Page:A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages-Volume I .pdf/163

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143
COUNT RAYMOND EXCOMMUNICATED.

face for his perjuries and other misdeeds. Raymond submitted in patience to this reproof, while Pierre applied to Innocent for confirmation of the sentence. By this time, in fact, Raymond had acquired the special hatred of the papalists, through his obstinate neglect to persecute his heretical subjects, in spite of his readiness to take what oaths were required of him. Notwithstanding his outward conformity to orthodoxy, they accused him of being at heart a heretic, and stories were circulated that he always carried with him " perfected " heretics, disguised in ordinary vestments, together with a New Testament, that he might be "hereticated" in case of sudden death ; that he had declared that he would rather be like a certain crippled heretic living in poverty at Castres than be a king or an emperor ; that he knew that he would in the end be disinherited for the sake of the "Good Men," but that he was ready to suffer even beheading for them. All this and much more, including exaggerated gossip as to his undoubted frailties, was diligently published in order to render him odious, but there is no proof that his religious indifference ever led him to deviate from the faith, and no accusation that he had ever interfered with the legates in their mission. They were free to make what converts they could by persuasion or argument, but he committed the unpardonable crime of refusing at their bidding to plunge his dominions in blood.[1]

Innocent promptly confirmed the sentence of his legate. May 29, 1207, in an epistle to Raymond which was an unreserved expression of the passions accumulated through long years of zealous effort frustrated in its results. In the harshest vituperation of ecclesiastical rhetoric, Raymond was threatened with the vengeance of God here and hereafter. The excommunication and interdict were to be strictly observed until due satisfaction and obedience were rendered ; and he was warned that these must be speedy, or he would be deprived of certain territories which he held of the Church, and if this did not suffice, the princes of Christendom would be summoned to seize and partition his dominions so that the land might be forever freed from heresy. Yet in the recital of misdeeds which were held to justify this rigorous sentence there was nothing that had not been for two generations so universal in


  1. Pet. Sarnens. c. 3, 4.