simony

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simony

(sĭm`ənē), in canon lawcanon law,
in the Roman Catholic Church, the body of law based on the legislation of the councils (both ecumenical and local) and the popes, as well as the bishops (for diocesan matters).
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, buying or selling of any spiritual benefit or office. The name is derived from Simon MagusSimon Magus
, Samaritan sorcerer who attempted to buy spiritual power from the apostles. From this comes the term simony. He is mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles. He was said to have founded a Gnostic sect.
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, who tried to buy the gifts of the Holy Spirit from St. Peter (Acts 8). Simony is a very grave sin, and ecclesiastics who commit it may be excommunicated. The temporal price may be one of many kinds, e.g., money or high office. What is sold may be the performance of a sacrament or any other spiritual service; it is also simony to sell a benefice or endowment or other temporality to which anything spiritual is attached. Because of the frequency of simony at times in the history of the Roman Catholic Church, the legislation of the church is very strict; e.g., simony in the election of a pope invalidates the election (law of Julius II, 1503); no priest may ask for a baptismal fee in any way; and Mass stipends are fixed by the bishop and are governed by the expense of the Mass and the necessities of the priest. Since the Council of Trent the sale of indulgences is prohibited in any form, and no blessed article may be sold as blessed. The prevalence of simony was most important in bringing about the 11th-century papal reform movement.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Simony

 

(from Simon Magus, a sorcerer who, according to evangelical mythology, asked the Apostles to sell him the gift of commanding the Holy Spirit), the buying or selling of ecclesiastical offices or holy orders, widespread in Western Europe in the Middle Ages and practiced by the papacy, kings, and important feudal lords. The abolition of simony was one of the principal demands of the advocates of the Cluniac reform, who introduced the term “simony.”

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

simony

Christianity the practice, now usually regarded as a sin, of buying or selling spiritual or Church benefits such as pardons, relics, etc., or preferments
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
That may be why, in his dream of the priest confessing simony, he joins "the simoniac" in "smiling feebly" (11).
(19) In Acts 8:14-24 Simon Magus sought to buy the powers of the Holy Spirit; hence, the name "simony." One of Humbert's major works, Adversus simoniacs, dealt with the problem.
At this time there appeared the third volume of Cardinal Humbert's Libri Adversus Simoniacos (Books Against the Simoniacs).
A gruesome image occurs to him, from his reading of Dante's Inferno back in college days: The Simoniacs, traffickers in sacraments and holy offices, are punished in Hell by being thrust head-downward for all eternity into holes in the infernal rock.
Dante scatters references to him throughout the Commedia, which gradually reveal the poet's judgment on bad popes, exemplified in a worst-case scenario: Boniface himself belongs with the simoniacs in Inferno 19; he tricked even the cunning Guido da Montefeltro into abetting his war on Christians (Inf.