Simony

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SIMONY, eccl. law. The selling and buying of holy orders, or an ecclesiastical benefice. Bac. Ab. h.t.; 1 Harr. Dig. 556. By simony is also understood an unlawful agreement to receive a temporal reward for something holy or spiritual. Code, 1, 3, 31 Ayl. Parerg. 496.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
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(29) Not only did these monks refuse the pope's command, but they also seem to have intensified their preaching activities, openly denouncing Mezzabarba both as a simonist and a heretic.
As Alberto Chiari has observed,(17) this unusual, prophetic tone in the mouth of a sinner sets the stage for the pilgrim, who begins where Nicholas ends, denouncing the simonists with a flurry of biblical examples.
But it is appropriate that he should deliver this passionate sermon in the circle of the simonists, who themselves delivered passionate sermons as a superficial way of claiming moral high ground.