June 28th, 1983, Serial No. 00378

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Monastic Spirituality Set 11 of 12

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For an outline, we can continue to use a brief article by Father Giovanni in the New Catholic Encyclopedia.
I think you have a copy of it.
We'll run through the rest of the history.
We got up to about 1500, and then turn around and take a look at the whole thing briefly from the point of view of the history of the Church, its framework, its context.
And then we'll go on to the article of Thomas Merton.
in which he tries to summarize the present situation.
So, we got down about as far as this, on the right-hand page there, at the bottom of the column, right-hand column, on 1096.
Effective reform was not realized, however, until the following century, when the Congregation of Camaldoli and San Michele di Murano in Venice was formed.
Now this is a very complicated history.
If you look at those notes that I made from Panyani's book, the notes on the Kamali's regime, you'll see there's quite a bit of detail about this period.
This falls into Panyani's third period, extending from 1407 to 1616.
It begins on page 2 of those 9 or 10 pages of notes.
Period 3, 1407 to 1616.
from the autonomy of the monastery of San Michele di Marano in Venice up to the split between the hermits and the sanabates.
They got their own abbot in 1470.
Now we have to refer to these notes to get a little more detail on their history.
Note that there are two polarities though.
There's more than one thing going on here.
It seems, at one point, like all the tension is between the Cenobites and the Hermits, and there's plenty of that.
But something else is going on too, which is a tension between two, not quite two nationalities, but two different kinds of people, and two political centers, Venice and Florence, particularly.
So, as Pagnani points out, the monasteries were taken under the protection of
powerful nobles, and hence they would tend to line up under the wings of their respective patrons.
And if there's tension and competition between Florence and Venice, then there's going to be a similar polarization between monasteries.
So there's a lot more than... Besides, Italy is a strange place because of the mixture of nationalities, the mixture of groups that have come in there and stayed there.
And so you'll even have
different racial mixtures and so on involved in these things.
Northern Thailand and Central Thailand.
It's quite complex.
Let's take a look at those notes of Panyani, starting on page two, towards the bottom.
Just skim through them, skimming off the things that are more important, because there's a lot of unimportant detail there, about how often they had a general chaplain, how often they elected a general, and so on.
Some things don't seem important, but they are signs of something.
When they start re-electing a general every year, instead of having him for life, some things happen.
Okay, here's the regime.
Now, those page numbers are from a Panyani's Italian book, which somebody wrote for Transcute.
The way I've timed this, it's not difficult.
Head of all the commanders, Hermit Senebrightson, who was a prior general, because the other Senebrightson, Hermit, was chosen by the general chapter, confirmed by the Pope, his government was for life up until 1513.
And then he had this Pietro Delfino in office, who reigned, and really reigned, from 1480 until 1525.
That's 45 years, which isn't much time for anybody.
And so he was re-elected, and he repeated it even after 1513, until his death.
And there was a lot of movement to get him out.
So Justiniani, that whole reform program of Justiniani, part of it was to get Torfino out of office.
Quite a touching story, though, because he accepted this great Venetian into his family, which was a little while ago.
And they saw him, a little while after they saw him, because he was from Boston.
Because he felt that he was sort of the, what do you call it, that all of the dead wood depended on him, you see.
Because he had been kind of, he had been a great humanist, and he had broadened things, and his links with powerful people, and the way that he let the cenobitic light interfere with the light of the homage in particular.
That's the thing that broke his thing.
And the acts of aggression are part of this and open towards you.
And if you read Justinian's book, the cleric's book on Justinian, you'll see all that.
I'll go into a little more detail about that.
The cleric is very much on the side of the Christian.
Probably, if you were to read it from a primary point of view, you'd hear a different story.
That's right.
These things are really emotional, emotional politics.
Emotional choice.
And we've got to ask ourselves, why that is?
How do we get into this crazy situation in history, where people who should be coexisting peacefully, helping one another, nourishing one another, are having one another's throats?
It's not always that way.
See, when we read about the external history, it's just like the history of the world.
What do you read about?
You read about wars, you read about political events, don't you?
And similarly, these notes here are the notes about the regime.
Now, the life is invisible.
You see, the positive life and the goodness and the fruits that are being born are invisible.
All you see is organizational changes.
Organizational changes consist very often of breaks, or divisions, or tensions, and things like that.
So it really doesn't give you an accurate idea of what's going on, unfortunately.
Neither does the history of the world, when you read about political events, and very often they're wars, or there's who is in power.
The power of the world, it's a history of power, which is not a history of life.
It's very difficult to hear the history of life.
It takes real depth to hear the history of life.
Because life moves along silently, doesn't it?
Just like the garden grows silently.
But the events that you read about in history are the ones that make a lot of noise.
And those are very often violent events, or very extreme events.
That's right.
It certainly indicates the disturbances.
