Heresy and Authority in Medieval Europe: Documents in Translation

By Edward Peters | Go to book overview

to the notice of his king and his other judges. These shall substantiate the sentence of the pope with their sentence. The offender shall be deprived of all his goods, his fiefs and all his worldly honors. Thus shall lords and poor men be judged. The fitness of this is thus shown.

There was once a pope at Rome called Zacharias. In his time there was a king of France called Lescandus who protected the heretics unlawfully. He was king before King Pippin, King Charles's father. Him the pope deposed from his kingship and from all his honors, and Pippin became king in his stead during his natural life. We read, too, that Pope Innocent deposed King Otto of the Roman Empire on account of his ill deeds. This the popes have a right to do, as God spake to Jeremiah, saying, "I have set thee over all the nations and over all the kingdoms to judge."


43 Thirteenth-Century French Royal Legislation Against Heretics

A.

Moreover, since the keys of the Church are often despised in that country [ Languedoc ], we command that excommunicated persons shall be avoided according to the canonical provisions, and that if any one shall contumaciously remain in a state of excommunication for a year, he shall be forced by material means to return to the unity of the Church, in order that those who are not induced to leave their evil way by the law of God, may be brought back by temporal penalties. We therefore order that our bailiffs shall, after one year, seize all the property, both real and personal, of all such excommunicated persons. And on no account shall such property be in any way returned to such persons until they have been absolved and have rendered satisfaction to the Church, and then only by our special order.

-210-

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