While bishops constituted the vast majority of the council’s voting members, they were
unable to achieve their desired establishment of a “sodality” (college) of bishops to represent
their interests in the Roman Curia and failed to obtain a significant restriction of the
various exemptions from their jurisdiction enjoyed by mendicant friars and curial officials.
The College of Cardinals adamantly opposed an episcopal college, the friars organized
under the leadership of the generals of the Augustinians and Dominicans to become an
effective minority. Individual prelates on occasion offered protests, but never formed
minority groups. Given the extreme papal ideology dominant at the council and the pope’s
control of the agenda, real power lay with a tiny minority – the pope and his inner circle of
advisers. By the use of vague promises, threats of a continual prorogation of sessions, and
the imposition of silence, Leo X triumphed over the majority. Powerful prelates whose
agenda were more political than pastoral in nature often led the delegations coming from
outside Italy. Lateran V thus failed to respond to the spiritual needs of Christendom.