We wish, dear brethren, to inform you of the discussions which have been going on for some time with our brethren in France, companions of Valdes, and of the results we have reached together after a long exchange, here in the city of Bergamo in the year of our Lord 1218, in the month of May.

In the first place, regarding the problem of naming leaders in our communities, we agreed to the letter and without dissenting voice that they should be elected; that each community should come together “communitarily,” as it were, to elect a leader, for life or for a fixed term, whichever should result in the greatest usefulness and make for the most harmony and peace .…

To our question concerning the ordination of ministers, this was their reply: Ministers should be elected by the community, either among the “Adherents” or the “Friends,” and that they may be ordained for life or for a time, according to what seems most useful for all and that serves the cause of peace.

To our question regarding work associations, the reply of our brethren from across the mountains was this: If anyone wishes to make a vow of poverty, either alone or with others, permit him to do so, as he is answerable to God and His law.…

To another of their questions, concerning marriage, we gave this answer: We believe that no one should separate legitimately united marriage partners unless it is with the consent of both husband and wife, or for the cause of fornication. This we asked our brethren from across the mountains to believe and profess.

The last question from us was posed in these terms: If the Church should engage and constrain you to engage in practices which, according to your judgment and belief, you believe one cannot clearly justify on the basis of Scripture, ...

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