Boniface was held from 1303 to 1311. The collected testimonies (especially those of the examination held at Groseau in August and September of 1310) alleged many heretical opinions of Boniface VIII. This included the offence of sodomy, although there is little substantive evidence for this and it's more likely that this was the standard accusation Philip made against enemies.
The trial was settled without a result in 1311.
Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., a U.S. registered 501(c)(3) tax-deductible nonprofit charity.