Tours, Councils of (Concilium Turonese)

Tours, Councils Of (Concilium Turonese).

These councils were held in Tours, department of Indre-et Loire, France. It is the seat of an archbishopric, and the archbishop resides here in a palace of uncommon beauty. It formerly contained the celebrated cathedral of St. Martin of Tours, which was destroyed in 1793, and of which only two towers remain.

I. The first council was held Nov. 18,461, b St. Perpetuus, archbishop of Turs, assisted by nine bishops. Thirteen canons were made for the restoration of the ancient discipline.

1 and 2. Enjoin celibacy upon bishops, priests, and deacons.

3. Forbids them to live, or be on terms of too great familiarity, with any woman.

4. Forbids a clerk to marry a widow. 5. Excommunicates those who renounce the ecclesiastical state.

6. Is directed against those who marry or offer violence to virgins consecrated to God.

7. Excommunicates homicides.

8. Condemns those who fall away from a state of penance after having entered upon it.

9. Deprives of communion bishops who get possession of the bishopric of another, or who promote the clerks of another bishop.

10. Declares ordinations made contrary to the canons to be null.

11. Condemns ecclesiastics who leave their owns Church and go to another diocese without their bishop's leave.

12. Condemns clerks who leave their dioceses to travel without letters from their bishop.

13. Condemns usury in clerks; allows other business and employments. Mansi adds to these thirteen canons six others (Concil. 4:1049).

II. Held Nov. 17, 566; convoked by order of king Charibert, and composed of nine bishops, among whom were Germanus of Paris, Praetextatus of Rouen, and Euphronius of Tours, who presided. Twenty- seven canons were published.

1. Orders provincial councils twice a year.

3. Forbids to place the body of Jesus Christ upon the altar after any fashion, and orders that it shall be placed under the cross.

4. Forbids laymen to come close to the altar with the clerks during the office; but allows them, and women also, to enter the sanctuary for private prayer at other times, and also in order to receive the communion.

5. Orders each Church to maintain its own poor, that they may not be obliged to wander about.

6. Forbids clerks and lay persons to give letters commentary (epistolium), and allows this to bishops only.

12. Orders married bishops to live with their wives as with sisters.

15. Orders that monks who leave their monastery in order to marry shall be separated from their wives, and put to penance; and that the aid of the secular powers shall' be entreated in order to effect this.

17. Orders that monks shall fast during the three Roguation days and during the whole of Whitsnu week; from that time to August 1, three days in each week; during September, October, and November, also three days in each week; and-during December every day till Christmas. Again, on the first three days of January; and from Epiphany to Lent, three days in each week.

23. Allows hymns composed by an author of respectability to be used at the holy office, besides those of St. Ambrose.

27. Declares that bishops taking any fee, etc., for ordination are to be regarded not merely as guilty of sacrilege, but even as heretics. See Mansi, 5, 851.

III. Held in 813, by order of Charlemagne, for the purpose of re- establishing ecclesiastical discipline. Fifty-one canons were published.

1. Orders the people to be faithful to the emperor, and to pray for his preservation.

2. Orders bishops to give themselves to the study of the Holy Scriptures, especially of the gospels, and epistles of St. Paul, and to try to learn them by heart.

3. Orders them to acquaint themselves with the canons and the pastoral of St. Gregory.

4, 5, and 6. Order that they shall preach frequently; that they shall be frugal in their repasts, and entertain the poor and strangers, affording them both bodily and spiritual food.

7. Forbids priests to be present at plays and fairs and all immodest exhibitions.

9. Forbids priests to administer indiscreetly the Lord's body to boys and any chance persons, lest they be in sine and so receive the greater damnation.

15. Anathematizes those who give money in order to obtain a benefice.

16. Orders bishops to take care that the tithes of each church be divided between the priests, the poor, and the repairs, etc., of the church.

19. Warns priests not to administer the holy Eucharist inconsiderately to children.

21. Forbids priests to eat and drink in taverns.

27. and 28. Forbid to give the veil to young widows, without good evidence of their sincere love of a religious life, and to virgins under twenty-five years of age.

37. Orders that prayer be made kneeling at all times, except on Sundays and during Easter.

38. Warns the faithful not to make a noise when entering church, not to talk when there, and to keep all bad thoughts out of their minds.

39. Forbids to hold pleadings in churches or church porches.

40. Forbids to hold pleadings or markets on Sundays.

43. Is directed against the wicked habit of swearing.

50. Orders all persons to communicate at least thrice a year, unless hindered by some great crime. See Mansi, 7:1259.

IV. Held in 1055, by Hildebrand, the Roman legate (afterwards Gregory VII), and cardinal Geraldus. In this council Berenger was called upon to defend his opinions; but, not being able to do so satisfactorily, he retracted, and made a public confession of the true faith, which he signed; whereupon the legates, believing him to be sincere, received him into communion. See Mansi, 9:1081.

V. Held in 1060, by cardinal Stephen, the Roman legate, and ten bishops. Ten canons were made; the first four condemn simony.

6. Declares that those bishops, priests, and deacons who, although aware of the interdict of Nicholas II, refused to abstain from the exercise of their functions, being at the time in a state of incontinence, should be irrevocably deposed. See Mansi, 9:1108.

VI. Held in Lent, 1096, by pope Urban II, who presided. The decrees of the Council of Clermont were confirmed. The pope received into favor king Philip (who had -been excommunicated for forsaking Bertrade, his lawful wife), upon his humbly making satisfaction. See Mansi, 10, 601.

