Possibly dumb question about the Franciscans


He was brought before the 4th Lateran Council for two reasons:

  • He was a lay person preaching which Pope Innocent III denounces
  • Doctrine of Council banned new orders to be formed, only could be adapted off of Benedictine or Augustinian orders (Dominician goes off Augustinian)

It wasn’t that Francis wasn’t believed, it was that what he was doing was directly opposing the Church (Poor of Lyon got excommunicated for it)

Eventually he was given Papal approval as long as he submitted to obedience and respect to Pope and his successors which he did


There’s also the fact that shows like this, especially CSI, have led to the job of prosecutors being much harder. Due to the highly inaccurate way that evidence gathering and the significance of evidence to a trial is depicted, prosecutors now have to reach an unrealistically high standard of evidence in order to get a conviction. Amazing how the culture influences such realities.



I’ve read stats 97% of cases never reach court, either plea bargain or charges dropped for lack of evidence.

First Law & Order was much more accurate, but even then there are issues with search and seizure, largely to make it more dramatic for the viewers. That said I love the show so lol


It’s my understanding these days that juries are basing their conviction or no conviction almost entirely on DNA evidence because that’s what they see on TV. Nothing else much matters.
That’s going to hit the fan if we ever end up with a DNA test giving false positives or worse yet somebody planting DNA evidence.

GospelofMatthew: the courts can only handle a tiny percentage of cases and they are overworked and underpaid as it is. If we ever started sending a large percentage of our cases to court, we would have to hire (and taxpayers would have to pay for) a huge number of new judges, law clerks, and court staff and probably some new buildings to put them all in too.


It’s happened. DNA expect in MA got arrested a few years ago for tampering with thousands of DNA sets.

Not to mention our forensic science used in court is often very flawed. Bite mark science is a joke and multiple people who are innocent have been put away because of it. Not to mention fire science, with claimed “burn patterns” found at crime scenes. These are 100% indistinguishable and often accelerants can’t be completely identified either. One of the biggest causes of wrongful conviction is the “science” around arson. I’ve taken multiple classes on this


That’s true, especially considering public defenders which are insanely overworked and underpaid


Even while St Francis was still alive, the Order struggled with how to live authentic poverty and how to remain relevant. St Francis had his ideas, and his successors, after Francis stepped aside from leading the Order, had their ideas as well. After Francis died, there were even more ideas and “conversation” about how to live out poverty. In 800 years, this conflict doesn’t seem to have changed at all. Most Franciscan reforms and the creation of new Franciscan communities had to do with the interpretation of Poverty. Welcome to the rabbit hole.

Owning property was one of the central points of contention, and St. Francis did prohibit his friars from owning property. The notable exception, were early friars who lived in large convents in the cities. Although they lived there even during Francis’ lifetime, after his death there some some more disagreements with the rest of the Order, and these particular houses obtained a papal dispensation allowing them to own property as a community. (After some reorganization of the First Order centuries later, those friars are the ones we now know as Conventual Franciscans).

From what I can tell, and I haven’t seen the movie or read the book, it sounds like it isn’t too far fetched. Each of the Franciscan orders today will have their own guidelines, and each province will have its own way of practicing this based on local laws and structures. Leasing would probably be more common in most areas but even in cases where the Order may have to legally own property on paper , my understanding is that property is still not ultimately “owned” by the Order. Although rare, if a bishop would like to acquire that property from us, he could. Just a couple years ago, a certain archbishop wanted a friary for diocesan purposes, so it was vacated and handed over to him and the friars living there were moved to other friaries throughout the province. The intricacies of exactly how these property agreements and negotiations work in civil and canon law is well above my “pay grade”, but I’ll ask some friars who may know more or be able to clarify a bit.


my wife expects me to ruin virtually every program by a) either pointing out who did it in the first 15 minutes or b) pointing out factual or logical flaws in the program


The Cameron Todd Willingham case in Texas is the one that comes to mind. Guy was convicted and executed for murder by arson when it is likely there was no arson in the first place, just a defective space heater. Arson experts learned that a lot of the accepted wisdom about arson “science” was flat out wrong when they looked into this case.


Yep, this was one of the cases we really dived into for my Wrongful Convictions class


How did you type that hidden text??? That’s awesome!


There’s a “Blur Spoiler” feature under the little gear at the top of the reply box, just for this sort of thing.


NICE!!! :slight_smile:


There are lots of reasons for plea bargains. The biological mother of the three adopted kids who live next door to me went to prison for violating probation. Her original conviction was for burglary but she violated that probation by committing welfare fraud and additional burglaries. The original charge was robbery and assault, but it was plead down because her victim did not want to testify that he got beat up by a prostitute. After serving a few years, she was paroled and was able to claim that she had not been convicted of a violent offense. A few months ago my neighbor was called out of the blue by the father of her fifth child. He wanted her to also adopt a new baby who was a half sibling to the three half siblings she had adopted seven years ago. Baby #4 died shortly after birth while the mother was in prison. Meth addicts do not make good mommies. Bio-Mom was going back to prison for multiple additional crimes shortly after the birth of Baby #5. My neighbor had to decline.

The other issue that has been in the news lately is about mandatory sentencing and criminal justice reform. We heard lots of sad stories about people in prison for drug possession. Virtually all of those cases were plead down from more serious offenses, or were actually second, third, or fourth offenses, or may have been treated more harshly because of a prior juvenile record of serious offenses.

The one thing I do agree with is that there is not very much justice in the justice system. Just from the small data set of cases in the news in my city of 250,000 people, there seems to be great variation in sentencing for similar crimes. A lot of the relevant facts are not known to the general public or even to the juries who hear the few cases that do go to trial.


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