Arles, Councils of

Arles, Councils of

(Concilium Arelatense). Aries (Arelate) is an ancient archiepiscopal see in Lower Provence, on the left of the Rhone, seven leagues from its mouth, about one hundred and eighty-six leagues from Paris. It is said to derive its' name from ara data, a high altar raised here in pagan times. Several councils were held here.

I. The first was a general council of the West, held in 314, by the emperor Constantine, upon the subject of the Donatists. The emperor, in order to get rid of the importunities of these schismatics, who were dissatisfied with the Council of Rome in the preceding year, granted them a fresh. hearing, which gave rise to this council. The number of .bishops present, was very large from Africa, Italy, Sicily, Sardinia, and, above all, from, Gaul. Among the names subscribed we find those of the bishops of Arles, Lyons, Vienne, Marseilles, Autun, Rheims, Cologne, Rouen, and Bordeaux. Pope Sylvester sent two priests and two deacons. It appears that the matter was examined with even greater care than at Rome in the preceding year. Cecilianus was acquitted, and his accusers condemned. It was also ruled by this council, in opposition to the general practice before this time in the African Church, that persons who have received the form of baptism at the hand of heretics ought not to be rebaptized; and that if it shall appear from their answer that they have been baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, it shall be enough that they be confirmed in order to receive the Holy Ghost. Here were also composed the twenty- two celebrated canons of discipline which bear the name of this council. See Labbe, Concil. i, 1421.

II. Held in 353, by Constantius. The emperor, happening to be in Arles, lent himself to everything that the Eusebians suggested to him. Already they had invited pope Liberius to attend the council, who, however, sent Vincentius, the aged bishop of Capua, and Marcellus, a Campanian bishop, to demand of Constantius that the place of rendezvous should be Aquilea instead of Arles. Many other bishops also came to Arles to request the same thing; but, reasonable as the request was, Constantius took offence at it. In the council the first thing which the Arians required was the condemnation of St. Athanasius.. Vincentius, on his part, insisted that the true faith should be set forth and defended; but Valens and his accomplices persisted in requiring that before anything else was done, the legates should renounce communion with Athanasius; which they, carried away by the example of others, and, it may be, induced by threats, did, promising no more to communicate with him., When, however, the council had gained this point, they refused to condemn Arius. Photinus of Sirmium, Marcellus of Ancyra, and St. Athanasius were condemned here.

III. This numerous council of French bishops was held in 428 (or 429) at Arles or Troyes, at. which deputies from the English Church were present, seeking help against the heresy of Pelagius. Germanus, bishop of Auxerre, and Lupus, bishop of Troyes, were deputed to proceed to England, in order that, " having confounded the heretics, they might lead back the Britons to the Catholic faith."

IV. Held about 442, and seems to have been gathered from several ecclesiastical provinces, since it speaks of the obligation of the metropolitans to submit to its decrees, and gives itself the title of the great council. It was assembled by Hilary of Arles, and drew up fifty-six canons. One forbade the elevation to the rank of subdeacon of any one who had married a widow. According to Pagi, this council opposed St. Leo against Hilary, who assumed the right of assembling councils in Gaul.

V. Held about the year 453. The subscriptions of the bishops are lost. Fifty-six canons were published, many of which are taken from the councils of Nicaea, Constantinople, and Orange.

10 and 11. Relate to the penance of those 'who relapsed in time of persecution.

15. Forbids a deacon to administer the communion when a priest is present.

26. Permits a priest to grant the chrism to heretics at the point of death who wish to become Catholics. See Labbe, 4:1010.

VI. Held in 455, under Ravennius, bishop of Arles, owing to a dispute between Faustus, abbot of the monastery of Lerins, and Theodore, bishop of Frejus, concerning the jurisdiction of the latter over the monastery. Thirteen bishops were present; and it was determined that ordinations should be celebrated by the bishop of Frdjus alone, and that no'-clerk, not belonging to the monastery, should be received into communion or to minister without the bishop's license; Theodore, on his part, leaving the care of the lay portion of the monastery in the hands of the abbot. See Labbe, 4:1023.

