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University of Paris: Condemnation of Errors, 1241

One important function of the University of Paris was to act as a expert witnesses as to what was heretical. They did not hesitate to condemn even the utterances of a pope. Peter Lombard, their great master and authority, was harshly criticized and eighteen errors were found in his writings. The following heresies are printed here as examples of the kind of problems on which the students were exercising their reason.


TEN ERRORS CONDEMNED at Paris, Jan 13, 1241

Chart. Univ. Paris. 1, No. 128, p. 170. Latin.

These are the articles rejected as contrary to true theology and condemned by Odo, the chancellor of Paris, and the masters ruling in theology at Paris, in the year of our Lord 1240 [note: Jan 1 was not always new years day] , on the second Sunday after the octaves of Christmas.

The first [error] is, that the Divine essence in itself will not be seen by any man or angel.
We condemn this error, and by the authority of William, the bishop, we excommunicate those who assert and defend it. Moreover, we firmly believe and assert that God in His essence or substance will be seen by the angels and all saints, and is seen by glorified spirits.

The second, that although the Divine essence is one in Father, Son and Holy Ghost, nevertheless that as far as regards form it is one in Father and Son, but not one in these with the Holy Ghost, and yet this form is the same as the Divine essence.
We condemn this error, for we firmly believe that the essence or substance is one in the Father and Son and Holy Ghost, and the essence is the same in regard to form.

The third, that the Holy Ghost, as it is a bond of affection or love, does not proceed from the Son, but only from the Father.
We condemn this error, for we firmly believe that as it is a bond of affection or love, it proceeds from both.

The fourth, that glorified Spirits are not in the empyreal heaven with the angels, nor will the glorified bodies be there, but in the aqueous or crystalline heaven, which is above the firmament; which they also presume to think concerning the blessed Virgin.
We condemn this error, for we firmly believe that angels and sanctified souls and corporeal bodies will occupy the same corporeal place, namely, the empyreal heaven.

The fifth, that the bad angel was bad from his very creation, and never was anything but bad.
We condemn this error, for we firmly believe that he was created good., and afterward through sinning be became bad.

The sixth, that an angel can at the same moment be in different places and can be omnipresent if he chooses.
We condemn this error, for we firmly believe that an angel is in one definite place; so that, if he is here, he is not elsewhere at the same moment; for it is impossible that be should be omnipresent, for this is peculiar to God alone.

The seventh, that many truths, which are not God, have existed ,eternally.
We condemn this error, for we firmly believe that one truth alone, which is God, has existed eternally.

The eighth, that the beginning, the present time, the creation the passion may not have been created.
We condemn this error, for we firmly believe that each is both created and creature.

The ninth, that he who has greater talents, will of necessity have greater grace and glory.
We condemn this error, for we firmly believe that God will give grace and glory to each one according to what he has decided and fore-ordained.

The tenth, that the bad angel never had ground whereon he as able to stand, nor even Adam in his state of innocence.
We condemn this error, for we firmly believe that each one ground whereon he was able to stand, but not anything by which he was able to profit.


trans in University of Pennsylvania. Dept. of History: Translations and Reprints from the Original Sources of European history, published for the Dept. of History of the University of Pennsylvania., Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press [1897?-1907?].Vol II:3, , pp. 17-19



This text is part of the Internet Medieval Source Book. The Sourcebook is a collection of public domain and copy-permitted texts related to medieval and Byzantine history.

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(c)Paul Halsall Feb 1996
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