Select Historical Documents of the Middle Ages/Book IV/Decree of Nov. 19th, 1078, forbidding lay Investiture

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II.

DOCUMENTS RELATING TO THE WAR OF THE INVESTITURES.

(Doeberl: " Monumenta Germaniae selecta," pp. 16-48.)

1. Decree of Nov. 19th, 1078, forbidding lay Investiture.

Inasmuch as we have learned that, contrary to the establishments of the holy fathers, the investiture with churches is, in many places, performed by lay persons; and that from this cause many disturbances arise in the church by which the Christian religion is trodden under foot: we decree that no one of the clergy shall receive the investiture with a bishopric or abbey or church from the hand of an emperor or king or of any lay person, male or female. But if he shall presume to do so he shall clearly know that such investiture is bereft of apostolic authority, and that he himself shall lie under excommunication until fitting satisfaction shall have been rendered.