Poitiers, Councils of
Poitiers, Councils Of
(Concilium Pictaviense), were convened here at different times in the Middle Ages.
I. The first of these was held in 593, and was provoked by a rebellion of nuns, under the leadership of Chrodielde, a Frankish princess and nun at Poitiers, who had rebelled against Leubovera, abbess of St. Croix. She was here called to account for leaving her nunnery, and for the violence which she had committed against Gondegesile and other bishops; also for the acts of rebellion which she, in concert with Besina, another nun, had committed against their abbess. Being exhorted to ask forgiveness of the abbess, she boldly refused, and threatened to kill her. The bishops, after consulting the canons, declared her to be excommunicated, and ordered that she should remain so until she should have done penance. They then re-established the abbess, Leubovera, in the government of tile monastery. See Labbe, Concil. 5, 1593; Gregor. Turon. Hist. d. France, 9, 4; 10:16, 19; Mansi, Concil. 9, 1011; 10:455, 459; Hardouin, Concil. 3, 490, 527, 531; Hefele, Conciliengesch. 3, 51.
II. Another council was held Jan. 13, 1004, convoked by William V, count of Poitiers and duke of Aquitaine. Five bishops were present, who published three canons:
1. Pronounces those persons to be under anathema who pillage the churches, rob the poor, or strike the clergy; and further declares that if they rebel against this sentence the bishops and barons shall assemble and march against them, ravaging all around them until they submit.
The other two canons forbid bishops to take any fees for penance and confirmation; and priests and deacons to retain women in their houses. See Labbe, Concil. 9, 780.
III. The third council was held in 1073, before cardinal Gerand, the Roman legate, against Berenger. The question of the Holy Eucharist was discussed, and the minds of men were so exasperated against Berenger that he narrowly escaped with his life. See Labbe, Concil. 10, 346.
IV. The fourth was held in 1078, by the legate Hugo, bishop of Die, who, by the account which he gave of this council to pope Gregory VII, seems to have encountered much opposition to his plans. He complains that the king of France had forbidden the count of Poitiers to allow the council to be held within his states; that the archbishop of Tours and the bishop of Rennes had rendered themselves almost complete masters of the council, and that the assembly had been disturbed by the armed followers of these prelates. Some attribute to this council, and others to the following one, ten canons, of which these are the most worthy of note:
1. Forbids to receive investitures at the hands of kings and other laymen.
2. Forbids simony and pluralities.
4. Forbids bishops to receive any present for conferring holy orders, for consecrating churches, or for giving any benediction.
6. Forbids monks and canons to purchase churches without the bishop's consent.
8. Forbids the ordination of the children of priests, and of bastards, except they be canons or regular monks.
10. Enjoins that clerks who carry arms, or who deal in usury, shall be excommunicated. See Labbe, Concil. 10, 366.
V. The last council convened at Poitiers was held Nov. 18, 1100, by order of John and Benedict, the two legates of the Holy See, who presided in the place of Pascal II. About eighty bishops and abbots were present. Norigaudus, bishop of Autun, having been found guilty of simony, was condemned to give up his stole and pastoral ring. Upon his refusal to do so, he was further deposed from his bishopric and from the priesthood, and sentence of excommunication was denounced against all who continued to obey him as their bishop. He, nevertheless, persisted in his refusal to submit to the sentence, and retained his stole and ring. In this council, moreover, Philip, king of France, who had taken back to him Bertrade, his wife, was excommunicated by the legates, in spite of the opposition of many of the bishops and of William, duke of Aquitaine. Lastly, sixteen canons were published:
1. Declares that it is lawful for bishops only to give the tonsure (coronas benedicere) to the clergy, and for abbots to do so to monks.
2. Forbids them to require any fee for performing the operation, or even the scissors and napkin employed.
4. Reserves to the bishop the benediction of the sacerdotal vestments, and of all the vessels, etc., of the altar.
7. Forbids, under excommunication, to buy or sell prebends, and to require any allowance (pastus) for having given one.
10. Gives permission to regular canons to baptize, preach, administer the sacrament of penance, and bury the dead during the bishop's pleasure.
12. Forbids to allow to preach those who carry about the relics of saints for the sake of gain.
16. Confirms all that the pope had enacted in the Council of Clermont. See Labbe, Concil. 10, 720; Hefele, Conciliengesch. vols. 4 and 5.