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Confession of Arnaud Gélis, of Mas-Saint-Antonin




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Source Documents: Confession of Arnaud Gélis, also called Botheler "The Drunkard" of Mas-Saint-Antonin

Arnaud Gélis was an unusual victim. He suffered extensive hallucinations, often imagining that he saw ghosts who looked and behaved much like living people. This was not itself regarded as heretical - indeed for over century such ghosts had supplied the Church with confirmation of its new doctrine of Purgatory. Arnaud's problem was that his hallucinations (delerium tremens?) provided him with answers to other, often sophisticated, theological questions of the day, and these answers did not always perfectly match the answers that the Church regarded as correct in early 1319.


Confession of Arnaud Gélis, also called Botheler "The Drunkard" of Mas-Saint-Antonin

The year of our Lord 1319, the 7 Kalends of March (23 February 1320)  

Since it has come to the attention of the Reverend Father in Christ Monsignor Jacques, Bishop of Pamiers by the Grace of God , that Arnaud Gélis, also called "Botheler" of Mas-Saint-Antonin, said that he saw the spirits of the dead and talked to them, that he reported their speech to their old friends and misled and abused many persons by these diabolical phantasms, also that the said Arnaud, said, believed and persuaded others insofar as he could, many things filled with heresy concerning spirits or souls of dead men and women, my said Lord Bishop, wishing to determine from the said Arnaud the truth of the preceding accusations, assisted by Brother Gaillard of Pomiès, substituting for My Lord the Inquisitor of Carcassone, whose commission and terms are transcribed below, called the aforementioned Arnaud Gelis to him, so that he might swear on the holy Gospels of God to tell the truth pure, simple and entire, as much concerning himself as others both living and dead as witness. He swore and said what follows.


Hugues of Durfort, canon of Pamiers, in whose household I served, died 8 or 9 years ago. Five days after his death, I was sleeping in my bed, in my home at Mas-Saint-Antonin. I woke up in the middle of the night and saw a canon in surplice, with a hood on his head by the glimmer of the fire, which was now shining into the room, although I had covered it before going to bed.

Purgatory - and thus ghosts were both relatively recent inventions at this time - just over a century ols

Upon seeing this canon, I was frightened and I asked him who he was and why he had come in. He replied that he was Hugues de Durfort. I told him that he was dead and asked him not to touch me and to leave. He said not to be afraid of him, because he would never do me harm, but to come find him tomorrow in the cloister of Saint-Antonin, because he wished to speak to me there. I told him that I did not know where I could find him, because he was dead. He replied that I would find him in the cloister and left.


The next morning I went to the cloister and found this dead man, Hugues, who was resting at the door of the cloister at the head of his tomb. He was dressed again in his surplice, had the hood on his head and had the same form and appearance of his living self, or so it seemed to me. I went towards him, took off my hood and saluted him. He returned my greeting. I said I hoped God would give him Paradise; he replied that God would do so and that he hoped to be there in a short while.


Then he asked me to tell Brunissende, his sister, the wife of Arnaud de Calmelles of Pamiers, to have 2 or 3 masses celebrated for his soul and that he would then go to his rest. And immediately after this, as I was withdrawing, he disappeared.


I went at once to the said Brunissende and told her everything and she had 3 masses celebrated for this Hugues. Later, before the masses were said, I was often in the cloister and I saw this Hugues two or three times. When he asked me if I had spoken to his sister, I said yes. When the masses were said, I saw him no more, because he had gone to Repose.


Around the same time, in the cloister, by day and awake, I saw the spirit of Hugues de Rous, canon of the same church, who had died a long time before Hugues de Durfort. I saw him in the part of the cloister which is close to the church. He was dressed in a surplice, with a hood on his head and was the same size and form of his living self. I saluted him and asked him how he was. He replied that everything was going well, and that he had confidence in God to be soon in the place of Repose. But he did not tell me to do anything or tell anyone to pray for his soul. I saw him again 2 or 3 times.


