sources of catholic dogma 300-400


Ecumenical VII (against the Iconoclasts)

Definition of the Sacred Images and Tradition *


302 (I. Definition) . . . We, continuing in the regal path, and following the divinely inspired teaching of our Holy Fathers, and the tradition of the Catholic Church, for we know that this is of the Holy Spirit who certainly dwells in it, define in all certitude and diligence that as the figure of the honored and life-giving Cross, so the venerable and holy images, the ones from tinted materials and from marble as those from other material, must be suitably placed in the holy churches of God, both on sacred vessels and vestments, and on the walls and on the altars, at home and on the streets, namely such images of our Lord Jesus Christ, God and Savior, and of our undefiled lady, or holy Mother of God, and of the honorable angels, and, at the same time, of all the saints and of holy men. For, how much more frequently through the imaginal formation they are seen, so much more quickly are those who contemplate these, raised to the memory and desire of the originals of these, to kiss and to render honorable adoration to them, not however, to grant true Iatria according to our faith, which is proper to divine nature alone; but just as to the figure of the revered and life-giving Cross and to the holy gospels, and to the other sacred monuments, let an oblation of incense and lights be made to give honor to these as was the pious custom with the ancients. "For the honor of the image passes to the original"; * and he who shows reverence to the image, shows reverence to the substance of Him depicted in it.

303 (II. Proof) For thus the doctrine of our Holy Fathers, that is, the tradition of the Catholic Church which has received the Gospel from and even to the end of the world is strengthened. Thus we follow Paul, who spoke in Christ [ 2 Cor. 2:17], and all the divine apostolic group and the paternal sanctity keeping the traditions[ 2 Thess. 2:14] which we have received. Thus prophetically we sing the triumphal hymns for the Church:Rejoice exceedingly, O daughter of Zion, sing forth, O daughter of Jerusalem: be joyful and be happy with all your heart. The Lord has taken from you the injustices of those adverse to you: He has redeemed you from the power of your enemies. The Lord is king in your midst: You will not see more evils[ Wis. 3:14 f.: LXX]and peace to youunto time eternal.

304 (III. Declaration) Those, therefore, who dare to think or to teach otherwise or to spurn according to wretched heretics the ecclesiastical traditions and to invent anything novel, or to reject anything from these things which have been consecrated by the Church: either the Gospel or the figure of the Cross, or the imaginal picture, or the sacred relics of the martyr; or to invent perversely and cunningly for the overthrow of anyone of the legitimate traditions of the Catholic Church; or even, as it were, to use the sacred vessels or the venerable monasteries as common things; if indeed they are bishops or clerics, we order (them) to be deposed; monks, however, or laymen, to be excommunicated.


The Sacred Elections * 




305 Can. 3. Let every election of a bishop or of a presbyter or of a deacon made by the leaders remain invalid according to the canon (Apostolic Canon 30), which says: If any bishop, using secular powers, obtains a church by means of these, let him be deposed and let all be segregated who join with him. For, it is necessary that he who is going to enter upon the office of bishop, be elected by bishops, as it has been defined by the Holy Fathers who met at Nicea, in the canon (Canon 4) which says: Indeed it is especially fitting that a bishop be ordained by all the bishops who are in the province. If, however, this is difficult either because of pressing necessity or because of the length of the journey, nevertheless, in any case with three meeting together for this very thing, and the absent ones in agreement and joining by letter, then the consecration may be held. The authority, however, over what is done in each province is granted to the metropolitan bishop.

Images, the Humanity of Christ, Tradition * 




306 We admit that images should be venerated. Those of us who are not so minded we subject to anathema. . . .

307 If anyone does not confess that Christ, our Lord, has been described according to His humanity . . . let him be anathema.

308 If anyone rejects all ecclesiastical tradition either written or not written . . . let him be anathema. 

The Errors of the Adoptionists*

[From the epistle of Hadrian "Si tamen licet" to the

bishops of Gaul and of Spain, 793]

309 On that occasion selections of perfidious words from a disordered pen were read; among other things which must be rejected, was the matter arranged with false arguments giving rise, however, to perfidy concerning the adoption of Jesus Christ, the Son of God according to the flesh. This the Catholic Church has never believed, has never taught, has never given assent to those believing wickedly.

310  . . . O, you impious, and you who are ungrateful for so many benefits, do you not fear to whisper with a poisonous mouth that He, our liberator, is an adopted Son, as it were, a mere man subject to human misfortune, and what is a disgrace to say, that He is a servant. . . . Why are you not afraid, O, querulous detractors, O, men odious to God, to call Him servant, who has freed you from the servitude of the devil? . . . For, although in the imperfect representation of the prophet He was called servant[cf. Job 1:8 ff.] because of the condition of servile form which He assumed from the Virgin . . . we understand that this was said both historically of holy Job and allegorically of Christ. 


Christ, the Natural, not the Adopted Son of God *

[From the synodical epistle of the bishops of France to the Spaniards]

311 . . . For in the beginning of your little book we have found written what you have laid down: "We confess and we believe that God, the Son of God before all ages without beginning, was begotten from the Father, co-eternal and consubstantial, not by adoption but by birth." Likewise after a few words in the same place we read: "We confess and we believe that He was made from a woman, made under the law[cf. Gal. 4:4], that not by birth is He the Son of God but by adoption; not by nature but by grace." Behold the serpent hiding among the fruit bearing trees of Paradise, that he may deceive every unwary one. . . .

312  That also which you, added in the following [cf.n. 295] we have not found expressed in the profession of the Nicene Creed, that in Christ there are two natures and three substances [cf.n. 295] and "man deified  and God made human." What is the nature of man, but soul and body? or what is the difference between nature and substance, that it is necessary for us to say three substances, and not rather simply, as the Holy Fathers have said, that they confess our Lord Jesus Christ true God and true man in one person? Certainly the person of the Son remained in the Holy Trinity, to which person human nature was joined so that it was one person, God and man, not man deified and God made human, but God man and man God, on account of the unity of the person one Son of God, and the same Son of man, perfect God, perfect man . . . Ecclesiastical custom is wont to name two substances in Christ, namely of God and of man. . . .

313  If, therefore, He is true God, who was born of the Virgin, how then can He be adopted or a servant? For by no means do you dare to confess God a servant or one adopted; and if the prophet called Him servant, it is not, however, from the condition of servitude, but from the obedience of humility, by which He was made obedientto the Fatherevenunto death [Phil. 2:8].

[From "Capitulari"]


314 (I). . . In the beginning of the chapters there arose the question concerning the impious and abominable heresy of Elephandus, Bishop of the see of Toledo, and of Felix of Orgellitana, and of their followers, who, thinking wrongly, asserted adoption in the Son of God; the most Holy Fathers, who previously rejected all these, have unanimously protested against this and they have determined that this heresy must be thoroughly eradicated from the Holy Church.

