Fordham


IHSP


MainAncientMedievalModern


Subsidiary SourcebooksAfricanEastern AsianGlobalIndianJewishIslamicLesbian/GayScienceWomen


Special ResourcesByzantiumMedieval MusicSaints' Lives
Ancient Law
Medieval Law
Film: Ancient
Film: Medieval
Film: Modern


About IHSPIHSP Credits

Medieval Sourcebook:
Lateran III:
On Papal Elections, 1179


DECREE OF THE LATERAN COUNCIL OF 1179 A.D. CONCERNING PAPAL ELECTIONS.

(Doeberl, iv. p. 253.)

Concerning the election of the supreme pontiff. Although, for the sake of avoiding discord at the election of a supreme pontiff, clear enough decrees have emanated from our predecessors,-nevertheless, since often, after their promulgation, the church has suffered grave disunion through the audacity of wicked ambition: we, also, by the counsel of our brothers and the approbation of the holy council, have decided to add something to avert this evil.

We decree, therefore, that if, by chance, some hostile man sowing .discord among the cardinals, full concord cannot be attained with regard to constituting a pope; and, with the two thirds which agree, the other third be unwilling to agree, or presume of itself to ordain some one else: he shall be considered Roman pontiff who shall be elected and received by two thirds. But. if any one, trusting in the nomination of one third, shall usurp for himself the name- the real authority he cannot -of a bishop he himself, as well as those who shall have received him shall be subject to excommunication, and shall be punished by the privitation of all their holy orders; so that the holy Eucharist, except on their death beds, be denied them, and, unless they on their shall come to their senses, their lot shall be with Dathan and Abiron whom the earth swallowed up alive. Moreover if any one be elected to the office of pope by fewer than two thirds,- unless greater concord is attained - he shall be by no means be accepted, and shall be subject to the aforesaid penalty if he be unwilling to humbly abstain. From this, however, let no prejudice to the canonical and other ecclesiastical decrees arise, with regard to which opinion of the greater and the sounder part should prevail; for when a doubt arises with regard to them, it can be defined by the judgment of a higher power. But, in the Roman church, special decrees are made, because recourse cannot be had to a higher power.

 

trans in Ernest F. Henderson, Select Historical Documents of the Middle Ages, (London: George Bell and Sons, 1910), pp. 336-337

 


This text is part of the Internet Medieval Source Book. The Sourcebook is a collection of public domain and copy-permitted texts related to medieval and Byzantine history.

Unless otherwise indicated the specific electronic form of the document is copyright. Permission is granted for electronic copying, distribution in print form for educational purposes and personal use. If you do reduplicate the document, indicate the source. No permission is granted for commercial use.

(c)Paul Halsall Mar 1996
halsall@murray.fordham.edu



The Internet History Sourcebooks Project is located at the History Department of  Fordham University, New York. The Internet Medieval Sourcebook, and other medieval components of the project, are located at the Fordham University Center for Medieval Studies.The IHSP recognizes the contribution of Fordham University, the Fordham University History Department, and the Fordham Center for Medieval Studies in providing web space and server support for the project. The IHSP is a project independent of Fordham University.  Although the IHSP seeks to follow all applicable copyright law, Fordham University is not the institutional owner, and is not liable as the result of any legal action.

© Site Concept and Design: Paul Halsall created 26 Jan 1996: latest revision 2 January 2020 [CV]