Cluniac order

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Cluniac order

(klo͞o`nē-ăk'), medieval organization of BenedictinesBenedictines,
religious order of the Roman Catholic Church, following the rule of St. Benedict [Lat. abbr.,=O.S.B.]. The first Benedictine monastery was at Monte Cassino, Italy, which came to be regarded as the symbolic center of Western monasticism. St.
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 centered at the abbey of ClunyCluny
, former abbey, E France, in the present Saône-et-Loire dept., founded (910) by St. Berno, a Burgundian monk and reformer. Cluny was one of the chief religious and cultural centers of Europe. The third abbey church built on the site, Cluny III (11th cent.
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, France. Founded in 910 by the monk Berno and Count William of Aquitaine, the abbey's constitution provided it freedom from lay supervision and (after 1016) from jurisdiction of the local bishop. With its independence thus guaranteed, Cluny became the fountainhead of the most far-reaching religious reform movement in the Middle Ages. During its height (c.950–c.1130) it was second only to the papacy as the chief religious force in Europe. Hundreds of priories were attached, and many Benedictine abbeys were reformed, some joining the Cluniac obedience. In all, nearly 1,000 houses located in many countries were under obedience to the abbot of Cluny. Many Cluniac monks became bishops and through provincial synods were thus able to spread reform in church life throughout Europe. Churches were built, the liturgy was beautified, and schools were opened. Cluny stoutly supported the popes (and was itself under papal protection) and served vitally in the great reform program of Pope Gregory VIIGregory VII, Saint,
d. 1085, pope (1073–85), an Italian (b. near Rome) named Hildebrand (Ital. Ildebrando); successor of Alexander II. He was one of the greatest popes. Feast: May 25.
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. Cluniac zeal diminished in the 12th cent., and the monastic reforming initiative was taken up by the Cistercians. The French Revolution suppressed the remnants of the order and partially destroyed the abbey at Cluny.


See C. H. Lawrence, Medieval Monasticism (1984).

References in periodicals archive ?
Built for the Cluniac order of monks, at 350ft it was possibly the longest church of its day according to Julie Pinnell's Wenlock Priory guide book for English Heritage.