Toledo, Councils of

Toledo, Councils of (Concilium Toletannum). These councils, of which there were twenty-four, were held in the city of Toledo, in the province of the same name, in Spain. Toledo is the seat of an archbishopric; has a cathedral, founded in 1258, and completed in 1492; a foundling hospital, founded by cardinal Mendoza in 1494; and a theological seminary.

I. The First Council of Toledo was held on Sept. 1, 400, under Patronus, the bishop. The reason for assembling this council, which consisted of nineteen bishops, was the troubles and disturbances caused by the heresy of the Priscillianists, which sprang up towards the close of the 4th century. Nineteen bishops, from all the Spanish provinces, attended. Many of the sect of the Priscillianists who presented themselves were received back into communion with the Church after having abjured their errors. In this council the bishop of Rome is, for the first time, spoken of simply by the title of "pope." Twenty canons were also published.

1. Permits to admit married men to the office of deacon, provided they will observe continence.

2. Forbids to admit to any higher order than that of subdeacon a man who has publicly done penance, and even restricts his administration of that office.

4. Enacts that a subdeacon marrying a second time, shall be reduced to the rank of porter or reader, and shall not be permitted to read the Gospel or epistle; should he marry a third time, he shall be separated from the Church for two years, and then be admitted to lay communion only.

5. Deprives all priests and clerks who, having been appointed to any church in town or country, do not assist daily at mass.

7. Permits clerks whose wives do not lead a decorous life to bind them or. shut them up, and to make them fast; forbids them to eat with them Until they have done penance.

12. Forbids a clerk to leave his own bishop in order to attach himself to another.

13. Warns those who attend the other offices of the Church, but who do not communicate, that they must either receive the holy communion, or take place among the penitents, upon pain of excommunication.

14. Orders that any one who shall have received the holy eucharist without eating it shall be driven from the Church as guilty of sacrilege.

17. Excommunicates a married man keeping a concubine but permits unmarried men to do so. Allows either a wife or a concubine.

20. Restricts the consecration of the chrism to the bishops; orders all priests to send a deacon or subdeacon to the bishop at Easter, in order to receive it from him. See Mansi, Concil. 2, 1222.

II. The Second Council of Toledo was held about 447, during the popedom of Leo I, against the Priscillianists. Nineteen bishops attended, who condemned the heresy and the followers of Priscillian in a formulary of faith directed against all heretics, to which eighteen anathemas are attached. See Mansi, Concil. 3, 1465; Baronius, ann. 447, § 17, etc.

III. The Third Council of Toledo was held May 17, 531; Montanus, bishop of Toledo, presiding over seven other bishops. Five canons were published.

1. Relates to the treatment of children offered by their parents to be brought up for holy orders. Others relate to the continence of the clergy, the preservation of church property, etc.

In this council Toledo is, for the first time, spoken of as a metropolitan see. See Mansi, Concil. 4:1734.

IV. The Fourth Council of Toledo was held May 8, 589; Leander, the primate of Seville, presiding over seventy-two bishops, from the different provinces under the rule of king Reccaredus, who attended in person. Eight deputies were also present. The main object of the council was to confirm the conversion of the Goths who had abjured Arianism, and who here presented a confession of faith, in which they declared their assent to the first four ecumenical councils, and anathematized the principal errors of the Arian party. Twenty-three canons were published, and as many anathemas directed, as against other heresies and evils, so against those who deny the procession of the Holy Ghost from the Father and the Son, and those who refuse to anathematize the Council of Arminum.

2. Directs that, according to the king's writ, the Constantinopolitan creed shall be sung by the people in every church in the kingdom before the Lord's Prayer in the encharistical office.

5. Relates to the rule of continence to be observed by heretical bishops, priests, and deacons, when reconciled to the Church, as well as by all clerks.

7. Orders that some portion of Holy Scripture shall be read daily at the tables of priests, to prevent idle conversation.

11 and 12. Relate to penitence. Forbid to reconcile without penance; forbid the priest to admit to penance without first cutting off the hair of the penitent, if a man, or changing her dress, if a woman.

14. Forbids Jews to have Christian women for wives or concubines.

19. Leaves it to the bishop to fix the endowment to be given to a newly founded church.

22. Forbids to say anything but psalms at the funerals of the religious. See Mansi, 5, 997.

V. The Fifth Council of Toledo was held May 17, 597; sixteen bishops attended; two canons only remain, and the subscription of thirteen bishops only appear.

1. Orders that priests and deacons who will not observe the law of continence shall be degraded, shut up in a cloister, and put to penance.

