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526 [526]

K. Edward. 3. The oration of Armachanus against the Friers.

MarginaliaIohn de Poliaco caused to recant by Pope Iohn the 22.tions openly at Paris. Hys assertions whiche hee dyd hold, were these.

¶ The 3. assertions of Ioannes de Poliaco, whiche he was caused by the Pope to recant at Paris.
MarginaliaThe 3. assertions of Ioan de Poliaco agaīst the fryers.
His three

Wherof the first was, they whiche were confessed
to friers, although hauyng a generall licence to heare
confessiōs: were bound to confesse agayne their sinnes
to their own parish priest, by the constitution. Omnis
vtriusque sexus, &c.

The secōd was, that the sayd constitution, Omnis
vtriusque sexus
, standyng in hys force, the pope could
not make: but parishners were bound once a yeare, to
confesse their sinnes to their priest. For the doyng o-
therwise importeth a contradiction in it selfe.

The thyrd was, that the pope could not geue gene-
rall licence to heare confessions so, but that the parish
ners so confessed were bound to reiterate the same cō
fession made vnto his owne curate. Whiche he proued
by these places of the canon law. 25. q. 1. Quæ ad perpe
Marginalia25. q. 1. Quæ ad perpetuam Contra statuta patrū condere vel mutari aliquid, nec huius quidem sedis potest autoritas.
Those thynges whiche be generally ordeyned
for publique vtilitie, ought not to bee altered by any
chaunge &c. Item, The decrees of the sacrat cannons,
none ought to kepe more then the bishop Apostolicall.
&c. Ibidem. Item, to alter or to ordeyne any thynge a-
gaynst the decrees of the fathers, is not in the autori-
tie or power, no not of the Apostolicall see. Ibidem.

The 4. opinion.The fourth opinion was, that the friers by the licence of the pope and of byshops, might lawfully heare confessions, and the people might be of thē confessed and absolued. But yet notwithstandyng, it was reason, conueniēt, honest, and profitable, that once in the yeare they should be confessed to their curates (although being confessed before to the friers) because for the administration of Sacramentes, especially at Easter. MarginaliaGuilielmus de monte Landuno, Henricus de Gandano.Of which opinion was Gulielmus de monte Landuno, Henricus de Gandauo also helde, not onely to be conuenient, but also that they were bounde so to doo.

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MarginaliaThe 5. opinion.The fifte opinion was, that albeit the friers might at all tymes, and at Easter also, heare confessions as the curates did: yet it was better and more safe, at the tyme of Easter to confesse to the curates, then to the friers. And of this opinion was this our Armachanus, of whom we presently now entreate.

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And thus haue ye, as in a briefe somme opened vnto you, what was the matter of contention betwene the friers and the churche men. What popes made with the friers. And what popes made agaynst them. Moreouer what learned men disputed agaynst them in Paris, and other places and what were their opinions.The matter of contention about the friers, stoode in foure points. First preachyng without licēce of curats. Second, in hearyng confessions. Thirde, in buriyng. Fourth, in beggyng and takyng of the people.

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¶ Popes that maintey-
ned the Fryers.

¶ Popes that maintey-
ned Curates.
¶ The learned men that disputed agaynst the Friers.
Gulielmus de S. Amore.
Bernardus super capitulum
Omnis vtriusq; sexus.
Godfridus de Fontibus.
Henricus de Gandauo.
Gulielmus de Landuno.
Ioānes Monachus Cardini
Ioannes de Poliaco.

All these were
condemned by
the Popes, or els
caused to recāt.

