Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 111
Canon 14 of the First Council of Toledo (Iberian Peninsula, AD 400) orders the excommunication of those who have not consumed the Eucharist received from a priest.
Canon 14
De eo qui acceperit eucaristiam et non sumpserit, ut sacrilegus repellatur
Si quis autem acceptam a sacerdote eucharistiam non sumpserit, uelut sacrilegus propellatur.
(eds.  Martínez Díez, Rodríguez 1984: 334)
Canon 14
On those who receive the Eucharist and do not eat it that they shall be expelled as profane people
If someone does not consume a Eucharist accepted from a priest, he shall be driven out as a profane person.
(trans. by M. Szada)


Canon 14 should be read together with Canon 13 about those who do not communicate in the church. See also Canon 3 of the council of Saragossa (Sotomayor 1981: 177-187).
The interpretation of Canon 14 depends on how we should understand the verb sumere: "to take" or rather "to consume" (like in nec cibum sumant in Canon 7). The first proposition is rather problematic because of the participle acceptam (the sentence would be pleonastic). It seems then that Canon 14 deals rather with the people who for some reason only pretend to receive communion. For more detailed discussion and further reading see Weckwerth 2004: 199-207.

Place of event:

  • Iberian Peninsula
  • Toledo

About the source:

Title: Council of Toledo I, Concilium Toletanum I, First Council of Toledo, Concilium I Toletanum
Origin: Toledo (Iberian Peninsula)
Denomination: Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian
The First Council of Toledo was convened to deal with divisions among the Spanish episcopate caused by the conviction and execution of Priscillian in 385. Many people in Spain, the bishops among them, considered the judgement unfair and venerated Priscillian as a martyr. The acts of the council consist of the twenty canons with the preface and the subscriptions of the bishops, the creed (regula fidei) with 18 anathemas against Priscillian, the professions of faith declared by the former adherents of Priscillian and the closing sententia definitiva. The last two are excerpts from the full version of the conciliar acts which has not survived and has been transmitted in the manuscript tradition separate from canonical collection of Hispana (Chadwick 1976: 179-181; Burrus 1995: 104-105).
The date of the council is given in the beginning of the preface - it is the time of Arcadius and Honorius (then between 395-408) and of the consulship of Stilicho (400 or 405). The date given in the Spanish era is unreliable, because a lot of different versions survived in manuscripts. G. Martínez Díez and F. Rodríguez (1984: 326) thought that it was a later addition. Moreover, Ambrosius of Milan and Siricius are both already dead (the title sanctae memoriae is added before their names), therefore the council must have been held after 399. Also Hydatius in Chronicle dates the council to 400, so this is the most probable solution (Weckwerth 2004: 89-90).
G. Martínez Díez, F. Rodríguez, eds., La colección canónica Hispana, v. 4 Concilios Galos. Concilios Hispanos: primera parte, Madrid 1984.
J. Vives, Concilios visigóticos e hispano-romanos, Barcelona-Madrid 1963.
V. Burrus, The making of a heretic: gender, authority, and the Priscillianist controversy, Berkeley 1995.
H. Chadwick, Priscillian of Avila: the occult and the charismatic in the early church, Oxford 1976.
M. Sotomayor, "El canon 3 del Concilio de Zaragoza del 380", [in :] Primero Concilio Caesaraugustano: MDC aniversario, Zaragoza 1981, 177–187.
A. Weckwerth, Das erste Konzil von Toledo: philologischer und kirchenhistorischer Kommentar zur Constitutio concilii, Münster, Westfalen 2004.


Described by a title - Sacerdos/ἱερεύς
    Ritual activity - Eucharist
      Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: M. Szada, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER111,