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IV Council of Costantinople 869 - 870
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The great apostle Paul says somewhere: All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things are beneficial. Therefore, we ought to do everything for the advantage and perfection of the holy church of God and nothing at all to promote controversy and vainglory. Since a report has come to our ears that not only heretics and those who have wrongly obtained the patriarchate of Constantinople, but also the orthodox and legitimate patriarchs, demand and extract from the order of priests guarantees, written in their own hands, which are designed for the security, benefit and, as it were, permanence of the above persons, it has therefore seemed good to this holy and universal synod that nobody at all should do this from now on, with the exception of what is demanded at the time of episcopal consecrations, according to rule and custom, in order to witness to the purity of our faith; every other way of doing it is completely inappropriate and has no part in the building up of the church. So whoever dares to nullify this directive of ours, either by asking for such a document or by providing it to those who ask, shall lose his own office.
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