Seminar: “Changing Stakeholders and the Church’s Approach to Accountability in Assistive Institutions in Thirteenth-Century Western Europe”
Anna Peterson (Mellon Fellow, PIMS)
The Council of Vienne in 1311 issues one of the most rigorous calls to action regarding the management of hospitals and leprosaria: Quia Contingit. Ultimately, it was the culmination of over 200 years papal concerns regarding corruption in hospitals and leprosaria, and likely heavily influenced by the gradual municipalisation of these houses from the late twelfth century onwards. The rise of the municipality provided a local authority that could supervise these establishments in a way the Church had been hitherto unable to do, a change that this canon acknowledges and seeks to exploit. The purpose of this paper is to explore the Church's response to corruption and accountability leading up to Quia Contingit, and how a shift in stakeholders influenced its approach to regulating hospitals and leprosaria.