SEDE VACANTE 1334

December 4 , 1334 — December20, 1334



Palace of Popes at Avignon
The Palace of the Popes, Avignon (south-west façade)

New Cardinals

During his pontificate John XXII (Jacques Duèse) had appointed twenty-eight cardinals, in five creations. Seven were from Cahors, his native town. There was one Spaniard, Pedro Gómez. In 1331 the Pope was constrained to point out to the King of France that, of the twenty French cardinals whom he had created, seventeen were from the King's domains. Nonetheless the King of France continued to press the Pope to add more Frenchmen to the Sacred College. In exasperation John XXII wrote to the King on May 25, 1331, the day after he had created Élie Talleyrand de Périgord, pointing out that there was no need to increase the number of cardinals, considering the useful skills of the current College (Baronius-Raynaldi-Theiner, sub anno 1333, no. 33 and no. 34):

Regi Franciae

 

Licet coetus venerabilium fratrum nostrorum sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae, numerosa illuminatus multitudine cardinalium omni scientia probatorum et experientia ad regimen universalis Ecclesiae opportunius sit adeo insignitus, quod augeri nulla necessitas exigebat. sufficientia tamen dilecti filii nostri Talarandi S. R. E. presbyteri cardinalis, olim episcopi Antisiodorensis attenta ac affectione, quam ad eumdem gerit excellentia regia, insideratione deductis, eidem de ipsorum fratrum consilio coetui duximus aggregandum, ipsum assumentes in presbyterum cardinalem. Et ut in veniendo possit expensas habiliter supportare, eidem dictam Antisiodorensem Ecclesiam de fratrum eorumdem consilio usque ad instans festum Magdalenae duximus commendandam. Circumspectionem autem regiam volumus non latere, quod jam XX cardinales, de quibus XVII de regno Franciae originem traxisse noscuntur, existant in collegio memorato.

Datum VIII kal. Junii, anno XIV

Nonetheless the greed of the French royal family, and their desire to use the Papacy to reward royal followers, did not abate. The Pope even had to allow the immensely rich Cardinal Talleyrand de Perigord to keep his bishopric for a few months to cover his expenses in moving to Avignon. A few months later, despite the rebuke, King Philip and Queen Johanna were again trying to get the Pope to make more French cardinals. Again, on September 26, the Pope took up pen, reminding the French monarchs of the rules:

Joannes.... Joannae reginae Francorum:

 

Utinam, filia charissima, nos servatus in creandis nostris fratribus circumspectioni regiae esset notus: ipsorum quidem creatio nunquam sit in camera, sed in consistorio, votis fratrum omnium exquisitis. Item non consuevit nisi ex causa creatio fieri eorumdem; causae autem consueverunt existere vel parvus eorum numerus, vel ipsorum impotentia ad suum officium exercendum: quae si ad praesens considerentur attente, profecto nec numerus parvus, nec ex parte illorum debet aliqua impotentia judicari. Numerus quidem, attento numero qui ante tempus felicis recordationis Clementis papae V praedecessoris nostri consuevit existere, non parvus judicandus est, sed potius excessivus: credimus enim, quod ante tempus ipsius numerus non adeo magnus fuerit, sicut est in praesenti. Defectus autem praecipuae scientiae, et interdum etiam corporalis virtutis creationem novam requirere consuevit, qui per Dei gratiam hodie non vindicat sibi locum: tanta quidem tam scientiae theologicae et utriusque iuris in nostro collegio, Dei gratia, viget sufficientia, quod pro casu aliquo extra eos non oportet nos aliorum suffragia mendicare: licet in causis, quae fidem respiciunt vel universalem statum Ecclesiae, consueverimus praelatorum praesentium in curia, ac doctorum et professorum juris civilis aliorumque peritorum consilia postulare. Utinam quot sunt inter fratres nostros, qui non habent sifficienter, quae ad statum eorum sunt necessaria, quotque oportet nos propterea sufferre molestias, providentia regia plene sciret.

 

Adhuc optaremus, quod ad memoriam revocaret, quot sint fratres hodie de regno Franciae, et quot se regnis aliis in collegio antedicto et utique reperiet, quod de regno Franciae sunt sexdecim, de regno vero Italiae sex, de regnis vero omnibus aliis solus unus, scilicet Hispanus existit.... eorum [cardinalium] non haberemus assensum...

New cardinals were to be created not in private but in open Consistory; after the opinions of current cardinals had been heard; when numbers had dropped to an excessively low point (which was not the case—quite the contrary); or when they were unable to carry out their duties (which was not the case); or there was a shortage of technical knowledge in theology or law (which was not the case). The papal and cardinalatial unwillingness to create new cardinals notwithstanding, one more Frenchman was created, on December 20, 1331, Pierre Bertrand.

