Second Council of the Lateran

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Second Council of the Lateran
Date 1139
Accepted by Roman Catholicism
Previous council
First Council of the Lateran
Next council
Third Council of the Lateran
Convoked by Pope Innocent II
President Pope Innocent II
Attendance 1000
Topics schism of Antipope Anacletus II
Documents and statements
thirty canons, mostly repeating those of the First Lateran Council, clerical marriage declared invalid, clerical dress regulated, attacks on clerics punished by excommunication
Chronological list of Ecumenical councils

The Second Council of the Lateran is believed to have been the Tenth Ecumenical Council by Roman Catholics. It was held by Pope Innocent II in April 1139, and was 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 February 1130 and the setting up of Petris Leonis as the antipope Anacletus II.

Tenth ecumenical council[edit]

After the death of Honorius II, Petrus Leonis, under the name of Anacletus II, was elected as Pope by a majority of the cardinals and with the support of the people of Rome on the same day as a minority elected Innocent II. In 1135, Innocent II held a council at Pisa, which confirmed his authority and condemned Anacletus. Anacletus's death in 1138 helped largely to solve the tension between rival factions. Nevertheless, Innocent decided to call the tenth ecumenical council.[1]

The Council assembled at the Lateran Palace and nearly a thousand prelates attended. In his opening statement Innocent deposed those who had been ordained and instituted by Anacletus or any of his adherents. King Roger II of Sicily was excommunicated for maintaining what was thought to be a schismatic attitude.

The council also condemned the teachings of the Petrobrusians and the Henricians, the followers of Peter of Bruys and Henry of Lausanne. Finally, the council drew up measures for the amendment of ecclesiastical morals and discipline which the council fathers considered had grown lax. Many of the canons relating to these matters were mostly a restating of the decrees of the Council of Reims and the Council of Clermont.[1]

Important canons[edit]

The most important results of the council included:

  • Canon 4: Injunction to bishops and ecclesiastics not to cause scandal by wearing ostentatious clothes but to dress modestly.
  • Canon 12: Fixed the periods and the duration of the Truce of God.
  • Canon 14: Prohibition, under pain of deprivation of Christian burial, of jousts and tournaments which endangered life.
  • Canon 20: Kings and princes were ordered to dispense justice in consultation with the bishops.
  • Canon 25: Forbade any cleric to accept a benefice from a layman.
  • Canon 27: Nuns were prohibited from singing the Divine Office in the same choir with monks.
  • Canon 28: No church was to be left vacant more than three years from the death of the bishop; secular canons who excluded from episcopal election regular canons or monks were condemned.[1]

The council also may have banned the use of crossbows against Christians,[2][3] although the authenticity, interpretation and translation of this source is contested.[4]

Another decision confirmed the right of religious houses of a diocese to participate in the election of the diocese's bishop.[5]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Wikisource-logo.svg "Second Lateran Council (1139)". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913. 
  2. ^ The sources are collected in Hefele, Histoire des conciles d'apres les documents originaux, trans. and continued by H. Leclerq 1907-52., 5/1, 721-722; but see also, Bernhardi Jahrbuecher der deutschen Geschichte, I Leipzig 1883, 154-160.
  3. ^ "Tenth Ecumenical Council: Lateran II 1139". Internet Medieval Source Book. 1 November 1996. Retrieved 5 May 2007. 
  4. ^ Turner, Monte (2004). The Not So Diabolical Crossbow: A Re-Examination of Innocent II’s Supposed Ban Of The Crossbow at the Second Lateran Council. Self-published thesis. 
  5. ^ Burton, Janet (1994). Monastic and Religious Orders in Britain: 1000-1300. Cambridge Medieval Textbooks. Cambridge UK: Cambridge University Press. p. 77. ISBN 0-521-37797-8. 

External links[edit]