Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Popes Eugene I-IV

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Eugene I-IV, Popes.—Eugene I, Saint, was elected August 10, 654, and d. at Rome, June 2, 657. Because he would not submit to Byzantine dictation in the matter of Monothelism, St. Martin I was forcibly carried off from Rome (June 18, 653) and kept in exile till his death (September, 655). What happened in Rome after his departure is not well known. For a time the Church was governed in the manner usual in those days during a vacancy of the Holy See, or during the absence of its occupant, viz., by the archpriest, the archdeacon, and the primicerius of the notaries. But after about a year and two months a successor was given to Martin in the person of Eugene (August 10, 654). He was a Roman of the first ecclesiastical region of the city, and was the son of Rufinianus. He had been a cleric from his earliest years, and is set down by his biographer as distinguished for his gentleness, sanctity, and generosity. With regard to the circumstances of his election, it can only be said that if he was forcibly placed on the Chair of Peter by the power of the emperor, in the hope that he would follow the imperial will, these calculations miscarried; and that, if he was elected against the will of the reigning pope in the first instance, Pope Martin subsequently acquiesced in his election (Ep. Martini xvii in P.L., LXXXVII).

One of the first acts of the new pope was to send legates to Constantinople with letters for the Emperor Constans II, informing him of his election, and presenting a profession of his faith. But the legates allowed themselves to be deceived, or gained over, and brought back a synodical letter from Peter, the new Patriarch of Constantinople (656-666), while the emperor's envoy, who accompanied them, brought offerings for St. Peter, and a request from the emperor that the pope would enter into communion with the Patriarch of Constantinople. Peter's letter proved to be written in the most obscure style, and avoided making any specific declaration as to the number of "wills or operations" in Christ. When its contents were communicated to the clergy and people in the church of St. Mary Major, they not only rejected the letter with indignation, but would not allow the pope to leave the basilica until he had promised that he would not on any account accept it (656). So furious were the Byzantine officials at this contemptuous rejection of the wishes of their emperor and patriarch that they threatened, in their coarse phraseology, that when the state of politics allowed it, they would roast Eugene, and all the talkers at Rome along with him, as they had roasted Pope Martin I (Disp. inter S. Maxim. et Theod. in P.L., CXXIX, 654). Eugene was saved from the fate of his predecessor by the advance of the Moslems who took Rhodes in 654, and defeated Constans himself in the naval battle of Phoenix (655). It was almost certainly this pope who received the youthful St. Wilfrid on the occasion of his first visit to Rome (c. 654). He went thither because he was anxious to know "the ecclesiastical and monastic rites which were in use there". At Rome he gained the affection of Archdeacon Boniface, a counsellor of the apostolic pope, who presented him to his master. Eugene "placed his blessed hand on the head of the youthful servant of God, prayed for him, and blessed him" (Bede, Hist. Eccles., V, 19; Eddius, In vit. Wilf., c. v). Nothing more is known of Eugene, except that he consecrated twenty-one bishops for different parts of the world, and that he was buried in St. Peter's. In the Roman Martyrology he is reckoned among the saints of that day.

EUGENE II, elected June 6, 824; died August 27, 827. On the death of Paschal I (February—May, 824) there took place a divided election. The late pope had wisely endeavored to curb the rapidly increasing power of the Roman nobility, who, to strengthen their position against him, had turned for support to the Frankish power. When he died these nobles made strenuous efforts to replace him by a candidate of their own; and despite the fact that the clergy put forward a candidate likely to continue the policy of Paschal the nobles were successful in their attempt. They secured the consecration of Eugene, archpriest of S. Sabina on the Aventine, although by a decree of the Roman Council of 769, under Stephen IV, they had no right to a real share in a papal election. Their candidate is stated, in earlier editions of the "Liber Pontificalis", to have been the son of Boemund; but in the recent and better editions his father's name is not given. Whilst archpriest of the Roman Church he is credited with having fulfilled most conscientiously the duties of his position and after he became pope he beautified his ancient church of S. Sabina with mosaics and with metal work bearing his name, which were intact in the sixteenth century. Eugene is described by his biographer as simple and humble, learned and eloquent, handsome and generous, a lover of peace, and wholly occupied with the thought of doing what was pleasing to God.

