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1160 [1159]

K. Hen. 8. Allegations against the vji Articles. Priestes Mariage.

Thus for all the rigorous austerite of this Anselme in forcyng his Decree made at London agaynste the marriage of Priestes, yet the same had no great successe, neyther in his lyfe tyme, nor after hys lyfe. For although sundrye Priestes, duryng his lyfe tyme, were compelled by his extremitie, to renounce their wiues, yet many denyed to obey hym.

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Diuers were contented rather to leaue their benefices then their wyues. A great number were permitted by kyng Henry, for money to enioy[illegible text] fourth boke) Marginalia[illegible text] that at length two hundreth Priestes, in their Albes and [illegible text] vestementes, came barfote to the kynges Palace [illegible text] to hym for mercye, and especially makyng their [illegible text] to the Queene, who vsing much compassion towards them, yet durste not make for them any intercession.

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Anselme at this tyme was ouer the Sea, makyng his voyage to the Pope. Who hearyng hereof, writeth to the kyng, declaryng that suche forfeytures apperteyned nothyng to hym, but onely vnto Bishoppes, and in their default to the Archbishoppes. MarginaliaRead afore pag. 195. Wherof reade more pag. 195 

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See 1570, p. 249, 1576, p. 195 and 1583, pp. 194-5.

. So wylfull was the blynde zeale of this Prelate, agaynste all reason, agaynste nature it selfe, agaynst the example of his foreelders, agaynst publique custome of his owne time, agaynste the doctrine of the Apostles, the constitution of Councelles, agaynste al honestie, and all Gods forbode, that he neyther at the contemplation of the kyng, nor at the cryyng out and publique dolour of so many priestes, nor yet moued with the letters of Pope Paschalis hymselfe (who puttyng hym in remembraunce of so many priestes sonnes, wylled hym to consider the necessitie of the tyme 
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See 1570, p. 251, 1576, p. 197 and 1583, p. 195.

MarginaliaRead afore pag. [illegible text] pag. 197.) woulde yet nothyng relente from his stubborne purpose, vnto his latter end. In whom as [illegible text] iustly be noted so of all other, this [illegible text] to be reprehended: for that he seeyng [illegible text] what Sodomiticall [illegible text] and abomination, with other inconueniences, dyd spring incontinently vppon [illegible text] Diabolicall doctrine, yet for all that would not geue ouer his pestilent purpose.

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Marginalia[illegible text] For so the storye recordeth, that when Anselme had [illegible text] his Synodall constitution in separating Priestes from their wiues (whiche was an. 1103.) not long after, rumours and complayntes were brought to hym of the execrable vice of Sodomitrie, whiche then beganne specially to raigne in the Clergie, after this inhibitiō of Matrimonie.

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Whereupon Anselme was 

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For Anselm's council see 1570, pp. 250-1, 1576, p. 196 and 1583, pp. 194-5.

constrayned to call an other Councell at Paules within London, to prouide for this mischiefe. In whiche Councell this Acte was made: Sodomiticum flagitium facientes, et eos in hac voluntate iuuantes, graui anathemate damnamus, donec pœnitentia et confessione absolutionem mereantur. &c. Marginalia[illegible text] All them that committe the vngracious sinne of Sodomitrie, and them also which assiste them in this theyr wicked purpose, with greeuous curse we do condemne, tyl such tyme as they shall deserue absolution by penance and confession. &c.

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Thus ye haue hearde what abominable wickednes ensued after that Priestes were debarred from marriage, & what sore punishment was deuised by this maydenly prelate, for extirping þt sinful wickednes: in þe abolishing wherof, more wisely he should haue remoued away the occasion, whereof he was the author hym selfe, then by penaltie to suppresse it, which he could neuer do.

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Nowe let vs heare further what folowed in that worthy Councel. Marginalia[illegible text] Qui vero in hoc crimine publicatus fuerit, statutum est, siquidem fuerit persona religiosi ordinis, vt ad nullum amplius gradum promoueatur, et si quem habet, ab illo deponatur. Si autem laicus, vt in toto Regno Angliæ legali sua condignitate priuetur. Et ne huius criminis absolutionem, ijs qui se sub regula viuere vouerunt, aliquis nisi Episcopus deinceps facere præsumat. Statutum quoque est, vt per totam Angliam in omnibus Ecclesijs, et in omnibus diebus Dominicis, excommunicatio præfata publicetur ac renouetur. &c. Marginalia[illegible text]
Which is as much to say in English: It is enacted, that who so euer shalbe publikely knowen to be [illegible text] if he be a religious person, he shal from thence forth be promoted to no degree of honour, and that degree which he hath already, shalbe take from hym. If he be a lay person, he shalbe depriued of al his fredome within the whole realme of England. And that none vnder a Bishop shal presume to assoyle such as haue ben Monkes professed, of that trespasse. It is also enacted, that euery sonday in the yeare, and in euery Parishe Church in Englād, this general curse aforesayd shalbe published and reneued. &c. Ex Rog. Houed. et Epist. Anselm. 278.

