Monastic reform: lordship and liberty
During the collective silence of the bishops over much of the 10th century, the foundation or reform of monasteries was attracting support from increasing numbers of individual bishops, monks, and laity over most of the West. Monastic reform itself was a matter of discipline, community of property, and liturgical decorum. This chapter examines how proprietary lordship over monasteries was related to reform, and how far it was rejected in the developing idea of monastic liberty. Monastic liberty would soon be an element in the Gregorian conception of the liberty of the whole Church. Although the idea of a generalized monastic liberty had not been unheard of in the mid-ninth century, in the real world liberty of various kinds and degrees was envisaged only as belonging to individual monasteries. Over the following century and a half, conscientious popes had acknowledged the lordship of rulers in royal or princely monasteries and affirmed its manifestations in investiture and in approval or even control of elections.
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