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434 [434]

Actes and Monumentes Of the Churche.
¶ How that Ecclesiasticall iudges and offycials, for the gredy desyre of mony, do suffer vnlawful vseries.

FVthermore the offycials being allured thorow the gredy and vnsaciable desire of mony, do (not only) not forbid vnlawful vseries and gains of mony, but also suffer and maintain the same. Moreouer they taking a yerely stipend and pention, do suffer the clergy and other religious persons vnlawfullye to dwell with their concubines and harlots, and to beget children by them. Bothe whych things how great pearil, offence and detrimēt they do bring both vnto the body and soule, euery man may plainly see, so that it neade not to be rehearsed, except he wil make him self as blinde as a Mole.

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¶ Vvhat the offycials do with wemen, whose husbandes are long absent.

FVrthermore it happeneth oftentimes, þt either the good man or the good wife by meanes of warre, or some other vowe, hath taken in hand some longe iourney, who tarying longer then serueth the appetite of þe other, the officiall taking a reward of thother, geueth them licence to dwel together with any other person, not hauing first regard or making inquisition whether the husband beinge absent, be in health or deade, and because thys their doinges shoulde not be euell spoken of, they name it suffraunce, not without great offence vnto al men, and to the great contempte of holy matrimony.

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¶ Of the canones of cathedrall and collegiate churches, and other religious persones, and with how wicked bondes, the bishops and prelates are bound by their chapters.

THis is also vnlawful and plainlye wicked, that the chanons of cathedral churches, in whose hand the principall part of Ecclesiastical iudgements, sinodes and censures are set, and the canons of other collegiate churches, which haue power and autority to chuse their superior and bishoppe, that they wil chuse none to their bishop, except he binde him self fyrst with an oth, and plainly sweare yea and oftentimes is bound by bonde and instrumentes sealed with their seales to them and their Ecclesiastical iudges, that in no matter be it neuer so greuous, intollerable or dishonest, he shall not be againste them. And if it happen at any time that they doo offend, they may doo it also without punishment for hym.

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¶ Howe the burthens and greuaunces are no longer to be suffred, where with the miserable commonalty are oppressed for the ministration of the sacraments.

MAny parishe churches are subiect vnto monasteries, and to the parsones of other churches, by meanes of incorporations (as they call it) or otherwise, whychethey are bounde also accordinge to the Canon lawes, to forsee and loke vnto by them selues, when as they doo putte them forthe vnto others to be gouerned. Reseruing for the most part vnto them selues, the whole stipend of the benefices and tithes.

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And moreouer agrauate and charge the same with so great pensions, that the hireling priestes and other ministers of the church, can not haue thervpon a decent or compotent liuyng, where by it commeth to passe, that these hyreling priestes, for that they muste neades haue whervpon to liue, doo with vnlawfull exactions miserablye spoile and deuoure the poore shepe committed vnto them. And consume all their substance. For when as the sacramentes of the aultare and baptitme are to be adminystred, the first seuenth moneth or yere, dais are to be obserued and kept, auriculer confessyon to be hard, the dead to be buried, or anye other thing, whatsoeuer it be to be don. As touching funeralles or obseruation of ceremonies, they will not doo it frelye, but extort and exacte so much, as the miserable comminalty is skarse able to perfome, and dailye they doo encrease and augment these their exactions, dryuinge them to the paymeut therof, by threatning thē with excommunication, and go about to compel men, which through pouerty are not able to celebrate funerals, yeare mindes, and suche other like ceremonies about the funeralles of the dead.

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¶ How that diuers and many are forced to bie their places of burial with great sums of mony.

IT is ordained by the popes canons, that buriall in the church, shoulde be denyed vnto them, whyche being knowen to be manifest and notorious offenders, haue departed this life without receiuinge of the Sacrament. But the cleargy not regarding those decrees, will not suffer suche as by chaunce are drowned, killed, slain wt fals or fyre, or other wise by chaunce haue ended their liues. Albeit it be not euident, that they were in deadlye synne, to be buried in the churches, vntil such time, as the wiues, children or frends of those men so dead doo with greate summes of monye, purchase and bie the cloyster of them.

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¶ How bishoppes get vnto them selues greate summes of mony, by geuinge lycence vnto priestes to haue concubines.

ALso in many places, the bishops in theyr offycials doo not onlye suffer priestes to haue concubines, so þt they pay certaine summes of mony, but also compell continent and chast priestes which liue withoute concubines, to paye tribute for concubines, affyrming the bishop to be vnworthy any such mony, which being paid, it shalbe lawfull for thē, either to liue chaste or kepe concubines, howe wicked a thing this is euery man dooth well

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