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

NANTES (579). [Concilium Nannetense.] Held in 579. In which Nantinus, the nephew of Maracharius, a former bishop of Angoulême, who had been murdered, promised to desist from persecuting Heraclius, the bishop of that see, and to restore the property which his uncle had left to the Church, but which he (Nantinus) had seized. He afterwards refused to fulfil his engagement, and was a second time excommunicated.—Greg. Turon. Hist., lib. v. cap. 37. Sirmondus, Tom. i. Conc. Gall.

NANTES (660). Held about the year 660, as Pagi has shown (according to Labbe about 658). St Nivardus of Rheims presided. Twenty canons were published.

1. Directs parish priests to send away wanderers from neighbouring parishes who came to their churches on Sundays and holy days to the neglect of their own pastors; also directs them to drive out of the Church those who refused to be reconciled with their enemies.

3. Forbids priests to live in the same house with any women whatever; also forbids women to go near the altar, or to wait upon the priests there, or to be seated within the chancel rails.

5. Forbids to give absolution to the sick, except upon condition that they promise to do suitable penance, in case of their recovery.

6. Forbids any fee for burials.

8. Forbids a priest to have charge of more than one church.

9. Orders that some of the bread offered for the Holy Eucharist be blessed, and given to the non-communicants.

10. Orders that all oblations and tithes be divided into four portions.

12. Permits divorce in case of adultery, but forbids the husband to marry again during the life of his wife so divorced on account of adultery. Orders seven years’ penance for the sin of adultery.

19. Declares it to be offensive to the laws of God and man for women to attend public meetings without necessity, and forbids nuns and widows to do so without their bishop’s permission.—Tom. vi. Conc. p. 486.

NANTES (1127). Held about the year 1127, under the Count Conon; Hildebert, Archbishop of Tours, presiding. It was ruled that children by an incestuous marriage should have no share in the succession of their parents. That the children of priests should not receive holy orders except they should first have taken monastic vows. Anathema was pronounced against those who plundered shipwrecked property.—Tom. x. Conc. p. 918.

NANTES (1264). Held in 1264; Vincent, Archbishop of Tours, presiding. Nine canons were published.

2. Forbids the number of monks in any priory or abbey to be diminished.

5. Forbids to set more than two dishes before the bishop in visitation, and orders that if more have been prepared they shall be given to the poor.

6. Forbids pluralities.

7. Forbids, under pain of excommunication, to demand toll of the clergy.—Tom. xi. Conc. p. 826.

NAPOLI (in PALESTINE) (1120). [Concilium Neapolianum.] Held in 1120, at Napoli or Naplouse, supposed to be the ancient Samaria, convoked by the patriarch Guermondus and King Baldwin; about ten prelates and some lords attended. An exhortation was made to the people to reform their lives, in order to appease the anger of heaven; also twenty-five canons were published, which are lost.—Tom. x. Conc. p. 884. Guill. Tyrr.

NARBONNE (589). [Concilium Narbonense.] Held in 589; composed of eight bishops, from that part of Gaul which was in the hands of the Goths, whose king was Reccaredus; Migetius, Archbishop of Narbonne, presided. The acts of the Council of Toledo (589) were received; and fifteen canons were published.

1. Forbids the clergy to wear purple.

2. Orders the Gloria Patri to be sung at the end of each psalm, and at the end of each division of those psalms which, on account of their length, were divided. [This was ordered as being a concise declaration of the true faith against the Arians.]

3. Suspends and excommunicates those of the clergy who loiter in public places chattering.

4. Inflicts a fine upon a freeman doing any servile work on Sunday, and if a slave, sentences him to receive one hundred lashes.

5. Forbids clerical conventicles or private meetings of the clergy.

9. Forbids Jews to sing psalms whilst carrying their dead to the grave.

12. Forbids the priest, except on account of illness, to leave the altar during mass.

13. Orders the subdeacons and clerks, whatever their age, to attend to the curtains hung at the church doors, besides their other duties.

14. Excommunicates those who keep conjurors in their houses, and commands to sell conjurors, after having publicly beaten them, and to give their price to the poor.—Tom. v. Conc. p. 1027.

NARBONNE (791). Held in 791, against the heresy of Felix of Urgel, who taught that our Lord was merely the adopted Son of God according to the flesh, but the true Son of God as to His divinity. This error was condemned subsequently in the councils of Ratisbon, Francfort, and Rome. Twenty-six bishops and the deputies of two others attended; but it does not appear that Felix, who was present, was condemned.—Tom. vii. Conc. p. 964.

NARBONNE (1054). Held August 28th, 1054; ten bishops, a large number of abbots, clerks, nobles, and laymen being present. The “Pax Dei” was confirmed, and twenty-nine canons published, in which temporal penalties were joined to spiritual.—Tom. ix. Conc. p. 1072.

NARBONNE (1055). Held October 1, 1055, against Guillermo Bernardez and other usurpers of Church property.—Esp. Sag. tom. xxviii. p. 145.

NARBONNE (1090). Held March 20, 1090, by Archbishop Dalmatius.

NARBONNE (1227). Held in Lent, 1227; Peter, Archbishop of Narbonne, presiding: twenty canons were published. The second, third, and fourth relate to excommunicated persons and to the Jews: the latter, in canon 3, are directed to carry upon the bosom the figure of a wheel to distinguish them; are forbidden to work on Sundays and festivals. Canon 4 orders them to pay yearly at Easter a certain sum for each family, as an offering to the parish church.

13, 14, 15, 16. Are directed against heretics, and charge the bishops to station in every parish spies to make inquiry into heresies and other notorious crimes, and to give in their report to them. Count Raymond, the Count de Foix, the Viscount Besiers, the people of Toulouse, and all heretics and their abettors, were publicly excommunicated, and their persons and property given up to the attacks of the first aggressor.—Tom. xi. Conc. p. 304.

