Vol I - cont.
THE Church had not always been an organization which considered its highest duty to be the forcible suppression of dissidence at any cost. In the simplicity of apostolic times its members were held together by the bond of love, and the spirit with which discipline was enforced is expressed in St. Paul's precept to the Galatians (VI. 1, 2) --
" Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
"Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ."
Christ had commanded his disciples to forgive their brethren seventy times seven, and as yet his teachings had been too recent to be buried beneath a mass of observances and doctrines in which the letter which kills overpowered the spirit which saves. The great primal principles of Christianity were enough for the fervor of the faithful. Dogmatic theology, with its endless complexities and metaphysical subtleties, as yet was not. Even its vocabulary had still to be created and its innumerable points of faith to be evolved out of the chance expressions of writers on other topics, and by the literal interpretation of the imagery of poetical diction.
It is an inexpressible relief to turn from the heated wranglings over questions scarce appreciable by the average human intellect to St. Paul's reproof to the Ephesians for giving heed to fables and endless genealogies, and questions which had in them little of godly edification, for "the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned" ( I. Tim. I. 4, 5). Those who indulged in these vain janglings he denounces as men "desiring to be teachers of the law, understanding neither what they say nor whereof they affirm" (Ib. 7), and he commands his chosen disciple, "But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they engender strife" ( II. Tim. II. 23). The Ebionitic section of the Church agreed with the Pauline branch in this simplicity of teaching -- "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world" ( James, I. 27).
Yet already was the seed scattered which was to bear so abounding a harvest of wrong and misery. St. Paul will listen to no deviation from the strictness of his teachings -- "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached, let him be accursed" ( Galat. I. 8); and he boasts of delivering unto Satan Hymenæus and Alexander "that they may learn not to blaspheme" ( I. Tim.I. 20). How this spirit increased as time wore on may be seen in the apocalyptic threats with which the backsliders and heretics of the seven churches are assailed (Rev. II., III.). The process went on with accelerating rapidity. Theology could not form itself without starting a cloud of questions unsettled by the gospel: earnest disputants arose who, in the heat of controversy, magnified the points at issue till they assumed an importance rendering them the vital tests of Christianity, and men believed with the most fervid conviction that their adversaries were not Christians because they differed on some unimportant fragment of ritual or discipline, or on some infinitesimal dogma which only the mind trained in the dialectics of the schools could comprehend. When Quintilla taught that water was not necessary in baptism, Tertullian shrieks to her that there is nothing in common between them, not even the same God or the same Christ. The Donatist heresy with its deplorable results arose on the question of the eligibility of an individual bishop. When Eutyches, in his zeal against the doctrines of Nestorius, was led to confuse in some degree the double nature of Christ, thinking that he was only defending the dogmas of his friend St. Cyril, he suddenly found himself convicted of a heresy as damnable as Nestorianism; while his defence against the practised rhetoric of Eusebius of Dorylæum shows that he was not able to grasp the subtle distinction between substantia and subsistentia -- a fatal failing which proved the ruin of thousands. Thus, during the first six centuries, as men explored the infinite problems of existence here and hereafter, new questions constantly arose and were disputed with merciless vehemence. Those who held commanding positions in the Church and could enforce their opinions were necessarily orthodox; those who were weaker became heterodox, and the distinction between the faithful and the heretic became year by year more marked. *
Nor was it merely the odium theologicum that raised these passions; not only pride of opinion and zeal for the purity of faith. Wealth and power have charms even for bishop and priest, and in the Church, as it grew through the centuries, wealth and power depended upon the obedience of the flock. A hardy disputant who questioned the dogmatic accuracy of his ecclesiastical superior was a mutineer of the worst kind; and if he succeeded in attracting followers they became the nucleus of a rebellion which threatened revolution, and every motive, good or evil, prompted the suppression of such sedition at all hazards and by every available means. If the sectaries became sufficiently numerous to form a community of their own, cutting them off from the communion of the Church was of no avail; the keenest shafts of ecclesiastical censure rebounded harmless from their armor of conscientious belief. This naturally led to an animosity against them greater than that visited on the worst of criminals. No matter how trivial may have been the original cause of schism, nor how pure and fervent might be the faith of the schismatics, the fact that they had refused to bend to authority, and had thus sought to divide the seamless garment of Christ, became an offence in comparison with which all other sins dwindled into insignificance, neutralizing all the virtues and all the devotion which men could possess. Even Augustin could see nothing to soften his heart in the enthusiastic ardor with which the Donatists endured, and even courted, martyrdom. Had they carried Christ in their hearts their selfabnegation might have merited praise, but as it was they acted only under the promptings of Satan, like the swine who were driven into the sea by the unclean spirit. Martyrdom, even for Christ's sake, could not save heretic or schismatic from sharing eternal fire with Satan and his angels. †
Tertull. de Baptism. c. 15. -- Concil. Chalced. Act. I.
† Augustin. Epist. 185 ad Bonifac. c. iii. § 12. -- Cf. Cypriani de Unit. Eccles. -- C. 3 Extra. v. 7.
Yet the spirit of persecution was too repugnant to the spirit of Christ for its triumph to come without a struggle, which can be traced in the writings of the early fathers. Tertullian warmly defends the freedom of conscience; it is irreligious to enforce religion; no one wishes to be venerated unwillingly, so that God may be assumed to desire only the worship which comes from the heart. Still, when the combative energy of the man was aroused in disputation with the Gnostics, it was not difficult for him to find in Deuteronomy and Numbers ample warrant for the maxim that obstinacy is to be conquered, not persuaded. Cyprian says that it is for us to endeavor to become wheat, leaving the tares to God, and he qualifies as sacrilegious presumption the spirit which assumes the function of God in seeking to separate and destroy the tares; yet Cyprian had no hesitation in cutting off from the Church all who differed from him, and consigning them to perdition, which was the only form of persecution at that time within reach. It was, indeed, natural that a persecuted Church should plead for toleration, and the fact that, even in this early period, there should be these flashes of intolerance gives ample warning of what was to come with the power of enforcing dogma on the recalcitrant. Lactantius was the last of the fathers of the persecuted Church, and he could feelingly argue that belief is not to be enjoined by force, that slaughter and piety are in no sense connected, and he boasts that none are coerced into remaining in the Church, for he who lacks piety is useless to God. *
The triumph of intolerance was inevitable when Christianity became the religion of the State, yet the slowness of its progress shows the difficulty of overcoming the incongruity between persecution and the gospel. Hardly had orthodoxy been defined by the Council of Nicæa when Constantine brought the power of the State to bear to enforce uniformity. All heretic and schismatic priests were deprived of the privileges and immunities bestowed on the clergy and were subjected to the burdens of the State; their meeting-places were confiscated for the benefit of the Church, and their assemblies, whether public or private, were prohibited.
* Tertull. Apologet. c. xxiv.; Lib. ad Scapulam ii.; adv. Gnosticos Scorpiaces ii., iii. -- Cypriani Epist. 54 ad Maximum; de Unitate Ecclesia; Epist. 4 ad Pomponium c. 4, 5. -- Firm. Lactant. Div. Instit. v. 20.
It is a curious commentary on theological perversity to learn the watchful energy with which these provisions were enforced to the suppression of heresy while yet the pagan temples and ceremonies remained undisturbed. Yet while the churchmen might feel it to be a duty thus to obstruct the development and dissemination of teachings which they regarded as destructive to religion, they still shrank from pushing intolerance to extremity and enforcing uniformity with blood, although the Emperor Julian declared that he had found no wild beasts so cruel to men as most of the Christians were to each other. Constantine, it is true, commanded the surrender of all copies of the writings of Arius under penalty of death, but it does not appear that any executions actually took place in consequence; and at last, tired of the endless strife, he ordered Athanasius to admit all Christians to the churches without distinction. No effort of the sovereign, however, could soothe the bitterness of doctrinal strife, which grew fiercer and fiercer. In 370 Valens is said to have put to death eighty orthodox ecclesiastics who had complained to him of the violence of the Arians, but this was not a judicial execution, but in pursuance of a secret order to the Prefect Modestus, who decoyed them on board of a vessel and caused it to be burned at sea. *
It was in 385 that the first instance was given of judicial capital punishment for heresy, and the horror which it excited shows that it was regarded everywhere as a hideous innovation. The Gnostic and Manichæn speculations of Priscillian were looked upon with the peculiar detestation which that group of heresies ever called forth; but when he was tried by the tyrant Maximus, at Trèves, with the use of torture, and was put to death with six of his disciples, while others were banished to a barbarous island beyond Britain, there was a most righteous burst of indignation. Of the two prosecuting bishops, Ithacius and Idacius, one was expelled from the episcopate and the other resigned. The saintly Martin of Tours, who had done all in his power to prevent the atrocity, refused to join in communion with them, or with any who communed with them. If he finally yielded, in order to save the lives of some men for whom he had come to Maximus to beg
* Lib. XVI. Cod. Theod. Tit. V. ll. 1, 2. -- Sozomen H. E. I. 21; II. 20, 22, 30; III. 5. -- Socrat. H. E. I. 9; IV. 16. -- Ammian. Marcell. XXII. 5.
mercy, and also to prevent the tyrant from persecuting the Priscillianists of Spain (where, like the subsequent Cathari, they were detected by their pallor), yet, in spite of the consoling visit of an angel, he was overcome with grief at what he had done, and he found that he had lost for some time the power to expel devils and heal the sick. *
If the Church thus still shrank from shedding blood, it had by this time reached the point of using all other means without scruple to enforce conformity. Early in the fifth century we find Chrysostom teaching that heresy must be suppressed, heretics silenced and prevented from ensnaring others, and their conventicles broken up, but that the death-penalty is unlawful. About the same time St. Augustin entreats the Prefect of Africa not to put any Donatists to death because, if he does so, no ecclesiastic can make complaint of them, for they will prefer to suffer death themselves rather than be the cause of it to others. Yet Augustin approved of the imperial laws which banished and fined them and deprived them of their churches and of testamentary power, and he consoled them by telling them that God did not wish them to perish in antagonism to Catholic unity. To constrain any one from evil to good, he argued, was not oppression, but charity; and when the unlucky schismatics urged that no one ought to be coerced in his faith, he freely admitted it as a general principle, but added that sin and infidelity must be punished. †
Step by step the inevitable progress was made, and men easily found specious arguments to justify the indulgence of their passions. The fiery Jerome, when his wrath was excited by Vigilantius forbidding the adoration of relics, expressed his wonder that the bishop of the hardy heretic had not destroyed him in the flesh for the benefit of his soul, and argued that piety and zeal for God
* Sulp. Sever. Hist. Sacræ II. 47-51; Ejusd. Dial. III. 11-13. -- Prosp. Aquitan. Chron. ann. 385-6. -- St. Martin could hardly have anticipated that a time would come when a pope would cite the murder of Priscillian as an example to be followed in the case of Luther; and, in spite of Maximus's excommunication by St. Ambrose, characterize him as one of the "veteres ac pii imperatores." (Epist. Adriani PP. VI. Nov. 15, 1522ap. Lutheri Opp. T. II. fol. 538 a.)
† Chrysostomi in Matthæum Homil. XLVI. c. 2. Cf. Homil. de Anathemate c. 4. -- Augustini Epist. 100 ad Donatum c. 2; Epist. 139 ad Marcellinum; Epist. 105 c. 13; Enchirid. c. 72; Contra Litt. Petiliani Lib. II. c. 83.
could not be cruelty; rigor, in fact, he argues in another place, is the most genuine mercy, since temporal punishment may avert eternal perdition. It was only sixty-two years after the slaughter of Priscillian and his followers had excited so much horror, that Leo. I., when the heresy seemed to be reviving, in 447, not only justified the act, but declared that if the followers of heresy so damnable were allowed to live there would be an end of human and divine law. The final step had been taken, and the Church was definitely pledged to the suppression of heresy at whatever cost. It is impossible not to attribute to ecclesiastical influence the successive edicts by which, from the time of Theodosius the Great, persistence in heresy was punished with death. *
A powerful impulse to this development is to be found in the responsibility which grew upon the Church from its connection with the State. When it could influence the monarch and procure from him edicts condemning heretics to exile, deportation, to the mines, and even to death, it felt that God had put into its hands powers to be exercised and not to be neglected. At the same time, with natural human inconsistency, it could argue that it was not responsible for the execution of the laws, and that its own hands were unstained with blood. Even Ithacius, in the case of Priscillian, had shrunk from the function of prosecutor and had put forward a layman in his place. Similar devices, as we shall see, were practised by the Inquisition, and in either case they were transparently false. In the vast body of imperial edicts inflicting upon heretics every variety of disability and punishment, the most ardent churchmen might find conviction that the State recognized the preservation of the purity of the faith as its first duty. Yet whenever the State or any of its officials lagged in the enforcement of these laws, the churchman was at hand to goad them on. Thus the African Church repeatedly asked the intervention of the secular power to suppress the Donatists; Leo the Great insisted with the Empress Pulcheria that the destruction of the Eutychians should be her highest care; and Pelagius I., in
* Hieron. Epist. 109 ad Ripar.; Comment. in Naum I. 9. -- Leonis PP. I. Epist. 15 ad Turribium. -- Lib. XVI. Cod. Theodos. Tit. V. ll. 9, 15, 34, 36, 51, 56, 64. -Constt. 11, 12 Cod. Lib. I. Tit. V. -- Novell. Theod. II. Tit. vi. -- Pauli Diac. Histor. Lib. XVI. -- Basilicon Lib. I. Tit. 1-33.
urging Narses to suppress heresy by force, sought to quiet the scruples of the soldier by assuring him that to prevent or to punish evil was not persecution, but love. It became the general doctrine of the Church, as expressed by St. Isidor of Seville, that princes are bound not only to be orthodox themselves, but to preserve the purity of the faith by the fullest exercise of their power against heretics. How abundantly these assiduous teachings bore their bitter fruit is shown in the deplorable history of the Church during those centuries, consisting as it does of heresy after heresy relentlessly exterminated, until the Council of Constantinople, under the Patriarch Michael Oxista, introduced the penalty of burning alive as the punishment of the Bogomili. Nor were the heretics always behindhand, when they gained opportunity, in improving the lesson which had been taught them so effectually. The persecution of the Catholics by the Arian Vandals in Africa under Genseric was quite worthy of orthodoxy; and when Hunneric succeeded his father, and his proposition to the Emperor Zeno of mutual toleration was refused, his barbarous zeal was inflamed to pitiless wrath. Under King Euric the Wisigoth, also, there was a spasmodic persecution in Aquitaine. Yet, as a rule, the Arian Goths and Burgundians set an example of toleration worthy of imitation, and their conversion to Catholicism was attended with but little cruelty on either side, except a passing ebullition in Spain at the crisis under Leuvigild, about 585, followed by disturbances which were rather political than religious. Later Catholic monarchs, however, enacted laws punishing with exile and confiscation any deviations from orthodoxy, which are notable as the only examples of the kind under the Barbarians. The Catholic Merovingians in France seem never to have troubled their Arian subjects, who were numerous in Burgundy and Aquitaine. The conversion of these latter was gradual and apparently peaceful. *
* Cod. Eccles. African. c. 67, 93. -- Augustin. Epist. 185 ad Bonifiac. c. 7. -Ejusd. contra Cresconium Lib. III. c. 47. -- Possidii Vit. Augustini c. 12. -- Leonis PP. I. Epist. 60. -- Pelagii PP. I. Epistt. 1, 2. -- Isidori Hispalens. Sententt. Lib. III. c. li. 3-6. -- Balsamon. in Photii Nomocanon Tit. ix. c. 25. -- Victor. Vitens. de Persecutione Vandalica Lib. LII. -- Victor. Tunenens. Chron. ann. 479. -- Sidon. Apollin. Epistt. VII. 6. -- Isidor. Hist. de Regg. Gothor. c. 50. -- Pelayo, Heterodoxos Españoles, I. 195 sqq. -- Legg. Wisigoth. Lib. XII. Tit. ii. l. 2; Tit. iii. ll. 1, 2 (cf. Fuero Juzgo eod. loc.).
The Latin Church through all this had taken little part in actual persecution, for the Western mind lacked the perverse ingenuity of the East in originating and adopting heresy. With the downfall of the Western Empire'it commenced the great task which absorbed its energies and by which it earned the thanks of all succeeding generations -- the conversion and civilization of the Barbarians. Its new converts were not likely to indulge in abstruse speculations; they accepted the faith which was taught them, acquiesced for the most part in the established discipline, and while oft unruly and turbulent, gave little trouble on the score of orthodoxy. Under these influences the persecuting spirit died out. Claudius of Turin, whose iconoclastic zeal destroyed all the images in his diocese, escaped without punishment. Felix of Urgel was forgiven his Adoptianism, and was welcomed back into the Church in spite of his repeated tergiversations, and though not restored to his see, his residence for fifteen or twenty years at Lyons does not seem to have been an imprisonment, for he secretly maintained his doctrines, and an heretical declaration was found among his papers after his death. No force is alluded to when Archbishop Leidrad converted twenty thousand of the Catalan followers of Felix, whose principal disciple, Elipandus, Archbishop of Toledo, retained his primatial seat although there is no evidence that he ever recanted his errors. In the case of the monk Gottschalc, who disseminated his predestinarian heresy in extensive wanderings throughout Italy, Dalmatia, Austria, and Bavaria, apparently without opposition, Rabanus of Mainz finally summoned a council which condemned his doctrine in the presence of Louis le Germanique. Yet it did not venture to punish him, but sent him to his prelate, Hincmar of Reims, who, with the authority of Charles le Chauve, declared him an incorrigible heretic in the Council of Chiersy in 849. So little disposition was there to inflict penalties for heresy, though his theories struck at the root of the mediatory power of the Church, that the scourging ordered for him was carefully stated to be merely the discipline provided by the Council of Agde for the infraction of the Benedictine rule prohibiting monks from travelling without commendatory letters from their bishops; and if he was imprisoned, we are told that this was simply to prevent him from continuing to contaminate others. The Carlovingian legislation was exceedingly moderate as to heretics, merely classing them with Pagans, Jews, and infamous persons, and subjecting them to certain disabilities. *
The stupor of the tenth century was too profound for heresy, which presupposes a certain amount of healthy mental activity. The Church, ruling unquestioned over the slumbering consciences of men, laid aside the rusted weapons of persecution and forgot their use. When, about 1018, Bishop Burchard compiled his collection of canon law he made no reference to heretical opinions or their punishment save a couple of regulations exhumed from the forgotten Council of Elvira in 305, respecting the treatment of apostates to idolatry. Even the introduction of the doctrine of transubstantiation was received submissively until, two centuries after Gottschalc, Berenger of Tours called it in question; but he had not in him the stuff of martyrdom, and yielded to moderate pressure. The warmer faith of the Cathari, who commenced to disturb the stagnation of orthodoxy in the eleventh century, called for energetic measures, but even with those abhorred sectaries the Church was wonderfully slow to resort to extremities. It hesitated before the unaccustomed task; it shrank from contradicting its teachings of charity and was driven forward by popular fanaticism. The persecution of Orleans in 1017 was the work of King Robert the Pious; the burning at Milan soon after was done by the people against the will of the archbishop. So unfamiliar was the Church with its duty that when, about 1045, some Manichæans were discovered at Chalons, Bishop Roger applied to Bishop Wazo of Liége for advice as to what he should do with them, and whether he should hand them over to the secular arm for punishment; to which the good Wazo replied, urging that their lives should not be for-
* Mag. Biblioth. Pat. IX. II. 875. -- Chron. Turonens. ann. 878. -- Concil. Ratispon. ann. 792. -- C. Francfortiens. ann. 794. -- C. Romanum ann. 799. -- C. Aquisgran. ann. 799. -- Alcuini Epistt. 108, 117. -- Agobardi Lib. adv. Felicem c. 5. 6. -Nic. Anton. Bib. Vet. Hispan. Lib. VI. c. ii. No. 42-3 (cf. Pelayo, Heterod. Españ. I. 297, 673 sqq.). -- Hinemari Remens, de Prædestinat. II. c. 2. -- Annal. Bertin. ann. 849. -- Concil. Carisiacens. ann. 849 (cf. C. Agathens. ann. 506 c. 38). -- Cap. Car. Mag. ann. 789 c. 44. -- Capitul. Add. III. c. 90.
For the slenderness of the disabilities inflicted on Jews under the Carlovingians see Reginald Lane Poole "Illustrations of the History of Medieval Thought", London, 1884, p. 47.
feited to the secular sword, as God, their Creator and Redeemer, showed them patience and mercy; and Canon Anselm, Wazo's biographer, strongly condemns the executions under Henry III., at Goslar, in 1052, saying that if our Wazo had been there he would have acted as did St. Martin in the case of Priscillian. The same lenity was manifested by St. Anno of Cologne about 1060, when some of his flock refused, after repeated commands, to abandon the use of milk, eggs, and cheese during Lent, and the archbishop at length allowed them to have their own way, saying that those who were firm in the faith could not be much harmed by a difference in food. Even as late as 1144 the Church of Liége congratulated itself on having, by the mercy of God, saved the greater part of a number of confessed and convicted Cathari from the turbulent mob which strove to burn them. Those who were thus preserved were distributed among the religious houses while awaiting the response of Lucius II., to whom application was made for advice as to what should be done with them. *
It is not worth while to repeat in detail the cases related in a former chapter which show how uncertain was the position of the Church towards heresy at this period. There was no definite policy, no fixed rule, and heretics continued to be treated with rigor or with mercy according to the temper of the prelate concerned. Theodwin, Wazo's successor in the see of Liége, writes in 1050 to King Henry I. of France, urging him to punish the followers of Berenger of Tours without even giving them a hearing. This uncertainty is well reflected by St. Bernard in his remarks on the occurrence at Cologne in 1145, when the zealous populace seized the Cathari and burned them despite the resistance of the ecclesiastical authorities. He argues that heretics should be won over by reason rather than by coercion, and if they will not be converted they are to be avoided; he approves the zeal of the people, but not of their action, for faith is to be spread by persuasion and not by force; yet he assumes the duty of the secular power to avenge the wrong done to God by heresy, and, blind to the danger of man's assuming himself to be the minister of the wrath of God, he quotes St. Paul, "For he beareth not the sword
* Burchardi Decret. Lib. XIX. c. 133-4. -- Gesta Episcopp. Leodiens. Lib. II. c. 60, 61. -- Hist. Andaginens. Monast. c. 18. -- Martene Ampliss. Collect. I. 776-8.
in vain; for he is the minister of God, and revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil" ( Rom. XIII. 4). Alexander III. leaned decidedly to the side of mercy when, in 1162, he refused to pass judgment on the Cathari sent to him by the Archbishop of Reims, saying that it was better to pardon the guilty than to take the lives of the innocent. Even at the close of the century Peter Cantor dared to argue that the apostle ordered the heretic to be avoided, not slain, and he dwelt upon the inconsistency of the severity shown to the slightest deviation from faith, while the grossest sins and immoralities were allowed to go unpunished. *
This hesitation and uncertainty extended to the punishment appropriate to heresy. We have seen numerous cases of burning alive interspersed with sentences of imprisonment, and it was long before a definite formula was reached. Even when Alexander III., at the Council of Tours, in 1163, sought to check the alarming progress of Manichæism in Languedoc, he only commanded the secular princes to imprison the heretics and confiscate their property; though in the same year the Cathari detected in Cologne were sentenced to be burned by judges appointed for the purpose. In 1157 the punishment inflicted by the Council of Reims was branding in the face; and the same expedient was resorted to by that of Oxford in 1166. Even as late as 1199, the first measures of Innocent III. against the Albigenses only threaten exile and confiscation; there is no allusion to any duty on the part of the secular power beyond enforcing these penalties, and their enforcement is rewarded by the same indulgences as those to be gained by pilgrimage to Rome or to Compostella. As the struggle increased in bitterness, we have seen how stronger measures were adopted; yet even Simon de Montfort, in the code promulgated at Pamiers, December 1, 1212, while stimulating persecution to the utmost, and rendering it the duty of every man, does not formally adjudge the heretic to the stake, although in this very year eighty heretics were burned in Strassburg. This form of punishment had been enacted for the first time in positive law, as already stated, by Pedro II. of Aragon, in his edict of 1197, but the example was not speedily followed. Otho IV., in his constitution
* Dom Bouquet, XI. 497-8. -- Bernardi Serm. in Cantica LXIV. c. 8; LXVI. c. 12. -- Alex. PP. III. Epistt. 118, 122. -- Pet. Cantor. Verb. abbrev. c. 78, 80.
of 1210, simply places heretics under the imperial ban, orders their property confiscated and their houses torn down. Frederic II., in his famous statute of November 22, 1220, which made the persecution of heresy a part of the public law of Europe, only threatened confiscation and outlawry, although this, it must be added, placed their lives at the mercy of the first comer. In his constitution of March, 1224, he went further and decreed death by fire or loss of the tongue, at the discretion of the judge; and the contemporary practice in Germany left the penalty to be similarly decided. It was not until 1231, in the Sicilian Constitutions, that Frederic rendered the punishment by cremation absolute. This was in force merely in his Neapolitan dominions, and the edict of Ravenna, in March, 1232, while inflicting the death penalty does not prescribe the method; but that of Cremona, in May, 1238, embodied the Sicilian law and thus rendered the fagot and stake the recognized punishment for heresy throughout the empire, as we find it subsequently embodied in both the Sachsenspiegel and the Schwabenspiegel, or municipal laws of northern and southern Germany. In Venice, after 1249, the ducal oath of office contained a pledge to burn all heretics. In 1255 Alonso the Wise of Castile decreed the stake for all Christians who apostatized to Islam or to Judaism. In France the legislation adopted by both Louis IX. and Raymond of Toulouse, for carrying out the provisions of the settlement of 1229, is discreetly silent with regard to the penalty of heresy, though under it the use of the stake was universal, and it is not until Louis issued his Établissements, in 1270, that we find the heretic formally condemned to be burned alive, thus rendering it part of the recognized law of the land, although the terms in which Beaumanoir alludes to it show that it had long been a settled custom. England, which was free from heresy, was even later in adopting it, and it was not until the rise of the Lollards caused fear in both Church and State that the writ "de hœretico comburendo" was created by statute in 1401. *
* Concil. Turonens. ann. 1163 c. 4. -- Trithem. Chron. Hirsaug. ann. 1163. -Concil. Remens. ann. 1157 c. 1. -- Guillel. de Newburg Hist. Angl. ii. 15. -- Innoc. III. Regest. I. 94, 165. -- Contre le Franc-Alleu sans Tiltre, Paris, 1629, pp. 215 sqq. -- H. Mutii Chron. Lib. XIX. ann. 1212. -- Böhmer, Regesta Imperii V. 110. -Muratori Antiq. Ital. Diss. LX. (T. XII. p. 447). -- Hist. Diplom. Frid., II. T. II. pp. 6-8, 422-3; IV. 301; V. 201. -- Constitt. Sicular. Lib. I. Tit. 1. -- Treuga Hen-
The practice of burning the heretic alive was thus not the creature of positive law, but arose generally and spontaneously, and its adoption by the legislator was only the recognition of a popular custom. We have seen numerous instances of this in a former chapter, and even as late as 1219, at Troyes, an insane enthusiast who maintained that he was the Holy Ghost was seized by the people, placed in a wicker crate surrounded by combustibles, and promptly reduced to ashes. The origin of this punishment is not easily traced, unless it is to the pagan legislation of Diocletian, who decreed this penalty for Manichæism. The torturing deaths to which the martyrs were exposed in times of persecution seem to suggest, and in some sort to justify, a similar infliction on heretics; sorcerers were sometimes burned under the imperial jurisprudence, and Gregory the Great mentions a case in which one was thus put to death by the Christian zeal of the people. As heresy was regarded as the greatest of crimes, the desire which was felt alike by laity and clergy to render its punishment as severe and as impressive as possible found in the stake its appropriate instrument. With the system of exegesis then in vogue, it was not difficult to discover an emphatic command to this effect in John, XV. 6. "If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch and is withered; and men gather them and cast them into the fire and they are burned." The literal interpretation of Scriptural metaphor has
rici (Böhlau, Nove Constit. Dom. Alberti, Weimar, 1858, p. 78, cf. Böhmer Regest. V. 700). -- Sachsenspiegel, II. xiii. -- Schwabenspiegel, cap. 116 No. 29; cap. 351 No. 3 (Ed. Senckenb.). -- Archivio di Venezia, Codice ex Brera No. 277. -- El Fuero real de España, Lib. IV. Tit. I. ley 1. -- Isambert, Anc. Loix Françaises I. 230-33, 257. -- Harduin. Concil. VII. 203-8. -- Établissements, Lib. I. ch. 85. -Livres de Jostice et de Plet, Liv. I. Tit. iii. § 7. -- Beaumanoir, Cout. du Beauvoisis, XI. 2, XXX. 11. -- 2 Henry IV. c. 15 (cf. Pike, History of Crime in England I. 343-4, 489).
It is true that both Bracton ( De Legibus Angliæ Lib. III. Tract ii. cap. 9 § 2) and Horne ( Myrror of Justice, cap. I. § 4, cap. II. § 22, cap. IV. § 14) describe the punishment of burning for apostasy, heresy, and sorcery, and the former alludes to a case in which a clerk who embraced Judaism was burned by a council of Oxford, but the penalty substantially had no place in the common law, save under the systematizing efforts of legal writers, enamoured of the Roman jurisprudence, and seeking to complete their work by the comparison of treason against God with that against the king. The silence of Britton (chap. VIII.) and of the Fleta (Lib. I. cap. 21) shows that the question had no practical importance.
been too frequent a source of error for us to wonder at this application of the text. An authoritative commentary on the decree of Lucius III. in 1184, ordering heretics to be delivered to the secular arm for due punishment, quotes the text of John and the imperial jurisprudence, and thence triumphantly concludes that death by fire is the penalty due to heretics, not only by divine but also by human law and by universal custom. Nor was the heretic mercifully strangled in advance; the authorities of the Inquisition assure us that he must be burned alive before the people, nay, even a whole city may be burned if heretics dwell there. *
Whatever scruples the Church had, during the eleventh and twelfth centuries, as to its duty towards heresy, it had none as to that of the secular power, though it kept its own hands free from blood. A decent usage from early times forbade any ecclesiastic from being concerned in judgments involving death or mutilation, and even from being present in the torture-chamber where criminals were placed on the rack. This sensitiveness continued, and even was exaggerated in the time of the bloodiest persecution. While thousands were being slaughtered in Languedoc the Council of Lateran, in 1215, revived the ancient canons prohibiting clerks from uttering a judgment of blood or being present at an execution. In 1255 the Council of Bordeaux added to this a prohibition of dictating or writing letters connected with such judgments; and that of Buda, in 1279, in repeating this canon, appended to it a clause forbidding clerks to practise any surgery requiring burning or cutting. The pollution of blood was so seriously felt that a church or cemetery in which blood chanced to be shed could not be used until it had been reconciled, and this was carried so far that priests were forbidden to allow judges to administer justice in churches, because cases involving corporal punishment might be tried before them. Had this shrinking from participation in the infliction of human suffering
* Cæsar. Heisterbac. Dial. Miracular. Dist. V. c. 33. -- Mosaic. et Roman. Legg. Collat. Tit. XV. § 3 ( Hugo, 1465). -- Const. 3 Cod. IX. 18. -- Cassiodor. Variar. IV., XXII., XXIII. -- Gregor. PP. I. Dial. I. 4. -- Gloss. Hostiensis in Cap. ad abolendam, No. 11, 13 (Eymerici Direct. Inquisit. pp. 149-150); cf. Gloss. Joan. Andreæ (Ibid. p. 170-1). -- Repertorium Inquisitorum s. v. Comburi (Ed. Valent. 1494; Ed. Venet. 1588, pp. 127-8).
been genuine, it would have been worthy of all respect; but it was merely a device to avoid responsibility for its own acts. In prosecutions for heresy the ecclesiastical tribunal passed no judgments of blood. It merely found the defendant to be a heretic and "relaxed" him, or relinquished him to the secular authorities with the hypocritical adjuration to be merciful to him, to spare his life and not to spill his blood. What was the real import of this plea for mercy is easily seen from the theory of the Church as to the duty of the temporal power, when inquisitors enforced as a legal rule that the mere belief that persecution for conscience' sake was sinful was in itself a heresy, to be visited with the full penalties of that unpardonable crime. *
The early teachings of Leo and Pelagius were revived as soon as heresy became alarming. Early in the twelfth century Honorius of Autun proclaimed that the rebels against God who were obdurate to the voice of the Church must be coerced with the material sword. In the compilations of canon law by Ivo and Gratian the allusions to the treatment of heretics by the Church are singularly few, but there are abundant citations to show the duty of the sovereign to extirpate heresy and to obey the mandates of the Church to that end. Frederic Barbarossa gave the imperial sanction to the theory that the sword had been intrusted to him for the purpose of smiting the enemies of Christ, when he alleged this in 1159 as a reason for persecuting Alexander III. and supporting his antipope, Victor IV. The second Lateran Council, in 1139, orders all potentates to coerce heretics into obedience; the third, in 1179, sanctimoniously says that the Church does not seek blood, but it is helped by the secular laws, for men will seek the salutary remedy to escape bodily punishment. We have seen how inefficacious all this proved; and in despair of voluntary assistance from the temporal princes the Church took a further step by which it assumed for itself the responsibility for the material as well as the spiritual punishment of heretics. The decree of Lucius III. at the so-called Council of Verona, in 1184, commanded that all poten-
* Concil. Autissiodor. ann. 578 c. 33. -- C. Matiscon. II. ann. 585 c. 19. -- C. 30 Decreti P. II. Caus. xxiii. Quæst. 8. -- C. Lateran. IV. ann. 1215 c. 18. -- C. Burdegalens. ann. 1255 c. 10. -- C. Budens. ann. 1268 c. 11. -- C. Nugaroliens. ann. 1303 c. 13. -- C. Baiocens. ann. 1300 c. 34. -- Lib. Sentt. Inq. Tolosan. p. 208. -- Bernard. Guidonis Practica (MSS. Bib. Nat., Coll. Doat, T. XXX. fol. 1. sqq.).
tates should take an oath before their bishops to enforce the ecclesiastical and secular laws against heresy fully and efficaciously. Any refusal or neglect was to be punished by excommunication, deprivation of rank, and incapacity to hold other station, while in the case of cities they were to be segregated and debarred from all commerce with other places. *
The Church thus undertook to coerce the sovereign to persecution. It would not listen to mercy, it would not hear of expediency. The monarch held his crown by the tenure of extirpating heresy, of seeing that the laws were sharp and were pitilessly enforced. Any hesitation was visited with excommunication, and if this proved inefficacious, his dominions were thrown open to the first hardy adventurer whom the Church would supply with an army for his overthrow. Whether this new feature in the public law of Europe could establish itself was the question at issue in the Albigensian crusades. Raymond's lands were forfeited simply because he would not punish heretics, and those which his son retained were treated as a fresh gift from the crown. The triumph of the new principle was complete, and it never was subsequently questioned.
It was applied from the highest to the lowest, and the Church made every dignitary feel that his station was an office in a universal theocracy wherein all interests were subordinate to the great duty of maintaining the purity of the faith. The hegemony of Europe was vested in the Holy Roman Empire, and its coronation was a strangely solemn religious ceremony in which the emperor was admitted to the lower orders of the priesthood, and was made to anathematize all heresy raising itself against the holy Catholic Church. In handing him the ring, the pope told him that it was a symbol that he was to destroy heresy; and in girding him with the sword, that with it he was to strike down the enemies of the Church. Frederic II. declared that he had received the imperial dignity for the maintenance and propagation of the faith. In the bull of Clement VI. recognizing Charles
* Honor. Augustod. Summ. Glor. de Apost. c. 5. -- Ivon. Decret. IX. 70-79. -Gratiani Decret. P. II. Caus. xxiii. q. 5. -- Radevic. de Gest. Frid. I. Lib. II. c. 56. -Concil. Lateran. II. ann. 1139 c. 23. -- Concil. Lateran. III. ann. 1179 c. 27 (cf. C. Tolosan. ann. 1119 c. 3; C. Remens. ann. 1148 c. 18; C. Turonens. ann. 1168 c. 4). -- Lucii. PP. III. Epist. 171.
IV. the first named of the imperial duties enumerated are the extension of the faith and the extirpation of heretics; and the neglect of the Emperor Wenceslas to suppress Wickliffitism was regarded as a satisfactory reason for his deposition. In fact, according to the high churchmen, the only reason of the transfer of the empire from the Greeks to the Germans was that the Church might have an efficient agent. The principles applied to Raymond of Toulouse were embodied in the canon law, and every prince and noble was made to understand that his lands would be exposed to the spoiler if, after due notice, he hesitated in trampling out heresy. Minor officials were subjected to the same discipline. According to the Council of Toulouse in 1229, any bailli not diligent in persecuting heresy forfeited his property and was ineligible to public employment, while by the Council of Narbonne in 1244, any one holding temporal jurisdiction who delayed in exterminating heretics was held guilty of fautorship of heresy, became an accomplice of heretics, and thus was subjected to the penalties of heresy; this was extended to all who should neglect a favorable opportunity of capturing a heretic, or of helping those seeking to capture him. From the emperor to the meanest peasant the duty of persecution was enforced with all the sanctions, spiritual and temporal, which the Church could command. Not only must the ruler enact rigorous laws to punish heretics, but he and his subjects must see them strenuously executed, for any slackness of persecution was, in the canon law, construed as fautorship of heresy, putting a man on his purgation. *
These principles were tacitly or explicitly received into the
* Böhmer, Regest. Imp. V. 86. -- Innocent. PP. III. Regest. de Negot. Rom. Imp. 189. -- Muratori Antiq. Ital. Dissert. III. -- Hartzheim. Concil. German. III. 540. -- Cod. Epist. Rodolphi I. Auct. II. pp. 375-7 (Lipsiæ 1806). -- Theod. Vrie, Hist. Concil. Constant. Lib. III. Dist. 8; Lib. VII. Dist. 7. -- Thom. Aquin. de Principum Regimine Lib. I. c. xiv.; Lib. III. c. x., xiii. -- xviii. -- Lib. v. Extra. Tit. vii. c. 13 § 3. -- Concil. Tolosan. ann. 1229 c. 5. -- Concil. Narbonn. ann. 1244 c. 15, 16. -Zanchini de Hæret. c. v. -- Beaumanoir, Contumes du Beauvoisis, XI. 27. -- See also the sermon of the Bishop of Lodi at the condemnation of Huss, Von der Hardt, III. 5.
The treatise "De principum regimine", though not wholly by St. Thomas Aquinas, was the authoritative exponent of the ecclesiastical theory as to the structure and duties of government. See Poole "Illustrations of the History of Medieval Thought", p. 240.
public law of Europe. Frederic II. accepted them in his cruel edicts against heresy, whence they passed into the general compilations of civil and feudal law, and even into bodies of local jurisprudence. Thus we see in the statutes of Verona, in 1228, the Podestà swearing, on taking office, to expel all heretics from the city; and in the Schwabenspiegel, or code in force throughout southern Germany, it is laid down that a ruler who neglects to persecute heresy is to be stripped of all possessions, and if he does not burn those who are delivered to him as heretics by the ecclesiastical courts he is to be punished as a heretic himself. The Church took care that this legislation should not remain a dead letter. Frederic's decrees in all their atrocity were required to be read and taught in the great law-school of Bologna as a fundamental portion of jurisprudence, and were even embodied in the canon law itself. We shall see that they were repeatedly ordered by the popes to be inscribed irrevocably among the laws of all the cities and states which they could control, and the inquisitor was commanded to coerce all officials to their rigid enforcement, by excommunicating those who were negligent in the good work. Even excommunication, which rendered a magistrate incompetent to perform his official functions, did not relieve him from the duty of punishing heretics when called upon by bishop or inquisitor. In view of this earnestness to embody in the statute-books the sharpest laws for the extermination of heretics and to oblige the secular officials to execute those laws, under the alternative of being themselves condemned and punished as heretics, the adjuration for mercy with which the inquisitors handed over their victims to be burned was evidently, as we shall see hereafter, a mere technical formula to avoid the "irregularity" of being concerned in judgments of blood. In process of time the moral responsibility was freely admitted, as when in February, 1418, the Council of Constance decreed that all who should defend Hussitism, or regard Huss or Jerome of Prague as holy men, should be treated as relapsed heretics and be punished with fire -- "puniantur ad ignem." It is altogether a modern perversion of history to assume, as apologists do, that the request for mercy was sincere, and that the secular magistrate and not the Inquisition was responsible for the death of the heretic. We can imagine the smile of amused surprise with which Gregory IX. or Gregory XI. would have listened to the dialectics with which the Comte Joseph de Maistre proves that it is an error to suppose, and much more to assert, that Catholic priests can in any manner be instrumental in compassing the death of a fellow-creature. *
Not only were all Christians thus made to feel that it was their highest duty to aid in the extermination of heretics, but they were taught that they must denounce them to the authorities regardless of all considerations, human or divine. No tie of kindred served as an excuse for concealing heresy. The son must denounce the father, and the husband was guilty if he did not deliver his wife to a frightful death. Every human bond was severed by the guilt of heresy; children were taught to desert their parents, and even the sacrament of matrimony could not unite an orthodox wife to a misbelieving husband. No pledge was to remain unbroken. It was an old rule that faith was not to be kept with heretics -- as Innocent III. emphatically phrased it, "according to the canons, faith is not to be kept with him who keeps not faith with God." No oath of secrecy, therefore, was binding in a matter of heresy, for if one is faithful to a heretic he is unfaithful to
* Post. Const. 4, Cod. Lib. I. Tit. V. -- Post. Libb. Feudorum. -- Lib. Juris Civilis Veronæ c. 156. -- Schwabenspiegel, Ed. Senckenb. cap. 351; Ed. Schilteri c. 308. -- Potthast Regesta No. 6593. -- Innoc. PP. IV. Bull. Cum adversus, 5 Jun. 1252; Bull. Ad aures, 2 Apr. 1253; 31 Oct. 1243; 7 Julii 1254. -- Bull. Cum fratres, Maii 9 1252. -- Urbani. IV. Bull. Licet ex omnibus, 1262 § 12. -- Wadding Annal. Minor ann. 1258, No. 7; ann. 1260, No. 1; ann. 1261, No. 3. -- c. 6 Sexto v. 2 c. 1, 2 in Septimo v. 3. -- Von der Hardt, T. IV. p. 1519. -- Campana, Vita di San Piero Martire, p. 124. -- De Maistre, Lettres à un Gentilhomme Russe sur l'Inquisition Espagnole, Ed. 1864, pp. 17-18, 28, 34.
A thirteenth-century writer argued the matter more directly than De Maistre -- "Papa noster non occidit, nee præcipit aliquem occidi, sed lex occidit quos papa permittit occidi, et ipsi se occidunt qui ea faciunt unde debeant occidi." -- Gregor. Fanens. Disput. Cathol. et Patar. (Martene Thesaur. V. 1741).
More historically true is the assertion of an enthusiastic Dominican in 1782, who, after quoting Deut. XIII. 6-10, declares that its command to slay without mercy all who entice the faithful from the true religion is almost literally the law of the holy Inquisition; and who proceeds to prove from Scripture that fire is the peculiar delight of God, and the proper means of purifying the wheat from the tares. -- Lob u. Ehrenrede auf die heilige Inquisition, Wien, 1782, pp. 19-21.
The hypocritical plea for mercy was commenced in good faith by Innocent III. in the case of clerks guilty of forgery who were degraded and delivered to the secular courts. -- c. 27 Extra v. 40.
God. Apostasy from the faith is the greatest of all sins, says Bishop Lucas of Tuy; therefore if any one has bound himself by oath to keep the secret of such inexplicable wickedness, he must reveal the heresy and perform penance for the perjury, with the comfortable assurance that, as charity covereth a multitude of sins, he will be gently dealt with in consideration of his zeal. *
Thus the hesitation as to the treatment of heretics which marked the eleventh and twelfth centuries disappeared in the thirteenth, when the Church was involved in mortal struggle with the sectaries. There was no pretence of moderation, and, save in the technical adjuration for mercy, no attempt to evade the responsibility. St. Raymond of Pennaforte, the compiler of the decretals of Gregory IX., who was the highest authority in his generation, lays it down as a principle of ecclesiastical law that the heretic is to be coerced by excommunication and confiscation, and if they fail, by the extreme exercise of the secular power. The man who was doubtful in faith was to be held a heretic, and so also was the schismatic who, while believing all the articles of religion, refused the obedience due to the Roman Church. All alike were to be forced into the Roman fold, and the fate of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram was invoked for the destruction of the obstinate. †
St. Thomas Aquinas, whose overshadowing authority superseded all his predecessors, and who brought canon and dogma into a permanent system still in force, lays down the rules with merciless precision. Heretics, he tells us, are not to be tolerated. The tenderness of the Church allows them to have two warnings, after which, if pertinacious, they are to be abandoned to the secular power, to be removed from the world by death. This, he argues, shows the abounding charity of the Church, for it is much more
* Urbani PP. II. Epist. 256. -- Zanchini de Hæret. c. xviii. -- Innoc. PP. III. Regest. XI. 26. -- Lucæ Tudens. de altera Vita II. 9.
