HOME CHAT NAB PRAYERS FORUMS COMMUNITY RCIA MAGAZINE CATECHISM LINKS CONTACT
 CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
 CATHOLIC SAINTS INDEX  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
 CATHOLIC DICTIONARY  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Home
 
Bible
 
Catechism
 
Chat
 
Catholic Encyclopedia
 
Church Fathers
 
Classics Library
 
Church Documents
 
Discussion
 
Mysticism
 
Prayer
 
Prayer Requests
 
RCIA
 
Vocations
 
Ray of Hope
 
Saints
 
Social Doctrine
 
Links
 
Contact
 







A Hstory Of The Councils Of The Church Volumes 1 to 5 by Charles Joseph Hefele D.D.

BOOK XII

THE LATER SYNODS OF THE FIFTH CENTURY

SEC. 209. The First Decade after the Council of Chalcedon

NO Synod of great importance was held during the forty-nine years which elapsed between the close of the Council of Chalcedon and the end of the fifth century, although the number of ecclesiastical assemblies held during this period was by no means small. It was natural that soon after the holding of the fourth Œcumenical Council several provincial Synods should assemble. These would meet for one of two purposes, either to give their solemn assent to the decrees of the Council, or else, where the Monophysites had the upper hand, to make their public protest against them. The ancient Libellus Synodicus mentions several small Synods belonging to this epoch, which were held at Alexandria, Constantinople, Rome, and Antioch; but neither the exact time of their assembling is given, nor the subject of their transactions. We know more of a Gallican Synod which was held towards the end of the year 451, and so a few weeks after the close of the Council of Chalcedon, at Arles, under the presidency of Ravennius, the archbishop of that diocese. This Synod gave its assent in the most forcible terms to the Epistola dogmatica of Leo. The synodal letter addressed to the Pope is No. 99 among the Letters of Leo the Great, and his answer of January 27, 452, is No. 102.

A Council was held at Alexandria, under the Patriarch Proterius, about the same time, only a little later (A.D. 452), and gave its assent to the decrees of Chalcedon, and deposed Timothy Ælurus, who, as priest, was the spiritual head of the Egyptian Monophysites, as well as four or five bishops and several monks among his followers. We do not possess the Acts of this assembly; but they are referred to by the Egyptian bishops in a communication still in existence which they addressed, several years afterwards, to the Emperor Leo.

Martène and Durandus believed that they had discovered a fragment relating to a Synod held about this time at Fréjus. This fragment, which is reproduced in the collection of Coleti, belongs, however, as Mansi has shown, to the Synodal Letter of the Concilium Valentinum (at Valence) of the year 374, which we have already mentioned (vol. i. p. 288). Mention has also been made (vol. iii. p. 167) of the so-called second Council of Arles, which some have assigned to the year 452, but which probably belongs to the year 443. Another Gallican Synod of this period held at Narbonne under the presidency of Rusticus, the archbishop of that place, is ordinarily assigned to the year 452; but which the Ballerini have more accurately assigned to the year 458. The occasion of its being held was a complaint brought by two priests, Sabinian and Leo, against several persons, apparently of distinction, accusing them of adultery. In order to examine into the matter, Rusticus assembled his suffragan bishops and other eminent persons (honorati); but the two priests lacked the courage to follow up their accusation, and Rusticus therefore, with the assent of his Synod, inquired of Pope Leo the Great whether they were to be punished or not. He also subjoined a further series of questions on canon law, and indicated his wish to resign. This gave occasion to the Pope for the composition of his 167th epistle, in which he solves the canonical difficulties brought before him, dissuades Rusticus from resigning, and in regard to the two priests gives his judgment that, as their complaints had been made in the interests of chastity, Rusticus should treat them gently, ne diabolus, qui decepit adulteros, de adulterii exultet ultoribus.

To the same year, 458, belongs that Roman Synod of which Pope Leo the Great speaks in his 166th letter to Bishop Neo of Ravenna, and which formerly was erroneously assigned to the year 451 or 452. This Synod gave decisions on several questions: that (1) those who had been taken captive in childhood, and did not remember whether they had been baptized or not, should institute as careful inquiries as might be possible, in order to ascertain the fact. Should these inquiries lead to no result, they might without hesitation receive holy baptism. (2) Those, on the contrary, who had been baptized by heretics, should not be rebaptized, but the power of the Holy Ghost should be imparted to them by the laying on of hands by the bishop.

In the year 453 the epistle of Leo to the Council of Chalcedon (see vol. iii. p. 443) was read at a new Synod, probably at Constantinople; but the second part of it, containing the protest against the 28th canon of Chalcedon, was nevertheless kept back. This we learn from the 127th letter of Leo to Bishop Julian of Cos.

In the same year, 453, on the 4th of October, the election of a new bishop, Talasius, for Angers (Andegavum) in Gaul, gave occasion for the holding in this city of a provincial Synod, at which seven bishops were present. These were Eustochius of Tours, Leo of Bourges, Victorius of Mans, Chariaton, Rumorius, Viventius (the sees of these unknown), and the newly-elected Talasius of Angers. The presidency properly belonged to Bishop Eustochius, but in the Acts, Leo of Bourges is named primo loco; and it is probable that the latter—as being invited from another province—was requested, as a matter of courtesy, to assume the presidency. They drew up twelve canons, which are preserved in all the collections of Councils, and contain the following provisions:—

1. Clerics must not appeal to the secular tribunals without the consent of their bishops, and must take no journey without their permission, or without commendatory letters from them.

2. Deacons must honour priests.

3. Every act of violence and maiming of the members is forbidden.

4. Clerics must avoid familiarity with strange women. If they are themselves unmarried, they must for attendants have only their sisters or aunts or mothers. Whoever disregards this prohibition, shall be raised to no higher grade, and, if he is already ordained (i.e. if he has already received an ordo major), he shall not discharge his sacred functions. If clerics have assisted in delivering over their towns to the enemy, or in their being taken by them, they shall not only be excommunicated, but it is forbidden to others to eat with them.

5. The same punishment shall be inflicted on those who abandon a course of penitence already begun; and so with women who, of their own accord, fall away from a state of virginity dedicated to God.

6. Any one who marries the wife of another during his lifetime shall be excommunicated.

7. Clerics who abandon their office, and take service in war, shall be deposed by the Church which they abandoned.

8. Monks who travel about unnecessarily shall, unless they amend, be rejected from communion by their abbots and by priests.

9. Bishops are not permitted to confer higher orders upon the clerics of other dioceses.

10. Laymen or clerics who have been ordained as servers at the altar (deacons), and refuse to fulfil their office, must be punished. Laymen are not to be excommunicated unless their offence is proved. (That this is the sense of the entirely corrupt text of the second half of our canon, appears from the heading and the notes of Sirmond.)

11. Only one who has been married but once, and with a virgin, can be made a deacon or a priest.

12. All who confess their fault shall be admitted to penance, and shall receive absolution in proportion to the greatness of their offence, and according to the judgment of the bishop.

The same which is contained in the first canon of this Synod of Angers was ordained about the same time by another Gallican Synod in the province of Tours, in a brief synodal letter which still exists. There were present the bishops already named, Eustochius, Leo, and Victorius, and besides these perhaps some others, as is indicated in the Codex Remensis, which adds to the subscription of the synodal epistle these words: et ceteri qui adfuerunt episcopi subscripserunt.

Another Gallican Synod was held in the sacristy of the church of Arles on New Year’s Day, probably in the year 455 (Concilium Arelatense, iii.). This Synod was occasioned by a quarrel which had broken out between the convent of Lévins, at the head of which stood Abbot Faustus, afterwards, as leader of the semi-Pelagians, the celebrated bishop of Riez, and Bishop Theodore of Fréjus, in whose diocese Lérins was situated. The question arose with reference to their mutual rights, and the contention had become so violent that it had excited great animosity. To put an end to the dispute, the Metropolitan, Ravennius of Arles, summoned this Synod, by means of which peace was brought about, and Bishop Theodore was counselled to forget and forgive the injuries which he had received at the hands of Abbot Faustus. With regard to his rights over Lérins, he was to retain all that was possessed by his predecessor Leontius, namely, that all clerics and servers at the altar should be ordained by him alone, that the chrism should be consecrated only by him, the newly-baptized confirmed by him alone, and that strange clerics from the convent should not be received into communion, or admitted to any office, without his permission. The crowd of laymen in the convent, that is, those of the monks who were not clerics, were to be left to the care of the abbot, and the bishop was to assume no authority over them, and, particularly, was not to confer orders upon any of them without the consent of the abbot.

We have already seen (vol. iii. p. 294) from the Codex Encyclicus that a good many provincial Synods were held in the East, in the year 458, for the ratification of the Council of Chalcedon. To the year 450, however, belongs the great Synod of Constantinople, which was held by the patriarch of that place, Gennadius, with eighty other bishops. Of this Synod we possess a synodal letter subscribed by the collective members. In the older editions of the Councils these subscriptions are wanting; but after they had been discovered by Peter Lambecius in an ancient codex, they were transferred into the Nova collectio conciliorum of Baluze, p. 1452, and from thence into the collections of Hardouin (ii. p. 783 sqq.) and Mansi (vii. p. 915 sqq.). From these subscriptions we also learn the correct number of the bishops who were present; whilst in the earlier editions the number was given as seventy-three instead of eighty. We also gain assistance from these subscriptions for the determination of the time, since several of the subscribing bishops were Egyptians who had been banished by Timothy Ælurus. They remained in Constantinople, and in the year 457 subscribed a petition to the Emperor Leo (Hardouin, t. ii. p. 691; Mansi, t. vii. p. 530). The synodal letter in question, directed to all metropolitans, and to the Πάπας Ῥώμης in specie, forbids the purchase and sale of holy orders, appealing to the well-known saying of the Lord: Gratis accepistis, gratis date (Matt. 10:8), and repeating the 2nd canon “of the holy, great, and Œcumenical Synod of Chalcedon.” Occasion for the renewal of this prohibition had been given by certain occurrences in Galatia, and the Synod therefore decided that buyers and sellers of holy orders alike, whether clergymen or laymen, whether they were convicted or not, should be deposed from the ministry of the Church, and smitten with anathema. In conclusion, all metropolitans are requested to make this letter known in their provinces.

SEC. 210. Irish Synods under Patrick

Two Synods, held by S. Patrick and his suffragan bishops in Ireland, must be placed shortly after the middle of the fifth century. According to ancient indications, the one must have been held between the years 450 and 456; for the other, on the contrary, we have no indication of the date, and the celebrated Irish scholar, Thomas Moore, in his history of his native land, assigns both to the last years of S. Patrick, with the remark that some of the canons ascribed to these Councils have been recognised as genuine by the most distinguished critics, and from their contents must have belonged to a period when heathenism in Ireland was not yet extinct (e.g. canon 8 of the first Synod), but that others must be regarded as of considerably later origin. The canons of these two Irish Synods, together with some other ecclesiastical ordinances ascribed to S. Patrick, are printed in Mansi, t. vi. pp. 513–538; Hardouin, t. i. p. 1790 sqq., and Bruns, Bibliotheca eccles. vol. i. pt. ii. p. 301 sqq. In some of these the text is so defective as to be unintelligible, many words having fallen out by the injuria temporum. In others it is difficult to discover the real meaning even where the text is accurate. The first Synod had thirty-four, the second thirty-one of these canons, and they refer to very various points of ecclesiastical discipline. The most important of those which are still intelligible are—

i. Of the First Synod

Can. 4. Prohibition of clerici vagi

6. Every cleric must wear a tunic, and must not go without it. His hair must be shaved according to the Roman fashion, and his wife must be veiled when she goes out of doors.