The election of Eugene II was a triumph for the Franks, and they resolved to improve the occasion. Emperor Louis the Pious accordingly sent his son Lothair to Rome to strengthen the Frankish influence. Those of the Roman nobles who had been banished during the preceding reign, and who had fled to Frankland (Francia), were recalled, and their property was restored to them. A concordat or constitution was then agreed upon between the pope and the emperor (824). This "Constitutio Romana", in nine articles, was drawn up seemingly with a view of advancing the imperial pretensions in the city of Rome, but at the same time of checking the power of the nobles. It decreed that those who were under the special protection of the pope or emperor were to be inviolable, and that proper obedience be rendered to the pope and his officials; that church property be not plundered after the death of a pope; that only those to whom the right had been given by the decree of Stephen IV, in 769, should take part in papal elections; that two commissioners (missi) were to be appointed, the one by the pope and the other by the emperor, who should report to them how justice was administered, so that any failure in its administration might be corrected by the pope, or, in the event of his not doing so, by the emperor; that the people should be judged according to the law (Roman, Salic, or Lombard) they had elected to live under; that its property be restored to the Church; that robbery with violence be put down; that when the emperor was in Rome the chief officials should appear before him to be admonished to do their duty; and, finally, that all must obey the Roman pontiff. By command of the pope and Lothair the people had to swear that, saving the fidelity they had promised the pope, they would obey the Emperors Louis and Lothair; would not allow a papal election to be made contrary to the canons; and would not suffer the pope-elect to be consecrated save in the presence of the emperor's envoys.

Seemingly before Lothair left Rome, there arrived ambassadors from Emperor Louis, and from the Greeks concerning the image-question. At first the Greek emperor, Michael II, showed himself tolerant towards the image-worshippers, and their great champion, Theodore the Studite, wrote to him to exhort him "to unite us [the Church of Constantinople] to the head of the Churches of God, viz. Rome, and through it with the three Patriarchs" (Epp., II, lxxiv); and in accordance with ancient custom to refer any doubtful points to the decision of Old Rome (II, lxxxvi; cf. II, cxxix). But Michael soon forgot his tolerance, bitterly persecuted the image-worshippers, and endeavored to secure the cooperation of Louis the Pious. He also sent envoys to the pope to consult him on certain points connected with the worship of images (Einhard, Annales, 824). Before taking any steps to meet the wishes of Michael, Louis sent to ask the pope's permission for a number of his bishops to assemble, and make a selection of passages from the Fathers to elucidate the question the Greeks had put before them. The leave was granted, but the bishops who met at Paris (825) were incompetent for their work. Their collection of extracts from the Fathers was a mass of confused and ill-digested lore, and both their conclusions and the letters they wished the pope to forward to the Greeks were based on a complete misunderstanding of the decrees of the Second Council of Nicaea (cf. P.L., XCVIII, p. 1293 sqq.). Their labors do not appear to have accomplished much; nothing at any rate is known of their consequences.

In 826 Eugene held an important council at Rome of sixty-two bishops, in which thirty-eight disciplinary decrees were issued. One or two of its decrees are noteworthy as showing that Eugene had at heart the advance of learning. Not only were ignorant bishops and priests to be suspended till they had acquired sufficient learning to perform their sacred duties, but it was decreed that, as in some localities there were neither masters nor zeal for learning, masters were to be attached to the episcopal palaces, cathedral churches and other places, to give instruction in sacred and polite literature (can. xxxiv). To help on the work of the conversion of the North, Eugene wrote commending St. Ansgar, the Apostle of the Scandinavians, and his companions "to all the sons of the Catholic Church" (Jaffe, 2564). Coins of this pope are extant bearing his name and that of Emperor Louis. It is supposed, for no document records the fact, that, in accordance with the custom of the time, he was buried in St. Peter's.

Horace K. Mann.

