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Gelasian Decree

(Decretum Gelasianum). An early Latin document referred to also by the title of its last section Decretum de Libris Recipiendis. It comprises five sections, dealing with: Christ and the Holy Spirit; the canonical books of Scripture; the Roman Church; the orthodox councils and fathers; and the works of the fathers to be accepted and those to be rejected. Hincmar of Reims in the seventh century was the first to assign the work to Gelasius (492-96), but it may include earlier material. Some MSS assign it to Damasus (366-84), and its statement concerning the Roman Church that it “has not been set above the rest by any synodical decisions” may express the reaction of Damasus's council of 382 to the third canon of the Council of Constantinople in 381, which implied that the ecclesiastical prestige of a city was directly related to that city's political power. Some MSS assign the Decretum to Hormisdas (514-23). In its present form it belongs to the end of the fifth or beginning of the sixth century, but earlier material could have been used by either Gelasius or Hormisdas to produce the Decretum as it now stands.