Page:Cambridge Modern History Volume 1.djvu/424

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Louis XII on his accession confirmed the Pragmatic, and the Parle-ment as before seized every opportunity to enforce it by its decisions. But so long as the King and the Pope were on good terms no serious question arose; for Amboise held continuously the office of legate for France and was in effect a provincial Pope. Julius promised to nominate to prelacies in France only titularies approved by the King. After the breach between Louis and Julius the kingdom was in open disobedience, and the law was silent. It was left for Francis I and Leo X to put aside the principle of free election so long defended by Parlement and clergy, and to agree upon a division of the spoils, which ignored the liberties of the Gallican Church, while conferring exceptional privileges on the King of France.

The result was the Concordat of 1516. Elections were abolished. The King was to nominate to metropolitan and cathedral churches, to abbeys and conventual priories, and if certain rules were observed the papal confirmation would not be refused. Reservations and expectative graces were abolished. The third of benefices was still reserved to University graduates. The regular degrees of jurisdiction were to be respected, unless in cases of exceptional importance. By implication though not by open stipulation annates were retained. The Lateran Council accepted this agreement. The Pragmatic was finally condemned. Although the Parlement and the University of Paris protested energetically, resistance was in vain. No power in France could withstand this alliance of King and Pope, by which the material ends of each were secured, without any conspicuous tenderness being shown for the spiritual interests of the Church.

During the same period the proud independence of the University of Paris was successfully attacked. In 1437 the exemption from taxation claimed for its numerous dependents was abolished. In 1446 it was first made subject to the jurisdiction of the Parlement. In 1452 the Cardinal d'Estouteville, acting in concert with the King and the King's Parlement, imposed upon it a scheme of reformation, and its independence of secular jurisdiction was at an end. Under Louis XII the old threat of a cessation of public exercises was used in resistance to royal proposals of reform. The scholars soon found that the King was master, and were like the rest of the kingdom obliged to submit. The condemnation of the Nominalists by Louis XI is a grotesque but striking proof that even the republic of letters was no longer exempt from the interference of an alien authority.

The Church, whose independence was thus impaired by progressive encroachments, could not claim that its privileges were deserved by virtues, efficiency, or discipline. Plurality, non-residence, immorality, neglect of duty, worldliness, disobedience to rule, were common in France as elsewhere. Amboise did something for reform in the Franciscan, Dominican, and Benedictine Orders; but far more was needed to effect a