from Piers Plowman, B.Prol. 58-67 (Donaldson trans.; see also III.35-63)


          I found friars there--all four of the orders--

Preaching to the people for their own paunches' welfare,

Making glosses of the Gospel that would look good for themselves;

Coveting copes, they construed it as they pleased,

Many of these Masters may clothe themselves richly,

For thier money and their merchandise march hand in hand.

Since Charity has proved a peddler and principally shrives lords,

Many marvels have been manifest within a few years.

Unless Holy Church and friars' orders hold together better,

The worst misfortune in the world will be welling up soon.




from The Romance of the Rose (trans. Dahlberg) the God of Love interrogates the friar Faus Semblant, 11227-11268 (pp.197-8)


          "Tell us more especially in what way you serve disloyally. Don't be ashamed to speak of it, for, as you tell us of your habits, you seem to be a holy hermit."

          "It is true, but I am a hypocrite."

          "You go around preaching abstinence."

          "True, indeed, but I fill my paunch with very good morsels and with wines such as are suitable for theologians."

          "You go around preaching poverty."

          "True, abundantly richly.  But however much I pretend to be poor, I pay no attention to any poor person. I would a hundred thousand times prefer the acquaintance of the King of France to that of a poor man, by our lady, even though he had as good a soul.  When I see those poor devils all naked, shivering with cold on those stinking dunghills, crying and howling with hunger, I don't meddle in their business.  If they were carried to the Hotel-Dieu, they wouldn't get any comfort from me, for they wouldn't feed my maw with a single gift, since they have nothing worth a cuttlefish.  What will a man give who licks his knife? But a visit to a rich usurer who is sick is a good and pleasnt thing.  I go to comfort him, for I expect to bring away money from him.  And if wicked death stifles him, I will carry him right up to his grave.  And if anyone comes to reprove me for avoiding the poor, do you know how I escape from him?  I give out behind my cloak that the rich man is more stained with sin than the poor, and has greater need of counsel, and that that is the reason that I see him and advise him.



II Timothy 3:1-9 [RSV] (a passage that William of St. Amour used as the foundation of his antifraternal writings in De Periculis Novissimorum Temporum of c. 1250)


          But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of stress. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, inhuman, implacable, slanderers, profligates, fierce, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding the form of religion but denying the power of it.  Avoid such people [!]. For among them are those who make their way into households [L. penetrantes domos] and capture weak women, burdened with sins and stained by various impulses, who will listen to anybody and can never arrive ata knowledge of the truth.  As Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men of corrupt mind and counterfeit faith; but they will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all, as was that of those two men.



cf. Pierce the Ploughman's Crede--no friar knows the creed--and the CAIM anagram therein.