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Concilio Trullano

0691-0691 – Synodum Constantinopolitanum – Canones

The Canons Of The Council in Trullo;
Often Called The Quintisext Council.

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A.D. 692.

Introductory Note.
The Canons with the Ancient Epitome and Notes.
Excursus to Canon VI., On the Marriage of the Clergy.

Introductory Note.

From the fact that the canons of the Council in Trullo are included in this volume of the Decrees
and Canons of the Seven Ecumenical Councils it must not for an instant be supposed that it isintended thereby to affirm that these canons have any ecumenical authority, or that the council bywhich they were adopted can lay any claim to being ecumenical either in view of its constitutionor of the subsequent treatment by the Church of its enactments.

It is true that it claimed at the time an ecumenical character, and styled itself such in several ofits canons, it is true that in the mind of the Emperor Justinian II., who summoned it, it was intendedto have been ecumenical. It is true that the Greeks at first declared it to be a continuation of the
Sixth Synod and that by this name they frequently denominate and quote its canons. But it is alsotrue that the West was not really represented at it at all (as we shall see presently); that when theEmperor afterwards sent the canons to the Pope to receive his signature, he absolutely refused tohave anything to do with them; and it is further true that they were never practically observed bythe West at all, and that even in the East their authority was rather theoretical than real.

(Fleury. Histoire Ecclesiastique, Livre XL., Chap. xlix.)


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As the two last General Councils (in 553 and in 681) had not made any Canons, the Orientalsjudged it suitable to supply them eleven years after the Sixth Council, that is to say, the year 692,
fifth indiction. For that purpose the Emperor Justinian convoked a Council, at which 211 Bishopsattended, of whom the principal were the four Patriarchs, Paul of Constantinople, Peter of Alexandria,
Anastasius of Jerusalem, George of Antioch. Next in the subscriptions are named John ofJustinianopolis, Cyriacus of Cesarea in Cappadocia, Basil of Gortyna in Crete, who says that herepresents the whole Council of the Roman Church, as he had said in subscribing the Sixth Council.
But it is certain otherwise that in this latter council there were present Legates of the Holy See.
This council, like the Sixth,340 assembled in the dome of the palace called in Latin Trullus, which
name it has kept. It is also named in Latin Quinisextum, in Greek Penthecton, as one might say,
the fifth-sixth, to mark that it is only the supplement of the two preceding Councils, though properlyit is a distinct one.

The intention was to make a body of discipline to serve thenceforth for the whole Church, andit was distributed into 102 Canons.

To this statement by Fleury some additions must be made. First, with regard to the date of thesynod. This is not so certain as would appear at first sight. At the Seventh Ecumenical Council,
the patriarch Tarasius of Constantinople asserted that, “four or five years after the sixth EcumenicalCouncil the same bishops, in a new assembly under Justinian II. had published the [Trullan] Canonsmentioned,” and this assertion the Seventh Council appears to have accepted as true, if we understandthe sixth session aright. Now were this statement true, the date would be probably 686, but this isimpossible by the words of the council itself, where we find mention made of the fifteenth of Januaryof the past 4th indiction, or the year of the world, 6109. To make this agree at all, scholars tell usthat for iv. must be read xiv. But the rest of the statement is equally erroneous, the bishops werenot the same, as can readily be seen by comparing the subscriptions to the Acts.

The year of the world 6109 is certainly wrong, and so other scholars would read 6199, but herea division takes place, for some reckon by the Constantinopolitan era, and so fix the date at 691,
and others following the Alexandrian era fix it at 706. But this last is certainly wrong, for thecanons were sent for signature to Pope Sergius, who died as early as 701. Hefele’s conclusion isas follows:

(Hefele. Hist. of the Councils, Vol. V., p. 222.)

The year 6199 of the Constantinopolitan era coincides with the year 691 after Christ and the
IVth Indiction ran from September 1, 690, to August 31, 691. If then, our Synod, in canon iij.,
speaks of the 15th of January in the past Indiction IV., it means January 691; but it belongs itself,
to the Vth Indiction, i.e., it was opened after September 1, 691, and before September 1, 692.


This statement of Fleury’s is contested by those who agree with Asseman in thinking that the Sixth Synod was held in
Santa Sophia, vide Biblioth. Jur., Orient. Tom. v., p. 85.


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As this is not a history of the Councils but a collection of their decrees and canons withillustrative notes, the only other point to be considered is the reception these canons met with.

The decrees were signed first by the Emperor, the next place was left vacant for the Pope, thenfollowed the subscriptions of the Patriarchs of Constantinople, Alexandria, Jerusalem, and Antioch,
the whole number being 211, bishops or representatives of bishops. It is not quite certain whetherany of the Patriarchs were present except Paul of Constantinople; but taking it all in all the probabilityis in favour of their presence.341 Blank places were left for the bishops of Thessalonica, Sardinia,
Ravenna and Corinth. The Archbishop of Gortyna in Crete added to his signature the phrase“Holding the place of the holy Church of Rome in every synod.” He had in the same way signedthe decrees of III. Constantinople, Crete belonging to the Roman Patriarchate; as to whether hisdelegation on the part of the Roman Synod continued or was merely made to continue by his ownvolition we have no information. The ridiculous blunder of Balsamon must be noted here, who
asserts that the bishops whose names are missing and for which blank places were left, had actuallysigned.

Pope Sergius refused to sign the decrees when they were sent to him, rejected them as “lackingauthority” (invalidi) and described them as containing “novel errors.” With the efforts to extorthis signature we have no concern further than to state that they signally failed. Later on, in thetime of Pope Constantine, a middle course seems to have been adopted, a course subsequently inthe ninth century thus expressed by Pope John VIII., “he accepted all those canons which did notcontradict the true faith, good morals, and the decrees of Rome,” a truly notable statement! Nearlya century later Pope Hadrian I. distinctly recognizes all the Trullan decrees in his letter to Tenasiusof Constantinople and attributes them to the Sixth Synod. “All the holy six synods I receive withall their canons, which rightly and divinely were promulgated by them, among which is containedthat in which reference is made to a Lamb being pointed to by the Precursor as being found incertain of the venerable images.” Here the reference is unmistakably to the Trullan Canon LXXXII.

Hefele’s summing up of the whole matter is as follows:

(Hefele, Hist. of the Councils, Vol. V., p. 242.)

That the Seventh Ecumenical Council at Nice ascribed the Trullan canons to the Sixth
Ecumenical Council, and spoke of them entirely in the Greek spirit, cannot astonish us, as it wasattended almost solely by Greeks. They specially pronounced the recognition of the canons inquestion in their own first canon; but their own canons have never received the ratification of theHoly See.

Thus far Hefele, but it seems that Gratian’s statement on the subject in the Decretum should
not be omitted here. (Pars I. Dist. XVI., c. v.)


Cf. Hefele, l.c., Vol. V., 237. On the other hand vide Asseman (l.c. Tom. V., pp. 30, 69), who thinks Alexandria and
Jerusalem were vacant at the time!


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“Canon V. The Sixth Synod is confirmed by the authority of Hadrian.
“I receive the Sixth Synod with all its canons.
“Gratian. There is a doubt whether it set forth canons but this is easily removed by examining

the fourth session of the VIIth [VIth by mistake, vide Roman Correctors’ note] Synod.

“For Peter the Bp. of Nicomedia says:

“C. VI. The Sixth Synod wrote canons.

“I have a book containing the canons of the holy Sixth Synod. The Patriarch said: § 1. Someare scandalized through their ignorance of these canons, saying: Did the Sixth Synod make anycanons? Let them know then that the Sixth Holy Synod was gathered together under Constantineagainst those who said there is one operation and one will in Christ, in which the holy Fathersanathematized these as heretics and explained the orthodox faith.

“II. Pars § 2. And the synod was dissolved in the XIVth year of Constantine. After four or five
years the same holy Fathers met together under Justinian, the son of Constantine, and promulgatedthe aforementioned canons, of which let no one have any doubt. For they who under Constantinewere in synod, these same bishops under Justinian subscribed to all these canons. For it was fittingthat a Universal Synod should promulgate ecclesiastical canons. Item: § 3. The Holy Sixth Synodafter it promulgated its definition against the Monothelites, the emperor Constantine who hadsummoned it, dying soon after, and Justinian his son reigning in his stead, the same holy synoddivinely inspired again met at Constantinople four or five years afterwards, and promulgated onehundred and two canons for the correction of the Church.

“Gratian. From this therefore it may be gathered that the Sixth Synod was twice assembled:
the first time under Constantine and then passed no canons; the second time under Justinian his
son, and promulgated the aforesaid canons.”

Upon this passage of Gratian’s the Roman Correctors have a long and interesting note, withquotations from Anastasius, which should be read with care by the student but is too long to citehere.

I close with some eminently wise remarks by Prof. Michaud.

(E. Michaud, Discussion sur les Sept Conciles OEcuméniques, p. 272.)
Upon the canons of this council we must remark:

1. That save its acceptance of the dogmatic decisions of the six Ecumenical Councils, whichis contained in the first canon, this council had an exclusively disciplinary character; andconsequently if it should be admitted by the particular churches, these would always remain, onaccount of their autonomy, judges of the fitness or non-suitability of the practical application ofthese decisions.
2. That the Easterns have never pretended to impose this code upon the practice of the WesternChurches, especially as they themselves do not practise everywhere the hundred and two canonsmentioned. All they wished to do was to maintain the ancient discipline against the abuses and

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evil innovations of the Roman Church, and to make her pause upon the dangerous course in whichshe was already beginning to enter.

3. That if among these canons, some do not apply to the actual present state of society, e.g.,
the 8th, 10th, 11th, etc.; if others, framed in a spirit of transition between the then Eastern customsand those of Rome, do not appear as logical nor as wise as one might desire, e.g., the 6th, 12th,
48th, etc., nevertheless on the other hand, many of them are marked with the most profound sagacity.
The Canons of the Council in Trullo.

(Labbe and Cossart, Concilia, Tom. VI., col. 1135 et seqq.)

Canon I.

THAT order is best of all which makes every word and act begin and end in God. Wherefore
that piety may be clearly set forth by us and that the Church of which Christ is the foundation maybe continually increased and advanced, and that it may be exalted above the cedars of Lebanon;
now therefore we, by divine grace at the beginning of our decrees, define that the faith set forth bythe God-chosen Apostles who themselves had both seen and were ministers of the Word, shall bepreserved without any innovation, unchanged and inviolate.

Moreover the faith of the three hundred and eighteen holy and blessed fathers who wereassembled at Nice under Constantine our Emperor, against the impious Arius, and the gentilediversity of deity or rather (to speak accurately) multitude of gods taught by him, who by theunanimous acknowledgment of the faithful revealed and declared to us the consubstantiality of theThree Persons comprehended in the Divine Nature, not suffering this faith to lie hidden under thebushel of ignorance, but openly teaching the faithful to adore with one worship the Father, the Son,
and the Holy Ghost, confuting and scattering to the winds the opinion of different grades, anddemolishing and overturning the puerile toyings fabricated out of sand by the heretics againstorthodoxy.

Likewise also we confirm that faith which was set forth by the one hundred and fifty fatherswho in the time of Theodosius the Elder, our Emperor, assembled in this imperial city, acceptingtheir decisions with regard to the Holy Ghost in assertion of his godhead, and expelling the profaneMacedonius (together with all previous enemies of the truth) as one who dared to judge Him to bea servant who is Lord, and who wished to divide, like a robber, the inseparable unity, so that theremight be no perfect mystery of our faith.


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And together with this odious and detestable contender against the truth, we condemn Apollinaris,
priest of the same iniquity, who impiously belched forth that the Lord assumed a body unendowedwith a soul,342 thence also inferring that his salvation wrought for us was imperfect.

Moreover what things were set forth by the two hundred God-bearing fathers in the city ofEphesus in the days of Theodosius our Emperor, the son of Arcadius; these doctrines we assent toas the unbroken strength of piety, teaching that Christ the incarnate Son of God is one; and declaringthat she who bare him without human seed was the immaculate Ever-Virgin, glorifying her asliterally and in very truth the Mother of God. We condemn as foreign to the divine scheme theabsurd division of Nestorius, who teaches that the one Christ consists of a man separately and ofthe Godhead separately and renews the Jewish impiety.

Moreover we confirm that faith which at Chalcedon, the Metropolis, was set forth in accordancewith orthodoxy by the six hundred and thirty God-approved fathers in the time of Marcian, whowas our Emperor, which handed down with a great and mighty voice, even unto the ends of theearth, that the one Christ, the son of God, is of two natures, and must be glorified343 in these two
natures, and which cast forth from the sacred precincts of the Church as a black pestilence to beavoided, Eutyches, babbling stupidly and inanely, and teaching that the great mystery of the
incarnation (......µ.a.) was perfected in thought only. And together with him also Nestoriusand Dioscorus of whom the former was the defender and champion of the division, the latter of theconfusion [of the two natures in the one Christ], both of whom fell away from the divergence oftheir impiety to a common depth of perdition and denial of God.

Also we recognize as inspired by the Spirit the pious voices of the one hundred and sixty-fiveGod-bearing fathers who assembled in this imperial city in the time of our Emperor Justinian ofblessed memory, and we teach them to those who come after us; for these synodically anathematizedand execrated Theodore of Mopsuestia (the teacher of Nestorius), and Origen, and Didymus, andEvagrius, all of whom reintroduced feigned Greek myths, and brought back again the circlings ofcertain bodies and souls, and deranged turnings [or transmigrations] to the wanderings or dreamingsof their minds, and impiously insulting the resurrection of the dead. Moreover [they condemned]
what things were written by Theodoret against the right faith and against the Twelve Chapters ofblessed Cyril, and that letter which is said to have been written by Ibas.

Also we agree to guard untouched the faith of the Sixth Holy Synod, which first assembled inthis imperial city in the time of Constantine, our Emperor, of blessed memory, which faith receivedstill greater confirmation from the fact that the pious Emperor ratified with his own signet thatwhich was written for the security of future generations. This council taught that we should openlyprofess our faith that in the incarnation of Jesus Christ, our true God, there are two natural wills orvolitions and two natural operations; and condemned by a just sentence those who adulterated thetrue doctrine and taught the people that in the one Lord Jesus Christ there is but one will and one


Latin reads “mind or soul.”


Latin, “believed in.”


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operation; to wit, Theodore of Pharan, Cyrus of Alexandria, Honorius of Rome, Sergius, Pyrrhus,
Paul and Peter, who were bishops of this God-preserved city; Macarius, who was bishop of Antioch;
Stephen, who was his disciple, and the insane Polychronius, depriving them henceforth from thecommunion of the body of Christ our God.

And, to say so once for all, we decree that the faith shall stand firm and remain unsullied untilthe end of the world as well as the writings divinely handed down and the teachings of all thosewho have beautified and adorned the Church of God and were lights in the world, having embracedthe word of life. And we reject and anathematize those whom they rejected and anathematized, asbeing enemies of the truth, and as insane ragers against God, and as lifters up of iniquity.

But if any one at all shall not observe and embrace the aforesaid pious decrees, and teach andpreach in accordance therewith, but shall attempt to set himself in opposition thereto, let him beanathema, according to the decree already promulgated by the approved holy and blessed Fathers,
and let him be cast out and stricken off as an alien from the number of Christians. For our decrees
add nothing to the things previously defined, nor do they take anything away, nor have we any such



No innovation upon the faith of the Apostles is to be allowed. The faith of the Nicene fathers
is perfect, which overthrows through the homousion the doctrines of Arius who introduced degrees
into the Godhead.

The Synod held under Theodosius the great shall be held inviolate, which deposed Macedonius
who asserted that the Holy Ghost was a servant.

The two hundred who under Theodosius the Younger assembled at Ephesus are to be revered
for they expelled Nestorius who asserted that the Lord was man and God separately (.d....).

Those who assembled at Chalcedon in the time of Marcion are to be celebrated with eternal
remembrance, who deposed Eutyches, who dared to say that the great mystery was accomplished
only in image, as well as Nestorius and Dioscorus, observing equal things in an opposite direction.

One hundred and sixty-five were assembled in the imperial city by Justinian, who anathematized
Origen, for teaching periods (pe...d...
) of bodies and souls, and Theodoret who dared to set
himself up to oppose the Twelve Chapters of Cyril.

At Constantinople a Synod was collected under Constantine which rejected Honorius of Rome
and Sergius, prelate of Constantinople, for teaching one will and one operation.


The fifth was held in the time of Justinian the Great at Constantinople against the crazy
(pa..f....) Origen, Evagrius and Didymus, who remodelled the Greek figments, and stupidlysaid that the same bodies they had joined with them would not rise again; and that Paradise was


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not subject to the appreciation of the sense, and that it was not from God, and that Adam was notformed in flesh, and that there would be an end of punishment, and a restitution of the devils totheir pristine state, and other innumerable insane blasphemies.

Canon II.

IT has also seemed good to this holy Council, that the eighty-five canons, received and ratified
by the holy and blessed Fathers before us, and also handed down to us in the name of the holy andglorious Apostles should from this time forth remain firm and unshaken for the cure of souls andthe healing of disorders. And in these canons we are bidden to receive the Constitutions of theHoly Apostles [written] by Clement. But formerly through the agency of those who erred fromthe faith certain adulterous matter was introduced, clean contrary to piety, for the polluting of theChurch, which obscures the elegance and beauty of the divine decrees in their present form. Wetherefore reject these Constitutions so as the better to make sure of the edification and security ofthe most Christian flock; by no means admitting the offspring of heretical error, and cleaving tothe pure and perfect doctrine of the Apostles. But we set our seal likewise upon all the other holycanons set forth by our holy and blessed Fathers, that is, by the 318 holy God-bearing Fathersassembled at Nice, and those at Ancyra, further those at Neocæsarea and likewise those at Gangra,
and besides, those at Antioch in Syria: those too at Laodicea in Phrygia: and likewise the 150 whoassembled in this heaven-protected royal city: and the 200 who assembled the first time in themetropolis of the Ephesians, and the 630 holy and blessed Fathers at Chalcedon. In like mannerthose of Sardica, and those of Carthage: those also who again assembled in this heaven-protectedroyal city under its bishop Nectarius and Theophilus Archbishop of Alexandria. Likewise too theCanons [i.e. the decretal letters] of Dionysius, formerly Archbishop of the great city of Alexandria;
and of Peter, Archbishop of Alexandria and Martyr; of Gregory the Wonder-worker, Bishop ofNeocæsarea; of Athanasius, Archbishop of Alexandria; of Basil, Archbishop of Cæsarea inCappadocia; of Gregory, Bishop of Nyssa; of Gregory Theologus; of Amphilochius of Iconium;
of Timothy, Archbishop of Alexandria; of Theophilus, Archbishop of the same great city ofAlexandria; of Cyril, Archbishop of the same Alexandria; of Gennadius, Patriarch of thisheaven-protected royal city. Moreover the Canon set forth by Cyprian, Archbishop of the countryof the Africans and Martyr, and by the Synod under him, which has been kept only in the countryof the aforesaid Bishops, according to the custom delivered down to them. And that no one beallowed to transgress or disregard the aforesaid canons, or to receive others beside them,
supposititiously set forth by certain who have attempted to make a traffic of the truth. But shouldany one be convicted of innovating upon, or attempting to overturn, any of the afore-mentionedcanons, he shall be subject to receive the penalty which that canon imposes, and to be cured by itof his transgression.


