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|Título:||O decreto de 1059 sobre a eleição do papa|
|Editora:||Faculdade de Teologia da Universidade Católica Portuguesa|
|Citação:||MARCOLINO, Venício - O decreto de 1059 sobre a eleição do papa. Didaskalia. Lisboa. ISSN 0253-1674. 6:1 (1976) 65-94|
The decree on papal elections published in 1059 A. D. is a document of the first fase of the «gregorian reform», and should be interpreted as such. In it are condensed tendencies and ideas which had been gradually developing, specially those which advocated a reform of the Church at all levels, a reduction of secular influence and freedom in the election to ecclesiastical office. Doubtless the decree represents the thinking of those leading figures in the roman curia who, ever since Leo IX's pontificate, had been favouring reform. As a synodal document, however, it is not the product of any single author or of any particular group. Rather it represents a general consensus of the main currents of opinion, obtained during the synodal discussions and in talks held by Nicholas II with important personages of the time, as the signatures appended clearly indicate. The final draft appears to be a compromise between the radical and moderate factions, represented respectively by Humberto da Silva Candida and Pedro Damiani, both of whom probably collaborated in drawing up the text.
The various clauses place the papal election under the supervision of the cardinal-bishops. Exercising, as it where, the role of metropolitans, theirs is the final decision and it is they who preside over the election and elevation from beginning to end. Their unanimous choice of a candidate precedes the consultation of the other cardinals, after which the clergy and people of Rome express their vote by applause. The election ends when the roman community, gathered together as a whole, expresses its approval. The regulations for the election exclude any interference on the part of secular powers. One of the aims is to limit the influence of the roman aristocracy, always tempted to seek control of the apostolic see. But the resolutions have, at one and the same time, a more general aim, and in that respect, despite references in the text to the special attention merited by the german sovereign, do not correspond to the demands made by the german court. The emperor's opinion is to be heared as to the person of the candidate, but this is clearly to be understood as a privilege conceded by the apostolic see and not a right inherent to his rank as emperor or as roman patrician. It is a privilege which can be refused or withdrawn should circumstances warrant it, as happened on the occasions of the election of Stephen IX and Alexander II. As a result, although the king's expressed wish still carried great weight, it was no longer equivalent to a designation, for this, according to the decree, was henceforth reserved exclusively to the bishop-cardinals.
The document's expressed aim is to do away with simony. Some scholars, however, consider its main objective to have been the justification of the election of Nicholas II or the defense of the reforming papacy. An analysis of the text points to the presence of all three intentions. According to the general outline of the decree it appears to be clear that an attack on simony is an overriding aim. The document considers Benedict X's election simoniacal and lays down norms to guarantee the freedom, in this respect, of future papal elections. Simony is here understood in its broadest sense to cover not only those cases in which economic motives are in play, but equally any independent intervention on the part of secular powers, in other words any attitude which assumes the aspect of an investiture or control over the apostolic see. The articles of the decree establish in legal form the process followed for the election of Nicholas II, and in so doing they justify the latter against its critics, who were mainly the supporters of Benedict X; but they should not be considered an attempt to legalize that election retroactively, as though it had been ilegal. In so far as past practice was concerned it was true that at least the naming of the candidate by the cardinal-bishops and the exercise of papal powers before the enthronement were clearly innovations; but those in favour of the reform were convinced that the procedure adopted, dictated by a true love for the Church, was in accordance with that authentic tradition of which they considered themselves to be the faithful garantors. In support of this point of view the decree presents its various decisions as a codification of ancient law or the putting into practice of sentences and customs of the fathers. What had proved to be efficient in the past was now to become the norm for the future. The new regulations established the legal possibility of keeping the apostolic see within the power of those in favour of reform, and in so doing they reflect and put into pratice the fundamental principles underlying the movement for reform, namely the desire for the freedom of the Church and the hierarchical principle. On the one hand the decree secures a free election, reserving it to ecclesiastical circles. The overwhelming role in the papal election does not belong now to the secular powers but to the spiritual sphere, that is to the bishop-cardinals; and it was in this sense that the norman princes vowed to support the meliores in the election of the pope, in other words the candidate elected according to the decree published in 1059 A. D.. On the other hand, the hierarchical principle, within the Church, is also underlined with special emphasis. One might almost say that the main idea, the meaning and the aim of the decree were, as F. Kempf maintains, the realization of the hierarchical principle, along with the more general intention of avoiding the practice of simony. The Church is now seen as an organization structured from top to bottom, in the form of a pyramid, with the pope at the apex. In the roman church, which presides over all others, the cardinal-bishops hold second place, and all other participants in the papal election are subjected to their judgement. Thus, although it maintains the traditional canonical election, the decree lays the foundations from which will develop the practice of reserving the election of the pope to the college of cardinals. The creation of a special electoral college, with a deciding vote and control over the whole process of elevation, relegates from then onwards to a secondary place the participation of the roman community. Perfectly justified as it was at the time this strengthening of the hierarchical structure led eventually to a hierarchology which today still disfigures the true image of the Church, reducing the role of the laity to the carrying out of orders and ignoring the value of the vote of the ecclesial community as a whole in the election of its bishop.
|Aparece nas colecções:||RD - 1976 - Vol. 006 - Fasc. 1|
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