Orange, Councils of
ORANGE, COUNCILS OF
Two synods (441 and 529) held at orange (Arausio), in what is now southern France (Dept. Vaucluse).
hilary of arles presided over the first, which 16 bishops attended. There 30 canons were enacted dealing with disciplinary matters.
Orange II was held under the presidency of caesarius of arles. augustine's theology of grace, though wholeheartedly adopted by Rome, was held in suspicion by lÉrins, a great intellectual and monastic center near Marseilles. Profoundly influenced by John cassian, Lérins was also Semi-Pelagian. Cassian taught that there was some natural sanctity in man before baptism; he distinguished two modes of action in grace: salvific and tutelary. In the latter mode God only seconds and crowns man's efforts. vincent of lÉrins distorted Augustine, quoting him out of context to discredit him. prosper of aquitaine emerged as Augustine's indefatigable champion, and Rome itself defended the memory of the illustrious theologian (H. Denzinger, Enchiridion symbolorum 237). faustus of riez (abbot of Lérins, 433–462; bishop of Riez, 462–485?), one of the greatest ecclesiastical figures of 5th-century Gaul, in his struggle against Lucidus, a predestinarian, wrote a treatise on grace which, while it categorically rejected Pelagianism, offered no satisfactory metaphysical alternative, thus emphasizing the fact that Augustinian metaphysics on the topic were hard to replace.
In the meantime Caesarius of Arles, a splendid example of the second generation of Lérins (490–497?), was consecrated bishop of Arles (503). In the continuing struggle against Semi-Pelagianism, Caesarius was the champion of pure Augustinian doctrine in regard to "prevenient and liberating grace as an absolute condition of the reintegration of the human will in its supernatural faculties and ends" (A. Fliche and V. Martin, Histoire de l'élise depuis les origines jusqu' á nos jours 4:416). Nineteen capitula to this effect were submitted by him to Rome (c. 528) but were rejected as too subtle. Maxims gathered by Prosper of Aquitaine from Augustine's writings were substituted by Felix IV. On July 3, 529, at the dedication in Orange of a church built by Liberius, the praetorian prefect, Caesarius submitted to 13 bishops a declaration on grace and free will, which all signed and sent to Rome. Boniface II, successor to Felix IV, approved them on Jan. 25, 531 (H. Denzinger, 398–400).
The statement of Caesarius has three parts: (1) prooemium (H. Denzinger, 370); (2) 25 canons, eight on original sin (H. Denzinger, 371–372) and grace (H. Denzinger, 373–378) and 17 capitula taken from Prosper's digest of Augustine (H. Denzinger, 379–395); and (3) the conclusion of Caesarius of Arles, which is really the heart of the declaration. In it he corrects the erroneous theories of Cassian and Faustus, emphasizes the need for grace, and condemns predestination to evil. Baptism restores man and strengthens the will. The declaration at Orange, a model of charity, condemns theories not persons. Orange II enjoyed great prestige; its canons, together with those of carthage (418), contributed to the theology of grace and were used by the Council of Trent. Orange II ended the Semi-Pelagian controversy in southern Gaul.
See Also: semi-pelagianism; grace, controversies on; faith, beginning of; free will and grace; grace, articles on.
Bibliography: Sources . j. d. mansi, Sacrorum Conciliorum nova et amplissima collectio (Florence-Venice 1757–98) 6:433–452; 8:711–724. Patrologia Latina, ed. j. p. migne (Paris 1878–90) 51:723–730. Literature . c. j. von hefele, Histoire des conciles d'après les documents originaux, tr. and continued by h. leclerq (Paris 1907–38) 2.1:430–454; 2.2:1085–1110. l. duchesne, L'Église au VI e siècle (Paris 1925). f. h. woods, ed. and tr., Canons of the Second Council of Orange (Oxford 1882). m. cappuyns, "L'Origine des Capitula d'Orange 529," Recherches de théologie ancienne et médiévale 6 (Louvain 1934) 121–142. g. de plinval, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques, ed. a. baudrillart. et al. (Paris 1912—) 12:186–196. g. fritz, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, ed. a. vacant et al. (Paris 1903–50) 11.1:1087–1103. a. fliche and v. martin, eds., Histoire de l'élise depuis les origines jusq' à nos jours (Paris 1935—) 4:397–419. p. fransen, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner (Freiburg 1957–65) 7:1188–89.
[c. m. aherne]