Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 213.
Canon 17 of the Council of Hippo (North Africa, AD 393), preserved in the "Breviarium Hipponense" (AD 397) requires that the entire household of a candidate to ordination be Catholic.
Canon 17
Vt episcopi, presbyteri and diaconi non ordinentur priusquam omnes qui sunt in domo eorum christianos catholicos fecerint.
(ed. Munier 1974: 38)
Canon 17
Bishops, presbyters and deacons should not be ordained before they make all their household Catholic Christians.
(trans. S. Adamiak)


The canon shows us two things: firstly, the clergy of higher grades (bishops, presbyters, and deacons) were retained as the heads of their households, including probably their spouses, children and servants. Secondly, religious divisions could also run deep inside families. Since the canon was passed in Africa, it is most probably aimed against Donatists (thus the stress on 'Christian Catholics') and pagans.
The canon was repeated in Registri Ecclesiae Carthaginensis Excerpta as Canon 36, in the Breviary of Ferrandus (523/546) as Canon 15 and in Collectio Hispana.

Place of event:

  • Latin North Africa
  • Carthage
  • Hippo Regius

About the source:

Title: Breuiarium Hipponense
Origin: Carthage (Latin North Africa)
Denomination: Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian
The bishops of Byzacena arrived too early for the African plenary council at Carthage in AD 397. Since they had to leave the city before the actual beginning of the proceedings Aurelius of Carthage charged them with editing the decisions of the Council of Hippo of AD 393. The document drafted in this way and accepted on 13 August 397 was called the "Breviarium Hipponense", and it was included later in the Canons in causa Apiarii from AD 419, Registri Ecclesiae Carthaginensis Excerpta, Breviarium of Ferrandus and Statuta Ecclesiae Antiqua.
C. Munier ed., Concilia Africae a. 345-a. 525, Corpus Christianorum. Series Latina 149, Turnhoult 1974, 23-53.  


Family life - Offspring
    Described by a title - Presbyter/πρεσβύτερος
      Impediments or requisits for the office - Heresy/Schism
        Relation with - Heretic/Schismatic
          Family life
            Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: S. Adamiak, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER213.,