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Canons of the seven ecumenical councils

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15.

 Let no woman be ordained a deaconess before the age of forty, and even then after a strict test. But if she, after receiving the gift of chirothesy and remaining for some time in the ministry, proceeds to give herself in marriage, thus insulting the grace of God, let any such actress be anathematized together with the man who has joined himself with her in marriage.

(c. XIX of the 1st; cc. XIV and XI of the 6th; c. XLIV of Basil.)

 

Interpretation.

Owing to the ease with which women are deceived and the ease with which they are ruined, the present Canon commands that no woman shall be ordained a deaconess if she is less than forty years old. Yet even if she is forty years old, again, it forbids her to be ordained at random and perfunctorily; on the contrary, it requires the ordination to be performed only after a strict investigation of her life and past habits. In case, however, even after being thus ordained and serving as a deaconess for some time, she afterwards scorns the grace of God and marries, any such woman is to be anathematized together with the man who has married her. Armenopoulos, moreover, says (Book VI, Title III) that those who have induced deaconesses and nuns to become prostitutes are to have their noses cut off along with those of the women whom they have led into prostitution. See also the Interpretation of c. XIX of the First Ec. C. and the third Footnote thereto.

 

 




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