About 5 years ago or so, it seems to me, when I was leaving the church of Saint-Antonin and entering the cloister I saw the spirit of the canon Athon d'Unzent in the cloister, in the part near the church. He had his surplice and the hood on his head and the same form and appearance of his living self. He said to me "Are you Botheler?" I replied, "Yes, may God grant you Paradise!" He continued, "I and the other dead, and you others still living will soon be in Paradise, if it pleases God. The spirit of no man will be damned until the day of Judgement, nor even after, because Christ has made men in his image and redeemed them with his blood. Have no fear of damnation, neither you nor the others, and pray for me."


I saw him 2 times before the steps of the grand altar of Saint-Antonin, but I only spoke to him the first time in the cloister.


About 4 years ago, I went to morning mass at the church of Saint-Antonin and soon after the mass I saw, at the place where he had been buried, My Lord Bernard, once Bishop of Pamiers, dressed in his sacred vestments, the white mitre on his head. At this sight, I bent my knees before him and greeted him, asking that the Grace of God might be with him and that God might give him Paradise. He replied that he had confidence that God would give Paradise to him and to all, and that his Son Christ would give to everyone whatever they asked. Then he asked me the news of Raimond Vidal and Pierre Catala, his old comrades and said to me that it was his own fault that they were poor, because they had faithfully served him during his life. He said that he had badly paid me for the services I had rendered him and to tell the men of Mas to pray God for him, because in a short time he would be in Repose.


I saw him two other times seated on the steps of the high altar of Saint-Antonin. I did not tell anyone to pray for My Lord Bernard, but I myself personally prayed for his soul.


Last year, towards the feast of Saint John the Baptist, I saw after the morning mass the spirit of Pierre Durand, canon of Pamiers, in the choir of the church of Saint-Antonin, who was wearing his surplice and hood on his head. Upon seeing me, he said "Ah, Botheler, welcome!" I replied that I hoped God would give him the grace to go to Paradise, as well as to all the others. He told me that God would give it to him and to all the faithful christians.


I asked him how he was and he said "Quite well now, but I have known a terrible place." I asked him which. He replied "I have passed through the fire of purgatory which is fierce and terrible. But I only passed through." He also asked me to pray for him.

Catholic ghosts often affirm the reality of purgatory - suggesting that some people still not believe it a century after its invention

I saw him one other time in the cloister and he said to me that God would recompense the present Bishop of Pamiers for the honors which he had done to him or caused to be done. I saw him one other time again in the cloister and then I saw him no more; because of this I believe that he is in Repose


All of the above-mentioned spirits said to me that there is no need to have fear of eternal damnation because it suffices that one be a faithful Christian and that one be confessed and repent in order not to be damned, because Christ has made all in his image and resemblance and has given for us his body and his blood.


I saw the spirit of Barcelone, the mother of Arnaud of Calmelles of Pamiers, in the chapter of Saint-Antonin 5 days after the Christmas of this year. She asked me to go find Barcelone her daughter, the wife of Guillaume of Loubens, and to tell her that none of her sins weighed so heavily on her as the fact that she had not brought back the said daughter to her husband's house. And she asked her to return to her husband, with the help of the friars or the religious. When I reported this to the said Barcelone, she asked me to ask her mother why she had never returned her to her husband's house while she was living. Several days later, I was in the chapterhouse and I saw this dead Barcelone and asked her, on behalf of her daughter, why she had never brought her back to her husband's house while she was living, when she could have done it. The dead woman replied that this was because she took pleasure in the services that her daughter rendered to her while she lived. This was why she never forced her daughter to return to her husband. And she told me to tell her daughter to give food to eat to three poor people one day for the repose of her soul, and that if she did not dare to do it at the house of Arnaud de Calmelles, that she should take the bread and bring it to Philippa, the wife of master Jacques Camelle, and that there she could give it to the poor to eat, taking the wine and the rest of the necessities to the house of this Philippa. I did as she asked me, and told all this to Barcelone. After this I did not see the spirit of this defunct Barcelone, because I believe she went to Repose.


