Misconceptions Series:
Email Follies, Part 4

Misconceptions Series: Email Follies, Part 5 For this installment, in addition to the latest attempts by Kenneth to deny that Joan lifted the siege of Orleans and other similar 'howlers', we have also added a page dealing with the common revisionist claim - argued using a line of reasoning remarkably similar to Kenneth's - that the English allegedly allowed Joan to escape, later resurfacing in the guise of a woman named Claude des Armoises. Connoisseurs of this type of thing will undoubtedly appreciate the gaffes used to justify this one.

But concerning the even more farfetched claims made by our favorite correspondent himself: firstly, we have a repetition of his claim that Orleans was not under siege, therefore Joan couldn't have liberated it in May of 1429, using the following line of reasoning:

From Dr. DeVries’ book “Joan of Arc, A Military Leader”, on pp.[sic] 59 the book describes the state of affairs in Orleans around October 1428 : “Salisbury never did completely surround Orleans. Instead, he manned only a few strongholds, boulevards and fortresses.” He mentions on pp.[sic] 60, “All of these (strongholds, boulevards and fortresses [my italics]) held very few troops. Additionally, almost the entirety of the northern and most of the eastern sides of the city were left vacant.”
It was clearly stated in the book that after Salisbury died in 1428, long before Joan arrived, the English had largely retreated from the vicinity of Orleans. It was never stated in the book that the city was nearly surrounded.
On pp.
[sic] 97 refers to what state Orleans was in when Joan arrived : “The city of Orleans was not on the verge of falling because of starvation; its walls were about not [sic - 'not about'] to be breached - in fact the English showed little interest in taking Orleans….nor were the spirits of the citizens failing..". Therefore, according to Webster’s definition of siege, Orleans was at least not under siege when the Maid arrived there and the “Maid of Orleans” is a misnomer as is “St” Joan of Arc. DeVries uses the word “siege” in the most loosest [sic] sense of the work [sic] and avoided using “siege” instead [sic !] because that would have diminished the intended effect of his book - to portray her as a great military leader, even though most historians don’t.
First off, we have Kenneth's remarkable assertion that Dr. DeVries used the word "siege" merely as a way of avoiding "using 'siege' instead" (?); but concerning all of the claims he's making about the book in question, everyone is invited to actually read it and see for themselves that Kenneth is distorting DeVries' statements beyond recognition, while additionally glossing over the situation as described by the English besiegers themselves and the other detailed accounts: 1) Kenneth himself has admitted above that DeVries does say that the city was surrounded on all but the northeast sector - which bordered on territory controlled by the English and therefore was not the chief priority - and yet Kenneth simultaneously tries to claim, by citing a quote describing only the earliest days of the siege before Salisbury's death, that DeVries never characterized the city as being nearly surrounded. More importantly: the fact that the city was not entirely closed off - as was true of many sieges, especially in the 15th century - obviously does not mean that it was "not under siege": using similar reasoning, Kenneth would have to deny most of the other sieges of that war as well, since the enclosure was seldom watertight. 2) Concerning the notion that only a "few" troops were surrounding the city, which Kenneth tries to prove by gravely noting that each of the many small posts around the city had relatively few men apiece: since, as in all sieges, the English army was naturally spread out in small units, you need to look at the total number of troops committed to the siege in order to gauge the size and nature of the effort. Since their total army at Orleans was roughly the same size as Henry V's army at Agincourt - one of the largest battles of the entire war - it should be clear that this was a major force by the standards of that era and therefore a serious undertaking. The reason each individual fortress was garrisoned by only a small unit is simply because - as in all sieges - each of the numerous fortresses ringing the city were small emplacements typically consisting of an earthwork around a single building, meaning that each of these would take only a small contingent apiece. 3) Similarly, when Kenneth claims that the English had largely withdrawn after Salisbury's death, he's confusing comments which DeVries made about troop movements on November 8, when the English had only temporarily moved a portion of their troops to Meung and Jargeau before subsequently moving them back to Orleans in December. By the time Joan arrived, the English had a large force present and had extended their control over all the crucial approaches bordering on French-controlled territory. 4) When DeVries notes that the English were waiting out the matter rather than trying to take the city by assault, it should be obvious that this is the standard procedure in most sieges. The fact that the citizens were not actually starving yet - merely low on food - doesn't mean that it wasn't under siege or that it wasn't in trouble - which brings us to the next point: 5) It can be seen in the detailed surviving records from both sides that: a) the amount of food being successfully smuggled into the city had been reduced to a mere pittance before Joan's army arrived, meaning that the English were tightening their grip on the city rather than the reverse; b) it can be seen that the English had been sending in additional reinforcements, rather than "withdrawing", in the couple months before Joan arrived; and c) during the same period, the people of Orleans had become demoralized enough to actually offer the (pro-English) Duke of Burgundy command over the city, so as to save it from continued siege. Again, this is attested by sources on both sides. 6) Finally, the English commanders themselves say that they had Orleans under siege, in letters and other documents from their faction. Kenneth is trying to dismiss all of this by misinterpreting a few comments made in a book which itself also says that the city was under siege; he then tries to dismiss the latter fact by claiming that Dr. DeVries was being dishonest in his use of the word "siege", merely utilizing that word - Kenneth gravely tells us - in order to avoid using the same word (whatever that means). Dr. DeVries is obviously not the dishonest one here.
