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Canons of the seven ecumenical councils

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17.

 Inasmuch as Clergymen of various churches have abandoned their own churches, in which they were ordained, and have run over to other Bishops, and without the consent of their own Bishop have had themselves enrolled in the others’ churches, and as a result of this they came to be insubordinate, we decree that, beginning with the month of January of the last fourth induction, not a single one of all the clergymen, regardless of what rank he happens to be in, has permission, unless furnished by a written dimissory of his own Bishop, to be enrolled in a different church. For, whoever fails to abide by this rule hereafter, but, on the contrary, so far as lies in his power disgraces him who bestowed the ordination on him, let both him and the one who illogically accepted him be deposed from office.

(Ap. cc. XII, XV, XXXII; cc. XV, XVI of the 1st; cc. V, X, XI, XIII, XX, XXIII; c. XV of the 7th; cc. III, VII, VIII, XI of Antioch; cc. XLI, XLII of Laodicea; cc. VII, VIII, XV, XVI, XIX of Sardica; cc. XXXI, LXIII, XCVII, XCVIII, CXVI of Carthage.)

 

Interpretation.

The present Canon does not permit clergymen to leave their churches and go to others without the consent and a dimissory letter of their own bishop, because this results in their becoming insubordinate. So, beginning with month of January, and the fourth indiction last past (for indiction is meant by the word epinemesis, as is evident from c. III of the present Council), which is the same as saying, from now on, whoever dares to do this, and disgrace and scorn the one who ordained, by such an act, let both him and the one who unreasonably took him in be deposed from office. Read also Ap. cc. XII and XV.

 

 




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