Like his commentary on Book 4 of the Sentences, Pierre's De potestate Papae shows him working on a theme that caught his imagination and led him towards positions to which he adhered for the rest of his life. His concerns were intensely topical. He faced the task of fitting the solutions demanded by canon law and immediate papal problems into a pattern of thought he would be prepared to defend in the abstract. Though only tangentially relevant to the main argument of De potestote, this chapter also describes Pierre's treatment of poverty, especially in Pierre's defence of tithes. It shows his espousal of a definition of poverty close to that soon to be condemned by Pope John XXII.
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