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A History of Spain by Charles E. Chapman

For the nuncios were usually Italians

the considerable sums which

went to the popes from ecclesiastical prebends, or livings, from the _expolios_ of deceased bishops and archbishops (accretions in their benefices which they had procured out of rents), and from the income of _vacantes_, or vacant benefices (that which accrued between the death of a bishop or archbishop and the appointment of his successor). Once having transferred authority from the pope to the nuncio and nunciature the kings proceeded to attack these elements near at hand so as to reduce their power of interference with the royal authority. In this they were aided by all classes. The churchmen were royalist and at the same time opposed to papal intervention in ecclesiastical administration in Spain. People generally objected to such wide jurisdiction being in the hands of a foreigner, for the nuncios were usually Italians. There were frequent complaints that the nunciature was guilty of the advocacy of lawsuits and the collection of excessive costs, with the result that the court was sustained out of Spanish funds instead of by the popes. All of these matters were the subject of criticism in both the _Cortes_ and the _Consejo Real_, and the inevitable result was the employment of restrictive measures. The _pase regio_ was applied to the directions by the popes to the nuncios, and the intervention of the nunciature in ecclesiastical cases in first instance was prohibited. There were times when the relations of the kings with the nuncio were indeed strained; Philip II went to
the extreme of expelling a nuncio who had endeavored to publish a papal bull which the king had decided to retain; the same thing happened under Philip IV, who closed the papal embassy. Matters were arranged in 1640 by the Fachenetti concordat, or agreement of the nuncio of that name with the king. This document reduced the procedure of the nunciature and the attributes of the nuncio to writing, and although it did not remove all the causes of dispute served as the basis for diplomatic relations with the papal embassy until the middle of the eighteenth century.

[Sidenote: Subjection of the ecclesiastical organization in Spain to the royal will.]

The relations of the kings with the popes and nuncios formed only part of the former's royalist policy with the church. The same course was followed with the ecclesiastical organization in Spain. The gradual reduction of the clergy to a tributary state as regards payment of taxes has already been referred to. Charles I procured various grants of a financial nature from the popes, such as the right to sell certain ecclesiastical holdings (whose proceeds were to be devoted to the war with the Turks), the collection of various church rents yielding over 1,000,000 ducats (some $15,000,000), and finally the gift of _expolios_ and _vacantes_. On the other hand, despite the petitions of the _Cortes_ and the opinions of leading jurisconsults, the kings declined to prevent the giving of lands in mortmain, or in other words the acquisition of estates by the church. The most serious conflicts arose over questions of

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