Joan of Arc - Maid of Heaven

The Trial of Joan of Arc
By W.P. Barrett

Chapter 20: The Tenor of the Deliberations

The tenor of the deliberations

Here follow the deliberations relating to the said assertions, which we received on divers following days.

And first sixteen doctors and six licentiates or bachelors in theology gave their opinions on the digest as follows:

"In the name of the Lord, Amen. By this present public act, be it evident and known to all that, in the year of Our Lord 1431, convocation 9, Thursday the 12th of April, the fourteenth year of the pontificate of our most Holy Father in Christ and Lord, Martin, by the divine providence fifth of that name, and in the presence of us, the undersigned public notaries and witnesses, the following reverend fathers and lords, venerable and discreet persons, lords and masters, were personally in session: Erard Emengart, president; Jean Beaupère, Guillaume Le Boucher, Jacques de Touraine, Nicolas Midi; Pierre Miget, prior of Longueville; Maurice de Quesnay, Jean de Nibat, Pierre Houdenc, Jean Le Fèvre, Pierre Maurice, the lord abbot of Mortemer, Gérard Feuillet, Richard Prati, and Jean Charpentier, professor of divinity; William Haiton, bachelor in theology; Raoul Le Sauvage, licentiate in theology; and also Nicolas Couppequesne, Ysambard de La Pierre, and Thomas de Courcelles, likewise bachelors in theology; and Nicolas Loiseleur, master of arts.

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"They informed us that the reverend father in Christ, the lord bishop of Beauvais, and brother John Le Maistre, vicar of the worthy doctor, master Jean Graverent, Inquisitor of Heretical Error for the kingdom of France, judges in a certain case of doctrine brought before them, had assembled the said doctors and masters, all and severally, by means of a certain summons of which the tenor commenced thus: 'We, Pierre, etc., the following articles, etc.: A certain woman, etc.' When the said doctors and masters had received, in the necessary manner, the said summons and its contents, they examined it diligently, with serious and mature consideration, on many occasions. And whereas, they stated, every doctor in divinity is legally required to give worthy counsel in matters of doctrine, whenever he is so requested for the good of the faith by the prelates of the Church and the inquisitors of heresy: and wishing, therefore, as their duty and their vocation bade them, to the extent of their power and duty towards God, to obey the lord judges and their request; they have declared firstly, having been desired urgently and often, verbally and in writing, by the aforesaid judges, to fulfill that request, as has been reported, for the good of the faith, that they understand they are to give their opinions in this matter as shall seem to them to conform with Holy Scripture, with the doctrines of the saints, and with the sanctions of the Church, having before their eyes nothing but the will of God and the truth of the faith.

"They have declared secondly that all their words and deliberations, in this matter and others, they submit to the scrutiny, correction, and judgment of the most Holy Roman Church and to all those to whom scrutiny, correction, and judgment belong, or to whom it will and should belong: with all the accustomed reservations in similar matters, and in the best form and manner which is wont to be employed

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in such declarations. With the said reservations, the doctors and masters gave judgment in the following form:

"We declare, having conscientiously considered, discussed and weighed the quality of the person in question, her words and her acts, the manner of her apparitions and revelations, the purpose, cause, circumstances, and all that is contained in the said articles and proceedings, that there is reason to think that the said apparitions and revelations, which she boasts and affirms she has had from God through His angels and His saints, do not come from God through His angels and His saints; but are rather the fictions of the human imagination or proceed from the spirit of evil. She has not had sufficient evidence to believe and recognize them; in the aforesaid articles there are fabricated lies, certain improbabilities, and beliefs lightly accepted on her part: superstitions and divinations: scandalous and irreligious acts; temeritous, presumptuous, and boasting speech: blasphemies of God and His saints (St. Michael and St. Gabriel); disrespect towards parents; disregard of the command to love our neighbor; idolatry, or at least misleading fiction; schism directed against the unity, authority, and power of the Church; things of evil sound and to be vehemently suspected of heresy. In proclaiming that these apparitions were St. Michael, St. Catherine, and St. Margaret, and that their acts and words are good, as firmly as she holds the Christian Faith, she is to be held suspect of straying from the faith: for if she believes that the articles of the faith have no more assurance than her own beliefs, her apparitions whom she names St. Michael, St. Catherine, and St. Margaret, and her statement that their acts and words are good, she strays from the faith. For to say thus, as contained in Article V and also in Article 1, that in not receiving the Sacrament of the Eucharist, at the time ordained by the Church, she has acted

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rightly, and that all she has done was done by God's command, is to blaspheme against Him, to stray from the faith.

