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those, who arrogate to themselves this name, if they would read it, would pot find openly written as committed by themselves. For be would quickly find that our ambition, our avarice, our desires, have ivflicted all these evils upon the people of God, and that the pastors are driven from the churches by their influence, and that they are deprived of the food of the word, that the possessions of the churches, which are the property of the poor, are taken away by them, that the priestly office is conferred upon persons unworthy of it, and that they are given to those who differ in nothing from the laity, except in their dress, and frequently not even in this. For which of these things can we deny to have been committed by us of late years ? Wherefore if the Turk and if the heretics do the same against us, what do we bebold herein but our wickedness, and at the same time the just judgment of God? A judgment truly full of mercy, for if he had chastised us according to our deserts, should we not long ago have resembled Sodom and Gomorrah?
Labbeus, tom. 14, p. 992. Extract from a Speech upon the lust Judgment delivered by Corne
lius, Bishop of Bitonto, on the third Sunday of Advent, in the Council of Trent, An. Dom. 1543.
Has not that fervent love towards each other and the state perished, upon account of which formerly all Christians were called brothers, a sweet and precious name! so that the prediction of St. Paul is fulfilled, “Men shall be lovers of themselves?” Unless truly this had perished, there would not have been a general dege. neracy
from those holy morals, and from those honourable ordinances, which, when they were observed, always enlarged our commonwealth. For with what monsters of baseness, with what a heap of filth, with what a pestilence are not both the priests and the people corrupted in the holy church of God! I place my case in your hands, O fathers, begin with the sanctuary of God, and see if
any modesty, any shame, any hope, or reasonable expectation remains of good living; if there be not unrestrained and unconquerable lust, a singular audacity, and incredible wickedness. Alas! “How is the gold obscured, and how is its fine colour changed." There are those two bloodsuckers, which always exclaim bring, bring, the one the mother, the other the nurse of all evils, I mean, covetousness and ambition, each a subtle evil, each a secret poison, a pestilence, and the monster of the world; also, whilst virtue and learning are neglected by those whom we ought to follow as living and breathing laws, vice and ignorance are raised in their stead to the highest honours, and it has at length been brought to pass, that edification has made place for destruction, example for scandal, morals for corruption, the observance of the law for its contempt, strictness for laxity, mercy for impunity, piety for hypocrisy and smoke, preaching for contention and pride and for the vilest gain, and to sum all in one sentence which it is grievous to utter, the odour of life for the odour of death.
dicant, per se factum esse, si legere libuerit, non scriptum apertis verbis inveniat. Nostram enim ambitionem, nostram avaritiam, nostras cupiditates, his omnibus malis populum Dei prius affecisse statim inveniet, atque horum vi ab ecclesiis pastores fugari, easque pabulo verbi privari, bona ecclesiarum, quæ sunt bona pauperuin, ab illis tolli, indignis sacerdotii conferri, et illis qui nihil a laicis, præterquam in ves-tis genere, ac ne in hoc quidem, differunt, dari. Quid enim horum est, quod negare possumus per hos annos a nobis factum esse ? Quare si Turca, si hæretici hoc idem adversus nos faciunt, quid hic aliud
quam flagitia nostra, et simul juslum Dei judicium videmus ?, Judicium verd plenum misericordiâ : si enim pro meritis nos castigaret, jampridein sicut Sodoma et Gomorrha fuissemus?
