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An example: Sources for the legation of Angelo Pecchinoli 49 2. Rights and Powers 55 2. The authority of the legates 55 2. Judicial authority 63 2. Beneices and papal reserved powers 67 2.

The Foundations of Medieval Papal Legation | K. Rennie | Palgrave Macmillan

Dispensations 68 2. Faculties 69 2. Beneices 76 2. Indulgences and other graces 77 2. Apostolic Penitentiary 79 2. Speciic cases 87 2. Geographical and temporal limits of the legation 90 3. Modus Operandi 3. Ceremonial 3. Rome 3. Outside Rome 3. On the Road 3. Travelling 3. Financing a legation 3. Procuration 3. Central payments 3. The salary of the legate 3. The salary of the nuncio 3.

Further resources 4. Politics and Diplomacy 4. Papal legates and the crusades 4. Papal legates and the Hussite crusade 4. The Ottoman crusades 4. Angeli Pacis 4. International and internal conlicts 4.

Communication 4. Church politics and policy 4. Outside Rome 4.

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15.01.13, Rennie, The Foundations of Medieval Papal Legation

Rome 4. These two little quotations bring us to a topic that has never been forgotten and that often became crucial to treatments of European medieval history, but not so often central to the historical research. The irst quote comes from a constitution Super gentes of Pope John XXII that asserted the absolute respect for the papal legates in all regions under the authority of the Roman papacy. The latter is the glorious triumphal antiphon Advenisti desiderabilis, which was sung by the Prague burghers to greet Cardinal Juan Carvajal, papal legate de latere, in The irst quote demonstrates the intention of the papacy to clearly promote the ecclesiastical and papal authority even in areas outside the scope of actual power of the pope.

The latter exempliies the results of such an attitude: even though Juan Carvajal arrived in Utraquist Prague and even though he was later criticised and even derided, he represented the pope in his judicial as well as spiritual capacity and as such his position was not questioned, but accepted by all with high expectations.

5-4 Popes and Kings in the Middle Ages

Papal legates constitute one of the means of central papal government that evolved throughout the High Middle Ages, at the time of the reform of the Church and its institutions and administration. Jer Vulgate , ecce constitui te hodie super gentes et super regna ut evellas et destruas et disperdas et dissipes et aediices et plantes; Extrav.

Friedberg, ed.

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In the eleventh century, the popes had two most crucial points on their agenda: to gain ground against the secular power and to consolidate the leading position within the Church itself. The reform papacy of the twelfth century with the help of the gradually codiied canon law managed to cement this claim, which only intensiied during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.


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Although the superiority of the spiritual power over the secular one was still contested and questioned, the papal primacy became a matter of fact conirmed by the canon law that developed in the two centuries. The period of the ifteenth century was, then, illed with the renewed eforts of the popes to restore the prominent role in the Church that was shattered by the Councils.

The long ifteenth century was understood by especially Church historians as the period from the s to s, but not all the institutions functioned the same throughout this period. The election of the new pope in brought some changes, but deinitely did not mean that the pope prevailed.

Scripta Neophilologica Posnaniensia

On 25 April , the Council of Basel dissolved itself in Lausanne where eighteen days before the last conciliar pope Felix V abdicated. By the beginning of the sixteenth century, the position of the popes was strengthened within the general Church as well as at the Curia against the College of Cardinals, which could not act independently. The s then brought not only the spread of the German Reformation and the sacco di Roma, but also the reforms of the Curia, which also changed the system of papal representation including the role of legates de latere.

On conciliar attempts in the second half of the ifteenth and early sixteenth centuries see Thomson, Popes and Princes, pp. Introduction 9 however, are excluded so that the system of papal legations may be described and analysed in the form that belonged to the period in between. Popes of the Middle Ages developed and maintained a system of government of the Church that was based on canon law, the papal plenitude of power and the distribution of that power.

There is a long history of the development of papal power and the ifteenth century built on that, including the struggle against the Council. Legates were installed as one of the basic instruments of the papal government, with a powerful reach outside Rome. The system of legatine representation evolved by legal practice that was incorporated in the compilations and handbooks of canon law. Pope Gregory VII sent out many legates and only after his period, the system received its form that lasted for the rest of the Middle Ages.

Canon law then diferentiated between three types of legates, i. The legate became a direct representative of the pope, who received part of the papal plenitude of power plenitudo potestatis ; the legate de latere became an alter-ego of the vicar of Christ with the highest possible authority. In later years, legates de latere became crucial for the entire system, whereas the other two categories were slowly disappearing from usage.

The period between the beginnings of the deinitions in the canon law in the twelfth century and the changes of the sixteenth century seems to have been standardised by the canon law. However, it kept changing according to current needs. The second half of the ifteenth century is a period when popes again manifested their power even more by sending cardinals — legates de latere as their crucial representatives.

Popes of the period had one powerful tool for strengthening their position and it was the crusade, which was propagated by all the pontifs of the period and directed against the advancing Ottoman Turks in the Balkans. In addition, there were three basic values to the crusade: the crusade itself, organising peace among Christian princes or states in general for the crusade and increasing the authority of whoever proposes the idea of the holy war.

These values brought about the negotiations for peace among Italians as well as among Christian states beyond the Alps. On papal government, Ullmann, The Growth; Weinfurter, ed. Setton, The Papacy, vol. Popes tried to innovate the concept of legates de latere and utilise them as representatives of the Roman Curia with the highest authority. Pius II, for example, sent no less than twenty-four legations during his pontiicate and employed many more other papal envoys.

However, where does the oice of legates de latere it within the system of papal administration? How are they accepted within the Church?

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How do they it into the local Church system? Is there any relation to the new trends in spirituality in the ifteenth century? Did the legates follow the general rules designed earlier or is the ifteenth century speciic? Answers need to be sought to all of these questions, even though they will not be inal, as the research still goes on. The structure of the Roman Curia, as presented by historians, is deined by individual oices and tribunals. Papal legates do not usually ind a place in the general description of the structure, even though their authority has the same origin: they are not regarded as a standard oice within this system.