Wednesday, July 09, 2003

Tips for Young Witch Hunters

4. Keep them on their toes.

But those who are strongly suspected, that is, those who have acted in such a way as to engender a great and strong suspicion; even those are not necessarily heretics or to be condemned as such. For it is expressly stated in the Canon that no one is to be condemned of so great a crime by reason of a strong suspicion. And it says:

Therefore we order that, when the accused is only under suspicion, even if it be a strong one, we do not wish him to be condemned of so grave a crime; but such a one so strongly suspected must be commanded to abjure all heresy in general, and in particular that of which he is strongly suspected.

But if he afterwards relapses either into his former heresy or into any other, or if he associates with those whom he knows to be witches or heretics, or visits them, receives, consults with, forgives, or favours them, he shall not escape the punishment of backsliders, according to the chapter Accusatus.

The Malleus Maleficarum Part III., Third Head, QUestion XIX. Of the Various Degrees of Overt Suspicion which render the Accused liable to be Sentenced

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