February 23, 2000
volume 11, no. 38

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    In this journey on the Barque of Peter, we continue to detail the evolution of the Mass and the Church from the early Christian times to our present day so that all may better understand the true meaning of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and our faith - the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. Today we cover the time of the first half of the twelfth century and the grueling conflict with the Holy Roman Empire over control chiefly over the the investiture issue which divided Church and state. In addition, the patrician wars raised their ugly heads, dividing into the two damaging camps of the Guelphs, who sided with the Pope, and the Ghibellines, who threw their support behind the Emperor. The papacy went through some troubling times during this period and were it not for the sage guidance of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux it might have crumbled even more because of deception, jealousies and all-out war between the cardinals which resulted in numerous antipopes during this period.

    We will be using various sources, but the best are four books that are out of print but provide so much solid material: "My Catholic Faith - A Manual of Religion" (1949) by Bishop Louis LaRavoire Morrow, S.T.D. from My Mission House ; "The Glories and Triumphs of the Catholic Church" (1907) from Benziger Brothers; "The Catholic Church Alone the One True Church of Christ" (1902) from the Catholic Educational Company; and "Cabinet of Catholic Information" (1904) from Duggan Publishing Co. In addition we will be using material gleaned from "The Oxford Dictionary of Popes" by J.N.D. Kelly; The Papal Princes: A History of the Sacred College of Cardinals" by Glenn D. Kittler; "Pontiffs: Popes who shaped history" by John Jay Hughes; "The Mass of the Roman Rite" by Fr. Josef Jungmann, S.J.; "The Story of the Church" from Tan Books by Fr. George Johnson, PhD; "The Story of the Mass" by Fr. Pierre Loret; "Rubrics of the Mass" by Fr. Peter M.J. Stravinskas; "The Wonders of the Mass" by Fr. Paul O'Sullivan, O.P.; and the Code of Canon Law", as well as the "Catechism of the Catholic Church"; "Baltimore Catechism"; Catholic Encyclopedia (Thomas Nelson Publishers); "Catholic Dictionary" by Fr. John Hardon, S.J.; "Dictionary of Saints" by John J. Delaney; "Butler's Lives of the Saints" from Benziger Brothers; "Saints of the Roman Calendar" by Enzo Lodi and Fr. Jordan Aumann, OP; "1999 Catholic Almanac" from Our Sunday Visitor, and numerous missals and references.

    With a better perception of what the Church stands for and what the Mass truly is, we will not so easily be swayed by new-fangled gimmicks and liturgical abuses being introduced by individual celebrants and ICEL, the International Committee for English in the Liturgy. We will discover why the basis for the use of vestments and sacred vessels, the purpose for the Rubrics of the Mass, the logic of Church Scholars and Popes through the ages for fending off changes that would water-down the faith and the Holy Sacrifice and even invalidate the greatest remembrance Christ gave to His Church.

Installment 37: The Church and the Empire: struggle for control
        In the continuing line of papal supremacy, Blessed Pope Urban II was succeeded by Pope Paschal II, the 160th successor of Peter, who overlapped the eleventh and twelfth century from 1099-1114. Born in Bieda di Galeata in Ravenna, he was elected on August 14, 1099 and died on January 21, 1118. He first came into prominence as the Abbot of San Lorenzo fuori le Mura, appointed by Pope Saint Gregory VII who also made him a cardinal priest. Urban inherited the sticky, messy issue of the investiture struggle and it would only get worse for he encountered a hostile emperor in Henry IV who had appointed his own man the antipope Clement III, the first of four antipopes during this period spanning the First and Second Crusade which we will cover today.

