Page:A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages-Volume I .pdf/320

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was not until more than ten years after his death, in 1221, that such an institution as the papal Inquisition can be said to have existed. The prominent part assigned in it to his successors easily explains the legend which has grown around his name, a legend which may safely be classed with the enthusiastic declaration of an historian of the Order that more than a hundred thousand heretics had been converted by his teaching, his merits, and his miracles.[1]

A similar legendary halo exaggerates the exclusive glory, claimed by the Order, of organizing and perfecting the Inquisition. The bulls of Gregory IX. alleged in support of the assertion are simply special orders to individual Dominican provincials to depute brethren fitted for the purpose to the duty of preaching against heresy and examining heretics, and prosecuting their defenders. Sometimes Dominicans are sent to special districts to proceed against heretics, with an apology to the bishops and an explanation that the friars are skilful in convincing heretics, and that the other episcopal duties are too engrossing to enable the prelates to give proper attention to this. The fact simply is that there was no formal confiding of the Inquisition to the Dominicans any more than there was any formal founding of the Inquisition itself. As the institution gradually assumed shape and organization in the effort to find some effectual means to ferret out concealed heretics, the Dominicans were the readiest instrument

  1. Campana, Vita di San Piero Martire, p. 257.— Juan de Mata, Santoral de San Domingo y San Francisco, fol. 13. — Zurita, Aiiales de Aragon, Lib. ii. c, 63. — Ricchinii Prooem. ad. Monetam, Dissert, i. p. xxxi. — Paramo de Orig. OflF. S. Inquis. Lib. ii. Tit. ii. c. 1. — Pegnse Comment, in Eymeric. p. 461. — Chron. Magist. Ord. Prsedic. c. 2 (Martene Ampl. Coll. VI. 348). — Monteiro, Historia da Santo Inquisi9ao P. 1. Liv. i. c. xxv., xlviii.
    It is an interesting illustration of the softened temper of the nineteenth century to see, in 1842, the learned and zealous Dominican, Lacordaire, writing his "Vie de S. Dominique" to prove the impossibility of Dominic's participation in the cruelty of the Inquisition exactly one hundred years after an equally learned and zealous Dominican, Ricchini, had claimed the Inquisition as the glorious work of the saint. Yet since the time of Lacordaire there has been a reaction, and M. l'Abbé Douais does not hesitate to state, on the authority of Sixtus V., that " Saint Dominique aurait aiusi reçu une delegation pontificale pour I'lnquisition après I'annee 1209" (Sources de l’Histoire de PInquisition, Revue des Questions Historiques, 1 Oct. 1881, p. 400).