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Canons of the seven ecumenical councils

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6.

 It is decreed that no one shall be ordained at large either a Presbyter or a Deacon, nor anything else at all in the ecclesiastical ranks unless he be particularly assigned to the church of some city, or to a martyry, or to a monastery. As for those ordained at large the holy Council has determined that any such chirothesy shall be null and void, and that such ordinees shall not be allowed to officiate anywhere, to the dishonor of the ordainer.

(c. XIII of Neocaesarea.)

 

Interpretation.

Wishing to prevent easily those in holy orders from going or being transferred from one locality to another in violation of the Canons, the cause and root of this evil being that they are ordained at large and indefinitely, the holy Council decrees in its present Canon that henceforth neither a priest nor a deacon nor any other ecclesiastic shall be ordained in such a manner, but must in any case be assigned to a church of a city or village, or to a monastery, or to the church of some martyr, to be mentioned by the prelate in the course of reciting the ordination prayer, by saying “The divine grace ordaineth so-and-so a Presbyter or Deacon of such or such a church, or monastery, by name — in identically the same manner, that is to say, in which the name of the province is pronounced aloud in the ordination of every bishop. As for all those who have been ordained indefinitely, the holy Council has ruled that the ordination be invalid, and that those so ordained shall not be allowed to officiate in any region; in order that the prelate performing the ordination contrary to the Canons be dishonored in consequence of this lack of the right to officiate, and be led to sobriety as a result of this dishonor, and be discouraged from doing so again.[92] But please bewail the fact, O reader, that in spite of the present Canon during the ordination of a deacon or presbyter today the name of a particular church or of a monastery is not specially mentioned, as required by the terms of this Canon, though this prescription appears to be an element of the ordination along with the other components thereof, notwithstanding that the violators of this rule fail to take this into account at all.

 

 




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