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Canons of the seven ecumenical councils

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7.

 These things having been read aloud, the holy Council then decreed that no one should be permitted to offer any different belief or faith, or in any case to write or compose any other, than the one defined by the Holy Fathers who convened in the city of Nicaea, with Holy Spirit. As for those who dare either to compose a different belief or faith, or to present one, or to offer one to those who wish to return to recognition of the truth, whether they be Greeks or Jews, or they be members of any heresy whatever, they, if Bishops or Clergymen, shall be deprived as Bishops of their Episcopate, and as Clergymen of their Clericate; but if they are Laymen, they shall be anathematized. In an equally applicable way, if any persons be detected or caught, whether Bishops or Clergymen or Laymen, in the act of believing or teaching the things embodied in the exposition (or dissertation) presented by Charisius the Presbyter concerning the inhomination (i.e., incarnation) of the Only-begotten Son of God, or, by any chance, the unholy and perverse dogmas of Nestorius, which have even been subjoined, let them stand liable to the judgment of this holy and Ecumenical Council. As a consequence, that is to say, the Bishop shall be deprived of his Episcopate, and be left deposed from office, while the Clergyman likewise forfeit his Clericate. If, on the other hand, any such person be a Layman, let him too be anathematized, as aforesaid.

 

Interpretation.

In view of the fact that at this holy and Ecumenical Council’s meeting there were read both the Creed of the holy and Ecumenical First Council held in Nicaea, and the Creed of Jewish-minded Nestorius, in which his unholy dogmas were set forth and which Charisius the presbyter of Philadelphia brought to the Council, after they had been read, this holy Council issued this Canon decreeing that it is not permissible for anyone to compose and write, or to offer to those converted from any other faith to Orthodoxy another Creed[76] than the Symbol of the Faith denned and decreed by the Holy Fathers who assembled in the city of Nicaea and were enlightened by the Holy Spirit. As for those persons who shall dare to compose any other symbol of faith (or creed), or to present it openly, and to offer it to any of the Greeks and Jews and heretics turning away from faith to recognition and knowledge of the truth, such persons, if they be bishops and clergymen, are to be expelled from their episcopate and clericate, respectively, but if laymen they shall be anathematized. Similarly, too, all those who are discovered to be thinking to themselves or to be teaching others the unholy and heretical dogmas of Nestorius concerning the incarnation of the only-begotten Son of God, contained in the exposition of faith composed by him, but brought to this Council by the presbyter named Charisius, these persons also, I say, if they be bishops and clergymen, are to stand deposed, and expelled from their episcopate and clericate, respectively; but if they be laymen, they are to be anathematized, as we said before.

 

 




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