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Canons of the seven ecumenical councils

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 For everything to be dedicated to God, and not to be slavishly subject to one’s own will, is undoubtedly a great thing in itself. For whether you are eating or you are drinking, the divine Apostle says, you are doing everything for the glory of God. Christ, therefore, our God, in His Gospels has ordered us to cut out the origins of sins. For not only is adultery chastised by Him, but even a mental tendency to attempt adultery is condemned, in that He says: Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart (Matt. 5:28). Taking a cue from this assertion, we ought to purify our thoughts. “All things are lawful, but not all things are expedient (1 Cor. 10:23), we are taught by an Apostolic utterance. It is therefore indispensable for every man to eat in order to live. Accordingly, for those whose life is one of marriage and children and popular amusement it is proper for men and women to eat in mixed company, though to avoid calumny and reproach they ought to take food merely in order to obtain nourishment, and not for the enjoyment of it, and in absence of theatrical arts, or what may be called Satanic songs, music of harps, and whorish twistings of the body. For upon such as participate in these things the prophetic curse descends speaking as follows: Woe unto them who drink wine with harp and lute, but regard not the work of the Lord, neither have considered the works of his hands comprehendingly(Isa. 5:12). And if there ever should be such among the Christians, let them correct themselves or be corrected; but if not, let the rules laid down by those before us canonically and promulgated prevail in regard to them. But as for those persons whose life is quiet and monotonous, he who has joined hands with the Lord God ought to bear the yoke solitary . . . as he sitteth alone and broodeth in silence (Lam. of Jer. 3:27-28). But what is more even for those who have chosen a priestly life, it is not at all permissible for them to eat privately in the company of women, unless it be somewhere together with God-bearing[290] and reverent men and women, in order that the banquet itself may lead to some spiritual guidance. And in the case of relatives, too, let him do the same. If, again, during a journey a monk or a priestly man should happen to be in want of what he needs, and as a matter of necessity wishes to put up somewhere, be it at an inn or in someone’s home, he is to have the right to do this, on the ground of the exigency.[291]








[1] The duration of catechization is not fixed the same by all. The Apostolical Injunctions ordain that a catechumen is to be catechized for a year. Canon 42 of the regional council held in Illiberia, a town in Spain, a little before the First Ecumenical Council, prescribed two years. Justinian Novel 144 also prescribed two years for Samaritans joining the faith. Canon 25 of the local council held in Agatha in the year 506 fixed the time as eight months for converted Jews. Canon VIII of the 7th Ecum. C. will not have us accept Jews feigning belief, but only those who really believe and who criticize the practices of the Jews. Some writers, however, think that catechization occupied only as many days as there are in Great Lent, inferring this from c. XLV of Laodicea, and from Jerome’s letter to Pammachius, and from the first catechism of Cyril of Jerusalem. But perhaps from these premises nothing less is to be inferred except the fact that during Great Lent the last and more accurate part of catechization was completed, because at that time catechumens used to be baptized during the night of Great Saturday and of Easter. Sometimes, however, the duration of catechization was curtailed on account of necessary circumstances. That is why catechumens in danger of dying used to be baptized before the time fixed for catechization had expired, according to c. XII of Neocaesarea, c. XLVII of Laodicea, c. LII of Carthage, c. V of Basil, and c. V of Cyril. But the Burgundians, too, a nationality of France, on account of the fervid faith they showed in Christ, and on account of the need they had to fight the Huns, with whom they were at war, were catechized in only seven days, and on the eighth day they were baptized by the bishop in one city of France (Socrates, Book VII, ch. 30). Yet, according to this Canon, it is better to let a long time pass that is sufficient to test the catechumen more efficaciously.


[2] Zonaras calls every sin a psychical (or animal) sin that is due to an aberrancy of the three faculties of the soul, namely, the reasoning faculty, the affective faculty, and the desiderative faculty. Balsamon says that a psychical (or animal) sin is any sin that causes an injury to the soul (the Greek name of which is psyche, and the Latin anima), whether the origin of it be traceable to an appetite of the body or to a craving of the soul. Others have considered a psychical sin to be one resulting from passions of the soul, such as presumption, waywardness, etc. Properly, however, the psychical sin spoken of in this Canon is the state of being puffed up, and supercilious, and proud. For it is only this passion that belongs to the spiritual and immaterial nature of the soul; and this is the condemnation and snare into which the Devil fell, according to the saying of the Apostle which the Canon mentions here, and according to the interpretation placed upon it by St. Ambrose. That is why St. Augustine (in Book III concerning the City of God) says that the Devil is not a drunkard or anything else of such a nature, but is, in fact, a conceited and witchlike being. So if a bishop falls into the passion of pride and reveals this by what he says or does, and is exposed by two or three witnesses, let him be dismissed from the clergy, perhaps in order that he may be humbled and moderate his sentiment, and thus become entitled to be restored to holy orders. But if he keeps on getting prouder, and refuses to cease, let him be completely deposed from his rank. The fact that open pride is a sufficient cause for deposition is also evident from the Novatians, who were ousted from the Church on this account, because out of presumption and pride they called themselves pure and refused to admit those who had denied in time of persecution and had repented, nor would commune with persons married twice. Some authorities, however, have asserted that by “psychical sin” the Canon means here a cacodoxical and impious sentiment or belief or frame of mind. But if this were meant, anyone entertaining it ought not only to cease therefrom, but also to be sternly deposed and to be outlawed and proscribed from the Church. So, inasmuch as pride is a mortal sin, and those who commit a sin involving death forfeit their rank, according to c. XXXII of Basil (which you are advised to read), the present Canon chastises anyone that has fallen into such a sin by unfrocking him.


[3] Not only do ecumenical and regional councils commonly blame and place under a penance those clergymen, or even laymen, who have strange women in their home, whether it be in order to have them do work as servants, as was presbyter Gregory against whom Basil the Great complains, or it be that as an excuse they are alleged to be unprotected and have no one to provide for them, but also separately as individuals every one of the divine Fathers took care to stigmatize this evil. For St. Gregory the Theologian in his epic verses wonders and is at a loss among whom to class those who keep women in their house or have women staying with them in their home, whether they ought to class them among married men, or among unmarried and virgin men, or in a middle group between married men and virgin men; on which account he says:

“As for the subintroductors, as all of them allege indeed,

I know not whether to allow them a marriage, or to keep them with the unmarried.

Or to place them in the middle somewhere between both these groups.

For I at any rate will not praise this thing even though I be criticized.”

The saint of the same name, Gregory of Nyssa, in his discussion of virginity, finds fault with such persons and says: “They not only provide their belly with whatever gives it pleasure, but they even cohabit openly with women, and call such living together a fraternity.” Divine Chrysostom (discourse on those having subintroductae, p. 214 of vol. vi) says the following: “There are some who take virgin girls without a marriage and intercourse, place them in their home permanently, and live with them continuously until extreme old age, not for the sake of giving birth to children (since they claim not to have any sexual intercourse with them), not for the sake of fornication and licentiousness (because they claim to be keeping them virgins and chaste). But if one were to ask them for what reason they are doing this, they have a lot of excuses to offer in reply; yet they have no reasonable and decent excuse. For the real reason of their living with these girls in this fashion is none other than a passionate craving and pleasure which affords them a more intense and vehement sexual appeal than that enjoyed by men living with a lawful wife. Because a wife allows the man living with her unrestricted intercourse and allays vehement sexual love, and often leads the man to satiety of pleasure and inhibits unlimited desire; besides these differences, there are also the parturient pangs of a lawful wife, the inconveniences of giving birth to children, and bringing them up, and the illnesses and weaknesses which she incurs from all these causes ultimately wither the flower of her beauty, and consequently make the center of pleasure less attractive to the man. But in the case of the subintroducta virgin these consequences do not follow. For neither sexual intercourse with her can make the man living with her abate the passionateness of his irresistible desire, nor do parturient pangs and child-rearing wither their flesh; on the contrary such women retain their beauty for many years, because of their remaining untouched by any of the causes destructive of their beauty we have mentioned; in fact they get to be forty years old and nevertheless appear as pretty as girls and young women who have not yet made their debut. Hence a double desire is aroused in men living with such girls, first, because they do not allay their passionate craving and lust for them with the act of mingling and indulgence in sexual intercourse, and secondly, because the object of their passionate craving remains for a long time at its prime and strongly provocative, which object is the pretty face and the beauty of the women. So, according to Basil the Great (ascetic ordinance 4), such men are so overcome by their passions that they have no feeling, but, instead, are like frenzied and drunken men. According to the same Chrysostom (discourse on the fact that an ascetic must not joke) they are all the time being wounded, all the time being preyed upon by wild beasts, all the time indulging in adultery (probably meaning fornication), and being rendered languid by exceeding the bounds of sobriety. And can it be said (asks the saint) that you are a senseless stone and are not scandalized (probably meaning tantalized)? You are a man subject to the passions of human nature. Well, then, how can it be thought possible for one to put fire inside his bosom, or to walk upon burning coals, without getting burnt, when he is an easily inflammable straw. Nevertheless, again Basil the Great (ascetic ordinance 4) says that even though we allow that he (sc. the one who is keeping subintroductas) is not irritated nor even tantalized by the passion of desire, yet if he be not suffering he cannot in spite of this easily persuade others that he is not actually suffering. But to scandalize the common run of men, without any show of virtue, is not without danger to one who does so. Besides, there is also another consequence to be reckoned with: even granting that the man himself is not injured by looking at the woman, it nevertheless cannot be maintained that the woman is not subject to the passions of the body. Hence she, either being weak in reasoning power or having a most acute passion, has conceived a passion of love for the man who has been so indiscreet as to associate with her; and though he himself has not been wounded, he has wounded her many times without even knowing it.” So in order to avoid having all these consequences follow, every man ought to guard himself, and if possible shun the company of women altogether, or if this is impossible, and he cannot avoid frequent and prolonged meetings with women, and of all others especially women that are leading a monastic life or have grown old as nuns. All clergymen as well as laymen, and especially monks and nuns; since nuns have the same trouble in fighting shy of monks, as monks have in fighting shy of nuns. That is why Abbas (i.e., abbot) Isaac, in admonishing a monk, tells him in addition to these things to avoid canonicae, that is to say, nuns, as though they were fire. But if saints forbid a man to associate with women and nuns, how much more do they not forbid him to live with them? These things which we have said in regard to men keeping subintroductae women, apply also to those who keep beardless young men in their house as subintroducti and are living with them. Hence it is that Gregory the great saint recommends in his epic verses that not only a virgin man, but every other man, and especially every clergyman and monk, should refrain from living with such young men. In fact he says verbatim:

                “Beware of every male, but especially of having one as a subintroductus.”

                In the ascetic discourse which Basil the Great composed concerning renunciation, he says: If you are a young man with respect to the body, or are an old man with respect to the body, but a young man with respect to sentiment, avoid association with young men as you would a flame. For the enemy having burnt up many men with a desire for such young men, consigned them to the everlasting fire after hurling them down into a yawning chasm of sodomites under the pretext of spiritual love. For those keeping such young men (as the same Basil says in his discourse concerning virginity) are excited to a desire for that object in particular to which they are naturally inclined by an erotic impulse, or, in other words, to a desire for a woman. Hence as a result of the relation they bear to what is natural, they are forced to violate the law with respect to what is unnatural, in seeking the female in the male. Being unable to attain their object, nor being themselves in any position to allay their absurd and improper erotic passion by unnaturally mingling with a male, they suffer the very same consequences as are suffered by those who keep subintroductae women. “For when they gaze” (says the same Basil in the above discourse concerning renunciation) “at the face of the beardless young men and receive a seed of desire from the enemy and sower of evils and woes commonly called the Devil, they reap sheaves of destruction and of perdition. The woes deserving many tears are also plainly visible to those who know history, for they have been time and again inflicted upon the world as a result of beardless young men. For many great lavras (i.e., monastic retreats) and monasteries have been wiped out, and the souls of many men have been swallowed up by Hades.”


[4] Note the present Novel and the above Canons.


[5] That is why Theodoret, in his Ecclesiastical History (Book I, ch. 9), says that “all the Fathers of the present First Council in Nicaea, sending in a conciliar letter to the bishops in Alexandria, stated in writing that the ordinations of bishops ought to be ratified by the Bishop of Alexandria, voting along with them and ratifying the election by the general assembly in Alexandria. Hence Synesius when corresponding with Theophilus says in a letter of his concerning a man named Anthony, who was about to be made a bishop, that the most important point connected with his ordination that needed to be attended to was: “the hand of Theophilus. . . . may it be my lot to join in electing him to an equal rank in holy orders. But there is still one most important point to be attended to, though, by thy sacred hand.” And even the Council held in Chalcedon, in mentioning the present Canon in its Act XIII, says: “This Canon prescribes that ratification of what is done in each particular province must be left to the Metropolitan, and the latter must ordain all the bishops subject to his jurisdiction. For the sacred formality, according to sacred Symeon of Thessalonica, is interpreted as meaning that the synod (or council) must vote for three candidates and they are to be referred to the Metropolitan or to the Patriarch; one of the latter two will then decide which one of the three in question is to receive notification of his ordination; and either he himself will ordain the one chosen with the other prelates assisting in the ceremony, or with his permission others may ordain him.


[6] The reason why the present Canon was issued by the Council was as follows. It used to be the custom with bishops of Egypt and of Libya and of Pentapolis to have the bishop of Alexandria as their chief, and without his approval not to engage in any ecclesiastical action, as Epiphanius says in his Haer. 61. By exercising this authority, Peter the sacred martyr, who was Bishop of Alexandria, deposed Meletius, a Bishop of Lycopolis in Thebais, as Athanasius the Great bears witness in his second apology. The same saint notes further that before Peter’s time, since some bishops in Pentapolis in Upper Libya had accepted the opinion of Sabellius, and his spurious doctrines came to prevail so widely that the Son of God was hardly being preached in the churches, when Dionysius of Alexandria learned about this, he dispatched envoys to them for the purpose of converting them to the orthodox doctrine of the Church. From these facts it becomes evident indeed that even before this First Council was held the Bishop of Alexandria enjoyed Patriarchal privileges also by virtue of an ancient custom (which, in fact, prevailed in consequence of Ap. c. XXXIV, which says that the bishops of each nation ought to recognize one of their number as their chief, and so forth). He had authority not only to govern the ecclesiastical affairs of the provinces and dioceses there, but also to depose bishops and metropolitans of that clime. But because the said Meletius had been deposed by the Bishop of Alexandria, he attempted to violate this custom and to dare to ordain other bishops in the diocese of Alexandria, this present Nicene Council renewed the ancient custom by the terms of the present Canon and again ratified the rule giving the Bishop of Alexandria authority over all the bishops in Egypt, etc. And this was the meaning attached to the present Canon by the Bishops from Egypt at the Council held in Chalcedon, in Act 4 (according to Dositheus, in the Dodecabiblus). This authority is also conferred in c. XXX of the 4th.


[7] For the name Patriarch first began being used in the time of Theodosius the Little. For seeing that the Patriarchs had formerly been called specially Bishops of the Apostolic thrones, this Theodosius first called the Biship of Rome a Patriarch, and also applied the term to St. Chrysostom, according to what is stated by Socrates in Book VII, ch. 31. This appellation was also mentioned in the Council held in Chalcedon; and it was indeed by Justinian that patriarchs were actually and officially called Patriarchs. This noun signifies two different things: either the bishops who were made superintendents and exarchs in some provinces and dioceses by a common synod, as this was done also by the Second Ecum. Council, according to Socrates (Book V, ch. 8). One of such bishops was St. Gregory of Nyssa, being subject to the Bishop of Caesarea. These prelates were called Patriarchs not by reason of any superiority of their throne, but as a result of a conciliar decision in order that they might have greater authority to exercise for the purpose of implanting and uprooting, because of their being equal to the other Patriarchs. That is why, in writing to Flavian of Antioch, against the Bishop of Caesarea who had treated him scornfully, the Bishop of Nyssa said: “If the dignity be judged sacerdotally, the privilege of both of us has been made equal and one by the Council, but rather it may be said that the care taken in correcting common matters depends upon having the benefit of equality. Or it properly signifies the bishops who have the first honor in the Church by reason of the superiority of their own thrones and the chief office, not being a personal one like that of those, but belonging to their thrones by succession, which were five in number, namely, that of Rome, that of Constantinople, that of Alexandria, that of Antioch, and that of Jerusalem. These bishops were called on the principle of acrostic, Caraj (or in Greek, Karai). For the letter C stands for Constantinople, the first letter a for Alexandria, the letter r for Rome, the second letter a for Antioch, and the letter j for Jerusalem. But because of the fact that the one first mentioned (i.e., the so-called Pope of Rome) bolted the reins, the Patriarch of Constantinople was left as the first among the remaining four. Later a fifth Patriarch was added, namely, the Patriarch of Greater Moscow (i.e., of Russia). But he too is no longer. Although it is a fact that Peter of Antioch in writing to the Bishop of Aquileia said that he alone was specially designated as Patriarch, to which Balsamon assented, yet we do not pay regard to what bishops say about themselves, but to what the catholic Church says about them. Dionysius, too, and Timothy Ailourus called the Bishop of Ephesus a Patriarch, but the Fourth Ecumenical Council disregarded this. Theodore the historian also called the Bishop of Thessalonica a Patriarch, but he addressed him thus either in accordance with the style of address accorded to exarchs, as did the Second Council, as we have said, or, as others say, on account of the many episcopates which he had, totalling some forty in all. (Dositheus in the Dodecabiblus.)


[8] Those belonging to the Roman Church do not interpret this Canon correctly. Hence Pope Felix in a dispute with the Patriarch of Constantinople Acacius, after corrupting it, asserted that the Bishop of Rome possessed sovereign authority in every council, as the Canon (meaning the present one) of the Council in Nicaea intended. Even before him Paschasinus, the legate of Pope Leo, cited the same Canon pervertedly in the Fourth Council. Nevertheless, we can ascertain the true meaning of this Council by considering the words themselves of the Canon. We assert, then, because Meletius trespassed upon the rights of the Bishop of Alexandria, as we have said, he gave occasion to this Council to formulate the present Canon and to ordain nothing new, but merely to confirm the practices which had been preserved from an ancient custom, not only in connection with Patriarchs, but also in connection with Metropolitans, and not only in connection with ordinations, which Meletius had abused, but also in the matter of every other right that belongs to Patriarchs and Metropolitans with respect to the churches subject to their jurisdiction. These facts being presupposed, the Canon says: Let the ancient customs prevail which were in vogue in Egypt and Libya and Pentapolis, so that the Bishop in Alexandria will enjoy the privilege of exercising authority over all these territories, since this sort of privilege is allowed also to the Bishop in Rome. At this point note that the pronountouto” in the Greek text of the Canon, translated hereinabove “this,” refers to nothing else than the custom, for the sake of brevity of speech. “Since this is also the treatment usually accorded to the Bishop of Rome,” it says. What treatment is that? That of allowing him to have authority over all persons and territories subject to his jurisdiction. For just as the Bishop of Rome possesses this customary privilege like the Bishop of Alexandria, in like manner he possesses the same authority as does the latter. That this is the meaning of the Canon is attested also by the Arabic translation of the same Canons, available in the Alexandrian edition. Joseph the Egyptian also attests the same fact, who is an ancient annotator of the Canons of this Council. The same fact is also attested by Dionysius Exiguus in the Latin translation which he made. The fact is further attested and confirmed by the edition of Isidorus of Mercantor; and lastly it is also confirmed by the translation made by Tyrannius Rufinus the presbyter of Aquileia. So, inasmuch as this is the truth of the matter, and the diocese of Rome is limited like that of Alexandria, it is in vain that the Romans imagine that this Canon entitles them to unlimited authority over the whole world. Note further that owing to the fact that the seniority of Rome had remained intact, the present Canon did not renew it. If it had not been the same as it said concerning the Bishop of Alexandria, it would have explained the matter as concerning Rome too. (Dositheus, in the Dodecabiblus.)


[9] Note that the seniority and privileges of the Bishops of Rome, of Alexandria, and of Antioch spoken of by the Canon here are not those of a metropolitan, as certain writers have asserted, but those of a patriarch; for both Balsamon and the Anonymous annotator of the Canons assert that the Canons are speaking of patriarchs. Moreover, John of Antioch, in the Collection of the Canons, and John Scholasticus, in the Nomocanon, in reference to the present Canon, as well as (the same Council’s) c. VII, and c. II of the 2nd, and c. VIII of the 3rd, use the heading: “Concerning the honor accorded to Patriarchs by the Canons,” and the paraphrasis which Joseph the Egyptian made of the present Canon says the same thing. And the edition of Melchitae of the Arabic text calls the bishops of Alexandria and of Rome patriarchs here (Dositheus, ibid.). Only the Patriarchs were privileged to wear sacks, chasubles adorned with multiple crucifixes, and tunics bearing letters of the alphabet and triangles, and not any other persons, according to Balsamon (p. 449 of the Juris). (According to Zonaras, however, chasubles adorned with multiple crucifixes alone were allowed also to the bishops of Caesarea, of Cappadocia, of Ephesus, of Thessalonica, and of Corinth; and see the footnote to c. IX of the 4th). They held divine services (i.e., celebrated liturgy) but thrice a year with the sacks, to wit, on Easter Sunday, on the day of Pentecost, and on Christmas, according to Demetrius Chomatianus (p. 318 of the Juris). The word patriarch is defined by Leo and Constantine the emperors thus: “A patriarch is a living image of Christ and animate, therein characterizing the truth by deeds and words. Finally, upon the patriarch depends the salvation of the souls entrusted to him, and it is for him to live according to Christ and to be crucified to the world. It is the nature of the patriarch to be didactic, and to level himself to equality without embarrassment with all other men high as well as low” (Title III of the selection of laws, p. 8, of the second book of the Juris).



[10] Note that according to Josephus (concerning the Jews, Book VII, ch. 18) the city was named Jerusalem because Melchisedec, who first built the city, and having built therein a sacred temple, he called the city, in allusion thereto, Jerusalem, because it had previously been called Salem and a temple is called (in Greek) “jeron.” Others, however, and perhaps more correctly, say, like Procopius (p. 198, vol. I of the Octateuch), that the name is derived from Jebus (1 Chron. 11:4) and Salem (Ps. 76:2), other names of the same city, by forming a compound name Jebusalem, which became corrupted to Jerusalem. Howbeit, the name Jerusalem is wholly Hebrew, and denotesvision of peace,” according to the Fathers (though one may say that it is a compound derived from Hebrew and Greek, precisely as the word antimensium is derived from Greek and Latin. But in that case it will not longer signifyvision of peace,” of course). Though formerly called Jerusalem, the city was subsequently named Aelia capitolia, according to Dion. The name Aelia was derived from Aelius, a surname of Hadrian, who renamed Jerusalem Aelian, according to Theodoret and Eusebius, after it had been torn down and excavated before and plowed under with oxen, and scarcely recognizable on the surface, according to Gregory the Theologian. The descriptive appelation Capitolia was added to the name Aelia because the city was built on the site of the temple of God which, according to the same Dion, the same Hadrian called by the name of the temple in honor of Jupiter which stood in the Capitolium of Rome.


[11] It was named Caesarea because, according to Eusebius, Herod built it to honor the name of Augustus Caesar, though it had formerly been named Tower of Straton. In it, according to Josephus (Book XV, ch. 13, on the Jews), there were statues of Caesar and of Rome. But there were three cities named Caesarea in Asia. One was this metropolis in Palestine; a second Caesarea was that in Cappadocia, though it was also called Caesar’s Maza, according to Sozomen, Book V, ch. 4, as well as Mazaca; and a third Caesarea was Caesarea Philippi.


[12] Thus did they call themselves in accordance with their conceited way of thinking, as Eusebius states in his Book VI, ch. 43.


[13] The laying on of hands here is not ordination, as one might perhaps suppose, but it consists in the action of those in holy orders laying their hand on the heads of such heretics, and thus accepting them as penitents. For c. XLIX of Carthage also insists that penitents be accepted thus with laying on of hands, and not, of course, with any ordination. That my words are true is attested by the Seventh Ecum. C. For when this same Canon was read in the first act of the same Council, and it was asked how the expressionlaying on of hands” was to be understood, most saintly Tarasius said that the phraselaying on of hands” was employed here in the sense of blessing, and not with reference to any ordination. Hence spiritual fathers ought to learn from this Canon to lay their hands on the heads of penitents when they read to them the prayer for pardon, as c. XXXV of Carthage expressly says this. For such a laying on of hands is necessary to the mystery of repentance. Listen also to what the Apostles say in their Injunctions (Book II, ch. 18): “Accept a sinner when he weeps over his sin, and after laying a hand on him, let him remain thereafter in the flock.” And again (ibid., chapters 41 and 43): “Just as you accept an infidel after baptizing him, so shall you restore to the spiritual pasture as purified and clean a sinner after laying a hand upon him.” This laying on of hands serves him in lieu of baptism, since by imposition of the hands the Holy Spirit used to be bestowed upon believers. The custom of this imposition of hands in connection with the new grace came into prevalence from the old. For thus the high priest used to accept by imposition of hands the sacrifices of burnt offerings and those made on the score of sin. See also chapters 1 and 3 and 4 of Leviticus. Note, however, that it was by way of “economy” (or concession) that this Council accepted the Novatians, as St. Basil notes in his c. I. See also the Interpretation of c. VII of the 3rd, where c. XXXIX of the council held in Illyberia says that heretics are to be accepted by the process of laying on of hands.


[14] Just as Meletius, after being subjected to an examination, and judicial trial, was compelled by the first synod held in Lycos to continue life with the mere name of bishop; and thenceforth to ordain no one, either in a city or in a village (Sozomen, Eccl. Hist., Book X, ch. 14; and Socrates, Book X, ch. 9).


[15] In Book IV, ch. 14, of his Ecclesiastical History, when narrating the facts concerning Felix and Liberius, bishops of Rome, Sozomen states that after God had governed matters in this fashion, allowing Felix to die, that is to say, and He left Liberius by himself, in order to avoid having the throne of St. Peter dishonored by being occupied by two functionaries, which is a sign of discord and alien to the ecclesiastical Canon. St. Epiphanius, in his Haer. 68, states that Alexandria never had two bishops. And (Pope) Cornelius, the bishop of Rome, in writing to Phanius the bishop of Antioch, accuses Novatian of trying to make himself, and, in fact, of actually making himself, a bishop of Rome, when as a matter of fact Cornelius himself was the lawful bishop in that city. “How, then, is it,” he goes on to say, “that he did not know that there can be but one bishop in one church, and not two?”


[16] Because it is not permissible in a village or small city, where there is need of but one presbyter, to enthrone a bishop, lest the name of bishop be thus brought into disgrace, according to c. VI of Sardican. On this account in such small cities and villages and districts sparsely peopled it was the vogue to appoint a so-called chorepiscopus. So, according to c. X of Antioch, the chorepiscopus was appointed by the bishop of that city to which he was subject and to which his territory belonged. The same Canon also says that such a chorepiscopus may ordain anagnosts (readers or lectors), subdeacons, and oath-takers (i.e., catechists); but that he shall be deposed if he dare to ordain a presbyter or deacon without the consent of the bishop in the city, even though he has had the imposition of hands of a bishop. Canon VIII of the same council permits unaccused chorepiscopi to grant letters pacifical, i.e., dimissory, to those requesting them. Likewise c. XIII of Ancyra decrees that without the written authorization of a real bishop chorepiscopi have no right to ordain presbyters and deacons either in their own territory or in any other town. Canon XIV of Neocaesarea says that chorepiscopi, being in the nature of types of the seventy Apostles, officiate as assistant ministers and are honored on account of the interest they show in the poor by distributing among them the money collected in church. Moreover, c. XIV of the 7th says that it was an ancient custom for chorepiscopi to ordain anagnosts at the behest of the bishop. That is what c. LXXXIX of Basil, too, declares in his letter to chorepiscopi. These chorepiscopi, in fact, appear to be in some cases presbyters only, and in other cases to have had the imposition of hands of a bishop, as may be inferred from what is said in cc. VIII and X of Antioch. But there is a considerable difference between a bishop and a chorepiscopus. For a chorepiscopus is in charge of only one district; a bishop is the overseer of many districts. A chorepiscopus is appointed by the bishop to whom he is subject, whereas the bishop is appointed by the metropolitan. Accordingly, the chorepiscopus has to get written permission from his bishop for every ordination that he performs, whereas the latter executes each ordination on his own venture. So that the so-called chorepiscopi of today (i.e., as the term is now used in Greece), as not having these functions, possess a mere name, destitute of actuality.