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Whatever additions have been made through guile by the heterodox in the Apostolic Constitutions
edited by Clement, shall be cut out.

This canon defines what canons are to be understood as having received the sanction ofecumenical authority, and since these canons of the Council in Trullo were received at the SeventhEcumenical Council in its first canon as the canons of the Sixth Ecumenical (of which the Quinisextclaimed to be a legitimate continuation) there can be no doubt that all these canons enumerated inthis canon are set forth for the guidance of the Church.

With regard to what councils are intended: there is difficulty only in two particulars, viz., the
“Council of Constantinople under Nectarius and Theophilus,”344 and the “Council under Cyprian;”
the former must be the Council of 394, and the latter is usually considered to be the III. Synod ofCarthage, A.D. 257.


(H. E. Liv. xl., chap. xlix.)
The Council of Constantinople under Nectarius and Theophilus of Alexandria must be that heldin 394, at the dedication of Ruffinus’s Church; but we have not its canons.…“The canon publishedby St. Cyprian for the African Church alone.” It is difficult to understand what canon is referredto unless it is the preface to the council of St. Cyprian where he says that no one should pretend tobe bishop of bishops, or to oblige his colleagues to obey him by tyrannical fear.

It will be noticed that while the canon is most careful to mention the exact number of Apostoliccanons it received, thus deciding in favour of the larger code, it is equally careful not to assign theman Apostolic origin, but merely to say that they had come down to them “in the name of” theApostles. In the face of this it is strange to find Balsamon saying, “Through this canon their mouthis stopped who say that 85 canons were not set forth by the holy Apostles;” what the council didsettle, so far as its authority went, was the number not the authorship of the canons. This, I think,
is all that Balsamon intended to assert, but his words might easily be quoted as having a differentmeaning.

This canon is found, in part, in the Corpus Juris Canonici, Gratian’s Decretum, Pars I., Dist.
XVI, c. VII.


The Ultramontane Roisselet de Sauclières, in his Histoire chronologique et dogmatique des Conciles de la Chrétieté,
Tome III., p. 131, curiously divides this into two councils. This blunder is also made by Ivo, cf. Gratian’s Dec., P. I., Dist. xvi.,

c. vii., note by correctors.

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Canon III.

SINCE our pious and Christian Emperor has addressed this holy and ecumenical council, in order
that it might provide for the purity of those who are in the list of the clergy, and who transmit divinethings to others, and that they may be blameless ministrants, and worthy of the sacrifice of the greatGod, who is both Offering and High Priest, a sacrifice apprehended by the intelligence: and thatit might cleanse away the pollutions wherewith these have been branded by unlawful marriages:
now whereas they of the most holy Roman Church purpose to keep the rule of exact perfection,
but those who are under the throne of this heaven-protected and royal city keep that of kindnessand consideration, so blending both together as our fathers have done, and as the love of Godrequires, that neither gentleness fall into licence, nor severity into harshness; especially as the faultof ignorance has reached no small number of men, we decree, that those who are involved in asecond marriage, and have been slaves to sin up to the fifteenth of the past month of January, inthe past fourth Indiction, the 6109th year, and have not resolved to repent of it, be subjected tocanonical deposition: but that they who are involved in this disorder of a second marriage, butbefore our decree have acknowledged what is fitting, and have cut off their sin, and have put farfrom them this strange and illegitimate connexion, or they whose wives by second marriage arealready dead, or who have turned to repentance of their own accord, having learnt continence, andhaving quickly forgotten their former iniquities, whether they be presbyters or deacons, these wehave determined should cease from all priestly ministrations or exercise, being under punishmentfor a certain time, but should retain the honour of their seat and station, being satisfied with theirseat before the laity and begging with tears from the Lord that the transgression of their ignorancebe pardoned them: for unfitting it were that he should bless another who has to tend his ownwounds. But those who have been married to one wife, if she was a widow, and likewise those
who after their ordination have unlawfully entered into one marriage that is, presbyters, and deacons,
and subdeacons, being debarred for some short time from sacred ministration, and censured, shallbe restored again to their proper rank, never advancing to any further rank, their unlawful marriagebeing openly dissolved. This we decree to hold good only in the case of those that are involved in
the aforesaid faults up to the fifteenth (as was said) of the month of January, of the fourth Indiction,
decreeing from the present time, and renewing the Canon which declares, that he who has beenjoined in two marriages after his baptism, or has had a concubine, cannot be bishop, or presbyter,
or deacon, or at all on the sacerdotal list; in like manner, that he who has taken a widow, or a
divorced person, or a harlot, or a servant, or an actress, cannot be bishop, or presbyter, or deacon,
or at all on the sacerdotal list.




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Priests who shall have contracted second marriages and will not give them up are to be deposed.
But those who leave off the wickedness, let them cease for a fixed period. For he that is himself
wounded does not bless. But who are implicated in nefarious marriage and who after ordination
have contracted marriage, after a definite time they shall be restored to their grade, provided they
remain without offence, having plainly broken off the marriage. But if after it shall have been
prohibited by this decree they attempt to do so they shall remain deposed.


What things pertain to this third canon are only adapted to the time in which the canon waspassed; and afterwards are of no force at all. But what things the Fathers wished to be binding onposterity are contained in the seventeenth and eighteenth canons of the holy Apostles, which ashaving been neglected during the course of time this synod wished to renew.


It is clear from this canon that the Emperor very especially intended that the indulgence whichthe Church of Constantinople extended to its presbyters and deacons in allowing them the use ofmarriage entered into before ordination, should not be allowed to go any further, nor to be anoccasion for the violation of that truly Apostolic canon, “The bishop, the presbyter, and the deaconmust be the husband of one wife.” I Tim. iii. 2.

For never did the Constantinopolitan nor any other Eastern Church allow by canon a digamist(or a man successively the husband of many wives) to be advanced to the order of presbyter ordeacon, or to use any second marriage.


(Tentativa Theologica. [Eng. trans.] III. Principle, p. 79.)

In the same manner a second marriage always, and everywhere, incapacitated the clergy forHoly Orders and the Episcopate. This appears from St. Paul, 1 Tim. Chap. iii., and Titus, Chap.
i., and it was expressly enacted by the sixteenth of the Apostolical Canons, renewed by the PopesSiricius, Innocent and Leo the Great, and may be gathered from the ancient fathers and councilsgenerally received in the Church.

Nevertheless we know from Theodoret, Bishop of Cyrus, that many bishops remarkable fortheir learning and sanctity, frequently dispensed with this Apostolical law; as Alexander of Antioch,
Acacius of Berea, Praylius of Jerusalem, Proclus of Constantinople, and others, by whose exampleTheodoret defends his own conduct in the case of Irenæus, in ordaining him Archbishop of Tyre,
although he had been twice married. But what is more surprising in this matter is that,
notwithstanding the eleventh Decretal of Siricius, and the twelfth of Innocentius the First, that theywho had either been twice married, or had married widows, were incapable of ordination, and oughtto be deposed; the Council of Toledo, Canon 3, and the First Council of Orange, Canon 25, both


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dispensed with these Pontifical laws. The first, in order that those who had married widows mightremain in holy orders; the second, that such as had twice married might be promoted to the orderof subdeacon. Socrates also observes that although it was a general law not to admit catechumensto orders, the bishops of Alexandria were in the habit of promoting such to the order of readers andsingers.


(H. E., Liv. XL., chap. 1.)
These canons of the Council of Trullo have served ever since to the Greeks and to all the
Christians of the East as the universal rule with regard to clerical continence, and they have beennow in full force for a thousand years. That is to say, It is not permitted to men who are clerics inHoly Orders to marry after their ordination. Bishops must keep perfect continence, whether beforetheir consecration they are married or not. Priests, deacons, and subdeacons already married cankeep their wives and live with them, except on the days they are to approach the holy mysteries.

Canon IV.

IF any bishop, presbyter, deacon, sub-deacon, lector, cantor, or door-keeper has had intercourse
with a woman dedicated to God, let him be deposed, as one who has corrupted a spouse of Christ,
but if a layman let him be cut off.



A cleric coupled to a spouse of God shall be deposed. In the case of a layman he shall be cut

This canon is found in the Corpus Juris Canonici, Gratian’s Decretum, Pars II., Causa XXVII.,

Q. I., c. vj.
A layman ravishing a nun, by secular law was punished by death. Balsamon gives the referencethus: V Cap. primi tit. iiij. lib. Basilic. or cxxiij. Novel.

Canon V.


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LET none of those who are on the priestly list possess any woman or maid servant, beyond those
who are enumerated in the canon as being persons free from suspicion, preserving himself herebyfrom being implicated in any blame. But if anyone transgresses our decree let him be deposed.
And let eunuchs also observe the same rule, that by foresight they may be free of censure. Butthose who transgress, let them be deposed, if indeed they are clerics; but if laymen let them beexcommunicated.



A priest, even if a eunuch, shall not have in his house a maid or other woman except those on
whom no suspicion can light.

See Canon III., of First Ecumenical Council at Nice. This canon adds Eunuchs.

Canon VI.

SINCE it is declared in the apostolic canons that of those who are advanced to the clergy
unmarried, only lectors and cantors are able to marry; we also, maintaining this, determine thathenceforth it is in nowise lawful for any subdeacon, deacon or presbyter after his ordination tocontract matrimony but if he shall have dared to do so, let him be deposed. And if any of thosewho enter the clergy, wishes to be joined to a wife in lawful marriage before he is ordainedsubdeacon, deacon, or presbyter, let it be done.



If any ordained person contracts matrimony, let him be deposed. If he wishes to be married
he should become so before his ordination.

Aristenus points out how this canon annuls the tenth canon of Ancyra, which allows a deaconand even a presbyter to marry after ordination and continue in his ministry, provided at the time ofhis ordination he had in the presence of witnesses declared his inability to remain chaste or hisdesire to marry. This present canon follows the XXVIth of the Apostolic canons.

The last clause of this canon, limited in its application to subdeacons, is found in the Corpus
Juris Canonici, Gratian’s Decretum, Pars I., Dist. XXXII., c. vi.


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Excursus on the Marriage of the Clergy.

On this subject there is a popular misconception which must first be removed. In the popularmind to-day there is no distinction between “a married clergy” being allowed, and “the marriageof the clergy” being allowed; even theological writers who have attained some repute have confusedthese two things in the most unfortunate and perplexing fashion. It will suffice to mention as aninstance of this Bp. Harold Browne in his book on the XXXIX. Articles, in which not only is theconfusion above spoken of made, but the very blunder is used for controversial purposes, to backup and support by the authority of the ancient Church in the East (which allowed a married clergy)
the practice of the Nestorians and of the modern Church of England, both of which tolerate themarriage of the clergy, a thing which the ancient Church abhorred and punished with deposition.

I cannot better express the doctrine and practice of the ancient Church in the East than by quotingthe words of the Rev. John Fulton in the Introduction to the Third Edition of his Index Canonum.345
He says: “Marriage was no impediment to ordination even as a Bishop; and Bishops, Priests, andDeacons, equally with other men, were forbidden to put away their wives under pretext of religion.
The case was different when a man was unmarried at the time of his ordination. Then he was held
to have given himself wholly to God in the office of the Holy Ministry, and he was forbidden totake back from his offering that measure of his cares and his affections which must necessarily begiven to the maintenance and nurture of his family. In short, the married man might be ordained,
but with a few exceptions no man was allowed to marry after ordination.” In his “Digest” sub voce
“Celibacy” he gives the earliest canon law on the subject as follows: “None of the clergy, exceptreaders and singers may marry after ordination (Ap. Can. xxvi.); but deacons may marry, if at theirordination they have declared an intention to do so (Ancyra x.). A priest who marries is to bedeposed (Neocæsarea i.). A deaconess who marries is to be anathematized (Chal. xv.); a monk ordedicated virgin who marries, is to be excommunicated (Chal. xvi.). Those who break their vowsof celibacy are to fulfil the penance of digamists (Ancyra xix.).”346

We may then take it for a general principle that in no part of the ancient Church was a priestallowed to contract holy matrimony; and in no place was he allowed to exercise his priesthoodafterwards, if he should dare to enter into such a relation with a woman. As I have so often remarked
it is not my place to approve or disapprove this law of the Church, my duty is the much simplerone of tracing historically what the law was and what it is in the East and West to-day. TheReformers considered that in this, as in most other matters, these venerable churches had made a
mistake, but neither the maintenance nor the disproof of this opinion in any way concerns me, sofar as this volume is concerned. All that is necessary for me to do is to affirm that if a priest wereat any time to attempt to marry, he would be attempting to do that which from the earliest times of


John Fulton, Index Canonum, p. 29 (N.Y., 1892.)


Ibid., p. 294.


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which we have any record, no priest has ever been allowed to do, but which always has beenpunished as a gross sin of immorality.

In tracing the history of this subject, the only time during which any real difficulty presentsitself is the first three centuries, after that all is much clearer, and my duty is simply to lay theundisputed facts of the case before the reader.

We begin then with the debatable ground. And first with regard to the Lord, “the great HighPriest of our profession,” of course there can be no doubt that he set the example, or—if any thinkthat he was not a pattern for the priests of his Church to follow—at least lived the life, of celibacy.
When we come to the question of what was the practice of his first followers in this matter, there
would likewise seem to be but little if any reasonable doubt. For while of the Apostles we have itrecorded only of Peter that he was a married man, we have it also expressly recorded that in hiscase, as in that of all the rest who had “forsaken all” to follow him, the Lord himself said, “Everyone that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or
lands, for my name’s sake shall receive an hundred fold and shall inherit eternal life.”347

There can be no doubt that St. Paul in his epistles allows and even contemplates the probabilitythat those admitted to the ranks of the clergy will have been already married, but distinctly saysthat they must have been the “husband of one wife,”348 by which all antiquity and every commentator
of gravity recognizes that digamists are cut off from the possibility of ordination, but there is nothingto imply that the marital connexion was to be continued after ordination. For a thorough treatmentof this whole subject from the ancient and Patristic point of view, the reader is referred to St.

The next stage in our progress is marked by the so-called Apostolical Canons. Now for thosewho hold that these canons had directly or indirectly the Apostles for their author, or that as wehave them now they are all of even sub-Apostolic date, the matter becomes more simple, for whileindeed these canons do not expressly set forth the law subsequently formulated for the East, theycertainly seem to be not inconsistent therewith, but rather to look that way, especially Canons V.
and LI. But few will be found willing to support so extreme an hypothesis, and while indeed manyscholars are of opinion that most of the canons of the collection we style “Apostolical,” areante-Nicene, yet they will not be recognized as of more value than as so many mirrors, displayingwhat was at their date considered pure discipline. It is abundantly clear that the fathers in councilin Trullo thought the discipline they were setting forth to be the original discipline of the Churchin the matter, and the discipline of the West an innovation, but that such was really the case seemsfar from certain. Thomassinus treats this point with much learning, and I shall cite some of theauthorities he brings forward. Of these the most important is Epiphanius, who as a Greek would


Matt. xix. 29; Lk. xviii. 29. In Mark x. 29 is found the same incident recorded, but while “wife” is mentioned among the
things “left,” no “wife” is found among the things gained.
348 1 Tim. iii., 2 and 12; Titus i., 6.


Hieron, Adv. Jovin. Lib. I. Confer also the In Apolog. pro libris Adv. Jovin.


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be certain to give the tradition of the East, had there been any such tradition known in his time. Igive the three great passages.

“It is evident that those from the priesthood are chiefly taken from the order of virgins, or ifnot from virgins, at least from monks; or if not from the order of monks, then they are wont to bemade priests who keep themselves from their wives, or who are widows after a single marriage.
But he that has been entangled by a second marriage is not admitted to priesthood in the Church,
even if he be continent from his wife, or be a widower. Anyone of this sort is rejected from thegrade of bishop, presbyter, deacon, or subdeacon. The order of reader, however, can be chosenfrom all the orders these grades can be chosen from, that is to say from virgins, monks, the continent,
widowers, and they who are bound by honest marriage. Moreover, if necessity so compel, evendigamists may be lectors, for such is not a priest, etc., etc.”350

“Christ taught us by an example that the priestly work and ornaments should be communicatedto those who shall have preserved their continency after a single marriage, or shall have perseveredin virginity. And this the Apostles thereafter honestly and piously decreed, through the ecclesiasticalcanon of the priesthood.”351

“Nay, moreover, he that still uses marriage, and begets children, even though the husband ofbut one wife, is by no means admitted by the Church to the order of deacon, presbyter, bishop, orsubdeacon. But for all this, he who shall have kept himself from the commerce of his one wife, or
has been deprived of her, may be ordained, and this is most usually the case in those places wherethe ecclesiastical canons are most accurately observed.”352

Nor is the weight of this evidence lessened, but much increased, by the acknowledgment of thesame father that in some places in his days the celibate life was not observed by such priests as hadwives, for he explains that such a state of things had come about “not from following the authorityof the canons, but through the neglect of men, which is wont at certain periods to be the case.”353

The witness of the Western Fathers although so absolutely and indisputably clear is not soconclusive as to the East, and yet one passage from St. Jerome should be quoted. “The VirginChrist and the Virgin Mary dedicated the virginity of both sexes. The Apostles were chosen wheneither virgins or continent after marriage, and bishops, presbyters, and deacons are chosen eitherwhen virgins, or widowers, or at least continent forever after the priesthood.”354

It would be out of place to enter into any detailed argument upon the force of these passages,
but I shall lay before the reader the summing up of the whole matter by a weighty recent writer ofthe Ultramontane Roman School.


Epiph. Exposit. Fid. Cath., c. xxi.


Ibid. Hæresi. 48, n. 7.


Epiph. Hæresi, 59, n. 4.


Ibid. ut supra.


Hieron. Apolog. pro. lib. adv. Jovin.


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“Is the celibate an Apostolic ordinance? Bickel affirmed that it is, and Funk denied it in 1878.
To-day [1896] canonists commonly admit that one cannot prove the existence of any formal precept,
either divine or apostolic, which imposes the celibate upon the clergy, and that all the texts, whethertaken out of Holy Scripture or from the Fathers, on this subject contain merely a counsel, and nota command.” “In the Fourth Century a great number of councils forbade bishops, priests, anddeacons to live in the use of marriage with their lawful wives.…But there does not appear to havebeen any disposition to declare by law as invalid the marriages of clerics in Holy Orders. In theFifth and Sixth Centuries the law of the celibate was observed by all the Churches of the West,
thanks to the Councils and to the Popes.” “In the Seventh and down to the end of the TenthCentury,355 as a matter of fact the law of celibacy was little observed in a great part of the Western
Church, but as a matter of law the Roman Pontiffs and the Councils were constant in their
proclamation of its obligation.” By the canonical practice of the unreformed West, the receptionof Holy Orders is an impedimentum dirimens matrimonii, which renders any marriage subsequentlycontracted not only illicit but absolutely null. On this diriment impediment the same Roman Catholicwriter says: “The diriment impediment of Holy Orders is of ecclesiastical obligation and not ofdivine, and consequently the Church can dispense it. This is the present teaching which is inopposition to that of the old schools.”

