Page:A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages-Volume I .pdf/522

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first to apply the Roman practice by decreeing confiscation for all who apostatized from the Catholic faith — whether to the Greek Church, to Islam, or to Judaism does not appear. Yet the Church cannot escape the responsibility of naturalizing this penalty in European law as a punishment for spiritual transgressions. The great Council of Tours, held by Alexander III., in 1163, commanded all secular princes to imprison heretics and confiscate their property. Lucius III., in his Verona decretal of 1184, sought to obtain for the Church the benefit of the confiscation which he again declared to be incurred by heresy. One of the earliest acts of Innocent III., in his double capacity of temporal prince and head of Christianity, was to address a decretal to his subjects of Viterbo, in which he says,

"In the lands subject to our temporal jurisdiction we order the property of heretics to be confiscated ; in other lands we command this to be done by the temporal princes and powers, who, if they show themselves negligent therein, shall be compelled to do it by ecclesiastical censures. Nor shall the property of heretics who withdraw from heresy revert to them, unless some one pleases to take pity on them. For as, according to the legal sanctions, in addition to capital punishment, the property of those guilty of majestas is confiscated, and life simply is allowed to their children through mercy alone, so much the more should those who wander from the faith and offend the Son of God be cut off from Christ and be despoiled of their temporal goods, since it is a far greater crime to assail spiritual than temporal majesty."[1]

This decretal, which was adopted into the canon law, is important as embodying the whole theory of the subject. In imitation of the Roman law of majestas, the property of the heretic was forfeited from the moment he became a heretic or committed an act

  1. Constt. Sicular. Lib. i. Tit. 3.— Concil. Turon. ann. 1163 c. 4.— Lucii PP. III. Epist. 171.— Innoc. PP. III. Regest. ii. 1.— Cap. 10 Extra v. 7.
    It was probably in obedience to the canon of Tours that, in 1178, the property of Pierre Mauran of Toulouse was declared forfeited to the count, and he was allowed to redeem it with a fine of five hundred pounds of silver (Roger. Hoveden. Annal. ann. 1178).
    The decree of Alonso II. of Aragon against the Waldenses, in 1194, referred to above (p. 81) (Pegn» Comment. 39 in Eymeric. p. 281), inflicts confiscation on all who favor the heretics, but there are no traces of its enforcement, or of the subsequent canons of the Council of Girona in 1197 (Aguirre V. 103-3). The same may be said of the edicts of Henry VI., in 1194, repeated by Otho IV. in 1310 (Lami, Antichita Toscane, p. 484).