Sunday, 21 June 2009

Chapter 27

Pope Calixtus and the abbacy of St-Denis

About that time Paschal, sovereign pontiff of blessed memory, departed from this world to eternity[1]. His successor was the chancellor John of Gaeta[2], canonically elected pope under the name of Gelasius[3]. But Bourdin, deposed archbishop of Braga[4], was violently thrust on to the apostolic throne by the Emperor Henry, and with the support of the Roman people who had been bribed, he harassed Gelasius beyond bearing, and tyrannically forced him to depart from the Holy Sea. So, as popes had often done in the past, he fled to the defence and protection of his serene highness King Louis and to the compassion of the French church. 

As he was much distressed by poverty, he took to ship and landed at Maguelonne[5], a small island possessed only by one bishop, his clerks and a small household, with a small and isolated town that was extremely well-defended by a wall from the attacks of Saracen pirates. I was sent by the lord king, who had already heard of the pope’s arrival. I handed over letters, and because I offered him the first-fruits of the realm[6], I returned joyfully with his blessing and a date fixed for a colloquy between the two men at Vezelay.

As the king was preparing to meet him, it was announced to him that Gelasius, long sick with gout, had died[7], thus sparing both the French and the Romans trouble. Among the many religious men and prelates who hastened to be present at his funeral, and as venerable as any of them was Guy, archbishop of Vienne, noble in birth as a relation of both the imperial and the royal families, but nobler still in morals[8]. The night before he had had a vision that proved to be an accurate prediction, though he did not then understand it. He saw an important person giving him the moon from under his cloak. When he had been elected to the papacy by the members of the Roman church present, who feared that the church might be endangered by the vacancy, he understood more clearly the true meaning of his vision.

When raised to such a great position, he gloriously, humbly but actively justified the church’s rights and the more skillfully dealt with the church’s affairs, thanks to the goodwill and assistance of the lord King Louis and of Queen Adela[9], who was his niece. During the famous council he held at Reims[10], he postponed a session in order to meet and negotiate for peace with the Emperor Henry’s legates on the frontier at Mouzon.[11] But when he failed to achieve anything, he excommunicated the emperor, as his predecessors had done, in full council, before the French and the Lotharingians. Then, enriched by the monies vowed to him by the churches, he made his glorious way to Rome, where he was received in pomp by the clergy and people and happily administered the church with greater competence than many of his predecessors has shown.[12]

But he had not been long in the Holy See when the Romans, favourably impressed by his nobility and liberality, captured and held prisoner Bourdin, the emperor’s antipope, who had established himself at Sutri and had obliged all clerics passing by on their way to the apostolic see to bend their knees to him. They clothed him in untreated and bloodstained goat skins, then put this crooked antipope, or even antichrist, across the hump of a crooked camel, and led him on the royal highway through the middle of the city to publish his shame, so avenging the church’s ignominy. Then, on the order of the lord Pope Calixtus, they condemned him to perpetual imprisonment in the mountains of Campagna near Monte Cassino[13]. To keep alive the memory of such a striking act of vengeance, they had painted in a chamber of the palace a picture of him being ground beneath the pope’s feet.[14]

While Calixtus gloriously presided over the church[15] and tamed Italy’s and Apulia’s brigands, the light of the Holy See shone forth, not under a bushel but as if from a mountain top. The church of St. Peter sparkled and the other churches, both inside the city and roundabout, recovered their possessions, thankfully enjoying them under the patronage of so great a lord. When I was sent by King Louis to discuss some affairs of state with him, I met him at Bitonto in Apulia[16]. The pope received me honourably, out of reverence both for the king and for my monastery and by the persuasion of various companions, including the abbot of St. Germain, my colleague and former fellow student.  [17]

