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Canons of the seven ecumenical councils

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8.

 With a desire to hold fast to whatever our Holy Fathers have decreed, in everything, we hereby renew the Canon prescribing that synods or councils of the Bishops in each province must be held every year, in whatever place the Bishop of the Metropolis may designate. But since on account of incursions of barbarians and on account of other incidental causes, the presidents of the churches find it impossible to hold synods or councils twice a year, it has seemed best for a synod or council of the aforementioned Bishops to be held by all means once a year for ecclesiastical matters that naturally arise in every province, to last from the festival of Holy Easter till the end of the month of October in each year, in the locality which the Bishop of the Metropolis, as we have said, shall designate. As for those Bishops who fail to attend the meeting, but who, instead of doing so, remain at home in their respective cities, leading their lives therein in good health and free from every indispensable and necessary occupation, they are to be reprimanded in a brotherly way.

(Ap. c. XXXVII; c. V of the 1st; c. XIX of the 4th; c. VI of the 7th; c. XX of Antioch; cc. XXVI, LXXXI, LXXXIV, LXXXV, and CIV of Carthage.)

 

Interpretation.

These Fathers confirm and renew the Canon of the Holy Fathers preceding them which commands that two synods or councils be held in each province every year. But inasmuch as the prelates find it difficult to assemble twice a year, on account of incursions and fears of barbarian foes, and on account of other occasional circumstances, they command that a synod of Bishops be held in any event and by all means once a year in each province (or eparchy), for the purpose of considering and correcting or adjusting ecclesiastical matters that come up. This synod, or council, has to be held, as respects the time, from Holy Easter to the end of the month of October, and as respects the place, wherever the Metropolitan of each province (or eparchy) may deem it advisable. As for any bishops that remain in their bishoprics, and are in good health, and free from every necessary care, and fail to present themselves at the meeting of the synod, they are to be reprimanded in a brotherly way. Read also Ap. c. XXXVII.

 

 




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