Fourth Council of the Lateran

Last updated
Fourth Council of the Lateran (Council of Lateran IV)
Date1215
Accepted by Catholic Church
Previous council
Third Council of the Lateran
Next council
First Council of Lyon
Convoked by Pope Innocent III
President Pope Innocent III
Attendance71 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

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. [1] 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. [1]

Pope Innocent III 12th and 13th-century Catholic pope

Pope Innocent III, born Lotario dei Conti di Segni reigned from 8 January 1198 to his death in 1216.

Papal bull Type of letters patent or charter issued by a Pope of the Catholic Church

A papal bull is a type of public decree, letters patent, or charter issued by a pope of the Roman Catholic Church. It is named after the leaden seal (bulla) that was traditionally appended to the end in order to authenticate it.

Lateran Palace Ancient palace of the Roman Empire and the main papal residence in Rome

The Lateran Palace, formally the Apostolic Palace of the Lateran, is an ancient palace of the Roman Empire and later the main papal residence in southeast Rome.

Contents

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. It also infamously was the first to require from Jews (and Muslims) to wear distinctive clothing. [2]

Transubstantiation Catholic doctrine that the body and blood of Jesus are present in Eucharist

Transubstantiation is, according to the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church, the change of substance or essence by which the bread and wine offered in the sacrifice of the sacrament of the Eucharist during the Mass, become, in reality, the body and blood of Jesus Christ. In this teaching, the notions of substance and transubstantiation are not linked with any particular theory of metaphysics.

Sacrament sacred rite recognized as of particular importance and significance

A sacrament is a Christian rite recognized as of particular importance and significance. There are various views on the existence and meaning of such rites. Many Christians consider the sacraments to be a visible symbol of the reality of God, as well as a means by which God enacts his grace. Many denominations, including the Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, Methodist, and Reformed, hold to the definition of sacrament formulated by Augustine of Hippo: an outward sign of an inward grace that has been instituted by Jesus Christ. Sacraments signify God's grace in a way that is outwardly observable to the participant.

Eucharist Christian rite

The Eucharist is a Christian rite that is considered a sacrament in most churches, and as an ordinance in others. According to the New Testament, the rite was instituted by Jesus Christ during the Last Supper; giving his disciples bread and wine during the Passover meal, Jesus commanded his followers to "do this in memory of me" while referring to the bread as "my body" and the cup of wine as "the new covenant in my blood". Through the Eucharistic celebration Christians remember both Christ's sacrifice of himself on the cross and his commission of the apostles at the Last Supper.

Background

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. [3] The Fourth Lateran Council was the largest and most representative of the medieval councils to that date. [4]

Council of Trent Synod

The Council of Trent, held between 1545 and 1563 in Trent, was the 19th ecumenical council of the Catholic Church. Prompted by the Protestant Reformation, it has been described as the embodiment of the Counter-Reformation.

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. [5]

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. [5] During this council, the doctrine of transubstantiation— a Church 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. [6] The scholarly consensus is that the constitutions were drafted by Innocent III himself. [4]

In secular matters, the Council confirmed the elevation of Frederick II as Holy Roman Emperor. [4]

Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor 1194 – 1250, Holy Roman Emperor of the Middle Ages

Frederick II was King of Sicily from 1198, King of Germany from 1212, King of Italy and Holy Roman Emperor from 1220 and King of Jerusalem from 1225. He was the son of emperor Henry VI of the Hohenstaufen dynasty and of Constance, heiress to the Norman kings of Sicily.

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. [7] Pierre-Bermond of Sauve's claim to Toulouse was rejected, and Toulouse was awarded to de Montfort; [7] the lordship of Melgueil was separated from Toulouse and entrusted to the bishops of Maguelonne.

Canons

Canons presented to the Council included: [1]

Faith and heresy

Order and discipline

Ecclesiastical discipline

Clerical morality

Religious cult

Appointments and elections

Relations with the secular power

Excommunication

Marriage

Tithes

Religious Orders

Simony

Regulations relating to Jews and Muslims

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. [4]

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Berengar of Tours Transubstantiation controversy (999–1088)

Berengar of Tours, in Latin Berengarius Turonensis, was an 11th-century French Christian theologian and archdeacon of Angers, a scholar whose leadership of the cathedral school at Chartres set an example of intellectual inquiry through the revived tools of dialectic that was soon followed at cathedral schools of Laon and Paris. He came into conflict with Church authorities over the doctrine of transubstantiation of the Eucharist.

