What was the Cluny reform?

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mrkirschner | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

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The Cluny Reform, also known as Cluneic Reforms, originated in the Abby of Cluny in France during the Middle Ages.  Its primary purpose was to end corruption that existed because of the ties that monasteries had with feudal lords.  These ties existed because of the issue of property.  The Cluny Reform sought to eliminate these ties by creating independent abbots that reported directly to the Pope. 

There were a number of characteristics within the Cluny movement that all monasteries shared.  Cluny churches moved to a more efficient administrative system with competent and educated abbots.  A return to the Benedictine tradition was evident as labor, obedience, alms giving, and poverty were adopted by the abbeys.  The uniformity of rules within monasteries returned.  Abbeys that followed the Cluny model were given authority over the others and reported to the pope rather than feudal lords. 

A major papal reform that surfaced out of the Cluny movement was the celibacy of priests.  Priests were required to be celibate so they would have no heirs to inherit power and property.

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