Quia quorundam

English translation made from the latin text, transcribed from “EXTRAVAG. IOANN. XXII. TIT. XIV. DE VERBORUM SIGNIFICATIONE CAP V [1]”, DECRETALIUM CCOLLECTIONES, AKADEMISCHE DRUCK - U. VERLAGSANSTALT GRAZ, 1959, which was published as a second volume in a reprint of Codex Iuris Canonicis, ed. B. Tauchnitz, Leipzig,1879.

Bishop Servant of the Servants of God

for an everlasting memorial

November 10, 1324 A. D.

The opinion of those detractors, who presume to impunge John XXII's constitutions “Ad conditorem canonum,” and “Quum inter nonnullos”, just mentioned above, is reproved. And with the aforementioned replies having been made to all their objections, at last they are declared [to be] as heretics and rebels to the Roman Church, [men] to be avoided by all, if, they thereafter would presume knowingly by word or writing to defend or approve anything contrary to those [consitutions]. Here follows under the second and third parts the prolix and useful disputation concerning the “materia clavium” [that over which the Keys of Peter have authority]:

1. Because the father of lies is said to have so blinded the minds of certain [men], that they by [means of] false madness have obscured Our constitutions—not without much punishable temerity, unless they retract and lean themselves [once more] upon the truth, which these contain—of which one begins: “Ad conditorem canonum,” the other indeed: “Quum inter non nullos,” arranged diligently by previously held deliberation certainly as much with Our brother Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, as with many Archbishops and Bishops, and other prelates of the [local] churches, and not a few masters of sacred theology, and professors of both [kinds] of law [i.e. civil and canon], and promulgated on the counsel of Our aforementioned brothers: lest by daring [and] pernicious deeds their pestiferous doctrine shake the souls of the simple so much, and prevail to lead them into the deviation of their own errors, on the counsel of certain brother [cardinals] We judge soberly to make provision concerning this matter, as follows [below]. Moreover, they have used as much as word as writing to impugn the aforesaid constitutions, for the alleged reason, as is shown: They say that “That which the Roman Pontiffs had defined by [means of] the key of knowledge, in faith and morals, once for all, persists unchangeable to such an extent, that it is not lawful for a successor to call it again into doubt, nor to affirm the contrary,” although concerning those things, which have been ordained by [means of] the key of power, they assert it to be otherwise.

2. However, in the confirmation of the rule of the Order of Friars Minor by Honorius III, Gregory IX, Innocent IV, Alexander IV, Nicholas III, Our predecessors the Supreme Pontiffs, they assert [that] these words are contained: “This is the evangelical rule of Christ, the imitator of the Apostles, who had nothing in this world [either] as their own or in common, but in [those] things which were used, [merely] the simplex usum facti.” presuming to add to these that the aforementioned Supreme Pontiffs and many general councils have defined it by the key of knowledge, that the poverty of Christ and the Apostles consisted in the perfect expropriation of whatever temporal dominion, civil and mundane, and that even their sustenance consisted solely and merely in the usus facti, from which they strive to conclude, that it has not been licit nor is it licit for their successors to change anything against the aforementioned things. And for that reason when Our constitution in the aforesaid doctrine defined (as they assert) things contrary to the definitions of Our aforesaid predecessors, they satisfy themselves to conclude, although falsely, that is was not lawful for us to declare or establish that Christ and the Apostles in those things, which they had, had not only the simplex usus facti, but [also] the usus faciendi of them, and that scripture testifies that they did those things, by declaring [i.e. when it declared] heretical the pertinacious assertion of [those who] say that these same men did not have the least right of this kind, since [such ones] infer that the deeds of these men were not just—which is a wicked thing to say about Christ. Likewise, since the constitution Ad conditorem canonum, asserted against the aforesaid definitions that the Friars Minor can not have the simplex usus facti in anything, they strive similarly to argue against it.

