Pope Innocent III

  • Marshall W. Baldwin
Part of the The Documentary History of Western Civilization book series (DHWC)


Historians continue to differ in their interpretation of the career and character of Pope Innocent III (1198–1216). Traditionally, he has been viewed as a pope-diplomat, highly skilled in the art of ecclesiastical power politics. In recent years, however, the opinion that he was in fact genuinely dedicated to the cause of reform has gained adherents. The first letter presented here would seem to lend support to this contention, for it reveals both the pope’s scrupulous regard for proper legal procedure in bestowing a benefice and his deep concern for the promotion of worthy candidates. As the editors of the letter note, Master Mauger, the candidate in question, was in point of fact named after canonical postulation, a process whereby the electors could, and in this case did, request dispensation from a canonical impediment.


Parish Priest Sour Grape Letter Note Holy Writ Lateran Council 
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© Marshall W. Baldwin 1970

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  • Marshall W. Baldwin

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