The Malleus Maleficarum, by Heinrich Kramer & James Sprenger

Possibly the world's most popular inclination, the impulse to export your suffering to another seems to be near-universal. Not confined to any race, sex, or age category, the impulse to cause pain appears to well up from deep inside human beings. This is mysterious, because no one seems to enjoy pain when it is inflicted on them. Go figure.

Re: The Malleus Maleficarum, by Heinrich Kramer & James Spre

Postby admin » Thu Feb 26, 2015 8:23 am

PART THREE, THIRD HEAD, QUESTION 17

Of Common Purgation, and especially of the Trial of Red-hot Iron, to which Witches Appeal.


The question is now asked whether the secular judge may allow a witch to be submitted to a common purgation (concerning which see the Canon 2, q. 4, consuluisti, and cap. monomachiam), in the manner in which a civil defendant is allowed the trial by ordeal, as, for example, that by red-hot iron. And it may seem that he may do so.

For trial by combat is allowable in a criminal case for the protection of life, and in a civil case for the protection of property; then wherefore not the trial by red-hot iron or boiling water? S. Thomas allows that the former is permissible in some cases, when he says in the last article of the Second of the Second, q. 95, that a duel is lawful when it appears to be consonant with commonsense. Therefore the trial by red-hot iron should also be lawful in some cases.

Also it has been used by many Princes of saintly life who have availed themselves of the advice and counsel of good men; as, for example, the Sainted Emperor Henry [1] in the case of the virgin Cunegond whom he had married, who was suspected of adultery.

Again, a judge, who is responsible for the safety of the community, may lawfully allow a smaller evil that a greater may be avoided; as he allows the existence of harlots in towns in order to avoid a general confusion of lust. For S. Augustine On Free Will [2] says: Take away the harlots, and you will create a general chaos and confusion of lust. So, when a person has been loaded with insults and injuries by any community, he can clear himself of any criminal or civil charge by means of a trial by ordeal.

Also, since less hurt is caused to the hands by the red-hot iron than is the loss of life in a duel, if a duel is permitted where such things are customary, much more should the trial by red-hot iron be allowed.

But the contrary view is argued where it says (2, q. 5, monomachiam) that they who practice such and similar things appear to be tempting God. And here the Doctors affirm it must be noted that, according to S. Paul (I. Thessalonians v), we must abstain, not only from evil, but from all appearance of evil. Therefore the Canon says in that chapter, not that they who use such practices tempt God, but that they appear to tempt Him, so that it may be understood that, even if a man engage in such a trial with none but good intentions, yet since it has the appearance of evil, it is to be avoided.

I answer that such tests or trials are unlawful for two reasons. First, because their purpose is to judge of hidden matters of which it belongs only to God to judge. Secondly, because there is no Divine authority for such trials, nor are they anywhere sanctioned in the writings of the Holy Fathers. And it says in the chapter consuluisti, 2, q. 5: That which is not sanctioned in the writings of the Sainted Fathers is to be presumed superstitious. And Pope Stephen [3] in the same chapter says: It is left to your judgement to try prisoners who are convicted by their own confession or the proofs of the evidence; but leave that which is hidden and unknown to Him Who alone knows the hearts of men.

There is, nevertheless, a difference between a duel and the trial by red-hot iron or boiling water. For a duel appears to be more humanly reasonable, the combatants being of similar strength and skill, than a trial by red-hot iron. For although the purpose of both is to search out something hidden by means of a human act; yet in the case of trial by red-hot iron a miraculous effect is looked for, whereas this is not so in the case of a duel, in which all that can happen is the death of either, or both, of the combatants. Therefore the trial by red-hot iron is altogether unlawful; though a duel is not illegal to the same extent. So much has been incidentally admitted in respect of duels, on account of Princes and secular Judges.

It is to be noted that, because of those words of S. Thomas which make the above distinction, Nicolas of Lyra, in his Commentary on the duel or combat between David and Goliath, I. Regum xvii, tried to prove that in some cases a duel is lawful. But Paul of Burgos proves that not this, but rather the opposite was the meaning of S. Thomas; and all Princes and secular Judges ought to pay particular attention to his proof.

His first point is that a duel, like the other trial by ordeal, has as its purpose the judgement of something hidden, which ought to be left to the judgement of God, as we have said. And it cannot be said that this combat of David is an authority for duelling; for it was revealed to him by the Lord through some inner instinct that he must engage in that combat and avenge upon the Philistine the injuries done against God, as is proved by David’s words: I come against thee in the name of the living God. So he was not properly speaking a duellist, but he was an executor of Divine justice.

His second point is that Judges must especially note that in a duel power, or at least licence, is given to each of the parties to kill the other. But since one of them is innocent, that power of licence is given for the killing of an innocent man; and this is unlawful, as being contrary to the dictates of natural law and to the teaching of God. Therefore, a duel is altogether unlawful, not only on the part of the appellant and the respondent, but also on the part of the Judge and his advisers, who are all equally to be considered homicides or parties to manslaughter.

Thirdly, he points out that a duel is a single combat between two men, the purpose of which is that the justice of the case should be made clear by the victory of one party, as if by Divine judgement, notwithstanding the fact that one of the parties is fighting in an unjust cause; and in this way God is tempted. Therefore it is unlawful on the part both of the appellant and the respondent. But considering the fact that the judges have other means of arriving at an equitable and just termination of the dispute, when they do not use such means, but advise or even permit a duel when they could forbid it, they are consenting to the death of an innocent person.

But since it is unlikely that Nicolas the Commentator was unaware or ignorant of the above reasoning, it is concluded that, when he says that in some cases a duel can be fought without mortal sin, he is speaking on the part of the Judges or advisers, namely, in a case when such a trial is undertaken, not on their responsibility or advice, but purely on that of the appellant and respondent themselves.

But since it is not our purpose to linger over and debate such considerations, but to return to the question of witches, it is clear that, if this sort of trial is forbidden in the case of other criminal causes, such as theft or robbery, still more must it be forbidden in the case of witches who, it is agreed, obtain all their power from the devil, whether it be for causing or curing an injury, for removing or for preventing an effect of witchcraft.

And it is not wonderful witches are able to undergo this trial by ordeal unscathed with the help of devils; for we learn from naturalists that if the hands be anointed with the juice of a certain herb they are protected from burning. Now the devil has an exact knowledge of the virtues of such herbs: therefore, although he can cause the hand of the accused to be protected from the red-hot iron by invisibly interposing some other substance, yet he can procure the same effect by the use of natural objects. Hence even less that other criminals ought witches to be allowed this trial by ordeal, because their intimate familiarity with the devil; and from the very fact of their appealing to this trial they are to be held as suspected witches.

An incident illustrative of our argument occurred hardly three years ago in the Diocese of Constance. For in the territory of the Counts of Fuerstenberg and the Black Forest there was a notorious witch who had been the subject of much public complaint. At last, as the result of a general demand, she was seized by the Count and accused of various evil works of witchcraft. When she was being tortured and questioned, wishing to escape from their hands, she appealed to the trial by red-hot iron; and the Count, being you and inexperienced, allowed it. And she then carried the red-hot iron not only for the stipulated three paces, but for six, and offered to carry it even farther. Then, although they ought to have taken this as manifest proof that she was a witch (since one of the Saints dared to tempt the help of God in this manner), she was released from her chains and lives to the present time, not without grave scandal to the Faith in those parts.

_______________

Notes:

1. “Henry.” S. Henry II, German Kind and Roman Emperor, was born 972, and died in his palace of Grona, at Goettingen, 13 July, 1024. He was canonized in 1146 by Eugenius III; and his wife Cunegond on 3 March 1200, by Innocent III. Later writers are inclined to believe that the ascetic theme of his maiden marriage has no foundation in fact. Saint Henry on assuming the Imperial dignity took to wife Cunegond, daughter of Siegfried, Count of Luxemburg. It has been beautifully said that she shares her husband’s celestial, as she shared his earthly crown. When scandalous reports were circulated concerning her honour, although her husband could not for a moment suspect her purity, she insisted upon an appeal to the trial by ordeal, and having walked unhurt over the red-hot plough-shares, publicly testified her innocence. The story is immensely popular in German poetry and German art. A print by Hans Burgkmair shows her stepping over the shares, one of which she holds in her hand. Upon her shrine in the Cathedral at Bamburg a bas-relief by Hans Thielmann of Warzburg depicts the same incident. Having already retired to a Benedictine cloister, upon the death of her husband S. Cunegond took the veil.