NARBONNE (1235). Held in 1235. The archbishops of Narbonne, Arles, and Aix, assisted by several other prelates, by the pope’s command, drew up a grand rule concerning the penances, &c., which the preaching friars (lately appointed inquisitors in those parts), should impose upon heretics, i.e., upon those whom they had exempted from prison on account of their having surrendered themselves within the specified time of grace, and given information against themselves and others. They were directed to come to church every Sunday, bearing the cross, and to present themselves to the curate between the singing of the epistle and gospel, holding in their hands the rod with which to receive discipline; to do the same at all processions; to be present every Sunday at mass, vespers, and sermons; to carry arms at their own expense in defence of the faith and of the Church against the Saracens, &c. Those heretics who had not so surrendered themselves, or who in any other way had rendered themselves unworthy of indulgence, but who nevertheless submitted to the Church, were ordered to be imprisoned for life; but as their number was so great that it was impossible to build sufficient prisons to contain them, the preaching friars were permitted to defer their imprisonment until they had received the Pope’s instructions. As for those who refused obedience, who would neither enter the prison nor remain there, they were abandoned to the secular arm without further hearing, as were also the relapsed. The rest of these twenty-nine canons are conceived in the same cruel spirit.—Fleury. Tom. xi. Conc. p. 487.

NARBONNE (1374). Held April 15th, 1374; Peter, Archbishop of Narbonne, presiding. Twenty-eight canons were published. The first four relate to the holding of provincial councils; the fifth directs that they who take upon themselves to preach, &c., without mission shall be seized.

16. Enacts penalties against those who do not inform against blasphemers of God, the Virgin, and the saints.

26. Forbids burial to the excommunicated.

27. Grants an indulgence to those who pray for the pope.—Tom. xi. Conc. App. 2493.

NARBONNE (1430). Held May 29th, 1430, in the chapel of St Mary Magdalene, in the palace of the archbishop; Peter, Bishop of Castres, presiding, in the place of Francis, the archbishop. The bishops of Besiers, Carcassone, Lodéve, Usez, and Agde were present, together with the proctors of others who were absent. A remonstrance was presented to the Archbishop of Narbonne through the President, from the bishops of Besiers, Usez, Agde, and Maguelona, and from others, complaining of the power and authority usurped by the said archbishop over his suffragans, and of his interference with their jurisdiction. It begins with a full declaration of the entire and unlimited control vested in each bishop over his own diocese, and declares that it is the special duty of the bishops who preside in the Church of God to defend and vindicate the unity of the Church, in order to prove that the episcopate is one and undivided. In the end the president declared that the remonstrance must be sent to Rome for the judgment of his holiness.—Mart., Thes. Anec., Tom. iv. Col. 351.

NARBONNE (1551). Held in 1551; Alexander Zerbinet, vicar-general of the Cardinal-Archbishop of Narbonne, presiding. Sixty-six canons were published, with a preface.

1. Contains a confession of faith.

The eight following relate to the qualifications of candidates for orders.

10. Forbids to ordain men who are the victims of any noxious disease, or who are maimed, or who cannot speak plainly.

13 to 24. Relate to the habits, life, &c., of the clergy; order the tonsure to be large; long dresses; forbid them to frequent taverns, to play with dice, &c.

27. Insists on residence.

36 and 37. Command the attendance of all parishioners at mass, and forbid preaching without the bishop’s permission.

45. On the celebration of mass, the hours, and other divine services.

46 and 47. Forbid shows, dances, &c., in churches on festival days.

52. Directs medical men to exhort their patients to confess to their priests.—Tom. xv. Conc. p. 5.

NARBONNE (1607). Held in 1607, by Louis de Vervins, Archbishop of Narbonne, and seven other bishops. Forty-nine canons of faith and discipline, similar to those enacted in most of the synods held after the Council of Trent, were published.

Canon 2. Forbids any person to have in the house or read, any Bible translated into the French tongue, without the bishop’s consent in writing.

8. Orders that blasphemers of God and the saints shall be excommunicated.

9. Contains good directions for the observance of festivals.

37. Orders that the collection of money in church shall be made before the consecration, lest the congregation should be disturbed at such a moment.

39. Forbids dancing, and eating, and buying, and selling in churches; also forbids dogs in churches; orders cleanliness, &c.—Tom. xv. Conc. p. 1573.

NEOCESAREA (in PONTUS) (314). [Concilium Neocesarense.] Held about the year 314, shortly after the Council of Ancyra. It was composed of nineteen bishops, ten of whom were the same who assisted at the latter council. Vitalis of Antioch is believed to have presided. Fifteen canons of discipline were published.

1. Enjoins the degradation of priests who marry after ordination.

2. Deprives of communion through life women, who having married two brothers, refuse to dissolve the marriage.

6. Permits to baptise women with child whenever they will.

7. Forbids priests to be present at the second marriage of any person.

8. Forbids to confer orders upon a layman whose wife has committed adultery; orders that if she has committed adultery after his ordination, he shall put her away, and declares that if he shall continue to live with her, he cannot retain the ministry committed to him.

11. Forbids to admit any one, however well qualified, to the priesthood under thirty years of age, because the Lord Jesus Christ at that age began His ministry.

13. Directs that, where both are present, the city priests shall celebrate the Holy Eucharist in preference to those from the country.

14. Declares that the Chorepiscopi are after the pattern of the Seventy, and permits them to offer.

15. Orders that there shall be seven deacons in every city, as is proved by the book of Acts.—Tom. i. Conc. p. 1480.

NESTERFIELD (703). [Concilium Nesterfeldense.] Held about the year 703, under Bertwald, Archbishop of Canterbury, in which Wilfred of York was a second time deposed; he appealed to Rome, and his case was considered in a council held there in this year. (See C. of ROME, A.D. 678 and 703.)—Inett., Orig. Anglicanæ, vol. i. p. 133.

NEWMARKET (1161). [Concilium apud Novum Mercatum.] A council was held in July, 1161, by Henry II., King of England, in which Alexander III. was recognised as pope, and Victor the anti-pope condemned. Binius and others call this an English council; Labbe, on the contrary, states that it was held at Neufmarché, in Normandy, in the diocese of Rouen.—Tom. x. Conc. p. 1406.

NEW YORK (1792). Held in the autumn of 1792. Bishops Seabury, White, Provost, and Madison, were present Dr Claggett was consecrated bishop in Trinity church, being the first consecration performed in North America. The ordinal of the Church of England was reviewed, and, with some alterations, adopted. The principal difference of opinion existed with regard to the use of the words “Receive ye the Holy Ghost,” and “Whose sins thou dost forgive they are forgiven, and whose sins thou dost retain they are retained,” in the Office of Ordination of Priests. Bishop Seabury strongly advocated the retention of the original form, without admitting the use of any alternative form. The latter arrangement was, however, agreed to.

