Page:A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages-Volume I .pdf/471

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
451
APPEALS TO THE HOLY SEE.

tice or irregularity of procedure, but it had to be made before sentence was rendered, as condemnation was final. Possibly this may have held out some prospect of benefit in the case of bishops exercising their inquisitorial jurisdiction. In that of inquisitors, when "apostoli," or letters remanding the case to the Holy See, were demanded, it rested with them to grant affirmative ("reverential") ones, or negative ones. The former admitted the transfer of the case ; the latter kept it in the inquisitor's hands unless it was formally taken from him by the pope. This, it is safe to say, could rarely happen, and, as the proceeding was an intricate one, it could only be resorted to by experts. A man like Master Eckart, supported by the whole Dominican Order, could undertake it, even though in the end he fared no better at the hands of John XXII. than he would have done at those of the Archbishop of Cologne. So when, in 1323, the Sire de Partenay, one of the most powerful nobles of Poitou, was cited for heresy by Friar Maurice, the Inquisitor of Paris, and was thrown into the Temple by Charles le Bel, he appealed from Maurice as a judge prejudiced by personal hatred. Charles sent him under guard to John XXII. at Avignon, who at first refused to entertain the appeal, but at length, by the influential intercession of Partenay's friends, was induced to appoint several bishops as assessors to the inquisitor, and after long-protracted proceedings the interest of Partenay was sufficient to obtain his liberation. Cases like these, however, are wholly exceptional and have no bearing upon the thousands of humble folk and "petite noblesse" who filled the prisons of the Inquisition and figured in its autos de fé. The manuals for inquisitors, indeed, make no scruple in instructing them as to the devices and deceits by which they can elude all attempts to appeal when through disregard of rules they have exposed themselves to it.[1]

There was another class of cases, however, in which the interference of the pope occasionally gave relief, for the Holy See was autocratic and could set aside all rules. The curia was always greedy for money, and, outside of Italy, had no share in the confiscations. It can, therefore, readily be imagined that men of


  1. Pegnae Comment, in Eymeric. p. 675.— Zanchini Tract, de Haeret. c. xxix. — Eymeric. Direct. Inq. pp. 453-55.— Grandes Chronicjues. ann, 1323. — Guill. Nangiac. Contin. ann. 1323. — Chron. de Jean de S. Victor. Contin. ann. 1323. — Bernardi Comens. Lucerna Inquisitor, s. vv. Appellatio, Exceptio No. 2.