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Arles, France, in a 2016 photo. The first synod of Arles was held in 314. (Image: Chensiyuan / Wikipedia)

By J. J. Ziegler, Catholic World Report, July 6, 2024

J. J. Ziegler, who holds degrees in classics and sacred theology, writes from North Carolina.


Bishops, priests, and deacons representing 43 dioceses gathered in Arles on August 1, 314; Bishop Marinus of Arles presided. Topics addressed included excommunications, a common date for Easter, the Donatist heresy, and the rebaptism of heretics.

Early in the year 303, “when the feast of the Saviour’s passion was near at hand, royal edicts were published everywhere, commanding that the churches be leveled to the ground and the Scriptures be destroyed by fire, and ordering that those who held places of honor be degraded, and that the household servants, if they persisted in the profession of Christianity, be deprived of freedom,” the fourth-century historian Eusebius of Caesarea recalled in his Ecclesiastical History. …

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