2. Forbids the bishop to appropriate to himself the revenues of any church or chapel in his diocese, and declares that they belong to the ministering priest. See Mansi, 5, 1603.

VI. The Sixth Council of Toledo was held in 610; Aurasius, bishop of Toledo, presiding over fifteen bishops. The primacy of the see of Toledo over all the churches of Carthagena was established, and subsequently confirmed by an edict of king Gundemar. See Mansi, 1620.

VII. A national council was held in this city on Dec. 9, 633, assembled from the whole of Spain, and that part of Gaul which was in subjection to the Goths; Isidore of Seville presided, sixty-six archbishops and bishops being present among them were the metropolitans of Narbonne, Merida, Braga, Toledo, and Tarragona. Seventy-five canons were published.

1. Contains a profession of faith upon the subject of the Blessed Trinity and the incarnation.

2. Directs that the same order of prayer and of psalmody shall be observed throughout the kingdom, and the same manner of celebrating mass.

3. Orders that a national council shall be held annually, if possible; otherwise a council in each province.

4. Relates to the proper mode of holding synods, and is of some length. It orders that on the first day of the synod the church shall be cleared before sunrise and all the doors shut except one; that the bishops shall enter first and take their seats in a circle, according to the date of their consecration; then the priests; after them the deacons, who are ordered to stand in sight of the bishops; and. last of all, the laity and notaries. This done, the door is directed to be suit, and silence and devotion enjoined upon all. Then the archdeacon, standing up, shall bid them pray; upon which all shall prostrate themselves upon the floor, and, after private prayer mingled with sobs and tears, one of the bishops shall rise up and say a prayer, to which an shall respond Amen. All having risen up and taken their places, a deacon in an alb shall read the canons relating to the holding of councils, and the metropolitan shall invite the bishops to proceed to business. It is forbidden to proceed to another matter until the first has been disposed of. Any clerk or layman desiring to appeal to the council is enjoined to mention his cause to the metropolitan archdeacon; who shall declare it to the council. No bishop is allowed to leave the synod before the others, nor shall the council be dissolved until everything is settled.

5. Directs that metropolitans shall consult together before Epiphany concerning the proper time for celebrating Easter, and shall signify their determination to their suffragans.

6. Approves of leaving the question about single and trine immersion open; but orders single immersion to be practiced throughout Spain, to prevent schism.

7. Orders that the Passion be preached on Good-Friday, and that the people, in an audible voice, ask forgiveness of their sins, in order that, being thereby purified from sin, they may worthily celebrate the great festival of Easter, and partake of the holy Eucharist with a pure, heart.

8. Deprives of the Easter communion those who break their fast on Good- Friday before sunset, exception being made in favor of old and sick persons and children.

9. Relates to the benediction of the candles, etc., on Easter-eve.

10. Is directed against all abuse then prevalent in many churches-in which the Lord's Prayer was said on Sundays only orders all clerks to say it daily at the office, either openly or privately.

11. Forbids singing the Hallelujah during Lent.

12. Orders that immediately after the epistle the gospel should be read, which should be followed by the Lauds, which in some churches were improperly sung after the epistle.

13. Condemns the opinion of those who deemed it wrong to sing thymus composed by men in honor of the apostles and martyrs on account of their not being taken out of Holy Scripture nor authorized by tradition.

14. Orders that the canticle Benedicite Opera Omnia be sung on Sundays and feast-days at mass at the entrance of the chancel [in pulpito].

15. Orders, under pain of excommunication, that at the end of each psalm shall be sung "Glory and honor be to the Father," etc., and not merely "Glory be," etc.

17. Excommunicates those who refuse to acknowledge the inspiration of the Apocalypse, and also those who refuse to read it in church from Easter to Pentecost.

19. Enumerates the cases in which persons may not be admitted to holy orders.

25. Is directed against ignorance in the clergy; requires them to be acquainted with Holy Scripture and the canons.

26. Orders that a priest when appointed to any parish shall receive a copy of the ritual from the bishop, and that when the priests attend the litanies or synods they shall give account to the bishop of their manner of celebrating the holy office and administering holy baptism.

33. Forbids the bishop to take for his own share more than one third of the revenue of the churches within his diocese.

34. Enacts that thirty years possession shall give to a bishop lawful right over a Church situated in the diocese of another bishop if in the same province.

39. Forbids the deacons to pretend to the privileges of the priesthood and to sit ill the first places.

40. Forbids them to wear two stoles, which it declares to be unfit for even a bishop or priest; directs them to wear the stole over the left shoulder, and also that it be clean, and not worked with colors or with gold.

