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

SEC. 289. Synods between the Years 600 and 630

THE series of these Synods is opened by a Roman Synod under Gregory the Great, which took place, according to the reckoning of Pagi (ad ann. 601, n. 11 and 12), in the year 600, and certainly in October (not November, as Pagi assumed), and was occupied with the condemnation of the monk Andrew, and also with the matter of the Abbot Probus. That Greek monk Andrew belonged to the Aphthardocetæ (sec. 208), and, in order to sustain his errors, had falsified several passages of the Fathers, as we know from Photius (Biblioth. Cod. 162). He was opposed especially by Archbishop Eusebius of Thessalonica (Photius gives, l.c., extracts from his ten books against Andrew); the monk, however, also falsified a letter of this archbishop, so that it seemed to give a quite heterodox meaning. This is related by Gregory the Great in his letter to Eusebius, with the remark that the bearer of this letter, the lector Theodore, would give information, by word of mouth, on the other misdeeds of Andrew, and at the same time report what the Synod had decided respecting him. The second thing that we know of this Synod is that they communicated to the Abbot Probus of S. Andrew the permission requested by him, to leave by testament, in favour of his son, the property which he had left in the world, because he had been so suddenly elected abbot from his lay position that he had no previous opportunity of clearing up this matter.

A short time afterwards Gregory the Great, with twenty-four bishops and many priests and deacons, celebrated again a Synod in the Lateran Church in Rome, on the 5th of April 601, and in the name of Jesus Christ, and by virtue of the authority of S. Peter, published the decree: “No bishop or layman may damage the property of a monastery under any pretext whatever. If there is a controversy as to whether a property belongs to the church of a bishop or to a monastery, umpires must decide. If an abbot dies, the brothers shall freely and unanimously elect as his successor, not a stranger, but one of the same community (congregatio = monastic body). If no suitable person can be found in the monastery, then the monks shall take care that one from another monastery shall be appointed (ordinandum curent). During the lifetime of the abbot no other head shall be appointed over the monastery, unless the abbot has committed some offence interdicted by the canons. No monk may, against the will of the abbot, be selected for the guiding of other monasteries (ad ordinanda alia monasteria), or for the reception of consecration. The bishop may not make an inventory of the goods of the monastery, and even after the death of the abbot he must not interfere in the affairs of the monastery; may not hold public mass in the monastery, so that there may be no meeting of people, or women; may set up no pulpit in it, nor introduce any regulation, nor, without the assent of the abbot, appoint any of the monks to any ecclesiastical service.”

All the bishops answered: “We rejoice at the liberties of the monks, and confirm what your Holiness has promulgated on this subject.”

The Venerable Bede refers to one or properly two British Synods of A.D. 601. The Abbot Augustine, whom Gregory the Great had appointed at the head of the Anglo-Saxon mission, and had raised to be archbishop of Canterbury, had not merely to convert the still heathen Anglo-Saxons, but also bring back the deeply fallen ancient Britons to ecclesiastical order. With the help of the Anglo-Saxon King Ethelbert of Kent, whom he had first converted, he succeeded, after many difficulties, in bringing the old British bishops and teachers to a meeting with him at a place in Worcestershire, since named Augustinaizac (Augustine’s oak)—(Synodus Wigornensis: Vigornia = Worcester), He exhorted them to maintain peace with him, and to support him in the conversion of the heathen Anglo-Saxons, and to give up their inaccurate way of finding Easter (see vol. i. p. 330, sec. 37). As they would not consent, Augustine proposed that a miracle should decide whether the Roman or the British tradition was the correct one; and immediately a blind man was brought from the people of the Anglo-Saxons. The British prelates were unable to help him by their prayers; but Augustine succeeded so decidedly, that the others declared themselves overcome; but added that they could not, by themselves alone, and without the assent of their friends, consent to abandon their old usages; so that a greater Synod must be held.

This took place, and was attended by seven British bishops and many teachers, particularly from the British monastery of Bangor (in North Wales). Before they came to the Synod, the Britons visited a distinguished anchorite of their people, in order to invite his counsel. He declared: “If Augustine, on your arrival, rises from his seat to greet you, then he is humble and a man of God, and then you must follow him. If he does not so, you need not trouble yourselves about his words.” When they arrived, Augustine (more Romano) did not rise from his seat, and therefore the Britons obstinately withstood his three demands—that (a) in regard to Easter, and (b) in regard to the rite of baptism, they should conform to the Roman Church; and (c) that they should share the mission among the Anglo-Saxons. With regard to other matters, he would leave them with their own peculiarities. When Augustine was unable to overcome their self-will, he spoke prophetically. “Since you will not have peace with us, you shall have war from enemies; and since you will not help us to proclaim life to the Angles, these will bring death as a punishment to you.” This happened shortly, in fact, through King Ethelfrid of Northumberland, who among others caused 1200 monks of Bangor (the monastery numbered 2100 persons) to be cut down, because they had taken part in war against him.

The old biographer of S. Betharius, bishop of Chartres, refers to a Synod at Sens, A.D. 601. The latter was himself present there. The occasion of the assembly was given by Pope Gregory the Great, who had requested, by letters to the Kings, to Brunehilde, to Virgilius of Arles, and others, that Synods should be held in order to remove various differences in France, particularly simony. This is probably the same Synod to which also S. Columbanus, then abbot of Luxovium (Luxenil) in the Vosges, was invited, but did not come. If he did, this must have been the Synod at which the Frankish bishops asked Columbanus to give up his Irish (= British) manner of reckoning Easter; but he answered them in a manner but little friendly.

In the year 602, Pope Gregory the Great (Epist. lib. xii. Ep. 32) requested the bishops of the Byzacene province in Africa to examine the accusations against their Primate Clementius at a Synod. A similar demand was addressed to the Numidian bishops, in order to institute an inquiry into the case of the deacon Donadeus, who, on account of unjust deposition, had appealed to Rome, and that of Bishop Paulinus, who had practised simony, and was said to have been furious with his clergy (Gregor. Epist. lib. xii. Epp. 8 and 28). Whether such a Synod took place is not known.

In the following year, 603, S. Desiderius, archbishop of Vienne, was deposed at a Synod at Chalons sur Saone, by the intrigues of Queen Brunehilde and Archbishop Avidius of Lyons, and Donnulus was raised to his place. King Theoderic thereupon sent the persecuted bishop into exile, and when he returned, had him stoned.

That a Synod at London, about the year 605, under Augustine of Canterbury, Mellitus of London, etc., forbade marriages in the third degree of relationship, we know from a letter of S. Boniface, the apostle of the Germans, to Pope Zacharias. On Christmas of the year 605, King Ethelbert of Kent is said to have confirmed and endowed the monastery of SS. Peter and Paul at Canterbury, at a Synod held at Canterbury.

It is briefly related in the Roman pontifical book that Pope Boniface III. (A.D. 606) held a Synod of seventy-two bishops and many priests, etc., in S. Peter’s Church at Rome, and there promulgated the decree that, so long as a bishop lives, no one should speak of his successor, and no one should venture to get up a party for himself. Not until the third day after the burial should the election of the new bishop be undertaken by the clergy.

We receive a short account of another Roman Synod, held A.D. 610, through the Venerable Bede, who (lib. ii. c. 4) relates that Bishop Mellitus of London had travelled to Rome, in order to take counsel with Pope Boniface IV. on certain matters of importance which affected the English Church. He says that the Pope, with the bishops of Italy, now held a Synod, in order to draw up ordinances de vita monachorum et quiete. Mellitus himself was present there, Feb. 27, 610, signed the decrees, and took them back with him to England as guides, with the letters of the Pope to Archbishop Lawrence of Canterbury (the successor of Augustine), to the clergy collectively, and to King Ethelbert. Bede tells us nothing more in particular; but the learned Lucas Holstein believed that he had discovered a decree of our Synod, and the letter belonging to it of Pope Boniface IV. to King Ethelbert. The former declares: “Some maintain that monks may not become priests, and administer the sacraments of baptism and penance. This is quite untrue. Gregory (the Great), Augustine, the apostle of the Angles, and Martin of Tours were monks, and nevertheless became bishops. Benedict also, the great teacher of the monks, has not refused to them the reception of the priesthood. They shall only abstain from secular employments; and this applies not merely to monks, but also to canons. The priest-monks, like the canons, are called angeli, i.e. messengers, because they announce the commands of God. The different orders of angels, however, are so much higher, as they stand nearer to the Lord, when they behold Him. Are not the monks, then, like the cherubim, covered with six wings? Two are for the covering of the head, two others are formed for the covering of the two arms, and also the garment which wraps the body has two wings. No one, therefore, must any longer try to exclude monks from the priestly office; for the more exalted anyone is, the more power he will have.”

After this quotation, it is no wonder if the document is almost universally regarded as spurious, and the work of a later monk. Remi Ceillier (Histoire des auteurs sacrés, t. xvii. p. 778) thought it not probable that the Pope and so many bishops should have amused themselves with the (trifling) allegorising of the monk’s habit. Still more strong are the utterances on the subject of Du Pin (Nouvelle Bibliothèque, ed. Mons 1692, t. vi. p. 12, under Boniface IV.) and Bower (History of the Popes, vol. iv.). We may add that the manner in which canons are here spoken of points to a time later than Chrodegang, although the expression Canonici clerici appears earlier (sec. 251).

The supposed letter of Pope Boniface IV. to King Ethelbert contains only a confirmation of the monastery founded at Canterbury, and betrays its spuriousness by the statement that Bishop Mellitus had journeyed to Rome on account of this matter (alone), whilst, apart from every other consideration, this monastery did not belong to his diocese.

Less doubtful, but yet not entirely uncontested, is our information respecting a provincial Synod at Toledo, A.D. 610. The short minutes ascribed to it say that the bishops of the whole Cathaginian province had recognised the see of Toledo as metropolitan see, and in this they were saying nothing new, but only recognising the privilege which it had long possessed (sec. 241). A fuller explanation is given in a contemporaneous decree of the West Gothic King Gundemar, in which he also, on his side, ordains that the whole Carthaginian province must be subject to the metropolitan of Toledo. He adds that this had been contested by several bishops, and that they had endeavoured to split the Carthaginian civil province into two ecclesiastical ones, resting upon this that Bishop Euphemius of Toledo, at the Synod of the year 589 (sec. 287), in his subscription, had entitled himself only metropolitan of the province of Carpetania. Euphemius had done this, said the King, only by mistake, for Carpetania was not a province, but only a regio, a part of the Carthaginiensis provincia. As the other civil provinces, Lusitania, Bætica, Tarragonensis, had each only one metropolitan, this must be the case also with the Carthaginian, and whoever should endeavour to disturb this order, besides the ecclesiastical punishment (threatened by the Synod), would feel the severity of the King. Along with the King, twenty-six archbishops and bishops subscribed, who were at the royal court, foremost among them S. Isidore of Seville.

Finally, the collectors of Councils added to our Synod three short petitions from persons belonging to the diocese of Mentesa (in the province of Toledo), in which they prayed that a certain Æmilian, by them much commended, should be made bishop. These three documents, however, certainly belong to another time, since another Bishop of Mentesa, James, was present at our Synod.

Under the successor of Gundemar, King Sisebut, Archbishop Eusebius of Tarragona, celebrated a provincial Synod at Egara with his suffragans on January 13, 614. That this city is identical with the present Terrassa, near Barcelona, was shown by Baluze in a special dissertation. The Synod of Egara, however, contented itself with enforcing anew the ordinances of the Council of Huesca in regard to the celibacy of the clergy.

