Parish Priests and Their People in the Middle Ages in England

By Edward L. Cutts | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXII
ABUSES.

EVEN a book like this, which professes to deal with the humbler details of parochial life, rather than with the greater matters of ecclesiastical history, would be defective if it failed to take some note of the administrative abuses against which all Europe complained for centuries, and tried in vain to get them amended in the three great Councils at Pisa, Constance, and Basle. We shall treat of them very briefly, and chiefly in their relation to our special subject.

It was soon found that the new relations of the Church of England to the patriarchal authority of the See of Rome, which had been a consequence of the Norman Conquest, had opened the door to a flood of evils which had not been foreseen. We can only enumerate them without going into their history.

The claim of the popes to present to all ecclesiastical benefices was opposed by the king with respect

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