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Papauté, monachisme et théories politiques. Volume II

 | 
Pierre Guichard
, 
Marie-Thérèse Lorcin
, 
Jean-Michel Poisson
, 
et al.

Quatrième partie. Les églises des pays bourguignons

Non ordo sed horror: Innocent III's burgundian dilemma

Brenda Bolton

Texte intégral

  • 1 J.-B. Μαην, L'ordre cistercien et son gouvernement des origines au milieu du XIIIe siècle (1098-12 (...)
  • 2 Innocentii III: Opera Omnia, Patrologia Latina 214-7, éd. J.-P. Migne, Paris, 1855; M. Maccarrone, (...)
  • 3 Ibid, pp. 148-9; J.-M. Canivez, Statuta Capitulorum Generalium Ordinis Cisterciensis ab anno 1116 (...)

1The final years of the twelfth century had seen, in Rome, the arrival of a new and determined young pope whilst, in Burgundy, the centennial celebrations of the Cistercian Order were taking place at the mother house of Cîteaux1. It was to be expected that some form of interaction would occur between the two events. Innocent Ill's immediate aim was to strengthen Christ's Church, no matter where it operated2. On the face of it, the Cistercian Order could have been expected to have been amongst his most important helpers. Unfortunately, the Order itself was facing problems. The original pattern of a mother house surrounded by respectful daughters was experiencing the difficulties which come with age. The daughter houses had grown increasingly more confident, more self-reliant and were inclined to make thrusting demands for more autonomy. Unless these strains were corrected, Innocent's wish to use them as the example by which other groups of monks and canons could be brought into a systematic form of existence would not be realized3. He aimed to influence the Cistercians towards an amicable solution as secretly as possible. Too open a discussion would not have helped Innocent in his search for an organisational model. Nor would it have helped the Order to maintain its unity. It was in the interests of both parties to arrange matters discreetly.

  • 4 B. Griesser, «Rainer von Fossanova und sein Brief an Abt Arnald von Qteaux (1203)», Cistercienser (...)
  • 5 (?-d. 1207/1209), H. Grundmann, «Zur Biographie Joachims von Flore und Rainers von Ponza», Deutsch (...)
  • 6 Abbot of Casamari (1182-1209); Gesta Innocenta PP. III, PL, 214, cols XVII-CCXXVIII, CLXIX.

2The year 1203 was to be the occasion of Innocent's most serious attempt to resolve the issue4. He used as agents, Rainier, an outstanding Cistercian who was the Pope's personal confessor5 and Gerald, abbot of Casamari, a Cistercian of equal standing who was being used at the time by the Pope to help to bring pax et concordia to the troubled relations between France and England6.

  • 7 «Qui iam in registro iussit litteras memorie commendar!», Griesser, «Rainer von Fossanova», p. 166
  • 8 Arnald Amaury (d. 1225), abbot of Poblet, Grandselve and Cîteaux (1202).
  • 9 Griesser, «Rainer von Fossanova», p. 166 «deferente sibi eas domno G. abbate Casemarii nepote vener (...)

3Rainier took advantage of two circumstances to advance the Pope’s cause. Innocent had decided to send out litterae memorie, sternly reminding Cîteaux and her four daughters of the need to give their full attention to organisation and election, particularly of abbots in the Order7. This gave the opportunity to Rainier to send an accompanying letter pointing out the seriousness of the situation. The letter was addressed to Arnald-Amaury, recently promoted as Abbot of Cîteaux8, and was written as one Cistercian to another. About this time, Gerald of Casamari, papal legate to France, was returning from Rome to Paris to continue his attempts at peaceful negotiation between the kings, Philip Augustus and John of England. On the way, he aimed to attend the Cistercian General Chapter meeting at Cîteaux around the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross on 14 September. He was an ideal carrier for both the Pope's letters and Rainier's special delivery. To emphasize Gerald's credentials in case Arnald-Amaury should be in any doubt, Rainier highlighted the importance of Gerald's uncle, Gerald I, sixth abbot of Clairvaux (1170-1175/6)9.

  • 10 Discovered in a fifteenth-century manuscript, Troyes 1511, 48 recto — 50 recto.

4Rainier's letter has not received the attention it undoubtedly deserves. It was edited for the first time in 195310 but has again lapsed into relative obscurity. It is therefore particularly appropriate that its importance to both the work of Innocent III and the Cistercian Order should be discussed in a volume to honour Professor Pacaut, much of whose professional life has been spent in Burgundy, that region of France so important in the history of monasticism.

