Papal Documents - 575 

views. Once you yourselves shall have passed this statute, we consider it approved.

11 Finally, it is written in the Rule that “the brothers should not enter the monasteries of nuns, except those to whom special permission has been granted by the Apostolic See.” Up to now the brothers have interpreted this passage as referring to the monasteries of the Poor Cloistered Nuns for whom the Apostolic See exercises a special concern.a This interpretation is believed to have been handed down by the provincial ministers in general chapter through a statute at the time when the Rule was approved and blessed Francis was still alive.b Nevertheless, you have asked for a clarification. Does this mean all monasteries without exception, since the Rule excepts none, or does it refer only to the monasteries of the aforesaid [Poor Cloistered] Nuns? We respond: the prohibition affects communities of nuns of every description. And by the term monastery we mean the cloister, the living quarters, and the inner shops. Those brothers to whom the superiors have granted permission by virtue of their maturity and suitability may go into the other areas to which lay people also have access in order to preach or beg alms, with the exception always of the monasteries of the aforesaid Cloistered Nuns. No one has any access to them without the express permission of the Apostolic See.c

Given at Anagni, the twenty-eighth day of September, in the fourth year of our pontificate (1230).

J) Quoniam abundavit of Gregory IX (1237)

During the 1230’s Gregory IX’s letters to local church leaders recommending the Franciscans and defending their ministry increasingly emphasized the role of the ordained brothers. The simple penitential preaching which characterized the early brotherhood was downplayed more and more in favor of the doctrinal and moral sermons demanded by the pastoral needs of the church. Gregory was viewing the Franciscan Order, at least in terms of its ministry, as a twin of the Dominicans. This decree provides perhaps the clearest statement of Gregory’s view which identified the very raison d’être of the Lesser Brothers as a task force to implement the pastoral provisions of the Fourth Lateran Council




Quo elongati, Bullarium Franciscanum, p. BFr 1, p. 20-25

voces suas committentes eidem; quod etiam cum statueritis, per vos ipsos, statutum huiusmodi duximus approbandum.

Denique quia continetur in regula supradicta, quod fratres non ingrediantur monasteria monialium preter illos, quibus a sede apostolica concessa fuerit licentia specialis, quamquam hoc de monasteriis pauperum monialium inclusarum fratres hactenus intelligendum esse crediderint, cum earum sedes apostolica curam habeat specialem et intellectus huiusmodi per constitutionem quandam tempore date Regule vivente adhuc beato Francisco per provinciales ministros fuisse credatur in Generali Capitulo declaratus, certificari nichilominus postulastis, an hoc de omnibus generaliter, cum Regula nullum excipiat, an de solis monasteriis intelligi debeat monialium predictarum. Nos utique generaliter id esse prohibitum de quarumlibet cenobiis monialium respondemus; et nomine monasterii volumus claustrum, domos et officinas interiores intelligi, pro eo quod ad alia loca, ubi etiam homines seculares conveniunt, possunt fratres illi causa predicationis vel elemosine petende accedere, quibus id a superioribus suis pro sua fuerit maturitate vel ydoneitate concessum, exceptis semper predictarum monasteriis inclusarum, ad que nulli datur accedendi facultas sine licentia sedis apostolice special.

Datum Anagnie [IV. kal. 0ctobris pontificatus nostri anno quarto].

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 575