“What were the constitutive acts in the making of a bishop and what was their significance?” In answering these questions, Professor Benson provides a new perspective on a crucial chapter in the history of ecclesiastical office. Drawing upon material from unedited canonistic manuscripts, as well as from Gratian’s Decretum and the Decretales of Gregory IX, he traces aspects of the Church’s constitutional doctrine and administrative practice from the early Middle Ages, which stressed the sacramental character of office, to the end of the thirteenth century, when ecclesiastical office was conceived primarily in terms of jurisdictional prerogatives.
Originally published in 1968.
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