Death of Pope John XXII

Tomb of Pope John XXII, Avignon

In 1334 John XXII was ninety years of age or more.

The Continuator of Ptolemy of Lucca's Ecclesiastical History says that in 1334 Pope John had two goals in mind: the creation of a new Emperor; and the determination of the issue of the Beatific Vision. He ordered a Consistory to assemble on November 2, 1334, but on the preceding night he became ill and the meeting never took place. On the third of November, however, he summoned the Cardinals, all of whom were present except Giovanni Gaytani and Napoleone Orsini. He then made his Will (Baronius-Raynaldus-Theiner, sub anno 1334, no. 39, p. 17; Baluzius I, cols. 177-178):

in nocte praecedenti Nonas praedictas post coenam et primul galli cantum invasit eum morbus. Et sic omisso consistorio, illa die IV Non. Decembris nihil fecit. Sed tertio Nonas, die sequenti, post Vesperas, fecit vocari omnes Cardinales qui erant in Avinione. Hoc dico propter Iohannem Gaytani, qui non erat praesens tunc in civitate, et propter Dominum Neapoleonem Romanum Diaconum Cardinalem, qui erat in cardinalatu antiquior omnibus Cardinalibus, qui licet in civitate esset et vocatus per Papam, ipse tamen noluit venire nec interisse obsequiis nec testamento Papae. Et praesumitur quod ex eo fecerit quia Papa in sua electione, quae apud Lugdunum celebrata fuit, juravit se nomquam ascensurum equum vel mulum nisi iret Romam. Quod et servavit quia navigio ivit usque ad Avinionem, et pedes ascendit palatium; de quo postea nisi intrando Ecclesiam majorem quae contigua palatio est, non exivit. Et sic suum sacramentum servavit, quia post sacramentum praestitum, sicut fecit, nunquam equitavit. Unde praedictus Cardinalis [Napoleone Orsini] non favit.

 

Sed Papa nihilominus coram aliis Cardinalibus disposuit rite et legitime testamentum suum, recommendans Sanctam Ecclesiam et nepotes suos Cardinalibus. Et sic II. Non. Decembris post auditam Missam in aurora diei, et communione percepta, orando migravit de ho seculo hora tertia, et dominica die, quae erat tunc II. Non. Decembris.



 

Cathedral of Notre Dame, Avignon

In his note on the passage Baluzius rejects the story of Cardinal Napoleone Orsini's long-standing anger at the Pope breaking his oath to return to Rome, which caused him to refuse to be present at the Pope's bedside in 1334. But a letter to King Jaime of Aragon on August 11, 1316 (eighteen years earlier), from Arnaldo de Cumbis, one of the Aragonese Procurators at the Roman Curia, reports, "Dominus Napoleo dixit michi, quod dominus Papa intendit modis omnibus ire Romam, si posset fieri pax predicta." This statement from the lips of Cardinal Orsini himself makes the story not implausible, the Pope's self-limitation in his modes of conveyance and his residence in the Palace at Avignon notwithstanding. Those familiar with the career and character of Cardinal Orsini will have no trouble with the idea that he was capable of holding a grudge for more than eighteen years, and above all one concerning the return of the Papacy to his beloved city of Rome. And though this may well have been a personal undertaking by Pope John with Cardinal Napoleone, there is some possibility that there were Electoral Capitulations in 1316, and that Cardinal Napoleone Orsini's long-standing indignation derives from the breaking of one of those promises (See Souchon, p. 45)

The Florentine chronicler, Giovanni Villani (Book XI, chapter xix, pp. 235-236 Dragomanni), provides a view of the Pope's end:

Nel detto anno, a dì 4 di Dicembre, mort papa Giovanni appo la città di Vignone in Proenza, ov' era la corte, d' infermità di flusso, che tutto il suo corpo si dissolvette, e per quello si sapesse, mori convenevolmente assai ben disposto appo Iddio, revocando il suo oppinione mosso della visione dell'anime de'santi. E ciò fece, secondo si disse, più per infestamento del cardinale dal Poggetto suo nipote e degli altri suoi parenti, accioechè non morisse con quella sospezionosa fama, che da suo movimento, non credendo si tosto morire, e egli mori il di seguente. E acciocchè sia manifesto a chi per gli tempi leggerà questa cronica, e non possa avere preso errore per quella pionione, si metteremo appresso verbo a verbo la detta dichiarazione fatta fedelmente volgarizzare, come avemmo la copia dal nostro fratello ch' allora era in corte di Roma....[the Bull of December 3, 1334 is quoted]   E poi annullò le reservazioni per lui fatte, che dalla sua morte innanzi non avessono vigore.

