Langres, Synod of

Langres, Synod Of.

From the acts of the Concilumn Tullense of June 859, it appears that another (Concilium Lingonense) had a short time before been held at Langres by the bishops of Charles the Young, king of Provence, nephew of Charles the Bald, and son of Lothair I, to whom Langres belonged as part of Burgundy. We find sixteen canones adopted at Langres still extant. These were read again in the Synod of Toul (Savonnieres), and incorporated in the acts of that synod's session held in the early part of June, 859. The canones refer partly to political and canonical points, partly to dogmas. The assembled clergy availed themselves of the opportunity afforded them by the synod to obtain from the princes Charles the Bald, Lothair II, and Charles the Young the convocation of yearly provincial synods, and two yearly general synods (canon 7). An attempt was also made to take the election of bishops out of the hands of the laity, wherever these still retained this right, and to leave it exclusively with the clergy, under the plea that the metropolitan and bishops of the diocese were alone able to judge of the qualifications of candidates (canon 8). Great opposition was also manifested. against the independence of convents from the episcopacy, the interest of discipline requiring that such institutions should be visited by the bishops (canon 9). They only maintained the right of the convents to appoint their superiors themselves (canons 9 and 12). Much was also done in regard to the building of churches, the administration of Church property, etc. (canon 13); the establishing of schools (canon 10), and the restoration of hospitalit, peregrinorum videlicet, et aliorum pro remedio animarum receptacula (canon 14). The intervention of the temporal power was invoked against raptores, adulteri vel rapaces, which latter were to be also punished by the Church with the full severity of her discipline. But the most important of the decrees adopted by this synod are those which refer to the dogma of predestination. It is in this Synod of Langres that the bishops of Provence appear to have prepared the whole matter, so as to have it ready to be submitted to the Synod of Toul for the three Carolinian kingdoms (Neustria, Lorraine, and Provence). King Charles was himself present, with a view to prevent the proceedings becoming a basis for the decrees of the future Synod of Toul. In the kingdom of Charles the Bald the semi- Pelagian views of Hincmar on that dogma were most generally held, whilst in the ancient provinces of Lothair I the Augustinian views were still officially retained. As the coming Synod of Toul was intended to settle all disputes between the two kingdoms in regard to political and religious questions, the preparatory Synod of Langres had either to recall the Augustinian resolutions of the Synod of Valence, or to alter them in such a manner that they might no longer give offense. They could not agree to do the former, and the six canones of Valence were endorsed; but the expressions against the Synod of Kiersy, which offended Hincmar and his followers (capitula quatuor quae a concilio fratrum nostrorum minus prospecte suscepta sunt propter inutilitatem vel etiam noxietatem et errorem contrarium veritati [a pio auditu fidelium penitus explodimus]) were omitted from the fourth canon. That this was but a half-way and inefficient measure had already been sufficiently established by Hincmar himself in his work on predestination, cap. 30, if the canons of Valence were retained, it should be done openly, and they should be courageously defended, and then the protestation against the four principles of Kiersy could not be considered omitted; but if these were omitted, then it would be consistent to drop the resolutions of the Council of Valence (comp. Hincmari Opp. ed. Sirm. 1:231). Its inefficiency was subsequently made evident in the proceedings of the Concilium Tullense apud Saponarias. See Mansi. 15:537; Hardouin, 5:481; Gieseler, Kirchengesch. 4th edit. 2:1,137; Gfrörer, K.G. 3:2, 881, Herzog, Real-Encyklop. 8:196. (J.N.P.)

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