Final Sentence given before the People
Wednesday, May 30th, towards 9 o'clock in the morning. 1431
We, the Judges, repaired to the place of the Old Market, in Rouen, near the Church of Saint Sauveur.
We were assisted by the reverend Fathers in Christ the Lords Bishops of Therouanne and Noyon; and by a number of other Lords, Masters, and ecclesiastical personages.
Before Us was brought the said Jeanne, in presence of the people, assembled in this place in an immense multitude.
She was placed upon a scaffold or platform.
For her wholesome admonition and for the edification of the whole multitude, a solemn address was made by the renowned Doctor, Nicolas Midi, who took for his text those words of the Apostle in the first Epistle to the Corinthians, Chapter 12., ” If one member suffer, all the members suffer with it.”
This address ended, We, the Bishop, did once more admonish Jeanne to look to her salvation, to reflect on her misdeeds, to repent of them, to have a true contrition for them. We exhorted her to believe hereon the opinion of the Clergy, of the notable persons who have taught and instructed her on all that treats of her salvation. We did particularly exhort her to believe the good advice of the two venerable Dominicans….1 who were at that moment beside her, and whom we had sent to her to converse with her up to the last moment and to furnish her in all surety with wholesome admonitions and counsels profitable to her salvation.
Afterwards, We, the Bishop and Vicar aforesaid, having regard to all that has gone before, in which it is shown that this woman had never truly abandoned her errors, her obstinate temerity, nor her unheard-of crimes; that she had even shown the malice of her diabolical obstinacy in this deceitful semblance of contrition, penitence, and amendment; malice rendered still more damnable by perjury of the Holy Name of God and blasphemy of His ineffable Majesty; considering her on all these grounds obstinate, incorrigible, heretic, relapsed into heresy, and altogether unworthy of the grace and of the Communion which, by our former sentence, We did mercifully accord to her; all of which being seen and considered, after mature deliberation and counsel of a great number of Doctors, We have at last proceeded to the Final Sentence in these terms:
In the Name of the Lord, Amen.
At all times when the poisoned virus of heresy attaches itself with persistence to a member of the Church and transforms him into a member of Satan, extreme care should be taken to watch that the horrible contagion of this pernicious leprosy do not gain other parts of the mystic Body of Christ. The decisions of the holy Fathers have willed that hardened heretics should be separated from the midst of the Just, so that to the great peril of others this homicidal viper should not be warmed in the bosom of pious Mother Church. It is for this that We, Pierre, by the Divine Mercy, Bishop of Beauvais, and We, Brother Jean Lemaitre, Deputy of the renowned Doctor, Jean Graverend, Inquisitor of the Evil of Heresy, specially delegated by him for this Process, both Judges competent in this Trial, already, by a just judgment, have declared this woman fallen into divers errors and divers crimes of schism, idolatry, invocation of demons and many others. But because the Church closes not her bosom to the child who returns to her, we did think that, with a pure spirit and a faith unfeigned, you has put far from thee thy errors and thy crimes, considering that on a certain day you did renounce them and did publicly swear, vow, and promise never to return to thy errors and heresies, to resist all temptations, and to remain faithfully attached to the unity of the Catholic Church and the communion of the Roman Pontiff, as is proved at greater length in a writing signed by your own hand. But after this abjuration of your errors, the Author of Schism and Heresy had arisen in your heart, which he had once more seduced, and it had become manifest by thy spontaneous confessions and assertions – O, shame! -that, as the dog returns again to his vomit, so have you returned to your errors and crimes; and it had been proved to us in a most certain manner that you have renounced thy guilty inventions and thy errors only in a lying manner, not in a sincere and faithful spirit. For these causes, declaring thee fallen again into your old errors, and under the sentence of excommunication which you have formerly incurred, WE DECREE THAT YOU ART A RELAPSED HERETIC, by our present sentence which, seated in tribunal, we utter and pronounce in this writing; we denounce thee as a rotten member, and that you may not vitiate others, as cast out from the unity of the Church, separate from her Body, abandoned to the secular power as, indeed, by these presents, we do cast thee off, separate and abandon thee; – praying this same secular power, so far as concerns death and the mutilation of the limbs, to moderate its judgment towards thee, and, if true signs of penitence should appear in thee, [to permit] that the Sacrament of Penance be administered to thee.
Here follows the Sentence of Excommunication,2
. . . that you have been on the subject of thy pretended divine revelations and apparitions lying, seducing, pernicious, presumptuous, lightly believing, rash, superstitious, a divineress and blasphemer towards God and the Saints, a despiser of God Himself in His Sacraments; a prevaricator of the Divine Law, of sacred doctrine and of ecclesiastical sanctions; seditious, cruel, apostate, schismatic, erring on many points of our Faith, and by all these means rashly guilty towards God and Holy Church. And also, because that often, very often, not only by Us on Our part but by Doctors and Masters learned and expert, full of zeal for the salvation of thy soul, you have been duly and sufficiently warned to amend, to correct thyself and to submit to the disposal, decision, and correction of Holy Mother Church, which you have not willed, and have always obstinately refused to do, having even expressly and many times refused to submit thyself to our Lord the Pope and to the General Council; for these causes, as hardened and obstinate in thy crimes, excesses and errors, WE DECLARE THEE OF RIGHT EXCOMMUNICATE AND HERETIC; and after your errors have been destroyed in a public preaching, We declare that you must be abandoned and that We do abandon thee to the secular authority, as a member of Satan, separate from the Church, infected with the leprosy of heresy, in order that you may not corrupt also the other members of Christ; praying this same power, that, as concerns death and the mutilation of the limbs, it may be pleased to moderate its judgment; and if true signs of penitence should appear in thee, that the Sacrament of Penance may be administered to thee.
Attestations by the Registrars.
“I, Boisguillaume, Priest, Registrar above qualified, affirm that I have duly collated the foregoing document with the original Minute of the Process; for which reason I have marked this present copy with my sign manual, the which will be done after me by the two other Registrars, I signing in this place with my own hand.
“And I, Guillaume Manchon, Priest, of the Diocese of Rouen, Apostolic and Imperial Notary, I affirm that I assisted in the collation made of the aforesaid Process, with the Registrars signed above and below; I affirm that this collation of the present copy with the original Minute of the Process had been duly made. For which, in the same way as the two other Registrars, I have subscribed the present copy with my own hand, affixing thereto my sign manual, to this required.
(Signed) “G. MANCHON.”
“And I, Nicholas Taquel, Priest of the Diocese of Rouen, sworn Imperial Public Notary and of the Archiepiscopal Court of Rouen, called as Registrar to a part of the foregoing Process, I affirm that I have seen and heard the present copy collated with the original register of the said Process; I affirm that this collation had been duly made. For which, with the two other Registrars preceding, I have subscribed with my own hand the present Process, affixing thereto, here, my sign-manual, to this required.
(Signed) “N. TAQUEL.”
Here follow the seals of the two Judges, marked in red wax on the original copies of the Process, prepared to the number of five.