Declaration of the supreme Pontiff on the Rule of the Friars Minor
1. “When I went forth from Paradise, I said: I will water the garden of plantings,” said that heavenly Farmer, who being the true fount of wisdom, the Word of God, flowing from the Father into the Father, begotten from eternity, in these last days (by being formed by the Holy Spirit) made flesh in the womb of the Virgin, went forth as a man to accomplish the arduous work of the redemption of the human race: by giving Himself as exemplar of heavenly life, proffering to men His very own Self. But because man was very frequently pressed by the solicitudes of mortal life, he was turning aside the sight of his mind from the intuition of this kind of exemplar: our true Solomon made upon the throne of the Church Militant a certain garden of delight among others, distanced from the stormy waves of the world, in which one might more quietly and securely be freed from beholding and observing labors of this kind, He himself as an exemplar entered into this world, to water it by the fecund waters of grace and doctrine. This garden is indeed the holy Religion of the Friars Minor, which firmly enclosed by the wall of regular observance, contented within herself with God alone is adorned abundantly by new seedlings of sons. The beloved Son of God coming upon this reaps the myrrh of mortifying penitence with aromatics, which with a marvelous sweetness sprinkle about in all places an odor of attracting holiness. This is that heavenly form of life, and rule, which that excellent Confessor of Christ Saint Francis wrote down; and taught equally by word and example to be observed by his sons.
The Popes clarify the rule.
2. Because the professors and devout emulators of the said holy rule were truly striving, as both pupils and true sons of such a Father, just as even they fervently do strive, to observe firmly, without mitigation, and entirely the aforementioned rule: attending to certain things which might produce a doubtful sense contained in the text of the very rule, for the sake of having a clarification of these very same things they had recourse prudently at one time to the peak of Apostolic dignity, that certified through Her, at whose feet even by the rule itself they are subject, they might attend to the Lord (all doubts having been driven away) with full clarity of conscience. Likewise Our predecessors the Roman Pontiffs directing their ears and souls to their pious and just supplications clarified one after another (as was right) those things which seemed to be doubtful: they added some things and conceded others, as seemed to disentangle the consciences of the Friars, and the status of this unmitigated observance. Truly and very frequently where there is no fault, befrighted consciences, which fear greatly any deviation in the way to God, are accustomed to fear it. From the said clarifications the consciences of all of the said Friars have not been entirely quieted, nay rather there are born and arise waves concerning those things pertaining to the rule and to the condition of those doubting in these matters, as have been brought to our ears many times, both from many public and private consistories. Wherefore through these Friars We have been humbly supplicated, in order that from the benignity of the Apostolic See We might care to employ opportune remedies to the aforesaid doubts, which have occurred, and which can occur in the future.
The affection of the Pontiff towards the professors of the rule
3. Therefore We, whose soul from a tender age by pious devotion was inflamed by the professors of this kind of rule, and by the whole Order itself: now however from the common pastoral care of governing, which We, unworthy, bear, We have been summoned as much more ardently to those things which We have more sweetly cherished and by gracious favors more attentively pursued, as more frequently with intent mind We have opened the rich fruit, which We continually discern to come forth from their exemplary life, and salutary doctrine for the entire universal Church, moved as We are by so pious an intention of the supplicants, to accomplish diligently to what is sought, We have considered those things which have been directed to our examination: and We have caused those very doubts to be diligently examined by many Archbishops, and Bishops, and Masters in Theology, and other cautious and discrete, lettered men.
The Friars are not bound to every Evangelical counsel. The Friars are bound to all that pertains to the three vows.
