The Myth of Parisian Scholars’ Opposition to the System of Papal Provision (1378–1418)
Goddard , Eric D.
History of Universities, Vol.24 (2009)
The attitude of Parisian scholars toward papal influence in the distribution of ecclesiastical benefices (papal provision) is an important theme in the politics of the Great Schism. Current works addressing the subject have consistently maintained that a general critique of papal
provision emerged among scholars at the University during the pontificate of Benedict XIII (1394–1408). Even supporters of this position acknowledge that there is little evid- ence of university opposition to papal provision prior to 1394. The vocal criticism of this practice in the fourteenth century came from ordinary collators, whose powers of patronage decreased as those of the papacy increased. University scholars, on the other hand, generally benefited from papal provision. Popes often favoured the promotion of university-educated candidates. The collective petitions (rotuli) submitted to the pope by universities or groups of scholars frequently received preferential treatment, and those studying at a university often received the right to be absent from their benefices for a specified number of years