Page:A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages-Volume I .pdf/565

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545
RELAPSE.

in various sentences rendered during the next ten years, both by him and by other inquisitors. Yet, with one exception, the codes of instruction which date about this same period assume that relapse is always to be visited with relaxation, and that the offender is to have no hearing in his defence. In the exceptional instance the compiler illustrates the uncertainty which existed by sometimes treating relapse as punishable with imprisonment and sometimes as entailing the stake. Relapse into usury, however, was let off with the lighter alternative. The fact is that in Languedoc, under the Treaty of Paris, as stated above, an oath of abjuration was administered every two years to all males over fourteen and all females over twelve, and any subsequent act of heresy was technically a relapse. This, perhaps, explains the indecision of the inquisitors of Toulouse. It was impossible to burn all such cases.[1]

Whatever be the cause, there evidently was considerable doubt in the minds of inquisitors as to the penalty of relapse, and it must be recorded to their credit that in this they were more merciful than the current public opinion of the age. Jean de Saint-Pierre, the colleague and successor of Bernard de Caux, followed his example in always condemning the relapsed to imprisonment, and when, after Bernard's death, in 1252, Frère Renaud de Chartres was adjoined to him, the same rule continued to be observed. Frère Renaud found, however, to his horror, that the secular judges disregarded the sentence and mercilessly burned the unhappy victims, and that this had been going on under his predecessors. The civil authorities defended their course by arguing that in no other way could the land be purged of heresy, which was acquiring new force under the mistaken lenity of the inquisitors. Frère Renaud felt that he could not overlook this cruelty in silence as his predecessors had done. He therefore reported the facts to Alphonse of Poitiers, and informed him that he proposed to refer the matter to the pope, pending whose answer he would keep

  1. Arch, de l'Inq. de Carcassonne (Doat, XXXI. 5, 139, 149).MSS. Bib. Nat. fonds latin, No. 0992.Martenc Thesaur. I. 1045.-Vaissetto, III. Pr. 479.-Molinier, L'Inq. dans le midi de la France, pp. 387-8, 418.-Anon. Passaviens. (Mag Bib. Pat. XIII. 308)Tract. de Paup. de Lugd. (Martene Thesaur. V.1791).-Doctrina de odo procedendi (Ibid. 1807)-Practica super Inquisit. (MSS. Bib. Nat., fonds latin, No. 14930, fol. 206, 212, 213, 222, 223).-Concil, Biterrens. ann. 1246, Арр. с. 33.