On July 7, 1438, Charles VII of France issued the Pragmatic Sanction of Bourges, which was a significant event in French history. This edict was meant to limit the pope’s power and strengthen the French monarchy’s authority. It was a response to the ongoing conflict between the papacy and the French crown, which had been brewing for several decades.
The Pragmatic Sanction of Bourges had several important provisions. One of the key provisions was the assertion that the French king had the authority to appoint bishops and other high-ranking officials within the church. This was a direct challenge to the pope’s authority, which had traditionally been supreme in matters of church governance. The edict also required that church officials reside in their dioceses and perform their duties promptly and efficiently.
Another important provision of the Pragmatic Sanction was the requirement that church councils be held regularly. This was intended to ensure that the church remained accountable to the people of France rather than being controlled solely by the pope. The edict also asserted the French king’s importance in taxation and the collection of church revenues.
The Pragmatic Sanction of Bourges was well-received by many in France, who saw it as a way to assert their national identity and strengthen the monarchy’s power. However, it was strongly opposed by the papacy, which saw it as a direct challenge to its authority. Pope Eugenius IV denounced the edict and excommunicated several French bishops who had supported it.
Despite this opposition, the Pragmatic Sanction remained in effect for several decades and had a lasting impact on the French church. It helped establish the French monarchy’s authority over the church and paved the way for future reforms and changes in the church’s governance.
Charles VII was a significant figure in French history, and his decision to issue the Pragmatic Sanction of Bourges was a bold move that helped to shape the course of French history. He was a strong and capable king who worked tirelessly to strengthen the power of the monarchy and establish France as a dominant European power. His legacy continues to be felt in France today, and he is remembered as one of the country’s most important and influential monarchs.
In conclusion, the Pragmatic Sanction of Bourges was a pivotal moment in French history. It helped establish the French monarchy’s authority over the church and paved the way for future reforms and changes in the church’s governance. Charles VII’s decision to issue this edict was a bold move that demonstrated his commitment to strengthening the power of the French crown. Today, his legacy continues to be felt in France, and he is remembered as a significant figure in the country’s history.