Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 482
Canon 54 of the Fourth Council of Toledo (Iberian Peninsula, AD 633) forbids from ordaining those who confessed mortal sins.
[Titulus in recensione Iuliana] LIIII
[Titulus in recensione Vulgata] LIIII
Canon 54
Ii qui in discrimine constituti paenitentiam accipiunt nulla manifesta scelera confitentes sed tantum peccatores se praedicantes, huiusmodi si reualuerint possunt etiam per morum probitatem ad gradus ecclesiasticos peruenire. Qui uero ita paenitentiam accipiunt ut aliquod mortale peccatum perpetrasse publice fateantur, ad clerum uel honores ecclesiasticos peruenire nullatenus poterunt, quia se confessione propria notauerunt.
(eds. Martinez Diez, Rodriguez 1992: 168, 175, 232)
[Title in the recension Iuliana] LIIII
[Title in the recension Vulgata] LIIII
Canon 54
If those who in danger of death received penance, but without confessing any obvious crimes, [and instead] only recognising their sinfulness, later recover, they can be promoted to ecclesiastical office as righteous people. Those, however, who receiving penance publicly confessed a mortal sin, can by no means enter the clergy and obtain ecclesiastical honours, because they marked themselves with their own confession.
(trans. M. Szada)


Canon 54 repeats Canon 9bis of the Council of Gerona [175]. See the discussion there and in Canon 9 of the council of Gerona [156].

Place of event:

  • Iberian Peninsula
  • Toledo

About the source:

Title: Fourth Council of Toledo (633), IV Council of Toledo, IV Concilium Toletanum, IIII Concilium Toletanum, Concilium Toletanum quartum a. 633
Origin: Toledo (Iberian Peninsula)
Denomination: Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian
The Fourth Council of Toledo was a council of the whole Visigothic church (86 bishops were present) gathered by King Sisenand (631-636)  in 633 and held under the presidency of Isidore of Seville. It is sometimes claimed on stylistic grounds that Isidore was an author of the decrees (Collins 2004: 79).
The acts of the Fourth Council of Toledo are transmitted in the 7th-century canonical collection from Spain, the so-called Hispana. Its authorship has been attributed to the Isidore of Seville (it is still accepted by Martinez Diez 1966; other scholars reject this attribution: Munier 1966; Gaudemet 1967: 122-124; Schaferdiek 1967: 144-148; Landau 1968: 406-418). This collection has several recensions: a primitive one, the so-called Isidoriana, lost today; the Juliana recension edited after 681 and attributed to the Julian of Toledo, that adds to the previous recension the acts and canons of the councils from the Fifth Council of Toledo do the Twelfth (in 681); the Vulgata recension edited between 694 and 702 that adds the acts and canons of the councils from the the Thirteenth Council of Toledo up to the Seventeenth held in 694, this recension was the most widespread during the Middle Ages (more bibliography see Kéry 1999: 61-67). The two recensions Iuliana and Vulgata give different titles to the canons of the Fourth Council of Toledo (Martinez Diez 1992: 17-20).
G. Martínez Díez, F. Rodríguez eds., La colección canónica Hispana, Monumenta Hispaniae sacra. Serie canónica 5, Madrid 1992.
R. Collins, Visigothic Spain, 409-711, Oxford, OX, UK; Malden, MA, USA 2004.
J. Gaudemet, review of: 'G. Martinez Diez, La coleccion canonica Hispana 1', Revue historique de droit français et étranger 4e ser.  45 (1967), 122-124.
L. Kéry, Canonical collections of the early Middle Ages (ca. 400-1140): a bibliographical guide to the manuscripts and literature, Washington, D.C 1999.
P. Landau, review of: 'G. Martinez Diez, La coleccion canonica Hispana 1', Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung für Rechtsgeschichte Kanonistische Abteilung 54 (1968), 406-414.
G. Martínez Díez, La Colección canónica Hispana, vol. 1 Estudio, Madrid 1966.
C. Munier, 'Saint Isidore de Séville est-il l’auteur de I’Hispana chronologique?', Sacris Erudiri 17 (1966), 230-241.
K. Schäferdiek, review of: 'G. Martinez Diez, La coleccion canonica Hispana 1', Zeitschrift für Kirchengeschichte 78 (1967), 144-148.
M. Sotomayor, 'Las relaciones iglesia urbana-iglesia rural en los concilios hispano-romanos y visigodos', Sacralidad y Arqueologia, Antig. Crist. (Murcia) 21 (2004), 525-539.


Impediments or requisits for the office - Improper/Immoral behaviour
    Ritual activity - Reconciliation/Administering penance
      Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: M. Szada, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER482,