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Frédol, Bérenger (Berengarius Fredoli)


Cardinal and canonist; b. Lavérune (southern France), c. 1250; d. 1323. At first a professor of Canon Law at Bologna, he became bishop of Béziers in 1294, a cardinal in 1305, cardinal bishop of Tusculum (after June 10, 1309), and major penitentiary (before Sept. 2,1311). In the pontificate of Boniface VIII, Bérenger's flair for diplomacy made him an important figure in relations between the Holy See and the Kings of France and Aragon; in that of Clement V (130514) he was at times the Pope's sole confidant and counselor. And if he adroitly terminated the posthumous trial of Boniface VIII, he played a more questionable role in the suppression of the templars, particularly in the famous case of the confession of the Grand Master, Jacques de Molay. As a canonist he was one of those commissioned in 1296 by Boniface VIII to compile the liber sextus; in addition, he wrote a fine treatise on excommunication and interdict [ed. E. Vernay, Le "Liber de excommunicatione" du Cardinal Bérenger Frédol (Paris 1921)] and has been credited with a manual on confessional practice. His inclination for cataloguing, attested by inventories of the Corpus Iuris from Gratian to the Sext, of the Summa of hostiensis ("Oculus copiosae"), and of the Speculum of duranti the elder (1306), is a sign of a clear and orderly, if somewhat systematic, turn of mind.

Bibliography: j. f. von schulte, Die Geschichte der Quellen und der Literatur des kanonischen Rechts, 3 v. in 4 pts. (Stuttgart 187580; repr. Graz 1956) 2:180182. p. viollet, Histoire Littéraire de la France 34 (1914) 62178. g. lizerand, "Les dépositions du grand maître Jacques Molay," Moyen-âge 26 (1913) 81106. g. a. l. digard, Philippe le Bel et le Saint-siège de 1285 à 1304, 2 v. (Paris 1936) 1:261263. a. van hove, Commentarium Lovaniense in Codicem iuris canonici, v.15 (Mechlin 1928); v.1, Prolegomena (2d ed. 1945) 1:368, 464. g. mollat, Dictionnaire de droit canonique, ed. r. naz, 7 v. (Paris 193565) 5:905907; Catholicisme 4:157778. a. teetaert, "La Summa de poenitentia: Quoniam circa confessiones du cardinal B. F. Senior," Miscellanea moralia in honorem eximii domini Arthur Janssen, 2 v. (Louvain 194849) 567600.

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