See also:Constance (9th of
See also:October 1417) sanctioned by
See also:Martin V. had obliged the papacy periodically to summon general
See also:councils . At the expiry of the first
See also:term fixed by this decree, Martin V. did, in fact,
See also:call together at
See also:Pavia a council, which it was necessary to transfer almost at once to
See also:Siena,.owing to an epidemic, and which had to be dissolved owing to circumstances still imperfectly known, just as it was beginning to discuss the subject of reform (1424) . The next council was due to assemble at the expiry of seven years, i.e. in 1431; with his usual punctuality, Martin V. duly convoked it' for this date to the
See also:town of
See also:Basel, and selected to preside over it the
See also:cardinal Julian Cesarini, a man of the greatest worth, both intellectually and morally . Martin himself, however, died before the opening of the synod . From Italy, France and Germany the fathers were slow in appearing at Basel . Cesarini devoted all his energies to the war against the
See also:Hussites, until the disaster of Taus forced him hastily to evacuate Bohemia . The progress of
See also:heresy, the reported troubles in Germany, the war which had lately broken out between the dukes of
See also:Austria and
See also:Burgundy, and finally, the small number of fathers who had responded to the summons of Martin V., caused that pontiff's successor,
See also:Eugenius IV., to think that the synod of Basel was doomed to certain failure . This opinion, added to the
See also:desire which he had of himself pre-siding over the council, induced him to recall the fathers from Germany, whither his
See also:health, impaired of
See also:late, probably owing to a cerebral congestion, rendered it all the more difficult for him to go . He commanded the fathers to disperse, and appointed Bologna as their
See also:meeting-place in eighteen months'
See also:time, his intention being to make the session of the council coincide with some conferences with representatives of the Greek
See also:church, which were to be held there with a view to union (18th
See also:December 1431) . This
See also:order led to an outcry among the fathers of Basel and incurred the deep disapproval of the
See also:legate Cesarini . The Hussites, it was said, would think that the Church was afraid to
See also:face them; the laity would accuse the
See also:clergy of shirking reform; in
See also:short, this failure of the councils would produce disastrous effects .
In vain did the
See also:pope explain his reasons and yield certain points; the fathers would listen to nothing, and, relying on the decrees of the council of Constance, which amid the troubles of the
See also:schism had proclaimed the superiority, in certain cases, of the council over the pope, they insisted upon their right of remaining assembled, hastily
See also:beat up the laggards, held sessions, promulgated decrees, interfered in the
See also:government of the papal countship of Venaissin, treated with the Hussites, and, as representatives of 'the universal Church, presumed to impose
See also:laws upon the
See also:sovereign pontiff himself . Eugenius IV. resolved to resist this supremacy, though he did not dare openly to repudiate a very widespread
See also:doctrine considered by many to be the actual foundation of the authority of the popes before the schism . However, he soon realized the impossibility of treating the fathers of Basel as ordinary rebels, and tried a compromise; but as time went on, the fathers became more and more intractable, and between him and them gradually arose an impassable barrier . Abandoned by a number of his cardinals, condemned by most of the
See also:powers, deprived of his dominions by condottieri who shamelessly invoked the authority of the council, the pope made concession after concession, and ended on the 15th of December 1433 by a pitiable surrender of all the points at issue in a bull, the terms of which were dictated by the fathers of Basel, that is, by declaring his bull of dissolution null and void, and recognizing that the synod had not ceased to be legitimately assembled . It would be wrong, however, to believe that Eugenius IV. ratified all the decrees coming from Basel, or that he made a definite submission to the supremacy of the council . No
See also:express pronouncement on this subject could be wrung from him, and his enforced silence concealed the secret design of safeguarding the principle of
See also:sovereignty . The fathers, who were filled with suspicion, would only allow the legates of the pope to preside over them on
See also:condition of their recognizing the superiority of the council; the legates ended by submitting to this humiliating formality, but in their own name only, thus reserving the
See also:judgment of the
See also:Holy See .
See also:Nay more, the difficulties of all kinds against which Eugenius had to contend, the insurrection at Rome, which forced him to
See also:escape by the
See also:Tiber, lying in the bottom of a
See also:left him at first little
See also:chance of resisting the enterprises of the council . Emboldened by their success, the fathers approached the subject of reform, their
See also:object being to curtail the power and resources of the papacy . This is why, besides the disciplinary
See also:measures measures which regulated the elections, the celebration of divine service, the periodical holding of diocesan synods and provincial councils, are found also decrees aimed at some of the " rights " by which the popes had extended their power, and helped out their finances at the expense of the
See also:local churches . Thus annates (q.v.) were abolished, the abuse of " reservation" of the
See also:patron-age of benefices by the pope was much limited, and the right claimed by the pope of " next presentation " to benefices not yet vacant (known as gratiae expectativae) was done away with altogether . By other decrees the jurisdiction of the
See also:court of Rome was much limited, and rules were even made for the election of popes and the constitution of the Sacred
See also:College .
