sources of dogma 1-100


Most Ancient Forms of the Apostolic Creed

1 THE creed which is called Apostolic is composed essentially of (1) a Trinitarian part, three articles professing faith in three divine persons; (2) a Christological part which was added to the first section.

 There are extant, however, certain formulae composed in the manner of creeds, but lacking the Christological part. These formulae seem to be more ancient than the Apostolic Creed. An achristological formula of this kind which seems to be the most ancient of all-exists in a work infected with Gnosticism written between the years 150 and 180, Testamentum in Galilaea D.N.I. Christi (or in an almost identical work Gesprache Jesu mit seinen Jungern nach der Auferstehung) where the short Creed (reads):

 "[I believe] in the Father almighty,--and in Jesus Christ, our Savior; --and in the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, in the holy Church, and in the remission of sins."

 Another achristological formula, perhaps already used in the liturgy of Egypt probably in the third century, is shown by a papyrus discovered in Der-Balyzeh, written in the seventh or eighth century (cf. Dict. d'Archeol. chret. et de Lit. s.v. Canon, II, 2, 1882 ff.):

 "I believe in God almighty;--and in his only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ;--and in the Holy Spirit and in the resurrection of the body the holy Catholic Church."

The More Ancient Western Form of the Apostolic Creed

[Called Roman (R)]


 A. [The following]show at least elements of some Creed or a rule

of faith or questions in common use at baptism: 

 ST. JUSTIN MARTYR, martyred 167.-Apology I and II; Dial. c. Tryph. [MG 6, 328 pp.]--A twofold form, western and eastern can be conjectured with some probability; therefore, a comparison will be made below [n. 8].

  ST. IRENAEUS, died 202, bishop of Lyons.--Adv. haer. 1, 10, 1; 3, 4, 1 and 2; 16, 5 (which are the chief places) [MG 7, 549 A 855 B 924 B]. He shows (1, 10, 1) almost all the elements of the Roman creed as a faith which the Church received from the apostles and their disciples (1, 10, 1).- (Greek text deleted)C.3 and 6. [Karapat Ter-Mekerttschian und Erwand Ter-Minassiantz,Des hl. Irenaus Schrift zum Erweise der apostolischen Verkundigung (Texte und Untersuchungen, Harnack-Schmidt XXXI, I) Leipzig: 1907].

 ST. HI PPOLYTUS, died 235, Roman presbyter. — Paradosis--Heshows the baptismal creed by means of questions from "You believe in Jesus Christ . . ." [H. Elfers, Die Kirchenordnung Hippolyts von Rom,1938, 321. E. Hauler, Didasc. apost. fragm., Veron. 1900, 110 f., L 10 f. R.-H. Connolly, The so called Egyptian Church Order and derived documents, 1916].

  TERTULLIAN, died after 225 (probably in 240), perhaps a presbyter in Carthage.--De praescr. haer.13,De virg. vel. I; De carne Chr. 20; Adv. Prax.2[ML2, 26B 88 B 785B 856B]. He says that the church at Carthage received the rule of faith from the church at Rome (De praescr. haer. 36)and that it was common to the apostolic churches; (l.c. 21) the form of the creed was somewhat fixed.

 ORIGEN, died 254, presbyter at Alexandria.--Deprincip. I,praef. 4et 5[MG 11, 117 A]. He has a rule of faith similar to the creed.

  CANONES HIPPOLYTI, of uncertain date (Some 200-235, others about 500) [Achelis, DiealtestenQuellen des oriental Kirchenrects I 38 (Texte und Untersuchungen, Gebhardt-Harnack VI) Leipzig: 1891].-They contain questions.


[According to the Psalter of Rufinus (The Roman form)]

2  1. I believe in God, the Father almighty; 

 2. and in Christ Jesus, His only-begotten Son, our Lord,

 3. who was born of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary,

 4. a. was crucified by Pontius Pilate, and was buried;


 5. the third day He arose again from the dead; 
 6. a. He ascended into heaven,

  b. sits at the right hand of the Father,

 7. whence He is coming to judge the living and the dead;

 8. and in the Holy Spirit,

 9. a. the holy [Church,]


 10. a.

  b. the forgiveness of sins,

 11. the resurrection of the body. Amen.

[According to the Psalter of Aethelstane]

 1. I believe in God the Father almighty

 2. and in Christ Jesus, His only begotten Son, our Lord

 3. born of the Holy Spirit and Mary the virgin

 4. a. was crucified by Pontius Pilate and was buried


 5. the third day He arose again from the dead

 6. a. He ascended into heaven

  b. sits at the right hand of the Father

 7. whence He is coming to judge the living and the dead 

 8. and in the Holy Spirit

 9. a. the holy [Church]


 10. a.

  b. the forgiveness of sins

 11. the resurrection of the body. Amen. 


B.[ The following] show a fixed form of the Creed. 

4  PSALTER OF AETHELSTANE (in Greek), in the third part, written in the ninth century (at the beginning perhaps) [H. sect. 18; L. 10; CspQ. III 5].The Creed is of uncertain date, very old,* was in liturgical use.

  CODEX LAUDIANUS , (E. Actium, lat.) [H. sect. 20; CspQ. III 162].-The Creed is of uncertain date, written in the seventh century.*

  CODEX SWAINSON (Latin) [Swainson, The Nicene and Apostles' Creeds,London: 1875, 161; H. sect. 23]--The Creed is of uncertain date, written in the eighth century. 

  MARCELLUS ANCYRANUS , fourth century, bishop of Angora in Galatia of Asia Minor--Epist. ad Iulium Papam written in the year 337* (In Epiphanius, Haer. 72) [MG 42, 385 D; H. sect. 17]. 

  PRISCILLIAN, died 385,* lived at Avila in Spain.-Lib. ad Damasum tract. 11 [ed. Schepss (CSEL XVIII [1889] 34). Cf. also KAnt. 20 ff.; H. Sect. 53; L 13].

  PHOEBADIUS , died after 392, bishop of Agen in Aquitania secunda [Guyenna]. - -De fide orthodoxa contra Arianosat the end [H. sect. 59; ML 20, 49 B. "Libellus fidei"]; the book is genuine* (some ascribe it to Gregorius Baeticus, died after 392, bishop of Illiberi [Elivira-Granada]. 

  RUFINUS , died 410, presbyter of Aquileia--Expositio in Symbolum (other wise Commentarius in Symbolum apostolorum)[H. sect. 19; ML 21, 3.35 B]. --The form of the creed of both the Church at Rome and of the Church at Aquileia is gathered from this.

 NICETAS OF ROMATIANA,* wrote 380*-420,* Romatiana [Remesiana] in Dacia.*--Explanatio Symboli habita ad competentes[H. sect. 40; ML 52, 865 D].

  ST. AUGUSTINE, died 430, bishop of Hippo.--Chief sources:De Fide et Symbolo; serm. 212-214 in traditione Symboli; serm. 215 in redditione Symboli[ML 40, 181; 38, 1058, 1072; H sect. 47; L 13. Serni. 2I5 is genuine*; many believe with Caspari that the creed of Hippo is given in Serm. 215, and that the Creed of Milan is handed down in the rest].

  ST. PETER CHRYSOLOGUS, died before 458, bishop of Ravenna.--Serm. 57-62[H sect. 35; L. 12; ML 52, 357 A].

  ST. MAXIMUS, middle of the fifth century, bishop of Turin,-- Hom. 83 d e expositione Symboli[H. sect. 34; L. 13; ML 57, 433 A].

  ST. FULGENTIUS OF RUSPE, died 533 (Ruspe in Africa) Liber 10. contra Fabianum Arianum [H. sect. 49; L 14; ML 65, 822].

  ST. MARTIN, died 580, bishop of Braga [Braga in Spain, now Portugal]. De correctione rusticorum [H. sect. 54; ed. Caspari, Christiania 1883.-Cf. K I 153].

  TRACTATUS SYMBOLI in a Missal and Sacramentarium for the use of a certain Florentine church furnishes a Florentine* Creed of the seventh * century; manuscript is of the twelfth century. [H. sect. 39; Csp ANQ 290].

  ST. ILDEFONSE,* died 669, bishop of Toledo.-Liber de cognitione baptismi C. 35 [H. sect. 55; L 13 f.; ML 96, 127 B].

  ETHERIUS, Eighth century bishop of Osmo and Beatus (Biaco), eighth century, presbyter of Astorga in Spain.-Etherii episcopi Uxamensis et Beati presbyteri adv. Elpiandum archiep. Toletanum libri duo,written in the year 785 [H. sect. 56 f.; L 13 f.; ML 96, 906 D].

  LITURGIA MOZARABICA: Seventh century Liber Ordinum [ed. Ferotin, p. 185; H. sect. 58; L 14; ML 85, 395 A].

The More Recent Western Form of the Apostolic Creed

[The received western text called (T)]


 FAUSTUS OF REI, died after 485, in Riez in France. Duae homiliae de Symbolo; Tractatus de Symbolo* [H. sect. 61, L 14; CspQ. II 200].

