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Henry of Segusio, usually called Hostiensis, (c. 1200 – 6 or 7 November 1271)was an Italian canonist of the thirteenth century, born at Susa (Segusio), in the ancient Diocese of Turin. He died at Lyon.
He undertook the study of Roman law and canon law at Bologna, where he seems to have taught Canon Law,and to have taken his degree utriusque juris . He taught canon law at Paris, and spent some time in England, whence King Henry III sent him on a mission to Innocent IV.
Later he became Provost of the Cathedral Chapter of Antibes, and chaplain to the pope. He was promoted to the See of Sisteron in 1244, afterwards to the Archdiocese of Embrun in 1250. In 1259 he replaced the captured Filippo da Pistoia as papal legate in Lombardy. He became Cardinal Bishop of Ostia and Velletri on 22 May 1262,whence his name Hostiensis.
His health forced him to leave the conclave of 1268-1271, though he remained at Viterbo. He was not present at the compromise election of Tedaldo Visconti on 1 September 1271, after the vacancy in the Holy See of two years and nine months. Nonetheless, the other cardinals immediately sought out Cardinal Enrico and obtained his consent to the election.In his room, he wrote his Last Will and Testament on 29 October 1271.
As a canonist Hostiensis had a great reputation. His works are:
A work on feudal law has also been attributed to him, but without foundation.
For Hostiensis the law as well as all political authority were derived from God.Because of this all princes “exercised authority by divine mandate.” Civil law was divine because the emperors who created that law were placed in authority by God. Despite this, however, civil law was inferior to canon law.
The reason for this is that the pope’s authority was even closer to the divine than that of secular princes. Because the pope was the vicar of God he acted on God’s authority, from which he (the pope) derived his own authority.Thus, whenever the pope acted de iure he acted as God. Therefore, canon law, since it was promulgated by the pope, was established by God. This is because canon law was based on the Bible , and God had given his vicar, the pope, the authority to interpret that text. Thus canon law was divine not because it came directly from God, but because of the end it sought (the spiritual well-being of Christians) and because of the dignity of the Pope, from which the canon law emanated.
Hostiensis believed that while the pope should follow positive law he was not bound by it.Thus the pope could not be tried for any crime, except that of heresy, in which case “the pope could be subject to the 'ecclesia' (the Church)." For any other violation of law the pope could be judged by no one save God. Further, except in the event that a mortal sin would result, the pope was to be obeyed in everything he commanded, including violations of positive law, since the pope was above that law. The only exception to this was if the pope’s command violated the conscience of the one being commanded, in which case the one being commanded should not obey.
Similarly, Hostiensis believed that the pope could grant exemptions even from divine law ("mandates of the Apostles and rules of the Old Testament"),so long as that exemption did not lead to a mortal sin, violate the faith, subvert the faith, or endanger the salvation of souls. The pope had great authority indeed, he could even "change squares into circles.
According to Hostiensis the pope was imbued with the authority of the two swords (Lk 22:36-38), interpreted as spiritual and temporal power.The spiritual was superior to the temporal in the following three aspects: “in dignity, for the spirit is greater and more honourable than the body; in time, for it was earlier; and in power, for it not only institutes the temporal power but also has the authority to judge it, while the Pope cannot be judged by any man, except in cases of heresy.” The pope entrusted temporal authority to the emperors but retained the right to reclaim that authority “in virtue of the ‘plenitudo potestatis’ which he possesses as the vicar of Christ.” Indeed, the temporal power of the pope was so complete that Hostiensis considered it a mortal sin for a temporal ruler to disobey the pope in temporal matters.
This view of papal authority in temporal matters also applied to the kingdoms of non-Christians. For Hostiensis all sovereignty had been taken away from non-Christians and transferred to the faithful when Christ came into the world.“This translation of power was first made to the person of Christ who combined the functions of priesthood and kingship, and this sacerdotal and kingly power was then transferred to the popes.” Non-Christians were thus subject to Christians but could maintain sovereignty over their lands so long as they recognized the church as superior. If non-believers failed to recognize the lordship of the Church, however, sovereignty could be taken away from them by the pope and transferred to Christian rulers.
