Gui Faucoi (Clement IV) elected Pope
Pope Clement IV (Saint-Gilles-du-Gard, November 23, year ca.
1195 – November 29, 1268 in Viterbo), born Gui Faucoi called in later life le Gros (English: Guy Foulques the Fat; Italian: Guido Fulcodi il Grosso), was elected Pope February 5, 1265, in a conclave held at Perugia that took four months, while cardinals argued over whether to call in Charles of Anjou, the youngest brother of Louis IX of France (1226–70), to carry on the papal war against the last of the house of Hohenstaufen.
Guy had been an unlikely candidate for holy orders: widowed and the father of two young women before taking orders, he had been successively a soldier and a lawyer, and in the latter capacity had acted as secretary to Louis IX of France, to whose influence he was chiefly indebted for his elevation to the cardinalate. Upon the death of his wife, he followed his father's example and gave up secular concerns for the Church. His rise in the church was rapid: in 1256, he was Bishop of Le Puy, in 1259, Archbishop of Narbonne and in December 1261, he was the first cardinal created by Pope Urban IV (1261–64), in the see of Sabina. He was the papal legate in England, 1262–64. He was named grand penitentiary in 1263.
At this time the Holy See was engaged in a conflict with Manfred, the illegitimate son and designated heir of Frederick II of Hohenstaufen, but whom papal loyalists, the Guelfs, called "the usurper of Naples". Clement IV, who was in France at the time of his election, was compelled to enter Italy in disguise. He immediately took steps to ally himself with Charles of Anjou, his erstwhile patron's brother, the impecunious French claimant to the Neapolitan throne. Charles allowed the Pope to be his feudal overlord (a bone of contention with the Hohenstaufen) and was crowned by cardinals in Rome, where Clement IV, permanently established at Viterbo, dared not venture, the Ghibelline party was so firmly in control. Then, fortified with papal money and supplies, Charles marched into Naples. "Papal legates and mendicant friars appeared upon the scene, preaching a formal crusade, with the amplest indulgences and most lavish promises" (Catholic Encyclopedia). Among the Italians who failed to see any nobler crusading purpose in the conflict was Dante (Inferno, Canto xxvii). Having defeated and slain Manfred in the great Battle of Benevento, Charles established himself firmly in the kingdom by the conclusive Battle of Tagliacozzo, in which Conradin, the last of the house of Hohenstaufen, was taken prisoner. Clement IV is said to have disapproved of the cruelties committed by his protegé, and there seems no foundation for the statement by Gregorovius that Clement IV became an accomplice by refusing to intercede for the unfortunate Conradin whom Charles had beheaded in the marketplace of Naples.
Within months Clement IV was dead too, and buried at Viterbo. Owing to unbridgeable divisions among the cardinals, the papal throne remained vacant for nearly three years.
Clement IV's private character was praised by contemporaries for his asceticism, and he is especially commended for his indisposition to promote and enrich his own relatives. He also ordered the Franciscan scholar Roger Bacon to write his Opus maius, which is addressed to him. He was buried at Viterbo, where he had resided throughout his pontificate.
In 1264, Clement IV, assigns Talmud censorship committee. He ordered that the Jews of Aragon to submit their books to Dominican censors for expurgation.
Pope Clement engaged in correspondence with the Mongol Ilkhanate rule Abaqa from 1267–1268. Abaqa proposed a Franco-Mongol alliance between his forces, those of the West, and the Byzantine emperor, Michael VIII Palaeologos (Abaqa's father-in-law). Pope Clement welcomed Abaqa's proposal in a non-committal manner, but did inform him of an upcoming Crusade. In 1267, Pope Clement IV and James I of Aragon sent an ambassador to the Mongol ruler Abaqa in the person of Jayme Alaric de Perpignan. In his 1267 letter written from Viterbo, the Pope wrote:
"The kings of France and Navarre, taking to heart the situation in the Holy Land, and decorated with the Holy Cross, are readying themselves to attack the enemies of the Cross. You wrote to us that you wished to join your father-in-law (the Greek emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos) to assist the Latins. We abundantly praise you for this, but we cannot tell you yet, before having asked to the rulers, what road they are planning to follow. We will transmit to them your advice, so as to enlighten their deliberations, and will inform your Magnificence, through a secure message, of what will have been decided."
—1267 letter from Pope Clement IV to Abaqa
Pope Clement died in 1268, and though his successors continued to engage in diplomatic contacts with the Mongols for the rest of the century, they were never able to coordinate an actual alliance.
Born at Saint-Gilles on the Rhone, 23 November, year unknown; elected at Perugia 5 February, 1265; d. at Viterbo, 29 November, 1268. After the death of Urban IV (2 October, 1264), the cardinals, assembled in conclave at Perugia, discussed for four months the momentous question whether the Church should continue the war to the end against the House of Hohenstaufen by calling in Charles of Anjou, the youngest brother of St. Louis of France, or find some other means of securing the independence of the papacy. No other solution offering itself, the only possible course was to unite upon the Cardinal-Bishop of Sabina, by birth a Frenchman and a subject of Charles. Guido Le Gros was of noble extraction. When his mother died, his father, the knight Foulquois, entered a Carthusian monastery where he ended a saintly life. Guido married, and for a short time wielded the spear and the sword. Then devoting himself to the study of law under the able direction of the famous Durandus, he gained a national reputation as an advocate. St. Louis, who entertained a great respect and affection for him, took him into his cabinet and made him one of his trusted councillors. His wife died, leaving him two daughters, whereupon he imitated his father to the extent that he gave up worldly concerns and took Holy orders.
