Form of Life of Pope Innoncent IV - 103 

considered illicit and invalid. Nevertheless, some small bit of movable property of small worth can at times be given.

12So that it does not happen that, through the fault of some government, you fall back at a later date from the observance of the present Formula briefly described above, which we wish and decree is to be followed everywhere and by everyone in a uniform way; or, that you take up different ways of living under the teaching of various [persons], we fully entrust the care of you and all the monasteries of your Order with the authority of the present [document] to our beloved sons, the general and provincial ministers of the Order of Lesser Brothers.a We decree that you remain under their—or others who might be ministers for a time—obedience, government, and teaching. You are firmly bound to obey them.

And let them, having solicitude and care for your souls, strive to fulfill the office of Visitator for these monasteries through themselves or their other brothers who are qualified for this [and] designated by them according to the aforesaid Form, as often as they deem it necessary, correcting and reforming in those places, either in the head or in the members.

Nonetheless, let them establish or abandon, change or order as, according to God, they see fit.

Let the election of the abbess, however, freely belong to the community. Its confirmation or invalidation may be done by the general minister, if he is present in the province, or, in his absence, by the provincial of that province in Which the monastery is situated. Let the brothers appointed for this task hear your confessions and administer the sacraments of the Church to you. But since the brothers of the aforesaid Order may not be bound to reside continually in your monasteries, the lack of a priest can be threatening. Let them appoint other discreet and solicitous chaplains to hear your confessions at moments of need and to administer the aforesaid sacraments as well as the celebration of the Divine Office.




Clare of Assisi: Early Documents, p. 103