Another trouble is that it's a one-sided indication of what's going on.
Often all that speaks is the violence.
And the peace is silent, and the violence speaks, and the violence makes noise.
So it does signify something that's going on underneath, but it doesn't give you a proportion, it doesn't give you a fair idea.
Yes, yes.
That's right, that's right.
Pay attention to it, at least on a certain level.
There may have been a lot of monks there that were going along very quietly, paying attention to God, but we don't find much of that, except insofar as they've written things elsewhere.
That's not the history that we have here.
That's right.
See, a lot of this is like the breaking of an eggshell.
Remember when Abraham and Lot, they both got rich and they couldn't live together anymore?
So Abraham says to Lot, you go your way and I'll go mine.
So that's not negative really, that's just an evidence.
Like the sun separating from his clouds.
So we shouldn't see it all that way.
But that's what we have, is this kind of history, so that's what we have to do.
It would take a historian of depth this year to bring out what's really going on.
I don't remember.
Which period was it?
I don't know.
You'd have to look at them one by one.
Sometimes historians make generalizations.
Okay, and that's a generalization.
That's probably what I'm saying.
Let's skim through here now, see what we can find.
So they were going to have elections every three years.
When they began pulling a tight rein on people, you see, they started having general chapters every year, and sometimes they re-elected, imagine, they re-elected all of the prelates, all of the abbots and priors and the prior general every year, so they couldn't get entrenched.
It's a whole different kind of organization when you do that.
You see how far that is from the whole idea of spiritual fatherhood.
Well, they didn't consider themselves as Benedictine at that point.
They had their own organization, as you can see here, and it had a certain centralization to it.
You see how it was all centralized at Camaldoli at the beginning?
Because it started out as a reform and therefore everything was subjected to the head, which was Camaldoli.
And then later on you have San Michele di Marano and two heads.
And then later on you have seven or nine or twelve heads.
And they have what they call the loci, or places.
And that's a reform effort in which a bunch of monasteries are submitted, subjected to one powerful monastery, you see.
So that's different from the original Benedictine structure, but even the Benedictines did that.
And part of this reform effort of Carmaldoli is patterned on the Benedictine reform of Santa Justina di Cato as we'll find.
And that's right in the outskirts of Venice, and so you begin to see the connections along around 1500, or what was going on.
Justiniani and his friends were Venetians.
The authority of the general, the prior general in the past, had been almost unlimited, but with time it became always more moderated.
Now it was limited by the general chapter, the diet, the conventional chapter of the holy hermitage, and the two visitors.
And he says the word visitor shouldn't confuse you, because actually they're standing very close to the general, sort of holding his arms behind his back, at least at one point.
They're in that position in a moderated way.
In other words, if you read the Constitution, you'll find that the general can do certain things by himself.
He can do certain things only when he informs or consults with the counsel of the two visitors.
And some things he can only do with the approval of the two visitors.
And that means that he has to have a majority of the three of them to take a vote.
That's the way it is.
So there's still a control, or an anchor on the general.
No, no, they're elected by the general chapter.
You see how it's carefully designed.
Because Delfino was a general at the time, who in his forty-five years played a rather large hand sometimes, to pick up the fury of the world.
The greatest authority rested in the general chapter.
Every three years, the diet, our minor chapter, which is now known as the consulta.
You know, there's a surprising consistency in this theoretical structure.
You'd expect that we'd have a modernized structure.
That was basically the same.
The same as it always was for 500, 600 years.
So what was the diet is now the consulta, and it's held in the three years in between general chapters.
Capitular fathers, that means the ones who attend the chapter, the avatars, delegates, deputies.
Then they elected a definitorium of nine members.
A lot of congregations still do that.
You have a more wieldable body, you see.
Because otherwise you have too many.
And then they do the deliberating.
It's like a senate or a more select group of elders.
But if you have a small congregation, you don't have to do that.
We don't have to do that now, because in our general chapel we have only about 15 people.
You can get to more than 15 people.
There being some houses of little importance and almost empty at months, now we're around 1,500, or maybe 1,500.
It's necessary to join them to monasteries completely formed.
Therefore, they split them up into groups,
and centralized them, organized them, sort of lumped them together.
And the history of all these changes, you can see that the Holy See was very much concerned with the congregation, because being in Italy, and being a very important monastic congregation, and being close to the center of the Holy See, right under the nose.
No, no.
But the abbesses, however, attend the first part of the general chapter, by invitation, and then they withdraw before the official votings, so to speak.
So there's a first part in which he's spoken, and there's a church in which they can speak to him.
But afterwards, you see, the general chapter doesn't govern the nuns, and so they can't participate in an affiliate, and they don't have yet a congregation of their own.
Well, those deputies, you see, were no doubt the chaplains of the nuns.
They must have had contact with the nuns.
Either that, or they were monks that were chosen by the nuns from those that they knew to represent them.