† S. Raymundi Summæ Lib. I. Tit. v. §§ 2, 4, 8; Tit. vi. § 1. -- This continued to be the doctrine of the Church. Zanghino Ugolini includes in his enumeration of heresies neglect to observe the papal decretals, being an apparent contempt for the power of the keys (Tract. de Hæret. c. ii.). This authoritative work was printed in Rome, 1568, at the expense of Pius V., with a commentary by Cardinal Campeggi, and was reprinted with additions by Simancas in 1579. My references are made to a transcript from a fifteenth-century MS. of the original in the Bibliothèque Nationale, fonds latin, 12532.
wicked to corrupt the faith on which depends the life of the soul than to debase the coinage which provides merely for temporal life; wherefore, if coiners and other malefactors are justly doomed at once to death, much more may heretics be justly slain as soon as they are convicted. Yet in its mercy the Church will always receive the heretic back into its bosom, no matter how often he may have relapsed, and will kindly give him penance whereby he may win eternal life; but charity to one must not be allowed to work evil to others. Therefore for once the heretic who repents and recants will be received and his life be spared; but if he relapses, though he may be received to penance for his soul's salvation, he will not be released from the death-penalty. This is the definite expression of the policy of the Church, which, as we shall see, became its unalterable rule of practice. *
Nor was the Church content to exercise its power over the living only; the dead must feel its chastening hand. It seemed intolerable that one who had successfully concealed his iniquity and had died in communion should be left to lie in consecrated ground and should be remembered in the prayers of the faithful. Not only had he escaped the penalty due to his sins, but his property, which was forfeit to Church and State, had unlawfully descended to his heirs, and must be recovered from them. Ample reason therefore existed for the trial of those who had passed to the judgment-seat of God. It had been a debatable question in the earlier Church whether excommunication, with all its tremendous penalties, here and hereafter, could be directed against departed souls. As early as the time of Cyprian the custom of excommunicating the dead had come into fashion; and about 382 St. John Chrysostom had denounced the frequency of such sentences as an interference attempted with the judgment of God. Leo I., in 432, took the same position, and it was confirmed by Gelasius I. and a council of Rome towards the end of the century. At the fifth general council, however, held in Constantinople in 553, the question came up as to the power of the Church to anathematize Theodoret of Cyrus, Ibas of Edessa, and Theodore of Mopsuestia, who had been dead for a hundred years. Many of the fathers of the council doubted it, when Eutychius, a man well versed in Scripture, pointed out that the
S. Thom. Aquinat. Summæ Sec. Sec. Q. XI. art. 3, 4.
pious King Josiah had not only put to death the priests of pagandom, but had dug up the remains of those who were deceased. The argument was irrefragable, and the anathema was pronounced in spite of the protests of Pope Vigilius, who stubbornly refused to be convinced. The ingenuity of Eutychius, till then an obscure man, was rewarded with the patriarchate of Constantinople, and Vigilius was compelled, by means not the most gentle, to subscribe to the anathema. In 618 the Council of Seville denied the power of condemning the dead; but in 680 the sixth general council, held at Constantinople, exercised the largest liberty in anthematizing all whom it regarded as heretical, both living and dead. In 897 Stephen VII. accordingly held himself authorized to dig up the body of his predecessor, Pope Formosus, then seven months in the tomb, drag it by the feet and seat it in the synod which he had assembled in judgment, and, after condemning it, to cut off two fingers of the right hand and throw it into the Tiber, whence it chanced to be rescued and buried. The next year, however, a new pope, John IX., annulled these proceedings and caused a synod to declare that no one should be condemned after death, for the accused must have the opportunity of defence. This did not prevent Sergius III., in 905, from again exhuming the body, when it was clothed in pontifical robes, seated on a throne, and once more solemnly condemned, beheaded, three more fingers cut off, and thrown in the Tiber. Yet the iniquity of these proceedings was proved when the restless remains were dragged from the river by some fishermen, and, on being carried to the church of St. Peter, the images of saints there bowed before them and saluted them reverently. About the year 1100, St. Ivo of Chartres, the foremost canonist of his day, pronounced unhesitatingly that the power of the Church to bind and to loose was confined to things on earth; that the dead had passed beyond human judgment, they could not be condemned, and burial must not be refused to those who had not been tried while living. Yet as heresy multiplied and its obstinacy seemed to justify the passionate hatred which it excited, the churchman might well feel himself unable to endure the thought that the bones of heretics polluted the sacred precincts of church and cemetery, and that unconsciously he was including them in his prayers for the dead. It was easy to find a method of reaching them. The Council of Verona in 1184, and subsequent popes and councils, repeatedly and formally excommunicated all heretics. It was an old rule of the Church that all excommunicates who did not within a year apply for absolution were condemned. All heretics who died without confession or recantation were thus self-condemned, and were ineligible to sepulture in consecrated ground. Though they could not be excommunicated, being already under ipso facto excommunication, they could be anathematized. If mistakenly they had received Christian burial, as soon as the fact was discovered they were to be dug up and burned; the inquisition which established their guilt was merely an examination into the facts, not a condemnation, and the penalties followed of themselves. That it required some effort to establish the rule is shown by an epistle of Innocent III., in 1207, to the abbot and monks of St. Hippolytus of Faenza, who had refused, at the order of a legate, to exhume the body of Otto of damnable memory, a heretic buried in their cemetery, or to observe the interdict pronounced against them in consequence, and Innocent is obliged to threaten the most energetic measures to compel them to obedience. With time, however, the principle became firmly established; it was recognized as a grievous offence knowingly to bury the body of a heretic or a fautor of heretics -- an offence only to be pardoned on condition of the offender exhuming the remains with his own hands, while the grave was accursed forever. We shall see that the business of investigating the record of the dead became no small or unimportant part of the duties of the Inquisition. *
The influence which these teachings and practices had in guiding the actions and policy of the age is well exemplified in the career of Frederic II. Half Italian in blood, and wholly Italian
* Cypriani Epist. I. -- Chrysost. Hom. de Anathemate. -- Leon PP. I. Epist. 108 c. 2. -- Gelasii PP. I. Epistt. 4, 11. -- Concil. Roman. II. ann. 494. -- Evagrii H. E. Lib. IV. c. 38. -- Vigilii Constit. de Tribus Capitulis. -- Facundi Epist. in Defens. Trium Capitt. -- Concil. Constantinop. II. ann. 553 Collat. VII. -- Concil. Hispalens. II. ann. 618 c. 5. -- Concil. Constantinop. III. ann. 680 Tom. XII. -- Jaffé Regesta, 303. -- Synod. Roman. ann. 898 c. 1. -- Chron. Turonens. (Martene Ampliss. Collect. V. 978-80). -- Ivon. Carnotens. Epist. 96; Ejusd. Panorm. Lib. v. c. 115123. -- Lucii PP. III. Epist. 171. -- Lib. v. Extra Tit. vii. c. 13. -- Gratian. Decret. II. Caus. XI. Q. iii. c. 36, 37, 38. -- F. Pegnæ Comment. in Eymerici Direct. Inquis. p. 95. -- Innocent. PP. III. Regest. IX. 213. -- Lib. III. Extra Tit. xxviii. c. 12. -- Lib. v. in Sexto Tit. i. c. 2. -- Eymeric. Direct. Inquis. p. 104.
in training, he was a philosophical free-thinker. The accusations of Gregory IX., that he was secretly a disciple of Mahomet, and the tradition that he was privately in the habit of calling Moses, Christ, and Mahomet the three impostors, contradict each other, but show what ground he gave for such imputations. Yet this man, whom Gregory declared to take the sacrament only to show his contempt for excommunication, was too sagacious not to recognize that he could only reign over a Christian people by at least pretending zeal in the work of exterminating heresy. He obtained his coronation in St. Peter's, November 22, 1220, by issuing the edict which is memorable in the history of persecution; and, as part of the solemnities, Honorius paused in the ineffable mysteries of the mass to fulminate an anathema in the name of Almighty God against all heresies and heretics, including those rulers whose laws interfered with their extermination. To the function thus assumed Frederic was ever true, perhaps even more so because, in his recognition of the necessity of ecclesiastical reform, he indulged in dreams of a caliphate in which he would wield both the temporal and spiritual swords. However this may be, his lifelong quarrel with the papacy only rendered him the more merciless in his extirpation of heresy; and just when Gregory IX. was engrossed in laying the foundation of the Inquisition we find Frederic audaciously urging him to greater zeal in defence of the faith, and suggesting his own example as one which the pope would do well to follow. *
The cruel ferocity of barbarous zeal which, through so many centuries, wrought misery on mankind in the name of Christ, has been explained in many ways. Fanatics on the other side have denounced it as mere bloodthirstiness or selfish lust of power. Philosophers have traced it to the doctrine of exclusive salvation, through which it seemed the duty of those in authority to coerce the recalcitrant for their own benefit, and prevent them from leading other souls to perdition. Another school has taught that it
* Hist. Diplom. Frid. II. Introd. pp. cdlxxxviii., cdxcvi.; II. 6-8, 422-3; IV. 409-11, 435-6; V. 459-60. -- Fazelli de Reb. Siculis Decad. II. Lib. viii. -- Alberic. T. Font. Chron. ann. 1228. -- Raynald. Annal. ann. 1220, No. 23. -- Richard de S. Germano Chron. ann. 1233.
arose from the survival of the atavistic notion of tribal solidarity, expanded into that of Christendom, making all share the guilt of sin offensive to God which they neglected to exterminate. Human impulses and motives, however, are too complex to be analyzed by a single solvent, even in the case of an individual, while here we have to deal with the whole Church, in its broadest acceptation, embracing the laity as well as the clergy. There is no doubt that the people were as eager as their pastors to send the heretic to the stake. There is no doubt that men of the kindliest tempers, the profoundest intelligence, the noblest aspirations, the purest zeal for righteousness, professing a religion founded on love and charity, were ruthless when heresy was concerned, and were ready to trample it out at the cost of any suffering. Dominic and Francis, Bonaventura and Thomas Aquinas, Innocent III. and St. Louis, were types, in their several ways, of which humanity, in any age, might well feel proud, and yet they were as unsparing of the heretic as Ezzelin da Romano was of his enemies. With such men it was not hope of gain or lust of blood or pride of opinion or wanton exercise of power, but sense of duty, and they but represented what was universal public opinion from the thirteenth to the seventeenth century.
To comprehend it, we must picture to ourselves a stage of civilization in many respects wholly unlike our own. Passions were fiercer, convictions stronger, virtues and vices more exaggerated, than in our colder and more self-contained time. The age, moreover, was a cruel one. The military spirit was everywhere dominant; men were accustomed to rely upon force rather than on persuasion, and habitually looked on human suffering with indifference. The industrial spirit, which has so softened modern manners and modes of thought, was as yet hardly known. * We have only to look upon the atrocities of the criminal law of the Middle Ages to see how pitiless men were in their dealings with each other. The wheel, the caldron of boiling oil, burning alive, burying alive,
* Mr. John Fiske has developed the contrast between the military and industrial spirit and the theory of corporate responsibility with his accustomed admirable clearness in his "Excursions of an Evolutionist", Essays VIII. and IX. The theory of solidarity is clearly expressed in Zanghino remark "Quia in omnes fert injuriam quod in divinam religionem committatur" (Tract. de Hæres. c. xi.).
flaying alive, tearing apart with wild horses, were the ordinary expedients by which the criminal jurist sought to deter crime by frightful examples which would make a profound impression on a not over-sensitive population. An Anglo-Saxon law punishes a female slave convicted of theft by making eighty other female slaves each bring three pieces of wood and burn her to death, while each contributes a fine besides; and in mediæval England burning was the customary penalty for attempts on the life of the feudal lord. In the Customs of Arques, granted by the Abbey of St. Bertin in 1231, there is a provision that, if a thief have a concubine who is his accomplice, she is to be buried alive; though, if pregnant, a respite is given till after childbirth. Frederic II., the most enlightened prince of his time, burned captive rebels to death in his presence, and is even said to have encased them in lead in order to roast them slowly. In 1261 St. Louis humanely abolished a custom of Touraine by which the theft of a loaf of bread or a pot of wine by a servant from his master was punished by the loss of a limb. In Frisia arson committed at night was visited with burning alive; and, by the old German law, the penalty of both murder and arson was breaking on the wheel. In France women were customarily burned or buried alive for simple felonies, and Jews were hung by the feet between two savage dogs, while men were boiled to death for coining. In Milan Italian ingenuity exhausted itself in devising deaths of lingering torture for criminals of all descriptions. The Carolina, or criminal code of Charles V., issued in 1530, is a hideous catalogue of blinding, mutilation, tearing with hot pincers, burning alive, and breaking on the wheel. In England poisoners were boiled to death even as lately as 1542, as in the cases of Rouse and Margaret Davie; the barbarous penalty for high treason -- of hanging, drawing, and quartering -- is well known, while that for petty treason was enforced no longer ago than 1726, on Catharine Hayes, who was burned at Tyburn for murdering her husband. By the laws of Christian V. of Denmark, in 1683, blasphemers were beheaded after having the tongue cut out. As recently as 1706, in Hanover, a pastor named Zacharie Georg Flagge was burned alive for coining. Modern tenderness for the criminal is evidently a matter of very recent date. So careless were legislators of human suffering in general that, in England, to cut out a man's tongue, or to pluck out his eyes with malice prepense, was not made a felony until the fifteenth century, in a criminal law so severe that, even in the reign of Elizabeth, the robbing of a hawk's nest was similarly a felony; and as recently as 1833 a child of nine was sentenced to be hanged for breaking a patched pane of glass and stealing twopence worth of paint. *
The nations thus habituated to the most savage cruelty, moreover, regarded the propagation of heresy with peculiar detestation, as not merely a sin, but as the worst of crimes. Heresy itself, says Bishop Lucas of Tuy, justifies, by comparison, the infidelity of the Jews; its pollution cleanses the filthy madness of Mahomet; its vileness renders pure even Sodom and Gomorrah. Whatever is worst in other sin becomes holy in comparison with the turpitude of heresy. Less rhetorical, but equally emphatic, is Thomas Aquinas, when his merciless logic demonstrates that the sin of heresy separates man from God more than all other sins, and therefore it is the worst of sins, and is to be punished more severely. Of all kinds of infidelity, that of heresy is the worst. So sensitive did the clerical mind become on the subject that Stephen Palecz of Prague declared, in a sermon before the Council of Constance, that if a belief was Catholic in a thousand points, and false in one, the whole was heretical. The heretic, therefore, who labored, as all earnest heretics necessarily did, to convert others to his way of
* Ademari S. Cibardi Hist. Lib. III. c. 36. -- Dooms of Æthelstan, III. vi. (Thorpe, I. 219). -- Bracton. Lib. III. Tract. i. c. 6. -- Legg. Villee de Arkes § 26. (D'Achery III. 608). -- Hist. Diplom. Frid. II. Introd. p. cxcvi.; IV. 444. -- Godefrid. S. Pantal. Annal. ann. 1233. -- Fazelli de Reb. Siculis Decad. II. Lib. viii. p. 442. -- Isambert. Anc. Loix Frang. I. 295. -- Legg. Opstalbom. §§ 3, 4. -- Treuga Henrici c. 1224 (Böhlau, Nove Constitut. Dom. Alberti, Weimar, 1858, pp. 7677). -- Registre Criminel du Châtelet de Paris,passim ( Paris, 1861). -- Beaumanoir, Coutumes du Beauvoisis, c. 30, No. 12. -- Antiqua Ducum Mediolan. Decreta, pp. 187-88 (Mediolani, 1654). -- Legg. Capital. Caroli V. c. 103-197 (Goldast. Constitt. Imp. III. 537-55). -- London Athenæum, Mar. 15, 1873, p. 338. -- R. Christian. V. Jur. Danic. art. 7. -- Willenburgii de Except. et Pœnis Cleric.p. 41 (Jenæ, 1740). -- 5 Henry IV. c. 5. -- Description of Britaine, Bk. III. c. 6 (Holinshed's Chronicles Ed. 1577 I. 106). -- London Athenæum, 1885 No. 3024, p. 466.
It has seemed to me, however, that a sensible increase in the severity of punishment is traceable after the thirteenth century, and I am inclined to attribute this to the influence exercised by the Inquisition over the criminal jurisprudence of Europe.
thinking, was inevitably regarded as a demon, striving to win souls to share his own damnation, and none of the orthodox doubted that he was the direct and efficient instrument of Satan in his warfare with God. The intensity of the abhorrence thus awakened can only be realized by those who recognize the vividness of mediæval eschatology, the living horror which all men felt as to the possibilities of the dread hereafter. *
That this view of heresy and of the duty of its suppression was not reached at once by the mediæval Church and peoples we have seen in the hesitation and vacillation which characterized the proceedings of the eleventh and twelfth centuries; and this shows that the idea of solidarity in the responsibility before God, while it undoubtedly had a share in exaggerating the persecuting spirit, cannot by any means wholly account for it. It stimulated the masses, who snatched the sectaries from the hands of protecting priests, but had less influence on the educated clergy. As heresies increased and grew more threatening, and milder means seemed only to aggravate the evil, the minds of earnest and enlightened men brooding over it, and contemplating the awful possibilities of the future, when the Church of God might be overthrown by the conventicles of Satan, grew inflamed, and fanaticism inevitably followed. When this point was reached, when people and pastor. alike felt that the Church Militant must strike without pity if it would prevail against the legions of hell, no firm believer in the doctrine of exclusive salvation could doubt that the truest mercy lay in sweeping away the emissaries of Satan with fire and sword. God had wonderfully raised the Church to fight his battle. It had become supreme over temporal princes, and could command their implicit obedience. It had full power over the sword of the flesh, and with that power came responsibility. It was responsible not only in the present, but also for the souls of the faithful yet unborn through countless generations, and, if weakly untrue to its trust, it could not plead inability in extenuation. In view of the awful possibilities of neglected duty, what were the sufferings of a few thousand hardened wretches who, deaf to the solicitations of
* Lucæ Tudens. de altera Vita Lib. III. c. 15. -- T. Aquinat. Summ. Sec. Sec. Q. X. Artt. 3, 6. -- Von der Hardt, T. I. P. XVI. p. 829. -- Nic. Eymerici Direct. Inquis. Præfat.
repentance, were hurried, but a few years before their time, to their master the Devil?
We must also bear in mind the character which Christianity had assumed in the gradual development of its theology, and its consequent influence on those who guided the policy of the Church. They knew that Christ had said "I am not come to destroy the law but to fulfil" (Matt. v. 17). They also knew from Holy Writ that Jehovah was a God delighting in the extermination of his enemies. They read how Saul, the chosen King of Israel, had been divinely punished for sparing Agag of Amalek, and how the prophet Samuel had hewn him in pieces; how the wholesale slaughter of the unbelieving Canaanites had been ruthlessly commanded and enforced; how Elijah had been commended for slaying four hundred and fifty priests of Baal; and they could not conceive how mercy to those who rejected the true faith could be aught but disobedience to God. Moreover, Jehovah was a God who was only to be placated by the continual sacrifice of victims. The very doctrine of the Atonement assumed that the human race could only be rendered eligible to salvation by the most awful sacrifice that the human mind could conceive -- that of one of the members of the Trinity. The Christian worshipped a God who had subjected himself to the most painful and humiliating of sacrifices, and the salvation of souls was dependent on the daily repetition of this sacrifice in the mass, throughout Christendom. To minds moulded in such a belief, it might well seem that the extremity of punishment inflicted on the enemies of the Church of God was nothing in itself, and that it was an acceptable offering to him who had commanded that neither age nor sex should be spared in the land of Canaan.
These tendencies had been fostered and exaggerated by the growth of asceticism. That mortal life was a thing to be despised and that heaven was to be purchased by shunning the pleasures of existence and extinguishing all human affections, was a lesson taught broadly throughout the hagiology of the Church. Maceration and mortification were the surest roads to Paradise, and sin was to be redeemed by self-inflicted penance. This theory worked in a double sense. On the one hand, the practices of the zealot -- strict celibacy, fasting, solitude, are direct incentives to insanity, as is shown by the epidemics of diabolical possession and suicide which were so frequent in the stricter monastic establishments; * and without assuming that such a man as St. Peter Martyr was mad, it is impossible to read the extremity of ascetic maceration which he habitually practised -- fasts, vigils, scourgings, and every device which perverse ingenuity could suggest -- without recognizing morbid mental conditions which could readily render him a monomaniac on any subject which greatly engrossed his feelings. On the other hand, the men who thus tamed their own strong passions and mastered the rebellious flesh by these means, were not likely to feel for the suffering of those who had abandoned themselves to Satan, and who might be saved by temporal fire from eternal flame. Or if, perchance, they had softer hearts and compassionated the agonies of their victims, they might well regard the repression of their own emotions at the spectacle as part of the penance which they were called upon to endure. In any case, life was but an infinitesimal point in eternity, and all human interests shrank into nothingness in comparison with the one overmastering duty of keeping the flock from straying and of preventing an infected sheep from communicating his poison to his fellows. Charity itself could not hesitate over whatever methods might be requisite to accomplish this.
That the men who conducted the Inquisition and who toiled sedulously in its arduous, repulsive, and often dangerous labor, were thoroughly convinced that they were furthering the kingdom of God, is shown by the habitual practice of encouraging them with the remission of sins, similar to that offered for a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Besides the consciousness of duty performed, it was the only recognized reward of their joyless lives, and it was considered enough. † How, moreover, cruelty to the heretic could be conjoined with boundless love and good-will to men is well exemplified in the career of the Dominican, Frà Giovanni Schio
* Galton, Inquiries into Human Faculty, pp. 66-68. -- Cæsar. Heisterbac. Dial. Mirac. Dist. IV. As early as the fourth century the tendency of exaggerated asceticism to affect the mind was noted, and St. Jerome had the common-sense to point out that such cases required a physician rather than a priest (Hieron. Epist. cxxv. c. 16).
† Martene Thesaur. V. 1817, 1820. -- Urbani PP. IV. Bull. Licet ex omnibus, 20 Mart. 1262, § 13. -- Clem. PP. IV. Bull. Prœ cunctis mentis, 23 Feb. 1266 (Arch. de l'Inq. de Carc., Doat, XXXII. 32).
da Vicenza. Profoundly moved by the condition of northern Italy, filled with dissensions which raged, not only between city and city, and burgher and noble, but which divided families in the factions of Guelf and Ghibelline, he devoted himself to the mission of an Apostle of Peace. In 1233 his eloquence at Bologna induced the opposing parties to lay aside their arms, and led enemies to swear mutual forgiveness in a delirium of joyful reconciliation. So great was the enthusiasm which he excited that the magistrates submitted to him the statutes of the city and allowed him to revise them at discretion. The same success attended him at Padua, Treviso, Feltro, and Belluno. The lords of Camino, Romano, Conigliano, and San Bonifacio, and the republics of Brescia, Vicenza, Verona, and Mantua made him the arbiter of their differences and urged him to alter their political organization as he saw fit. On the plain of Paquara, near Verona, he called a great assembly of the Lombard peoples, and that innumerable multitude, swayed by his fervor as by a voice from heaven, proclaimed a general pacification. Yet this man, so worthy a disciple of the Great Teacher of divine love, when installed in power in Verona, proceeded to burn in the public square sixty men and women of the principal families of the town, whom he had condemned as heretics; and twenty years later he reappears as the leader of a Bolognese contingent in the crusade preached by Alexander IV. against Ezzelin de Romano. *
In fact the zealot, however loving and charitable he might otherwise be, was taught and believed that compassion for the sufferings of the heretic were not only a weakness but a sin. As well might he sympathize with Satan and his demons writhing in the endless torment of hell. If a just and omnipotent God wreaked divine vengeance on those of his creatures who offended him, it was not for man to question the righteousness of his ways, but humbly to imitate his example and rejoice when the opportunity to do so was vouchsafed to him. The stern moralists of the age held it to be a Christian duty to find pleasure in contemplating the anguish of the sinner. Gregory the Great, five centuries before, had argued that the bliss of the elect in heaven would not
* Tamburini, Storia Generale dell' Inquisizione, I. 362-5, 561. -- Chron. Veronens. ann. 1233 (Muratori S. R. I. VIII. 626, 627).
be perfect unless they were able to look across the abyss and enjoy the agonies of their brethren in eternal fire. This idea was a popular one and was not allowed to grow obsolete. Peter Lombard, the great "Master of Sentences," whose " Sentences," produced about the middle of the twelfth century, was the leading authority in the schools, quotes St. Gregory with approbation, and enlarges upon the satisfaction which the just will feel in the ineffable misery of the damned. Even the mystic tenderness of Bonaventura does not prevent him from echoing the same terrible exultation. When such were the sentiments in which all thinking men were trained, and such were the views which they disseminated among the people, it is not to be supposed that any feelings of compassion for the sufferers would deter the most charitable from the rigid exercise of justice. The ruthless extermination of heresy was a work which could only be pleasing to the righteous, whether simply as spectators or whether they were called by conscience or by station to the higher duties of active persecution. If, notwithstanding this, any scruple remained, the schoolmen easily removed it by proving that persecution was a work of charity, for the benefit of the persecuted. *
It is true that all popes were not like Innocent III. nor all inquisitors like Frà Giovanni. Selfish and interested motives were at work, as they are in all human institutions, and the actions even of the best may doubtless have unconsciously been stimulated by pride of opinion and by ambition as well as by a sense of duty to God and man. The religious revolt threatened the temporal possessions of the Church and the privileges of its members, and the desire to preserve these had its share in the resistance which was organized against innovation. Selfish as this desire may have been, we must not forget that, in the thirteenth century, the power and wealth of the hierarchy, however much abused, had yet long been recognized by the public law of Europe. The rulers of the Church could only regard as a sacred duty the maintenance of
* Gregor. PP. I. Homil. in Evangel. XL. 8. -- Pet. Lomb. Sententt. Lib. IV. Dist. 50 §§ 6, 7. Peter Lombard even presses into service a passage from St. Jerome which had no such significance (Hieron. Comment. in Isaiam Lib. XVIII. c. lxvi. vers. 24). -- St. Bonaventuræ Pharetræ IV. 50. -- S. Thomæ Aquinat. contra Impugn. Relig. cap. XVI. §§ 2, 3.
rights which they had inherited, against audacious assailants whose doctrines threatened the overthrow of what they regarded as the basis of social order. Sympathize as we must with the Waldenses and the Cathari in their hideous martyrdom, we cannot but feel that the treatment which they endured was inevitable, and we should pity the blindness of the persecutor as well as the sufferings of the persecuted.
Man is seldom wholly consistent in the practical application of his principles, and the persecutors of the thirteenth century made one concession to humanity and common-sense which was fatal to the completeness of the theory on which they acted. To carry it out fully, they should have proselyted with the sword among all non-Christians whom fate threw in their power; but from this they abstained. Infidels who had never received the faith, such as Jews and Saracens, were not to be compelled to Christianity. Even their children were not to be baptized without parental consent, as this would be contrary to natural justice, as well as dangerous to the purity of the faith. It was necessary that the misbeliever should have been united with the Church by baptism in order to give her jurisdiction over him. *
* S. Thomæ Aquinat. Summ. Sec. Sec. Q. x. art. 8, 12. -- Zanchini de Hære. c. ii.
THE MENDICANT ORDERS.
IN the struggle which the Church was making to regain its forfeited hold upon the veneration of Christendom its most efficient instrument was not force. It is true that the dignitaries at its head relied solely on persecution, and by skilful use of popular superstition and princely ambition they succeeded in crushing the open revolt which threatened its supremacy. Something more was required to render that success permanent by arousing anew the trust and confidence of the people, and that something could not be supplied by a worldly and ambitious prelacy. Far down in the ranks of the Church, however, were men with truer insight and nobler aspirations, who saw its fatal omissions and who sought in their humble spheres to do the work which lay immediately around them. They builded better than they knew, and to them rather than to the Innocents and the de Montforts did the hierarchy owe the restoration of the tottering edifice. The response which they met showed how deep was the popular longing for a church which should in some degree fitly reflect the precepts of its Founder.
It is not to be supposed that the corruption of the ecclesiastical body was allowed to pass unnoticed and unreproved by the pious among the orthodox, and that occasional efforts at reform were not made by those who would have shrunk with horror from open opposition or even secret dissidence. The free speaking of St. Bernard, Geroch of Reichersperg, and Peter Cantor show how deeply the offences of priest and prelate were felt and how sharply they were criticised. The self-imposed mission of Peter Waldo was an effort to evangelize the Church, which in its inception had no thought of antagonizing the existing order, and was forced into schism by the obstinacy of the disciples in recurring to Scripture, and the natural dread which conservatism feels of all enthusiasm that may become dangerous. As the twelfth century drew to an end there appeared another apostle whose brief career for a space seemed to give assurance that both clergy and people might be aroused to a practical sense of the changes requisite to enable the Church to fulfil its bright promises to mankind.
Foulques de Neuilly was an obscure priest, with little education or training and with profound contempt for the dialectics of the schools, but whose conviction of the sins of Church and people led him to abandon the cure of souls for the more arduous duties of a missionary. Moved by his enthusiasm, Peter Cantor procured for him from Innocent III. a license to preach, but at first his success was disheartening. He had not discovered the secret of reaching the hearts of his hearers, but the experience gained fly earnest work acquired it for him, and his legend explains it in the customary shape of a special revelation from God, accompanied with the gift of working miracles. He caused, it is said, the deaf to hear, the blind to see, and the crippled to walk, but he selected his subjects and ofttimes refused to work cures, telling the applicant that his time had not yet come, and that health would but give him fresh opportunity to sin. Though popularly known as "le sainct homme," he was no ascetic, and at a time when maceration was popularly deemed an indispensable accompaniment of holiness, it was remarked with wonder that he would eat thankfully whatever was set before him, and that he was not observant of vigils. Yet he was irascible, and was wont to give over to Satan those who refused to listen to him, when it was observed that they would shortly perish through the divine vengeance. Thousands of sinners flocked to hear him and were converted to repentance, though few of them persevered in the path of righteousness, and he was so successful in reclaiming women of evil life who became nuns that the Convent of St. Antoine in Paris was founded to receive them. Many Cathari, also, were won over by him to the faith, and it was through his exertions that Terric, the heresiarch of the Nivernois, was discovered in his cave at Corbigny and was burned. He was especially severe on the licentiousness of the clergy, and at Lisieux he so angered them with his invectives that they seized and threw him in a dungeon and loaded him with chains, when his miraculous powers stood him in good stead and he walked forth without difficulty. The same thing occurred at Caen, when the officials of
Richard of England imprisoned him, thinking to gratify their master, who was supposed to be offended by the preacher's plain speaking. Foulques warned him to marry off his three daughters lest worse should befall him; and when the king retorted that Foulques was a hypocrite who knew that he had no daughters, the monitor rejoined that the first daughter was pride, the second avarice, and the third lust. Richard, however, was too keen-witted to be overcome in a war of words; he assembled his court, and solemnly repeating what Foulques had said, added, "My pride I give to the Templars, my avarice to the Cistercians, and my lust to the prelates in general."
Foulques suffered somewhat in public estimation from the backsliding of Pierre de Roissi, whom he had taken as an associate, and who in preaching poverty amassed wealth and obtained a canonry at Chartres, where he rose to be chancellor. Yet he might have accomplished much had not Innocent III., who thought more of the recovery of the Holy Land than of the spiritual awakening of souls, sent him, in 1198, an urgent request to preach the crusade. Into this work Foulques threw himself with all his enthusiasm. It was owing to his eloquence that Baldwin of Flanders and other magnates undertook the crusade; he is said with his own hand to have imposed the cross upon two hundred thousand pilgrims, taking the poor by preference, as he deemed the rich unworthy of it, and the Latin Empire of Constantinople, which was the outcome of the crusade, was his work. Scandal said that of the immense sum which he raised he kept a portion, but this may be safely set to the account of malice; certain it is that never was money more joyfully received by the struggling Christians in Palestine than the large remittances from him which enabled them to rebuild the walls of Tyre and Ptolemais, recently overthrown by an earthquake. As the crusade was about to set out, which he proposed to accompany, he died at Neuilly, in May, 1202, leaving whatever he possessed to the pilgrims. Had his life been lengthened and had he not been diverted from his true career, he might possibly have accomplished permanent results. *
* Chron. Laudunens. ann. 1198. -- Ottonis de S. Blasio Chron. (Urstisius I. 223 sq.). -- Joann. de Flissicuria (D. Bouquet, XVIII. 800). -- Rob. Autissiodor. Chron. ann. 1198, 1202. -- Rog. Hoveden. Annal. ann. 1198, 1202. -- Rigord. de Gest. Phil. Aug. ann. 1195, 1198. -- Guillel. Brit. de Gest. Phil. Aug. ann. 1195. -- Grandes
Wholly different from Foulques was Durán de Huesca the Catalan. Despite the persecuting edicts of Alonso and Pedro, the Waldensian heresy had taken deep root in Aragon. Durán was one of its leaders, who took part in the disputation held at Pamiers about 1207 between the Waldenses and the Bishops of Osma, Toulouse, and Conserans, in the presence of the Count of Foix. It is probable that Dominic also took part in it, and as the two men had so much in common, one is tempted to believe that to Dominic's eloquence was due the conversion of Durán, which was the only substantial result of the colloquy. Durán was too earnest a man to remain satisfied with assuring his own salvation, and sought thenceforth to win over other erring souls. He not only wrote various tracts against his recent heres, but he conceived the idea of founding an order which should serve as a model of poverty and self-abnegation, and be devoted to preaching and missionary work, thus fighting the heretics with the very weapons which they had found so efficacious in obtaining converts from the wealthy and worldly Church. Filled with this inspiration, he labored among his brethren and brought many of them over to his way of thinking, from Spain to Italy. In Milan a hundred of them agreed to return to the Church if a building erected by them for a school, which the archbishop had torn down, were restored to them. Durán, with three companions, presented himself before Innocent, who was satisfied with his profession of faith and approved of his plan. Most of the associates were clerks, who had already given away all their possessions in charity. Renouncing the world, they proposed to live in the strictest chastity, to sleep on boards, except in case of sickness, praying seven times a day and observing specified fasts in addition to those prescribed by the Church. Absolute poverty was to be enforced; no thought was to be taken of the morrow, all gifts of gold and silver were to be refused, and only the necessaries of food and clothing were to be accepted. A habit of white or gray was adopted, with sandals to distinguish them from the Waldenses. Those of them who were learned and fit for the work were to devote themselves to preach-
Chroniques, ann. 1195,1198. -- Jacob. Vitriens. Hist. Occident. c. 8. -- Radulph. de Coggeshall ann. 1198, 1201. -- Chron. Cluniacens. ann. 1198. -- Chron. Leodiens. ann. 1198, 1199. -- Alberic. T. Font. Chron. ann. 1198. -- Geoff. de Villehardouin c. 1. -- Annal. Aquicinctin. Monast. ann. 1198. -- Joann. Iperii Chron. ann. 1201-2.
ing to the faithful and converting the heretic, pledging themselves not to attack the vices of the clergy. Laymen unable to serve in this capacity were to live in houses and labor with their hands, giving due tithes, oblations, and first-fruits to the Church. The care of the poor, moreover, was to be a special duty, and a rich layman in the diocese of Elne proposed to build for them a hospital with fifty beds, to erect a church, and to distribute garments to the naked. They were to elect their own superior, but were to be in no wise exempt from the regular jurisdiction of the prelates. *
In this institution of the "Pauperes Catholici," or Poor Catholics -- as they called themselves in contradistinction to the "Pauperes de Lugduno" or Waldenses -- there lay the possibilities of all that Dominic and Francis afterwards conceived and executed. It was the origin, or at least the precursor, of the great Mendicant Orders, the germ of the great fructifying idea which accomplished results so marvellous; and while it is not likely that Francis in Italy borrowed his conception from Durán, it is more than probable that Dominic in France, where he must have been familiar with the movement, was led by the plan of the Poor Catholics to that of the Preaching Friars, which was so closely modelled on it. Yet though at the start Durán had apparently far better prospects of success than either Dominic or Francis, his project was foredoomed from the beginning. Already in 1209 he had communities planted in Aragon, Narbonne, Béziers, Usez, Carcassonne, and Nimes, but the prelates of Languedoc were universally suspicious of the project and secretly or actively hostile. Cavils were raised as to the reconciliation of converted heretics; complaints were made that the conversions were feigned and that the converts were lacking in respect for the Church and its observances. The crusade was on foot; it seemed easier to crush than to persuade, and in the tumultuous passions of that fierce time the humble methods of Durán and his brethren were laughed to scorn. In vain he appealed to Innocent. In vain Innocent, who viewed the project with the intuition of a Christian statesman, assured him of the papal protection, and wrote again and again to the prelates commanding them to favor the Poor Catholics, reminding them that wandering sheep
* Pet. Samens. c. 6. -- Guillel. Pod. Laur. c. 8. -- Innoc. PP. III. Regest. XI. 196, 197; XII. 17.
were to be welcomed back to the fold, that souls were to be won by gentleness and mercy, and commanding them not to insist on trifles. In vain he even conceded to Durán that secular members of his society should not be required to join in war against Christians, or to take oaths in secular matters, in so far as was compatible with justice and with the rights of their suzerains. The passions and the prejudices which he had unchained in Languedoc had grown beyond his control, and the Poor Catholics disappeared in the tumult. After 1212 we hear little more of them. We find Gregory IX., in 1237, ordering the Dominican Provincial of Tarragona to reform them and let them select one of the approved Rules under which to live. A mandate of Innocent IV., in 1247, to the Archbishop of Narbonne and Bishop of Elne to restrain them from preaching shows that when they attempted to perform the function for which the order had been established they were promptly silenced. It was left to other hands to develop the enormous possibilities of the scheme which Durán had devised. *
Far different were the results achieved by Domingo de Guzman, whom the Latin Church reverences as the greatest and most successful of its champions.
"Della fede Christiana santo atleta, Benigno a' suoi, et a' nemici crudo --- E negli sterpi eretici percosse L'impeto suo più vivamente quivi Dove le resistenze eran più grosse." -- PARADISO, XII.
Born at Calaruega, in Old Castile, in 1170, of a stock which his brethren love to connect with the royal house, his saintliness was so penetrating that it reflected back upon his mother, who is reverenced as St. Juana de Aga, and at one time there was danger that even his father might be drawn into the saintly circle. Both parents were buried in the convent of San Pedro de Gumiel, until, about 1320, the Infante Juan Manuel of Castile obtained the body of Juana to enrich the Dominican convent of San Pablo de Peñafiel, which he had founded; when Fray Geronymo Orozco, the Abbot of Gumiel, prudently transferred the remains of Don Felix de
* Innocent. PP. III. Regest. XI. 98; XII. 67, 69; XIII. 63, 78, 94; XV. 90, 91, 92, 93, 96, 137, 146. -- Ripoll. Bull. Ord. FF. Prædic. I. 96. -- Berger Registres d'Innoc. IV. No. 2752.
Guzman to an unknown spot in order to preserve it from an extension of acquisitive veneration. Even the font of white stone, fashioned like a shell, in which Dominic was baptized could not escape. In 1605 Philip III. transported it with much pomp from Calaruega to Valladolid. Thence it was translated to the royal Convent of San Domingo in Madrid, where it has since been used for the baptism of the royal children. *
Ten years of training in the University of Palencia made of Dominic an accomplished theologian and equipped him thoroughly for the missionary work to which his life was devoted. Entering the Chapter of Osma, he was speedily made sub-prior, and in this capacity we have seen him accompany his bishop, who from 1203 onward for some years was employed on missions that carried him through Languedoc. Dominic's biographers relate that his career was determined by an incident in this first voyage, when he chanced to lodge in the house of a heretic of Toulouse and spent the night in converting him. This success, and the sight of the wide extent of heresy, led him to devote his life to its extirpation. When in 1206 Bishop Diego dismissed his retinue and remained to evangelize the land, Dominic alone was retained; when Diego returned to Spain to die, Dominic remained behind and continued to make Languedoc the scene of his activity. †
The legend which has grown around Dominic represents him as one of the chief causes of the overthrow of the Albigensian heresies. Doubtless he did all that an earnest and single-hearted man could do in a cause to which he had surrendered himself, but historically his influence was imperceptible. The monk of VauxCernay alludes to him but once, as a follower of Bishop Diego, and the epithet there applied to him of "vir totius sanctltatis" is but one of the customary meaningless civilities of the day. That he was one of the preachers licensed by the legates under the authority granted by Innocent, in 1207, is shown by an absolution issued by him which has chanced to be preserved, in which he styles himself canon of Osma and "prœdicator minimus;" but his subordinate
* Bremond de Guzmana Stirpe S. Dominici, Romæ, 1740, pp. 11, 12, 127, 133, 288.
† Bern. Guidon. Tract. Magist. Ord. Prædicat. ann. 1203-6. -- Nic. de Trivetti Chron. ann. 1203-9.
position is indicated by the absolution being subject to the pleasure of Legate Arnaud, from whom his authority was derived. This and a dispensation to a burgher of Toulouse to lodge a heretic in his house are the only extant evidences of his activity as a missionary. Yet already his talent for organization had been shown by his founding the Monastery of Prouille. One of the most efficient means by which the heretics propagated their belief was by establishments in which poor girls of gentle blood could obtain gratuitous education. To meet them on their own ground, Dominic, about 1206, conceived the idea of a similar foundation for Catholics, and with the aid of Bishop Foulques of Toulouse he carried it out. Prouille became a large and wealthy convent, which boasted of being the germ of the great Dominican Order. *
For the next eight years the life of Dominic is a blank. That he labored strenuously in his self-imposed mission we cannot doubt, gaining, if not souls, at least skill in disputation, knowledge of men, and the force which comes from the concentration of energies on a task of conscience; but of results there is not a trace in the wild tumult of the crusades. We may safely dismiss as a fable the tradition that he refused successively the bishoprics of Béziers, Conserans, and Comminges, and the legends of the miracles which he wrought in vain among hard-hearted Cathari. He emerges again to view after the battle of Muret had destroyed the hopes of Count Raymond, when the cause of orthodoxy seemed triumphant and the field was unobstructed for conversions. In 1214 he was in his forty-fifth year, in the full strength of mature manhood, yet having thus far accomplished nothing that gave promise of what was to follow. Divested of their supernatural adornments, the accounts which we have of him show him to us as a man of earnest, resolute purpose, deep and unalterable convictions, full of burning zeal for the propagation of the faith, yet kindly in heart, cheerful in temper, and winning in manner. It is significant of the impression produced on his contemporaries that with scarce an exception the miracles related of him are beneficent ones -- raising the dead, heal-
* Pet. Samens. c. 7. -- Innoc. PP. III. Regest. IX. 185. -- Paramo de Orig. Offic. S. Inquis. Lib. II. Tit. 1, c. 2, ‡ 6, 7. Nic. de Trivetti Chron. ann. 1205. -- Chron. Magist. Ord. Prædic. c. 1. -- Bern. Guidon. Hist. Fundat. Convent. (Martene Ampl. Collect. VL 439).
ing the sick and converting heretics, not by punishment, but by showing that he spoke by command of the Almighty. The accounts of his habitual austerities may be exaggerated, but no one who is familiar with the self-inflicted macerations of the hagiology need hesitate to believe that Dominic was as severe with himself as with his fellows, even though we may not place faith in the legend that his constant falling out of bed when an infant was caused by an early ascetic development which led him to prefer mortifying the flesh on a hard floor to the luxury of a soft couch. His endless scourgings, his tireless vigils, and, when exhausted nature could bear them no longer, his short repose on a board, or in the corner of a church where he had passed the night, his almost uninterrupted prayer, his superhuman fasts, are probably only harmless exaggerations of the truth. So, too, may be the legends which tell of his boundless charity and his love for his fellows; how, when a student, in a time of dearth he sold all his books to relieve the distress around him, and would, unless divinely prevented, have sold himself to redeem from the Moors a captive whose sister he saw overwhelmed with grief. Whether these stories be true or not, they at least show us the ideal which his immediate disciples thought to realize in him. *
The brief remaining years of Dominic's life witnessed the rapid garnering of the harvest sowed in the period of humble but zealous obscurity. In 1214 Pierre Cella, a rich citizen of Toulouse, moved by his earnestness, resolved to join him in his mission-work, and gave for the purpose a stately house near the Château Narbonnais, which for more than a hundred years remained the home of the Inquisition. A few other zealous souls gathered around him, and the little fraternity commenced to live like monks. Foulques, the fanatic Bishop of Toulouse, assigned to them a sixth of the
* Lacordaire, Vie de S. Dominique, p. 124. -- Nic. de Trivetti Chron. ann. 1203. -- Jac. de Voragine Legenda Aurea, Ed. 1480, fol. 88b, 90a.
As St. Francis had the distinguishing peculiarity of the Stigmata, so the Dominicans boasted that their founder had the special characteristic that when his tomb was opened the odor of sanctity exhaled from it was a delicious scent from paradise hitherto unknown, so penetrating in quality that it pervaded the whole land, and so persistent that those who touched the holy relics had their hands perfumed for years. -- Prediche del Beato Frà Giordano da Rivalto, Firenze, 1831, I. 47.
tithes, to provide them with books and other necessaries, that they might not lack the means of training themselves and others for the work of preaching, which was the main object of the community. By this time Durán de Huesca's attempt had proved a failure, and Dominic, who must have been familiar with it, doubtless saw the causes of its ill-success and the means to avoid them. Yet it is noteworthy that in the inception of the plan there was no thought of employing force. The heretics of Languedoc lay defenceless at the feet of de Montfort, an easy prey to the spoiler, but Dominic's project only looked to their peaceful conversion and to performing the duties of instruction and exhortation of which the Church had been so wholly neglectful. *
All eyes were now bent on the Lateran Council which was to decide the fate of the land. Foulques of Toulouse on his voyage thither took with him Dominic to obtain from the pope his approval of the new community. Tradition relates that Innocent hesitated; his experience with Duran de Huesca had not taught him to expect much from the irregular action of enthusiasts; the council had forbidden the formation of new orders of monkhood, and had commanded that zeal for the future should satisfy itself with those already established. Yet Innocent's doubts were removed by a dream in which he saw the Lateran Basilica tottering and ready to fall, and a man in whom he recognized the humble Dominic supporting it on his shoulders. Thus divinely warned that the crumbling church edifice was to be restored by the man whose zeal he had despised, he approved the project on condition that Dominic and his brethren should adopt the Rule of some established order. †
Dominic returned and assembled his brethren at Prouille. They were by this time sixteen in number, and it is a curious illustration of the denationalizing influence of the Church to observe in this little gathering of earnest men in that remote spot that Castile, Navarre, Normandy, France, Languedoc, England, and Germany were represented. This self-devoted band adopted the rule of the Canons Regular of St. Augustin, which was Dominic's own,
* Nic. de Trivetti Chron. ann. 1215. -- Bernardi Guidonis Tract. de Magist. Ord. Prædic. (Martene Ampl. Coll. VI. 400). -- Hist. Ordin. Prædic. c. 1 (Ib. 332 ).
† Nic. de Trivetti loc. cit. -- Chron. Magist. Ord. Prædic. c. 1. -- Bernard. Guidonis loc . cit. -- Concil. Lateran. IV. c. xiii. -- Harduin. Concil. VII. 83.
and elected Matthieu le Gaulois as their abbot. He was the first and last who bore this title, for as the Order grew its organization was modified to secure greater unity and at the same time greater freedom of action. It was divided into provinces, the head of each being a provincial prior. Supreme over all was the general master. These offices were filled by election, with tenure during good behavior, and provisions were made for stated assemblies, or chapters, both provincial and general. Each brother, or friar, was held to implicit obedience. Like a soldier on duty, he was liable at any moment to be despatched on any mission that the interest of religion or of the Order might demand. They deemed themselves, in fact, soldiers of Christ, not devoted, like the monks, to a life of contemplation, but trained to mix with the world, exercised in all the arts of persuasion, skilled in theology and rhetoric, and ready to dare and suffer all things in the interest of the Church Militant. The name of Preaching Friars, which acquired such world-wide significance, was the result of accident. During the Lateran Council, while Dominic was in Rome, Innocent had occasion to address a note to him and ordered his secretary to begin, "To brother Dominic and his companions;" then, correcting himself, he said, "To brother Dominic and the preachers with him," and finally, considering further, "to Master Dominic and the brethren preachers." This greatly pleased them, and they at once commenced calling themselves Friar Preachers. *
Curiously enough, poverty formed no part of the original design. The impulse to found the order was given by Cella's donation of his property and the share of the tithes offered by Bishop Foulques; and, as soon as it was organized, Dominic had no scruple in accepting three churches from Foulques -- one in Toulouse, one in Pamiers, and one in Puylaurens. The historians of the Order endeavor to explain this by saying that its founders desired to make poverty a feature of the Rule, but were deterred for fear that so novel an idea would prevent the papal confirmation. As Innocent had already approved of poverty in Durán de Huesca's scheme, the futility of this excuse is apparent, and we may well doubt the
* Hist. Ordin. Prædicat. c. 1, 2, 3. -- Chron. Magist. Ordin. Prædicat. c. 1. -Bernard. Guidonis Tract. de Magist. Ord. Prædic. (Martene Ampliss. Coll. VI. 332-4, 400).
legends about Dominic's rigidity in requiring his brethren to dispense absolutely with the use of money. Certain it is that as early as 1217 we find the friars quarrelling with the agents of Bishop Foulques over the grant of tithes, and demanding thaf churches with only half a dozen communicants should be reckoned as parish churches and subject to their claim on the tithes. It was not until the success of the Franciscans had shown the attractive power of poverty that it was adopted by the Dominicans in the General Chapter of 1220. It was finally embodied in the constitution adopted by the Chapter of 1228, which prohibited that lands or revenues should be acquired, ordered preachers not to solicit money, and classed among the graver offences the retention by a brother of any of the things forbidden to be received. The Order speedily outgrew these restrictions, but Dominic himself set an example of the utmost rigidity in this respect, and when he died in Bologna, in 1221, it was in the bed of Friar Moneta, as he had none of his own, and in Moneta's gown, for his own was worn out and he had not another to replace it; and when the Rule was adopted in 1220 such property as was not essential for the needs of the Order was made over to the Convent of Prouille. *
All that now was lacking was the papal confirmation of the Order and its statutes. Before Dominic could reach Rome on the errand to obtain this, Innocent had died, but his successor, Honorius III., entered fully into his views, and the sanction of the Holy See was given on December 21,1216. Returning to Toulouse in 1217, Dominic lost no time in dispersing his followers. It was not for them to practise the strenuous idleness of conventual life, in a ceaseless round of barren liturgies. They were the leaven which was to leaven Christianity, the soldiers of Christ who were to carry the banner of salvation to the farthest corners of the earth, and for them there was no pause or rest. The little band seemed absurdly inadequate for the task, but Dominic never hesitated. Some were sent to Spain, others to Paris, others again to Bologna, while
* Bernard. Guidon. Tract de Ordin. Prædic. (Martene Ampl. Collect. VI. 400, 402-3). -- Ejusd. Hist. Fund. Convent. Prædic. (Ib. 446-7). -- Hist. Ordin. Prædic. c. 9. -- Nic. de Trivetti Chron. ann. 1220, 1228. -- Chron. Magist. Ordin. Prædic. c. 3. -- Constit. Frat. Prædic. ann. 1228, Dist. I. c. 22; II. 26, 34 (Archiv für Literaturund Kirchengeschichte, 1886, pp. 209, 222, 225).
Dominic himself went to Rome, where, under the favor of the papal court, his enthusiasm was rewarded with an abundance of disciples. Those who went to Paris were warmly received, and were granted the house of St. Jacques, where they founded the famous convent of the Jacobins, which endured until the Order was swept away in the Revolution. The state of mental exaltation in which laymen and ecclesiastics of all ranks hastened to join the new Order is shown by the persecutions which the early brethren of St. Jacques endured from Satan. Frightful or sensual visions were constant with them, so that they were obliged by turns to keep watch at night over each other. Many of them were diabolically possessed and became mad. Their only refuge was the Virgin, and to the gracious assistance which she rendered them in their trials is attributed the Dominican custom of singing "Salve Regina" after complins, during which pious exercise she was frequently seen hovering over them in a sphere of light. Men in such a frame of mind were ready to suffer and to inflict all things for the sake of salvation. *
It is not worth while to follow further in detail the marvellous growth of the Order in all the lands of Europe. Already in 1221, when Dominic as General Master held the second General Chapter in Bologna, four years after the sixteen disciples had parted in Toulouse, the Order already had sixty convents, and was organized into eight provinces -- Spain, Provence, France, England, Germany, Hungary, Lombardy, and Romagnuola. The same year witnessed the death of Dominic, but his work was done and his removal from the scene made no change in the mighty machine which he had built and set in motion. Everywhere the strongest intellects of the age were donning the Dominican scapular, and everywhere they were earning the respect and veneration of the people. Their services to the papacy were fully recognized, and they are speedily found filling important offices in the curia. In 1243 the learned Hugh of Vienne became the first Dominican cardinal, and in 1276 the Dominicans rejoiced to see Brother Peter of Tarentaise raised
* Nic. de Trivetti Chron. ann. 1215, 1217, 1218. -- Chron. Magist. Ord. Prædic. c. 2. -- Hist. Ordin. Prædic. c. 1, 5. -- Bern. Guidon. Tract. de Magist. Ord. Prædic. (Martene Ampl. Coll. VI. 401). -- Hist. Convent. Parisiens. Frat. Prædic. (Ib. 549-50)
to the chair of St. Peter as Innocent V. Yet the delay in Dominic's canonization would seem to show that personally he made less impression on his contemporaries than his followers would have us believe. Dying in 1221, the bull enrolling him in the calendar of saints only bears date July 3, 1234. His great colleague, or rival, Francis, who died in 1226, was canonized within two years, in 1228; the young Franciscan, Antony of Padua, who died in 1231, was recognized as a saint in 1233; and when the great Dominican martyr, St. Peter Martyr, was slain, April 12, 1252, proceedings for his canonization were commenced August 31 of the same year and were completed by March 25, 1253, less than a twelvemonth after his death. That thirteen years should have elapsed in the case of Dominic shows that his merits were recognized but slowly. *
If the Franciscans were in the end closely assimilated to the Dominicans, it was through the overmastering demands of the work to be accomplished by both, for in their origin the Orders were destined to objects as diverse as the characters of their founders. If St. Dominic was the type of the active practical missionary, St. Francis was the ideal of the contemplative ascetic, modified by boundless love and charity for his fellows.
