The 85 canons of apostles
1. A Bishop must be ordained by two or three other Bishops.
(c. IV of 1st C.; c. III of 7th C.).
The word Bishop primarily and properly is applied, in the divine and holy Scriptures, to God, who supervises and oversees all things in the universe [Note of Translator. — Here, as in many other similar cases, a word of explanation needs to be added in English for the benefit of readers unfamiliar with the etymology of words; I observe, therefore, that the corresponding Greek word signifies “overseer.”], as Job bears witness, saying: “This is the portion of an impious man from the Lord, and the heritage appointed to him by the Overseer” i.e., by God (Job 20:29). And again: “Thine oversight (or supervision) hath preserved my spirit” (ibid. 10:12). It is also applied to our Lord Jesus Christ, as the premier of Apostles Peter says concerning Him: “For ye were like sheep going astray; but have now returned unto the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls” (I Pet. 2:25). But secondarily and by grace this noun is also applied to those who have been designated by God, just as God Himself says concerning Eleazar: “Overseer Eleazar, a son of Aaron the priest” (Num. 4:16). And to Ezekiel God said: “Son of man, I have made thee a watchman over the house of Israel” (Ezek. 3:17). And, in sum, the word Overseers, or Bishops, in the Old Testament refers to supervisors and watchmen of the internal and ecclesiastical administrations and affairs, just as is written concerning the aforenamed Eleazar that he had “The oversight (i.e., supervision) of all the tabernacle” (Num. 4:16), and concerning the high priest Jehoiada that he appointed overseers over the house of the Lord: “And the priest appointed overseers over the house of the Lord” (II Kings 11:18); as well as of the external and civil affairs and administrations as supervisors, just as is written: “And Moses was wroth with the overseers of the host, with the captains over a thousand, and with the captains over a hundred” (Num. 31:14).
Not one, however, of the Apostles was designated or named a bishop, or overseer, during the earthly lifetime of the Lord, who alone is the overseer of our souls; but the only authority they exercised was that of curing every disease and casting out demons (Matt. 10:1; Mk. 3:15). But after the resurrection of our Savior from the dead and His assumpsion into heaven, the Apostles, who had been sent forth by Him, as He Himself had been sent forth by the Father, into all the world, and had received all authority to bind and to loose and all the gracious gifts of the All-holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, they not only possessed the name of apostle by virtue of the facts themselves, but indeed even the name of bishop, or overseer, as sacred Epiphanius bears witness (Her. 27): “First were Peter and Paul, these two Apostles and Bishops.” Likewise did all the rest, as the Fathers affirm. For this reason it was that they ordained, or decreed, that city bishops be ordained by three bishops or two. But also those who were preaching in the country and city, as sacred Clement says, in his first epistle to the Corinthians: “They appointed their firstfruits, trying them with the Spirit, as bishops and deacons of those who were going to believe in the future.” Hence, too, Ignatius the God-bearer, in writing to the faithful in Tralles (a Greek city in Asia Minor), commands: “Respect your Bishop, too, like Christ, in accordance with what the blissful Apostles enjoined.” Thus much is all we have to say concerning the word bishop.
As for the Greek word corresponding to the English word ordain in the sense of appoint a person to an office, cheirotonia, it is etymologically derived from the Greek verb teino, meaning to stretch (forth the hands, for example); and it has two significations. For the word cheirotonia is used to name the simple action of choosing and designating one to hold a dignity of any kind, which was performed by tlie people by stretching forth their hands, according to that saying of Demosthenes: “Whomsoever you ordain a general” (in his ftrst Philippic). And especially in accordance with the custom in vogue in the Church in olden days, when the multitudes would crowd together unhindered and ordain, or, more plainly speaking, designate the chief priests, or bishops, by stretching forth their hands, as Zonaras says, though afterwards the council held in Laodicea forbade this in its fifth Canon, wherein it said: “That ordinations, or, in other words, designations, as signified by votes, must not be performed in the presence of listeners.” Today, however, the word ordination (cheirotonia) signifies the sacrament involving prayers and an invocation of the Holy Spirit in the course of which a bishop lays his hand upon the head of the ordinee, in accordance with that Apostolic saying: “Lay not hands upon anyone too quickly” And this fact is familiar to all. So this Canon prescribes that every chief priest, or prelate (whether he be a metropolitan, that is to say, or an archbishop or merely a bishop) is to be ordained by two bishops or three. Apparently the figure of speech is that which is called in English “hysteron proteron,” but in Greek prothysteron, meaning the placing of what would naturally come first in a later position, and vice versa. For it would have been simpler and more usual to say without the figure of speech: “A bishop must be ordained by three other bishops or (at least) two.” Thus the Apostolical Injunctions (which some have inaccurately translated into English as “Apostolical Constitutions”) promulgate the same Canon without any figure of speech by saying: “We command that a bishop be ordained by three (other) bishops, or at any rate by at least two.”
Various other canons are in agreement with this Canon in their legislation. For all the bishops of a province (according to c. IV of the 1st C. and c. Ill of the 7th council and c. XIX of Antioch), or many (according to c. XIII of Carthage) must meet together and ordain a bishop. But since this is difficult, the required number is reduced to three as the minimum, and the rest of them participate in the ordination by means of their letters. In confirming this Ap. c. the c. LVIII of Carthage says that this ancient form shall be kept, in order that no less than three bishops may suffice for the ordination of a bishop, including, that is to say, the metropolitan and two other bishops. The same thing is said in c. I of the local synod held in Constantinople. And c. XII of Laodicea ordains that bishops should be appointed to the eccelsiastical office only with the approval of surrounding bishops. But if, by chance, only one bishop is left in office in any one province, and though invited and asked by the Metropolitan, he refuses to go or to act by letters to ordain a candidate for the prelacy, then the Metropolitan must designate and ordain him by means of bishops drawn from a neighboring foreign (i.e. outside) province, according to c. VI of the Sardican. The Apostolical Injunctions (Bk. VIII, ch. 27), on the other hand, command that anyone ordained by a single bishop be deposed from office along with the one who ordained him, except only in case of persecution or some other impediment by reason whereof a number of bishops cannot get together and he has to be ordained by one alone, just as was Siderius ordained bishop of Palaibisca, according to Synesius, not by three, but by one bishop, Philo, because of the scarcity of bishops in those times.
(c. XIX of Antioch; c. XII of Laodicea; c. VI of the Sardican; and c. I of Constantinople).
2. A Presbyter must be ordained by a single Bishop, and so must a Deacon and other Clergymen.
This Canon prescribes that Presbyter and Deacon and all other Clergymen, Subdeacons, that is to say, Readers, and Cantors, etc. shall be ordained by a single Bishop.
3. If any Bishop or Presbyter, contrary to the Lord’s ordinance relating to sacrifice, offers anything else at the sacrificial altar, whether it be honey, or milk, or artficial liquor instead of wine, chickens, or any kind of animals, or vegetables, contrary to the ordinance, let him be deposed from office: except ears of new wheat or bunches of grapes, in due season. Let it not be permissible to bring anything else to the sacrificial altar but oil for the lamp, and incense at the time of the holy oblation.
(Ap. c. IV; cc. XXVIII, XXXII, LVII, and XCIX of the 6th C.; c. XLIV of Carthage; and c. VIII of Theophilus.).
When our Lord Jesus Christ delivered to the Apostles the mystery of the divine service, he enjoined upon them not to celebrate it with any other species but (leavened) bread and wine mixed with water, after being Himself the first to do this at the time of the Mystic Supper, as is written in the Liturgy of St. James the brother of God: “of wine having mixed (the cup, that is) with water.” On this account the divine Apostles in the present Canon ordain that any bishop or presbyter infringing the arrangement which the Lord ordained for this bloodless sacrifice, should offer on the holy table any other species, whether honey, for instance, or milk, or instead of wine any artificial liquor, or, in other words, any intoxicating beverage, such as is “raki,” a kind of liqueur manufactured from various fruits, or such as is beer, or what is called ale, made from barley, or anything similar thereto, or should offer birds or any other kind of animals, or pulse, let such person be deposed.
So that no one is permitted to offer anything else on the Holy Bema (or altar), except oil for the purpose of illumination, and incense at the time when divine liturgy is being celebrated.
The next Canon, IV, in agreement with the present one, ordains that other kinds of fruit should not be offered at the sacrificial altar, but at the bishop’s home, as firstfruits. On the other hand, c. XLIV of Carthage decrees that nothing else shall be offered at the holy mysteries, except only (leavened) bread, and wine united with water. Again, c. XXVIII of the 6th prescribes that the grapes that are brought to the Holy Bema must be blessed by the priest with a special prayer and blessing apart from that of the mysteries, in order that, in taking these from the hands of the priests, we may thank God that He provides for our sustinence through mildness of weather. Priests failing to do this, but, instead, combining these grapes with the body and blood of the Lord, are subjected to deposition. Canon XXXII of the same council reproves the Armenians as offering wine only, and not diluted with water. Canon XCIX of the same prohibits offering roast meat at the sacrificial altar. Canon LVII of the same expressly prohibits the offering of milk and honey at the sacrificial altar: notwithstanding that these things were formerly offered in accordance with said c. XLIV of Carthage for infants. Canon VIII of Theophilus ordains what is to be done with what is left over from the oblations and libations.
4. Let all other fruit be sent home to the Bishop and Presbyters as firstfruits, but not to the sacrificial altar. It is understood that the Bishop and Presbyters shall distribute a fair share to the Deacons and other Clergymen.
(Ap. c. Ill; c. XXVIII, XXXII, LVII, and LIX of the 6th; c. XLIV of Carthage; c. VIII of Theophilus).
This Canon ordains that any other fruit (except ears of wheat and grapes and oil and incense) shall not be offered at the Holy Bema, but must be sent to the home of the Bishop and of the Presbyters, as concerns first-fruits, in order that those sending them may offer due thanks to God by them, that He gave them such goods graciously. It is plain that the Bishop and Presbyters will not wish to enjoy them by themselves, but will take care to distribute a goodly share of them also to the Deacons and other Clergymen, in order that they may have a portion too. See the interpretation of Ap. c. III.
5. No Bishop, Presbyter, or Deacon shall put away his own wife under pretext of reverence. If, however, he put her away, let him be excommunicated,” and if he persist in so doing, let him be deposed from office.
(Canons XIII, XLVIII of 6th; c. IV of Gangra; cc. IV, XXXIII of Carth.).
The old Law permitted married men to divorce their wives whenever they wanted and without any reasonable occasion. The Lord, however, sternly forbade this in the Gospel. Hence it is that the Apostles, too, following the Lord’s injunction, prohibit this in the present Canon, and say that a bishop, or a presbyter, or a deacon may not put away, i.e., forcibly divorce, his wife — without her consent, that is to say — under pretext or pretense of reverence; but if he should nevertheless divorce her, that he is to be excommunicated, until such time as he can be persuaded to take her back into his home. But if he persist in his obstinacy and will not receive her, he is to be deposed from office altogether, since it is apparent from this which he does that he dishonors marriage, which, according to the Apostle, is honorable (Heb. 13:4), and that he thinks bed and intercourse to be impure, which, however, is called undefiled by the same Apostle (ibid.). I need not state that adultery will operate as cause for divorce in this case, as the Lord said: “Whosoever shall put away his wife, save for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery” (Matt. 5:32). The Apostle, too, has said: “Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be freed” (I Cor. 7:27); and “Deprive ye not one of the other, unless it be by mutual agreement for a time, in order to have leisure for fasting and prayer” (ibid. 5).
Thus also the Sixth in its c. XIII ordains that marriages of those in holy orders are to remain unalterable and divorceless; and that if they were married even before admission to holy orders, they are not to be prevented from admission by reason of marriage; nor, when ordained, are they obliged to agree that as soon as they have become priests they will divorce their wives, as was an illegal custom which had come to prevail in Rome. Even if cc. IV and XXXIII of Carthage say for bishops and presbyters and deacons and subdeacons to keep sober and to abstain from their wives according to the same definitions, but the interpreters of the Canons — Zonaras, I mean, and Balsamon, and especially the Sixth in its c. XIII, in interpreting the foregoing Canons — say for them to abstain during the times only of their curacy, and not at all times, with the exception of bishops: and see there.
6. A Bishop, or Presbyter, or Deacon must not undertake worldly cares. If he does, let him be deposed from office.
(Ap. c. LXXXI; c. LXXXIII of the 4th; cc. III, VII of 7th; c. X of the and c. XVIII of Carthage.).
Those in holy orders are not allowed to get themselves involved in worldly matters, but are required to devote their time to the divine service of their profession, and to keep their mind free from all confusion and disturbance of life. Hence it is that the present Canon decrees that a bishop, or a presbyter, or a deacon must not undertake or take upon himself cares of life. If, though, he do so and refuses to forgo them, but on the contrary persists in them, let him be deposed. The Nomicon of Photius, in Title VIII, says that bishops must not undertake cares and become trustees, even of their own relatives, according to cc. XIII, XIV, XV of Title I of Bk. III of the Basiliar, except only in case that trusteeship is for the purpose of distributing alms or charitable gifts in behalf of their deceased relative, according to Novel 68 of Leo the Wise. Read also the above concordant Canons, prohibiting clergymen from worldly cares.
7. If any Bishop, or Presbyter, or Deacon celebrate the holy day of Easter before the vernal equinox with the Jews, let him be deposed.
(Ap. cc. LXI, LXX, LXXI; c. XI of the 6th; c. I of Antioch; cc. XXXVII, XXXVIII of Laodicea; and cc. LX, LXXXI, CXVII of Carthage.).
The sun passes through two equinoxes during the year, one in the springtime and the other in the season of autumn. They are called equinoxes because the day is then equal to the night, and, conversely, the night is equal to the day. The autumnal equinox occurs during September when the sun is entering the first division of the zodiac, called Libra (i.e., the Balance), not of the starry and sensible one, but of the starless and supersensible one. The vernal, or spring, equinox, on the other hand, occurs in the month of March, when the sun is entering the first sign of the zodiac, called Aries (i.e., the Ram), not of the sensible and starry one, wliich is really variable, but of the supersensible and starless one, which is really invariable, according to astronomers. Well, this vernal equinox, because of an irregularity of the sun’s course in its motion from west to east, does not occur always on one and the same day, but in the time of the holy Apostles it was on the 22nd day of the month of Drystrus, or March, according to the Injunction of the same Apostles (Book V, chap. 17), or, according to others, on the 23rd; whereas, at the time of the First Ecumenical Council it was on the 21st day of March, according to Sebastus and others. And now in our times it occurs on the llth, or even the 10th nearly, of March (for, according to the older astronomers, Ptolemy and others, the equinox descends a full day of 24 hours in the course of a little over three hundred years; but according to modern astronomers it descends the space of a day and night in 134 years, as appears on page 540 of the Tome of love).
These facts having already become known, the present Apostolical Canon ordains that any bishop or presbyter or deacon that celebrates holy Easter before the equinox of spring, with the legal Passover of the Jews, is to be deposed from office (for even among the Jews the wisest and most learned ones observed the celebration of Passover at the time of the equinox, according to Blastaris, just as Moses had enjoined it, but the less refined ones celebrated it before the equinox in accordance with the present Canon, and consequently they celebrated Passover twice in the same year, as is made plainly evident in the letter Emperor Constantine concerning Easter, which is to be found in Book I of the history written by Theodoret, chap. 10, or 9 according to others). But when is this performed? After the equinox, that is to say, and after the legal Passover. After the equinox, of course, because the equinox, because of its being a measure dividing the whole year into two halves, in case we celebrate Easter before the equinox, will make us observe Easter twice in the same year; and, in that event, we should consequently be marking the death of the Son of God twice. But if we celebrate it after the equinox, we observe but one Easter, and consequently denounce but one death of Christ. That is why the Apostles themselves, in their Injunctions (Bk. V, ch. 17), say the following: “Brethren, you must fix the days of Easter accurately, with all diligence, after the turn of the equinox, and not commemorate one suffering twice a year, but once a year Him who died but once.”
Again, after the Passover of the Jews, for one thing, in order to have the type, or, more plainly speaking, the slaughter of the lamb, precede, and have what is typified, or, more plainly speaking, the death and resurrection of the Lord, afterwards follow. And, for another thing, in order not to celebrate it on any other day of the week, as the Jews celebrate Passover on any day that happens to be the fourteenth of the moon, but always on a Sunday, and the Apostles also say in the same place. On this account, moreover, whenever it so happens that the legal Passover falls on a Sunday, we do not celebrate Easter on that day, but on Sunday next thereafter, to avoid celebrating along with the Jews. For, even according to the very truth of the matter, it was then that the Jews first celebrated their Passover, and the resurrection of the Lord occurred afterwards, the Easter which we now celebrate every year serving as a figure to remind us of it.
Not only does Ap. c. LXX ordain that we must not celebrate with the Jews, but so does also cc. XXXVII and XXXVIII of Laodicea. But neither must we even pray together with them, according to Ap. c. LXV, nor take oil to their synagogues, Recording to Ap. c. LXXI. Canon I of Antioch, in fact, deposes those in holy orders who fail to keep the definition of the First Council concerning! Easter, but celebrate it with the Jews. Canons LX, LXXXI, and CXVII of Carthage ordain with reference to the date of Easter when it is to be found and where it is to be written, and to be announced to others. Canon XI of the Sixtft even goes so far as to prohibit a Christian from calling the Jews for medical treatment or bathing with them.
7. If any Bishop, or Presbyter, or Deacon, or anyone else in the sacerdotal list, fail to partake of communion when the oblation has been offered, he must tell the reason, and if it is good excuse, he shall receive a pardon. But if he refuses to tell it, he shall be excommunicated, on the ground that he has become a cause of harm to the laity and has instilled a suspicion as against the offerer of it that the latter has failed to present it in a sound manner.
It is the intention of the present Canon that all, and especially those in holy orders, should be prepared beforehand and worthy to partake of the divine mysteries when the oblation is offered, or what amounts to the sacred service of the body of Christ. In case any one of them fail to partake when present at the divine liturgy, or communion, he is required to tell the reason or cause why he did not partake: then if it is a just and righteous and reasonable one, he is to receive a pardon, or be excused; but if he refuses to tell it, he is to be excommunicated, since he also becomes a cause of harm to the laity by leading the multitude to suspect that that priest who officiated at liturgy was not worthy and that it was on this account that the person in question refused to communicate from him.
9. All those faithful who enter and listen to the Scriptures, but do not stay for prayer and Holy Communion must be excommunicated, on the ground that they are causing the Church a breach of order.
(Canon LXVI of the 6th; c. II of Antioch; cc. Ill, XIII of Tim.).
Both exegetes of the sacred Canons — Zonaras, I mean, and Balsamon — in interpreting the present Apostolical Canon agree in saying that all Christians who enter the church when the divine liturgy is being celebrated, and who listen to the divine Scriptures, but do not remain to the end nor partake, must be excommunicated, as causing a disorder to the church. Thus Zonaras says verbatim: “The present Canon demands that all those who are in the church when the holy sacrifice is being performed shall patiently remain to the end for prayer and holy communion.” For even the laity then were required to partake continually. Balsamon says: “The ordainment of the present Canon is very acrid; for it excommunicates those attending church but not staying to the end nor partaking.”
Agreeably with the present Canon c. II of Antioch ordains that all those who enter the church during the time of divine liturgy and listen to the Scriptures, but turn away and avoid (which is the same as to say, on account of pretended reverence and humility they shun, according to interpretation of the best interpreter, Zonaras) divine communion in a disorderly manner are to be excommunicated. The continuity of communion is confirmed also by c. LXVI of the 6th, which commands Christians throughout Novational Week (i.e., Easter Week) to take time off for psalms and hymns, and to indulge in the divine mysteries to their hearts’ content. But indeed even from the third canon of St. Timothy the continuity of communion can be inferred. For if he permits one possessed by demons to partake, not however every day, but only on Sunday (though in other copies it is written, on occasions only), it is likely that those riot possessed by demons are permitted to communicate even more frequently. Some contend that for this reason it was that the same Timothy, in c. Ill, ordains that on Saturday and Sunday that a man and his wife should not have mutual intercourse, in order, that is, that they might partake, since in that period it was only on those days, as we have said, that the divine liturgy was celebrated. This opinion of theirs is confirmed by divine Justin, who says in his second apology that “on the day of the sun” — meaning, Sunday — all Christians used to assemble in the churches (which on this account were also called “Kyriaka,” i.e., places of the Lord) and partook of the divine mysteries. That, on the other hand, all Christians ought to frequent divine communion is confirmed from the West by divine Ambrose, who says thus: “We see many brethren coming to church negligently, and indeed on Sundays not even being present at the mysteries.” And again, in blaming those who fail to partake continually, the same saint says of the mystic bread: “God gave us this bread as a daily affair, and we make it a yearly affair.” From Asia, on the other hand, divine Chrysostom demands this of Christians, and, indeed, par excellence. And see in his preamble to his commentary of the Epistle to the Romans, discourse VIII, and to the Hebrews, discourse XVIII, on the Acts, and Sermon V on the First Epistle to Timothy, and Sermon XVII on the Epistle to the Hebrews, and his discourse on those at first fasting on Easter, Sermon III to the Ephesians, discourse addressed to those who leave the divine assemblies (synaxeis), Sermon XXVIII on the First Epistle to the Corinthians, a discourse addressed to blissful Philogonius, and a discourse about fasting. Therein you can see how that goodly tongue strives and how many exhortations it rhetorically urges in order to induce Christians to partake at the same time, and worthily, and continually. But see also Basil the Great, in his epistle to Caesaria Patricia and in his first discourse about baptism. But then how can it be thought that whoever pays any attention to the prayers of all the divine liturgy can fail to see plainly enough that all of these are aimed at having it arranged that Christians assembled at the divine liturgy should partake — as many, that is to say, as are worthy?
10. If anyone pray in company with one who has been excommunicated, he shall be excommunicated himself.
The noun akoinonetos has three significations: for, either it denotes one standing in church and praying in company with the rest of the Christians, but not communing with the divine mysteries; or it denotes one who neither communes nor stands and prays with the faithful in the church, but who has been excommunicated from them and is excluded from church and prayer; or finally it may denote any clergyman who becomes excommunicated from the clergy, as, say, a bishop from his fellow bishops, or a presbyter from his fellow presbyters, or a deacon from his fellow deacons, and so on. Accordingly, every akoinonetos is the same as saying excommunicated from the faithful who are in the church; and he is at the same time also excommunicated from the Mysteries. But not everyone that is excommunicated from the Mysteries is also excommunicated from the congregation of the faithful, as are deposed clergymen; and from the penitents those who stand together and who neither commune nor stay out of the church like catechumens, as we have said. In the present Canon the word akoinonetos is taken in the second sense of the word. That is why it says that whoever prays in company with one who has been excommunicated because of sin from the congregation and prayer of the faithful, even though he should not pray along with them in church, but in a house, whether he be in holy orders or a layman, he is to be excommunicated in the same way as he was from church and prayer with Christians: because that common engagement in prayer which he performs in conjunction with a person that has been excommunicated, wittingly and knowingly him to be such, is aimed at dishonoring and condemning the excommunicator, and traduces him as having excommunicated him wrongly and unjustly.
11. If anyone who is a clergyman pray in company with a deposed clergyman, he shall be deposed too.
The present Canon can be interpreted in two different ways. If the phrase “pray in company with” be taken for “officiate in conjunction with,” the meaning of the whole Canon will be as follows. Let any clergyman be deposed who knowingly officiates in conjunction with a deposed clergyman, just as the latter was (which is more correct too). But if the phrase “pray in common with” denotes what it properly signifies, i.e., to pray along with someone else, the meaning of the Canon is as follows. Let any clergyman who knowingly prays along with another clergyman who not only has been deposed but has even dared to engage in the performance of functions peculiar to the clergy, or has even been deposed on account of sins from his clerical office, but after the deposition has fallen into the same sins, let him be deposed too, just as was the other man.
12. If any clergyman, or layman, who has been excommunicated, or who has not been admitted to penance, shall go away and be received in another city, without commendatory letters, both the receiver and the one received shall be excommunicated.
(Ap. c. XXXII, XXXIII; cc. XI, XIII of the 4th; c. XVII of the 6th; cc. VII, VIII, XI of Antioch; cc. VII, VIII, IX of the Sardican.).
One excommunicated is not the same as one who has not been admitted. For the one who has been excommunicated is excluded from the church and the prayer of the faithful. The one who, on the other hand, has not been admitted cannot, for many reasons, be admitted by the prelate. So the present Canon, though having in mind both of the two, mentions here only the one who has not been admitted. Wherefore it may be said that the phrase “or who” is not explanatory of the one excommunicated, but is a disjunctive particle combined with “who” and used to distinguish the one excommunicated from the one who has not been admitted. Hence it may be said that it prescribes the following rule. In case a clergyman or layman fail to be admitted by his prelate (or bishop) — the layman perhaps because he has been accused by him of some fault; the clergyman because he is seeking to be ordained, and, after examining his qualifications, has found some flaws on account of which he has not accepted him for ordination — and afterwards goes to another province, and he should be admitted by the bishop there, without his having letters from his own bishop, commendatory of his faith, and of his life, and of his ordination, and especially of his reputation which has been impeached, let both the prelate who admitted him thus and he who has been in this manner by him be excommunicated — the former because he accepted him without letters; the latter either because he failed to get a letter commendatory of his reputation, or because by lying he succeeded in deceiving the bishop into admitting him.