They entered in there.
In these four provinces, it's the same scheme.
Now, the congregation of San Michele, St.
Michael de Marano, down towards the bottom.
They had this chapter in 1444 to reorganize the Comaldes congregation on the model of the recently formed congregation of Santa Justina, the Monte Cassino.
Now, you remember that that was the big Benedictine Reformation after that period of decadence of the 14th and 15th century, Santa Justina.
So the Comaldes themselves had grown decadent.
And so they said, well, you get your act together in the same way that we've done this reform in Northern Italy.
Alpatoa is near Venice, so you can see a certain contagion here.
He had hoped to model the reform of the whole Benedictine order on them.
Remember the reform of Benedict on the island.
Ninth century or so, similar hope.
Now they had a general imposed upon them in 1439.
His name was Gomez, which sounds very Spanish, doesn't it?
I think we haven't looked up his history.
There are a lot of interventionary writings here.
And he came from that congregation, so the idea was for him to put the commodities into the same kind of shape, in the same order.
In his division into the nine loci, or places, locus means place, of course.
All these things largely dissolved as unions into groups, and so it wasn't much of a congregation.
Now, in 1474, the Venetian government began a congregation of the Venetian monasteries.
Notice the political interference here.
The San Michele, San Mattia, San Maria della Cattura, and Padovice Hills.
Sure, yeah.
The desire to be independent from Kamaladeva, certainly.
What kind of jealousy or rival would be with Kamaladeva?
For instance, if the monastery in Venice is really more vigorous than that at Kamaladeva, they can greatly resent being under Kamaladeva.
It's a typical thing of a young community growing up and resenting being under an older community.
Like, you know, 4th of July.
So then they had this congregation of San Michele given around our center in Venice.
The elected prelates in this congregation don't need any confirmation from commander-in-chiefs, these are the independent, and yet there's still some participation.
And later on.
The Venetians still recognized the prior general as superior of all the commanders, and their own head was called simply vicar, but this was only a nominal concession, platonic.
There were really two congregations distinct and always more antagonistic, that of St.
Michaelian and of the commander-in-chief.
Then they tried this union in 1513, and this was at the instigation of Justiniani and his friends, who were Venetians.
Now, this being so, and since Justiniani was at Comandere, he didn't want to see Comandere separate from Venice, I suppose.
I don't know all the reasons that were in there.
It's a little surprising, because remember that Justiniani also was the pioneer of the hermits.
What he wanted, really, was the freedom of the hermitage.
And therefore, I don't know why he would want to keep the link with this Venetian cenobitical congregation, except maybe to use its influence also for the hermitage of Canaveri.
He probably felt that was more healthy than the cenobitical part of Canaveri itself.
of the Holy Hermitage, Sacroerum of St.
Michael of Marama.
But the title itself was unfortunate because it put them both on the same level.
There's no age.
17 groups of houses.
Now you see there are a lot of houses concerned, 82 in all.
Prior General is elected every year.
At that point, see, the Prior General at that point is only a kind of administrative figure, you see what I mean.
You can't really change anything or do anything.
All you can do is enforce the observance.
The power of initiative is taken away from you.
Or at least there's such a check on it.
It always needs to be extremely careful.
It's on a short leash.
Where is that mentioned at once?
Something that...
All of men, many of these had only a few months.
Oh yeah, I see.
I don't know to what extent there was a real authority for relationship there.
It's probably just the way it was up above, that they wouldn't quite govern the nuns, but the nuns would be represented, you know, something like that.
I think it was a loose thing.
They were never really completely built into the congregation, I don't think.
Because they were never really completely united among themselves.
But they had a more clear representation and link there than they did at some later times.
There probably could be more of them.
Okay, Leo X, Justiniani was a friend of his.
It's always handy to have your focus with him.
So he enforced the acts of that general chapter as a papal decree.
But it still didn't, it still wasn't enough.
So you find Justiniani, he was trying to reform the order, you find Justiniani, after a little while, leaving the Maldives, found some accommodation.
Now, we have a
quite a bit of detail on all of that, but not much of it is in English.
We owe it to John LeClerc, who wrote two books on Justiniani.
The one that you probably know is Alone with God, which is an anthology of Justiniani's writings on the Hanukkah.
LeClerc is by Thomas Frank and an introduction by LeClerc.
The other one is called Blessed Paul Justiniani, and it's not an anthology, but it's LeClerc writing as a historian
and writing about the whole history of that time.
So Justiniani is the central figure.
A Humanist Hermit was the title of it.
No, it's French.
Leclerc had written a book earlier, a bigger book, a marvelous book, on Peter Damian, also in French, called Hermit and Man in the Church.
So he likes to pick hermit figures and then to show the wider radius
of their personality, of their influence, or whatever.
So he did that with both of them.
And he never did it with St.
Arnold, maybe because there's not enough known about St.