[17] John of Antioch in the collection of the Canons, instead of the expressionconfessed their sins to them,” substitutes the wordsconfessed the sins they had committed,” which is more correct.


[18] 1 We note here, however, a catholic and general axiom that all who have been ordained contrary to the Canons and unworthily, are nevertheless true priests until they are deposed by a council. Because, as divine Chrysostom says, “God does not ordain all men, but He does act through all men, even though they themselves are unworthy, in order that the people may be saved” (Homily 2 on 2 Tim., p. 337 of Vol. IV). And again: “Because grace operates through the unworthy not on their account, but for the sake of those who are destined to be benefited” (Discourse 11 on 1 Thess., p. 216 of Vol. IV). And again: “But now, it must be said, God is wont to operate also through unworthy persons, and the grace of baptism is in no respect injuriously affected by the life of the priest” (Discourse 8 on 1Cor., p. 290 of vol. iii). Moreover, in Discourse 3 on the Ep. to the Col., p. 107 of vol. iii, he proves this by means of numerous arguments, among which he says these things too: “God’s grace is also operative in an unworthy person, not for our sake, but for your sake.” And again: “It is not me that you are treating scornfully, but the holy orders. If you see these naked, then treat them scornfully; then not even I will tolerate any imposition. But as long as we are sitting on this throne, as long as we have the presidency, we possess the dignity and the power, even though we really are unworthy.” Symeon of Thessalonica (Reply 13) says: “in regard to ordination grace operates in them, whether they are prelates or priests, for the salvation of those coming to church; and all the mysteries they celebrate are in very truth mysteries. Woe, however, (says the same Symeon ibidem) “to such men, who, whether they sinned before the ordination or after the ordination, are unworthy of holy orders. And if they want to repent and to be saved, let them refrain altogether from the most holy works of holy orders, because there is nothing else that can help them to repent, if they fail to abstain beforehand from holy orders.” See also the testimony of Chrysostom concerning resignation, in the Form of Canonical Resignation, at the end of this handbook.


[19] Impious Licinius, who was brother-in-law to Constantia the sister of Constantine the Great, and enjoyed second place in the royal honor after Constantine himself, but later conceived an envy against the brother of the latter’s wife, and launched a fierce war upon God. Hence he first of all drove every Christian out of his house; afterwards he commanded that all Christian soldiers in every city in the realm should be deprived of the honor of their military office unless they sacrificed to the idols (Eusebius, Eccl. Hist., Book X, ch. 8; and concerning the life of Constantine, Book I, ch. 54). But after he was gone, most pious Constantine made a contrary law to the effect that all former Christians who had been in military service and had been persecuted on account of their faith in Christ by Licinius and had been deprived of the honor, should be given the choice of remaining imperial soldiers, just as they had been formerly, or, if they did not care for the honor, of being allowed each his freedom. (Eusebius, concerning the life of Constantine, Book II, ch. 33; and Sozomen, Eccl. Hist. I, ch. 1).


[20] Concerning Audients (or “listeners”), Succumbents (or “kneelers”), and Consistents (or “costanders”), see c. LXXV of Basil.


[21] The present-day custom of the Church treats faith-deniers for the most part considerately, in accordance with the formulation of Methodius of Constantinople. On this basis, if anyone was made a captive when a child, and as a result of fear or ignorance he denied the faith, when once he has returned thereto, after listening to the usual propitiatory prayers for seven days, on the eighth day he is bathed, and is anointed with Holy Chrism, and thus he partakes of communion, remaining thereafter in the church for eight days, and listening every day to the sacred liturgies and services. But if he was an adult and denied the faith after being tortured, in this case he is obliged to fast first for a period of twice forty days, abstaining from meat, and cheese, and eggs, and on three days in the week (namely, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday) abstaining from oil and wine. (Notice that the fast of Wednesday and Friday which is obligatory on all Christians was given to this person as a canon by way of philanthropy and clemency). For seven days he listens to the same prayers, and thus he too is bathed, like the one above, and is anointed, and communes. If, on the other hand, he willingly went and denied the faith, he too has to fast for two years in identically the same manner as the one above fasted, and, according to his ability, he must make one hundred or two hundred genuflexions thereafter he also listens to the propitiatory prayers, and is bathed, and receives the other treatments, like the ones above. (Blastaris, in his synopsis of the Canons of the Faster; and Armenopoulos, Section 5, Heading 4, of his Epitome of the Canons. See also this formulation in the Euchologium, where these prayers are to be found, more in extenso.)


[22] In some such manner as this a confessor (or spiritual father) ought to shed tears and mourn over the sins of Christians who confess to him; not, however, when they are confessing to him, but after their confession, when he has to advise them, because these tears of his show that he loves sinners as a father loves his children, and is sorry for them as Jacob lamented Joseph, and as Moses as well as Jeremiah lamented for the Israelites, and just as the Lord shed tears over Jerusalem. Notice also in the discourse of Gregory of Nyssa concerning repentance how stijpngly therein he urges spiritual fathers to mourn for sinners.


[23] Hence divine Chrysostom (in his Discourse 2 concerning holy orders) says: “A pastor ought not to inflict penalties or penances proportionately to the sins, but ought to take into consideration also the will of the sinners, lest in trying to mend a tear or torn place he tear it worse than ever, and in making hasty attempt to help the fallen one to his feet he hurl him still farther down. For those who have a weak will . . . . If they are penanced a little at a time, they can free themselves, if not entirely, at any rate to some extent, from their sins and passions. But if one overwhelm them suddenly with all the penances they deserve, he will deprive them of even that small amount of correction which they ought to receive . . . ." And again: So for this reason a pastor ought to possess a great deal of discretion, and countless eyes, in order to see the habitude of the soul from all sides. For just as some men, being unable to endure an austere canon, become stiff-necked and, leaping away, fall into despondency, so too, in a contrary fashion again there are some who as a result of their not receiving a canon along with their sins become careless, and grow worse, and are egged on to sin more than ever. On this account, too, in the time of Patriarch Luke one Bishop who had penanced (or, as the original says, “canonized”) a soldier in too short a time, because of his having committed a willful murder, and who had given him a written document attesting the remission of his sin, was called to account by the Synod for the excessively lenient concession he had made. The Bishop, on his part, offered in witness the present Canon of this Council. He was told, however, by the Synod that though permission was given, true enough, to prelates to augment or to reduce the penances prescribed by the Canons, yet they are not permitted to employ an excessive and inconsiderate concession. Hence the Synod inflicted the penances of the Canon on the murderer, on the one hand, and chastised the Bishop, on the other hand, with suspension from his prelacy for the prescribed length of time.


[24] Note that in the present Canon there are observed those two points which Basil the Great mentions in his c. III, to wit, custom and form, and strictness and extremity. The custom and the form, which is the three years of “listening,” and the ten years of succumbency (or “kneeling”). The strictness and the extremity, which is the tears, and the patience endurance of hardships, the doing of charitable deeds to others, and, in general, genuine and true repentance. Accordingly, to those who tolerated the strictness, there was made the concession of exemption from the obligation of keeping the requirement of three yearssuccumbency. But to those who would not tolerate this penance, no concession was made at all; on the contrary, they were ordered to keep all the years. For this reason divine Chrysostom, in his Homily 14 on the Second Epistle to the Corinthians, says: “I am not asking for a multitude of years, but for correction of the soul. So show me this, whether the sinners have been contrite, whether they have changed their manner of living, and everything is finished. But as long as this is not so, no benefit will accrue from protraction of the period of penance. For even in the matter of bodily wounds, we are not concerned about how many times the wound has been bandaged, but whether the bandage has been of any benefit. So if there has been benefit in a short time, let it be no longer bandaged. But if it has been of no benefit, let it be bandaged for a longer time, even for more than ten years, until the wounded one has derived some benefit from the bandage.” And again in the same Homily he says that it is not the multitude of time that suffices to characterize true repentance, but rather the change of the sinner’s mind. For (according to the same saint, in the preamble of his commentary on the Gospel according to St. John) it is possible, if one repent in a single moment of time, and change his manner of living, for one to avail himself of God’s philanthropy and mercy. St. Gregory the Theologian, on the other hand, in his Discourse on the Lights, says that “we ought not to accept those who neither repent nor humble themselves, whereas we ought to accept those who fail to repent as they should, and who fail to display repentance equal to the wrong they did, and that we ought to sentence them to keep the forms of repentance that befit their sins. As for those, finally, who truly repent to such an extent that they actually wither as a result of their tears, we ought to admit them to communion. From these statements it will become easy to find the solution to the bewildering question why some Canons penance an adulterer, a person guilty of bestiality, a sodomite, a sorcerer and wizard, and others, with a greater number of years, while other Canons prescribe a smaller number of years for the same offenses. The reason is that the repentance of such sinners is not judged by the number of years, but by the disposition of the soul, and according to their greater or lesser degree of repentance, the number of years of penance is prescribed as more or less.” Hence John the Faster judges by the fasting and genuflexions and other hardships which the penitent has consented to do in determining how much to reduce the number of years of penance the penitent deserves.


[25] In other codices it is found written thus: “of the perfect last and most necessary,” etc.


[26] Dionysius of Alexandria also writes to Favius in his correspondence that “a faithful old man named Serapion, who was sacrificing to idols, and fell gravely ill and for three days was dumb, after recovering a little on the fourth day, called his nephew and told him to fetch a priest. The boy went to the presbyter. It was night-time. But the priest happened to be ill, so that he could not go. Since, however, I (sc. Dionysius) had given orders to the priests to allow persons at the point of death to commune, especially if they beggingly asked to do so, in order that they might die and depart the present life with a good hope, the priest gave the boy a portion of the all-holy bread and told him to wet it and pour it into the mouth of the old man; and after the boy did this the old man, having swallowed a little, immediately gave up his spirit” (Eusebius, Eccl. Hist., Book VI, ch. 44). Elias, too, the Metropolitan of Crete, in writing to some monk by the name of Dionysius, says that if a person is still breathing a little, and is not entirely dead, though he is senseless, and can neither take nor eat anything, or in another way spits out that which is placed in his mouth; if, I say, the person is such a one, the priest ought with a prayer to seal his lips and his tongue with the contact and affusion of the Mysteries (p. 337 of the Juris Graecoromani).


[27] Though it is said that Dionysius of Alexandria (as found in a comment on the present Canon) in his letter on a Canon, in speaking of those who lapsed in the midst of the persecution and asked to participate in the mysteries of communion while dying, he says that if a priest absolves from their sins and they are permitted to partake of the divine mysteries, and are consigned to that life absolved and free, this is a veritable imitation of godlike philanthropy and benevolence in that by virtue of such pardon and communion they are led to believe that they are going to receive a mitigation and alleviation of their future punishment. If, on the other hand, such persons should live, says he, thereafter, they must be bound again (i.e., their absolution must be revoked), and they who had formerly been pardoned, and become partakers of divine grace, and had been sent off to the Lord absolved and free, must again be made liable for their sins, without having done anything wrong since they communed. This, I say, appears to me to be inconsistent, and most unreasonable. If, I say, sacred Dionysius does say these things, it would nevertheless appear that the opinion of this Ecumenical Council is preferable to the opinion of an individual Father. Wherefore wise Photius declared quite aptly that decisons of ecumenical and common councils ought to be respected by all men, while the private declarations of any one Father or decrees of a local synod or regional council (that have not been confirmed by an ecumenical council, that is to say) leave one respecting them characterizable as superstitious, and yet, on the other hand, if one fails to accept them, it is dangerous to ignore them. For let it be granted, in accordance with the opinion of sacred Dionysius, that such persons commune as a matter of necessity, they ought not to be rebound on account of the pardon they had previously received. But, first of all, that pardon and communion was not legal and canonical, but necessitous. Secondly, no one can persuade others not to be scandalized when they see persons that are unworthy and have produced no fruit of repentance being allowed to partake of the divine Mysteries. After taking these views into consideration, the Council decreed that such persons should return again to the prior forms of repentance. For, moreover, even divine Dionysius himself, as if presumably correcting himself, adds: “If, however, any one of such Christ-deniers appear after the recovery of his health to need further conversion and repentance, we advise him to humble and inflict severe hardships upon himself, either for his own interest or in order to prevent other men from blaming him and becoming scandalized at his conduct. Accordingly, if he be persuaded to do this, he will be benefited; but if he be not persuaded, this refusal to be persuaded will become an indictment to him entailing his excommunication from the Mysteries and the faithful a second time.” But perhaps this opinion is not that of Dionysius of Alexandria, but one of Dionysius of Corinth. I surmise this because this diction is like the diction used by this Dionysius in comments on Job.


[28] John of Antioch in the collection of the Canons has it “As concerning lapsed catechumens.”


[29] Concerning catechumens Dionysius the sacred martyr says, in chapter 3 of his Hist. Hierar.: “The lowest rank is assigned to catechumens; they are destitute of any share in and are wholly uninitiated in every sacerdotal mystery.”


[30] In the Collection of Canons by John of Antioch is found also the additional inclusion “or Deacon,” as is mentioned in the Canon itself further above.


[31] Clergymen are calledcanonics” and said to be “covered by the Canon,” with an implication that their life and their mind and their discourse are all governed and directed in accordance with the sacred Canons, including under this designation Apostolical, Conciliar, and Patristic Canons (see also Footnote 1 to Ap. c. II). In addition the namecanonic” is also given to monks, as may be seen in many of the Canons themselves, and most especially to nuns, on the same assumption are named canonic, that is to say, that laymen and laywomen live for the most part according to laws of their own, or, otherwise speaking, uncanonically, and conduct themselves publicly and privately in an indifferent manner (i.e., without particular pains to obey the Canons).


[32] This percentage charge is mentioned also by divine Chrysostom, in his 56th homily on the Gospel of St. Matthew, saying that one (i.e., a debtor as a human being) gives barely a percentage, whereas the other (sc. God) grants a hundredfold and life everlasting.


[33] That is why Symeon of Thessalonica says: “Deacons must not offer portions; all Deacons (must receive theirs) through the Presbyters.” And again: “Since they (sc. deacons) have not the gracious gift of formally offering to God (the sacrifice). For they are deacons solely in virtue of their having a ministerial dignity. If, then, at any rate they are not permitted to put on sacerdotal vestments without the blessing of a prelate, or of a priest, nor to commence any ceremony without a presbyter, how can they have any right to administer communion through themselves?” Divine Epiphanius, too, says the same thing in his Haer. 79: “For it is to be noted that neither have deacons been entrusted with the performance of any mystery in the ecclesiastical order, but only with acts of assistance as servants in the celebration thereof.” The Apostolical Injunctions, too, in Book VIII, ch. 46, say “Neither is it licit for a Deacon to offer sacrifice, or to baptize anyone, or to pro nounce any blessing whether small or great.”


[34] “For this reason, then, the written order of Emperor Alexius Comnenus ought to be annulled which decrees that in gatherings outside the Council and Synod the Chartophylax of the Great Church is to take his seat ahead of not only the priests but even of the prelates themselves, in spite of the fact that he is nothing more than a deacon, without having any other excuse to disregard these Conciliar Canons than the mere fact that it had prevailed as a custom for a long time: since this excuse is not reasonable. For Canons ought to have rather the superiority of authority wherever custom comes into conflict with Canons. For in spite of the fact that custom does have effect as an unwritten law even in civil matters, and long custom is recognized as having validity in lieu of a law, yet this is not the case in general, but only in regard to those matters respecting which there is no written law and in regard to those matters with respect to which it does not conflict with a written law, or a Canon: and this is so even according to Balsamon himself, who lends his sanction to the absurd decree of the emperor (for he was a chartophylax). Also, according to the fourth decree of the third title of the first book of ordinances, which is Book II of the Basilica, Title I, ch. 41, even the sixth Novel of Leo the Wise ordains that an unwritten custom ought not to have any validity if it is overruled by the Canons. Read also the Footnote to Ap. c. XXIX, and that to c. I of Sardica. How greatly that imperial order of this sort actually disturbed the prelates of that time on account of its absurd character can be learned by anyone who will take the trouble to read the text of the order itself which can be found in Balsamon’s comment on the present Canon.


[35] Paul, hailing from Samosata, a city situated in Mesopotamia near the Euphrates River, and on this account called Paul of Samosata (and not because he served as Bishop of Samosata, as Balsamon, or even others, has said), was a son of a Manichean woman named Callinica, according to Cedrenus, Blastaris, and Balsamon, and was also made Bishop of Antioch after the death of Demetrianus, the previous Bishop of Antioch, in A.D. 260; according to Eusebius (Eccl. History, Book VII, ch. 27) he believed wrongly not only in connection with the mystery of theology in that he declared that there was but one God, not because the Father is the source of divinity, but by denying the hypostasis of the Son and of the Spirit, like Sabellius, and taking God to be but one person together with His Logos, in the same manner as a human being is one with his own logos (i.e., reason), and believing nothing more than the Jews, according to divine Epiphanius (Haer. 65), but also even waxed blasphemous in connection with the incarnate economy; according to Theodoret (Conversation II), Artemon, and Theodosius, both Sabellius and Marcellus, Photinus, and Paul of Samosata, all declare Christ to have been only a mere human being, and they all deny the divinity which had been existing in Him ever since before all the ages. In A.D. 272 the regional Council held in Antioch deposed him and anathematized him. Whereof even the Conciliar letter is to be found in Eusebius ibidem, which even states that Paul used to assert that the Son of God had not come down out of heaven, but, on the contrary, that he had commenced from below out of Mary. Note, furthermore, that Cedrenus, Blastaris, and Balsamon say that the Manicheans had their names changed by this same Paul to Paulicians, who sprang up a few years after Paul. See also the prolegomena of Dionysius of Alexandria. See also page 155 of the dogmatic Panoply, wherein it is written that the Paulicians are descended from the Manichees, being called Paulicians barbarically instead of Paulojohns.


[36] Indictment is one thing and reprehension is another (says divine Chrysostom in his Second Discourse on the Book of Job). An indictment (charge or accusation) is suffered in the case of grave offenses; a reprehension (reproach or censure) is incurred in the case of light trespasses. Whoever is not liable to either of these two treatments is called unindictable. For a person that cannot be indicted as an adulterer, or as a murderer, or the like, is unindictable. A person, on the other hand, that can be reprehended as an insulter, or calumniator, or vituperator, or drunkard, or the like, though exempt from indictments, is liable, nevertheless, to reprehension. On this account Job is called irreprehensible because he was far from being guilty of even the slightest offenses. That is why God said to Abraham "Be thou complaisant towards me, and become irreprehensible" (Gen. 17:1). The Apostle, wishing to appoint shepherds of the inhabited earth, since the good things of virtue were then rare, says to Titus: Appoint Bishops, as I have ordered thee, if there be anybody that is unindictable (Titus 1:7). The word irreprehensible (or blameless) would not have been applicable at that time. . . . Irreprehensibility was too comprehensive a term. The middle ground was that reflected in the term unindictable. Even a small good can be great in evils . . . not because He laid this down as a law, but because He condescended to allow delusion. For He knew that when piety blossomed, the very nature of the fact of the matter would of its own accord prefer what is good, and that there would result a selection of those things which are superior and better. Note also that according to the assertion of Chrysostom this Canon demands that those who are about to be admitted to holy orders should be not only unindictable but also irreprehensible; since piety blossomed after St. Paul, although even during the time of St. Paul the term irreprehensible was of limited applicability. For St. Paul himself wrote to Titus as well as to Timothy, saying: "A bishop, then, must be irreproachable" (1 Tim. 3:2). This word irreproachable is almost entirely indistinguishable from the word irreprehensible, which word Chrysostom himself interprets by asserting that in saying " irreproachable" St. Paul was alluding to every virtue . . . so that if anyone's conscience upbraids him for having committed some sins, he is not doing right if he desires a bishopric and holy orders, of which by his own deeds he has made himself unworthy. Even the present Canon, too, demands irreproachability of priests, and so does c. IX of the same Council. But if it demands this of priests in general, how much more must not it demand of prelates?


[37] Note that a Deaconess, though apparently ordained later by a Presbyter and Deacon, according to c. XIV of the 6th, and authorized to officiate in the liturgy, according to c. XV of the 4th, yet according to the Apostolical Injunctions she does not appear to carry out the male deacon's service in the liturgy of the divine Mysteries in the Bema, but only that service which is performed outside the Bema. For these Injunctions say, in Book III, ch. 9, in connection herewith: “Though we have not allowed women to teach in church (because St. Paul expressly says, in his First Epistle to Timothy, ch. 2, v. 12: “I suffer not a woman to teach), how can anyone permit them to serve as priestesses? For this reason it is a mistake of the godlessness of Greeks to ordain priestesses to their female goddesses and not of the legislation of Christ. So this deaconess was ordained at first (ibid. ch. 15 and 16) for the sake of women being illuminated, i.e., being baptized, whom, after the Bishop anointed their head with holy oil, and the deacon only their forehead, she took charge of and anointed their whole body, owing to the fact that it was not proper for a woman's naked body to be seen by men. Secondly, for the other services to women. For in those homes where women were dwelling together with unbelieving men, to which it was not perfectly decent for male deacons to be sent, on account of the risk of evil suspicions, a woman deaconess was sent, according to the 15th ch. of the 3rd book (of the Injunctions), to watch at the doors of the church lest any uncatechized and unfaithful woman might enter (Book II, ch. 17); and she examined those women who went from one city to another with letters commendatory as to whether they really were Orthodox Christian women; as to whether they were tainted by any heresy; as to whether they were married or were widows: and after the examination she would provide a place in the church for each one of them to stand according to her luck and attitude (Book III, ch. 14 and 19). But a deaconess was also needed to render services to those widows who were listed in the church roll, by offering them the alms donated by Christians; and they were useful also in connection with other services too. But most of all, according to chapters 20 and 28 of the eighth book (of the Injunctions) she was ordained for the purpose of guarding the holy gates and serving the presbyters when they were baptizing women with a view to decency and propriety, wherein it is written that “A Deaconess can neither bless nor do anything that presbyters and deacons do.” In addition Epiphanius (Haer. 9) says concerning them that the ecclesiastical order needed womankind only by way of deaconesses, whom it called widows, and the older ones among whom it called presbytidas. Nevertheless it did not command anywhere for presbyteresses or priestesses to be made such. For neither did deacons in the ecclesiastical order receive any authority to perform any mystery, but only to serve as assistant in connection with the rites being performed by the priests. And again, it is said that the battalion of deaconesses is in the Church, not to serve in the capacity of priests, nor to undertake to pardon anything, but for the sake of preserving the decency of the female sex, either in connection with rite of baptism, say, or in connection with the function of visiting the sick or those in distress, or, in time of necessity of denuding a woman's body, in order that it may be beheld only by her, and not by the male dignitaries officiating in the process of performing the sacred offices. Though it is true that Balsmon says, in reply to Question 35 of Marcus of Alexandria, that Deaconesses enjoyed a rank in the Bema (or Sanctuary), but that the complications due to menstruation dispossessed them of their rank and removed their service from the Bema, yet he himself again in the same reply says that in Constantinople deaconesses are ordained who have no share or privilege in the Bema, but who perform many ecclesiastical services and help to correct women ecclesiastically. Clement of Alexandria, surnamed Stromateus, in his Book III, says that the Apostles had women with them as sisters and fellow deaconesses in the matter of preaching for women confined to the house, through whom the Lord's teaching penetrated into the chamber and private apartment of women. It is also found stated in some books that the appointment (or quasi ordination) of a deaconess consisted in her bowing her head while the prelate laid his hand upon her, and in his making the sign of the cross three times, and repeating some prayers over her. Concerning deaconesses St. Paul writes in his First Epistle to Timothy: “Even so must their wives be modest, not calumniators, sober, faithful in all things (1 Tim. 3:11). Note that although deaconesses were not the same as widows, nor the same as presbytides, yet, in spite of this fact, it is true that deaconesses were recruited and ordained from the battalion of widows enrolled in the church. Read also the second footnote to c. XL of the 6th, and the footnote to c. XXI of Laodicea. If anyone fond of learning things would like to know the particular way in which such deaconesses were ordained, he may learn this more in detail from Blastaris. For the latter states that in old books it was found written that the women in question were forty years old when they were ordained, and that they wore a full monachical habit (which means that of the great habit), and that they were covered with a maphorion, having its extremities hanging down in front. That when the prelate recited over them the words “The Divine Grace,” they did not bend their knee like the deacons, but only bowed their head. Afterwards the prelate would place on their neck underneath the maphorion a deacon’s stole (or scarf), bringing the two extremities of the stole together in front. He would not permit them, however, to serve in the Mysteries, or to hold a fan, like the deacons, but only to commune after the deacons, and, after the prelate communed the others, they could take the cup from his hands and replace it upon the holy table, without communing anyone. Blastaris, however, adds of his own accord that they were later forbidden by the Fathers to enter the Bema or to perform any such services, on account of dire results of menstruation, as Balsamon stated further above.


[38] One thing which occurred at this Council is particularly noteworthy as constituting a refutation of the imaginary prerogative of the present Popes of Rome, the claim, that is to say, that Popes have sole authority to convoke and assemble ecumenical councils. For, behold, the present ecumenical council is one which Pope Damasus neither convoked nor even attended either in person or by deputies, nor by the usual conciliar letter; yet, in spite of all this, all the Westerners concurred then and concur now in recognizing as a truly ecumenical council.


[39] Concerning each of these groups, see the Footnote to c. I of the present Council.


[40] For the Arians, as well as the Semi-Arians and Pneumatomachs, had altered the ancient glorification (or doxology) of the Holy Trinity to which the Church was accustomed. For instead of sayingGlory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,” they would sayGlory be to the Father through the Son in the Holy Spirit,” in order that, by means of the difference of prepositions, the recusants might draw a distinction of the essence, rank, and honor belonging to the thearchic persons of the coessential and equally honorable Trinity. That is why Leontius the bishop of Antioch, who made himself a eunuch, though seeing the Orthodox Christians apply a conjunction to the Son, while the Arians, on the other hand, used the preposition “through,” and the preposition with reference to the Holy Spirit, passed over both the one and the other in silence, uttering only the end, that is to say the words “and unto the ages of ages” (Page 247 of the first volume of the Conciliar Records). During the reign of Emperor Anastasius surnamed Dicorus, when Trasmund, leader of the Arian Vandals blockaded the churches of the Orthodox in Africa and banished 120 bishops to the island of Sardinia, an Arian by the name of Barbarus (but according to others the one about to be baptized was called Barbarus), wishing to baptize someone, said: “So-and-so is being baptized in the name of the Father through the Son in the Holy Spirit,” when, what a miracle! the baptismal font in the meantime had become entirely dry. (Dositheus, p. 446 of the Dodecabiblus.)


[41] Led astray by the words in ch. 20 of the Book of Revelation (v. 3 to 7), where it says that Satan was shut up and bound for a thousand years, and that the righteous who participated in the first resurrection reigned together with Christ as kings for a thousand years, many men have imagined that after the second advent and common judgment take place, the righteous are to reign here on the earth as kings for a thousand years together with Christ, and thereafter to ascend to heaven; and on this account they have been called millenarians or millennialists. There have been two battalions of millenarians. For some of them used to say that during those thousand years they are to enjoy every enjoyment, and bodily pleasure; these men were followers of Cerinthus, a pupil of Simon, in the first century, and the Marcionists in the second century of the Christian era. Others said that they were not to enjoy passionate pleasures, but rather intellectual pleasures befitting rational human beings, of whom the leader was Papias the bishop of Hierapolis (in Euseb. Eccl. Hist, book 3, ch. 34) and others. Hence it is evident that Apollinaris became such a millenarian of the first battalion, as is plain from what St. Basil the Great says (letter 332), and from what the Theologian says (Discourse 51), and from what Jerome says (Book 18 on Isaiah). On this account in refutation of this heresy this Council added to the Creed of the Nicene Council that statement, which it borrowed from the sentence which the Archangel Gabriel spoke to the Virgin, viz.: “and of his kingdom there shall be no end” (Luke 1:33). As for the thousand years referred to by St. John, they are not to come to pass after the second advent of Christ; and the kingdom of the Lord is not describable in terms of years, nor food and drink, as St. Paul said (Rom. 14:17): but, on the contrary, a thousand years are to be understood, according to those versed in theology, to mean the interval of time extending from the first advent of Christ to the second, during which Satan was bound, according to the words of the Lord, saying, “Now is the judgment of this world; now shall the ruler of this world be cast out” (John 12:31). The first resurrection, by contrast, took place for justification of souls through mortification of infidelity and wickedness, concerning which Christ said “He that heareth my words, and believeth in him who sent me, hath life everlasting, and cometh not into judgment, but hath passed out of death into life (John 5:24); and the Apostle said “If then ye be risen with Christ . . . set your mind on the things that are above” (Col. 3:1-2). And thereafter in this interval of time the reign of the righteous with Christ took place, being their union with Him through (i.e., by means of) the Holy Spirit, and the contemplation and enjoyment of His divine illumination, respecting which the Lord said, “Some of them that stand here shall not taste of death till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power (Mark 9:1).