7. Every cleric must be present at matins and vespers.

8. If a cleric becomes security for a heathen, he must, in case of liability, pay for him.

9. A monk and a virgin must not lodge in the same house, nor travel in the same carriage, nor have much conversation with each other.

10. Whoever becomes negligent in the recitation of the psalms, and allows his hair to grow, shall be excommunicated.

11. Whoever receives an excommunicated cleric, falls himself under sentence of excommunication.

12. No alms shall be received from an excommunicated person.

13. The Church must receive no alms from a heathen.

14. Whoever kills, or is guilty of unchastity, or has recourse to a fortune-teller, is liable to penance for a year.

15. Whoever steals must restore the stolen property, and do penance for twenty-one days on bread and water.

16. On sorcery.

17. A virgin vowed to God must not marry.

18. An excommunicated person must not enter the church.

19. If a Christian woman leaves her husband and marries another, she is thereby excommunicated.

23. The sacrifice must not be offered in a church which is not yet consecrated.

28. A suspended cleric (qui excommunionis fuerit) must not join in common prayer with his brethren (colleagues).

31. A cleric who kills another (in a quarrel) is thereby excommunicated.

32. A cleric must not assist a prisoner to escape; but he may purchase his release.

33. Clerics who come from Britain without epistolæ formatæ shall not discharge any sacred function in Ireland.

34. A deacon (monk) who goes into another parish without a commendatory letter from his abbot, shall not discharge any sacred function, and must be punished.

ii. The Canons of the Second Synod

have a style quite different from those of the first, are not so simple, copiously quote scriptural phrases, have a more ornate, ambiguous diction, and in many respects betray a later date. They are also often difficult to understand. The following are worthy of special notice:—

Can. 10. Whoever has fallen in an office, shall be restored without the office. He may retain the title, but not the function.

12. If a man has not deserved, while alive, that the sacrifice should be offered for him, of what service can it be to him after his death? Cast not that which is holy to dogs!

16. He who has not been, in accordance with the apostolic command, appointed bishop by another bishop, must be condemned and degraded to a place among the laity.

19. Baptism shall be administered at Easter, Whitsuntide, and Epiphany.

22. The holy communion must be received after confession, which must be made specially before Easter. One who does not then communicate is no believer.

26. An adulteress must return to her first husband.

27. A daughter must be obedient to her father; but the father must also have regard to the wish of his daughter (in regard to her betrothal).

28. A second betrothal does not annul the first.

29. Marriages are forbidden in the four (first) degrees of relationship.

30. Every fiftieth year is a jubilee.

31. All sins are blotted out by baptism. If, however, a heathen was a Christian in faith some time before his baptism, and yet fell into sin, he must also do penance as a Christian. Mansi has some further canons, which are ascribed to S. Patrick, without, however, asserting that they were passed by a Synod.

SEC. 211. Synods in Gaul, Rome, Spain, etc., between the Years 460 and 475

The festival of St. Martin, called Receptio Domni Martini, i.e. Reception of S. Martin into heaven, gave occasion for the holding of a Synod of no slight interest at Tours. In order to celebrate this festival worthily on the 11th of November, nine neighbouring Gallican bishops, some of them from other provinces, and even some metropolitans among them, had met at Tours; and with these a Synod was held by Archbishop Perpetuus of Tours, who had, about two months earlier, ascended the throne of S. Martin. This Synod was held on the 14th or 18th of November 461, and passed thirteen canons renewing some earlier decrees:—

1. Priests and Levites are exhorted to perpetual chastity, because they may at any moment be summoned to the discharge of a sacred function (sacrifice, baptism, etc.).

2. The ancient rule, that priests and Levites who continue in the state of marriage are to be excluded from communion, shall be softened to this extent, that such clerics shall no longer be eligible to a higher grade, and shall not be permitted to offer the holy sacrifice or to assist (as Levites). The communion, however, is to be given to them. Drunkenness among the clergy must also be punished.

3. Clerics must have no intercourse with strange women, on penalty of exclusion from the communion.

4. Clerics who venture to marry must not marry widows. Whoever does so must have the lowest place in clerical service.

5. A cleric who leaves his office and engages in lay work or in war must be excommunicated.

6. Anyone who has (carnal) intercourse with virgins dedicated to God, or leaves the monastic state, must in either case be excommunicated.

7. No intercourse whatever must be held with murderers until they have atoned for their crime by confession and penance.

8. Anyone who, after taking the vow of penance (pœnitentia = votum continentiæ), does, like the dog returning to his vomit, go back to worldly pleasures, must be excluded from the communion of the Church, or from intercourse with the faithful, so that he may the more easily be reformed. Cf. Kober, Kirchenbann, Tüb. 1863, S. 58 and 379.

9. A bishop who intrudes into the diocese of another, must be shut out from the communion of all his brethren.

10. Unlawful ordinations are inoperative, unless satisfaction is made for them (to the bishop whose diocese has been invaded).

11. A cleric who leaves his church without permission of his bishop, and resorts to another place, must be shut out from communion.

12. Clerics are not allowed to travel in other provinces or cities without the permission of their Sacerdotes (bishops).

13. Clerics who engage in business must make no profit by it (or take no interest: usuras ne accipiant).

These thirteen canons are subscribed by Perpetuus of Tours, Victorius of Mans, Leo of Bourges, Eusebius of Nantes, Amandinus of Chalons, Germanus of Rouen, Athenius of Rennes, Mansuetus, bishop of the Britons (probably Bretons, Britanny), and Talasius, bishop of Angers. A tenth bishop of the name of Verandus, whose see is not mentioned, being blind, was represented by the signature of his presbyter, Jocundinus.

In the following year, 462, Pope Hilarius held a Roman Synod. Archbishop Rusticus of Narbonne, mentioned before (p. 580), had consecrated his archdeacon, Hermes, to be bishop of Béziers; and when this city did not accept him, he recommended him as his own successor in the see of Narbonne. As a matter of fact, Hermes succeeded to this see; but Prince Frederick, the brother of Theoderic, king of the Goths, and others complained of the matter at Rome, and Pope Hilarius, in consequence, in November 462, requested Archbishop Leontius of Arles, as primate of Gaul, to furnish him with information on the subject. His letter to Leontius (Ep. 7) is in Mansi, t. vii. p. 933. But Bishop Faustus of Riez (see above, p. 583) and Auxanius of Aix, bishops of the province, were already on their way to Rome, as representatives of their colleagues, in order to give the Pope full information by word of mouth; and, after their arrival, Hilarius, on the anniversary of his ordination, November 19, 462, held in Rome a largely-attended Synod, consisting of bishops from various provinces, who confirmed Hermes in the bishopric of Narbonne, but withdrew from him the metro-political right of ordaining other bishops, and assigned this right, during the lifetime of Hermes, to the senior suffragan bishop of the province. The Synod here evidently adopted a middle course. The ancient canons had plainly declared as invalid the appointment by a bishop of his own successor (see vol. i. p. 488, vol. ii p. 73); but this severe punishment was not here in place, because Rusticus of Narbonne had not appointed Hermes his successor, but had only recommended him. On the other side, it was demanded by the interests of free election that even such recommendations should not go uncensured; and therefore the Synod felt bound to pronounce a decree of punishment upon Hermes. It is probable that the same Synod promulgated also those further ordinances which were given by Pope Hilarius in the letter in which he informed the Gallican bishops of the decree in the matter of Hermes. These ordinances required that great Councils should be held annually from different provinces under the presidency of the archbishop of Arles and at his invitation, but that the most difficult cases should be carried to Rome. They further decreed that no bishop should travel in a foreign ecclesiastical province without a letter from his metropolitan; that no one should receive a strange cleric without a testimonial from his bishop, and that no bishop should alienate any Church property without the previous knowledge of the Synod.

If Pope Hilarius had in this case decided a Gallican question in a Roman Synod, it was not long afterwards that he recommended that another controversy which had arisen in Gaul, and had been brought before him, should be examined at a Gallican Synod. So early as the year 450, Pope Leo the Great had divided the province of Vienne, so that only Valence, Tarantaise, Geneva, and Grenoble remained in Vienne, whilst the remaining bishops were to belong to the metropolis of Arles. Without regard to this, Archbishop Mamertus of Vienne, the same who introduced the Rogation processions, consecrated a bishop for the city of Die, which, in accordance with the ordinance of Leo, belonged to Arles, and this notwithstanding the protest of the inhabitants of the city. On the complaint of the Burgundian King Gundiac, to whom Die and Vienne belonged, Pope Hilarius, on the 10th of October 463, gave commission to Archbishop Leontius of Arles to summon a great Council out of various provinces for the examination of this question, and to inform him of the result at Rome. At the same time he despatched a circular on the subject to the bishops of the provinces of Vienne, Lyons, and Narbonne i. and ii.

In compliance with the papal instructions, Leontius immediately assembled a Synod (certainly at Arles itself); and the Synod despatched one of its members, Bishop Antonius, to Rome, in order that the Pope might have more accurate intelligence. The Acts of this Synod are completely lost, and all that we know of it comes from the answer which the Pope sent to the twenty (with Antonius twenty-one) bishops who had come together (Feb. 24, 464). In this letter he says—That it has already been decreed by the imperial laws, that the decisions which the papal see thought necessary for the bounding of dioceses, must be received with reverence and accurately observed, that therefore Mamertus of Vienne and the bishop of Die, ordained by him, had deserved to be deposed, but that the Pope desired to show clemency, and therefore he commissioned Bishop Veranus (one of the twenty), as papal legate, to explain to Mamertus that, unless he recognised his proper place and submitted himself to the judgment of Leo in regard to the boundaries of his province, he would be deprived of the four suffragans who still remained to him. The illegally appointed bishop of Die, however, was to receive further confirmation from Leontius of Arles, and thus be made a regular bishop.

Soon afterwards Pope Hilarius had occasion to intervene also in the affairs of the Spanish Church. The bishops of Tarragona, who had assembled at a Synod in the year 464, with their archbishop, Ascanius of Tarragona, at their head, had appealed to Rome for two matters: one, because Bishop Silvanus of Calahorra of the same ecclesiastical province had arbitrarily ordained several bishops, and even had consecrated a priest who belonged to another diocese, making him a bishop by violence in opposition to his will. The Pope was requested to decide what was to be done with Silvanus and the bishops consecrated by him.

The second case had reference to the Church of Barcelona. Bishop Fundinarius of Barcelona, when on the point of death, had designated as one whom he wished to be his successor, Irenæus, whom he had previously appointed as bishop (chorepiscopus) over another part of his diocese; and the provincial Synod at Tarragona had confirmed this designation. The bishops of the Synod wished for the expression of the assent of Rome also to this arrangement, and requested this in writing, with the remark that similar cases had often occurred with them.

Pope Hilarius, in November 465, again on the anniversary of his consecration, held a larger Synod, consisting of forty-eight bishops, in the basilica of Santa Maggiore, called also the Liberian basilica, in Rome. This Synod drew up five canons:—

1. In regard to ordinations, the prescriptions of the divine law and the definitions of Nicæa must be strictly observed.

2. Whoever marries one who is not a virgin, or marries a second time, must not be raised to the higher grades of the ministry.

3. The same rule shall apply to the unlearned, the maimed, and those who have done penance. Whoever has ordained such, shall declare his act undone (factum suum dissolvet).

