Page:Vactican as a World Power.djvu/196

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.


Dominic was like a cherub standing at the gates of Paradise with a sword, so that he might sift, receive, or ward off those who came in accordance with their knowledge of the password or their profession of the true faith. Both Orders attained immeasurable significance. In the cities they were a social force making for distributive justice. In the universities they wrestled either in company or against each other over the fundamental problems of thought; and by reason of their readiness to give batde they kept living intellectual effort astir in the Church. To the Papacy they offered soldiers light of foot for the decisive struggle with the Empire and for the bloody surgical opera- tion of the Inquisition, which it was believed would heal the sores of the social structure.

Honorius III was a mild, patient man, ill designed to keep the Hohenstaufen monarch in check. In spite of the promise he had given to Innocent, Frederic in 1220 secured for his son Henry VII the German kingly crown in addition to the Sicilian crown. Then he himself received the Imperial crown from the Pope in the self-same year, because in view of the heavy losses that had been suffered at Cairo, Honorius hoped to persuade Frederic to fulfil at last his vow to lead a Crusade. The Papal States were at the mercy of the Empire; and nevertheless the Emperor, who did not wish to undermine the Papacy as such, looked upon those states as a barrier between the two parts of his realm. A new batde of giants over Imperial Italy was unavoidable; and the spiritual background which that struggle revealed rendered it quite different from all earlier contests between the same powers. The Emperor now desired to fashion his kingdom after the model of the Pope's kingdom, as an autonomous universal state. He realized that he was a changer of eras, an immutator tern- forum, and was not frightened (indeed he regarded it a title to fame) when his opponents recognized in him the "anti-Christ" and said as much. His ultimate purpose was not merely to establish world do- minion in the half naive, heroic sense of Barbarossa, but also to create an Empire wholly secular in character. As a politician who com- bined state and cultural objectives, he anticipated what a later time sought to describe with the meaningless phrase "religion of the here and now." The autocratic God of die Old Testament whom he ven-