The great disaster for the Franciscan fraternity was the emergence of Brother Elias as the master-organiser of the fraternity at the time when the yet fluid society of the brethren needed a wise manipulation to set it in the way of an organised development which would be at once true to the original ideals and capable of assimilating new conditions and ideals without loss of the original spirit. Elias was heart and soul of “the Community” (to anticipate the use of the party name later in vogue); but he was of “the Community” in some of its least Franciscan traits. As an organiser he had great abilities: he fell short of genius. A genius would have developed the fraternity in accordance with its own peculiar ideal and its fundamental spirit. Elias sought to develop the fraternity in emulation of that most perfect of mediaeval organisations: the Order of St. Dominic. He would build up a Franciscan counterpart of the rival Order; for to Elias the Dominicans were a rival Order. That was his great mistake and the cause of his great failure. He did go far towards building up a rival organisation to that of the Dominicans, but at the cost of much that was most significant and inspiring in the original Franciscan life.

– Father Cuthbert O.S.F.C., The Capuchins (New York, 1929), 24.

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