Pope Gregory IX - 349 

any Prelate you wish, who is in communion with the Apostolic See.

If the throne of the diocesan bishop is vacant, all the ecclesiastical sacraments can in the meantime be received freely from neighboring bishops without contradiction, but in such a way that in the future no prejudice be engendered from this by your regular bishop.

And since, if sometimes you do not have enough bishops of your own and a bishop of a Roman See who is, as we say, in the good graces and in communion with the Holy See, and about whom you have full knowledge and he happens to be passing near your area, you are by the authority of the Apostolic See allowed to accept from him the blessing of the nuns.

Furthermore, if bishops, or other rectors of churches, shall have set up against your monastery or against persons living therein a sentence of suspension, excommunication, or interdict, we have decided that such a sentence, as being contrary to the indults of the Apostolic See, is not binding.

Besides, when a common territorial interdict is in effect, you may celebrate the Divine Office in a subdued voice and without the ringing of the bells after those excommunicated and interdicted are excluded and the doors are closed. When the abbess of the same place is hindering you now, or one of your sisters is succeeding you, neither underhanded wisdom should prevail there nor should pressure be exerted except when the sister by common consent or a major portion of their discreet council may have foreseen that she should be elected according to God and the Rule of St. Benedict.

Wishing also with fatherly solicitude to provide for your peace and tranquility in the future, We, by our Apostolic authority, make these provisions: Let no one dare within the cloisters of your monastery to rob or practice theft, set a fire, shed blood, rashly confine a person or kill him, or administer acts of violence.

Therefore We confirm by this special privilege and We strengthen by the protection of this present writing all the liberties and all the immunities with which our Venerable Brother, Bishop of his Capitular at Todi, with accompanying consent indulged you and which afterwards We brought forth to be confirmed in writing. As an indication of this freedom received from




Clare of Assisi: Early Documents, p. 349