By Karl Popper, David Miller
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Other qualities also counted: prelates should not promote ‘unworthy men who lack both learning and honesty of behaviour and who follow the urgings of the ﬂesh rather than the judgement of reason’. Priests’ sons should not succeed their fathers. Clergy should receive proper payment, without the patron taking the revenues and leaving the incumbent a mere pittance. 7 Before the Protestant Clergy 41 These decrees provided the basic framework for priestly activity and expectations in subsequent centuries.
38 Other clerical duties derived from this, from teaching and exhortation to ministering the sacraments, but preaching was paramount. The other aspect of the ofﬁce was the pastoral dimension, which included overseeing the spiritual welfare of the community, mediating in social disagreements, establishing godly rules of conduct, and enforcing the disciplinary requirements of church and state. 40 This was the ideal, of course, not always the reality; some clergymen were lax or ineffectual, and not all pastors limited their range of activities to what was speciﬁed in the church orders.
The general clergy, with whom the laity had most contact, had only a limited role: their main functions were sacramental and disciplinary, not doctrinal. 49 Indeed, Gerson’s attitude to most clergy appears as patronizing as his extremely limited expectations of lay theological understanding. The clergy were to communicate the faith to the laity, but not make it too complex. Nevertheless, clerics had an educative role. Its primary emphasis, revealed in manuals for pastoral care and instruction, was on imparting doctrine and the faith’s moral content, not on exegesis and theology.
A Pocket Popper by Karl Popper, David Miller