Excerpt from Iohannis Wycliffe Dialogus Sive Speculum Ecclesie Militantis: Now First Edited From the Ashburnham Ms. XXVII C, With Collations From the Vienna Mss. 1387, 3930 and 4505
Already Mendacium has shown a disposition to avoid the test of Scripture, and he now begins a series of what I have roughly called appeals to Church authority. His main position is that endowments are supported by the lives of the saints, but when Veritas sets up against this the doctrine that the Scripture alone is binding, papal bulls, indulgences and letters of bishops and of fraternity are innocently presented for demolition, on the ground that they rest on an authority distinct from Scripture. In Chapter I4 the example of the saints is recurred to, and Mendacium demands reverence for their authority because prayers are addressed to them. In answer to this Veritas, who has previously distinguished carefully between Faith and Opinion, now points out that it is only the Apostles whose sanctity is a matter of faith, and that though prayers to saints are good in so far as they serve to quicken devotion to Christ, they often do harm, and would be better addressed directly to God. This Mendacium considers as a failure of reverence to men whose sanctity has been approved by canonization and miracles, and Veritas is thus given an excuse for attacking more abuses, while the further objections of Mendacium that disendowment would lessen the numbers of the clergy, and that prelates who rank as great nobles are peculiarly serviceable to the Church, lead up to denunciations of simony and of the worldly character of the priesthood.
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