Page:A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages-Volume I .pdf/365

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345
REMOVABILITY OF INQUISITORS.

The Franciscans endeavored to reduce their inquisitors to subjection by the expedient of issuing commissions for a limited term. Thus in 1320 the General Michele da Cesena adopted the term of five years, which seems to have long continued the rule, for in 1375 we see Gregory XI. requesting the Franciscan general to keep in office as inquisitor of Rome Fra Gabriele da Viterbo on account *of his eminent merits. In 1439 a commission as inquisitor of Florence, issued to Fra Francesco da Michele, to take effect on the expiration of the term of the incumbent, Fra Jacopo della Biada, indicates that appointments were still for specified times, although in 1432 Eugenius IV. had conferred on the Franciscan general, Guglielmo di Casale, full power of appointment and removal. The Dominicans do not seem to have adopted this expedient, and no precautions of any kind were available to enforce subordination and discipline in view of the constant interference of the Holy See, which doubtless could always be obtained by those who knew how to approach it. Commissions were continually issued directly by the pope, and those who held them seem not to have been removable by any one else. Even when this was not done, it mattered little that the popes admitted the power of the provincials to remove, when they interposed to nullify its exercise. In 1323 John XXII. gave to Fra Piero da Perugia, inquisitor of Assisi, letters which protected him from suspension and removal. In 1339 we happen to hear of Giovanni di Borgo removed by the Franciscan general and replaced by Benedict XII. Even more subversive of discipline was the case of Francisco de Sala, appointed by the provincial of Aragon, removed by his successor, and reinstated by Martin Y. in 1419, with a provision of inamovability by any superior of his Order. Yet in 1439 Eugenius IV., and in 1474 Sixtus IV. renewed the provisions of Clement IV. rendering inquisitors removable at will by both generals and provincials; and in 1479, Sixtus IV., to impress them with some sense of responsibility, adopted the expedient of requiring all complaints against them to be brought before the general of the Order to


    Mai. 1256 ; Ejusd. Bull. Catholicos fidei, 15 Jul. 1257 ; Ejusd. Bull. Quid super nannullis, 9 Dec. 1257 ; Ejusd. Bull. Meminimus, 13 Apr. 1258.— -Clem. PP. IV. Bull. Licet ex omnibus, 30 Sept. 1265. — C. 1, 2, Clementin, v. 2.— Bern. Guidon, Gravam. (Doat, XXX. 1 14).