Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 125
The Council of Carthage (North Africa, AD 345/348) forbids clerics to act as estate administrators.
Canon 6
Vt clerici actvs saecvlarivm vel procvrationes non svscipiant.
Nicasius episcopus culusitanus dixit: credo placere suggestionem meam sanctitati uestrae, et displicere uobis, ut qui seruiunt deo et annixi sunt clero non accedant ad actus et administrationem uel procurationem domorum.
Gratus episcopus dixit: et apostolorum statuta sunt quae dicunt: nemo militans deo ingerit se negotiis saecularibus.
Proinde aut clerici sint sine actionibus domorum aut actores sine officio clericorum.
Vniuersi dixerunt: hoc obseruemus.
(ed. Munier 1974: 6)
Canon 6
Clerics should not accept secular offices or become administrators.
Nicasius, bishop Culusitanus, said: I hope that your sanctities will like my suggestion, and you will disapprove of the fact that those who serve God and have become members of clergy become estate administrators.
Bishop Gratus said: and there are the statutes of the Apostles that say that nobody serving God should throw himself into secular affairs.
Therefore either clerics should have no care of houses or administrators should not hold clerical office.
And all said: we shall observe it.
(trans. S. Adamiak)


The canon gives us an information about social background and economic situation of the clergy. If they could be hired as administrators, it means that they have certain status and necessary know-how to act as such. On the other hand, it hints at the fact that they may have been finding the economic income provided by the Church insufficient.
We cannot say what is exactly meant by "the statutes of the Apostles" here.

Place of event:

  • Latin North Africa
  • Carthage

About the source:

Title: Council of Carthage 345/348, Concilium Carthaginense sub Grato a. 345/348, Concilium Carthaginis Africae primum
Origin: Carthage (Latin North Africa)
Denomination: Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian
The synod of Catholic bishops gathered between 345 and 348, mainly in order to resist the Donatists.
Ch. Munier ed., Concilia Africae a. 345-a. 525, Corpus Christianorum. Series Latina 149, Turnhoult 1974.


Described by a title - Clericus
    Economic status and activity
      Public functions and offices after ordination - Administering secular property
          Private law - Ecclesiastical
            Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: S. Adamiak, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER125,