After Chlotar II., by the death of his cousins, had become sole governor of all the Frankish kingdoms, A.D. 613, he summoned the bishops of his empire to a general Synod at Paris (Parisiensis v.), which was the greatest of all the Frankish Synods up to this time, and was attended by no fewer than seventy-nine bishops. In the Collections of Councils (Mansi, t. x. p. 539 sqq.; Hardouin, t. iii. p. 531) we find the Acts, as has been frequently remarked, not quite complete. In the year 1867, however, Professor Friedrich gave the whole minutes of the Synod from a parchment manuscript at Munich (“Three unedited Councils of the Merovingian Period”). In this Munich codex the Acts of this Synod fall into a Præfatio and seventeen canons, whilst in the Collections of Councils there are only fifteen of the latter. This arises from the fact that the former canon 1 is with Friedrich divided into two canons, and the Munich canon 4 is entirely lacking in he previous editions. Besides, canon 2 (in Friedrich, 3) was hitherto not quite perfect. Finally, there comes a closing formula along with the subscriptions. From this formula it results that the Synod was celebrated vi Jd. Octobr. (October 10) in the Basilica of S. Peter (later S. Geneviève) in Paris, in the thirty-first year of Chlotar, i.e. A.D. 614, which was not certainly known before. At the close of the previous text it was simply said: “Huic synodo subscripserunt episcopi num. 79”; but the Munich codex gives the names of these seventy-nine bishops, with whom also an abbot was associated. In the first place subscribed Archbishop Aridius of Lyons, and after him followed Florianus of Arles, Domulus of Vienne, Hidulf of Rouen, Sabaudus of Trier, Proardus of Besançon, Solacius of Cöln, Austrigisius of Bourges, Arnegisilus of Bordeaux, Lupus of Sens, Sunnacius of Reims, and Loodomundus of Elusa. They came together, as the preface says, partly to renew ancient canons in accordance with the need of the time, partly to remedy the grievances complained of on all sides, and to take care for the interests of the prince, the people, and the Church. The seventeen canons run:—

1. The old canons must in everything be again observed.

2. After the death of a bishop, he must be ordained as his successor whom the metropolitan with his comprovincials and the clergy and laity of the city in question have elected without simony. Any other ordination is irrita. (As remarked, cc. 1 and 2 were in previous collections c. 1.)

3 (hitherto 2). No bishop may, during his lifetime, elect his successor; and so long as the bishop lives, no one may, under any pretext whatever, usurp his place, nor be ordained, unless when it is clear that the bishop is unable to govern his church and clergy. (Addition in the Munich codex: Whoever resists this ordinance falls under canonical punishment.)

4 (new). We have unanimously decreed that if a bishop deposes an abbot uncanonically (quia frates nostri sunt), which will probably never happen, the latter shall appeal to the Synod. In case, however, the bishop dies, his successor shall reinstate the abbot.

5 (hitherto 3). No cleric, in whatever dignity he may stand, may, with contempt of his bishop (contempto episcopo), apply to a prince or magnate, and select him as patron. Such an one should not be received, unless he can obtain forgiveness (on the part of the bishop). Whoever acts in opposition to this will be punished in accordance with the ancient canons.

6 (4). No secular judge may punish any cleric without knowledge of the bishop. If he does so, he must be excluded from the Church until he recognises his fault, and amends.

7 (5). Liberated slaves stand under ecclesiastical protection, and may no longer be demanded back for the Exchequer. If anyone endeavours to deprive them of liberty, or demands them back for the Exchequer, and does not listen to the exhortation of the bishops, he is excommunicated.

8 (6). That which is given for the maintenance of churches shall be administered in accordance with the will of the giver by the bishop, priest, or cleric serving the church in question. If anyone takes anything from it, he is excommunicated.

9 (7). If a bishop or other cleric dies, the church and private property which he leaves behind may not be meddled with, not even at the command of a King or judge, but it must be preserved by the archdeacon or clergy until the instructions of the will are learnt. Whoever acts in opposition to this is to be excluded from the communion as a murderer of the poor.

10 (8). Even the bishop and archdeacon may not, which hitherto has frequently happened, seize upon what has been left (præsidium, see Du Cange, s.v.) by an abbot or priest or other minister of a church (= titulus) for himself or his church, but it must remain for the place (church) to which the departed has bequeathed it.

11 (9). No bishop or layman may lay claim to the goods of another bishop, or to a church or private property, or take and keep it from anyone, under the pretext of the protection of the kingdom or of a (new) division of the provinces.

12 (10). The testaments of the bishops and of all clerics, in which they make gifts to the church, or to anyone, must have validity, even when they are not quite in accordance with the forms of secular law.

11 (11). If a bishop has a trial with another bishop, he must apply to the metropolitan, and not to the secular judge.

14 (12). No monk, and no nun (monacha), may go back again from the cloister, under penalty of excommunication ad exitum vitæ.

15 (13). Virgins and widows who, remaining in their abodes, have put on the religious habit, or on whom their parents have put it, may not marry.

16 (14). Incestuous marriages are forbidden.

17 (15). No Jew may exercise military or official authority over Christians. If he does so, he must be baptized with his family.

On the 18th of October 615, King Chlotar II. issued an edict, in which he confirmed the ordinances of the Synod, and repeated them with some additions. The most important of these are as follows:—To canon 2: One who is canonically elected bishop needs the confirmation of the King (per ordinationem, principis ordinetur). To c. 6: Only in civil affairs may the secular judge not take proceedings against clerics without knowledge of the bishop, but certainly in criminal cases, and if the fault lies quite open. Only priests and deacons are here excepted. Matters of dispute between laymen and clerics shall be decided by the secular judge and the spiritual superior in common. To c. 9: If anyone has died without a testament, his relations shall inherit according to the law. The King further promises the removal of unfair impositions, and many other good arrangements, and says at the close that he has given these ordinances at the Council in common with the bishops and nobles.

Another Frankish Council, perhaps also at Paris (when is unknown), enforced the ordinances of the above Synod at Paris again, and added new directions. Of its canons there are ten extant, viz.: Nos. 1, 2, 4, 5, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, and the beginning of No. 15. They run:—

1. The ordinances of the Synod of Paris and King Chlotar remain in force.

2. Only in those churches in which relics of the saints are found may altars be consecrated.

4. Monks shall live according to rule in common, and have no property.

5. No baptisms may be held in monasteries, nor divine service for departed people of the world; and the bodies of such persons may not be buried there, except with consent of the bishop.

8. No cleric may have a strange woman in his house.

9. The right of asylum is confirmed.

11. Abbots and archpresbyters without fault may not be deposed nor set up for money. Moreover, no layman must be raised to be an archdeacon, unless when the bishop regards it as quite necessary for the defence of the Church.

12. Priests and deacons may on no account marry, on pain of exclusion from the Church.

13. If the bishop or a priest has excommunicated any one, he must give notice to the neighbouring cities or parishes, with a statement of the offence committed. If anyone, after receiving such information, nevertheless has intercourse with the excommunicated person, he shall be excommunicated for two years.

14. If freemen have sold or pledged themselves for money, they return immediately into their state as soon as they repay the sum received; and no more shall be demanded of them than has been given for them.

15. Of this only the following words remain: “Si quis Christianorum diœcesim, quæ ab anterioribus episcopis.”

This Synod is perhaps identical with that which is mentioned by the almost contemporaneous Frankish historian Fredegar. It was held by Chlotar, with the bishops and barons of Burgundy, in the thirty-third year of his reign (618), in the Villa Bonogelo (Bonneuil, in the neighbourhood of Paris and Meaux).

Among the Synods is reckoned also a meeting in Kent, where the three bishops, Mellitus of London, Lawrence of Canterbury, and Justus of Rochester, took the resolution to leave the Anglo-Saxon kingdom and to flee to Gaul, because, in the kingdoms of Kent and Essex, heathenism had again become dominant.

A rather large and wordy set of minutes exist of the provincial Synod which Isodore of Seville held with his suffragans in the Jerusalem Church of his episcopal city on November 13, 619 (Hispalensis II.). Two royal officials were also present, and many clerics. They decreed, with many references to analogies in secular legislation:—

1. The bishopric of Malaga shall receive back those districts which were torn from it by war, and came to the bishoprics of Astigis, Elvira, and Agabro (Egabra).

2. The controversy about boundaries between the bishops of Astigis and Corduba shall be decided by a commission.

3. No cleric may, without the consent of his bishop, pass into the service of another church.

4. In the diocese of Astigis some men who had married widows were recently ordained Levites. This ordination is invalid.

5. The departed Bishop Anianus of Egabra ordained a priest and two deacons in this wise, that he, being blind, only laid his hand on them, whilst a priest gave the benediction. This ordination is invalid.

6. The priest Fragitanus of Corduba, whom his bishop improperly deposed, is restored, and it is declared that no individual bishop, but only the provincial Council, may depose a priest or deacon.

7. The setting up and consecration of an altar, and also the confirmation, the public reconciliation of a penitent in the Mass, etc., can be completed only by a bishop, not by a priest.

8. Elisæus, a freedman of the Church of Egabra, is condemned to slavery again, because he has injured the bishop and the Church of Egabra.

9. Some of the bishops present have laymen for stewards. According to c. 26 of Chalcedon (sec. 200, vol. iii. p. 410), only clerics are to be appointed to such a post.

10. The newly-erected monasteries in the province of Bætica are confirmed, and every kind of plundering or the removal of a monastery is forbidden to bishops on pain of missing salvation.

11. The convents for women in Bætica shall be administered and guided by monks. The latter must, however, dwell apart, and they may converse only with the superior, and with her before witnesses.

12. A Monophysite bishop from Syria, after disputations for several days, put forward an orthodox confession of faith, and was received.

13. Further, the orthodox doctrine, in opposition to the Monophysites, of the duality of the natures and the unity of the person was fully explained, and proved by many passages from the Bible and the Fathers.

From an anonymous history of the Armenian patriarchs, Galanus, who translated it (Conciliatio Eccles. Armen. t. i. p. 185), gained the intelligence, that the Armenian patriarch Esra (Jeser Necainus), who was attached to the orthodox faith, endeavoured to drive away the Monophysite heresy from his people, and to this end asked help of the Emperor Heraclius, who had come to Armenia in his expedition against the Persian King Chsoroes. Supported by him the patriarch, about the year 622, held a great Synod at Garin or Charnum (later, Theodosiopolis) in Greater Armenia. Many Armenian bishops and nobles, also Greeks and Syrians, were present at the command of the Emperor, and it was resolved to adopt the decrees of Chalcedon, to leave out, in the Trisagion, the addition, “who was crucified for us” (secs. 208, 213), and no longer to celebrate the birth and the baptism of Christ on one day.

It is stated by Tschamtschean, in his Armenian National History (Bd. ii. S. 537 ff.), that the Emperor Heraclius called the Catholicus Esra to him, and invited him to union with the orthodox Church. The catholicus at first laid down the condition that, on the orthodox side, they should give up the Council of Chalcedon. When, however, the Emperor threatened him, that he would appoint another catholicus for the parts of Armenia which were subject to him, he was more compliant, examined the confession of Chalcedon, found nothing wrong in it, accepted it at the Synod of Garin, with a number of other high Armenian ecclesiastics, and rejected the Synod of Dovin (sec. 240). On the other hand, Tschamtschean denies (1) that this union with the orthodox Church in Armenia had any long continuance, and (2) that anything was decided at the Synod of Garin in regard to the doxology or the Christmas festival. Tschamtschean also believed that the Synod should be assigned to the year 627 or 629. Later on, in the history of the Monothelite controversies (sec. 291), we shall come back to this.

We cannot ascertain with exactness the time of a Synod held at Macon. It falls between 617 and 627, and was occasioned by a quarrel between Abbot Eustasius of Luxovium and his monk Agrestin. The latter, supported by Bishop Apellinus of Geneva, set every lever in motion in order to do away with the rule of S. Columbanus, who had founded the monastery at Luxovium. But the Synod decided against him, in favour of the rule and in favour of the abbot. The Acts of the Synod are not extant; but we have a short notice of it from Jonas in his Vita Eustasii Abbatis Luxoviensis.

We obtain information respecting the first Synod of Reims through Flodoard, the historian of the Church of Reims (sec. x.), and he gives us even the names of the bishops present, and their twenty-five canons; but he is silent as to the year in which it was held. Sirmond thought we ought to place it about the year 630, because Rusticus of Cahors (Cadurci), who was present there, was made a bishop under King Dagobert, and Dagobert succeeded his father, Chlotar II., in the year 628. In opposition to this it has been remarked by several, and most effectively by Mansi (t. x. p. 591, note 1), that Dagobert received Austrasia as his own kingdom so early as the year 622, during the lifetime of his father, and that our Synod should be placed in 624 or 625. Among those present we find Senocus or Sanctius of Elosa and Arnulf of Metz. Now Senocus was made bishop of Elosa in 624, so that the Synod cannot have been held earlier. Arnulf, however, resigned in the year 625, so that the Synod cannot be placed later. Archbishop Sonnatius (Sunnatius) of Reims presided, and there were, says Flodoard, forty or more bishops assembled around him. We find among them, besides those already mentioned, the Archbishops Theodoric of Lyons, Sindulf of Vienne, Modoald of Trier, and S. Cunibert, bishop of Cöln, and Lupoald of Mainz. They decreed:—

1. Church property may not, by prescription, pass into the possession of another.

2. Clergymen who enter into conspiracies and lay snares for the bishop are to be deposed.

3. The canons of the general Synod of Paris under King Chlotar (above) shall have force.

4. The clergy must carefully follow up the heretics in Gaul, and convert them.

5. No one shall be hastily excommunicated; and the excommunicated can appeal at the next Synod.

6. The secular judge who punishes or dishonours a cleric without knowledge of the bishop, and on any ground whatever, is to be excommunicated. The bishops, however, shall punish one in fault. The census-takers of the State may not be received into the religious state (as clerics or monks) without permission of the prince or judge.

