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Pope met Aistulf in Pavia and demanded that the lost territories be restored. The Lombard refused assent, but he dared not prevent Stephen from travelling farther. In midwinter the Pope reached Pon- thion, the Prankish encampment not far from the Marne. He re- quested and accepted protection from the Prankish king. Pepin made a promise in the form of a vow to St. Peter, to protect the Church and its rights. Two congresses, at which a certain amount of resist- ance from the nobles had to be overcome, brought into being the doc- ument incorporating the "Promise of Pepin." It stated that, in case of a victory over the Lombards, the Church would receive a free grant of the acquired territory, would be given dominion over the Duchy, would regain its patrimonies, and would not be obliged to surrender Rome. As protector of Italian territory, Pepin was now in a danger- ous relationship to his Imperial overlord. He received from the Pope the tide of Patricias Romantts, which implied an office in which there lay a temptation to become master of the Church after having been its protector. His new title confirmed the advantages and disadvan- tages Rome was destined to derive from the pact; for although this Prankish monarch kept his promise, made real the "Donation of Pepin" in two military campaigns, and therewith founded the Papal States, he was henceforth not only lord of the Franks but also su- preme master of Italy and co-director of ecclesiastical affairs. During 754, Stephen again anointed Pepin as well as his sons (among them the young Charlemagne), in the Church of Saint-Denis in Paris. Henceforth the Roman liturgy was to be followed at German masses; but on the other hand the Pope in Rome swore allegiance not only to St. Peter, but also to the Prankish king!

Pepin's declaration spoke of "giving back" not of "giving." This expression is surprising when one considers the actual facts. Never previously had the Roman See claimed to be the owner of the regions occupied by the Lombards. It is possible that the new Papal con- ception of a "state of St. Peter and of God's Holy Church" presup- posed a legendary basis for this new enlargement of power, such as we shall soon meet as the "Donation of Constantine." Yet it was not merely the Roman See's craving for an enlargement of its powers, or revival of ancient ambitions of the res publica Romanorum for which the Papacy (sole surviving organ of Roman national feeling) was the