ST. LEO III 795-816


Christ, the Natural, not the Adopted * Son of God

[From the Symbol of Faith]

314a Neither was the human and temporal nativity absent from the divine and eternal nativity, but in one person of Christ Jesus true Son of God and true Son of man. Not one Son of man and another of God . . . not the supposed Son of God, but true; not adopted, but His own, because never was He alien from the Father because of the human nature which He assumed. And so in each nature we confess that He is the true and not the adopted Son of God, because unconfusedly and inseparably, man having been assumed, one and the same is the Son of God and the Son of man. By nature Son to the mother according to humanity, however, true Son to the Father in both natures. *


  STEPHAN V 816-817  VALENTINE 827

  ST. PASCHAL I 817-824  GREGORY IV 828-844

  EUGENIUS II 824-827  SERGIUS II 844-847

ST. LEO IV 847-855


The Sacrament of Extreme Unction *

315 (8) That saving sacrament also which James the Apostle commends saying: If anyone is sick . . .it will be remitted him [ Jas. 5:14], must be made known to the people by skillful teaching; a truly great mystery and one exceedingly to be sought, through which, if the faithful ask, and their sins are forgiven, it may even follow that health of body is restored. . . . This, however, must be known, that, if he who is sick has not been freed from public penance, he cannot receive the remedy of this mystery, unless first by the prescribed reconciliation he has merited the communion of the body and blood of Christ. He to whom the other sacraments have been restricted, is by no means permitted to use this one.


(Against Gottschalk and the Predestinarians)

Redemption and Grace *

316 Chap. 1. Omnipotent God created man noble without sin with a free will, and he whom He wished to remain in the sanctity of justice, He placed in Paradise. Man using his free will badly sinned and fell, and became the "mass of perdition" of the entire human race. The just and good God, however, chose from this same mass of perdition according to His foreknowledge those whom through grace He predestined to life [ Rom. 8:29 ff.; Eph. 1:11], and He predestined for these eternal life; the others, whom by the judgment of justice he left in the mass of perdition,* however, He knew would perish, but He did not predestine that they would perish, because He is just; however, He predestined eternal punishment for them. And on account of this we speak of only one predestination of God, which pertains either to the gift of grace or to the retribution of justice. 

317 Chap. 2. The freedom of will which we lost in the first man, we have received back through Christ our Lord; and we have free will for good, preceded and aided by grace, and we have free will for evil, abandoned by grace. Moreover, because freed by grace and by grace healed from corruption, we have free will.

318 Chap. 3. Omnipotent God wishes all menwithout exception to besaved[1 Tim. 2:4 ] although not all will be saved. However, that certain ones are saved, is the gift of the one who saves; that certain ones perish, however, is the deserved punishment of those who perish.

319 Chap. 4. Christ Jesus our Lord, as no man who is or has been or ever will be whose nature will not have been assumed in Him, so there is, has been, or will be no man, for whom He has not suffered- although not all will be saved by the mystery of His passion. But because all are not redeemed by the mystery of His passion, He does not regard the greatness and the fullness of the price, but He regards the part of the unfaithful ones and those not believing in faith those things which He has worked th rough love[ Gal. 5:6], because the drink of human safety, which has been prepared by our infirmity and by divine strength, has indeed in itself that it may be beneficial to all; but if it is not drunk, it does not heal.


(Against John Scotus)

Predestination *

320 Can. 1. We have faithfully and obediently heard that Doctor of the Gentiles warning in faith and in truth: "O Timothy, guard that which has been entrusted to you, avoiding the profane novelties of words, and oppositions under the false name of knowledge, which some promising concerning faith have destroyed" [2 Tim. 6:20 f.]; and again: "Shun profane and useless talk; for they contribute much toward ungodliness, and their speech spreadest like an ulcer" [2 Tim. 2:16 f.]; and again: "Avoid foolish and unlearned questions, knowing that they beget strifes; but the servant of the Lord must not quarrel" [2 Tim. 2:23 f.] and again: "Nothing through contention, nothing through vain glory" [Phil. 2:3]: desiring to be zealous for peace and charity, in so far as God has given, attending the pious counsel of this same apostle: "Solicitous to preserve the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace" [Eph. 4:3], let us with all zeal avoid novel doctrines and presumptuous talkativeness, whence rather the smoke of contention and of scandal between brothers can be stirred up, than any increase of the fear of God arise. Without hesitation, however, to the doctors piously and correctly discussing the word of truth, and to those very clear expositors of Sacred Scripture, namely, Cyprian, Hilary, Ambrose, Jerome, Augustine, and others living tranquilly in Catholic piety, we reverently and obediently submit our hearing and our understanding, and to the best of our ability we embrace the things which they have written for our salvation. For concerning the foreknowledge of God, and predestination, and other questions in which the minds of the brethren are proved not a little scandalized, we believe that we must firmly hold that only which we are happy to have drawn from the maternal womb of the Church.

321 Can. 2. We faithfully hold that "God foreknows and has foreknown eternally both the good deeds which good men will do, and the evil which evil men will do," because we have that word of Scripture which says: "Eternal God, who are the witness of all things hidden, who knew all things before they are" [ Dan. 13:42]; and it seems right to hold "that the good certainly have known that through His grace they would be good, and that through the same grace they would receive eternal rewards; that the wicked have known that through their own malice they would do evil deeds and that through His justice they would be condemned by eternal punishment";* so that according to the Psalmist: "Because power belongs to God and mercy to the Lord, so that He will render to each man according to his works" [ Ps. 61:12 f.], and as apostolic doctrine holds: "To them indeed, who according to patience in good works, seek glory and honor and incorruption, eternal life; but to them that are contentious, and who obey not the truth, but give credit to iniquity, wrath and indignation, tribulation and anguish upon every soul of man doing evil" [Rom. 2:7 ff.]. In the same sense, this same one says elsewhere: "In the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with the angels of His power, in a flame of fire, giving vengeance to them who do not know God, and who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, who shall suffer eternal punishment in destruction . . . when He shall come to be glorified in His Saints, and to be made wonderful in all them who have believed [2 Thess. 1:7 ff.]. Certainly neither (do we believe) that the foreknowledge of God has placed a necessity on any wicked man, so that he cannot be different, but what that one would be from his own will, as God, who knew all things before they are, He foreknew from His omnipotent and immutable Majesty. "Neither do we believe that anyone is condemned by a previous judgment on the part of God but by reason of his own iniquity." * "Nor (do we believe) that the wicked thus perish because they were not able to be good; but because they were unwilling to be good, they have remained by their own vice in the mass of damnation either by reason of original sin or even by actual sin." * 

322  Can. 3. But also it has seemed right concerning predestination and truly it is right according to the apostolic authority which says: "Or has not the potter power over the clay, from the same lump, to make one vessel unto honor, but another unto dishonor?" [Rom. 9:21] where also he immediately adds: "What if God willing to show His wrath and to make known His power, endured with much patience vessels of wrath fitted or prepared for destruction, so that He might show the riches of His grace on the vessels of mercy, which He has prepared unto glory" [Rom. 9:22 f.]: faithfully we confess the predestination of the elect to life, and the predestination of the impious to death; in the election, moreover, of those who are to be saved, the mercy of God precedes the merited good. In the condemnation, however, of those who are to be lost, the evil which they have deserved precedes the just judgment of God. In predestination, however, (we believe) that God has determined only those things which He Himself either in His gratuitous mercy or in His just judgment would do * according to Scripture which says: "Who has done the things which are to be done" [ Is. 4 5:11, LXX]; in regard to evil men, however, we believe that God foreknew their malice, because it is from them, but that He did not predestine it, because it is not from Him. (We believe) that God, who sees all things, foreknew and predestined that their evil deserved the punishment which followed, because He is just, in whom, as Saint Augustine* says, there is concerning all things everywhere so fixed a decree as a certain predestination. To this indeed he applies the saying of Wisdom: "Judgments are prepared for scorners, and striking hammers for the bodies of fools" [Prov. 19:29]. Concerning this unchangeableness of the foreknowledge of the predestination of God, through which in Him future things have already taken place, even in Ecclesiastes the saying is well understood: "I know that all the works which God has made continue forever. We cannot add anything, nor take away those things which God has made that He may be feared" [ Eccles. 3:14]. "But we do not only not believe the saying that some have been predestined to evil by divine power," namely as if they could not be different, "but even if there are those who wish to believe such malice, with all detestation," as the Synod of Orange, "we say anathema to them" [see n. 200].

