Page:A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages-Volume I .pdf/313

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293
QUARRELS WITH THE SECULAR CLERGY.

the Franciscans and Augustinians, who refused to do likewise. Gerson did not hesitate to preach publicly against it in a sermon, in which he enumerated the four persecutions of the Church in the order of their severity — tyrants, heretics, the Mendicants, and Anti-christ. This unflattering collocation was not likely to promote harmony, but the matter seems to have slept for a while in the greater questions raised by the councils of Constance and Basle, though the latter assembly took occasion to decide against the Mendicants on the points at issue, as well as to condemn the widespread popular belief that any one dying in a Franciscan habit would not spend more than a year at most in purgatory, since St. Francis made an annual visit there and carried off all his followers to heaven. When the papacy regained its strength it renewed the struggle for its favorites. In 1446 Eugenius IV. put forth a new bull, Gregis nobis crediti, condemning the doctrines of Jean de Poilly, which attracted little attention, and was followed in 1453 by Nicholas V. with another, Provisionis nostræ, of similar import. This was brought in 1456 to the notice of the University, which denounced it as surreptitious, destructive to peace, and subversive of hierarchial subordination. Calixtus III. continued the struggle, and, finding the University unyielding, appealed to Louis XI. for secular interposition, but in vain ; the University refused to admit into its body any friars who would not pledge themselves not to make use of these bulls. It is true that in 1458 a priest of Valladolid who denied the authority of the Mendicants to supersede the parish priests was forced to recant publicly in his own church; but the trouble continued, leading in Germany to such scandals that the archbishops of Mainz and Treves, with other bishops, and the Duke of Bavaria, were obliged to appeal to the Holy See. A commission of two cardinals and two bishops was appointed to determine upon a compromise, which was accepted by both parties and approved by Sixtus IV. about 1480. The priests were not to teach that the Orders were fruitful of heresies, the friars were not to teach that parishioners need not hear mass on Sundays and feast days in their parish churches, or confess to their curates at Easter, though they were not to be deprived of hearing confessions and granting absolutions. Neither priests nor friars were to endeavor to get the laity to choose sepulture with either; and neither party was to assail or detract from the other in their sermons. The in-