It was two months ago, after dinner, I saw near the place where Pons Malet of Ax was murdered. From what he told me, he came from the church of Mercadal, and of Camp and of Pamiers and he was all covered with mud. He told me that God would have to inspire the heart of My Lord the Bishop of Pamiers to release his son, before he could enter into his country and he would stay where he was better than pass by there. I told him that God would have given him a better fate if he had been able to confess before being murdered. He told me that he was confessed just a short time before.


I saw Barcelone, the widow of Pons Fauré, in the street near Saint-Antonin, who was coming from the church of Saint-Paul les Allemans and had her arms uncovered up to the elbows. She said to me "Botheler, it would be better if the silk which which I adorn my arms was not being used again! I said that one could see that well and that she was very badly dressed on her arms. She asked me to go see Brune d'Escosse, her mother and tell her to remove the (burial) silk from her shirts and clothes. But I did not do this.

I saw the spirit of Pons Bru of Pamiers this year around the time of the harvest at a place called La Barrière, with many other spirits, perhaps a hundred. They came from the church Saint-Martin de Juillac. This Pons told me to tell his widow to put a pound of oil in the lamp of Notre-Dame du Mercadal, a pound in the church of Camp, and one other in the communal lamp of Saint-Antonin, and to give a day's food to three paupers, and finally to have celebrated a mass for her spirit and that that would suffice for her to go to Repose.  

I saw the spirit of Michel Gas of Mas-Saint-Antonin, who had much sorrow for his grandchildren.


Last night, I saw the spirit of Raimond Burgous, of Mas, who asked me why I was at the bishop's palace. I told him that My Lord the Bishop made me come here because of him and the other dead people. He said to me that God would inspire the Monsignor to do me no violence and not to ask questions that one not ought ask. I told him that I had no fear, because Monsignor the bishop was a just man and I left him thus.


Three years ago, I often saw two dead horsemen, who were from the contry of Dun, riding on very thin nags. In the morning they seemed to have been cleft right to the navel, and in the evening the wound was closed. And when the wound was still opened, they suffered great torment, but they did not suffer when it was closed. And I saw them thus cleft to the navel four times at the said place La Barrière and on the road des Allemans.

Arnaud probably did not know that according the Catholic doctrine horses cannot have ghosts

For myself, I believe and I have believed since the grand Indulgence that all men formed and made in the semblance of God and baptized with holy baptism will be saved.

grand Indulgence = the Jubilee decreed by Boniface VIII for the year 1300

Since the time when I have been conscious until now, I believe and I have believed that no human spirit will enter into hell until the day of Judgement.

a theological point of contention which was to play an important part in the Reformation

I believe that no one will enter into the kingdom of heaven, unless he be very holy, until the day of Judgement, but the spirits of the dead, their penitence done, go to holy Repose. And I believe that no human spirit which has received the sacrament of baptism will be damned. But at Judgement, Christ in his pity and mercy will save all christians, however bad they have been. This, I have heard from Athon d'Unzent; I believed it before and I still believe it even more fervently.

aonther (closely related) theological point of contention which was to play an important part in the Reformation

After this, the same year after the feast of St. Matthew (24 February) the said Arnaud, appearing for questioning before my said bishop in the Chamber of the bishop's palace of Pamiers, said


This year before the harvest, I saw Pons Bru of Pamiers at the aforementioned La Barrière with many other dead people. He told me what I have related above, and then I asked where they were going. He replied, "to the church of Saint-Martin des Rives." When I said that it was a long time since he had been at Pamiers, he replied that, on the contrary, they had come just recently into the house of Thomas Isarn de la Caussade and that it was necessary for the said Thomas to be careful not to draw the wine of a certain ton which he had in this house, because if he wished to do it, he would find it empty. But I said nothing of this to Thomas.


