Second Council of the Lateran
Accepted byCatholic Church
Previous council
First Council of the Lateran
Next council
Third Council of the Lateran
Convoked byPope Innocent II
PresidentPope Innocent II
Topicsschism of Antipope Anacletus II
Documents and statements
thirty canons, mostly repeating those of the First Lateran Council, clerical marriage declared invalid, clerical dress regulated, attacks on clerics punished by excommunication
Chronological list of ecumenical councils

The Second Council of the Lateran was the tenth ecumenical council recognized by the Catholic Church. It was convened by Pope Innocent II in April 1139 and attended by close to a thousand clerics. Its immediate task was to neutralise the after-effects of the schism which had arisen after the death of Pope Honorius II in 1130 and the papal election that year that established Pietro Pierleoni as the antipope Anacletus II.[1]

Tenth Ecumenical Council

After the death of Honorius II, Petrus Leonis, under the name of Anacletus II, was elected as Pope by a majority of the cardinals and with the support of the people of Rome on the same day as a minority elected Innocent II. In 1135, Innocent II held a council at Pisa, which confirmed his authority and condemned Anacletus. Anacletus's death in 1138 helped largely to solve the tension between rival factions. Nevertheless, Innocent decided to call the Tenth Ecumenical Council.[2]

The council assembled at the Lateran Palace and nearly a thousand prelates attended. In his opening statement Innocent deposed those who had been ordained and instituted by Anacletus or any of his adherents. King Roger II of Sicily was excommunicated[3] for maintaining what was thought to be a schismatic attitude.

The council also condemned the teachings of the Petrobrusians and the Henricians, the followers of Peter of Bruys and Henry of Lausanne. Finally, the council drew up measures for the amendment of ecclesiastical morals and discipline which the council fathers considered had grown lax. Many of the canons relating to these matters were mostly a restating of the decrees of the Council of Reims and the Council of Clermont.[2]

Important canons

The most important results of the council included:

Another decision confirmed the right of religious houses of a diocese to participate in the election of the diocese's bishop.[6]


  1. ^ Reich, Herb (2011). Numberpedia: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know (and a Few Things You Didn't) About Numbers. New York: Skyhorse Publishing. p. 512. ISBN 978-1616080846.
  2. ^ a b c Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Second Lateran Council (1139)" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  3. ^ Houben 2002, p. 70.
  4. ^ The sources are collected in Hefele, Histoire des conciles d'apres les documents originaux, trans. and continued by H. Leclerq 1907-52., 5/1, 721-722; but see also, Bernhardi Jahrbuecher der deutschen Geschichte, I Leipzig 1883, 154-160.
  5. ^ "Tenth Ecumenical Council: Lateran II 1139". Internet Medieval Source Book. 1 November 1996. Retrieved 5 May 2007.
  6. ^ Burton, Janet (1994). Monastic and Religious Orders in Britain: 1000-1300. Cambridge Medieval Textbooks. Cambridge UK: Cambridge University Press. pp. 77. ISBN 0-521-37797-8.