Page:A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages-Volume I .pdf/202

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able to attend in person.[1] Two centuries were to pass away before Europe was again to show its collective strength in a body such as now crowded the ample dimensions of the Basilica of Constantine ; and it is a weighty illustration of the service which the Church has rendered in counteracting the centrifugal tendencies of the nations, that such a federative council of Christendom, attainable in no other way, was brought together at the summons of the Roman pontiff. Without some such cohesive power modern civilization would have worn a very different aspect.

The Counts of Toulouse, Folx, and Comminges had reached Rome in advance, where they were joined by the younger Raymond, coming through France from England disguised as the servitor of a merchant, to escape the emissaries of de Montfort. In repeated interviews with Innocent they pleaded their cause, and produced no little hnpression on him. Arnaud of Narbonne, embittered by his quarrel with de Montfort, is said to have aided them, but the other prelates, to whom it was almost a question of life or death, were so violent in their denunciations of Raymond, and drew so fearful a picture of the destruction impending over religion, that Innocent, after a short period of irresolution, was deterred from action. De Montfort had sent his brother Gui to represent him, and when the council met both parties pressed their claims before it. Its decision was prompt, and, as might be expected, was in favor of the champion of the Church. The verdict, as promulgated by Innocent, December 15, 1215, recited the labors of the Church to free the province of Narbonne from heresy, and the peace and tranquillity with which its success had been crowned. It assumed that Raymond had been found guilty of heresy and spoliation, and therefore deprived him of the dominion which he had abused, and sentenced him to dwell elsewhere in penance for his sins, promising him four hundred marks a year so long as he proved obedient. His wife was to retain the lands of her dower, or to receive a competent equivalent for them. All the territories won by the Crusaders, together with Toulouse, the centre of heresy and Montauban, were granted to de Montfort, who viras extolled as the chief instrument in the triumph of the faith. The other possessions of Raymond, not as yet conquered, were to be

  1. Chron. Fossae Novse ann. 1215.