        Though Paschal was timid and weak, he was determined to shunt the power of Henry and turn away the influence of the even weaker antipopes Theoderic, Albert, and Silvester IV all appointed by Henry but not backed militarily by the German king. In March 1102, Paschal reinforced Urban's strong ban against investiture by lay rulers and this incurred the wrath of Henry even further but still, involved with his own problems in Germany and growing old, he did not take action. That would be left to his son Henry V who Paschal at first had supported in overthrowing his father. But when Henry IV died in 1106, power went to Henry V's head. At a Synod at Guastalla, then Troyes a year later in 1107, and in Benevento the next year followed two years later at the Lateran in 1110, Paschal maintained a hardline stance on the investiture issue which conflicted with Henry's ambitions. On February 9, 1111 at the Synod of Sutri, Paschal advanced the offer of Henry renouncing all investiture in favor of the German churches paying tithes to the kingdom. He accepted and journeyed to the Vatican to be coronated on February 12, 1111 but when Pascal announced the concordat before the coronation the locals rebelled and the coronation never happened. Incensed, Henry renegged on his agreement and had Pope Paschal and his cardinals arrested. With no where to turn after two months imprisonment, Paschal was caught between a rock and a hard place for Henry threatened to recognize universally the antipope Silvester IV if Paschal didn't accept the king's privilege to invest bishops of his choosing. In addition, the beleaguered Pontiff had to agree never to excommunicate Henry and must crown him emperor in St. Peter's Basilica. It was a no win situation for the Holy See and the faithful called for Paschal's abdication. Rioting broke out and became so bad in 1114 that Paschal was forced to flee Rome for Benevento. Henry returned in 1117 to quell the riots but Paschal had lost all credibility and, though he had returned to Rome, he had to hole up in Castel Sant'Angelo, dying on January 21, 1118.

        His successor was Pope Gelasius II who was just as powerless as his predecessor. He was elected three days after Paschal's death and enthroned on March 10, 1118. His brief one year pontificate was marked by another antipope Gregory VIII and violence as rioters attacked the Basilica of the Lateran where he resided and imprisoned him. In a scene right out of an adventure novel or movie, Genoese sailors freed him while he was enroute to exile by his captors. Dressed as a pilgrim he stole back into Rome disguized but was never able to resume the Papal throne publicly and retreated to Cluny after becoming seriously ill where he died on January 28, 1119.

        The cardinals gathered and elected one of their own who had been against the wimpiness of Paschal and Gelasius. He was Pope Callistus II, the son of a Count of Burgundy who bore Royal bloodlines of the German, French and English royal houses. He called the landmark Concordat of Worms on September 23, 1122 in which a compromise was reached ending the long investiture controversy with the emperor having a say in who was appointed but final approval and investiture to episcopal ranks to be done by the bishops exclusively. The following year he called the First Lateran Council which ratified the concordat and assured all that though the Holy See had compromised, it was for the best in maintaining peace at all costs. The Council Fathers also passed 22 disciplinary measures first introduced by Urban II. It was this council that also issued decrees on simony and celibacy as well as establishing the protective measures for pilgrims and consequences for those violating the code called the Truce of God. Callistus proclaimed the Second Crusade but it would not be launched for another twenty years or so. He died on December 14, 1124.

        A week after Callistus' death, the Conclave elected Pope Honorius II an Italian born in Fiagnano. The voting process had been bitter with the cardinals dividing into two camps and the priest Teobaldo was actually chosen. He took the name Pope Celestine II but while he was being installed the upstart Frangipani family forcefully interrupted the proceedings and at sword-point proclaimed Cardinal Lamberto of Ostia as Pope. He was, of course, Honorius II. To avoid further trouble Celestine abdicated leaving the papacy to Honorius with many bad feelings among the cardinals. This is another reason there is a controversy among the number of total Popes. Many historians include Celestine as a recognized Supreme Pontiff for he was canonically chosen, but because he was never consecrated or enthroned others do not include him. In our count of the Popes, which makes Pope John Paul II the 264th successor of Peter, we include him.

        Honorius' six year papacy was also frought with intrigue and struggle as bitter, mortal rivalries between the patrician families broke out into full scale war which gave rise to the two factions - the Guelphs and the Ghibellines. The latter sided with the Emperor Henry, while the former fell behind the Pope. To counter this, Honorius called on the alliance of Germany and Henry's rival Count Lothair III who was lobbying for the German crown. Though Honorius was an honorable man, his chancellor Cardinal Aimeric was not and he made many enemies. But, through Honorius' humble pleas, the Pope managed to unite Europe in its common fight against the Saracens as a fever pitch mounted throughout the continent to return to the Holy Land. Honorius died enroute to being taken to the Frangipani stronghold where he was being taken to die for he was gravely ill and the family wanted to maintain control by moving him to their territory. He died on February 13, 1930.