Those cardinals who were present in the Papal Palace on December 3, and who witnessed the final communications of the Pope with his colleagues, are listed by Cardinal Fournier (later Pope Benedict XII) (Baronius-Raynaldus-Theiner, sub anno 1334, no. 36, p. 15). Pope John XXII died on December 4, 1334. Bernard Guidonis (Baluzius, Vitae Paparum Avinionensium I, col. 170) states:

Obiit autem idem Dominus Johannes Papa anno Domini MCCCXXXIV, Dominica prima Decembris, summa mane, quod fuit II. Nonas Decembris, pontificatus sui anno XIX. apud Avinionem, et elegit ibidem sepeliri in Ecclesia beatae Mariae de Domps in capella Omnium Sanctorum. Vacavit sedes XVI. diebus.

The deceased Pope was buried at Avignon in the cathedral church (Notre Dame des Domps), in All Saints Chapel [above, right] on December 5. He had ruled for eighteen years, four months and two days.

 

The Electors

Eubel Hierarchia Catholica I second edition, p. 17 note 7.  During his pontificate John XXII (Jacques Duèse) had appointed twenty-eight cardinals, in six creations. Of these, nine died during his reign. Of the twenty-three Cardinals who had participated in his own election in 1316, only five survived: Guillaume Pierre Godin, OP, Napoleone Orsini, Giacomo Caetani Stefaneschi, Luca Fieschi, and Raymond Guillaume des Forges. The number of cardinals eligible to participate in the Conclave of 1334 was twenty-four.  The "Vita Secunda Benedicti XII," in Baluzius' Vitae Paparum Avinionensium volume 1, col. 213, states that Benedict XII was elected "in episcopali palatio Avinionensi, ubi conclave Dominorum Cardinalium tunc XXIV. ordinatum extiterat." . Biographies of John XXII's cardinals are given in Baluzius, and in Cardella, II, pp. 100-135.

Cardinals attending:

  1. Guillaume Pierre Godin, OP, of Bajona (Bayonne in Aquitaine), Suburbicarian Bishop of Sabina. (Died June 4, 1336) He had been a 'contubernalis' of Ptolemy of Lucca, and received the dedication of his Historia Ecclesiastica [Baluze, I, 672-673]
  2. Bertrand du Pouget, of Cahors, Suburbicarian Bishop of Ostia e Velletri. (died February 3, 1352).
  3. Joannes de Convenis (Jean-Raymond de Comminges), Suburbicarian Bishop of Porto e Santa Rufina. (died in 1344 or 1348).
  4. Gauscelin de Jean Duèse, of Cahors, Suburbicarian Bishop of Albano. (died August 3, 1348). Nephew of Pope John XXII.
  5. Pierre de Pratis (des Près), of Cahors, Suburbicarian Bishop of Palestrina. (died September 30, 1361).
  6. Annibaldo di Ceccano, a Neapolitan of the diocese of Aquino in Campagna, Suburbicarian Bishop of Frascati.(died July/August, 1350).

  7. Jacobus Novelli (Jacques Fournier), OCist, from the town of Savardun near Toulouse in the Languedoc, Cardinal Priest of S. Prisca. (died April 25, 1342).
  8. Raymond de Mostuéjouls, OSB, of the diocese of Rodez in Aquitaine, Cardinal Priest of S. Eusebio.(died November 12, 1335).
  9. Pierre de Mortemart, of Limoges, Cardinal Priest of S. Stefano al Monte Celio (1237-1335). (died April 14, 1335). Former Vice-Chancellor of King Philip V of France, promoted Cardinal at the King's request. [Cardella II, p. 107]   Vice-Chancellor of Pope John XXII  [cf. E. von Ottenthal, Die päpstliche Kanzleiregeln, ix and p. 1, who makes Cardinal Peter out to be Cardinal Petrus de Pratis, who was however Cardinal Priest of S. Pudenziana, but, as the Regulae itself clearly indicates, the Vice-Chancellor was Cardinal Petrus of S. Stefano in Monte Celio]
  10. Pierre de Capis (des Chappes), of the diocese of Troyes, Cardinal Priest of SS. Silvestro e Martino ai Monti. (died March 24, 1336).
  11. Matteo Orsini, OP, a Roman, Cardinal Priest of SS. Giovanni e Paolo.(died August 18, 1340). Nephew of Cardinal Francesco Orsini.
  12. Pedro Gómez Barroso, of Toledo, Cardinal Priest of S. Prassede. (died July 14, 1348)
  13. Imbertus de Puteo (Dupuis), of Montpellier, Cardinal Priest of SS. XII Apostoli. (died May 26, 1348). Nephew of Pope John XXII.
  14. Élie Talleyrand de Périgord, Cardinal Priest of S. Pietro in Vincoli. (died January 17, 1364).
  15. Pierre Bertrand, from the Auvergne in the diocese of Vienne, Cardinal Priest of S. Clemente. (died June 23, 1348). [Baluzius I, 783-786]

