DELIBERATIONS HELD ON May 9th, 12th, 19th and the FINAL SESSION AND SENTENCE AND RECANTATION
Wednesday, May 9th, We, the Judges, being in the great Tower of the Castle of Rouen, assisted by the reverend Fathers, Doctors and Masters whose names follow: the Reverend Father Abbot of Corneille de Compiegne, Jean de Chatillon, Guillaume Erard, André Marguerie, Nicolas de Venderes, Guillaume Haiton, Aubert Morel, Nicolas Loyseleur, Jean Massieu: did cause Jeanne to be brought before us.
We did require and warn her:
To speak the truth to Us on divers and numerous points on which she had hitherto refused to reply or had replied untruthfully, the which are established in the highest degree by informations, proofs, and grave presumptions. A great number of these points was read and shown to her. Then she was told that, if she would not tell the truth, she would immediately be put to the torture, the instruments of which were here, in this same tower, under her eyes. There also were present the executioners, who by Our order had made all the necessary preparations for torturing her, in order to bring her back by this means into the way and knowledge of the truth, and thus to procure for her salvation both of body and soul, which she did expose to such grave peril by her lying inventions.
To which Jeanne replied in this manner:
"Truly if you were to tear me limb from limb, and separate soul from body, I will tell you nothing more; and, if I were to say anything else, I should always afterwards declare that you made me say it by force.
"Last Thursday I received comfort from Saint Gabriel; I believe it was Saint Gabriel : I knew by my Voices it was he. I asked counsel of my Voices if I ought to submit to the Church, because the Clergy were pressing me hard to submit, and they said to me: ' If you want God to come to your help, wait on Him for all your doings.' I know that Our Lord had always been the Master of all my doings, and that the Devil had never had power over them. I asked of my Voices if I should be burned, and my Voices answered me: 'Wait on Our Lord, He will help thee.' "
"On the subject of the crown which you say was given to the Archbishop of Reims, will you defer to him?" "Make him come here, and I will hear him speak, and then I will answer you. Nevertheless, he dare not say the contrary to what I have said thereon."
Seeing the hardness of her heart, and her manner of replying, We, the Judges, fearing that the punishment of the torture would profit her little, decided that it was expedient to delay it, at least for the present, and until We have had thereupon more complete advice.
Saturday, May 12th, in the abode of Us, the Bishop, We, the Judges, having taken our seats, assisted by the venerable Doctors and Masters whose names follow : Raoul Roussell, Nicolas de Venderes, André Marguerie, Guillaume Erard, Robert Barbier, Denis Gastinel, Jean Ledoux, Aubert Morel, Thomas de Courcelles, Nicolas Coppequesne, Nicolas Loyseleur, Brother Ysambard de la Pierre.
We, the Bishop, did make known to the Assessors what had taken place on the previous Wednesday, and ask their counsel on what should be now done; We did in particular consult them on the question of submitting Jeanne to the torture.
[Here follow the deliberations of the fourteen Assessors consulted, only two of whom, Aubert Morel and Thomas de Courcelles, recommended recourse to the torture. Nicolas Loyseleur considered it "a salutary medicine for her soul," but nevertheless agreed that it should not be adopted.]
We, the Judges, after having gathered the opinion of each, taking into consideration the answers made by Jeanne at the Sitting on Wednesday last, taking into consideration also the disposition of her mind, her will so energetically manifested, and all the other circumstances of the Case, decide that it is neither profitable nor expedient to submit her to the torture; and for the rest, We will proceed later.
[The Twelve Articles of the Indictment, or Accusation, were sent to the University of Paris, for their consideration and report, by the hands of Maîtres Jean Beaupère, Nicolas Midi, Jacques de Touraine, and Gerard Feuillet, who left Rouen for this purpose on April 19th. On April 29th, the University was solemnly convoked at Saint-Bernard to consider the question; on May 14th, the deliberation of the Faculty of Theology and the Faculty of Decrees was submitted to all the Faculties, solemnly assembled for that purpose, and adopted by the University as its own. Letters from the University of Paris were sent to the Bishop of Beauvais and to King Henry VI on the same day, by the messengers then returning to Rouen.]
The Bishop communicates the Resolutions of the University of Paris [approving of the Twelve Articles], and asks the advice of all the Doctors present.
Saturday, May 19th, in the Chapel of the Archiepiscopal Manor of Rouen. Present: the Judges, assisted by 51 Assessors.
