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Part III, The Third Head

Which is the Last Part of the Work: How the Process is to be Concluded by the Pronouncement of a Definite and Just Sentence.

Having by the grace of God examined the proper means of arriving at a knowledge of the heresy of witchcraft, and having shown how the process on behalf of the faith should be initiated and proceeded with, it remains to discuss how that process is to be brought to a fitting termination with an appropriate sentence.

Here it is to be noted that this heresy, as was shown in the beginning of this Last Part, is not to be confused with other simple heresies, since it is obvious that it is not a pure and single crime, but partly ecclesiastical and partly civil. Therefore in dealing with the methods of passing sentence, we must first consider a certain kind of sentence to which witches are in the habit of appealing, in which the secular judge can act on his own account independently of the Ordinary. Secondly, we shall consider those in which he cannot act without the Ordinary. And so thirdly it will be shown how the Ordinaries can discharge themselves of their duties.

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