domingo, 16 de agosto de 1598

Edad:
71 años

Relato del día: Felipe II recibe al Nuncio

Andaba su Majestad tan cuidadoso de su salvación, que quiso que D. Camilo Caetano, nuncio de su Santidad, le bendixese de parte de su Santidad. Y porque se entienda lo que en esto pasó, pondré aquí á la letra una copia de todo ello, que á instancia mía me dio, para ponerla aquí, el doctor Juan Bautista Confalonier, secretario del dicho Nuncio, que es del tenor siguiente.

A deciseis de Agosto de mil y quinientos y noventa y ocho, en San Lorenzo el Real, la Majestad del rey D. Felipe el II, que esté en gloria, mandó llamar á D. Camilo Caetano (1), patriarca de Alexandría, nuncio y colector general por su Santidad en estos reinos de España, que habia ido allá para consagrar á García de Loaysa en Arzobispo de Toledo. El Nuncio halló al Rey extendido en la cama como inmóvile, con extrema flaqueza, mas con los sentidos vivacísimos, y con una serenidad de rostro y composición de ánimo milagroso. Mandó su Majestad sentar al Nuncio, el cual hizo á su Majestad una larga plática para su consuelo espiritual y ordenada al fin para que su Majestad le habia llamado, que era para tomar su bendición en nombre de su Santidad, y una absolución plenaria, con intención de alcanzar todas las bendiciones, indulgencias y frutos espirituales que se alcanzan de su Santidad efl estado semejante. Y el Nuncio se la dio con aquella liberalidad y plenitud, como si su Santidad estuviera presente, teniendo seguridad que su Santidad ratificaría su acción y bendición, y que aprobaría todo lo hecho.

Acabada la plática del Nuncio, su Majestad respondió con cara ridente y ánimo intrépido, y como un santo, que se habia alegrado de su venida, y que su mal era grande, y estaba dispuestísimo para se acomodar á la voluntad de Dios con la vida ó con la muerte, y que no pretendía otra cosa sino morir en su santa gracia y alcanzar perdón de sus pecados. Y que rendía y daba muchas gracias á Dios por los grandes beneficios recebidos, y que en el estado en que estaba tuviese tanta Juz y conocimiento de que el verdadero fin del hombre es la felicidad eterna. Y que se consolaba grandemente de lo que le ofrecía de suplir con la bendición apostólica, la cual aceptaba con grande voluntad, y la pedia humílmente á su Santidad. Y que quería que en todo caso se tuviese respeto y reverencia á la santa Silla Apostólica y á su Santidad. Y que se tuviese mucha cuenta con la jurisdicion eclesiástica , mirando por ella; y otras cosas semejantes dixo aquella santa alma, que por estar cansado y flaco no se pudieron entonces percibir, y con esto se fué el Nuncio.

 Mas es cosa de notar que, habiendo su señoría ílustrísima escrito á su Santidad para la confirmación y ratificación de la bendición y absolución que el dicho Nuncio le habia dado de parte de su Santidad, llegó la nueva antes que su Majestad acabase la vida, de que su Santidad le dio cuantas bendiciones, gracias é indulgencias le podia dar. Y con estas tantas y tan santas obras, y dignas de tan grande y católico Rey, y allegado í Dios, se fué á gozarle en el cielo, habiéndole mucho tiempo amado y servido en la tierra.

 

Nota (1)

Mission to Madrid 

By family tradition the Caetani had political sympathies with Spain, so Camillo’s appointment as nuncio to Madrid on 20 September 1592 was very welcome. He arrived in Barcelona on 13 January 1593 and reached Madrid on 9 February, accompanied by his nephews Gregorio and Benedetto, (both of whom died in Spain) and had his first audience with Philip II five days later. Caetani reported that ‘Although the king is old and constantly sick… he wants to be involved in all business matters [and] he consults few people before he embarks on prolonged, difficult and dangerous affairs.’ In the final years of Philip’s reign, Caetani was the only diplomat who still received personal audiences with the king.

In Madrid, Caetani’s main tasks were to ensure that the Tridentine reforms were enacted and the benefit of clergy preserved. He also encouraged Philip to provide generous funding for universities, seminaries, and those afflicted by the Eighty Years’ War. He also strove to build an alliance of all Catholic states against the Ottoman Empire. Caetani was assisted in his mission by two papal diplomats: Camillo Borghese in 1594 and Giovanni Francesco Aldobrandini, nephew of the pope, in 1595. His diplomatic efforts were undermined by the rapprochement of Pope Clement VIII with Henry IV of France, who had converted to Catholicism in 1593.

Caetani was also instructed to take a very cautious line with Spain’s aggressive inclinations towards England. He was critical of the Spanish attacks on shipping carrying alum (essential for the cloth industry) from Tolfa, near Rome, and of the restrictions Spain placed on the movement of grain from Sicily to the Papal States. He also worked to secure Spanish support for the incorporation of Ferrara into the Papal States. His most successful initiatives were in the field of censorship through the Index librorum prohibitorum. In 1593 he obtained the arrest and eventual removal to Rome, of Juan Roa Dávila, author of Apologia de iuribus principalibus which argued for the authority of the secular power in church affairs. Not all ecclesiastical matters were easily resolved however: in 1594, Madrid quashed the papal bull De largitione munerum, one of a number of papal bulls rejected by the Spanish government. Likewise, appeals from the clergy in Spain to the Roman Rota against the decisions of secular courts were prohibited, and Caetani had to pursue long and exhausting disputes to preserve Papal rights in Spain, from which substantial revenues accrued – for example, in the case of the rich inheritance of the Cardinal of Toledo. He was eventually successful in reaching a compromise on church matters, approved by Clement VIII in 1599.

As early as 1594 Caetani’s position was seriously compromised following a campaign of orchestrated accusations by Spanish circles in Rome and papal diplomats in Spain, accusing him of abuse of power, excessive spending, neglect of his duties, accepting bribes, and abusing his own staff. He was not recalled from his post however, partly because the rivalry between the pope’s nephews Cinzio Passeri Aldobrandini and Pietro Aldobrandini was so intense that neither could be appointed to succeed him. Having survived this threat, Caetani was able to secure the position of collector of the diezmo in Spain, and, for a while, in Portugal as well. Caetani needed to draw around 145,000 scudi from his revenue to fund his nunciature, as the debts of the Caetani house were so heavy (330,000 scudi in 1592).

These financial circumstances compelled Caetani to constantly ask the court in Madrid for pensions, benefits and offices for his relatives, and this in turn inclined him to be amenable to Spanish diplomatic interests. Through his friendship with Philip III’s favourite the Duke of Lerma, Caetani was able to secure for his nephew Bonifacio the bishopric of Cassano and the Order of the Golden Fleece for his nephew Pietro in 1600. Caetani’s efforts to secure for himself the archbishoprics first of Milan and then of Naples were however unsuccessful.

https://infohub.projecttopics.org


Fuentes

Cabrera de Cordoba

Felipe Segundo Rey de España,

Segunda Parte, Tomo cuarto,

Madrid, 1877.

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