Hincmar, priests and Pseudo-Isidore
The case of Trising in context
in Hincmar of Rheims
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In a letter written to Pope Hadrian II in the autumn of 871, Hincmar defended the canonical procedure he had followed in the case of a delinquent priest called Trising. The latter had been accused of violence and sexual transgression, and failed to appear as summoned by Hincmar at various synods. Instead, he went to Rome and came back after two years with a papal letter that ordered Hincmar to explain himself. Meanwhile, the archbishop of Rheims had already ordained a new priest in Trising’s place. Although all we have is Hincmar’s side of the matter, social historians have been fascinated by this case, for the light it sheds on the relation between rural parishes and their archbishop in the diocese of Rheims. This chapter approaches the text from a different perspective. Trising’s immediate and successful appeal to Rome may well indicate that the ideas contained in Pseudo-Isidore’ forgeries not only bolstered the position of bishops, but also the self-confidence of enterprising local priests. This included an increasing orientation towards papal Rome as a source of truly canonical and therefore superior justice.

Hincmar of Rheims

Life and work

Editors: Rachel Stone and Charles West

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