Born in 1182, Giovanni Bernardone was the son of a prosperous trader of Assisi, who trained him in his business. Accompanying his father on a voyage to France, he came back with the accomplishment of speaking French, which gained for him among his companions the nickname of Francesco, a name which he adopted as his own. A dissipated youth was brought to a sudden close in his twentieth year by a dangerous illness which resulted in his conversion, and thereafter he devoted himself to works of mercy and charity, earning for himself with no little verisimilitude the reputation of insanity. In order to restore the dilapidated church of St. Damiani he stole a quantity of his fa-
* Bern. Guidon. Tract. de Magist. (Martene VI. 403-4). -- Ejusd. Hist. Convent. Prædic. (Ib. 459). -- Nic. de Trivetti Chron. ann. 1221, 1243, 1276. -- Hist. Ordin. Prædic. c. 7. -- Mag. Bull. Roman. I., 73, 74, 77, 94.
An enumeration of the Dominican Order made in 1337, at the request of Benedict XII., showed about twelve thousand members. Preger Vorarbeiten zu einer Geschichte der deutschen Mystik (Zeitschrift für die hist. Theol. 1869, p. 12).
ther's cloths, which he sold at Foligno, together with the horse that carried them. Finding him irrevocably bent on following his own devices, the exasperated parent took him before the bishop to make him renounce all claim on his inheritance, which Francis willingly did, and to render the renunciation more complete stripped off all his clothes, save a hair shirt worn to mortify the flesh, when the bishop, to cover his nakedness, gave him the worn-out cloak of a peasant serving-man. *
Francis was now fairly embarked on a life of wandering beggary, which he used to so good an account that he was able to restore four churches which were sinking to ruin. He had no thought other than to work out his own salvation in poverty and acts of loving charity, especially to lepers; but the fame of his holiness spread, and the Blessed Bernard of Quintavalle asked to be associated with him. The solitary ascetic at first was indisposed to companionship, but to learn the will of God he thrice opened the Gospels at random, and his finger lit on the three texts on which the great Franciscan order was founded:
"And Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me"
(Matt. XIX>. 21).
"Be not ye therefore like unto them, for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of before ye ask him"
(Matt. VI. 8).
"Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me"
(Matt. XVI. 24).
The command was obeyed and the recruit accepted. Others joined from time to time, till the little band numbered eight. Then Francis announced that the time had come for them to evangelize the world, and dispersed them in pairs to the four points of the compass. On their reuniting, four more volunteers were added, when Francis drew up a Rule for their governance, and the twelve proceeded to Rome, according to the Franciscan legend, at the time of the Lateran Council, to procure the papal confirmation. When Francis presented himself to the pope in the aspect of a beggar the pontiff indignantly ordered him away, but tradition relates that a vision that night induced him to send for the mendicant. There was much hesitation among the papal advisers, but the earnestness
* Bonaventurve Vit. S. Fran. c. I., c. II. No. 1-4.
and eloquence of Francis won the day, and finally the Rule was approved and the brethren were authorized to preach the Word of God. *
Even yet were they undecided whether to abandon themselves to the contemplative life of anchorites or to undertake the great work of evangelization which lay before them in its immensity. They withdrew to Spoleto and counselled earnestly together without being able to reach a conclusion, until a revelation from God, which we can readily believe as actual to a mind such as that of Francis, turned the scale, and the Franciscan Order, in place of dying out in a few scattered hermitages, became one of the most powerful organizations of Christendom, though the abandoned hovel to which they resorted on their return to Assisi gave little promise of future splendor. The rapidity of the growth of the Order may be measured by the fact that when Francis called together his first General Chapter in 1221, it was attended by brethren variously reported as from three thousand to five thousand, including a cardinal and several bishops; and when, in the General Chapter of 1260, under Bonaventura, the Order was redistributed to accord with its growth, it was partitioned into thirty-three provinces and three vicariates, comprehending in all one hundred and eighty-two guardianships. This organization can be understood by the example of England, which formed a province divided into seven guardianships, containing, as we learn from another source, in 1256, forty-nine houses with twelve hundred and forty-two friars. The Order then extended into every corner of what was regarded as the civilized world and its contiguous regions. ‡
The Minorites, as in humility they called themselves, were so different in their inception from any existing organization of the
* S. Bonavent. c. II., III.
This account is doubtless colored by the result and adapted unconsciously to the successive stages of a formal religious organization. At first, however, the brethren were not expected to abandon their ordinary pursuits. They were required to follow their regular handicraft, earning their livelihood, and not living on alms except in case of necessity. See the First Rule, as reconstructed by Prof. Karl Müller, Die Anfänge des Minoritenordens, Freiburg, i. B., 1885, p. 186. ‡ Bonavent. Vit. Franc. c. IV. No. 10. -- Frat. Jordani Chron. (Analecta Franciscana I. 6. Quaracchi, 1885). -- Waddingi Annal. Minorum ann. 1260, No. 14. -- Th. de Eccleston de Adventu Minorum, Collat.2.
Church that when, in 1219, St. Francis made the first dispersion and sent his disciples to evangelize Europe, those who went to Germany and Hungary were regarded as heretics, and were roughly handled and expelled. In France they were taken for Cathari, to whose wandering perfected missionaries their austerity doubtless gave them close resemblance. They were asked if they were Albigenses, and, not knowing the meaning of the term, knew not what to say, and it was only after the authorities had consulted Honorius III. that they were relieved from suspicion. In Spain five of them endured martyrdom. Innocent had only given a verbal approbation of the Rule; he was dead, and something more formal was requisite to protect the brethren from persecution. Francis accordingly drew up a second Rule, more concise and less rigid than the first, which he submitted to Honorius. The pope approved it, though not without objecting to some of the clauses; but Francis refused to modify them, saying that it was not his but Christ's, and that he could not change the words of Christ. From this his followers assumed that the Rule had been divinely revealed to him. This belief passed into the traditions of the Order, and the Rule has been maintained unaltered in letter, though, as we shall see, its spirit has been more than once explained away by ingenious papal casuists. *
It is simple enough, amounting hardly to more than a gloss on the entrance-oath required of each friar, to live according to the gospel, in obedience, chastity, and without possessing property. The applicant for admission was required to sell all he had and give it to the poor, and if this were impossible the will so to do sufficed. Each one was permitted to have two gowns, but they must be vile in texture, and were to be patched and repaired as long as they could be made to hang together. Shoes were allowed to those who found it impossible to forego them. All were to go on foot, except in case of sickness or necessity. No one was to receive money, either directly or through a third party, except
* Frat. Jordani Chron. (Analecta Franciscana I. 3). -- S. Francisci Colloq. IX. -- Liber Conformitatum, Lib. I. Fruct. 9 (Ed. 1513, fol. 77a). -- Potthast Regesta No. 7108.
The dates and details of the successive Rules drawn up by Francis? are involved in considerable obscurity. The subject has been discussed with much acuteness by Karl Müller, op. cit.
that the ministers (as the provincial superiors were called) could do so for the care of the sick and for provision of clothing, especially in rigorous climates. Labor was strenuously enjoined on all those able to perform it, but wages were not to be in money, but in necessaries for themselves and their brethren. The clause requiring absolute poverty caused, as we shall see, a schism in the order, and therefore is worth giving textually: "The brethren shall appropriate to themselves nothing, neither house, nor place, nor other thing, but shall live in the world as strangers and pilgrims, and shall go confidently after alms. In this they shall feel no shame, since the Lord for our sake made himself poor in the world. It is this perfection of poverty which has made you, dearest brethren, heirs and kings of the kingdom of heaven. Having this, you should wish to have naught else under heaven." The head of the Order, or General Minister, was chosen by the Provincial Ministers, who could at any time depose him when the general good required it. Faculties for preaching were to be issued by the General, but no brother was to preach in any diocese without the assent of the bishop. *
This is all; and there is nothing in it to give promise of the immense results achieved under it. What gave it an enduring hold on the affections of the world was the spirit which the founder infused in it and in his brethren. No human creature since Christ has more fully incarnated the ideal of Christianity than Francis. Amid the extravagance, amounting at times almost to insanity, of his asceticism, there shines forth the Christian love and humility with which he devoted himself to the wretched and neglected -- the outcasts for whom, in that rude time, there were few indeed to care. The Church, absorbed in worldliness, had outgrown the duties on which was founded its control over the souls and hearts of men, and there was need of the exaggeration of self-sacrifice taught by Francis to recall humanity to a sense of its obligations. Thus, of all the miseries of that age of misery, the hardest lot was that of the leper -- the being afflicted by God with a loathsome, incurable, and contagious disease, who was cut off from all intercourse with fellow-men, and who, when he wandered abroad for alms from the lazar-house in which he was herd-
* B. Francisci Regul. II.
ed, was obliged, by clattering sticks, to give notice of his approach, that all might shun his pestiferous neighborhood. It was to these, the most helpless and hopeless and abhorred of mankind, that the boundless charity and love of Francis was especially directed. The example which he set in his own person he required to be followed by his brethren; and when noble or simple applied for admission to the Order he was told that prominent among the obligations which he assumed was that of humbly serving the lepers in their hospitals. Francis did not hesitate to sleep in the lazarhouses, to handle the dangerous sores of the afflicted, to apply medicaments, and to minister to the sufferings of the body as well as of the soul. For the sake of the leper he relaxed the rule as to receiving alms in money. Yet his humility led him to forbid his disciples from leading in public the "Christian brethren," as he called them. Once, when Friar James had taken with him to church a leper who was shockingly eaten by disease, Francis reproved him; then, reproaching himself for what the sufferer might regard as a slight, he asked Friar Peter of Catania, at that time the minister-general of the Order, to confirm the penance which he had appointed for himself, and when Peter, who looked upon him with too much reverence to deny him anything, had assented, he announced that he would eat out of the same dish as the sick man. At the next simple meal, therefore, the leper was seated among them, and the brethren were terrified to see a single dish set between the two, and the leper dipping his fingers, dripping with blood and purulent discharge, into the food common to both. *
It would perhaps be too much to assert one's faith in the absolute veracity of such stories, but that makes little difference. If they be but legendary, the very growth of the legend shows the impression which Francis left on those who followed him; and the value of such an ideal on an age so hard and cruel can scarce be exaggerated. We know as a fact that the Franciscans were ever foremost in the cure of the sick, that they tended the hospitals in the midst of pestilence, and that to their intelligent devotion is due whatever progress the science of healing made in the dark ages. We are told, moreover, that the tender love of
* Lib. Conformitatum Lib. II. Fruct. 5, fol. 155b.
Francis lavished itself on the brute creation as well as on man -on insects, birds, and beasts, whom he was wont to call his brethren and sisters, and for whom he was never weary in caring. All the stories related of him and his immediate disciples, in fact, are instinct with infinite love and self-sacrifice, with the perfection of humility and patience and long-suffering, with the control of the passions, and with endless striving to subdue all that renders human nature imperfect, and to realize the standard which Christ had erected for the guidance of man. Viewed in this aspect, even the semi-blasphemy of the "Book of Conformities of Christ and Francis" loses its grotesqueness. We may, indeed, smile at the absurdity of some of its parallels, and they may seem shocking enough when cleverly presented, stripped of all that softens them, in the "Alcoran des Cordeliers." We may doubt the verity of the Stigmata which it took so long and so many miracles, and repetition of papal bulls, to impose upon the incredulity of a hardhearted generation. We may think that Satan showed less than his usual shrewdness when he so repeatedly wasted his energies in seeking to tempt or to terrify the saint in the crude form of a lion or of a dragon. Yet, in spite of all the absurdities of the cult of St. Francis, we recognize the profound impression which his virtues made on his followers in the vision which showed the heavenly throne of Lucifer, next to the Highest, kept vacant to be filled by Francis. *
To the pride and cruelty of the age he opposed patience and humility, "The perfection of gladness," he says, "consists not in working miracles, in curing the sick, expelling devils, or raising
* Bonavent. Vit. Francis. c. S. -- Lib. Conformitatum Lib. I. Fruct. 1, fol. 13a; Lib. III. Fruct. 3, fol. 210a. -- Thomæ de Adventu Minorum Collat. XII. -- Alex. PP. IV. Bull. Quia longum ann. 1259. Wadding. ann. 1256, No. 19. -- Mag. Bull. Roman. I. 79, 108. -- Potthast Regesta No. 10308. -- See also Mr. J. S. Brewer eloquent tribute to the Franciscans in his preface to the Monumenta Franciscana (M. R. Series).
In 1496 the University of Paris condemned as scandalous and savoring of heresy the attempts of the Franciscans to assimilate their patron to Christ. -(D'Argentré, Coll. Judie. de nov. Error. I. ii. 318.)
When the Dominicans claimed for St. Catharine of Siena the honor of the Stigmata, Sixtus IV., in 1475, issued a bull prohibiting her being represented with them, as they were reserved for St. Francis (Martene Ampliss. Collect. VI. 1386). They had not, as yet been vulgarized by La Cadière and Louise Lateau.
the dead; nor in learning and knowledge of all things; nor in eloquence to convert the world, but in bearing all ills and injuries and injustice and despiteful treatment with patience and humility." So far from valuing himself on his virtues, he humbly confesses that he had himself not lived up to the Rule, and apologizes for it through his infirmity and ignorance. To what extravagant lengths his disciples carried this striving for humility is shown by Giacomo Benedettone, better known as Jacopone da Todi, the author of the Stabat Mater, an active and successful lawyer, who, crushed by the death of a lovely wife, entered the Order, and for ten years feigned idiocy in order to revel in the abuse and illtreatment that were showered upon him. *
Obedience was taught and enforced to the utter renunciation of the will, and many are the stories related to show how completely the earlier disciples subjected themselves to each other and to their superiors. When, in 1224, the Franciscans were first sent. to England, Gregory, the Provincial Minister of France, asked Friar William of Esseby if he wished to go. William replied that he did not know whether he wished it or not, because his will was not his own, but the minister's, and therefore he wished whatever the minister wished him to wish. Somewhat similar is a story told of two brethren of Salzburg in 1222. This blindness of obedience produced a discipline in the Order which increased incalculably its importance to the Church when it grew to be an instrument in the hands of the papacy. St. Francis was especially emphatic in urging upon the brethren the most implicit devotion to Rome, and the Franciscans became an army which played in the thirteenth century the part filled by the Jesuits in the sixteenth. ‡
It was no part of Francis's design that the friars should live by idle mendicancy, and we have seen that the Rule expresses the obligation to labor. This was obeyed by the stricter members. Thus his third disciple, the blessed Giles, earned his subsistence by the rudest work, such as that of carrying wood, and he always
* S. Francis. de Perfecta Lætitia; Ejusd. Epistt. xi., xv. -- Waddingi Annal. ann. 1298, No. 24-40. -- Cantù, Eretici d'Italia, I. 128.
‡ Lib. Conform. Lib. I. Fruct. 8, fol. 47. -- Thom. de Eccleston Collat. I. -- Frat. Jordani Chron. c. 27 (Analecta Franciscana L 10). -- S. Francis. Collat. Monasticæ, Collat. 20.
adhered to the precept not to take wages in money, but in necessaries for his support. When he had earned more than enough for the scanty subsistence of the day, he would give away the surplus in charity, and trust to God for the morrow. It was well that, in an age of class distinctions so rigid, there should be some to teach practically the dignity of labor as a Christian doctrine. When St. Bonaventura was elevated to the cardinalate, in 1273, he had for seventeen years been the head of what by that time was the most powerful organization in Christendom, yet the messengers sent to announce to him his promotion arrived while he was engaged in his daily task of washing the dishes used in the frugal dinner of his convent. He refused to see them till his work was finished, and meanwhile the hat which they had brought was hung upon the branch of a tree. *
Thus the aim of St. Francis and his followers was to realize the simplicity of Christ and the apostles, and in nothing was this manifested with so much fervor as in their seeking after poverty. They argued that Jesus and his disciples owned nothing, and that the perfect Christian must likewise divest himself of all property. Of food and clothing and shelter he might have the use, as likewise of books requisite for his religious needs, but property of all kinds was absolutely prohibited, and the Christian's trust in God rendered forethought for the morrow a sin. As a protest against the avarice and worldliness of the Church, this was of exceeding value, but it was pushed to an extravagance which idealized poverty as an intrinsic good, and the greatest of all goods. "Brethren, said St. Francis, "know that poverty is the special path to salvation, the inciter to humility, and the root of perfection.... He who seeks to attain the height of poverty must, in a sense, renounce not only worldly prudence, but the knowledge of letters, so that, divesting himself of these possessions, he may offer himself naked to the arms of the Crucified. ... Wherefore, like beggars, build little hovels in which to live, not as in your own, but as strangers and pilgrims in the houses of others." His prayer to Christ for poverty is a curiously earnest rhapsody. She is Lady Poverty, the Queen of virtues, for whose sake Christ descended unto earth, to marry her and beget on her all the children of per-
* Waddingi Annal. ann. 1262, No. 3, 4, 8; ann. 1273, No. 12.
fection. She clung to him with inseparable fidelity, and in her arms he died upon the cross. She alone possesses the seal with which to mark the elect who choose the way of perfection. "Grant me, O Jesus, that I may never possess under heaven anything of my own, and sustain the flesh sparely by the use of the things of others!" This exaggerated lust of poverty he carried out to the last, and on his death-bed stripped himself naked that he might die possessing absolutely nothing. Poverty thus was the cornerstone on which he founded the Order, and, as we shall see, the effort to maintain this superhuman perfection led to a schism and gave to the Inquisition an ample store of victims whose heresy consisted in fidelity to the precepts of their founder. *
With all this there was too much kindliness in his nature for gloom, and cheerfulness was a virtue which he constantly inculcated. Sadness he held to be one of the most deadly weapons of Satan, while cheerfulness was the Christian's thankful acknowledgment of the blessings bestowed by God upon his creatures. This was consequently a distinguishing characteristic of the Friars in the early days of the Order. In Eccleston's simple and quiet narration of their advent to England, in 1224, when nine of them crossed to Dover without knowing what their fate might be from day to day, there is something singularly beautiful in the picture of their zeal, their trustfulness, their patience, their unfailing cheerfulness under privation and disappointment, and in their tireless activity in ministering to the spiritual and corporeal wants of the neglected children of the Church. Such men were real apostles, and had the Order continued to follow the lines laid down by its founder its services to humanity would have been incalculable. ‡
The Mendicant Orders were a startling innovation upon the monastic theory. In its essence monachism was the selfish effort of the individual to secure his own salvation by repudiating all the duties and responsibilities of life. It is true that at one time it had earned the gratitude of the world by leaving its retreats and carrying civilization and Christianity into barbarous regions,
* S. Francis. Collat. Monast. Collat. 5. -- Ejusd. pro Paupertate obtinenda Oratio. -- Lib. Conform. Lib. III. Fruct. 4, fol. 215a.
‡ S. Francis. Colloq. 27. -- Th. de Eccleston de Adventu Minorum Collat. 1, 2.
under such men as St. Columba, St. Gall, and St. Willibrod, but that time had long past, and for ages it had sunk into worse than its primitive selfishness. The Mendicants came upon Christendom like a revelation -- men who had abandoned all that was enticing in life to imitate the apostles, to convert the sinner and unbeliever, to arouse the slumbering moral sense of mankind, to instruct the ignorant, to offer salvation to all; in short, to do what the Church was paid so enormously in wealth and privileges and power for neglecting. Wandering on foot over the face of Europe, under burning suns or chilling blasts, rejecting alms in money but receiving thankfully whatever coarse food might be set before the wayfarer, or enduring hunger in silent resignation, taking no thought for the morrow, but busied eternally in the work of snatching souls from Satan, and lifting men up from the sordid cares of daily life, of ministering to their infirmities and of bringing to their darkened souls a glimpse of heavenly light -- such was the aspect in which the earliest Dominicans and Franciscans presented themselves to the eyes of men who had been accustomed to see in the ecclesiastic only the sensual worldling intent solely upon the indulgence of his appetites. It is no wonder that such an apparition accomplished much in restoring to the populations the faith in Christianity which had began to be so sorely shaken, or that it spread through Christendom the hope of an approaching regeneration in the Church which greatly lessened popular impatience under its exactions, and doubtless staved off a rebellion which would have altered the aspect of modern civilization.
It is no wonder, moreover, that the love and veneration of the people followed the Mendicants; that the charitable showered their gifts upon them, to the destruction of the primal obligation of poverty; that the men of earnest convictions pressed forward to join their ranks. The purest and noblest intellects might well see in such a career the realization of their loftiest aspirations; and whenever in the thirteenth century we find a man towering above his fellows, we are almost sure to trace him to one of the Mendicant Orders. Raymond of Pennaforte, Alexander Hales, Albertus Magnus, Thomas Aquinas, Bonaventura, Roger Bacon, Duns Scotus, are names which show how irresistibly the men of highest gifts were led to seek among the Dominicans or Franciscans their ideal of life. That they failed to find it goes withæ out saying, but their presence in the Orders is at once an evidence of the impression which the Mendicants made upon all that was worthiest in the age, and an explanation of the enormous influence which the Orders obtained with such marvellous rapidity. Even Dante cannot refuse to them the tribute of his admiration --
"L'un fu tutto serafico in ardore, L' altro per sapienza in terra fue Di cherubica luce uno splendore." (PARADISO, XI.)
There was another instrumentality of vast importance, in utilizing which both Francis and Dominic manifested their organizing ability -- the Tertiary Orders through which laymen, without abandoning the world, were assimilated to the respective brotherhoods, aided in their labors, shared in their glory, and added to their influence, thus stimulating and utilizing the zeal of the community at large. There is a trace of an order of Crucigeri or Cross-bearers, laymen organized for the defence of the Church, claiming to date back to the time of Helena, mother of Constantine, and revived in 1215 by the Lateran Council, but there is no evidence of its activity or usefulness. Francis, however, who, though unlearned in scholastic theology and untrained in rhetoric, excelled his contemporaries in insight into the gospel and possessed a Simple, earnest eloquence which carried the hearts of his hearers, on one occasion produced by his preaching so profound an impression that all the inhabitants of the town, men, women, and children, begged admission to his Order. This was manifestly impossible, and he bethought him of framing a Rule by which persons of both sexes, while remaining in the world, could be subjected to wholesome discipline and be connected with the fraternity, which in turn promised them its protection. Of the restrictions placed on them perhaps the most significant was that they should carry no weapons of offence except for the defence of the Roman Church, the Christian faith, and their own lands. The project and the Rule were approved by the pope in 1221, and the official name of the organization was "The Brothers and Sisters of Penitence," though it became popularly known as the Tertiary Order of Minorites, or Franciscans. Under the more aggressive name of "Militia Jesu Christi," or Soldiery of Christ, Dominic founded a similar association of laymen connected with his Order. The idea proved a most fruitful one. It reorganized to some degree the Church by removing a portion of the barrier which separated the layman from the ecclesiastic. It brought immense support to the Mendicant Orders by enlisting with them multitudes of the earnest and zealous, as well as those who from less worthy motives sought to share their protection and enjoy the benefit of their influence. Types of both classes may be found in the royal house of France, for both St. Louis and Catherine de Medicis were Tertiaries of St. Francis. *
To comprehend fully the magnitude and influence of these movements we must bear in mind the impressionable character of the populations and their readiness to yield to contagious emotion. When we are told that the Franciscan Berthold of Ratisbon frequently preached to crowds of sixty thousand souls we realize what power was lodged in the hands of those who could reach masses so easily swayed and so full of blind yearnings to escape from the ignoble life to which they were condemned. How the slumbering souls were awakened is shown by the successive waves of excitement which swept over one portion of Europe after another about the middle of the century. The dumb, untutored minds began to ask whether an existence of hopeless and brutal misery was all that was to be realized from the promises of the gospel. The Church had made no real effort at internal reform; it was still grasping, covetous, licentious, and a strange desire for something -- they knew not exactly what -- began to take possession of men's hearts and spread like an epidemic from village to village and from land to land. In Germany and France there is another Crusade of the Children, earning from Gregory IX. the declaration that they gave a fitting rebuke to their elders, who were basely abandoning the birth-place of humanity. ‡
But the most formidable and significant manifestation of this universal restlessness and gregarious enthusiasm is seen in the uprising of the peasantry -- the first of the wandering bands known
* Philip. Bergomat. Supplem. Chronic. Lib. XII. ann. 1215. -- Bonavent. Vit. S. Fran. c. IV. No. 5; c. XI. -- Regula Fratrum Sororumque de PU+153nitentia. -- Potthast Regest. No. 6736, 7503, 13073. -- Chron. Magist. Ordin. Prædicat. c. 2, 9. -Raynald. Annal. ann. 1233, No. 40. -- Nicolai PP. IV. Bull. Supra montem, ann. 1289.
‡ Chron. Augustens. ann. 1250. -- Slatt. Paris. ann. 1252.
as Pastoureaux. The helpless and hopeless state of the lower classes of society in those dreary ages has probably never been exceeded in any period of the world's history. The terrible maxim of the feudal law, that the villein's only appeal from his lord was to God -- "Mès par notre usage n'a-il entre toi et ton vilein juge fors Deu" -- condenses in a word the abject defencelessness of the major part of the population, and human degradation has never, perhaps, been more forcibly expressed than in the infamous jus primce noctis or "droit de marquette." The bitter humor of the trouvère Ruteb?f describes how Satan considered the soul of the villein too despicable to be received in hell; there was no place for it in heaven, so that, after a life of misery on earth, it had no refuge in the hereafter. It is noteworthy in many ways that the Church, which should have been the mediator between the villein and his lord, and which, in teaching the common brotherhood of man, should have earned the gratitude of the miserable serf, was always the special object of aversion and attack in the brief saturnalia of the self-enfranchised wretches. *
Suddenly, about Easter, 1251, there appeared a mysterious preacher, known as the Hungarian, advanced in years, and clothed with the attributes which most excite popular awe and veneration. In his clenched hand, which never was opened, he carried a paper given to him by the Virgin Mary herself, which was his mandate and commission. Yet men said that he had from his youth been an apostate from Christ to Mahomet, that he had drunk deeply of the poisonous wells of magic flowing at Toledo, and that he had received from Satan the mission of carrying the unarmed populations of Europe to the East, so that the Soldan of Babylon should find Christendom an easy prey. Remembering the Crusade of the Children, people leaped to the conclusion that it was he who had devastated so many houses with his magic arts, leading forth the tender youth to perish of starvation and exposure. Tall and pale, gifted with eloquence to win the hearts of the multitude, speaking like a native in French and German and Latin, he set forth, preaching from town to town the supineness of the rich and powerful
* Pierre de Fontaines, Conseil, ch. xxi. art. 8. -- Le Grand d'Aussy, Fabliaux, II. 112-3. -- The existence of the "droit de marquette" has been questioned, but without reasonable ground. The authorities may be found in the author's "Sacerdotal Celibacy," 2d Ed. p. 354.
who allowed the Holy Land to remain in the grasp of the Infidel and the good King Louis to languish in his Egyptian dungeon. God had tired of the selfishness and ambition of the nobles, and he called the poor and humble, without arms and captains, to rescue the Holy Places and the Good King. All this found ready response, but even greater applause followed his attacks upon the clergy. The Mendicant Orders were vagrants and hypocrites; the Cistercians were greedy of money and lands; the Benedictines proud and gluttonous; the canons wholly given to secular aims and the lusts of the flesh; the bishops and their officials were money-seekers, who shrank from no trickery to accomplish their aims. As for Rome, no terms of objurgation were too strong for the papal court. The people, whose hate and contempt for the clergy were unbounded, listened to this rhetoric with delight, and eagerly joined a movement which promised a reform in some unseen way. Shepherds left their sheep, husbandmen their ploughs, deaf to the commands of their lords, and followed him unarmed, taking no thought of the morrow, nor asking how they were to be fed.
There were not lacking those high in station who, carried away with the general enthusiasm, imagined that God was about to work miracles with the poor and helpless after the great ones of the earth had failed. Even Queen Blanche, eager for any means that promised to liberate her son, looked upon the movement for a while with favor, and lent it her countenance. It swelled and grew till the wandering multitudes amounted to more than a hundred thousand men, bearing fifty banners as an emblem of victory. It was impossible, of course, to confine such an uprising to the peaceful and humble. No sooner did it assume proportions promising immunity than it inevitably drew to itself all the disorderly elements inseparable from the society of the time -- the "ruptarii" and "ribaldi," whom we have seen figure so largely in the Albigensian troubles. These flocked to it from all sides, bringing knife and dagger, sword and axe, and giving to the immense procession a still more menacing aspect. That outrages were committed we can well believe, for the wrongs of class against class were too flagrant to remain unavenged when opportunity offered for reprisals. On June 11, 1251, they entered Orleans, against the commands of the bishop, but welcomed by the people, though the richer citizens prudently locked their doors. All might have passed peaceably there as elsewhere but for a hot-headed student of the flourishing university of the city, who interrupted the preaching of the Hungarian to denounce him as a liar, and was promptly brained by a zealous follower. A tumult followed, in which the Pastoureaux made short work of the Orleans clergy, breaking into their houses, burning their books, and slaying many, or tossing them into the Loire; and, what is most significant, the people are described as looking on approvingly. The bishop, and all who could hide themselves from the fury of the mob, escaped during the night, and valiantly laid the city under interdict for the guilty complicity of the citizens.
On hearing this the Regent Blanche said, "God knows I thought they would recover the Holy Land in simplicity and holiness. But since they are deceivers, let them be excommunicated and destroyed." Accordingly they were excommunicated, but before the anathema could be published they had reached Bourges, where, in a tumult, the Hungarian was slain, and they broke up into bands. The authorities, recovering from their stupor, pursued the luckless wretches everywhere, who were slain like mad dogs. Some emissaries who penetrated to England, and succeeded in raising a revolt of some five hundred peasants, met the same fate; and it was reported that the second in command under the Hungarian was captured in a vessel on the Garonne, while endeavoring to escape, and on his person were found magic powders and strange letters in Arabic and Chaldee characters from the Soldan of Babylon promising his co-operation.
The quasi-religious nature of the uprising is shown in the functions exercised by the leaders, who acted the part of bishops, blessing the people, sprinkling holy water, and even celebrating marriages. The favor which the people everywhere showed them was attributed principally to their spoiling, beating, and slaying the clergy, thus indicating the deep-seated popular antagonism to the Church, and justifying the declaration made by prelates high in station that so great a danger had never threatened Christendom since the time of Mahomet. *
* Matt. Paris ann. 1251 (pp. 550-2). -- Guillel. Nangiac. ann. 1251. -- Amalrici Angerii Vit. Pontif. ann. 1251. -- Bern. Guidon. Flor. Chronic. (Bouquet, XXI. 697).
Even more remarkable, as a manifestation of popular emotion, was the first apparition of the Flagellants. Suddenly, in 1259, in Perugia, no one knew why, the population was seized with a fury of devotional penitence, without incitement by friar or priest. The contagion spread, and soon the whole of upper Italy was filled with tens of thousands of penitents. Nobles and peasants, old and young, even to children five years of age, walked solemnly in procession, two by two, naked except a loin-cloth, weeping and praying God for mercy, and scourging themselves with leather thongs to the drawing of blood. The women decently inflicted the penance on themselves in their chambers, but the men marched through the cities by day and night, in the sharpest winter, preceded by priests with crosses and banners, to the churches, where they prostrated themselves before the altars. A contemporary tells us that the fields and mountains echoed with the voices of the sinners calling to God, while music and love-songs were heard no more. A general fever of repentance and amendment seized the people. Usurers and robbers restored their ill-gotten gain; criminals confessed their sins and renounced their vices; the prison doors were thrown open, and the captives walked forth; homicides offered themselves on their knees, with drawn swords, to the kindred of their victims, and were embraced with tears; old enmities were forgiven, and exiles were permitted to return to their homes. Everywhere was seen the operation of divine grace, and men seemed to be consumed with heavenly fire. The movement even spread to the Rhinelands and throughout Germany and Bohemia; but whatever hopes were aroused of the regeneration of man vanished with the subsidence of the excitement, which disappeared as rapidly as it came, and was even denounced as a heresy. Uberto Pallavicino took effectual means of keeping the Flagellants out of his city of Milan; for when he heard of their approach he erected three hundred gibbets by the roadside, at sight of which they abruptly retraced their steps. *
A similar extraordinary movement took place in 1309 (Chron. Corn. Zanfliet ann. 1309), and another, on a larger scale, in 1320 (Guill. Nangiac. Contin. ann, 1320. -- Grandes Chroniques V. 245-6. -- Amal. Auger. Vit. Pontif. ann. 1320).
* Monach. Paduan. Lib. III. ann. 1260. -- Chron. F. Francisci Pipini ann. 1260. -- Gesta Treviror. Archiep. c. 268. -- Closener Chronik (Chron. der deutschen Stadte, VIII. 73, 104). -- Lami, Antichità Toscane, p. 617. -- Verri, Storia di Milano, I. 264.
It was in a population subject to such tempests of emotion, and groping thus blindly for something higher and better than the hopeless degradation around them, that the Mendicant Orders came to gather to themselves the potential religious exaltation of the time. That they should develop with unexampled rapidity was inevitable.
Everything favored them. The papal court early recognized in them an instrument more efficient than had yet been devised to bring the power of the Holy See to bear directly upon the Church and the people in every corner of Christendom; to break down the independence of the local prelates; to combat the temporal enemies of the papacy, and to lead the people into direct relations with the successor of St. Peter. Privileges and exemptions of all kinds were showered upon them, until, by a series of bulls issued, between 1240 and 1244, by Gregory IX. and Innocent IV., they were rendered completely independent of the regular ecclesiastical organization. A time-honored rule of the Church required that any excommunication or anathema could only be removed by him who had pronounced it, but this was revolutionized in their favor. Not only were the bishops required to give absolution to any Dominican or Franciscan who should apply for it, except in cases of such enormity that the Holy See alone could act, but the Mendicant priors and ministers were authorized to absolve their friars from any censures inflicted on them. These extraordinary measures removed them entirely from the regular jurisdiction of the establishment; the members of each Order became responsible only to their own superiors, and in their all-pervading activity throughout Europe they could secretly undermine the power and influence of the local hierarchy, and replace it with that of Rome, which they so directly represented. This independent position, however, had only been reached by degrees. Papal briefs of 1229 and 1234, enjoining them to show proper respect and obedience to the bishops, and empowering the bishops to condemn any friars who abuse their privileges of preaching for purposes of gain, show that complaints of their aggressions had commenced thus early, and that Rome was not yet prepared to render them independent of the hierarchy; but when the policy had once been adopted it was carried to its fullest development, and the cycle of legislation was completed by Boniface VIII., in 1295 and 1296, by a series of bulls in which, following his predecessors, the Mendicants were formally released from all episcopal jurisdiction, and the statutes of the Orders were declared to be the only laws by which they were to be judged, all provisions of the canon law to the contrary notwithstanding. At the same time, by a new issue of the bull Virtute conspicuos, commonly known as the Mare, Magnum, he codified and confirmed all the privileges conferred by his predecessors. *
The Holy See was thus provided with a militia, recruited and sustained at the expense of the faithful, panoplied in invulnerability, and devoted to its exclusive service. In order that its usefulness might suffer no limitation, in 1241 Gregory IX. granted to the friars the privilege of freely living in the lands of excommunicates, and of asking and receiving assistance and food from them. They could, therefore, penetrate everywhere, and serve as secret emissaries in the dominions of those hostile to Rome. Human ingenuity could have devised no more efficient army, for, not only were they full of zeal and inspired with profound convictions, but the reputation for superior sanctity which they everywhere ac-
* Potthast Regest. No. 8324, 8326, 9775, 10905, 11169, 11296, 11319, 11399, 11415. -- Ripoll. I. 99. -- Matt. Paris ann. 1234 (pp. 274-6). -- Wadding. Annal. ann. 1295, No. 18. -- Mag. Bull. Roman. I. 174. -- Ripoll II. 40.
The exemption of the Mendicants from all local jurisdiction save that of their own Orders was a source of almost inconceivable trouble in every portion of Christendom. When, for instance, in 1435, the legates of the Council of Basle were on their way to Brünn to settle the terms of pacification with the Hussites, they were called upon in Vienna to silence a Franciscan whose abusive sermons created disorder, and it was with much trouble that they forced him to admit that, as representing a general council, they had authority to discipline him. On their arrival at BrUnn they found the public agitated over a dreadful scandal, the Dominican provincial having seduced a nun of his own order. The woman had borne a child to him, and no steps had been taken against him. The ordinary judicial machinery of the Church was utterly powerless to deal with him, and the precautions which the legates deemed it prudent to take before they ventured to commence proceedings show how arduous and dangerous they felt the task to be, though when they got to work they sentenced him to deposition and imprisonment for life on bread and water. -- Ægidii Carlerii Liber do Legationibus (Monument. Concil. General. Sæc. XV. T. I. pp. 544-8, 553, 555, 557, 563-6, 572, 577, 587, 590, 595). This, however, seems to have been a mere brutum fulmen, as there is no allusion to any attempt to execute the sentence.
quired secured for them popular sympathy and support, and gave them an enormous advantage in any contest with local churches. * .
Their efficiency, when directed against temporal opponents, was thoroughly tried in the long and mortal struggle of the papacy with Frederic II., the most powerful and dangerous enemy whom Rome has ever had. As early as the year 1229 we hear of the banishment of all the Franciscans from the kingdom of Naples, as papal emissaries seeking to withdraw from the emperor the allegiance of his subjects. In 1234, we find them raising money in England to enable the pope to carry on the struggle, and using every device of persuasion and menace with a success which realized immense sums and reduced numbers to beggary. When, in the solemnities of Easter, 1239, Gregory fulminated an excommunication against the emperor, it was to the Franciscan priors that he communicated it, with a full recital of the imperial misdeeds, and ordered them to publish it with ringing of bells on every Sunday and feast-day. It was the most effective method that could be devised to create public opinion against his adversary, and Frederic retorted with another edict of expulsion. When Frederic was deposed by the Council of Lyons, in 1244, it was the Dominicans who were selected to announce the sentence in all accessible public places, with an indulgence of forty days for all who would gather to listen to them, and plenary remission of sins to the friars who might suffer persecution in consequence. Soon afterwards we find them playing the part, which the Jesuits filled in Jacobean England, of secret emissaries engaged in hidden plots and fomenting disturbances. Frederic always declared that the conspiracy against his life in 1244 was the work of Franciscans who had been commissioned to preach a secret crusade against him in his own dominions, and who encouraged his enemies with prophecies of his speedy death. When, as the result of papal intrigues, Henry Raspe of Thuringia was elected, in 1246, as King of the Romans,
* Potthast No. 11040, 11041. -- The usefulness of the Mendicants in aiding the papacy to unlimited domination is seen in the condemnation, by the University of Paris, in 1429, of the Franciscan Jean Sarrasin for publicly teaching that the whole jurisdiction of the Church is derived from the pope. He was forced to admit that it was bestowed by God on the several classes of the hierarchy, and that the authority of councils rested, not on the pope, but on the Holy Ghost and the Church (D'Argentré, Coll. Judic. de nov. Error. I. ii. 227)
to supersede Frederic, Innocent IV. sent a circular brief of instructions to the Franciscans to use every opportunity, public or secret, to advocate his cause, and to promise remission of sins to those who should aid him. Again, in 1248, we find friars of both orders sent as secret emissaries to stir up disaffection in Frederic's territories. He complained bitterly of it, as he had always cherished and protected the Mendicants, and he met the attempt with savage ferocity. The Dominican Simon de Montesarculo, who was caught, was subjected to eighteen successive tortures; and Frederic instructed his son-in-law, the Count of Caserta, that all friars showing signs of disaffection, or contravening the strict regulations which he prescribes, shall not be exiled as heretofore, but shall be promptly burned. The shrewd and experienced prince evidently recognized them as the most dangerous enemies to whom he was exposed. They continued to earn his hostility by the zeal with which they preached the crusade against him, and, after his death, against his son Conrad; and we can regard as not improbable the statement that Ezzelin da Romano, his vicar in the March of Treviso, put to death no less than sixty Franciscans during his thirty years of power. * .
The Mendicants gradually superseded the bishops, when papal commands were to be communicated to the people or papal mandates enforced. Even when fugitives were to be tracked, they formed an invisible network of police, spread over Europe and available in a thousand ways. Formerly, when a complaint reached Rome of an abuse to be rectified or of a prelate whose conduct required investigation or trial, a commission would be issued to two or three neighboring bishops or abbots to make an examination and report, or to reform churches and monasteries neglectful of discipline. Gradually this changed, and the Mendicants alone were charged with these duties, which made the papal power felt so directly in every episcopal palace and every abbey in Europe. They complained repeatedly of the amount of this extra work thrown upon them, and they were promised relief, but
* Richard. de S. Germano Chron. aun. 1229, 1239. -- Potthast Regesta No. 10725, 13360. -- Ripoll I. 158, 172. -- Hist. Diplom. Frid. II. T. VI. pp. 405, 699701, 710-11. Waddingi Annal. ann. 1246, No. 4; ann. 1253, No. 35-6. -- Martene Ampliss. Coll. II. 1192. -- Barbarano del Mironi, Hist. Eccles. di Vicenza, II. 73
they were too useful to be dispensed with in thus subjecting the Church to the Apostolic See. How disagreeable and even dangerous these duties might be is visible in a case which shows how little the condition of the Church in the middle of the thirteenth century had changed from what we had seen it in the previous age. The great electoral archiepiscopate of Trèves, in 1259, was claimed by two rivals who litigated with each other for two years in Rome, to the great profit of the curia, till Alexander IV. set them both aside. The Dean of Metz, Henry of Fistigen, went on some pretext to Rome, where, by promising to pay the enormous debts left behind by the two litigants, he obtained the appointment from Alexander. On his return the pallium was withheld as security for the debts which he had incurred, but without waiting for it he assumed archiepiscopal functions, consecrated his suffragan Bishop of Metz, and commenced a series of military enterprises, in the course of which he devastated the Abbey of St. Matthias and nearly burned to death the unhappy monks. These misdeeds, and his neglect to pay his debts, led Urban IV., in 1261, to commission the Bishops of Worms and Spires and the Abbot of Rodenkirk to investigate the charges against him of simony, perjury, homicide, sacrilege, and other sins, but the archbishop bribed them, and they did nothing. Then, in 1262, Urban sent another commission to William and Roric, two Franciscans of the province of Trèves, ordering them to investigate and report under pain of excommunication. This frightened all the Mendicants of the province. The Franciscan guardian and the Dominican prior, more worldly-wise than righteous, forbade them under pain of dungeon from exercising the functions imposed on them, and the two unlucky commissioners were glad to escape with their lives by flying from Trèves to Metz. The Franciscan provincial had the effrontery to send envoys to Rome asking that the investigation be postponed or committed to others. They were heard in full consistory, in presence of Urban himself and of Bonaventura, the general of the Order, when Urban bitterly retorted, "If I had sent bishoprics to two of your brethren they would have been accepted with avidity. You shall not refuse to do what is necessary for the honor of God and the Church." It is not worth while to pursue the intricate details of the dreary quarrel, which lasted until 1979 and presented in its successive phases every variety of fraud, forgery, robbery, and outrage. It is sufficient to say that when William and Roric were forced to work, they seem to have performed their duty with independence and fidelity, and that the Roman curia, in the course of the proceedings, managed to extort from the unfortunate diocese the enormous sum of thirty-three thousand sterling marks -- in spite of which Archbishop Henry attended the coronation of Rodolph of Hapsburg, in 1273, with a splendid retinue of eighteen hundred armed men. * .
It is easy to imagine that such functions as these produced antagonism between the new orders and the old organization which they were undermining and supplanting. Yet this was, perhaps, the least of the causes of bitterness between them. A far more fruitful source of discord was the intrusion of the Mendicants in the office of preaching and hearing confessions. We have seen how jealously the former had always been reserved by the bishops and how utterly it had been neglected until the primary object of St. Dominic had been to supply the deficiency, which Honorius III. lamented as one of the pressing wants of the age. The Church was scarce better prepared to discharge the duty of the confessional, which the Lateran Council had rendered obligatory and had confined to the priesthood. Lazy and sensual priests, intent only on maintaining their revenues, neglected the souls of their flocks and permitted no intrusion which might diminish their gains. In the populous town of Montpellier there was only one church in which the sacrament of penitence could be administered, and the consuls, in 1213, petitioned Innocent III., in view of the multitude of perishing souls, to empower four or five of the other churches of the town to divide the duty. As late as 1247, Ypres, with two hundred thousand inhabitants, had but four parish churches. If the Church Militant was to perform its duty, and if it was to regain the veneration of the people, these deficiencies must be supplied. † .
The first efforts of Dominic had been based on the power
* Potthast Regesta No. 7380, 8027, 8028, 10343, 10363, 10364, 10365, 10804, 10807, 10906, 10956, 10964, 11008, 11159. -- Martene Thesaur. V. 1812. -- Hist. Diplom. Frid. II. T. III. p. 416. -- Gest. Archiep. Trevirens. c. 190-271
† Martene Ampliss. Collect. I. 1146-9. -- Innoc. PP. III. Regest. xv. 240. -Berger, Registres d'Innocent IV. No. 2712
granted to the legates of Languedoc to issue licenses for preaching, and these were, of course, at the time independent of episcopal permission, but in the Rule of 1228 it was especially provided that no friar should preach in a diocese without first obtaining permission of the bishop, and in no case was he to declaim against the vices of the secular priesthood. Francis professed the humblest reverence for the established clergy; he declared that if he were to meet simultaneously a priest and an angel, he would first turn to kiss the hands of the priest, saying to the angel, "Wait, for these hands handle the Word of Life and possess something more than human;" and in his Rule it was also provided that no friar should preach in any diocese against the will of the bishop. The bishops were not particularly disposed to welcome the intruders, and Honorius III. condescended to entreaty in asking them to permit the Dominicans to preach, while he also took steps to provide preachers from among the secular clergy by stimulating their study of theology. The intrusion of the Mendicants on the functions of the parish priests was gradual, and was commenced with the privilege granted them of celebrating mass everywhere on portable altars. Some resistance was made to this, but it was broken down; and when Gregory IX., in 1227, signalized his accession by empowering both Orders to preach, hear confessions, and grant absolution everywhere, the wandering friars, in spite of the prohibitions of the Rules, gradually invaded every parish and performed all the duties of the cure of souls, to the immense discomfort of the local priesthood, who had always guarded with extreme jealousy the rights which were the main source of their influence and revenue. Complaints were loud and reiterated, and were sometimes listened to, but were more frequently answered by an emphatic confirmation of the innovation. *
* Constit. Frat. Prædic. ann. 1228, Dist. II. cap. 32, 33 (Archiv. für Litt. und Kirchengeschichte, 1886, p. 224). -- Innoc. PP. III. Reorest. IX. 185. -- S. Francis. Orac. XXII. -- Ejusd. Regul. See. c. 9. -- Stephan. de Borbone (D'Argentré, Collect. Judie. de nov. Error. I. 11. 90-1). -- Bern. Guidon. (Martene Amp. Collect. VI. 530). -- Potthast Regest. No. 6508, 6542, 6654, 6660, 7325, 7467, 7468, 7480, 7890, 10316, 10332, 10386, 10629, 10630, 10657, 10990, 10999, 11006, 11299, 15355, 16926, 16933. -- Martene Thesaur. I. 954. -- Concil. Narbonn. ann. 1227 c. 19. -Baluz. Concil. Gall. Narbon. App. pp. 156-9.
There were not many prelates like Robert Grosseteste of Lincoln, who wrote
The matter was made worse by the fact that everywhere the laity welcomed the intruders and preferred them to their own curates.' The fervor of their preaching and their reputation for superior sanctity brought crowds to the sermon and the confessional. Training and experience rendered them far more skilful directors of conscience than the indolent incumbents, and there arose a natural popular feeling that the penance which they imposed was more holy and their absolution more efficacious. If the beneficed clergy complained that this was because they soothed and indulged their penitents, they were able to retort with justice that the laymen preferred them for themselves and their wives rather than the drunken and unchaste priests who filled most of the parishes. A friar would come and set up his portable altar, as he said, for a day. His preaching was attractive; penitents aroused to a sense of their sins would hasten to confess; his stay was prolonged and he became a fixture. If the place was populous, he would be joined by others. The gifts of the charitable would flow in. A modest chapel and cloisters would be provided, which grew till it overshadowed the parish church and was filled at its expense. Worse than all, the dying sinner would assume the robe of the Mendicant on his death-bed, bequeath his body to the friars, and make them the recipient of his legacies, leading to a prolonged and embittered renewal of the old ghoul-like quarrels over corpses. In 1247, at Pamplona, some bodies long lay unburied owing to a fierce contention between the canons and the Franciscans; and a division of the spoils, by which a share varying from a half to a quarter, was allotted to the parish priests, only gave rise to new disputes. Whenever an open conflict arose, however much the pope might deprecate scandal, the decision would be almost certainly in favor of the friars, and the clergy saw with dismay and hatred that the upstarts were supplanting them in all their functions, in the veneration of the people, and in the profitable results of that veneration. When, in 1268, a popular uprising against tyranny occurred in Holland and Guelderland, and, encouraged by success, the rebels formulated a policy for the reformation of society, they proposed
to both Jordan and Elias, the generals of the two Orders, to let him have friars, as his diocese was large and he required help in the duties of preaching and hearing confessions. -- Fascic. Rer. Expetend. et Fugiend. II. 334-5. (Ed. 1690).
to slay all nobles and prelates and monks, but to spare the Mendicants and such few parish priests as might be necessary to administer the sacraments. Some feeble efforts were made by the clergy to emulate the services and activity of the new-comers, but the sloth and self-indulgence of ages could not be overcome. It was inevitable that the strongest antagonism between the old order and the new should spring up, heightened by the duty which the friars felt of denouncing publicly the vices and corruption of the clergy. Already in the previous century the secular priesthood had complained bitterly of the impulse given to monachism by the founding and development of the Cistercians. They had even dared to make vigorous representations to the third Council of Lateran, in 1179, alleging that they were threatened with pauperization. Here was a new and vastly more dangerous inroad, and it was impossible that they should submit without an effort of self-preservation. There must be a struggle for supremacy between the local churches on the one hand and the papacy with its new militia on the other, and the conservatives manifested skill in their selection of the field of battle. * .
