ENRICO CARDINAL CAETANI (1550-1599), of a distinguished Roman family, was born on August 6, 1550, nephew of Cardinal Niccolò Caetani. He obtained a doctorate in canon and civil law from the University of Perugia. He was Patriarch of Alexandria (1585), and had served as Legate in Bologna (1585-87), and Nuncio to France and to Poland. He was created Cardinal by Sixtus V on December 18, 1585, and was sent to France as Legatus a latere (1589-1590) to deal with the crisis over the struggle for the French throne Henri (IV) de Bourbon had been excommunicated in 1585 (and again in 1591). Despite instructions from the Pope to maintain a balance among the competing interests, which included Philip II of Spain (who was proposing his son as a candidate), Caetani joined the Duc de Mayenne and the Holy League in proclaiming the Cardinal de Lorraine as King Charles X. Unfortunately, the Duc was defeated at the Battle of Ivry, and the Cardinal died shortly thereafter (1589). With Henri de Bourbon besieging Paris, Caetani was recalled to Rome, his mission a failure. He was named Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church on October 26, 1587, and presided over the Interregna of 1590, that of 1591, and that of 1591-1592. He died on December 13, 1599. His body, bust, and funeral inscription are in S. Pudenziana, his titular church [V. Forcella, Inscrizioni delle chiese di Roma XI, p. 138, nos. 263-265; Oreste Raggi, Monumenti sepolcrali eretti in Roma agli uomini celebri I (Roma 1841) pp. 235-239].
The Dean of the Sacred College was Alfonso Cardinal Gesualdi, .Cardinal Serbelloni having died on March 18, 1591.
The Governor of the conclaves was Msgr.Alfonso Visconti. The nephew of Cardinal Antonio Maria Sauli, he was born in 1552 in Milan. He took degrees in Civil and Canon Law at Pavia. In Rome he became an Oratorian, but left to pursue a career in ecclesiastical government. He was Nuncio to Austria from 1589 to 1591. He was governor of Borgo and of the two conclaves of 1591 and 1592. He became Bishop of Cervia in 1591, was Nuncio to Hungary (1595-1598), and was sent on missions to Poland and Naples. He was made a cardinal priest on March 3, 1599 (S. Giovanni a Porta Latina). In 1601 he became Archbishop of Spoleto. He died in 1608.
The Papal Master of Ceremonies was Paolo Alaleone, who left a Diarium (Vat. Lat. 12294).
Pope Gregory XIV (Sfondrati) died in the night between October 15 and 16, 1591. His life had been despaired of three times before (and he had received Extreme Unction four times). Some cardinals were already on their way to Rome at the time of his death, believing that one of his crises had already been fatal.
A di 15 d' ottobre 1591 Martedi, circa dodici ore sino all' hore ventidue, il Papa cominciò a peggiorare in modo, che bisognò raccomandar l' anima. La domenica antecedente parimente gli fu raccomandata l' anima, e la notte seguente. Il Mercordi veniente cioò ad hore sette della notte seguente a detto giorno passò da questa a miglior vita il nostro Santissimo Padre Gregorio XIV.. Gia in questa lunga sua infermità S. Santità nello spazio di 23 giorni, che stette ammalato, più volte si era communicate ed ultimamente alli cinque del predetto mese d' Ottobre ebbe l' oglio santo, ed è morto santamente, sicche piamente si puole credere, che sia andato dritto dritto in Paradiso, e cosi sia. (Laemmer, Meletemetum, 234-235).
On October 25, the ninth and last of the novendiales Masses by Cardinal the d' Ascoli, Girolamo Bernerio, OP. Fifty-six cardinals attended the Mass (Laemmer, Meletematum, 235).
Fifty-six or fifty-seven cardinals entered conclave on October 27 (Novaes, 248).
On October 28 the Cardinal Dean, Alfonso Gesualdo, said the Mass of the Holy Spirit in the Capella Paolina, and distributed communion to all the Cardinals. After the Mass, the Cardinals proceeded to the first scrutiny, in which the Cardinal Santi Quattro, Giovanni Facchinetti, received the most votes, twenty-four, but there was no successful election. After lunch, there was a vetting of the Conclavists. On the second day of voting, October 29, in the morning scrutiny, Cardinal Facchinetti received twenty-eight votes. The rest of the day was spent in discussion until late afternoon (l' ore ventitre'), when the Cardinals reassembled in the Capella Paolina. The Cardinal Dean began to speak, "Ego Card. Gesualdus Episcopus Hostiensis eligo in Summum Pontificem Reverendissimum Dominum meum Joannem Antonium Facchinettum Tituli Sanctorum Quattuor Coronatorum Sanctae Ecclesiae Romanae Presbyterum Cardinalem. Following him, each of the other cardinals, in order, did the same .(Laemmer, Meletmetum 236 ).