7. The right of asylum is vindicated to the Church.

8. Incestuous marriages are forbidden, and are to be punished by the secular power with loss of offices, even military, and with seizure of property.

9. Communion must not be held with a murderer. If he has done penance, the viaticum may be administered to him at his death.

10. Clerics and laymen who keep back or wish to annul presents made by their parents or themselves to churches and monasteries, are to be excluded from the Church.

11. Christians must not be sold to Jews or heathens. If anyone does so, he is excommunicated and the purchase is invalid. If a Jew wants to pervert his Christian slaves to Judaism, or cruelly tortures them, he loses them, and they fall to the Exchequer. Jews must not hold a public office, and their insults against Christians are to be wholly suppressed.

12. A cleric shall not travel without letters testimonial from his bishop. Without such he may not otherwise be received.

13. A bishop may not sell the property, or even the slaves, of the Church.

14. If anyone imitates sorcery and other heathenish usages, and partakes with the heathen in superstitious banquets, he must undergo penance.

15. Slaves cannot be accusers; and generally, if an accuser does not prove his first accusation, he may not proceed to a second.

16. If anyone, after the death of a bishop, before the opening of the Testament, touches any of the property he has left, he is to be completely excluded from the Church.

17. A freeman may not be made a slave.

18. Clerics may not apply to the secular judge without permission of the bishop, either in private or in ecclesiastical cases.

19. In the rural parishes no layman must be appointed archpresbyter.

20. If anything is presented to the bishop, whether to him and the Church together or to him alone, it does not belong to the bishop as personal property, but is the property of the Church; for he who presents it has a care for the salvation of his soul, not for the use of the bishop. Justice also demands that, as the bishop has what is left to the Church, so the Church should have what is given to the bishop. If anything, however, is left in trust to the bishop or the Church, so that it has to come to another afterwards, the Church may not retain this as her property.

21. If a bishop takes anything away from another church, whether for his own advantage or for that of his church, as he cannot be excommunicated, he must be deposed.

22. If a bishop, except in urgent need, for the redemption of prisoners, alienates the vessels of the church, he is to be deposed.

23. Maidens and widows who have dedicated themselves to God, no one, even with permission of the King, may seize and marry.

24. Judges who violate the canons in opposition to the royal commands and the edict issued by the King at Paris, are to be excommunicated.

25. If a bishop dies, only a native of his city shall be chosen as his successor, by the vote of the whole people and the assent of the provincial bishops.

A considerable number of other canons were ascribed by Burchard of Worms and Ivo of Chartres to the Council of Reims. We find, moreover, in the collections, twenty-one other Statuta synodalia ecclesiœ Rhemensis per Dominum Sonnatium (Mansi and Hardouin, ll.cc.), which perhaps proceed from a diocesan Synod under Archbishop Sonnatius.

Of a Council at Clichy near Paris (Clippiacense), which was held about this time, we were unable to say anything in the first edition of this work except the name. The Acts of this Synod have, for the first time, become known to us through the work of Friedrich already mentioned. He found them, like those of the Synod of Paris of 614 and the Synod of Elusa of 551, in a parchment codex belonging to the Court and State Library at Munich. From the introduction to the minutes of the Synod it appears that the bishops assembled at the wish of King Chlotar II.; from the close of the document, however, it appears that this took place on the V. Kal. Oct. ann. xlvi. of King Chlotar, therefore on the 27th of September 626. They only repeated the canons of the Synod of Reims (of the year 625), and with them implicitly those of the Paris Synod of 614. The only new part is their express mention, in c. 5, of the Bonosians (Bonosiaci) among the heretics (vol. iii. sec. 164; and below, sec. 290), besides c. 1, which is also new: “Episcopus, presbyter, vel diaconus usuras ab episcopatibus (?) exigens aut desinat aut certe damnetur. Nam neque centesima exigant aut turpia lucra requirant. Sexsuplum vel decaplum prohibemus omnibus Christianis.”

The minutes were subscribed by forty bishops (at their head the archbishops of Lyons, Bourges, Vienne, Sens, Tours, Reims, and Elusa), an abbot, and the deacon Samuel of Bordeaux. The bishops of Besançon, Trier, and Cöln, whom we met (A.D. 614) at Paris as archbishops, subscribed here after the other bishops. As we know from S. Boniface, the metropolitan arrangements in the Frankish kingdom, in the seventh century, had departed from the ordinary usage.

About the year 630, Pope Honorius required the Irish (Scots) to adopt the Roman rule for finding Easter. They arranged a national Synod (A.D. 630–633) at Lenia (Leighlin, in the south of the island), and here after very lively discussions they united in the resolution to send some men to Rome, in order to see with their own eyes how it stood there. These deputies declared after their return that they had seen in Rome of the faithful from all parts of the world celebrating Easter on the same day; and it was particularly Abbot Laserian of Lenia, one of the deputies to Rome, and Abbot Cummian (a disciple of Columba), who recommended with great ardour the adoption of the Roman practice. In consequence this use was adopted in the south of Ireland, but not in the north, and still less by the Picts and Scots of Caledonia. Abbot Cummian, however, soon found it necessary, on account of his adhesion to the Roman manner, to defend himself in a special tract, in which, among other things, he says: “Can anything more preposterous be imagined than the contention: Rome is in error, Jerusalem is in error, Antioch is in error, the whole world is in error. Only the Scots and Britons do not err!

SEC. 290. The Synods not referring to Monotheletism between A.D. 633 and 680

Chronology would require us now to speak of the Alexandrian Synod in June 633, which was occasioned by the Monotheletic controversies. That would soon be followed by alternating Councils, some of them having no connection with this controversy, and others which were related to it. In the interest of the connection of subject, however, we prefer to separate the one class from the other, and first to treat of those Synods which were held between the years 633 and 680,—up to the time of the sixth Œcumenical Council,—but without touching on the Monothelite controversy. The first of them is the Spanish general or national Synod in the Church of S. Lescadia at Toledo (Toletana IV.), December 5, 633. It was convoked by King Sisenand, and attended by sixty-two bishops from Spain and Narbonensian Gaul, under the presidency of S. Isidore of Seville. At the very beginning the King devoutly threw himself on the ground before the bishops, and asked with tears for their intercession with God. He then exhorted them to preserve the rights of the Church in accordance with the ancient canons, and to correct abuses which had crept in; and they fulfilled this commission in seventy-five Capitula. They began—1. with the confession of the orthodox faith, with the filioque, and then ordain:—

2. In all Spain and Gaul (Narbonensis) one and the same kind of psalmody, celebration of mass, vespers, and matins shall be introduced.

3. Every year a Council shall be held at least once. If the matter in question is a point of faith or any other subject of universal interest, a general Synod must be convoked from all Spain and Gaul. In other cases each province can hold its own Council on the 18th of May. If anyone wishes to make complaint of bishops, judges, magnates, or anyone whatever, he must do so before such a Council, and an executor regius will give effect to the judgment of the Council. He will also admonish the judges and men of the world to appear at the Synod.

4. Prescriptions, how Synods are to be held (given in vol. i. 64 sqq.).

5. Since sometimes a difference has come in, regarding the announcement of Easter, through erroneous Easter tables, the metropolitans shall henceforth take counsel with each other, by letter, three months before the Epiphany, respecting the time of Easter, and then make known the right date to their comprovincials.

6. As in Spain some in baptizing dip only once and others three times, and so with many doubts arise whether someone has been validly baptized, we will receive instructions in regard to this difference from the apostolic see, namely, from Pope Gregory of blessed memory. The latter, in his letter to Bishop Leander, approves as well the single as the triple immersion; but he adds: “If hitherto, in Spain, only the heretics (Arians) have used a triple immersion, in order dum mersiones numerant, divinitatem dividant, the orthodox must no longer employ the triple immersion.” Accordingly the Synod decrees the universal introduction of the single immersion as a symbol of the death and resurrection of Christ, and of the unity in the Trinity.

7. In some churches there is no divine service on Good Friday. This should not be. Rather on this day the mystery of the cross should be preached, and God should be publicly entreated by all people for the forgiveness of sins.

8. Some cease their fast at the ninth hour on Good Friday. This should not be.

9. In the Gallican churches, in the Easter vigil, neither lamp nor taper is blessed, while they are in Spain. In future this should be done there also.

10. Some clerics in Spain say the Pater Noster only on Sunday. It must be said daily; and if any cleric omits this in the public or private office, he is to be deposed.

11. During the whole of Lent the Alleluia is not to be sung. So also not on the 1st of January, which is kept by many as a fast day, in opposition to heathenish customs.

12. The Laudes are to be sung, not before, but after the Gospel.

13. It is not right to reject all the hymns composed by Hilary and Ambrose, and to sanction only biblical hymns in the use of the Church.

14. In all Spain and Gaul the Hymn of the Three Children (boys) in the Furnace shall be sung in every office. (Missa, cf. sec. 219 ad fin.)

15. At the end of the Psalms not merely shall the Gloria Patri, etc., be sung, as is done by some, but Gloria et honor Patri, etc., after Ps. 38:1 and Rev. 5:13.

16. In the chants this rule shall be followed: If it is joyful, the Gloria is to be added; if it is sad, the beginning is to be repeated.

17. The Apocalypse is to be recognised as a sacred book, and to be read in the office (Missa) from Easter to Pentecost.

18. Some receive the Holy Communion immediately after the Lord’s Prayer (Pater Noster), and afterwards give the blessing to the people. In future, after the Pater Noster the bread and chalice shall be united (mixed), then the people blessed, and then only the sacrament of the Body and Blood of the Lord received; and this by the celebrant and the Levites before the altar, by the clergy in the choir, and by the people outside the choir.

19. The old ordinances on the point, who may not be ordained a bishop, are collected and appended; also, that the consecration of an ordinary bishop must be celebrated on a Sunday by at least three bishops, at the place appointed by the metropolitan, but the consecration of the latter in the metropolitan city.

20. Only one who is twenty-five years old can become a Levite, and one who is thirty, a priest.

21. The Sacerdotes (bishops and priests) must be chaste.

22. They must also avoid all appearance of evil, and therefore the bishops must always be surrounded in their dwelling by witnesses of their walk.

23. So with priests and Levites, if on account of the altar or of sickness they live in their own cells, and not in the dwelling of the bishop.

24. All younger clerics must reside in one locality and be under the oversight of a tried cleric of higher rank, who shall be their teacher and the witness of their walk.

25. The priests shall be instructed in the Holy Scriptures and in the canons, and edify all by their knowledge of the faith and by the purity of their works.

26. If a presbyter is set over a rural parish, he shall receive a liber officialis from the bishop, so that he may rightly understand his duties. If he comes to the litanies, or to the diocesan Synod, he shall give the bishop an account of his discharge of his office.

27. Such presbyters must swear to the bishop to live chastely.

28. If a bishop, priest, or deacon has been unjustly deposed, and is recognised as innocent in a later Synod, he must receive back his lost degree before the altar; in the case of the bishop, through reception of the orarium, the ring, and the staff; the priest, by reception of the orarium (stole) and planeta (chasuble); the deacon, by reception of the orarium and alb; the subdeacon, by reception of the paten and chalice; and similarly the others.

29. If a cleric consults soothsayers and the like, he is to be deposed, and confined in a convent to perpetual penance.

30. Bishops on the border of a hostile power must not enter into secret’ intercourse with the enemy.

31. If in certain cases clerics are appointed judges by the King, they may accept the office only on condition that the King first takes oath not to allow anyone who is found innocent to be executed. If the cleric does not make this condition, and gives occasion for the shedding of blood, he must be deposed.

32. If a bishop sees that a judge oppresses the poor, lie shall admonish him; and if he does not amend, he must inform the King of him. If he fails in this, he is to be punished by the Council.