5 ST. CAESARIUS OF ARLES, died 543, Primate of Gaul [Arles].-Sermo 10 [G. Morin, S. Caesarii Arel. Sermones I, 1, Maretioli 1937, P. 51 ff.; ML 39, 2149]. The elements of the Creed are possessed, an exact formula cannot be worked out; seems to be the same as the two following:

 SACRAMENTARIUM GALLICANUM [Mabillon, Museum Italicum I, Paris 1687, 312, H. sect. 66; L 15], 7/8th century, composed in Gaul,* (others, Missale Vesontiense [Besancon], Missale Bobbiense [Bobbio]); contains two formulae and a Creed in the manner of questions-(The first form is regarded).

 MISSALE GALLICANUM VETUS, Of the beginning of the eighth century [Mabillon,De liturgia Gallicana III, Paris: 1685, 339. H. sect. 67; L 15].

  ST. PIRMINIUS, born in Gallia merid.*; died 753, bishop of the Meld! (?), afterwards abbot of the monastery of Reichenau [Reichenau in Germany]. Words of the Abbot Pirminius on the individual canonical books scarapsus; written between 718 and 724.* [G. Jecker, Die Heimat des III. Pirmin,Munster: 1927, 34 ff.; the creed itself in the customary form IL lo and 28 a, in the form of questions IL 12. H. Sect. 92; ML 89, 1034 C].

  CODEX AUGIENSIS CXCV, perhaps of the eighth century [CspQ III 512].Creed written by a certain Irish monk(?).


 ORDO ROMANUS, ancient of the year 950 [H. Sect. 25; Hittorp, De divinis catholicae ecclesiae officiis, Cologne 1568].-Shows the usual form.


[According to "the Roman Order"]


6  1 a. I believe in God the Father almighty

  b. creator of heaven and earth

 2. and in Jesus Christ, His only son, our Lord

 3. who was conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary

 4. a. suffered under Pontius Pilate, crucified, died, and was buried

  b. descended into hell

 5. on the third day he arose from the dead

 6. a. He ascended to heaven

  b. sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty

 7. thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead

 8. I believe in the Holy Spirit

 9. a. the holy Catholic Church

  b. the communion of saints

 10. the remission of sins

 11. the resurrection of the body

 12. and life everlasting.

The Eastern Form of the Apostolic Creed


8  ST. JUSTIN MARTYR. See above [n. I] COPTIC APOSTOLIC CONSTITUTIONS (Constitutiones Apostolicae Copticae) orthe Constitutions of the Egyptian Church in Funk, Didasc. et Const. Apost. II (1905) 97 ff., show the Apostolic Tradition (Paradosis) of Hippolytus (on which see above n. 2-3) in the Orient also changed as a creed. Therefore, it seems to be a witness also for the eastern form of the Apostolic Creed. 


[of Saint Cyril of Jerusalem] *

9 1. a. We believe in one God the Father Almighty

  b. The creator of heaven and earth

  c. and of all things visible and invisible

 2. a. and in one Lord Jesus Christ the only begotten Son of God

  b. who was begotten of the Father

  c. true God

  d. before all ages

  e. by whom all things were made

 3.  a. (who for our salvation)

  b. was made flesh (of the Holy Spirit and Mary the virgin) 

  and was made man

 4. a. was crucified (under Pontius Pilate) and was buried


 5. a. arose on the third day 

  b. (according to the Scriptures

 6.  a. and ascended into heaven 

  b. and sits at the right hand of the Father

 7. a. and comes in glory to judge the living and the dead

  b. of whose kingdom there will be no end 

 8. a. and in one Holy Spirit the Paraclete




  e. who spoke among the prophets

 9 * . and one holy [Catholic] church

 10. a. and in one baptism of repentance

  b. in the dismissal of sins

 11. and in the resurrection of the flesh

 12. and in life everlasting

12  EUSEBIUS , died about 340, bishop of Caesarea, Ep. ad suam dioec.[Socrates, Hist. eccl. I,8, 38; MG 67, 69; H. sect. 123; L 18]. Eusebius offered his creed. to the Nicene council in 325, which used it to establish its own form.

 ST. CYRIL, bishop of Jerusalem-Catecheses 6-18,held before 350 (351) [H sect. 124; L. 19; MG 33, 535 ff.]. He gives out a Creed used before 325; its text is construed otherwise by some [Macarius of Jerusalem, predecessorof St. Cyril, seems to have had the same creed, at least according to the: headings].

  ST. EPIPHANIUS, died in 403, bishop of Salamis in Cyprus.-Ancoratus,written about the year 374; contains at the end two formulae, of which the shorter (Greek text deleted) is here considered; [cf. the longer, n. 13 LI ; the Creed is believed to be older than the Ancoratus [H. sect. 125; L 19 f.; ed. K. Holl. 1915, 148; MG 43, 232 C].

 CONSTITUTIONES APOSTOLORUM VII 41, of the beginning* of the fifth century [otherwise, of middle of fourth century; it contains certainly more ancient materials (MG 1, 1041 C. Funk, Didascalia et Constitutiones ApostolorumI, Paderborn: 1905, 445)]. The Creed, as far as many parts are concerned, belongs to Lucian Martyr* (died 312); it shows a Syro-Palestinian* form. 

Longer Form

(Exposition of Nicene Creed proposed to certain catechumens in the Orient)

13 We believe in one God, the father almighty, the creator of all things invisible and visible; and in one lord Jesus Christ, the son of God, the only begotten born of God the father, that is of the substance of the Father, God of God, light of light, true God of true God, begotten not made, consubstantial to the father, by whom all things were made, both those in heaven and those on earth, both visible and invisible, who for us melt and for our salvation came down and became man, that is was completely born of holy Mary ever-virgin by the Holy Spirit, was made man, that is, assumed perfect human nature, soul and body and mind, and all whatever is man except sin, not from the seed of man nor by means of man, but having fashioned unto himself a body into one holy unity; not as he lived in the prophets and talked and worked in them, but became man completely ("for the word was made flesh," he did not submit to an alteration, nor did he change his own divine nature into human nature); he combined both the divine nature and the human into the only holy perfection of himself; (for there is one Lord Jesus Christ, and not two; the same God, the same Lord, the same King); but the same suffered in the flesh and arose again and ascended into heaven with the very body and sits in glory at the right hand of the Father, in that very body he is coming in glory to judge the living and the dead; of whose kingdom there shall be no end:-and we believe in the Holy Spirit who spoke in the law, and taught by the prophets, and descended to the Jordan, spoke by the Apostles, and lives in the saints; thus we believe in him: that he is the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, the perfect Spirit, the Spirit Paraclete, uncreated, proceeding from the Father and receiving of the Son, in whom we believe.

14 We believe in one catholic and apostolic Church, and in one baptism of repentance, and in the resurrection of the dead, and the just judgment of souls and bodies, and in the kingdom of heaven, and in life eternal.

 But those who say that there was a time when the Son or the Holy Spirit was not, that he was made from nothing or is of another substance or essence, alleging that the Son of God or the Holy Spirit was changed or altered, these the catholic and apostolic Church, your mother and our mother, anathematizes. We also anathematize those who do not confess the resurrection of the dead, and besides all the heresies which are not consistent with this true faith.


[Of uncertain author and time; from Gaul about 500 (?)]

15 We believe in one God the Father almighty and in our one Lord Jesus Christ the Son of God and in (one) Holy Spirit God. Not three Gods, but Father and Son and Holy Spirit one God do we worship and confess: not one God in such a way as to be solitary, nor the same in such wise that he himself is Father to himself and he himself is Son to himself; but the Father is he who begot, and the Son is he who is begotten; the Holy Spirit in truth is neither begotten nor unbegotten, neither created nor made, but proceeding from the Father and the Son, coeternal and coequal and the cooperator with the Father and the Son, because it is written: "By the word of the Lord the heavens were established" (that is, by the Son of God), "and all the power of them by the spirit of his mouth" [Ps. 32:6], and elsewhere: "Send forth thy spirit and they shall be created and thou shalt renew the face of the earth" [Ps. 103:30]. And therefore we confess one God in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, because god is the name of power, not of peculiarity. The proper name for the Father is Father, and the proper name for the Son is Son, and the proper name for the Holy Spirit is Holy Spirit. And in this Trinity we believe in one God, because what is of one nature and of one substance and of one power with the Father is from one Father. The Father begot the Son, not by will, nor by necessity, but by nature.

16 The Son in the fullness of time came down from the Father to save us and to fulfill the Scriptures, though he never ceased to be with the Father, and was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary; he took a body, soul, and sense, that is, he assumed perfect human nature; nor did he lose, what he was, but he began to be, what he was not; in such a way, however, that he is perfect in his own nature and true in our nature.

