During his pontificate Benedict XII (Jacques Fournier) had appointed six cardinals, in one creation. Four were fellow monks, two Benedictines, a Cistercian, and a Mercedarian. One was from Rimini, the rest from southern France. Four were lawyers, two were theologians. The "First Life of Benedict XII" (Baluzius I, 209; similarly cols. 242-244) states:
Anno Domini MCCCXXXVIII die XVIII mensis Decembris, quae fuit feria sexta quatuor temporum, dictus Benedictus Papa unam fecit creationem sex cardinalium, quos in Presbyteros assumpsit, qui fuerunt isti: videlicet Dominus Gocius de Arimino Italicus tunc Patriarcha Constantimopolitanus, Dominus Bertrandus de Deucio diocesis Uticensis tunc Archiepiscopus Ebredunensis, Dominus Petrus Rogerii diocesis Limovicensis, monachus ordinis sancti Benedicti tunc Archiepiscopus Rothomagensis, Dominus Guillelmus Curti diocesis Tolosanae ordinis Cisterciensis tunc Episcopus Albiensis, Dominus Bernardus de Albia diocesis Appamiarum etiam Episcopus Ruthenensis, et Dominus Guillelmus de Aura diocesis Carcassonensis tunc Abbas monasterii Montisolivi ordinis sancti Benedicti.
Bertrand de Deaulx and Gozzio Battaglia had been Benedict's envoys to King Robert and King Frederick in southern Italy, and had actually brought about a peace. The same "First Life" (column 210) claims that Benedict was not a nepotist: Ipse enim de suis consanguineis vel propinquis exaltandis vel promovendis nullatenus curavit. Non enim invenitur quod aliquem de genere suo ad quamcunque praelaturam promoverit nisi unum solum, quem praefecit Ecclesiae Arelatensi, qui tamen ad hoc alias erat bene dignus et sufficiens; et hoc fecit etiam quodammodo precibus et instantia Cardinalium devictus.
Another cardinal had been named in the first and only creation by Pope Benedict, Raymond de Montfort, OBM. of Toulouse (Cardinal Priest of S. Stefano al Monte Celio). But he died in Barcelona before he could receive the red hat (galero). His cardinalatial titulus was reassigned to Guillelmus de Aura. [Cardella II, p. 156].
Benedict had talked a lot about returning the Papacy to Rome, and his repairs conducted at St. Peter's and at the Lateran seemed to offer hope that he was serious. But he also had the papal archives which had been stored at Assisi transported to Avignon [See Franz von Ehrle, Historia Bibliothecae Romanorum Pontificum tum Bonifatianae tum Avenionensis I, pp. 129-135; Carini, La biblioteca vaticana 26-34]. At bottom, he was unwilling to face his responsibilities toward Rome.
The "Secunda Vita Benedicti XII" notes Benedict's physical condition in April, 1342 [Baluze I, 220]:
Hic pastor, bonus ex quadam antiqua tibiarum infirmitate fluenti coepit plus solito infirmari; et volentibus medicis infirmitatis fluxum hujusmodi refrenare, supervenerunt et alia propter quae in die beati Marci Evangelistae de Mense Aprilis XXV. die anno nativitatis dominicae MCCCXLII migravit ad Christum in palatio quod fundaverat.
Benedict XII died on April 25, 1342 ["Vita Prima Benedicti XII", Baluze I, 212; the "Vita Quarta" makes it April 15—a simple haplography (Baluzius I, 228)], on the Feast of St. Mark the Evangelist, in his Palace in Avignon ["Vita Sexta Benedicti XII", Baluze I, 236].
Hic Dominus Benedictus papa avarus, durus, et tenax, in conferendis gratiis remissus, tardus et negligens, improvidendo statum Ecclesiarum supra modum fuit; et in excusatione duritii suae paucos ad haec dignos vel sufficientes dicebat. Omnes Cardinales fore deceptores sui credebat. Raro supplicationes ipsorum recipere volebat, ipsosque non modicum suspectos habebat. ["Octava Vita Benedicti XII, in Baluze I, 240]. "This Pope Benedict was greedy, harsh, and tight-fisted; in conferring favors he was miserly, slow, and inattentive; he was beyond measure in not providing for the state of Churches; and in making excuses for his hardness, he used to say that few people were worthy for these favors or up to them. He believed that all the Cardinals would be deceptive toward him. He rarely was willing to receive their supplications, and he held them under suspicion more than usually."
