A Bishop’s Pardon

The Treasury at Chichester Cathedral is full of fascinating items, but I love this one: A pardon for an early bishop, though it makes no mention of what he had done. This is from the information provided:

Papal pardon to Godfrey, 2nd bishop of Chichester (1088, consecrated in January and died in September) found in 1830 near where his stone coffin was discovered in Paradise, the burial ground in the cloisters, the year before.

Restored and mounted in 1996 through the generosity of the West Sussex Archaeological Unit, the Cathedral Friends, Chichester City Council and John Woley and Sons, Publishers

The notice on the other side states:

Translation of the Papal Pardon

We absolve you, Bishop Godfrey in the place of St Peter, prince of the apostles, to whom the Lord gave the power of binding and releasing, so that as far as your fault requires and commission pertains to us, God the almighty redeemer may be to you, the healing of all your sins, as a tender pardoner. Amen.

On the ?th day before the Kalends of October [25 September] on the feast of St Firmin? bishop and martyr, Bishop Godefrid of Chichester died. The same day was the 5th of the [new] moon.

8 thoughts on “A Bishop’s Pardon

  1. Is this an example of the non-specific pardons which were given to extricate the recipient from Purgatory, which was otherwise the destination of faulty humans until their sins had been cleansed from them? You probably know it became a big scandal later when certain clerics began to sell them for cash (cf Chaucer’s Pardoner and Martin Luther and friends stamping about at the beginning of the Reformation.) (Don’t want to teach my grandmother to suck eggs.)
    PS if for the Bp of Chichester, how did he or it end up in Winchester?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah, now I have been to Pallant House several times and enjoyed every visit, so I look forward to seeing what you found there at the moment. Though it had strange features. Is the tea room still serving tea with clocks?


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