The great medieval canon lawyer Lyndwood illustrates the difficulty of distinguishing, even as late as the middle of the 15th century, between concubinage and a clandestine, though legal, marriage.
The bishop of Utrecht supported him warmly, and got him to preach against concubinage in the presence of the clergy assembled in synod.
These conciliatory prelates were sincere supporters of the reformation, and combated simony, the marriage or concubinage of priests, and the immorality of sovereigns with the same conviction as the most ardent followers of Gregory VII.
It is good for a man not to touch a woman; a man's relations with his own wife are merely a means of fornication, and marriage and concubinage are indistinguishable as against the kingdom of God, in which there is no marrying or giving in marriage.
The Koreans are rigid monogamists, but concubinage has a recognized status.
5 His Liber Gomorrhianus, addressed to and approved by St Leo IX., is sufficient in itself to explain the vehemence of his crusade, though it emphasizes even more strongly the impolicy of proceeding more severely against the open marriages of the clergy than against concubinage and other less public vices.
As the middle ages drew to a close, earnest churchmen were compelled to ask themselves whether it would not be better to let the priests marry than to continue a system under which concubinage was even licensed in some districts.
Even Sir Thomas More, in his polemic against the Reformers, admitted that this concubinage was too often tolerated in Wales (English Works, ed.
Next to these strictly lawful marriages came concubinage as a recognized legal status, so long as the two parties were not married and had no other concubines.
911) insisted on formal marriage as the only legal status; but in the Western Empire concubinage was still recognized even by the Christian emperors.
The early Christians had naturally preferred the formless marriage of the Roman law as being free from all taint of pagan idolatry; and the ecclesiastical authorities recognized concubinage also.
Even as late as the Roman councils of 1052 and 1063, the suspension from communion of laymen who had a wife and a concubine at the same time implies that mere concubinage was tolerated.
In different states of Spain the laws of the later middle ages recognized concubinage 1 The difference between English and Scottish law, which once made "Gretna Green marriages" so frequent, is due to the fact that Scotland adopted the Roman law (which on this particular point was followed by the whole medieval church).
2 Gratian, in the 12th century, tried to explain this away by assuming that concubinage here referred to meant a formless marriage; but in 398 a church council can scarcely so have misused the technical terms of the then current civil law (Gratian, Decretum, pars i.
1214) speak of concubinage as a recognized institution; and, in the same century, the great English legist Bracton treats the "concubina legitima" as entitled to certain rights.'
Gebhard is chiefly noted for his conversion to the reformed doctrines, and for his marriage with Agnes, countess of Mansfeld, which was connected with this step. After living in concubinage with Agnes he decided, perhaps under compulsion, to marry her, doubtless intending at the same time to resign his see.
The church endeavoured to make the wife of a first marriage the only true wife; but concubinage was known as an Irish institution until long after the Anglo-Norman invasion, and it is recognized in the Laws.
This very naturally resulted in a too frequent substitution of clerical concubinage for marriage; and the resultant evils form one of the commonest themes of complaint in church councils of the later middle ages.'
Concubinage in general was struck at by the concordat between the Pope Leo X.
And Francis of France in 1516; and the council of Trent, while insisting on far more stringent conditions for lawful marriage than those which had prevailed in the middle ages, imposed at last heavy ecclesiastical penalties on concubinage and appealed to the secular arm for help against contumacious offenders (Sessio xxiv.