The Augustinian priors general of the Roman Obedience were effective in promotiong the Roman Obedience. The greatest among them, Cardinal Bonaventura Baduario O.S.A., a friend of Petrarch, travelled widely in the interests of Pope Urban, and was murdered for the cause of unity. His successor, Bartholomew of Venice O.S.A. (1385-1400), worked indefatigably to protect the Order against further surrenders to Avignon.
In his letters, he demanded strictest obedience to Pope Urban. He commanded all Augustinians to work for the Roman Obedience in the pulpit and the confessional, in public lectures and private conversations. He furthermore obliged all members of his jurisdiction to swear an oath of allegiance and ordered all opponents to he thrown into the monastic prisons.
It was a period during which a major conflict raged between the Roman Obedience and the Avignon Obediences. Bartholomew of Venice O.S.A. excommunicated the antigeneral John Hiltalingen O.S.A. (aka John of Basel) in Avignon, who in return did the same to him.
They were following the lead of the papal claimants in Rome and Avignon who were mutually excommunicating each other. Bartholomew's successor as Prior General was Nicholas of Cascia O.S.A. (1400-1409).
In order to maintain and increase support for their Obedience, the Priors General, the same as the popes had done, took advantage of the political events of the various countries. For example, when Queen Joanna of Naples, a partisan of Avignon, was deposed in 1381, southern Italy then passed to the Roman Obedience.
By the same token, the Prior General in Rome took charge of the Augustinian Provinces of Puglia and Terra di Lavoro. When the Aquitaine region of France became subject to the British as a result of the Hundred Years War, and because England supported the Roman Obedience, the Prior General of the Roman Obedience took the Augustinian friaries in that region from the Province of Toluouse (in the Avignon Obedience) and named an English friar, Robert Waldeby O.S.A., as his vicar in that region. In 1385 he likewise placed the houses of Portugal under the Roman Obedience and promptly named a vicar there to fulfil his directives.
The Portuguese monarch obtained his independence from Castile with British help under the provision that he would abandon the Avignon claimant of the papacy. Through 1385-1399 the Augustinian Prior General validated his authority in eighteen of the twenty-four provinces of the Order.
The only Augustinian Provinces then remaining under the antigeneral in the Avignon Obedience were the four French and the two Spanish Provinces. In the registers of Bartholomew of Venice O.S.A., the Prior General of the Roman Obedience, there are no letters directed to the superiors of these provinces.
Little can be said of the three generals of the Avignon obedience since nothing is known of their registers or capitular acts.
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