323 Can. 4. Likewise concerning the redemption of the blood of Christ, because of the great error which has arisen from this cause, so that some, as their writings indicate, declare that it has been shed even for those impious ones who from the beginning of the world even up to the passion of our Lord, have died in their wickedness and have been punished by eternal damnation, contrary to that prophet: "O death, I will be Thy death, O hell, I will be thy bite" [ Hosea 13:14]; it seems right that we should simply and faithfully hold and teach according to the evangelical and apostolic truth, because we hold this price to have been paid for those concerning whom our Lord Himself says: "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so it is necessary that the Son of man be lifted up, that all, who believe in Him, may not perish, but may have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son: that all, who believe in Him, may not perish but may have eternal life" [John 3:14 ff.], and the Apostle: "Christ," he said, "once has been offered to exhaust the sins of many" [Heb. 9:28]. Furthermore, although they are becoming widely spread, we completely remove from the pious hearing of the faithful the chapters (four, which by the council of our brothers have been unwisely accepted, because of the uselessness or even the harmfulness, and the error contrary to truth, and other reasons) absurdly concluded with nineteen syllogisms, and not outstanding in learning, in which the machination of the devil rather than any tenet of faith is found, and that such and similar things may be avoided through all (chapters), we by the authority of the Holy Spirit forbid (them); we believe also that those who introduce these novel doctrines must be punished lest they become too harmful.

324  Can. 5. Likewise we believe that we must hold most firmly that all the multitude of the faithful, regenerated "from the water and the Holy Spirit" [John 3:5 ], and through this truly incorporated in the Church, and according to the apostolic doctrine baptized in the death of Christ[Rom. 6:3], in His blood has been absolved from its sins; that neither for these could there have been true regeneration unless there were true redemption; since in the sacraments of the Church there is nothing false, nothing theatrical, but certainly everything true, dependent upon truth itself and sincerity. Moreover, from this very multitude of the faithful and the redeemed some are preserved in eternal salvation, because through the grace of God they remain faithfully in their redemption, bearing in their hearts the voice of their God Himself: "Who . . . perseveres even unto the end, he will be saved" [Matt. 10:22 ; 24:13]; that others, because they were unwilling to remain in the safety of faith, which in the beginning they received, and because they choose by wrong teaching or by a wrong life to make void rather than to preserve the grace of redemption, came in no way to the fullness of salvation and to the reception of eternal beatitude. in both certainly we have the doctrine of the holy Doctor: "We who are baptized in Christ Jesus, are baptized in His death" [Rom. 6 :3], and: "All you who are baptized in Christ have put on Christ" [Gal. 3:27 ], and again: "Let us approach with a true heart in fullness of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with clean water let us hold unwavering the confession of our hope" [ Heb. 10:22], and again: "For to us sinning willfully after the accepted knowledge of the truth, there is now left no sacrifice for sins" [Heb. 10:26], and again: "He who making void the law of Moses, dies without mercy with two or three witnesses. How much more do you think he deserves worse punishments, who has crushed under foot the son of God, and has considered the blood of the testament unclean, by which he was sanctified, and has offered insult to the Spirit of grace?" [ Heb. 10:28].

325 Can. 6. Likewise concerning grace, through which those who believe are saved, and without which never has a rational creature lived happily, and concerning free will weakened through sin in our first parents, but reintegrated and healed through the grace of our Lord Jesus for His faithful, we most constant and in complete faith confess the same, which the most Holy Fathers by the authority of the Sacred Scriptures have left for us to hold, which the Synod of Africa and the Synod of Orange [n. 174 ff.] have professed, which the most blessed Pontiffs of the Apostolic See in the Catholic faith have held; but also concerning nature and grace, we presume in no manner to change to another way. We thoroughly refute, however, the foolish questions,and the utterlyold wives' tales,the porridge of the Scoti bearing nausea to the purity of faith, which in these most dangerous and grave times, to the summit of cur labors even up to the dividing of charity wretchedly and tearfully have arisen, lest Christian minds henceforthbe corrupted and cut offeven from the purity of faith,which is in Christ [ 2 Cor. 11:3 ] Jesus,and we warn by the love of our Lord Christ that brotherly charity, by being on its guard, protects the hearing from such things. Let the brotherhood recall that it is hard pressed by the very grave evils of the world, by the excessive harvest of iniquity, and that it is most cruelly suffocated by the chaff of light men. Let it have zeal to conquer these things; let it labor to correct these things; and let it not burden the assembly with the inanities of those who grieve and weep piously, but rather in certain and true faith, let that be embraced which has been sufficiently determined by the Holy Fathers concerning these and similar things.


ST. NICHOLAS I 858-867


Primacy, the Passion of Christ, Baptism *

326 Chap. 5. If anyone condemns dogmas, mandates, interdicts, sanctions or decrees, promulgated by the one presiding in the Apostolic See, for the Catholic faith, for the correction of the faithful, for the emendation of criminals, either by an interdict of threatening or of future ills, let him be anathema. *

327 Chap. 7. Truly indeed we must believe and in every way profess that our Lord Jesus Christ, God arid Son of God, suffered the passion of the Cross only according to the flesh; in the Godhead however, he remained impassible, as the apostolic authority teaches and the doctrine of the Holy Fathers most clearly shows.

328 Chap. 8. Let these however be anathema, who say that our Redeemer Jesus Christ and Son of God sustained the passion of the Cross according to His Godhead, since it is impious and detestable to Catholic minds.

329 Chap. 9. For all those who say that these who believing in the most holy font of baptism are reborn in the Father, in the Son, and in the Holy Spirit, are not equally cleansed from original sin, let it be anathema.

The Immunity and Independence of the Church *

[From epistle (8) "Proposueramus quidem" to 

Michael the Emperor, 865]

330 . . . Neither by Augustus, nor by all the clergy, nor by religious, nor by the people will the judge be judged * . . . The first seat will not be judged by anyone" * [see n. 352 ff.]

331  . . . . Where have you ever read that your former rulers were present in synodal meetings, unless perchance in those in which (matters) concerning faith were discussed, which is universal, which is common to all, which pertains not only to the clergy but even to the laity and certainly to all Christians? . . . The greater the complaint which is brought to the judgment of a more powerful authority, so much the higher authority must be sought, until gradually it comes to this See, whose cause either from itself, as the merits of the matters demand, is changed for the better or is left without question to the will of God alone.