13. If he has been excommunicated, let his excommunication be augmented, on the ground that he has lied and that he has deceived the Church of God.
(Ap. c. XII; and c. CXVI of Carthage.)
The present Canon is related to c. XII both as respects meaning and as respects syntax and phraseology. For c. XII, as we have explained, spoke of an unadmitted clergyman and layman, while this Canon speaks of an excommunicated clergyman and layman, by saying: If any clergyman or layman has been excommunicated by his bishop, and is going to another region, and he conceals and fails to acknowledge the fact that he has been excommunicated, and as a result of such concealment should be admitted by the bishop of that region, who did not know about the excommunication, in such cases the excommunication is to be augmented further because of the fact that he told a lie and deceived the bishop of that region.
14. A Bishop shall not abandon his own parish and go outside of it to interlope to another one, even though urged by a number of persons to go there, unless there be a good reason for doing so, on the ground that he can be of greater help to the inhabitants there, by reason of his piety. And even then he must not do so of his own accord, but in obedience to the judgment of many Bishops and at their urgent request.
(Cf. c. XV of the 1st; c. V of the 4th; cc. XVI, XXI of Antioch; cc. I, II of the Sardican; and c. LVII of Carthage.)
Interloping and intrusion from one province to another is a different matter from transfer and emigration. Thus, interloping is when a bishop actuated by greed and his own preferences leaves his own province (or, not having a province of his own, is without a cure) and grabs another illogically. Such interloping is condemned and is penalized with canonical penances, according to cc. I and II of the Sardican. Transfer, on the other hand is when as a result of great need and for the sake of bolstering up piety at the request of many bishops, a prelate goes from one province to another for greater spiritual benefit to the inhabitants of the latter (and even then perhaps only for a season, and not for the rest of his life). This change is one permitted in certain cases of accomodation. Hence it may be said that the present Canon too ordains that it is not allowable for a bishop to leave his own province greedily and of his own accord, without any reasonable cause, and to interlope into another, even though he be urged to do so by others. It is only when there is a good excuse and a just reason forcing him to take such a step that he may go to another province, be it larger or smaller or vacant; in other words, when he cause the Christians of that province greater profit to the soul, and spiritual benefit, with the pious words of his teaching, than some other bishop. Yet he must not even do this of his own accord, that is to say, on his own initiative, but may do it only in conformity with the judgment and vote of many bishops and at their most urgent request and demand.
15. If any Presbyter, or Deacon, or anyone at all in the Sacerdotal List, abandoning his own province, departs to another, and after deserting it entirely, sojourns in another, contrary to the opinion of his own Bishop, we bid him to officiate no longer; especially if his Bishop summons him to return, and he has not obeyed and persists in his disorderliness, he may, however, commune there as a layman.
(Cf. cc. XV, XVI of the 1st; cc. V, X, XX, XXIII of the 4th; cc. XVII, XVIII of the 6th; cc. X, XV of the 7th; c. Ill of Antioch; cc. XV, XVI, XVII of the Sardican; and cc. LXIII, XCVIII of Carthage.).
Canon VI of the Fourth Council commands that a presbyter, or a deacon, or any other clergyman is not to be ordained simply and indefinitely in every church, but is to be appointed to the church of some town, or village, or monastery. So, in the case of any person being so ordained, the present Apostolical Canon ordains that he is not to leave the appointed church and go to another in a strange province, without the consent and a dimissory letter of his own bishop. But if he should so do, it commands that he abstain from officiating there in the church in any priestly or clerical function; and especially if he should have happened to have been summoned or invited by his bishop to return and remains in his disorderliness and obstinacy, and has failed to obey by returning, in such a case let him have the right, however, to pray along with the Christians of that church and let him partake of communion with them. Read also the Canons referred to in the margin.
16. If, on the other hand, the Bishop with whom they are associating, admits them as clergymen in defiance of the deprivation prescribed against them, he shall be excommunicated as a teacher of disorder.
(Cf. cc. VII, XVIII of the 6th; c. III of Antioch; and cc. LXIII, LXIV of Carthage.).
Only the bishop of Carthage has a right to take clergymen from wherever he chooses, in accordance with an accepted and ancient custom (though in any case from bishops subject to him), and to allocate them to the churches of his own province, in accordance with c. LXIV of the same council. But as for other bishops, they are never given such a right. On this account the present Apostolical Canon, being dependent on the above Canon, both as respecting the phraseology and as respecting the meaning, says: “But if the bishop in whose province these foreign clergymen are dwelling, notwithstanding that he is aware that they have been suspended from office in accordance with the Canons by their own bishop, should admit them as clergymen performing their duties as such — any duties, that is to say, of the clergy — let such bishop be excommunicated, for the reason that he is becoming a teacher of disorderliness and of scandals.
17. Whoever has entered into two marriages after baptism, or has possessed himself of a concubine, cannot be a Bishop, or a Presbyter, or a Deacon, or anything else in the Sacerdotal List.
(Cf. c. Ill of the 6th; and c. XII of Basil’s.).
No matter how many sins a man has committed before baptism they cannot prevent him from taking holy orders and joining the clergy, since, and we so believe, Holy Baptism washes them all away. Not so, however, in the matter of sins committed after baptism. On this account the present Canon ordains that whoever after Holy Baptism marries twice (one marries twice not only by taking a second wife, but also by becoming formally betrothed to another woman by virtue of a religious rite, or even if he weds a woman plighted to another man, or keeps a woman as a concubine, he cannot become a bishop, or a presbyter, or a deacon, or be in anyway placed among the number or in any rank of the Sacerdotal List.
18. No one who has taken a widow, or a divorced woman, or a harlot, or a house maid, or any actress as his wife, may be a Bishop, or a Presbyter, or a Deacon, or hold any other position at all in the Sacerdotal List.
(Cf. cc. II, XXVI of the 6th; and c. XXVII of Basil).
If the Jews who were priests were forbidden to take as wives any prostitute or woman chased out of house by her husband, or one having a disreputable name of any kind — for it says, “They shall not take a wife that is a whore or profane; neither shall they take a woman cast out by her husband: for he is holy unto his Lord God… And he shall take a wife in her virginity” (Lev. 21:7, 13), how much more is not this forbidden to the priests of the Gospel? For, it says, “Behold, in this place is one who is greater than the temple” (Matt. 12:6). On this account the present Canon ordains that anyone who takes as his wife a widow or a woman who has been chased out of house by her husband, or a whore, or a slave girl, or one of those women who play on the stage or have a role in comedies or play the part of various persons, cannot in any way at all be counted among those on the Sacerdotal List: because all these women have been maligned and given a bad name. Those men who are in holy orders must be irreproachable from all angles, and blameless, as blissful St. Paul says (I Tim. 3:2). Canon III of the Sixth says that presbyters, deacons, and subdeacons who have taken a widow, or who after ordination have fallen into an illegal marriage, if they divorce their wives, may be allowed to remain suspended from priestly orders for a short while and be subjected to penances. Afterwards they may resume their proper rank in holy orders, but may not advance to any higher rank, notwithstanding that the Sixth accomodatively provided a compromise for such clergymen at that time: thenceforth, however, it prescribed that the present Apostolical was again to be in full force and effect.
19. Whoever marries two sisters, or a niece, may not be a clergyman.
(Cf. cc. Ill, XXVI of the 6th; c. II of Neocaesarea; cc. XXIII, XLVII of Basil : and c. V of Theophilus).
Among marriages some are called illicit, which are those contracted with relatives or heretics, and others are called illegal, such as those of one who takes as his wife a woman of whom his father had acted as guardian since she was an infant, and other damnable marriages, such as those in which one takes as his wife a woman who had been consecrated to God, or a nun. In a common appellation all these marriages may be called unlawful (as the Sixth in its c. Ill terms unlawful all marriages commonly that are embraced in Ap. cc. XVII and XVIII); but the present Canon deals only with illicit marriages, by prescribing: Whosoever takes to wife two sisters, or takes an older niece of his as his wife, cannot become a clergyman. Because any illicit marriage, whether by reason of blood or of marriage ties, not only prevents one from becoming a clergyman, but also subjects him to penances. For St. Basil the Great in mentioning those taking two sisters in his cc. LXXVIII and LXXXVII, rules that they shall abstain from the mysteries for seven years, according to his LXVIII, while c. II of Neocaesarea ordains that any woman shall be expelled from Metalepsis, or participation in the Lord’s Supper, for life who has married two brothers. Canon XXVII of Basil the Great prescribes that any presbyter who shall unwittingly fall into an unlawful marriage, i.e., one involving a relative, shall be allowed to share only the honor of his seat, but shall abstain from all other activities connected with the priesthood, and shall not bless anyone either secretly or openly, nor shall he in any case administer communion to anyone. This same canon of St. Basil was repeated verbatim by the Sixth Ecumenical Council in its c. XXVI, adding thereto that the unlawful marriage is to be dissolved first, and thus shall he have a right to enjoy the honor of his seat. Canon V of Theophilus says that anyone who takes his niece before his baptism and is ordained a deacon after his baptism, is not to be deposed if she has died or he has left her before cohabiting with her carnally. The civil law, contained in Bk. 6, Title XXXVII, commands that all unlawful marriages be dissolved and punished. As for those who are cohabiting with two sisters, or with their niece (as this Apostolical Canon enjoins), it commands that their nose be cut off, and they themselves shall be soundly cudgeled, as well as the women who ruined themselves along with them. If, on the other hand, such persons refuse to be separated, they must be parted with the might of the law against their will.
20. Any Clergyman that gives surety shall be deposed from office.
(Cf. c. XXX of the 4th.).
The phrase “give surety” has two significations. For, either one gives himself as surety for another, or he gives another surety for himself. The present Canon, being taken as referring to the first signification, that of giving surety for another, says: If any clergyman should give himself as surety for another man, let him be deposed from office. For, in such a case the surety for the most part is engaged in human affairs, i.e., in such matters as those of custom houses, banks, commercial businesses, and, in brief, transactions of trade, from all which survivant and worldly affairs clergymen must be free; and moreover such cases of surety result in many other temptations too, into which they ought not to fling themselves voluntarily. For, says the proverb-writer, “if thou stand surety for a friend of thine, thou shall deliver thy hand to an enemy. Therefore give thou not thyself as surety out of shame. For if thou hast not wherewithal to pay, they will take the mattress from under thy ribs” (Prov. 26:6, 10, and 22). For survivant things, profits, and affairs, clergymen, as we have said, ought not to give themselves as surety. For, though we are commanded to risk our life for the love of a brother of ours, yet this is not meant with reference to human duties, according to Basil the Great (see abstract of his 162). For the advantage of our brethren, with respect to the purpose of pleasing God, not only must clergymen give themselves as sureties, but even their lives. For instance: if a clergyman meets a man who is being unjustly dragged along to be thrown into prison, because the man has no one to offer as surety to the judge, and the clergyman should have mercy on his calamitous plight and should give himself as surety for his brother, such a clergyman, I say, not only is not deposed but is even praised by God and men, as having fulfilled an Evangelical and divine commandment: for it says: “Rescue a man being treated unjustly, and those who are being dragged to death; and be not too stingy to buy off those who are condemned to death” (Prov. 24:11). Thus much for the first signification, that of not giving oneself as surety for another, as explained.
The Fourth Ecumenical Council, taking the words “give surety” in the second sense, required the bishops of Egypt to give others as sureties on their part, in its c. XXX, that they would not depart from Constantinople until the archbishop of Alexandria had been ordained: and in this manner the Canons are found to be consonant with each other, the Apostolical Canon, that is, and that of the Fourth Council, and they are seen not to conflict with each other, since the Apostolical Canon took the phrase “give surety” in a different sense than that in which it was taken by the Canon of the Fourth Council.
21. A Eunuch, whether he became such by influence of men, or was deprived of his virile parts under persecution, or was born thus, may, if he is worthy, become a Bishop.
(Ap. cc. XXIII, XXIV; c. I of the 1st; and c. VIII of the lst-and-2nd.).
Eunuchs as a genus are divided into three species, namely: spadones, geldings, and castrates. Spadones are those who were born without testicles and virile members from the womb of their mother, concerning whom the Lord said: “There are some eunuchs who were born thus from their mother’s womb” (Matt. 19:12); an example was Dorotheus, a presbyter in the church of Antioch, as Eusebius bears witness in his Ecclesiastical History, Bk. 7, ch. 32). Geldings are those whose virile members were so compressed and squeezed by their parents when they were infants that they rendered useless for the purpose of begetting children by being so squeezed. Castrates are those who have deprived themselves of their genitals either with a knife or by some other means or contrivance of a mechanical kind. These facts being known beforehand, the present Canon says:1. In case anyone has become a eunuch as a result of wickedness and injury inflicted by other men, or in times of persecution they his genitals have been cut off, or he was born without any from his mother’s womb, but he is worthy of holy orders, let him be made a bishop, 2. since he himself was not the cause of such mutilation, but, on the contrary, he suffered the injury either as a result of nature or at the hands of wicked men, and ought on this account to be treated mercifully, and not be hated and castigated. Concerning eunuchism Ap. cc. XXII, XXIII, and XXIV also have something to say. In addition, c. I of the First Ecumenical Council says that any clergyman who is eunuchized by physicians on account of an illness or by barbarians shall be permitted to remain in the clergy; or, if he be a layman, he may be made a clergyman. But as for anyone in good health who has eunuchized himself, if he be a clergyman, let him cease performing the functions of priesthood; or, if he be a layman, let him not be made a clergyman. Again, c. VIII of the First-and-Second, citing this same canon of the First, says: Any clergyman who eunuchizes another, or himself with his own hand or another’s, let him be deposed from office; as for any layman who does this, let him be excommunicated. But if priests or laymen eunuchize those who are afflicted with a disease of a venereal nature, they are not to be blamed.
34. Let no one who has mutilated himself become a clergyman; for he is a murderer of himself, and an enemy of God’s creation.
(Ap. cc. XXI, XXIII, XXIV; c. I of 1st; c. VIII of lst-&-2nd.).
The preceding Canon prescribes mandatorily regarding those who have been eunuchized, whereas the present Canon prescribes optionally about men who have been eunuchized, by saying: Whoever willfully eunuchizes himself when in sound condition, whether he do so with his own hands or has someone else eunuchize him, let him not be made a clergyman, since he himself is a murderer of himself by himself, and is an enemy of God’s creation. For God created him a man complete with genitals, but, by removing these, he converts himself into an odd and outlandish nature; since he is neither a man, because he cannot perform the chief functions of a man and beget a human being like himself, nor, again, is he a woman, because he is incapable of undergoing the duties of women, or, more explicitly speaking, he cannot be made pregnant and give birth to children like women, but after a certain fashion he is a third kind of monster, and is, so to speak, a being intermediate between the male and the female species of mankind: see also the Interpretation of Ap. c. XXI.
23. If anyone who is a clergyman should mutilate himself, let him be deposed from office. For he is a self-murderer.
(Ap. cc. XXI, XXII, XXIV; c. I of the 1st; c. VIII of the lst-&-2nd.).
This Canon too, like the one above, deals with cases of eunuchism. But the former prescribes that he shall not be made a clergyman who, while a layman, should eunuchize himself; whereas this Canon says that if anyone who was previously a clergyman should eunuchize himself when in sound health, or have someone else eunuchize him, he is to be deposed from office; since he is a murderer of himself. But besides the divine Canons even the political laws too castigate those who eunuchize or castrate either themselves or others with various punishments, ranging all the way from confiscation of their property, exile, or retaliation, i.e., by compelling them to be eunuchized themselves by some other person. If, again, it should happen that a slave, whether well or ill, should eunuchize himself or be eunuchized by another, the laws command that he be set free. (Photius, ch. 14 of Title I). Read also the Interpretation of Ap. c. XXI.
14. Any layman who has mutilated himself shall be excommunicated for three years. For he is a plotter against his own life.
(Ap. cc. XXI, XXII, XXIII; c. I of the 1st; and c. VIII of the lst-2nd.).
If, on the other hand, it be a layman that should mutilate and castrate himself when in good health, or have someone else eunuchize him, the present Canon commands that he be excommunicated from the Mysteries and from the congregation of Christians in the church for a period of three years; since with the eunuchization he becomes a danger to his own life.
25. Any Bishop, or presbyter, or Deacon that is taken in the act of committing fornication, or perjury, or theft, shall be deposed from office, but shall not be excommunicated. For Scripture says: “Thou shall not exact revenge twice for the same offense.” The same rule applies also to the rest of clergymen.
(c. IX of the 1st; cc. IV, XXI of the 6th; c. I of Neocaesarea; c. XXXV of Carthage; cc. Ill, XVII, XXXII, XLIV, LI, and LXX of Basil.).
All men who are in holy orders or who are clergymen must be pure and unimpeachable. For this reason the present Canon decrees thus: Any bishop, or presbyter, or deacon that gets caught, i.e., or is proved to have engaged, in the act of fornication, or violence of an oath, or capital theft, by which phrase is meant, according to c. XXVIII of the Faster, one entailing capital punishment. Capital punishment, however, is not decapitation, or death otherwise speaking, according to the interpretation given by Balsamon in commenting on ch. 25 of Title IX of the Nomocanon of Photius, but exile, abacination (or excecation), cutting off one hand, and other similar punishments, for any offense. As for such offender, the Canon says to let him be deposed from holy orders, but not be excommunicated also from the church and prayer of Christians. For divine Scripture says: Thou shalt not punish twice one and the same sinful act. And, like those in holy orders, all other clergymen too that may be caught in the aforementioned sinful acts shall also be deposed from their clerical offices and rights, but shall not be excommunicated. Two things deserving attention are embraced in the present Canon: one is that these men in holy orders and those who are clergymen, notwithstanding that they are not excommunicated from communion, or, more expressly speaking, from the congregation and prayer of the Christians in the church, like catechumens, according to cc. Ill, XXXII, and LI of St. Basil the Great, yet they cannot partake also of the Intemerate Mysteries (or Holy Sacraments) according to the same Canon, on the ground that they are unworthy and are under a canon until such time as the prelate or their spiritualfather (i.e., confessor) sees fit to permit them to do so. And another thing is that those who have been caught, not in all the sinful acts named, but only in these particular ones that are mentioned in the present Canon, including both those in holy orders and those in the clergy (unless they be caught in other acts like these, as, for instance, in adultery or in high treason), are merely deposed from office and are not excommunicated. For there are other sins in which all those who are caught in the act of committing them, whether in holy orders or simple clergymen, are deposed from office and also excommunicated.
Such are those who have been ordained in exchange for money or with the exercise of the authority of political rulers, according to cc. XXIX and XXX of the Apostles. Note further that those in holy orders as well as clergymen who were deposed from office because of the above sinful acts, but were not excommunicated, if they relapsed into the same, or into other sins, after their deposition from office, then and in that event they were excommunicated from the Church entirely, like catechumens. That is why c. I of Neocaesarea, too, decrees that if a presbyter commits fornication or adultery, he is excommunicated from the Church, like penitent laymen. This canon of Neocaesarea, I may say, is entirely consistent and thoroughly compatible with the present Apostolical Canon if it be understood and considered that it refers to a presbyter that has committed fornication or adultery twice or thrice over.
But c. VIII too of the same Neocaesarean Council says that a priest who is cohabiting with his wife after she has committed adultery must be deposed from office. Again, c. XXI of the 6th says: Clergymen who have been entirely deposed from office on account of canonical crimes, if they voluntarily repent, let them cut their hair after the style of clergymen; but if they are unwilling to give up the sin voluntarily, let them grow hair, like laymen. Canon XVII of Basil says that as for those presbyters who have taken an oath not to perform the functions connected with holy orders (as a result of some necessity or danger) must not officiate openly (lest they scandalize those who happen to know that they took such an oath), though they may do so secretly; yet they must repent of the oath they have taken. Canon LXX of the same Father decrees that in case a deacon, or a presbyter, should sin with a woman only to the extent of kissing her, he shall leave the holy orders for a time, according to Zonaras, but he shall have the right to partake of the mysteries together with his fellow presbyters and fellow deacons. But if it should come to light that he sinned further than the kiss, he shall be deposed from office. Canon IV of the 6th deposes any bishop, or presbyter, or deacon, or other clergyman that has sexual intercourse with a woman consecrated to God, i.e., a nun. John the Faster says that if anyone fell into masturbation (which some saints call self-fornication) before being admitted to holy orders, he is to be penanced and afterwards to be admitted to holy orders. But if he fell after admission to holy orders, he is to remain suspended for one year, and is to be canonized (i.e., disciplined) with other penances, and thereafter be allowed to officiate. If, however, even after becoming fully conscious of the sinfulness of the act, he again falls into this mishap two or three times he is to be deposed, and put in the class of an anagnost (or church reader).
24. As to bachelors who have entered the clergy, we allow only anagnosts and psalts to marry, if they wish to do so.
(c. XIV of the 4th; c. VI of the 6th; cc. XIX, XXXIII of Carth.; c. LXIX of Basil.).
Before being ordained, presbyters, deacons, and subdeacons have a right to take a wife and to be ordained after marriage. But if after ordination they should wish to marry, they are deposed from their order in accordance with c. VI of the 6th. Anagnosts, on the other hand, and psalts (i.e., chanter or psalmists) and the lower clerics have a right to marry without prejudice even after becoming clerics and to be advanced to higher orders. Hence it is that the present Canon commands that such clerics be allowed to marry even after taking orders, though only with an Orthodox woman, and not with a heterodox woman, in accordance with c. XIV of the 4th Ecumenical Council. Nevertheless, c. IX of. Carthage ordains that when anagnosts reach the age of puberty, or the fourteenth year of their life, they are to be compelled either to marry or to take a vow of continence, or, more plainly speaking, to remain virgins. But after marrying, they are not to be compelled to be more continent than is required, according to c. XXXIII of the same. Canon LXIX of Basil the Great says that if an anagnost should fall with his fiancee before being wedded, he is to be suspended for a year, after which he is to be accepted, but must not be promoted to any higher rank. If, on the other hand, he marry clandestinely without a betrothal, he is to be discharged from the service. Canon VI of the 6th promulgates the present Canon verbatim.
27. As for a Bishop, or Presbyter, or Deacon that strikes believers for sinning, or unbelievers for wrong-doing, with the idea of making them afraid, we command that he be deposed from office. For the Lord has nowhere taught that: on the contrary, He Himself when struck did not strike back; when reviled, He did not revile His revilers; when suffering, He did not threaten.
(c. IX of the lst-&-2nd; c. V of Antioch; cc. LVII, LXII, LXXVI, C, CVI, CVII; and I Pet. 2:23.).
In teaching His disciples His divine commandments the Lord used to say: “And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch.” (Mark 13:37). One of His commandments is to turn our left cheek to anyone that strikes our right cheek (Matt. 5:39). If, therefore, this commandment ought to be kept by all Christians, it ought much more to be obeyed by those in holy orders, and especially by bishops, regarding whom divine Paul wrote to Timothy that a bishop ought not to be a striker (I Tim. 3:3). That is why the present Canon says too: If any bishop, or presbyter, or deacon strikes those Christians who offend him, or unbelievers that do wrong to others, with a view to making others afraid of him with such blows, we command that he be deposed from office. For in no part of the Gospel has the Lord taught to do such a thing as that: in fact, He has taught us quite the contrary with His example; since when beaten by the soldiers and Jews, at the time of His passion, He did not lift a hand to beat them in return. When accused and insulted, He did not insult others, nor did He accuse them. Even when suffering on the cross, He did not threaten to chastise them, but begged His Father to pardon them. “Those in holy orders ought to imitate the Lord by rebuking sinners and wrongdoers, in order that others may be afraid” (I Tim. 5:20), as St. Paul says, and “by sobering them, at times with teaching and admonition, and at times with ecclesiastical penances, but not taking revenge with wrath and anger, for villainy say, or for any offense such persons may have given them, or by beating them and thrashing them.” In mentioning this same Canon, c. IX of the lst-&-2nd also says that not only are those in holy orders to be deposed who strike others with their own hands, but also those who get others to deliver the blows.
28. If any Bishop, or Presbyter, or Deacon, who has been justly deposed from office for proven crimes, should dare to touch the liturgy which had once been put in his hands, let him be cut off from the Church altogether.
(cc. IV, XII, XV of Antioch; c.XIV of Sard.; Basil’s epistle to Gregory, which is his c. LXXXVIII.).
