On trial in a church court for allegedly spreading

Info iconThis preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Unformatted text preview: in a church court for allegedly spreading heresy (beliefs at variance with established religious doctrine). Dressed in armor, Joan led the French troops against the English. She was eventually captured, turned over to the English, and then tried by French clerics who supported the English. The most serious crime she was charged with was her claim that she had received direct inspiration from God. Carefully read the Inquisitor’s speech to the church court whose members were to decide Joan’s fate. Then, in a well-written essay, analyze the rhetorical strategies the Inquisitor uses to argue his case against Joan. Line 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 THE INQUISITOR [dropping his blandness and speaking very gravely] If you had seen what I have seen of heresy, you would not think it a light thing even in its most apparently harmless and even lovable and pious origins. Heresy begins with people who are to all appearance better than their neighbors. A gentle and pious girl, or a young man who has obeyed the command of our Lord by giving all his riches to the poor, and putting on the garb of poverty, the life of austerity, and the rule of humility and charity, may be the founder of a heresy that will wreck both Church and Empire if not ruthlessly stamped out in time. The records of the holy Inquisition are full of histories we dare not give to the world, because they are beyond the belief of honest men and innocent women; yet they all began with saintly simpletons. I have seen this again and again. Mark what I say: the woman who quarrels with her clothes, and puts on the dress of a man, is like the man who throws off his fur gown and dresses like John the Baptist: they are followed, as surely as the night follows the day, by bands of wild women and men who refuse to wear any clothes at all. When maids will neither marry nor take regular vows, and men reject marriage and exalt their lusts into divine inspirations, then, as surely as the summer follows the spring, they begin with polygamy, and end by incest. Heresy at first seems innocent and even laudable; but it ends in such a monstrous horror of unnatural wickedness that the most tender-hearted among you, if you saw it at work as I have seen it, would clamor against the mercy of the Church in dealing with it. For two hundred years the Holy Office has striven with these diabolical madnesses; and it knows that they begin always by vain and ignorant persons setting up their own judgment 40 45 50 55 60 65 against the Church, and taking it upon themselves to be the interpreters of God’s will. You must not fall into the common error of mistaking these simpletons for liars and hypocrites. They believe honestly and sincerely that their diabolical inspiration is divine. Therefore you must be on your guard against your natural compassion. You are all, I hope, merciful men: how else could you have devoted your lives to the service of our gentle Savior? You are going to see before you a young girl, pious and chaste; for I...
View Full Document

This note was uploaded on 08/05/2013 for the course MATH Algebra taught by Professor Ms.weston during the Spring '07 term at Westfield Senior High.

Ask a homework question - tutors are online