Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Visitas Pastorales De Valencia (Siglos XIV-XV)

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Visitas Pastorales De Valencia (Siglos XIV-XV)

Article excerpt

Visitas pastorales de Valencia (Siglos XIV-XV). By M. Milagros Carcel Orti y Jose Vicente Bosca Codina. [Facultad de Teologia San Vicente Ferrer, Series valentina, XVIII.] (Valencia: Universitat de Valencia, Facultat de Geografia i Historia, Departament d'Historia de l'Antiguitat i de la Cultura Escrita. 1996. Pp. xii, 803. Paperback.)

Pastoral visits offer a wealth of information for social historians, and this carefully prepared volume records those undertaken in Valencia from 1337 to 1427. An introductory chapter places the visits in context. Although most parishes were found to be in an acceptable state, in some there were serious problems.

During the episcopal visits both clergy and laity were interrogated; in 1383 Bishop Jaume d'Arag6 asked Jaume Serra, rector of the church of Alzira, about his relationship with the woman living under his roof, a concern which arose from the widespread problem of concubinage in the diocese. He was also asked about the fabric of the church and its chapels, and the fulfillment of obligations by priests who held benefices there, twenty-eight of whom were fined for their negligence (pp.86-87).

In 1396 a number of deficiencies were found in the fabric of the cathedral together with a lack of devotional and processional books; Friar Gil d'Elvira was said to be ignorant of the meaning of the Mass and the vicar to read very badly and be incapable of administering Holy Baptism.The same year in Liria (pp. 236-238) the rector of Sant Tomas was known as an unsatisfactory preacher and attendance at his church was poor; in Oliva (p.128) the vicar had an impediment in his speech which rendered it unintelligible.Worse were the less frequent sins of usury, sodomy, indecency, blasphemy, gambling, inebriation, brawling, keeping undesirable company, rape, and the invocation of demons, of almost all of which the vicar of Luxent was accused. …

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