2. “On Free Will.” S. Augustine’s “De Gratia et libero Arbitrio” was written 426—27. It will be found in Migne, "Patres Latini," xliv. pp. 881—912.

3. “Pope Stephen.” Stephen (IX) X, elected 3 August, 1057; died at Florence 29 March 1058. He was buried in the church of S. Reparata. He was distinguished for his learning and even during the few short months of his Pontificate he showed himself a zealous reformer.
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Re: The Malleus Maleficarum, by Heinrich Kramer & James Spre

Postby admin » Thu Feb 26, 2015 8:24 am

PART THREE, THIRD HEAD, QUESTION 18

Of the Manner of Pronouncing a Sentence which is Final and Definitive.


In proceeding to treat of those cases in which the secular Judge by himself can arrive at a judgement and pronounce a sentence without the co-operation of the Diocesan and Ordinaries, we necessarily presuppose that not only is it consistent with the protection of the faith and of justice that we Inquisitors should be relieved of the duty of passing sentence in these cases, but in the same sincerity of spirit we endeavour to relieve the Diocesans also from that duty; not in any desire to detract from their authority and jurisdiction, for if they should elect to exercise their authority in such matters, it would follow that we Inquisitors must also concur in it.

It must be remembered, also, that this crime of witches is not purely ecclesiastic; therefore the temporal potentates and Lords are not debarred from trying and judging it. At the same time was shall show that in some cases they must not arrive at a definitive judgement without the authorisation of the Diocesans.

But first we must consider the sentence itself: secondly, the nature of its pronouncement; and thirdly, in how many ways it is to be pronounced.

With regard to the first of these questions, S. Augustine says that we must not pronounce sentence against any person unless he has been proved guilty, or has confessed. Now there are three kinds of sentence - interlocutory, definitive, and preceptive. These are explained as follows by S. Raymond. An interlocutory sentence is one which is given not on the main issue of the case, but on some other side issues which emerge during the hearing of a case; such as a decision whether or not a witness is to be disallowed, or whether some digression is to be admitted, and such matters as that. Or it may perhaps be called interlocutory because it is delivered simply by word of mouth without the formality of putting it into writing.

A definitive sentence is one which pronounces a final decision as to the main issue of the case.

A preceptive sentence is one which is pronounced by a lower authority on the instruction of a higher. But we shall be concerned with the first two of these, and especially with the definitive sentence.

Now it is laid down by law that a definitive sentence which has been arrived at without a due observance of the proper legal procedure in trying a case is null and void in law; and the legal conduct of a case consists in two things. One concerns the basis of the judgement; for there must be a due provision for the hearing of arguments both for the prosecution and the defence, and a sentence arrived at without such a hearing cannot stand. The other is not concerned with the basis of the judgement, but provides that the sentence must not be conditional; for example, a claim for possession should not be decided conditionally upon some subsequent claim of property; but where there is no question of such an objection the sentence shall stand.

But in the case we are considering, which is a process on behalf of the faith against a charge of heresy (though the charge is a mixed one), the procedure is straighforward and summary. That is to say, the Judge need not require a writ, or demand that the case should be contested. But he must allow opportunity for the necessary proofs, and issue his citation, and exact the protestation of the oath concerning calumny, etc. Therefore there has lately been a new law made as to the method of procedure in such cases.

To proceed to our second consideration, namely, of the nature of the pronouncement of the sentence, it must be noted that it should be pronounced by the Judge and no one else, otherwise it is not valid. Also the Judge must be sitting in a public and honourable place; and he must pronounce it in the day-time and not in the darkness; and there are other conditions to be observed; for example, the sentence must not be promulgated upon a Holy Day, nor yet merely delivered in writing.

Yet it is to be noted that since, as we have said, this case is conducted in a simple and summary manner, it may lawfully be conducted on Holy Days for the sake of the convenience of the public, and the Judge may cut short any digressions. Therefore the Judge may, if he pleases, act in such a manner, and even pass sentence without putting it in writing. For we are authoritatively informed that there are cases in which a sentence is valid without its being put into writing, as, for example, when such is the custom of any particular locality or Court. Also there is excellent precedent for a Bishop, when he is the Judge, allowing the sentence to be pronounced by some other person.

Note again that, although in criminal actions the execution of the sentence is not to be delayed, this rule does not hold good in four cases, with two of which we are here concerned. First, when the prisoner is a pregnant woman; and then the sentence shall be delayed until she has given birth. Secondly, when the prisoner has confessed her crime, but has afterwards denied it again: that is to say, when the way which we explained in the Fourteenth Question.

Now before we proceed to our third consideration, namely, the different methods of passing sentence which we shall proceed to treat of up to the end of this work, we must first make some remarks about the various ways in which a prisoner is rendered suspect, from which the various methods of passing sentence follow as a consequence.
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Re: The Malleus Maleficarum, by Heinrich Kramer & James Spre

Postby admin » Thu Feb 26, 2015 8:24 am

PART THREE, THIRD HEAD, QUESTION 19

Of the Various Degrees of Overt Suspicion which render the Accused liable to be Sentenced.


Both the old and the new legislature provide an answer to the question as to in how many and what ways a person can be held suspect of heresy or any other crime, and whether they can be judged and sentenced by reason of such suspicions. For the gloss on the chapter nos in quemquam, which we quoted in the last Question, says that there are four means of convicting a prisoner: either by the depositions of witnesses in Court, or by the evidence of the facts, or by reason of previous convictions against the prisoner, or because of a grave suspicion.

And the Canonists note that suspicion is of three kinds. The first of which the Canon says, “You shall not judge anyone because he is suspect in your own opinion.” The second is Probably; and this, but not the first, leads to a purgation. The third is Grave, and leads to a conviction; and S. Jerome understands this kind of suspicion when he says that a wife may be divorced either for fornication or for a reasonably suspected fornication.

It must further be noted that the second, or highly probable and circumstantial, suspicion is admitted as a kind of half-proof; that is to say, it helps to substantiate other proofs. Therefore it can also lead to a judgement, and not only to a purgation. And as for the grave suspicion, which suffices for a conviction, note that it is of two kinds. One is of the law and by the law, as when the law fixes and determines some point against which no proof can be admitted. For example, if a man has given a woman a promise of matrimony, and copulation has ensued, then matrimony is presumed, and no proof to the contrary is admitted. The second is of the law but not by the law, as where the law presumes but does not determine a fact. For example, if a man has lived for a long time with a woman, she is presumed to have had connexion with him; but against this proofs are admitted.

Applying this to our discussion of the heresy of witches and to the modern laws, we say that in law there are three degrees of suspicion in the matter of heresy: the first slight, the second great, and the third very great.

The first is in law called a light suspicion. Of this it is said in the chapter Accusatus, de Haeret. Lib. 6: If the accused has incurred only a light and small suspicion, and if she should again fall under that suspicion, although she is to be severely punished for this, she ought not to suffer the punishment of those who have relapsed into heresy. And this suspicion is called small or light, both because it can be removed by a small and light defence, and because it arises from small and light conjectures. Therefore it is called small, because of the small proofs of it; and light, because of the light conjectures.

As an example of simple heresy, if people are found to be meeting together secretly for the purpose of worship, or differing in their manner of life and behaviour from the usual habits of the faithful; or if they meet together in sheds and barns, or at the more Holy Seasons in the remoter fields or woods, by day or by night, or are in any way found to separate themselves and not to attend Mass at the usual times or in the usual manner, or form secret friendships with suspected witches: such people incur at least a light suspicion of heresy, because it is proved that heretics often act in this manner. And of this light suspicion the Canon says: They who are by a slight argument discovered to have deviated from the teaching and path of the Catholic religion are not to be classed as heretics, nor is a sentence to be pronounced against them.

Henry of Segusio agrees with this in his Summa; de Praesumptione, where he says: It is to be noted that although a heretic be convicted by a slight argument of that matter of which he is suspected, he is not on that account to be considered a heretic; and he proves it by the above reasoning.

The second or grave suspicion is in law called grave or vehement, and of this the above Canon (Accusatus) again says: One who is accused or suspected of heresy, against whom a grave or vehement suspicion of this crime has arisen, etc. And it goes on: And these are not two kinds but the same kind of suspicion. Giovanni d’Andrea also says: Vehement is the same as strong, as the Archdeacon says speaking of this Canon. Also Bernardus Papiensis [1] and Huguccio [2] say that vehement is the same as strong or great. S. Gregory also, in the First Book of his Morals says: A vehement wind sprang up. Therefore we say that anyone has a vehement case when he has a strong one. So much for this.

