What is the church investigation in the fight against heretics?
The main threat to the Catholic Church in the Middlecenturies were heretics - apostates who questioned the teachings of the Pope, the interpretation of the Gospel and the sanctity of the clergy. They carried their ideas to the people, causing widespread unrest and outbreaks of uprisings everywhere. During this period, the church investigation in the struggle against heretics became one of the main tools for eliminating dissenters.
Brief description of the period
The Middle Ages - the heyday and unprecedentedpower of the church. At the turn of the 12th-13th centuries, the Pope was Innocent III. He proclaimed himself a viceroy of Christ on earth and, being an educated, clever and clever diplomat, with all his strength helped to strengthen the positions of his throne.
He did a church investigation in the fight againstheretics above the secular (royal) court, organized the Fourth Crusade, skillfully used the Franciscan order of mendicant monks and the Order of St. Dominic, which were very popular among the common people and the dexterity of Innocent III strengthened the authority of the church.
Further, the church's investigation into the struggle againstheretics (the Inquisition) began to be used to eliminate enlightened, learned and simply disagreeable persons. Children with disabilities in physical development were declared the children of Satan, beautiful women - witches, sorceresses and midwives were accused of collusion with the devil. All of them also became victims of the Inquisition.
Who are heretics?
The Church divided all people into classes. The higher estate was declared the clergy, the middle - the king and the nobility, the lowest - the people. The work of the upper class is the protection of the soul of the layman from sin, begging God for forgiveness of all those who live on earth. The nobility had to protect the king and the clergy from an external enemy, and the task of the people was to feed and maintain both.
At the sermons the clergy called upon allhumility and gentleness, they taught "to know their place" and not to resist the will of the Most High, not to collect wealth on earth, taking care more of saving the soul. Nevertheless, they themselves concentrated in their hands huge wealth, put on expensive clothes and surrounded themselves with comfort. Neither was the nobility in poverty. The people were bent in poverty. This polarity could not but cause disturbances. There were those who loudly condemned the duplicity of "God's servants," expressed doubts about their teachings and holiness. This greatly undermined the authority of the Pope.
Such bold dissidents were announcedapostates, heretics (carried heresy, insulted the Holy Teaching). The real struggle of the Catholic Church with the heretics began. Ferociously destroyed not only the apostates themselves, but also their families, rooting out a potential threat.
How was the church investigation conducted in the struggle against the heretics?
The basis of this struggle was punitive measures. The dissidents were declared as apostates (heretics), they were thrown into prisons, kept under inhuman conditions, subjected to terrible torture, and finally sentenced to a terrible execution - burning alive at the stake.
As a rule, the church minister was in one personand the prosecutor, and the investigator, and the judge. Carrying out a church investigation in the fight against heretics, the charges were mainly based on denunciations, most of which were received again under torture. In 99 cases out of 100, those who fell into the torture chambers of the Inquisition did not leave alive alive. Their property was confiscated and divided mainly between the church and the king. Some part was given to a local nobleman, from whose volost a heretic was born.