Arnold of Villeneuve

Arnold Of Villeneuve, a celebrated physician of the thirteenth century, was born about 1240. He was eminently skilled in natural science and general literature. In 1285 he was made physician to Pedro III of Aragon; but his heterodox opinions brought on his excommunication by the bishop of Tarragona, and he wandered from place to place for years, until finally he found refuge with Frederick II at Palermo. The monks stigmatized him as a magician, not so much for his science as for his attacks upon their bad lives and principles. He taught that the monks had corrupted the doctrine of Christ, and that the founding of masses and benefits was useless. In 1311, Pope Clement V, being ill of gravel, sought the medical skill of Arnold, who was shipwrecked, and perished on the voyage to Rome. His remains were buried at Genoa in 1313, and his writings were afterward burnt by the Inquisition. Among the propositions in them which were condemned are the following:

1. that the human nature of Christ is equal to the divinity;

2. that the soul of Christ, immediately after the union, knew as much as the divinity;

3. that the devil has perverted :the whole human race, and destroyed faith;

4. that the monks corrupted the doctrine of Jesus Christ;

5. that the study of philosophy ought to be banished from the schools;

6. that the revelation made to Cyril is more valuable than Holy Scripture;

7. that works of mercy are more pleasing to God than the sacrifice of the altar;

8. that founding benefices and masses is useless;

9. that he who gathers a great number of beggars, and founds chapels and perpetual masses, incurs everlasting damnation;

10. that the sacrificing priest and the offerer offer nothing of their own to God;

11. that the passion of Jesus Christ is better represented by the giving of alms than by the sacrifice of the altar;

12. that God is not honored in deed in the mass, but in word only;

13. that the papal constitutions are simply the works of men;

14. that God threatens with damnation, not all those who Sin, but all those who afford a bad example;

15. that the end of the world would happen in 1335, 1345, or 1376. His works were printed at Lyons in 1520, in one vol. fol.; and 1585; also at Basle.--Niceron, Mem. toem. 34:p. 82; Landon, Eccl. Diet. i, 541; Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Generale, iii, 281.

 
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