chapter  6
28 Pages

The Pope and the Bishops

The bishops generally supported the king as advisors, administrators, financiers, ambassadors and warriors, while the king gave support to the bishops in safeguarding their rights and upholding their judgments. Bishops in Tarragona province and across Christendom systematically helped build up papal primacy. They allowed themselves to be used by the pope in his secular politics. They asked the pope to define doctrine. While the bishops exercised pars sollicitudinis, it was the pope who possessed the plenitudo potestatis, a term that Innocent particularly developed in the first years of his pontificate to redefine the pope-bishop relationship. On 27 March 1195, Pope Celestine III accepted the resignation of Bishop Arnau de Preixens of Urgell, who was old and infirm. The pope perhaps conferred the pallium upon the archbishop later in the year when he attended the general council. The pope depended much upon the goodwill of the archbishop but the archbishop's position had been strengthened enormously by the support of the pope.