"The said doctors and masters asked of us, as public notaries, a deposition for all that precedes, and requested us to forward it to the said lord judges. This was done in the chapel of the archbishop's manor at Rouen, in the said year, convocation, month, day, and pontificate, in presence of the discreet persons master Jean de la Haye and Jean Barenton, priests beneficed under the Church at Rouen, called and requested to be witnesses hereto."

Signed so:

"And I, Guillaume Manchon, priest of the diocese of Rouen, notary public and sworn by the imperial and apostolic authority of the archbishop's court of Rouen, have been present at all that has been said, done, and reported, with another notary and the above-signed witnesses, and have seen and heard it done. And for that reason I have affixed my usual signature together with my seal and subscription as notary public, to this present public instrument, faithfully written in my hand, as witness and in good faith, at the request of the above."

G. Manchon.

"And I, Guillaume Colles, or Boisguillaume, priest of the diocese of Rouen, public notary by apostolic authority and of the archbishop's Court of Rouen, notary sworn in this case, have been present at all that has been said and done, with the witnesses and notary named above, and have seen and heard it done. Hence I have signed the present public instrument, which is a faithful record, but in another hand, with my usual signature and seal as called and sworn to do, in assurance and as witness of the foregoing."

Colles.

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Master Denis Gastinel, licentiate in civil and canon law, gave his opinion in the following form

"With all the customary protestations in a case of doctrine, and with all submission to the corrections of my lords judges, of all other doctors in divinity, and of all learned in civil and canon law, whom it behooves to penetrate the intricacies of this matter, I feel compelled to say that this case is verily itself infected, its subject of a suspected faith, persistent in error, schismatical, and heretical: and all this is opposed to the dogma, wholesome custom, and decisions of the Church, the General Councils, the holy canons, and civil, human, and political law: this woman is scandalous, seditious, and wanton, towards God, the Church, and the faithful. She takes herself for an authority, a doctor and a judge, when her very faith is suspect, and she herself persistent in schismatical and heretical error, if she persists in her defense in the question submitted to authority, and on which her plaint is based; she is seditious and a disturber of the peace. He who undertakes an enterprise such as this, who professes such false and perverse doctrine, who returns not with speed to the unity of the Catholic faith, refusing to abjure publicly so extravagant a doctrine and the stain of obstinate heresy, and who does not make suitable reparation, as soon as the errors and perversities of such a doctrine have been brought home to him, is to be abandoned to the judgment of the secular judge, to undergo the sentence meet for his crime. If he would abjure, let him have the blessings of absolution, and let him suffer what is wont to be inflicted in these cases: and let him be confined in prison, that penitence may not delay, with the bread of sorrow and the water of affliction, let him weep for his sins, and commit no more for which he need weep."

Signed: D. Gastinel.

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Master Jean Basset, licentiate in canon law, official of Rotten, gave his counsel in the following manner

"Reverend fathers and masters, lord judges in this suit, have little or nothing to say in a matter of such importance for the faith, so arduous and difficult, especially in what relates to the revelations mentioned in the papers which your Highnesses have passed to me. Nevertheless, with the wonted reservations in such matters, and under the benign correction of those interested, I feel compelled to speak as follows on the said papers:

'Firstly, with regard to the revelations themselves, I say that it may be that the statements of this woman thereon are possible with God: none the less, seeing that this woman has not confirmed them by miracle or Scripture, and that there is no evidence, no belief must be accorded to the speech and statements of this woman concerning her revelations.

"With regard to her abandonment of feminine attire, if she has not been commanded by God to this effect, which is not credible, she has acted against honor, the decency of her sex, and honest living. "In the matter reported above, that she has not been willing to attend Communion, at least once a year, she has gone expressly against the decision and command of the Church.

"In that she has not seen fit to submit to the judgment of the Church Militant, it seems that she has infringed the article of faith: Unam Sanctam Ecclesiam Catholicam.