4. Every bishop must condemn anything uncanonical done by himself or his predecessors; in which case he shall be treated with clemency. Whoever, on the contrary, is obstinate, and refuses to undo what is wrong, must be punished. All present gave, by acclamation, loud approval to this canon.

5. Many believe that in Spain a bishopric might be inherited like any other office. Many bishops of that country, when on the point of death, designate their successors, so that no elections take place. This is not allowed. Compare above, p. 12.

For the more accurate information of the members of the Synod, Hilarius had the two letters read at once, which he had received from the bishops of the ecclesiastical province of Tarragona on the two matters under dispute, namely—(1) the succession to the see of Barcelona, and (2) the irregular ordinations which Silvanus had held. The bishops present gave their judgment, partly by individual votes, and partly by general acclamation, to the effect that neither of these things should have occurred, and expressed their full approval of the canons which had been drawn up.

In consequence of the decree of this Roman Synod, Hilarius sent a letter to the bishops of the province of Tarragona, in which the following three leading propositions were laid down:—

1. That Ascanius was not for the future to ordain any bishop in the province without the assent of the metropolitan.

2. That Irenæus must at once give up the bishopric of Barcelona, and the clergy there elect another bishop. If Irenæus refused, he should lose also the other bishopric which he held.

3. That the bishops irregularly appointed by Silvanus must be deposed, together with their consecrator; yet that the Pope would, in his clemency, recognise them, on condition that two bishops did not come into one city, and that they were not bigami, or uneducated, or maimed, or had previously done penance.

In the same year, 465, a Synod was held at Vennes or Vannes (Venetia) in Britanny (Concilium Veneticum), when Paternus was ordained bishop of this city by the Metropolitan Perpetuus of Tours (see p. 10). There were six bishops present, and these published a synodal letter, still extant, to their colleagues, Victorius of le Mans and Talasius of Angers, in which they put forth sixteen canons, most of them only repeating earlier ordinances:—

1. Murderers and false witnesses are to be excluded from communion.

2. Those who leave their wives on account of unchastity, and without proof of the adultery marry others, are to be excluded from communion. (If a man repudiated his wife because of adultery and married another, this was disapproved of, yet was not visited with ecclesiastical penance by the Synod of Arles, A.D. 314 (cf. vol. i. p. 189).)

3. Penitents who have again interrupted their public penance, and have returned to their former aberrations, and to a worldly life, are not only to be shut out from the reception of the sacraments of the Lord (a communione dominicorum sacramentorum), but also from intercourse with the faithful (a conviviis fidelium).

4. Virgins who, after having dedicated themselves to God, and on this promise have been ordained, fall away (in adulterio deprehensæ, inasmuch as they, being brides of the Lord, in every act of unchastity, commit adultery), shall, with the partners of their sin, be shut out from communion.

5. Clerics must not travel without a testimonial from their bishop.

6. The same with monks. If they disobey, they are to be beaten.

7. Monks must not separate from their community and inhabit separate cells, unless with the permission of the abbot, when they have been proved, or are sick, so that they may be dispensed from the stringency of their rule. But even in this case their separate cells must be within the walls of the monastery, and they must remain under the supervision of the abbot.

8. Abbots are not to have several monasteries or dwellings; yet in case of hostile assaults (from danger in war) they may have a residence outside of their monastery in a walled town.

9. Clerics must not bring their cases before the secular tribunals. (Cf. Kober, Kirchenbann, etc., S. 235.)

10. A bishop must not raise a cleric from another diocese to higher ecclesiastical dignities.

11. Priests, deacons, subdeacons, and all those who are themselves forbidden to marry, must not be present at the marriages of others, nor yet in companies where love songs are sung and indecent gestures are used at dances, etc.

12. Clerics are not to eat with Jews.

13. They are particularly to keep themselves from drunkenness. A cleric who has been intoxicated must, according as his ordo allows, either be excluded from communion for thirty days, or receive corporal chastisement.

14. A cleric in the city who is absent from matins without sufficient excuse on account of sickness, must be excluded from communion for seven days.

15. In the province there shall be one ritual and one and the same kind of singing.

16. The sortes sanctorum and similar ways of searching into the future are forbidden. Clerics who have recourse to them are to be excommunicated.

A Synod was held at Chalons sur Saone (Cabillonum) about the year 470, concerning which we receive the following information from a letter of a celebrated Church writer of the period, Sidonius Apollinaris, to Domnulus. When, after the death of Bishop Paulus of Chalons, the Metropolitan Patiens of Lyons, with Euphronius of Autun and several others of his suffragans, had come into that city in order to hold a Council and to ordain a new bishop, they found several parties there, of which each one, from selfish reasons, wished to elect a different bishop. In order to put an end to this party action, the metropolitan, after previous consultation with his bishops, laid hold of the priest and former Archdeacon John, and immediately consecrated him bishop, without his having the least warning of it. All good men expressed approval, and the wicked were quite confounded, and did not venture to raise any objection to one so universally known for his uprightness as John.

A Synod was held at Antioch, A.D. 471, and at this the intruded Monophysite Patriarch Peter Fullo (see above vol. iii. p. 451) was deposed. Julian was elected in his stead, and Peter was banished by the Emperor Leo. This is shown in considerable detail by Pagi, to whose discussion for shortness we may refer the reader.

The above-named Sidonius Apollinaris gives us information of another Synod which was held, A.D. 472, in Bourges. The bishop of this metropolis was dead, and the suffragans assembled for the consecration of his successor (Concilium Bituricense). Among the suffragan sees of the metropolis of Bourges was that of Clermont in Auvergne, which had been occupied since A.D. 471 by Sidonius Apollinaris. Although the youngest among his colleagues, he seems, however, as the most able, to have had the chief management of the whole matter. He sent invitations, in two letters which are still extant, to the Metropolitan Agræcius of Sens, and Bishop Euphronius of Autun, although they belonged to other provinces, requesting them to come to the help of the orphaned see of Bourges and assist in having it reoccupied, since the people were split into a number of parties, and under the influence of bribery were even inclining to Arianism. In fact, Agræcius came to Bourges, but even his presence did not avail to reconcile the parties, and at last they left the election of the new bishop to Sidonius Apollinaris. He delivered a fine discourse to the people assembled, designating Simplicius, whose life he briefly sketched, as the worthiest for the position, and solemnly proclaiming him as metropolitan of Bourges.

About the same time, between A.D. 471 and 475, a Synod was held by Archbishop Mamertus of Vienne, already mentioned, in his episcopal city, in order to obtain the concurrence of his colleagues in the use of the processional litanies of intercession and fasts which he had instituted on the three days preceding Ascension Day, on account of earthquakes, thunderbolts, and other calamities. He had also invited the celebrated Archbishop Remigius of Reims to the Synod; but the latter excused himself on account of his great age, and sent the priest Vedastus as his representative.

SEC. 212. Synods at Arles on the Doctrine of Grace in the Years 475–480

Two other Gallican Synods at Arles and Lyons, between 475 and 480, were occasioned by the Gallican priest Lucidus, the first who was known as a Predestinarian. Prosper Tiro indeed says in his Chronicle that, in the twenty-third year of the Emperor Honorius, that is, A.D. 417, the sect of the Predestinarians arose through a misunderstanding of the writings of Augustine on predestination; and many have followed him in this. On the other hand, the learned Cardinal Noris (Hist. Pelagiana, lib. ii. c. 15, p. 178 sqq. ed. Patav. 1677) showed that this could not possibly be correct, that in the time of Prosper there were as yet no Predestinarians, and that only the Semipelagians had maliciously reproached the true Augustinians with predestinationism. Not until the second half of the fifth century, he argued, were genuine Predestinarians to be found, and these mostly uneducated and unimportant people, who had allowed themselves to be urged on, by the sophistical objections of the Semipelagians, from their original Augustinian point of view to an extreme predestinationism.

Among these Noris numbers especially the priest Lucidus and a certain Monimus from Africa, who maintained that a portion of mankind was predestined by God to sin. On this point he was opposed by S. Fulgentius of Ruspe. The latter mentions that several others had denied human liberty, and ascribed all to grace (see Noris, l.c. p. 184). Such was also the opinion of Lucidus. Unfortunately we know very little of him or of the two Gallican Synods who sat in judgment upon him, and this little only from Faustus of Riez, who himself was not orthodox on the doctrine of grace, and, in opposition to Lucidus, was entangled in Semipelagian error.

From a letter of Faustus to Lucidus we learn that the former had already repeatedly by word of mouth warned the other of his error, but in vain. This letter, however, was written about the time when the Metropolitan Leontius of Arles convoked in his episcopal city a great Synod of thirty bishops, among them several metropolitans, about the year 475, in order to repudiate the predestinarian heresy. Faustus here wrote to Lucidus, representing that, as the bishops were already thinking of his suspension, he would, from love to him, once more endeavour by writing to bring him back from his error, although he thought there was little hope of this. He would quite briefly specify the points which must be recognised by Lucidus. He must (in general) always unite with the grace of God the agency of the baptized man, and condemn whoever excluded the co-operation of man and taught mere predestination on the one hand, just as he must condemn Pelagius on the other. Thus he must anathematise (1) anyone who, like Pelagius, denies original or hereditary sin and the necessity of grace; (2) anyone who maintains that the baptized and orthodox Christian, who becomes a sinner, is lost through Adam and original sin; (3) anyone who maintains that it is through the foreknowledge of God that a man is thrust down to death (of the soul); (4) anyone who maintains that whosoever is lost (i.e. of the baptized, and of the heathen those who could have believed) had not received the grace by which he could have laid hold of salvation; (5) anyone who should say that a vessel of dishonour could not raise itself so as to become a vessel of honour; (6) anyone who should say that Christ did not die for all men, and did not will that all men should be saved.

If Lucidus would come of his own accord to Faustus, the latter said, or were summoned by the bishops, he would lay before him at length the proofs for the orthodox doctrine. He adds: “We, however, maintain that whoever is lost by his own fault, could have obtained salvation through grace if he had co-operated with it; and that, on the other side, whosoever through grace attains, by means of his own co-operation, to the goal of perfection, might also, through his negligence and his own fault, have fallen and been lost. We yet exclude all personal pride, since we maintain that we receive all from the hand of God as a gift, not as a reward.” He intimates that Lucidus should express himself on these points as soon as possible, and that if he did not send back a subscription to the contents of his letter, he should have to appear publicly before the Synod as his accuser.

In one manuscript this letter is subscribed by Faustus alone, in another by ten other bishops, so that we may improve upon the supposition of Noris (l.c. p. 185) by the suggestion, that Faustus may have sent it first from himself, and then, in order to give greater importance to the matter, may have had a second copy signed by ten of his colleagues, who perhaps had assembled at a preliminary Synod, held in preparation for the appointed greater Council, and sent it to Lucidus. The latter, seeing the seriousness of the matter, subscribed, as Faustus had wished, and this subscription of his is still found appended to the letter in question.

