From: St. Dominic and His Work, by Pierre Mandonnet, O.P.,
Translated by Sister Mary Benedicta Larkin, O.P., B. Herder Book Co., St. Louis/London, 1948.
Efforts of the Church to Revive Preaching
by Reginald Ladner, O.P.
IN face of such an evolution, the papacy could not stand idle. The crisis here described was not exclusively the fruit of the waning twelfth century; its growth had begun in a much earlier period. So, too, had the efforts of popes and councils to keep ahead of developments. All their attempts cannot be enumerated or considered in detail; for a complete understanding, their endeavors and their plans would each require an extended account. Our treatment seeks merely to give a general view with emphasis in each case on a typical feature.
The great Gregorian reform scored a certain success and achieved some lasting results. Monks recovered their primitive ideal with the rigor of an earlier age; in many places clerics gave up all personal property and began to live in common under a rule. Born of such efforts, the institutions of the Cistercians and of the canons regular flourished as their enduring reflection. But the most characteristic feature in the late eleventh and early twelfth centuries was the stir of a remarkable spirit, an earnest desire to work for souls. To plumb the deep-rooted springs of this interest would lead beyond the limits of this investigation. However, the fact is that there was then developing on original lines, along with Gregory VII's reform, the practice of imitating Christ in the primitive way of the apostolic life.
Among the canons regular this idea appeared in its new aspect with particular vigor. They discovered, and rightly, in the union of a contemplative life and an active ministry for souls, the perfect imitation of Christ and the apostles.(1) A number of city chapters were reformed under the impulse of the new aspiration. Regenerated by a powerful ideal, these ordinary clerics would have solved in great measure the crisis in the pastoral ministry if their number had been greater; for they were already at hand in the cities, and their regular life had no other purpose than the efficacious support of their apostolate. Unfortunately, when the eleventh century closed, the reform had failed to reach the greater part of the clergy in the cathedrals and the collegiate churches.(2)
Among the monks, naturally more conservative, at first only a few individuals claimed the right to preach and to devote themselves to the ministry of souls.(3) Had not St. Bernard himself, the greatest preacher of the twelfth century, expressly forbidden his monks to preach? In general, the orientation of monks toward the priesthood and sacerdotal functions did not meet with favor.(4) Even with them, however, the stir of these aspirations could not be controlled. Their spokesmen went so far as to wish to make preaching and the ministry of souls the prerogative of monks.(5) In fine, they arrived at the same conclusion as the canons regular: whoever would follow Christ in imitation of the apostles must lead an apostolic life in poverty and austerity.
The very foundation of Prémontré, that is, as primitively conceived by its founder, was perhaps more capable of the desired synthesis of monastic asceticism and apostolic activity. The Premonstratensians, unlike the canons regular, could have built a centralized institution that would render possible an energetic and organized apostolate. Moreover, their asceticism and their rigorous poverty, resembling that of the Cistercians, was in contrast to the spendthrift and worldly manners prevalent in certain religious circles and especially among the clergy. If the Order, for all its capacity, did not accomplish the renewal called for in the pastoral ministry, this failure was on account of the dominance of the Cistercian influence, reactionary as it was toward the apostolate. There were other causes, among which the love for solitude was not the least. As far as we can judge now, the Premonstratensians chose country places for their cloisters,(6) And yet, as we have noted, the center of the cultural and religious life, with its own peculiar exigencies, was then in the cities.
Evidently the Church could not be satisfied with ensuring greater perfection of life only for the monks and clerics, although their reform was destined to redound to the welfare of the whole Church. The needs of the faithful required a particular solicitude. It was not given to the popes of the twelfth century to effect a fundamental reorganization of the pastoral ministry and preaching. Yet they did not neglect to take advantage of opportunities as these occurred, and to give their support and their approval to a number of remarkable preachers and apostles. Toward the end of the century, when a certain lull ensued in political affairs, they endeavored to appoint and send individual preachers or even whole groups of missioners to strengthen the faith in threatened areas, to convert heretics, and to preach the gospel in new territories.
In these original experiments sponsored by the popes, we can distinguish three classes of workers: apostolic preachers, missionary bands, and converted heretics, authorized by the Church to preach.
