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A Manual Of Councils Of The Holy Catholic Church -Rev. Edward H. Landon. M.A.

DALMATIA (1199). [Concilium Dalmaticum.] Held in 1199, by John, chaplain to Pope Innocent III., and Simon, his subdeacon, both legates of the Roman see. In this council the Church of Dalmatia submitted itself to the authority of Rome. Also twelve canons were published.

1. Enjoins that a bishop convicted of taking any fee for ordination shall be deposed for ever.

4. Directs that the secrecy of confession shall be kept inviolate under pain of deposition.

8. Condemns those lay persons who present to benefices, and those of the clergy who receive them at the hands of the laymen.

10. Excommunicates husbands who forsake their wives without waiting for the judgment of the Church.

11. Forbids the ordination of bastards, and of the sons of priests.

12. Forbids the ordination of any one as priest under thirty years of age.

The acts are subscribed by seven bishops, besides the legates and the Archbishop Dominicus.—Tom. xi. Conc. p. 7.

ST DENYS (996). [Concilium St Dionysianum.] Held about the year 996, upon the matter of the tithes, which it was proposed to take from the monks and laymen, who had gotten possession of them, and to restore to the bishops. Abbor, Abbot of Fleuri, opposed this measure so warmly, and raised such an opposition amongst the monks of St Denys and their serfs, that the bishops were glad to make their escape, and nothing was concluded.—Aimonus in Vita St Abbonis. Tom. ix. Conc. p. 770.

DIOSPOLIS, in Palestine, the ancient Lydda (415). [Concilium Diospolitanum.] Assembled December 20, 415, and lasted four days. Heros, Bishop of Arles, and Lazarus, Bishop of Aix (driven from their sees in the troubles raised by an incursion of the barbarians), had denounced the heresy of Pelagius to the bishops of Palestine, and had drawn up a memorial setting forth the errors of which they asserted him to be guilty, taken partly from that heretic’s own works, and partly from those of Celestius. This business was carried before a council, which St Augustine calls the Council of Palestine, but it was in fact no other than the Council of Diospolis, of which we are speaking,—the city mentioned in Holy Scripture under the name of Lydda.

Fourteen bishops attended, amongst whom were Eulogius of Cesarea, John of Jerusalem, Ammonianus Fidus, Zosimus, &c. Pelagius himself was present, but not so Heros and Lazarus, nor any person to explain the evil tendency of his works. He was supported by John of Jerusalem.

The memorial of Heros and Lazarus was read, in which many propositions of Pelagius were contained; and amongst them the following: That Adam had mortality in his nature; that the consequences of his sin were confined to his person; that the Law qualified for the kingdom of heaven, and was founded upon equal promises with the Gospel; that children dying without baptism are saved, and enjoy eternal life, athough they do not enter the kingdom of heaven; that the grace of God is not necessary for the performance of each particular good work; that man’s free will with the law and gospel doctrine is sufficient; that grace is given according to our merits, and depends upon man’s will.

Pelagius confessed some of the propositions attributed to him to be really his, but he denied the sense which his accusers put upon them, maintaining that they were capable of being understood in a sense agreeable to Catholic truth.

As to the accusations brought against him, some he disposed of by passing them over altogether, and others he evaded by so confusing the subject with a multitude of words and specious sophistry that he bewildered his antagonists, as appears from St Augustine’s report of the proceedings drawn up from the acts of the council. In fact, since there was no one present capable of sustaining the charges brought against him, and the Greek bishops were unable to examine his writings, which were in Latin, they were obliged to take his own word for the soundness of his views, and accordingly, after he had declared solemnly that he held in all things the Catholic faith, and had anathematised every thing contrary to it, the fathers recognised him as being in communion with the Church. But whatever advantage Pelagius derived from this council, by declaring that the fourteen bishops had approved his opinions, what St Augustine says is true, that in absolving the person of Pelagius they condemned his heresy, since he himself, the head of that heresy, was obliged to condemn it before the fathers would recognise him as being in the communion of the Church.—Tom. ii. Conc. p. 1529.—Aug. de Pec. orig. ad Bon. lib. ii. cap. 3.

DROGHEDA (1554). Held in St Peter’s Church, Drogheda, in 1554, by George Dowdall, Archbishop of Armagh (lately restored to the archbishopric). In this synod various changes and reforms, introduced during the preceding reign (that of Edward VI.), were annulled. Amongst other enactments, was one enjoining that the married clergy should be deprived; and another, ordering all rectors and vicars, unable to preach themselves, to engage a substitute to preach for them four times a year at least. Another provincial synod was held at Drogheda in 1556.—Bp. Mant, Hist. Irish Church, p. 240.

