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Excerpt: ... of the already existing rules." This same pope approved the two Mendicant orders, urging them, it is true, to unite themselves to one of the older orders; but, nevertheless, they became distinct organizations, eclipsing all previous societies in their achievements. The reason for this disregard of the Lateran decree is doubtless to be found in the alarming condition of religious affairs at that time, pg 243 and in the hope held out to Rome by the Mendicants, of reforming the monasteries and crushing the heretics. The failure of the numerous and varied efforts to reform the monastic institution and the danger to the church arising from the unwonted stress laid upon poverty by different schismatic religious societies, necessitated the adoption of radical measures by the church to preserve its influence. At this juncture the Mendicant friars appeared. The conditions demanded a modification of the monastic principle which had hitherto exalted a life of retirement. Seclusion in the cloister was no longer possible in the view of the remarkable changes in religious thought and practice. Innocent III. was wise enough to perceive the immediate utility of the new societies based upon claims to extraordinary humility and poverty. The Mendicant orders were, in themselves, not only a rebuke to the luxurious indolence and shameful laxity of the older orders, but when sanctioned by the church, the existence of the new societies attested Rome's desire to maintain the highest and the purest standards of monastic life. Hence, pg 244 the Preaching Friars were permitted to reproach the clergy and the monks for their vices and corruptions. "The effect of such a band of missionaries," says John Stuart Mill, "must have been great in rousing and feeding dormant devotional feelings. They were not less influential in regulating those feelings, and turning into the established Catholic channels those vagaries of private enthusiasm which might well endanger the church, since...
|Verlag||Reference Series Books LLC|
|Maße||246 mm x 189 mm x 5 mm|