Text of the Ninth Ecumenical Council

[I am not aware of any source which preserves the acts or sessions of this council, if there were any, except for the following canons.]


Canon 1

Following the examples of the holy fathers and renewing them as we are bound by our office, by the authority of the apostolic see we altogether forbid anyone to be ordained or promoted in the church of God for money. If anyone indeed should have been ordained or promoted in the church in such a fashion, let him be utterly deprived of the office acquired.

Canon 2

We absolutely forbid those excommunicated by their own bishops to be received into communion by other bishops, abbots and clergy.

Canon 3

No one may consecrate as a bishop someone who is not canonically elected. If anyone should presume to do this, let both consecrator and consecrated be deposed beyond hope of restoration.

Canon 4

Absolutely no archdeacon, archpriest, provost or dean may grant to anyone the care of souls or prebends in a church without the decision or consent of the bishop. Rather, as it is constituted by the holy canons, let the care of souls and the dispensing of ecclesiastical affairs remain in the decision and power of the bishop. Indeed, if anyone presumes to do something against this, or to claim for himself the power which pertains to the bishop, let him be banished from the bounds of the church.

Canon 5

The ordinations made by the heresiarch Burdinus, after he was condemned by the Roman church, and whatever was afterwards done by pseudo-bishops ordained by him, we judge to be null and void.

Canon 6

No one except a priest may be ordained to the office of provost, archpriest or dean; no one except a deacon may be ordained to the office of archdeacon.

Canon 7

We absolutely forbid priests, deacons or subdeacons to live with concubines and wives, and to cohabit with other women, except those whom the council of Nicaea permitted to dwell with them solely on account of necessity, namely a mother, sister, paternal or maternal aunt, or other such persons, about whom no suspicion could justly arise.

Canon 8

We further resolve, in accordance with the statute of the most blessed pope Stephen, that lay persons, however religious they may be, have no power to dispose of any ecclesiastical business; but following the apostolic canons, let the bishop have the care of all ecclesiastical matters, and let him manage them as in the sight of God. Therefore if any prince or other lay person should arrogate to himself the disposition or donation of ecclesiastical things or possessions, let him be regarded as sacrilegious.

Canon 9

We prohibit unions between blood relatives, because both the divine and secular laws prohibit them. For, the divine laws not only cast out those doing this and their progeny but also call them accursed; the secular laws call such people disreputable and deprive them of inheritance. We, therefore, following our fathers, mark them with infamy and judge them to be infamous.

Canon 10

To those who set out for Jerusalem and offer effective help towards the defence of the christian people and overcoming the tyranny of the infidels, we grant the remission of their sins, and we place their houses and families and all their goods under the protection of blessed Peter and the Roman church, just as has been decreed by our lord pope Urban. Whoever dares to distrain or carry off their houses, families and goods, while they are on their way, shall be punished with excommunication. Those who have put crosses on their clothes, with a view to journeying to Jerusalem or to Spain, and have later taken them off, we command by our apostolic authority to wear the crosses again and to complete the journey between this Easter and the following Easter. Otherwise, from that moment we cut them off from entry into church and forbid divine services in all their lands, apart from the baptism of infants and confessions for the dying.

Canon 11

With the advice of our brothers and of the whole curia, and also with the wish and consent of the prefect, we order the abolition of that immoral practice hitherto obtaining with respect to the dead Porticani, so that the goods of Porticani dwellers dying without heirs are not to be dispersed against the wishes of those dying. This, however, is to the extent that the Porticani remain obedient and faithful to the Roman church and to us and our successors.

Canon 12

In accordance with the canons of the holy fathers, we absolutely forbid and prohibit the laity, under the penalty of anathema, to remove the offerings from the most sacred and revered altars of blessed Peter and of the Saviour and of St. Mary Rotunda and of St. Nicholas of Bari, of St Giles, or from the altars or crosses of all the other churches. By apostolic authority we forbid the fortification or taking hold of churches by lay persons.

Canon 13

Whoever knowingly makes or intentionally spends counterfeit money shall be separated from the communion of the faithful as one accursed, an oppressor of the poor and a disturber of the state.

Canon 14

If anyone tries to attack pilgrims to Rome and foreigners visiting the shrines of the apostles and the oratories of other saints, or to rob them of the things they bring, or to trouble merchants with new exactions of tolls and fees, let him be deprived of Christian communion until he makes reparation.

Canon 15

We confirm, with the authority of the holy Spirit, whatever has been determined by the Roman pontiffs our predecessors concerning the peace and truce of God or arson or the public highways.

Canon 16

Following in the footsteps of the holy fathers, we order by general decree, that monks be subject to their own bishops with all humility, and show due obedience and devoted submission to them in all things, as if to masters and shepherds of the church of God. They may not celebrate masses in public anywhere. Moreover, let them completely abstain from public visitations of the sick, from anointings and even from hearing confessions, for these things in no way pertain to their calling. Indeed, in the churches where their ministry is recognized, they may only have priests who were ordained by their own bishop, to whom they will answer for the care of souls which they have assumed.

Canon 17

In our desire to preserve in peace, by the grace of God, the possessions of the holy Roman church, we strictly forbid, under pain of anathema, any military person to presume to seize or hold by force Benevento, the city of blessed Peter. If anyone should dare otherwise, he shall be bound by the chain of anathema.

Canon 18

Priests are to be appointed to parish churches by the bishops, to whom they shall answer for the care of souls and for those matters which pertain to the bishop. They may not receive tithes or churches from lay persons without the consent and wish of the bishops; and if they presume to do otherwise, they shall be subject to the canonical penalty.

Canon 19

We allow the service which monasteries and their churches have paid from the time of Pope Gregory VII until now. We altogether forbid abbots and monks to have the possessions of churches and bishops by a thirty years provision.

Canon 20

Having in mind the examples in the traditions of the fathers, and discharging the duty of our pastoral office, we decree that churches and what belongs to them, both persons and possessions, namely clerics, monks and their lay brothers, as well as those who come to pray and what they bring with them, are to be under protection and not be harmed. If anyone dares to act contrary to this and after recognizing his villainy, has not properly made amends within the space of thirty days, let him be banished from the bounds of the church and be smitten with the sword of anathema.

Canon 21

We absolutely forbid priests, deacons, subdeacons and monks to have concubines or to contract marriages. We adjudge, as the sacred canons have laid down, that marriage contracts between such persons should be made void and the persons ought to undergo penance.

Canon 22

We condemn the alienations which have been made everywhere, especially by Otto, Jeremias, and perhaps Philip, of the property of the exarchate of Ravenna. Moreover, we declare in general to be invalid the alienations made in whatever fashion by all persons, whether they were intruded or were canonically elected in the name of a bishop or an abbot, who should be consecrated in accordance with the usage of his own church, and the ordinations conferred by them without the consent of the clergy of the church or through simony. We also forbid absolutely that any cleric should presume to alienate in any way his prebend or any ecclesiastical benefice. Any such action in the past or the future shall be invalid and subject to canonical penalty.

Source: http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Councils/ecum09.htm