The University of Paris was the centre of scholastic theology. Cosmopolitan in its character, a long line of great teachers had lectured to immense masses of students from every land, until its reputation was European and it was looked upon as the bulwark of orthodoxy. In every episcopate it could count its graduates
____________________ * Brev. Hist. Ord. Prædic. (Martene Ampl?. Coll. VI. 357). -- Extrav. Commun. Lib. III. Tit. vi. c. 8. -- Concil. Nimociens. ann. 1298, c. 17. -- Constit. Joann. Archiep. Nicos. ann. 1321, c. 10. -- C. Avenionens. ann. 1326, c. 27; ann. 1337, c. 32. -- C. Vaurens. ann. 1368, c. 63, 64. -- Epistt. Sæculi XIII. T. I. No. 437 (Monument. Germ. Hist.). -- Berger, Les Registres d'Innoc. IV. No. 1875-8, 3252-5, 3413. -- Ripoll I. 25, 132-33, 153-4; II. 61, 173; VII. 18. -- Matt. Paris ann. 1234, p. 276; ann. 1235, pp. 286-7; ann. 1255, p. 616. -- Potthast Regesta No. 8786a, 8787-9, 10052. -- Trithem. Annal. Hirsaug. arm. 1268. -- Conc. Biterrens. ann. 1233, c. 9. -- C. Arelatens. ann. 1234, c. 2. -- C. Albiens. ann. 1254, c. 17, 18. -- S. Bonaventuræ Libell. Apologet. Quæst. 1. -- Abbat. Joachimi Concordæ v. 49. The details of the disgusting quarrels over the dying and dead are impressively set forth in a composition attempted by Boniface VIII., in 1303, between the clergy of Rome and the Mendicants ( Ripoll II. 70). The constant litigation on the subject was one of the chief grievances of the spiritual section of the Franciscans (Hist. Tribulationum, ap. Archiv für Litteratur u. Kirchengeschichte, 1886, p. 297) and the holders of its degrees, who looked back upon it with filial affection as to their alma mater. It had welcomed Dominic's first missionaries when they came to Paris to found a house of the Order, and it had admitted Dominicans to its corps of teachers. Suddenly there arose a quarrel, the insignificance of its cause showing the tension which existed and the eagerness of all classes of the clergy to repress the growing influence of the Mendicants. The University had always been jealous of its privileges, among which not the least was the jurisdiction which it enjoyed over its students. One of these was slain and several were wounded by the Paris watch in a disturbance, and the reparation tendered for the offence was deemed insufficient. The University closed its doors, but the Dominican teachers, Bonushomo and Elias, continued their lectures. To punish this contumacy they were ordered to be silent, and students were forbidden to listen to them. They appealed to the pope, but their appeal was disregarded; and when the University resumed its functions, they were required to take an oath to observe its statutes, provided there was nothing therein to conflict with the Rule of the Order. This they refused unless they were allowed two teachers of theology, and after a delay of a fortnight they were expelled. The provincials of both Orders at Paris took up the quarrel and appealed to Rome, and Innocent IV. demanded the repeal of the obnoxious rules. *
The gage of battle was thrown and the university was resolved on no half-measures. It would reduce the Mendicants to the condition of the other religious orders and earn the gratitude of all the prelates and clergy by stripping them of the privileges which rendered them so dangerous. For this purpose it was necessary to win the favor of Rome, and the students enthusiastically assessed themselves, economizing in their expenses that they might contribute to the fund which was necessary if anything was to be done with the curia. The leader of the faculty in the quarrel was William of St. Amour, noted both as a preacher and a teacher,
* Alex. PP. Bull. Quasi lignum vitæ. -- Waddingi Annal. arm. 1255, No. 2. -Dupin, Bib. des Auteurs Éccles. T. X. ch. vii.
For the exemption of students from secular jurisdiction see Berger?, Registres d'Innocent IV. No. 1515. -- Molinier ( Guillem Bernard de Gaillac, Paris, 1884, pp. 26 sqq.) gives a good account of the educational organization of the Dominicans at this period.
learned, eloquent, and inflexible of purpose. He was sent to the Holy See, where he found Innocent IV. in a frame of mind adapted to listen to his arguments that the Mendicant Rules were fitted only to lead souls to perdition. The pope had been the friend of the Orders, and had confirmed and enlarged their privileges, but just now was out of humor. The Dominicans asserted that this arose from their having secretly received into the Order one of his cousins whom he loved greatly and intended to advance in the world; and also from the malevolence of another cousin, who proposed to build at Genoa a fortress-palace to dominate the city, and had been prevented by the Dominicans refusing to sell a piece of ground essential to his purpose. Innocent's mind must indeed have been receptive of William of St. Amour's arguments. In July and August, 1254, he had issued repeated briefs in favor of the Mendicants and against the University. On November 21 he promulgated the bull Etsi Animarum, known among the Mendicants as the "terrible" bull, by which the members of all religious orders were forbidden to receive in their churches on Sundays and feastdays the parishioners of others; they were not to hear confessions without the special license of the parish priests, they were not to preach in their own churches before mass, so that parishioners should not be drawn away from their parish churches, nor were they to preach in the parish churches, nor when bishops preached or caused preaching to be done. *
The bull was in reality a terrible one, for it shattered at a blow the edifice erected with such infinite labor and self-sacrifice. To meet it, the Dominicans not only summoned their greatest and wisest members, but appealed to Heaven. Every friar was ordered daily after matins to recite seven psalms and the litanies of the Virgin and St. Dominic. A brother, during this exercise, was encouraged with a vision of the Virgin pleading with the Son and saying "Listen to them, my Son, listen to them!" He did listen
* Waddingi Annal. ann. 1254, No. 4, 5; ann. 1255, No. 3. -- Brev. Hist. Ord. Proed. (Martene Ampl. Coll. VI. 356-7). -- Potthast Regesta No. 15562. -- Matt. Paris. ann. 1253, p. 590.
William of St. Amour was a pluralist. Not satisfied with a canonry of Beauvais and a church with a cure of souls, we find him, in 1247, obtaining of Innocent IV. a dispensation to hold another cure. -- Berger, Les Registres d'Innoc. IV. No. 3188.
to them, for though we may doubt the Dominican story that Innocent was stricken with paralysis the very day that he signed the "crudelissigmum edictum," he certainly did die on December 7, within sixteen days after it, and a pious Roman had a vision of his soul handed over to the two wrathful saints, Dominic and Francis. Moreover the Cardinal of Albano, whose hostility to the Orders had led him to take an active part in advising Innocent to the measure, was imprudent enough to boast that he had caused the subjugation of the Mendicants to the bishops and would place them under the feet of the lowest priests. The same day a beam in his house gave way; he fell and broke his neck. It would perhaps be unjust to accuse the Dominicans of having assisted nature in these catastrophes; but, strange as it seems to hear them boast of having prayed a pope to death, they certainly do relate with pride that "Beware of the Dominican litanies, for they work miracles," became a common phrase. * .
The death of Innocent saved the Mendicant Orders. That his successor was elected after an interval of only fourteen days was due to the provident care of the Prefect of Rome, who, distrusting the operation of the Holy Ghost, put the fathers of the Conclave on short rations, resulting in the election of Alexander IV. The new pope was specially favorable to the Mendicants. When John of Parma, the Franciscan general, came to him with the customary request that he would appoint a cardinal as "Protector" of the Order, he refused, saying that so long as he lived it should need no other protector than himself; and his selection of the Dominican Raymond of Pennaforte and the Franciscan Ruffino as papal chaplains showed how willingly he subjected himself to their influence. On December 31, ten days after his elevation, he addressed letters to both Orders asking their suffrages and intercession with God, and the same day he issued an encyclical, revoking the terrible bull of Innocent and pronouncing it void. † .
Before such a judge the case of the University was evidently lost. On April 14, 1255, appeared the bull Quasi lignum vitæ, deciding the quarrel in favor of the Dominicans. Yet William of
* Waddingi Annal. ann. 1254, No. 3; ann. 1255, No. 5. -- Brevis Historia ( Martene VI. 357). -- Martene Thesaur. I. 1059
† Waddingi Annal. ann. 1254, No. 20; ann. 1255, No. 1. -- Ripoll I. 266-7
St. Amour returned to Paris resolved to carry on the war. In the pulpit he and his friends thundered forth against the Mendicants. They were not specifically named, but there was no mistaking the ingenious application to them of the signs foretold by the prophets of those who should usher in the days of Antichrist, nor the description of the Pharisees and Publicans made to fit them. New and unimagined perils threatened the Church in the last times. The devil has found that he gained nothing in sending heretics who were easily confuted, so now he has sent the Pale Horse of the Apocalypse -- the hypocrites and false brethren who, under an external guise of sanctity, convulse the Church. The persecution of the hypocrites will be more disastrous than all previous persecutions. Another weapon which lay to his hand was eagerly grasped. In 1254 there appeared a work under the name of "Introduction to the Everlasting Gospel," of which the authorship was ascribed to John of Parma, the Franciscan general. We shall have occasion to recur to this, and need only say here that a section of the Franciscans were strongly inclined to the mysticism which now began to show itself, and that the writings of Abbot Joachim of Fiore, now revived and hardily developed, predicted the downfall, in 1260, of the existing order of things in Church and State, the substitution of a new evangel for that of Christ, and the replacement of the hierarchy by mendicant monachism. The "Introduction to the Everlasting Gospel" attracted universal attention and offered too tempting an opening for attack to be neglected.
The University sullenly held out, while Alexander fulminated bull after bull against the recalcitrants, threatening them with varied penalties, and finally calling in the assistance of the secular arm by an appeal to St. Louis. The clergy of Paris, delighted with the opportunity afforded by the temporary unpopularity of the Mendicants, reviled them from the pulpit, and even attacked them personally with blows and threats of worse treatment, till they scarce ventured to appear in the streets and beg their daily bread. The controversy raged wilder as the indomitable St. Amour, undeterred by Alexander's request to the king to throw him into jail, issued a tract entitled "De Periculis novissimorum Temporum," in which he boldly set forth all the arguments of his discourses against the Mendicants. He proved that the pope had no right to contravene the commands of the prophets and apostles, and that they were convicted of error when they upturned the established order of the Church in permitting these wandering hypocrites and false prophets to preach and hear confessions. Those who live by beggary are flatterers and liars and detractors and thieves and avoiders of justice. Whoever asserts that Christ was a beggar denies that he was the Messiah, and thus is a heresiarch who destroys the foundation of all Christian faith. An able-bodied man commits sacrilege if he receives the alms of the poor for his own use, and if the Church has permitted this for the monks it has been in error and should be corrected. It rests with the bishops to purge their dioceses of these hypocrites; they have the power, and if they neglect their duty the blood of those who perish will be upon their heads. This was answered by Aquinas and Bonaventura. The former, in his tract "Contra Impugnantes Religionem," proved in the most finished style of scholastic logic that the friars have a right to teach, to preach and hear confessions, and to live without labor; in the same mode he rebutted the charges as to their morals and influence, showing that they were not precursors of Antichrist. He also demonstrated the more suggestive theorems that the had a right to resist their defamers, to use the courts in their defence, to secure their safety if necessary by resort to arms, and to punish their persecutors. That his dialectics were equal to bringing out any desired conclusion when once his premises were granted is well known, and they did not fail him on this occasion. Bonaventura also replied in several treatises -- "De Paupertate Christi," in which he earnestly pleaded the example of Christ as an argument for poverty and mendicancy; the "Libellus Apologeticus" and the "Tractatus quia Fratres Minores præedicent," in which he carried the war into the enemy's territory with a vigorous and plain-spoken onslaught on the shortcomings and defects and sins and corruption and vileness of the clergy. Heretics might well feel justified in seeing the two parties into which the Church was divided thus expose each other; and the faithful might well doubt whether salvation was assured with either.
Yet this wordy war was mere surplusage. On the appearance of St. Amour's book, St. Louis had hastened to send copies to Alexander for judgment. The University likewise sent St. Amour at the head of a delegation to demand the condemnation of the Everlasting Gospel. Albertus Magnus and Bonaventura came to defend their Orders, and a hot disputation was held before the consistory. The Everlasting Gospel and its Introduction were condemned with decent reserve by a special commission assembled at Anagni, in July, 1255, but St. Amour's book was declared by the bull Romanus Pontifex, October 5, 1256, to be lying, scandalous, deceptive, wicked, and execrable. It was ordered to be burned before the curia and the University; every copy was to be surrendered within eight days to be burned, and any one presuming to defend it was pronounced a rebel. The envoys of St. Louis and the University were obliged to subscribe to a declaration assenting to this and to the right of the Mendicants to preach and hear confessions and to live on alms without labor, William of St. Amour alone resolutely refusing. Alexander moreover ordered all teachers and preachers to abstain from reviling the Mendicants and to retract the abuse they had uttered under pain of loss of preferment -- a command which was but slackly obeyed. * .
The victory was won for the Mendicants. The University submitted ungraciously to the irresistible power of the papacy, and the unconquerable William of St. Amour alone held out. He would make no acknowledgments, no concessions. He had sworn to abide by the mandates of the Church, but he refused to recant like his comrades. When about to return, in August, 1257, Alexander forbade him to go to France and perpetually interdicted him from teaching, and so great was the dread which he inspired that the pope wrote to St. Louis asking him to prevent the inflexible theologian from entering his kingdom. Yet from abroad he maintained an active correspondence with his old colleagues, and the University continued in a state of disquiet. It was in vain that Alexander prohibited all intercourse with him. Though the Mendicants were allowed to teach, they were ridiculed in indecent rhymes and lampoons, which were eagerly circulated; and, on Palm Sunday of 1259 the beadle of the University, Guillot of Picardy, interrupted the preaching of Thomas Aquinas by publishing
* Ripoll I. 289, 291, 296, 298, 301, 306, 308, 311, 312, 320, 322, 324, 333, 334, 336, 342, 345, 330. -- Matt. Paris ann. 1255, pp. 611, 616. -- Wadding. Annal. ann. 1255, No. 4; ann. 1256, No. 20-37. -- Fasciculus Rer. Expetend. II. 18 sqq. Ed. 1690. -- Mag. Bull. Roman. I. 112. -- D'Argentré Collect. Judicior. de nov. Error. I. I. 170 sqq. -- Guill. Nangiac. Gesta S. Ludov. ann. 1255. -- Grandes Chroniques, IV. 373-4. -- Bern. Guidon. Flor. Chron. (Bouquet, XXI. 698)
a scandalous and libellous book against the Mendicants. Yet this gradually died out, and the final act of the quarrel is seen in an epistle of Alexander's, December 3, 1260, authorizing the Bishop of Paris to absolve those who had incurred excommunication by keeping copies of St. Amour's book, on their surrendering them to be burned, the number of these "rebels" apparently being quite large. Still St. Amour remained steadfast in exile. He was allowed to return to Paris by Clement IV. who ascended the papal throne in 1264, and in 1266 he sent to the pontiff another book on the same theme. Clement had hastened, in 1265, to proclaim his good-will to the Mendicant Orders by a bull in which he confirmed in the amplest manner their independence of the bishops, and, as was inevitable, he rejected St. Amour's new book as filled with the old virus. William died in 1272, obstinate and unrepentant, and was honorably buried in his native village of St. Amour, though he is reputed as a heretic by all good Dominicans and Franciscans. *
The embers of the controversy had been rekindled in 1269 by an anonymous Franciscan who assailed St. Amour's book. Gerald of Abbeville, who is ranked with Aquinas, Bonaventura, and Robert of Sorbonne, as one of the four chief theologians of the age, replied with an attack on the doctrine of poverty and a defence of the ownership of property. Bonaventura rejoined with his "Apologia Pauperum," an eloquent defence of poverty, and the Franciscan annalists relate with natural glee how Gerard was so overcome by his adversary's logic that, under the vengeance of God, he lost the
* Ripoll I. 346, 348, 349, 352-3, 372, 375-9. -- Waddingi Annal. ann. 1256, No. 38; ann. 1257, No. 1-4, 6; ann. 1259, No. 3-6; ann. 1260, No. 10. -- Clement. PP. IV. Bull. Virtute conspicuos, ann. 1265. -- Dupin, Bib. des Auteurs Éccles. T. X. ch. vii.
When, in 1632, an edition or St. Amour's works was published in Constance ( Paris) the Dominicans had sufficient influence with Louis XIII. to obtain its suppression in a savage edict. All the copies were seized: to retain one was punishable with a fine of three thousand livres, and it was declared a capital offence for a bookseller to have a single copy for sale (Mosheim. de Beghardis, p. 27). The "Pericula Novissimorum Temporum" had, however, been printed, with two of St. Amour's sermons, by Wolfgang of Weissenburg in his "Antilogia Papæ," Basle, 1555, and this was reprinted in London in 1688, and embodied by Brown in his edition of the "Fasciculus Rerum Expetendarum et Fugiendarum" in 1690.
faculty of reasoning, sank into paralysis, and ended with a horrible death by leprosy. * .
Though an occasional outbreak like this might occur, the victory was won. The aggressions of the Mendicants had raised a deep and widespread hostility against them in all ranks of the clergy, who recognized not only that their privileges and wealth were impaired, that the reverence of the people was intercepted, but, what was even more important, that this new papal militia was subjecting them to Rome with a force that would deprive them of what little independence had been left by former encroachments. When, therefore, the upstarts had dared a combat with the honored and powerful University of Paris -- the shining sun, to use the words of Alexander IV., which pours the light of pure doctrine through the whole world, the body from which, as from the bosom of a parent, are born the noble race of doctors who enlighten Christendom and uphold the Catholic faith -- it might well be thought that the rash interlopers had provoked their fate. Everything had been tried -- learning and wit, reverence for established institutions, popular favor, the long-enjoyed right of the governing faculty to regulate its internal affairs -- yet everything had failed against the steadfastness of the Mendicants supported by the unwavering favor of Alexander. When the University of Paris had been worsted in the struggle, though aided with the sympathy of all the prelates of Christendom, there was little hope in further opposition to those whom the pope, in forbidding the prelates to side with the University, described as "Golden vials filled with sweet odors." † .
Yet spasmodic resistance, however hopeless, still continued. A bull of Clement IV., in 1268, forbidding the archbishops and bishops from even interpreting the privileges conferred on the Mendicants, shows that the hostility was as bitter as ever. The clergy would also still occasionally endeavor to prevent the establishment of new Mendicant houses, or seek to drive them away by ill-treatment, with the inevitable result of calling forth the papal vengeance. They had a gleam of hope when the wise and learned John XXI. ascended the papal throne, but his antagonism to the Mendicants,
* Bonavent. Apol. Pauperum Resp. I. c. 1. -- Waddinggi Annal. ann. 1269, No. 6-8
† Ripoll I. 338
like that of Innocent IV., was not conducive to longevity. The roof of his palace fell in upon him after a pontificate of but eight months, and the pious chroniclers of the Orders handed down his memory as that of a heretic and magician. About 1284: the interpretation put on some fresh concessions by Martin IV. aroused the antagonism anew. The whole Gallican Church uprose. In 1287 the Archbishop of Reims called a provincial council to consider the subject. He pathetically described his futile efforts to reach a peaceful solution, the unbearable encroachments of the friars, the intolerable injuries inflicted on both clergy and laity, and the necessity of an appeal to Rome. The expenses of such an appeal were known to be heavy, and all the bishops agreed to contribute five per cent. of their revenues, while a levy of one per cent. was made on all abbots, priors, deans, chapters, and parochial churches of the province. The pious Franciscan Salimbene informs us that a hundred thousand livres tournois were raised and Honorius IV. was won over. On Good Friday of 1287 he was to issue a bull depriving the Mendicants of the right to preach and hear confessions. They were in despair, but this time it was the prayers of the Franciscans which prevailed, as those of the Dominicans had done in the case of Innocent IV. The hand of God fell upon Honorius in the night of Wednesday, he died on Thursday, and the Orders were saved. Yet the struggle continued till the bull of Martin IV. was withdrawn in 1298 by Boniface VIII., who in vain attempted to put an end to the quarrel which distracted the Church. Benedict XI. was no more successful, and complained that the trouble was a hydra, putting forth seven heads for every one which was cut off. In 1323 John XXII. pronounced heretical the doctrine of Jean de Poilly, who held that confession to the friars was void and that every one must confess to his parish priest. In 1351 the clergy again took heart for another attack. Possibly the devotion shown by the Mendicants during the Black Death, when twenty-five million human beings were swept away, when the priests abandoned their posts, and the friars alone were found to tend the sick and console the dying, may have led to fresh progress by them and have enkindled antagonism anew. Be this as it may, a vast deputation, embracing cardinals, bishops, and minor clergy, waited on Clement VI. and petitioned for the abolition of the Orders, or at least the prohibition of their preaching and hearing confessions, and enjoying the burial profits, by which they were enormously enriched at the expense of the parish priests. The Mendicants deigned no reply, but Clement spoke for them, denying the allegation of the petition that they were useless to the Church, and asserting that, on the contrary, they were most valuable. "And if," he continued, "their preaching be stopped, about what can you preach to the people? If on humility, you yourselves are the proudest of the world, arrogant and given to pomp. If on poverty, you are the most grasping and most covetous, so that all the benefices in the world will not satisfy you. If on chastity -- but we will be silent on this, for God knoweth what each man does and how many of you satisfy your lusts. You hate the Mendicants and shut your doors on them lest they should see your mode of life, while you waste your temporal wealth on pimps and swindlers. You should not complain if the Mendicants receive some temporal possessions from the dying to whom they minister when you have fled, nor that they spend it in buildings where everything is ordered for the honor of God and the Church, in place of wasting it in pleasure and licentiousness. And because you do not likewise, you accuse the Mendicants, for most of you give yourselves up to vain and worldly lives." Under this fierce rebuke, even though uttered by a pope whom St. Birgitta denounced as himself a follower of the lusts of the flesh, there was evidently nothing practicable but submission. Yet the prelates were not silenced, for a few years later Richard, Archbishop of Armagh, preached in London some sermons against the Mendicants, for which they accused him of heresy before Innocent VI. In 1357 he defended himself in a discourse wherein he handled them unsparingly, but his case dragged on, and he died in Avignon, in 1360, before it reached an end. This was not reassuring for the secular clergy, but still the quarrel went on. Thus in 1373 the Franciscan Guardian of Syracuse applied to Gregory XI. for an authentic copy of the bull of John XXII. against the errors of Jean de Poilly, showing that in Sicily the secular clergy were contesting the right of the Mendicants to hear confessions. In 1386 the Council of Salzburg forcibly described the scandals wrought by the intrusion in all parishes, uninvited and irrepressible, of those licentious wandering friars, who kindled discord and get an example of evil, and it proceeded to decree that in future they should not be allowed to preach and hear confessions without the license of the bishop and the invitation of the pastor. In 1393 Conrad II., Archbishop of Mainz, varied his persecution of the Waldenses by an edict in which he described the Mendicants as wolves in sheep's clothing, and prohibited them from hearing confessions. On the other hand, Maître Jean de Gorelle, a Franciscan, in 1408, publicly argued that curates were not competent to preach and hear confessions, which was the business of the friars -- a proposition which the University of Paris promptly compelled him to retract. *
The quarrel seemed endless. In 1409 the Mendicants complained that the clergy stigmatized them as robbers and wolves, and insisted that all sins confessed to them must be confessed again to the parish curates, thus reviving the error of Jean de Poilly condemned by John XXII. Alexander V., himself a Franciscan, responded to their request by issuing the bull Regnans in excelsis, which threatened with the pains of heresy all who should uphold such doctrines, or that the consent of the priest was requisite before the parishioner could confess to the friars. During the great schism the papacy was no longer an object of terror. The University of Paris boldly took up the quarrel, and under the leadership of John Gerson refused to receive this bull, compelling the Dominicans and Carmelites publicly to renounce it, and expelling
* ClementPP. IV. Bull. Providentia, ann. 1268. -- Ripoll I. 341, 344. -- Ptol. Lucens. Hist. Eccles. Lib. xxiii. c. 21, 24-5. -- Henr. Steronis Annal. ann. 1287, 1299. -- Annal. Dominican. Colmariens. ann. 1277. -- Waddingi Annal. ann. 1291, No. 97; ann. 1303, No. 32. -- Concil. Valentin. ann. 1255. -- Concil. Ravennat. ann. 1259. -- Martene Ampliss. Collect. II. 1291. -- Concil. Remens. ann. 1287. -- Salimbene Chronica, pp. 371, 378-9. -- Guillel. Nangiac. ann. 1298; Ejusd. Continuat. ann. 1351. -- Revelat. S. Brigittæ Lib. vi. c. 63; cf. Lib. i. c. 41. -- c. 2 Extravagant. Commun. III. vi. -- c. 1. Ejusd. v. 7. -- Ripoll II. 92-3. -- P. de Herenthals Vit. Joann. XXII. ann. 1233. -- Martene Thesaur. I. 1368. -- c. 2 Extravagant. Commun. v. iii. -Alpb. de Spina Fortalicium Fidei, fol. 61a (Ed. 1494). -- Hecker, Epidemics of the Middle Ages, p. 30 ( Babington's Trans.].). -- Fascic. Rer. Expetend. et Fugiend. II. 466 (Ed. 1690). -- Theiner Monument. Hibern. et Scotor. [No. 634, p. 313. -- Cosentino, Archivio Storico Siciliano, 1886, p. 336. -- Concil. Salisburgens. ann. 1386, c. 8. -Gudeni Cod. Diplom. III. 603. -- D'Argentré, Collect. Judie. de Novis Error, I. II. 178.
During the Black Death, of one hundred and forty Dominicans at Montpellier, but seven survived; in Marseilles, of a hundred and sixty, not one. The mortality in the Franciscan Order was reckoned at one hundred and twenty-four thousand four hundred and thirty-four members, which is a manifest exaggeration. -- Hoffman, Geschichte der Inquisition, II. 374-5.
the Franciscans and Augustinians, who refused to do likewise. Gerson did not hesitate to preach publicly against it in a sermon, in which he enumerated the four persecutions of the Church in the order of their severity -- tyrants, heretics, the Mendicants, and Antichrist. This unflattering collocation was not likely to promote harmony, but the matter seems to have slept for a while in the greater questions raised by the councils of Constance and Basle, though the latter assembly took occasion to decide against the Mendicants on the points at issue, as well as to condemn the widespread popular belief that any one dying in a Franciscan habit would not spend more than a year at most in purgatory, since St. Francis made an annual visit there and carried off all his followers to heaven. When the papacy regained its strength it renewed the struggle for its favorites. In 1446 Eugenius IV. put forth a new bull, Gregis nobis erediti, condemning the doctrines of Jean de Poilly, which attracted little attention, and was followed in 1453 by Nicholas V. with another, Provisionis nostræ, of similar import. This was brought in 1456 to the notice of the University, which denounced it as surreptitious, destructive to peace, and subversive of hierarchial subordination. Calixtus III. continued the struggle, and, finding the University unyielding, appealed to Louis XI. for secular interposition, but in vain; the University refused to admit into its body any friars who would not pledge themselves not to make use of these bulls. It is true that in 1458 a priest of Valladolid who denied the authority of the Mendicants to supersede the parish priests was forced to recant publicly in his own church; but the trouble continued, leading in Germany to such scandals that the archbishops of Mainz and Trèves, with other bishops, and the Duke of Bavaria, were obliged to appeal to the Holy See. A commission of two cardinals and two bishops was appointed to determine upon a compromise, which was accepted by both parties and approved by Sixtus IV. about 1480. The priests were not to teach that the Orders were fruitful of heresies, the friars were not to teach that parishioners need not hear mass on Sundays and feast days in their parish churches, or confess to their curates at Easter, though they were not to be deprived of hearing confessions and granting absolutions. Neither priests nor friars were to endeavor to get the laity to choose sepulture with either; and neither party was to assail or detract from the other in their sermons. The in- sertion of this compromise in the canon law shows the importance attached to it, and that it was regarded as a lasting settlement, applicable throughout Latin Christendom. Its effect is seen in the inclusion, among the heresies of Jean Lallier condemned in Paris in 1484, of those which revived the doctrine of Jean de Poilly and declared that John XXII. had no power to pronounce it heretical. Yet, at the Lateran Council, in 1515, a determined effort was made by the bishops to obtain the revocation of the special privileges of the Mendicants. By refusing to vote for any measures they obtained a promise of this, but skilful delay enabled Leo X. to elude performance till the following year, when a compromise was effected, which merely shows by what it forbade to the Mendicants how contemptuous had been their defiance of episcopal authority. They lost little by this, for in 1519 Erasmus complains in a letter to Albert, Cardinal - Archbishop of Mainz, "The world is overburdened with the tyranny of the Mendicants, who, though they are the satellites of the Roman See, are yet so numerous and powerful that they are formidable to the pope himself and even to kings. To them, when the pope aids them, he is more than God, when he displeases them he is worthless as a dream." * .
It must be confessed that both Dominicans and Franciscans had greatly fallen away from the virtues of their founders. Scarce had the Orders commenced to spread when false brethren were found who, contrary to their vow of poverty, made use of their faculty of preaching for purposes of filthy gain; and as early as 1233 we find Gregory IX. sharply reminding the Dominican chapter-general that the poverty professed by the Order should be genuine and not fictitious. The wide employment of the friars by the popes as political emissaries necessarily diverted them from their spiritual functions, attracted ambitious and restless men into their ranks, and gave the institutions a worldly character thor-
* D'Argentré, Collect. Judics de nov. Error. I. II. 180-4, 242, 251, 340, 347, 352, 354, 356. -- Religieux de S. Denis, Hist. de Charles VI., Liv. xxix. ch. 10. -- Gersoni Sermo contra Bullam Mendicantium. -- Alpb. de Spina Fortalicium Fidei. fol. 61 (Ed. 1494). -- C. 2 Extravagant. I. 9. -- Ripoll III. 206, 256, 268. -- Wadding. ann. 1457, No. 61. -- H. Cornel. Agrippæ Epistt. II. 49. -- Raynald. Annal. ann. 1515, No. 1. -- Concil. Lateran. Sess. XI. (Harduin. IX. 1832). -- Erasmi Epist. 10 Lib. XII. (Ed. 1642, pp. 585-6)
oughly in opposition to their original design. Their members, moreover, were peculiarly subject to temptation. Wanderers by profession, they were relieved from supervision, and were subject only to the jurisdiction of their own superiors and to the laws of their own Orders, thus intensifying and rendering peculiarly dangerous the immunity common to all ecclesiastics. * .
The "Seraphic Religion" of the Franciscans, as it was based on a lofty ideal, was especially subject to the reaction of human imperfection. This was manifest even in the lifetime of St. Francis, who resigned the generalate on account of the abuses which were creeping in, and offered to resume it if the brethren would walk according to his will. It was inevitable that trouble should come between those who conscientiously adhered to the Rule in all its strictness and the worldlings who saw in the Order the instrument of their ambition; and it did not need the prophetic spirit to lead Francis to predict on his death-bed future scandals and divisions and the persecution of those who would not consent to error -- a forecast which we will see abundantly verified, as well as that in which he foretold that the Order would become so defamed that it would be ashamed to be seen in public. His successor in the mastership, Elias, gave the Order a powerful impetus on its downward path. Reckoned the shrewdest and most skilful political manager in Italy, he greatly increased its influence and public activity, till his relaxation of the strictness of the Rule gave such offence to the more rigid brethren that, after a hard struggle, they compelled Gregory IX. to remove him, whereupon he went over to the party of Frederic II., and was duly excommunicated. As the Order spread it was not in human nature to reject the wealth which came pouring in upon it from all sides, and ingenious dialectics were resorted to to reconcile its ample possessions with the absolute rejection of property prescribed by the Rule. The humble hovels which Francis had enjoined became stately palaces which arose in every city, rivalling or putting to shame the loftiest cathedrals and most sumptuous abbeys. In 1257 St. Bonaventura, who had just succeeded John of Parma as General of the Order, varied his controversy with William of St. Amour by an encyclical to his provincials in which he bewailed the contempt
* Potthast Regest. No. 8326, 9172, 11299. -- Martene Thesaur. V. 1816, 1820
and dislike felt universally for the Order, caused by its greedy seeking after money; the idleness of so many of its members, leading them into all manner of vices; the excesses of the vagabond friars, who oppress those who receive them and leave behind them the memory of scandals rather than examples of virtue; the importunate beggary which renders the friar more terrible than a robber to the wayfarer; the construction of magnificent palaces, which oppress friends and give occasion to attacks from enemies; the intrusting of preaching and confession to those wholly unfit; the greedy grasping after legacies and burial fees, to the great disturbance of the clergy, and in general the extravagance which would inevitably cause the chilling of charity. Evidently the assaults of St. Amour and the complaints of the clergy were not without foundation; but this vigorous rebuke was ineffective, and ten years later Bonaventura was obliged to repeat it in even stronger terms. This time he expressed his special horror at the shameless audacity of those brethren who, in their sermons to the laity, attacked the vices of the clergy, and gave rise to scandals, quarrels, and hatreds; and he wound up by declaring, "It is a foul and profane lie to assert one's self the voluntary professor of absolute poverty and then refuse to submit to the lack of anything; to beg abroad like a pauper and to roll in wealth at home." Bonaventura's declamations were in vain, and the struggle in the Order continued, until it ejected its stricter members as heretics, as we shall see when we come to consider the Spiritual Franciscans and the Fraticelli. In the succeeding century both Orders gave free rein to their worldly propensities. St. Birgitta, in her Revelations, which were sanctioned by the Church as inspired, declares that "although founded upon vows of poverty they have amassed riches, place their whole aim in increasing their wealth, dress as richly as bishops, and many of them are more extravagant in their jewelry and ornaments than laymen who are reputed wealthy." * .
Such was the development of the Mendicant Orders and their
* S. Francis. Collat. Monast. Collat. XXI., XXV. -- Ejusd. Prophet. XIV., XV. -Ejusd. Epist. 6, 7. -- Pet. Rodulphii Hist. Seraph. Relig. Lib. I. fol. 177-8. -- Th. de Eccleston de Adv. Minorum Collat. XII. -- Waddingi Annal. ann. 1253, No. 30. -- S. Bonavent. Opp. Ed. 1584, T. I. pp. 485-6. -- Matt. Paris. ann. 1243 (p. 414). -S. Brigittæ Revelat. Lib. IV. c. 33
complicated relations with the Church. Yet their activity was too great to be confined to the defence of the Holy See and to the religious revival by which they, for a time, reacquired for Rome the veneration of the people. One of the collateral objects to which they devoted a portion of their energies was missionary work, and in this they set a worthy example to their successors, the Jesuits of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Among the incessant labors of St. Francis his efforts to convert the infidel were conspicuous. He proposed to visit Morocco, in the hope of converting King Miramolin, and had reached Spain on his voyage thither, when compelled by sickness to return. In the thirteenth year of his conversion he travelled to Syria for the purpose of bringing over the Soldan of Babylon to the Christian faith, although war was then raging with the Saracens. Captured between the hostile lines, he was carried with his companion in chains to the soldan, when he offered to undergo the ordeal of fire to prove the truth of his faith; he was offered magnificent presents, but spurned them, and was allowed to depart. His followers were true to his example. No distance and no danger deterred them from the task of winning souls to Christianity, and in these arduous labors there was a noble emulation between them and the Dominicans, for Dominic had likewise proposed an extended scheme of missions in which to close his life's work. As early as 1225 we find missionaries of both orders laboring in Morocco. In 1233 Franciscans were despatched to convert Miramolin, the Sultan of Damascus, the caliph, and Asia in general. In 1237 the Eastern Jacobites were brought back to Catholic unity by the zeal of Dominicans, and they were at work among Nestorians, Georgians, Greeks, and other Eastern schismatics. Indulgences, the same as for a crusade, were offered to all who engaged in these enterprises, which were perilous enough, for soon after we hear of ninety Dominicans suffering martyrdom among the Cumans in eastern Hungary, when the hordes of Genghis Khan swept over the land. After the retirement of the Tartars they returned and converted the Cumans by wholesale, besides laboring among the Cathari of Bosnia and Dalmatia, where several of them were slain and two of their convents were burned by the heretics. The extent of the Franciscan missions may be judged by a bull of Alexander IV., in 1258, addressed to all the brethren in the lands of the Saracens,
Pagans, Greeks, Bulgarians, Cumans, Ethiopians, Syrians, Iberians, Alans, Cathari, Goths, Zichori, Russians, Jacobites, Nubians, Nestorians, Georgians, Armenians, Indians, Muscovites, Tartars, Hungarians, and the missionaries to the Christian captives among the Turks; and however hazy may be the geography of this enumeration, the extent of the ground sought to be covered shows the activity and self-sacrificing energy of the good brethren. Among the Tartars their success was for a while encouraging. The great khan himself was baptized, and the converts were so numerous that a bishop became necessary for their organization; but the khan apostatized and the missionaries paid with their lives the forfeit of their zeal, nor were they by any means the only martyrs who suffered in the cause. The efficacy of their Armenian mission may be seen in the renunciation of King Haito of Armenia, who entered the Order and assumed the name of Friar John, though the vicissitudes of his subsequent career were not encouraging to future imitators. He was not, however, the only royal Franciscan, for St. Louis of Toulouse, son of Charles the Lame of Naples and Provence, resisted his father's offer of a crown to become a Franciscam. Less authentic, perhaps, are the Dominican accounts of eight missionaries of their Order who, in 1316, penetrated to the empire of Prester John in Abyssinia, where they founded so durable a Church that in half a century they had the Inquisition organized there, with Friar Philip, son of one of Prester John's subject kings, as inquisitor-general. His zeal led him to attack with both spiritual and fleshly weapons another king who indulged in bigamy, and by whom he was treacherously seized and put to death, November 4, 1366, his martyrdom and sanctity being attested by numerous miracles. Be this as it may, the Franciscans record with pardonable pride that members of their Order accompanied Columbus on his second voyage to America, eager to commence the conversion of the New World. *
* Bonavent. Vit. S. Francis. c. 9. -- Lacordaire, Vie de S. Dominique, pp. 182-3. -- Potthast Regest. No. 7429, 7490, 7537, 7550, 9130, 9139, 9141, 10350, 10383, 10421, 11297. -- Raynald. ann. 1233, No. 22, 23; ann. 1237, No. 88. -- Hist. Ordin. Prædicat. c. 8 ( Martene Ampliss. Coll. VI. 338. -- Chron. Magist. Ordin. Prædicat. c. 3 (Ibid. 350-1). -- Waddingi Annal. ann. 1258, No. 1; ann. 1278, No. 10, 11, 12; ann. 1284, No. 2; ann. 1288, No. 3, 36; ann. 1289, No. 1; ann. 1294, No. 10-12; ann.
The special field of activity of the Mendicants, however, which more particularly concerns us, was that of the conversion and persecution of heretics -- of the Inquisition, which they made their own. It was inevitable that this should fall into their hands as soon as the inadequacy of the ancient episcopal courts required the organization of a new system. The discovery and conviction of the heretic was no easy task. It required special training, and that training was exactly what the Orders sought to give their neophytes to fit them for the work of preaching and conversion. With no ties of locality, soldiers of the Cross ready to march to any point at the word of command, they could be despatched at a moment's notice whenever their services were required. Moreover, their peculiar devotion to the Holy See rendered them specially useful in organizing the papal Inquisition which was to supersede by degrees the episcopal jurisdiction, and prove so efficient an instrument in reducing the local churches to subjection.
That Dominic was the founder of the Inquisition and the first inquisitor - general has become a part of Roman tradition. It is affirmed by all the historians of the Order, and by all the panegyrists of the Inquisition; it has the sanction of infallibility in the bull Invictarum of Sixtus V., and it is confirmed by quoting a bull of Innocent III. appointing him inquisitor- general. Yet it is safe to say that no tradition of the Church rests on a slenderer basis. That Dominic devoted the best years of his life to combating heresy there is no doubt, and as little that, when a heretic was deaf to argument or persuasion, he would cheerfully stand by the pyre and see him burned, like any other zealous missionary of the time; but in this he was no more prominent than hundreds of others, and of organized work in this direction he was utterly guiltless. Indeed, from the year 1215, when he laid the foundation of his Order, he was engrossed in it to the exclusion of all other objects, and was obliged to forego his cherished design of ending his days as a missionary to Persia. We shall see that it
1492, No. 2; ann. 1493, No. 2-8. -- Rodulphii Hist. Seraph. Relig. Lib. I. fol. 120. -Paramo de Orila. Offic. S. Inquisit. p. 238.
In 1246 Innocent IV. received a very civil letter from Melik el-Mansur Nassir, the ruler of Edessa, expressing his regret that mutual ignorance of each others' language prevented his engaging in theological disputation with the Dominicans sent for his conversion. -- Berger, Registres d'Innoc. IV. No. 3031.
was not until more than ten years after his death, in 1221, that such an institution as the papal Inquisition can be said to have existed. The prominent part assigned in it to his successors easily explains the legend which has grown around his name, a legend which may safely be classed with the enthusiastic declaration of an historian of the Order that more than a hundred thousand heretics had been converted by his teaching, his merits, and his miracles. *
A similar legendary halo exaggerates the exclusive glory, claimed by the Order, of organizing and perfecting the Inquisition. The bulls of Gregory IX. alleged in support of the assertion are simply special orders to individual Dominican provincials to depute brethren fitted for the purpose to the duty of preaching against heresy and examining heretics, and prosecuting their defenders. Sometimes Dominicans are sent to special districts to proceed against heretics, with an apology to the bishops and an explanation that the friars are skilful in convincing heretics, and that the other episcopal duties are too engrossing to enable the prelates to give proper attention to this. The fact simply is that there was no formal confiding of the Inquisition to the Dominicans any more than there was any formal founding of the Inquisition itself. As the institution gradually assumed shape and organization in the effort to find some effectual means to ferret out concealed heretics, the Dominicans were the readiest instrument
* Campana, Vita di San Piero Martire, p. 257. -- Juan de Mata, Santoral de San Domingo y San Francisco, fol. 13. -- Zurita, Añles de Aragon, Lib. II. c. 63. -- Ricchinii Proæm. ad. Monetam, Dissert. i. p. xxxi. -- Paramo de Orig. Off. S. Inquis. Lib. II. Tit. ii. c. 1. -- Pegæ Comment. in Eymeric. p. 461. -- Chron. Magist. Ord. Preedic. c. 2 ( Martene Ampl. Coll. VI. 348). -- Monteiro, Historia da Santo Inquisiço P. I. Liv. i. c. XXV., xlviii.
It is an interesting illustration of the softened temper of the nineteenth century to see, in 1842, the learned and zealous Dominican, Lacordaire, writing his "Vie de S. Dominique" to prove the impossibility of Dominic's participation in the cruelty of the Inquisition exactly one hundred years after an equally learned and zealous Dominican, Ricchini, had claimed the Inquisition as the glorious work of the saint. Yet since the time of Lacordaire there has been a reaction, and M. l'Abbé Douais does not hesitate to state, on the authority of Sixtus V., that "Saint Dominique aurait ainsi recu une delegation pontificale pour I'Inquisition après I'lannee 1209" (Sources de I'Histoire de I'lnquisition, Revue des Questions Historiques, 1 Oct. 1881, p. 400).
at hand, especially as they professed the function of preaching and converting as their primary business. As conversion became less the object, and persecution the main business of the Inquisition, the Franciscans were equally useful, and the honors of the organization were divided between them. Indeed, there was no hesitation in confiding inquisitorial functions to clerics of any denomination when occasion required. As early as 1258 we find two canons of Lodève acting under papal commissions as inquisitors of Albi, and we shall meet hereafter, at the close of the fourteenth century, Peter the Celestinian discharging the duties of papal inquisitor with abundant energy from the Baltic to Styria. * .
Yet the earliest inquisitors, properly so called, were unquestionably Dominicans. When, after the settlement between Raymond of Toulouse and St. Louis, the extirpation of heresy in the Albigensian territories was seriously undertaken, and the episcopal organization proved unequal to the task, it was Dominicans who were sent thither to work under the direction of the bishops. In northern France the business gradually fell almost exclusively into the hands of Dominicans. In Aragon, as early as 1232, they are recommended to the Archbishop of Tarragona as fitting instruments, and in 1249 the institution was confided to them. Eventually southern France was divided between them and the Franciscans, the western portion being given to the Dominicans, while the Comtat Venaissin, Provence, Forcalquier, and the states of the empire in the provinces of Arles, Aix, and Embrun were under charge of the Franciscans. As for Italy, after some confusion arising from the conflicting pretensions of the two Orders, it was, in 1254, formally divided between them by Innocent IV., the Dominicans being assigned to Lombardy, Romagnola, Tarvesina, and Genoa, while the central portion of the peninsula fell to the Franciscans; Naples, as yet, being free from the institution. This division, however, was not always strictly observed, for at times we find Franciscan inquisitors in Milan, Romagnola, and Tarvesina. In Germany and Austria the Inquisition, as we shall see, never took deep root, but, in so far as it was organized there, it
* Gregor. PP. IX. Bull. Ilk humani generis. Ap. 22, 1233. -- Potthast Regesta, No. 9143, 9152, 9153, 9155, 9386, 9388, 9995, 10362. -- Innoe. PP. IV. Bull. Inter alia, 20 Oct. 1248 (Baluze et Mansi I. 208). -- Archives de l'Inq. de Carcassonne (Coll. Doat, XXXI. fol. 21). -- Archives de l'Évêché d'Albi (Ib. XXXI. 255)
was in Dominican hands, while Bohemia and Dalmatia were under the care of Franciscans. * .
Sometimes the two orders were conjoined. In 1237 the Franciscan Étienne de Saint Thibéry was associated with the Dominican Guillem. Arnaud in Toulouse, in hopes that the reputation of his Order for greater mildness might diminish the popular aversion for the new institution. In April, 1238, Gregory IX. appointed the provincials of the two Orders in Aragon as inquisitors for that kingdom, and in the same year the same policy was pursued in Navarre. In 1255 the Franciscan Guardian of Paris was associated with the Dominican prior as the heads of the Inquisition in France; in 1267 we find both Orders furnishing inquisitors for Burgundy and Lorraine; and in 1311 we hear of two Dominicans and one Franciscan as inquisitors in the province of Ravenna. It was found the wisest course, however, to define sharply the boundaries of their respective jurisdictions, for the active and incessant jealousy between the two bodies rendered any concurrence or competition between them an explosive mine liable to be started by a spark. Their mutual hatreds began early, and the unscrupulous means by which they were gratified were a perpetual scandal and danger to the Church. In 1266, for instance, a lively quarrel arose between the Dominicans of Marseilles and the Franciscan inquisitor of that city. The dissension spread until the two Orders were embroiled throughout Provence, Forcalquier, Avignon, Arles, Beaucaire, Montpellier, and Carcassonne, and everywhere they were preaching against and insulting each other in public. Several briefs of Clement IV. show that the pope was obliged to intervene, and his command that in future inquisitors shall forbear to use their powers to prosecute each other, no matter how guilty the offending party may apparently be, indicates that the sharpest weapons of the Holy Office had been used in the strife. When, as late as 1479, Sixtus IV. forbade inquisi-
* Concil. Narbonn. ann. 1235. -- Concil. Biterrens. ann. 1233; ann. 1246. -Concil. Albiens. ann. 1254 c. 17, 18. -- Martene Thesaur. V. 1806, 1808-10, 1817, 1819-20. -- Ripoll I. 38. -- Aguirre Concil. Hispan. VI. 155-6. -- Raynald. Annal. ann. 1233, No. 40, 59 sqq. -- Waddingi Annal. ann. 1246, No. 2; ann. 1254, No. 7, 8; ann. 1257, No. 17; ann. 1259, No. 3; ann. 1277, No. 10; ann. 1286, No. 4; ann. 1288, No. 14-16. -- Rodulphii Hist. Seraph. Relig. Lib. i. fol. 126b. -- Potthast Regesta, No. 9386, 9388, 9762, 9766, 9993, 10052, 11245, 15304, 15330, 15069
tors of either Order to sit in judgment on brethren of the other, it would indicate that the intervening two centuries had not diminished the tendency. The jealousy with which their respective limits were defended is illustrated by troubles which occurred in 1290 about the Tarvesina. This was Dominican territory, but for many years the office of inquisitor at Treviso was filled by the Franciscan Filippo Bonaccorso. When, in 1289, he accepted the episcopate of Trent, the Dominicans expected the office to be restored to them, and were indignant at seeing it given to another Franciscan, Frà Bonajuncta. The Dominican inquisitor of Lombardy, Frà Pagano, and his vicar, Frà Viviano, went so far in their resistance that serious disturbances were excited in Verona, and it became necessary for Nicholas IV. to intervene in 1291, when he punished the recalcitrants by perpetual deprivation of their functions. To the heretics it must have offered excusable delight to see their persecutors persecuting each other. So ineradicable was the hostility between the two Orders that Clement IV. established the rule that therp should be a distance of at least three thousand feet between their respective possessions -- a regulation which only led to new and more intricate disputes. They even quarrelled as to the right of precedence in processions and funerals, which was claimed by the Dominicans, and settled in their favor by Martin V. in 1423. We shall see hereafter how important in the development of the mediwval Church was this implacable rivalry. *
* MSS. Bib. Nat. Coll. Doat, XXI. 143; XXXII. 15. -- Matt. Paris Hist. Ang]. ann. 1243 (p. 414). -- Guill. Pod. Laur. c. 43. -- Raynald. ann. 1238, No. 51. -Harduin. Concil. VII. 1319. -- Paramo de Orig. Inq. p. 244. -- Wadding Annal. ann. 1238, No. 6, 7; ann. 1266, No. 8; ann. 1277, No. 10; ann. 1291, No. 14. -- Potthast No. 16132. -- Sixti PP. IV. Bull. Sacri Prædicatorum, 26 Jul. 1479. -- Martene Thesaur. II. 346, 353, 359, 451. -- Ripoll II. 82, 164, 617, 695.
