Papal conclave, 1294
Coat of arms during the vacancy of the Holy See
|Dates and location|
|23–24 December 1294
Castel Nuovo, Naples
|Protodeacon||Matteo Rosso Orsini|
(Name taken: Boniface VIII)
The papal conclave of December 23–24, 1294 was convoked in Naples after the resignation of Pope Celestine V on 13 December 1294. Celestine V had only months earlier restored the Constitution Ubi periculum of Pope Gregory X, which had been suspended by Pope Adrian V in July 1276. From that time every papal election has been a papal conclave. It is the first papal conclave held during the lifetime of the preceding pontiff, the second such occurrence taking place in 2013 following the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI.
Abdication of Celestine V
Celestine V, founder of the Order of Celestines, widely esteemed and venerated for his holiness, was elected to the papacy on July 7, 1294, as a compromise choice after an over two-years long sede vacante. It quickly became clear that this saintly eremite was wholly incompetent and unsuited for a job as pope. Admitting his own incompetence soon after his election, Celestine expressed the wish to abdicate and return to his solitary cave in the Abruzzi Mountains. However, before doing so he issued two bulls. The first bull established the regulations concerning the abdication of a pope. The second bull (Quia in futurum, September 28, 1294) restored the constitution Ubi periculum, which established the papal conclave; the constitution had been suspended by Pope Adrian V in July 1276. During his short papacy, he also created 13 new cardinals. Eventually, on December 13, 1294, Celestine V abdicated the papacy at Naples, three days after confirming the restoration of the institution of the papal conclave.
It has been widely stated that the alleged great influence of the ambitious Cardinal Benedetto Caetani and the pressure he applied on Celestine V were important factors in Celestine's decision to abdicate, but it seems nearly as certain that it was an entirely voluntarily step of the Pope, with the role of Caetani limited to participation in the solution of the legal problems connected with the resignation of a pope. In particular, there were doubts whether a pope could resign at all, and who would be authorized to accept such a resignation.
List of participants
All 22 living cardinals participated in the conclave; 12 of them were created by Celestine V, five by Nicholas IV, two by Nicholas III, one by Urban IV and one by Honorius IV: Hugh Aycelin, also known as Hughes of Billom, of the French province of the Dominican Order, former lector at the studium of Santa Sabina in Rome, was made Cardinal-Bishop of the suburbicarian see of Ostia in 1294; as Bishop of Ostia he had the right to ordain and consecrate the new bishop of Rome, Pope Boniface VIII. The consecration and coronation took place on 23 January 1295.
|Elector||Place of birth||Cardinalatial title||Elevated||Elevator||Other ecclesiastical titles||Notes|
|Gerardo Bianchi||Parma||Bishop of Sabina||March 12, 1278||Nicholas III||Dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals|
|Giovanni Boccamazza||Rome||Bishop of Frascati||December 22, 1285||Honorius IV||Nephew of Honorius IV; former archbishop of Monreale (1278—1286)|
|Hugh Aycelin, O.P.||Billom, France||Bishop of Ostia e Velletri||May 16, 1288||Nicholas IV|
|Matteo d'Acquasparta, O.F.M.||Acquasparta||Bishop of Porto e Santa Rufina||May 16, 1288||Nicholas IV||Grand penitentiary||Former minister general of the Order of Franciscans (1287—1289)|
|Simon de Beaulieu||Château de Beaulieu, France||Bishop of Palestrina||September 18, 1294||Celestine V||Former archbishop of Bourges (1281—1294)|
|Bérard de Got||Villandraut, France||Bishop of Albano||September 18, 1294||Celestine V||Former archbishop of Lyon (1289–1294); older brother of Bertrand de Got – future Pope Clement V (1305–1314)|
|Benedetto Caetani||Anagni||Priest of SS. Silvestro e Martino||April 12, 1281||Nicholas III||Protopriest of the Sacred College of Cardinals; Cardinal-protector of the Order of S. Guglielmo||Elected Pope Boniface VIII|
|Pietro Peregrosso||Milan||Priest of S. Marco||May 16, 1288||Nicholas IV||Cardinal-protector of the Order of Humiliati; Camerlengo of the Sacred College of Cardinals|
|Tommaso d'Ocra, O.Cel.||Ocre, Abruzzi||Priest of S. Cecilia||September 18, 1294||Celestine V||Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church
|Jean Lemoine||Crécy, France||Priest of SS. Marcellino e Pietro||September 18, 1294||Celestine V|
|Pietro d'Aquila, O.S.B.Cas.||L'Aquila||Priest of S. Croce in Gerusalemme||September 18, 1294||Celestine V|