Anathema, in common usage, is something or someone that is detested or shunned. In its other main usage, it is a formal excommunication. The latter meaning, its ecclesiastical sense, is based on New Testament usage. In the Old Testament, anathema referred either to something that was consecrated or to something denounced as evil or accursed and set aside for sacrificial offering.

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Peter of Bruys was a popular French religious teacher. He is called a heresiarch, leader of a heretical movement, by the Roman Catholic Church because he opposed infant baptism, the erecting of churches and the veneration of crosses, the doctrine of transubstantiation and prayers for the dead. An angry mob killed him in or around 1131.

Raymond VI, Count of Toulouse Count of Toulouse

Raymond VI was Count of Toulouse and Marquis of Provence from 1194 to 1222. He was also Count of Melgueil from 1173 to 1190.

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.

Valid but illicit and valid but illegal are descriptions applied in Catholic Church to an unauthorized celebration of a sacrament or an improperly placed juridic act that nevertheless has effect. Validity is presumed whenever an act is placed "by a qualified person and includes those things which essentially constitute the act itself as well as the formalities and requirements imposed by law for the validity of the act".

Latae sententiae is a Latin phrase, meaning "sentence (already) passed", used in the canon law of the Catholic Church. A latae sententiae penalty is one that follows ipso facto or automatically, by force of the law itself, when a law is contravened.

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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.

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There are seven sacraments of the Catholic Church, which according to Catholic theology were instituted by Jesus and entrusted to the Church. Sacraments are visible rites seen as signs and efficacious channels of the grace of God to all those who receive them with the proper disposition. The sevenfold list of sacraments is often organized into three categories: the sacraments of initiation, consisting of baptism, confirmation, and the eucharist; the sacraments of healing, consisting of reconciliation and anointing of the sick; and the sacraments of service: holy orders and matrimony.

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References

  1. 1 2 3 Wikisource-logo.svg  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain : Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Fourth Lateran Council (1215)"  . Catholic Encyclopedia . New York: Robert Appleton.
  2. "Classical and Christian Anti-Semitism". Remember.org. Retrieved 4 April 2019.
  3. Concilium Lateranense IV
  4. 1 2 3 4 Duggan, Anne. "Conciliar Law 1123-1215: The Legislation of the Four Lateran Councils", The History of Canon Law in the Classical Period, 1140–1234: From Gratian to the Decretals of Pope Gregory IX, (Wilfried Hartmann and Kenneth Pennington, eds.) (History of Medieval Canon Law; Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 2008) 318–366
  5. 1 2 3 Pennington, Kenneth. "The Fourth Lateran Council, its Legislation, and the Development of Legal Procedure", CUA
  6. Walker, Greg (1993-05-01). "Heretical Sects in Pre-Reformation England". History Today. Archived from the original on 2017-08-30. Retrieved 2017-05-30.  via  HighBeam (subscription required)
  7. 1 2 The Albigensian Crusade and heresy, Bernard Hamilton,The New Cambridge Medieval History: Volume 5, C.1198-c.1300, ed. Rosamond McKitterick, David Abulafia, (Cambridge University Press, 1999), 169.
  8. Beginning Firmiter credimus et simpliciter confitemur, text in Henricius Denzinger and Iohannes Bapt. Umberg, SJ (1937), Enchiridion Symbolorum, Definitionum et Declarationum de Rebus Fidei et Morum, Freiburg im Breisgau: Herder, Canon 1, # 428–430, pp. 199–200.
  9. 1 2 3 Jarvis, Matthew OP. "Councils of Faith". Order of Preachers.
  10. Of importance is the fact that Joachim himself was never condemned as a heretic by the Church; rather, the ideas and movement surrounding him were condemned. Joachim the man was held in high regard during his lifetime.
  11. At that time this referred at least chiefly to the parish priest. However, its actual meaning is what is now called a "priest with faculties", specifically the authority to hear the respective penitent's confession. This authority is now more broadly distributed among priests.
  12. 1 2 Abercrombie, N., Hill, S., & Turner, B. S. (1986). Sovereign individuals of capitalism. London: Allen & Unwin.
  13. Fourth Lateran Council, Canon 50
  14. 1 2 3 Gottheil, Richard and Vogelstein, Hermann. "Church councils", Jewish Encyclopedia