The disturbances at Marseilles show the favoritism always manifested towards the Mendicants. Two clerks, whom the Dominicans had procured to depose falsely against the inquisitor, were punished with perpetual prison, degradation, and inability to hold benefices; the bishop who had listened to them was suspended from his office and jurisdiction, while the friars who had suborned the perjury and caused the whole trouble were let off with rendering humiliating apologies and transferred to another province. ( Martene ubi sup.)
There has been some dispute as to whether Frà Filippo Bonaccorso was a Franciscan or a Dominican. Wadding (l. c.) prints a bull of 1277 in which he
In the busy world of the thirteenth century there was thus no agency more active than that of the Mendicant Orders, for good and for evil. On the whole perhaps the good preponderated, for they undoubtedly aided in postponing a revolution for which the world was not yet ready. Though the self-abnegation of their earlier days was a quality too rare and perishable to be long preserved, and though they soon sank to the level of the social order around them, yet had their work not been altogether lost. They had brought afresh to men's minds some of the forgotten truths of the gospel, and had taught them to view their duties to their fellows from a higher plane. How well they recognized and appreciated their own services is shown by the story, common to the legend of both Orders, which tells that while Dominic and Francis were waiting the approval of Innocent III. a holy man had a vision in which he saw Christ brandishing three darts with which to destroy the world, and the Virgin inquiring his purpose. Then said Christ, "The world is full of pride, avarice, and lust; I have borne with it too long, and with these darts will I consume it." The Virgin fell on her knees and interceded for man, but in vain, until she revealed to him that she had two faithful servants who would reduce it to his dominion. Then Christ desired to see the champions; she showed him Dominic and Francis, and he was content. The pious author of the story could hardly have foreseen that in 1627 Urban VIII. would be obliged to deprive the Mendicant Friars of Cordova of their dearly prized immunity, and to subject them to episcopal jurisdiction, in the hope of restraining them from seducing their spiritual daughters in the confessional. * .
is addressed as a Franciscan, but one in the Coll. Doat, T. XXXII. fol. 155, characterizes him as a Dominican.
* Anon. Cartus. de Relig. Orig. c. 309 ( Martene Ampl. Coll. VI. 68). -- Lib. Conformitatum, Lib. I. Fruct. ii. fol. 16b.
-- MSS. Bib. Bodleian., Arch. S. 130
THE INQUISITION FOUNDED.
THE gradual organization of the Inquisition was simply a process of evolution arising from the mutual reaction of the social forces which we have described. The Albigensian Crusades had put an end to open resistance, yet the heretics were none the less numerous, and, if less defiant, were only the more difficult to discover. The triumph of force had increased the responsibility of the Church, while the imperfection of its means of discharging that responsibility was self-confessed in the enormous spread of heresy during the twelfth century. We have seen the confused and uncertain manner in which the local prelates had sought to meet the new demands upon them. When the existence of hidden crime is suspected there are three stages in the process of its suppression-the discovery of the criminal, the proof of his guilt, and finally his punishment. Of all others the crime of heresy was the most difficult to discover and to prove, and when its progress became threatening the ecclesiastics on whom fell the responsibility of its eradication were equally at a loss in each of the three steps to be taken for its extermination.
Immersed, for the most part, in the multiplied troubles connected with the overgrown temporalities of their sees, the bishops would await popular rumor to designate some man or group of men as heretical. On seizing the suspected persons, there was rarely any external evidence to prove their guilt, for except where numbers rendered repression impossible, the sectaries were assiduous in outward conformity to orthodox observance, and the slender theological training of episcopal officials was generally unequal to the task of extracting confessions from thoughtful and keen-witted men, or of convicting them out of their own mouths. The judicial use of torture was as yet happily unknown, and the current substitute of a barbarous age, the Ordeal, was resorted to with a frequency which shows how ludicrously helpless were the ecclesiastics called upon to perform functions so novel. Even St. Bernard approved of this expedient, and in 1157 the Council of Reims prescribed it as the rule in all cases of suspected heresy. More enlightened churchmen viewed its results with well-grounded disbelief, and Peter Cantor mentions several cases to prove its injustice. A poor woman accused of Catharism was abandoned to die of hunger, till in confession to a religious dean she protested her innocence and was advised by him to offer the hot-iron ordeal in proof, which she did with the result of being burned first by the iron and then at the stake. A good Catholic, against whom the only suspicious evidence was his poverty and his pallor, was ordered by an assembly of bishops to undergo the same ordeal, which he refused to do unless the prelates would prove to him that this would not be a mortal sin in tempting God. This tenderness of conscience was sufficient, so without further parley they unanimously handed him over to the secular authorities, and he was promptly burned. With the study of the Roman law, however, this mode of procedure gradually fell into disfavor with the Church, and the enlightenment of Innocent III. peremptorily forbade its use in 1212, when it was extensively employed by Henry of Vehringen, Bishop of Strassburg, to convict a number of heretics; while in 1215 the Council of Lateran, following the example of Alexander III. and Lucius III., formally prohibited all ecclesiastics from taking part in the administration of ordeals of any kind. How great was the perplexity of ignorant prelates, debarred from this ready method of seeking the judgment of God, may be guessed by the expedient which had, in 1170, been adopted by the good Bishop of Besançon, when the religious repose of his diocese was troubled by some miracle-working heretics. He is described as a learned man, and yet to solve his doubts as to whether the strangers were saints or heretics, he summoned the assistance of an ecclesiastic deeply skilled in necromancy and ordered him to ascertain the truth by consulting Satan. The cunning clerk deceived the devil into a confidential mood and learned that the strangers were his servants; they were deprived of the satanic amulets which were their protection, and the populace, which had previously sustained them, cast them pitilessly into the flames. *
* S. Bernard. Serm. LXVI. in Cantic. c. 12. -- Hist. Vizellacens. Lib. IV. -- Concil.
When supernatural means were not resorted to, the proceedings were far too cumbrous and uncertain to be efficient against an evil so widely spread and against malefactors so numerous. In 1204 Gui, Archbishop of Reims, summoned Count Robert, cousin of Philip Augustus, the Countess Yolande, and many other laymen and ecclesiastics to sit in judgment on some heretics discovered at Brienne, with the result of burning the unfortunate wretches. In 1201, when the Knight Everard of Châteauneuf was accused of Catharism by Bishop Hugues of Nevers, the Legate Octavian summoned for his trial at Paris a council composed of archbishops, bishops, and masters of the university, who condemned him. All this was complicated by the supreme universal jurisdiction of Rome, which enabled those who were skilful and rich to protract indefinitely the proceedings and perhaps at last to escape. Thus in 1211 a canon of Langres, accused of heresy, was summoned by his bishop to appear before a council of theologians assembled to examine him. Though he had sworn to do so and had given bail, he failed to come forward, and was, after three days' waiting, condemned in default. His absence was accounted for when he turned up in Rome and asserted to Innocent that he had been forced to take the oath and give security after he had appealed to the Holy See. The pope sent him back to the Archbishop of Sens, to the Bishop of Nevers, and Master Robert de Corzon, with instructions to examine into his orthodoxy. Two years later, in 1213, he is again seen in Rome, explaining that he had feared to come before his judges at the appointed time, because the popular feeling against heresy was so strong that not only were all heretics burned, but all who were even suspected, wherefore he craved papal protection and permission to perform due purgation at Rome. Innocent again sent him back with orders to the prelates to give him a safe-conduct and protection until his case should be decided. Whether he was innocent or guilty, whether absolved or condemned, is of little moment. The case sufficiently shows the im-
Remens. ann. 1137 c. 1. -- Cæsar. Heisterb. Dial. Mirac. III. 16, 17; V. 18. -- Guibert. Noviogent. de Vita sua Lib. III. c. 18. -- Pet. Cantor. Verb. abbrev. c. 78. -Innoc. PP. III. Regest. XIV. 138. -- Alex. PP. III. Epist. 74. -- C. 8 Extra V. xxxiv. -C. Lateran. IV. c. 18.
possibility of efficient suppression of heresy under the existing system. *
Even after conviction had been obtained there was the same uncertainty as to penalties. In the case of the Cathari who confessed at Liége in 1144, and were with difficulty rescued from the mob who sought to burn them, the church authorities applied to Lucius II. for instructions as to what disposition should be made of them. Those who were captured in Flanders in 1162 were sent to Alexander III., then in France, for judgment, and he sent them back to the Archbishop of Reims. William Abbot of Vezelai possessed full jurisdiction, but when, in 1167, he had some confessed heretics on his hands, in his embarrassment he asked the assembled crowd what he should do with them, and the ready sentence was found in the unanimous shout, "Burn them! burn them!" which was duly executed, although one who recanted and was yet condemned by the water ordeal was publicly scourged and banished by the abbot in spite of a popular demand for concremation. In 1114 the Bishop of Soissons, after convicting some heretics by the water ordeal, went to the Council of Beauvais to consult as to their punishment; but during his absence the people, fearing the lenity of the bishops, broke into the jail and burned them. †
It was not that the Church was absolutely devoid of the machinery for discharging its admitted function of suppressing heresy. It is true that in the early days of the Carlovingian revival, Zachary's instructions to St. Boniface show that the only recognized method at that time of disposing of heretics was by summoning a council, and sending the convicted culprits to Rome for final judgment. Charlemagne's civilizing policy, however, made efficient use of all instrumentalities capable of maintaining order and security in his empire, and the bishops assumed an important position in his system. They were ordered, in conjunction with the secular officials, zealously to prohibit all superstitious observances and remnants of paganism; to travel assiduously throughout their
* Chron. Laudunens. Canon. ann. 1204 ( D. Bouquet, XVIII. 713). -- Chronolog. Roberti Autissiodor. ann. 1201. -- Innocent PP. III. Regest. XIV. 15; XVI. 17.
† Martene Ampl. Collect. I. 776-8. -- Alex. PP. III. Epist. 118, 122; Varior. ad Alex. III. Epist. 16. -- Hist. Vizeliacens. Lib. IV. -- Guibert. Noviogent. l. c.
dioceses making strict inquiry as to all sins abhorred of God, and thus a considerable jurisdiction was placed in their hands, although strictly subordinated to the State. During the troubles which followed the division of the empire, as the feudal system arose on the ruins of the monarchy, gradually the bishops threw off not only dependence on the crown, but acquired extensive rights and powers in the administration of the canon law, which now no longer depended on the civil or municipal law, but assumed to be its superior. Thus came to be founded the spiritual courts which were attached to every episcopate and which exercised exclusive jurisdiction over a constantly widening field of jurisprudence. Of course all errors of faith necessarily came within their purview. *
The organization and functions of these courts received a powerful impetus through the study of the Roman law after the middle of the twelfth century. Ecclesiastics, in fact, monopolized to such an extent the educated intelligence of the age that at first there were few besides themselves to penetrate into the mysteries of the Code and Digest. Even in the second half of the thirteenth century Roger Bacon complains that a civil lawyer, even if wholly untrained in canon law and theology, had a much better chance of high preferment than a theologian, and he exclaims in bitterness that the Church is governed by lawyers to the great injury of all Christian folk. Thus long before the feudal and seignorial courts felt the influence of the imperial jurisprudence, it had profoundly modified the principles and practice of ecclesiastical procedure. The old archdeacon gave way, not without vituperation, before the formal episcopal judge, known as the Official or Ordinary, who was usually a doctor of both laws -- an LL.D. in fact -- learned in both civil and canon law; and the effect of this was soon seen in a systematizing of ecclesiastical jurisprudence which gave it an immense advantage over the rude processes of the feudal and customary law. These episcopal courts, moreover, were soon sur-
* Hartzheim Concil. German. I. 76, 85-6. -- Capit. Car. Mag. ann. 769, c. 6; Capit. II. ann. 813, c. 1. -- Gratiani Decret. P. I. Dist. X. I have elsewhere considered in some detail the growth of the spiritual jurisdiction of the Church, through the False Decretals, in the anarchy accompanying the fall of the Carlovingian empire. See "Studies in Church History", 2d Ed. pp. 81-7, 326-39.
rounded by a crowd of clerkly advocates, whose zeal for their clients often outran their discretion, furnishing the first mediæval representatives of the legal profession. *
Following in the traces of the civil law, there were three forms of action in criminal cases -- accusatio, denunciatio, and inquisitio. In accusatio there was an accuser who formally inscribed himself as responsible and was subject to the talio in case of failure. Denunciatio was the official act of the public officer, such as the testis synodalis or archdeacon, who summoned the court to take action against offenders coming within his official knowledge. In inquisitio the Ordinary cited the suspected criminal, imprisoning him if necessary; the indictment, or capitula inquisitionis, was communicated to him, and he was interrogated thereupon, with the proviso that nothing extraneous to the indictment could be subsequently brought into the case to aggravate it. If the defendant could not be made to confess, the Ordinary proceeded to take testimony, and though the examination of witnesses was not conducted in the defendant's presence, their names and evidence were communicated to him, he could summon witnesses in rebuttal, and his advocate had full opportunity to defend him by argument, exception, and appeal. The Ordinary finally gave the verdict; if uncertain as to guilt, he prescribed the purgatio canonica, or oath of denial shared by a given number of peers of the accused, more or less, according to the nature of the charge and degree of suspicion. In all cases of conviction by the inquisitorial process, the penalty inflicted was lighter than in accusation or denunciation. The danger was recognized of a procedure in which the judge was also the accuser; a man must be popularly reputed as guilty before the Ordinary could commence inquisition against him, and this not by merely a few men or by his enemies, or those unworthy of belief. There must be ample ground for esteeming him guilty before this extraordinary power vested in the judge could be exercised. It is important to bear in mind the equitable provisions of all this episcopal jurisdiction when we come to consider the
* S. Bernardi de Consideratione Lib. 1. c. 4. -- Rogeri Bacon Op. Tert. c. xxiv. -- Pet. Blesens. Epist. 202. -- Concil. Rotomag. ann. 1231 c. 48. For the rapidity with which the Church assimilated the Roman law see the collection of decretals by Alexander III. post Concil. Lateran.
methods of what we call the Inquisition, erected on these foundations. *
Theoretically there also existed a thorough system of general inquisition or inquest for the detection of all offences, including heresy; and as it was only an application of this which gave rise to the Inquisition, it is worth our brief attention. The idea of a systematic investigation into infractions of the law was familiar to secular as well as to ecclesiastical jurisprudence. In the Roman law, although there was no public prosecutor, it was part of the duty of the ruler or proconsul to make perquisition after all criminals with a view to their detection and punishment, and Septimius Severus, in the year 202, had made the persecution of Christians an especial feature of this official inquisition. The Missi Dominici of Charlemagne were officials commissioned to traverse the empire, making diligent inquisition into all cases of disorder, crime, and injustice, with jurisdiction over clerk and layman alike. They held their assizes four times a year, listened to all complaints and accusations, and were empowered to redress all wrongs and to punish all offenders of whatever rank. The institution was maintained by the successors of Charlemagne so long as the royal power could assert itself; and after the Capetian revolution, as soon as the new dynasty found itself established with a jurisdiction that could be enforced beyond the narrow bounds set by feudalism, it adopted a similar expedient of "inquisitors," with a view of keeping the royal officials under control and insuring a due enforcement of the law. The same device is seen in the itinerant justiciaries of England, at least as early as the Assizes of Clarendon in 1166, when, utilizing the Anglo-Saxon organization, they made an inquest in every hundred and tithing by the lawful men of the vicinage to try and punish all who were publicly suspected of crime, giving rise to the time-honored system of the grand-jury -in itself a prototype of the incipient papal Inquisition. Similar in character were the "Inquisitors and Manifestors" whom we find in Verona in 1228, employed by the State for the detection and punishment of blasphemy; and a still stronger resemblance is seen in the Jurados of Sardinia in the fourteenth century -- inhabi-
* Fournier, Les Officialités du moyen âge, Paris, 1880, pp. 256 sqq., 273-4,-- Cap. 19,21,§ 1, 2, Extra v. 1.
tants selected in each district and sworn to investigate all cases of crime, to capture the malefactor, and to bring him before court for trial. *
The Church naturally fell into the same system. We have just seen that Charlemagne ordered his bishops to make diligent visitations throughout their dioceses, investigating all offences; and with the growth of ecclesiastical jurisdiction this inquisitorial duty was, nominally at least, perfected and organized. Already at the commencement of the tenth century we find in use a method (falsely attributed to Pope Eutychianus) which was subsequently imitated by the Inquisition. As the bishop reached each parish in his visitation, the whole body of the people was assembled in a local synod. From among these he selected seven men of mature age and approved integrity who were then sworn on relics to reveal without fear or favor whatever they might know or hear, then or subsequently, of any offence requiring investigation. These testes synodales, or synodal witnesses, became an institution established, theoretically at least, in the Church, and long lists of interrogatories were drawn up to guide the bishops in examining them so that no possible sin or immorality might escape the searching inquisition. Yet how completely these well-devised measures fell into desuetude, under the negligence of the bishops, is seen in the surprise awakened when, in 1246, Robert Grosseteste, the reforming Bishop of Lincoln, ordered, at the suggestion of the Franciscans, such a general inquisition into the morals of the people throughout his extensive diocese. His archdeacons and deans summoned both noble and commoner before them and examined them under oath, as required by the canons; but the proceeding was so unusual and brought to light so many scandals that Henry
* Fr. 13, Dig. I. (Ulplan.). -- Allard, Histoire des Persecutions, Paris, 1885, p. iii. -- Capit. Car. Mag. 1. ann. 802; III. ann. 810; III. ann. 812. -- Capit. Ludov. Pii v., VI. ann. 819; ann. 823, c. 28; Capit. Wormatiens. ann. 829. -- Caroli Calvi. Capit. apud Carisiacum ann. 857; Edict. Pistens. ann. 864. -- Carolomanni Capit. ann. 884. -- Guillel. Nangiac. Gest. S. Ludov. ann. 1255 (D. Bouquet, XX. 394, 400). -- Ducange, s. v. Inguisitores. -- Les Olim. T. III. pp. 169, 181, 211, 231, 358, 471, 501, 522, 529, 616. -- Assisee de Clarendon § 1 (Stubbs's Select Charters, p. 137, cf. p. 25). -- Stubbs's Constitutional History, I. 99-100, 313, 530, 695-6. -- Lib. Juris Civilis Veronæ c. 171 (Ed. 1728, p. 130). -- Carta de Logu cap. xvi. (Ed. 1805, pp. 30-2).
III. was induced to interfere and ordered the sheriffs to put an end to it. *
The Church thus possessed an organization well adapted for the discovery and investigation of heretics. All that it lacked were the men who should put that organization to its destined use; and the progress of heresy up to the date of the Albigensian Crusades manifests how utterly neglectful were the ignorant prelates of the day, immersed in worldly cares, for the most part, and thinking only of the methods by which their temporalities could be defended and their revenues increased. Successive popes made fruitless efforts to arouse them to a sense of duty and induce them to use the means at their disposal for a systematic and vigorous onslaught on the sectaries, who daily grew more alarming. From the assembly of prelates who attended, in 1184, the meeting at Verona between Lucius III. and Frederic Barbarossa, the pope issued a decretal at the instance of the emperor and with the assent of the bishops, which if strictly and energetically obeyed might have established an episcopal instead of a papal Inquisition. In addition to the oath -- referred to in a previous chapter -- prescribed to every ruler, to assist the Church in persecuting heresy, all archbishops and bishops were ordered, either personally or by their archdeacons or other fitting persons, once or twice a year to visit every parish where there was suspicion of heresy, and compel two or three men of good character, or the whole vicinage if necessary, to swear to reveal any reputed heretic, or any person holding secret conventicles, or in any way differing in mode of life from the faithful in general. The prelate was to summon to his presence those designated, who, unless they could purge themselves at his discretion, or in accordance with local custom, were to be punished as the bishop might see fit. Similarly, any who refused to swear, through superstition, were to be condemned and punished as heretics ipso facto. Obstinate heretics, refusing to abjure and return to the Church with due penance, and those who after abjuration relapsed, were to be abandoned to the secular arm for fitting punishment. There was nothing organically new in all this -- only a
* Reginon. de Eccles. Discip. Lib. II. c. 1-3. -- Burchardi Decret. Lib. I. c. 91-4. -- Gratiani Decret. P. II. c. XXXV.
Q. vi. c. 7. -- C. 7 Extra II. xxi. -- Matt. Paris ann. 1246 (Ed. 1644, p. 480).
utilizing of existing institutions and an endeavor to recall the bishops to a sense of their duties; but a further important step was taken in removing all exemptions from episcopal jurisdiction in the matter of heresy and subjecting to their bishops the privileged monastic orders which depended directly on Rome. Fautors of heresy were, moreover, declared incapable of acting as advocates or witnesses or of filling any public office. *
We have already seen how utterly this effort failed to arouse the hierarchy from their sloth. The weapons rusted in the careless hands of the bishops, and the heretics became ever more numerous and more enterprising, until their gathering strength showed clearly that if Rome would retain her domination she must summon the faithful to the arbitrament of arms. She did not shrink from the alternative, but she recognized that even the triumph of her crusading hosts would be comparatively a barren victory in the absence of an organized system of persecution. Thus while de Montfort and his bands were slaying the abettors of heresy who dared to resist in the field, a council assembled in Avignon, in 1209, under the presidency of the papal legate, Hugues, and enacted a series of regulations which are little more than a repetition of those so fruitlessly promulgated twenty-five years before by Lucius III., the principal change being that in every parish a priest should be adjoined to the laymen who were to act as synodal witnesses or local inquisitors of heresy. Under this arrangement, repeated by the Council of Montpellier in 1215, there was considerable persecution and not a few burnings. In the same spirit, when the Council of Lateran met in 1215 to consolidate the conquests which then seemed secure to the Church, it again repeated the orders of Lucius. No other device suggested itself, no further means seemed either available or requisite, if only this could be carried out, and its enforcement was sought by decreeing the deposition of any bishop neglecting this paramount duty, and his replacement by one willing and able to confound heresy. †
This utterance of the supreme council of Christendom was as
* Lucii PP. III. Epist. 171.
† Concil. Avenionens. ann. 1209 c. 2. -- Concil. Monspessulan. ann. 1215 c. 46. -Douais, Les sources de l'histoire de l'Inquisition (Revue des Questions Historiques, 1 Oct. 1881, p. 401). -- C. Lateran. IV. c. 2.
ineffectual as its predecessors. An occasional earnest fanatic was found, like Foulques of Toulouse or Henry of Strassburg, who labored vigorously, in the suppression of heresy, but for the most part the prelates were as negligent as ever, and there is no trace of any sustained and systematic endeavor to put in practice the periodical inquisition so strenuously enjoined. The Council of Narbonne, in 1227, imperatively commanded all bishops to institute in every parish testes synodales who should investigate heresy and other offences, and report them to the episcopal officials, but the good prelates who composed the assembly, satisfied with this exhibition of vigor, separated and allowed matters to run on their usual course. We hardly need the assurance of the contemporary Lucas of Tuy, that bishops for the most part were indifferent as to the matter of heresy, while some even protected heretics for filthy gain, saying, when reproached, "How can we condemn those who are neither convicted nor confessed?" No better success followed the device of the Council of Béziers in 1234, which earnestly ordered the parish priests to make out lists of all suspected of heresy and keep a strict watch upon them. *
The popes had endeavored to overcome this episcopal indifference by a sort of irregular and spasmodic Legatine Inquisition. As the papal jurisdiction extended itself under the system of Gregory VII. the legate had become a very useful instrument to bring the papal power to bear upon the internal affairs of the dioceses. As the direct representatives and plenipotentiaries of the vicegerent of God the legates carried and exercised the supreme authority of the Holy See into the remotest corners of Christendom. That they should be employed in stimulating languid persecution was inevitable. We have already seen the part they played in the affairs of the Albigenses, from the time of Henry of Citeaux to that of Cardinal Romano. In the absence of any systematic method of procedure they were even used in special cases to supplement the ignorance of local prelates, as when, in 1224, Honorius III. ordered Conrad, Bishop of Hildesheim, to bring before the Legate Cinthio, Cardinal of Porto, for judgment Henry Minneke, Provost of St. Maria of Goslar, whom he held in prison
* Concil. Narbonn. ann. 1227 c. 14. -- Lucæ Tudens. de altera Vita c. 19. -- Concil. Biterrens. ann. 1234 c. 5.
on suspicion of heresy. It was, however, in Toulouse, after the treaty of Paris, in 1229, that we find the most noteworthy case of the concurrence of legatine and episcopal action, showing how crude as yet were the conceptions of the nascent Inquisition. After Count Raymond had been reconciled to the Church, he returned in July to his dominions, followed by the Cardinal-Legate Romano, to see to the execution of the treaty and to turn back the armed "pilgrims" who were swarming to fight for the Cross, and who revenged themselves for their disappointment by wantonly destroying the harvests and creating a famine in the land. In September a council was assembled at Toulouse, consisting of all the prelates of Languedoc, and most of the leading barons. This adopted a canon ordering anew all archbishops, bishops, and exempted abbots to put in force the device of the synodal witnesses, who were charged with the duty of making constant inquisition for heretics and examining all suspected houses, subterranean rooms, and other hiding-places; but there is no trace of any obedience to this command or of any results arising from it. Under the impulsion of the legate and of Foulques of Toulouse, however, the council itself was turned into an inquisition. A converted "perfected" Catharan, named Guillem de Solier, was found and was restored to his legal rights in order to enable him to give evidence against his former brethren, while Bishop Foulques industriously hunted up other witnesses. Each bishop present took his share in examining these, sending to Foulques the evidence reduced to writing, and thus, we are told, a vast amount of business was accomplished in a short time. It was found that the heretics had mostly pledged each other to secrecy, and that it was virtually impossible to extract anything from them, but a few of the more timid came forward voluntarily and confessed, and of course each one of these, under the rules in force, was obliged to tell all he knew about others, as the condition of reconciliation. A vast amount of evidence was thus collected, which was taken by the legate for the purpose of deciding the fate of the accused, and with it he left Toulouse for Montpellier. A few of the more hardy offenders endeavored to defend themselves judicially, and demanded to see the names of the witnesses, even following the legate to Montpellier for that purpose; but he, under the pretext that this demand was for the purpose of slaying those who had testified against them, adroitly eluded it by exhibiting a combined list of all the witnesses, so that the culprits were forced to submit without defence. He then held another council at Oranoge, and sent to Foulques the sentences, which were duly communicated to the accused assembled for the purpose in the church of St. Jacques. All the papers of the inquisition were carried to Rome by the legate for fear that if they should fall into the hands of the evil-minded they would be the cause of many murders -- and, in fact, a number of the witnesses were slain on simple suspicion. *
All this shows how crude and cumbrous an implement was the episcopal and legatine Inquisition even in the most energetic hands, and how formless and tentative was its procedure. A few instances of the use of synodal witnesses are subsequently to be found, as in the Council of Arles, in 1234, that of Tours, in 1239, that of Béziers, in 1246, of Albi, in 1254, and in a letter of Alphonse of Poitiers in 1257, urging his bishops to appoint them as required by the Council of Toulouse. An occasional example of the legatine Inquisition may also be met with. In 1237 the inquisitors of Toulouse were acting under legatine powers, as sub-delegates to the Legate Jean de Vienne; and in the same year, when the people of Montpellier asked the pope for assistance to suppress the growth of heresy, their bishop apparently being supine, he sent Jean de Vienne there with instructions to act vigorously. The episcopal office was similarly disregarded in 1239, when Gregory IX. sent orders to the inquisitors of Toulouse to obey the instructions of his legate. Yet this legatine function in time passed so completely out of remembrance that in 1351 the Signiory of Florence asked the papal legate to desist from a charge of heresy on which he had cited the Camaldulensian abbot, because the republic had never permitted its citizens to be judged for such an offence except by the inquisitors; and as early as 1257, when the inquisitors of Languedoc complained of the zeal of the Legate Zoen, Bishop of Avignon, in carrying on inquisitorial work, Alexander IV. promptly decided that he had no such power outside of his own diocese. †
* Potthast No. 7260. -- Concil. Tolosan. ann. 1229 c. 1, 2. -- Guill. de Pod. Laur. c. 40. -- Guill. Pelisso Chron. Ed. Molinier, p. 18.
† Concil. Arelatens. ann. 1234 c. 5. -- Concil. Turonens. ann. 1239 c. 1. -- Concil. Biterrens. ann. 1246 c. 1. -- Concil. Albiens. ann. 1254 c. 1. -- Archives de l'Inq. de Carcassonne ( Coll. Doat, XXX. 250). -- Vaissette, III. Pr. pp. 385-6. -- Raynald An-
The public opinion of the ruling classes of Europe demanded that heresy should be exterminated at whatever cost, and yet with the suppression of open resistance the desired end seemed as far off as ever. Bishop and legate were alike unequal to the task of discovering those who carefully shrouded themselves under the cloak of the most orthodox observance; and when by chance a nest of heretics was brought to light, the learning and skill of the average Ordinary failed to elicit a confession from those who professed the most entire accord with the teachings of Rome. In the absence of overt acts it was difficult to reach the secret thoughts of the sectary. Trained experts were needed whose sole business it should be to unearth the offenders and extort a confession of their guilt. As this necessity became more and more apparent two new factors contributed to the solution of the long-vexed problem.
The first of these was the organization of the Mendicant Orders, whose peculiar fitness for the work which had outgrown the capacity of the episcopal courts might well make their establishment seem a providential interposition to supply the Church of Christ with what it most sorely needed. As the necessity grew apparent of special and permanent tribunals devoted exclusively to the widespread sin of heresy, there was every reason why they should be wholly free from the local jealousies and enmities which might tend to the prejudice of the innocent, or the local favoritism which might connive at the escape of the guilty. If, in addition to this freedom from local partialities, the examiners and judges were men specially trained to the detection and conversion of the heretic; if, also, they had by irrevocable vows renounced the world; if they could acquire no wealth and were dead to the enticements of pleasure, every guarantee seemed to be afforded that their momentous duties would be fulfilled with the strictest justice -- that while the purity of the faith would be protected, there would be no unnecessary oppression or cruelty or persecution dictated by private interests and personal revenge. Their unlimited popularity was also a warrant that they would receive far more efficient assistance in their arduous labors than could be expected by the
nal. ann. 1237, No. 32. -- Archives de France, J. 430, No. 19-20. -- Archivio di Firenze. Riformagioni, Classe v. fol. 80. -- Archives de l'Inq. de Carcassonne (Doat, XXXI. 239).
bishops, whose position was generally that of antagonism to their flocks and to the petty seigneurs and powerful barons whose aid was indispensable. That the Mendicant Orders, to which this duty thus naturally fell, were peculiarly devoted to the papacy, and that they made the Inquisition a powerful instrument to extend the influence of Rome and destroy what little independence was left to the local churches, became subsequently doubtless an additional reason for their employment, but could scarce have been a motive in the early tentative efforts. Thus to the public of the thirteenth century the organization of the Inquisition and its commitment to the children of St. Dominic and St. Francis appeared a perfectly natural or rather inevitable development arising from the admitted necessities of the time and the instrumentalities at hand.
The other factor which promised success to the Church, in an organized effort to discharge the duty of persecution, was the secular legislation against heresy which at this period took form and shape. We have seen the spasmodic edicts of England and Aragon in the twelfth century, which have interest only as showing the absence of anterior penal laws. Frederic Barbarossa took no effective steps to give validity to the regulations which Lucius III. issued from Verona in 1184, though they purported to be drawn up with the emperor's sanction. The body of customary law which de Montfort adopted at Pamiers in 1212 of course disappeared with his short-lived domination. There had been, it is true, some fragmentary attempts at legislation, as when the Emperor Henry VI., in 1194, prescribed confiscation of property, severe personal punishment, and destruction of houses for heretics, and heavy fines for persons or communities omitting to arrest them; and this was virtually repeated in 1210 by Otho IV., showing how soon it had been forgotten. How little uniformity, indeed, there was in the treatment of heresy is proved by such stray edicts of the period as chance to have reached us. Thus in 1217 Nuñez Sancho of Rosellon decreed outlawry for heretics, and in 1228 Jayme I. of Aragon followed his example, showing that this could not have previously been customary. On the other hand, the statutes of Pignerol in 1220 only inflict a fine of ten sols for knowingly giving shelter to Vaudois. Louis VIII. of France, just before his death, issued an ordonnance punishing this same crime with confiscation and deprivation of all legal rights, while the royal officials were ordered to inflict proper and immediate punishment on all who were convicted of heresy by the ecclesiastical judges. The statutes in force in Florence in 1227 required the bishop to act in conjunction with the podestá in all prosecutions for heresy, which was a serious limitation on the episcopal courts. In 1228 we hear of new laws adopted in Milan, at the instance of the papal legate, Goffredo, by which all heretics were banished from the territory of the republic, their houses torn down, the contents confiscated, their persons outlawed, with graduated fines for harboring them. A mixed secular and ecclesiastical inquisition was established for the discovery of heretics, and the archbishop and podestà were to co-operate in their examination and sentence; while the latter was bound to put to death within ten days all convicts. In Germany, as late as 1231, it required the decision of King Henry VII. to determine the disposition of property confiscated on heretics, and allodial lands were allowed to descend to the heirs, in contradiction, as we shall see, to all subsequent ruling. *
To put in action any comprehensive system of persecution, it evidently was requisite to overcome the centrifugal tendency of mediæval legislation, which finds its ultimate expression in free Navarre, where every town of importance had its special fuero, and almost every house its individual custom. Innocent III. endeavored, at the Lateran Council of 1215, to secure uniformity by a series of severe regulations defining the attitude of the Church to heretics, and the duties which the secular power owed to exterminate them under pain of forfeiture, and this became a recognized part of canon law; but in the absence of active secular co-operation its provisions for a while remained practically a dead letter. It was reserved for the arch-enemy of the Church, Frederic II., to break down, throughout the greater part of Europe, the particularism of local statutes, and place the population at the mercy of such emissaries as the popes might send to represent them. It was requisite for him to acquire the favor of Honorius III. to secure his coronation in 1220; and when the inevitable rupture took place, it was still necessary for him to meet the charge of heresy so freely brought against
* Lami, Antichità Toscane, pp. 484, 504, 524. -- Muratori Antiq. Ital. Diss. LX. (T. XII. p. 447). -- D'Achery Spicileg. III. 588, 598. -- Charvaz, Origine dei Valdesi, Torino, 1838, App. No. xxii. -- Isambert, Anc. Loix Fran. I. 228. -- Corio, Hist. Milanese, ann. 1228-9. -- Hist. Diplom. Frid. II. T. III. p. 466.
him by manifesting special zeal in the persecution of heretics, though doubtless, if left to himself, philosophic indifference would have led him to tolerate any form of belief that did not threaten disobedience to the ruler. *
In a series of edicts dating from 1220 to 1239 he thus enacted a complete and pitiless code of persecution, based upon the Lateran canons. Those who were merely suspected of heresy were required to purge themselves at command of the Church, under penalty of being deprived of civil rights and placed under the imperial ban; while, if they remained in this condition for a year, they were to be condemed as heretics. Heretics of all sects were outlawed; -- and when condemned as such by the Church they were to be delivered to the secular arm to be burned. If, through fear of death, they recanted, they were to be thrust in prison for life, there to perform penance. If they relapsed into error, thus showing that their conversion had been fictitious, they were to be put to death. All the property of the heretic was confiscated and his heirs disinherited. His children, to the second generation, were declared ineligible to any positions of emolument or dignity, unless they should win mercy by betraying their father or some other heretic. All "credentes," fautors, defenders, receivers, or advocates of heretics were banished forever, their property confiscated, and their descendants subjected to the same disabilities as those of heretics. Those who defended the errors of heretics were to be treated as heretics unless, on admonition, they mended their ways. The houses of heretics and their receivers were to be destroyed, never to be rebuilt. Although the evidence of a heretic was not receivable in court, yet an exception was made in favor of the faith, and it was to be held good against another heretic. All rulers and magistrates, present or future, were required to swear to exterminate with their utmost ability all whom the Church might designate as heretics, under pain of forfeiture of office. The lands of any temporal lord who neglected, for a year after summons by the Church, to clear them of heresy, were exposed to the occupancy of any Catholics who, after extirpating the heretics, were to possess them in peace without prejudice to the rights of
* De Lagrèze, La Navarre Française, I. xxi; II. 6. -- Concil. Lateran. IV. c. 3 (C. 13 Extra v. vii.).
the suzerain, provided he had offered no opposition. When the papal Inquisition was commenced, Frederic hastened, in 1232, to place the whole machinery of the State at the command of the inquisitors, who were authorized to call upon any official to capture whomsoever they might designate as a heretic, and hold him in prison until the Church should condemn him, when he was to be put to death. *
This fiendish legislation was hailed by the Church with acclamation, and was not allowed to remain, like its predecessors, a dead letter. The coronation-edict of 1220 was sent by Honorius to the University of Bologna to be read and taught as a part of practical law. It was consequently embodied in the authoritative compilation of the feudal customs, and its most stringent enactments were incorporated in the Civil Code. The whole series of edicts was subsequently promulgated by successive popes in repeated bulls, commanding all states and cities to inscribe these laws irrevocably in their local statute-books. It became the duty of the inquisitors to see that this was done, to swear all magistrates and officials to enforce them, and to compel their obedience by the free use of excommunication. In 1222, when the magistrates of Rieti adopted laws conflicting with them, Honorius at once ordered the offenders removed from office; in 1227 the people of Rimini resisted, but were coerced to submission; in 1253, when some of the Lombard cities demurred, Innocent IV. promptly ordered the inquisitors to subdue them; in 1254 Asti peacefully accepted them as part of its local laws; Como followed the exam-
* Hist. Diplom. Frid. II. T. II. pp. 4-6, 422; T. IV. pp. 6-8, 299-302; T. V. pp. 201, 279-80. The coronation-edict, which formed the basis of all subsequent legislation against heresy, was drawn up by the papal curia, and sent,a fortnight before the ceremony, to the Legate Bishop of Tusculum, with orders to procure the imperial signature and return it, so that it could be published under the emperor's name in the church of St. Peter ( Raynald. ann. 1220, No. 19. -- Hist. Dipl. I. 11. 880). Nothing could seem a plainer duty to an ecclesiastic of the time than that the Church should stimulate the temporal ruler to the sharpest persecution of heresy.
It was doubtless the outlawry of heretics pronounced by the edicts of Frederic which enabled the Inquisition to establish the settled principle that the heretic could be captured and despoiled at any time and by any person, and that the spoiler could retain his goods -- provided always that he was not an official of the Holy Office (Tract. de Inquisitione, Doat, XXXVI.).
ple, September 10, 1255; and in the recension of the laws of Florence made as late as 1355, they still appear as an integral part. Finally, they were incorporated in the latest additions to the Corpus Juris as part of the canon law itself, and, technically speaking, they may be regarded as in force to the present day. *
This virtually provided for a very large portion of Europe, extending from Sicily to the North Sea. The western regions made haste to follow the pious example. Coincident with the Treaty of Paris, in 1229, was an ordonnance issued in the name of the boy-king, Louis IX., giving efficient assistance by the royal officials to the Church in its efforts to purge the land of heresy. In the territories which remained to Count Raymond his vacillating course gave rise to much dissatisfaction, until, in 1234, he was compelled to enact, with the consent of his prelates and barons, a statute drawn up by the fanatic Raymond du Fauga of Toulouse, which embodied all the practical points of Frederic's legislation, and decreed confiscation against every one who failed, when called upon, to aid the Church in the capture and detention of heretics. In the compilations and law books of the latter half of the century we see the system thoroughly established as the law of the whole land, and in 1315 Louis le Hutin formally adopted the edicts of Frederic and made them valid throughout France. †
In Aragon Don Jayme I., in 1226, issued an edict prohibiting all heretics from entering his dominions, probably on account of the fugitives driven out of Languedoc by the crusade of Louis VIII. In 1234, in conjunction with his prelates, he drew up a
* Hist. Diplom. Frid. II. T. II. p. 7. -- Post Libb. Feudorum. -- Post constt. iv. xix. Cod. I. v. -- Innoc. PP. IV. Bull. Cum adversus, 1243, 1252, 1254; Bull. Orthodoxœ, 27 Apr., 14 Maii, 1252. -- Alex. PP. IV. Bull. Cum adversus, 1258. -Ejusd. Bull. Cupientes, 1260. -- Clement. PP. IV. Bull. Cum adversus, 1265. -Wadding. Annal. Minor. ann. 1261, No. 3; ann. 1289, No. 20. -- Urbani PP. IV. Bull. Licet ex omnibus, 1262, § 12. -- Epistt. Sæculi XIII. No. 191 (Monument. Hist. German.). -- Eymerici Direct. Inquis. Ed. Pegnæ, 1607, p. 392, -- Innoc. PP. IV. Bull. Ad aures, 2 Apr. 1253. -- Selopis, Antica Legislazione del Piemonte, p. 440. -- Bernardi Comens. Lucerna Inquisit. s. v. Executio, No. 3. -- Archivio di Firenze, Riformagioni, Classe H. Distinz. 1, No. 14. -- Potthast No. 7672. -- C. 2. in Septimo, v. 3.
† Isambert, Anc. Loix Fran. I. 230-33; III. 126. -- Harduin. Concil. VII. 203-8. -- Guill. de. Pod. Laur. c. 42. -- Établlssements, Liv. I. ch. 85, 123. -- Livres de Jostice et de Plet, Liv. I. Tit. iii. § 7.
series of laws instituting an episcopal Inquisition of the severest character, to be supported by the royal officials; in this appears for the first time a secular prohibition of the Bible in the vernacular. All possessing any books of the Old or New Testament, "in Romancio," are summoned to deliver them within eight days to their bishops to be burned, under pain of being held suspect of heresy. Thus, with the exception of farther Spain and the Northern nations, where heresy had never taken root, throughout Christendom the State was rendered completely subservient to the Church in the great task of exterminating heresy. And, when the Inquisition had been established, the enforcing of this legislation was the peculiar privilege of the inquisitors, whose ceaseless vigilance and unlimited powers gave full assurance that it would be relentlessly carried into effect. *
Meanwhile zeal or jealousy led, in the confusion and uncertainty of this transition period, to the experiment, in several parts of Italy, of a secular Inquisition. In Rome, in 1231, Gregory IX. drew up a series of regulations which was issued by the Senator Annibaldo in the name of the Roman people. Under this the senator was bound to capture all who were designated to him as heretics, whether by inquisitors appointed by the Church or other good Catholics, and to punish them within eight days after condemnation. Of their confiscated property one third went to the detector, one third to the senator, and one third to repairing the city walls. Any house in which a heretic was received was to be destroyed, and converted forever into a receptacle of filth. "Credentes" were treated as heretics, while fautors, receivers, etc., forfeited one third of their possessions, applicable to the city walls. A fine of twenty lire was imposed on any one cognizant of heresy and not denouncing it; while the senator who neglected to enforce the law was subject to a mulct of two hundred marks and perpetual disability to office. To appreciate the magnitude of these fines we must consider the rude poverty of the Italy of the period as described by a contemporary -- the squalor of daily life
* Archives Nat. de France, J. 426, No. 4. -- Martene Ampliss. Collect. VII. 123-4. -- Bernard. Guidon. Practica P. IV. (Coll. Doat, XXX.). -- Clem. PP. IV. Bull. Prœ cunctis, 23 Feb. 1266.
In 1229 the Council of Toulouse had already prohibited all laymen from possessing any of the Scriptures, even in Latin (Concil. Tolosan. ann. 1229, c. 12).
and the scarcity of the precious metals, as indicated by the absence of gold and silver ornaments in the dress of the period. Not satisfied with the local enforcement of these regulations, Gregory sent them to the archbishops and princes throughout Europe, with orders to put them in execution in their respective territories, and for some time they formed the basis of inquisitorial proceedings. In Rome the perquisition was successful, and the faithful were rewarded with the spectacle of a considerable number of burnings; while Gregory, encouraged by success, proceeded to issue a decretal, forming the basis of all subsequent inquisitorial legislation, by which condemned heretics were to be abandoned to the secular arm for exemplary punishment, those who returned to the Church were to be perpetually imprisoned, and every one cognizant of heresy was bound to denounce it to the ecclesiastical authorities under pain of excommunication. *
At the same time Frederic II., who desired to give Rome as little foothold as possible in his Neapolitan dominions, placed the business of persecution there in the hands of the royal officials. In his Sicilian Constitutions, issued in 1231, he ordered his representatives to make diligent inquisition into the heretics who walk in darkness. All, however slightly suspected, are to be arrested and subjected to examination by ecclesiastics, and those who deviate ever so little from the faith, if obstinate, are to be gratified with the fiery martyrdom to which they aspire, while any one daring to intercede for them shall feel the full weight of the imperial displeasure. As the legislation of a freethinker, this shows the irresistible weight of public opinion, to which Frederic dared not run counter. Nor did he allow this to remain a dead letter. A number of executions under it took place forthwith, and two years later we find him writing to Gregory deploring that this had not been sufficient, for heresy was reviving, and that he therefore had ordered the justiciary of each district, in conjunction with some prelate, to renew the inquisition with all activity; the bishops were required to traverse their dioceses thoroughly, in company, when necessary, of judges delegated for the purpose; in
* Raynald. Annal. ann. 1231, No. 13,18. -- Ripoll I. 38. -- Ricobaldi Ferrar. Hist. Impp. ann. 1234. -- Paramo de Orig. Offic. S. Inq. p. 177. -- Richardi di S. Germano Chron. ann. 1231. -- C. 15 Extra v. vii. (In this canon "nolueriut" is evidently an error for "voluerint"). -- Hartzheim Concil. German. III. 540.
each province the General Court held two assizes a year, when heresy was punished like any other crime. Yet, so far from praising this systematized persecution, Gregory replied that Frederic was using pretended zeal to punish his personal enemies, and was burning good Catholics rather than heretics. *
In this confused and irregular striving to accomplish the extirpation of heresy, it was inevitable that the Holy See should intervene, and through the exercise of its supreme apostolic authority seek to provide some general system for the efficient performance of the indispensable duty. The only wonder, indeed, is that this should have been postponed so long and have been at last commenced so tentatively and apologetically.
In 1226 an effort was made to check the rapid spread of Catharista in Florence by the arrest of the heretic bishop Filippo Paternon, whose diocese extended from Pisa to Arezzo. He was tried, in accordance with the existing Florentine statutes, by the bishop and podestà conjointly, when he cut short the proceedings by abjuration, and was released; but he speedily relapsed, and became more odious than ever to the orthodox. In 1227 a converted heretic complained of this backsliding to Gregory IX., and the pontiff, who had just ascended the papal throne, made haste to remedy the evil by issuing a commission, which may be regarded s the foundation of the papal Inquisition. Yet it was exceedingly unobtrusive, though the church of Florence was so directly under papal control. Bearing date June 20, 1227, it simply authorizes Giovanni di Salerno, prior of the Dominican house of Santa Maria Novella, with one of his frati and Canon Bernardo, to proceed judicially against Paternon and his followers and force them to abjuration; acting, in case of obstinacy, under the canons of the Lateran Council, and, if necessary, calling upon the clerks and laymen of the sees of Florence and Fiesole for aid. Thus, while there was no scruple in invading the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Florence, there was no legislation other than the Lateran canons to guide the proceedings. What the commissioners
* Constit. Sicular. Lib. I. Tit. 1. -- Hist. Diplom. Frid. II. T. IV. pp. 435, 444. -- Rich. de S. Germano Chron. ann. 1233. -- Giannone, Istoria Civile di Napoli, Lib. XVII. c. 6; XIX. 5.
accomplished with regard to the inferior heretics is not known. They succeeded in capturing Bishop Paternon and cast him in prison, but he was forcibly rescued by his friends and disappeared, leaving his episcopate to his successor, Torsello. *
Frà Giovanni retained his commission until his death in 1230, when a successor was appointed in the person of another Dominican, Aldobrandino Cavalcanti. Still, their jurisdiction was as yet wholly undetermined, for in June, 1229, we hear of the Abbot of San Miniato carrying to Gregory IX., in Perugia, two leading heretics, Andrea and Pietro, who were forced to a public abjuration in presence of the papal court; and in several cases in 1234 we find Gregory IX. intervening, taking bail of the accused and sending special instructions to the inquisitor in charge. Yet the Inquisition was gradually taking shape, for shortly afterwards there were numerous heretics discovered, some of whom were burned, their trials being still preserved in the archives of Santa Maria Novella. Yet how little thought there could have been of founding a permanent institution is shown, in 1233, by the persecuting statutes drawn up by Bishop Ardingho, approved by Gregory, and ordered by him to be irrevocably inscribed in the statute-book of Florence. In these the bishop is still the persecuting representative of the Church, and there is no allusion to inquisitors. The podestà is bound to arrest any one pointed out to him by the bishop, and to punish him within eight days after the episcopal condemnation, with other provisions borrowed from the edicts of Frederic II. Frà Aldobrandino seems to have relied rather on preaching than on persecution; in fact he nowhere in the documents signed by him qualifies himself as inquisitor, and neither his efforts nor those of Bishop Ardingho were able to prevent the rapid growth of heresy. In 1235, when the project of an organized Inquisition throughout Europe was taking shape, Gregory appointed the Dominican Provincial of Rome inquisitor throughout his extensive province, which embraced both Sicily and Tuscany; but this seems to have proved too large a district, and about 1240 we find the city of Florence under the charge of Frà Ruggieri Calcagni. He was of a temper well fitted to extend the prerogatives of his office and to render it effective; but it was not until 1243 that
* Lami, Antichità Toscane, pp. 493-4, 509-10, 546.
he qualified himself as "Inguisitor Domini Papœ in Tuscia," and in a sentence rendered in 1245 he is careful to call himself inquisitor of Bishop Ardingho as well as of the pope, and recites the episcopal commission given him as authority to act. In the proceedings of this period the rudimentary character of the Inquisition is evident. One confession in 1244 bears only the names of two frati, the inquisitor not being even present. In 1245 there are sentences signed by Ruggieri alone, while other proceedings show him to be acting conjointly with Ardingho. He may be said, indeed, to have given the Inquisition in Florence form and shape when, about 1243, he opened for the first time his independent tribunal in Santa Maria Novella, taking as assessors two or three prominent friars of the convent and employing public notaries to make record of his proceedings. *
This is a fair illustration of the gradual development of the Inquisition. It was not an institution definitely projected and founded, but was moulded step by step out of the materials which lay nearest to hand fitted for the object to be attained. In fact, when Gregory, recognizing the futility of further dependence on episcopal zeal, sought to take advantage of the favorable secular legoislation against heresy, the preaching friars were the readiest instruments within reach for the accomplishment of his object. We shall see hereafter how, as in Florence, the experiment was tried in Aragon and Languedoc and Germany, and the success which on the whole attended it and led to an extended and permanent organization.
