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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Secular Court, Delivering up to the

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a punishment peculiar to delinquent clergymen. The ancient law comprises it under the name of curioe tradi, and gave to it a different meaning from that which modern use and practice has put upon it. Among the modern canonists it signifies delivering a clergyman up to the secular judge after degradation, to be punished for some great crime with death, or such capital punishment as the Church had no power to inflict. In the old law the curia has a larger sense, not only to denote the judge's court, but the corporation of any city. In this there were some servile offices; and when a clergyman was degraded for any offense and reduced to the quality of layman, he was obliged to serve the curia, or secular corporation of the city, and that, many times, only in some mean office and servile condition. This was looked upon as being a slave to an earthly power, and precluded him from ever regaining his clerical dignity again, for no curiale was allowed to enter the ecclesiastical state. Besides this, there was another way of delivering over delinquent clergymen to the secular courts, which was when they had committed crimes such as were properly of civil cognizance; for clergymen were considered in a double capacity as ministers of the Church and as members of the commonwealth. See Bingham, Antiq. of the Christ. Church, p. 1033.

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McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Secular Court, Delivering up to the'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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