Both of these men are writers, you see.
And this history centers around 1520.
Just any on his years of 1476 to 1528 when he died.
And he went to Comadre in 1510.
In 1513, he was already bringing about this general chapter, and then through his influence with the Pope, you see, he got the whole congregation.
You wonder how much chance the Holy Spirit has to act in a moment like that.
Things are happening so swiftly.
Well, things have happened in those days.
He left Commandery, I believe, in 1520, and then he started his own community, which multiplied and became quite a large congregation.
and which still exists as a foundation behind the Saint-Romain.
He left in 1520.
He wrote several constitutions.
He wrote three editions of their medical rules.
The first one at the novelist's there, and the other two later on.
Oh yes, sure, their disciples.
In fact, they called themselves the Company of Saint-Romain.
In fact, the idea was, in Justiniani's mind, to return to the pure tradition of Amina.
It's a reformation, but at the same time, he chopped off part of the tradition, which is the cenebritical part.
And Leclerc is completely on his side.
He says he had to do that, because what he was fighting for was the freedom of the hermitage, the freedom of the solitary life.
Our General Lewis had contested that.
See, a lot of water had gone under the dam.
We had this whole thing of San Michele and Denali and so on.
Do you remember, at an earlier point, it said the general will be elected from among the Cenobites and hermits.
And he didn't have to live in a hermitage.
He didn't.
I remember way back when they put him in Fiance at San Hippolytus.
They put the general in another residence.
And take, for instance, Pietro Delfino.
He wasn't any help.
And that was one of the things that Giustiniani was angry about, was that Delfino was so much of a... something of a man of the world.
I guess he was a good man for me before.
Yeah, yeah.
Well, if you've got ten monasteries and one hermitage, and the superior is a hermit, you can see how there's going to be tension.
And that was the situation at a certain point.
But it's a kind of unstable combination, no matter what you do about it.
If these two institutions are tied together in such a way that one has to be subjected to the other,
You can never win, you can never succeed.
It's not right for monasteries to be subjected to some kind of hermetical discipline by a superior who is sort of using them to support an hermetical life.
And it's not right for the hermitage to be subjected to a majority of cenobitical communities, which is what happens usually.
And the cenobites are more powerful.
If we try to get really to the root of this trouble, I've been thinking about it, I think
I think the paradox goes very deep, and it lined up for me something like this, I'm thinking about it this morning.
You've got this fundamental paradox built into Christianity, and Christianity is supposed to be the liberation of the human race.
Obviously, what if a Jesuit president comes in and says, I'm going to liberate people from the undergrowth of Christianity?
So, the word of God or the Jewish institution has come into play in this kind of
And this, this movement, movement of this, movement of that direction, effect.
and it's supposed to be the same thing.
But you get a transition from there into a kind of closed institution, maybe not just juridically, but also because it becomes somehow fused with the secular power, right?
So it becomes a closed world.
And Antisemitism goes out of that, into the desert, in order to recapture the original, everything that it can.
But then, Antisemitism itself,
And atheism itself, after a while, gets organized and gets wedded to the world.
It gets wedded to the world economically, socially, and then legally, politically, so that it becomes a system of laws.
It becomes dominant with one structure.
And then the solitary life, once again, has to be marginalized.
But then the solitary life becomes subjected to the same thing.
In fact, if it is put inside the juridical thing, it gets tied into the same box, rather, with the monastic structure, the synodical structure, over and over and over again.
And so in the end you end up with a paradox that this parism of freedom, which the solitary life is supposed to be,
is fighting for its life inside some kind of box, in some kind of polarized situation, against another form of life, in a closed system.
And it should never be a closed system.
But it's also on the margins of the church.
which means that it's the charism of freedom, the centric of the margins, the charism of freedom in the church is supposed to be rediscovered on this margin, which is a massacre, which is in itself solitary.
But then when the church frees itself in a beautiful form, it has that appreciation.
Then, this gets locked into the center again, which the world is marginalized.
Take, for example, freedom itself, which is a form of freedom which becomes the most severely limited form, politically as well, of the oppressive black feminism in itself.
Maybe that's got to happen, but you see what happens.
You see the paradox of it anyway.
Where should be freedom turns out to be the most severely restricted form.
And so we're always coming into this paradox between structured or external form and the kind of material and social and political and legal limitations and the charism of freedom.
It's always finding itself somehow turned inside out.
It's one way of looking at it.
A very kind of deliberately paradoxical way of looking at it.
Because the hermit life is supposed to be a life of freedom, a life of spiritual freedom.
And when it ends up fighting somebody else for power, in order not to be put under somebody else's thumb, there's something wrong.
It happens all the time.
It's already a paradox when the solitary life becomes built into a structure in that way.
There's one way in which you can see the sannyasi life in India as being, maybe, what do you call it,
a simpler expression of that freedom which has less of that danger in it, actually.
