Page:A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages-Volume I .pdf/201

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181
THE FOURTH COUNCIL OF LATERAN

ten thousand marks in return for the rendering of a worthless homage, to which is perhaps attributable the permission given by Philip Augustus to his son to perform the crusade and grant investiture to de Montfort of the lands thus transferred to English sovereignty.[1] Foreign humiliations and domestic revolt, however, rendered John useless as an ally or a suzerain, and Raymond awaited, with what patience he might, the assembling of the great council to which the final decision of his fate had been referred. Here, at least, he would have a last chance of being heard, and of appealing for the justice so long and so steadily denied him.

In April, 1213, had gone forth the call for the Parliament of Christendom, the Twelfth General Council, where the assembled wisdom and piety of the Church were to deliberate on the recovery of the Holy Land, the reformation of the Church, the correction of excesses, the rehabilitation of morals, the extirpation of heresy, the strengthening of faith, and the quieting of discord. All these were specified as the objects of the convocation, and two years and a half had been allowed for preparation. By the appointed day, November 1, 1215, the prelates had gathered together, and Innocent's pardonable ambition was gratified in opening and presiding over the most august assemblage that Latin Christianity had ever seen. The Frankish occupation of Constantinople gave opportunity for the reunion, nominal at least, of the Eastern and the Western churches, and Patriarchs of Constantinople and Jerusalem were there in humble obedience to St. Peter. All that was foremost in Church and State had come, in person or by representative. Every monarch had his ambassador there, to see that his interests suffered no detriment from a body which, acting under the direct inspiration of the Holy Ghost, and under the principle that temporal concerns were wholly subordinate to spiritual, might have little respect for the rights of sovereigns. The most learned theologians and doctors were at hand to give counsel as to points of faith and intricate questions of canon law. The princes of the Church were present in numbers wholly unprecedented. Besides patriarchs, there were seventy-one primates and metropolitans, four hundred and twelve bishops, more than eight hundred abbots and priors, and the countless delegates of those prelates who were un-


  1. Radulph. Coggeshall ann. 1213.