Page:A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages-Volume I .pdf/382

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they were using for the same purpose certain vile Dominicans who were notorious for their crimes. He demanded his "Apostoli," and named May 4 as the term for prosecuting the appeal in the Roman court. To this the archiepiscopal inquisitors had by law thirty days to reply, and during the interval, on February 13, he took an extra-judicial step, which seems to show how greatly his reputation had suffered by these proceedings, and which has given rise to the assertion that he recanted his errors. After preaching in the Dominican church he caused a paper to be read in which he exculpated himself to the people from the erroneous doctrines attributed to him — denying that he had said that his little finger had created all things, or that there was in the soul something uncreated and uncreatable. At the expiration of the thirty days, on February 22, the archiepiscopal inquisitors rejected Eckhart's appeal as frivolous. Worn out with the controversy, he died soon after, but his Order had sufficient influence with John XXII. to obtain an evocation of the case to Avignon. There the regularity of the archbishop's action was recognized, and on March 27, 1329, judgment was rendered, defining in Eckhart's teachings seventeen heretical articles and eleven suspect of heresy. Although his assumed recantation saved his bones from exhumation and incremation, the result was none the less a full justification of the arch-bishop's proceedings. For once the old order had triumphed over the new. The episcopal jurisdiction was confirmed, for Eckhart's heresy was declared to have been proved both by the inquisition held by the archbishop under his ordinary authority, and by the investigation subsequently made in Avignon by papal command, and the decision was the more emphatic, since John XXII. had at the moment every motive to soothe the Dominicans, involved as he was in mortal struggle at once with Louis of Bavaria and with the whole puritanic section of the Franciscans.[1]

  1. W. Preger, Meister Eckart und die Inquisition, Miinchen, 1869. — Denifle, Archiv fiir Litteratur- und Kirchengeschichte, 1886, pp. 616, 640. — Raynald. ann. 1329, No. 70-2. — Gustav Schmidt, Pabstliche Urkunden und Regesten, Halle, 1886, p. 223.— Cf. Eymeric. Direct. Inquis. pp. 453 sqq.
    The power of the Inquisition over the specially exempted orders of the Mendicants varied at times. Jurisdiction was conferred by Innocent IV., in 1254, by the bull Ne comissum whis (RipoU I. 252). About two hundred years later, Pius II. placed the Franciscans under the jurisdiction of their own minister-gen-