The same day and hour, close to the house of lepers, I saw Master Jean Marty, a deceased doctor of Pamiers, draped in a white sheet. He had a hat on his head and a hood on his shoulders. He said nothing to me.


A year and a half ago, I was on the high road which goes from Foix to Pamiers and I spoke to Guillaume d'Arignac of Pamiers, who was already dead, asking him how he was. As we were talking thus, his wife came by, who was also dead. I asked what her grandchildren were doing, the three daughters of her son, dead in infancy, because her son Raimond d'Arignac wished to know. She told me that she had not seen them after their interment, but that they had gone forthwith to Repose. This is what happens to all the baptised infants when they die before their seventh year. I asked her what happens to unbaptised infants. She told me that they go to an obscure place where they suffer no ill nor partake of any good. They rest there until Judgement.

Another then recent theological doctrine - Limbo - which was abandoned only in the third millennium

This is what I have believed for a long time. After Judgement, I believe and I have believed for a long time since I heard the word of God preached in church that all the unbaptised infants and generally all reasonable creatures, through the grand mercy of Jesus Christ will be saved, in fact that none will perish.

The question of what happened to the souls of unbaptised infants had been a major problem ever since the invention of the doctrine of Original Sin - which required that they be condemned to hell - a doctrine that caused untold grief to millions of bereaved parents - and still does.

I have, for seven years often and in diverse places seen many spirits of the dead, both by day and night. They enter into the church and spend the evening there and all night, then, in the morning, leaving the churches in which they have passed the night. When the weather is nice they are especially wont to traverse the roads and travel to other churches in which they spend the following night.


The churches in which they spend time near Pamiers and its environs are the following: Saint-Antonin, le Camp, le Mercadal, Saint-Jean et Sainte-Natalène, le Mas-Vieux, Saint-Raimond, Saint-Sernin du Vernet, Saint-Martin des Ollières, Saint-Martin de Juillac, Saint-Paul des Allemans, Saint-Blaise de Villeneuve. And the churches further away where they travel are Saint-Marie de la Salvetat and Saint-Pierre de Pujagou in the diocese of Rieux.


The spirits of Pamiers and environs generally spend Saturday nights in the church of Saint-Antonin; I heard many of the dead say that they regret very much that their bodies were not buried in the cemetery of the church of Saint-Antonin. Each dead soul frequents the church of which it was a parishioner and the cemetery where its body rests, more than the other churches.

The dead wear clothes of white linen, except the religious who wear the habit of their order, as living. The non-religious have their heads uncovered.  
The dead are the same size, form and figure of their living selves.

Another contentious question for theologians of the time!

They do penance in going to different churches as has been said. Some go quickly, others more slowly, in the sense that those who have the greatest penance go the quickest. This is why userers go like the wind, but those who have a smaller penance walk slowly. From none have I ever heard that they undergo any penance other than this movement, except the above-mentioned Pierre Durand who had passed through the fire of Purgatory. When they cease to visit the churches, they go to the place of Repose, in which they rest and will rest just until the day of Judgement, as the dead themselves have told me.

This is what I believe myself and what I have believed since I have been told. But I do not know and have never heard them say of what type or where this place of Repose is located. I believe therefore that it is on the earth. But after the Judgement God will call them to the celestial kingdom.  

Those who died young and robust have some trouble moving forward. But those who died in old age struggle even more, quake and fall to the earth and cannot pick themselves up if they are not aided by their friends and acquaintances. Those who do not know them pass over them without a thought of aiding them.


To the dead, it is pleasing that their friends have masses celebrated for them, or that one puts oil in the lamps of the churches where they were parishioners, because this is pleasing to God and they seem to be better. It displeases them when one does not pay the bequests that they have made, and they would rather have left 10 sous which will be paid immediately than 100 which are paid slowly. The dead, according to what I have heard from some of them, wish that all the living men and women were dead. But they say and have said to me that the living ought to prolong life as long as they can and fortify themselves. I have never heard them give any explanation for this.


