Sens, Councils of

Sens, Councils Of (Concilium Senonense). These councils were so called from being held in Sens, a town in the department of Yonne, France.

1. This council was held in 1140. Among those present were Louis VII, Samson of Rheims, and Henry of Sens. In this council St. Bernard charged Abelard (q.v.), who was present, with his errors, accusing him of making degrees in the Trinity, as Arius had done; of preferring free will to grace, with Pelagius; and of dividing Jesus Christ, with Nestorius. He produced extracts taken from his works, and called upon Abelard either to deny having written them, or to prove their truth, or to retract them. Abelard, instead of defending himself, appealed to Rome; whereupon the bishops present contented themselves with condemning his doctrine, passing no sentence upon him personally out of deference to Innocent II, to whom Samson and three of the bishops wrote, requesting his concurrence in their judgment. The pope condemned Abelard in the same year, and, in his answer to the letter of the bishops, declared that he concurred with them in the sentence they had passed, and that he had imposed perpetual silence upon Abelard. The latter published an apology, in which he confessed the sound Catholic faith, declared that he desisted from his appeal, and retracted all that he had written contrary to the truth. See Mansi, 10, 1018.

2. Held in 1199 by the legate Peter against the Poplicans (or Populicani), a sect of Manichaeans. Among others, the dean of Nevers, and Raynaldus, abbot of St. Martin, were charged with this heresy. The latter was deposed, being found guilty not only of this heresy, but also of those of the Stercoranists and Origenists. Both appealed from the decision of the council to the pope. See Mansi, 11, 3.

3. The third Council of Sens was held in May, 1320, by William de Melun, archbishop of Sens. Four statutes were published.

1. Enacts that the bishops should grant an indulgence of forty days to those persons who would fast on the vigil of the feast of the Holy Sacrament.

2. Directs that places in which clerks were forcibly detained should be laid under an interdict.

4. Condemns those priests who dressed themselves improperly, such as in red, green, yellow, or white boots, etc., and wore beards and long hair.

See Mansi, 11, 1860.

4. This council was held in 1485 by Tristan de Salazar, archbishop of Sens, in which the constitutions published by his predecessor, Louis, in a council held A.D. 1460, were confirmed. Among other matters treated of were the celebration of the holy office, the reform of the clergy and of the monks, the duties of laymen towards the Church, etc. It also enacted that canons shall be considered absent who are not present at noctern, before the end of the Venite; at the other hours before the first psalm, and at mass before the end of the last Kyrie. Most of these regulations were taken from the canons of Basle, Lateran and the Pragmatic. See Mansi, 13, 1721, App.

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