332 Furthermore if you have not heard us, it remains for you to be with us of necessity, such as our Lord Jesus Christ has commanded those to be considered, who disdained to hear the Church of God, especially since the privileges of the Roman Church, built on Blessed Peter by the word of Christ, deposited in the Church herself, observed in ancient times and celebrated by the sacred universal Synods, and venerated jointly by the entire Church, can by no means be diminished, by no means infringed upon, by no means changed; for the foundation which God has established, no human effort has the power to destroy and what God has determined, remains firm and strong. . . . Thus the privileges granted to this holy Church by Christ, not given by the Synod, but now only celebrated and venerated. . . .

333 Since, according to the canons, where there is a greater authority, the judgment of the inferiors must be brought to it to be annulled, or to be substantiated, certainly it is evident that the judgment of the Apostolic See, of whose authority there is none greater, is to be refused by no one. If indeed they wish the canon to be appealed to any part of the world; from it, however, no one may be permitted* to appeal. . . . We do not deny that the opinion of this See can be changed for the better, when either something shall have been stealthily snatched from it, or by the very consideration of age or time, or by a dispensation of grave necessity, it shall have decided to regulate something. We beseech you, however, never question the judgment of the Church of God; that indeed bears no prejudgment on your power, since it begs eternal divinity for its own stability, and it beseeches in constant prayer for your well being and eternal salvation. Do not usurp the things that belong to it; do not wish to snatch away that which has been intrusted to it alone, knowing that without doubt every administrator of mundane affairs ought to be removed from sacred affairs, just as it is proper that no one from the group of clergy and those militant for God be implicated in any secular affairs. Finally, we are completely without knowledge of how those to whom it has been intrusted only to be in charge of human affairs presume to judge concerning those through whom divine affairs are ministered. These things existed before the coming of Christ, so that some figuratively lived at one and the same time as kings and priests; this, sacred history shows how holy Melchisedech was, and this the devil imitated in his members, since he always hastens to assume for himself in a tyrannical spirit the things which are becoming to the divine culture, so that these pagan emperors were also called supreme pontiffs. But when it came to the same true king and pontiff, neither has He, the emperor, voluntarily taken to himself the rights of the pontiff, nor as pontiff has He usurped the name of the emperor. Since the same "mediator of God and man, the man Christ Jesus" [ 1 Tim. 2:5] by His own acts and distinct dignities, has so decreed the duties of each power, wishing His own to be lifted up by His salutary humility, not to be submerged again by human pride, so that Christian rulers for eternal life may need pontiffs, and that pontiffs may use imperial laws only for the course of temporal affairs; because spiritual action differs from carnal efforts.

The Form of Matrimony * 

[From the responses of Nicholas to the decrees of the Bulgars, Nov., 866]


334 Chap. 3 . . . According to the laws, let the consent alone of those suffice concerning whose union there is question; and if by chance this consent alone be lacking in the marriage, all other things, even when solemnized with intercourse itself, are in vain.

The Form and Minister of Baptism *

[From the responses to the decrees of the Bulgars, Nov., 866]

334a Chap. 15. You ask whether those persons who received baptism from that man [who imagines himself a priest] are Christians or ought to be baptized again. If they have been baptized in the name of the highest and indivisible Trinity, they certainly are Christians; and it is not proper that they be baptized again, by whatever Christian they have been baptized. . . . An evil person by ministering blessings brings an accumulation of harm not upon others but upon himself, and by this it is certain that no portion of injury touched those whom that Greek baptized, because: "He it is that baptizeth" [ John 1:33], that is Christ, and again: "God . . . giveth the increase" [1 Cor 3:7] is heard; and not man.

335 Chap. 104. You assert that in your fatherland many have been baptized by a certain Jew, you do not know whether Christian or pagan, and you consult us as to what should be done about them. If indeed they have been baptized in the name of the Holy Trinity or only in the name of Christ, as we read in the Acts of the Apostles [cf.Acts 2:38;19:5], (surely it is one and the same, as Saint Ambrose * sets forth) it is established that they should not be baptized again.


HADRIAN II 867-872


Ecumenical VIII (against Photius)

Canons against Photius *

In actio I the rule of faith of Hormisdas is read and

subscribed [see n. 171 f.]

336 (Text of Anastasius:) Canon I--We, wishing to advance without offense through the just and regal way of divine justice, ought to retain the definitions and opinions of the Holy Fathers who live according to God as lamps always burning and illuminating our steps. Therefore, judging and believing these as favorable words according to the great and very wise Dienysius, * likewise regarding these with the divine David we most readily sing: "The Command of the Lord is a light illumining our eyes" [Ps. 18:9], and, "Thy light [law] is a lamp to my feet and a light to my ways" [Ps. 118:105], and with the writer of Proverbs we say: "Thy command is a light and Thy law is a light" [Prov. 6:23]; and with a loud voice with Isaias we cry to the Lord God: "Thy precepts are a light upon the earth" [Is. 26:9: LXX]. For to the light truly have been assimilated the exhortations and dissuasions of the divine canons, according as that which is better is discerned from that which is worse, and the expedient and profitable from that which is recognized as not expedient but even harmful. Therefore we profess to keep and guard the rules, which have been handed down for the holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church by the holy, noted apostles as well as by the universal and also the local Councils of the orthodox or even by any Father or teacher of the Church speaking the word of God; guiding by these both our own life and morals and also the whole group of priests, but also all those who are known by the name Christian, resolving to submit canonically to these punishments and condemnations and on the other hand, to the receptions and justifications which through these have been brought forth and defined; Paul, the great apostle, openly gave warning to hold indeed the traditions which we have received either through the word or through the epistle[ 2 Thess. 2:14] of the Saints who have previously been distinguished.

336 We, wishing to advance without offense through the just and royal way of divine justice, ought to control the definitions of the Holy Fathers as lamps always burning. Therefore, we confess to keep and guard the rules which have been handed down in the Catholic and Apostolic Church by the holy and noted Apostles and by the universal and local orthodox synods or by any Father, teacher of the Church, speaking the word of God. For the great Apostle Paul expressly exhorted usto hold the traditionswhich we have received either through word or epistles of the Saints who have been distinguished before. 

337  Can. 3. We decree that the sacred image of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Liberator and Savior of all, be adored in equal honor with the book of the holy Gospels. For, as through the eloquence of the syllables which are in the book, we should all attain salvation, so through the imaginal energies of colors both all the wise and the unwise from that which is manifest enjoy usefulness; for the things which are the sermon in syllables, these things also the writing which is in colors, teaches and commands; and it is fitting, that according to the suitableness of reason and very ancient tradition on account of honor, because they refer to the very principal things, it follows likewise that the images will be honored and adored equally as the sacred book of the holy Gospels and the figure of the precious Cross. If, therefore anyone does not adore the image of Christ the Savior, let him not see His form when He will comein paternal glory to be glorified and to glorify His saints[2 Thess. 1:10]; but let him be separated from His communion and glory; likewise, however, also the image of Mary, His undefiled Mother, and Mother of God; moreover, we also represent the images of the holy Angels, just as Divine Scripture shows them in words; and also of the Apostles most worthy of praise, of the Prophets, of the Martyrs and of holy men; at the same time also of all the saints we both honor and venerate. And whoever does not hold thus, let him be anathema from the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

337 We adore the sacred image of our Lord Jesus Christ in like honor with the book of the Holy Gospels. For as through the syllables carried in it, we all attain salvation, so through the imaginal energies of the colors both all the wise and the unwise from that which is manifest enjoy usefulness; for the things which are the sermon in syllables, those things also the writing which is in colors teaches and commands. If, therefore, anyone does not adore the image of Christ the Savior, let him not see His form in the second coming. And we likewise honor and adore the image of His undefiled Mother and the images of the holy angels, just as Divine Scripture characterizes them in words. And let those who do not hold thus be anathema.

