History of the christian church



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CHAPTER X.
HERESY AND ITS SUPPRESSION.
§ 78. Literature for the Entire Chapter.
General Works: Flacius Illyricus: Catalogus testium veritatis qui ante nostram aetatem reclamarunt papae, Basel, 1556.—Du Plessis d’argentré: Coll. judiciorum de novis erroribus qui ab initio XII. saec. usque ad 1632 in ecclesia postscripti sunt et notati, 3 vols. Paris, 1728.—*Döllinger: Beiträge zur Sektengesch. des Mittelalters, Munich, 1890. A most valuable work. Part II., pp. 736, contains original documents, in the collection of which Döllinger spent many years and made many journeys.—Paul Fredericq: Corpus documentorum haer. pravitatis Neerlandicae, 5 vols. Ghent, 1889 sqq.—Caesar of Heisterbach: Dialogus.—Etienne De Bourbon: Anecdotes Historiques, ed. by Lecoy de la Marche, Paris, 1877.—Map: De nugis curialium, Wright’s ed. Epp. Innocentii III., Migne, 214–216.—Jacques de Vitry: Hist. orientalis, Douai, 1672, and in Martene and Durand, Thes. anecd., 5 vols. Paris, 1717.—Arnold: Unpartheiische Kirchen- und Ketzerhistorie, Frankf., 1729.—Füsslin: Kirchen- und Ketzergesch. der mittleren Zeit, 3 vols. Leipzig, 1770–1774.—Mosheim: Versuch einer unparthei. Ketzergesch., Helmstädt, 1746.—Hahn: Gesch. der Ketzer im Mittelalter, 3 vols. Stuttg., 1845–1847.—A. Jundt: Hist. du panthéisme pop. au moyen âge, Paris, 1876.—*LEA: Hist. of the Inquisition, 3 vols. N. Y., 1888. On the sects, I. 67–208.—M. F. Tocco: L’eresia net medio evo, Florence, 1884.—P. Alphandéry: Les idées morales chez les Hetérédoxes Latins au début du XIII siècle, Paris, 1903.—Hefele-Knöpfler, vol. V.—A. H. Newman: Recent Researches concerning Med. Sects in Papers of Amer. Soc. of Ch. Hist. 1892, IV. 167–221.

For The Cathari, § 80 — Bonacursus (at first a Catharan teacher): Vita haereticorum seu contra Catharos (1190?), Migne, 204. 775–792.—Ecbertus (canon of Cologne about 1150): Sermones XIII. adv. Catharorum errores, Migne, 195. —- Ermengaudus: Contra haeret., Migne, 204, 1235–1275.—Moneta Cremonensis (1240): Adv. Catharos et Valdenses, Rome, 1763.—Rainerius Sacchone (d. about 1263, was a leader among the Cathari for seventeen years, then became a Dominican and an active inquisitor): De Catharibus et Leonistis seu pauperibus de Lugduno in Martène-Durand, Thes. Anecd., V. 1759–1776.—Bernardus Guidonis: Practica inquisitionis hereticae pravitatis, ed. by Douais, Paris, 1886.—C. Douais, bp. of Beauvais: Documents pour servir à l’Hist. de l’inquis. dans le Languedoc, 2 vols. Paris, 1900. Trans. and Reprints, by Univ. of Phila., III. No. 6.—*C. Schmidt: Hist. et Doctr. de la secte des Cathares ou Albigeois, 2 vols. Paris, 1849.

For The Petrobrusians, etc.,

For The Beguines And Beghards, § 83: Bernardus Guy: pp. 141 sqq., 264–268.—Fredericq, II. 9 sqq., 72 sqq.—Döllinger, II. 378–416, 702 sqq.—*J. L. Mosheim: De Beghardis et Beguinabus, Leipzig, 1790.—G. Uhlhorn: D. christl. Liebesthätigkeit im Mittelalter, pp. 376–394.—H. Delacroix: Le Mysticisme speculatif en Allemagne au 14e siècle, Paris, 1900, pp. 52–134.—Ullmann: Reformers before the Reformation. — LEA: II. 350 sqq.—*Haupt, art. Beguinen und Begharden in Herzog, II. 516–526, and art. Beguinen in Wetzer-Welte, II. 204 sqq.

