Jürgen Miethke

Via Concilii. The Haec sancta Decree and the Conciliarism of the Council of Constance

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The aim of the article is not to give a new definition of conciliarism - which is usually considered as the 'product' of the council of Constance - with the intention of legitimizing or not its declarations. The purpose is instead to better understand the most famous Council's decree, Haec sancta (1415, April 05th), by telling the dramatic development of the negotiations during the council's first months of activity. Starting with a short recapitulation of the historical background (i.e. the medieval idea of the council as a representation of all the faithful members of the church and of the steps that the councils during the history of the church made, therefore becoming a constitutive part of the church) the article gives a comprehensive oversight of the single steps of confrontation between the pope and the attendants in Constance. The flight of John XXII and the reactions of the Council explain both the plausibility of the measures taken and the late consensus of the overwhelming majority in the Council's debates.


  • Conciliarism
  • Decree Haec Sancta
  • Church Reform in 15th Century


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