[42] It developed and completed this Creed, as Nicephorus Callistus and others say, through Gregory of Nyssa, but as Dositheus says (p. 1028 of the Dodecabiblus) by the hand of Gregory the Theologian, who in the midst of this Council thundered out and theologically set forth these things through the Holy Spirit like a heavenly outburst of thunder: “If he is indeed a God, he is no creature. For with us a creature is one of the non-Gods. If, on the other hand, he is a creature, he is not a God. For (if so) he had a beginning in time. Whatever had a beginning, was not. But that of which it may be said that it was earlier non-existent, is not properly speaking a being. But how can what is not properly speaking a being be a God? Therefore, then, he is neither a creature of the three, nor one” etc. (These words were spoken in his inauguratory address.)


[43] I said that this Council anathematized every heresy that had risen during the reigns of Constantius, of Julian, and of Valens, because in spite of the fact that Constantius professed the eternity of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, yet when once lured into the argument that the word coessential (or, in Greek, homoousian) was the cause of a scandal, owing to its not being in the Bible, he relentlessly combated those who held this belief. Hence he exiled, pauperized, and scorned many men of this belief, and assembled various councils and synods in the West and East against the doctrine of coessentiality. He showered favors upon the heretics, and elevated some of them to great thrones, who ordained their own friends ecclesiastics. Julian did everything that the emperors and persecutors preceding him had failed to do. Valens not only did whatever Constantius had done, but, being an Arian, he commenced a persecution of the Church that was worse than that inflicted by the idolaters. So that Lucius the bishop of Alexandria, who shared his views, even beat the ascetics of the desert themselves, and slew, exiled, and confiscated the property of the clergy. In fact, not only these emperors, but also the other heresies, and the Greeks and Jews had a free hand in their times, while the Orthodox Christians were persecuted. These three emperors kept persecuting the Church for forty years, until there remained but some few Orthodox saints to criticize the heresies, who, in the reign of Theodosius the Great, seized the opportunity to assemble in this ecumenical council.


[44] Note that the followers of Arius subsequently to the First Nicene Council were divided into three classes, according to St. Epiphanius (Haer. 73 and 74), and some were called Anomoeans, because they said that the Son was in all respects unlike the Father. They were led by Eunomius the Gaul, the bishop of Cyzicus, who was wont to rebaptize those joining his cacodoxy with a single immersion, holding their feet up and their head down. He also pratingly asserted that there is no hell or gehenna in reality, but that fear of it is instilled as a threat; and his views were held also by Aetius. Though called Eunomians, they were also known as Eudoxiansr from Eudoxius, who was like-minded with Eunomius and had served as a Patriarch of Constantinople, and had ordained Eunomius bishop of Cyzicus.


[45] Others were called Semi-Arians because they entertained half the heresy engendered by Arius. They said the Son was like the Father in all respects and coessential with the Father, but they refused to admit the word coessential as above in spite of the fact that it had been in use among the ancient Fathers even before the First Ecumenical Council (see the Prolegomena to the First Council). Their leader was Basil the bishop of Ancyra. Being one of this faction of Semi-Arians, Macedonius even proceeded to wage war upon the divinity of the Holy Spirit; but the present Second Council condemned him, since his followers were called Pneumatomachs (i.e., spirit-fighters, or opponents of the spirit). A third group called the Son neither like nor unlike the Father, but took a view midway between that of the Arians and that of the Semi-Arians.


[46] Sabellius, who hailed from Lydia and had served as a bishop of Ptolemais in Pentapolis, after becoming attached to the heresy of Noetus, a Smyrnean according to Theodore and Epiphanius, but an Ephesian according to Augustine, disseminated it to such an extent that those who were driveling it came to be called after him Sabellians, instead of Noetians. He asserted that the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit were three names for one and the same person, and that that person was called at times the Father, and at times the Son, and at oth3r times the Holy Spirit according to the diversities of that person’s activities and operations.


[47] Marcellus was from Ancyra. But he embraced the heresy of Sabellius, and not only called Christ a mere man, but also prated that after the second judgment the body of the Lord has to be thrown away, and to go into non-being, according to Euseb. Eccl. Hist., book 3; and that consequently His kingdom will come to an end.


[48] Photinus, who hailed from Sirmium and had served as bishop of Sirmium, entertained the same views as Paul of Samosata. For he neither recognized the Holy Trinity as a God, calling it only a Spirit creative of the universe, and declaring the Logos to be only the oral word, serving as a sort of mechanical instrument, nor did he call Christ a God, but only a mere human being who had imbibed that oral word from God and had received existence from Mary. According to Sozomenus, Eccl. Hist., book 4, ch. 6. Concerning this see also c. VII of Laodicea.


[49] Apollinaris, who became a bishop of Laodicea, Syria, embraced the heresy of Arius, who asserted among other things that the Logos (or rational faculty) served the body of Christ in lieu of a soul. According to both Athanasius and Epiphanius, at times he used to say that the Logos received a body without a soul, while at other times, being ashamed of his ignorance or want of knowledge, he would say that He received a soul, but a mindless one and an irrational one, separating, in accordance with the Platonists the soul from the mind. He even went so far as to say that we ought not to adore or worship a God-bearing human being; but, taking him up on this point, Gregory the Theologian countered that we ought to adore or worship not God-bearing flesh, but man-bearing God (see St. Gregory the Theologian’s letter 2 to Cledonius). He even went on to prate that Christ possessed the flesh from ever since the time the world began (or, as the Greek idiom has it, “from the age”), because he misunderstood the phrase “the second man (came) from heaven” (1 Cor. 15:47), and consequently took it that He had received no flesh from the Virgin, as Basil attests in one of his letters.


[50] Note that although Socrates (in his book 5, ch. 8) says that the Second Council distributed the churches among the Patriarchs by the present Canon, yet Sozomen, as those interpreting Socrates, says, in regard to those whom the latter called patriarchs, that it appeared reasonable to the Council for the faith of the Nicene Fathers to be delivered to all the churches through the agency of the bishops in communion and of like mind with Nectarius of Constantinople and Timothy of Alexandria. So, then, the ones whom Socrates called patriarchs are referred to by Sozomen as those in communion, so that he said that they were improperly called patriarchs, instead of exarchs.


[51] Note that because recusant Dioscorus disregarded the present Canon and at the latrocinium (Englished Robber Council, held A.D. 449) seated the Bishop of Constantinople St. Flavian in the fifth place, Eusebius of Dorylaeum, after going away to Rome, and in the presence of clergymen of Constantinople, read this Canon to the most holy Pope of Rome Leo, who accepted it.


[52] This Maximus was an Egyptian and a Cynic philosopher by profession (they were called Cynics on account of the insolence and impudence which they had and which was like that of dogs, the name of which animals in Greek is cynes). Having gained the friendship of St. Gregory the Theologian in Constantinople, he was catechized and baptized by him, and indeed was even admitted to be enrolled in the clergy after becoming a defender of the doctrine of coessentiality (called also homoousianity) Later, however, when he plotted to get possession of the throne of Constantinople, he sent money to Peter the Bishop of Alexandria, and the latter sent some men and they ordained him Bishop of Constantinople in the house of a yokel, according to St. Gregory’s pupil Gregory, who wrote his biography. But as Theodoret (Discourse 5, ch. 8) and Sozomen (book 7, ch. 9) say, after the Egyptian bishops came to Byzantium together with Timothy of Alexandria, they stole the ordination and installed Maximus as Bishop of Constantinople. But the Council, which had become aware of the imposition, deposed him and rendered void the ordinations performed by him. Since the same Maximus was discovered to be holding the beliefs of Apollinaris, he was also anathematized by the Council in addition. The Papists say, and indeed they even boast, that this Dog (i.e., Cynic) visited the Pope and upon repenting was pardoned by him. Against this Maximus St. Gregory the Theologian also wrote some verses and some prose, e.g.: “This man, I say, rent the Church asunder and filled it with disturbance and noise, turning out to be a wolf instead of a shepherd (or pastor), and readily pardoning everything to those at fault for the one object of treating the dogmas impiously. It was by this Maximus that Sisinius, the Bishop of the Novatians, together with Emperor Julian, was given lessons in philosophy.” (According to Socrates, book 5, ch. 21.)


[53] The reason why this Tome was issued is in brief as follows. Because Emperors Constantius and Constans had learned that Eusebius and his party were troubling the church and that they had deposed Athanasius the Great and Paul of Constantinople, they commanded that a Council be held at Sardica, a city in Illyria, to be made up of Western as well as Eastern Fathers. The Easterners, it is true, when going to the Council, wrote from Philippoupolis to the Westerners to deny Athanasius and Paul seats in the Council on the ground that they had been deposed; for they were enemies of the doctrine of coessentiality. But the Westerners replied to them that they had no knowledge of their being deposed or at fault. Upon learning these things, the Easterners left the Council and returned to Philippoupolis. The Westerners, though left alone, went through with the meeting of the Council and acquitted Athanasius and Paul, confirmed the faith of the Fathers set forth in Nicaea, without adding anything thereto or subtracting anything therefrom. So it is this exposition and confirmation of the faith that the present Canon calls the Tome of the Westerners alone, and not of the Easterners, because the latter had bolted.


[54] Socrates (book 2, ch. 10) relates that the adherents of Eusebius of Nicodemeia in the Council held at Antioch during the reign of Constantine, though they did not utterly condemn the faith set forth in Nicaea, in another style and other words composed a definition of faith wherein they appear to confess a single divinity of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, which faith may be found in the work of Socrates in the same place. So it is this definition of faith that the present Canon says that the Council accepted (though this definition may have been first composed by the Eusebians insidiously with a view to gradually attracting the masses to the belief of the Arians, as Socrates himself suggests in the same place), which definition and Tome are mentioned also by Theodoret (book 5, ch. 9). For in the Conciliar letter which the present Second Council sent to the Romans mention is made of this. The letter says verbatim: “The details respecting the faith openly preached by us are such, then, as have been stated. Concerning them one may obtain a fuller understanding by consulting the Tome of Antioch made by the Council held there, and that set forth last year in Constantinople by the Ecumenical Council in which we confessed the faith more in extenso. Just as the twenty-five Canons, then, of the Antiochian Council were accepted, so too its above definition of faith has been accorded acceptance by this Second Council on the ground that it is correct (notwithstanding its having been insidiously put forth).”


[55] That is why Athanasius the Great in his apology to the Emperor says the following: “My accusers are Meletians, who ought not to be believed at all, for they are schismatics, and have become enemies of the Church, not now, but from the time of blessed Peter the martyr.” As for why the Canon called all schismatics and dissentersheretics,” see the second footnote to c. I of St. Basil the Great.


[56] The noundiocese” in Greek is one of many different significations, even in relation to ecclesiastical matters. For, A) it signifies the episcopate and bishopric of each bishop at any time, according to c. LXII of Carth. B) the province of a Metropolitan, according to c. XXVIII of the 4th. C) the provinces of many Metropolitans lying in one diocese, according to this c. VI of the 6th. D) the parish of each Patriarch, as it is also called in many places in the records of the councils and synods, as in those of the council held in Ephesus, “the holy Synod of the Eastern diocese.” And E) the combined parishes of two or three Patriarchs taken together, as is said in the Seventh Council: “Of John and Thomas, the legates of the Eastern Diocese, or, more specifically, of Antioch and Jerusalem.” These facts having been thus stated, the phrase “The Synod of the Diocese” is never used in the first and second senses, but in the fourth and fifth senses it has been used most especially, both of old and even down to this day being in force. As for the third sense it was in force of old in accordance with the present Conciliar Canon and in accordance with cc. IX and XXVIII of the 4th, but after the Fourth Ec. C. such a synod ceased to be operative. That is why Justinian, in ordinance 29 of the fourth Title of Book I (Photius Title IX, ch. 6), does not mention it at all, wherein concerning differences between bishops and clergymen he says: “For whether a metropolitan alone or together with his synod tries the case of a bishop or clergyman” (which is the same as saying that if the synod of a province tries a case, the Patriarch of the diocese keeps his eye on it), whatever decisions he makes are valid, as though he had tried the cases from the start. For neither can the decisions of Patriarchs be appealed.” That which the Canon here calls a “synod of the diocese” is called the exarch of the diocese in cc. IX and XXVIII of the 4th, the exarch being another dignitary than the Patriarch, as we shall state in connection with the interpretation of those Canons. Note, however, that Macarius of Ancyra misexplained this c. VI when he said that this Council calls Patriarchs exarchs of the diocese, because he mentions only the Synod of the province the Synod of the diocese, and the ecumenical Synod (i.e., Council). But in order to make the matter clearer we must state that the Synod of a Diocese was the assembly, or convention, of the metropolitans of a single diocese together with their chief the Exarch. Now, however, that this sort of Synod has fallen into desuetude, the Synod of each particular Patriarch decides all the ecclesiastical cases of the metropolitans of the diocese subject to his jurisdiction, as though this Synod had become a greater one than the synod of the diocese, since the Patriarchs received full authority to ordain their own metropolitans in the Fourth Ec. C. — an authority which they did not thitherto possess in all its fullness and completeness, according to Dositheus, page 388. By adding in the present Canon that one has no right to take a case to an ecumenical council after it has been decided by the synod of the diocese, this Council has given us to understand that an ecumenical council is the final judge of all ecclesiastical matters, and is the one to which any appeal has to be carried, concerning which see the Preface to the First Ecum. C. in the first Footnote thereto.


[57] If it be objected that Balsamon asserts that an emperor can do anything and everything, and for this reason can also grant an external (i.e., non-ecclesiastical) judge to try the case of a bishop or of any clergymen in general, and according to a legal observation can convert an ecclesiastical court into a civil court, we reply that we admit that he can do everything that is licit and right, but not, however, anything that is illicit and unjust. Because according to Chrysostom (in his discourse on the fact that sin introduced three modes of slavery) laws are authoritative to rule even the rulers themselves (Note of Translator. — The meaning of this observation is that laws have an inherent authority to overrule even the rulers ruling a country, and even though the latter be absolute nionarchs.) For, according to the Apostle (sc. St. Paul), “no law is applicable to a righteous person (1 Tim. 1:9) — (Note of Translator. — A correct translation of this passage requires almost perfect familiarity with the Greek language, which, of course, the translators of the English Versions of the Bible were far from possessing. Consequently it appears in both the King James and the Revised Versions so badly mistranslated that I have taken especial pains here to present the exact meaning of the original.) Read also the Interpretation of c. IX of the 4th in order to assure yourself that even the emperors themselves decree that ecclesiastical affairs are not to the decided by secular authorities. See also the Footnote to c. III of St. Sophia.


[58] Though Paul of Constantinople, and Athanasius together with Pope Julius did appeal to Constans and Constantius to have the Ecumenical Council convoked which is called the Sardican, to consider their case; and Chrysostom and Innocent appealed to Arcadius and Honorius to have an ecumenical council convoked to consider the case of Chrysostom, though, I say, these saints did appeal to an ecumenical council, they are not liable to the penalty of this Canon, for one thing, because, being Popes and Ecumenical Patriarchs, they had no higher court than themselves to pass judgment upon them, and, for another thing, because they made this appeal as a matter of necessity, seeing that the Eusebians who were about to judge Athanasius locally, and those about to judge Chrysostom, were manifest enemies.


[59] It is written also in the ecclesiastical edict in Book I of the Code, Title IV, No. 29, that no one is to be allowed to try a clergyman before the Patriarch in the first instance, but before his bishop. If he has a suspicion against the bishop, let him bring his case up before the metropolitan. If the latter too is open to suspicion, three superiors in point of seniority of ordination must try the case along with him on behalf of the whole synod. If even this arrangement is not satisfactory, let the case be carried up to the Patriarch, and let his judgment stand as though he had tried the case in the first instance, since decisions of Patriarchs are not subject to appeal, or, in other words, to being carried up to any other higher tribunal (in view of the fact, it is well to explain, that one Patriarch cannot become a judge in regard to the decision of another Patriarch, according to Dositheus, p. 390. Concerning which see Footnote 1 to the Prolegomena of the First Ec. C.).


[60] In the letter which was sent from Constantinople to the bishop of Antioch Martyrius, containing the whole of the present Canon verbatim and dealing with the way heretics ought to be received, it is written thus: “those calling themselves cathari and catharoteri (i.e., purer). Hence the name aristeri is found among others in the form aristi (signifyingbest”).


[61] In the aforesaid letter to Martyrius it reads thus: “since there are many (heresies) here, coming especially from the country of the Galatians.”


[62] Sabbatius, according to Socrates (book 5, ch. 21), left the Jews and became a Christian, and was ordained a presbyter by Marcianus the bishop of the Novatians in Constantinople. Even after betaking himself to Christianity, however, he continued following the Jewish customs, celebrating festivals with the Jews, and celebrating even the Passover (or Easter) with them; and, moreover, according to Balsamon, observing Saturday as Sabbath after the manner of the Jews (and perhaps on this account bearing the name Sabbatius). Those following him were called Sabbatians, though they were also Novatians. These Novatians are called Aristeri, this being perhaps a corruption of the Greek word aristus, signifyingbest.” They may have styled themselves thus as beingpurer” than all other Christians, on the ground that they would not accept persons who had been married twice or who had lapsed during persecution, and would keep aloof from the uncleanness, or impurity, of these persons; or perhaps it was because they loathed the left hand (called aristeri in Greek) and would not receive anything with it, according to Balsamon. It is a matter of wonder, however, why the First Ecum. Council, in its Canon VIII, accepted these Novatians with a mere confession, whereas this Second Council insisted upon the seal of the Holy Myron. In an attempt to solve this perplexing question, we answer that the First Council decided to accept them on easy terms mainly and primarily as a matter of compromise and “economy” (i.e., shrewdmanagement”), in order to avoid making the Novatians loath to return to Orthodoxy because of their being ashamed of having to be anointed by the Orthodox like persons lacking by reason of not having received an application of myron. But, acting on a second principle, this Second Council accepted them only after they had received the seal of the myron, because, according to Theodoret, the Novatians did not anoint themselves with myron; for he says of them the following: “And to those who are baptized by them they do not offer the all-holy chrism.” That is the reason, I assure you, why the Renowned Fathers made it mandatory to anoint those joining the body of the Church from this particular heresy, as did, that is to say, those of this Second Council, and also those of the Council held in Laodicea in their c. I.


[63] They were called Quartodecimans, or otherwise Tetradites, because they celebrated Easter not on Sunday, but on whatever day the moon happened to be fourteen days old, by fasting and keeping vigil.


[64] That is why Pope Liberius asked Macedonians for a written documentary confession, and they gave him a book in which was written the Symbol of Faith (usually called the Creed in English) of the Nicene Council, according to Socrates (book 4, ch. 11). Basil the Great, in his letter 72, says of the Arians: “If they claim to have changed their mind (in repentance), let them show a written repentance, and an anathematization of the Constantinopolitan (sc. their) faith and separation from heretics, and let them not deceive the more honest.”


[65] Montanus, who lived during the second century after Christ, appeared, according to Eusebius (book 5, ch. 15, of his historical account in reference to events in Mysia, situated in Phrygiawherefore those under him were called Phrygians), as a false prophet energized by a demon (in this sense usually spelleddaemon” in English) and calling himself a Paraclete, and opposed the Apostolic traditions. Having as followers two women, namely, Priscilla and Maximilla, he called them prophetesses. He taught that marriages should be dissolved, and that men should abstain from foods on account of a loathing thereof. He and his followers perverted the festival of Easter. They conflated the Holy Trinity into a single person; and mixing with flour the blood of a child whom they had lanced, and making bread thereof, they employed it in their liturgy, and partook thereof. These Montanists were also known as Pepouzians, because they overpraised a village in Phrygia named Pepouza, which they even called Jerusalem.


[66] For it was in this manner too that c. VIII of the First accepted the Novatians, by an imposition of the hand. This local synod, or regional council, was held in Illiberia a short while before the First Ec. C. But it may also be said that all heretics and schismatics returning to the catholic Church ought to be accepted only after an imposition of the hand.


[67] As for how long a time is required for catechization see Footnote 1 to c. II of the First Ec. C.


[68] Inevitably, indispensably, and by every necessity this Canon also baptizes the Latins too as having been baptized with no immersion at all. For if it does so in the case of those who have been baptized with only a single immersion how can it be said not to do so in the case of those who have been baptized with none at all? Sufficient has been said and proved in regard to these persons in the Interpretation of Ap. c. XLVI; and what was said there is applicable here. Yet it is not amiss to add here by way of repleteness of discussion the good conclusion in fine that just as this Council decrees that Novatians returning to the fold must be myroned (i.e., anointed with genuine myron) because they were hitherto unmyroned (i.e., unanointed), so too does the Council of the Easterners baptize Latins returning to the fold, for the good and sufficient reason that they are unbaptized. See also the last Footnote to c. XCV of the Sixth Ec. C., in order to realize that Latins ought to ask to be baptized of their own accord, and not wait to be urged to do so by others.


[69] This is stated in the letter of Cyril addressed to the clergy of Alexandria, and in the first act of this Council.


[70] I said that Nestorius became wrong-minded and blasphemous in regard to the mystery of the incarnate economy, because in the matter of the theology of the Holy Spirit he had not been blaspheming, since he confessed in his Creed: “We do not deem the Holy Spirit either a Son or to have acquired Its existence through the Son, being as It is of the essence of God, not a Son, but being in essence a God, as being of that very same essence that God the Father is of, out of whom It really derives Its essence.” That it was only in regard to the incarnation of Christ that he became blasphemous is manifest: A) from c. VII of this same Council, wherein the Council states that “all bishops and clergymen or laymen that entertain the unholy dogmas or doctrines, of Nestorius concerning the incarnation of the only-begotten Son of God shall forfeit their office.” Do you see that it specifies definitely that it is speaking of the dogmas of Nestorius concerning the incarnation of the Only-begotten? B) from the letter which the same Council sent to the emperors concerning Nestorius, in which it wrote as follows: “After examining the impious dogmas which he (sc. Nestorius) has set forth in writing concerning the incorporation of the Lord Christ, we anathematized those very ones.” But what is there to show that he did not blaspheme in regaid to the theology of the Holy Spirit? Two other facts: A) that, since the theology concerning the Trinity is greater than that concerning the incarnate economy, as is acknowledged by all theologians, how could divine Cyril possibly have taken him to task as concerning the incarnation, yet have maintained silence as concerning the theology of the Holy Spirit, at a time when Chrysoloras denounced Demetrius Cydones by saying, “he that has blasphemed in regard to the Son shall be forgiven, but he that has blasphemed in regard to the Holy Spirit shall not be forgiven”? and at a time when, as Macarius the bishop of Ancyra said in ch. 67, that it was the more necessary and urgent to ascertain the matter of the theology first, and that of the economy afterwards? for the former has precedence of the latter. B) It is proved from the pusillanimity and dispute which arose between St. Cyril and blessed Theodoret, and which, though not a fine thing nor anything to be praised, was nevertheless economically allowed by God to occur, in order that the true notion concerning the procession of the Holy Spirit might be conspiciously manifested. For when St. Cyril wrote in his ninth anathematization that the Spirit is something belonging to the Son, Theodoret said in refuting him: “True enough, the Spirit is something belonging to the Son: if he means something of the same nature and proceeding out of the Father, we shall agree with him, and shall accept his utterance as a pious one; but if he means to say that the Holy Spirit is derived from the Son, or that It has Its existence through and by virtue of the Son, we shall reject this notion as blasphemous and as recusant. For we believe the Lord when He says “the Spirit, which proceedeth out of the Father” (page 580 of the first volume of the conciliar records). When Theodoret put the matter thus, divine Cyril offered no objection, but, on the contrary, admitted that what he said was true, and merely explained in what way he had meant that the Spirit belonged to the Son. For he says in the apology (i.e., answer) which he wrote in reply to Theodoret’s refutation: “Though the Holy Spirit does proceed out of the Father, as declared by the Savior, yet It is something not alien to the Son” (ibid.). But what is the meaning of the expression “something not alien to”? Divine Cyril himself undertook to elucidate this further in his conciliar letter to Nestorius, by saying: “It is something not alien to the Son in respect of essence” (which is the same as to say that It is of the same essence, or co-essential. Accordingly, in interpreting the Creed the same saint says: “The Spirit is effused, or poured forth, or, in another word, proceeds, from God the Father precisely as from a wellspring, though It is supplied to creation through the Son.” Wherefore in view of the fact that Cyril had capped this apology as a reply from Alexandria to Antioch with Paul of Ephesus Theodoret wrote to John of Antioch as follows: “What has now been sent is embellished with evangelical nobility. For it is proclaimed therein that God is perfect, and our Lord Jesus Christ is perfect, and that the Holy Spirit is not derived from the Son and does not have Its existence through and by virtue of the Son, but that It proceeds out of the Father, though it is said to belong to the Son, on the ground that It is co-essential, or of the same essence.” So that inasmuch as Nestorius and Theodoret believed aright in regard to the theology of the Holy Spirit, therefore divine Cyril did not censure them, either before they were reconciled with Theodoret or later after they had been reconciled; but then again neither did anyone else besides Cyril do so, nor did this Third Council. That is why Joseph Bryennius as well as Nile of Thessalonica agree in saying that the strongest and most ingenuous proof of the Orthodoxy of us Eastern Christians is the fact that Nestorius wrote in his Creed that the Holy Spirit proceeds out of the Father, and not out of the Son, nor that It has Its existence through or by virtue of the Son, and the fact that the Third Council accepted this Creed and did not object to it in the least. So prattling Aquinas is slandering, yes, slandering the Eastern Church when he describes it as Nestorian because it dogmatizes that the Holy Spirit does not proceed also out of the Son, as the Papists blasphemously assert. For if our Church were indeed Nestorian on this account, divine Cyril would be a Nestorian, the Third Ecumenical Council would be Nestorian, and the subsequent Church too, for all of them have likewise accepted and recognized this dogma, and it was and is a catholic tenet of the Church. But, as a matter of fact, Cyril, and the Third Council, and the subsequent Church were not Nestorian. Hence it is logically evident that neither is the Eastern Church Nestorian, as she agrees with Cyril and all the Church. But if it be objected that the Papists assert that the Creed of Nestorius was condemned in the Third and Fourth Councils, we reply that it was condemned, true enough, but only as pertaining to the incarnate economy, and not as concerning the theology of the Holy Spirit. For divine Cyril wrote to Eulogius that we ought not to eschew and abandon everything that heretics say. And Athanasius the Great stated that the Arians held correct views in addition to their heretical views (see pp. 495-7 of the Dodecabiblus).