"Nevertheless I intend all which precedes on the assumption that her visions do not come from God: which I do not believe. But on that, and on other propositions of hers I refer to the decision of my lords the theologians and others whose business it is to be able to determine them, in order to qualify or name them in a Christian fashion. As for the form and manner of this woman's trial, if it is shown and explained

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to me according to the last chapter de Haereticis in the VIth book, notwithstanding my poor intellect and my unworthiness and ignorance in law, I offer to work at it with all my power.

"Your Jean Basset, unworthy licentiate in decrees and official of Rouen in the vacancy of the archiepiscopal see."

So signed: Jean Basset.

The reverend father in Christ, Gilles, lord abbot of Ste. Trinité de Fécamp gave his opinion in conformity with that of the said lords and masters, as is shown in the following letter signed with his own hand

"Reverend father and most distinguished master, your servant most humbly and promptly commends himself to your very reverend paternity. I received yesterday at ten o'clock your letters summarily containing the request made by your reverend self, and by the Vice-Inquisitor, of the doctors of theology, lately at Rouen, to deliberate doctrinally upon certain articles of faith; which has been done. You further desired my opinion. But, very reverend father and most distinguished master, when such men, in so great numbers, cannot be found in the whole world, what can my ignorance conceive or my unlearned tongue bring forth? Nothing. Therefore I adhere to their opinion, in everything, and in conformity with them I cleave to their deliberations, adding my protests and the customary preparatory submissions; and I fix thereto my sign manual, in witness thereof. If, very reverend father and master, there is any pleasure of yours: command it. For in the performance of your wishes though my ability may falter my good intentions never shall. May the Most High keep you, very Reverend father, and grant you blessed times of prosperity and success. Written at Fécamp, April 21, your very reverend father's disciple, abbot of Fécamp.

So signed: G. de Fécamp

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Master Jacques Guesdon, minor brother, doctor of sacred theology, gave his opinion in conformity with that of the said lords and masters, of which the tenor follows, signed with his own hand.

"This Wednesday, April 13th, Jacques Guesdon, master of theology of the Franciscan convent of Rouen, appeared before my lord bishop of Beauvais. He affirmed that he had been present, with my lords the theologians and the masters of this town, in the archiepiscopal chapel of Rouen, at the meeting and deliberations which took place there, upon the case of the said Jeanne, commonly called The Maid. Since each gave his advice separately, as he himself did, and they came to a single and unanimous opinion, he continues in agreement with them, and adds his opinion to theirs. But since he must attend to other business elsewhere he asks leave of my lord to retire and depart. Nevertheless he is ready to continue his work in the trial, if he is so bidden, as he is bounden to do, and when he returns, to participate in it again."

So signed: "I certify this to be true." Guesdon

Master Jean Maugier, canon of Rouen, licentiate in canon law, gave an opinion to corroborate that of the said lords and masters, as is shown below and signed with his own hand

"Reverend father, and you my lord the vicar of the lord Inquisitor, pray learn that I have received your communication with all due humility and obedience. I have seen its contents and your request: and the qualifications and opinions of my reverend lords and masters the distinguished professors of sacred theology, assembled in so great number with unanimous opinion and judgment, and I will answer your request. Certainly their decision and opinion appear to me good, just, holy, and meet to be followed, to conform and agree to the

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holy laws and ecclesiastical sanctions. Therefore, following their opinion I join myself with them in everything, and for every occasion, with the protestations they made when they delivered their sentence, and those customary in these affairs.

"Always ready to do your good pleasure."

Signed: Jean Maugier.

Master Jean Bruillot, licentiate in canon law, chantry priest and canon of Rouen Cathedral, gave his opinion in conformity with that of the said lords and masters, as is shown below written in his own hand and signed with his sign manual

"Having seen, reverend fathers and my lord vicar of the lord Inquisitor appointed by the apostolic see in all the Kingdom of France, the confessions and statement and other matters you have sent to me in writing; having conferred with many learned authorities in canon and civil law; having repeatedly turned over the leaves of the registers and meditated on the acts of the woman in question; and also considered the motives which can incline me towards the opinion of my lords and masters, these men learned in divine law and so experienced in such affairs who in great number are absolutely unanimous, I refer to and sustain their decision which appears to me according to holy laws; and I am with them in their opinion, subject to the customary protestations."

So signed: "J. Bruillot, chantry priest and canon of Rouen Cathedral."

