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Canons of the seven ecumenical councils

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10.

 Inasmuch as some of the Clergymen, flouting the canonical ordinance and leaving their own parish, run off into another parish, and for the most part into this God-guarded and imperial city, and become attached to civil magistrates, conducting services in their oratories, it is therefore not allowable to receive these persons in any house or church without the permission of their own bishop and of that of Constantinople. If anyone should do so persistently, let him be deposed from office. As for any of the Priests who do this notwithstanding what has been said in the foregoing, it is not for them to undertake secular and mundane cares, as they are forbidden to do so by the divine Canons. But if anyone be caught red-handed in the employ of the so-called magnates (meizoteri), let him be dismissed, or let him be deposed from office. To come at once to the point, therefore, let him keep re-reading the divine Scriptures with the object of teaching children and servants and slaves. For it was to this that he was called when holy orders fell to his lot.

(Ap. cc. XV, LXXXI, LXXXIII; cc. III, V, X, XXIII; c. XI of the lst-&-2nd; cc. XVIII, LXIII, XCVIII of Carthage; cc. XV, XVI of the 1st; cc. XVII, XVIII of the 6th; c. III of Antioch; cc. XV, XVI, XIX of Sardica.)

 

Interpretation.

The present Canon forbids two unlawful things in the same paragraph: the action of clergymen in going from city to city, and especially to Constantinople; and that of their applying to civil magistrates and officiating in their prayer-houses without the permission both of their own bishop, from whom they have gone away, and of the Patriarch, into whose parish they have resorted, as both are contrary to the prescription of the divine Canons. So it commands that any clergyman is to be deposed from office if without permission of the above he comes to Constantinople, or officiates in oratories, and persists in doing so. Clergymen, on the other hand, who have been admitted with their permission must not undertake secular cares, but rather let them teach the children and slaves and servants of Christians. If any clergyman should engage in superintending the lati-fundia of civil magistrates (as this same thing is decreed in c. XI of the lst-&-2nd), the superintendents of which used to be called meizoteri (i.e., magnates), perhaps owing to their superintending the largest and most profitable estates, either let him leave this employment or, if he will not leave it, let him be deposed from office. See also Ap. cc. VI and XV.

 

 




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