DAILY CATHOLIC    TUESDAY     May 19, 1998     vol. 9, no. 97


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          The guidance of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Saint Albert the Great, and Saint Bonaventure set the tone for the 185th successor of Peter Blessed Pope Innocent V who becomes the first Dominican to ever sit on the throne of the Church. Because of his predecessor Blessed Pope Gregory X's decrees for stricter rules in the election of a pontiff, total seclusion was enforced on the conclave that elected Innocent. The biggest mistake Innocent made was not following the astute political policies of Gregory. Rather than recognizing and coronating Rudolf I as Holy Roman Emperor he put him off and basically slapped him in the face by promoting his rival and the man Gregory had kept in check - Charles of Anjiou, king of Sicily. Innocent caved into pressure to make him Senator of Rome and once Charles had his foot in the door, everything else disintegrated including any possible chance of reunion with Constantinople. Innocent, a man of peace, was in over his head on the political scene and Charles took great advantage of that, but was not able to fully capitalize for Innocent only lived four months as Pope. He died in Rome on February 22, 1276.
Installment Sixty-eight

Pope Blessed Innocent V: The First Dominican Pope l

          With the Holy See restored to respectability by Blessed Pope Gregory X it was left to the Conclave to continue this trend. To do that they turned to a Dominican for the first time ever. The man was Cardinal Pierre de Tarentaise who, born in Savoy of noble birth, had turned his back on worldly treasures and joined the Order of Preachers in 1240 at Lyons, France. He studied under Saint Thomas Aquinas, Saint Bonaventure, and Saint Albert the Great and in 1259 collaborated with Thomas and Albert in drawing up a rule of studies for Dominicans. It was Pierre who preached the funeral Mass of the great Franciscan theologian St. Bonaventure in 1274. Under Pope Clement IV he preached the Crusade in France and it was Pope Gregory who elevated him to Arbishop of Lyons in 1272 and Cardinal from Ostia a year later. Four years later he was the choice of the available College of Cardinals who had gathered quickly at Arezzo, Italy becoming Pope on January 22, 1276. This man, who chose the name Pope Innocent V, was a man of great learning and piety but lacked the political prowess of his predecessor; so much so that he was influenced into recognizing Charles of Anjiou for Senator of Rome even though Gregory had fought hard against it. But Innocent, in an effort to appease everyone in his quest for peace, did not realize the far ranging effects of changing horses in midstream. This flared up when he delayed Rudolf I of Habsburg to come to Rome to be officially crowned Holy Roman Emperor as Gregory had intended, rationalizing that Rudolf and Charles needed to work out their differences before he could acknowledge Rudolf. In his desire to bring peace everywhere he possibly compromised too much such as by removing the interdict Gregory had placed on Firenze despite the fact Florence had not repented. On the plus side Innocent was able to reconcile Genoa with Charles as well as end hostilities between the Guelph pro-papal faction and the pro-imperial forces of the Ghibellines. He also held one thing dear to his heart that Gregory did - the Crusades and he promoted it far and wide. He enlisted Spain to help, but they were enmeshed with struggles against the Moors and he called on King Philip III, son of Saint Louis IX, to lead the legions to recapture Jerusalem. But the one key to making it successful was locked tight with the interference of Charles. The headway Gregory had made with the Byzantine Emperor Michael VIII Paleologus was detoured because Michael had gone along with the plan for political purposes, knowing Gregory would keep his greatest threat - Charles - in check. With Innocent giving Charles free reign all deals were off. Any hope of union went down the drain when Innocent innocently sent a demand that the Greek clergy take personal oaths to Rome and accept the Filioque procession of the Latin "and from the Son" in declaring the twofold procession of the God the Holy Spirit from God the Father and from God the Son. This would prove a bone of contention throughout history. As the papal envoys sent to Michael were enroute to deliver these demands, Innocent died four months to the day he was elected, passing from this world on June 22, 1276. His pontificate had lasted only 39 days and though he had tried to pacify warring factions, it would not last. What would last was planting the seeds of Christianity in Mongolia when he baptized three of the Great Khan's ambassadors. Charles, realizing his "meal ticket" had passed on did all in his power to influence the incoming conclave, including announcing that he was commissioning a special elaborate tomb in the Lateran Basilica for his dear friend Innocent. Innocent was beatified in 1898 by Pope Leo XIII. In the next installment we will detail the two succeeding popes who Charles tried to influence further in Popes Hadrian V and John XXI: Short terms and sickness mars the papacy.

May 19, 1998       volume 9, no. 97


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