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to supersede Frederic, Innocent IV. sent a circular brief of instructions to the Franciscans to use every opportunity, public or secret, to advocate his cause, and to promise remission of sins to those who should aid him. Again, in 12-18, we find friars of both orders sent as secret emissaries to stir up disaffection in Frederic's territories, lie complained bitterly of it, as he had always cherished and protected the Mendicants, and he met the attempt with savage ferocity. The Dominican Simon de Montesarculo, who was caught, was subjected to eighteen successive tortures ; and Frederic instructed his son-in-law, the Count of Caserta, that all friars showing signs of disaffection, or contravening the strict regulations which he prescribes, shall not be exiled as heretofore, but shall be promptly burned. The shrewd and experienced prince evidently recognized them as the most dangerous enemies to whom he was exposed. They continued to earn his hostility by the zeal with which they preached the crusade against him, and, after his death, against his son Conrad ; and we can regard as not improbable the statement that Ezzelin da Komano, his vicar in the March of Treviso, put to death no less than sixty Franciscans during his thirty years of power.[1]

The Mendicants gradually superseded the bishops, when papal commands were to be communicated to the people or papal mandates enforced. Even when fugitives were to be tracked, they formed an invisible network of police, spread over Europe and available in a thousand ways. Formerly, when a complaint reached Rome of an abuse to be rectified or of a prelate whose conduct required investigation or trial, a commission would be issued to two or three neighboring bishops or abbots to make an examination and report, or to reform churches and monasteries neglectful of discipline. Gradually this changed, and the Mendicants alone were charged with these duties, which made the papal power felt so directly in every episcopal palace and every abbey in Europe. They complained repeatedly of the amount of this extra work thrown upon them, and they were promised relief, but

  1. Richard, de S. Germano Chron. ann. 1229, 1239, — Potthast Regesta No. 10725, 13360.— Ripoll I. 158, 172.— Hist. Diplom. Frid. II. T. VI. pp. 405, 699-701, 710-11. Wadding! Aunal. ann. 1246, No. 4 ; ann. 1253, No. 35-6.— Martene Ampliss. Coll. II. 1192. — Barbarano de' Mironi, Hist. Eccles. di Vicenza, II. 73.