Saturday, 21 December 2013

Reconciliation with the Church at Avranches, 1172

John McClintock; James Strong (1894). Cyclopaedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper. p. 278.
https://archive.org/stream/cyclopaediabibl03mcclgoog#page/n290/mode/1up



AVRANCHES (1172). {Concilium Avrincatense.} Held 
on the 22nd of May 1172, the cardinal legates, Theodinus 
and Albert, presided. Henry the Second of England, hav 
ing taken the oath which the pope's legates required of him, 
and annulled all the unlawful customs which had been 
established in his time, and done penance, was absolved 
from his participation in the assassination of Becket. 
Amongst other things, Henry engaged, 1st, not to withdraw 
from the obedience of the Pope Alexander III. or of his 
successors, so long as they continued to acknowledge him 
as Catholic king of England. 2ndly, That he would not 
hinder appeals to Rome. 3rdly, He promised, at the 
coming Christmas, to take the cross for three years, and in 
the year following to set out for Jerusalem; unless the 
pope should grant a dispensation, and unless he was obliged 
to go to Spain to oppose the Saracens. 

This was rather an assembly than a council. The real 
council of Avranches, in this year, was not held until the 
27th or 28th of September. The king then renewed his 
oath, adding to it some expressions of attachment and 
obedience to Alexander. 

Twelve canons were then drawn up, enacting, amongst 
other matters, that it should not be lawful to appoint infants 
to benefices with cure of souls; that the incumbents of 
parishes, who could afford it, should be compelled to have 
an assisting priest ; that it should not be lawful for a 
husband or wife to enter upon a monastic life whilst the 
other continued in the world. Abstinence and fasting 
during Advent were recommended to all who could bear it, 
and especially to the clergy. Tom. x. Cone. p. 1457


Extract from

Roger (of Hoveden); Henry Thomas Riley (1853). The annals of Roger de Hoveden: Comprising the history of England and of other countries of Europe from A.D. 732 to A.D. 1201. Volume 1. H.G. Bohn. pp. 355–62.

The Purgation of King Henry for the death of the blessed Thomas.

Henry, the king of England, the father, king Henry,
his son, Rotrod, archbishop of Rouen, and all the bishops
and abbats of Normandy, met at the city of Avranches, in
presence of the cardinals, Theodinus and Albert. In their
presence, the king of England, the father, on the fifth day
before the calends of October, being the fourth day of the
week, and the feast of Saints Cosmus and Damianus, the
Martyrs, proved his innocence in the church of Saint
Andrew the Apostle, by oath, in the presence of the above-
named cardinals, and of all the clergy and the people, upon
the relics of the Saints, and upon the Holy Gospels, and that
he had neither commanded nor wished that the archbishop of
Canterbury should be put to death, and that, when he heard
thereof, he was greatly concerned. But, inasmuch as he
could not apprehend u those malefactors who slew Thomas,
archbishop of Canterbury, of blessed memory, and he feared
that they had perpetrated that profane deed in consequence of
his agitated state of mind and the perturbation in which they
had seen him, he made oath that he would give satisfaction in
the following manner :

In the first place, he made oath that he would not with-
draw from Alexander, the Supreme Pontiff, and his Catholic
successors, so long as they should repute him to be a Catholic
king.

He also made oath that he would neither prevent appeals nor
allow them to be prevented, but that they should be freely made
in his kingdom to the Roman Pontiff in causes ecclesiastical ;
yet so, that if any parties shoiild be suspected by him, they
should give him security that they would not seek the injury
of him or of his kingdom.

He also made oath that, for a period of three years from
the Nativity of our Lord then next ensuing he would assume
the cross, and would in the following summer go in person to
Jerusalem, unless he should remain at home by permission of
Alexander, the Supreme Pontiff, or of his Catholic succes-
sors : provided, that if in the meantime, by reason of urgent
necessity, he should set out for Spain to war against the Sara-
cens, then for so long a period as he should be engaged in that
expedition he might defer setting out for Jerusalem

Besides this, he made oath that in the meantime he would
give to the Templars as much money as in the opinion of the
brethren of the Temple would suffice for the maintenance of
two hundred knights, for the defence of the land of Jerusalem,
during a period of one year.

Besides this, he remitted his wrath and displeasure against
all those, both clergy and laity, who were in exile for the cause
of Saint Thomas, and allowed them freely and peacefully
to return home.

He also made oath that the possessions of the church of
Canterbury, if any had been taken away, he would restore in
full, in the same state in which they were one year before
the blessed Thomas, archbishop of Canterbury, had departed
from England.

He also made oath that he would utterly abolish the customs
which had been introduced in his time to the prejudice of the
churches of his kingdom.

All these articles he made oath that he would observe faith-
fully and without evil-intent. He also made his son,king Henry,
swear to observe these articles, those excepted which only re-
lated personally to himself. And, to the intent that the same
might be retained in the memory of the Eoman Church, the
king, the father, caused his seal to be set to the writing in
which the above-stated articles were contained, together with
the seals of the above-named cardinals.

The Charter of Absolution of our lord the King.

