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1029 [1029]

K. Hen. 8. M. Luther. Greuances cōplayned of by the Germanes, agaynst the Pope.

holy dayes, innumerable offences are committed and done, rather then God honoured or worshipped. Whiche thyng is so manifest, that it nedeth no witnes. For that cause the estates of the sacred Empire thinke it best & most profitable for the Christian commō wealth, that this great nomber of holy dayes, should be deminished, whiche ought rather to be celebrate in spirite and veritie, then with the externall worship, and be better kept with abstinence from sinne.

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¶ Suspendyng and halowyng of Churcheyardes gaynfull to the Pope, and chargeable to the people.

MarginaliaHallowing of Churchyardes abused for money.FVrthermore, if it happen that ij. or more do fight without any weapon in a Churchyard, only with their fistes, or by the heare, that there be neuer so litle bloud shed, by & by the clergie haue recourse to enterditement, & do not suffer any more Christen burialls there to be done, before that all the Citiznes with great pompe & expenses do cause it to be cōsecrated and hallowed agayne with no lesse charge, then whē at the first, of a prophane place, it was hallowed for buriall: all which things do redound to the charges and costes of the laity. And though the Churches or chapels be neuer so litle, whiche are to be hallowed: yet the suffragans do burden & oppreße the simple poore housholdes, be they neuer so bare or nedy, with superfluous expenses, and require moreouer giftes of the people, whiche is not for their ease to geue.

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MarginaliaBaptising of Belles.Also the suffragans haue inuented that no other, but only thē selues, may Baptise Belles for the lay people. Wherby the simple people, vpon the affirmatiō of the suffragans, do beleue, that such Belles so Baptised, will driue away euill spirites & tempestes: wherupō a great nūber of Godfathers are appointed, especially such as are rich: which at the tyme of the Baptising holding the rope wherwithall the Bell is tyed, the suffragane speaking before thē, as is accustomed in the Baptising of young childrē, they altogether do answere, & geue the name to the Bell. MarginaliaBelles weare coates.The Bell hauyng a new garmēt put vpō it, as is accustomed to be done vnto the Christians, after this they go vnto sumptuous bankets, wherunto also the Gossips are bidden,MarginaliaA question whether these gossyps which christen Bells may marrye together by the canon law. that therby they might geue the Marginalia* Spoyling of the people by baptising of Bells.* greater reward, and the Suffraganes with their chaplaines and other Ministers, are sumptuously fed. Yet doth not this suffise, but that the Suffragan also must haue a reward whiche they do call a small gift or present: wherby it happeneth oftentimes, that euen in small villages, a hundred Florens are consumed and spent in such Christninges: whiche is not onely superstitious, but also contrary vnto Christian Religiō, a seducyng of the simple people, & mere extortiō.

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Notwithstandyng the Bishops, for to enrich their Suffraganes, do suffer these thinges and other farre worse: wherfore such wicked and vnlawfull thinges ought to be abolished.

¶ Complaynt agaynst Officials and other Ecclesiasticall iudges.

MarginaliaAgaynst Officialls.THe Officials also of Archbishops for the most part, are vnlearned and vnable men, besides that, men of euill conditions, taking thought for nothyng but onely for money. Also how corruptly they liue and continue in notorious crimes and transgreßions, it is dayly sene. Wherby the laity, whom they ought to correct and punish for their offences, and instruct in Christian godlynes, are not in any poynt, by them amended, but rather by them encouraged and confirmed in their offences. Besides this, the laity are miserably spoyled and robbed of their goodes, by these light and vile Officials. In whose conscience there is no sparke of Christian pity and godlynes, but onely a wicked desire, and couetousnes. Whiche thyng the Archbyshops and Byshops, if they were in dede such as they are called, that is to saye, the pastours and shepheardes of Christ, without doubt, they would no longer suffer, or commit Christes flocke, to such wicked and offensiue pastours to be fed and nourished.

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¶ How the Ecclesiasticall iudges to annexe certaine speciall causes, beyng lay matters vnto their owne iurisdiction, and will by no meanes, release the same.

MarginaliaLay matters brought into the spirituall court for money.WHen soeuer any causes are pleaded in iudgement before an Ecclesiasticall iudge, either for rauishyng of virgines, or for children vnlawfully borne out of wedlocke, or for seruaūtes wages, or any other matters touchyng widdowes, the Ecclesiasticall iudges beyng called vpon by the superiours of the laity whiche do contend, they will neither deferre that iudgement, or by any meanes wilbe intreated to remit them to their ordinary iurisdiction.

