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The Prohibition Of Clerical Marriage In The Eleventh Century

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Chapter Summary

By the eleventh century the prohibition of marriage for clerics of most ranks and not only monks-whose very name implied the solitary life-was very old. This chapter shows that the eleventh-century ecclesiastical reform was by no means limited to the reign of Pope Gregory VII (1073-1085). One has to look to the pontiff's predecessors rather than Gregory himself in order to uncover the roots of the legislative strands of the new emphasis on the prohibition of clerical marriage and the reasons for its effectiveness. This is the focus of the chapter, whereas other important developments such as the formation of a matrimonial law under ecclesiastical jurisdiction or changing concepts of consanguinity, in other words marriage and the laity, is disregarded.

Keywords:matrimonial law; Pope Gregory VII; prohibition of clerical marriage



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