  • 11 «Iam non ordo sed horror a plurimis estimetur», Griesser, «Rainer von Fossanova», p. 165.

5Over a period of years, Cîteaux, founded in 1098 had become the head of an extensive family, colonizing the surrounding area with four «daughters»: La Ferté (1113), near Chalon-sur-Saône, Pontigny (1114), north of Auxerre, Clairvaux (1115) near Langres and, in the same year, Morimond between Langres and Troyes. A rich Burgundian vintage indeed but with the potential for turning somewhat sour as these elder daughters planted their own offshoots! By the end of the twelfth century and in spite of the «safety valve» of the General Chapter, insistent demands were being heard from the elder daughters for shared authority with Citeaux and a system of wider representation. Not only was this power struggle taking place within the Order but Cîteaux's daughters were also quarrelling bitterly amongst themselves. Innocent did not find this situation at all helpful and his litterae memorie pointed this out. Rainier's letter, coming as it did from a Cistercian, was a determined, internal and acerbic attempt to resolve the issue. «Truly», he stated, «unless drastic steps were taken to remedy matters, the Cistercians, instead of an Order, would become a horror, non ordo serf horror»11.

  • 12 Canivez, I, pp. 221-4.
  • 13 16 April 1198. O. Hageneder and A. Haidacher, eds, Die Register Innocenz'III, I, Pontifikatsjahr 1 (...)
  • 14 Canivez, I, pp. 222-4.
  • 15 «Innocentius papa scribatur in canone et in cereo pascali», ibid, p. 232.

6Innocent's own earlier letter, of which the litterae memorie were somewhat sharp reminders, had been read to the assembled abbots at the General Chapter of 119812. It was an earnest appeal from a new young pope. He set out the hopes and fears of his office, praying that Christ himself should protect the storm-tossed barque of Peter, turning the cold North wind round to the milder south and calming the wild sea. In a phrase he had already used to the cities of the Patrimony, he reminded the Order that, although Christ's yoke was easy and his burden light, it was, nevertheless, of vital importance to take it up13. Martha was needed as well as Mary. He understood the Order's reluctance to be caught up in the chores of ministry and that they preferred, like Mary, to contemplate at the feet of the Lord but much was needed from them in the situation then facing the Church of Christ. The pope's burden was heavy and he relied upon the Cistercians in helping him to shoulder it14. The letter was well-received and it was agreed by the Chapter of 1198 that Innocent's name should be inscribed in the official records of the Order and even on the great Paschal candlestick in the abbey church of Cîteaux15.

  • 16 PL 214, cols 1107-8.
  • 17 «Sicut Grandimontenses, in derisum et fabulam incidatis», ibid, col. 1108; B.M. Bolton, «Via ascet (...)
  • 18 Matthew, XVIII, 7.

7By 22 November 1202, another letter was needed from the Pope16. This was an exhortation specifically addressed to the Burgundian heartland of the Cistercian Order, to Cîteaux herself and the first four daughters. «Those who had earlier walked simply, had walked confidently», was Innocent's message. He regretted that the former spiritual footsteps of the Order which had spread its fame from sea to sea had not remained simple but instead had deteriorated into internal squabbling. There had also been interference with local bishops, interrupting pastoral relations with their flocks. The former good reputation of the Cistercians had become tarnished. This was not what he had expected or hoped for following their friendly reception of 1198. He ordered and warned Cîteaux and her daughters to hold fast to the simplicity and purity of their propositum or way of life, keeping their hands to the plough or they would risk being judged by other, harsher standards. Indeed, should they persist in quarrelling, they faced the danger that they might fall into the same scandal and derision as the Order of Grandmont17: «woe to those from whom scandal comes»18. Such woe, inferred Innocent, might mean the abolition of the whole Cistercian Order, something which he would not deliberately choose to do if it were at all possible to avoid. Such a fearsome disagreement was indeed serious, not only to Innocent's aim for a model which all could follow but to the whole concept of the Cistercians as the «new order» of monasticism. It was time for Rainier to act.

  • 19 Griesser, «Rainer von Fossanova», p. 163.
  • 20 Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153).

8He wrote to the Abbot of Cîteaux who was the head of all Cistercians. In return for the spiritual rest and refreshment which he had received as a member of the Order, he begged to be allowed to write of matters both old and new which the Abbot might either use or discard as he wished19. In some previous monastic community, unspecified in the letter, both he and Arnald-Amaury had together found solace in their study of the Scriptures, drawing out and exploring the hidden meanings. They found that the Order of Cîteaux, as the stable plant of the Lord, would not be easily divided by boldness or childishness. Their beloved Bernard20, that latter-day Moses or Paul, had ruled the Cistercians for forty years, had fought against both Gilbert de la Porrée and Abelard, had founded Clairvaux and throughout, maintained the stability and ideals of the Order. Under him, the existence of Cîteaux and her four daughters could be compared with the first five churches of the Apostles and with the first five churches of the Apostles and with the five great patriarchates. Cîteaux would thus be equated with Rome, both being necessary centres or seats of the spirit of the soul.