  16. Napoleone Orsini, of Rome, Cardinal Deacon of S. Adriano. (died 1342) Nephew of Pope Nicholas III. [Cardella II, 33-37; Huyskens, passim]
  17. Giacomo Caetani Stefaneschi, Cardinal Deacon of S. Giorgio in Velabro. (died June 23, 1341). Grandnephew of Pope Nicholas III [Cardella II, 51-53]
  18. Luca Fieschi, Cardinal Deacon of SS. Cosma e Damiano. (died January 31, 1336)
  19. Raymond Guillaume des Forges, of Bordeaux, a Gascon, Cardinal Deacon of S. Maria Nuova, nephew of Pope Clement V. (died October 5, 1346).
  20. Bertrand de Montfavez, of Chateauneuf in the Diocese of Cahors, Cardinal Deacon of S. Maria in Aquiro. (died December 1, 1342).
  21. Gaillard de la Mothe, of Bourdos in Gascony, diocese of Aquitaine, Cardinal Deacon of S. Lucia in Silice. (died December 20, 1356).  Former Canon of Narbonne [Regestum Clementis Papae V, I, no. 211 (July 31, 1305)]. Grand-nephew of Pope Clement V; his mother was the daughter of Clement's brother, Arnaldus Garsia de Got [Cardella II, p. 110]
  22. Giovanni Gaetani Orsini, a Roman, Cardinal Deacon of S. Teodoro. (died August 27, 1335). Papal Legate in Italy throughout the reign of John XXII.
  23. Arnaud de Via, of Cahors, Cardinal Deacon of S. Eustachio.(died November 24, 1335). Nephew of Pope John XXII. Brother of Cardinal Jacobus de Via. [Cardella II, pp. 113-114]
  24. Giovanni Colonna, a Roman, Cardinal Deacon of S. Angelo in Pescheria. (died July 3, 1348) Archpriest of the Lateran Basilica. Nephew of Cardinal Pietro Colonna.

Fabula narratur

There is a story found in the Chronica of Matthias Neoburgensis (Matthis von Neuenberg) (chapter 54; pp. 78-79 ed. Studer; Christophe, pp. 35-36). A bishop from the neighborhood of Rome was on his way to Avignon when he had a dream that Pope John XXII had just died. He was then shown a vision of who the next pope would be. Arriving in Avignon, he saw all the Cardinals in Congregation (but one), but did not recognize the man in his dream:

Erat autem quidam episcopus vicinus Rome in via eundi ad curiam ad papam, cui in nocte mortis pape in sompnio apparuit quidem dicens: Papam queris; non est! et post pusillum: Vis videre papam, ecce iste est! monstrata sibi persona grandi incognita. Et procedens in itinere audivit de morte pape. Veniens autem Avinionem ivit ad consistorium, ingredientes diligenter inspiciens singulos cardinales. Et cum non vidisset personam sibi monstratam, quesivit a quodam, numquid omnes cardinales ingressi fuissent. Et responso accepto, quod omnes, excepto cardinali Blanco, ordinis Cisterciensis, illum quesivit in domo ipsumque inspiciens [faciem] perpendit monstratum sibique soli in camera sua dixit: Pater, vos estis papa futurus! De quo cum ille risisset—nulla enim fuit spes promocionis ejus, cum esset humilior et pauperior inter omnes—episcopus exposito sibi sompnio adjecit: Pater, ille qui michi monstravit faciem vestram introduxit me in stabulum immundissimum et stercoribus plenum, ubi vidi archam marmoream albissimam set vacuam. Vos estis illa arca, quam debitis in officio vestro virtutibus implere.Vos estis illa arca, quam debetis in officio vestro virtutibus implere; et: O pastor et stablariae, curiam et sedem apostolicam, jam immundissimum stabulum, ab avariciis et symoniacis stercoribus expurgate, vobisque sanctam Romanam ecclesiam et urbem recomissas habete! Et ecce in electione a tot cardinalibus quasi insciis sub alternacione adiectus extitit; scilicet: Nomino illum qui se esse non poterit, volo Blancum! Quod repertum est eum a duabus partibus nominatum.