It doesn't matter.
But the context is totally different over there.
It's not a, you know, a juridically organized religious institution.
Conventionally, it's a general factor.
It's a good thing to think about, though, is that struggle that's continually going on in the Church, between what the Church is supposed to be in its heart, what it is in its heart, and then these obvious paradoxes when we see people pushing and pulling against one another.
Well, it's one of those polarities, isn't it?
I say, each person, each in his own right, thinks he is doing
Well, very often, you see, I'd say in some way, yes, but very often the terrorism is not looked at in terms of freedom.
Maybe you look at it in terms of observance, virtue, or keeping the rule.
Frequently, I'm going to get to my bit.
But the Cenobites, okay, look at it this way.
The Cenobites, living their life with its kind of openness and breadth, that's their freedom, okay, and they'll fight for that.
Whereas the hermit, for him, freedom is in solitude, which means that he somehow finds that openness and that very freedom of the cenobite hostile to himself very easily.
At least that's the way it turns out.
So you get the hermits calling for strictness and for observance, not for freedom.
And yet, involved in that is their desire for the particular kind of freedom that they need.
So it's deeply built into the thing of paradise, because they're really fighting for two kinds of freedom very often.
But also, you get the other thing of both sides fighting for strictness.
The Cenobites wanting to pull the Hermits, perhaps, into a strict external regime, into some kind of cenobitical control.
And at the same time, the Hermits wanting to pull the Cenobites into a more austere monastic life.
which they can recognize as being akin to their own.
It's a different situation because neither side is the same as it was and neither side is as vigorous as it was in another time.
We don't sense ourselves as being so much inside a box, and yet there is a tension.
Right now we're in a position where the pieces are shifting very rapidly.
Well, that's what we're doing this for, actually.
So at the end we can say, can we identify any curves?
As we look back at that, can we see any shapes, forms, curves which enable us to locate ourselves now and see which way things are going, or which way they should go perhaps?
That's what we really want to do.
It's a collective question.
You do.
But I think the collective lesson, in a sense, is first.
It's like getting a map of a certain countryside, and then as an individual you can decide where you want to go.
But the map is a collective, at least when we talk about this.
Let's go on with this so we don't have anything left over next time, any crumbs to pick up next time.
Let's start afresh, as if this had all never happened.
Okay, we're down to the congregation of St.
Michael di Marano.
The reform in the imitation of St.
Justina di Padua.
I had some notion that Padua was in the north of Italy, and lo and behold, I looked today and it was quite near Venice.
The Union of 1513, now this was a big point in Kamaldi's history because, and remember here what's happening in the background, this is the time of the Reformation, the time of Luther, the time of the second split in the Church.
Now there's obviously some kind of turn of destiny behind all this, that the Kamaldi's should be born at the time of the first division of the Churches and that their own great upheaval should occur at the time of the second division of the Churches.
born at the time of the split between East and West, and they themselves going back to this Eastern survival, which is the hermetic life in the Lavra, and then their own split, their polarization and their internal split happening at the time of the split of the Western Church, the Protestant Reformation, and resulting in this permanent polarization between hermitage and synovium.
We can only guess at the underlying causes.
There seems to be an instability in the Western tradition at a certain point, and things just start flying apart, whether it be Northern Christianity in Europe and Southern European Christianity, or whether it be Hermetic and Synodic, or whether it be
Liturgy and spirituality, whether it be the vernacular language and the sort of common piety, and the more learned clerical Latin, the mixture is unstable at this point.
The original universe, by and large.
And this has to happen in some way, but it's awful when it happens.
And today we're at a point where we can see a lot of it, we can see a lot of the elements, and it's as if we're being called to the effectibility.
Not quite in the same way as at the beginning.
Well, that's precisely the thing.
There's a phase of mad blindness when everybody thinks that for him to exist, the other guy has to not exist.
That's where we're in the box.
It's the two... the two spheres in the box that we have to... And perhaps we're liberated from that.
Part of it is, it's just the church being closed in upon itself the way it was.
Against the world.
Anyhow, that's a whole big question, as you can see.
Enough speculation, on with facts.
I read a little of this history in the back of the clerk's book this morning, about that chapter 15, 13, and what happens.
He puts it all in kind of a one-sided way, because he's really waving the flag for Justinian about winning the liberty of an energy.
He's quoting a Carambles historian of the 18th century, Edward Baranchine.
The expressions that he employs many times in his chronicle to characterize the work of Justinianic coincide with those of Justinianic himself.
The work of Justinianic has consisted in liberating the hermitage.
To liberate the hermitage from the empris, the aggressiveness,
predominance of the Cenobites.
What's necessary is, Justinian says, to liberate it from the general for life, so the general for life was a strong cenobitical force, who himself lent himself to the domination of the Cenobites over the Remnant.
