Page:A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages-Volume I .pdf/90

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HERESY.

find him a prisoner of the Archbishop of Aries, who took him to the presence of Innocent II. at the Council of Pisa, in 1134. Here he was convicted of heresy and condemned to imprisonment, but was subsequently released and sent back to his convent, whence he departed with the intention of entering the strict Cistercian order at Clairvaux. What led to his resuming his heretical mission we do not know, but we meet him again, bolder than before, adopting substantially the Petrobrusian tenets, rejecting the Eucharist, refusing all reverence for the priesthood, all tithes, oblations, and other sources of ecclesiastical revenue, and all attendance at church.

The scene of this activity was southern France, where the embers of Petrobrusianism were ready to be kindled into flame. His success was immense. In 1147 St. Bernard despairingly describes the condition of religion in the extensive territories of the Count of Toulouse : " The churches are without people, the people without priests, the priests without the reverence due them, and Christians without Christ. The churches are regarded as synagogues, the sanctuary of the Lord is no longer holy ; the sacraments are no more held sacred ; feast days are without solemnities ; men die in their sins, and their souls are hurried to the dread tribunal, neither reconciled by penance nor fortified by the holy communion. The little ones of Christ are debarred from life since baptism is denied them. The voice of a single heretic silences all those apostolic and prophetic voices which have united in calling all the nations into the Church of Christ." The prelates of southern France were powerless to arrest the progress of the bold heresiarch, and imploringly appealed for assistance. The nobles would not aid them, for, like the people, they hated the clergy and were glad of the excuses which Henrj^'s doctrines gave them for spoiling and oppressing the Church. The papal legate, Alberic, was summoned, and he prevailed upon St. Bernard to accompany him with Geoffrey, Bishop of Chartres, and other men of mark. Though St. Bernard was sick, the perilous condition of the tottering establishment aroused all his zeal, and he unflinchingly undertook the mission. What was the condition of popular feeling and how boldly it dared to express itself may be gathered from the reception of the legate at Albi, where the people went forth to meet him with asses and drums in sign of derision, and when they were convoked to be present at his celebration of mass scarcely thirty attended.