33. It sometimes happens that bishops, from covetousness, take for themselves what was given for churches, so that there is often a lack of clerics for these churches, and for the repair of the church buildings. Bishops may claim only one-third of the oblations, tributes, and fruits. Moreover, not the donor, but the bishop has the administration of the property presented by anyone to the Church.

34. If a bishop has had possession for thirty years, without protest, of a diocese (= parish, sec. 22, c. 54, of Agde) which belongs to another bishop, it remains with him, in case it is in the same ecclesiastical province (as his diocese).

35. Newly built churches belong to the bishop in whose district they lie.

36. Bishops must visit their dioceses, to ascertain what repairs each church may need.

37. If a bishop, by the assistance (suffragium) of anyone, has obtained a benefit for the Church, and has for this promised a reward to anyone, he must keep this promise.

38. If anyone who has made presents to the Church afterwards becomes poor, the Church must support him.

39. The deacons may not raise themselves above the presbyters, and stand in the first choir whilst the priests are in the second.

40. No bishop or priest, much less a deacon, may wear two oraries (stoles). The latter must wear the orarium on the left shoulder, because he orat, id est prædicat. The right side of the body he must have free, in order that he may, without hindrance, do his service.

41. All clerics, even lectors, must, like the Levites and priests, shave the whole front part of the head, and leave behind only a circular crown. In Galicia, heretofore, the clerics have worn long hair, like the laity, and have only shorn a little circle in the middle of the head. This may not, in future, be so; for in Spain only heretics had such a (small) tonsure.

42. No woman may reside with clerics, except a mother, sister, daughter, or aunt.

43. If clerics have intercourse with strange women, the latter shall be sold, the clerics do penance.

44. Clerics (of lower rank) who, without permission of the bishop, marry a widow, a deserted woman, or a prostitute, must be separated by their bishops (separari, i.e. excluded from the clergy. Cf. Florez, España Sagrada, t. vi. p. 163).

45. Clerics who, on occasion of a riot, voluntarily take up arms, are to be deposed, and shut up in a convent for penance.

46. A cleric who destroys graves is to be deposed, and punished with penance for three years. The secular laws punish this crime with death.

47. At the command of King Sisenand, the Synod decreed that all free clerics should be free from all public indictions (i.e. feudal dues and taxes, see Du Cange, s.v.) and services, in order that they may be able to serve God without disturbance.

48. Bishops shall select stewards from among their own clergy, according to canon 26 of Chalcedon (see sec. 200 in vol. iii.).

49. If a man becomes a monk either by the piety of his parents or by his own will, he may not return into the world again.

50. If any clerics wish to become monks, and to choose a melior vita, the bishop may not hinder them.

51. The Synod learnt that some bishops use the monks for work like slaves, and regard the convents almost as their own property, This may not be. The bishops have only those rights over the monks which are reserved in the canons; namely, they may exhort the monks to a holy life, institute abbots and other presidents, and reform all irregularities.

52. It happens that monks return to the world, or even marry. They must be brought back to the convent which they have left, and have penance imposed upon them.

53. Religious who are neither clerics nor monks, and vagrant religious, shall be brought to order by the bishop of the neighbourhood where they are found, and placed among the clergy or sent into a convent. Only in the case of the old and sick can the bishop make an exception.

54. One who receives penance in peril of death, without confessing open crime, but simply declaring himself to be a sinner, may after his recovery become a cleric. But he who has done penance in such wise that he has openly confessed a mortal sin, can never become a cleric.

55. Laymen who have received penance and have shorn themselves, but afterwards, sinning again, have become laymen, i.e. have left the position of penitents (See secs. 222 and 224), must be called back by the bishop to the life of penitence. If they do not return, they are to be solemnly anathematised as apostates. The like shall be done with those who have cast off the religious habit, and have assumed the secular one again; also with virgins and widows dedicated to God.

56. There are two kinds of widows, the secular and those dedicated to God (sanctimoniales). The latter have laid aside the secular dress, and have assumed the religious habit in the church. They may no longer marry.

57. Henceforth no Jew may be compelled to the reception of Christianity. Those who were compelled under King Sisebut, and received the sacraments, must remain Christians.

58. Many clerics and laymen in the past have allowed themselves to be bribed by Jews, and have protected them. Whoever does so in the future is to be anathematised and excommunicated.

59. In regard to the Jews who have adopted the Christian faith, but subsequently relapse into Jewish usages, and even circumcise others, the holy Synod decrees, with the consent of King Sisenand, that such transgressors shall be compelled by the bishop to return to the faith. If those circumcised by them are their sons, they shall be separated from their parents; if they are slaves, they shall be liberated.

60. The (baptized) sons and daughters of Jews, generally shall be separated from their parents, and shall be brought up either in convents or by Christian men or women.

61. Although baptized Jews who have again apostatised have deserved the confiscation of their goods, yet shall their children, if they are believing, inherit the property of their parents.

62. Baptized Jews must have no intercourse with the unbaptized.

63. If a Jew has a Christian wife, if he wishes to continue to live with her, he must become a Christian. If he does not, they are to be separated, and the children are to follow the mother. In like manner the children of unbelieving (Jewish) mothers and Christian fathers must be Christians.

64. Baptized Jews who have fallen away from the faith may not be witnesses, even though they maintain that they are Christians.

65. On command of the King, the Synod orders that Jews and the sons of Jews shall discharge no public offices.

66. Jews may not buy or possess Christian slaves. If they have such, they become free.

67. Bishops may not liberate the slaves of the Church, unless they indemnify the Church for the same out of their own resources. If otherwise, the successor of the bishop may recover those whom he has freed.

68. If the bishop wishes to emancipate a slave of the Church, without reserving to the Church the right of protection (patrocinium, see canon 70), he must, in presence of the Council, give to the Church in compensation two other slaves of like value.

69. Bishops who leave any property to the Church may emancipate slaves belonging to the Church to the value of their bequest.

70. Those emancipated by the Church remain, with their descendants, in the patrocinium of the Church, and owe obedience to the bishop.

71. If they wish to withdraw from the patrocinium of the Church, they shall lose their freedom again.

72. The Church must defend the freedmen who stand under her protection.

73. Those who were emancipated without the patron having reserved an obsequium for himself, may become clerics. Those, on the contrary, in the case of whose emancipation an obsequium was reserved, still owe service to their patron, and cannot become clerics, because the master has it in his power to make them slaves again.

74. Slaves of the Church may become priests and deacons, if they are previously emancipated. Whatever they earn, however, or may have presented to them, they must, at their death, leave to the Church. If they complain and testify against the Church, they lose their clerical rank and their freedom.

75. The oath of fidelity given to Kings must be preserved inviolate. The most zealous warnings are given against riots, conspiracies, and plots to murder, formed against the King, under threats of anathema and entire exclusion from Christianity. Nor must anyone make an attempt on the throne; but when the Prince dies the heads of the people shall, in common with the bishops, appoint a successor in the government. At the same time, King Sisenand and all subsequent Kings are exhorted to govern with mildness and justice, and to pronounce sentences of death and other great punishments, not by himself alone, but only when the tribunal has found the guilt to be undeniable. Cruel and unjust Princes are warned that Christ the Lord would condemn them. Neither Suinthila (the former King), who, on account of his crimes, deprived himself of his kingdom, and laid down the sceptre, nor his wife and children, shall ever again be raised to honour and dignity, and shall retain only so much of their unjustly gotten property as the King grants them. Gelanes, the brother of Suinthila, who was faithless to him as to Sisenand, shall, with his family, be expelled from the nation, and lose his goods, except what the King leaves him. Finally, the Synod closed with a doxology to God, and with pious wishes for the welfare and happiness of the King.—The first signatures were those of the six metropolitans, Isidore of Seville, Selva of Narbonne, Stephen of Emerita, Julian of Braga, Justus of Toledo, and Andar of Tarragona, in order of consecration; and after them fifty-six bishops and seven representatives of absent bishops.

That the care of the Fathers of Toledo, shown in the last canon, for the peace of the kingdom was not superfluous, was soon shown by the events which took place after the death of King Sisenand in March 636. Almost contemporaneously with him died the Metropolitans Justus of Toledo and Isidore of Seville, the former a few days before, and the latter a few days after the King. The selection of a new King, as it appears, was difficult. They found great difficulty in coming to an agreement, and several candidates had not the requisite qualifications. Finally, at the beginning of April 636, Chintila, brother of Sisenand, was elected King, and he immediately convoked a Synod, partly for the confirmation of his throne, and partly to arrange ecclesiastical affairs. This is the fifth Synod of Toledo, a Spanish national Council. Two and twenty bishops and two representatives assembled in the Church of S. Leocadia in Toledo, under the presidency of the new archbishop of that place, Eugenius I. (successor of Justus); and the King, too, was present with the heads of the people and the officials of the palace. Immediately after his entrance into the Synod, the King prayed the bishops for their intercession with God; and they drew up the following decrees:—

1. Annually, in the whole kingdom, from the 14th of December, three days onwards, litanies (intercessory processions) shall be held. If a Sunday falls on one of those days, they are to be put off until the next week.

2. That which was provided, in regard of the kingdom, in the former Synod (canon 75), remains in force, and it is added, that the descendants of the King, protected in their lawful property, must not be robbed by a later King.

3. If anyone makes an attempt on the throne without being clected by general consent, and raised by the nobility of the Gothic people, he shall be punished with anathema, and expulsion from all communion with Catholics.

4. So, too, shall he be who, in a superstitious manner seeks to find out the death of the Prince, and during his lifetime makes plans and plots in regard to the succession.

5. So, too, he who utters execrations against the Prince.

6. The faithful servants of a Prince, if they survive him, shall not be cut down by his successor, and deprived of presents which they have received.

7. At the close of every Synod in Spain, canon 75 of Toledo in regard to the kingdom shall be read again and inculcated anew.

8. The right of pardoning those who fail in the above points we reserve for the King.

9. Honour be to God; thanks to the King.

Thereupon the bishops subscribed the minutes, and the King confirmed and published the decrees by an edict of June 30, 636.

In the same year, at a Synod at Clichy near Paris (Clippiacum), S. Agilus was made abbot of. the newly founded monastery of Rebais by King Dagobert (Mansi, t. x. p. 658); the general Synod at Paris, however, which confirmed anew the immunity of the monastery of S. Denis, and is generally assigned to the year 638, belongs, according to Mansi’s reckoning (t. x. p. 569), to the year 658, but more correctly to the year 653 (see below).

In the January of the year 638, however, by the wish of King Chintila, the sixth Synod of Toledo was celebrated in the Church of S. Leocadia by fifty-two bishops out of all the provinces of Spain and Narbonensian Gaul. At their head stood the five metropolitans, Selva or Silva of Narbonne, Julian of Braga, Eugenius of Toledo, Honoratus of Seville, (the successor of S. Isidore), and Protasius of Tarraco. They ranked, as at the earlier Spanish Synods, in the order of their consecration. Only one metropolitan, of Emerita, was absent.

1. In their first Cap. the bishops, first of all, set forth the orthodox faith in a new formula, which is like the previous one (of Toledo, 4), and uses hominum instead of humanam naturam, but is considerably more complete. It shows no trace of the Monothelite controversies having then touched Spain.

2. The litanies ordered at the previous Synod are confirmed.

3. God is thanked for this, that King Chintila had lately, by a decree, ordered that all Jews should be obliged to leave Spain, and that only Catholics should be allowed to dwell in the country. In agreement with the King and the nobility, etc., it is at the same time decreed that every future King, before ascending the throne, together with other oaths, should be required to take this, that he would not tolerate Jewish unbelief, and would uprightly maintain the present laws. If he violates this oath, let him be anathema maranatha (see Toledo, 3, sec. 287) before God, and food for eternal fire. Finally, the decrees of the fourth Synod of Toledo in regard to the Jews are confirmed.

4. A Simonist may not receive consecration; and if he has already received it, he is to be excommunicated, and, together with his consecrator, punished with confiscation of his property.

5. If a cleric receives any Church property for his use from the bishop, he must set forth a petitionary document (viz. that he has received at his petition, preces, something for usufruct), so that a prescriptive right may not grow up, to the damage of the Church, by long possession. Moreover, he must not neglect the Church property which he has received.

6. Men, maidens, widows, who have once put on the religious habit, or have entered a monastery, and so, too, a man who has entered the choir of a church, may not return to the world.

