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Canons of the seven ecumenical councils
IntraText CT - Text
Inasmuch as many things, whether of necessity or otherwise urgently demanded by men, have been done contrary to the ecclesiastical Canon, so that men who have but recently come to the faith from a heathen life, and have been catechized for only a short time, have been conducted directly to the spiritual bath, and as soon as baptized have been given an episcopate or a presbytery, it has seemed well henceforth to have no such thing occur. For the catechumen needs more time and a longer trial after baptism. The Apostolical letter, too, is plain which says, “not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the Devil’s snare” (1 Tim. 3:6). If, on the other hand, in the course of time any psychical (i.e., animal) sin be found against the person, and it is exposed by two or three witnesses, let such a person be dismissed from the clergy. As for anyone acting contrary hereto, as having the hardihood to do things opposed to the great council, he himself shall be in danger of losing his standing in the clergy.
(Ap. c. LXXX; c. XVII of the lst-&-2nd; c. X of Sardican; c. III of Laodicea; c. IV of Cyril.)
The present Canon commands what Ap. c. LXXX ordains. For it says: Since in times past many things have occurred that were contrary to the ecclesiastical Canon (that is to say, Ap. c. LXXX), whether of necessity, or on account of persons motivated by other considerations, so that they have almost immediately baptized persons that before had been converted to the Orthodox faith from the life of a heathen and infidel only a short while before, and had been catechized only a short time in the mystery of piety (i.e., of the Christian religion), and right after baptism they promoted them to an episcopate or a presbytery, which is to say, they ordained them presbyters or bishops; since, I say, these things formerly used to be done thus illegally, it has appeared reasonable that from now on they should not be done. For a catechumen needs sufficient time even before being baptized to be properly catechized and instructed concerning all the dogmas of the faith; and after being baptized he again needs to undergo a long trial as a test of his worthiness. For the Apostle says to Timothy: “Let not a novice (be ordained, that is to say), or one newly catechized and recently planted in the vineyard of Christ, lest, after being puffed up with pride, he fall into the same sin and into the same snare as the Devil fell into, or, in other words, into pride. If, on the other hand, with the passage of time, in the subsequent interval of trial and after he has been catechized and baptized and ordained, it should happen that he is found to have committed any animal (i.e., soul-wrought) sin and is convicted thereof by two or three witnesses, he shall cease officiating in holy orders. As for anyone that does otherwise, he shall be in danger of forfeiting his claim to holy orders, that is to say, he shall be deposed from office, on the ground that he has impudently defied the great council. See also the Interpretation of Ap. c. LXXX.