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.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Denial of Service Attack: Success! December 19
Federal debt as a social-justice concern December 19
Another side of Francis: US-Cuba role shows Pope's diplomatic muscle December 18
Silly season: a Christmas approaches, a scholar questions whether Jesus ever existed December 18
The intrinsic immorality of torture: still not convinced? December 18

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: Europe seems 'elderly and haggard' CWN - November 25
Pope Francis, Ecumenical Patriarch sign joint declaration, lament persecution of Christians CWN - December 1
Consistory for new cardinals scheduled for February CWN - December 11
Vatican report on US women religious calls for further self-assessment CWN - December 16
Pope brokered deal to open US-Cuba ties CWN - December 17