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Cluny's position with regard to exemption from episcopal and secular control was confirmed and strengthened by successive authorities.
The house's possessions had grown in step with its popularity and responsibilities, as eager benefactors showered it with gifts of land, privileges, and goods.
These communities' vast land holdings afford the order the status of a powerful temporal magnate.
The Cluniac way of life emphasizes the celebration of Mass and Divine Office in the most elaborate manner possible.
Such a clear delineation between Cluniacs on the one hand and unaffiliated Benedictines on the other does not exist in reality.
Indeed, Cluniacs are more akin to the black monks and nuns than are the religious of any other order, and they are often referred to by the same appellations.
Within a few years of its founding, Cluny was tasked with reforming various religious houses, first in Rome itself, then in France, then elsewhere.
In 1088, Pope Urban II, who had spent some of his youth as a monk of Cluny and had held the office of grand prior in the monastery, bestowed new rights upon the house.
All English Cluniac houses larger than cells are known as priories, symbolizing their subordinance to Cluny .
Though the order has a reputation for wealth and splendor, the smaller member communities tend to be no better off than their Benedictine equivalents.
This was a radical departure from the usual practice, as tenth century patrons always expected to interfere in the affairs of supported monastic communities.
William's grant meant that the monks of Cluny were to be free from such meddling for all time.