The Earlier Rule - 77 

year, unless it has been decreed otherwise by the minister and servant of the entire fraternity.

[Chapter XIX: That the Brothers Live as Catholics]a

1Let all the brothers be, live, and speak as Catholics.

2If someone has strayed in word or in deed from Catholic faith and life and has not amended his ways, let him be expelled from our brotherhood.

3Let us consider all clerics and religious as our masters in all that pertains to the salvation of our soul and does not deviate from our religion, and let us respect their order, office, and administration in the Lord.

[Chapter XX: Penance and the Reception
of the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ]

1Let all my blessed brothers, both clerics and lay, confess their sins to priests of our religion.c 2If they cannot, let them confess to other discerning and Catholic priests, knowing with certainty that, when they have received penance and absolution from any Catholic priest, they are without doubt absolved from their sins, provided they have humbly and faithfully fulfilled the penance imposed on them.

3If they have not been able to find a priest, however, let them confess to their brother, as the Apostle James says: Confess your sins to one another. Jas 5:16 d 4Nevertheless, because of this, let them not fail to have recourse to a priest because the power of binding and loosing is granted only to priests.




Regula non bullata, Fontes Franciscani, p. 202-203

2Omnes enim ministri, qui sunt in ultramarinis et ultramontanis partibus, semel in tribus annis, et alii ministri semel in anno veniant ad capitulum Pentecostes apud ecclesiam sanctae Mariae de Portiuncula, nisi a ministro et servo totius fraternitatis aliter fuerit ordinatum.

[Caput XIX - Quod fratres vivant catholice]

1Omnes fratres sint catholici, vivant et loquantur catholice. 2Si quis vero erraverit a fide et vita catholica in dicto vel in facto et non se emendaverit, a nostra fraternitate penitus expellatur. 3Et omnes clericos et omnes religiosos habeamus pro dominis in his quae spectant ad salutem animae et a nostra religione non deviaverint; et ordinem et officium eorum et administrationem in Domino veneremur.

[Caput XX - De poenitentia et receptione corporis et sanguinis Domini nostri Jesu Christi]

1Et fratres mei benedicti tam clerici quam laici confiteantur peccata sua sacerdotibus nostrae religionis. 2Et si non potuerint, confiteantur aliis discretis et catholicis sacerdotibus scientes firmiter et attendentes, quia a quibuscumque sacerdotibus catholicis acceperint poenitentiam et absolutionem, absoluti erunt procul dubio ab illis peccatis, si poenitentiam sibi iniunctam procuraverint humiliter et fideliter observare . 3Si vero tunc non potuerint habere sacerdotem, confiteantur fratri suo, sicut dicit apostolus Jacobus: Confitemini alterutrum peccata vestra. 4Non tamen propter hoc dimittant recurrere ad sacerdotem, quia potestas ligandi et solvendi solis sacerdotibus est concessa.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 77