|Fourth Council of the Lateran (Council of Lateran IV)|
|Accepted by||Catholic Church|
|Third Council of the Lateran|
|First Council of Lyon|
|Convoked by||Pope Innocent III|
|President||Pope Innocent III|
|Attendance||71 patriarchs and metropolitans, 412 bishops, 900 abbots and priors|
|Topics||Crusader states, investiture controversy, filioque|
Documents and statements
|70 papal decrees, transubstantiation, papal primacy, conduct of clergy, confession and communion at least once a year, Fifth Crusade|
|Chronological list of ecumenical councils|
|Part of a series on|
| Ecumenical councils |
of the Catholic Church
Renaissance depiction of the Council of Trent
|Antiquity (c. 50 – 451)|
|Early Middle Ages (553–870)|
|High and Late Middle Ages (1122–1517)|
The Fourth Council of the Lateran was convoked by Pope Innocent III with the papal bull Vineam domini Sabaoth of 19 April 1213, and the Council gathered at Rome's Lateran Palace beginning 11 November 1215.Due to the great length of time between the Council's convocation and meeting, many bishops had the opportunity to attend. It is considered by the Catholic Church to have been the twelfth ecumenical council and is sometimes called the "Great Council" or "General Council of Lateran" due to the presence of 71 patriarchs and metropolitan bishops, 412 bishops, 900 abbots and priors together with representatives of several monarchs.
During this council, the teaching on transubstantiation—a doctrine of the Catholic Church which describes the method by which the bread and wine offered in the sacrament of the Eucharist becomes the actual blood and body of Christ—was defined.
Lateran IV stands as the high-water mark of the medieval papacy. Its political and ecclesiastical decisions endured down to the Council of Trent while modern historiography has deemed it the most significant papal assembly of the Later Middle Ages.The Fourth Lateran Council was the largest and most representative of the medieval councils to that date.
In summoning the bishops to a general council, Innocent III emphasized that reforms must be made in the Church and that a new crusade to the Holy Land must be launched. He also reminded them that it was not appropriate that episcopal retinue include birds and hunting dogs.
The agenda laid out in Vineam domini Sabaoth included reform of the Church, the stamping out of heresy, establishing peace and liberty, and calling for a new crusade.During this council, the doctrine of transubstantiation—a doctrine which describes the method by which the bread and wine offered in the sacrament of the Eucharist becomes the actual blood and body of Christ—was infallibly defined. The scholarly consensus is that the constitutions were drafted by Innocent III himself.
In secular matters, the Council confirmed the elevation of Frederick II as Holy Roman Emperor.
There were violent scenes between the partisans of Simon de Montfort among the French bishops and those of the Count of Toulouse. Raymond VI of Toulouse, his son (afterwards Raymond VII), and Raymond-Roger of Foix attended the Council to dispute the threatened confiscation of their territories; Bishop Foulques and Guy de Montfort (brother of Simon de Montfort) argued in favour of the confiscation. All of Raymond VI's lands were confiscated, save Provence, which was kept in trust to be restored to his son, Raymond VII.Pierre-Bermond of Sauve's claim to Toulouse was rejected, and Toulouse was awarded to de Montfort; the lordship of Melgueil was separated from Toulouse and entrusted to the bishops of Maguelonne.
Canons presented to the Council included:
In addition, it threatened excommunication to those who supplied ships, arms, and other war materials to the Saracens.
Effective application of the decrees varied according to local conditions and customs.
James Carroll has described the clothing regulations as "the precursor of the infamous yellow badge". He emphasises the key role of the Council in effecting major changes in Jewish-Catholic relations, and quotes the Swiss priest Hans Küng who wrote:
It was not the riots in connection with the First Crusade in 1096. but this council which fundamentally changed the situation of the Jews, both legally and theologically. Because the Jews were ‘servants of sin,’ it was concluded that they should now be the servants of Christian princes. So now, in Constitution 68 of the council, for the first time a special form of dress was directly prescribed for Jews, which would isolate them; they were banned from taking public office, forbidden to go out during Holy Week, and had a compulsory tax imposed on them, to be paid to the local Christian clergy.
Catharism was a Christian dualist or Gnostic revival movement that thrived in some areas of Southern Europe, particularly what is now northern Italy and southern France, between the 12th and 14th centuries. The followers were known as Cathars, or Good Christians, and are now mainly remembered for a prolonged period of persecution by the Catholic Church, which did not recognise their belief as being Christian. Catharism appeared in Europe in the Languedoc region of France in the 11th century and this is when the name first appears. The adherents were sometimes known as Albigensians, after the city Albi in southern France where the movement first took hold. The belief may have originated in the Byzantine Empire. Catharism was initially taught by ascetic leaders who set few guidelines, and, thus, some Catharist practices and beliefs varied by region and over time. The Catholic Church denounced its practices including the Consolamentum ritual, by which Cathar individuals were baptized and raised to the status of "perfect".
