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granted to the legates of Languedoc to issue licenses for preaching, and these were, of course, at the time independent of episcopal permission, but in the Rule of 1228 it was especially provided that no friar should preach in a diocese without first obtaining permission of the bishop, and in no case was he to declaim against the vices of the secular priesthood. Francis professed the humblest reverence for the established clergy ; he declared that if he were to meet simultaneously a priest and an angel, he would first turn to kiss the hands of the priest, saying to the angel, "Wait, for these hands handle the Word of Life and possess something more than human;", and in his Rule it was also provided that no friar should preach in any diocese against the will of the bishop. The bishops were not particularly disposed to welcome the intruders, and Honorius III. condescended to entreaty in asking them to permit the Dominicans to preach, while he also took steps to provide preachers from among the secular clergy by stimulating their study of theology. The intrusion of the Mendicants on the functions of the parish priests was gradual, and was commenced with the privilege granted them of celebrating mass everywhere on portable altars. Some resistance was made to this, but it was broken down; and when Gregory IX., in 1227, signalized his accession by empowering both Orders to preach, hear confessions, and grant absolution everywhere, the wandering friars, in spite of the prohibitions of the Rules, gradually invaded every parish and performed all the duties of the cure of souls, to the immense discomfort of the local priesthood, who had always guarded with extreme jealousy the rights which were the main source of their influence and revenue. Complaints were loud and reiterated, and were sometimes listened to, but were more frequently answered by an emphatic confirmation of the innovation.[1]

  1. Constit. Frat. Prgedic. ann. 1228, Dist. ii. cap. 32, 33 (Archiv. fiir Litt. und Kirch engeschichte, 1886, p. 224).— Innoc. PP. III. Regest. ix. 185.— S. Francis. Orac. XXII. — Ejusd. Regul. Sec. c. 9. — Stephan. de Borbone (D'Argentrg, Collect. Judic. de nov. Error. I. i. 90-1). — Bern. Guidon. (Martene Ampl. Collect. VI. 530).— Potthast Regest. No. G508, 6542, 6654, 6660, 7325, 7467, 7468, 7480, 7890, 1031G, 10332, 10386, 10629, 10630, 10657, 10990, 10999, 11006, 11299, 15355, 16926, 16933.— Martene Thesaur. I. 954.— Concil. Narbonn. ann. 1227 c. 19.— Baluz. Concil. Gall. Narbon. App. pp. 156-9.
    There were not many prelates like Robert Grosseteste of Lincoln, who wrote