Jus exclusivae

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Jus exclusivae (Latin for "right of exclusion"; sometimes called the papal veto) was the right claimed by several Catholic monarchs of Europe to veto a candidate for the papacy. The French monarch, the Spanish monarch, and the Holy Roman Emperor (which later became the Emperor of Austria) claimed this right at various times, making known to a papal conclave, through a crown-cardinal, that the monarch deemed a particular candidate for the papacy objectionable.

Latin Indo-European language of the Italic family

Latin is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. The Latin alphabet is derived from the Etruscan and Greek alphabets and ultimately from the Phoenician alphabet.

A monarch is a sovereign head of state in a monarchy. A monarch may exercise the highest authority and power in the state, or others may wield that power on behalf of the monarch. Typically a monarch either personally inherits the lawful right to exercise the state's sovereign rights or is selected by an established process from a family or cohort eligible to provide the nation's monarch. Alternatively, an individual may become monarch by conquest, acclamation or a combination of means. A monarch usually reigns for life or until abdication.

Europe Continent in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere

Europe is a continent located entirely in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere. It is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, Asia to the east, and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. It comprises the westernmost part of Eurasia.

Early history

The right exercised by Byzantine emperors and Holy Roman Emperors to confirm the election of a Pope, which was last exercised in the Early Middle Ages, appears unrelated to the legal claim of jus exclusivae, during the 17th century, when treatises in defence of this right first appear. Spain, which ruled much of Italy at the time, raised the claim in 1605 and again in 1644 at the conclave that elected Cardinal Giovanni Battista Pamphili (who became Pope Innocent X) to exclude Giulio Cesare Sacchetti.

Byzantine Empire Roman Empire during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages

The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It survived the fragmentation and fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD and continued to exist for an additional thousand years until it fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1453. During most of its existence, the empire was the most powerful economic, cultural and military force in Europe. "Byzantine Empire" is a term created after the end of the realm; its citizens continued to refer to their empire simply as the Roman Empire, or Romania (Ῥωμανία), and to themselves as "Romans".

Early Middle Ages Period of European history between the 5th and 10th centuries

Historians typically regard the Early Middle Ages or Early Medieval Period, sometimes referred to as the Dark Ages, as lasting from the 5th or 6th century to the 10th century. They marked the start of the Middle Ages of European history. The alternative term "Late Antiquity" emphasizes elements of continuity with the Roman Empire, while "Early Middle Ages" is used to emphasize developments characteristic of the earlier medieval period. As such the concept overlaps with Late Antiquity, following the decline of the Western Roman Empire, and precedes the High Middle Ages.

A treatise is a formal and systematic written discourse on some subject, generally longer and treating it in greater depth than an essay, and more concerned with investigating or exposing the principles of the subject.

Right asserted since 1644

Giulio Cesare Sacchetti Catholic cardinal

Giulio Cesare Sacchetti was an Italian Catholic Cardinal and was twice included in the French Court's list of acceptable candidates for the Papacy, in 1644 and 1655.

Philip IV of Spain King of Spain and Portugal

Philip IV was King of Spain and Portugal. He ascended the thrones in 1621 and reigned in Spain until his death and in Portugal until 1640. Philip is remembered for his patronage of the arts, including such artists as Diego Velázquez, and his rule over Spain during the Thirty Years' War.

Galeazzo Marescotti Italian cardinal

Galeazzo Marescotti was an Italian cardinal.

At the 1846 Papal conclave, Austrian Chancellor Klemens von Metternich confided Austria's veto of Cardinal Giovanni Maria Mastai-Ferretti to Cardinal Carlo Gaetano Gaisruck, Archbishop of Milan, who arrived too late. [9] [10] [lower-alpha 2]

Klemens von Metternich Austrian diplomat

Klemens Wenzel Nepomuk Lothar, Prince of Metternich-Winneburg zu Beilstein was an Austrian diplomat who was at the center of European affairs for four decades as the Austrian Empire's foreign minister from 1809 and Chancellor from 1821 until the liberal Revolutions of 1848 forced his resignation.

Carlo Gaetano Gaisruck Cardinal Archbishop of Milan

Karl Kajetan von Gaisruck was an Austrian Cardinal and the archbishop of Milan from 1816 to 1846. He also held the title of Graf or Count.

