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It was and is designed to be less severe than total excommunication, which automatically excludes those impacted from all Church activity. In the Middle Ages the interdict could be imposed either as personal or local in nature. A personal interdict, still part of canon law today, is directed against a person or a group of persons, i.
The personal interdict, which can be implemented by a bishop, stays with a person wherever they go. The local interdict was exercised only by a pope and extended over an entire diocese, or an entire country. King John, who reigned from to , is viewed by most historians as an ineffectual leader because of his inability to get along with his subjects and with other European leaders.
He was ill-tempered and stubborn, especially when it came to dealing with the expanding influence of Pope Innocent III.
What is an interdict in Scottish law?
On one occasion during Mass, he reportedly wrote a note to the celebrant asking him to hurry up, as the king wanted to go to lunch. The collision of king and pope took place in when the archbishop of Canterbury died. In his role as chancellor he oversaw the day-to-day affairs of government, and as archbishop he was the leader of the Catholic Church in England. In these positions he was skillful, effective and powerful, traits not lost on King John, who recognized Walter as holding the second most important position in the kingdom.
The monks had the right to elect the archbishop, but by custom it always had been someone acceptable to the king. But the monks did not trust their king, because he had shown little interest in religious matters. Additionally, there was an ongoing dispute between the monks and bishops of England as to whether or not the bishops had any role in the selection process. En route, the clandestinely elected Reginald began to brag to those he met about his new position, and word of the secret election soon got back to King John.
King John intimidated a number of the Canterbury monks into voting for his choice and asked the English bishops not to interfere with this selection. He sent the monks, who were embarrassed and submissive after being confronted, off to Rome to support de Gray. The bishops, upset that they were slighted in the selection process, also dispatched a representative to plead their concerns before the pope.
Reginald, unaware that these actions were taking place, continued on to the Vatican. The pope quickly took advantage of the chaos. Canonical law regulating ecclesiastical elections was vague, allowing Innocent to interpret the rules as he saw fit. He invoked the law by first dismissing Reginald, because he had been elected in secret, and then Bishop de Gray, because he had been named before the pope had proclaimed the invalidity of Reginald.
Innocent saw an opportunity to widen papal influence in England and in selected his trusted friend Cardinal Stephen Langton as the archbishop of Canterbury.
Born in England, Langton had been living in Paris for 25 years, was teaching theology at the university and was close to the French court. Canon law specifies the following situations as being subject to automatic interdict latae sententiae : physical violence against a bishop Canon ; someone other than a priest attempting to preside over the Mass or hear confessions ; falsely accusing a priest of soliciting adultery during the sacrament of penance ; a religious attempting to marry while under the vow of celibacy Also, a person who celebrates or receives a sacrament through the use of simony is subject to an interdict or suspension and an interdict is imposed on someone who promotes a plot against the Church.
King John reacts to the pope Clearly, this was a precedent-setting attempt by the pope and, if successful, the most important religious position outside Rome would forever serve at the inclination of the Holy See.
It seemed to John that the archbishop of Canterbury should be acceptable and responsible to the king, not a Vatican-appointed delegate who lived in England but was responsible to the pope. Had the pope at least consulted with John, the situation may have had a different result, but there would be no compromise. Innocent announced his selection in a letter to the king and tried to pacify him by including a gift of four very valuable rings. But John would have none of it and angrily proclaimed that Langton was not welcome in England as archbishop. The king also sent his knights to oust the monks at Canterbury, who had conducted the secret election and had switched their allegiance to the pope.
The pope responded by directing three English bishops to meet with the king and explain that in accordance with canon law, the continued ill treatment of the clergy and failure to accept Langton would result in England being placed under a nationwide interdict. Innocent, despite past custom, was convinced that the authority to select the archbishop rested with the pope.
At the threat of an interdict, King John flew into a rage, threatening the life and livelihood of every clergyman in the country. This action suspended all religious services, denied Mass to everyone except the clergy, took away all the sacraments save confession and viaticum for the dying, and baptism, which had to be done privately. Couples could not be married in the Church and no one could be buried in consecrated Catholic cemeteries. Every Englishman suffered because of the actions of the king. In response, King John increased his persecution of the clergy in England by confiscating their lands, not offering them any protection and not supporting them financially.
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- Requirements for interdict.
In an effort to insure support of the most powerful land barons, he began taking hostages from members of their families. This act, and many other selfish decisions by the king, served to infuriate the barons and lords of the land. The Catholics living in England in the early 13th century had difficulty understanding why they could not practice their faith and could not participate in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in their own country. This, of course, was the purpose of the local interdict imposed by Innocent III; that is, he sought to take advantage of this belief and bring public pressure on King John.
Interdict Synonyms, Interdict Antonyms | svillilakfa.tk
The clergy were in an awful position. History is not clear if the English populace rose up against King John. In fact, there is some evidence that many were angry with the Church.
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They began to question the sincerity and teachings of the Church if the sacraments could be taken away through no fault of the faithful. The pope realized that neither the excommunication nor the interdict was having the effect he expected, so in , Innocent deposed King John and encouraged King Phillip of France to invade England and take the throne. Recognizing the threat of a powerful invasion and aware that the lords of his country would not support him, King John finally succumbed to the pope.
Being in no position to bargain, John not only gave in on the issue of the archbishop but in a submissive, ceremonious rite, surrendered his entire kingdom to the pope. England would now become a papal fief and King John would rule as a vassal of the Holy See.
On May 13, , the king publicly swore obedience in perpetuity to Innocent III and all his papal successors; he promised to defend the Holy Catholic Church, make annual payments to Rome, and restore the goods and property he had confiscated from the English clergy. These concessions put John under the protection of the Holy See and the anticipated invasion by the French was immediately negated. In reality, it was the invasion and the likely loss of his empire that King John feared most.
That he was contrite about his previous relationship with the Church or concerned about his soul is doubtful. At last, in June , after six years, the interdict was removed from England. Lifting the interdict did not end the relationship between the king and the pope. Under the leadership of Archbishop Langton, they forced the king to sign the Magna Carta, which is the basis of English, and later American, constitutional liberties.
Among its contents, it addressed freedoms of the Church, political reform, the right to trial by jury, the right of habeas corpus and the principle of no taxation without representation. The king, obligated to comply with the laws, appealed to the pope that he had signed under duress. The pope, siding with his vassal, excommunicated the leaders opposing John and suspended Langton from his role as archbishop.
But before this next act could be fully played out, the pope and king both died July 16, , and October 19, , respectively , ending one of the greatest and most controversial relationships in Church history. Papal prestige and power reached its zenith under Innocent III.