Bishop Andrew of Prague and Church in Medieval Czech Lands after the Fourth Lateran Council

  • Robert Antonín

Abstract

The paper focuses on the personal actions of Bishop Andrew of Prague and the situation within the church in the Czech Lands after the Fourth Lateran Council. Andrew is a central representative in the process of immediate reception of the Fourth Lateran Council in the Czech Lands. Previous research has focused on the fundamental question of Andrews’s episcopate: his conflict with King Ottokar I regarding the church reforms introduced in the Czech Lands between 1216 and 1222. However, it is necessary to study the conflict in a long-term perspective (from the middle of the twelfth till the end of the thirteenth centu¬ries) and in the context of the promotion of the patronage law, the judicial exemption of clergy, and the enforcement of church control over tithes. The analysis shows that the church was a strongly decentralized institution controlled by local lay elites and damaged by nepotism. The private life of the clergy was corrupted by concubinage and, resulting from that, we can see attempts to create “clerical dynasties.” The route to a change only began with Bishop Andrew and the implementation of the change would not have been possible without the overall transformations of the political, economic, social and mental structures.
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