On account of which moreover, since it was previously mentioned in the aforesaid consideration, namely, that “It is not licit for their successors to call again into doubt those things, which were defined once for all by the key of knowledge in faith or morals by the Supreme Pontiffs, although it is otherwise,” so they say, “ in regards to those things, which have been ordained by the Supreme Pontiffs by [means of] the key of power,” it is evidently clear from the following things [that] this is directly contrary to the truth. First, indeed following [i.e. in the order presented by] these men, it is clear that the aforesaid assertors, who hold that the spiritual key is by no means knowledge, but a power of binding and loosing, by reckoning it to be knowledge, have erred. In favor of which is the definition of the “key”, which is given by the doctors [of theology]: “The key is the special power of binding and loosing, with which the ecclesiastic as judge should receive the worthy into the Kingdom, and exclude the unworthy .” Likewise, since the keys, of which We speak, are conferred in the imposition of priestly orders, it is however well established that knowledge is not normally conferred upon the man ordained to the priesthood: wherefore, following [the argument of] these men, it seems that knowledge is not the key, but rather the ability to bind and loose should be said to be the key. Still following [the argument of] these men, they are evidently known to have erred, who reckon that one spiritual key is knowledge, and following [the argument of] these men, of which the authority to discern between [one] leper and another they assert to be a key, and the other [key is] the power of binding and loosing. For they substitute, by means of keys of this kind concerning those things, which are of the faith, and other [things], the ability to define [a matter] by means of any constitution. However the keys, which are conferred in priestly orders, by no means extend themselves to such matters, because according to the aforementioned [assertions] simple priests would be able to issue a constitution, which is evidently false. If however they maintain that those keys extend to the general authority, attributed to blessed Peter, and to his successors in the person of the same [i.e. acting in his stead] in the entrusting of the pastoral office, by means of which it seems at least evident to themselves that they have conceded everything, without which one would be unable to exercise the care of the universal shepherd conveniently or exercise freely its office: besides it is clear that even they themselves have erred. For they say, those things, which are established by the key of knowledge, have one affect, and those things, which are established by the key of power, another, supposing that some things, by the key of knowledge, and others, by the key of power, have been determined or even defined, which is evidently false. For by means of the key of knowledge, or by the authority to discern or examine among [one] leper and another leper, (if We would call this a key), nothing other except the authority to examine [them] is attributed by means of it to him to which it has been given. However to him, to whom is given the authority of deciding concerning anything, there is not understood to have been given [the authority] to define [anything] concerning it. Wherefore it remains, that to establish anything conveniently, or to define it, each of the keys, namely, of examining and defining, is required as necessary; or that to only the key of power does it belong to establish [anything], and even to define [it]; but, just as the material light directs the key-bearer in the use of a material key, so likewise he obtains as much as regards this matter from knowledge instead of light. And this Our Savior in making the promise of the keys to blessed Peter seems to have understood expressly, when He immediately adds to that: “And whatever you will bind on earth, shall be bound even in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth, will be loosed even in heaven,” making no mention of knowledge.

