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Canons of the seven ecumenical councils

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39.

 Seeing that our brother and fellow minister John the president of the island of the Cyprians has departed thence with his laity and has come to the eparchy of the Hellespont, both because of barbarian assaults and because they have been freed from heathen slavery and have become subject to the ruling powers of the most Christian empire, by the providence of the philanthropic (or man-loving) God, and by the hard work of our Christ-loving and pious emperor, we see fit to concur in decreeing that the privileges conferred upon and granted to the throne of the man aforesaid by the God-bearing Fathers who convened in Ephesus long ago shall be preserved without any innovations, so that the new Justinianopolis shall have the right of Constantinople, and the most God-beloved Bishop appointed over it shall preside over all those in the eparchy of the Hellespontians and be ordained by his own bishops, in accordance with the ancient custom. For our God-bearing Fathers have already decided that the customs obtaining in each Church are to be continued, the Bishop of the city of the Cyzicenians being subject to the president of the said Justinianopolis, in imitation of the rest of all the Bishops who are under the said most God-beloved president John, by whom, if the need arises, the Bishop of the same city of the Cyzicenians shall be ordained.

(Ap. c. XXXIV; cc. VI, XII of the 1st; cc. II, III, VIII of the 2nd; c. XXVIII of the 4th; c. XXXVI of the 6th; c. IX of Antioch.)

 

Interpretation.

In the time of Emperor Justinian II the Archbishop of Cyprus John departed from his eparchy (or province) together with his laity and came to the eparchy of the Hellespont (the Hellespont, according to Balsamon, is the eastern territory extending from Abydus, or, in other words the eastern Castron from the outside, to Thrace; but according to Chrysanthus the strait extending from Tenedus to Callipolis, or Gallipoli), as much on account of incursions of the barbarians as because of the fact that he was freed from their captivity, by the providence of God and through the diligence of the Emperor, and became a subject of the Roman Empire. For this reason the present Canon decrees that the privileges conferred upon the Bishop of Cyprus by c. VIII of the 3rd Council shall be preserved entire, and that this new city of Justinianoplis is to enjoy the right of Constantinople (that is to say, the right to be like her autocephalous, or, just as the Asian, the Pontic, and the Thracian provinces became subject to the Bishop of Constantinople, as we have said in c. XXVIII of the 4th, so and in like manner is the Hellespontian province, or eparchy, subject to Cyprus); and its Archbishop is to be ordained by his own bishops, in accordance with the ancient custom. So that the Metropolitan of the city of Cyzicus shall be subject to him, just as are also all the bishops in Cyprus, and whenever there is need he shall be ordained by him.[167] Read also c. VIII of the Third Council.

 

 




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