Medieval canonical jurisprudence developed sophisticated theories of culpability and liability in connection with homicide. It did so especially in the context of considering whether clerics involved in the death of another could retain their office or be promoted to a higher one. This jurisprudence had not been present in the early Middle Ages, when bishops considering how to discipline clerics involved in homicides would have had to rely on a small body of canons that was by no means standardized. A standardized and systematic consideration of the discipline of clerics in connection to homicide emerged primarily from Gratian’s discussion of lapsed clerics in his Decretum D.50 and the commentary on it. By the decretals of Innocent III, clerics involved in the death of another person faced a longer and more systematic process. That process involved at least two or three investigations into their actions; these involved precise terminology and categories for considering levels of culpability and especially for considering whether they could retain their office or face promotion to higher orders.


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pp. 265-288
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