Concerning another issue that he has thoroughly muddled, we have a set of statements (below) which - as will be immediately clear to anyone who's been reading this series - bear no resemblance whatsoever to the reality of the issue in question:
I said it was mentioned in a book by Pernoud, that most historians dismiss Joan as a great military leader simply because they believe that the testimonies of her former comrade-in-arms, made during 1455-1456, are not accurate because of the effect on [sic - 'of'] time on human memory and the political atmosphere of the retrial. Pernoud is merely stating what other historians believe - even though she disagreed with them on the issue of Joan’s military greatness. The Author now confuses what I said, inferring that Pernoud agreed with the opinion of most historians on the last point. Ergo, since most historians dismiss the testimonies regarding her military greatness as inaccurate, other aspects of the retrial record testimony (that she would have submitted to the Pope) is also suspect. Unable to grasp the logic of my point of view, she then casts doubt on [sic - 'in'] the readers [sic] mind that Pernound [sic] didn’t really believe what was said in the preface to her book concerning the opinion of other historians, implying that is [sic - 'it'] was ” mistranslated”.
Let's sort out the various points in the above, which is thoroughly garbled. As I write this, there's a copy of the above book in question ("Joan of Arc: Her Story") here next to me, and I would invite anyone else to get a copy and see that: 1) the comments he claims are in the Preface (pages XV - XXII) are not anywhere to be found there: at no point does it say that "most historians" dismiss the Rehabilitation testimony - Kenneth is making that up and then declaring that Pernoud allegedly admitted that most historians disagree with her on that point. 2) On a lesser issue: the Preface says that it was written by, quote, "Jeremy duQuesnay Adams", not by Pernoud. No one has ever claimed that the issue here is "mistranslation": this section (and several others) were never translated in the first place but simply written from scratch by Adams. Nevertheless, even Adams does not say what Kenneth claims he says, as noted above, and neither did Pernoud.
This has been explained to Kenneth ad nauseam, but it never registers for some reason. He is invited to finally re-examine the book in question and see for himself.

Concerning another issue:

She also fails to point out that there were no English citizens present during retrial proceedings, even though the English were constantly blamed for Joan’s death. None of the English officials, who were associated with the 1431 trial, were invited to testify and confront their French accusers; neither were the representatives of deceased English officials present at the retrial nor was a representative of the English Crown or of the English Catholic Church present - even though Rouen was not very far away from London.
Among other points that could be made, we have the following: the presence of pro-English Burgundians at the Rehabilitation should suffice as adequate representatives of that faction - whereas the Condemnation trial, by contrast, did not include even a single representative from the other side. Since Kenneth does not see anything wrong with the latter, he's not fooling anyone here: he's refusing to acknowledge the far greater balance at the Rehabilitation by demanding a still greater degree of fairness while demanding none at all from the first trial.
Similarly, we have the following related issue, which he has also thoroughly distorted:
The Author now admits, even though she didn’t before, that the retrial was political, time has an effect on human memory and the retrial witnesses were partisans to [sic - 'of'] the Court of Charles 7. She dismisses much of the trial of 1431 record because the judges who tried her were partisans to [sic] the English - yet fails to contemplate the fact that the retrial may have been fraudulent for the same reason.