The Inquisition has sometimes been said to have been founded April 20, 1233, the day on which Gregory issued two bulls making the persecution of heresy the special function of the Dominicans; but the apologetic tone in which he addresses the prelates shows how uncertain he felt as to their enduring this invasion of their jurisdiction, while the character of his instructions proves that he had no conception of what the innovation was to lead to. In fact, his immediate object seems rather the punishment of priests and other ecclesiastics, concerning whom there was a stand-
* Lami op. cit. 511, 519-22, 528, 531, 543-4, 546-7, 554, 557, 559. -- Archiv. di Firenze. Prov. S. Maria Novella 1227, Giugn. 20; 1229, Giugn. 24; 1235, Agost. 23. -- Ughelli, Italia Sacra, III. 146-7. -- Ripoll I. 60, 71.
ing complaint that they favored heretics by instructing them how to evade examination by concealing their beliefs and feigning orthodoxy. After reciting the necessity of subduing heresy and the raising up by God of the preaching friars, who devote themselves in voluntary poverty to spreading the Word and extirpating misbelief, Gregory proceeds to tell the bishops: "We, seeing you engrossed in the whirlwind of cares and scarce able to breathe in the pressure of overwhelming anxieties, think it well to divide your burdens that they may be more easily borne. We have therefore determined to send preaching friars against the heretics of France and the adjoining provinces, and we beg, warn, and exhort you, ordering you as you reverence the Holy See, to receive them kindly and treat them well, giving them in this, as in all else, favor, counsel, and aid, that they may fulfil their office." The other bull is addressed "to the Priors and Friars of the Order of Preachers, Inquisitors," and after alluding to the sons of perdition who defend heresy, it proceeds: "Therefore you, or any of you, wherever you may happen to preach, are empowered, unless they desist from such defence (of heretics) on monition, to deprive clerks of their benefices forever, and to proceed against them and all others, without appeal, calling in the aid of the secular arm, if necessary, and coercing opposition, if requisite, with the censures of the Church, without appeal." *
This experiment of investing all the Dominican preachers with legatine authority to condemn without appeal was inconsiderate. It could only lead to exasperation, as we shall see hereafter in Germany, and Gregory soon adopted a more practical expedient. Shortly after the issue of the above bulls we find him ordering the Provincial Prior of Toulouse to select some learned friars who should be commissioned to preach the cross in the diocese, and to proceed against heretics in accordance with the recent statutes. Though here there is still some incongruous mingling of duties, yet Gregory had finally hit upon the device which remained the permanent basis of the Inquisition -- the selection by the provincial of certain fitting brethren, who exercised within their prov-
* Ripoll I. 45, 47. -- C. 8 § 8, Sexto v. 2. -- Gregor. PP. XI. Bull. Ille humani generis; Licet ad capiendos. -- Potthast No. 9143, 9152, 9235. -- Arch. de l'Inq. de Carcassonne (Doat, XXXI. 21, 25).
ince the delegated authority of the Holy See in searching out and examining heretics with a view to the ascertainment of their guilt. Under this bull the provincial appointed Friars Pierre Cella and Guillem. Arnaud, whose labors will be detailed in a subsequent chapter. Thus the Inquisition, as an organized system, may be considered as fairly commenced, though it is noteworthy that these early inquisitors in their official papers qualify themselves as acting under legatine and not under papal authority. How little idea there was as yet of creating a general and permanent institution is seen when the Archbishop of Sens complained of the intrusion of inquisitors in his province, and Gregory, by a brief of February 4, 1234, apologetically revoked all commissions issued for it, adding a suggestion that the archbishop should call in the assistance of the Dominicans if he thought that their superior skill in confuting heretics was likely to prove useful. *
As yet there was no idea of superseding the episcopal functions. About this time we find Gregory writing to the bishops of the province of Narbonne, threatening them if they shall not inflict due chastisement on heretics, and making no allusion to the new expedient; and as late as October 1, 1234, Pierre Amiel, Archbishop of Narbonne, exacted an oath from his people to denounce all heretics to him or to his officials, apparently in ignorance of the existence of special inquisitors. Even where the latter were commissioned, their duties and functions, their powers and responsibilities, were wholly undefined and remained to be determined. As they were regarded simply in the light of assistants to the bishops in the exercise of the immemorial episcopal jurisdiction over heresy, it was naturally to the bishops that were referred the questions which immediately arose. Many points as to the treatment of heretics had been settled, not only by Gregory's Roman
* Potthast No. 9263; cf. No. 9386, 9388. -- Guill. de Pod. Laur. c. 43. -- Coll. Doat, XXI. 143,153. -- Ripoll I. 66.
Guillem Arnaud generally qualifies himself as acting under commission from the legate, but sometimes as appointed by the Dominican provincial. In several sentences on the Seigneurs de Niort, in February and March, 1236, he acts with the Archdeacon of Carcassonne, both under legatine authority. As yet there was evidently no settled organization (Coll. Doat, XXI. 160, 163, 165, 166).
statutes of 1231, but by the Council of Toulouse in 1229, and those of Béziers and Arles in 1234, which were solely occupied with stimulating and organizing the episcopal Inquisition, yet matters of detail constantly suggested themselves in practice, and a new code of some kind was evidently required to render persecution effective. The suspension of the Inquisition for some years at the request of Count Raymond postponed this, but when the Holy Office resumed its functions in 1241 the necessity became pressing, and the bishops were looked to as the authority from which such a code should emanate. Sentences rendered in 1241 by Guillem Arnaud recite not only that Bishop Raymond of Toulouse acted as assessor, but that the special advice of the Archbishop of Narbonne had been asked. It was evident that general principles for the guidance of the Inquisition must be laid down, and accordingly a great council of the three provinces of Narbonne, Arles, and Aix was assembled at Narbonne in 1243 or 1244, where an elaborate series of canons were framed, which remained the basis of inquisitorial action. These were addressed to "Our cherished and faithful children in Christ the Preaching Friars Inquisitors;" and though the bishops discreetly say, "We write this to you, not that we wish to bind you down by our counsels, as it would not be fitting to limit the liberty accorded to your discretion by other forms and rules than those of the Holy See, to the prejudice of the business; but we wish to help your devotion as we are commanded to do by the Holy See, since you, who bear our burdens, ought to be, through mutual charity, assisted with help and advice in our own business," yet the tone of the whole is that of absolute command, both in the definition of jurisdiction and the instructions as to dealing with heretics. It is highly significant that, in surrendering control over the bodies of their flocks, these good shepherds strictly reserved to themselves the profits to be expected from persecution, for they straitly enjoined upon the new officials, "You are to abstain from these pecuniary penances and exactions, both for the sake of the honor of your Order, and because you will have fully enough other work to attend to." While thus carefully preserving their financial interests, they abandoned what was vastly more important, the right of passing judgment and imposing sentence. Sentences of this period are rendered in the name of the inquisitors, though if the bishop or other notable per- son took part, as was frequently the case, he is mentioned as an assessor. *
The transfer of the old episcopal jurisdiction over heresy to the Inquisition naturally rendered the connection between bishop and inquisitor a matter of exceeding delicacy, and the new institution could not establish itself without considerable friction, revealed in the varying and contradictory policy adopted at successive periods in adjusting their mutual relations. This renders itself especially noticeable in the development of the Inquisition in the different lands of Europe. In Italy the independence of the episcopate had long since been broken down, and it could offer no efficient opposition to the encroachment on its jurisdiction. In Germany, on the other hand, the lordly prince-bishops looked with jealous eyes on the intruder, and, as we shall see hereafter, never allowed it to obtain a permanent foothold. In France, and more especially in Languedoc, although the prelates were far more independent than those of Italy, the prevalence of heresy required for its suppression a vigilance and an activity far beyond their ability, and they found themselves obliged to sacrifice a portion of their prerogatives in order to escape the more painful sacrifice of performing their long-neglected duties. Yet they did not submit to this without a struggle which may be dimly traced in the successive efforts to establish a modus vevendi between the respective tribunals.
We have just seen that at an early period the inquisitors assumed to render sentences in their own names, without reference to the bishops. This invasion of the latter's jurisdiction was evidently too great an innovation to be permanent; indeed, almost immediately we find the Cardinal Legate of Albano instructing the Archbishop of Narbonne to order the inquisitors not to condemn heretics or impose penances without the concurrence of the bishops. This order had to be repeated and rendered more absolute; and the question was settled in this sense by the Council of Béziers in 1246, where the bishops, on the other hand, surrendered the fines to be used for the expenses of the Inquisition, and drew
* Vaissette, III. Pr. 364, 370-1. -- Concil. Tolosan. ann. 1229. -- Concil. Biterrens. ann. 1234. -- Concil. Arelatens.
ann. 1234. -- Concil. Narboun. ann. 1244. -Coll. Doat, XXI. 143, 155, 158.
up another elaborate series of instructions for the inquisitors, "willingly yielding to your devout requests which you have humbly made to us." For a while the popes continued to treat the bishops as responsible for the suppression of heresy in their respective dioceses, and consequently as the real source of jurisdiction. In 1245 Innocent IV., in permitting inquisitors to modify or commute previous sentences, specified that this must be done with the advice of the bishop. In 1246 he orders the Bishop of Agen to make diligent inquisition against heresy under the rules prescribed by the Cardinal Legate of Albano, and with the same power as the inquisitor to grant indulgences. In 1241 he treats the bishops as the real judges of heresy in instructing them to labor sedulously for the conversion of the convict, before passing sentence involving death, perpetual imprisonment, or pilgrimages beyond seas; even with obstinate heretics they are to consult diligently with the inquisitor or other discreet persons whether to pass sentence or to postpone it, as may best subserve the salvation of the sinner and the interest of the faith. Still, in spite of all this, the sentences of Bernard de Caux, from 1246 to 1248, bear no trace of episcopal concurrence. There evidently was jealousy and antagonism. In 1248 the Council of Valence was obliged to coerce the bishops into publishing and observing the sentences of the inquisitors, by interdicting the entry into their own churches to those who refused to do so, showing that the bishops were not consulted as to the sentences and were indisposed to enforce them. In 1249 we find the Archbishop of Narbonne complaining to the pope that the inquisitor Pierre Durant and his colleagues had, without his knowledge, absolved the Chevalier Pierre de Cugunham, who had been convicted of heresy, whereupon Innocent forthwith annulled their proceedings. In fact the pardoning power seems to have been considered as specially vested in the Holy See, and about this period we find several instances in which it is conferred by Innocent on bishops, sometimes with and sometimes without injunctions to confer with the inquisitors. Finally this question of practice was settled by adopting the habit of reserving in every sentence the right to modify, increase, diminish, or abrogate it. *
* Vaissette, III. 452. -- Concil. Biterrens. ann. 1246. -- Berger, Les Registres
Inasmuch as the inquisitors in 1246 still expected the bishops to defray their expenses, they recognized themselves, at least in theory, as merely an adjunct to the episcopal tribunals. The bishops, moreover, were expected to build the prisons for the confinement of converts, and though they eluded this and the king was obliged to do it, the Council of Albi, held in 1254 by the papal legate, Zoen of Avignon, assumes that the prisons are under episcopal control. The same council drew up an elaborate series of instructions for the treatment of heretics, which marks the termination of episcopal control of such matters, for all subsequent regulations were issued by the Holy See. Even so experienced a persecutor as Bernard de Caux, notwithstanding his neglect of episcopal jurisdiction in his sentences, admitted in 1248 his subordination to the episcopate by applying for advice to Guillem of Narbonne, and the archbishop replied, not only with directions as to special cases, but with general instructions. Indeed, in 1250 and 1251 the archbishop was actively employed in making an inquisition of his own and in punishing heretics without the intervention of papal inquisitors; and a brief of Innocent IV. in 1251 alludes to a previous intention, subsequently abandoned, of restoring the whole business to the bishops. In spite of these indications of reaction the intruders continued to win their way, with struggles, bitter enough, no doubt, in many places, and intensified by the hostility between the secular clergy and the Mendicants, but only to be conjectured from the scattered indications visible in the fragmentary remains of the period. There is an effort to retain vanishing authority in the offer made in 1252 by the bishops of Toulouse, Albi, Agen, and Carpentras to give full authority as inquisitors to any Dominicans who might be selected by the commissioners of Alphonse of Poitiers, only stipulating that their assent must be asked to all sen-
d'Innocent IV. No. 2043, 3867, 3868. -- Arch. de l'Inq. de Carcass. (Doat, XXXI. 68, 74, 75, 77, 80, 152, 182). -- Potthast No. 12744, 15805. -- MSS. Bib. Nat., fonds latin, No. 9992. -- Concil. Valentin. ann. 1248 c. 10. -- Baluz. Conc. Narbonn. App. p. 100.
The system devised by the councils of Languedoc became generally current. In 1248 Innocent IV. ordered the Archbishop and Inquisitor of Narbonne to send a copy of their rules of procedure to the Provincial of Spain and Raymond of Pennaforte, to be followed in the Peninsula (Baluz. et Mansi I. 208); and their canons are frequently cited in the manuals of the mediæval Inquisition.
tences, and promising to observe in all cases the rules established by the Inquisition. This question of episcopal concurrence in condemnations evidently excited strong feeling and was long contested with varying success. If previous orders requiring it had not been treated with contempt, Innocent IV. would not have been obliged, in 1254, to reiterate the instructions that no condemnations to death or life-imprisonment should be uttered without consulting the bishops; and in 1255 he conjoined bishop and inquisitor to interpret in consultation any obscurities in the laws against heresy and to administer the lighter penalties of deprivation of office and preferment. This recognition of episcopal jurisdiction was annulled by Alexander IV., who, after some vacillation, in 1257 rendered the Inquisition independent by releasing it from the necessity of consulting with the bishops even in cases of obstinate and confessed heretics, and this he repeated in 1260. Then there was a reaction. In 1262 Urban IV., in an elaborate code of instructions, formally revived the consultation in all cases involving the death-penalty or perpetual imprisonment; and this was repeated by Clement IV. in 1265. Either these instructions, however, were revoked in some subsequent enactment or they soon fell into desuetude, for in 1273 Gregory X., after alluding to the action of Alexander IV. in annulling consultation, proceeds to direct that inquisitors in deciding upon sentences shall proceed in accordance with the counsel of the bishops or their delegates, so that the episcopal authority may share in decisions of such moment. Up to this period the Inquisition seems to have been regarded as merely a temporary expedient to meet a special exigency, and every pope on his accession had issued a series of bulls renewing its provisions. Heresy, however, was apparently ineradicable; the populations had accepted the new institution, and its usefulness had been proved in many ways besides that of preserving the purity of the faith. Henceforth it was considered a permanent part of the machinery of the Church, and its rules were definitely settled. Gregory's decision in favor of concurrent episcopal and inquisitorial action in all cases of condemnation consequently remained unaltered, and we shall see hereafter that when Clement V. endeavored to check the more scandalous abuses of inquisitorial power, he sought the remedy, insufficient enough, in some slight increase of episcopal supervision and responsibility, following in this an effort in the same direction which had been essayed by Philippe le Bel. Yet when bishop and inquisitor chanced to be on good terms, the slender safeguard thus afforded for the accused was eluded by one of them giving to the other power to act for him, and cases are on record in which the bishop acts as the inquisitor's deputy, or the inquisitor as the bishop's. The question as to whether either of them could render without the other a valid sentence of absolution was one which greatly vexed the canonists, and names of high repute are ranged on either side, with the weight of authority inclining to the affirmative. *
The control of the bishops was vastly increased, at least in Italy, over the vital question of expenditures, when Nicholas IV., in 1288, ordered that all moneys arising from fines and confiscations should be deposited with men selected jointly by the inquisitor and bishop, to be expended only with the advice of the latter, to whom accounts were to be rendered regularly. This was a serious limitation of inquisitorial independence, and it was not of long duration. The bishops soon made use of their supervisory power to demand a share of the spoils under pretext of conducting inquisitions of their own. The quarrel was an unseemly one, and Benedict XI., in 1304, put an end to it by annulling the regulations of his predecessor. The bishops were prohibited from requiring accounts, and these were ordered to be rendered to the papal camera or to special papal deputies. ‡
If there was this not unnatural vacillation in regulating the delicate relations of these competing jurisdictions, there was none whatever in regard to those between the Inquisition and society at large. Even in its early years of tentative existence and uncertain
* Concil. Biterrens. ann. 1246. -- Arch. de l'Inq. de Carcass. (Doat, XXVII. 7, 156; XXX. 107-9; XXXI. 149, 180, 216). -- Vaissette, III. Pr. 479, 496-7. -- Martene Thesaur. I. 1045. -- Ripoll I. 194. -- Innoc, PP. IV. Bull. Licet ex omnibus, 30 Mai, 1254. -- Concil. Albiens. ann. 1254 c. 24. -- Alex. PP. IV. Bull. Licet ex omnibus, 20 Jan. 1257; Ejusd. Bull. Ad capiendum, ann. 1257. -- Clement. PP. IV. Bull. Licet ex omnibus, 17 Sept. 1265. -- Gregor. PP. X. Bull. Prœ cunctis mentis, 20 Apr. 1273. -- Lib. Sententt. Inq. Tolosan. passim. -- C. 17 Sexto v. 2. -- Eymeric. Direct. Inq. p. 580. -- Albert. Repert. Inq. s. v. Episcopus. -- Zanchini Tract. de Hæret. xv. -- Isambert, II. 747. -- Pegnæ Comment. in Eymeric. p. 578.
‡ Wadding. Annal. Minorum ann. 1288, No. 17. -- C. 1 Extrav. Commun. v. iii.
organization it developed such abundant promise of usefulness in bringing the secular laws to bear upon heresy that means were sought to give it a fixed organization which should render it still more efficient in its functions both of detection and punishment. The death of Frederic II., in 1250, in removing the principal antagonist of the papacy, offered the opportunity of giving practical enforcement to his edicts, and accordingly, May 15, 1252, Innocent IV. issued to all the potentates and rulers of Italy his famous bull, Ad extirpanda, a carefully considered and elaborate law which should establish machinery for systematic persecution as an integral part of the social edifice in every city and every state, though the uncertain way in which bishop, inquisitor, and friar are alternately referred to in it shows how indefinite were still their respective relations and duties in the matter. All rulers were ordered in public assembly to put heretics to the ban, as though they were sorcerers. Any one finding a heretic could seize him, and take possession of his goods. Each chief magistrate, within three days after assuming office, was to appoint, on the nomination of his bishop and of two friars of each of the Mendicant Orders, twelve good Catholics with two notaries and two or more servitors whose sole business was to arrest heretics, seize their goods, and deliver them to the bishop or his vicars. Their wages and expenses were to be defrayed by the State, their evidence was receivable without oaths, and no testimony was good against the concurrent statement of any three of them. They held office for six months, to be reappointed or replaced then, or at any time, on demand of the bishop and friars; they were entitled to one third of the proceeds of all fines and confiscations inflicted on heretics; they were exempt from all public duties and services incompatible with their functions, and no statutes were to be passed interfering with their actions. The ruler was bound when required to send his assessor or a knight to aid them, and every inhabitant when called upon was obliged to assist them, under a heavy penalty. When the inquisitors visited any portion of the jurisdiction they were accompanied by a deputy of the ruler elected by themselves or by the bishop. In each place visited, this official was to summon under oath three men of good repute, or even the whole vicinage, to reveal any heretics within their knowledge, or the property of such, or of any persons holding secret conventicles or differing in life or manners from the ordinary faithful. The State was bound to arrest all accused, to hold them in prison, to deliver them to the bishop or inquisitor under safe escort, and to execute within fifteen days, in accordance with Frederic's decrees, all judgments pronounced against them. The ruler was further required, when called upon, to inflict torture on those who would not confess and betray all the heretics of their acquaintance. If resistance was made to an arrest, the community where it occurred was liable to an enormous fine unless it delivered up to justice within three days all who were implicated. The ruler was required to have four lists made out of all who were defamed or banned for heresy; this was to be read in public thrice a year and a copy given to the bishop, one to the Dominicans and one to the Franciscans; he was likewise to execute the destruction of houses within ten days of sentence, and the exaction of fines within three months, throwing in prison those who could not pay and keeping them until they should pay. The proceeds of fines, commutations, and confiscations were divisible into three parts, one enuring to the city, one to those concerned in the business, and the remainder to the bishop and inquisitors to be expended in persecuting heresy.
The enforcement of this stupendous measure was provided for with equally careful elaboration. It was to be inscribed ineffaceably in all the local statute-books, together with all subsequent laws which the popes might issue, under penalty of excommunication for recalcitrant officials, and interdict upon the city. Any attempt to alter these laws consigned the offender to perpetual infamy and fine, enforced by the ban. The rulers and their officials were to swear to their observance under pain of loss of office; and any neglect in their enforcement was punishable as perjury with perpetual infamy, a fine of two hundred marks, and suspicion of heresy involving loss of office and disability for all official position in future. Every ruler, within ten days after assuming office, was required to appoint, on the nomination of the bishop or the Mendicants, three good Catholics, who under oath were to investigate the acts of his predecessor and prosecute him for any failure of obedience. Moreover each podestà at the beginning and end of his term was required to have the bull read in all places that might be designated by the bishop and inquisitors, and to erase from the statute-books all laws in conflict with them. At the same time
Innocent issued, instructions, to the inquisitors to enforce by excommunication the embodiment of this and of the edicts of Frederic in the statutes of all cities and states, and he soon after conferred on them the dangerous power of interpreting, in conjunction with the bishops, all doubtful points in local laws on the subject of heresy.
These provisions are not the wild imaginings of a nightmare, but sober matter-of-fact legislation shrewdly and carefully devised to accomplish a settled policy, and it affords us a valuable insight into the public opinion of the day to find that there was no effective resistance to its acceptance. Before the death of Innocent IV., in 1254, he made one or two slight modifications suggested by experience in its working. In 1266, 1256, and 1257 Alexander IV. revised the bull, explaining some doubts which had arisen, and providing for the enforcement in all cases of the appointment of examiners of rulers going out of office, and in 1259 he reissued the bull as a whole. In 1265 Clement IV. again went over it carefully, making some changes, principally in adding the words "inquisitors" in passages where Innocent had only designated the bishops and friars, thus showing that the Inquisition had during the interval established itself as the recognized instrumentality in the persecution of heresy; and the next year he repeated Innocent's emphatic order to the inquisitors to enforce the insertion of his legislation and that of his predecessors upon the statute-books everywhere, with the free use of excommunication and interdict. This shows that it had not been universally accepted with alacrity, but the few instances which we find recorded of refusal show how generally it was submitted to. Thus in 1256 Alexander IV. learned that the authorities of Genoa were recalcitrant, and he promptly ordered the censure and interdict if they did not comply within fifteen days; and in 1258 a similar course was observed with those of Mantua; while the retention of the bull-in the statutes of Florence as late as the recension of even in the midst of incongruous legislation, shows, how literally the papal mandates had been obeyed for a century. *
* Innoc. PP. IV. Bull. Ad extirpanda, ann, 1252 (Mag. Bull. Roman. I. 91). -Ejusd. Bull, OrthodoU+053 1252 ( Ripoll I. 208, ef. VII. 28). --Ejusd. Bull. Ut commissum, 1254 (Ibid. I. 250). -- Ejusd. Bull. Volentes, 1254 (Ib. I. 251). -- Ejusd. Bull.
In Italy this furnished the Inquisition with a completely organized personnel paid and sustained by the State, rendering it a substantive institution armed with all the means and appliances necessary for the thorough performance of its work. Whether the popes ever endeavored to render the bulls operative elsewhere does not appear, but if they did so they failed, for the measure was not recognized as in force beyond the Alps. Yet this was scarce necessary so long as public law and the conservative spirit of the ruling class everywhere rendered it the highest duty of the citizen of every degree to aid in every way the business of the inquisitor, and pious monarchs hastened to enforce the obligation of their subjects. By the terms of the Treaty of Paris all public officials were obliged to aid in the inquisition and capture of heretics, and all inhabitants, males over fourteen years of age and females over twelve, were to be sworn to reveal all offenders to the bishops. The Council of Narbonne in 1229 put these provisions in force; that of Albi in 1254 included inquisitors among those to whom the heretic was to be denounced, and it freely threatened with the censures of the Church all temporal seigneurs who neglected the duty of aiding the Inquisition and of executing its sentences of death or confiscation. The aid demanded was freely given, and every inquisitor was armed with royal letters empowering him to call upon all officials for safe-conduct, escort, and assistance in the discharge of his functions. In a memorial dated about 1317 Bernard Gui says that the inquisitors make under these letters full use of the baillis, sergeants, and othee officials, both of the king and of the seigneurs, without which they would accomplish little. This was not confined to France, for Eymerich, writing in Aragon, in-
Cum venerabilis, 1253 (Mag. Bull. Roman. I. 93-4). -- Ejusd. Bull. Cum in constitutionibus, 1254 (Pegnæ App. p. 19). -- Alex. PP. IV. Bull. Cum secundum, 1255 (M. B. R. I. 106). -- Ejusd. Bull. Exortis in agro, 1256 (Pegnæ App. p. 20). -- Ejusd. Bull. Exortis in agris, 1256 ( Ripoll I. 297). -- Ejusd. Bull. Delecti filii, 1256 ( Ripoll I. 312). -- Ejusd. Bull. Cum vos, 1256 ( Ripoll I. 314). -- Ejusd. Bull. Fœlicis recordationis, 1257 (M. B. R. I. 106). -- Ejusd. Bull. Implacida, 1257 (M. B. R. I. 113). -Ejusd. Bull. Implacida, 1258 (Potthast No. 17302). -- Ejusd. Bull. Ad extirpanda, 1239 (Pegnæ App. p. 30). -- Clement. PP. IV. Bull. Ad extirpanda, 1265 (M. B. R. I. 148-51). -- Ejusd. Bull. Ad extirpanda, 1266 (Pegnæ App. p. 43). -- Archivio di Firenze, Riformagioni, Classe II. Distinzione, 1, No. 14.
About 1330 Bernard Gui (Practica P. IV. -- Coll. Doat, XXX.) quotes the provisions of the bull as still among the privileges of the Italian inquisitors.
forms us that the first act of the inquisitor on receiving his commission was to exhibit it to the king or ruler, and ask and exhort him for these letters, explaining to him that he is bound by the canons to give them if he desires to avoid the numerous penalties decreed in the bulls Ad abolendam and Ut inquisionis. His next step is to exhibit these letters to the officials and swear them to obey him in his official duties to the utmost of their power. Thus the whole force of the State was unreservedly at command of the Holy Office. Not only this, indeed, but every individual was bound to lend his aid when called upon, and any slackness of zeal exposed him to excommunication as a fautor of heresy, leading after twelve months, if neglected, to conviction as a heretic, with all its tremendous penalties. *
The right to abrogate any laws which impeded the freest exercise of the powers of the Inquisition was likewise arrogated on both sides of the Alps. When, in 1257, Alexander IV. heard with indignant emotion that Mantua had adopted certain damnable statutes interfering with the absolutism of the Inquisition, he straightway ordered the Bishop of Mantua to investigate the matter, and to annul anything which should impede or delay its operations, enforcing his action by excommunicating the authorities and laying an interdict on the city. This was simply in furtherance of the bull Ad extirpanda, but in 1265 Urban IV. repeated the order and made it universally applicable, and it was carried into the canon law as the expression of the undoubted rights of the Church. This rendered the Inquisition virtually supreme in all lands, and it became an accepted maxim of law that all statutes interfering with the free action of the Inquisition were void, and those who enacted them were to be punished; where such laws existed the inquisitor
* Bernard. Guidon. Gravamina (Coll. Doat, XXX. 90 sqq.). -- Concil. Narbonn. ann. 1229 c. 1, 2. -- Concil. Albiens. ann. 1254 c. 3, 5, 8. -- Archives de l'Inq. de Carcass. (Doat, XXX. 110-11, 127; XXXI. 250). -- Vaissette, III. Pr. 528-9,536. -Archivio di Napoli, Registro 6, Lett. D. fol. 180. -- Eymerici Direct. Inquis. pp. 390-1, 560-1. -- Bernardi Guidon. Practica P. IV. (Doat, XXX.).
It was sometimes a work of some labor and time for the inquisitor to obtain his royal letters-patent. When, in 1269, the Franciscans Bertrand de Roche and Ponce des Rives were appointed inquisitors of Forcalquier, they were obliged to travel to Palermo, where Charles of Anjou happened to be residing, and whence he gave them letters, August 4, 1269, to his seneschal and other officials. -- Archivio di Napoli, Registro 6, Lett. D, fol. 180. -- Cf. Regist. 20, Lett. B, fol. 91.
was instructed to have them submitted to him, and if he found them objectionable the authorities were obliged to repeal or modify them. It was not the fault of the Church if a bold monarch like Philippe le Bel occasionally ventured to incur divine vengeance by protecting his subjects. *
Beyond the Alps there was no legal responsibility admitted, as in Italy, to defray the expenses of the Inquisition by the State. This is a subject which will be treated more fully hereafter, and meanwhile I may briefly state that royal generosity was amply sufficient to keep the organization in effective condition. Its necessary expenses were exceedingly small. The Dominican convents furnished buildings in which to hold its tribunals. The public officials were bound under royal order and the tremendous penalties involved in suspicion of heresy to render service whenever called upon. If the bishops had neglected the duty of establishing and maintaining prisons, the royal zeal had stepped in, had built them and had kept them up. In 1317 we learn that during the past eight years the king had spent the large sum of six hundred and thirty livres tournois on that of Toulouse alone, and he also regularly paid the jailers. Besides this, the inquisitors, whenever they needed aid and counsel, were empowered to summon experts to attend them and to enforce obedience to the summons. There was no exception of dignity or station. All the learning and wisdom of the land were made subservient to the supreme duty of suppressing heresy and were placed gratuitously at the service of the Inquisition; and any prelate who hesitated to render assistance of any kind when called upon was threatened in no gentle terms with the full force of the papal vengeance. ‡
That the powers thus conferred on the inquisitors were real and not merely theoretical we see in 1260 in the case of Capello di Chia, a powerful noble of the Roman province, who incurred the suspicion of heresy, was condemned, proscribed, and his lands confiscated. He refused to submit, when Frà Andrea, the inquisitor, called for assistance on the citizens of the neighboring town of
* Mag. Bull. Roman. I. 118. -- C. 9 Sexto v. 1. -- Zanchini Tract. de Hæret. c. xxxi. -- Cf. Eymerici Direct. Inq. p. 561.
-- Bernardi Comens. Lucerna Inquisit. s. v. Statutum.
‡ Bernard. Guidon. Gravam. (Doat, XXX. 107-9). -- Alex. PP. IV. Bull. Cupientes, 15 Apr. 1255; Ejusd. Bull. Exortis in agro, 15 Mar. 1256.
Viterbo, and they obeyed him by raising an army with which he marched to besiege Capello in his castle of Colle-Casale. Capello had craftily conveyed his lands to a Roman noble named Pietro Giacomo Surdi, and the pious enterprise of the Viterbians was arrested by a command from the senator of Rome forbidding violence to the property of a good Catholic Roman citizen. Then Alexander IV. intervened, ordering Surdi to withdraw from the quarrel, as his claim to the castle was null and void. He likewise commanded the senator to abandon his indefensible position, and warmly thanked the Viterbians for the zeal and alacrity with which they had obeyed the summons of Frà Andrea. Frà Andrea, in fact, had only exercised the power which Zanghino declares to be inherent in the office of inquisitor, of levying open war against heretics and heresy. *
In the exercise of this almost limitless authority, inquisitors were practically relieved from all supervision and responsibility. Even a papal legate was not to interfere with them or inquire into heresy within their inquisitorial districts. They were not liable to excommunication while in discharge of their duties, nor could they be suspended by any delegate of the Holy See. If such a thing were attempted, the excommunication or suspension was pronounced void, unless, indeed, it was issued by special command of the pope. Already, in 1245, they were empowered to absolve their familiars for any excesses, and in 1261 they were authorized to absolve each other from excommunication for any cause; which, as each inquisitor usually had a subordinate associate ready to perform this office for him, rendered them virtually invulnerable. Moreover, they were released from all obedience to their provincials and generals, whom they were even forbidden to obey in anything relating to the business of their office, and they were secured from any attempt to undermine them with the curia by the enormous privilege of being able to go to Rome at any time and to stay there as long as they might see fit, even in spite of prohibition by provincial or general chapters. At first their commissions were thought to expire with the death of the pope who issued them, but in 1267 they were declared to be continuously valid. ‡
* Pegnæ Append. ad Eymeric. pp. 37-8. -- Zanchini Tract. de Hæret. c. xxxvii.
‡ Arch. Nat. de France, J. 431, No. 23. -- Innoc. PP. IV. Bull. Devotionis, 2 Mai.
It is curious that the question whether the commission of an inquisitor did not expire with the death of the appointing pope was still considered in doubt as late as 1290, when it was settled in favor of permanence by Nicholas IV. in the bull Ne aliqui (Potthast No. 23302). In the earlier period Alexander IV. shortly after his accession, in 1255, considered it necessary to renew the commission of even so distinguished an inquisitor as Rainerio Saccone ( Ripoll I. 275). The question of the removability of inquisitors was one which bore directly upon their subordination or independence, and was the subject of much conflicting legislation. When the power of appointment was first conferred upon the provincials it carried with it authority to remove and replace them after consultation with discreet brethren; and in 1244 Innocent IV. declared that the provincials and generals of the Mendicant Orders had full power to remove, revoke, supersede, and transfer all members of their orders serving as inquisitors, even when commissioned by the pope. Some ten years later the vacillating policy of Alexander IV. indicates an earnest effort on the part of the inquisitors to obtain independence. In 1256 he asserted the removing power of the provincials; July 5, 1257, he withdrew their power, and December 9, of the same year, he reaffirmed it in his bull Quod super nonnullis, which was repeatedly reissued by himself and his successors. Later popes issued conflicting orders, until at length Boniface VIII. decided in favor of the removing power; but the inquisitors claimed that it could only be exercised for cause and after due trial, which practically reduced it to a nullity. It is true that in the reformatory effort of Clement V. ipso facto excommunication, removable only by the pope, was provided for three crimes of inquisitors -- falsely prosecuting or neglecting to prosecute for favor, enmity, or profit, for extorting money, and for confiscating church property for the offence of a clerk -- but these provisions, although they called forth the earnest protest of Bernard Gui, only amounted to a declaration of what was desirable, and were of no practical effect. *
1245 (Coll. Doat, XXXI. 70). -- Berger, Registres d'Innoc. IV. No. 1963. -- Ripoll I. 132; II. 594, 610, 644. -- Alex. PP. IV. Bull. Ut negotium, 5 Mart. 1261. -- Urbani PP. IV. Bull. Ut negotium, 4 Aug. 1262. -- Mag. Bull. Roman. I. 116, 120, 126, 139, 267, 420. -- C. 10 Sexto v. 2. -- Potthast No. 13057, 18389, 18419, 19559. -- Bern. Guidon. Practica, P. IV. (Doat, XXX.). -- Eymeric. Direct. Inquis. pp. 136, 137.
* Coll. Doat, XXXI. 73; XXXII. 15,105. -- Alex. PP. IV. Bull. Odore suavi,13
The Franciscans endeavored to reduce their inquisitors to subjection by the expedient of issuing commissions for a limited term. Thus in 1320 the General Michele da Cesena adopted the term of five years, which seems to have long continued the rule, for in 1375 we see Gregory XI. requesting the Franciscan general to keep in office as inquisitor of Rome Frà Gabriele da Viterbo on account of his eminent merits. In 1439 a commission as inquisitor of Florence, issued to Frà Francesco da Michele, to take effect on the expiration of the term of the incumbent, Frà Jacopo della Biada, indicates that appointments were still for specified times, although in 1432 Eugenius IV. had conferred on the Franciscan general, Guglielmo di Casale, full power of appointment and removal. The Dominicans do not seem to have adopted this expedient, and no precautions of any kind were available to enforce subordination and discipline in view of the constant interference of the Holy See, which doubtless could always be obtained by those who knew how to approach it. Commissions were continually issued directly by the pope, and those who held them seem not to have been removable by any one else. Even when this was not done, it mattered little that the popes admitted the power of the provincials to remove, when they interposed to nullify its exercise. In 1323 John XXII. gave to Frà Piero da Perugia, inquisitor of Assisi, letters which protected him from suspension and removal. In 1339 we happen to hear of Giovanni di Borgo removed by the Franciscan general and replaced by Benedict XII. Even more subversive of discipline was the case of Francisco de Sala, appointed by the provincial of Aragon, removed by his successor, and reinstated by Martin V. in 1419, with a provision of inamovability by any superior of his Order. Yet in 1439 Eugenius IV., and in 1474 Sixtus IV. renewed the provisions of Clement IV. rendering inquisitors removable at will by both generals and provincials; and in 1479, Sixtus IV., to impress them with some sense of responsibility, adopted the expedient of requiring all complaints against them to be brought before the general of the Order to
Mai. 1256; Ejusd. Bull. Catholicœ fidei, 15 Jul. 1257; Ejusd. Bull. Quod super nonnullis, 9 Dec. 1257; Ejusd. Bull.
Meminimus, 13 Apr. 1258. -- Clem. PP. IV. Bull. Licet ex omnibus, 30 Sept. 1265. -- C. 1, 2, Clementin. v. 2. -- Bern. Guidon. Gravam. (Doat, XXX. 114).
which they belonged, to whom was confided power of punishment up to removal. * The natural result of this conflicting legislation was that the inquisitors held themselves accountable to their superiors only for their actions as friars and not as inquisitors; in the latter capacity they acknowledged responsibility only to the pope, and they asserted that the power of removal could only be exercised in cases of inability to act through sickness, age, or ignorance. Their vicars and commissioners they held to be completely beyond any jurisdiction but their own, and any attempt on the part of a provincial to remove such a subordinate was to be met with a prosecution for suspicion of heresy, as an impeding of the Inquisition, to be followed by excommunication, when, if this was endured for a year, it was to be ended by condemnation for heresy. Men armed with these tremendous powers, and animated with this resolute spirit, were not lightly to be meddled with. The warmth with which Eymerich argues the subject suggests the character of the struggle continually going on between the provincials and their appointees, and the conclusions to which he arrives indicate the temper in which the latter vindicated their independence. The grave abuses and disorders to which this led obliged John XXIII. to intervene and declare that the inquisitors should in all things be subject and obedient to their superiors. The Great Schism, however, had weakened the papal authority, and this injunction met with scant respect, so that one of the first utterances of Martin V., in 1418, when the Church was reunited at Constance, was to repeat the order, and to prescribe implicit obedience to it. Yet, as in the matter of removals, the insatiable greed of the curia was a fatal obstacle to the enforcement of subordination, for those who were commissioned directly by the pope could not be expected to endure subjection to the officials of their Orders. ‡
From Eymerich's remarks we see that an inquisitor was bound
* Wadding. ann. 1323, No. 17; ann. 1327, No. 5; ann. 1339, No. 1; ann. 1347, No. 10, 11; ann. 1375, No. 30; ann. 1432, No. 10, 11; ann. 1474, No. 17-19. -Archivio di Firenze, Prov. del Convento di S. Croce 26 Ott. 1439. -- Ripoll II. 324, 421, 570-1. -- Sixti PP. IV. Bull. Sacri, 16 Jul. 1479, § 11.
‡ Eymeric. pp. 540-9, 553. -- Archivio di Firenze, Prov. del. Conv. di. S. Croce, 1418.
to have little hesitation in prosecuting his superior. His jurisdiction, in fact, was almost unlimited, for the dread suspicion of heresy brought, with few exceptions, all mankind to a common level, and suspicion of heresy was to be technically inferred from anything which affected the dignity or crossed the purposes of those who carried on the Inquisition. Even the jealously-guarded right of asylum in the churches was waived in its favor, and the immunities of the Mendicant Orders gave them no exemption from its jurisdiction. Kings, themselves, were subject to this jurisdiction, though Eymerich discreetly observes that in their case it is more prudent to inform the pope and await his instructions. Yet one exception there was. The episcopal office still retained enough of its earlier dignity to render its possessor exempt unless the inquisitor was furnished with special papal letters. It was his duty, however, in case a bishop was suspected of vacillating in the faith, to collect with diligence all the evidence procurable, and to forward it to Rome for examination and decision -- a duty in the exercise of which he could render himself abundantly disagreeable, and even dangerous. The choleric John XXII., in 1327, introduced another exemption when provoked by the arrogance of the Sicilian inquisitor, Matthieu de Pontigny, who dared to excommunicate Guillaume de Balet, archdeacon of Fréjus, papal chaplain and representative of the Avignonese papacy in the Campagna and Maritima. The angry pope issued a decretal forbidding all judges and inquisitors to attack in any way the officials and nuncios of the Holy See without special letters of authority -- but the mere audacity of the attempt shows the height of presumption to which the members of the Holy Office had attained. That laymen learned to address them as "your religious majesty" shows the impression made on the popular mind by their irresponsible supremacy. *
If bishops were exempt from judgment by the Inquisition they were not released from obedience to the inquisitors. In the ordinary papal commission issued to the latter, archbishops, bishops,
* Eymerici Direct. Inquis. p. 559. -- Greg. PP. X. Bull. 20 Apr. 1273 (Martene Thes. V. 1821). -- Zanchini de Hæret. c. viii. -- Johann. PP. XXII. Bull. Ex parte vestra, 3 Jul. 1322 ( Wadding. III. 291). -- C. 16 Sexto v. 2. -- C. 3 Extrav. Commun. v. 3. -- Arch. de l'Inq. de Carcassonne (Doat, XXVIL. 204).
abbots, and other prelates are commanded to obey them in all concerning their office, under pain of excommunication, suspension, and interdict. That this was not a mere idle form is manifest by the tone of arrogant domination in which the inquisitors issued their commands to episcopal officials. Though the papal superscription to the bishop was "venerable brother" and to the inquisitor "cherished son," yet the inquisitors held that they were superior to the bishops, as being direct delegates of the Holy See, and that if any one were cited simultaneously by a bishop and an inquisitor he must first attend to the summons of the latter. The inquisitor was to be obeyed as the pope himself, and this supremacy included the bishop. This formed part of the papal policy, for the inquisitor was a convenient instrument to reduce the episcopate to subjection. Thus in 1296 Boniface VIII., in giving directions to the bishops to suppress certain irregular and unauthorized hermits and mendicants, enclosed copies of the bull to the inquisitors with instructions to stimulate the bishops to their duty and to report to him all who showed themselves negligent. In spite of the assumed superiority of the inquisitor, however, the Inquisition was very commonly used as a stepping-stone to the episcopate. It is not easy to set bounds to the sources of influence which the office placed within reach of an ambitious man, and this influence was constantly employed to procure promotion into the ranks of the hierarchy. Instances of this are too frequent to be specified, commencing with the earliest inquisitors, Frà Aldobrandino Cavalcanti of Florence, who became Bishop of Viterbo, while his successor, Frà Ruggieri Calcagni, in 1245, was rewarded with the bishopric of Castro in the Maremma. I need only refer to the case of Florence, in 1343, where the inquisitor, Frà Andrea da Perugia was advanced to the episcopate and was succeeded by Frà Pietro di Aquila, who in 1346 was made Bishop of Santangelo dei Lombardi. His successor was Frà Michele di Lapo, and in 1350 we find the Signiory writing to the pope with the request that he be placed in the bishopric of Florence, which had become vacant. The office also afforded opportunities of promotion within the Orders which were not neglected. Thus in a list of Dominican provincials of Saxony in the latter half of the fourteenth century, three who occupied that post in succession from 1369 to 1382, Walther Kerlinger, Hermann Helstede, and Heinrich von Albrecht, are all described as having been previously inquisitors. *
It is not to be imagined that this gigantic structure which overshadowed Christendom was allowed to establish itself wholly without opposition, despite the favor of popes and kings. When we come to consider the details of its history we shall find numerous cases of popular resistance, desperate and isolated struggles, crushed remorselessly before revolt could so extend as to become dangerous. It required, indeed, courage to foolhardiness for any one to raise hand or voice against an inquisitor, no matter how cruel or nefarious were his actions. Under the canon law, any one, from the meanest to the highest, who opposed or impeded in any way the functions of an inquisitor, or gave aid or counsel to those who did so, became at once ipso facto excommunicate. After the lapse of a year in this condition he was legally a heretic to be handed over without further ceremony to the secular arm for burning, without trial and without forgiveness. The awful authority which thus shrouded the inquisitor was rendered yet more terrible by the elasticity of definition given to the crime of impeding the Holy Office and the tireless tenacity with which those guilty of it were pursued. If friendly death came to shield them, the Inquisition attacked their memories, and visited their offences upon their children and grandchildren. ‡
All unorganized efforts of insubordination were easily repressed. Had the bishops united in resistance, they could readily have prevented the serious encroachment on their jurisdiction and influence, and have saved their flocks from the horrors in store for them. There was no unity of action, however, among the prelates. Some
* Pegnæ App. ad. Eymeric. pp. 66-7. -- Arch. de l'Inq. de Carcass. (Doat, XXXII. 143, 147). -- Eymeric. Direct. Inq. pp. 537-8. -- Albert. Repert. Inq. Ed. 1494, s. v. Delegatus. -- Franz Ehrle, Archiv für Litteratur- u. Kirchengeschichte, 1886, p. 158. -- Lami, Antichità Toscane, p. 583. -- Archivio di Firenze, Riformagioni, Classe V. No. 129, fol. 46, 62-70.
-- Martene Ampl. Collect. VI. 344.
‡ MSS. Bib. Nat., fonds latin, No. 4270, fol. 146. In the trial of Friar Bernard Délicieux, in 1319, it was held that he was guilty of "impeding" the Inquisition because, among other acts, he had been concerned in enlarging somewhat the powers of the agents appointed by the city of Albi to prosecute their appeal to Pope Clement V. against their bishop and inquisitor (Ib. fol. 165).
of them were honest fanatics who welcomed the Holy Office and assisted it in every way. Others were indifferent. Multitudes, engrossed in worldly cares and quarrels, were rather glad to be relieved of duties which were onerous and for which they had neither learning nor leisure. If any foresaw the end from the humble beginning, none dared to raise a voice against what was everywhere regarded by pious souls as supplying the most urgent need of the time. Still, that the episcopate at large looked with disfavor on these new functions and activities of the upstart Mendicants there can be no doubt, although jealousy could only manifest itself through a futile pretence to discharge the neglected duties in which the Mendicants had been summoned to replace them. Accordingly we find a certain bustling show of activity in ordering perquisition against heretics by the old device of the synodal witnesses, in the Council of Tours in 1239, that of Béziers in 1246, that of Albi in 1254; while that of Lille (Venaissin) in 1251 made a bolder effort to recover lost ground by not only ordering the bishops to make searching inquisition in their dioceses, but by demanding from the Inquisition the surrender of all its records to the Ordinaries; and when this failed the Council of Albi, in 1254, made a fruitless effort to obtain duplicate copies. The spirit in which the rival tribunals regarded each other is seen in the complaint of an inquisitor, not long after 1250, that heretics were encouraged and rendered audacious by the constant attacks and detraction to which the inquisitors were exposed, as being fools, and negligent and slow, and incapable of bringing any affair to a termination, as punishing the innocent and allowing the guilty to escape. These slanders, he says, proceed from judges, both secular and ecclesiastical, who profess great zeal for the extermination of heresy, but who are really impelled by covetousness for bribes, or who are secretly inclined to heresy, or have friends or relatives who are heretics or suspected of heresy. Evidently there was little love lost between the old organization and the new. *
If any thought existed of combined opposition, outside of Ger-
* Concil. Turonens. ann. 1239 c. 1. -- C. Biterrens. ann. 1246 c. 1. -- C. Albiens. ann. 1254 c. 1, 21. -- C. Insulan. ann. 1251 C. 2. -- Tract. de Paup. de Lugduno ( Martene Thesaur. V. 1793).
many, it might well be thrown aside as impracticable after the spectacle of the defeat of the University of Paris on its own ground by the Mendicants. The jealousy perpetually fed by the constant encroachments of the inquisitors could only find vent in obscure squabbles wherein the final decision of the Holy See could always be confidently reckoned upon as against the episcopate. In 1330 we see the inquisitor, Henri de Chamay, complaining to John XXII. that the Bishop of Maguelonne was interfering with the free exercise of his office in Montpellier, on the ground of certain papal privileges granted him, when the pope at once instructs him to proceed without hesitation and to disregard the bishop's pretensions. Such a decision was a foregone conclusion, as the Archbishop of Narbonne and all his suffragans found in 1441, when they united in addressing Eugenius IV., complaining of the exorbitant pretensions of the Inquisition, and asking him to delay action till they should send him full details. Without waiting to hear their specific charges, he replied that the inquisitor had already accused them of impeding him in his office and with vexing him with proceedings and suits at law. There is no business, he added, of greater importance to the Church than the destruction of heresy, and no way to win his favor more efficacious than by aiding the Inquisition. It had been organized for the purpose of relieving bishops of a portion of their cares, and any interference with it would be visited with his displeasure. In the present case, for the sake of concord, the inquisitor would revoke the grievances complained of, and the pope pronounced all suits against him quashed and extinguished. Evidently in any contest the odds were too great against the episcopate, and the danger of systematic opposition too real, to render any organized antagonism feasible. How completely the papacy regarded the Inquisition as an instrumentality for furthering its schemes of aggrandizement is seen when, on the outbreak of the Great Schism, inquisitors were required to take a formal feudal oath of fidelity to the pope appointing him and to his successors. *
With so little to check and so much to stimulate, the spread of
* Arch. de l'Inq. de Carcass. (Doat, XXXV. 85, 184). -- Ripoll II. 299, 311; III. 135.
the Inquisition was rapid throughout most of the lands of Christendom. I shall have occasion hereafter to trace its vicissitudes in the principal centres of its activity, and need here only indicate the limits of its extension.
