Canon Law and Cloistered Women: Periculoso and Its by Elizabeth Makowski

By Elizabeth Makowski

Pope Boniface VIII released a decree in 1298 that remodeled long-standing attitudes towards nuns into common Church legislation. often called Periculoso, the decree introduced that each one nuns have been to be without end cloistered. This quantity presents an in-depth examine of the watershed laws. Elizabeth Makowski surveys precedents for Periculoso in addition to a few of the difficulties Boniface VIII was hoping to resolve together with his ruling. She extra analyzes the remark on Periculoso and the makes an attempt to implement the laws.

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15 vols. Schulte, QLJ. Friedrich von Schulte. Die Geschichte der Quellen und Literatur des canonischen Rechts yon Gratian bis auf die Gegenwart. 3 vols. Stuttgart: F. Enke, 187577; rpt. Graz: Akademische Drucku. Verlagsanstalt, 1956. Page x Bibliotheca Apostolica Vaticana Borghese 7, Liber Sextus folio 56v. 1 Referred to as Periculoso, the first word of the Latin text, this decree was the first papal legislation to require strict enclosure of nuns of every order throughout the Latin Church. Boniface included this decree as title 16 in the third book of his Liber Sextus, an official compilation of papal legislation that formed part of the collected law of the Western Church, the Corpus Iuris Canonici.

The letters of Boniface VIII, as found in the papal registers for the years immediately preceding the promulgation of Periculoso, illustrate the pope's paternal concern for nuns living the cloistered, well-regulated, life deemed appropriate to their sex and vocation: they show his willingness to mitigate the harshness of cloister rules when warranted. They also demonstrate the fact that Boniface lost no time in denouncing behavior that failed to meet his standards. 2 Under all but the most exceptional circumstances, a notary or even the judge himself should be sent to record a woman's testimony, rather than require her presence in court.

These threats will be dealt with in chapter 2. Note especially, the followers of one Guglielma of Milan in the late thirteenth century. Guglielma is reported to have condemned Boniface VIII as a counterfeit pope and declared that ecclesiastical revival would hinge on the election of an all-woman hierarchy. 7. Power, Medieval English Nunneries, deals with enforcement of Periculoso in the later medieval period, but only in England. 8. " Page 5 sexuality. The efficacy of solemn vows and withdrawal from the world, of sharp distinctions between lay and religious, active and contemplative life, all were debated notions in the last medieval centuries.

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