The apostolic preachers, called also itinerant preachers, showed a marked predilection for poverty. The first in the twelfth century was Robert of Arbrissel (d. 1117), a man of powerful personality, fortified with sound knowledge and endowed with an extraordinary gift of eloquence.(7) These traits were combined with a most severe asceticism, grounded in solid spirituality. As a young archdeacon of Rennes, he had manifested his zeal against simony and other vices of the clergy and thus earned for himself the hostility of his confreres. After the death of his bishop he retired into solitude in the forest of Caron, where his renown and his sermons drew to him a number of disciples. With Robert at their head they soon formed a community of canons regular.(8)
ROBERT OF ARBRISSEL
Early in 1096, when Pope Urban II was at Angers, he heard Robert spoken of, and asked that he come to preach before a vast audience. Urban at once recognized the worth and distinction of the man and resolved that his power should not be lost in desert places. The Pope appointed him apostolic preacher with a world-wide mission to announce the word of God.(9) From then on Robert led an itinerant life, devoting himself whole-heartedly and without respite to prayer and to preaching.(10) To be freer for the work, he relinquished the direction of his community.(11) His word and example led great numbers to renounce the world; these he settled in several communities, especially in his foundation of Fontevrault.(12) Henceforth they were to live by the labor of their hands, without assured revenues, in imitation of Christ. Tirelessly and with irresistible power be went on preaching. His must have been a magnetic influence.(13) Fresh and captivating, his words made the allegories of his contemporaries seem lifeless.(14) It was not Robert' s way to stir and thunderously move his hearers, only to abandon them afterward to the insecurity of unfortified souls. When he had drawn them from their sins, he communicated a doctrine breathing only of the Gospel.(15) He endeavored especially to imbue them with a true spirit of poverty. Not monks alone in their renouncement of personal property were called to live in this spirit, but even the rich of this world.(16) Robert wished that his disciples should be known merely as "the poor of Christ."(17) The titles of abbot and lord he had himself refused, keeping only that of master.(18) Poor, without possessions, without a country, he desired to be a father to those whom an unhappy destiny had reduced to such a state. He would be all to them.(19) Robert' s appearance gave his teaching a more gripping force. Barefoot, dressed in coarse garments, he traversed the countryside. As a sign of penance, a flowing beard framed his face emaciated from fasting.(20)
Although Fontevrault played only a minor part in his life, and its establishment was largely owing to events of the moment, later history has preserved the name of Robert of Arbrissel rather in virtue of his title as founder of this new congregation. Preaching, the lifelong work to which he remained faithful even to his last breath, was pursued by no society of itinerant preachers. The fire of enthusiasm which he had enkindled died with him.
From among his companions figures arose, it is true; their activity, in the domain of preaching, was of short duration. Bernard of Thiron (d. 1117), a former abbot, became founder of a monastery and again passed from the apostolic scene.(21) Like Robert, he must have received the mission of preaching from the Pope. In this connection we learn that the activity of an itinerant preacher was not limited to the sermon: it embraced also all the sacerdotal functions (confession, imposition of penances, baptism). The faithful had to provide for his support by their alms.(22) Mendicant preaching was already introduced.
Out of Robert's entourage there came still another preacher, Vitalis of Savigny (d. 1122). A remarkably well-educated man,(23) he frequently conferred with the other two preachers on ecclesiastical or pastoral questions.(24) His was perhaps the most ardent of all the companies. The preachers worked on a sort of relay system to which the term "perpetual preaching" might almost be applied.(25) Their circuits carried them as far as England. Though constrained like Robert to found a convent, Vitalis did not abandon his apostolate.
Men of holy life, these preachers were cultured and sincere, understanding full well the needs of their time. In their person the ideal of the poor and apostolic preacher was even then realized. Not any of them, however, thought of perpetuating his work in an institution. The difficulties were still too great; the time was not yet ripe.(26)
The earnest tones of the itinerant preachers were still resounding in France, when in Germany, at the Council of Fritzlar (1118), a canon, Norbert of Xanten (d. 1134), was denounced for preaching without authorization.(27) Since he was not a monk, he was reproved also for dressing like one, and for leading a vagabond life. Thus condemned, all activity was henceforth forbidden him. Norbert then went to France where he found Pope Gelasius II and asked for authority to preach. It was granted.(28) He was on the road at once and, furrowing the North of France, he preached everywhere, going barefoot, in a coarse habit. He took the imitation of Christ and His apostles literally. But even ahead of poverty he ranked preaching, for it makes the true apostle.(29)
The esteem of Callistus II for itinerant preachers seems not to have equaled that of his predecessors. He wished that Norbert should no longer travel about alone, independent of any regular community. Then it was that Norbert founded Prémontré.(30) But, under the circumstances in which the foundation was made, it required of him at least a partial renouncement of his ideal of apostolic preacher. The Cistercians, to whom he was allied, tried even to win him entirely to their way of life.(31) Evidently that would have meant the end of a preaching program. Norbert himself did not abandon preaching,(32) but his sons could exercise it only within the limits of the parishes which they administered.(33) Far from favoring an intensive ministry of souls, since their work was largely confined to country parishes, this situation occasioned long conflicts between the bishops and the clergy of the Premonstratensian parishes, who were exempt from episcopal jurisdiction.(34) After the death of the founder, the Order tended more and more toward the ascetic and monastic ideal of the Cistercians.
