Mensa Capitularis and Mensa Episcopalis

Mensa Capitularis And Mensa Episcopalis are the technical terms severally given to the table support of chapter members and the incumbents of the episcopal office. So long as communistic life prevailed in churches endowed by monastic institutions, the expense for the table was provided for by the common property of the chapter. But in the 10th and 11th centuries, when canonical life was done away with, and the canons supported their own private establishments, the endowment was reduced by deducting therefrom the amount necessary to defray the expense of the table, and this sum was apportioned, and consequently the term

(1) mensa capitularis for that share of the table endowment which was to defray the table expenses of the chapter members, and

(2) mensa episcopalis for the episcopal share. The chapter's portion was again subdivided according to the number of members belonging to a chapter, and the proportion of allowance for each particular person was determined by rank. The administration of the capitular property was usually intrusted to the provost, and that of the episcopal table estate to an official appointed by the bishop himself (vice-dominus) (Carol. M., capit I ao. 802, c. 13; Lothar I, capit ao. 824, c. 8). If any of the capitulary estates were to be sold, a permit of the bishop and all capitularies must be secured (c. 1, 2, 3,8, x, De his quaefuint a prelat. 3:10; sext. c. 2, De reb. eccl. non alien. 3:9). If any of the episcopal estates were to be sold, a permit of the pope had to be asked for (c. 8, x, De reb. eccl. non alien.). In cases where the episcopal chair is endowed with such goods, this regulation remains yet in force. See Wetzer und Welte, Kirchen-Lexikon, s.v.

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