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Valence, Councils of


Several notable Church assemblies were held at Valence, in southeastern France on the Rhone River. (1) In 374 an assembly of 22 bishops from Gaul approved four surviving disciplinary canons regulating the ordination of digamists (see digamy), the penance of idolatrous and rebaptized Christians, and clerics who sought to be unfrocked under false pretenses. A conciliar letter covering the case that occasioned the last canon also has been preserved. (2) Suspicious of the doctrine of grace taught by caesarius of arles against Pelagianism (see pelagius and pelagianism) and semi-pelagianism, the bishops of Gaul summoned Caesarius to account at Valence c. 530. Pleading ill health, the saint did not appear but sent representatives and a written statement of his position; how these were received the sole source omits to tell, stating only that Pope boniface ii eventually confirmed Caesarius's position. It is uncertain how these events are related to the better-known Council of Orange (529); Valence may have occurred before or after it. (3) Shortly after hincmar of reims' four propositions of quiercy (853) were condemned by Abp. remigius of lyons (854), the metropolitans of Lyons, Vienne, and Arles met at Valence to investigate certain charges against the bishop of that place. Once assembled in council, they promulgated 23 canons, the first six of which expounded the doctrine of Remigius, who was presiding. Pope nicholas i may have approved these six anti-Hincmar canons; centuries later, the Jansenists (see jansenism) insisted that he did.

Bibliography: j. d. mansi, Sacrorum Conciliorum nova et amplissima collectio, 31 v. (Florence-Venice 175798); reprinted and continued by l. petit and j. b. martin, 53 v. in 60 (Paris 18891927; repr. Graz 1960) 3:491493; 8:723726; 15:116. c.j. von hefele, Histoire des conciles d'après les documents originaux, tr. and continued by h. leclercq, 10 v. in 19 (Paris 190738) 1:982; 2:110810; 4:204210, 1326, 139098. c. h. turner, ed., Ecclesiae occidentalis monumenta iuris antiquissima. Canonum et conciliorum Graecorum interpretationes Latinae (Oxford 18991939) 1:417423 (for 374). Vita s. Caesarii episcopi, bk. 1, ch. 5, par. 46 in Patrologia Latina, 67:1023 (for c. 530).

[r. kay]

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