So after I had successfully concluded the king’s business I hastened to return home. Like any other pilgrim, I received hospitality in a certain estate. After matins, as I lay clad on my bed waiting for dawn, in my drowsy state I saw a vision of myself on the high sea, drifting around alone on a small boat with no oars, tossing dangerously up and down on the waves. Terrified by the wretched prospect of shipwreck, I was relentlessly interceding with God when suddenly, through divine pity, a gentle, pleasant breeze got up from the cloudless sky, turned the vibrating and endangered prow of my wretched craft in the right direction, and with incredible speed it reached the calm of harbour.   Awakened by daylight, I set off on my journey; as I went, I made a great effort to recall the vision and interpret it, for I was afraid that the tossing of the wave signified some grave misfortune for me. Suddenly I met one of my servant boys who recognised me and my companions. Both with pleasure and distress he took me aside on my own and told me that my predecessor, Abbot Adam of blessed memory, had died[18], and that I had been elected by common agreement in full chapter. But he added that since the election had been made without consulting the king, the wiser and more religious of the brothers and the nobler among the knights had been loaded with reproaches when they took the news of the election to the king for his approval and had been imprisoned in the castle at Orleans.[19] Out of humanity and piety I shed tears for the suffering of my spiritual father and teacher; the thought of his temporal death grieved me much and I implored God’s mercy most sincerely to save him from eternal death. 

I came to myself with the consolation of many companions and by my own common sense, tormented by a triple problem. If I accepted the election against the will of the lord king though in conformity with the Roman church’s commands and by the authority of Pope Calixtus who loved me, could I bear it that my mother church, which had fostered me so tenderly at her bosom with the milk of human kindness, should be vilified and cheated by two pillagers on my account? Should I permit my brothers and friends to be shamed and disgraced in a royal prison because they loved me? Ought I rather, on these and other grounds, to refuse the election and incur great disapprobation by my rejection? I was considering sending one of my men to the pope to take his advice, when suddenly these appeared a noble Roman cleric well-known to me, who undertook himself an oath to do what I had wished to do through my own men, though I would have incurred great expense. Along with the lad who had come to me, I sent one of my servants ahead to the king, to find out and report to me how the confused affair had ended, so that I should not expose myself carelessly to Louis’s wrath.

As I followed them, I felt as if I were tossing on the open sea without oars, troubled and deeply anxious about the uncertain outcome of the affair. But by the generous mercy of omnipotent God, a gentle breeze blew on the capsizing ship; unexpectedly the messengers returned to report that the king had given me his peace, had set free his prisoners and had confirmed the election. Taking this as proof of God’s will, for it was God’s will that what I wanted should rapidly occur, I arrived with God’s assistance at my mother church, which received its prodigal son with sweetness, maternal affection and generosity. There I had the pleasure to find waiting for me the lord king, whose face had turned from a frown to a smile, the archbishop of Bourges, the bishop of Senlis and many other notable churchmen.[20] To the delight of the assembled brothers, they received me solemnly with much respect; and the next day, the Saturday before the Passion I, though unworthy, was ordained a priest. The following Sunday, that of Isti sunt dies[21], I was undeservedly consecrated abbot before the most holy body of St. Denis.

As God in his omnipotence is wont to do, the more He lifted me from the depths to the heights, ‘raising the poor man from the mire to set him among princes’[22], the more humble and devoted His gentle but powerful hand made me, as far as human weakness allowed. Knowing my inadequacy both of birth and of knowledge, He mercifully prospered me, insignificant though I am, in all things. As well as the recovery of former estates of the church, the acquisition of new ones, the extension of the church on all sides, and the construction or reconstruction of buildings, the sweetest and most agreeable, the supreme favour His mercy vouchsafed to me was the complete reform of the holy order of His holy church, to the honour of the saints and especially of Himself and the peaceful establishment of the holy rule by which men come to enjoy God, without scandal and without the customary trouble among the brothers.[23]

This powerful display of the divine will was followed by such an outpouring of liberty, good reputation and riches from the land that even in the present time, to encourage my fearfulness, it can be appreciated to what extent I have received even my temporal reward; for popes, kings and princes take pleasure in wishing the church joy, so that a marvellous stream of precious gems, gold and silver, mantles and other ecclesiastical ornaments flows in, giving me the right to say ‘with her (wisdom) all other good things have come to me.’[24] Having experienced the future glory of God, I adjure and implore the brothers who will succeed me through God’s mercy and His terrible judgement, not to permit adherence to that holy rule, by which God and man are united, to grow lukewarm; to repair it when broken, to restore it when lost, to enrich it when impoverished; because, just as those who fear God lack nothing, so those who do not, even if they are kings, lack everything, even control of themselves. 

