"In Those Days Jesus Christ Will Send Them Not A True Pastor, But A Destroyer." --St. Francis of Assisi
[1 Rule XIII: Avoiding Fornication]1If, at the instigation of the devil, any brother commits fornication, let him be deprived of the habit he has lost by his wickedness, put it aside completely, and be altogether expelled from our Order. 2Afterwards he may do penance
This rule reflects Paul’s reproach of similar sins in 1 Corinthians 5: 1b-2: "It is widely reported that there is fornication among you ... The one who did this deed should be expelled from your midst."
[Chapter XIX: That the Brothers Live as Catholics]a1Let all the brothers be, live, and speak as Catholics.2If someone has strayed in word or in deed from Catholic faith and life and has not amended his ways, let him be expelled from our brotherhood.3Let us consider all clerics and religious as our masters in all that pertains to the salvation of our soul and does not deviate from our religion, and let us respect their order, office, and administration in the Lord.
a. Saint Francis' directive also reflects the influence of the Fourth Lateran Council: in this instance, canon 1 which speaks of the "Catholic faith," canon 2 of the errors of Joachim of Fiore, and canon 3 which excommunicated and condemned "... everyone professing heresy against the holy, orthodox, Catholic faith ..." (franciscantradition.org)
…JUDGES FRANCIS’ IDEA ON ZEAL FOR THE LITURGY, DOCTRINE AND PRESTIGE OF THE CHURCH
I entreat you more than if it were a question of myself that, when it is becoming and it may seem to be expedient, you humbly beseech the clerics to venerate above all the most holy Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ and His Holy Name and written words which sanctify the body. They ought to hold as precious the chalices, corporals, ornaments of the altar, and all that pertain to the Sacrifice. (Saint Francis of Assisi, Letter to all the Custodes, I, no. 5)
…JUDGES FRANCIS’ IDEA THAT KORAN IS A BOOK OF PEACE
Of those who go among the Saracens and the infidels the Lord says: ‘Behold, I send you as sheep in the midst of wolves. Be ye therefore wise as serpents and simple as doves’ (Mt 10:16). Wherefore, whoever of the brothers may wish, by divine inspiration, to go among the Saracens and other infidels, let them go with the permission of their minister and servant. But let the minister give them leave and not refuse them, if he sees they are fit to be sent; he will be held to render an account to the Lord if in this or in other things he acts indiscreetly. The brothers, however, who go may conduct themselves in two ways spiritually among them. One way is not to make disputes or contentions; but let them be ‘subject to every human creature for God’s sake’ (1Pet 2:13), yet confessing themselves to be Christians. The other way is that when they see it is pleasing to God, they announce the Word of God, that they may believe in Almighty God, – Father, and Son, and Holy Ghost, the Creator of all, our Lord the Redeemer and Saviour the Son, and that they should be baptized and be made Christians, because, ‘unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God’ (Jn 3:5). These and other things which please God they may say to them, for the Lord says in the Gospel: ‘Everyone that shall confess Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven’ (Mt 10:32); and ‘he that shall be ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man shall be ashamed, when He shall come in His majesty and that of His Father, and of the holy angels’ (Lk 9:26). And let all the brothers, wherever they may be, remember that they have given themselves, and have relinquished their bodies to our Lord Jesus Christ; and for love of Him they ought to expose themselves to enemies both visible and invisible, for the Lord says: ‘Whosoever shall lose his life for My sake, shall save it’ (Mk 8:35; Lk 9:24) in eternal life. ‘Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven’ (Mt 5:10). ‘If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you’ (Jn 15:20). If however they should persecute you in one city, flee to another (cf Mt10:23). ‘Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for My sake’ (Mt 5:11-12). ‘Be glad in that day and rejoice, for your reward is great in heaven’ (Lk 6:23). ‘I say to you, my friends, be not afraid of them who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do’ (Lk 12:4). ‘See that ye are not troubled’ (Mt 24:6). ‘In your patience you shall possess your souls’ (Lk 21:19). ‘But he that shall persevere unto the end, he shall be saved’ (Mt 10:22). (Saint Francis of Assisi, Writings, Rule of the Friars Minor, Ch. 16)
