Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 152
Canon 6 of the Council of Gerona (Iberian Peninsula, AD 517) forbids clerics to live with their former wives unless they live in chastity proved by the testimony of another cleric.
Canon 6
Vt coniugati ab episcopo usque ad subdiaconum non sine testimonio uiuant.
De conuersatione uitae a pontifice usque ad subdiaconum post suscepti honoris officium: si qui ex coniunctis fuerint ordinati, ut sine testimonio alterius fratris <utatur auxilium> [cum sorore] iam ex coniuge facta non habitent. Quod si habitare uoluerint alterius fratris utatur auxilium cuius testimonio uita eius debeat clarior apparere.
(eds. Martínez Díez, Rodríguez 1984: 287; the brackets introduced by M. Szada)
Canon 6
That the married clerics from bishop to sub-deacon should not live without witness [of their chastity]
On the way of life of clerics from bishop to sub-deacon after accepting an honourable office: if those who have wives are ordained, they shall not live with their wives turned into sisters without the testimony of a brother. If they, however, want to live together, they shall use the assistance of a brother whose testimony will make their life transparent.  
(trans. M. Szada)


The phrase alterius fratris utatur auxilium iam ex coniuge facta non habitent is corrupted. One of the manuscripts (E) has here instead cum sorore. Martínez Díez and Rodríguez (1984: 287, n. 1) proposed to correct this phrase as following: ut sine testimonio alterius fratris cum sorore iam ex coniuge facta non habitent. The scribe probably by mistake wrote utatur auxilium after alterius fratris also in the previous phrase, and not only in the last one.

Place of event:

  • Iberian Peninsula
  • Gerona

About the source:

Title: Council of Gerona, Concilium Gerundense
Origin: Gerona (Iberian Peninsula)
Denomination: Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian
Council of Gerona was a meeting of the provincial Church in June 517 presided over by John, archbishop of Tarragona. It followed the Council of Tarragona in 516. It was an attempt to establish regular provincial councils (Freedman 2013). Both councils are dated by the regnal years of Theodoric, king of the Ostrogoths, who acted as a guardian of Amalaric, king of the Visigoths, half-brother of the expelled King Gesalic (Collins 2004: 41).
G. Martínez Díez, F. Rodríguez, eds., La colección canónica Hispana, v. 4 Concilios Galos. Concilios Hispanos: primera parte, Madrid 1984.
J. Vives, Concilios visigóticos e hispano-romanos, Barcelona-Madrid 1963.
R. Collins, Visigothic Spain, 409-711, Oxford, OX, UK; Malden, MA, USA 2004.
P. Freedman, "Gerona, Council of,” [in:] Medieval Iberia: An Encyclopedia, ed. E.M. Gerli, Hoboken 2013, 360.


Family life - Marriage
    Family life - Permanent relationship continued after ordination
      Family life - Separation/Divorce
        Monastic or common life - Clerical community
          Relation with - Wife
              Private law - Ecclesiastical
                Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: M. Szada, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER152,