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ABLEGATE
ABNER
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ness nevertheless to the practice of the Church of Constantinople in the fifth century [Duchesne, Christian Worship (London, 1904), 339, 340]. This canon, which was inserted in the Trullan or Quinisext Synod (canon xcv), and thus found a place in Byzantine canon law, distinguishes between sects whose baptism, but not confirmation, was accepted and those whose baptism and confirmation were rejected. With the Arians, consequently, are classed the Macedonians, Novatians (Conc. Nicæn., I, can. ix; Nicaen., II, can. ii), Sabellians, Apollinarists, and others, who were to be received by the anointing with chrism on the forehead, eyes, nostrils, mouth, and ears. Some identify this ceremony of the laying on of hands with the rite of confirmation, and not merely an imposition of hands unto penance. A similar discussion prevails in regard to the anointing with chrism.

I. Imposition of Hands.—The imposition of hands, as a sign that due penance had been done, and in token of reconciliation (Pope Vigilius, P.L., CXXX, 1076), was prescribed first for those who had been baptized in the Church and who had later fallen into heresy. St. Cyprian in a letter to Quintus (epist. lxxi, in P.L., IV, 408–411) is witness of this practice, as is also St. Augustine (De baptismo contra Donatistas, lib. III, c. xi, in P.L., XLIII, 208). This rite was prescribed, secondly, for those who had been baptized in heresy. Regarding Pope Eusebius (a.d. 309 or 310) we read in the Liber Pontificalis (edit. Duchesne, I, 167): "Hic hereticos invenit in Urbe Roma, quos ad manum impositionis [sic] reconciliavit." The same work (I, 216) declares of Pope Siricius (a.d. 384–399): "Hic constituit hereticum sub manum impositionis reconciliari, prsesente cuncta ecclesia." [This latter was doubtless copied from the first chapter of the decretals of Pope Siricius, writing to Himerius, Bishop of Tarragona in Spain (P.L., XIII, 1133, 1134; Duchesne, Liber Pontif., I, 132, 133).] Pope St. Stephen declares this rite to be sufficient (see St. Cyprian, Epist. lxxiv, in P.L., IV, 412, 413; Eusebius, Hist. Eccl., VII, iii, in P.G., XX, 641). The first Council of Arles (a.d. 314), can. viii [Labbe, Concilia (Paris, 1671), I, 1428; P.L., CXXX, 376] inculcates the same law. (See also St. Leo, Epist. clix, c. vii; Epist. clxvi, c. ii; Epist. clxvii, Inquis. 18; P.L., LIV.)

II. Unction.—The unction alone or together with the imposition of hands was also in vogue. The Council of Laodicea (a.d. 373) in canon vii (Labbe, Concilia, I, 1497) confirms this usage in the abjuration of Novatians, Photinians, and Quartodecimans. The second Council of Arles (a.d. 451) in canon xvii (Labbe, IV, 1013) extends the discipline to adherents of Bonosius, adversaries of the virginity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Bonosianos … cum chrismate, et manus impositione in Ecclesiâ recipi sufficit). The Council of Epaon (a.d. 517), canon xvi (Labbe, IV, 1578), allows the same rite (Presbyteros …, si conversionem subitam petant, chrismate subvenire permittimus).

III. Profession of Faith.—Especially after the birth of Nestorianism and Eutychianism, to abjuration of heresy was added a solemn profession of faith. It was thus the bishops who, in the Second Council of Ephesus, had espoused the cause of Eutyches and Dioscurus were reconciled to the Church. St. Cyril of Alexandria (Epist. xlviii, ad Donat. Epis. Nicopol., P.G., LXXII, 252) received a like profession from Paul of Emesa, who was thought to be affected with Nestorianism. St. Leo (Epist. i, Ad Episc. Aquilens. c. ii, in P.L., LIV, 594) required the same from the votaries of Pelagianism, as did also a council, held at Aachen in 799, from Felix, Bishop of Urgel [Alzog, Universal Church Hist. (tr. Cincinnati, 1899), II, 181].

