Valence, Councils of (Concilia Valentina)

Valence, Councils Of (Concilia Valentina)

Valence is a town of Dauphiny, France, on the Rhone, fifty-seven miles south of Lyons. Five ecclesiastical councils have been held there, as follows:

I. Was held July 12, 374. Thirty bishops attended, of whom the names of twenty-two have reached us. It is supposed to have been a general Gallican council, or at least collected from the chief part of Narbonnesian Gaul. The object of this council was to remedy the disorders which had crept into the discipline of the Church. Four canons were published.

1. Forbids the ordination in future of men who have had two wives, or who have married widows, but it does not insist upon the deposition of those who have been already ordained.

2. Forbids to grant penance too easily to young women who, after consecrating themselves to God, voluntarily embrace the married state.

3. Forbids absolution until death to those who, after baptism, fall back into idolatry, or who have received a second baptism.

4. Orders that all bishops, priests, and deacons falsely accusing themselves of any crimes in order to be deposed, and so escape the responsibility and weight of-their orders, shall be, in fact, so deposed, and considered as guilty of the crimes wherewith they charge themselves. See Mansi, Concil. 2, 904.

II. Was held about 530, in defense of the doctrines of grace and free-will, against the Semi-Pelagians. See Mansi, Concil. 4:1678.

III. Was held Jan. 8, 855, by order of the emperor Lothaire. Fourteen bishops, with the metropolitans, attended, from the three provinces of Lyons, Vienne, and Aries. The object of the council was to investigate the conduct of the bishop of Valence, who was accused of various crimes. Twenty-three canons were published.

The first six relate to the subjects of grace, free-will, and predestination, and reject the four canons of Quiercy upon the matter.

7. Relates to the elections of bishops with the unanimous consent of the clergy and people of the see.

12. Forbids, under pain of excommunication, the singular combats to which accused persons had recourse in those times in order to prove their innocence. Directs that he who shall kill or wound his adversary shall be treated as a murderer, and excommunicated; and that the man killed shall be regarded as a suicide, and forbidden Christian burial.

14. Enjoins bishops not to give their clergy or people cause to complain against them on account of their vexations.

15. Recommends them to lead an exemplary life.

16. Orders them to preach and instruct their people both in town and country.

17. Bids them be careful to make their visitations without burdening any one.

18. Orders the re-establishment of schools for teaching religion, literature, and ecclesiastical chanting.

20. Orders care in the preservation of the Church ornaments, etc., and forbids their being put to only but their proper use.

22. Forbids bishops to exact their visitation dues when they do not make their visitations. See Mansi, Concil. 8:133.

IV. Was held in 1100 to examine the charge brought by the canons of Autun against Norigaudus, or Norgaud, bishop of Autun, whom they accused of having got possession of the see by simony, and of having squandered the property belonging to it. The pope's legates, John and Benedict, cited the bishop to appear at this council, in spite of the protest of the canons, who declared that the legates had no authority to take him beyond the province, and in spite of the opposition of the archbishop of Lyons, who, complained of the legates having taken the judgment of the case out of his hands. The question accordingly came before the council, and was discussed but the further consideration of it was reserved for the Council of Poitiers. In the meantime the bishop was suspended from the exercise of all his functions. Hugo, abbot of Flavigny, accused likewise of simony, was declared to be innocent. See Mansi, Concil. 10:17.

V. Was held on the Saturday after the Feast of St. Andrew. The legates Peter, cardinal-bishop of Albano, and Hugo, cardinal-priest of St. Sabine, convoked this council, consisting of four archbishops and fifteen bishops from the provinces of Narbonne, Vienne in Dauphiny, Arles, and Aix. Twenty-three canons were published.

3. Forbids clerks in holy orders, cathedral canons, and other beneficed persons to exercise any secular office.

6, 7, and 8. Ending the punishment and public denouncement of perjured persons.

9, 10, and 11. Relate to the Inquisition.

12. Gives to bishops the correction of sorcerers and persons guilty of sacrilege, and, in the event of their refusing to amend, enjoins perpetual imprisonment, or whatever punishment the bishops may deem right.

13. Enacts penalties against those who lay aside the cross, which they have assumed upon their dress as a token of having renounced their heresy, or who escape from prison, or despise the sentence of excommunication.

The five next refer to excommunications.

22 and 23. Fulminate excommunications against the emperor Frederick and all his adherents. See Mansi, Concil. 9:676.

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