        Protected by the powerful Frangipani clan, Aimeric rustled up the necessary cardinals who immediately elected one of their own Pope Innocent II. When the rest of the cardinals got word of this railroad job, they countered by electing the antipope Anacletus II and once again confusion reigned in Rome. Innocent II was forced to flee and seek refuge with Lothair who in 1133 escorted him back to Rome and, with a show of force and a show of respect, kissed the Pope's feet and personally held the Holy Father's mule bridle as he led Innocent triumphantly into Rome. Though he was back on the throne, Anacletus would not go away until death took him in 1138. A year after his death, Pope Innocent II convened the Second Lateran Council in April 1139 in which that 10th Ecumenical Council condemned Albigensianism and set regulations for papal elections. This would come into play four years later with the passing of Innocent on September 24, 1143. During Innocent's last years he had to contend with yet another antipope Victor IV.

        A reformer was the chose of the Sacred Conclave two days after Innocent's passing. They chose Pope Celestine II as the 165th in the line of Peter. Though he only ruled a year, he is remembered for introducing the holy abbot Saint Bernard of Clairvaux onto the universal scene. St. Bernard had already become well respected within the inner sanctum of the Holy See for his successful debates against Abelard at the Council of Sens in 1140. Celestine was already on in years when took office and yet he had the energy to settle internal differences of the Church with the astute aid of St. Bernard. He also tried to end the war between Scotland and England, but was never able to obtain peace in Italy. He did however win France back but lifting the excommunication of King Louis VII which also opened the door for the rise to power of Roger II of Sicily which would become a thorn in the side of the Holy See for many years to come. He died on March 8, 1144.

        He was followed by Bologna-born Cardinal Gherardo Caccianemici who took the name Pope Lucius II on March 12, 1144. Like his predecessor, he too was aged and his pontificate lasted just under a year. He was forced to govern during the disorders caused by Arnold of Brescia in the on-going patrician wars. It was during his papacy that communes throughout Europe began which signaled the beginning of the end of the Middle Ages. He also had to contend with the sons of Roger II who wanted the spoils of the papal states at all costs and took advantage of the Vatican's consumption with the Italian family riots which ultimately caused the death of Lucius when he was stoned trying to mediate an extremely grave rebellion. He died a few days later from the stoning on February 15, 1145.

        It would be left to his successor Blessed Pope Eugene III, elected the day Lucius died. He was a monk under St. Bernard and though the saint was at first against Bernardo Pignatelli's election because of his relative inexperience and youth, he set about to counsel the new Pope. In addition, Blessed Eugene maintained the monk's habit and his strict life-style of a monk. On December 1145 he issued a Papal Bull commissioning St. Bernard to preach the Second Crusade which had been unofficially launched in 1143 but had met with unforeseen defeats, primarily because of the division within Europe between the German King, the French King and the revolutionary Romans not to mention Roger of Sicily. Because of the latter, Eugene was forced to flee Rome for France. Appealing to the French solely definitely hurt the Crusade movement, but he needed the German troops to fend off the Roman clans and Roger. This disunity contributed greatly to the grave results of the Second Crusade which ended bitterly in 1148 with countless casualties as the few remaining disillusioned crusaders returned to Europe bruised and fatigued. They had hoped to recapture Edessa from the Moslems, but the venture was met with tragedy when they reached Damascus. The impact was so great that it would be another forty years before the Third Crusade would commence. When he wasn't dealing with wars, Eugene managed to complete the institution of the Sacred College of Cardinals which follows basically the same format as today. In 1148 he convened the Synod of Rheims in which stricter disciplinary decrees were set for religious communities of women. Eugene found time to begin construction of the Papal Palace as well as refortifying numerous walls around Rome to fend off the warring tribes and future Saracen attacks. He died at Tivoli on July 8, 1153 still a simple monk in spirit. That same year St. Bernard also passed on to his Heavenly reward and with them a chapter in Church history.

        Next issue we will delve into the Popes during the second half of the twelfth century and the barbaric acts of Frederick Barbarossa.

Next Wednesday: Installment Thirty-eight: The Bitter years of the Barbarian Barbarossa.

February 23, 2000
volume 11, no. 38

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