3. However that which is put forth as the premise to support the aforesaid doctrine, namely, that in the confirmation and declaration of the rule of the Friars Minor of not a few of Our predecessors, namely Honorius III, Gregory IX, Innocent IV, Alexander IV, Nicholas III, words of this kind are contained: “This is the evangelical rule,” etc. put forward above, up to: “it is clear consisted even in the mere usus facti:” directly opposes the truth. Honorius indeed confirmed the aforementioned rule without any declaration, in confirmation of which no mention of the aforesaid words is had, so that to whomsoever considers [it] attentively he can dissolve a confirmation of this kind: except in so far as mention is made of the evangelical life there in the rule itself, as confirmed, when it says: “This is the rule of the Friars Minor, namely to observe the Holy Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ, by living in obedience, without anything of one's own, and in chastity.” From which words it cannot be concluded that through that same predecessor of ours those things, which they themselves assert in [regards to] the aforesaid words, have been defined. On the contrary it can be concluded rather, that the evangelical life, which Christ and the Apostles kept, did not exclude holding anything in common, since one cannot survive without anything of one's own, on which account, as living men, they would have nothing in common. Also in the declarations of the aforesaid Gregory, Innocent and Alexander, who explained the same rule without another confirmation, similarly no direct mention is made of the aforesaid [words]; rather by means of these there is evidently shown, of those things, of which it is lawful for the friars themselves to have, the usus iuris pertains to the order itself. Indeed Gregory in his declaration, as much as regards this [point] inserts what follows: “We say, that neither individually nor in common should they have property, but of the utensils, books, and movable goods, which it is lawful to have, the order has the use, and the friars may use them according to what the minister general and the ministers provincial will have commanded to be arranged [in the matter].” Since it is said in the declarations spoken of above, that the order may have the use of the aforementioned things, it is necessary that this be referred to the usus iuris. Indeed [those] things done [in law], which pertain to individuals, demand and require a true [legal] person; the order, however, is not a true person, but rather is to be accounted as one represented and imaginary. Wherefore [those things] which are done [in law] are truly unable to pertain to them, granted that these could be suitable to that which is lawful. Besides granted that the declaration of the aforesaid Nicholas III may contain these [words] which follow: “These are those professors of the holy rule, who have been founded upon the evangelical discourse, strengthened by the example of the life of Christ, and made firm by the sermons and deeds of the His Apostles, the founders of the Church militant,”[1] and afterwards in the same declaration he added, saying, “that the abdication of all property, as much as in individual as in common, is meritorious before God and holy, which even Christ, showing [us] the way of perfection, taught by word and strengthened by example, and which the first founders of the Church militant, just as [streams which] have drained from the fountain itself, in willing to live perfectly have directed along the stream-beds of their own doctrine and life:” [2] however, from the aforesaid words nothing at all can be inferred, since the intention of Our aforesaid predecessor, Nicholas, was, to say, that the said rule in respect to all things which are contained in it, is founded upon the evangelical discourse, and strengthened by the example of the life of Christ, and not (sic) because it was strengthened by the life and deeds of the Apostles. For it is well known that many things are contained in the said rule, which neither Christ taught by word, nor strengthened by example, in as much as, what the founder of the rule precepted to all the Friars, that in no manner they are to receive coins or money through themselves or through an interposed person, and also even concerning many other things contained in the said rule, which at any rate neither Christ nor the Apostles taught by word, nor strengthened by example. Nor does this oppose [the truth], that Christ forbade the Apostles and the disciples to carry money, when He would sent them to preach, since nevertheless, before He would send them, We read that it had been forbidden to them. And that after [their] return they carried money, the evangelical truth and apostolic sayings bear witness in very many places. Besides Augustine expressely says that this was not precepted, but [that] it was lawful for the Apostles [both] to retain, or even not to retain, the authority to receive necessaries from others, to whom they preached the Gospel.

