Open main menu
This page needs to be proofread.
579
INNOCENT (PoPEs)


Innocent kept in his own hands, instituting the new archbishopric of Riga and defining the respective jurisdictions of the archbishops and the Teutonic Knights, a process which, owing to the ignorance at Rome of the local geography, led to curious confusion.

Another crusade, horrible in its incidents and momentous in its consequences, was that proclaimed by Innocent in 1207 against the Albigenses. In this connexion all that can be said in his favour is that he acted from supreme conviction; that the heresies against which he appealed to the sword were really subversive of Christian civilization; and that he did not use force until for ten years he had tried all the arts of persuasion in vain (see Arnroisissizs).

Of all Innocent's triumphs, however, the greatest was his victory over King John of England. The quarrel between the pope and the English king arose out of a dispute as to the election to the vacant see of Canterbury, which Innocent had settled by nominating Stephen Langton over the heads of both candidates. John refusing to submit, Innocent imposed an interdict on the kingdom and threatened him with a crusade; and, to avert a worse fate, the English king not only consented to recognize Langton but also to hold England and Ireland as fiefs of .the Holy See, subject to an annual tribute (May 1213). The submission was no idle form; for years the pope virtually ruled England through his legates (see ENGLISH HISTORY and JOHN, king of England). So great had the secular power of the papacy become that a Byzantine visitor to Rome declared Innocent to be “ the successor not of Peter but of Constantine.” As in the aliairs of the world at large, so also in those of the authority exceeded that of all his

church itself, Innocent's

predecessors. Under him the centralization of the ecclesiastical administration at Rome

independent jurisdiction

received a great impulse, and the

of metropolitan and bishops was

greatly curtailed. In carrying out this policy his unrivalled knowledge of the canon law gave him a great advantage. To his desire to organize the discipline of the church was due the most questionable of his expedients: the introduction of the system of provisions and reservations, by which he sought to bring the patronage of sees and benefices into his own hands-a system which led later to intolerable abuses. The year before Innocent's death the twelfth ecumenical council assembled at the Lateran under his presidency. It was a wonderful proof at once of the world-power of the pope and of his undisputed personal ascendancy. It was attended by the plenipotentiaries of the emperor, of kings and of princes, and by some 1500 archbishops, bishops, abbots and other dignitaries. The business before it, the disciplining of heretics and Jews, and the proclamation of a new crusade, &c., vitally concerned the states represented; yet there was virtually no debate and the function of the great assembly was little more than to listen to and endorse the decretals read by the pope (see LATERAN COUNCILS). Shortly after this crowning exhibition of his power the great pope died on the 16th of July 1216.

Innocent III. is one of the greatest historical figures, both in the grandeur of his aims and the force of character which brought him so near to their realization. An appreciation of his work and personality will be found in the article PAPACY; here it will suffice to say that, whatever judgment posterity may have passed on his aims, opinion is united as to the purity of the motives that inspired them and the tireless self-devotion with which they were pursued. “ I have no leisure, ” Innocent once sighed, “ to meditate on super mundane things; scarce I can breathe. Yea, so much must I live for others, that almost I am a stranger to myself.” Yet he preached frequently, both at Rome and on his journeys—many of his sermons, inspired by a high moral earnestness, have come down to us-and, towards the end of his life, he found time to write a pious exposition of the Psalms. His views on the papal supremacy are best explained in his own words. Writing to the patriarch of Constantinople (Inn. III., lib. ii. ep. 200) he says: “ The Lord left to Peter the governance not of the church only but of the whole wor1d;” and again in his letter to King John of England (lib. xvi. ep. 131): “ The King of Kings . . so established the kingship and the priesthood in the church, that the kingship should be priestly, and the priesthood royal (ut sacerdotal sit regnurn et sacerdotium sit regale), as is evident from the epistle of Peter and the law of Moses, setting one over all, whom he appointed his vicar on earth.” In his answer to the ambassadors of Philip Augustus he states the premises from which this stupendous claim is logically developed:-