The story hardly has the ring of history. One might say it were hagiography, in a Biblical prophetic mode, if its purpose were to glorify the new pope as selected by Heaven. But it also contains strong criticism, calling the Curia and Papacy a dung-filled stable.and assigning the new Pope the mission of cleaning the Augean Stables, made filthy by avarice and simony. It pictures the new Pope as a bright white marble arch (Jacques Fournier was a Cistercian and they wore a white habit), but without decoration, which is to be supplied by the new Pope's virtues in filling his office. It is a bishop from the area of Rome who carries the message of the dream. Christophe (p. 36) labels the anecdote a critical treatise against Pope John XXII, "Cette anecdote parait n' être qu'un trait critique décoché par une main ennemie contre le dernier pontife; elle peint, du reste, assez bien l'opinion qu' on se forma dans le public sur l' élection du Cardinal Blanc; elle fut en effet singulière." In fact, the criticism is broad enough to include Clement V as well as John XXII, and most of the cardinals and Curia besides, and it is not so much the work of an enemy as of a would-be reformer.

Conclave

The Conclave, according to the rules of Pope Gregory X, was held in the Apostolic Palace in Avignon where John XXII had died. It began on December 13 (Souchon, 45). Cardinal Jacques Fournier gave his own sanitized and entirely formulaic view of events in his first encyclical letter (January 9, 1345), Altitudo Caelestis (Baronius-Raynaldus-Theiner, sub anno 1334, no. 46, p. 21):

[Joannis XXII] corpore cum exequiarum solemnitate debita tumulato, venerabiles fratres nostri episcopi, presbyteri et diaconi S. R. E. cardinales, de quorum numero tunc eramus, pro futuri substitutione pastoris convenientes in unum sub deliberatione consilii, quam tanti negotii qualitas exigebat, habito super electionis futuri papae celebratione tractatu, licet consentire potuissent in alios majorum meritorum claritate conspicuos, et plurium virtutum titulis insignatos; tandem ad personam nostram dirigentes unanimiter vota sua, nos ad summi Pontificatus apicem, divinae dignationis clementia, evocarunt.

It appears that there were Electoral Capitulations, and that these were the cause of most of the activity in the Conclave of 1334.  A faction of French cardinals, with the group from Cahors, were led by Cardinal Talleyrand. They were joined by Cardinal Colonna, the leader of the Roman faction, and the group (at least) had an agreement that the new pope, whoever he was, would not return the Curia to Rome. They even thought they had the right candidate, the Cardinal de Comminges. But the story of the Conclave related by Giovanni Villani (Book XI, chapter xxi, p. 239 Dragomanni) about the Cardinal de Comminges, Bishop of Porto, draws attention to the Cardinal's refusal to agree not to return the papacy to Rome, a refusal which cost him certain election to the Papal Throne:

Dopo la morte e sepoltura di papa Giovanni, i cardinali, ch'erano allora ventiquattro, e tutti ritrovandosi in Vignone, per lo siniscalco di Proenza del re Ruberto fuorno messi nel conclave per bene guardati e distretti, acciocchè tosto facessono lezione di papa. E avendo tra lora tira e discordia della lezione, perchè dell'una maggiore setta, della quale era capo il cardinale di Peragorgo [Talleyrand de Perigord], ciò era fratello del conte di Peragorgo, con seguito grande di cardinali caorsini e franceschi, e 'l cardinale della Colonna, si trattaro d'eleggere papa il cardinale fratello del conte di Comingio [Joannes de Convenis (Jean-Raymond de Comminges)], uomo savio e valoroso e di buona vita. Cosi furono a lui, e proffersongli le loro voci, con patto ch' egli promettesse loro di non venire a Roma; la qual cosa non volle promettere, dicendo che innanzi rinunzierebbe il cardinalato ch' egli avea certo, che 'l papato ch' era avventura. Per la qual cosa rimescolata la divisione della lezione tra'collegi quasi per gara, non credendo venisse fatto, misono a squittinio quegli di loro collegio ch'era tenuto il più minimo de' cardinali; ciò fu il cardinale Bianco [Cistercian] di piccola nazione di Tolosana [Jacques Fournier], il quale era stato monaco e poi abate di Cestella, però uomo di buona vita. Sanza osservazione d' ordinato squittinio, parve opera divina, che ciascuna setta di cardinali a gara gli die dono le loro voci, e cosi fu eletto papa la vilia di santo Tommè apostolo dopo vespero, a di 20 di Dicembre 1334.