"To Henry, by the grace of God, the illustrious king of the
English, Albert titular of Saint Laurentius in Lucinia, and
Theodinus, titular of Saint Vitalis, cardinal priests, legates of
the Apostolic See, health in Him who giveth health unto
kings. That the things which take place may not come to be
matter of doubt, both custom suggests and the ordinary re-
quirements of utility demand that the same should be regularly
stated at length in writing. For this reason it is that we have
thought proper to have committed to writing those injunctions
which we have given you, because you entertain a fear that
those malefactors who slew Thomas of blessed memory, the late
archbishop of Canterbury, proceeded to the commission of that
crime in consequence of your agitated state of mind and the
perturbation in which they saw you to be. As to which deed,
however, you have of your own free-will exculpated yourself in
our presence, to the effect that you neither gave command nor
wished that he should be put to death ; and that, when news
reached you of the same, you were greatly concerned thereat.
From the ensuing feast of Pentecost, for the period of one
year, you shall give as much money as in the opinion of the
brethren of the Temple will suffice to maintain two hundred
knights for the defence of the land of Jerusalem during a
period of one year. Also, from the Nativity of our Lord
next ensuing, for a period of three years, you shall assume
the cross, and shall in the ensuing summer in person set
out for Jerusalem, unless you shall remain at home by the
permission of our lord the pope, or of his Catholic successors ;
provided that if, by reason of urgent necessity, you shall set
out for Spain to war against the Saracens, so long a period as
shall elapse from the time of your setting out you shall be
enabled to defer setting out for Jerusalem. You shall not
prevent appeals, nor allow them to be prevented ; but they
shall freely be made to the Roman Pontiff, in causes eccle-
siastical, in good faith, and without fraud and evil-intent,
in order that causes may be considered by the Eoman Pontiff,
and be brought to a conclusion by him ; yet so, that if any
parties shall be suspected by you, they shall give you security
that they will not seek the injury of you or of your kingdom.
The customs which have been introduced in your time, to the
prejudice of the churches of your kingdom, you shall utterly
abolish. The possessions of the church of Canterbury, if any
have been taken away, you shall restore in full, in the same
state in which they were one year before the archbishop de-
parted from England. Moreover, to the clerks and to the laity of
either sex, you shall restore your protection and favor and their
possessions, who, by reason of the before-named archbishop,
have been deprived thereof. These things, by the authority of
our lord the pope, we do, for the remission of your sins, enjoin
and command you to observe, without fraud and evil-intent.
Wherefore, to the above effect, in the presence of a multitude of
persons, you have, as you venerate the Divine Majesty, made
oath. Tour son, also, has made oath to the same effect, with
the exception only of that which in especial related personally
to yourself. You have also both made oath that you will not
withdraw from our lord the pope, Alexander, and his Catholic
successors, so long as they shall repute you, like your prede-
cessors, to be Catholic kings. And further, that this may
be firmly retained in the memory of the Roman Church, you
have ordered your seal to be set thereto."

The Letter of the same Cardinals to the archbishop of Ravenna.

" To their venerable and beloved brother in Christ, Gilbert,
by the grace of God, archbishop of Ravenna, Albert, by the
Divine condescension, titular of Saint Laurentius inLucinia, and
Theodinus, titular of Saint Vitalis, cardinal priests, legates of
the Apostolic See, that which God has promised that He will
grant unto the watchful. Inasmuch as we believe that you are
desirous to hear somewhat relative to our present state and the
progress of the business which was entrusted to our charge; we
have thought proper by this present writing to inform your bro-
therhood how God has dealt as towards ourselves and through
the ministry of our humble exertions. Know, therefore, that
satisfaction for the same. In the first place, he made oath
that he will not withdraw from our lord the pope, Alexander,
and his Catholic successors, so long as they shall repute him
to be a Catholic king and a Christian. The same he also made
his eldest son swear in the charter of absolution for the death
of the blessed Thomas. He also promised on oath other things
very necessary for the clergy and for the people ; all of which
we have carefully and in their order as he swore them set forth
in the charter of his absolution. He also promised other things
of his own free-will to be carried out, which are not necessary
in their order to be committed to writing. We have written to
you to this effect, that you may know that he is obedient to
God, and much more disposed to be duteous to the Divine
will than heretofore he has been. In addition to this, you
must know that his son made oath to the same effect with him-
self in relation to the customs above-mentioned. Besides
this, he publicly announced that he would repeat again, at
Caen, all that had passed there, in presence of a greater assem-
blage of persons, in order that there might be left to no one any
room to doubt his sincerity. He has also released the bishops
from the promise which they made to him as to observing
the customs, and has promised that he will not exact this in
future."


 


References

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Penance at Avranches
Public penance at Avranches, 21 May, 1172

In 1172 (September 27–28) a council was held at Avranches apropos of the troubles caused in the English Church by the murder of the Anglo-Norman saint Thomas Becket. Henry II, King of England, after due penance done in Avranches on 21 May 1172, was absolved from the censures incurred by the assassination of the holy prelate, and reached the Compromise of Avranches with the Church, swearing fidelity to Pope Alexander III in the person of the papal legate.



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Reginald L. Poole
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Cathédrale Saint-André (Avranches) — Wikimanche

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Incip.—“In conspectu matris ecclesiae,
Plango supplex ego rex Angliae.”

Expl.—“Et aeternam tollens miseriam,
Ad perennem me ducas gloriam. Amen.”



King Henry II's Meeting with the Papal Legate 1175
and Letter to Pope Alexander III 1176

King Henry II met with Huguzon, the papal legate, at Windsor in 1175, at which he secured an agreement that clerics caught trespassing [hunting and taking game] in the royal forests lost the benefit of their clergy and could be prosecuted in the king's courts.

The hunting for game in a clamorous manner by religious persons was contrary to Canon Law

[A much, much later Charter of the Forests allowed members of the aristocracy including archbishops, bishops and abbots to hunt for a limited amount of game in the royal forest,]

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Historiae Anglicanae Scriptores X : ... Radulphus de Diceto ... . typis Jacobi Flesher, sumptibus Cornelii Bee. 1652. Cols. 591–2.

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Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)- Canons on Hunting - Wikisource 

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Professor Anne J Duggan; Professor Peter D. Clarke (2013). Pope Alexander III (1159–81): The Art of Survival. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. pp. 365–. ISBN 978-1-4094-8305-2.







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