Page:A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages-Volume I .pdf/252

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

councils, repeatedly and formally excommunicated all heretics. It was an old rule of the Church that all excommunicates who did not within a year apply for absolution were condemned. All heretics who died without confession or recantation were thus self-condemned, and were ineligible to sepulture in consecrated ground. Though they could not be excommunicated, being already under ipso facto excommunication, they could be anathematized. If mistakenly they had received Christian burial, as soon as the fact was discovered they were to be dug up and burned; the inquisition which established their guilt was merely an examination into the facts, not a condemnation, and the penalties followed of themselves. That it required some effort to establish the rule is shown by an epistle of Innocent III., in 1207, to the abbot and monks of St. Hippolytus of Faenza, who had refused, at the order of a legate, to exhume the body of Otto of damnable memory, a heretic buried in their cemetery, or to observe the interdict pronounced against them in consequence, and Innocent is obliged to threaten the most energetic measures to compel them to obedience. With time, however, the principle became firmly established; it was recognized as a grievous offence knowingly to bury the body of a heretic or a fautor of heretics - an offence only to be pardoned on condition of the offender exhuming the remains with his own hands, while the grave was accursed forever. We shall see that the business of investigating the record of the dead became no small or unimportant part of the duties of the Inquisition.[1]

The influence which these teachings and practices had in guiding the actions and policy of the age is well exemplified in the career of Frederic II. Half Italian in blood, and wholly Italian

  1. Cypriani Epist. I. Chrysost, Hom. de Anathematc.-Leon PP. I. Epist. 108 c, 2-Gelasii PP. I. Epistt. 4, 1.-Concil. Roman. II. ann. 494.-Evagrii II. E. Lib. IV. c. 38 Vigilii Constit. de Tribus Capitulis. Facundi Epist. in Delens. Trium Capitt.-Concil. Constantinop. II. ann. 553 Collat. vI-Conci Hispalcns. II. ann. 618 c. 5.-Conci. Constantinop. III. ann. 680 Tom. XI.-Jaffé Regesta, 303.-ynod. Roman. ann. 898 c. 1--Chron. Turonens. (Martene Ampliss Collect. V. 78-80).-Ivon. Carnotens. Epist. 96; Ejusd. Panorm. Lib, v. c. 115 128.-Lucii PP. III. Epist. 171.-Lib. v. Extra Tit. vii. c. 13.--Gratian, Decret II. Caus. XI. Q. iii, c. 36, 37, 38.-F. Pegnæ Comment. in Eymerici Direct. In quis. p. 95.-Inuoccnt. PP. III. Regest. Ix. 213.- Lib. II. Extra Tit, xxviii. c. 12.-Lib. v. in Sexto Tit. i. c. 2-Eymeric. Direct. Inquis. p. 104