Page:Cambridge Modern History Volume 1.djvu/695

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to nominate to the sees of Brixen, Trent, Gurk, Triest, Coire, Vienna, and Wiener-Neustadt, adding thereto the presentation to three hundred benefices.

These cases have a double interest as illustrating the growing tension between the Holy See and secular potentates and the increasing disposition to meet its claims with scant measure of respect. It was constantly arrogating to itself enlarged prerogatives and the sovereigns were less and less inclined to submission. But, whether exercised by King or Pope, the distribution of ecclesiastical patronage had become simple jobbery, to reward dependents or to gain pecuniary or political advantage, without regard to the character of the incumbent or the sacred duties of the office. These evils were aggravated by habitual and extravagant pluralism, of which the Holy See set an example eagerly imitated by the sovereigns. Bishoprics and benefices were showered upon the Cardinals and their retainers, and upon the favourites of the Popes in all parts of Europe, whose revenues were drawn to Rome, to the impoverishment of each locality; while the functions for which the revenues had been granted remained for the most part unperformed, to the irritation of the populations. Rodrigo Borgia (subsequently Alexander VI), created Cardinal in his youth by his uncle Calixtus III, accumulated benefices to the aggregate of 70,000 ducats a year. Giuliano della Rovere (Julius II) likewise owed his cardinalate to his uncle Sixtus IV, who bestowed on him also the archbishopric of Avignon and the bishoprics of Bologna, Lausanne, Coutances, Viviers, Mende, Ostia, and Velletri, with the abbeys of Nonantola and Grottaferrata. Another Cardinal nephew of Sixtus was Piero Riario, who held a crowd of bishoprics yielding him 60,000 ducats a year, which he lavished in shameless excesses, dying deeply in debt. But this abuse was not confined to Rome. A notable example is that of Jean, son of René II, Duke of Lorraine. Born in 1498, he was in 1501 appointed coadjutor to his uncle Henri, Bishop of Metz, after whose death in 1505 Jean took possession in 1508, and held the see until 1529. He then resigned it in favour of his nephew Nicholas, aged four, but reserved the revenues and right of resumption in case of death or resignation. In 1517 he became also Bishop of Toul and in 1518 of Térouanne, besides obtaining the cardinalate. In 1521 he added the sees of Valence and Die, in 1523 that of Verdun. Then followed the three archbishoprics of Narbonne, Reims, and Lyons in 1524, 1533 and 1537. In 1536 he obtained the see of Alby, soon afterwards that of Macon, in 1541 that of Agen, and in 1542 that of Nantes. In addition he held the abbeys of Gorze, Fécamp, Cluny, Marmoutiers, St Ouen, St Jean de Laon, St Germer, St Médard of Soissons, and St Mansuy of Toul. The see of Verdun he resigned to his nephew Nicholas on the same terms as that of Metz and when the latter, in 1548, abdicated in order to marry