The priest Lambert of Liége, called le Bègue or the Stammerer (d. 1177), developed an entirely new type of preaching.(35) Bernard of Thiron had already made some attempts at an apostolate among workmen;(36) but Lambert devoted himself directly to this ministry in quite an original manner. Son of a workman himself, he was always proud of his station and cherished the views of life current therein. As a priest be labored almost exclusively among his own class, which was acquiring more and more importance.(37) He restored and furnished a little dilapidated church which he had rented; then he employed even greater care to have divine services carried on with dignity; he endeavored above all to permeate the entire life of the workmen with religious inspiration. In view of this, he went so far as to translate into the vulgar tongue a part of Holy Scripture.(38) People were eager to hear his sermons; they besieged his little church. This is the more readily understandable since the local clergy, impoverished in zeal, had by an unworthy life forfeited the last semblance of authority. The jealousy of his fellow priests, exasperated by the sight of their empty churches and scant offerings, soon made it impossible for him to continue where he was. His active participation in the reform movement, patronized by the popes, heightened still more the hostility of the clergy.(39) They took his church from him because be refused to pay the higher rent demanded under pretext of his greater affluence. He was assigned a little benefice in the country. His activity in the city went on, nevertheless, with greater intensity.(40) This complication and the growing opposition of the clergy then decided his destiny. To strike at him more easily, they accused him of heresy. Lambert appealed to the Pope, who had no difficulty in penetrating the machinations of the accusers. He cleared Lambert and even gave him permission to preach anywhere.(41) Having escaped from prison, Lambert had been able to present himself before the Curia to make his defense in person. But, exhausted by sickness and the severity of his confinement, he died on his return journey.(42) A fruitful apostolate, a spiritual ministry timed to the needs of the day and calculated to arrest among urban groups the progress of Catharist and Waldensian errors, thus came to a premature and tragic close.
FOULQUES DE NEUILLY
Foulques de Neuilly (d. 1202) met less opposition. Jacques de Vitry gives a whole chapter in his Historia Occidentalis (43) to this "Curé of Ars" of the twelfth century. He finds in this country priest, only fairly talented and moderately educated, but animated by a fiery zeal, a restorer and a prophet whom God raised up for the condemnation of slothful priests and bishops. The parish church of Neuilly, scene of Foulques' first labors, was soon too small to hold the faithful who flocked to hear him preach. In the country round there was not a corner to which his word and his appeal had not penetrated. His efforts almost succeeded in moving, Paris, where the morality was far from exemplary. The people revered him as a saint who performed miracles. The same good will was accorded to the disciples who aided him when he no longer found it possible by himself to satisfy all the demands for preaching. But the attitude of one of their number, who bartered the poverty of the apostolic preacher for the prebendal income of a canon and a chancellor, brought them and their work into disrepute. It soon spent itself, leaving no promise for the future.(44)
The appearance of the preachers whose figures have been here sketched, lasted no longer than a shooting star in a night sky. For a moment the world lent them its ear. Their irreproachable conduct and their poverty, in sharp contrast to the rapacity and the corrupt manners of the age, won the immediate confidence of the faithful. But they vanished almost as quickly as they arose and, even if the ministry of one or the other survived for a little while, it was not long enough for a world hungering for a holy life and daily crying for the bread of truth. However, the activity of isolated apostles, mighty and fruitful, was far from being even remotely sufficient. It was like a drop of water falling on a burning rock.
It was the work of Innocent III to mobilize more numerous troops to carry out his designs. His predecessors had left it to him to solve the problem of the crusades. Shortly after his enthronement, he sought to engage therein the services of Foulques de Neuilly, known to him through his preaching. Wishing to give the preaching of the proposed crusade a broader foundation and to further ensure its success, he charged him to recruit among the monks and canons men who were able to assist him in his office.(45) In the following year (1099) Foulques went to the general chapter of Cîteaux, but he met a refusal. Such an activity, he was told, was not in line with the work of the Order. Moreover, the Order had already received from the Pope particular missions connected with the work of the crusade. As a matter of fact, Innocent III had already confided the preaching of the crusade to a certain number of Cistercian abbots.(46) But that did not satisfy him. His high regard for the Cistercians manifested itself in a ceaseless effort to direct their energies toward apostolic work. He cherished the hope that their rigorous and exemplary life, sustained by solid instruction, would yield particularly effective preachers.(47)
Soon it was to the bishops that the Pope turned in the hope of arousing them to unusual sacrifices. In the year 1205 Innocent III communicated to the French episcopate an urgent appeal for preachers the appeal had come from the Roman Emperor of the East, Baldwin I.(48) It was a call to them to choose from the ranks of their clergy men of approved knowledge and morals, full of zeal for souls, who could be sent to Constantinople as missioners.(49) About the same time he tried to obtain from the University of Paris, on behalf of the Emperor, masters who would undertake a reform of studies.(50)
Meanwhile the plight of the Church in southern France gave cause for deeper concern. Innocent III had made it the object of closest study from the beginning of his pontificate, and he resolved to check the ruin with all the forces at his command.(51) After delegating the two Cistercians, Rainier and Guy,(52) without delay he sent Peter of Castelnau (who became a Cistercian later on),(53) giving him full powers in the threatened territory. In July, 12 00, still another legate was appointed for this region, John Cardinal of St. Prisca.(54) But nowhere did they meet with success. Three years later, Peter of Castelnau and Raoul, both Cistercians, were still working in the name of the Pope and fighting heresy. With the appointment of Arnold, the abbot general of Cîteaux, as papal legate, the Cistercians were given a monopoly, as it were, of the missions among the Albigenses, and in the Pope's mind this was destined to be the "mission of honor" of the Order.(55) But persistent failure had a demoralizing effect on the workers. More than once they asked the Pope to let them resign.(56) Innocent never weakened; vigorously he exhorted them to persevere. With the arrival of Diego and of Dominic the mission took new life. Its development is given special study elsewhere in this history.
