The Merovingian bishop could possess considerable authority within his civitas, because of his social position and spiritual power; the Carolingian bishop might hold the lordship of his see. But Carolingian bishops, acting together, won for themselves a powerful position on a national scale, far exceeding that wielded by their Merovingian predecessors. The move of the bishop from the local to the national stage was one of the most significant developments of our period, not only for the history of the church, but also for the political future of France. In this final chapter we need to look briefly at the changing position of the episcopate, and at its implications for the future.
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