Page:A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages-Volume I .pdf/140

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short, the business was that of an established and independent Church, which looked upon itself as destined to supersede the Church of Rome. Based upon the affection and reverence of the people, which Rome had forfeited, it might well look forward to ultimate supremacy.[1]

In fact, its progress during the next ten years was such as to justify the most enthusiastic hopes. Raymond of Toulouse, whose power was virtually that of an independent sovereign, adhered to Frederic Barbarossa, acknowledged the antipope Victor and his successors, and cared nothing for Alexander III., who was received by the rest of France ; and the Church, distracted by the schism, could offer little opposition to the development of heresy. In 1177, however, Alexander triumphed and received the submission of Frederic. Raymond necessarily followed his suzerain (a large portion of his territories was subject to the empire) and suddenly awoke to the necessity of arresting the progress of heresy. Powerful as he was, he felt himself unequal to the task. The burgesses of his cities, independent and intractable, were for the most part Cathari. A large portion of his knights and gentlemen were secretly or avowedly protectors of heresy; the common people throughout his dominions despised the clergy and honored the heretics. When a heretic preached they crowded to listen and applaud ; when a Catholic assumed the rare function of religious instruction they jeered at him and asked him what he had to do with proclaiming the Word of God. In a state of chronic war with powerful vassals and more powerful neighbors, like the kings of Aragon and England, it was manifestly impossible for Raymond to undertake the extermination of a half or more than half of his subjects. Whether he was sincere in his desire to suppress heresy is doubtful, but in any case his situation is interesting, as an illustration of the difficulties which surrounded his son and grandson, and led to the Crusades and the extinction of his house. Whatever his motives, however, Raymond Y. craftily placed himself on the right side. He called upon the king, Louis VII., to come to his assistance, and, remembering how St. Bernard had, in the previous generation, aided to suppress the Henricians, he applied to Bernard's successor, Henry of Clairvaux, head of the great Cis-

  1. D. Bouquet, XIV. 448-50.— D. Vaissette, III. 4, 537.