The northern nations were too far removed from the focus of heresy to be exposed to aberrations from the faith at the time when papal supremacy found its most useful instruments in the Mendicant inquisitors. Consequently the papal Inquisition cannot be said to have had an existence in the British Islands, Denmark, or Scandinavia. The edicts of Frederic II. had no currency there; and when, in 1277, Robert Kilwarby, Archbishop of Canterbury, and the masters of Oxford denounced certain errors springing from the Averrhoist doctrines; when, in 1286, Archbishop Peckham condemned the heresy of Friar Richard Crapewell, and in 1368 Archbishop Langham denounced as heretical thirty articles of scholastic speculation, even had there been martyrs ready there were no laws under which to punish them, although lawyers had sought to introduce the penalty of the stake, and it had once been inflicted by a council of Oxford, in 1222, on a clerk who had apostatized to Judaism. We shall see hereafter that in the affair of the Templars the papal Inquisition was found necessary to procure condemnation, but even then it was so opposed to the character of English institutions that it worked defectively and disappeared as soon as the occasion for its temporary introduction passed away. When Wickliff came and was followed by Lollardry, the English conceptions of the relations between Church and State had already become such that there was no thought of applying to Rome for a special tribunal with which to meet the threatened danger. The statute of May 25, 1382, directs the king to issue to his sheriffs commissions to arrest Wickliff's travelling preachers, and aiders and abettors of heresy, and to hold them till they justify themselves "selone reson et la ley de seinte esglise;" and, in the following July, royal letters ordered the authorities of Oxford to make inquisition for heresy throughout the university. The weakness of Richard II. allowed the Lollards to become a powerful political as well as religious party, but their chances disappeared with the revolution which placed Henry IV. on the throne. The support of the Church was a necessity to the new dynasty, which lost no time in earning its gratitude.
After the burning of Sawtré by a royal warrant confirmed by Parliament, in 1400, the statute "de hæretico comburendo" for the first time inflicted in England the death-penalty as a settled punishment for heresy. It restricted preaching to the beneficed curates and those ex officio privileged, it forbade the dissemination of heretical opinions and books, empowered the bishops to seize all offenders and hold them in prison until they should purge themselves or abjure, and ordered the bishops to proceed against them within three months after arrest. For minor offences the bishops were empowered to imprison during pleasure and fine at discretion -- the fine enuring to the royal exchequer. For obstinate heresy or relapse, involving under the canon law abandonment to the secular arm, the bishops and their commissioners were the sole judges, and, on their delivery of such convicts, the sheriff of the county or the mayor and bailiffs of the nearest town were obliged to burn them before the people on an eminence. Henry V. followed this up, and the statute of 1414 established throughout the kingdom a sort of mixed secular and ecclesiastical inquisition for which the English system of grand inquests gave especial facilities. Under this legislation burning for heresy became a not unfamiliar sight to English eyes, and Lollardry was readily suppressed. In 1533 Henry VIII. repealed the statute of 1400, while retaining those of 1382 and 1414, and also the penalty of burning alive for contumacious heresy and relapse, and the dangerous admixture of politics and religion rendered the stake a favorite instrument of statecraft. One of the earliest measures of the reign of Edward VI. was the repeal of this law, as well as of those of 1382 and 1414, together with all the atrocious legislation of the Six Articles. With the reaction under Philip and Mary came a revival of the sharp laws against heresy. Scarce had the Spanish marriage been coacluded when an obedient Parliament reenacted the legislation of 1382, 1400, and 1414, which afforded ample machinery for the numerous burnings which followed. The earliest act of the first Parliament of Elizabeth was the repeal of the legislation of Philip and Mary and of the old statutes which it had revived; but the writ de hœretico comburendo had become an integral part of English law and survived until the desire of Charles II. for Catholic toleration caused him, in 1676, to procure its abrogation and the restraint of the ecclesiastical courts "in cases of atheism, blasphemy, heresy, and schism and other damnable doctrines and opinions" to the ecclesiastical remedies of "excommunication, deprivation, degradation, and other ecclesiastical censures not extending to death." Scotland was more tardy than England in humanitarian development, but the last execution for heresy in the British Islands was that of a youth of eighteen, a medical student named Aikenhead, who was hanged in Edinburgh in 1696. *
In Ireland the fiery temper of the Franciscan, Richard Ledred, Bishop of Ossory, led him into a prolonged struggle with presumed heretics -- the Lady Alice Kyteler, accused of sorcery, and her accomplices. So little was known in Ireland of the laws concerning heresy that at first the secular officials refused contemptuously to take the oath prescribed by the canons to aid inquisitors in their persecuting duties, but Ledred finally obliged them to do so and had the satisfaction of burning some of the accused in 1325. He incurred, however, the enmity of the chief personages of the island, leading to a counter-charge of heresy against himself. For years he was obliged to live in exile, and it was not till 1354 that he was able to reside quietly in his diocese, though in 1335 we find Benedict XII. writing to Edward III., deploring the absence in England of so useful an institution as the Inquisition, and urging him to order the secular officials to lend efficient aid to the pious Bishop of Ossory in his struggles with the heretics, of whom the most exaggerated description is given. Even Alexander, Archbishop of Dublin, in 1347, was declared to have been a fautor of heresy because he interfered with Ledred's violent proceedings; and, in 1351, his successor, Archbishop John, was directed to take active measures to punish those who had escaped from Ossory and had taken refuge in his see. ‡
It is true that when the Hussite troubles became alarming and
* D'Arggentré, Collect. Judie. I. 1. 185, 234. -- Harduin. Concil. VII. 1065-8, 1864. -- Capgrave's Chronicle, ann. 1286. -- Nic. Trivetti Chron. ann. 1222 (D'Achery III. 188). -- Bracton. Lib. III. Tit. ii. cap. 9, § 2. -- Myrror of Justice, cap. I. § 4, cap. II. § 22; cap. IV. § 14-5 Rich. II. c. 5. -- Rymer's Fœdera, VII. 363, 447, 458-2 Henr. IV. c. 15-Concil. Oxoniens. ann. 1408 c. 13. -- 2 Henr. V. c. 7. -- 25 Henr. VIII. c. 14. -- 1 Edw. VI. c. 12, § 3-1 Eliz. c. 1, § 15-29 Car. II. c. 9.-London Athenæum, May 31, 1873; Nov. 29, 1884.
‡ Wright, Proceedings against Dame Alice Kyteler, Camden Soc. 1843. -Wadding. Annal. ann. 1317, No. 56; ann. 1335, No. 5, 6. -- Theiner Monument. Hibern. et Scotor. No. 531-2, p. 269; No. 570-1, p. 286; No. 599, p. 299.
there was danger that the disaffection might spread to the North, Martin V., in 1421, authorized the Bishop of Sleswick to appoint a Franciscan, Friar Nicholas John, as inquisitor for Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, but there is no trace of his activity in those regions, and the Inquisition may be considered as non-existent there. *
As the mediæval missions for the conversion of schismatics and heathen were exclusively Dominican and Franciscan, the churches which they built up, however slender in membership, were nevertheless completely equipped with apparatus for preserving the orthodoxy of converts, and thus we read of Inquisitions in Africa and Asia. Friar Raymond Martius is honored as the founder of the Inquisition in Tunis and Morocco. About 1370 Gregory XI. appointed the Dominican Friar John Gallus as inquisitor in the East, who in conjunction with Friar Elias Petit planted the institution, as we are told, in Armenia, Russia, Georgia, and Wallachia, while Upper Armenia was similarly provided by Friar Bartolomeo Ponco. On the death of Friar Gallus, Urban VI., about 1378, applied to the Dominican general to select three brethren to serve as inquisitors, one in Armenia and Georgia, one in Greece and Tartary, and one in Russia and the two Wallachias; and in 1389 one of these, Friar Andreas of Caffa, obtained the privilege of appointing an associate in his extensive province of Greece and Tartary. In the fourteenth century an inquisitor seems to have been regarded as a necessary portion of the missionary outfit. Even in the fabled Ethiopian empire of Prester John we hear of an Inquisition founded in Abyssinia by the Dominican Friar, St. Pantaleone, and another in Nubia by Friar Bartolomeo de Tybuli, who was also honored as a saint in those regions. Grotesque as all this sounds, one cannot help honoring the unselfish zeal of the men who thus devoted themselves to the diffusion of the gospel among barbarous Gentiles, and one can find comfort in the conviction that their Inquisitions were comparatively harmless so long as they were not backed by the terrible laws of a Frederic II. or of a St. Louis. ‡
Even the decaying fragments of the Kingdom of Jerusalem
* Wadding. Annal. ann. 1421, No. 1.
‡ Paramo, pp. 252-3. -- Monteiro, Historia da Santo Inquisição, P. I. Lib. I. c. 59. -- Ripoll II. 299, 310; III. 9, 110.
could not be allowed burial without an inquisitor to attend the obsequies. The misfortunes of war, according to Nicholas IV., the first Franciscan pope, gave opportunity for the growth of heresy and Judaism. Therefore, in 1290, he granted full powers to his legate, Nicholas, Patriarch of Jerusalem, to appoint inquisitors, with the advice of the Mendicant provincials. This was accordingly done, but the fatherly care of Nicholas was a trifle tardy. The capture of Acre, May 19, 1291, drove the Christians finally from the Holy Land, and the career of the Syrian Inquisition was therefore of the briefest. It was revived, however, in 1375, by Gregory XI., who empowered the Franciscan provincial of the Holy Land to act as inquisitor in Palestine, Syria, and Egypt, to check the too prevalent apostasy of the Christian pilgrims who continued to flock to those regions. *
It is not to be supposed that the triumph of the Inquisition over the bishops gave to it a monopoly of persecution. The ordinary episcopal jurisdiction remained intact. About 1240 we see the Bishop of Toulouse and his provost conducting, without the aid of an inquisitor, an inquest for heresy upon the powerful seigneurs de Niort. Bishops who were zealous were frequently seen co-operating with inquisitors in the examination of heretics, as well as holding their own inquisitions. Thus, in a number of cases occurring at Albi in 1299, we find the trials held in the episcopal palace before the bishop, assisted sometimes by Nicholas d'Abbeville, inquisitor of Carcassonne, and sometimes by Bertrand de Clermont, inquisitor of Toulouse, and sometimes by both. At first, as we have seen, the inquisitor was only the assistant of the bishop, and the latter was by no means relieved of his duties and responsibilities in the extermination of heresy. In fact the bishops themselves sometimes appointed inquisitors of their own in order to operate more efficiently; and the names of such functionaries acting for the archbishops of Narbonne appear in documents of 1251 and 1325. There was nothing, moreover, to prevent a zeal-
* Wadding. ann. 1290, No. 2; ann. 1375, No. 27, 28.
It is worthy of note that in the Latin kingdom of Jerusalem heresy seems to have been justiciable by the lay court, and the heretic knight was entitled to be judged by his peers. -- Assises de Jerusalem, Haute Court, c. 318 (Ed. Kausler, Stuttgart, 1838, p. 367-8).
ous prelate, who thought less of the dignity of his order than the suppression of heresy, from accepting a commission as inquisitor from the pope, as was the case with Guillem Arnaud, Bishop of Carcassonne, who, during his episcopate, lasting from 1249 to 1255, presided over the tribunal of Carcassonne with an energy that Dominicans might have envied. *
Yet, as the Inquisition achieved its independence of the episcopate, two concurrent jurisdictions could hardly coexist without jarring, even when both were animated by the desire of harmony: when jealousy and rivalry were strong, quarrels were inevitable. It was even hinted that bishops, desiring to preserve friends from the zeal of the inquisitors, would prosecute them in their own courts to preserve them from the rigorous impartiality of the Holy Office. To settle the questions which thus were constantly arising, Urban IV., in 1262, empowered the inquisitors to proceed in all cases at their discretion, whether or not these were also under examination by the bishops; and this was repeated in 1265 and 1266 by Clement IV., with strong injunctions to the inquisitors that they were not to allow their processes to be impeded by concurrent action of the bishops. In 1273 Gregory X. laid down the same rule; and it became the settled practice of the Church, embodied in the canon law, that both courts could simultaneously try the same case, communicating at intervals their proceedings to each other. Mutual conference, moreover, was necessary at the final sentence, and when they could not agree a full statement had to be submitted to the pope for decision. Even when proceeding alone and by his ordinary authority, the bishop was obliged to call in the concurrence of an inquisitor when he rendered sentence. ‡
* Trésor des Chartes du Roi en Carcassonne (Doat, XXI. 34-49). -- Lib. Confess. Inquis. Albiæ (MSS. Bib. Nat., fonds latin, 11847). -- Archives Nat. de France, J. 431, No. 22-29. -- Vaissette, III. 446. -- Coll. Doat, XXVII. 161. -- Molinier, L'Inquisition, dans le midi de la France, Paris, 1880, pp. 275-6.
‡ Mag. Bull. Roman. I. 122. -- Wadding. Annal. ann. 1265, No. 3. -- Arch. de l'Inq. de Carcassonne ( Coll. Doat, XXXII. 32). -- Martene Thesaur. V. 1818. -- C. 17 Sexto v. 2. -- C. 1 Extrav. Comm. v. 3. -- Eymeric. Direct. Inquis. pp. 539, 580-1. -- C. 1, § 1, Clement. v. 3.
Urban's bull of 1262 is virtually the same as his "Prœ cunctis" of 1264, printed by Boutaric, Saint-Louis et Alph. de Toulouse, pp. 443 sqq.
During this period, at one time, it became a question whether the episcopal jurisdiction over heresy was not completely superseded by the papal commission given to an inquisitor to act in his diocese. Gui Foucoix, the foremost jurist of his day, in his "Quxstiones," which long remained an authority in the inquisitorial tribunals, answered this question in the affirmative, and argued that the bishop was debarred from action by the special delegation of papal powers to the inquisitor. Yet, when Gui became pope, under the name of Clement IV., his bulls of 1265 and 1266, quoted above, show that he abandoned this position, and Gregory X. also expressly declared that the diocesan jurisdiction was not interfered with. Still the question was regarded as doubtful by canon lawyers, and for a period the episcopal jurisdiction sank almost into abeyance. There were few more active prelates in his day than Simon, Archbishop of Bourges, who, from 1284 to 1291, made repeated visitations of his southern dioceses, such as Albi, Rodez, Cahors, etc. Yet, in the records of these visitations, there is no allusion to his taking any cognizance of heresy, unless, indeed, his forcing, in 1085, a number of usurers of Gourdon to abjure be assumed as such, though usury was not justiciable by the Inquisition unless it became heresy by the assertion of its legality. About 1298, however, Boniface VIII. reasserted the jurisdiction of the episcopate, and we see Bernard de Castanet, Bishop of Albi, stirring up a revolt among his flock by the energy with which he scourged the heretics of Albi. Soon afterwards Clement V. enlarged the functions of the episcopate as a means of curbing the atrocities of the Inquisition, and the glossators argued that the appointment of inquisitors in no way relieved the bishop from the duty of investigating and suppressing heresy in his diocese -- indeed, he was liable to deposition by the pope for negligence in this respect, though he was shielded by his position from prosecution by the inquisitor. Yet, even after the Clementines, Bernard Gui asserts it to be improper for the episcopal ordinary to cite any one who is already before the Inquisition. Still, if the power of the bishop had been limited by requiring him to consult with the inquisitor before rendering sentence, it had been enlarged in another direction by authorizing him to summon witnesses as well as offenders who had fled to other dioceses. There was one discrimination, however, against the bishop which handicapped him heavily. His attempts to get a share of the proceeds of fines and confiscations to meet the expenses of prosecution were ineffectual. He was told that he and his officials had revenues for the functions of the Church, and these must suffice to pay him for the service. Ingenious dialecticians reasoned this away as far as regards the bishop when he acted personally, but it held good against his officials. To the latter it was not encouraging to be urged to work and pay their own costs, while the inquisitor, at least in Italy, had control of the confiscations, without accountability to the bishop. *
Under the legislation of Boniface VIII. and Clement V. it was natural that the first quarter of the fourteenth century should witness a revival of the episcopal Inquisition. Even in Italy the provincial Council of Milan, held at Bergamo in 1311 under the Archbishop Gastone Torriani, organized a thorough system of inquisition on the model of the papal institution. The growing
* Vaissette, III. 515. -- Archidiac. Gloss. sup. c. 17, 20 Sexto v. 2. -- Harduin. VII. 1017-19. -- C. 17, 19 Sexto v. 2. -- C. 1, Clement. v. 3. -- Concil. Melodun. ann. 1300, No. 4. -- Bernard. Guidon. Hist. Conv. Albiens. (Bouquet, XXI. 767).
-- Albert. Repert. Inquis. s. v. Episcopus. -- Guid. Fulcod. Quæst. I. -- Ripoll I. 512; VII. 53. -- Joann. Andreæ Gloss. sup. c. 13 § 8 Extra. v. vii. -- Eymeric. Direct. Inquis. pp. 626, 637, 650. -- C. 1 Extrav. cominun. v. 3. -- Bernard. Guidon. Practica P. IV. (Doat, XXX.). -- Bernardi Comens. Lucerna Inquis. s. v. Bona hœreticorum.
As early as 1257 we find that the Inquisition had already extended its jurisdiction over usury as heresy ( Alex. PP. IV. Bull. Quod super nonnullis [Arch. de l'Inq. de Carcass. Doat, XXXI. 244] -- a bull which was repeatedly reissued. See Raynald. Annal. ann. 1258, No. 23; Potthast Regesta 17745, 18396; Eymeric. Direct. Inquis. Ed. Pegnæ, p. 133. Cf. c. 8 § 5 Sexto v. 2). The Council of Lyons, in 1274 (can. 26, 27), in treating of usury, alludes only to its punishment by the Ordinaries. The Council of Vienne, in 1311, directed inquisitors to prosecute those who maintained that usury is not sinful (c. 1 § 2 Clementin. v. 5); but Eymerich (Direct. Inquis. p. 106) deprecates attention to such matters as an interference with the real business of the Inquisition. Zanghino lays down the rule that a man may be a public usurer, or blasphemer, or fornicator without being a heretic, but if he, in addition; manifests contempt for religion by not frequenting divine service, receiving the sacrament, observing the fasts and other ordinances of the Church, he becomes suspect of heresy, and can be prosecuted by the inquisitors (Zanchini Tract. de Hæres. c. xxxv.).
We shall see that usury became a very profitable subject of exploitation by the Inquisition when the diminution of heresy deprived it of its legitimate field of action. As the offence was one cognizant by the secular courts (see Vaissette, IV. 164), there was really no excuse for the exercise of spiritual jurisdiction over it.
power of the Visconti, hostile to the papacy, had greatly crippled the Dominicans, and a vigorous effort was made to replace them. In every town the arch-priest or provost was instructed to raise an armed guard, whose duty was the ceaseless perquisition of heresy, and whose privileges and immunities were the same as those of the familiars of the Dominican inquisitors; and all citizens, from the noble to the peasant, were summoned to lend assistance, when called upon, under significant threats. In France some proceedings, in 1319 and 1320, at Béziers, Pamiers, and Montpellier show the episcopal courts in full activity, with the occasional appearance of an inquisitor in a subordinate capacity as assistant, or of an episcopal inquisitor as a colleague of equal rank with those who acted under papal authority. In fact we find one such, in 1322, representing the see of Ausch, contending with the great Bernard Gui himself over a prisoner whom they both claimed. When, also, in 1319, the great opponent of the Inquisition, Friar Bernard Délicieux, was to be tried for impeding it, John XXII. appointed a special commission for the work, consisting of the Archbishop of Toulouse and the Bishops of Pamiers and St. Papoul, while one of the most experienced inquisitors of the time, Jean de Beaune of Carcassonne, acted as prosecutor, and not as judge. *
In Germany, about the same time, there was a sudden development of episcopal activity in the prosecutions of the Beghards by the Bishop of Strassburg and the Archbishop of Cologne, leading to a fair trial of strength between the hierarchy and the Dominicans in the case of Master Eckhart, the teacher of Suso and Tauler and the founder of the German mystics. He was looked upon with pride by the whole Order as one of its most prominent members. He had taught theology with applause in the great University of Paris; in 1303, when Germany was divided into two provinces, he had been made the first provincial Prior of Saxony; in 1307 the general had appointed him Vicar of Bohemia. In 1326 we find him, as teacher of theology in the Dominican school of Cologne, falling under suspicion of complicity with the heresy of the Beghards, against whom a sharp persecution was ragging. His
* Coll. Doat, XXVII. 7; XXXIV. 87. -- Concil. Bergamens. ann. 1311, Rubr. 1. -- MSS. Bib. Nat. Coll. Moreau. 1274, fol. 72. -- Lib. Sententt. Inq. Tolosan, pp. 268, 282, 351-2.
lofty mysticism trenched dangerously on their pantheism, and possibly they may have sought to shelter themselves behind his great name. At the general chapter of 1325 complaints had been made that in Germany members of the Order preached to the people in the vulgar tongue doctrines that might lead to error, and Gervaise, Prior of Angers, was ordered to investigate them; while, about the same time, John XXII., in concurrence with the wishes of the Order, appointed Nicholas of Strassburg, lector or teacher of the Cologne Dominicans, as his inquisitor for the province of Germany, to inquire into the faith and life of the brethren. Thus far everything had been kept within the precincts of the Order, but the archbishop was growing hot in his pursuit of the Beghards. He evidently was dissatisfied with what was on foot, and he appointed two episcopal commissioners or inquisitors to look after Master Eckhart. Nicholas of Strassburg was himself inclined to mysticism; every motive conspired to lead him to deal tenderly with the accused, and Eckhart was accordingly acquitted, in July, 1326. The episcopal inquisitors were not content with this (one of them was a Franciscan), and proceeded to take evidence against Eckhart. After six months, on January 14, 1327, they summoned Nicholas, as was their right, to communicate to them his proceedings. He came, accompanied by ten friars, not to obey the command, but to enter a solemn protest against the whole business, demanding his "Apostoli," or letters of appeal to the pope, on the ground that Dominicans were not subject to the episcopal Inquisition, and that he in especial was an inquisitor appointed by the pope with full jurisdiction. As early as 1184 Lucius III. had abolished all immunities of monastic orders in cases of heresy, but the Dominicans were of later origin, they had been strengthened with special privileges, and they claimed this exemption although they could not prove it.
The episcopal inquisitors promptly answered this by commencing the same day an action against Nicholas himself, who on the morrow interjected an appeal to the Holy See. They further summoned Master Eckhart to appear before them on January 31, but on the 24th he came with numerous supporters and filed an indignant protest, in which he complained bitterly of their protracting the proceedings for the purpose of ruining his reputation, in place of pushing them to an end, as they could readily have done six months before; besides, they were using for the same purpose certain vile Dominicans who were notorious for their crimes. He demanded his "Apostoli," and named May 4 as the term for prosecuting the appeal in the Roman court. To this the archiepiscopal inquisitors had by law thirty days to reply, and during the interval, on February 13, he took an extra-judicial step, which seems to show how greatly his reputation had suffered by these proceedings, and which has given rise to the assertion that he recanted his errors. After preaching in the Dominican church he caused a paper to be read in which he exculpated himself to the people from the erroneous doctrines attributed to him -- denying that he had said that his little finger had created all things, or that there was in the soul something uncreated and uncreatable. At the expiration of the thirty days, on February 22, the archiepiscopal inquisitors rejected Eckhart's appeal as frivolous. Worn out with the controversy, he died soon after, but his Order had sufficient influence with John XXII. to obtain an evocation of the case to Avignon. There the regularity of the archbishop's action was recognized, and on March 27, 1329, judgment was rendered, defining in Eckhart's teachings seventeen heretical articles and eleven suspect of heresy. Although his assumed recantation saved his bones from exhumation and incremation, the result was none the less a full justification of the archbishop's proceedings. For once the old order had triumphed over the new. The episcopal jurisdiction was confirmed, for Eckhart's heresy was declared to have been proved both by the inquisition held by the archbishop under his ordinary authority, and by the investigation subsequently made in Avignon by papal command, and the decision was the more emphatic, since John XXII. had at the moment every motive to soothe the Dominicans, involved as he was in mortal struggle at once with Louis of Bavaria and with the whole puritanic section of the Franciscans. *
* W. Preger, Meister Eckart und die Inquisition, München, 1869. -- Denifle, Archiv für Litteratur- und Kirchengeschichte, 1886, pp. 616, 640. -- Raynald. ann. 1329, No. 70-2. -- Gustav Schmidt, Päbstliche Urkunden und Regesten, Halle, 1886, p. 223. -- Cf. Eymeric. Direct. Inquis. pp. 453 sqq.
The power of the Inquisition over the specially exempted orders of the Mendicants varied at times. Jurisdiction was conferred by Innocent IV., in 1254, by the bull Ne comissum vobis ( Ripoll I. 252). About two hundred years later, Pius II. placed the Franciscans under the jurisdiction of their own minister-gen-
The episcopal Inquisition was thus fairly re-established as part of the recognized organization of the Church. The Council of Paris in 1350 treats of the persecution of heresy as part of the recognized duties of the bishop, and instructs the Ordinaries as to their powers of arrest and authority to call upon the secular officials for assistance in precisely the same terms as the Inquisition might do. A brief of Urban V. in 1363 refers to a knight and five gentlemen suspected of heresy, then in the custody of the Bishop of Carcassonne, and orders their trial by the bishop or inquisitor, or by both conjointly, the result to be referred to the papal court. When a bishop had spirit to resist the invasion of his rights by an inquisitor, he was able to make them respected. In 1423 the Inquisitor of Carcassonne had gone to Albi, where he swore in two notaries and some other officials to act for him; he had then taken certain evidence relating to a case before him, and had sworn the witnesses to secrecy in order that the accused might not receive warning. Of all this the Bishop of Albi complained as an invasion of his jurisdiction. The swearing in of the officials he claimed should only have been done in presence of his ordinary or of a deputy; the secrecy imposed on the witnesses was an impediment to his own inquisitorial procedure, as depriving him of evidence in the event of his prosecuting the case. The points were somewhat nice, and illustrate the friction and jealousy inseparable from the concurrent and competing jurisdictions; but in the present case, to avoid unseemly strife, the Bishop of Carcassonne was chosen as arbitrator, the inquisitor acknowledged himself in the wrong and annulled his acts, and a public instrument was drawn up in attesta-
eral. In 1479 Sixtus IV., by the golden bull Sacri prœdicatorum, § 12, forbade all inquisitors from prosecuting members of the other Order (Mag. Bull. Roman. I. 420). Soon afterwards Innocent VIII. prohibited all inquisitors from trying Franciscan friars; but, with the rise of Lutheranism, this became inexpedient, and in 1530 Clement VII., in the bull Cum sicut, § 2, removed all exemptions, and again made all justiciable by the Inquisition (Mag. Bull. Rom. I. 681), which was repeated by Pius IV. in the bull Pastoris œterni, in 1562 ( Eymeric. Direct. Inq. Append. p. 127; Pegnæ Comment. p. 557). Whether a bishop could proceed against an inquisitor for heresy was a debatable question, and one probably never practically tested. Eymerich holds that he could not, but must refer the matter to the pope; but Pegna, in his commentaries, quotes good authorities to the contrary ( Eymeric. op. cit. pp. 558-9).
tion of the settlement. Yet in spite of these inevitable quarrels a modus vivendi was practically established. Eymerich, writing about 1375, almost always represents the bishop and inquisitor as co-operating together, not only in the final sentence, but in the preliminary proceedings; he evidently seeks to represent the two powers as working harmoniously for a common end, and that the Inquisition in no way superseded the episcopal jurisdiction or relieved the bishop from the responsibility inherent in his office. A century later Sprenger, in discussing the jurisdiction of the Inquisition from the standpoint of an inquisitor, takes virtually the same position; and the commissions issued to inquisitors usually contained a clause to the effect that no prejudice was intended to the inquisitorial jurisdiction of the Ordinaries. In the habitual negligence of the episcopal officials, however, the inquisitors found little difficulty in trespassing upon their functions, and complaints of this interference continued until the eve of the Reformation. *
Technically there was no difference between the episcopal and papal Inquisitions. The equitable system of procedure borrowed from the Roman law by the courts of the Ordinaries was cast aside, and the bishops were permitted and even instructed to follow the inquisitorial system, which was a standing mockery of justice -perhaps the most iniquitous that the arbitrary cruelty of man has ever devised. In tracing the history of the institution, therefore, there is no distinction to be drawn between its two branches, and the exploits of both are to be recorded as springing from the same impulses, using the same methods, and leading to the same ends. ‡
Yet the papal Inquisition was an instrument of infinitely greater efficiency for the work in hand. However zealous an episcopal official might be, his efforts were necessarily isolated, temporary, and spasmodic. The papal Inquisition, on the other hand, constituted
* Concil. Parisiens. ann. 1350 c. 3, 4. -- Arch. de l'Inq. de Carcassonne (Doat, XXXV. 132). -- Archives de l'Évêché d' Albi (Doat, XXXV. 187). -- Eymerici Direct. Inquis. p. 529. -- Sprengeri Mall. Maleficar. P. III. Q. 1. -- Ripoll II. 311, 324, 351. -Comel. Agrippæ de Vanitate Scientiarum, cap. XCVI. Yet a bull of Nicholas V. to the inquisitor of France in 1451 seems to render him independent of episcopal co-operation ( Ripoll III. 301).
‡ C. 17 Sexto v. 2. -- See the "Modus examinandi hæreticos" printed by Gretser (Mag. Bib. Patrum XIII. 341) prepared for a German episcopal Inquisition.
a chain of tribunals throughout Continental Europe perpetually manned by those who had no other work to attend to. Not only, therefore, did persecution in their hands assume the aspect of part of the endless and inevitable operations of nature, which was necessary to accomplish its end, and which rendered the heretic hopeless that time would bring relief, but by constant interchange of documents and mutual co-operation they covered Christendom with a network rendering escape almost hopeless. This, combined with the most careful preservation and indexing of records, produced a system of police singularly perfect for a period when international communication was so imperfect. The Inquisition had a long arm, a sleepless memory, and we can well understand the mysterious terror inspired by the secrecy of its operations and its almost supernatural vigilance. If public proclamation was desired, it summoned all the faithful, with promises of eternal life and reasonable temporal reward, to seize some designated heresiarch, and every parish priest where he was suspected to be in hiding was bound to spread the call before the whole population. If secret information was required, there were spies and familiars trained to the work. The record of every heretical family for generations could be traced out from the papers of one tribunal or another. A single lucky capture and extorted confession would put the sleuth-hounds on the track of hundreds who deemed themselves secure, and each new victim added his circle of denunciations. The heretic lived over a volcano which might burst forth at any moment. During the fierce persecution of the Spiritual. Franciscans in 1317 and 1318 a number of pitying souls had assisted fugitives, had stood by the pyres of their martyrs and had comforted them in various ways. Some had been suspected, had fled and changed their names: others had remained in favoring obscurity; all might well have fancied that the affair was forgotten. Suddenly, in 1325, some chance -- probably the confession of a prisoner -- placed the Inquisition on their track. Twenty or more were traced out and seized. Kept in prison for a year or two, their resolution broke down one by one; they successively confessed their half-forgotten guilt and were duly penauced. Even more significant was the case of Guillelma Maza of Castres, who lost her husband in 1302. In the first grief of her widowhood she was induced to listen to the teachings of two Waldensian missionaries whose exhortations brought her comfort. They visited her but twice, in the darkness of the night; she never saw their faces nor those of others. After twenty-five years of orthodox observance, in 1327, she is brought before the Inquisition of Carcassonne, confesses this single aberration from the faith, and repents. Unforgiving and unforgetting, no trifle was beneath the minute vigilance of the Holy Office. Thus in the case of Manenta Rosa, who, in 1325, was called before it at Carcassonne on the mortal charge of relapse, the prosecution was because, after having abjured the heresy of the Spirituals, she had been seen talking with a man who was under suspicion and had sent by him two sols to a sick woman likewise suspect. *
Flight was of little avail. Descriptions of heretics who disappeared were sent throughout Europe, to every spot where they could be supposed to seek refuge, putting the authorities on the alert to search for every stranger who wore the air of one differing in life and conversation from the ordinary run of the faithful. News of captures was transmitted from one tribunal to another, evidence of guilt was furnished, or the hapless victim was returned to the spot where his extorted evidence would be most effective in implicating others. In 1287 an arrest of heretics at Treviso included some from France. Immediately the French inquisitors request that they be sent to them, especially one who ranked as bishop among the Cathari, for they may be induced to reveal the names of many others; and Nicholas IV. forthwith sends instructions to Friar Philip of Treviso to deliver them, after extracting all he can from them, to the messenger of the French Inquisition. Well might the orthodox imagine that only the hand of God, the heretic that only the inspiration of Satan, could produce such results as would follow the return of these poor wretches. To human apprehension the papal Inquisition was well-nigh ubiquitous, omniscient, and omnipotent. ‡
Occasionally, it is true, the efficiency of the organization was marred with quarrels. Antagonisms could not always be avoided, and the jealousy and mutual dislike of the Dominican and Franciscan Orders would sometimes interfere with the harmony essential to mutual co-operation. I have already alluded to the troubles arising from this cause at Marseilles in 1266 and at Verona in 1291.
Coll. Doat, XXXVII. 7; XXIX. 5.
Coll. Doat, XXX. 132; XXXII. 155.
A further symptom of lack of unity is seen in 1327, when Pierre Trencavel, a noted Spiritual, who had escaped from the prison of Carcassonne, was captured in Provence with his daughter Andrée, likewise a fugitive. There could be no question as to their belonging to those from whom they had fled, yet Friar Michel, the Franciscan inquisitor of Provence, refused to surrender them, and the Carcassonne tribunal was obliged to appeal to John XXII., who intervened with a peremptory command to Friar Michel to lay aside all opposition and surrender the prisoners at once. Yet, considering the imperfections of human nature, these quarrels seem to have been few. *
Properly to govern and direct an engine of such infinite power, dealing with the life and happiness of countless thousands, would require more than human wisdom and virtue; and it may be worth a moment's attention to see what was the ideal of those to whom the practical working of the Holy Office was confided. Bernard Gui, the most experienced inquisitor of his day, concludes his elaborate instructions as to procedure with some general directions as to conduct and character. The inquisitor, he tells us, should be diligent and fervent in his zeal for the truth of religion, for the salvation of souls, and for the extirpation of heresy. Amid troubles and opposing accidents he should grow earnest, without allowing himself to be inflamed with the fury of wrath and indignation. He must not be sluggish of body, for sloth destroys the vigor of action. He must be intrepid, persisting through danger to death, laboring for religious truth, neither precipitating peril by audacity nor shrinking from it through timidity. He must be unmoved by the prayers and blandishments of those who seek to influence him, yet not be, through hardness of heart, so obstinate that he will yield nothing to entreaty, whether in granting delays or in mitigating punishment, according to place and circumstance, for this implies stubbornness; nor must he be weak and yielding through too great a desire to please, for this will destroy the vigor and value of his work -- he who is weak in his work is brother to him who destroys his work. In doubtful matters he must be circumspect and not readily yield credence to what seems probable, for such is not always true; nor should he obstinately reject the opposite, for
Coll. Doat, XXXV. 18.
that which seems improbable often turns out to be fact. He must listen, discuss, and examine with all zeal, that the truth may be reached at the end. Like a just judge let him so bear himself in passing sentence of corporal punishment that his face may show compassion, while his inward purpose remains unshaken, and thus will he avoid the appearance of indignation and wrath leading to the charge of cruelty. In imposing pecuniary penalties, let his face preserve the severity of justice as though he were compelled by necessity and not allured by cupidity. Let truth and mercy, which should never leave the heart of a judge, shine forth from his countenance, that his decisions may be free from all suspicion of covetousness or cruelty. *
To appreciate rightly the career and influence of the Inquisition will require a somewhat minute examination into its methods and procedure. In no other way can we fully understand its action; and the lessons to be drawn from such an investigation are perhaps the most important that it has to teach.
* Bern. Guidon. Practica P. IV. ad finem (Doat, XXX.). This sketch of the model inquisitor seems to have been a favorite. I find it in another MS. Tractatus de Inquisitione (Doat, XXXVI.).
WE have seen how the Church had found persuasion powerless to arrest the spread of heresy. St. Bernard, Foulques de Neuilly, Durán de Huesca, St. Dominic, St. Francis, had successively tried the rarest eloquence to convince, and the example of the sublimest self-abnegation to convert. Only force remained, and it had been pitilessly employed. It had subjected the populations, only to render heresy hidden in place of public; and, in order to reap the fruits of victory, it became apparent that organized, ceaseless persecution continued to perpetuity was the only hope of preserving Catholic unity, and of preventing the garment of the Lord from being permanently rent. To this end the Inquisition was developed into a settled institution manned by the Mendicant Orders, which had been formed to persuade by argument and example, and which now were utilized to suppress by force.
The organization of the Inquisition was simple, yet effective. It did not care to impress the minds of men with magnificence, but rather to paralyze them with terror. To the secular prelacy it left the gorgeous vestments and the imposing splendors of worship, the picturesque processions and the showy retinues of retainers. The inquisitor wore the simple habits of his Order. When he appeared abroad he was at most accompanied by a few armed familiars, partly as a guard, partly to execute his orders. His principal scene of activity was in the recesses of the dreaded Holy Office, whence he issued his commands and decided the fate of whole populations in a silence and secrecy which impressed upon the people a mysterious awe a thousand times more potent than the external magnificence of the bishop. Every detail in the Inquisition was intended for work and not for show. It was built up by resolute, earnest men of one idea who knew what they wanted, who rendered everything subservient to the one object, and who sternly rejected all that might embarrass with superfluities the unerring and ruthless justice which it was their mission to enforce.
The previous chapter has shown us the simplicity which marked the beginnings of the institution, consisting virtually of the individual friars selected to hunt up heretics and determine their guilt. Their districts were naturally coterminous with the provinces of the Mendicant Orders, whose provincials were charged with the duty of appointment, and these provinces each comprised many bishoprics. Though the chief town of each province came to be regarded as the seat of the Inquisition, with its building and prisons, yet it was the duty of the inquisitor to go in pursuit of the heretics, to visit all places where heresy might be suspected to exist, and to summon the people to assemble, exactly as the bishops formerly did in their visitations, with the added inducement of an indulgence of twenty or forty days for all who attended. It is true that at first the inquisitors of Toulouse established themselves in that city and cited before them all whom they wished to appear, but such complaints arose as to the intolerable hardship of this that, in 1237, the Legate Jean de Vienne ordered them to transport themselves to the places where they wished to make inquest. In obedience to this we see them going to Castelnaudari, where they were baffled by the people, who had entered into a common understanding not to betray each other, so they turned unexpectedly to Puy Laurens, where they took the population by surprise and gathered an ample harvest. The murders of Avignonet, in 1242, gave warning that these itinerant inquests were not without risk, yet they continued to be prescribed by the Cardinal of Albano, about 1244, and by the Council of Béziers, in 1246. Although, in 1247, Innocent IV. authorized inquisitors, when there was danger, to summon heretics and witnesses to some place of safety, yet the theory of personal visitation remained unchanged. In Italy we see it in the bulls Ad extirpanda; a contemporary German inquisitor describes it as the customary practice; in northern France we have the formulas used in 1278 by Friar Simon Duval for summoning the people on such occasions; about 1330 Bernard Gui alludes to it as one of the special privileges of the Inquisition; and, about 1375, Eymerich describes the method of conducting these inquests as part of the established routine. *
Nothing could well be devised more effective than these visitations, and though they may have become neglected when the machinery of spies and familiars was perfected, or when the heretics had been nearly weeded out, during the busy times of the Inquisition they must have formed an important portion of its functions. A few days in advance of his visit to a city, the inquisitor would send notice to the ecclesiastical authorities requiring them to summon the people to assemble at a specified time, with an announcement of the indulgence given to all who should attend. To the populace thus brought together he preached on the faith, urging them to its defence with such eloquence as he could command, summoning every one within a certain radius to come forward within six or twelve days and reveal to him whatever they may have known or heard of any one leading to the belief or suspicion that he might be a heretic, or defamed for heresy, or that he had spoken against any article of faith, or that he differed in life and morals from the common conversation of the faithful. Neglect to comply with this command incurred ipso facto excommunication, removable only by the inquisitor himself; compliance with it was rewarded with an indulgence of three years. At the same time he proclaimed a "time of grace," varying from fifteen to thirty days, during which any heretic coming forward spontaneously, confessing his guilt, abjuring, and giving full information about his fellow-sectaries, was promised mercy. This mercy varied at different times from complete immunity to exemption from the severer penalties of death, imprisonment, exile, or confiscation. The latter is the grace promised in the earliest allusion to the practice in
* Gregor. PP. IX. Bull. Ille humani generis, 20 Mai. 1236 (Eymeric. App. p. 3). -- Vaissette, III. 410-11. -- Guill. Pod. Laur. c. 43. -- Concil. Biterrens. ann. 1246, Append. c. 1. -- Arch. de l'Inq. de Carcassonne (Doat, XXXI. 5). -- Raynald. ann. 1243, No. 31. -- Innoc. -- PP. IV. Bull. Quia sicut, 19 Nov. 1247 ( Potthast 12766. -- Doat, XXXI. 112) -- Ejusd. Bull. Ad extirpanda § 31. -- Anon. Passaviens. (Mag. Bib. Pat. XIII. 308). -- Doctrina de modo procedendi ( Martene Thesaur. V. 1809-11). -- Alex. PP. IV. Bull. Cupientes, 4 Mart. 1260 (Mag. Bull. Rom. I. 119). -- Ripoll I. 128. -- Guill. Pelisso Chron. Ed. Molinier, p. 27. -- Bernardi Guidon. Practica P. IV. (Doat, XXX.). -- Eymeric. Direct. Inquis. pp. 407-9. -- MSS. Bib. Nat., fonds latin, No. 14930, fol. 220.
1235, and in a sentence of 1237 on such an occasion the offender escaped with a penance consisting of two of the shorter pilgrimages, the finding of a beggar daily during life, and a fine of ten livres Morlaas given "for the love of God" to the Inquisition. After the expiration of the term they were told that no mercy would be shown; while it lasted, the inquisitor was instructed to keep himself housed, so as to be ready at any moment to receive denunciations and confessions; and long series of interrogatories, most searching and suggestive, were drawn up to prompt him in the examination of those who should present themselves. Even as late as 1387 when Frà Antonio Secco attacked the heretics of the Waldensian valleys, he commenced by publishing in the church of Pignerol a summons giving a week of grace during which all who should confess as to themselves and others should escape public punishment except for perjury committed before the Inquisition, and all who did not come forward were denounced as excommunicates. *
Bernard Gui assures us that this device was exceedingly fruitful, not only in causing numerous happy conversions, but also in furnishing information of many heretics who would not otherwise have been thought of, as each penitent was forced to denounce all whom he knew or suspected; and he particularly dwells upon its utility in securing the capture of the "perfected" Catharans who habitually lay in hiding and who thus were betrayed by those in whom they trusted. It is easy, in fact, to imagine the terror into which a community would be thrown when an inquisitor suddenly descended upon it and made his proclamation. No one could know what stories might be circulating about himself which zealous fanaticism or personal enmity might exaggerate and carry to the inquisitor, and in this the orthodox and the heretic would suffer alike. All scandals passing from mouth to mouth would be brought to light. All confidence between man and man would disappear.
* Guill. Pod. Laur. c. 43. -- Vaissette, III. 402, 403, 404; Pr. 386. -- Raynald. ann. 1243, No. 31. -- Concil. Narbonn. ann. 1244 c. 1. -- Concil. Biterrens. ann. 1246, Append. c. 2, 5. -- Arch. de l'Inq. de Carc. circa 1245 (Doat, XXXI. 5). -Guid. Fulcod. Quæst. II. -- Bern. Guidon. Practica P. IV. (Doat, XXX.). -- Eymerici Direct. Inquis. pp. 407-9. -- Practica super Inquisit. (MSS. Bib. Nat., fonds latin, No. 14930, fol. 227-8). -- Archivio Storico Italiano, 1865, No. 38, pp. 16-17.
Old grudges would be gratified in safety. To him who had been heretically inclined the terrible suspense would grow day by day more insupportable, with the thought that some careless word might have been treasured up to be now revealed by those who ought to be nearest and dearest to him, until at last he would yield and betray others rather than be betrayed himself. Gregory IX. boasted that, on at least one such occasion, parents were led to denounce their children, and children their parents, husbands their wives, and wives their husbands. We may well believe Bernard Gui when he says that each revelation led to others, until the invisible net extended far and wide, and that not the least of the benefits thence arising were the extensive confiscations which were sure to follow. *
These preliminary proceedings were commonly held in the convent of the Order to which the inquisitor belonged, if such there were, or in the episcopal palace if it were a cathedral town. In other cases the church or municipal buildings would afford the necessary accommodation, for the authorities, both lay and clerical, were bound to afford all assistance demanded. Each inquisitor, however, necessarily had his headquarters to which he would return after these forays, carrying with him the depositions of accusers and confessions of accused, and such prisoners as he deemed it important to secure, the secular authorities being bound to furnish him the necessary transportation and guards. Others he would cite to appear before him at a specified time, taking sufficient bail to secure their punctuality. In the earlier period, the seat of his tribunal was the Mendicant convent, while the episcopal or public prison was at his disposal for the detention of his captives; but in time special buildings were provided, amply furnished with the necessary appliances and dungeons -- cells built along the walls and thence known as "murus," in contradistinction to the "career" or prison -- where the unfortunates awaiting sentence were under the immediate supervision of their judge. It was here, for the most part, that the judicial proceedings were carried on, though we occasionally hear of the episcopal palace being used, especially when the bishop was zealous and co-operated with the Inquisition.
During the earlier period there was no limitation as to the age
B. Guidon. loc. cit. -- Ripoll I. 46.
of the inquisitor; the provincial who held the appointing power could select any member of his Order. That this frequently led to the nomination of young and inexperienced men is presumable from the language in which Clement V., when reforming the Holy Office, prescribed forty years as the minimum age in future. Bernard Gui remonstrated against this, not only because younger men were often thoroughly capable of the duties, but also because bishops and their ordinaries who exercised inquisitorial power were not required to be so old. The rule, however, held good. In 1422 the Provincial of Toulouse appointed an inquisitor of Carcassonne, Friar Raymond du Tille, who was only thirty-two years of age. Though he was confirmed by the general of the Order, it was held that the office was vacant until an appeal was made to Martin V., who ordered the Official of Alet to investigate his fitness, and, if found worthy, the Clementine canon might be suspended in his favor. *
The trials were usually conducted by a single inquisitor, though sometimes two would work together. One, however, sufficed, but he generally had subordinate assistants, who prepared the cases for him, and took the preliminary examinations. He had a right to call upon the provincial to assign to him as many of these assistants as he deemed necessary, but he could not select them for himself. Sometimes, when the bishop was eager for persecution and careless of the episcopal dignity, he would accept the position; and it was frequently filled by the Dominican prior of the local convent. When the state defrayed the expenses of the Inquisition, it seems to have exercised some control over the number of officials. Thus in Naples Charles of Anjou, in 1269, only provides for one assistant. †
These assistants represented the inquisitor during his absence, and thus were closely assimilated to the commissioners who came
* C. 2 Clement. V. iii. -- Bern. Guidon Gravam. (Doat, XXX. 117, 128). -- Ripoll II. 610. -- In 1431 Eugenius IV. dispensed with the rule in the case of an inquisitor appointed in his thirty-sixth year (Ripoll III. 9).