In presence of the above named, We, the Bishop, said:
For a long time, We have been receiving a very considerable number of Resolutions and opinions, coming from notable Doctors and Masters, on the subject of the assertions made and confessed by Jeanne. We might awhile since have proceeded to the conclusion of the Process, basing Ourselves on these Resolutions, because these Resolutions were assuredly quite sufficient. But in order to testify all honor and all respect towards our Mother, the University of Paris; to have on the matter a more full and complete elucidation; to give to consciences more guarantee and surety: We did decide to send the assertions in question to Our Mother the University of Paris, and principally to the Faculties of Theology and of Decrees; and to beseech the deliberation of the Doctors and Masters of the said University, principally of the said two Faculties of Theology and Decrees. The University - in particular, the said two Faculties - being ardently enflamed with zeal for the Faith - have maturely and solemnly given their opinion upon each of the assertions, and have sent them to Us in the form of a Public Instrument.
This statement ended, We gave orders that the Resolutions contained in the said Instrument should be read.
Afterwards, upon the reading of the Resolutions of the said two Faculties and the said University, each of the Doctors and Masters present did give and explain his opinion: and this, in addition to the opinion already given for the most part in the deliberations reported above.
The opinion of all is in conformity with the Resolutions of the University and of the two Faculties; and it did bear not only on the qualifications to be given to the assertions comprised in the Twelve Articles, but also on the manner of proceeding which shall be followed finally.
Here follow the deliberations of the Doctors and Masters; [agreeing with the Resolutions of the University, and advising that Jeanne should be again charitably admonished and warned before a final sentence be pronounced.]
For all which, We, the Judges, thanked the reverend Fathers, Lords, and Masters.
We decided that Jeanne should be again warned to return into the way of truth and salvation of soul and body.
Besides, and in accordance with the excellent deliberations which had just taken place, and with the counsels full of sense just enunciated, We decided that We will, after this last monition, pronounce the closing of the Process and give a day for the announcement of the sentence.
FINAL SESSION AND SENTENCE
Wednesday, May 23rd, We, the Judges, assisted by the reverend Fathers and Lords the Bishops of Therouanne and de Noyon; and the Doctors and Masters Jean de Chatillon, Jean Beaupere, Nicolas Midi, Guillaume Erard, Pierre Maurice, Andre Marguerie and Nicolas de Venderès, seated ourselves in tribunal in a room in the Castle of Rouen, situated near the place which serves Jeanne as prison.
We did cause the said Jeanne to be brought before Us, because We judged it profitable to show her the points on which the Faculties of Theology and Decrees of the University of Paris have declared that she had erred and fallen short; We have judged it profitable also to make known to her the omissions, crimes and errors which, in the terms of the Resolutions of each of these Faculties, exist on each of these same points; and afterwards, to warn her, or cause her to be warned, to abandon these errors and shortcomings: to correct and submit herself, in fine, to the censure and judgment of Our Holy Mother the Church.
Maître Pierre Maurice, Canon of the Church of Rouen, a celebrated Doctor in Theology, had been charged by us with this mission, and he had fulfilled it by addressing to Jeanne the words written by him in French in a schedule thus expressed.
[Here follows a recapitulation of the Twelve Articles, with the opinion, adverse to Jeanne, given upon them by the Clerics consulted.]
After these assertions had been thus shown to her, and the decision of the University of Paris upon each of them had been made known to her, Jeanne was admonished, in the French language, by the said Doctor Pierre Maurice to pay great attention to the character given to her sayings and deeds by this decision of the University of Paris. Above all he did exhort her to reflect well on the gravity of the error contained in her refusal to submit to the Church Militant.
And he concluded by thus speaking to her:
"Jeanne, my very dear friend, it is now time, at the end of your Trial, to reflect well on all that has been said to you. This is the fourth time that the Lord Bishop of Beauvais, the Lord Vicar of the Inquisition, and other Doctors who have been thereto appointed, have, either in public or in private, in honor and reverence for God, for the Faith, and the Law of Jesus Christ, for the tranquillity of their own consciences and for the alleviation of so great a scandal, admonished you with the greatest zeal - so great is their care for the salvation of your soul and body! Four times have been made known to you the perils which endanger your soul and body, if you do not at last consent to correct yourself and your sayings by submitting to the Church, yourself and your deeds, and by accepting her judgment.
"Up to this time you have obstinately refused. And although many others might long since have declared the Case heard and have given judgment upon you, nevertheless my Lords your Judges, enflamed with zeal for the salvation of your soul and body, desired, in order to have their advice, to send your sayings and deeds to the University, that light of all Science, that extirpator of all error. The resolutions of the University of Paris have come to your Judges. They have then decided, always in the hope of your salvation, to admonish you once again, to again call your attention to your errors, your scandals and all the faults that you have committed in such great number.
"They exhort you, your Judges, they beseech you, they admonish you by the bowels of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Who had suffered a cruel death for the redemption of man, they beseech you to correct your words, to submit them to the judgment of the Church, as all the faithful are bound and obliged to do. Do not allow yourself to be separated from Our Lord Jesus Christ, Who had created you to be a sharer in His glory; do not choose the way of eternal damnation with the enemies of God, who daily set their wits to work to find means to trouble mankind, transforming themselves often, to this end, into the likeness of Our Lord, of Angels and of Saints, as is seen but too often in the lives of the Fathers and in the Scriptures.
