Page:A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages-Volume I .pdf/155

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135
CONDITION OF THE CHURCH.

The evil was constantly increasing, and unless checked it seemed only a question of time when the Church would disappear throughout all the Mediterranean provinces of France. Yet it must be said for the credit of the heretics that there was no manifestation of a persecuting spirit on their part. The rapacity of the barons, it is true, was rapidly depriving the ecclesiastics of their revenues and possessions ; as they neglected their duties, and as the law of the strongest was all-prevailing, the invader of Church property had small scruple in despoiling lazy monks and worldly priests whose numbers were constantly diminishing; but the Cathari, however much they may have deemed themselves the Church of the future, seem never to have thought of extending their faith by force. They reasoned and argued and disputed when they found a Catholic zealous enough to contend with them, and they preached to the people, who had no other source of instruction; but, content with peaceable conversions and zealous missionary work, they dwelt in perfect amity with their orthodox neighbors. To the Church this state of affairs was unbearable. It has always held the toleration of others to be persecution of itself. By the very law of its being it can brook no rivalry in its domination over the human soul ; and, in the present case, as toleration was slowly but surely leading to its destruction, it was bound by its sense of duty no less than of self-preservation to put an end to a situation so abhorrent. Yet, before it could resort effectually to force it was compelled to make what efforts


    rent. c. 6, 7. — Regest. viii. 115-6. — For the condition of other sees — Carcassonne, Vence, Agde, Ausch, Narbonne, Bordeaux— see Regest. 1. 194; iii. 34 ; vi. 216; VII. 84; viii. 76; xvi. 5.
    For the biography of Foulques, or Folquet, of Marseilles, who, after being fa- vored by Raymond V., became the most bitter enemy of Raymond VI., see Paul Meyer ap. Vaissette, £d. Privat, VII. 444. Dante places him in the heaven of Venus, together with Cunizza, the lascivious sister of Ezzelin da Romano (Para- diso, IX.). It is related of him that once when preaching against the heretics he conipared them to wolves and the faithful to sheep. A heretic whose eyes had been torn out and his nose and lips cut off by Simon de Montfort, arose and said, " Did you ever see sheep bite a wolf thus ?" to which Foulques rejoined that de Montfort was a good dog who had thus bitten the wolf A more pleas- ing trait is seen in the story that he gave alms to a poor heretic beggar-woman, saying that he gave it to poverty and not to heresy. — Chabaneau (Vaissette, fid. I'rivat, X. 292).