338 Can. 11. Although the Old and the New Testaments teach that man has one rational and intellectual soul, and all the Fathers speaking the word of God and all the teachers of the Church declare the same opinion, certain persons giving attention to the inventors of evil, have reached such a degree of impiety that they impudently declare that man has two souls, and by certain irrational attempts "through wisdom which has been made foolish" [1 Cor. 1:20], they try to strengthen their own heresy. Hastening to root out as the very worst cockle this wicked opinion currently germinating, and furthermore carrying "the firebrand in the hand of Truth" [ Matt. 3:12; 3:17], and wishing to transmit with the unquenchable fire all the chaff and "to show forth the cleansed threshing floor of Christ" [ Matt. 3:12 ; Luke 3:17] this holy and universal Synod with a loud voice declares anathema all inventors and perpetrators of such impiety and those believing things similar to these, and it defines and promulgates that no one have or keep in any way the statutes of the authors of this impiety. If, however, anyone should presume to act contrary to this holy and great Synod, let him be anathema, and let him be separated from the faith and worship of Christians.

338 Although the Old and New Testaments teach that man has one rational and intellectual soul, and all the Fathers and teachers of the Church teach the same opinion, there are some who think that he has two souls, and by certain irrational attempts they strengthen their own heresy. Therefore, this holy and ecumenical synod loudly anathematizes the originators of such impiety and those who agree with them; and if anyone shall dare to speak contrary to the rest, let him be anathema.

339  Can. 12. In accord with the apostolic and synodical canons forbidding promotions and consecrations of bishops made by the power and precept of princes, we define and offer the opinion also that, if any bishop through the craftiness or tyranny of princes should accept a consecration of such dignity, let him by all means be deposed, since he wished or agreed to possess the house of God not from the will of God both by ecclesiastical rite and decree, but from a desire of carnal sense, from men and through men.

340   From Can. 17. . . . Moreover, we cast aside from our ears as something poisonous what is said by certain ignorant men, namely, that it is not possible to hold a synod without the presence of the civil ruler, since never did the sacred canons order secular leaders to meet in councils, but only bishops. Thus neither do we find that they were present in the synods, ecumenical councils excepted; for neither is it right that secular rulers be spectators of things which sometimes happen to the priests of God.

340 (12) There came to our ears the statement that a synod cannot be held without the presence of the civil ruler. But nowhere do the sacred canons order secular leaders to come together in synods, but only bishops. Thus we do not find that their presence was effected except for ecumenical synods. For it is not right that secular rulers be spectators of the things that happen to the priests of God. 

341   Can. 21. We, believing that the word of the Lord which Christ spoke to His Apostles and disciples: "Who receives you, receives Me" [ Matt. 10:40 ]: "and who spurns you, spurns me" [ Luke 10:16], was said to all, even to those who after them according to them have been made Supreme Pontiffs and chiefs of the pastors, declare that absolutely no one of the powerful of this world may try to dishonor or move from his throne anyone of those who are in command of the patriarchial sees, but that they judge them worthy of all reverence and honor; especially indeed the most holy Pope of senior Rome; next the Patriarch of Constantinople; then certainly of Alexandria and of Antioch and of Jerusalem; but that no one compose or prepare any writings and words against the most holy Pope of older Rome under the pretext, as it were, of some evil crimes, a thing which both Photius did recently, and Dioscorus long ago. 

 Whoever, moreover, shall use such boasting and boldness that following Photius or Dioscorus, in writings or without writings he may arouse certain injuries against the See of Peter, the chief of the Apostles, let him receive the equal and same condemnation as those. But if anyone enjoying some secular power or being influential should try to depose the above mentioned Pope of the Apostolic Chair or any of the other Patriarchs, let him be anathema. But if the universal Synod shall have met, and there will have arisen even concerning the holy church of the Romans any doubt or controversy whatever, it is necessary with veneration and with fitting reverence to investigate and to accept a solution concerning the proposed question, either to offer to have offered but not boldly to declare an opinion contrary to the Supreme Pontiffs of senior Rome.

 (13) If anyone should employ such daring as, like Photius and Dioscorus, in writings or without writings, to rouse certain inquiries against the See of Peter, the chief of the Apostles, let him receive the same condemnation as those; but if, when the ecumenical synod has met, any doubt arises even about the church of the Romans, it is possible to make an investigation reverently and with fitting respect concerning the question at hand, and to accept the solution either to be assisted or to assist, but not boldly to deliver (an opinion) contrary to the Supreme Pontiffs of senior Rome.

  JOHN VIII 872-882  JOHN X 914-928 

  MARINUS I 882-884  LEO VI 928

  ST. HADRIAN III 884-885 STEPHAN VIII 929-931 

  STEPHAN VI 885-891  JOHN XI 931-935

  FORMOSUS 891-896  LEO VII 936-939 

  BONIFACE VI, 896  STEPHAN IX 939-942

  STEPHAN VII 896-897  MARINUS II 942-946

  ROMANUS 897  AGAPETUS II 946-955

  THEODORE II 897  JOHN XII 955-963

  JOHN IX 898-900  LEO VIII 963-964

  BENEDICT IV 900-903  BENEDICT V 964 (966)

  LEO V 903   JOHN XIII 965-972

  SERGIUS III 904-911  BENEDICT VI 973-974


  LANDO 913-914  JOHN XIV 983-984

JOHN XV 985-996


(For the Canonization of St. Udalrich)

The Worship of the Saints *

342 . . . By common agreement we have decreed that we should venerate the memory of that one, namely, St. Udalrich the bishop, with all pious affection and most faithful devotion, since we so venerated and worship the relics of the martyrs and confessors that Him whose martyrs and confessors they are, we may adore; we honor the servants that honor may redound to the Lord, who said: "Who receives you, receives me" [Matt. 10:40]; and thus we who do not have the pledge of our justice, by their prayers and merits may be helped jointly before the most clement God, because the salutary divine precepts both of the holy Canons and of the venerable Fathers effaciously taught that by the attentive study of all the churches, and by the effort of apostolic guidance, the documents accomplish a degree of usefulness and an integrity of strength; just as the memory of the already mentioned venerable Bishop Udalrich dedicated to divine worship exists and is always advantageous in most devoutly giving praise to God.

