March 1, 2000
volume 11, no. 43

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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 second half of the twelfth century and another schism within the Church where four antipopes ruled, placed on the throne by the thorn in the side of the Church - the German Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa. His support by the Gibellines forced many of the Popes and the loyal curia members to take up residence outside of Rome, guarded by those loyal to the Papacy - the Guelphs. During this time there were strong Popes and weak ones including the first and only English Pontiff Pope Hadrian IV which indirectly caused the martyrdom of Saint Thomas Becket for his loyalty to the British Sovereign Bishop of Rome over the Sovereign King Henry II of England.

    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 38: The Bitter years of the Barbarian Barbarossa
        The College of Cardinals quickly convened the day Blessed Pope Eugene III passed on to his Heavenly reward, and chose a Roman prelate Cardinal Corrado to succeed him on July 8, 1154. The latter chose the name Pope Anastasius IV, the 168th successor of Peter and the first Anastasius in 243 years. The people were so elated at his election that the Roman Senate chose to honor one of their own by having him publicly enthroned at the Lateran Palace on July 12, 1153, an honor afforded to few pontiffs. Anastasius IV's gentle character and great popularity among his own people helped bring peace among all factions. For the first time in decades there were no wars in Rome or throughout Europe for that matter. He begun the restoration of the ancient Pantheon as well as many other buildings and churches throughout the eternal city. He was also able to expand the Faith to Scandinavia through his Papal Legate Nicholas Breakspear, the English monk who would become Anastasius' successor. In fact, had Anastasius lived longer it is highly likely he would have done much more, but alas he died on December 3, 1154 after a glorious 18 month reign and was buried at St. John Lateran.

        Because of Anastasius' popularity and success, the most logical successor was the Englishman Cardinal Breakspear who became the first and only English Pope ever, taking the name Pope Hadrian IV, the first since late in the eighth century. Some have called these Popes Adrian, others Hadrian. Either way they are the same persons. At first Hadrian declined, not feeling worthy of the august honor but his peers pressed him and he accepted and, like his predecessor he became an excellent Sovereign Pontiff and staunch defender of the Church, considered by historians as "the English Pope who was a rose to the Church and a thorn to the German King." Since Rome teetered on revolt because of the uneasy alliance with the Germans, Hadrian turned to Sicily for an unlikely partnership. This all resulted from the German King Frederick I Barbarossa's renegging on various agreements at the Treaty of Constance and his mistrust of Rome. The feeling became mutual after Hadran had the insidious agitator of riots Arnold of Brescia arrested. Yet the Roman families were not deterred and went behind Hadrian's back to negotiate directly with Frederick clandestinely to have Arnold freed and restore the Holy Roman Empire to the status and glory of the days of Charlemagne. Frederick bought into this fantasy and when he met the Pope at Sutri on June 8, 1155 he was distant and cold and mistrust set in on all sides. Frederick was supposed to be crowned by Hadrian in St. Peter's and, as part of the custom the emperor was to hold the Holy Father's reins as his mule was led into Rome. Barbarossa refused. In a tit for tat, Hadrian refused to give him the customary kiss of peace. When Hadrian did finally coronate the German Emperor on June 18, 1155 he worded the ceremony such that the emperor was subserviant to the Pope as it should be. This further infuriated Frederick. Realizing the looming threat the emperor posed, Hadrian made an alliance with William of Sicily at the Treaty of Benevento a year to the day he had crowned Frederick.

        Relations with the German Empire deteriorated greatly and Frederick tried to play the trump card - lay investiture but Hadrian stood strong against him. Pope Hadrian IV was a generous and forgiving Pontiff, but staunchly defended the Faith against discrepancies and it was this 169th in the line of Peter who coined the title used ever since: Vicar of Christ. Under this British Pope England's King Henry II annexed Ireland, forging a papal bull Ladabiliter which historians swear Hadrian did not issue, in order to have the authority to take over the emerald isle. Thus it can be traced back to Hadrian's pontificate that marked the beginning of the strife between Ireland and England which continues to this day in Northern Ireland. He died on the first of September in 1159 after a five year papacy that exposed the peace during Anastasius' reign as a false peace for the storm on the horizon was now ready to explode into a full blown cyclone.

        Facing this oncoming wind was Hadrian's successor and trusted Papal Counselor the Italian Cardinal Orlando Roland Bandinelli who was a renowned professor and celebrated canon lawyer in Pisa. While some in the conclave, who were already in Frederick's camp, chose Cardinal Ottavianno, the majority went with Bandinelli who was eleted on September 7, 1159. Becoming the 170th successor of Peter at the relatively youthful age of 50, he chose the name Pope Alexander III and he picked up right where Hadrian left off. Wherever the Church's credibility and power were challenged, Alexander was there to defend her. The cost was not cheap for he had to withstand an eighteen year schism that would see four antipopes during his regime and his resistance to any monarch's control of the Church in any fashion was achieved at the price of many lives being lost. This included the martyrdom of Saint Thomas Becket who Alexander backed in his dispute with Henry II and the English king masterminded the murder of Becket in the Cathedral of Canterbury in 1170.