VII. A provincial council, convened in 463 by Leontius, archbishop of Aries, to oppose Mamertinus, archbishop of Vienne, who had encroached upon the province of Arles.

VIII. This council was held 'about A. D. 705, to consider the errors of Lucidus, and was composed of thirty bishops. According to Faustus, they spoke strongly upon the subject of predestination; condemned the opinions of Lucidus upon the subject; and insisted that he should condemn them himself. Lucidus obeyed, and in a letter to the council retracted his errors.

IX. Held in 524, under Caesarius, bishop of Aries. Sixteen bishops were present, and four canons were drawn up relating to ordinations, one of which enacts that no man be made deacon under twenty-five years of age. See Mansi, 4:1622.

X. Held in 554, under Sapaudus, archbishop of Aries. Here seven canons were drawn up, the second and fifth of which are to the effect that monasteries, whether for men or women, should be placed under the jurisdiction of the bishop of the diocese. See Mansi, v, 779.

XI. Held in May, 813, convoked, by order of Charlemagne, for the correction of abuses and the restoration of ecclesiastical discipline. The number of canons made was twenty-six. Among other things, it was ruled that bishops ought to be well instructed in the Holy Scriptures and in the canons of the Church, and that their sole occupation should consist in preaching and instructing others.

2. That all shall pray for the king and his family.

15. Orders just weights and measures everywhere.

17. Enjoins that bishops shall visit their dioceses annually.

19. That parents should instruct their children, and godparents those for whom they had answered at the font. The 21st orders that with regard to burials in churches, the ancient canons shall be observed. See Labbe, v, 1231. .

XII. Held on July 8, 1234, under John Baussan, archbishop of Arles. Twenty-four canons were enacted, chiefly directed against the Albigenses and Waldenses, enforcing those of Lateran in 1215, and of Toulouse in 1229. Bishops are directed to preach the Catholic faith frequently, both themselves and by means of others. All confraternities are forbidden, except those which have the sanction of the bishop. Bishops are directed to apply themselves diligently to the correction of morals, especially among the clergy; and for that purpose they are enjoined to hatve spies in every diocese. No one was permitted to make a will save in the presence of the curate of his parish. The reason given for this last injunction, which is very common in the acts of councils about this time, is that persons who favored the opinions of the heretics might be thereby prevented from assisting them with legacies. See Labbe, 11:App. p. 2339.

XIII. Held in 1261, or subsequently, by Florentine, archbishop of Aries, with his suffragans, against the extravagances of the Joachimites, who said that the Father had operated from the creation until the coming of Jesus Christ; that from that time to the year 1260 Jesus Christ had operated; and that from 1260 unto the end of the world the Holy Spirit would operate. That, under the operation of the Father, men lived after the flesh; under that of the Son, they lived partly after the flesh and partly after the Spirit; but that during the third period they would live more entirely after the Spirit. Seventeen canons were also drawn up, in the third of which it is enjoined that confirmation shall be administered and received fasting, except in the case of infants at the breast. This shows "that the confirmation of little children was at this time still practiced in the Church. The fifth canon orders that in all parish churches belonging to the religious, curates taken from the community, or perpetual vicars, shall be appointed, with a suitable provision out of the proceeds of the benefice. Further it forbids the regulars to receive the people to the holy office in the churches attached to their priories, etc., on Sundays or other holydays, or to preach during those hours in which mass was said in the parish church, in order that the laity might not be draw in away from the instruction of their own parochial minister. The seventh canon forbids the use of wooden candles painted to look like wax in churches, processions, etc. See Labbe, 11, App. p. 2359.

XIV. Held about the year 1257, by Bertrand de St. Martin, archbishop of Arles. Twenty-two canons were drawn up, of which the first are lost.

7. Forbids to sell or pawn the chalices, books, and other ornament. of the Church, tinder pain of excommunication.

12. and 13. Of cases to be reserved to the bishop or pope;

14. Forbids all persons in holy orders to buy corn or wine for the purpose of selling it again.

16. Orders silver chalices in churches. See Labbe, 11, App. p. 2369.

 
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