  GREGORY V 996-999  JOHN XIX 1024-1032

  SYLVESTER II 999-1003  BENEDICT IX 1032-1044


  JOHN XVIII 1004-1009  GREGORY VI 1045-1046

  SERGIUS IV 1009-1012  CLEMENT II 1046-1047


ST. LEO IX 1049-1054

Symbol of Faith *

[From the epistle "Congratulamur vehementer" to Peter,

Bishop of Antioch, April 13, 1053]

343 For I firmly believe that the Holy Trinity, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, is one omnipotent God, and in the Trinity the whole Godhead is co-essential and consubstantial, co-eternal and co-omnipotent, and of one will, power, and majesty; the creator of all creation, from whom all things, through whom all things, in whom all things [Rom. 11:36] which are in heaven or on earth, visible or invisible. Likewise I believe that each person in the Holy Trinity is the one true God, complete and perfect.

344 I believe also that the Son of God the Father, the Word of God, was born eternally before all time from the Father, consubstantial, co-omnipotent, and co-equal to the Father through all things in divinity; born of the Holy Spirit from the ever virgin Mary in time, with a rational soul, having two nativities, the one from the Father, eternal, the other from the Mother, in time; having two wills and operations, true God and true man, individual in each nature and perfect, not having suffered a fusion and division, not adopted or phantastical, the one and only God, the Son of God in two natures, but in the singleness of one person, incapable of suffering and immortal in divinity; but in humanity for us and for our salvation suffered in the true passion of the body and was buried, and arose from the dead on the third day in the true resurrection of the body; because of which we must declare with the disciples that He ate from no need of food but only from will and power; on the fortieth day after His resurrection with the flesh in which He arose, and with His soul He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of the Father, whence on the tenth day He sent the Holy Spirit, and thence, as He ascended, He will come to judge the living and the dead, and will render to each one according to his works. 

345 I believe also that the Holy Spirit, complete and perfect and true God, proceeding from the Father and the Son, co-equal, co-essential, co-omnipotent and co-eternal with the Father and the Son in all respects, has spoken through the prophets.

346 That this holy and individual Trinity is not three Gods, but in three persons and in one nature or essence [is] one God omnipotent, external, invisible and incommutable, so I believe and confess, so that I may truly proclaim that the Father is not begotten, the Son is the only begotten one, and the Holy Spirit is neither begotten nor unbegotten, but proceeds from the Father and the Son.

347 (Variant Readings:) I believe that the one true Church is holy, Catholic and apostolic, in which is given one baptism and the true remission of all sins. I also believe in a true resurrection of this body, which now I bear, and in eternal life.

348  I believe also that there is one author of the New and Old Testament, of the law both of the Prophets and of the Apostles, namely the omnipotent God and Lord. (I believe) that God predestined only the good things, but that He foreknew the good and the evil. I believe and profess that the grace of God precedes and follows man, yet in such a manner that I do not deny free will to the rational creature. I also believe and declare that the soul is not a part of God but was created from nothing and was without baptism subject to original sin.

349  Furthermore, I declare anathema every heresy raising itself against the holy Catholic Church, and likewise him whosoever has honored or believes that any writings beyond those which the Catholic Church accepts ought to be held in authority or has venerated them. I accept entirely the four Councils and I venerate them as the four Gospels, because through four parts of the world the universal Church, upon these as on square stone, has been founded *. . . . Equally I accept and venerate the three remaining Councils. . . . Whatever the above mentioned seven holy and universal Councils believe and praise I also believe and praise, and whomever they declare anathema, I declare anathema.

The Primacy of the Roman Pontiff *

[From the epistle "In terra pax hominibus" to Michael

Cerularius and to Leo of Achrida, September 2, 1053]


350 Chap. 5 . . . You are said to have condemned publicly in a strange presumption and incredible boldness the Apostolic and Latin Church, neither heard nor refuted, for the reason chiefly that it dared to celebrate the commemoration of the passion of the Lord from the Azymes. Behold your incautious reprehension, behold your evil boasting, when "you put your mouth into heaven. When your tongue passing on to the earth" [ Ps. 72:9], by human arguments and conjectures attempts to uproot and overturn the ancient faith. . . .

351 Chap. 7 . . . The holy Church built upon a rock, that is Christ, and uponPeteror Cephas, the son of John who first was called Simon, because by the gates of Hell, that is, by the disputations of heretics which lead the vain to destruction, it would never be overcome; thus Truth itself promises, through whom are true, whatsoever things are true: "The gates of hell will not prevail against it" [Matt. 16:18]. The same Son declares that He obtained the effect of this promise from the Father by prayers, by saying to Peter: "Simon, behold Satan etc." [ Luke 23:31]. Therefore, will there be anyone so foolish as to dare to regard His prayer as in anyway vain whose being willing is being able? By the See of the chief of the Apostles, namely by the Roman Church, through the same Peter, as well as through his successors, have not the comments of all the heretics been disapproved, rejected, and overcome, and the hearts of the brethren in the faith of Peter which so far neither has failed, nor up to the end will fail, been strengthened?

352 Chap. 11. By passing a preceding judgment on the great See, concerning which it is not permitted any man to pass judgment, you have received anathema from all the Fathers of all the venerable Councils. . . .

353 Chap. 32 . . . As the hinge while remaining immovable opens and closes the door, so Peter and his successors have free judgment over all the Church, since no one should remove their status because "the highest See is judged by no one." [see n. 330 ff.]


VICTOR II 1055-1057  STEPHEN IX 1057-1058

BENEDICT X, 1058-1059

NICHOLAS II 1059-1061


The Ordinations by Simoniacs *

354 Lord Pope Nicholas presiding at the Synod in the Basilica of Constantine said: "We judge that in preserving dignity no mercy is to be shown toward the simoniacs; but according to the sanctions of the canons and the decrees of the Holy Fathers we condemn them entirely and by apostolic authority we decree that they are to be deposed. Concerning those, however, who have been ordained by the simoniacs, not through money but gratis, because the question from long standing has been drawn out still longer, we absolve from every manner [another version: knot or impediment] of doubt; so that with regard to this chapter let us permit no one later to doubt. . . . Thus, moreover, by the authority of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul we entirely forbid that at any time any of our successors from this our permission take or fix a rule for himself or another, because the authority of the ancient Fathers has not promulgated this by order or grant, but too great a necessity of the time has forced us to permit it . . . . "

ALEXANDER II 1061-1073

 ST. GREGORY VII 1073-1085


(Against Berengarius)

The Most Holy Eucharist *

(Oath taken by Berengarius)

355 I, Berengarius, in my heart believe and with my lips confess that through the mystery of the sacred prayer and the words of our Redeemer the bread and wine which are placed on the altar are substantially changed into the true and proper and living flesh and blood of Jesus Christ, our Lord, and that after consecration it is the true body of Christ which was born of the Virgin and which, offered for the salvation of the world, was suspended on the Cross, and which sitteth at the right hand of the Father, and the true blood of Christ, which was poured out from His side not only through the sign and power of the sacrament, but in its property of nature and in truth of substance, as here briefly in a few words is contained and I have read and you understand. Thus I believe, nor will I teach contrary to this belief. So help me God and these holy Gospels of God.


URBAN II 1088-1099


The Sacramental Nature of the Diaconate *

356 Can. 1. Let no one be chosen in order of succession into the episcopacy except one who has been found living religiously in sacred orders. Moreover we call sacred orders the diaconate and the priesthood. Since we read that the early Church had only these, only concerning these do we have the precept of the Apostle.

