In an ecclesiastical sense, freedom from control by one's normal superior (usually the bishop of the diocese) and hence in general immediate subjection either to the superior of one's religious house or order, or to the Pope. The term ‘exempt’ is also applied to dioceses which are not subject to a metropolitan but are directly under the Holy See. The increasing number of exemptions in the Middle Ages became a cause of friction between the bishops and religious orders; they were restricted by the Council of Trent. The legal impact of exemption was somewhat changed by the 1983 Codex Iuris Canonici which subordinated it to the rightful autonomy of life enjoyed by all Institutes of Consecrated Life.
Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500) — Christianity.