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By Force and FearTaking and Breaking Monastic Vows in Early Modern Europe$
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Anne Jacobson Schutte

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780801449772

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801449772.001.0001

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Witnesses to Forced Monachization

Witnesses to Forced Monachization

(p.159) Chapter 6 Witnesses to Forced Monachization
By Force and Fear

Anne Jacobson Schutte

Cornell University Press

This chapter addresses another aspect of the handling of petitions in the Holy Congregation of the Council (Sacra Congregazione del Concilio, SCC), witness testimony. Evidence put before the cardinals came from a broad array of informed parties, whose testimony was gathered during the diocesan investigation. Relatives not directly involved in pressuring petitioners to enter monastic life, friends, neighbors, servants, and male religious appeared in the episcopal curia—and nuns at the grates of the parlors in their convents—to respond to statements and questions put to them by vicars general. Witness testimony supplied details as to what had happened and how communities of observers viewed particular instances of coerced monachization. It also sheds light on petitioners’ experiences and feelings once they were confined to religious houses.

Keywords:   witnesses, witness testimony, forced monachization, petitioners

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