Master Nicolas de Venderès, licentiate in canon law, archdeacon of Eu and canon of Rouen, gave judgment sustaining the opinion of the said lords and masters, as is shown in the schedule below signed with his own hand

With the protestations customary in such acts, which have been made by my lords and my masters the distinguished professors

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in sacred theology when they gave their opinion, I have seen their judgments which you addressed to me, reverend father and lord vicar of the Inquisitor, and their appreciations of the statements and confessions. To answer your request according to the faculties God has granted me, and with as little incompetence as possible, I declare that my lords and masters judged, proceeded and acted well, piously and sweetly: as I turned over the pages I found their opinion good, just, reasonable, and far from divergency from canonical sanctions, it is much more in complete agreement therewith. Consequently it is my opinion that I should embrace their decision and follow my lords and masters and adhere to their judgment in everything."

So signed: "Your servant and chaplain."

Nicolas de Venderès.

Master Gilles Deschamps, licentiate in canon law, chancellor and canon of the cathedral of Rouen, gave judgment sustaining that of the said lords and masters in a communication, signed with his own hand, of which the tenor follows

"Reverend father in Christ, you and the lord vicar of the reverend lord Inquisitor of Heretical Error, sent to me in connection with this woman certain propositions which your Highnesses had extracted. With the submissions and protestations proper in matters of faith, and without affirming any rash thing, intending in no way to derogate from the Divine Power, and having reflected and weighed it all: in view of and considering the charitable admonitions, the many summons and the choice offered even yesterday to the said Jeanne, in the presence of the venerable assembly of prelates and doctors in both canon and civil law, by you reverend father and my lord archdeacon of Évreux your deputy, to the end that she

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should submit the acts and sayings contained in these articles and her trial to the decision and judgment of the Church Universal, of the sovereign pontiff or of four notable men in obedience to him or of the church of Poitiers (which summons and exhortations were to my mind justly and reasonably made to her; and by all means should these charitable monitions and exhortations laudably begun by you to the honor of God, be continued for her salvation): now in view of all the preceding matter, the replies she made, and especially that she would in no way meet these exhortations or take the choice offered her, unless some other fact is brought before me to reveal the correction and reform of her statements, or some more healthy explanation, I think the said articles are suspect in faith, contrary to good customs, and ecclesiastical sanctions. For further more learned and illuminating qualification of the articles I think the judgments of the doctors of both canon and civil law are very worthy of consideration. Given in the year of our Lord 1431, May 3rd, under my sign manual."

So signed: G. Deschamps.

Master Nicolas Caval, licentiate in civil law, canon of the cathedral of Rouen, gave judgment sustaining that of the said lords and masters in a communication signed by his own hand of which the tenor follows

"I have seen the statements you sent me under the seals of the notaries public, reverend father in Christ and you lord vicar of the Inquisitor; have seen and heard the unanimous opinion of many notable masters of sacred theology which was given to you reverend father; and seeing that in my judgment their opinion is in accordance with ecclesiastical sanctions, I hold to their opinion: subject notwithstanding to your corrections and the protestations customary in such matters. Your

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very humble Nicolas Caval, canon of the church of Rouen."

Master Robert Le Barbier, licentiate in canon law, canon of the church of Rouen, gave his decision sustaining the opinions of the said lords and masters in a communication which follows

"The statements of this woman which were sent to me on behalf of you reverend father, my most feared lord and bishop, and of your highness, my lord vicar of the lord Inquisitor, I have seen, as well as the decisions given in this matter by several lords, masters and professors of sacred theology. After deliberating with certain of them and with other men learned in canon law, I refer and decide for the time being in accordance with the opinions the masters of theology have addressed to you; with the reservations customary in matters of faith. But to my little intelligence and subject to the superior judgment of others the statements should be sent for the good of the matter and the justification of the faith to our holy mother the University of Paris, and in particular to the Faculties of Theology and of Decrees: their opinions must be had before judgment on the case is delivered."

So signed: Le Barbier.

