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Canons of the seven ecumenical councils

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14.

 It is perfectly plain to everybody that order reigns in the Church, and that it is pleasing to God for the transactions of the Priesthood to be maintained with rigorousness. Since, then, we behold some persons receiving the tonsure of the Clergy from infancy and without imposition of hands, and reading from the pulpit at the synaxis, but doing so in an uncanonical fashion, we forbid the doing of this from now on. The same rule is to be observed also with reference to Monks. As for the appointment of an Anagnost (or Reader) by imposition of hands, each Abbot is given permission to do this but only in his own Monastery, provided that imposition of hands has been laid upon that very same Abbot himself by a Bishop to enable him to have the presidency of an Abbot — that is to say, more plainly speaking, if he is a Presbyter (or Priest). Likewise also in accordance with the ancient custom, Auxiliary Bishops may only with the permission of the Bishop appoint Anagnosts (with imposition of hands).

(c. XXXIII of the 6th ; c. XXII of Carthage.)

 

Interpretation.

Since some persons have been consecrated from infancy to God, and have donned garments befitting clerics, and have also received the tonsure at the hands of their own parents, in accordance with a certain custom, on the pretext that they have been and are, allegedly, consecrated, and these same children on coming to age have had the temerity to read the divine books to the laity (perhaps trusting to that tonsure received in their infancy), without having had the requisite imposition of hands and without having received the requisite seal and tonsure of an Anagnost from a prelate; therefore the present Canon commands that such a thing be not done, on the ground that it is disorderly and uncanonical. Not only are laymen forbidden to act as Readers without a bishop’s seal, but so are monks too. But it is permissible for the abbot of a monastery, provided he is a priest and has been made an abbot by imposition of the hands of a prelate, to ordain Anagnosts (or Readers), but only in his own monastery, and not elsewhere. Likewise even Auxiliary Bishops (Chorepiscopi) are permitted to ordain Anagnosts, in accordance with an ancient custom[277] (respecting which see also the Footnote to c. VIII of the First). Read also c. XXXIII of the 6th.

 

 




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