Contumeliosus of Riez

provincial council representing probably the condemnation of the bishop Contumeliosus, sixth from the left

In 534 Pope John II deposed the adulterous Bishop Contumeliosus of Riez (in Gaul), and charged Caesarius of Arles with appointing a temporary bishop to the diocese. This is notable for being the first act of jurisdiction of this kind recorded of a bishop of Rome.

In 534 John, being consulted by Caesarius in reference to Contumeliosus, wrote to Caesarius, to the bishops of Gaul, and to the clergy of Riez, directing the guilty bishop to be confined in a monastery. John's successor Pope Agapetus I charged Caesarius of Arles with cruelty and injustice in his proceedings against Contumeliosus, although he had acted simply in accord with Gallican usage and had defended the discipline of the Church. Of two surviving letters of John to Caesarius, both dated 18 July 535, one is about the dispute over Contumeliosus (Mansi, viii. p. 856).


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