Papal Documents - 574 

8 Furthermore, the Rule forbids any of the brothers to preach to the people “unless he has been examined and approved by the general minister and received from him the office of preaching.” You wish to know whether, in order to assist the work of the brothers and for the sake of avoiding hazardous travel, the general minister may delegate to other discreet brothers the said examination, approval, and authorization for the office of preaching, and if so, whether he may delegate universally for examining brothers assigned to the provinces or delegate only for certain brothers in particular. To this we respond as follows. The general minister may not delegate these matters to any brother in his absence. Let the brothers who are judged ready for examination be sent to him; or let them accompany their provincial ministers to the general chapter for this purpose. Now, if they do not require an examination, on the basis of having had training both at a school of theology and in the office of preaching, and if they are of mature age, and if they possess all those other qualities that are expected of such men, then they may preach to the people in the approved manner, unless the provincial minister decides otherwise.

9 Furthermore, the brothers are wondering whether the vicars of the provincial minister, whom these latter appoint to act in their stead when they are traveling to the general chapter, may receive postulants into the brotherhood or dismiss them once they have been received. We declare that they may not. Even the ministers themselves may not do this unless they have been specially authorized. And just as the general minister has power to authorize them, so may he deny the authorization. According to the Rule, the reception of brothers may not be delegated to others besides the provincial ministers. Much less, then, do these ministers have the power to subdelegate. For this authority has been entrusted to them alone, not to others.

10 Then again, the Rule states that “upon the death of the general minister, the election of a successor should be made by the provincial ministers and custodians at the Pentecost chapter.” You are asking whether all of the custodians in the entire Order have to assemble at the general chapter. Or, in order to conduct business with greater tranquillity, might it suffice that from each province a few attend who know the mind of the others? This is our reply: let the custodians of each province designate one of themselves to send together with their provincial minister to represent them at the general chapter, advising him of their

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Quo elongati, Bullarium Franciscanum, p. BFr 1, p. 20-25


Ceterum cum prohibente regula nulli fratrum liceat populo predicare nisi a Ministro generali fuerit examinatus et approbatus et sibi officium predicationis ab ipso concessum, certificari petistis, utrum pro laboribus fratrum et periculosis discursibus evitandis Generalis minister dictam examinationem, approbationem et commissionem officii predicationis discretis aliquibus committere valeat pro examinandis generaliter illis, qui in Provinciis sunt statuti, vel specialiter pro quibusdam. Ad quod damus tale responsum: quod hec Generalis minister nulli potest absenti committere, sed qui examinatione indigere creduntur, mittantur ad ipsum vel cum ministris provincialibus conveniant propter hoc in Capitulo generali. Si qui vero examinari non egent pro eo, quod in theologica facultate et predicationis officio sunt instructi, si etatis maturitas et alia, que requiruntur in talibus, conveniant in eisdem, possunt nisi quibus minister generalis contradixerit, eo modo quo dictum est populo predicare.

Super eo autem, quod dubitant fratres, an vicarii Provincialium ministrorum, quos ipsi sibi substituunt, cum ad Capitulum veniunt generale, possint ad ordinem recipere venientes vel eicere iam receptos, dicimus quod non possunt, quia nec hoc ministris ipsis permittitur, nisi eis specialis super hoc licentia concedatur; quibus etiam Generalis minister sicut concedere sic negare potest licentiam supradictam. Et cum iuxta eandem regulam aliis quam ministris Provincialibus fratrum receptio committi non valeat, multo minus potestatem habent Provinciales ministri hoc aliis committendi, quibus id et non aliis est commissum.

Insuper dubitantibus vobis, an pro eo, quod in Regula dicitur, ut decente generali ministro a provincialibus ministris et custodibus in Capitulo Pentecostes fiat electio successoris, omnium custodum multitudinem oporteat ad generale Capitulum convenire an, ut omnia cum maiori tranquillitate tractentur, sufficere possit, ut aliqui de singulis provinciis, qui vocem habeant aliorum, intersint, taliter respondemus, ut singularum Provinciarum custodes unum ex se constituant, quem cum suo provinciali ministro pro ipsis ad Capitulum dirigant, voces suas committentes eidem;

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 574

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