It appears that the Cardinals, having been rebuffed by the Cardinal de Comminges, proceeded to the ballot. In a typical maneuvre, they chose to vote, not for someone they expected might win, but for someone who was plausible but whom they knew could not win. This would identify the real candidates, particularly those of the enemy, and indicate the lines of support. If Villani's source (his brother?) is right, a number of cardinals hit upon the name Fournier, raising him from an obscure monkish colleague to a serious candidate. Upon receiving the canonical number of votes, Cardinal Fournier is said to have remarked, "You have elected an ass!"   Bernard Guidonis (Baluzius I, col. 170) states:

Vacavit sedes XVI diebus. Et die XVII fuit electus Dominus Benedictus tituli Sanctae Priscae Presbyter Cardinalis, de ordine Cisterciensi, magister in theologia, oriundus de Savarduno diocesis Rivensis.

Ptolemy of Lucca states (Baronius-Raynaldus-Theiner, sub anno 1334, no. 46, p. 20):

Anno Dominicae Incarantionis MCCCXXXIV, idus Decembris, cardinales omnes includintur numero 24 per comitem Novalium in palatio Avinionensi, in quo papa Joannes decessit. In vigilia autem Thomae Apostoli XII kal. Januarii, anno Domini MCCCXXXIV, cardinales praedicti numero 24 elegerunt in papam unum ex se, videlicet dominum Jacobum presbyterum card. tit. S. Priscae, natum de provincia Tolosana monachum Ordinis Cisterciensis, magistrum theologiae, et vocatus est Benedictus XII.

The election was finally carried out on the Vigil of St. Thomas the Apostle, December 20, 1334, in the evening after Vespers ("Third Life", Baluzius col. 219; "Fourth Life", Baluzius, col. 225; Villani, loc.cit.).

At his first Consistory, on December 21, the new Pope gave orders that both the Vatican Basilica and the Lateran Basilica be repaired, as well as the palaces, and he provided 50,000 gold florins for the works. He likewise gave 100,000 florins to the Cardinals to defray their expenses. On Christmas Day a Mass was celebrated by Pierre de Pratis, Bishop of Palestrina, and the Pope granted an indulgence to all in attendance, and likewise on the next two days.

Coronation of Benedict XII

On January 7, according to Ptolemy of Lucca, the new Pope and Cardinals left the Episcopal Palace and went to the Convent of the Dominicans; on the next day, he was crowned there. Bernard Guidonis (Baluzius I, col. 170) states:

Et fuit coronatus Avinioni octava die Ianuarii proxime sequentis, quae fuit Dominica Post Epiphaniam, in domo Praedicatorum.

The second (anonymous) life of Benedict XII (Baluzius I, 213) likewise says that the coronation took place on January 8, 1335, in the church of the Dominicans in Avignon (recepit suae coronationis honorem in loco fratrum Praedicatorum de Avinione die octava mensis Januarii tunc immediate sequentis de anno Domini MCCCXXXV cum magna sollemnitate et ceremoniis consuetis). He was crowned by Cardinal Napoleone Orsini, the Cardinal Protodeacon [ Ptolemy of Lucca, in Baronius-Raynaldi-Theiner, p. 20; Baluzius I, 825]. The day after the coronation Pope Benedict returned to the Episcopal Palace, though he refused to grant the customary petitions presented to a new pope on the day after his coronation; he stated that he wished to review them, as to the persons presenting them, the fees involved, and whether they were already beneficed. In his first Consistory, on January 10, 1335, the new Pope criticized the policy of Clement V and John XXII of giving benefices in commendam to all sorts of persons. He limited the practice to Cardinals and to Patriarchs of eastern sees, who had no other means of support (Baluzius, "First Life of Benedict XII", col. 198; Moroni 5, 6).

Return to Rome?

Ptolemy of Lucca 's Continuator records the appearance of an Embassy from Rome, demanding that the Curia and Pope return to the Eternal City (Baronius-Raynaldi-Theiner 25, no. 3; p. 23):

Insuper legati Romanorum petebant instanter ut iret ad Urbem: quibus respondit se iturum, sed diem certum super hoc eis non assignavit.

Pope Benedict replied that he would return, but he did not specify a date. Later, after a discussion in Consistory with his Cardinals, he fixed a date of October 1, 1335, for his departure from Rome. The "First Life of Benedict XII" (Baluzius, column 199) indicates that the Pope had even taken steps to secure accommodations for himself and the cardinals in Bologna, a fact which he made known in a public Consistory. He had sent representatives to Bologna to sound out the authorities:

Ipse etiam Papa eodem tempore deliberavit transferre curiam suam ad partes Italiae moramque suam facere in civitate Bononiensi, dummodo ipsum debite et honorifice ejus incolae et cives vellent recipere et tractare sibique obedientiam vellent praestare et fidelitatem servare. Et hoc ipse dixit in publico consistorio, voluitque ut divulgaretur et publicaretur ubique, praesertim in partibus Italiae supradictis. Volensque experiri et scire an ita facere vellent, misit ad dictam civitatem certos nuntios suos ad eis intimandum hujusmodi voluntatem, intentionem, et deliberationem suam; deditque eis in mandatis ut si ipsi viderent dictorum civium voluntatem conformari pro mansione sua, ibi palatium praeparent, libratasque pro Cardinalibus dividerent et ordinarent. Nuntii vero hujusmodi illuc accedentes invenerunt civitatem praedictam ad hoc male fore dispositam, cum adhuc cives ipsius essent in rebellione et inobedientia contra Romanam Ecclesiam in illis partibus pertinentes, quae non diu ante (scilicet tempore Iohannis Papae XXII) suum Legatum vituperose et violenter expulerant de civitate memorata. Quod dicti nuntii videntes redierunt Avinionem, Papaeque retulerunt. Qui de hoc doluit. Sed videns quia tunc aliud facere non poterat, mutato proposito deliberavit manere in Avinione cum dicta curia sua.

The papal ambassadors had found the Bolognese still in rebellion against papal authority, and the plan was dropped.

But, in a letter to the French King Philip VI (July 31, 1315), he had his excuses all worked out; if the King were to pay a visit to his neighborhood, the Pope would have to put off his departure in order to provide the king a joyful welcome:

... Nuntiis namque Romanorum populi coram nobis et fratribus nostris in consistorio pridem proponentibus et allegantibus plures causas efficaces, quare debremus Urbem, in qua nostri Apostolatus Sedem divina providentia statuit, et Basilicas sacras Urbis ejusdem, ubi sanctorum requiescunt corpora visitare, ac instanter et suppliciter a nobis petentibus, ut illuc vellemus cum curia nos transferre; tandem cum eisdem fratribus deliberatione super iis praehabita diligenti, videntes quod tam piae ac honestae petitioni non poteramus exauditionis aditum denegare, respondimus quod nostrae ac praedictorum fratrum erat intentionis et voluntatis facere, divina praeeunte gratia, quod petebant: et ad declarandum voluntatem nostram super termini praefixione, in quo illuc essemus cum eadem curia (profecturi) usque ad kalendas Octobris proxime futuri duximus differendum. Sane, fili dilectissime, quia cum haec facta sint in consistorio, ut praefertur, non posset honeste diutius ultra dictas kalendas nostra differri super ejusdem assignatione termini responsio, nisi aliud, per quod deberet id fieri rationabile diceretur: et ideo, si forsan ultra praedictas kalendas adventus ad has partes regius, quem cum gaudioso desiderio praestolamur, differri continget, scribat nobis interim regalis circumspectio, quae sibi honesta super iis occurrerint, et etiam opportuna.

According to Baronius-Rinaldi-Theiner (sub anno 1335, no. 5; p. 24), the motive force behind the idea of staying in France was a group of Cardinals: Pierre de Capis (des Chappes), Élie Talleyrand de Périgord, and Pierre Bertrand (all appointees at the request of the King of France). In having to choose between the influence of the King of France on the Pope's decision to stay at Avignon, and the narration about the Bolognese plan, Piatti (p. 82) says, "Noi imperciò diamo fede alla troppo chiara e manifesta asserzione di questi Scrittori (of the life of Pope Benedict XII), che alle ambigue conghietture del Rinaldi." That opinion, however, ignores the last clause in the Pope's remarks to the King (above), " et ideo, si forsan ultra praedictas kalendas adventus ad has partes regius, quem cum gaudioso desiderio praestolamur, differri continget, scribat nobis interim regalis circumspectio, quae sibi honesta super iis occurrerint, et etiam opportuna." ("and therefore, if a royal progress to these parts should happen to be imminent, which we would hasten with joyful longing, let royal circumspection write to us in the meantime what honorable things, and also advantageous ones, have occurred to him on these matters"). The appearance is unmistakable that the Pope—whatever impelled him—was in collusion with the King to escape from his commitment to set out for Italy on October 1, 1335.

As events turned out, the Pope was busy in September and October with diplomatic negotiations with Louis of Bavaria, and so for the peace and unity of the Church, he could not venture to move to Rome.



Bibliography

Giovanni Villani: Francesco Gherardi Dragomanni (editor), Cronica di Giovanni Villani Tomo III (Firenze: Sansoni 1845).

Matthew of Neuburg: G. Studer (editor), Matthiae Neoburgensis Chronica, cum continuatione et Vita Berchtoldi de Buchegg, Ep. Arg. (Bern 1866). Rudolfus Hanncke, De M. Alberti Argentinensis Chronico (Regimonti Pr. 1866).