The present Canon ordains that if any bishop, or presbyter, or deacon happens to have been justly and lawfully deposed from office on account of manifest and proven crimes — the bishop by the synod, the presbyter and the deacon either by their bishop or by their synod — and after such lawful deposition he should have the hardihood to use again the liturgical office to which he had been privileged (by “liturgical office” is meant here both the prelacy of the bishop and the priesthood of the presbyter and deacon), any such person, I say, shall be excommunicated from the Church entirely. For one thing, because of his extreme hardihood and rashness; for another thing, because after deposition there remains no other canonical chastisement for those in holy orders but to excommunicate them entirely even from the Church. And that is just and right. For if it should happen, according to c. XIV of the Sardican, that anyone who has not been deposed justly should have the hardihood to perform the functions of the clergy after his deposition and before another synodical judgment or decision, he ought to be sobered by bitter and severe words. In fact, according to c. V of the 1st, if even in case one is unchurched, not as a matter of justice, but as a matter of some pusillanimity and contentiousness of his bishop, he cannot handle anything priestly until a synodical examination and investigation is carried out, how much more is not one incapacitated for the performance of any function belonging to holy orders who has been justly deposed on account of manifest sins? Again, if Basil the Great threatened to condemn Gregory, who had been merely suspended by him, to anathema if he should have the hardihood to exercise any function before his correction, how can it be said that one ought not to be entirely cut off from the Church who has been justly deposed from office for manifest sins, but after the deposition has had the hardihood to exercise any priestly function?
Canon XXXVII of Carthage says that that bishop, or any other clergyman whatsoever, condemns himself who, after becoming excluded from communion, should dare to communicate with others. Whoever takes the part of one who has been condemned for a crime, shall be fined and forfeit his honor, according to c. LXXI of the same. One who has been condemned justly by the bishops and refuses to keep the peace in other regions, ought to be run down there too, according to c. LXXIV of the same. Canon VII of Nicetas of Heracleia demands that anyone who officiates after being canonically deposed be chased away from the Church until he repent, like laymen, and to receive penance in the class of penitents. The civil law, in Book III of the Basilica, Title I, ch. 1, decrees thus. If a bishop deposed from office by the synod should cause a disturbance with a view to getting back his bishopric, he must be chased a hundred miles away from it and not be allowed to go even to the emperor. Those who lend him protection are made liable to chastisement. Divine Chrysostom, however, says (Sermon III on holy orders) that anyone who is deposed on account of envy or any other unjust cause, actually gains himself a greater reward than that of holy orders; hence he ought to rejoice withal and not be sorry: to those, on the other hand, who have unjustly deposed him, he causes punishment in hell.
29. If any Bishop become the recipient of this office by means of money, or any Presbyter, or any Deacon, let him be deposed as well as the one who ordained him, and let him be cut off entirely even from communion, as was Simon the Sorcerer by me, Peter.
(c. II of the 4th; cc. XXII, XXIII of the 6th; cc. IV, V, IX of the 7th; c. XC Of Basil; Epist. Genn. 51; and Taras. on Nahum 1:9.).
In their c. XXV the divine Apostles said that thou shalt not exact vengeance twice for the same offense. In the present Canon they chastise those who get themselves ordained by means of money with a double chastisement on account of the excessiveness of the wickedness, saying thus: Any bishop, or presbyter, or deacon, that gets the office of holy orders with money is to be deposed along with the one who ordained him, and let him be entirely excommunicated from the Church and from the prayer of the faithful, just as Simon the Sorcerer (Acts 13:6) was excommunicated by me Peter. For no graver and worse sin can be found than that of selling and buying the unsellable and unpurchaseable grace of the Holy Spirit. Hence divine Tarasius in writing to Adrian or Hadrian), emperor of Rome, pointed out that those who ordain others for money are more ungodly than the pneumatomach Macedonius. For the latter did nothing but prattle that the Holy Spirit was a slave and creature of God the Father; whereas those who ordain others for money appear to make the Holy Spirit a slave of their own, by selling It as a slave to those paying the money; and those thus ordained likewise buy It as a slave from the sellers. In fact, just as Judas the traitor sold the Son of God, so too do they sell the Holy Spirit for money. Nevertheless, in the same epistle of Tarasius, the divine Chrysostom and his synod appear to have equated matters and to have permitted men to commune within the Holy Bema (or Sanctuary) who they paid money to Bishop Antoninus and were ordained.
Not only bishops, and presbyters, and deacons, according to the present Canon, but also subdeacons, and anagnosts, and psalts, down to the steward, and the ecdicus (or advocate), and the Prosmonarius (or warden), all of these office-holders, I say, who have been ordained for money, are to be deposed according to c. II of the 4th; and according to the epistle of Gennadms they are to be subjected to the curse of anathema. But also all those who become brokers or intermediaries in such ordinations for money, if clergymen, they are to be deposed from office; if laymen, or monks, they are to be anathematized, according to the same c. II of the 4th. Again, c. XXII of the 6th deposes from office both those ordained and those who ordained them for money, bishops and clergymen, the c. V of the 7th;reduces them tcirlne lowest grade of their order. In dealing with those who boast of having become numbered among the members of an order of ecclesiastics through money, reproaching others with the assertion that they got into the ranks of the clergy without paying any money. It also quotes the present Apostolical canon and c. II of the 4th. But c. XIX of the same 7th commands that neither those who join the priestly order IIor those who become monks through payment of money shall be accepted. Canon XXIII of the 6th adds that all bishops or presbyters or deacons that demand money or any articles of value from those to whom they expect to administer communion or the divine mysteries, for the sake of letting them partake thereof, are to be deposed from office. Canon IV of the 7th excommunicates any bishop that excommunicates one of his clergymen, or suspends him, or closes a temple of God, on account of any demand for money or other articles of value. See also the equation of matters employed by Basil the Great in regard to simoniacs in the third footnote to his c. XC.
30. If any Bishop comes into possession of a church by employing secular rulers, let him be deposed from office, and let him be excommunicated. And all those who communicate with him too.
(c. II of the 4th; cc. Ill and V of the 7th; c. XIII of Laodicea.).
This Canon too, like the one above, provides double chastisement for one and the same sinful act; for it says: Any bishop that employs secular officials and through their aid or agency contrives to get any bishopric or metropolis, shall be deposed and at the same time excommunicated from the Church. Likewise all clergymen that may communicate with him, whether they be the prelates who ordained him, or presbyters, or deacons, or subdeacons, or anagnosts — all, I say, shall be deposed from their clericature and shall be excommunicated.
Those rulers, or officials, on the other hand, who acted as intermediaries or agents not only are to be excommunicated, but are even to be anathematized by the second canon of the Fourth Ecumenical Council, as aforesaid. And especially in case that ordination in connection with which they acted as intermediaries was one performed for money. For according to c. Ill of the 7th secular rulers ought not to choose bishops, or presbyters, or deacons, nor ought the masses to participate in the election of men to holy orders, according to c. XIII of Laodicea (in a precedent way, that is), but only the bishops and priests of the same order. I said “in a precedent way” because laymen do not vote, since in a sequent way they too have to be asked whether they consent to the vote, either all or a majority (and see in the footnote to Ap. c. II, and that to c. V of Laodicea), first, because if they can point out any true accusation against the candidate, his ordination ought to be prohibited, in accordance with the interpretation of Ap. c. LXI; and secondly, even though they fail to consent to his election, it is possible that they may not accept that prelate for whom only the synod votes; and hence may ensue confusion and division between the bishops and the Christians: though, in point of fact, today the laity are not even asked and their consent is not even taken into consideration in a sequent way. Read also Ap. c. LXI.
31. If any Presbyter, condemning his own bishop, draw people aside, and set up another altar, without finding anything wrong with the Bishop in point of piety and righteousness, let him be deposed, on the ground that he is an office-seeker. For he is a tyrant. Let the rest of clergymen be treated likewise, and all those who abet him. But let the laymen be excommunicated. Let these things be done after one, and a second, and a third request of the Bishop.
(c. XVIII of the 4th; cc. XXXI, XXXIV of the 6th; cc. XIII, XIV, XV of the lst-&-2nd; c. VI of Gangr.; c. V of Antioch; cc. X, XI, LXII of Carthage.).
Order sustains the coherence of both heavenly things and earthly things, according to St. Gregory the Theologian. So good order ought to be kept everywhere as helping coherence and preserving the established system, and especially among ecclesiastics, who need to know their own standards, and to avoid exceeding the limits and bounds of their own class. But as for Presbyters, and Deacons, and all clergymen, they ought to submit to their own Bishop; the Bishops, in turn, to their own Metropolitan; the Metropolitans, to their own Patriarch. On this account the present Apostolical Canon ordains as follows: Any presbyter that scorns his own bishop, and without knowing that the latter is manifestly at fault either in point of piety or in point of righteousness — that is to say, without knowing him to be manifestly either heretical or unjust — proceeds to gather the Christians into a distinct group and to build another church, and should hold services therein separately, without the permission and approval of his bishop in so doing, on the ground of his being an office-seeker he is to be deposed; since like a tyrant with violence and tyranny he is trying to wrest away the authority which belongs to his bishop. But also any other clergymen that agree with him in such apostasy must be deposed from office too just as he must; but as for those who are laymen, let them be excommunicated. These things, however, are to be done after the bishop three times gently and blandly urges those who have separated from him to forgo such a movement, and they obstinately refuse to do so. As for those, however, who separate from their bishop before a synodical investigation because he himself is preaching some misbelief and heresy publicly, not only are not subject to the above penances, but have a right to claim the honor due to Orthodox Christians, according to c. XV of the lst-&-2nd.
In agreement, and almost in the same words, c. V of Antioch cites this Apostolical Canon, adding only that if these men in holy orders who have formed a “parasynagogue,” or conventicle, again disturb the Church after their deposition from office, they are to be sobered with external chastisement (concerning which see footnote 1 to Ap. c. XXVII). Both c. XVIII of the 4th and c. XXXIV of the 6th depose clergymen that enter into a conspiracy and faction against their bishop and his fellow clergymen. Canon VI deposes those who baptize, or hold services in prayer-houses, contrary to the advice of their bishop. See also c. LXII of Carthage. Not only this latter, but also c. XIII of the lst-&-2nd, deposes that presbyter or deacon who on account of some crimes or other of his bishop should separate from his communion and refuse to mention his name as usual in the sacred rites before there has been any synodical investigation of his crimes. Likewise a bishop is to be deposed if he dares to do such a thing against his own metropolitan, according to c. XIV of the same lst-&-2nd. Even a metropolitan is likewise to be deposed if he separates from the communion of his own patriarch, according to c. XV of the same. According to c. VI of Gangra, and cc. X and XI of Carthage, presbyters who separate from their own bishop are not only to be deposed but are also to be subjected to anathema. These things are said with reference to, those who separate from their own bishops under the pretext of certain crimes. But c. I of St. Basil the Great chastises priests adhering to parasynagogues by merely suspending them temporarily from holy orders.
32. If any Bishop excommunicates any Presbyter or Deacon, these men must not be incardinated by anyone else but the one who excommunicated them, unless by a coincidence the Bishop who excommunicated them should decease.
(Ap. cc. XII, XIII; c.V of the 1st; c.I of St. Sophia: c.VI of Antioch; c.XIV of Sardican; c.XI, XXVII, CIXI of Carthage.).
Also in their cc. XII and XIII the divine Apostles say that clergymen who have been made inadmissible and excommunicated by their own bishops ought not to be admitted by other bishops. And in this Canon they likewise ordain the same very thing with some addition, by saying: As for any presbyter or deacon that has been excommunicated by his bishop, he is not allowed to be admitted and to be freed from the excommunication, not only by the bishop of any other province, but not even by any other of the same province and metropolis, but can only be admitted and be freed from the excommunication by that same bishop who excommunicated him in the first place: with the sole exception that he may resort to another if the bishop or metropolitan or patriarch, as the case may be, who excommunicated him has by any chance died before the presbyter or deacon has received a pardon. For in that event even a bishop or metropolitan or patriarch who has become the successor after the death of the one who excommunicated him may free him from the bond, and not anyone else.
There are two things that one ought to note in connection with the present Canon: one of them is, that all those who have been excommunicated by their bishop, whether justly or unjustly, ought to abide thus excommunicated, and not dare to ignore the excommunication, until an ecclesiastical inquiry into this matter has been made, according to c. XIV of Sardica and c. XXXVII of Carthage. The sole exception is that if by any chance they should be condemned before being given a trial and summoned into an ecclesiastical court. Another thing to note is that according to c. CXXI of Carthage if a bishop should excommunicate anyone because, though having previously confessed his sin to him he later denied it, the other bishops too must refuse to communicate with the one excommunicating him, for as long a time as he does not communicate with the one who has been excommunicated by him. And this is to be done for the final purpose of keeping the bishop from accusing anyone without being able to prove the accusation to be true. But according to the Nomicon of Photius, Title and ch. 9, and the commentator Balsamon, if by chance a bishop or presbyter should excommunicate anyone from communion (whether it be that of the mysteries, according to Balsamon and Blastaris, or even from standing together with the faithful and from prayer in church) without any canonical and reasonable cause, the excommunication is to be removed by the senior priest, while the bishop or presbyter who imposed the excommunication is to be excommunicated by his superior for as long a period of time as the latter deems sufficient. This is to be done so that he may suffer justly that same punishment which he inflicted upon the other man unjustly. Hence in the volume of the synodical records, page 11, it is written that even while the excommunicator is still alive, the excommunication may be removed by the synod if it was not imposed justly. Hence c. VII of Nicholas also says that an unreasonable bond which an abbot when dying may lay upon another man in order to make him remain in the abbey, though he afterwards has departed, that bond, I say, is one that will not hold, and on this account the one bound by a prelate can be dissolved. See also the Interpretation of Ap. c. XII.
33. None of the foreign Bishops, or Presbyters, or Deacons shall be received without letters commendatory. Even when they bear such, they shall be examined. And if they really are preachers of piety, they shall be received; but if they are not, after furnishing them what they have need of, they shall not be admitted to communion. For many things are done with a view to rapine.
(Ap. c. XII; cc. XI, XIII of the 4th; c. XIV of the 6th; cc. VII, VIII of Antioch; c. XLI of Laodicea; cc. XXXI, XCVII of Carthage.).
In their c. XII the Apostles ordain that no foreign or strange clergyman be admitted by another bishop unless he is provided with letters commendatory. Accordingly, in the present Canon they are likewise ordaining this very same rule with an addition, by saying: No foreign or strange bishop, or presbyter, or deacon ought to be received by other bishops unless such bishop bears letters from his metropolitan, or such presbyter or deacon from his bishop or metropolitan, commendatory both of his faith and of his good life, and especially of his reputation if the latter has been impugned. But even if they do bear such letters commendatory on their person, they are nevertheless to be further examined as to whether they are Orthodox or not; for they may entertain mistaken beliefs, and the one who gave them the letters recommendatory may be unaware of them. But if upon examination they be found to be in reality preachers of Orthodoxy and of piety, then let them be received and admitted to communion (but let them not also be allowed to participate in the exercises of any church in that vicinity and perform the functions of holy orders without having with them in addition to letters commendatory also a letter of dismissal indicating that they have permission to conduct services where they are going, in accordance with c. XVII of the 6th. If, on the other hand, they be found to be cacodoxical and heretical, do not communicate with them, it says, but give them whatever they need in the way of necessities, and send them packing; for many unseemly effects result from such strangers in the nature of rapine for failure to conduct a proper investigation of them. See also the footnote to Ap. c. XII.
34. It behoves the Bishops of every nation to know the one among them who is the premier or chief, and to recognise him as their head, and to refrain from doing anything superfluous without his advice and approval: but, instead, each of them should do only whatever is necessitated by his own parish and by the territories under him. But let not even such a one do anything without the advice and consent and approval of all. For thus will there be concord, and God will be glorified through the Lord in Holy Spirit, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
(cc. VI, VII of the 1st; cc. II, III of the 2nd; c. VIII of the 3rd; o. XXVIII of the 4th; cc. XXXVI, XXXIX of the 6th; c. IX of Antioch.).
Just as, when the head is unwell and fails to function properly, the other members of the body also are ill disposed or even utterly useless, so and in like manner it may be said that if the one acting as head in the Church does not honor her fitly, all the rest of the body of the Church will be out of order and unable to function. It is for this reason that the present Canon ordains that all bishops of every province ought to know who is the chief among them, i.e., the metropolitan; and ought to regard him as their head, and not to do anything unnecessary without consulting him, as respecting, that is to say, anything that does not pertain to the parishes of their bishoprics, but, extending beyond these limits, have to do with the common condition of the whole province, as, for instance, do questions concerning the dogmas, matters involving adjustments and corrections of common mistakes, the installation and ordination of prelates, and other similar things. Instead, they are to meet with the metropolitan and confer with him in regard to such common matters, and decide in common on what appears to them the best thing to be done. Each of the bishops should do by himself, without consulting his metropolitan, only those things that are confined to the limits and boundaries of his bishopric and to the territories that are subject thereto. But just as bishops should do nothing of common interest without consulting the metropolitan, so and in like manner a metropolitan ought not to do anything of such common interest alone and by himself without consulting all his bishops. For in this way there will be concord and love, both between bishops and metropolitans and between clergymen and laymen. The outcome of this concord and love will be that God the Father will be glorified through His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who acquainted men with the name of His Father and laid down the law requiring love, when He said: “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one for another” (John 13:35). And He will be glorified in His Holy Spirit, which through Its grace has united us in one spiritual association. That is the same as saying that as a result of this concord the Holy Trinity — the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit — will be glorified, in accordance with the voice of the Gospel which says: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and may glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 5:16).
Almost identically the same things are seen to be ordained also in c. IX of Antioch. That is why c. VI of the First Ecumenical Council commands that the ancient customs are to hold; those, that is to say, which had been prevalent in accordance with this Ap. c.; so that the patriarch of Alexandria had control of affairs in Egypt and Libya and Pentapolis, since such was also the custom in connection with the patriarch of Rome too. Likewise the patriarch of Antioch had control of his own provinces; and, in general, the same privileges were preserved to every Church and Metropolis, so that every metropolitan should have control over the provinces subject to him. Canon VII of the same Council ordains that the patriarch of Aelia, i.e., of Jerusalem, is to have the observance of the ancient honor and the dignity of his own Metropolis, Canon III of the 2nd commands that the patriarch of Constantinople is to have the highest honor. Canon VIII of the 3rd, too, demands that the rights belonging to each province be free from constraint and impurity again even as in the beginning, according to the old custom, and especially as respects those of Cyprus. In addition, c. XXXIX of the 6th confirms the same c. VIII of the 3rd.
35. A Bishop shall not dare to confer ordinations outside of his own boundaries, in cities and, territories not subject to him. If he be proved to have done so against the wishes of those having possession of those cities or territories, let him be deposed, as well as those whom he ordained.
(c. II of the 2nd; c. VIII of the 3rd; c. XX of the 6th; cc. XIII, XXII of Antioch; cc. Ill, XI, XII of’the Sardican.).
This Canon too was ordained for the concord and good order of bishops and metropolitans. It says in effect that a bishop ought not to dare to confer ordinations outside of the boundaries of his bishopric, or to perform any other ecclesiastical function in those cities and countries that are not within his own territory (but neither has a metropolitan the liberty to go into the parishes of his bishops and perform ordinations or any other prelatical ceremony). Only then has he the liberty to perform such functions, when he has been invited by the bishop of the region in question. If, nevertheless, it transpire that he did this without the consent and permission of the bishops who control those cities and territories, let him be deposed who ordained men beyond his boundaries, together with those whom he ordained. For in such a case it would appear that there were two bishops in one and the same place, or two metropolitans, which is unlawful and prohibited by c. VIII of the 1st, and by c. XII of the 4th.
Hence, in its c. XX the Sixth Ecum. C. ordains that whoever goes to a strange bishopric and publicly teaches on his own account and of his own accord, without the local bishop’s permission, shall lose his position in the prelacy and shall be allowed to perform only the functions of a presbyter. Perhaps for no other purpose was this provision made than that of preventing the occurrence of this absurd anomaly, to wit, that of having two bishops at the same time in the same bishopric, one wanting this and the other that, which he dared to do. For if that was not the purpose that this council had in mind, why should it degrade the bishop to the rank of a presbyter, at a time when this degradation amounts to sacrilege, according to c. XXIX of the 4th? Besides, if a bishop teaching beyond his boundaries is unworthy, he ought to be unworthy also of the presbytery; but if he is worthy of the presbytery, why should he not be worthy also of the episcopate? So it is apparent that the reason why it reduces him to the rank of a presbyter is to leave one bishop again in one bishopric, and not two. For he sinned immediately against the episcopal office by causing two bishops to be in the same bishopric, on which account he is deposed therefrom; he did not sin, however, against the office of presbyter, since two or more presbyters are not prohibited from being in the same bishopric, wherefore neither is he deposed therefrom (although Zonaras and Balsamon say that anyone that teaches publicly contrary to the will of the local bishop is on this account reduced to the rank of presbyter, in order to humble him, on the ground that he became vainglorious and exalted himself). Hence sacred Photius (Title IX, ch. 11),to do away with the apparent contradiction of the canons — that is, of c. XXIX of the 4th and c. XX of the 6th –, proposed c. VIII of the 1st. Nevertheless, even when it comes to performing the office of a presbyter, a bishop from beyond the boundaries must obtain the permission and consent of the local bishop. If he does not have such permission, he cannot exercise the function; he simply has the standing of a laymen in that case as long as he remains in that foreign region, according to the canons. In order to sum up the entirety of the present Apostolical Canon, we may say thus: A bishop who performs a prelatical service in a strange bishopric, with the consent of the bishop thereof, is not performing it with the power and operation of his own episcopate (for in that case there would be two bishops in one bishopric as though possessing two distinct and separate powers and faculties); but, on the contrary, solely with the episcopal power and faculty of the local bishop (for in this case the two bishops are regarded as one bishop). And if this be so, as indeed it is, anyone that performs a prelatical function against the will of the local bishop, is deposed even from his own episcopal power, which, without possessing it, on the score of his being beyond his boundaries, he exercised; as well as from the strange episcopal power of the local bishop, which he might have possessed with the consent and permission of the latter, but which he stole and appropriated as his own.
The same things are ordained also by c. II of the 2nd, wherein the latter prohibits anyone (whether a patriarch or a metropolitan) from meddling in other dioceses beyond his boundaries in order to perform ordinations or to execute other ecclesiastical accomodations. But still more is that true of c. VIII of the 3rd, which ordains that the bishop of Antioch shall not have authority to carry out ordinations in Cyprus, beyond the boundaries of that diocese, which, it says, is contrary to the Apostolical Canons, meaning the present one. Both c. XIII and c. XXIV of Antioch agree in ordaining that no bishop shall dare to meddle in a foreign province and perform any ordinations therein, except only in case he goes there provided with letters of the bishop inviting him; if he do so under contrary circumstances, the ordinations and all other services he may perform shall remain void and invalid. If, however, it so happen that one bishop has lands, say, and substantial property in the province of another bishop, c. XII of the Sardican allows him to go there in order to gather produce, and for three weeks’ duration to attend church in the church that is in the vicinity of his property, but not to go any closer to the city in which the bishop is. That a bishop may not even teach in territory beyond his own boundaries without the consent of the local bishop is stated in c. XX of the 6th above and in c. XI of the Sardican. Canon III of the Sardican, in fact, not only prohibits this, but does not even allow a bishop to go to the province of another bishop without being invited.
36. In case any Bishop who has been ordained refuses the office and the care of the laity which has been entrusted to him, he shall be excommunicated and remain so until such time as he accepts it. Likewise as touching a Presbyter and a Deacon. But if, upon departing, he fail to accept it, not contrary to his own inclination, but because of the spitefulness of the laity, let him be a bishop, but let the clergy of that city be excommunicated, since no one can correct such an insubordinate laity.
(c. XXXVII of the 6th; c. XVIII of Aiicyra; cc. XVII and XVIII of Antioch.)
“Obey your rulers and submit” (Heb. 13:17). “Let everyone abide in that whereunto he is called” (I Cor. 7:24), says the divine Apostle. This same thing is what the present Canon ordains, which says: Whoever is ordained, by the divine ceremony of prayers, to be the bishop of a province, or a presbyter or a deacon of a parish, and afterwards will not accept that divine office, and the protection of the laity which has been entrusted to him, but refuses, and does not go to the church assigned to him, let him be excommunicated until he consent to take it. But if, on the other hand, the bishop takes the province, but the laity of the province, because of its insubordination, and spitefulness, and not because of any evil mind and blameworthy cause of the bishop, should refuse to receive him, let him be a bishop — that is to say, let him share in the dignity and office which become a bishop — and let the clergymen of the province which would not receive him be excommunicated, since they failed to train that insubordinate laity better with their teaching and their good example.
