THE 85 CANONS OF THE HOLY APOSTLES
CANON 1 A Bishop must be ordained by two or three other Bishops.
A Presbyter must be ordained by a single Bishop, and so must a Deacon.
If any Bishop or Presbyter, contrary to the Lordís ordinance relating to sacrifice, offers anything else at the sacrificial altar, whether it be honey, or milk, or artificial liquor instead of wine, chickens, or any kind of animals, or vegetables, contrary to the ordinance, let him be deposed from office: except ears of new wheat or bunches of grapes, in due season. let it not be permissible to bring anything else to the sacrificial altar but oil for the lamp, and incense at the time of the holy oblation.
Let all other fruit be sent home to the Bishop and Presbyters as firstfruits, but not to the sacrificial altar. It is understood that the Bishop and Presbyters shall distribute a fair share to the Deacons and other Clergymen.
No Bishop, Presbyter, or Deacon shall put away his own wife under pretext of reverence. If, however, he put her away, let him be excommunicated; and if he persist in so doing, let him be deposed from office.
A Bishop, or Presbyter, or Deacon must not undertake worldly cares. If he does, let him be deposed from office.
If any Bishop, or Presbyter, or Deacon celebrate the holy day of Easter before the vernal equinox with the Jews, let him he deposed.
If any Bishop, or Presbyter, or Deacon, or anyone else in the sacerdotal list, fail to partake of communion when the oblation has been offered, he must tell the reason; and if it is good excuse, he shall receive a pardon. But if he refuses to tell it, he shall be excommunicated, on the ground that he has become a cause of harm to the laity and has instilled a suspicion as against the offerer of it that the latter has failed to present it in a sound manner.
All those faithful who enter and listen to the Scriptures, but do not stay for prayer and Holy Communion must be excommunicated, on the ground that they are causing the Church a breach of order.
If anyone pray in company with one who has been excommunicated, he shall be excommunicated himself.
If any clergyman pray in company with a deposed clergyman, let him also be deposed.
If any clergyman, or layman, who has been excommunicated, or who has not been admitted to penance, shall go away and be received in another city, without commendatory letters, both the receiver and the one received shall be excommunicated.
If he has been excommunicated, let his excommunication be augmented, on the ground that he has lied and that he has deceived the Church of God.
A Bishop shall not abandon his own parish and go outside of it to interlope to another one, even though urged by a number of persons to go there, unless there be a good reason for doing so, on the ground that he can be of greater help to the inhabitants there, by reason of his piety. And even then he must not do so of his own accord, but in obedience to the judgment of many Bishops and at their urgent request.
If any Presbyter, or Deacon, or anyone at all in the Sacerdotal List, abandoning his own province, departs to another, and after deserting it entirely, sojourns in another, contrary to the opinion of his own Bishop, we bid him to officiate no longer; especially if his Bishop summons him to return, and he has not obeyed and persists in his disorderliness, he may, however, commune there as a layman.
If, on the other hand, the Bishop with whom they are associating, admits them as clergymen in defiance of the deprivation prescribed against them, he shall be excommunicated as a teacher of disorder.
Whoever has entered into two marriages after baptism, or has possessed himself of a concubine, cannot be a Bishop, or a Presbyter, or a Deacon, or anything else in the Sacerdotal List.
No one who has taken a widow, or a divorced woman, or a harlot, or a house maid, or any actress as his wife, may be a Bishop, or a Presbyter, or a Deacon, or hold any other position at all in the Sacerdotal List.
Whoever marries two sisters, or a niece, may not be a clergyman.
Any Clergyman that gives surety shall be deposed from office.
A Eunuch, whether he became such by influence of men, or was deprived of his virile parts under persecution, or was born thus, may, if he is worthy, become a Bishop.
Let no one who has mutilated himself become a clergyman; for he is a murderer of himself, and an enemy of Godís creation
If anyone who is a clergyman should mutilate himself, let him be deposed from office. For he is a self-murderer.
Any layman who has mutilated himself shall be excommunicated for three years. For he is a plotter against his own life.
Any Bishop, or presbyter, or Deacon that is taken in the act of committing fornication, or perjury, or theft, shall be deposed from office, but shall not be excommunicated. For Scripture says: "Thou shalt not exact revenge twice for the same offense." The same rule applies also to the rest of the clergymen.
As to bachelors who have entered the clergy, we allow only anagnosts and psalts to marry. if they wish to do so.
As for a Bishop, or Presbyter, or Deacon that strikes believers for sinning, or unbelievers for wrong-doing, with the idea of making them afraid, we command that he be deposed from office. For the Lord has nowhere taught that -- on the contrary, He Himself when struck did not strike back -- when reviled, He did not revile His revilers, -- when suffering, He did not threaten.
If any Bishop, or Presbyter, or Deacon, who has been justly deposed from office for proven crimes, should dare to touch the liturgy which had once been put in his hands, let him be cut off from the Church altogether.
If any Bishop become the recipient of this office by means of money, or any Presbyter, or any Deacon, let him be deposed as well as the one who ordained him, and let him be cut off entirely even from communion, as was Simon the Sorcerer by Peter.
If any Bishop comes into possession of a church by employing secular rulers, let him be deposed from office, and let him be excommunicated. And all those who communicate with him too.
If any Presbyter, condemning his own bishop, draw people aside, and set up another altar, without finding anything wrong with the Bishop in point of piety and righteousness, let him be deposed, on the ground that he is an office-seeker. For he is a tyrant. Let the rest of clergymen be treated likewise, and all those who abet him. But let the laymen be excommunicated. Let these thieves be done after one, and a second and a third request of the Bishop.
If any Bishop excommunicates any Presbyter or Deacon, these men must not be incardinated by anyone else but the one who excommunicated them. unless by a coincidence the Bishop who excommunicated them should decease.
None of the foreign Bishops, or Presbyters, or Deacons shall be received without letters commendatory. Even when they bear such, they shall be examined. And if they really are preachers of piety, they shall be received; but if they are not, after furnishing them what they have need of, they shall not be admitted to communion. For many things are done with a view to rapine.
It behoves the Bishops of every nation to know the one among them who is the premier or chief, and to recognize him as their head, and to refrain from doing anything superfluous without his advice and approval: but, instead, each of them should do only whatever is necessitated by his own parish and by the territories under him. But let not even such a one do anything without the advice and consent and approval of all. For thus will there be concord, and God will be glorified through the Lord in Holy Spirit -- the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
A Bishop shall not dare to confer ordinations outside of his own boundaries, in cities and territories not subject to him. If he be proved to have done so against the wishes of those having possession of those cities or territories, let him be deposed, as well as those whom he ordained.
In case any Bishop who has been ordained refuses the office and the care of the laity which has been entrusted to him, he shall be excommunicated and remain so until such time as he accepts it. Likewise as touching a Presbyter and a Deacon. But if, upon departing he fall to accept it, not contrary to his own inclination, but because of the spitefulness of the laity, let him be a bishop, but let the clergy of that city be excommunicated, since no one can correct such an insubordinate laity.
Twice a year let a council of bishops be held, and let them examine one another in regard to dogmas of piety, and let incidental ecclesiastical contradictions be eliminated: the first one, in the fourth week of Pentecost; the second one, on the twelfth of Hyperberetaeus.
