Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Dictionary

A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

Search:

Or browse the dictionary by selecting a letter!
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

INVESTITURE, LAY

The act by which a sovereign, in the Middle Ages, granted titles, possessions, and temporal rights to bishops, abbots, and other spiritual leaders. The ritual of investiture consisted in the delivery of the spiritual emblems, ring and crosier, and sometimes the keys of the church. This privilege of secular princes and lords dates from the time of Charlemagne. So long as these princes had the Church's welfare at heart, lay investiture was tolerated. But when ecclesiastical offices were bought and sold, and free elections of bishops hindered, the Church vigorously opposed it with anti-investiture legislation, which was sporadically enforced. Pope Gregory VII, upon becoming Pope, enacted stringent measures against investiture, even to excommunicating those who continued it. The Concordat of Worms in 1122 finally ended the strife between the emperors and the Holy See. Once the major concessions were made by the emperors, the Pope agreed that all elections would be held in the emperor's presence and his bestowal of the temporalities of the bestowed office would be continued. The conflict over lay investiture reached its peak in Germany.

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

A Baptist leader with a message the Synod of Bishops should hear 4 hours ago
'Helpful' advice for social conservatives: ignore causes, deal with effects 5 hours ago
In the Aftermath of Obergefell 5 hours ago
The political outlook after Obergefell June 29
Good news/bad news on the Vatican PR overhaul June 29

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope approves process for holding bishops accountable in abuse cases CWN - June 10
Pope Francis’ 2nd encyclical released (includes link to full text) CWN - June 18
US Supreme Court rules all states must recognize same-sex marriage CWN - June 26
Archbishop Nienstedt, auxiliary bishop resign CWN - June 15
Cardinal Kasper: Pope never approved my proposal CWN - June 4