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1158 [1157]

K. Hen. 8. Allegations against the vi. Articles. Priestes Mariage.

And this Nicolas, Antoninus confesseth playnely to be Nicolas the firste. Whereby it is not onely vnlike, but also moste certayne that Nicolas the firste was not the father of this constitution, eyther to exterminate marryed priestes from their churches, or to excommunicate the people from receyuyng their Comunion, much lesse then frō hearing their seruice.

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MarginaliaThe fourth reason out of the wordes of Volusianus. Fourthly, for as muche then as it is vndoubted that Nicolas. 2. and Alexander. 2. through the instigation of wicked Hildebrand, were the authours of that constitution whereof Gracian speaketh, it remayneth playne by the woordes of Volusianus in the latter ende of his Letter (wherin he maketh mention both of dischargyng the priest from singyng Masse, & the people from hearyng) that the sayd Epistle was written not to Pope Nicolas the first, but to the second for because both these wer decreed against marryed priestes vnder Nicolas. 2. and Alexander. 2. as is afore declared.

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And further, lest my iudgement herein shoulde seeme to stande alone & singular, without some to take my part, I wyl here produce for me a Parisian Doctour, and a famous Lawyer Iohannes Quintius aboue mentioned, who in his booke De Clericorum moribus, Marginalia[illegible text] playnely accordeth with myne opinion, touching this Nicolas authour of the Decree aforesaide, where he writeth in this woordes: Nicolaus Papa Othoni Coloniensi Archiepisc. &c. Quinque fuerunt hoc nomine pontifices. Primum, secundumumue oportuit esse, qui hæc rescripserit, ille Romanus. ann. 860. hic Burgundus, ann. 1059. Reliquos Nicolaos antecessit Gracianus, qui scripsit hæc, anno. 1150. Posteriorem fuisse credo, qui in Pannomiæ lib. 3. Tit. de lapsis, nominatur Nicolaus iunior, cuius est and aliud Decretum sequens. &c. MarginaliaThe author of this booke of Panomis, was Iue Carpotensis, in which booke he compliled diuers Canons of Popes and Byshops. That is to say in English: Pope Nicolas writing to Otho Archbishop of Colen. Glos. There haue bene in all, fiue Popes called by this name of Nicolas. Of the whiche fiue, this Nicolas the writer hereof muste be eyther the firste, or seconde: the one a Romane, ann. 860. the other a Burgundian, ann. 1059. or. 1060. yhe other Nicolas lyued after Gratian, who wrote in the yeare. 1150. In my iudgement I suppose this to be Nicolas the seconde, whiche in the thyrde booke of the Lawes called Pannomiæ Tit. de lapsis, is named Nicolas the younger. Whiche Nicolas also is author of the next Decree that foloweth &c.

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MarginaliaObiection aunswered. Wherefore if any shall obiecte hereafter, that because Gratian in the Distinction aforesayde, nameth Pope Nicolas absolutely without any addition, it is therefore to be taken for Nicolas the first: vnto this obiection I set here these two Lawyers to answeare. Vnto whose answeare this I adde also, that the common maner of Gracian lightly in all his Distinctions is, that when he speaketh of Popes, as of Innocentius, Gregorius, Leo, Lucius, and suche other, verye seldome he expresseth the difference of their names. So in the Dist. 18. Præsbyteris, where he bringeth in þe Decree of Pope Calixtus in like māner against þe Matrimonie of priestes, Deacōs, & Subdeacōs, he addeth thereto no discrepance of his name: and yet al the world knoweth, that this was Calixtus the secōd, and not the first. &c. But whether he were or no, the matter forceth not much. The letters (no doubt) by their title appeare to be written by Volusianus. Most certaine this is, by whō so euer they were written, fruitful Epistles they are, & efectual to the purpose.

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But least we shal seeme to much to digresse from our purpose, let vs returne to the story & tyme of Nicolas the second againe, which was about the yeare, as is said, 1060 a litle before Hildebrand was Pope. Whiche Hildebrand, albeit he was then but a Cardinall, yet was he the whole doer of all thynges, and concluded what hym lysted in the Church of Rome, and also made Popes, whom he would, as appeared both by this Nicolas, & also pope Alexander which folowed him. MarginaliaRead afore pag. 174. pag. 174. So that this dissolutiō of priestes mariage begā somewhat to kindle vnder this pope Nicolas, through the pestilent meanes of Hildebrand, MarginaliaThe tyme examined of this Volusianus Epistle to Pope Nicolas. and after him increased more vnder Pope Alexander, as appeareth by the Synode holden at Millane, an. 1067. but most of al it burst out vnder the sayd Hildebrand hym selfe beyng Pope, the yeare (as is sayd) 1076. 

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The synod of Milan was actually held in 1059, not 1067.

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Although as touchyng this prohibition of priestes to be marryed, I am not ignoraunt, that certayne of the contrary faction, in searchyng out the reache and antiquitie of this tradition for priestes to abstayne from wyues, do referre the same to the tyme of the seconde Councell of Carthage, which was about þe tyme of Pope Syritius, a great enemy to ministers wyues, as appeareth Distinct. 84. Cū præterito. MarginaliaDist. 84. cap. Cum præterito. Yet notwithstandyng to the same maye be aunsweared that this was no vniuersall or general Councell, but some particular Synode, and therfore of no such great forceable authoritye.

