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Canons of the seven ecumenical councils

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 A monk or nun must not leave his or her monastery or nunnery, respectively, and go away to another. But if this should occur, it is necessary that he or she be afforded a hospitable reception as a guest. But it is not fitting that he or she be entered without the approval of his abbot, or of her abbess, as the case may be.

(c. IV of the 4th; c. XIX of the 7th; cc. III, IV, V of the lst-&-2nd; c. LXXXVIII of Carthage.)



The present Canon decrees that a monk or nun must not leave that monastery or nunnery in which he or she, respectively, has been tonsured, and go to another. But if anyone should do this, such a one ought to be received as a guest and hospitably treated by the Fathers of that strange monastery (or the Mothers of that strange nunnery, as the case may be) for some days (lest as one not accorded a proper welcome he or she be compelled to betake himself or herself to the world and to associate with indifferent persons). Nevertheless, he or she must not be held to be enrolled in the brotherhood or sisterhood there, as the case may be, without the approval and a dimissory letter from his own abbot (or from her own abbess, if it be a nun).[288]



Canon IV of the lst-&-2nd C. excommunicates any monk who departs from his monastery and goes to another monastery, or to a worldly shelter, and even the person who welcomes and admits him, except only in case the prelate wished to transfer him to a different location, either for improvement of another monastery or for salvation of some family. For in that case the monks and those admitting him are not responsible. Moreover, c. LXXXVIII of Carthage commands that a stranger must not communicate with a monk unless the laity themselves with that bishop who has admitted him from a monastery belonging to another province and makes him a cleric, or an abbot of his own monastery, and the monk in question, it says, shall be neither a cleric nor an abbot. And c. IV of the 4th decrees that monks must not leave their monasteries unless they be allowed to do so by the bishop for a necess

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