 For he who was God, was born a man, and he who was born a man, operates as God; and he who operates as God, dies as a man; and he who dies as a man, arises as God. He having conquered the power of death with that body, with which he was born, and suffered, and had died, arose on the third day, ascended to the Father, and sits at his right hand in glory, which he always has had and always has. We believe that cleansed in his death and in his blood we are to be raised up by him on the last day in this body with which we now live; and we have hope that we shall obtain from him either life eternal, the reward of good merit or the penalty of eternal punishment for sins. Read these words, keep them, subject your soul to this faith. From Christ the Lord you will receive both life and reward.


[Of uncertain author and time; from Gaul about 500(?)]

17 The merciful Trinity is one divine Godhead. Consequently the Father 17 and the Son and the Holy Spirit are one source, one substance, one virtue, and one power. We say that God the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are not three gods, but we very piously confess one God. For although we name three persons, we publicly declare with the catholic and apostolic voice that they are one substance. Therefore the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, these three are one[cf. 1 John 5:7]. Three, neither confused, nor separated, but both distinctly joined, and, though joined, distinct; united in substance, but differentiated in name, joined in nature, distinct in person, equal in divinity, entirely similar in majesty, united in trinity, sharers in splendor. They are one in such a way, that we do not doubt that they are also three; and they are three in such a way that we acknowledge that they cannot be disjoined from one another. Therefore there is no doubt, that an insult to one is an affront to all, because the praise of one pertains to the glory of all. 

18 'For this is the principal point of our faith according to the Gospel and the apostolic doctrine, that our Lord Jesus Christ and the Son of God are not separated from the Father either in the acknowledgment of honor, or in the power of virtue, or in the divine nature of substance, or by an interval of time.'* And therefore if anyone says that the Son of God, who just as he is truly God, so also is true man except in sin alone, ,did not possess something belonging to human nature or did not possess something belonging to the Godhead, he should be judged wicked and hostile to the Catholic and apostolic Church.


OF THE YEAR 400 [AND 447] * 

[Formula, "A little book like a Creed"]

 The rule of the Catholic faith against all heresies [(Here) begin the rules ,of the Catholic faith against all heresies, and especially indeed against the Priscillianists, which the bishops of Tarraco, Carthage, Lusitania, and Baetica have composed and with a command of Pope Leo of the City transmitted to Balconius, bishop of Gallicia. .. .. .. ]. 

19 We believe in one true God, Father, and Son and Holy Spirit, maker of the visible and the invisible, by whom were created all things in heaven and on earth. This God alone and this Trinity alone is of divine name [divine substance]. The Father is not [himself] the Son, but has the Son, who is not the Father. The Son is not the Father, but the Son is of God by nature [is of the Father's nature]. The Spirit is also the Paraclete, who is himself neither the Father, nor the Son, but proceeds from the Father [proceeding from the Father and the Son]. Therefore the Father is unbegotten, the Son is begotten, the Paraclete is not begotten, but proceeding from the Father [and the Son]. The Father is he whose words were heard from the heavens: This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, hear ye him.[Matt. 17:5;2 Peter 1:17. Cf- Matt. 3:17]. The Son is he who says: I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world[cf. John 16:28 ]. The Paraclete himself [the Spirit] is he, concerning whom the Son says: Unless I go to the Father, the Paraclete will not come toyou [ John 16:17 ]. This Trinity, though distinct in persons, is one substance [united], virtue, power, majesty [in virtue and in power and in majesty] indivisible, not different. [We believe] there is no divine nature except that [this], either of angel or of spirit or of any virtue, which is believed to be God.

20 Therefore this Son of God, God, born of the Father entirely before every beginning, has sanctified in the womb [the womb] of the Blessed Mary Virgin, and from her has assumed true man, human nature having been begotten without the [virile] seed of man; [of not more or not less than two natures, namely, of God and of flesh, meeting completely in one person], that is, [our] Lord Jesus Christ. Not [And not] an imaginary body or one constituted of form alone [ in place of this:or that it belong to some phantasm in him]; but a firm [and true] one. And this man hungered and thirsted and grieved and wept and felt all the pains of a body [ in place of this:suffered all the injuries of a body]. Finally he was crucified [by the Jews], died and was buried, [and] on the third day he arose again; afterwards he conversed with [his] disciples; the fortieth day [ after the resurrection ] he ascended to the heavens [ heaven ]. This son of man is called [named] also the Son of God; but the Son of God, God, is not (likewise) called the Son of man [calls the Son of man (thus)].

 We believe that there [will] assuredly [be] a resurrection of the human flesh [for the body]. However, the soul of man is not a divine substance, or a part of God, but a creature [we say] which did not fall by the divine will [created].

21  1. If therefore [however] anyone says and [or] believes, that this world and all its furnishings were not made by God almighty, let him be anathema.

22 2. If anyone says and [or] believes, that God the Father is the same person as the Son or the Paraclete, let him be anathema.

23  3. If anyone says and [or] believes that God the Son [of God] is the same person as the Father or the Paraclete, let him be anathema. 

24 4. If anyone says and [or] believes that the Paraclete the Spirit is either the Father or the Son, let him be anathema.

25  5. If anyone say and [or] believes that the man Jesus Christ was not assumed by the Son of God [ in place of this:that a body only without a soul was assumed by the Son of God], let him be anathema.

26 6. If anyone says and [or] believes, that the Son of God, as God, suffered [ in place of this: that Christ cannot be born], let him be anathema.

27 7. If anyone says and [or] believes that the man Jesus Christ was a man incapable of suffering [in place of this:the divine nature of Christ was changeable or capable of suffering], let him be anathema.

28 8. If anyone says and [or] believes, that there is one God of the old Law, another of the Gospels, let him be anathema.

29 9. If anyone says and [or] believes, that the world was made by another God than [and not] by him, concerning whom it is written:In the beginning God created hea ven and earth [cf. Gen. I, I], let him be anathema.

30 10. If anyone says and [or] believes that the human bodies will not rise again [do not rise] after death, let him be anathema.

31 11. If anyone says and for] believes that the human soul is a part of God or is God's substance, let him be anathema. 

32 12. If anyone either believes that any scriptures, except those which the Catholic Church has received, ought to be held in authority or venerates them [If anyone says or believes other scriptures, besides those which the Catholic Church receives, ought to be held in authority or ought to be venerated], let him be anathema. 

33 [13. If anyone says or believes that there is in Christ one nature of the Godhead of humanity, let him be anathema.] 

34  [14. If anyone says or believes that there is anything that can extend itself beyond the divine Trinity, let him be anathema.] 

35 [15. If anyone holds that astrology and the interpretation of stars (sic) ought to be believed, let him be anathema.]

36 [16. If anyone says or believes, that the marriages of men, which are considered licit according to divine law, are accursed, let him be anathema.]

37  [17. If anyone says or believes that the flesh of birds or of animals, which has been given for food, not only ought to be abstained from for the chastising of the body, but ought to be abhorred, let him be anathema.] 

38  [18. If anyone follows the sect of Priscillian in these errors or publicly professes it) so that he makes a change in the saving act of baptism contrary to the chair of Holy Peter, let him be anathema.]


[Which is called "Athanasian"] *

39 Whoever wishes to be saved, needs above all to hold the Catholic faith; unless each one preserves this whole and inviolate, he will without a doubt perish in eternity. -But the Catholic faith is this, that we venerate one God in the Trinity, and the Trinity in oneness; neither confounding the persons, nor dividing the substance; for there is one person of the Father, another of the Son, (and) another of the Holy Spirit; but the divine nature of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit is one, their glory is equal, their majesty is coeternal. Of such a nature as the Father is, so is the Son, so (also) is the Holy Spirit; the Father is uncreated, the Son is uncreated, (and) the Holy Spirit is uncreated; the Father is immense, the Son is immense, (and) the Holy Spirit is immense; the Father is eternal, the Son is eternal, (and) the Holy Spirit is eternal: and nevertheless there are not three eternals, but one eternal; just as there are not three uncreated beings, nor three infinite beings, but one uncreated, and one infinite; similarly the Father is omnipotent, the Son is omnipotent, (and) the Holy Spirit is omnipotent: and yet there are not three omnipotents, but one omnipotent; thus the Father is God, the Son is God, (and) the Holy Spirit is God; and nevertheless there are not three gods, but there is one God; so the Father is Lord, the Son is Lord, (and) the Holy Spirit is Lord: and yet there are not three lords, but there is one Lord; because just as we are compelled by Christian truth to confess singly each one person as God and [and also] Lord, so we are forbidden by the Catholic religion to say there are three gods or lords. The Father was not made nor created nor begotten by anyone. The Son is from the Father alone, not made nor created, but begotten. The Holy Spirit is from the Father and the Son, not made nor created nor begotten, but proceeding. There is therefore one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Spirit, not three Holy Spirits; and in this Trinity there is nothing first or later, nothing greater or less, but all three persons are coeternal and coequal with one another, so that in every respect, as has already been said above, both unity in Trinity, and Trinity in unity must be venerated. Therefore let him who wishes to be saved, think thus concerning the Trinity. 