“There is no question of the nullity of the marriages contracted by clerics before 1139. At theCouncil of the Lateran of that year, Innocent II. declared that these marriages contracted in contemptof the ecclesiastical law are not true marriages in his eyes. His successors do not seem to haveinsisted much upon this new diriment impediment, although it was attacked most vigorously bythe offending clergymen; but the School of Bologna, the authority of which was then undisputed,
openly declared for the nullity of the marriages contracted by clerics in Holy Orders. Thus it isthat this point of law has been settled rather by teaching, than by any precise text, or by any law ofa known date.”356

It should not, however, be forgotten that although this is true with regard to Pope Innocent II.
in 1139, it is also true that in 530 the Emperor Justinian declared null and void all marriagescontracted by clerics in Holy Orders, and the children of such marriages to be spurious (spurii).

The reader will be interested in reading the answer on this point made by King Henry VIII. tothe letter sent him by the German ambassadors.357 I can here give but a part translated into English.
“Although the Church from the beginning admitted married men, as priests and bishops, who werewithout crime, the husband of one wife, (out of the necessity of the times, as sufficient other suitablemen could not be found as would suffice for the teaching of the world) yet Paul himself chose thecelibate Timothy; but if anyone came unmarried to the priesthood and afterwards took a wife, he


It is curious that this is just four centuries, the same length of time as from the Reformation.


L’Ami du Clergé, 6 Août, 1896, pp. 677 and 678.


This letter is found in full in the Addenda to the Appendix at the end of the seventh volume of Burnet’s History of the
Reformation (London. Orr & Co., 1850, p. cxlviij.).


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was always deposed from the priesthood, according to the canon of the Council of Neocæsareawhich was before that of Nice. So, too, in the Council of Chalcedon, in the first canon of which
all former canons are confirmed, it is established that a deaconess, if she give herself over tomarriage, shall remain under anathema, and a virgin who had dedicated herself to God and a monkwho join themselves in marriage, shall remain excommunicated.…No Apostolic canon nor theCouncil of Nice contain anything similar to what you assert, viz.: that priests once ordained canmarry afterwards. And with this statement agrees the Sixth Synod, in which it was decreed that ifany of the clergy should wish to lead a wife, he should do so before receiving the Subdiaconate,
since afterwards it was by no means lawful; nor was there given in the Sixth Synod any liberty topriests of leading wives after their priesting, as you assert. Therefore from the beginning of thenewborn Church it is clearly seen that at no time it was permitted to a priest to lead a wife after hispriesting, and nowhere, where this was attempted, was it done with impunity, but the culprit wasdeposed from his priesthood.”

Canon VII.

SINCE we have learned that in some churches deacons hold ecclesiastical offices, and that hereby
some of them with arrogancy and license sit daringly before the presbyters: we have determinedthat a deacon, even if in an office of dignity, that is to say, in whatever ecclesiastical office he maybe, is not to have his seat before a presbyter, except he is acting as representative of his own patriarchor metropolitan in another city under another superior, for then he shall be honoured as filling hisplace. But if anyone, possessed with a tyrannical audacity, shall have dared to do such a thing, lethim be ejected from his peculiar rank and be last of all of the order in whose list he is in his ownchurch; our Lord admonishing us that we are not to delight in taking the chief seats, according tothe doctrine which is found in the holy Evangelist Luke, as put forth by our Lord and God himself.
For to those who were called he taught this parable: “When ye are bidden by anyone to a marriagesit not down in the highest room lest a more honourable man than thou shall have been bidden byhim; and he who bade thee and him come and say to thee: Give this man place, and thou beginwith shame to take the lowest room. But when thou art bidden, sit down in the lowest place, sothat when he who bade thee cometh he may say to thee, Friend go up higher: then thou shalt haveworship in the presence of them that sit with thee. For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased,
and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” But the same thing also shall be observed in theremaining sacred orders; seeing that we know that spiritual things are to be preferred to worldlydignity.




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A deacon in the execution of his office, if he shall have occasion to sit in the presence of
presbyters, shall take the lowest place unless he be the representative of the Patriarch or bishop.

Balsamon, Zonaras, and following them Van Espen point out that this canon is a relaxation ofthe XVIII. Canon of Nice which punishes presumptuous deacons not only with loss of rank in theirgrade, but also with expulsion from their ministry.

Van Espen well remarks that the Fathers of this synod had in mind not only the preservationof the distinction between deacons and presbyters, but also between those in ecclesiastical ordersand those enjoying secular dignities with regard to ecclesiastical matters, but who were not to gainthere from ecclesiastical precedence. This is what is meant by the last clause of the canon.

Beveridge gives a list of these quasi ecclesiastical dignitaries as follows: Magnus OEconomus,
Magno Sacello Præpositus, Magnus Vasorum Custos, Chartophylax, Parvo Sacello Præpositus,
Primus Defensor.

Canon VIII.

SINCE we desire that in every point the things which have been decreed by our holy fathers may
also be established and confirmed, we hereby renew the canon which orders that synods of thebishops of each province be held every year where the bishop of the metropolis shall deem best.
But since on account of the incursions of barbarians and certain other incidental causes, those who
preside over the churches cannot hold synods twice a year, it seems right that by all means once ayear—on account of ecclesiastical questions which are likely to arise—a synod of the aforesaidbishops should be holden in every province, between the holy feast of Easter and October, as hasbeen said above, in the place which the Metropolitan shall have deemed most fitting. And let suchbishops as do not attend, when they are at home in their own cities and are in good health, and freefrom all unavoidable and necessary business, be fraternally reproved.



Whenever it is impossible to hold two synods a year, one at least shall be celebrated, between
Easter and the month of October.

This canon under the name of the “Sixth Synod” is referred to in Canon VI. of the SeventhEcumenical Council (II. Nice), and the bishops of Quinisext are called “Fathers.”



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What at first was only allowed on account of necessity, little by little passed into general law,
and at last was received as law, that once a year there was to be a meeting of the provincial synod.

Canon IX.

LET no cleric be permitted to keep a “public house.” For if it be not permitted to enter a tavern,
much more is it forbidden to serve others in it and to carry on a trade which is unlawful for him.
But if he shall have done any such thing, either let him desist or be deposed.



If clerics are forbidden to enter public houses, much more are they forbidden to keep them.
Let them either give them up or be deposed.

Compare with this canon liv. of the Apostolic Canons; xxiv. of Laodicea; and xliij. of the Synodof Carthage.358

Canon X.
A BISHOP, or presbyter, or deacon who receives usury, or what is called hecatostæ, let him desist
or be deposed.


A bishop, presbyter, or deacon who takes usury shall be deposed unless he stops doing so.

See notes on canon XVI. of Nice, and the Excursus thereto appended.


It is curious that Balsamon quotes this canon at xl., i.e., the Latin numbering and not the Greek which he himself uses in
his scholia.


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Canon XI.

LET no one in the priestly order nor any layman eat the unleavened bread of the Jews, nor have
any familiar intercourse with them, nor summon them in illness, nor receive medicines from them,
nor bathe with them; but if anyone shall take in hand to do so, if he is a cleric, let him be deposed,
but if a layman let him be cut off.



Jewish unleavened bread is to be refused. Whoever even calls in Jews as physicians or bathes
with them is to be deposed.


Theodore Balsamon is of opinion that this canon does not forbid the eating of unleavened bread;
but that what is intended is the keeping of feasts in a Jewish fashion, or in sacrifices to use unleavenedbread (azymes), and this, says Balsamon, on account of the Latins who celebrate their feasts with

Canon lxix. [i.e., lxx.] of those commonly called Apostolic forbids the observance of festivalswith the Jews; and declares it to be unlawful to receive manuscula from them, but by this canonall familiar intercourse with them is forbidden.

While there can be no doubt that in all the Trullan canons there is an undercurrent of hostilityto the West, yet in this canon I can see no such spirit, and I think it has been read into it by thegreater bitterness of later times. This seems the more certain from the fact that there is nothingnew whatever in the provision with respect to the passover bread, vide canons of Laodicea xxxvij.
and xxxviij.

This canon is found in the Corpus Juris Canonici, Gratian’s Decretum, Pars II., Causa xxviij.,
can. xiii.359

Canon XII.


Van Espen says that in his copy of Gratian this canon is assigned to the VIIth Synod. Such is not the case in the edition

in Migne’s Patrologia Latina, where the reference is given as ex VI. Synodo. c. II., and Judæorum is found in the text instead

of the eorum of which Van Espen complains.


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MOREOVER this also has come to our knowledge, that in Africa and Libya and in other places
the most God-beloved bishops in those parts do not refuse to live with their wives, even afterconsecration, thereby giving scandal and offence to the people. Since, therefore, it is our particularcare that all things tend to the good of the flock placed in our hands and committed to us,—it hasseemed good that henceforth nothing of the kind shall in any way occur. And we say this, not toabolish and overthrow what things were established of old by Apostolic authority, but as caringfor the health of the people and their advance to better things, and lest the ecclesiastical state shouldsuffer any reproach. For the divine Apostle says: “Do all to the glory of God, give none offence,
neither to the Jews, nor to the Greeks, nor to the Church of God, even as I please all men in allthings, not seeking mine own profit but the profit of many, that they may be saved. Be ye imitatorsof me even as I also am of Christ.” But if any shall have been observed to do such a thing, let himbe deposed.



Although it has been decreed that wives are not to be cast forth, nevertheless that we may
counsel for the better, we give command that no one ordained a bishop shall any longer live with
his wife.


The fifth Apostolic canon allows neither bishop, presbyter, nor deacon to cast forth his wifeunder pretext of piety; and assigns penalties for any that shall do so, and if he will not amend he isto be deposed. But this canon on the other hand does not permit a bishop even to live with his wifeafter his consecration. But by this change no contempt is meant to be poured out upon what hadbeen established by Apostolic authority, but it was made through care for the people’s health and
for leading on to better things, and for fear that the sacerdotal estate might suffer some wrong.


(In Can. vi. Apost.)

In the time of this canon [of the Apostles so called] not only presbyters and deacons, but bishopsalso, it is clear, were allowed by Eastern custom to have their wives; and Zonaras and Balsamonnote that even until the Sixth Council, commonly called in Trullo bishops were allowed to havetheir wives.

(The same on this canon.)


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But not only do they command [in this canon] that bishops after their consecration no longerhave commerce with their own wives, but further, they prohibit them even to presume to live withthem.


When the faith first was born and came forth into the world, the Apostles treated with greatersoftness and indulgence those who embraced the truth, which as yet was not scattered far and wide,
nor did they exact from them perfection in all respects, but made great allowances for their weaknessand for the inveterate force of the customs with which they were surrounded, both among theheathen and among the Jews. But now, when far and wide our religion has been propagated, morestrenuous efforts were made to enforce those things which pertain to a higher and holier life, as ourangelical worship increased day by day, and to insist on by law a life of continence to those whowere elevated to the episcopate, so that not only they should abstain from their wives, but that theyshould have them no longer as bed-fellows; and not only that they no longer admit them as sharersof their bed, but they do not allow them even to stop under the same roof or in the house.

Canon XIII.

SINCE we know it to be handed down as a rule of the Roman Church that those who are deemed
worthy to be advanced to the diaconate or presbyterate should promise no longer to cohabit withtheir wives, we, preserving the ancient rule and apostolic perfection and order, will that the lawfulmarriages of men who are in holy orders be from this time forward firm, by no means dissolvingtheir union with their wives nor depriving them of their mutual intercourse at a convenient time.
Wherefore, if anyone shall have been found worthy to be ordained subdeacon, or deacon, orpresbyter, he is by no means to be prohibited from admittance to such a rank, even if he shall livewith a lawful wife. Nor shall it be demanded of him at the time of his ordination that he promiseto abstain from lawful intercourse with his wife: lest we should affect injuriously marriageconstituted by God and blessed by his presence, as the Gospel saith: “What God hath joined togetherlet no man put asunder;” and the Apostle saith, “Marriage is honourable and the bed undefiled;”
and again, “Art thou bound to a wife? seek not to be loosed.” But we know, as they who assembledat Carthage (with a care for the honest life of the clergy) said, that subdeacons, who handle theHoly Mysteries, and deacons, and presbyters should abstain from their consorts according to theirown course [of ministration]. So that what has been handed down through the Apostles and preservedby ancient custom, we too likewise maintain, knowing that there is a time for all things and especiallyfor fasting and prayer. For it is meet that they who assist at the divine altar should be absolutelycontinent when they are handling holy things, in order that they may be able to obtain from Godwhat they ask in sincerity.


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If therefore anyone shall have dared, contrary to the Apostolic Canons, to deprive any of thosewho are in holy orders, presbyter, or deacon, or subdeacon of cohabitation and intercourse with hislawful wife, let him be deposed. In like manner also if any presbyter or deacon on pretence of pietyhas dismissed his wife, let him be excluded from communion; and if he persevere in this let himbe deposed.



Although the Romans wish that everyone ordained deacon or presbyter should put away his
wife, we wish the marriages of deacons and presbyters to continue valid and firm.


(H. E., Livre XL., chap. 1.)
What is said in this canon, that the council of Carthage orders priests to abstain from their wivesat prescribed periods, is a misunderstanding of the decree, caused either by malice or by ignorance.
This canon is one of those adopted by the Fifth Council of Carthage held in the year 400, and it isdecreed that subdeacons, deacons; priests, and bishops shall abstain from their wives, followingthe ancient statutes, and shall be as though they had them not. The Greek version of this canon hasrendered the Latin words priora statuta by these, idious horous, which may mean “fixed times”:
for the translator read, following another codex, propria for priora. Be this as it may, the Fathersof the Trullan council supposed that this obliged the clergy only to continence at certain fixed times,
and were not willing to see that it included bishops as well.


Although the Latin Church does not disapprove,360 as contrary to the law of the Gospel the
discipline of the Greeks which allows the use of marriage to presbyters and deacons, provided itwas contracted before ordination; yet never has it approved this canon which with too great zealcondemns the opposite custom, and rashly assigns great errors to the Roman Church.

This canon is found in the Corpus Juris Canonici, Gratian’s Decretum, Pars I., Dist. XXXI.,

c. xiij.
Antonius Augustinus in his proposed emendations of Gratian says (Lib. I. dial. de emend. Grat.
c. 8.): “This canon can in no way be received; for it is written in opposition to the celibacy of theLatin priests, and openly is against the Roman Church.” But to me the note which Gratian appendsseems much more learned and true: “This however must be understood as of local application; for

Clement VIII. made a decree in conformity with this canon that a Greek presbyter who was married shall abstain from
his wife for a week or three days before he offered the sacrifice of the mass. Const. 33, in Bull. Rom (cit. Van Espen l. c.)


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the Eastern Church, to which the VI. Synod prescribed this rule, did not receive a vow of chastityfrom the ministers of the altar.” It may be well to note here that by the opinion of most Latincasuists the obligation to chastity among the Roman clergy rests upon the vow and not upon anylaw of the Church binding thereto. This evidently was the opinion of Gratian.

Canon XIV.

LET the canon of our holy God-bearing Fathers be confirmed in this particular also; that a
presbyter be not ordained before he is thirty years of age, even if he be a very worthy man, but lethim be kept back. For our Lord Jesus Christ was baptized and began to teach when he was thirty.
In like manner let no deacon be ordained before he is twenty-five, nor a deaconess before she isforty.



A presbyter thirty years of age, a deacon twenty-five, and a deaconess forty.

Compare Canon XI. of Neocæsarea.

It may be interesting to note here that by the law of the Roman Communion the canonical agesare as follows:

A subdeacon must have completed his twenty-first year, a deacon his twenty-second, a priesthis twenty-fourth, and a bishop his thirtieth. None of the inferior clergy can hold a simple beneficebefore he has begun his fourteenth year. Ecclesiastical dignities, such as Cathedral canonries,
cannot be conferred on any who have not finished the twenty-second year. A benefice to which isattached a cure of souls can be given only to one who is over twenty-four, and a diocese only toone who has completed his thirtieth year. (Vide Ferraris, Bibliotheca Prompta.)

In the Anglican Communion the ages are, in England, for a bishop “fully thirty years of age,”
for a priest twenty-four, and for a deacon twenty-three:361 and in the United States, for a bishop
thirty years of age, for a priest twenty-four, and for a deacon twenty-one.


A faculty is allowed for earlier ordination, but since 1804 only to be granted by the Archbishop of Canterbury. This
limitation is, however, only of Parliamentary sanction (44 Geo. III., ch. 43).


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Canon XV.

A SUBDEACON is not to be ordained under twenty years of age. And if any one in any grade of
the priesthood shall have been ordained contrary to the prescribed time let him be deposed.



Those shall be chosen as Subdeacons who are twenty years of age.

This age seems first to have been fixed by the Second Council of Toledo362 (circa, A.D. 535) in
its first canon.

Canon XVI.

SINCE the book of the Acts tells us that seven deacons were appointed by the Apostles, and the
synod of Neocæsarea in the canons which it put forth determined that there ought to be canonicallyonly seven deacons, even if the city be very large, in accordance with the book of the Acts; we,
having fitted the mind of the fathers to the Apostles’ words, find that they spoke not of those menwho ministered at the Mysteries but in the administration which pertains to the serving of tables.
For the book of the Acts reads as follows: “In those days, when the number of the disciples wasmultiplied, there arose a murmuring dissension of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because theirwidows were neglected in the daily ministrations. And the Twelve called the multitude of thedisciples with them and said, It is not meet for us to leave the word of God and serve tables. Lookye out therefore, brethren, from among you seven men of good report full of the Holy Ghost andof wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. But we will give ourselves continually untoprayer and unto the ministry of the word. And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and theychose Stephen a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor,
and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch: whom they set before the Apostles.”

John Chrysostom, a Doctor of the Church, interpreting these words, proceeds thus: “It is aremarkable fact that the multitude was not divided in its choice of the men, and that the Apostleswere not rejected by them. But we must learn what sort of rank they had, and what ordination they


It is curious that so learned a scholar as the late Henry Bradshaw in his article “Subdeacon” in Smith &

Cheetham’sDictionary of Christ. Antiq. should give the date of this synod as 447. Hefele fixes it at 527 or 531. Baronius, Binius,

Labbe, and many others at 531. A very ancient MS. assigns it to the year 565 of the Spanish era, i.e. 527, and this is the date

Cardinal de Aguirre adopts, and is also the one given to the council by the editors of L’Art de Vérifier les dates.


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received. Was it that of deacons? But this office did not yet exist in the churches. But was it thedispensation of a presbyter? But there was not as yet any bishop, but only Apostles, whence I thinkit is clear and manifest that neither of deacons nor of presbyters was there then the name.”363

But on this account therefore we also announce that the aforesaid seven deacons are not to be
understood as deacons who served at the Mysteries, according to the teaching before set forth, butthat they were those to whom a dispensation was entrusted for the common benefit of those thatwere gathered together, who to us in this also were a type of philanthropy and zeal towards thosewho are in need.