VII. Held May 19, 1163, in the Church of St. Maurice, by pope Alexander III, assisted by seventeen cardinals. There were also "present, besides Louis VII, king of France, one hundred and twenty-four bishops, four hundred and fourteen abbots, and an immense multitude of others, both ecclesiastics and laics. These prelates were assembled from all the provinces in subjection to the kings of France and England; some few of them also: were Italians, who had declared for Alexander. Among the English prelates was Thomas, archbishop of Canterbury, who was received by the pope with extraordinary honors, all the cardinals present, except twos in immediate attendance upon Alexander, being sent beyond the city walls to meet him. The archbishop of Canterbury sat on the right hand of the pope, the archbishop of York on the left. The immediate object of the council was the condemnation of the synods of Pisa and Lodi, convoked by the emperor Frederick. Ten canons were published.

2. Condemns usury among the clergy.

4. Is directed against the Albigenses, and forbids all intercourse with them; forbids even to give them a retreat or protection, or to buy and sell with them.

5. Forbids to let churches to priests for-an annual rent.

8. Forbids monks to leave their cloisters in order to practice medicine or to learn the civil law.

9. Declares all ordinations made by Octavianus, and other heretics or schismatics, to be null and void. See Mansi, 10, 1411.

VIII. Held June 10, 1236; Juhel de Mavenne, archbishop of Tours; presiding. Fourteen, canons were published.

1. Forbids the crusaders or other Christians to kill or injure the Jews, or to plunder or ill-use them in any way; also orders the secular judges to give up to the ecclesiastical authorities any crusaders whom they may have seized on account of any crime.

7. Orders that all wills shall be put into the hands of the bishop or his archdeacon within ten days after the death of the testator.

8. Denounces those who have two wives living, declares them to, be infamous, and orders that they shall be tied up in public, unless they can pay a heavy fine; orders priests to publish every Sunday in church the sin of having two wives living.

13. Orders the bishops to instruct and to provide for the subsistence of the new converts from Judaism and heresy. See Mansi, 11:11, 503.

IX. Held in 1239, by Juhel de Mayenne, archbishop of Tours, and his- suffragans. Thirteen canons were published, with the approbation of the holy council;" the use of which expression in this case shows that the approbation was not confined to the pope and his legates.

1. Orders that the bishop shall appoint three clerks, or three reputable laymen, in every parish, who shall take an oath to report faithfully concerning all scandals in morality, faith, etc., happening in the neighborhood.

4. Forbids to receive anything for the administration of the sacraments; without prejudice, however, to pious customs.

5 and 6. Forbid curates and rectors to excommunicate their parishioners of their own authority.

12. Forbids clerks and monks to retain any female servants in their houses or priories. See Mansi, 11:565.

X. Held Aug. 1, 1282, by John de Moonsoreau, archbishop of Tours, who presided. Thirteen canons were published.

1 and 2. Are directed against needless lawsuits.

3. Forbid clerks and monks to frequent taverns.

4. Excommunicates those who steal or tear the church books and injure the furniture.

5. Orders the observance of customary processions.

6. Orders the punishment of usurers according to the canon of Lyons.

12 Is directed against those who hinder the payment of tithe See Mansi, 11:1183.

XI. A general assembly of the French clergy was held, by order of Louis XII, in September, 1510, on account of the sentence of excommunication passed against him by pope Julius II. The object of the council was to discuss the question how far it was necessary for Louis to respect the spiritual weapons of the Church, When in the, hands of an adversary who used them only to further injustice, and in matters purely temporal. Eight questions were discussed. The following are the most important

2. Is it allowable for a prince, in defense of his person And property, not only to repel injustice by force of arms, but to seize the lands of the Church in the possession of the pope, his declared enemy, not with any view of retaining them, but only in order to cripple the pope's means of injuring him? Answer in the affirmative.

3. Is it allowable for a prince, on account of such declared hatred on the part of the pope, to withdraw from the obedience of the latter, the pope having stirred up other princes to make War upon him, and urged them to seize upon his territories? Answer: that it is lawful so to withdraw from obedience, not, however, altogether, but so far as the defense of the prince's temporal rights shall render necessary.

4. This withdrawal from obedience being supposed, how is the prince to conduct himself with regard to his subjects, and the prelates with regard to other ecclesiastics, in all those matters in which recourse is usually had to the see of Rome? Answer: it is necessary in such a case to keep to the ancient common rights, and the Pragmatic Salction taken from the decrees of the Council of Basle.

8. If the pope, without ally attention to justice, or even to the appearance of right, employs arms and artifices, and publishes censures against the prince, and against those who protect and defend him, ought the latter to be deserted? Answer: that such censures are altogether null, and not binding in law. See Mansi, 13:1481.

XII. Held in September, 1583, Simon de Maille, the archbishop, presiding, the bishops of Angers, Nantes, Saint-Brien, Rennes, and Quimper, and the deputies of those of Saint-Malo and Mans, were present.

A petition was read, which it was proposed to present to the king, Henry III, requesting him to order the publication of the decrees of Trent in his states; also another petition to the pope, to induce him to remedy certain abuses in -the matter of benefices. A formulary of faith, to be signed by all beneficed clerks, was drawn up, and regulations were made to prevent simony. In consequence of the appearance of the plague in Tours, the prelates adjourned the council to Augers. See Mansi, 15:1001.

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