Page:A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages-Volume I .pdf/36

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16
THE CHURCH.

Even where the enormity of offences did not call for papal intervention, the episcopal office was prostituted in a thousand ways of oppression and exaction which were sufficiently within the law to afford the sufferers no opportunity of redress. How thoroughly its profitable nature was recognized, is shown by the case of a bishop who, when fallen in years, summoned together his nephews and relatives that they might agree among themselves as to his succession. They united upon one of their number, and conjointly borrowed the large sums requisite to purchase the election. Unluckily the bishop-elect died before obtaining possession, and on his death-bed was heartily objurgated by his ruined kinsmen, who saw no means of repaying the borrowed capital which they had invested in the abortive episcopal partnership. As St. Bernard says, boys were inducted into the episcopate at an age when they rejoiced rather at escaping from the ferule of their teachers than at acquiring rule ; but, soon growing insolent, they learn to sell the altar and empty the pouches of their subjects. In thus exploiting their office the bishops only followed the example set them by the papacy, which, directly or through its agents, by its exactions, made itself the terror of the Christian churches. Arnold, who was Archbishop of Treves from 1169 to 1183, won great credit for his astuteness in saving his people from spoliation by papal nuncios, for whenever he heard of their expected arrival he used to go to meet them, and by heavy bribes induce them to bend their steps elsewhere, to the infinite relief of his own flock. In 1160 the Templars complained to Alexander III. that their labors for the Holy Land were seriously impaired by the extortions of papal legates and nuncios, who were not content with the free quarters and supply of necessaries to which they were entitled, and Alexander graciously granted the Order special exemption from the abuse, except when the legate was a cardinal. It was


    Gollut, République Séquanoise (Ed. Duvernoy, Arbois, 1846, pp. 80, 1724).-La Porte du Theil (Académie des Inscriptions, Notices des MSS. III. 617 sqq.)- Opusc. Tripartiti P. IL. cap. iv. (Fasciculi Rer. Expetendarum et Fugiendarum, II. 225, Ed. 1600)
    In May, 1212, Legate Arnauld is addressed as Archbishop-elect of Narboune (Innocent. PP. II. Regest. xv. 93, 101), but in the necrology of the Abbey of Saint-Just of Narbonne, Borenger, at his death, Aug. 11, 1218, is qualified as archbishop (Chron, de S. Just, Vaissette, Ed. Privat, VIII. 218)