Page:A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages-Volume I .pdf/349

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ing complaint that they favored heretics by instructing them how to evade examination by concealing their beliefs and feigning orthodoxy. After reciting the necessity of subduing heresy and the raising up by God of the preaching friars, who devote themselves in voluntary poverty to spreading the Word and extirpating misbelief, Gregory proceeds to tell the bishops : " We, seeing you engrossed in the whirlwind of cares and scarce able to breathe in the pressure of overwhelming anxieties, think it well to divide your burdens that they may be more easily borne. We have therefore determined to send preaching friars against the heretics of France and the adjoining provinces, and we beg, warn, and exhort you, ordering you as you reverence the Holy See, to receive them kindly and treat them well, giving them in this, as in all else, favor, counsel, and aid, that they may fulfil their office." The other bull is addressed " to the Priors and Friars of the Order of Preachers, Inquisitors," and after alluding to the sons of perdition who defend heresy, it proceeds : " Therefore you, or any of you, wherever you may happen to preach, are empowered, unless they desist from such defence (of heretics) on monition, to deprive clerks of their benefices forever, and to proceed against them and all others, without appeal, calling in the aid of the secular arm, if necessary, and coercing opposition, if requisite, with the censures of the Church, without appeal." [1]

This experiment of investing all the Dominican preachers with legatine authority to condemn without appeal was inconsiderate. It could only lead to exasperation, as we shall see hereafter in Germany, and Gregory soon adopted a more practical expedient. Shortly after the issue of the above bulls w^e find him ordering the Provincial Prior of Toulouse to select some learned friars who should be commissioned to preach the cross in the diocese, and to proceed against heretics in accordance with the recent statutes. Though here there is still some incongruous mingling of duties, yet Gregory had finally hit upon the device which remained the permanent basis of the Inquisition — the selection by the provincial of certain fitting brethren, who exercised within their prov-

  1. Ripoll I. 45, 47.— C. 8 § 8, Sexto v. 2.-Gregor. PP. XI. Bull. Ille humani generis; Licet ad capiendos. — Potthast No. 9143, 9153, 9235. — Arch, de l’Inq. de Carcassonne (Doat, XXXI. 21, 25).