St Francis of Assisi - Part 11 - A New Rule
Innocent III had died a year after the Fourth Lateran Council in 1216, to be succeeded by Honorius III, so when St Francis returned from the Holy Land to deal with the disputes that had arisen about the interpretation of his first rule written in 1209, he went for help to Cardinal Hugolino who had been appointed Cardinal Protector of the Order by Pope Honorius.
The wrangles over the rule were long and lasted for almost three years. Inevitably a rule written by Francis at Rivo Torto for no more than twelve men would have to be rewritten when, as unexpected, almost four thousand or more had poured into the Order by the time he had returned.
However that was not the problem. The problem lay in the sort of rule many now wanted. A new generation of friars, many of whom were priests and highly educated, wanted to water down the rule that Francis believed had been given to him by God himself. read on...