IMC 2012: Sessions

Session 822: Studies in Memory of James M. Powell, IV: Privileges, Petitions, and the Penitentiary

Tuesday 10 July 2012, 16.30-18.00

Moderator/Chair:Brenda M. Bolton, University of London
Paper 822-a'To fast or not to fast: that is the question': Papal Dispensations of Fasting Regulations
(Language: English)
Matthias Klipsch, Institut für Mittelalterliche Geschichte, Philipps-Universität, Marburg
Index terms: Canon Law, Daily Life, Ecclesiastical History, Religious Life
Paper 822-bFrom a Provision to a Multiple Excommunication: The Chapter of Turku and the Case of Petrus Benedicti between the Apostolic Chancery, Apostolic Penitentiary, and Sacra Romana Rota
(Language: English)
Kirsi Salonen, Department of History & Philosophy, University of Tampere
Index terms: Ecclesiastical History

Paper -a:
During the 14th and 15th century many petitioners from all over Europe requested special graces from the Holy See. Among these privileges there was also the peculiar enquiry by individuals, households, monastic communities, and even whole cities to reduce certain aspects of the fasting regulations set down in ecclesiastical rule and deeply rooted in medieval daily life. This paper focuses first on the subjects asking for this grace, their provenance, exact wishes, and reasons. Secondly, this is combined with the popes’ motivation permitting this legislative deviation illustrating, finally, the advantage of both parts in transgressing the rule and, by doing so, legitimating new rules.

Paper -b:
This paper discusses how Christians could use the different papal offices in obtaining what they needed and wanted from the apostolic see through one singular example case that of Petrus Benedicti from the diocese of Turku in medieval Sweden. This case is particularly interesting because a problematic papal provision letter in favour of Petrus Benedicti leads in the end to a long litigation in the papal curia. During the different phases of the case not only the two main litigant parties, Petrus Benedicti and the cathedral chapter of Turku, but also other persons acting in their own favour involve all relevant papal offices: the Apostolic Chancery, the Apostolic Penitentiary as well as the highest papal tribunal Sacra Romana Rota. This is a model example of how medieval men could use and abuse the papal system of administration.