Page:Cambridge Modern History Volume 1.djvu/705

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and forbade it. Nevertheless, Franciscan emissaries were sent to collect it under threats of excommunication, causing, as St Louis declared, so great a hatred of the Holy See that only the strenuous exercise of the royal power kept the Gallican Church in the Roman obedience. He subsequently took measures to protect it from these exactions without the royal assent, but Germany was defenceless and the papal demands were here the source of bitter exasperation and resistance. When in 1354 his Italian wars caused Innocent VI to impose a tithe on the German clergy, the whole Church of the Empire rose in indignation, and was ready to resort to any extremity of opposition. Frederick, Bishop of Ratisbon, seized the papal collector, and confined him in a castle, while the papal Nuncio, the Bishop of Cavaillon, with his assistant, narrowly escaped an ambush set for his life. A similar storm was aroused when, in 1372, Gregory XI repeated the levy; the clergy of Mainz bound themselves by a solemn mutual agreement not to pay it, while Frederick, Archbishop of Cologne, pledged his assistance to his clergy in their refusal to submit. Despite this resistance, the papacy prevailed, but, with the decline of respect for the Holy See in the second half of the fifteenth century, it was not always able to enforce its demands. When at the Congress of Mantua, in 1459, Pius II levied a tithe for his crusade, the German princes refused to allow it to be collected and he prudently shrank from the issue. In 1487, Innocent VIII repeated the attempt, but the German clergy protested so energetically that he was forced to abandon his intention. When, in 1500, Alexander VI adopted the same expedient, Henry VII permitted the collection in England; but the French clergy refused to pay. They were consequently excommunicated; whereupon they asked the University of Paris whether the excommunication was valid and, on receiving a negative answer, quietly continued to perform their sacred functions. The University, in fact, had long paid little respect to papal utterances. When Eugenius IV and Nicholas V ordered the prosecution as heretics of those who taught the doctrines of John of Poilly respecting the validity of confessions to Mendicant Friars, the University denounced the bulls as surreptitious and not to be obeyed; and this position it held persistently until the Holy See was obliged to give way. There evidently were ample causes of dissension in the Church between its head and its members and the tension continued to increase.

An even more potent, because more constant, source of antagonism was the venality of the Curia and its pitiless exactions from the multitudes who were obliged to have recourse to it. This had always been the case since the Holy See had succeeded in concentrating in itself the supreme jurisdiction, original and appellate, so that all questions concerning the spirituality could be brought before it. At the Council of St Baseul, in 992, Arnoul of Orleans unhesitatingly denounced Rome