It dealt less with a tyranny exercised by Peter Delfino himself than an influence which we allowed through feebleness to the Cenobites opposed to the Hermitage and to the Hermetic Order.
Yeah, even opposed.
They would say, Hermits, ha!
Well, the major change that he tried to accomplish was to put the hermitage back into the driver's seat.
But it didn't stay that way, and that's why he left.
He only did that desperate thing once this failed.
His idea was to restore the hermitage to its original predominance.
The reform accomplished in 1513 by Quirini and Justiniani only tended to make the hermitage reacquire its rights and its independence, and as Baramcini says, in its freedom and its privileges.
From the original, in the beginning, Pantebono, that's the monastery of Conadre, was supposed to depend from the hermitage and to come to the assistance of the hermits.
In fact, the hermitage found itself submissive
subjected to Panagama, to the monastery.
And so on and on.
You can't do it.
It's like a medieval theory.
Do you see something there from the feudal society?
The idea of this hierarchy of states.
Here you've got the state of the normal Christian.
Then you've got, considering the clergy, the monks, the hermits.
So the hermits are some kind of elite category in the Church, which may be true, but if you build it into a structure and subject other people to them, as you subject the people to the clerics, you see how unstable that is.
Because the monk is not supposed to be that at all.
See, maybe that could be so in Quebec or somewhere like that, but certainly not in Christianity.
The monk's charism itself contradicts that position of power and of supremacy.
And so it's so unstable that it's bound to explode after a while, it keeps happening.
You can't build it into an institution, but that's what was done, because it was created right in that field of time.
of those kinds of priorities.
It seems to me that that's got a lot to do with it, besides just the complexity of the way that monasticism was woven into the economy, the social picture, the politics, and the law of the time.
It was just too much for the solitary life to handle.
It's a contradiction that's present here.
Romeo didn't, but it happened soon after.
Had he done his work way out in the boondocks somewhere, it might not have happened, but since he was a friend of emperors and was well-known, well-known by the Holy See and so on, and because his disciples without him had a sense of insecurity, I think, and so they needed someone to protect them, pretty soon they made themselves too much of a fortress, a good idea.
It can happen.
It hasn't happened yet.
So much for the conventuals.
Down here at the bottom of page four is something about the conventuals.
I looked up in Taniani and found out, once again, who they are.
I will leave that to your pleasure.
Now, the Franciscans had conventuals, who were people who lived a kind of semi-community life.
Benedict would have called them Sarabites.
The conventuals in the Commandolese side, however, come from parish priests.
See, there were monks who had been given parishes where they were perhaps alone, or there'd be only two or three of them.
And their life became very alienated from the monastic life, especially, of course, from their medical, even though they may have been alone.
Once more, there were benefices attached to these parishes, and they appropriated the benefices to themselves and sometimes to their relatives.
So it's quite a little situation, after all.
They had observances which were more bland, as he says, than the other practices.
Well, the Third Order was much more structured, and according to Hoyle, I think, this sort of happened, and then afterwards it would be given a name.
The Third Order was done on purpose, to incorporate lay people into the Order.
I'm sure they could overlap, but the conventuals
These Comaldes conventuals, I think, were more disreputable than the Franciscan conventuals.
The Franciscan conventuals are still in existing order.
You see, they were never his permanently suppressed.
The Comaldes conventuals were.
They're just appropriate that way.
They kind of cringe once.
No rule and no faculty of the superiors sanctioned or made legitimate this te pra capte instituzione.
Those were then the monks who were invested with parochial parish for their benefits and so on.
That's what they've been there for a long time.
Now you still have a kind of similar situation because there are some cannabis that have been out of parishes for a long while to get attached to the place.
There's one over in Sardinia for about 20 years.
And after a while they don't feel like they can call them back.
They don't have that type of convention anymore.
There are some people that get so installed in a place you have to leave them there for their whole life.
Especially after they've been there for a certain amount of time.
They were abolished finally in 1569.
But they treated them sometimes gently, sometimes tried to straighten them up.
They were always... They can't come back.
They were not living in Popskow.
Probably the 14th and 15th centuries.
When you find them really rampant, it seems to be the 16th century.
Let's see.
From 1319, the general chapter had begun to concern itself with them.
And they didn't want monks being alone out in isolated churches.
So it persisted for 250 years or so.
Remember, that's not long after the beginning of the movement.
That's 100 years after the beginning of the movement.
OK, the fourth period starts with this division between the cenobites and the hermits, the final division between the cenobites and the hermits.
And he talks down at the bottom of page four about the other congregations.
He says, the movement of Eastern Indiana was not a division because it didn't take anything away with it.
And yet, they did not, he says, harm the vitality of the order, but rather increased it, or became a kind of competitive thinking system.
During this period of the commandment, they shake off the yoke of the commendatory abbots.
However, they leave with them their shirts sometimes, as you can see.