37. Twice a year let a council of bishops be held, and let them examine one another in regard to dogmas of piety, and let incidental ecclesiastical contradictions be eliminated: the first one, in the fourth week of Pentecost, the second one, on the twelfth of Hyperberetaeus.
(c. V of the 1st; c. XIX of the 4th; c. VIII of the 6th; c. VI of the 7th; c. XX of Antioch; c. XL of Laod.; cc. XXVI, LX, LXI, LXXXI, LXXXIV, LXXXV, and CIV of Cartilage.).
In regard to doubts concerning dogmas, and in regard to contradictions in matters ecclesiastical, which may beset anyone, and, in general, for the settlement of canonical questions, the divine Apostles command in this Canon that twice in every year there be held a local council, or synod, of bishops together with the metropolitan of every province, in order to examine into the doubts that attend dogmas of piety, and to eliminate every ecclesiastical contradiction that anyone may have in reference to his bishop, about anything, say, either as to why he was excommunicated by him, or as to why he received from him unjustly any other ecclesiastical rebuke or chastisement. Accordingly, one council is to be held in the fourth week of Pentecost, or, more plainly speaking, after Holy Easter; while the other council is to be held on the twelfth day of the month of Hyper-beretaeus, or, more plainly speaking, October. As for how a local council, or synod, differs from an ecumenical council, see the Prolegomena to the First Ecumenical Council. Likewise as to how it differs from a privy council see the Prolegomena to the council held in the time of St. Cyprian (in Carthage, but herein referred to as “the Council of Cyprian”). As for the term synod (the official name, in Greek, of all the various ecclesiastical councils of the Orthodox Church), in general, it designates, according to Blastaris, an assembly of prelates held either in order to have a decision made in regard to piety (and good order of the Church) or in order to have any damage that might have previously occurred or may in the future occur as touching piety (and virtue), with the weapons of piety.
38. Let the Bishop have the care of all ecclesiastical matters and let him manage them, on the understanding that God is overseeing and supervising. Let him not be allowed to appropriate anything therefrom or to give God’s things to his relatives. If they be indigent, let him provide for them as indigents, but let him not trade off things of the Church under this pretext.
(Ap. c. XLI; c. XXVI of the 4th; cc. XI, XII of the 7th; c. VII of the lst-&-2nd; c. XV of Ancyra; cc. VII, VIII of Gangra; cc. XXIV, XXV of Antioch; cc. XXXIV, XLI of Carthage; c. I of Theophilus; c. II of Cyril.).
If a bishop is entrusted with the souls of men, of which all persons are not worthy, much more ought he to be entrusted with the things belonging to the Church. For this reason the present Canon ordains that a bishop should be given the care of all the things belonging to the Church, whether fields and real estate or jewels and furniture; and that he should manage them with fear and carefulness, bearing in mind that God is the supervisor and examiner of his management. Nevertheless, in spite of the fact that he has the care and management of them, he has no permission or right to make them his own or to claim any of them as his own, or to give his relatives things consecrated to God. But if his relatives in question are poor, let him give them what they have need of, just as he gives to other poor people. That is to say, let him bestow alms upon them as he would upon the poor in general, and not as upon relatives. Yet he may give them alms out of the fruits and produce gathered every year from the property of the Church, and not on their account may he sell any of them.
Consonantly and word for word in agreement with the above Apostolical Canon c. XXIV of Antioch says that things belonging to the Church ought to be administered with judgment and by authority of the bishop, and that they must be guarded well and kept in the church that possesses them, with faith in God, who is the supervisor and overseer of all. And c. II of Cyril says that they are to remain inalienable in the churches that possess them, be they jewels or real estate; and the bishops are to administer the economy of the expenses incurred. Canon XV of Ancyra says that whatever things of the Lord’s house presbyters may sell without the consent of the bishop, he himself shall take them back or recover them. Canons VII and VIII of Gangra anathematize those who take or give the produce of the church without the consent of the bishop and of the steward. In the Nomicon of Photius, Title and ch. 2, ordinance 21 of Title II of Book I of the Code it is written that whoever buys sacred utensils and spreads, or takes them in pawn and lends money on them loses his money; except only in case he buys them in order that the money may be given for the liberation of slaves. Likewise in the same ordinance it is noted that there must be no alienation of necessary and immovable properties of the temples from the church possessing them. See also the footnote to Ap. C. LXXII. The third ordinance of Title II of the Novels, which is Justinian Novel 131, to be found in Book 5 of Title III (in Photius, Title II ch. 1), ordains that in case anyone leaves any gift by will to a venerable house for charity — no matter what kind of thing it be — if the thing in question is near the church to which it was consecrated, it must not be alienated therefrom. But if it be far away, and both parties are willing — that is to say, both the stewards and the officers of the church, on the one hand, and the heirs of the one who left it in his will — they have permission to exchange it for something near at hand and affording produce or a crop that is easy to carry or easy to haul, giving, if need be, something additional in the exchange, amounting to not less than one-fourth of the value of the thing which was left in his will. Or, if they wish to sell it, they must get as great a price for it as they could derive from its crop and produce as profit during the space of 35 years. This price, though, must be given again to the same church as that to which the charity was left.
39. Let Presbyters and Deacons do nothing without the consent of the Bishop. For he is the one entrusted with the Lord’s people, and it is from him that an accounting will be demanded with respect to their souls.
(c. XIV of the 7th; c. LVII of Laod.; cc. VI, VII, XLI, L of Carthage.).
The present Apostolical Canon ordains that presbyters and deacons cannot perform any sacerdotal or priestly function or office without the consent and permission of their bishop, including both those functions which appertain to the prelatical authority of the bishop and those for which they themselves possess the requisite power, by virtue of the mystery of ordination, but the celebration of which they cannot perform without the bishop’s consent. (These, for example, are their inability to hear confession of sins, or to forgive penitents, according to cc. VI, VII, and L of Carthage, the right to consecrate virgins to God, according to c. VI of the same, their inability to instate and tonsure anagnosts or monks, and other similar things). For, it says, the bishop mainly and pre-eminently has been entrusted with the Lord’s people, and it is from him pre-eminently, as a shepherd, that an accounting will be demanded by God with respect to what he owes, a strict statement concerning the souls of his flock.
Hence according to the present Canon, and in their Injunctions (Book 2, ch. 31 and 32), the divine Apostles ordain that a deacon cannot, of his own accord and on his own initiative, do even the distributing and dividing of the earliest fruits of the season, and of other fruits that are offered to the bishops by the Christians, among needy clergymen, but must distribute these with the advice and consent of the bishop. With the advice and consent of the bishop, too, the presbyters may sell property of the church if this happens to be necessary (see in the Interpretation of Ap. c. XXXVIII), and hear the confession of and grant pardon to repentant sinners, according to cc. VII and L of Carthage, and may tonsure monks, according to Balsamon in his interpretation of c. XIV of the 7th, and may instate anagnosts in the same monastery, being abbots through imposition of the hands of a bishop, according to c. XIV of the 7th, but also subdeacons, according to c. VI of Nicephorus, and they may even set up a stauropegion, according to c. XXVIII of the same Nicephorus, and may excommunicate all clergymen and laymen that are subject to their jurisdiction, whenever they are at fault, according to the Injunctions of the Apostles (Book 8, ch. 28), and they may exercise many other function when acting with the consent of the bishop. Besides this, even deacons, when they receive the bishop’s authorization, may impose canonical penances upon lower clergymen and laymen, but as for the great misdeeds of these men, they bring them to the notice of the bishop, according to the same Injunctions (Book 2, ch. 44). Again, at a time when no presbyter is at hand, they have permission to excommunicate lower clergymen, when the latter deserve to be excommunicated for misdeeds, according to the same Injunctions (Book 8, ch. 28). Wherefore, following the present Apostolical Canon, God-bearing Ignatius, in his epistle to the Magnesians, says the following: “Precisely, then, as the Lord does nothing without the Father, so we too without the bishop. Neither a presbyter nor a deacon. And in his epistle to the Smyrneans: “It is not permissible without the bishop either to baptize or to offer an oblation or to prepare a sacrifice, or to consummate an acceptance, but only whatever seems right to him, according to God’s pleasure; in order that whatever ye may do may be secure and certain.” Canon LVII of Laodicea, too, commands that neither chorepiscopi (a term which some have translated “country bishops”), nor exarchs, nor presbyters may do anything without the consent of the bishop of the city.
40. Let the Bishop’s own property (if, indeed, he has any) be publicly known, and let the Lord’s be publicly known. In order that the Bishop may have authority to dispose of his own property when he dies, and leave it to whomsoever he wishes and as he wishes. And lest by reason of any pretext of ecclesiastical property that of the Bishop be submerged, be it that he has a wife and children, or relatives, or house servants. For it is only just with God and men that neither the church should suffer any loss owing to ignorance of the Bishop’s property, nor the Bishop, or his relatives, should have their property confiscated on the pretext that it belonged to the church. Or even to have trouble with those who are quarreling over his property, and to have his death involved in aspersions.
(c. of the 4th; c. XXXV of the 6th; c. XXIV of Antioch; cc. XXX, XL, LXXXIX of Carthage.).
The divine Apostles, esteeming nothing more than justice, prescribe in this Canon of theirs that it must be publicly known what property the bishop owns of his own (if he has any of his own, seeing that he himself is dead to the world and to the things of the world), whether it be things that he acquired previous to becoming a bishop, or things that came to him from inheritance, or a gift of his relatives. The property of the bishop, I mean, must be as well known as the property of the church, of the episcopate, or of the metropolis. To what end? In order that the bishop may have authority, when he dies, to leave his own property to those to whom he wishes to leave it and in any manner that he may wish, provided that he leaves it to Orthodox persons, and not to heretics, and in order to avoid any loss of the bishop’s property because of its being confused with property belonging to the church, since it may sometimes happen that he has a wife and children (and see Ap. c. V), or relatives, or poor servants. Because it is only just and right, both in connection with God and in connection with men, that neither the church should suffer any loss of her own property from any possible relatives or creditors of the bishop, because of his property being separate, but mixed up with that of the church, nor the bishop or the relatives of the bishop be deprived of property belonging to them, because of its being mixed up with property of the church. But neither is it just and right for relatives and heirs of the bishop to be tempted and drawn into many words and court trials in order to separate his property from the property of the church, and on account of all these things for the memory of the dead bishop to be blasphemed, instead of being blessed. So, in order to eliminate all those infinite discussions, the bishop must keep a clean set of account books in which his own property is duly entered, and in accordance with that set of books he ought to draw up his will to be executed upon his death, and to leave, as we have said, his property to whom he wishes. (Nevertheless, the heirs of the bishop ought to pay his debts if he had any). If, however, a bishop, or any other clergyman, or even a deaconess, should die without making a will of his own property, and without having legal heirs, their property devolves upon that church in which they were ordained, according to the Nomicon of Photius (Title X, ch. 5; ordinance 3 of Title II of the Novels).
In promulgating this Apostolical Canon in its own c. XXIV the Council of Antioch ordains the same things. Canon XXII of the 4th says that clergymen must not be permitted to plunder the property of the bishop after his death, as is also forbidden by the old Canons (plainly this means the present Apostolical Canon and that of Antioch); otherwise they incur loss of their rank. Canon XXXV of the 6th says that not even a metropolitan has permission to take the property of the bishop when the latter dies, but, instead, the clergymen of his bishopric must guard it until a new bishop is installed, to whom it is to be given. If, however, it should so happen that no clergymen have been left in the bishopric, the metropolitan is to keep it safe until he can give it to the one who is the incumbent-to-be.
41. We command that the Bishop have authority over the property of the church. For if the precious souls of human beings ought to be entrusted to him, there is little need of any special injunction concerning money, so that everything may be entrusted to be governed in accordance with his authority, and he may grant to those in need through the presbyters and deacons with fear of God and all reverence, while he himself may partake thereof whatever he needs (if he needs anything) for his necessary wants, and for brethren who are his guests, so as not to deprive them of anything, in any manner. For God’s law has enjoined that those who serve at the altar are to be maintained at the altar’s expense. The more so in view of the fact that not even a soldier ever bears arms against belligerents at his own expense.
(Ap. c. XXXVIII; c. XXVI of the 4th; c. XII of the 7th; cc. XXIV, XXV of Antioch; cc. X, XI of Theophilus; c. II of Cyril; I Cor. 9:13, ib. 7.).
This Canon too, like c. XXXVIII, gives the bishop all authority over ecclesiastical property, by saying: We command that a bishop have authority of the property of the church. For, if we entrust the precious souls of human beings to him, which not all the world deserves to be trusted with, we are at little pains, that is to say, there is no need of our giving special orders, that all the money and property of the church ought to be managed in accordance with the authority he possesses and that it should be distributed among the poor and the indigent with fear of God and every reverence, by means of the presbyters and deacons. And why should these matters be managed and things distributed by means of these men? In order that the bishop may keep himself above every suspicion, and accusation, as that allegedly he consumed it all himself and also makes a bad job of managing it. Because he must be well provided for, not only in the eyes of God, but also in the eyes of men, just as the author of Proverbs was the first to say, and the Apostle Paul said later; and because he must keep himself from giving offense to anyone, and must be irreproachable in everything (Prov. 3:4; Rom. 12:17; I Cor. 10:32; I Tim. 3:2). Nevertheless, even a bishop, it says, must get some of the property of the church for his expenses, including both the necessary wants of his own (if he has wants, that is, and is poor) and also for the wants of all brethren who may become his guests when they visit him, so that in no manner shall either he himself or any of his guests be deprived of necessaries. For God’s law, too, has commanded that those attend the altar and offer sacrifices as priests shall be supplied with and maintained from the altar, that is to say, from the sacrifices which are offered at the altar. Besides, no soldier ever takes up arms against the enemies — i.e never goes to war — at his own expense. Note, however, that the Canon states that bishops are to expend the foodstuffs of the Church only for necessities, and not for superfluities, or in enjoyment and revelries, and that they ought to be hospitable, friendly to the poor, just as blessed St. Paul recommends to Titus and to Timothy that bishops should be (I Tim. 3:2; Tit. 1:8).
In agreement with the present Apostolical Canon, c. XI of Theophilus also ordains that widows and indigents and strangers must be provided with all comfort from the property of the Church, and that no bishop must appropriate any of it for himself. See further the Interpretation of Ap. c. XXXVIII.
42. If any Bishop, or Presbyter, or Deacon wastes his time by playing dice, or getting drunk, either let him desist therefrom or let him be deposed from office.
(Ap. cc. XLIII, LIV; cc. IX, L of the 6th; c. XXII of the 7th; cc. XXIV, LV of Laod.; cc. XLVII, LXIX of Carthage.).
Those in holy orders to stand before all men as living examples and pictures of all good order and virtue, and as incitements to the doing of good works. But inasmuch as some of them stray away from what is good and virtuous, and employ themselves in playing dice, i.e., in “shooting craps” — in which is included the playing of cards and of other games — not to mention drunken carousals and merrymaking with food and drink, the present Apostolical Canon, taking cognizance of this, ordains that any bishop, or presbyter, or deacon who occupies himself with such indecent activities shall either cease them or be deposed from holy orders.
Likewise Ap. c. XLIII ordains that those clergymen, including laymen as well, who occupy themselves in drunkenness and dice shall either cease or be excommunicated. Not only are clergymen forbidden to get drunk, but neither are they even permitted to enter taverns at all to eat, according to Ap. c. LIV and c. IX of the 6th and c. XLVII of Carthage and c. XXIV of Laodicea, nor are they allowed to own a tavern shop at all, according to the same c. IX of the 6th. Moreover, all clergymen and all Christian laymen are forbidden by c. L of the Sixth Ecumenical Council to play dice or cards or other games. In case they are caught doing so, clergymen are to be deposed, and laymen are to be excommunicated. In addition to these prohibitions, c. IV of Laodicea ordains that they must not hold banquets by agreement or with contributions collected from a number of persons gathered together at the same time and place, whether they be in holy orders or clergymen or laymen. Canon LXIX of Carthage commands that Christians cease holding banquets and balls (or dances) and games to the memory of or as feasts to martyrs and other saints, such as those customs which are peculiar to the Greeks and due to their error and godlessness. But neither ought Christians to eat and drink to the accompaniment of musical instruments and whorish and demonish songs, according to c. XXII of the 7th Ecum. C. The Nomicon of Photius (Title IX, ch. 27) says that ordinance 34 of the fourth Title of Book I of the Code decrees as follows: If any bishop or clergyman plays dice or other such games, or holds communion with those who play them, or sits by and watches them play, is to be excommunicated from every sacred function, and to lose the ration he gets from his bishopric or clerical office, until such fixed time limit as he is allowed to repent in. But in case he should persist in his vice even after the expiration of the time limit allowed him for repentance, he is to be driven out of the clergy with all his estate, and become a member of the legislature, or, in other words, a secular official of that political state in which he was a clergyman. The same fate is shared by those clergymen who participate in hunting spectacles and other theatrical exhibitions. It is permissible, however, to a bishop when he sees the prompt repentance of any clergyman playing to reduce the time of the penance of sustension proportionately, and accordingly to give him permission sooner to officiate in his sacerdotal capacity, according to c. XXXIX of the same (7th), titular ordinance 2 of Title I of the Novels. Justinian Novel 123, on the other hand, according to Armenopoulos, commands that clergymen guilty of getting drunk or of playing dice shall be excommunicated and be shut up in a monastery: see also c. XXIV of the 6th Ecum. C.
43. Let any Subdeacon, or Anagnost, or Psalt, who does like things either desist or be excommunicated. Likewise any Layman.
(Ap. c. XLIV, LIV; cc. IX, L of the 6th; cc. XXIV, LV of Laod.; cc. XLVII, LXIX of Carthage.).
This Canon, too, orders that any subdeacon, or anagnost, or psalt (i.e., chanter) who does like things, such as are prohibited by the above c. XLII, or, in other words, who plays dice or cards or any other games, or who spends time in drunkenness and eating and drinking bouts, shall either cease from such indecent doings, or, if he fails to do so, shall be excommunicated. Likewise laymen, too, who spend time in the same way shall either cease doing so or be excommunicated from the congregation of the faithful. See also the preceding c. XLII.
44. Let any Bishop or Presbyter or Deacon who demands interest on money lent to others either cease doing so or be deposed from office.
(c. XVII of 1st; c. X of 6th; c. IV of Laod.; cc. V. VI of Carth; c. XIV of Bas.).
A person is prohibited from lending money at interest even by the old Law. For God says in Deuteronomy (ch. 13): “Thou shalt not exact interest from thy brother for money, or for food, or for anything else that thou lendest to him.” David, in praising the righteous man, enumerates among his many virtues this one too, where he says: “…who hath not lent out his money at interest” (Ps. 15:5). But if this was prohibited to the Jews, much more is it forbidden now to us Christians: “in this place is one who is greater than the temple” (Matt. 12:6). But if this is forbidden to all Christians, how much more is it not forbidden to those in holy orders and clergymen, who ought to be a model and example of everything good? And especially to ascetics and hermits, men crucified to the world? An ascetic lending money at interest is something utterly repugnant in truth to human ears. So, on this account, the present Ap. c. ordains that if any bishop or presbyter or deacon lends money to people with the expectation of charging the borrowers of it interest, he must either cease such profiteering or be deposed. Likewise, on the same grounds, monks too must undergo suitable penances for such practice, to wit, excommunication and exclusion from communion, with a firm promise henceforth to abstain from this open and condemnable transgression of the law.
This same thing is commanded also by c. X of the 6th and c. IV of Laodicea, both of which prohibit men in holy orders from charging either 12 per cent interest, or even the half thereof, i.e., either a dollar a month on a hundred dollars, or even half a dollar, as interest in addition to the original sum. Canon XVII of the 1st forbids such greed and profiteering to those in holy orders, but also in general to all canonics, or clergymen. Canon V of Carthage goes even further, in that it forbids laymen, and still more so clergymen, not only to charge interest on money lent, but even on anything else; for if (according to the Novel of Leo cited by Armeno-poulos in Book 3, Title VII) clergymen are not allowed to spend time in banal affairs, but must devote all their time to ecclesiastical affairs, how can they be allowed to charge interest? Canon XX of the same Carthage says that whatever money a clergyman lends he is to take the same amount back, and whatever else he gives he is to receive it back and nothing more. Nicephorus the Confessor in his Canon XXIX commands that priests refuse to administer communion to clergymen or laymen who do not cease charging interest, and that one must not even eat with them. Divine Chrysostom, too, says (Sermon 41 on Genesis) in discussing the law which says “Thou shalt not lend money at interest to thy brother and thy neighbor” (Deut. 23:19): “What sort of plea can we Christians offer in our own defense when we become even more cruel than the Jews themselves? and when we become lower, or, rather to say, worse, than Jews within the law, in spite of the grace of the Gospel and after the incarnate economy of the Lord of all things? For they did not charge their fellow Jews interest who were of the same faith, whereas we dare to charge our Christian brethren interest and usury.” Note also what Basil the Great remarks in interpreting that saying in Psalm 15 which says: “who hath not lent out his money at interest” (Ps. 15:5): “This thing is indeed inhuman with a vengeance, when an indigent and poor man borrows from a rich man, in order to alleviate his misfortune, for the rich man not to rest content with his principal, but to exact a profit and interest from the poor man’s misfortune. In Greek the name for the interest charged on money is tocos, i.e., “birth,” because of the great proligerousness of the evil, because of the fact that the money of lenders at interest and of usurers is giving birth to more money all the time that it remains lent, and more of it is always ready to be begotten. Or perhaps it was on this account that interest was called birth in Greek, to wit, the fact that it naturally causes debtors the sorrows and pangs of childbirth? At any rate, just as the pangs of childbirth are a sorrow to a pregnant woman, so and in like manner it may be said to be a sorrow to a debtor when interest falls due and has to be paid on the money he has borrowed.” In his c. XIV he says that a man who charges interest on money he lends may become a priest if he distributes his ill-gotten gain to poor people and henceforth renounces his avarice. Read also ch. 14 of Ezekiel wherein, along with his other virtues that man who will not lend his money at interest, and who will not take any excess, is deemed worthy to live; whereas that man, on the other hand, who, in addition to his other vices, charges interest on the money he lends is deemed worthy of death. Chapter 6 of Book 4 of the Apostolical Injunctions commands priests not to accept either offerings or donations from those who charge interest on loans.
45. Let any Bishop, or Presbyter, or Deacon that merely joins in prayer with heretics be suspended, but if he has permitted them to perform any service as Clergymen, let him be deposed (sc.from office).
The present Canon prescribes that any Bishop, or Presbyter, or Deacon that shall only join in prayer, and not co-officiate in divine services, with any heretics is to be suspended, or temporarily deprived of the right to celebrate the sacraments (called “mysteries” in the Orthodox Church). For anyone that prays in company with excommunicants (as heretics are) must himself be excommunicated along with them, according to the tenth Canon of the same Apostles. But if he went so far as to allow those heretics to perform any service in church as Clergymen, he is to be deposed from office altogether. For any Clergyman that officiates at services in company with others who have been deposed (as have heretics, according to the second and fourth Canons of the Third Ecumenical Council) is himself ipso facto deposed along with them, according to the eleventh Canon of the Apostles. It behooves us to hate and shun heretics, but never to join them in prayer or to allow them to perform any ecclesiastical function, either as Clergymen or as Priests.
Apostolical Canon LXV says that if anyone enters a congregation of heretics in order to pray, in case he is a Clergyman he is to be deposed, but in case he is a Layman he is to be suspended. The Synod of Laodicea in its sixth Canon forbids heretics from entering the church; and in its thirty-second it says: “One must not accept blessings from heretics, which are flummeries, and not blessings.” Neither must one pray in conjunction with heretics or schismatics, according to its thirty-third Canon. Its thirty-fourth Canon anathematizes those who leave the martyrs of Christ out of consideration and go to the pseudomartyrs of heretics. The ninth Canon of Timothy forbids heretics to be present at the time of divine services, unless they promise to repent and to abandon the heresy. Moreover, the ninth Canon of the Synod of Laodicea excommunicates Christians that go to the cemeteries or martyriums of heretics in order to pray or for the sake of healing their sick. But neither ought any Christian to celebrate any feast together with heretics, nor to accept any gifts they may send him on their holidays, according to the thirty-seventh Canon of the same Synod of Laodicea.
46. We order any Bishop, or Presbyter, that has accepted any heretics’ Baptism, or sacrifice, to be deposed; for “what consonancy hath Christ with Beliart or what part hath the believer with an infidel?”
It behooves Orthodox Christians to shun heretics and the ceremonies and rites of heretics. They, i.e., heretics, ought rather to be criticized and admonished by Bishops and Presbyters, in the hope of their apprehending and returning from their error. For this reason the present Canon prescribes if any Bishop or Presbyter shall accept a heretic‘s Baptism as correct and true, or any sacrifice offered by them, it is ordered that he be dropped. For what agreement hath Christ with the Devil? or what portion hath the believer with an unbeliever? Those who accept the doings of heretics either themselves entertain similar views to theirs or at any rate they lack an eagerness to free them from their misbelief. For how can those who acquiese in their religious ceremonies and rites criticize them with the view of persuading them to give up their cacodoxical and erroneous heresy?
