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Canons of the seven ecumenical councils
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The preacher of the truth Paul, the divine Apostle, as if laying down a Canon to the presbyters of the Ephesians, but rather to every sacerdotal aggregate, spoke openly and aboveboard as follows: “I have coveted no one’s silver, or gold, or apparel. I have shown you in all things that by thus laboring you ought to assist the weak, and remember that . . . It is more blissful to give than to receive” (Acts 20:33, 35). Wherefore we too, having become pupils and disciples of His, decree that no bishop shall devise or think of ways of making shameful profits, alleging lame excuses such as are offered in the case of sins in general, to the effect that bishops, or clergymen, or monks serving under him demand gold, or silver, or any other commodity. For the Apostle says: “The unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Cor. 6:9), and “children ought not to lay up treasure for their parents, but parents for their children” (2 Cor. 12:14). If, therefore, on account of any demand for gold, or for any other commodity, or on account of any idiosyncrasy, anyone be found to be excluding from the liturgy and excommunicating anyone among the clergymen under him, or shutting a venerable temple, to prevent liturgies of God from being conducted therein, venting his rage upon insentient objects, he himself is in reality insentient, and will become subject to self-torture, and “his mischief shall return upon his own head” (Ps. 7:16), as transgressor of a commandment of God, and of the Apostolic Ordinances. For Peter, the coryphaean summit of the Apostles, also commands: “Tend the flock of God which is among you, not coercingly, but voluntarily after the manner of God. Not for the sake of shameful profits, but willingly. Not as lording it over the charges allotted to you, but as having become models for the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear in person, ye shall receive the reward of an unwithering crown of glory” (1 Pet. 5:2-4).
Because great St. Paul both by word and by deed commanded the bishops of the Ephesians, and through them all bishops subsequent thereto, not to desire silver, or gold, or clothes, but by labor of their own hands to assist the weak and needy, and to bear in mind that it is more blissful to give than to receive, therefore the present Canon commands that no prelate or bishop shall seek to extort gold or silver or anything else of value, with a view to shameful profits, from bishops, or clergymen, or monks that are subject to his jurisdiction, since any such demand is unjust and unrighteous, but “the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God,” according to the Apostle; and since children are not obliged to amass treasure to give to their parents, but, on the contrary, parents ought to give to their children. So any bishop who is found suspending or excommunicating any priest or clergyman, or closing a church in order to obtain money or on account of any other personal animus, let him suffer what he is doing, to wit, let him be suspended, and “let him be excommunicated, if he is a bishop by his Metropolitan, or if he is a Metropolitan by his Patriarch. For the Coryphaeus of Apostles St. Peter gives the following orders to prelates: “Tend the flock of God, not coercingly and tyrannically, but voluntarily and after the manner of God; not for the sake of shameful profits, but with cheerful willingness; not as domineering over the clergy, but as furnishing models and examples to the flocks, in order that when the chief shepherd Christ becomes manifest in His second advent, you may receive from Him the reward of an unwithering crown of glory.” Read also Ap. c. XXIX.