Let the Bishop have the care of all ecclesiastical matters and let him manage them on the understanding that God is overseeing and supervising. Let him not be allowed to appropriate anything therefrom or to give Godís things to his relatives. If they be indigent, let him provide for them as indigents, but let him not trade off things of the Church under this pretext.
Let Presbyters and Deacons do nothing without the consent of the Bishop. For he is the one entrusted with the Lordís people, and it is from him that an accounting will be demanded with respect to their souls.
Let the Bishopís own property (if, indeed, he has any) be publicly known, and let the Lordís be publicly known. In order that the Bishop may have authority to dispose of his own property when he dies, and leave it to whomsoever he wishes and as he wishes. And lest by reason of any pretext of ecclesiastical property that of the Bishop be submerged, be it that he has a wife and children, or relatives, or house servants. For it is only just with God and men that neither the church should suffer any loss owing to ignorance of the Bishopís property, nor the Bishop, or his relatives, should have their property confiscated on the pretext that it belonged to the church. Or even to have trouble with those who are quarreling over his property, and to have his death involved in aspersions.
We command that the Bishop have authority over the property of the church. For if the precious souls of human beings ought to be entrusted to him, there is little need of any special injunction concerning money, so that everything may be entrusted to be governed in accordance with his authority, and he may grant to those in need through the presbyters and deacons with fear of God and all reverence, while he himself may partake thereof whatever he needs (if he needs anything) for his necessary wants, and for brethren who are his guests, so as not to deprive them of anything, in any manner. For Godís law has enjoined that those who serve at the altar are to be maintained at the altarís expense. The more so in view of the fact that not even a soldier ever bears arms against belligerents at his own expense.
If any Bishop, or Presbyter, or Deacon wastes his time by playing dice, or getting drunk, ether let him desist therefrom or let him be deposed from office.
Let any Subdeacon, or Anagnost, or Psalt, who does like things either desist or be excommunicated. likewise any Layman.
Let any Bishop or Presbyter or Deacon who demands interest on money lent to others either cease doing so or be deposed from office.
Let any Bishop, or Presbyter, or Deacon that merely joins in prayer with heretics be suspended, but if he has permitted them to perform any service as Clergymen, let him be deposed.
We order any Bishop, or Presbyter, that has accepted any heretic's Baptism or sacrifice, to be deposed; for "what consonancy hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath the believer with an infidel?"
If a Bishop or Presbyter baptize anew anyone that has had a true baptism, of fail to baptize anyone that has been polluted by the impious, let him be deposed, on the ground that he is mocking the Cross and death of the Lord and railing to distinguish priests from pseudopriests.
If any layman who has divorced his wife takes another, or one divorced by another man let him be excommunicated.
If any Bishop or Presbyter baptize anyone not into the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit in accordance with the Lordís ordinance, but into three beginningless beings or into three sons or into three comforters, let him be excommunicated.
TRINE IMMERSION IS REQUISITE FOR BAPTISM
If any Bishop or Presbyter does not perform three immersions (literally "three baptisms") in making one baptism (literally "one initiation "), but (only) a single immersion (literally, "a single baptism ), that given into the death of the Lord, let him be deposed (from office). For the Lord did not say, "Baptize ye into my death," but, "Go ye and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit" (Matt.. 28:19).
If any Bishop, or Presbyter, or Deacon, or anyone at all on the sacerdotal list, abstains from marriage, or meat, or wine, not as a matter of mortification, but out of an abhorrence thereof, forgetting that all things are exceedingly good, and that God made man male and female, and blasphemously misrepresenting Godís work of creation, either let him mend his ways or let him be deposed from office and expelled from the Church. Let a layman be treated similarly.
If any Bishop or Presbyter shall refuse to welcome back anyone returning from sin, but, on the contrary, rejects him, let him be deposed from office, since he grieves Christ, who said: "There is joy in heaven over a single sinner who repents."
If any Bishop, or Presbyter, or Deacon, on the days of feasts will not partake of meat and wine, because he loathes these things, and not on account of asceticism, let him be deposed from office, on the ground that he has his own conscience seared and has become a cause of scandal to many.
If any clergyman be caught eating in a tavern or any restaurant where intoxicating beverages are served, let him be excommunicated, except only in case it happens to be at a wayside inn where he has put up for the night by necessity.
If any Clergyman should insult the Bishop, let him be deposed from office. For "thou shalt not speak ill of thy peopleís ruler."
If any Clergyman should insult a Presbyter or a Deacon, let him be excommunicated.
If any Bishop or Presbyter neglects the Clergy or the laity, and fails to instruct them in piety, let him be excommunicated: but if he persists in his negligence and indolence, let him be deposed from office.
If any Bishop or Presbyter fails to supply necessities when any of the clergy is in want, let him be excommunicated. If he persists, let him be deposed, as having murdered his brother.
If a charge of fornication, or of adultery, or of any other forbidden act be brought against a faithful one, and be proved, let him not be promoted to the clergy.
If any Clergyman, for fear of any human being, whether the latter be a Jew or a Greek or a heretic, should deny the name of Christ, let him be cast out and rejected; or if he deny the name of clergyman, let him be deposed; and if he repent, let him be accepted as a layman.
If any accusation be brought against a believer of fornication or adultery, or any forbidden action, and he be convicted, let him not be promoted to the clergy.
If any of the clergy, through fear of men, whether Jew, heathen, or heretic, shall deny the name of Christ, let him be cast out. If he deny the name of a clergyman, let him be deposed. If he repent, let him be received as a layman.
If any Bishop, or Presbyter, or Deacon, or anyone else on the sacerdotal list at all, eat meat in the blood of its soul, or that has been killed by a wild beast, or that has died a natural death, let him be deposed. For the Lord has forbidden this. But if any layman do the same, let him be excommunicated.
If any Clergyman be found fasting on Sunday, or on Saturday with the exception of one only, let him be deposed from office. If, however, he is a layman, let him be excommunicated.
If any Clergyman, or Layman, enter a synagogue of Jews, or of heretics, to pray, let him be both deposed and excommunicated.
If any Clergyman strikes anyone in a fight, and kills by a single blow, let him be deposed from office for his insolence. But if he be a layman, let him be excommunicated.
If anyone is keeping a virgin whom he has forcibly raped, though she be not engaged to another man, let him be excommunicated. And let it not be permissible for him to take another, but let him be obliged to keep her whom he has made his choice even though she happen to be indigent.
If any Bishop, or Presbyter, or Deacon accepts a second ordination from anyone, let him and the one who ordained him be deposed. Unless it be established that his ordination has been performed by heretics. For those who have been baptized or ordained by such persons cannot possibly be either faithful Christians or clergymen.
If any Bishop, or Presbyter, or Deacon, or Subdeacon, or Anagnost, or Psalt fails to fast throughout the forty days of Holy Lent, or on Wednesday, or on Friday, let him be deposed from office. Unless he has been prevented from doing so by reason of bodily illness. If, on the other hand, a layman fail to do so. Let him be excommunicated.
If any Bishop, or Presbyter, or Deacon, or anyone at all who is on the list of clergymen, fasts together with Jews, or celebrates a holiday together with them, or accepts from them holiday gifts or favors such as unleavened wafers, or anything of the like, let him be deposed from office. If a layman do likewise, however, let him be excommunicated.
