Peter the Chanter and the execution of heretics

Kairos Journal is a great source for helpful articles on a variety of subjects ranging from ethics to religion to government. It comes weekly to my email inbox. One of the featured articles this week calls attention to Ad Abolendam, the medieval papal bull that became the “founding charter of the inquisition.”

One Roman Catholic churchman who stood against the practice of executing heretics was Peter the Chanter. He was the supervisor of the liturgy at the Cathedral in Paris. Though his views remained a minority–and largely unheeded–report, they stand as a historical testimony to the power of Scripture to “correct” erroneous doctrine and practice. He also is a reminder of our need not merely to give lip service to biblical authority, but to take it seriously with all diligence and humility.

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