The First Synod of Saint Patrick

Philip Freeman

in The World of Saint Patrick

Published in print September 2014 | ISBN: 9780199372584
Published online June 2014 | e-ISBN: 9780199372614 | DOI:
The First Synod of Saint Patrick

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The First Synod is a list of rules established by the early Irish church to govern the behavior of clergy and lay people alike. Although it bears the name of St. Patrick, it is unlikely this document was composed either by him or by the other two bishops in the title. It is nonetheless an early and important document of the Irish church. Two major themes in the regulations are that no clergyman shall act independently of a bishop and that lay people and clergy alike shall not use secular institutions such as courts. The rules also regulate the behavior of monks and nuns. The rules laid down in this synod presume that Ireland is still a land with many druids and other non-Christians.

Keywords: synod; clergy; monks; nuns; lay people; regulations

Chapter.  1459 words. 

Subjects: Christianity

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