7. Since it often happens that those who have assumed the religious habit, and entered the state of penitents, return to the old life, wear secular clothing, and dress their hair, such persons shall be confined in convents by the bishop against their will. If they refuse, they are to be excommunicated; and so, too, the bishop, if he allows himself to be bribed by them.

8. As Pope Leo before, so we now permit that a young married man, who becomes a penitent when in danger of death, after his recovery, if he is not continent, may return to his wife until he comes to the age at which he can preserve continence. He shall thereby be preserved from the danger of sinning with others, and committing adultery. The same holds of a young wife. We add, however, the limitation: If that one of the pair who did not take penance upon him dies before they have both come back to continence (by a more advanced age), the surviving partner may not marry again. If, however, the one who has not received the benediction of penance be the survivor, he may marry again, if he cannot contain. Moreover, the bishop shall decide, in every particular case, with regard to age, whether the person is to be dispensed from continence or to hold it fast.

9. At every entrance upon office of a new bishop, the emancipated of the Church and their posterity must exhibit the certificate of their emancipation to the new bishop. He must confirm it anew, and they must themselves declare that they will render the obsequium belonging to the Church.

10. The children of these freedmen must go to the church which is their patron for instruction, and nowhere else.

11. No one who is accused may be condemned without inquiry. If a person not having the right of complaint accuses, no regard is to be paid to his accusation, unless it has to do with high treason.

12. Every traitor to his country is to be excommunicated and punished with long penance. If he acknowledges his wrong-doing before the excommunication has been decreed, he may, upon the intercession of the bishops, obtain favour from the King.

13. The high functionaries of the palace shall receive respect.

14. The faithful servants of a King may not be injured by his successor, in dignity or property, according to canon 6 of the fifth Council of Toledo. The King may pardon unfaithful servants. If their unfaithfulness, however, comes out after his death, they must be punished.

15. What the King or others have presented to the Church must remain to it.

16. The children of a King who has died must not be injured. Their property and their peace must be secured. Praise of King Chintila.

17. During the lifetime of the King, no one may form plans for the future occupation of the throne. After the death of the King, no tonsured person, no offspring of a slave, no stranger, but only a Goth, may be elected King.

18. All offences against the King are threatened with eternal damnation, and the earlier decrees referring to this (canon 75 of the fourth Synod of Toledo) renewed.

19. Honour be to God; thanks to the King.

That the Synod at Chalons on the Saone (Cabilonensis) was held by command of Chlodwig II. (i.e. his guardian Aega, for Chlodwig was only a few years old), on the 25th of October, in the Church of S. Vincent there, we see from the Præfatio of the minutes and from the synodal letter; but the year is uncertain, and the learned waver between 644 and 656. Mansi, in particular, endeavoured (t. x. p. 1198) to show that the date 644 is the correct one. The earlier collectors of Councils give the preference to the year 650. There were present thirty-eight bishops and six representatives of bishops, all from the kingdom of Chlodwig, i.e. from Neustria and Burgundy. They belonged to the five ecclesiastical provinces of Lyons, Vienne, Rouen, Sens, and Bourges; and Candericus of Lyons presided. They ordained:—

1. The faith of Nicæa, etc., and of Chalcedon shall be held fast by all.

2. The old canons remain in force.

3. No cleric may have intercourse with a strange woman.

4. Two bishops may not be in one city.

5. Neither the property of rural parishes, nor the parishes themselves, may be given over to people of the world.

6. No one may take any Church property in possession before the decision of the rightful tribunal (audientia = judicium; cf. Du Cange).

7. If a priest or abbot has died, neither the bishop, nor the archdeacon, nor anyone else may take away anything from the goods of the parish, or the xenodochion, or the monastery.

8. Penance is wholesome, and the bishops shall impose it on penitents after confession is made.

9. No slave shall be sold outside the kingdom of Chlodwig.

10. If the bishop of a city has died, no one may elect a new one save the comprovincials, the clergy, and the laity.

11. The secular judges must in no way presume in rural parishes and convents without the invitation of the abbot or the archpresbyter.

12. Two abbots may not be in one city.

14. No bishop may retain by himself the cleric of another, nor ordain one from a strange diocese, without the assent of his bishop.

14. Some bishops complain that several magnates withdraw the oratories which are in their villas from episcopal supervision, and try to hinder the archdeacon from punishing, when necessary, the clerics in the oratories. These oratories are under the bishop as well in regard to the placing of the clergy as in regard to the property and the ordering of divine service.

15. The abbots, monks, and stewards of convents may not go to the King without permission of the bishop.

16. Prohibition of simony.

17. No layman may begin a quarrel, take weapons, and wound or kill anyone in the church or within the churchyard.

18. Labour in the fields, ploughing, sowing, reaping, etc., are forbidden on Sunday.

19. It is not permitted to sing indecent songs at the dedication of churches, the feasts of martyrs, in the church or the porch, nor yet in the churchyards (atrium).

20. Agapius and Bobo, two bishops of Dinia (Digne), are deposed, because they have both violated the canons in many ways.

Besides these twenty canons we have a letter of the Synod to Bishop Theodosius of Arles. It is there said that Theodosius has not chosen to appear at the Synod, because rumour accused him of an indecent life, and of manifold violation of the canons. There were even writings shown from his own hand, from which it appeared that he had made a penitential confession. He will himself know that one who has made such a confession, can, by the canons, no longer be bishop. Therefore he must refrain from the exercise of his episcopal office, and the administration of the property of the Church, until the next Synod.

Several other canons attributed to the Synod of Chalons in the Corpus jur. can. and elsewhere, belong to other Synods.

The excellent King Chintila of Spain died in 640, and out of gratitude they elected his son Tulga as his successor, in spite of his youth. As, however, he was too weak to exercise authority, many nobles of the country offered the crown to one of their number, Chindaswinth, and he possessed himself of the power, A.D. 642, and had the hair of the youthful Tulga shorn, as a sign that he had entered the monastic state. Another part of the nation was against Chindaswinth, united with those outside the country, and procured help from Gaul and Africa, so that a civil war arose, which only after some years ended in favour of Chindaswinth. Immediately afterwards, in order to provide for the needs of Church and State, he convoked a national Synod, the seventh of Toledo, on the 18th of October 646. There were present twenty-eight bishops (among them the four metropolitans, Orontius of Emerita, Antony of Seville, Eugene of Toledo, Protasius of Tarragona) and eleven representatives of bishops. In the ordinary Collections of Councils a rather lengthy preface is prefixed to the minutes; as, however, this, in its contents, is plainly connected with the piece designated as cap. 1, the two new Collections of Spanish Councils, which appeared in 1808 and 1809, have probably united the two as cap. 1.

1. The contents of this are: Because not only many laymen, but also many clerics, took part in the recent civil wars, and betook themselves to foreign lands in order to injure the Gothic kingdom and King, it is ordained that such traitors to their country and their assistants of the clerical order be deposed and punished with lifelong penance. Only at death can they, if penitent, partake of the communion. The King may not prevent this excommunication, and, if a bishop at his command gives the communion to one so excommunicated (before his death), he shall himself be excommunicated to the end of his life. Moreover, in the case of the confiscation of goods on account of treason against the country, the King, in accordance with the old law, may only modify the punishment to this extent, that he may give back the twentieth part of his former property to the person in question. (So far the Synod had the opponents of Chindaswinth in view: in the following passage it threatens those clerics who helped him against Tulga.) If, however, a cleric, during the lifetime of the King, takes part for another who aspires to the throne, unmindful of his state, and this pretender conquers, such a cleric, be he bishop or anything else, shall be excommunicated until his death. If the King prevents the excommunication of his adherent, it shall take effect immediately after the King’s death. (The third section of cap. 1, which now begins, relates to the laity and to the possibility of pardon.) The layman, also, who goes abroad, in order there to act against his country and King, shall be punished with loss of goods and excommunication until his death, unless he adopts the means pointed out by us before (Toledo 6, c. 12), and obtains communion through the intercession of the bishops with the King. In the case of other injuries or conspiracies against the King, he can himself decide whether the offender shall again be admitted to communion or not (Toledo 5, c. 8); but in regard to disloyal clerics and laymen who have gone into foreign lands, we adjure the King not to remove the sentence of excommunication without the intercession of the bishops (Toledo 6, c. 12).

2. If the priest is taken ill during the Mass, so that he cannot finish it, then the bishop or another priest may continue it. Similarly in the case of other clerics; but he who continues the service must be fasting.

3. All clerics must be present at the burial of their bishop, and, at the right time invite another bishop to the obsequies.

4. In order to meet the covetousness with which the bishops of Galicia burden the rural churches which are subject to them, no bishop of this province may in future demand more than two solidi yearly from each church, in accordance with the decrees of Braga (sec. 285); the convent churches are, however, quite free from this tax. Also at the visitations of his diocese the bishop must not fall heavily upon anyone (with more than fifty persons and horses), and may not stay more than one day at a church.

5. Only quite upright monks may, apart from the convent, live in cells as reclusi, and so become the teachers of others (in high asceticism). Those unworthy, on the contrary, must be brought back to the convent, as well reclusi as vagi. In future no one shall be admitted to this highest kind of asceticism (as reclusus) unless he has first lived in a convent, and obtained knowledge and practice of the monastic life. The vagi must cease altogether.

6. Out of respect for the King and his residence, as well as for the comfort of the metropolitan of Toledo, the neighbouring bishops, when the King invites them, shall spend one month annually in this city; but not at the time of the harvest or vintage.

After the minutes of the Synod just mentioned, Mansi (l.c. p. 775) places several fragments of another Council of Toledo, the time of which is unknown, from which, however, something has been taken into the decretals of Gregory IX. in the Corpus jur. can. c. 2, x. de officio archidiaconi (i. 23); c. 3, x. de officio archipresbyteri (i. 24); c. 1, x. de officio sacristæ (i. 26); and c. 2, x. de officio custodis (i. 27). To the same Council, Mansi thinks, belong also two confessions of faith.

Very uncertain is the time of the holding of a Synod at Rouen, of which we still possess sixteen canons. The old superscription calls it a (Frankish) general Synod under King Hlodoveus. By this some have understood King Lewis the Stammerer, who died A.D. 879, and have placed the Synod in the second half of the ninth century, especially as they believed that the contents of the canons would agree only with later times, as, e.g., Pommeraye, in his Concilia Rothomag. 1677. On the other side, Bessin, in the new Collection of the Councils of Rouen (Concilia provinciæ Rothomag. 1717) has assigned this Synod to the reign of the Merovingian Chlodwig II. (son of Dagobert the Great), and so to the middle of the seventh century (650); and Mansi has followed him in this. Bessin tried to show that the contents of the canons formed no difficulty in the way of this assumption. To me, however, it seems that canons 9, 12, and 16 rather refer to a later time, and particularly to the circulating episcopal tribunals of the Carolingian time. The canons run:—

1. After the offertory the oblations shall be incensed as a memorial of the death of the Lord.

2. The impropriety must cease of some priests, who, at the festival of the Mass, give the holy mysteries to some women and laymen, but without themselves partaking. Moreover, the Eucharist is not to be given to the laity into their hand, but into the mouth, with the words: “Corpus Domini et sanguis prosit tibi ad remissionem peccatorum et ad vitam æternam.”

3. If anyone does not give tithes of all fruits, of oxen, sheep, goats, after being thrice admonished, he is to be anathematised.

4. Shepherds and huntsmen must not use adjurations, etc.

5. Heretics who are baptized into the Holy Trinity, are not to be baptized again at their conversion; but after they have made their confession, the laying on of hands (confirmation) will be imparted to them. If they are still children, their sponsors will answer for them at the confession of faith, as in baptism, and then they will also receive the manus impositio.

6. If anyone is excommunicated by his own bishop, he may not be received by another.

7. Prohibition of simony.

8. Unknown (vagabundi) bishops and priests may not be admitted to functions without probatio synodalis.

9. Widows generally may not receive the veil, and virgins only from the bishop, and not from a priest.

10. The bishop shall diligently visit convents for men and for women. If a nun violates her chastity, she shall be severely punished and imprisoned by herself. No cleric or layman may enter a convent for nuns, and the priest only for the Mass.

11. The bishop may not desert his cathedral and often frequent another church of his diocese.

12. If anyone strikes another, so that he bleeds, he must, if he is a layman, do penance for twenty days; if an inferior cleric, thirty days; a deacon, six months; a priest, a whole year; and a bishop, two years and a half.

