Page:A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages-Volume I .pdf/424

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

did not clear himself within twelve months was to be condemned as a heretic, and this was applied to the absent, who were ordered to be sentenced after a year's excommunication, whether anything was proved against them or not. Enduring excommunication for a year without seeking its removal was evidence of heresy as to the sacraments and the power of the keys, if as to nothing else; and some authorities were so rigid with regard to this that the Council of Béziers denounced the punishment of heresy for all who remained excommunicate for forty days. Even the delay of a twelvemonth, however, was evaded, for inquisitors were instructed when citing the absent to summon them, not only to appear, but to purge themselves within a given time, and then as soon as it had elapsed the accused was held to be convicted. Yet the extreme penalty of relaxation was rarely enforced in such cases, and the Inquisition contented itself generally with imprisoning for life those against whom no offence was proved save contumacy, unless, indeed, when caught they refused to submit and abjure.[1]

As little was there any escape by death. It mattered not that the sinner had been called to the judgment-seat of God, the faith must be vindicated by his condemnation and the faithful be edified by his punishment. If he had incurred only imprisonment or the lighter penalties, his bones were simply dug up and cast out. If his heresy had deserved the stake, they were solemnly burned. A simulacrum of defence was allowed to heirs and descendants, on whom were visited the heavy penalties of confiscation and personal disabilities. How unflagging was the zeal with which these mortuary prosecutions were sometimes carried on is visible in the case of Armanno Pongilupo of Ferrara, over whose remains war was waged between the Bishop and the Inquisitor of Ferrara for

  1. C. 8 Extra I. 14.-Concil. Narbonn. ann. 1344 e, 19.-Concil. Bíterrens. ann, 1240 c. 8; Append. e. 14.-Guid. Fulcod. Quast. vI.-Coll. Doat, XXI. 143 Eymeric. Direct. Inq. pp. 382, 495, 528-31.-Lib. Sententt. Inq. Tolosan. pp. 175, 367-74.-Zanchini Tract. do IIeret. c. ii, vii., ix.-MSS. Bib. Nat., fonds latin, No. 14930, fol. 221.-Bernardi Comens. Lucerna Inquisit. s. vv. Contumaz, Conincitur, Concil. Lateran. IV. ann. 1215 c. 28,-Hist. Diplom. Frid. II. T. II p. 4.-Concil. Albiens. ann. 1254 c. 28-Alex. PP. IV. Bull. Consultationi vestra, 28 Mai, 1260.-C. 13 Extru. V. 38 (ef. Concil. Trident, Sess, 25 de Reform. c. 3). Arch de Inq. de Carcass. (Doat, XXXI. 83).-Bernardi Comens. Lucerna Inquisit. s. v. Procedere, No. 10.