13th March 1192

The Church of Scotland becomes a daughter of Rome

A papal bull issued on 13 March 1192 ended the authority of the Archbishop of York over the Church of Scotland. Issued by Pope Celestine III, the decree confirmed the Church of Scotland as an independent entity.

York had long claimed authority over the Scottish church, pointing to a previous bull as the source of its authority. However, when Scotland refused to fall in line, successive bishops had taken a harder line, which had only resulted in more determined resistance.

York vacant

This was brought into focus when a new Scottish bishop needed to be ordained at a time when the seat of the Archbishop of York was also vacant. As the Archbishop of York was responsible for elevating Scottish bishops, the only solution was for the new Scottish bishop and the new Archbishop to each be consecrated by the Pope.

This created something of a precedent, certainly where the Scottish appointment was concerned, which Celestine III formalised through the issue of his bull, which broke the connection between the Scottish church and the seat of the Archbishop in York. Scotland thus became a direct daughter of the church in Rome, answerable directly to – and taking its authority directly from – the Pope.



Other events that occured in March

FREE Scotland history newsletter

Don't miss our weekly update on Scotland's fascinating history. We promise never to sell your data to anyone else, and there's a super-easy unsubscribe link on the bottom of each email so you can leave whenever you want.