13. If anyone practises heathenish usages on the 1st of January, let him be anathema.

14. Shepherds and farm labourers shall come to Mass at least on Sundays and feast days.

15. On Sundays and feast days all the faithful shall come to Vespers, to Nocturns, and to Mass. The deans must be watchful as to this.

16. If a bishop travels over his diocese, the archdeacon or archpresbyter must precede him by two days, and require all the people in the parishes concerned to appear at the Synod. Whoever does not appear is to be excommunicated. The archdeacon or presbyter must also settle the lighter questions before the arrival of the bishop.

In Spain, King Chindaswinth had, by the election of the nobles, received his son Receswinth at first as co-regent, and since 652 as successor; and the new King now convoked the bishops and magnates of the kingdom, on the 16th of December 653, to the eighth Synod of Toledo. The King was himself present, and besides him were the four metropolitans, Orontius of Emerita, Antony of Seville, S. Eugene of Toledo (his predecessor, Eugene I., had died in A.D. 647), here named regia urbs, and Potamius of Braga; further, forty-eight other bishops and many abbots, etc., and representatives of bishops; also sixteen Comites and Duces. The King opened the Synod with an address, and presented to them a tome, in which he first declared his orthodoxy, then expressed a wish for a revision of the severe laws against the betrayers of country and King, and exhorted all present to draw up the necessary decrees with his assent, called upon the magnates of the kingdom to complete them, and, on his side, promised the confirmation of them, and, finally, asked the bishops for instruction as to what should be done in regard to the Jews.

The Synod following the order of the points in the King’s tome, on their side also declared:—

1. First, the true faith in the form of the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed (with ex Patre et Filio procedentem).

2. The subject of the second disputation (transaction, perhaps session) was the question of the offenders against country and King. All the people had sworn that everyone of those, without exception, should be punished. The fulfilling of this oath now seemed too harsh, and would have made many men unhappy. The Synod therefore endeavoured, at the wish of the King, to find a reconciliation of their oath and gentleness, and found this by adducing many passages of Scripture and the Fathers (also from Isidore, the novissimum decus ecclesiæ, in seculorum fine doctissimus), in this, that the violation of that oath was a smaller injustice than the cruel treatment of so many brethren.

3. The Synod next, in their most bombastic style, threatened simonists with anathema and imprisonment in a convent; in the fourth Congressus enforced the duties of bishops; in the fifth and sixth, on deacons and subdeacons the duty of chastity; in the seventh, declared that even those who were ordained by compulsion, or in order to escape a danger, should not be allowed to marry, or to return to their old manner of life; in the eighth, declaimed against the ignorance of the clergy (requiring them to learn the psalter by heart); in the ninth, against the violation of fasts; in the tenth, ordained that the election of a new King should take place in the chief city, or else where the previous King died (by the nobles), with assent of the bishops and the high officials of the palace; but that the King should defend the catholic faith against Jews and heretics, and should ascend the throne only when he had sworn (further prescriptions for the Kings).

11. No one may violate the general ordinances of Synods, under pain of excommunication.

12. In regard to the Jews, the decrees of the (fourth) Synod of Toledo under Sisenand shall be confirmed.

13. Finally, the Synod confirmed two royal decrees, which are appended to their minutes, and treat of that bequeathed by the former and by every future King. As third appendix is finally added a memorial of the baptized Jews of A.D. 654, in which they promise true adhesion to the Christian faith.

So early as in the following year, 655, the ninth Synod of Toledo took place in the Church of S. Mary there. It began on the 2nd of November, and lasted, as is mentioned at the close of the minutes, until the IV. or V. Kal. Decembr., and was only a provincial Council under the presidency of Archbishop Eugene II. of Toledo. It was decreed to subjoin the later synodal ordinances to the old collections of canons, and to draw up seventeen more, specially for the reformation of bishops:—

1. No one may encroach upon the property of another church, in order to appropriate it to himself or his church. The heirs of the founder have the right to watch over it, and to present to the bishop anyone who does this. If the bishop does it, the metropolitan must be informed; if the metropolitan, the King must be told.

2. The builders of churches have the right to care for them, and to present (offerre) to the bishop suitable rectors for these churches. If they find no one suitable, then the bishop, with their assent, may name such. If, however, the bishop makes the appointment with evasion of the founders, this is invalid. At the same time it is complained that, through the fault of the bishops, many rural and convent churches are falling to ruins.

3. As often as the bishop or a deacon (as steward) forgives anyone a loan from the property of the Church, the reason for this must be accurately stated in the document, so that it may be seen that no fraud has crept in. If the document has not this form, it is invalid.

4. If bishops or other administrators of Church property, at the time of their entrance upon office, possessed but little private property (the two new Spanish collections have parum instead of carum), all that they buy during their administration shall be assigned to their churches. If, however, they have an inventory (compendium, see Du Cange, s.v.) of their property, then all that they have earned after their ordination shall be distributed between their heirs and the Church, in the proportion of their private property to their income from the Church. If a cleric has received anything as a present from anyone, he can do with that as he will. If, however, at his death he has made no disposition of it, it falls to his church. Cf. Thomassin, Dc nova et veteri ecclesiæ disciplina, etc., pt. iii. lib. ii. c. 42, n. 6 sqq.

5. If the bishop wishes to build a convent in his diocese, he may spend for that purpose the fiftieth part of the property of the Church; if he wishes to found another church, the hundredth part. But he may do only the one or the other.

6. The bishop, by ancient right, may claim the third part of the income of every church, and he can spend this portion at his pleasure on one or another church (see sec. 200, Toledo 4; and sec. 229, Tarragona, c. 8; and Thomassin, l.c. c. 15, n. 8, 9. This third part, however, the bishop might expend, not for himself but for the repairing of churches. For himself the bishop could require from every church only two solidi).

7. The heirs of a departed bishop or of another cleric may not arbitrarily take possession of what he has left.

8. If a cleric has made unlawful disposition of a part of the property of the Church, the thirty years, time of prescription begins, not with the day of that disposition, but only with his death. (See c. 34 of Toledo 4, in sec. 290; and c. 17 of Chalcedon, in sec. 200, vol. iii.)

9. The bishop who holds the obsequies of a brother in office, and takes the inventory of what he has left, may, if the church is rich, claim a pound of gold; if it is poor, half a pound. The metropolitan has nothing to claim.

10. Since the incontinence of the clergy continues, we ordain: If a cleric, from a bishop down to a subdeacon, begets children in abominable union with a maid or a free woman, the parents are to be punished according to the canons; but the children cannot inherit from the parents, and are forever slaves of the Church at which the father serves.

11. If slaves of the Church are called into the clerical office, they must obtain emancipation from the bishop.

12. If a bishop emancipates the slaves of the Church, the years are to be reckoned from his death, not from the day of the drawing up of the document.

13. The emancipated, who were formerly slaves of the Church, and their posterity, may not marry with the freeborn.

14. If this is done, their offspring remain bound to render obsequium towards the Church.

15. The freedmen of a Church and their posterity shall faithfully and uprightly serve the Church to which they owe their freedom.

16. The freedmen of the Church and their posterity may not alienate to a stranger what they have from the Church. If they wish to sell it, they must offer it to the bishop. They may, however, sell it or present it to their children and relations, who belong as servants or clients to the same Church.

17. Baptized Jews shall be present at Christian feast days as well as Jewish at the episcopal divine service, so that the bishop may see their fidelity. Whoever does not this shall be punished, according to his age, with blows or fasting.

18. At the close, the date for the next Easter was announced, and notice given of a new Synod for the 1st of November of the following year.

This assembled, however, about a month later, on December 1, 656, at Toledo; at least the minutes are dated from this day. It was a general Synod, in which the three metropolitans took part: Eugene II. of Toledo, Fugitivus of Seville, and Fructuosus of Braga. From the provinces of Merida, Tarragona, and Narbonne, the metropolitans were not present, but other bishops appeared. Altogether they numbered twenty bishops and five deputies. They ordained:—

1. Uniformity in regard to the dates for the festivals is highly necessary If, for example, we should not hold Pentecost on the right day, then could we not be filled with the gifts of the Holy Ghost. In regard to the festivals of our Lord unity prevails in Spain, but not in regard to the Feast of Mary. This day, on which the angel brought the message to Mary, can often not be celebrated rightly on account of Lent and Easter; and therefore we transfer it, for all Spain, to the 18th of December, eight days before Christmas, and it shall be celebrated in like manner as Christmas.

2. Every cleric and monk who has violated his oath against King and country is to be deposed; only the King can pardon him.

3. No bishop may appoint his relations and favourites as presidents over churches and convents.

4. A widow who wishes to take the vow of chastity, must do so in writing, and then wear the dress unaltered which the bishop or minister of the Church has given her. She shall cover her head with a red or black cloth (pallium), so that she may be known, and that no one may permit to himself anything against her.

5. All women who have once worn the religious habit remain bound to the ascetic life. If they refuse, at the exhortation of the bishop, to return to it, they are to be shut up in a convent. They must also make their vow in writing, and cover their head with the pallium.

6. When parents have given the tonsure, or the religious habit, to a little child, or when children, without knowledge of their parents, have assumed the one or the other, and the parents, when they remarked it, have not immediately made an objection, these children remain bound to the vita religiosa. Moreover, parents may bring to the church only children under ten years. If they are older, they can, of their own accord, dedicate themselves to the religious life, whether by the will of their parents, or from their own piety.

7. It was loudly complained that clerics sell Christian slaves to Jews, and this was entirely forbidden, with the quotation of many passages from the Bible.

While the bishops were occupied with the drawing up of these canons, Archbishop Potamius of Braga addressed a document to them in which he brought an accusation against himself. The bishops held a special private session, and Potamius, invited to it, acknowledged voluntarily that he had failed through uncleanness, and therefore he had, for nine months, given up the administration of his church. It was decreed, from regard to his voluntary confession, that he should not be treated according to the rigour of the canons (special reference is made to c. 4 of the Synod of Valence, A.D. 374, sec. 90, vol. ii.), and that he should not be deprived of his dignity, but that he should be bound to continued penance. The administration of the diocese of Braga, together with the metropolitan authority, they transferred to Fructuosus, bishop of Dumio.

Finally, two testaments were laid before the Synod, that of the departed Bishop Martin of Braga, and that of Recimir, the previous bishop of Dumio. The latter had bequeathed so much to the poor, and had emancipated so many slaves, that the Church property of Dumio had thereby been encroached upon. When this complaint was raised, the Synod decreed certain limitations of the testament.

Two Frankish Synods, held at Paris and Clichy, in the fifteenth and sixteenth years of Chlodwig II., and so in the years 653 and 654, confirmed several privileges to the convent of S. Denis.

Almost about the same time King Chlodwig II. (†656) is said to have assembled a Synod in a place unknown to us, and ordered the return of the relics of S. Benedict and S. Scholastica, which had been brought to France, and for which Pope Vitalian had made application. Under his successor, Chlotar III., and in the third year of his reign, i.e. 658, the Synod of Sens confirmed its liberties to the convent S. Petri Vivi.

Probably in the same year, 658, the Synod of Nantes was also held, with the consent of which Bishop Vivard of Reims rebuilt, in another place, the monastery of Hautvillier (Villaris super ripam Maternæ), which had been destroyed by barbarians. It is supposed by Pagi (ad. ann. 600, n. 14, 15) and Sirmond, that to this Synod belong those twenty canons which are assigned, in the Collections of Councils, to a Concilium Namnetense at the end of the ninth century. They are to the following effect:—

1. Before the Mass the priest shall ask whether anyone is present from a strange parish, because he despises his own parish priest, and whether any one of those present has enmity against anyone. Such people must be sent away.

2. Generally, no strangers from another parish may assist at Mass, unless they are travelling.

3. A cleric may not have even his mother, sister, or aunt in the house with him, because horrible incests have happened. Moreover, no woman may serve at the altar.

4. On the conduct of the cleric at the visitation of the sick.

5. A sick man who confesses shall be absolved only under the condition that he shall do penance after being restored to health.

6. For burial the cleric shall demand no fees; and no one may be buried inside the church.

7. No bishop may consecrate a strange cleric.

8. No priest may have more than one church, unless he has, at each of them, several priests under him, who hold the officium nocturnum and diurnum, and say Mass daily.

9. On all Sunday and feast days, the priest shall impart eulogies (blessings) to the non-communicating, and first dedicate these with the following prayer: “Domine Sanctc, Pater omnipotens, æterne Deus, benedicere digneris hunc panem tua sancta et spirituali benedictione, ut sit omnibus salus mentis et corporis, atque contra omnes morbos et universas inimicorum insidias tutamentum.”