His rise in the Church was rapid; 1256, he was Bishop of Puy; 1259, Archbishop of Narbonne; December, 1261, Cardinal-Bishop of Sabina. He was the first cardinal created by Urban IV (Babel, Hierarchia Catholica, 7). He was in France, returning from an important legation to England, when he received an urgent message from the cardinals demanding his immediate presence in Perugia. Not until he entered the conclave, was he informed that the unanimous vote of the Sacred College had confided into his hands the destinies of the Catholic Church. He was astonished; for only a man of his large experience could fully realize the responsibility of him whose judgment, at this critical juncture, must irrevocably shape the course of Italian and ecclesiastical history for centuries to come. His prayers and tears failing to move the cardinals, he reluctantly accepted the heavy burden, was crowned at Viterbo, 22 February, and, to honour the saint of his birthday, assumed the name of Clement IV. His contemporaries are unanimous and enthusiastic in extolling his exemplary piety and rigorously ascetic life. He had a remarkable aversion to nepotism. His first act was to forbid any of his relatives to come to the Curia, or to attempt to derive any sort of temporal advantage from his elevation. Suitors for the hands of his daughters were admonished that their prospective brides were "children not of the pope, but of Guido Grossus", and that their dowers should be extremely modest. The two ladies preferred the seclusion of the convent.
The Neapolitan question occupied, almost exclusively, the thoughts of Clement IV during his short pontificate of 3 years, 9 months, and 25 days, which, however, witnessed the two decisive battles of Benevento and Tagliacozzo (1268), and the execution of Conradin. The negotiations with Charles of Anjou had progressed so far under the reign of Urban IV that it is difficult to see how the pope could now well draw back, even were he so inclined. But Clement had no intention of doing so. The power of Manfred and the insecurity of the Holy See were increasing daily. Clement had already, as cardinal, taken an active part in the negotiations with Charles and now exerted himself to the utmost in order to supply the ambitious but needy adventurer with troops and money. Papal legates and mendicant friars appeared upon the scene, preaching a formal crusade, with the amplest indulgences and most lavish promises. Soldiers were obtained in abundance among the warlike chivalry of France; the great difficulty was to find money with which to equip and maintain the army. The clergy and people failed to detect a crusade in what they deemed a personal quarrel of the pope, a "war hard by the Lateran, and not with Saracens nor with Jews" (Dante, Inf., canto xxvii); though, in reality, Saracens, implanted in Italy by Frederick II, made up the main strength of Manfred's army. Although reduced at times to utter destitution, and forced to pledge everything of value and to borrow at exorbitant rates, the pope did not despair; the expedition arrived, and from the military point of view achieved a brilliant success.
Charles, preceding his army, came to Rome by sea, and upon the conclusion of a treaty, by which the liberties of the Church and the overlordship of the Holy See seemed to be most firmly secured, he received the investiture of his new kingdom. On 6 January, 1266, he was solemnly crowned in St. Peter's; not, as he had wished, by the pope, who took up his residence in Viterbo and never saw Rome, but by cardinals designated for the purpose. On 22 February was fought the battle of Benevento, in which Charles was completely victorious; Manfred was found among the slain. Naples opened her gates and the Angevin dynasty was established. Though a good general, Charles had many weaknesses of character that made him a very different ruler from his saintly brother. He was harsh, cruel, grasping, and tyrannical. Clement was kept busy reminding him of the terms of his treaty, reproving his excesses and those of his officials, and warning him that he was gaining the enmity of his subjects. Nevertheless, when a little later, young Conradin, disregarding papal censure and anathemas, advanced to the conquest of what he deemed his birthright, Clement remained faithful to Charles and prophesied that the gallant youth, received by the Ghibelline party everywhere, even in Rome, with unbounded enthusiasm, "was being led like a lamb to the slaughter", and that "his glory would vanish like smoke", a prophecy only too literally fulfilled when, after the fatal day of Tagliacozzo (23 August, 1268), Conradin fell into Charles' merciless hands and was beheaded (29 October) on the market-place of Naples. The fable that Pope Clement advised the execution of the unfortunate prince by saying "The death or life of Conradin means the life or death of Charles", is of a later date, and opposed to the truth. Even the statement of Gregorovius that Clement became an accomplice by refusing to intercede for Conradin, is equally groundless; for it has been shown conclusively, not only that he pleaded for his life and besought St. Louis to add the weight of his influence with his brother, but, moreover, that he sternly reproved Charles for his cruel deed when it was perpetrated. Clement followed "the last of the Hohenstaufen" to the grave just one month later, leaving the papacy in a much better condition than when he received the keys of St. Peter. He was buried in the church of the Dominicans at Viterbo. Owing to divergent views among the cardinals, the papal throne remained vacant for nearly three years. In 1268, Clement canonized St. Hedwig of Poland (d. 1243).
Clement IV, born Gui Foulques, Roman Catholic Pope from 1265 to 1268, son of a successful lawyer and judge, was born at St Gilles-sur-Rhône. He studied law, and became a valued adviser of Louis IX of France. He married, and was the father of two daughters, but after the death of his wife took orders. In 1257 he became bishop of Le Puy; in 1259 he was elected archbishop of Narbonne; and on the 24th of December 1261 Urban IV created him cardinal bishop of Sabina. He was appointed legate in England on the 22nd of November 1263, and before his return was elected pope at Perugia on the 5th of February 1265. On the 26th of February he invested Charles of Anjou with the kingdom of Sicily; but subsequently he came into conflict with Charles, especially after the death of Manfred in February 1266. To the cruelty and avarice of Charles he opposed a generous humanity. When Conradin, the last of the Hohenstaufen, appeared in Italy the pope excommunicated him and his supporters, but it is improbable that he was in the remotest degree responsible for his execution. At Viterbo, where he spent most of his pontificate, Clement died on the 29th of November 1268, leaving a name unsullied by nepotism. As the benefactor and protector of Roger Bacon he has a special title to the gratitude of posterity.