The Synod of Rome
(382 A.D.)

The Council of Rome was a Synod which took place in Rome in AD 382, under the leadership of Pope Damasus I, the Bishop of Rome. The only surviving conciliar pronouncement is contained in the Decretum Gelasianum, also called the Gelasian Decree thought to be a Decretal (Papal decree) of  Pope Gelasius I, bishop of Rome from 492–496.  In the second chapter of the Gelasian Decree is a list of books of Scripture presented as having been made part of the biblical canon by the Council of Rome under Pope Damasus I, the bishop of Rome from 366–383. This list is known as the Damasine List and is identical with the “Catholic” canon issued by the Council of Trent (F.C.Burkitt. Journal of Theological Studies 14 (1913) pp. 469-471). The Old Testament list contains, in addition to the books of the Hebrew Bible, all of the deuterocanonical books including Maccabbees I & II. The New Testament list contains the 27 standard books: 4 Gospels, Acts, 14 letters of Paul (including Hebrews), Apocalyse of John, and 7 General Letters (of which 2 and 3 John are attributed to “the other John the elder”, and Jude to “Judas the Zealot”.

According to historian William Jurgens; “It is now almost universally accepted that these parts one and two of the Decree of Damasus are authentic parts of the Acts of the Council of Rome of 382 A.D.” (Jurgens, W. A., The Faith of the Early Fathers: A Source-Book of Theological and Historical Passages, vol 1, Collegeville, Minn: Liturgical Press, 1970. p. 404.).  St Ambrose of Milan was present at the Council of Rome and it is possible, if not probable, that he aided in drawing up what is known as the Tome of Damasus (Jurgens).  The text of The Tome of Damasus can be found in Mansi, Vol. 3, 481-484.

The Synod of Rome (382 A.D.)

The Synod of Rome (382 A.D.)

Source: Jurgens, W. A., The Faith of the Early Fathers: A Source-Book of Theological and Historical Passages, vol 1, Collegeville, Minn: Liturgical Press, 1970. p. 402-404.

The Tome of Damasus:


We anathematize those who do not freely proclaim that the Holy Spirit is of one power and substance with the Father and the Son.


We anathematize those also who follow the error of Sabellius in saying that the same one is both Father and Son.


We anathematize Arius and Eunomius, who, with equal impiety although in different words, declare that the Son and the Holy Spirit are creatures.


We anathematize the Macedonians, who as offspring of the Arians, have changed their name but not their faithlessness.


Those also who have moved from one church to another we continue to regard as estranged from our communion until they return to the city in which they were first established. But if someone has been ordained in the place of another who is yet alive but has moved away from his place, let him that deserted his own city be without the priestly dignity until his successor rests in the Lord.


If anyone does not say that the Holy Spirit is truly and properly of the Father, just as the Son, of the divine substance and true God: – he is a heretic.


If anyone does not say that the Holy Spirit can do all things, knows all, and is everywhere, just as the Son and the Father: he is a heretic.


If anyone says that the Holy Spirit is a creature, or that He was made by the Son: he is a heretic.


If anyone does not say that the Father made all things, that is, the visible and the invisible, through the Son and the Holy Spirit: he is a heretic.


If anyone does not say of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, that there is one godhead, strength , majesty, and power, one glory and dominion, one reign, and one will and truth: he is a heretic.


If anyone does not say that there are three Persons of Father, and of son, and of Holy Spirit, equal, always living, embracing all things visible and invisible, ruling all, judging all, giving life to all, making all, saving all, he is a heretic.

The Decree of Damasus:


It is decreed: We must treat first of the sevenfold Spirit who reposes in Christ:- the Spirit of Wisdom:

“Christ, the power of God and the wisdom of God (1)”; the Spirit of Understanding; “I will give you understanding and instruct you in the way in which you shall go (2)”; the Spirit of Counsel: “And His name shall be called Angel of Great Counsel”; the Spirit of Power: as above, “the power of God and the wisdom of God”; the Spirit of Knowledge “on account of the eminence of the knowledge of the Apostle, Christ Jesus (5)”; the Spirit of Truth: “I am the way, the life, and the truth (6)”; the Spirit of Fear: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”

The arrangement of the names of Christ, however, is manifold: Lord, because He is Spirit; Word, because He is God; Son, because He is the only-begotten Son of the Father; Man, because He was born of the Virgin; Priest, because He offered Himself as a sacrifice; Shepherd, because He is a guardian; Worm, because He rose again; Mountain, because He is strong; Way, because there is a straight path through Him to life; Lamb, because He suffered; Corner-Stone, because instruction is His (8); Teacher, because He demonstrates how to live; Sun, because He is the illuminator; Truth, because He is from the Father; Life, because He is the creator; Bread, because He is flesh; Samaritan, because He is the merciful protector (9); Christ, because He is anointed; Jesus, because He is the Savior; God, because He is of God; Angel, because He was sent; Bridegroom, because He is a mediator (10); Vine, because we are redeemed by His blood; Lion, because He is king; Rock, because He is firm; Flower, because He is the chosen one; Prophet, because He has revealed what is to come.

