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Canons of the seven ecumenical councils

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4.

 If any Bishop, or Presbyter, or Deacon, or Subdeacon, or Anagnost (Reader), or Psalt (Chanter), or Janitor (Doorkeeper), has (carnal) intercourse with any woman that has been consecrated to God, let him be deposed from office, on the ground that he has contributed to the delinquency of a bride of God. If, on the other hand, he is a layman, let him be excommunicated.

(Ap. c. XXV; c. IX of the 4th; c. XVI of the 4th; cc. XXI, XL, XLIV, XLV of the 6th; c. XIX of Ancyra; c. IX of Neocaesarea; cc. III, VI, XVII, XVIII, XIX, XXXII, LI, LX, LXX of Basil.)

 

Interpretation.

The present Canon deposes clergymen who commit fornication with a woman consecrated to God — that is to say, more explicitly speaking, a nun; but it excommunicates laymen who do this or have done this: the reason being that it regards them as having corrupted and violated a bride of the bridegroom of souls Christ the God, whether she had been a virgin thitherto, or had become a nun, or was even a widow. But those in holy orders and clergymen are deposed from office not only if they commit fornication with a nun, but even if they commit fornication with a lay-woman. Read also Ap. c. XXV and c. XVI of the 4th.

 

 




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