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 8:27 am

PART THREE, THIRD HEAD, QUESTION 27

The Method of passing Sentence upon one who hath Confessed to Heresy, but is still not Penitent.


The eighth method of terminating 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 have confessed his heresy, but to be penitent, and not truly to have relapsed into heresy. And this is when the accused has himself confessed in a Court of law under oath before the Bishop and Inquisitor that he has for so long lived and persisted in that heresy of which he is accused, or in any other, and has believed in and adhered to it; but that afterwards, being persuaded by the Bishop and others, he wishes to be converted and to return to the bosom of the Church, and to abjure that and every heresy, and to make such satisfaction as they require of him; and it is found that he has made no previous abjuration of any other heresy, but is now willing and prepared to abjure.

In such a case the procedure will be as follows. Although such a person has for many years persisted in the said heresy and even in others, and has believed and practised them and led many others into error; yet if at last he has consented to abjure those heresies and to make such satisfaction as the Bishop and the ecclesiastical Judge shall decree, he is not to be delivered up to the secular Court to suffer the extreme penalty; nor, if he is a cleric, is he to be degraded. But he is to admitted to mercy, according to the Canon ad abolendam. And after he has abjured his former heresy he is to be confined in prison for life (see the Canon excommunicamus, where it provides for the absolution of such). But great care must be taken that he has no simulated a false penitence in order to be received back into the Church. Also the secular Court is not at all bound by such a sentence as the above.

He shall make his abjuration in the manner already set out, with this difference. He shall with his own mouth confess his crimes before the congregation in church on a Feast Day, in the following manner. The clerk shall ask him, have you for so many years persisted in the heresy of witches? And he shall answer, Yes. And then, Have you done this and this to which you have confessed? And he shall answer, Yes. And so on. And finally he shall make his abjuration kneeling on his knees. And since, having been convicted of heresy, he has been excommunicated, after he has by abjuration returned to the bosom of the Church, he is to be granted the grace of absolution, according to the manner used by the Bishops with Apostolic authority of absolving from the major excommunication. And sentence shall at once be pronounced in the following manner:

We, the Bishop of such city, or the Judge in the territories of such Prince, seeing that you, N., of such a place in such a Diocese, have been by public report and the information of credible persons accused before us of the sin of heresy; and since you had for many years been infected with that heresy to the great damage of your soul; and because this accusation against you has keenly wounded our hearts: we whose duty it is by reason of the office which we have received to plant the Holy Catholic Faith in the hearts of men and to keep away all heresy from their minds, wishing to be more certainly informed whether there was any truth in the report which had come to our ears, in order that, if it were true, we might provide a healthy and fitting remedy, proceeded in the best way which was open to us to question and examine witness and to interrogate you on oath concerning that of which you were accused, doing all and singular which was required of us by justice and the canonical sanctions.

And since we wished to bring your case to a suitable conclusion, and to have a clear understanding of your past state of mind, whether you were walking in the darkness or in the light, and whether or not you had fallen into the sin of heresy; having conducted the whole process, we summoned together in council before us learned men of the Theological faculty and men skilled in both the Canon and the Civil Law, knowing that, according to canonical institution, the judgement is sound which is confirmed by the opinion of many; and having on all details consulted the opinion of the said learned men, and having diligently and carefully examined all the circumstances of the process; we find that you are, by your own confession made on oath before us in the Court, convicted of many of the sins of witches. (Let them be expressed in detail.)

But since the Lord in His infinite mercy permits men at times to fall into heresies and errors, not only that learned Catholics may be exercised in sacred arguments, but that they who have fallen from the faith may become more humble thereafter and perform works of penitence: having carefully discussed the circumstances of this same process, we find that you, at our frequent instance and following the advice of us and other honest men, have with a healthy mind returned to the unity and bosom of the Holy Mother Church, detesting the said errors and heresies, and acknowledging the irrefragable truth of the Holy Catholic Faith, laying it t your inmost heart: wherefore, following in His footsteps Who wishes that no one should perish, we have admitted you to this adjuration and public abjuration of the said an all other heresies. And having done this, we absolve you from the sentence of major excommunication by which you were bound for your fall into heresy, and reconciling you to the Holy Mother Church we restore you to the sacraments of the Church; provided that with a true heart, and not with simulated faith, you return to the unity of the Church, as we believe and hope that you have done.

But because it would be a very scandalous thing to avenge the injuries done to temporal Lords and to tolerate the offences committed against God the Creator of all the Heavens, since it is a far greater sin to offend against the Eternal than against a temporal Majesty, and that God Who pities sinners may have mercy upon you, that you may be an example for others, and that your sins may not remain unpunished, and that you may become more careful in the future, and not more prone but less apt to commit the said and any other crimes: We the said Bishop and Judge, or Judges, on behalf of the faith, sitting in tribunal as Judges judging, etc., as above . . . that you put on a grey-blue garment, etc. Also we sentence and condemn you to perpetual imprisonment, there to be punished with the bread of affliction and the water of distress; [1] reserving to ourselves the right to mitigate, aggravate, change, or remit wholly or in part the said sentence if, when, and as often as it shall seem good to us to do so. This sentence was given, etc.

After this the Judge shall proceed point by point, pronouncing sentence in the following or some similar manner:

My son, your sentence or penance consists in this, that you bear this cross during the whole period of your life, that you stand so bearing it on the altar steps or in the door of such churches, and that you be imprisoned for life on bread and water. But, my son, lest this may seem too hard for you, I assure you that if you patiently bear your punishment you will find mercy with us; therefore doubt not nor despair, but hope strongly.

After this, let the sentence be duly executed, and let him put on the said garment and be placed on high upon the altar steps in full view of the people as they go out, surrounded by the officers of the secular Court. And at the dinner hour let him be led by the officers to prison, and the rest of the sentence be carried out and duly performed. And after he is led out through the door of the church, let the ecclesiastical Judge have no more to do with the matter; and if the secular Court be satisfied, it is well, but if not, let it do its pleasure.

_______________

Notes:

1. “Distress.” “III. Kings” (A.V., "I. Kings") xxii, 27: Put this man in prison and feed him with bread of affliction, and water of distress.
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Re: The Malleus Maleficarum, by Heinrich Kramer & James Spre

Postby admin » Thu Feb 26, 2015 8:28 am

PART THREE, THIRD HEAD, QUESTION 28

The Method of passing Sentence upon one who hath Confessed to Heresy but is Relapsed, Albeit now Penitent.


The ninth method of arriving at a conclusive sentence in a process on behalf of the faith is used when the person accused of heresy, after a careful investigation of the circumstances of the process in consultation with men of good judgement, is found to have confessed her heresy and to be penitent, but that she has truly relapsed. And this is when the accused herself confesses in Court before the Bishop or Judges that she has at another time abjured all heresy, and this is legally proved, and that she has afterwards fallen into such a heresy or error: or that she has abjured some particular heresy, such as that of witches, and has afterwards returned to it; but that following better advice she is penitent, and believes the Catholic faith, and returns to the unity of the Church. Such a one is not, if she humbly ask for them, to be denied the sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist; but however much she may repent, she is nevertheless to be delivered up as a backslider to the secular Court to suffer the extreme penalty. But it must be understood that this refers to one who had made her abjuration as one manifestly taken in heresy, or as one strongly suspected of heresy, and not to one who has so done as being under only a light suspicion.

The following procedure must be observed in this case. When, after mature and careful and, if necessary, repeated investigation by learned men, it has been concluded that the said prisoner has actually and prepense relapsed into heresy, the Bishop or Judge shall send to the said prisoner in the place of detention two or three honest men, especially religious or clerics, who are zealous for the faith, of whom the prisoner has no suspicion, but rather places confidence in them; and they shall go in to her at a suitable time and speak to her sweetly of the contempt of this world and the miseries of this life, and of the joys and glory of Paradise. And leading up from this, they shall indicate to her on the part of the Bishop or Judge that she cannot escape temporal death, and that she should therefore take care for the safety of her soul, and prepare herself to confess her sins and receive the Sacrament of the Eucharist. And they shall visit her often, persuading her to penitence and patience, strengthening her as much as they can in the Catholic truth, and they shall diligently cause her to confess, so that she may receive the Sacrament of the Eucharist at her humble petition. For these Sacraments are not to be denied to such offenders.

And when she has received these Sacraments, and been well disposed by these men to salvation; after two or three days during which they have strengthened her in the Catholic faith and induced her to repentance, the Bishop or Judge of that place shall notify the bailiff of the place or the authorities of the secular Court, that on such a day at such an hour (not a Feast Day) he should be with his attendants in such a square or place (but it must be outside a church) to receive from their Court a certain backslider whom the Bishop and Judge will hand over to him.

And on the morning of the day fixed, or on the day before, it shall be publicly proclaimed throughout the city of place in those towns and villages where such proclamations are customary, that on such a day at such an hour in such a place there will be a sermon preached in defence of the Faith, and that the Bishop and other Judges will condemn a certain person who has relapsed into the sin of heresy, delivering her up to secular justice.

But here it must be considered that, if he who has so relapsed should have been ordained in any Holy Orders, or should be a priest or a religious of any Order, before he is handed over he is to be degraded and stripped of the privileges of his ecclesiastic order. And so, when he has been degraded from all ecclesiastical office, let him be handed over to secular justice to receive his due punishment.

When, therefore, such a one is to be degraded from his orders and handed over to the secular Court, let the Bishop summon together all the prelates and religious men of his Diocese. For in this case, though not in others, only the Bishop together with the other prelates and religious and learned men of his diocese can degrade one who has received Holy Orders when he is to be delivered to the secular Court, or is to be imprisoned for life for the sin of heresy.

On the day appointed for the degrading of the backslider and the handing of him over to the secular Court, if he be a cleric, or, if he be a layman, for leaving him to hear his definitive sentence, the people shall gather together in some square or open place outside the church, and the Inquisitor shall preach a sermon, and the prisoner shall be set on a high place in the presence of the secular authorities. And if the prisoner be a cleric who is to be degraded, the Bishop shall don his Pontifical robes, together with the other prelates of his Diocese in their vestments and copes, and the prisoner shall be clothed and robed as if he were to minister his office; and the Bishop shall degrade him from his order, beginning from the higher and proceeding to the lowest. And just as in conferring Holy Orders the Bishop uses the words ordained by the Church, so in degrading him he shall take off his chasuble and stole, and so with the other vestments, using words of a directly opposite meaning.

When this degradation has been accomplished, the proceedings must continue in the legal and accustomed manner, and the Notary or religious or clerk shall be bidden to read the sentence, which shall be after the following manner, whether the prisoner be a layman or a degraded cleric:

We, N., by the mercy of the God Bishop of such city, and Judge in the territories of such Prince, seeing that we are legitimately informed that you, N., of such a place in such a Diocese, have been before us (or before such Bishop and Judges) accused of such heresy or heresies (naming them), of which you were lawfully convicted by your own confession and by witnesses, and that you had obstinately persisted in them for so long, but afterwards, listening to better advice, publicly in such a place abjured, renounced and revoked those heresies in the form provided by the Church, on which account the said Bishop and Inquisitor, believing that you had truly returned to the bosom of the Holy Church of God, did absolve you from the sentence of excommunication by which you were bound, enjoining upon you a salutary penance if with true heart and faith unfeigned you had returned to the unity of the Holy Church; but whereas after all the aforesaid and the lapse of so many years you are again accused before us and have again fallen into such heresies which you had abjured (naming them), and though it was sore grief to us to hear such things of you, yet we were by justice compelled to investigate the matter, to examine the witnesses, and to summon and question you on oath, proceeding in each and every way as we are bidden by the canonical institutions.

