Roman Law: Christian Clergy Can't Interfere in Criminal Cases

Roman Law: Christian Clergy Can't Interfere in Criminal Cases

Theodosius I
Source: Erine

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Emperors Valentinian I, Arcadius, and Theodosius I issue a new law stating that not even Christian clergy are allowed to interfere in criminal cases by getting a convicted criminal to file an appeal.

According to this law:

"If officials report that convicted people are appealing or that people who have confessed are appealing, those officials will be fined 30 pounds of gold and they cannot use the excuse that bishops or priests have intervened.

It is not right to save from due punishment those who create disorder, are rebellious, or disturb the public peace. ..." [CTh 11.36.31]

It seems likely that Christian priests and bishops must have been interfering with criminal cases, trying to get confessed or convicted criminals released via one argument or another. Otherwise, there would be little need for issue such a law at all, much less for singling out the clergy in particular for criticism.

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Emperors of Rome: Valentinian I

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