sermo generalis

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The ceremony at which the final decision in trials of heretics by the Inquisition was pronounced. After a short sermon, sentences were pronounced: those found innocent were acquitted; those who recanted were sentenced to the penances prescribed by canon law; and unrepentant heretics were handed over to the secular authorities for punishment. This took the form of burning at the stake. The term auto de fe is also used.

Subjects: Christianity.

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