His new regulations stressed especially the performance of the religious and community exercises and the observance of regular discipline which appeared to have suffered greatly at Paris. William admonished professors and students alike to fulfil their respective duties carefully.
William directed that, for the benefit of the Order, they also should engage themselves also in the care of souls by preaching and hearing sacramental confessions, i.e., they should have a public pastoral role as well as studying and/or teaching.
Like the other mendicant orders, they should also go out to collect alms in order to provide the necessary means of life. Other regulations are concerned with books necessary for study, which should not be in any way considered a personal possession of any one friar but should be kept together in the library. Finally, particular provisions were made to check the various forms of abuses against the vow of poverty. In a second letter, written on 8th May 1330, William of Cremona O.S.A. made additional provisions to remedy certain irregularities of the community life at Paris.
The General Chapters celebrated during William's administration show the same zeal for general reform of the Order. In the Acts of the Chapter at Florence in 1326, where William of Cremona was elected Prior General, the same points touched in the letter to the individual Provinces were treated more extensively.
Two additional decrees deal with reducing certain extra expen¬ses. Recognizing the poverty of some Provinces, the Chapter ordered that the Vicars General who preside over Provincial Chapters must not receive money for their work and expenses, unless they were sent by the General from outside the Province. In order to keep the goods of the Provinces intact, the Definitors of the Provincial Chapter could decide only upon the usual collection taken up in the Province; for additional grants of this kind the consent of the majority and of the saner part of the Provincial Chapter was required.
An important reason for the decay of the Order's discipline and regular observance was seen in the fact that outdated versions of the Augustinian Constitutions and outlawed definitions were in some places still kept side by side with the newest edition of the Constitutions. Therefore, the Chapter ordered a radical cure to be applied in order to establish uniformity in legislation; so as to avoid future confusion, the General Chapter decreed the re-examination of all copies of the Constitutions and the burning of the outdated ones.
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