4. Therefore first of all since from that which is in the beginning of the said rule: “The Rule and life of the Friars Minor is this: namely to observe the Holy Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ, by living in obedience, without property, and in chastity.” Likewise there follows: “Having truly finished the year of probation, let them be received into obedience promising always to observe this very life and rule.” Likewise about the end of the rule: “That We may observe, as We have firmly promised, the poverty, humility, and Holy Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ”: it had been hesitated, whether the Friars of this same Order are bound from the profession of their rule to everything, the precepts as well as counsels of the Gospel: by certain ones saying, that they are obliged to all: others however asserting, only to those three counsels, namely, to live in obedience, in chastity, and without property, and to those things, which are proposed under obligatory words in the rule. We, adhering to the footprints of Our predecessors concerning this article, and pursuing this very article for the sake of something more clear, have considered that to the said hesitation it must be replied, that since one judges the determinate vow of whomsoever to fall sub certo, one vowing the rule cannot be said to be held from the force of a vow of this kind to those Evangelical counsels, which are not proposed in the rule, and indeed this is proved to have been the intention of blessed Francis, the author of the Rule, from this that certain Evangelical counsels are proposed in the rule, others omitted. For if by this passage: “The Rule and life of the Friars Minor is this: etc.” he had intended to oblige them to every evangelical counsel, he would have expressed superfluously and frivolously in the rule certain of those things, while suppressing others. Since however one judges this by the nature of a restrictive term, that it so excludes the extraneous from itself, that it circumscribes all things pertaining to itself: We declare and say, that the said Friars are not only obliged merely and absolutely to those three vows ratified by the profession of their rule, but they are bound even to fulfill all those, pertaining to the aforesaid three, which are proposed by the Rule itself. For if according to these aforesaid three so briefly and merely promising themselves to observe the rule by living in obedience, chastity, and without property, and not even to every thing contained in the rule, which these three modify, they are constrained for nothing and vainly they have professed these words: “I promise always to observe this Rule”: from which by these words no obligation would arise. Nor for all that is it to be thought, that blessed Francis intended the professors of this rule to be equally obligated, as much as to every thing contained in the rule which modifies the three vows, or to others expressed in the same; rather he patently more ably distinguished, that in respect to certain things from the force of the words the transgression of which is mortal, and in respect to certain other things, not so: since he adds the word of “precept” to certain things of the same, or of “equipollent” to another, and in respect to other things he is content to use other words.
5. Likewise because besides those things, which are proposed in the rule expressly by word of precept, and exhortation, or admonition: some such things are inserted by word of imperative mood negatively or affirmatively, in as much as it has been doubted whether they are bound to these things, as to things having the force of precept. And because as We have understood, this doubt is not diminished, but augmented from that which Our predecessor, Pope Nicholas III, of happy memory, is known to have clarified, that the Friars themselves from the profession of their rule are bound to those evangelic counsels, which in the rule itself are expressed preceptorily or inhibitorily, or under equipollent words; and no less to the observance of all those things, which are indicated to themselves in the same rule under obligatory words; the aforesaid Friars have supplicated Us, that We might deign to clarify for their consciences the things to be observed, which ought to be judged by them as equipollent and obligatory in precept. And thus We, who are delighted in their sincere consciences, attending to these because in that which respects the salvation of souls, the pars securior must be held so as to avoid grave remorse of conscience: We say that it is licit that the Friars not be bound to the observance of all those things, which are proposed in the rule under words of imperative mood, as to precepts or equipollent to precepts: it is expedient however for the Friars themselves to observe the purity and rigor of the rule, because they know themselves to be obliged to those things, as to equipollent to precepts, which here following are annotated. But as these things are to be held, which might seem to be equipollent to precepts from the force of the words, or at least by reason of the matter about which they pertain, or from both sub compendio: We declare them to be that which is proposed in the rule concerning not having more than one tunic with a capuche, & another without a capuche; likewise concerning not wearing footwear, & not riding horseback outside of the case of necessity: likewise that the Friars are to wear cheap clothing. Similarly that they are bound to fast from the Feast of All Saints up to the Nativity of the Lord, and on Fridays: likewise that the Clerics are to recite the divine office according to the ordo of the Holy Roman Church: likewise that the Ministers, and the custodes for the necessities of the infirm, and for the clothing of the Friars are to exercise a solicitous care: likewise that if any of the Friars might fall into infirmity, the other friars ought to take care of him: likewise that the Friars may not preach in the diocese of any Bishop, when they have been opposed by him: likewise that no one should dare remotely preach to the people, unless he has been examined and appointed by the Minister General, or by others, to whom according for the aforesaid declaration it belongs: likewise that the Friars who might know that they themselves are not able to observe spiritually the aforementioned rule, ought and can have recourse to their Ministers: likewise everything that is proposed in the rule for the form of the habit both of the novices, as well as of the professed: and also to the manner of reception, and the things regarding profession, but not for those receiving the habit of Novices (as the rule says) since it may seem otherwise according to God. All these (We say) must be observed by the Friars as obligatory: likewise the regimen that is commonly thought, held, and has been held from antiquity, which is proposed throughout the rule with this word: “They are bound (teneantur),” obtains force of precept: and ought to be observed as such by the Friars.
Whether the Friars might licitly receive from the goods of those entering religion, if they are given by him. Cautions to be observed by the Friars about the reception of the offering from those entering religion.