|Guillaume de Ferrières||Provence||Priest of S. Clemente||September 18, 1294||Celestine V||Crown-cardinal of King Charles II of Naples|
|Nicolas de Nonancourt||Nonancourt, France||Priest of S. Marcello||September 18, 1294||Celestine V|
|Robert de Pontigny, O.Cist.||France||Priest of S. Pudenziana||September 18, 1294||Celestine V||Crown-cardinal of kings Philip IV of France and Charles II of Naples; former Abbot General of his order|
|Simon de Armentières, O.S.B.Clun.||France||Priest of S. Balbina||September 18, 1294||Celestine V|
|Giovanni Castrocoeli, O.S.B.Cas.||Castrocielo||Priest of S. Vitale||September 18, 1294 (or October 1294)||Celestine V||Vice-Chancellor of the Holy Roman Church; archbishop of Benevento; administrator of the see of Sant'Agata de' Goti|
|Matteo Rosso Orsini||Rome||Deacon of S. Maria in Portico||May 22, 1262||Urban IV||Protodeacon of the Sacred College of Cardinals; archpriest of the patriarchal Vatican Basilica; Cardinal-protector of the Order of Franciscans||Relative of Cardinal Napoleone Orsini Frangipani and nephew of Pope Nicholas III (1277–1280); not to be confused with his grandfather, Senator Matteo Rosso Orsini (1178–1246)|
|Giacomo Colonna||Rome||Deacon of S. Maria in Via Lata||March 12, 1278||Nicholas III||Archpriest of the patriarchal Liberian Basilica||Uncle of Cardinal Pietro Colonna|
|Napoleone Orsini Frangipani||Rome||Deacon of S. Adriano||May 16, 1288||Nicholas IV||Relative of Cardinal Matteo Orsini Rosso and nephew of Pope Nicholas III (1277–1280)|
|Pietro Colonna||Rome||Deacon of S. Eustachio||May 16, 1288||Nicholas IV||Nephew of Cardinal Giacomo Colonna|
|Landolfo Brancaccio||Naples||Deacon of S. Angelo in Pescheria||September 18, 1294||Celestine V|
|Guglielmo de Longhi||Bergamo||Deacon of S. Nicola in Carcere||September 18, 1294||Celestine V|
Election of Pope Boniface VIII
On December 23, 1294, the cardinals assembled in the Castel Nuovo at Naples for the election of the successor of Celestine V. On the next day, Christmas Eve, Cardinal Benedetto Caetani received the required two-thirds majority and took the name of Boniface VIII. Caetani's nephew, who was an eyewitness, says that Caetani was elected after one scrutiny and an accessio: scrutinio accessioneque eligitur. Soon after his election he returned to Rome, where on January 23, 1295, he was consecrated to the episcopate by Cardinal Hugh Aycelin of Ostia, and crowned by Matteo Rosso Orsini, who was prior Diaconorum of the Sacred College.
- Salvador Miranda: Cardinals created by St. Celestine V
- Celestine V
- Salvador Miranda: The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church. Guide to the events and documents, 13th Century
- (The Catholic Encyclopedia: Pope Boniface VIII)
- F. Burkle-Young[unreliable source?]: notes to the papal election of 1294 on The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church (by S. Miranda); and K. Eubel, p. 11–12. F. Bourkle-Young lists one additional cardinal Francesco Ronci, priest of the title of S. Lorenzo in Damaso, as the only absentee but he actually died on October 13, 1294, two months before the conclave was held (K. Eubel, p. 12)
- "Frater Hugo de Bidiliomo provincie Francie, magister fuit egregius in theologia et mul<tum> famosus in romana curia; qui actu lector existens apud Sanctam Sabinam, per papam Nicolaum quartum eiusdem ecclesie factus cardinalis" [16.V.1288]; postmodum per Celestinum papain  est ordinatus in episcopum ostiensem (Cr Pg 3r). http://www.e-theca.net/emiliopanella/lector12.htm Accessed May 9, 2011; See also Rome Across Time and Space: Cultural Transmission and the Exchange of Ideas, 2011, p. 275. https://books.google.com/books?id=xGiHbiqknLgC&pg=PA275&lpg=PA275&dq=%22#v=onepage&q&f=false Accessed 7-10-2011
- F. Burkle-Young lists Cardinal Nicolas l'Aide as priest of S. Lorenzo in Damaso, but he opted for that title only in 1295. At the time of this conclave he occupied his original title of S. Marcello (K. Eubel, p. 43)
- A. Theiner (ed.), Caesaris Baronii Annales Ecclesiastici Tomus 23 (Bar-le-Duc 1871), under year 1294, § 23, p. 147; Ludovico Antonio Muratori, Rerum Italicarum Scriptores III pp. 616-617. There was another candidate (Matteo Rosso Orsini ?), according to Jacopo Caetani Stefaneschi, but Benedetto Caetani had a majority (but not the required two-thirds majority) on the first ballot. That would mean that at the scrutiny Caetani had at least twelve votes, but not the required fifteen. Several cardinals agreed to support him after the results of the ballot were announced.
- S. Miranda: Cardinal Benedetto Caetani (Pope Boniface VIII)
Konrad Eubel, Hierarchia Catholica Medii Aevi, volumen I, 1913