9Other allusions abounded in the letter. Rainier described Cîteaux as being surrounded by four wheel-like structures: the daughter houses. The whole Church of Rome was similarly surrounded by the patriarchates. These wheels or circles, in each case, both support and are themselves supported, creating the necessary equilibrium and stability. Each is essential to the other for both Order and Church. To develop the biblical symbolism, he related La Ferté, the first daughter house, to Jerusalem and the primitive Church which, if not very populous, was firm in the faith of the first apostles. Pontigny was likened to Antioch, the home of the first Christians; Clairvaux compared with Alexandria and Morimond with Constantinople. «Our Order, with its close likeness to the Church of Christ, must not be allowed to destroy itself by inward-looking, self-centredness so that the true design which the Pope hoped to follow would not be available to him».

  • 21 «Quia convenientibus vobis in unum iam non est cenam patrum Cisterciensium manducare, sed unusquis (...)

10Rainier counselled Arnald-Amaury on the special attention which needed to be given to a harmonious relationship between Cîteaux, the centre of the Order and the centre of the four circles, should aim for spiritual equality by stressing the strength and equality of the daughter houses whose safety Cîteaux would support, neither oppressing them with burdens nor leaving them unprotected. He described his fears as to what might happen when mother and daughters came together in the Annual General Chapter. «Not without reason, O Reverend Father, do they use their words like swords for we have heard with perturbation and are disturbed that at your gathering, no longer are you at one, sharing, as it were, the supper of the Cistercian fathers but each one appearing to go his own way21. No longer do you perform in common the necessary works and duties but each, hatefully and contentiously comes with punitive proclamations of accusation which do not proceed from the office of love. Spurious ordinations have been made which have no roots on high, nor are they then able to be established on a stable foundation. We are too much aware of these and similar abuses which are detrimental to the reputation of the whole Cistercian Order. The Pope himself is also aware of it». Rainier singles out for special rebuke the abbots of La Ferté and Pontigny who seem to have led the demands for more independance.

  • 22 Ibid, pp. 165-6.
  • 23 «Et aliis quos iudicaveritis advocandos», ibid, p. 166.
  • 24 «Litteras remiseritis singulorum signaculis sigillatas», ibid.

11Examples of earlier divisions in the history of the Church, all associated with the number three are described by Rainier as being awful warnings. The three kings and the ten tribes in the times and land of Judah; the third period of the Early Church when, after the Apostles and the martyrs, the learned doctors fought against the Arians and then, later, when the Greek Church separated from the Latin. He now warns Arnald-Amaury that the Cistercian Order is in a similar state. It too has reached that third age of spirituality and already the seeds of harmful division have appeared. Thirty three and a third years was about the time that Christ lived in the flesh. «If you multiply such a period into three such spiritual states, you will know that the Order itself has recently passed through this third period. We must watch that the divisions which seem to occur in such third periods do not cause the Order to fall into calamitous ruin»22. Rainier's aim is to incite the Abbot of Cîteaux to take remedial action. He should receive the letters from the Pope with all meekness and maturity. He should summon together the first four daughter houses and «others as appropriate», possibly using the definitors23. «You will treat the matter with all charity. The occasion of the quarrels may be hidden from those not attending so that matters may be resolved away from harmful outside influences». Rainier explains that Innocent will understand the need for this secrecy. «In the love that each abbot bears for his brother abbots and if Cîteaux and the daughters all agree to this, each will receive letters bearing a special seal24 in which, by agreed custom, peace and concord would be established. It is to be hoped that the houses would not be, either now or in the future, like the sons of Laban and regard the Pope as having taken away their rights. Nor should what the Curia proposes be considered as frivolous, to be disregarded by future generations. When all the daughters have spoken, bringing out their complaints and allegations against each other, it is to be hoped that they, in turn, will agree to be communally elected to work with and through you to sustain the burden of the Order. Unless this is done, the whole Order will be weakened and swept away. The Pope is not forgetful of his responsibilities and has already, in registro, reminded you of the consequences. He has wished to communicate with you in such a way that our Jerusalem will be most carefully examined under a light and thereby preserved and not fatally wounded. But something must be done».