Therefore a great suspicion is called vehement or strong; and it is so called because it is dispelled only by a vehement and strong defence, and because it arises from great, vehement, and strong conjectures, arguments, and evidence. As, to take an example of simple heresy, when people are found to shelter known heretics, and show favour to them, or visit and associate with them and give gifts to them, receive them into their houses and protect them, and such like: such people are vehemently suspected of heresy. And similarly in the heresy of witches, they are brought under suspicion when they share in the crimes of witches.

And here are especially to be noted those men or women who cherish some inordinate love or excessive hatred, even if they do not use to work any harm against men or animals in other ways. For, as we have said, those who behave in this way in any heresy are strongly to be suspected. And this is shown by the Canon where it says that there is no doubt that such persons act in this way out of some heretical sympathy.

The third and greatest suspicion is in law called grave or violent: for the Canon and the glosses of the Archdeacon and Giovanni d’Andrea explain that the word vehement does not mean the same as the word violent. And of this suspicion the Canon says (dist. 34): This presumption or suspicion is called violent because it violently constrains and compels a Judge to believe it, and cannot be cast off by any evasion; and also because it arises from violent and convincing conjectures.

For example, in simple heresy, if persons are found to show a reverent love for heretics, to receive consolation or communion from them, or perpetrate any other such matter in accordance with their rites and ceremonies: such persons would fall under and be convicted of a violent suspicion of heresy and heretical beliefs. (See many chapters on this subject in Book VI of the Canon.) For there is no doubt that such persons act in this way out of a belief in some heresy.

It is the same, as regards the heresy of witches, with those who perform and persist in performing any of the actions which pertain to the rites of witches. Now these are of various kinds. Sometimes it is only some threatening speech, such as “You shall soon feel what will happen to you,” or something similar. Sometimes it is a touch, just laying their hands curiously on a man or a beast. Sometimes it is only a matter of being seen, when they show themselves by day or by night to others who are sleeping in their beds; and this they do when they wish to bewitch men or beasts. But for raising hailstorms they observe various other methods and ceremonies, and perform various ritual actions round about a river, as we have shown before where we discussed the manner and methods of working witchcraft. When such are found and are publicly notorious they are convicted of a violent suspicion of the heresy of witchcraft; especially when some effect of witchcraft has followed upon their actions, either immediately or after some interval. For then there is direct evidence when any instruments of witchcraft are found hidden in some place. And although when some interval of time has elapsed the evidence of the fact is not so strong, such a person still remains under strong suspicion of witchcraft, and therefore much more of simple heresy.

And if it be asked whether the devil cannot inflict injury upon men and beasts without the means of a woman being seen in a vision or by her touch, we answer that he can, when God permits it. But the permission of God is more readily granted in the case of a creature that was dedicated to God, but by denying the faith has consented to other horrible crimes; and therefore the devil more often uses such means to harm creatures. Further, we may say that, although the devil can work without a witch, he yet very much prefers to work with one, for the many reasons which we showed earlier in this work.

To sum up our conclusions on this matter, it is to be said that, following the above distinctions, those who are suspected of the heresy of witchcraft are separated into three categories, since some are lightly, some strongly, and some gravely suspected. And they are lightly suspected who act in such a way as to give rise to a small or light suspicion against hem of this heresy. And although, as has been said, a person who is found to be suspected in this way is not to be branded as a heretic, yet he must undergo a canonical purgation, or he must be caused to pronounce a solemn abjuration as in the case of one convicted of a slight heresy.

For the Canon (cap. excommunicamus) says: Those who have been found to rest under a probable suspicion (that is, says Henry of Segusio, a light suspicion), unless, having respect to the nature of the suspicion and the quality of their persons, they should prove their innocent by a fitting purgation, they are to be stricken with the sword of anathema as a worthy satisfaction in the sight of all men. And if they continue obstinate in their excommunication for the period of a year, they are to utterly condemned as heretics.

And note that, in the purgation imposed upon them, whether or not they consent to it, and whether or not they fail in it, they are throughout to be judged as reputed heretics on whom a canonical purgation is to be imposed.

And that a person under this light suspicion can and should be caused to pronounce a solemn abjuration is shown in the chapter Accusatus, where it says: A person accused or suspected of heresy, against whom there is a strong suspicion of this crime, if he abjures the heresy before the Judge and afterwards commits it, then, by a sort of legal fiction, he shall be judged to have relapsed into heresy, although the heresy was not proved against him before his abjuration. But if the suspicion was in the first place a small or light one, although such a relapse renders the accused liable to severe punishment, yet he is not to suffer the punishment of those who relapse into heresy.

But those who are strongly suspected, that is, those who have acted in such a way as to engender a great and strong suspicion; even those are not necessarily heretics or to be condemned as such. For it is expressly stated in the Canon that no one is to be condemned of so great a crime by reason of a strong suspicion. And it says:

Therefore we order that, when the accused is only under suspicion, even if it be a strong one, we do not wish him to be condemned of so grave a crime; but such a one so strongly suspected must be commanded to abjure all heresy in general, and in particular that of which he is strongly suspected.

But if he afterwards relapses either into his former heresy or into any other, or if he associates with those whom he knows to be witches or heretics, or visits them, receives, consults with, forgives, or favours them, he shall not escape the punishment of backsliders, according to the chapter Accusatus. For it says there: He who has been involved in one kind or sect of heresy, or has erred in one article of the faith or sacrament of the Church, and has afterwards specifically and generally abjured his heresy: if thereafter he follows another kind or sect of heresy, or errs in another article or sacrament of the Church, it is our will that he be judged a backslider. He, therefore, who is known to have lapsed into heresy before his abjuration, if after his abjuration he receives heretics, visits them, gives or sends them presents or gifts, or shows favour to them, etc., he is worthily and truly to judged a backslider; for by this proof there is no doubt that he was in the first place guilty. Such is the tenor of the Canon.

From these words it is clear that there are three cases in which a person under strong suspicion of heresy shall, after his abjuration, be punished as a backslider. The first is when he falls back into the same heresy of which he was strongly suspected. The second is when he has abjured al heresy in general, and yet lapses into another heresy, even if he has never before been suspected or accused of that heresy. The third is when he receives and shows favour to heretics. And this last comprises and embraces many cases.

But it is asked what should be done when a person who has fallen under so strong a suspicion steadily refuses to comply with his Judge’s order to abjure his heresy: is he to be at once handed over to the secular Court to be punished? We answer that by no means must this be done; for the Canon (ad abolendam) expressly speaks, not of suspects, but of those who are manifestly taken in heresy. And more rigorous action is to be employed against those who are manifestly taken than against those who are only suspected.

And if it is asked, How then is such a one to be proceeded against? We answer that the Judge must proceed against him in accordance with the chapter excommunicamus, and he must be excommunicated. And if he continues obstinate after a year’s excommunication, he is to be condemned as a heretic.

There are others again who are violently or gravely suspected, whose actions give rise to a violent suspicion against them; and such a one is to be considered as a heretic, and throughout he is to be treated as if he were taken in heresy, in accordance with the Canon Law. For these either confess their crime or not; and if they do, and wish to return to the faith and abjure their heresy, they are to be received back into penitence. But if they refuse to abjure, they are to be handed over to the secular Court for punishment.

But if he does not confess his crime after he has been convicted, and does not consent to abjure his heresy, he is to be condemned as an impenitent heretic. For a violent suspicion is sufficient to warrant a conviction, and admits no proof to the contrary.

Now this discussion deals with simple heresy, where there is no direct or indirect evidence of the fact, as will be shown in the sixth method of passing sentence, where a man is to be condemned as a heretic even though he may not actually be one: then how much more is it applicable to the heresy of witches, where there is always in addition either the direct evidence of bewitched children, men, or animals, or the indirect evidence of instruments of witchcraft which have been found.

And although in the case of simple heresy those who are penitent and abjure are, as has been said, admitted to penitence and imprisonment for life; yet in this heresy, although the ecclesiastic Judge may receive the prisoner into penitence, yet the civil Judge can, because of her temporal injuries, that is to say, the harms she has done to men, cattle, and goods, punish her with death; nor can the ecclesiastic Judge prevent this, for even if he does not hand her over to be punished, yet he is compelled to deliver her up at the request of the civil Judge.