Master Jean Alespée licentiate in civil law, canon of the church of Rouen, gave an opinion in conformity with that of the said lords and masters, as is shown in the following communication signed with his sign manual and written with his own hand

"To the reverend father in Christ my most feared lord and bishop of Beauvais, ordinary judge in this trial, and to you venerable father, master Jean Le Maistre, vicar of the lord Inquisitor, reverence, honor, and promptitude in your service. Although I am not worthy or even sufficient among the least,

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you have requested and then summoned me under legal penalty before Thursday next (this delay being fixed once and for all from Monday, April 16th, 1431) to send you in writing my deliberation, namely whether the statements contained in the articles dispatched to me with your first request, or certain of them, are suspect or contrary to the orthodox faith, contrary to Holy Scripture and the Holy Roman Church, and the judgment of authorities approved by the Church, to ecclesiastical sanctions, whether they are scandalous, rash, hurtful, criminal, offensive in any way to good manners; and what it is fitting to say in the judgment of the faith. I, Jean Alespée, son of obedience, although the limits of my mind know little, nevertheless in order not to appear disobedient -- which God forbid -- and with the protestations which have been sent to you in writing by the reverend fathers and my lords and masters who have digested the matter better than I have, I hold and believe that the statements and propositions sent and dispatched by them have been well, duly, justly, and piously judged according to the ecclesiastical sanctions. Therefore I must refer to their deliberations and opinions; I refer and adhere thereto. If, however, you have conferred with our mother the University of Paris, the Faculty of Theology or Decrees, or one of them, or if you happen to do so, I in no way wish to think alone and separate myself from their deliberations; but rather would I submit myself in advance to their decision, to that of the holy Roman Church and the holy Council General."

So signed: J. Alespée.

Master Jean de Châtillon, archdeacon and canon of Évreux, doctor of sacred theology, gave judgment sustaining that of the said lords and masters in a communication signed with his own hand of which the tenor follows "Under the protestations customary in such matters I declare

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that I am in agreement with the said professors of sacred theology, and differ in no way from their opinion of the quality, acts and sayings of the person, etc. (here follows the opinion of the sixteen assessors). This I declare, subject to the correction of those whose duty is to bring back the wanderers to the way of truth, and with the said protestations and submissions, under my seal, in my own hand, in witness of these things written above, according to the form of the request."

So signed: Jean de Châtillon.

Master Jean de Bouesgue, -doctor of theology, almoner of Fécamp gave his opinion in this form

"I, Jean de Bouesgue, doctor of theology of the University of Paris, for 25 years almoner of the venerable abbey of Fécamp, in view of what has been written on the subject of this woman, her acts and her sayings, the quality of her person, the kinds of apparitions and revelations, etc., think she is schismatic of the unity, authority, and power of the Church; infected with heresy, in view of her obduracy, and of what she said concerning St. Michael, St. Catherine, and St. Margaret, of the sacrament of communion, etc., and that she did it all at God's bidding. Therefore is she to be punished and dealt with by law, to the honor of God and the exaltation of the faith."

So signed: J. de Bouesgue.

Master Jean Garin, doctor of law, canon of the church of Rouen gave judgment sustaining the lords and masters above named in a public document as is shown in the schedule signed with his own hand.

"Reverend father and lord, by divine mercy bishop of Beauvais and you brother Jean Le Maistre, vicar of the Inquisitor, etc., know that I have received with reverence and honor the propositions, inserted in a codicil, which you transmitted to

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me. I have seen them and their content, as well as the opinions of the learned doctors in respect of them; I have studied them according to my mean intelligence. Then, with doctors of canon an civil law and others as learned who met together, when I had heard the judgments on the said propositions an statements of our reverend fathers the distinguished professors of theology who were assembled in great number to this end, in order to confer with one another, I compared them according to judicial procedure. These judgments are to my mean intelligence in accordance with the decisions of the Holy Roman Church, and of doctors approved by the Church and by ecclesiastical sanctions; moreover, they are entirely in conformity with the holy laws. Therefore, with the protestations which the reverend masters and the doctors of law, of whom I am the least, made in this respect, which are customarily formulated in matters of this kind and importance, I sustain their opinion which is so learned, just and reasonable, and to my meager mind, in accordance with the doctrine of the holy laws. With a zealous heart and as far as in me lies I am ready to obey with all speed the commands of the Church and yourself in all things.

So signed: Entirely yours. J Garin.