4. But this Our predecessor, the Roman Pontiff Nicholas, in respect to the principle three vows, namely to live in obedience, and without property, and in chastity, and the other things, if as things expressed they are found in the Gospel, seems to have understood to say in the aforesaid declaration regarding the said rule, which at any rate opposes the above said declarations of Ours in nothing. Besides it does not appear that he himself said that the sustenance of Christ and His Apostles consisted only and merely in the simplex usus facti, since as regards Christ and the Apostles Our aforesaid predecessor Nicholas made no mention. Indeed he seems to have understood quite expressly that they had had another jus a proprietate, since concerning solely the abdication of property, not of another right, in the aforesaid declaration, as much as pertained to them, mention is had. Besides the same Nicholas, Our predecessor, seems to have understood that Christ and the Apostles even as regards property had something in common. For when he would use words concerning the abdication of property, responding to a tacit objection, which could have been made to him concerning loculi (i.e. money bags), which [as] is read in the Gospel Christ had had, immediately he added [these words] which follow: “Nor let anyone think to resist these things, because it is sometimes said, that Christ had had loculi. For as Christ Himself, whose works were perfect, cultivated in His deeds the way of perfection, on which account sometimes, condescending to the imperfection of the infirm, he would both extol the way of perfection and not damn the infirm paths of the imperfect: and so Christ in having taken up loculi set free the person of the infirm.” At another time there had been the irrelevant objection concerning the loculi, unless it would have been understood that even Christ as regards property had loculi. Besides if it would be said that Christ in having had locui [had] only the simplex usus facti, in vain would it be said that in the person of the infirm themselves Christ had loculi, when according to him it is suitable for even the perfect to have the simplex usum facti. And, if it would be asked on the account of which infirm [persons] He would have those loculi, Augustine, whose saying has been inserted in the Decrees, answers, saying: “The Lord, keeping the offerings of the faithful, used to have loculi, and He used to allot these for His own necessities and for the needs of others.” Whence it is well known that He Himself understood this of His own disciples. Nor does this, namely 'having somethings in common and as regards property,' derogate from the highest poverty according to the saying of the aforesaid Gregory IX, who in a certain decretal of his expressly says that the Friar Preachers and the Friars Minor are to serve Christ in the highest poverty; and yet it is well known that the [Friar] Preachers themselves have somethings in common even as regards property, which is not repugnant to their rule or statutes. This even Alexander, our aforesaid predecessor, seems to have understood in the condemnation of a little book published against the statues of the [Friar] Preachers and the [Friars] Minor, in which he occasionally he adds concerning the said friars [those things] which follow, since in addition he replies that the same friars have forsaken all things for the sake of God, begging the meagerly supports for life, and that they imitate the poor Christ, by embracing evangelical perfection. On account of which it is evidently apparent, that they not only stand forth in the state of those [who are] to be saved, but also of the perfect, and by the observance of their religion, which indeed has the form of evangelical perfection, they merit surpassing glory [for themselves] as a reward of eternal retribution. Indeed where he says expressly, that the Friar Preachers imitate the poor Christ, and that they themselves embrace evangelical perfection, and stand forth in the state of the elect, and that the observance of their own religion has the form of evangelical perfection, it is however even well known, that they themselves can have even as regards property somethings in common according to their rule. Nor does this oppose, what they say, that Innocent V (otherwise Celestine) Our predecessor had said, that high poverty is having few things of one's own for the sake of God; higher [poverty], which has no things as one's own, has however [somethings] in common; the highest [poverty], which has nothing in this world, neither [has anything] as one's own, nor in common. Indeed We say, that he said this, not as Pope, but as Friar Peter de Tarentaise [O.P.] in a certain (writing) of his own, afterwards, wherefore the sayings of the aforementioned Pontiffs are to be preferred deservedly to his. They also say, that the Apostle spoke concerning such highest poverty, saying: “And their most high poverty abounded in the riches of their simplicity.” (1 Cor. 8:2) [3] Which evidently is false since there it speaks of the poverty of the Macedonians, who even used to posses temporal goods individually, concerning whom the Apostle claims, that beyond [their] strength they pitied the saints with their alms. Moreover because in the declaration of our predecessor Nicholas it is said that the Friars Minor in things, which fall to them, they may have only the simplex usus facti, We say that if he himself understood the simplex usus facti as devoid of all right, in such a way, that the friars themselves or the order would have no jus utendi, this [would be] expressly against the declaration of Gregory, Innocent, [and] Alexander, the aforesaid supreme Pontiffs, by whom [i.e. by whose authority] it expressly contained, that the order would have the use of such goods; because concerning the usus juris there must be understood “the necessary,” as has been proved above. Besides We say, that this, namely the simplex usus facti without any right, is impossible, (since no one other than oneself can be said to use a thing as one's own,) to be able in regards to anything to obtain from another a usus that is not consumable, just as it is proven in the decretal Ad conditorem canonum, and as Augustine holds expressly in Book XI of De actu. Besides if the use devoid of any right were able to be possessed by anyone, it would be established that an act of this kind of using would have to be reckoned as not just, since that would be a use, to which the ius utendi did not pertain; moreover a not-just use does not pertain in any way to the state of perfection, nor does it add anything to perfection, but rather is recognized to be manifestly repugnant to itself. Now it does not seem that the author of the law [i.e. the Pope] for the Friars understood to reserve for them such a not-just use. Nay rather, that he understood this of a just [one] is more evidently able to appear from that which he adds in the same arrangement, that he was receiving the dominium of these things in his own name and even of [that] of the Roman Church, of which it would be lawful for the friars or the order, as said before, to have the usus facti, adding that the friars themselves should not have the use of all things. Moreover as much as it pertains to the simplex usus facti without any jus utendi: as regards the friars there cannot be estimated to be any difference [among] these things. For in this way they can in fact use prohibited things, as has been mentioned. From which it follows, that the usus facti, concerning which [that] arrangement speaks, should be understood of such, which are just, and for which a jus utendi pertains. And the very author of the law [i.e. the Pope] seems even to have understood from that which he added to the same arrangement, that a moderate use as regards things previously paid for has been conceded to the friars themselves. On the other hand the assailers of the constitution of this kind are claimed to publicly assert that “the little book and the sayings of the masters [in theology], of those who assert that the said poverty and life of the said friars is not evangelical and apostolic, the Roman Pontiffs have condemned, more broadly prohibiting by apostolic letters that anyone contumaciously add to the aforesaid things or to any of the aforementioned things, or in any manner whatsoever presume to defend [them], [and in] establishing, that he who presumes to do the contrary is to be treated as contumacious, a rebel to the Roman Church, and a heretic.” To which We say that an assertion of this kind is false. For there is not contained, in the passage quoted above, that he [who] does the contrary is to be treated as a heretic, which indeed [i.e but rather that it] contains these things which follow: “For We nonetheless by the authority of these present [documents] do more broadly prohibit that anyone pertinaciously assert the aforesaid things or any of the aforesaid things or presume in any manner to defend them. Whosoever truly should presume [to do] this, let him be treated as contumacious and a rebel of the Roman Church by all the faithful.” There has not been added, that one is to be treated as an heretic, as is clear in the text of the aforesaid sentence of condemnation.

