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Lateran IV

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CANON 19

SUMMARY: Household goods must not be stored in churches unless there be an urgent necessity. Churches, church vessels, and the like must be kept clean.

Text: We do not wish to leave uncorrected the practice of certain clerics who convert the churches into storehouses for their own household goods and also for those of others,"' so that the churches have the appearance of the houses of lay people rather than of the house of God, not considering that the Lord does not permit the carrying of a vessel through the temple. There are also others who not only neglect to keep the churches clean but also leave the vessels, vestments, palls, and corporals so unclean that sometimes they are a source of aversion. Wherefore, since the zeal of the house of God hath eaten us up (John 2: I 7), we strictly forbid that household goods be placed in the churches, unless by reason of hostile invasion, sudden fire, or other urgent reasons it should become necessary to store them there. When, however, the necessity no longer exists, let them be returned to their proper place. We command also that the aforesaid churches, vessels, corporals, and vestments be kept clean and bright. For it is absurd to tolerate in sacred things a filthiness that is unbecoming even in profane things.




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