PASCHAL II 1099-1118


(Against Henry IV)

The Obedience Owed the Church *

[Formula prescribed for all the cities of the Eastern Church]

357 I declare anathema every heresy and especially that one which disturbs the position of the present Church, which teaches and declares that excommunication is to be despised and that the restrictions of the Church are to be cast aside. Moreover, I promise obedience to Paschal, the supreme Pontiff of the Apostolic See, and to his successors under the testimony of Christ and the Church, affirming what the holy and universal Church affirms and condemning what she condemns.


The Ordinations by Heretics and Simoniacs *

358 For many years now the broad extent of the Teutonic kingdom has been separated from the unity of the Apostolic See. In this schism indeed so great a danger has arisen that-and we say this with sorrow-only a few priests or Catholic clergy are found in such a broad extent Of territory. Therefore, with so many sons living in this condition, the necessity of Christian peace demands that regarding this (group) the maternal womb of the Church be open. Therefore instructed by the examples and writings of our Fathers, who in different times received into their ranks the Novatians, the Donatists, and other heretics, we are receiving in the episcopal office the bishops of the above-mentioned region who have been ordained in schism, unless they are proven usurpers, simoniacs, or criminals. We decree the same concerning the clergy of any rank whom way of life together with knowledge commends.

GELASIUS II 1118-1119

CALLISTUS II 1119-1124


Ecumenical IX (concerning investitures)

Simony, Celibacy, Investiture, Incest *


359 Can. 1. "Following the examples of the Holy Fathers" and renewing the duty of our office "we forbid in every way by the authority of the Apostolic See that anyone by means of money be ordained or promoted in the Church of God. But if anyone shall have acquired ordination or promotion in the Church in this way, let him be entirely deprived of his office." * 

360 Can. 3. We absolutely forbid priests, deacons, or subdeacons the intimacy of concubines and of wives, and cohabitation with other women, except those with whom for reasons of necessity alone the Nicene Synod permits them to live, that is, a mother, sister, paternal or maternal aunt, or others of this kind concerning whom no suspicion may justly arise [see n.52 b f.]. *

361 Can. 4. "Besides according to the sanction of the most blessed Pope Stephen we have decided that laymen, although they are religious, nevertheless have no faculty for determining anything concerning ecclesiastical possessions; but according to the Canons of the Apostles let the bishop have the care of all ecclesiastical business, and let him dispense these things as in the sight of God. If, therefore, any civil ruler or other layman appropriates to himself either a donation of property or of ecclesiastical possessions, let him be judged sacrilegious." *

362 Can. 5. "We forbid that the marriages of blood relatives take place since both divine and secular laws forbid these. For divine laws not only cast out but also call wicked those who do this, and those who are born from these (marriages); but secular laws call such disreputable, and they cast them off from inheritance. We, therefore, following our Fathers point them out in disgrace, and we declare that they are disreputable." * 

363 Can. 10. Let no one unless canonically elected extend his hand for consecration to the episcopacy. But if he should presume to do so, let both the one consecrated and the one consecrating be deposed without hope of restoration.

HONORIUS II 1124-1130


INNOCENT II 1130-1143


Ecumenical X (against pseudo-pontiffs)

Simony, Usury, False Penitence, the Sacraments *

364 Can. 2. If anyone with the intervention of the accursed ardor of avarice has acquired through money an allowance from the state, or a priory, or a deanery, or honor, or some ecclesiastical promotion, or any ecclesiastical sacrament, namely chrism or holy oil, the consecrations of altars or of churches, let him be deprived of the honor evilly acquired. And let the buyer and the seller and the mediator be struck with the mark of disgrace. And not for food nor under the pretense of any custom before or after may anything be demanded from anyone, nor may he himself presume to give, since he is a simoniac. But freely and without any diminution let him enjoy the dignity and favor acquired for himself. *

365 Can. 13. Moreover the detestable and shameful and, I say, insatiable rapacity of money lenders, forbidden both by divine and human laws throughout the Scripture in the Old and in the New Testament, we condemn, and we separate them from all ecclesiastical consolation, commanding that no archbishop, no bishop, no abbot of any rank, nor anyone in an order and in the clergy presume to receive moneylenders except with the greatest caution. But during their whole life let them be considered disreputable and, unless they repent, let them be deprived of Christian burial. *

366 Can. 22. "Certainly because among other things there is one thing which especially disturbs the Holy Church, namely, false repentance, we warn our confreres and priests lest by false repentance the souls of the laity are allowed to be deceived and to be drawn into hell. It is clear, moreover, that repentance is false when, although many things have been disregarded, repentance is practiced concerning one thing only; or when it is practiced concerning one thing, in such a way that he is not separated from another. Therefore, it is written: "He who shall observe the whole law yet offends in one thing, has become guilty of all," [ Jas. 2:10], with respect to eternal life. For just as if he had been involved in all sins, so if he should remain in only one, he will not enter the gate of eternal life. Also that repentance becomes false if when repenting one does not withdraw from either court or business duty, a thing which for no reason can be done without sin, or if hatred is kept in the heart, or if satisfaction be not made to one who has been offended, or if the offended one does not forgive the one offending, or if anyone take up arms against justice."*

367  Can. 23. "Those, moreover, who pretending a kind of piety condemn the sacrament of the Body and Blood of the Lord, the baptism of children, the sacred ministry and other ecclesiastical orders, and the bond, of legitimate marriages, we drive as heretics from the Church of God, and we both condemn and we command them to be restrained by exterior powers. We bind their defenders also by the chain of this same condemnation." *

COUNCIL OF SENS * 1140 or 1141

The Errors of Peter Abelard *

368 1. That the Father is complete power, the Son a certain power, the Holy Spirit no power.

369 2. That the Holy Spirit is not of the substance [another version:* power] of the Father or of the Son.

370   3. That the Holy Spirit is the soul of the world.

371  4. That Christ did not assume flesh to free us from the yoke of the devil.

372 5. That neither God and man, nor this Person which is Christ, is the third Person in the Trinity. 

373  6. That free will is sufficient in itself for any good.

374  7. That God is only able to do or to omit those things, either in that manner only or at that time in which He does (them), and in no other.

375  8. That God neither ought nor is He able to prevent evil.

376  9. That we have not contracted sin from Adam, but only punishment.

377 10. That they have not sinned who being ignorant have crucified Christ, and that whatever is done through ignorance must not be considered as sin.

378 11. That the spirit of the fear of the Lord was not in Christ.

379 12. That the power of binding and loosing was given to the Apostles only, not to their successors.

380 13. That through work man becomes neither better nor worse.

381 14. That to the Father, who is not from another, properly or especially belongs power, * not also wisdom and kindness.

382 15. That even chaste fear is excluded from future life.

383 16. That the devil sends forth evil suggestion through the operation * of stones and herbs.

384 17. That the coming at the end of the world can be attributed to the Father.

385 18. That the soul of Christ did not descend to hell by itself but only by power.