DOUZI (871). [Concilium Duziacense.] Held in August, in the year 871, at Douzi, a small town of France, in Champagne, near Mouzon. In this council Hincmar, Bishop of Laon, was deposed and banished, having refused to answer the complaints urged against him by Charles the Bald. At the same time Hincmar of Rheims also presented a petition, filled with complaints against his nephew (Hincmar of Laon). His sentence of deposition was signed by twenty-one bishops present, and by the deputies of eight, who were absent, and also by eight other ecclesiastics. A synodal letter was written to Pope Hadrian. The acts of the council are lost, but the pope’s rescript, reprobating the condemnation of Hincmar, is extant. (See C. VERBERIE, 869.)

DOUZI (874). Held in June 874, by order of the king. A synodal letter to the bishops of Aquitaine was written upon the subject of incestuous marriages (an abuse then common), and also of the usurpations of Church property. At the same time Humbert, a priest, was deposed, and a nun, Duda, whom he had seduced, put to penance.—Greg. xii. Ep. 31, inter. 7. Tom. ix. Conc. p. 258.

DUBLIN (1176). [Concilium Dublinense.] Held in 1176, by Vivianus, the Pope’s legate, who then confirmed the rights of the kings of England over Ireland.—Wilkins’ Conc., vol. i. p. 483.

DUBLIN (1186). Held in Lent, 1186, by John Comyn, Archbishop of Dublin, against the drunkenness and incontinence of the clergy. The archbishop, in this council, publicly pronounced sentence against certain of the clergy of the County of Wexford convicted of being married; they were suspended from the exercise of their ecclesiastical functions, and deprived of the enjoyment of their benefices. The Irish bishops, at the same time, were reprimanded for their neglect, in not checking the drunken habits of their clergy.

DUBLIN (1518). Held in 1518, by William Rokeby, Archbishop of Dublin, and Chancellor of Ireland. For the reformation of morals and discipline, ten canons were published.

1. Forbids the admission of priests without the consent of the ordinary; also enforces payment of tithe under pain of excommunication.

3. Forbids the use of chalices made of tin.

8. Forbids the clergy to play at tennis, upon pain of a fine of twenty-four pence for each offence, half to be paid to the bishop, and the other half to the church of the place where they play.—Wilkins’ Conc., vol. iii. p. 660.

DUBLIN (1615). Held in 1615, by the archbishops, bishops, and clergy of Ireland, in convocation, Thomas Jones, Archbishop of Dublin, being speaker of the house of bishops. In this synod certain articles of religion, framed by Usher, in one hundred and four sections, under nineteen heads, were drawn up and approved, having for their object the introduction of Calvin’s novelties into the faith of the Irish Church. These articles included the nine celebrated “articles of Lambeth,” A.D. 1595, by means of which the same object had been attempted, but, happily, in vain, in England.

By the decree of the synod, any minister, of whatsoever degree or quality, publicly teaching any doctrine contrary to the articles then agreed upon, was ordered to be, after due admonition, silenced and deprived. (See C. DUBLIN, 1635.)—Bp. Mant.; Wilkins’ Conc., vol. iii. p. 447.

DUBLIN (1634). A convocation of the archbishops, bishops, and clergy of Ireland, was held in 1634, in which it was proposed that the thirty-nine articles of religion, agreed upon in the Synod of London, A.D. 1562, should be received by the Church of Ireland. This measure was strongly recommended by Bishop Bramhall, and supported by the English and Irish governments. Archbishop Usher does not appear to have been very cordial in his co-operation.

The main difficulty in the way of thus reducing the two Churches to a strict conformity in doctrine was the body of articles drawn up and approved in a previous synod, held in Dublin in 1615. These articles the lower house were unwilling to alter, but by the exertions of the lord deputy, Wentworth, and Bishop Bramhall, a canon was eventually drawn up, and with the exception of one dissentient voice, unanimously passed, by which the English articles were received and approved, and all who should refuse to subscribe them pronounced worthy of excommunication.

No formal abrogation, however, of the Calvinistic articles of 1615 was made, which led to very inconvenient results; some, amongst whom was Bramhall, justly considering that the adoption of the English articles, ipso jacto, annulled those of 1615; whilst Usher and many others, who favoured the doctrines contained in the Irish articles, maintained that both sets of articles were to be observed; and, in consequence, some few bishops, for a time, required subscription to both the English and Irish, discordant as they were. This unhappy state of things appears to have continued until 1641, when the Irish rebellion broke out. On the restoration of the Church, no attempt was made to revive the Irish articles, which fell into entire disuse.

In this same synod the Bishop of Derry, Bramhall, further moved that the canons of the English Church should be received as well as the articles. Archbishop Usher opposed this, upon the ground that it gave too great a pre-eminence to the Church of England; and his view of the matter was so far pleasing to the majority of the clergy (many of whom were strongly inclined to Puritanism), that all they would agree to was, that permission should be granted to Bramhall to select from the English code such canons as he should consider fit for adoption in the Church of Ireland, and to add to them others constructed afresh for the purpose, so as to form a complete rule suited to the circumstances of the Church.