5. On the other hand, it is said that assertors of this kind have asserted that “the abdication of right in regards to property of whatever kind and of its use is holy and meritorious for God's sake, and that this was observed by Christ Himself in regards to Himself, [that it was] imposed upon the Apostles, and [that is was] assumed by them under a vow. Nor on this account is the usus facti for the sustenance of nature as regards Christ and the Apostles proven conclusively to be not just, but so much more just and more perfect, and more acceptable by God, and more an exemplary to the world, as more fully it was a renunciation of all right, on account of which such using can be both compared with a usus of whatever kind in whatever way and defended in court.” Which assertion indeed contains many false things, since neither that Christ observed the aforesaid expropriation of all right in regards to property of whatever kind, or in usus as regards Himself, nor that He imposed this upon the Apostles, nor that [this was done] by a vow that had been taken by themselves, does the evangelical or apostolic history teach, but the contrary is more evidently manifest. Moreover because in the aforesaid assertion there is added, that “by means of the abdication of the aforesaid right, namely of property, this usus facti for the sustenance of nature as regards Christ and the Apostles is not proven conclusively to be not just, but so much more just etc.,” it includes an impossibility, and evidently this kind of said error [i.e. as is now explained: ]. For it is impossible that an extrinsic human act be just, if the one exercising the very act have no right to exercise it: indeed such use is necessarily proven conclusively to be not only not just but unjust. Likewise, it is absurd and erroneous, that the act of anyone, not having the right to accomplish an act of this kind, would be more just and more acceptable to God, than [the act] of one having [the right], since one would conclude that an unjust act would appear just and more acceptable to God than a just one.