If any Christian conveys oil to a temple of heathen, or to a synagogue of Jews their festivals, or lights lamps for them, let him be excommunicated.
If any Clergyman, or Layman, takes a wax candle or any oil from the holy church, let him be excommunicated and be compelled to give back what he took, together with a fifth part of its value to boot.
Let no one appropriate any longer for his own use any golden or silver vessel that has been sanctified, or any cloth: for it is unlawful to do so. If anyone be caught in the act, let him be punished with excommunication
When a Bishop has been accused of something by trustworthy men, he must be summoned by Bishops; and if he answers and confesses, or is found guilty, let the penalty be fixed. But if when summoned he refuses to obey, let him be summoned a second time by sending two Bishops to him. If even then he refuses to obey, let him be summoned a third time, two Bishops again being sent to him; but if even then he shows contempt and fails to answer, let the synod decide the matter against him in whatever way seems best, so that it may not seem that he is getting the benefit by evading a trial.
As a witness against a bishop no heretic shall be accepted, but neither shall one faithful alone: for "every charge shall be established by the mouth of two or three witnesses" (Deut. 17:6; Matt.. 18:16).
It is decreed that no Bishop shall be allowed to ordain whomsoever he wishes to the office of the Episcopate as a matter of concession to a brother, or to a son, or to a relative. For it is not right for heirs to the Episcopate to be created, by subjecting Godís things to human passion; for Godís Church ought not to be entrusted to heirs. If anyone shall do this, let the ordination remain invalid and void, and let the bishop himself be penanced with excommunication.
If any cripple, or anyone with a defect in an eye or in a leg, is worthy of the episcopate, let him be made a bishop. For it is not an injury to the body that defiles one but a pollution of the soul.
Let no one that is deaf nor anyone that is blind be made a Bishop, not on the ground that he is deficient morally, but lest he should be embarrassed in the exercise of ecclesiastical functions.
If anyone is possessed of a demon, let him not be made a Clergyman, nor even be allowed to pray in company with the faithful. But after he has been cleansed thereof, let him be received, and if worthy be made one.
It is not right to ordain a man a bishop immediately after he has joined the Church and been baptized if he has hitherto been leading a heathenish life, or has been converted from wicked behavior. For it is wrong to let one without experience become the teacher of others, unless in some special case this be allowed as a matter of divine favor and grace.
We have said that a Bishop, or a Presbyter, must not descend himself into public offices, but must attend to ecclesiastical needs. Either let him be persuaded, therefore, not to do so, or let him be deposed. For no one can serve two masters, according to the Lordís injunction.
We do not permit house servants to be ordained to the clergy without the consent of their masters, to the sorrow of the masters owning them. For such a tiling causes an upheaval in the households. But if any house servant should appear to be worthy to be ordained to any rank, as our own Onesimus did, and their masters are willing to permit it, and grant them their freedom and allow them to leave home, let him be so ordained.
If any Bishop, or Presbyter, or Deacon is engaged in military matters, and wishes to hold both a Roman (i.e., civil) and a sacerdotal office, let him be deposed. For "render unto Caesar the things which are Caesarís; and unto God the things that are Godís" (Matt.. 22:21).
If anyone insults an emperor or king, or any other ruler, contrary to what is right and just, let him pay the penalty. Accordingly, if he is a clergyman, let him be deposed; But if he is a layman, let him be excommunicated.
To all you Clergymen and Laymen let the following books be venerable and sacred: Of the Old Testament, the five of Moses, namely, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy; the one of Jesus of Nave (Joshua); the one of Judges; the one of Ruth; the four of the Kingdoms; two Paralipomena or the Book of Days; two of Esdras; one of Esther; three of the Maccabees; one of Job; one Psalter ; three of Solomon, namely, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Songs; twelve of the Prophets; one of Isaiah; one of Jeremiah; one of Ezekiel; one of Daniel; outside of these it is permissible for you to recount in addition thereto also the Wisdom of very learned Sirach by way of teaching your younger folks. Our own books, that is to say. those of the New Testament, comprising four Gospels, namely, that of Matthew, of Mark. of Luke, and of John; fourteen Epistles of Paul; two Epistles of Peter, three Epistles of John; one of James; one of Jude; two Epistles of Clement; and the Injunctions addressed to you Bishops through me, Clement, in eight books, which ought not to be divulged to all on account of the secret matters they contain) and the Acts of us Apostles.
THE APHORISM AGAINST FREEMASONRY by Cyprianus, Archbishop of Cyprus
"Wherefore, clad in the sacred vestments of epitrachelion and omophorion, we say, If any man preach unto you any other gospel than that which we have preached unto you, even though an angel from heaven, let him be accursed." (Gal. 1,8,9)
As many as are befitting, that pursue after such a diabolic and lawless employment of Freemasonry, and all they that follow unto their infatuation and unto their error, let them be excommunicated and accursed by the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
After death, they shall be unpardoned, indissoluble, and bloated. Groaning and trembling, as Cain, shall they be upon the earth. (Gen. 4:14).
The earth shall cleave and swallow them up, as Dathan and Abiram (Bum. 16, 31-32).
The wrath of God shall be upon their heads, and their portion together with Judas the betrayer. An angel of the Lord will prosecute them with a flaming sword and, unto their lifeís termination, they will not know of progress. Let their works and toil be unblessed and let them become a cloud of dust, as of a summer threshing-floor.
And all they indeed that shall abide still unto their wickedness will have such a recompense. But as many as shall go out from the midst of them and shall be separated, and having spat out their abominable heresy, and shall go afar off from their accursed infatuation, such kind shall receive the wages of the zealot Phineas; rather let them be blessed and forgiven by the Father and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, the Only unconfused and undivided Trinity, the One God in nature, and by us His servants. "
Declaration of Cyprianus, Archbishop of Cyprus.
THE 20 CANONS OF THE FIRST COUNCIL
If anyone has been operated upon by surgeons for a disease, or has been excised by barbarians, let him remain in the clergy. But if anyone has excised himself when well, he must be dismissed even if he is examined after being in the clergy. And henceforth no such person must be promoted to holy orders. But as is self-evident, though such is the case as regards those who affect the matter and dare to excise themselves, if any persons have been eunuchized by barbarians or their lords, but are otherwise found to be worthy, the Canon admits such persons to the clergy.
Inasmuch as many things, whether of necessity or otherwise urgently demanded by men, have been done contrary to the ecclesiastical Canon, so that men who have but recently come to the faith from a heathen life, and have been catechized for only a short time, have been conducted directly to the spiritual bath and as soon as baptized have been given an episcopate or a presbytery, it has seemed well henceforth to have no such thing occur. For the catechumen needs more time and a longer trial after baptism.
The Apostolic letter, too, is plain which says, "not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the Devilís snare" (I Tim. 3:6). If, on the other hand, in the course of time any physical sin be found against the person, and it is exposed by two or three witnesses, let such a person be dismissed from the clergy. As for anyone acting contrary hereto, as having the hardihood to do things opposed to the great council, he himself shall be in danger of losing his standing in the clergy.
The great Council has forbidden generally any Bishop or Presbyter or Deacon, and anyone else at all among those in the clergy, the privilege of having a subintroducta. Unless she is either a mother, or a sister, or an aunt or a person above suspicion.