And since we wished to conclude this case without any doubt, we convened in solemn council learned men of the Theological faculty and men skilled in the Canon and the Civil Law, and in consultation with them maturely and carefully examined all and singular which had been done, said and seen in the process and diligently discussed each circumstance, weighing all equally in the balance as it behoved us; and we find both by the legitimate evidence of witnesses and by your own confession received in Court that you have fallen into the heresies which you had abjured. For we find that you have said or done such and such (let all be named), on account of which, with the concurrence of the said learned men, we have judged and now judge that you are a backslider, according tot he canonical institutions, to which we refer in grief and grieve to refer.

But since it has come to the knowledge of Us and of many honest Catholic men that, by the inspiration of Divine grade, you have once more returned to the bosom of the Church and to the truth of the faith detesting the aforesaid errors and heresies and with true orthodoxy unfeigned believing and protesting the Catholic faith, we have admitted you to receive the Church’s Sacraments of Penance and the Holy Eucharist at your humble request. But since the Church of God has no more which it can do in respect of you, seeing that it has acted so mercifully towards you in the manner we have said, and you have abused that mercy by falling back into the heresies which you had abjured: therefore We the said Bishop and Judges, 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, and having before our eyes only God and the irrefragable truth of the Holy Faith and the extirpation of the plague of heresy; against you, N., in this place on the day and at the hour before assigned to you for the hearing of your definitive sentence, we pronounce in sentence that you have truly fallen back into the sin of heresy, although you are penitent; and as one truly so relapsed we cast you forth from this our ecclesiastical Court, and leave you to be delivered to the secular arm. But we earnestly pray that the said secular Court may temper its justice with mercy, and that there be no bloodshed or danger of death.

And here the Bishop and his assessors shall withdraw, and the secular Court shall perform its office.

It is to be noted that, although the Bishop and Inquisitor ought to use their utmost diligence, both by their own efforts and those of others, to induce the prisoner to repent and return to the Catholic faith; yet, after he has repented and it has been decided in council that, though he is penitent, he is nevertheless truly a backslider and as such to be handed over in person to the secular Court, they ought not to inform him of such sentence and punishment. therefore from that time, neither before nor after the sentence should they present themselves before him, that he be not moved in his spirit against them, a thing which is very carefully to be avoided in death of this sort. But, as we have said, let them send to him some honest men, especially those in religious orders, or clerics, in whom he has confidence; and let them inform him of the sentence to come and of his death, and strengthen him in the faith, exhorting him to have patience; and let them visit him after the sentence, and console him and pray with him, and not leave him until he has rendered his spirit to his Creator.

Let them, therefore, beware and be on their guard not to do or say anything which may enable the prisoner to anticipate his death, or place themselves in an irregular position. And, as they have burdened themselves with the care of his soul, let them then share also in his punishment and guilt.

It must also be remarked that such a sentence which delivers up a person to the secular Court ought not to be pronounced on a Festival or Solemn Day, nor in a church, but outside in some open space. For it is a sentence which leads to death; and it is more decent that it should be delivered on an ordinary day and outside the church; for a Feast Day and the church are dedicated to God.
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Re: The Malleus Maleficarum, by Heinrich Kramer & James Spre

Postby admin » Thu Feb 26, 2015 8:28 am

PART THREE, THIRD HEAD, QUESTION 29

The Method of passing Sentence upon one who hath Confessed to Heresy but is Impenitent, although not Relapsed.


The tenth method of completing a process on behalf of the Faith by a final sentence is used when the person accused of heresy, after a careful examination of the circumstances of the process in consultation with skilled lawyers, is found to have confessed his heresy and to be impenitent, though he has not relapsed into the heresy. Such a case is very rarely found, but yet it has come within the experience of us Inquisitors. In such a case, therefore, the Bishop and Judge must not be in haste to sentence the prisoner, but must keep him well guarded and fettered, and induce him to be converted, even to the extent of several months, showing him that, by remaining impenitent, he will be damned in body and soul.

But if neither by comforts nor hardships, nor by threatening nor persuasion, can he be brought to renounce his errors, and the appointed period of grace has expired, let the Bishop and Judges prepare to deliver or abandon him to the secular Court; and they shall give notice to the herald or bailiff or secular authorities that on such a day, not a Feast, and at such an hour they should be in such a place with their attendants outside a church, and that they will deliver to them a certain impenitent heretic. None the less they shall themselves make public proclamation in the customary places that on such a day at such a time in the aforesaid place a sermon will be preached in defence of the faith, and that they will hand over a certain heretic to secular justice; and that all should come and be present, being granted the customary Indulgences.

After this, the prisoner shall be delivered to the secular Court in the following manner. But let him first be often admonished to renounce his heresy and repent; but if he altogether refuses, let the sentence be pronounced.

We, N., by the mercy of God Bishop of such a city, or Judge in the territories of such Prince, seeing that you, N., of such a place in such a Diocese, have been accused before us by public report and the information of credible persons (naming them) of heresy, and that you have for many years persisted in those heresies to the great hurt of your immortal soul; and since we, whose duty it is to exterminate the plague of heresy, wishing to be more certainly informed of this matter and to see whether you walked in darkness or the light, have diligently inquired into the said accusation, summoning and duly examining you, we find that you are indeed infected with the said heresy.

But since it is the chief desire of our hearts to plant the Holy Catholic Faith in the hearts of our people, and to eradicate the pest of heresy, we have used diverse and various suitable methods, both by ourselves and by others, to persuade you to renounce your said errors and heresies in which you had stood, were standing, and even now defiantly and obstinately stand with stubborn heart. But since the Enemy of the human race is present in your heart, wrapping you up and entangling you in the said errors, and you have refused and yet refuse to abjure the said heresies, choosing rather the death of your soul in hell and of your body in this world than to renounce the said heresies and return to the bosom of the Church and cleanse your soul, and since you are determined to remain in your sin:

Therefore inasmuch as you are bound by the chain of excommunication from the Holy Church, and are justly cut off from the number of the Lord’s flock, and are deprived of the benefits of the Church, the Church can do no more for you, having done all that was possible. We the said Bishop and Judges on behalf of the Faith, sitting in tribunal as Judges judging, and having before us the Holy Gospels that our judgement may proceed as from the countenance of god and our eyes see with equity, and having before our eyes only God and the truth of the Holy Faith and the extirpation of the plague of heresy, on this day and at this hour and place assigned to you for the hearing of your final sentence, we give it as our judgement and sentence that you are indeed an impenitent heretic, and as truly such to be delivered and abandoned to the secular Court: wherefore by this sentence we cast you away as an impenitent heretic from our ecclesiastical Court, and deliver or abandon you to the power of the secular Court: praying the said Court to moderate or temper its sentence of death against you. This sentence was given, etc.
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Re: The Malleus Maleficarum, by Heinrich Kramer & James Spre

Postby admin » Thu Feb 26, 2015 8:28 am

PART THREE, THIRD HEAD, QUESTION 30

Of One who has Confessed to Heresy, is Relapsed, and is also Impenitent.


The eleventh method of concluding and terminating a process on behalf of the Faith is used when the person accused of heresy, after a diligent discussion of the circumstances of the process in consultation with learned men, is found to have confessed her heresy, and to be impenitent, and to have relapsed into it. And this is when the accused confesses with her own mouth in Court that she believes and has practiced such and such. The procedure in this case is the same as that above; and because she is manifestly a heretic, sentence shall be pronounced in the following manner in the presence of the Bishop and Judges:

We N., by the mercy of God Bishop of such city, or Judge in the territories of such Prince, seeing that you N., of such a place in such a Diocese, were formerly accused before us (or before such and such, our predecessors) of the crime of heresy (naming them), and that you were legally convicted of that crime by your own confession and the testimony of worthy men, and that you obstinately persisted in it for so many years; but that afterwards, having listened to better advice, you publicly abjured those heresies in such a place and in the form required by the Church, on which account the aforesaid Bishop and Judge, believing that you had truly renounced the said errors and had returned with Catholic faith to the bosom of the Church, granted you the benefit of absolution, releasing you from the sentence of excommunication by which you were formerly bound, and, setting you a salutary penance if with true heart and faith unfeigned you remained converted to the unity of the Holy Church, received you back in mercy. For the Holy Church of God is not closed to such as return to her bosom.

But after all the aforesaid you have to our great grief been accused before us of having again fallen into those damnable heresies which you formerly abjured in public; yea, you have done so and so (naming them) in contravention of the said abjuration and to the damage of your soul; and although we are sore wounded and cut to the heart to have heard such things of you, yet we were in justice compelled to inquire into the matter, to examine the witnesses, and to summon and question you on oath as it behoved us, and in every particular to proceed as we are bidden by the canonical institutions. And as we wished to conclude this case beyond any doubt, we summoned a solemn council of men learned in the Theological faculty and of those skilled in the Canon and Civil Laws.

And having obtained the mature and considered judgement of the said learned men upon every single particular which had been brought to notice and done in this case, after repeated examination of the whole process and careful and diligent discussion of every circumstance, as law and justice demanded, we find that you are legally convicted both by the evidence of credible witnesses and by your own repeated confession, that you have fallen, and fallen again, into the heresies which you abjured. For we find that you have said or done such and such (naming them), wherefore we have reason, in the opinion of the said learned men, and compelled thereto by your own excesses, to judge you as a backslider according to the canonical decrees. And that we say this with grief, and grieve to say it, He knows from Whom nothing is hid and Who seeth into the secrets of all hearts. And with all our hearts we desired and still desire to lead you back to the unity of the Holy Church and to drive out from your heart the said foul heresy, that so you may save your soul and preserve your body and soul from the destruction in hell, and we have exerted our utmost endeavor by various fitting methods to convert to salvation; but you have been given up to your sin and led away and seduced by an evil spirit, and have chosen to be tortured with fearful and eternal torment in hell, and that your temporal body should here be consumed in the flames, rather than to give ear to better counsels and renounce your damnable and pestilent errors, and to return to the merciful bosom of our Holy Mother Church.

Wherefore since the Church of God can do nothing more for you, having done all that was possible to convert you: We the Bishop and Judges named in this cause on behalf of the faith, 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, and having before our eyes only God and the honour of the Holy Catholic Faith, on this day at this hour and place before assigned to you for the hearing of your final sentence, we pronounce judgement upon you N., here present before us, and condemn and sentence you as a truly impenitent and relapsed heretic, and as such to be delivered or abandoned to secular justice; and by this our definitive sentence we cast you out as a truly impenitent and relapsed heretic from our ecclesiastical Court, and deliver and abandon you to the power of the secular Court; praying that the said secular Court will temper or moderate its sentence of death against you. This sentence was give, etc.
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Re: The Malleus Maleficarum, by Heinrich Kramer & James Spre

Postby admin » Thu Feb 26, 2015 8:29 am

PART THREE, THIRD HEAD, QUESTION 31

Of One Taken and Convicted, but Denying Everything.


