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1152 [1151]

K. Henry. 8. Allegations against the vj. Articles. Priests mariage.

shall presume, agaynst the Canons of the Apostles, to depriue either priest or Deacon from the touchyng and company of his lawful wyfe, let hym be depriued. And lykewise thys Priest and Deacon, who soeuer for Religion sake shal put away hys wyfe, let hym be excommunicate. &c. And þe Councell of Gangren sayth: let hym be accursed. MarginaliaVj. thinges in this Councel to be noted. By these woordes of the Counsell recited, sixe thynges are to bee noted. 

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These first five of these points are Foxe's own observation, the sixth is drawn from Matthias Flacius.

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1. First, howe thys Councel calleth þe Mariage of priestes lawfull, contrary to these vj. articles, and to a certeine late Englishe wryter of our countrey, entitulyng his booke agaynst the vnlawfull mariage of Priestes. 

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Foxe is referring to Thomas Martin, A treatise declaryng and plainly provyng that the pretensed marriage of priestes, is no marriage, STC 17517.

2. In that this Coūcel so foloweth the Canons of the Apostles, and constitutions of holy men: wee haue to vnderstand, what the censure both of the Apostles: and determination of other holy men were therein.

3. If the Iniunction of this Councell, agreeyng thus wt the Apostles and holy men, stode with truth, the contrary Canon of the Romanes, and also of these vj. Englishe articles, must nedes be condemned of errour,

4. By this Councell appeareth that so long tyme, almost. 700. yeares after Christ, thys prohibition of Priestes mariage was not yet entred into the Orient church, but stoutly was holden out.

5. By the Romane Canon here mentioned (which began with Gregorius 600 yeares after Christ, a litle before this Councell) it can not be denyed, but the Churche of Rome began then to disceuer, not onely from the veritye, but also from the vnitie of all other Churches, folowyng the Apostolicke doctrine. MarginaliaGregorius reuoked his owne acte concerning the mariage of Priestes. Albeit the sayd Romane Canon, at that time stode not long, but was shortly disanulled by the sayd Gregorius agayne by the occasion of infantes heades founde in hys fishe ponde, whereof (Christ willyng) more shalbe spoken hereafter.

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MarginaliaThe craftie packing of the Romanes in suppressing & counterfeiting the Canons of Councels. 6. Sixtly, here 

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This sixth point is drawn entirely from Matthias Flacius, Catalogus testium veritatis (Basel, 1562), pp. 53-4.

is to be noted & remembred the craftie false packyng, and fraude of the Romanes: whiche in the Latine booke of Councels, in diuers new impressions, haue suppressed this Canon, because be like, it maketh litle with their purpose: playing much lyke with this, as Pope Zosimus, Bonifacius and Celestinus played with þe sixt councel of Carthage, which for their supremacy would haue forged a false Canon of Nice, had not the Councell sent to Constantinople for the true exemplar therof and so proued them open lyers to their faces. So lykewise this Canon aboue mētioned although it be omitted in some bookes, yet beyng founde in the auncient and true written copyes being alledged of Nilus a Greeke Byshop of Thessalonica. CC. yeare tofore and moreouer beyng founde and alledged in the Popes own booke of MarginaliaDist. 31. Decrees distin. 31. must nedes conuince them of manifest theft and falsehode. MarginaliaHildebrand & Calixtus first extortors of priestes lawfull mariage. Thus it may stand sufficiently proued that the depriuation of Priestes lawfull mariage all this space was not entred into þe Church neyther Greke nor Latine, at least toke no full possession before Pope Hildebrandus tyme, anno domini. 1070, and especially Pope Calixtus tyme anno domini. 1120. whiche were þe first open extortors of Priestes mariage.

