Page:Vactican as a World Power.djvu/228

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4 CATASTROPHE

English Churches. A chronicler of the fortunes of Peter's See might weU despair as he went over this troubled segment of time upon which no ray of light falls from above.

A stormy conclave which a mob of Francophobes invaded in order to insist upon a Roman or at least an Italian Pope, led hastily to the choice of a Cakbrian, Urban VI (1378-1389) . This turbulent Pon- tiff repudiated every custom and practice that had originated in Avignon. Some cardinals left Rome; others declared the election illegal, and with the help of France and Naples elected Robert of Geneva, little more than a purple clad bandit-general, as Clement VII (1378-1394). He was driven out of San Angelo by the Romans, escaped to Naples where he also found no followers, and then took a ship for Avignon. He appointed sufficient cardinals in addition to the six who had remained there to constitute a full College; and the King aided this newly constructed Curia with every means at his disposal. The Popes exchanged bans again and again, until the whole of Christianity was excommunicated from the Church. Peo- ples and princes were divided in obedience. Germany, Scandinavia and England joined with Italy in recognizing Urban VI, while Naples, Savoy, Scotland and later on also Spain and France recognized Clement VII. On both sides murders were committed. Monasteries and churches fell into ruin, the learned and the unlearned were locked in argument, and the Orders were of such divided minds that though Catherine of Siena and Vincent Ferrer, powerful preacher of penance and missionary to the Jews, both wore the same Dominican habit they supported different Popes. She took up the cause of Urban, and he urged the rights of Clement.

It was little wonder that men like Wyclif were able to reap a goodly harvest. How could a realm divided against itself endure? Should not one leave the Devil and Beelzebub to their certain destiny? Deeper minds thought otherwise. They clung fast to the idea of a supreme moral instance and of a representation of the eternal in the body of the Church. But the life of the members was not to be saved unless the head were first saved. If other times had had to protect die Church against the Papacy, these times were perforce compelled to rescue Church and Papacy alike from the Popes. The enemies enthroned on the Tiber and the Rhone had blotted out the maxim,


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