The Fourth Lateran Council at Rome in 1215 had firmly decreed that no new religious orders could be founded and that if any new institutes were established they had to adopt one of the religious rules approved before that date.
This was the age of the proliferation of new orders, the Dominicans and Franciscans among them, and there was a justified fear that an unending succession of new rules and orders would appear unless a halt was called.
The Carmelites were, at first, unconcerned about the decree since they felt that the authorization of the patriarch of Jerusalem in 1209 constituted sufficient approval, but soon questions were raised by a number of prelates in the Holy Land about the Carmelites’ status.
No official document had been granted by Rome prior to 1214, they argued, and according to the explicit decree Ne nimium religionum diversitas of the Lateran Council, the Carmelites had no juridical right to exist in the Church.
St. Albert was no longer alive to defend the Carmelites; thus Brocard appealed directly to the pope for protection. Accordingly, Pope Honorius III responded with his bull Ut vivendi normam on 30 January 1226, which settled the issue in these curious words:
Honorius, Bishop, Servant of the Servants of God—to his beloved sons, the prior and the brother hermits of Mount Carmel, health and the apostolic blessing. We enjoin you and your successors, for the remission of your sins, to observe in the future, as faithfully as you can with the help of God, the rule which was given to you by the Patriarch of Jerusalem of happy memory, and which, as you have humbly contended, you received before the General Council.
Peter Thomas Rohrbach, O.C.D.
Chapter I, The birth of an Order
Rohrbach, P 1966, 2015, Journey to Carith: The Sources and Story of the Discalced Carmelites, ICS Publications, Washington DC.
Featured image: This is a detailed view of an icon depicting the founding of the Carmelites; on the right, we see the Latin Patriarch St. Albert of Jerusalem handing a scroll to Brocard, the Carmelite hermit known as “B.” in St. Albert’s Rule. Over Brocard’s shoulder, we see St. Teresa of Avila, who would reform the Order in Spain in the 16th century. Image credit: © Johan Bergström-Allen, British Province of Carmelites / Flickr (All rights reserved, used with permission)
Reblogged this on eastelmhurst.a.go.go and commented:
an important milestone for our Order~