The year after my ordination, in order to escape being accused of ingratitude, I went to visit the holy Roman church. Before my promotion, I have been very kindly received, both at Rome and elsewhere, at the many different councils I attended on business for my own church or for other churches. I had been willingly listened to, and had achieved more than I deserved. So when I hastened there, I was almost honourably received by Pope Calixtus and his whole curia. While I was staying with him, I attended a great council at the Lateran of three hundred or more bishops, convened to bring the Investiture Contest to a peaceful conclusion[25]. Then I spent six months in travelling the various holy places to pray, to St. Benedict at Monte Cassino, St. Bartholomew at Benevento, St. Matthew at Salerno, St. Nicholas at Bari, and the Holy Angels at Monte Gargano[26]. Then, with God’s help, I returned prosperous in the favour and love the pope had shown me and bearing formal letters[27].

On another occasion a few years later[28], the pope most graciously invited me back to honour me further and, as he had promised in his letters, to promote me further[29]; but when I reached Lucca, a city in Tuscany, I learned correctly that he had died[30], so I went home to avoid the ancient but always renewed avarice of the Romans. He was succeeded by the bishop of Ostia, a grave and austere man who, when he had been approved, took the name of Honorius.[31] Appreciating that my case against the nunnery of Argenteuil, dishonoured by the shocking behaviour of its young nuns, was just, as it was confirmed by the testimony of his legate Matthew, bishop of Albano[32], as well as by the bishops of Chartres[33], Paris[34], Soissons[35] and Renaud, archbishop of Reims[36], along with many others, he read the mandates brought to him by our messengers of the ancient kings Pepin, Charlemagne, Louis the Pious and others concerning St-Denis’s rights there. Then with the unanimous support of the curia, he restored the place to St-Denis, both because it was in accordance with justice and because the nuns’ conduct was appalling and he confirmed it.[37]


[1] Paschal died on 21st January 1118.

[2] Born at Gaeta, year unknown; elected 24th January 1118; died at Cluny, 29th January 1119. No sooner had Paschal II died, that the cardinals, knowing that the emperor, Henry V, had already agreed with a faction of the Roman nobility to force the selection of a pliant imperial candidate, met secretly in a Benedictine monastery on the Palatine. Having dispatched a messenger to Monte Cassino, to summon the aged chancellor, Cardinal John of Gaeta (Giovanni Caetani), they turned a deaf ear to his entreaties and unanimously declared him pope. John was of a noble family, probably the Gaetani. Early in his life he entered the monastery of Monte Cassino, where he made such progress in learning and became so proficient in Latin, that, under successive pontiffs, he held the offices of chancellor and librarian of the Holy See. He was the trusted advisor of Paschal II; shared his captivity and shielded him against the zealots who charged the pope with heresy for having, under extreme pressure, signed the ‘Privilegium’, which made the emperor lord and master of papal and episcopal elections. When the news spread that the cardinals had elected a pope without consulting the emperor, the imperialist party broke down the doors of the monastery. Their leader, Cenzio Frangipani seized the new pontiff by the throat, threw him to the ground, stamped on him with spurred feet, dragged him by the hair to his neighbouring castle, and threw him, loaded with chains, into a dungeon. Indignant at this brutal deed, the Romans rose in their might; and, surrounding the robber’s den, demanded the instant liberation of the pontiff. Frangipani, intimidated, released the pope, threw himself at his feet, and begged and obtained absolution. A procession was formed, and amidst shouts of joy Gelasius II was conducted into the Lateran and enthroned.

[3] The triumph was of short duration. On 1st March 1118, Henry V arrived in Italy. As soon as he had heard of the proceedings at Rome, he left his army at Lombardy and hastened to the capital. Gelasius immediately determined upon flight. On a stormy night, the pope and his court proceeded in two galleys down the Tiber, pelted by the imperialists with stones and arrows. After several mishaps Gelasius at length reached Gaeta, where he was favourably received by the Normans. Being only a deacon, he received successively priestly ordination and episcopal consecration on 10th March. Meanwhile, the emperor, ignoring the action of the cardinals appointed Maurice Burdinus, Archbishop of Braga in Portugal as pope. Gelasius excommunicated both of them; and as soon as the emperor left Rome, he returned secretly; but soon decided to seek refuge in France. He went by way of Pisa, where he consecrated its splendid marble cathedral, and Genoa. He left Pisa on 2nd October, was in Marseilles on 23rd October and remained at Maguelonne from 15th to 30th November. It was at this moment that he was met by Suger who conducted him to the monastery of Cluny. Gelasius was perfecting plans for the convocation of a great council at Reims, when he succumbed to pleurisy, leaving the conclusion of the fifty years’ war for freedom to his successor, Calixtus II.

