Page:A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages-Volume I .pdf/298

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forgery, robbory, and outrage. It is sufficient to say that when William and Roric were forced to work, they seem to have performed their duty with independence and fidelity, and that the Roman curia, in the course of the proceedings, managed to extort from the unfortunate diocese the enormous sum of thirty-three thousand sterling marks — in spite of which Archbishop Henry attended the coronation of Rodolph of Hapsburg, in 1273, with a splendid retinue of eighteen hundred armed men.[1]

It is easy to imagine that such functions as these produced antagonism between the new orders and the old organization which they were undermining and supplanting. Yet this was, perhaps, the least of the causes of bitterness between them. A far more fruitful source of discord was the intrusion of the Mendicants in the office of preaching and hearing confessions. We have seen how jealously the former had always been reserved by the bishops and how utterly it had been neglected until the primary object of St. Dominic had been to supply the deficiency, which Honorius III. lamented as one of the pressing wants of the age. The Church was scarce better prepared to discharge the duty of the confessional, which the Lateran Council had rendered obligatory and had confined to the priesthood. Lazy and sensual priests, intent only on maintaining their revenues, neglected the souls of their flocks and permitted no intrusion which might diminish their gains. In the populous town of Montpellier there was only one church in which the sacrament of penitence could be administered, and the consuls, in 1213, petitioned Innocent III., in view of the multitude of perishing souls, to empower four or five of the other churches of the town to divide the duty. As late as 1247, Ypres, with two hundred thousand inhabitants, had but four parish churches. If the Church Militant was to perform its duty, and if it was to regain the veneration of the people, these deficiencies must be supplied.[2]

The first efforts of Dominic had been based on the power

  1. Potthast Regesta No. 7380, 8027, 8028, 10343, 10363, 10364, 10365, 10804, 10807, 10906, 10956, 10964, 11008, 11159.— Martene Thesaur. V. 1812.— Hist. Diplom. Frid. II. T. III. p. 416.— Gest. Arcliiep. Trevirens. c. 190-271.
  2. Martene Ampliss. Collect. I. 1146-9.— Innoc. PP. III. Regest. xv. 240.— Beiger, Registres d'Innocent IV. No. 2712.