_______________

Notes:

1. “Papiensis.” Bernardus Papiensis, a famous and prolific Italian canonist of the thirteenth century, who died 18 September, 1213. He was born at Pavia, studied law and theology at Bologna, was provost of the Cathedral of Pavia until 1191, Bishop of Faenza until 1198, and then Bishop of Pavia until his death. The most celebrated of his many works is the “Breuiarium extrauagantium” (later called “Compilatio prima antiqua”), a collection of canonical texts comprising ancient canons not inserted in the “Decretum” of Gratian, as also various later documents. The work was compiled between 1187 and 1191, and was edited by Friedberg, “Quinque compilationes antiquae,” Leipzig, 1882.

2. “Huguccio.” Hugh of Pisa, a distinguished Italian canonist, who died in 1210. He was born at Pisa, but the date is unknown. He studied at Bologna, where later he professed Canon Law. In 1190 he became Bishop of Ferrara. Among his works are a “Liber deruationum” which treats of etymology. He also wrote a “Summa” on the “Decretum” of Gratian, which has been considered the most extensive and one of the most valuable commentaries of the time. There are, however, certain omissions, but these gaps were filled by the industry of Joannes de Deo.
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Re: The Malleus Maleficarum, by Heinrich Kramer & James Spre

Postby admin » Thu Feb 26, 2015 8:25 am

PART THREE, THIRD HEAD, QUESTION 20

Of the First Method of Pronouncing Sentence.


Since, therefore, the accused is either found innocent and is to be altogether absolved, or is found only to be generally defamed as a heretic, or is found a proper subject for the questions and the torture on account of her reputation, or is found to be lightly suspected of heresy, or is found to be strongly or gravely suspected of heresy, or is found to be at the same time commonly defamed and suspected of heresy, or is found to have confessed her heresy and to be penitent but probably to have relapsed, or is found to have confessed her heresy and to be impenitent but not really to have relapsed, or is found to have confessed but by legitimate witnesses and otherwise legally to have been convicted of heresy, or is found to have been convicted of heresy but to have escaped or defiantly absented herself, or is found not to have done injury by witchcraft but to have removed bewitchments unfittingly and by unlawful means, or is found to be an archer-wizard or enchanter of weapons with the purpose of causing death, or is found to be a witch-midwife offerings infants to the devil in the manner of an enemy, or is found to make frivolous and fraudulent appeals with a view to saving her life:

Therefore, if she is found to be entirely innocent, the final sentence shall be pronounced in the following manner:

Here it is to be noted that the accused is found to be entirely innocent when, after the facts of the process have been diligently discussed in consultation with skilled lawyers, she cannot be convicted either by her own confession, or by the evidence of the fact, or by the production of legitimate witnesses (since they have disagreed upon the main issue); and when the accused has never before been suspected of or publicly defamed as regards that crime (but the case is different if she has been defamed as regards some other crime); and when there is no evidence of the fact against her. In such a case the following procedure is observed; for she is to be absolved by the Bishop or Judge by a sentence to the following effect:

We N., by the mercy of God Bishop of such a town (or Judge, etc.), considering that you N. of such a place and such a Diocese have been accused before us of the crime of heresy and namely of witchcraft; and considering that this accusation was such as we could not pass over with connivent eyes, have condescended to inquire whether the aforesaid accusation can be substantiated as true, by calling witnesses, by examining you, and by using other means which are fitting according to the canonical sanctions. Wherefore having diligently seen and examined all that has been done and said in this case, and having had the counsel of learned lawyers and Theologians, and having repeatedly examined and inquired into all; sitting as Judges on this tribunal and having only God before our eyes and the truth of the case, and the Holy Gospels being placed before us that our judgement may proceed from the countenance of God and our eyes behold equity, we proceed to our definitive sentence in this way, invoking the name of Christ. Since by that which we have seen and heard, and has been produced, offered, done, and executed before us in this present case, we have not found that anything has legally been proved against you of those things of which you were accused before us, we pronounce, declare, and give it as our final sentence that no act has legally been proved to us against you by which you can or ought to be judged a heretic or witch of heresy. Wherefore by this present declaration, inquiry, and judgement, we freely discharge you. This sentence was given, etc.

Let care be taken not to put anywhere in the sentence that the accused is innocent or immune, but that it was not legally proved against him; for if after a little time he should again be brought to trial, and it should be legally proved, he can, notwithstanding the previous sentence of absolution, then be condemned.

Note also that the same method of absolution may be used in the case of one who is accused of receiving, protecting, or otherwise comforting and favouring heretics, when nothing is legally proved against him.

A secular Judge commissioned by the Bishop shall use his own manner of pronouncement.
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Re: The Malleus Maleficarum, by Heinrich Kramer & James Spre

Postby admin » Thu Feb 26, 2015 8:25 am

PART THREE, THIRD HEAD, QUESTION 21

Of the Second Method of Pronouncing Sentence, when the Accused is no more than Defamed.


The second method of delivering judgement is to be employed when he or she who is accused, after a diligent discussion of the merits of the case in consultation with learned lawyers, is found to be no more than defamed as a heretic in some village, town, or province. And this is when the accused does not stand convicted either by her own confession, or by the evidence of the facts, or by the legitimate production of witnesses; nor has there been anything proved against her except that she is the subject of common aspersion: so that no particular act of witchcraft can be proved by which she can be brought under strong or grave suspicion, as that she has uttered threatening words, for example, “You will soon feel what will happen to you,” or something to that effect, and afterwards some injury has befallen the person or the cattle of the man she threatened.

The following procedure, therefore, is to be employed in the case of such a one against whom nothing has been proved except public obloquy. In this case judgement cannot be delivered for the accused, nor can she be absolved as in the first method; but a canonical purgation must be imposed upon her. Therefore let the Bishop or his deputy, or the Judge, first take note that, in a case of heresy, it is not necessary that a person should be defamed only by good and respected people; for the calumniation uttered by common and simple folk carries equal weight.

And the reason for this is, that the same persons who are admitted as accusers in a case of heresy are also admitted as detractors. Now any heretic can be accused by anybody, except his mortal enemies; therefore he can also be defamed by anybody.

Therefore let the Bishop or Judge pronounce his sentence of canonical purgation in this or some similar manner:

We N., by the mercy of God Bishop of such a city, or Judge of such a county, having diligently examined the merits of the process conducted by us against you N. of such a Diocese accused before us of the crime of heresy, etc. We have not found that you have confessed to or have been convicted of the aforesaid sin or that you are even lightly suspected of it, except that we find that truly and legitimately you are publicly defamed by both good and bad in such a village, town, or Diocese; and that you may be in good odour among the company of the faithful we impose upon you as by law a canonical purgation, assigning to you such a day of such a month at such hour of the day, upon which you shall appear in person before us with so many persons of equal station with you to purge you of your defamation. Which sponsors must be men of the Catholic faith and of good life who have known your habits and manner of living not only recently but in time past. And we signify that, if you should fail in this purgation, we shall hold you convicted, according to the canonical sanctions.

Here it is to be considered that, when a person is duly found to be publicly defamed of some heresy, and nothing is proved against him except that defamation, a canonical purgation shall be imposed upon him. That is, he must produce some seven, ten, twenty, or thirty men, according to the extent to which he has been defamed and the size and important of the place concerned, and these must be men of his own station and condition. For example, if he who is defamed is a religious, they must be religious; if he is a secular, they must be seculars; if he be a solder, they must be soldiers who purge him from the crime for which he is defamed. And these sponsors must be men professing the Catholic faith and of good life, who have known his habits and life both recently and for a long time.

But if he refuses this purgation, he must be excommunicated; and if he remains obstinate in that excommunication for a year, he is then to be condemned as a heretic.

And if he accepts the purgation and fails in it; that is, if he cannot find sponsors of the number and quality desired; he shall be considered as convicted, and is to be condemned as a heretic.

And it must here be remarked that, when it is said that he must purge himself by means of so many men of his own station in life, this is meant generically and not specifically. Thus, if a Bishop is to be purged, it is not necessary that all his sponsors should be Bishops; but Abbots and other religious who are priests are admitted; and similarly in other cases.

And the defamed person shall purge himself in the following manner. At the time assigned to him for his canonical purgation, he shall appear in person with his sponsors before the Bishop who is his Judge, in the place where he is known to be defamed; and, placing his hand upon the Book of the Gospels set before him, he shall say as follows:

I swear upon these four Holy Gospels of God that I never held, believed or taught, neither do I hold or believe such heresy (naming it) for which I am defamed.

That is to say, he shall deny on oath whatever it is for which he is defamed.

After this, all his sponsors shall place their hands on the Gospels; and each of them severally shall say: And I swear upon this Holy Gospel of God that I believe him to have sworn the truth. And then he is canonically purged.

