Gallican Councils

Gallican Councils councils held in France, but at some place unknown.

I. A.D. 355, at Poitiers or Toulouse, possibly. St. Hilary, writing to the Easterns, A.D. 360, says he, five years before, with the bishops of France, withdrew from. the communion of the Arian bishops Ursacius and Valens, and of Saturninus of Arles, who had espoused their cause. The opening chapters of his work addressed to Constantius are thought to have emanated from this council.

II. A.D. 376. There seems a reference to one such in a law of that year, dated Treves, of the Theodosian code; but it is not known where or for what object.

III. A.D. 444 in which Hilary of Arles presided, and Cllelidonius of Besanoon, where this council may have met, therefore, was accused of being husband of a widow, and deposed. On appealing, however, to St. Leo he was restored, as having been condemned on a false charge. Both their letter to him and his answer are preserved among his epistles.

IV. A.D. 678, at some place unknown; when St. Leodegar or Leger, bishop of Autun, was degraded as having been accessory to the death of king Childeric II five years before.

V. A.D. 678 or 679, against the Monothelites; as appears from the reference made to it by the Gallican bishops subscribing to the Roman synod under pope Agatho, preserved in the 4th act of the 6th council, but thev do not say where.

VI. A.D. 796, at Tours possibly, where Joseph, bishop of Mans and a suffragan of Tours, was deposed for cruelty.

VII. Three more councils may be grouped under this head, usually called Councils of Auvergne, but this name is misleading, as it means the town formerly so called, not the province. When the town changed its name to Clermont, councils held there subsequently were styled by its new name, while the earlier retained its old. We save confusion, therefore, by classing them under Gallican. Of these the first met November 8, A.D. 535, in the second year of king Theodebert, and passed sixteen canons, to which fifteen bishops, headed by Honoratus, metropolitan of Bourges, subscribed; his suffragan of Auvergne subscribing second. Their canons deprecate lay influences in the appointment of bishops, and lay interference between bishops and clergy. No furniture belonging to the Church may be used for private funerals or marriages. The appointment of Jews as judges, and marriages between Jews and Christians, are denounced. Presbyters and deacons marrying are to be deposed. In a collective note to king Theodebert, the bishops entreat that neither the clergy, nor others, living in his dominions may be robbed of their rightful possessions, and in their fifth canon they declare all spoliations of Church property null and void, and the' spoilers excommunicated wherever it occurs. Several other canons are given to this council by Burchard. The second, A.D. 549, was attended by ten bishops, but only to receive the canons passed at the 5th Council of Orleans. The third, A.D. 588, was occupied solely with a dispute between the bishops of Rhodes and Cahors.

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