These considerations & circumstancies hetherto premised, for the more openyng of this present cause of Armachanus susteined agaynst the idle beggerly sectes offriers, in whom the reader may wel perceaue Antichrist playnly reigning, and fighting against the church: MarginaliaEx libro cui titulus Defensorium curaterum.Now remaineth, that as I haue before declared the trauayles and troubles of diuers godly learned men in the church striuyng agaynst the sayd friers, continually from the time of Guliel de Amore, hetherto: So now it remaineth, that for somuch as this our Armachanus labouryng & in the same cause, susteined the like cōflict with the same Antichrist: we likewise collect and open hys reasons and argumentes vttered in the consistorie and in the audiēce of the Pope himself, wherewith he mainteineth the true doctrine and cause of the church agaynst the pestiferous canker crepyng in, by these friers after subtile wayes of hypocrisie, to corrupte the sincere simplicitie of Christes holy fayth and perfect Testamēt. The whiche reasons & arguments of his, with the whole processe of his doings: I thought good & expedient for the vtilitie of the church, more amplye and largely to discourse and prosecute, for that I note in the sectes, institutiōs, and doctrine of these friers, such subtile poyson to lurke: more pernitious and hurtfull to the religion of Christe and soules of Christians, then all men perauenture do consider.

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This Armachanus ioyning with the clergy of England, disputed 

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Foxe is drawing all of what follows on Fitzralph's dispute with the mendicant orders from Fitzralph's sermon, preached before Innocent VI, 'Defensio Curatorum', which Foxe then reprints.

& contended wt the Friers here of Englād, an. 1358. about a double matter. Wherof the one was cōcerning confession & other exchetes whyche the Friers encroched in parish churches against the Curates, and publique pastors of churches. The other was cōcerning wilfull beggarye and pouertye, which the Friars then tooke vpon them, not vpon any necessitye beyng otherwyse strong inough to worke for their liuyng, but onely vpon a wylfull and affected profession. For the which cause, the friars appealed him vp to the court of Rome. The occasion whereof thus did rise.

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It befell, that Armachanus vpon certayne busines comming vp to London, found there certaine Doctors disputing and contending about the begging of Christ our sauiour. Whereupon (he being greatly vrged and requested oft tymes therunto) at request, made seuen or eight sermons vnto the people at London, wherin he vttered. ix. conclusions. Whereof the first and principall conclusion was, touching the matter of the Friars priuiledgies, in hearing cōfessions. His conclusiō was this 

Commentary  *  Close

Foxe now reprints Fitzralph's 'Defensio curatorum'. Which of the numerous English or Latin versions of this work that Foxe consulted is anyone's guess, as he proceeded to reorder and restructure the work into what he considered a more appropriate form. Foxe remains faithful to the content, but not the format, of the original. (See 'Defensio Curatorum' in John Trevisa, Dialogus inter militum et clericum, ed. A. J. Perry, Early English Text Society, original series, 167 (London, 1925), pp. 39-93.

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Marginalia1First, that if a doubt or question be moued for hearing confessions, which of two places is rather to be chosen: The parish church is to be preferred before þe church of the Friars.

Marginalia2Secondly, being demaunded whether is to be taken (to heare the confession of the parishners the person, or the curate, or of the friar) It is to be sayd, rather the person or the Curat.

Marginalia3Thirdly, that our Lord Iesus Christ in his humaine conuersation was always poore, but not þt he loued pouerty, or coueted to be poore.

Marginalia4Fourthlye, that our Lorde Iesus Christ dyd neuer beg, wylfully professing to be poore.

Marginalia5Fiftly, that our Lord Iesus Christ did neuer teache wilfully to beg, or to professe wilfull beggery.

Marginalia6The sixt conclusion was, that Christ our Lorde dyd contrary, that mē ought not wilfully or purposely without meete necessity to beg.

Marginalia7Seuenthly, that there is neither wysdome nor holynes, for any man to take vpon him wilfull beggery, perpetually to be obserued.

Marginalia8The eight, that it is not agreeing to the rule of the Obseruantes or Friars Minorites, to obserue wylfull pouertie.

Marginalia9The last conclusion was, touching the bull of Pope Alexander the fourth, which condemned the libel of the maisters of Paris: that the same bull teacheth none of these. vi. last conclusions.

Vpon these. ix. conclusions premised, Armachanus

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