A number of points unfortunately need to be made here, since the above is entirely false: 1) aside from the issue of "partisanship" already dealt with above, we also have the fact that the information provided by the Rehabilitation witnesses can be confirmed as accurate by numerous outside sources, thereby establishing its credibility; 2) the Condemnation trial is rejected as fraudulent not "only" because of the biases of the tribunal members - that's merely one reason of many that he's been given - but also because: a) the 'spin' and conclusions presented at the trial are contradicted by so many other sources on so many crucial points, b) sources from both sides confirm that the trial was rigged, c) the procedure was clearly invalid on numerous counts, and so forth. Kenneth is focusing on only one of these reasons and claiming it's the "only" one, then trying to use this as a lead-in to the equally erroneous claim that the Rehabilitation should similarly be rejected simply because some (not all) of the participants were Armagnacs. 3) His above list of "admissions" are deliberately misleading and dishonest, since anyone who has seen the previous article in this series (which he's specifically referring to) will see that these "admissions" merely amounted to the following: a) yes, some of the minor details in the Rehabilitation testimony - e.g., the precise number of pieces of bread Joan ate after being wounded at Orleans, for example - may well have been distorted by faded memories, but it's obviously silly to claim that any problems with such trivial details would justify suspicion of the major points which are so often corroborated by numerous outside sources. b) Similarly, he's erroneously trying to claim that it was allegedly "admitted" that the retrial was fatally compromised by political bias merely because - as expected - some of the members were former Armagnacs. This issue has already been dealt with above.
Moving on to the next point:
The Author now admits that the Church only executed (roasted alive) just a few thousand of its victims. The figure in the thousands is a minimal starting figure; the real figure was more like the tens of thousand or even much more. If thousands, rather than tens of thousands, were cremated on a stake, that is still an awful lot of burned bodies dangling in front of the eyes of approving catholic clergymen. Apparently, roasting only a few thousand people is insignificant to the Author... The use of torture was legitimate since a Pope in the 13th century approved of it in a papal bull speaking et [sic - 'ex'] cathedra on an article of faith and morals. Since the Pope is infallible, torture is ok under catholic morality
As Kenneth is aware, the statement "by the author" which he's responding to merely corrected his fictitious claim that "millions" were killed. He now basically concedes that his figure was wrong, but chooses to divert the issue by claiming that "the author" allegedly approves of burning people at the stake - a sentiment that was never expressed, as anyone can see by looking at the previous article in this series. He then continues in the same vein throughout his responses (some of which have had to be left out for the sake of brevity) by trying to claim that Catholic morality - and therefore all Catholics as a group - are sadistic, a continuation of the standard anti-Catholic propaganda which he's been bombarding historians and Catholic website owners with for nearly three years now. Since the promotion of such stereotypes against any other religious group - all of which have had their share of cruelty in their histories - would be seen as clear evidence of bigotry, a number of people have labeled Kenneth a bigot and contemplated taking action against him for his relentless harassment over all this time.
Some of his distortions and hyperbole can be seen in the next comments:
But then, the Church exonerated about half of those accused, while about another half were convicted. The lucky ones who were convicted were forced to fast, give alms, etc but countless more, numbering in the millions, had their lives destroyed by the conviction of heresy and countless others left the Inquisition torture chambers drenched in their own blood, often with parts of their anatomy missing. Those who persisted in their defiance of the evil medieval Roman system, despite sadistic Inquisition tortures, eventually saw their own flesh burning before their very eyes.Most of those who were tortured yielded under duress and confessed and that explains the “low” figure of the Church’s premature cremations. In terms of inhuman brutality, Joan’s trial was not out of the ordinary and the Author is trying to argue that it was illegal solely because it was just political.
He now reverts to his previous fabrications, which are based on the Hollywood version of the subject rather than accepted historical research; he then tries to use this version in order to claim that Joan's trial was "typical". Many points need to be made to correct all the above, including the following: 1) scholarly studies have found that torture was used rarely, and most Inquisitorial trials were determined solely by witness testimony. Most suspects were never even threatened with torture, much less mutilated (as Kenneth claims); and the low rate of executions was simply a result of the fact that the standard guidelines reserved the death penalty only for extreme cases, not as a result of forced confessions being extracted under torture. Kenneth is getting his history from the pop culture rather than from reputable historical researchers, then further inflating the numbers. This brings us to the comparative conduct of Joan's trial: 2) Since Cauchon never called even a single witness to testify against her - in profound violation of procedure - and since he threatened to subject her to torture in place of any evidence presented against her - another profound violation of procedure under the standard guidelines - we are dealing with a trial which, as many historians have patiently pointed out, was flagrantly illegal even in terms of basic conduct, to say nothing of all the other issues outlined (again) farther above. Bias is merely one of many points against the trial.
