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A History of England Principally in the Seventeent

And repeal all the statutes against it


Meanwhile

the elections to Parliament were completed. The proclamation issued gives the ruling points of view without reserve. An invitation to elect Catholic members of merit was coupled with the assurance that there was no intention of disturbing any kind of property. The means lately used for preventing any hostile influence were not yet sufficient: the advice was given from Brussels to go back to the older and stricter forms.

The leading men of the Upper House were won over: there could be no doubt about the tone of the Lower. At their first sitting a resolution to release Cardinal Pole from the attainder that weighed on him, and invite him to return to England, passed without opposition. Now the Emperor had no longer any scruple in letting him go. He said as to this very matter, that what is undertaken at the wrong time hinders the result which might else have been expected; everything has its time: the time for this appeared to him now come. From Philip we have a letter to his sister Juana in which he extols himself with much satisfaction for the share he had taken in recalling the cardinal and restoring the Papal authority. 'I and the most illustrious Queen,' he says in it, 'commanded the Parliament of the three Estates of the realm to recall him; we especially used our efforts with the chief among them to induce them to consent to the cardinal's return: at our order prelates and knights escorted him to our Court, where he has delivered to us the

Breve of his Holiness.'--'We then through the Chancellor of the realm informed the Estates of what seemed to us becoming, above all how much it concerned themselves to come to a conclusion that would give peace to their conscience.'[167]

The Parliament declared itself ready to return to the obedience of the Roman See, and repeal all the statutes against it, provided that the cardinal pronounced a general dispensation, that every man might keep without scruple the ecclesiastical property which had fallen to his share.[168] On this understanding Cardinal Pole was allowed to exercise his legatine power, and the King and Queen were entreated to intercede that the absolution might be bestowed.

With heartfelt joy Cardinal Pole pronounced it without delay, first at a meeting of the Parliament in the palace, then with greater solemnity at S. Paul's at a high mass attended by the Court with a brilliant suite; among those present were the knights who wore the Burgundian order of the Golden Fleece, and those who wore the English Order of the Garter. The King stood by the Chancellor when from the outer corridor of the church he announced the event and its motives to the great crowds there assembled. It made an impression on the imperial ambassadors that no outward sign of discontent was heard.

The agreement that now followed bears more of a juridical than of a religious character. The jurisdiction was given back to the Pope which he possessed before the twentieth year of Henry VIII (1529): the statutes by which it was abolished were severally enumerated and repealed: on the other hand the Pope's legate in his name consented that the owners of church property should not be disturbed in their possession, either now or at any future time, either by church councils or by Papal decrees. Such property was henceforth to be quite as exclusively subject to the jurisdiction of the crown as any other; whoever dared to call in question the validity of the title in any spiritual court whatever, within or without the realm, was to be punished as an enemy of the Queen. The cardinal legate strove long to prevent the two enactments, as to the restoration of obedience and the title to the ecclesiastical property, from being combined together in one Act, since it might look as if the Pope's concession was the price of this obedience to him; he once said, he would rather let all remain as it was and go back to Rome than yield on this point. But the English nobility adhered immoveably to its demand; it wished to prevent all danger of the restoration of obedience becoming in any way detrimental to its acquisitions, an object which was clearly best secured by combining both enactments in a single statute, so that they must stand or fall together; even the King's representations effected no alteration in this; the cardinal had to comply.


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