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bishops of Rome by procurement of clerks or otherwise, hath reserved and doth daily reserve to his collation generally and especially, as well archbishoprics, bishoprics, abbeys, and priories, as all other dignities and benefices of England, which be of the advowry of the people of the holy church, and give the same as well to aliens as denizens; and taketh of all such benefices ibe first-fruits and many other profits; and a great part of the treasure of the said realm is carried away and despended out of the realm, by purchases of such benefices and graces aforesaid, &c.
Extracts from the Revelations of St. Bridget, who died an. Dom.
1373, and was canonized by Pope Boniface 9th an. Dom. 1991. (Cologne edition, 1629.) We learn from the preface to this edition that these Revelations were recognised by the Councils of Constance and Basil, and by Popes Urban 6th, Martin 5ih, and Paul 5th.
Book 1, chap. 41. I am the Creator of all. I was begotten of the Father before Lucifer.
Now, therefore, I complain of the head of my church, who sitteth in my seat, which I delivered to Peter and his successors to sit in with a threefold dignity and authority. First, that they should bave the power of binding and loosening souls from sin. Secondly, that they should open heaven to the penitent. Thirdly, that they should shut heaven against the accursed and the mockers. But thou, who oughtest to loosen souls and to present then to me, truly thou art the slayer of souls. For I appointed Peter the pastor and preserver of my sheep, but you are their disperser and lacerator. You are worse than Lucifer. For be envied me and desired to slay me only in order that he might rule in my place. But you are worse than him, forasmuch as you not only slay me by removing me from thee by thy evil works, but you also slay souls by your bad example. I redeemed souls with my blood, and committed them to thee as to a faithful friend. But thou betrayest them to the inveterate enemy from whom I redeemed them. You are more unjust than Pilate, who sentenced no one besides me to death. But you not only condemn me as if I were the Lord of no one, and as if I were worthy of no good thing, but you also condemn innocent souls, and dismiss the guilty. You are more merciless than Judas, who sold me only; but you not only sell me, but also the souls of my elect, for thy vile gain, and for an empty name. You are more abominable than the Jews. They crucified my body only, but you crucify and punish the souls of my elect, to whom your malice and wrong are more bitter than my sword. Therefore because thou art like unto Lucifer, more unjust than Pilate, more cruel than Judas, and more abominable than the Jews, I justly complain of thee. Having thus seen her description of the head of the church, which
must have been correct, else would not the work have been sanctioned, let us pass to her description of the body of the church, the 6th book of Bridget's Revelations, chap. 26.
Revelutiones S. Birgittæ, obiit 1979. Canoniz. 1391, by Boniface 9.
(Edit. Coloniæ, 1629.) These Revelations were recognised by the Councils of Constance and Basil, and by Popes 'Urban 6, Martin 5, and Paul 5, as is stated in the introduction to the work.
Lib. 1, c. 41. Ego sum Creator omnium. Ego ante Luciferum a Patre genitus.
Nunc ergo conqueror super te caput ecclesiæ meæ, qui sedes in sede meâ, quam Petro et successoribus ejus tradidi ad sedendum in ea triplici dignitate et auctoritate. Primò ut polestatem haberent ligandi animas et solvendi a peccato. Secundd ut aperirent cælum pænitentibus. Tertio ut clauderent cælum maledictis et contemnentibus. Sed tu qui debes solvere animas, et ad me præsentare, tu verd es animarum interfector. Ego enim institui Petrum pastorem et conservatorem ovium mearum. Tu autum es dispersor et lacerator earum. Tu autem pejor es Lucifero. Ipse enim habebat ad me invidiam, et nullum concupivit occidere nisi me, ut pro me dominaretur. Tu autem tanto deterior es, quod non solum occidis me, removendo me a te per mala opera tua, sed et animas occidis per malum exemplum tuum. Ego redemi animas sanguine meo, et commisi eas tibi tanquam amico fideli. Tu autum tradis eas iterato ininico, a quo redemi eas. Tu es injustior Pilato, qui nullum judicabat ad mortem nisi Tu autem non solùm judicas me quasi nullius dominatorem, et nullius boni dignum, immo et animas innocentes condemnas, et nocentes dimittis. Tu es immitior Juda, qui me solum vendidit, tu autem non solum me vendis, sed et animas electorum meorum pro turpi lucro tuo, et vano nomine. Tu es abominabilior Judæis. Ipsi crucifixerunt corpus meum solum, tu autem crucifigis et punis animas electorum meorum, quibus malitia tua et transgressio amarior est omni gladio. Et ided quia tu similis es Lucifero, injustior Pilato, inimitior Juda, abominabilior Judæis, ided meritò conqueror super te.- Revelationem S. Birgitta, liber 6, cap. 26.