40 But it is necessary for eternal salvation that he faithfully believe also the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. Accordingly it is the right faith, that we believe and confess, that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God is God and man. He is God begotten of the substance of the Father before time, and he is man born of the substance of his mother in time: perfect God, perfect man, consisting of a rational soul and a human body, equal to the Father according to his Godhead, less than the Father according to humanity. Although he is God and man, yet he is not two, but he is one Christ; one, however, not by the conversion of the Divinity into a human body, but by the assumption of humanity in the Godhead; one absolutely not by confusion of substance, but by unity of person. For just as the rational soul and body are one man, so God and man are one Christ. He suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, on the third day arose again from the dead, ascended to heaven, sits at the right hand of God the Father almighty; thence he shall come to judge the living and the dead; .at his coming all men have to arise again with their bodies and will render an account of their own deeds: and those who have done good, will go into life everlasting, but those who have done evil, into eternal fire.-This is the Catholic faith; unless every one believes this faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved.


under whose name two canonical epistles are extant.

ST. LINUS 67(?) - 79(?) ST. (ANA) CLETUS 79(?) - 90(?)

ST. CLEMENT I 90(?)- 99(?)

The Primacy of the Roman Pontiff *

[From the letter "(Greek text deleted)" to the Corinthians] 

41 (1) BECAUSE of the sudden calamities that have followed one another in turn and because of the adverse circumstances which have befallen us, we think, brethren, that we have returned too late to those matters which are being inquired into among you, beloved, and to the impious and detestable sedition . . . which a few rash and presumptuous men have aroused to such a degree of insolence that your honorable and illustrious name . . . is very much reviled. . . . In order to remind you of your duty, we write. . . . (57) You, therefore, who have laid the foundations of this insurrection, be subject in obedience to the priests and receive correction unto repentance. . . . (59) But if some will not submit to them, let them learn what He [Christ] has spoken through us, that they will involve themselves in great sin and danger; we, however, shall be innocent of this transgression. . . . (63) Indeed you will give joy and gladness to us, if having become obedient to what we have written through the Holy Spirit, you will cut out the unlawful application of your zeal according to the exhortation which we have made in this epistle concerning peace and union.

42   Concerning the Hierarchy and the Status of the Laity *

[From the same epistle to the Corinthians]

 (40) (For) they do not go astray who follow the commands of the Lord. Inasmuch as peculiar gifts have been bestowed upon the chief priest, a special place has been assigned to the priests, and particular duties are incumbent upon the Levites. The layman is bound by the precepts pertaining to the laity.

 (41) Let each of us, brethren, "in his own order" [ 1 Cor. 15:23 ] with a good conscience not transgressing the prescribed rule of his own office give thanks to God honorably.

 (42) The Apostles were made preachers of the Gospel to us by the Lord Jesus Christ; Jesus Christ was sent by God. . . . Accordingly, when they had proclaimed the word through country districts and cities and had tested the first converts of these by the spirit, they appointed bishops and deacons of those who were to believe. 

  ST. EVARISTUS (99) (?)-107 (?)  ST. PIUS 1 140 (?)-154 (?)

  ST. ALEXANDER I 107 (?)-116 (?) ST. ANICETUS 154 (?)-165 (?)

  ST. SIXTUS I 116 ( ?)-125 (? )  ST. SOTER 165 (?)-174 (? )

  ST. TELESPHORUS 125 (?)-136 (?) ST. ELEUTHERIUS 174 ( P )-I 89 ( ? )

  ST. HYGINUS 136 (?)-140 (?)  ST. VICTOR 189 (?)-198 (?) * 

ST. ZEPHYRINUS 198 (?)-217

resp. ST. CALLISTUS I    2I7-222

The Incarnate Word *

[From St. Hippolytus's Philosophy IX 11, about the year 230]

42a "[Callistus], however, influenced ZEPHYRINUS himself to speak to the people openly: I know one God Christ Jesus, and besides him no other begotten and passible; then indeed [CALLISTUS] said: The Father did not die, but the Son: in such a way as this he kept up the perpetual dispute among the people.

 When we had learned his [CALLISTUS'S] purposes, we did not yield, refuting and resisting for the sake of truth: driven to madness, especially because all agreed to his pretext-not we, however-he invoked two gods, voluntarily discharging the virus which lay hidden in his internal organs."

The Absolving of Sins *

[Fragment from Tertullian's "De pudicitia" c. 1]

43 "I also hear that an edict is published and is indeed final. Evidently the Supreme Pontiff, because he is the bishop of bishops, declares: I forgive the sins of adultery and fornication to those who have performed the penance." *

  ST. URBANUS 222-230  ST. ANTERUS 235-236

  ST. PONTIANUS 230-235 ST. FABIANUS 235-250


The Monarchical Constitution of the Church *

[From epistle (6) "Quantam solicitudinem" to Cyprian, bishop of Carthage, 252]

44 "We know that CORNELIUS, bishop of the most holy Catholic 44 Church, was chosen by God almighty and by Christ our Lord; we confess our error; we have suffered imposture; we have been deceived by treachery and captious loquacity; for although we seemed to have held, as it were, a certain communication with a schismatical and heretical man, nevertheless our heart has always been in the Church; for we are not ignorant that there is one God and that there is one Lord Christ, whom we have confessed, that there is one Holy Spirit and that there ought to be one bishop in the Catholic Church."

Concerning the written proof for teaching the Holy Spirit,

see Kirch n. 256 R n. 547; concerning the Trinity,

see R n. 546.

The Ecclesiastical Hierarchy *

[From the epistle "(Greek text deleted)" to Fabius, bishop ofAntioch, in the year 251]

45  Therefore did not that famous defender of the Gospel [Novatian] know that there ought to be one bishop in the Catholic Church [of the city of Rome]? It did not lie hidden from him (for how could it be concealed?) that in this there were forty-six priests, seven deacons, seven subdeacons, forty-two acolytes, and fifty-two exorcists and lectors together with porters and more than a thousand five hundred widows and [needy] eunuchs. 

ST. LUCIUS I 253-254
ST. STEPHAN I 254-257

The Baptism of Heretics *

[Fragment of a letter to Cyprian, from his letter (74) to Pompey]

46 (1) . . . "If therefore any come to you from any heresy whatsoever, let nothing be renewed except what has been transmitted, so that the hand is placed upon them for repentance, since the heretics among themselves properly do not baptize those coming to them, but only give them communion."

[Fragment from a letter of Stephan from a letter 

(75) of Firmilianus to Cyprian]

47 (18) "But," he [STEPHAN] says, "the name of Christ conduces greatly to faith and to the sanctification of baptism, so that whoever has been baptized anywhere in the name of Christ, at once obtains the grace of Christ." 



The Trinity and the Incarnation *

[Fragment from epistle (2) against the Tritheists and

Sabellians, about the year 260]

48 (1) Now assuredly it is just to preach against those who destroy the 48 one power which is the most sacred teaching of the Church of God, dividing and rending it into some three powers and distinct substances and three deities. For I have heard that some who preach and explain the divine word among you are teachers of this belief; yet they, so to speak, are diametrically opposed to the opinion of Sabellius.

 For the latter blasphemes when he says that the Son himself is the Father and the reverse: the former indeed in a certain measure proclaim three gods, when they divide the sacred unity into three different substances altogether distinct from one another. For it is necessary that the divine Word be united to the God of all, and that the Holy Spirit abide in God and dwell in Him: and thus the divine Trinity is reduced to and gathered into one, as it were, into a certain head, that is into the omnipotent God of all. For foolish Marcion's doctrine which divides and separates the monarchy into three principles is surely diabolical; moreover, it is not of the true disciples of Christ or of those to whom the teaching of the Savior is pleasing. For these know well that the Trinity is indeed proclaimed in divine Scripture, moreover, that three gods are taught neither in the Old nor in the New Testament.

49 (2) But none the less they should be blamed who think that the Son is 49 a work, and that the Lord was made just as one of those things which were actually created; since divine statements bear witness that He was begotten, as is proper and fitting, not created or made.

 It is therefore not a trifling, but a very great irreverence to say that the Lord was made in some way. For if the Son was made, there was a time when He did not exist; and yet He always was, if He undoubtedly is, as He himself declares, in the Father [John 14:10 f.]. Moreover, and if Christ is the word, the wisdom, and the power (for the divine Scriptures teach that Christ is [John 1:14; 1 Cor. 1:24], as you yourselves know), surely these are the powers of God. Wherefore, if the Son was made, there was a time when these powers did not exist; and so there was a time when God was without them; which is very absurd.