On another issue:
The Author failed to cite figures as to how many saints were “bulked canonized” and to show documents to prove it. Her mentioning of the long waiting time for the few saints she referred to shows she has a misunderstanding of statistical analysis. The Author merely looks at a few trees in the forest but largely ignores the forest as a whole.
A few obvious points unfortunately need to be made here: 1) before dealing with the issue of "bulk canonizations", it first should be noted that the samples previously presented to him - one set of which were rather randomly drawn from saints who happened to have a specific name - were in fact fairly statistically representative examples, whereas Kenneth has not been able to cite even a single case in which any saint was canonized after only "four months" (his alleged "average") - he has been trying to make his argument appear plausible using a wildly erroneous interpretation of the canonization numbers, which brings us to the subject of "bulk canonizations": 2) There are at least two types of such "bulk" canonizations: those saints who were entered into the lists without a specific canonization process, and those who were canonized as part of a group of martyrs, etc, and both groups are enormous: according to the proprietor of Catholic Forum's Saints feature and the stats available on many such sites, the number of people in the first group alone would account for over half of all recognized saints, to which must also be added the thousands of martyrs who were canonized or commemorated as a group rather than individually - meaning that these two groups account for the overwhelming majority of saints, greatly dwarfing the relatively tiny percentage of individual and formal canonizations. Furthermore, a large percentage of the latter remainder were done in very recent times rather than being spread out evenly over time. Once the numbers are adjusted for all of this, it should be clear that Kenneth has been using a number which bears no relevance to reality. 3) Finally and more importantly, the only accurate means of calculating the true average is to actually look at a representative sample of specific canonizations, add them up, and divide by the number in the sample. Anyone who wishes can access the many websites devoted to Catholic saints and see that: a) of those who were formally and individually canonized, the delay was typically many decades or centuries after their death, and in many cases the delay was far longer than that of Joan's canonization; b) most importantly of all, there is little or no discernible pattern to the delay period - some were canonized rapidly while others took many centuries, without any noticeable reason for the discrepancies - meaning of course that you cannot use the delay as a measure of the Church's support for a saint - the basic assumption that underlies Kenneth's entire argument on this subject. He has been trying to claim that the long delay in Joan's canonization "proves" that she was allegedly considered suspect, although anyone who bothers to take a look at the delays for other saints will see that this is ridiculous.
On a related issue, we next have a new claim concerning the issue of whether Joan had been popularly considered a saint prior to the 19th century:
the first portrait of Joan as a saint was painted around the middle of the 19th century.
This is false, as well as being used as a dishonest dodge of the original issue: as can be seen in his quotes cited in previous articles, he had first demanded early written descriptions of Joan as a saint, until examples of these were presented to him; he then switched to artwork, by first claiming that there was only "one" such painting until other examples were given, at which point the claim then migrated to the above-quoted allegation. There are in fact many religious paintings of Joan dating from prior to the mid-19th century, ranging from (for example) the religious banners used in her honor by the city of Orleans, to the 15th century ex-voto on wood, now stored in the museum at Versailles, which shows Joan with the Virgin Mary, the Christ Child, and St. Michael - dating not long after her death, and therefore a particularly early example. Many similar pieces of artwork can be cited; but it should be noted that the written examples that had already been given to him - some dating from Joan's own lifetime, during which she was described as "another Saint Catherine" and so forth - should provide the best possible proof that people regarded her as holy long before the "mid-19th century".
In the next issue below, he selectively cites comments he made about the Summa Theologica while making a claim that merely demonstrates additional ignorance:
On the issue of Summa Theologica, let me quote from my essay concerning such. 6. The Roman Catholic censor when reviewing a book or movie uses the Latin words nihil obstat, meaning, “there is nothing to be objected to” - in principle. They are used in lieu of the word "approved”. “Approved” is understood to imply much more of an endorsement of whatever is being referred to. The Church Militant never officially approved anything resembling obeying one’s conscience and to suffer excommunication.
