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1358 [1358]

K. Henry. 8. Allegations agaynst the vj. Articles. Priestes Mariage.

Auentinus a faithfull writer of his time, writing of þe Councel of Hildebrand, hath these wordes 

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This quotation from Johannes Aventinus's history is taken from Matthias Flacius, Catalogus testium veritatis (Basel, 1562), p. 206.

: Sacerdotes illa tempestate publicè vxores, sicut cæteri Christiani habebant: filios procreabant, sicuti instrumētis donationū quæ illi templis, Mystis, & Monachis fecere: vbi hæ nominatim cum coniugibus testes citantur, & honesto vocabulo Præsbyterissæ nuncupātur, inuenio. Cæsar tum &c. MarginaliaAuātinus in histor. Boiorum.That is: In those dayes Priestes commonly had wyues, as other Christen mē had, and had children also, as may appeare by auncient instrumentes, and dedes of gift, whiche were then gyuen to Churches, to the Clergy, & to religious houses in the whiche instrumentes, both the Priestes, & theyr wyues also with them (whiche there be called Præsbyterissæ) I finde to be alledged for witnesses. It hapned moreouer þe same time (saith Auētine) þt the Emperor had the inuesting of diuers Archbishoprickes, Byshoprikes, Abbayes & Nunries within his dominiōs. Pope Hildebrand disdayning against both these sortes afore sayd, that is, both agaynst them that were inuested by the Emperour, and also against all those Priestes that had wyues, prouided so in his Councell at Rome, that they whiche were promoted by the Emperour into lyuynges of þe Church, were counted to come in by Symonie: the other whiche were maryed Priests, were counted for Nicolaitanes. Whereupon Pope Hildebrand writyng hys letters to þe Emperour, to Dukes, Princes, and other great Prelates, and Potentates, namely to Bertholdus, Zaringer, to Rudolphus of Sueuia, to Welphon of Bauaria, to Adalberon, and to theyr Ladyes, and to diuers other, to whō hee thought good: also to Bishops, namely to Otto Byshop of Constance, with other Priestes and lay people, willeth thē in hys letters to refuse and to keepe no company with MarginaliaSymoniacke Priestes.those Symoniake, and MarginaliaNicolaitan Priestes.those Nicolaitane Priestes (for so were they termed then, whiche had either any Ecclesiasticall liuyng by the Emperour, or els whiche had wyues) to auoyde theyr Masses, their talke: neither to eate nor drinke with them, nor once to speake to them, nor to salute them, but vtterly to shunne them, as men execrable and wicked, no otherwise then they would eschue the plague or pestilence. MarginaliaEx Auentino Anual. Boiorū. Lib. 5.By reason wherof ensued a mighty schisme and affliction among the flocke of Christ, such as lyghtly þe lyke hath not bene sene. For the Priestes went agaynst their Byshops, the people agaynst the Priest, the laity agaynst the Clergy: briefly all ranne together in heapes and in confusion. Mē and wemen, as euery one was set vppon mischief, wickednes, contention and auarice, tooke therby occasion vpō euery lyght suspiciō, to resiste theyr Minister, to spoyle the goodes of the Church. The vulgare people contemned the Priestes whiche had maryed wyues, despised theyr Religion, and all thynges that they dyd: yea and in many places woulde purge the places where they had bene, with holy water, and brent their tythes. Also such was the mischief of them, that they would take the holy mysteries, whiche those maryed Priestes had consecrated, and cast them in the dyrt, and treade them vnder theyr feete: For so then had Hildebrād taught thē, that those were no Priests, neither that they were Sacramentes, whiche they dyd consecrate. So that by this occasion, many false Prophetes rose, seducyng the people from the truth of Christ, by forged fables, and false miracles, and feyned Gloses, wrastyng the Scriptures as serued best for their owne purposes. Of whom few there were that kepte any true chastity. Many could make glorious boastes & bragges therof, but þe greatest part vnder the shew and pretense of honesty and purenes of life, cōmitted incest, fornication, adultery, euery where almost, and no punishmēt was for the same. &c. Thus much out of Auentinus. lib. 5. Annal.

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To this testimonie of Auentinus aboue mēcioned, MarginaliaGebuilerus.we will also adioyne 

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The material from Gebuilerus is actually taken from Matthias Flacius, Catalogus testium veritatis (Basel, 1562), pp. 62 and 216.

the recorde of Gebuilerus, a writer of this our latter tyme, and one also of theyr owne crew, who doth testifie that in tyme of the Emperour Henricus the 4. an. 1057. to the number of 24. Byshops both in Germany, Spaine, and in Fraunce, were maried, with the Clergie also of their diocesses.