It is to be noted that as clerics, unless degraded or reduced to the lay state, were not submitted to the humiliation of public penance, so, consequently, their admission into the Church involved no imposition of hands or other ceremony except a profession of faith (Fratres Ballerini, in Epist. S. Leon., n. 1594, P.L., LIV, 1492). In all cases there was demanded the presentation of a libellus, or form of abjuration, in which the convert renounced and anathematized his former tenets. After declaring his abjuration to be free from compulsion, fear, or other unworthy motive, he proceeded to anathematize all heresies in general and in particular that sect to which he had belonged, together with its heresiarchs, past, present, and future. He then enumerated the tenets accepted by said sect, and, having repudiated them singly and generally, he ended with a profession of his belief in the true Faith. Sometimes there was added, under pain of punishment, a promise to remain in the Church. Accidental differences only are found in the ancient formulas of abjuration extant. Later, in the countries especially where the Inquisition was established, three sorts of abjuration were practised: (1) Abjuration de formali (of formal heresy), made by a notorious heretic or apostate; (2) de vehementi (of strong suspicion of heresy), made by a Catholic strongly suspected of heresy; (3) de levi (of slight suspicion of heresy), made by a Catholic slightly suspected of heresy. The abjuration demanded of converts in the present discipline of the Church is essentially the same as the above. A convert to the Church who has never been baptized is not obliged to abjure heresy. A convert, whose baptism is considered valid, or who, at most, on his reception into the Church is rebaptized conditionally, is required to make a profession of faith, which contains an abjuration of heresy. A salutary penance also is imposed (S. Cong. S. Off., Nov., 1875.—See Appendix Conc. Plen. Balt., II, 277, 278; American edit. Roman Ritual, 1, 2, 3). No abjuration is required from converts under the age of fourteen (S. Cong. S. Off., Mar. 8, 1882, in Collectanea S. Cong. de Propag. Fid., n. 1680, ed. 1903).

Ermoni, in Dictionnaire d'archéologie chrétienne et de liturgie (Paris, 1903); Deshayes, in Dict. de théol. cath. (Paris, 1899), I, 75; Maurel, Guide pratique de la liturgie romaine (Paris, 1878), Par. I, 2, 104, art. 6; Benedict XIV, de Synodo Dioecesana, V, ix, n. 10, lib. IX, e. iv, n. 3; Gelasian Sacramentary, I, 85, 86; Butler, in Dict. of Christ. Antiq. (London, 1893); Martene and Durand, De Antiquis Ecclesiæ Ritibus, II, lib. CXI, e. vi; Ferraris, Prompta Bibliotheca, I, 32 sqq.

Ablegate. See Legate.

Ablution. See Baptism; Mass; Washing.

Abner, a son of Ner, a cousin of Savil, and commander-in-chief of Saul's army (I K. xiv, 50; xvii, 55; xxvi, 5, 7, 14). After Saul with three of his sons had fallen at Mount Gelboe, Abner made Isboseth, the fourth son of Saul, king over the whole land of Israel excepting Judea, which adhered to David. For seven years and a half Abner fought for the throne of Isboseth. After his defeat near Gabaon, he was hotly pursued by Asael, brother of Joab, who was David's commander-in-chief, and in self-defence he reluctantly slew his enemy (II K. ii, 12 sq.). This embittered the hostility between the two factions, since Joab considered himself the avenger of his brother Asael. Abner now married Respha, a concubine of Saul, and thus incurred the suspicion of aspiring to the throne. Isboseth remonstrated with the warrior, and the latter became so angry that he made advances to David. David demanded that Abner should first restore to him his wife Michol, daughter of Saul, who had been given to Phaltiel. Abner complied with this condition, and came to a full understanding with David. After his departure Joab, David's commander-inchief, sent for him, and killed him at the city gate. David bewailed Abner, made Joab walk in mourning-