Arles (ancient Arelate) in the south of Roman Gaul (modern France) hosted several councils or synods referred to as Concilium Arelatense in the history of the early Christian church.

Council of Arles in 314 edit

The first council of Arles[1] took place a year after the Edict of Milan, in which Christianity became a legal religion. This council was the first called by Constantine and is the forerunner of the First Council of Nicaea. Augustine of Hippo called it an Ecumenical Council.[citation needed] It had the following outcomes:

  • Conscientious objectors would be excommunicated.[2][3][page needed]
  • Easter should be held on the same day throughout the world, rather than being set by each local church.
  • Donatism was condemned as a heresy and Donatus Magnus was excommunicated. This had begun as an appeal by the Donatists to Constantine the Great against the decision of a synod in Rome in 313 at the Lateran under Pope Miltiades. The appeal had turned out unfavorably to the Donatists who afterwards became enemies of the Roman authorities.
  • Canon against the non-residence of clergy,
  • Canon against participation in races and gladiatorial fights (to be punished by excommunication),
  • Canon against the rebaptism of heretics,
  • Clergymen who could be proven to have delivered sacred books in persecution (the traditores) should be deposed, but their official acts were to be held valid.
  • Ordination required the assistance of at least three bishops.
  • Excommunication of all actors (theatrici) and charioteers[4]
  • Canons on other matters of discipline.

Council of Arles in 353 edit

Called in support of Arianism. It was attended, among others, by two papal legates, Bishop Vincentius of Capua and Bishop Marcellus of Campania. The legates were tempted into rejecting communion with Athanasius, while the synod refused to condemn Arius, despite an agreement to do so entered into before the synod began, an act which filled Pope Liberius with grief. Their consent was ultimately forced out of them by the Emperor Constantius, an Arian himself.[5]

Council of Arles in 435 edit

A council was held on New Year's Day of 435, to settle the differences that had arisen between the Abbot of Lérins and the Bishop of Fréjus.

Councils of Arles in 443 and 452 edit

In the synod of 443 (452), attended also by bishops of neighbouring provinces, fifty-six canons were formulated, mostly repetitions of earlier disciplinary decrees. Neophytes were excluded from major orders; married men aspiring to the priesthood were required to promise a life of continency, and it was forbidden to consecrate a bishop without the assistance of three other bishops and the consent of the Metropolitan.

Council of 451 edit

A council of 451 held after the close of the Council of Chalcedon in that year, sent its adhesion to the "Epistola dogmatica" of Pope Leo I, written by Flavian of Constantinople (see Eutyches)

Council of 463 edit

Apropos of the conflict between the archiepiscopal See of Vienne and Arles a council was held in the latter city in 463, which called forth a famous letter from St. Leo I.[6] Bishop Leontius of Arles presided; twenty bishops attended.[7]

Council of 475 edit

Another council was called "about the year 475".[8] It was attended by thirty bishops; the pre-destinationist teachings of the priest Lucidus were condemned at this council.[8] The bishops also insisted that Lucidus condemn his own opinions, and Lucidus complied, writing a letter retracting his "errors".[8]

Council of Arles in 506 edit

Exemplified the close connection between the church and the Merovingian dynasty.[9]

Council of Arles in 524 edit

A regional council was held in 524, with 14 bishops and 4 presbyters present.[10] This council was held under the presidency of St. Caesarius of Arles; its canons deal chiefly with the conferring of orders. A number of Caesarius of Arles' works have been published in Sources Chrétiennes.

Councils of Arles in 554 and 682 edit

Little is known of the councils of 554 and 682.

Council of Arles in 648/60 edit

Possibly a provincial council, at which Theudorius of Arles was to be judged.[10]

Council of 813 edit

An important council was held in 813, at the instigation of Charlemagne, for the correction of abuses and the reestablishment of ecclesiastical discipline. Its decrees insist on a sufficient ecclesiastical education of bishops and priests, on the duty of both to preach frequently to the people and to instruct them in the Catholic Faith, on the obligation of parents to instruct their children, etc.

Council of 1034 edit

In 1034 a council was held at Arles for the re-establishment of peace, the restoration of Christian Faith, the awakening in the popular heart of a sense of divine goodness and of salutary fear by the consideration of past evils.

Council of Arles in 1234/1236 edit

The 1234 Council opposed the Albigensian heresy. In 1236 a further council was held under the presidency of Jean Baussan, Archbishop of Arles, which issued twenty-four canons, mostly against the prevalent Albigensian heresy, and for the observance of the decrees of the Lateran Council of 1215 and that of Toulouse in 1229. Close inspection of their dioceses is urged on the bishops, as a remedy against the spread of heresy; testaments are declared invalid unless made in the presence of the parish priest. This measure, met with in other councils, was meant to prevent testamentary dispositions in favour of known heretics.

Council of 1251 (Avignon) edit

In 1251, Jean, Archbishop of Arles, held a council near Avignon (Concilium Insculanum), among whose thirteen canons is one providing that the sponsor at baptism is bound to give only the white robe in which the infant is baptized.

Councils of 1260, 1263, and 1275 edit

In 1260 a council held by Florentin, Archbishop of Arles, decreed that confirmation must be received for fasting, and that on Sundays and feast days the religious should not open their churches to the faithful, nor preach at the hour of the parish Mass. The laity should be instructed by their parish priests. The religious should also frequent the parochial service, for the sake of good example. This council also condemned the doctrines spread abroad under the name of Joachim of Fiore, a 12th-century monk and mystic. He was further condemned at a Council held in 1263.

In 1275, twenty-two earlier observances were promulgated anew at a Council of Arles.

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Arles, Synod of" in Chambers's Encyclopædia. London: George Newnes, 1961, Vol. 1, p. 597.
  2. ^ Cornish, F. (2013-10-28). Social History of Chivalry. p. 123. ISBN 9781136199509.
  3. ^ Nonviolence: Twenty-Five Lessons from the History of a Dangerous Idea, Mark Kurlanski, 2006
  4. ^ Herbermann, Charles George (1913). The Catholic Encyclopedia.
  5. ^ Karl Joseph von Hefele (1876). A History of the Councils of the Church: A.D. 326 to A.D. 429. Vol. II. Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark. pp. 203–205.
  6. ^ Leonis I, Opp., ed. Ballerini, I, 998; Hefele, Conciliengeschichte, II, 590.
  7. ^ Giovan Domenico Mansi (1762). Giovan Domenico Mansi (ed.). Sacrorum conciliorum nova et amplissima collectio (in Latin). Vol. Tomus Septimus (VII) (editio novissima ed.). Florence: Antonio Zatta. p. 951.
  8. ^ a b c Landon, Edward Henry (1846). A Manual of Councils of the Holy Catholick Church: Comprising the Substance of the Most Remarkable and Important Canons Alphabetically Arranged. F. & J. Rivington. ISBN 978-0-608-34601-4. Retrieved 23 September 2021.
  9. ^ Rahner, Karl (1975). Encyclopedia of theology: a concise Sacramentum mundi. Freiburg: Herder. pp. 301–302. ISBN 978-0-86012-006-3.
  10. ^ a b Halfond, Gregory I. (2009). "Appendix A: Frankish Councils, 511-768". Archaeology of Frankish Church Councils, AD 511-768. Brill. pp. 223–46. ISBN 978-90-04-17976-9.

Further reading edit

External links edit