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Council of Chalcedon
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NEITHER presbyter, deacon, nor any of the ecclesiastical order shall be ordained at large, nor unless the person ordained is particularly appointed to a church in a city or village, or to a martyry, or to a monastery. And if any have been ordained without a charge, the holy Synod decrees, to the reproach of the ordainer, that such an ordination shall be inoperative, and that such shall nowhere be suffered to officiate.
The wording of the canon seems to intimate that the synod of Chalcedon held ordinations of this sort to be not only illicit but also invalid, irritis and cassis. Nor is this to be wondered at, if we take into account the pristine and ancient discipline of the church and the opinion of many of the Scholastics (Morinus, De SS. Ordinat., Parte III., Exercit. V., cap
It is clear that our canon forbids the so-called absolute ordinations, and requires that every cleric must at the time of his ordination be designated to a definite church. The only titulus which is here recognized is that which was later known as titulus beneficii. As various kinds of this title we find here (a) the appointment to a church in the city; (b) to a village church; (c) that to the chapel of a martyr; (d) the appointment as chaplain of a monastery. For the right understanding of the last point, it must be remembered that the earliest monks were in no wise clerics, but that soon the custom was introduced in every larger convent, of having at least one monk ordained presbyter, that he might provide for divine service in the monastery.
According to existing law, absolute ordinations, as is well known, are still illicitoe, but yet validoe, and even the Council of Chalcedon has not declared them to be properly invalidoe, but only as without effect (by permanent suspension). Cf Kober, Suspension, S. 220, and Hergenrother, Photius, etc., Bd. ii., S. 324.
By the word marturiw ("martyry") is meant a church or chapel raised over a martyr's grave. So the Laodicene Council forbids Churchmen to visit the "martyries of heretics" (can. ix.). So Gregory of Nyssa speaks of "the martyry" of the Holy Martyrs (Op. ii., 212); Chrysostom of a "martyry," and Palladius of "martyries" near Antioch (In Act. Apost. Hom., xxxviii. 5; Dial., p. 17), and Palladius of "the martyry of St. John" at Constantinople (Dial., p. 25). See Socrates, iv. 18, 23, on the "martyry" of St. Thomas at Edessa, and that of SS. Peter and Paul at Rome; and vi. 6, on the "martyry" of St. Euphenia at Chalcedon in which the Council actually met. In the distinct sense of a visible testimony, the word was applied to the church of the Resurrection at Jerusalem (Eusebius, Vit. Con., iii. 40, iv. 40; Mansi, vi. 564; Cyril, Catech., xiv. 3), and to the Holy Sepulchre itself (Vit. Con., iii. 28), Churches raised over martyrs' totals were called in the West "memorioe martyrum," see Cod. Afric., lxxxiii. (compare Augustine, De Cura pro Mortuis, VI.).
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