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Council of Trent
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For the completion of the salutary doctrine on Justification, which was promulgated with the unanimous consent of the Fathers in the last preceding Session, it hath seemed suitable to treat of the most holy Sacraments of the Church, through which all true justice either begins, or being begun is increased, or being lost is repaired. With this view, in order to destroy the errors and to extirpate the heresies, which have appeared
in these our days on the subject of the said most holy sacraments,-as well those which have been revived from the heresies condemned of old by our Fathers, as also those newly invented, and which are exceedingly prejudicial to the purity of the Catholic Church, and to the salvation of souls,-the sacred and holy, oecumenical and general Synod of Trent, lawfully assembled in the Holy Ghost, the same legates of the Apostolic See presiding therein, adhering to the doctrine of the holy Scriptures, to the apostolic traditions, and to the consent of other councils and of the Fathers, has thought fit that these present canons be established and decreed; intending, the divine Spirit aiding, to publish later the remaining canons which are wanting for the completion of the work which It has begun.
CANON I.-If any one saith, that the sacraments of the New Law were not all instituted by Jesus Christ, our Lord; or, that they are more, or less, than seven, to wit, Baptism, Confirmation, the Eucharist, Penance, Extreme Unction, Order, and Matrimony; or even that any one of these seven is not truly and properly a sacrament; let him be anathema.
CANON II.-If any one saith, that these said sacraments of the New Law do not differ from the sacramnets of the Old Law, save that the ceremonies are different, and different the outward rites; let him be anathema.
CANON IV.-If any one saith, that the sacraments of the New Law are not necessary unto salvation, but superfluous; and that, without them, or without the desire thereof, men obtain of God, through faith alone, the grace of justification;-though all (the sacraments) are not ineed necessary for every individual; let him be anathema.
CANON VI.-If any one saith, that the sacraments of the New Law do not contain the grace which they signify; or, that they do not confer that grace on those who do not place an obstacle thereunto; as though they were merely outward signs of grace or justice received through faith, and certain marks of the Christian profession, whereby believers are distinguished amongst men from unbelievers; let him be anathema.
CANON VII.-If any one saith, that grace, as far as God's part is concerned, is not given through the said sacraments, always, and to all men, even though they receive them rightly, but (only) sometimes, and to some persons; let him be anathema.
CANON VIII.-If any one saith, that by the said sacraments of the New Law grace is not conferred through the act performed, but that faith alone in the divine promise suffices for the obtaining of grace; let him be anathema.
CANON IX.-If any one saith, that, in the three sacrments, Baptism, to wit, Confirmation, and Order, there is not imprinted in the soul a character, that is, a certain spiritual and indelible Sign, on account of which they cannot be repeated; let him be anathema.
CANON XII.-If any one saith, that a minister, being in mortal sin,-if so be that he observe all the essentials which belong to the effecting, or conferring of, the sacrament,-neither effects, nor confers the sacrament; let him be anathema.
CANON II.-If any one saith, that true and natural water is not of necessity for baptism, and, on that account, wrests, to some sort of metaphor, those words of our Lord Jesus Christ; Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost; let him be anathema.
CANON IV.-If any one saith, that the baptism which is even given by heretics in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, with the intention of doing what the Church doth, is not true baptism; let him be anathema.
CANON VIII.-If any one saith, that the baptized are freed from all the precepts, whether written or transmitted, of holy Church, in such wise that they are not bound to observe them, unless they have chosen of their own accord to submit themselves thereunto; let him be anathema.
CANON IX.-If any one saith, that the resemblance of the baptism which they have received is so to be recalled unto men, as that they are to understand, that all vows made after baptism are void, in virtue of the promise already made in that baptism; as if, by those vows, they both derogated from that faith which they have professed, and from that baptism itself; let him be anathema.
CANON X.-If any one saith, that by the sole remembrance and the faith of the baptism which has been received, all sins committed after baptism are either remitted, or made venial; let him be anathema.
CANON XI.-If any one saith, that baptism, which was true and rightly conferred, is to be repeated, for him who has denied the faith of Christ amongst Infidels, when he is converted unto penitence; let him be anathema.
