(The Bishop and the Ordinations in the Medieval Kingdom of Hungary)
Abstract: Conferring sacred orders – both the inferior (ostiary, lector, exorcist, acolyte) and the superior ones (subdeacon, deacon, priest) – belonged to the sacral authority of bishop. The ordinations were of great importance for ecclesiastical administration of each diocese. In order to provide sufficient spiritual services for his diocese, every bishop had to timely replenish his clergy. Upon their ordination, the clerics would receive simply formulated certificates (littera formata/testimonialis) containing relevant data on their suitability; also, the date of their ordination, name of the ordaining bishop, information on the clerics‘ origin or home diocese – and, in case of friars, the affiliation to religious order. For the superior sacred orders, there was also information provided on the resources of revenue (titulus ordinationis) and all ordinations the cleric received up to then. Unfortunately, no lists of the medieval Kingdom of Hungary ordination candidates have been preserved; therefore, we entirely depend on litterae formatae, litt. dimisoriales or copies of these documents in manuscripts, usually discovered in collateral researches. Among such manuscripts, there is a code with theological and medical texts belonging to bishop of Pécs, Vít Hündler (1447 –1469): in this code, he recorded the transcripts form litt. formatae from dioceses of Esztergom and Pécs. Based on original sources found on the territory of medieval Hungary, in the papal curia, as well as in the coeval canon law and liturgical manuals or synod dispositions, it is possible to delineate the criteria the ordination candidates had to meet, the dates on which the ordinations took place and the specific way they were conferred.
Author: HLAVAČKOVÁ Miriam
Publication order reference: Slovenská akadémia vied v Bratislave, Historický ústav, Klemensova 19, 814 99 Bratislava, Slovak Republic, mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: Studia Historica Nitriensia, year: 2020, vol.: 24, number: 2, pages: 308-321
Key words: Bishop; Sacred Orders; Middle Ages; Kingdom of Hungary; Litterae formatae;