[71] After recusant Nestorius was anathematized by the present Council, since, instead of becoming quiet, he went on preaching again his cacodoxical heresy, first, according to Theophanes, he was exiled to Thasus, and afterwards to the oasis of Arabia with the co-operation of John of Antioch. While living there the scoundrel experienced afflictions of divine indignation. His tongue rotted, according to Evagrius, and all his body, according to Cedrenus, and Nicephorus (book 14 of his history); and in upper Thebais he met with a fearful and painful death, as told by St. Germanus of Constantinople in what he relates about the holy Councils. For in the reign of Emperor Marcianus, with the co-operation of some of his friends, Nestorius was enabled to receive letters recalling him from exile. After receiving these, then, and upon entering the privy, before sitting down he said aloud, as some listeners standing outside heard “I have shown thee, Mary, that thou gavest birth to a human being.” Thereupon, what a miracle! directly with the utterances of this blasphemy, an angel of the Lord smote him a terrible blow and his entrails exuded into the vessel containing his excrements, and he expired then and there. Because of his delay in coming out of the place and the fact that the imperial magistrate sent with the letters was in a hurry, his servants knocked on the door. As Nestorius failed to answer, they took out the door and they and the magistrate came in and found him dead in the privy in which all his entrails were spilled. Then those who had heard the blasphemy told it to the magistrate, and they all saw that it was solely on account of this that he met with such a death, similar to that of Arius, and they exclaimed: “It was in reference to this man that Isaiah said, ‘Woe unto this man! They shall not weep for him, O Lord. Neither shall they even say to him, Alas, O brother! and, What a pity, O Lord! A burial now he shall not be given, but, after joining those who have croaked, he shall be hurled beyond the gate’” (Jer. 22:18-19). Note, however, that after the heresy of Nestorius became neglected, it was renewed later during the reign of Justinian the emperor by a certain bishop of Nisibis named Barsoumas, who spread it in the East, and on this account there are exceedingly many Nestorians in the East, and especially in the land of the Persians and Assyrians, and in the vicinity of the Euphrates and Nisibis.


[72] Some say that because it was ordained in the present Council that the All-holy Virgin should be called the Theotoke, as in truth she is the Theotoke (because of the fact that she gave birth to a God), St. Cyril wanted to have this written into the holy Creed of the First and Second Ecumenical Councils, but out of reverence for the Creed he gave up this intention and all that is referred to in the Footnote to c.VII of the present Council in this connection may be found there. Having made a sole definition of their own, the Fathers dogmatized it in that Canon. For though they recognized the unity, with respect to substance, of the God Logos — which is the same thing as to say the one substance of Christ as revealed by the Creed, they did not want to add it therein. For in view of the fact that the Fathers confessed therein the Son of God, begotten out of the Father, come down (out of heaven), and having become incarnate as a human being, it is obvious that they confess one and the same Christ with respect to substance, a real God, and a real human being the same, but not another, and another. The union with respect to substance, however, according to the holy Patriarch of Constantinople Nicephorus, “one with the other one, the two out of which the Savior derives (sc. His two natures), as who should say, the unseen and the seen, the passible and the indefectible. Not another and another, God forbid! But a God the same perfect, and a human being perfect the same” (in the letter he sent to Pope Leo; page 912 of the second volume of the Councils). This is the same thing as saying that the union, with respect to substance, in Christ signifies both the two natures unconflated and the single substance with respect to which these natures were inconflatably united. Concerning union with respect to substance, see also the Footnotes to the Prolegomena of the Fourth Ec. C. But note that the Lord’s human nature (i.e., His humanity as distinguished from His divinity) possessed all the substantial properties that the substances of the rest of men have, except for the total property, according to the said Cyril, which is, that of not really being by itself, like those, but, on the contrary, of having received being in the substance of the God Logos. For this property of substances is, so to speak, the basis and foundation of all their other properties. It is for this reason that it is called the total property, too.


[73] Note that just as the (the Greek word meaning the same thing as the English) word co-essential was one to which the Fathers were accustomed even before the First Ecum. Council, though the latter sanctioned the use of this word, and imparted it to the whole world, so and in like manner had other Fathers called the Virgin Mary a Theotoke even before this Third Council. But this Council, having sanctioned this sweetest appellative of the Virgin, imparted it as a dogmatic definition to the whole world and handed it down through all later generations. Origen was the first one to call the Virgin a Theotoke, in interpreting verse 33 of chapter 22 of Deuteronomy (pp. 15 and 54 of the first volume of the series of the Fathers (inthe Patrologia); but also Socrates (in Book 7 of his History, ch. 32) says that Origen himself while engaged in a comprehensive examination of St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans found out how the Virgin came to be called the Theotoke. Cyril of Alexandria, in writing to Nestorius, says that even Athanasius the Great called Her the Theotoke, and Amman the Bishop of Adrianoupolis concurred, just as Alexander of Alexandria called the All-holy Virgin the Theotoke in writing to Alexander of Constantinople (the one, that is, who presided at the First Ec. C.). Again, Basil, in his discourse on the birth of Christ, says: “The Theotoke never ceased being a virgin, because She would not displease the ears of Christ-lovers.” Those testimonies, I take it, are self-sufficient. But it may be added here that Gregory the Theologian, in his first letter to Cledonius, says: “If there be anyone that does not consider Mary to be a Theotoke, he is destitute of divinity.” And in his first discourse concerning the Son, in addressing the Greeks, he says: “For where among your deities have you known a Virgin Theotoke?” Eusebius, in his Life of Constantine (ch. 43) and Socrates (Book 7, ch. 32) say: “Wherefore indeed the most God-revering Queen (i.e., Helena) with wonderful tombstones gorgeously decorated the Theotoke’s birthplace” (i.e., Bethlehem). Dionysius of Alexandria said to Paul of Samosata: “the one who became incarnate out of the holy Virgin and Theotoke Mary.” St. Gregory Thaumaturgus (or Miracle-worker) of Neocaesarea, in his discourse on the Annunciation, says these following words: “The holy Theotoke, therefore, gave voice to the song of this prophecy by exclaiming,  ‘ “My soul doth magnify the Lord” ’  (Luke 1:46). Only the All-holy Virgin is called a Theotoke, according to the explanatory remark of Zonaras in commenting upon some troparion of the canons of the Octoechus of Damascene, by way of contrast with the women among the Greeks who were mythologically asserted to have given birth to their inexistent pseudo gods.

                The Virgin is called the Theotoke as having truly given birth to God, the accent being upon the last syllable, and not Theotocus, with the accent on the antepenult, which would signifyhaving been begotten by God spiritually,” as recusant and man-worshiping Nestorius called her. For in this manner all human beings have been begotten spiritually through and by virtue of baptism. But the Holy Virgin is said to be a Theotoke in two ways. One of these ways is on account of the nature and the substance of the God Logos which was given birth out of Her and which assumed humanity; and the other way is on account of the humanity assumed, which became deified as a result of that union and assumption, and attained to God-hood. (John Damascene, Concerning the Orthodox Faith, book 3, ch. 12, and elsewhere.) The holy and ecumenical Sixth Council proclaimed Her a Virgin (in its act 11 by means of the libellus of the faith of Sophronius of Jerusalem) before giving birth, and in giving birth, and after giving birth: which is the same as saying ever-virgin. Concerning St. Epiphanius (Haer. 78) says: “Who, having said Mary, and having been asked whom he meant, ever failed to answer by adding the Virgin?” And St. Jerome (Dialogue Second against Pelagius) said: “Christ alone opened the closed portals of the Virgin’s womb, and thereafter these remained thenceforth shut (this wordopeneddenotes that the Lord fecundated the womb, just as, in the opposite case, the womb is said to be shut in the sense that the womb is barren because of sterility: in accordance with that passage in Genesis saying: God had shut fast every womb from without” (Gen. 20:18); or it may be said to denoteparted asunder,” but without injury, and not like the rest of infants). She is declared to be ever-virgin also the first Canon of the Sixth Ecum. C., held in the Trullus.


[74] Note that the minutes of this Council are divided into three parts. Thus, the first part contains various homilies and letters. The second part contains its acts, which were seven, according to Dositheus, but five according to the Collection of the Councils, and these include the second minutes of the apostatic convocation (or council) gathered round John of Antioch. The third part embraces St. Cyril’s interpretation in regard to its twelve chapters, or to say the same thing in other words, the twelve anathematizations directed against the unholy dogmas of Nestorius, and the objection of the Easterners to them, and the apology (or reply) of St. Cyril to their objections; it also contains the refutation of the same anathematization by Theodoret, and the apology again of the same Cyril to these refutations; it further contains the promotion of Maximianus to the throne of Constantinople, and the pacification of Cyril with John by aid of the emperor’s co-operation; all of which matters are to be found written in Dositheus from page 279 to page 287 of the Dodecabiblus, as well as in the first volume of the Collection of the Councils from page 357 to page 654, that is to say, to the end thereof.


[75] Celestius, a follower of his teacher Pelagius, agreed with Nestorius in his heresy, according to sacred Photius (Anagmosma 54), since he blasphemed the Son of God, while Celestius blasphemed the Holy Spirit, as Cyril wrote to Theodosius. For, on the one hand, Nestorius asserted that “Since Christ is of our nature, while God wishes all men to be saved, and everyone can mend his fault with the exercise of his own free will, therefore not the Logos of God that was born, but the human being who was begotten out of Mary, on account of the meritoriousness of his natural free choice, had the Logos of God following (i.e., investing) him, solely by reason of his worthiness, and partook of divinity by virtue of a similarity in sense attached to the word.” Celestius, on the other hand, asserted that “it is not God, that is to say, in other words, the Holy Spirit, that apportions to whomsoever He wills the means of attaining to piety and salvation, but the nature of the human being himself which has forfeited bliss on account of sin. This, according to the meritoriousness of his free will, is either attracted (or invited) or repelled (or repulsed) by the Holy Spirit.” He also maintained that self-control (or self-assertion) takes precedence of or leads the way to grace. Hence, said he, a man’s will is sufficient for the fulfillment of God’s commandments. These wicked doctrines of Celestius were anathematized both by this Third Council and by one held before it in Carthage at the same as that of Pelagius. Concerning the heresy of this man divine Augustine also wrote something in his discussion of heresies (ch. 88). There has been found also a comment on the present Canon written by Nicholas of Hydrous and saying for one not to spell the name of Celestius with an n, as it is written in some manuscripts owing to ignorance, but without the n, Celestius. For the man named Celestinus was an Orthodox Pope, whose place, as has been said, in this Third Council was filled by Cyril, whereas Celestius was a heretic and like-minded with Nestorius, as we have said.


[76] The reason why the Council anathematized those who should undertake to compose another Creed (called in GreekSymbol of Faith”) is as follows. St. Marcus of Ephesus in the fifth Act of the Council held in Florence says that heretics had composed more than thirty creeds against the doctrine of coessentiality (or homoousianity). One of them, recusant Nestorius, took the opportune occasion to compose a creed of his own, and he was wont to hand it to the Greeks who were joining the Orthodox faith, and to the Jews and heretics who were doing likewise, as is explained in the present Canon. So this Third Council, foreseeing the possibility that this liberty of writing creeds might result in the introduction of some innovation into Orthodoxy, decided to forbid the writing of creeds henceforth other than that of the First and that of the Second Ecumenical Council together (for these two creeds are regarded as one) and their delivery to the public. But it did not forbid the writing of a different creed in general, or, more explicitly speaking, of one that is avowedly heretical. For this had always been forbidden even before the Third Ecumenical Council was held, not only by councils and synods and bishops, but also by every Orthodox Christian. Nor did it forbid heretics a different creed than the (Symbol of) faith of the Bishops who convened in Nicaea, even though this alone is Orthodox. For whatever the law says, the Council necessarily accedes to it. But as for the Orthodox Christians, and not this one or that one, but all of them in general, councils as well as everyone else in general, “to no one,” it says, “is this permissible,” etc. The phrase “no one,” which is one word as written in Greek, is a general and universal adjunct (or amplifier). On this point see also the explanation of the Creed of this Council which divine Cyril makes in his letter to Acacius. But, with an eye to brevity, the Council did not explicitly say: “to no one let it be permissible to compose any other exposition of faith.” Yet, that which in its Canon it neglected to say totidem verbis, this its exarch, which is the same as saying the Council itself, divine Cyril, I mean, in his letter to the Bishop of Melitine elucidates precisely, by saying: “The holy and Ecumenical Council assembled in the city of Ephesus provided that it was necessary to decree that the Church of God must not approve the admission of any exposition of faith other and different than the one really and actually adopted by the thrice-blissful Fathers speaking on behalf of the Holy Spirit.” This passage means that not only must no one compose any other Orthodox Creed than the one of the Nicene Council, but that it is not even at all permissible to offer the same Orthodox Creed itself differently worded or paraphrased, a point which was gallantly admitted and pointed out by divine Marcus of Ephesus and by Bessarion of Nicaea at the Council held in Florence. But what am I saying, “differently worded?” Why, it is not permissible for anyone to change, from the text of the holy Creed, not merely a single word, but even a single syllable. And that this is true, we have the testimony again of that very same divine Cyril himself as a witness. But when I say the name Cyril, I am saying, in effect, the whole Ecumenical Third Council. For he was its Exarch, but rather I should say that it was the Council itself that spoke through the mouth of Cyril. For the latter in writing to John of Antiocheia says verbatim: “We will under no conditions and by no means tolerate the making of the least change by anyone in faith defined, or, in other words, the Symbol of Faith of our holy Fathers who convened in Nicaea, composed at various times. In fact, we will not allow ourselves or others to change a word in the text of it, or even to transgress a single syllable of it.” But, if nobody is permitted to change a single syllable, much less is anyone permitted to add anything to it or to take anything away from it. That is why Pope Agatho at the time of the Sixth Ec. C. in writing to the Emperors of Rome said: “One thing and a fine thing too we prayerfully wish and believe to have a right to expect, and that is that nothing shall be determined of all that has been canonically defined, nor any change made therein, nor anything added thereto, but, on the contrary, that these same (dogmas) shall be preserved intact both in word and in thought.” The Seventh Ecumenical Council says: “We preserve intact the decrees of the Fathers. We anathematize those who add (anything to) or remove (anything) from the Church.” And can it be said that they said one thing and did another in point of reality? No; on the contrary, even in point of reality they actually confirmed their own words by what they did, and none of the Ecumenical Councils following the Third added anything to or removed anything from the common Creed, notwithstanding that they were hard pressed to do so. For the Third Council, although urgently pressed to add these most necessary words, as much more for complete extinction of the Nestorian heresy as for confirmation of the Orthodox belief, the union, I mean, with respect to substance, and the view concerning the Theotoke, yet, in spite of all this temptation, it did not dare to modify the sacred Creed at all, but, instead, contented itself with making a definition of its own and extraneously inserted into it these words and whatever others were needed to explain them. The Fourth Council, again, was faced with the need of adding to the common Creed the doctrine concerning the two natures of the Logos incarnate, on account of the heresy of the Monophysites, yet it did not do this. Likewise even the Fifth Council felt the need of adding something to affirm the everlasting duration of punishment in hell. And the Sixth was urged to add a declaration concerning the two activities (i.e., energies). And the Seventh was likewise hard pressed to add to the Creed an elucidation or approbation of the doctrine of the adoration of the holy icons (i.e., pictures of the saints, etc.), on account of the heretics who entertained contrary beliefs. Yet the Fathers of that Council did not dare to do this, but, instead, they preserved the common Creed free from every innovation. This, too, in spite of the fact these additional features were not really additions of independent thoughts to the Creed as respecting the faith, but were merely developments or expansions of what was already concisely or implicitly embodied in the Creed, and constituted additions of words only. Why, then, did they balk at such suggestions? Assuredly it was because the Councils were so reverently disposed towards the venerability of the Nicene Creed, and towards the definition of the Third Ec. C. which placed under anathema any addition to the Creed whether with respect to points of faith or with respect to words, that is to say. That very same venerability of the Nicene Creed, however, and this same definition of the Third Ec. C. ought, in emulation of the sacred Councils, to have been respected likewise by the Church of the Westerners, which ought not to have added thereto that illegal addition of the expression Filioque (meaning “and out of the Son”), which was enough to provoke a schism, or split of the Westerners and the Easterners and to give rise to a fierce war between them, and to lead to the terrible woes, deserving tears but needlessly ensuing, which are recorded in histories and other books. But the Westerners argue captiously that just as the Second Ec. C. did not sin by adding to the Creed of the First, so must it be admitted that neither did the Church of the Westerners sin by permitting this addition. But it must be said that the likeness or similarity they allege to exist here is altogether imaginery. For the Second Ec. C., possessing the same official status as the First, added, as a matter of fact for the real and main reason that it had not been prohibited or debarred by any previous Council for anyone to add anything to the Creed (though the Council held in Sardica before the Second Ec. C. forbade anyone to propound any faith other than that of the Nicene Council, yet, inasmuch as this Council was a particular and regional council, and in view of the fact that it had spoken with reference to the Arians propounding another faith as against the doctrine of coessentiality, and not with reference to any Orthodox Ecumenical Council, it had no claim to become a teacher of the Second Ecumenical Council, which stood as the representative of the whole Church. For a regional council and a particular one always gives way to an ecumenical council, but not vice versa). A second reason is that those additions which the Second Ec. C. made to the work of the First were additions merely of words, and did not involve the matter of faith, being rather expansions of thoughts already concisely or implicitly included in the Creed. And what is the evidence for this? The Councils, which accepted the Creed of the First and that of the Second as one single Creed, called only the Nicene Creed; but not so with the words of the Second Council, held in Constantinople, because they were only a development of what was concisely and implicitly contained in the Creed of the First Ec. C.; for the Third Council in the present Canon expressly decreed that no one should be allowed to compose any different faith (or Creed) than that defined by the holy Fathers assembled in the city of Nicaea. And divine Cyril says the same thing in his letter to the Bishop of Antioch. Besides, even the Bishop of Constantinople John, and of Rome Virgilius in writing to Eutychius of Constantinople say but this one thing. And in the fifth convention held in Florence it is written as follows: “These expositions of the faith, or creeds, of the First and Second Councils, or rather the Creed.” That the Fathers of the Second Council expanded rather than added to the Creed of the First is attested by the express statements of many. For the Sixth Ecrmenical C. in its edict states: “The 150 Fathers with the inspiration of the All-holy Spirit construed the Creed called great and venerable, on the subject of the Holy Spirit, since they affirmed It to be a God in what they developed and expanded so as to make the sense stand out more boldly.” And in Justinian’s Novel addressed to Epiphanius of Constantinople Justinian himself says: “on account of the Scriptural testimonies the same lesson (that is to say, the Nicene Creed) was emphasized by the 150 holy Fathers aforesaid when they explained it more clearly.” In addition, St. Gregory the Theologian in his letter to Cledonius says: “We have never at any time preferred anything to the Nicene faith, but, on the contrary, we ourselves are of that faith, with the help of God, and we shall continue to be of that same faith, adding merely the article deficiently expressed therein concerning the Holy Spirit.” Yet, in spite of the fact that these additions of the Second Ec. C. are properly speaking but developments, as has been proved, it would be a gross violation of law for that Council to dare to add such developments if any previous council anticipating this sort of thing had prohibited any addition whatsoever in the Creed with an anathema, as did the Third Ecum. C. Hence by consequence the Westernersaddition in the Creed is a gross violation of law and is under an anathema, not only because it is an addition that is of a nature contrary to the faith, in that it represents the Son as a caused cause, and introduces two origins into the Godhead, and a multitude of other improprieties; but also because, though supposedly a development, as they would have it appear to be, and merely an addition of words, yet it ought not on any account to have been added to the Creed, owing to the definitions of the Third Council as well as those of succeeding Ecumenical Councils, which command that the common Creed be preserved intact and altogether unchanged, and which place any addition thereinto under anathema. That is why sacred Theophylactus of Bulgaria said in writing a letter to Nicholas Diaconus: “Any innovation in the Symbol of Faith, then, is that greatest mistake, and the very one alluded to by Solomon is sayingmaking them meet under the roof of Hades.’ ” And again: “And to pardon the Westerners, therefore, would be unpardonable if anything pertaining to the dogma be changed by them to the prejudice of the faith of the Fathers, such as that which has been added in the Creed concerning the Holy Spirit, where the danger is exceedingly grave, this being left unconnected.” But, indeed, even Peter of Antioch, too, called the addition the worst of all evils. It was on account of that addition, moreover, which is wrongly chanted along with the Creed in the Church of the Romans, and has to be corrected, that Sergius of Constantinople omitted Pope Sergius IV from the commemoration, and thereupon arose the great chasm between us and the Westerners. But why should I be telling what our own churchmen say? Even John himself the Pope of Rome, who was also present by his legates Pearus, Paul and Eugenius at the Council held during the reign of Emperor Macedon, in the year 879, and accepted that Council’s definition, which runs as follows: “If anyone in defiance of this sacred Creed dare to set forth any other, or to add, or to subtract, or to name a term, or to make an addition, or a subtraction, in this Creed which has been handed down to us, he is condemnable and an alien to every Christian confession. For to subtract, or to add, is to render the confession of ours imperfect which has been looking from above down upon the Holy Trinity to this very day.” Even the Pope himself, I say, having accepted this definition, condemned the addition in the Creed, by saying: “We again are trying to make it plain to Your Reverence, in order that you have complete confidence in us as concerning this article, which was the cause of the scandals that have arisen between the Churches of God, that not only do we not assert this belief that the Spirit proceeds out of the Son, but we even deem those who first did so, emboldened by their madness, transgressors of the divine words, and garblers of the theology of the Lord Jesus Christ and of the Fathers, who, after convening in a council, imparted the holy Creed; and we put them in the same class as we do Judas.” But, then, that is not all. Even before this Pope John the Third Council held in Toledo during the reign of King Richard of Spain, A.D. 589, commanded the holy Creed to read without the addition in Spain and France, in precisely the same manner as Emperor Justinian I ordered it to be read before the Lord’s prayer, beginning “Our Father who art in heaven,” in all the churches of the East in the year 545. And Pope Leo III of Rome, in the beginning of the ninth century, when a Council was held in Aquisgrana, and therein John Monachus Hierosolymite was valiantly fighting against the addition in the Creed, upon being asked by Charles the Great what he thought about this matter, not only denounced the addition, but even went so far as to engrave the entire holy Creed without it upon two silver plaques, on the one in Greek, and on the other in Latin, which plaques he deposited in the tombs of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and placed under an anathema those who might dare to add anything to, or to subtract anything from its text, according to Cardinal (Caesar) Baronius and the Jesuit Petrovius. See also the Council held in Florence from its third to its seventeenth session, at which most courageously and gallantly our Greek representatives repudiated and stigmatized this execrable addition, while the Latins stood agasp and speechless.

                We have said all this with reference to the common Symbol of Faith called the Nicene Creed. But for anyone to set forth his own personal belief in a private confession (and let it be supposed to be in the form of a creed of his own), that is not prohibited, since from the beginning and down to this day the Fathers of the Church have been making confessions of what they personally believed, and especially those to Acacius the Bishop of Melitine goes to great lengths in offering apologies in defense of certain bishops of Phoenicia, who had been blamed for making an exposition of their own creed. But this is not all. Even divine Marcus of Ephesus in Florence appears to allow this. Nevertheless, such creeds, by some called personal creeds, converted from a heresy and under suspicion. That is why divine Cyril in his letter must have the following six characteristics: 1) They must not diverge from the common confession. 2) They must not conflict with the common Creed. 3) No one must be baptized in them. 4) They must not be offered to converts from heresies. 5) They must not be presented as the common faith in private lessons. And 6) one must not add anything to or subtract anything from the common Creed and represent it as his own by incorporating it in a creed of his own. (Dositheus, in the Dodecabiblus; and others.)


[77] Note that formerly and from the beginning as a matter of ancient custom Cyprus had been autocephalous in respect of ecclesiastical administration. This privilege was sanctioned as belonging to it both by Emperor Zeno and by Justinian II, surnamed Rhinotmetus (as having had his nose cut off). For in the times of Zeno, when the Monphysites called Eutychians had a free hand, owing to the fact that Peter Knapheus of Antioch was doing his utmost to gain control of the Cyprians, on the pretense that the Cyprians had received their faith and Christianity from Antioch, it came to pass that the bishop of Amochostos named Anthemitus discovered through revelation the sacred remains (or relics) of the Holy Apostle Barnabas underneath the underground roots of a carob tree, bearing upon his breast the Gospel according to St. Matthew written in Greek by Barnabas himself with his own hands, for two reasons, to wit: first, in order to shame the followers of Eutyches by means of that divine Gospel because of the fact that the latter affiims the true humanity of Christ, and His two natures; and secondly, in order to shut the mouth of Peter who had his eye on Cyprus. For divine Barnabas said to Anthemitus: “If the enemies assert that the throne of Antiocheia is an Apostolic one, tell them that so is Cyprus Apostolic because it has an Apostle in its ground.” Taking the Gospel with him, Anthemitus departed for Constantinople and went to Zeno, who rejoiced greatly when he beheld it with his own eyes, and, keeping it safely in his possession, he ordered it to be read every year on Good Friday (called in GreekGreat Friday”), according to the Chronicle of Joel. And not only did he appoint Acacius to consider the case of Cyprians and Antiochians (wherein, presenting the present Canon of the Third Ec. C., and the words of the Apostle, Anthemitus shamed the Antiochians), but he even made Amochostos an archdiocese free from any molestations attempted by the bishop of Antioch, according to Cyril the monk and Theodore the anagnost and Suidas. After renewing the decorations of that same Amochostos or Salamis, according to Balsamon, Justinian Rhinotmetus renamed it New Justiniana. Hence those who assert that it was a second Justiniana are mistaken. For Achris was the first to be called Justiniana; the second to be called Justinana was Ulpiana, some town that was situated in Dardania and was renewed and redecorated by Justinian, on which account c. XXXIX of the Sixth Ec. C. calls Cyprus New Justinianopolis. And, confirming the present Canon, it says for the Bishop of Cyzicus to preside over the whole province of the Hellespontians, too, and to ordain its bishop. But Chrysanthus (p. 84 of the Syntagmation) says that Carthage was the first autocephalous archdiocese; and Cyprus was the second, because this c. VIII of the 3rd had honored it as autocephalous even before Justinian, that is to say; the third was Achris, because it was honored as autocephalous during the reign of Justinian in the time of the Fifth Council; the fourth was lower Iberia, as having been honored in the time of Leo III (the Isaurian); the fifth was upper Iberia, as having been honored during the reign of Monomachus; the sixth was that of Pecius, as having been honored in the time of the emperors in Nicaea.


[78] See the commencement of this handbook in order to learn that civil laws conflicting with the Canons are invalid.