An extraordinary scheme for effecting a union with the Methodists was broached by Bishop Madison, but rejected.—Bp. White, Memoirs, pp. 30, 161.

NEW YORK (1832). A general convention of the Church in the United States of America was held in October, 1832, William White, D.D., Bishop of Pennsylvania, presiding over eight bishops; in which fifty-six canons for the government of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America were drawn up.

1. Recognises the three orders in the ministry.

2. On the election of bishops, was repealed in 1835.

3. Orders that every bishop elect shall, before consecration, produce to the house of bishops certain certificates of his election, from the convention by whom he is elected and others. Also contains the forms of testimonials to be given by the members of the diocesan convention, recommending the elect for consecration, and from the house of clerical and lay deputies in general convention. Further, orders that if the house of bishops consent to the consecration, the presiding bishop, with any two other bishops, shall proceed to consecrate, or any three bishops to whom he may communicate the testimonials.

4. Relates to the duties of standing committees.

5. Relates to the consecration of bishops during the recess of the general convention.

6. Permits the appointment of not more than one assistant bishop in a diocese, where the actual bishop is incapacitated; the assistant bishop, in every case, to succeed to the bishopric upon the death of the actual bishop.

7. Repealed by the third canon of 1838.

8. Forbids to confer deacons’ orders on persons under twenty-one years; and priests’ orders on persons under twenty-four; and to consecrate any one bishop under thirty years of age.

9. Repealed by the fourth canon of 1838.

10. Relates to the conduct required in candidates for holy orders.

11. Forbids any candidate for holy orders (being a lay-reader) to perform the service in the church without the bishop’s licence, and in the latter case to use the absolution or benediction, and to wear the ministerial dress; directs that he shall officiate in the desk only, and shall not read any sermon of his own composition; no such unordained person to perform any part of the service thus, except in cases of peculiar necessity.

12. Enacts that where a bishop has reason to believe that a candidate for holy orders has been refused in any other diocese, he shall make inquiry as to the justice of the refusal. Every bishop having rejected a candidate to notify the same to all the other bishops.

13. Repealed by the fifth canon of 1838.

14. Repealed by the fifth canon of 1841.

15. Relates to the testimonials to be required of candidates of holy orders.

16. Extends the operation of the aforesaid canon relating to candidates for holy orders to persons coming from those dioceses within the United States, in which the constitution of 1789 has not been acceded to.

17. Relates to deacons and their ordination.

18. Orders that candidates for priests’ orders shall be examined in the presence of the bishop and two or more priests, on any leading studies prescribed by the house of bishops.

19. No person to be ordained priest without a sufficient title, or unless he be intended for a missionary, or be engaged as a professor, tutor, or instructor of youth in some college, &c.

20. Orders that ordinations shall be ordinarily held on the Sundays following the four Ember weeks.

21. Repealed by the third canon of 1835.

22. Relates to the ordination of clergymen for foreign parts.

23. Repealed by the sixth canon of 1841.

24. Relates to the case of clergymen coming from foreign countries, and called to officiate in churches in the American communion, in which Divine service is celebrated in a foreign language.

25. Relates to episcopal visitations; orders that they be made once in three years at least; the necessary expenses to be defrayed by the diocese so visited. Also orders the bishop to keep a register of his proceedings when visiting, and directs that the clergy in rotation shall supply the bishop’s place in his absence in any parochial duties which belong to him.

26. Enacts that it shall be the duty of ministers to prepare persons for confirmation, to give notice of confirmation immediately upon receiving it themselves.

Also that it shall be the duty of the ministers and churchwardens to present to the bishop in visitation an account of the state of the congregation.

27. Orders that every bishop shall deliver a charge to his clergy at least once in three years, and that he shall from time to time also address pastoral letters to his people on some points of Christian doctrine, worship, or practice.

28. Orders parochial ministers to catechise diligently, and to inform the youth and others in the doctrines, constitution, and liturgy of the Church.

29. Declares it to be the duty of ministers to keep registers of baptisms, confirmations, communicants, marriages, and funerals, and to make out and continue a list of all families and adults under his care.

30. Relates to the election and institution of ministers.

31. Forbids any clergyman, without permission, to officiate either by preaching, reading prayers, or otherwise, within the parochial care of another clergyman.

32. Provides for the resignation of bishops in extreme cases.

33. Relates to the dissolution of all pastoral connection between ministers and their congregations. Forbids to dismiss a minister, or a minister to leave his congregation against their will, without the concurrence of the ecclesiastical authority of the diocese.

34. Controversies between the ministers and the vestries and congregation of churches to be decided by the bishop and presbyter of the diocese, who may enforce the resignation of a minister upon reasonable conditions, when they deem the difference to be irreconcilable.

35. Repealed by the fourth canon of 1835.

36. No person to be permitted to officiate without first producing evidence of his ordination as a minister of the Protestant Episcopal Church of America.

37. Every minister to be liable to presentment and trial for any crime or gross immorality, and for violation of the constitution and canons of the Church, and on being found guilty, to be admonished, suspended, or degraded, according to the diocesan canons, until otherwise provided for by the general convention.

Section 2. Enacts that it shall be the duty of the bishop to inquire into the truth of any public rumour affecting the character of any clergyman, in order that further steps may be taken in that case against him.

38. Enacts that the bishop of the diocese shall displace from the ministry, in the presence of two or more clergymen, any minister declaring formally his renunciation of the ministry, and that he will no longer officiate; notice to be given of such displacement to every bishop.

39. Declares that when any one is degraded from the ministry, it is so entirely, and not merely from a higher to a lower order; that no degraded minister may be restored.

Notice of sentence of degradation to be sent without delay to every minister and vestry in the diocese, and also to every bishop or standing committee.

40. Relates to the case of a clergyman of any one diocese charged with misdemeanour in another.

41. Directs that “all persons within this Church shall celebrate and keep the Lord’s day in hearing the word of God read and taught, in private and public prayer, in other exercises of devotion, and in acts of charity, using all godly and sober conversation.”

42. (1.) Directs that wicked persons be repelled from the holy communion agreeably to the rubric.

(2.) Excuses the bishop to whom the minister repelling any one from the holy communion shall have given notice to that effect (according to the second rubric before the communion service), from instituting any inquiry, unless he shall receive a written complaint from the party so repelled. If he receive such complaint, he shall either at once restore the party complaining to communion, or institute inquiry.