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Is not here (trowe you) good diuision of Iustice, that lawful wedlocke of priestes can find no grace nor pardon, yea is made now heresie: where adulterie & horrible Sodo mitrie is washed awaye with a litle confessiō? And see yet what foloweth more. MarginaliaThe curse agaynst cursed Sodomitrie called in agayne.
Ex Ioan. Treuisa
After that this penall curse 

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Ranulph Higden, Polychronicon, ed. J. R. Lumby, 9 vols., Rolls Series 41 (London, 1865-86), VII, p. 432. Higden does say that Anselm retracted his ban on sodomy, out of fear that it publicized rather than discouraged the behavior, but he does not say that monks induced Anselm to retract the ban.

shoulde now go abroade and be published in Churches, the monkes perceyuyng this matter to touche them somewhat nere, whispered in Anselmes eare, perswadyng hym, that þe publication of that acte might growe to great daunger and inconuenience, in openyng þt vice which before was not knowen: in such sort, that in short tyme after, that curse was called in agayne. MarginaliaVertue punished, vice scapeth free. And so cursed Sodomitrie & adulterie passed free without punishment, or worde spoken against it, where contrary godly matrimonie could finde no mercy.

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Nowe what reasons and argumentes this Anselme sucked out of the Court of Rome, to proue the matrimonie of Priestes vnlawful, were it not for combryng the reader with tediousnes, here would be shewed. Briefely the chiefe groundes of al his long disputation, MarginaliaAnsel. Offendiculum Sacerdotum. in his booke entituled, Offendiculum Sacerdotum, betweene the Maister and scholer, come to this effect 

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Anselm's Offendiculum Sacerdotum is printed in Epistolae duae D. Volusiani…(London, 1559), pp. 46-100.

.

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Argument.

MarginaliaThe reasons and argumentes of Anselme agaynst the mariage of priestes. Priestes of the old law, duryng the tyme of their ministration, absteined from their wyues:

Ergo, Priestes in the tyme of the Gospel, which euery day minister at the aultar, must neuer haue any wyues.

¶ An other Argument.

Moses, when he should sanctifie the people, goyng vp to the hyll, commaunded them to sequester them selues from their wyues three dayes:

Ergo, Priestes that must be sanctified to the lord alwayes, ought to lyue chaste alwayes without wyues.

¶ An other Argument.

Dauid before he shoulde eate of the shewbread, was asked whether he and his company had ben without the company of their wiues thre dayes:

Ergo, Priestes that be contiuually attending vppon the table and Sacramentes of the Lorde, ought neuer to haue company with any such.

¶ An other Argument.

Oza, which put his hand to the Arke, was slaine therfore, as it is thought, because he lay with his wife the nyght before: Marginalia2. King 6.

Ergo, Priestes whose handes be alwayes occupyed aboute the Lordes seruice, must be pure from companye of wife, or any woman.

¶ An other Argument.

Nadab, and Abiud, which sacrificed with straunge fire 

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See Numbers 3: 4 and 26: 61, although there is no mention of their wives in the text.

, were deuoured therefore, because they companyed with their wyues the same night. MarginaliaNum. 4.

Ergo, Priestes and Sacrificers muste haue no wyues to companye withal.

¶ An other Argument.

The Priestes of the Gentiles, in olde tyme when they sacrificed to their Idoles, are sayd to lye from their wyues.

Ergo, muche more the Priestes that sacrifice to the lyuyng God, ought so to do.

¶ An other Argument.

Christ was borne of a Virgin, Christ liued euer a virgine, and commaundeth them that wyl serue hym, to folow hym. MarginaliaIohn. 12. Qui mihi ministrat, me sequatur: id est, Si vis mihi ministrare, me castè viuendo imitare.

Ergo, Priests that haue wyues are not meete to serue hym.

1. Corinth. 7.

Let 

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1 Cor. 7: 2.

euerye man haue his owne wyfe for auoydyng of fornication.

The exposition of Anselme.

MarginaliaThe grosse expositions of Anselme, vpon the wordes of S. Paule. That is meant and graunted of the Apostle, only to lay men: Hoc solis laicis eum concessisse, nemo ignorat.

1. Corinth. 7.

Melius est nubere quam vri: It is better 

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1 Cor. 7: 9.

to marry then to burne.

Melius
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