47. If a Bishop or Presbyter baptize anew anyone that has had a true baptism, of fail to baptize anyone that has been polluted by the impious, let him be deposed, on the ground that he is mocking the Cross and death of the Lord and railing to distinguish priests from pseudopriests.
One Baptism has been handed down to us Orthodox Christians (Eph. 4:4) by our Lord as well as by the divine Apostles and the holy Fathers, because the cross and the death of the Lord, in the type, or similitude, of which baptism is celebrated, were but one. For this reason the present Apostolical Canon prescribes that in case any Bishop or Presbyter should baptize a second time anew and beginning all over again, as though dealing with one utterly unbaptized, a person who has been truly baptized in accordance with the order given by the Lord and iterated by the Apostles and the divine Fathers, in the very seme manner, that is to say, as Orthodox Christians are baptized, he shall be deposed, because with this second rebaptism he is recrucifying and publicly ridiculing the Son of God, wrhich St. Paul says is impossible, and he is offering a second death to the Lord, whom death no longer can conquer (Heb. 6:4); Rom. 6:5), according to the same St. Paul. Likewise in case any Bishop or Presbyter should refuse to baptize with the regular baptism of the Catholic Church one who has been polluted, by which is meant a person who has been baptized by the impious, or, in plainer language, heretics, he is to be deposed, since he is deriding or making fun of the cross and death of the Lord, wrongly and mistakenly thinking that the polluted and disgustful baptism of heretics is a type, or similitude, of the cross and death of the Lord, which, however, it is not, and for this reason accepts it and holds it to be equal to the baptism of the Orthodox Christians. And in addition because it fails to distinguish the true priest of the Orthodox from the false priests of the heretics, but, instead, accepts them both as equally true. For neither can the abominable baptism of heretics make true Christians out of those who are baptized with it, nor can their ordination make true priests out of those ordained, according to Apostolical Canon LXVIII. Note, moreover, that, as we have said, holy Baptism is performed in the type, or similitude, of the cross and death of the Lord. For St. Paul says that “all of us who have been baptized in Jesus Christ have been baptized in His death” (Rom. 6:3). And “Therefore we have been buried with Him by baptism in death” (Rom. 6:4). And “we have been planted together in the likeness of His death” (Rom. 6:5). Why, even the cross was called a baptism by the Lord, according to Chrysostom, when He said: “Are ye able … be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? … Ye shall … indeed … be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with” (Matt. 20:22-23; Rom. 6:9). And again: “I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how I am distressed till it be accomplished” (Luke 12:50).
48. If any layman who has divorced his wife takes another, or one divorced by another man, let him be excommunicated.
(c. LXXXVII of 6th; c. XX of Anc.; c. XIII of Carth.; cc. XXI, XXXV, and LXXVII of Basil.).
Inasmuch as the Lord decreed in His Gospel that “Whosoever shall divorce his wife, save on account of fornication, is causing her to commit adultery: and whoso marrieth her who hath been divorced doth commit adultery” (Matt. 5:32; 19:9), therefore the divine Apostles too, following the Lord’s decree, say in the present Canon of theirs: If any layman who insists upon divorcing his wife, except on the ground of fornication, which is to say adultery (for the Evangelist here mistook the word fornication for adultery. Concerning this point see also c. IV of Nyssa), and takes another woman that is free to marry, let him be excommunicated. Likewise let him be excommunicated if, after being divorced from his wife without the ground of fornication, he takes another woman who is one also divorced from her husband without the ground of fornication, or, in other words, of adultery. These things which we have said with reference to the husband must be understood to apply also to the wife who leaves her husband, save on account of fornication, and takes another man as her husband. As for any man or any woman that separates from his or her mate without a reasonable cause and remarries or is remarried, he or she shall be canonized to have no communion for seven vears, according to c. LXXXVII of the 6th, c. XX of Ancyra, and cc. LXXVII and XXXVII of Basil. Read also c. XLIII of Carthage which prescribes that if a married couple separate without the commission of fornication on the part of either spouse, either they must remain unmarried or they must become reconciliated and be reunited, as St. Paul also sas in chapter 7 of his First’ Epistle to the Corinthians.
49. If any Bishop or Presbyter baptize anyone not into the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit in accordance with the Lord’s ordinance, but into three beginningless beings or into three sons or into three comforters, let him be deposed.
When the Lord sent forth His disciples to preach the Gospel, He told them: “Go ye, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” (Matt. 28:19). So the present Apostolical Canon prescribes that any Bishop or Presbyter who, instead of baptizing in that manner, in accordance with the ordinance of the Lord’s, baptizes into three beginningless beings, into three sons, or into three comforters shall be deposed. For certain heretics, blaspheming against the Holy Trinity, were being baptized in such a manner notwithstanding that the Church of orthodox Christians had received instructions to say the Father on account of His being beginning-less and unbegotten, even though the Son is also said to be beginningless as respects any beginning in point of time, as St. Gregory the Theologian theologically argues: and likewise to say the Holy Spirit, though not with respect to cause and natural beginning, for this character belongs only to the Father. Accordingly, the formula includes a Son on account of His ineffable birth, and a Paraclete (or Comforter), the Holy Spirit, on account of His super-rational procession out of the Father alone. Note, on the other hand, that all the Canons of the Apostles that relate to and speak of baptism mention only Bishops and Presbyters. For they alone have permission to baptize, and deacons and other clergymen have not.
50. Trine immersion in baptism.
If any Bishop or Presbyter does not perform three immersions (literally, “three baptisms”) in making one baptism (literally, “one initiation”), but (sc. only) a single immersion (literally, “a single baptism”), that given into the death of the Lord, let him be deposed (sc. from office). For the Lord did not say, “Baptize ye into my death,” but, “Go ye and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” (Matt. 28:19).
There are three things quite necessary and in any case altogether indispensable in the mystery (i.e., sacrament) of Holy Baptism: holy water; trine immersion and emersion in the water; and an invocation of each of the three Supergod Substances. In the foregoing 49th Canon the divine Apostles ordered and taught concerning the three invocations, what names we are to say, and in what order. In the present, or 50th, Canon they proceed to ordain concerning the three immersions and emersions. This means, as we have said, that these are necessary as regards what is simply called necessary, and are constituents of the true and orthodox baptism. Accordingly, without them not only is a baptism incomplete, but it cannot even be called a baptism at all. For, if to baptize means in more familiar language to dip, then speaking of immersions in the water is the same thing as speaking of three dips or baptisms; a dip is also called a baptism, and is not so called because of anything else. But let us see what the Apostles decree in regard to the word. Whatever bishop or presbyter in the single mystery of baptism fails to perform three baptisms, or three immersions, but instead performs only one immersion carried out as though into the one death of the Lord, let him be deposed from office. (See this Apostolical Canon refuting Eunomius — a Roman Catholic bishop deposed A.D. 361 — the first to substitute a single immersion in baptism, as we said before, though other heretics may have been doing this even in the time of the holy Apostles). Since the Lord did not tell us, His Apostles, when He was sending us forth to preach, “Baptize ye in my death,” but instead He told us, “Go ye and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” — which means, of course, baptize ye them with three immersions and emersions, and with each immersion add ye aloud each single name of the Holy Trinity. For in a single immersion and emersion neither is the three days’ death of the Savior perspicuously represented nor are the mystery and the theognosy (i.e., knowledge of God) of the Holy Trinity at all indicated. Hence any such baptism, being destitute of theology, and of the incarnate economy, is most impious and cacodoxical. But with three immersions and emersions both faith in the Holy Trinity is clearly affirmed and the three days’ death and burial and resurrection of the Savior are at the same time symbolized. Thence it consequently follows that our baptism comprises the two foremost dogmas of our expression of the orthodox faith — that, I mean, of the theology of the vivifying Trinity, and that of the incarnate economy of the God Logos.
51. If any Bishop, or Presbyter, or Deacon, or anyone at all on the sacerdotal list, abstains from marriage, or meat, or wine, not as a matter of mortification, but out of an abhorrence thereof, forgetting that all things are exceedingly good, and that God made man male and female, and blasphemously misrepresenting God’s work of creation, either let him mend his ways or let him be deposed from office and expelled from the Church. Let a layman be treated similarly.
(Ap. c. LIII; c. XIII of the 6th; c. XIV of Ancyra; cc. I, IX, XIV, XXI of Gangra; c. LXXXVI of Basil.).
Since all things are pure unto the pure in heart and conscience (Tit. 1:15). “For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be rejecteds if it be received with thanksgiving” (I Tim. 4:4); just as St. Paul says in particular: and there is nothing that is common or “unclean of itself,” i.e., impure in respect of its own nature and entity (Rom. 14:14). For this reason, too, the divine Apostles in their present Canon are at one in ordaining that any bishop or presbyter or deacon, or anyone on the sacerdotal list of priests and clergymen, who forgets that everything that God has made is good, and that God created man male and female (Gen. 1:27), and abstains from marriage, and from the eating of meat, and from the drinking of wine, not by way of mortification and temperance and discipline of the flesh, but because he loathes them, and in this way blasphemes and misrepresents the work of God’s creation by considering that it is unclean and bad, any such person, I say, must either correct himself and learn not to loathe and shun these things by bethinking himself of the fact that neither marriage, nor lawful intercourse with a woman is harmful, nor is meat, nor wine, but only the misuse of them. If, however, he fails to correct himself, Jet him be deposed, and at the same time be excommunicated from the Church. Likewise let any layman who should loathe these things be excommunicated.
In agreement also with their c. LIII the same Apostles depose those in holy orders who fail to eat meat on feast days, or to drink wine on such days, not for the sake of mortification, but out of abhorrence or abomination. The council held in Gangra, on the other hand, even subjects to anathema those men who disparage matrimony and loathe a Christian woman who sleeps with her lawful husband (in its c. I); and particularly those who remain virgins, not for the sake of the good of virginity itself, but because they loathe lawful marriage (c. IX); and that a woman who departs from her husband on the ground that she finds marriage disgusting (c. XIV). For this reason the Sixth Ecum. C. in its c. XIII, following the present Apostolical Canon and Ap. c. V, further ordains that the marriage contracts of those in holy orders are to remain in full force and effect and indissoluble; and that none of them are not to be forbidden the holy orders simply because they have a lawful wife, seeing that, according to the Apostle, “marriage is honorable, and the bed undefined” (Heb. 13:4). The council held in Arcyra prescribes (in its c. XIV) that those presbyters and deacons who do not eat meat, as a matter of temperance, ought to taste a little of it in order to avoid rousing the suspicion that they loathe it, and then exercise temperance and refrain from eating any more of it.
52. If any Bishop or Presbyter shall refuse to welcome back anyone returning from sin, but, on the contrary, rejects him, let him be deposed from office, since he grieves Christ, who said: “There is joy in heaven over a single sinner who repenteth.”
(cc. LIII and XII of Carthage; Matt. 18:12-14; Luke 15:7-10).
“Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37), says the Lord. It is for this reason that the divine Apostles in this Canon ordain that if any bishop or presbyter refuses to receive someone who is returning from sin and is repentant, but rejects him and chases him away, like that Novatian who, loathing him, in a way, and shunning him because of his sins, let him be deposed: for by what he is doing he is grieving Christ, who has said, “there is joy in heaven,” that is to say, among the angels in heaven, “on account of a single sinner who repents of-his previous sins”(Luke 15:7). And if He said Himself again, “I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Matt. 9:13), it is evident that one who refuses to welcome back sinners is thwarting and opposing Christ. No one that thwarts Christ is a disciple of His. No one who is not a disciple deserves to be in holy orders. For how can anyone be in holy orders and be acceptable to Christ when he has made himself an antichrist and is thwarting Christ’s will?
In keeping herewith c. LIII of Carthage also ordains that no bishop shall refuse God’s grace and reconciliation to (theatrical) actors and mimics when they return to God. After such men have become Christians they are not to be compelled to return to the same plays, according to c. LXXII of the same council. For this reason the same Apostles in their Injunctions (Book 2, chapters 15 and 40) give orders to the bishop with reference to those men who may be excommunicated by the rest of Christians on account of their sins, that he himself is not to reject them or cast them away, but, on the contrary, is to associate with them and take care of them, comforting and assisting them, and telling them: “Be strong, ye weak hands and feeble knees” (Isa. 35:3), lest as a result of excessive grief they become insane and mad. Just as St. Paul too commanded the Corinthians to associate and make love with that one who had been previously excommunicated, lest as a result of overwhelming grief he be swallowed up by Satan and become despondent. Read also the epistle of Dionysius the Areopagite which he wrote to the Therapeutic Demophilus, and see how strongly he censures and rebukes him because he ejected and kicked away from the Church a man who had returned from sin and had repented. In writing to a certain presbyter by the name of Charicles who appeared to be hard on penitents, St. Nile censured him because he dared to appall Faustinus with grief notwithstanding that the latter had confessed his sins outspokenly and with great humility. The words of the Church Father were the following: “It seems, Charicles, that in planting the vines of Christ you are slack, whereas in cutting off those planted by Him and throwing them out of the vineyard you are eager enough. Man alive, do not try to tell us that when a person has done wrong but confesses outspokenly he is not acceptable to God. For in saying these things you are not far away from the Novatians, who deny repentance after baptism, as you refuse to accept oral repentance, and indeed when you have learned that great Moses demanded the he-goat from Aaron not negligently but violently, and thereby revealed the confession and pardon of a sinful soul. Of course it is well and highly appropriate for the soul to repent with deeds and works, that is, with fasting and bodily hardship. Yet if anyone happens to be deprived of these helps on account of weakness of the body or any other accident, but has a clean oral confession, he is acceptable to God, who died for our sins; just as Moses mixed goat hair with byssus and gold, valueless things with precious things, in making the Tabernacle. I ask you what trouble the publican went to in order to be saved. Was he not saved by mere words of humility? Did the robber sweat much in getting himself transferred from the Cross to Paradise? Was he not saved at the expense of a few words? The same is true of Manasses. Well, then, care not so much about God’s indignation, Charicles, but consider also His immense charitableness and philanthropy of God. ‘For great is thy mercy toward me,’ it says (Ps. 86:13). So do not thoughtlessly say that God will not accept words of repentance. For I will retort that when you think that God wants the silver and gold and any other costly gifts, but does not care for the twopence of the widow, how can you expect me to believe that you know the Bible, seeing that you forget the Savior’s words, wherein he said that His Father does not want one of these little ones to be lost (Matt. 18:14), while you demand many and large ones? Man alive, you are teaching things that are contrary to the Savior! And where do you put the saying of Isaiah: ‘Be the first to tell thy sins, that thou mayest be justified’ (Isa. 43:26)? God, who created us, accepts not only chastity of body, ordeals of martyrs, and ascetic struggles, but even sadness of countenance, when it is worn on account of one’s sins. Yea, even fruit of lips (Heb. 13:15) confessing the name of Christ. For some men can fight back, while others cannot, because they are easily defeated. And, to sum up the matter in a few words, many things are done by sinners that seem to be trifles, yet they occasion great salvation to the penitents. Notice that Moses, too, or rather God through Moses, ordains that men should offer as sacrifices for their sins not only oxen and goats (which are things owned by the rich), but, with attention to the weary men humbling themselves with the humble, to prevent them from desponding, He moderated the law so far as to demand only a dove and a little wheat flour. So you too, presbyter, must be careful to treat the man decently who shows a contrite heart, and let him return and be saved, not only by asking sinners for fruits in the way of achievements and ascetic works, but also by accepting penitential words of one who confesses his sins with humility and contrition of heart.”
53. If any Bishop, or Presbyter, or Deacon, on the days of feasts will not partake of meat and wine, because he loathes these things, and not on account of asceticism, let him be deposed from office, on the ground that he has his own conscience seared and has become a cause of scandal to many.
(Ap. c. LI; c. XIV of Ancyra; cc. I, IX, XIV, XVIII of Gangra; c. LXXXVI of Basil.).
This Canon too, like c. LI (which also read), ordains that if any bishop or presbyter or deacon refuses to eat meat or to drink wine on feast days, not as a matter of mortification and temperance, but because he loathes these things, let him be deposed: seeing that he has a seared conscience, or, to put it otherwise, he is callous (or insensible, or unfeeling) and insentient (in much the same way as members of the human body become insentient when they happen to get burned), or one which is attainted and infected (in much the same way as those who have cauterized a sore exuding matter and pus); and seeing that he becomes an object of scandal to the multitude of men who, gathering together on feast days, are wont to make agapes, or common tables, and to eat all together: such tables are called by St. Paul the Lord’s supper, or the common meal, in his First Epistle to the Corinthians (11:21); concerning them see the footnote to c. LXXIV of the Sixth Ecum. Council.
This accords with what St. Paul says particularly in his First Epistle to Timothy (4:2) about those heretics who had their conscience seared with a hot iron and who taught men to abstain from foods because of loathsomeness. Read also Ap. c. LI.
54. If any clergyman be caught eating in a tavern or any restaurant where intoxicating beverages are served, let him be excommunicated, except only in case it happens to be at a wayside inn where he has put up for the night by necessity.
(Ap. cc. XLII, XLIII; c. IX of the 6th; c. XXII of the 7th; c. XXIV of Laodicea; cc. XLVII, LXIX of Carthage.).
Those who have been enrolled in God ought to be a model of decent life to the laity, in order to avoid having the name of God blasphemed on their account. For this reason the present Canon ordains that if any clergyman be found eating a meal at a tavern, he shall be excommunicated. For what else does the fact that they go to a tavern signify than that they are living an indecent life, and that they are depraved, not only as touching their desire for food and drink, but also as regards their other habits; seeing that indecent men and indecent and immodest women congregate in taverns, so that he who associates with them cannot of course remain without a share in their vices, since, according to St. Paul, “evil communications corrupt good manners” (I Cor. 15:33). The sole exception is when a clergyman happens to be traveling and, having no other place to go to in order to spend the night, is obliged to stop at a hotel or wayside inn to take a rest from his journey. Read also the Interpretation of Ap. c. XLII.
55. If any Clergyman should insult the Bishop, let him be deposed from office. For ” thou shall not speak ill of thy people’s ruler.”
(c. Ill of St. Sophia (or “Holy Wisdom”); Exod. 22:28.).
In view of the fact that a bishop and prelate is considered to have been molded conformably to the Lord and to be the sensible (or tangible) head of the body of the Church, he ought to receive more honor than the rest of men in holy orders. For this reason the present Canon ordains that any clergymen who insults the bishop shall be deposed from office, because it is written in the Law: “Thou shalt not say bad things about the leader and ruler of thy people, whether it be internal and spiritual, that is to say, or external and bodily or corporeal abuse. For it is for this reason that the bishop is also called a prelate, as being the ruler of the priests, and a hierarch, as being the ruler of sacred things, according to divine Maximus as well as Dionysius the Areopagite. Canon III of the council held at St. Sophia says: “Whoever dares to strike or to imprison a bishop, without cause or for any fictitious and false cause, such a person shall be anathematized.”
56. If any Clergyman should insult a Presbyter or a Deacon, let him be excommunicated.
Presbyters and deacons, functioning as hands by which the bishop governs the church, ought to be accorded due honor also, though not so much as the prelate. It is for this reason that the present Canon ordains that any clergyman who insults a presbyter or deacon shall be excommunicated only (which is a lighter punishment), and not be deposed from office, like the one who insults the bishop (which is an offense meriting a heavier punishment). For, just as the head is superior to the hands and all other members of the human body, while the hands are inferior to the head, so it follows too that those who dishonor the head deserve greater punishment, while those who dishonor the hands deserve less punishment.
57. If any Clergyman jeers, fleers, or flouts, or contumeliously or scurrilously or derisively or mockingly scoffs or sneers at anyone who is lame or maimed, or who is deaf, or who is blind, or who is a cripple, let him be excommunicated. The same rule applies also to a layman.
Those who have members of their body crippled or maimed ought indeed to expect and receive merciful treatment, to be helped and to be led by those who have healthy and sound members, in fact, and not to be laughed at and mocked. Hence the present Canon ordains that if any clergyman mocks a lame man, or a deaf man, or a blind man, or a cripple (i.e., one whose legs or feet have been injured or maimed so as to be incapable of efficient use), let him be excommunicated. Likewise if any layman do such a thing, let him be excommunicated. For is not the punishment and chastisement enough which God gives them, by judgments whereof He alone has knowledge, and for that reason in addition to such chastisement must men take God’s judgment into their own hands and inflict extra punishment on those unfortunates with their mockery and derision? Oh what great lack of fear of God and what madness! For the Lord’s sake, brethren, hereafter never dare to mock or to shun such cripples as though they were an untouchable fire or miasma, and to follow that illogical and most foolish custom prescribed in the proverb which says: “Avoid defectives.” On the contrary, rather help them in every way that you can; in order that you may have mercy bestowed upon you by the Lord, for having shown yourselves sympathetic and compassionate in regard to your fellow servants. That is why God also commands that no one shall blame a deaf person for not hearing, nor put obstacles in front of the feet of a blind man because he cannot see. “Thou shalt not speak bad things about one who is deaf, and in front of one who is blind thou shalt not set a stumbling block: and thou shalt fear the Lord thy God”(Lev. 19:14).
58. If any Bishop or Presbyter neglects the Clergy or the laity, and fails to instruct them in piety, let him be excommunicated: but if he persists in his negligence and indolence, let him be deposed from office.
(c XXV of 4th; cc. XIX, LXXX of 6th; c. XVI of lst-and-2nd; cc. XI, XII of Sard. ec. LXXIX, LXXXII, LXXXVI, CXXXI, CXXXII, CXXXIII of Carthage; c. VI of Nyssa; c. X of Archbishop Peter.).
It is the bishop’s indispensable duty to teach the laity subject to him the dogmas of piety every day, and to adjust it to a correct belief and to a virtuous manner of life. For God says through the prophet Ezekiel, to the leaders of peoples: “Son of man, I have made thee a watchman over the house of Israel, and over the house of Judah: unless thou give warning, and state publicly, that the iniquitous man shall die in his iniquity, I will require his blood at thy hand” (Ezek. 3:17-18).
It is for that reason that the present Canon ordains that if any bishop or presbyter (presbyters too need to teach) neglects his clergymen and all the rest of the laity, and fails to teach them the doctrines and works of piety, let him be excommunicated until he corrects himself. If, however, he persists in his negligence and indolence, let him be deposed as unworthy of the episcopate or presbytery, as the case may be.
It is furthermore notable that even the Sixth in its c. XIX ordains that while the leaders of peoples ought to teach their clergy and laity every day, yet they ought to do so especially and thoroughly on Sundays, by reading from the Holy Scriptures the thoughts of truth, just as they are interpreted by the Fathers and God-bearing teachers of the Church. Canon CXXXII of Carthage says that if a bishop paying no attention to heretics in his province is reminded of this fact by neighboring bishops, and after six months he has taken no measures to correct the situation, those regions are to be turned over to another bishop who can convert them. If, on the other hand, the neglectful bishop has stated falsely that those heretics have joined the catholic Church, and that on this account he paid no attention to them, such bishop shall lose his episcopate, according to c. CXXXIII of the same C. Again, c. LXXIX of the same C. ordains that neither must he stay for a long time in regions that are subject to his jurisdiction, while neglecting that region in which his own throne is situated. Canon XVI of the lst-&-2nd deposes one who is absent from his province for more than six months (without illness or Imperial or Patriarchal business to transact or services to perform), and in such a case it commands that another man be ordained in his stead. In this connection, cc. XI and XII of the Sardican allows him a shorter time yet, namely, only three weeks, to absent himself from it. The same time is specified in c. LXXX of the 6th. But c. XXV of the 4th ordains that metropolitans may defer ordination of their bishops only for three months except only a longer period is indispensably necessary. With a view to such a contingency and the variances of the laity c. LXXXII of Carthage allows a year for the installation of a bishop in a vacant province, but not more. Again, its c. LXXXVI is averse to having provinces left for a long time without the services of a bishop of their own. Even c. X of Archibishop Peter deposes those who leave the flock of the Lord, but go of their own accord to martyrdom, and who have first denied, but have later confessed the faith. So great is the obligation and indispensable the service which prelates owe to the laity entrusted to their care. Hence even though there be nothing else to restrain them from neglecting their duty, yet, unless they are drunk, let them be incited to do their duty by the name of Bishop which they bear and which signifies guarding and keeping a watch. Being on guard, they ought to keep awake and keep their eyes open and see what is going on, and not to neglect matters and become sleepy. For it was on this account, indeed, that the sacred synthronus has been established and located in the vicinity of the sacrificial altar, in order that, by ascending upon it and sitting in it, the bishop may look down from above and oversee, as from a lofty coign of vantage, the laity subject to him and beneath him, and can oversee it more accurately; while the presbyters standing beside him or sitting next to him are hence incited and stimulated to supervise things themselves and to offer the laity preparative instruction and guidance, as co-workers allotted to the bishop, as Zonaras says. The same conception is afforded by the bishop’s throne which stands in the church, being higher than other seats, and on this account called the highest Watchtower, and sacred pinnacle of the throne, according to Deacon Ignatius (in his life of Patriarch Nicephorus). If, on the other hand, the bishop and the presbyters are ignorant and have no ability to teach, they ought, to be consistent, to invite teachers and preachers to come in from other regions, allowing them enough to live on and paying them a suitable remuneration. They ought further to establish schools in their parishes, and by means of them to defray the cost of teaching which they owe to the people. Otherwise the authority of the Canons must prevail at all times.