Besides this, Lucidus addressed a letter to the thirty bishops assembled at Arles, in which he says that the Synod had drawn up certain statuta predicandi (forms of teaching), and that Lucidus, in accordance with these, now condemned (1) the opinion, that the work of human obedience towards God (i.e. human co-operation) must not be united with divine grace; and also (2) the assertion, that through the fall of the first man freewill had been entirely annihilated; (3) the assertion, that Christ did not die for the salvation of all men; (4) the assertion, that the foreknowledge of God powerfully constrains men to spiritual death, and that whoever perishes is lost with (cum) the will of God; (5) the assertion, that whoever sins after valid baptism, dies in Adam (i.e. is not lost in consequence of his own sinful actions; see above); (6) the assertion, that some are destined (deputati) to death, and others predestinated (prædestinati) to life; (7) the assertion, that from Adam to Christ no heathen has obtained salvation through the gratia prima of God, that is, through the natural law, hoping in the coming of Christ, inasmuch as all had lost freewill in their first parents; (8) the assertion, that the patriarchs and prophets and saints had been in Paradise even before the time of redemption. All these propositions, he said, he condemned as impious and sacrilegious, but the doctrine of grace he held fast, in such a sense as not to exclude human effort; and he maintained that the freewill of man was not annihilated, but only weakened and diminished (attenuatam et infirmatam); further, that one who was in a state of salvation should yet be conscious of the danger of falling, and, on the other side, that one who was lost might have obtained salvation. He said he had formerly maintained that Christ had come into the world only for the sake of those of whom He knew beforehand that they would believe; but that now he acknowledged that Christ had also come for the sake of those who are lost, and that they are lost eo nolente. Finally, he said, he maintained that some had obtained salvation through the law of grace, others through the law of Moses, others again through the law of nature, which God had written in the hearts of all, in hope of the coming of Christ; but that from the beginning of the world, on account of our union with our first parents, no one had been saved in any other manner than through the mediation of the holy blood of Christ.

We learn further from Faustus of Riez that Archbishop Leontius, in agreement with the Synod of Arles, commissioned him to write out at full length in a book all that was transacted at the Synod on the doctrine of grace and in opposition to the Predestinarians. In fulfilment of this commission, Faustus composed his two books, de gratia Dei et humanæ mentis libero arbitrio, in the prologue to which, addressed to Leontius, he sets forth the matter just referred to; but his work is composed in a thoroughly Semipelagian sense, and under the show of combating predestinarianism, he carries on a continuous warfare against Augustine. At the end of the prologue he further states: “Because at the end of the Synod of Arles, and after all had subscribed its decrees, new errors emerged (probably new predestinarian views), it was ordered by a fresh Synod at Lyons that something should be added to the treatise de gratia Dei,” etc.

We have no further particulars of this Lugdunense Concilium, unless we are to refer to this Synod the note which is found in some old conciliar manuscripts to this effect: The holy Archbishop Patiens of Lyons laid before this Synod a book, De ecclesiasticis dogmatibus. It is supposed that this book was a treatise of Gennadius which bears this very title; and if so, then the Semipelagian tendency, represented by the dominating intellect of Faustus, prevailed no less at the Synod of Lyons than at the Synod of Arles.

SEC. 213. Synods on the Affairs of the Greek and Oriental Churches

We learn from the Church History of Evagrius that, in the year 475 or 477, a Synod had been held at Ephesus under the presidency of the Monophysite Patriarch Timothy Ælurus of Alexandria (see vol. iii. p. 450). The Emperor Basilicus had, in a special decree, declared the fourth Œcumenical Synod of Chalcedon invalid, and deprived the patriarchal see of Constantinople of the prerogative which had been assigned to it at Chalcedon (see vol. iii. p. 411), because Bishop Acacius had refused to subscribe this decree. The Emperor soon saw himself under the necessity of repealing this decree and becoming reconciled with Acacius. This gave occasion to Timothy Ælurus of Alexandria to hold a Synod at Ephesus in order to meet this change of circumstances. Dominated by Timothy, the bishops, although many of them were not Monophysites, nevertheless voted a memorial to the Emperor, requesting that he would continue the old decree and the disallowance of the Council of Chalcedon. They also replaced in his bishopric the dispossessed Bishop Paul of Ephesus, declared the privileges of the patriarchate of Constantinople abolished, restored to the see of Ephesus the exarchal rights which it formerly possessed (see vol. iii. p. 375), and pronounced the deposition of Acacius of Constantinople. It is, however, a mistake to suppose that this Synod had also confirmed Eutychianism. This would not have been done even by Timothy Ælurus; for, when the Eutychian monks came to him and hoped for his support, he expressed himself decisively in opposition to the tenets of Eutychianism, saying that “the flesh of Christ (i.e. His humanity) was essentially the same as ours.”

Evagrius informs us (lib. iii. c. 6) that Timothy Ælurus returned to Alexandria after the ending of this Ephesian Synod, in order here also to secure the rejection of the Council of Chalcedon; and the Libellus Synodicus adds that at Alexandria, too, he got up a Synod, and thereby attained the end mentioned. The same Synodicon speaks further of a Council which was assembled at Cyrus in Syria, in the year 478 (not 482, as Hardouin erroneously supposed), by John, bishop of that place. At this Synod an anathema was pronounced on Peter Fullo, the Monophysite intruder into the see of Antioch.

About the same time, after the overthrow of the Emperor Basilicus, Peter Fullo was deposed at an Antiochene Synod also, and John of Apamea was raised to the throne of Antioch. Not long before Peter Fullo himself had raised this John of Apamea to the episcopate. As, however, the citizens of this city would not receive him, he had returned to Antioch, joined the party of opposition, and supplanted his former consecrator. But he too, after three months, was in his turn deposed by a new Synod held at Antioch, which confirmed the Council of Chalcedon, and a pious man, of the name of Stephen, was raised to the throne of that city. In a synodal letter which he immediately afterwards addressed to the Patriarch Acacius of Constantinople, he informed him of his consecration and the deposition of both Peter Fullo and John of Apamea. Hereupon Acacius, in the year 478, held a σύνοδος ἐνδημοῦσα in Constantinople, at which these proceedings were confirmed, and Peter Fullo was anathematised, especially because he had added to the Trisagion the words, “who was crucified for us,” by which he intended to imply that the triune God had undergone the death of the cross (see vol. iii. sec. 208).

In reference to this Synod, we possess also a letter, discovered by Lucas Holstenius, written by Pope Simplicius to Acacius of Constantinople, and also the synodal letter to Peter Fullo, drawn up by Acacius, which belongs not to the year 483, as was previously supposed, but to the year 478, as Mansi, following the lead of Pagi, has shown (l.c. p. 1019). Mansi has also pointed out that, very soon afterwards, Pope Simplicius also held a Synod at Rome, and in like manner pronounced anathemas on Peter Fullo, John of Apamea, and Paul (of Ephesus). Of this Roman Synod we possess still two letters addressed to Peter Fullo, which have been, in the Collections of the Councils since Binius, attributed erroneously to Pope Felix III. and his Synod of the year 485, but which, in fact, belong to Pope Simplicius and his Synod, as has been shown by Pagi (ad ann. 478, n. 9 sqq.).

As we saw, Stephen was raised to the throne of Antioch in the year 478. When he died in the year 481 another Stephen was appointed his successor by a new Antiochene Synod. The adherents of Peter Fullo, however, speedily accused him of Nestorianism, and succeeded in getting the Emperor to recommend that the accusation should be inquired into at a Synod. This was done at a Council at Laodicea, of which we have information from the Libellus Synodicus and Theophanes, with the addition that Stephen’s orthodoxy was vindicated, and his elevation to the throne of Antioch confirmed. Discontented with this decision, his enemies one day laid hold of Bishop Stephen in the baptistery of S. Barlaam the Martyr, and put him to death with sharp-pointed reeds. In punishment, Theophanes further tells us, the Emperor Zeno deprived the Antiochenes of the right to elect another bishop, and conferred the power of doing so for this time upon the Patriarch Acacius, who immediately consecrated Calendion as bishop of Antioch, at Constantinople. Knowing nothing of this, the Oriental bishops, on the other hand, elected John Codonatus to be patriarch of Antioch; but Calendion at once took possession of the see, and secured his recognition at an Antiochene Synod in the year 482, as well as with Pope Simplicius, whilst Codonatus subsequently obtained the see of Tyre. Theophanes professes to know that Calendion himself consecrated Codonatus for Tyre; but we see clearly from the letters of Pope Felix that this John Codonatus is identical with the John of Apamea whom we know, and that Acacius of Constantinople gave him the see of Tyre as indemnity, and that the Pope declared the transaction null and void.

In the meantime Bishop Timothy Salophaciolus of Alexandria (see vol. iii. sec. 208) had also died, and John surnamed Talaja or Tabennesiota (Tabennesian monk of the monastery of Canopus), up to this time treasurer of the Church of Alexandria, was elected to succeed him. In accordance with custom, in union with the Alexandrian Synod assembled around him, he immediately sent communications in writing to Pope Simplicius and to Calendion of Antioch, but not to Acacius of Constantinople, perhaps because he had formerly cherished a grudge against him. He had formerly spent a considerable time at Constantinople as envoy from his bishop. Acacius, irritated by this, persuaded the Emperor Zeno that John was not a fit person for the important see of Alexandria, since he had given to the previous bishop the advice that he should enter the name of Dioscurus in the diptychs of the Church. Moreover, he said, he was perjured, for he had, during his residence at Constantinople, taken an oath that he would not seek for the bishopric. Much more suitable than John was Peter Mongus (see vol. iii. sec. 308), who had formally been elected by the Monophysites, after the death of Timothy Ælurus, as bishop of Alexandria, but had been expelled by the Emperor Zeno. The reason that Acacius now recommended this man, and that the Emperor acted upon his advice, arose from the fact that the Emperor had just promulgated his infamous Henoticon under the advice of Acacius (A.D. 482), and Peter Mongus was fully disposed to assist in carrying it through, that is, to labour for a union between the Orthodox and Monophysites, on the ground of this formula.

The Emperor Zeno immediately wrote to Pope Simplicius that John was, for the reasons assigned, unworthy of the see of Alexandria, and that Peter Mongus was much better qualified to restore peace in the churches of that region. On the one side, the Pope allowed himself to be persuaded not at once to recognise John formally, but on the other side he at the same time openly communicated to the Emperor his opinion that Peter Mongus was not at all the right man, and that he was still under suspicion of heresy. Zeno paid no regard to this, and commanded the Dux Ægypti to expel John, and to induct Peter Mongus on condition that he accepted the Henoticon and sent synodal letters to Acacius, Simplicius of Rome, and the other archbishops. This was done, and Acacius immediately recognised Mongus, and introduced his name into the diptychs of his church. The Libellus Synodicus states that Peter Mongus thereupon immediately held a Synod in Alexandria, and, in communion with it, pronounced anathema on the Council of Chalcedon.

The banished John Talaja, following the advice of Calendion of Antioch, betook himself in person to Rome, in order to lay his cause before the Pope, and to invoke the protection of the Roman see. He arrived at the beginning of the year 483, and induced the Pope to write two other letters on his account to Acacius, in addition to the one which he had already exchanged with him on the same subject. He also drew up a complete letter of accusation against Acacius for presentation to the Pope. Simplicius, however, died on the 2nd of March 483, and was succeeded by Felix II. or III. John Talaja now immediately brought his complaint and his memorial before the new Pope. Felix thought it best, as Acacius had not yet answered the most recent letters of Simplicius, to send two envoys, Bishops Vitalis and Misenus, together with the Defensor Felix, to the Emperor Zeno and to Acacius, to confirm them in their adhesion to the Council of Chalcedon, and to induce them to expel Peter Mongus, and replace John Talaja in his see. At the same time, he gave the legates a libellus citationis to Acacius, stating that Acacius must give an answer in Rome to the accusations of Talaja. There was also a letter addressed to the Emperor, in which the Pope acquainted him with the communication, and renewed the accusations against Peter Mongus. It is the ordinary opinion that Pope Felix at the same time held a Synod in Rome, and in its name despatched the letters to the Emperor and Acacius; but Pagi has shown that the grounds of this opinion are contestable.

