Page:A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages-Volume I .pdf/518

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498
THE SENTENCE.

ment was only that which he would have received if alive, the digging up replacing imprisonment, and his heirs being forced to perform or compound for any lighter penance; but if he had not confessed and there was evidence of heresy he was classed with the impenitent heretics, his remains were delivered to the secular arm, and his property hopelessly confiscated. This will account for the large number of these executions as shown in the records quoted above. If the secular authorities hesitated to perform the taisk of exhumation, they were coerced with excommunication.[1]

The same spirit pursued the descendants. In the Roman law the crime of treason was pursued with merciless vindictiveness, and its provisions are constantly quoted by the canon lawyers as precedents for the punishment of heresy, with the addition that treason to God is far more heinous than that to an earthly sovereign. It was, perhaps, natural that the churchman, in his eagerness to defend the kingdom of God, should follow and surpass the example of the emperors, and this will explain, if it may not justify, much that is abhorrent in the inquisitorial procedure. In the Code of Justinian, treason is made especially odious by inflicting on the sons disability to hold office and to succeed to collateral estates. By the Council of Toulouse, in 1229, even spontaneously converted heretics were declared ineligible to public office. It was natural, therefore, that Frederic II. should apply the Roman practice to heresy, and should extend its provision to grandchildren. This, like the rest of his legislation, was eagerly adopted and enforced by the Church. Alexander IV., however, in a bull of 1257, repeatedly reissued by his successors, explained that this did not apply in cases where the culprit had made amends and performed penance, and this was still further lightened by Boniface VIIL, who removed the incapacity from grandchildren by the female line of those who had died in heresy. In this form it remained permanently in the canon law.[2]


  1. Concil. Arelateus. ann. 1234 c. 11. — Concil. Albiens. ann. 1254 c. 26. — Lib. Sententt. Inq. Tolosan. pp. 162-7, 203, 246-7, 251-2.— Zanchini Tract. de Hæret. c. xxvii.
  2. Const. 5 Cod. ix. viii. — Concil. Tolosan. ann. 1229 c. 10. — Hist. Diplom. Frid. n. T. IV. pp. 8, 302. — Innoc. PP. IV. Bull. Ut commissum, 21 Juu. 1254.— Alex. PP. IV. Bull. Quod super nonnullis, 9. Dec. 1257 (Boat, XXXI. 244).— Ray-