Canon 3 of the First Council of Toledo (Iberian Peninsula, AD 400) forbids the promotion of a lector married to a widow.
Intended for scholary use. For credentials see Bibliography
De his qui viduas acceperint ne diacones efficiantur
Item constituit sancta synodus, ut lector fidelis, si viduam alterius uxorem acceperit, amplius nicil sit, sed semper lector habeatur aut forte subdiaconus.
(ed. Vives 1963: 20)
On those who have taken widows that they shall not be ordained deacons
The holy synod decided that a faithful lector who takes a widow as a wife shall not be promoted to a higher rank, but he shall stay a lector for ever or perhaps a subdeacon.
(trans. M. Szada)
Place of event:
About the source:
Title: Council of Toledo I, Concilium Toletanum I, First Council of Toledo, Concilium I Toletanum Origin: Toledo (Iberian Peninsula) Denomination: Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian
The first council of Toledo was convened to deal with divisions among the Spanish episcopate caused by the conviction and execution of Priscillian in 385. Many people in Spain, the bishops among them, considered the judgement unfair and venerated Priscillian as a martyr. The acts of the council consist of the twenty canons with the preface and the subscriptions of the bishops, the creed (regula fidei) with 18 anathemas against Priscillian, the professions of faith declared by the former adherents of Priscillian and the closing sententia definitiva. The last two are excerpts from the full version of the conciliar acts which has not survived and has been transmitted in the manuscript tradition separate from canonical collection of Hispana (Chadwick 1976: 179-181; Burrus 1995: 104-105).
The date of the council is given in the beginning of the preface - it is the time of Arcadius and Honorius (then between 395-408) and of the consulship of Stilicho (400 or 405). The date given in the Spanish era is unreliable, because a lot of different versions survived in manuscripts. G. Martínez Díez and F. Rodríguez (1984: 326) thought that it was a later addition. Moreover, Ambrosius of Milan and Siricius are both already dead (the title sanctae memoriae is added before their names), therefore the council must have been held after 399. Also Hydatius in Chronicle dates the council to 400, so this is the most probable solution (Weckwerth 2004: 89-90).
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.
A. Weckwerth, Das erste Konzil von Toledo: philologischer und kirchenhistorischer Kommentar zur Constitutio concilii, Münster, Westfalen 2004.
Impediments or requisits for the office - Marriage
Public 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, ER98, http://presbytersproject.ihuw.pl/index.php?id=6&SourceID=98