Student: Some of the things which you have recited in the preceding chapter will perhaps appear obscure to a few, and I shall endeavour to have you explain them in the treatise On the deeds of those disputing about orthodox faith. Therefore, omitting them for the moment, explain the punishment which receivers of a heretic pope and of his followers ought to suffer.

Master: There may be contrary opinions concerning this issue. One opinion is that they must suffer the punishment of heretics because they are to be reckoned heretics. This appears to be the opinion of the gloss on the word "receptatores" in Extra, De hereticis, c. Excommunicamus 1, # Credentes, which states: "without such, heretics cannot remain secure for long, ff. De offic. presid. lege Congruit, ff. De receptatoribus lib. 1. Hence, such individuals deserve to be punished: indeed the crime of those who defend the error of others is more serious, and they must be punished more harshly, 24 q. 3. Qui aliorum. And therefore they receive a penalty similar to that of heretics, 11 q. 3 c. Qui consentit". [col. 1683] We are given to understand from these words that the receivers of heretics commit a more serious crime than the heretics, and must suffer a similar punishment.

There is another opinion, that those who are merely receivers of heretics and do not approve of their errors (even if, motivated by fear or cupidity or by some other wicked reason, they refuse to expel the heretics from their land or even to place them under arrest), are not to be reckoned heretics, nor suffer in all respects the punishment of heretics, because legitimate legal rules expressly distinguish the status of heretics from that of receivers of heretics, and inflict a lesser punishment on receivers of heretics when assigning penalties. This is made clear in Extra, De hereticis, Excommunicamus 1, # Credentes. [col. 788] This is also evidently gathered from the section Moveantur in the same chapter, where we read as follows: "if, however, the temporal lord, asked and warned by the church, should neglect to cleanse his land of heretical filth, he shall be involved in a bond of excommunication by the metropolitan and the other bishops of the province, and, should he scorn to give satisfaction within a year, notification of this shall be made to the supreme pontiff, so that he might as of that moment proclaim that the lord's vassals are released from fidelity to him, and explain that the lord's land is there for catholics to occupy, who, having exterminated the heretics, may possess it without any impediment". [col. 788] We are given to understand from these words that a temporal lord, even if he is a receiver of heretics (for instance, because although asked and warned by the church he does not cleanse his land of heretical wickedness), is not to suffer immediately every punishment due to heretics, since his properties are not to be immediately confiscated, nor is his land to be occupied by other catholics, a punishment, on the other hand, which heretics incur ipso facto; for a heretic, even if occult, legally possesses nothing (dis. 8, Quo iure). [col. 12-13. Cf. gloss s.v. nam iure divino, col. 22]

Student: This second opinion appears to me to be more in tune with the statutes of the holy fathers, therefore declare how one responds to the gloss which seems to contradict it.

Master: The answer is twofold. One approach is to state that the gloss is not authentic, and that it openly contradicts the truth, therefore it must be rejected. Nor does it seem inconvenient to negate the glosses of canon law, since the very text of such law may be openly denied when erroneous assertions are included therein. This is clear from 23 q. 4 # Sed obicitur, [Gratian, dictum post c. 29, col. 913] where Gratian tells the story that in the time of Achab, two fifty-year old men were sent to the prophet Elias with this message: "man of God, the king of Israel summons thee". [2 Kings 1:9] The story, however, is an explicitly condemned heresy, because the contrary truth is explicitly approved, namely, that this event occurred in the time of Ochozias, after the death of king Achab, for this is explicitly found in Holy Writ, and Gratian himself, had he pertinaciously clung to his statement, would have been a manifest heretic. If therefore he was not a heretic, this happened because he stated the mentioned heresy as an opinion, out of sheer ignorance and without any pertinacity, something he became involved in because at that moment he did not actually remember the exact words of the Book of Kings. Whence the gloss states on the word "Achab": "he [Gratian] confuses historical events, for it is not Achab who sent these fifty-year-old men, but king Ochozias, nor did this event occur in the time of Achab, but all this happened under Ochozias". [col. 1316] And so it is clear that even a gloss negates the text of the canon law book. The gloss texts also criticize Gratian in many contexts, which is clear in 11 q. 3 # Evidenter itaque, [Gratian, dictum post c. 24, col. 651. Cf. gloss s.v. ab ingressu, and s.v. Item Gregorius, col. 932] and in 2 q. 3 # 1, [Gratian, dictum ante c. 1, col. 451. Cf gloss s.v. quia autem est notandum, col. 632] and in many other places. And therefore these thinkers say that one is permitted even more to negate glosses which, as they say, are sometimes inconsistent with Divine Scripture. Glosses occasionally even cite canonical decisions in argument incompetently, which, they say, is due to the fact that the authors of these glosses were not learned in the Sacred Scriptures and in the philosophical sciences, and therefore could not understand deeply and perfectly many chapters of canon law which were borrowed from the Divine Scriptures and from the writings of saints.

Another approach is to say that the gloss in question does not state that receivers of heretics commit a more serious crime than the heretics and must receive a similar punishment, but, making a transition from receivers of heretics to defenders of heretics, the gloss states that defenders of heretics are to be punished more severely and commit a more serious crime, and this, well understood, is indeed true with respect to defenders of heretics.