Vocation and the Art of Obtaining a Benefice

John McManners

in Church and Society in Eighteenth-Century France Volume 1: The Clerical Establishment and its Social Ramifications

Published in print July 1999 | ISBN: 9780198270034
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600685 | DOI:

Series: Oxford History of the Christian Church

 Vocation and the Art of Obtaining a Benefice

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The ideal of an ecclesiastical vocation, defined by theologians and taught in the seminaries, was formulaic but high‐minded. But the reality of what needed to be done in order to get ordained and established in a benefice was very different. The law and practice governing presentation to benefices varied widely, with numerous regional and local rules, and any aspirant to the place of curé would have to court a diversity of patrons, including bishops, abbeys, chapters, and laymen, and pursue a variety of courses which could involve going as far as the royal court or Rome. In practice many benefices were kept within families by a process of resignation, and for most families, places in the Church were pursued as a normal part of social and economic planning and strategy.

Keywords: benefices; patronage; vocation

Chapter.  14866 words. 

Subjects: History of Christianity

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