Page:Vactican as a World Power.djvu/307

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THIRTY YEARS' WAR 293

expounded by the Pope and by the Jesuit, Saint Robert Beilarmine, This theory, he declared, led logically to the dissolution of all secular sovereignty and even of princely power. Venice, represented by this fiery attorney who hated Rome, refused to alter its laws or to extradite the offending priests about whom the struggle really centred. The Pope imposed the ban and the interdict. Sarpi, who was secretly affiliated with the Reformation, wrote a treatise on the theology of the state which gave the boldest expression to reformation ideas. The Doge and the Senate remained firm, and in obedience to their will the clergy also continued to officiate. But the new Orders in the Repub- lic, including the Jesuits, submitted to the Pope; and pursued by the police, they left the city of the lagoons in a few barques. Despite the interdict Venice celebrated the Church feasts with more than usual splendour; and thus the breach seemed almost irreparable. The Cath- olic powers were compelled to intervene lest there be war. The Pope had to content himself with a laconic profession of friendship on the part of Venice, and the Jesuits remained exiles from the city. But a compensating source of comfort for the Pope may well have been the signs of the deepening of Catholic life in those years for example the activity of St. Francis de Sales, Bishop of Geneva, and the rise of new Orders which Pope Paul himself could still confirm.

The retreat of this Pope before the political autonomy of a neigh- bouring state almost seems a prologue to the role of the Papacy in the Thirty Years* War. Like all the religious energies bound up with this tremendous struggle, the Papacy was neither a mover nor a guide of events, but only a means which the parties used to serve their own ends. At the beginning of the seventeenth century the imperilled Catholic Imperial princes saw themselves threatened by a singularly composite coalition against the House of Habsburg. This stretched all the way from Paris to Constantinople, and its allies were France, which was governed part of the rime by cardinals, the Netherlands, the German Calvinists (above all the restless, booty-loving Prince Electors of the Palatinate) , the Calvinist princes of Bohemia and Aus- tria, the prince of Siebenbuergen, and the Turks. When the War began in 1618, Paul V sent handsome sums o money to Emperor Ferdinand and the Catholic League, celebrated the Habsburg victory


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