The Holy Spirit is not of the Father only, or the Spirit of the Son only, but He is the Spirit of the Father and the Son. For it is written: “If anyone loves the world, the Spirit of the Father is not in him; and again it is written: “If anyone, however, does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His (12)” When the Father and the Son are named in this way, the Holy Spirit is understood, of whom the Son Himself says in the Gospel, that the Holy Spirit “proceeds from the Father (13),” and that “He shall receive of mine and shall announce it to you (14).”


It is likewise decreed: Now, indeed, we must treat of the divine Scriptures: What the universal Catholic (15) Church accepts and what she must shun.

The list of the Old Testament begins: Genesis, one book; Exodus, one book; Leviticus, one book; Numbers, one book; Deuteronomy, one book; Jesus Nave, one book; of Judges, one book; Ruth, one book; of Kings, four books; Paralipomenon, two books; One Hundred and Fifty Psalms, one book; of Solomon, three books: Proverbs, one book; Ecclesiastes, one book; Canticle of Canticles, one book; likewise, Wisdom, one book; Ecclesiasticus, one book. Likewise, the list of the Prophets: Isaias, one book; Jeremias, one book, along with Cinoth, that is, his Lamentations; Ezechiel, one book; Daniel, one book; Osee, one book; Amos, one book; Micheas, one book; Joel, one book; Abdias, one book; Jonas, one book; Nahum, one book; Habacuc, one book; Sophonias, one book; Aggeus, one book; Zacharias, one book; Malachias, one book.

Likewise, the list of histories: Job, one book; Tobias, one book; Esdras, two books;

Esther, one book; Judith, one book; of Maccabees, two books.

Likewise, the list of the Scriptures of the New and Eternal Testament, which the holy and Catholic Church receives: of the Gospels, one book according to Matthew, one book according to Mark, one book according to Luke, one book according to John. The Epistles of the Apostle Paul, fourteen in number: one to the Romans, two to the Corinthians, one to the Ephesians, two to the Thessalonians, one to the Galatians, one to the Philippians, one to the Colossians, two to Timothy, one to Titus, one to Philemon, one to the Hebrews.

Likewise, one book of the Apocalypse of John. And the Acts of the Apostles, one book.

Likewise, the canonical Epistles, seven in number: of the Apostle Peter, two Epistles; of the Apostle James, one Epistle; of the Apostle John, one Epistle; of the other John, a Presbyter, two Epistles; of the Apostle Jude the Zealot, one Epistle. Thus concludes the canon of the New Testament.


Likewise it is decreed: After the announcement of all these prophetic and evangelic as well as apostolic writings which we have listed above as Scriptures, on which, by the grace of God, the Catholic Church is founded, we have considered that it ought to be announced that although all the Catholic Churches spread abroad through the world comprise but one bridal chamber of Christ, nevertheless, the holy Roman Church has been placed at the forefront not by the conciliar decisions of other Churches, but has received the primacy by the evangelic voice of our Lord and Savior, who says:

“You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it; and I will give to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you shall have bound on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you shall have loosed on earth shall be loosed in heaven (16).”

In addition to this, there is also the companionship of the vessel of election, the most blessed Apostle Paul, who contended and was crowned with a glorious death along with Peter in the City of Rome in the time of the Caesar Nero – not at a different time, as the heretics prattle, but at one and the same time and on one and the same day: and they equally consecrated the above-mentioned holy Roman Church to Christ the Lord; and by their own presence and by their venerable triumph they set it at the forefront over the others of all the cities of the whole world.

The first see, therefore, is that of Peter the Apostle, that of the Roman Church, which has neither stain nor blemish nor anything like it. The second see, however, is that at Alexandria, consecrated in behalf of blessed Peter by Mark, his disciple and an evangelist, who was sent to Egypt by the Apostle Peter, where he preached the word of truth and finished his glorious martyrdom. The third honorable see, indeed, is that at Antioch, which belonged to the most blessed Apostle Peter, where first he dwelt before he came to Rome, and where the name Christians (17) was first applied, as to a new people.