(3.) Declares that persons guilty of very heinous offences may be deprived of all privileges of Church membership.

43. Declares the union of a congregation within any diocese with any other diocese to be null and void.

44. Relates to the mode of publishing authorised editions of the standard Bible of the American Church.

45. Orders the use of the Book of Common Prayer on all occasions of public worship, and forbids the use of any other prayers than those prescribed by that book.

46. Repealed by the sixth council of 1835.

47. Permits the bishop of each diocese to compose forms of prayer and thanksgiving for extraordinary occasions, and orders that the clergy of such diocese shall use them.

48. Orders that the secretary of the house of clerical and lay deputies shall keep a register of all the clergy of the Church, whose names and cures shall be given to him at every general convention by the bishop or standing committee.

49. Declares the right of calling special meetings of the general convention to be in the bishops. The presiding bishop to call the meeting with consent of the majority.

(2.) Declares that ordinarily the place of meeting of the special general convention shall be fixed on by the preceding general convention for its next meeting.

(3.) Declares that the deputies elected to the preceding general convention shall, ordinarily, be deputies at the special convention.

50. Relates to the mode of transmitting notice of all matters submitted by the general convention to the consideration of the diocesan conventions.

51. Repealed by the seventh canon of 1835.

52. Directs that the alms and contributions of the holy communion shall be deposited with the minister of the parish, or other appointed by him, and by him applied to such pious and charitable uses as he shall think fit.

53. Of the requisites of a quorum.

54. Repealed by the eighth canon of 1835.

55. Relates to the general theological seminary.

56. Declares all former canons of this convention not included in these canons to be repealed.

NEW YORK (1841). A general convention held in October, 1841; A. V. Griswold, D.D., bishop, presiding. Ten canons were published.

1. Of the treasurer of the convention.

2. Of a clergyman absenting himself from his diocese. Declares that if he be absent during two years without sufficient cause given to his bishop, the latter may, with the consent of the clerical members of the standing committee, suspend him.

3. Of the election of a missionary bishop to the office of diocesan bishop.

4. Of the trial of bishops.

Section 1. Enacts that a bishop may be presented to the bishops of the Church by the convention of his diocese, or by any three bishops; for any crime or immorality, for heresy, or violation of the canons or constitutions of the Church or diocese: declares that two-thirds of the diocesan convention must concur in the presentment.

Section 2. Orders the presentment to be addressed to the presiding bishop, who shall appoint a special meeting of the other bishops, of whom seven shall be a quorum. If the presiding bishop be the subject of the presentment, it shall be addressed to the next bishop in the order of seniority.

5. Of the preparatory exercise of a candidate for deacon’s orders. Orders three different examinations of the candidates in the presence of the bishop and two or more priests.

Section 4. Declares a clergyman liable to ecclesiastical censures for presenting a person for orders, without good grounds to believe that the requisitions of the canons have been complied with.

6. Of clergymen ordained by foreign bishops in communion with this Church, and desirous of officiating and settling in this Church. Orders such a clergyman before officiating, to exhibit to the minister or vestry a certificate signed by the bishop of the diocese, that his letters of orders are authentic, and given by some bishop in communion with the Church of America, and that he has given to the bishop sufficient evidence of his pious and moral character and theological acquirements: and that in any case, before he can be permitted to settle in any church or parish, or be received into union with any diocese of the Church as a minister thereof, he must produce to the bishop a letter of dismission under the hand and seal of the bishop with whose diocese he was last connected (which letter must be in substance that provided for in section 1 of canon 4, 1835), and must be delivered within six months after date.

Declares that when a clergyman has been so received he shall be subject to all the canonical provisions of the American Church, and that he shall not be so received into union without first subscribing, in the presence of the bishop of the diocese and two or more presbyters, the declaration contained in the seventh article of the constitution, and satisfying the bishop of his theological attainments.

Declares, further, that he must have resided one year in the United States from the date of his letters of dismission, before he can be entitled to settle in any church as canonically in charge of the same.

Section 2. Declares that if such foreign clergyman be a deacon, he must reside in the United States at least three years, and so obtain the requisite testimonials before he can be ordained priest. Repeals 23rd canon of 1832.

7. Of ministers removing from one diocese to another.

8. Of the mode of securing an accurate view of the state of the Church from time to time. Orders every minister to present to his bishop on or before the first day of every annual convention, a statement of the number of baptisms, confirmations, marriages, and funerals, and of the number of communicants in his church. Such statements to be inserted in the journals of the house.

Section 2. Orders every bishop to state annually to the diocesan convention the names of the churches he has visited since the last convention, the number of persons confirmed, and of those who have been received as candidates for orders, ordained, suspended, or degraded, also the changes amongst the clergy. Such statement to be inserted in the journals of the convention.

Section 3. Orders that the journals of the different diocesan conventions shall be presented at the triennial general convention, together with such other papers as may tend to throw light upon the affairs of each diocese; and from these journals, &c., a report shall be drawn up by a committee appointed, which, when approved by the lower house, shall be sent up to the house of bishops, with a request that they will draw up and publish a pastoral letter to the members of the Church.

9. Of candidates for holy orders. Every candidate to give notice to the bishop. No person having been once refused as a candidate in any diocese, or who, having been admitted, has ceased to be a candidate, to be admitted as a candidate in any other diocese without a certificate from the bishop of the former diocese, declaring the cause why he was refused, or for which he ceased to be a candidate.

Every candidate to produce a certificate from the standing committee of the diocese, stating that they have sufficient cause to believe him to be pious, sober, and honest, that he is attached to the doctrines, discipline, and worship of the Protestant Episcopal Church, and is a communicant in the same.

Testimonials to be laid before the standing committee to be signed by at least one presbyter and a respectable layman. In addition to such testimonials, satisfactory evidence to be given that the candidate is a graduate of some college, or that he has passed a sufficient examination before two presbyters appointed by the bishop in Natural and Moral Philosophy, Rhetoric, Latin, and the Greek Testament. Permits the knowledge of Hebrew, Greek, and Latin to be dispensed with under extraordinary circumstances in persons not under twenty-seven years of age.

Declares also what inward and spiritual qualifications the Church requires in candidates.

Orders the names of accepted candidates to be recorded by the bishop in a book, and forbids to ordain any until after the expiration of three years from that time, unless the bishop, with the consent of the standing committee, shall deem it expedient to ordain in peculiar cases after one year.

