THE EMPEROR'S POWER IN TEMPORAL MATTERS: Are All Parts Of The World Subject To The Emperor In Temporals? Opinion 2: The Roman Emperor Is Not Now Lord Of All Nations CHAPTER 7
Grandes Heurs d'Anne de Bretagne
THE EMPEROR'S POWER IN TEMPORAL MATTERS
Are all parts of the world subject to the Emperor in temporals?
Opinion 2: The Roman Emperor is not now lord of all nations
Student Argue further for that opinion.
Master The sacred canons seem to attest that the emperor of the Romans is not the lord even of all who are secular. According to them there are many people who do not have a superior; yet this would not be true if all who are secular were subject to the emperor. For as we find in Extra, De hereticis, c. Excommunicamus [c.13, col.787], Innocent III says, "Indeed if a secular lord, despite being asked and advised by the church, neglects to purge his land of the filth of heresy ... nevertheless keeping the same law for those who do not have principal lords."
Again, in Extra, Qui filii sunt legitimi, c. Per venerabilem [c.13, col.714] the same [pope] says, "Moreover since the king does not recognise a superior in temporal affairs he could subject himself to our jurisdiction without wounding anyone else's right in doing so."
Again, speaking about the pope, the gloss on Extra, De foro competenti, c. Ex transmissa [col. 544] says, "Although he makes a grant to a cleric against a layman, yet he does not make a grant to a layman against a layman as long as he has another superior." We gather from these [two texts] that there are many laymen who do not have a superior, and consequently not everyone is subject to the emperor.
Student Although that argument seems strong, yet the second text, about the king of France, does not seem pertinent to the argument. This is (i) because the gloss at that point, as was brought forward in chapter 18 of the first [book] of this [tractate], asserts that the king of France is by right subject to the Roman empire. It is also (ii) because Innocent does not say that the king of France does not have a superior in temporal affairs, but that the king of France does not recognise a superior. Someone can have a superior, however, even if he does not recognise this.
Master It seems to some people that neither of those [arguments] infers that that text of Innocent's does not show what is intended: the second does not because it is drawn out from the words of Innocent that are quoted that Innocent himself reckons that the king of France truly and justly does not recognise a superior in temporal affairs, since he asserts that because the king does not recognise a superior in temporal affairs, he could, therefore, without wounding anyone else's right subject himself to the jurisdiction of the pope. But if the king were not to recognise a superior in temporal affairs falsely and unjustly, he could not, for that reason, subject himself to the jurisdiction of the pope without wounding anyone else's right, because a false and unjust denial of the lordship of one person does not bestow on the one denying it the power of subjecting himself to the jurisdiction of another person without wounding the right of his true lord. Therefore Innocent reckons that the king does not recognise a superior in temporal affairs truly and justly. We conclude from this that the first [argument] is not valid because that gloss seems opposed to its text since the gloss says that the king of France is by right subject to the empire and the text says that because the king of France does not recognise a superior he can subject himself to the jurisdiction of the pope; yet he could not do this if he were by right subject to the empire because this would be to the prejudice of the emperor if he were subject to him.
Student My objection seems to be excluded and because of this the above argument seems to be fully confirmed. And yet tell me how a reply is made to it.
Master The reply to the first decretal is that it is talking about those who do not in fact have principal lords, because those people are not less bound for that reason to obey the pope in the matter of overcoming heretics.
In response to the second [decretal] it is said that it is talking about the king of France at a time when the emperor seems to reckon at least as a matter of fact that the king of France is not subject to him, in that neither by word nor by deed does he show that he by right rules over the king of France. Because of the mistake or negligence of the emperor the pope can in such a case exercise this sort of jurisdiction over the king of France, if he subjects him, not by means of the authority given to him by Christ but by means of that which he obtains from custom. The pope has this power not because the king of France falsely and unjustly does not recognise the lordship of the emperor but because the emperor neglects his own rights or does not know what rights he has over the king of France and all other laymen. For just as an ecclesiastical judge can meddle in secular jurisdiction when a secular judge neglects to do justice (Extra, De foro competenti, c. Ex tenore [c.11, col.251] and c. Licet in the gloss [col.559]), so in many cases the pope can make good the negligence or ignorance of the emperor towards his subjects.
Student If the pope can make good the negligence or ignorance of the emperor by exercising temporal jurisdiction over the king of France, by the same argument, therefore, he could deprive the emperor of the right and lordship which the emperor has over the king of France.
Master The reply is that by no power which he has either from Christ or from licit custom can the pope deprive the emperor of this kind of right and lordship, just as he can not destroy the empire.
Student Can the emperor release the king of France or another [king] so that he is not in any way under the empire?
Master The reply is that although the emperor can grant many freedoms to the king of France and to other [kings], yet he can not in any way totally separate the kingdom of France or another [kingdom] from the empire so that it is not in any way under the empire, because this would be to destroy the empire, something the emperor can not do.
Student Tell me how reply is made to the gloss brought forward above.
Master The reply is that that gloss is talking about a layman who in fact does not have a superior, although in law every layman, both unbelieving and believing, is under the emperor.