59. If any Bishop or Presbyter fails to supply necessities when any of the clergy is in want, let him be excommunicated. If he persists, let him be deposed, as having murdered his brother.
(Ap. cc. IV, XLI.).
The property and revenue of the churches are called resources, because they are the sources from which necessities are distributed to the poverty-stricken. And if the officials of the churches ought to distribute them to the needy and those in want in any other cases, how much more ought they not to distribute them to the clergymen dependent upon them who are indigent and in want? That is the reason why the present Canon ordains that if any bishop or presbyter fails to supply the necessities of life from the resources of the bishopric or parish (for even the parishes of presbyters had a revenue, concerning which see the footnote to c. IV of the 4th) to any clergyman of that bishopric or of that parish that is in want, let him be excommunicated until such time as he starts giving a supply. If, however, he persists in his pitilessness, let him be deposed entirely; for, so far lay within his will, be became the murderer of his brother; for, of course, anyone who lacks the necessities of life must die; while one who has them and refuses to give to one who lacks them and is in danger, is indisputable a slayer of this person. If, however, the latter did not really die, divine Providence having provided for him through other friends of the poor, the one who had and would not give is judged to be a murderer because of his pitilessness and cruelty. Read also Ap. c. IV; and further XLV, which ordains that the bishop ought to supply the needs both of himself and of any brethren who happen to be his guests, from the property and revenue of the churches. But if he ought to supply the needs of his guests, how much ought not he to supply those of the clergymen who are subject to him?
60. If anyone reads to the public in churches the books of impious writers bearing false inscriptions and purporting to be holy, to the injury of laity and clergy, let him be deposed.
(cc. II and LXIII of the 6th; c. IX of the 7th; c. LI of Laodicea.).
Of existing books some, written by heretics or other impious men, have been falsely ascribed to saints in their title-page or cover, with a view to deceiving and misleading the more simple-minded. Examples of such books are the so-called “Gospel according to St. Thomas,” which was written by Manichees but ascribed to the Apostle Thomas by name; the so-called “Revelations” of Abraham, of Isaac, of Jacob, and of the Theotoke (i.e., Virgin Mary); the babblements of Chrysomalles, which the heretic Pamphilus inscribed as Theological Verses; and countless other such works, mention of which is made by St. Meletius the Confessor in blank verse in what he entitled “The Alphabet of alphabets.” Other books which were Orthodox and pious, and written by Orthodox Christians and saints, were adulterated by heretics later, just as the Injunctions of the Apostles through Clemens were adulterated by cacodoxical miscreants, on which account they were rejected too, as asserted by the Sixth Ecumenical Council in its second Canon. Also the apocryphal books of Elijah, and of Jeremiah, and of Enoch, and of still other eminent prophets and patriarchs. Hence it is that the present Apostolical Canon ordains that whoever makes public and has people read in church as holy books the books of heretics and cacodoxical authors bearing false titles or falsely ascribed to others, in order to hurt the souls of the common laity and of clergymen, shall be deposed from office. For such books ought to be condemned, or at least to be hidden away from sight, and not to be read in church.
Wherefore the Sixth Council in its c. LXIII ordains that as for the martyrologies fictitiously forged by the enemies of the truth, in order to dishonor the martyrs of Christ, and in order to cause people to become disbelievers because of the strangeness of their contents, they must not be published, but must be consigned to the flames. But also as regarding those who accept them as true, they are to be anthematized. So those are not doing right who read in church the tale ascribed to James the brother of God at the feast of the birthday of the Theotoke: for one thing, because it contains a lot of strange things which no other Father of our Church mentions, such as that especially which it says to the effect that Joseph the husband-to-be brought a midwife to assist in that awful and snow-white birth of our Lord out of the Virgin which surpasses the human intellect; and for another thing, because the said St. Meletius classes this tale too among the spurious and falsely-entitled books of heretics. Canon IX of the 7th deposes clergymen, and excommunicates laymen and monks who conceal and fail to reveal false writings that are against the holy icons, in order that they may not become publicly known, but be put along with the other books of heretics in the library of Constantinople.
61. If a charge of fornication, or of adultery, or of any other forbidden act be brought against a faithful one, and be proved, let him not be promoted to the clergy.
(c. VI of the 2nd; cc. LIX, CXXXVIII of Carthage.).
If any man be caught in fornication, or adultery, or any other such impropriety, not only when he is a clergyman and in holy orders, according to c. XXV of the Apostles, but even when he is a layman, he is prevented from becoming, not only a priest, but even a mere clergyman, that is to say, even an anagnost or a psalt or a janitor, or anything at all in the way of minor offices of the church, as the present Canon ordains, by saying: If anyone should bring a charge against any Christian on the alleged ground that he has committed fornication or adultery or any other sinful act forbidden by the sacred Canons, if it be proved beyond a doubt that such Christian really committed the sinful act with which he is charged, let him not be promoted to a clerical office, i.e., let him not be ordained a clergyman of the Church. However, the persons of the accusers and of the gainsayers ought to be examined first, to make sure they are not slaves or persons that have been emancipated from slavery, and that they are not forbidden by civil laws to bring charges, according to c. CXXXVIII of Carthage, which says: “Provided they are not themselves accused by others. For none of these men are allowed to bring charges against any person whatsoever, unless they first prove themselves innocent of those crimes of which they have been accused, both according to Armenopoulos (Book 1, Title II) and according to c. VI of the 2nd Ecum. C. If, however, the accusers are free from the above impediments and prove the charge to be true which they brought against the candidate in question, the latter cannot become a clergyman. But if, on the other hand, they are unable to prove the charge within three months, they themselves are to be excommunicated forever from the communion of the intemerate mysteries by the prelate who is about to ordain the clergyman, on the ground that they are slanderers and calumniators, while the one slandered and calumniously misrepresented is to be ordained a clergyman as having shown himself to be clear and not guilty of the charge; as is enjoined in the first ordinance of the first title of the Novels (Photius, Title I, ch. 8). For this reason the same Novel prescribes that ordinations — that is to say, the votes of bishops and clergymen — must be given in front of all the laity of the church, so that anyone who wishes to speak may have permission and the opportunity to do so. Hence in conformity therewith c. LIX of Carthage says the same thing, prescribing that if, when the votes are taken and the elections are held of prelates, any objection be raised by anyone in the way of an accusation of crimes, the objectors are to be examined, and after the candidate appears to be clear before the eyes of all the laity of the charge that have been brought against him, then he is to be ordained a bishop. But it is plain that this which the Council says with reference to a bishop, is to be understood as applying also to clergymen. Concerning the latter see the footnotes to Ap. c. II and cc. V and XIII of Laodicea, and Ap. c. XXX.
62. If any Clergyman, for fear of any human being, whether the latter be a Jew or a Greek or a heretic, should deny the name of Christ, let him be cast out and rejected’, or if he deny the name of clergyman, let him be deposed, and if he repent, let him be accepted as a layman.
(c. X of the 1st; cc. I, II, III, XII of Ancyra; of Peter the Archbishop X, XIV; Letter of Athanasius to Ruf.; c. XLV of Basil; c. II of Theophilus.).
The present Canon commands that if any clergyman, out of fear of human punishment, at the hands, that is to say, of Jews, or of Greeks, or of heretics, should deny the name of Christ, let him be deposed, after he has repented, from his clerical office, but also let him additionally be cast out of the Church and excluded therefrom, and let him stand in the class of penitents. But if on account of fear of any human being he should disavow the name of his clerical office, which is the same as saying if he should deny that he is such or such a clergymen, or an anagnost, that is to say, or a psalt, or anything else, let him be deposed only from his clerical office. For it be but just that he should be deprived of that which he has denied and disowned. But after such a one has repented, let him be allowed to accept communion along with the faithful as a layman, or, in other words, let him be allowed to join in prayer with the faithful.
Canons I and II of Ancyra ordains that those presbyters and deacons who have truly sacrificed and denied on account of tortures inflicted by persecutors, but afterwards, having vanquished the enemy, have confessed their faith, are commanded to have the honor of sitting along with presbyters in high seats, but are not to offer sacrifice or to teach or to perform any sacerdotal office. Likewise c. X of Peter the Archbishop deprives those of the ministry who have voluntarily and of their own accord rushed to martyrdom, but after denying, have later again gained the victory and have confessed the faith. But all clergymen who have taken incense in their hands, or any food, under stress of coercion, and have upheld the faith valiantly, not only are they not to lose their ministerial office, but they are even to be numbered among confessors, according to c. XIV of Peter. Not only are those who have denied after being admitted to holy order to be deposed from office, but also those who had formerly denied but had afterwards been ordained and have been discovered are to be deposed from office. Also see c. X of the First.
63. If any Bishop, or Presbyter, or Deacon, or anyone else on the sacerdotal list at all, eat meat in the blood of its soul, or that has been killed by a wild beast, or that has died a natural death, let him be deposed. For the Law has forbidden this. But if any layman do the same, let him be excommunicated.
(c. LXVII of 6th; c. II of Ancyra; Acts 15:28-29.).
Because of the fact that even God in giving the law about comestibles to Noah said to him: “Every moving thing that liveth shall be food for you; even like the green herb have I given you all things. But meat in the blood of its soul shall ye not eat” (Gen. 9:3-4), in the present Canon the divine Apostles ordain that any bishop, or presbyter, or deacon, or anyone else on the list of priests and clergymen, shall be deposed from office if he eat meat with blood, which is the animal’s life, meaning strangled, according to Chrysostom; or if he should eat meat killed by a wild beast — that is to say, an animal caught and killed by a wolf, say, or by a bear, or by any other such beast, or by a vulture; or if he should eat meat that has died a natural death — that is to say, a carcass that has died of itself: any clergyman, in other words, that is guilty of eating such flesh shall be deposed from office, since the Law too prohibits the eating of it, including both the law given to Noah, as we have said, and that given to Moses in ch. 17 of Leviticus. If, however, the one who ate it should be a layman, he shall be excommunicated.
Moreover, in the new Law of the Gospel too such things are not allowed to be eaten. For these same Apostles held a meeting and wrote to the heathen inhabitants of Antioch and of Syria and of Cilicia the following words: “It has seemed right to the Holy Spirit and to us not to impose any further burden upon you, except what is necessary in these matters, to wit: to abstain from eating food offered to idols, and blood, and fornication” (Acts 15:28-29). The reason why animals killed by wild beasts or preyed upon by vultures, and those which have died a natural death or which have been strangled, are forbidden is that not all their blood has been removed, but, on the contrary, most of it remains in them, being scattered throughout the veinlets of all the meat, from which veinlets there is no way for it to escape. Wherefore those who eat them are eating meat in the blood of its soul. Accordingly, c. LXVII of the 6th deposes any clergyman that eats blood in any manner or by any device whatever, while, on the other hand, it excommunicates a layman for doing so. Canon II of Gangra also forbids the eating of blood and strangled flesh and food offered to idols.
64. If any Clergyman be found fasting on Sunday, or on Saturday with the exception of one only, let him be deposed from office. If, however, he is a layman, let him be excommunicated.
(cc. LV, LVI of 6th; c. XVIII of Gangra; c. XXIX of Laodicea; c. XV of Peter the Archbishop; c. I of Theophilus.).
Fasting is one thing, and leaving off fasting is another thing, and abolishing fasting is still another thing. Thus, fasting, properly speaking, is complete abstinence from food of all kinds, or even when one eats but once a day, about the ninth hour, dry food, or, more explicitly speaking, plain bread and water alone. Leaving off fasting is when one eats before the ninth hour, even though it be merely figs, or merely currants or raisins, or anything else of this kind; or if, besides bread and water, he should eat also some kinds of frugal and cheap comestibles, such as, for instance, legumes, wine, olive oil, or shellfish. Abolishing fasting, on the other hand, is when one eats of all foodstuff’s, including meat, say, and fish, and milk, and cheese, and the rest. So it may be said that in the present Canon the divine Apostles ordain that if any clergyman be found in the habit of fasting on Sunday or on Saturday with complete abstinence from all food of every kind whatsoever, or even by eating only bread and water at the ninth hour, with the exception of one Saturday only, namely, that which is known as “Great Saturday” among Orthodox Christians (though by others called “Holy Saturday”), during which the body of the Lord was in the sepulcher, and during which all of us Orthodox Christians habitually fast, in accordance with the utterance of the Lord, who said: “the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast” (Matt. 9:15); see also the footnote to c. XXIX of the 6th — then and in that case, I say, let any such clergyman be deposed from office, or if it be a layman that is fasting on any of these days, let him be excommunicated. For as regards Saturday we do not fast, mainly and essentially because it is a day of rest and the one on which God rested from all His works of creation, in accordance with the Apostles’ Injunctions (usually called “Constitutions” in English), but improperly and inessentially because the Marcionists used to fast on that day, thereby contravening the honor due to the Creator of all things, according to St. Epiphanius (in his Haer, adversus Marcionem). Besides, even Margounius, in his interpretation of c. XI of Ancyra, says that the heretics called Colouthians and Apollinarians also used to fast on Saturday with a view to redeeming the sleeping ones. So, in addition to the real and inner reason why we do not fast on Saturday, which is, as we said, that on that day the Creator of all things took a rest, there is the further reason for not fasting in that we thus avoid the semblance of agreeing with the said heretics. On Sunday, of course, we do not fast on account of the universal joy attending the resurrection of our Lord. For it brings remembrance of the Sabbath of the first creation and formation of the world as its end and seal. But Sunday preserves a picture of the second creation and reformation as its beginning, but rather also as the beginning of the first creation too.
That is why the Sixth Council, confirming in its c. LV the present Apostolical Canon, commands that those residing in old Rome should keep it without any alteration of it, as they were in the habit of fasting on Saturdays of Holy Lent, whereas Peter the holy martyr in his c. XV calls Sunday a day of great joy. With these exceptions, however, that have been made in what has been said, there is no permission given to anyone to abolish the Saturdays and Sundays of the Lent in regard to cheese and eggs, according to c. XVI of the 6th, but only in regard to wine and oil and shellfish. But neither has anyone permission to suspend all work on Saturday, but only on Sunday. For c. XXIX of Laodicea anathematizes Christians doing this, on the ground that they are Judaizing. Since, however, the Council of Gangra, in its c. XVIII, anathematizes those who fast on Sunday, not for true mortification and temperance, but for ostensible, or, more plainly speaking, such as is merely feigned and hypocritical; and since c. LIII of the Apostles deposes any clergyman that does not eat meat nor drink wine on feast days, not with a view to self-mortification and temperance, but because he loathes these things, it is to be inferred as a consequence of these premises that those men are not transgressors of this Canon who for the sake of true self-mortification carried out with godlinessand modesty fast for ten or fifteen days and as an inevitable consequence fast also on the intervening days of Saturday and Sunday herein forbidden, as is also acknowledged by both Zonaras and Balsamon in unison, as much in their interpretation of Ap. c. LIII as in that of the present Ap. c. Yet even such persons, on these days, and especially on Sunday, ought not to fast all day long; that is the same as saying that they ought not pass the day without partaking of any feed at all, but, instead, ought to leave off their fasting, even before the ninth hcur and with some sort of comestible that will serve them as a means of leaving off but not abolishing their fast. In such a fashion, for example, c. I of Theophilus, with a view to avoiding the heresies of those who did not honor Sunday as the Lord’s day, provided a way to leave off fasting on this day by merely partaking of dates, with remarkable science and discernment. For as a matter of fact precisely in the same way with this provision for leaving off one’s fasting, he both kept the Canons which ordain that we must not fast on Sunday, and at the same time preserved the respectability of the requirement to fast on the eve of Theophany even when it happens to fall on a Sunday, so too did they succeed in accomplishing their purpose of temperance and self-mortification by leaving off fasting through the help of the provision to partake of a little food of some sort before the ninth hour, and thus they do not become transgressors of the Canons. Divine St. Jerome also confirms the permissibility of fasting on Saturday for the sake of true temperance and self-mortification. For in reply to Lycinius when the latter asked whether he ought to fast on Saturday, St. Jerome answered: “As far as desirable God gave us power to fast every day.” Not because of any loathing of food, that is to say, not for any ostensible and fictitious self-mortification, not by way of showing contempt for the Canons, not on account of any observance of the Law, but for the sake of true temperance, as we have said, and reverence, “though every man that striveth for mastery is temperate in all things” (I Cor. 9:25).
65. If any Clergyman, or Layman, enter a synagogue of Jews, or of heretics, to pray, let him be both deposed and excommunicated.
(Ap. cc. VII, XLV, LXXI; c. XI of the Oth; c. I of Antioch; cc. VI, XXXII, XXXIII, XXXVII, XXXVIII of Laodicea.).
The present Canon reckons it a great sin for a Christian to enter a synagogue of Jews or of heretics in order to pray. “For what portion hath a believer with an infidel?” (II Cor. 6:15), according to the divine Apostle. For if the Jews themselves are violating the Law by going into their synagogues and offering sacrifices, in view of the fact that the offering of sacrifices anywhere outside of Jerusalem is forbidden, according to the Law (as is attested by divine St. Justin in his dialogue with Tryphon, and by Sozomenus in his Ecclesiastical History, Book 5, ch. 21, and by St. Chrysostom in his second discourse against the Jews), how much more is not that Christian violating the law who prays along with the crucifiers of Christ? Moreover, it is also to be emphasized that any church of heretics, or any religious meeting of theirs, ought not to be honored or attended, but rather ought to be despised and rejected, on the ground that they believe things contrary to the beliefs of Orthodox Christians. Hence it is that the present Canon ordains that if any clergyman or layman enters the synagogue of the Jews or that of heretics for the sake of prayer, the clergyman shall be deposed from office and at the same time be excommunicated on the ground that he has committed a great sin, but as for the layman he is to be excommunicated only, since, inasmuch as he is a layman, he has sinned to a less degree than has the clergyman, in so doing, and because as a layman he is not liable to deposition and cannot therefore be deposed. Or, to speak more correctly, as others interpret the matter, the clergyman that enters a synagogue of Jews or heretics to pray shall be deposed from office, while any layman that does the same thing shall be excommunicated. Read also the interpretation of Ap. c. VII and that of Ap. c. XLV.
66. If any Clergyman strikes anyone in a fight, and kills by a single blow, let him be deposed from office for his insolence. But if he be a layman, let him be excommunicated.
(c. XCI of the 6th; cc. XXI, XXII, XXIII of Ancyra; Athanasius in his Epistles; cc. II, VIII, XI, XIII, XXXIII, XLIII, LII, LIV, LVI, LVII; c. V of Nyssa.).
In their c. XXVII the divine Apostles depose clergymen who either strike believers for having sinned or unbelievers for having wronged someone, as we explained in connection with the interpretation of that Canon. But in the present Canon they ordain that if any clergyman during a fight, i.e., in a quarrel, should strike anyone even a single heavy blow and from this alone the man should die, such clergyman shall be deposed from office, if not because he struck a heavy blow, if not because he killed the man without wanting to do so, but because he was overcome by anger and proved insolent and pert in lifting his arm and striking a blow, a thing which is forbidden to clergymen (I omit saying for the great and deadly sin of the murder he committed); but if it be a layman that committed the murder, he shall be excommunicated even from the mysteries as well as from the congregation and church of the faithful.
Note that according to c. VIII of St. Basil the Great some murders are willful, and other murders are something between involuntary and willful, or rather to say they approximate more or less closely to willful and intentional murders. Thus an involuntary murder is one which occurs when anyone throwing a stone at a tree or at a dog happens to hit a human being with it and kills the latter. A willful murder, on the other hand, is one in which someone takes a knife or a gun in order to kill, after the manner of those who are robbers and those who go to war. Thus, according to c. V of Nyssa a willful murder is that which takes place with preparation and deliberation or meditation. But akin to willful murders is that in which while fighting with another a man hits him with a stick or club or unmercifully with his fist, in a spot that is dangerous and fatal. The Bishop of Nyssa in his above-mentioned Canon judges such a slaying to be willful murder, a slaying, that is to say, such as is the one referred to above in the present Apostolical Canon, which is willful according to Canon of Nyssa, and nearly willful, according to Basil, because the murderer used such an instrument in order to hit another person, and because he struck the man unmercifully in a deadly spot, when he himself was utterly overcome by anger. On the whole, to state the case briefly, a murder, according to the Nomicon of Photius, Title IX, ch. 26, must be considered with due regard to the disposition and intention of the slayer, that is to say, as to whether he had the intention and purpose to kill a person, or not. The disposition again must be considered with due regard to the instrument or weapon he used in the slaying. For this reason many times when someone strikes another but does not kill him he is punished as a murderer on account of the intention he had to kill. On the contrary a man is not punished as a murderer simply because he killed another man if he intended only to hit the man but not to kill him. So that these two considerations suffice to determine the difference between willful murder and involuntary homicide with due regard to the disposition and impetuosity of the slayer and with due regard to the instrument or weapon he used.
Among willful murders are those committed by women who give herbs to pregnant women in order to kill the embryos; and likewise those who accept such herbs as is decreed by the Sixth Council in its c. XCI and by the Council of Ancyra in its c. XXI and by St. Basil according to his cc. II and VIII. But more charitably they are condemned and sentenced not for life but for a term of ten years by both this same c. XXI of the Council of Ancyra and c. II of St. Basil. Moreover those women who give men drugs and herbs in order to entice them into the clutches of their Satanic love which things (often called love potions in English) make those taking them dizzy and not infrequently cause their death as is mentioned by Basil the Great in his aforesaid c. VIII are likewise guilty of murder. Even a woman that neglects her child and lets it die is considered a murderess, according to cc. XXXIII and L1I of the same Basil. The Faster (John) in his c. XXVI says that women that throw down their infants at the doors of churches are considered murderesses. Armenopoulos (in his Epitome of the Canons) adds that this very same law has been decreed by a conciliar decision or that it has been made by a synodical decree. In his c. XXIII the same Faster says that any mother that falls asleep on top of her infant and smothers it to death is considered a murderess it this occurred as a result of her negligence and carelessness. In c. XLII1 he says that whoever has given his brother a deadly wound (or deadly blow) is a murderer whether he was the one who started the matter by striking the first blow, or it was his brother who did so.
As for involuntary murder (or homicide), the Council of Ancyra according to its c. XXIII fixes the penalty at seven years or five years, while c. LVII of St. Basil fixes it at eleven years. Also in his c. XI he says that eleven years are enough to serve as punishment for the involuntary murder which one has committed if he lives long enough to serve it out. Canon V of Nyssa fixes it at nine years. Canon XX of the Faster fixes it at three years. But as for willful murder, the Council of Ancyra separates the murderer from the Mysteries for the rest of his life, according to its c. XXII, while St. Basil, in his c. LVI sentences him to a term of twenty years; and the Bishop of Nyssa to a term of twenty-seven years, in his c. V; finally, the Faster, in his c. XX, fixes the term at five years. As for any clergymen that strike and kill robbers who have attacked them, they are to be deposed from office, according to Basil’s c. LV. Even the Bishop of Nyssa says, in his c. V, that though one murder a man involuntarily, he is nevertheless to be deprived of the grace of holy orders. And generally speaking from a universal point of view it may be said that all clergymen without exception that kill anyone, whether it be intentionally or unintentionally, and whether it be that they have done so with their own hands or have had others do the actual killing, are ipso facto deposed, according to the determination made by Constantine the Patriarch of Chliarinus. Those men, on the other hand, who go to war and kill the enemies for piety’s sake (i.e., in the cause of religion) to assure the sobriety and common peace of their brethren, deserve to be praised, according to Athanasius, in his letter to Ammoun; whereas, according to Basil, they must abstain from the mysteries for three years only on the ground that their hands are not free from the stain of blood, according to his c. XIII. For the solution of this apparent contradiction, see the footnote to the same c. XIII of Basil.
67. If anyone is keeping a virgin whom he has forcibly raped, though she be not engaged to another man, let him be excommunicated. And let it not be permissible for him, to take another, but let him be obliged to keep her whom he has made his choice even though she happen to be indigent.
(cc. XXII, XXIII, XXV, XXVI of Basil.).
