Synod of Arles

The Council of Arles was a synod in 314, whose decisions were significant for the further development of the Christian Church.

Occasion of the Synod was the discussion of the Donatists in North Africa. A synod in Rome under the chairmanship of Bishop Miltiades had brought no solution to the dispute.

Emperor Constantine I convened therefore to ensure the unity of the Christian Church, another Bischofssynonde one. She entered on August 1, 314 in Arles in the Roman province of Gaul together. The Synod condemned the Donatism and recognized the disputed by the Donatist bishop election of the bishop of Carthage, Caecilian on.

Theologically significant is especially the rejection of the Donatist Sakramentensubjektivismus: The validity of the sacraments, especially baptism and the priesthood, was recognized regardless of the orthodoxy or personal worthiness of the sacrament dispenser. Thus the Synod of Arles contradicted not only the Donatists, but the whole North African tradition, for which Tertullian and Cyprian of Carthage.

In addition, the Synod of Arles dealt with disciplinary issues and handle the issue of the Easter date in the Easter controversy in.

The Roman bishop and Pope Sylvester did not personally participate in the Synod, but sent two deacons and two priests as representatives.