Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 138
The First Council of Toledo (Iberian Peninsula, AD 400) forbids repentant Priscillianist bishops of Galicia to ordain bishops, presbyters and deacons before they obtain reconciliation from the Pope or Bishop Simplician of Milan.
The conditions of restoring the communion with Priscillianist bishops are related.
Sane Vegetinum solum cum Paterno communicare decrevimus; Symphosius autem senex religiosus, qui quod egerit supra scribimus, in ecclesia sua consistat, circumspectior circa eos, quos ei reddemus, futurus; inde expectabit communionem, unde prius spem futurae pacis acceperat. Quod observandum etiam Dictinio et Anterio esse decrevimus. Constituimus autem, priusquam illis per Papam vel per sanctum Simplicianum communio reddatur, non episcopos, non presbyteros, non diaconos ab illis ordinandos; ut sciamus, si vel nunc sciant, sub conditione remissi tamdem synodicae sententiae praestare reverentiam.
(ed. Vives 1963: 32-33)
The conditions of restoring the communion with Priscillianist bishops are related.
We decreed that Vegetinus is in communion only with Paternus. Symphosius, old and religious man, (we wrote above what he did) shall remain in his church and be attentive to all whom we returned to him. For he shall expect communion, because he has already accepted the hope of future peace. We also decreed that Dictinius and Anterius should comply with this. Then, we decided that they should not ordain bishops, presbyters and deacons before the Pope or saint Simplicianus restore them to the communion, so that we will know that those who were conditionally pardoned showed respect to the synodal judgement.
(trans. M. Szada)

Place of event:

  • Iberian Peninsula
  • Astorga

About the source:

Title: Council of Toledo I, Concilium Toletanum I, Concilium I Toletanum, First Council of Toledo
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.
R. Van Dam, Leadership and community in late antique Gaul, Berkeley, Calif. 1992.
A. Weckwerth, Das erste Konzil von Toledo: philologischer und kirchenhistorischer Kommentar zur Constitutio concilii, Münster, Westfalen 2004.


Religious grouping (other than Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian) - Priscillianist
    Change of denomination
      Described by a title - Presbyter/πρεσβύτερος
        Impediments or requisits for the office - Heresy/Schism
          Act of ordination
            Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: M. Szada, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER138,