Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 549
Canon 15 of the so-called Second Council of Arles (Gaul, AD 442/506) forbids deacons to sit in a secretarium among presbyters, and give the communion in the presence of presbyters.
Canon 15
In secretario diacono inter presbyteros sedere non liceat, uel corpus Christi praesente presbytero tradere non praesumat. Quod si fecerit, ab officio diaconatus abscedat.
(ed. Munier 1963: 117)
Canon 15
It is not proper for a deacon to sit in a secretarium among presbyters, or dare to give the body of Christ when a presbyter is present. Should anyone do that, he will desist from the office of diaconate.
(trans. J. Szafranowski)


The world secretarium is not easily translated, as it can mean a "council chamber", as well as a sanctuary (i.e. the place in the church where the altar stands), or a sacristy. What can add to the reader's confusion is the fact that both latter places could have served as a place for an ecclesiastical gathering.
Many other pieces of evidence attest that deacons were forbidden to stand in the presence of presbyters, see e.g. [206] and [582].

Place of event:

  • Gaul
  • Arles

About the source:

Title: Second Council of Arles, Concilium Arelatense Secundum
Origin: Arles (Gaul)
Denomination: Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian
The so-called Second Council of Arles is in fact a collection of canons from several councils, namely the First Council of Arles in 314, the First Council of Nicea in 325, the First Council of Orange in 441, and the Council of Vaison 442. Therefore, the terminus post quem of the collection must be 442 and the terminus ante quem probably 506, the date of the Council of Agde, whose acts are not included in the collection. This collection also includes some canons of unknown origin, which are the only ones included in the database.
Ch. Munier ed., Concilia Galliae a. 314-a. 506, Corpus Christianorum. Series Latina 148, Turnhoult 1963.


Described by a title - Presbyter/πρεσβύτερος
    Usurping presbyterial power
      Ritual activity - Eucharist
        Relation with - Deacon
          Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: J. Szafranowski, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER549,