Amongst sometimes they only leave the monastery and never get it properly.
The abbots will get the rest.
A real scourge.
Now, the secession of the hermits, as he puts it.
This is funny because the Father Giovanni's article says, in 1616,
centibites seceded from the hermits.
In the 17th century, the centibites separated themselves from the hermits.
The centibites, ten times more numerous than the hermits, had the prevalence in the decisions.
So, Angelo Analfi, Abba Geno, he must have been a hermit.
He returned to the Zagora monastery and suggested separation.
In 1612, none of the candidates were elected for the major.
The major was the superior to all the other two.
There had been division in spirit ever since the rise of Sun Tzu.
So they sent an apostolic visitor, and because apostolic visitors sometimes have enormous power, so they can determine the fate of a congregation.
This happened again in 1935.
He decreed their absolute and definitive separation from his homeless.
The Major, the Majority of the Holy Hermitage became the Supreme Head of the Hermits of the Tuscan Congregation.
Now this title remained until 1935, the Hermits of Tuscany.
which was the antique trunk, you see, of Kumaldi, it became very small at a certain point, almost extinct.
The Cenobites remained with their Abidjana.
And then they tried to get them back together, but it didn't work.
Lee's got a neat comment there.
When they tried to get them together at one point, the separation was complete once again.
To avoid it would have sufficed one of the twelve grades of Kumaldi.
No, but it amused me in 1966 or whenever it was that I wrote it down.
Otherwise it doesn't belong in the juridical doings.
Okay, divisions between the Hermits, or Tuscans and Monte Carlo.
Problems with all those things are complex and don't interest us much.
It must have been really something, because in 1672 the Pope forbade them under very severe penalties to talk about Buddhism.
Now the Cenobites, over on page 6.
Now Pagnani is writing about them as his own congregation, you see, with the little nostalgic poems.
There's not much there that we have to pay attention to.
There are all these political, institutional shifts.
The Hermits of Tuscany go on during this period.
What he does is reviews each group during the given period.
Now this one goes from 1616 up to the Suppression.
I don't see the head of that cenobitical congregation up in Venice, and I'm sure the Pantagonists still go on to denounce it, but it may not have been a monastery at all.
Oh yes, I think so.
See, I think during this period, I think that was largely true, but I don't think it came out in the U.S.
I think it was only in the U.S.
since 1925.
That'll turn up in the next period.
The hermits of Piedmont, the French congregation, the Caronese.
Now let's take a look at the Caronese, because they were a mushrooming congregation.
Notice the hermits of Tuscany were small, they had only a few communities.
The Caronese at the beginning of this period, 1616, they had 14 hermitages.
That's not quite a century after Justinian, but 250 religious.
So they're small hermitages.
Whereas the Tuscans had only three hermitages plus Fontibonus.
And they kept increasing until the Poland, 1669-18, including six in Poland in these different attempts at union.
And during part of this time, the hermits of Kamaldoli adopted the constitutions of the colonies.
And still there's some influence of the communist constitution.
Okay, now the final period in Panayama's book, 1770 to 1935.
It's marked by these suppressions and the near extinction of the cannibalist congregation.
Now he's got four suppressions listed here, but the first one doesn't involve us.
It's only of interest to the general history of religion.
Suppression of the Jesuits in Portugal.
The second one, note that Leopold I in Tuscany suppressed some houses.
I don't know whether he suppressed them or not.
We'll see when we get to that house in particular.
That was a particular one.
The second, Napoleonic suppression, concerned whole orders, for instance, the Senate.
And the third one,
wiped out the Italian populations.
There's really something.
This consistency in the assault against the monastic life is obviously much more than coincidental.
These things seem to come from different directions, but obviously they're not.
They're just accidentally related.
Well, that would certainly not be the reason given.
Consider in the time of Henry VIII when he wiped out the monasteries of England and when he butchered the Carthaginians.
Sometimes in that case it was an ideological thing because they didn't want to yield to his wrong attempt to wrest the Church away from Rome.
Here it's mixed up between politics and religion very often.
And usually, see, the Masonic thing was anti-clerical, anti-church.
And the mysterious kind of malicious bite in this kind of situation, the economic motive is always there, that is, the property of the monastery is always involved.
And sometimes it's an attempt simply to extinguish the power of wrong.
Distinguish the independent political power of the church, as exercised through religion.
And sometimes on the part of an individual ruler, as in the first suppression, he wants the religious to be doing something useful.
In other words, everything has to justify itself by utility.
So if they're merely leading an idle and worthless contemplative life,
I don't know.
I don't know what personal reasons he had to be so vicious towards the religious life.
But remember, that was linked up with the French Revolution, which was anti-clerical, which was an anti-church movement.
And it kept that thrust open.
There's a general secularizing thrust that pervades all three of these layers of suppression, to take things away from, out of the control of the domination, the inspiration of the Church and the Christendom.
