Page:A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages-Volume I .pdf/458

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mands to see the names of those who had testified against them, when the cardinal recognized their right to this, but eluded it by showing merely a long list of all the witnesses who had appeared during the whole inquest, giving as an excuse the danger to which they were exposed from the malevolence of those who had suffered by their evidence. That there was some risk incurred by those who destroyed their neighbors is true; the inquisitors and chroniclers mention that assassinations from this cause sometimes occured - six being reported in Toulouse between 1301 and 1310. It would have been strange had this not been the case, nor was the chance of such wild justice altogether and unwholesome check upon the security of malevolence. Yet that so flimsy an excuse should have been systematically put forward shows merely that the Church recognized and was ashamed of its plain denial of justice, since no such precaution was deemed necessary in other criminal affairs. Already in 1244 and 1246 the councils of Narbonne and Béziers order the inquisitors not to indicate in any manner the names of the witnesses, alleging as a reason the "prudent wish" of the Holy See, although in the instructions of the Cardinal of Albano the saving clause of risk is expressed. When Innocent IV. and his successors regulated the inquisitorial procedure, the same limitation to cases in which divulging the names would expose the witnesses to danger was sometimes omitted and sometimes repeated, and when BOniface VIII. embodied in the canon law the rule of withholding the names he expressly cautioned bishops and inquisitors to act with pure intentions, not to withhold the names when there was no peril in communicating them, and if the peril ceased they were to be revealed. Yet it is impossible to regard all this as more than a decent veil of hypocrisy to cover recognized injustice, for it was a flagrant fact that inquisitors everywhere treated these exhortations as the councils of Narbonne and Béziers had treated the limitations prescribed by the Cardinal of Albano. Although in the inquisitorial manuals the limitation of risk is usually mentioned, the instructions with regard to the conduct of the trials always assume as a matter of course that the prisoner is kept in ignorance of the names of the witnesses against him. As early as the time of Gui Foucoix that jurist treats it as the universal practice; a nearly contemporary MS. manual lays it down as an invariable ruly; and in the later periods we are coolly