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Conflict In The Parish: Antagonistic Relations Between Clerics And Parishioners

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Chapter Summary

When considering the lives of secular clergy and their illicit deeds, what is often forget is that clergymen were more than just priests in their communitiesthey were the neighbors, sons, brothers, friends, and even the enemies of the people in their parishes. This chapter provides a context for the illicit behaviors of clerics and aims is to reveal the human faces of clerics as individuals with the same faults, and similar emotions and behaviors to their parishioners. It considers how clerical personalities and personal relationships with the laity affected their interactions with the parish, and explains why medieval people often held their parish clergy in such contempt. It further endeavors to question the general assumption that most clerical violence was limited to men in the minor ordersthose not yet elevated to the deaconate or priesthood, such as porters, lectors, and acolytes.

Keywords: antagonistic relations; clerical violence; clerics; illicit deeds; parish; parishioners; priesthood



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