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MarginaliaIsiforus de vita clericorum.Of the which Spanyshe Bishops 

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The material from Isidore of Seville is actually taken from Matthias Flacius, Catalogus testium veritatis (Basel, 1562), p. 36, on a word-for-word basis.

we read also in Isidorus, whiche wrote more then sixe hundreth yeares after Christ (and the place also cited in the Popes Distinctions) MarginaliaDist. 23. cap. Ius hys booke De clericorum vita, how they ought either to lead an honest chast lyfe, or els to keepe them selues within the bande of matrimony. &c. Wherby is declared the single lyfe of Priestes, either to bee then voluntary, or els their mariage not to be restrayned as yet, by any law.

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Moreouer such Calistian Priestes 

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This is a reference to Pope Callistus II (d. 1124), who issued a series of decrees forbidding clerical marriage.

MarginaliaCalistian Preistes, that is, of Calixtus Secte, who chieflye forbad priestes bee now a dayes, coūtyng Priestes mariage as a new deuise, and not standyng with auncient tymes, let them looke vpon the Decree of Pope Symmachus, and aunswere there to the Glose. Dist. 81. where it is written: Let Priestes be all restrayned from the conuersation of all wemen, except it bee their mother, sister, or their owne wife. &c. Where the Glose in the margent, geueth a note, saying: Hoc loquitur secundum antiqua tempora.

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Thus if either the voyce of Scripture myght take place with these men whiche bee so rigorous agaynst Priestes mariage: MarginaliaAll the Apostles were maryed, excepte Iohn & Paul. Ex Ambros. 2. Cor. 11.or if the examples of the Apostles myght moue them (whom S. Ambrose witnesseth to haue bene all maryed, except onely Paul and Iohn) or els if the multitude of maryed Byshops and Priestes might preuaile with them, here might bee rehearsed 

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The following examples of married clergy in the ancient and early medieval Church are taken from Matthias Flacius, Catalogus testium veritatis (Basel, 1562), pp. 24-29 and 35.


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That Tertullian was a maryed Priest, as witnesseth Hierome.

Spiridion Byshop of Cyprus, had wife & children.

MarginaliaEx Epist. Ellarij ad Abram filiam.Hylary Byshop of Poytiers, was also maryed.

Gregory Byshop of Nyssa.

Gregory Byshop of Nazianzum.

Prosper Byshop of Rhegium.

MarginaliaEx Ruffino. Lib. 2. cap. 9.Cheremon Byshop of Nylus. All these were maryed Byshops.

MarginaliaEx Na inzeno.Of Polychrates, and his 7. aunciters Byshops and maryed men, we spake before.

MarginaliaEx Nouel. constit. 3. Finali.Epiphanius Bishop of Cōstantinople in Iustiniās tyme was þe more cōmended, because hys father & aunciters before him, were Priestes and Bishops maried.

MarginaliaEx Histo. aduersus Iouinian. Ioh. 1.Hierome saith, that in his time, plurimi Sacerdotes habebant matrimonia. That is, many Priestes were then maryed men.

MarginaliaDistinct. 56. Hosius.Pope Damasus reciteth vp a great number of Byshops of Rome, whiche were Priestes sonnes, as:

MarginaliaEx Virelio de sacrificio missæ.

Syluerius. an. 544.
Deusdedit, about the
yeare. 622.
Adrianus 2. about þe
yeare. 873.
Fœlix 3. about the
yeare. 474.
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No pope by this name existed; Foxe is simply repeating Flacius.

Agapetus. an. 534.
Gelasius. 484.
Theodorus whose fa-
ther was Byshop of
Hierusalem, about

the yeare. 634.
Ioannes. 10. an. 924.
Ioannes. 15. þe sonne
of Leo a Priest, a-
bout the yeare. 984.
Richard Archdeacon
of Couentrie.
Henry Archdeacon of
Volusianus Byshop
of Carthage. 
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No such bishop of Carthage existed.

Thom. Archbishop of
Yorke, sonne of Sāp-
son B. of Worceter.

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And how many other Byshops and Priests in other countreys besides these Byshops of Rome, myght bee annexed to this Catalogue, if our leasure were such, to make a whole beadrole of them all?

In þe meane time þe wordes of Syluius Cardinall, & afterward B. of Rome, are not to be forgotten, which he wrote to a certeyne frende of hys, whiche after hys orders taken, was disposed to mariage. MarginaliaEx Æneas Siluio. Epist. 321.To whom the foresayd Syluius aunswereth agayne in these woordes folowyng 

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See Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini, Opera qua extant omnia (Basel, 1551), p. 809.

: Credimus te vti non insulso consilio, si cum nequeas continere, coniugium quæris: quamuis id prius cogitandum fuerat, anteaquam initiaueris sacris ordinibus. Sed non sumus dij omnes

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