10. Four parts are to be made of the income of every church: for the fabric, for the poor, for the priest and his clerics, for the bishop.

11. Trial of those who wish to be ordained.

12. If a spouse commits adultery, the other spouse may separate from him, but may not marry again. The guilty one is to be punished with seven years’ penance. If the innocent one will continue matrimonial union with the guilty, both must do penance for seven years.

13. Fornication of the unmarried is punished with three years’ penance.

14. If an unmarried person commits adultery with a married one, the former is to be punished with five, the latter with seven years of penance.

15. Prescriptions for the fraternities.

16. If a priest dies, his neighbour must not endeavour to get his church through favour of the secular ruler.

17. If anyone has been intentionally guilty of murder, he must be excluded five years a communione orationum, and fourteen years more from the Eucharist.

18. If anyone, without intention, by accident has given a deathblow, he must do penance for forty days on bread and water.

19. Virgins or widows dedicated to God may not appear in public affairs, except at the command of the King or bishop.

20. The bishops must endeavour to root out the remains of heathenism.

Two somewhat more recent French [Frankish] Synods we have for the first time become acquainted with through Professor Fr. Maassen, who discovered the minutes of them in a codex of the City Library at Albi (sec. ix.), and published it (Graz 1867) under the title, “Two Synods under King Childerich II.” As Childerich the Second was made King of Austrasia in 660, and in 670 King also of Neustria and Burgundy, and in 673 was murdered, these two Synods must fall between 660 and 673; and it cannot be ascertained whether Childerich, at the time of this Synod, was already sole regent, or only King of Austrasia. The first of these Synods, entitled Burdigalensis, was held at Bordeaux in castro Modogarnomo, in the Church of S. Peter, at the command of King Chilperich, and in the presence of Duke Lupo, his lieutenant. There were present, under the presidency of Archbishop Adus of Bourges, eighteen bishops, from the three ecclesiastical provinces of Bourges, Bordeaux, and Elusa (Eauze), with several secular magnates from Aquitaine. The latter are named (Roman) provinciales, as the great mass of the inhabitants of Aquitaine were of old Roman origin, and not West Gothic or Frankish. In the Preface it is said that the Synod had been held pro statu ecclesiæ vel (= et) stabilitate regni. The latter point was quite particularly accentuated in canon 4 of the Synod, and this therefore might have been a chief aim of the Synod. It was intended also to put an end to gross abuses among the clergy, of whom many, as the Preface says, despised their bishops, wore secular clothing, and in different points were worse than the laity. The four canons of the Synod run:—

1. The clergy must wear the habit appointed for them (abitum habitare, more correctly habituare, see Du Cange, s.v.), and must not carry lances and other weapons. Whoever acts otherwise, is to be punished according to the canons.

2. No cleric may, without the consent of his bishop, have a secular patron (mundeburdum).

3. With reference to the mulieres subintroductæ, every cleric (of the higher degrees) is to be punished, if he has such with him, except such women as are allowed by the canons (e.g. c. 10 of Tours, 567, sec. 285; and c. 1 of Macon, 581, sec. 286).

4. The bishops must in every respect show a good example, love the clergy, be a model in dress, in walk, in speech, and in obedience, and putting away the secular, must hold fast religion, ut et stabilitas regni per eos debeat stare, et salus populi, sicut decet, per cos debeat Domino auxiliante durare.

The second Frankish Synod, whose Acts Professor Fr. Maassen edited, is called Latunensis, and was celebrated at Latona (S. Jean de Losne, at the effluence of the Ouche into the Saône), in the ecclesiastical province of Lyons, close to the diocese of Chalons on the Saône. The subscriptions of the bishops are no longer extant, and even the number of those present is unknown; but the assembly seems to have been a Frankish general Council. King Childerich was himself present at the Synod, and it must fall in the time when Childerich had come to reign also over Neustria and Burgundy, since it was held in Burgundy. Accordingly we must place it between 670 and 673. With this view the following harmonises. In their 11th canon our Synod settles that a Council should again be held in the September of the fourteenth regnal year of Childerich. The fourteenth year of Childerich, however, was the year of his death, and as, according to canon 20 of Macon, A.D. 585 (sec. 286), a Synod was ordered to be celebrated every three years in Burgundy, we may certainly assign ours to the year 670 or 671. In the Preface to the minutes, the bishops declare their resolve to hold fast by the ordinances of the five Œcumenical Councils (the sixth had not yet taken place), and added to this their own twenty-two short canons:—

1. Bishops must not encumber themselves with secular affairs, but live according to the canons.

2. No bishop or cleric may bear weapons.

3. A bishop may not himself conduct a trial, but only through his advocate.

4. No cleric may have a woman in his house except those who are allowed in the old canons.

5. Only he may become a bishop who is of the legal age, is (regularly) elected, and has for himself the consensus populi.

6. Two bishops may not be in one city.

7. No cleric may receive another cleric without a letter of the bishop or abbot. Monks may not ramble about in the country without letters.

8. Bishops must be in their cities at Easter, Christmas, and Pentecost (Quinquagesima), unless a command of the King prevents them.

9. Laymen may not receive the office of an archpresbyter (dean).

10. Bishops who do not live spiritualiter, must reform within the prescribed time, or be deposed.

11. The synodalis concilius shall be celebrated in the middle of September, in the fourteenth regnal year of Childerich, at the place which the King appoints.

12. Widows who change their raiment and wish to persevere in the state of widowhood, stand under the protection of the King.

13. Those widows (dedicated to God) who live piously according to the judgment of the bishops, may remain in their houses. If, however, they are negligent in regard to chastity, they shall be shut up in a convent.

14. The privileges of convents remain in force.

15. Bishops, priests, and deacons may not go hunting like people of the world.

16. No bishop may select a successor.

17. Bishops or abbots who are either condemned for neglect, or have voluntarily deserted their churches, may no longer return to them.

18. The bishop must preach on all Sundays and feast days.

19. Monks who travel about without letters testimonial from the abbot, may not be received.

20. Anyone acting in opposition to this, for the future, shall be suspended from communion for a whole year.

21. Bishops who do not come to the Synod are to be punished according to the canons.

22. If a bishop himself designates his successor, he himself loses his grade.

On the Synod in the convent of Streaneshalch (= Sinus Phari, thence Synodus Pharensis) near Whitby, in the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Northumbria, A.D. 664, we receive information from the Venerable Bede. The Roman missionaries and their disciples had diffused the Roman reckoning for Easter over the whole Heptarchy, and so also in Northumbria. But into the latter country came also the old British or Scottish use from the island of Hy [Iona] through S. Aidan, who re-established the Church in Northumbria, after it had gone down. As long as S. Aidan lived, the two ways of keeping Easter remained peacefully side by side in Northumbria; but after his death, Finan and Colman became zealous for the Scottish fashion, and in order to remove this difference, our Synod was now convoked by King Oswy of Northumbria. Distinguished ecclesiastical and secular persons of both parties assisted, among them the famous Abbess Hilda of Streaneshalch (daughter of a Northumbrian King), who herself was attached to the old British way of Easter. So was King Oswy, whilst his consort Eanfeld and his son Alchfrid followed the Roman manner. Bishop Colman of Lindisfarne, already named, spoke for the British practice, Abbot Wilfrid of Ripon for the Roman; and as the latter finally laid chief stress on this, that Christ had given the highest authority to Peter, King Oswy declared: As the apostle of the Scottish Church, S. Columba, cannot be compared with S. Peter, so it is reasonable that we should follow Peter rather than him. All Northumbria now adopted the Roman practice.—The second point of controversy was the fashion of the tonsure: and here, too, the Roman practice prevailed.—The Scots, however, who had come to the Synod, went Rome unconverted.

On the 6th of November 666, Proficius, metropolitan of the Lusitanian province, in his cathedral Church of Jerusalem at Emerita (Merida), celebrated a provincial Synod with eleven suffragans. Like the other Spanish Synods since the conversion of the nation, this also placed—1. At the head of its decrees the confession of the orthodox faith in the form of the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed received at the third Synod of Toledo, A.D. 589 (sec. 287), with the addition et (ex) Filio procedentem, and an anathema against all heretics. The further Capitula treat of the subjects of worship and discipline.

2. In the Lusitanian province, as elsewhere, in the evening when the light is kindled on feast days, vespers shall be sung before the sonus (i.e. before the psalm, Venite exultemus, with which matins begin, and which, on account of the high tone which was used with it, was called sonus; cf. Du Cange, s.v.).

3. Whilst King Receswinth is at war, the bishops shall daily offer the sacrifice for him and his army.

4. All bishops must, at their ordination, promise to live chastely, moderately, and uprightly.

5. If a provincial Synod is announced by the will of the metropolitan and at the command of the King, all the bishops of the province must appear. Whoever cannot possibly appear in person shall send the archpresbyter, or, if this cannot be, another presbyter, but not a deacon.

6. If a metropolitan requires a comprovincial bishop tocelebrate Christmas or Easter with him, he must appear.

7. If a bishop does not appear at a provincial Synod, he will be shut out from communion until the next Council, and must remain as a penitent during that time, at the place appointed by the metropolitan and the bishops present at the Synod. His house and his possessions are, in the meantime, to be administered by the metropolitan.

8. After King Receswinth, acting on the proposal of the departed Archbishop Orontius of Emerita, has restored the Lusitanian province in accordance with the old canons, the strife between Bishop Selva of Egitania and Justus of Salamanca on the boundaries of their dioceses, shall now be settled by a commission (in accordance with the ordinance of Seville, A.D. 619, c. 2, sec. 289).

9. Nothing may be demanded for chrism or for baptism, on penalty of excommunication for three months; but a voluntary gift may be accepted.

10. Every bishop shall have in his cathedral an archpresbyter, archdeacon, and primiclerus.

11. The priests, abbots, and deacons must show respect to the bishop, receive him worthily at his visitation, and prepare what is necessary for him; nor must they undertake any secular business or offices without his permission.

12. The bishop may at his pleasure remove the priests and deacons of rural parishes to the cathedral. Besides that which the bishop gives them, the incomes of their previous office remain to them, after deducting the cost of a substitute.

13. The bishop shall specially reward the able clergy.

14. That which is offered in money in a cathedral church on feast days shall be divided into three parts; and one part shall belong to the bishop, a second to the priests and deacons, and the third to the remaining clerics. Similarly the clergy in the rural churches shall share.

15. The bishops henceforth may not have the slaves of the Church mutilated for an offence, but the royal judge shall inquire into the offence, and the bishop must then not impose the severest punishment on the guilty. It has also frequently happened that priests who have fallen ill, accuse the slaves of the Church of having brought this evil upon them, and for this reason torture them. This may no longer be done. On the contrary, the accusation of such an offence (maleficium) must be inquired into by the judge at the request of the bishop, and if the judge discovers a fault, it shall be punished by the bishop.

16. By the old canons it is settled that the bishop is to receive from the rural churches a third of their income. This rule may not be trangressed by any bishop of the Lusitanian province; nor may he take this third part from every church, but must spend it for the repairs of some. All priests in the rural Churches who have church property (virtutem, see Du Cange) in possession, must give a promise (placitum, see Du Cange) to the bishop to have their churches properly repaired. If they do not so, the bishop must compel them. If the churches have no property, the bishop must provide for their repair.

17. No one may revile a departed bishop.

18. The priests in the rural churches shall, in proportion to the amount of Church property intrusted to them, select fit men from the service of the Church for clerics and for their assistants.

19. If several poor Churches have only one priest among them, he shall hold Mass on Sunday in each of these.

20. If the slaves of Churches were freed under the observance of the canons hereto referring, they are to remain free; but if they are illegally made free, then they and their posterity shall become slaves. But even those who are set free in a regular manner remain slaves of the Church, etc.

21. If bishops have presented to those belonging to them anything of Church property, but, on the other hand, have left at least three times as much to the Church from their property, those presents remain in force; so, too, if they have given anything for services which anyone has rendered to the Church.

22. In some of the ordinances drawn up there is added a cavendi modus, i.e. the measure of the punishment to be feared on transgression. Other points which are not connected with special means of coercion must be observed with punishment of excommunication.

