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A History of The Inquisition of The Middle Ages; volume II
     

A History of The Inquisition of The Middle Ages; volume II

by Henry Charles Lea
 

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THE men who laid the foundations of the Inquisition in Languedoc had before them an apparently hopeless task. The whole organization and procedure of the institution were to be developed as experience might dictate and without precedents for guidance. Their uncertain and undefined powers were to be exercised under peculiar difficulties. Heresy was everywhere and

Overview

THE men who laid the foundations of the Inquisition in Languedoc had before them an apparently hopeless task. The whole organization and procedure of the institution were to be developed as experience might dictate and without precedents for guidance. Their uncertain and undefined powers were to be exercised under peculiar difficulties. Heresy was everywhere and all-pervading. An unknown but certainly large portion of the population was addicted to Catharism or Waldensianism, while even the orthodox could not, for the most part, be relied upon for sympathy or aid. Practical toleration had existed for so many generations, and so many families had heretic members, that the population at large was yet to be educated in the holy horror of doctrinal aberrations. National feeling, moreover, and the memory of common wrongs suffered during twenty years of bitter contest with invading soldiers of the Cross, during which Catholic and Catharan had stood side by side in defence of the fatherland, had created the strongest bonds of sympathy between the different sects. In the cities the magistrates were, if not heretics, inclined to toleration and jealous of their municipal rights and liberties. Throughout the country many powerful nobles were avowedly or secretly heretics, and Raymond of Toulouse himself was regarded as little better than a heretic. The Inquisition was the symbol of a hated foreign domination which could look for no cordial support from any of these classes. It was welcomed, indeed, by such Frenchmen as had succeeded in planting themselves in the land, but they were scattered, and were themselves the objects of detestation to their neighbors. The popular feeling is voiced by the Troubadours, who delight in expressing contempt for the French and hostility to the friars and their methods. As Guillem de Montanagout says: "Now have the clerks become inquisitors and condemn men at their pleasure. I have naught against the inquests if they would but condemn errors with soft words, lead the wanderers back to the faith without wrath, and allow the penitent to find mercy." The bolder Pierre Cardinal describes the Dominicans as disputing after dinner over the quality of their wines: "They have created a court of judgment, and whoever attacks them they declare to be a Waldensian; they seek to penetrate into the secrets of all men, so as to render themselves dreaded

Product Details

BN ID:
2940014534383
Publisher:
Unforgotten Classics
Publication date:
04/21/2012
Series:
A History of The Inquisition of The Middle Ages , #2
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
739 KB

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