Page:A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages-Volume I .pdf/51

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

by the king to honor the memory of some distinguished knight. That the amounts were not small is evident when we see that, in 1372, Charles II. of Navarre paid to the Franciscan Guardian of Pampeluna thirty livres to redeem the charger, armor, etc., offered at the funeral of Masen Seguin de Badostal. With the rise of the mendicant orders and their enormous popularity, the rivalry between them and the secular clergy for the possession of corpses and the accompanying fees became more intense than ever, creating scandals of which we shall have more to say hereafter.[1]

On no point were the relations between the clergy and the people more delicate than on that of sexual purity. I have treated this subject fully in another work, and can be spared further reference to it, except to say that at the period under consideration the enforced celibacy of the priesthood had become generally recognized in most of the countries owing obedience to the Latin Church. It had not been accompanied, however, by the gift of chastity so confidently promised by its promoters. Deprived as was the priesthood of the gratification afforded by marriage to the natural instincts of man, the wife at best was succeeded by the concubine ; at worst by a succession of paramours, for which the functions of priest and confessor gave peculiar opportunity. So thoroughly was this recognized that a man confessing an illicit amour was forbidden to name the partner of his guilt for fear it might lead the confessor into the temptation of abusing his knowledge of her frailty. No sooner had the Church, indeed, succeeded in suppressing the wedlock of its ministers, than we find it everywhere and incessantly busied in the apparently impossible task of compelling their chastity — an effort the futility of which is sufficiently demonstrated by its continuance to modern times. The age was not particularly sensitive on the subject of female virtue, but yet the spectacle of a priesthood professing ascetic purity as

  1. Decreti. II. Caus. xiii. Q. 2.— Can. 1-10, Sexto Lib. iii. Tit. xxviii. — Anon Zwetlens. Hist. Rom. Pontif. No. 155 (Fez Thesaur. I. iii. 383).— Narrat. Restaur. Abbat. S. Martini Tornacens. cap. 86-89. — Synod. Wigorn. ann. 1240, c. 50. — Ripoll BuUar. Ord. Praedic. VII. 5.— Grandjean, Registre de Benoit XL No. 974. — Innocent. PP. III. Regest. vii. 165.— G. B. de Lagrèze, La Navarre, t. II. p. 165. — Concil. Avenion. ann. 1326, c. 27 ; ann. 1237, c. 32.— Teulet, Layettes IL 306, No. 2428. — Concil. Nimociens. ann. 1296, c. 17, — Constit. Joann. Arch. Nicosiens, ann. 1321, c. 10.— Concil. Vaurens. ann. 1368, c. 63, 64.