…JUDGES FRANCIS’ IDEA ON SELLING OFF CHURCHES TO FEED THE POOR
I entreat you more than if it were a question of myself that, when it is becoming and it may seem to be expedient, you humbly beseech the clerics to venerate above all the most holy Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ and His Holy Name and written words which sanctify the body. They ought to hold as precious the chalices, corporals, ornaments of the altar, and all that pertain to the Sacrifice. And if the most holy Body of the Lord be lodged very poorly in any place, let It according to the command of the Church be placed by them and left in a precious place. (Saint Francis of Assisi, Letter to all the Custodes, I, nos. 2-4)
However all those who minister such holy mysteries, should consider within themselves, most of all those who minister illicitly, how vile are the chalices, corporals, and altar linens, where the His very Body and Blood are sacrificed. And by many in vile places He is placed and abandoned, borne about in a wretched manner and consumed unworthily and ministered to others indiscretely. […] Is not our piety stirred concerning all these things, when the pious Lord Himself offers Himself into our hands and we handle Him and consume Him each day with our mouth? Or are we ignorant that we must (one day) fall into His Hand? Therefore let us correct quickly all these things and the others; and wherever the Most Holy Body of Our Lord Jesus Christ has been illicitly placed and abandoned, let Him be removed from that place and let them be placed in an honorable place. (Saint Francis of Assisi. Letter to the Clergy II, nos. 4-5, 8-11 – English)
…JUDGES FRANCIS’ IDEAS ON LAUDATE SI’
Most high, omnipotent, good Lord,
Praise, glory and honor and benediction all, are Thine.
To Thee alone do they belong, most High,
And there is no man fit to mention Thee. […] Praised be my Lord for our sister, the bodily death,
From the which no living man can flee.
Woe to them who die in mortal sin;
Blessed those who shall find themselves in Thy most holy will,
For the second death shall do them no ill.
Praise ye and bless ye my Lord, and give Him thanks,
And be subject unto Him with great humility. (Saint Francis of Assisi. Praises of the Creatures or Canticle of the Sun)
…JUDGES FRANCIS’ IDEA ON SELLING OFF CHURCHES TO FEED THE POOR
I entreat you more than if it were a question of myself that, when it is becoming and it may seem to be expedient, you humbly beseech the clerics to venerate above all the most holy Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ and His Holy Name and written words which sanctify the body. They ought to hold as precious the chalices, corporals, ornaments of the altar, and all that pertain to the Sacrifice. And if the most holy Body of the Lord be lodged very poorly in any place, let It according to the command of the Church be placed by them and left in a precious place, and let It be carried with great veneration and administered to others with discretion. The Names also and written words of the Lord, wherever they may be found in unclean places, let them be collected, and they ought to be put in a proper place. (Saint Francis of Assisi. Letter to all the Custodes)
Let all those who administer such most holy mysteries, especially those who do so indifferently, consider among themselves how poor the chalices, corporals, and linens may be where the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ is sacrificed. And by many It is left in wretched places and carried by the way disrespectfully, received unworthily and administered to others indiscriminately. Again His Names and written words are sometimes trampled under foot, for the sensual man perceiveth not these things that are of God (1 Cor 2:14). Shall we not by all these things be moved with a sense of duty when the good Lord Himself places Himself in our hands and we handle Him and receive Him daily? Are we unmindful that we must needs fall into His hands? (Saint Francis of Assisi, Letter to Clerics – English)
Let us then at once and resolutely correct these faults and others; and wheresoever the most holy Body of our Lord Jesus Christ may be improperly reserved and abandoned, let It be removed thence and let It be put and enclosed in a precious place. (Saint Francis of Assisi, Letter to Clerics – English)