[79] Many have concluded from this letter that prelates are permitted to resign from their own province, but yet to retain the honor and activity of the prelacy. Such persons, however, are in error. Quite the contrary is rather to be inferred from the letter, according to Zonaras, Balsamon, and Blastaris. Thus, first of all, it is patent from the words of the letter that resignations ought not to occur. For it says, in paraphrase, that “once having been given the care of an episcopate, Eustathius ought to have borne it with spiritual courageousness, to have made every effort to cope with the troubles involved in the situation, and voluntarily to have endured the perspiration deserving reward in behalf of the episcopate.” This same inference may be drawn also from the surprise felt by the Council when it saw the written resignation of Eustathius. For if it had been customary and allowable for resignations to be offered, how could it have been astonished at such an event as though some new and strange thing had occurred; for it says, in paraphrase, “we do not know how and why he came to turn in an account in resignation of his office.” But this is confirmed also by the exarch of this Council Cyril (who appears, from the wording and phraseology of this letter, to have been the composer of it), who says in his c. III: “This thing is not agreeable to the Canons of the Church, that is to say, for prelates to offer written resignations. For, if they are worthy to officiate, let them do so, and not resign; but if they are unworthy, let them not evade the episcopate with a resignation, but as persons condemned for things they have been charged with by many outcries. This same conclusion may be inferred also from c. XVI of the lst-and-2nd. For, if that Canon deposes anyone that leaves his province for more than six months, and commands that another bishop be ordained in his stead, much more does it forbid anyone to resign his province altogether. Though that Canon does say for no one else to be ordained in the place of a living bishop unless the latter voluntarily resign his episcopate, yet it must be understood as implying that he is resigning on account of some professionally inhibitive and hidden reason. But further on this same Canon seems to correct even this. For it says for another bishop to be ordained after the cause of the living one be investigated and his deposition has been consummated.” Athanasius the Great, too, writes in his letter to Dracontius: “Before being installed as a bishop, a bishop lives for himself; but after being installed he no longer lives for himself, but for those Christians for whom he was installed in office.” But if they aver that St. Gregory the Theologian resigned, as is asserted also by Balsamon, let them learn that he did not resign an episcopate of his own, which was that of Sasima, but a strange episcopate, namely, that of Nazianzo, as he himself informs us. For in writing to St. Gregory of Nyssa he says: “Not of Nazianzo, but of Sasima we have been offered as candidates; though not without a little shamefacedness before the Father and the supplicants as strangers we have accepted the protection” (Note of Translator. — By “protection” is meant office). In writing to Philagrius, on the other hand, he says the following: “If it is dangerous, as you state, for one to leave his church, what church do you mean? If you mean our own, that of Sasima, that is to say, I too say the same thing, and the statement is correct. But if we have left the strange one, the one which has not been proclaimed to be connected with our name, that is to say, that of Nazianzo, we are exempt from responsibility. But if we are being held to account because we had charge of it for a while, there are plenty of others who will have to be held to account likewise, all those, in fact, who have had charge of strange provinces for a while.” As for the fact, first, that resignations are not allowable, this is plain from what has been said; and as for the fact, secondly, that those resigning (especially as a result of laziness and indolence) must not be permitted to retain the honor of a bishop and the name and activity, this too is evident from this letter. For it says, in paraphrase, that “Eustathius came to the Council, begging for the honor and title of bishop. But if he is begging for these things, it is evident that he resigned them along with his resignation from the province; and as having resigned them he no longer possessed them; and justly so.” For the name bishop is not absolute, but relative. For a bishop must be the bishop of an episcopate. Whoever, therefore, has resigned his episcopate, evidently ought not even to be called a bishop (unless it be with the modification “former” or “formerly”), according to Blastaris and Zonaras. But if he ought not to bear the name of bishop, much more ought he not to enjoy either the honor or the activity of a bishop. For the honor and activity of the bishop are bestowed as a prize and reward by Ap. c. XXXVI as well as c. XVIII of Antioch, not upon the one resigning his province, but upon the one who goes indeed to his province, but on account of the withdrawal and disorder of the laity, he does not accept it. Hence in the case of those who resign from their province without any calamitous reason, and go to other provinces where there is greater profit and more money to be made, Synesius as well as Theophilus want no one to admit them to the altar, and not to call them to the presidency, but, when they enter the church, to ignore them like so many cattle occupying public scats of authority. That is why c. I of St. Cyril says that Bishop Peter “either ought to have the functions of a bishop, or, if he is not worthy to preside over the sacrificial altar, neither ought he to be honored with the name of bishop.” But what am I saying that those resigning ought not to have the honor and title of bishop? Why, they ought even to be excommunicated in case they fail to accept the protection of the flock which has been entrusted to them, in accordance with the above Canons, Ap. c. XXXVI and c. XVII of Antioch, until such time as they decide to take it in hand. For this reason it is amazing that this 3rd Ec. C. did not reprimand the bishops in Pamphylia for failing to force Eustathius to accept the Church entrusted to him, but, instead of him, ordaining someone else. It appears, however, from the words of the letter that the bishops in Pamphylia wrangled a good deal about the inactivity of Eustathius, and that they opposed him and sought to coerce him. For it said, “there is no strong reason to quarrel with his incapacity.” Finally, when they saw that he could not be persuaded, and that the flock of Christ had been without a protector for a long time (that the time was long is evident from the use of the verbremaincontained in the letter), they ordained Theodore in his stead. But if anyone should ask why the Council should have given Eustathius the honor and title and activity of a bishop at all, we answer that it did so mainly and primarily because, as we said, it was not because of any viciousness or negligence on his part, but solely because of his faintheartedness that he submitted this unreasonable resignation, on account of which, had Theodore not been ordained so soon, the Council certainly would have tried to compel him to take back his province, on the ground that he had no canonical excuse for not doing so. Incidentally the Council did this when it sympathized with his tears and his old age. Canon X of Peter the martyr, too, does not consider it reasonable for men to remain in the ministry after they leave the flock of the Lord and go of their own accord to martyrdom, and first deny, and then struggle again, and finally confess the faith. Note also the further observation that in case a prelate wishing to resign from his province offers the pretext that he is unworthy, he must not be listened to, unless he be proved to be unworthy of the prelacy. For it is one thing for one not to be worthy, in a negative sense, and another thing for one to be unworthy, in a privative sense. For any man is unworthy of the prelacy who has committed canonical offenses and has been deprived of worthiness on that account. For, according to philosophers, privations come second after habits. Wherefore he ought to be deposed. But one is not worthy not only who is guilty of such canonical offenses, but also one who is not guilty of such offenses, but rather to say who is virtuous and saintly, yet who as respecting the magnitude and sublimity of the gift of the prelacy is not really worthy, as St. Basil the Great expresses it, and as divine Chrysostom says in his liturgies, in the prayer of the cherubic hymn, which prayer includes the following words: “No one addicted to carnal desires and pleasures is worthy to approach and to come near, or to minister, unto Thee, O King of glory. For serving Thee is something great and fearful even to the heavenly powers themselves.” On this account, as Balsamon says in his commentary on c. XVI of the lst-&-2nd, the resignation of Theodoulos of Makre, though accepted without examination by Patriarch Luke, yet, when thereafter examined synodically by Patriarch Michael of Anchialos, it was not accepted, but, on the contrary, was rejected because it stated that he was resigning the episcopate, not as unworthy, but as not worthy. For every unworthy person may be described as not worthy, but it is not conversely true that whoever is not worthy is also unworthy. For anyone that asserts himself to be unworthy becomes self-condemned, whereas anyone that says that he is not worthy ought rather to be praised as being humble-minded. Accordingly, in order to finish this Footnote, I may say that there is no excuse for a prelate’s resigning from his province, excepting only this, that he has been involved in offenses that inhibit the exercise of prelatical functions, either hidden and undisclosed offenses only confessed to a father confessor, or plainly evident, and consequently not deposed by the Council. For at that time being rebuked by his own conscience, he has a good excuse for resigning the prelacy at the same time, and no one can prevent it. Such a person, in fact, is not prevented from becoming a monk. See also c. II of St. Sohpia, and especially c. Ill of Cyril, and the testimony of Chrysostom contained in the footnote; and the commentary on c. XXVI of the 6th and the Footnote thereto, and the Footnote to c. IX of the First Ec. C. See also the form for a canonical resignation at the end of this Handbook.


[80] Marcianus was a brother-in-law of Theodosius the Little by the latter’s sister Pulcheria, whom he took as his wife but with whom he had no intercourse. For she lived as a virgin to the end of her life, according to Evagrius (book 2, ch. 1 of his Ecclesiastical History). Not only did Marcianus, but also Pulcheria too, along with him, take  å ia too, along with him, tafcepains to assemble the present Council. Present at this Council were both of those who at the Sixth Council sat upon the thrones in front of the chancel.


[81] For, were there but one nature in Christ, it would have to be either divine or human, or else neither divine nor human, but something else than either. Accordingly, if it were divine, where was the human? But if human, how could it be claimed that those saying this were not deniers of the divinity? Or, on the other hand, if it were something else than either, how could it be said that Christ was not being reformed of a different nature than the nature of the Father; and of a different nature than the nature of human beings? Than which could there be anything more recusant or more foolish? Than their saying, in other words, that the God Logos became a human being only to corrupt His own divine nature and assume the human nature? These things are what Photius says in opposing the recusancy of the Monophysites in the case of the Fourth Ec. C.


[82] This holy St. Leo (whose memory the Church celebrates on February 18th) sent this letter to St. Flavian of Constantinople against the Monophysites. They say, moreover, that after composing it he placed it upon the tomb of the holy Apostle St. Peter, and with fasting and while keeping vigil, and with a prayer he begged St. Peter if there were any mistakes in the letter to correct it. The Apostle then appeared to him in person and said to him, “I have corrected it.” The excerpt from that letter which treats theologically of the two natures of Christ and of the one substance of Christ in a manner at once exact and sublime, reads as follows, word for word: “For each form operates with the concurrent communion of the other, which had the characteristic peculiarity of the Logos functioning to bring about that which is of the Logos, while the body executes that which is of the body. Accordingly, the one of them shines through in miracles, whereas the other succumbed to abuse, when ill treated and insulted. Accordingly, just as the Logos is inseparable from the Father’s glory, so and in like manner His body did not let go and give up the nature of our human genus. For truly it may be said that He is one and the same Son of God, and one and the same son of man. He is a God in this respect, to wit, that in the beginning He was the Logos, and the Logos was with God, and the Logos was God; while He is a human being, on the other hand, in this respect, to wit, that the Logos became flesh and dwelt among us.” Hence when this letter was read aloud at the present Council, the Fathers shouted: “That is the Faith of the Fathers; that is the Faith of the Apostles. St. Peter uttered these things through Leo.” That is why it also called that letter a pillar of Orthodoxy. Sophronius of Jerusalem also writes about this letter to the effect that Bishop Theodore (whose bishopric was in Libya), who was cubicularius of the Patriarch of Alexandria Eulogius, beheld in his sleep a tall man deserving much honor and reverence, who told him, “Convey word to Pope Eulogius that the Pope of Rome Leo has come in order to meet him in person.” Theodore lost no time in hastening to the Patriarch, and told him what had been said. Thus, then, the two Popes met each other and exchanged greetings; and in a short while Leo said to Eulogius: “Do you know why I came? I came in order to thank you because you very well understood my letter and interpreted it correctly. Know, then, that you did me a great favor, and not a favor to me, but also to the chief Apostle Peter.” Upon saying these words, he disappeared and vanished. In the morning Theodore recounted this fact to Eulogius; and the latter, weeping, thanked God, who had made him a preacher of the truth (Dositheus, p. 527, of the Dodecabiblus). This man Eulogius lived during the reign of Emperor Mauricius.

                But inasmuch as the Papists (i.e., Roman Catholics) wrongly conclude from this letter that the Pope is entitled to be the monarch of the whole world and to have charge of all ecclesiastical councils and synods, we retort as follows. First, that although this letter is in truth a most orthodox epistle, yet it was not accepted by this Council simply as it happened to come to notice, but was first examined as to whether it was in agreement with the Creed of the First and Second Councils, and with the transactions adopted by the Third Council under the chairmanship of Cyril; and only after it was found to be in complete agreement therewith was it signed by the prelates in the fourth act of the present Council. Secondly, that just as this letter was called a pillar of Orthodoxy in the Fourth Ec. C., so and in like manner at the Seventh Ec. C. the letters sent to Tarasius by the prelates of the East were described as a column of piety, while the letter of Tarasius to the Easterners was called a definition of Orthodoxy (Act fourth of the Seventh Council). But a pillar of Orthodoxy, a column of piety, and a definition of Orthodoxy are simply designations of one and the same thing. I need scarcely say that Leo’s letter was not called simply a pillar, but a pillar of Orthodoxy, since there are also other pillars of Orthodoxy: the letter of Tarasius was called simply a definition of Orthodoxy; and the letters of the Easterners were called simply a column of piety. Thirdly, that just after Leo’s letter was read aloud the Council shouted, “That is the faith of the Fathers,” so and in like manner after the minutes of the First and Second Councils were read aloud, they shouted, “That is the faith of Orthodox Christians; thus do we all believe.” And when Cyril’s letter was read aloud, the Council said: “Leo and Anatolius believe thus, and we ourselves believe thus. Cyril believes thus; blessed be the memory of Cyril.” And I have to add also this fact too, that after the letter of Leo was read aloud the Council also added this: “Cyril believed thus. The Pope has thus interpreted it.” And again: “Leo taught, Cyril taught thus. Leo and Cyril taught the same things alike.” Fourthly and lastly, that the Third Council made Cyril’s letter to Nestorius a definition of its own; and see in the Preface to the Third Ec. C. But the Fourth Council did not make Leo’s letter a definition of its own, in spite of the fact that the legates of Rome made strenuous efforts to this end; instead, it said that there could be no other definition. The definition confirmed the letter. All that was added to the definition from the letter was merely the assertion that the two natures are united indivisibly and unconfusably in Christ. Hence as a result of all these facts the imagined monarchical office of the Pope is demolished and refuted, and it is shown that the Pope, even when his beliefs are strictly Orthodox, can be judged and examined by an Ecumenical Council, which is the final and supreme judge in the Church. Concerning this see the first Footnote to the Prolegomena of the First Ec. C.


[83] By way of giving a clearer notion of the two natures inconvertibly and unconfusably united in Christ, it appeared to me advisable to add here the interpretation set forth by Theodore the presbyter of Raithos and included in the Bibliotheca of the Fathers, because it is in truth a most theologically perfect work (Dositheus, p. 469 of the Dodecabiblus). It runs as follows: “Orthodox Christians confess the two natures to be essentially united, the union being one which respects the hypostasis, yet in such a way as to be unrupturable and unconfusable (explanation of the definition). The expressiontwo naturesdenotes the difference in kind and the difference in essence of the two conjoined natures, which are, to wit, the previously existent divinity and the humanity assumed at a later time. The termessentiallydenotes the absence of co-operative good will, or, in less ambiguous words, the fact of not being the result of a special grace, or of some particular activity, or out of consideration of merit or worth, or by way of allotting an equality of honor or recognition of peerage, or the tracing of a relation or establishment of a reference, or the limitation of power, or any other relative union (such as Nestorius used to allege); but, on the contrary, admitting it to be actually and really consubsistent and compositive itself in point of essence and substance in the sense of substratum. The expression “the union being one which respects the hypostasisdenotes the fact that the humanity had not been previously created and molded into shape, and that the divinity had not come after it, but, on the contrary, that at the very point of subsistence of the first principle and beginning of existence it was (already) united to the divinity — (for at the very same time while it was created and molded into shape as flesh, it was also at the same time flesh of the God Logos, according to another theologian). The termsunrupturably” and “unconfusably” used together signify the fact that the two natures when combined together did not undergo any innovation or modification of any kind on account of the union, but, on the contrary, the union is one which is preserved throughout eternally and alike, and each of the two natures remains undiminished in strict conformity with the essential definition and discourse.” Hence from this interpretation we learn that wherever the fathers call the union of the two natures in connection with Christ a union with respect to nature or a natural union, they are not employing the adjective natural with any implication that the union of the humanity, or human nature, in connection with Christ took place in nature, or in accordance with nature. God forbid! For if this had been the case in reality, there would necessarily have resulted from the two natures a single composite nature, which was the recusant belief of the Monophysites, and not the Orthodox belief of the catholic Church, which dogmatizes that the two natures of Christ were united, not in accordance with nature, or in nature, but, on the contrary, with respect to hypostasis, and in the hypostasis of the God Logos. That is why there is but one hypostasis of Christ composed of the two natures, distinguished as the divinity and the humanity. Instead, with the adjective natural and with the phrase according to nature or with respect to nature, the Fathers make it clear that this union truly and actually and really took place, as the aforesaid Theodore of Raithos interpreted the matter, and in an exceptionally and especially apposite discourse so did superlatively divine Cyril of Alexandria, the clarion interpreter of this inenarrable and inconceivable union. For in his third Anathematization he said: “If anyone in reference to the one Christ divides the hypostasis (or, otherwise speaking, the existential and subsistential natures, or, that is to say, actual natures or real natures) after the union, by conjoining them with a conjunction alone, as depending upon merit or value or worth, or, more specifically, authority or dynasty, and not indeed rather attributing it to the coalescence resulting from a natural union, let him be anathema.” After, I say, he uttered these words, he went to explain in the course of the sequel to this anathematization and in offering an apology (i.e., plea in defense thereof) in reply to the objection of the Easterners, and in his apology in refutation of the argument of Theodoret, and in the three parts together, to the effect that the natural union he had spoken of denotes the true and actual and real union: and in illustration of his meaning he cited that Apostolic saying that “and (we) were by nature children of wrath (Eph. 2:3), instead of saying “and we were truly children of wrath.” Some other theologians, however, interpret this natural union as being intended to mean a hypostatic, or substantive, union, on the basis of a conception that the word substance or (hypostasis) is also defined to denote essence, and nature together with permanent peculiarities by those discussing theological matters or philosophical questions, and especially by the Seventh Ec. C. in its Act 6.


[84] Note that Eutyches at one time used to say that the flesh of the Lord was not of the same essence, or co-essential, with the Mother, nor with us, while at other times he used to say that before the union, true enough, there were two natures in Christ, but after the union only one. Wherefore they used to say that Christ consisted of two natures, before the union, that is to say, but not also in two natures, after the union, that is to say. And it was for this reason that this Council asserted in its definition above that Christ is of the like (or same) essence with the Father as respecting divinity and of like (or the same) essence with us as respecting humanity. From this Monophysite named Eutyches, as from some many-headed Hydra, there grew up thereafter numerous heresies. For instance: The Theopaschites, who used to say “The one crucified for us is holy and immortal,” of whom the chief leader was Peter Knapheus (concerning whom see c. LXXXI of the 6th). For, according to the Monophysites, humanity was converted into divinity. So the entire Holy Trinity underwent sufferingoh, spare us, O Lord! — since Godhood was but of one nature. That is why the bemused heretics uttered this blasphemy even to the Holy Trinity which is lauded in the Thrice-holy Hymn. From the Monophysites arose the Severians, led by a man named Severus, who was a monk and became Bishop of Antioch. From these heretics sprang a group known as Jacobites, led by a certain man of Syros called Jacobus and of base extraction, named Zanzalus, or Tzantzalos, who also became the leader of the heresy of the Armenians. From them arose the Gaianites, their leader Gaianus being a follower of the heresy of Julian, a bishop of Halicarnassus, by whom he was also ordained Bishop of Alexandria. These heretics used to say that Christ was entirely impassive, or, in Greek, apathes, on which account they styled Apathites, though John Damascene calls them Egyptians, whom the Copts also followed. From the roots of the Monophysites there sprouted thereafter also the heresy of the Monotheletes. For if, according to them, there was but one nature in Christ, it followed as a matter of course that this single nature had but a single will too. From them arose the Agnoites, whose leader was Themistius. These persons used to assert that Christ was ignorant of the day of judgment (i.e., that He did not know precisely when it would be in the future). They had split off, according to John Damascene, from the Theodosian Monophysites. From them came the Tritheites, who in connection with the Holy Trinity were wont to assert a common essence and nature, individualized as in the case of three human beings. Their leader was John Alexandreus the Philoponus. All Monophysites used to be called in a word Acephali, or headless men, in allusion to the fact that they had split off from the Patriarch of Alexandria named Mongus either because, as Leonius says, he did not anathematize the Fourth Ec. C., or because they used to hold various unorthodox assemblies and perform unorthodox baptisms, and used to do other things in the way of innovations and schisms, as Nicephorus Callistus states, or because there arose a schism in their midst between Severus and Julian concerning perishability and imperishability, and some of them followed the one, and some the other leader. Accordingly, it may be said, generally speaking they were called Acephali because of the fact that they did not pay allegiance to any one head, but some to one, and some to another leader, and split into groups differing from one another and from the Church. (See the discussion in Dositheus, p. 470 of the Dodecabiblus, and the discussions by other writers.) All the Monophysites and Theopaschites refused to accept the icon (or picture) of Christ, according to Act 6 of the Seventh Ec. C., because they maintained that the nature therein described and depicted as that of His humanity had been mingled and converted into the nature His divinity. But the criticism made by Alamundarus, the chief of the Saracens, was a joke. For this fellow, after becoming a Christian, seeing that Severus sent two bishops with a view to enticing him into his heresy, wishing to rebuke them, said: “But know ye not that they have sent me letters and therein the writers of them declare unto me that the Archangel Michael died?” The bishops of Severus replied to him that it was impossible for that thing to have happened. Then Alamundarus in reply said: “And if Christ hath not two natures, as you say, how could He have died and have suffered on the Cross? Since His divinity is impassive, and does not die (Dositheus, p. 424 of the Dodecabiblus).


[85] Note, however, that the tonsure of clergymen performed by the prelate is called by Balsamon the tonsorial seal (sphragis epikouridos) and episcopal tonsurate (epikouris episkopike) and the tonsure of monks, monachal tonsurate (epikouris monachike) (in his interpretation of c. XXXIII of the 6th; and of c. LXXVII of the 6th).


[86] Stewards were appointed to manage the affairs of the church in accordance with the ideas of the bishop, according to c. X of Theophilus, c. XXVI of the 4th, and c. XI of the 7th Ec. C. Defensors were appointed to help those who were being unjustly treated, to redeem those who were being tyrannized by some, and to protect those who took refuge in the church on account of any ill treatment or influence. There were two kinds of defensors; to wit: ecclesiastical defensors, referred to in the present Canon; and nonecclesiastical, or secular, and imperial, or royal, defensors, referred to in cc. LXXXIII and CVII of Carthage. According to Balsamon they were called Defensors, and according to Justinian Ecclesiecdici. There were twelve of them in the church of Constantinople, the chief one being known as Protecdicus (i.e., Chief Defensor), and with two other defensors the latter was empowered to hear minor cases that arose in the church. Prosmonarii were appointed to watch over churches to which they were assigned and to welcome those coming there to worship.


[87] Contractors, properly speaking, are those artisans who put up security or an earnest of some sort and undertake a job with the proviso not to abandon it until they have finished it (according to Armenopoulos, Book 3, Title 8).


[88] The reason why this Canon allows bishops and monks to become guardians and curators, whereas Justinian Novel 123 prohibits them from doing so, is, according to Balsamon, either that it prohibits them from doing so of their own accord or when only the laws require them to do so, but not when they are called upon to do so by the bishops. Peter the Chartophylax says that monks must not become godfathers to children being baptized (except in cases of urgent necessity; see also the Footnote to c. XXIV of the Faster), nor must they become parties to the agreement by which persons are adopted as brothers or sisters (in accordance with the custom called in Greek adelphopoeia). For these things are contrary to the Canons (page 395 of the Corpus Juris Graecoromanus). Nicephorus the Chartophylax also says that the Church mandatorily prescribes it as a law to abbots and exarchs of monasteries that the monks are not to be allowed to form relations as godfathers with the parents of children or to enter into any compact of brotherhood; and that the law will not recognize the relationship of brotherhood established by adelphopoeia in toto (page 342 of the same book): see also the Chapter on Adelphopoeia in that on Synoekesia (or Matrimonial Contracts).


[89] That is why the seventh ordinance of the first Title of the Novels, which is Justinian Novel 67, and the third of the second Title, which is Justinian Novel 138, embodied in Book V of the Basilica, Title III, ch. 4 and ch. 5 (in the Nomicon of Photius Title III, ch. 14, and Title XI, ch. 1) prescribe that anyone that shall build a monastery or an oratory or a church must speak about it first with the bishop, and must agree to give him all the fuel needed for lamps and lights of the church, all that is needed for the sacred liturgy, for the food of prosmonarii (or churchwardens) and of those who are to reside therein in the future; and then the bishop shall make the matter known to all, and going in person to the spot where the building is to be erected he shall utter a prayer and plant a cross therein; and then the building may commence. They say in addition that whoever begins to build these from the start, or to rebuild old ones, he as well as his heirs shall be obliged by the bishop and the stewards and the executive of the region to finish the building which he commenced and not to leave it incomplete.


[90] So that according to this Canon those called monks must neither be ordained nor engage in any way in doing parish work in connection with the churches in the world. For according to the meaning of their name monks they are lone men, or solitaries (in that the Greek word, monachos, means lone or solitary), and they are following the profession of virginity; wherefore they ought to be ordained to monasteries, and to perform the functions of holy orders therein, and not in the world. Hence, by way of confirming this, Michel of Constantinople, the greatest of all philosophers, decreed that all sacred acts performed in the world are to be performed by worldly priests, and not by (sacred) monks. The (sacred) monks are to keep within their monasteries, as Balsamon says (comment on ch. 3 of Title I of the Nomicon of Photius). In addition, Peter the chartophylax of the great Church says that a monk can neither bless a wedding outside nor inside a monastery (page 395 of the Corpus Juris Graecoromanus). Hence it is evident that prelates are violating the Canons when they ordain monks in cities or towns; and they will do well to correct the impropriety. For as regards all the evils and sins these monks do in the world and in associating with the desires of the world, the prelates who ordain have to pay the penalty. For divine Chrysostom says the following: “For do not tell me that the presbyter sinned, nor that the deacon did so. The blame for all these is chargeable to and falls upon the head of those who ordained them” (Discourse 3 on the Acts, p. 627 of vol. IV). According to this Canon those monks are not doing right who leave their monasteries, or their cells and hermitages, and go into the world in order to beg alms. For in so doing they are bound to fall into many traps of the Devil and suffer injuries of the soul. Though it is true that Basil the Great does allow monks to leave the monastery and to journey in quest of the necessary wants of the convent of cenobites, and in a way he rebukes those who resign out of sheer unconcern and refuse to go out (Ascetic Ordinance XXVI), it is nevertheless to be noted that the same Basil says for the head of the monastery to send on errands for the needs of the convent of cenobites that monk who can keep himself uninjured and unharmed and who can benefit those conversing with him. If no such fit and strong brother can be found in the monastery, it is better for the brethren to endure patiently every tribulation and discomfort to the point of death, rather than for bodily comfort to ignore or overlook the evident harm to the soul of that one who is destined to be sent away. Accordingly, after the brother has returned, the head of the institution must examine him as to how he got along during his absence in other regions. As concerning whatever he has done right, he should praise him; but as concerning whatever he has done wrong, he should correct him, etc. (see C. XLIV for detailed explanations).


[91] The present Canon is found exactly the same also in Act 6 of the same Fourth Council, except that it contains two more prohibitions not in this Canon, to wit: 1) that no monastery shall be built upon lands without the consent of the owners of the lands: and 2) that not only slaves, but even enlisted men, that is to say, soldiers, must not be admitted into monasteries and shorn.


[92] So that just as the Council here considers this ordination to be invalid, so must c. XIII of Antioch be considered. See also the Footnotes to Ap. c. XXVIII.


[93] “Novel 123 of Justinian also decrees in agreement with the present Canon. For it says for no one to leave his clericate and become a secular, because he will be deprived of the dignity or military position which had been given to him, and will be turned over to the senators of his own city. Novels 7 and 8 of Leo, on the other hand, command that clergymen and monks who change their habit and become laymen, are to be reinstated in the habit of the clergy or monks again even against their will.” (From Armenopoulos, Section 3, Heading 2, of his Epitome of the Canons.)


[94] That is why in Act 10 of the Synod held in the time of Basil the Macedonian it was quite rightly written in regard to this circumstance, that “no layman whatever is allowed to provoke an argument about ecclesiastical matters or to resist an entire church or an ecumenical council. For the tracing and examining of such questions is the task of the patriarchs and priests and teachers of the Church, to whom God has given the privilege of binding and loosing. For a layman, even though replete with every learning and reverence, is nevertheless a layman and a sheep, whereas a prelate, even though he displays every irreverence, is nevertheless a shepherd as long as he occupies the position of a prelate. Hence it behoves the sheep not to turn against their shepherds.