The twelfth method of finishing and concluding a process on behalf of the faith is used when the person accused of heresy, after a diligent examination of the merits of the process in consultation with skilled lawyers, is found to be convicted of heresy by the evidence of the facts or by the legitimate production of witnesses, but not by his own confession. That is to say, he may be convicted by the evidence of the facts, in that he has publicly practiced heresy; or by the evidence of witnesses against whom he can take no legitimate exception; yet, though so taken and convicted, he firmly and constantly denies the charge. See Henry of Segusio On Heresy, question 34.

The procedure in such a case is as follows. The accused must be kept in strong durance fettered and chained, and must often be visited by the officers, both in a body and severally, who will use their own best endeavours and those of others to induce him to discover the truth; telling him that if he refuses and persists in his denial, he will in the end be abandoned to the secular law, and will not be able to escape temporal death.

But if he continues for a long time in his denials, the Bishop and his officers, now in a body and now severally, now personally and now with the assistance of other honest and upright men, shall summon before them now one witness, now another, and warm him to attend strictly to what he has deposed, and to be sure whether or not he has told the truth; that he should beware lest in damning another temporally he damn himself eternally; that if he be afraid, let him at least tell them the truth in secret, that the accused should not die unjustly. And let them be careful to talk to him in such a way that they may see clearly whether or not his depositions have been true.

But if the witnesses, after this warning, adhere to their statements, and the accused maintains his denials, let not the Bishop and his officers on that account be in any haste to pronounce a definitive sentence and hand the prisoners over to secular law; but let them detain him still longer, now persuading him to confess, now yet again urging the witnesses (but one at a time) to examine their consciences as well. And let the Bishop and his officers pay particular attention to that witness who seems to be of the best conscience and the most disposed to good, and let them more insistently charge him on his conscience to speak the truth whether or not the matter was as he had deposed. And if they see any witness vacillate, or there are any other indications that he has given false evidence, let them attest him according to the counsel of learned men, and proceed as justice shall require.

For it is very often found that after a person so convicted by credible witnesses has long persisted in his denials, he has at length relented, especially on being truly informed that he will not be delivered to the secular Court, but be admitted to mercy if he confesses his sin, and he has then freely confessed the truth which he had so long denied. And it is often found that the witnesses, actuated by malice and overcome by enmity, have conspired together to accuse an innocent person of the sin of heresy; but afterwards, at the frequent entreaty of the Bishop and his officers, their consciences have been stricken with remorse and, by Divine inspiration, they have revoked their evidence and confessed that they have out of malice put that crime upon the accused. Therefore the prisoner in such a case is not to be sentenced hastily, but must be kept for a year or more before he is delivered up to the secular Court.

When a sufficient time has elapsed, and after all possible care has been taken, if the accused who has been thus legally convicted has acknowledged his guilt and confessed in legal from that he hath been for the period stated ensnared in the crime of heresy, and has consented to abjure that and every heresy, and to perform such satisfaction as shall seem proper to the Bishop and Inquisitor for one convicted of heresy both by his own confession and the legitimate production of witnesses; then let him as a penitent heretic publicly abjure all heresy, in the manner which we have set down in the eighth method of concluding a process on behalf of the faith.

But if he has confessed that he hath fallen into such heresy, but nevertheless obstinately adheres to it, he must be delivered to the secular Court as an impenitent, after the manner of the tenth method which we have explained above.

But if the accused has remained firm and unmoved in his denial of the charges against him, but the witnesses have withdrawn their charges, revoking their evidence and acknowledging their guilt, confessing that they had put so great a crime upon an innocent man from motives of rancour and hatred, or had been suborned or bribed thereto; then the accused shall be freely discharged, but they shall be punished as false witnesses, accusers or informers. This made clear by Paul of Burgos in his comment on the Canon c. multorum. And sentence or penance shall be pronounced against them as shall seem proper to the Bishop and Judges; but in any case such false witnesses must be condemned to perpetual imprisonment on a diet of bread and water, and to do penance for all the days of their life, being made to stand upon the steps before the church door, etc. However, the Bishops have power to mitigate or even to increase the sentence after a year or some other period, in the usual manner.

But if the accused, after a year or other longer period which has been deemed sufficient, continues to maintain his denials, and the legitimate witnesses abide by their evidence, the Bishop and Judges shall prepare to abandon him to the secular Court; sending to him certain honest men zealous for the faith, especially religious, to tell him that he cannot escape temporal death while he thus persists in his denial, but will be delivered up as an impenitent heretic to the power of the secular Court. And the Bishop and his officers shall give notice to the Bailiff or authority of the secular Court that on such a day at such an hour and in such a place (not inside a church) he should come with his attendants to receive an impenitent heretic whom they will deliver to him. And let him make public proclamation in the usual places that all should be present on such a day at such an hour and place to hear a sermon preached on behalf of the faith, and that the Bishop and his officer will hand over a certain obstinate heretic to the secular Court.

On the appointed day for the pronouncement of sentence the Bishop and his officer shall be in the place aforesaid, and the prisoner shall be placed on high before the assembled clergy and people so that he may be seen by all, and the secular authorities shall be present before the prisoner. Then sentence shall be pronounced in the following manner:

We, N., by the mercy of God Bishop of such city, or Judge in the territories of such Prince, seeing that you, N., of such a place in such a Diocese, have been accused before us of such heresy (naming it); and wishing to be more certainly informed whether the charges made against you were true, and whether you walked in darkness or in the light; we proceeded to inform ourselves by diligently examining the witnesses, by often summoning and questioning you on oath, and admitting an Advocate to plead in your defence, and by proceeding in every way as we were bound by the canonical decrees.

And wishing to conclude your trial in a manner beyond all doubt, we convened in solemn council men learned in the Theological faculty and in the Canon and Civil Laws. And having diligently examined and discussed each circumstance of the process and maturely and carefully considered with the said learned men everything which has been said and done in this present case, we find that you, N., have been legally convicted of having been infected with the sin of heresy for so long a time, and that you have said an done such and such (naming them) on account of which it manifestly appears that you are legitimately convicted of the said heresy.

But since we desired, and still desire, that you should confess the truth and renounce the said heresy, and be led back to the bosom of Holy Church and to the unity of the Holy Faith, that so you should save your soul and escape the destruction of both your body and soul in hell; we have by our own efforts and those of others, and by delaying your sentence for a long time, tried to induce you to repent; but you being obstinately given over to wickedness have scorned to agree to our wholesome advice, and have persisted and do persist with stubborn and defiant mind in your contumacious and dogged denials; and this we say with grief, and grieve and mourn in saying it. But since the Church of God has waited so long for you to repent and acknowledge your guilt, and you have refused and still refuse, her grace and mercy can go no farther.

Wherefore that you may be an example to others and that they may be kept from all such heresies, and that such crimes may not remain unpunished: We the Bishop and Judges named on behalf of the faith, sitting in tribunal as Judges judging, and having before us the Holy Gospels that our judgement may proceed as from the countenance of God and our eyes see with equity, and having before our eyes only God and the glory and honour of the Holy Faith, we judge, declare and pronounce sentence that you standing here in our presence on this day at the hour and place appointed for the hearing of your final sentence, are an impenitent heretic, and as such to be delivered or abandoned to secular justice; and as an obstinate and impenitent heretic we have by this sentence cast you off from the ecclesiastical Court and deliver and abandon you to secular justice and the power of the secular Court. And we pray that the said secular Court may moderate its sentence of death upon you. this sentence was given, etc.

The Bishop and Judges may, moreover, arrange that just men zealous for the faith, known to and in the confidence of the secular Court, shall have access to the prisoner while the secular Court is performing its office, in order to console him and even yet induce him to confess the truth, acknowledge his guilt, and renounce his errors.

But if it should happen that after the sentence, and when the prisoner is already at the place where he is to be burned, he should say that he wishes to confess the truth and acknowledge his guilt, and does so; and if he should be willing to abjure that and every heresy; although it may be presumed that he does this rather from fear of death than for love of the truth, yet I should be of the opinion that he may in mercy be received as a penitent heretic and be imprisoned for life. See the gloss on the chapters ad abolendam and excommunicamus. Nevertheless, according to the rigour of the law, the Judges ought not to place much faith in a conversion of this sort; and furthermore, they can always punish him on account of the temporal injuries which he has committed.
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Re: The Malleus Maleficarum, by Heinrich Kramer & James Spre

Postby admin » Thu Feb 26, 2015 8:29 am

PART THREE, THIRD HEAD, QUESTION 32

Of One who is Convicted but who hath Fled or who Contumaciously Absents himself.


The Thirteenth and last method of arriving at a definite sentence in a process on behalf of the Faith is used when the person accused of heresy, after a diligent discussion of the merits of the process in consultation with learned lawyers, is found to be convicted of heresy, but has made his escape, or defiantly absents himself after the expiration of a set time. And this happens in three cases.

First, when the accused is convicted of heresy by his own confession, or by the evidence of the facts, or by the legitimate production of witnesses, but has fled, or has absented himself and refused to appear after being legally summoned.

Secondly, when a person has been accused and certain information has been laid against him on account of which he rests under some suspicion, even if it be only a light one, and he has been summoned to answer for his faith; and because he has defiantly refused to appear, he is excommunicated, and has stubbornly remained in that excommunication for a year, and always defiantly absents himself.

The third case is when someone directly obstructs the Bishop’s or Judge’s sentence or process on behalf of the Faith, or lends his help, advice or protection for that purpose, and such a person has been stricken with the sword of excommunication. And if he was obstinately endured that excommunication for a year, he is then to be condemned as a heretic who has defied the administration of justice.

In the first case, such a person is, according to the Canon ad abolendam, to be condemned as an impenitent heretic. In the second and third cases he is not to be judged as an impenitent heretic, but to be condemned as if he were a penitent heretic. And in any of these cases the following procedure should be observed. When such a person has been awaited for sufficient time, let him be summoned by the Bishop and his officer in the Cathedral Church of that Diocese in which he has sinned, and in the other churches of that place where he had his dwelling, and especially from where he has fled; and let him be summoned in the following manner:

We, N., by the mercy of God Bishop of such Diocese, having in our charge the welfare of souls, and having above all the desires of our heart this most earnest desire that in our time in the said Diocese the Church should flourish and that there should be a fruitful and abundant harvest in that vineyard of the Lord of Hosts, which the right hand of the Most High Father has planted in the bosom of the righteous, which the Son of that Father has plentifully watered with His own life-giving Blood, which the reviving Spirit the Paraclete has made fruitful within by His wonderful and ineffable gifts, which the whole incomprehensible and ineffable Blessed Trinity has endowed and enriched with many very great and holy privileges; but the wild boar out of the forest, by which is meant any sort of heretic, has devoured and despoiled it, laying waste the fair fruit of the faith and planting thorny briars among the vines; and that tortuous serpent, the evil enemy of our human race, who is Satan and the devil, has breathed out venom and poisoned the fruit of the vineyard with the plague of heresy: And this is the field of the Lord, the Catholic Church, to till and cultivate which the only first-born Son of God the Father descended from the heights of Heaven, and sowed it with miracles and Holy discourse, going through towns and villages and teaching not without great labour; and He chose as His Apostles honest labouring men, and showed them the way, endowing them with eternal rewards; and the Son of God Himself expects to gather from that field on the Day of the Last Judgement a plentiful harvest, and by the hands of His Holy Angels to store it in His Holy barn in Heaven: But the foxes of Samson, [1] two-faced like them who have fallen into the sin of heresy, having their faces looking both ways but tied together by their burning tails, run about with many torches amidst the fields of the Lord now white unto harvest and shining with the splendour of the faith, and bitterly despoil them, speeding most cunningly here and there, and with their strong attacks burning, dissipating, and decastation, and subtly and damnably subverting the truth of the Holy Catholic Faith.

