The Apostolic Penitentiary in Local Contexts

The Apostolic Penitentiary in Local Contexts

Gerhard Jaritz
Torstein Jørgensen
Kirsi Salonen
Copyright Date: 2007
Edition: NED - New edition, 1
Pages: 138
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7829/j.ctt2jbmgn
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  • Book Info
    The Apostolic Penitentiary in Local Contexts
    Book Description:

    The volume investigates the registers of fifteenth-century supplications to the Apostolic Penitentiary of the Holy See and presents an analysis of a multiplicity of issues in which a context of the local needs of Western Christians and the central power of the Pope occurred. The contributions make it clear that local and individual factors and the Christian faith and religion in practice must not be seen as separate from the global power of the Roman curia. The latter's influence could become directly important for any individual in any local space, even ...et usque ad ultimum terrae (Acts 1:8), in the utmost peripheries of the Christian world. It is shown that the assistance of the Apostolic Penitentiary was indispensable in a large variety of cases. Such cases were dealt with both in the local, regional space and in the globalized centre of the Holy See.

    eISBN: 978-615-5211-38-6
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 1-4)
    Gerhard Jaritz, Torstein Jørgensen and Kirsi Salonen

    The Apostolic Penitentiary and its role in, and for, late medieval society may be seen as one of the best examples of how specific local needs of clerics and laity of all social origins, and global authority, in this case the pope, was connected and interdependent. For a variety of reasons, individual Christians requested grace from the Papal Curia, the Penitentiary in particular, which could not be given by others, neither by representatives of secular authority nor by any other members of the Church hierarchy. The central authority of the papacy determined and influenced not only matters of faith, but...

  4. LOCAL NEEDS IN GLOBAL CONTEXTS
    • PENITENTIARY EVIDENCE AND LOCAL ARCHIVE MATERIAL: THE CASE OF UPPER ITALY (1438–1484)
      (pp. 7-18)
      Paolo Ostinelli

      The records of the Apostolic Penitentiary preserved in the supplication volumes at the Vatican Archives reflect only a single moment of a longer process of supplication and therefore they must be considered as an incomplete source for the study of this particular form of contact between the partes and the central administration of the late medieval church. Since it was not necessary that the petitioners be present in person at the Roman curia, most of the requests had to be brought by other persons from their dioceses to the administrative centre of occidental Christendom, and in many cases the issuing...

    • CANON LAW IN NORWAY ILLUSTRATED BY THE PENITENTIARY TEXTS: AN EXAMPLE OF A EUROPEAN CENTRE—PERIPHERY PERSPECTIVE
      (pp. 19-30)
      Torstein Jørgensen

      The preserved text material from the protocols of the Apostolic Penitentiary Office is a rather late phenomenon as seen from a medievalist’s point of view. The section of these holdings normally referred to as the antique text collection, containing the supplications predating the Council of Trent, consists of some few scattered volumes from the first half of the fifteenth century, followed by a series of more regular registrations appearing from around 1450 onwards. However, if turning to the substance matters dealt with in the texts, these are by no means a novelty of the fifteenth century. In fact, the actual...

  5. MARRIAGE AND SEXUAL CONDUCT
    • ILLEGITIMATE SCOTS IN THE REGISTERS OF SUPPLICATIONS AND THE REGISTERS OF THE APOSTOLIC PENITENTIARY DURING THE PONTIFICATE OF SIXTUS IV (1471–1484)
      (pp. 33-42)
      Jennifer R. McDonald

      Despite distance and expense, Scottish clerics advanced thousands of supplications to the offices of the Apostolic Chancery, Datary, and Penitentiary during the Middle Ages. Their petitions, which concern a disparate variety of matters, constitute a significant addition to the sources available for the study of the medieval church in Scotland. The absence of native sources, including ordination rolls and episcopal registers, has hampered scholarly efforts to address subjects such as clerical recruitment, training and ordination. Supplications preserved in the respective registers of these offices offer insight into these issues. They also demonstrate the reception of canon law, and its application...

    • DIEMUNDA AND HEINRICH — MARRIED OR NOT? ABOUT A MARRIAGE LITIGATION IN THE CONSISTORIAL COURT OF FREISING IN THE LATE MIDDLE AGES
      (pp. 43-60)
      Kirsi Salonen

      The records of the Apostolic Penitentiary, kept in the Vatican Secret Archives, contain one entry concerning a German couple, Henricus de Empach and Dienia (or correctly, Diemunda²) de Empach, both from the diocese of Freising:³

      Henricus de Empach et Dienia de Empach mulier Frisingensis diocesis ignoranter matrimonium inter se in 3° et 4° consanguinitatis gradu contraxerunt et consumarunt. Petunt igitur secum dispensari ut in eorum matrimonio libere remanere possint cum legitimatione prolis. Fiat de speciali, Phi. S. Laurentii in Lucina. Et concedantur eisdem littere declaratorie super 3° consanguinitatis gradu. Fiat, Phi.⁴

      As this entry testifies, on the 17th of March...

