The penitentials (q.v.), or early collections of disciplinary canons, gave much attention to sacrilege.
The murder or injury of the clergy is also sacrilege in both penitentials and capitularies.
Their contribution towards the later system of canon law consisted in two things: the Penitentials and the influence of the Irish collection, the other sources of local law not having been known to the predecessors of Gratian nor to Gratian himself.
The Penitentials 5 are collections intended for the guidance of confessors in estimating the penances to be imposed for various sins, according to the discipline in force in the Anglo =ten - Saxon countries.
For the Penitentials, see Wasserschleben, Die Bussordnungen der abendlc ndischen Kirche (Halle, 851); Mgr.H.J.Schmitz, Die Bussbiicker and die Bussdisciplin der Kirche (2 vols., Mainz, 1883, 1898).
Penitentials or codes defined (even invented) different degrees of guilt, and assessed the liability involved much as if a sin gave rise to an action to recover damages.
The Greek penitentials date from about 600; the Latin are a little later; the most influential was that of Theodore of Tarsus, who was archbishop of Canterbury from 668 to 690.