At a later date, Felix sent to his legates two other letters, which are now lost, for the Emperor and Acacius, and recommended the envoys to undertake nothing without having previous consultation with Cyril, the abbot of the Akoimetæ at Constantinople. When, however, the two legates, Vitalis and Misenus, arrived at Abydos on the Hellespont—the Defensor Felix, on account of illness, had to depart later—they were arrested by command of the Emperor, cast into prison, robbed of their papers, and even threatened with death unless they would consent to enter into Church communion with Acacius and Mongus. In case of their acquiescence, on the other hand, presents and favours were held out to them, and thus they were imposed upon, and gave in. They were now brought to Constantinople, set at liberty, and treated with the greatest distinction, until, disregarding all the warnings of the orthodox, they went so far as to take part in a solemn Church service held by Acacius, at which he read out the name of Mongus from the diptychs, and received the communion with Mongus’ representative. When the Defensor Felix subsequently arrived at Constantinople, Acacius did not receive him, and treated him in a hostile manner, because he would not, like the two legates, hold communion with Peter Mongus.

Cyril, abbot of the Akoimetæ, immediately sent the monk Simeon to Rome, in order to acquaint the Pope with what had taken place; and when the legates returned soon afterwards, and brought letters from the Emperor, as well as from Acacius, favouring Peter Mongus, and throwing suspicion upon Talaja, Pope Felix made immediate arrangements for a Roman Synod, which should decide between his legates and their accusers. In the first place, Vitalis and Misenus were called upon for their defence, when, besides the monk Simeon, the priest Silvanus, who had been in Constantinople at the same time with the legates, appeared as a witness against them. They were deposed from their episcopal offices, and excluded from the holy communion, and at the same time the excommunication and anathema on Peter Mongus was repeated. In a second session the Synod condemned also Acacius of Constantinople, and declared him unworthy of his ecclesiastical dignity, and deprived him of Church communion. A fragment of this sentence is found in the Breviculus Historiæ Eutychianistarum, and, from this source, in Mansi, besides which we still possess the synodal letter in which the Pope gave public notice to Acacius of the condemnation pronounced upon him.

The copy of it, which we still possess, gives at the end the historical information that sixty-seven bishops, besides Pope Felix, had subscribed. But this certainly refers rather to the synodal Acts which remained in Rome, than to the synodal letter which was sent to Greece. The latter, in accordance with the usual practice in regard to such writings, was drawn up only in the name of the Pope, on which account the Greeks brought the objection against the deposition of Acacius, that it had proceeded merely from Felix, and not from a Synod. This was evidently incorrect; but it might be urged, as Pope Gelasius, in replying to this objection of the Greeks, in his epistle ad episcopos Dardaniæ, did not merely reply, that “Acacius had been deposed at a Synod,” but rather argued that the Pope had the power to depose him without a Synod. Baronius (ad ann. 484, n. 21) attempts to remove this difficulty by the assumption that the Greeks had complained that an Œcumenical Synod had not been held, and that Gelasius had replied to them only in this sense. Pagi (ad ann. 484, n. 4) rejects this expedient, and endeavours to find another. The Greeks, he says, only maintained Acacium non jure damnatum, quod non speciali synodo videatur fuissc dejectus, that is to say, that he had not been condemned at a special Synod, called on his account, but only as it were en passant at that Synod which had met for another purpose, for the purpose of examining the accusations against the two legates. For this reason he thinks that Pope Gelasius, in the letter ad episcopos Dardaniæ, had in his eye only the failure to hold a synodus specialis.

However this may be, the papal letter to Acacius is dated July 28, 484. The ordinary opinion has consequently been that the first session, which dealt with the case of Vitalis and Misenus, took place only a few days earlier, also in the second half of July. Pagi, on the other hand (ad ann. 484, n. 9), makes it probable that one Synod held its first session early in 484, and that in this a new admonition was sent to Acacius,—the second which he received from Rome,—and that as this also was ineffectual, steps were taken in July for his condemnation.

In the synodal letter to Acacius he was reminded of all his offences, particularly his violation of the jus gentium in his treatment of the papal legates. A second letter in this direction was sent by Felix, on the 1st of August 484, to the Emperor, acquainting him with all that had been done, and exhorting him to stand by the right. He had to choose between communion with the Apostle Peter or with Peter Mongus. At the same time the Pope mentions that he has sent the Defensor Tutus to Constantinople in order to publish the sentence against Acacius. A third letter was addressed to the clergy and laity of Constantinople, in order that all should be convinced of the necessity and justice of the sentence pronounced against Acacius.

In spite of the imperial guard who tried to prevent the entrance of any unwelcome strangers, the Defensor Tutus succeeded in reaching Constantinople, where he formed a union with the monks, and delivered to them the documents which he had brought with him. They had the courage to convey to Acacius his sentence of deposition by fixing it to the door of the church, and thus giving it publication, an act which several of them had to expiate with their lives. Acacius, however, took so little account of all this, that he now formally struck the name of the Pope off the diptychs of his Church, stopped communion with Rome, and in order to give effect to the Henoticon, he subjected those who were strictly orthodox to more severe persecution. In particular, he deposed Calendion of Antioch, and in his place put Peter Fullo, who had formerly been a Monophysite, and who now accepted the Henoticon. This gave occasion for a new Roman Synod, in October 485, which pronounced the deposition of this intruder. Two letters are given, as having been addressed by Pope Felix, in the name of this Synod, to Peter Fullo, pointing out his heretical doctrine and his irregular intrusion. Volesius regarded them as spurious; but Pagi, on the contrary (ad ann. 478, n. 9 sqq.), defended their genuineness, and showed that both proceeded from the Roman Synod of 478, held under Pope Simplicius (see near the beginning of this section). We have, however, a letter of Felix, belonging to this time, addressed to the Emperor Zeno, in which Peter Fullo in particular is blamed because of the addition to the Trisagion, “who was crucified for us,” and the assertion connected with it, “one of the Trinity suffered in substantia Deitatis,” because thereby the true and full incarnation of Christ was detracted from (see above, sec. 213, and vol. iii. sec. 208).

To the same Roman Synod belongs also the letter ad clericos et monachos Orientales. According to an ancient codex this letter is dated October 5, 485, and properly is only an addition to the formal decree of the Synod. The letter, as the bishops here say, in accordance with the prevailing custom, was sent forth in the name of the Pope, as proceeding from him. This letter adds further that now, in the matter of the Church of Antioch, a new Synod has been assembled at Saint Peter, that is, in S. Peter’s Church in Rome; and at the same time makes mention of the acts of violence of which Acacius has made himself guilty since his deposition. From this it is clear that the letter in question belongs not, as Valesius supposed, to the Synod of the year 484, but to that of the year 485. Finally, we also learn from the subscription of this letter to the Orientals, that this Synod of the year 485 was visited by more than forty bishops.

In this letter it is mentioned twice that the Pope had sent the Defensor Tutus to Constantinople with the sentence of deposition pronounced on Acacius. The manner in which the Synod speaks of this shows that they were then unaware how thoroughly Tutus had abused the confidence reposed in him. Later on he had gone so far as to let himself be corrupted by Acacius, had entered into Church communion with him, besides betraying the secrets of Rome to him, and giving up the despatches which he had brought with him. Naturally Pope Felix received intelligence of this through his friends at Constantinople, and therefore, at a new Roman Synod, at what date we are not quite certain, perhaps about the close of the year 485, he pronounced a sentence of permanent deposition on Tutus. This we learn from his letter ad monachos urbis Constantinop. et Bithyn.

In the year 485, Bishop Quintian also assembled a Synod, which pronounced the deposition of Peter Fullo. From this Synod we have a synodal letter of Quintian’s to Fullo, with twelve anathemas appended, namely, those which had been directed against Monophysitism, Apollinarism, and Samosatenism, particularly also against the addition mentioned to the Trisagion, and its intention to teach that the triune God had suffered for us. This Synod is mentioned also by the Libellus Synodicus, which, however, speaks of it erroneously as an Alexandrian Synod, whilst it designates Quintian as ἐπίσκοπος Ἀρκουλιανῶν, a city which is mentioned nowhere else, but which, Pagi thinks, must refer to the patriarchal see of Antioch (ad ann. 485, n. 14).

Finally, to the year 485 there belong also two Persian Synods, of which we have received information through Assemani. One of these was held at Seleucia by the Metropolitan Babuæus, who is called in the Acts Catholicus, although this title is of somewhat later origin. The other was held by the Metropolitan Barsumas of Nisibis, a man of Nestorian tendencies. The latter at his Synod gave permission to priests and monks to marry (even after consecration, and after putting off their vows), and ordained that no one should marry his stepmother, or sister-in-law, or should have two wives at once. Moreover, he and his bishops found fault with the Catholicus, because he had given leave that women should enter the baptistery and look on at baptisms, whereby unchaste occurrences and unallowed marriages had taken place. The Catholicus, on the other hand, forbade, in his Synod, the marriage of priests and monks; and excommunicated Barsumas, and was in turn excommunicated by him.

SEC. 214. Religious Conference at Carthage, A.D. 484

In the meantime there was held in Africa, if not a Synod proper, yet an unusually numerous and important assembly of bishops. Huneric, king of the Vandals, son and successor of Geiseric, since his entrance on the government, A.D. 477, had not ceased to persecute the Catholics, and had endeavoured by all means of craft and violence to obtain a victory for Arianism, which he and his people professed. To this end he sent out, in May 483, a circular letter to Eugenius of Carthage, and all “Homoousion” bishops, in which he gave orders that, on the first of February in the next year, they should be present at Carthage, in order to have a disputation with his “venerable” bishops on the Homoousion faith, and to examine whether it were scriptural or not.

Eugenius declared that he was willing to attend, on condition that the Catholic bishops from the other side of the Mediterranean, particularly the Church of Rome, should be allowed to take part in the disputation, as the controversy would have reference to the Catholic creed, and not to the special creed of the African Church. He made this stipulation particularly, because the bishops who were not under Vandal rule could express themselves with much greater freedom than he and his colleagues who were living under that heavy oppression. King Huneric made the scornful reply: “When you make me master of the whole world, then what you want shall be done,” that is to say, then shall the bishops be summoned from the whole world. To this Eugenius returned a befitting answer; but instead of complying, Huneric did the reverse, and drove into exile those Orthodox bishops of Africa who were pointed out to him as peculiarly learned and eloquent.

At last the first of February arrived, and no fewer than 461 Catholic bishops had appeared at Carthage, as is shown by the list of them which is still extant. Most of them were from Africa itself; some were from the islands of Sardinia, Majorca, and Minorica, which belonged to the Vandal kingdom. Huneric had some of the ablest of the Catholic bishops separated from the others and arrested, and Bishop Lætus of Neptis even killed, in order to strike terror into the others. The place of meeting was fixed by their opponents; but the Catholics immediately selected from their number ten speakers, so that the Arians should not be able to say that they were clamoured down by the Catholic bishops by reason of their majority. There were, however, no real debates. At the very beginning the Arian Court Bishop Cyrila placed himself in the president’s chair, and the Catholic bishops in vain appealed against this, and demanded an impartial president. When the royal notary gave to Cyrila the title of patriarch, the Orthodox asked “by whose authority Cyrila had assumed the title of patriarch”; and when the Catholic spectators made a noise at this, they were driven with blows from the place of assembly. Eugenius complained of violence; but, in order to get at the chief matter in dispute, the Catholic speakers requested Cyrila to open the proceedings, and to lay before them the points which were to be discussed. Cyrila replied, Nescio latine, and persisted in his objection to the speaking of Latin, although he was answered that he had elsewhere made copious use of this language. Victor Vitensis maintains (l.c. p. 683) that Cyrila had met the Catholic bishops with better preparation and more boldly than he had expected; but that they had taken the precaution of drawing up a confession of faith in writing, of which he gives a copy (lib. iii.), and which is also given in Mansi and Hardouin. Tillemont shows (l.c. p. 797) that, in the subscription of this formula, xii. Kal. Mart, instead of Mai. must be read.

