Cologne, Councils of

Cologne, Councils Of

(Concilium Coloniense or Agrippinense), were provincial synods as follows:

I. Said to have been held A.D. 346, to condemn Euphratas, bishop of Cologne (for denying our Lord's divinity), who was, however, at Sardica as an orthodox bishop the year after (Pagi ad an. 346, n. 6; Mansi, Concil. 2:1371-1378). Baronius and Cave think the council spurious. Sirmond supposes that Euphratas recanted; others that he was acquitted; others that there were two successive bishops of Cologne so named.

II. Another council is reported to have been held in 782, under Charlemagne, but this was apparently a political council; nothing is known of it ecclesiastically (Labbe and Cossart, Concil. 6:1827, from Eginhard).

III. Held April 1,887. In it the ancient canons were confirmed, and censures pronounced against those who pillaged the property of the Church, oppressed the poor, and married within the forbidden limits. See Labbe, Concil. 11:396.

IV. Held March 12, 1260, by Conrad, archbishop of Cologne. In it were drawn up fourteen canons of discipline for the clergy, and eighteen for monks. Among the former:

1. Is directed against those of the clergy who kept mis. tresses: forbids them to be present at the marriage of their children, or to leave them anything by will.

3. Declares that all clergy should know how to read, apd to chant the praises of God, and orders such as cannot do so to provide a deputy.

7. Orders that in churches belonging to canons, if there be no dormitory, one shall forthwith be built, and that the said canons shall occupy it, that they may always be ready to assist at matins; also forbids them to eat or sleep out of the confines of their church, i.e., the dormitory. See Labbe, Concil. 11:784.

V. Held in 1266, by Engilbert, archbishop of Cologne. Fifty-four canons were drawn up, which are chiefly against the plunderers of the Church, and those who killed, injured, and defrauded ecclesiastics. The last orders that the names of sacrilegious persons shall be kept in a book, and constantly read out. See Labbe, Concil. 11:835.

VI. Held in 1280, by Sifridus (Sifroi), archbishop of Cologne. Eighteen canons were drawn up.

1. Relates to the life and conversation of the clergy, and forbids them to play at games of chance; directs them to say daily the office of the Blessed Virgin.

3. Relates to the state, etc., of the religious, and forbids monks or nuns to have any sort of property.

7. Treats at length of the sacrament of the altar, and directs that before celebrating the communion the priests shall have said matins and prime, and have confessed, if they have the opportunity.

8. Treats of the sacrament of penance.

9. Of orders.

10. Of matrimony. See Labbe, Concil. 11:1107.

VII. Held about the year 1300, by Wichbold, archbishop of Cologne; twenty-two canons were, published.

I. Orders deans to deliver in writing a list of all nonresident incumbents in their deaneries.

15. Orders all priests in the diocese to excite their parishioners to contribute towards the fabric of the cathedral of Cologne.

17. Orders that the clerks appointed to ring the bells shall not be illiterate persons, but, if occasion require, able to assist the priest at the altar. See Labbe, Concil. 11:1439.

VIII. Held March 9, 1310, by Henry, archbishop of Cologne, and three bishops; twenty-nine canons were published.

11. Directs that the epistles and gospels shall be read only by persons in holy orders.

16. Directs that those persons whose office it is to ring the church bells shall know how to read, in order that they may be able. to make the responses; and also that they shall wear the allb during divine service.

17. Directs that the rural deans shall provide that all their churches be furnished with proper ornaments.

21. Forbids to pronounce a curse against any person in the church, or to sing the Media Vita against any one, without the bishop's leave.

23. Directs that in future the year shall commence at the festival of Christmas, according to the use of the Roman Church. Others forbid parishioners to receive the holy communion, at Easter, at the hands of any but their own Curates; order nuns to keep close to their cloisters, and monks to observe strictly the rule of poverty. See Labbe, Concil. 11:1517.

IX. Held in 1423, by Thierry, archbishop of Cologne; eleven canons were decreed.

Among other things, it was ordered that clergymen convicted of incontinence should be deposed, if, after due warning, they did not amend their scandalous life; that priests alone shall be named to preach indulgence and to collect alms; that canons and other clerks refrain from talking during divine service, under penalty of losing allowance.

The ninth canon is directed against the doctrines of Wycliffe and John Huss. See Labbe, Concil. 12:360.

X. Held in 1452, by cardinal Cusa, legate alatere for Germany.

Here it was decreed that a provincial council should be held at Cologne every three years, so that a synod should occur annually in one of the three dioceses; that all Jews, of both sexes, should have their dress marked with a circle, in order to distinguish them; that the clergy should keep their hair cuit short; also, that processions with the holy sacrament should not be permitted to take place too frequently, and then that all should be done with extreme reverence. See Labbe, Concil. 13:1378.

XI. Held in 1536, by Hermann, archbishop of Cologne, assisted by his suffragans, and several others. The acts of this council are divided into fourteen articles, each article containing several decrees relating to the discipline of the church.

Art. I. Consists of thirty-six canons, and treats of the duties of bishops, especially in ordaining and visiting. Among other things: 4. Buying and selling of benefices, and worldly motives in giving them, are denounced as detestable; also, 32. Pluralities are condemned, and those who have the pope's license for a plurality of benefices are bidden to inquire of their consciences whether they have God's license also.