[95] Like bees round a hive, various opinions have surrounded this part of the present Canon. For our own authorities, being opposed to the rule and authority of the Pope, and desirous to honor the patriarch of Constantinople, have inclined to exaggeration. Hence Macarius the bishop of Ancyra understands by “exarchs of the diocese” the other Patriarchs, while to the Patriarch of Constantinople he refers the final appeal, and he wants him to be the chief and supreme judge over all the Patriarchs. Macarius was followed also by Alexias in her History, and by Nicholas the bishop of Methone in writing against the principle of the Pope. The Papists, again, wish to establish the monarchal status of the Pope, follow our authorities and concede that the Bishop of Constantinople is chief judge over all, because the Bishop of Rome is chief even of the Bishop of Constantinople according to the Canons. So the Bishop, or Pope, of Rome is the ultimate and common judge over all the Patriarchs, and ahead of even the Patriarch of Constantinople in respect of judicature; accordingly, it is to him that any appeal must be taken from the four Patriarchs of the inhabited earth (called in Greek the “oecumene”). These Papists are Bassarion the apostate, Binius, and Belarminus. Pope Nicholas, again, in writing against Photius to Emperor Michael represents the Canon as meaning the Bishop of Rome by the phraseExarch of the Diocese,” and that the wordDiocese” which it employs in the singular number is to be taken to have a plural meaning of “dioceses,” just as, he says, the divine Bible often uses the singular number instead of the plural, as, for instance, where it says “there went up a mist from the earth” (Gen. 2:6), instead of saying “there went up mists from the earth.” And that the Canon says that anyone having a dispute with the Metropolitan ought to have it tried first and chiefly before the Exarch of the Diocese, that is to say, the Bishop of Rome, though by concession and on secondary grounds it may be tried before the Bishop of Constantinople. All these men, however, are wandering far astray from the truth. For the fact that the Bishop of Constantinople has no authority to officiate in the dioceses and parishes (or districts) of the other Patriarchs, nor has he been given by this Canon to grant a decision in reference to an appeal on the part of the whole Church (which means a change of judicature from any court to another and higher court, in accordance with or according to Book IX of the Basilica, Title I), is plain — first, because in Act 4 of this Council held in Chalcedon the Bishop of Constantinople named Anatolius was blamed by the rulers as well as by the whole Council for overstepping his boundaries and taking Tyre from its Bishop, namely, Photius, and handing it over to Eusebius, the Bishop of Berytus, and for deposing and excommunicating Photius. Notwithstanding that he offered many pretexts, in spite thereof whatever he had done was annulled and invalidated by the Council, and Photius was justified, and he received back the bishoprics of Tyre. That is why Isaac the Bishop of Ephesus told Michael, the first of the Palaeologi, that the Bishop of Constantinople does not extend his authority over the Patriarchates of the East (according to Pachymeres, Book 6, ch. 1); — secondly, because the civil and imperial laws do not state that only the judgment and decision of the Bishop of Constantinople is not subject to appeal, but merely says indefinitely that no appeal can be taken from the decision of any Patriarch or of the Patriarchs in the plural. For Justinian Novel 123 says to let the Patriarch of the Diocese ordain or prescribe those things which are consistent with the ecclesiastical Canons and with the laws, no party having any right to object to his decision. And Leo the Wise in the first title of his Legal Epitome says that the court of the Patriarch is not subject to appeal, while he is described by another as the source of ecclesiastical decisions; for it is from him that all courts derive their authority, and they can be resolved into him again. Even Justinian, too, in Book 3, ch. 2, of his Ecclesiastical Compilation, says: “Let the competent Patriarch examine the decision without fearing an appeal” (from his judgment); and in Book 1, Title 4, of his Ecclesiastical Injunction: “The decisions of Patriarchs cannot be appealed;” and again, in Book 1, Title 4, ch. 29: “It has been made a law by the Emperors preceding us that no appeal can be taken from the decisions rendered by Patriarchs.” So, considering the fact that according to these emperors, who agree with the sacred Canons, the decisions of all Patriarchs are insusceptible of appeal, or, in other words, they cannot be carried to the court of any other Patriarch for review, how can the Patriarch of Constantinople grant them a hearing? And if the present Canon of the 4th, or even c. XVII of this Council, had intended the Bishop of Constantinople to entertain appeals over the heads of the rest of the Patriarchs, how could the emperors have decreed the diametrically opposite and contrary view, at a time when they well knew that civil laws at variance with the Canons were null and void? — thirdly, because if we grant in accordance with the foregoing Papists that the Bishop ot Constantinople can judge the Patriarchs, and that he can review their decisions and judgments, since the Canon makes no exception of which or which Patriarch, he is therefore as a logical inference to be considered to have the right to judge himsell and also the Bishop of Rome as well, and thus the Bishop of Constantinople becomes the first and the last and the common judge of all the Patriarchs and even of the Pope himself. So, then, with the inventions by means of which they are trying to establish the monarchic office of the Bishop of Rome, they are wrecking and demolishing it with the very same arguments; — fourthly, because no one. even though he be a Metropolitan or a Patriarch, has any right to impose anything upon churches outside his jurisdiction, excepting only the ones subject to him, according to Ap. c. XXXIV and XXXV, and cc. VI and VII of the 1st, and cc. III and VIII of the 2nd; and cc. XX, XXXVI, and XXXIX of the 6th, and cc. III, XI, and XII of Sardica, and c. IX of Antioch, as well as others: this being so, how can the present Canon and the others have ordained the opposite and contrary of all these? — fifthly, because if the Bishop of Constantinople had received any such privilege, how is it that the patriarchs of Constantinople, when quarreling oftentimes with the Pope, did not claim any such right, but merely insisted that the priorities (of all) were equal? or, be that as it may, how is it that no other Christian amid their quarrels and differences ever called the Bishop of Constantinople greater than the Bishop of Rome? So the Lord liveth, He liveth! The true explanation of the Canon is this. The Exarch of the Diocese, according to Balsamon, is not the Metropolitan of the province (since a Diocese comprises many provinces and metropolis), but the Metropolitan of the Diocese; nor the Patriarch, for, as c. VI of the Second Ec. C. says, if anyone dishonors all the Bishops of the Diocese, which is the same thing as saying the Exarch of the Diocese, which indeed the present Canon does say; whereas a Synod of the Diocese and an Exarch of the Diocese occupies a different position from that held by each Patriarch together with the bishops subject to him. So the Exarch of a diocese is the Metropolitan of the diocese who has some privilege over and above the other Metropolitans of the same diocese. But this privilege of Exarchs is not today in effect. For though certain Metropolitans are called Exarchs, yet the other Metropolitans in their dioceses are not subject to them. So it appears, from what the same Balsamon says, that in those times the Exarchs of dioceses were certain others (among whom, according to Zonaras, were those of Caesarea, Cappadocia, Ephesus, Thessalonica, and Corinth) who wore polystauria in their churches. These polystauria were in reality chasubles embroidered with many crosses, as Balsamon says, on page 447 of the Juris Graecoromanus. Nevertheless, that privilege ceased to be exercised either immediately or not long after this Fourth Ec. Council was held. That explains why Justinian fails to mention it in what he says concerning disputes between clergymen, notwithstanding that he enumerates the other courts or tribunals of clergymen.

                So it is evident that the Canon means that if any bishop or clergyman has a dispute or difference with the Metropolitan of an exarchy, let him apply to the Exarch of the diocese; which is the same thing as saying that clergymen and metropolitans subject to the throne of Constantinople must have their case tried either before the Exarch of the diocese in which they are situated, or before the Bishop of Constantinople, as before a Patriarch of their own. It did not say that if any clergyman has a dispute or difference with the Metropolitan of some other diocese, or if a Metropolitan has a dispute or difference with the Metropolitan of any diocese or parish whatever, they must be tried before the Bishop of Constantinople. Nor did it say, Let him apply first to the Exarch of the diocese, or to the Bishop of Constantinople, as Pope Nicholas above garbles and misexplains the Canon; but, on the contrary, it left it to the choice of the ones to be judged to determine with equal rights whether they should go to the Exarch of the diocese or to the Bishop of Constantinople and be tried in precisely the same manner and equally well either before the one or before the other. That is why Zonaras too says that the Bishop of Constantinople is not necessarily entitled to sit as judge over all Metropolitans, but (only) over those who are judicially subject to him (interpretation of c. XVII of the present 4th C.) And in his interpretation of c.V of Sardica the same authority says: “The Bishop of Constantinople must hear the appeals only of those who are subject to the Bishop of Constantinople, precisely as the Bishop of Rome must hear the appeals only of those who are subject to the Bishop of Rome.” Now, however, that the Synod and the Exarch of the diocese are no longer active or in effect, the Bishop of Constantinople is the first and sole and ultimate judge of the Metropolitans under him, but not of those under any of the rest of the Patriarchs. For it is only an ecumenical council that is the ultimate and most common judge of all Patriarchs, as we have said, and there is none othe. See also the Footnote to c. VI of the 2nd Ec. C., which spoke about the matter of diocese at greater length.

                In view of the fact that, as we have stated, these Exarchs mentioned by the Canon were long ago displumed, those who are now called Exarchs, as representatives sent abroad by the Church, are mere names for ecclesiastical services.


[96] I happened to discover in one place that the letters given to the indigent were of such a character and superscribed in such words as follows: The earth is full of the Lord’s mercy. As for how these letters are worded at present, see at the end of this Handbook Sozomen (Book 5, ch. 16) calls these letterspasswords” of episcopal letters. The Theologian, on the other hand, in writing against Julian, calls them “epistolary passwords,” saying: “With epistolary passwords with which we are wont to equip those needing them in going from one nation to another.”


[97] Something of this kind is narrated by St. Gregory the Theologian in his epitaph to St. Basil as having taken place in the metropolis of Cappadocia when the bishopric of Tyana was honored by being converted into a new Metropolis.


[98] In this manner after Chalcedon was honored by being converted into a Metropolis by Marcianus, and Nicaea by Valentinian, it was decreed that the rights and dignities belonging to the old cities which were really and truly metropolis should be preserved to them, as appears from what is said in Act 4 of the present Council. On this account, in spite of the fact both Byzantium and Aelia were also honored by being converted into Patriarchates, yet as respecting Aelia c. VII of the First specifies that to its metropolis Caesarea there shall be preserved the dignity rightfully belonging to it, as we have stated. As respecting Byzantium, Balsamon and Nicephorus Gregoras assert that in their times the Bishop of Constantinople was ordained Patriarch by the Bishop of Heracleia. But now he only receives his crozier from him, because before he became a Patriarch Byzantium used to be the episcopate of the Bishop of Heracleia.


[99] Photius, too, in Title XII and Title XIII, says that since ordinance One of Book XXIII of Title II lays down the principle that marriage is a consociation of a man and a woman and a co-reception of all life, and a communion in a divine and human right; those consociated ought, according to this definition, to be of the same religion. The first book of the Code, in Title V, ordinance twelve, says that in case there is a dispute between the parents (when, that is to say, they are of the same religion, but one of them has come to be Orthodox in belief, or in some other way they have come to be consociated in a state of uniikeness of religion), that party ought to have control who wants to make his children Orthodox. And again in ordinance eighteen of the same Title it says that if one of the parties cohabiting together is an Orthodox, while the other is a heretic, their children must become Orthodox. It is written, at any rate, in Book I of the Basilica, Title I, ch. 35, that no Jew must take a Christian woman to wife, nor must a Jewess be taken to wife by a Christian man. For anyone that does this shall undergo the punishment of adulterers. As for an Orthodox person, on the other hand, who has taken a heretodox and heretic, he is not allowed to commune in the divine mysteries unless he first get divorced and do his penance, according to what Balsamon says in his Thirty-third Reply. Symeon of Thessalonica (in Reply 47 says the same thing, adding that he may partake only at the end of his life when he is being given the last rites of unction (provided he repents, that is to say); but the priest is not to take a contribution of any such person, nor to accept his offerings and services, save for candle and incense alone, and sometimes (not always, that is to say) he may give him a sprinkling of holy water and a bit of holy bread (i.e., of that which is usually distributed to all at the close of the Liturgy), and this is only done, too, in order to prevent his falling into a state of despondency, and to command him to give alms.


[100] Hence it is that the same Theologian in his Epic Verses says that a chaste marriage is as much superior to that which seeks to have both virginity and marriage, as virginity is superior to marriage; consequently, says he, one ought either to remain a virgin in reality or to marry, and not to want to mix virginity with marriage, honey with gall, wine with mud, and Jerusalem with Samaria. Thus he says these things in poetical verses as follows:

“As much as virginity is prefereable to marriage,

On which account either embrace it altogether, my fine fellow,

Or make the best of marriage like a song they sing.

To shun an unyoked life, and a yoke-fellow too,

And to sacrifice unredeemed Samaria to sacred Salem.

So much is a chaste marriage better than vacillating virginity.

If any wrath and anger have stirred up in thee such virginity,

The second course is better than the first, for partaking of both

Is like mixing honey and gall, and mud wine.”

Besides, even divine Epiphanius says (Haer. 61): “It is better, therefore, to have but one sin, and not more. It is better when you have fallen from the way to take yourself a woman to wife openly and in accordance with the law, than to change your mind after many years of virginity and be introduced again into the Church.” St. Chrysostom says in his letter to Theodore that the sin which a monk commits when he marries, by marrying, is no less grievous than God is above men. St. Basil, in fact, in number 14 of his Definitions in extenso goes so far as to forbid any brother to open the door of his home to admit any monk that has broken his promise to God, even though it be cold weather and he comes in search of shelter — not out of hatred, but in order to shame him, as St. Paul advises. In his letter in regard to a fallen monk, on the other hand, he says that we must not even greet such a person. Divine Nicephorus, too, says the same things in his c. XIV. In his c. XXXIV he even declares that a monk who has married and fails to repent must be anathematized, and be compelled to don the habit (of a monk) even against his will, and be shut up for the rest of his life in a monastery. Even if he return and repent after having violated his pledge to the habit, he must don it without prayers, according to c. XIV of the same saint. As for anyone that dons the habit under compulsion, or on account of knavery and hypocrisy, as one deriding it, and afterwards when the necessity and sham have passed discards it, he is to be reprimanded, and must pass three times forty days of penance, and only thus shall he be allowed to partake (of communion), according to c. XXI of the same saint. This divine Nicephorus, in his c. XX, says: “If any nun be ravished by barbarians or disorderly men, provided that her former life was not blame-worthy, she shall be penanced for only forty days; but if she had already been polluted or defiled prior thereto, she shall be penanced as an adultress. Note that those who ravish an ascetic woman or a woman that has taken the veil, or, in other words, a sacred virgin, even those who have abetted the ravishment are liable to capital punishment, and all their property is confiscated by the (civil) ruler, and is turned over to the monastery of the one ravished, according to the second ordinance of the First Title of the Novels (Photius, Title IX, ch. 30). Likewise anyone that abducts or tries to take such a sacred virgin to wife is also liable to capital punishment, according to Book I, Title III, Ordinance 5. The woman herself, together with her things, is placed in a monastery and is securely guarded. Blastaris also adds the following fact, to wit, that even a man who has become a monk in the last days of his life and who failed to understand thoroughly what rites were administered to him when they made him a monk, cannot discard the habit and remain any longer in the world. See also the Footnote to c. VII of the 4th, and c. VII itself of the same Council, which anathematizes the monk that discards the habit and assumes some secular position of whatever worth. See also the Footnote to c. XXXIX of Nicephorus.


[101] Note that this Canon does not conflict with c. VIII of the 3rd. For while the latter says with reference to provinces in which bishops were being ordained that they are not to be grabbed up greedily by any bishops when as a matter of fact they have not been under their predecessorsauthority; the former, on the other hand, relates to small parishes that were apt to be overlooked or disregarded as being useless or niggardly by those who used to possess and exploit them.


[102] The Council allowed the emperor to make decrees regarding those parishes only which were in cities he himself had built, and not in general all parishes, as Balsamon concludes. For according to c. XII of the present Council, metropolis honored with imperial letters, and their bishop, enjoyed only the honor, whereas the rights and privileges were preserved undiminished to the metropolias which had been in reality and truth pre-existent.


[103] In his Collection of Canons, Title 82, John of Antioch saysFellow Monastics,” instead of “Fellow Clergymen.”


[104] As this is historically stated by Vulpian.


[105] Photius, in Title IX, ch. 37, says that the civil law punishes conspiracies and factions. Book LX of the Basilica, Title XXXVI, states that anyone that enters into a conspiracy against the state is guilty of the crime of high treason (or what is called in Greek cathosiosis, i.e., a violation of the holy immunity of the sovereign). As for what constitutes high treason (or cathosiosis), see the Footnote to Ap. c. LXXII. Note that Balsamon, with reference to the present Canon, says: “Do not assert that a conspiracy is punished on account of any evil already done, and not on account of any good; for every conspiracy, whether for good or for evil, is punishable.”


[106] But in other manuscripts the Canon is found worded as follows: “Exactly as the receivers have been forbidden to do. Zonaras and Blastaris (line 5) take the wordreceivers” to mean those who take the effects of the bishop in order to provide for their safe keeping, and who, if they purloin anything therefrom, are deposed from office in like manner as are those who seize them.


[107] Book XI of the Basilican Ordinances, in Title VIII, Ordinance 51 (in Photius, Title II, ch. 1) asserts that sacred things have a divine right and are not actually owned by anyone. A sacred thing is anything that has been publicly consecrated. And again, in Ordinance 10, Title I, it is stated that a sacred thing is that which has been rightly and through a priest consecrated to God, as, temples and vessels. That which, on the other hand, one makes sacred by his own authority and arbitrary will is not really sacred. Even if the (building called the) temple of such a sacred temple or sacred object should fall to the ground, the place itself remains sacred and no one, according to Armenopoulos (Book    Title XI), can actually own it. For whatever has once been made sacred never ceases being sacred thereafter. Notwithstanding that Ordinance 36, in Book XI, Title VII, says that when sacred things are “enslaved” by enemies at war, they cease to be sacred, just as a free person also ceases under like circumstances to be free, yet after the period of enslavement in question, they become sacred again. By this I mean that they merely cease being actually sacred, but they do not also cease being potentially sacred: according to that authority they are always and everlastingly sacred, and this is especially so if they happen to be sacred and movable things, which indeed even after being enslaved may in many instances manifest the inherent power of their holiness even by evincing an energetic action, just as was shown by the Ark of God when it was captured by the Philistines and knocked down their idols, and filled their lands with rats, and even inflicted wounds upon their fundaments (Sam. I, ch. 4), as well as by the sacred vessels which were captured by the Babylonians and removed from the Temple of Jerusalem, and which actually killed Belshazzar (Dan. ch. 5) because he treated them as though they were common and unsacred vessels. Nevertheless and in spite of all these facts, that which Basil the Great says (see his Ethic 30) is as true as it is fearful. For he asserts that anything that has been consecrated to the name of God deserves honor as something holy as long as it serves the purpose of keeping God’s will; which amounts to the same thing as saying that it is sacred if the priests worshiping Him therein keep His will. One could not own sacred things by eating them, even though he fed himself on them for many years, according to Title VI of Ordinance 10. We cannot claim any title to sacred things as our own; that is to say, with a view to gaining ownership of them as property — according to Ordinance 13, Book VI, Title I. If in the middle between two common and unsacred localities there is situated a locality which is sacred, there can be no crossing or thoroughfare from the sacred locality to the unsacred. According to Ordinance 14 title I one is prohibited from building on any spot that is sacred, according to the fourth Institute (or introduction to the laws), Title XV. No one can sell, or exchange, or give away, or mortgage a monastery wherein there has been established a sacrificial altar and wherein sacred services have been held and monastic austerity of life has been practiced. If any such an act is done, it is void and invalid; and if it has been sold, the seller shall lose even the price he received for it, as well as the monastery itself or the property of the monastery which he sold; and the purchaser likewise shall lose also the price which he paid, and the monastery which he bought. The price paid shall be turned over to the monasteries of the region in question and to the churches of the region in question, according to the first Ordinance of Title II of the Novels (in Photius, Title XI, ch. 1). The second Ordinance of Title II of the Novels (Photius, Title X, ch. 1), as well as Armenopoulos (Book 3, Title 4), commands that stewards and trustees and other governing officers of churches and of religious houses, and chartularians, and their parents and children, are warned against giving anyone anything ecclesiastical to plant or to rent or to mortgage or to pawn, and taking money in consideration thereof; because those who plant or rent or hold a mortgage on it or have taken it in pledge will lose it and the money which they gave therefor, and the expense they went to in planting it. Accordingly, all the foregoing persons that gave anything, not only will lose whatever price they paid for it, but will also suffer damages to the amount of the expenses incurred by those who undertook to plant it; and this amount shall be given to the divine house and temple (or church) whose property the thing in question was. The third Introduction, in Titles IX and XXIII, ordains that no one can buy a sacred temple (Note of Translator. — The reader should bear in mind that “temple” here, as elsewhere, meanschurch building,” as distinguished from the church, or institution, itself; though in common parlance no such distinction is usually made), knowing that it is a sacred temple. If, however, he has been deceived into buying as private property, he has a right to bring suit against the one who deceived him and sold it to him. If the temple falls down, the spot on which it stood does not become unsacred. Hence neither can it be sold, according to Ordinance 73 of the first Title (in Photius, Title II, ch. 1).


[108] This means anyone.




[110] Instead of this word, John of Antioch substitutes the wordgirls” (in his Collection of Canons, Title 42).


[111] The Council and likewise the civil laws mete out stern chastisement to those who take women by force, because it is a thing that is dishonorable in itself and subversive of whole households, exciting men to murders and disturbances of the peace, and in general being the cause of many woes. Even if, let us say, the parents, the masters, of the women seized afterwards consent to the wedding, it is never-the-less true that they have been compelled to consent to it against their will, owing to the dishonor and defloration which their daughters and female slaves suffer before being seized for the most part, and because after such occurrences nobody else is willing to marry them. I have said that it was most certainly for this reason that this Canon and the civil laws chastise severely those who seize women by force, because it is not merely a matter of control or ownership, for, behold, in Basil’s c* XXII it is decreed that marriages of daughters taken from their parents by force shall remain valid by virtue of the consent of their parents, as we said hereinabove, whereas the civil laws dissolve marriages resulting from the exercise of force, even though the fathers of the women seized consent to them later, as we have stated. If, however, according to ch. 39, Title XII, Book LX, anyone seizes or snatches away a female slave who is of foreign extraction and in reality a prostitute, and hides her, he cannot be punished either as a thief or as a slaver, since it was for pleasure, and not for the sake of theft or robbery, that he did it. In such a case, however, if he is a rich man, he shall pay damages in money; but if he is a poor man, he shall be cudgeled.

                The Sixth Ec. C. makes this same Canon its c. XCII by incorporating it verbatim. Canon XI of Ancyra, on the other hand, decrees that women betrothed to men but seized by other men shall be given to their fiances even though they have suffered violence at the hands of the other men. Canon XXII of Basil also says the same thing; but if they were not betrothed, they are to be returned to their parents or relatives, the same Canon adds, and if the latter are willing, a wedding may be performed, but if they will not consent to this, they are not to be coerced. In case their captors deflowered them secretly or forcibly, they are to be punished with four years as fornicators. Canon XXX of the same Basil excommunicates for three years those who seize women by force or who abet others that do so. But as for any woman that merely pretends to have been seized by force (who wants to follow the man, that is to say), and in general any wedding that is not due to compulsion, it judges such a case to be one that needs no punishment if no defloration occurred before the wedding. Canon LIII of the same saint judges any widowed slave to be unindictable if she pretended to be seized by force but in reality wanted to contract a second marriage.


[112] The principal reason for issuing the present Canon were five, of which three were remote, while two were necessary and proximates: 1) Since c. XXXIV of the Apostles commands that the bishops of each nation ought to have one of their number as chief, and to regard him as their head, and since cc. VI and VII of the First made some dioceses subject to the Bishop of Rome, and others subject to the Bishop of Alexandria, and others to the Bishop of Antioch, and others to the Bishop of Jerusalem, the dioceses of Asia, of Pontus, and of Thrace, being autocephalous, ought by the same token to have the Bishop of Constantinople as their chief and head, and ought to come under his jurisdiction, and ought to be ordained by him, because he was their neighbor, and especially because such a custom had ensued from the beginning. For the Patriarch of Constantinople had ordained many Metropolitans from among them. For St. Chrysostorn ordained Heracleides Bishop of Ephesus, and by going to Ephesus and returning to Constantinople he deposed thirteen bishops from office. The Bishop of Ancyra, too, and Memnon, Bishop of Ephesus (who acted as the primate of the Third Ecum. Council) were ordained by the Bishop of Constantinople. So that it appears that what we said above is true as the solution of the puzzling question in the Footnote to the ninth Canon. Accordingly, then, it appears that it subordinates the Metropolitans of these dioceses to the judgment of the Patriarch of Constantinople. 2) Since the Second Ec. C. also in its c. Ill accorded priorities of honor to the Bishop of Constantinople, it was in keeping therewith to bestow upon him also priorities of authority. 3) The fact that the Bishop of Constantinople ought to receive privileges of authority because various Patriarchs and Prelates used to come to the Emperor to beg for his help in their exigencies, and it was necessary for them first to meet the Bishop of Constantinople, in whom they found a man to co-operate with them and to lend them assistance, and through him they were enabled to approach the Emperor, just as, in confirmation of the ancient custom, Justinian prescribed this. This is why, in Act 16 of the Fourth Council, the Bishop of Laodicea, Nounechius, said, when the legates of the Bishop of Rome were displeased by the priorities granted to the Bishop of Constantinople: “The glory of Constantinople is our glory, because it undertakes our cares.” 4) The Bishop of Constantinople ought to have received the privileges of authority over the above-mentioned three dioceses because, as appears from Act 13 of the Fourth Ec. C., many scandals arose in Ephesus on account of the illegal ordinations of Stephanus and Basianus, as well as in Asia and Pontus and Thrace similar scandals ensued, where, upon the death of bishops, many disturbances followed in the wake of the votes and on the heels of the ordinations, owing to the fact that they were without a governing head, according to the letter of the same Fourth Council addressed to Leo. And between Eunomius the Bishop of Nicomedia, and Anastasius the Bishop of Nicaea, a great many noisy brawls occurred in regard to the bishopric of Basilinoupolis. 5) And finally, because ungodly Dioscorus at the Latrocinium, or Robber Synod, held in Ephesus, placed the Bishop of Constantinople Flavian, not first, but fifth in order, contrary to the Canons, which even Leo the Great, who was the Pope of Rome, and his legates resented, in this Fourth Council, wherefore they reproached Dioscorus.