23. Honour be to God; thanks to the King.

A Synod at Ereta, A.D. 667, under Paul the metropolitan of that place, pronounced deposition upon Bishop John of Lappa or Lampa, at Ereta, in an uncanonical manner. He appealed to the Pope, was imprisoned for this, escaped to Rome, and was so fortunate as to be found innocent by a Roman Synod under Pope Vitalian.

About the same time, perhaps somewhat earlier, Archbishop Numerian of Trier, with some other bishops and abbots, granted, perhaps at a Synod at Trier, certain privileges to the convent of Vallis Gallilææ (S. Dieu-donné) in Lothringen (Lorraine), founded by S. Deodatus, bishop of Nevers.

In the old collections there is a number of canons, under the title of Augustodunenses, which must have been given by S. Leodegar of Autun at a Synod at Autun about the year 670. In his remarks on Pagi (ad ann. 633, n. 5), Mansi tried to show that this supposed Synod of Autun is identical with that at Christiacus or Marlacus, which took place in the year 677. Subsequently, however, he reformed his hypothesis, and distinguished the two Synods, that of Autun about 670, and that of Marly near Paris, or Morlay in the diocese of Toul, in 677. The latter deposed the irregularly-appointed Bishop Chranilin of Embrun, and the former issued a number of ordinances on the discipline in convents.

We gain firmer ground again with the Anglo-Saxon national Synod of Hertford, held by the celebrated Archbishop Theodore of Canterbury, on the 24th of September 673. The older canons were, all confirmed, and respect for them promised, besides ten separate Capitula which Theodore regarded as peculiarly pressing, and which were read by him and confirmed by all present, namely:—

1. Easter shall be celebrated by all on the Sunday after the fourteenth day of the first lunar month (Nisan).

2. No bishop may encroach on the diocese of another.

3. He may not disturb or rob the convents.

4. Monks may not wander from one convent to another.

5. No cleric may leave his bishop and go to another.

6. Travelling clergy may officiate only with permission.

7. Every year a Synod shall take place, on the 1st of August, at Clofeshooh (Cloveshoe).

8. Bishops rank according to the order of their consecration.

9. With the growth of the Christian population a greater number of bishops is necessary.

10. On marriage and divorce, only in casu adulterii and without remarriage.

King Receswinth of Spain was of a great age, and died in the year 672; and the magnates of the kingdom immediately elected as his successor one of their own number, Wamba, a man illustrious for his virtues. He refused the offered crown twice; and only when one of the electors drew his sword and threatened to stab him as the greatest enemy of his country if he should longer refuse, he gave at last his consent, and in the September of 672 was solemnly anointed King, in the Church of SS. Peter and Paul at Toledo, by Archbishop Quiricius. From his head a miraculous pillar of smoke is said to have risen as a good omen, and in the midst of it a bee flew up.

Even the great reputation of Wamba, however, could not prevent the outbreak of several risings in the provinces of Navarre, Asturia, and especially Gallia Narbonensis; and after the King had happily suppressed them in the years 673 and 674, he held, in the year 675, two provincial Synods, the one at Toledo, the other at Braga. Which of the two was the earlier cannot be determined with certainty, as only the one of Toledo is provided with a date, November 7. The Collections of Councils put it before the Council of Braga. Ferreres, in his History of Spain, decided for the opposite. To me it seems that the two provincial Synods were held almost contemporaneously, as the third Council of Toledo (c. 18) ordered that Synods should be held in the beginning of November. We know, indeed, that the fourth Synod of Toledo (c. 3) wanted to introduce a different date; but, in spite of this, we have since then found that practically the Spanish Synods met mostly in November, and the ninth of Toledo again expressly brought in the beginning of November as the term of meeting (sec. 290, Toledo 9, ad fin.).

The eleventh Synod of Toledo, held in S. Mary’s Church there, November 7, 675, was attended by seventeen bishops, two representatives of bishops, and six abbots, together with the archdeacon of S. Mary’s Church. They all belonged to the province of Toledo, or, as it was called, to the Carthaginian province, and at its head stood the Metropolis Quiricius. In the Preface they give a sad picture of the eighteen years immediately preceding, during which time no Synod had been held (at Toledo), and heresy and incontinence had increased among the clergy. Now, called together by the will of God and the King, they decided to open their transactions with the confession of the true faith. On the first day the Metropolitan read aloud a very complete confession of faith prepared by him, on which the bishops took counsel, with fasting, on the following days; and finally, on the third day, recited it in common. In this symbol, among other things, it is said that the Son of God is Son by nature and not by adoption, hic etiam Filius Dei natura est filius, non adoptione—in opposition to the Bonosians, and that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and the Son, and is missus ab utrisque. Subsequently, in the very complete and beautiful christological division, it is also said of the Son: Missus tamen Filius non solum a Patre, sed a Spiritu Sancto missus credendus est, and a se ipso quoque missus accipitur, and for this reason, quod inseparabilis non solum voluntas, sed operatio totius Trinitatis agnoscitur.—No reference is made to the Monothelite question which had already begun to ferment in a high degree.

On the following day, after the unanimous acceptance of this creed, sixteen Capitula were drawn up:—

1. Quiet must prevail at the Council, and speech must not be loud; no contention, no laughter, etc.

2. All clerics, particularly bishops, must read diligently in Holy Scripture. The superiors must keep the clergy who are placed under them to this duty, and must instruct the ignorant therein.

3. Worship must everywhere be held as in the metropolis. Only the convents may have some special officia with permission of the bishop.

4. The offerings of those who live in enmity are not to be received, and they must do penance twice as long as their enmity lasted.

5. How bishops who have committed deeds of violence, or even homicide, or have appropriated the possessions of others, are to be punished. If they have any property, they must pay from this the compensations prescribed in the (civil) laws, and on the side of the Church they will be punished by temporary excommunication. If, however, they have no property, the compensation may not be paid from the property of the Church, and they themselves must not (as was the case with insolvent laymen) be sold as slaves, but must be punished with twenty days of penance for every ten solidi which they would have to pay as compensation. If a bishop has been guilty of impurity with the wife, or daughter, or any other relation of a magnate (magnati), he must lose his dignity, and be for ever excommunicated and exiled. Only at his death communion may be granted to him. The like must be done with those who have intentionally committed murder, or have seriously injured persons of high position.

6. No cleric may pronounce sentences of death, or issue a command for a mutilation.

7. Bishops may impose punishments upon their clergy only according to the ordinances.

8. No cleric may demand, or even accept anything for baptism, chrism, ordination (promotionibis graduum). If this was done with the knowledge of the bishop by his subordinates, he is to be excommunicated for two months. If it happened, however, without knowledge of the bishop, then a priest who has taken anything is to be excommunicated for three months, a deacon four months, a subdeacon and (inferior) clerics must be beaten and excommunicated.

9. Every bishop must, at his consecration, swear that he has not given nor will give money to anyone in order to attain to office. If anyone is discovered to be a simonist, he is to be excommunicated. If he has sorrowfully done penance for two years in exile, he may not only receive communion, but he may be again restored to his office.

10. Every cleric must, before his ordination, promise that he will hold fast the catholic faith, observe the canons, live uprightly, and show reverence and obedience to his superiors.

11. It is permitted to the sick, who, on account of dryness of mouth, cannot partake of the holy bread, to receive only the chalice. This modifies canon 14 of the first Synod of Toledo (vol. ii. sec. 112). But if anyone, who is in good health, takes the body of the Lord out of his mouth, he shall be for ever excommunicated. If an unbeliever does so, he is to be beaten, and for ever exiled.

12. To those who are in danger of death, reconciliation is to be imparted immediately, after, by the imposition of hands, they have been brought into a state of penance. For those, however, who die after receiving penance, but before the reception of reconciliation, divine service may be held (cf. vol. ii. sec. 163; Frank, Penitential Discipline, 1867, S. 913; and Kober, Kirchenbann, S. 528 sq.).

13. Persons possessed may not serve at the altar.

14. If it is possible, every cleric who sings or offers (says Mass) should have an assistant behind him, who, in case of sickness, may step into his place.

15. Every year a provincial Synod shall be held. The date shall be determined by the King and metropolitan. If anyone does not appear, he is to be excommunicated for a year. The like punishment is to be inflicted upon all the bishops of the province, if they, not being prevented by the King, let a year pass over without a Council.

16. Honour to God; thanks to the King.

That King Wamba had made a new division of dioceses, is related by all the Spanish historians. A comparison of the division existing after him and before him, however, shows that no great or essential alterations took place under him, but rather, that only some disputes were appeased, some modifications introduced, and the already existing hierarchical division fully fixed.

That this happened precisely at the eleventh Synod of Toledo, is asserted only by a single ancient superscription of this Synod, which is lacking in other MSS. (cf. Collectio can. eccl. Hispaniæ, p. 467). In the minutes of the Synod no indication of this point occurs, and it is not to be supposed that a mere provincial Synod would have decided on the division of the dioceses of the whole of Spain.

The provincial Synod at Braga, called Bracarensis IV., was attended by eight bishops of Galicia, among them the Metropolitan Leodecisius, and left nine Capitula:—

1. In the first, the bishops declare the orthodox faith by setting forth the Niceno-Constantinopolitan symbol (with ex Filio procedentem), and enumerate many improprieties existing among the clergy, which are particularly forbidden in the following chapters.

2. It must no longer happen that milk should be used at the holy sacrifice instead of wine, or that a vine should be offered, and its grapes given round (pro complemento communionis). Nor shall the holy bread be dipped in the wine, for the Bible speaks (at the institution of the Eucharist) of the bread and wine as separate. In the cup the wine must be mixed with water.

3. The vessels of the Church may not be employed for profane use. The like is ordered for the decorations, cloths, etc., of the Church.

4. At the Mass, the priest must wear the orarium, and it must be placed in front over the cross.

5. No cleric must have private intercourse without witnesses, with any other woman than his own mother.

6. Some bishops hang relics on their necks at the feasts of martyrs, and then have themselves borne by Levites in albs to their seats in the church, as if they were the shrines of relics. This must cease; and in the future, as in the past, the Levites shall bear the shrines of relics on their shoulders, as the Old Testament Levites bore the Ark of the Covenant. If the bishop himself wishes to carry the relics, he must go on foot.

7. Priests, abbots, and Levites may not be punished with blows, except in case of serious offences.

8. Simony forbidden.

9. Rectors of churches must be diligent and zealous in caring for Church property.

For some time the episcopal see for Northumbria had been removed from York to the island of Lindisfarne. Aidan, the second apostle of Northumberland, had done this from love of solitude, A.D. 635. The archiepiscopal dignity of the Northumbrian Church went along with this. Almost a half century afterwards Ceadda, and after him Wilfrid, resided again at York, but in subordination to the archbishop of Canterbury. The celebrated Theodore, who then occupied the latter chair, allowed himself to be misled by King Egfrid of Northumbria, A.D. 678, into dividing this country, and so the ancient diocese of York, into four dioceses, so that for Wilfrid only the small diocese of Lindisfarne remained. That this was done at a convention of bishops, and thus at a Synod, is stated by Wilfrid himself. As the latter did not consent to this division, Theodore deprived him even of the Church of Lindisfarne. But he appealed to the Pope, and betook himself to Rome, in order, personally, to defend his cause. Theodore also sent an agent thither, who arrived before Wilfrid; and after the latter at last had come, Pope Agatho held a Roman Synod in October 679. Fifty persons, among them sixteen bishops, were present; and after Wilfrid had related the whole circumstances, and had with much modesty declared that he was willing to consent to the division of his diocese, when it was necessary; only bishops should be given to him with whom he could live side by side; it was then decreed that Wilfrid was to be restored, and that he should, in agreement with the Synod to be held in England, himself select his three assistants (the three bishops of the other dioceses of Northumbria). The archbishop of Canterbury was then to consecrate them, but the three already appointed were to be removed. The proposition was also made (was it adopted?) at this Synod, that in the whole of England there should be twelve bishoprics, and that these should form one province.

Finally, they decreed to send the Roman Abbot and Archicantor (Precentor) John as papal legate to England, to Theodore of Canterbury, that the latter might hold an English Synod for the settlement of the controversies prevailing in England, and for the condemnation of heresy (Monothelitism). At the same time, Pope Agatho sent him, by the Archicantor John, the decrees of the Lateran Synod under Pope Martin I. At the wish of the Pope, Wilfrid remained still longer in Rome, after the departure of the legate, and assisted at that Roman Synod (Easter, 680) by which the plenipotentiaries were despatched to Constantinople for the sixth Œcumenical Council.








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