For The Waldenses, § 84, the works of Rainerius, Moneta, Bernardus Guy.—Döllinger: Beiträge.—Bernardus, Abbas Fontis Calidi (d. about 1193): Adv. Waldensium sectam, Migne, 204. 793–840.—Alanus ab Insulis (d. about 1202): Adv. haeret. Waldenses, Judaeos et Paganos, Migne, 210. 377–399;—Rescriptum haeresiarcharum Lombardiae ad Leonistas in Alemannia, by the so-called "Anonymous of Passau" (about 1315), ed. by Preger in Beiträge zur Gesch. der Waldesier im Mittelalter, Munich, 1876. Gieseler, in his De Rainerii Sacchone, Götting., 1834, recognized this as a distinct work.—Etienne de Bourbon, pp. 290–296, etc.—David of Augsburg: Tractatus de inquis. haereticorum, ed. by Preger, Munich, 1878. Döllinger gives parts of Bernard Guy’s Practica, II. 6–17, etc., the Rescriptum, II. 42–52, and David of Augsburg, II. 351–319.—Also Fredericq, vols. I., II.

Mod. Works, § 84: Perrin: Hist. des Vaudois, Geneva, 1619, in three parts,—the Waldenses, the Albigenses, and the Ten Persecutions of the Vaudois. The Phila. ed. (1847) contains an introd. by Professor Samuel Miller of Princeton.—Gilles: Hist. Eccles. des églises réf. en quelques vallées de Piémont, Geneva, 1648.—Morland: Hist. of the evang. Churches of the Valleys of Piedmont, London, 1658. —- Leger: Hist. générale des églises evang. des Vallées, etc., Leyden, 1669, with large maps of the three Waldensian valleys and pictures of the martyrdoms. Leger, a leading Waldensian pastor, took refuge in Leyden from persecution.—Peyran: Hist. Defence of the Waldenses, London, 1826.—Gilly (canon of Durham): Waldensian Researches, London, 1831.—Muston: Hist. des Vaudois, Paris, 1834; L’Israel des Alpes, Paris, 1851, Engl. trans., 2 vols. London, 1857, — Blair: Hist. of the Waldenses, 2 vols. Edinb., 1833.—Monastier: Hist. de l’église vaudoise, 2 vols. Lausanne, 1847.—*A. W. Dieckhoff: Die Waldenser im Mittelalter, Götting. 1861.—*J. J. Herzog: Die romanischen Waldenser, Halle, 1853.—Maitland: Facts and Documents of the Waldenses, London, 1862.—F. Palacky: Die Beziehungen der Waldenser zu den ehemaligen Sekten in Böhmen, Prague, 1869.—*Jaroslav Goll: Quellen und Untersuchungen zur Gesch. der Böhmischen Brüder, Prague, 1878–1882.—*H. Haupt: Die relig. Sekten in Franken vor der Reformation, Würz b. 1882; Die deutsche Bibelübersetzung der mittelalterlichen Waldenser in dem Codex Teplensis, Würzb., 1885; Waldenserhtum und Inquisition im südöstlichen Deutschland, Freib., 1890; Der Waldensische Ursprung d. Codex Teplensis, Würzb., 1886.—Montet: Hist. litt. des Vaudois du Piémont, Paris, 1885.—*L. Keller: Die Waldenser und die deutschen Bibelübersetzungen, Leipzig, 1886.—*F. Jostes: Die Waldenser und die vorluth. deutsche Bibelübersetzung, Munich, 1885; Die Tepler Bibelübersetzung, Münster, 1886.—*Preger: Das Verhältniss der Taboriten zu den Waldesiern des 14ten Jahrhunderts, Munich, 1887; Die Verfassung der französ. Waldesier, etc., Munich, 1890.—*K. Muller. Die Waldenser und ihre einzelnen Gruppen bis zum Anfang des 14ten Jahrhunderts, Gotha, 1886.—*E. COMBA: Hist. des Vaudois d’Italie avant la Réforme, Paris, 1887, new ed. 1901, Engl. trans., London, 1889.—Sofia Bompiani A Short Hist. of the Ital. Waldenses, N. Y. 1897. See also Lea: Inquis., vol. II.—E. E. Hale: In his Name, Boston, 1887, a chaste tale of the early Waldenses in Lyons.—H. C. Vedder: Origin and Early Teachings of the Waldenses in "Am. Jour. of Theol.," 1900, pp. 465–489.

For The Crusades Against The Albigenses, § 85: Innocent III.’s Letters, Migne, 214–216. The Abbot Pierre de Vaux de Cernay in Rec. Hist. de France, XXI. 7 sqq.—Hurter: Inn. III. vol. II. 257–349, 379–389, 413–432.—Hefele-Knöpfler: V. 827–861, etc.—Lea: I. 114–209.—A. Luchaire: Inn. III. et la croisade des Albigeois, Paris, 1905. —Mandell Creighton: Simon de Montfort, in Hist. Biog.

