The Relationship between Abbots and Bishops and the Origins of the cistercian Carta Caritatis

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in libroChapter


In the early decades of the 12th century the Cistercians created a sort of horizontal “confederation” (a societas et fraterna confederatio wrote Bernard of Clairvaux in the letter n. 142 adressed to the abbey of Aulps), composed basically almost entirely of abbeys which maintained strong ties with the episcopate and were materially rather independent of each other. This was a real turning point which was embodied in the Charta caritatis. Within the Cistercians occurred a shift from a relationship between abbot and priors, or between archabbot and abbot, to a relation between father – abbot and son – abbot. The rise of the relation father – abbot and son – abbot allowed also the gradual dawning of innovative institutions such as the annual visitation and the general chapter. This process however was difficult and required some decades to establish itself. The weakness of this relationship was caused by an initial lack of legitimation, validity and juridical ground. In order to solve this problem, the practice to correct and judge the abbots was extremely important. According to the Charta caritatis prior and the Summa carte caritatis an abbot had to be corrected both by his bishop and his father-abbot. Therefore, the disciplinary actions of the latter gained some validity and effectiveness also thank to his role as a substitute of the bishop.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteShaping Stability. The Normation and Formation of Religious Life in the Middle Ages
EditorK. Pansters, A. Plunkett-Latimer
Numero di pagine9
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2016

Serie di pubblicazioni

NomeDisciplina Monastica


  • Cistercian
  • Middle ages
  • Monk
  • bishop


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