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The Titular Churches

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Chapter Summary

Every cardinal had a foot in the gate of Rome as each one was assigned a specific church in the city. These churches were the starting point for the cardinals who played a full part in the restoration of Rome in the fifteenth century. The churches-tituli and diaconiae- to which the clerics who eventually emerged as cardinals were attached have different origins, each of which is revealing of the evolution of the Christian community in Rome and of the historical relationship of the cardinals with the city. The Lateran was a particular focus for papal reform because of its significance as the foremost church in western Christendom and the cathedral of Rome. The titular churches were the enduring symbol of the cardinals' relationship with Rome. This chapter explains how Nicholas of Cusa provided a new receptacle for the relic of the chains of St Peter in his own titular church.

Keywords:diaconiae; Lateran; papal reform; Rome; titular churches; tituli

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