[4] Maurice Bourdin was probably from Limoges. He was a Benedictine monk who was successively arch-deacon of Toledo, bishop of Coimbra from 1098 to 1111 and archbishop of Braga from 1111 to 1114 when he was suspended because of a quarrel over precedent with the archbishop of Toledo. Coming later to Rome, he so ingratiated himself with the pope, who was also a Cluniac, that he was retained at court and employed on weighty affairs. In 1117, when Henry came to Rome to force his terms upon the pope, Paschal, safe in Benevento, sent Bourdin with some cardinals to negotiate with the emperor. This mission proved to be the downfall of Bourdin. Seduced from his Gregorian principles, he openly espoused the cause of Henry, and, to emphasise his apostasy, placed the crown upon the emperor on Easter Day 1117. He was promptly excommunicated but was marked out for promotion to the papacy by his new associates. He was elected on 8th March and enthroned under the name of Gregory VIII. Repeatedly excommunicated and finally delivered as a prisoner into the hands of Calixtus II, he was detained in several monasteries until his death about 1137. This ended the career of a prelate ‘whom’, says William of Malmesbury in Gesta Regum Anglorum V, 434, ‘everyone would have been obliged to venerate and all to adore on account of his prodigious industry, had he not preferred to seek glory by so notorious a crime’.

[5] The island of Maguelonne is seven miles south of Montpellier and its bishop was transferred to Montpellier in 1536.

[6] In all likelihood, the money was levied to from those churches dependent on the crown.

[7] He died at Cluny on 29th January 1119 from an attack of gout complicated by pleurisy.

[8] Date of birth c.1060; died 13th December, 1124. His reign, beginning 1st February, 1119, marked the end of the Investiture controversy that had raged during the last quarter of the eleventh century and the opening years of the twelfth. Guy or Guido, as he was called before his elevation to the papacy, was the son of Count William of Burgundy (c.1040-1087), and both by his father’s and mother’s side was closely connected with nearly all the royal houses of Europe. His brother Hugh had been appointed Archbishop of Besancon, and he himself was named Archbishop of Vienne in 1088, and afterwards appointed papal legate in France by Paschal II. During Guy’s tenure in this office, Paschal II, yielding to the threats of Henry V, was induced to issue the ‘Privilegium’ in 1111 by which he yielded up much of what had been claimed by Gregory VII, but these concessions were received with violent opposition and nowhere more so than in France, where the opposition was led by Guy, the papal legate. He was present at the Lateran Synod in 1112 and on his return to France convoked an assembly of the French and Burgundian bishops at Vienne in 1112, where the investiture of the clergy was denounced as heretical, and sentence of excommunication pronounced against Henry V because he had dared to extort from the pope by violence an agreement opposed to the interests of the Church. These decrees were sent to Paschal II with a request for confirmation, which they received in general terms on 20th October, 1112. Guy was later, apparently, created cardinal by Pope Paschal, though the latter does not seem to have been too pleased with his zeal in his attacks upon Henry V. On the death of Paschal II in early 1118, Gelasius II was elected pope, but he was immediately seized by the Italian allies of Henry V, and on his liberation by the populace fled to Gaeta, where he was solemnly crowned. Henry V demanded the confirmation of the ‘Privilegium’, but, receiving no satisfactory reply, set up the Archbishop of Braga as antipope under the name of Gregory VIII. Gelasius promptly excommunicated both the antipope and the emperor, but was himself obliged to flee, and took refuge in the monastery of Cluny, where he died in late January, 1119. On the fourth day after the death of Gelasius on 1st February, owing mainly to the exertions of Cardinal Cuno, Guido was elected pope, and assumed the title of Calixtus II. He was crowned at Vienne on 9th February, 1119. All the sources confirm Suger’s views on the moral strength of Guy of Burgundy.