Another task which Innocent III assigned to the Cistercians was better suited to their abilities. It was a question of combining colonization and missionary activities in East Prussia. In a letter to the Archbishop of Gnesen the Pope recommended some Cistercian monks who had carried on a promising apostolate.(57) These religious were decried by some of their own brethren who contended for observance and maintained that the purpose of the Order was incompatible with the ministry of souls; the Pope took occasion to write about it in 1212 to the general chapter of the abbots.(58) He ordered them to raise no obstacle to the apostolic work of the Archbishop of Gnesen, but, on the contrary, to give him brothers for his field of labor and in every way possible to support the project in East Prussia.(59) He likewise recommended to the benevolence of the abbots the Cistercian missioners in Pomerania and Poland. At the same time he arranged that others should be sent to preach in Tuscany, and was not unmindful of the Cistercian workers in Languedoc, whom he incorporated at length into the local hierarchy. Honorius III continued Innocent's policy to align the religious orders in the service of preaching. Soon, however, he ceased to apply to the bishops.(60) There arose two new Orders, the Preachers and the Minors. Original in nature and propagated through an amazingly rapid expansion, they would realize beyond all expectation the missionary designs of the papacy.
Of all the attempts of Innocent to restore the ministry of souls and regain the territories lost to heresy, by far the most interesting was the incorporation of converted heretics into the organism of the teaching Church. Between 1160 and 1170 there appeared in northern Italy the lay religious movement of the Humiliati, which was scarcely distinguishable from that of the Waldenses. Some of its agents sought an approval of their way of living from Alexander III on the occasion of the Third Council of the Lateran. The Pope acceded to their request, but at the same time expressly forbade them to hold assemblies and to preach in public; but this was precisely what they wished to have the right to do. This prohibition was not observed, and on that account they incurred (1184) excommunication by Lucius III,(61) Innocent III's policy seemed to embrace a vast strategy for recalling to the right path and reuniting to the Church the various heretical groups, notably the popular movements veering toward heresy.(62) The first fruit of his efforts was the reconciliation of the Humiliati. It came about in 1201, owing to the broad spirit of understanding evidenced by the Pope in tolerating their most cherished customs. In the matter of lay preaching, his concessions went still further. He accorded precisely what Lucius III had refused. the right of assembling and the right of preaching.(63) For the First Order (on the model of canons regular with rules or customs peculiar to the Humiliati), the authorization came almost as a matter of course. It was not of great importance perhaps for the Second Order of monastic and cloistered life. But it was quite otherwise for the third group, by far the most numerous, composed of laymen living in the world. With this step, the position of the Church toward lay preaching was profoundly modified. True, there was an essential difference between the sermon on faith and the discourse for edification, the type to which laymen were restricted,(64) but never before had such preaching activity been authorized for laymen. No longer was there any need of a "mission" from a bishop, but only of a permission, which must not be refused to the preachers of the Humiliati.
An army of zealous laymen, aiming first at putting the teaching of the Gospel into practice in their own lives, an ideal militia for Catholic action, thus put itself at the command of the hierarchy. They were ready not only to oppose the heretics on their own ground, but also to supply a leaven to revive morality in the world called Christian. The hopes of the Pope were realized only in part.
This experiment entailed another consequence. Since it had been possible to reconcile the Humiliati, why not the French Waldenses? The difficulties to be overcome in the second case were, however, more considerable. The Waldenses did not form an organic community centered in one region, as did the Humiliati. It was not easy to reach the preaching Waldenses who had neither hearth nor home, nor their adherents who soon spread through nearly the whole of Europe. On the other hand, the kind of preaching life inaugurated by Diego and Dominic in the mission to the Albigenses under the authority of Pope Innocent had, on one important point, minimized the distance separating the Waldenses from the Church.(65) Did not the Catholic Preachers in their mendicant life show an evangelical spirit particularly esteemed by the Poor Men of Lyons?
