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MENDICANT


184


MENDICANT


others, even Catholic countries, it is forbidden by law, as in some parts of Austria-Uvnigary.

II. This now form of conxentual life was not intro- duced without strong opposition. With what feelings the older orders occasionally regarilcd the rapid spread of the mendicants may be gathered from the bitter words of Matthew of Paris, "Chronica majora, ad an. 1243", ed. Luard, IV, London, 1S77, 279, SO; "ad. an. 1246", ibid., 511-17. Still it is well known that St. Francis was indebted to the Benedictines for the " Portiuncula ", the first church of his order. The chief opposition came from elsewhere; from the uni- versities and from the bishops- and secular clergy. The menilicants did not confine themselves to the sacred ministry, but had almost from the Ijeginning learned memljers who claimed equality with other doctors at the universities. The Dominicans were the first religious order to introduce the higher studies as a special point in their statutes and if they probably owe their mendicancy to the influence of St. Francis over St. Dominic, the Friars Minor are probably in- debted for their higher studies to the influence or at least to the example of the Preachers. On the other hand the Church appreciated the work of the new orders and exeniptecl them from the jurisdiction of the bishops, granting them extensive faculties for preaching and hearing confessions, together with the right of burial in their own churches, rights re- serx'ed hitherto to the secular clergj-. It should be stated here that this opposition was not inspired merely by envy or other mean motives, but rather from economical reasons. For the parish priests de- pended in great part for their income on the offerings of the faithful, which threatened to diminish through the great popularity enjoyed by the mendicants. On the whole it might be said that the Church protected the regulars against unjust attacks, while on the other hand she found means to redress abuses, tending to endanger the legitimate interests of the secular clergy. The opposition to the mendicants was particularly strong at the University of Paris, and in France generally, less violent at the University of Oxford and in England. Isolated cases are to be found also in other countries. As early as 1231-.32 Gregory IX had to protect the mendicants against the pretensions of some prelates, who wanted the friars to l^e subject to their jurisdiction like the ordinarj' faithful. See different forms of the Bull "Nimis iniqua" (Bull. Franc. I, 74-77), repeated by Innocent IV, 1245 (op. cit., 368). Although this Bull sjieaks in a general way and is addressed to different countries, the abuses enumerated by it were proliably of local character.

The first great storm broke out at Paris, where the Dominicans had opened their schools (1229-30) and erected two chairs of theology; the Friars Minor fol- lowed them (1231). At first (1252) the opposition was directed against the Dominicans, the university wishing to grant them only one professorship [Denifle, "Chartularium" (see below) I, 226]. The university sought allies and so drew the bishops and the secular clerg}- into the struggle (Chartularium I, 252), with the result that Innocent IV, at first favourable to the mendicants (Chartularium I, 247), took away their

Erivileges with regard to preaching, confession, and urial rights in the Bull "Etsi animorum", 21 Nov., 1254 (Chartularium I, 1267). This sudden change of attitude towards the mendicants in In- nocent rV has not yet been sufficiently explained. The first step of Alexander IV was to suspend the dis- positions of his predecessor, Biill " Nee insolitum ", 22 Dec., 12.54 (Chartularium I, 1276), in which he promised new dispositions and forbade meanwhile to act against the mendicants. In these critical circvmi- stances it was doubly unfortunate that Gerard di Bor- go S. Donninoshould publish his book " Introductorius in Evangelium setemum" (12.54), which, besides many other Joachimite errors, attributed to the mendicants


a special vocation, to hike the place of the secular clergy in the near futuic ( 12(iO). The answer was not

long delayed. William of St. .\ ur, tlic Irader of the

opposition against the mendicants, [mlilicly attacked the treati.se in his sermon "Qui amat" (ed. Brown, "Fasciculus rerum expetendarum " . . . London, 1690, II, 51 ; Guil. a S. Amore, " Opera omnia, " Con- stance, 1632, 491). It has been made evident of late that the professors extracted from Gerard's treatise and from Joachim's " Concordia " the thirty-one prop- ositions, partly falsifying them (Matt. Parisiensis, first ed., VI, London, 1882, 335-39; "Chartularium" I, 272), and denouncing them with the book to Inno- cent IV. William went farther and wrote his famous treatise against the mendicants, " De periculis novissi- morum temporum" ("Opera om.", op. cit., 17-72; Brown, op. cit., II, 18— 41, here under a false title). The author starts from II Tim., iii sqq., and sees the ful- fillment of those words in the rise of the mendicant friars, who however are not specified , though everybody knew the significance. The whole list of vices enumer- ated by the apostle is apphed to the mendicants, whom WiUiam blames on all the points which formed their characteristic note. The danger, he goes on, is at our doors, and it is the duty of the bishops to avert it. In order that those impostors and pseudo-preachers may be the more easily detected, William draws up forty-one signs, by which they are to be recognized. This treatise made an enormous impression.

Alexander IV, however, in the Bull " Quasi lignum vit»", 14 April, 1255 ("Bull. Franc." II; "Bull. Tra?d." I, 276; "Chartularium" I, 279), settled the questions at issue between the miiversity and the mendicants, independently of the case of Gerard di Borgo S. Donnino. The pope annulled the statutes of the university against the mendicants, who were authorized to continue their public schools, even with the two chairs of the Dominicans, as a part of the uni- versity. On the other liand, the Master General of the Dominicans wrote from Milan, May, 1255, to his brethren to be careful and not to provoke the secular clergy against the order ("Chartularium" I, 289; Reichert, "Monumenta Ord. Frat. Prtedicatorum ", V, Rome, 1900, 21). At the same time the common in- terests of the Preachers and Friars Minor inspired the beautiful letter of John of Parma (q. v.) and Humbert of Romans, Milan, May, 1255 (Reichert, op. cit., V, 25; Wadding, " .Annals Ord. Min.", Ill, 380). The pro- fessors and students of Paris nevertheless did not ac- cept the Bull " Quasi lignum vita- " : they wrote 2 Oct., 1255, a sharp protest against it (Chartularium I, 292). Alexander IV, 23 Oct., 1255, condenmed the "Intro- ductorius in Evangelium a'temum " (Denifle, " Archiv. f. Litt. u Kirchenge.sch.", I, 87 sqq.). Moreover 5 Oct., 1256, he condemned the treatise "De Periculis novissiniorum temporum" in the Bull " Romanus Pontifex" (Chartularium I, 531). Reluctantly the university submitted to the orders of the pope. Wil- liam alone resisted and having been banished from Paris and France, he wrote another attack against mendicants, " Liber de antichristo et eiusdem minis- tris" (ed. under a false name by Martene-Durand, " Vet. Scriptor. amplissima collectio", IX, Paris, 1733, 1271). This redoubtable attack against the mendi- cants, conducted by the most famous university, was met by the ablest writers from among the friars. St. Thomas Aquinas wrote " Contra impugnantes Dei cul- tum"; St. Bonaventure, " QuEestio disputata de pau- pertate" (Opera omnia, ed. Quaracchi, V, 125), " Apologia pauperum " (VIII, 233), " De tribus quses- tionibus" (VIII, 331). Directly against William's "De periculis" another Franci.scan, Bertrand of Bayonne, or perhaps Thomas of York, wrote the treatise, "Manus quse contra omnipotentem" (Char- tularium I, 415). John of Peckham, later Archbishop of Canterbury, took part in the controversy with his "De perfectione evangelica", partly ed. by Little in ;