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Historical reasons for the origin of the mendicants are obvious.
Since the struggle regarding investitures a certain animosity against church property had remained.
Mendicant Friars are members of those religious orders which, originally, by vow of poverty renounced all proprietorship not only individually but also (and in this differing from the monks ) in common, relying for support on their own work and on the charity of the faithful. There remain from the Middle Ages four great mendicant orders, recognized as such by the Second Council of Lyons, 1274, Sess. iii) granted all the mendicant orders, except the Friars Minor and the Capuchins, the liberty of corporate possession (see FRIAR).
23 ( Mansi, XXIV, 96) -- the Order of Preachers, the Friars Minor, the Carmelites, and the Hermits of St. Successively other congregations obtained the privilege of the mendicants. The object of the present article is to outline (I) the origin and characteristics of the mendicants; (II) the opposition which they encountered.
The opposition to the mendicants was particularly strong at the University of Paris, and in France generally, less violent at the University of Oxford and in England. Although this Bull speaks in a general way and is addressed to different countries the abuses enumerated by it were probably of local character.Donnino should publish his book "Introductorius in Evangelium Esternum" (1254), which besides many other Joachimite errors, attributed to the mendicants a special vocation, to take the place of the secular clergy in the near future (1260). The whole list of vices enumerated by the apostle is applied to the mendicants, whom William blames on all the points which formed their characteristic note. Reluctantly the university submitted to the orders of the pope. Bonaventure , "Quiestio disputata de paupertate" (Opera omnia, ed. tractatus tres do paupertate" (British Society of Franciscan Studies, II, Aberl 1910).The danger, he goes on, is at our doors, and it is the duty of the bishops to avert it. The professors and students of Paris nevertheless did not accept the Bull "Quasi lignum vitae": they wrote 2 Oct., 1255 a sharp protest against it ( Chartularium I, 292). William alone resisted and having been banished from Paris and France, he wrote another attack against mendicants, "Liber de antichristo et eiusdem miristris" (ed. Quaraccehi, V, 125), "Apologia paupernum" a (VII, 233), "De tribus quaestionibus" (VIII, 331). The seculars continued the fight, even with popular compositions, of which the best known is the "Roman de la Rose". Script.", XXXII, 245 sqq) All mendicants were abolished, but the four great orders were excepted on account of the manifest good they wrought.It should be stated here that this opposition, was not inspired merely by envy or other mean motives, but rather from economical reasons.
For the parish priests depended in great part for their income on the offerings of the faithful, which threatened to diminish through the great popularity enjoyed by the mendicants.
A glance at the more important will show the general correctness of this statement.