                For all these reasons, then, the Council, renewing c. III of the 2nd by means of the present Canon, conferred upon the Bishop of Constantinople the same and equal privileges of honor that had previously been bestowed upon the Bishop of Rome, namely, the Patriarchal dignity and office, and also the same and equal privileges of authority that had previously been bestowed upon the Bishop of Rome, namely, the right of ordination in the three said dioceses of the Metropolitans, not only as a matter of custom, but also as one established by means of a Canon, on the ground that they are included in the territorial jurisdiction of Constantinople. For precisely as the Bishop of Rome has the priorities of honor and of authority, which amounts to saying the Patriarchal dignity and office, comprising the right of ruling his own parish in the West, so and in like manner the Bishop of Constantinople has the same priorities — that is to say, the Patriarchal dignity and office and the right to rule the above-mentioned Metropolitans who are comprised in his own parish. Accordingly, these are the ecclesiastical affairs mentioned here in the Canon, wherein the Bishop of Constantinople is magnified just as is the Bishop of Rome, without any difference save this, that the Bishop of Rome is first in point of order, while the Bishop of Constantinople is second in point of order. These privileges of the Bishop of Constantinople were confirmed and ratified not only by the Fathers of this Council, but also by the entire Senate of civil rulers, notwithstanding that the legates of the Pope, though they had previously reproached Dioscorus, yet perceiving that the bounds of Constantinople were being widened, nearly fainted in their desperate attempt to oppose them. Hence the Pope-worshipers are manifestly lying when they say that the primacy and priority of Rome, and its right to be magnified in ecclesiastical affairs, lend the Pope a special privilege of authority in the Church as a whole, which amounts to saying, in other words, a monarchal and inerrable dignity. For if these facts indicated any such thing, the Bishop of Constantinople too would have to possess the same dignity, since the Bishop of Constantinople, according to the Canons, is a measure and standard of exactly the same and equal value respecting honor of authority and respecting grandeur as is the Bishop of Rome. But, as a matter of fact, that was never bestowed upon the Bishop of Constantinople by the Canons, nor, it may hence be inferred, upon the Bishop of Rome. But neither are the priorities of Rome those which were conferred by the legendary edict of Constantine the Great upon Silvester, the Pope of Rome, as they allege — which is to say, more plainly speaking, the privilege of walking about with the decorations of imperial majesty in imitation of an emperor; the right to wear upon his head a brilliant riband in place of a wreath or garland; the right to wear an imperial pallium (or omophorion) and a purple robe and a scarlet tunic; the right to have his horse caparisoned in imperial style, with all the imperial insignia and emblems, and to hold the bridle of his horse like a strator, after the manner of an emperor; and the privilege of conceding to the clergy of his Church, as well as to the Senate thereof, the right to magnify themselves and to put on airs of grandeur both in the matter of wearing apparel and in the matter of footwear as well as in the matter of cavaliership. These external manifestations of splendor and luster, I say, are not the priorities and dignities conferred upon the Bishop of Rome by the Canons. By no means. Firstly, because if they were, they would have had to be conferred similarly and equally upon the Bishop of Constantinople also; and secondly, because, according to c. XVI of the 7th Ec. C. and c. XXVII of the 6th, splendid and lustrous clothes, and every other stultification and adornment of the human body are alien to and inconsistent with clergymen and the priestly order, and because the smokelike puffiness (or pretentiousness) of mundane authority must be taboo to priests of God, according to the letter of the Council of Carthage to Pope Celestinus. Ap. c. LXXXIII, too, deposes those who wish to exercise both Roman imperiousness and sacerdotal government. The Lord, too, in the Gospels, commands us to beware of those who wish to walk about in costumes. On this account, again, the vain and legendary edict is judged to be spurious and fictitious. But even if we assume, for the sake of argument, that it is true, yet, in view of the fact that it is obviously opposed to the sacred Canons, it is invalid and void and no longer in force. For when at any time or place current forms conflict with the Canons, they are invalid and void, as we stated in the beginning of this Manual. The priority and primacy of Rome’s Bishop, therefore, consists, as we have said, in his having authority over all the bishops and metropolitans included in the see, or diocese, of Rome, so that he, together with the other bishops of the see, has the right to ordain them, and in his being entitled to come first in order among the Patriarchs, the other Patriarchs coming second, third, etc. He received these privileges, not because Rome was the seat of St. Peter, not because the Bishop of Rome is the vicar of Christ, as the Roman Catholics vainly insist — by no means, but primarily because Rome was honored as the capital of an empire. For, says the present Canon, “the Fathers naturally enough granted the priorities to the throne of Old Rome on account of her being the imperial capital”; consequently, because of the ancient custom which it followed, exactly as Rome was a capital city, it becomes proper to concede the first place to her Bishop and to regard him as the first, or most notable, bishop — or, as we say in English, the primate — and, by further consequence of this fact, because just in the same way that the same privilege was bestowed upon the Bishop of Constantinople too owing to Constantinople’s being (at that time) an imperial capital, and New Rome, the Canons conferred such a privilege upon the Bishop of Rome for the same identical reason. Thus, too, because it was an imperial capital, it became an ancient custom for the Bishop of Constantinople to ordain the bishops in Asia, Pontus, and Thrace; and because it became a custom, the Canons were adopted and the ancient custom was ratified. Note that in addition to the equal privileges with the Bishop of Rome which the Bishop of Constantinople received, he further received also these two titles, namely, the appellation of “All-holiest” and of “Ecumenical,” by way of differentiation from the other Patriarchs. The appellation of “All-holiest” was first accorded to the Bishops of Constantinople Sergius and Peter by Macarius of Antioch at the Sixth Ec. C. in the seventh century A.C.; while that of “Ecumenical” was bestowed by the clergymen of Antioch and the Orthodox Christians in Byzantium upon the Bishop of Constantinople named John the Cappadocian in the reign of Justin the Thracian during the sixth century. I said that the Bishop of Constantinople was given the appellation by way of differentiation, because, although the Bishop of Rome was given by many the appellation of “All-holiest,” and so were the Bishops of Alexandria, of Antioch, and of Jerusalem, and, in fact, all Patriarchs in common were calledAll-Holiest” by various persons and at various times, yet, in spite of this, usage won out ultimately in the custom of according this appellation exceptionally and exclusively to the Bishop of Constantinople. Likewise the appellation of “Ecumenical” was also used by some in reference to tne Bishop of Rome, though very seldom; whereas from the time that the Bishop of Constantinople began being called Ecumenical Patriarch he never ceased being called such. Hence in times subsequent to the Cappadocian the Bishops of Constantinople Epiphanius, and Anthimus, and Menas, and Eutychius were called Ecumenical Patriarchs by Justinian in his Novels and Edicts, insomuch that at the Seventh Ecum. Council Peter the legate of the Pope called Tarasius the Ecumenical Patriarch. That is why divine John the Faster in the reign of Muricius, following the practice of continuing the use of such a title which had been initiated by others in deference to the Bishop of Constantinople, became the first to subscribe himself as Ecumenical. As for the title of “All-holiest,” this denotes (speaking of the corresponding Greek wordPanagiotatos”) “in all respects most holy”: in the same vein, that is to say, as Tarasius and Photius wrote to Popes Adrian and Nicholas “To in all respects most holy brother and fellow minister Adrian (or Nicholas), the Pope of Rome.” The title of Ecumenical,” on the other hand, denotes two different things: for it is either taken in general as applying to the Church as a whole, by way of describing a bishop as being entitled to exercise personal and monarchal authority in the Church as a whole; or else it denotes a major part of the inhabited earth — that is to say, more exactly speaking, that a bishop’s authority extends over a major part of the inhabited portion of the earth’s surface. This is in conformity with the fact that many emperors, notwithstanding that they are not lords of the whole inhabited earth (called in Greek the “Oikoumene,” or, according to another method of transliterationEcumene”), are nevertheless called (in Greek) lords of the inhabited earth, as Evagrius called Zeno (or Zenon), in allusion, that is to say, to the fact that they exercise authority over a major part of the inhabited surface of the earth. In the first sense of the word, therefore, the Bishop of Constantinople is never called an Ecumenical Patriarch, nor is the Bishop of Rome, or anyone else, excepting only Christ, who is indeed truly a Patriarch of the whole inhabited world and to whom was given all authority in heaven and on earth. But he is called Ecumenical in the second sense of the word on account of the fact that he has under him a major part of the inhabited earth, and furthermore on account of the zeal and providence which he exercises in watching over the faith and preserving the traditions and teachings of both the Councils (including Synods) and the Fathers, not only in his own See (or Diocese), but also in all the rest of the Sees (or Dioceses) throughout the length and breadth of the various lands of the earth. It was hence a result of the double entendre involved in the word Ecumenical that scandals arose between the Father, who was Patriarch of Constantinople, and the Popes of Rome named Pelagius, and Gregory Dialogus. For these Popes, taking the word Ecumenical in the first sense, characterized this title as blasphemous, diabolical, and many other opprobrious epithets; and they further declared that whoever wishes to be called and styled “the Ecumenical Patriarch” is a forerunner of the Antichrist (letter of Gregory to Mauricius), and in this respect they were within the truth. The Faster, however, and Mauricius, and the succeeding Patriarchs and Emperors, understanding the title in accordance with the second signification of the word, were unconcerned, and in this respect they too were within the truth. That is why the Council held in St. Sophia states clearly that the one called Ecumenical (Patriarch), on the ground that he has authority over the greater part of the inhabited earth, is not the Antichrist. Nevertheless, it must be admitted that both these titles are designations conferred, not by any Canons of the Councils or of the Fathers of the Church, but given by custom to the Bishop of Constantinople. The contents of this Footnote have been gleaned also from other sources, but more especially from the Dodecabiblus of Dositheus.


[113] Note that this Fourth Council in its Act 15 promulgated these thirty Canons; but I know not how it came about that this Twenty-eighth Canon and the Twenty-ninth and the Thirtieth are not to be found either in the Collection of Canons of John of Antioch, or in the Nomocanon of John of Constantinople surnamed the Scholasticus, or even in the Arabic paraphrase of Joseph the Egyptian. They are included, however, in all the others.


[114] See also Ap. c. XXXIV and c. VI of the First Ec. C.


[115] Note that these two Canons, the Twenty-ninth and the Thirtieth, were issued by this Council only as evulgations written into its Act 4; but later either interpreters of the Canons or someone else before the times of these interpreters recapitulated or summarized these evulgations and interlocutions and made them into Canons and Definitions. Hence, seeing in the present Thirtieth Canon that Paschasinus, the legate of the Pope, which is as much as to say the entire Council speaking through him, consented to let the ten bishops of the Egyptians merely give others as sureties for themselves to serve as a pledge that they would not leave the city of Constantinople without first subscribing to the letter, while, on the other hand, the secular rulers of the Emperor, actuated by the civil law, added the recommendation that if they could not furnish sureties they might take an oath that they would not leave the city: — seeing, I say, these things, we included in the Canon the securities which the sacred Council demanded through Paschasinus, while, on the other hand, we left out the oath on the ground that it was not demanded by the Council, but by the imperial rulers, and was merely a requirement of the civil law, and not of the divine Canons (for nowhere do the divine Canons require anyone to take an oath, either to God or to the Emperor, as such a requirement would be contrary to the holy Gospels), though the Council for the present kept silent and did not care to gainsay the rulers, for fear of causing them confusion.


[116] Note that what had been written by Theodoret against St. Cyril was not anathematized in general (i.e., in toto), like what had been written by Theodore of Mopsuestia and like the Letter of Ibas, not only as much therein as defended the cacodoxy of Nestorius and through misunderstanding represented Cyril as a heretic. It does not include, as is plain from the objections offered by St. Cyril, the idea that “Theodoret calls the union of the God Logos with the human being a relative union (or a relational union), and anathematizes those who call the union a substantive (hypostasis or substantial) union, on the alleged ground that it is alien to the Divine Scriptures and to the Divine Fathers.” Nor the idea that a hypostasis substantive union is superfluous, and all the other points that St. Cyril controverts and deems blasphemous: for anathema anyone that praises these ideas. But it is not true that the Council also anathematized this dogma, namely, that the Holy Spirit does not have its existence either from the Son or through the Son, which Theodoret therein asserts, since this tenet was not one held by Nestorius, but was and is a dogma of the catholic Church. That is why neither divine Cyril at any time in his life, nor Pope Celestinus in writing against Nestorius, or John of Antioch, or Acacius of Verroia in his recommendations to Nestorius, nor any of the emperors in their Sacrae against Nestorius, say that Nestorius blasphemed as regarding the Theology of the Holy Spirit, but only as regarding the incarnate economy, as we have said.


[117] I saidso-called” because Cedrenus also characterizes it thus, as does also Evagrius (page 346 of Vol. II of the Collection of the Councils, and page 347 ibid.), and especially because in Act 6 of the Seventh Ecumenical Council it was said to have been written from Ibas, but nevertheless it is not true that it was also written by him. That is why the Fathers of the Fourth Ecumenical Council did not anathematize Ibas himself, but only this letter, on the score that it accused the Council held in Ephesus of having condemned Nestorius without a trial, that it rejected the twelveheads” (or “chapters”) of St. Cyril, that it praised Nestor and Theodore of Mopsuestia, whom it accepted as a saint and Orthodox Christian, and that it acknowledged Christ to be a mere human being. For even Ibas himself acknowledged at the Fourth Ecumenical Council that the letter was not one of his own, and at the same time confessed all the Orthodox dogmas contrary thereto (page 372 of the second volume of the Conciliar Records, and page 390 ibid.).


[118] This pre-existence of souls was declared by Origen to be the reason for predestination and damnation. For if the souls in the transmundane world have done right, they are predestined to the kingdom; but if they have done wrong, they are damned and consigned to hell. Jerome wrote a letter against this opinion to Pammachius, and Leo denounced it in his letter 93, and Cyril of Alexandria refuted it by means of twenty-four arguments.


[119] Nicholas Boulgaris in his Sacred Catechism, page 133, says, I know not on what grounds, that the Fifth Ecumenical Council anathematized Peter Knapheus for saying: “The immortal Holy One who was crucified for us.” For that man was not anathematized by the Fifth Council, but a goodly number of years before the Fifth Council by a Synod or Council held against him in Rome during the time of Felix of Rome, and of Acacius of Constantinople, and of Emperor Zeno.


[120] The Latins move heaven and earth, as the saying goes, in endeavoring to establish the innocence of their great pontifex, the Pope of Rome named Honorius. Being unable to brook being told that the one whom they profess to have been inerrable was an ungodly heretic and that he was anathematized by an Ecumenical Council, at times the audacious and impudent fellows dare to assert that this Ecumenical Council itself erred because it failed to investigate the charges against him properly, but condemned him without due investigation; while at other times they allege that Honorius believed that there was a single will only in connection with the humanity of Christ, since all the powers of the soul were subject to the dominant mind of Christ, and there was not in His humanity a different belief of the flesh and a different belief of the Spirit (divided, that is to say, just as it is in other men); and again at other times they assert many other driveling and idle views. In reply to all these allegations it is to be said that a single Ecumenical Council like the present one is enough to offset tens of thousands of Latins, and its vote and decision, being inerrable is to be preferred to all the inventions hatched by the Latins, which are precarious and erroneous. But what am I saying “a single” for? Even two or three Councils, and not a single one only; and two or three Popes, too, I might say. For not only the Sixth, but also the Seventh Ecumenical Council (Act 6) joined hands in condemning Pope Honorius. Again, the one held thereafter, which is called the Eighth by the Latins, also condemned him (Act 10). Moreover, even Leo II not long after the Sixth Ec. C. admitted and accepted the condemnation of Honorius together with the Acts of the Sixth Ecum. C. and wrote the following lines to the Emperor: “We anathematize the inventors of the new error Theordore the Faranite, and Honorius, who not only did not add to the splendor of this Apostolic Church by teaching the Apostolic doctrine, but actually permitted the undefilable Church to be defiled with profane preaching.” And Adrian II asserts that the throne of Rome cannot be judged (adversely) by anyone unless the argument be one concerning heresy, and it was for this reason that Honorius was anathematized. And Pope Agatho in writing to Pogonatus attested the fact that Honorius was a heretic. How, then, can anyone say that all the Fathers of so many Councils, and especially Popes Leo and Adrian and Agatho, should have been so blinded as to have condemned one unjustly whom they had considered righteous? or how could the legates of Rome who were present at the Council have remained silent if the Council had condemned Honorius unjustly? Again, how could Emperor Constantine, a most godly man and a friend of the Roman Church, have suffered this, who was present at the Council and actually ratified the Council’s Definition with the seal of his imperial ring so as to prevent anybody from adding anything more to it or from taking anything away from it? Veritably, therefore, the God who spoke through this Ecumenical Council is veracious, whereas every human being and every quibble of the adversaries is vain as well as false, as the Apostle says. On the other hand it is an amusing and comical dilemma about this Honorius that one of our own great and most wise teachers of the present time proposes to the adherents of Roman Catholicism who make much of the Pope. It may be restated here as follows: Pope Honorius either was a heretic or was not. If he was, here, admittedly, we have a Pope who erred in regard to the faith. But if he was not a heretic, Leo and Adrian erred in regard to the faith by wrongly condemning and anathematizing him as a heretic. And thus, either by the former or by the latter horn of the dilemma, the legendary inerrability of the Pope as regarding matters of faitli has been annihilated, or reduced to a state of inexistence. Accordingly I omit saying that Pope Marcellinus was an idolater; that Pope Liberius was an Arian; that Pope Anastasius II collaborated with the Arians; and that countless others erred in regard to the faith.


[121] We ought to call the wills and energies of Christ natural, and not hypostatical (or even substantive). For if we call them hypostatical (or substantive), we shall be compelled to attribute three wills and three energies to the Holy Trinity, since It consists of three hypostases. But precisely as the Holy Trinity is said to have and actually has but one will and one energy, since It has but one nature, so and in like manner may it be said that there are two wills and two energies inherent in Christ, since there are also two natures inherent in Him, of which, and in which, or one might rather say, which themselves are He. Divine John of Damascus has dealt most theologically and in the best fashion with the two wills and two energies of Christ which are indivisible and at the same time and in the same way inconflatable (or unconfusable) in his sublime dissertation wherein he says: “Being a single hypostasis with two natures, the Divine and the human, Christ did some things divinely and other things humanly: as one and the same person He willed and energized the divine works, and in a divinely human manner performed the human acts. For though as a God He willed the divine works, and as a human being the human acts, yet it was neither as a naked God that He willed the divine works, nor as a mere man that He willed the human acts, but, instead, it was as a God who had become a man, that is to say, who had humanized himself by becoming incarnate, by virtue of a natural and divine will and energy, the same person acting both as a God and as a human being in willing and energizing the human acts, being by nature capable of willing and energizing human acts as a human being. For each of the two natures wills and energizes its own activities in communion with that of the other. This means that the Divinity with its own self and everything else under its immediate control is acting through and by His humanity; whereas, on the other hand, the humanity, having its own self under its control and responding with respect to everything else to His divine will (i.e., in obedience thereto), wishes whatever the Divine will wishes because it itself also wishes these things, on account of the oneness of the hypostasis.” (Taken from the Libellus concerning the right belief, as dictated by John Damascene, and delivered by the Bishop Elias to Peter the Metropolitan of Damascus.)


[122] For many reasons the present Council is called and is an Ecumenical Council. Firstly, because in the salutatory address which it makes to Justinian, as well as in its third Canon, it labels itself Ecumenical. Secondly, because the Seventh Ecumenical Council in its Act 8 and in its first Canon also calls it an Ecumenical Council. In addition, Adrian I, the Pope of Rome, in his letter to Tarasius, recorded in Act 2 of the 7th Ec. C. (page 748 of the Collection of the Councils), counts this among the Ecumenical Councils. Thirdly, because in its Canons it lays down legislation and pronounces decrees relating, not to any one part of the inhabited earth, but to the whole inhabited portion of the globe, both to the Eastern Churches and to the Western ones; and it specifically refers to Rome, and to Africa, and to Armenia, to the provinces in Barbary — as appears in Canons XII, XIII, XVIII, XXIX, XXXV, and XXXVI. It would be ridiculous, of course, for it to lay down legislation for so many and so widely distributed provinces, and especially to improve upon Canons of many local and regional Councils and Synods, were it not in reality an Ecumenical Council, and had it not in reality the dignity and office of an Ecumenical Council. As concerning this see the Footnote to its c. II. Fourthly, because all of the four Patriarchs of the inhabited earth attended it, and so did the Pope of Rome through his legates (or lieutenants, or proxies, or deputies); and the churches everywhere on the face of the earth recognized it and accepted it — a fact which serves as an essential mark of identification and a constitutive characteristic, or constituent feature, of Ecumenical Councils. Fifthly, and lastly, because it agrees in its Canons with the divine Scriptures and with the Apostolic and Conciliar and Synodic traditions and instructions and injunctions, a fact which in itself is a sign and a peculiar token of Ecumenical Councils, as we said in the prologue to the First Ecumenical Council, if it be not their most specifically peculiar feature.


[123] I said that more properly speaking this Council is or ought to be designated the sixth, because, though the later exegetes of the Canons sometimes call it the Quinisext (or Quinisextine), and others do too, by reason of the fact that it may be said to have supplied what the Fifth and Sixth Councils failed to provide — that is to say, that it furnished Canons to help in the regulation of the ecclesiastical polity, such as those Councils failed to promulgate — yet, in spite of the significance of this fact, it may be averred that, properly and truly speaking, this Council is and ought to be called the Sixth Ecumenical. Firstly, because, according to the author Romanus in his Prolegomena to the present Council, the prelates who convoked the Sixth Ecumenical Council in the reign of Pogonatus convoked also this one in the reign of his son Justinian. For, according to him, forty-three of the bishops who attended the former were present also at the latter. It would appear, however, that there were more of them, judging from the words of St. Tarasius which he addressed to the Seventh Ecumenical Council. Secondly, because the Seventh Ecumenical Council, in its Act 4 and its Act 8, and in its first Canon, specifically calls it the Sixth. Adrian II, too, in his letter to Tarasius, accepts its Canons as if considering it the Sixth Ecumenical Council proper (page 748 of the Collection of Councils), and in writing to Emperor Charles of France he calls it the Sixth and Holy Council. The legates of the Pope, too, confirmed it as the Sixth at the Seventh Ecumenical Council; and Pope Innocent III says in reference to c. XXXII of the Council, “it was arranged at the Sixth Council”; and Gratian (i.e., Franciscus Gratianus) refers to it by its proper name as the Sixth. And thirdly, also because this Council is identical with the Sixth more than with the Fifth Ecumenical Council, both as being closer to it in point of time and as having been held in the same geographical locality, since it convened in the very same palace of the Troullos (or Trullus) as that in which the Sixth Ecumenical Council convened.


[124] For this is the date of it according to chronological calculations. For the Council called the Sixth which was held before it convened in the Ninth Indiction and finished its work A.D. 681 in the first month of the Tenth Indiction, as the minutes of its meetings bear witness. But this Council (which we are considering to be the real Sixth Ecumenical Council) assembled in the year 6199 after Adam, and 691 after Christ, as its Third and Seventeenth Canons bear witness; this means that it took place in the Fifth Indiction immediately following the past period of fifteen years of the preceding Indiction in which the Sixth Council which was held prior thereto finished its business. So that from the Sixth to the present Council ten or eleven years passed in point of fact, and not twenty-seven, as the Latins allege.


[125] That this Council convened in the time of Paul of Constantinople is attested by the Collection of the Councils, on page 698 thereof; and not in the time of Callinicus, as Binius and Baronius babblingly assert.


[126] Not only does Balsamon say that he discovered in old codices of Nomocanons that these men were representing the Pope at this Council, and that the Bishops of Sardinia, of Thessalonica, and of Corinth were also acting as legates of the Pope, but even c. III of this same Sixth Ec. C. obviously bears witness that there were legates and representatives of the Pope of Rome attending it (concerning these see ibidem in the Collection). The Bishop of Gortyna, the Bishop of Thessalonica, and the Bishop of Corinth acted in place of the Pope at this Council, not because they were subject to the Pope, by any reason of their having been ordained by him, but on account of the distance, says Blastaris, from Rome to Constantinople.


[127] In other manuscripts it stands “under which.”


[128] Note that the Theologian borrowed this maxim from the first letter of Demosthenes, in which that orator says: “I take it that anyone commencing any important discourse or work ought to begin first with the gods.”


[129] Some would have it that when the Apostles were about to separate and go forth to preach in the year 44, they held a large and impressive convention (as we said previously), at which they also composed a Symbol of the Faith (i.e., what is termed in English a creed), and they cite many Western Fathers as witnesses to this, that this Symbol (or Creed) is one which originated with the Apostles (just as some of our own modern theologians adduce evidence from this in regard to some points in their own theological works); which perhaps is what is meant in what the Canon here says about the faith which has been handed down by the Apostles. But inasmuch as most holy and most learned Marcus of Ephesus replied to the Latins at Florence concerning this Symbol (or Creed) sufficiently when he said: “We have not even seen a Symbol of the Apostles, as the great ecclesiarch Silvester states (in Section VI, ch. 6). On this account it must be taken that what is meant here by ‘the faith handed down by the Apostles’ is either a summary of the dogmas of the faith which was not embodied in writing but was handed down orally by the Apostles, or else the faith — that is to say, the dogmas of the faithgathered together by the holy Gospels and the Apostolic Epistles or even Injunctions.” It appears that this Symbol (or Creed) really is contained in the Apostolic Injunctions (Book VII, ch. 42).


[130] The doctrine of the deity of a diverse god of Arius consisted in his declaration that the Father was one God arid the Son another God. For in respect to the former he asserted that He was inbuilt (i.e., uncreated), whereas in. respect to the Son he asserted that He was a ctisma (meaning something built, i.e., a creature). Consequently he maintained that the Father was the greater, and that the Son was the lesser; arid this is the opinion that divinity is of unequal grades (or ranks), which the Canon says here was abolished by the First Council.


[131] Note that the Canon is referring to the Fathers of the Third Council who convened in Ephesus the first time, because unfortunate Eutyches, in pretending to oppose the dissension of Nestorius, drifted into a new heresy himself, by believing and teaching that a single nature inhered in Christ after the incarnation. Hence, when it came to pass that a disturbance arose in the Church as a result of this heresy, the same Emperor Theodosius the Little assembled a second Council in the same city of Ephesus, appointing the Archbishop of Alexandria Dioscorus its Exarch, in the hope that he would turn out to be another Cyril, of whom he had become the immediate successor, but he was found to be rather the contrary. For he was a Monophysite, entertaining the same beliefs as and speaking in defense of Eutyches. Hence he even confirmed the cacodoxy of the latter, and deposed St. Flavian the Patriarch of Constantinople. As a result countless disorders and evils occurred in that city, culminating in the murder of blissful Flavian. On this account indeed this Council was called the “Robber Council,” or, in Latin, “Latrocinium.”


[132] At this point in the Canon there is a note in some of the codices saying that since the wretched and evil-minded iconomachs (otherwise termed in English iconoclasts), being reproved by the Fathers of the present Council on the ground that they (sc. the Fathers) were in favor of adoration of the icons, were accusing them of being Monotheletes, this calumny is branded false by this Canon. For these Fathers together with the Sixth Council join hands in explicitly anathematizing in this Canon the heresy of the Monotheletes, and they confess that they recognize two natural wills and energies inherent in our Lord Jesus Christ. It is plain, then, that the Iconomachs bear a strong resemblance to the Eutychianists and Dioscorites, who called the Fathers of the Fourth Ecumenical Council Nestorians because they overthrew their heresy. It may even be said that they resemble the Jews, or rather to say the demons who impelled the Jews to call the Lord possessed, or controlled by demons, simply because He used to drive them out of human beings with His divine authority and power.


[133] Some Canons of certain local Synods are cxcepted, which were not so much ratified as corrected, or rather to say improved, by the present Council. Such are, for example, cc. IV and XXXIII of Carthage, modified by c. XIII of the present; c. XV of Neocacsarea, modified by XVI; c. XLVIII of Carthage, modified by the present Council’s c. XXIX; and other canons likewise by other of its Canons. Note, however, that the Canons of the Faster, though not mentioned in this Canon (I dont know for what reason; perhaps it was on account of the leniency they show), have nevertheless been accepted by all the Church — and see in the Prolegomena to the Faster. The Canons made later by St. Nicephorus, and the Canonical Replies to Inquiries made in answer to Nicholas, have likewise been recognized and accepted by the Church.


[134] As to which was the Council held in Constantinople again in the time of Nectarius and mentioned in the present Canon, see this after the one in Sardica. In addition to this, note that this Canon calls the Canons, Canons of Timothy the Elder by way of distinction from Timothy of Alexandria, surnamed the Cat, who lived in the time of the Fourth Council, and therefore subsequently to the other Timothy. Note also that, inasmuch as the Latins declaim against this Council because it did not mention the local Synods held in the West, nor the Canons of the Latins which had been collected by Bartholomew Carantzas and many others before him; we reply as follows to this objection. We point out that the Council enumerated those Canons of Councils and Fathers which were in use in the Church, but at the same time also recognized and accepted all the Canons of local Synods and regional Councils held in the West that agreed with the Canons of the Ecumenical Councils. And, in genera!, just as the Fifth Ecumenical Council recognized and accepted the declarations of St. Augustine and of St. Ambrose, not, to be sure, in general, but only as many as pertained to the right faith and had been issued in refutation of heretics. So do we too recognize and accept whatever is right and correct in what the Councils held in the West have declared, but not everything, seeing that the Pope of Rome has decreed many things therein that are strangely incongruous. Hence it must be remembered that most of the local Synods and regional Councils held in the West erred and spoke amiss; and, indeed, to them was due the addition to the Creed that was the first and worst of evils and the primary and incipient cause of the schism.


[135] In other editions the wordillegal” does not occur.


[136] That is why the second ordinance of Title I of the Novels (Photius, Title IX, ch. 28) decrees that the ordinator of an unmarried man must ask him whether he can live with sobriety and virginity; and that any bishop is to be deprived of his bishopric and episcopate if he gives permission to a subdeacon or deacon to marry after ordination: and also why Novel 6 of Leo adds that if the candidate replies in the affirmative to the question asked him by the prelate, he may be ordained; but if anyone gives permission for a deacon to marry after ordination, he is to be deposed from office. Ordinance 44 of Title III decrees that children begotten by priests, deacons, and subdeacons who have married after ordination are not to be accounted cither as natural or as spurious children, but neither are they to receive anything from their such fathers, either in the way of heritage or as a gift or pretended loan or any other conveyance, either themselves or their mothers: but, instead, all their property is to be given to the Church to which they belong. Such lawbreakers, after being divested of holy orders, can neither be raised to any mundane office or dignity nor be enlisted in the army, but, on the contrary, are obliged to spend all their lifetime as private citizens and plebeians (Phot., ibid.). But why is it that such persons cannot be allowed to marry after ordination? The reason is told in the third Novel of Leo the Wise, which states it as follows: “It is not right and proper, after they have been elevated to a spiritual ascent of holy orders from the carnal humbleness of matrimony, for them to return back to it again; but, indeed, the contrary ought to be done.” That is to say, in other words, after the carnal humbleness of matrimony (i.e., after they marry) they may mount to the sublime ascent of the divine state of holy orders; but those who refuse to do so, shall be deposed. (See the same views expressed in Balsamon’s Reply 36 on page 381 of the Corpus Juris.) Note in addition to these facts that which is the sternest of all, to wit, that Novels 7 and 8 of Leo decree that clergymen and monks who discard their habit (or garb) and become laymen shall be compelled to wear it against their will.


