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UTA-RENATE BLUMENTHAL President of the American Catholic Historical Association 1997 The Catholic Historical Review VOL. LXXXTVAPRIL, 1998No. 2 THE PAPACY AND CANON LAW IN THE ELEVENTH-CENTURY REFORM Uta-Renate Blumenthal* In the eleventh and early twelfth century the age-old Christian concepts of individual renewal, renovation, restoration, and reformation took on a new and wider meaning. The ideal of individual Christian renewal was linked with the notion of the renewal of society as a whole, that is to say of the Church as a whole.1 This renewal, a remarkable unfolding of intellectual sophistication, coincided not only chronologically with what is justly called the "Twelfth-Century Renaissance"; it was part and parcel of the same developments.2 They were accompa- "Dr. Blumenthal is a professor ofhistory in the CathoUc University ofAmerica. She read this paper as her presidential address at a luncheon held in the Sheraton Seattle Hotel and Towers on Saturday, January 10, 1998, during the seventy-eighth annual meeting of the American Catholic Historical Association. 'For further literature see Gerhard B. Ladner, "Two Gregorian Letters: On the Sources and Nature of Gregory VH's Reform Ideology," Studi Gregoriani, 5 (1956), 221-242, esp. 224 f.with a quotation from a letter of GregoryVII:". . . Quapropter quod in ecclesia . . . corruptumfuit et est, nos ad honorem Dei et salutem totius christianitatis innovare et restaurare cupimus . . ." (JL 5006). Throughout this paper the abbreviation "JL" indicates the calendar of papal letters compiled by Vh.]aííé,Regestapontiflcum romanorum, 2nd rev. ed., edd. S. Loewenfeld, F. Kaltenbrunner, and R Ewald (2 vols.; Leipzig, 1885 and 1888; reprint Graz, 1956). The term, originally coined by Charles Homer Haskins in response to Jakob Burckhardt 's concept of the Renaissance, has been confirmed in Robert Benson and GUes Constable with Carol D. Lanham, Renaissance and Renewal in the Twelfth Century (Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1982), celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of Haskins' Renaissance ofthe Twelfth Century (Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1927). Ecclesiastical renewal (cf. the remarks by the editors on p. xxviii) as well as the equally significant economic revival are not part of the considerations. See now Giles Constable, The Reformation of the Twelfth Century (Cambridge, England, 1996), and PhyUis G. Jestice, 201 202THE PAPACY AND CANON LAW IN THE ELEVENTH-CENTURY REFORM nied by a new emphasis on ancient as well as familiar collections of canon law and the rediscovery of Roman law.3 My topic forms one aspect of this renaissance. Paul Fournier's famous papers on Roman canonical collections at the time of Gregory VII and on the pontificate of Urban II as a turning point in the history of canon law have provided an invaluable basis for much subsequent work, but they presupposed the "Gregorian" reform as a.fait accompli, ascribing "Gregorian" collections to reformers in the circle of the contemporary pontiff, GregoryVII (1073- 1085).4 1 would like to look at canonistic materials, the reform, and the papacy from a different perspective. These remarks will explore canon law as origin, inspiration, and source for the renewal and reform of the Church in the eleventh century, particularly with regard to reform of and by the papacy. Scholarship of the last decade or two has thoroughly revised the old assessment dating back at least to the Magdeburg Centuries that the eleventh-century reform was based on a rediscovery of the PseudoIsidorian forgeries,"Nicht Pseudo-Isidor, sondern die Kirche wurde neu entdeckt!" Horst Fuhrmann convincingly concluded his magisterial analysis of the fate of the False Decretals in Rome since the 870s. This fabrication, very likely compiled around 850 near or at Reims to defend episcopal rights, was available at the papal court and even cited haphazardly in papal letters for almost two hundred years before Pope Leo IX and his collaborators in December, 1053, used excerpts from the Decretals in support of their conviction of the pre-eminent place of the Roman See in correspondence with Africa (JL 4304, 4305) and Constantinople (esp. JL 4302).5 It has been said that in these letters "there Wayward Monks and the Religious Revolution of the Eleventh Century (Leiden, New York, Cologne, 1997). äFor the latter, see Stephan Kuttner,"The Revival ofJurisprudence," in Renaissance and Renewal, pp. 299...


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