Papal Documents - The Prophet - 788 

in their wake. It has not been possible to put an end to these up to now, nor is it hopeful that this will happen as long as this procedure continues.

8 Furthermore, the said reservation is not only harmful to the brothers themselves, but it even detracts and has detracted from the honor of the said Roman Church in a not insignificant way. For how is the honor of the said Church not impugned, when its representativesa have to go into one court after another, both ecclesiastical and secular, even before some petty judges to argue over some cheap, insignificant matter? Because under the aforesaid ordinance the ownership of everything that is given, offered, or otherwise acquired by the said brothers is reserved to the Roman Church—unless the donors or those offering reserve ownership for themselves—we see that the procurators set up by the ministers of the said Order in the name of the same church are continually occupied, acting on behalf of or defending everything that belongs to the said Order. What is even more serious a consideration, the brothers are said to improperly bother many of these procurators, harassing them constantly to fight for their rights. All such things are recognized as redounding to the ill fame and injury of the same Roman Church.

9 Finally, the aforesaid ordinance has been shown to be extremely troublesome for the prelates and rectors of churches . . .b

10 Since we have taken all of these factors into the scrutiny of correct consideration, aroused by the complaints of many persons, and wishing to avoid such evils and to provide for the consciences and the state of life of the said brothers, the honor of the same Roman Church, and the relief of the prelates and rectors of churches, we, in accord with the counsel of our brothers, judge that it is better for the holy Roman Church to be without this ownership, which is so useless and pernicious, than to have it. We therefore issue this edict to be valid forever, that the Apostolic See from now on will possess in law no more ownership over or on behalf of the goods which in the future will be conferred, offered, or in any other way come into the possession of the aforesaid brothers or Order than it does over and on behalf of the goods of any other mendicant order. And we further decree that in the future no procurator may be appointed to receive, request, demand, defend, or administer such goods in the name of the Supreme Pontiff or of the same Roman Church, except by our special license and mandate. And we revoke whatever may have been

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Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 788