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BELLARMINE


412


BELLARMINE


was then sending into France to protect the interests of the Church amidst the t<-oubles of the civil wars. Whilst he was there news reached him that Sixtus, who had w-armly accepted the dedication of his "De Controversiis", was now proposing to put its first volume on the Index. This was because he had discovered that it assigned to the Holy See not a direct but only an indirect power over temporals. Bellarmine, whose loyalty to the Holy See was in- tense, took this greatly to heart; it was, however, averted by the death of Sixtus, and the new pope, Gregory XIV, even granted to Bellarmine 's work the distinction of a special approbation. Gaetano's mis- sion now terminating, Bellarmine resumed his work as Spiritual Father, and had the consolation of guiding the last years of St. Aloysius Gonzaga, who died in the Roman College in 1591. Many years later he had the further consolation of successfully promoting the beatification of the saintly youth. Likewise at this time he sat on the final commission for the revision of the Vulgate text. This revision had been desired by the Council of Trent, and subsequent popes had laboured over the task and had almost brought it to completion. But Sixtus V, though unskilled in this branch of criticism, had introduced alterations of his own, all for the worse. He had even gone so far as to have an impression of this vitiated edition printed and partially distributed, together with the proposed Bull enforcing its use. He died, however, before the actual promulgation, and his immediate successors at once proceeded to remove the blunders and call in the defective impression. The difficulty was how to substitute a more correct edition without affixing a stigma to the name of Sixtus, and Bellarmine pro- posed that the new edition should continue in the name of Sixtus, with a prefatory explanation that, on account of aliqua vitia vel typographoruin vel atiormn which had crept in, Sixtus had himself resolved that a new impression should be undertaken. The sug- gestion was accepted, and Bellarmine himself wrote the preface, still prefixed to the Clementine edition ever since in use. On the other hand, he has been accused of untruthfulness in stating that Sixtus had resolved on a new impression. But his testimony, as there is no evidence to the contrary, should be accepted as decisive, seeing how conscientious a man he was in the estimation of his contemporaries; and the more so since it cannot be impugned without casting a slur on the character of his fellow-commis- sioners who accepted his suggestion, and of Clem- ent VIII who with full knowledge of the facts gave his sanction to Bellarmine 's preface being prefixed to the new edition. Besides. Angelo Rocca, the Secre- tary of the revisory commissions of Sixtus V and the succeeding pontiffs, himself wrote a draft preface for the new edition in which he makes the same state- ment: (Si.xtus) "dum errores ex typographia ortos, et rautationes omnes, atque varias horainum opin- iones recognoscere ccepit, ut postea de toto negotio deliberare atque Vulgatam editionem, prout debebat, publicare posset, morte praeventus quod cceperat perficere non potuit". This draft preface, to which Bellarmine's was preferred, is still extant, attached to the copy of the Sixtine edition in which the Clem- entine corrections are marked, and may be seen in the Biblioteca Angelica at Rome (see this ques- tion well discussed by Fere Prat in the "Etudes religieuses" for September, 1S90).

In 1592 Bellarmine was made Rector of the Roman College, and in 1595 Provincial of Naples. In 1597 Clement VIII recalled him to Rome and made him his own theologian and likewise E.xaminer of Bishops and Consultor of the Holy Office. Further, in 1599 he made him Cardinal-Priest of the title of Santa Maria in rnd, alleging as his reason for this promotion that "the Church of God had not his equal in learn- ing". He was now appointed, along with the


Dominican Cardinal d'Ascoli, an assessor to Cardi- nal Madruzzi, the President of the Congregation de Auxiliis, which had been instituted shortly before to settle the controversy which had recently arisen between the Thomists and the Molinists concerning the nature of the concord between efficacious grace and human liberty. Bellarmine's advice was from the first that the doctrinal question should not be decided authoritatively, but left over for further dis- cussion in the schools, the disputants on either side being strictly forbidden to indulge in censures or condemnations of their adversaries. Clement VIII at first inclined to this view, but afterwards changed completely and determined on a doctrinal definition. Bellarmine's presence then became embarrassing, and he appointed him to the Archbishopric of Capua just then vacant. This is sometimes spoken of as the cardinal's disgrace, but Clement consecrated him with his own hands — an honour which the popes usually accord as a mark of special regard. The new- archbishop departed at once for his see, and during the next three years set a bright example of pastoral zeal in its administration.

In 1605 Clement VIII died, and was succeeded by Leo XI, who reigned onlj' twenty-six days, and then by Paul V. In both conclaves, especially the latter, the name of Bellarmine was much before the electors, greatly to his own distress, but his quality as a Jesuit stood against him in the judgment of many of the cardinals. The new pope insisted on keeping him at Rome, and the cardinal, obediently complying, demanded that at least he should be released from an episcopal charge the duties of which he could no longer fulfil. He was now made a member of the Holy Office and of other congregations, and thence- forth was the chief adviser of the Holy See in the theological department of its administration. Of the particular transactions with which his name is most generally associated the following were the most im- portant: The inquiry de Auxiliis, which after all Clement had not seen his way to decide, was now- terminated with a settlement on the lines of Bellar- mine's original suggestion. 1606 marked the begin- ning of the quarrel between the Holy See and the Republic of Venice which, without even consulting the pope, had presumed to abrogate the law- of cleri- cal exemption from civil jurisdiction and to withdraw- the Church's right to hold real property. The quarrel led to a war of pamphlets in which the part of the Republic was sustained by John Marsiglio and an apostate monk named Paolo Sarpi, and that of the Holy See by Bellarmine and Baronius. Contempo- raneous with this Venetian episode was that of the English Oath of Allegiance. In 1606, in addition to the grave disabilities which already weighed them down, the English Catholics were required under pain of prcemunire to take an oath of allegiance craftily ■n-orded in such wise that a Catholic in refusing to take it might appear to be disavowing an undoubted civil obligation, whilst if he should take it he would be not merely rejecting but even condemning as "impious and heretical" the doctrine of the deposing pow-er, that is to say, of a power, which, whether rightly or wrongly, the Holy See had claimed and exercised for centuries with the full approval of Christendom, and which even in that age the mass of the theologians of Europe defended. 'The Holy See having forbidden Catholics to take this oath. King James himself came forward as its defender, in a book entitled "Triplici nodo triplex cuneus", to which Bellarmine replied in his "Responsio Matthiei Torti". Other treatises followed on either side, and the result of one, written in denial of the deposing power by William Barclay, an English jurist resident in France, w-as that Bellar- mine's reply to it was branded by the Regalist Parlement of Paris. Thus it came to pass that, for following the via media of the indirect pow-er, he was