Now he's got a summary about the Cenobites there, their history, and at the end of the
from 1929 to 1935.
General chapter in 1929, Apostolic Visitor, 1931.
Obviously, I've only given a very brief digest here of what he says.
And in 1934, it looked like their new constitutions were going to be approved.
and things like Breitman and Bank, in 1935, the decree, the rescript entitled, Interreligious Statements Among Religious Communities, which makes it the two congregations, one only, the Aramidicon Society of Montefiore, as bland language for saying that this individual congregation was suppressed and wiped out.
It's a very rough introduction.
The Holy See did.
But actually, of course, very influential in these matters is the apostolic visitor that would be sent by the Holy See to a different congregation.
about three different things.
One thing, the Holy See always likes things to be in order, likes to have a clean house, which means it likes simplicity for one thing, okay?
And if it has identified a particular order as being a hermit order, it wants it to be hermit.
So it's always easy to pull that particular string.
That is, for somebody to write a letter to the Holy See and say, well, this is supposed to be a hermit order, and look what it is.
These people are not living in the original, now there's traditions on them, okay?
And sometimes the Holy See will respond.
And that, I think, kind of clued to that way of expressing it.
Another thing is that there was a scandal of some kind in the Cenobite congregation, which put the whole Cenobite tradition, at this point, into the shadow, so it was easy for that to happen.
And thirdly, there must have been a good deal of tension between the two congregations.
So it may be that the hermits themselves were trying to, were sort of wrestling with the Cenobite people.
But I don't know enough about it to say it in detail.
Farnone has something about it that he deliberately keeps quiet about.
Now, the Cenobites had a choice as to whether to become hermits, and for that they had to make a trial in the hermitage, or to go to another kind of a monastery, or to become diocesan priests, or to go to one monastery, which was Holy Cross of Sassafrasca.
where they would not be allowed to take analysis, so that would be just to die out, you see, in front of the town.
It was a pretty sad prospect.
And as I say, Karnati was one of these animals.
I've met several of them, several outside of Karnati, you see.
We had a field with the oldest one, you see, the one that was in the park a couple of years ago.
There's still a field in front of it.
And a very, very good old man.
The Decree.
All houses of the Santa Vida are to be closed except San Gregorio, which was taken over for the procurator's place and later became the student house.
Found out that it was allowed to be called a hermitage, because it wasn't a beginning.
And made a house of formation, later that was moved to San Gregorio.
And San Biagio or Fabriano were the bodies of San Gregorio, where they led the parishments.
Then he reviews the history of each of these groups up to the end of his period, up to 1935.
Let's just come to that very, very quickly.
The Hermitage of Tuscany.
A few houses left in the first suppression.
1810, all the hermitages were suppressed.
Monastery of Montemarco.
The twelve religious hospitalities.
So that was left in a functional way, you see.
As a kind of hospice.
When they say hospitality, I don't know if it was really medical, I don't know what they were trying to do.
And after Napoleon's fall, they were able to go back to the military.
You see, a very, very tragic, painful history.
1868, completely confiscated.
Custodians like to come out.
Ponsalazzo is a place over near Florence that used to be a capitalist monastery.
A lovely property over there.
It was old.
I think it was a couple of hundred years old when it was built.
Now they give it to the monks and they're using it for their expense.
The Hermits of Monte Carano.
Pete, around 1770, with 30 hermits of his, 12 outside Italy.
See, most of the Polish houses were wiped out in 1819.
I don't know whether that was still the Napoleonic or part of the new waver.
Two remained in 1925 and there are still two here.
The nuns never formed a congregation or one body.
They had a very diverse
bearing relationship with the men's communities.
Right now I counted, see, nine communities of nuns, including the one in Africa.
And in this list, a few years ago, there were ten houses in our congregation,
Well, two of them can almost be crossed off the list.
One is just a kind of a grange of the one with the mausoleum, and another one was over in Sardinia.
And that's one of the other two names.
And six communities of the Congregation of Montezuma, all of which are hermitages.
One in Poland, one in Spain, one in Colombia, which I think it is Andes, so that would make sense.
And then the obelisks, that's a very indistinct thing the way it's described.
It's not complete on your sheets, but you can copy the back of this.
They had two kinds of obelisks.
One was the kind that lived inside, internal obelisks, within a monastery, where they have it.
and there still are some, you know, at this point in time, and live more or less the life of the community, but with a little broader role in the community as well.
And then secular outlays, outside of outlays, to live in the world without a habit, would be very much like the third order that exists in the United States.
They have some kind of a rule to live the good life in the United States.
They live their ordinary life, and then put a certain life course on the streets.
Okay, any questions before we leave?
Next time, we might do a brief, very brief summary, talk about any questions that came up, and then we'll go on to write an article, try to look at the present situation.
So I hope there's the next 10 centuries.