† Concil. Biterrens. ann. 1246 c. 4. -- Molinier, pp. 129, 131, 281-2. -- Hauréau, Bernard Délicieux, p. 20. -- Wadding. Annal. ann. 1261, No. 2. -- Urbani PP. IV. Bull. Ne catholicœ fidei, 26 Oct. 1262. -- Bernardi Guidonis Practica, P. IV. (Doat, XXX.). -- Eymerici Direct. Inq. p. 557, 577. -- Archivio di Napoli, MSS. Chioccarello T. VIII.; Ibid. Registro 6, Lett. D. f. 85.
to be a permanent feature of the Holy Office. Even in the twelfth century it was determined that a judicial delegate of the Holy See could delegate his powers; and in 1246 the Council of Béziers authorized the inquisitor to appoint a deputy whenever he wished to have an inquest made in any place to which he could not himself proceed. Special commissions were sometimes issued, as when, in 1276, Pons de Pornac, Inquisitor of Toulouse, authorized the Dominican Prior of Montauban to take testimony against Bernard de Solhac and forward it to him under seal. In the extensive districts of the Inquisition the work must necessarily have been divided in this manner, especially during the earlier period, when the harvest of heresy was abundant and numerous laborers were requisite. Yet the formal authority to appoint commissioners with full powers does not seem to have been granted to inquisitors until 1262 by Urban IV., and this had to be confirmed by Boniface VIII. towards the close of the century. These commissioners, or vicars, differed from the assistants, inasmuch as they were appointed and discharged at the discretion of the inquisitor. They became a permanent feature of the institution, and conducted its business in places remote from the main tribunal; or, in case of the absence or incapacity of the inquisitor, one of them might be summoned to replace him temporarily, or the inquisitor could appoint a vicar-general. Like their principal, they had, after the Clementine reforms in 1317, to be at least forty years of age, and they wielded full inquisitorial powers, in the citation, arrest, and examination of witnesses and prisoners, even to the infliction of torture and condemnation to imprisonment. Whether they could proceed to final sentence in capital cases was a disputed question, and Eymerich recommends that such authority should always be reserved to the inquisitor himself; but, as we shall see, the cases of Joan of Arc and of the Vaudois of Arras show that this reservation was rarely observed. A further limitation on their powers was the inability to appoint deputies. *
* C. 11, 19, 20 Extra 1. 29. -- Concil. Biterrens. ann. 1246 C. 3. -- Coll. Doat, XXV. 230. -- Urbani PP. IV. Bull. Licet ex omnibus, 20 Mart. 1262. -- Guid. Fulcod. Quæst. IV. -- C. 11 Sexto V. 2. -- C. 2 Clement. V. 3. -- Bernardi Guidon. Practica P. IV. (Doat, XXX.). -- Eymerici Direct. pp. 403-6. -- Zanchini Tract. de Hæret. c. XXX.
It is not easy to understand why, in 1276, the Lombard Inquisitors Frà Niccolò
In the later period there seems to have been occasionally another official with the title of "counsellor." In 1370 the Inquisition of Carcassonne claimed the right to appoint three, who should be exempt from all local taxation. In a document of 1423 the person filling this position is not a Dominican, but is qualified as a licentiate in law; and doubtless such a functionary was a useful and usual member of the tribunal, though with no precise official status. Zanghino informs us that in general inquisitors were utterly ignorant of law. In most cases this made no difference, for, as we shall see, they enjoyed the widest latitude of arbitrary procedure, with little danger that any one would dare to complain, but occasionally they had to deal with victims not entirely unresisting, and then some adviser as to their legal duties and responsibilities was desirable. Eymerich, in fact, recommends that a commissioner should always associate with himself some discreet lawyer to save him from mistakes which may redound to the disadvantage of the Inquisition, call for papal interposition, and perhaps cost him his place. *
As absolute secrecy became a main feature of all the proceedings of the Inquisition after its earlier tentative period, it was a universal rule that testimony, whether of witnesses or of accused, should only be taken in the presence of two impartial men, not connected with the institution, but sworn to silence. The inquisitor was empowered to compel the attendance of any one whom he might summon to perform this duty. These representatives of the public were preferably clerics, and usually Dominicans, "discreet and religious men," who were expected to sign with the notary the written report of the testimony in attestation of its fidelity. Though not alluded to in the instructions of the Council of Béziers in 1246, a deposition taken in 1244 shows that already the practice had become customary; and the frequent repetitions of the rule by successive popes and its embodiment in the canon law show what importance was attached to it as a means of prevent-
da Cremona and Frà Daniele Giussano assembled experts in Piacenza to determine whether they had power to appoint delegates, when the question was decided in the negative, ( Campi, Dell' Historia Ecclesiastica di Piacenza, P. II. p. 308-9).
* Archives de l'Évêché d'Albi (Doat, XXXV. 136, 187). -- Zanchini Tract. de Hæret. c. XV. -- Eymerici Direct. p. 407.
ing injustice, and giving at least a color of impartiality to the proceedings. Yet in this, as in everything else, the inquisitors were a law unto themselves, and disregarded at pleasure the very slender restrictions imposed on them. One of the rare cases in which the Inquisition lost a victim turned upon the neglect of this rule. In 1325 a priest named Pierre de Tornamire, accused of Spiritual Franciscanism, was brought to the Inquisition of Carcassonne in a dying state. The inquisitor was absent. His deputy and notary took the deposition in the presence of three laymen who chanced to be present, and the priest died before it was well concluded. Two Dominicans came, after he was speechless, and, without making any inquiry as to its correctness, signed their names to the deposition in attestation. On this irregular evidence a prosecution against Pierre's memory was based, and was contested by his heirs to save his property from confiscation. Thirty-two years the struggle lasted, and when the inquisitor came, in 1357, to ask assent to his sentence of condemnation in the customary assembly of experts, twenty-five jurists unanimously voted against it on the ground of irregularity, and only two, both Dominicans, ventured to uphold it. It was not long after this that Eymerich instructed his brethren how the rule could be evaded, when it was inconvenient, by at least having two honest persons present at the close of the examination, when the testimony was read over to the deponent. No one else was allowed to be present at the trial, except at Avignon for a brief period, about the middle of the thirteenth century, when the magistrates temporarily secured the right of attendance for themselves and a certain number of seigneurs. With this exception, the unfortunates who were wrestling for their lives with their judges were wholly at the discretion of the inquisitor and his creatures. *
The personnel of the tribunal was completed by the notary -an official of considerable standing and dignity in the Middle Ages. All the proceedings of the Inquisition were taken down in writing --
* Coll. Doat, XXII. 237 sqq. -- Innoc. PP. IV. Bull. Licet ex omnibus, 30 Mai. 1254. -- Bernardi Guidon. Practica P. IV. (Doat, XXX.). -- Clement PP. IV. Bull. Prœ cunctis, 23 Feb. 1266. -- C. 11, § 1 Sexto V. 2. -- Concil. Biterrens. ann. 1246 c. 4.-Alex. PP. IV. Bull. Prœ cunctis, 9 Nov. 1256. -- Archives de l'Inq. de Carcassonne (Doat, XXXIV. 11). -- Molinier, L'Inquis. dans le midi de la France, pp. 219, 287. -- Eymeric. Direct. Inq. p. 426.
every question and every answer -- each witness and each defendant being obliged to confirm his testimony when read over to him at the close of the interrogatory, and judgment was finally rendered on an inspection of the evidence thus recorded. The function of the notary was no light one, and occasionally scriveners were called in to his assistance, but he formally attested every document. Not only was there the fearful multiplication of papers accumulating in the current business of the tribunal, and their careful transcription for preservation, but the several Inquisitions were continually furnishing each other with copies of their records, so that a considerable force must have been necessarily employed. As in everything else, the inquisitor was empowered to call for gratuitous service on the part of any one whom he might summon, but the continuous business of the office required undivided attention, and its proper despatch rendered desirable the peculiar training acquired by experience. In the earlier periods, the authorization to impress any notary to serve, and the advice to select if possible Dominicans who had been notaries, with the power, if none such could be had, to replace him with two discreet persons, shows that the itinerant tribunals depended for the most part on this chance conscription; but in the permanent seats of the Inquisition the notary was a regular official, in receipt of a salary. In the attempted reform of Clement V. it was provided that he should take his official oath before the bishop as well as before the inquisitor, and to this Bernard Gui objected on the ground that the exigencies of business sometimes required the force to be suddenly increased to two or three or four, and that in places where no public notaries were to be had, other competent persons were necessarily employed on the spur of the moment, as it often happens that the guilty will confess when in the mood, and if their confession is not promptly taken they draw back, and they are always more given to concealment than to truth. Curiously enough, the power to appoint notaries was regarded with so much jealousy that it was denied to the inquisitor. He may if he choose, says Eymerich, send three or four names to the pope, who will appoint them for him, but this leads to such bad feeling on the part of the local authorities that he had better content himself with the notaries of the bishops or of the secular rulers. *
* Bern. Guidon. Practica P. IV. (Doat, XXX.). -- Urbani PP. IV. Bull. Licet
The enormous mass of documents produced by these innumerable busy hands was the object of well-deserved solicitude. At the very inception of the work its value was recognized. In 1235 we hear of the confessions of penitents being sedulously recorded in books kept for the purpose. This speedily became the universal custom, and the inquisitors were instructed to preserve careful records of all their proceedings, from the first summons to the final sentence in every case, together with lists of all who took the oath enforced on every one to defend the faith and persecute heresy. The importance attached to this is shown by the frequent iteration of the command, and by the further precaution that all the papers should be duplicated, and a copy lodged in a safe place or with the bishop. With what elaborate care they were rendered practically useful is shown by the Book of Sentences of the Inquisition of Toulouse, from 1308 to 1323, printed by Limborch, where at the end there is an index of the 636 culprits sentenced, grouped under their places of residence alphabetically arranged, with reference to the pages on which their names occur and brief mention of the several punishments inflicted on each, and of any subsequent modifications of the penalty, thus enabling the official who wished information as to the people of any hamlet to see at a glance who among them had been suspected and what had been done. One case in the same book will illustrate the completeness and the exactitude of the previous records. In 1316 an old woman was brought before the tribunal; on examination it was found that in 1268, nearly fifty years before, she had confessed and abjured heresy and had been reconciled, and as this aggravated her guilt the miserable wretch was condemned to perpetual imprisonment in chains. Thus in process of time the Inquisition accumu-
____________________ ex omnibus, ann. 1262, §§ 6, 7, 8 (Mag. Bull. Roman. I. 122). -- C. 1 § 3 Clement v. 3. -- Coll. Doat, XXX. 109-10. -- Eymeric. Direct. Inq. p. 550. The peculiar importance attached to the notariate and the limitations imposed on its membership are seen in the papal privileges issued for the appointment of notaries. Thus there is one of November 27, 1295, by Boniface VIII. to the Archbishop of Lyons authorizing him to create five; one of January 28, 1296, to the Bishop of Arras to create three, and one of January 22, 1296, to the Bishop of Amiens to create two. ( Thomas, Registres de Boniface VIII., I. No. 640 bis, 660, 678 bis.)
In 1286 the Provincial of France complained to Honorius IV. of the scarcity of notaries in that kingdom, and was authorized to create two (Ripoll II. 16). lated a store of information which not only increased greatly its efficiency, but which rendered it an object of terror to every man. The confiscations and disabilities which, as we shall see hereafter, were inflicted on descendants, rendered the secrets of family history so carefully preserved in its archives the means by which a crushing blow might at any moment fall on the head of any one; and the Inquisition had an awkward way of discovering disagreeable facts about the ancestry of those who provoked its ill-will, and possibly its cupidity. Thus, in 1306, during the troubles at Albi, when the royal viguier, or governor, supported the cause of the people, the inquisitor, Geoffroi d'Ablis, issued letters declaring that he had found among the records that the grandfather of the viguier had been a heretic, and his grandson consequently was incapable of holding office. The whole population was thus at the mercy of the Holy Office. *
The temptation to falsify the records when an enemy was to be struck down was exceedingly strong, and the opponents of the Inquisition had no hesitation in declaring that it was freely yielded to. Friar Bernard Délicieux, speaking for the whole Franciscan Order of Languedoc, in a formal document of the year 1300, not only declared that the records were unworthy of trust, but that they were generally believed to be so. We shall see hereafter facts which fully justified this assertion, and the popular mistrust was intensified by the jealous secrecy which rendered it an offence punishable with excommunication for any one to possess any papers relating to the proceedings of the Inquisition or to prosecutions against heretics. On the other hand, the temptation on the part of those who were endangered to destroy the archives was equally strong, and the attempts to effect this show the importance attached to their possession. As early as 1235 we find the citizens of Narbonne, in an insurrection against the Inquisition, carefully destroying all the books and records. The order of the Council of Albi in 1254, to make duplicates and lodge them in some safe place was doubtless caused by another successful
* Guill. Pelisso Chron. Ed. Molinier p. 28. -- Concil. Narbonn. ann. 1244 c. 6. -- Concil. Biterrens. ann. 1246 c. 31, 37. -- Concil. Albiens. ann. 1254 c. 21. -Alex. PP. IV. Bull. Licet vobis, 7 Dec. 1255; Ejusd. Bull. Prœ cunctis, 9 Nov. 1255, 13 Dec. 1255. -- Lib. Sentt. Inq. Tolosau. pp. 198-9. -- Coll. Doat, XXXIV. 104.
effort made in 1248 by the heretics of Narbonne. On the occasion of an assembly of bishops in that city a clerk and a messenger bearing records with the names of heretics were slain and the books burned, giving rise to a good many troublesome questions with regard to existing and future prosecutions. About 1285, at Carcassonne, a plot was entered into by the consuls of the town and several of its leading ecclesiastics to destroy the inquisitorial records. They bribed one of the familiars, Bernard Garric, to burn them, but the conspiracy was discovered and its authors punished. One of these, a lawyer named Guillem Garric, languished in prison for about thirty years before his final sentence in 1321. *
Not the least important among the functionaries of the Inquisition were the lowest class -- the apparitors, messengers, spies, and bravos, known generally by the name of familiars, which came to have so ill-omened a significance in the popular ear. The service was not without risk, and it had few attractions for the honest and peaceable, but it was full of promise for the reckless and evil-minded. Not only did they enjoy the immunity from secular jurisdiction attaching to all in the service of the Church, but the special authority granted by Innocent IV., in 1245, to the inquisitors to absolve their familiars for acts of violence rendered them independent even of the ecclesiastical tribunals. Besides, as any molestation of the servants of the Inquisition was qualified as impeding its operations and thus savoring of heresy, any one who dared to resist aggression rendered himself liable to prosecution before the tribunal of the aggressor. Thus panoplied, they could tyrannize at will over the defenceless population, and it is easy to imagine the amount of extortion which they could practise with virtual impunity by threatening arrest or accusation at a time when falling into the hands of the Inquisition was about the heaviest misfortune which could befall any man, whether orthodox or heretic. †
* Arch. de l'Inq. de Carcass. (Doat, XXXIV. 123). -- Ripoll I. 356, 396. -- Vaissette, III. 406; Pr. 467. -- Coll. Doat, XXXI. 105, 149. -- Molinier, p. 35. -- Bern. Guidon. Hist. Conv. Carcass. (D. Bouquet, XXI. 743). -- Lib. Sententt. Inquis. Tolos. p. 282.
† Paramo de Orig. Offic. S. Inquis. p. 102. -- Pegnæ Comment. in Eymeric. p. 584. -- Arch. de l'Inq. de Carcassonne (Doat, XXXI. 70; XXXII. 143).
All that was needed to render this social scourge complete was devised when the familiars were authorized to carry arms. The murders at Avignonet, in 1242, with that of Peter Martyr, and other similar events, seemed to justify the inquisitors in desiring an armed guard; and the service of tracking and capturing heretics was frequently one of peril, yet the privilege was a dangerous one to bestow on such men as could be got for the work, while releasing them from the restraints of law. In the turbulence of the age the carrying of weapons was rigidly repressed in all peace-loving communities. As early as the eleventh century we find it prohibited in the city of Pistoja, and in 1228 in Verona. In Bologna knights and doctors only were allowed to bear arms, and to have one armed servant. In Milan, a statute of Gian-Galeazzo, in 1386, forbids the carrying of weapons, but allows the bishops to arm the retainers living under their roofs. In Paris an ordonnance of 1288 inhibits the citizens from carrying pointed knives, swords, bucklers, or other similar weapons. In Beaucaire, an edict of 1320 prescribes various penalties, including the loss of a hand, for bearing arms, except in the case of travellers, who are restricted simply to swords and knives. Such regulations were of. inestimable value in the progress of civilization, but they amounted to little when the inquisitor could arm any one he pleased, and invest him with the privileges and immunities of the Holy Office. *
As early as 1249 the scandals and abuses arising from the unlimited employment of scriveners and familiars who oppressed the people with their extortions called forth the indignant rebuke of Innocent IV., who commanded that their numbers should be reduced to correspond with the bare exigencies of duty. In those countries in which the Inquisition was supported by the State there was not much opportunity for the development of overgrown abuses of this nature. Thus, in Naples, Charles of Anjou, in permitting the carrying of arms, specifies three as the number of familiars for each inquisitor; and when Bernard Gui protested
* Statuta Pistoriensia, c. 109 (Zachariæ Anect. Med. Ævi, p. 23). -- Lib. Juris civilis Veronæ, ann. 1228, c. 104, 183 (Veronæ, 1728). -- Statut. criminal. Communis Bononæ (Ed. 1525, fol. 36 (ef. Barbarano de' Mironi, Hist. Eccles. di Vicenza, II. 69. -- Antiqua Ducum Mediolan. Decreta (Ed. 1654, p. 95). -- Statuta Criminalia Mediolani, Bergomi, 1594, cap. 127. -- Actes du Parl. de Paris, I. 257. -- Vaissette, Éd. Privat, X. Pr. 610.
against the reforms of Clement V. he pointed out the contrast between France, where the inquisitors relied upon the secular officials, and were forced to be content with few retainers, and Italy, where they had almost unlimited opportunities. There, in fact, as we shall see, the Inquisition was self-supporting and independent by reason of its share in the fines and confiscations, and restraint of any kind was difficult. Clement V. forbade the useless multiplication of officials and the abuse of the right to bear arms, but his well-meant efforts availed little. In 1321 we find John XXII. reproving the inquisitors of Lombardy for creating scandals and tumults in Bologna by their armed familiars of depraved character and perverse habits, who committed murders and other outrages. In 1337 the papal nuncio, Bertrand, Archbishop of Embrun, seeing by personal observation the troubles which existed in Florence, owing to the practice of the inquisitor issuing licenses to carry arms, which was abused to the frequent injury of defenceless citizens, restricted him to twelve armed familiars, informing him that the secular authorities would furnish whatever additional armed assistance might be necessary for the capture of heretics. Yet within nine years one of the accusations brought against a new inquisitor, Frà Piero di Aquila, was that he had sold licenses to carry arms to more than two hundred and fifty men, bringing him in an annual revenue of about one thousand gold florins, and proving sadly detrimental to the peace of the city. Accordingly a law was passed restricting the inquisitor to six familiars bearing arms, the Bishop of Florence to twelve, and the Bishop of Fiesole to six, all of whom were required to wear the insignia of their masters. Still, the profit arising from the sale of such licenses was too great a temptation, and in the Florentine code of 1355 we find general regulations intended to check it in another way. Any one caught bearing arms and pleading a license was deported beyond the territory of the republic, to a distance of at least fifty miles from the city, and had to give a bond to remain there for a year. Even the podestà was prohibited from issuing such licenses under the penalties of perjury and a fine of five hundred lire. All this was an infraction of the liberties of the Church, and formed the substance of one of the complaints of Gregory XI., when, in 1376, he excommunicated the republic; and when, in 1378, Florence was forced to submit, one of the conditions was that a papal commissioner should expunge from the statute-book all the obnoxious laws. Yet the excesses of these brawling ruffians were too great to be long submitted to, and in 1386 another device was tried. The two bishops and the inquisitor were forbidden to have armed familiars who were taxable or inscribed on the roll of citizens; those to whom they issued licenses had to be declared their familiars by the priors of the arts, and this declaration had to be renewed yearly by a public instrument delivered to them. Some restraint thus was exercised, and this provision was retained in the recension of the code in 1415. This same struggle was doubtless going on in all the Italian cities which had independence enough to seek a remedy for the daily outrages inflicted by these licensed bravos, though the record of the troubles may not be accessible to history. Even in Venice, which kept the Inquisition in so subordinate a position, and wisely maintained its rights by defraying the expenses of the institution -- even Venice felt the necessity of restraining the multiplication of pretended armed retainers. In August, 1450, the Great Council, by a vote of fourteen to two, denounced the abuse by which the inquisitor had sold to twelve persons the license to bear arms; such a force, it is said, was wholly unnecessary, as he could always invoke the assistance of the secular power, and therefore he should, in accordance with ancient custom, be restricted to four armed familiars. Six months later, in February, 1451, at the earnest request of the Franciscan general minister, this regulation was rescinded; the inquisitor was allowed to increase the number to twelve, but the police were directed to observe and report whether they were really engaged in the duties of the Inquisition. Yet Eymerich assures us that all such interference is unlawful, and that any secular ruler who endeavors to prevent the familiars of the Holy Office from bearing arms is impeding the Inquisition and is a fautor of heresy, while Bernard Gui characterizes in similar terms any limitation of the number of officials below what the inquisitor may deem requisite, all of which, according to Zanghino, is punishable at the discretion of the inquisitor. *
* Arch. de l'Inq. de Carcass. (Doat, XXXI. 81). -- Archivio di Napoli, MSS. Chioccarello T. VIII.; Registro 3, Lett. A, fol. 64; Relgistro, 6, Lett. D, fol. 35. -Coll. Doat, XXX. 119-20. -- C. 2 Clement. v. 3. -- Johann. PP. XXII. Bull. Exegit ordinis, 2 Mai. 1321. -- Archivio di Firenze, Riformagioni, Archiv. Diploin. XXVII.,
In the preceding chapter I have alluded to the power claimed and often exercised of abrogating all local statutes obnoxious to the Holy Office, and of the duty of every secular official to lend aid whenever called upon. This duty was recognized and enforced so that the organization of the Inquisition may be said to have embraced that of the State, whose whole resources were placed at its disposition. The oath of obedience which the inquisitor was empowered and directed to exact of all holding official station was no mere form. Refusal to take it was visited with excommunication, leading to prosecution for heresy in case of obduracy, and humiliating penance on submission. At times it was neglected by careless inquisitors, but the earnest ones made a point of it. Bernard Gui, at all his autos de fé, solemnly administered it to all the royal officials and local magistrates, and when, in May, 1309, Jean de Maucochin, the royal seneschal of the Tolosain and Albigeois declined to take it, he was speedily brought to see his error, and submitted within a month. Bernard himself, as we have seen, admits that the help thus promised was efficiently rendered, and when, in 1329, Henri de Chamay, Inquisitor of Carcassonne, applied to Philippe de Valois for a reaffirmation of the privileges of the Inquisition, the monarch promptly responded in an edict in which he proclaimed that "each and all, dukes, counts, barons, seneschals, baillis, provosts, viguiers, castellans, sergeants, and other justiciaries of the kingdom of France are bound to obey the inquisitors and their commissioners in seizing, holding, guarding, and taking to prison all heretics and suspects of heresy, and to execute diligently the sentences of the inquisitors, and to give to the inquisitors, their commissioners and messengers, safe-conduct, prompt help and favor, through all the lands of their jurisdictions, in all that concerns the business of the Inquisition, whenever and how often soever they may be called upon." Any
LXXVIII. -- IX.; Riform. Classe II. Distinz. 1, No. 14. -- Villani, Cronica, Lib. XII. c. 58. -- Archivio di Venezia, Misti, Cons. X. Vol. XIII. p. 192; Vol. XIV. p. 29. -- Eymeric. Direct. Inq. pp. 374-5-Bernard. Guidonis Practica P. IV. (Doat, XXX.). --Zanchini Tract. de Heeret. c. xxxi. -- Urbani PP. IV. Bull. Licet ex omnibus, 1262 (Mag. Bull. Rom. I. 123). -- Bernardi Comens. Lucerna Inquisit. s. v. Inquisitores, No. 14.
For further authorities on the subject, see Farinacii de Hæresi Quæst. 182, No. 89-94.
hesitation on the part of public officials to grant assistance when summoned was promptly punished. Thus, in 1303, when Bonrico di Busca, vicar of the podestà of Mandrisio, refused to furnish men to the representatives of the Milanese Inquisition, he was forthwith condemned to a fine of a hundred imperial solidi, to be paid within five days. Even the condition of an excommunicate, which rendered an official incapable of performing any other function, did not relieve him from this duty; he could be called upon to execute the commands of the inquisitor, but he was warned that he must not imagine himself competent therefore to do anything else. *
In addition to this the Inquisition had, to a greater or less extent, at its service the whole orthodox population, and especially the clergy. It was the duty of every man to give information as to all cases of heresy with which he might become acquainted under pain of incurring the guilt of fautorship. It was further his duty to arrest all heretics, as Bernard de St. Genais found in 1242, when he was tried by the Inquisition of Toulouse for the offence of not capturing certain heretics when it was in his power to do so, and was condemned to the penance of pilgrimages to the shrines of Puy, St. Gilles, and Compostella. The parish priests, moreover, were required, whenever called upon, to cite their parishioners for appearance, either publicly from the pulpit or secretly as the case might require, and to publish all sentences of excommunication. They were likewise held to the duty of surveillance over penitents to see that the penances enjoined were duly performed, and to report any cases of neglect. A very thorough system of local police, framed upon the model of the old synodal witnesses, was devised by the Council of Béziers in 1246, under which the inquisitor was
* Concil. Albiens. ann. 1254 c. 7. -- Eymeric. Direct. Inquis. 392-402. -- Gloss. Hostiens. super. Cap Excommunicamus, & Moneamus. -- Gloss. Joan. Andreæ sup. eod. loc. -- Lib. Sententt. Inq. Tolosan. pp. 1, 7, 36, 39, 292. -- Archives de l'Inq. de Carcassonne (Doat, XXVII. 118). -- Isambert, Anc. Loix Françaises, IV. 364-5. -- Ogniben Andrea, I Guglielmiti del Secolo XIII., Perugia, 1867, p. III. -- Alex. PP. IV. Bull. Quæsivistis, 28 Mai. 1260.
As in France the office of bailli was a purchasable one, while the incumbent was forbidden to sell it, it is evident that he would be loath to endanger its tenure by risking disobedience to inquisitorial demands. -- Statuta Ludov. IX, ann. 1254, c. XXV. -- vii. (Vaissette, Éd. Privat, VIII. 1349).
empowered to appoint in every parish a priest and one or two lay. men, whose duty it should be to search for heretics, examining all houses, inside and out, and especially all secret hiding-places. In addition to this they were instructed to watch over penitents and enforce the faithful observance of the sentences of the Inquisition, and a manual of practice of the period instructs inquisitors to see that this system is thoroughly carried out. In fact, the whole resources of the land, public and private, were freely placed at the disposal of the Holy Office, so that nothing should be wanting in its sacred mission of extirpating heresy. *
An important feature in the organization of the Inquisition was the assembly in which the fate of the accused was finally determined. The inquisitor had technically no power to pass sentence by himself. We have seen how, after various fluctuations of policy, the co-operation of the bishops was established as indispensable. As in everything else, the inquisitors contemptuously neglected this limitation on their powers, and when Clement V. endeavored to reform abuses he pronounced null and void any sentences rendered independently, yet to avert delays he permitted consent to be expressed in writing if after eight days a meeting could not be arranged. If, indeed, we may judge from some specimens of these written consultations which have reached us, they were perfunctory to the last degree and placed no real check upon the discretion of the inquisitor. Still Bernard Gui complained bitterly even of this restriction in terms which show how little respect had previously been paid to the rule, and he adds, in justification, that one bishop kept the trials of some persons of his diocese from being finished for two years and more, while another delayed the celebration of an auto de fé for six months. He himself observed the regulation scrupulously, both before and after the publication of the Clementines, and in the reports of the autos held by him in Toulouse the participation of the bishops of the prisoners, or of episcopal delegates, is always carefully specified. Yet how easy was the evasion of this, as of all other regulations for the protec-
* Zanchini Tract. de Hæret. c. 5. -- Coll. Doat, XXI. 226, 808. -- Bern. Guidon. Practica P. IV. (Doat, XXX.). -- Concil. Narbonn. ann. 1244 c. 8. -- Concil. Biterrens. ann. 1246 c. 34. -- Practica super Inquisit. (MSS. Bib. Nat., fonds latin, No. 14930, fol. 223-4).
tion of the accused, is seen when even Bernard Gui accepted commissions from three bishops -- those of Cahors, St. Papoul, and Montauban -- to act for them in the auto of September 30, 1319. This device became frequent, and inquisitors constantly rendered sentence on their individual responsibility under power granted them by the bishops, as in the persecutions of the Waldenses of Piedmont in 1387, and that of the witches of Canavese in 1474. Sometimes, however, the bishops were not altogether free agents, as when, in the early persecution of the Spiritual Franciscans, about 1318, those of the province of Narbonne were coerced to consent to the burning of some unfortunates by the inquisitor threatening them with the pope, who was known to have the prosecutions much at heart. *
This episcopal concurrence in the sentence was reached in consultation with the assembly of experts. As the inquisitors from the beginning were chosen rather with regard to zeal than learning, and as they maintained a reputation for ignorance, it was soon found requisite to associate with them in the rendering of sentences men versed in the civil and canon law, which had by this time become an intricate study requiring the devotion of a lifetime. Accordingly they were empowered to call in experts to deliberate with them over the evidence and advise with them on the sentence to be rendered, and those who were thus summoned could not refuse to serve gratuitously, though it is intimated that the inquisitor can pay them if he feels so inclined. At first it would seem as though notables were assembled at the condemnation of prominent heretics rather to give solemnity to the occasion than for actual consultation, as when, in 1231, at the sentence passed on Alaman de Roaix in Toulouse, the presence is recorded of the Bishop of Toulouse, the Abbot of Moissac, the Dominican and Franciscan provincials, and a number of other notables. The amount of work, in fact, performed by the Inquisition of Languedoc in the early years of its existence would seem to preclude the idea of any serious deliberation by counsellors thus called in, who would have to consider the interminable reports of examinations and interro-
* C. 1, § 1, Clement v. 3. -- Eymeric. Direct. Inq. p. 580. -- Coll. Doat, XXXI. 57. -- Bernardi Guidon. Practica P. IV. (Doat, XXX.). -- Coll. Doat, XXX. 104. -Lib. Sententt. Inq. Tolosan. passim, especially pp. 208-10. -- Ibid. p. 300. -- Archivio Storico Italiano, No. 38, p. 26 sqq. -- Curiosità di Storia Subalpina, 1874, p. 215.
gations; especially as, at a comparatively early date, the practice was adopted of allowing a number of culprits to accumulate whose fate was determined and announced in a solemn "Sermo" or auto de fé. Still, the form was kept up, and in 1247 a sentence rendered by Bernard de Caux and Jean de St. Pierre on seven relapsed heretics is specified as being "with the counsel of many prelates and other good men." In the final shape which the assembly of counsellors assumed, we find it summoned to meet on Fridays, the "Sermo" always taking place on Sundays. When the number of criminals was large there was thus not much time for deliberation on special cases. The assessors were always to be jurists and Mendicant friars, selected by the inquisitor in such numbers as he saw fit. They were severally sworn on the Gospels to secrecy, and to give good and wise counsel, each one according to his conscience and the knowledge vouchsafed him by God. The inquisitor then read over to them his summary of each case, sometimes withholding the name of the accused, and they voted the sentence -- "Penance at the discretion of the inquisitor" -- "That person is to be imprisoned, or abandoned to the secular arm," while the Gospels lay on the table in their midst, "so that our judgment may come from the face of God and our eyes may see justice." *
As a rule it is safe to assume that these proceedings were scarcely more than formal. Not only was the inquisitor at liberty to present each case in such aspect as he saw fit, but it became the custom to call in such numbers of experts that in the press of business deliberation was scarce possible. Thus the Inquisitor of Carcassonne, Henri de Chamay, assembled at Narbonne, December 10, 1328, besides himself and the episcopal Ordinary, forty-two counsellors, consisting of canons, jurisconsults, and lay experts. In the two days allotted to them this unwieldly assemblage despatched thirtyfour cases, which would show that little consideration could have been given to each. In only two cases, indeed, was there any dif-
* Alex. PP. IV. Bull. Cupientes, 15 Apr. 1255. -- Ejusd. Bull. Prœ cunctis, 9 Nov. 1256. -- Urbani PP. IV. Bull. Licet ex omnibus, § 10, 1262 (Mag. Bull. Rom. I. 122). -- Bern. Guidon. Practica P. IV. (Doat, XXX.). -- Zanchini de Hæret. c. XV. -Bernardi Comens. Lucerna Inquisitor. s. v. Advocatus. -- Coll. Doat, XXI. 143; XXVII. 156-62, 232; XXXI. 139. -- Doctrina de modo procedendi ( Martene Thesaur. V. 1795). -- Tractatus de Inquis. (Doat, XXXVI.). -- MSS. Bib. Nat., fonds latin, No. 14930, fol. 205.
ference of opinion expressed, and these were of no special importance. On September 8, 1329, he held another assembly at Carcassonne, attended by forty-seven experts, which in its two days' session acted upon forty cases. Yet these assemblies were not always so expeditious and self-effacing. From Narbonne Henri de Chamay passed to Pamiers, where, January 7, 1329, he called together thirty-five experts besides the Bishop of Toulouse. On the first day several cases were postponed for greater deliberation, and of these some were acted upon and others were not. Considerable debate took place, each individual expressing his opinion, and the result was apparently settled by the majority vote. They evidently felt and assumed the responsibility of the decision; and yet the impossibility of deliberate action by so cumbrous a body is seen in their bunching together all the cases of "believing" heretics, condemning them en masse to prison, and leaving it with the inquisitor to determine the character of the imprisonment for each individual. Curiously enough, this assembly also assumed legislative functions in laying down general rules of punishment for falsewitness. A still more notable instance of deliberation occurred at an assembly convoked by Henri de Chamay at Béziers, May 19, 1329, where there were thirty-five experts present. In the case of a Franciscan friar, Pierre Julien, all agreed that, strictly speaking, he was a "relapsed," but many were anxious to show him mercy. After long debate, the inquisitor told them to meet again in the evening, and in the meanwhile consider whether they could devise some means of grace. At the evening session there was again earnest discussion, and postponement was agreed to on the excuse that no bishop could be had in time for his degradation. The experts were finally summoned, under pain of excommunication, to give their opinions, which were taken down in writing and ranged from simple purgation to abandonment to the secular arm. The assembly then was dismissed and consultation was held with some of the more prominent members, when it was agreed either to send to Avignon, Toulouse, or Montpellier for advice or to await an auto de fé at Carcassonne for further counsel. *
Yet, while the forms were thus preserved, the inquisitors, with their customary arbitrary disregard of all that limited their dis-
Coll. Doat, XXVII. 118, 140, 156, 162.
cretion, paid attention or not to the decisions of the experts, as best suited them. In the sentences which follow the reports of these assemblies it is by no means unusual to find names which had never been laid before them. After the assembly of Pamiers, for instance, which showed so much disposition to act for itself, there is a sentence condemning five defuncts, only two of whom are named in the proceedings. On the same occasion, another culprit, Ermessende, daughter of Raymond Monier, was condemned by the assembly for false-witness to the "murus largus," or simple prison, and was sentenced by the inquisitor to "murus strictus," or imprisonment in chains, which was a very different penalty. In fact, it was a disputed point whether the inquisitor was bound to obey the counsel of the assembly, and though Eymerich decides in the affirmative, Bernardo di Como positively asserts the negative. *
From the necessity of these consultations with bishops and experts it is easy to understand the origin of the "Sermo generalis," or auto de fé. It was evidently impossible to bring all parties together to consult over each individual case, and convenience was not only served by allowing the cases to accumulate, but opportunity was also afforded of arranging an impressive solemnity which should strike terror on the heretic and comfort the hearts of the faithful. In the rudimentary Inquisition of Florence, in 1245, where the inquisitor Ruggieri Calcagni and Bishop Ardingho were zealously co-operating, and no assembly of experts was required, we find the heretics sentenced and executed day by day, singly or in twos or threes, but the form was already adopted of assembling the people in the cathedral and reading the sentence to them, when doubtless the occasion was improved of delivering a discourse upon the wickedness of dissent and the duty of all citizens to persecute the children of Satan. In Toulouse the fragment of the register of sentences of Bernard de Caux and Jean de Saint-Pierre, from March, 1246, to June, 1248, shows a similar disregard of form. The autos or Sermones are sometimes held every few days -- there are five in May, 1246 -- and often there are only one or two heretics to be sentenced, rendering it exceedingly proba-
* Coll. Doat, XXVII. 118, 131, 133. -- Eymerici Direct. Inq. p. 630. -- Bernard. Comens. Lucerna Inquisitor. s. v. Advocatus.
ble that the co-operation of the bishop was not asked for, especially as he is never mentioned as joining in the condemnation. There are always present, however, a certain number of local magistrates, civil and ecclesiastical, and the ceremony is usually performed in the cloister of the church of St. Sernin, though other places are sometimes mentioned, and among them the Hotel-de-Ville twice, showing that divine service as yet formed no part of the solemnity. *
With time the ceremony grew in stateliness and impressiveness. Sunday became prescribed for it, and as no other sermons were allowed on that day in the city, it was forbidden to be held on Quadragesima or Advent Sunday, or any other of the principal feast-days. Notice was given in advance from all the pulpits summoning all the people to be present and obtain the indulgence of forty days. A staging was erected in the centre of the church, on which the "penitents" were placed, surrounded by the secular and clerical officials. The sermon was delivered by the inquisitor, after which the oath of obedience was administered to the representatives of the civil power, and a solemn decree of excommunication was fulminated against all who should in any manner impede the operations of the Holy Office. Then the notary commenced reading the confessions one by one in the vulgar tongue, and as each was finished the culprit was asked if he acknowledged it to be true -- care being taken, however, only to do this when he was known to be truly penitent and not likely to create scandal by a denial. On his replying in the affirmative he was asked whether he would repent, or lose body and soul by persevering in heresy; and on his expressing a desire to abjure, the form of abjuration was read and he repeated it, sentence by sentence. Then the inquisitor absolved him from the ipso facto excommunication which he had incurred by heresy, and promised him mercy if he behaved well under the sentence about to be imposed. The sentence followed, and thus the penitents were brought foward successively, commencing with the least guilty and proceeding with those incurring severer penalties. Those who were to be "relaxed," or abandoned to the secular arm, were reserved to the last, and for them the ceremony was adjourned to the pub-
* Lami, Antichità Toscane, pp. 557-9. -- Coll. Doat, XXXI. 139. -- MSS. Bib. Nat., fonds latin, No. 9992. -- Alex. PP. IV. Bull. Prœ cunctis, § 15, 9 Nov. 1256.
lic square, where a platform had been constructed for the purpose, in order that the holy precincts of the church might not be polluted by a sentence leading to blood. For the same reason it was not to be performed on a holy day. The execution, however, was not to take place on the same day, but on the following, so as to afford the convicts time for conversion, that their souls might not pass from temporal to eternal flame, and care was enjoined not to permit them to address the people, lest sympathy should be aroused by their assertions of innocence. *
We can readily picture to ourselves the effect produced on the popular mind by these awful celebrations, when, at the bidding of the Inquisition, all that was great and powerful in the land was called together humbly to take the oath of obedience and witness its exercise of the highest expression of human authority, regulating the destinies of fellow-creatures here and hereafter. In the great auto de fé held by Bernard Gui at Toulouse, in April, 1310, the solemnities lasted from Sunday the 5th until Thursday the 9th. After the preliminary work of mitigating the penances of some deserving penitents, twenty persons were condemned to wear crosses and perform pilgrimages, sixty-five were consigned to perpetual imprisonment, three of them in chains, and eighteen were delivered to the secular justice and were duly burned. In that of April, 1312, fifty-one were sentenced to crosses, eighty-six to imprisonment, ten defunct persons were pronounced worthy of prison and their estates confiscated, the bones of thirty-six were ordered to be exhumed and burned, five living ones were handed over to the secular court to be burned, and five more condemned for contumacy in absenting themselves. The faith which could thus vindicate itself might certainly inspire the respect of fear if not the attraction of love. Sometimes, however, a godless heretic would interfere with the prescribed order of solemnities, as when, in October, 1309, Amiel de Perles, a noted Catharan teacher, who defiantly avowed his heterodoxy, immediately on his capture commenced the endura and refused all food and drink. Unwilling thus to be robbed of his victim, Bernard hastened the usual dila-
* Eymeric. Direct. Inquis. pp. 503-12. -- Doctrina de modo Procedendi ( Martene Thesaur. V. 1795-6). -- Tract. de Paup. de Lugduno (Ib. 1792). -- Lib. Sententt. Inquis. Tolosan. pp. 1, 6, 39, 98.
tory proceedings, and gave to Amiel the honor of a special auto in which he was the only victim. A similar case occurred in 1313, when a certain Pierre Raymond, who as a Catharan "credens" had been led to abjure and seek reconciliation in the auto of 1310, and had been condemned to imprisonment, repented of his weakness in his solitary cell. The mental tortures of the poor wretch grew so strong that at last he defiantly proclaimed his relapse into heresy, in which he declared he would live and die, only regretting that he could not have access to some minister of his faith in order to be "perfected" or "hereticated." He likewise placed himself in endura, and after six days of starvation, as he was evidently nearing the end which he so resolutely sought, he was hurriedly sentenced, and a small auto was arranged with a few other culprits in order that the stake might not be cheated of its prey. *
With such an organization as this, in the hands of able, vigorous, and earnest men, it shows the marvellous constancy of the heretics that the Cathari for a hundred years opposed to it the simple resistance of inertia, and that the Waldenses were never trampled out. The effectiveness of the organization was unhampered by any limits of jurisdiction, and was multiplied by the cooperation of the tribunals everywhere, so that there was no resting-place, no harbor of refuge for the heretic in any land where the Inquisition existed. Vainly might he change his abode, it was ever on his track. A suspicious stranger would be observed and arrested; his birthplace would be ascertained, and as soon as swift messengers could traverse the intervening distance, full official documents as to his antecedents would be received from the Holy Office of his former home. It was a mere matter of convenience whether he should be tried where he was caught or sent back, for every tribunal had full jurisdiction over all offences committed within its district, and over all such offenders wherever they should stray. When Jacopo della Chiusa, one of the assassins of St. Peter Martyr, discreetly absented himself, notices commanding his capture were sent as far as the Inquisition of Carcassonne. Of course, questions sometimes arose which seemed likely to give trouble. Before the Inquisition was thoroughly organized, Jayme I. of Ara-
* Lib. Sententt. Inquis. Tolosan. pp. 37, 39-93, 99-175. 178-9.
gon, in 1248, complained of the Tolosan inquisitor, Bernard de Caux, for citing his subjects to appear, and Innocent IV. commanded that the abuse should cease, an order which received but slack obedience; and with the growth of the Holy Office such reclamations were not likely to be repeated. Cases, of course, occurred, in which two tribunals would claim the same culprit, and in this the rule of the Council of Narbonne, in 1244, was generally observed, that he should be tried by the inquisitor who had first commenced prosecution. Considering, indeed, the abundant causes of jealousy, and especially the bitter rivalry between the Dominican and Franciscan Orders, the cases of quarrel seem to have been singularly few. Whatever there were, they were hushed up with prudent reserve, and with occasional exceptions we find a hearty and zealous co-operation in the holy work to which all were alike devoted. *
The implacable energy with which the resources of this organization were employed may be understood from one or two instances. Under the Hohenstaufens the two Sicilies had served as a refuge for many heretics self-exiled by the rigor of the Inquisition of Languedoc, and merciless as was Frederic when it suited him, his system was by no means so searching and unintermittent as that of the Holy Office. After his death, the active warfare between Manfred and the papacy doubtless left the heretics in comparative peace, but when Charles of Anjou conquered the kingdom as the vassal of Rome, it was at once thrown open and the French inquisitors made haste to pursue those who had eluded them. But seven months after the execution of Conradin, Charles issued his letterspatent, May 31, 1269, to all the nobles and magistrates of the realm, setting forth that the inquisitors of France were about coming or sending agents to track and seize the fugitive heretics who had sought refuge in Italy, and ordering his subjects to give them safe-conduct and assistance whenever they might require it. In
* Lib. Sententt. Inq. Tolosan. pp. 252-4. -- MSS. Bib. Nat., fonds latin, 11847 ad finem. -- Arch. de l'Inquis. de Carcassonne (Doat, XXXI. 83, 94-5). -- Guid. Fulcod. Quæst. v. -- Alex. PP. IV. Bull. Cupientes, 4 Mart. 1260. -- Urbani PP. IV. Bull. Licet ex omnibus, § 11, 1262. -- Ejusd. Bull. Prœ cunctis, 2 Aug. 1264. -- C. 2 Sexto v. 2. -- Bern. Guidon Practica P. IV. (Doat, XXX.). -- Zanchini Tract. de Heeret. c. viii. -- Concil. Narbonn. ann. 1244 c. 20. -- Eymeric. Direct. Inquis. pp. 461-5.
fact, the inquisitor's jurisdiction was personal as well as local, and it accompanied him. When, in 1359, some renegade converted Jews escaped from Provence to Spain, Innocent VI. authorized the Provençal inquisitor, Bernard du Puy, to follow them, arrest, try, condemn, and punish them wherever he might find them, with power to coerce the aid of the secular authorities everywhere; and he wrote at the same time to the kings of Aragon and Castile, instructing them to give to Bernard all necessary assistance. *
How the same tireless and unforgiving zeal was habitually brought to bear upon the humblest objects is seen in the case of Arnaud Ysarn, who, when a youth of fifteen, was condemned at Toulouse in 1309, after an imprisonment of two years, to wear crosses and perform certain pilgrimages, his sole offence being that he had once "adored" a heretic at the command of his father. He wore the insignia of his shame for more than a year, when, finding that they prevented him from earning a livelihood, he threw them off and obtained employment as a boatman on the Garonne between Moissac and Bordeaux. In his obscurity he might well fancy himself safe; but the inquisitorial police was too well organized, and he was discovered. Cited in 1312 to appear, he was afraid to do so, though urged by his father to take the chance of mercy. In 1315 he was excommunicated for contumacy, and, remaining under the censure for a year, he was finally declared a heretic, and was condemned as such in the auto de fé of 1319. In June, 1321, by command of Bernard Gui, he was captured at Moissac, but escaped on the road to be recaptured and taken to Toulouse. He had been guilty of no act of heresy during the interval, but his contumacious rejection of the parental chastisement of the Inquisition was an offence worthy of death, and he was mercifully treated in being condemned, in 1322, to imprisonment for life on bread and water. The net of the Inquisition extended everywhere, and no prey was too small to elude its meshes. †
The whole organization of the Church was at its service. In 1255 a Dominican of Alessandria, Frà Niccolò da Vercelli, confessed voluntarily some heretical beliefs to his sub-prior, who thereupon
* Archivio di Napoli, Registro 3, Lett. A, fol. 64. -- Wadding. ann. 1359, No. 1-3.
† Lib. Sententt. Inq. Tolosan. pp. 350-1.
promptly ejected him. He entered a neighboring Cistercian convent, and then, fearing the pursuit of the Inquisition, quietly disappeared to some other convent beyond the Alps. There would not seem much to be feared from a heretic who would bury himself in the rigid Cistercian Order, and yet at once Alexander IV. issued letters to all Cistercian abbots and to all archbishops and bishops everywhere, commanding them to seize him and send him to Rainerio Saccone, the Lombard inquisitor. *
To render it an instrumentality perfect for the work assigned to it, all that was wanting to the Inquisition was its subjection to a chief who should command the implicit obedience of its members and weld the organization into an organic whole. This function the pope could perform but imperfectly amid the overwhelming diversity of his cares, and he needed a minister who, as inquisitor-general, could devote his undivided attention to the innumerable questions arising from the conflict between orthodoxy and heresy, and between papal supremacy and local episcopal independence. The importance of such a measure seems to have made itself felt at a comparatively early period, and in 1262 Urban IV. created a virtual inquisitor-general when he ordered all inquisitors to report, either in person or by letter, to Caietano Orsini, Cardinal of S. Niccolò in carcere Tulliano, all impediments to the due performance of their functions, and to obey the instructions which he might give. Cardinal Orsini speaks of himself as inquisitor-general, and he labored to bring the several tribunals into the closest relations with each other and subjection to himself. May 19, 1273, we find him ordering the Italian inquisitors to furnish to the inquisitors of France facilities for the transcription of all the depositions of witnesses already on record in their archives, as well as of all future ones. The perpetual migration of Catharans and Waldenses between France and Italy rendered this information most valuable, and the French inquisitors had requested it of him, but the excessive diffuseness of the inquisitorial documents made the task appalling in magnitude and cost, and the terms of the cardinal's missive show that it was not expected to be welcome. Whether any further attempt was made to carry out this gigantic
Ripoll I. 285.
plan, which would have so greatly multiplied the effectiveness of the Inquisition, does not appear, but its conception shows the view entertained by Orsini of the powers of his office and of the possibilities of what the Inquisition might become under energetic supervision. Another letter of his, dated May 24, 1273, to the inquisitors of France, indicates that for a time at least the general instructions to the functionaries of the Holy Office were issued through him. *
We have no further evidence of his activity, but his elevation to the papacy in 1277, as Nicholas III., may possibly indicate that the position was one which afforded abundant opportunities of influence, perhaps rendering its possessor disagreeably, if not dangerously powerful, and when Nicholas appointed his nephew, Cardinal Latino Malebranca, as his successor in the office vacated by his elevation, he may have felt it necessary to secure himself by keeping the position in his family. Malebranca was Dean of the Sacred College, and his influence was shown when, in 1294, he ended the weary conflict of the conclave by procuring the election of the hermit, Pietro Morrone, as pope, under the name of Celestin V. He did not survive the short pontificate of Celestin, and the proud and vigorous Boniface VIII. regarded it as impolitic or unnecessary to continue the office. It remained in abeyance under the Avignonese popes, until Clement VI. revived it for William, Cardinal of S. Stefano in Monte Celio, who signalized his zeal by burning several heretics, and in other ways. After his death the post remained vacant, and at no time does it appear to have exercised any special influence over the development and activity of the Inquisition. †
* Ripoll I. 434. -- Pegnæ Comment. in Eymeric. pp. 406-7. -- Wadding. Annal. Regest. Nich. PP. III. No. 10. -- Arch. de l'Inq. de Carcassonne (Doat, XXXII. 101). -- Raynald. ann. 1278, No. 78. -- MSS. Bib. Nat., fonds latin, No. 14930, fol. 218.
† Paramo de Orig. Offic. S. Inquis. pp. 124-5. -- Wadding. Annal. ann. 1294, No. 1. -- Milman, Latin Christianity, IV. 487.
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