Page:A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages-Volume I .pdf/498

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villainy that these wrong-doers had not employed the illicit gains for the benefit of the Holy Office, or of the Roman Church, or even of their own Order, he affords ground for the suspicion that a judicious distribution of the spoils secured silent condonation of such offences in many cases. He had sent Gui, Bishop of Saintes, to investigate these complaints, who reported them well founded, and he orders the provincial to replace the delinquents with Dominicans. The change brought little relief, for the very next year Mascate de' Mosceri, a jurist of Padua, appealed to Benedict from the new Dominican inquisitor, Fra Benigno, who was vexing him with prosecutions in order to extort money from him; and in 1304 Benedict was obliged to address to the inquisitors of Padua and Vicenza a grave warning as to the official complaints which still arose about their fraudulent prosecution of good Catholics by means of false witnesses. It is easy to understand the complaint made by the stricter Franciscans that the inquisitors of their Order rode around in state in place of walking barefoot as was prescribed by the rule. At this very time, moreover, the Dominicans of Languedoc were the subject of precisely similar arraignment on the part of the communities subjected to them. Pedress in this case was long in coming, but at last the investigation set on foot by Clement V. convinced him of the truth of the facts alleged, and at the Council of Vienne, in 1311, he caused the adoption of canons, embodied in the Corpus Juris, which placed on record conspicuously his conviction that the inquisitorial office was frequently abused by the extortion of money from the innocent and the escape of the guilty through bribery. The remedy which he devised, of ipso facto excommunication in such cases, was complained of by Bernard Gui on the ground that it would invalidate the rightful acts, as well as the evil ones, of the wrong-doer; which only serves to show the vicious circle in which the whole business moved. Yet neither the hopes of Clement nor the fears of Bernard were justified by the result. The inquisitors continued to enrich themselves and the people to suffer untold miseries. In 1338 a papal investigation was made of a transaction by which the city of Albi purchased, by the payment of a sum of money to the Inquisitor of Carcassonne, the liberation of some citizens accused of heresy. In 1337 Benedict XII. ordered his nuncio in Italy, Bertrand, Archbishop of Embrun, to investigate the complaints which