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Canons of the seven ecumenical councils

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5.

 Let no one on the sacerdotal list acquire a woman or housemaid except persons mentioned in the Canon as being above suspicion, but let him safeguard his reputation in this respect. Let even eunuchs safeguard themselves in this very same situation too, by providing themselves with a blameless character. As for those who transgress this injunction, if they are Clergymen, let them be deposed from office; but if they are laymen let them be excommunicated.

(c. III of the 1st; cc. XVIII, XXII of the 7th; c. XIX of Ancyra; c. XLV of Carthage; and c. LXXXIX of Basil.)

 

Interpretation.

What the present Canon decrees is the following. Let none of those in holy orders who are living modestly have a woman staying in their house, or a servant girl, unless she be among those specified in a Canon as being above suspicion — this refers to c. III of the First Ec. C. — such persons being a mother and a sister and an aunt; so as to keep himself from becoming liable to incur blame from either the father or the mother in relation to the laity. Anyone among persons that transgresses this Canon, let him be deposed from office. Likewise eunuchs, too, must keep themselves safe from any accusation against them, and therefore let them not dwell together with suspicious persons. In case they dare to do this, if they are clergymen (as having been involuntarily, that is to say, or by nature made eunuchs), let them be deposed from office; but if they are laymen, let them be excommunicated. Read also c. III of the First Ec. C.

 

 




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