It is most fitting that a Bishop should be installed by all those in his province. But if such a thing is difficult either because of the urgency of circumstances, or because of the distance to be traveled, at least three should meet together somewhere and by their votes combined with those of the ones absent and joining in the election by letter they should carry out the ordination thereafter. But as for the ratification of the proceedings, let it be entrusted in each province to the Metropolitan.
As regards those who have been denied communion, whether they be members of the clergy or belong to a lay order, by the bishops in each particular province, let the opinion prevail which expressed in the canon prescribing that those rejected by some are not to be received by others. But let an investigation be made as to whether or not they have been unchurched on account of small-mindedness or quarrelsomeness or any other such disgustfulness of the Bishop.
In order, therefore, that a proper investigation may be made, it has seemed well that synods be held every year twice a year in each province and in a common discussion held by all the Bishops of the province assembled together for this purpose let such questions be thrashed out. And thus those who have admittedly clashed with the Bishop would seem to be reasonably excluded from communion until such time as by common consent of the bishops it may seem better to let a more philanthropic vote be given in their behalf. As for these synods, let one of them be held before Lent, in order that, with the elimination of all small-mindedness, the gift may be offered to God in all its purity; and let the second one be held sometime in autumn.
Let the ancient customs prevail which were in vogue in Egypt and Libya and Pentapolis, to allow the bishop of Alexandria to have authority over all these parts, since this is also the treatment usually accorded to the bishop of Rome. Likewise with reference to Antioch, and in other provinces, let the seniority be preserved to the Churches. In general it is obvious that in the case in which anyone has been made a bishop without the Metropolitanís approval. the great Council has prescribed that such a person must not be a Bishop. If, however, to the common vote of all, though reasonable and in accordance with an ecclesiastical Canon, two or three men object on account of a private quarrel, let the vote of the majority prevail.
Inasmuch as a custom has prevailed, and an ancient tradition, for the Bishop in Aelia to be honored, let him have the sequence of honor, with the Metropolitan having his own dignity preserved.
As concerning those who call themselves Puritans and who are claiming to be adherents of the catholic and apostolic Church, it has seemed right to the holy and great Council, when they have had hands laid upon these, to let them remain in the clergy. Above all, that it is fitting for them to confess to this in writing, to wit, that they will agree to and will adhere to the dogmas of the catholic and apostolic Church. That is, that they will hold communion with persons married a second time, and with those who in time of persecution have lapsed from the faith; regarding whom a length of time has been fixed, and a due season has been set, for their penance. So that they may adhere to the dogmas of the catholic Church in everything. Wherever they are the only ones found to have been ordained, whether in villages or in cities, they shall remain in the same habit (or order). But wherever there is a Bishop of the catholic Church, and some of them are joining it, it is obvious that, as the Bishop of the Church will keep the dignity of bishop, the one called a bishop among the so-called Puritans shall have the honor of a Presbyter, unless it should seem better to the Bishop that he should share in the honor of the name. But if this does not please him, he shall devise a position either of a chorepiscopus or of a presbyter, with the object of having him seem to be wholly in the clergy, lest there should be two bishops in the same city.
If some persons have been promoted to Presbyters without due examination, or when given a hearing confessed their sins to them, and after they confessed the men, acting contrary to the Canon, laid hand upon such persons, the Canon will not admit them. For the catholic Church insists upon irreproachability.
As many persons as have been guilty of serious lapses and have been ordained in ignorance thereof, or even after the ordinators have become aware thereof, will not be admitted under the ecclesiastical Canon. For when they have become known, they shall be deposed.
As concerns those persons who have transgressed without any need, or without being deprived of goods, or without being in any peril or in any such strait as obtained during the tyranny of Licinius, it has seem fit to the Council notwithstanding that they did not deserve philanthropic (or humane) treatment, to be kind to them. As many, therefore, as genuinely repent and are remorseful shall pass three years among audients as believers, and for seven years they shall do penance as succumbents. In addition, for two years they shall commune without oblation in prayers with the laity.
As for those persons who were summoned by the grace, and after displaying a preliminary enthusiasm and taking off their belts, they returned, like dogs to their vomit, in such a fashion that some of them even wasted money in an effort to re-establish themselves in the army by means of beneficia (a Latin word meaning much the same as the English word gift), let them be succumbents for ten years after devoting three years to "listening" (as audients). But in addition to all these requirements it is requisite to examine into the will (or inclinations) and the kind of repentance. For as regards all those who with fear, and tears, and patience, and the doing of good to others have displayed proofs of their conversion by actual performance and not by mere pretense after they have fulfilled the time fixed for their "listening" period, they shall participate in prayers unrestrictedly, with the further concession of a right to the Bishop to devise some more philanthropic (or humane) treatment regarding them. But as for those who acted unconcernedly, and who thought the pretense of going to church a sufficient proof of their conversion, let them fulfill the time to the utmost limit
As concerns those who are making their exit, the old and canonical law shall be kept even now, so that, if anyone is exiting, let him not be deprived of the final and most necessary equipment (or viaticum). If, however, after all hope has fed, and he has been given communion, he again comes to be looked upon as being among the living, let him; stay with those who participate in prayer only. In general, moreover, as concerning anyone at all that is on the point of making his exit, if he asks to partake of the Eucharist, let the Bishop impart to him the oblation with a trial.
As concerning catechumens and lapsers, it has seemed proper to the holy great Council to let them off with only three yearsí listening and to allow them thereafter to pray together with catechumens.
Because of much disturbance and the mutinies which took place, it has seemed best to do away altogether with the custom which obtained contrary to the Apostolic Canon in some places, so as not to allow either a Bishop or a Presbyter or a Deacon to go from one city to another. If, after the holy and great Councilís definition, anyone should attempt to do such a thing, or has actually undertaken to do such a thing, let the resulting affair be invalidated by all means, and let him be reinstated in the church in which the Bishop or Presbyter in question was ordained.
Any Presbyters or Deacons, or other persons covered by the Canon, who take the risk, without having the fear of God before their eyes, or keeping aware of the ecclesiastical Canon, of departing from their own church, they must not be admitted at all in another church, but they must be stringently forced to return to their own parish, or, in case they insist, it is proper for them to be excluded from communion. If, on the other hand, anyone should surreptitiously snatch away one belonging to another and ordain him in his own church, without the consent of his Bishop, from whom the one covered by the Canon departed. let the ordination be invalid.
Because of the fact that many persons covered by the Canon, out of greed and in pursuit of shameful profits (willfully) forgot the divine passage of Holy Writ saying "who hath not lent out his money at interest" (Ps. 15:5), and in lending demanded a percentage commission or profit, the holy and great Council has deemed it just and right that in case anyone is found after the adoption of this definition receiving interest for the use of money, or otherwise exploiting the master, or demanding commission, or through any other subterfuge contriving to exact shameful profits, he shall be deposed from the clergy and shall be an alien to the Canon.
It has come to the notice of the holy and great Council that in some regions and cities Deacons are giving the Eucharist to Presbyters, which is something that neither the Canon nor custom has allowed those who have not the authority to offer, to give the body of Christ to those offering it. It has also further been learned that already some Deacons touch the Eucharist even before the Bishops. Let all these things, therefore, be done away with, and let Deacons conform to their own standards, well knowing that they are servants of the Bishop, and that they are inferior to Presbyters. Let them take the Eucharist in due order after the Presbyters, with either the Bishop or the Presbyters administering it to them. But neither let it be permissible for Deacons to sit among Preshyters for to do so is contrary to the Canon, and is contrary to due order: if, in disregard of these definitions, anyone refuses to obey, let him be dismissed from his deaconate.
