Page:A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages-Volume I .pdf/239

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210
UNCERTAINTY

feited to the secular sword, as God, their Creator and Redeemer, showed them patience and mercy; and Canon Anselm, Wazo's biographer, strongly condemns the executions under Henry III., at Goslar, in 1052, saying that if our Wazo had been there he would have acted as did St. Martin in the case of Priscillian. The same lenity was manifested by St. Anno of Cologne about 1060, when some of his flock refused, after repeated commands, to abandon the use of milk, eggs, and cheese during Lent, and the archbishop at length allowed them to have their own way, saying that those who were firm in the faith could not be much harmed by a difference in food. Even as late as 1144 the Church of Liége congratulated itself on having, by the mercy of God, saved the greater part of a number of confessed and convicted Cathari from the turbulent mob which strove to burn them. Those who were thus preserved were distributed among the religious houses while awaiting the response of Lucius II., to whom application was made for advice as to what should be done with them.[1]

It is not worth while to repeat in detail the cases related in a former chapter which show how uncertain was the position of the Church towards heresy at this period. There was no definite policy, no fixed fule, and heretics continued to be treated with rigor or with mercy according to the temper of the prelate concerned. Theodwin, Wazo's successor in the see of Liége, writes in 1050 to King Henry I. of France, urging him to punish the followers of Berenger of Tours without even giving them a hearing. This uncertainty is well reflected by St. Bernard in his remarks on the occurrence at Cologne in 1145, when the zealous populace seized the Cathari and burned them despite the resistance of the ecclesiastical authorities. He argues that heretics should be won over by reason rather than by coercion, and if they will not be converted they are to be avoided; he approves the zeal of the people, but not of their action, for faith is to be spread by persuasion and not by force; yet he assumes the duty of the secular power to avenge the wrong done to God by heresy, and, blind to the danger of man's assuming himself to be the minister of the wrath of God, he quotes St. Paul, "For he beareth not the sword

  1. Burchardi Decret. Lib. xIx. c. 133-4.Gesta Episcopp. Leodiens. Lib. II. c 60, 61.-Hist. Audaginens. Monast. c. 18-Martene Ampliss. Collect. I. 776-8.