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Canons of the seven ecumenical councils

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56.

 Likewise we have learned that in the country of the Armenians and in other regions on the Saturdays and on the Sundays of holy Lent some persons eat eggs and cheese. It has therefore seemed best to decree also this, that the Church of God throughout the inhabited earth, carefully following a single procedure, shall carry out fasting, and abstain, precisely as from every kind of thing sacrificed, so and especially from eggs and cheese, which are fruit and produce from which we have to abstain. As for those who fail to observe this rule, if they are Clergymen, let them be deposed from office; but if they are laymen, let them be excommunicated.

 

Interpretation.

It would seem that the Christians living in Armenia, being told that the Apostolic Canon forbids one from fasting on Saturday and Sunday, and not understanding it aright, were wont to eat eggs and cheese on the Saturdays and Sundays of Lent. Hence this Council in the present Canon decrees that the entire Church of Christ, which is spread over the whole inhabited face of the earth, must follow one and the same procedure and fast on these days (by consuming on these days only wine, oil, and shellfish),[180] and just as it abstains during Lent from animals that are sacrified, so must it also abstain from cheese and eggs, which are fruit and produce of such animals.[181] As for those who fail to keep this rule, if they are clergymen, let them be deposed from office, but if they are laymen, let them be excommunicated. Read also Ap. cc. LXIV and LXIX.

 

 




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