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PETER IN CHAINS

the consecration and ordination the next day of a layman, who took the name of Leo VIIL A heavily bribed mob rioted violently against the new Pope but was soon suppressed by Otto. When the Emperor left the city John returned, drove out Leo (who fled to the Imperial camp) and took cruel revenge on his followers. Then he summoned a new synod which annulled the coronation of the Emperor and the orders received by the other Pope. But returning to his excesses, he died of a stroke, and Leo returned under armed escort furnished by Otto. Meanwhile the Romans had consecrated another Pope, Bene- dict V, but the Emperor carried him off to Germany and placed him under the supervision of the Bishop of Hamburg. In that city this pious, learned man died soon thereafter in the odour of sanctity. Leo had passed into the beyond some time previous.

Though the peoples realized the impotence and ignominy into which the See of Peter had fallen, their faith in its divine significance did not falter. The supernal idea out of which this See had grown made all the faults of those who occupied it still darker; but because there were such Popes and because the chaos in the Church and the world had grown so great, the idea itself appeared to hover ever more alluring and more radiant, above the ruins caused by traitors to the memory of Peter. The throne lost none of its solidity because it had been defiled. This century of degeneration could not undermine what to the men of the Middle Ages seemed the truest of all verities the sovereign world of the supernatural and the spiritual, which remains forever harmonious, exalted, despite all failures to realize an analogy to it here below. This one must bear in mind in order to understand why it was that the provincial churches did not cease to cherish their bond with Rome and despite the Popes to honour the Papacy as a gift from God. Anyone who asks himself whether hunger and love, money and the drawn sword alone make history or whether this is not also the product of the finer energies of the mind and soul; any- one who doubts that the trends of time are moved not by warriors and their fists alone but also by the intangible needs of the inner man; let him look for an answer at this and other dark passages in the story of the Papacy. The power of Peter remained even though there ruled a Pope unable to find carpenters who would bring from the dangerous woods of the Sabine or Albanian hills the timber he needed


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