Page:A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages-Volume I .pdf/297

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AS PAPAL COMMISSIONERS.

they were too useful to be dispensed with in thus subjecting the Church to the Apostolic See. How disagreeable and even dangerous these duties might be is visible in a case which shows how little the condition of the Church in the middle of the thirteenth century had changed from what we had seen it in the previous age. The great electoral archiepiscopate of Treves, in 1259, was claimed by two rivals who litigated with each other for two years in Eome, to the great profit of the curia, till Alexander IV. set them both aside. The Dean of Metz, Henry of Fistigen, went on some pretext to Rome, where, by promising to pay the enormous debts left behind by the two litigants, he obtained the appointment from Alexander. On his return the pallium was withheld as security for the debts which he had incurred, but without waiting for it he assumed archiepiscopal functions, consecrated his suffragan Bishop of Metz, and commenced a series of military enterprises, in the course of which he devastated the Abbey of St. Matthias and nearly burned to death the unhappy monks. These misdeeds, and his neglect to pay his debts, led Urban IV., in 1261, to commission the Bishops of Worms and Spires and the Abbot of Rodenkirk to investigate the charges against him of simony, perjury, homicide, sacrilege, and other sins, but the archbishop bribed them, and they did nothing. Then, in 1262, Urban sent another commission to William and Roric, two Franciscans of the province of Treves, ordering them to investigate and report under pain of excommunication. This frightened all the Mendicants of the province. The Franciscan guardian and the Dominican prior, more worldly-wise than righteous, forbade them under pain of dungeon from exercising the functions imposed on them, and the two unlucky commissioners were glad to escape with their lives by flying from Treves to Metz. The Franciscan provincial had the effrontery to send envoys to Rome asking that the investigation be postponed or committed to others. They were heard in full consistory, in presence of Urban himself and of Bonaventura, the general of the Order, when Urban bitterly retorted, " If I had sent bishoprics to two of your brethren they would have been accepted with avidity. You shall not refuse to do what is necessary for the honor of God and the Church." It is not worth while to pursue the intricate details of the dreary quarrel, which lasted until 1272 and presented in its successive phases every variety of fraud,