41. Orders all clerks, as well as the priests and deacons, to shave the entire crown of the head and to leave but a slight rim of hair in the form of a circle.

46. Orders that a clerk found plundering a tomb be deposed from every ecclesiastical rank and office, and subjected to three years penance.

51. Forbids bishops to ill-treat monks, but grants to them the exercise of their canonical authority over them, such as exhorting them to observe a good and holy life, instituting abbots and other officers, correcting those who infringe the rules, etc.

52. Enacts that monks forsaking the monastic state in order to marry and settle in the world shall be brought back and put to penance.

57. Forbids to compel Jews to profess Christianity; with regard to the compulsory conversions under king Sisbertus, it allows that they should continue to be considered as Christians because they had received baptism, chrism, and the holy Eucharist.

The following nine relate to the Jews, and to Christians who had apostatized to Judaism. The 66th and following eight relate to the case of slaves,

75. Anathematizes all who conspire against regal authority. See Mansi, 5, 1700.

VIII. The Eighth Council of Toledo was held in 636, under king Chintila, Eugenius, bishop of Toledo, presiding; twenty-two bishops in all were present. Nine canons were published, of which

1. Orders public litanies every year for three days, beginning Dec. 14, except one of the three should prove to be Sunday, in which case the-litany days were to be observed in the week following. All the others relate to the prince and the strengthening of his powers, etc. See Mansi, 5, 1735.

IX. This council was held Jan. 9, 638, under Silva, metropolitan of Narbonne, in the second year of the reign of king Chintila. Fifty-two Spanish and Gallic bishops were present, either in person or by deputy. Eighteen canons were published.

3. Enacts that for the future no king should ascend the throne without making a vow to defend the Catholic faith and to rid the country of infidels; pronounces anathema against those who should violate this oath.

7. Orders that persons who, after having been admitted to penance, quit that state and resume the secular dress shall be arrested by the bishop, and compelled to perform their course of penance, whether they will or not, in some monastery. Fleury observes that this is the first time that we find mention of this compulsory penance, which evinced entire ignorance of the sound practice of antiquity. See Mansi, 5, 1740.

X. The Tenth Council was held about 646, under king. Chintasuinthus, by twenty-eight bishops present and the deputies of eleven who were absent. Six canons were published.

2. Allows the bishop, or any other priest who may be present, to complete the celebration of the sacred mysteries when the celebrating priest is unable to proceed thorough sickness; excommunicates those -who, without such cause, leave the celebration unfinished, or who celebrate after having partaken of the slightest particle of food. See Mansi, 5, 1863.

XI. This council was held in 653, under Orontius of Merida; the king, Resesuinthus, being present, and fifty-two bishops, with the deputies of ten absent. The prince read his profession of faith, in which he acknowledged the first four ecumenical councils. Twelve canons were published.

1. Contains a definition of faith.

2. Condemns all oaths and vows to commit evil actions.

3. Condemns all persons guilty of simony.

7. Condemns those who forsake the episcopal or sacerdotal office upon pretext of having been admitted to such holy office unwillingly; orders those who so return into the world and marry to be shut up for life in a monastery.

8. Forbids ordaining ignorant clerks.

9. Excludes from the Easter communion and from the privilege of eating meat for twelve months those who break the Lent fast.

12. Confirms the canons of a former council concerning the Jews. Besides the bishops and deputies present, we find among the signatures those of ten abbots; the archpriest of Toledo, and sixteen counts. After the subscriptions there is a synodal decree concerning the disposition of the king's property, and an edict of the king confirming it. See Mansi, 6:394.

XI. The Twelfth Council of Toledo was held Nov. 2, 655, Eugenius, the archbishop, presiding; sixteen bishops attended, and seventeen canons were published, most of which tend to repress the abuses committed by bishops in the administration of Church property.

11. Forbids to confer orders upon the slaves of the Church except they have been first set free by the bishop.

18. Orders that newly baptized Jews shall show themselves in the assemblies of the Christians on all Jewish festivals. See Mansi, 6:451.

XIII. Held Dec. 1, 656, under Reccasuinthus; twenty bishops were present, among whom were Eugenius, the metropolitan of Toledo; Fugitivus, the metropolitan of Seville; and St. Fructuosus, the metropolitan of Braga; five bishops who were absent sent deputies. Seven canons were published.