I have heard many of the dead women say that that they have come from time to time to see their young grandchildren, at least the baptised ones, and they derived great pleasure from this. I myself have seen my dead mother-in-law Raimonde come 3 or 4 years ago to see my son Raimond, who now is 6 or 7 years old. She embraced him and kissed him saying "May God give you honesty by his grace" after which she disappeared immediately.


I often saw dead Jews, some of whom went backwards, others forwards like the other dead. But I never saw them enter into churches. They travel along the roads, not with the Christians, but amongst themselves and I do not know if they go to the place of Repose.


How were you able to distinguish Jews and Christians?

Because they stink and they hold themselves apart from the others.

Not a controversial idea at the time

Certain of the dead have from time to time given me an order to say something to their friends. When I have not obeyed, they maltreat me on my body, especially by hitting me with a baton and their blows are very hard. This is how Pons Bru hit me near to the house of lepers.

In general I see the dead and speak to them in the morning after Mass.  

I had a second cousin named Raimonde, daughter of Pons Hugou de la Force near Fanjeaux, who as she told me often, saw dead men and women and talked to them. Sometimes she left her father's house for 3 or 4 days to go, according to her, with the dead and when she returned to the house, when I saw her, she was very sorrowful and afflicted. She told me that she had seen Rousse, my dead mother who told her that soon after her death, when she was washed and she had a nice veil on her head, someone took it away and put one of less value in its place. She asked me to send her a good veil. My cousin told me also that she saw my dead father, Raimond Gelis, who told her that while living he owed three quarterns of wheat and asked me to pay them. I took faith in what this cousin told me, I gave to a poor woman a good veil and I distributed three quarterns of wheat for the love of God.

If you do not believe that the spirits of certain men will finally be damned, then what is the purpose of hell?  

In hell, there are demons. After Christ released the souls of the holy ones from hell, no spirit of a man has entered into hell, nor will any enter there in the future. Only the demons will remain tormented in hell, because I do not believe that any man holding the Christian faith and holy baptism will be damned. Even the Jews, the Saracens and the heretics, provided they implore the mercy of God, God will pity them and give them paradise.


Who taught you this?  

I have heard it in sermons and I believe it myself because of the great mercy of God.


Since I have seen the spirits of dead men and women endowed with bodies, having all the members that they had while living, I believe that the spirits of all men and women, whether they are presently in their bodies or have left them have all the members, eyes, ears, nostrils and all the other members of the bodies in which they actually live or have lived. I have believed this for as long as I can remember.


After this, the same year as above, the following Wednesday (February 26), the said Arnaud appeared before my said Lord Bishop in the Chamber of the episcopacy of Pamiers, in the presence of Brother Gaillard of Pomiès. Everything that he had said, deposed and avowed above was read to him and explained in detail one by one. He avowed that all of it was true and that he believed everything contained in the deposition, in the presence of the venerable and discreet personage My Lord Pierre du Verdier, archdeacon of Marjoque, of Brother Aicret of the order of the Preaching Friars of the convent of Pamiers, and of me Guillaume Peyre-Barthe, notary of my said Lord Bishop, who have written all of this on the order of the said Lord Bishop.


Item,: The said Guillaume d'Arignac, when I saw him as is related above, told me among other things that the souls of all those who have never been to Saint-Jacques-de-Galice (Santiago de Compostella) while they were living, go there after their death.


Item,: A year ago, at the place called La Barrière, I saw among many others the late Raimond Sache, who was coming, it seemed, from the church of Saint-Martin de Juillac; he told me to put a livre of oil in the lamp of Saint-Marie du Mercadal, and to have a mass celebrated for his soul. On his order, I told this to his wife and I believe that she did according to what he had asked.


Item,: Hughes de Durfort, Guillaume d'Arignac and Raimond Sache told me, when they appeared, not to reveal to anyone that the souls of the dead appeared to me and to tell anyone the dead sent a message not to reveal this to anyone, but to do in secret anything that had been commanded them by my voice.


