Winchester, Councils of

Winchester, Councils OF

(Concilium Wintoniense). Winchester is a city of England, capital of Hampshire, situated on the right bank of the Itchin, twelve miles north- north-east of Southampton and sixty-two miles west-south-west of London. Several ecclesiastical councils have been held there, as follows:

I. Was held in 856, in the presence of three kings. It was enacted that in future the tenth part of all lands should belong to the Church, free of all burdens, as an indemnification for the losses sustained by the incursion of the Normans who had ravaged England. See Mansi, Concil. 8:243; Wilkins, Concil. 1:184.

II. Was held in 975, by St. Dunstan, in consequence of the disturbances raised by certain clerks, whom he had deprived of their churches on account of marriage and scandalous life. The well-known incident of the image of our crucified Savior having decided in favor of the monks, is said to have occurred in this council. The clerks were condemned, and implored the intercession of the young king Edward, who entreated Dunstan to re- establish them, but in vain. See Mansi, Concil. 9:721; Wilkins, Concil. 1:261.

III. Was held in 1021, under king Canute, to confirm the exemption of the abbey of St. Edmund. See Mansi, Concil. 9:843; Wilkins, Concil. 1:297.

IV. Was held on the octave of Easter, 1070, in the presence of William the Conqueror. The three legates of Rome, Hermenfride, bishop of Syon, and the cardinals John and Peter, presided. Stigand of Canterbury was deposed, (I) for having retained the bishopric of Winchester together with the archbishopric of Canterbury; (2) for having worn the pall of his predecessor Robert until the pope sent him a new one; and (3) for having received the pall from the anti-pope, Benedict X. Agelmar, bishop of the East Angles, and several abbots were also deposed. Walfred, bishop of Worcester, claimed from William certain lands belonging to his bishopric which the latter had withheld, and the claim was allowed. Thirteen canons were published.

1. Concerning the coming-in of bishops and abbots by simoniacal heresy. 2. Of ordaining men promiscuously, and by means of money. 3. Of the life and conversation of such men. 4. That bishops should celebrate councils twice a year. 5. That bishops ordain archdeacons and other ministers of the sacred order in their own churches. 6. That bishops have free power in their dioceses over the clergy and laity. 7. That bishops and priests invite laymen to penance. 8. Of apostatizing clerks and monks. 9. That bishops have their sees ascertained, and that none conspire against the prince. 10. That laymen pay tithes, as it is written. 11. That none invade the goods of the Church. 12. That no clerk shall bear secular arms. 13. That clerks and monks be duly reverenced, let him that does otherwise be anathema. See Johnson, Eccl. Canons, sub ann.; Mansi, Concil. 9:1202; Wilkins, Concil. 1:322.

V. Was held probably in 1071, by archbishop Lanfranc. Sixteen canons were published, the heads only of which remain to us.

1. That no one be allowed to preside over two bishoprics. 2. That no one be ordained by means of siloniacal heresy. 3. That foreign clergymen be not received without letters commendatory. 4. That ordinations be performed at the certain seasons. 5. Of altars, that they be of stone. 6. That the sacrifice be not of beer, or water alone, but of wines mixed with water only. 7. Of baptism, that it be celebrated at Easter or Whitfinntide only, except there be danger of death. 8. Whitmnasses be not celebrated in churches before they have been consecrated. 9. That the corpses of the dead be not buried in churches. 10. That the bells be not tolled at celebrating in the time of the Secret (Secretum Missae). 11. That bishops only give penance for gross sins. 12. That monks who have thrown off their habit be admitted neither into the asimy, nor into any convent of clerks, but be esteemed excommunicated. 13. That every bishop celebrate a synod once a year. 14. That tithes be paid by all. 15. That clergymen observe continence, or desist from their office. 16. That chalices be not of wax or wood. It was probably resolved in this council that an institution of penance for the soldiers of William of Normandy, left by the legate Hermenfride, should be executed. It is in thirteen heads. See Johnson, Eccl. Canons, 1078; Wilkins, Concil. 1:365.

VI. Was convoked by William the Conqueror, and held in 1072; fifteen bishops were present, with Hubert, the Roman legate, and many abbots and barons. The dispute between the archbishops of Canterbury and York was examined with care, and it was established, both from ecclesiastical history and by popular tradition, that, from the time of St. Austin till the last one- hundred and forty years, the primacy of the see of Canterbury over the whole of Great Britain had been recognised; that the archbishop of Canterbury had often held ordinations and synods in the very city of York itself. At the following Whitsuntide it was also decided, in a synod held at Windsor, that the see of York was subject to that of Canterbury. See Mansi, Concil. 9:1211; Wilkins, Concil. 1:324.

VII. Was held in 1076, by archbishop Lanfranc. Six canons were published.

1. Forbids canons to have wives. Enacts that such priests as live in castles and villages be not forced to dismiss their wives if they have them. Forbids such as have no wives to marry, and bishops to ordain in future any who do not declare that they have no wife. 2. Forbids to receive a clerk or monk without letters from his bishop. 3. Forbids the clergy to pay any service for his benefice hut what he paid, in the time of king Edward. 4. Laymen accused of any crime to be excommunicated after the third summons to appear before the bishop, if they refuse.

5. Declares a marriage made without the priest's benediction to be a state of fornication. 6. Forbids all supplautation of churches. See Johnson, Eccl. Canons; Mansi, Concil. 10:351; Wilkins, Concil. 1:367.

VIII. Was held August 29, 1139, under archbishop Theodore, against king Stephen, who had seized upon certain houses belonging to the churches of Salisbury and Lincoln, and thrown the two prelates into prison. Stephen himself was cited to appear before the council. Henry, bishop of Winchester, the pope's legate, complained of the injury done to the cause of religion by those who plundered the property of the Church upon the plea of the ill-conduct of the bishops. He required that the king should begin by re-establishing the injured bishops, who, by the common law, were incapacitated from pleading on account of their seizure. The king sent a warning to the bishops, that none of them should have the boldness to make complaint to Rome against him. Upon this the council broke up without settling anything, for the king refused to submit to the judgment of the prelates, and the latter did not think it advisable to employ ecclesiastical censures against him upon their own responsibility, and surrounded as they were by his power. See Wilkins, Concil. 1:419; Mansi, Concil. 10:1014.

IX. Was held in 1143, on the Monday after the octave of Easter, by Henry, bishop of Winchester, legate a latere. Two constitutions were published.

1. Declares that none who violated a church or churchyard, or laid violent hands upon a clerk or religious person, should be absolved by any person but the pope.

2. Declares that the plough and husbandman in the field slhould, enjoy the.same peace as if they were in the churchyard.

All who opposed these decrees were excommunicated with candles lighted. See Wilkins, Concil. 1:421; Johnson, sub ann., Mansi, Concil. 10:1024.

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