Page:A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages-Volume I .pdf/157

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137
FRUITLESS EFFORTS OF PERSECUTION.

olic this special manifestation of zeal was due to his anxiety to obtain the legitimation of the children of a second wife whom he had married without legally divorcing a previous one, and as Innocent refused to sanction the wrong, no great results were to be anticipated for religion. A vigorous show of reform was also commenced by attacking two high-placed and notorious offenders, the archbishops of Narbonne and Ausch, whose personal wickedness, negligence, and toleration of heresy had reduced the Church in their provinces to a most deplorable state ; but as these proceedings dragged on for ten or twelve years before the removal of the sinners could be effected, no immediate purification could be hoped for by the most sanguine.[1]

In fact, for a time at least, these spasmodic efforts at reform only rendered matters worse. Angered and humiliated by the powers conferred on the representatives of Rome, and alarmed at the attempts to punish their evil lives, the local prelates were in no mood to second the exertions put forth for the eradication of heresy, and at one time it would even seem as though they might be driven to make common cause with the heretics, in opposition to the Holy See, in order to protect themselves and their clergy. Rainier had fallen sick in the summer of 1202 and had been replaced by Pierre de Castelnau and Raoul, two Cistercian monks of Fontfroide, who succeeded, after infinite trouble, by threats of the royal vengeance, in persuading the magistracy of Toulouse to swear to abjure heresy and expel heretics, in return for an oath pledging immunity and the preservation of the liberties of the city ; but no sooner were their backs turned than heresy was as flagrant as before. Encouraged by this apparent success, they undertook the task of obtaining a similar oath from Count Raymond. This they finally accomplished, with equally slender result, but the process showed what assistance they might expect from the hierarchy. When they summoned the Archbishop of Narbonne to accompany them to the Count of Toulouse for the purpose, he not only refused, but declined to aid them in any way, and it was only after long entreaty that he would even furnish them a horse for the journey. With the Bishop of Beziers their success was no


  1. Regest. I. 92, 93, 94, 165, 395 ; ii. 122, 123, 298 ; iii. 24 ; v. 96; vii. 17, 75; VIII. 75, 106; IX. 66; x. 68; xiii. 88; xiv. 32; xvi. 5.— Vaissette, III. 117,