EUGENE III, BLESSED (BERNARDO PIGNATELLI), born in the neighborhood of Pisa, elected February 15, 1145; d. at Tivoli, July 8, 1153. On the very day that Pope Lucius II succumbed, either to illness or wounds, the Sacred College, foreseeing that the Roman populace would make a determined effort to force the new pontiff to abdicate his temporal power and swear allegiance to the Senatus Populusque Romanus, hastily buried the deceased pope in the Lateran and withdrew to the remote cloister of St. Caesarius on the Appian Way. Here, for reasons unascertained, they sought a candidate outside their body, and unanimously chose the Cistercian monk, Bernard of Pisa, abbot of the monastery of Tre Fontane, on the site of St. Paul's martyrdom. He was enthroned as Eugene III without delay in St. John Lateran, and since residence in the rebellious city was impossible, the pope and his cardinals fled to the country. Their rendezvous was the monastery of Farfa, where Eugene received the episcopal consecration. The city of Viterbo, the hospitable refuge of so many of the afflicted medieval popes, opened its gates to welcome him; and thither he proceeded to await developments. Though powerless in face of the Roman mob, he was assured by embassies from all the European powers that he possessed the sympathy and affectionate homage of the entire Christian world.

Concerning the parentage, birth-place, and even the original name of Eugene, each of his biographers has advanced a different opinion. All that can be affirmed as certain is that he was born in the territory of Pisa. Whether he was of the noble family of Pignatelli, and whether he received the name of Bernardo in baptism or only upon entering religion, must remain uncertain. He was educated in Pisa, and after his ordination was made a canon of the cathedral. Later he held the office of vice-dominus or steward of the temporalities of the diocese. In 1130 he came under the magnetic influence of St. Bernard of Clairvaux; five years later when the saint returned home from the Synod of Pisa, the vice-dominus accompanied him as a novice. In course of time he was employed by his order on several important affairs; and lastly was sent with a colony of monks to repeople the ancient Abbey of Farfa; but Innocent II placed them instead at the Tre Fontane.

St. Bernard received the intelligence of the elevation of his disciple with astonishment and pleasure, and gave expression to his feelings in a paternal letter addressed to the new pope, in which occurs the famous passage so often quoted by reformers, true and false: "Who will grant me to see, before I die, the Church of God as in the days of old when the Apostles let down their nets for a draught, not of silver and gold, but of souls?" The saint, moreover, proceeded to compose in his few moments of leisure that admirable handbook for popes called "De Consideratione". Whilst Eugene sojourned at Viterbo, Arnold of Brescia (q.v.), who had been condemned by the Council of 1139 to exile from Italy, ventured to return at the beginning of the new pontificate and threw himself on the clemency of the pope. Believing in the sincerity of his repentance, Eugene absolved him and enjoined on him as penance fasting and a visit to the tombs of the Apostles. If the veteran demagogue entered Rome in a penitential mood, the sight of democracy based on his own principles soon caused him to revert to his former self. He placed himself at the head of the movement, and his incendiary philippics against the bishops, cardinals, and even the ascetic pontiff who treated him with extreme lenity, worked his hearers into such fury that Rome resembled a city captured by barbarians. The palaces of the cardinals and of such of the nobility as held with the pope were razed to the ground; churches and monasteries were pillaged; St. Peter's church was turned into an arsenal; and pious pilgrims were plundered and maltreated.

But the storm was too violent to last. Only an idiot could fail to understand that medieval Rome without the pope had no means of subsistence. A strong party was formed in Rome and the vicinity consisting of the principal families and their adherents, in the interests of order and the papacy, and the democrats were induced to listen to words of moderation. A treaty was entered into with Eugene by which the Senate was preserved but subject to the papal sovereignty and swearing allegiance to the supreme pontiff. The senators were to be chosen annually by popular election and in a committee of their body the executive power was lodged. The pope and the senate should have separate courts, and an appeal could be made from the decisions of either court to the other. By virtue of this treaty Eugene made a solemn entry into Rome a few days before Christmas, and was greeted by the fickle populace with boundless enthusiasm. But the dual system of government proved unworkable. The Romans demanded the destruction of Tivoli. This town had been faithful to Eugene during the rebellion of the Romans and merited his protection. He therefore refused to permit it to be destroyed. The Romans growing more and more turbulent, he retired to Castle S. Angelo, thence to Viterbo, and finally crossed the Alps, early in 1146.