It is also to be noted that a person defamed of heresy is to be purged in the place where he is known to be defamed. And if he has been defamed in many places, he must be required to profess the Catholic faith and deny the heresy in all the places in which he is known as defamed.

And let not such a person hold in light esteem this canonical purgation. For it is provided by the Canon Law that, if he afterwards falls into the heresy of which he has been purged, he is to be handed over as a backslider to the secular Court. But the case is somewhat different if he falls into some other heresy, of which he has not before been purged.
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Re: The Malleus Maleficarum, by Heinrich Kramer & James Spre

Postby admin » Thu Feb 26, 2015 8:25 am

PART THREE, THIRD HEAD, QUESTION 22

Of the Third Kind of Sentence, to be Pronounced on one who is Defamed, and who is to be put to the Question.


The Third method of bringing a process on behalf of the faith to a conclusive termination is when the person accused of heresy, after a careful consideration of the merits of the process in consultation with learned lawyers, is found to be inconsistent in his statements, or is found that there are sufficient grounds to warrant his exposure to the question and torture: so that if, after he has been thus questioned, he confesses nothing, he may be considered innocent. And this is when the prisoner has not been taken in heresy, nor has he been convicted by his own confession, or by the evidence of the facts, or by the legitimate production of witnesses, and there are no indications that he is under such a suspicion as to warrant his being made to abjure the heresy; but nevertheless he is inconsistent in his answers when interrogated. Or there may be other sufficient reasons for exposing him to torture. And in such a case the following procedure is to be observed.

And because such a judgement in includes an interlocutory sentence which must be against and not for the prisoner, the Inquisitor must not divide it into two sentences, but include it all in one. And in the first place, if the accused remains firm in his denials and can in no way be induced by honest men to confess the truth, the following manner of sentence, which is in some respects definitive, shall be used.

We N., by the mercy of God Bishop of such a town, or Judge in the territory subject to the rule of such a Prince, having regard to the merits of the process conducted by us against you N., of such a place in such a Diocese, and after careful examination, find that you are not consistent in your answers, and that there are sufficient indications besides that you ought to be exposed to the question and torture. Therefore, that the truth may be known from your own mouth and that from henceforth you may not offend the ears of your Judges with your equivocations, we declare, pronounce, and give sentence that on this present day at such an hour you are to be subjected to an interrogatory under torture. This sentence was given, etc.

If the person to be questioned is both found to be equivocal and at the same time there are other indications sufficient to warrant his being tortured, let both these facts be included in the sentence, as they are above. But if only one or the other of these hold good, let that one only be put in the sentence. But let the sentence be soon put into execution, or let them make as if to execute it. Nevertheless let not the Judge be too willing to subject a person to torture, for this should only be resorted to in default of other proofs. Therefore let him seek for other proofs; and if he cannot find them, and thinks it probable that the accused is guilty, but denied the truth out of fear, let him use other approved methods, always with due precautions, and by using the persuasions of the friends of the accused do his utmost to extract the truth from his own lips. And let him not hasten the business; for very often meditation, and the ordeal of imprisonment, and the repeated persuasion of honest men will induce the accused to discover the truth.

But if, after keeping the accused in suspense, and after due and decent postponements of the time, and many exhortations of the accused, the Bishop and the Judge are well persuaded that, all circumstances considered, the accused is denying the truth, let them torture him slightly, without shedding blood, bearing in mind that torture is often fallacious and ineffective. For some are so soft-hearted and feeble-minded that at the least torture they will confess anything, whether it be true or not. Others are so stubborn that, however much they are tortured, the truth is not to be had from them. There are others who, having been tortured before, are the better able to endure it a second time, since their arms have been accommodated to the stretchings and twistings involved; whereas the effect on others is to make them weaker, so that they can the less easily endure torture. Others are bewitched, and make use of the fact in their torture, so that they will die before the will confess anything; for they become, as it were, insensible to pain. Therefore there is need for much prudence in the matter of torture, and the greatest attention is to be given to the condition of the person who is to be tortured.

When, then, the sentence has been pronounced, the officers shall without delay prepare to torture the accused. And while they are making their preparations, the Bishop or Judge shall use his own persuasions and those of other honest men zealous for the faith to induce the accused to confess the truth freely, if necessary promising to spare his life, as we have shown above.

But if the accused cannot thus be terrified into telling the truth, a second or third day may be appointed for the continuation of the torture; but it must not be repeated then and there. For such a repetition is not permissible unless some further indications against the accused should transpire. But there is nothing to prevent a continuation of the torture on another day.

Let it be said: We N. Bishop and N. Judge (if he is present) aforesaid, assign to you N. such a day for the continuation of the torture, that the truth may be known from your own mouth. And let all be set down in the process. And during the interval appointed to him, let them use their own persuasions and those of other honest men to induce him to confess the truth.

But if he has refused to confess, the torture can be continued on the day assigned, more or less severely according to the gravity of the offences in question. And the Judges will be able to observe many lawful precautions, both in word and deed, by which they may come at the truth; but these are more easily learned by use and experience and the variety of different cases than by the art of teaching of anyone.

But if, after having been fittingly questioned and tortured, he will not discover the truth, let him not be further molested, but be freely allowed to depart. If, however, he confesses, and abides by his confession, and uncovers the truth, acknowledging his guilt and asking the pardon of the Church; then according to the Canon ad abolendam he is to be treated as one taken in heresy on his own confession, but penitent, and he must abjure the heresy, and sentence must be pronounced against him as in the case of those who are convicted by their own confession as being taken in heresy. This will be explained in the eighth method of sentencing such, to which the reader may refer.

If, on the other hand, he confesses the truth, but is not penitent but obstinately persists in his heresy, but is not a relapsed heretic, then according to the Canon, after a decent interval and due warning, he is to be condemned as a heretic and handed over to the secular Court to suffer the extreme penalty, as we show later in the tenth method. But if he is a relapsed heretic, he is to be condemned in the way which is again explained in the tenth method, to which the reader may refer.

But here it must be particularly noted that in some instances he who is to be questioned confesses nothing against himself before the torture, nor is anything proved on the strength of which he can be required to abjure the heresy or be condemned as a heretic; and in such cases the above procedure should be adopted, as we have said, immediately. But in other cases the accused is taken in heresy, or he is to be considered either lightly or strongly suspected; and he is not to be tortured in respect of such matters; but if, apart from these, he denies some points which are not proved, but of which there is sufficient indication to warrant his being tortured; and if, having been questioned as to these under torture, he confesses to none of them, he is not on that account to be absolved in accordance with the first method; but he must be proceeded against according to that which has been proved against him, and he or she must abjure the heresy as being one under suspicion of or taken in heresy, as the merits of the process may exact or require. And if, after torture, he confesses all or part of that for which he was tortured, then he must abjure both this and the former heresy which was proved against him, and sentence must be pronounced against him in respect of both of these.
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Re: The Malleus Maleficarum, by Heinrich Kramer & James Spre

Postby admin » Thu Feb 26, 2015 8:26 am

PART THREE, THIRD HEAD, QUESTION 23

The Fourth Method of Sentencing, in the Case of one Accused upon a Light Suspicion.


The fourth method of concluding the process on behalf of the faith is used when, after the merits of the process have been diligently examined in consultation with expert lawyers, the accused is found to rest under only a light suspicion of heresy. And this is when the accused is not taken in heresy, nor is convicted by her own confession or by the evidence of the facts or by the legitimate production of witnesses, and there are no other strong or vehement indications of heresy against her; but only a small and light indications of such a sort as, in the opinion of the Court, to engender a light suspicion against her. And such a one must be required to abjure the heresy of which she is accused; and then, if she relapses into heresy, she is not liable to the punishment of backsliders, although she must be more severely punished than would be the case if she had not previously abjured the heresy (see the Canon c. accusatus). The following procedure shall be followed in such a case. For such an accused, if the matter be a public one, will publicly make the following abjuration in the Church:

I, N., of such a Diocese, a citizen of such a city or place, being on my trial, do swear before you the Lord Bishop of such a city, and upon the Holy Gospels placed before me and upon which I set my hand, that I believe in my heart and profess with my lips that Holy Catholic and Apostolic Faith which the Holy Roman Church believes, confesses, preaches, and observes. Also I swear that I believe in my heart and profess with my lips that the Lord JESUS Christ, in company with all the Saints, abominates the wicked heresy of witches; and that all who follow or adhere to it will with the devil and his Angels be punished in eternal fire unless they turn their hearts and are reconciled by the penitence of the Holy Church. And there I abjure, renounce, and revoke that heresy of which you, my Lord Bishop, and your Officers hold me suspected: namely, that I have been familiar with witches, have ignorantly defended their errors, have held in detestation their Inquisitors and prosecutors, or that I have failed to bring their crimes to light. Also I swear that I have never believed the aforesaid heresy, nor do I believe, nor have I adhered, nor do I adhered to it, nor shall I ever believe, adhere to, or teach it, nor do I intend to teach it. And if I should hereafter be guilty of any of the aforesaid practices (which God forbid), I shall willingly submit myself to the punishment provided by law for such who are so forsworn; and I am ready to undergo any penance which you see fit to enjoin me for those words or deeds of mine for which you hold me deservedly suspect; and I swear to fulfill such penance to the best of my strength, and to omit no part of it, so help me God and these Holy Gospels.

