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Papacy and Law in the Gregorian RevolutionThe Canonistic Work of Anselm of Lucca$
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Kathleen G. Cushing

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780198207245

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198207245.001.0001

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Roman Primacy and the Legal Vindication of Reform

Roman Primacy and the Legal Vindication of Reform

(p.103) 3 Roman Primacy and the Legal Vindication of Reform
Papacy and Law in the Gregorian Revolution

Kathleen G. Cushing

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the idea of primacy and the legal vindication of reform. In Anselm’s vision, the framework for ecclesiastical society took reference directly from Rome. His blueprint involved a narrow chain of obedience that bound various clerical orders in a vertical, hierarchic structure. The idea of primacy, the centralisation under Rome, advocated by Anselm, was not so much the consequence of a particular religious ideal or strategy, but rather, an institutional necessity. Therefore, he evinced a legal and institutional awareness of the need for the Church to be guided by a single authority to do what was needed. This person, the Roman pontiff, would be the unchallengeable figure who would be able to discipline, order, and reform the ranks of the Church from within. In the end, Anselm provided a vindication for Gregory VII’s revolution based on both moral and legal tradition.

Keywords:   Gregory VII, primacy, Rome, pope, reform, vindication

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