The Son of God speaks. Verily, I complain of three things. First, that the wall of Jerusalem is destroyed. What is the wall of Jerusalem, that is to say, of my church, but the bodies and souls of Christians? for my church ought to be built of these ; and of this church the wall has now fallen down because all seek to follow their own will and not mine ; they turn away their eyes from me, and will not hear me when I
unto them. My words are intolerable to them, my works are vain, mv passion is hateful to think of, my life is insupportable, and appears to be impossible to be imitated. Secondly, I complain that the instruments of niy house are carried into Babylon. What are the furniture and the different vessels of my church, but the conduct and conversation of the clergy and monks? Their good spirit and grace are transferred from my temple to the pride of the world, and to their own amusement. My wisdom and precepts appear vain to them, my commands are burdensome, they violate their profession, they have profaned my law and the institutions of niy friends and precursors, and they contrive and follow as their law their own fancies. Thirdly, I complain because the law of my ten commandments is lost.
The Fourth Book, chap. 43.
Of the Monks. Herein has arisen a grievous abuse, forasmuch as the possessions the church are given to laics, who do not marry because of the canonical name, but impudently keep concubines in their houses by day, and in their beds by night, saying shamelessly, We may not marry, because we are canonical men. The priests also, deans and subdeans, formerly very greatly abhorred the infamy of an impure life. But now some of them openly rejoice, because their strumpets come and walk among other women with big bellies. Nor are they even ashamed if their friends say to them, Behold, master, you will sooo have a son or a daughter.
Of Monks again. It is a sad thing to behold their rules changed into detestable abuses.
Of Convents. The doors through which the sisters are pleased to afford an entrance to clergymen and laymen are open even at night; ard therefore such places resemble rather houses of ill-fame than holy cloisters.
Revelations of St. Bridget, bouk 7. But truly the words which I spake, and the works which I wrought in the world, are altogether as it were forgotten and neglected, which is owing to none so much as the prelates of the church, who are filled with pride, and covetousness, and with the putridity of corporeal enjoyments.
These bad prelates of the churches, filled with the malignity of
Filius loquitur. * Verè conqueror de tribus. Primo quod murus Hierusalem destructus est. Quis est murus Jerusalem, id est, ecclesiæ meæ, nisi corpora et animæ Christianorum ? Ex his enim ædificari debet ecclesia mea. Cujus murus ecclesiæ nunc corruerat, quia voluntatem suam omnes perficere quærunt, et non meam. Avertunt oculos suos a me, et nolunt me clamantem audire. Verba mea sunt eis insupportabilia, opera mea vana, passio mea abominabilis ad cogitandum, vita mea intolerabilis, et videtur impossibilis ad imitandum. Secundd conqueror quod instrumenta domus meæ asportata sunt in Babylonem. Quæ sunt instrumenta ecclesiæ meæ, et vasa diversa, nisi dispositio et conversatio clericorum et religiosorum ? Horum bona dispositio et ornatus asportatus est a templo meo ad superbiam mundi, et ad voluntatem et delectationem propriam. Sapientia mea et doctrina est eis vana, mandata mea onerosa, promissionem mihi factum irritant, legem mean et constitutionem amicorum meorum prædecessorum suorum prophanaverunt, et suas inventiones faciunt et habent pro lege. Tertid conqueror, quod lex decem mandatorum meorum perdita est.
