Page:Vactican as a World Power.djvu/317

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as meaningless. The future, however, proved the wisdom of those who had looked upon all this critically. Catholic priests, thought Marshal Vauban, might take things easy because they had none to oppose them or watch them. The haste of these conversions, prophesied Pierre Bayle the philosopher, would have as a consequence the spread of infidelity in France.

Louis' mission to the heretics also did not dispose the Pope favourably to Gallican freedom, and new disturbances deepened the misunder- standing. The abuse of immunity by the French embassy in Rome continued, and as a consequence numerous bandits were abroad again. Innocent declared that henceforth he would recognize only such ambassadors as disavowed this right. Most of the states bowed to the Pope's wish as just, but Venice and France opposed it. The threat of the ban did not prevent Louis' ambassador Lavardin from entering the Papal city with eight hundred men armed to the teeth and demanding lodging for them. But when he insisted upon an audience this was refused. Then Lavardin ordered a High Mass read in the French national Church of San Luigi. The Pope imposed the ban on him and placed the church under the interdict. With numerous followers Lavardin marched into St. Peter's and drove out the clergy. In Paris, the Nuncio was treated like a prisoner. The County of Avignon (then administered by Rome) was occupied once more and the Pope was threatened by an army.

Innocent clung firmly to his conviction in this as in the greater dispute. The danger of a French universal monarchy inside which the Pope would play the part of a foreign minister of ceremonies compelled him to join sides with all the enemies of France. Against the intrigues that came from the West, he brought about a union between Poland and Austria, kept the armies of the Emperor and of Sobieski together despite all the offers of bribes that came from Paris, and gave these armies money which enabled them to beat off the last strong attack of the Moslems. It also worked to the detriment of France when he supported the Protestant invasion of William of Orange into England, which was governed by a ruler who had become a Catholic and had promised the Old Church a new dominion over the Islands. But Pope Innocent preferred to bless the ships of William rather than