Cardinal Giovanni Antonio Facchinetti, though seventy-two years of age and in chronic ill health, was elected as Innocent IX. He was crowned in private on November 3 (Oldoino), or in public in the portico of St. Peter's (Ciacconio). On the 8th of November he took solemn possession of the Lateran Basilica.
Immediately after his election, it seems, he began work on the reform of the Conclave system. He appointed a congregation of Cardinals and prelates to provide a plan, but he died before the work even began to take shape. The fact is noticed by a Sienese gentleman, Lelio Maretti, in a narrative of the Conclave that led to the Election of Clement VIII [quoted by Ludwig Wahrmund, Archiv für katholisches Kirchenrecht 72 (1894), 203, n.3, from Cod. Ottobon. 2798 fol. 57]:
Però haverebbe desiderato quelli, che havevano qualche mira del publico bene, che tanto si fusse allungata almeno la vita d' Innocentio, che egli havesse condotto a fine il santo proposito, che hebbe di riformare l' elettione del Pontefice, volendo ridurre quest' attione per se stessa di tanto momento e così nell' occhio del Christianesimo a modo più ragionevole e di minor confusione, et a questo fine haveva di gia ordinata una Congregazione di Cardinali e di Prelati intendenti per corregere li pericolosi disordini, che si scoprivano nel modo tenuto fin' hora, se bene provavano somma difficultà a trovar forma migliore e modo più a proposito di quello, che al presente era in uso. Passò dunque Innocentio a miglior vita due mesi dopo, che fù assunto a tanta dignità....
(Work evidently continued into the next reign. A draft bull survives, which began "Omnipotens ille ac sempiternus sacerdos", but it is not known how close to being promulgated the document was).
On the 18th of December, though ill, Pope Innocent made a pilgrimage of Rome's seven pilgrimage churches and caught a chill. He developed a heavy cough and fever, and died on December 30, 1591. There was no Papal Master of Ceremonies present, but it was reported that he received Holy Communion and Extreme Unction. He was buried on January 8, 1592 (Laemmer, Meletmetum, 236).
The second Interregnum lasted from December 30, 1591 to January 30, 1592. There were sixty-four cardinals, Cardinal Juan Hurtado de Mendoza (aged 43), Cardinal Priest of S. Maria in Trastevere, having died January 6, 1592 . Fifty-two cardinals entered conclave on January 10, 1592, according to a list provided by Giovanni Stringa, "Vita di Clemente VIII" , p. 241-242. The Cardinal de Joyeuse arrived on January 12, making fifty-four electors. Thirty-six votes were needed to elect.
The Conclave began on January 10, 1592. Two parties were in evidence, one led by Cardinal Andrea Peretti di Montalto (the nephew of Sixtus V), and the Spanish party, which was supporting Giulio Antonio Cardinal Santorio (of Caserta, a Spanish subject). On the 11th, there was a disgraceful spectacle in the Sistine Chapel, as the Spanish party attempted to install Cardinal Santorio by acclamation, despite a demonstration against their effort that went on for seven hours, vigorously led by Cardinals Altemps, Gesualdi and Colonna. Forced to undertake a scrutiny, the Spaniards could muster only 30 votes by secret ballot, five short of the number needed to elect at the moment.
The two Colonna cardinals, Marcantonio and Ascanio, were in opposite camps, the one in the Pauline Chapel, the other in the Sistine.. The elder, Marcantonio, sent a message to Ascanio, who thereupon announced that he would not support Santorio because he was not given by God (in other words, that the Holy Spirit had not successfully inspired all the electors to agree upon Santorio). The enthusiasm for Santorio collapsed. Of the seven Cardinals who were on the list of acceptable candidates supplied by King Philip II, only the seventh, Cardinal Aldobrandini could muster support outside the Spanish faction.
On January 25, during the Mass, after the Communion but before the Postcommunion Prayer, the Sacristan, who was the celebrant, turned to the Cardinals and asked permission to say a few words which (he said) came to him by inspiration. He was denied permission and instructed to finish the Mass. This incident is recorded in the Conclave Diary of Paolo Alaleone, the Master of Ceremonies (Gattico, 343):
Existentibus in Conclavi Cardinalibus cum missam celebraret die 25. Januarii 1592, Sacrista post suptum SS. Sacramentum, antequam diceret postcommunionem et orationem, vertit se ad Illistriss. DD. Cardinales genuflexos in suis locis petens licentiam posse dicere aliqua verba, quae ex inspiratione dixit venisse; sed ipsi non fuit concessum hoc, sed bene ut Missam perficeret.