Several points need to be made here, since the above is entirely muddled: 1) he's confused about the translation of the two terms now used by Catholic censors (i.e., "Imprimatur" and "Nihil Obstat") and similarly mistaken about the historical use of these terms and hence the relevance to Aquinas' 13th century writings. On the first point, Kenneth is apparently assuming that "Imprimatur" means "Approved", whereas in fact it merely means "Let it be printed" or "May be printed" and therefore has much the same significance as "Nihil obstat" (which has been colloquially translated as "No problem", or "Nothing prevents [publication]"). More importantly, since "Imprimatur" was obviously not used before the invention of the printing press - long after Aquinas' books were written - Kenneth is taking an anachronistic term, assigning it an erroneous meaning, and then gravely declaring that the lack of this label on Aquinas' 13th century "Summa Theologica" supposedly means that the Church never approved it - all while admitting, in one of the sections of his essay which he conveniently chose not to quote above, that the Summa Theologica actually formed the cornerstone of medieval Catholic theology. In short, his own essay admitted that his "spin" on this subject is wrong even aside from the misunderstanding of the two terms explained above. 2) Kenneth is also again distorting Aquinas' statements: if you look at the original Latin, you will see that no term equating to "conscience" is ever used: Aquinas basically said that people need to abide by Divine Law even at the risk of being excommunicated by errant clergy, which is remarkably different from saying that people should obey their own whims. Kenneth is repeating a distortion of this statement which was popularized by post-1960s "Radical Catholics" trying to justify their own theology; it is not an accurate paraphrase of Aquinas' statements nor of Joan's similar statements, and Kenneth is trotting it out here merely in order to make his abovementioned claims about the Summa Theologica's alleged "rejection" seem more plausible. 3) Aquinas' principle was in fact upheld by the Inquisition itself when it overturned a great many erroneous convictions - such as (to use but one set of examples among many) the group of 12 convictions overturned en masse at one such appeal in 1460. This ties in with the next point:
In principle, a Pope may have used Aquinas’ above dictum to condemn Inquisition trails [sic - 'trials'] that were politically motivated and which threatened papal authority. Such might have been the reason why Calixtus authorized the retrial of Joan of Arc in 1455; not because he felt she was innocent but because he had a vested interest in nullifying the 1431 trial. The Nullification Trial reaffirmed papal authority over the University of Paris. And got the church on good terms with Charles 7.
The notion that Calixtus III was politically motivated - despite the fact that canon law clearly justifies the overturning of Joan's conviction on legal and moral grounds - is something which Kenneth has cited here yet again without the slightest proof aside from the _assumption_ (borrowed from revisionist authors) that Calixtus was trying to "regain control" over the French Church. As many scholars have pointed out over the years, there has never been any basis for this: it is a speculative assumption devoid of any specific proof.
The next ironic comment was made in response to the point that even Burgundian sources such as Jean LeFevre de Saint-Remi mention Joan's visions of saints:
Again the author is citing as ‘evidence’ testimonies taken from the Nullification proceedings which were made long after Joan’s death.
Of course, Jean LeFevre de Saint-Remi was not a witness at the appeal, and yet Kenneth is dredging up his dishonest dismissal of the latter trial in order to dismiss Remi's account as well. Additionally, all of his arguments on the issue of her visions are ultimately being used as part of his old claim that Joan was allegedly lying about her saints at the Condemnation Trial. If he really wishes to declare her a liar, he needs to offer something aside from the baseless arguments he's been presenting on this point.
This ties in with his next claim:
In addition, there is no proof that Joan admitted she heard voices while being interrogated during her Poitiers trial. The record of this first Inquisition trial was mysteriously and suspiciously lost just prior to the Nullification proceedings. The record of this trial my have been damaging to the nullification process since it may have cast her into a less than honorable mention and this may explain why Joan refused an offer by church officials to have her trial transferred over to Poitiers.
