Canonic law of the late middle ages considered the participation of the clerics in killing rather strictly. The Lateran Council 1215 established that a cleric was neither allowed to issue or declare a sentence of death nor to draft or write papers in connnection with it. The edition of the Apostolic Penitentiary Supplications Registers enables people to judge the situation in Bohemia in the period from the 1430's to the end of the same century. In the examined period a very specific case of 'complicity in killing' appeared four times - a phenomenon connected with reading and writing knowledge peculiar to clerics. They read written orders and wrote for the needs of fighting sides. The argumentation is similar in all cases. Th e matter was always activity on command, resulting moreover from the specific condition of the person in question (the only literate, servant). He never participated in the fight actually. With regard to the volume of analogous scribe activity which can be supposed in the period in question, these four cases were certainly just a small fragment of the actual participation of clerics. The situation in Bohemia is doubtlessly specific because of the fact that utraquist disciples and clerics who wrote in the hussite services of course didn't appeal to the Penitentiary. Nevertheless it must be supposed that the Penitentiary solved similar cases even in the Czech catholic environment only exceptionally.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.