The above abjuration shall be made in the common speech, so that all may understand it. And when it is done, the Judge, if he is present, or his deputy shall speak to her in the common speech to the following effect:

My son (or daughter), you have not unworthily abjured the suspicion which we entertained of you, and have purged yourself by the aforesaid abjuration. Beware then lest hereafter you fall into the heresy you have abjured. For although, if you should repent, you would not be delivered up to the secular Court, since you made your abjuration as one under a light, and not a strong, suspicion, yet you wold then be far more severely punished than you would have been if you had not abjured, and you would then rest under a strong instead of a light suspicion. And when you should abjure as such, and afterwards should relapse, you would suffer the due punishment of a backslider, and would without mercy be delivered to the secular Court to endure the extreme penalty.

But if she makes her abjuration secretly in the chamber of the Bishop or Judge, which will be the case when the matter is not a public one, she shall abjure in the same manner. And afterwards sentence shall be pronounced as follows:

We, by the mercy of God Bishop of such a city, or (if he is present) Judge in the territory subject to such a Prince, having carefully seen and examined the merits of the process conducted by us against you N., accused before us heresy, find that you have committed such and such (naming them) which render you lightly suspected of heresy, on account of which we have judged it proper to cause you to abjure that heresy as one lightly suspected of it. But not for that can you be dismissed unpunished. And that you may become more careful in the future, having consulted with many eminent persons learned in the law and with religious men, and having carefully weighed and digested the whole matter, having only God before our eyes, and the irrefragable truth of the Holy Catholic Faith, and with the Holy Gospels placed before us that our sentence may proceed as from God’s countenance and that our eyes may see with equity, and sitting in tribunal as Judge, we condemn, sentence, or rather impose penance upon you N., standing in person here in our presence, in the following manner. Namely, that never hereafter shall you knowingly hold to, associate with, defend in your speech, read (if you are well learned), or hereafter, etc. and let there be set down that which she has committed, on account of which she was held suspected of the crime of heresy. This sentence and penance were given, etc.

And let the Notary take care that he sets it down in the process that such abjuration was made as by one under a light, not a strong, suspicion of heresy; for otherwise great danger might ensue.
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Re: The Malleus Maleficarum, by Heinrich Kramer & James Spre

Postby admin » Thu Feb 26, 2015 8:26 am

PART THREE, THIRD HEAD, QUESTION 24

The Fifth Manner of Sentence, in the Case of one under Strong Suspicion.


The fifth method of concluding a process on behalf of the faith is used when she who is accused of heresy, after a careful examination of the merits of the process in consultation with learned lawyers, is found to be strongly suspected of heresy. And this is when the accused is not legally taken in heresy, nor has been convicted by her own confession or by the evidence of the facts or by the legitimate production of witnesses; but strong and weighty indications have been proved against her by reason of which she is held to be under strong suspicion of heresy.

The procedure in such a case is as follows. For such a person should abjure that heresy as one strongly suspected of it, in such a manner that, if she should afterwards relapse, she must be delivered to the secular Court to suffer the extreme penalty. And she shall make her abjuration publicly or secretly according to whether she is publicly or secretly suspected, or by more or less, high or low, as was just said in the case of one under a light suspicion; and she must abjure that specific heresy.

And the preparations for such an abjuration should be as follows: - When the Sunday comes which has been fixed for the abjuration and the hearing of the sentence or the imposition of the penance, the preacher shall deliver a general sermon. After this, the Notary or clerk shall publicly read out the crimes of which the accused has been convicted, and those of which she is strongly suspected as a heretic.

Then the Judge or his deputy shall say to her: Behold! according to that which has been read you are strongly suspected by us of such heresy; wherefore it behoves you to purge yourself and abjure the aforesaid heresy. And then the Book of the Gospels shall be placed before her, and she shall set her hand upon it; and if she can read competently, she shall be given the following written abjuration, and shall read it in the presence of the whole congregation.

But if she cannot read competently, the Notary shall read it phrase by phrase, and the accused shall repeat it in a loud and audible voice in the following manner. The Notary or clerk shall say: I, N., of such a place, and the accused person shall repeat after him the same words, but always in the vulgar tongue. And so on up to the end of the abjuration. And she shall abjure in the following manner.

I, N., of such a place in such a Diocese, standing my trial in person in presence of you reverend Lords the Bishop of such city and the Judge of the territory subject to the rule of such a Lord, upon the Holy Gospels set before me and touched by my hands, I swear that I believe in my heart and profess with my lips that Holy Catholic and Apostolic Faith which the Holy Roman Church teaches, professes, preaches, and holds. Also I swear that I believe in my heart and profess with my lips that, etc. And let her pronounce the Catholic article of the faith against that heresy of which she is strongly suspected.

For example, if the heresy of witchcraft is in question, let her say as follows:

I swear that I believe that not only will simple heretics and schismatics be tortured in fire everlasting, but that those above all will be so punished who are infected with the heresy of witches, who deny before the devil that faith which they received in Holy Baptism at the font, and practise demoniac lewdness for the fulfilment of their evil desires, inflicting all sorts of injuries upon men and animals and the fruits of the earth. And consequently I abjure, renounce, and revoke that heresy, or rather infidelity, which falsely and mendaciously maintains that there are no witches in the world, and that no one ought to believe that those injuries can be caused with the help of devils; for such infidelity is, as I now recognize, expressly contrary to the decision of our Holy Mother the Church and of all the Catholic Doctors, as also against the Imperial laws which have decreed that witches are to be burned.

Also I swear that I have never persistently believed in the aforesaid heresy, neither do I believe nor adhere to it at the present, nor have I taught it, not intend to teach it, nor shall teach it. Also I swear and promise that I will never do or cause to be done such and such (naming them) of which you hold me strongly suspected as a heretic. And if hereafter (which God forbid) I should do any of the aforesaid, I am ready the undergo the punishment provided by law for backsliders; and I am ready to submit myself to any penance which you decide to impose upon me for those deeds and words of mine for which you hold me strongly suspected of the said heresy. And I swear and promise that I will perform it to the best of my strength, and will omit no part of it, so God and this Holy Gospel help me.

And the said abjuration shall be made in the vulgar tongue so that it may be understood by all, unless it be made only in the presence of Clerics with a competent knowledge of the Latin tongue. But if the abjuration be made secretly in the Bishop’s palace or chamber, when it is not a public matter, it shall be made in a similar manner. And afterwards the Bishop shall admonish her as above to beware lest she relapse and incur the penalty of a backslider. And let the Notary take care that he set it down how such abjuration was made by such a person as one strongly suspected of heresy, so that, if she should relapse, she may be punished as is proper for a backslider.

And when this has been done, let the sentence or penance be pronounced in the following manner:

We, N., Bishop of such city, and Brother N. (if he is present), Inquisitor of the sin of heresy in the domains subject to the rule of such a Prince, especially deputed by the Holy Apostolic See: having in mind that you, N., of such a place in such a Diocese, have done such and such (naming them), as lawfully appears from the carefully examined merits of the process, wherefore we reasonably hold you strongly suspected of such heresy, and have caused you to abjure it as one so suspected, being persuaded to that course by considerations of justice and the advice of men skilled in the law. But that you may be more careful in the future nor become more prone to the like practices, and that your crimes may not remain unpunished, and that you may be an example to other sinners; having consulted with many eminent and learned lawyers and Masters or Doctors of the faculty of Theology, having carefully digested the whole matter, and having before our eyes only God and the truth of the Catholic Apostolic Faith, having set before us the Holy Gospel that our judgement may proceed as from God’s countenance and our eyes see with equity, and sitting in tribunal as Judges, we condemn, or rather impose penance in the following manner upon you, N., standing here in person before us: namely, that you shall never hereafter presume to do, say, or teach such and such things. And let there be set down those things of which she has been convicted, and by reason of which she was strongly suspected of the aforesaid heresy, as well as certain others which, if she were to commit them, would make her guilty of a slight relapse into heresy; but this must be as the particular nature of the case demands and requires. As, for example, that she should never wittingly follow such practices, nor receive those whom she knows to have denied the faith, etc. This sentence was given, etc.