Whoever affirms that the number of deacons should be seven according to the saying of the
Acts, should know that the reference in that passage is not to Deacons of the Mysteries but to such
as serve tables.

Van Espen here reminds us that this is, as Zonaras calls attention to in his scholion on this place,
a correction rather than an interpretation of the XVth Canon of Neocæsarea, and Balsamon also
says the same. The only interest that the matter possesses is that a canon which had been receivedby the Fourth Ecumenical Council (Chalcedon) should receive such treatment from such an assemblyas the Synod in Trullo.

Canon XVII.

SINCE clerics of different churches have left their own churches in which they were ordained
and betaken themselves to other bishops, and without the consent of their own bishop have beensettled in other churches, and thus they have proved themselves to be insolent and disobedient; wedecree that from the month of January of the past IVth Indiction no cleric, of whatsoever grade he
be, shall have power, without letters dimissory of his own bishop, to be registered in the clergy listof another church. Whoever in future shall not have observed this rule, but shall have broughtdisgrace upon himself as well as on the bishop who ordained him, let him be deposed together withhim who also received him.



I have not followed the Oxford translation, which seems to me to have reversed the point. In a foot-note to that translation
(Chrysostom on Acts, Part I., p. 199) will be found a translation of this canon.


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Whoever receives and ordains a wandering cleric shall be deposed together with him thus
wickedly ordained.

This canon is found in the Corpus Juris Canonici, Gratian’s Decretum, Pars II., Causa XXI.,
Quæst., ii. can. j.

Canon XVIII.

THOSE clerics who in consequence of a barbaric incursion or on account of any other circumstance
have gone abroad, we order to return again to their churches after the cause has passed away, orwhen the incursion of the barbarians is at an end. Nor are they to leave them for long withoutcause. If anyone shall not have returned according to the direction of this present canon—let himbe cut off until he shall return to his own church. And the same shall be the punishment of thebishop who received him.



Whoever has emigrated on account of an invasion of the barbarians, shall return to the Church
to whose clergy he belongs as soon as the incursion ceases. But if he shall not do so, he shall be
cut off together with him to whom he has gone.


The Fathers are worthy of great praise. For having regard to the honour of the ecclesiasticalorder and of each bishop, they have decreed that clergymen, who from just and valid causes havegone forth without letters dimissory from those who ordained them, should return to their ownclergy soon as the cause which drove them forth ceases; and that they should not be enrolled onthe clergy list of any other church. But whosoever cannot be persuaded to return is to be cut off,
as well as the bishop who detains him. But someone will say, If a bishop who does such a thingis cut off by his Metropolitan; and likewise if a Metropolitan spurns this canon he is punished bythe Patriarch. But if an autocephalous archbishop or a Patriarch other than the Patriarch ofConstantinople (for he has a faculty for doing so) should be convicted of a breach of this Canon,


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by whom would he be cut off? I suppose by the Supreme Pontiff364 (...µa.

Canon XIX.

IT behoves those who preside over the churches, every day but especially on Lord’s days, to
teach all the clergy and people words of piety and of right religion, gathering out of holy Scripturemeditations and determinations of the truth, and not going beyond the limits now fixed, nor varyingfrom the tradition of the God-bearing fathers. And if any controversy in regard to Scripture shallhave been raised, let them not interpret it otherwise than as the lights and doctors of the church intheir writings have expounded it, and in those let them glory rather than in composing things outof their own heads, lest through their lack of skill365 they may have departed from what was fitting.
For through the doctrine of the aforesaid fathers, the people coming to the knowledge of what isgood and desirable, as well as what is useless and to be rejected, will remodel their life for thebetter, and not be led by ignorance, but applying their minds to the doctrine, they will take heedthat no evil befall them and work out their salvation in fear of impending punishment.



The prelates of the Church, especially upon Lord’s days, shall teach doctrine.


How great an obligation of preaching rests upon bishops, the successors of the Apostles, isevident from the words of St. Paul, “Christ sent me not to baptize but to preach” (1 Cor. i. 17), andhis chief adjuration to Timothy though Jesus Christ and his coming, was “Preach the Word” (2Tim. ii. 4.). For this reason the fathers formerly called the episcopate the preaching-office (officium
predicationis), as is evident from the profession of Adelbert Morinensis, and the form of professionof a future Archbishop. Both of these will be found in Labbe, appendix to Tom. VIII., of hisConcilia.


(Sess. V., c. 2.)


Can this mean the Pope?


I have followed the reading .pe.....


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The preaching of the Gospel is the chief work of bishops.


(Cardwell. Synodalia, Vol. I., p. 126.)

The clergy will be careful to teach nothing in their sermons to be religiously held and believedby the people except what is agreeable to the doctrine of the Old and New Testament, and whatthe Catholic Fathers and Ancient Bishops have collected out of the same.366


(Sess. IV.)

No one shall dare to interpret the Holy Scripture contrary to the unanimous consent of thefathers.

Canon XX.

IT shall not be lawful for a bishop to teach publicly in any city which does not belong to him.
If any shall have been observed doing this, let him cease from his episcopate, but let him dischargethe office of a presbyter.



The bishop of one city shall not teach publicly in another. If he shall be shown to have dose
so he shall be deprived of the episcopate and shall perform the functions of a presbyter.

The meaning of this canon is most obscure. Balsamon and Zonaras think that the Bishop is notto be deposed from his Episcopate, but only shorn of his right of executing the Episcopal functions,
so that he will virtually be reduced to a presbyter. Aristenus, on the other hand, considers thedeposition to be real and that this canon creates an exception to Canon XXIX. of Chalcedon.

Canon XXI.


It is not generally known that this evident citation of Canon XIX. of the Quinisext Council forms part of the action
enforcing the XXXIX. Articles of the Church of England.


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THOSE who have become guilty of crimes against the canons, and on this account subject to
complete and perpetual deposition, are degraded to the condition of layman. If, however, keepingconversion continually before their eyes, they willingly deplore the sin on account of which theyfell from grace, and made themselves aliens therefrom, they may still cut their hair after the mannerof clerics. But if they are not willing to submit themselves to this canon, they must wear their hairas laymen, as being those who have preferred the communion of the world to the celestial life.



Whoever is already deposed and reduced to the lay estate, if he shall repent, let him continue
deposed but be shorn. But if otherwise, he must let his hair grow.

Beveridge wishes to read “who have become canonically guilty of crimes,” substituting
.a....... for .a........, in accordance with the Bodleian and Amerbachian codices.

Canon XXII.

THOSE who are ordained for money, whether bishops or of any rank whatever, and not by
examination and choice of life, we order to be deposed as well as those also who ordained them.



Whoever is ordained for pay shall be deposed together with his ordainer.


The present canon orders to be deposed not only the one simoniacally ordained, but also hisordainer, ordering that ordinations should take place on account, not of money, but of the excellenceof the examination stood by the candidate and on account of his uprightness of life. And it evidentlytakes it for granted that, where money has been used, examination, excellence of life, andconsideration of merit enter but little into the matter, or at least are paid no attention to.

Canon XXIII.


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THAT no one, whether bishop, presbyter, or deacon, when giving the immaculate Communion,
shall exact from him who communicates fees of any kind. For grace is not to be sold, nor do wegive the sanctification of the Holy Spirit for money; but to those who are worthy of the gift it is tobe communicated in all simplicity. But if any of those enrolled among the clergy make demandson those he communicates let him be deposed, as an imitator of the error and wickedness of Simon.



Whoever shall demand an obolus or anything else for giving the spotless communion shall be

This canon is found in the Corpus Juris Canonici, Gratian’s Decretum, Pars. II., Causa I.,
Quæst. I., can. 100, attributed to the VI. Synod. Ivo reads, “From the Sixth Synod, III.

Canon XXIV.

NO one who is on the priestly catalogue nor any monk is allowed to take part in horse-races or
to assist at theatrical representations. But if any clergyman be called to a marriage, as soon as thegames begin let him rise up and go out, for so it is ordered by the doctrine of our fathers. And ifany one shall be convicted of such an offence let him cease therefrom or be deposed.



A clergyman or monk shall be deposed who goes to horse-races, or does not leave nuptials
before the players are brought in.


Scarcely ever were these plays exhibited without the introduction of something contrary to
honesty and chastity. As Lupus here notes, the word “obscene” has its derivation from these“scenic” representations.

Rightly therefore has it been forbidden by the sacred canons that the clergy should witness anysuch plays.


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In the second part of this canon by the words “ordered by the doctrine of our fathers,” the Synod

understands the doctrine of the fathers of the synod of Laodicea, which in its canon liv. condemned

the same abuse.

Compare the canon given in the Corpus Juris Canonici, Gratian’s Decretum, Pars I., Dist.

XXXIV. can. xix.
Canon XXV.

MOREOVER we renew the canon which orders that country (..........) parishes and those which
are in the provinces (.........) shall remain subject to the bishops who had possession of them;
especially if for thirty years they had administered them without opposition. But if within thirtyyears there had been or should be any controversy on the point, it is lawful for those who thinkthemselves injured to refer the matter to the provincial synod.



Rural and out of town parishes held for thirty years may be retained. But within that time there
may be a controversy.

Compare notes on canon XVII. of Chalcedon.

Canon XXVI.

IF a presbyter has through ignorance contracted an illegal marriage, while he still retains the
right to his place, as we have defined in the sacred canons, yet he must abstain from all sacerdotalwork. For it is sufficient if to such an one indulgence is granted. For he is unfit to bless anotherwho needs to take care of his own wounds, for blessing is the imparting of sanctification. But howcan he impart this to another who does not possess it himself through a sin of ignorance? Neitherthen in public nor in private can he bless nor distribute to others the body of Christ, [nor performany other ministry]; but being content with his seat of honour let him lament to the Lord that hissin of ignorance may be remitted. For it is manifest that the nefarious marriage must be dissolved,
neither can the man have any intercourse with her on account of whom he is deprived of the executionof his priesthood.



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A priest who has fallen into an illicit marriage and been deposed, may still have his seat, but
only when he abstains for the future from his wickedness.


If any presbyter before his ordination had married a widow, or a harlot, or an actress, or anyother woman such as are forbidden, in ignorance, he shall cease from his priesthood but shall stillhave his place among the presbyters. But such an illegitimate marriage, on account of which hewas deprived of the Sacred Ministry, must be dissolved.


The sacred canon to which the Synod here refers is number xxvij. of St. Basil in his CanonicalEpistle to Amphilochius.

Canon XXVII.

NONE of those who are in the catalogue of the clergy shall wear clothes unsuited to them, either
while still living in town or when on a journey: but they shall wear such clothes as are assigned tothose who belong to the clergy. And if any one shall violate this canon, he shall be cut off for oneweek.


A clergyman must not wear an unsuitable dress either when travelling or when at home. Should
he do so, he shall be cut off for one week.


SINCE we understand that in several churches grapes are brought to the altar, according to a
custom which has long prevailed, and the ministers joined this with the unbloody sacrifice of theoblation, and distributed both to the people at the same time, we decree that no priest shall do thisfor the future, but shall administer the oblation alone to the people for the quickening of their soulsand for the remission of their sins. But with regard to the offering of grapes as first fruits, the priestsmay bless them apart [from the offering of the oblation] and distribute them to such as seek them


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as an act of thanksgiving to him who is the Giver of the fruits by which our bodies are increasedand fed according to his divine decree. And if any cleric shall violate this decree let him be deposed.



Grapes are by some joined with the unbloody sacrifice. It is hereby decreed that no one shall
for the future dare to do this.


Similar blessings of fruit, and particularly of grapes, are found in more recent rituals as well asin the ancient Greek Euchologions and the Latin Rituales. In the Sacramentary of St. Gregory willbe found a benediction of grapes on the feast of St. Sixtus.

Cardinal Bona says (De Rob. Liturg., Lib. II., cap. xiv.), that immediately before the words
Semper bona creas, sanctificas, etc., if new fruits or any other things adapted to human use wereto be blessed, they were wont in former times to be placed before the altar, and there to be blessedby the priest; and when the benediction was ended with the accustomed words “Through Christour Lord,” there was added the following prayer: “Perquem hæc omnia, etc.,” which words arenot so much to be referred to the body and blood of Christ, as to the things to be blessed, whichGod continually creates by renewing, and we ask that they may be sanctified by his benediction to
our use.

But in after ages when the fervour of the faithful had grown cold, that the mass might not betoo long, they were separated and yet the prayer remained which, as said to-day over the consecratedspecies alone, can hardly be understood.

This canon is found in a shortened form in the Corpus Juris Canonici, Pars. III. De Consecrat.,
Dist. II., can. vj.

Compare Canon of the Apostles number iv.

Canon XXIX.

A CANON of the Synod of Carthage says that the holy mysteries of the altar are not to be performed
but by men who are fasting, except on one day in the year on which the Supper of the Lord iscelebrated. At that time, on account perhaps of certain occasions in those places useful to theChurch, even the holy Fathers themselves made use of this dispensation. But since nothing leadsus to abandon exact observance, we decree that the Apostolic and Patristic tradition shall be followed;


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and define that it is not right to break the fast on the fifth feria of the last week of Lent, and thus todo dishonour to the whole of Lent.



Some of the Fathers after they had supped on the day of the Divine Supper made the offering.367

However, it has seemed good to the synod that this should not be done, and that the fast should not

be broken upon the fifth feria368 of the last week of Lent, and so the whole of Lent be dishonoured.

Zonaras remarks that the “Apostolic and Patristic tradition” is a reference to canon lxix. of theApostolic Canons and to canon l. of Laodicea. See notes on this last canon.

Canon XXX.

WILLING to do all things for the edification of the Church, we have determined to take care even
of priests who are in barbarian churches. Wherefore if they think that they ought to exceed theApostolic Canon concerning the not putting away of a wife on the pretext of piety and religion,
and to do beyond that which is commanded, and therefore abstain by agreement with their wivesfrom cohabitation, we decree they ought no longer to live with them in any way, so that herebythey may afford us a perfect demonstration of their promise. But we have conceded this to themon no other ground than their narrowness, and foreign and unsettled manners.



Those priests who are in churches among the barbarians, if with consent they have abstained
from commerce with their wives shall never afterwards have any commerce with them in any way.


(Hist. Eccl., Liv. XL., chap. l.)

“Priests who are among the barbarians,” that is to say, it would seem, in Italy and in the other

countries of the Latin rite. “Their narrowness and foreign and unsettled manners,” that is to say

that according to them it is an imperfection to aspire after perfect continence.


I.e., of the Mass.


Maundy Thursday.


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I do not think that this explanation of Fleury’s can be sustained, and it would seem that VanEspen is more near the truth when he says: “Some priests in barbarous countries thought theyshould abstain after the Latin custom even from wives taken before ordination. And although thiswas contrary to the discipline of the Greeks, and also to Canon V. of the Apostles, nevertheless theFathers thought it might be tolerated, provided such priests should also not live any longer withtheir wives.” There seems no reason to introduce anti-Roman bitterness where it is not alreadyfound.

Canon XXXI.

CLERICS who in oratories which are in houses offer the Holy Mysteries or baptize, we decree
ought to do this with the consent of the bishop of the place. Wherefore if any cleric shall not haveso done, let him be deposed.



Thou mayest not offer in an oratory in a private house without the consent of the bishop.

On this whole subject the reader is referred to the curious and most interesting volume publishedby Venantius Monaldini of Venice, in 1765. I cannot better give its scope than by copying out itstitle in full.

Commentarius Theologico-canonico-criticus De ecclesiis, earum reverentia, et asylo atque
concordia sacerdotii, et imperii, auctore Josepho Aloysio Assemani. Accesserunt tractatus cl.
virorum D. Josephi de Bonis, De Oratoriis Publicis; ac. R.P. Fortunati a Brixia De Oratoriis
Domesticis, in supplementum celeberrimi operis Joannis Baptistæ Gattico De Oratoriis Domesticis,
et usu altaris portatilis.

Canon XXXII.

SINCE it has come to our knowledge that in the region of Armenia they offer wine only on the
Holy Table, those who celebrate the unbloody sacrifice not mixing water with it, adducing, asauthority thereof, John Chrysostom, a doctor of the Church, who says in his interpretation of theGospel according to St. Matthew:


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“And wherefore did he not drink water after he was risen again, but wine? To pluck up by theroots another wicked heresy. For since there are certain who use water in the Mysteries to shewthat both when he delivered the mysteries he had given wine and that when he had risen and was
setting before them a mere meal without mysteries, he used wine, ‘of the fruit,’ saith he, ‘of thevine.’ But a vine produces wine, not water.”369 And from this they think the doctor overthrows
the admixture of water in the holy sacrifice. Now, lest on the point from this time forward they beheld in ignorance, we open out the orthodox opinion of the Father. For since there was an ancientand wicked heresy of the Hydroparastatæ (i.e., of those who offered water), who instead of wineused water in their sacrifice, this divine, confuting the detestable teaching of such a heresy, andshowing that it is directly opposed to Apostolic tradition, asserted that which has just been quoted.
For to his own church, where the pastoral administration had been given him, he ordered that watermixed with wine should be used at the unbloody sacrifice, so as to shew forth the mingling of theblood and water which for the life of the whole world and for the redemption of its sins, was pouredforth from the precious side of Christ our Redeemer; and moreover in every church where spirituallight has shined this divinely given order is observed.

For also James, the brother, according to the flesh, of Christ our God, to whom the throne ofthe church of Jerusalem first was entrusted, and Basil, the Archbishop of the Church of Cæsarea,
whose glory has spread through all the world, when they delivered to us directions for the mysticalsacrifice in writing, declared that the holy chalice is consecrated in the Divine Liturgy with waterand wine. And the holy Fathers who assembled at Carthage provided in these express terms: “Thatin the holy Mysteries nothing besides the body and blood of the Lord be offered, as the Lord himselflaid down, that is bread and wine mixed with water.” Therefore if any bishop or presbyter shallnot perform the holy action according to what has been handed down by the Apostles, and shallnot offer the sacrifice with wine mixed with water, let him be deposed, as imperfectly shewingforth the mystery and innovating on the things which have been handed down.



Chrysostom, when overthrowing the heresy of the Hydroparastatæ, says: “When the Lord
suffered and rose again he used wine.” The Armenians, laying hold on this, offer wine alone, not
understanding that Chrysostom himself, and Basil, and James used wine mixed with water; and
left the tradition that we should so make the offering. If, therefore, any one shall offer wine alone,
or water alone, and not the mixed [chalice] let him be deposed.



Chrysos. In Matt. XXVI. 29—I have taken the Oxford translation, “Library of the Fathers.”

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Justin Martyr in his Second Apology, Ambrose, or whoever was the author of the books on theSacraments (Lib. v., cap. i.), Augustine and many others make mention of this rite, and above allSt. Cyprian, who wrote a long epistle on the subject to Cecilius, and seeking the reason of theceremony as a setting forth of the union of the people, represented by the water, with Christ, figuredby the wine.

Another signification of this rite St. Augustine indicates in his sermon to Neophytes, saying:
“Take this in bread, which hung upon the Cross: Take this in the cup which poured forth from theside,” that is to say blood and water.

