Submission to the Church

Concerning statements made by Joan on her submission to the Church, a selection of the witness testimony includes the following:

From the first deposition (March 5, 1450) of Isambart de la Pierre (an assessor at the Condemnation trial):
"[after he advised Joan to submit to the Council of Basel] ... immediately, in great anger and indignation, the Bishop of Beauvais began to shout: 'Be quiet, in the Devil's name!' and told the notary that he should be certain to never write down the submission she had made to the General Council of Basel."
He describes Joan's reaction as follows in his third deposition: "Joan then said to the Bishop: 'Oh! You certainly write down whatever is against me, but won't record anything that is favorable to me.' And I believe that this wasn't written down, as a result of which there arose a great muttering in the court."
His second deposition includes the following further clarification:
"The Bishop [Cauchon] sometimes asked her whether she was willing to submit to the Church; to which she replied: 'What is meant by the Church? As for you, I do not wish to submit to your judgment, for you are my mortal enemy.' [i.e., Cauchon was a member of the English Council] And then, after I told her that a General Council was being held, attended by many prelates, including those of her faction, she replied that she submitted to this Council."

From the deposition of the assessor Richard Grouchet (May 9, 1452):
"...when Joan was asked whether she was willing to submit to the Bishop of Beauvais and some of those present who were cited by name, Joan replied no, but that she submitted to the Pope and Catholic Church, pleading that she be brought to the Pope. And when they told her that her case's transcript would be sent to the Pope so he could give judgement, she replied that she didn't want this to be done, because she didn't know what they might put down in the record; but instead she wanted to be brought there, and questioned by the Pope.
I don't know whether it was written in the transcript that she didn't submit to the Church... but I do know that, in my presence, Joan always submitted to the judgement of the Pope and Church."

From the third deposition of the bailiff Jean Massieu (May 8, 1452):
"... I heard Joan saying to the theologians who were questioning her: 'You are asking me about the Church Triumphant and Militant; I don't understand these terms, but I wish to submit to the Church, as a good Christian should.'"

From the third deposition of the assessor Pierre Miget (May 12, 1456):
"... I well remember that Joan said many times she referred her words and actions to our lord the Pope.
I heard from her several times during the trial, when she was being questioned, that she asserted that she didn't wish to believe in anything which would be contrary to the Catholic faith, and that, if she had deviated from the faith in any of her words or actions, she would reject such things; and she expressly declared many times that she submitted all her words and actions to the judgement of the Church and our lord the Pope."

From the deposition of the Rouen citizen Pierre Cusquel on May 12, 1456:
"... I heard from Joan's own mouth, during the sermon made by Guillaume Erard at Saint-Ouen, that Joan didn't wish to believe anything contrary to the Catholic faith, and, if anything in her words or actions had deviated from the faith, she wanted to reject such and submit to the judgement of the clergy."

Translations copyright 2002, All rights reserved.