Moreover from the aforementioned things they strive to infer, as has been shown, that the definition of the aforesaid supreme Pontiffs, which they defined concerning the poverty of Christ and the Apostles and concerning the rule of the aforesaid Friars Minor, (just as they have expressed it above), could not be changed by Us; far from doubt they assert false things, by saying, that Our predecessor have defined such things, as has been proved above, and thus saying besides, while sufficiently impugning Our constitutions, they show that those constitutions, on which they support themselves, to be invalid, erroneous, and refuted (if their false assertions would show [themselves to be] true). For if it was not lawful for Us to establish publicly anything against the constitution of Nicholas III, Our predecessor, on which they especially found themselves, neither was it lawful for him to establish or declare anything against the statues of the aforesaid Gregory, Innocent, and Alexander; because nevertheless, according to their assertion, it is evidently known that he did. For since these [Popes] declared, in order that the order of Minors would have the use of those things, which it was lawful for them to have, which necessarily must be referred to the usus juris, as has been proven above, he himself—according to them—truly established that neither the order nor the friars should have the jus utendi, but only just the simplex usus facti, and that in addition he ordained, decreed, and established that this constitution, arrangement, and declaration of his own must be observed no less than precisely and inviolably and for all times by the friars themselves; it is not only well known, that he would have ordained [something] against the declarations of the aforesaid predecessors, but that he himself would have even revoked them, as much as pertains to these things, which his declaration contains. Also Our predecessor himself in his declaration added, that it pertained to the declaration of the Apostolic See and to the arrangement of those things, even concerning those things which he himself had declared, saying thus: “If any ambiguity should emerge in regards the aforesaid things, let this be brought to the peak of the Apostolic See, so that from its apostolic authority—to whom alone has it been conceded to compose statutes in regard to these things, and to explain what has been composed—there may be manifested in this [matter] the intention [of what was to have been expressed].” of which nevertheless the assertors of this kind assert the contrary. Besides it is clear that what they assert is false. For granted that the aforesaid Innocent III interdicted the erection of new religious [orders] in general council, his own successors nevertheless, (not withstanding an interdict of this kind), chose to confirm many orders, which (with some exceptions) were even dissolved in a certain measure afterwards by Our predecessor Gregory IX in general council.

6. If therefore after an interdict of a general council it was lawful for the supreme Pontiffs to confirm orders [that] had not been confirmed, and for their successors to dissolve completely [those which] had been so confirmed, is it not wonderful, if, what only the supreme Pontiff may declare or ordain concerning the rules of [religious] orders, it is lawful for his successors to declare or to change to other things. Moreover it is clear that neither the confirmation of the aforesaid [Popes], Honorius, Gregory, Alexander, and Nicholas [III], was accomplished in general council, since no general council was celebrated by any of these. Granted that Innocent IV celebrated a general council, nevertheless during that [council] the above said declaration of his was not accomplished with the authority of any council. Nicholas IV, however, neither celebrated a general council, nor declared anything concerning the said rule. The aforesaid Gregory IX, however, neither confirmed nor declared the said rule, but in a general council, where there had been not a few orders of mendicants abolished, he did not abolish the orders of the said Friars Minor and [Friar] Preachers, but asserted them to be approved, saying thus: “To these [orders], which the resulting utility of the universal church, evident from these things, demonstrates as approved, We do not permit the present constitution to be extended.”

Besides they tell us, where they read assertions of this kind, that it pertains to faith and morals, that Christ and the Apostles did not have as regards these things, which they did have, [anything] but the simplex usus facti? Indeed this does not pertain directly to faith, since concerning this [matter] there is not any article, neither [any] under which it is meant to be understood, as is clear in the creeds, in which the articles of the faith are contained, nor even remotely, unless this be contained in sacred scripture, by which having been denied all sacred scripture is reduced to doubts, and by consequence the articles of faith, which have been proven by means of sacred scripture, are reduced to doubts and uncertainties. For this cannot be in regard to Sacred Scripture, but the contrary is discovered [to be the case]. Moreover concerning the aforesaid Friars Minor what the supreme Pontiff kept, or could have kept, for himself and to the Roman Church concerning their poverty and simplex usus facti, or concerning the dominion of those things which are offered to them, is well known. Nor in the aforesaid creeds, the Gospel, or the Acts of the Apostles and [their] letters is there had any mention that it is not lawful for their successor to rid himself of that [which] was reserved, if this seemed expedient, nor that a successor did not have the force [of authority] to revoke the procurators constituted by the authority of the supreme Pontiff for the transactions of the aforesaid order. Whence they cannot conclude from the aforesaid things, except falsely, but that a successor has the force [of authority] to ordain something against those things [which] have been ordained by the supreme Pontiffs concerning such things, because the aforementioned Nicholas expressly includes [this] in his declaration, as is contained more fully above.

