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Canons of the seven ecumenical councils

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47.

 Let neither any woman sleep in the men’s quarters in a Monastery, nor any man in the women’s quarters of a Convent. For the faithful believers must be remote from any offensiveness of scandal, and must regulate their own life to be seemly and accordant to the Lord. If anyone do this, whether he be a clergyman or a layman, let him be excommunicated.

(cc. XVIII, XX, XXII of the 7th.)

 

Interpretation.

This Canon decrees that neither may any woman in general sleep at night in the monastery of monks, nor may any man in general sleep at a convent mutually with any of the nuns there. For Christians in general must not cause any others any scandal or suspicion, but must pass their life in a seemly manner and in a manner agreeable to the Lord. But much more ought monks to guard themselves against committing this impropriety. As for women sleeping in a monastery of monks, and conversely for men to sleep in a convent of nuns, this should cause them to be scandalized themselves because of its kindling the innate fire of desire both in the men and in the women; and it should scandalize others too still worse because of its inducing them to entertain improper suspicions about them. As for anyone that does this, he is to be excommunicated, no matter whether he be a clergyman or a layman.

 

 




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