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Leonine Union of the Order of Friars Minor, 1897, The

Maurice Carmody, O.F.M.

Publication Year: 1994

Over time, efforts by members of his Order to live life after the manner of St. Francis resulted in a diversity which ultimately served the Order poorly. Carmody’s work recounts the struggle to unify four different Franciscan families.

Published by: Franciscan Institute Publications

Title Page, Copyright

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Table of Contents

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pp. vii-viii

At the beginning of this study of the Leonine Union of the Order of Friars Minor, I would like to offer a sincere word of thanks and acknowledgment to all those many friends and colleagues who have assisted me in my writing. It is dedicated to my parents, Margret (who passed away in 1990) and Jack; and also to many friar friends of the Australian/New Zealand and Irish Provinces of the Order. ...

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pp. ix-x

Over time, efforts by members of his Order to live life after the manner of St. Francis resulted in a diversity of Franciscan "families." Each family was founded by friars who took seriously the call to holiness and hoped that the adoption of unique ascetical folkways would result in more authentic Franciscan living. Ultimately this diversity served the Order poorly. The anti-religious policies of enlightened governments together with a ...


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p. xi-xi

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pp. 1-28

Pope Leo XIII proclaimed the unification of the Order of Friars Minor on 4 October 1897.1 Four Franciscan families, Observant, Reform, Recollects and Discalced (also known as Alcantarines) became one family, the Order of Friars Minor as we know it today. Although this Leonine Union is one of the most important reforms in the history of the Franciscan Order, little attention has so far been paid to the factors ...

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Chapter One. The Call to Reform Prior to 1889

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pp. 29-42

An analysis of the encyclical letters which the Ministers General addressed to the friars during the difficult years of the nineteenth century reveals a growing concern that the very foundations of the Franciscan movement were being undermined by secularization and exclaustration. With the passage of time the friars appeared, in the eyes of their leaders, to be forgetting or neglecting three basic values:...

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Chapter Two. Unification and the General Constitutions of 1889

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pp. 43-52

In February 1889, Bernardino da Portogruaro, realizing that his term as Minister General was drawing to a close, sought Pope Leo XIII's advice as to how his successor should be chosen. The Pope replied that the new Minister General was to be elected during a General Chapter of the Order. This constituted the first step towards what is now commonly referred to as the Leonine Union of the Order of Friars Minor ...

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Chapter Three. The Holy Land Controversy

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pp. 53-70

Considered in isolation, the publication of the 1889 General Constitutions could well have been viewed as an important compromise between the Observants and the families of the Stricter Observance. On the one hand, Accursio da Monte Santa Sabina and Gaudentius Guggenbichler had successfully eliminated any reference to unification from the Chapter's agenda and, on the other, ...

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Chapter Four. Financial Crisis

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pp. 71-82

The first academic year opened at the College of St. Anthony (The Antonianum), Rome, on November 20, 1890. Minister General Luigi da Parma spoke to the assembled friars about the importance of study in the battle for truth. This conviction, he said, had endowed his predecessor with the necessary courage to build the College. It had also inspired the rest of the Order to support him with its sacrifices....

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Chapter Five. The Revival of the Ultramontane Family

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pp. 83-116

Among the many difficulties which Luigi da Parma inherited upon his election as Minister General of the whole Order of Friars Minor in 1889 was one in particular which he was unable to resolve to his own satisfaction. It was a problem which stemmed from the demands of Spanish politics and the inability of the friars to pursue their religious lives without taking these demands ...

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Chapter Six. The Controversy over Precedence

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pp. 117-126

Preparations for a General Chapter of the Order had actually begun in February of the previous year, 1894. According to legislation enacted by Pius IX in 1862, the Minister General was obliged to convoke such a gathering at the mid-point of his twelve-year term of office. He was to provide the assembled friars with an account of his administration and the state of the Order. His report was then to be handed on to the Sacred ...

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Chapter Seven. The 1895 General Chapter and The Vote for Unification

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pp. 127-148

The opening date for the General Chapter of the Order was set for May 16, 1895. Having consulted with Cardinal Verga, Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops and Regulars, on April 22 Leo XIII commissioned Cardinal Aegidio Mauri, Dominican theologian and Archbishop of Ferrara, to preside over the gathering. Mauri was a man whom Leo knew and trusted from the days when they were bishops ...

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Chapter Eight. The Compilation of the General Constitutions of 1897 and the Decree of Unification: Felicitate quadam

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pp. 149-180

As we have seen, the controversy with Lodovico da Trobasio was only one of several major concerns for Minister General, Luigi da Parma, in 1895. At the same time as he was dealing with the issues described in previous chapters, he had also to ensure that the recommendations of the General Chapter were put into effect. His first task was to establish the Commission whose responsibility would be to formulate the new set of ...

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Chapter Nine. The Ultramontane Family 1896-1933

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pp. 181-196

Luigi da Parma was bitterly disappointed at his inability to persuade the Sacred Congregation for Bishops and Regulars to include the Ultramontane family in their plans for unification. He did not, however, concede defeat. In March 1896, he returned to the attack. The vote taken in favor of unity at the General Chapter in Assisi had given the Minister General new heart. Emboldened by what Leo XIII had ...

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Chapter Ten. The Implementation of Unification

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pp. 197-218

Leo XIII's Bull of Union, Felicitate quadam,1 revealed two things about the pontiff. Firstly, his genuine concern for the welfare of the Order of Friars Minor and, secondly, his reliance on the advice given him by the Sacred Congregations and Commission of Cardinals involved with the Order's difficulties. In the initial paragraphs of the document, Leo wrote with nostalgia ...

Glossary of Key Terms*

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pp. 219-222

Appendix A. Ministers General 1817-1947

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pp. 223-224

Appendix B. Major Superiors of the Ultramontane Family 1838-1933

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pp. 225-226

Appendix C. The Holy Land Custody

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pp. 227-228


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pp. 229-234

E-ISBN-13: 9781576592618
E-ISBN-10: 1576592618
Print-ISBN-13: 9781576590843
Print-ISBN-10: 1576590844

Page Count: 234
Publication Year: 1994

Edition: First