Item,: I never accepted payment of any kind from the person to whom I brought messages from the dead, unless on occasion they gave me something spontaneously for the love of God, sometimes bread, sometimes a penny. But the dead, they never gve me anything for this.


Item,: The dead venture willingly into clean locales and clean houses. They do not wish to go into dirtly places, nor enter into dirty houses.


After this, the same year as above and the following Friday (February 28) , the said Arnaud appeared in the Chamber of the episcopacy before my said Lord Bishop and Brother Gaillard, and the articles which he held in error were shown and read to him word by word by My Lord the Bishop. These errors were extracted from his confessions and the witnesses against him, whose depositions are attached below.

The tenor of the articles is the following:  

Errors against the Catholic faith concerning the spirits of dead men and women, avowed spontaneously and several times when appearing for questioning before My Lord the Bishop of Pamiers and Brother Gaillard of Pomiès, substitute for the Inquisitor of Carcassonne, by Arnaud Gélis also called Botheler of Mas-Saint-Antonin, which he has claimed to believe and have believed from as along as he can remember, and to have taught:


1. That in the other world the spirits of the dead do no other penance than to travel from church to church and, along the roads, some faster, others slower according to their degree of sin at the time of their death; except that he has said that one of these dead ones told him that he passed through the fire of Purgatory and was merely passing through. He said that his above named cousin told him this at her own home at La Force.

A bit harsh - Arnaud never denied Purgatory

2. That after the spirits of the dead cease to travel by churches and by roads, they go to Repose, and that this place of Repose is on the earth, where the spirits of the dead rest after finishing their penance until Judgement Day. But, he said, he does not know what the rest consists of, nor the place where it is found. It was the late Athon d'Unzent who told him this, after he was already dead, and he himself told it to Brune, the wife of Raimond Sache.


3. That the spirit of a man, at least if it was not very holy, does not enter or will not enter into heaven or the celestial kingdom until after Judgement Day. And this, it seems, was told him by Pons Bru, already dead and he himself told it to the above-named Brune.

Not obvious why this is reharded as an error

4. That the spirits of infants who die before Baptism are sent to an obscure place until Judgement Day, in which she suffer no pain, nor any good, but at the Judgment Day Christ will take pity on them and bring them into Paradise. It was Bernarde, the wife of Guillaume Arignac, already dead, who told him this.

At various times this idea was sometimes orthodox and sometimes heretical - it often depended on the personalo views of the reigning pope.

5. That no spirit of a dead person, no matter how perverse it had been, enters or will enter into Hell until Judgement Day (and this had been told him by Pons Bru, already dead), nor will it every enter into Hell, since the time the Lord harrowed Hell (and this was told him by Guillaume d'Arignac, already dead).


6. That the Lord will have pity at the Judgment Day on the spirits of all those who held the faith of Christ and received his sacraments, with the result that none of them will be damned, no matter how evil they have been (said by Pierre Durand, already dead).


7. That Christ will have pity on Judgment Day on the spirit of all heretics, Jews, pagans, with the result that none of them will be damned for all eternity (said by Barcelone, wife of Pons Fauré, already dead.)

Interesting, this is exactly the view of many modern Catholic theologians

8. That human souls, both when they were embodied and when they have left their bodies, have their own bodies joined to themselves, like to their exterior body, and that these bodies united to spirits have distinct members just like exterior bodies, such as hands, eyes, feet and other members. He had found this out by himself, he said.


9. That Hell is a place reserved for demons, and for now and until Judgment Day and later, there will only be demons in Hell.


Item, he said that although the spirits of the dead do not eat, they drink quite a bit of good wine and warm themselves by the fire when they are in houses where there is a lot of wood. He said also that the quantity wine does not diminish even though the spirits of the dead drink it.


We find in the testimony of certain witnesses that he has said that the place of Repose which he says is found on the earth is the terrestrial Paradise.