CANON XIII.-If any one saith, that little children, for that they have not actual faith, are not, after having received baptism, to be reckoned amongst the faithful; and that, for this cause, they are to be rebaptized when they have attained to years of discretion; or, that it is better that the baptism of such be omitted, than that, while not believing by their own act, they should be bapized in the faith alone of the Church; let him be anathema.
CANON XIV.-If any one saith, that those who have been thus baptized when children, are, when they have grown up, to be asked whether they will ratify what their sponsors promised in their names when they were baptized; and that, in case they answer that they will not, they are to be left to their own will; and are not to be compelled meanwhile to a Christian life by any other penalty, save that they be excluded from the participation of the Eucharist, and of the other sacraments, until they repent; let him be anathema.
CANON I.-If any one saith, that the confirmation of those who have been baptized is an idle ceremony, and not rather a true and proper sacrament; or that of old it was nothing more than a kind of catechism, whereby they who were near adolescence gave an account of their faith in the face of the Church; let him be anathema.
The same sacred and holy Synod, the same legates also presiding, purposing to prosecute, unto the praise of God, and the increase of the Christian religion, the work which It hath begun touching residence and reformation, has thought good to ordain as follows,-saving always, in all things, the authority of the Apostolic See.
No one shall be assumed unto the government of Cathedral churches, but one that is born of lawful wedlock, is of mature age, and endowed with gravity of manners, and skill in letters, agreeably to the constitution of Alexander III., which begins, Cum in cunctis, promulgated in the Council of Lateran.
No one, by whatsoever dignity, grade, or pre-eminence distinguished, shall presume, in contravention of the institutes of the sacred canons, to accept and to hold at the same time several Metropolitan, or Cathedral, churches, whether by title, or in commendam, or under any other name whatsoever; seeing that he is to be accounted exceedingly fortunate whose lot it is to rule one church well and fruitfully, and unto the salvation of the souls committed to him. But as to those who now hold several churches contrary to the tenor of the present decree, they shall be bound, retaining the one which they may prefer, to resign the rest, within six months if they are at the free disposal of the Apostolic See, in other cases within the year; otherwise those churches, the one last obtained only excepted, shall be from that moment deemed vacant.
Inferior Ecclesiastical Benefices, especially such as have the cure of souls, shall be conferred on persons worthy and capable, and who can reside on the spot and exercise personally the said cure; in accordance with the Constitution of Alexander IIl., in the Council of Lateran, which begins, Quia nonnulli; and that other of Gregory X., published in the General Council of Lyons, which begins, Licet Canon. A collation, or provision, made otherwise, shall be wholly annulled: and let the ordinary collator know, that he will himself incur the penalties set down in the Constitution of the General Council (of Lateran), which begins, Grave nimis.
Whosoever shall for the future presume to accept, or to retain at the same time several cures, or otherwise incompatible Ecclesiastical Benefices, whether by way of union for life, or in perpetual commendam, or under any other name or title whatsoever, in contravention of the appointment of the sacred Canons, and especially of the Constitution of Innocent III., beginning, De multa, shall be ipso jure deprived of the said benefices, according to the disposition of the said constitution, and also by virtue of the present Canon.
The Ordinaries of the places shall strictly compel all those who hold several cures, or otherwise incompatible, Ecclesiastical Benefices to exhibit their dispensations; and they shall otherwise proceed according to the Constitution of Gregory X., published in the General Council of Lyons, beginning Ordinarii, which (Constitution) this holy Synod thinks ought to be renewed, and doth renew; adding further, that the said Ordinaries are by all means to provide, even by deputing fit vicars and by assigning a suitable portion of the fruits, that the cure of souls be not in any way neglected, and that the said benfices be nowise defrauded of the services due to them: no appeals, privileges, or exemptions whatsoever, even with a commission of special judges, and inhibitions from the same, being of avail to any one in the matters aforenamed.
