- The practice of priests in being married or having a mistress, i.e. concubinage. It was one of the twin evils to be overthrown in the eyes of the reform movement of 11c Rome, inspired by Pope Gregory VII. (The second evil practice was *simony.) Being sexually active was considered to sully the priest and thus make him unworthy to perform the sacraments. Another anxiety was the prospect of churches and even bishoprics being handed down from father to son. Around 1100 it was not uncommon for rich prebendal churches of St Paul's Cathedral to pass from father to son, e.g. All Saints at St Paul's Walden in Hertfordshire. The term is derived from Nikolaos, a member of the early Christian Church who advocated pagan worship. Revelation 2:15 refers to 'the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate'.
Dictionary of Medieval Terms and Phrases. Christopher Coredon with Ann Williams.
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Peter Damian, Saint — born 1007, Ravenna died Feb. 22, 1072, Faenze; feast day February 21 Italian cardinal and Doctor of the Church. He was prior of Fonte Avellana in the Apennines before being named a cardinal in 1057. A leading monastic reformer and ascetic, he… … Universalium
Clerical celibacy — is the discipline by which some or all members of the clergy in certain religions are required to be unmarried. Since these religions consider deliberate sexual thoughts, feelings, and behavior outside of marriage to be sinful, clerical celibacy… … Wikipedia
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Europe, history of — Introduction history of European peoples and cultures from prehistoric times to the present. Europe is a more ambiguous term than most geographic expressions. Its etymology is doubtful, as is the physical extent of the area it designates.… … Universalium
Incontinence — A word much used in medieval times, meaning a failure of will to control fleshly passions. It is stronger than synonyms such as intemperance , being deemed a sin for which one would be punished. Dante placed the incontinent in an upper part of… … Dictionary of Medieval Terms and Phrases