Many comments need to be made, since the above distorts the issues on such an astounding number of points: 1) Kenneth is simply assuming (again borrowing ideas from discredited revisionist authors) that the missing Poitiers transcript was specifically lost "just prior" to the appeal, whereas all we know is that - like the majority of 15th century documents - it has not been found. There is nothing "suspicious" about this, given the low survival rate of 15th century manuscripts, and there is certainly no evidence to indicate the exact point at which it was lost, much less any evidence to indicate that it was deliberately destroyed by a conspiracy for the purposes of concealing "damaging evidence" against Joan - Kenneth is simply citing a long sequence of fictitious statements and treating it all as "fact". 2) He then uses these assumptions to reject all the evidence which has survived on the subjects in question, such as the text of the final conclusions of the Poitiers investigation - which, unlike the full transcript, is available to us. It's obviously absurd to dismiss existing evidence based upon wild speculation about the contents of a missing document. 3) Finally, he erroneously claims that Joan refused to have her trial transferred to Poitiers, which is a gross distortion of comments made during the session on May 2nd in which she merely called Cauchon's bluff with regard to that issue. As so often happens, Kenneth is deliberately twisting Joan's words out of context and then using this to "confirm" the fiction that has been invented about the missing Poitiers transcript.
Moving to the next issue that needs to be dealt with:
How does one know if a trial was automatically null and void and in violation of Church law? Is the Author able to read god’s [sic - "God's"] mind? The author is citing an unproven tenet of the catholic faith concerning the structure and nature of the Church Universal and Church Militant. According to Aquinas, God would have excommunicated those clerics who were trying an accused heretic for political reasons - but this is not a fact, just a statement of belief which is unprovable.[sic]
First of all, the tenet in question - i.e., the invalidity of a biased tribunal - comes from the chief medieval theological documents themselves, as explained in previous articles, and these state the principle bluntly and without ambiguity. The principle is not merely a matter of "opinion", but a matter of standard medieval ecclesiastic policy. Secondly: since even Kenneth has conceded that Joan's Anglo-Burgundian judges were in fact biased, then it must also be conceded that the proceedings were in fact void under 15th century canon law - for not only that reason, but the many others additionally outlined farther above.
Concerning another point:
In fact, countless millions of heretics were condemned by the Church Militant during the Middle Ages and yet there are only a few documented cases where the Pope nullified the convictions.
Here, he's adopting his usual procedure of: 1) claiming that only a "few" cases were overturned simply because he's personally only seen a few examples that were given to him in response to his original claim that Joan's retrial was the "only" one. Now, this claim has migrated to "only a few", and of course if he were to be given a hundred such examples the claim would promptly change again to "merely a hundred", and so on. This is ridiculous. The fact is, there were quite a large number of appellate rulings in which invalid Inquisitorial trials were overturned, and Kenneth's personal ignorance on this subject obviously does not change that fact. 2) He has again reverted to his previous claims about "millions" of convictions, which is contradicted by scholarly studies. Kenneth himself had previously conceded this fact, as we saw farther above, in the very same email.
On a related issue:
In Joan’s case, Pope Calixtus approved of an inquiry to determine if there were [sic - 'was'] any wrong doing in Joan’s trial. But the retrial was delayed twice for political reasons. Was the Pope acting in contrary [sic - "acting contrary"] to God’s command for delaying the nullification for political reasons even though he knew the trial was unjust? The first two inquiries (1449, 1452) were cancelled by a pope because of fear of offending the English. The third inquiry was finally approved in 1455, after it became evident to Rome that there was nothing to be feared politically anymore from the English.
It's hard to know where to begin here, since the above is such a large collection of distortion and outright invention:
1) First of all, the first two investigations (which took place under the reign of Nicholas V) were designed from the beginning as preliminary inquiries rather than being "canceled by the Pope" - neither Calixtus III nor Nicholas V "canceled" them; 2) Kenneth further embellishes by inventing "political reasons" to explain "cancellations" which never happened in the first place, and these "political reasons" are then used to justify the equally erroneous claim that an alleged "political delay" of an appeal is the same as a politically-motivated murder masquerading as an execution - although these would obviously be two entirely different things even if his characterization of the Pope's actions were accurate; 3) Concerning the actual reasons for the slow pace (not "cancellation") of the proceedings: firstly, it should be noted that the lapse in time between the initial investigations and the formal appeal was not unusual for medieval courts - it sometimes took many years in other cases; and, more importantly, there were many circumstances in this specific case that would have further contributed to any lag, including the following factors: a) between the first and second inquiries and for some time after, there was considerable disruption, uncertainty, and distraction caused by the ongoing war in France, which did not subside until 1453 (when an English civil war kept them from vigorously prosecuting their invasion of France); and even after that point there was still sporadic fighting for some time. Since no treaty was ever signed formally establishing the peace, the possibility of ongoing warfare remained a concern and a distraction for both the French Crown and the clergy who wished to conduct the Rehabilitation. b) During the course of the second investigation itself, the Church was jolted by a major disaster when Constantinople fell to the Islamic Turks - with the result that the Church was distracted by attempts to organize a crusade. c) Additional concerns within the court of Charles VII have also been noted by historians, some of which have already been dealt with at various points in previous articles or emails. But the bottom line is that the delay was not unusual given the circumstances of the time, whereas Kenneth's muddled "spin" about "Calixtus III's" alleged motives is entirely fictional.
