The Bull Pastoralis Officii—More Confusion than Legal Certainty
The Bull Pastoralis Officii, issued by Pope Paul IV in 1617 and addressed to five Catholic protective states (Schirmorte)—Lucerne, Uri, Schwyz, Unterwalden and Zug—was supposed to clarify the contested rights to the granting of benefices of the collegiate church of St. Pelagius in Bischofszell. Close analysis, however, indicates that a Bull by itself does not suffice to produce legal clarity, either in the moment or for the future. Closer consideration shows that the Bull only vaguely describes the vouchsafed rights. The recourse to rights granted previously to the states of the Confederation remains imprecise and undatable. The five states are guaranteed the right of occupation for prebends and benefices without any indication of the time period during which such rights can be exercised. The unfulfilled desire for legal clarity and the ensuing possibility of having violated the Vienna Concordat of 1448 brought in its wake a series of assessments. The report of the Jesuit, Paul Leymann, attempted to point out the urgent need for the bishop of Constance and the canons of Bischofszell to restrain the pressing demands of the five protective states of the Federation. This attempt, however, remained unsuccessful.