Eubel Hierarchia Catholica I second edition, p. 18 note 1. During his pontificate Benedict XII (Jacques Fournier) had appointed six cardinals, in one creation. Of the twenty-three Cardinals who had participated in his election in 1334, ten had died (besides himself). The number of cardinals eligible to participate in the Conclave of 1342, therefore, was nineteen. Eighteen attended. Fourteen were French, three were Italian, one was Spanish. One Frenchman was ill and did not attend. Biographies of some of Benedict XII's cardinals are given in Baluzius I, columns 810-824; in Aubery, pp. 456-464; and in Cardella, II. See also Müller II, pp. 304-305. Frizonius and Onuphrio Panvinio state that there were 22 cardinals—three of whom he cannot name (Panvinio Epitome, 217-218).
The "Second Life of Clement VI" (Baluzius I, col. 267) states that one Cardinal did not attend the Conclave: " XVII Domini Cardinales intraverunt, solo duntaxat Domino Bertrando de Montefavencio sanctae Mariae in Aquiro Diacono Cardinali extra conclave praedictum propter morbum podagrae remanente"
The Camerarius S. R. E. was Msgr. Gasbert de Laval [de Valle], Archbishop of Arles (April 26, 1323 to October 1, 1341) [Vidal, Benoît XII. Lettres communes I (Paris 1903), no. 2432 (April 7, 1335); C. Samaran and G. Mollat, La fiscalité pontificale en France au XIVe siècle (Paris 1905), p. 167-168; Gallia christiana 1, 575-576; Gallia christiana novissima: Arles (1901) pp. 609-657, esp. no. 1521, 1529, 1542, 1544; Baumgarten, Von den Apostolischen Kanzlei (Köln 1908), p. 34 (February 12, 1333)]. He had been appointed on September 18, 1319 and named Archbishop of Marseille (1319-1323). He had previously been Archdeacon of Cahors and Treasurer General S.R.E. (the second-ranking official in the Apostolic Camera). He died in the Curia on January 3, 1347.
The "Second Life of Clement VI"—echoed by the "Third Life" (Baluzius I, column 267) states that the Conclave took place in the Apostolic Palace in Avignon (Souchon, 51), and began on Sunday, May 5, 1342, and was completed on Tuesday, May 7:
... et demum post obitum Domini Benedicti XII memorati, qui obiit XXV die mensis Aprilis de anno nativitatis Domini millesimo trecentesimo quadragesimo secundo, in conclavi palatii Avinionensis, quod die dominica quinta mensis Maii sine medio subsequentis, eo computato, XVII Domini Cardinales intraverunt, solo duntaxat Domino Bertrando de Montefavencio Sanctae Mariae in Aquiro Diacono Cardinali extra conclave praedictum propter morbum podagrae remanente, die Martis septima ejusdem mensis Maii confestim ante vigiliam ascensionis Domini, hora tertiae, in Summum Romanum Pontificem concordia mirabili sublimatur. Vacavit sedes diebus duodecim.
The "Fourth Life of Clement VI" (Baluzius I, column 299) states: "Anno Domini MCCCXLII nona die Maii Avinioni ad locum Praedicatorum Clemens VI natione Lemovicensis, de quodam loco dicto Mestrio Lemovicensis diocesis, fuit in Romanum Pontificem electus, et coronatus XIV Kal Iunii." The author of the Life has probably made a mistake, reading NONA (May 9) where his source wrote NONIS (The Nones, May 7). He is also wrong in stating that the Conclave was held at the Dominican Convent. The description of the Coronation is similar to that of Benedict XII, whose election at the Apostolic Palace was followed by a progress to the Dominican Convent, where the coronation took place, which was followed by another procession leading him back to the Apostolic Palace. The "Fourth Life" descends from the "Second Life", but the copyist is less skilled than some. Father Theiner (Baronius-Theiner 25, p. 277-278) cites an additional source, Vatican manuscript 2040 as saying: "Hic [Clemens VI] sub MCCCXLII fuit electus Nonis Maii Avinioni ad locum Praedictorum, coronatus XIV kal. Junii...." NONIS is the correct reading, but the location of the election depends upon the placement of a comma. If the pause is placed after AVINIONI, then the statement reads in accordance with the tradition of Benedict XII's election and coronation, and the election did NOT take place at the Convent of the Dominicans.