Problems lay before the pope of vastly greater importance than the maintenance of order in Rome. The Christian principalities in Palestine and Syria were threatened with extinction. The fall of Edessa (1144) had aroused consternation throughout the West, and already from Viterbo Eugene had addressed a stirring appeal to the chivalry of Europe to hasten to the defense of the Holy Places. St. Bernard was commissioned to preach the Second Crusade, and he acquitted himself of the task with such success that within a couple of years two magnificent armies, commanded by the King of the Romans and the King of France, were on their way to Palestine. That the Second Crusade was a wretched failure cannot be ascribed to the saint or the pope; but it is one of those phenomena so frequently met with in the history of the papacy, that a pope who was unable to subdue a handful of rebellious subjects could hurl all Europe against the Saracens. Eugene spent three busy and fruitful years in France, intent on the propagation of the Faith, the correction of errors and abuses, and the maintenance of discipline. He sent Cardinal Breakspear (afterwards Adrian IV) as legate to Scandinavia; he entered into relations with the Orientals with the view to reunion; he proceeded with vigor against the nascent Manichean heresies. In several synods (Paris, 1147, Trier, 1148), notably in the great Synod of Reims (1148), canons were enacted regarding the dress and conduct of the clergy. To ensure the strict execution of these canons, the bishops who should neglect to enforce them were threatened with suspension. Eugene was inexorable in punishing the unworthy. He deposed the metropolitans of York and Mainz, and, for a cause which St. Bernard thought not sufficiently grave, he withdrew the pallium from the Archbishop of Reims. But if the saintly pontiff could at times be severe, this was not his natural disposition.

"Never", wrote Ven. Peter of Cluny to St. Bernard, "have I found a truer friend, a sincerer brother, a purer father. His ear is ever ready to hear, his tongue is swift and mighty to advise. Nor does he comport himself as one's superior, but rather as an equal or an inferior... I have never made him a request which he has not either granted, or so refused that I could not reasonably complain." On the occasion of a visit which he paid to Clairvaux, his former companions discovered to their joy that "he who externally shone in the pontifical robes remained in his heart an observant monk".

The prolonged sojourn of the pope in France was of great advantage to the French Church in many ways and enhanced the prestige of the papacy. Eugene also encouraged the new intellectual movement to which Peter Lombard had given a strong impulse. With the aid of Cardinal Pullus, his chancellor, who had established the University of Oxford on a lasting basis, he reduced the schools of theology and philosophy to better form. He encouraged Gratian in his herculean task of arranging the Decretals, and we owe to him various useful regulations bearing on academic degrees. In the spring of 1148, the pope returned by easy stages to Italy. On July 7, he met the Italian bishops at Cremona, promulgated the canons of Reims for Italy, and solemnly excommunicated Arnold of Brescia, who still reigned over the Roman mob. Eugene, having brought with him considerable financial aid, began to gather his vassals and advanced to Viterbo and thence to Tusculum. Here he was visited by King Louis of France, whom he reconciled to his queen, Eleanor. With the assistance of Roger of Sicily, he forced his way into Rome (1149), and celebrated Christmas in the Lateran. His stay was not of long duration. During the next three years the Roman court wandered in exile through the Campagna while both sides looked for the intervention of Conrad of Germany, offering him the imperial crown. Aroused by the earnest exhortations of St. Bernard, Conrad finally decided to descend into Italy and put an end to the anarchy in Rome. Death overtook him in the midst of his preparations on February 15, 1152, leaving the task to his more energetic nephew, Frederick Barbarossa. The envoys of Eugene having concluded with Frederick at Constance, in the spring of 1153, a treaty favorable to the interests of the Church and the empire, the more moderate of the Romans, seeing that the days of democracy were numbered, joined with the nobles in putting down the Arnoldists, and the pontiff was enabled to spend his concluding days in peace.