1. Orders that the Feast of the Annunciation shall in future be kept on Dec. 18, because that, falling in Lent, it interfered with the fast, and often with the celebration of Good-Friday.

3. Forbids bishops to present churches to their relations and friends for the sake of the revenue to be derived.

6. Directs that children devoted by their parents to the tonsure shall be compelled to lead the life of the religions; does not allow parents so to devote their children after they have attained ten years of age without their own consent.

7. Forbids selling Christians to Jews. See Mansi, 6:459.

XIV. Held Nov. 7, 675, under king Wamba; seventeen bishops (among whom was Quiritius of Toledo), the deputies of two others, and six abbots were present. In this council the division of the country into dioceses was made, and sixteen canons of discipline were published.

3. Orders all the bishops of the province to conform to the order and ritual in use in the metropolitan Church.

4. Forbids suffering priests who are at variance to approach the altar of to receive their offerings.

6. Deprives ecclesiastics who take part in the judgment of capital cases.

8. Enacts penalties to be enforced against priests who demand a fee for christening or for the chrism; orders bishops to punish such offenders under pain of suspension.

13. Forbids persons possessed with a devil to serve at the altar or to approach it.

14. Orders that mass shall never be celebrated by one priest only; lest he should be taken ill and the mass left unfinished. See Mansi, 6:539.

XV. Held Jan. 9, 681, under king Ervigius. Julian of Toledo presided at the head of thirty-four bishops, among whom were the metropolitans of Seville, Braga, and Merida. Thirteen canons were published.

1. Approves of the resignation of king Wamba, who had assumed the religious habit.

4. Declares to be null and void the consecration of a bishop for a little town in the immediate vicinity of Toledo made by the bishop of Merida against his own will and against the canons at the command of Wamba; land generally forbids to consecrate a bishop to a place which has not hitherto had a bishop.

6. Enacts that, in order to prevent any further delay in filling up the vacant bishoprics, it shall be lawful for tile bishop 'of Toledo to consecrate those persons whom the king shall choose,: without prejudice, however, to the rights of the province.

10. Confirms, with the king's consent, the privilege of asylum to those who take refuge in a church, or anywhere within thirty paces of it.

11. Orders the abolition of every remnant of idolatry. See Mansi, 6:1221.

XVI. Held in November, 683, under king Ervigius, who was present; forty-eight bishops, four of whom were metropolitans, attended, Julian of Toledo presiding. Twelve canons were published, the Nicene Creed having been first read, which from this time was sung in all churches in Spain.

The fifth is the extraordinary canon, which absolutely forbids the widows of kings to remarry, even with princes. From the tenth it appears not to have been uncommon at this period for persons (even bishops), in time of dangerous illness, to submit to be put to public penance without confessing, or their conscience accusing them of any particular sin, but for greater security. See Mansi, 6:1253.

XVII. This council was held at the request of pope Leo II, under king Ervigius, in 684, to receive and approve the Sixth (Ecumenical Council held at Constantinople against the Monothelites; seventeen bishops, ten deputies, and six abbots attended. In the answer of the bishops to Leo they make no mention of the fifth ecumenical council, saying, in canon 7, that they, decree that this council, the Seventh (Ecumenical) shall rank after the Council of Chalcedon in honor, place, and order. See Mansi, 6:1278.

XVIII. Held May 11,688, under king Egica, Julian of Toledo presiding over sixty bishops, in order to explain certain expressions made use of in a confession of faith drawn up by the Spanish bishops some years before which had given offence to pope Benedict II. These expressions related to the two wills in our Lord Jesus Christ; and it was decreed to be not contrary to Christian 'truth to maintain that in God the will proceeds from the will—'"voluntatem ex voluntate procedere." 'See Mansi, 6:1294.

XIX. This council was held May 2. 693; composed of fifty-nine bishops, five abbots, and the deputies of three bishops absent; there were also present the king, Egica, and sixteen lords. In this council the decision of the previous council concerning the procession of the will from the will, and of the essence from the essence, in God was further explained. Twelve or thirteen canons were published.

6. Relates to the conduct of some priests, who, instead of using bread made for the purpose in the holy Eucharist, contented themselves with offering on the holy table common bread cut into a round form. The canon orders that the bread used at the altar shall be made expressly for that purpose.

9. Excommunicated for life and deposed Sisbertus of Toledo, convicted of conspiring against the person of king Egica and his family. See Xansi, 6:1327.