Admitted candidates may be transmitted to another diocese on letters dismissory.

Candidates who do not within three years after their admission, apply for their first and second examination, or within five years for their third examination, to cease to be candidates.

Repeals 4th canon of 1838.

10. Of clergymen ordained by bishops not in communion with this Church, and desirous of officiating or settling in this Church. Requires from such clergymen a satisfactory certificate from at least two presbyters of the American Church; and that they shall within six months after their application for admission, in the presence of the bishop and two presbyters, subscribe the declaration in the seventh article of the constitution; after which the bishop may receive him.

NICEA (325). The first œcumenical council was held at Nicea, in Bithynia, in 325, by order of the Emperor Constantine, to appease the troubles caused by the heresy of Arius. Constantine, anxious to bring all the members of the Church to one faith, determined to assemble an œcumenical council by which the controversy then raging might be terminated; he therefore caused letters to be addressed to all the bishops of the Catholic Church, inviting them to meet at Nicea, and promising that everything necessary for their journey should be provided for them, and that he would himself be chargeable for all expenses.

The council was opened on the 19th of June. There were present, besides a very large number of priests and deacons, three hundred and eighteen bishops from Syria, Cilicia, Phœnicia, and Arabia; those of Palestine also attended, with those of Egypt, Thebais, Libya, and Mesopotamia. A Persian bishop also was present, and a Goth, also bishops from Pontus, Galatia and Pamphylia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Phrygia, Thrace, Macedonia, and Achaia, Epirus and Spain. The Pope Sylvester not being able, on account of his advanced age, to attend personally, sent his legates, two priests, named Vitus (or Victor) and Vincentius. Amongst the venerable names of those present, we find those of Hosius, Bishop of Cordova (whose signature appears first amongst the subscriptions to the acts of the council), Alexander of Alexandria, who brought with him St Athanasius, his deacon, then a young man; St Eustathius of Antioch, and St Macarius of Jerusalem. Of these Hosius, Alexander, and Eustathius acted as the presidents of the council. Besides these bishops, there were also present Paphnutius, Bishop of Upper Thebais, Potamon of Heraclea, Paul of Neocesarea, who had suffered the most fearful cruelties in the persecution; James of Nisibis, who had raised the dead to life; Amphion of Epiphania; Leontius, metropolitan of Cesarea in Cappadocia (called by contemporary writers the ornament of the Church); Hypatius of Gangra; Alexander of Constantinople; Protogenes of Sardica; and Alexander of Thessalonica. To these may be added Spiridon of Trimithus, Cæcilianus of Carthage, Nicholas of Myra in Lycia, and Eutychius of Amasea.

In this magnificent assembly some were remarkable by their wisdom and eloquence, others by their austere and rigid course of life, or their noble constancy in time of trial, many of them were distinguished by apostolic graces; many, as we have seen, bore in their bodies the marks of their sufferings in the cause of Jesus Christ.

But besides these holy men, there were other bishops (the number is said to have been but 22) who were supporters of Arius and his heresy, but who carefully concealed their errors. The most prominent of these were Eusebius of Cesarea in Palestine, Theodotus of Laodicea, Paulinus of Tyre, Gregory of Berytum, Aetius of Lydda, Theognis of Nicea, Eusebius of Nicomedia, Maris of Chalcedon, Secundus of Ptolemais, and Theonas of Marmorica.

The council having been opened on the 19th of June, a few days were occupied in preliminary discussions, previous to the solemn decision to be made in the emperor’s presence. Arius himself was brought before the council, and questioned as to his faith and doctrine; he did not hesitate to maintain that the Son of God was a creature, made from nothing, that there was a time when He had no existence, that He was capable of His own free will of right and wrong. The bishops hearing these blasphemies with one accord stopped their ears, and cried out that such impious opinions were worthy of anathema together with their author,

On the 3rd of July, Constantine arrived at Nicea, and on the following day the bishops assembled in the hall of the palace, which had been prepared for the purpose. The emperor entered the assembly dressed in his imperial robes, but without guards, and accompanied only by those of his ministers who were Christians; he evinced the greatest respect for the bishops, tempering, says Tillemont, by the humility of his mien, the splendour of the imperial majesty.

One of the bishops (probably Eustathius of Antioch) then addressed a discourse to him, in which he gave thanks to God for the blessings which He had been pleased to pour upon the emperor, who in his answer testified his joy at finding himself surrounded by such an august assembly, and exhorted the fathers to appease the divisions of the Church, declaring that he himself desired to appear in the council simply as one of the faithful, and that he freely left to the bishops the sole authority to settle the question of faith.

In the following sessions the detestable heresy which had destroyed the peace of the Church came under consideration: the emperor attended in person during the whole discussion; St Athanasius, although at the time but a deacon, drew the attention of the whole council by his marvellous penetration in unravelling and laying open the artifices of the heretics; he resisted Eusebius, Theognis, and Maris, the chief supporters of Arius, and evinced such zeal in defence of the true faith, that he attracted both the admiration of all Catholics and the bitter hatred of the Arian party.

The confession of faith which Eusebius of Nicomedia, the protector and follower of Arius, presented to the council, was rejected; this confession condemned only the most gross and evident blasphemies of Arius, without at all touching upon others. The fathers then, after mature deliberation, and after having diligently consulted all that the holy Evangelists and Apostles have taught upon the subject, proceeded to set forth the true doctrine of the Church in the Nicene creed, in which, in order to defy all the subtilties of the Arians, the council thought good to express by the term “consubstantial,” ὁμοούσιος, the Divine essence or substance which is common to the Father and the Son.

The celebrated confession of faith was, according to St Athanasius, in a great measure composed by Hosius of Cordova. It was written out by Hermogenes, Bishop of Cesarea, in Cappadocia, and subscribed, together with the condemnation of the dogmas and expressions of Arius, by all the bishops present with the exception of a few of the Arians. When the Arians proposed their heretical creed, “all straightway rent it, calling it spurious and adulterated.” “And when all accused them of betraying the faith, the Arians rose up in fear, and except Secundus and Theonas, excommunicated Arius.” They condemned Arius, Theonas, and Secundus.—Theod., i. 7, given by Dr Pusey. Councils, p. 107.