6. Because the aforesaid Confessor of Christ said in the rule, proffering a means to the Ministers and Friars, concerning all those things to be done and observed about those who were to be received into the Order, that the Friars and their Ministers should beware, lest they be solicitous concerning their temporal things, so that they may freely do with them whatever had been inspired in them by the Lord: the Ministers however may have license to send them to other God fearing men if counsel is requires, by whose counsel they may bestow their goods to the poor: many Friars have doubted and doubt still, whether it is licit for themselves to receive anything from the goods of those entering if it is given: and if they might induce them to give to persons and convents without fault: if the Ministers or Friars ought even to give counsel to arranging the distribution of such things, where others, to whom they may send those who will enter, might be found conveniently. We, however, considering that Saint Francis attentively considered to distance especially and totally the professors of his rule, whom he had founded in the greatest poverty, from the affection of the temporal things of those very ones entering by the said words, as much as on the part of the Friars themselves, the reception into the Order might appear holy and most pure, and lest by any means they seem to have an eye to their temporal goods, rather than to free them for the same divine service: We say concerning all of this that the Ministers just as the Friars ought themselves to abstain giving both persuasions and also counsels concerning the distribution to the said inductees, since for this they ought to be sent to God fearers of another state, not to Friars: that they may appear before all truly to be very studios zealots, assiduous and perfect, of the salvific, paternal plan. When truly doing with his own things what the Lord will inspire him, the self same rule desires him to be free from those receiving him, it does not seem even licit to receive these, namely having considered their necessities and the directions of the declaration already spoken of; if the one entering wishes freely to give of his goods just as to other poor by means of almsgiving: it befits however the Friars in accepting such offerings to beware, lest from a notable quantity of received goods, ill repute might befall them. 7. Besides since it is said the in the rule, that those who have already promised obedience, may have one tunic with a capuche, and another without a capuche if they wish to have it: likewise that every Friar is to wear cheap clothing: and We have declared them to be equipollent in precept by the aforesaid words: wishing these things to be determined more fully, We say as much as regards the number of tunics, that it is not licit to use more, unless in necessities, which can happen in conformity with the rule, according to that which Our predecessor of past memory has clarified more fully. We however say that the cheapness of the vestments for the habits as well as that for the interior tunics, should be understood to be that which according to the custom or condition of the country ought to be reputed cheep in value as regards both the color and the price of the cloth: for as regards every region one cannot assign one determined measure in such things. We have also said that the judgment of cheapness of this kind must be committed to the Ministers and Custodes or Guardians, responsible as they are with the consciences of their subjects concerning this matter: however in the same way which they observe cheapness in vestments, We relinquish in the same manner to the judgment of their Ministers, Custodes and Guardians, for what necessity the Friars themselves might wear footwear.
Clarification about fasting.
8. Next since two seasons have been noted in the rule, namely from the Feast of All Saints up to the Nativity of the Lord, and Great Lent, in which they are bound to fast, it may be inferred in the same rule: that at other seasons, however, they are not bound to fast except Fridays: and from this others have wished to say, that the said Friars of the Order are not bound, except from becomingness to other fasts, as to the former: We declare, that it ought to be understood that they are not bound to fast at other seasons, except on fasts established by the Church: for it does not have the semblance of truth, that either the Institutor of the rule, or even the confirmer intended to absolve them from observing those fasts, to which by the common statute of the Church the rest of Christians are obliged.
Alms boxes are prohibited. The Friars are not to have recourse to money except for cases mentioned by Nicholas III. Cautions to be observed by the Friars about money when it is so deposited. Concerning the deposit and the depositor.