“ To princes power is given on earth, but to priests it is attributed also in heaven; to the former only over bodies, to the latter also over souls. Whence it follows that by so much as the soul is superior to the body, the priesthood is superior to the kingship .... Single rulers have single provinces, and single kings single kingdoms; but Peter, as in the plenitude, so in the extent of his power is pre-eminent over all, since he is the Vicar of Him whose is the earth and the fullness thereof, the whole wide world and all that dwell therein." To the emperor of Constantinople, who quoted 1 Peter ii. 13, 14, to the contrary, he replied in perfect good faith that the apostle's admonition to obey “ the king as supreme was addressed to lay folk and not to the clergy.” The more intelligent laymen of the time were not convinced even when coerced. Even so pious a Catholic as the minnesinger Walther von der Vogelweide, giving voice to the indignation of German laymen, ascribed Innocent's claims, not to soundness of his scholastic logic, but to the fact that he was “ too young ” (owe der babest 1st ze junc). The literature on Innocent III. is very extensive; a carefully analysed bibliography will be found in Herzog-Hauck, Realencyklopalziie (3rd ed., 1901) s. “ Innocenz IIl." In A. Potthast, Bibliotheca hist. med. aevi (2nd ed., Berlin, 1896), p. 650, is a. bibliography of the literature on lnnocent's writings. In the Corpus juris canonici, ed. Aemilius Friedberg (Leipzig, 1881), vol. ii., pp. xiv.-xvii., are lists of the official documents of Innocent III. excerpted in the Decretales Gregorii IX. The most important later works on Innocent III. are Achille Luchaire's Innocent III, Rome et l'Italie (Paris, 1904), Innocent III, la croisade des Albigeois (ib. 1905), Innocent III, la papauté et l'empire (ib. 1906), Innocent III, la question d'orient (ib. 1906); Innocent III, les royautés 1/assates du Saint-Siege (ib. 1908); and Innocent III, la concile de latran et la réforrne de l'eglise (1908); Innocent the Great, by C. H. C. Pirie-Gordon (London, 1907); is the only English monograph on this pope and contains some useful documents, but is otherwise of little value. See also H. H. Milman, History of Latin Christianity, vol. V.; F. Gregorovius, Rome in the Middle Ages, translated by A. Hamilton (1896), vol. v. pp. 5-1 Io; J. C. L. Gieseler, Ecclesiastical Hist., translated by J. W. Hull, vol. iii. (Edinburgh, 1853), which contains numerous excerpts from his letters, &c. Innocent's works are found in Migne, Patrologiae Cursus Completus, Series Latina, vols. ccxiv.-ccxvii. For a translation of Innocent's answer to King John on the interdict, and John's surrender of England and Ireland to Innocent, see Gee and Hardy, Documents illustrative of Church History (London, 1896), pp. 73 et seq. (W. A. P.)

INNOCENT IV. (Sinibaldo Fiesco), pope 1243-1254, belonged to the noble Genoese family of the counts of Lavagna. Born at Genoa, he was educated under the care of his uncle Opizo, bishop of Parma. After taking orders at Parma, when he was made canon of the cathedral, he studied jurisprudence at Bologna. His first recorded appearance in political afiairs was in 1218-1 2 19, when he was associated with Cardinal. Hugolinus (afterwards Gregory IX.) in negotiating a peace between Genoa and Pisa. This led to his rapid promotion. In 1223 Pope Honorius III. gave him a benefice in Parma, and in 1226 he was established at the curia as auditor contradict arum liter arum of the pope, a post he held also under Gregory IX., until promoted (1227) to be vice-chancellor of the Roman Church. In September of the same year he was created cardinal priest of San Lorenzo in Lucina. He was papal rector (governor) of the March of Ancona from 1235 to 1240. On the 25th of June 1243 he was elected pope by the cardinals assembled at Anagni. Innocent was raised to the Holy See when it was at deadly feud with the emperor Frederick II., who lay under excommunication. Frederick at first greeted the elevation of a member of an imperialist family with joy; but it was soon clear that Innocent intended to carry on the traditions of his predecessors. Embassies and courtesies were, indeed, interchanged, and on the 31st of March 1244 a treaty was signed at Rome, whereby the emperor undertook to satisfy the pope's claims in return

for his own absolution from the ban. Neither side, however,