Huneric now put forth an edict, on February 24, in which he blamed the assembled Orthodox bishops that they had not either at the first or the second day of sitting (so that the assembly lasted two days), proved the Homoousion from Holy Scripture, although they had been challenged to do so; but, on the contrary, had occasioned a rising and an uproar among the people. He therefore gave orders that their churches should remain closed until they should come and take part in the disputation. Further, the laws which the Roman Emperors, misled by the bishops, had promulgated against heretics, should now be directed against the maintainers of the Homoousion. They were therefore forbidden to hold meetings anywhere; they were not to have a church in any city or village; they must not take part in any baptism, ordination, or the like; and in case they continued in their perverseness, they should be punished with exile. Moreover, the laws of the Roman Emperors against heretical laymen should now be in force, and they should be deprived of the right to sell, to leave by will, and to succeed to legacies, inheritances, trusts, etc.; and, moreover, those who occupied dignities and offices should be stripped of them, and should be declared infamous. All books in which they defended their error (the Nicene doctrine) were to be burnt. Anyone, however, who should return from his error by the 1st of June, was to be free from all punishments. Finally, all the churches, together with church property, in the whole kingdom, were to be made over to the true, that is, the Arian bishops and priests.

Besides this, King Huneric had the Catholic bishops present in Carthage sought for in their lodgings, deprived of their property, their servants, and horses, and driven out of the city. Whoever should receive them was to have his house burnt. Later on they were all excommunicated; the majority (302) being sent to different parts of Africa, where they had to live as country people without any spiritual functions (Huneric did with them as Luther with Carlstadt), whilst forty-six were sent to the island of Corsica, where they had to hew wood for the royal ships. Victor adds that twenty-eight had escaped, one had become a martyr, one a confessor, and eighty-eight had died earlier.

SEC. 215. Synod in the Lateran at Rome, A.D. 487 or 488

Soon after Huneric perpetrated other outrages. He died, however, in 485, and his nephew Guntamund recalled from exile all the Catholics with the exception of the bishops. Of the latter only Eugenius of Carthage was allowed to return and hold divine service again. Many of those who, during the time of Huneric’s persecution, had fallen away from the Orthodox faith and gone over to the Arians, now prayed to be taken back into the Church. As, however, the African bishops, being in exile, were unable to hold a Synod on this subject, Pope Felix took up the cause of the African Church and held a Council in Rome, early in the year 487, in order to establish the conditions under which the fallen should be taken back to Church communion. Baronius and Binius maintain that the Africans themselves, and particularly the fallen, had petitioned the Pope to make regulations in this matter. The still extant synodal letter tells us that this Roman Synod was held on the 13th of March under the consulate of Flavius Boëthius, that is, in the year 487, in the Basilica Constantiniana, that is, in the Lateran Church, under the presidency of Pope Felix, and in the presence of thirty-nine Italian and four African bishops, together with many priests and deacons.

Felix opened the Synod with the statement that there were unfortunately in Africa bishops, priests, and deacons who had fallen away from the faith in the time of persecution, and had been rebaptized by the Arians. Resolutions had to be taken in reference to these, and he would now let his own opinion on the subject be known. Upon this the deacon Anastasius read the sketch of an ordinance addressed to all bishops, which was forthwith approved by the Synod, and is of the following content: “1. If anyone has in the manner described been rebaptized, it must first of all be ascertained whether he has been so voluntarily or under compulsion. Such an one must undertake works of penance, fasts, and lamentations, since God sends His grace only to the humble. But all are not to be treated in the same manner, and those most harshly to whom ministration in the house of God has been confided, that is, the clergy. 2. Bishops, priests, and laymen, who receive rebaptism voluntarily or compulsorily, must remain in penance until the end of their life, without being allowed to participate in the public prayers, even as catechumens, and only in articulo mortis are they to be admitted to lay communion. 3. In regard to the (lower) clergy, monks, virgins dedicated to God, and laymen, the prescriptions of the Nicene Council (respecting the fallen) are to be observed. Those who without compulsion gave themselves to be re-baptised, if they show deep repentance, shall be placed among the audientes for three years, for seven years as pœnitentes (in the third degree) shall be placed under the imposition of hands of the priests, and for two years (in the fourth degree of penitence) shall be excluded from the sacrifice. If they die earlier, the Viaticum is not to be refused to them. 4. Boys under age, whether clerics or laymen, as also girls under age, shall for some time, in the third degree of penitence receive the imposition of hands and then shall be admitted to communion. 5. If anyone should be admitted to communion, because of sickness, before the expiration of his time of penance, and afterwards recover his health, he shall, in accordance with the Nicene prescription (can. 13), complete the still remaining time of his penance among the penitents of the fourth degree. 6. Catechumens who have allowed themselves to be baptized by heretics, shall spend three years among the audientes, and after that shall receive (not a new baptism, but) the imposition of hands. 7. The lower clerics, monks, and laymen, who have received rebaptism under compulsion, shall do penance for three years; but bishops, priests, and deacons, even when they have acted under compulsion, must, as has been said, remain their whole lifelong in penance. 8. All who have received rebaptism from heretics, or who as catechumens have received first baptism, are prohibited from becoming clerics. 9. No bishop or priest must receive a penitent from a strange diocese without a testimonial from his bishop or priest.

As this letter is dated March 15, under the consulate of Dynamius and Siphidius, and therefore in the year 488, whilst the Roman Synod was held in March of the former year, we must assume either that a whole year had elapsed before the actual sending out of the particular copies of the synodal letter, or that the date placed at the head of the synodal Acts, Flavio Boëthio, V.C. Cons., is erroneous, and it should be read P.C. (i.e. post consulatum) Flavii Boëthii, which would refer to the year 488.

SEC. 216. Synods in Persia and at Constantinople

The Synod of the Nestorians at Seleucia, A.D. 489, scarcely deserves mention. It was occasioned by the fact that the already named Bishop Barsumas of Nisibis had accused the Overmetropolitan Acacius of fornication. The latter proved, in a chamber adjoining the place of meeting of the Synod, that the accused was a eunuch, whereupon Barsumas was anathematised as a slanderer. Three other Nestorian Synods in Persia are mentioned by Simeon Beth-Arsamanensis.

In the year 489 the Patriarch Acacius of Constantinople died, and his successor, Fravitas or Flavitas, lost no time in removing practically the existing division between Rome and Constantinople. He addressed a very courteous letter to Pope Felix, assuring him of his orthodoxy. In a similar sense the Emperor Zeno also wrote again to the Pope, and for the conveyance of the two letters Flavitas sent two clerics and several monks as legates to Rome. They were received with great friendliness, but Felix would not commit himself to a formal reception of Flavitas into communion, because the deputies from Constantinople were unable to promise that he would strike the name of his predecessor Acacius from the diptychs. Yet the Pope addressed friendly letters both to the Emperor and to the new patriarch. Flavitas, however, died before receiving it, and was succeeded by Euphemius, a decided adherent of Orthodoxy, who, as we are told by Victor of Tununum, assembled a Synod at Constantinople in the year 492, and confirmed the decrees of Chalcedon, whilst the Emperor Anastasius, Zeno’s successor, was a declared friend of Monophysitism.

The Libellus Synodicus adds that Euphemius sent the Acts of his Synod to the Pope. What is certain is, that he sought most earnestly for restoration of communion with Rome, but that the Pope, both Felix and, after his death, Gelasius (since the beginning of 492) persevered in requiring that the name of Acacius should be struck from the diptychs, which Euphemius declared that he could not venture to do. A further understanding between Rome and Constantinople was rendered impossible by the deposition of Euphemius in 496. The Emperor Anastasius now assembled a Synod at Constantinople, which, at his will, gave an approval to the infamous Henoticon, deposed Euphemius, and in his place raised Macedonius to the throne of the capital city. So we are told by Victor of Tununum.

SEC. 217. The two Roman Synods under Pope Gelasius. The Gelasian Decree de libris recipiendis

A great controversy has arisen concerning the Roman Synod under Pope Gelasius, which is said to have drawn up the earliest Index prohibitorum. In the printed collections of the Acts of the Councils we find this Gelasian Index with the superscription: “A Roman Council of seventy bishops, under the presidency of Pope Gelasius, and under the Consuls Asterius and Præsidius, i.e. in the year 494, published this decree for the distinction of genuine and apocryphal books.” The date here given is assailed by several not unimportant considerations. In the oldest and best, and in nearly all of the manuscripts of the Gelasian decree, no consuls are specified; and Pagi and Ballerini, supporting themselves upon this, have no hesitation in referring the drawing up of this Index to the last year of Gelasius, A.D. 496; and in this they are confirmed by the fact that the Carmen Paschale of Sedulius, which was first published in the year 495, is mentioned and commended in the Index.

Others solve the difficulty in another manner, and assume that the mention of the Carmen Paschale is one of the additions which Pope Hormisdas, as we shall see, made to the Gelasian Decree. As, however, the best and oldest manuscripts of the Gelasian Decree have this passage, we must decide against the latter theory and in favour of that of Pagi and Ballerini.

This brings us to the second controversy in reference to our Index, as to its authorship. In some ancient manuscripts this is ascribed to Pope Damasus, who lived more than one hundred years before Gelasius, and died A.D. 384. One of these is a very old MS. of the Collectio Dionysii Exigui, and in the Cresconian collection. We may add that this is supported by the Codex Frisingensis, which is nearly a thousand years old.

Still most of the oldest and best MSS. assign the composition to Pope Gelasius, and in particular the three excellent codices discovered last century, the Luccensis, Vaticanus, and Florentinus, which were edited by Mansi, Fontaninus, and Blanchinus. In addition to which Pope Gelasius is named as author by the most ancient ecclesiastical writers who mention the Index. To the same effect is the testimony of a document of the Abbey of S. Riquier of the year 832; and further, Abbot Ansegis of Fontenelle in 833, also Lupus of Ferrières, Hincmar of Reims, and Pope Nicholas I. To this it must be added that our Index contains a great deal which refers to a later period than that of Damasus. It refers, e.g., to the Œcumenical Synods of Ephesus and Chalcedon, and to the writings of S. Cyril of Alexandria, of S. Chrysostom and S. Augustine, of Pope Leo I., Prosper of Aquitaine, etc., so that a considerable portion of it cannot possibly be the work of Damasus. This, however, by no means excludes the supposition that certain parts of the Gelasian Decree may belong to Pope Damasus, and indeed the most recent investigations made by Dr. Thiel and Dr. Friedrich have established with certainty that the first third of the Gelasian Decree comes down from the time of Damasus. These two scholars have also settled, with an approach to certainty, the original text of the Gelasian Decree, Friedrich using for that purpose a codex, belonging to the Munich Library, of the eighth or ninth century, one of the most ancient existing manuscripts of this Decree. The text of this Munich codex agrees in all essential points with that which Dr. Thiel had established by a comparison of thirty-eight other MSS., that of Munich being unknown to him.

