Primacy of the Diocese of Toledo
||This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the Spanish Wikipedia. (March 2009)|
The Primacy of the Archdiocese of Toledo is the primacy of the Diocese (later Archdiocese) of Toledo over the other episcopal sees in the Roman Catholic Church in Spain. Now a purely honorary title, it was of major importance in the medieval and early modern era, with the see having a reputation of being the second richest after Rome. It later had a symbolic dimension and was still in use under Francoism.
The Primacy of Toledo means that the Archbishop of Toledo is also known as Primate of Spain or Primate of all Spain, and he is often raised to the rank of cardinal by the pope, making him Cardinal Primate.
Historical origin: Separation of Carthaginensis
Originally, after the provincial division by Diocletian in the 3rd century, the city of Toletum (now Toledo) was within the Roman province of Carthaginensis, whose capital was Carthago Nova (now Cartagena). Hispania's division into ecclesiastical dioceses was based on the Roman provincial divisions, so that the episcopal seat at Toledo originally a dependent of the seat at Cartagena.
The problem arose in the mid 6th century when the Byzantine emperor Justinian seized control of an important strip of Hispania, including diocesan seats as important as Cartagena (renamed Carthago Spartaria by Justinian), Corduba, Begastri and Illici. The metropolitan seat and provincial capital were in the territory occupied by the Byzantines and so, shortly after taking the throne, the Visigoth king Gundemar promoted the holding of a synod in Toledo. That synod agreed that Toledo was the metropolitan of the whole province, seizing that title from the episcopal seat at Cartagena - that agreement was then endorsed by the king in a decree of 23 October 610.
The Islamic invasion in 711 left Toledo as a city sometimes on the frontier and sometimes held by the Christian queens, especially the Kingdom of Castille and the Kingdom of León. During the Reconquista, the alliance between the monarchs and the church concentrated on the distinct privileges that one offered the other. Soon after Alfonso VI's conquest of Toledo, the pope issued the bulla Cunctis Sanctorum in 1088/1089, recognising the holders of the diocese of Toledo as "primates" and "metropolitans" as they had been during the Visigothic era.
Discussion of the primacy: Braga and Tarragona
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- (Spanish) GER.asp?id=11456&cat=religioncristiana Archdiocese of Toledo on Canal Social, Gran Enciclopedia Rialp
- (Spanish) Izquierdo Benito, Ricardo. Privilegios reales otorgados a Toledo durante la Edad Media (1101-1494), Toledo, 1990.
- (Spanish) Nieto Siria, José Manuel. Iglesia y génesis del Estado Moderno en Castilla (1369–1480), Madrid, 1993.