First Lateran Council (1123)
The Council of 1123 is reckoned in the series of ecumenical
councils. It had been convoked in December, 1122, immediately
after the Concordat of Worms, which agreement between pope and
emperor had caused general satisfaction in the Church. It put a
stop to the arbitrary conferring of ecclesiastical benefices by
laymen, reestablished freedom of episcopal and abbatial elections,
separated spiritual from temporal affairs, and ratified the
principle that spiritual authority can emanate only from the
Church; lastly it tacitly abolished the exorbitant claim of the
emperors to interfere in papal elections. So deep was the emotion
caused by this concordat, the first ever signed, that in many
documents of the time, the year 1122 is mentioned as the beginning
of a new era. For its more solemn confirmation and in conformity
with the earnest desire of the Archbishop of Mainz, Callistus II
convoked a council to which all the archbishops and bishops of the
West were invited. Three hundred bishops and more than six hundred
abbots assembled at Rome in March, 1123; Callistus II presided in
person. Both originals (instrumenta) of the Concordat of Worms
were read and ratified, and twenty-two disciplinary canons were
promulgated, most of them reinforcements of previous conciliary
Canons 3 and 11 forbid priests, deacons, subdeacons, and monks
to marry or to have concubines; it is also forbidden them to keep
in their houses any women other than those sanctioned by the
ancient canons. Marriages of clerics are null pleno jure, and
those who have contracted them are subject to penance.
Canon 6: Nullity of the ordinations performed by the heresiarch
Burdinus (Antipope Gregory VIII) after his condemnation.
Canon 11: Safeguard for the families and possessions of
Canon 14: Excommunication of laymen appropriating offerings
made to the Church, and those who fortify churches as strongholds.
Canon 16: Against those who molest pilgrims on their way to
Canon 17: Abbots and religious are prohibited from admitting
sinners to penance, visiting the sick, administering extreme
unction, singing solemn and public Masses; they are obliged to
obtain the holy chrism and holy oils from their respective
Transcribed by Tomas Hancil
From the Catholic Encyclopedia, copyright © 1913 by the
Encyclopedia Press, Inc. Electronic version copyright © 1996 by
New Advent, Inc.
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