In 1207, the dispute at Pamiers between Diego and the Waldenses occasioned the return to the Church of Durandus of Huesca with several companions. The attitude of Diego and Dominic smoothed the path of their return, perhaps, by the guarantee that they might pursue within the Church their customary mode of living.(66) In fact, the delegation which they sent to Rome (1208) obtained this authorization. Since numbers of them were clerics and educated men, they were authorized to resume their preaching activity after they had abjured their errors and promised obedience to the Church.(67) A type of preaching was permitted in accord with their rank as bishops, priests, or laymen. They founded schools of doctrine which they directed themselves.(68) Their organization thus provided for teaching and preaching as their essential function. It was an exceedingly bold gesture on the part of the Pope to authorize an association of almost independent preachers. Difficulties of the heretics, and outwardly their lives differed little from those this caused frequent misunderstanding, Prelates saw their own prerogatives and particularly their privilege of preaching the faith infringed by these new independent preachers, whose zeal became for certain bishops an unwelcome reproach. Their mistrust led them to see in these troublesome competitors only disguised sectarians, and they seized every occasion, even the least misstep of the "Poor Catholics," to denounce them immediately to the Pope and to condemn the entire work en masse.(69)
While the bishops showed little enthusiasm for the experiments of the Pope and evinced no disposition to support this method for winning over heretics, Innocent III scored still another success. Bernard Prim of Milan, a layman, was preaching without authorization against the Waldenses in southern France.(70) His name was listed among the miscreants. Accusation was also brought against him for some words that savored of heresy. Bernard, however, never had any thought of separating himself from the Church and. promised to submit to her orders even in the least things. Later, on June 18, 1210, his company was approved by the Pope, and a rule of life was granted with a right to preach and to conduct schools like those of the Poor Catholics. Nothing further is known of their activity.
Innocent III was certainly the last one to believe that everything essential was now guaranteed for the future. Neither the problem of heresies nor that of preaching and the pastoral ministry had been solved, even in part. The dearth of capable preachers and -rectors was as universal as the need felt for them, and that throughout the whole Church. The Fourth Lateran Council, therefore, could not pass over the question in silence; it had to take a stand. it could not do otherwise than strive to remedy the crisis by lawful means, through the intermediary of the only organ competent and responsible, the hierarchy.(71) The idea of providing auxiliaries to the bishop in his office of preaching was an old one and thoroughly comprehensible. Would it not suffice to organize on a permanent basis a practice which had been applied up to that time only in exceptional cases? Quite recently the experiments of the Bishop of Toulouse had demonstrated the benefits to be derived from such an organization. A certain length of time would have to elapse before the new prescription could have any effect. Negligence in regard to the decree of the Third Lateran Council on masters for schools was being paid for dearly. Where could preachers be found when nothing had been done to train them?(72) Could the Church afford to wait still longer without risking grave dangers? Was the Pope of a mind to wait?
How much hope did Innocent III place in canon 10? We do not know; no more than we know what passed at that hour between him and St. Dominic. However it was, Honorius III carried the work of his predecessor to completion when he confirmed the Order of Preachers. And certainly, he did not act without reason or without previous recognition of the value and the necessity of such an institution. We cannot help feeling that Innocent III, in a methodical way, tried to discover a new form of preaching adapted to his time; and St. Dominic's foundation emerged as the crowning success of those attempts. At the same time, it appeared as the product of the ideas then widely diffused and dominant, as the ripe fruit of reflection and experience. A final review of all that has been considered in this chapter will make us more aware of this truth.
THE LAST CARD
With the appearance of the first itinerant preachers, ideas and tendencies were set in motion which forecast change. Evangelical Poverty, imitation of the apostles, preaching and a free pastoral ministry, that is, independent of the bishop, all of these were new and characteristic practices that had come to stay. The earliest attempts to realize this ideal were not without excesses and extremes which condemned them to remain merely isolated ventures. A want of a certain talent for organization likewise rendered impossible a priori the continuance of the agglomerations of wandering preachers. Lambert of Liége and Foulques de Neuilly recognized the need of an intensive ministry among souls in the cities; they showed the way by their example and pointed out the means, but always and everywhere there was a dearth of workers, in the face of which the most zealous men could accomplish nothing. The Church found only a few free lances who put themselves spontaneously at her service; for the rest, she had to appeal to the good will of apostolic monks.