Thiel divides the whole Decree into five parts: (1) De Spiritu Sancto, (2) De Canone Scripturæ Sacræ, (3) De Sedibus patriarchalibus, (4) De Synodis œcumenicis, (5) De libris recipiendis. Of these five parts the first three, which constitute only the first chapter of the Decree, belong to Pope Damasus; whilst the last two parts, which are much more comprehensive than the first three, and constitute the second, third, and fourth chapters of the Decree, proceed from Pope Gelasius. As, however, the third successor of Gelasius, Pope Hormisdas († 523), renewed this Decree, and added several appendices, it came to pass that several manuscripts named him as author of the whole.

The division which belongs to Pope Damasus and a Roman Synod under him begins with the words, “Dictum est: prius agendum est de Spiritu septiformi, qui in Christo requiescit,” and then the biblical expressions, “Spiritus sapientiæ, consilii,” etc., are explained. To this is added an explanation of the expressions referring to Christ, “Dominus, Verbum, Filius, Pastor, Leo,” etc., and the whole concludes with the sentence, “Nominato itaque Patre et Filio intelligitur Spiritus Sanctus,” etc.

That it should be necessary to place at the head of a Decree an explanation of the doctrine of the Holy Spirit given by a Synod and a Pope, suits quite well the times of Pope Damasus, but not so well those of Gelasius.

The second section (again by Damasus) gives the canon of the Bible, and at the close are placed “Joannis apostoli epistola i.; Alterius Joannis presbyteri epistolæ ii.” This, again, is not suitable for Gelasius in whose time the three Epistles were quite definitely assigned to John the evangelist, but is quite suitable to Damasus, whose friend, S. Jerome, as is well known, assigned only the first of the three Johannean Epistles to the apostle, and the two others to the so-called Presbyter John.

The third section, by Pope Damasus, treats of the primacy of Rome and of the patriarchal Churches, and in particular declares: “Romana ecclesia nullis synodicis constitutis ceteris ecclesiis prælata est, sed evangelica voce Domini et Salvatoris nostri primatum obtinuit.” At the same time, the opinion, which has found many advocates in the ancient and the later Church, that Peter and Paul had not been martyred in the same year (uno tempore), was declared heretical. Then the Roman Church is designated and declared to be the first see of Peter, and “non habens maculam neque rugam nee aliquid hujusmodi”; the second see to be “apud Alexandriam,” dedicated in the name of Peter and of his disciple, the evangelist Mark; and the third that of Antioch, where Peter “priusquam Romam venisset, habitavit.”

To this third section of Damasus, Pope Gelasius added the two additional sections, “De Synodis œcumenicis,” and “De libris recipiendis,” chapters 2, 3, and 4 of the whole Decree. In the first it is said: “Sancta, i.e. Romana, ecclesia post illas veteris et novi testamenti, quas regulariter suscipimus, etiam has suscipi non prohibet Scripturas, id est: Sanctam Synodum Nicænam … sanctam synodum Ephesinam … sanctam synodum Chalcedonensem.” … As we see, and have remarked above (vol. ii. p. 373), the second Œcumenical Synod is not named, but Pope Hormisdas in his copy added this, and this is the first important addition belonging to him. The second he places after the notice of the Council of Chalcedon in these words: “Sed et si qua sunt concilia a sanctis patribus hactenus instituta, post horum auctoritatem et custodienda et recipienda et decernimus et mandamus.” To the Synod of Nicæa also he had added: “In qua Arius hæreticus condemnatus est.”

In chapter 3 the “libri recipiendi” of the Church Fathers, and in chapter 4 the “libri apocryphi qui non recipiuntur,” are defined, and here all those books which the Church of Rome rejects are designated as apocryphal, whether they are inserted surreptitiously (properly apocryphal) or are genuine. Thus, for example, the writings of Tertullian and of the Alexandrian Clement are named “apocrypha,” in the same way as the “Actus Andreæ apostoli” and “Thomæ apostoli,” etc. It is worthy of remark that among the “apocrypha” the “Opuscula Tascii Cypriani” are placed, whilst the “Opuscula b. Cæcilii Cypriani martyris et Carthaginensis episcopi” are the first among the commended books (c. 3). So these “Apocrypha Cypriani” must either have been books falsely attributed to S. Cyprian, or we must understand by Tascius Cyprianus another than S. Cyprian, whose name was also Tascius. It is further remarkable that the Church history, “Historia Eusebii Pamphili,” is in chapter 4 placed among the “apocrypha,” whilst in chapter 3 it is, together with the Chronicle of Eusebius, placed among the “libri recipiendi,” with the note: “Quamvis in primo narrationis suæ libro tepuerit (he has been lukewarm) et post in laudibus atque excusatione Origenis schismatici unum conscriperit librum, propter rerum tam singularum notitiam, quæ ad instructionem pertinent, usquequaque non dicimus renuendos.” Finally, “nonnulla opuscula “of Origen, “quæ vir beatissimus Hieronymus non repudiat,” are recognised, but the rest, together with their author, are rejected. The “Canones Apostolorum,” the “Pastor Hermæ,” and the writings of Arnobius, Lactantius, and Cassian, are also numbered among the “apocrypha.” The variations in this section, which are the work of Hormisdas, are of slighter significance.

Immediately after the Roman Synod just noticed, the Collections of Councils place a second, held at Rome under Gelasius, which took place in March (not in May) 495, and therefore should properly be placed before the other. Under the presidency of the Pope, there were present forty-five other bishops, together with many priests and deacons, and two laymen of distinction. The occasion of this Synod was the petition for readmission to the Church of Bishop Misenus, who had been one of the unfaithful legates of Pope Felix (see above, p. 30). His petition was presented at the first session of the Synod, on the 8th of March 495; there was, however, no resolution taken in the matter, and Gelasius therefore allowed the petition to be read anew at the second session. Misenus was now also permitted to appear before the Synod in person, and to present a second petition, which was also read, and which bears the date of March 13. This is probably the date of the second session, since we need not assume that a long interval had elapsed between this and the first session, March 8. In any case the subscription of our Acts gives the 13th of May (iii Idus Mail) as the date of the second session, but Pagi (ad ann. 495, n. 2), and others after him, have supposed that this is a mistake for iii Idus Martii.

After the reading of the two petitions, Pope Gelasius addressed the Synod, and in a rather long speech set forth the grounds on which they should receive Misenus back into the Church, and not drive him to despair since he had shown such deep repentance, and had pronounced anathema on all heresies and heretics; whilst his colleague Vitalis, who had committed the same fault at Constantinople, had died in the meantime, and on account of his sudden death could no longer be reconciled to the Church. All the bishops and priests gave their full approval to this proposal in liveliest acclamations, and thus Misenus was restored to favour. He appears again at a later period as member of a Roman Synod, A.D. 499.

SEC. 218. The last Synods of the Fifth Century

At the baptism of Chlodwig, on Christmas Day 496, some bishops of the Frankish kingdom were assembled in S. Martin’s Church at Reims, as we learn from a letter of Bishop Avitus of Vienne to Chlodwig, and from a letter of Bishop Nicetius of Trier (Trèves); but their meeting is scarcely to be regarded as a Synod.

We are told of a Synod at Constantinople, which was held in the year 497 or 498, by Victor of Tununum, Theophanes, and the Libellus Synodicus, but unfortunately the testimonies are not clear, nor are they in agreement. Theophanes says (ad ann. 491 of the Alexandrian = 498 of the ordinary reckoning): “In this year Bishop Macedonius of Constantinople, by the advice of the Emperor (Anastasius), endeavoured to unite with himself the monasteries of the metropolis, which had separated (from the patriarch and the Henotickers) on account of the Henoticon. As, however, there was no result, he advised the Emperor to summon a σύνοδος ἐνδημοῦσα, in order to approve of the good decrees of Chalcedon (τὰ καλῶς δογματισθέντα), and this was done.”

With this agrees the Libellus Synodicus, stating: “Macedonius held a Synod, which confirmed in writing the decrees of Chalcedon, but from fear of the Emperor Anastasius passed over the Henoticon in silence.”

But the very reverse seems to be found in Victor of Tununum, since he writes, ad ann. 497: “Macedonius Constantinopolitanus episcopus synodo facta condemnat eos qui Chalcedonensis decreta synodi suscipiunt, et eos qui Nestorii et Eutychis defendunt.” Macedonius appears here plainly as a heretic, who indeed, on the one hand, rejected the Nestorian and Eutychian doctrines, but, on the other hand, refused to accept the Synod of Chalcedon, that is, the positive part of it, its declaration of faith. As, however, the Synod had also a negative part, namely, the rejection of the Nestorian and Eutychian doctrines, Mansi thinks that we can reconcile the testimonies of Theophanes and Victor by supposing that the former understood by the καλῶς δογματισθέντα, not all the decrees of Chalcedon, but only those against the heretics, the negative part; and that Macedonius, at his Synod, confirmed this, which was a principal part of the decrees, but not the positive part, because this must of necessity have condemned the Henoticon. More than this he thinks that Victor of Tununum could not properly say, since he himself only a little later mentions that Macedonius was soon afterwards deposed by the Emperor Anastasius, because he would not pronounce anathema on the Council of Chalcedon. With such a disposition, it would be clear that Macedonius himself could not, in the year 497, have pronounced the rejection of all parts of the Synod of Chalcedon.

This seems correct, and we allow that in this manner a harmony may be established between Theophanes and Victor; but not between the latter and the Libellus Synodicus. Besides, there must still remain the doubt whether Macedonius could have believed that the monks of Constantinople, particularly the Acœmetæ, who were strict adherents of the Synod of Chalcedon, would be reconciled with him and the Henoticans, if he approved of only one part of the Chalcedonian decrees, and expressly rejected the other, as we must suppose from the testimony of Victor.

Through the same Victor of Tununum we learn of a further Synod at Constantinople in the year 499. This also falls under the episcopate of Macedonius; Victor, however, says nothing of this bishop having taken part in it, but only relates that the Emperor Anastasius, when Flavian was bishop of Antioch, and Philoxenus was bishop of Jerusalem, held a Synod at Constantinople, which, on the one hand, anathematised Diodorus of Tarsus and Theodore of Mopsuestia, together with their writings; and on the other, Theodoret of Cyrus, Ibas of Edessa, Andrew (of Samosata), Eucherius (Eutherius), Quirus (Cyrus), John (of Antioch), and all who accept two natures and two forms in Christ, together with the Roman Bishop Leo and his tome (his famous letter to Flavian of Constantinople), and also the Synod of Chalcedon.

To the same year also belongs a Roman Synod, which Pope Symmachus held on the 1st of March 499 in the Basilica of S. Peter, and at which seventy-two bishops were present. Its aim was to take precautions that at future papal elections there should not again be such painful divisions and faction fights as had happened on the former occasion. A few days after the death of Pope Anastasius II., on the 22nd of November 498, Symmachus, until then a deacon of the Roman Church, a native of Sardinia, had been elected Pope in the Basilica of Constantine (i.e. in the Lateran Church). But on the same day another party elected, in S. Mary’s Church (Maria Maggiore), the Archpresbyter Lawrence, and in fact the imperial commissioner, the Patrician Festus, had brought about this election by a great expenditure of money, in the hope that Lawrence might be inclined to accept the Henoticon of Zeno. Both Symmachus and Lawrence were immediately consecrated; but Symmachus was first, and, besides, he had the majority on his side. People, clergy, and senate were divided into two parties, between whom it came not unfrequently to sanguinary conflicts. In order to put an end to this critical state of things, the two parties agreed to go to Ravenna, and submit the controversy for decision to King Theoderic, the Ostrogoth, who, although an Arian, was then master of Rome. This was done, and Theoderic decided that, “whichever had been first ordained, or whichever had the majority on his side, should possess the see”; and thus his judgment was in favour of Symmachus, who soon after summoned the Synod in question. So Anastasius relates, and in part also Theodorus Lector, who are followed by Theophanes and Nicephorus Callisti; only that the latter speak merely of the Synod summoned in the year 501 by King Theoderic, whilst they are silent respecting that of the year 499. But that this was convoked by Pope Symmachus and not by the King, its Acts repeatedly declare quite expressly.

