Canon Episcopi


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Canon Episcopi

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

An early religious document of unknown origin, the Canon Episcopi was for many centuries taken to be the official Roman Catholic view of witchcraft. The canon was quoted by Regino of Prüm, Abbot of Treves, about the tenth century CE. It was incorporated into the Corpus Juris Canonici in the twelfth century by Gratian of Bologna, becoming part of Canon Law.

It is an early ecclesiastical statement to the effect that a belief in witchcraft was heretical. Only God, it said, possessed supernatural power, so such things as flying through the air on broomsticks and blasting crops were impossible. Later Church theorists were to reverse this position, leading to the extremes of the persecutions.

The Canon Episcopi describes witches as being "deluded by illusions and phantasms of demons, (they) believe and openly profess that, in the dead of night, they ride upon certain beasts with the pagan goddess Diana, with a countless horde of women, and in the silence of the dead of night fly over vast tracts of country, and obey her commands as their mistress, while they are summoned to her service on other nights. . . whoever believes such things or similar things loses the faith, and he who has not the right faith in God is not of God."

It was decided, therefore, that witchcraft was a fiction and that to subscribe to that fiction was to be heretical.

C A R M O N E Y W I T C H see IRISH WITCHCRAFT C AT see FAMILIAR

References in periodicals archive ?
A partir de lo dicho, resulta patente que el discurso de Espina sobre esta cuestion, lejos de difundir el temor ante estas bruxas maleficas (como si comenzaba a suceder en otros sitios de Europa), continuaba a pie juntillas el legado del Canon episcopi, fuente de autoridad explicita de la consideratio en cuestion (como sostiene Meyuhas Ginio, <<Espina suivait fidelement l'attitude traditionnelle de l'Eglise>>) (16).
Afirma que creer tales cosas, que en verdad solo ocurrian en suenos y en el espiritu (in sompniis et spiritu tantum), implicaba una gran estupidez (tanta stulticia) y, siguiendo el Canon episcopi, alega que quien asi lo hiciera era infiel y peor que pagano (infidelis est et pagano deterior) (24).
En este pasaje, Barrientos adicionaba el neologismo bruxa alli donde sus fuentes (el Canon episcopi, el Corrector de Burcardo de Worms, el Policratus de Juan de Salisbury y la Summa de Raimundo de Penafort) nunca lo habian empleado, pero, a diferencia de Espina, el obispo castellano no ligaba aun dicho termino con el novedoso paradigma del sabbat brujeril (28).
En su discurso, el Tostado no menciona ni el Canon episcopi ni incorpora, en ningun momento, la imagen del demonio, ni como agente del engano sufrido por las maleficae ni como protagonista de la imaginaria reunion nocturna a la que estas supuestamente acudian.
En principio, cabe destacar la intencion del Tostado de desmenuzar en detalle la palabra evangelica que, en el caso del citado pasaje de Mateo, demostraria la posibilidad de que los vuelos nocturnos, que el Canon episcopi tildaba de ilusorios, ocurrieran realmente.
The Canon Episcopi was supposedly promulgated at the fourth-century Council of Ancyra.
49) Although demonic illusions may occur, the Canon Episcopi is directed against the worship of false gods like Diana who are in reality demons.
To refute these arguments, Chapters 1-6 (36 pages) of the Flagellum consider the problem of demonic illusion and corporeality; Chapters 7-9 (36 pages) address the Canon Episcopi and its relation to the modern sect of the fascinarii; Chapters 10-25 (97 pages) discuss the different powers of demons, and what this tells us about the actions of God; and Chapters 26-28 (13 pages) deal with the legal validity of evidence given by the members of the sect.
65) According to Jacquier, those who argue that the synagogue is an illusion draw on the Canon Episcopi.
73) This mode of deception is that described in the Canon Episcopi.
A description of something similar is to be found in the Canon Episcopi, a piece of canon law dating from c.
The Canon Episcopi itself calls such stories hallucinations and figments of the imagination.