Hostiensis’ influence lasted well into the seventeenth century.His thought played an especially central role in Spanish theories of empire during the age of discovery. Both Juan Lopez de Palacios Rubios and Fray Matias de Paz, who were recruited by King Ferdinand of Spain in 1512 to help legitimate Spanish title over the New World, based their justifications of Spanish sovereignty over the New World on Hostiensis’ ideas on papal temporal sovereignty.
He is mentioned in the Paradise (12.82-85) of Dante's Divine Comedy .
Giovanni d'Andrea or Johannes Andreæ was an Italian expert in canon law, the most renowned and successful canonist of the later Middle Ages. His contemporaries referred to him as iuris canonici fons et tuba. Most important among his works were extensive commentaries on all of the official collections of papal decretals, papal judgments in the form of letters to delegated judges that were at the core of canon law.
Simony is the act of selling church offices and roles or sacred things. It is named after Simon Magus, who is described in the Acts of the Apostles as having offered two disciples of Jesus payment in exchange for their empowering him to impart the power of the Holy Spirit to anyone on whom he would place his hands. The term extends to other forms of trafficking for money in "spiritual things".
William of Ockham was an English Franciscan friar, scholastic philosopher, and theologian, who is believed to have been born in Ockham, a small village in Surrey. He is considered to be one of the major figures of medieval thought and was at the centre of the major intellectual and political controversies of the 14th century. He is commonly known for Occam's razor, the methodological principle that bears his name, and also produced significant works on logic, physics, and theology. William is remembered in the Church of England with a commemoration on 10 April.
The Gallican Church was the Roman Catholic Church in France from the time of the Declaration of the Clergy of France (1682) to that of the Civil Constitution of the Clergy (1790) during the French Revolution.
Gallicanism is the belief that popular civil authority—often represented by the monarch's or the state's authority—over the Catholic Church is comparable to that of the Pope. Gallicanism is a rejection of ultramontanism; it has something in common with Anglicanism, but is nuanced, in that it plays down the authority of the Pope in church without denying that there are some authoritative elements to the office associated with being primus inter pares. Other terms for the same or similar doctrines include Erastianism, Febronianism, and Josephinism.
Unam sanctam is a papal bull that was issued by Pope Boniface VIII on 18 November 1302. It laid down dogmatic propositions on the unity of the Catholic Church, the necessity of belonging to it for eternal salvation, the position of the Pope as supreme head of the Church and the duty thence arising of submission to the Pope to belong to the Church and thus to attain salvation. The Pope further emphasized the higher position of the spiritual in comparison with the secular order. The historian Brian Tierney calls it "probably the most famous of all the documents on church and state that has [come] down to us from the Middle Ages". The original document is lost, but a version of the text can be found in the registers of Boniface VIII in the Vatican Archives. The bull was the definitive statement of the late medieval theory of hierocracy, which argued for the temporal as well as spiritual supremacy of the pope.
Conciliarism was a reform movement in the 14th-, 15th- and 16th-century Catholic Church which held that supreme authority in the Church resided with an Ecumenical council, apart from, or even against, the pope. The movement emerged in response to the Western Schism between rival popes in Rome and Avignon. The schism inspired the summoning of the Council of Pisa (1409), which failed to end the schism, and the Council of Constance (1414–1418), which succeeded and proclaimed its own superiority over the Pope. Conciliarism reached its apex with the Council of Basel (1431–1449), which ultimately fell apart. The eventual victor in the conflict was the institution of the Papacy, confirmed by the condemnation of conciliarism at the Fifth Lateran Council, 1512–17. The final gesture however, the doctrine of Papal Infallibility, was not promulgated until the First Vatican Council of 1870.
In the jurisprudence of the canon law of the Catholic Church, a dispensation is the exemption from the immediate obligation of law in certain cases. Its object is to modify the hardship often arising from the rigorous application of general laws to particular cases, and its essence is to preserve the law by suspending its operation in such cases.
