Page:Vactican as a World Power.djvu/106

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century, are as a matter of fact fraudulent and contain genuine, doc- tored and invented sources. From the beginning it ?vas not meant to be an enterprise beneficial to the Papacy; it was rather designed to strengthen episcopal authority. Yet its most definite characteristic was a tendency to bind the offices of the Church more closely to the Roman See, and so it became a weapon upon which the Papal Primacy heavily relied.

The counter-attack of the universal Church against the German Im- perial Church was led by Pope Nicholas I. He was one of the great Popes, and every subsequent illustrious pontiff has borne some of the features of this veritable ruler. Like Leo I and Gregory I, he combined personal superiority with the majesty of office. The devotion of his fiery soul to his cause was just as uncompromising as his belief in the sacredness of that cause. He led a life of strict purity, and the moral nobility of his official acts would have remained unquestioned if he had never succumbed to the temptation or the tragic necessity that lies in all vigorous political action. This is the temptation to achieve holy purposes through less holy means; and the Pope suc- cumbed to it when he declared that the principles contained in Pseudo- Isidore were ancient laws preserved in Roman archives. It is, of course, true that the collection mingled truth with falsehood. He needed these decretals when the dirty romance of Lothar I V's marriage- bargain revealed the great evils of a situation in which authority lay neither with the Church nor with the state because each had suc- cumbed to the other and to the lowest instincts.

From youth Lothar had been enamoured of Walrada, and had had children by her. But when he ascended the throne, he wedded Thict- berga because he hoped to attain some political advantage through her brother, the corrupt priestly Count Hucbert of St. Maurice, who ruled over the Rhone valley. After a year she had still borne him no child and so he cast her off, accusing her of having committed sodomy with her brother. The trial of this defenseless creature saw princes and prelates, perjurers and receivers of bribes, vie with one another in meanness. It was a long series of torments for the victim of Lothar, who was now once more living with Walrada. The Queen turned