Pierre Roger was born in the Chateau de Maumont, in the Diocese of Tulle, in ca. 1291, as he himself records in his testimony for the canonization of St. Yvo: "Iste Dominus Yvo anno aetatis suae quinquagesimo, et XIX die Maii coronatur in coelis, ego autem anno aetatis mea quinquagesimo ad statum istum, licet invitus, assumptus, die XIX mensis Maii coronatum fui." (Pagi, 124). He had been Bishop of Arras (1328), was promoted to Sens (1329), and then to Rouen (1330). He was Chaccellor of King Philip VI (1334-1338), and then Cardinal (December 18, 1338). (Baronius-Theiner, sub anno 1342, vi.; p. 277)
Clement VI was crowned at the Church of the Convent of the Dominicans in Avignon, on Pentecost Sunday, May 19, 1342. The "Second Life" and the "Third Life" provide the same narrative (Baluzius I, col. 267-268 and 283):
Nam in festo Pentecostes, quod tunc celebrandum fuit XIX die Maii, apud Ecclesiam Fratrum Praedicatorum de Avinione cum maxima sollemnitate extitit coronatus, astantibus et servientibus ei Dominis Iohanne primogenito Regis Franciae, tunc Duce Normanniae, qui postea patri suo successise in regno, Iacobo Duce Borbonii, Philippo Duce Burgundiae, Imberto tunc Dalphino Viennensi, et multis aliis tam Franciae quam Vasconiae ac partium aliarum Comitibus, innumerisque Baronibus, et ad Palatium Apostolicum eisdem omnibus adestrantibus eum sequenti die lunae honorifice nimium et quiete reductus....
He was one of the greatest of papal nepotists (Souchon, 52). In 1342 he created eleven cardinals, including his brother Hughes Roger, OSB; his cousins Aymeric de Chalus, Gerard de la Garde, OP, and Guillaume d'Aigrefeuille; his nephews Bernard de la Tour, Guillaume de la Jugié, and Nicholas de Besse; and his cousin (or nephew) Adhemar Robert. To these relatives were added his nephew Pierre Roger de Beaufort (1348), his cousin Pierre de Cros (1350), and his nephew Raymond de Canilhac (1350). The next Conclave would truly be a family affair. Clement VI died on December 6, 1352.
Stephanus Baluzius [Étienne Baluze], Vitae Paparum Avinionensium 2 volumes (Paris: apud Franciscum Muguet 1693): "Secunda Vita Clementis VI, cols. 265-280. "Tertia Vita Clementis VI," 279-300. "Quarta Vita Clementis VI," 299-310. "Quinta Vita Clementis VI," 309-318-
Augustinus Theiner (Editor), Caesaris S. R. E. Cardinalis Baronii, Od. Raynaldi et Jac. Laderchii Annales Ecclesiastici Tomus Vigesimus Quintus 1334-1355 (Barri-Ducis: Ludovicus Guerin 1872) [Baronius-Theiner].
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). Aubery, Histoire generale des cardinaux (Paris 1642). 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 settimo (Poli: Giovanni Gravier 1767). Ludovico Antonio Muratori, Annali d' Italia Volume 19 (Firenze 1827).
J.-B. Christophe, L' histoire de la papauté pendant le XIV. siècle Tome premier (Paris: L. Maison 1853) [very Gallican in outlook, hostile to Italian sources]. 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). Carl Müller, Der Kampf Ludwigs von Baiern mit der römischen Curie. II. Ludwig von Baiern, Benedict XII, und Clemens VI (Tübingen 1880).
Franz Ehrle, SJ, "Zur Geschichte des Schatzes, der Bibliothek, und des Archiv der Päpste im vierzehnten Jahrhundert," Archiv für Litteratur- und Kirchengeschichte 1 (Berlin 1885), 1-364. Franz Ehrle, Historia Bibliothecae Romanorum Pontificum tum Bonifatianae tum Avenionensis I (Roma: Typis Vaticanis 1890).
L. Duhamel, "Les origines du palais des papes," Congrès archéologique de France. XLIXe Session (Paris:Champion 1883) 185-258.
Eugène Déprez, "La guerre de cent ans à la mort de Benôit XII," Revue historique 83 (1903), 58-76. Eugène Déprez, "Les funerailles de Clement VI, et d' Innocent VI, d' apres les comptes de la cour pontificale," Melanges d' histoire et d' archéologie publiés par l' Ecole Française de Rome 20 (1900), 235-250.
William Cornwallis Cartwright, On the Constitution of Papal Conclaves (Edinburgh 1878)
© 2010 John Paul Adams, CSUN