9. Moreover when the said Saint wishing that the Friars above all things be totally alien to coins or money, precepted firmly to all the Friars, that in no manner they receive coins or money by themselves, or through an interposed person: and clarifying that article, Our predecessor, proposed cases and means, which when observed by the Friars they might not be said to be (nor ought they themselves be, even through another) receivers of money, against the rule or purity of their Order. We say that the Friars are bound to beware exceedingly that for other cases and under other means, which the declaration of Our said predecessors propose, they do not have recourse to those giving money or to deputed messengers, lest (if otherwise it would have been attempted by them) they might deservedly be called transgressors of the precept and the rule: for where something is generally prohibited, which is not conceded expressly, it is understood that it has been denied. Wherefore the every gain of money, and of offerings, the reception of money in the church, or elsewhere, boxes or containers assigned to receive the money of offerings or donations: and also even whatever recourse to money, or the holding thereof, which by the declaration itself is not conceded: these, We say, all these are simply forbidden to them. Since even recourse to spiritual friends is expressly conceded only in two cases according to the Rule: namely for the necessities of the sick, and for the clothing of the Friars: and piously and rationally having considered the necessity of life, Our said predecessor often reckoned that it must be extended to other necessities of the Friars occurring for a time (when alms have ceased) or even for emergencies: let the aforementioned Friars be attentive, because for no other cases than the aforesaid or similar is it licit for them to have recourse in the street or elsewhere to friends of this kind, whether they be givers of money or self-appointed persons, or messengers or depositors, or called by whatever other name: even if the means conceded through the same declaration about money are wholly preserved. Lastly since it is often repeated in the rule that the same Confessor eagerly desired the professors of his rule to be totally detached from the affection and desire for earthly goods, and especially from money: it is necessary that the Friars vigilantly have care, that when it arises from the aforesaid causes and means that they have recourse to having money deputed for their own necessities, to posses the same, whoever the principals or messengers be, in all things they are to bear themselves in such a manner, that they show themselves to all to have nothing inwardly to do with such moneys (just as they do not posses them). Wherefore let the Friars know that precepting that and in what manner money is expended, and exacting a computation of expenses, or making deposits, carrying away a chest of money, or its key, these acts and the like are illicit for them: for to do the aforesaid things pertains to the owners alone, who have given them, and to those whom the latter themselves have deputized for this very thing.
The Supreme Pontiffs receive in their own name and that of the Roman Church the dominion of those things of which it is licit for the Friars to have the use. The Friars Minor are not capable of inheriting since in these things dominion passes to the heirs. The Friars cannot receive annual returns nor possessions nor their use.
10. Hence since the holy man expressing the manner of poverty professed in the rule said in the same: “The Friars are not to appropriate anything to themselves, neither house, nor place, nor any thing: but as pilgrims and foreigners in this age, in poverty and humility waiting upon the Lord, let them go about confidently for alms”: and so it stands declared by some of Our Predecessors the Roman Pontiffs, that this expropriation ought to be understood as much in particular as also in common, on account of which They receive in Their own name and that of the Roman Church the property and dominion both of all the concessions, offerings, and donations to the Friars (those things the enjoyment of which and the use in fact of which certainly is licit to the Order and to the Friars), it having been given over to the Friars themselves in those things only to the extent of use in simple fact. Those things had been conveyed to Our examination which in the Order were said to be done, and seemed to be repugnant to the aforesaid vow and the purity of the Order: clearly, I have established to pursue these further according to the things themselves which We believe stand in need of a remedy, that the heirs not only sustain but take care of themselves: likewise that the Friars receive the annual returns sometimes in a very notable quantity, on which thenceforth the inhabitants of the convent live entirely: likewise that when business is conducted even for temporal goods in the law courts, they attend with lawyers and procurators, and present themselves personally in the same matter to instigate them: likewise that they take up the execution of last wills, and conduct them, and introduce themselves whenever dispositions or restitutions are to be made concerning their use, or worse, their removal: likewise that in some places they have not only excessive gardens, but even great vineyards, from which much is harvested from olive trees and grapevines to be sold: likewise that at the seasons of grain and grape harvest so copiously are grain and wine gathered by the Friars begging or selling other things, and both stored up in cellars and granaries, with which throughout the remainder of the year they can even pass their life without begging them: likewise that they build churches or other buildings or take care to have them made in quantity and curiosity of figure and form, and in a notably excessive sumptuosity, so that they do not seem to be little dwellings of the poor, but of magnates: they even have so many ecclesiastic vestments in very many places, and so notably precious, that they exceed the great church cathedrals in these things: moreover they receive indistinctly horses and arms offered to them in funerals: however the community of the Friars and especially the rectors of the Order itself asserted, that the aforesaid things, or many of them are not done in the Order, that even if the things are discovered to be such they are rigidly punished: and also that something be done against such things, very many statutes in the Order have been made quite strict from ancient times. Desiring therefore to provide for the consciences of the Friars themselves, and to remove all doubts (as much as is possible to Us) from their own hearts, We shall respond to the aforesaid things, in order, which follow: For since it pertains to the truth of life, that that which is done externally, present the interior disposition and habit of mind: the Friars, who have withdrawn themselves by such expropriation from temporal goods, have need to abstain from every thing, which may be