Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 112
Canon 15 of the First Council of Toledo (Iberian Peninsula, AD 400) forbids staying in contact with an excommunicated laic or cleric.
Canon 15
De his qui excommunicantur a sacerdotibus ut nullus ad eos accedant
Quisquis laicus abstinetur, ad huc uel ad domum eius clericorum uel religiosorum nullus accedat. Similiter et clericus, si abstinetur, a clericis deuitetur. Si quis cum illo colloqui aut conuiuare fuerit deprehensus, etiam ipse abstineatur; sed hoc pertineat ad eius clericos qui eius sunt episcopi, et ad omnes qui commoniti fuerint de eo qui abstinetur siue laico quolibet siue clerico.
(eds.  Martínez Díez, Rodríguez 1984: 334-335)
Canon 15
On those who are excommunicated by a priest that no one shall approach them
No cleric or monk shall approach a laic excluded from communion or his house. Similarly a cleric excluded from communion shall be avoided by other clerics. If someone was apprehended talking or eating with him, he himself shall be excluded from communion. But this pertains only to the clerics of the same bishop and to those who have been informed about this excommunicated laic or cleric.
(trans. M. Szada)

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.
A. Weckwerth, Das erste Konzil von Toledo: philologischer und kirchenhistorischer Kommentar zur Constitutio concilii, Münster, Westfalen 2004.


Described by a title - Clericus
    Relation with - Lower cleric
      Administration of justice - Ecclesiastical
          Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: M. Szada, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER112,