Wherefore, since you, N., have been accused before us of the sin
of heresy, and from information received against you we have
judged that you are under a light suspicion of that sin, we have
summoned you to appear personally before us to answer for the
Catholic faith. And since, having been summoned, you have
defiantly refused to appear, we excommunicated you and caused you
to be proclaimed excommunicate. And in this state you have
remained stubborn for a year, or so many years, hiding here and
there, so that even now we do not know whither the evil spirit
has led you; and though we have awaited you kindly and
mercifully, that you might return to the bosom and the unity of
the Holy Faith, you being wholly given up to evil have scorned to
do so. Yet we wish and are bound to justice to conclude this case
beyond any question, now can we pass over with connivent eyes
your iniquitous crimes.
We the Bishop and Judges in the said cause on behalf of the faith require and strictly command by this our present public edict that you the aforesaid, at present in hiding and runaway and fugitive, shall on such a day of such a month in such a year, in such Cathedral Church of such Diocese, at the hour of Terce appear personally before us to hear your final sentence: signifying that, whether you appear or not, we shall proceed to our definitive sentence against you as law and justice shall require. And that our summons may come to your knowledge beforehand and you may not be able to protect yourself with a plea of ignorance, we wish and command that our said present letters, requisition and summons be publically affixed to the doors of the said Cathedral Church. In witness of all which we have ordered these our present letters to be authorized by the impressions of our seals. Given, etc.
On the appointed day assigned for the hearing of the final sentence, if the fugitive shall have appeared and consented to abjure publicly all heresy, humbly praying to be admitted to mercy, he is to be admitted if he has not been a backslider; and if he was convicted by his own confession or by the legitimate production of witnesses, he shall abjure and repent as a penitent heretic, according to the manner explained in the eighth method of concluding a process on behalf of the faith. If he was gravely suspected, and refused to appear when he was summoned to answer for his faith, and was therefore excommunicated and had endured that excommunication obstinately for a year, but becomes penitent, let him be admitted, and abjure all heresy, in the manner explained in the sixth method of pronouncing sentence. But if he shall appear, and not consent to abjure, let him be delivered as a truly impenitent heretic to the secular Court, as was explained in the tenth method. But if he still defiantly refuses to appear, let the sentence be pronounced in the following manner:
We, N., by the mercy of God Bishop of such city, seeing that you, N., of such a place in such a Diocese were accused before us by public report and the information of worthy men of the sin of heresy: We, whose duty it is, proceeded to examine and inquire whether there was any truth in the report which had come to our ears. And finding that you were convicted of heresy by the depositions of many credible witnesses, we commanded that you be brought before us in custody. (Here let it be said whether he had appeared and been questioned under oath or not.) But afterwards, led away and seduced by the advice of the evil spirit, and fearing to have your wounds wholesomely healed with wine and oil, you fled away (or, if it was the case, You broke from your prison and place of detention and fled away), hiding here and there, and we are altogether ignorant of whither the said evil spirit has led you.
And finding that against you, accused as aforesaid before us of
the sin of heresy, there were many indications by reason of which
we judged you to be lightly suspected of the said heresy, we
summoned you by public edict in such and such churches of such
Diocese within a certain time assigned to appear in person before
to answer to the said charges against you and otherwise on matter
concerning the Faith. But you, following some mad advice,
obstinately refused to appear. And when, as in justice bound, we
excommunicated you and caused you to be publicly proclaimed
excommunicate, you stubbornly remained in that excommunication
for more than a year, and kept hidden here and there, so that we
do not know whither the evil spirit has led you.
And where the Holy Church of God has long awaited you up to this present day in kindness and mercy, that you might fly to the bosom of her mercy, renouncing your errors and professing the Catholic Faith, and be nourished by the bounty of her mercy; but you have refused to consent, persisting in your obstinacy; and since we wished and still wish, as we ought to do and as justice compels us, to bring your case to an equitable conclusion, we have summoned you to appear in person before us on this day at this hour and place, to hear your final sentence. And since you have stubbornly refused to appear, you are manifestly proved to abide permanently in your errors and heresies; and this we say with grief, and grieve in saying it.
But since we cannot and will not delay to do justice, nor may we tolerate so great disobedience and defiance of the Church of God; for the exaltation of the Catholic Faith and the extirpation of vile heresy, at the call of justice, and by reason of your disobedience and obstinacy, on this day and at this hour and place heretofore strictly and precisely assigned to you for the hearing of your final sentence, having diligently and carefully discussed each several circumstance of the process with learned men in the Theological faculty and in the Canon and Civil Laws, sitting in tribunal as Judges judging, having before us the Holy Gospels that our judgement may proceed as from the countenance of God and our eyes see with equity, and having before our eyes only God and the irrefragable truth of the Holy Faith, and following in the footsteps of the Blessed Apostle Paul, in these writings we pronounce final sentence against you, N., absent or present, as follows, invoking the Name of Christ.
We the Bishop and Judges named on behalf of the Faith, whereas the process of this cause on behalf of the Faith has in all things been conducted as the laws require; and whereas you, having been legally summoned, have not appeared, and have not by yourself or any other person excused yourself; and whereas you have for a long time persisted and still obstinately persist in the said heresies, and have endured excommunication in the cause of the Faith for so many years, and still stubbornly endure it; and whereas the Holy Church of God can do no more for you, since you have persisted and intend to persist in your excommunication and said heresies: Therefore, following in the footsteps of the Blessed Apostle Paul, we declare, judge and sentence you, absent or present, to be a stubborn heretic, and as such to be abandoned to secular justice. And by this our definitive sentence we drive you from the ecclesiastical Court, and abandon you to the power of the secular Court; earnestly praying the said Court that, if ever it should have you in its power, it will moderate its sentence of death against you. This sentence was give, etc.
Here it is to be considered that, if that stubborn fugitive had been convicted of heresy, either by his own confession or by credible witnesses, and had fled before his abjuration, he is by the sentence to be judged an impenitent heretic, and so it must be expressed in the sentence. But if, on the other hand, he had not been convicted, but had been summoned as one under suspicion to answer for his faith; and, because he has refused to appear, has been excommunicated, and has obstinately endured that excommunication for more than a year, and has finally refused to appear; then he is not to be judged a heretic, but as a heretic, and must be condemned as such; and so it must be expressed in the sentence,as it is said above.