  • 25 Bolton, «Via ascetica; a papal quandary», pp. 180-2.
  • 26 Maccarrone, Studi, pp. 226-46; U. Berliere, «Les chapitres généraux de l'Ordre de St Benoît», Revue (...)

12Rainier's letter, with its threat of the stark consequences which the divisions in the Order seemed to be bringing to the relationship between the five senior abbeys and also with the Pope, brought forth little response in 1203. At least, little is recorded. Typically Innocent III still held to his determination to use the ideal of the Cistercian Order as the organisational norm for reform and renewal, not only amongst Benedictines but ultimately for all monastic and regular congregations which were still autonomous25. The Cistercians in Burgundy might procrastinate and prevaricate but that would not stop Innocent III from using their model in all its earlier purity for others to follow. In February 1203, he embarked on an elaborate scheme to summon the abbots of monasteries, other than Cistercians, immediately subject nullo medio to the Holy See, to meet together in six provincial chapters in northern and central Italy, France and England26. A start at least was being made even if the plan faltered and came to little at that time. He was later to revive his plans to present the model to the Lateran Council, ignoring as far as he could the tales of dissention amongst the Cistercians.

  • 27 Letter of 26 July 1216, C. Horoy, Honorii III romani pontificis opera omnia, Medii aevi bibliothec (...)
  • 28 Canon XII, In singulis regnis, COD, 3 ed., Bologna, 1973, pp. 240-1.
  • 29 5 May 1204-14 September 1219, Eubel, Hierarchia Catholica Medii Aevi, I, Regensberg, 1913, p. 5; W (...)
  • 30 14 March, 1217, Horoy, Honorii III Opera, CCLWVI, cols 328-30.
  • 31 C.H. Lawrence, Medieval Monasticism: Forms of Religious Life in Western Europe in the Middle Ages, (...)
  • 32 Ibid, col. 329.

13The Cistercians themselves seem to have planned to raise their bitter internal quarrel at the Fourth Lateran Council of 1215. Innocent was vigorously opposed to this27 in order to avoid a scandal at the expense of an Order which he was about to hold up as an example28. By the enterprise of Nicholas de Romanis, Cardinal Bishop of Tusculum29, papal legate and another of Innocent's agents, the Cistercians retracted and agreed to accept the wishes of the Abbot of Cîteaux30 for the time being. This compromise meant that, should the need arise to depose one of the abbots of the first four daughter houses, the Abbot of Cîteaux would select for the purpose a group of abbots who represented the sanior pars31. He was to choose and if no agreement was arrived at with the others, the «less wise group», the matter was to be referred to the General Chapter and will be corrected by the diffinitors32. After a delay of two weeks, he was to summon the daughter abbots of the senior daughter house thus rendered vacant in order not to make proposals likely to provoke a scandal at the General Chapter.

  • 33 Mahn, L'ordre cistercien, pp. 228-38 for the quarrel of 1263-1265.

14Whilst not resolving the underlying difficulties33, the Pope and the Order seem to have maintained a rough status quo, allowing Innocent to go forward with his plans for the Fourth Lateran Council where Canon XII In singulis regnis, recommended the institution of the General Chapter for Benedictines, Augustinians and other groups of religious lacking such organisation. A compromise for 1215 at least!

Notes

1 J.-B. Μαην, L'ordre cistercien et son gouvernement des origines au milieu du XIIIe siècle (1098-1265), 2 éd. Paris, 1951; J.-B. Auberger, L'unanimité cistercienne primitive; mythe ou réalité?, Cîteaux: Studia et Documenta, III, Achel, 1986; L. Janauschek, Originum Cistercensum I, Vienna, 1877.

2 Innocentii III: Opera Omnia, Patrologia Latina 214-7, éd. J.-P. Migne, Paris, 1855; M. Maccarrone, «Primato romano e monasteri dal principio del secolo XII ad Innocenzo III», Istituzione monastiche e istituzione canonicali in occidente 1123-1215, Atti della Settimana internazionale di studi medioevali, Mendola, 28 agosto — 3 settembre 1977, Milan, 1980, pp. 49-132; B.M. BOLTON, «For the See of Simon Peter: the Cistercians at Innocent III's nearest frontier», in J. LOADES éd., Monastic Studies I, Bangor, 1990, pp. 146-57.

3 Ibid, pp. 148-9; J.-M. Canivez, Statuta Capitulorum Generalium Ordinis Cisterciensis ab anno 1116 ad annum 1786, 8 vols, Louvain, 1933-41, I, Ab anno 1116 ad annum 1220, Louvain, 1933.

