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The Empty See

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Chapter Summary

The analysis of the governance and of the liturgy of the Empty See in this chapter initiates the investigation of the customary violence attached to episcopal and papal interregna. Because the medieval papacy was universal, the rules attached to the governance of the church during papal interregna affected both temporal and religious worlds. The chapter discusses the church's attempt at controlling the power vacuum initiated by the pope's death, because control hinged on the papal electoral system. Ecclesiastical reformers used the vox populi to counter the pretensions of the Carolingians and later, those of the holy Roman emperor during the investiture controversy. The first Christian millennium showed that the principle of papal election was never questioned during the Middle Ages, but confusion remained on its modality. The ordines mention the distribution of coins as a symbolic sign of papal charity tying the poverty and humility of Christ to the pope.

Keywords: Carolingian; empty see liturgy; episcopal interregna; investiture controversy; Jesus Christ; medieval ordines; papal charity; papal electoral system



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    Raiding Saint Peter: Empty Sees, Violence, and the Initiation of the Great Western Schism (1378) — Recommend this title to your library
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