The decision of the council having been laid before Constantine, he at once recognised in the unanimous consent of the bishops, the work of God, and received it with reverence, declaring that all those persons should be banished who refused to submit to it; upon which the Arians, through fear, also anathematised the dogmas condemned, and subscribed the faith laid down by the council; but that they did so only outwardly was shown by their subsequent conduct. Arius, however, was banished by Constantine’s order to Illyria, where he remained until his recall, which took place five years after.

The main object of the council being thus achieved, the fathers proceeded to determine other matters which were brought before them: First, they considered the subject of the Meletian schism, which for some time past had divided Egypt, and they decreed that Meletius should keep the title and rank of bishop in his see of Lycopolis in Egypt, forbidding him however to perform any episcopal functions; also that they on whom he had conferred the priesthood should be first confirmed by a holier ordination, and admitted to the second rank after those who had been previously ordained by Alexander. Secondly, they decreed that throughout the Church the festival of Easter should be celebrated on the Sunday after the full moon which happens next after the 21st of March; and in order that no doubt or confusion on the subject might disturb the churches, the patriarch of Alexandria was directed to address in every year a paschal epistle to the patriarch of Rome declaring the proper day for celebrating Easter in that year. This arrangement was made because the Egyptians were considered to be by far the most correct astronomers of the period. The pope then communicated the time of Easter to all churches in his patriarchate.—St Leo, Ad Marcianum Imp.

And, thirdly, they published twenty canons.

1. Excludes from the exercise of their functions those persons in holy orders who have made themselves eunuchs.

2. Forbids to raise neophytes to the priesthood or episcopate.

3. Forbids any bishop, priest, or deacon to have women in their houses, except their mothers, sisters, aunts, or such women as shall be beyond the reach of slander.

4. Declares that a bishop ought if possible to be constituted by all the bishops of the province, but allows of his consecration by three at least, with the consent of the absent bishops, signified in writing; the consecration to be finally confirmed by the metropolitan.

5. Orders that they who have been separated from the communion of the Church by their own bishop shall not be received into communion elsewhere. Also that a provincial synod shall be held twice a year in every province, to examine into sentences of excommunication. One synod to be held before Lent, and the second in autumn.

6. Insists upon the preservation of the rights and privileges of the bishops of Alexandria, Antioch, and other provinces.

7. Grants to the Bishop of Ælia, according to ancient tradition, the second place of honour, saving the authority due to the Metropolis (Cæsarea).

8. Permits those who had been ministers amongst the Cathari, and who returned into the bosom of the Catholic and Apostolic Church, having received imposition of hands, to remain in the rank of the clergy. Directs, however, that they shall, in writing, make profession to follow the decrees of the Church; and that they shall communicate with those who have married twice, and with those who have performed penance for relapsing in time of persecution. Directs, further, that in places where there is a Catholic bishop and a converted bishop of the Cathari, the former shall retain his rank and office, and the latter be considered only as a priest; or the bishop may assign him the place of a chorepiscopus.

9. Declares to be null and void the ordination of priests made without due inquiry, and of those who have, before ordination, confessed sins committed.

10. Declares the same of persons ordained priests in ignorance, or whose sin has appeared after ordination.

11. Enacts that those who have fallen away in time of persecution (in that of Licinius and those of the Paulianists and Novatians, p. 112), without strong temptation, shall be three years among the hearers, seven among the prostrators, and for two years shall communicate with the people without offering.

12. Imposes ten years’ penance upon any one of the military, who, having been deprived of a post on account of the faith, shall give a bribe, and deny the faith, in order to receive it back again.

13. Forbids to deny the holy communion to any one likely to die.

14. Orders that catechumens who have relapsed shall be three years among the audientes.

15. Forbids bishops, priests, or deacons to remove from one city to another: any one offending against this canon, to be compelled to return to his own church, and his translation to be void.

16. Priests or deacons removing from their own church, not to be received into any other; those who persist, to be separated from communion. If any bishop dare to ordain a man belonging to another church, the ordination to be void.

17. Directs that clerks guilty of usury shall be deposed.

18. Forbids deacons to give the eucharist to priests, and to receive it themselves before the priests, and to sit among the priests; offenders to be deposed.

19. Directs that Paulianists coming over to the Church, shall be baptised again. Permits those amongst their clergy who are without reproach, after baptism, to be ordained by the Catholic bishops: orders the same thing of deaconesses.

20. Orders that all persons shall offer up their prayers on Sundays and Pentecost standing.

It was also proposed to add another canon, enjoining continence upon the married clergy; but St Paphnutius warmly opposed the imposition of such a yoke, and prevailed, so that the proposal fell to the ground.—Soc. l. i. c. xi. Soz. l. i. c. xxiii. Tom. ii. Conc. pp. 1–63, &c. Hammond, Canons of the Church.

NICEA (787). Held September 24th, 787, by the Empress Irene and her son Constantine. Three hundred and seventy-five bishops were present from Greece, Thrace, Natolia, the Isles of the Archipelago, Sicily, and Italy. Pope Hadrian and all the Oriental patriarchs sent legates to represent them in the synod, those of Rome—Stephen and Theophylact—taking the first place: two commissioners for the emperor and empress also assisted at it. The causes which led to the assembling of this council were briefly as follows. The Emperor Leo (and afterwards his son Constantine Copronymus), offended at the excess of veneration often offered to the images of our Lord and the saints, made a decree against the use of images in any way, and caused them everywhere to be removed and destroyed. These violent and ill-advised proceedings raised an opposition almost as violent, and both the patriarch of Constantinople, Germanus, and the pope (Hadrian) defended the use of images, declaring them to have been always in use in the churches, and showing the difference between absolute and relative worship. However, in a council assembled at Constantinople in 754, composed of three hundred and thirty-eight bishops, a decree was published against the use of images. But at this time Constantine Copronymus died, and Tarasius, patriarch of Constantinople, induced the Empress Irene and her son Constantine to convoke this council, in which the decrees of the council of 754 at Constantinople were set aside.

The first session was held on the 24th September, in the church of St Sophia. Tarasius, the patriarch, spoke first, and exhorted the bishops to reject all novelties, and to cling to the traditions of the Church. After this, ten bishops were brought before the council, accused of following the party of the Iconoclasts. Three of whom, Basil of Ancyra, Theodore of Myra, and Theodosius of Amorium recanted, and declared that they received with all honour the relics and sacred images of Jesus Christ, the blessed Virgin, and the saints; upon which they were permitted to take their seats; the others were remanded to the next session. The 42nd of the apostolical canons, and the 8th of Nicea, and other canons relating to the reception of converted heretics, were read.