Unions in perpetuity, made within forty years, may be examined into by the Ordinaries, as delegated by the Apostolic See, and such as shall have been obtained by surreption or obreption shall be declared null. Now those are to be presumed to have been surreptitiously obtained, which having been granted within the aforenamed period, have not as yet been carried into effect wholly, or in part, as also those which shall henceforth be made at the instance of any person soever, unless it shall be certain that they have been made for lawful, or otherwise reasonable causes, which are to be verified before the Ordinary of the place, those persons being summoned whose interests are concerned: and therefore (such unions) shall be altogether of no force, unless the Apostolic See shall have declared otherwise.
Ecclesiastical Benefices with cures, which are found to have been always united and annexed to Cathedral, Collegiate, or other churches, or to monasteries, benefices, colleges, or other pious places of what sort soever, shall be visited every year by the Ordinaries of those places; who shall apply themselves sedulously to provide that the cure of souls be laudably exercised by competent vicars, and those even perpetual, unless the said Ordinaries shall deem it expedient for the good of the churches that it be otherwise,-which (vicars) shall be deputed thereunto by those Ordinaries, with a provision consisting of a third part of the fruits, or of a greater or less proportion, at the discretion
of the said Ordinaries, which (portion) is to be assigned even upon a specific property; no appeals, privileges, exemptions, even with a commission of judges, and inhibitions from the same, being of any avail in the matters abovenamed.
The Ordinaries of the places shall be bound to visit every year, with apostolic authority, all churches whatsoever, in whatsoever manner exempted; and to provide by suitable legal remedies that whatever needs repairs, be repaired; and that those churches be not in any way defrauded of the Cure of souls, if such be annexed thereunto, or of other services due to them;-all appeals, privileges, customs, even those that have a prescription from time immemorial, commission of judges, and inhibitions from the same, being utterly set aside.
Those who have been promoted to the greater churches shall receive the rite of consecration within the time prescribed by law, and any delays granted, extending beyond the period of six months, shall be of no avail to any one.
ordination, or letters dimissory, or "reverend," as some call them, within a year from the day of that vacancy, to any one who is not straitened (for time), by occasion of some ecclesistical benefice received, or about to be received. Otherwise, the contravening Chapter shall be subjected to an ecclesiastical interdict; and the persons so ordained, if they have been constituted in minor orders, shall not enjoy any clerical privilege, especially in criminal causes; whilst those constituted in the greater orders shall be, ipso jure, suspended from the exercise thereof, during the pleasure of the next appointed prelate.
Faculties, for being promoted (to orders) by any prelate whatsoever, shall be of no avail but to those who have a lawful cause-which is to be expressed in their letters-why they cannot be ordained by their own bishops; and even then they shall not be ordained but by a bishop who is resident in his own diocese, or by him who exercises the pontifical functions for him, and after having undergone a previous careful examination.
Persons presented, or elected, or nominated by any ecclesiastics soever, even by Nuncios of the Apostolic See, shall not be instituted, or confirmed in, or admitted to any ecclesiastical benefices whatsoever, even under the plea of any privilege soever, or custom, which may even have a prescription from time immemorial, unless they shall have been first examined, and found fit, by the Ordinaries of the places. And no one shall be able to screen himself, by means of an appeal, from being bound to undergo that examination. Those, however, are to be excepted, who are presented, elected, or nominated by universities, or by colleges for general studies.
In the causes of exempted persons, the Constitution of Innocent IV., beginning Volentes, set forth in the general Council of Lyons, shall be observed,-which Constitution this sacred and holy Synod hath thought ought to be renewed, and doth hereby renew it; adding further, that, in civil causes relative to wages, and to persons in distress, clerics, whether Seculars, or Regulars who live out of their monasteries,-howsoever exempted, and even though they may have upon the spot a special judge deputed by the Apostolic See; and in other causes, if they have no such judge,-may be brought before the Ordinaries of the places, and be constrained and compelled by course of law to
The Ordinaries shall take care that all hospitals whatsoever be faithfully and diligently governed by their own administrators, by what names soever called, and in what way soever exempted: observing herein the form of the Constitution of the Council of Vienne, which begins, Quia contingit, which this holy Synod hath thought fit to renew, and doth hereby renew, together with the derogations therein contained.
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