At the opening of this Roman Synod, Archdeacon Fulgentius made an address to Pope Symmachus, pointing out that the Synod which he had convoked from all parts of Italy had assembled, and the Pope should now communicate the measures which should be taken for preserving the Church from injury, and for the establishment of its peace. All present supported this request with acclamation, and Pope Symmachus explained how it was that, in spite of its being winter, he had assembled the bishops, and that the formation of a fixed rule for the ordination of a Roman bishop was necessary, in order to avoid, for the future, all divisions, agitations, and risings of the people. The bishops again gave their approval, and the papal notary Æmilian read the following statute:—

1. If a priest or other cleric, during the lifetime of the Pope, and without his previous knowledge, should venture to put down his signature for the future election, or promise a voting paper, or give an assurance on oath, or promise a vote, or attend at private meetings for the purpose of holding consultations and taking resolutions on this subject, he shall be deprived of his office and of Church communion.—The Synod gave its assent with loud approval.

2. The same punishment shall be inflicted on anyone who is proved, in the lifetime of a Pope, to have canvassed for the succession, or has made attempts in that way.—Again all the bishops declared their assent.

3. Should the Pope (which God forbid!) die unexpectedly, and so be unable to make any provision for the election of a successor, then, if the collected clergy elect one unanimously, he shall be consecrated. If, however, as often happens, the opinions and votes are divided, the judgment of the majority shall prevail. And every elector who, having bound himself by a promise, has not given his vote freely in the election, shall be deprived of his spiritual office.

4. Whoever brings to knowledge a violation of this ordinance, even if he was himself a participator in the offence, shall not only remain unpunished, but shall even be rewarded.—Again they all signified their approval; and after Symmachus had addressed a few closing words to the members, they subscribed to the number of seventy-two bishops, including the Pope, sixty-nine priests, and six deacons.

Among the priests who signed stands first the Archpresbyter Cœlius Lawrence, the very man who had been raised by the schismatical party to be antipope. He had made submission, and had expressed this indubitably by adding to his subscription: “Subscripsi et consensi synodalibus constitutis, atque in hac me profiteor manere sententia.” That he received the bishopric of Nocera in consequence of this submission, and indeed “intuitu misericordiæ,” Anastasius tells us, but without suggesting so definitely as Baronius imagined that this had been decided by our Synod. In this respect Pagi has already with propriety combated him; but he also was mistaken when he attributed this advancement of Lawrence to a Roman Synod of the year 500, since no such Synod met in that year, as the Bollandists and Mansi showed, so that Lawrence was promoted to the bishopric of Nocera either by the Synod of 499 or immediately afterwards by Pope Symmachus.

But scarcely was this peace built up when, in the following year, it was overthrown, and the exasperation of both parties found expression in acts of great violence, so that new Synods became necessary in order to restore peace to the Church. These all, however, fall into the sixth century, and thus belong to the next book. We must, however, turn our attention to a plenary or patriarchal Council of the Nestorians in Persia, which was held in the second year of King Zamasches (Giamasabas), i.e. in the year 499, and under the presidency of the Patriarch Babæus. At an earlier Persian Synod we met with a Babu or Babuæus as overmetropolitan of Seleucia-Ctesiphon, and saw him in violent conflict with the Metropolitan Barsumas of Nisibis (see above, sec. 213). Soon afterwards, in the year 485, Babu was taken off in consequence of political suspicion which Barsabas had excited against him, and Acacius was raised to succeed him. He excommunicated Barsabas and his adherents, and thus arose a schism among the Nestorians, which lasted on even after the death of Barsumas. When, however, Acacius, in the year 498, was succeeded by Babæus, who was up to this time a layman and married, the latter took measures for the removal of the schism, and the Synod convoked by him in the year 499 did, in fact, reconcile the parties, and renewed not only the previous precedence of the see of Seleucia-Ctesiphon, but raised it to patriarchal dignity, the possessor of which should bear the title Catholicus; in this way separating Seleucia from the patriarchate of Antioch, to which it had hitherto belonged. Moreover, the Synod repeated the permission given at an earlier period, that all clerics, even bishops and monks, might live in monogamy, and ordered the regular holding of provincial and patriarchal Synods. The former were to be celebrated once a year, and the latter every four years in the month of October.

SEC. 219. Religious Conference in the Kingdom of Burgundy, at Lyons

We close the twelfth book with an assembly which, without being a Council in the proper sense, yet deserves to be mentioned here. This is the religious conference which was held at Lyons between the orthodox and Arian bishops of Burgundy, with the permission of Gundobald, the Arian king of Burgundy, and in his presence. That it took place on the feast of S. Justus (who had been bishop of Lyons in the second half of the fourth century) and on the following day, therefore on the 2nd and 3rd of September, is expressly stated in the Acts of this Collatio, first edited by d’Achery in his Spicilegium, t. v. p. 110. The year, however, is doubtful, and scholars waver from 499 to 501. It is a decided error of Baronius to place it in A.D. 494 (ad ann. 494, n. 68). Pagi decided for 501 (ad ann. 501, n. 4), and many have followed him; but others prefer the year 499. A quite certain result is no longer attainable; but we believe that we must decide for the year 499, and shall give our reasons below. Archbishop Stephen of Lyons had, for this assembly, invited many bishops to the festival of S. Justus, and prominent among those who came were Avitus of Vienne, Æonius of Arles, Apollinaris of Valence, and the bishop of Marseilles. His name, according to the Histoire littéraire de la France, is supposed to have been Chartenius.

They all betook themselves first to Sardiniacum, i.e. Savigny, in Burgundy, where the King resided, in order to pay their respects to him; and Avitus of Vienne, though he was first neither in age nor in rank, yet, on account of his learning and personal importance, became spokesman, and, after the salutations were over, proposed to the King the holding of a religious conference, in order to discuss which was the true faith. Gundobald replied: “If your faith is the true one, why do not your bishops restrain the King of the Franks (Chlodwig) from proclaiming war upon me, and making a union with my enemies? When a man covets what is not his own, the true faith is not with him.” Avitus answered very discreetly: “We know not why the Frankish King acts in such a manner; but Holy Scripture tells us that kingdoms often perish because they forsake the law of God, and that whoever fights against God (or the true faith) will himself be withstood in turn. But if you, with your people, return to the law of God, then God will also give you peace again.” The King: “How? I do acknowledge the law of God, but three Gods I will not admit.” Thereupon Avitus defended the orthodox faith against the reproach of tritheism, and again prayed for the holding of a religious conference, embracing, with the other bishops, the King’s knees whilst he made his request. Gundobald raised them graciously, and promised them an answer.

The answer came next day, when the King, who himself had gone to Lyons, called Avitus and Archbishop Stephen to him again, and declared to them: “Your wish shall be fulfilled; for my bishops are ready to prove that no one can be coeternal and consubstantial with God.” He immediately required that some speakers should be selected from each side, and that the conference should not be held in public, so that no disturbances should arise. The time of meeting he fixed for the following day, the festival of S. Justus, the place the royal residence.

The orthodox bishops spent the night in prayer at the grave of S. Justus, and the Lessons appointed for the day offered them a gloomy prospect; for they treated of the hardening of Egypt (Ex. 7.), and of the blinding of the people (Isa. 6.). Next day they betook themselves to the residence with many priests and deacons, and also some Catholic laymen, particularly two royal officers of high rank, Placidus and Lucanus. In like manner did the Arians. Avitus was the representative speaker of the orthodox and Bonifacius of their opponents, and the admirable speech of Avitus (the original document calls it Ciceronian), in which he proved the orthodox faith from the Scriptures, made such an impression that Bonifacius, instead of bringing forward arguments to meet him, could only take refuge in abuse, e.g. that the Catholics were polytheists. Remarking the consternation of his party, the King broke up the first session, and declared that Bonifacius should answer Avitus on the following day.

When the Catholics assembled at the appointed time next day in the royal palace, Aredius, one of the highest officials of Gundobald, tried to persuade them to go back, because the King had no fondness for such controversies. But Archbishop Stephen knew that Aredius, although himself a Catholic, favoured the Arians, and rejected his suggestion. Gundobald, however, greeted the comers, and conversed for some time with Avitus and Stephen on the subject, that his own brother Godegisel had been stirred up against him by the King of the Franks. Godegisel was king of the second half of the Burgundian kingdom, with the chief cities of Geneva and Besançon. The bishops replied that, if Gundobald became united in faith with Chlodwig, a political union could more easily be brought about, and they would be ready to use their best exertions to bring it about. Without answering this the King opened the new second conference, and Avitus was again the first speaker, most powerfully refuting the reproach of polytheism which Bonifacius had cast the day before. When he had finished, and it became Bonifacius’ turn to speak, as before, he could say nothing but general insulting reproaches, and at the same time shouted in such a violent manner that he became quite hoarse, and was unable to go on speaking. No other Arian ventured to take his place; and as the King got up angrily at Boniface, Avitus made one other proposal, that a miracle should decide, and they should agree to go together to the grave of S. Justus, and interrogate this dead saint as to the true faith. The Arians, however, declared that this would be a sacrilege, which had been punished in the case of Saul (1 Sam. 28:11ff.); besides, the Holy Scriptures spoke more powerfully for them than any calling up of spirits.

Thus ended the business. The King took Avitus and Stephen with him into his chamber, and begged them to pray for him. He was shaken, but he was not won; and, whilst many of his subjects returned to the orthodox Church in consequence of this colloquy, he himself remained in the snares of the heresy. “Quod Pater eum non traxerat,” says the record, “non potuit venire ad Filium.” King Gundobald, however, remained in friendly correspondence with Avitus, and we permit ourselves, on account of its importance, to bring forward one point from it which is calculated to throw some light on the ecclesiastical term Missa. The King once asked Avitus the sense of the passage Mark 7:11, 12, which, in the Latin translation of the time, ran as follows: “Vos autum dicitis, si dixerit homo patri suo aut matri, Corbau tibi profuerit, et jam non missum facitis eum quidquam facere patri aut matri,” i.e. “Ye, however, say, If a man says to his father or his mother: Corban will profit thee (i.e. What I offer in the temple, will also be a benefit to thee), ye allow him to do nothing more for his father or his mother.” Gundobald took special offence at the expression “Non missum facitis”; and Avitus remarked in a letter in reply: “ ‘Non missum facitis’ is just as much as ‘non dimittis’ (i.e. ye set him not free, ye allow him not to do anything for his father), and in the churches, and also in the halls of judgment, it is customary, when the people are dismissed, to call out ‘Missa est.’ ‘In ecclesiis palatiisque sive prætoriis missa fieri pronunciatur, cum populus ab observatione dimittitur.’ ” We see from this that at that time the formula “Missa est” or “Missa fit” was used also at the close of the sitting of courts. We learn still further through Sirmond, in his learned notes on the letters of Avitus, that the expression, “Ite, missa est,” was in ancient times, and partly in the Middle Ages, used not merely at the holy Sacrifice, but also at other religious services; and for this reason also Matins was called Missæ Matutinæ, and Vespers, Missæ Vespertinæ.








Copyright ©1999-2018 e-Catholic2000.com