[9] One of his sisters, Gisela was married to Humbert II, count of Savoy whose daughter was Adela countess of Savoy (c.1092-18th November 1154), wife of Louis VI. Another sister, Clemence was the widow of Robert II, count of Flanders.

[10] His election was well received everywhere. Because of his close connection with the royal families of Germany, France, England, and Denmark, it was hoped that he would be able to effect a favourable settlement of the controversy which had so long distracted the Church. Even Henry V received the papal embassy at Strasbourg, and showed clearly that he was not unwilling to sue for peace, and at the same time he withdrew his support from the antipope. It was even agreed that pope and emperor should meet at Mouzon. On 8th June 1119, Calixtus held a synod at Toulouse mainly to promote disciplinary reforms in the French Church, and on 20th October of the same year he opened the council at Reims (he arrived two days earlier) which had been contemplated in the preliminary arrangements made between the emperor and the papal ambassadors at Strasbourg. Louis VI and most of the barons of France attended the council that was composed of more than four hundred bishops and abbots. It had been arranged that during the council the pope and emperor were to have a personal conference at Mouzon, and in compliance with this agreement Henry V arrived at Mouzon, not alone, as had been anticipated, but with an army of over thirty thousand men. Calixtus II left Reims to attend the conference at Mouzon and was absent from 22nd to 26th October. However, on learning of the warlike preparations made by the emperor, and fearing that force was likely to be used to extract concessions from him, he hastily returned to Reims. Here the council dealt mainly with disciplinary regulations, especially with decrees against investiture, simony, and concubinage of the clergy. In the end, as there was no hope of a favourable compromise with Henry, it was determined that the emperor and the antipope should be solemnly excommunicated in the presence of the assembled clergy and the representatives of the secular authority on 30th October, 1119. Before leaving France Calixtus tried to effect a settlement between Henry I of England and his brother Robert, but his efforts were without result. On the importance of the 1119 election see Chododrow, Stanley A., ‘Ecclesiastical Politics and the Ending of the Investiture Controversy: The Papal Election of 1119 and the Negotiations at Mouzon’, Speculum, vol. xlvi, (1971), pp. 613-640. Robert, U., Histoire du pape Calixte II, Paris-Besancon, 1891 remains the standard study though the recent study by Stroll, Mary, Calixtus II (1119-1123): A Pope born to rule, Brill, 2004 supersedes it in many respects.

[11] Mouzon is just south of the present French border with Belgium, about sixty miles north-east of Reims.

[12] Calixtus left France in late May 1120 and was in Rome by 3rd June. Gregory VIII, supported by the German forces and the Italian allies of the emperor, had taken up residence in Rome, but on the approach of Calixtus, who was everywhere received with demonstrations of welcome, the antipope was obliged to flee to the fortress of Sutri, and Calixtus entered Rome amid the universal rejoicings of the populace. He went south to secure the aid of the Normans of Southern Italy in his struggle against Henry V and Gregory VIII. The negotiations were entirely satisfactory. Gregory was besieged at Sutri for eight months but was taken prisoner and escorted to Rome on 10th April 1121, where he was with difficulty saved from the wrath of the people, and lodged in a prison near Salerno and afterwards in the fortress of Fumo. In 1121, with the help of the princes of Southern Italy, Calixtus broke the power of the Italian allies of the emperor in Italy, notably of Cencio Frangipani, who had already given so much trouble to Gelasius II and to Calixtus himself.

[13] Maurice Bourdin was first imprisoned in the Septizonium on the Palatine. In 1125, he was transferred to Janula near Monte Cassino, them to Fumo near Alatri and finally to La Cava near Salerno where he died in 1137.

[14] This picture, almost certainly seen by Suger does not exist today.