or might seem to be contrary to the said expropriation. Therefore because in inheritances not only the use of the thing, but even the dominion passes to the heirs in its proper time: the aforementioned Friars however can acquire nothing for themselves in particular, or for their Order, even in common: We say by clarifying, that they are in no way capable of inheritances of this kind, which even from their own nature extend indifferently to money, and even to other mobile goods, and to immobile (having considered the purity of their vow): nor is it licit to them to receive the value of such hereditary goods, or so much as a part thereof, because this can be presumed to become fraud, as if receiving under a manner and form of a legacy that has been abandoned to them, or things so remitted: We simply prohibit such things to them lest they thus become more desirable. And since the annual returns among the immovable goods may be appraised by law, and the possession of this kind of return is repugnant to poverty and mendicancy, there is no doubting, that it is not licit to the aforesaid Friars to receive or enjoy (their condition having been considered) from the return whatever things as either possessions or even the use thereof (when the concession to them is not ascertained). Further, when not only because it is discerned to be evil, but because it has ever species of evil, it must be especially avoided by perfect men: however from such presentations and instigations in the law courts, when concerning the affairs it is pleaded that they be turned into their own advantage, they are truly believed by those, who stand outside (concerning which men outside enjoy to judge), that in the very affairs the by- standing Friars are seeking something as their own: by no means should the professors of this kind of vow and rule mix themselves up in such law courts, and litigious acts: that they may both be thought well of by those who stand outside, and satisfy the purity of their vow, the scandal of neighbors in such a manner is to be avoided. But indeed since the Friars of the said Order are to be strangers not only from reception, propriety, dominion, or use of the money itself, but even from whatever kind of handling of the same, and from these may they be entirely strangers, just as Our said predecessor often said plainly in clarifying this same rule: and since the said professors of the Order cannot seek for any temporal thing before a judge, it is not licit to the aforesaid Friars nor are they competent, nay rather more ably having considered the purity of their own state they ought to know it to be forbidden to themselves, since by executions and dispositions of this kind they expose themselves, when more frequently they cannot settle these without litigation and the handling or administration of money. But however giving counsel in these things which must be prosecuted is not opposed to their own state, since from this act which concerns temporal goods no jurisdiction or action before a judge, or dispensation is attributed to them.
The Friars cannot have gardens, vineyards, nor the like. They may not have churches excessive in size. They may have modest and humble buildings.
11. Truly it is licit not only might it be licit, but even very conformable to reason, that the Friars who are occupied assiduously in the spiritual labors of prayer and study, have gardens and areas fit for recollection or recreation of themselves, and sometimes to withdraw themselves corporally after labors of this kind, and also to have the necessary garden plots for themselves: To have however any gardens to be cultivated, and olive trees and other garden plots to be sold for a price, and also even vineyards, is repugnant to their rule and the purity of the Order, according to what the said predecessor has declared and even ordained: that if such things for nearly the same said uses, as those considered a field or vineyard to be cultivated and similar things are bequeathed as a legacy to the Friars, by every means the Friars are to abstain from the reception of such things, since even having the aforementioned things to enjoy price of harvest in their own seasons, approaches the nature and form of profits. Again since the aforesaid Saint, as much in the examples of his life, as in words of his rule manifested that he wanted his Friars and sons by leaning upon Divine Providence to cast themselves upon God, who pastures the birds of heaven, which do not gather into barns, nor sow nor reap: it does not have the semblance of the truth that he himself wanted them to have granaries or cellars, when by daily begging they should hope to be able to spend their life. And on that account they ought not from light fear to loose themselves to gather and store up provisions in this manner: but only when it might be more credible from what has been already proven, that they could not otherwise find the necessaries of life. This however We consider is to be left to the judgment of the Ministers and Custodes, together and individually in their administrations and custodies (with the counsel and assent of the Guardians and of two discrete priests of the convent of the place and of the senior Friars in the Order), for whose consciences they are especially responsible in this matter. Hence it is that the whole rule cries aloud, that the holy man wanted to found his Friars upon most high poverty and humility, in respect equally to affection and to execution, just as in conduct: it befits them, that in no manner they cause to be made one after another, or support to be made churches or whatever other buildings, which (having considered the number of Friars dwelling there) ought to be reputed as excessive in multiplicity and size. And for that reason We wish, that everywhere in their Order they be content with moderate and humble buildings one after the other, lest the contrary to this so great promise of poverty, which lies open to the eyes, be proclaimed outside. Although even the vestments and ecclesiastic vessels are ordained to the honor of the Divine Name, on account of which God Himself does all things: yet He who is the knower of things hidden, looks principally to the soul those ministering to Him, not to their hands: nor does He wish Himself to be served by those things which are discordant with the condition and state of His ministers: for which reason they ought to suffice themselves with vessels and decent ecclesiastic vestments, suitably sufficient in number and size. A superfluity however or exceeding preciousness, or whatever curiosity in these or whatever other things cannot befit their profession or state: for since they know these to be a treasuring up or abundance, they manifestly derogate so great a poverty in respect to human judgment. Wherefore We wish and command that the aforementioned things be observed by the Friars. Indeed about the offerings of horses and arms We decree that that is to be observed in all cases and by all, which by the aforesaid declaration is known to have been limited to alms of money.