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MarginaliaConcilium Cartbag. 2. Can. 2. 2 Secondly, the same Synode beyng about the tyme of Pope Syritius, who was a capital enemy against priestes marryage, maye seeme to drawe some corruption of the tyme then present.

3 Thyrdely, neither is it vnpossible, but as dyuers bastarde Epistles haue bene falsely fathered vpon certayne auncient Bishoppes of the Primitiue Churche, and diuers Canons also (as of the Councell of Nice) haue bene corrupted by Byshoppes of Rome, so some falsehoode likewise or forgerye myght be vsed in this seconde Councell of Carthage.

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4 Fourthly, although no false conueyaunce had bene vsed therein, yet for so much as the sayd Canon of this secōd Councell of Carthage dooth misreport and falsifie the Canons of the Apostles, in so doyng it doth iustly diminishe his owne credite.

5 Fiftly, seeyng the foresayde Canon of this seconde Councel of Carthage tendeth cleane contrarye to the Canons of the Apostles, to the Councel of Gangra, and other Councelles moe, and commaundeth that, whiche they doo accurse, the authoritie thereof ought to haue no great force, but rather may be reiected.

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MarginaliaPriestes and byshops maried long after the 2 Councell of Carthage. 6 Finally, though this constitution of the Councell of Carthage were perfectly sounde without all corruption, yet playne and euident it is by this Volusianus, Byshop also of Carthage, that the same constitution tooke no great hold in the Churche, for so muche as we see, that both this Volusianus was marryed after that in Carthage hym selfe, and also besides hym manye hundreth yeares after, Marryage was a common matter through most churches of Christendome, amongest Bishoppes and priestes, as partly before hath bene declared. And more maye be seene in hystoryes, what great tumultes and businesse was long after that in Hildebrandes tyme, and after hym also, among the Clergie men, both in Italie, Spayne, France, and in al quarters of Christendome, for separatyng priests frō their libertie of marrying.

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And agayne, if this tradition concernyng the vnmaryed lyfe of Priestes had stande vppon suche an olde foundation frō þe second Coūcel of Carthage (as they pretend) what needed then in the tyme of Pope Nicolas. 2. Pope Alexander. 2. Pope Gregory. 7. and of other Popes after them, so muche labour to be taken, so many Lawes and decrees to be deuised & enacted for the abolishing of priests marryage, if the same had bene of such a long antiquitie as they would make men beleue?

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MarginaliaThe generall law forbidding priestes to marye, when it first beganne. By these 

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Foxe is drawing this material on Leo IX, including the source citations from John Bale, Scriptorum Illustrium maioris Brytanniae Catalogus (Basel, 1557), p. 148.

thynges considered it may appeare, that this distraction of Priestes marriage, by publique Lawe compellyng them to single life, was neuer receyued for a ful law generally to be obserued in the Church of Rome, but onely since the begynnyng of Hildebrand, that is, since these fiue hundred yeares.

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Aboute whiche tyme firste is to be noted, that vnder Pope Leo and this Pope Nicolas, Cranzius, and certayne Germayne Chronicles doo saye, that Symonie and Priestes Marriage were prohibited. This Pope Leo was, ann. 1051.

After hym Pope 

Commentary  *  Close

Foxe is drawing this material on Nicholas II from John Bale, Scriptorum Illustrium maioris Brytanniae Catalogus (Basel, 1557), pp. 155-56.

Nicolas (to whom the foresaid Letter of Volusianus seemeth to be written) made this ordinance: Vt nullus missam audiat præsbyteri quē scit concubinā indubitāter habere, aut subintroductā mulierē. Et mox: Quicunq; sacerdotū, Diaconorū, Subdiaconorū, post constitutū beatæ memoriæ prædecessoris nostri sanctiss. Papæ Leonis, de castitate clericorū, concubinā palam duxerit, vel ductam non reliquerit, ex parte omnipotentis Dei et autoritate beati Petri and Pauli præcipinius, et omninò cōtradicimus vt Missam non cantet. &c. That is, MarginaliaEx Romana Sinodo. 4. What so euer prieste, Deacon, or Subdeacon, accordyng to the constitution of Pope Leo our predecessor, concernyng the chastitye of Clerkes, shal openly mary a Concubine, or shal not put her away beyng marryed: in the behalfe of almyghty God. &c. We vtterly charge and forbydde the same, that he sing no Masse, nor reade the Gospel or Epistle at Masse, nor execute any diuine seruice. &c. And this was aboute the yeare of our Lord. 1058,

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Although in this constitution of Pope Nicolas, MarginaliaConcubine. this worde Concubine may be vnderstanded for no wyfe, but so as Gratian vnderstandeth it in the. 16. Canon of the Apostles, in these wordes: MarginaliaDist. 33. quis. Concubina verò intelligenda est præter vxorem: that is, for one besides a mans wyfe. Then after this Pope Nicolas commyng 

Commentary  *  Close

Foxe is drawing this material on Alexander II from John Bale, Scriptorum Illustrium maioris Brytanniae Catalogus (Basel, 1557), pp. 156-57.

Pope Alexander, and specially Pope Hildebrande, doo expounde this Concubine forbyydden, for a wyfe, and such priests as be married, they expound them for Nicolaitans: for so we reade in the Synode of Millane, vnder Pope Alexander the second MarginaliaEx Sinod. Mediolanens. Nicolaitæ autem dicuntur Clerici, qui contra castitatis Ecclesiasticæ regulam fœminis admiscenter. &c.

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And
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