The present Canon ordains that whosoever rapes a virgin by force and violence that is not engaged to be married to another man, and is keeping her in his house or at his home, shall be excommunicated for this forcible rape, and he is not to be permitted to take another woman instead of her, but, on the contrary, is to be obliged to rest content with this same girl, whom he himself chose, even though she be one of humble birth and poor.
With reference to the subject of the present Canon St. Basil in his cc. XXII and XXV ordains that the man who forcibly rapes a virgin shall be allowed to have her as his wife, but shall nevertheless be canonized with the penalty attaching to fornication. That is to say, to be deprived of the right to communion for four years. But in his c. XXVI the same saint says that those who commit fornication first and marry later had better be separated; or in case they will not consent under any circumstances to their being separated, let them be left united. Nevertheless, in the case of a matter of this kind consideration must be paid to what God says in the twenty-second chapter of Deuteronomy (25-27); that is to say, there must be an investigation as to whether the virgin happened to be found in a desert place, and whether she yelled and no one came to her rescue. For then she would be free from responsibility … “there is in the damsel no sin worthy of death,” it says; “for as when a man riseth up against his neighbor, and slayeth his soul, even so is this matter: for he found her in the field, and the damsel shouted, and there was no one to save her.” But when it all happened when she was not in a desert place or in the wilderness, and she did not yell, it appears that he ruined her with her consent (see also footnote 1 to c. II of Gregory the Miracle-worker. It should also be ascertained whether the man who raped her has parents living (or whether he is married); and likewise as to the virgin who has been raped: and whether they or their parents are disposed to consent to their marriage, according to c. XXII of Basil. There must be no coercion in this matter. According to the civil law (Armenopoulos, Book 6, Title III), if the man who raped the girl is rich, he shall give her a pound of gold, but if he is poor, he shall give her half his entire property. But if he is without property, he shall be cudgeled, shorn, and exiled. But if any man should ruin a girl before she is of proper age, that is to say, before she has become thirteen years old, he shall have his nose cut off, and shall give half of all his wealth to the ruined girl.
68. If any Bishop, or Presbyter, or Deacon accepts a second ordination from anyone, let him and the one who ordained him be deposed. Unless it be established that his ordination has been performed by heretics. For those who have been baptized or ordained by such persons cannot possibly be either faithful Christians or clergymen.
(Ap. cc. XLVI, XLVII; c. VIII of the 1st; c. VII of the 2nd; c. XCV of the 6th and cc. LVII, LXXVII, and CI of Carthage.).
For one to be ordained twice may be understood in different ways. Either because the one ordained has come to hold in contempt the one who ordained him, or because he thinks that he may receive more grace from the one who has ordained him the second time, on the ground that he has greater faith in him; or for some other reason. Hence the present Canon ordains that if any bishop or presbyter or deacon accepts a second ordination from anyone, he shall be deposed from office as well as the one who performed the ordination. The sole exception is that presented in case it be proved that his ordination was performed by heretics. For all those who have been baptized or ordained by heretics are subject to the feature that this fact prevents any of them from being qualified in any way whatsoever as Christians by virtue of their heretical baptism, or rather to say, pollution, nor as priests and clergymen by virtue of their heretical ordination. On this account there is no danger whatever in baptizing such persons by Orthodox priests, and in ordaining them by Orthodox bishops. Hence in agreement herewith St. Basil the Great in writing to the Christians of Nicopolis says: “I will never count one a true priest of Christ that has been ordained and has received patronage of laity from the profane hands of heretics to subversion of the Orthodox faith.
Notwithstanding that the First Ecum. C. in its c. VIII accepted the ordinations performed by the Novatians, and the Council held at Carthage those performed by the Donatists, the fact remains that the Novatians on the one hand, were not really heretics, but only schismatics, according to c. I of Basil, while, on the other hand, the ordinations of the Donatists were accepted only by the Council held at Carthage on account of the great need and want which Africa had of clergymen, according to its c. LXVI. This is the same as saying that they accepted them “economically” (i.e., by way of a concession) and as a matter of necessity. That is why the Council held in Italy refused to accept them, since it was in no such straits, according to c. LXXVII of the same Council. Moreover, even the Council held in Carthage, according to the terms of its c. CI, required that all who ordained heretics, or who were ordained by heretics or who admitted to the privilege of holding services should be entitled to receive ten pounds of gold as compensation for their loss of prestige and for their condescension in lending consent to such unorthodox proceedings. Actually, too, the Seventh Ecumenical Council, though it did accept the ordinations performed by the heretics called Iconomachs (or Iconoclasts) — not, however, those performed by the chief leaders of the heresy nor those performed by such of these heretics as cherished any rancor and who were not genuinely and truly repentant, as divine Tarasius said; but only ordinations performed by the followers of the chief leaders of the heresy and of those who were truly and genuinely repentant: concerning which see the interpretation of the letter of Athanasius the Great to Roufianus — and those who had been ordained by them and who held the Orthodox faith they did not reordain, as appears from its first act, but it did this “economically” because of the great multitudes of Iconomachs that was then in evidence; just as the Second Ecumenical Council accepted the baptism performed by some heretics, as a matter of “economy,” i.e., by way of “accomodation,” as we have already said. Hence in view of the fact that it did not make this temporal and circumstantial “economy” a “definition,” i.e., a definitive rule, it cannot be said to conflict with the present Apostolical Canon. Why, even the patriarch Anatolious was ordained by the heretic Dioscous and his heretical synod; and even St. Meletius of Antioch was ordained by Arians, according to Sozomenus (Book 4, ch. 28); and many others were ordained by heretics and were thereafter accepted by the Orthodox leaders. But such examples are relatively rare and occasional and due to the circumstances of the case, and they lack canonicity. Anything, however, that is due to circumstances and that is a rarity is not a law of the Church, both according to c. XVII of the lst-&-2nd and according to Gregory the Theologian, and also according to the second act of the Council held in St. Sophia and according to that legal dictum which says: “Whatever is contrary to the spirit of the Canons cannot be drawn upon as a model.” Second ordinations of the Orthodox are also prohibited by c. LVII of Carthage. Read also the interpretations and footnotes to Ap. cc. XLVI and XLVII.
69. If any Bishop, or Presbyter, or Deacon, or Subdeacon, or Anagnost, or Psalt fails to fast throughout the forty days of Holy Lent, or on Wednesday, or on Friday, let him be deposed from office. Unless he has been prevented from doing so by reason of bodily illness. If, on the other hand, a layman fail to do so, let him be excommunicated.
(cc. XXEX, LXXXIX of the 6th; cc. XLIX, LI, LII of Laodieea; c. XV of Peter the Archbishop; c. I of Dionysius; cc. VIII, X of Tim.).
The present canon commands all alike, including laymen and those in holy orders, to fast likewise and on an equal footing not only during the forty days’ period commonly known as the Great Lent, but also on every Wednesday and Friday in the year; since it makes an explicit statement to this effect by saying verbatim: If any bishop or presbyter or deacon or sub-deacon or Anagnost or psalt fails to fast throughout the forty days of Holy Lent, or on every Wednesday, or on every Friday, let him be deposed: unless he has been prevented from doing so because of some bodily illness. If, on the other hand, any layman fails to fast on the aforesaid days, let him be excommunicated. For we do not fast during Holy Lent, according to divine Chrysostom (Discourse on those who fast on the first Easters), not on account of Easter, not on account of the Cross, but on account of our sins: since Easter is not a subject for fasting and mourning, but, on the contrary, an occasion for cheer and joy. Hence we ought not to say that we are mourning on account of the Cross. For it is not because of that we are mourning: God forbid! But it is really on account of our own sins. We fast during the forty days of Lent in imitation of the Lord, who fasted on the mountain for forty days straight.
As for the two days in the week on which we also fast, namely, Wednesday and Friday, we fast on Wednesday because it was on that day of the week that the council was held in connection with the betrayal of our Lord; and we fast on Friday because it was on that day of the week that He suffered in flesh His death in behalf of our salvation, just as the sacred martyr Peter says in his c. XV, and just as divine Jerome says too. But inasmuch as c. L of Laodicea commands us to eat dry bread throughout Lent, as divine Epiphanius says in Haer. LXV, to the effect that during the fast of Lent eating dry bread and practicing continence are incumbent, while the present Apostolical Canon counts Wednesday and Friday along with Lent as occasions for fasting, it is evident that fasting on every Wednesday and Friday ought to be done by eating dry bread in a similar manner as in the case of Lent. Eating dry bread is the eating of bread once a day, at the ninth hour, without eating olive oil or drinking wine, as we have explained in the Interpretation of Ap. c. LXIV. Hence it is that Balsamon says that even the eating of shellfish on Wednesday and Friday and during Lent is prohibited. This truth is acknowledged also by divine Epiphanius, who says: “Fasting on Wednesday and on the day preceding Saturday, i.e., on Friday, until the ninth hour.” In addition Philostorgius (in Book 10 of his Ecclesiastical History) says: “Fasting on Wednesday and Friday is most certainly not restricted to mere abstinence from meat, but, on the contrary, is canonized to the point that one is not allowed to eat any food whatever until evening. This explains why blissful Benedict in his c. XLI orders monks subject to him to fast on Wednesday and Friday until the ninth hour. God-bearing St. Ignatius, too, in his Epistle to the Philippians says: “Do not disregard Lent. For it contains an imitation of the Lord’s polity. After Passion Week, do not fail to fast on Wednesday and Friday, allotting the surplus to the indigent.” So let not certain men violate all reason by declaring that fasting on Wednesday and Friday is not Apostolical legislation. For here, behold, you have direct and unambiguous proof that the Apostles in their own canons include this fast along with the fast of Great Lent, while in their Injunctions they place it on a par with the fast of Great Week (i.e., of Passion Week). For it is written in those Injunctions: “It is obligatory to fast during Great Week and on Wednesday and Friday.” But why should I be saying that the Apostles made it a law? Why, Christ Himself made fasting on these two days a law. And to assure yourselves that this is true, listen to the Holy Apostles themselves and hear what they say in their Injunctions (Book 5, ch. 14): “He Himself has ordered us to fast on Wednesday and Friday.” But since, as has been shown, the fast of Lent is on a par with fasting on Wednesday and Friday, it follows that leaving off these two fastings in the case of sickness or illness is also on an equal footing. Hence, just as Timothy in his eighth and tenth canons permits a woman that gives birth to a child during Lent to drink wine and to eat sufficient food to enable her to keep up, and, on the other hand, permits a man greatly emaciated owing to illness of unusual severity to eat olive oil in Lent, saying: “For to partake of olive oil when a man has once become emaciated is all right,” so and in like manner it may be said that anyone who has become withered and wasted by severe illness ought to be allowed to eat only olive oil and to drink wine on Wednesdays and Fridays. That is why even divine Jerome says: “On Wednesdays and Fridays fasting must not be omitted unless there be great need of this.” The same thing is asserted also by sacred Augustine. Yet, in view of the fact that flesh-lovers wishing to circumvent Lent and Wednesday and Friday either pretend that they are ill when they are not, or, though really ill, claim that the oil and wine are not enough to support their weak condition, because of such pretexts it is necessary that an experienced physician be asked who is also a man that fears God what food is suitable to support their weakened condition, and thus in accordance with the opinion of the physician the Bishop or Confessor in question may absolve the sick man from the obligation to fast and allow him to break off or dispense with fasting to that extent, and not trust the pretenseful or pretextuous words of sick men, and especially whenever such sick men happen to belong to the class of so-called noblemen or the like.
It is furthermore a fact that c. XLIX of Laodicea says that no complete liturgy should be celebrated during Lent, and its c. LI says that the birthdays of martyrs are not to be celebrated in Lent; and c. LII of the same ordains that marriages are not to be celebrated or weddings held in Lent. All these canons, I mean, have the same tenor, to the effect as the above-quoted canons. For they too lend confirmation to the necessity of fasting and to the mournful tone of Lent. For all which reasons marriages are not permitted in the midst of it nor birthday celebrations, because they imply a state of joyfulness and of laxity. Hence in conformity with this the Sixth Ecum. C. in its c. LXXXIX ordains that we should pass the days of Holy Passion with fasting as well as prayer and contrition of heart, showing that fasting alone is insufficient to be of benefit, as Chrysostom says (Horn. 3 to the Antiochians): “We abstain not only from foods, but also from sins;” and Isidore too says, in his Epistle 403:”Fasting in respect of food is of no benefit to those who fail to fast with all their senses; for whoever is successfully fighting his battle must be temperate in all things.” St. Nicephorus also says in his c. XVI that monks ought not to perform agricultural labor during Lent in order to find a pretext or excuse to consume oil and wine. In his c. XIX he says that “the monks in the monastery ought to eat but once a day on Wednesday and Friday.” Note, moreover, that in speaking of Lent the present Apostolical Canon intends to include therewith the entire Great Week of the Passion, and therefore fasting must also be observed throughout this period too. See also the footnote to c. XXIX of the 6th.
70. If any Bishop, or Presbyter, or Deacon, or anyone at all who is on the list of clergymen, fasts together with Jews, or celebrates a holiday together with them,, or accepts from them holiday gifts or favors, such as unleavened wafers, or anything of the like, let him be deposed from office. If a layman do likewise, however, let him be excommunicated.
(Ap. cc. VII, LXV, LXXI; c. XI of the 6th; cc. XXIX, XXXVII, XXXVIII of Laodicea; cc. LX, LXXXI, CXVII of Carthage,).
In case anyone prays in company with excommunicated persons only, he is excommunicated; or if it be that he does so with persons that have been deposed only, he is deposed from office: how much more, then, is it not proper that any clergyman that fasts in company with the Christ-killing Jews or celebrates any festival with them ought to be deposed from office, or if any layman do the same, he should be excommunicated? Hence it is that the present Apostolical Canon ordains that if any bishop or presbyter or deacon, or anyone else at all that is on the list of clergymen, fasts along with the Jews or celebrates Easter (i.e., Passover) along with them, or any other festivals or holidays, or accepts any festival gifts from them, such as unleavened wafers (which they eat during the days of their Passover; and on every feast day of theirs and on the occasion of every sacrifice they offer unleavened wafers or something similar thereto), let him be deposed from office. If, on the other hand, any layman does likewise, let him be excommunicated. For even though the ones who accept such things and join in fasting or celebrating are not of the same mind as the Jews and do not entertain the same religious beliefs and views as the latter (for if they did, they ought not only to be deposed or excommunicated, as the case might be, but also to be consigned to anathema, according to c. XXIX of Laodicea), yet, as a matter of fact, they do afford occasion for scandal and give rise to a suspicion that they are actually honoring the ceremonies of the Jews, a thing which is alien to Orthodoxy. I omit mention of the fact that such persons are also polluting themselves by associating with Christ-killers. To them God says “My soul hates your fasting and your cessation from work and your festivals.” See also the Interpretation of Ap. c. VII.
71. If any Christian conveys oil to a temple of heathen, or to a synagogue of Jews, in their festivals, or lights lamps for them, let him be excommunicated.
(Ap. cc. VII, LXV, LXX; c. XI of the 6th; cc. XXIX, XXXVII, XXXVIII of Laodicea; and cc LIX, LXXXII, and CXXIII of Carthage.).
This Canon too, like the one above, excommunicates any Christian that should offer oil to a temple of heathen or of idolaters, or to a synagogue of Jews, when they are having their festivals, or should light their lamps. For in doing this he appears to believe that their false ceremonies and rites are true, and that their tainted mysteries are genuine. Read also the Interpretation of Ap. c. VII.
72. If any Clergyman, or Layman, takes a wax candle or any oil from the holy church, let him be excommunicated and be compelled to give back what he took, together with a fifth part of its value to boot.
(Ap. c. LXXIII; c. X of the lst-and-2nd; c. VIII of Nyssa.).
The present Canon further prescribes that if any clergyman or layman should take from the church a candle or oil, and use it for any unsacred and common purpose, let him be excommunicated. And after he returns them to the same church from which he took them, intact and undamaged, just as he took them, let him give them to it together with one-fifth of their value. But Aristenus has interpreted it to mean five-fold. So that according to him the Canon says that the one guilty of sacrilege in having taken a candle or some oil shall return what he took and five times as much in addition thereto. And Joseph the Egyptian, who paraphrased the Canons in Arabic, rendered the Greek word epipempton as fivefold, instead of a fifth more. Nevertheless, the explanation given first in this Interpretation is better and preferable. For the word epipempton or epidecaton (i.e., a tithe) of the fruits, which the Jews used to give to their priests, is mentioned in many parts of the Holy Bible and means not fivefold or tenfold, but one. in five or ten. That is why Anonymus the (anonymous) interpreter of the Canons interpreted the word by simply repeating it as found in the Canon.
Canon X of the lst-&-2nd Council says that those clergymen who pilfer or who convert to unsacred use or service any of the sacred vessels and vestments that are kept in the holy bema (or that part of the church which is commonly called the sanctuary in ordinary English), are completely deposed from their rank. For to use these in any unsacred service is to profane them; and, on the other hand, to steal them is sacrilege. As for those who convert to an unsacred use or service, either of themselves or of others, any sacred vessels or vestments outside the holy bema, these persons according to Ap.c.LXXIII are to be excommunicated, and we join in excommunicating him too. But as for anyone that steals them outright from the temple, we make him liable to the penalty provided for sacri-legists. The penalty for sacrilege, according to c. VIII of Nyssa, as far as concerns the Old Testament was not any lighter than that penalty which was attached to murder, since both a murderer and a sacrilegist incurred the same punishment of stoning to death (as appears from the example of Achar a son of Carmi (I Chron. 2:7). But in virtue of ecclesiastical custom there came to prevail a mitigation, and accordingly sacrilege is penalized even less severely than adultery. Pope Boniface V says, however, that sacrilegists ought at all times to be anathematized.
73. Let no one appropriate any longer for his own use any golden or silver vessel that has been sanctified, or any cloth: for it is unlawful to do so. If anyone be caught in the act, let him be punished with excommunication.
(Ap. c. LXXII; c. X of the lst-and-2nd; c. VIII of Nyssa.).
This Canon too, like the one above, prohibits the promiscuous use of sacred things, by ordaining the following. Let no one take or use for his own service any gold or silver vessels, or any chasuble or vestments that are sanctified and consecrated to God, because the taking of them itself and the use of them is something odious to God and actually unlawful. But if anyone should be caught doing this, let him undergo excommunication as the penalty. But what punishment is meted out by God to men who profane things consecrated to Him and who put them to common use has been shown best of all by Belshazzar (or Baltasar) the king (Dan. 5:1), who on account of his having profaned the gold and silver vessels which his father Nebuchadnezzar purloined from the temple of God which stood in Jerusalem, by having them used for the drinking of wine both by himself and by the grandees of his kingdom, and by his concubines and wives (Dan. 5:23), in that same night in which he did this, he was slain and his kingdom was divided among the Medes and Persians. Pope Stephen, according to Platina (or Bartolommeo de’ Sacchi), says that not even a priest may wear the sacred vestments for non-ecclesiastical purposes. Read also the Interpretation of the above Ap. c. LXXII.
74. When a Bishop has been accused of something by trustworthy men, he must be summoned by Bishops; and if he answers and confesses, or is found guilty, let the penalty be fixed. But if when summoned he refuses to obey, let him be summoned a second time by sending two Bishops to him. If even then he refuses to obey, let him be summoned a third time, two Bishops again being sent to him; but if even then he shows contempt and fails to answer, let the synod decide the matter against him in whatever way seems best, so that it may not seem that he is getting the benefit by evading a trial.
(c. VI of the 2nd; cc. IX, XVII, XXI of the 4th; cc. XIV, XV of Antioch; c. IV of Sarican; cc, VIII, XII, XVI, XXVII, XCVI, CV, CXXXI, CXXXVII, CXXXIX of Carthage; and c. IX of Theophilus.).
The accusation brought against the Bishop and mentioned in the present Canon is not one involving a financial matter, that is to say, not anything of a private nature and calling for personal blame, as, for instance, that a man Has been unjustly treated by the Bishop or that he has been greedily victimized, as Balsamon has incorrectly interpreted it, but, on the contrary, it is one involving an ecclesiastical matter such as might be expected to imperil his rank. But how can this be determined? By the 1 trustworthy men whom the Canon produces as accusers. For men bringing charges against a bishop on account ol financial claims or personal grievances are not examined as to whether they are Orthodox or are misbelievers, nor as to whether they are under suspicion or above suspicion, that is to say, thoroughly trustworthy, but, on the contrary, no matter what sort of persons they may be they are entitled to have their changes sifted, according to c. VI of the 2nd, and cc. VIII and XXVII ot Carthage. But as for those who accuse him on ecclesiastical grounds and m regard to ecclesiastical matters must be both Orthodox and above suspicion, or trustworthy; or else they are not admissible as accusers, according to the same canons. That is why Zonaras too appears to agree with such an acceptation of this Canon. So what the Canon means is simply this: If any bishop should be accused by trustworthy and unaccused men of any ecclesiastical crime he must be summoned to trial by the other bishops. Then if he appears and confesses of his own accord that the accusation is true, or, though he deny it, it is proved by indisputable evidence offered by his accusers that he is guilty of such a charge, then it shall be determined by the bishops what penalty he ought to bear. If, on the other hand, he be summoned and refuse to appear for trial, let two bishops be sent to him and let them summon him a second time. If he again refuses to appear, let two bishops be sent to him once m Dre, and let them summon him a third time. If even for a third time he scorns the summons and refuses to go, henceforward let the synod of bishops decide the case against him even in his absence and decree whatever it deems just and right and lawful penalties, lest he consider that he is gaining any benefit by such tactics in avoiding trial and postponing the time.
Canon XXVII of Carthage adds that the synod of bishops ought to send the accused bishop letters of request, and if within a space of one month he does not appear, he is to be excluded from communion. Or if he prove that necessary business prevented his appearing for trial, he is to be allowed another month’s time. After the second month has passed without his appearing for trial, he is to be excluded from communion until he proves himself innocent of the crime with which he is charged. But Balsamon says that the thiee summons which the Canon requires to be served upon the accused bishop are to be spaced thirty days apart. So that if the accused bishop fails to appear for trial before the synod within a period of three months, he is thereafter to be condemned at an ex parte hearing. Accordingly in the days of the Holy Apostles, on account of the tact that there were no patriarchates as yet, two bishops had to be sent to summon a bishop; but nowdays it is sufficient if he is notified and this fact is verified by the Patriarchal notaries. According to cc. XII and CXI of Carthage twelve bishops are required to try a bishop, six to try a presbyter, three to try a deacon, and their own metropolitan and bishop. If, however, by consent, they appoint umpires (or chosen judges), even though the latter be less in number than the number ordained, they shall have no right of appeal, according to cc. XVI and CV and CXXXI of the same council. If, on the other hand, any bishop promised at first to let his ease be tried by the bishops, but afterwards refuses to consent to this, he is to be excluded from communion. Nevertheless, until his case has been finally disposed of, according to c. XCVI of the same council, he is to be deprived of his episcopate. If anyone accuses a bishop, the case is to be tried first before the bishops of the synod of the province in question. But if this synod is unable to handle the case, let the trial be held by a larger synod of the diocese, in accordance with c. VI of the 1st. But if anyone has a case to be tried with a metropolitan, let him apply either to the exarch of the diocese or to the patriarch of Constantinople, according to cc. IX and XVII of the 4th. If when the bishop is tried some of the bishops of the province are in favor of acquitting him while others insist upon condemning him, let the Metropolitan call other bishops from nearby districts and let them decide the ease, according to c. XIV of Antioeh. But if all the bishops of the province unanimously arrive at one and the same decision against the accused, let the one thus condemned not be tried any more by other, according to c. XV of the same council. But c. IV of Sardican ordains that if the deposed bishop who has been tried by neighboring bishops claims to have a new defense, no one else is to be ordained in his stead until a better investigation has been made. But that men who accuse bishops and clergymen of criminal offenses must be men above suspicion and Orthodox is decreed more especially by c. CXXXVIII of Carthage, which states that slaves or even freed men are not acceptable as accusers of clergymen against their own lords, nor are mimes and buffoons or any persons that are infamous, and in general all those who are inadmissible as accusers in the case of civil laws. Moreover, c. CXXXIX of the same C. says: When anyone has charged a clergyman with a number of crimes, if he be unable to prove the first crime, let him not be accepted any longer with respect to the rest of his charges as credible. But neither are those who are still under excommunication admissible as accusers, according to c. CXXXVII of the same council. But it such persons are inadmissible as accusers of clergymen, still more are they inadmissible as against bishops. In addition, c. XXI of the 4th says that the reputation of those accusing bishops and clergymen ought to be investigated; and c. IX of Theophilus says the same thing too. See also the Interpretation of c. VI of the 2nd, and that of c. IX of the 4th.
75. As a witness against a bishop no heretic shall be accepted, but neither shall one faithful alone: for “every charge shall be established by the mouth of two or three witnesses” (Deut. 17:6; Matt. 18:16).
