Page:A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages-Volume I .pdf/551

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531
DISPUTES OVER THE EXPENSES.

whence the expenses of the Inquisition should be met is a question which has been long debated and never settled. The most popular view among churchmen was that the burden should fall on the temporal princes, since they obtained the confiscations and should accept the charge with the benefit; but in these times, he sorrowfully adds, there are few obstinate heretics, fewer still relapsed, and scarce any rich ones, so that, as there is little to be gained, the princes are not willing to defray the expenses. Some other means ought to be found, but of all the devices which have been proposed each has its insuperable objection; and he concludes by regretting that an institution so wholesome and so necessary to Christendom should be so badly provided.[1]

It was probably while Eymerich was saddened with these unpalatable truths that the question was raising itself in the most practical shape elsewhere. As late as 1337 in the accounts of the Senechaussee of Toulouse there are expenditures for an auto de fé and for repairs to the buildings and prison of the Inquisition, the salaries of the inquisitor and his officials, and the maintenance of prisoners, but the confusion and bankruptcy entailed by the English war doubtless soon afterwards caused this duty to be neglected. In 1375 Gregory XI. persuaded King Frederic of Sicily to allow the confiscations to inure to the benefit of the Inquisition, so that funds might not be lacking for the prosecution of the good work. At the same time he made a vigorous effort to exterminate the Waldenses who were multiplying in Dauphine. There were prisons to be built and crowds of prisoners to be supported, and he directed that the expenses should be defrayed by the prelates whose negligence had given opportunity for the growth of heresy. Although he ordered this to be enforced by excommunication, it would seem that the constipated purses of the bishops could not be relaxed, for soon after we find the inquisitor laying claim to a share in the confiscations, on the reasonable ground of his having no other source whence to defray the necessary expenses of his tribunal. The royal officials insisted on keeping the whole, and a lively contest arose, which was referred to King Charles le Sage. The monarch dutifully conferred with the Holy See, and, in 1378, issued an Ordonnance retaining the whole of the confiscations and


  1. Eymeric. Direct. Inquis. pp. 652-3.