4 B. Griesser, «Rainer von Fossanova und sein Brief an Abt Arnald von Qteaux (1203)», Cistercienser Chronik 60 (1953), pp. 151-67.

5 (?-d. 1207/1209), H. Grundmann, «Zur Biographie Joachims von Flore und Rainers von Ponza», Deutsches Archiv 16 (1960), pp. 437-546; A. Manrique, Cisterciensium s eu verius ecclesiasticorum Annalium a condito cistercio, 4 vols, Lyon, 1649-1657, III, pp. 368-70.

6 Abbot of Casamari (1182-1209); Gesta Innocenta PP. III, PL, 214, cols XVII-CCXXVIII, CLXIX.

7 «Qui iam in registro iussit litteras memorie commendar!», Griesser, «Rainer von Fossanova», p. 166.

8 Arnald Amaury (d. 1225), abbot of Poblet, Grandselve and Cîteaux (1202).

9 Griesser, «Rainer von Fossanova», p. 166 «deferente sibi eas domno G. abbate Casemarii nepote venerabilis ac beatissimi patris nostri Geraldi Clarevallensis sexti abbatis». Gerald I, patria Lombardus ex abbate Fossanovae, cruelly murdered, Gallia Christiana in provincias ecclesiasticas distributa, 4, Paris, 1728, p. 801.

10 Discovered in a fifteenth-century manuscript, Troyes 1511, 48 recto — 50 recto.

11 «Iam non ordo sed horror a plurimis estimetur», Griesser, «Rainer von Fossanova», p. 165.

12 Canivez, I, pp. 221-4.

13 16 April 1198. O. Hageneder and A. Haidacher, eds, Die Register Innocenz'III, I, Pontifikatsjahr 1198-99, Graz-Vienna-Köln, 1964-68, pp. 126-8; PL 214, cols 75-7; M. Maccarrone, Studi su Innocenzo III, p. 15, note 1.

14 Canivez, I, pp. 222-4.

15 «Innocentius papa scribatur in canone et in cereo pascali», ibid, p. 232.

16 PL 214, cols 1107-8.

17 «Sicut Grandimontenses, in derisum et fabulam incidatis», ibid, col. 1108; B.M. Bolton, «Via ascetica: a papal quandary», Studies in Church History, 22 (Blackwell, 1985), pp. 161-91, especially pp. 70-4.

18 Matthew, XVIII, 7.

19 Griesser, «Rainer von Fossanova», p. 163.

20 Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153).

21 «Quia convenientibus vobis in unum iam non est cenam patrum Cisterciensium manducare, sed unusquisque (de sic facientibus loquor) cenam manducai proprie voluntatis, animosus, contenciosus, emulator, voce clamosus, operibus remissus», ibid, p. 165.

22 Ibid, pp. 165-6.

23 «Et aliis quos iudicaveritis advocandos», ibid, p. 166.

24 «Litteras remiseritis singulorum signaculis sigillatas», ibid.

25 Bolton, «Via ascetica; a papal quandary», pp. 180-2.

26 Maccarrone, Studi, pp. 226-46; U. Berliere, «Les chapitres généraux de l'Ordre de St Benoît», Revue Bénédictine, 18 (1901), pp. 156-9.

27 Letter of 26 July 1216, C. Horoy, Honorii III romani pontificis opera omnia, Medii aevi bibliotheca patristica, 6 vols, Paris, 1879-80, 2, VIII, p. 10.

28 Canon XII, In singulis regnis, COD, 3 ed., Bologna, 1973, pp. 240-1.

29 5 May 1204-14 September 1219, Eubel, Hierarchia Catholica Medii Aevi, I, Regensberg, 1913, p. 5; W. Maleczek, Papst und Kardinalskolleg von 1191 bis 1216: die Kardinale unter Coelestin III und Innocenz III, Vienna, 1984, pp. 147-50.

30 14 March, 1217, Horoy, Honorii III Opera, CCLWVI, cols 328-30.

31 C.H. Lawrence, Medieval Monasticism: Forms of Religious Life in Western Europe in the Middle Ages, 2 éd., London, 1989, p. 187; J.-B. Van Damme, «Les pouvoirs de l'Abbé de Cîteaux au XII et XIII siècle», Analecta Sacri Ordinis Cisterciensis 24,1968, pp. 17-85.

32 Ibid, col. 329.

33 Mahn, L'ordre cistercien, pp. 228-38 for the quarrel of 1263-1265.

Auteur

Queen Mary and Westfield College, Londres

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