The First Council of the Lateran was the 9th ecumenical council recognized by the Catholic Church. It was convoked by Pope Callixtus II in December 1122, immediately after the Concordat of Worms. The council sought to: (a) bring an end to the practice of the conferring of ecclesiastical benefices by people who were laymen; (b) free the election of bishops and abbots from secular influence; (c) clarify the separation of spiritual and temporal affairs; (d) re-establish the principle that spiritual authority resides solely in the Church; (e) abolish the claim of the emperors to influence papal elections.
Pope Callixtus II or Callistus II, born Guy of Burgundy, was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 1 February 1119 to his death in 1124. His pontificate was shaped by the Investiture Controversy, which he was able to settle through the Concordat of Worms in 1122.
Pope Innocent III, born Lotario dei Conti di Segni reigned from 8 January 1198 to his death.
The Third Council of the Lateran met in March 1179 as the eleventh ecumenical council. Pope Alexander III presided and 302 bishops attended.
The Albigensian Crusade or the Cathar Crusade was a 20-year military campaign initiated by Pope Innocent III to eliminate Catharism in Languedoc, in southern France. The Crusade was prosecuted primarily by the French crown and promptly took on a political flavour, resulting in not only a significant reduction in the number of practising Cathars, but also a realignment of the County of Toulouse in Languedoc, bringing it into the sphere of the French crown, and diminishing both Languedoc's distinct regional culture and the influence of the counts of Barcelona.
The Second Council of the Lateran was 10th ecumenical council recognized by the Catholic Church. It was convened by Pope Innocent II in April 1139 and attended by close to a thousand clerics. Its immediate task was to neutralise the after-effects of the schism which had arisen after the death of Pope Honorius II in 1130 and the papal election that year that established Pietro Pierleoni as the antipope Anacletus II.
Simon de Montfort, 5th Earl of Leicester, known as Simon IVde Montfort and as Simon de Montfort the Elder, was a French nobleman and soldier who took part in the Fourth Crusade (1202–1204) and was a prominent leader of the Albigensian Crusade. He died at the Siege of Toulouse in 1218. He was lord of Montfort-l'Amaury in France and Earl of Leicester in England.
Raymond VI was Count of Toulouse and Marquis of Provence from 1194 to 1222. He was also Count of Melgueil from 1173 to 1190.
As traditionally the oldest form of Christianity, along with the ancient or first millennial Orthodox Church, the non-Chalcedonian or Oriental Churches and the Church of the East, the history of the Roman Catholic Church is integral to the history of Christianity as a whole. It is also, according to church historian, Mark A. Noll, the "world's oldest continuously functioning international institution." This article covers a period of just under two thousand years
The Lateran councils were ecclesiastical councils or synods of the Catholic Church held at Rome in the Lateran Palace next to the Lateran Basilica. Ranking as a papal cathedral, this became a much-favored place of assembly for ecclesiastical councils both in antiquity and more especially during the Middle Ages.
Arles in the south of Roman Gaul hosted several councils or synods referred to as Concilium Arelatense in the history of the early Christian church.
Ad abolendam was a decretal and bull of Pope Lucius III, written at Verona and issued 4 November 1184. It was issued after the Council of Verona settled some jurisdictional differences between the Papacy and Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor. The document prescribes measures to uproot heresy and sparked the efforts which culminated in the Albigensian Crusade and the Inquisitions. Its chief aim was the complete abolition of Christian heresy.
Catholic ecumenical councils include 21 councils over a period of some 1900 years. While definitions changed throughout history, in today's Catholic understanding ecumenical councils are assemblies of Patriarchs, Cardinals, residing Bishops, Abbots, male heads of religious orders and other juridical persons, nominated by the Pope. The purpose of an ecumenical council is to define doctrine, reaffirm truths of the Faith, and extirpate heresy. Council decisions, to be valid, are approved by the popes. Participation is limited to these persons, who cannot delegate their voting rights.
The Council of Bourges was a Catholic council convened in November 1225 in Bourges, France; it was the second largest church assembly held in the West up to that time, exceeded in the numbers of prelates that attended only by the Fourth Lateran Council. Summoned by the cardinal-legate Romanus Bonaventura, it was attended by 112 archbishops and bishops, more than 500 abbots, many deans and archdeacons, and over 100 representatives of cathedral chapters.
Papal income tax was first leveled in 1199 by Pope Innocent III, originally requiring all Catholic clergy to pay one-fortieth of their ecclesiastical income annually in support of the Crusades. The second income tax was not levied until the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215, and constituted only a triennial twentieth.
In the canon law of the Catholic Church, excommunication, the principal and severest censure, is a medicinal, spiritual penalty that deprives the guilty Christian of all participation in the common blessings of ecclesiastical society. Being a penalty, it presupposes guilt; and being the most serious penalty that the Catholic Church can inflict, it naturally supposes a very grave offense.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to the Catholic Ecumenical Councils.