As concerns Paulianists who afterwards took refuge in the catholic Church, it is made a definition that they be re-baptized without fail. If any of them in the past have been covered in the clergy under examination as to whether they appear to be blameless and irreproachable, after being re-baptized let them be ordained by a Bishop of the catholic Church. But if the investigation finds them. unfitted, let them be deposed. Likewise as concerning deaconesses, and all those who are embraced by the Canon in any way and are being examined, the same form shall be observed. We have referred to the deaconesses who have been examined under cover of the habit, since they have neither any claim to appointment to any order, so that they are to be examined without fail among the laymen.
Since there are some persons who kneel in church on Sunday and on the days of Pentecost, with a view to preserving uniformity in all parishes, it has seemed best to the holy Council for prayers to be offered to God while standing.
THE 7 CANONS OF THE HOLY AND ECUMENICAL SECOND COUNCIL
The holy Fathers assembled in Constantinople have decided not to set aside the faith of the three hundred and eighteen Fathers who met in Nicaea, Bithynia, but to let it remain sovereign, and that every heresy be anathematized, and especially and specifically that of the Eunomians, including that of the Eudoxians, and that of the Semi-Arians, including that of the Pneumatamachs, and that of the Sabellians, and that of the Marcellians, and that of the Photinians. and that of the Apollinarians.
Bishops must not leave their own diocese and go over to churches beyond its boundaries, but, on the contrary, in accordance with the Canons, let the Bishop of Alexandria administer the affairs of Egypt only, let the Bishops of the East govern the Eastern Church only, the priorities granted to the church of the Antiochians in the Nicene Canons being kept inviolate, and let the Bishops of the Asian diocese (or administrative domain) administer only the affairs of the Asian church, and let those of the Pontic diocese look after the affairs of the diocese of Pontus only, and let those of the Thracian diocese manage the affairs of the Thracian diocese only. Let Bishops not go beyond their own province to carry out an ordination or any other ecclesiastical services unless (officially) summoned thither. When the Canon prescribed in regard to dioceses (or administrative provinces) is duly kept, it is evident that the synod of each province will confine itself to the affairs of that particular province, in accordance with the regulations decreed in Nicaea. But the churches of God that are situated in territories belonging to barbarian nations must be administered in accordance with the customary practice of the Fathers.
Let the Bishop of Constantinople, however, have the priorities of honor after the Bishop of Rome, because of its being New Rome.
As concerning Maximus the Cynic, and the disturbance caused by him in Constantinople, it is hereby decreed that Maximus neither became nor is a Bishop, and that neither are those ordained by him entitled to hold any clerical rank whatsoever. Let everything connected with him or done by him be annulled.
As concerning the Tome of the Westerners, we have accepted also those in Antioch who confess a single divinity of Father and of Son and of Holy Spirit.
Because many men, in a spirit of enmity and for purposes of slander being desirous to confound and subvert ecclesiastical discipline, connive to fabricate certain charges against Orthodox Bishops managing the churches, in an attempt designing nothing else but to sully the reputation of the priests and to raise disturbances among peoples who are at peace, on this account it has pleased the holy Council of the Bishops who have convened in Constantinople to decree that informers are not to be admitted without examination, nor are all men to be allowed to bring accusations against those managing the churches, nor yet are all to be excluded. But if anyone lay a personal grievance, that is, a private complaint, against a Bishop, on the ground that he has been a victim of the Bishopís greed or other unjust treatment, in the case of such accusations neither the personality nor the religion of the accuser is to be inquired into. For then the conscience of the Bishop must be clear in every respect, and the man who claims to have been wronged should receive justice whatever be his religion. But if the indictment brought against the Bishop be of an ecclesiastical nature, then the personality of the informers must be considered, in order, first of all, not to allow heretics to make charges against Orthodox Bishops in regard to ecclesiastical matters. We call heretics those who have of old been proscribed from the Church, and those who have thereafter been anathematized by us; and in addition to these those who, though pretending to confess the sound faith, have schismatically separated and have gathered congregations in opposition to our canonical Bishops. Further, as regarding those who have previously been condemned by the Church on certain charges and have been ousted therefrom or excluded from communion, whether they belong to the clergy or to the ranks of laymen, neither shall these persons be allowed to accuse a Bishop until they have first cleared themselves of their own indictment. Likewise as regarding those who are themselves being accused from before, they are not to be permitted to accuse a Bishop, or other clergymen, until they have first proved themselves innocent of the charges placed against them. If, however, certain persons are neither heretics nor excluded from communion, nor condemned, nor previously charged with any offenses, should declare that they have aíí accusation of an ecclesiastical nature against a Bishop, the holy Council bids these persons to lodge their accusations before all the Bishops of the province and before them to prove the charges against the Bishop involved in the case. But if it so happen that the provincial Bishops are unable to or incompetent to decide the case against the Bishop and make the correction due, then they are to go to a greater synod of the Bishops of this diocese summoned to try this case. And they are not to lodge the accusation until they themselves have in writing agreed to incur the same penalty if in the course of the trial it be proved that they have been slandering the accused Bishop. But if anyone, Scorning what has been decreed in the foregoing statements, should dare either to annoy the emperorís ears or to trouble courts of secular authorities or an ecumenical council to the affrontment of all the Bishops of the diocese, let no such person be allowed to present any information whatever, because of his having thus roundly insulted the Canons and ecclesiastical discipline.
As for those heretics who betake themselves to Orthodoxy, and to the lot of the saved, we accept them in accordance with the subjoined sequence and custom; viz.: Arians, and Macedonians, and Sabbatians, and Novatians, those calling themselves Cathari (or "Puritans"), and (those calling themselves) Aristeri (Note of Translator. This designation may be based upon the Greek word aristos, meaning "best," though as a word it signifies "lefthand."), and the Quartodecimans (quasi "Fourteenthists," to use the English language in this connection), otherwise known as Tetradites (though in English this term is applied to an entirely different group of heretics), and Apollinarians we accept when they offer libelli (i.e., recantations in writing) and anathematize every heresy that does not hold the same beliefs as the catholic and apostolic Church of God, and are sealed first with holy myron (more usually called "chrism" in English) on their forehead and their eyes, and nose, and mouth, and ears; and in sealing them we say: "A seal of a free gift of Holy Spirit." As for Eunomians, however, who are baptized with a single immersion, and Montanists, who are here called Phrygians, and the Sabellians, who teach that Father and Son are the same person, and who do some other bad things, and (those belonging to) any other heresies (for there are many heretics here, especially such as come from the country of the Galatians:: all of them that want to adhere to Orthodoxy we are willing to accept as Greeks. Accordingly, on the first day we make (Note of Translator. The meaning of this word here is more exactly rendered "treat as") them Christians; on the second day, catechumens; then, on the third day, we exorcise them with the act of blowing thrice into their face and into their ears; and thus do we catechize them, and roe make them tarry a while in the church and listen to the Scriptures; and then we baptize them.
