Page:Vactican as a World Power.djvu/346

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


AWAY FROM ROME!

disagreeable effect o which Cardinal Fcsch (who delivered it) tried hard to mitigate. The Pope informed the College that out of a sense of apostolic duty he had decided to leave for Paris.

Pope and Emperor met in the wood of Fontainebleau at noon on the ajth of November. Napoleon was dressed in a hunting costume and was accompanied by a pack of fifty hounds. The Pope was shown chambers in the castle, which were separated from those of Napoleon by only one room. Visits, receptions and addresses occupied all his rime during the few days he remained. Josephine, who was wedded to Napoleon only under civil law, feared that he would divorce her because she was childless, poured out her heart to the Pope, and de- sired the blessing of the Church upon her marriage so that she might not be excluded from the Coronation. Cardinal Fesch performed the marriage ceremony before the day of Coronation according to a form of dubious validity.

On November 2Sth, Pope and Emperor left for Paris. The city was decked out with splendour and every street was crowded. Pius, who now resided in 2 wing of the Tuileries, was accorded the highest honours. His dignity and his person made such an impression that the Emperor was jealous. He did not give the Pope permission to say Mass in public. "The people come an hour's distance to sec me," he said, "but they trudge along for twenty hours to get the Pope's blessing/*

On the bright, cold morning of December 2, the festive procession moved toward Notrc-Damc, the Pope wearing a cope and the data. When he entered the Cathedral, a choir of eight hundred voices sang TH ffs Petrus. . . Napoleon kept everyone waiting a long rime. Then the choir sang again as he entered, a little figure in a huge im- perial mantle, with a laurel wreath on his head, looking pale and sombre. Beside him walked the Empress, beaming with joy. The ceremony began. Pius inquired of the Emperor, "Do you promise to preserve peace in the Church of God?" Napoleon replied firmly, "I promise/' The Pope anointed the foreheads, arms and hands of the kneeling couple, girded the ruler with the consecrated sword, and said over him a prayer incorporating what the Church expected from Ac temporal power. But before he could take hold of the crowns that rested on the altar, Napoleon arose, placed one crown on his own


POPE