The venerable chapter of the cathedral of Rouen deliberated as follows

"You reverend father and you venerable lord vicar of the Inquisitor of Heretical Error, you have summoned the chapter of the cathedral of Rouen to give you for the faith's sake a salutary counsel on certain propositions extracted and chosen from the confessions and sayings of the woman commonly known as The Maid: to wit whether these statements or any thereof being seen and weighed are contrary to the orthodox faith, etc., what in the judgment of the faith they must be

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thought of, as is contained at greater length in the exordium of the memorandum of these statements. But as we reflected on the importance of this matter we deferred our answer since we desired first, in order to give you a more certain and positive counsel, to be acquainted with the conferences, deliberations and decisions of the distinguished University of Paris, particularly of the Faculties of Theology and Decrees. Eventually, we saw and carefully considered the opinions of many doctors of sacred theology who were in this town; and also of the assembly of prelates, doctors of theology, of canon law, of licentiates in both canon and civil law and of other learned men, which you solemnly held and presided over on May 2nd, wherein many gentle and pious exhortations and summons were addressed to the said woman both by you and by the venerable lord archdeacon of Évreux the distinguished professor of sacred theology especially appointed by your order and authority, to persuade this woman that for the salvation of her soul and the welfare of her body, for the honor and praise of God, for the reparation due to the Catholic faith, she should correct and amend her shameless ways and words, and submit as every Catholic should to the judgment and decision of the Church Universal, of our Holy Father the Pope, of the Council General and of the other prelates of the Church to whom she could turn, of four distinguished and learned churchmen from the temporal obedience and dominion of her own party, of the doctors and others aforementioned who being present here confirmed that counsel.

"Now this woman would in no way accept and receive these admonitions, exhortations and charitable summonses. Far from so doing, when she was so urgently and repeatedly offered for the sake of the salvation of her body and soul, she damnably and perniciously scorned and rejected them all. She absolutely refused to submit to the decision and judgment of the

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Church, of the Sovereign Pontiff or of any other of her judges, notwithstanding the explanation and exposition of her errors and failings which were all mostly clearly shown her. Therefore, subject of course to the submissions and protestations customary in these affairs, we declare as follows in favor of the faith. Yes, the decisions and appreciations delivered by the doctors of theology -on these statements were gentle, just and reasonable. We adhere to their doctrine, adding that upon consideration of and careful attention to the warnings, admonitions and charitable exhortations, to the answers and denials made by this woman, and to her obstinacy of heart, it appears to us Proper for her to be accounted a heretic. Given in our chapter in the year of Our Lord 1431, May 3rd."

Signed: R. Guérould.

Masters Aubert Morel and Jean Duchemin, licentiates in canon law, advocates of the official's court of Rouen, gave their opinion as follows

"With the protestations customary in matters of faith, and submitting ourselves to the correction of our lords and judges and of the other doctors of sacred theology and the legal authorities to whom it is fitting to go deeply into this, it appears to us meet to declare: first, that in respect of the alleged revelations of this woman, according to written law it is possible for them to exist in God; nevertheless as this woman has not confirmed them by miracle or testimony of Holy Writ, as there is no evidence for them, there is no reason to believe in the words and statements of this woman. And in respect of her refusal of woman's dress, since she has not received God's bidding to this effect (which cannot be believed, since she alone did it, of her own accord, against both the honor and repute of her sex as well as good manner of life), since she was duly warned and disdained our admonitions, she is and should be

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excommunicate and anathema. This woman, in default of a reasonable motive or the instruction of her priest, is compelled to receive the sacrament of communion from time to time, and at least once a year, otherwise she breaks the ruling and commands of the Church: likewise to submit to the Church Militant. And if, being 'admonished on this point in a competent manner, she has not submitted, she appears to have broken the article of the faith: Unam Sanctam Ecclesiam Catholicam. All this we state on the assumption that her revelations did not come from God; and on these and other propositions, statements., and pretensions indicated, we refer ourselves to the judgment of our lords the theologians whom they more particularly concern. Whence it appears to us that the propositions are suspect in respect of the faith, contrary to honest living, to the decisions of the Church, and even scandalous and seditious, and make whoever professed such a doctrine suspect in respect of the faith, especially if she obstinately sustains it. She must therefore be punished with perpetual imprisonment, with bread of sorrow and water of affliction, to weep for her sins and never again do anything that need be wept for, or some other extraordinary penalty, subject to the moderation of the good pleasure of my lords the judges."

Signed: A. Morel. J. Duchemin.

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