Wherefore, since you, N., are fallen into the damned heresies of witches, practising them publicly in such place (naming it), and have been by legitimate witnesses convicted of the sin of heresy, or by your own confession received by us in Court; and after your capture you have escaped, refusing the medicine of your salvation: therefore we have summoned you to answer for the said crimes in person before us, but you, led away and seduced by a wicked spirit, have refused to appear.

Or as follows:

Wherefore, since you, N., have been accused before us of the sin of heresy, and from information received against you we have judged that you are under a light suspicion of that sin, we have summoned you to appear personally before us to answer for the Catholic faith. And since, having been summoned, you have defiantly refused to appear, we excommunicated you and caused you to be proclaimed excommunicate. And in this state you have remained stubborn for a year, or so many years, hiding here and there, so that even now we do not know whither the evil spirit has led you; and though we have awaited you kindly and mercifully, that you might return to the bosom and the unity of the Holy Faith, you being wholly given up to evil have scorned to do so. Yet we wish and are bound to justice to conclude this case beyond any question, now can we pass over with connivent eyes your iniquitous crimes.

We the Bishop and Judges in the said cause on behalf of the faith require and strictly command by this our present public edict that you the aforesaid, at present in hiding and runaway and fugitive, shall on such a day of such a month in such a year, in such Cathedral Church of such Diocese, at the hour of Terce appear personally before us to hear your final sentence: signifying that, whether you appear or not, we shall proceed to our definitive sentence against you as law and justice shall require. And that our summons may come to your knowledge beforehand and you may not be able to protect yourself with a plea of ignorance, we wish and command that our said present letters, requisition and summons be publically affixed to the doors of the said Cathedral Church. In witness of all which we have ordered these our present letters to be authorized by the impressions of our seals. Given, etc.

On the appointed day assigned for the hearing of the final sentence, if the fugitive shall have appeared and consented to abjure publicly all heresy, humbly praying to be admitted to mercy, he is to be admitted if he has not been a backslider; and if he was convicted by his own confession or by the legitimate production of witnesses, he shall abjure and repent as a penitent heretic, according to the manner explained in the eighth method of concluding a process on behalf of the faith. If he was gravely suspected, and refused to appear when he was summoned to answer for his faith, and was therefore excommunicated and had endured that excommunication obstinately for a year, but becomes penitent, let him be admitted, and abjure all heresy, in the manner explained in the sixth method of pronouncing sentence. But if he shall appear, and not consent to abjure, let him be delivered as a truly impenitent heretic to the secular Court, as was explained in the tenth method. But if he still defiantly refuses to appear, let the sentence be pronounced in the following manner:

We, N., by the mercy of God Bishop of such city, seeing that you, N., of such a place in such a Diocese were accused before us by public report and the information of worthy men of the sin of heresy: We, whose duty it is, proceeded to examine and inquire whether there was any truth in the report which had come to our ears. And finding that you were convicted of heresy by the depositions of many credible witnesses, we commanded that you be brought before us in custody. (Here let it be said whether he had appeared and been questioned under oath or not.) But afterwards, led away and seduced by the advice of the evil spirit, and fearing to have your wounds wholesomely healed with wine and oil, you fled away (or, if it was the case, You broke from your prison and place of detention and fled away), hiding here and there, and we are altogether ignorant of whither the said evil spirit has led you.

Or after this manner:

And finding that against you, accused as aforesaid before us of the sin of heresy, there were many indications by reason of which we judged you to be lightly suspected of the said heresy, we summoned you by public edict in such and such churches of such Diocese within a certain time assigned to appear in person before to answer to the said charges against you and otherwise on matter concerning the Faith. But you, following some mad advice, obstinately refused to appear. And when, as in justice bound, we excommunicated you and caused you to be publicly proclaimed excommunicate, you stubbornly remained in that excommunication for more than a year, and kept hidden here and there, so that we do not know whither the evil spirit has led you.

And where the Holy Church of God has long awaited you up to this present day in kindness and mercy, that you might fly to the bosom of her mercy, renouncing your errors and professing the Catholic Faith, and be nourished by the bounty of her mercy; but you have refused to consent, persisting in your obstinacy; and since we wished and still wish, as we ought to do and as justice compels us, to bring your case to an equitable conclusion, we have summoned you to appear in person before us on this day at this hour and place, to hear your final sentence. And since you have stubbornly refused to appear, you are manifestly proved to abide permanently in your errors and heresies; and this we say with grief, and grieve in saying it.

But since we cannot and will not delay to do justice, nor may we tolerate so great disobedience and defiance of the Church of God; for the exaltation of the Catholic Faith and the extirpation of vile heresy, at the call of justice, and by reason of your disobedience and obstinacy, on this day and at this hour and place heretofore strictly and precisely assigned to you for the hearing of your final sentence, having diligently and carefully discussed each several circumstance of the process with learned men in the Theological faculty and in the Canon and Civil Laws, 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, and having before our eyes only God and the irrefragable truth of the Holy Faith, and following in the footsteps of the Blessed Apostle Paul, in these writings we pronounce final sentence against you, N., absent or present, as follows, invoking the Name of Christ.

We the Bishop and Judges named on behalf of the Faith, whereas the process of this cause on behalf of the Faith has in all things been conducted as the laws require; and whereas you, having been legally summoned, have not appeared, and have not by yourself or any other person excused yourself; and whereas you have for a long time persisted and still obstinately persist in the said heresies, and have endured excommunication in the cause of the Faith for so many years, and still stubbornly endure it; and whereas the Holy Church of God can do no more for you, since you have persisted and intend to persist in your excommunication and said heresies: Therefore, following in the footsteps of the Blessed Apostle Paul, we declare, judge and sentence you, absent or present, to be a stubborn heretic, and as such to be abandoned to secular justice. And by this our definitive sentence we drive you from the ecclesiastical Court, and abandon you to the power of the secular Court; earnestly praying the said Court that, if ever it should have you in its power, it will moderate its sentence of death against you. This sentence was give, etc.

Here it is to be considered that, if that stubborn fugitive had been convicted of heresy, either by his own confession or by credible witnesses, and had fled before his abjuration, he is by the sentence to be judged an impenitent heretic, and so it must be expressed in the sentence. But if, on the other hand, he had not been convicted, but had been summoned as one under suspicion to answer for his faith; and, because he has refused to appear, has been excommunicated, and has obstinately endured that excommunication for more than a year, and has finally refused to appear; then he is not to be judged a heretic, but as a heretic, and must be condemned as such; and so it must be expressed in the sentence, as it is said above.

_______________

Notes:

1. “Samson.” “Judges” xv, 1-6.
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Re: The Malleus Maleficarum, by Heinrich Kramer & James Spre

Postby admin » Thu Feb 26, 2015 8:29 am

PART THREE, THIRD HEAD, QUESTION 33

Of the Method of passing Sentence upon one who has been Accused by another Witch, who has been or is to be Burned at the Stake.

The fourteenth method of finally concluding a process on behalf of the Faith is used when the person accused of heresy, after a careful discussion of the circumstances of the process with reference to the informant in consultation with learned lawyers, is found to be accused of that heresy only by another witch who has been or is to be burned. And this can happen in thirteen ways in thirteen cases. For a person so accused is either found innocent and is to be freely discharged; or she is found to be generally defamed for that heresy; or it is found that, in addition to her defamation, she is to be to some degree exposed to torture; or she is found to be strongly suspected of heresy; or she is found to be at the same time defamed and suspected; and so on up to thirteen different cases, as was shown in the Twentieth Question.

The first case is when she is accused only by a witch in custody, and is not convicted either by her own confession or by legitimate witnesses, and there are no other indications found by reason of which she can truly be regarded as suspect. In such a case she is to be entirely absolved, even by the secular Judge himself who has either burned the deponent or is about to burn her either on his own authority or on that commissioned to him by the Bishop and Judge of the Ordinary Court; and she shall be absolved in the manner explained in the Twentieth Question.

The second case is when, in addition to being accused by a witch in custody, she is also publicly defamed throughout the whole village or city; so that she has always laboured under that particular defamation, but, after the deposition of the witch, it has become aggravated.

In such a case the following should be the procedure. The Judge should consider that, apart from the general report, nothing particular has been proved against her by other credible witnesses in the village or town; and although, perhaps, that witch has deposed some serious charges against her, yet, since has lost her faith by denying it to the devil, Judges should give no ready credence to her words, unless there should be other circumstances which aggravate that report; and then the case would fall under the third and following case. Therefore she should be enjoined a canonical purgation, and the sentence should be pronounced as shown in the Twenty-first Question.

And if the civil Judge orders this purgation to the be made before the Bishop, and ends with a solemn declaration that, if she should fail, then, as an example to others, she should be more severely sentenced by both the ecclesiastical and civil Judges, well and good. But if he wishes to conduct it himself, let him command her to find ten or twenty compurgators of her own class, and proceed in accordance with the second method of sentencing such: except that, if she has to be excommunicated, then he must have recourse to the Ordinary; and this would be the case if she refused to purge herself.

The third case, then, happens when the person so accused is not convicted by her own confession, not by the evidence of the facts, nor by credible witnesses, nor are there any other indications as to any fact in which she had ever been marked by the other inhabitants of that town or village, except her general reputation among them. But the general report has become intensified by the detention of that witch in custody, as that it is said that she had been her companion in everything and had participated in her crimes. But even so, the accused firmly denies all this, and nothing of it is known to other inhabitants, or of anything to save good behaviour on her part, though her companionship with the witch is admitted.

In such a case the following is the procedure. First they are to be brought face to face, and their mutual answers and recriminations noted, to see whether there is any inconsistency in their words by reason of which the Judge can decide from her admissions and denials whether he ought to expose her to torture; and if so, he can proceed as in the third manner of pronouncing a sentence, explained in the Twenty-second Question, submitting her to light tortures: at the same time exercising every possible precaution, as we explained at length towards the beginning of this Third Part, to find out whether she is innocent or guilty.

