Page:Vactican as a World Power.djvu/314

This page needs to be proofread.


ROME, THE ESCORIAL, AND VERSAILLES

the Church's right to self-government, but the danger involved was not so very great since the absolutistic states had already barred Papal influence on any decisions they took and had subordinated the life of the Church to the Business of the State.

When Alexander VII (1655-1667) he had been the Cardinal Chigi we have met as Nuncio at Cologne ascended the Papal throne despite French opposition and then quarrelled with the Duke of Crequi, a more serious conflict was imminent. The Duke was French Am- bassador to Rome, and added seriously to the problems of Papal justice and police administration when he misused his immunity in order to afford protection to criminals. The Pope's Corsican bodyguard sur- rounded the ducal palace and killed several people during a struggle with the retainers. The King conveyed the Nuncio to France, oc- cupied the Papal fiefs of Avignon and Venaissin, and ordered his troops to march on Rome. The Pope ordered the guilty persons executed, but this was not deemed sufficient. He was compelled to disarm his Corsicans, to exile his own brother from the Papal States, to send two cardinals to Paris to sue for peace, and to erect a pillar in Rome on which the insult and the penalty exacted for it are inscribed.

Cardinal Giulio Rospigliosi of Pistoja, who had been Papal Secretary of State, was raised to the throne as Clement IX with French support and reigned from 1667-1669. He was unselfishly generous, deeply cultured, and greatly averse to loud display; but he was old, and only two years were granted him to govern beneficently a city which felt the pressure of poverty and rising prices, and a citizenry for which, in every part of the Papal States, he sought to care in accordance with the no- blest principles of social welfare. The pastoral appeal of this man of noble character also carried great weight when die "war which Louis XIV declared against Spain came to an end with the Treaty of Aix- la-Chapelle in 1668. When a furious theological debate between the Jesuits and their spiritual adversaries broke out in France (there will be more to say of this later on) his readiness to meet the Jansenists half way effected a beneficent lull in the argument. The Pope's heart was broken when he realized that despite all the support he had given Venice in its wars against the Turks, and despite all his pleas to the Christian powers for grants of aid in this conflict, the loss of Crete to Islam could not be prevented. After he died men realized the truth


GALLICANI3M