Labbri. tom. 12, P. 992. Cornelii Episcopi Bitontini, Oratio de extremo judicio, An. Ch. 1545,
tertia dominica adventus in concilio Tridentino habita. An non et periit fervens ille in alterutrum, et in rempublicam amor, quo olim Christiani omnes, O dulce et carum nomen! fratres vocabantur, et impletum est Pauli apostoli, vaticinium, erunt homines seipsos amantes ? Profectò nisi periisset, non a sanctis illis moribus, non ab honestis illis institutis, quæ observata, rempublicam vostram feliciter semper auxerunt, esset jam ubique modis omnibus degeneratum. Quibus enim turpitudinum monstris, qua sordium colluvie, qua peste non sunt foedati, non corrupti in ecclesia sanctâ Dei, et populus et sacerdos ? In vestro judicio causam repono, patres, et a sanctuario Dei incipite, și ullus jam pudor, ulla pudicitia, si ulla supererat bene vivendi vel spes cel ratio: si non libido effrenata et indomita, si non audacia singularis, si non scelus incredibile, Heu! quomodo obscuratum est aurum, quomodo mutatus color optimus. Nam duæ illæ sanguisugæ, quæ semper dicunt affer, affer; altera mater, altera nutrix malorum omnium, cupiditas, inquam, et ambitio, utraque subtile malum, utraque secretum virus, pestis, et monstrum orbis : dum ab iis quos tamquam vivas et quimatas leges sequi oportuerit, virtus ac doctrina negliguntur. Vitium et ignorantia. eorum loco summis extolluntur honoribus, effecerunt tandem, ut ædificatio in destructionem, exempluin in scandalum, mos in corruptelam, custodia legum in contemplum, severitas in relaxationem, misericordia in impunitatem, pietas in fucum et hypocrisim, prædicatio in contentionem et fastum, in turpissimum inercatum, grave hoc est ut in uno verbo dicam, vitæ odor in mortis odorem infeliciša simè commigraverit, &c.
Labbeus, tom. 14, An Extract from the Speech of Peter Danesius,
Orator of the Most Christian King of France, to the Council.
Hence since it appears to many that almost all the evils and troubles of the church have flowed from this fountain, namely, that the ministers of the church of almost every order have very far declined from the sanctity and innocence of ancient times, so that hardly a vestige of them is to be seen, it is expedient that you should regulate the lives and morals of the clergy by the strictest rules of the sacred canons.
Labbæus, tom. 14, p. 1047. An. Dom. 1547. An Extract from a Speech delivered to the Fathers of the Council
of Trent, on the first Sunday in Lent in the year 1347, by Friar George of St. James, of the Order of Preachers of the Convent of St. Dominick at Lisbon.
And as if it were not a very great evil, that Christians should have degenerated from their fathers, and as if it were not hard and grievous that they should have departed much or little from their God, it was besides brought about by the cunning and temptalions of the serpent, that they should fall into the hands of robbers, of men who were covetous, cruel, bungry, insatiable, deaf to reason, inexorable, oppressive magistrates, impious princes, and infidel prelates. I do not speak of the good, when I name the oppressive, the impious, or the intidel; but I refer to those who not considering themselves as stewards, as they truly are, who are to render a strict account to their Lord, but as absolute masters, like hungry lions prepared for prey, have rushed upon the Lord's people, upon the Lord's sheep, and who, not content with their riches, submission, milk and wool, have even spoiled them of their precious garments, by depriving them of those prelates, doctors, priests and monks, with which formerly, as with the robes of their glory, the Lord's people was beautified, and was made altogether glorious. With this end in view Satan took care and still strives that prelacies, dignities, rich benefices and offices, be conferred, not on those worthy of them, on the learned, the good, or upon tried and zealous elders, but on the contrary, on the unworthy, on the unlearned, on pupils, and even boys, in order that by reason of the absence of the latter, and the corrupt morals of the former, abuses may easily be introduced, and that the people may be taught to venerate great abuses.
It would not, therefore, be of much use, O fathers, if thrice striking the earth with your shafts, you should condemn' all heresies and all errors, if, which far be from you, and which may God avert, the greatest abuses remain, which every one beholds, and which are the golden calves of the present day, which the clergy and the rulers of the people, not to say the rulers of the church, worship to their ruin, and the scandal of the church; whilst it is very certain that the errors of these wretched times have originated
Labbæi, tom. 14, An. Ch. 1545. Oratio Petri Danesii, Oratoris
Christianissimi Francorum regis ad Synodum.
Deinde quum omnia ferè ecclesiæ mala et incommoda ex eo fonte profluxisse multis videantur, quod omnium pene ordinum ministri ecclesiæ ab illa priscorum temporum sanctitate et innocentia plurimùm deflexerint, vix ut tenue ejus vestigiuin jam appareat, etiam vos rogat et obtestatur, ut vitæ morumque in ecclesiasticis personis acerrima sacrorum canonum norma dirigatis.
Labbai, tom. 14, P. 1047. An. Ch. 1547. Oratio habita ad Patres Concilii Tridentini Dominicâ Primâ Quad
ragesima, An. Ch. 1547, per fratrem Georgium de Sancto Jacobo, Ordinis Prædicatorum, Conventus Sancti Dominici Olysbonensis.
