Apostolic poverty  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Apostolic poverty is a Christian doctrine professed in the thirteenth century by the newly formed religious orders, known as the mendicant orders, in direct response to calls for reform in the Roman Catholic Church. In this, these orders attempted to live their lives without ownership of lands or accumulation of money, following the precepts given to the seventy disciples in the Gospel of Luke (10:1-24), and succeeding to varying degrees. The ascetic Pope Paschal II's solution of the Investiture Controversy in his radical Concordat of 1111 with the Emperor, repudiated by the cardinals, was that the ecclesiastics of Germany should surrender to the imperial crown their fiefs and secular offices.

The provocative doctrine was a challenge to the wealth of the church and the concerns about ensuing corruption it brought: rejected by the hierarchy of the Church, it found sympathetic audiences among the disaffected poor of the 12th, 13th, and 14th centuries.

The doctrine of apostolic poverty was condemned as heresy in 1323, but it continued to be a source of debate. The cultural context of Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose set in 1327 is the renewed controversy on the question and the persecution of radical Franciscans.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Apostolic poverty" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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