        Alexander's pontificate got off to a rocky start when the Ghibellines - the pro-imperialist forces - rebelled against the choice of Alexander and forced those in cahoots with them in the College of Cardinals to elect Ottavianno as the alternate Pope or antipope. The latter took the name Victor IV on October 4, 1159. The Guelphs or pro-papist forces were outraged and gave Alexander safe passage to Nympha in the Norman-held land south where he was consecrated. Victor was merely Barbarossa's puppet and the German king regained the control that had slipped away in his dealings with Hadrian IV. He coerced a council at Pavia in February 1160 where a mostly pro-imperialist council excommunicated Alexander who in turn did the same to Frederick on March 24, 1160 thus signalling the beginning of yet another schism that would last nearly two decades but which Alexander, though greatly persecuted, would outlast. This became evident when Barbarossa's natural enemies Spain, England and France all pledged their loyalty to the real pontiff Alexander. King Louis VII of France offered the Pope to set up the curia at Sens which he did until 1165 when he returned to Rome after Victor's death, but that, too, was shortlived. The reason: Barbarossa thrust another antipope on the throne - Paschal III who bitterly opposed Alexander. When the bishops refused to acknowledge the former, Barbarossa became livid and threatened severe repercussions iat the Diet of Wurzburg on May 22, 1165 if they didn't comply with the emperor's wishes. Many did, but more and more resisted and returned to Alexander, leaving Paschal in limbo. Because Paschal was so weak, the Ghibelline cardinals voted one of their own who took the name Callistus III but he was ignored more than Paschal. It came down to a showdown on the battlefield between the Guelphs led by Alexander and the Barbarossa-led Ghibbelines with the former scoring a stunning victory in 1176 and leaving both the emperor and Paschal without any further influence. Paschal fled and Alexander returned to Rome triumphant, calling the Third Lateran Council on March 5, 1179 which reaffirmed the reforms Alexander had promoted which found their origins with Pope Saint Gregory VII. This 11th Ecumenical Council proudly proclaimed the supremacy of the papacy and passed a rule still in effect today - a necessary 2/3 majority to elect a Pope. Also at this Council a new form of discipline was introduced to deal with heretics which would be the precursor of the Inquisition a few centuries later.

        Despite all this there were still a few dissidents who banded together to elect their own antipope to replace Paschal. They chose Innocent III who was no match for Alexander and early in 1180 he was forced to flee as well. Alexander passed away in Civita Castellana on August 30, 1181 at the age of 81. When his body was returned triumphantly to Rome for burial at the Lateran, his coffin was pelted with stones by Ghibellines who attacked the funeral cortege and wrote insults on the casket, but regardless, nothing could prevent history from marking him as one of the great Roman Pontiffs who survived a coup and through it the Church grew stronger. Because of this man, whose acumen in judicial decisions greatly influenced Canon Law up to present day, many referred to him as the "middle age Alexander the Great."

        The conflicts that had afflicted Alexander continued to be a thorn in the side of the new Vicar of Christ - Pope Lucius III who had been labeled by St. Thomas Becket as one of the few honest cardinals. Lucius so wanted to establish peace but other factors came into play. Elected on September 1, 1181 and ten years younger than his predecessor, Lucius was handcuffed by the outrageous demands of the Roman families who held the Church ransom. When they rose up, he he sought the refuge of Velletri a week after his election. There he remained until 1184 when Frederick sought a conference with Lucius at Verona. The gist of the meeting was that Lucius decreed all bishops were to watch for and report all heretics and suppress heresy by force of arms, if necessary. Meanwhile the Saracens had been ravaging the Holy Land and both Lucius and Frederick were in agreement that it was necessary to rally all of Europe to join the Crusade. Frederick offered his son Frederick II but Lucius was dubious because of the former's untrusted track record. The Emperor also, in his scheming lust-for-power agenda, sought to marry off his other son Henry to Constance daughter of Roger II of Sicily. Lucius knew the dangers of this for he realized the Papal States would be caust in the squeeze between the Empire and Sicily and he strongly objected to the union. Frederick left incensed, refusing any military support for the Crusade. Lucius would not leave, dying there at the age of 75 on November 25, 1185 after a four year papacy.

        Again, on the day Lucius died the Sacred Conclave quickly elected his successor on the same day, choosing Pope Urban III who was faced with the inevitable - open war with empires on all fronts. Because he bandied about the threat of excommunication on anyone who disagreed with him, he alienated many within the Church as well as the emperor and other leaders. He couldn't stop the wedding between Henry and Constance and he couldn't stop the growing rebellion among the German bishops loyal to the king. Nor could he stop the onrush of the Saladin in the mideast on Christian fortresses. Like Lucius there would be a power struggle between Urban and Frederick that would only intensify after Urban ordered the emperor to meet him at a tribunal in Verona or face excommunication. The emperor retaliated by closing off all mountain passages to Verona, leaving the Pope isolated. Because the local authorities of Verona feared for their city they told the Pope to go. On his way to Ferrara where he was to meet Frederick, Urban died on October 20, 1187 short of two years after he had been elected. His body was buried at the Cathedral in Ferrara.

        In the next installment we will cover the Popes of the Third, Fourth and Fifth Crusades and the obstacles they encountered in trying to keep the Barque of Peter upright in a sea of turmoil.

Next Wednesday: Installment Thirty-nine: The Third, Fourth and Fifth Crusades: the vice is tightened around the Papal States.

March 1, 2000
volume 11, no. 43

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