[15] Having thus established his power in Italy, he once more opened negotiations with Henry V on the question of investiture. The latter had already shown that he was anxious to put an end to a controversy which had alienated from him his best friends, and which threatened to endanger the peace of the empire. An embassy consisting of three cardinals was sent by Calixtus to Germany, and negotiations for a permanent settlement of the investiture struggle were begun at Wurzburg in October, 1121. It was agreed that a general truce should be proclaimed between the emperor and his rebellious subjects; that the Church should have free use of her possessions; that the lands of those in rebellion should be restored, and peace with the Church permanently established with the least possible delay. These decrees were communicated to Calixtus II, who despatched Cardinal Lambert of Ostia as his legate to assist at the synod that had been convoked at Worms. The synod began at Worms on 8th September, 1122 and on 23rd September the concordat known as the Concordat of Worms (or Pactum Calixtinum) between the pope and the emperor was agreed. The emperor abandoned his claim to investiture with ring and crosier and granted freedom of election to episcopal sees. The pope conceded that bishops should receive investiture with the sceptre, that the episcopal elections should be held in the presence of the emperor or his representatives. In case of disputed elections, the emperor should, after the decision of the metropolitan and the suffragan bishops, confirm the rightfully elected candidate. Finally, the imperial investiture of the temporalities of the sees should take place in Germany before the consecration, in Burgundy and in Italy after this ceremony, while in the Papal States the pope alone had the right of investiture, without any interference on the part of the emperor. As a result of this Concordat, the emperor still retained in his hands the controlling influence in the election of the bishops in Germany, though he had abandoned much in regard to episcopal elections in Italy and Burgundy.

[16] Calixtus II was in Bitonto in Calabria on 28th January 1122, the date of a papal bull in which he brought the abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés under his protection.

[17] Hugh IV was abbot from 1118 to 1146 and was previously a monk at St-Denis. The papal bull dated 28th January 1122 dealt with Hugh’s demands.

[18] His death occurred on 19th February 1122.

[19] Orleans is a considerable distance from St-Denis, about eighty-five miles to the south. Presumably the monks and knights were imprisoned there because it was there that they broke the news of Suger’s election to Louis.

[20] Bougrin (Vulgrinus) was archbishop of Bourges from 1121 to 1136 and Clairembauld bishop of Senlis from 1117 to 1133.

[21] He was consecrated abbot on Sunday 12th March 1122 having been ordained priest the previous day.

[22] Psalm CXII, 7-8. The same terms were used by Suger in his testament in 1137: ibid, Lecoy de La Marche, A., (ed.), Suger: Oeuvres Completes de Suger, recueilles, annotées er publiées d’après les manuscrits, p. 334.

[23] The reform of St-Denis dated from 1127. Bernard of Clairvaux stressed Suger’s achievement in freeing the abbey from secular involvement but Suger here emphasises his reform of the religious life of St-Denis.

[24] Wisdom VII, 11

[25] To secure confirmation of the Concordat of Worms, Calixtus II called the First Lateran Council on 18th March, 1123. Nearly three hundred bishops and six hundred abbots from every part of Catholic Europe were present. The council solemnly confirmed the agreement that had been arrived at with Henry V with regard to episcopal elections, and passed several disciplinary decrees directed against existing abuses, such as simony and concubinage among the clergy. Decrees were also passed against violators of the Truce of God, church-robbers, and forgers of ecclesiastical documents. The indulgences already granted to the crusaders were renewed, and the jurisdiction of the bishops over the clergy, both secular and regular, was more clearly defined. Ibid, Robert, U., Histoire du pape Calixte II, pp. 163-177 contains a translation of the canons.

[26] These were all frequent centres of pilgrimage in the medieval period. Monte Gargano was better known as a shrine to St Michael. It was probably not coincidental that St Benedict at Monte Cassino and St Nicholas at Bari had been sites of recent building programmes. As well as being a pious pilgrim, perhaps Suger was getting ideas for the works he was to undertake at St-Denis.

[27] Letters of a solemn nature addressed by a bishop to another bishop generally recommended or accredited a clergyman. The sense here seems to be very general but may refer to a papal bull from Calixtgus II dates 20th May between 1121 and 1124 in which he requests the archbishops and bishops of France to help the abbey of St-Denis against attack.

[28] Calixtus died on 13th December 1124 in Rome. Suger exaggerated the timescale here: ‘a few years later’ effectively meant from 1122 to 1124.