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Auentinus a faythfull writer of his time, writyng of the Councell 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 publice vxores, sicut cæteri Christiani habebant filios procreabant, sicuti instrumentis donationum quæ illi templis, Mystis, & Monachis fecere: vbi hæ nominatim cum cōiugibus testes citantur, & honesto vocabulo Præsbyterissæ nuncupantur, inuenio. Cæsar tum &c. MarginaliaAuantinus in histor. Boiorum. That is: In those dayes Priestes commonly hadde wyues as other Christen men had, and had children also, as may appeare by auncient instrumentes, and dedes of gift, whiche were then giuen to Churches to the Clergy & to religious houses in the which instrumentes both the Priestes, and theyr wyues also with them (which there be called Præsbyterissæ) I finde to bee alledged for witnesses. It happened moreouer the same time (saith Auantine) that the Emperor had the inuesting of diuers Archbishoprickes, Byshopricks, Abbayes & Nunries within his dominions. Pope Hildebrande disdayning agaynst both these sortes afore sayd, that is, both agaynst them that were inuested by the Emperour & also agaynst all those Priests that had wyues, prouided so in his Councell at Rome, that they whiche were promoted by the Emperour into lyuynges of the Church were counted to come in by Symony: the other which were maryed priests were counted for Nicolaitanes, Whereupon Pope Hildebrande writynge his letters to the Emperour, to Dukes, Princes, and other greate Prelates, and Potentates: namely to Bertholdus, Zaringer, to Rodolphus of Sueuia, to Welphon of Bauaria, to Adalberon, and to theyr Ladies, and to dyuers other to whome he thought good: also to Bishoppes, namely to Otto Byshoppe of Constance, wyth other Priestes and lay people, willeth them in hys letters to refuse and to kepe no company with MarginaliaSymoniacke Priestes. those Symoniake, and MarginaliaNicolaitan Priestes. those Nicolaitane Priestes (for so were they termed then, which had eyther any Ecclesiasticall lyuing by the Emperour, or els whiche had wyues to auoyde theyr Masses, neitheir talke: neyther to eate nor drinke wyth 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 woulde eschue the plague or pestilence. MarginaliaEx Auentino Anual. Boiorum. Lib. 5. By reason wherof ensued a myghty schisme & afflictiō among the flocke of Christ, such as lightly the like hath not bene seene. For the Priestes went against their Byshops, the people agaynst þe Priest, the laytie against the Clergie: briefly all ranne together in heapes and in confusion. Men and women, as euery one was set vpon mischiefe, wickednes, contention and auarice, tooke thereby occasion vpon euery light suspicion, to resiste their Minister, to spoyle the goods of the Church. The vulgare people contemned the Priestes which had maryed wyues, despised their Religion, and all thynges that they dyd: yea and in many places would purge the places where they had bene, wyth holy water, and brent their tythes. Also such was the mischiefe of them, that they would take the holy mysteries, which those maryed Priestes had cōsecrated, and cast them in the dyrt, and tread them vnder their feete: For so then had Hildebrand taught them, that those were no Priests, neyther that they were Sacramentes, which they did consecrate. So that by this occasion, many false Prophetes rose, seducing the people from the truth of Christ, by forged fables, and false myracles, & feyned Gloses, wrasting the Scriptures as serued best for their owne purposes. Of whom few there were that kept any true chastitie. Many coulde make glorious boastes and bragges thereof, but the greatest part vnder the shew and pretense of honesty and purenes of lyfe committed incest, fornication, adultery, euery where almost, and no punishment was for the same. &c. Thus much out of Auentinus. lib. 5. Annal.

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To this testimonie of Auentinus aboue mentioned, 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 thys our latter tyme, and one also of their 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, Spayne, and in Fraunce, were maryed, wyth the Clergie also of their dioces.

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MarginaliaIsiforus de vita clericorū. Of the which Spanishe Byshops 

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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, which wrote more then sixe hundreth yeares after Christ (and the place also cited in the Popes Distinctions) MarginaliaDist. 23. cap. Ius igitur. in hys booke De clericorum vita, how they ought eyther to lead an honest chast lyfe, or els to keepe themselues wythin the bande of matrimonye. &c. Whereby is declared the single lyfe of Priestes, eyther to be 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 Priests, that is, of Calixtus Secte, who chiefly forbad priestes maryage. as be now a dayes, countyng Priestes maryage as a new deuise, and not standyng with auncient tymes, let them looke vpon the Decree of Pope Symmachus, and answere there to the Glose. Dist. 81. where it is written: Let Priests be all restrayned frō the conuersation of all wemen, except it be their mother, sister, or their owne wyfe. &c. Where the glose in the margent, geueth a note, saying: Hic loquitur secundum antiqua tempora.

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Thus if eyther the voyce of scripture myght take place wyth these men which be so rigorous agaynst Priests maryage: MarginaliaAll the Apostles were maryed, except Iohn & Paule.
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 Paule and Iohn) or els if the multitude of maryed Byshops and Priestes might preuayle with them, here might be 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 and children.

MarginaliaEx Epist. Hilarij 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 Nazianzeno. Of Polychrates, and his 7. aunciters Byshops & maryed men, we spake before.

MarginaliaEx Nouel. constit. 3. ¶ Finali. Epiphanius Byshop of Constantinople in Iustinians tyme was the more commended, because his father & aunciters before hym, were Priestes and Byshops maried.

MarginaliaEx Hiero. aduersus Iouinian. Lib. 1. Hierome sayth, that in his tyme, Plurimi Sacerdotes habebant matrimonia. That is, many Priestes were then maryed men.

Pope Damasus reciteth vp a great number of Byshops of Rome, which were Priestes sonnes, as:

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