Page:A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages-Volume I .pdf/342

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the suzerain, provided he had offered no opposition. When the papal Inquisition Avas commenced, Frederic hastened, in 1232, to place the whole machinery of the State at the command of the inquisitors, who were authorized to call upon any official to capture whomsoever they might designate as a heretic, and hold him in prison until the Church should condemn him, when he was to be put to death.[1]

This fiendish legislation was hailed by the Church with acclamation, and was not allowed to remain, like its predecessors, a dead letter. The coronation-edict of 1220 was sent by Honorius to the University of Bologna to be read and taught as a part of practical law. It was consequently embodied in the authoritative compilation of the feudal customs, and its most stringent enactments were incorporated in the Civil Code. The whole series of edicts was subsequently promulgated by successive popes in repeated bulls, commanding all states and cities to inscribe these laws irrevocably in their local statute-books. It became the duty of the inquisitors to see that this was done, to swear all magistrates and officials to enforce them, and to compel their obedience by the free use of excommunication. In 1222, when the magistrates of Rieti adopted laws conflicting with them, Honorius at once ordered the offenders removed from office; in 1227 the people of Rimini resisted, but were coerced to submission ; in 1253, when some of the Lombard cities demurred. Innocent TV. promptly ordered the inquisitors to subdue them ; in 1254 Asti peacefully accepted them as part of its local laws ; Como foUowed the exam-

  1. Hist. Diplom. Frid. II. T. II. pp. 4-6, 422; T. IV. pp. 6-8, 299-302; T. V. pp. 201, 279-80. The coronation-edict, which formed the basis of all subsequent legislation against heresy, was drawn up by the papal curia, and sent, a fortnight before the ceremony, to the Legate Bishop of Tusculum, with orders to procure the imperial signature and return it, so that it could be published under the em- peror's name in the church of St. Peter (Raynald. ann. 1220, No. 19.— Hist. Dipl. I. II. 880). Nothing could seem a plainer duty to an ecclesiastic of the time than that the Church should stimulate the temporal ruler to the sharpest persecution of heresy.
    It was doubtless the outlawry of heretics pronounced by the edicts of Frederic which enabled the Inquisition to establish the settled principle that the heretic could be captured and despoiled at any time and by any person, and that the spoiler could retain his goods — provided always that he was not an official of the Holy Office (Tract, de Inquisitione, Doat, XXXVI.).