(c. II of the 1st; c. XL of Carthage; c. IX of Theophilus; Deut. 17:6.).
Not only must those accusing a bishop not be heretics, as we said above, but neither must those bearing witness against him; neither is any one person alone admissible as a witness against a bishop. That is why the present Canon says that no heretic shall be allowed to give testimony against a bishop, nor shall a single Orthodox and faithful one be allowed to stand alone as a witness against a bishop; because it is written in the old Law, that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every doubtful word and charge shall be examined and verified.
The great St. Paul says the same things especially in writing to Timothy: “Against an elder (i.e., a presbyter) receive no accusation unless it beeng supported by two or three witnesses” (I Tim. 5:19). Canon CXL of Carthage ordains that if any persons are inadmissible as accusers they are inadmissible also as witnesses. But neither are those persons admissible as witnesses who are brought in by an accuser from his own home, which is the same as saying, the relatives of the accuser, and his intimates and those who arc subject to his authority. Neither ought anyone’s testimony to be admitted in evidence when he is under age, less than fourteen years old, according to the same Canon of Carthage, although, on the other hand, ch. 20 of Title I of Book 21 says that anyone under the age of twenty is disqualified as a witness in court. The First Ecum. C. in its c. II commands that if a bishop or presbyter be convicted of any sin by the testimony of two or three witnesses, he must be ousted from the Clergy. Moreover, c. IX of Theophilus ordains that if any clergyman accused of fornication be proved guilty of this crime by the testimony of credible witnesses, he shall be ousted from the Clergy. Canon XXXVIII of Carthage says that if an accuser cannot bring witness from the district of the one accused, on account of some fear, the court is to be held nearer to that locality so that witnesses may easily attend it. Canon LXVIII says for clergymen not to be haled into court against their will to give testimony. A single witness is never to be believed at any time, even though he be a great man, or a dignitary, or a senator, according to Title IX, ch. 2. of the Nomicon of Photius. See also Ap. c. LXXIV.
76. It is decreed that no Bishop shall be allowed to ordain whomsoever he wishes to the office of the Episcopate as a matter of concession to a brother, or to a son, or to a relative. For it is not right for heirs to the Episcopate to be created, by subjecting God’s things to human passion; for God’s Church ought not to be entrusted to heirs. If anyone shall do this, let the ordination remain invalid and void, and let the bishop himself be penanced with excommunication.
(c. XXIII of Antioch; c. XL of Carthage.).
Prelatical authority is admittedly a grace and gift of the Holy Spirit. So how can anyone bestow it upon another as an inheritable right? Wherefore the present Apostolical Canon decrees that a bishop ought not to favor any of his brothers or sons or relatives by ordaining him as his successor to the office of the episcopate, because it is not right for one to create heirs to the episcopate and prelacy (as is done, that is to say, in the case of other affairs among seculars), and to bestow the gracious gifts of God upon another as a favor, such as the prelatical authority, on account of human passion, or, in other words, on account of considerations of relationship or of friendship. Nor ought anyone to subject the Church of God to inheritance, by so acting as to cause it to be called a patrimony. But if any one of the bishops should do this and ordain any relative of his as his successor to the episcopate, the ordination so performed shall be invalid and of no effect, while he himself who ordained that person shall be excommunicated; for bishops must be made by a synod. Accordingly if, as declared in c. XL of Carthage, bishops have no authority to leave to their relatives, or to anyone else they may choose, any property that they acquired after the episcopate, by way of legacy (except only whatever they have acquired by inheritance from relatives or any bestowed upon them by someone else in token of honor), how can they leave as a legacy to their relatives, or to anyone else they may wish, the episcopate itself?
Wherefore consistently herewith c. XXIII of Antioch commands that no bishop shall have authority to appoint a successor to himself even though he be at the point of death on the contrary, the synod and the judgment of the bishops composing it shall have sole authority to appoint whomsoever they find to be worthy, after the decease of the defunct bishop. Hence it was that this very same thing was prohibited also in connection with ancient Israel. It was on this ground that they laid an accusation against Moses charging that he appointed his brother Aaron to the office of high priest, and the latter’s sons too. Accordingly, had not God Himself confirmed their appointment to holy orders by means of the sign of the rod which sprouted and blossomed, there is little doubt that they would have been deposed from office.
77. If any cripple, or anyone with a defect in an eye or in a leg, is worthy of the episcopate, let him be made a bishop. For it is not an injury to the body that defiles one, but a pollution of the soul.
(c. XXXIII of the 6th.).
The old Law commanded that those about to become priests must not have defect of body, but must be sound and able-bodied and without blemish. “For whatsoever man he be that hath a blemish,” it says, “he shall not approach — a blind man, or a lame man, or one that has a foreshortened nose, or one that has had his ears cut off; or any man that has had his hand or his foot crushed; or any man that is humpbacked, or freckled; or that has defective eyes; or any man whatsoever in whom there is the condition known as wild itch, or who has but one testicle” (Lev. 21:18-20). But also even in case they came by any such blemish in the body after admission to holy orders, they had to cease officiating in connection with their sacred office. The new Law, however, of the grace of the Gospel does not consider such blemishes and injuries of the body to be obstacles to holy orders, but demands rather that they have their soul clear from any filth or cenosity. Wherefore the present Canon says in effect: If anyone has been injured in his eyes, as, for instance, if he has but one eye, or is squint-eyed, or is cross-eyed, or is short-sighted; or if anyone ‘has broken leg, or, what amounts to the same thing, if he is lame in either leg; or if anyone that has any other defect or injury in his body that does not prevent him from exercising the functions of the sacred offices is otherwise worthy and deserves to be made a bishop, let him be ordained; since the bodily defect does not render him unworthy, but only a pollution of the soul due to sin.
Canon XXXIII of the 6th excommunicates prelates that make clergymen only of those who are descended from a priestly line, by decreeing that they must not regard lineage in a Jewish way, but much rather have consideration for the worthiness of the soul. St. Nicephorus, on the other hand, in his c. VIII says that even those who have been born of a concubine or of a bigamist may be ordained if they are worthy. The same thing is said also in c. IX of Nicetas of Heraclea.
78. Let no one that is deaf nor anyone that is blind be made a Bishop, not on the ground that he is deficient morally, but lest he should be embarrased in the exercise of ecclesiastical functions.
If, however, the present Canon goes on to say, anyone is blind in both eyes, or is deaf in both ears, let such a person not be made a bishop, not because these defects imply any moral unfitness or that he is unworthy, but because he is prevented by these defects from performing the sacred rites in the church. For how can anyone that cannot see or that cannot hear officiate at the altar ? or how can he handle the sacred elements, or read the sacred books, or listen to the words uttered by the laity? Note, however, that those who have been stricken deaf or blind after attaining to holy orders ought not to be deposed therefore; for such procedure would indicate lack of sympathy, because the civil law, in Book 8, Title I, ch. 1, subject 4, says that a blind man can even try cases as a judge, and is not to be ousted from office; though he cannot receive any other authority, but, on the contrary, has to remain content with that which he possessed before the accident.
79. If anyone is possessed of a demon, let him not be made a Clergyman, nor even be allowed to pray in company with the faithful. But after he has been cleansed thereof, let him be received, and if worthy be made one. (c. VII of the 6th; and II Tim. 3:15.).
Everyone that is possessed of demons is considered unclean, because he engenders the suspicion that because of the wickedness of his life he has afforded the Devil permission to enter him. How, therefore, can any such person be promoted to the clergy, seeing that even oil of myrhh used in making chrism is not trusted when it is in a rotten container, according to St. Gregory the Theologian. Hence the present Canon decrees that if anyone is permanently possessed of a demon, such a person shall not be made a clergyman. Neither shall he be allowed to pray in church .along with the faithful, lest he disturb their praying and the doxology they are offering to God, with his disorderly actions and his demoniacal cries, which are usual to those possessed of demons. But after he has been cleansed and freed from the demon, let him be admitted to prayer along with the faithful; and if he is worthy to become a clergyman, let him be made one.
But why does c. Ill of Timothy of Alexandria permit one possessed of a demon to partake of communion if he does not confess or blaspheme the mystery, at a time when the present Canon does not even permit him topray along with the faithful? This is explainable by the fact that the present Canon refers to one that is permanently and continuously energized by a demon, whereas that of Timothy contemplates a person who is energized by a demon with now and then an interruption at various times. He therefore allows him to partake of the divine mysteries when he is not being energized and suffering. Accordingly, in this manner the two Canons are reconciled with each other and are seen not to be contrary to each other. Nevertheless, even when demonized only at times a person ought not to be admitted to the clergy and be made a priest, lest holy orders or the priesthood be blasphemed as a result, and lest during the time of the awful services being held the demon should energize him and the holy elements be roundly insulted. Patriarch Nicholas says this very same thing in decreeing, in his c. IV, that if anyone is suffering from atrabiliousness he will appear to most persons to be possessed of a demon in case he partakes of communion. But if he is actually possessed of a demon, says Nicholas, let him abstain from communion. The council held in Troullon, on the other hand, says that those who pretend to be possessed of a demon, without actually being possessed of one, shall be penanced with the same penance that would be meted out to them in case they actually were possessed of a demon, and let them be compelled to undergo the same hardships and fastings as the truly possessed have to undergo.
80. It is not right to ordain a man a bishop immediately after he has joined the Church and been baptized if he has hitherto been leading a heathenish life, or has been converted from wicked behaviour. For it is wrong to let one without experience become the teacher of others, unless in some special case this be allowed as a matter of divine favor and grace.
(c. II of the 1st; c. XVII of the lst-and-2nd; c. XII of Neoces.; c. XII of Sard;, c. Ill of Laodicea; c. IV of Cyril.).
The present Canon declares that it is not right for one to be made a bishop immediately when he has been a heathen and infidel all his life and has just joined the pious faith and been baptized, or has repented after leading a vicious and malicious life, such as is that of theatrical actors and buffoons and others like them. For it is unjust and unfair and wrong for one to become a teacher of others such as is a bishop, when he has not yet afforded any proof or given any demonstration to show that he is sound in matters of faith and irreproachable in respect of life. Any such test requires time, and cannot be put through in a short interval. The sole exception is that he may be ordained a bishop if a special revelation from God is granted him, as happened in the case of the Apostle Ananias, in regard to St. Paul, when the Lord told him in a vision: “Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before nations, and kings, and the children of Israel” (Acts 9:15).
St. Paul also commands this same thing in writing to Timothy, saying: “Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the Devil’s judgment and trap” (I Tim. 3:6), with reference to ordaining one who has been only recently catechized and freshly planted in the vineyard of Christ. Hence it was that c. II of the First Ecum. C. commanded that those joining the faith and coming from a heathen life must not be elevated to the rank of either bishop or presbyter until they have first given a fair demonstration of their faith and have shown it in their life. Also c. Ill of Laodicea says that persons newly baptized ought not to be admitted to holy orders. Canon X of Sardican, on the other hand, decrees that no rich business man or anyhow no college professor ought to be made a bishop unless he first serve as a deacon and presbyter, in order that his faith and faithfulness may be thereby attested, and lest he be looked upon as a novice, but that in every rank he is to be tried for no less than a sufficient length of time. Moreover, even c. XVII of the lst-&-2nd decrees the same things, in that it forbids both laymen and monks from ascending at once to the exalted rank of the episcopate without his first being duly examined with respect to the ecclesiastical degrees. Canon XII of Neocesarea forbids anyone being made a presbyter if he is one that has been baptized during illness, unless it be because of his capacity or a lack of suitable men. Canon III of Cyril prohibits newlyweds from being made clergymen, as well as men that have been expelled by a prelate, and men that come from a monastery, and those who are wholly disreputable. Concerning which see the footnote to c. XIX of the First Ecum. C.
81. We have said that a Bishop, or a Presbyter, must not descend himself into public offices, but must attend to ecclesiastical needs. Either let him be persuaded, therefore, not to do so, or let him be deposed. For no one can serve two masters, according to the Lord’s injunction.
(Ap. cc. VI, XXIII; cc. Ill, VII of the 4th; c. X of the 7th; c. XI of the lst-&-2nd; c. XVIII of Carthage).
This Canon too, like the sixth one, prescribes that those in holy orders must not meddle in worldly affairs, since it says: We have said (i.e., in our Canon VI) that a bishop or presbyter must not lower himself into political and secular affairs and business, but must confine his activities to sedulously looking after the service and wants of the Church. So either let him be persuaded not do anything of the kind henceforth, or, if he cannot be persuaded, let him be deposed. For no one can serve two masters and please both of them, as the Lord says (Matt. 6:24; Luke 16:3). See also the Interpretation of Ap. c. VI.
82. We do not permit house servants to be ordained to the clergy without the consent of their masters, to the sorrow of the masters owning them. For such a thing causes an upheaval in the households. But if any house servant should appear to be worthy to be ordained to any rank, as our own Onesimus did, and their masters are willing to permit it, and grant them their freedom (by liberating them from slavery), and allow them to leave home, let him be so ordained.
(c. IV of the 4th; c. LXXXV of the 6th; c. Ill of Ancyra; c. XC of Carthage; cc. XL, XLI, XLII of Basil; and Epistle to Philemon).
One must not do things that become causes of scandal or of sorrow to others. One cause of scandal, of course, and of sorrow is that which results whenever a slave is ordained without the consent of his own master. Wherefore the present Canon prohibits this, saying : We do not allow slaves to be promoted to the clergy and holy orders without the consent of their masters, lest we cause sorrow to the masters themselves by doing so. Because this sort of thing upsets whole households (for it might happen that the slave admitted to the clergy was either the manager of his master’s household, or the superintendent of his factory, or had the care of his master’s money; and on all such accounts his ordination might cause his master grief). But if any slave should appear to be worthy for ordination, as did our own Onesimus, the bishop ought to notify his master to this effect, and if the latter consents and is willing, and at the mouth of two or three witnesses according to the LXXXV of the 6th, and sends him home as a sign of total liberty, then let him be ordained. That is what St. Paul did, since he refused to keep the slave Onesimus, and in spite of the fact that he found him to be very useful in the ministry of preaching he sent him back to his master Philemon.
Nor must slaves be admitted to monasteries to become monks without the consent of their masters, according to c. IV of the 4th. And any female slave who gets married without the consent of her master has thereby become guilty of harlotry, according to cc. XL and XLII of St. Basil; for, according to him, agreements and promises made by vassals are unreliable. And according to his c. XLI any marriage or wedding that takes place without the consent of the master of a female slave must be dissolved if he does not want it. That is why the council held in Gangra anathematizes in its c. Ill anyone who on the pretext of godliness teaches a slave to hold his master in contempt and to leave his service. According to c. LXXIII of Carthage, on the other hand, the liberties of slaves ought to be preached in the churches.
83. If any Bishop, or Presbyter, or Deacon is engaged in military matters, and wishes to hold both a Roman (i.e., civil) and a sacerdotal office, let him be deposed. For (render) “unto Caesar the things which are Caesars; and unto God the things that are God’s” (Matt. 22:21),
(Ap. cc. VI, LXXXI; cc. Ill and VII of the 4th; c. X of the 7th; c. XI of the lst-&-2nd; c. XVIII of Carthage.).
In other Canons too the divine Apostles prohibit those in holy orders from engaging in the management of public affairs and from undertaking worldly cares, but in this one they also do likewise by saying: If any bishop or presbyter or deacon occupies himself with military matters — by which is meant, not the use of weapons or actual participation in warfare, but the management or handling of military matters, such as the distribution of rations to the soldiers, reception of their food, and other such business which is designated by civilians as military matters — and wants to have both jobs, to wit, that of exercising imperial Roman authority, and that of priestly and ecclesiastical functions, or what may be more aptly described as external and internal affairs, let any such dignitary of the Church be deposed if he fails to desist therefrom. For things and offices that belong to Caesar or to the emperor ought to be left to Caesar; or, in other words, they ought to be given to external and imperial, or royal, men : things and offices that are God’s, on the other hand, ought to be given in a similar manner to those to whom they belong, which is the same as saying, to divine and internal men, such as are bishops and presbyters and deacons. Read also the Interpretation of Ap. c. VI.
84. If anyone insults an emperor or king, or any other ruler, contrary to what is right and just, let him pay the penalty. Accordingly, if he is a clergyman, let him be deposed; but if he is a layman, let him be excommunicated.
The Mosaic Law says: “Thou shalt not speak ill of thy people’s ruler” (Exod. 22:28); while Peter the leading Apostle especially says: “Honor the king” (I Pet. 2:17). St. Paul also commands us to pray for kings and all that are in positions of authority (I Tim. 2:2), no matter even though they be infidels. Here, in the present Canon, the Apostles say in common that whoever insults a king or emperor or any other ruler contrary to what is right and just, and without any just cause, let him be punished; accordingly, if he is a clergyman, let him be deposed, but if he is a layman, let him be excommunicated. Insults in connection with kings and emperors are considered the severest reproaches. By prohibiting one from insulting a king or emperor contrary to what is right and just, the Canon has left it implied by way of contradistinction that if kings and other rulers manifest impiety or indulge in sin it is permissible for those to criticise and expose them to whom the right to criticise such personages belongs. Moreover, even the one who has insulted such a personage in such a case ought not to be punished directly; and see the footnote to Ap. c. LV.
85. To all you Clergymen and Laymen let the following books be venerable and sacred: Of the Old Testament, the five of Moses, namely, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy; the one of Jesus of Nave (commonly called Joshua in English); the one of Judges; the one of Ruth; the four of the Kingdoms; two Paralipomena of the Book of Days; two of Esdras; one of Esther; three of the Maccabees; one of Job; one Psalter (commonly called the Psalms in English and also in Greek); three of Solomon, namely, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Songs; twelve of the Prophets; one of Isaiah; one of Jeremiah; one of Ezekiel; one of Daniel; outside of these it is permissible for you to recount in addition thereto also the Wisdom of very learned Sirach by way of teaching your younger folks. Our own books, that is to say, those of the New Testament, comprising four Gospels, namely, that of Matthew, of Mark, of Luke, and of John; fourteen Epistles of Paul; two Epistles of Peter, three Epistles of John; one of James; one of Jude; two Epistles of Clement; and the Injunctions addressed to you Bishops through me, Clement, in eight books, which ought not to be divulged to all on account of the secret matters they contain) and the Acts of us Apostles.
After teaching and legislating in their sacred Canons in what manner it befits those in holy orders and lay Christians in general to conduct themselves as a matter of policy, the Apostles lastly teach also what books they ought to read. Thus in their c. IX they taught us not to read books that are uncanonical and falsely entitled and ascribed to others than their real authors, while in the present Canon they teach us to read the canonical and holy books which they also enumerate, as they appear listed here. These books are also mentioned in c. IX of the Council held in Laodicea, and in c. XXXII of that held in Carthage. Moreover, Athanasius the Great in his 39th festal letter, and St. Gregory the Theologian, in his Epic Verses, and Amphilochins the Bishop of Iconion in his Iambic Lines also mention them. In fact Athanasius the Great in his said letter divides all the books of the OJd Testament into two groups: the canonical, and the readable. As regarding the ones in the Old Testament called canonical he says that they are twenty-two books, in agreement with the number twenty-two of letters in the Hebrew alphabet (as is stated also by St. Gregory the Theologian and by divine John of Damascus), being named as follows: 1, Genesis; 2, Exodus; 3, Leviticus; 4, Numbers; 5, Deuteronomy; 6, Jesus of Nave (or Joshua); 7, Judges; 8, Ruth; 9, Kingdoms first and second taken together (wrhich are also known as the Books of Samuel among the Jews); 10, Kingdoms third and fourth (called also the First and Second Books of Kings, respectively); 11, Parahpomena first and second taken together (called in English “the First Book of the Chronicles” and “The Second Book of the Chronicles,” respectively); 12, the First and the Second Book of Esdras, taken together; 13, The Psalms; 14, Proverbs; 15, Eeclesi-astes; 16, The Song of Songs; 17, Job; 18, The twelve lesser Prophets, named as a single book; 19, Isaiah; 20, Jeremiah together with Lamentations, and Baruch, and an epistle; 21, Ezekiel; 22, Daniel. Readable books to be studied by the recently catechized are the following: Wisdom of Solomon, which is also called all-virtuous according to Eusebius (Book 11, ch. 7, concerning Evangelical preparation); Wisdom of Sirach, which is also called all-virtuous, according to George Syngelos (note, however, that Sirach is called by Westerners “Ecclesiasticus”); Esther; Judith; and Tobias Take note, however,of the fact that the book of Esther, which is but one, is also included among the Canonical Books, just as the present Apostolical Canon also lists it among the canonical books; and so does the council held in Laodicea, and that held in Carthage. But even the Wisdom of Solomon, and Judith, and Tobit are enumerated among the canonical books by the council of Carthage. In the present Ap. c. the first three books of the Maccabees are also listed as canonical books.105 Of the New Testament the canonical books are the following: The four Gospels; the Acts of the Apostles; the seven Epistles General, namely, one of James, two of Peter, three of John, and one of Jude; fourteen Epistles of Paul; and the Book of Revelation, concerning which, however, divine Amphilochius in his Iambics says that though many approve it as genuine, most authorities deem it spurious. The Book of Revelation was nevertheless accepted by the Council of Carthage as a canonical book, as attested by its c. XXX; and by Athansius the Great in his aforesaid letter No. 39; and by divine Dionysius the Areopagite, who calls it a mystical intuition; and the scholiast of St. Dionysius divine Maximus mentions in many places in his scholia; it is also approved by St. Jerome, who calls it the most sublime book in the world. But if St. Gregory the Theologian fails to mention it in his Epic Verses, yet in the constituent address which he made to the one hundred and fifty bishops composing the Second Ecumenical Council he expressly mentioned it, saying: “For I, am persuaded that other ones (i.e., angels) supervise other churches, as John teaches me in Revelation.” Origen, too, had a communication on Revelation. Cyril of Alexandria also mentions it (in p. 679 of the Pentateuch); and likewise does Clement of Alexandria (in p. 856 of the Pentateuch); it is accepted also by Apollinaris, Ephraim, Papias, Justin, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Lactantinus, Severus, Sylpicius, Augustine, Methodius, Hippolytus, Andrew of Caesarea, and the Second Ecumenical Council itself, before which St. Gregory the Theologian delivered his constituent address in which he mentioned the book of Revelation. It is also recognized by Meliton the bishop of Sardis, and by Theophilus the bishop of Aiitioch, and by others. As for the two Epistles of Clement mentioned in the present Apostolical Canon, they were addressed to the Corinthians on the part of the Church of Rome, and were published in the collection of the first volume of the Records of the Councils; but the second one is deemed spurious by Photius (folio 156 of the Myriobiblus). As for the Injunctions of the Apostles, which are also called the Didache of the Apostles by Athansius the Great, they were rejected by c. II of the 6th Ecumenical Council, on the ground that they had been garbled by heretics. But since not all of them were garbled, but only certain parts of them, therefore many of the Fathers even before the Sixth, among whom St. Gregory the Theologian in particular, but also sacred Maximus as well, adopted sayings taken therefrom. Thus the Theologian in his discourse on Easter, with reference to the proposition saying, “I will be on my guard,” explain the word sheep as representing Christ allegorically on account of the coat of imperishability, which saying was gleaned from the Injunctions, according to Micetas; while divine Maximus uses whole excerpts from the Injunctions in his scholia on Dionysius. But why am I speaking of individuals? The Fifth Ecumenical Council itself bears witness to the Injunctions, in the letter of Justinian, to the effect that alms ought; to be given in behalf of the dying, p. 392 of the second volume of the collection of the councils. But even after the Sixth Council the Council assembled in St. Sophia adopted testimony from the Injunctions. Michael, too5 the patriarch of Constantinople, simamed Cerularius, together with the synod attending him, living A.D. 1053, adopted testimony against the cutting off of the beard which is found in Book I of the Apostolical Injunctions, ch. 3, reading as follows: “Ye shall not depilate your beards: for God the Creator made this becoming in women, but unsuited to men.” Sec also page 978 of volume II of the Conciliar Records. Besides, as they are now found printed, it does not appear to me that they contain anything spurious or improper. The Shepherd, which Athanasius the Great mentions in his often-cited epistle, was a book which has not been preserved to our times. Perhaps it was such an affair as the discourse which John of Climax attributes to a shepherd, and, briefly speaking, there was such a book teaching the shepherd of rational sheep how to shepherd them towards a pasture conducive to salvation, and how to keep them safe from the clutches and claws of rational wolves, and of demons and cacodoxical human beings as well. We have been informed that this Shepherd is found as a very old book in some monastery in Greece and that it is a work of Quartus, one of the seventy Apostles. The Shepherd is mentioned also by St. Maximus in his scholia on divine Dionvsius. Its size is about that of the Psalter. Note that e. LIV of Carthage commands that besides the books of the Old and New Testaments the Lives of the Martyrs are to be read which contain an account of their ordeals on the davs of their festivals.