The body of canons so formed, to the number of one hundred, for the most part agreed with the English canons. The main differences are as follows:—

Canon 7 in the Irish code, which corresponds to canon 13 in the English, omits all special notice of the postures, &c., to be observed during divine service, and orders generally the “use of such reverent gestures and actions as the Book of Common Prayer prescribes, and the commendable use of the Church hath received.”

Canon 13 in the English, was altogether omitted. No further injunction for using the surplice was made than that in the 7th canon; it is ordered to be worn in cathedral and collegiate chapels.

Canons 55 and 82 in the English code, were omitted in the Irish.

Canon 31 in the Irish code, directs that the “articles of religion, generally received in the Church of England and Ireland,” should be taken for the test of the faith of candidates for orders.

Canon 8 provides for the celebration of certain portions of the service in Irish.

Canon 86 permits, in certain cases, the parish-clerk to read those parts of the service which should be appointed to be read in Irish.

Canon 94 provides for the supply of Irish Bibles and Prayer Books to churches.

Canon 9 forbids preachers to teach heretical and popish errors.

Canon 11 provides for catechising; forbids the clergy to admit any person to be married, or to act as sponsors, or receive the holy communion, before they can say the creed, the Lord’s Prayer, and the ten commandments.

Canon 12 lays down rules for catechising and preaching.

Canon 97 orders the removal, with consent of the ordinary, of all rood-lofts in which wooden crosses stood, all shrines, &c.

Canon 36 provides for the union of poor livings.

Canon 43 orders the consecration of new churches.

Canon 19 orders the minister, on the afternoon before the administration of the holy communion, to give warning by the tolling of a bell, or otherwise, that persons troubled in conscience, may resort to God’s ministers for advice and counsel.

Canon 49 prohibits marriage in Lent, during any public fast, at Christmas, Easter, Whitsuntide, and on Ascension Day.

The Book of Canons, thus settled, having passed both houses of convocation, received finally the king’s assent.—Bp. Mant., Irish Church, pp. 483–506; Wilkins’ Conc., vol. iii. p. 496.

DUNSTABLE (1214). [Concilium Dunstaplense.] Held at Dunstable in 1214, by Stephen Langton, Archbishop of Canterbury, to complain against the conduct of Nicholas, Bishop of Tusculum, the Pope’s legate, who had thrust into the vacant sees prelates (it was alleged) by no means qualified to fill them, and whose power to prefer them at all was questioned in this synod. The legate took no notice of the message which was sent to him at Burton-upon-Trent, where he then was, but, with the king’s consent, despatched Pandulphus to Rome, and so outwitted the Anglican clergy, and made their appeal to the pontiff of little or no effect.—Wilkins’ Conc., vol. i. p. 544.

DURHAM (1220). [Concilium Dunelmense.] Held in 1220, under Richard de Marisco, Bishop of Durham. Great uncertainty hangs over the date and particulars of this council. Amongst the constitutions of Richard of Durham, which are numerous, the following may be noticed:—

1 and 2. Concern the case of those that need dispensations.

3, 4, and 5. Contain instructions to archdeacons to instruct the clergy, and the clergy to teach the people in the Catholic faith.

7 and 9. Direct that the concubines shall be expelled from the houses of the clergy, and that the former, as well as the latter, be punished; among other penalties they are to be forbidden to receive the kiss of peace, and the blessed bread (pane benedicto) in the church.

13 and 14. Against drinking, and in favour of hospitality.

15, and several following constitutions, enumerate the seven sacraments, forbid them to be sold, prohibit any one from admitting to the sacraments the parishioners of another clergyman, allow of lay-baptism in cases of necessity, yea, even of a father’s or mother’s administering the rite without prejudice to their conjugal connection; the form was to be esteemed valid whether repeated in Latin, French, or English, and if any doubt existed, a form of conditional baptism was given: “I intend not to re-baptise thee, but if thou art not already baptised, I baptise thee,” &c. The same number of sponsors were deemed necessary as are at present required by the English Church.

29. Directs that women be admonished to bring up their offspring carefully, and not to place them when very young too near at night, lest the babes be smothered; not to leave them alone in the house near the fire, nor in a place near water; and this duty is to be declared to them every Lord’s day.

40. Forbids priests to reveal what was said to them under the seal of confession, even by such expressions as this: “I know what kind of persons ye are,” or in any way.

The last constitution forbids a monk to dwell alone in his cell or elsewhere, quoting Ecclesiastes 4:10, in proof of the peril of so doing.—Wilkins’ Conc., vol. i. p. 572.

DURHAM (1255). Held in 1255, or thereabout; in which the constitutions of Walter de Kirkham, confirming and improving those of Richard of Durham, were published.—Wilkins’ Conc., vol. i. p. 704.

DURHAM (1276). Held in 1276, in which the constitutions of Robert de Insulâ, Bishop of Durham, were published. They are six in number, and all of them concerning tithes and the collection of them, with the best means of preventing disputes or fraud.








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