simony


simony
simonist, n.
/suy"meuh nee, sim"euh-/, n.
1. the making of profit out of sacred things.
2. the sin of buying or selling ecclesiastical preferments, benefices, etc.
[1175-1225; ME simonie < LL simonia; so called from Simon Magus, who tried to purchase apostolic powers; see SIMON (def. 5), -Y3]

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Buying or selling of church offices or powers.

The name is taken from Simon Magus (Acts 8:18), who tried to buy the power of conferring the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Simony was said to have become widespread in Europe in the 10th–11th century, as promotions to the priesthood or episcopate were bestowed by monarchs and nobles, often in exchange for oaths of loyalty. Changes in the understanding of the nature of simony and the relationship between lay and religious orders contributed to the perception of the growth of simony, even though corrupt practices did exist. Rigorously attacked by Pope Gregory VII and the reform movement associated with him, the practice recurred in the 15th century, but after the 16th century its more flagrant forms disappeared.

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      buying or selling of something spiritual or closely connected with the spiritual. More widely, it is any contract of this kind forbidden by divine or ecclesiastical law. The name is taken from Simon Magus (Acts 8:18), who endeavoured to buy from the Apostles the power of conferring the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

      Simony, in the form of buying holy orders, or church offices, was virtually unknown in the first three centuries of the Christian church, but it became familiar when the church had positions of wealth and influence to bestow. The first legislation on the point was the second canon of the Council of Chalcedon (Chalcedon, Council of) (451). From that time prohibitions and penalties were reiterated against buying or selling promotions to the episcopate, priesthood, and diaconate. Later, the offense of simony was extended to include all traffic in benefices and all pecuniary transactions on masses (apart from the authorized offering), blessed oils, and other consecrated objects.

      From an occasional scandal, simony became widespread in Europe in the 9th and 10th centuries. Pope Gregory VII (Gregory VII, Saint) (1073–85) rigorously attacked the problem, and the practice again became occasional rather than normal. After the 16th century, it gradually disappeared in its most flagrant forms with the disendowment and secularization of church property.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Simony — • Usually defined a deliberate intention of buying or selling for a temporal price such things as are spiritual of annexed unto spirituals Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Simony     Simony …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Simony — is the ecclesiastical crime of paying for holy offices or positions in the hierarchy of a church, named after Simon Magus, who appears in the Acts of the Apostles 8:18 24. Simon Magus offers the disciples of Jesus, Peter and John, payment so that …   Wikipedia

  • Simony — ist der Name von Friedrich Simony (1813−1896), Geograph und Alpenforscher Julius Simony (1785 1835), deutscher Bildhauer Leopold Simony (1859−1929), österreichischer Architekt Stefan Simony (1860 1950), österreichischer Maler Siehe auch: Simoni,… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Simony — Sim o*ny, n. [F. simonie, LL. simonia, fr. Simon Magus, who wished to purchase the power of conferring the Holy Spirit. Acts viii.] The crime of buying or selling ecclesiastical preferment; the corrupt presentation of any one to an ecclesiastical …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Simony — Simony, Friedrich, Geograph und hervorragender Alpenforscher, geb. 30. Nov. 1813 in Hrochowteinitz bei Pardubitz in Böhmen, gest. 20. Juli 1896 zu St. Gallen in Steiermark, studierte Naturwissenschaften in Wien, widmete sich seit 1840 dem Studium …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • simony — early 13c., the buying or selling of sacred things, from O.Fr. simonie, from L.L. simonia, from Simon Magus, the Samaritan magician who was rebuked by Peter when he tried to buy the power of conferring the Holy Spirit (Acts viii:18 20) …   Etymology dictionary

  • simony — ► NOUN chiefly historical ▪ the buying or selling of pardons, benefices, and other ecclesiastical privileges. ORIGIN Latin simonia, from Simon Magus in the Bible, in allusion to his offer of money to the Apostles …   English terms dictionary

  • simony — [sī′mə nē, sim′ənē] n. [ME simonie < OFr < ML(Ec) simonia, after SIMON MAGUS] the buying or selling of sacred or spiritual things, as sacraments or benefices …   English World dictionary

  • Simony —    , SIMONIAC    Simony is the crime of buying and selling ecclesiastical offices or favors. The word is seldom used today, and then only in a religious context. Simon Magus, a Samaritan sorcerer, is responsible for this eponymous term. Many… …   Dictionary of eponyms

  • simony — noun /ˈsaɪ.mə.ni,ˈsɪm.ə.ni/ The act of buying and selling ecclesiastical offices and pardons. , 1989: ‘There are those two,’ he then said, ‘who were recently arraigned on a charge of high simony. Fancying a monstrance and stealing it and… …   Wiktionary


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