12. From the aforementioned things however has grown up among the Friars a not too less scrupulous question: clearly whether from their profession of the rule they are obliged to a strict and tenuous or poor use of things: by which certain ones of themselves believing and saying, that just as regards dominion over things they have by vow the strictest abdication, so it is imposed upon them as regards use the greatest strictness and meagerness: by others on the contrary asserting, that from their profession they are obliged to no poor use, which is not expressed in the rule, it being licit that they are bound to a use moderated by temperance, just as and more so from becomingness than other Christians. And so wanting to take care to quiet the consciences of the aforesaid Friars, and to put an end to these altercations, We say by clarifying, that the Friars Minor from the profession of their rule are especially obligated to the strict or poor use of things, which is contained in their own rule: and by that manner of obligation, under which the rule restricts or proposes such use of things.
13. To say however just as some affirm to assert, that it is heretical, to hold that poor use is included or not included under the vow of evangelical poverty, We judge to be presumptuous and temerarious.
14. Finally because from that which the rule has said concerning those by whom, and whither the election being undertaken of the Minister General ought to be made, nothing is said concerning the election of the Ministers Provincial, or of the arrangement lately mentioned, a doubting could have arisen among the Friars over this matter: We wishing them to be able clearly and securely to proceed in all their undertakings: do declare, even decree and ordain in this constitution the things that will have force in perpetuity, so that when any Province will have to be provided with a Minister, let the election of the Minister himself rest in the hands of the Provincial Chapter, which same Chapter, on the day following that on which it had been assembled, is bound to carry out. However the confirmation of the election itself pertains to the Minister General, and if indeed an election of this kind is proceeded to by written ballot, and the votes have been divided in disagreement, let it happen that more elections be conducted to settle the discord, let that which had been conducted by a majority of the Chapter (which has enjoyed no contribution of jealousy or reward, or respect for persons), not withstanding the limitation of whatever other part thereof, be confirmed by the said Minister General with the counsel of the discrete members of the Order (however before the ex officio act, even as it pertains to him, a diligent examination is to have been made), or even annulled: even as it will have appeared to him according to God to expedite the matter: and if it will have been annulled, an election of this kind reverts to the Provincial Chapter
15. Otherwise if the Provincial Chapter neglects to choose a Minister on the aforesaid day: the day after the provision for the Minister Provincial devolves freely to the Minister General. Indeed if to the aforesaid Minister, and General Chapter on account of a certain and reasonable cause, it seems sometimes in the provinces beyond the Irish Sea, Greece, or Romania, in which, in as much as another manner of providing is said from a certain and reasonable cause, to have been observed, to procure a Minister Provincial, he is to be appointed by the Minister General, with the more able counsel of virtuous members of the Order, rather than by the election of the aforesaid Chapter: in the Provinces of Ireland and even notwithstanding those overseas, indeed in Romania, or Greece when the Minister of the said province dies, or is dismissed on this side of the Sea; in the former case on the other hand let there be observed without deceit, partiality, and fraud (upon whom We place the responsibility for their consciences) that which concerning it the said Minister with the counsel of the said virtuous members will reckon to be arranged.
16. Indeed in the case of the lack of the said Minister Provincials We wish to be observed, that which about this matter until now has been observed by the Order itself. Otherwise if it might come to pass that they lack a Minister General, let there be done by the Vicar of the Order about this matter, what would have to be done by the same Minister up until it is provided for by the Minister General.
17. Henceforth if something might perhaps happen to be attempted differently concerning a Minister Provincial of this kind, that is ipso facto invalid, and void.
Therefore it is in nowise licit to any man to infringe this page of Our declarations, statements, composition, command, constitutions, judgments, and dispositions, nor it is licit to such a one to oppose this by rash daring: if any one however would presume to attempt this, let him know that he has incurred the indignation of the Omnipotent God, and his blessed Apostles Peter and Paul.
PP. Clement V
At Vienne, in the eighth year of his Pontificate.