In the second session, September 26, the letters of Pope Hadrian to the empress and to the patriarch Tarasius were read. The latter then declared his entire concurrence in the view taken of the question by the Bishop of Rome, viz., that images are to be adored with a relative worship, reserving to God alone faith and the worship of Latria. This opinion was warmly applauded by the whole council.

In the third session, September 28, the confession of Gregory of Neocesarea, the leader of the Iconoclast party, was received, and declared by the council to be satisfactory; whereupon he was, after some discussion, admitted to take his seat, and with him the bishops mentioned above. Then the letters of Tarasius to the patriarchs of Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem, and their replies, as well as the confession of Theodore of Jerusalem, were read, and approved.

In the fourth session, October 1, the passages of Holy Scripture relating to the cherubim which overshadowed the ark of the covenant, and which ornamented the interior of the temple, were read, together with other passages taken from the fathers, showing that God had, in other days, worked miracles by means of images.

If the fifth session, October 20, the patriarch Tarasius endeavoured to show that the innovators, in their endeavour to destroy all images, were following in the steps of the Jews, pagans, Manichæans, and other heretics. The council then came to the conclusion that the images should be restored to their usual places, and be carried in processions as before.

In the sixth session, October 5th or 6th, the refutation of the definition of faith made in the Council of Iconoclasts at Constantinople, was read. They had there declared that the eucharist was the only image allowed of our Lord Jesus Christ; but the fathers of the present synod, in their regulation, maintained that the eucharist is no where spoken of as the image of our Lord’s Body, but as the very Body itself.

After this, the fathers replied to the passages from Holy Scripture and from the fathers, which the Iconoclasts had adduced in support of their views, and in doing so, insisted chiefly upon perpetual tradition and the infallibility of the Church.

In the seventh session, October 13, a definition of faith was read, which was to this effect. “We decide that the holy images, whether painted or graven, or of whatever kind they may be, ought to be exposed to view. Whether in churches, upon the sacred vessels and vestments, upon walls, or in private houses, or by the wayside. Since the oftener Jesus Christ, his blessed mother, and the saints are seen in their images, the more will men be led to think of the originals, and to love them. Salutation and the adoration of honour ought to be paid to images, but not the worship of Latria, which belongs to God alone: nevertheless, it is lawful to burn lights before them, and to incense them, as is usually done with the cross, the books of the gospels, and other sacred things, according to the pious use of the ancients. For honour so paid to the image is transmitted to the original, which it represents. Such is the doctrine of the holy fathers, and the tradition of the Catholic Church; and we order that they who dare to think or teach otherwise, if bishops or other clerks, shall be deposed; if monks or laymen, shall be excommunicated.” This decree was signed by the legates and all the bishops.

Another session, October 23, was held at Constantinople, to which place the bishops had been cited by the Empress Irene, who was present with her son Constantine, and addressed the assembly. The decree of the council and the passages from the fathers read at Nicea were repeated, and the former was again subscribed. The Council of Constantinople against image worship was anathematised, and the memory of Germanus of Constantinople, John of Damascus, and George of Cyprus held up to veneration. Twenty-two canons of discipline were published.

1. Insists upon the proper observation of the canons of the Church.

2. Forbids to consecrate those who do not know the psalter, and will not promise to observe the canons.

3. Forbids princes to elect bishops.

7. Forbids to consecrate any church or altar in which relics are not contained.

14. Forbids those who are not ordained to read in the synaxis from the Ambo.

15 and 16. Forbid plurality of benefices, and luxury in dress amongst the clergy

20. Forbids double monasteries for men and for women.

This council was not for a long period recognised in France. The grounds upon which the French bishops opposed it are contained in the celebrated Caroline Books, written by order of Charlemagne. Their chief objections were these. 1. That no Western bishops, except the pope, by his legates, were present. 2. That the decision was contrary to their custom, which was to use images, but not in any way to worship them. 3. That the council was not assembled from all parts of the Church, nor was its decision in accordance with that of the Catholic Church.

The Caroline Books were answered by Pope Adrian, but with little effect as far as the Gallican Church was concerned, which continued for a long time after to reject this council altogether. (See C. FRANKFORT, A.D. 794.)—Tom. vii. Conc. pp. 1–963.

NICEA (1260). Held at Nicea in 1260, by Nicetas II., Metropolitan of Heraclea, on the affairs of Arænius, who had withdrawn from the patriarchate of Constantinople. The bishops required him either to return to his see or to give a deed of resignation. This he refused to do. (See C. CONSTANTINOPLE, 1262.)

NICEA in THRACE (359).


NID.[Concilium Niddanum.] Held in 705, near the river Nid in Northumbria, by Bertwald of Canterbury, assisted by Bosa, Bishop of York, John of Hagustald, and Eadfrid of Lindisfarn; several abbots, and the abbess St Elfrida (daughter of Oswy, King of Northumberland), being also present, with Wilfred, whom Bosa had succeeded in the bishopric of York. Wilfred was reconciled with the other bishops of the province, but it does not appear that he was restored to his bishopric, which Bosa retained until his death, and after him John of Hagustald (or Hexham) was translated thither.—Eddius, cap. 57. Tom. vi. Conc. p. 1389. Wilkins’ Conc., vol. i. p. 67.

NISMES (1096). [Concilium Nemausense.] Held in July 1096, by Pope Urban II., who presided, assisted by four cardinals and several bishops. Sixteen canons were published, which are for the most part the same with those of the Council of Clermont, which the pope confirmed in all subsequent councils.

Canon 2. Is directed against those who assert that it is not lawful for monks to exercise sacerdotal functions.

12. Forbids the marriage of little girls (puellulæ) under twelve years of age.—Esp. Sag. tom. xxv. p. 218.

Mansi declares that the matter of the clergy of St Saturninus at Toulouse, who claimed the fourth part of the oblations made in that church, which canonically belonged to the bishop, and was opposed by the Bishop Isarne, was discussed in this council; no decision was pronounced in the synod, but subsequently Urban II. compelled Isarne to give way. Moreover, in this council King Philip, after having promised to quit Bertrade, was absolved. (See C. of TOURS, 1096.)—Tom. x. Conc. p. 604.

