Canon Episcopi (or Capitulum Episcopi)
An early religious document of unknown origin, erroneously
attributed to the Council of Ancyra, which met in 314 C.E. It
was first quoted by Regino of Prüm, Abbot of Treves, in 906 C.E.
In the twelfth century it was incorporated in the Corpus Juris
Canonici by Gratian of Bologna and became part of canon law.
The importance of this document is that it is an early ecclesiastical
statement describing witchcraft as the practice of pagan
religion and ascribing the acts of witches to dreams and fantasies.
The document became important in the rise of the Inquisition,
which was limited in its scope to heretics (those Christians
who held nonorthodox doctrines) and apostates (those Christians
who had rejected the faith). Since witchcraft was related
to the practice of another religion, rather than being within the
purview of either heretics or apostates, the Inquisition could
not touch them.
The Canon Episcopai was overturned by a papal encyclical
issued by Pope Innocent VIII in 1484. Summis desiderantes affectibus
redefined witchcraft as devil worship, hence abandoning
one’s religious fault. The encyclical had the effect of unleashing
the Inquisition on people accused of practicing witchcraft.
Russell, Jeffrey Burton. Witchcraft in the Middle Ages. Ithaca,
N.Y. Cornell University Press, 1972.

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