Page:A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages-Volume I .pdf/143

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
123
IN SOUTHERN FRANCE.

practicable. When the legate desired to confute two heresiarchs, Raymond de Baimiac and Bernard Eaymond, the Catharan bishops of Val d'Aran and Toulouse, he was obliged to give them a safe-conduct before they would present themselves before him, and to content himself afterwards with excommunicating them ; and when proceedings were had against the powerful Roger Trencavel, Viscount of Beziers, for keeping the Bishop of Albi in prison, excommunication was likewise the only penalty, nor do we read that the captured prelate was liberated. The mission so pompously heralded returned to France, and we can readily believe the statement of contemporary chroniclers that it had accomplished little or nothing. It is true that Raymond of Toulouse and his nobles had been induced to issue an edict banishing all heretics, but this remained a dead letter.[1]

It was in September of the same year, 1178, that Alexander III. published the call for the assembling of the Third Council of Lateran, and an ominous allusion in it to the tares which choke the wheat and must be pulled up by the roots shows that he recognized the futility of all measures heretofore adopted to check the daily grooving power of heresy. Accordingly, when the council met, in 1179, it bemoaned the damnable perversity of the Patarins, who pubhcly seduced the faithful throughout Gascony, the Albigeois, and the Toulousain ; it commended the employment of force by the secular power to compel men to their own salvation ; it anathematized, as usual, the heretics and those who sheltered and protected them, and it included among heretics the Cotereaux, Brabançons, Aragonese, Navarrese, Basques, and Triaverdins, of whom more anon. It then proceeded to take a step of much significance in proclaiming a crusade against all these enemies of the Church — the first experiment of a resort to this weapon against Christians, which afterwards became so common, and gave the Church in its private quarrels the services of a warlike militia in every land, ever ready to be mobilized. Two years' indulgence


  1. Roger. Hovedens. Annal. ann. 1178. — Schmidt, I. 78. — Martene Thesaur. I. 992. — Rob. de Monte Chron. ann. 1178. — Benedict. Petroburg. Vit. Henrici II. ann. 1178.
    Roger Trencavel of Béziers was no heretic (see Vaissette, III. 49) and his treatment of the Bishop of Albi and disregard of the missionary bishops shows the complete contempt into which the Church had fallen, even among the faithful,