    • SI ET IN QUANTUM. THE ROLE OF PAPAL DISPENSATIONS IN MATRIMONIAL CONTRACTS OF FIFTEENTH-CENTURY RAGUSA
      (pp. 61-70)
      Ana Marinković

      Having in mind the evasive character of a valid matrimonial agreement in the pre-Tridentine period, the exceptionally elaborated system of registration and authentication of matrimonial contracts in respect to impediments set by canon law and dowry regulations set by common law, late medieval Ragusa is almost an ideal area for research on the interplay between secular and ecclesiastical aspects of a marriage.¹ Only almost ideal, as the major part of the Ragusan archiepiscopal archives was lost in the great earthquake in the seventeenth century, and it is mostly the records of the Ragusan public notary that are now available for...

    • MATRIMONIAL DISPENSATION: HOW THE PENITENTIARY HANDLED CASES OF IMPOTENCE
      (pp. 71-82)
      Ludwig Schmugge

      In this paper I have chosen one particular topic from the large field of matrimonial dispensations. Within the field of graces, absolutions, and dispensations asked for by men and women from all social contexts and every country between Poland and Portugal and across Europe from Iceland to Cyprus, matrimonial dispensations top the statistics by a large margin. To give an idea of the quantity of the material, here are some figures: In the years between 1455, that is, the beginning of Calixtus III’s pontificate, and 1492, when Alexander VI became pope, some 42,560 matrimonial supplications were registered by the scribes...

  6. VAGRANTS AND APOSTATES
    • … MONASTERIUM IPSUM (SINE LICENTIA) EXIVIT: A FAMILIAR IMAGE FOR THE FIFTEENTH-CENTURY DIOCESES OF PASSAU AND SALZBURG?
      (pp. 85-94)
      Gerhard Jaritz

      The phenomena of ‘stability’ and ‘mobility’ played an important role in any medieval discourse about monastic space. The highest number and largest variety, however, can be traced in the sources of the fifteenth century.

      Concentrating on the dioceses of Passau and Salzburg, this contribution will deal with the role of vagrant monks and apostates in the supplications to the Apostolic Penitentiary¹ from the thirties to the eighties of the fifteenth century, comparing it with the respective source evidence of some individual religious houses, monastic statutes and General Chapter decisions. I will trace contexts for the general or ‘global’ discussion of...

    • Thief and Arsonist: The Adventurous Fate of a Runaway Monk
      (pp. 95-112)

      Was it thoughtlessness, adventurous desire or a certain violent disposition? Half a millennium later we cannot know why a certain Johannes Opser (Oppseer/Opasser¹), a Premonstratensian canon, escaped from the monastery of Weissenau in the diocese of Constance and joined predatory mercenary troops. Two supplications in the Penitentiary registers from the years 1450 and 1451² refer to his escape and his adventurous fate and shall be examined in the course of this article. In one of his supplications, Johannes explains that he was enticed to escape by carelessness and by the cajolery of the devil.³ Not only did Johannes commit apostasy...

  7. LOCAL NEEDS IN THREATENED LANDS
    • THE SURVIVAL OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN ALBANIA DURING THE PERIOD OF DIRECT CONTACT WITH THE OTTOMANS (1458–1484)
      (pp. 115-122)
      Etleva Lala

      The period between 1444 and 1468, in the Albanian historiography known as the epoch of Scanderbeg, was also the time of the Albanian wars against the Turks. Under the leadership of Gjergj Kastrioti Scanderbeg, the Albanians managed to resist the Ottoman attacks successfully for 24 years.

      An important role in the resistance of the Albanian people was played by the Catholic clergy. The clerics played the role of spiritual leaders in the wars against the Ottomans, being thus a great assistance to Scanderbeg.¹ They also took part actively in battles, fighting against the Turks. After the death of Scanderbeg (January...

    • THE OFFICIAL PAPAL POLICY TOWARDS BOHEMIA AND MORAVIA IN THE 1460s AND ITS RELATION TO THE PENITENTIARY OFFICE: THE CASE OF OLOMOUC
      (pp. 123-129)
      Antonín Kalous

      This study will concentrate on one minute problem of the religious and political development of the Czech lands which is connected to the post-Hussite period of the reign of George of Poděbrady and the revolt against this king of Bohemia. The religious situation during the Hussite revolution in Bohemia has been described many times and even the relation towards the papacy and the relation of the papacy towards Bohemia are quite well known, even though there is no special study of the problem.¹ The Hussite period proper is usually described by historians as ending in 1436, when the Compactata, the...

  8. ADDRESSES OF THE CONTRIBUTORS
    (pp. 130-130)
  9. Back Matter
    (pp. 131-131)