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Canons of the seven ecumenical councils

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8.

 Inasmuch as some persons who have been misled by their inferences from the religion of the Jews have seen fit to sneer at Christ our God, while pretending to be Christians, but secretly and clandestinely keeping the Sabbath and doing other Jewish acts, we decree that these persons shall not be admitted to communion, nor to prayer, nor to church, but shall be Jews openly in accordance with their religion; and that neither shall their children be baptized, nor shall they buy or acquire a slave. But if any one of them should be converted as a matter of sincere faith, and confess with all his heart, triumphantly repudiating their customs and affairs, with a view to censure and correction of others, we decree that he shall be accepted and his children shall be baptized, and that the latter shall be persuaded to hold themselves aloof from Jewish peculiarities. If, on the other hand, the case is not thus, they are not to be accepted under any other circumstances whatever.

 

Interpretation.

The present Canon decrees that no one is to join in communion or prayer with, or even admit into church, those Jews who only hypocritically have become Christians and have joined the Orthodox faith, but secretly deny and mock Christ our God, while keeping the Sabbath and other Jewish customs (or, more explicitly, circumcising their sons, deeming anyone unclean that takes hold of a corpse or leper, and other similar vagaries); but, on the contrary, such persons are to be Jews as they were before, and no one shall baptize their children nor let them buy a slave or acquire one by exchange or gift or in any other fashion. But if any Jew should be actually converted in good and guileless faith and with all his heart confess the orthodoxy of Christians, openly disparaging the religion of the Jews, in order that other Jews may be reproved and corrected, we ought to accept such a person, and baptize his children, ordering them persuasively to abstain from Jewish superstitions. But as for those who do not become converted in such a manner, we must not admit them on any account whatever.[274]

 

Concord.

In agreement with the present Canon ch. 44 of Title I of Book I of the Basilica decrees that if any Jew accused of any crime or owing a debt should on account thereof pretend that he has become willing to be a Christian, he is not to be accepted thus until he has paid his debt or has been acquitted of the crimes of which he has been accused. Likewise ch. 47 of the same Title and Book decrees that no Jew shall have a slave who is a Christian, nor circumcise anyone who is being catechized; neither shall any other heretic have a slave who is a Christian, but the moment he acquires him, the slave shall become free. Read also the Footnote to c. II of the 1st.

 

 




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