For The Inquisition, §§ 86, 87, see Douais, Bernard Guy, and other sources and the works of Döllinger, Schmidt, Lea, Hurter (II. 257–269), Hefele, etc., as cited above.—Mirbt: Quellen zur Gesch. des Papstthums, 2d ed., pp. 126–146; — Doct. de modo proced. c. haeret., in Martene-Durand, Thes. anecd., V. 1795–1822.—Nic. Eymericus (inquis. general of Spain, d. 1399): Directorium inquisitorum, ed. F. Pegna, Rome, 1578. For MSS. of Eymericus, see Denifle: Archiv, 1886, pp. 143 sqq.—P. Fredericq: Corpus documentorum inquis. haer. prav. Neerlandicae, 5 vols. Ghent, 1889–1902. Vol. I. opens with the year 1025.—Lud. A Paramo (a Sicilian inquisitor): De orig. et progressu officii s. inguis., Madrid, 1698.—P. Limborch: Hist. inquis., Amster., 1692, includes the important liber sententiarum inquis. Tolosonae, Engl. trans., 2 vols. London, 1731.—J. A. Llorente (secretary of the Madrid Inquis. 1789–1791): Hist. critique de l’inquis. d’Espagne (to Ferdinand VII.), 4 vols. Paris, 1817. Condens. Engl. trans., Phil. 1843.—Rule: Hist. of the Inquis., 2 vols. London, 1874.—F. Hoffmann: Gesch. der Inquis. (down to the last cent.), 2 vols. Bonn, 1878.—C. Molinier: L’Inquis. dans le midi de la France au 13e et 14e siècle, Paris, 1881.—Ficker: Die gesetzl. Einführung der Todesstrafe für Ketzerei in Mittheilungen für Oester. Geschichtsforschung, 1880, pp. 188 sqq.—J. Havet: L’hérésie et le bras séculier aut moyen âge, Paris, 1881.—Tamburini: Storia generale dell’ Inquisizione, 4 vols.—L. Tanon: L’Hist. des tribunaux de l’Inquis. en France, Paris, 1893.—HENNER: Beiträge zur Organization und Kompetenz der päpstlichen Ketzergerichte, . Leipzig, 1893.—Graf von Hoensbroech: Das Papstthum, etc., Leipzig, 1900; 4th ed., 1901. Chap. on the Papacy and the Inquis., I. 1–206.—P. Flade: Das römische Inquisitionsverfahren in Deutschland bis zu den Hexenprocessen, Leipzig, 1902.—Hurter: art. Inquisition in Wetzer-Welte, VI. 765 sqq., and Herzog, IX. 152–167.—E. L. Th. Henke: Konrad von Marburg, Marb., 1861.—B. Kaltner: Konrad v. Marburg u. d. Inquis. in Deutschland, Prague, 1882.—R. Schmidt: Die Herkunft des Inquisitionsprocesses, Freib. i. Breig. 1902.—C. H. Haskins: Robert le Bougre and the Beginnings of the Inquis. in Northern France in "Amer. Hist. Rev.," 1902, pp. 421–437, 631–653.—The works on canon law by Hinschius, Friedberg, and Ph. Hergenröther (R. C.), pp. 126, 601–610.—E. Vacandard: L’inquisition, Etude Hist. et crit. sur le pouvoir coercitif de l’église, Paris, 1907, pp. 340.
§ 79. The Mediaeval Dissenters.
The centralization of ecclesiastical authority in the papacy was met by a widespread counter-movement of religious individualism and dissent. It was when the theocratic programme of Gregory VII. and Innocent III. was being pressed most vigorously that an ominous spiritual revolt showed itself in communities of dissenters. While the crusading armaments were battling against the infidel abroad, heretical depravity, to use the official term, arose in the Church at home to disturb its peace.

For nearly five hundred years heresy had been unknown in Western Europe. When Gregory the Great converted the Arians of Spain and Lombardy in the latter part of the sixth century, it was supposed that the last sparks of heresy were extinguished. In the second half of the eleventh century here and there, in Milan, Orleans, Strassburg, Cologne, and Mainz, little flames of heresy shot forth; but they were quickly put out and the Church went on its way again in peace. In the twelfth century, heresy again broke out simultaneously in different parts of Europe, from Hungary to the Pyrenees and northwards to Bremen. The two burning centres of the infection were Milan in Northern Italy and Toulouse in Southern France. The Church authorities looked on with alarm, and, led by the pope, proceeded to employ vigorous measures to stamp out the threatening evil. Jacques of Vitry, after visiting Milan, called it a pit of heretics, fovea haereticorum, and declared that there was hardly a person left to resist the spiritual rebels, so numerous were they in that city. 941 At different points in Lombardy the clergy were actually driven out and Piacenza remained three years without a priest. In Viterbo, in the very vicinity of Rome, the Patarenes were in the majority in 1205, as Innocent III. testified. But it was in Languedoc that the situation was most alarming, and there papal armies were marshalled to crush out the contagion.