Eugene is said to have gained the affection of the people by his affability and generosity. He died at Tivoli; whither he had gone to avoid the summer heats, and was buried in front of the high altar in St. Peter's, Rome. St. Bernard followed him to the grave (August 20). "The unassuming but astute pupil of St. Bernard", says Gregorovius, "had always continued to wear the coarse habit of Clairvaux beneath the purple; the stoic virtues of monasticism accompanied him through his stormy career, and invested him with that power of passive resistance which has always remained the most effectual weapon of the popes." St. Antoninus pronounces Eugene III "one of the greatest and most afflicted of the popes". Pius IX by a decree of December 28, 1872, approved the cult which from time immemorial the Pisans have rendered to their countryman, and ordered him to be honored with Mass and Office rite duplici on the anniversary of his death.

James F. Loughlin.

EUGENE IV (GABRIELLO CONDULMARO, or CONDULMERIO), b. at Venice, 1383; elected March 4, 1431; d. at Rome, February 23, 1447. He sprang from a wealthy Venetian family and was a nephew, on the mother's side, of Gregory XII. His personal presence was princely and imposing. He was tall, thin, with a remarkably winning countenance. Coming at an early age into the possession of great wealth, he distributed 20,000 ducats to the poor and, turning his back upon the world, entered the Augustinian monastery of St. George in his native city. At the age of twenty-four he was appointed by his uncle Bishop of Siena; but since the people of that city objected to the rule of a foreigner, he resigned the bishopric and, in 1408, was created Cardinal-Priest of St. Clement. He rendered signal service to Pope Martin V by his labors as legate in Picenum (March of Ancona) and later by quelling a sedition of the Bolognesi. In recognition of his abilities, the conclave, assembled at Rome in the church of the Minerva after the death of Martin V, elected Cardinal Condulmaro to the papacy on the first scrutiny. He assumed the name of Eugene IV, possibly anticipating a stormy pontificate similar to that of Eugene III. Stormy, in fact, his reign was destined to be; and it cannot be denied that many of his troubles were owing to his own want of tact, which alienated all parties from him. By the terms of the capitulation which he signed before election and afterwards confirmed by a Bull, Eugene secured to the cardinals one-half of all the revenues of the Church, and promised to consult with them on all questions of importance relating to the spiritual and temporal concerns of the Church and the Papal States. He was crowned at St. Peter's, March 11, 1431.

Eugene continued on the throne his simple routine of monastic life and gave great edification by his regularity and unfeigned piety. But his hatred of nepotism, the solitary defect of his great predecessor, led him into a fierce and sanguinary conflict with the house of Colonna, which would have resulted disastrously for the pope, had not Florence, Venice, and Naples come to his aid. A peace was patched up by virtue of which the Colonnesi surrendered their castles and paid an indemnity of 75,000 ducats. Scarcely was this danger averted when Eugene became involved in a far more serious struggle, destined to trouble his entire pontificate. Martin V had convoked the Council of Basle (q.v.) which opened with scant attendance July 23, 1431. Distrusting the spirit which was reigning at the council, Eugene, by a Bull dated December 18, 1431, dissolved it, to meet eighteen months later in Bologna. There is no doubt that this exercise of the papal prerogative would sooner or later have become imperative; but it seems unwise to have resorted to it before the council had taken any overt steps in the wrong direction. It alienated public opinion, and gave color to the charge that the Curia was opposed to any measures of reform. The prelates at Basle refused to separate, and issued an encyclical to all the faithful in which they proclaimed their determination to continue their labors. In this course they had the assurance of support from all the secular powers, and on February 15, 1432, they reasserted the Gallican doctrine of the superiority of the council to the pope (see Council of Constance). All efforts to induce Eugene to recall his Bull of dissolution having failed, the council, on April 29, formally summoned the pope and his cardinals to appear at Basle within three months, or to be punished for contumacy. The schism which now seemed inevitable was for the time averted by the exertions of Sigismund, who had come to Rome to receive the imperial crown, May 31, 1433. The pope recalled the Bull and acknowledged the council as ecumenical, December 15, 1433. In the following May, 1434, a revolution, fomented by the pope's enemies, broke out in Rome. Eugene, in the garb of a monk, and pelted with stones, escaped down the Tiber to Ostia, whence the friendly Florentines conducted him to their city and received him with an ovation. He took up his residence in the Dominican convent of Santa Maria Novella, and sent Vitelleschi, the militant Bishop of Recanati, to restore order in the States of the Church.