[29] There is a suggestion in Cartellieri, O., Abt Suger von Saint-Denis 1091-1151, Berlin, 1898, p. 18 that Calixtus perhaps promised to make Suger a bishop.

[30] In the last few years of his life, Calixtus II tried to secure for the Church the restoration of the whole of the Patrimony of St. Peter, which had been greatly diminished by the constant wars and rebellions; to break the power of the nobles in the Campagna, and restore peace and order to the city of Rome itself, which had suffered much since the time of Gregory VII. He also devoted much of his time to the interests of the Church of France and to combating the errors and abuses which made their appearance in France at that time. In the Synod of Toulouse in 1119, he condemned the teaching of Peter de Bruis and his followers. He established the Church of Vienne as the metropolitan church of the adjoining ecclesiastical provinces in 1120, thereby ending the ancient controversy between Vienne and Arles. Duchesne maintained that only the more recent of them date from the time of Guy. He settled several disputes between bishops and abbots in France, dispatched Gerard of Angouleme as papal legate to Brittany, and finally confirmed the primatial rights of Lyons over the church of Sens. He demanded that Henry I of England release his brother, Robert of Normandy, as well as acknowledging Thurstan, whom he himself had consecrated at Reims, as Archbishop of York. Henry at first refused, but on the threat of excommunication he agreed to admit Thurstan as Archbishop of York, and to acknowledge the latter see’s independence of Canterbury. In Spain, he transferred the metropolitan rights from the old see of Merida to Santiago de Compostella, a patron saint for whom Calixtus seems to have had a special devotion. He showed his attention to Germany by the canonisation of Conrad of Constance at the Lateran Synod in 1123 and by sending Otto of Bamberg as papal legate to regulate the Churches of Pomerania. In Rome, he devoted much attention to beautifying and improving the city, but especially the church of St. Peter. He suppressed the suburban see of Santa Rufina by uniting it with Porto, so that there were now only six cardinal-bishops instead of seven as had formerly been the case.

The great influence of Calixtus II on the policy of the Church is not disputed. Owing mainly to him the concessions so weakly made by Paschal II were recalled, and on his own accession to the papal throne, his firmness and strength of character secured a settlement of the controversy between Church and State which, though not entirely satisfactory, was at least sufficient to assure a much needed peace. He ended the wholesale bestowal of ecclesiastical offices by laymen; he re-established the freedom of canonical elections and secured recognition of the principle that ecclesiastical jurisdiction can come only from the Church. While on the other hand, he conceded to the secular authorities influence in the election of prelates who were at the same time the most powerful and richest subjects of the State. On the other hand, he was blamed at the time, principally by Archbishop Conrad of Salzburg, for not insisting upon the withdrawal of the oath of homage which every bishop was required to make to the emperor or his feudal lord, but Calixtus II well understood that unless something were conceded peace was impossible, and that the oath of homage, however improper the ceremony might seem, was not an unnatural demand on the part of the emperor in regard to subjects who wielded such an enormous political power as did the bishops of the German Empire.

[31] Lambert of Fagnano was born of humble parents at Fagnano near Imola at an unknown date and died at Rome, 13th February, 1130. On account of his great learning he was called to Rome by Paschal II, became canon at the Lateran, then Cardinal-Priest of Santa Prassede, and, in 1117, Cardinal-Bishop of Ostia and Velletri. He was one of the cardinals who accompanied Gelasius II into exile. In 1119 Calistus II sent him as legate to Henry V, German Emperor, with powers to come to an understanding concerning the right of investiture. In October of the same year he was present at the synod of Reims where the emperor was excommunicated. He spent much of the following three years in Germany, trying to effect reconciliation between the pope and the emperor. It was chiefly through his efforts that the Concordat of Worms was agreed in September, 1123. Calixtus II died on 13th December, 1124, and two days later the Cardinal of Ostia was elected pope, taking the name of Honorius II.