Cardinal Bona (De Rebus Liturgicis, Lib. II., cap. ix., n. 3 and 4) refers to many ancient ritualsin which a similar prayer is used to that found in the Ambrosian rite, which says as the water ispoured in: “Out of the side of Christ there flowed forth blood and water together. In the name ofthe Father, etc.” Bona further notes that “The Greeks twice mingle water with the wine, once coldwater, when in the prothesis they are preparing the Holy Gifts, and the Priest pierces the bread withthe holy spear, and says, “One of the soldiers with a lance opened his side, and immediately thereflowed forth blood and water,” and the deacon pours in wine and water. From this it is evident thatthe Greeks agree with St. Augustine’s explanation.

For the second time the Greeks mix “hot water after consecration and immediately beforecommunion, the deacon begging from the priest a blessing upon the warm water; and he blesses itin these words: ‘Blessed be the fervour of thy Saints, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.’
Then the deacon pours the water into the chalice, saying: ‘The fervour of faith, full of the HolySpirit.’” So Cardinal Bona as above.

The third reason of this rite is assumed by some from the fact that Christ is believed thus to
have instituted this sacrament at the last supper; and this the synod seems to intimate in the presentcanon when it says “as the Lord himself delivered.”

In this case the Greeks suppose that this rite was also handed down by the Apostles, and thisis evident from their citing the Liturgy of St. James, which they believed to be a genuine work ofhis.


SINCE we know that, in the region of the Armenians, only those are appointed to the clerical
orders who are of priestly descent (following in this Jewish customs); and some of those who areeven untonsured are appointed to succeed cantors and readers of the divine law, we decree thathenceforth it shall not be lawful for those who wish to bring any one into the clergy, to pay regardto the descent of him who is to be ordained; but let them examine whether they are worthy (accordingto the decrees set forth in the holy canons) to be placed on the list of the clergy, so that they maybe ecclesiastically promoted, whether they are of priestly descent or not; moreover, let them not


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permit any one at all to read in the ambo, according to the order of those enrolled in the clergy,
unless such an one have received the priestly tonsure and the canonical benediction of his ownpastor; but if any one shall have been observed to act contrary to these directions, let him be cutoff.



Whoever is worthy of the priesthood should be ordained whether he is sprung of a priestly line
or no. And he that has been blessed untonsured shall not read the Holy Scriptures at the ambo.


Here not obscurely does the canon join the clerical tonsure received from the bishop with theoffice of Reader, so much so that he that has been tonsured by the bishop is thought to have receivedat the same time the tonsure and the order of lector.

Canon XXXIV.

BUT in future, since the priestly canon openly sets this forth, that the crime of conspiracy or
secret society is forbidden by external laws, but much more ought it to be prohibited in the Church;
we also hasten to observe that if any clerics or monks are found either conspiring or entering secretsocieties, or devising anything against bishops or clergymen, they shall be altogether deprived oftheir rank.



If clerics or monks enter into conspiracies or fraternities, or plots against the bishop or their
fellow clerics, they shall be cast out of their grade.

This is but a renewal of Canon xviij. of Chalcedon, which see with the notes.

Canon XXXV.

IT shall be lawful for no Metropolitan on the death of a bishop of his province to appropriate
or sell the private property of the deceased, or that of the widowed church: but these are to be in


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the custody of the clergy of the diocese over which he presided until the election of another bishop,
unless in the said church there are no clergymen left. For then the Metropolitan shall protect theproperty without diminution, handing over everything to the bishop when he is appointed.



When the bishop is dead the clergy shall guard his goods. If, however, no clergyman remains,
the Metropolitan shall take charge of them until another be ordained.

Compare Canon xxii. of Chalcedon. This canon extends the prohibition to Metropolitans aswell.


Neither the clergy nor metropolitan after the death of the bishop are allowed to carry off hisgoods, but all should be guarded by the clergy themselves, until another bishop is chosen. But ifby chance no clergyman is left in that church, the metropolitan is to keep all the possessionsundiminished and to return them to the future bishop.

Canon XXXVI.

RENEWING the enactments by the 150 Fathers assembled at the God-protected and imperial city,
and those of the 630 who met at Chalcedon; we decree that the see of Constantinople shall haveequal privileges with the see of Old Rome, and shall be highly regarded in ecclesiastical mattersas that is, and shall be second after it. After Constantinople shall be ranked the See of Alexandria,
then that of Antioch, and afterwards the See of Jerusalem.



Let the throne of Constantinople be next after that of Rome, and enjoy equal privileges. After
it Alexandria, then Antioch, and then Jerusalem.


The Fathers here speak of the Second and Third canons of the Second Synod [i.e. I.
Constantinople] and of canon xxviij. of the Fourth Synod [i.e. Chalcedon]. And read what we havesaid on these canons.


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We have explained the third canon of the Synod of Constantinople and the twenty-eighth canonof the Synod of Chalcedon as meaning, when asserting that the bishop of Constantinople shouldenjoy equal privileges after the Roman bishop, that he should be placed second from the Romanin point of time. So here too this preposition “after” denotes time but not honour. For after manyyears this throne of Constantinople obtained equal privileges with the Roman Church; because itwas honoured by the presence of the Emperor and of the Senate.

On this opinion of Aristenus’s the reader is referred to the notes on Canon iij. of I.


(Novella CXXXI., Cap. ij.)

We command that according to the definitions of the Four Councils the most holy Pope of OldRome shall be first of all the priests. But the most blessed Archbishop of Constantinople, whichis New Rome, shall have the second place after the Holy Apostolic See of Old Rome.

This canon, in a mutilated form, is found in the Corpus Juris Canonici, Gratian’s Decretum,
Pars I., Dist. XXII., c. vj.


SINCE at different times there have been invasions of barbarians, and therefore very many cities
have been subjected to the infidels, so that the bishop of a city may not be able, after he has beenordained, to take possession of his see, and to be settled in it in sacerdotal order, and so to performand manage for it the ordinations and all things which by custom appertain to the bishop: we,
preserving honour and veneration for the priesthood, and in no wise wishing to employ the Gentileinjury to the ruin of ecclesiastical rights, have decreed that those who have been ordained thus, andon account of the aforesaid cause have not been settled in their sees, without any prejudice fromthis thing may be kept [in good standing] and that they may canonically perform the ordination ofthe different clerics and use the authority of their office according to the defined limits, and thatwhatever administration proceeds from them may be valid and legitimate. For the exercise of hisoffice shall not be circumscribed by a season of necessity when the exact observance of law iscircumscribed.



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A bishop who, on account of the incursions of the barbarians, is not set in his throne, shall have
his own chair of state, and shall ordain, and shall enjoy most firmly all the rights of the priesthood.

By Canon XVIII. of Antioch the principle of this canon was enunciated, that when a bishopdid not take possession of his see because he could not do so, he was not to be held responsible orto lose any of his episcopal rights and powers, in that case the impossibility arose from theinsubordination of the people, in this from the diocese being in the hands of the barbarians.

It has been commonly thought that the Bishops in partibus infidelium had their origin in the
state of things calling for this canon.


THE canon which was made by the Fathers we also observe, which thus decreed: If any city be
renewed by imperial authority, or shall have been renewed, let the order of things ecclesiasticalfollow the civil and public models.



If any city is or shall be renewed by the Emperor, the ecclesiastical order shall follow the
political and public example.


The canon of the Fathers which the Synod wishes observed is XVII of Chalcedon, the notes onwhich see.

Here it must be noted that by “civil and public models” is signified the “pragmatic” or imperialletters, by which the emperors granted to newly raised up or re-edified towns the privilege of othercities, or else annexed them to some Province.

Canon XXXIX.

SINCE our brother and fellow-worker, John, bishop of the island of Cyprus, together with his
people in the province of the Hellespont, both on account of barbarian incursions, and that theymay be freed from servitude of the heathen, and may be subject alone to the sceptres of most


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Christian rule, have emigrated from the said island, by the providence of the philanthropic God,
and the labour of our Christ-loving and pious Empress; we determine that the privileges whichwere conceded by the divine fathers who first at Ephesus assembled, are to be preserved withoutany innovations, viz.: that new Justinianopolis shall have the rights of Constantinople and whoeveris constituted the pious and most religious bishop thereof shall take precedence of all the bishopsof the province of the Hellespont, and be elected [?] by his own bishops according to ancientcustom. For the customs which obtain in each church our divine Fathers also took pains should bemaintained, the existing bishop of the city of Cyzicus being subject to the metropolitan of theaforesaid Justinianopolis, for the imitation of all the rest of the bishops who are under the aforesaidbeloved of God metropolitan John, by whom, as custom demands, even the bishop of the very cityof Cyzicus shall be ordained.



The new Justinianopolis shall have the rights of Constantinople, and its prelate shall rule over
all the bishops of the Hellespont to whom he has gone, and he shall be ordained by his own bishop:
as the fathers of Ephesus decreed.


Hitherto the bishop of Cyzicus was metropolitan of the province of the Hellespont. Now hetoo is to be subject to the bishop of New-Justinianopolis. What, however, is meant by “the right
of Constantinople”? It was impossible that the Synod should place the bishop of Justinianopolisin equal dignity with the patriarch of Constantinople. But they probably meant to say: “The rightswhich the bishop of Constantinople has hitherto exercised over the province of the Hellespont, aschief metropolitan, fall now to the bishop of New-Justinianopolis.” Or perhaps we should read,
instead of Constantinople ...sta.t.....
p..e.., as the Amerbachian MS. has it, and translate:
“The same rights which Constantia (the metropolis of Cyprus) possessed, New Justinianopolis shallhenceforth have.” The latter is the more probable.


To understand this canon it must be remembered that the Metropolis of Cyprus, which wasformerly called Constantia, when restored by the Emperor Justinian was called by his name, NewJustinianopolis.

Canon XL.


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SINCE to cleave to God by retiring from the noise and turmoil of life is very beneficial, it behoves
us not without examination to admit before the proper time those who choose the monastic life,
but to observe respecting them the limit handed down by our fathers, in order that we may thenadmit a profession of the life according to God as for ever firm, and the result of knowledge andjudgment after years of discretion have been reached. He therefore who is about to submit to theyoke of monastic life should not be less than ten years of age, the examination of the matterdepending on the decision of the bishop, whether he considers a longer time more conducive forhis entrance and establishment in the monastic life. For although the great Basil in his holy canonsdecreed that she who willingly offers to God and embraces virginity, if she has completed herseventeenth year, is to be entered in the order of virgins: nevertheless, having followed the examplerespecting widows and deaconesses, analogy and proportion being considered, we have admittedat the said time those who have chosen the monastic life. For it is written in the divine Apostlethat a widow is to be elected in the church at sixty years old: but the sacred canons have decreedthat a deaconess shall be ordained at forty, since they saw that the Church by divine grace had goneforth more powerful and robust and was advancing still further, and they saw the firmness andstability of the faithful in observing the divine commandments. Wherefore we also, since we mostrightly comprehend the matter, appoint the benediction of grace to him who is about to enter thestruggle according to God, even as impressing speedily a certain seal upon him, hereupon introducinghim to the not-long-to-be-hesitated-over and declined, or rather inciting him even to the choice anddetermination of good.



A monk must be ten years old. Even if the Divine Basil thought the one shorn should be over
seventeen. But although the Apostle ordains that a widow to be espoused to the Church must be
sixty, yet the Fathers say a Deaconess is to be ordained at forty, the Church in the meanwhile
having become stronger; so we place the seal on a monk at an earlier age.


The eighteenth canon of Basil the Great orders that she who offers herself to the Lord andrenounces marriage, ought to be over sixteen or even seventeen years of age: so that her promisemay be firm and that if she violates it she may suffer the due penalties. For, says he, children’svoices are not to be thought of any value in such matters. But the present canon admits him whois not less than ten years and desires to be a monk, but entrusts the determination of the exact timeto the judgment of the hegumenos, whether he thinks it more advantageous to increase theage-requirement for the entering and being established in the married life. But the canon lessensthe time defined by Basil the Great, because the Fathers thought that the Church by divine gracehad grown stronger since then, and was going on more and more, and that the faithful seemed firmer


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and more stable for the observance of the divine commandments. And for the same reason, viz.,
that the Church was growing better, the sacred canons had lessened the age of deaconesses, andfixed it at forty years, although the Apostle himself orders that no widow is to be chosen into theChurch under sixty years of age.

Canon XLI.

THOSE who in town or in villages wish to go away into cloisters, and take heed for themselves
apart, before they enter a monastery and practise the anchorite’s life,370 should for the space of three
years in the fear of God submit to the Superior of the house, and fulfil obedience in all things, asis right, thus shewing forth their choice of this life and that they embrace it willingly and with their
whole hearts; they are then to be examined by the superior (p...d...) of the place; and then tobear bravely outside the cloister one year more, so that their purpose may be fully manifested. Forby this they will shew fully and perfectly that they are not catching at vain glory, but that they arepursuing the life of solitude because of its inherent beauty and honour. After the completion ofsuch a period, if they remain in the same intention in their choice of the life, they are to be enclosed,
and no longer is it lawful for them to go out of such a house when they so desire, unless they beinduced to do so for the common advantage, or other pressing necessity urging on to death; andthen only with the blessing of the bishop of that place.

And those who, without the above-mentioned causes, venture forth of their convents, are first
of all to be shut up in the said convent even against their wills, and then are to cure themselves withfasting and other afflictions, knowing how it is written that “no one who has put his hand to theplough and has looked back, is fit for the kingdom of heaven.”



Whoever is about to enter a cloister, let him live for three years in a monastery, and before he
is shut up let him spend one year more, and so let him be shut up. And he shall not then go forth
unless death or the common good demands.


This canon, so far as it sets forth the necessity of probation before admission to the Anchoritelife, synods in after-years frequently approved, taught as they were by experience how perilous amatter it is to admit without sufficient probation to this solitary life and state of separation from


The Latin adds, “That is, separate and remote from others.”

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the common intercourse with his fellow men. Vide the Synod of Vannes (about A.D. 465) canon
vij., of Agde chap. lxxviij., of Orleans the First can. xxij., of Frankfort can. xij., of Toledo theSeventh can. v., and the Capitular of Charlemagne To monks, Chap. ij.

Canon XLII.

THOSE who are called Eremites and are clothed in black robes, and with long hair go about cities
and associate with the worldly both men and women and bring odium upon their profession—wedecree that if they will receive the habit of other monks and wear their hair cut short, they may beshut up in a monastery and numbered among the brothers; but if they do not choose to do this, they
are to be expelled from the cities and forced to live in the desert (...µ...) from whence also they
derive their name.



An eremite dressed in black vesture and not having his hair cut, unless he has his hair cut shall
be expelled the city and be shut up in his monastery.

It may not be irreverent to remark that this species of impostors always has been common inthe East, and many examples will be found of the dervishes in the Arabian Nights and other Easterntales. The “vagabond” monks of the West also became a great nuisance as well as a scandal in theMiddle Ages. The reader will find interesting instances of Spanish deceivers of the same sort in“Gil Blas” and other Spanish romances.

Canon XLIII.

IT is lawful for every Christian to choose the life of religious discipline, and setting aside the
troublous surgings of the affairs of this life to enter a monastery, and to be shaven in the fashionof a monk, without regard to what faults he may have previously committed. For God our Savioursays: “Whose cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out.”


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As therefore the monastic method of life engraves upon us as on a tablet the life of penitence,

we receive371 whoever approaches it372 sincerely; nor is any custom to be allowed to hinder him

from fulfilling his intention.



Whoever flees from the surging billows of life and desires to enter a monastery, shall be allowed
to do so.


The greatness or the number of a man’s sins ought not to make him lose hope of propitiatingthe divinity by his penitence, if he turns his eyes to the divine mercy. This is what the canon asserts,
and affirms that everyone, no matter how wicked and nefarious his life may have been, may embracemonastic discipline, which inscribes, as on a tablet,373 to us a life of penitence. For as a tablet
describes to us what is inscribed upon it, so the monastic profession writes and inscribes upon uspenitence, so that it remains for ever.

Canon XLIV.

A MONK convicted of fornication, or who takes a wife for the communion of matrimony and for
society, is to be subjected to the penalties of fornicators, according to the canons.



A monk joined in marriage or committing fornication shall pay the penalty of a fornicator.

The punishment here seems too light, so that Balsamon thinks that this canon only refers tosuch monks as freely confess their sin and desist from it, remaining in their monasteries; and thatthe sterner penalties assigned to unchaste religious by other synods (notably Chalcedon, can. xvj.,
and Ancyra, can. xix.) are for such as do not confess their faults but are after some time convictedof them.


Latin adds “and favour.”


Latin reads, “germanely and sincerely.”


Beveridge translates st... by columna but I think incorrectly. Cf. Liddell and Scott.


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The monk will receive the same punishment whether he be a fornicator or has joined himselfwith a woman for the communion of marriage.


It is very likely from this canon that the Monastic vow at the time of this Synod was not yet an
impedimentum dirimens of matrimony, for nothing is said about the dissolution of the marriagecontracted by a monk although he had gravely sinned in violating his faith pledged to God.

Canon XLV.

WHEREAS we understand that in some monasteries of women those who are about to be clothed
with the sacred habit are first adorned in silks and garments of all kinds, and also with gold andjewels, by those who bring them thither, and that they thus approach the altar and are there strippedof such a display of wealth, and that immediately thereafter the blessing of their habit takes place,
and they are clothed with the black robe; we decree that henceforth this shall not be done. For it
is not lawful for her who has already of her own free will put away every delight of life, and hasembraced that method of life which is according to God, and has confirmed it with strong and stablereasons, and so has come to the monastery, to recall to memory the things which they had alreadyforgotten, things of this world which perisheth and passeth away. For thus they raise in themselvesdoubts, and are disturbed in their souls, like the tossing waves, turning hither and thither. Moreover,
they should not give bodily evidence of heaviness of heart by weeping, but if a few tears drop fromtheir eyes, as is like enough to be the case, they may be supposed by those who see them to have
flowed µ.
on account of their affection (, affectionem) for the ascetic struggle
rather than (.) because they are quitting the world and worldly things.



Parents shall not deck out in silks a daughter who has chosen the monastic life, and thus clothe
her, for this is a recalling to her mind the world she is leaving.

This canon is at the present day constantly broken at the profession of Carmelites.

Canon XLVI.


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THOSE women who choose the ascetic life and are settled in monasteries may by no means go
forth of them. If, however, any inexorable necessity compels them, let them do so with the blessingand permission of her who is mother superior; and even then they must not go forth alone, but withsome old women who are eminent in the monastery, and at the command of the lady superior. Butit is not at all permitted that they should stop outside.

And men also who follow the monastic life let them on urgent necessity go forth with theblessing of him to whom the rule is entrusted.

Wherefore, those who transgress that which is now decreed by us, whether they be men orwomen, are to be subjected to suitable punishments.



A nun shall not go out of her convent without the consent of her superior, nor shall she go alone
but with an older one of the order. It is in no case permitted to her to spend the night outside. The
same is the case with a monk; he cannot go out of the monastery without the consent of the superior.

Canon XLVII.