That same day, January 25, Cardinal della Rovere was given the last rites and, during his last agony, he was attended by Cardinal Bonelli, the Sacristan, the Confessor of the Conclave, and other conclavists, who read the prayers for the dying. He died at the eighth hour of the night:
Eadem die SS. Viaticum in Conclavi datum fuit Cardinali a Ruvere, tum oleo sacro inunctus. Dum erat in agonia, nunquam fuit derelictus, quia semper adfuerunt Cardinales in commendando illi animam, et praesertim Illust. D. Cardinalis Alexandrinus Bonellus, Dom. Sacrista, Confessor Conclavis, et aliqui Conclavistae legentes commendationem animae et alias orationes; et D. Cardin. Alexandrinus per horas quinque continuas adfuit semper aliquid legens. Postquam expiravit hora 8. noctis animam, cadaver fuit lotum a barbitonsoribus, deinde indutum usque ad rocchettum et mozzettam inclusive cum bireto rubeo Cardinalari, et positum intus Capellam Sixti IV infra cancellos supra mensam. Die 26. Januarii fuit aperta porta Conclavis, et intromissum feretrum cum suo panno mortorio, quod scupatores conclavis portarunt ad Capellam Sixti prope cadaver, et fuit coopertum panno fericeo violaceo lato et consignato a nobis Presbyteris S. Petri; et accepto cadavere a Comclavistis Presbyteris fuit accommodatum in feretro, et ab eisdem dictum cadaver portatum usque ad portam Conclavis, et consignatum Presbyteris Basilicae S. Petri, quod cum funalibus portarunt ad Basilicam S. Petri inferius. Adfuerunt aliqui Cardinales induti rocchettis et mozzettis. Et dum cadaver ferebatur a Capella Sixti IV. ad portam Conclavis, fuit associatum ab aliquibus Cardinalibus et a multis Conclavistis Psalmum De profundis dicentibus, duobus funalibus cerae albae hinc inde, sed in deferendo inferius ad Basilicam S. Petri portata fuerunt funalia.
On the afternoon of January 30, Pietro Cardinal Aldobrandini (Clement VIII) was finally elected. The Master of Ceremonies, Paolo Alaleone, records the event in his Diarium (Gauchet, 3 n.1):
Feria V die 30 Ian. 1605, de mane fuit dicta missa de eligendo Summo Pontifice. Deinde fuit factum scrutinium [XX], in quo intervenerunt XXXIII card(ina)les, et IX abfuerunt, scilicet Aragona, Columna, Madrutius, Altemps, Spinula, Cananus, Radzivil, Gonzaga, et Cusentanus et fuit sequunta practica, quam heri vespere incoharunt aliqui card(ina)les, capita factionum, pro eligendo Summum Pontificem D. Hippolytum Aldobrandinum. Eadem die circa horam XX card(ina)les iverunt ad cameram dicti Hippolyti card. Aldobrandni aet(atis) suae an(no) LV et illum post aliqua verba a decano dicta conduxerunt ad capellam Paulinam et in Sum(mum) Pontificem elegerunt, et ipse acceptavit electionem de se factam, postquam dixit versus altare, si esset hoc factum inspiratione a Spiritu Sancto et pro salutate animae suae.
On February 2, 1591, in the Sistine Chapel, Clement VIII was consecrated bishop by Cardinal Alfonso Gesualdi, Dean of the College of Cardinals (Gauchat, 3 n. 2). On the 9th he was crowned by Francesco Cardinal Sforza, the Cardinal Protodeacon (Gauchat, 3 n. 3).
On Sunday, April 12, 1592, he took possession of the Lateran Basilica. Forty-two cardinals participated in the ceremonies. Gold and silver commemorative medals were presented to each cardinal [Diary of Giovanni Paolo Mucanzio, in: Cancellieri, 154-158]
Tria conclavia, id est Tres historicae narrationes, de tribus trium pontificum Romanorum, Urbani, videlicet VII. Gregorii XIV. et Clementis VIII. electionibus ... ex Italico, in quo primum conscriptae fuerunt, sermone, in Latinum fideliter translatae (Francofurti: Typis Hartm. Palthenii, anno M.DC.XVII).
