Cognac, Councils of

Cognac, Councils Of

(Concilium Copriniacense or Campaniacum), were French provincial synods as follows:

I. Held on the Monday after the octave of Easter, 1238, by Gerard de Malemort, archbishop of Bordeaux, together with his suffragans. Thirty- eight canons, or articles of regulation, were published, among which we finrd some that show what great abuses had then crept into the monastic system.

9. Orders that each bishop shall take care that sentences of excommunication pronounced by a brother bishop be enforced. within his own diocese.

12 and 13. Forbid priests and monks to act as advocates in any cause, save that of their own churches or of the poor.

18. Fines those who continue forty days in a state of excommunication.

19. Directs that not only those persons who maltreat a clergyman shall be excluded from holding any ecclesiastical office or preferment, but their descendants also to the third generation.

20. Forbids abbots to give money to their monks in lieu of board, lodging, and clothing; also to take any entrance-fee from new-comers. Orders that, if the revenues of the house are too small for the maintenance of a large number of monks, the number shall be reduced.

22. Forbids monks to leave their walls without leave, and to eat abroad.

25. Orders that if either monk or canon shall be found to possess any property, he shall be deprived of church burial.

29. Forbids them to eat their meals with lay persons.

30. Forbids their living alone in priories, etc. See Labbe, Concil. 11:556.

II. Held in 1255, by the same archbishop, in which thirty-nine canons were published. The first seventeen are but a repetition of those of the Council of Cognac in 1238.

19. Relates to fasting and abstinence.

20. Prohibits, under pain of excommunication, to eat flesh in Lent, especially on the first Sunday.

21. Contains a list of festivals to be observed throughout the year.

22. Declares that there are but ten prefaces.

23. Forbids the laity to enter the choir during service.

24. Directs that women about the time of their confinement shall confess and communicate.

26. Excommunicates those who attend fairs and markets on Sundays or festival days.

38. Forbids the married clergy to exercise any ecclesiastical jurisdiction.

39. Forbids to bury any corpse within the church, except that of the founder, the patron, or the chaplain. See Labbe, Concil. 11:746.

III. Held in 1260, by-Pierre de Roncevaux, archbishop of Bordeaux. Nineteen statutes were made.

1. Forbids night-service or vigils either in the church or church-yard, on account of the disorders committed by the people who attended.

2. Forbids an ancient custom of dancing within the church on the day of the festival of the Holy Innnocents, and choosing a mock bishop.

5. Forbids a priest to marry parties belonging to another parish without the license of the chaplain or prior belonging to that parish.

7. Forbids, under anathema, cock-fighting, then much practiced in schools.

15 and 16. Forbid extra-parochial burial without the curate's permission. One object of this canon was to prevent the ecclesiastical burial of excommunicated persons. See Labbe, Concil. 11:799.

IV. Held in 1262, by. the archbishop of Bordeaux. Seven statutes were published.

1. Lays under an interdict those places in which ecclesiastical persons or property were forcibly detained.

5. Enjoins the clergy to say the office within churches with closed doors in places under interdict, and forbids any of the parishioners attending.

Another council was held by the same archbishop in the following year; the place is uncertain. Seven articles were agreed upon, of which the second declares that a person under sentence of excommunication for twelve months shall be looked upon as a heretic. See Labbe, Concil. 11:820-822.

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