THE 8 CANONS OF THE HOLY AND ECUMENICAL THIRD COUNCIL
Since those who for any reason, whether of an ecclesiastical or of corporeal nature, are absent from the holy Council and have remained in their own town or district, ought not to be left in ignorance of the Councilís regulations regarding them, we make known to your holiness and love that if any Metropolitan of the province has apostatized from the holy and ecumenical Council and joined the convocation of the apostasy, or has joined it thereafter, or has adopted the sentiments of Celestius or intends to adopt them, he shall have no power whatsoever to perpetrate anything against the Bishops of the province being already expelled and bereft of every function and of all ecclesiastical communion by the Council here. Moreover, he shall be liable in any case to be expelled from the rank of the episcopate by the very Bishops of the province and by surrounding Metropolitans who adhere to the beliefs of Orthodoxy.
If, on the other hand, any provincial Bishops have failed to attend the holy Council and have joined the apostasy, or should attempt to do so, or even after subscribing to the deposition of Nestorius have receded to the convocation of apostasy, all such persons, in the judgment that has seemed best to the Holy Council, have alienated themselves from holy orders and have forfeited their rank
If some of the clergymen in any city or district have been shorn of holy orders by Nestorius and his party on account of their believing rightly, we have adjudged it right and just that they be restored to their own rank. We collectively bid the clergymen who agree in their beliefs with the orthodox and ecumenical Council not to submit in any way whatever to the Bishops who have apostatized or have deserted us.
If any of the clergymen should apostatize and dare, either publicly or privately, to hold the beliefs of Nestorius or of Celestius, the holy Council has deemed it just and right that these men too should be deposed from office.
As for all those who have been condemned by the holy Council, or by their own Bishops, for improper acts, and to whom Nestorius and those sharing his views and beliefs have sought, or should seek, to give back communion or rank, uncanonically and in accordance with the indifference shown by Nestorius in all matters, we have deemed it right and just that they too remain without benefit and that they be left nevertheless deposed from office.
Likewise in regard to any persons who should wish to alter in any way whatsoever anything that has been enacted in the holy Council in Ephesus concerning anyone, the holy Council has prescribed that if they be Bishops or clergymen, they are to lose their own rank entirely, while if they be laymen, they are to be excluded from communion.
These things having been read aloud, the holy Council then decreed that no one should be permitted to offer any different belief or faith, or in any case to write or compose any other, than the one defined by the Holy Fathers who convened in the city of Nicaea, with Holy Spirit. As for those who dare either to compose a different belief or faith, or to present one, or to offer one to those who wish to return to recognition of the truth, whether they be Greeks or Jews, or they be members of any heresy whatever, they, if Bishops or Clergymen, shall be deprived as Bishops of their Episcopate, and as Clergymen of their Clericate; but if they are Laymen, they shall be anathematized. In an equally applicable way, if any persons be detected or caught, whether Bishops or Clergymen or Laymen, in the act of believing or teaching the things embodied in the exposition (or dissertation) presented by Charisius the Presbyter concerning the inhomination (i.e., incarnation) of the Only-begotten Son of God, or, by any chance, the unholy and perverse dogmas of Nestorius, which have even been subjoined, let them stand liable to the judgment of this holy and Ecumenical Council. As a consequence, that is to say, the Bishop shall be deprived of his Episcopate, and be left deposed from office, while the Clergyman shall likewise forfeit his Clericate. If, on the other hand, any such person be a layman, let him too be anathematized, as aforesaid.
Our fellow Bishop Reginus, most beloved by God, and with him the most God-beloved Bishops of the province of the Cypriotes Zeno and Evagrius, has announced an innovation, a thing which is contrary to the ecclesiastical laws and the Canons of the Holy Apostles, and one which touches the freedom of all. Hence, since common ailments require more drastic treatment, on the ground that they do greater damage, and especially in view of the fact that the Bishop of Antioch, far from following the ancient custom, has been performing the ordinations in Cyprus, according to information given in libelli and by oral statements made by most pious gentlemen who have approached the Holy Council; therefore those who preside over the churches in Cyprus shall retain their privilege unaffected and inviolate, according to the Canons of the Holy Fathers and ancient custom, whereby they shall themselves perform the ordinations of the most reverent Bishops. The same rule shall hold good also with regard to the other diocese and churches everywhere, so that none of the Bishops most beloved by God shall take hold of any other province that was not formerly and from the beginning in his jurisdiction, or was not, that is to say, held by his predecessors. But if anyone has taken possession of any and has forcibly subjected it to his authority, he shall regive it back to its rightful possessor, in order that the Canons of the Fathers be not transgressed, nor the secular fastus be introduced, under the pretext of divine services; lest imperceptibly and little by little we lose the freedom which our Lord Jesus Christ, the Liberator of all men, has given us as a free gift by His own blood. It has therefore seemed best to the holy and Ecumenical Council that the rights of every province, formerly and from the beginning belonging to it, be preserved clear and inviolable, in accordance with the custom which prevailed of yore; each Metropolitan having permission to take copies of the proceedings for his own security. If, on the other hand, anyone introduce any form conflicting with the decrees which have now been sanctioned, it has seemed best to the entire holy and Ecumenical Council that it be invalid and of no effect.
Letter of the same Holy and Ecumenical Third Council addressed to the sacred Synod in Pamphylia in favor of Eustathius who had become their Metropolitan.
Seeing that the God-inspired Bible says, "Do everything heedfully" (Prov. 25:29 Seirach), those who have had the fortune to be admitted to holy orders ought indeed to give especial consideration to what is to be done in every case with all exactitude. For thus will they live through life with their affairs hopefully arranged and will be carried onward as though by a favorable wind to the goal which is the most desirable; and it seems that this argument is reasonable enough. Yet in the course of time a bitter and unendurable sorrow overwhelmed the mind and terribly muddled it, and failing to reap its expectations, it found little of benefit to comfort it in regard to the unjust circumstances of its plight. We have seen some such misfortune overtake most reverent and most godly Eustathius. For though he was indeed ordained canonically, as has been attested, yet, having been embarrassed, as he says, by some persons, and having met with unseemly circumstances, and owing to his being too much accustomed to idleness he got tired of the cares heaped upon him, and being unable to put up with the fear of incurring defamation as a result of developments, we know not how, he turned in an account. For, once having accepted the responsibility of sacerdotal cares, he ought to have kept on with spiritual staunchness and to have made every effort to discharge his duties even at the expense of much pain and perspiration voluntarily as one receiving remuneration. But since, once having failed to cope with the situation, he proved incapable, though rather as a result of idleness than of laziness and indolence, your godliness necessarily ordained our most reverent and most godly brother and fellow Bishop Theodore to take care of the church. For the position could not be left open and remain without anyone to look after the flocks of the Savior. But inasmuch as he came back weeping, not about losing the city or by way of quarreling over the fact that the church was turned over to the said most godly Bishop Theodore, but begging for the honor and title of bishop he had been enjoying up till then, we all felt sorry for him because of his being an old man, and deeming his tears a common ground of sympathy, we hastened to learn whether the man had suffered any legal deposition or had been charged by other persons with improprieties while muttering things to the detriment of his reputation, and, indeed, we learned that nothing of the sort had occurred, but that instead of any indictment being brought against him the man himself had submitted his resignation. Hence we could not blame your godliness for dutifully replacing him by the said most reverent Bishop Theodore. But since there is no strong reason to quarrel with his incapacity, we ought rather to have mercy on the old man, who had been away from his city and far from home for a long time, we have deemed just and have decreed without any argument that he should retain both the name of bishop and the honor and communion of the episcopate; but in such manner as not to permit him to perform ordinations nor to officiate in divine services in church on his own account, unless by any chance taken along or allowed lo do so by a brother and fellow bishop, in pursuance of affection and love in Christ. But if you care to give him a better position of any kind, either now or hereafter, this will please the holy Council.