Conclavi de' pontefici romani Nuova edizione, riveduta, corretta, ed ampliata Volume I (Colonia: Lorenzo Martini, 1691), 514-527 [election of Innocent IX]; Volume II (Colonia: Lorenzo Martini, 1691), 1-26 [election of Clement VIII]. Antonio Cicarelli, "Vita di Innocenzio IX", in Bartolommeo Platina, Storia delle vite de' Pontefice di Bartolommeo Platina e d' altri autori edizione novissima Tomo Quarto (Venezia: Domenico Ferrarin 1765) 228-233. Giovanni Stringa "Vita di Clemente VIII" , in Bartolommeo Platina, Storia delle vite de' Pontefice di Bartolommeo Platina e d' altri autori edizione novissima Tomo Quarto (Venezia: Domenico Ferrarin 1765) 234-285.
Joannes Baptista Gattico, Acta Selecta Caeremonialia Sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae ex variis mss. codicibus et diariis saeculi xv. xvi. xvii. Tomus I (Romae 1753).
Maria Teresa Fattori, Clemente VIII e il Sacro Collegio, 1592-1605: meccanismi istituzionali ed accentramento di governo (Stuttgart: Anton Hiersemann 2004) [Päpste und Papsttum, 33].
For details of the Interregna of 1591, see Giuseppe de Novaes, Elementi della storia de' sommi pontefici da San Pietro sino al ... Pio Papa VII third edition, Volume 8 (Roma 1822) 248-252; and Volume 9. 5-6. F. Petruccelli della Gattina, Histoire diplomatique des conclaves Volume II (Paris: 1864), 340-361. Ludwig Wahrmund, Das Ausschliessungs-recht (jus exclusivae) der katholischen Staaten Österreich, Frankreich und Spanien bei den Papstwahlen (Wien: Holder 1888), 107-108. Paul Herre, Papsttum und Papstwahl im Zeitalter Philipps II (Leipzig: Teubner 1907) 544-590. L. Ranke, History of the Popes. Their Church and State II (tr. E. Fowler) (New York 1901),Book VI, section 4, pp.158-161; Alexis François Artaud de Montor, Histoire de pontifes V (Paris 1851), pp. 33-35. G. Moroni, Dizionario di erudizione storico-ecclesiastica Vol. 36 (Venezia 1846) p. 11-12; Vol. 14 (Venezia 1842), p. 44.. For Cardinal Santorio: Charles Berton, Dictionnaire des cardinaux (1857) 1503.
Conclave of January, 1592: F. Petruccelli della Gattina, Histoire diplomatique des conclaves Volume II (Paris: 1864), 362-400. Ludwig Wahrmund, Das Ausschliessungs-recht (jus exclusivae) der katholischen Staaten Österreich, Frankreich und Spanien bei den Papstwahlen (Wien: Holder 1888), 109-111. Paul Herre, Papsttum und Papstwahl im Zeitalter Philipps II (Leipzig: Teubner 1907) 591-626.
Hugo Laemmer, Meletmetum Romanorum mantissa (Ratisbon 1875) [Diario of Paolo Alaleone, Maestro di ceremonie]. Leone Caetani, "Vita e Diario di Paolo Alaleone de Branca, Maestro di cerimonie pontificie, 1582-1638," Archivio della R. Società Romana di Storia Patria 16 (1893) 5-39. Patritium Gauchat, OM Conv. (ed.), Hierarchia catholica Medii et Recentioris Aevi Volumen Quartum (Monasterii 1935).
Francesco Cancellieri, Storia de' solenni Possessioni de' Sommi Pontefici, detti anticamente Processi o Processioni dopo la loro Coronazione dalla Basilica Vaticana alla Lateranense (Roma: Luigi Lazzarini 1802).
Augustinus Brunus, "Vita Gabrielis Palaeoti S. R. E. Cardinalis, Episcopi Sabinensis, archiepiscopi Bononiensis," E. Martène-U. Durand, Veterorum scriptorum et monumentorum...amplissima collectio Tomus VI (Paris 1729), 1385-1438. Paolo Prodi, Il cardinale Gabriele Paleotti (1522-1597) 2 volumes (Roma: edizioni di storia e letteratura, 1959, 1967). G. Cugnoni, "Autobiografia di monsignore G. Antonio Santori, cardinale di S. Severina," Archivio della R. Società Romana di Storia Patria 12 (1889) 327-372; 13 (1890), 151-205. Ruggiero Tritonio, Vita Vincentii Laurei S. R. E. Cardinalis Montis Regalis (Bononiae: Johannes Rossius 1599).
Ludwig Wahrmund, "Die Bulle «Aeterni Patris Filius» und der staatliche Einfluss auf der Papstwahlen," Archiv für katholisches Kirchenrecht 72 (Mainz 1894), 201-334.
© 2009 John Paul Adams, CSUN