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ROGER OF WENDOVER Flowers of history. The history of England from the descent of the saxons to A.D. 1235. vol.2

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ROGER OF WENDOVER
Flowers of history. The history of England from the descent of the saxons to A.D. 1235. vol.2
page 564



A.D. 1232.] INSPECTION OF RELIGIOUS IIOUSES. 5C3 and watchful over the flock especially entrusted to your care, that the sickly sheep may not perish ; it is therefore our advice and strict order to jour brotherhood, that each and all of you make it your business, both personally and by means of religious men instructed for this puipose of visitation, to visit the abodes of the monks, nuns, and regular as well as secular canons, which are subject to you both in your cities and dioceses, and, by our authority as well as your own, to make such general reformations and corrections in their heads and other limbs, wherever you see such reformations and corrections necessary, laying aside all favour and appeal, saving all such regulations concerning religious persona therein according to the decree of a general council, and to check all gainsayers by the church's censure and postponing all appeal; and you will so carry out our instructions that, at that awful award of punishments, God, who will repay every one according to bis works, may not require their blood at your hands, and we may not be obliged to apply the rod of apostolic punishment. Given at Spoleto this 9th day of June in the sixth year of our pontificate." Of the visitation to be made in tlie excepted churches. With regard to the other churches and religious men, who were under the immediate jurisdiction of the church of Home, he did not appoint bishops as visitors, but abbats and those especially of the order of Cistercians and Pnemonstratensians, who were undiscerning and severe men, and they proceeded in their visitation so insolently and mercilessly that they exceeded the bounds of their duties in several monasteries, and numbers were compelled to resort to an appeal against them ; those who did so went to Rome, and with much expense and labour obtained other visitors. In short this visitation was carried on throughout the whole world rather to the deformation than the reformation of the several orders, inasmuch as those who had followed the rule of St. Benedict in the various quarters of the world, in consequence of the rules of this visitation are now so discordant, that, amongst all the monasteries and religious houses there are scarcely two who agree in their rule of life. A certain abbat of Montebello, being in doubt as to how he should proceed in this visitation asked the pope's advice on some doubtful points, on which he received the following reply. Ilote the }wpe teas consulted about the aforesaid visitation. Those duties which are wisely ordained fur the honour of religion and the safety of religious communities ought to be strengthened by the apostolic protection, so as to be undertaken devoutly and observed diligently. Whereas therefore our wellbeloved brother the abbat of Mont ebello has brought under our notice some points which seemed for our honour and preservation, laudably appointed for the correction of many transgressions and ollênces which he had found in some monasteries, we have caused the matter to be examined and corrections to be made, and we


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