"Therefore, if such things have appeared to you, do not believe them. The belief which you may have had in such illusions, put it away from you. Believe rather in the words and opinions of the University of Paris and other Doctors, who, knowing the law of God and Holy Scripture, decide that no faith should be placed in such apparitions, nor should faith be placed in any extraordinary apparitions, in any novelty which is not supported by Holy Scripture, by a sign, or by a miracle.
"You have very lightly believed in such things, you who have not turned to God in earnest prayer that He would grant you certainty; you who, to enlighten yourself, have not applied to a prelate or a learned ecclesiastic. This you ought to have done: it was your duty, considering your estate and the simplicity of your knowledge.
"Let us take an example: If your King had given you a treasure to guard, forbidding you to receive any one, whoever it might be, should you not refuse to receive one who presented himself to you, saying he came by order of the King, unless he brought you a letter or some certain sign? For the Church it is the same thing: when Our Lord Jesus Christ, ascending into Heaven, confided the government of His Church to the blessed Apostle Peter and his successors, He forbade us to accept anything from others who might come in His Name, who should have for the support of their mission only their own sayings. You ought not to have put faith in those whom you say came to you; and we also, we ought not to believe in you, since Our Lord had expressly commanded the contrary.
"Reflect, Jeanne, upon this: if, when you were in your King's realm, a soldier or another, born in his kingdom and placed under his dominion, had suddenly risen and said, 'I will not obey the King, I will not submit either to him or his officers,' would you not have said yourself that this man should be condemned? But what will you say of yourself, you, brought up in the Faith of Christ, if you do not obey the officers of Christ that is to say, the Prelates of the Church? What judgment will you give on yourself? Cease, therefore, to hold this damnable speech, if you love God, your Creator, your Spouse, and your Salvation: obey the Church, consent to submit to its judgment; know well that, if you do not, if you persevere in your error, your soul will be condemned to eternal punishment; and, for your body, I fear much that it will come to perdition.
"Let not fear of the world hold you back; do not give way to the fear of losing, by doing as I ask you, the great honors you have received. The honor of God and the salvation of your body and soul must be preferred before all. All is perishable, save only what I tell you to do. If you do it not, you separate yourself from the Church and from the Faith to which you have sworn in Holy Baptism; you detach yourself from the authority of the Church, from the Church which is led, ruled, and governed by the authority of the Spirit of God. Did not God say to the chiefs of the Church: 'He that hears you hears Me, he that despises you despises Me'? If you will not submit to the Church, you separate yourself in deed, and you refuse at the same time to submit yourself to God; you are in error on this article of the Faith, 'the Church, One, Holy, and Catholic.' What this Church and her authority is, had been sufficiently explained to you in former monitions.
"Thus have my Lords the Bishop of Beauvais and the Vicar of the Inquisition, your Judges, charged me to tell you.
"And now, I admonish, I beseech, I exhort you, in the name of your devotion to the Passion of your Creator, and of the affection you should bear to the salvation of your body and soul, I admonish, I beseech you, amend yourself, return into the way of truth, obey the Church, submit to her judgment and decision.
"In thus acting you will save your soul; you will redeem - so I believe - your body from death. But if you do not, if you persist, know that your soul will be overwhelmed by damnation, and I fear for the destruction of your body.
"May Our Savior Jesus Christ preserve you from all these evils!"
After being thus admonished and exhorted, Jeanne did reply:
"As to my words and deeds, such as I have declared them in the Trial, I refer to them and will maintain them."
"Do you not, then," We asked her, "think yourself bound to submit your words and deeds to the Church Militant, or to any other but God?"
She replied: "What I have always said in the Trial, and held, I wish still to say and maintain. If I were condemned, if I saw the fire lighted, the faggots prepared, and the executioner ready to kindle the fire, and if I myself were in the fire, I would not say otherwise, and would maintain to the death all I have said."
Then, We, the Judges, asked of the Promoter and of Jeanne herself if they had anything else to say. They replied, No. In consequence, We did proceed to close the Process, following the formula contained in a schedule which We, the Bishop, held in Our hands, and which was thus expressed:
We, the Judges, competent in this Process, declare anew our competence in so far as is necessary;
Considering the declaration just made by the Promoter and the Accused that they have no more to say;
We declare the Process concluded [In ipsa Causa concludimus]; and, this conclusion pronounced, We summon you both tomorrow to hear the law which will be laid down by Us, and the sentence which shall be pronounced by Us, to be afterwards carried out and proceeded with according to law and right.