But it must be noted that those who are suspected, but not taken in heresy, whether they be strongly or lightly suspected, must not be imprisoned or confined for life. For this is the punishment of those who have been heretics and afterwards repented. But they may, because of their deeds for which they have come under suspicion, be sent to prison for a time, and afterwards, as will be seen, released.

Neither are they to be branded with the sign of the Cross, for such is the sign of a penitent heretic; and they are not convicted heretics, but only suspected, therefore they are not to be marked in this way. But they can be ordered either to stand on certain solemn days within the doors of a church, or near the altar, while Holy Mass is being celebrated, bearing in their hands a lighted candle of a certain weight; [1] or else to go on some pilgrimage, or something of the kind, according to the nature and requirements of the case.

_______________

Notes:

1. “A Certain Weight.” This was exactly specified when someone was delivered. Thus Urbain Grandier on 18 August, 1634, at Loudun, was sentenced “to make honourable amends, with bare head, a rope around his neck, and with a burning torch of two pounds’ weight in his hand, before the principal door of the church of Saint-Pierre du Marché, and before that of Sainte Ursule of this town, and there, upon his knees, to ask pardon of God and the King.” His execution followed.
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Re: The Malleus Maleficarum, by Heinrich Kramer & James Spre

Postby admin » Thu Feb 26, 2015 8:27 am

PART THREE, THIRD HEAD, QUESTION 25

The Sixth Kind of Sentence, in the Case of one who is Gravely Suspect.


The sixth method of bringing to a conclusion a process on behalf of the faith is used when the person accused of heresy, after a careful examination of the merits of the process in consultation with learned lawyers, is found to be gravely suspected of heresy. And this is when the accused is not convicted of heresy by her own confession or by the evidence of the facts or by the legitimate productions of witnesses, but there are indications, not only light or even strong, but very strong and grave, which render her gravely suspected of the said heresy, and by reason of which she must be judged as one gravely suspected of the said heresy.

And for a clearer understanding of this, we shall give examples both of a case of simple heresy and of the heresy of witches. For the case would fall under this head in simple heresy if the accused were not lawfully found convicted by his own confession, etc. as above, but for something which he had said or done. As, for example, he may have been summoned in a case not concerning the faith, and have been sentenced to excommunication; and if he should continue obstinate in excommunication for a year or more, he would come under a light suspicion of heresy; for such behaviour is not without some suspicion of heresy. But if he should then be summoned on a charge concerning the faith, and should not appear but contumaciously refuse to appear, and therefore be excommunicated, then he would be strongly suspected of heresy; for then the light suspicion would become a strong one. And if he remained obstinate in that excommunication for a year, then he would be gravely suspected of heresy; for then the strong suspicion would become a grave one, against which no defence is admitted. And from that time such a person would be condemned as a heretic, as is shown by the Canon, c. cum contumacia, lib. 6.

An example of a grave suspicion in the heresy of witches would be when the accused has said or done anything which is practised by witches when they wish to bewitch anyone. And it commonly happens that they are constrained to manifest themselves by threatening words, by deeds, by a look or a touch, and this is for three reasons. First that their sins may be aggravated and more manifest to the their Judges; secondly, that they may be the more easily seduce the simple; and thirdly, that God may be the more offended and they may be granted more power of injuring men. Therefore a witch must be gravely suspected when, after she has used such threatening words as “I will soon make you feel,” or the like, some injury has befallen the person so threatened or his cattle. For then she is not to be considered as lightly suspected, as was the case with those who are familiar with witches, or those who wish to provoke someone to inordinate love. See above where we deal with the three degrees of suspicion, light, strong, and grave.

Now we must consider what procedure is to be observed in such a case. For in the case of one gravely suspected of simple heresy, the following is the procedure. Although he may not in actual truth be a heretic, since there may not be any error in his understanding, or if there is, he may not cling obstinately to it in his will: nevertheless he is to be condemned as a heretic because of the said grave suspicion, against which no proof is admitted.

Such a heretic is condemned in this manner. If he refuses to return and abjure his heresy and give fitting satisfaction, he is delivered to the secular Court to be punished. But if he is willing and consents, he abjures his heresy and is imprisoned for life. And the same holds good in the case of one gravely suspected of the heresy of witches.

But although the same method in the main is to be observed in the case of one gravely suspected of the heresy of witches, there are some differences. It is to be noted that, if the witch maintains her denial, or claims that she uttered those words not with the implied intention but in a vehement and womanish passion; then the Judge has not sufficient warrant to sentence her to the flames, in spite of the grave suspicion. Therefore he must place her in prison, and cause inquiry to be made by proclamation whether she has been known to have done the like before. And if it is found that this is so, he must inquire whether she was then publicly defamed in respect of that heresy; and from this he can proceed further so that, before all else, she may be exposed to an interrogation under the question and torture. And then, if she shows signs of such heresy, or of the taciturnity of witches; as that she should be unable to shed tears, or remain insensible under torture and quickly recover her strength afterwards; then he may proceed with the various precautions which we have already explained where we dealt with such cases.

And in case all should fail, then let him take note that, if she has perpetrated the like before, she is not to be altogether released, but must be sent to the squalor of prison for a year, and be tortured, and be examined very often, especially on the more Holy Days. But if, in addition to this, she has been defamed, then the Judge may proceed in the manner already shown in the case of simple heresy, and condemn her to the fire, especially if there is a multitude of witnesses and she had often been detected in similar or other deeds of witchcraft. But if he wishes to be merciful, he may set her a canonical purgation, that she should find twenty or thirty sponsors, sentencing her in such a way that, if she should fail in her purgation, she shall be condemned to the fire as convicted. And the Judge can proceed in such a manner.

And if she should purge herself, then the Judge must sentence her to an abjuration of all heresy, on pain of the punishment for backsliders, together with the perpetual penance, in the following manner. The preparations for the abjuration will be the same as were explained in the fourth and fifth methods of concluding a process on behalf of the faith.

Note that in all the following methods of pronouncing sentence, when the Judge wishes to proceed in a merciful manner he can act in the way we have already explained. But since secular Judges use their own various methods, proceeding with rigour but not always with equity, no fixed rule or method can be given for them as it can for an ecclesiastical Judge, who can receive the abjuration and impose a perpetual penance in the following manner:

I, N., of such a place in such a Diocese, standing in person before you my venerable Lords the Bishop of such city and Judges, having touched with my hands the Holy Gospel placed before me, swear that I believe in my heart and profess with my lips the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Faith which the Holy Roman Church holds, professes, believes, preaches and teaches. And consequently I abjure all heresy, and renounce and revoke all who raise themselves against the Holy Roman and Apostolic Church, of whatever sect or error they be. Also I swear and promise that I shall never henceforward do, say, or cause to be done such and such (naming them) which I have done and said, and for which, in my guilt, you hold me gravely suspected of the said heresy. Also I swear and promise that I will perform every penance which you wish to impose upon me for the said crimes to the best of my strength, and that I will not omit any part of it, so help me God and the Holy Gospel. And if (which God forbid) I should hereafter act in contravention of this abjuration, I here and now bind and oblige myself to suffer the due punishments for backsliders, however sever they may be.

Let the Notary take care to set it down that the said abjuration was made by one gravely suspected of heresy, so that if she should be proved to have relapsed, she should then be judged accordingly and delivered up to the secular Court.