50 But why should I treat further about these matters with you, man full of the Spirit, and especially who understand what absurdities follow from that opinion which asserts that the Son was made? It seems to me that the leaders of this belief did not consider these at all, and thus have completely strayed from the truth, when they explain differently from what the divine and prophetic Scripture wishes, the passage: "The Lord created man in the beginning of his ways" [Prov. 8:22: LXX]. Certainly there is not, as you know, only one meaning of the word "created." For in this passage "created" is the same as "he set him over works made by Him," made, I say, by the Son Himself.

 But here "created" ought not to be understood exactly as "made." For " to make" and "to create" differ from each other. "Is not he thy father that hast possessed thee, and made thee, and created thee?" [Dt. 32:6:LXX] said Moses in the great canticle of Deuteronomy. And so who can rightly refute them: O rash and inconsiderate men, was he then a made thing "the first born of every creature" [Col. 1:15], "begotten from the womb before the daystar" [Ps. 109:3:LXX] of whom as Wisdom says, "before all the hills he brought me forth"? [Prov. 8:25:LXX]. Finally anybody may read in many passages of the divine statements that the Son was "begotten," but nowhere "made." By reason of this they who dare to call His divine and inexplicable begetting a making, are clearly proved to speak falsely about the Lord's generation.

51 (3) Neither therefore ought the admirable and divine unity be separated into three godheads, nor ought the dignity and supreme magnitude of the Lord be lessened by the designation of making; but we must believe in God the Father Almighty, and in Christ Jesus his Son, and in the Holy Spirit, that the Word, moreover, is united to the God of all.

 For He said: "I and the Father are one" [ John 10:30], and: "I am in the Father, and the Father in me" [ John 14:10]. Thus it is evident that the divine Trinity and the holy proclamation of the monarchy will be preserved intact.

  ST. FELIX I 269-274  ST. CAIUS 283-296



The Indissolubility of Matrimony

52a Can. 9. Likewise let the faithful woman, who has left an adulterous husband and attracts another faithful one, be forbidden to marry; if she should marry, let her not receive communion unless he whom she has left has previously departed this world; unless by chance the exigency of illness should compel the giving.

The Celibacy of the Clergy

52b Can. 27. A bishop, or any priest at all, may have with him only a sister or a virgin daughter dedicated to God; it is decided that he by no means have a stranger.

52c Can. 33. It is decided that marriage be altogether prohibited to bishops, priests, and deacons, or to all clerics placed in the ministry, and that they keep away from their wives and not beget children; whoever does this, shall be deprived of the honor of the clerical office.

Baptism and Confirmation

52d Can. 38. If people are traveling by sea in a foreign place or if there is no church in the neighborhood, a person of the faith who keeps his baptism sound and is not twice married, can baptize a catechumen placed in the exigency of sickness, on condition that, if he survives, he bring him to a bishop, in order that it may be made perfect by the imposition of the hand.

52e Can. 77. If any deacon ruling the people without a bishop or priest baptizes some, the bishop will have to confirm these by a blessing; but if they should depart the world beforehand, in the faith in which anyone of them has believed, that one can be justified.

ST. MARCELLUS 308-309 ST. EUSEBIUS 309 (or 310)




53*  Can. 15. That deacons may not offer, see Kch 373

Plenary (against the Donatists) The Baptism of Heretics *

53 Can. 8. Concerning the Africans, because they use their own law so as to rebaptize, it has been decided that, if anyone from a heretical sect come to the Church, he should be asked his creed, and if it is perceived that he has been baptized in the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, only the hand should be imposed upon him, in order that he may receive the Holy Spirit. But if upon being questioned he does not answer this Trinity, let him be baptized.


Ecumenical I (against the Arians).

The Nicene Creed *

54    [Version of Hilary of Poitiers]

 We believe in one God the Father almighty, creator of all things visible and invisible. And in our one Lord Jesus Christ the Son of God, the onlybegotten born of the Father, that is of the substance of the Father, God of God, light of light, true God of true God, born, not made, of one substance with the Father (which they call in Greek "homousion"), by whom all things were made, which are in heaven and on earth, who for our salvation came down, and became incarnate and was made man, and suffered, and arose again on the third day, and ascended into heaven, and will come to judge the living and the dead. And in the Holy Spirit.

 But those who say: "There was [a time] when he was not," and, "Before he was born, he was not," and "Because he was made from nonexisting matter, he is either of another substance or essence," and those who call "God the Son of God changeable and mutable," these the Catholic Church anathematizes. *

The Baptism of Heretics and the Viaticum of the Dying *

55    [Version of Dionysius Exig.*]

 Can. 8. Concerning those who call themselves Cathari [Novatians] that is, clean, if at any time they come to the Catholic Church, it has been decided by the holy and great Council, that, provided they receive the imposition of hands, they remain among the clergy. However, because they are accepting and following the doctrines of the Catholic and Apostolic Church, it is fitting that they acknowledge this in writing before all; that is, both that they communicate with the twice married and with those who have lapsed during a persecution.

56 Can. 19. Concerning the Paulianists who take refuge with the Catholic Church, a decree has been published that they should be fully baptized. If, however, any of these in time past have been in the clerical order, if indeed they have appeared spotless and above reproach, after being baptized, let them be ordained by the bishop of the Catholic Church. . . .

57 Can. 13. Concerning these, who approach death, even now the ancient and regular law will be kept; so that, if anyone is departing from the body, he be not deprived of the last and necessary viaticum. But if after being despaired of, and receiving communion, and being made a sharer of the oblation, he again regains his health, let him be among those who receive only the communion of prayer. Generally, however, to everyone without exception placed at death and requesting that the grace of communion be given him, the bishop probably ought to give from the oblation. 

57*   Synodal letter to the Egyptians concerningthe error of Arius

and the ordinationsmadeby Melitius see Kch n 410 f.


ST. JULIUS I 337-352

The Primacy of the Roman Pontiff *

[From the epistle (Greek text deleted) to 

the Antiochenes, in the year 341]

57a For if, indeed as you assert, some sin has risen among them, a judicial investigation ought to have been made according to the ecclesiastical canon, and not in this manner. Everyone should have written to us, in order that thus what was might be decided by all; for the bishops were the ones who suffered, and it was not the ordinary churches that were harassed, but which the apostles themselves governed in person. Yet why has nothing been written to us, especially regarding the Alexandrian church? Or do you not know that it is the custom to write to us first, and that here what is just is decided? Certainly if any suspicion of this nature did fall upon the bishop of that city, the fact should have been written to this church.


The Primacy of the Roman Pontiff *

57b [Authentic text] [Can. 3] (Isid. 4). Caius the bishop said: That also, that a bishop may not cross from one province into another province, in which there are bishops, unless perchance on the invitation of his brothers, lest we seem to have shut the door of charity. --That too should be provided; if perchance in any province some bishop has a dispute with a brother bishop, let no one of these summon the bishops from another province.-But if any bishop has been judged in some case, and he thinks he has a good case, so that a new trial may be given, if it seems good to you, let us honor the memory of the most holy Apostle, PETER: either let those who have examined the case or the bishops who reside in the next province write to the Roman bishop; and if he should judge that the judicial investigation ought to be repeated, let it be repeated, and let him appoint judges. But if he should determine that the case is such, that what has been finished should not be reopened, his decree shall be confirmed. Is this agreeable to all? The synod replied: It is agreeable.

 (Isid. 5). Gaudentius the bishop said: To this very holy opinion which you have offered, if it is agreeable, we ought to add: when any bishop has been deposed by the judgment of those bishops who abide in the neighboring places, and when he has proclaimed that he must plead his case in the city of Rome, another bishop may not be ordained for his place in the same office after the appeal of him who seems to have been deposed, unless his case has been decided by the judgment of the bishop of Rome.

57d [Can. 3b] (Isid. 6.) Osius the bishop said: However it has been agreed, that, if a bishop has been accused, and the assembled bishops of the same province have judged and deprived him of his office, and he appears to have appealed, and has taken refuge with the most blessed bishop of the Roman church and has desired to be heard, and he has thought it just that an examination be made anew, let him deign to write to these bishops who are in the adjoining and neighboring province so that they themselves may diligently make all inquiries and decide according to their pledge of truth. But if anyone asks that his case be heard again and by his plea moves the Roman bishop to send a presbyter from his own side, what he [the presbyter] wishes or what he determines will be in the power of the bishop; and if he decrees those ought to be sent who in person may judge with the bishops and who have the authority [of him] by whom they have been appointed, it [this decree] will be within his decision. But if he believes that the bishops suffice to put an end to the affair, he will do that which he decides in accordance with his own very wise deliberation.

57b [Greek version] 3. Hosius the bishop said: It is necessary to declare this in order that no bishop may keep crossing from his own province into a different province in which there are bishops, unless perchance he should be invited by his brothers, so that we may not seem to close the doors of charity. And this too, one must provide for, that, if in any province one of the bishops should have trouble with his brother and fellow-bishop, neither of these two call to his aid as judges the bishops of another province. Yet on the other hand, if one of the bishops should think that he is being condemned in some trouble, and thinks that he has not an unsound, but a good case, in order that a new trial may be held, if it seems good to your charity, let us honor the memory of Peter the apostle, and let these judges write to Julius the bishop of Rome so that through the bishops who border on the province, if it should be necessary, the trial be reopened, and he himself should furnish the judges. But if it cannot be proven that this matter is of such a nature as to need a new trial, let not the decisions made once be set aside, but let them be confirmed.

