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Teaching The Creed And Articles Of Faith In England: 1215– 1281

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Chapter Summary

In 1281 Archbishop of Canterbury John Pecham convened a Lambeth council, whose ninth canon, Ignorantia sacerdotum, laid out a syllabus of what every parish priest was to teach his flock. It required that every priest provide a quarterly vernacular exposition of Decalogue, the works of mercy, the Vices and Virtues, the sacraments, and, first on the list, the Articles of Faith. The Articles were usually associated with the Apostles Creed, which was almost universally understood to have been collectively written by twelve Apostles since the fourth century. It is undeniable that John Pechams 1281 Ignorantia sacerdotum provided a strong impetus for the English clergy to ensure that the laity had a firm catechetical foundation. The evidence from the period before then shows an existing reforming movement by English episcopate that had started from the years around Lateran IV and was already reaching the level of the parish priest and layman.

Keywords: Apostles Creed; Articles of Faith; catechetical foundation; England; English clergy; Ignorantia sacerdotum; John Pecham; Lateran IV; parish priest; teaching



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