Page:Cambridge Modern History Volume 1.djvu/423

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restored to the Church, and we even find him approaching the Pope to solicit his nomination for certain benefices. Louis on his accession went further. It was said that during his exile at Genappe he had promised to abolish the Pragmatic Sanction. No doubt he hoped in cooperation with a friendly Pope to secure more complete control over the appointment to prelacies than was possible under the system of elections established by the Sanction. He hoped at the same time, by making a favour of the repeal, to secure the Pope's support for the Angevin claims on Naples against Ferrante. Accordingly, towards the end of 1461 the Pope was in possession of his formal promise to abolish the obnoxious edict; and the Parlement was forced to register the letter of abolition as a royal ordinance. But the Pope was too deeply pledged to Ferrante, and saw too clearly the danger of French intervention in Naples. John of Calabria, the representative of the Angevin claims, met an open enemy in Pius II. Neither did Louis find that promotion in France proceeded entirely according to his wishes. Thus from 1463 an anomalous situation prevailed.

The Pragmatic was not formally restored, but a series of edicts were passed against the oppression and exactions of papal agents, against those who applied at Rome for expectative graces or the gift of prelacies, against papal jurisdiction in questions relating to the possession of benefices, and against the export of treasure. In 1472 a Concordat was arranged between Louis and Sixtus IV for the division of patronage between the Ordinary and the Pope, and to regulate other matters of dispute; but hardly any attempt seems to have been made to carry this agreement into effect. On the whole, the policy of Louis seems to have been to keep the whole question open; to resist as far as possible the export of treasure; to discourage the independent exercise by the Pope of his power to provide for prelacies; to oppose reservations and expectative graces; to keep the jurisdiction in question of prelacies and benefices in the hands of the royal judges; and thus, sometimes by suggestion at the Court of Rome, sometimes by election under pressure, sometimes by means of the King's influence on the Parlement and other Courts, and not infrequently by the blunt use of force, to retain all important ecclesiastical patronage at his own disposal;-and this without any acute breach with Rome or with the Gallican clergy. His means were various and even inconsistent, but his general policy is clear.

The great Estates of Tours in 1484 showed the trend of feeling, both lay and ecclesiastical. The Estate of the Church demanded the restitution of the Pragmatic Sanction. And the third Estate speaks feelingly of the "evacuation de pecune" resulting from the papal exactions, and prays for reform. The Bishops indeed protested in defence of the authority of the Holy See. But the King's Council took no decisive step. The old confusion continued; it was impossible to say whether the Pragmatic was or was not in force.