Page:A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages-Volume I .pdf/99

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
79
THE WALDENSES.


course the decision went against them, and of course they were as little inclined as before to submit, but the colloquy has an interest as showing what progress at that period they had made in dissidence from Rome. The six points on which the argument was held were, 1st. That they refused obedience to the authority of pope and prelate ; 2d. That all, even laymen, can preach ; 3d. That, according to the apostles, God is to be obeyed rather than man; 4th. That women may preach ; 5th. That masses, prayers, and alms for the dead are of no avail, with the addition that some of them denied the existence of purgatory ; and 6th. That prayer in bed, or in a chamber, or in a stable, is as efficacious as in a church.[1]All this was rebellion against sacerdotalism rather than actual heresy ; but we learn, about the same period, from the " Universal Doctor," Alain de Tlsle, who, at the request of Lucius III., wrote a tract for their refutation, that they were prepared to carry these principles to their legitimate but dangerous conclusions, and that they added various other doctrines at variance with the teachings of the Church.

Good prelates, they held, who led apostolic lives, were to be obeyed, and to them alone was granted the power to bind and loose — which was striking a mortal blow at the whole organization of the Church. Merit, and not ordination, conferred the power to consecrate and bless, to bind and to loose ; every one, therefore, who led an apostolic life had this power, and as they assumed that they all led such a life, it followed that they, although laymen, could execute all the functions of the priesthood. It likewise followed that the ministrations of sinful priests were invalid, though at first the French Waldenses were not willing to admit this, while the Italians boldly affirmed it. A further error was, that confession to a layman was as efficacious as to a priest, which was a serious attack upon the sacrament of penitence ; though, as yet, the Fourth Council of Lateran had not made priestly confession indispensable, and Alain is wilhng to admit that in the absence of a priest, confession to a layman is sufficient. The sys-


  1. Chron. Canon. Laudunens. ann. 1177, 1178 (Bouquet XIII. 682). — Stephanide Borbone 1. c. — Richard. Cluniac. 1. c. — David Augustcns. 1. c. — Monetai 1. c. — Gualt. Mapes de Nugis Curialiuni Dist. i. cap. xxxi. — Lucii PP. III. Epist. 171. — Conrad. Ursperg. ann. 1210— Bernard! Fontis Calidi adv. Waldenses Liber.