Torture to elicit confessions is first authorized by Pope Innocent IV in his papal bull Ad exstirpanda. This bull will be confirmed by Pope Alexander IV in 1259 and again by Pope Clement IV in 1265, demonstrating a long-term papal commitment to the torture of human beings.
In Ad exstirpanda, Pope Innocent IV writes:
"When those adjudged guilty of heresy have been given up to the civil power by the bishop or his representative, or the Inquisition, the podest or chief magistrate of the city shall take them at once, and shall, within five days at the most, execute the laws made against them."
Pope Innocent IV also orders that this bull and corresponding regulations of Frederick II be entered in every city among the municipal statutes under pain of excommunication, a punishment also visited on those who failed to follow the papal and imperial decrees.