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¶ The gayne that riseth to the Clergie, by false sclaunders and rumours.

MarginaliaScoulding matters brought to the spirituall court for gaine and lucre.IT happeneth oftentimes, that men and women, through sinister and false reportes & sclaunders, are brought before the Officiall or Ecclesiasticall iudge, as men gilty, and shall not be declared innocent, before they haue cleared them selues by an oth. Whiche purgatiō so made, they are restored agayne to their former estimation. And albeit that the dāmages and costes ought to be repayd agayne, vnto such as be so falsly accused, yet not withstandyng the innocentes them selues, are forced to pay two gilderns and a quarter, for their letters of absolution. And this is the cause, why that the Officials and other Ecclesiasticall iudges, do so gredely folow the action of such vnlawfull, false, and sclaunderous accusations, chalenging the hearyng therof onely vnto them selues: which thyng (no doubt) redoundeth to the greate and moste singular hurte and detriment of all men: For oftentimes it happeneth that wemen falling together in cōtention thorow anger, hatred, or some other affection, do speake euill or slaunder one an other, and outrage so much, that the one oftentimes accuseth the other, either of adoultrey or witcherye. Whiche thyng beyng brought before the Officiall, she whiche, thorow her anger had so slaūdered the other, is forced by an oth to excuse and purge her selfe, that what soeuer iniurious or slaunderous woorde she had spoken, came not of any deliberate purpose or intent, but thorow wrath and displeasure. In lyke maner the other which is accused either of adoultry or sorcery, is commaunded by an oth to declare her innocency, that she is not gilty of those factes, so that it is euident vnto all men, that in such cases, whether they be gilty or not gilty, they must sweare, if they will kepe their good name and fame. Whereby not onely vnlawfull luker of gayne and money is sought, but also wilfull periury forced, and the secular power and iudges letted from the punishment therof, so that contrary to all reason, offences do remaine vnpunished.

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¶ Complaint against spirituall iudges taking Seculare causes from the Ciuile Magistrate.

MarginaliaThe wrasting of tēporall causes vnto the spirituall court, for gayne of money.ALbeit there be many causes so indifferent to both iurisdictions, that they may be pleaded and punished as well by the ciuill Magistrate, as Ecclesiasticall iudge: notwithstandyng it happeneth oftentimes, that when as the ciuill Magistrates would exercise their office & iurisdictiō in this behalfe, they are forbidden and letted by the Ecclesiasticall iudges vnder payne of excommunication. Whiche thyng if it should long continue, and be suffered, the Ecclesiasticall iudges woud shortly take away all maner of causes from the Ciuill magistrate and his iurisdiction, which is vntolerable and derogatory both vnto the Emperours Maiestye, and other states of the Empire. And albeit that by the cōmon lawes, manifest periuries, adoultries, witchcraftes and such other like, may indifferently be punished by Ecclesiasticall, or ciuill iudges for the time being, so that preuention in this behalfe taketh place: notwithstāding the Ecclesiasticall iudges go about to vsurpe vnto them selues and their iurisdiction, all such maner of causes: which burthen and greuaunce the ciuill iurisdiction and power ought not to suffer.

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¶ A complaint against Ecclesiasticall iudges intermedlyng with cases of the seculare Court: but will not suffer their cases once to be touched of the other.

MarginaliaThe Clergye may deale in ciuill causes, but the ciuill Magistrate must not deale in theirs.MOreouer, the Ecclesiastical iudges say, that in such case it is lawfull for thē to take prophane matters into their hādes, if the ciuill magistrate be found negligent in executyng of iustice: but contrarywise they will not suffer that the like order should be kept with thē, neither will they permitte that in Ecclesiasticall matters any man may cōplaine vnto the ciuill Magistrate, for lacke of iustice, and require the administration of iustice at his hand. Albeit, they do define all lawes generally cōmon, and determine how the Canon lawes may helpe and aßist the ciuill, and contrariwise the Ciuill lawes, the canon.

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¶ Complaint against certeine misorders of cathedrall Churches for vsing double punishment for one offence, agaynst the law.

MarginaliaCertayne orders of Cathedrall churches reproueable.FOr somuch as it is forbidden both by Gods law and mans, that no man should be beaten with ij. rods, that is to say, be punished with ij. kinds of tormēts: worthely therfore do all wise