Party spirit between the Frangipani and the Leoni was evident during the election and there was great danger of a schism. The cardinals had already elected Cardinal Teobaldo Boccadipecora who had taken the name of Celestine II. He was clothed in the scarlet mantle of the pope, while the Te Deum was chanted in thanksgiving, when the powerful Roberto Frangipani suddenly appeared on the scene, expressed his dissatisfaction with the election of Teobaldo and proclaimed the Cardinal of Ostia as pope. The intimidated cardinals reluctantly yielded to his demand. To prevent a schism, Teobaldo resigned his right to the tiara. The Cardinal of Ostia however doubted the legality of his election under such circumstances and five days later informed the cardinals that he wished to resign. Only after all the cardinals acknowledged him as the legitimate pope could he be prevailed upon to retain the tiara. Soon after Honorius II became pope, Henry V, the German Emperor, died on 23rd May, 1125. The pope at once sent to Germany two legates who, in conjunction with Archbishop Adalbert of Mainz, endeavoured to bring about the election of a king who would not encroach upon the rights of the Church. The subsequent election of Lothar, Count of Supplinburg, was a complete triumph for the Church. The new king acknowledged the supremacy of the pope even in temporal affairs, and soon after his election asked for the papal approbation, which was willingly granted. When Conrad of Hohenstaufen rebelled against Lothar and was crowned King of Italy at Monza, by Archbishop Anselm of Milan, Honorius II excommunicated the archbishop as well as Conrad and his adherents, thus completely frustrating Conrad’s unlawful aspirations.

Henry I had for many years encroached on the rights of the church in England and would not allow a papal legate to enter his territory on the plea that England had a permanent papal legate in the person of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Calixtus II had already experienced difficulties in that line. In 1125, Honorius II sent Cardinal John of Crema as legate to England, but the legate was detained a long time in Normandy by order of Henry I. He was finally allowed to proceed to England. He then went to Scotland and met King David at Roxburgh, where he held a synod of Scottish bishops to inquire into the controversy between them and the Archbishop of York, who claimed to have metropolitan jurisdiction over them. On 8th September 1125 he convened a synod at Westminster at which the celibacy of the clergy was enforced and decrees were passed against simoniacal elections and contracts. On his return to Rome he was accompanied by William, Archbishop of Canterbury who obtained legatine faculties for England and Scotland from Honorius II, but was unsuccessful in his attempt to prevail upon the pope to surrender his right of sending special legates to England.

The pope was less successful in dealing with Count Roger of Sicily, who tried to gain possession of the lands which his deceased cousin William of Apulia had bequeathed to the Apostolic See. Honorius II placed him under the ban and took up arms against him in defence of the lawful property of the Church, but with little success. To put an end to a useless but costly war he made Roger feudatory Lord of Apulia in August, 1128, while Roger in his turn renounced his claims to Benevento and Capua. Shortly after his election to the papacy Honorius II excommunicated Count William of Normandy for having married a daughter of Fulco of Anjou on grounds of consanguinity. He likewise restored the disturbed discipline at the monasteries of Cluny and Monte Cassino where the excommunicated Abbots Pontius and Orderisius respectively retained possession of their abbatial office by force of arms. On 26th February, 1126, he approved the Premonstratensian Order which St. Norbert had founded at Prémontré six years previously.

[32] Matthew was bishop of Albano from 1125 to 1134. He was French and had been prior of Saint-Martin-des-Champs.

[33] Geoffrey de Leves was bishop of Chartres from 1116 to 1149.

[34] Stephen de Senlis was bishop of Paris from 1124 to 1142.

[35] Josselin was bishop of Soissons and Suger dedicated The Life of Louis the Fat to him.

[36] Renaud de Martigné was archbishop of Reims from 1128 to 1138.

[37] It is difficult today to understand what precise rights Saint-Denis had over Argenteuil. Suger outlined the affair in Liber de rebus administratione sua gestis, chapter 3 and his research in the archives of the abbey suggested that St-Denis’ legal rights dated back to Charlemagne. He also used moral arguments about the conduct of the nuns and this may reflect a fundamental weakness in the legal case. Argenteuil was restored to St-Denis at a synod held at Saint-Germain-des-Prés under Matthew, bishop of Albano between 2nd February and 14th April 1129, agreed by Louis VI at Reims on 14th April at the time of the coronation of his son Philip and confirmed by Honorius II on 23rd April. The prioress since 1120 had been Heloise, the friend of Abelard and Suger has even been suspected of allowing this to influence his actions.

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