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Canons of the seven ecumenical councils

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20.

 As we have already decreed, it is not permissible for clergymen officiating in a church to be given a church in another city; but, on the contrary, they must rest content with the one in which they were originally deemed worthy to conduct divine services: except those who have gone over to another church as a result of their having been forced to flee from their own country. If any Bishop nevertheless admits a clergyman belonging to another Bishop, after promulgation of this rule, it has been decided that both of them, i.e., the Clergyman so admitted and the Bishop admitting him, are to be excluded from communion until such time as the Clergyman who has left his own city see fit to return to his own church.

(Ap. c. XV; cc. XV, XVI of the 1st; cc. V, X, XXIII of the 4th; cc. XVII, XVIII of the 6th; c. XV of the 7th; c. III of Antioch; cc. LXIII, XCVIII of Carthage; cc. XV, XVI, and XIX of Sardica.)

 

Interpretation.

Clergymen (as has been stated in c. VIII) who are conducting services in one church are not permitted to be transferred to another in another city, but, on the contrary, they are obliged to stay in the one in which they happened originally to be appointed to officiate; except only those who have been compelled to flee from their motherland or home city by any necessity, or who have suffered an incursion of barbarians, and on that account have been transferred to another church (and who themselves must return to their own church whenever the incursion of barbarians has passed, according to c. XVIII of the 6th). Any bishop, after the present Canon has been put forth, who accepts a clergyman of another bishop, as well as the clergyman he accepted, shall be excommunicated from communion with his fellow bishops and fellow clergymen, until such time as the strange clergyman decides to go back to his own church. Read also the Interpretation of Ap. c. XV.

 

 




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