THE 30 CANONS OF THE HOLY FOURTH COUNCIL
We pronounce it just and right that the Canons promulgated by the Holy Fathers, in each and every Council down to the present time, continue in full force and effect.
If any Bishop ordain anyone for money, and make merchandise of the unvendible grace, and perform the ordination of a Bishop, Chorepiscopus, Presbyter, Deacon, or any one on the roll of the Clergy, with a view to gain; or nominate any Steward, Ecdicus, or Paramonarius, or anyone else that belongs to the canon, for money, with the object of making a shameful profit for himself: let him who is found guilty of having undertaken this stand in peril of his office; and, let him who has been thus ordained have no benefit from such traffic in ordinations or nominations, but, on the contrary, let him be without any claim upon the dignity or job which he has thus obtained by means of money. If, in fact, anyone even appear as a middleman or factor or intermediary for such shameful and illicit deals, let him too, if he be a clergyman, forfeit his office; but if he be a layman or a monk, let him be anathematized.
It is come to the (knowledge of the) Council that some of those who had been listed in the roll of the Clergy hire other menís estates for the sake of filthy lucre, and undertake to negotiate secular affairs, to the neglect of the Divine liturgy, and betake themselves to the families of secular men, whose estates they undertake to manage out of love of money. Therefore the holy and great Council decrees that no Bishop, Clergyman, or Monk shall henceforth be allowed to farm any estate or office, or to involve himself in secular cares, unless he be unavoidably called by laws to the guardianship of minors, or the Bishop permit him to take care of the affairs of the church, or of those of orphans or widows unprovided for, and of persons in especial need of ecclesiastical assistance, for the fear of God. If anyone presume to transgress hereafter any of the rules herein decreed, that person shall be liable to ecclesiastical penalties (or penances).
Let them who sincerely and truly enter upon monastic life be accorded due honor. But inasmuch as some use the monkís garb to disturb the affairs of the Church and civil government, by going round in the cities negligently disregarding their duties, and even undertaking to build themselves monasteries, it is decreed that no one shall anywhere build or establish any monastery or any oratory (i.e., prayerhouse) without the consent and approval of the Bishop of the city, and that Monks in every city and country be subject to the Bishop, and embrace quietude, and pay heed only to fasting and prayer, while continuing in the places patiently whereunto they have been assigned, without intruding upon or meddling in ecclesiastical affairs, nor leaving their own monasteries, unless at any time they be permitted to do so by the Bishop of the city on account of some exigency; and that no one shall receive a slave into the monasteries to become a monk, without his ownerís consent and approval. We have decreed that anyone transgressing this rule of ours shall be excluded from communion, in order that the name of God be not blasphemed. The Bishop of the city, however, is required to make prover provision for monasteries.
As regards Bishops or Clergymen who go from city to city, it has seemed fitting that the Canons laid down by the Holy Fathers should remain in effect and be enforced.
It is decreed that no one shall be ordained at large either a Presbyter or a Deacon, nor anything else at all in the ecclesiastical ranks unless he be particularly assigned to the church of some city, or to a martyry, or to a monastery. As for those ordained at large the holy Council has determined that any such chirothesy shall be null and void, and that such ordinees shall not be allowed to officiate anywhere, to the dishonor of the ordainer.
We have decreed in regard to those who have once been enrolled in the Clergy or who have become Monks shall not join the army nor obtain any secular position of dignity. Let those be anathematized who dare to do this and fail to repent, so as to return to that which they had previously chosen on Godís account.
As for the Clergymen attached to poorhouses or monasteries or rnartyries let them remain under the authority of the bishop of the city in question, and not disrespectfully desert their own Bishop, in accordance with the teaching imparted by the holy Fathers. As regards those who dare to defy any such formal ruling, in any manner whatever, and who refuse to submit to their own Bishop, in case they are clergymen let them be liable to the penalties prescribed by the Canons, but if they are monks or laymen, let them be excluded from communion.
If any Clergyman has a dispute with another, let him not leave his own Bishop and resort to secular courts, but let him first submit his case to his own Bishop, or let it be tried by referees chosen by both parties and approved by the Bishop. Let anyone who acts contrary hereto be liable to Canonical penalties. If, on the other hand, a Clergyman has a dispute with his own Bishop, or with some other Bishop, let it be tried by the Synod of the province. But if any Bishop or Clergyman has a dispute with the Metropolitan of the same province, let him apply either to the Exarch of the diocese or to the throne of the imperial capital Constantinople, and let it be tried before him.
Let no clergyman be entitled to be on the roll of the churches of two different churches at the same time, i.e., of that in which he was originally ordained, and of that to which he has resorted on the plea that it appeals to him more than the other because of its being a larger church, when in reality he is actuated by vainglory. As for those who do so, let them be reinstated in their own church, wherein they were originally ordained, and let them officiate there only. If, on the other hand, anyone has been already translated from one church to another, let him have nothing to do with the affairs of the former church, as regards the martyry connected to it, or the poorhouses, or the inns administered by it. As for those who dare to do anything hereby prohibited. after the definition of this great and ecumenical Council, this holy Council has decided that he shall forfeit his own rank.
As for all those who are indigent and in need of assistance, upon proof, me have made it a rule that they are to travel only with pacific ecclesiastical letters, and not with recommendatory letters; for recommendatory letters are to be granted only to persons who are under suspicion.
It has come to our knowledge that some persons, by resorting; to the civil authorities, have obtained pragmatics whereby they have contrived to divide one province into two, contrary to the ecclesiastical Canons, and as a result there are two Metropolitans in one and the same province. The holy Council has therefore made it a rule that no Bishop shall hereafter be allowed to do such a thing. For, if anyone shall attempt to do so, he shall forfeit his own rank As for all those cities which have already been honored with the name of Metropolis by letters of the Emperor, let them enjoy only the honor, and likewise the Bishop who is administering its church; it being left plain that the rights properly belonging to the real Metropolis are to be preserved to this Metropolis (alone).
Strange Clergymen and Anagnosts are not to be allowed to conduct services anywhere in a different city without having letters recommendatory from their own Bishop.
Inasmuch as Anagnosts and Psalts in some provinces have been permitted to marry, the holy Council has made it a rule that none of them shall be allowed to take a wife that is of a different faith. As for those who have already had children as a result of such a marriage, if they have already had their offspring baptized by heretics, let them bring them into the communion of the catholic Church. But if they have not baptized them, let them no longer have any right to baptize them with heretics, nor, indeed, even to contract a marriage with a heretic, or a Jew, or a Greek, unless they first promise and undertake to convert the person joined to the Orthodox Christian to the Orthodox faith. If, on the other hand, anyone transgresses this rule of the holy Council, let him be liable to a Canonical penalty.
