FREE Catholic Classes
( Latin for DENOUNCERS)
A term used by the Synod of Elvira (c. 306) to stigmatize those Christians who appeared as accusers of their brethren. This synod decided (can. lxxiii, Hefele, Conciliengeschichte, 2d ed., I, 188) that if any Christian was proscribed or put to death through the denunciation ( delatio ) of another Christian, such a delator was to suffer perpetual excommunication. No distinction is made between true and false accusation, but the synod probably meant only the accusation of Christianity before the heathen judge, or at most a false accusation. Any false accusation against a bishop, priest, or deacon was visited with a similar punishment by the same synod (can. lxxv, op. cit., 189). The punishment for false witness in general was proportioned by can. lxxiv to the gravity of the accusation. The Council of Arles of 314 issued a similar decree (can. xiv, op. cit., p. 213), when it decided that Christians who accused falsely their brethren were to be forever excluded from communion with the faithful. During the persecutions of the early Christians it sometimes happened that apostates denounced their fellow-Christians. The younger Pliny relates in a letter to Trajan ( Apostolic Fathers ed. Lightfoot, 2d ed., I. i, 50 sqq.), that an anonymous bill of indictment was presented to him on which were many names of Christians ; we do not know, however, that the author of this libellus was a Christian. According to can. xiii of the Council of Arles (op. cit., 211 sqq.), during the persecution of Diocletian Christians were denounced by their own brethren to the heathen judges. If it appeared from the public acts that an ecclesiastic had done this, he was punished by the synod with perpetual deposition ; however, his ordinations were considered valid. In general, false accusation is visited with severe punishments in later synods, e.g. Second Council of Arles (443 or 453, can. xxiv), the Council of Agde (506, can. viii) and others. These decrees appear in the later medieval collections of canons. New punitive decrees against calumny were issued by Gregory IX in his Decretals (de calumniatoribus, V, 3 in Corp. Jur. Can). KRÜLL in KRAUS, Real-Encyk. (Freiburg im Br., 1882), I, 361; HINSCHIUS, Kirchenrecht, IV (Berlin, 1888), 699, 770; IV (Berlin, 1893), 20 sqq.
Help Now >
Join the Movement
When you sign up below, you don't just join an email list - you're joining an entire movement for Free world class Catholic education.
Saint of the Day for Saturday, Feb 4th, 2023
Mysteries of the Rosary
Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Saints & Angels
Female / Women Saints
Unfailing Prayer to St. Anthony
A Guide for Confession
- Daily Readings for Sunday, February 05, 2023
- St. Agatha: Saint of the Day for Sunday, February 05, 2023
- For Special Intentions: Prayer of the Day for Sunday, February 05, 2023
- Daily Readings for Saturday, February 04, 2023
- St. Joan of Valois: Saint of the Day for Saturday, February 04, 2023
- A Prayer for Church Unity: Prayer of the Day for Saturday, February 04, 2023
Copyright 2022 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2022 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.
Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.