Et quasi non maximum malum fuisset, a patribus suis degenerasse populum Christianum, et non esset durum et amarum valdè vel parum recessisse eum a Deo suo, astutiâ et tentationibus draconis prætered factum est, ut etiam inciderit in latrones, homines cupidos, crudeles, famelicos, insatiabiles, impersuasibiles, inexorabiles, graves scilicet magistratus, impios principes, et infideles prælatos. Nec tamen de bonis loquor, cum graves, impios aut infideles nomino, sed eos intelligo, qui non dispensatores, ut revera sunt, domino suo strictam reddituri rationem, sed absolutos dominos se esse falsd statuentes, tanquam famelici et leones parati ad prædam irruerunt in populum domini, in dominicas oves, qui ejus divitiis, obsequiis, lacte et lanâ non contenti, etiam despoliaverunt eum vestibus suis pretiosis, illis prælatis, doctoribus, sacerdotibus et religiosis eum privando, quibus (ut vestibus gloriæ suæ) olim protegebatur populus domini, effectus decorus totusque gloriosus. Quandoquidem hujus rei causa diligentissimè curavit, sicut et curat Satanas, ut prælatura, dignitates, pinguia sacerdotia, majora officia conferantur non dignis, non doctis, non probis, non denique expertis senibus ac zelosis, sed e contra indignis, indoctis, discolis, et etiam pueris, ut ob illorum quidam absentiam, horum autem corruptos 'mores et insolentiam, facilè possint abusus introduci, et abusibus magnis populus venerari.
P. 1031. Ita nunc patres non admodum multum prodesset, quasi tantùm ter sagittis vestris terram percutientes, damnasse cunctas hæreses, errores omnes, si tamen (quod absit, quod Deus omen avertat), remanere contingat abusus maximos, quos nemo non videt, qui sunt bujus temporis vituli aurei, quos , viri ecclesiastici, majores populi, ne dicam ecclesiæ principes, adorant in malum suum et ecclesiæ scandalum, cum certissimum sit, hujus infelicis temporis errores propter abusus ortos fuisse, propter abusus sump
in abuses, have derived their growth from abuses, aud are disseminated in almost the whole church by the same abuses ; and except these abuses are removed, the heresies will scarcely cease, which are condemned by your sentence, or which are about to be condemned; nay, it is very probable that through the agency of the serpent, other errors more numerous and pernicious will arise.
If therefore a zeal for the Christian faith stimulates you, if you deplore the condition of the people, who are spoiled, wounded, and half dead, if you desire to consult the authority of the church, and not to be deficient in your duty, attend at present to the reformation only, apply to the reformation only, and late in the day at least prepare
medicine for the sick, for the evils have gathered strength from long delay, Extract from a Speech delivered by Peter Fragus, Doctor of Di.
vinity, to the Fathers of the Council of Trent, in 1551.
And I testify, O most august fathers, that this place, which, unworthy as I am, I have ascended, has never so much dreaded the dangers of the Christian republic, or dissensions, or schemes, as ou most corrupt morals and our offences ; more especially when I consider that we have fallen so low that we can neither bear our ills, nor their remedies.
An Extract from the Speech of Salvator Salapusius, Archbishop of
Torre and Sassari, made at a solemn Public Session, the third from the resumption of the Council, to the Fathers at Trent, on the 11th of October, in the year of our Lord 1551.
Labbeus, tom. 14, vol. 14, p. 1066.
But what I repeat, rather in the language of sorrow than of reproach, how great is the confusion and inversion of things ! in proportion as an order, college, or senate, is more ample and sacred, in the same proportion it entangles itself more in those temporal cares and occupations, which Paul ordains that the least respectable members of the church should superintend : as if spiritual things were subordinate to temporal, and not the reverse. But piety is subservient to gaiu, and we have foolishly exchanged by a wretched barter the golden spiritual talents which we received, for lead. Thus things temporal are preferred to spiritual things, things earthly to things divine, and vile things to precious things.
Labbaus, vol. 14, p. 1388. An Extract from a Speech delivered by Friar Henry, of St. Jerome,
a Dominican, to the Fathers in the Council of Trent, in the year of our Lord 1562.
But to me now investigating the cause of such great evils, truly no other occurs, but that we have yielded to those three weapons of Satan, with which that wicked one formerly attacked our Head, I mean the blessed Christ, when fasting in the desert, and