XX. This council was held Nov. 9, 694. The, subscriptions of the bishops present are lost. Eight canons were published.

1. Directs that during the tree days preceding the opening of any council, and during which a strict fast ought to be observed, nothing shall be discussed which does not refer to matters of faith, morals; and ecclesiastical discipline.

3. Orders that bishops, following the example of our Lord, shall observe the ceremony of washing the feet of the poor on Holy Thursday.

5. Condemns to excommunication and perpetual imprisonment priests who, from a vile and wicked superstition, shall say the office of the mass for the dead for the living, in order by so doing to cause their death. See Mansi, 6:1361.

XXI. This council was held Nov. 21, 1324, by John, archbishop of Toledo. Eight canons 'were published, in the preface to which it is ordered that they shall be observed together with those which the legate William de Gondi, bishop of Sabino, had made in the Council of Valladolid (1322). These canons, among other things, order bishops to attend the synods, and relate to the conduct and dress of clerks; forbid priests to demand anything for masses said by them but allow them to receive voluntary offerings; forbid to say more than one mass in a day, except on Christmas-day. See Mansi, 11; 1712.

XXII. This was held in 1339 by AEgidius, archbishop of Toledo, six bishops being present. Five canons were published.

2. Forbids to ordain any illiterate person.

3. Provides that in cathedral or collegiate churches some shall be compelled to study theology, the canon law, and the liberal arts.

5. Orders all rectors to keep a list of such of their parishioners as are of age, in order to effect the observation of the canon "omnis utriusque sexus." See Mansi, 11:1869.

XXIII. (Also called COUNCIL OF ARENDA.) Held Dec. 5,1473, in the borough of Arenda, by Alphonso de Carille, archbishop of Toledo. This council was numerously attended, and twenty-nine canons were published.

1. Orders that provincial councils shall be held biennially and diocesan synods annually.

2. Orders curates to instruct their flocks in the principal articles of belief.

3. Forbids to promote to holy orders persons ignorant of Latin.

4. Forbids to receive a clerk from another diocese without letters from his bishop.

5 and 6. Relate to the dress of bishops and clerks; forbid them to wear garments made of red and green silk, short garments, and white shoes, etc.

7. Relates to the proper observance of Sundays and festivals.

8. Forbids ecclesiastics to wear mourning.

9. Orders the punishment of incontinent clerks.

10. Forbids to admit to parochial churches or prebends persons ignorant of Latin, unless, for good cause, the bishop shall think fit to dispense With it.

11. Inflicts a pecuniary fine upon ecclesiastics who play with dice.

12. Orders that all priests shall celebrate mass four times in the year at the least, and bishops three times.

13. Forbids all preaching without the bishop's license.

14. Enacts penalties to be enforced against clerks in the minor orders who do not wear the clerical habit and observe the tonsure.

15. Forbids ecclesiastics to furnish soldiers to any temporal lord except the king, or to accept of lands upon condition of so doing.

16. Forbids the celebration of marriages at uncanonical times.

17. Excommunicates those who are married clandestinely without five witnesses, and suspends for three months the priest who shall officiate.

18. Excommunicates those who buy or sell the property of a vacant benefice.

19. Forbids the custom of performing, at certain times, spectacles, etc., and singing songs, and uttering profane discourses in churches.

20. Directs that persons dying of wounds received in duels shall not be allowed Christian burial, even though they may have received the sacrament of penance before death.

21. Excommunicates those who hinder the clergy from receiving tithe and enjoying their privileges, etc

23. Orders that sentences of excommunication pronounced in any one diocese shall be observed in all others.

24. Puts under an interdict the place from which any clerk has been forcibly expelled.

25. Forbids any sort of fee on account of ordination. 27. 'Grants to the bishop the power of absolving from synodal censures.

28. Provides for the publication of these canons in diocesan synods and in cathedral churches. See Mansi, 13:1448.

XXIV. Held Sept. 8, 1565. Christopher de Sandoval, bishop of Cordova, was called upon to preside on account of his being the oldest bishop of the province. The bishops of Siguenqa, Segovia, Palencia, Cuenga, and Osma attended, with the abbot of Alcala el Real. Three sessions were held; in the first the decree of Trent relating to the celebration of provincial synods was read; also a profession of faith which was signed by all present. In the second session thirty-one articles of reformation were published relating to bishops, curates, officials, proctors, residence, and divine service. In the third session, held March 25, twenty-eight articles were drawn up, and the decrees of Trent relating to residence were read. Bishops were directed not to admit to the tonsure those who had no benefices immediately in view. Rules were laid down to guide curates in preaching and instructing their people, etc. See Mansi, 15:751.

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