 4. Gaudentius the bishop said: If it is decided, we ought to add to this decision which you have offered full of pure charity: that, if a bishop has been deposed by the judgment of these bishops who are in the neighborhood, and he alleges that the business of defense will again fall upon himself, another may not be ordained to his office unless previously the bishop of Rome has come to a decision concerning him and has published his judgment.

57d 5. Hosius the bishop said: It has been agreed that, if a bishop has been accused, and the assembled bishops of the same region have deposed him from his rank, and in as much as he has appealed and taken refuge with the most blessed bishop of the Roman church, and he has wished to hear him, if he thinks it is just to renew the examination of his difficulty, let him deign to write to these bishops who live in the neighboring province so that they themselves may examine carefully and with exactness each matter and declare their vote on the problem according to their pledge of truth. But if anyone should ask that his case be heard again, and by his prayer seems to move the bishop of Rome to dispatch elders from his side; what be decides is good is in the power of the bishop himself, and if he determines that it is necessary to send those who will judge with the bishops and who have the absolute authority of him by whom they were sent, this also must be granted. But if he should consider it sufficient by reason of the examination of the difficulty and the sentence of the bishop, he will do what he thinks is good according to his very wise deliberation. The bishops gave an answer. What was said was agreeable.

From the epistle "Quod semper" by which the synod

transmitted its acts to St. Julius] *

57e For this will seem to be best and most fitting indeed, if the priests from each and every province refer to the head, that is, to the chair of PETER the apostle.

ST. LIBERIUS 352-366

Concerning the Baptism of Heretics, see St. SIRICIUS

[n. 88]

 ST. DAMASUS I 366-384


The Trinity and the Incarnation *

[Tome of DAMASUS *]

58 [After this Council, which was assembled in the city of Rome by the Catholic bishops, * they made additions concerning the Holy Spirit]. And because afterwards this error became so fixed that they even dared to say with sacrilegious words that the Holy Spirit was made by the Son:

59 (1) We anathematize those who proclaim quite freely that he is not of one power and substance with the Father and the Son.

60 (2) We anathematize those also who follow the error of Sabellius, saying that the same one is Father as well as Son.

61 (3) We anathematize Arius and Eunomius who with equal impiety, though in different terms, declare that the Son and Holy Spirit are creatures.

62 (4) We anathematize the Macedonians who, springing from the root of Arius, have changed not the perfidy, but the name.

63 (5) We anathematize Photinus who, renewing the heresy of Ebion, confesses that the Lord Jesus Christ was of Mary only.

64 (6) We anathematize those who say (there are) two Sons, one eternal, and the other after the assumption of flesh from the Virgin.

65 (7) We anathematize those who say that instead of the rational and intellectual soul of man, the Word of God dwelt in a human body, although the Son Himself and Word of God was not in His own body instead of a rational and intellectual soul, but assumed our soul without sin (that is the rational and intellectual soul) and saved it.

66 (8) We anathematize those who contend that the Word, the Son of God, has extension or collection (of members) and is separate from the Father, is unsubstantial, and will have an end.

67 (9) Those also who have moved from churches to churches, we hold as not belonging to our communion until they return to those cities in which they were first established. But if one is ordained in the place of one who is living, while another is moving, let him who has left his own city be without the dignity of the priestly office until his successor rests in the Lord.

68  (10) If anyone does not say that the Father does always exist, the Son does always exist, and the Holy Spirit does always exist, he is a heretic.

69 (11) If anyone does not say that the Son was begotten of the Father, that is, of the divine substance of Him Himself, he is a heretic. 

70  (12) If anyone does not say that the Son of God is true God just as [His] Father is true God [and] He is all-powerful and omniscient and equal to the Father, he is a heretic.

71 (13) If anyone says that because He was established in the flesh when He was on earth, He was not in heaven with the Father, he is a heretic.

72 (14) If anyone says, that in the passion of the cross God felt pain, and not the body with the soul which the Son of God Christ had assumed-the form of a servant, which He had taken upon himself [cf. Phil. 2:7], as says the Scripture-, he does not think rightly.

73 (15) If anyone does not say that He sits at the right hand of the Father, in the flesh, in which He will come to judge the living and the dead, he is a heretic.

74 (16) If anyone does not say that the Holy Spirit, just as the Son, is truly and properly of the Father, of divine substance, and is true God, he is a heretic.

75 (17) If anyone does not say that the Holy Spirit can do all things and knows all things and is everywhere just as the Son and the Father, he is a heretic.

76 (18) If anyone says that the Holy Spirit is a creature, or was made by the Son, he is a heretic.

77 (19) If anyone does not say that the Father made all things through the Son and His Holy Spirit, that is, the visible and the invisible; he is a heretic.

78 (20) If anyone does not say that there is one divinity of Father, and Son, and Holy Spirit, one sovereignty, one majesty, one power, one glory, one dominion, one kingdom, and one will and truth, he is a heretic.

79  (21) If anyone does not say there are three true persons of Father, and of Son, and of Holy Spirit, equal, immortal, containing all things visible and invisible, ruling all things, judging all things, vivifying all things, creating all things, saving all things, he is a heretic.

80 (22) If anyone does not say that the Holy Spirit ought to be adored by every creature just as the Son and Father, he is a heretic.

81 (23) If anyone thinks well of the Father and the Son, but does not rightly esteem the Holy Spirit, he is a heretic, because all heretics who think erroneously about the Son [ of God I and the [ Holy ] Spirit are found in the perfidy of the Jews and the pagans.

82 (24) But if anyone divides,* saying that God [Christ's] Father, and God His Son, and God the Holy Spirit are gods, and does not thus say God on account of the one divinity and power which we believe and know (to be) the Father's, and the Son's, and the Holy Spirit's, but taking away the Son or the Holy Spirit, thus believes that the Father alone is called God, or in this manner believes God one, he is a heretic in every respect, nay rather a Jew, because the name of gods was attached and given both to angels and to all the saints from God, but of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit because of their one and equal divinity, not the name of gods, but of God is declared and revealed to us, in order that we may believe, because we are baptized only in the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit and not in the names of archangels or angels, as heretics, or Jews, or even demented pagans.

 This then is the salvation of Christians, that believing in the Trinity, that is, in the Father, and in the Son, and in the Holy Spirit, [and] baptized in this, we believe without doubt that there is only one true divinity and power, majesty and substance of the same

The Holy Spirit*

["Decree of DAMASUS" from the acts of the Roman Synod, in the year 382]

83 It has been said: We must first treat of the sevenfold Spirit, which reposes in Christ, the Spirit of wisdom:Christ, the power of God and the wisdom of God[1 Cor. 1:24]. The Spirit of understanding: I will give thee understanding, and I will instruct thee in this way, in which thou shalt go[Ps. 31:8]. The Spirit of counsel:And his name shall be called angel of great counsel[ Is. 9:6: LXX]. The Spirit of power (as above):The power of God and the wisdom of God [1 Cor. 1:24]. The Spirit of knowledge: on account of the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus the apostle[Eph. 3:19]. The Spirit of truth:I am the way and the life and the truth[ John 14:6]. The Spirit of fear [of God]:The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom[Ps. 110:10] . . . [ there follows an explanation of the various names of Christ:Lord, Word, Flesh, Shepherd, etc.] . . . For the Holy Spirit is not only the Spirit of the Father or not only the Spirit of the Son, but the Spirit of the Father and of the Son. For it is written:If anyone love the world, the Spirit of the Father is not in him[1 John 2:15; Rom. 8:9]. Likewise it is written:Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his [Rom. 8:9]. When the Father and the Son are mentioned in this way, the Holy Spirit is understood, of whom the Son himself says in the Gospel, that the Holy Spirit proceedeth from the Father[John 15:26], andhe shall rec eive of mine and shall announce it to you[ John 16:14.]

The Canon of Sacred Scripture * 

[From the same decree and the acts of the same Roman Synod]

84 Likewise it has been said: Now indeed we must treat of the divine Scriptures, what the universal Catholic Church accepts and what she ought to shun.

 The order of the Old Testament begins here:Genesis one book, Exodus one book, Leviticus one book, Numbers one book, Deuteronomy one book, Joshua Nave one book, judges one book, Ruth one book, Kings four books, Paralipomenon two books, Psalms one book, Solomon three books, Proverbs one book, Ecclesiastes one book, Canticle of Canticles one book, likewise Wisdom one book, Ecclesiasticus one book.

