Council of Tours

Council of Tours

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In the medieval Roman Catholic church there were several Councils of Tours
Tours is a city in central France, the capital of the Indre-et-Loire department.It is located on the lower reaches of the river Loire, between Orléans and the Atlantic coast. Touraine, the region around Tours, is known for its wines, the alleged perfection of its local spoken French, and for the...

that city being an old seat of Christianity, and considered fairly centrally located in France. Athenius, Bishop of Rennes, took part in the First Council of Tours in AD 461. The last to sign the canons was Mansuetus, episcopus Brittanorum ("bishop of the Britons" [in Armorica
Armorica or Aremorica is the name given in ancient times to the part of Gaul that includes the Brittany peninsula and the territory between the Seine and Loire rivers, extending inland to an indeterminate point and down the Atlantic coast...


At the Second, in 567, it was decreed that any cleric found in bed with his wife would be excommunicated for a year and reduced to the lay state; nor might monks sleep two to a bed.

A Council at Tours in 755 recommended that the calendar
A calendar is a system of organizing days for social, religious, commercial, or administrative purposes. This is done by giving names to periods of time, typically days, weeks, months, and years. The name given to each day is known as a date. Periods in a calendar are usually, though not...

 year begin at Easter
Easter is the central feast in the Christian liturgical year. According to the Canonical gospels, Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion. His resurrection is celebrated on Easter Day or Easter Sunday...


A Council of Tours in 813 decided that priests should preach sermons in the rusticam romanam linguam understood by the people, instead of in Latin. This was the first official recognition of an early French language distinct from Latin, and can be considered as the birth date of French.

A Council at Tours in 1055 was occasioned by controversy regarding the nature of the Eucharist
The Eucharist , also called Holy Communion, the Sacrament of the Altar, the Blessed Sacrament, the Lord's Supper, and other names, is a Christian sacrament or ordinance...

. It was presided over by the papal legate Hildebrand, later Pope Gregory VII
Pope Gregory VII
Pope St. Gregory VII , born Hildebrand of Sovana , was Pope from April 22, 1073, until his death. One of the great reforming popes, he is perhaps best known for the part he played in the Investiture Controversy, his dispute with Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor affirming the primacy of the papal...

. Berengarius signed a profession of faith wherein he confessed that after consecration the bread and wine are truly the body and blood of Christ.

Subsequent councils reiterated and intensified the condemnation of the Cathar
Catharism was a name given to a Christian religious sect with dualistic and gnostic elements that appeared in the Languedoc region of France and other parts of Europe in the 11th century and flourished in the 12th and 13th centuries...

s of southern France. A Council of Tours in 1163 under pope Alexander III
Pope Alexander III
Pope Alexander III , born Rolando of Siena, was Pope from 1159 to 1181. He is noted in history for laying the foundation stone for the Notre Dame de Paris.-Church career:...

 ordering them to be deprived of their goods, which whetted northern French appetites for an Albigensian Crusade
Albigensian Crusade
The Albigensian Crusade or Cathar Crusade was a 20-year military campaign initiated by the Catholic Church to eliminate Catharism in Languedoc...

. The first uses of the expression "Albigenses" is said to be in connection with the council.