We find in certain other witnesses that he has said that the spirits of heretics will be entirely annihilated by God in the other world.


We find in certain other witnesses that he has said that the spirit of no man, not even John the Baptist will enter into the heavenly kingdom until Judgement Day.


Item, he has said that the spirits of Jews, their penance acomplished, go to Repose just like the spirits of Christians, and one finds according to other witnesses that he has said that Holy Mary, on Judgement Day, will intercede for the spirits of all the Jews, because she was of their race and that all the Jews will be saved by the prayer of Holy Mary.


Interrogated as to which persons had told him these things and which persons he had subsequently told them to, he responded as is contained in the individual articles.


After this my said Lord Bishop admonished the said Arnaud once, twice and three times, to return at once to the Catholic faith and the unity of the Roman Church and to abajure all heresy; item, to denounce heretics if he knew of them and to tell to which persons he had told the errors above avowed by him. And he gave him eight days to reflect.


On the assigned day Arnaud presented himself before my said Lord Bishop, assisted by the said Brother Gaillard, in the above-mentioned Chamber; since my said Lord Bishop, because of certain facts which had cometo his attention in this affair after the fixing of the day, and wished to investigate other persons, he remitted and deferred the admonition made previously.


After this, the same year as above, the year of of the Lord 1320, the 3rd of April, the said Arnaud Botheler appeared for questioning before my said Lord Bishop, assisted by Brother Gaillard of Pomiès, at the chateau of Allemans, and said, under oath


Cocnerning the first article, retracting the error contained therein, that although he had believed what he said, he now believed firmly that the spirits of dead men and women go to Purgatory, where they accomplish the penance that they have not done in this world. When this is done, they go to the celestial paradise where is found the Lord christ, the holy Virgin, the angels and the saints.


Concerning the second, retracting.... he says he now believes now that the spirits of the dead, after penance, go into the joy of the celestial paradise, and that there is no place of repose for spirits on the earth, but only in the celestial paradise.


Concerning the third, retracting... that the spirits of all the dead men and woman, after penance, if there is need in purgatory, enter immediately into the heavenly kingdom.


Concerning the fourth, retracting.....that the spirits of unbaptized infants will never be saved, nor will they enter into the heavenly kingdom.


Concerning the fifth, retracting.....that the spirits of evil men, by which he understand those men who have perpetrated terrible crimes, which they do not confess, make reparation for or repent of, are sent to Hell as soon as they die. And they will rest in Hell and be punished there for their sins, and there will be many such sinners in Hell even after the Lord Christ harrowed Hell.


Concerning the sixth, retracting.....that all those who have held the faith of Christ, received his sacraments and respected his precepts will be saved at Judgement, but that those who, although they have held the faith of Christ and His sacraments, have not lived according to his precepts, will be damned.


Concerning the seventh, retracting.......that the spirits of all heretics, pagans, and Jews who did not wish to believe in Christ will be damned at Judgement Day and that subsequently God will never have pity on their souls. And even though he once said that the souls of heretics will be annihilated in the other world, he believes now that they will not be annihilated, as if they had never existed, but that they will be punished for all eternity in Hell. And although he has said that the Holy Virgin Mary will intercede on Judgement Day for the souls of the Jews, and that they will be saved by her prayer, he retracts this and sais that neither the Holy Virgin nor any other saint will intercede for the spirits of the Jews and that they will not be saved on Judgement Day by the prayer of anyone, but that they will be damned.


Concerning the eighth, retracting.....that human souls, both when they are embodied and when they are disembodied, because they are spirits do not have bodies and do not have memebers to which they are united, nor do they eat or drink nor do they have such needs.


Concerning the ninth, retrating..... that Hell is and will be the place of demons and impious men, in which both the one and the others will be eternally punished according to their merits.