7. For that reason, lest the fabricators of lies of this kind and also the assertors of such pestilential, erroneous, and condemned doctrine, by repressing and confusing certainly every worthy [doctrine], prevail in boasting and in leading others into error, since they have dared, by sneaky undertaking and perverse petulance, to defend publicly a heresy condemned by the aforesaid constitution and even to prove, namely that Christ and His Apostles in those things, which were appointed [for them] to have had, they only had the simplex usus facti without any right, from which (if it were true) it would follow, that the usus of Christ was not just, which indeed contains blasphemy, and [which is] inimical to the Catholic Faith, since there is no doubt that this has come forth from pertinacious and erroneous animosity, after [having taken] counsel of Our brothers [i.e. the cardinals], We do declare that each and every [person], who by word or writing on his own or by means of another or others presumes [to do] such things publicly, and that also they, who teach these in regards to such things and do as has been aforementioned, have fallen into condemned heresy, and [are to be treated] as heretics to be avoided. If anyone, moreover, would presume by word or writing to knowingly defend or approve, one after the other, the heresies condemned by the constitution Quum inter praedictam, or either of them, after [having taken] counsel of the same brother [cardinals], We judge that he is to be visibly treated as a heretic by all. Besides after [having taken] the counsel of the same brother [cardinals] We forbid more broadly that [anyone] impugn with insane daring Our above said constitution, Ad conditorem canonum, which they are [doing], as has been shown, so that no one may, in word or writing, approve or defend anything knowingly against the things defined, ordained or accomplished by the same. If anyone truly would presume [to do such] against [it], let him be treated by all as contumacious, and a rebel of the Roman Church.

Therefore [it is in nowise licit] to any man [to infringe this page of Our declarations, statements, composition, command, constitutions, judgments, and dispositions, nor it is licit to such a one to oppose this by rash daring: if any one however would presume to attempt this, let him know that he has incurred the indignation of the Omnipotent God, and his blessed Apostles Peter and Paul.]

Given at Avignon, on the fourth day before the Ides of November, in the ninth year of Our Pontificate.


1 - The Latin text of Nicholas III's constitution “Exiit qui seminat” , as quoted here, differs from the text printed in the “The Registers of Nicholas III”, p. 232-241, #564 . That text reads, “Hii sunt illius sancte regule professores, que evangelico fundatur eloquio, vite Christi roboratur exemplo, fondatorum militantis Ecclesie apostolorum ejus sermonibus actibusque firmatur.” which is translated “These are those professors of the holy rule, which is founded on the evangelical discourse, strengthened by the example of the life of Christ, and made firm by the sermons and deeds of His Apostles, the founders of the Church militant.” This difference, however, does not change the value or conclusions of the argument.

2 - The text of Nicholas III's constitution as quoted here, again differs from the that which is found in the “Registers of Nicholas III”, as above. That text readsquod abdicatio . . . prout ab ipso fonte auxerant (sic), . . .derivarunt:” which is translated “that the abdication . . .just as [streams which] had grown from the spring itself, . .have diverted over . . . “. This is only a question of a variant reading.

3 - The passage cited (1 Cor. 8:2) in the footnotes to the Latin text for this quote should be 2 Corinthians 8:2, which is “quod in multo experimento tribulationis abundantia gaudii ipsorum et altissima paupertas eorum abundavit in divitias simplicitatis eorum “ and is translated “That in much experience of tribulation, they have had abundance of joy; and their very deep poverty hath abounded unto the riches of their simplicity.” in the Douay-Rheims edition of the Vulgate.

The introductory paragraph is an English translation of the introductory paragraph from the work cited. All text within the square brackets has been added by the English translator for the sake of clarity. If such text is in italics then the words are not contained in the literal meaning of the Latin passage, but are added here to give the sense of their meaning. The variant readings presented in the Latin notes have not been used. Finally this translation has been released to the public domain by its author.