ALEXANDER 288 ALEXANDER and inclined to listen to the wicked suggestions of avaricious persons". The "flatterers" and "avaric- ious persons" referred to were tliose who induced the new Pontiff to continue Innocent's policy of a war of extermination against the progeny of Fred- erick II, now reduced to tiie infant Conradin in Germany and the formidable Manfred in Apulia, ilany an liistorian at the present day agrees with the shrewd chroni- cler, that it would have been far more statesmanlike and might have averted the disas- ters that were in destiny for the Churcii, the Empire, and Italy, luid Alexander firmly espoused the cause of Conradin. De- terred by the precedent of the infant Frederick, the "viper" that the Roman Church had nourished to become its de- stroyer, and persuaded that iniquity was heredit- ary in the whole brood of the Hohenstaufens, he continued Innocent's dubious policy of call- ing in French or English Beelzebubs to cast out the German Lucifers. On 25 March, 1255, he fulminated an excommunication against Manfred and a few days afterwards concluded a treaty with the envoys of Henry III of England by which he made over the vassal kingdom of the Two Sicilies to Edmund of Lancaster, Henry's second son. In the contest for the German crown which followed on the death of William of Holland (1256) the Pope sup- ported the claims of Richard of Cornwall against Alfoaso of Castile. The pecuniary assistance which these measures brought him was dearly bought by the erabitterment of the English clergy and people against the exactions of the Roman See. Manfred's power grew from day to day. In August, 1258, in consequence of a rumour spread by himself, that Conradin had died in Germany, the usurper was crowned king in Palermo and became the acknowl- edged head of the Gliibelline party in Italy. Alex- ander lived to see the victor of Montaperti (1260) supreme ruler of Central as well as Southern Italy. In the north of Italy he was more successful, for his crusaders finally crushed the odious tyrant Ezzelino. In Rome, which was under the rule of hostile magis- trates and in alliance with Manfred, the papal au- thority was all but forgotten. Meanwhile the Pope was making futile efforts to unite the powers of the Christian world against the threatening invasion of the Tartars. The crusading spirit had departed. The unity of Christendom was a thing of the past. Whether the result would have been different had a great statesman occupied the Papal Chair during these seven critical years, we can only surmise. Alexander IV ruled the spiritual affairs of the Church with dignity and prudence. As Pope, he continued to show great favour to the children of St. Francis. One of his first official acts was to canonize St. Clare. In a diploma he asserted the truth of the impression of the stigmata. St. Bonaventure informs us that the Pope alfirmed in a sermon that he had seen them. In the violent controversies excited at the University of Paris by William of St. Amour, Alexander IV took the friars under his protection. He died, deeply afflicted by the sense of his powerlessness to stem the evils of the age. POTTIIAST, RiqcDtn RR. Ponlif., II, 1286 sqq.; Bocrel db , Lra Riiiittrm d'Alex. IV (Pans, 1896): Ray- Eccl. lid iin. ISSi, sqq. I HKnaENHoTHER-KinscH, ■ (FrcilnirK. 1904), II, 575,576; Artaud Arms of Ale.xander V LA llo NALDU Kirchenocsrhichlt Montor, llitt. of the Roman Pontiffs' (New'Vdrlt, 1807). T 429-435. J.^MF.S F. LOUGHLIN. Alexander V, Poi>k (PiKTnoPmi.AiuJHO.b. c. 1.339, on the island of Crete (Candia), whence his appella- tion, Peter of Candia; elected 26 June, 1409; d. at Bologna, 3 May, 1410. A homeless beggar-boy in a Cretan city, knowing neither parents nor relations, he became the prot6g6 of a discerning Capuchin friar, from whom he received an elementary education, and under whose guidance he became a Franciscan in a Cretan monastery. The youth gave promise of ex- traordinary ability, and was sent to enjoy the superior educational advantages of Italy. He studied later at Oxford and finally at Paris, where he distinguished himself as professor, preacher, and writer. He is the author of a good commentary on the "Sentences" of Peter Lom- bard. During his stay at Paris the Great Schism (1378-1417) rent the Church, and Philarghi was ranged among the partisans of Urban VI (1375-89). Returning to Italy, he found a place in the court of Giovanni Galeazzo Visconti, Duke of Milan, where l.e acted as tutor to his soils and ambassador on important missions. Through the favour of the Visconti he was made successively Bishop of Piacenza, in 1386; of Vicenza, in 1387; of Navoya, in 1389; and finally Archbishop of Milan, in 1402. In 1405 Pope Inno- cent VII made him Cardinal, and turned his ability and his friendship with the Visconti to advantage by confirming him as papal legate to Lombardy. Henceforth his history becomes a part of that of the Schism. The Cardinal of Milan was foremost among the advocates of a council. To this end he appro'ed of the withdrawal of the cardinals of Gregory XII from their obedience, sanctioned the agreement of the rival colleges of cardinals to join in a common effort for unity, and negotiated with Henry IV of England and the Archbishop of Canter- bury to secure England's neutrality. He thus in- curred the displeasure of Gregory XII, who de- prived him of the archbishopric of Milan, and even declared him to be shorn of the cardinalitial dignity. At the Council of Pisa (25 March, 1409) Cardi- nal Philarghi was the leading spirit. He preached the opening ser- mon, a scathing condemnation of the tenacity of the rival popes, and presided at the deliberations of the theologians who declared these popes heretics and schismatics. On 2 6 June, 1409, he was the unanimous choice of the cardinals to fill the presum- ably vacant Papal Chair. His stain- less character, vast erudition, world-wide experi- ence, and tried administrat ive ability, together with the fact that he had neither country nor relations in the riven Catholic world to favour, gave promise of glory to the Papacy antl peace to the Church. Alexander V soon found all nations in sympathy with him, save Spain and Scotland and some Italian cities whose interests were bound up in the legitimacy
Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 1.djvu/328
This page needs to be proofread.