In the post-Tridentine period, conflicts in cathedrals revealed social dynamics that extended beyond the cathedral walls. Cathedral chapters had to deal with the competition of ecclesiastic as well as secular institutions, involving bishops, Inquisition officials, monks, and members of lay confraternities and city councils. All of them competed to preserve or advance their privileged place in a society of orders, and these rivalries often emerged in public ceremonies. Rituals thus provided a promising setting for power struggles. More than merely local episodes, these conflicts illustrate the rebalance of power in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries that characterized the early modern state.