Let no woman be ordained a deaconess before the age of forty, and even then after a strict test. But if she, after receiving the gift of chirothesy and remaining for some time in the ministry, proceeds to give herself in marriage thus insulting the grace of God, let any such actress be anathematized together with the man who has joined himself with her in marriage.
If any virgin has dedicated herself to the Lord God, or any men likewise have become monks, let them not be permitted to engage in marriage. If, however, they be found to be doing this, let them be denied communion, and be excluded therefrom. But we have made it a rule that the local Bishop is to have control of kindliness in regard to the treatment of them.
As touching rural parishes, or country parishes, in any province, they shall remain in the undisputed possession of the bishops now holding them, and especially if they have held them in their possession and have managed them without coercion for thirty years or more. But if during a period of thirty years there has arisen or should arise some dispute concerning them, those claiming to have been unjustly treated shall be permitted to complain to the Synod of the province. But if anyone has been unjustly treated by his own Metropolitan, let him complain to the Exarch of the diocese, or let him have his case tried before the throne of Constantinople, according as he may choose. If, on the other hand, any city has been rebuilt by imperial authority, or has been built anew again, pursuant to civil and public formalities, let the order of the ecclesiastical parishes be followed.
The crime of conspiracy, or of faction (i.e., of factious partisanship), already prohibited by secular laws, ought still more to be forbidden to obtain in the Church of God. If, therefore, there be found any Clergymen, or Monastics, to be conspiring or to he engaged in factiousness of any kind, or hatching plots against Bishops or Fellow Clergymen, they shall forfeit their own rank altogether.
It has come to our ears that the canonically prescribed Synods of Bishops are not held in the provinces, and as a result of this fact many ecclesiastical matters in need of correction are neglected. The holy Council, therefore, has made it a rule, in accordance with the Canons of the Holy Fathers, for the Bishops to meet twice a year in convention somewhere in each province, wherever the Bishop of the Metropolis designates, and for all matters to be corrected that may come up. As for those Bishops, on the other hand, who fail to attend the meeting, but who, instead of doing so, remain at home in their respective cities, and lead their lives therein in good health and free from every indispensable and necessary occupation, they are to be reprimanded in a brotherly way.
As we have already decreed, it is not permissible for clergymen officiating in a church to be given a church in another city; but, on the contrary, they must rest content with the one in which they were originally deemed worthy to conduct divine services: except those who have gone over to another church as a result of their having been forced to flee from their own country. If any Bishop nevertheless admits a clergyman belonging to another Bishop, after promulgation of this rule, it has been decided that both of them, i.e., the Clergyman so admitted and the Bishop admitting him, are to be excluded from communion until such time as the Clergyman who has left his own city see fit to return to his own church.
Clergymen or laymen accusing Bishops or Clergymen are not to be allowed to file charges against them promiscuously and without investigation until their own reputation h as been examined into.
Clergymen, after the death of their own Bishop, shall not be allowed to seize his effects, as is prohibited even by the Canons of old, on pain of being shorn of their own offices.
It has come to the ears of the holy Council that certain Clergymen and Monastics, without being handed any permission by their own bishop, and in fact, sometimes even after he has excluded them from communion, have resorted to the imperial city of Constantinople, and stay there a long time, causing disturbances and meddling the ecclesiastical situation, and engender upheavals in the households of some persons. Hence the holy Council has decreed that they first be reminded, through the Defensor of the most holy Church of Constantinople, to take their departure from the imperial city. But if they impudently persist in doing the same things, they are to be expelled from the city even against their will through the same Defensor, and are to betake themselves to their own regions.
As for Monasteries which have once been consecrated with the consent of the Bishop, they are to remain Monasteries perpetually, and the property owned by them is to be kept safe, and no more be permitted to serve as mundane haunts of vice. Those who permit this to occur are liable to the penances provided by the Canons.
Whereas some Metropolitans, as we have been informed, neglect the flocks committed to their care, and postpone the ordinations of Bishops, the holy Council has decreed that they must perform ordinations within three months. unless some unavoidable necessity require the time to be lengthened. If they fails to carry out this rule, they shall be liable to ecclesiastical penances; and the means profits of the widow church shall be preserved to be retained by the Steward (or Oeconomus) of the same church.
Since in some churches, as we have been informed, the Bishops are administering the ecclesiastical affairs with the services of a Steward, it has seemed most reasonable and right that each and every church that has a Bishop should also have a Steward selected from its own Clergy to manage the ecclesiastical affairs of that particular church in accordance with the views and ideas of its own Bishop, so as to provide against the administration of the church being unwitnessed, so as to prevent the property of the same church from being wasted as a result of such stewardless administration and to prevent any obloquy from attaching itself to holy orders.
The holy Council has made it a rule regarding those who take women by force under pretense of marriage, and their accomplices and abettors, that if they should be Clergymen, they shall forfeit their own rank, but if they are Iaymen they shall be anathematized.
Everywhere following the decrees of the Holy Fathers, and aware of the recently recognized Canon of the one hundred and fifty most God-beloved Bishops who convened during the reign of Theodosius the Great of pious memory, who became emperor in the imperial city of Constantinople otherwise known as New Rome; we too decree and vote the same things in regard to the privileges and priorities of the most holy Church of that same Constantinople and New Rome. And this is in keeping with the fact that the Fathers naturally enough granted the priorities to the throne of Old Rome on account of her being the imperial capital. And motivated by the same object and aim the one hundred and fifty most God-beloved Bishops have accorded the like priorities to the most holy throne of New Rome, with good reason deeming that the city which is the seat of an empire, and of a senate, and is equal to old imperial Rome in respect of other privileges and priorities, should be magnified also as she is in respect of ecclesiastical affairs, as coming next after her, or as being second to her. And it is arranged so that only the Metropolitans of the Pontic, Asian, and Thracian dioceses shall be ordained by the most holy throne of the most holy Church of Constantinople aforesaid, and likewise the Bishops of the aforesaid dioceses which are situated in barbarian lands; that is to say, that each Metropolitan of the aforesaid dioceses, together with the Bishops of the province, shall ordain the Bishops of the province, just as is prescribed by the divine Canons. But the Metropolitans of the aforesaid dioceses, as has been said, are to be ordained by the Archbishop of Constantinople, after the elections have first been conducted in accordance with custom, and have been reported to him.
For a Bishop to bear the rank of Presbyter is sacrilege. If, however, any just reason determines their removal from practice as Bishops, then neither ought they to oc cupy the position of Presbyter. But if for any cause than some crime they have been deprived of the dignity and office, they shall be restored to the dignity and office of the Episcopate.
Whereas the most reverent Bishops of Egypt postponed subscribing to the epistle of the most holy Archbishop Leo for the present, not because they opposed the catholic faith, but on the allegation that it is a custom in the diocese of Egypt to do nothing of this sort without the consent and formal approval of their Archbishop, and therefore request to be excused until the one who is to be the Bishop for the great city of the Alexandrians has been ordained: it has appeared to us reasonable and consonant with the spirit of philanthropy that they be excused and allowed to remain upon the like habit in the Imperial City till an Archbishop has been ordained for the great city of the Alexandrians. Let them therefore give security that they will not leave this city till the city of the Alexandrians has been accommodated with a bishop.
To be continued