St. Bernard and the Jurists

  • James A. Brundage


In a fiery passage of De consideratione, St. Bernard warned his disciple, Pope Eugenius III (1145–53), to be wary of lawyers and their doings. “I am astonished”, he told the pope, “that you, a man of piety, can bear to listen to lawyers dispute and argue in a way which tends more to subvert the truth than to reveal it.”1 Lawyers, although clever, Bernard continued, are a morally dubious lot, for they seek to make profit out of iniquity.2 “These men”, he thundered, “have taught their tongues to speak lies. They are fluent against justice. They are schooled in falsehood.” He admonished Eugenius to put an end to lawyerly babble in the papal palace, to “Cut off their lying tongues and shut their deceitful mouths.”


Crusade Force Civil Matter Monastic Community Medieval Writer Christian Commonwealth 
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© Michael Gervers 1992

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  • James A. Brundage

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