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During the next eighty years, no man of exceptional endowments occupied the See of Peter. There was no lack of storms, and during them the idea of the Papacy lost much of its power everywhere in the world; on the other hand, however, it proved its inner strength by withstanding the upheaval in the Church and the world despite the lack of strong Popes. The historian must rivet his gaze not on these Pontiffs but on the events which filled their time and which affect them rather than are affected by them.

Political and religious life were interwoven most closely and often most undesirably, so that clashes with the claims and rights of Rome were frequent. Against the spirit of parity breathed by the Treaty of Westphalia Pope Innocent X had protested in vain at Cologne through Monsignor Chigi, Nuncio to Germany.

Soon there was no dearth of men honestly concerned with bringing about a reunion between the confessions for the sake of peace. Bishop Bossuet in France and the all too confident Leibnitz are examples. In addition, a number of princes were converted to the Catholic faith, among them Queen Cristina of Sweden, the temperamental daughter of Gustavus Adolphus. Therewith the hope was aroused that a more general return to the Catholic Church would set in. This hope did not materialize for many reasons, among which the theological an- titheses were not the most important* Wholly different habits of mind and forms of human relationship to the Eternal had already cut too deep a gulf between the two camps; and princes, politicians and parliaments did everything they could to widen the breach. It was everywhere fully understood that unity of faith is a guaranty of na- tional unity and strength. This insight fostered attempts to root out heresy at home and to foment it in alien lands. The Bourbons were the best allies the German Protestants had: nothing could have seemed to them more undesirable than that the prayers of the Church for the religious unification of the world should be fulfilled. If religion it- self had already become a means for reaching political ends, could it be avoided that the Papacy, too, should become a means to such ends? Perhaps already at the beginning of the seventeenth century there had been conceded to the great Catholic powers the right to veto a Papal election. This claim to the privilege of barring one candidate at each Conclave was adhered to until 19034. It was an encroachment upon