After this let the Bishop absolve her from the sentence of excommunication which she has incurred as one gravely suspected of heresy. For when a heretic returns to the faith and abjures his heresy, he is to be released from the sentence of excommunication which is passed on all heretics. Similarly, such a one as we are considering was condemned as a heretic, as we have said; but after she has abjured her heresy she is to be released from excommunication; and after this absolution she is to be sentenced in the following manner:

We N., Bishop of such city, and, if he is present, Judge in the territory of such Lord, seeing that you N., of such a place in such a Diocese, have been accused before us of such and such touching the faith (naming them), and that we have proceeded to inform ourselves concerning them as justice demanded by a careful examination of the merits of the process and of all that has been done and said in the present case, have found that you have committed such and such (naming them). Wherefore, and not without reason holding you gravely suspected of such heresy (naming it), we have caused you as one so suspected publicly to abjure all heresy in general, as the canonical sanctions bid us. And since according to those same canonical institutions all such are to be condemned as heretics, but you holding to wiser counsel and returning to the bosom of our Holy Mother the Church have abjured, as we have said, all vile heresy, therefore we absolve you from the sentence of excommunication by which you were deservedly bound as one hateful to the Church of God. And if with true heart and faith unfeigned you have returned to the unity of the Church, you shall be reckoned from henceforth among the penitent, and as from now are received back into the merciful bosom of the Holy Church. But since it would be most scandalous to pass over with connivent eyes and leave unpunished your offences against God and your injuries to men, for it is a graver matter to offend the Divine Majesty than a human monarch, and that your crimes may not be an incentive for other sinners, and that you may become more careful in the future and less prone to commit again the aforesaid crimes, and may suffer the less punishment in the next world: We the aforesaid Bishop and Judge, having availed ourselves of the wise and considered advice of learned men in this matter, sitting in tribunal as Judges judging, having before our eyes only God and the irrefragable truth of the Holy Faith, with the Holy Gospels placed before us that our judgement may proceed as from the countenance of God and our eyes see with equity, sentence and condemn, or rather impose penance in the following manner upon you N., appearing in person before us on the day and at the hour which was before assigned to you. First, you shall put on over all the garments which you wear a grey-blue garment after the manner of a monk’s scapulary, made without a hood either before or behind, and having upon it crosses of yellow cloth three palms long and two palms wide, and you shall wear this garment over all others for such a length of time (setting a period of one or two years, more or less as the guilt of the person demands), And in the said garment and crosses you shall stand in the door of such a church at such a time for so long, or on the four major Feasts [1] of the Glorious Virgin, or in such and such cities in the doors of such and such churches; and we sentence and condemn you for life, or for such a period, to such a prison. (Let this be set down as seems most to the honour of the faith, and according to the greater or less guilt and obstinacy of the accused.) And we expressly, and in the sure knowledge that it is so ordained by canonical institution, reserve to ourselves the right to mitigate the said penance, to increase it, change it, or remove it, in whole or in part, as often as seems good to us. This sentence was given, etc.

And when this has been read, it shall at once be duly put into execution, and she shall be clothed with the aforesaid garment with the crosses as has been said.

_______________

Notes:

1. “Four Major Feasts.” Presumably the Annunciation, the Visitation, Assumption, and Nativity of Our Lady are intended. Candlemas, which in the Middle Ages had an octave in many dioceses, may be intended instead of the Visitiation. The last Pope, Sixtus IV, had in 1470 published a work on the Immaculate Conception. By a decree of 28 February, 1476, this Pontiff adopted the Feast of Our Lady's Conception for the entire Latin Church and granted an indulgence to all who should assist at the Divine Office of this Solemnity.
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Re: The Malleus Maleficarum, by Heinrich Kramer & James Spre

Postby admin » Thu Feb 26, 2015 8:27 am

PART THREE, THIRD HEAD, QUESTION 26

The Method of passing Sentence upon one who is both Suspect and Defamed.


The seventh method of bringing to a conclusion a process on behalf of the faith is employed when the person accused of the sin of heresy, after a careful examination of the merits of the process in consultation with men learned in the law, is found to be both suspected and defamed of heresy. And this is when the accused is not legally convicted by his own confession or by the evidence of the facts or by the legitimate production of witnesses; but is found to be publicly defamed, and there are also other indications which render him lightly or strongly suspected of heresy: as that he has held much familiarity with heretics. And such a person must, because of his defamation, undergo a canonical purgation; and because of the suspicion against him he must abjure the heresy.

The procedure in such a case will be as follows. Such a person, being publicly defamed for heresy, and being in addition to this suspected of heresy by reason of certain other indications, shall first publicly purge himself in the manner which we explained in the second method. Having performed this purgation, he shall immediately, as one against whom there are other indications of the suspected heresy, abjure that heresy in the following manner, having before him, as before, the Book of the Gospels:

I., N., of such a place in such a Diocese, standing my trial in person before you my Lords, N., Bishop of such city and Judge in the territory of such Prince, having touched with my hands the Holy Gospels placed before me, swear that I believe in my heart and profess with my lips that Holy Apostolic Faith which the Roman Church believes, professes, preaches and observes. And consequently I abjure, detest, renounce and revoke every heresy which rears itself up against the Holy and Apostolic Church, of whatever sect or error it be, etc., as above.

Also I swear and promise that I will never hereafter do or say or cause to be done such and such (naming them), for which I am justly defamed as having committed them, and of which you hold be suspected. Also I swear and promise that I will perform to the best of my strength every penance which you impose on me, nor will I omit any part of it, so help me God and this Holy Gospel. And if hereafter I should act in any way contrary to this oath and abjuration (which God forbid), I here and now freely submit, oblige, and bind myself to the legal punishment for such, to the limit of sufferance, when it shall have been proved that I have committed such things.

But it must be noted that when the indications are so strong as to render the accused, either with or without the aforesaid defamation, strongly suspected of heresy, then he shall, as above, abjure all heresy in general. And if he relapsed into any heresy, he shall suffer the due punishment of a backslider. But if the indications are so small and slight as, even taken together with the said defamation, not to render him strongly, but only lightly, suspected of heresy, then it is enough if he makes not a general abjuration, but specifically abjures that heresy of which he is suspected; so that, if he were to relapse into another form of heresy, he would not be liable to the penalty for backsliders. And even if he were to relapse into the same heresy which he had abjured, he would still not be liable to the said penalty, although he would be more severely punished than would have been the case if he had not abjured.

But there is a doubt whether he would be liable to the penalty for backsliders if, after his canonical purgation, he should relapse into the same heresy of which he was canonically purged. And it would seem that this would be so, from the Canon Law, c. excommunicamus and c. ad abolendam. Therefore the Notary must take great care to set it down whether such a person has made his abjuration as one under a light or a strong suspicion of heresy; for, as we have often said, there is a great difference between these. And when this has been done, sentence or penance shall be pronounced in the following manner:

We., N., Bishop of such city or Judge in the territories of such Prince, having diligently in mind that you, N., of such a place in such a Diocese, have been accused before us of such heresy (naming it); and wishing to inquire judicially whether you have fallen into the said heresy, by examining witnesses, by summoning and questioning you upon oath, and by all convenient means in our power, we have acted and proceeded as it behoved.

Having digested, observed and diligently inspected all the facts, and having discussed the merits of the process of this case, examining al and singular which has been done and said, and having consulted with and obtained the mature opinion of many learned Theologians and lawyers, we find that you have been in such place or places publicly defamed by good and sober men for the said heresy; wherefore, as we are bidden by the canonical institutions, we have imposed upon you a canonical purgation by which you and your sponsors have here publicly purged yourself before us. We find also that you have committed such and such (naming them), by reason of which we have just cause t hold you strongly or lightly (let it be said whether it is one or the other) suspected of the said heresy; and therefore we have caused you to abjure heresy as one under such suspicion (here, if he has abjured as one under strong suspicion, let them say “all heresy”; and if as one under light suspicion, “the said heresy”).

But because we cannot and must not in any way tolerate that which you have done, but are in justice compelled to abominate it, that you may become more careful in the future, and that your crimes may not remain unpunished, and that others may not be encouraged to fall into the like sins, and that the injuries to the Creator may not easily be passed over: Therefore against you, N., having so purged yourself and abjured, standing personally in our presence in this place at the time which was assigned to you, We, the aforesaid Bishop or Judge, sitting in tribunal as Judges judging, having before us the Holy Gospels that our judgement may proceed as from the countenance of God and our eyes see with equity, pronounce sentence or penance in the following manner, namely, that you must, etc.

And let them pronounce sentence as shall seem most to the honour of the faith and the extermination of the sin of heresy: as that on certain Sundays and Festivals he must stand at the door of such a church, holding a candle of such a weight, during the solemnization of Holy Mass, with head uncovered and bare feet, and offer the said candle at the altar; and that he must fast on Fridays, and that for a certain period he must not dare to depart from that place, but present himself before the Bishop or Judge on certain days of the week; and any similar penance which seemed to be demanded by the particular nature of his guilt; for it is impossible to give a hard-and-fast rule. This sentence was given, etc. And let it be put into execution after it has been pronounced; and it can be cancelled, mitigated or changed as may be required by the condition of the penitent and for his correction and humiliation; for the Bishop has this power by law.
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