On Thursday after Whitsuntide, the 24th day of May in the morning, We, the Judges, did repair to a solemn Assembly, publicly held in the Cemetery of the Abbey of Saint-Ouen, at Rouen.(In the Square of Saint-Ouen were two platforms on each side of the south door of the Church: Jeanne and Maitre Erard, the preacher, occupied one; the Bishop of Beauvais, together with a great number of Assessors, filled the other. In those days, and up to comparatively recent times, a cemetery occupied this site, which is now a garden. There was ample space for a large crowd to collect on the gently sloping ground facing the south door.)
We did have with us :
The most reverend Father in Christ, Henry, by Divine Permission Priest of the Holy Roman Church, under the title of Saint Eusebius, usually called the Cardinal of England; the reverend Fathers in Christ, the Lords Bishops of Therouanne, Noyon, and Norwich; the Lords Abbot of Saint Trinite de Fecamp, of Saint Ouen of Rotten, Bec, Cormeilles, Saint-Michel au Peril-de-la-Mer, Mortemer, and Preaux; the Priors of Longueville-la-Giffard, and Saint Lo of Rotten; and many others.
Jeanne was placed opposite to Us on a scaffold or platform prepared for this purpose.
First of all, We did charge Maître Guillaume Erard, Doctor in Theology, a preacher of great renown, to pronounce a solemn sermon for the salutary admonition of Jeanne and the great crowd which surrounded us.
This Doctor began by taking for text that Word of God in St. John, Chapter 15., "A branch cannot bear fruit of itself except it abide in the vine." Then he explained solemnly that all Catholics should abide in the true vine of the Holy Mother Church which Christ had planted: he showed how Jeanne, by many errors and grave crimes, had separated herself from Holy Mother Church, to the great scandal of Christian people. Finally, he admonished and exhorted her and all the people by the most edifying teaching.
In concluding, he spoke to her in these terms:
"Jeanne, behold my Lords your Judges, who, at divers times, have summoned and required you to submit yourself, your words and deeds, to Our Holy Church, showing you that there did exist in your words and deeds many things which, as it did seem to the Clergy, are not good either to say or maintain."
To which Jeanne replied:
"I will answer you. As to my submission to the Church, I have answered the Clergy on this point. I have answered them also on the subject of all the things I have said and done. Let them be sent to Rome to our Holy Father the Pope, to whom after God I refer me as to my words and deeds: I did them by God's order; I charge no one with them, neither my King nor any one else. If there be any fault found in them, the blame is on me, and no one else."
"Will you revoke all your words and deeds which are disapproved by the Clergy?"
"I refer me to God and to our Holy Father the Pope."
Then she was told that this answer would not suffice; that it was not possible to send to seek the Pope from such a distance; that the Ordinaries are Judges, each in their own diocese; that it was necessary she should refer to our Holy Mother the Church; and that she should hold as true all that the Clergy and other people cognizant thereof have said and decided on the subject of her words and deeds.
She was admonished on this to the third monition.
But as this woman would say no more, We, the Bishop, did then begin the reading of Our sentence as follows:
In the Name of the Lord, Amen.
All the pastors of the Church who have it in their hearts to watch faithfully over their flock, should, when the perfidious Sower of Errors works by his machinations and deceits to infest the Flock of Christ, strive with great care to resist his pernicious efforts with the greatest vigilance and the most lively solicitude, and above all in these perilous times, when so many false prophets are come into the world with their sects of error and perdition, according to the prediction thereof made by the Apostle. Their diverse and strange doctrines might cause the faithful in Christ to stray, if Holy Mother Church, with the aid of whole-some doctrine and canonical sanction, did not study with great zeal to refute their inventions and errors.
Therefore, because that before Us, Pierre by the Divine Mercy Bishop of Beauvais, and before Us, Brother Jean Lemaitre, Deputy in this City and Diocese for Maitre Jean Graverend, renowned Doctor Inquisitor in France for the Evil of Heresy, specially appointed for this in this Case; because, before Us, competent Judges, you, Jeanne, commonly called the Maid, have been indicted and cited in a Case of Faith, on account of thy pernicious errors; after having seen and examined with great attention the whole series of the Trial. (There is no note as to when Jeanne interrupted the Bishop. The Latin gives no hint. It is probable that, during the reading of the sentence, Erard and Loiseleur were trying to induce Jeanne to recant and sign the schedule, and that her abjuration was the result of their endeavors, not of the Bishop's.)
Our sentence had thus been already read, in great part, when Jeanne did begin to speak and said:
"I will hold all that the Church ordains, all that you, the Judges, wish to say and decree - in all I will refer myself to your orders!"
Then many times did she say:
"Inasmuch as the Clergy decide that the apparitions and revelations which I have had are not to be maintained or believed, I will not believe nor maintain them; in all I refer me to you and to our Holy Mother Church!"