  Likewise the order of the Prophets. Isaias one book, Jeremias one book, with Ginoth, that is, with his lamentations, Ezechiel one book, Daniel one book, Osee one book, Micheas one book, Joel one book, Abdias one book, Jonas one book, Nahum one book, Habacuc one book, Sophonias one book, Aggeus one book, Zacharias one book, Malachias one book.

  Likewise the order of the histories. Job one book, Tobias one book, Esdras two books, Esther one book, Judith one book, Machabees two books.

  Likewise the order of the writings of the New and eternal Testament, which the holy and Catholic Church supports. Of the Gospels, according to Matthew one book, according to Mark one book, according to Luke one book, according to John one book.

  The Epistles of Paul [the apostle] in number fourteen. To the Romans one, to the Corinthians two, to the Ephesians one, to the Thessalonians two, to the Galatians one, to the Philippians one, to the Colossians one, to Timothy two, to Titus one, to Philemon one, to the Hebrews one.

  Likewise the Apocalypse of John, one book. And the Acts of the Apostles one book. 

  Likewise the canonical epistles in number seven.Of Peter the Apostle two epistles, of James the Apostle one epistle, of John the Apostle one epistle, of another John, the presbyter, two epistles, of Jude the Zealot, the Apostle one epistle, see n. 162 ff. *

  The canon of the New Testament ends here.


Ecumenical II (against the Macedonians, etc.)

Condemnation of the Heretics *

85 The faith of the three hundred and eighteen Fathers who assembled at Nicea in Bithynia is not to be disregarded; but it remain authoritative, and all heresy is to be anathematized: and especially that of the Eunomians or of the Anomians, and that of the Arians, or that of the Eudoxians, and that of the Macedonians, that is to say of those opposing the Spirit, and that of the Sabellians, of the Marcellians and that of the Photinians and that of the Apollinarians.

85 Can. I. [Version of Dionysius Exig.] The faith of three hundred and eighteen Fathers, who convened at Nicea in Bithynia, ought not to be violated; but remains firm and stable. Every heresy ought to be anathematized, and especially those of the Eunomians or Anomians, and of the Arians or Eudoxians, and of the Macedonians or those who oppose the Holy Spirit, and of the Sabellians, and of the Marcellians, and of the Photinians, and of the Apollinarians.

The "Nicene-Constantinopolitan" * Creed

86 We believe in one God, Father omnipotent, maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages, light of light, true God of true God, begotten not made, consubstantial with the Father, by whom all things were made, who for us men and for our salvation came down and was made flesh by the Holy Spirit and of the Virgin Mary, and became man, and was crucified for us by Pontius Pilate, suffered, and was buried and arose again the third day, according to the Scripture, and ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of the Father, and is coming again with glory to judge the living and the dead; of whose kingdom there shall be no end. And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father, who together with the Father and Son is worshipped and glorified, who spoke through the prophets. In one holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. We confess one baptism for the remission of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of eternity to come. Amen.

86 [Version of Dionysius Exiguus] We believe [I believe] in one God the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, born of the Father [the only begotten Son of God. And born of the Father] before all ages. [God of God, light of light] true God of true God. Born [Begotten], not made, consubstantial with the Father, by whom all things were made. Who for us men and our salvation [and for our salvation] came down from heaven. And was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary, and was made human [was made man]. And he was crucified [He was crucified also] for us under Pontius Pilate, [suffered]-and was buried. And on the third day he rose again, according to the Scriptures. And] ascended into heaven, sits at the right hand of the Father, [and I will come again with glory to judge the living and the dead; of whose kingdom there shall not be an end. And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and giver of life, proceeding from the Father, [who proceeds from the Father and the Son, * who] to be adored with the Father and the Son [is adored together with] and to be glorified together with (them) [and is glorified together with], who spoke through the holy Prophets [by the Prophets]. And in one holy Catholic and apostolic Church. We confess [I confess] one baptism for the remission of sins. We expect [And I expect] the resurrection of the dead, and the life of a future age [to come]. Amen.

ST. SIRICIUS 384-398

The Primacy of the Roman Pontiff *

[From the epistle (1) "Directa ad decessorem" to Himerius,

Bishop of Terracina, Feb. 10, 385]

87 . . . To your inquiry we do not deny a legal reply, because we, upon whom greater zeal for the Christian religion is incumbent than upon the whole body, out of consideration for our office do not have the liberty to dissimulate, nor to remain silent. We carry the weight of all who are burdened; nay rather the blessed apostle PETER bears these in us, who, as we trust, protects us in all matters of his administration, and guards his heirs.

The Baptism of Heretics *

[From the same letter to Himerius]

88 (1, 1) And so on the first page of your letter you have indicated that very many baptized by the impious Arians are hastening to the Catholic faith and that certain of our brothers wish to baptize these same ones again. This is not allowed since the Apostle forbids it to be done [cf. Eph. 4:5; Heb. 6:4 ff. (?)] and the canons oppose it, and after the cessation of the Council of Ariminum general decrees * sent to the provinces by my predecessor LIBERIUS of venerable memory prohibit it. These together with the Novatians and other heretics we join to the company of the Catholics through the sole invocation of the sevenfold Spirit by the imposition of a bishop's hands, just as it was determined in the Synod, which, too, the whole East and West observe. It is proper that you also do not deviate from this course henceforth, if you do not wish to be separated from our company by synodal decision .*

Christian Marriage *

[From the same epistle to Himerius]

88a (4, 5) But you have inquired concerning the marriage veil, whether one can receive in matrimony a girl betrothed to another. Let this not be done. We prohibit it in every way, because, if that blessing which the priest gives to the bride is violated by any transgression, it is like a kind of sacrilege among the faithful.

88* (5, 6) The relapses into passions tobe forgiven finally before death, see Kch. n. 657.

The Celibacy of the Clergy*

[From the same epistle to Himerius]

89 (7, 8 ff.) Let us come now to the most sacred orders of the clergy, which we find so abused and so disorderly throughout your provinces to the injury of venerable religion, that we ought to say in the words of Jeremias:Who will water to my head, or a fountain of tears to my eyes? and I will weep for this people day and night( Jer. 9:1). . . . For we have learned that very many priests and levites of Christ, after long periods of their consecration, have begotten offspring from their wives as well as by shameful intercourse, and that they defend their crime by this excuse, that in the Old Testament it is read that the faculty of procreating was given to the priests and the ministers.

 Whoever that follower of sensual desires is let him tell me now: . . . Why does [the Lord] forewarn those to whom the holies of holies were to be entrusted saying: Be ye holy, because I your Lord God am holy [ Lev. 20:7;1 Pet. 1:16]? Why also were the priests ordered to dwell in the temple at a distance from their homes in the year of their turn? Evidently for this reason that they might not be able to practise carnal intercourse with their wives, so that shining with purity of conscience they might offer an acceptable gift to God. . . .

 Therefore also the Lord Jesus, when He had enlightened us by His coming, testifies in the Gospel, that he came to fulfill the Law, not to destroy it[ Matt. 5:17]. And so He has wished the beauty of the Church, whose spouse He is, to radiate with the splendor of chastity, so that on the day of judgment, when He will have come again, He may be able to find her without spot or wrinkle [Eph. 5:27] as He instituted her through His Apostle. All priests and levites are bound by the indissoluble law of these sanctions, so that from the day of our ordination, we give up both our hearts and our bodies to continence and chastity, provided only that through all things we may please our God in these sacrifices which we daily offer."But those who are in the flesh,"as the vessel of election says, "cannot please God"[ Rom. 8:8 ].

 But those, who contend with an excuse for the forbidden privilege, so as to assert that this has been granted to them by the Old Law, should know that by the authority of the Apostolic See they have been cast out of every ecclesiastical office, which they have used unworthily, nor can they ever touch the sacred mysteries, of which they themselves have deprived themselves so long as they give heed to impure desires. And because existing examples warn us to be on our guard for the future should any bishop, priest, or deacon be found such, which henceforth we do not want) let him now understand that every approach to indulgence is barred through us, because it is necessary that the wounds which are not susceptible to the healing of warm lotions be cut out with a knife.

The Ordinations of Monks *

[From the same epistle to Himerius]

90 (13) We both desire and will that monks also, whom however the austerity of their manners and the holy disposition of their lives and faith commend, be added to the offices of the clergy. . . [cf. n. 1580].

The Virginity of the Blessed Virgin Mary *

[From epistle (9) "Accepi litteras vestras" to Anysius,  

Bishop of Thessalonica, 392]

91 (3) Surely, we cannot deny that regarding the sons of Mary the statement is justly censured, and your holiness has rightly abhorred it, that from the same virginal womb, from which according to the flesh Christ was born, another offspring was brought forth. For neither would the Lord Jesus have chosen to be born of a virgin, if he had judged she would be so incontinent, that with the seed of human copulation she would pollute that generative chamber of the Lord's body, that palace of the eternal King. For he who imputes this, imputes nothing other than the falsehood of the Jews, who say that he could not have been born of a virgin. For, if they accept this authority from the priests, that Mary seems to have brought forth many children, they strive to sweep away the truth of faith with greater zeal.