The fourth case is when a person accused in this manner is found to be lightly suspected, either because of her own confession or because of the depositions of the other witch in custody. There are some who include among those who should be thus lightly suspected those who go and consult witches for any purpose, or have procured for themselves a lover by stirring up hatred between married folk, or have consorted with witches in order to obtain some temporal advantage. But such are to be excommunicated as followers of heretics, according to the Canon c. excommunicamus, where it says: Similarly we judge those to be heretics who believe in their errors. For the effect is presumed from the facts. Therefore it seems that such are to be more severely sentenced and punished than those who are under a light suspicion of heresy and are to be judged from light conjectures. For example, if they had performed services for witches or carried their letters to them, they need not on that account believe in their errors: yet they have not laid information against them, and they have received wages and vails from them. But whether or not such people are to be included in this case, according to the opinion of learned men the procedure must be as in the case of those under light suspicion, and the Judge will act as follows. Such a person will either abjure heresy or will purge herself canonically, as was explained in the fourth method of pronouncing sentence in the Twenty-third Question.

However, it seems that the better course is for such a person to be ordered to abjure heresy, for this is more in accordance with the meaning of the Canon c. excommunicamus, where it speaks of those who are found to be only under some notable suspicion. And if such should relapse, they should not incur the penalty for backsliders. The procedure will be as above explained in the fourth method of sentencing.

The fifth case is when such person is found to be under a strong suspicion, by reason, as before, of her own confession or of the depositions of the other witch in custody. In this class some include those who directly or indirectly obstruct the Court in the process of trying a witch, provided that they do this wittingly.

Also they include all who give help, advice or protection to those who cause such obstructions. Also those who instruct summoned or captured heretics to conceal the truth or in some way falsify it. Also all those who wittingly receive, or visit those whom they know to be heretics, or associate with them, send them gifts, or show favour to them; for all such actions, when done with full knowledge, bespeak favour felt towards the sin, and not to the person. And therefore they say that, when the accused is guilty of any of the above actions, and has been proved so after trial, then she should be sentenced in the fifth method, explained in the Twenty-fourth Question; so that she must abjure all heresy, under pain of being punished as a backslider.

As to these contentions we may say that the Judge must take into consideration the household and family of each several witch who has been burned or is detained; for these are generally found to be infected.

For witches are instructed by devils to offer to them even their own children; therefore there can be no doubt that such children are instructed in all manner of crimes, as is shown in the First Part of this work.

Again, in a case of simple heresy it happens that, on account of the familiarity between heretics who are akin to each other, when one is convicted of heresy it follows that his kindred also are strongly suspected; and the same is true of the heresy of witches.

But this present case is made clear in the chapter of the Canon inter sollicitudines. For a certain Dean was, owing to his reputation as a heretic, enjoined a canonical purgation; on account of his familiarity with heretics, he had to make a public abjuration; and through the scandal he was deprived of his benefice, so that the scandal might be allayed.

The sixth case is when such a person is under a grave suspicion; but no simple and bare deposition by another witch in custody can cause this, for there must be in addition some indication of the facts, derived from certain words or deeds uttered or committed by the witch in custody, in which the accused is at least said to have taken some part, and shared in the evil deeds of the deponent.

To understand this, the reader should refer to what was written in the Nineteenth Question, especially concerning the grave degree of suspicion, how it arise from grave and convincing conjectures; and how the Judge is forced to believe, on mere suspicion, that a person is a heretic, although perhaps in his heart he is a true Catholic. The Canonists give an example of this by the case, in simple heresy, of a man summoned to answer in the cause of the faith, and defiantly refusing to appear, on which account he is excommunicated, and if he persists in that state for a year, becomes gravely suspected of heresy.

And so likewise in the case of person accused in the way we are considering, the indications of the facts are to be examined by which she is rendered gravely suspect. Let us put the case that the witch in custody has asserted that the accused has taken part in her evil works of witchcraft, but the accused firmly denies it. What then is to be done? It will be necessary to consider whether there are any facts to engender a strong suspicion of her, and whether that strong suspicion can become a grave one. Thus, if a man has been summoned to answer some charge, and has obstinately refused to appear, he would come under a light suspicion of heresy, even if he had not been summoned in a cause concerning the Faith. But if he then refused to appear in a cause concerning the Faith and was excommunicated for his obstinacy, then he would be strongly suspected; for the light suspicion would become a strong one; and if then he remained obstinate in excommunication for a year, the strong suspicion would become a grave one. Therefore the Judge will consider whether, by reason of her familiarity with the witch in custody, the accused is under a strong suspicion, in the manner shown in the fifth case above; and then he must consider whether there is anything which may turn that strong suspicion into a grave one. For it is presumed that it is possible for this to be the case, on account of the accused having perhaps shared in the crimes of the detained witch, if she has had frequent intercourse with her. Therefore the Judge must proceed as in the sixth method of sentencing explained in the Twenty-fifth Question. But it may be asked what the Judge is to do if the person so accused by a witch in custody still altogether persists in her denials, in spite of all indications against her. We answer as follows:

First the Judge must consider whether those denials do or do not proceed from the vice or witchcraft of taciturnity: and, as was shown in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Questions of this Third part, the Judge can know this from her ability or inability to shed tears, or from her insensibility under torture and quick recovery of her strength afterwards. For then the grave suspicion would be aggravated; and in such a case she is by no means to be freely discharged, but, according to the sixth method of sentencing, she must be condemned to perpetual imprisonment and penance.

But if she is not infected with the taciturnity of witches, but feels the keenest pains in her torture (whereas others, as has been said, become insensible to pain owing to the witchcraft of taciturnity), then the Judge must fall back upon his last expedient of a canonical purgation. And if this should be ordered by a secular Judge, it is called a lawful vulgar purgation, since it cannot be classed with other vulgar purgations. And if she should fail in this purgation she will be judged guilty.

The seventh case is when the accused is not found guilty by his own confession, by the evidence of the facts, or by legitimate witnesses, but is only found to be accused by a witch in custody, and there are also some indications found which bring him under light or strong suspicion. As, for example, that he had had great familiarity with witches; in which case he would, according to the Canon, have to undergo a canonical purgation on account of the general report concerning him; and on account of the suspicion against him he must abjure heresy, under pain of being punished as a backslider if it was a strong suspicion, but not if it was a light one.

The eighth case occurs when the person so accused is found to have confessed that heresy, but to be penitent, and never to have relapsed. But here it is to be noted that in this and the other cases, where it is a question of those who have or have not relapsed, and who are or are not penitent, these distinctions are made only for the benefit of Judges who are not concerned with the infliction of the extreme penalty. Therefore the civil Judge may proceed in accordance with the Civil and Imperial Laws, as justice shall demand, in the case of one who has confessed, no matter whether or not she be penitent, or whether or not she have relapsed. Only he may have recourse to those thirteen methods of pronouncing sentence, and act in accordance with them, if any doubtful question should arise.
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Re: The Malleus Maleficarum, by Heinrich Kramer & James Spre

Postby admin » Thu Feb 26, 2015 8:30 am

PART THREE, THIRD HEAD, QUESTION 34

Of the Method of passing Sentence upon a Witch who Annuls Spells wrought by Witchcraft; and of Witch Midwives and Archer-Wizards.


The fifteenth method of bringing a process on behalf of the faith to a definitive sentence is employed when the person accused of heresy is not found to be one who casts injurious spells of witchcraft, but one who removes them; and in such a case the procedure will be as follows. The remedies which she uses will either be lawful or unlawful; and if they are lawful, she is not to be judged a witch but a good Christian. But we have already shown at length what sort of remedies are lawful.

Unlawful remedies, on the other hand, are to be distinguished as either absolutely unlawful, or in some respect unlawful. If they are absolutely unlawful, these again can be divided into two classes, according as they do or do not involve some injury to another party; but in either case they are always accompanied by an expressed invocation of devils. But if they are only in some respect unlawful, that is to say, if they are practised with only a tacit, and not an expressed, invocation of devils, such are to be judged rather vain than unlawful, according to the Canonists and some Theologians, as we have already shown.

Therefore the Judge, whether ecclesiastical or civil, must not punish the first and last of the above practices, having rather to commend the first and tolerate the last, since the Canonists maintain that it is lawful to oppose vanity with vanity. But he must by no means tolerate those who remove spells by an expressed invocation of devils, especially those who in doing so bring some injury upon a third part; and this last is said to happen when the spell is taken off one person and transferred to another. And we have already made it clear in a former part of this work that it makes no difference whether the person to whom the spell is transferred be herself a witch or not or whether or not she be the person who cast the original spell, or whether it be a man or any other creature.

It may be asked what the Judge should do when such a person maintains that she removes spells by lawful and not unlawful means; and how the Judge can arrive at the truth of such a case. We answer that he should summon her and ask her what remedies she uses; but he must not rely only upon her word, for the ecclesiastical Judge whose duty it is must make diligent inquiry, either himself or by means of some parish priest who shall examine all his parishioners after placing them upon oath, as to what remedies she uses. And if, as is usually the case, they are found to be superstitious remedies, they must in no way be tolerated, on account of the terrible penalties laid down by the Canon Law, as will be shown.

Again, it may be asked how the lawful remedies can be distinguished from the unlawful, since they always assert that they remove spells by certain prayers and the use of herbs. We answer that this will be easy, provided that a diligent inquiry be made. For although they must necessarily conceal their superstitious remedies, either that they may not be arrested, or that they may the more easily ensnare the minds of the simple, and therefore make great show of their use of prayers and herbs, yet they can be manifestly convicted by four superstitious actions as sorceresses and witches.

For there are some who can divine secrets, and are able to tell things which they could only know through the revelation of evil spirits. For example: when the injured come to them to be healed, they can discover and make known the cause of their injury; and they can perfectly know this and tell it to those who consult them.

Secondly, they sometimes undertake to cure the injury or spell of one person, but will have nothing to do with that of another. For in the Diocese of Spires there is a witch in a certain place called Zunhofen who, although she seems to heal many persons, confesses that she can in no way heal certain others; and this is for no other reason than, as the inhabitants of the place assert, that the spells case on such person have been so potently wrought by other witches with the help of devils that the devils themselves cannot remove them. For one devil cannot or will not always yield to another.

Thirdly, it sometimes happens that they must make some reservation or exception in their cure of such injuries. Such a case is known to have occured in the town of Spires itself. And honest woman who had been bewitched in her shins sent for a diviner of this sort to come and heal her; and when the witch had entered her house and looked at her, she made such an exception. For she said: It there are no scales and hairs in the wound, I could take out all the other evil matter. And she revealed the cause of the injury, although she had come from the country from a distance of two miles, saying: You quarrelled with your neighbour on such a day, and therefore this had happened to you. Then, having extracted from the wound many other matters of various sorts, which were not scales or hairs, she restored her to health.

Fourthly, they sometimes themselves observe, or cause to be observed, certain superstitious ceremonies. For instance, they fix some such time as before sunrise for people to visit them; or say that they cannot heal injuries which were caused beyond the limits of the estate on which they live, or that they can only heal two or three persons in a year. Yet they do not heal them, but only seem to do so by creasing to injure them.

