A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages - Vol. 3

A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages - Vol. 3

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A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages - Vol. 3

A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages - Vol. 3

Read FREE!

Excerpt

In a former chapter we considered the Mendicants as an active agency in the suppression of heresy. One of the Orders, however, by no means restricted itself to this function, and we have now to examine the career of the Franciscans as the subjects of the spirit of persecuting uniformity which they did so much to render dominant.

While the mission of both Orders was to redeem the Church from the depth of degradation into which it had sunk, the Dominicans were more especially trained to take part in the active business of life. They therefore attracted the more restless and aggressive spirits; they accommodated themselves to the world, like the Jesuits of later days, and the worldliness which necessarily came with success awakened little antagonism within the organization. Power and luxury were welcomed and enjoyed. Even Thomas Aquinas, who, as we have seen, eloquently defended, against William of Saint-Amour, the superlative holiness of absolute poverty, subsequently admitted that poverty should be proportioned to the object which an Order was fitted . . .

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