The monks, as such, could not overnight habituate themselves to work among souls. Their ascetic and contemplative lives, their learning which was often profound, and their knowledge of Scripture should have been the very best equipment for a fruitful apostolate. But it was neither their vocation nor their office. Pope Innocent III was wrong in almost forcing them to it. For the battle with the heretics there was need especially of a mobile and trained body, one clothed in the armor of poverty and able to fight them on their own ground. Innocent III purposely created such an instrument in companies like the Humiliati and the Poor Catholics. But it fell short of the need. Only the Humiliati had any length of existence. Their efficiency, too, was limited in geographical extent and in social range. The Poor Catholics and the company of Bernard Prim never succeeded in clearing themselves from the suspicion of heresy, and clashed against the exasperated resistance of the bishops. The lay element weighed heavily in their ranks, and with good reason the hierarchy stood on guard against their preaching.
As to the secular clergy, they were not in a position to fulfill this task alone or to meet every need. Unfavorable as the situation was, would even an application of canon 10 of the Fourth Lateran Council have achieved important results? The weapon to be forged for every exigency and immediate service had to possess all the qualities which had proved their worth in earlier tests.
Nor could the need have been filled simply by ascetic missioners, living in imitation of the apostles, contemplatives, supported by a profound knowledge of Holy Scripture, and intent on consecrating themselves wholly and exclusively to preaching and the salvation of souls. What had to be formed was a mobile company, under the government of a single head, who could utilize it at his will wherever there was call for it. If the demands of the towns were to be satisfied, then urban centers should be expected to yield recruits. But above all, it was essential, if the lay preaching movement was to be kept from extending further and increasing the number of dissidents, that this company of auxiliaries should rise out of the very bosom of the Church and from the ranks of the hierarchy.
In confiding to an Order the work of preaching, which had been guarded by the bishops from the first centuries as their personal office, and in making the preachers dependent on the papacy alone, the popes were truly playing their last card. Never would they have been equal to the move had they not been convinced that the good of the Church required it, and that the spirit and organization of the Order of Preachers corresponded fully to the need.
1 Anselm of Havelberg, Epist. Apolog. pro Canonicis regul., CLXXXVIII, 1124.
2 Hauck, IV, 367. But that was not the only reason. There were bishops who looked with suspicion on all that was monastic, and who, on that account, forbade the Canons regular to engage in the apostolate. Cf. Ivo of Chartres, PL, CLXII, 88 ff., 216 f.
3 Vita apostolica, PL, CLXX, 609 ff. Rudbertus, Quaestio utrum monachis liceat praedicare (Endres, pp. 145 ff.) Honorius of Autun, Quod monachis liceat praedicare (ibid., pp. 147 ff.).
4 "And we know that the duty of the monk is not to preach but to weep; . . . therefore it is surely clear and certain that it is not proper for a monk to preach publicly, nor is it fitting for a novice, or permissible for one not sent." St. Bernard, Sermo 64 in Cantic., PL, CLXXXIII, 1085; cf. PL, CLXXXII, 570. "Why does the desire of the clericature so upset modern monks that worthy or unworthy they all wish to be ordained priests?" (Martène, Anecd. V, Dialogus, 1626.) " The monk who is worthy to be ordained does not become a priest unless compelled" (ibid.).
5 "And because the word 'monk' stands for one in a state of perfection, and the word 'cleric' indicates an office which those not perfect ought not to have, therefore the clericature properly belongs to monks" (Martène, Anecdota, V, 1644; Vita apostolica, PL, CLXX, 642).
6 Schnuerer, Franz von Assisi, p. 12.
7 Baudry; PL, CLX11, 1043 ff. Andrew, Vita B. Roberti; PL, CLXII, 1057 ff. Cf. Walter, Die ersten Wanderprediger Frankreichs, I, 9 ff.
8 "Moreover those assembled were called regulars, because they strove to live regularly according to the custom of the primitive Church. The 'swarm,' therefore, fleeing the allurement of the world, became a congregation of canons. Robert was at their head, teaching them with honied speech like the most prudent bee" (Baudry; PL, CLXIL 1050).
9 Robert "therefore spoke appealingly to the people and greatly pleased the Lord Pope, who recognized that the Holy Spirit opened the preacher's mouth. At length the Pope spoke the word of authority and enjoined upon him the office of preaching, thus commending the ministry to one somewhat inclined to resist such an obedience. Afterward he decided to sow the word of God himself, and wherever he went, he exhorted others to zeal of this kind" (Baudry; PL, CLXII, 1051; cf. Walter, I, 117 f.).
10 "Truly whatever might occur, the Lord Robert never let himself be diverted either from preaching or from prayer, but, wholly dedicated to a life of strenuous activity, he made his rounds which took him through regions near and far" (Baudry, B. Roberti; PL, CLXIL 1054).
11 Ibid., 1051.
13 For the Lord had given him so great a grace of holy preaching that when he addressed a general sermon to the people, each one felt that he heard what was needful to himself (Andrew, op. cit., PL, CLXH, 1068).
14 Walter, op. cit., p. 127.
15 Ibid., pp. 124 ff.
16 Ibid., pp. 126 f.
17 "Swayed by his words, the crowd of those renouncing their sins increased until those whom he willed to be known by no other name than "the poor of Christ" were almost innumerable" (Baudry; PL, CLXII, 1053).