NO woman may sleep in a monastery of men, nor any man in a monastery of women. For it
behoves the faithful to be without offence and to give no scandal, and to order their lives decorouslyand honestly and acceptably to God. But if any one shall have done this, whether he be cleric orlayman, let him be cut off.



It is not allowed that a woman should sleep in a convent of men, nor a man in a monastery of

The ground covered by this canon is also found in Justinian’s Code, Book xliv., Of Bishops
and Clergy. Vide also Novella cxxxiii., chap. v.


From the whole context of Justinian’s law it is manifest that Justinian here is condemning“double monasteries,” in which both men and women dwelt. And he wishes such to be separated,


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the men from the women, and e contra the women from the men, and that each should dwell in
separate monasteries.

The reader may be reminded of some curious double religious houses in England for men andwomen, of which sometimes a woman was the superior of both.


THE wife of him who is advanced to the Episcopal dignity, shall be separated from her husband
by their mutual consent, and after his ordination and consecration to the episcopate she shall entera monastery situated at a distance from the abode of the bishop, and there let her enjoy the bishop’sprovision. And if she is deemed worthy she may be advanced to the dignity of a deaconess.



She who is separated from one about to be consecrated bishop, shall enter a monastery after
his ordination, situated at a distance from the See city, and she shall be provided for by the bishop.

Canon XLIX.

RENEWING also the holy canon, we decree that the monasteries which have been once consecrated
by the Episcopal will, are always to remain monasteries, and the things which belong to them areto be preserved to the monastery, and they cannot any more be secular abodes nor be given by anyone to seculars. But if anything of this kind has been done already, we declare it to be null; andthose who hereafter attempt to do so are to be subjected to canonical penalties.



Monasteries built with the consent of the bishop shall not afterwards be turned into secular
houses, nor shall they pass into the hands of seculars.


This canon renews canon xxiv. of Chalcedon. And here it may be observed that the canonseven of Ecumenical Synods fall into desuetude little by little, unless the care of bishops and pastors


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keeps them alive, and from the example of this synod it may be seen how often they need callingback again into observance.

Nor can there be any doubt that frequently it would be more advantageous to renew the canonsalready set forth by the Fathers, rather than to frame new ones.

Canon L.

NO one at all, whether cleric or layman, is from this time forward to play at dice. And if any
one hereafter shall be found doing so, if he be a cleric he is to be deposed, if a layman let him becut off.



A layman should not play at dice.

This renews canons xlii. and xliij. of the Apostolic canons.

Canon LI.

THIS holy and ecumenical synod altogether forbids those who are called “players,” and their
“spectacles,” as well as the exhibition of hunts, and the theatrical dances. If any one despises thepresent canon, and gives himself to any of the things which are forbidden, if he be a cleric he shallbe deposed, but if a layman let him be cut off.



Whose shall play as an actor or shall attend theatrical representations or hunts shall be cut
off. Should he be a cleric he shall be deposed.


Some one will enquire why canon xxiiij. decrees that those in holy orders and monks, who are
constantly attending horse-races, and scenic plays, are to cease or be deposed: but the presentcanon says without discrimination, that those who give themselves over to such things if clergymenare to be deposed, and if laymen to be cut off. The solution is this. It is one thing and more easily


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to be endured, that a man should be present at a horse-race, or be convicted of going to see a play;
and another thing, and one that cannot be pardoned, that he should give himself over to such things,
and to exercise this continually as his business. Wherefore those who have once sinned deliberately,
are admonished to cease. If they are not willing to obey, they are to be deposed. But those whoare constantly engaged in this wickedness, if they are clerics, they must be deposed from theirclerical place, if laymen they must be cut off.

Canon LII.

ON all days of the holy fast of Lent, except on the Sabbath, the Lord’s day and the holy day of
the Annunciation, the Liturgy of the Presanctified is to be said.



Throughout the whole of Lent except upon the Lord’s day, the Sabbath, and upon the day of
the Annunciation, the presanctified gifts shall be offered.


We do not call the service of the Presanctified the unbloody sacrifice, but the offering of thepreviously offered, and of the perfected sacrifice, and of the completed priestly act.


The Greeks therefore confess that the bread once offered and consecrated, is not to be consecrated
anew on another day; but a new offering is made of what was before consecrated and presanctified:
just as in the Latin Church the consecrated or presanctified bread of Maundy Thursday is offeredon Good Friday.

The Patriarch Michael of Constantinople is quoted by Leo Allatius as saying that “none of themystic consecratory prayers are said over the presanctified gifts, but the priest only recites theprayer that he may be a worthy communicant.”

Some among the later Greeks have been of opinion that the unconsecrated wine was consecratedby the commixture with the consecrated bread, and (without any words of consecration) wastransmuted into the sacred blood,374 and with this seems to agree the already quoted Michael,


Gerbert makes it quite evident that from about 850 until 1200, that is from Amalarius until Durand, the same view was
held in the West. Vide Gerbertus. Vetus Liturgia Allomanica, p. 855 et. seqq.


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Patriarch of Constantinople, who is cited by Leo Allatius in his treatise on the rite of thepresanctified. “The presanctified is put into the mystic chalice, and so the wine which was then init, is changed into the holy blood of the Lord.” And with this agrees Simeon, Archbishop ofThessalonica, in his answer to Gabriel of Pentapolis, when he writes: “In the mass of thePresanctified no consecration of what is in the chalice is made by the invocation of the Holy Spiritand of his sign, but by the participation and union of the life-giving bread, which is truly the bodyof Christ.”

From this opinion, which was held by some of the Greeks, it gradually became the practice atConstantinople not to dip the bread in the Sacred Blood, as Michael the patriarch of this very churchtestifies. But in the ordinary Euchologion of the Greeks it is expressly set forth that the presanctifiedbread before it is reserved, should be dipped in the sacred blood, and for this a rite is provided.

Leo Allatius’s Dissertatio de Missa Præsanctificatorum should be read; an outline of the service
as found in the Euchologion, and as reprinted by Renaudotius is as follows.

First of all vespers is said. After some lessons and prayers, including the “Great Ectenia” andthat for the Catechumens, these are dismissed.

After the Catechumens have departed there follows the Ectenia of the Faithful. After which,
“Now the heavenly Powers invisibly minister with us; for, behold, the King of Glory is borne in.
Behold the mystic sacrifice having been perfected is borne aloft by angels.

“Let us draw near with faith and love, that we may become partakers of life eternal. Alleluia,
Alleluia, Alleluia.

“Deacon. Let us accomplish our evening prayer to the Lord.

“For the precious and presanctified gifts that are offered, let us pray to the Lord. “That our
man-loving God, etc.” as in the ordinary liturgy past the Lord’s prayer, and down to the Sancta
Sanctis, which reads as follows:

Priest. Holy things presanctified for holy persons.

Choir. One holy, one Lord Jesus Christ, to the Glory of God the Father—Amen.

Then the Communion Hymn and the Communion, and the rest as in the ordinary liturgy, except“this whole evening,” is said for “this whole day,” and another prayer is provided in the room ofthat beginning “Lord, who blessest them, etc.”375

It is curious to note that on Good Friday, the only day on which the Mass of the Presanctifiedis celebrated in the West, its use has died out in the East, and now it is used “on the Wednesdaysand Fridays of the first six weeks of the Great Quadragesima, on the Thursday of the fifth week,
and on the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of Holy Passion Week. It may also be said, exceptingon Saturdays and Sundays, and on the Festival of the Annunciation, on other days during the Fast,


The English reader is referred to G. V. Shann, Euchology, and The Book of Needs, for excellent translations of the Greek
offices; J. M. Neale’s Introduction to the History of the Holy Orthodox Eastern Church will, of course, be consulted.


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to wit, on those of festivals and their Vigils, and on the Commemoration of the Dedication of theChurch.”

Symeon, who was bishop of Thessalonica, and flourished in the early part of the XVth Century,
complains of the general neglect of the Mass of the Presanctified on Good Friday in his time, andsays that his church was the only one in the Exarchate that then retained it. He ascribes the disuseto the example of the Church of Jerusalem. See the matter treated at length in his Quæstiones,
lv.–lix. Migne’s Pat. Græc.

Cf. J. M. Neale Essays on Liturgiology, p. 109.

Canon LIII.

WHEREAS the spiritual relationship is greater than fleshly affinity; and since it has come to our
knowledge that in some places certain persons who become sponsors to children in holysalvation-bearing baptism, afterwards contract matrimony with their mothers (being widows), wedecree that for the future nothing of this sort is to be done. But if any, after the present canon, shallbe observed to do this, they must, in the first place, desist from this unlawful marriage, and thenbe subjected to the penalties of fornicators.



Godfathers cannot be permitted to be married with the mother of their godchildren. If any one
is so joined, let him do penance after separation.


(Clergyman’s Vade Mecum.)

The imperial law forbade the adopter parent to marry his or her adopted son or daughter; forthe godchild was thought a sort of an adopted child. See Justin., Institut., Lib. I., Tit. x.

Van Espen however refers, and to my mind with greater truth, to Justinian’s law (xxvj of theCod. de Nuptiis) which forbids the marriage of a man with his nurse or with whoever received himfrom the font, “because,” says the law, “nothing can so incite to parental affection, and thereforeinduce a just prohibition of marriage, than a bond of this sort by which, through God’s meditation,
their souls are bound together.”

Canon LIV.


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THE divine scriptures plainly teach us as follows, “Thou shalt not approach to any that is near
of kin to thee to uncover their nakedness.” Basil, the bearer-of-God, has enumerated in his canons
some marriages which are prohibited and has passed over the greater part in silence, and in boththese ways has done us good service. For by avoiding a number of disgraceful names (lest by suchwords he should pollute his discourse) he included impurities under general terms, by which coursehe shewed to us in a general way the marriages which are forbidden. But since by such silence,
and because of the difficulty of understanding what marriages are prohibited, the matter has becomeconfused; it seemed good to us to set it forth a little more clearly, decreeing that from this timeforth he who shall marry with the daughter of his father; or a father or son with a mother and
daughter; or a father and son with two girls who are sisters; or a mother and daughter with twobrothers; or two brothers with two sisters, fall under the canon of seven years, provided they openlyseparate from this unlawful union.


Thou shalt not permit the marriage of a son of a brother to the daughter of a brother; nor with
a daughter and her mother shall there be the marriage of a son and his father; neither a mother
and a daughter with two brothers; nor brothers with two sisters. But should anything of this sort
have been done, together with separation, penance shall be done for seven years.

Canon LV.

SINCE we understand that in the city of the Romans, in the holy fast of Lent they fast on the
Saturdays, contrary to the ecclesiastical observance which is traditional, it seemed good to the holysynod that also in the Church of the Romans the canon shall immovably stands fast which says:
“If any cleric shall be found to fast on a Sunday or Saturday (except on one occasion only) he is tobe deposed; and if he is a layman he shall be cut off.”



The Romans fast the Sabbaths of Lent. Therefore this Synod admonishes that upon these days
the Apostolical canon is of force.

The canon quoted is LXVI. of the Apostolic Canons.



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The Fathers of this Synod thought that this canon of the Apostles was edited by the Apostlesthemselves, and therefore they seem to have reprobated the custom of the Roman Church of fastingon the Sabbath more bitterly than was right. Whence it happens this is one of those canons whichthe Roman Church never received.


The synod took in hand to correct this failing (sf..µa) of the Latins; but until this time theyhave arrogantly remained in their pertinacity, and so remain to-day. Nor do they heed the ancientcanons which forbid fasting on the Sabbath except that one, to wit the great Sabbath, nor are theyaffected by the authority of this canon. Moreover the clerics have no regard for the threateneddeposition, nor the laymen for their being cut off.

Canon LVI.

WE have likewise learned that in the regions of Armenia and in other places certain people eat
eggs and cheese on the Sabbaths and Lord’s days of the holy lent. It seems good therefore that thewhole Church of God which is in all the world should follow one rule and keep the fast perfectly,
and as they abstain from everything which is killed, so also should they from eggs and cheese,
which are the fruit and produce of those animals from which we abstain. But if any shall not observethis law, if they be clerics, let them be deposed; but if laymen, let them be cut off.



Armenians eat eggs and cheese on the Sabbaths in Lent. It is determined that the whole world
should abstain from these. If not let the offender be cast out.


This canon shows that the ancient Greeks, although they did not fast on the Sabbaths and Lord’sdays of Lent, nevertheless they abstained on them from flesh food; and it was believed by themthat abstinence from flesh food involved also necessarily abstinence from all those things whichhave their origin from flesh. This also formerly was observed by the Latins in Lent, and in certainregions is known still to be the usage.


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Canon LVII.
IT is not right to offer honey and milk on the altar.


No one should offer honey or milk at the altar.

See canon iij. of the Apostles, canon xxviij. of the African code, also canon xxviij. of this synod.
The Greeks apparently do not recognize the exception specified in the canon of the African Code.

Canon LVIII.

NONE of those who are in the order of laymen may distribute the Divine Mysteries to himself
if a bishop, presbyter, or deacon be present. But whoso shall dare to do such a thing, as actingcontrary to what has been determined shall be cut off for a week and thenceforth let him learn notto think of himself more highly than he ought to think.



A layman shall not communicate himself. Should he do so, let him be cut off for a week.


It is well known that in the first centuries it was customary that the Holy Eucharist should betaken back by the faithful to their houses; and that at home they received it at their own hands. Itis evident that this was what was done by the Anchorites and monks who lived in the deserts, asmay be seen proved by Cardinal Bona. (De Rebus Liturg., Lib. II., cap. xvij.). From this domesticcommunion it is easily seen how the abuse arose which is condemned in this canon.

Canon LIX.

BAPTISM is by no means to be administered in an oratory which is within a house; but they who
are about to be held worthy of the spotless illumination are to go to a Catholic Church and there to


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enjoy this gift. But if any one shall be convicted of not observing what we have determined, if hebe a cleric let him be deposed, if a layman let him be cut off.


In oratories built in houses they shall not celebrate baptism. Whoever shall not observe this,
if a cleric he shall be deposed, if a layman he shall be cut off.

Canon LX.

SINCE the Apostle exclaims that he who cleaves to the Lord is one spirit, it is clear that he who
is intimate with his [i.e. the Lord’s] enemy becomes one by his affinity with him. Therefore, thosewho pretend they are possessed by a devil and by their depravity of manners feign to manifest theirform and appearance; it seems good by all means that they should be punished and that they shouldbe subjected to afflictions and hardships of the same kind as those to which they who are trulydemoniacally possessed are justly subjected with the intent of delivering them from the [work orrather] energy of the devil.



Whoever shall pretend to be possessed by a devil, shall endure the penance of demoniacs.

Zonaras says in his scholion that even in his day people made the same claim to diabolicalpossession.

Canon LXI.

THOSE who give themselves up to soothsayers or to those who are called hecatontarchs or to
any such, in order that they may learn from them what things376 they wish to have revealed to them,
let all such, according to the decrees lately made by the Fathers concerning them, be subjected tothe canon of six years. And to this [penalty] they also should be subjected who carry about377
she-bears or animals of the kind for the diversion and injury of the simple; as well as those who


Bev. reads .t..


Bev. reads .p.fe..µ......


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tell fortunes and fates, and genealogy, and a multitude of words of this kind from the nonsense ofdeceit and imposture. Also those who are called expellers of clouds, enchanters, amulet-givers,
and soothsayers.

And those who persist in these things, and do not turn away and flee from pernicious and Greekpursuits of this kind, we declare are to be thrust out of the Church, as also the sacred canons say.
“For what fellowship hath light with darkness?” as saith the Apostle, “or what agreement is therebetween the temple of God and idols? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? Andwhat concord hath Christ with Belial?”



Whoever shall deliver himself over to a hecatontarch or to devils, so as to learn some secret,
he shall be put under penance for six years. So too those who take around a bear, who join
themselves with those who seek incantations and drive away the clouds, and have faith in fortune
and fate, shall be cast out of the assembly of the Church.


According to Balsamon (in Beveridge, Synod., Tom. I., p. 228) old people who had the reputationof special knowledge [were called “hecatontarchs”]. They sold the hair [of these she bears andother animals] as medicine or for an amulet. Cf. Balsamon and Zonaras ut supra.

St. Chrysostom in his Homilies on the Statutes explains, in answer to certain who defendedthem on this ground, that if these incantations are made in the name of Christ they are so much theworse. The Saint says, “Moreover I think that she is to be hated all the more who abuses the nameof God for this purpose, because while professing to be a Christian, she shows by her actions thatshe is a heathen.”

Canon LXII.

THE so-called Calends, and what are called Bota and Brumalia, and the full assembly which
takes place on the first of March, we wish to be abolished from the life of the faithful. And alsothe public dances of women, which may do much harm and mischief. Moreover we drive awayfrom the life of Christians the dances given in the names of those falsely called gods by the Greekswhether of men or women, and which are performed after an ancient and un-Christian fashion;
decreeing that no man from this time forth shall be dressed as a woman, nor any woman in the garbsuitable to men. Nor shall he assume comic, satyric, or tragic masks; nor may men invoke the name


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of the execrable Bacchus when they squeeze out the wine in the presses; nor when pouring outwine into jars [to cause a laugh378], practising in ignorance and vanity the things which proceed
from the deceit of insanity. Therefore those who in the future attempt any of these things whichare written, having obtained a knowledge of them, if they be clerics we order them to be deposed,
and if laymen to be cut off.



Let these be taken away from the lives of the faithful, viz.: the Bota, and the Calends, and the
Brumalia, and salutations in honour of the gods, and comic, satyric and tragic masks, and the
invocation of Bacchus at the wine press, and the laughing at the wine jars. Whoever shall persist
in these after this canon shall be liable to give an account.

On the Calends see Du Cange (Glossarium in loc.). The Bota were feasts in honour of Pan,
the Brumalia feasts in honour of Bacchus. Many particulars with regard to these superstitions willbe found in Balsamon’s scholion, to which the curious reader is referred. Van Espen also has somevaluable notes on the Kalends of January.

Canon LXIII.

WE forbid to be publicly read in Church, histories of the martyrs which have been falsely put
together by the enemies of the truth, in order to dishonour the martyrs of Christ and induce unbeliefamong those who hear them, but we order that such books be given to the flames. But those whoaccept them or apply their mind to them as true we anathematize.



Martyrologies made up by the ethnics (.....
....) shall not be published in church.

What is condemned is false histories of true martyrs, not (as Johnson erroneously supposes)
“false legends of pretended martyrs.” There have been martyrs, both royal and plebeian, in muchlater times whose lives have been made ridiculous and whose memory has been rendered hatefulto the ignorant people by so-called “histories” which might well have received the treatment orderedby the canon.


Not found in Mansi.


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Canon LXIV.