We could add many other considerations as touching the condition of such persons: as that, after the lapse of a certain time they have incurred the reputation of leading a bad and sinful life, or that they are adulteresses, or the survivors from covens of other witches. Therefore their gift of healing is not derived from God on account of the sanctity of their lives.

Here we must refer incidentally to witch midwives, who surpass all other witches in their crimes, as we have shown in the First Part of this work. And the number of them is so great that, as has been found form their confessions, it is thought they there is scarcely any tiny hamlet in which at least one is not to be found. And that the magistrates may in some degree meet this danger, they should allow no midwife to practise without having been first sworn as a good Catholic; at the same time observing the other safeguards mentioned in the Second Part of this work.

Here too we must consider archer-wizards, who constitute the graver danger to the Christian religion in that they have obtained protection on the estates of nobles and Princes who receive, patronize, and defend them. But that all such receivers and protectors are more damnable than all witches, especially in certain cases, is shown as follows. The Canonists and Theologians divide into two classes the patrons of such archer-wizards, according as they defend the error or the person. They who defend the error are more damnable than the wizards themselves, since they are judged to be not only heretics but heresiarchs (24, quest. 3). And the laws do not make much special mention of such patrons, because they do not distinguish them from other heretics.

But there are others who, while not excusing the sin, yet defend the sinner. These, for example, will do all in their power to protect such wizards (or other heretics) from trial and punishment at the hands of the Judge acting on behalf of the Faith.

Similarly there are those in public authority, that is to say, public persons such as temporal Lords, and also spiritual Lords who have temporal jurisdiction, who are, either by omission or commission, patrons of such wizards and heretics.

They are their patrons by omission when they neglect to perform their duty in regard to such wizards and suspects, or to their followers, receivers, defenders and patrons, when they are required by the Bishops or Inquisitors to do this: that is, by falling to arrest them, by not guarding them carefully when they are arrested, by not taking them to the place within their jurisdiction which has been appointed for them, by not promptly executing the sentence passed upon them, and by other such derelictions of their duty.

They are their patrons by commission when, after such heretics have been arrested, they liberate them from prison without the licence or order of the Bishop or Judge; or when they directly or indirectly obstruct the trial, judgement, and sentence of such, or act in some similar way. The penalties for this have been declared in the Second Part of this work, where we treated of archer-wizards and other enchanters of weapons.

It is enough now to say that all these are by law excommunicated, and incur the twelve great penalties. And if they continues obstinate in that excommunication for a year, they are then to be condemned as heretics.

Who, then, are to be called receivers of such; and are they to be reckoned as heretics? All they, we answer, who receive such archer-wizards, enchanters of weapons, necromancers, or heretic witches as are the subject of this whole work. And such receivers are of two classes, as was the case with the defenders and patrons of such.

For there are some who do not receive them only once or twice, but many times and often; and these are well called in Latin receptatores, from the frequentative form of the verb. And receivers of this class are sometimes blameless, since they act in ignorance and there is no sinister suspicion attaching to them. But sometimes they are to blame, as being well aware of the sins of those whom they receive; for the Church always denounces these wizards as the most cruel enemies of the faith. And if nevertheless temporal Lords receive, keep and defend them, etc., they are and are rightly called receivers of heretics. And with regard to such, the laws say that they are to be excommunicated.

But others there are who do not often or many times receive such wizards or heretics, but only once or twice; and these are not properly called receptatores, but receptores, since they are not frequent receivers. (Yet the Arch-deacon disagrees with this view; but it is no great matter, for we are considering not words but deeds.)

But there is this difference between receptatores and receptores: those temporal Princes are always receptatores who simply will not or cannot drive away such heretics. But receptores may be quite innocent.

Finally, it is asked who are they who are said to be obstructors of the duty of Inquisitors and Bishops against such heretics; and whether they are to be reckoned as heretics. We answer that such obstructors are of two kinds. For there are some who cause a direct obstruction, by rashly on their own responsibility releasing from gaol those who have been detained on a charge of heresy, or by interfering with the process of the Inquisition by wreaking some injury to witnesses on behalf of the Faith because of the evidence they have given; or it may be that the temporal Lord issues an order that none but himself may try such a case, and that anyone charged with this crime should be brought before no one but himself, and that the evidence should be given only in his presence, or some similar order. And such, according to Giovanni d’Andrea, are direct obstructors. They who directly obstruct the process, judgement or sentence on behalf of the Faith, or help, advise or favour others in doing so, although they are guilty of a great sin, are not on that account to be judged heretics, unless it appears in other ways that they are obstinately and wilfully involved in such heresies of witches. But they are to be smitten with the sword of excommunication; and if they stubbornly endure that excommunication for a year, then are they to be condemned as heretics.

But others are indirect obstructors. These, as Giovanni d’Andrea explains, are those who give such orders as that no one shall bear arms for the capture of heretics except the servants of the said temporal Lord. Such are less guilty than the former, and are not heretics; but they, and also any who advise, help or patronize them in such actions, are to be excommunicated; and if they obstinately remain in that excommunication for a year, they are then to be condemned as if they were heretics. And here it is to be understood that they are in such a way to be condemned as heretics that if they are willing to return, they are received back to mercy, having first abjured their error; but if not, they are to be handed over to the secular Court as impenitents.

To sum up. Witch-midwives, like other witches, are to be condemned and sentences according to the nature of their crimes; and this is true also of those who, as we have said, remove spells of witchcraft superstitiously and by the help of devils; for it can hardly be doubted that, just as they are able to remove them, so can they inflict them. And it is a fact that some definite agreement is formed between witches and devils whereby some shall be able to hurt and others to heal, that so they may more easily ensnare the minds of the simple and recruit the ranks of their abandoned and hateful society. Archer-wizards and enchanters of weapons, who are only protected by being patronized, defended and received by temporal Lords, are subject to the same penalties; and they who patronize them, etc., or obstruct the officers of justice in their proceedings against them, are subject to all the penalties to which the patrons of heretics are liable, and are to be excommunicated. And if after they have obstinately endured that excommunication for a year they wish to repent, let them abjure that obstruction and patronage, and if not, they must be handed over as impenitents to the secular Court. And even if they have not endured their excommunication for a year, such obstructors can still be proceeded against as patrons of heretics.

And all that has been said with regard to patrons, defenders, receivers, and obstructors in the case of archer-wizards, etc., applies equally in respect of all other witches who work various injuries to men, animals, and the fruits of the earth. But even the witches themselves, when in the court of conscience with humble and contrite spirit they weep for their sins and make clean confession asking forgiveness, are taken back to mercy. But when they are known, those whose duty it is must proceed against them, summoning, examining, and detaining them, and in all things proceeding in accordance with the nature of their crimes to a definitive and conclusive sentence, as has been shown, if they wish to avoid the snare of eternal damnation by reason of the excommunication pronounced upon them by the Church when they deliberately fail in their duty.
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Re: The Malleus Maleficarum, by Heinrich Kramer & James Spre

Postby admin » Thu Feb 26, 2015 8:30 am

PART THREE, THIRD HEAD, QUESTION 35

Finally, of the Method of Passing Sentence upon Witches who Enter or Cause to be Entered an Appeal, whether such be Frivolous or Legitimate and Just.


But if the Judge perceives that the accused is determined to have recourse to an appeal, he must first take note that such appeals are sometimes valid and legitimate, and sometimes entirely frivolous. Now it has already been explained that cases concerning the Faith are to be conducted in a simple and summary fashion, and therefore that no appeal is admitted in such cases. Nevertheless it sometimes happens that Judges, on account of the difficulty of the case, gladly prorogue and delay it; therefore they may consider that it would be just to allow an appeal when the accused feels that the Judge has really and actually acted towards him in a manner contrary to the law and justice; as that he has refused to allow him to defend himself, or that he has proceeded to a sentence against the accused on his own responsibility and without the counsel of others, or even without consent of the Bishop or his Vicar, when he might have taken into consideration much further evidence both for and against. For such reasons an appeal may be allowed, but not otherwise.

Secondly, it is to be noted that, when notice of appeal has been given, the Judge should, without perturbation or disturbance, ask for a copy of the appeal, giving his promise that the matter shall not be delayed. And when the accused has given him a copy of the appeal, the Judge shall notify him that he has yet two days before he need answer it, and after those two days thirty more before he need prepare the apostils of the case. And although he may give his answer at once, and at once proceed to issue his apostils if he is very expert and experienced, yet it is better to act with caution, and fix a term of ten or twenty or twenty-five days, reserving to himself the right to prorogue the hearing of the appeal up to the legal limit of time.

Thirdly, let the Judge take care that during the legal and appointed interval he must diligently examine and discuss the causes of the appeal and the alleged grounds of objection. And if after having taken good counsel he sees that he has unduly and unjustly proceeded against the accused, by refusing him permission to defend himself, or by exposing him to questions at an unsuitable time, or for any such reason; when the appointed time comes let him correct his mistake, carrying the process back to the point and stage where it was when the accused asked to be defended, or when he put a term to his examination, etc., and so remove the objection; and then let him proceed as we have said. For by the removal of the grounds for objection the appeal, which was legitimate, loses its weight.

But here the circumspect and provident Judge will carefully take note that some grounds of objection or reparable; and they are such as we have just spoken of, and are to be dealt with in the above manner. But others are irreparable: as when the accused has actually and in fact been questioned, but has afterwards escaped and lodged an appeal; or that some box or vessel or such instruments as witches use has been seized and burned; or some other such irreparable and irrevocable action has been committed. In such a case the above procedure would not hold good, namely, taking the process back to the point where the objection arose.

Fourthly, the Judge must note that, although thirty days may elapse between his receiving the appeal and his completing the apostils of the case, and he can assign to the petitioner the last day, that is, the thirtieth, for the hearing of his appeal; yet, that it may not seem that the wishes to molest the accused or some under suspicion of unduly harsh treatment of him, and that his behaviour may not seem to lend support to the objection which has caused the appeal, it is better that he should assign some day within the legal limit, such as the tenth or twentieth day, and he can afterwards, if he does not wish to be in a hurry, postpone it until the last legal day, saying that he is busy with other affairs.

Fifthly, the Judge must take care that, when he affixes a term for the accused who is appealing and petitioning for apostils, he must provide not only for the giving, but both for the giving and receiving of apostils. For if he provided only for the giving of them, then the Judge against whom the appeal is lodged would have to discharge the appellant. Therefore let him assign to him a term, that is, such a day of such a year, for the giving and receiving from the Judge such apostils as he shall have decided to submit.

Sixthly, he must take care that, in assigning this term, he shall not in his answer say that he will give either negative or affirmative apostils; but that he may have opportunity for fuller reflection, let him say that he will give such as he shall at the appointed time have decided upon.

Let him also take care that in assigning this term to the appellant he give the appellant no opportunity to exercise any malicious precautions or cunning, and that he specify the place, day and hour. For example, let him assign the twentieth day of August, in the present year, at the hour of vespers, and the chamber of the Judge himself in such a house, in such a city, for the giving and receiving of apostils such as shall have been decided upon for such appellant.

