Worms, Councils of

Worms, Councils Of

(Concilium Vormatiense). Worms is a city of Germany, in Hesse, province of Rhein Hessen, on the Rhine, twenty-six miles south-east of Mentz. It was formerly an imperial city, and is very ancient, having existed before the arrival of the Romans. Three ecclesiastical councils have been held there, as follows:

I. Was held in 829. Several regulations were published, one of which condemns the ordeal by cold water; a treatise written by Agobard against these practices is still extant. See Mansi, Concil. 7:1669.

II. Was held May 16, 868, in the presence of Louis of Germany, to which all the bishops of his kingdom were cited. Having drawn up a confession of faith, in which the procession of the Holy Spirit from the Father and the Son was clearly stated, the council proceeded to publish forty-four canons.

1. Forbids to administer holy baptism except at Easter and Whitsuntide, unless in a case of necessity.

2. Orders that the chrism be consecrated by the bishop only.

3. Forbids bishops to exact any fee or present for the consecration of a church; also forbids them to consecrate any church except there be a writing under the hand of the founder, confirming the foundation, and signifying what endowment he has given.

4. Forbids to offer upon the altar for the eucharist anything save bread, and wine mixed with water. States that wine and water should be used, "quia videmus in aqua populum intelligi, in vino vero ostendi sangninem Christi," and thus, by the union of the water with the wine, the union of Chiist with his Church.

5. Approves the regulations of St. Gregory, upon the subject of single and trine immersion.

6. Gives to the bishop, and not to the founders, the disposal of the revenues of new churches.

7. Orders that all offerings and revenues belonging to a church be divided into four portions — one for the bishop, the second for the clerks serving the church (according to their zeal and diligence), the third for the poor, and the fourth to the fabric.

9. Orders the celibacy of the clergy.

13,14. Forbid excommunication, without weighty and sufficient cause, and declare that the bishop so excommunicating without sufficient cause shall be deprived of the communion of the neighboring bishops.

15. Enacts that when a robbery shall have been committed in any monastery, the thief being unknown, the abbot or some other priest shall celebrate mass, at which all the inmates shall attend, in order by this to prove severally their innocence.

16. Excommunicates bishops who refuse to attend synods, or who retire before the conclusion of business.

17. Orders bishops keeping sporting dogs, or birds, to be suspended for three mouths; a priest, two; and a deacon, one.

19. Excommunicates and suspends priests who refuse to obey their bishop.

22. Forbids those who, having been in their infancy offered by their parents to some monastery, for the service of God, and who have accordingly been brought up to the regular life, when they come to the age of puberty, to renounce that life and return into the world.

26. Declares that a man who has murdered a priest shall neither eat meat nor drink wine, but fast on every day, except festivals, till the evening; that he shall never carry arms, never go except on foot, nor enter a church for the space of five years; after which he may enter the church, but shall still not be received to communion. At the expiration of ten years he may be received, but shall fast three times a week to his life's end.

28. Orders that a madman who has killed any one shall be put to a light penance should he ever recover his senses.

31. Orders that the holy eucharist be given to lepers. See Mansi, Concil. 8:941.

III. Was held September 8, 1122. It was settled that all elections of bishops were to be freely conducted according to the laws of the Church, but under the supervision of the emperor; and that the right of spiritual investiture by ring and staff belonged to the pope,, while that of secular infiefment with the sceptre was conceded to the emperor. This agreement was confirmed by the first general council of Lateran in 1123.

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