le recueil de Reginon des textes qui sont incontestablement des apocryphes forgé de toutes pièces. And, since we know that Regino retouched his texts, gave them fallacious labels, and admitted fragments wholly apocryphal, we cannot, thinks Fournier, help suspecting that among the capita incerta some may be of his creation. The Cap Episcopi Fournier does not mention, but the reforming purpose of Regino's book and his known interest in morals suggest the possibility of its coming from his pen."
In other words, this alleged Canon of the Council of Ancyra was possibly a forgery, and was ascribed to the Council of Ancyra to give it pretended authority. Its purpose was propaganda against the "night-riding witches", and its comparatively mild tone reflects the fact that the Church was not yet sufficiently firm in the saddle to be able to do more than disparage and mock at the nocturnal assemblies to celebrate the old Mysteries and worship the old Gods. The text, translated from the Latin, is as follows:—
Bishops and their officials must labour with all their strength to uproot thoroughly from their parishes the pernicious art of sorcery and malefice invented by the devil, and if they find a man or woman follower of this wickedness to eject them foully disgraced from their parishes. For the Apostle says, "A man that is a heretic after the first and second admonition avoid". Those are held captive by the devil who, leaving their creator, seek the aid of the devil. And so holy Church must be cleansed of this pest. It is also not to be omitted that some wicked women perverted by the devil, seduced by illusions and phantasms of demons, believe and profess themselves, in the hours of night, to ride upon certain beasts with Diana, the goddess of pagans, and an innumerable multitude of women, and in the silence of the dead of night to traverse great spaces of earth, and to obey her commands as of their mistress, and to be summoned to her service on certain nights. But I wish it were they alone who perished in their faithlessness and did not draw many with them into the destruction of infidelity. For an innumerable multitude, deceived by this false opinion, believe this to be true and, so believing, wander from the right faith and are involved in the error of the pagans when they think that there is anything of divinity or power except the one God. Wherefore the priests throughout their churches should preach with all insistence to the people that they may know this to be in every way false and that such phantasms are imposed on the minds of infidels and not by the divine but by the malignant spirit. Thus Satan himself, who transfigures himself into an angel of light, when he has captured the mind of a miserable woman and has subjugated her to himself by infidelity and incredulity, immediately transforms himself into the species and similitudes of different personages and deluding the mind which he holds captive and exhibiting things, joyful or mournful, and persons, known or unknown, leads it through devious ways, and while the spirit alone endures this, the faithless mind thinks these things happen not in the spirit but in the body. Who is there that is not led out of himself in dreams and nocturnal visions, and sees much when sleeping which he had never seen waking? Who is so stupid and foolish as to think that all these things which are only done in spirit happen in the body, when the Prophet Ezekiel saw visitations of the Lord in spirit and not in the
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