The canon law of the Catholic Church is the system of laws and legal principles made and enforced by the hierarchical authorities of the Catholic Church to regulate its external organization and government and to order and direct the activities of Catholics toward the mission of the Church. It was the first modern Western legal system and is the oldest continuously functioning legal system in the West, while the unique traditions of Eastern Catholic canon law govern the 23 Eastern Catholic particular churches sui iuris.
In the history of canon law, a decretist was a student and interpreter of the Decretum Gratiani. Like Gratian, the decretists sought to provide "a harmony of discordant canons", and they worked towards this through glosses (glossae) and summaries (summae) on Gratian. They are contrasted with the decretalists, whose work primarily focused on papal decretals.
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The Decretals of Gregory IX, also collectively called the Liber extra, are a source of medieval Canon Law. In 1230, Pope Gregory IX ordered his chaplain and confessor, St. Raymond of Penyafort, a Dominican, to form a new canonical collection destined to replace the Decretum Gratiani, which was the chief collection of legal writings for the church for over 90 years. It has been said that the pope utilised these letters to emphasize his power over the Universal Church.
Peter of Benevento was an Italian canon lawyer, papal legate and cardinal.
Plenitudo potestatis was a term employed by medieval canonists to describe the jurisdictional power of the papacy. In the thirteenth century, the canonists used the term plenitudo potestatis to characterize the power of the pope within the church, or, more rarely, the pope's prerogative in the secular sphere. However, during the thirteenth century the pope's plenitudo potestatis expanded as the Church became increasingly centralized, and the pope's presence made itself felt every day in legislation, judicial appeals, and finance.
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Rufinus was an Italian canon lawyer, described as the most influential canonist at the University of Bologna in the mid 12th century. He composed a Summa on Gratian's Decretum before 1159, which soon became the most influential commentary in Bologna, surpassing all previous ones in detail and length.
Honorius of Kent was a medieval English Archdeacon of Richmond and canon lawyer.
The sun and moon allegory is used to depict a medieval political theory of hierocracy which submits the secular power to the spiritual power, stating that the Pope is like the sun i.e. the only source of his own light, while the Emperor is like the moon, which merely reflects lights and has no value without the sun. It was espoused by the Roman Catholic Church of Innocent III and instantiated to some extent in medieval political practice.
The philosophy, theology, and fundamental theory of Catholic canon law are the fields of philosophical, theological (ecclesiological), and legal scholarship which concern the place of canon law in the nature of the Catholic Church, both as a natural and as a supernatural entity. Philosophy and theology shape the concepts and self-understanding of canon law as the law of both a human organization and as a supernatural entity, since the Catholic Church believes that Jesus Christ instituted the church by direct divine command, while the fundamental theory of canon law is a meta-discipline of the "triple relationship between theology, philosophy, and canon law".
In the Middle Ages, hierocracy or papalism was a current of Latin legal and political thought that argued that the pope held supreme authority over not just spiritual, but also temporal affairs. In its full, late medieval form, hierocratic theory posited that since Christ was lord of the universe and both king and priest, and the pope was his earthly vicar, the pope must also possess both spiritual and temporal authority over everybody in the world. Papalist writers at the turn of the 14th century such as Augustinus Triumphus and Giles of Rome depicted secular government as a product of human sinfulness that originated, by necessity, in tyrannical usurpation, and could be redeemed only by submission to the superior spiritual sovereignty of the pope. At the head of the Catholic Church, responsible to no other jurisdiction except God, the pope, they argued, was the monarch of a universal kingdom whose power extended to Christians and non-Christians alike.
|Catholic Church titles|
Hugh of St Cher
| Cardinal-bishop of Ostia |
Peter of Tarentaise
| Bishop of Embrun |
| Bishop of Sisteron |
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain : Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Blessed Henry of Segusio". Catholic Encyclopedia . New York: Robert Appleton Company.