Papal attitude toward the jus exclusivae

Franz Joseph I of Austria was the last monarch to attempt to exercise the jus exclusivae. Emperor Francis Joseph.jpg
Franz Joseph I of Austria was the last monarch to attempt to exercise the jus exclusivae.

The right has never been formally recognized by the papacy, though conclaves have considered it expedient to recognize secular objections to certain papabili , that is, candidates for the papacy, and to accept secular interference as an unavoidable abuse. By the papal bull In eligendis of 9 October 1562 Pope Pius IV ordered the cardinals to elect a pope without deference to any secular power. The bull Aeterni Patris Filius (of 15 November 1621) forbids cardinals to conspire to exclude any candidate. These pronouncements however, did not specifically condemn the jus exclusivae. In the apostolic constitution In hac sublimi of 23 August 1871 Pope Pius IX forbade any kind of secular interference in papal elections.

Papabile adjective

Papabile (, also, Italian: [paˈpaːbile]; pl.papabili; lit. "pop able" or "able to be pope" is an unofficial Italian term first coined by Vaticanologists and now used internationally in many languages to describe a Roman Catholic man, in practice always a cardinal, who is thought a likely or possible candidate to be elected pope. In Italy the term has become very common and people use it for other analogous situations, too.

Papal bull Type of letters patent or charter issued by a Pope of the Catholic Church

A papal bull is a type of public decree, letters patent, or charter issued by a pope of the Catholic Church. It is named after the leaden seal (bulla) that was traditionally appended to the end in order to authenticate it.

Pope Pius IV Pope from 1559 to 1565

Pope Pius IV, born Giovanni Angelo Medici, was Pope from 25 December 1559 to his death in 1565. Born in Milan, his family was not related to the more prominent Medici of Florence.

The most recent attempt to exercise the right to exclude Cardinal Rampolla in 1903 was rejected by the conclave, although over the course of several ballots Rampolla, who had been the leading candidate, lost support until the conclave elected Cardinal Sarto, Saint Pius X. The following year, Pius X forbade the jus exclusivae in the apostolic constitution Commissum Nobis of 20 January 1904:

Wherefore in virtue of holy obedience, under threat of the Divine judgment, and pain of excommunication latae sententiae… we prohibit the cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, all and single, and likewise the Secretary of the Sacred College of Cardinals, and all others who take part in the conclave, to receive even under the form of a simple desire the office of proposing the veto in whatever manner, either by writing or by word of mouth… And it is our will that this prohibition be extended… to all intercessions, etc… by which the lay powers endeavour to intrude themselves in the election of a pontiff… Let no man infringe this our inhibition… under pain of incurring the indignation of God Almighty and of his Apostles, Sts. Peter and Paul.

Since then the cardinals in conclave have been enjoined to take this oath: "We shall never in any way accept, under any pretext, from any civil power whatever, the office of proposing a veto of exclusion even under the form of a mere desire… and we shall never lend favour to any intervention, or intercession, or any other method whatever, by which the lay powers of any grade or order may wish to interfere in the election of a pontiff."

No power has openly attempted to exercise the right since 1903. France had become a republic in 1870. After World War I, there was no German Empire and no Austrian Empire. Spain became a republic and eventually became a constitutional monarchy. During the 1963 conclave, Generalissimo Francisco Franco made an unsuccessful attempt to block the election of Cardinal Giovanni Montini. He sent the College of Cardinals some "advice" through Cardinal Arcadio Larraona, a native of Spain who was then the Prefect of the Congregation of Rites. It was carefully drafted to fall outside the forms of influence that Pius X had prohibited, but the cardinals nevertheless thought it outrageous. [13] [lower-alpha 3]

See also


  1. Cardinal Odeschalchi was elected pope in 1676, taking the name Innocent XI.
  2. Salvador Miranda writes that Eugenio Cazzani calls the report that Gaisruck was bringing the Austrian Emperor's veto of Mastai-Ferretti an unverified rumor. [11] [12]
  3. Just after the conclave ended, the New York Times reported: "A report before the beginning of the conclave that Generalissimo Francisco Franco had asked the six Spanish cardinals to prevent Cardinal Montini's elevation was emphatically denied. The Spanish press had criticized [Montini] last October after he had publicly interceded with [Franco] for political prisoners." [14]

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