Concerning another Papal issue:
The Author seems to have forgotten that the Great Schism ended in 1417 with the election of Martin 5 to the throne of Rome after the French Pope abdicated.
Joan's judges themselves mentioned the ongoing fact of the Schism when they brought up the subject of the three Papal claimants. The election of Martin V was supposed to end this problem, but did not rid the Church of rival claimants.
Similarly, we have the following:
The English played a key role in ending the Great Schism and it was a French cleric who helped convince the French Pope to abdicate in favor of Martin 5. As an act of gratitude, Martin 5 who promoted this French cleric Bishop of Beauvais - the diocese where Joan was captured near in May 1430. The name of the aforementioned French cleric was Bishop Pierre Cauchon who was the acting chief inquisitor for her trial. A year after her execution, the pope who succeeded Martin 5 (Euglenius [sic - Eugenius] 4) promoted him to Bishop of Lisieux. Since Cauchon was in communion with the Roman papacy all throughout the trial, her condemnation was an official act of the Roman Catholic Church. No pope ever condemned Cauchon for his condemnation of Joan.
This is another case of garbling the issues beyond recognition, so that each point will unfortunately need to be painstakingly dealt with in turn: 1) Cauchon was in fact described as a heretic specifically for his wrongful conviction of Joan, as can be seen in the official conclusions drawn up at the end of the appeal. 2) Cauchon had been elevated as Bishop of Beauvais in 1420 as a reward from the Anglo-Burgundian faction (not the Pope) for his negotiation of the Treaty of Troyes (which gave Henry V of England direct claim to the French throne). Similarly, he was elevated as Bishop of Lisieux as a favor from the English. 3) Kenneth has stumbled into making an ironic series of statements by admitting that Cauchon played an instrumental role in electing Martin V after overthrowing Benedict XIII: it should have occurred to him that the coziness between Martin V and Cauchon and between Martin V and the English would mean that Martin V's approval of Joan's trial was linked to the same secular corruption that tainted other aspects of the trial - and yet, Kenneth is ironically citing the above as evidence that the matter was being conducted as part of a valid Church policy rather than the reverse. 4) Concerning Eugenius IV, it should suffice to take a look at Eugenius' comments about some of Cauchon's cronies who took part in Joan's trial when these men later tried to overthrow Eugenius himself at the Council of Basel: considerable venom was tossed back and forth between both groups.

Next we have a similar and very badly muddled issue which will unfortunately have to be patiently disentangled step by step. The issue in question is his response below to the comments made in Misconceptions article #3 concerning his previous statements about Papal views on the Condemnation trial, for which he had blundered into making the following ironic statement: "If Joan's perception was that the Pope would have given her a fairer trial, then her perception was wrong. No pope in the early 15th century would have done anything to offend the English", which obviously refers to the Condemnation Trial and therefore Popes Martin V and/or Eugenius IV, prompting the observation that Kenneth is elsewhere denying English influence while simultaneously arguing that even the Pope was biased in favor of the English. And yet he has now responded by somehow confusing this issue with his views about "Calixtus III's" alleged political delay of the Rehabilitation during the reign of Nicholas V, and he then proceeds to blend all of these issues together into a hopeless mess. This will become especially apparent by citing both his response and the statements which he quoted as a lead-in to his response, as follows (my comments which he's quoting are in blue, with his response in red):
He now makes the curious statement that the Pope [Martin V or Eugenius IV] himself was subservient to the English and therefore disposed to convict anyone they wanted to kill - while simultaneously claiming (in all his other statements) that no pro-English bias could have tainted the proceedings at any level. [....]
