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709 [685]

K. Henry. 6. Mat. Palmerius Martyr. Popes, Nicolas. Calixtus. Pius. 2.

tented to folow the Catholicke sentence of the Churche in interpretyng of the Scripture, did not thinke soundly (as he iudged it) of the holy Eucharist.

At length, for these and such other Articles, the sayde Reynolde Pecocke was condemned for an hereticke by the Archbyshops, and Byshops of Roff. Lyncolne & Winchester, with other diuines moe. MarginaliaB. Pecocke deteyned in prison. Wherupō, he beyng driuen to his recantation, was notwithstandyng deteined still in prison. Where, some saye, that he was priuely made away by death.

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Halle addeth that some say, his opinions to bee, that spirituall persons by Gods lawe, ought to haue no temporall possessions. Other write that he sayde, that personall tithes were not due by Gods lawe. But what so euer the cause was, hee was caused at Paules crosse to abiure, and all hys bookes brent, and he himselfe kept in his owne house, duryng his naturall lyfe. MarginaliaPolydore noted. I maruell that Polydore, of this extremitie of the Byshops handlyng, and of his Articles, in his hystorye, maketh no memoriall. Belyke it made but little for the honestye of hys great maister the Pope.

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From persecution and burnyng in England, now out of the way, to digresse a litle, to speake of foreine matters of the Church of Rome 

Commentary  *  Close
Eugenius IV to Sixtus IV

Between his account of Reginald Pecock and his narrative of the Wars of the Roses, Foxe digresses here to deal with church history during the pontificates of Nicholas V, Calixtus III, Pius II, Sixtus IV and Innocent VIII. The material on these pontificates was added to the 1570 edition and, as usual with papal history, Foxe drew heavily on John Bale's Catalogus for his information. Most unusually, however, Foxe drew on Bartomoleo Platina's series of papal biographies for the opinions (Foxe calls them 'sentences') of Pius II. (See Bartomoleo de Sacchi di Platina, Historia de vitis pontificum Romanorum, ed. Onophrio Panvinio [Venice, 1562], fos. 248v-249r). Normally, Foxe distrusted Panvinio's work (although it was considered authoritative by contemporaries) as being too partisan to the Papacy. However, Pius's opinions, written before he became pope, sounded reformist, and fitted in with Foxe's point that the evil inherent in the Papacy corrupted even those popes who were initially devout and wise. (Foxe probably took the quotation from the second book of Pius' commentaries, on the evils of clerical celibacy from Matthias Flacius - see Catalogus Testium Veritatis [Strassburg, 1562], p.550 - this quotation is not in Platina). Pius's letter, written before he was pope, to Caspar Schlick is taken from Aeneas Sylvius Picclomini,Opera quae extant omnia (Basel, 1561), pp. 538-41; the extract quoted is on p. 539. The material on Pius II's quarrel with the archbishop of Mainz is taken from Caspar Peucer's continuation of Carion's chronicle; see Chronicon Carionis, ed. Philip Melanchthon and Caspar Peucer (Wittenburg, 1580), pp. 672-3. The remainder of the material on these fifteenth-century popes is from John Bale, Catalogus, pp. 550, 602, 615 and 624-5.

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Thomas S. Freeman
University of Sheffield

: you remember before, in the latter end of the Councell of Basill, how Eugenius was deposed. Of whose conditions, and martiall affaires, how he made warre agaynst Sfortia a famous Captaine of Italy, MarginaliaEugenius warred against Sfortia and diuers other, and what other warres he raysed beside, not onely in Italy, but also in Germany, agaynst the Citie and Coūcell of Basill, I shall not neede to make any long rehearsall. MarginaliaPope Felix. After his deposition, ye heard also how Fœlix Duke of Sauoy was elected pope. Wherupō an other great schisme folowed in the Church duryng all the life of Eugenius.

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MarginaliaPope Nicholas. 5. After his death, his next successour was Pope Nicolas the fift. who (as you before haue heard) brought so to passe with the Emperour Fridericke the third that Fœlix was contented to renounce and resigne his papacie to Nicholas, and was therefore of him afterward receaued to the rowme of a Cardinal, for his submission: & Fridericke for his workyng, was confirmed at Rome to be full Emperour, & there crowned. an. 1451. MarginaliaEmperours are but kinges of Romaines, before they be crowned by the Pope. For Emperors before they be cōfirmed & crowned by the pope, are no Emperours, but onely called kynges of Romaines.

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This Pope Nicolas here mentioned, for to get and gather great sūmes of money, appointed a Iubile in the yeare of our Lord. 1450. at whiche tyme there resorted a greater number of people vnto Rome, then hath at any tyme before bene sene. At which tyme, we read in the story of Platina to haue happened, MarginaliaEx Platina de vitis. that I thought here not vnworthy to be noted for the example of the thyng. MarginaliaThe example of Idolatrie punished. As there was a great concourse of people resortyng vp to the mount Vaticane, to behold the Image of our Sauiour, which there they had to shew to Pilgrimes, the people beyng thicke goyng to and fro betwene the mount & the Citie, by chaunce a certain Mule of the Cardinals of saint Marke came by the way, by reason whereof the people not beyng able to auoyde the way, one or two fallyng vpon the Mule, MarginaliaThe fruit of Idolatry. there was such a prease and throng vpon that occasion on the bridge, that to the nūber of two hundreth bodyes of men, and three horses, were there strangled, and on eche side of the bridge many besides fell ouer into the water and were drowned.

