Aurea Gemma <Gallica> 3b.68-78
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[3b.68] CONCERNING FREEDOM.

[3b.69] The sanction of divine and of human law <determines> that the sons of serfs cannot advance to church orders, unless they have been first accorded the grace of manumission.1 For it is unworthy for those to minister at the altar, who are bound by the yoke of servitude.

[3b.70] In view of this reason, I, deacon B. and the whole chapter of the church of blessed Mary,2 we wish it to be known to all that we grant B. through grace the freedom which he did not obtain through nature. Nevertheless, if he esteems the clerical privilege less than the sordid gifts of laymen, as he begins, let him be subject to his prior condition. For it is unjust to invest the Egyptians from the spoils of the Hebrews, to extend service of the Devil from the fruits of the church.


1 This principle of canon law used metaphorically above, Aurea Gemma <Gallica> 3a.28.

2 Although the cathedral at Gurk was dedicated to S. Mary, Wezelinus was the deacon of the cathedral chapter in 1158-1186 (MHDC nos. 201, 216, 269, 277, 279, 282, 293, 319, 320, 333). Balduinus Noviomensis was deacon of the cathedral chapter of Troyes in 1145.

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© Steven M. Wight, Los Angeles 1998
Scrineum © Università di Pavia 1999