Seventhly, let him note that, if he has decided in his mind that the charge against the accused justly requires that he should be detained, in assigning the term he must set it down that he assigns that term for the giving or receiving of apostils by the appellant in person, and that he assigns to the said appellant such a place for giving to him and receiving from him apostils; and then it will be fully in the power of the Judge to detain the appellant, granted that he has first given negative apostils; but otherwise it will not be so.

Eighthly, let the Judge take care not to take any further action in respect of the appellant, such as arresting him, or questioning him, or liberating him from prison, from the time when the appeal is presented to him up to the time when he has returned negative apostils.

To sum up. Note that it often happens that, when the accused is in doubt as to what sort of sentence he will receive, since he is conscious of his guilt, he frequently takes refuge in an appeal, that so he may escape the Judge’s sentence. Therefore he appeals from that Judge, advancing some frivolous reason, as that the Judge held him in custody without allowing him the customary surety; or in some such way he may colour his frivolous appeal. In this case the Judge shall ask for a copy of the appeal; and having received it he shall either at once or after two days give his answer and assign to the appellant for the giving and receiving of such apostils as shall have been decided upon a certain day, hour, and place, within the legal limit, as, for instance, the 25th, 26th or 30th day of such a month. And during the assigned interval the Judge shall diligently examine the copy of the appeal, and the reasons or objections upon which it is based, and shall consult with learned lawyers whether he shall submit negative apostils, that is, negative answers, and thereby disallow the appeal, or whether he shall allow the appeal and submit affirmative and fitting apostils to the Judge to whom the appeal is made.

But if he sees that the reasons for the appeal are frivolous and worthless, and that the appellant only wishes to escape or to postpone his sentence, let his apostils be negative and refutatory. If, however, he sees that the objections are true and just, and not irreparable; or if he is in doubt whether the accused is maliciously causing him trouble, and wishes to clear himself of all suspicion, let him grant the appellant affirmative and fitting apostils. And when the appointed time for the appellant has arrived, if the Judge has not prepared his apostils or answers, or in some other way is not ready, the appellant can at once demand that his appeal be heard, and may continue to do so on each successive day up to the thirtieth, which is the last day legally allowed for the submission of the apostils.

But if he has prepared them and is ready, he can at once give his apostils to the appellant. If, then, he has decided to give negative or refutatory apostils, he shall, at the expiration of the appointed time, submit them in the following manner:

AND the said Judge, answering to the said appeal, if it may be called an appeal, says that he, the Judge, has proceeded and did intend to proceed in accordance with the Canonical decrees and the Imperial statutes and laws, and has not departed from the path of either law nor intended so to depart, and has in no way acted or intended to act unjustly towards the appellant, as is manifest from an examination of the alleged grounds for this appeal. For he has not acted unjustly towards him by detaining him and keeping him in custody; for he was accused of such heresy, and there was such evidence against him that he was worthily convicted of heresy, or was strongly suspected, and as such it was and is just that he should be kept in custody: neither has he acted unjustly by refusing him sureties; for the crime of heresy is one of the more serious crimes, and the appellant had been convicted but persisted in denying the charge, and therefore not even the very best sureties were admissable, but he is and was to be detained in prison. And so he shall proceed with the other objections.

Having done this, let him say as follows: Wherefore it is apparant that the Judge has duly and justly proceeded, and has not deviated from the path of justice, and has in no way unduly molested the appellant; but the appellant, advancing pretended and false objections, has by an undue and unjust appeal attempted to escape his sentence. Wherefore his appeal is frivolous and worthless, having no foundation, and erring in matter and form. And since the laws do not recognize frivolous appeals, nor are they to be recognized by the Judge, therefore the Judge has himself said that he does not admit and does not intend to admit the said appeal, nor does he recognize nor yet propose to recognize it. And he gives this answer to the said accused who make this undue appeal in the form of negative apostils, and commands that they be given to him immediately after the said appeal. And so he shall give it to the Notary who has presented the appeal to him.

And when these negative apostils have been given to the appellant, the Judge shall at once proceed with his duty, ordering the accused to be seized and detained, or assigning to him a day to appear before him, as shall seem best to him. For he does not cease to be the Judge, but shall continue his process against the appellant until the Judge to whom the appeal was made shall order him to cease.

But let the Judge take care not to commence any new proceedings against the appellant, by arresting him or, if he is in custody, liberating him from prison, from the time of the presentation of the appeal up to the time of the return of negative apostils to him. But after that time, as we have said, he can do so if justice requires it, until he is prevented by the Judge to whom the appeal has been made. Then, with the process sealed under cover, and with a sure and safe escort and if necessary a suitable surety, let him send him to the said Judge.

But if the Judge has decided to return affirmative and fitting apostils, let him submit them in writing in the following manner on the arrival of the day appointed for the giving and receiving of apostils:

AND the said Judge, answering to the said appeal, if it may be called an appeal, if it may be called an appeal, says that he has proceeded in the present cause justly and as he ought and not otherwise, nor has he molested or intended to molest the appellant, as is apparent from a perusal of the alleged objections. For he has not molested him by, etc. (Here he shall answer to each of the objections in the appeal, in the best and most truthful manner that he can.)

Wherefore it is apparent that the said Judge has in no way dealt unjustly by the appellant nor given him cause to appeal, but that the appellant is afraid lest justice should proceed against him according to his crimes. And therefore the appeal is frivolous and worthless, having no foundation, and not being admissable by the laws or the Judge. But in reverence for the Apostolic See, to which the appeal is made, the said Judge says that he admits the appeal an intends to recognize it, deferring the whole matter to out Most Holy Lord the Pope, and leaving it to the Holy Apostolic See: assigning to the said appellant a certain time, namely, so many months now following, within which, with the process sealed under cover given to him by the said Judge, or having given suitable sureties to present himself at the Court of Rome, or under a sure and safe escort appointed to him by the said Judge, he must present himself in the Court of Rome before our Lord the Pope. And this answer the said Judge gives tot he said appellant as affirmative apostils, and orders that it be given to him immediately after the appeal presented to him. And so he shall hand it to the Notary who has presented the appeal to him.

The prudent Judge must here take note that, as soon as he has given these fitting apostils to the appellant, he at once ceases to be the Judge in that cause from which the appeal was made, and can proceed no further in it, unless it be referred back to him by our Most Holy Lord the Pope. Therefore let him have no more to do with that case, except to send the said appellant in the above manner to out Lord the Pope, assign to him a convenient time, say one, two or three months, within which he must prepare and make himself ready to appear and present himself at the Court of Rome, giving a suitable surety; or, if he cannot do this, let him be sent under a sure and safe escort. For he must either bind himself by the best means in his power to present himself within the assigned time before our Lord the Pope in the Court of Rome, or his appeal must necessarily fall to the ground.

But if the Judge has another case, and proceeds against the accused in another case in which he has not lodged any appeal: in that other case he remains, as before, Judge. And even if, after the appeal has been admitted, and the affirmative apostils have been given, the appellant is accused and denounced to the Judge in respect of other heresies which were not in question in the case from which he appealed, he does not cease to be the Judge, and can proceed with the inquiry and the examination of witnesses as before. And when the first case has been finished in the Court of Rome, or after reference back to the Judge, he is free to proceed with the second.

Let Judges also take care that they send the process to the Court of Rome, sealed and under cover, to the Judges appointed to execute justice, together with a digest of the merits of the process. And Inquisitors should not concern themselves to appear at Rome against the appellants; but should leave them to their own Judges, who, if the Inquisitors are unwilling to appear against the appellants, shall provide their own advocates for the appellant, if they wish to expedite the case.

Let Judges also take note that, if they are personally summoned by the appellant, and appear, they must beware at all costs against engaging in litigation, but must leave the whole process and cause to those Judges, and so manage that they may be able to return as soon as possible; so that they may not be sorely troubled with fatigues, misery, labour, and expense in Rome. For by this means much damage is caused to the Church, and heretics are greatly encouraged; and thereafter Judges will not receive so much respect and reverence, not will they be so much feared as before. Also other heretics, seeing the Judges fatigued and detained in the Court of Rome, will exalt their horns, and despise and malign them, and more boldly proclaim their heresies; and when they are accused, they will appeal in the same way. Other Judges, also, will have their authority weakened when they proceed on behalf of the Faith and are zealous in extirpating heretics, since they will fear lest they may be troubled with miseries and fatigues arising from similar appeals. All this is most prejudicial to the Faith of the Holy Church of God; wherefore may the Spouse of that Church in mercy preserve her from all such injuries.
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Re: The Malleus Maleficarum, by Heinrich Kramer & James Spre

Postby admin » Thu Feb 26, 2015 8:31 am

LETTER OF APPROBATION

Official Letter of Approbation of the Malleus Maleficarum from The Faculty of Theology of the Honourable University of Cologne


The official Document of Approbation of the treatise Malleus Maleficarum, and the subscription of the Doctors of the most honourable University of Cologne, duly set forth and recorded as a public documents and deposition.

In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen. Know all men by these presents, whosoever shall read, see or hear the tenor of this official and public document, that in the year of our Lord, 1487, upon a Saturday, being the nineteenth day of the month of May, at the fifth hour after noon, or thereabouts, in the third year of the Pontificate of our most Holy Father and Lord, the lord Innocent, by divine providence Pope, the eighth of that name, in the very and actual presence of me Arnold Kolich, public notary, and in the presence of the witnesses whose names are hereunder written and who were convened and especially summoned for this purpose, the Venerable and Very Reverend Father Henry Kramer, Professor of Sacred Theology, of the Order of Preachers, Inquisitor of heretical depravity, directly delegated thereto by the Holy See together with the Venerable and Very Reverend Father James Sprenger, Professor of Sacred Theology and Prior of the Dominican Convent at Cologne, being especially appointed as colleague of the said Father Henry Kramer, hath on behalf both of himself and his said colleague made known unto us and declared that the Supreme Pontiff now happily reigning, lord Innocent, Pope, as hath been set out above, hath committed and granted by a bull duly signed and sealed unto the aforesaid Inquisitors Henry and James, members of the Order of Preachers and Professors of Sacred Theology, by His Supreme Apostolic Authority, the power of making search and inquiry into all heresies, and most especially into the heresy of witches, an abomination that thrives and waxes strong in these our unhappy days, and he has bidden them diligently to perform this duty throughout the five Archdioceses of the five Metropolitan Churches, that is to say, Mainz, Cologne, Trèves, Salzburg and Bremen, granting them every faculty of judging and proceeding against such even with the power of putting malefactors to death, according to the tenor of the Apostolic bull, which they hold and possess and have exhibited unto us, a document which is whole, entire, untouched, and in no way lacerated or impaired, in fine whose integrity is above any suspicion. And the tenor of the said bull commences thus: “Innocent, Bishop, Servant of the servants of God, for an eternal remembrance. Desiring with the most heartfelt anxiety, even as Our Apostleship requires, that the Catholic Faith should be especially in this Our day increase and flourish everywhere, … ” and it concludes thus: “Given at Rome, at S. Peter’s, on the 9 December of the Year of the Incarnation of Our Lord one thousand, four hundred and eighty-four, in the first Year of Our Pontificate.”