NISMES (1284). Held about the year 1284. A long constitution was drawn up, relating to holy baptism, penance, the Holy Eucharist, the celebration of the mass, reverence due to churches, alienation of church property, the conduct of the clergy, wills, burials, tithes, marriages, excommunications and interdicts, perjury, the Jews, and other matters. This was only a diocesan synod.—Tom. xi. Conc. p. 1200.

NOGARA (1315). [Concilium Nugaroliense.] Held in 1315, by William de Flavacour, Archbishop of Auch: six bishops and the deputies of others absent; five articles were published, of which the third condemns the abuse of refusing the sacrament of penance to persons condemned to death who desire it.—Tom. xi. Conc. p. 1620.

NORTHAMPTON (1164). [Concilium Northamptoniense.] Held October 13th, 1164, in which St Thomas, Archbishop of Canterbury, accused by the king of perjury, was condemned by the bishops and others present, who were by a royal edict threatened with mutilation and other penalties, and even with death, in the event of their supporting the archbishop. The latter appealed to the pope, who alone, under God, he maintained, had authority to judge him.—Tom. x. Conc. p. 1433. Wilkins’ Conc., vol. i. p. 436.

NORTHAMPTON (1176). Held in 1176, by Cardinal Legate Hugo. The articles of Clarendon were renewed, and leave was given to the king by the cardinal to implead clergymen in the temporal courts for killing deer, &c., in the royal parks and forests. The council was attended by most of the Scotch bishops and abbots, and the question of the Archbishop of York’s right of primacy over Scotland was discussed: Dr Gilbert Murray (afterwards Bishop of Caithness and chancellor) strongly and successfully opposed it.—Tom. x. Conc. p. 1469. Wilkins’ Conc., vol. i. p. 483.

NORTHAMPTON (1265). Held November 2nd, 1265, by Cardinal Ottobon, the Roman legate. In this council all the bishops and priests who had taken part with Simon, Earl of Leicester, against the king, were excommunicated; John, Bishop of Winchester, Walter of Worcester, Henry of London, and Stephen of Chichester, were amongst those excommunicated; of these, Walter died very shortly after, but the other three appealed from this sentence to Rome.—Wilkins’ Conc., vol. i. p. 762. Mansi, note. Raynald, vol. iii. p. 181.


NOYON (1233). [Concilium Noviomense.] Held in the first week in Lent, in consequence of a dispute between the king and Milo, Bishop of Beauvais. The latter complained that the king, St Louis, had violated his rights by bringing to punishment, in Beauvais, certain incendiaries who had raised a sedition there, in which murder had been committed. The bishops laid the province under an interdict, upon which the cathedral chapters made complaint that it had been done without their consent, and in a council held at St Quentin, on the Sunday before Christmas, at which eight bishops were present: the interdict was suspended. From this decision the Bishop of Beauvais appealed to the pope, but he dying before the question could be settled, it was not until some years after that his successor confirmed the removal of the interdict, and made peace with St Louis. Five councils were held upon this subject in this year.—Tom. xi. Conc. p. 446. Mansi, note. Raynald, vol. ii. p. 48.

NOYON (1344). Held July 26th, 1344, by John of Vienne, Archbishop of Rheims, and six bishops. Seventeen canons were published, relating chiefly to ecclesiastical immunities and the defence of the clergy.

4. Directs that in all churches Divine service shall be conducted after the example of the cathedral church.

5. Excommunicates those lords who forbid their vassals to buy and sell with ecclesiastics, and to till their lands.

8. Directs that those clerks who submit voluntarily to the sentence of the secular judges, and who pay the fines inflicted upon them by such judges, shall be punished.

12. Forbids priests and other ecclesiastics, &c., publicly to solemnize (ut solemnizent in publico) miracles which they assert to have recently been done, without the consent of the ordinary.

13. Excommunicates those lords who stripped off the vestments and shaved the heads of ecclesiastics accused of crimes.

14. Excommunicates lay-persons who pretended to be clerks and assumed the tonsure.

17. Condemns the exorbitant exactions of the proctors in the ecclesiastical courts.—Tom. xi. Conc. p. 1899. Martene, Vet. Script. Coll., viii. Col. 1556.

NYMPHŒUM (1234). [Concilium Nymphœense.] Held a 26th April 1234, under the Emperor John, who was then at Nymphœum.

In 1233, Gregory IX. sent four legates to Germanus, the patriarch of Constantinople, in order, if possible, to effect an union between the churches.

The legates, who did not arrive before the beginning of the year 1234, were received with much honour, deputies from the emperor and the patriarch meeting them on the road. They first held a disputation with the Greeks at Nicea, after which they proceeded to Constantinople to abide the issue of a conference between the four oriental patriarchs. They were then invited to a conference at Nymphœum, where a discussion was again opened upon the two subjects of the procession of the Holy Spirit, and the use of unleavened bread in the Holy Eucharist. The legates proved that the word “filioque” was used rather in explanation than as an addition, showing both from Holy Scripture and from the Fathers that the Holy Spirit proceeded from the Son as well as from the Father. The Greeks did not accuse the Latins of error in doctrine, and the legates therefore maintained that it was lawful for the Latin Church to confess with the mouth what it was lawful for her to believe. The emperor, in order to effect an union, proposed that each party should give way on one point, that the Greeks should approve the Latin use in consecrating, and that the Latins should expunge from the creed the word “filioque,” which gave offence to the Greeks; this, however, the legates vehemently refused to do. “If you ask us,” said they to the emperor, “how peace is to be made, we will answer you in a few words. Concerning the Body of Christ, we declare that you must firmly believe, and moreover preach, that it may be consecrated either in leavened or unleavened bread, and we require that all the books written on your part against this faith shall be condemned and burnt. Concerning the Holy Spirit, we declare that you must believe that the Holy Spirit proceedeth from the Son as well as from the Father, and that you must preach this faith to the people; we do not say that the pope will compel you to chant these words in the creed if you object to do so, but all books written against this doctrine must be burnt.” When the emperor heard these words he answered angrily, that he had expected to receive from them some propositions more likely to lead to peace, but he would repeat what they had said to the Greek bishops. The latter were moved with great indignation at the proposal, and all further negotiations upon the subject were broken off.—Tom. xi. Conc. p. 460.

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