Soissons, Councils of

Soissons, Councils Of (Concilium Suessionense), were held in the town of Soissons, department of Aisne, France;

I. Held March 3, 744, by order of Pepin. Twenty-three bishops were present. The heretic Adelbert was condemned in this council, and ten canons were published.

1. Recognizes the Nicene Creed.

4. Forbids fornication, perjury, and false witness to the laity; orders all priests to submit to their bishop, to render an account to him every year of their conduct, to receive him when making his visitations, and to obtain from him the holy rite and chrism.

5. Forbids to receive strange clerks.

6. Directs bishops to take all possible measures for the extirpation of paganism.

7. Orders that the crosses which Adelbert had set up in his diocese should be burned.

8. Forbids clerks to retain any women in their houses, except their mother, sister, or niece.

9. Forbids lay persons to retain in their houses women consecrated to God; forbids them also to marry the wife of another man in his lifetime, since no man may put away his wife except for adultery. See Mansi, 6, 1552.

II. Held April 26, 853, in the monastery of St. Medard, under Hincmar of Rheims, composed of twenty-six bishops, from five provinces. The king, Charles the Bald, was present during the deliberations of the Council, which lasted through eight sessions. Thirty canons were published.

1. Recapitulates and confirms the judgment pronounced against Ebho and the clerks whom he had ordained; also confirms the elevation of Hincmar to his see.

2. Relates to the case of Heriman, bishop of Nevers, at the time out of his mind, whose church was committed to the care of his archbishop.

4. Orders Amaulry, archbishop of Tours, to take charge of the bishopric of Mans, the bishop, Aldricus, being afflicted with paralysis, having addressed a letter to the synod for assistance, asking for their prayers during his life and after his decease.

7. Orders that the king be requested to send commissioners, who should reestablish divine service in the monasteries. Mansi adds three other canons (1, 929; 8, 79).

III. Held Aug. 18, 866, by order of Charles. Thirty-five bishops attended. The clerks ordained by Ebbo, and who had been deposed in the Council of 853, were, by indulgence, reestablished. Vulgude, one of the number, was in this same year consecrated archbishop of Bourges. See Hincmar, Opusc. vol. 18; Mansi, 8, 808.

IV. Held in 1092 or 1093 by Raynaldus, archbishop of Rheims, against Roscelin the Tritheist. Fulco, bishop of Beauvais, attended in behalf of Anselm, abbot of Bec (afterwards archbishop of Canterbury), whom Roscelin, both in private and in his writings, had falsely charged with holding the same opinions as himself, viz. that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit were three distinct beings, existing separately, and that it might be said that there were three Gods, were not the expression harsh, and contrary to the phraseology in use. Being questioned before the assembly, Roscelin explained his views, and abjured the heresy imputed to him; but no sooner was the council dissolved than he recanted; declaring that he had made his abjuration before the synod merely through fear of being assassinated by the ignorant populace unless he did so. Upon this Anselm wrote his tract De Incarnatione, which he dedicated to Urban II. Subsequently Roseelin, finding himself regarded by all Catholics as a heretic and avoided, betook himself to Ivo, bishop of Chartres, imploring his assistance, and abjuring again all his errors. At last he died in retreat in Aquitaine. See Pagi, in Baronius, A.D. 1094; Mansi, 10, 494.

V. Held in 1115 by Conon, bishop of Praeneste. From this council deputies were sent to the Carthusians, entreating and commanding them to send back into his diocese Godfrey, bishop of Amiens, who had retired among them. This command was executed in the beginning of Lent. Another council was held in the same year at Rheims upon the same subject by the legate Conon. See Mansi, 10, 801.

VI. Held in February, 1121, by Conon, bishop of Praeneste and legate. In this council Abelard was compelled to burn his book upon the subject of the Blessed Trinity, and was desired to make a confession of faith; he accordingly, with many tears and much difficulty, read the Creed of St. Athanasius. He was then sent to the monastery of St. Medard at Soissons, and subsequently to that of St. Denys. See Mansi, 10, 885.

VII. Held July 11, 1456, by John, archbishop, of Rheims, who presided. The execution of the decrees of Basle was ordered, and the acts of the Assembly of Bourges were confirmed. Several other canons were enacted, which relate, among other things, to the dress of bishops, the approval of confessors, the preaching of indulgences, etc. See Mansi, 13, 1396.

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