The fathers continued to devote themselves to the subjugation of the Hussites; they also intervened, in rivalry with the pope, in the negotiations between France andEngland which led only to the treaty of
See also:Arras, concluded by
See also:Charles VII. with the duke of Burgundy; finally, they investigated and judged numbers of private cases, lawsuits between prelates, members of religious orders and holders of benefices, thus themselves falling into one of the serious abuses for which they had most blanled the court of Rome . The democratic character of the
See also:assembly of Basel was the result both of its composition and of its organization; not only was the number of prelates in it always small in comparison with that of the doctors, masters, representatives of chapters, monks or clerks of inferior orders, but the influence of the
See also:superior clergy had all the less
See also:weight because, instead of being separated into " nations," as at Constance, the fathers divided themselves according to their tastes or aptitudes into four large committees or "deputations" (deputationes), one concerned with questions of faith (fadei), another with negotiations for peace (pads), the third with reform (reformatorii), the
See also:fourth with what they called "
See also:common concerns " (
See also:pro communibus) . Every decision made by three of these " deputations "—and in each of them the
See also:lower clergy formed the majority—was ratified for the
See also:sake of
See also:form in general
See also:congregation, and if necessary led to decrees promulgated in session . It was on this account that the council could sometimes be called, not without exaggeration, " an assembly of copyists " or even " a set of grooms and scullions." Eugenius IV., however much he may have wished to keep on
See also:good terms with the fathers of Basel, was neither able nor willing to accept or observe all their decrees . The question of the union with the Greek church, especially, gave rise to a misunderstanding between them which soon led to a rupture . The emperor
See also:Palaeologus, pressed hard by the
See also:Turks, showed a
See also:great desire to unite himself with the Catholics; he consented to come with the principal representatives of the Greek church to some place in the west where the union could be concluded in the presence of the pope and of the Latin council . Hence arose a
See also:double negotiation between him and Eugenius IV. on the one
See also:hand and the fathers of Basel on the other . The chief object of the latter was to
See also:fix the meeting-place at a place remote from the influence of the pope, and they persisted in suggesting Basel or
See also:Avignon or Savoy, which neither Eugenius nor the Greeks would on any account accept . The result was that Palaeologus accepted the offers of the pope, who, by a bull dated the 18th of
See also:September 1437, again pronounced the dissolution of the council of Basel, and summoned the fathers to
See also:Ferrara, where on the 8th of
See also:January 1438 he opened a new synod which he later transferred to . Florence . In this latter town took place the momentary union, which was more apparent than real, between the Latin and the Greek church (6th
See also:July 1439) . During this time the council of Basel, though abandoned by Cesarini and most of its members, persisted none the less, under the
See also:presidency of Cardinal
See also:Aleman, in affirming its
See also:oecumenical character .
On the 24th of January 1438 it suspended Eugenius IV., and went on in spite of the intervention of most of the powers to pronounce his deposition (25th
See also:June 1439), finally giving rise to a new schism by electing on the 4th of
See also:November Amadeus VIII., duke of Savoy, as pope, who took the name of Felix V . This schism lasted fully ten years, although the antipope foundhardly any adherents outside of his own hereditary states, those of
See also:Alphonso of
See also:Aragon, of the Swiss
See also:confederation and certain .
See also:universities . Germany remained neutral; Charles VII. of France confined himself to securing to his
See also:kingdom by the Pragmatic Sanction of
See also:Bourges, which became
See also:law on the 13th of July 1438, the benefit of a great number of the reforms. decreed a t Basel; England and Italy remained faithful to Eugenius IV . Finally, in 1447
See also:Frederick III.,
See also:king of the Romans, after negotiations with Eugenius, commanded the burgomaster of Basel not to allow the presence of the council any longer in the imperial city . In June 1448 the rump of the council migrated to
See also:Lausanne . The antipope, at the instance of France, ended by abdicating (7th
See also:April 1449) . Eugenius IV. died on the 23rd of
See also:February 1447, and the fathers of Lausanne, to save appearances, gave their support to his successor,
See also:Nicholas V., who had already been governing the Church for two years . Trustworthy evidence, they said, proved to them that this pontiff accepted the
See also:dogma of the superiority of the council as it had been defined at
See also:Con-stance and at Basel . In reality, the struggle which they had carried on in defence of this principle for seventeen years, with a'good faith which it is impossible to ignore, ended in a defeat . The papacy, which had been so fundamentally shaken by the great schism of the West, came through this trial victorious . The era of the great councils of the 15th century was closed; the constitution of the Church remained monarchical . AurHoxlTIEs.—Mansi, vol.
See also:Aeneas Sylvius, De
See also:rebus Basileae gestis (Fetmo, 1803);
See also:Hefele, Conciliengeschichte, vol. vii .
See also:Breisgau, 1874) ; O .
See also:Richter, Die Organisation and Geschaftsordnung
See also:des Baseler Konzils (
See also:Leipzig, 1877) ; Monumenta Conciliorum generalium seculi xv., Scriptorum, vol. i., ii. and iii . (Vienna, 1857-1895) ; J . Haller, Concilium Basiliense, vol. i.–v . (Basel,-1896-19o4) ; G . Perouse, Le Cardinal
See also:Louis Aleman, residentt du concile de Bale (
See also:Paris, 1904) . Much useful material will also be found in J . C . L . Gieseler's Ecclesiastical
See also:History, vol. iv. p . 312, &c., notes (Eng. trans.,
See also:Edinburgh, 1853) . (N .
CONFESSION OF BASEL
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