Stephanus Baluzius [Étienne Baluze], Vitae Paparum Avinionensium 2 volumes (Paris: apud Franciscum Muguet 1693): "Tertia Vita Joannis XXII, auctore Bernardo Guidonis Episcopo Lodovensi," -170. "Quinta Vita Ioannis XXII, ex appendice Ptolemei Lucensis," 173-178. "Secunda Vita Benedicti XII," 213-220. "Tertia Vita Benedicti XII," 219-225. "Quarta Vita Benedicti XII," 225-228. "Quinta Vita Benedicti XII," 229--

Theiner, Augustinus (Editor), Caesaris S. R. E. Cardinalis Baronii, Od. Raynaldi et Jac. Laderchii Annales Ecclesiastici   Tomus Vigesimus Quartus 1313-1333 (Barri-Ducis: Ludovicus Guerin 1872); Tomus Vigesimus Quintus 1334-1355 (Barri-Ducis: Ludovicus Guerin 1872).

Joannes Dominicus Mansi, Sacrorum Conciliorum nova et amplissima collectio editio novissima Tomus Vicesimus Quintus (Venetiis: apud Antonium Zatta 1782).

Thomas Rymer, Foedera, Conventiones, Literae et cujuscunque generis Acta Publica inter Reges Angliae et alios quosvis... Tomus III (Londini: A. & J. Churchill, 1706).

Eugène Déprez, "Recueil des documents pontificaux, conservés dans diverses archives d' Italie (XIIIe et XIVe siècles)," Quellen und Forschungen aus italianischen Archiven und Bibliotheken 3 (Rome 1900) 103-128

Bernard Guidone, "Vita Clementis Papae V," and "Vita Joannis Papae XXII," in Ludovicus Antonius Muratori, Rerum Italicarum Scriptores Tomus Tertius (Milan 1723), 673-684. [Bernard Guidonis [Gui], OP, of Royères in the Limousin, Bishop of Lodève (ca. 1261—1331):   U. Chevalier, Repertoire I, 1919-1920].   Ignaz Hösl, Kardinal Jacobus Gaietani Stefaneschi. Ein Beitrag zur Literatur- und Kirchengeschichte des beginnenden vierzehnten Jahrhunderts (Berlin: Emil Ebering 1908). Heinrich Finke, Acta Aragonensia. Quellen zur deutschen, italianischen, franzosischen, spanischen, zur Kirchen- und Kulturgeschichte aus der diplomatischen Korrespondenz Jaymes II. (1291-1327) (Berlin und Leipzig 1908).

Bartolomeo Platina, Historia B. Platinae de vitis pontificum Romanorum ...cui etiam nunc accessit supplementum... per Onuphrium [Panvinium]... et deinde per Antonium Cicarellam (Cologne: Cholini 1626). Bartolomeo Platina, Storia delle vite de' pontefice edizione novissima Tomo Terzo (Venezia: Ferrarin 1763). Lorenzo Cardella, Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa Tomo secondo (Roma: Pagliarini 1792). Giuseppe Piatti, Storia critico-cronologica de' Romani Pontefici E de' Generali e Provinciali Concilj Tomo ottavo (Poli: Giovanni Gravier 1767) 73-82.  Ludovico Antonio Muratori, Annali d' Italia Volume 19 (Firenze 1827).

J.-B. Christophe, L' histoire de la papauté pendant le XIV. siècle Tome deuxième (Paris: L. Maison 1853) [very Gallican in outlook, and indulgent to John XXII].  Martin Souchon, Die Papstwahlen von Bonifaz VIII bis Urban VI (Braunschweig: Benno Goeritz 1888). Félix Rocquain, La papauté au Moyen Age (Paris 1881).   F. Gregorovius, History of Rome in the Middle Ages, Volume V.2 second edition, revised (London: George Bell, 1906). St Clair Baddeley,. Robert the Wise and his Heirs 1278—1352 (London: Heinemann 1897).   Albert Huyskens, Kardinal Napoleon Orsini (Marburg 1902). B.R. Beattie, Angelus pacis: the Legislation of Cardinal Giovanni Gaetano Orsini, 1326-1334 (Leiden: Brill 2007) [The Medieval Mediterranean, Volume 67].

L. Duhamel, "Les origines du palais des papes," Congrès archéologique de France. XLIXe Session (Paris:Champion 1883) 185-258.

William Cornwallis Cartwright, On the Constitution of Papal Conclaves (Edinburgh 1878)

November 28, 2013 3:03 PM

© 2010 John Paul Adams, CSUN
john.p.adams@csun.edu

Valid HTML 4.01 Transitional
Valid CSS!

| Home | | Papal Portraits Home | | Medals Bibliography | | List of Conclaves | | Conclave Bibliography |