In Spain, the contest with Protestantism was of short duration. By successive decrees the church ordained that all persons who kept in their possession books infected with the doctrines of Luther, and even all who failed to denounce such persons, should be excommunicated, and subjected to cruel and degrading punishments.
No Norman, least of all William, who had come with the special blessing of the rightful pope, could allow this sacred office to Stigand, whose way to the primacy had been opened by the outlawry of the Norman archbishop Robert, and whose paillium was the gift of a schismatic and excommunicated pope.
The explanations subsequently offered in her behalf were disregarded. The Governor, indeed, granted a reprieve, but the Salem committee procured its recall, and the unhappy woman, taken in chains to the meeting-house, was solemnly excommunicated, and presently hanged with the others.
The papal legate, the Cardinal Gualo, was the soul of the royalist cause. Louis and his adherents had been excommunicated, and not a single English bishop dared to join openly the foes of Holy Church. The most that the clerical partisans of the barons could do was to disregard the interdict and continue their ministrations to the excommunicated host.
For it is acknowledged everywhere that the Word is holy and that the Lord possesses the divine, and these two are essentials of the church. Those, therefore, who deny the Divine of the Lord and are called Socinians have been excommunicated from the church, and those who deny the holiness of the Word are not regarded as Christians.
When, at a later period, the plotting of Catholics, suborned by the Pope and Philip, against the throne and person of the Queen, made more rigorous measures necessary; when it was thought indispensable to execute as traitors those Roman seedlings seminary priests and their disciples who went about preaching to the Queen's subjects the duty of carrying out the bull by which the Bishop of Rome had deposed and excommunicated their sovereign, and that "it was a meritorious act to kill such princes as were excommunicate," even then, the men who preached and practised treason and murder experienced no severer treatment than that which other "heretics" had met with at the Queen's hands.
Of all objects of human ambition, that headship was best worth struggling for. Steadily pursuing every advantage as it arose, Rome inexorably insisted that her decisions should be carried out in Constantinople itself. This was the case especially in the affair of Acacius, the bishop of that city, who, having been admonished for his acts by Felix, the bishop of Rome, was finally excommunicated.
But Henry, excommunicated and incorrigible, had procured from the Parliament of "the Pale," three years before the Act of Election, the formal recognition of his spiritual supremacy, under which he proceeded, as often as he had an opportunity, to promote candidates for the episcopacy to vacant sees.
Boniface had to express a "regret," but none the less pursued his rival. The Pope, Zachary II., decided that if his alleged "doctrine, against God and his soul, that beneath the earth there is another world, other men, or sun and moon," should be acknowledged by Virgilius, he should be excommunicated by a Council and condemned with canonical sanctions.
The Seraskier replied in a friendly manner, ordered the military salute to be returned in Ali's honour, shot for shot, and forbade that henceforth a person of the valour and intrepidity of the Lion of Tepelen should be described by the epithet of "excommunicated."