Page:A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages-Volume I .pdf/350

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ince the delegated authority of the Holy See in searching out and examining heretics with a view to the ascertainment of their guilt. Under this bull the provincial appointed Friars Pierre Cella and Guillem Arnaud, whose labors will be detailed in a subsequent chapter. Thus the Inquisition, as an organized 'system, may be considered as fairly commenced, though it is noteworthy that these early inquisitors in their official papers qualify themselves as acting under legatine and not under papal authority. How little idea there was as yet of creating a general and permanent institution is seen when the Archbishop of Sens complained of the intrusion of inquisitors in his province, and Gregory, by a brief of February 4, 1234, apologetically revoked all commissions issued for it, adding a suggestion that the archbishop should call in the assistance of the Dominicans if he thought that their superior skill in confuting heretics was likely to prove useful.[1]

As yet there was no idea of superseding the episcopal functions. About this time we find Gregory writing to the bishops of the province of Narbonne, threatening them if they shall not inflict due chastisement on heretics, and making no allusion to the new expedient; and as late as October 1, 1234, Pierre Amiel, Archbishop of Narbonne, exacted an oath from his people to denounce all heretics to him or to his officials, apparently in ignorance of the existence of special inquisitors. Even where the latter were commissioned, their duties and functions, their powers and responsibilities, were wholly undefined and remained to be determined. As they were regarded simply in the fight of assistants to the bishops in the exercise of the immemorial episcopal jurisdiction over heresy, it was naturally to the bishops that were referred the questions which immediately arose. Many points as to the treatment of heretics had been settled, not only by Gregory's Roman

  1. Potthast No. 9263; cf. No. 9386, 9388.— Guill. de Pod. Laur. c. 43.— Coll. Doat, XXI. 143, 153.— Ripoll I. 66.
    Guillem Arnaud generally qualifies himself as acting under commissioa from the legate, but sometimes as appointed by the Dominican provincial. In several sentences on the Seigneurs de Niort, in February and March, 1236, he acts with the Archdeacon of Carcassonne, both under legatine authority. As yet there was evidently no settled organization (Coll. Doat, XXI. 160, 163, 165, 106).