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By meanes of which occasion, the Pope afterward caused the small houses to be plucked downe, to make the way broder. And this is the fruite that commeth by Idolatrye. Ex Platin.

MarginaliaMat. Palmerius a Florentine, martyr. In the tyme of this Pope, one Mat. Palmerius wrote a booke De Angelis, in defending whereof, he was condemned by the Pope, and burned at Corna. an. 1448. Ex Tritemio.

MarginaliaToling of Aues. After him succeded Calixtus the third, who amongest diuers other thyngs, ordained both at noone and at euening, the bell to tole the Aues, as it was vsed in the popish time, to helpe the souldiours that fought agaynst the Turkes: for which cause also he ordained the feast of the transfiguration of the Lord, solemnising it with lyke pardons and indulges, as was Corpus Christi day.

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Also this Pope procedyng contrary to the Councels of Constance and Basill, decreed that no man should appeale from the Pope to any Councell. MarginaliaS. Edmund of Cant. canonised. By whome also Sainct Edmunde of Caunterbury with diuers other, were made Saintes.

MarginaliaPope Pius 2. Next after this Calixtus, succeeded Pius secundus, otherwise called Æneas Syluius, who wrote the two bookes of Commmentaries vpon the Councell of Basil before men tioned. This Æneas, at the tyme of the writyng of those his bokes, seemed to be a man of an indifferent and tolerable iudgement and doctrine, from the which he afterward beyng Pope, seemed to decline and swarue, seekyng by all meanes possible, how to deface & abolish the bokes which he tofore had written. MarginaliaPromotiō choketh religion.

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¶ Sentences attributed vnto this Pius.

MarginaliaThe prouerbes of Pius. THe diuine nature of God may rather bee comprehended by fayth, then by disputation.

Christian fayth is to be considered, not by what reason it is proued, but from whom it procedeth.

Neither can a couetous man be satisfied with money, nor a learned man with knowledge.

Learning ought to be to poore men, in steede of syluer, to noble men in steede of golde, and to Prynces in steede of precious stones.

An artificial oration moueth fooles, but not wise men.

Suters in the Lawe, bee as byrdes, the Court is the bayte, the Iudges bee the nettes, and the lawyers be the fowlers.

Men are to bee geuen to dignityes, and not dignityes to men.

The office of a Bishop is heauye, but it is blessed to him that doth well beare it.

A Bishop without learning may be likened to an Asse.

An euyll Phisicion destroyeth bodies, but an vnlearned Priest destroyeth soules.

MarginaliaMariage of priestes allowed by Æneas Syluius. Mariage was taken frō Priestes, not without great reason, but with much greater reason it ought to bee restored agayne.

The like sentence to this hee vttereth in hys seconde Booke of the Councell of Basill before specified, saying, peraduenture it were not the worst, that the most parte of priestes had their wyues: for many shoulde bee saued in priestly mariage, which now in vnmaryed prysthode are damned. The same Pius also, as Celius reporteth, dissolued certayne orders of Nunnes of the order of S. Briget and S. Clare, byddyng them to departe out, that they shoulde burne no more, nor couer a Harlot vnder the vesture of Religion.

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This Pius, if he had brought so much pietie and godlinesse, as he brought learnyng vnto hys Popedome, had excelled many Popes that went before him.

It shall not be impertinent here to touche, what the sayd Eneas called Pius, the Pope, wryteth touchyng the peace of the church, vnto Gasper Schlicke, the Emperours Chauncelor, in his. liiij. Epistle.

MarginaliaEx epist. 54. Pii. secund. ad Gasparum Schlicke. All men doe abhorre and detest schisme. The way to remedy this euill Charles the French King hath shewed vs both safe and brief, which is, MarginaliaThe way to exclude schisme, is concorde of princes. that princes or their Oratours shoulde conuent and assemble together in some common place, where they maye conclude vpon matters amongest them selues. To bring this to passe, it were needefull, wrytynges to bee sent agayne to all Kynges and Prynces, to sende theyr Oratours to Strawesborowe, or to Constance, wyth their full authoritye, there to intreate of matters appertaynyng to the Peace of the Churche. Neyther woulde it require so greate expenses, For as much as we see the yeare before. 300. gildenes to be sufficient. Constantine the Emperour bestowed not much more in the congregation of the Councel of Niece. And this way could not be stopped: neither could the Pope or the Councell withstand it, or make excuse, as though this might not easily be done without them. For why? the secular princes may cōuent and assemble together, wil they, nill they: and yet notwtstandyng, vnitie may there be cōcluded: For he should be an vndoubted Pope, whome all Princes would obey. MarginaliaThe popes Clergie will not abide the fire, eyther for prince or pope. Neither do I see any of the clergy so constant to death, which will suffer Martyrdome, either for the one part or the other. All we lightly hold that fayth which our princes hold, Which if they would worship idols, we would also do the same, and not onely deny the Pope, but God also, if the secular power straine vs thereunto, for charitie is waxed cold, & all faith is gone. Howsoeuer it be, yet let vs al desire and seke for peace, the which peace, whether it come by a Councell, or by assembly of Princes, call it what you wil, I care not: for we stand not vpon the terme, but vpon the matter. Call bread and if you wil, a stone, so you geue me to assuage my hunger. Whether you call it a Councell or a conuenticle, or an assembly or a congregation, or a synagoge that is no matter, so that schisme may be excluded & peace established. Thus much out of the Epistle of Pius.

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By this may it appeare, of what sentence and mynde

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