An early example of lay participation

in the affairs of the Catholic Church:

bq. Du Guesclin, having completed his levies, led the army first to Avignon, where the pope thea resided, and demanded, sword in hand, an absoluĀ­tion for his soldiers, and the sum of 200,000 livres. The first was readily promised him; some more difficulty was made with regard to the second. “I believe that my fellows,” replied du Guesclin, “may make a shift to do without your absolution; but the money is absolutely necessary.” The pope then extorted from the inhabitants in the city and neighbourhood the sum of a hundred thousand livres, and offered it to du Guesclin. “It is not my purpose,” cried that generous warrior, ” to oppress the innocent people. The pope and his cardinals themselves can well spare me that sum”

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