Roman Emperors Give Bishops Authority Over Legal Action That Involves Clerics Hot

Roman Emperors Give Bishops Authority Over Legal Action That Involves Clerics

Emperor Valentinian III

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Roman emperors Theodosius II and Valentinian III grant bishops authority over legal actions involving clerics.

This decree states:

"We restore with eager devotion to all churches their privileges which the tyrant [John] had begrudged. Whatever was established by the sainted Emperors and whatever any bishop had impetrated from them for ecclesiastical purposes will be preserved and confirmed for all eternity, under the penalty prescribed for sacrilege.

Clerics who the accursed presumptor [John] had ordered brought before secular judges, We reserve for a hearing before the bishops. It is not right that ministers of the divine service be subjected to the judgment of temporal authorities." [CTh 16.2.47]

The "tyrant" and "presumptor" here is John, a civil servant in Rome who declared himself emperor after the death of Emperor Honorius in 423. He was tolerant of all Christian sects, even those deemed heretical, but he had little military power behind him and he lasted less than a year.

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Emperors of Rome: Valentinian III

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