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date: 19 August 2018

simony

Source:
A Dictionary of World History

simony 

The buying and selling of spiritual or Church benefits. It is taken from the name of Simon Magus who, according to an account in the New Testament of the Bible, tried to buy spiritual powers from St Peter. It came to mean the purchase of any office or authority within the Roman Catholic Church. The Church’s policy that its benefices should not be sold for money was often jeopardized because many secular lords claimed that they were theirs to dispose of as they wished. Wealthy families bought offices for their members and used them as a form of patronage. Simony was one of the abuses criticized at the time of the Reformation.