Whereas some who have the charge of souls and are preachers of the word of God, have been so bold as to assert and declare publicly in discourses from the pulpit, yea, in sermons to the people, that there are no witches, or that these wretches cannot in any way whatsoever molest or harm either mankind or beasts, and it has happened that as a result of such sermons, which are much to be reprobated and condemned, the power of the secular arm has been let and hindered in the punishment of such offenders, and this has proved to be a great source of encouragement to those who follow the horrid heresy of witchcraft and has very notably increased and augmented their ranks, therefore the aforesaid Inquisitors, wishing with their whole hearts and strength to put a check unto such abominations and to counteract such dangers, have with much study, much research, and much labour, indited and composed a certain Treatise in which they have used their best endeavours on behalf of the integrity of the Catholic Faith to rebuke and rebut the ignorance of those who dare to preach so gross errors, and they have also been at great pains to set forth the lawful and proper way whereby these pestilent witches may be brought to trial, may be sentenced and condemned, according to the tenor of the aforesaid bull and the regulations of Canon Law. But since it is very right and altogether reasonable that this good work which they have wrought for the common benefit of us all should be sanctioned and confirmed by the unanimous approval of the reverend Doctors of the University, lest by some evil chance ignorant and ill-intentioned men should suppose that the aforesaid Rectors of the faculty and the Professors of the Order of Preachers are not wholly at one in their view of these matters, the authors of the aforesaid Treatise, exactly written out as it is to be printed in fair characters, in order that when it is so printed it may be recommended and honourably approved by the recorded good opinions and mature judgement of many learned Doctors, handed to, and laid before, the most honourable University of Cologne, that is to say, before certain Professors of Sacred Theology, who are commissioned and required to act as representatives of the most honourable University, the aforesaid Treatise in order that by them it might be perused, examined, and discussed, so that should there be found any points which may seem in any way doubtful or hardly in agreement with the teachings of the Catholic Faith, such points might be corrected and emended by the judgement of the said learned Doctors, who shall, moreover, officially approve and commend whatsoever the Treatise contains which is agreeable to the teachings of the Catholic Faith. This accordingly was done as hath been set forth above.

In the first place, the honoured lord Lambertus de Monte with his own hand subscribed his judgement and opinion as here followeth: “I, Lambertus de Monte, Professor (albeit unworthy) of Sacred Theology, and at this time Dean of the faculty of Sacred Theology in the University of Cologne, do here solemnly declare, and I confirm this my declaration with my own hand, that I have read and diligently perused and considered this Treatise, which is divided into three parts, and that, in my humble judgement at any rate, the first two parts contain nothing at all which is in any way contrary to the opinions of those doctors whose writings are approved and allowed by Holy Church. Moreover, in my opinion, the third part is to be entirely approved, and is to be put into actual practice, so far as in the trials and punishment of these heretics, of which matters it treats, nothing is done that may infringe the Canon Law. And again on account of the most weighty and salutary matters, which are contained in this Treatise, which, even if it were only because of the honourable estate, learning, and good report of these most worthy and honoured Inquisitors, might well be held to be useful and necessary, all diligent care should be taken that this Treatise be widely distributed to learned men and men full of zeal, who thence may very profitably have the advantage of so many and so well-considered directions for the extermination of witches, and it should also be out into the hands of all rectors of churches, particularly those who are honest, active, and God-fearing men, who may by reading therein be encouraged to arouse hatred in every heart against the pestilent heresy of witches and their foul craft, so that all good men may be warned and safeguarded and evil-doers may be discovered and punished, so that in the full light of day mercy and blessing shall fall upon the righteous and justice shall be meted out to those who do evil, and thus in all things God shall be glorified, to Whom all honour, praise, and glory.”

Next the Venerable Master Jacobus de Stralen with his own hand subscribed his judgement and considered opinion thus: “I, Jacobus de Stralen, Professor of Sacred Theology, after having diligently read the aforesaid Treatise, declared that my opinion entirely and altogether is in agreement with the judgement which hath been set forth by our Venerable Master Lambertus de Monte, Dean of Sacred Theology, as he hath written above, and this I attest and witness by my own signature to the glory of God.”

In like manner, the honourable Master Andreas de Ochsenfurt wrote with his own hand as follows: “In the same way I, Andreas de Ochsenfurt, Junior Professor of Sacred Theology, record that my considered opinion of the matters contained in the said Treatise entirely and wholly agrees with the judgement written above, and to the truth of this I bear witness by the subscription of my signature.”

And next, in like manner, the honoured Master Thomas de Scotia subscribed with his own hand as followeth: “I, Thomas de Scotia, Doctor of Sacred Theology (unworthy though I be), am fully in agreement with all that our Venerable Masters have written above with regard to the matters contained in the said Treatise, which I also have carefully examined and perused, and to the truth of this I bear witness by subscribing my signature with my own hand.”

Here followeth the second subscription with regard to those discourses which have been pronounced from the pulpit by ignorant and blameworthy preachers. And in the first place it seems good to set forth the following articles:

First Article: The Masters of Sacred Theology, who have subscribed their names below, do much commend the Inquisitors of heretical pravity, who, according to the Canons, have been sent as deputies by the supreme authority of the Apostolic See, and they would humbly exhort them to fulfil their exalted office with all zeal and industry.

Second Article: The doctrine that witchcraft may be wrought by the Divine Permission owing to the co-operation of the devil with wizards or witches is not contrary to the Catholic Faith, but is in every way agreeable to the teaching of Holy Scripture; nay more, according to the opinions of the Doctors of the Church it is a belief which must surely be held and steadfastly maintained.

Third Article: Therefore it is a grave error to preach that witchcraft cannot be, and those who publicly preach this vile error notably hinder the holy work of the Inquisitors to the sore prejudice of the safety of many souls. It is not convenient that the secrets of magic which are often revealed to the Inquisitors should indiscriminately be made known to everybody.

Last Article: All princes and all pious Catholics are to be exhorted that they should use their best endeavours always to assist the Inquisitors in their good work of the defence of the Catholic Faith.

Where, these Doctors of the aforesaid faculty of Theology who have already signed above and who have also signed below, have affixed their signatures to these articles, as I, Arnold Kolich, public notary, who have signed my name below, have learnt from the sworn information of John Vörde of Mechlin, good man and true, sworn Bedel of the most honourable University of Cologne, who declared this upon oath unto me, and as (for their hands as signed above and below are well known unto me) I myself have seen set forth as here followeth: “I, Lambertus de Monte, Professor of Sacred Theology, Dean of the faculty, stoutly maintain and entirely approve of the articles here rehearsed, and to the truth of this I bear witness by my signature subscribed with my own hand. I, Jacobus de Stralen, Professor of Sacred Theology, similarly maintain and entirely approve of the articles as rehearsed above, and to the truth of this I bear witness by affixing my signature with my own hand. I, Udalricus Kridwiss von Esslingen, Junior Professor of Sacred Theology, likewise maintain and entirely approve of the articles as set forth above, and to the truth of this I bear witness by affixing my signature with my own hand. I, Conradus von Campen, Professor in ordinary of Sacred Theology, declare that I assent to and am in entire agreement with the judgement of the Senior Professors. I, Cornelius de Breda, Junior Professor, maintain and entirely approve of the articles as set forth above, and to the truth of this I bear witness by affixing my signature with my own hand. I, Thomas de Scotia, Professor of Sacred Theology (albeit unworthy), entirely agree to, maintain, and approve of the opinion of the Venerable Professors who have signed above, and to the truth of this I set my name with my own hand. I, Theoderich de Bummel, Junior Professor of Sacred Theology, entirely agree with what has been written above by the honoured Masters who have signed their names above, and to the truth of this I bear witness by my signature written with my own hand. In confirmation of the above articles I declared that I am wholly and entirely of the same opinion of the above honoured Masters and Professors, I, Andreas de Ochsenfurt, Professor of the faculty of Sacred Theology, a junior member of the Board of Theologians of the most honourable University of Cologne.”

Finally, and last of all, the aforesaid Venerable and Very Reverend Father Henry Kramer, Inquisitor, was in possession of and showed us another letter, written out fair on virgin parchment, bestowed upon and granted unto him by the most Serene and Noble monarch the King of the Romans, which parchment bore his own royal red official seal, impressed upon a ground of blue wax, which seal was suspended from and hanging at the bottom of said parchment, and this was whole and entire, untouched, not cancelled or suspect, in no wise lacerated or impaired, and by tenor of these presents the most Exalted Lord, the aforesaid Noble King of the Romans, in order that for the benefit of our Holy Faith these businesses might be dispatched with the greater ease and expedition, in his royal office as the Most Christian King, wished and wishes that the same Apostolic bull, whereof we have spoken above, should be in every way respected, honoured, and defended, and the provisions thereof enforced, and he takes the Inquisitors wholly under his own august protection, commanding and requiring all and everyone who are subjects of the Roman Empire that they shall show the said Inquisitors all favour and grant them every assistance of which they may stand in need in the discharge of their office, and they shall afford the Inquisitors every help according to the provisions which are more fully contained and rehearsed in this said letter. And this said letter issued by the King commences thus, and concludes thus, as is set forth in order here below: “Maximilian, by the Divine Favour and the Grace of God, most August King of the Romans, Archduke of Austria, Duke of Burgundy, of Lorraine, of Brabant, of Limburg, or Luxemburg and Guelderland, Count of Flanders . . .”; and it concludeth thus: “Given in our good city of Brussels, under our own hand and seal, on the sixth day of November, in the year or our Lord one thousand, fourteen hundred and eighty-six, in the first year of our reign.” Wherefore, with regard to all that hath been rehearsed and set forth above, each and every, the aforesaid Venerable and Very Reverend Father Henry, Inquisitor, on behalf of himself and his aforesaid colleague, sought from me, the public notary, whose name is written above and is subscribed below, that each document and all these documents should be officially drawn up and relegated in the form of a public instrument or public instruments, and this was done at Cologne in the house and the dwelling of the aforesaid Venerable Master Lambertus de Monte, which house is situate within the immunities of the Church of S. Andrew at Cologne, in the room where this same Master Lambertus pursueth his studies and dispatcheth his businesses, in the year of our Lord, in the month, on the day, at the hour, and during the Pontificate, all which have been set forth above, there being present there at that very time the aforesaid Master Lambertus, and the Bedel John, as also Nicolas Cuper von Venroid, sworn notary of the Venerable Curia of Cologne, and Christian Wintzen von Eusskirchen, a cleric of the diocese of Cologne, both good men and true, who bear witness that this request was formally made and formally granted.

And I, Arnold Kolich von Eusskirchen, a cleric of the diocese of Cologne, sworn notary, was also present whilst the above businesses each and all were being performed and were carried out, and to this I give my evidence with the aforenamed witnesses; and in accordance with what I saw and with what, as I have stated above, I heard upon the sworn testimony of the said Bedel, good man and true, I have written out fair with my own hand and engrossed the present public instrument, which I have subscribed, and have caused to be published since I have drawn it up in this official form for publication, and being requested and required so to do I have signed it and sealed it according to the wonted manner with my own name and my own seal, that it may be officially approved and may be a sufficient and legal testimony and probation of all and single that are herein set forth, rehearsed, and contained.
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