IT does not befit a layman to dispute or teach publicly, thus claiming for himself authority to
teach, but he should yield to the order appointed by the Lord, and to open his ears to those whohave received the grace to teach, and be taught by them divine things; for in one Church God hasmade “different members,” according to the word of the Apostle: and Gregory the Theologian,
wisely interpreting this passage, commends the order in vogue with them saying:379 “This order
brethren we revere, this we guard. Let this one be the ear; that one the tongue, the hand or anyother member. Let this one teach, but let that one learn.” And a little further on: “Learning indocility and abounding in cheerfulness, and ministering with alacrity, we shall not all be the tonguewhich is the more active member, not all of us Apostles, not all prophets, nor shall we all interpret.”
And again: “Why dost thou make thyself a shepherd when thou art a sheep? Why become thehead when thou art a foot? Why dost thou try to be a commander when thou art enrolled in thenumber of the soldiers?” And elsewhere: “Wisdom orders, Be not swift in words; nor comparethyself with the rich, being poor; nor seek to be wiser than the wise.” But if any one be foundweakening the present canon, he is to be cut off for forty days.



A layman shall not teach, for all are not prophets, nor all apostles.

Zonaras points out that this canon refers only to public instruction and not to private. VanEspen further notes that in the West this restriction is limited to the solemn and public preachingand announcing of the Word of God, which is restricted to bishops, and only by special and expresslicense given to the other clergy, and refers to his own treatment of the subject In jure Eccles., Tom
I., part 1, tit. xvj., cap. viij.

Canon LXV.

THE fires which are lighted on the new moons by some before their shops and houses, upon
which (according to a certain ancient custom) they are wont foolishly and crazily to leap, we orderhenceforth to cease. Therefore, whosoever shall do such a thing, if he be a cleric, let him be deposed;


..... in Beveridge’s text.


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but if he be a layman, let him be cut off. For it is written in the Fourth Book of the Kings “AndManasses built an altar to the whole host of heaven, in the two courts of the Lord, and made his
sons to pass through the fire, he used lots and augurs and divinations by birds and made ventriloquists[or pythons380] and multiplied diviners, that he might do evil before the Lord and provoke him to



The fires which were made upon the new moons at the workshops are condemned and those
who leaped upon them.

Lupin remarks that the fires kindled on certain Saints’ days are almost certainly remains of thisheathen practice. These fires are often accompanied with leaping, drinking, and the wrestling of
young men.

Canon LXVI.

FROM the holy day of the Resurrection of Christ our God until the next Lord’s day, for a whole
week, in the holy churches the faithful ought to be free from labour, rejoicing in Christ with psalmsand hymns and spiritual songs; and celebrating the feast, and applying their minds to the readingof the holy Scriptures, and delighting in the Holy Mysteries; for thus shall we be exalted with Christand together with him be raised up. Therefore, on the aforesaid days there must not be any horseraces or any public spectacle.



The faithful shall every one of them go to church during the whole week after Easter.


It is certain that the whole of Easter week was kept as a feast by the whole Church both Eastand West; and this Synod did not introduce this custom by its canon, but adopted this canon toensure its continuance.


Only in the Latin.


II. Kgs. xxi. 5 & 6.

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Here we have clearly set forth the Christian manner of passing a feast-day, viz., that the faithfulon those days did give themselves up to “Psalms and Hymns and Spiritual Songs,” from which thedivine office which we call today canonical [i.e., chiefly Mattins and Vespers] are made up; andhence we understand that all the faithful ought to attend the choir-offices, which was indeed observedfor many centuries, as I have shewn in my Dissertation on the Canonical Hours, cap. III., § 1, and
therefore it was called “public” [or common] prayer.

Canon LXVII.

THE divine Scripture commands us to abstain from blood, from things strangled, and from
fornication. Those therefore who on account of a dainty stomach prepare by any art for food theblood of any animal, and so eat it, we punish suitably. If anyone henceforth venture to eat in anyway the blood of an animal, if he be a clergyman, let him be deposed; if a layman, let him be cutoff.



A cleric eating blood shall be deposed, but a layman shall be cut off.


The apostolic precept of abstaining “from blood and from things strangled” for some ages, notonly among the Greeks but also among the Latins, was observed in many churches, but little bylittle and step by step it died out in the whole Church, at least in the Latin Church, altogether.

In this the Latin Church followed the opinion of St. Augustine, Contra Faustum Manichæum,
Lib. XXXII., cap. xiij., where he teaches at great length that the precept was given to Christiansonly while the Gentile Church was not yet settled. This passage of Augustine also proves that atthat time Africa did not observe this precept of the Apostles.


IT is unlawful for anyone to corrupt or cut up a book of the Old or New Testament or of our
holy and approved preachers and teachers, or to give them up to the traders in books or to thosewho are called perfumers, or to hand it over for destruction to any other like persons: unless to besure it has been rendered useless either by bookworms, or by water, or in some other way. He whohenceforth shall be observed to do such a thing shall be cut off for one year. Likewise also he who


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buys such books (unless he keeps them for his own use, or gives them to another for his benefit tobe preserved) and has attempted to corrupt them, let him be cut off.



Thou shalt not destroy nor hand over copies of the Divine Scriptures to be destroyed unless
they are absolutely useless.



I think that this canon was directed against certain Nestorian and Eutychian heretics, who, thatthey might find some patronage of their errors from the Holy Scriptures, dared in the sixth centurymost infamously to corrupt certain passages of the New Testament.

Canon LXIX.

IT is not permitted to a layman to enter the sanctuary (Holy Altar, Gk.), though, in accordance
with a certain ancient tradition, the imperial power and authority is by no means prohibited fromthis when he wishes to offer his gifts to the Creator.



No layman except the Emperor shall go up to the altar.


That in the Latin Church as well as in the Greek for many centuries it was the constant custom,
ratified by various councils, that lay-men are to be excluded from the sanctuary and from the placemarked off for the priests who are celebrating the divine mysteries, is so notorious as to need noproof, and the present canon shows that among the Greeks the laity were not admitted to the
sacrarium even to make offerings.

The Synod makes but one exception, to wit, the Emperor, who can enter the rails of the holyaltar by its permission “when he wishes to offer his gifts to the Creator, according to ancient custom.”


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Not without foundation does the Synod claim “ancient custom” for this; for long before, it isevident, it was the case from the words of the Emperor Theodosius the Younger. See also Theodoret

(H. E., lib. v., cap. xvij.).
In the Latin Church, not only to emperors, kings, and great princes but also to patrons ofchurches, to toparchs of places, and even to magistrates, seats have been wont to be assignedhonoris
within the sanctuary or choir, and it has been contended that these are properly due to such

It is evident from Balsamon’s note that the later Greeks at least looked upon the Emperor asbeing (like the kings of England and France) a persona mixta, sharing in some degree the sacerdotalcharacter, as being anointed not merely with oil, but with the sacred chrism. Vide in this connexion

J. Wickham Legg, The Sacring of the English Kings, in “The Archæological Journal,” March, 1894.
Canon LXX.

WOMEN are not permitted to speak at the time of the Divine Liturgy; but, according to the word
of Paul the Apostle, “let them be silent. For it is not permitted to them to speak, but to be insubjection, as the law also saith. But if they wish to learn anything let them ask their own husbandsat home.”



Women are not permitted to speak in church.

“Let your women keep silence in the churches; for it is not permitted unto them to speak,” isthe passage referred to. 1 Cor. xiv. 34.

Canon LXXI.

THOSE who are taught the civil laws must not adopt the customs of the Gentiles, nor be induced
to go to the theatre, nor to keep what are called Cylestras, nor to wear clothing contrary to thegeneral custom; and this holds good when they begin their training, when they reach its end, and,
in short, all the time of its duration. If any one from this time shall dare to do contrary to this canonhe is to be cut off.



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Whoever devotes himself to the study of law, uses the manner of the Gentiles, going to the
theatre, and rolling in the dust, or dressing differently to custom, shall be cut off.

Liddell and Scott identify
with .a...d...a
,which they define as “a place for horses
to roll after exercise,” and note that it is a synonym of ....d...a. But it is interesting to note that
.....s.. is “a rolling in the dust, an exercise in which wrestlers rolled on the ground.”

Hefele says that Balsamon and Zonaras have not been able rightly to explain what we are tounderstand by the forbidden “Cylestras,” but I think Johnson is not far out of the way when hetranslates “nor to meddle with athletic exercises.”

Canon LXXII.

AN orthodox man is not permitted to marry an heretical woman, nor an orthodox woman to be
joined to an heretical man. But if anything of this kind appear to have been done by any [we requirethem] to consider the marriage null, and that the marriage be dissolved. For it is not fitting tomingle together what should not be mingled, nor is it right that the sheep be joined with the wolf,
nor the lot of sinners with the portion of Christ. But if any one shall transgress the things whichwe have decreed let him be cut off. But if any who up to this time are unbelievers and are not yetnumbered in the flock of the orthodox have contracted lawful marriage between themselves, andif then, one choosing the right and coming to the light of truth and the other remaining still detainedby the bond of error and not willing to behold with steady eye the divine rays, the unbelievingwoman is pleased to cohabit with the believing man, or the unbelieving man with the believingwoman, let them not be separated, according to the divine Apostle, “for the unbelieving husbandis sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife by her husband.”



A marriage contracted with heretics is void. But if they have made the contract before
[conversion] let them remain [united] if they so desire.

Perhaps none of the canons of this synod present greater and more insolvable difficulties thanthe present. It has been for long centuries the tradition of the Church that the marriage of a baptizedChristian with an unbaptized person is null, but this canon seems to say that the same is the caseif the one party be a heretic even though baptized. If this is what the canon means it elevates heresyinto an impedimentum dirimens. Such is not and never has been the law of the West, and such is


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not to-day the practice of the Eastern church, which allows the marriage of its people with Lutheransand with Roman Catholics and never questions the validity of their marriages. Van Espen thinks“the Greek commentators seem” to think that the heretics referred to are unbaptized; I do not knowexactly why he thinks so.


SINCE the life-giving cross has shewn to us Salvation, we should be careful that we render due
honour to that by which we were saved from the ancient fall. Wherefore, in mind, in word, in
feeling giving veneration (p..s....s..) to it, we command that the figure of the cross, which somehave placed on the floor, be entirely removed therefrom, lest the trophy of the victory won for usbe desecrated by the trampling under foot of those who walk over it. Therefore those who fromthis present represent on the pavement the sign of the cross, we decree are to be cut off.



If there is a cross upon a pavement it must be removed.

This canon defines that to the image of the cross is to be “given veneration (p..s....s..) ofthe intellect, of the words, and of the sense,” i.e., the cross is to be venerated with the interior cultus
of the soul, is to be venerated with the exterior culture of praise, and also with sensible acts, suchas kissings, bowings, etc.

Canon LXXIV.

IT is not permitted to hold what are called Agapæ, that is love-feasts, in the Lord’s houses or
churches, nor to eat within the house, nor to spread couches. If any dare to do so let him ceasetherefrom or be cut off.



Agapæ are not to be held in the churches, nor shall beds be put up. Whoso refuse to give up
these, let them be cut off.


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This is a renewal of canon xxviij., of Laodicea, on which canon see the notes.

Canon LXXV.

WE will that those whose office it is to sing in the churches do not use undisciplined vociferations,
nor force nature to shouting, nor adopt any of those modes which are incongruous and unsuitablefor the church: but that they offer the psalmody to God, who is the observer of secrets, with greatattention and compunction. For the Sacred Oracle taught that the Sons of Israel were to be pious.382



Inordinate vociferation of the psalms is not allowed, nor he that adopts things unsuited to the

This question of the character of church-music was one early discussed among Christians, and(long before the time of this synod), St. Augustine, in debating as to whether the chanting or thereading of the psalter was the more edifying, concludes, “when the psalms are chanted with a voiceand most suitable modulation (liquida voce et convenientissima modulatione), I recognize that thereis great utility in the practice,” and further on he adds that singing is to be the rather approved,
because “by the delight given to the ears the infirm soul is worked up to pious aspirations.” (Confess.
Lib. x., cap. xxxiij.).

Canon LXXVI.

IT is not right that those who are responsible for reverence to churches should place within the
sacred bounds an eating place, nor offer food there, nor make other sales. For God our Saviour
teaching us when he was tabernacling in the flesh commanded not to make his Father’s house ahouse of merchandize. He also poured out the small coins of the money-changers, and drave outall those who made common the temple. If, therefore, anyone shall be taken in the aforesaid faultlet him be cut off.



The Latin adds, “and holy.”


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A public house should not be established within the sacred precincts; and it is wrong to sell
food there; and whosoever shall do so shall be cut off.

Both Balsamon and Zonaras remark that this canon refers to the vestibule of the church and to
the rest of the sacred inclosure, and not to the interior of the church proper, for there no one wouldever think of having a shop.


IT is not right that those who are dedicated to religion, whether clerics or ascetics,383 should
wash in the bath with women, nor should any Christian man or layman do so. For this is severelycondemned by the heathens. But if any one is caught in this thing, if he is a cleric let him bedeposed; if a layman, let him be cut off.



A Christian man shall not bathe with women. Should a cleric do so he is to be deposed, and a
layman cut off.

This is a renewal of the XXXth canon of Laodicea. It will be noted, as Zonaras remarks, that
the monks must be counted among the laymen who are to be cut off, since they have no clericalcharacter or tonsure.


IT behoves those who are illuminated to learn the Creed by heart and to recite it to the bishop
or presbyters on the Fifth Feria of the Week.




The Latin adds “that is to say ‘Exercisers,’ (Exercitatores) or monks.”

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He that is illuminated is to recite (.pa..e...t. ) the faith on the fifth feria of the week.

This is a renewal of canon xlvi. of Laodicea.

Canon LXXIX.

AS we confess the divine birth of the Virgin to be without any childbed, since it came to pass
without seed, and as we preach this to the entire flock, so we subject to correction those who throughignorance do anything which is inconsistent therewith. Wherefore since some on the day after the
holy Nativity of Christ our God are seen cooking seµ.da...
, and distributing it to each other, on
pretext of doing honour to the puerperia of the spotless Virgin Maternity, we decree that henceforthnothing of the kind be done by the faithful. For this is not honouring the Virgin (who above thoughtand speech bare in the flesh the incomprehensible Word) when we define384 and describe, from
ordinary things and from such as occur with ourselves, her ineffable parturition. If therefore anyonehenceforth be discovered doing any such thing, if he be a cleric let him be deposed, but if a laymanlet him be cut off.



Whoever after the feast of the Mother of God shall prepare seµ.d....
(semilam) or anything
else on account of what is called puerperia, let him be cut off.

As the Catholic Church has always taught the Virgin-birth as well as the Virgin-conception ofour Blessed Lord, and has affirmed that Mary was ever-virgin, even after she had brought forth theincarnate Son, so it follows necessarily that there could be no childbed nor puerperal flux. It needhardly be remarked here that besides other texts that of the prophet is considered as teaching thusmuch, “Behold the Virgin (ha alma) shall conceive and bear a son,” she that “bare” as well as she
that “conceived” being a virgin. Some commentators have taken .p....e.a
for the afterbirth, but
Christian Lupus, as Van Espen notes, has pointed out that the early fathers seem to have recognizedthat the Virgin did have the “afterbirth,” and this St. Jerome expressly teaches in his book, Contra

The Greeks, however, understood it as I have translated, and the witness of Zonaras will be
sufficient. The words ....., ...a...
and the like all signify “lying in,” “a place of lying in,” and


The Latin adds “and measure.”


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Liddell and Scott say that the latter word is used of “bearing down like heavy ears of corn,” whichwould well express the labour pains.


This canon teaches that the parturition of the holy Virgin was without any childbed. For childbed
(puerperium) is the emission of the foetus accompanied by pain and a flux of blood: but none ofus ever believed that the Mother of God was subjected to sufferings of this sort, for these are theconsequents of natural conception, but her conception was supernatural; and by the Holy Spirit itwas brought to pass that she was not subjected to those evils which rightly are attached to naturalparturition.

On this canon should be read the extensive treatment of Asseman (Bib. Juris Orient., Tom. v.,
pp. 193 et seqq.)

Canon LXXX.

IF any bishop, or presbyter, or deacon, or any of those who are enumerated in the list of the
clergy, or a layman, has no very grave necessity nor difficult business so as to keep him from churchfor a very long time, but being in town does not go to church on three consecutive Sundays—threeweeks—if he is a cleric let him be deposed, but if a layman let him be cut off.



If anyone without the constraint of necessity leaves his church for three Lord’s days, he shall
be deprived of communion.

This is a renewal of canon xi. of Sardica (xiv. according to the numbering of Dionysius Exiguus.)

Canon LXXXI.

WHEREAS we have heard that in some places in the hymn Trisagion there is added after “Holy
and Immortal,” “Who was crucified for us, have mercy upon us,” and since this as being alien topiety was by the ancient and holy Fathers cast out of the hymn, as also the violent heretics whoinserted these new words were cast out of the Church; we also, confirming the things which wereformerly piously established by our holy Fathers, anathematize those who after this present decreeallow in church this or any other addition to the most sacred hymn; but if indeed he who has


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transgressed is of the sacerdotal order, we command that he be deprived of his priestly dignity, butif he be a layman or monk let him be cut off.



Whoever adds to the hymn Trisagion these words “Who wast crucified” shall be deemed

The addition of the phrase condemned by this canon was probably made first by Peter Fullo,
and although indeed it was capable of a good meaning, if the whole hymn was understood as beingaddressed to Christ, and although this was admitted by very many of the orthodox, yet as it waschiefly used by the Monophysites and with an undoubtedly heretical intention, it was finally ousted
from this position and its adherents were styled Theopaschites. From all this it came about that by518 it was a source of disagreement among the Catholics, some affirming the expression, as lookedat by itself, to be a touchstone of orthodoxy. The Emperor Justinian tried to have it approved byPope Hormisdas, but unsuccessfully, the pontiff only declaring that it was unnecessary, and evendangerous. Fulgentius of Ruspe and Dionysius Exiguus had declared it orthodox. Pope John II.
almost came to the point of approving the phrase “one of the Trinity suffered,” nor did his successorAgapetus I. speak any more definitely on the point, but the Fifth Ecumenical Council directlyapproved the formula.

But this, of course, did not touch the point of its introduction into the Trisagion or, moreaccurately, of the introduction of the words “who was crucified for us.”

It should have been noted that at a Home Synod in 478, Peter Fullo had been deposed for theinsertion of this clause, because he intended to imply that the true God had suffered death upon thecross. This sentence was a confirmation of one already pronounced against him by a synod heldat Antioch which had raised a man, Stephen by name, to its episcopal throne.

Such is the history of a matter which, while it seemed at first as of little moment, yet for manyyears was a source of trouble in the Church. (Vide Hefele, History of the Councils, Vol. III., pp.
454, 457; Vol. IV., p. 26.)


IN some pictures of the venerable icons, a lamb is painted to which the Precursor points his
finger, which is received as a type of grace, indicating beforehand through the Law, our true Lamb,
Christ our God. Embracing therefore the ancient types and shadows as symbols of the truth, andpatterns given to the Church, we prefer “grace and truth,” receiving it as the fulfilment of the Law.
In order therefore that “that which is perfect” may be delineated to the eyes of all, at least in coloured


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expression, we decree that the figure in human form of the Lamb who taketh away the sin of theworld, Christ our God, be henceforth exhibited in images, instead of the ancient lamb, so that allmay understand by means of it the depths of the humiliation of the Word of God, and that we mayrecall to our memory his conversation in the flesh, his passion and salutary death, and his redemptionwhich was wrought for the whole world.



