José Goñi Gaztambide e-mail(Inicie sesión)

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José Goñi Gaztambide e-mail(Inicie sesión)


Studies on the history of Conciliarism, begun in the last decades of the nineteenth century, were intensilied after 1950, especially during the Second Vatican Council. On the occasion of the sixth centenary of the Western Schism (1378-1417), the subject again came to the fore-front. The present work is an attempt to offer a panoramic vision of the development of Conciliarism in Spain.

Spaniards did not take part in the preparations (XII-XIV centuries) for the Council of Constance nor in its formulation. None of their representatives expressed conciliar ideas in the assembly and all of them became members of the Council, after the crystalization of the conciliary theory in the decree "Haec sancta" of the fifth session. (4-6-15).

In the Council of Pavia-Siena, the Castilians defended the pontifical prerogatives, while those from Aragon fought in the opposite camp for political reasons. Guillermo Armengol, ambassador of Alfonso V, The Magnanimous, bitterly attacked conciliarism and even sought the deposal of Martin V and the election of a new pope favourable to the interests of Aragon in Naples, all to no elect.

The arrival of the idea of conciliarism in Spain came late, it seems. Even as late as 1426 Juan de Segovia defended the most extreme theory of papal absolutism. Almost all the Spaniards who went to Basle, let themselves be led on, more or less intensely, by the new ideas. But the division came about rapidly. Juan de Torquemada and Juan de Palomar, after some flirtation with conciliarism, wente over to the pontifical party and energetically defended the rights of the Roman primacy. On the opposite side the figure of Juan Alfonso de Segovia stands out, the most important Spanish ideologist. His thinking was in constant evolution. No less radical was the Bishop of Hebron, Bartolomé de Pelegrin, O.F.M., and his fellow Franciscan Master Andrés de Malvenda and Francisco de Fuxe. The majority of the rest of the Castilians professed a moderate conciliarism, such as the Bishops Alfonso de Cartagena, Alvaro de Isorna and Juan González. Cardinal Cervantes changed his ideas many times. Alfonso Fernández of Madrigal referred to as the Toasted, whose presence at the Council of Basle we cannot be absolutely certain of, was a staunch conciliarist but he did not propose new ideas. Juan Alfonso Mella and Rodrigo Sánchez de Arévalo did not seem to have been affected by conciliarism at least not during any length of time. The majority of his activity was dedicated to the defense of the Roman primacy. But the most outstanding champion of the papacy was Cardenal Juan de Torquemada. However, not even he was completely free of the conciliarist virus, nor was Juan de Palomar. On the other hand Bernardo Serra, Jorge de Ornos and Jorge Bardaxi were always conciliarists, the ideas of the last two mentioned were of a radical nature.

With the Council of Basle over and the triumph of pontifical primacy assured, conciliarism decayed rapidly. Pedro de Osma was the only important figure who mantained some of his ideas. In Francisco de Vitoria can be detected some unpleasant aftertaste of conciliarism, as well as in his school, although this decreased with time. The Franciscan Antonio de Cordoba was neither papist nor conciliarist. Rather he tried to find a balance between the traditional antagonistic positions.


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