The dissenting movement started with the people and not with the schools or princes, much provocation as the princes had for showing their resentment at the avarice and worldliness of the clergy and their invasion of the realm of civil authority. The vast majority of those who suffered punishment as heretics were of the common people. Their ignorance was a constant subject of gibe and derision as they stood for trial before the ecclesiastical tribunals. The heresy of a later period, the fifteenth century, differs in this regard, having scholars among its advocates.

Our knowledge of the mediaeval sectaries and their practices is drawn almost wholly from the testimonies of those who were arrayed against them. These testimonies are found in tracts, manuals for the treatment of heresy, occasional notices of ecclesiastical writers like Salimbene, Vitry, Etienne de Bourbon, Caesar of Heisterbach, or Matthew Paris, in the decrees of synods and in the records of the heresy trials themselves. These last records, written down by Catholic hands, have come down to us in large numbers. 942 Interesting as they are, they must be accepted with caution as the statements of enemies. As for Catharan literature, a single piece has survived 943and it is a painful recollection that, where so many suffered the loss of goods, imprisonments, and death for their religious convictions, only a few lines remain in their own handwriting to depict their faith and hopes.

The exciting cause of this religious revolt is to be looked for in the worldliness and arrogance of the clergy, the formalism of the Church’s ritual, and the worldly ambitions of the papal policy. In their depositions before the Church inquisitors, the accused called attention to the pride, cupidity, and immorality of the priests. Tanchelm, Henry of Lausanne, and other leaders directed their invectives against the priests and bishops who sought power and ease rather than the good of the people.

Underneath all this discontent was the spiritual hunger of the masses. The Bible was not an altogether forgotten book. The people remembered it. Popular preachers like Bernard of Thiron, Robert of Abrissel and Vitalis of Savigny quoted its precepts and relied upon its authority. There was a hankering after the Gospel which the Church did not set forth. The people wanted to get behind the clergy and the ritual of the sacraments to Christ himself, and, in doing so, a large body of the sectaries went to the extreme of abandoning the outward celebration of the sacraments, and withdrew themselves altogether from priestly offices. The aim of all the sects was moral and religious reformation. The Cathari, it is true, differed in a philosophical question and were Manichaeans, but it was not a question of philosophy they were concerned about. Their chief purpose was to get away from the worldly aims of the established church, and this explains their rapid diffusion in Lombardy and Southern France. 944

A prominent charge made against the dissenters was that they put their own interpretations upon the Gospels and Epistles and employed these interpretations to establish their own systems and rebuke the Catholic hierarchy. Special honor was given by the Cathari to the Gospel of John, and the Waldensian movement started with an attempt to make known the Scriptures through the vulgar tongue. The humbler classes knew enough about clerical abuses from their own observation; but the complaints of the best men of the times were in the air, and these must also have reached their ears and increased the general restlessness. St. Bernard rebuked the clergy for ambition, pride, and lust. Grosseteste called clerics antichrists and devils. Walter von der Vogelweide, among the poets, spoke of priests as those —
"Who make a traffic of each sacrament

The mass’ holy sacrifice included."


These men did not mean to condemn the priestly office, but it should occasion no surprise that the people made no distinction between the office and the priest who abused the office.

The voices of the prophets were also heard beyond the walls of the convent,—Joachim of Flore and Hildegard. Of an independent ecclesiastical movement they had no thought. But they cried out for clerical reform, and the people, after long waiting, seeing no signs of a reform, found hope of relief only in separatistic societies and groups of believers. The prophetess on the Rhine, having in mind the Cathari, called upon all kings and Christians to put down the Sadducees and heretics who indulged in lust, and, in the face of the early command to the race to go forth and multiply, rejected marriage. But to her credit, it is to be said, that at a time when heretics were being burnt at Bonn and Cologne, she remonstrated against the death penalty for the heretic on the ground that in spite of his heresy he bore the image of God.5 She would have limited the punishment to the sequestration of goods.

