CLUNY, ORDER OF
A branch of Benedictines founded in 927 by St. Odo (879-942), who organized the reform of monasticism in France. The object of the Cluniac reform was a return to the strict rule of St. Benedict, the pursuit of personal sanctity, chanting the Divine Office in choir, solemnity in divine worship, and corresponding reduction of manual labor. The historic reforms of Pope Gregory VII, who had stayed at Cluny for a time, affected the life and discipline of the whole Catholic Church. By the later Middle Ages, the influence of the Cluniac spirit waned mainly because of interference by political powers and the confiscation by the state of monastic holdings.