The College of Canons (commonly referred to as the "Clergy of the Holy Light") is a group of religious "Canons", or clerics attached to the Cathedral of Light. They are a subdivision of the Church of the Holy Light. By mandate of the Council of Bishops, the College of Canons is overseen by the Bishop of Stormwind, Johannes Moorwhelp.
Purpose[edit | edit source]
The College of Canons was founded for the purposes of providing a stable group of clerics (priests, paladins and monks) who can fulfill the ministerial needs of the Cathedral of Light. Unlike most priests of the Church of the Holy Light, the clerics of the College of Canons are directly obedient to the Bishop of Stormwind and do not often take on parishes or obligations of governance outside of the city of Stormwind. This is not to say that the members of the College do not leave the city. They vow to serve the needs of the Cathedral, which, being the center of the Church, extends far beyond the borders of the kingdom of Stormwind. The College of Canons is well known for its involvement in diplomatic relations, its weekly liturgy, and its hardline stance against heresy and evil. It identifies with the teaching authority of the Church.
Governance[edit | edit source]
The College of Canons is governed by the Bishop of Stormwind, who possesses ordinary power over the college, his Deans and the Provosts, by the guidance and constitution of the Rule of the College of Canons.
History[edit | edit source]
The tradition of the College of Canons dictates that the college was founded and instituted by Alonsus Faol in the latter years of his archiepiscopate. Following the foundation of the Cathedral of Light by Alonsus Faol and his apprentice, Jarl, there was some contention in the church regarding who would be the diurnal custodians of the rituals of the newly-bult effigy of the Holy Light's majesty and the immortal spiritual power of the Church of the Holy Light in the rebuilding Stormwind City.
Many factions disputed their right to be the ministers of the Cathedral, including many groups of clerists loyal to the newly coronated Varian Wrynn, several bishops professing allegiance to the celebrated and time-tested Terenas Menethil, chapters of the Order of the Silver Hand that were forming under King and Church.
From the discord, His Holiness elected that, instead of secular clergy, that regular clergy would be the stewards of the temple, and that a college of these regular clerics would be formed from amongst the body of the Clerics of Northshire, the small and war-torn order of priests from the near-by and recently reerected Northshire Abbey. The clerics from Northshire would continue to minister for the Cathedral of Light. The Archbishop would eventually establish his seat in Stormwind City to lead the church to aid in the restoral of a desperate and broken superpower and, indeed, to begin undoing the destruction on the church's archives in Northshire Abbey.
Alonsus Faol's industrious efforts had lasting results that last even up to the present day, but his untimely death was concurrent with the Undead Plague that ravaged the north and sent the Church of the Holy Light in the north to splinters, resulting in the Scarlet Crusade and the Argent Dawn.
However devastating both the Archbishop's death and the Undead Plague was to the Church of the Holy Light, immediate action was demanded of it, else the Order of the Silver Hand would be assimilated by these schismatic groups and all of Alonsus Faol's work would have been for nothing. The mourning bishops that remained of the carnage, devastation, and heresies that so deeply upset the moral authority and presence of the now beyond-decimated Council of Bishops met deep in the chambers of the Cathedral of Light in conclave and, desperate for a priest that would continue the work of the former Archbishop, elected Jarl, the apprentice of the late Alonsus Faol and co-arcitect of the Cathedral of Light. He chose for himself the name Benedictus.
Benedictus quickly took the leadership of the college formed by his predecessor, declaring himself the Archbishop of the Holy Church and Bishop of Stormwind, putting him in the natural center of a church now almost entirely centered from the Cathedral of Light. During this time, the Clerics of Northshire and consequently the College of Canons as it was known at the time, weakened in power as the Archbishop made all appointments directly and by the authority of the archiepiscopate.
The Archbishop Benedictus, in his early years, strengthened the political authority of a triumvirate of bishops in the Royal Courts of Stormwind. The Archbishop's ambitions in the Stormwind Courts came to a climax when he successfully asserted himself as the Regent of King Varian Wrynn, who was, by every account, missing in action, over against the Lord-Regent Bolvar Fordragon. This short period in Stormwind's history is known as the Archiepiscopal Hegemony. Eventually, Benedictus and Bolvar Fordragon did come to a compromise, formally restoring Bolvar Fordragon as steward to the throne and Regent of Stormwind in the King's absence. The legacy of this compromise is clear in the laws of the Kingdom of Stormwind which afford rights to the clergy similar to those retained for nobles, self-governance of churches in the realm within special provisions known as by-laws, and honorific titles afforded to the local bishop.