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will punish those who hinder the preaching of the Catholic faith and the business of the Holy Land, our special burden. Yet we dislike those preachers, who sharpen their tongues to abuse us, gather crowds of men under their banners, and seize on the goods of our subjects; as Brother John did at Verona, of which he called himself perpetual Lord. A friar in Apulia did the like, assembling many men under his own banner. We forbid this; but we gladly allow the word of God to be preached, so long as the preachers keep within proper bounds. As to the Holy Land, we reserve to ourselves all taxes collected on its behalf, thinking it wrong that clergymen should be made collectors. It is false, that our Christian subjects in the Kingdom are placed under the rule of Pagans. As to the prosecution of the Nobles, we have punished our over-zealous Officials; but we mean to maintain our full rights over Benevento, as our forefathers did; and so we have instructed our ministers. We will resign to your Chaplain Alatrino any benefices wrongfully seized. We shall not allow the repair of the churches of Sora, which like Carthage has undergone the plough on account of its rebellion; they would be useless, as we intend that city to be for ever desolate. As to the Castle of Monreale, we destroyed it at the request of the monks, who could not make head against the Saracens; nothing must be done, until we return and view the spot. If any thing has been carried off from the Church of Monreale, which we admire as the noble work of our predecessors, it shall be wholly restored. The same shall be done with the Church of Squillace. As to that of Molfetta and certain monasteries, we have made exchanges with them, holding them harm
CHAP. less, and we have not offended justice. If our Officials XI. have not given these Churches proper satisfaction, we 1235-1239. will issue orders to that effect, provided that the
malice of the Prelates be no obstacle. They might often assist us, and still act conscientiously. The complaints of the Cistercian Order are most ungrateful; we have favoured them much, and we think they might help us in the construction of our buildings; the burden is only temporary. We deny the charge brought against us of collating young and unworthy clergymen, though it is true that we do favour our loyal servants. The Bishop of Gerace was our Notary, not our Esquire; we gave our assent to his consecration; and if any part of that office which falls under you has been omitted, you will easily be able to remedy it. We claim our own in things temporal; we hinder you not in things spiritual. We disapprove of the conduct of our Officials, if they have prevented your Bishops from prosecuting usurers; our own Constitutions have punished that crime. You should not have believed that we forbade the building of new Churches in our newly constructed cities, if they are meant for Christians; the Israelites had their tabernacle, even in the wilderness. We acknowledge, that we assert our rights over Churches built in our new foundations. We confess that we have driven out of our realm the disloyal Bishop of Cefalu, and the Archdeacon of Salerno, whom, as being a traitor and of a race of traitors, we would not allow to stay in our Kingdom after our departure from it. We issued an edict at Fano, and we sent word by Von Salza, that the Churches were not to be wronged in the matter of purveyance. Do not think it absurd, if our laws forbid Bishops being appointed Notaries Public. The
Jews, both in the Empire and the Kingdom, are under CHAP. the Common law; but we have not abstracted them from any Church. We will make fresh enquiries of 1235-1239. the nephew of the King of Tunis, whether he is of his own free will ready to receive baptism. We have just cause for wonder, on hearing that you have excommunicated the loyal Count of Toulouse to our prejudice, since he has not been stripped of his fiefs by us or by the sentence of the Princes. To provide a remedy for the wrongs of the Churches, we issued orders from Fano to our Ministers, to hold a solemn Court at Melfi, and there to weigh the complaints of the Prelates, Templars, and Hospitallers; yet some men cunningly declare, that we gave instructions the reverse of these. Von Salza has had orders to hold a fresh Court, that our Ministers may hear all complaints and bring them to a speedy end. We have also sent letters to particular Officials, which we think will satisfy you. If there be any defect, remember that you refused to give up to us Citta di Castello, against the advice of your Brethren and against your own conscience.'
Gregory was very angry at the Imperial appeal to his conscience, and made a stern rejoinder in October, rebuking Frederick for his tart language, in which there was no manna of sweetness; ' he again referred to the oppression of the Sicilian Churches, and to the vague promises of amendment made by his correspondent, which were never fulfilled. You destroy the affirmative of our statement by the negative of Imperial ignorance. You have no right to Citta di Castello; the burghers betrayed it to you, breaking their oath to us; the jurisdiction over it belongs to the Church. You
have no business to pry into the secrets of our conscience; our Judge is in Heaven. You see that the 1235-1239. necks and hearts of Kings are bowed before the knees of priests. God has reserved the Apostolic See, the mistress of the world, for His own judgment alone. Uzziah was smitten for laying hands on the Ark; the tribe of Kohath was threatened with the like punishment, if its members should dare to pry into the tabernacle or the holy vessels, which were entrusted to Aaron alone. What about your own conscience? do you keep your oath? You cannot confer those offices, to which the cure of souls is annexed. Our brother the Bishop of Cefalu and the Archdeacon of Salerno are banished, we know not wherefore; you condemned them without consulting the Church. We speak not of the man who calls himself Bishop of Gerace, an election void by ecclesiastical law. Then as to the nephew of the King of Tunis, why is he in chains, when he was coming to us for baptism? You say, that you had to ask for the King's leave; you should obey God rather than man. Would that all, who have a good cause, were as rebellious as this convert! You favoured the Count of Toulouse, though he was an excommunicated man. Think of the deeds of your predecessors, of Constantine, of Charlemagne, of Arcadius, of Valentinian ! Constantine, aware that the Father ought to be endowed with temporal Sovereignty, made a gift to the Pope and bestowed on him the badges and Sceptre of the Empire, the City with the whole of its Duchy, which you are trying to bribe into rebellion against us. Constantine, leaving Italy to the Apostolic disposal, chose a new abode in Greece; and the Empire was afterwards transferred to the
Germans in the person of Charlemagne, a fact which has given you the power of the sword. The priests of Christ are the fathers and masters of all faithful 1235-1239. Kings. Why does the Son blame the Father? If you are subject to us, much more are they, who receive dignity from you, subject to us. The priests and Bishops in your Kingdom are under our sway, since Genus must be predicated of whatever comes under Species. You are hindering the recovery of Palestine; we warn you to amend what is wrong.'
In this letter, which contains passages worthy of Hildebrand or Boniface, Gregory borrows weapons from the armoury of History, and ends with an illustration from the Logic of the Schools. The Papal allusion to Constantine sounds strange to a modern ear; that Emperor would have stared, if told that his change from Rome to Byzantium had been dictated by courteous deference to the successor of St. Peter. But Historical accuracy cannot be expected in the Thirteenth Century even from His Holiness, who speaks with confidence on the endowment of Pope Sylvester, a long-exploded legend.
It is now time to mark what had been going forward in Lombardy during the year 1236. In March, the Emperor's party made an attempt to heal the wounds of civil war in that country. Hermann von Salza, Gebhard von Arnstein, Peter de Vinea, Thaddeus of Sessa, and Simon Count of Chieti met the Podestas of many of the Northern States at Piacenza, where a Parliament was held. Peter made a speech on the great Light seen by the people that dwelt in darkness, and bade the assembly prepare to celebrate the desired feast of the Lord. At this very time the nobles of Piacenza were in banishment, and intent