Art. II. Relates to the offices of the Church, etc., and contains thirty-two canons. Bishops are exhorted to reform their breviaries. where they are defective, and to purge out all false or doubtful legends, which have been inserted (nescimus qua incuria) instead of passages from Holy Scripture; directions are given that the breviary be recited with reverence and attention, and that the mass be celebrated with proper devotion. 15. Definies the proper use of organs, which, it states, are intended to excite devotion, and not profane emotions of joy. With regard to the morals and conduct of the clergy, it states (22) that pride, luxury, and avarice are the principal causes of their evil reputation; and (in 23, 24, 25) that they ought to abstain from great feasts and good living, and from drunkennmess and other like vices.

Arts. III, IV, and V relate to cathedral and other churches, and those who serve them, to the mendicant friars, etc., and contain in all fifty-seven canons. Canons are ordered to live canonically, as their name imports, to remember the original intention of their institution, which was, that they should dwell together, etc.; if they fail on any occassion to be present at mass after the epistle, or at the hours after the first psalm, they shall be deprived of their allowance. Non-residence is forbidden. Persons having cure of souls are exhorted to be careful to exhibit a pattern to their flocks.

Art. VI. Relates to the preaching of the word of God, and contains twenty-seven canons; states that the preacher ought constantly to read innand meditate upon the Holy Scriptures; to accommodate his discourse to the. understanding of his hearers; to avoid profane eloquence and worldly declamation, and everything tending to the ridiculous; shows how the clergy are to instruct the people upon controverted subjects, and to repress vice. Canon 26. Directs that the decalogue and creed shall be plainly recited immediately after the sermon.

Art. VII. Relates to the sacraments of the Church, and contains fifty-two canons. It reckons seven sacraments; directs that the clergy should instructn the people that the visible part of a sacrament is but the sensible sign of the effect produced upon the soul; it treats of each of the seven sacraments in detail. Among other things, it declares that, in order to be admitted to the communion, it is necessary to have a pure conscience, a heart truly penitent, and a lively faith, to realize the truth of Christ's body offered and his blood poured forth in that sacrament. With regard to the communion in both kinds, canon 15 directs the priest to teach those of his parishioners who are hurt at the denial of the cup, that the layman, who receives the bread only, receives as fully and completely both the body and the blood of our Lord as the priest does, who receives in both kinds; that the Church, out of reverence to the sacrament, and for the salvation of the faithful, hath thought proper so to order it, and that, consequently, the laity, being assured that they do receive both the body and blood of Christ, should submit to its judgment.

Art. VIII. Containing seven canons, is upon the subject of the maintenance of the clergy: it forbids any fee for the administration of the sacraments or for burials; it also enjoins the restoration of tithes by those laymen who had usurped them.

Art. IX. Containing twenty-one canons, speaks of the usages and customs of the Church; directs that fasting, being an ordinance of the Church, may not be neglected, and declares that to eat sumptuous breakfasts on days appointed to be observed with fasting, is not obedience to the spirit of the Church's injunction; it also explains the appointment of Rogation days, and declares that Sunday is to be observed and kept holy; that on that day it is the duty of the faithful to hear mass and the sermon, and to sing the psalms and hymns; forbids fairs to be held on that day, and the frequenting of taverns.

Art. X. Contains nineteen canons, and relates to monastic discipline.

Art. XI. Contains eight canons, relating to almshouses, hospitals, and similar establishments; states that it is the bishop's duty to look after the repair of those which have fallen into decay, and to provide for the spiritual care of those persons who dwell in them.

Art. XII. Contains nine canons, relating to schools, libraries, etc.

Art. XIII. Relates to contests about ecclesiastical jurisdiction, etc.; and contains four canons.

Art. XIV. Relates to episcopal and other visitations, and contains twenty- four canons. See Labbe, Concil. 14:484.

XII. Held in 1549, by Adolphus, archbishop. Several statutes were made for the reformation of the Church; the six principal methods recommended are the following:

1. It was ordered that the education of the young should be confided to those persons only whose purity of faith and life was known, and who had undergone an examination by the ordinary, or by persons approved by him. That no suspected or heretical works should be allowed in colleges or universities.

2. It is declared that the examination of candidates for orders, and of persons. to be instituted to benefices, belongs to the bishop alone, or to persons authorized by him; and that those who desire to be ordained shall give public notice of the same.

3. The clergy are ordered to inflict the penalty enjoined by the canons upon those whose sins have deserved it, and not to remit it for money. Pluralities are forbidden.

4. The end of episcopal visitations is declared to be the correction of vice, and the restoration of purity of life and discipline. Bishops are exhorted to take but few followers with them in their visitations, to avoid burdening their clergy.

5. The necessity of holding ecclesiastical synods is shown, in order to preserve the faith and discipline of the Church in their integrity, and to maintain purity of morals, to insure the reformation of abuses.

6. Treats of the re-establishment of ecclesiastical discipline. These statutes were approved by the emperor's letters-patent. See Labbe, Concil. 14:627. — Landon, Man. of Councils, s.v.

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