It is also most probable that the elements of heresy were introduced into Central and Western Europe from the East. In the Byzantine empire the germs of early heresies continued to sprout, and from there they seem to have been carried to the West, where they were adopted by the Manichaean Cathari and Albigenses. Travelling merchants and mercenaries from Germany, Denmark, France, and Flanders, who had travelled in the East or served in the Byzantine armies, may have brought them with them on their return to their homes.

The matters in which the heretical sects differed from the Catholic Church concerned doctrine, ritual, and the organization of the Church. Among the dogmas repudiated were transubstantiation and the sacerdotal theory of the priesthood. The validity of infant baptism was also quite widely denied, and the Cathari abandoned water baptism altogether. The worship of the cross and other images was regarded as idolatry. Oaths and even military service were renounced. Bernard Guy, inquisitor-general of Toulouse and our chief authority for the heretical beliefs current in Southern France in the fourteenth century, says 946that the doctrine of transubstantiation was denied on the ground that, if Christ’s body had been as large as the largest mountain, it would have been consumed long before that time. As for adoring the cross, thorns and spears might with equal propriety be worshipped, for Christ’s body was wounded by a crown of thorns and a lance. The depositions of the victims of the Inquisition are the simple statements of unlettered men. In the thousands of reports of judicial cases, which are preserved, charges of immoral conduct are rare.

A heretic, that is, one who dissented from the dogmatic belief of the Catholic Church, was regarded as worse than a Saracen and worse than a person of depraved morals. In a sermon, issued by Werner of St. Blasius about 1125, the statement is made that the "holy Catholic Church patiently tolerates those who live ill, male viventes, but casts out from itself those who believe erroneously, male credentes." 947 The mediaeval Church, following the Fathers, did not hesitate to apply the most opprobrious epithets to heretics. The synod of Toulouse, 1163, refering to the heretics in Gascony, compared them to serpents which, just for the very reason that they conceal themselves, are all the more destructive to the simpleminded in the Lord’s vineyard. Perhaps the most frequent comparison was that which likened them to Solomon’s little foxes which destroy the vines. 948 Peter Damiani 949and others liken them to the foxes whose tails Samson bound together and drove forth on their destructive mission. Innocent III. showed a preference for the comparison to foxes, but also called heretics scorpions, wounding with the sting of damnation, locusts like the locusts of Joel hid in the dust with vermin and countless in numbers, demons who offer the poison of serpents in the golden chalice of Babylon, and he called heresy the black horse of the Apocalypse on which the devil rides, holding the balances. Heresy is a cancer which moves like a serpent. 950

The Fourth Lateran also used the figure of Samson’s foxes, whose faces had different aspects, but whose tails were bound together for one and the same fell purpose.1 Gregory IX., 952speaking of France, declared that it was filled with a multitude of venomous reptiles and the poison of the heresies. Etienne de Bourbon, writing in the last years of the twelfth century, said that, heretics are dregs and depravity, and for that reason cannot return to their former faith except by a divine miracle, even as cinders, which cannot be made into silver, or dregs into wine." 953 St. Bernard likened heretics to dogs that bite and foxes that deceive. 954 Free use was made of the withered branch of John 15:6, which was to be cast out and burnt, and of the historical examples of the destruction of the Canaanites and of Korah, Dothan, and Abiram. Thomas Aquinas put heretics in the same category with coin clippers who were felons before the civil tribunal. Earthquakes, like the great earthquake in Lombardy of 1222, and other natural calamities were ascribed by the orthodox to God’s anger against heresy. 955

The principle of toleration was unknown, or at best only here and there a voice was raised against the death penalty, as in the case of Hildegard, Rupert of Deutz,6and Peter Cantor, bishop of Paris. 957 Bernard went farther and admonished Eugenius III. against the use of force in the treatment of heretics 958and in commenting upon Cant. II. 15, "take me the foxes that spoil the vines," he said, that they should be caught not by arms but by arguments, and be reconciled to the Church in accordance with the purpose of Him who wills all men to be saved. He added that a false Catholic does more harm than an open heretic. 959 The opinion came to prevail, that what disease is to the body that heresy is to the Church, and the most merciful procedure was to cut off the heretic. No distinction was made between the man and the error. The popes were chiefly responsible for the policy which acted upon this view. The civil codes adopted and pronounced death as the heretic’s "merited reward," poena debita. 960 Thomas Aquinas and the theologians established it by arguments. Bernard Guy expressed the opinion of his age when he declared that heresy can be destroyed only when its advocates are converted or burnt. To extirpate religious dissent, the fierce tribunal of the Inquisition was established. The last measure to be resorted to was an organized crusade, waged under the banner of the pope, which shed the blood of the mediaeval dissenters without pity and with as little compunction as the blood of Saracens in the East.

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