386 19. That neither action nor will, neither concupiscence nor delight, when * it moves it [the soul] is a sin, nor ought we to wish to extinguish (it).,* 

[From the letter of Innocent II "Testante Apostolo"

to Henry the Bishop of Sens, July 16, 1140 * ]

387 And so we who though unworthily are observed to reside in the chair of St. Peter, to whom it has been said by the Lord: "And thou being once converted convert thy brethren" (Luke 22:33), after having taken counsel with our brethren the principal bishops, have condemned by the authority of the sacred canons the chapters sent to us by your discretion and all the teachings of this Peter (Abelard) with their author, and we have imposed upon him as a heretic perpetual silence. We declare also that all the followers and defenders of his error must be separated from the companionship of the faithful and must be bound by the chain of excommunication.


Baptism of Desire (an unbaptized priest) *

388    [From the letter "Apostolicam Sedem" to the Bishop

of Cremona, of uncertain time]

 To your inquiry we respond thus: We assert without hesitation (on the authority of the holy Fathers Augustine and Ambrose) that the priest whom you indicated (in your letter) had died without the water of baptism, because he persevered in the faith of holy mother the Church and in the confession of the name of Christ, was freed from original sin and attained the joy of the heavenly fatherland. Read (brother) in the eighth book of Augustine's "City of God" * where among other things it is written, "Baptism is ministered invisibly to one whom not contempt of religion but death excludes." Read again the book also of the blessed Ambrose concerning the death of Valentinian * where he says the same thing. Therefore, to questions concerning the dead, you should hold the opinions of the learned Fathers' and in your church you should join in prayers and you should have sacrifices offered to God for the priest mentioned.

CELESTINE II 1143-1144 Lucius II 1144-1145

EUGENIUS III 1145-1153


Confession of Faith in the Trinity *

389 1. We believe and confess that God is the simple nature of divinity, and that it cannot be denied in any Catholic sense that God is divinity, and divinity is God. Moreover, if it is said that God is wise by wisdom, great by magnitude, eternal by eternity, one by oneness, God by divinity, and other such things, we believe that He is wise only by that wisdom which is God Himself; that He is great only by that magnitude which is God Himself; that He is eternal only by that eternity which is God Himself; that He is one only by the oneness which is God Himself; that He is God only by that divinity which He is Himself; that is, that He is wise, great, eternal, one God of Himself. 

390 2. When we speak of three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we confess that they are one God, one divine substance. And contrariwise, when we speak of one God, one divine substance, we confess that the one God himself, the one divine substance are three persons.

391 3. We believe (and we confess) that only God the Father and Son and Holy Spirit are eternal, and not by any means other things, whether they be called relations or peculiarities or singularities or onenesses, and that other such things belong to God, which are from eternity, which are not God.

392 4. We believe (and confess) that divinity itself, whether you call it divine substance or nature, is incarnate only in the Son.

ANASTASIUS IV 1153-1154 HADRIAN IV 1154-1159


Erroneous Proposition concerning the Humanity of Christ *

[Condemned in the letter "Cum Christus" to Willelmus,

Archbishop of Rheims, February 18, 1177]

393 Since Christ perfect God is perfect man, it is strange with what temerity anyone dares to say that "Christ is not anything else but man." *  Moreover lest so great an abuse of God be able to spring up in the Church . . . by our authority you should place under anathema, lest anyone dare to say this concerning the other . . . because just as He is true God, so He is true man existing from a rational soul and human flesh.


The Illicit Contract of a Sale *

[From the letter "In civitate tua" to the

Archbishop of Geneva, of uncertain time]

394 In your city you say that it often happens that when certain ones are purchasing pepper or cinnamon or other wares which at that time are not the value of more than five pounds, they also promise to those from whom they receive these wares that they will pay six pounds at a stated time. However, although a contract of this kind according to such a form cannot be considered under the name of usury, yet nevertheless the sellers incur sin, unless there is a doubt that the wares would be of more or less value at the time of payment. And so your citizens would look well to their own interests, if they would cease from such a contract, since the thoughts of men cannot be hidden from Almighty God.

The Bond of Matrimony * 

[From the letter "Ex publico instrumento" to the

Bishop of Brescia, of uncertain time]


395 Since the aforesaid woman, although she has been espoused by the aforesaid man, yet up to this time, as she asserts, has not been known by him, in instructing your brotherhood through Apostolic writings we order that if the aforesaid man has not known the said woman carnally and this same woman, as it is reported to us on your part, wishes to enter religion, after she has been made sufficiently mindful that she ought either to enter religion or return to her husband within two months, you at the termination of her objection and appeal absolve her from the sentence (of excommunication); that if she enters religion, each restore to the other what each is known to have received from the other, and the man himself, when she takes the habit of religion, have the liberty of passing over to other vows. Certainly what the Lord says in the Gospel: "It is not permitted to man unless on account of fornication to put away his wife" [ Matt. 5:32;19:9], must be understood according to the interpretation of the sacred words concerning those whose marriage has been consummated by sexual intercourse, without which marriage cannot be consummated, and so, if the aforesaid woman has not been known by her husband, it is permissible (for her) to enter religion.

[From fragments of a letter to the Archbishop of

Salerno, of uncertain time]

396 After legitimate consent in the present case it is permitted to the one, even with the other objecting, to choose a monastery, as some saints have been called from marriage, as long as sexual intercourse has not taken place between them. And to the one remaining, if, after being advised, he is unwilling to observe continency, he is permitted to pass over to second vows; because, since they have not been made one flesh, it is quite possible for the one to pass over to God, and the other to remain in the world. * 

397 If between the man and the woman legitimate consent . . . occurs in the present, so indeed that one expressly receives another by mutual consent with the accustomed words. . . . whether an oath is introduced or not, it is not permissible for the woman to marry another. And if she should marry, even if carnal intercourse has taken place, she should be separated from him, and forced by ecclesiastical order to return to the first, although some think otherwise and also judgment has been rendered in another way by certain of our predecessors.

The Form of Baptism * 

[From fragments of the letter to (Pontius, the Bishop

of Clermont?), of uncertain time]


398 Certainly if anyone immerses a child in water three times in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen, and he does not say: "I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, Amen," the child is not baptized.

399 Let those concerning whom there is a doubt, whether or not they have been baptized, be baptized after these words have first been uttered: "If you are baptized I do not baptize you; if you are not yet baptized, I baptize you, etc."


Ecumenical XI (against the Albigenses)

Simony *

400 Chap. 10. Let monks not be received in the monastery at a price. . . If anyone, however, on being solicited gives anything for his reception, let him not advance to sacred orders. Let him, however, who accepts (a price) be punished by the taking away of his office.*

Heresies that Must be Avoided *

401 Chap. 27. As Blessed Leo * says: "Although ecclesiastical discipline, content with sacerdotal judgment, does not employ bloody punishments, it is nevertheless helped by the constitutions of Catholic rulers, so that men often seek a salutary remedy, when they fear that corporal punishment is coming upon them." For this reason, since in Gascony, in Albegesium, and in parts of Tolosa and in other places, the cursed perversity of the heretics whom some call Cathari, others Patareni, others Publicani, others by different names, has so increased that now they exercise their wickedness not as some in secret, but manifest their error publicly and win over the simple and weak to their opinion, we resolve to cast them, their defenders and receivers under anathema, and we forbid under anathema that anyone presume to hold or to help these in their homes or on their land or to do business with them. *