Thou shalt not paint a lamb for the type of Christ, but himself.

As from this canon, a century earlier than the iconoclastic controversy, the prevalence of picturesis evident, so from the canon of the same synod with regard to the veneration due to the image ofthe cross (number lxxiii.), we learn that the teaching of the Church with regard to relative worshipwas the same as was subsequently set forth, so that the charge of innovating, sometimes rashlybrought against the Seventh Ecumenical Council, has no foundation in fact whatever.

This canon is further interesting as being the one cited by more than one Pope and WesternAuthority as belonging to “the Sixth Synod.”


NO one may give the Eucharist to the bodies of the dead; for it is written “Take and eat.” But
the bodies of the dead can neither “take” nor “eat.”



The Sacraments must not be given to a dead body.

This is canon iv. of the Council of Hippo, in the year 393. (Vide Hefele, Vol. II., p. 397.) Theearlier canon includes baptism also, in its prohibition. This is canons xviii. and xx. of the Africancode, according to the Greek numbering.



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FOLLOWING the canonical laws of the Fathers, we decree concerning infants, as often as they are
found without trusty witnesses who say that they are undoubtedly baptized; and as often as theyare themselves unable on account of their age to answer satisfactorily in respect to the initiatorymystery given to them; that they ought without any offence to be baptized, lest such a doubt mightdeprive them of the sanctification of such a purification.



Whoever do not know nor can prove by documents that they have been baptized, let them be

This is canon VII., of the Sixth Council of Carthage, (Vide Hefele, Hist. of the Councils, Vol.
II., p. 424); and Canon lxxv., of the African code (to which Balsam on attributes this canon), bythe Greek numbering, (lxxii. by the Latin).

Canon LXXXV.

WE have received from the Scriptures that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word
shall be established. Therefore we decree that slaves who are manumitted by their masters in thepresence of three witnesses shall enjoy that honour; for they being present at the time will addstrength and stability to the liberty given, and they will bring it to pass that faith will be kept inthose things which they now witness were done in their presence.


A slave manumitted by his master before two witnesses shall be free.


THOSE who to the destruction of their own souls procure and bring up harlots, if they be clerics,
they are to be [cut off and] deposed, if laymen to be cut off.



Whoever gathers together harlots to the ruin of souls, shall be cut off.


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The brackets enclose the reading of Hervetus. But Zonaras had this same text, and therefore itmay be safely followed instead of that of Balsamon, as edited by Beveridge.


SHE who has left her husband is an adulteress if she has come to another, according to the holy
and divine Basil, who has gathered this most excellently from the prophet Jeremiah: “If a womanhas become another man’s, her husband shall not return to her, but being defiled she shall remaindefiled;” and again, “He who has an adulteress is senseless and impious.” If therefore she appearsto have departed from her husband without reason, he is deserving of pardon and she of punishment.
And pardon shall be given to him that he may be in communion with the Church. But he wholeaves the wife lawfully given him, and shall take another is guilty of adultery by the sentence ofthe Lord. And it has been decreed by our Fathers that they who are such must be “weepers” for ayear, “hearers” for two years, “prostrators” for three years, and in the seventh year to stand withthe faithful and thus be counted worthy of the Oblation [if with tears they do penance].



She who goes from her husband to another man is an adulteress. And he who from his wife
goes to another woman is an adulterer according to the word of the Lord.

Compare with this canon lviij. of St. Basil.

The words in brackets are found in Beveridge, but were lacking in Hervetus’s text.


Here discipline is relaxed; formerly an adulteress did fifteen years’ penance. See Can. Bas.,

58. No wonder if in 200 years’ time from St. Basil, the severity of discipline was abated.

NO one may drive any beast into a church except perchance a traveller, urged thereto by the
greatest necessity, in default of a shed or resting-place, may have turned aside into said church.
For unless the beast had been taken inside, it would have perished, and he, by the loss of his beastof burden, and thus without means of continuing his journey, would be in peril of death. And weare taught that the Sabbath was made for man: wherefore also the safety and comfort of man are


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by all means to be placed first. But should anyone be detected without any necessity such as wehave just mentioned, leading his beast into a church, if he be a cleric let him be deposed, and if alayman let him be cut off.


Cattle shall not be led into the holy halls, unless the greatest necessity compels it.


THE faithful spending the days of the Salutatory Passion in fasting, praying and compunction
of heart, ought to fast until the midnight of the Great Sabbath: since the divine Evangelists, Matthewand Luke, have shewn us how late at night it was [that the resurrection took place], the one by using
the words ...
saßß.t.., and the other by the words ......


On the Great Sabbath the fast must be continued until midnight.

Canon XC.

WE have received from our divine Fathers the canon law that in honour of Christ’s resurrection,
we are not to kneel on Sundays. Lest therefore we should ignore the fulness of this observance wemake it plain to the faithful that after the priests have gone to the Altar for Vespers on Saturdays(according to the prevailing custom) no one shall kneel in prayer until the evening of Sunday, atwhich time after the entrance for compline, again with bended knees we offer our prayers to theLord. For taking the night after the Sabbath, which was the forerunner of our Lord’s resurrection,
we begin from it to sing in the spirit hymns to God, leading our feast out of darkness into light, andthus during an entire day and night, we celebrate the Resurrection.



From the evening entrance of the Sabbath until the evening entrance of the Lord’s day there
must be no kneeling.



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No doubt the synod by the words “we have received from the divine Fathers,” referred to canon

xx. of the Council of Nice.
For many centuries this custom was preserved even in the Latin Church; and the custom ofkeeping feasts and whole days generally from evening to evening is believed to have been anApostolic tradition, received by them from the Jews. At the end of the VIIIth Century the Synod
of Frankfort declared in its xxj. canon, that “the Lord’s day should be kept from evening toevening.”385

Canon XCI.

THOSE who give drugs for procuring abortion, and those who receive poisons to kill the foetus,
are subjected to the penalty of murder.



Whoever gives or receives medicine to produce abortion is a homicide.

See Canon XXI. of Ancyra, and Canon II. of St. Basil; to wit, “She who purposely destroys thefoetus, shall suffer the punishment of murder. And we pay no attention to the subtile distinction asto whether the foetus was formed or unformed. And by this not only is justice satisfied for the childthat should have been born, but also for her who prepared for herself the snares, since the womenvery often die who make such experiments.”

Canon XCII.

THE holy synod decrees that those who in the name of marriage carry off women and those who

in any way assist the ravishers, if they be clerics, they shall lose their rank, but if they be laymen

they shall be anathematized.




“The evening and the morning were the first day.”—Gen. i. 5.

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Those who run away with women, and those who assist and give a hand, if they be clerics they
shall be deposed, if laymen they shall be anathamatized.


This canon simply renews and confirms Canon xxvij of Chalcedon.

Canon XCIII.

IF the wife of a man who has gone away and does not appear, cohabit with another before she
is assured of the death of the first, she is an adulteress. The wives of soldiers who have married
husbands who do not appear are in the same case; as are also they who on account of the wanderingsof their husbands do not wait for their return. But the circumstance here has some excuse, in that
the suspicion of his death becomes very great. But she who in ignorance has married a man whoat the time was deserted by his wife, and then is dismissed because his first wife returns to him,
has indeed committed fornication, but through ignorance; therefore she is not prevented frommarrying, but it is better if she remain as she is. If a soldier shall return after a long time, and findhis wife on account of his long absence has been united to another man, if he so wishes, he mayreceive his own wife [back again], pardon being extended in consideration of their ignorance bothto her and to the man who took her home in second marriage.



A woman who when her husband does not turn up, before she is certain he is dead, takes another
commits adultery. But when the man returns he may receive her again, if he so elects.

Compare in the Corpus Juris Canonici, Gratian’s Decretum, Pars II., Causa xxxiv., Quæst. I.
and II. Epistle of St. Leo to Nicetas. Also compare of St. Basil’s canon’s xxxj., xxxvj., and xlvj.

Canon XCIV.

THE canon subjects to penalties those who take heathen oaths, and we decree to them



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Whoever uses Gentile oaths, is worthy of punishment, for he is cut off.

The reference is to canon lxxxj. of St. Basil’s canons.


Tertullian (De Idolatria, cap. xx.) supposes that to swear by the false gods of the Gentiles,
contains in itself some idolatry, an opinion shared by St. Basil, comparing those using such oathswith them who betrayed Christ, and who are partakers of the talk of devils.

Canon XCV.

THOSE who from the heretics come over to orthodoxy, and to the number of those who should
be saved, we receive according to the following order and custom. Arians, Macedonians, Novatians,
who call themselves Cathari, Aristeri, and Testareskaidecatitæ, or Tetraditæ, and Apollinarians,
we receive on their presentation of certificates and on their anathematizing every heresy whichdoes not hold as does the holy Apostolic Church of God: then first of all we anoint them with theholy chrism on their foreheads, eyes, nostrils, mouth and ears; and as we seal them we say—“Theseal of the gift of the Holy Ghost.”

But concerning the Paulianists it has been determined by the Catholic Church that they shallby all means be rebaptized. The Eunomeans also, who baptize with one immersion; and theMontanists, who here are called Phrygians; and the Sabellians, who consider the Son to be the sameas the Father, and are guilty in certain other grave matters, and all the other heresies—for there aremany heretics here, especially those who come from the region of the Galatians—all of their numberwho are desirous of coming to the Orthodox faith, we receive as Gentiles. And on the first day wemake them Christians, on the second Catechumens, then on the third day we exorcise them, at thesame time also breathing thrice upon their faces and ears; and thus we initiate them, and we makethem spend time in church and hear the Scriptures; and then we baptize them.

And the Manichæans, and Valentinians and Marcionites and all of similar heresies must givecertificates and anathematize each his own heresy, and also Nestorius, Eutyches, Dioscorus, Severus,
and the other chiefs of such heresies, and those who think with them, and all the aforesaid heresies;
and so they become partakers of the holy Communion.




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Thus we admit those converted from the heretics. We anoint with the holy chrism, upon the
brow, eyes, nostrils, mouth, and ears, Arians, Macedonians, Novatians (who are called Cathari),
Aristerians (who are called Quartadecimans or Tetraditæ), and Apollinarians when they
anathematize every heresy; and sign them with the cross as we say, “The Seal of the gift of the
Holy Ghost. Amen.”

Compare with this Canon vij. of Laodicea, and the so-called vijth. canon of the First Council
of Constantinople.

The text I have translated is that ordinarily given, I now present to the reader Hefele’s argumentfor its worthlessness.


This text is undoubtedly false, for (a) the baptism of the Gnostics was, according to therecognized ecclesiastical principle, invalid, and a Gnostic coming into the Church was required tobe baptized anew; (b) besides, it would have us first to require of a Gnostic an anathema on Nestorius,
Eutyches, etc. More accurate, therefore, is the text, as it is given by Beveridge, and as Balsamonhad it, to the effect that: “In the same way (as the preceding) are the Manichæans, Valentinians,
Marcionites, and similar heretics to be treated (i.e., to be baptized anew); but the Nestorians must(merely) present certificates, and anathematize their heresy, Nestorius, Eutyches, etc.” Here we
have only this mistake, that the Nestorians must anathematize, among others, also Eutyches, whichthey would certainly have done very willingly. At the best, we must suppose that there is a gap inthe text, and that after, “all of similar heresies,” we must add “the later heretics must presentcertificates and anathematize Nestorius, Eutyches, etc.”

There seems but little doubt that whatever may be the truth in the matter, the early theologiansand fathers held that even though the external rite of Holy Baptism might be validly performed byschismatics and heretics, yet that by it the person so baptized did not receive the Holy Ghost, andthis opinion was not confined to the East, but was also prevalent in the West. Vide Rupertus, De
Divinis Officiis, Lib. X., Cap. xxv.

Canon XCVI.

THOSE who by baptism have put on Christ have professed that they will copy his manner of life
which he led in the flesh. Those therefore who adorn and arrange their hair to the detriment ofthose who see them, that is by cunningly devised intertwinings, and by this means put a bait in theway of unstable souls, we take in hand to cure paternally with a suitable punishment: training themand teaching them to live soberly, in order that having laid aside the deceit and vanity of material


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things, they may give their minds continually to a life which is blessed and free from mischief, andhave their conversation in fear, pure, [and holy386]; and thus come as near as possible to God through
their purity of life; and adorn the inner man rather than the outer, and that with virtues, and goodand blameless manners, so that they leave in themselves no remains of the left-handedness of theadversary. But if any shall act contrary to the present canon let him be cut off.



Whoever twist up their hair into artistic plaits for the destruction of the beholders are to be cut

For the intricate manner of dressing the hair used in the East, and for a description of the goldendye, see the scholion of Zonaras. Van Espen remarks that the curious care for somebody else’shair in the form of wigs, so prevalent with many laymen and ecclesiastics of his day, is the samevice condemned by the canon in another shape.387

Canon XCVII.

THOSE who have commerce with a wife or in any other manner without regard thereto make
sacred places common, and treat them with contempt and thus remain in them, we order all suchto be expelled, even from the dwellings of the catechumens which are in the venerable temples.
And if any one shall not observe these directions, if he be a cleric let him be deposed, but if alayman let him be cut off.



Whoever in a temple has commerce with his wife and remains there out of contempt, shall be

expelled even from the Catechumens. If any one shall not observe this he shall be deposed or cut




These words only in the Latin.


It is curious to note that so great was the care of the clergy for their wigs that the very shape of the vestments was changed

so as not to disturb them, and the surplices were slit all the way down the front, as they continue in some places even down to

our own days, after the original cause had long passed away.


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In the name of holy places, not the church itself but the adjoining and dependent buildings areintended such as those which are called the “Catechumena.” For no one would be audacious enough
to wish to cohabit with his wife in the very temple itself.


HE who brings to the intercourse of marriage a woman who is betrothed to another man who
is still alive, is to lie under the charge of adultery.



He is an adulterer who takes one espoused to some one else.

Aristenus’s commentary on this canon is Saf... A more extraordinary estimate of it couldhardly be made. So far from the meaning being “perspicuous,” as the Latin translation has it, themeaning seems to be past finding out; for, as Van Espen remarks, a man who sins with a betrothedwoman is certainly not an “adulterer.” He tries therefore to introduce the idea that though he is notan adulterer, yet he is to be punished as if he were. But the Greek hardly seems patient of thismeaning, and the Ancient Epitome says in so many words that he is an adulterer.

On account of this difficulty some have supposed that the espousals here mentioned were notde futuro but de proesenti, and that therefore it was the case of stealing a real wife of another man.
But this explanation also is involved in many difficulties.

Canon XCIX.

WE have further learned that, in the regions of the Armenians, certain persons boil joints of
meat within the sanctuary and offer portions to the priests, distributing it after the Jewish fashion.
Wherefore, that we may keep the church undefiled, we decree that it is not lawful for any priest toseize the separate portions of flesh meat from those who offer them, but they are to be content withwhat he that offers pleases to give them; and further we decree that such offering be made outsidethe church. And if any one does not thus, let him be cut off.




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There are some who like the Jews cook meat in the holy places. Whoever permits this, or
receives aught from them, is not fit to be priest. But if any one should of his own free choice offer
it, then he might receive as much as the offerer chose to give him, provided the offer were made
outside the church.

A similar Judaizing superstitious custom was also found in the West, of which Walafrid Strabogives an account in the IX. Century (De Rebus Ecclesiasticis, cap. xviii.).

Canon C.

“LET thine eyes behold the thing which is right,” orders Wisdom, “and keep thine heart with
all care.” For the bodily senses easily bring their own impressions into the soul. Therefore weorder that henceforth there shall in no way be made pictures, whether they are in paintings or inwhat way so ever, which attract the eye and corrupt the mind, and incite it to the enkindling of basepleasures. And if any one shall attempt to do this he is to be cut off.


Pictures which induce impurity are not to be painted. Whoso shall transgress shall be cut off.

Canon CI.

THE great and divine Apostle Paul with loud voice calls man created in the image of God, the
body and temple of Christ. Excelling, therefore, every sensible creature, he who by the savingPassion has attained to the celestial dignity, eating and drinking Christ, is fitted in all respects foreternal life, sanctifying his soul and body by the participation of divine grace. Wherefore, if anyone wishes to be a participator of the immaculate Body in the time of the Synaxis, and to offer
himself for the communion, let him draw near, arranging his hands in the form of a cross, and solet him receive the communion of grace. But such as, instead of their hands, make vessels of goldor other materials for the reception of the divine gift, and by these receive the immaculatecommunion, we by no means allow to come, as preferring inanimate and inferior matter to theimage of God. But if any one shall be found imparting the immaculate Communion to those whobring vessels of this kind, let him be cut off as well as the one who brings them.




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Whoever comes to receive the Eucharist holds his hands in the form of a cross, and takes it
with his mouth; whoever shall prepare a receptacle of gold or of any other material instead of his
hand, shall be cut off.


At first, perchance, this was invented from pious feelings, because the hand which came incontact with base and unworthy things was not worthy to receive the Lord’s body, but, as time wenton, piety was turned to the injury of the soul, so that those who did this when they came to receivewith an arrogant and insolent bearing, were preferred to the poor.


(Cateches. Mystagog. v.388)

When thou goest to receive communion go not with thy wrists extended, nor with thy fingersseparated, but placing thy left hand as a throne for thy right, which is to receive so great a King,
and in the hollow of the palm receive the body of Christ, saying, Amen.

Vide also St. John Damascene, De Fide Orthodoxa, lib. iv., cap. xiv. On the whole matter cf.
Card. Bona, De Rebus Lit., lib. ii., cap. xvij., n. 3.

Canon CII.

IT behoves those who have received from God the power to loose and bind, to consider the
quality of the sin and the readiness of the sinner for conversion, and to apply medicine suitable forthe disease, lest if he is injudicious in each of these respects he should fail in regard to the healingof the sick man. For the disease of sin is not simple, but various and multiform, and it germinatesmany mischievous offshoots, from which much evil is diffused, and it proceeds further until it ischecked by the power of the physician. Wherefore he who professes the science of spiritual medicineought first of all to consider the disposition of him who has sinned, and to see whether he tends tohealth or (on the contrary) provokes to himself disease by his own behaviour, and to look how hecan care for his manner of life during the interval. And if he does not resist the physician, and ifthe ulcer of the soul is increased by the application of the imposed medicaments, then let him meteout mercy to him according as he is worthy of it. For the whole account is between God and himto whom the pastoral rule has been delivered, to lead back the wandering sheep and to cure thatwhich is wounded by the serpent; and that he may neither cast them down into the precipices of


Oxford Translation, p. 279.


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despair, nor loosen the bridle towards dissolution or contempt of life; but in some way or other,
either by means of sternness and astringency, or by greater softness and mild medicines, to resistthis sickness and exert himself for the healing of the ulcer, now examining the fruits of his repentanceand wisely managing the man who is called to higher illumination. For we ought to know twothings, to wit, the things which belong to strictness and those which belong to custom, and to followthe traditional form in the case of those who are not fitted for the highest things, as holy Basilteaches us.


The character of a sin must be considered from all points and conversion expected. And so let
mercy be meted out.