[Kenneth's reply:] The Pope would not have gotten involved for political reasons because of reasons noted previously. These political reasons caused the first two inquiries [sic - referring now to the Rehabilitation] to be cancelled by the Pope. Thusly, was the Pope in violation of God’s law since he was reluctant to get involved in a trial that was politically motivated for his own personal political reasons?
Aside from the fact that Martin V / Eugenius IV and the Condemnation Trial (not Nicholas V / Calixtus III and the Rehabilitation) were the issues under discussion, the first two sentences of his above comment are obviously either contradictory or garbled, which renders the third sentence unintelligible - much the same story as his above-mentioned declaration that Dr. DeVries uses the word "siege" in order to "avoid" using that same word. Kenneth will undoubtedly claim that his comments are simply being misinterpreted; but I think most people would be unable to make sense of this type of gibberish.
Concerning a somewhat different problem in the next statement he makes:
The Author has seemingly contradicted herself. She admits that the English dominated the trial and in that case they would have prevented Cauchon & Company from botching things up.
If he would have bothered to thoroughly read the statements he's replying to [in the previous article], he would have seen that the point was as follows: since the English wanted a conviction that appeared legally valid, there would be no means for them to absolutely insure that their lackeys would be clever enough to conjure up a "creative" legal justification for what was ultimately an illegal trial. Kenneth's arguments would only be valid if the English had merely wanted a summary execution without any attempt to make it appear lawful, whereas in fact they wanted to also discredit Joan by making the execution appear as legitimate as possible. Kenneth could refer to many similar trials in which the people pulling the strings were similarly uncertain about their appointed minions' abilities in the art of "creative legal argument".
This ties in with the next claims:
The trial was undertaken because of strong suspicion of heresy within and outside the Burgundian camp. Even the Archbishop of Rheims, who as a staunch Armagnac and anti-English, condemned Joan publicly just before her capture. And her capture in May 1430 was sound proof to all that god [sic - 'God'] was no longer on her side.
Many misconceptions need to be cleared up here: 1) He's thoroughly distorting - to the point of fictionalizing - comments made by the Archbishop of Rheims in a letter written after (not "before") her capture, and then using this distortion of his comments to "prove" that even her own faction allegedly suspected her of heresy. If anyone bothers to look at the surviving summary of the Archbishop's letter (contained in Rogier's register), it will be seen that he did not condemn Joan as a "heretic" but merely trotted out a number of unrelated claims on subjects such as the rich clothing that various nobles had given her, and her stubborn insistence - as is true of most visionaries - of following what she believed God's will was rather than abiding by what Chartres himself wanted, and so forth. At no point does he accuse her of "heresy", as anyone can see by looking at the document in question - Kenneth is once again making up fiction. 2) To see what the majority, including the clergy, were actually saying both before and after Joan's capture, take a look at the letter from a different Archbishop (Jacques Gelu, Archbishop of Embrun) after her capture, or the fact that the clergy at all levels were still holding masses in Joan's honor, and so forth. They would not be doing so if they truly believed her to be a "heretic" as Kenneth claims. 3) If her capture had truly been universally seen as evidence that God had "abandoned" her, then people would have felt the same about Christ's arrest and execution, or the arrest and execution of countless martyrs, etc. Given the fact that Joan herself had been predicting for some time that she would be captured - much as Christ predicted His arrest and execution - Kenneth's argument on this point is particularly ironic.
This brings us to a related (and final) issue below, since Joan's execution was actually compared with that of Christ even by 15th century authors writing shortly after her death:
As a final note, there is no evidence that anyone, in all the realms of Christendom, condemned her execution and trial in the many years from May 30, 1431 to the start of the first inquiry in 1449
This is false: he merely means that - as usual - he is personally unaware of any such evidence; but many examples can be given, ranging from Martin le Franc's 1440 book which cites the widespread view that she was innocent and wrongly convicted (making comparisons to Christ, no less!) to the even earlier example of the text and annual performance of the religious play given in Joan's honor at Orleans beginning shortly after her death, to cite but a couple representative examples of texts dating from precisely the time period he's asking for, and which not only considered her to have been wrongly convicted, but also described her - even at that early date - as a holy woman.

And on that note, thus ends this installment. Misconceptions Series: Email Follies, Part 5