Page:A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages-Volume I .pdf/34

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14
THE CHURCH.

papal chair, there was some chance for sufferers to make themselves heard, and the number of such trials alluded to in his epistles show how wide-spread and deep-rooted was the evil. Yet, even under him, the protraction of the proceedings, and the evident shrinking from final condemnation, show how little encouragement there was for prosecutions likely to react so dangerously on the prosecutor. Thus, in 1198, Gerard de Rougemont, Arch-bishop of Besangon, was accused by his chapter of perjury, simony, and incest. When summoned to Rome the accusers did not dare to prosecute the charges, though they did not withdraw them, and Innocent, charitably quoting the woman taken in adultery, sent him back to purge himself and be absolved. Then followed a long course of undisturbed scandals, through which religion in his diocese became a mockery. He continued to live in incest with his relative, the Abbess of Remiremont, and other concubines, one of whom was a nun, and another the daughter of a priest ; no church could be consecrated or preferment conferred without payment; by his exactions and oppressions his clergy were reduced to live like peasants, and were exposed to the contempt of their parishioners ; and monks and nuns who could bribe him were allowed to abandon their convents and marry. At last another attempt was made, in 1211, to remove him, which, after more than a year, resulted in a sentence that he should undergo canonical purgation; i. e., find two bishops and three abbots to join him in an oath of disculpation, when negotiations as to the character of the oath ensued, lasting until 1214. Finally the citizens rose and drove him out ; he retired to the Abbey of Bellevaux, where he died in 1225. Maheu de Lorraine, Bishop of Toul, was a prelate of the same stamp. Consecrated in 1200, within two years his chapter applied to Innocent for his deposition, alleging that he had already reduced the revenues of the see from a thousand livres to thirty. It was not until 1210 that his removal could be effected, after a most intricate series of commissions and appeals, interspersed with acts of violence. He was wholly abandoned to debauchery and the chase, and his favorite concubine was his daughter by a nun of Epinal, but he retained a valuable preferment, as Grand-prevot of Saint-Die. In 1217 he caused his successor Kenaud de Senlis to be murdered, soon after which his uncle, Thiebault, Duke of Lorraine, happening to meet him, slew him on the spot. Ordi-