Liber Quartus, c. 33. Orta est abusio gravis, in hoc, quod laicis bona ecclesiæ donantur, qui uxores non ducunt propter nomen canonicale, sed impudenter habent concubinas in domibus suis perdies, et in lectis per noctes, dicentes audacter, nos non licet esse in connubio, quia canonici sumus. Presbyteri etiam diaconi et subdiaconi, olim in infamiam immundæ vitæ maximè abhorrebant. Nunc autem quidam illorum manifeste lætantur in eo, quod meretrices eorum intumescente ventre veniunt inter alias ambulare. Nec etiam pudet eos si ab amicis eorum dicitur eis, ecce, domine, citd natus erit vobis filius vel filia.
Monachorum. Tristitia est, eorum etiam regulas cernere mutatas in detestabiles abusiones.
Monasteriorum. Portæ indifferenter clericis et laicis quibus placet sororibus introitum dare, etiam in ipsis noctibus sunt apertæ. Et ided talia loca similiora lupanaribus, quàm sanctis claustris.
Sanctæ Birgitta, Lib. Sept. Sed verè illa verba quæ dixi, et opera quæ feci in mundo, jam quasi prorsus oblita et neglecta sunt, ad quod nullus tantum operatus est, sicut ecclesiarum prælati, qui pleni sunt superbiâ, cupiditate et putredine corporalis dilectionis.
Illi mali prælati ecclesiarum, repleti malignitate spiritus
. i. e. Christus.
the evil spirit, have left men examples injurious to their souls, and therefore it behoves me to exact from them plenary justice, by in ficting judgınents upon them, and by blotting them out of the book of life, and by placing them in hell near my enemy Lucifer, to be everlastingly tortured in the infernal regions.
A new and most complete collection of the sacred councils, in which, beside those things which Philip Labbaus and Gabriel Cossart and more recently Nicolas Colet have published, all things are exhibited with an admirable arrangement, which John Dominick Manse, archbishop of Lucca, published.--Printed at Venice an. Dom. 1784, by Anthony Fatta, with the permission of the superiors and of the most ercellent senate.
Vol. 27, p. 314.
Anthony de Butrio's Treatise. To the most reverend fathers in Christ, and lord cardinals, bishops, priests, and deacons, of the most holy Roman church, assembled in the city of Pisa, for the peace and union of the flock of Christ, the grace of God, with patience, and the preservation of unity, and a conclusion well pleasing to the Most High.
A Narrative of the proceedings of the contending parties, and of the
lord cardinals for the removal of the schism. After the decease of Gregory XI. an. Dom. 1378, on the 27th day of March, two persons were raised to the popedom by the the same cardinals. First, the archbishop of Baieux, who by the constraint of the Roman people was given out to be elected, but not sincerely. Secondly, the cardinals having assembled at Anagni, where they were in safety, Robert Guibert was elected. The first was called Urban the 6th; the second was called Clement the 7th, with whom all the cardioals theu in existence came from Italy to Avignon, and whom the illustrious King of France, and one part of Christendom, recognised. But the King of Bohemia, and the whole of Germany and England, with the larger portion of Christendom, adhered to Urban. However, all the original cardinals were faithful to Clement till their deaths, and two of them, who are still alive, persevere in the same faith, and have done so from the first.
Whilst the ship of Peter was in this very great agitation, Christendom suffered deeply from civil and foreign wars, many states, particularly in Italy, were depopulated, and various changes took place. Avarice, ambition, and simony, greatly increased among the clergy, many unfit persons were promoted to church dignities, and the church was ruled by the powerful. Great immorality broke out among the clergy, and the vice of usury pervading all parts, the laity occupied the tables of the exchange, and entered into almost every