18 "They called the prelate their 'master' only, for he was not accustomed to being addressed as lord or abbot" (ibid., 1052).
19 "Robert, poor in all things for Christ, an exile from his country and his own people . . . traveling without any money, built many mansions for the poor out of love for Christ" (ibid., 1056). "Truly he evangelized the poor, called to the poor, assembled the poor" (ibid., 1055).
20 "For a long time, he did not ride a mount, nor did he taste wine or delicate foods. He went about barefoot, garbed in a rough tunic and cloak. . . . He carried on his fasts, frequently spent the night in prayer, and chastised his body by protracted abstinence" (ibid., 1052; Walter, op. cit., p. 128).
21 Vita beati Bernardi fundatoris congregationis de Tironio in Gallia auctore Gaotrido Grosso; PL, CLXXII, 1363 ff. Cf. Walter. II, 1 ff.
22 "The Pope enjoined this office upon him: that he should preach to the people, hear confessions, give penances, baptize, make the rounds of the territory, and fulfill carefully all that should be attended to by a public preacher. And after he had bestowed the task of the apostolate upon him, unwilling that support should fail a vicar of the apostles whom he destined to preach without money, he recommended that he should accept food for the body from those whom he would refresh with the word of salvation" (ibid., 1403). Since this commission did not represent an isolated instance, no one should, without special reason, question it, as Walter does (II, 4 f., 52 f.).
The opponents of the itinerant preachers reproached them for living on alms and for carelessness in the matter of dress, unworthy of a priest. Nor was there any greater regard for traveling monks in the twelfth and early thirteenth centuries. Cf. Walter, I, 99; II, 52; Mansi, XXII, 828, 848, 908.
23 Walter, II, 66 ff.
24 Ibid., p. 83.
25 Ibid., pp. 86 f.
26 All the itinerant preachers encountered more or less opposition from the bishops or secular clergy. Cf. ibid., p. 89; PL, CLXXII, 1398 ff.
27 Hauck, IV, 369 ff. Vita Norberti (A), Mon. Ger. XII, 663-703.
28 "He also obtained from him the free right of preaching, which the Pope confirmed by the authority of his letters." Mon. Ger. hist., Scriptores, XII, 675.
29 Hauck, IV, 371.
30 Walter, II, 127; Hauck, IV, 372 f.
31 Vita Norberti (A), Mon. Ger. hist., Scriptores, XII, 683.
32 Walter, II, 128.
33 Hauck, IV, 379.
34 Ibid., p. 380.
35 Greven, pp. 158 ff.
36 "Whence the workers freely gathered round him, carpenters as well as black, smiths, sculptors and goldsmiths, painters and stonecutters, vinedressers and farmers" (Vitalis, Bk. VIII, chap. 27).
37 Creven, p. 165.
38 Ibid., p. 169.
39 At the Diocesan Synod of Liége (March 13, 1166) be made an energetic appeal for an application of the prescriptions of the councils and the popes. As the assembled clergy did not wish to bear references to these matters, he abandoned the meeting with a few partisans as a sign of protest.
40 Greven, p. 175. They desired also (very unjustly) to accuse him of ignorance: "Who is that country-bred fellow who presumes, unschooled, to usurp the authority and office of preaching?" Vita beatae Odiliae viduae Leodiensis, Analecta Bollandiana, XIII (1894), 206. Cf. Greven, p. 181.
41 It was Callistus III (1168-79), antipope of Alexander III, but recognized at Liége. Greven, pp. 163, 181.
42 Ibid., p. 184.
43 Vitry, chap. 8 (pp. 280 ff.).
44 "But his disciples whom he sent to preach, like the apostles of Christ, were received by all with the greatest honor and reverence. One of them, however, . . . Master Pierre de Roissy, brought stain on his glory. For he who had been zealous on the road of perfection and a preacher of poverty, was by reason of his preaching loaded with gifts and favors, and made canon and chancellor of the Church of Chartres; and he who should have produced light out of smoke, produced smoke out of light. On this account he not only rendered his teaching contemptible but brought much disfavor upon the other disciples of the aforesaid Foulques" (ibid., p. 287).
45 "By our apostolic authority we grant you a plenary faculty that with the counsel and consent of our most beloved son, Peter, Cardinal Deacon of Santa Maria in Via Lata and Legate of the Apostolic See, whom we have appointed especially for the discharge of this ministry, you may freely take as your auxiliaries, from the black as well as from the white monks, or canons regular, some whom you consider suitable for preaching, notwithstanding anyone's resistance or appeal" (Innocent III [November 5, 1198]; PL, CCXIV, 375).
