Full text: Volume (3 (1913))

The Canon Law in England.


valuable, while they continued: for instance the “privilege
of England”, which Henry III. and Edward I. claimed in
virtue of an express grant from the Holy See: the privilege
that no Englishman should be cited by Papal letters to appear
at Rome. Valuable also was the custom which gave to the
Archbishop of Canterbury the Commission of a Legatus
Natus. But it remains to be proved that these and many
less important customs were inconsistent with the Jus Com-
mune: or that, when inconsistent, they were condoned by
Roman judges.
Further, is it necessary to argue that the individual!ty
of the English Church consisted in the possession of special
laws or customs, which must seem trivial to any thinking
man, however important they may be to the ecclesiastical
lawyer? In the sphere of clerical discipline and privilege
the Pope’s legislation was undoubtedly important; but, so far
as faith and morals were concerned, the Church enjoyed a
rigid Constitution. The law and custom of Rome only affected
details of church-government; the law and custom of eccle-
siastical provinces was concerned with even smaller details.
We may compare the medieval Church of England to a
regiment in an army. The regiment has a history, a cor-
porate spirit, a tradition, an individuality. But these are
very imperfectly expressed in the special laws and customs
of the regiment, which may be of infinitesimal consequence.
Note. Since the above articlewas printed, the iruport of Peckham’s
Constitution Audistis has been fully discussed by Mr. W. T. Waugh
(Eng. Hist. Rev. pp. 625—635). He argues that Peckham interpreted
Ordinarii Locorum with striet accuracy, so far as existing pluralists
were concerned, though Lyndwood is of the opposite opinion. D.
Außerdem vgl. jetzt auch noch Julius Hatschek, Englische
Verfassungsgeschichte bis zum Regierungsantritt der Königin Victoria,
Handbuch der mittelalterlichen und neueren Geschichte, herausgegeben
von G. v. Below und F. Meinecke, München und Berlin 1913 S. 156,
186 ff., ein Werk, das auch sonst die kirchliche Rechts- und Verfassungs-
geschichte Englands — vor allem das auglonormannische Eigenkirchen-
recht und die Entwicklung des englischen Staatskirchentums — in den
Bereich seiner Darstellung zieht. St.

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