The Canon of the Sacred Scripture *

92 Can. 36 (or otherwise 47). [It has been decided] that nothing except the Canonical Scriptures should be read in the church under the name of the Divine Scriptures. But the Canonical Scriptures are: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, four books of Kings, Paralipomenon two books, Job, the Psalter of David, five books of Solomon, twelve books of the Prophets, Isaias, Jeremias, Daniel, Ezechiel, Tobias, Judith, Esther, two books of Esdras, two books of the Machabees. Moreover, of the New Testament: Four books of the Gospels, the Acts of the Apostles one book, thirteen epistles of Paul the Apostle, one of the same to the Hebrews, two of Peter, three * of John, one of James, one of Jude, the Apocalypse of John. Thus [it has been decided] that the Church beyond the sea may be consulted regarding the confirmation of that canon; also that it be permitted to read the sufferings of the martyrs, when their anniversary days are celebrated.


The Orthodoxy of the Pope LIBERIUS *

[From the epistle "Dat mihi plurimum" to Venerius,

Bishop of Milan, about the year 400]

93 That which is done for the love of Christ gives me very much joy; Italy, as victor with that zeal and aroused ardor for the godhead, retained that faith whole which was handed down from the Apostles and placed in the whole world by our ancestors. For at this time when Constantius of holy memory held the world as victor, the heretical African faction was not able by any deception to introduce its baseness because, as we believe, our God provided that that holy and untarnished faith be not contaminated through any vicious blasphemy of slanderous men-that faith which had been discussed and defended at the meeting of the synod in Nicea by the holy men and bishops now placed in the resting-place of the saints.

 For this faith those who were then esteemed as holy bishops gladly endured exile, that is Dionysius, thus a servant of God, prepared by divine instruction, or those following his example of holy recollection, LIBERIUS bishop of the Roman Church, Eusebius also of Vercelli, Hilary of the Gauls, to say nothing of many, on whose decision the choice could rest to be fastened to the cross rather than blaspheme God Christ, which the Arian heresy compelled, or call the Son of God, God Christ, a creature of the Lord. 

93*   Council of Toledo the yea" 400, The Minister of Unction 

and Anointing (can. 20) see Kch n. 712.

ST. INNOCENT I 401-417 *

The Baptism of Heretics *

[From epistle (2) "Etsi tibi" to Vitricius, Bishop of Rouen, Feb. 15, 404]

94 (8) That those who come from the Novatians or the Montanists should be received by the imposition of the hand only, because although they were baptized by heretics, nevertheless they were baptized in the name of Christ.

Reconciliation in the Moment of Death *

[From the epistle "Consulenti tibi" to Exuperius, Bishop

of Toulouse, Feb. 20, 405]

95 (2). . . It has been asked, what must be observed with regard to those who after baptism have surrendered on every occasion to the pleasures of incontinence, and at the very end of their lives ask for penance and at the same time the reconciliation of communion. Concerning them the former rule was harder, the latter more favorable, because mercy intervened. For the previous custom held that penance should be granted, but that communion should be denied. For since in those times there were frequent persecutions, so that the ease with which communion was granted might not recall men become careless of reconciliation from their lapse, communion was justly denied, penance allowed, lest the whole be entirely refused; and the system of the time made remission more difficult. But after our Lord restored peace to his churches, when terror had now been removed, it was decided that communion be given to the departing, and on account of the mercy of God as a viaticum to those about to set forth, and that we may not seem to follow the harshness and the rigor of the Novatian heretic who refused mercy. Therefore with penance a last communion will be given, so that such men in their extremities may be freed from eternal ruin with the permission of our Savior [see n. 1538].

95*   Reconciliation outside of the danger of death; see Kch. n. 727. 

The Canon of the Holy Scripture and the Apocryphal Books * 

[From the same epistle to Exuperius]
96 (7) A brief addition shows what books really are received in the canon. These are the desiderata of which you wished to be informed verbally: of Moses five books, that is, of Genesis, of Exodus, of Leviticus, of Numbers, of Deuteronomy, and Joshua, of judges one book, of Kings four books, and also Ruth, of the Prophets sixteen books, of Solomon five books, the Psalms. Likewise of the histories, job one book, of Tobias one book, Esther one, Judith one, of the Machabees two, of Esdras two, Paralipomenon two books. Likewise of the New Testament: of the Gospels four books, of Paul the Apostle fourteen epistles, of John three [cf.n. 84, 92] epistles of Peter two, an epistle of Jude, an epistle of James, the Acts of the Apostles, the Apocalypse of John. 

 Others, however, which were written by a certain Leucius under the name of Matthias or of James the Less, or under the name of Peter and John (or which were written by Nexocharis and Leonidas the philosophers under the name of Andrew), or under the name of Thomas, and if there are any others, you know that they ought not only to be repudiated, but also condemned.

The Baptism of the Paulianists *

[From the epistle (17) "Magna me gratulatio" to Rufus

and other bishops of Macedonia, Dec. 13, 414]

97  From the canon of Nicea[n. 56] indeed the Paulianists coming to the Church ought to be baptized, but not the Novatians[see n. 55]: (5) . . . What therefore is distinct in the two heresies themselves, clear reason declares, because the Paulianists do not at all baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and the Novatians do baptize in the same tremendous and venerable names, and among them the question has not ever been raised concerning the unity of the divine power, that is of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

The Minister of Confirmation *

[From the epistle (25) "Si instituta ecclesiastica" to

Decentius the Bishop of Gubbio, March 19, 416]

98 (3) But in regard to the signing of little children, it is evident that it may not be done by any other than a bishop. For the presbyters, although they are second priests, nevertheless do not possess the crown of the pontificate. That this power of a bishop, however, is due to the bishops alone, so that they either sign or give the Paraclete the Spirit, not only ecclesiastical custom indicates, but also that reading in the Acts of the Apostles which declares that Peter and John were directed to give the Holy Spirit to those already baptized [ cf.Acts 8:14-17]. For to presbyters it is permitted to anoint the baptized with chrism whenever they baptize, whether without a bishop or in the presence of a bishop, but (with chrism) that has been consecrated by a bishop; nevertheless (it is) not (allowed) to sign the forehead with the same oil; that is due to the bishops alone when they bestow the Spirit, the Paraclete. Indeed, I cannot say the words lest I seem to go further than to reply to the inquiry.

The Minister of Extreme Unction *

[From the same letter to Decentius]

99 (8) Truly since your love has wished to take counsel regarding this just as concerning other (matters), my son Celestine, the deacon, has also added in his letter that what was written in the epistle of the blessed Apostle James has been proposed by your love: If anyone among you is sick, let him call the priests, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: and the prayer of faith shall save the sufferer, and the Lord shall raise him up, and if he has committed sin, he shall pardon him[Jas. 5:14 f.]. There is no doubt that this anointing ought to be interpreted or understood of the sick faithful, who can be anointed with the holy oil of chrism, which prepared by a bishop, is permitted not only to priests, but also to all as Christians for anointing in their own necessity or in the necessity of their (people). Moreover, we see that addition to be superfluous; that what is undoubtedly permitted the presbyters is questioned regarding bishops. For, on this account it was said to priests, because the bishops being hindered by other business cannot go to all the sick. But if a bishop, to whom it belongs to prepare the chrism, is able (to do it) or thinks someone is worthy to be visited by him, he can both bless and anoint with the chrism without delay. For, that cannot be administered to penitents, because it is a kind of sacrament. For, how is it supposed that one species (of sacrament) can be granted to those to whom the rest of the sacraments are denied?

The Primacy and the Infallibility of the Roman Pontiff * 

[From the epistle (29) "In requirendis" to the African bishops, Jan. 27, 417]

100 (1) In seeking the things of God . . . preserving the examples of ancient tradition . . . you have strengthened the vigor of your religion . . . with true reason, for you have confirmed that reference must be made to our judgment, realizing what is due the Apostolic See, since all of us placed in this position desire to follow the Apostle, from whom the episcopate itself and all the authority of this name have emerged. Following him we know how to condemn evils just as (well as how) to approve praiseworthy things. Take this as an example, guarding with your sacerdotal office the practices of the fathers you resolve that (they) must not be trampled upon, because they made their decisions not by human, but by divine judgment, so that they thought that nothing whatever, although it concerned separated and remote provinces, should be concluded, unless it first came to the attention of this See, so that what was a just proclamation might be confirmed by the total authority of this See, and from this source (just as all waters proceed from their natal fountain and through diverse regions of the whole world remain pure liquids of an uncorrupted source), the other churches might assume what [they ought] to teach, whom they ought to wash, those whom the water worthy of clean bodies would shun as though defiled with filth incapable of being cleansed. 

100*     For another rescript of Innocent I concerning the same matter, see Kch n. 720-726.