The prolonged sojourn of the Roman Court in Florence, then the center of the literary activity of the age, gave a strong impetus to the Humanistic movement. During his stay in the Tuscan capital, Eugene consecrated the beautiful cathedral, just then finished by Brunelleschi. Meanwhile, the rupture between the Holy See and the revolutionists at Basle, now completely controlled by the radical party under the leadership of Cardinal d'Allemand, of Arles, became complete. This time our sympathies are entirely on the side of the pontiff, for the proceedings of the little coterie which assumed the name and authority of a general council were utterly subversive of the Divine constitution of the Church. By abolishing all sources of papal revenue and restricting in every way the papal prerogative, they sought to reduce the head of the Church to a mere shadow. Eugene answered with a dignified appeal to the European powers. The struggle came to a crisis in the matter of the negotiations for union with the Greeks. The majority at Basle were in favor of holding a council in France or Savoy. But geography was against them. Italy was much more convenient for the Greeks; and they declared for the pope. This so provoked the radical party at Basle that on July 3, 1437, they issued a monitum against Eugene, heaping all sorts of accusations upon him. In reply the pope published (September 18) a Bull in which he transferred the council to Ferrara. Though the council declared the Bull invalid, and threatened the pope with deposition, yet the Bull dealt a deadly blow to the adversaries of papal supremacy. The better disposed leaders, notably Cardinals Cesarini and Cusa, left them and repaired to Ferrara, where the council convened by Eugene opened, January 8, 1438, under the presidency of Cardinal Albergati.

The deliberations with the Greeks lasted for over a year, and were concluded at Florence, July 5, 1439, by the Decree of Union. Though the union was not permanent, it vastly enhanced the prestige of the papacy. The union with the Greeks was followed by that of the Armenians, November 22, 1439, the Jacobites, 1443, and the Nestorians, 1445. Eugene exerted himself to the utmost in rousing the nations of Europe to resist the advance of the Turks. A powerful army was formed in Hungary, and a fleet was despatched to the Hellespont. The first successes of the Christians were followed, in 1444, by the crushing defeat at Varna. In the mean time, the dwindling conventicle at Basle proceeded on the path of schism. On January 24, 1438, Eugene was pronounced suspended, and this step was followed by his deposition on June 25, 1439, on the charge of heretical conduct towards a general council. To crown their infamy, the sectaries, now reduced to one cardinal and eleven bishops, elected an anti-pope, Duke Amadeus of Savoy, as Felix V. But Christendom, having recently experienced the horrors of a schism, repudiated the revolutionary step, and, before his death, Eugene had the happiness of seeing the entire Christian world, at least in theory, obedient to the Holy See. The decrees of Florence have since been the solid basis of the spiritual authority of the papacy.

Eugene secured his position in Italy by a treaty, July 6, 1443, with Alfonso of Aragon, whom he confirmed as monarch of Naples, and after an exile of nearly ten years he made a triumphant entry into Rome, on September 28, 1443. He devoted his remaining years to the amelioration of the sad condition of Rome, and to the consolidation of his spiritual authority among the nations of Europe. He was unsuccessful in his efforts to induce the French court to cancel the anti-papal Pragmatic Sanction of Bourges (July 7, 1438), but, by prudent compromises and the skill of Aeneas Silvius, he gained a marked success in Germany. On the eve of his death he signed (5, February 7, 1447) with the German nation the so-called Frankfort, or Princes', Concordat, a series of four Bulls, in which, after long hesitancy and against the advice of many cardinals, he recognized, not without diplomatic reserve, the persistent German contentions for a new council in a German city, the mandatory decree of Constance (Frequens) on the frequency of such councils, also its authority (and that of other general councils), but after the manner of his predecessors, from whom he declared that he did not intend to differ. On the same day he issued another document, the so-called "Bulla Salvatoria", in which he asserted that notwithstanding these concessions, made in his last illness when unable to examine them with more care, he did not intend to do aught contrary to the teachings of the Fathers, or the rights and authority of the Apostolic See (Hergenröther-Kirsch, II, 941-2). See Pope Pius II; Gregory of Heimburg.

James F. Loughlin.