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Canons of the seven ecumenical councils

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27.

 The holy Council has made it a rule regarding those who take women by force[110] under pretense of marriage, and their accomplices and abettors, that if they should be Clergymen, they shall forfeit their own rank, but if they are laymen, they shall be anathematized.

(c. XCII of the 6th; c. XI of Ancyra; cc. XXII, XXX, XXXVIII, XLII, and LIII of Basil.)

 

Interpretation.

The present Canon, dealing with the forcible seizure of women in a harsher way than the other Canons do, penances those who seize women forcibly with a view to taking them to wife. For it deposes from office not only those clergymen who seize them by force, but also those who helped them to do so, and those who incited them to such a seizure by words of advice or encouragement; or if they be laymen, it anathematizes them, and in a manner which is quite just. For the one who seizes them can offer as a pretext the allegation that he is impelled by the urge of his absurd and improper love of women, but his accomplices and abettors are not impelled to this absurd and improper act by any such incentive, save the viciousness of their head and their bad judgment.[111]

 




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