This remarkable series of pronouncements on the prerogatives of the Roman see was issued in 1075, just as the struggle with Emperor Henry IV was beginning. Somewhat resembling a table of contents for a collection of canons, the statements evidently required further explanation, and it is possible that the pope planned an allocution at the council of 1075 which for some reason he abandoned. At any rate, an entire theory of ecclesiastical administration under the pope is outlined here. His sovereign power permits him to legislate for the entire Church and to judge cases either of especial gravity or which local ecclesiastical courts have been unable to resolve. It is also the pope’s prerogative to modify old or create new dioceses, to transfer or depose incumbents for cause. Local councils have only local jurisdiction. Papal legates, regardless of rank, take precedence over all local clergy.
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