After this, the year of the Lord 1320, the 25th of April, the said Arnaud Botheler, appearing for questioning at the chateau of Allemans before my said Lord Bishop, assisted by the venerable person My Lord Brother Jean de Beaune, Inquisitor of the heretical deviation in the kingdom of France and named by the Apostolic See, swore on the holy Gospels of God to tell the pure and simple truth concerning various points touching the Catholic faith and matters of faith, as much concerning himself as principal as concerning others both living and dead as witness. Required by my said lords bishop and Inquisitor to tell the truth as he had sworn, he said and avowed that he had confessed before My Lord Bishop and that everything he had confessed (which was read to him and explained intelligibly and word by word) was true, that it contained no falsehood and because it was true and properly made he approved, ratified and confirmed it with full knowledge, and wished it to be known that he had renounced these things.


And at once the said Arnaud, in the presence of the above-mentioned Lord Bishop and Inquisitor appointed as judges, abjured all heresy, belief, patronage, defense, reception, or commendation of any sect contrary to faith and all gatherings of heretics or those who call themselves the Poor of Christ of Lyons, (or any other name); he swore also to hold and serve the Catholic faith as the sacrosanct Roman Church, mother and master of all holds, teaches, preaches and observes, on pain of the punishment decreed for those who, having abjured, relapse into heresy; he then swore that he would follow, investigate, seize by himself and by others and cause to be brought to the Lord Bishop and Inquisitors (insofar as he was able by his own power or through others) all heretics, Waldensians, Insabbatatos and those who call themselves the Poor of Lyons and their believers, patrons, defenders, friends, messengers and fugitives for heresy, whether Waldensian or other. He swore also to abide and obey the mandates of the Church and the lords bishop and Inquisitors and their successors and to submit to and complete all punishment, penance, satisfaction or charge which the aforesaid Lord Bishop and Inquisitor or their successors might cause to be imposed on the said Arnaud on his own person or on his goods both in life and in death, and from now as from then and from then as from now he pledged himself and wished all his goods to be pledged, both movable and not, to the Lord Bishop and inquistor and their successors as surety for whatever punishment, penance, or charge would now be imposed or enjoined on the person of this Arnaud or on his goods by the lords bishop and Inquisitor or their deputies or mandates.

The text suggests that Waldensians and the Poor of Lyons are different groups, but they are now regarded as the same group

And he was reconciled by the said lords bishop and inquistor.


This was done the same day and year as above, in the presence of the religious persons My Lord Germain de Castelnau, archdeacon of the church of Pamiers, Brother Gaillard de Pomiès, brother Arnaud du Carla of the order of Preachers of the convent of Pamiers, Brother Jean Estève, of the same order, companionof my said lord Inquisitor, and Brother David, monk of Fontfroide, witnesse to the preceding, and of Masters Guillaume Peyre-Barthe, notary of My Lord Bishop and Barthélemy Adalbert, public notary by royal authority and the charge of the inquistor, who were present at all the proceedings of this day and approved them.


After this, the last Wednesday of the month of April (30 April 1320), I, Guillaume Peyre-Barthe, above-mentioned notary, came in person to the chateau of Allemans and on the order of my said lords bishop and Inquisitor, cited the said Arnaud to appear in person the following day before the church of the said place, there to hear sentence passed on the above facts, which he had avowed before them; he declared himself ready to appear and hear his sentence.


Present were Master Marc Rivel, notary of the terre du paréage (terre pariagii), Garnot, sergeant of the terre du paréage, and Master Guillaume Peyre-Barthe, above-mentioned notary, who has written all this on the order of the said lords bishop and Inquisitor.


The tenor of the commission of Brother Gaillard, who is mentioned above in the proceedings, is the following "To the Reverend Father in Christ...." (abbreviated in MS.)


This sentence was pronounced on Thursday, May 1, and is written in the Book of Sentences of the Inquisition.

And I, Rainaud Jabbaud, sworn to the service of the Inquisition, have, on the order of my said Lord Bishop, faithfully corrected this confession against the original.  


Translation by Nancy Stork, San José State University - to whom many thanks for permission to reproduce this text.

























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