On Bishops, Popes, Councils, and Statutes
The founding of Saint John hospital by burgher citizens and the role played by several lay members of the community, from the duke, to the castellan, to the aldermen, led to serious anxieties by the bishop of Cambrai. Fearing that he was losing control and concerned about heterodoxy, the bishop introduced a set of statutes to the hospital guaranteeing his position and assuring proper reform at the institution. This chapter considers why the bishop reasserted his power in the greater context of European affairs, namely the major ecumenical councils of Lateran III and Lateran IV, and the more regional French councils of the thirteenth century. As a result, the hospital became linked to important networks that in turn allowed the hospital to prosper before mid-century.