46 Cf. Innocent III, letter to all the abbots of the Cistercian Order, assembled in general chapter (PL, CCXIV, 336).
47 "We rejoice and we give thanks to the Giver of all good gifts, considering that in your Order there are a great number of men filled with an enlightened zeal for God, powerful in work and word, and ready to give to whoever asks it a reason for the faith and the hope in which we abide; men in whom, we believe, charity grows strong to prepare them to give their lives for their brethren, if the needs of the Church demand it; who are so much the more fitted to confound the fabricators of false dogmas as they are above the least reproach from a jealous adversary; they enjoy a good reputation even among people at large, because in them holiness of life is in harmony with sound thought, and their life vivifies their teaching so that their word is living, efficacious, and more piercing than a two-edged sword; their teaching penetrates their life so that men can read in their deeds what their sermons explain" (Innocent III, epist., VII, 76, Abbati Cisterciensi, et monachis Fontisfrigidi; PL, CCXV, 359).
48 Innocent III, Universis archiepiscopis, et aliis in Francia (May 25, 1205); PL, CCXV, 636.
49 "He begged that we should send to Constantinople approved and religious men, from the Cistercians, Cluniacs, canons regular, and other religious orders for the purpose of establishing the truth of the Catholic faith and strengthening it in perpetuity" (ibid., 637).
50 Innocent III, Magistris et scholaribus Parisiensibus (ut in Graeciam accedant pro studio reformando unde exordium habuit); ibid. This letter is not dated but it is doubtless from the same period as the preceding.
51 Innocent III (elected Pope January 7, 1198) wrote about April 1, 1198, to the Archbishop of Auch, concerning the heretics in southern France. Potthast, no. 69. Cf. Hurter, Histoire du pape Innocent III et de son siècle, II, 305, 341 f.
52 Potthast, no. 95 (April 21, 1198).
53 Guiraud, L'Inquisition, p. 376.
54 Potthast, no. 1092 (July 12, 1200).
55 Ibid., no. 2225 (May 29, 1204).
56 Ibid., no. 2391 (January 26, 1205); Cernai, no. 20.
57 Innocent III, Gnesnensi archiepiscopo (September 4, 1210); PL, CCXVI, 315. Cf. Winter, Die Cistercienser des nordöstlichen Deutschlands, I, 218 ff.
58 Innocent III, Universis abbatibus in generali Cisterciensi capitulo constitutis (August 10, 1212); PL, CCXVI, 668.
59 Through our apostolic letters we command that you do nothing to hinder in any way those brethren whom the aforesaid Archbishop has deemed worthy to be recommended to you in his letters; neither should the other brethren of your Order be allowed to prevail on them to any degree to prevent their preaching the gospel" (ibid., 669).
60 Cf. Potthast, no. 6249 (May 12, 1220); Theiner, Vetera monumenta historica Hungariam sacram illustrantia, 1859. I, 27.
61 "At that time there were certain citizens in the states of Lombardy who elected to live a kind of religious life in their homes with their families. Refraining from lies, oaths, and lawsuits, they were content with a simple garb, and united for the defense of the Catholic faith. Going to the Pope they besought him to confirm their way of life. The Pope yielded to their request that they might pursue their aim in humility and honor, but be expressly forbade their holding meetings, and strictly prohibited their presuming to preach in public. They rendered themselves disobedient, however, by despising the apostolic command and for this reason drew upon themselves the penalty of excommunication." (Chron. Laud.) Monumenta Germaniae historica., Scriptores, XXVI, 449 ff.; Mansi, XXII, 477.
62 Cf. Grundmann, pp. 72 ff.
63 Tiraboschi, Vetera Humiliatorum monumenta, II, 128 ff., 135 ff., 139 ff.
64 "It will also be your custom every Sunday to assemble in a suitable place to hear the word of God. One or several of the brethren proved in the faith and practiced in religion, who may be influential by word and example, may with the permission of the bishop of the diocese propose an exhortation to those who have assembled to bear the word of God, advising and encouraging them in upright manners and deeds of piety, provided they do not speak concerning articles of faith and the sacraments. Moreover, we forbid that any bishop, contrary to the form prescribed, should hinder the brethren from engaging in this kind of exhortation, since, according to the apostle, the spirit ought not to be extinguished" (ibid., II, 133).
65 Grundmann, p. 92.
66 Ibid., p. 105.
67 From this time they also had the name "Poor Catholics"; cf. Pierron, pp. 51 ff.
68 Ibid., pp. 57 ff.
69 Ibid., pp. 32 ff., 109 ff.
70 Cf. Innocent III, epist. XIII, 94; PL, CCXVI, 291, 648, 668. Cf. Grundmann, pp. 118 ff.
71 Canon 10; Hefele-Leclerq, V, 1340; Schroeder, Councils, pp. 251 f.
72 Canon 18; Hefele-Leclerq, V, 1101; Schroeder, Councils, p. 229.