[137] Hence Balsamon, too, adducing the present Canon in evidence (Reply 61, page 392 of the Juris Graecorum), says that an Anagnost who receives a commission from an abbot to govern the monasterial affairs must not sit down ahead of the priests, or be mentioned after the abbot in the divine services, excepting only if he go to some place and therein acts instead of the abbot himself.


[138] Note that Armenopoulos (in his Epitome of the Canons, Section 3, Title II) and even Balsamon say that Patriarch Luke in a note (or semeioma, as it is called in Greek) prohibited clergymen from serving in perfumery workshops, or in baths in view of the fact that these places are calculated to engender mendacity and greed; and he prohibits deacons from practicing medicine, and excommunicates clergymen who engage in mundane and public businesses and affairs.


[139] That is why St. Chrysostom says in agreement herewith for no one to go to Jewish Physicians to be treated (page 360 of vol. VI).


[140] Note that it was for three principal reasons that this Council prohibited by an Ecumenical Canon prelates from having a wife: 1) Because in view of the fact that prelates belong to the consumate class and highest order of all ecclesiastical orders, they ought to be perfect in respect of virtues in general and in respect of virginity and purity in particular and above all: hence they ought to regulate their life with a view to strict sobriety. 2) Because prelates possessed of a wife and children were wont to bequeath the episcopate to their children at their own death as a legacy, and many of the things belonging to the Church would be plundered wrongfully and with evil consequences, just as Canon VI of the Apostles says this very same thing. And 3) Because the trouble of taking care of a wife, of children oand of a whole household prevents them from giving due attention to the matter of exercising proper diligence in behalf of their flocks, since, as St. Paul says, “he that is married careth for the things of the world how he may please his wife (1 Cor. 7:33). So in order that all these absurdities and improprieties may be prevented from occurring, the present Ecumenical Council prohibited marriage to prelates by means of this Canon. I said “by an Ecumenical Canon” because even before this Council marriage was forbidden to prelates, but by a local, and not by a catholic, Canon. And how do we know about this? First, from divine Clnysostom where he interprets the saying of St. Paul (which in speaking of bishops says: “If any be blameless, the husband of one wife (Titus 1:6) and says “It was on this account that he said, ‘the husband of one wife,’ not that nowadays this restriction is observed in the Church, for a prelate must be adorned with perfect sanctity and purity, but that in those times for the Greeks who were living in a state of constant fornication it was deemed a great thing for a husband to have but one wife” (Discourse 2 on Job). And secondly, from the Canons of the regional council held in Carthage number IV and XXXIII which were prevailing in the regions of Africa and which decreed that bishops, presbyters, and deacons had to make a definition, or, in other words, a definite promise to abstain from their wives (with the mutual consent, that is to say, of the wives). The present Council, on the other hand, decreed by means of the present Canon that the principle that bishops must abstain from their wives and not even live with them at all is to be enforced everywhere in the world. But as for the principle that presbyters and deacons should be obliged to abstain from their wives too, in its Canon XXX it is true that it did allow this, though not everywhere, but only in those barbarian regions because of their savage character and the instability of the faith. That such persons used to continue living, as the Council says, with their wives even after they had promised not to do so, is plainly evident from c. XXXIII of the same council of Carthage.

                The present Canon, however, does not conflict with Apostolic Canon V, or with the injunction of St. Paul, nor does it overthrow or refute these. First, because although the divine Apostles merely allowed prelates to have wives, but did not make this a law; on the contrary, in fact, they only made a concession to the weakness of people of those days, and to the matters of Jews and Gentiles: for the prelates of both Jews and Gentiles used to have wives. Hence divine Chrysostom (in the same Discourse) says: “Appoint bishops, if any be blameless, the husband of one wife”: not that he made this a law, but because he made a concession to error. But the present Council, seeing that the Church was advancing by strides and that the republic of Christians was flourishing in virtues, adjusted matters so that the republic of prelates might flourish with celibacy and sobriety. That, too, is why divine Chrysostom says, in interpreting the above saying of St. Paul’s, that the only reason that St. Paul allowed marriage was because he knew that as soon thereafter as piety came to flourish, nature of herself would prefer the good of celibacy and of virginity, and the choice would favor the superior things and the better ways, of unmarried, that is to say, and virgin prelates. Secondly, the fact that although the Apostolic Canon prohibits a bishop from divorcing his wife, or at any rate from forcing her to separate, without her agreeing and consenting to it, yet it does not forbid him to separate from his wife by agreement with her. The present Council, however, in its c. XLVIII, though allowing the wife of a man about to be ordained a prelate to get a divorce from him beforehand with their mutual consent, and after the ordination to enter a convent, does not at the same time allow the wife to be separated forcibly and against her will. For if it said so, it would obviously be in conflict with the Apostles, and even with the very words of the Lord, which command that a marriage remain indissoluble. But since it does not say this, it is therefore evident that neither does it conflict, but, on the contrary, rather agrees, with the Apostolic Canon. Accordingly, briefly speaking, this Council, being encouraged by the advancement of the Church for the better, prefers unmarried men, or, more explicitly speaking, monks, for the prelacy; it does not want the married men, not because it has any fault to find with marriage or because it blames and opposes marriage, but because it prefers celibacy as something better. For this reason it admits to the prelacy even those who have been married, but have separated from their wives, either at death or by mutual agreement, in accordance with the Apostle. Accordingly, it does not itself dissolve the marriage, but ordains any man a prelate that it finds free and unbound by marriage ties, of his own accord and by agreement; and it deposes any prelate that continues to live with his wife even after the ordination. First, because as a result of living with her he may become so excited as to be prompted to fall so low as to have carnal intercourse with her, which is no longer lawful intercourse, as it was formerly; but, on the contrary, such intercourse is considered fornication and adultery, on account of the violation of the agreement and promise which he had made to observe continence with her. And secondly, on account of the scandal which such living together causes the laity, as the present Canon states word for word.


[141] Note that the Patriarch Kyr Luke (Note of Translator. — The wordKyr” here is a transliteration of an abbreviated form of the Greek word Kyrios, meaning, approximately, Lord, Sir, or Mister), when asked for how many days those about to partake of communion must have abstained from womankind, declared synodically (or ex cathedra) that for three days they must not have been near their wives, whether they were men in holy orders or married worldlings. For if God commanded the Hebrews not to go near their wives for three days, in order to conform with the old law saying, “Be ye ready: for three days come not at your wives (Exod. 19:15), it is far more imperative that men should keep these days who are about to conform, not with the law, but with the lawgiver Himself, God, through the divine Eucharist. And if Abimelech (or Abiathar) the prelate (or high priest), when about to give the showbread to David and his stalwarts, asked them whether they were uncontaminated by womankind, and they replied that for three days they had kept from having any carnal intercourse with a woman: “And David answered the priest, and said unto him, Of a truth we have kept away from women (it was) for the third day yesterday (1 Sam. 21:5), how can it be said that those who are about to partake of the Lord’s Body need not be uncontaminated by womankind? In fact, even those who are about to marry ought to confess with their wives, and fast, and prepare themselves so as to be ready, before the divine liturgy commences, to be nuptially crowned (or garlanded). Then, after they are imptially crowned, let the divine liturgy commence; and when this is finished, let them approach to partake of the divine mysteries; and let them beware of having carnal intercourse that night after divine communion, thus conforming with such a most holy custom and order which had been kept and is still being kept even now by true Christians who really wish to be saved. It was for this reason, according to Balsamon, that the above-mentioned Kyr Luke subjected to penances newly-married couples who mingled with each other carnally on the same day after divine Communion. Hence we infer from the major premise the minor premise that if three daysabstinence from carnal intercourse is sufficient as preparation for divine Communion, much more is three daysfasting sufficient therefor, in spite of the fact that fasting before partaking of Communion is not decreed by the divine Canons. Nevertheless, those who are able to fast even a whole week before it, are doing the right thing. See also Footnote 2 to Ap. c. LXIII, and that to c. VII of Neocaesarea.


[142] The expression “in accordance with their own rules” is taken by the Carthaginian Council to signify “in accordance with their own promises,” which such men in holy orders had made to practice temperance by abstinence, or, in other words, to maintain themselves aloof like virgins from their wives by agreement. But this Ecumenical Council, improving the decisions of that Council, which was a regional one, took the expression “their own rules” to signify “at the time of divine services and their own curacy,” as Zonaras and Balsamon interpret it. Likewise the expression saying “have to be temperate in all things,” as used by the Carthagenian Council, concerned temperance in curacies as regarding womankind, and not at all times, according to this Council, which captured the thought of that Council in more unambiguous terms, lest as a result of any promise on the part of those in holy orders to abstain permanently from their wives many of them be compelled to fornicate and to indulge in lewdness. There used to be barbarian churches situated in Libya and Barbary. That explains why c. XII of the present Council mentions Libya and Africa by name, for it was there that such a custom prevailed.


[143] The Latins blaspheme in asserting that the present Council sinned in legislating to the Church in Rome regarding marriages of priests; and they are manifestly clashing with the Holy Spirit, who spoke through this Council. For, being an ecumenical council, this Council legislated officially to all the inhabited earth, without any exception. For even Popes have to obey the (Ecumenical) Councils, like any other prelate, just as Pelagius II states. This Council did not err in what it decreed in regard to the marriage of priests, since it followed the Bible, which declares that a marriage must remain indissoluble; and it also followed the First Ecum. C., which avoided this, the possibility, that is to say, of a forcible divorce in the case of the marriage of priests. But inasmuch as this inviolable custom, or rather canon, in Rome compelled many priests to divorce their wives forcibly (I say forcibly because who loved the value of holy orders and could not secure them when they had wives, were forced for the glory of the office to divorce their wives against their will), and thereafter to fornicate and to indulge in lewdness, and to have housekeepers (as the Latins have indeed even today undisguisedly and by permission), on this account the Council prohibited this. For it had to prohibit prelates from marrying, for the reasons which we have explained in connection with c. XII, and especially in order to prevent them from handing over the affairs of the Church to their children. But as regards priests there is not so much need of such a prohibition, in view of the fact that a priest is ordained to act as the watchman of a small parish, and village, and vicinity. Besides, even if one of the priests, with the consent of his wife, gets a divorce, or abstains for a time, the work is acceptable. But to be forcibly divorced, as was caused by the canon in Rome requiring priests to agree to it, is a violation of the law, and is in fact a counter law enacted in defiance of the Holy Spirit. But then again, if the Latins blame this Council as erring in this respect, why is that they actually practice what it decreed? For when it comes to the nation of the Marionites, situated round about Mt. Lebanon and Phoenicia, and adherents of the Latin faith, they allow the priests to have their wives. So let the wretches blame themselves because they allow the priests of the Marionites to mingle carnally with their wives and on the same day to conduct sacred services, thus clashing with St. Paul and the Canons, including this one and c. III of Dionysius and cc. V and XIII of Timothy, which forbid this; and because they allow Orthodox priests in Lechia who have married twice to remain in holy orders provided they accept Papism, or Roman Catholicism, which is contrary both to the Canons and to all antiquity, and is tantamount to a maxim that one married a second time cannot become a priest.


[144] See also St. Gregory the Theologian in his Discourse on the Lights, where he says: “Jesus was purified when thirty years old, and so how is it that you are trying to teach old men before you have even grown a beard, or you believe that you are teaching them, though have neither the age nor the skill to command respect? What a Daniel, and so and so, modern judges, and plenty of examples at their tongue’s end (for every wrongdoer is ready to produce excuses). But rarities are not laws of the Church, any more than one swallow makes it spring.”


[145] Note that Zonaras says in his interpretation of c. XXXIII of Carthage that the subdeacon does not come into contact with the holy things, adducing in support of his statement the Council held in Laodicea, which forbids a servant to do so; and from such testimony it would appear that he considers a subdeacon and a servant to be on the same footing. Yet they do not appear to be one and the same on many accounts. First, because the subdeacon does touch the sacred Mysteries, according to the said c. XXXIII of Carthage and c. XIII of this 6th; and the liturgical vessels, according to Inj. XXI of the eighth book of the Apostolic Injunctions, whereas a servant cannot touch sacred utensils, nor has he any place in the diaconicon, according to c. XXI of Laodicea. Secondly, because a servant must not neglect to watch the doors of the church, according to c. XXII of Laodicea, when he is the doorkeeper; but the subdeacon is not the same person as the doorkeeper, being distinct from the latter, according to c. IV of the 6th, which mentions them as distinct, and according to Justinian Novel 3 (contained in Book III of the Basilica, Title II, ch. 1; in Photius, Title I, ch. 30), which appoints others to be subdeacons, and others to be doorkeepers (of whom there were a hundred), in the great Church. So that it appears hence that blessed Eustratius Argentes, on page 273 of his disquisition concerning the Mysteries, made a mistake where he says that ch. 57 of the second book of the Injunctions says for subdeacons to stand at the doors of the women. For by careful observation of the location we have ascertained that the deacons stood at the doors of the women, just as is also appropriate, and not the subdeacons. Chapter II of the eighth book of the Injunctions, mentioned by him, contains no reference to such a thing at all. And thirdly, because some insist that the ministers of the divine service mentioned by St. Chrysostom in his commentary on the parable of the prodigal son were the deacons and the subdeacons (because the subdeacons also, according to Zonaras, in his interpretation of c. XXII of Laodicea, were wont to call out “Approach, ye catechumens,” just as the saint mentions there, that is to say, connection with these ministers), and that the thin cloth which they had on their left shoulder was that which is now called the orarion, which orarion a servant is forbidden to wear by c. XXII of Laodicea (though as regards the orarion it is not true). For only deacons could wear it, on the ground that it was of use to them (see also the Footnote to c. XXII of Laodicea, and that to c. XXIII of the 6th), and not the subdeacons, on the ground that it was of no use to them. So from these various activities it appears that servants were different from subdeacons, and that it was only by a general name, and not by any law, that subdeacons, anagnosts, psalts, exorcists, doorkeepers, ostiaries, and all clergymen in general that were outside of the Bema, were often called servants, in accordance with cc. XII and LXXXIX of Basil, and c. XXIV of Laodicea, but especially c. XX of the same Council, as we said also in the Interpretation of Ap. c. XVII, and more particularly in accordance with c. XIV of Sardica. Nevertheless, others thereafter allot these services to the subdeacons, as, for instance, Gabriel of Philadelphia (on the mystery of holy orders) says that they were given the work of getting ready and furbishing the holy vessels, and the sacred vestments, and safeguarding them. This same fact is also stated by Symeon of Thessalonica, who adds (ch. 164) that they were wont to guard the sacred doors to keep anyone from entering the Bema and to put out the catechumens when the deacon called out “Approach, ye catechumens.” It is on this account too that even today the sub-deacons are wont to say “All ye faithful,” and at the great entrance they take the surplus holy vessels, and give them to the servants to guard; in the litanies they march in the van holding the cross; they also furbish the lights attached to the Bema, the chandelier, and the tricerion; and before the doors of the Bema they receive communion from the prelate or priest after the deacons. See also c. LXIX of Basil, where the servant is evidently a different person from the subdeacon.


[146] Taking a cue hence, some assert that these seven deacons ought not to be painted as deacons of the Mysteries with a censer, sticharion, and orarion, and bareheaded. But, seeing on the one hand that God-bearing Ignatius in his letter to the Trallians states that Archdeacon Stephen performed a pure and faultless liturgy for James tne Brother of God, and on the other hand seeing in chapters 4 and 47 of the eighth book of the Apostolic Injunctions that the seven deacons are classed with bishops and presbyters and numbers with them, one of whom was Stephen, I deem that the same persons were also Deacons of the Mysteries, and consequently that it is not improper to picture them also as Deacons of the Mysteries.


[147] True, Sozomen says (in book VII, ch. 19) that although in other cities the number of deacons was a matter of indifference, in Rome, down to his time, there were seven deacons, after the likeness of these seven whom the Apostles selected, which is attested also by divine Maximus in commenting upon chapter 3 of the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy of Divine Dionysius, which deacons the same Dionysius callsselect” (or, in Greek, eccritoi).


[148] Attached to the present Canon there was found a note reading as follows: “Note the present Canon, and wonder at the way it is being neglected today. For that most devout Patriarch Sir John, surnamed the Chalcedonian, who lived and served during the reign of Alexius Comnenus, used to teach every Sunday. That is why his teachings were contained in a special volume. And there is also found a Kyriakodromion of John, or George, Xiphilinus, a Patriarch of Constantinople, and of other Patriarchs and Bishops.” In agreement with the present Canon St. Justin also speaks of the Dean in his second Apology for the Christians. For he says that on Sunday Christians from all parts of the country used to congregate in the church; and after the appropriate passages of the New and Old Testaments would be read in the liturgy, the Prelate would give a teaching (or didache). “Afterwards when the Reader ceased reading, the Dean in a sermon would offer the admonition and invitation to emulate these good men and imitate their good works.” But that the Presbyters were also deans of the churches is shown by the fifteenth Discourse of St. Gregory the Theologian (on page 226) where he calls the PresbytersPastors” (or shepherds), and the BishopsArchpastors” (or chief shepherds). Zonaras, too, states that thev are assessors to the Bishops (i.e., entitled to sit with them) on the Bema (or Sanctuary). St. Chrysostom, too, says that they have the teaching and protection of the laity. But if these assertions are true, it is obvious that they themselves are also co-deans of the churches. See also the testimony of St. Chrysostom in the Footnote to Ap. c. LVIII, and c. XIX of the 7th.


[149] The papalethra, which is also called a garrara, according to Peter of Antioch in his letter to Caerularius, is a more or less circular tonsure of the hair at the point of the head, similar to a wreath. It is not a custom confined to the Latins, but one that was adopted by the entire Church, both the Eastern and the Western, as is corroborated both by the present Canon and by the Holy Fathers: for St. Jerome in writing to St. Augustine says, “I wish I had your halo”; likewise St. Augustine wrote to Bishop Proculianus, “by our halo.” It is wont to be affected, not in honor of the Apostle Peter, as the Westerners say, but originally and properly, in order to serve as an outward sign of the guise of clerics, by which the latter differed from those who were not clerics, according to the present Canon. Consequently, and in a more allegorical way, it served as a type of the crown of thorns of the Lord, according to the interpretation given by St. Germain in his dissertation on mystical contemplation. Be that as it may, the clerics of us Easterners, unskillfully cut the hair of the head above and a little below, crosswise, that is to say, and leaving the crown untonsured in the center, and wholly untouched, thus today inexpertly and inartistically contrive this papalethra; whereas the Westerners, because they affect this for adornment, make it by shaving the hair from the head above and below, and cutting off the central part entirely and making it unlike the halo of the saints. For this reason Maximus Margunius, in his thirty-fifth note on the Canons of Antioch, called the papalethra of the Latins a “whorish garland.” See Dositheus in the Dodecabiblus, p. 778. As for the fact that our own clerics ought to wear this halo at the point of the head, let them learn it from this Canon. For it is not right to do away with eternal devices which our Fathers devised. Two things, however, in the present Canon are noteworthy: one is that those in holy orders who were being deposed on account of canonical crimes first put off the guise of the Clergy, and thus dropped into the status of laymen (for it would have been unbecoming for them to have stood with laymen with the guise of the Clergy). That is why Balsamon, in interpreting c. XLIV of Basil, says that those who have been deposed change guise, and on this point Ap. c. XXV and c. III of Basil can be reconciled with each other, as well as all other Canons that say for the deposed to be dropped into the status of laymen. Accordingly, others say that if the deposed themselves afterwards come to hate the sin willingly and spontaneously, and keep away from it altogether, and repent, they may regain the guise of the Clergy which they lost. If this is true, it is plain that such men used to be elevated to the status of those in holy orders and enjoyed the honor attaching to the rights of sitting and standing with them. And on this point again cc. I and II of Ancyra, cc. IX and X of Neocaesarea, cc. III and XXVI of the present Council, and c. XXVII of Basil can all be reconciled, which say that those who are degraded from holy orders may enjoy the honor attaching to the rights of sitting and standing with those in holy orders, arid in general only the outward honor of holy orders, concerning which see the Footnote to c. XXVI of the present Council.


[150] It may be inferred both from the present Canon and from c. LVIII of this same Council that deacons too were wont to impart the divine mysteries to lay persons. Hence in consonance with these the Apostolic Injunctions (book VIII, ch. 26) also say that after the prelate or priest has celebrated the liturgy, the deacon takes the mysteries from them and imparts them to the laity, not that he is a priest, but as one ministering to the priests. This function of the deacon consisted chiefly and properly in imparting of the chalice, according to the same Injunctions (book VIII, ch. 13). Let the deacon, it says, hold the chalice, and, while in the act of bestowing it, let him say, “Blood of Christ; a Cup of Life.” This same fact is also attested by Cyprian in his fifth discourse concerning the lapsed; and by St. Ambrose of Milan, in volume I concerning duties; and by John Chrysostom, in his Homily 83 on St. Matthew. See Argentes, page 306. Those who partook of the chalice used to wipe their mouths on the deacon’s orarion, which need was what required him to wear it, as we shall have occasion to state in connection with c. XXII of Laodioea. I saidchiefly and properly” because St. Justin, in his second Apology, says that deacons were also wont to administer the communion to others in the way of the holy bread too. “Those called among us Deacons give to each of those present to partake of the Eucharistic bread and wine and water, and to those not present they take away.” This appears to be what is meant also by c. II of Ancyra.


[151] From this Canon it becomes manifest that those spirituals (i.e., confessors) must needs be deposed who, deeming piety to be a regular business, as St. Paul says, and being traffickers in Christ, demand money from the Christians who confess their sins to them, and who therefor give them permission, even though they be unworthy, to commune in the divine mysteries. This is exceedingly great impiety, which most learned and most theologically well-grounded Joseph Bryennius censures and speaks of despisingly in one of his discourses, saying that this is what caused the race of us Orthodox Christians to be taken captive and to be delivered into the hands of the impious and godless Hagarenes. “What will you give me if I allow you to commune?” But what else is this than that which Judas said to the Jews in betraying the Lord into their hands? “What are you willing to give if I deliver him to you?” Most all-sacred and holy prelates, take care, for the love of God, to extirpate this great evil from your provinces, the result of which is that every day gentle Jesus Christ, who was sold but once for the sake of our race, is being sold over and over again.


[152] Although Balsamon in his interpretation of the present Canon does say that such theatrical shows and such games are prohibited only on Sundays and the great holidays, but not on the other days, inferring this from that which c. LXX of Carthage says to the effect that these shows must be transferred to other days, we say, principally and primarily, that c. LI of this Ecumenical Council prohibits their being held, not on some days and on other days not so, but not at all on any days whatsoever. Consequently, and because the same Council of Carthage in its c. XVII says that it is ever and always preached to all Christians not to go near any place where there are blasphemies and other improprieties that attend or mark such theatrical shows. Moreover, we say what St. Basil the Great says (see in extenso XX). No blamed thing in itself can ever become good on account of the season in which it is done. “None of the things that have been condemned is suited to us for the time being.” But since these spectacles and theatrical shows have been blamed, they are not to be praised and are not good even when held on non-festival days. For these things are really demonish works. St. Chrysostom, too, says (Horn. 12 on the First Ep. to the Corinthians, page 318 of volume III): “And talk not to me of custom. For if a thing is wicked, let it not be done even once; but if it is good, let it be done again and again.” Or, in other words, if the thing is an evil, let it not occur even once; but if it is not, let it occur at all times. The same Chrysostom calls theaters and circuses and horse races pomp of Satan (Discourse 20 on statues, page 610 of volume VI). And again the same saint says: “Frequenting theaters has given birth to fornication, licentiousness, and lewdness of every sort. And watching horse races, prize fights, burlesque shows, and boxing, and exhibitions of insolence, and the exchange of insults have engendered constant aversions” (Discourse 15 on statues, page 564 of volume VI). See also the discourse which he prepared specially to show how improper it is for anyone to go near theaters, since these make men perfect adulterers (page 89, of volume V).

[153] From this Canon it can be proved that as regards all priests that are deposed from holy orders on account of their manifest crimes, or who have been obstructed by a spiritual father as a matter of advice on account of their hidden sins, or even by themselves when stricken by remorse if they abdicate the rights of holy orders, none of them, I say, can either bless or sanctify or perform any other sacred office, either secretly or openly. But if this is true, it follows as a matter of logic that such men can neither chant sanctifications nor administer the communion to anyone, nor comforting assurances, nor baptisms, nor unctions of holy oil, nor other such services, since all these sacred rites and acts inevitably involve the impartation of a blessing and sanctification, which sanctification is something that they do not possess, according to the contents of this Canon. But neither can such men accept accountings and become spiritual confessors. For, according to Symeon of Thessalonica (Reply 11), the one accepting accountings must also bless, and say a prayer designed to grant a pardon, and must perform a liturgical service, and administer the communion to those who are confessing their sins, and must intercede in behalf of penitents, and, briefly speaking, the Confessor needs to have an active part in the exploitation of holy orders, according to Kitros (and see the Footnote to Ap. c. XXXIX). As for the assertion that the above are unqualified to perform these things, there are many proofs that such is the case. 1) Because if a priest who has unwittingly fallen into an unlawful marriage, which is the same as saying, has committed an involuntary sin (for, according to Nemesius, a sin is involuntary if it is committed as a result of force or as a result of ignorance), cannot either bless or sanctify or perform any other sacerdotal operation, according to this Canon, still less can one do these things who has been deposed on account of a voluntary sin that renders him liable to deposition from holy orders, or who has resigned. 2) If c. III of the present Council, mentioning this same Canon of St. Basil, decrees that those suspended for a while must not pronounce a blessing or conduct a sanctification, still less can those who have been deposed or who have resigned pronounce a blessing or conduct a sanctification, seeing that their condemnation to deposition is permanent, according to c. III of Basil, and they can no longer return to the holy orders out of which they have fallen. 3) In view of the fact that c. VIII of Nicholas prohibits one who has resigned from holy orders of his own accord either to pronounce in advance the wordsBlessed is God,” or to pronounce in subsequence the wordsChrist is the true one,” or to partake of the Eucharist within the Bema, or even to waft incense with the censer, but, on the contrary, must be confined to the status of laymen — and, be it iterated, if it prohibits them even from plying the censer, much more so does it evidently prohibit them from pronouncing a blessing, and from conducting a sanctification, and from performing the above sacred offices we have named. Even though c. IX of Neoeaesarea does say that a priest who has committed a carnal sin before ordination and has confessed it himself shall not offer, or, in other words, officiate, but may remain entitled to all other privileges — if, I say, that Canon does say this, on which Canon alone those rely who want to have those who resign from holy orders on account of their sins to be entitled to pronounce blessings and to conduct sanctifications and to perform the above sacred offices, we interpret it in accordance with its true intent, which is also consonant with the rest of the Canons. So when the Canon says for such a priest not to officiate, together with officiation the higher and more catholic operation of holy orders, it is to be noted that the lower and more particular sacred acts of holy orders were included by it. As for the other prerogatives which it says are to remain unaffected, they are: a) the right to wear the guise of the cleric, and not to be relegated to the status of laymen — which rights are forfeited by those who have been deposed for canonical crimes, according to c. XXI of the 6th; b) the right to sit in company with the priests, according to the present Canon of this Ecumenical Council, c. I of Ancyra, and c. XXVII of Basil; c) the right to stand in company with the priests, according to c. III of the present 6th; d) the right to enjoy the outward honor, according to c. I of Antioch, or, in other words, the honor to participate in conventions held outside of the churches, or, according to Balsamon, the honor to participate in activities conducted outside of the Bema, or rather to say the honor attaching to the outward guise of the presbyters, which they wear; e) the right to retain the name of priest, according to Balsamon. Zonaras and Balsamon, however, say further, in interpreting the same c. IX of Neocaesarea, that such priests are even to be allowed to commune within the Holy Bema (though the Canon of Basil merely allows priests who have not committed the sin to completion to commune in company with presbyters and deacons when they have been suspended for only a while). So these privileges and these honors are the rest of the prerogatives in regard to which the Canon says that they are to be retained by presbyters who have confessed their sin; but not also any active operation, or blessing, or any other sacerdotal act. For nowhere do the above Canons bestow upon those who have been degraded from holy orders the right to perform any and every sacerdotal function, but only the right to sit and to stand with their fellow functionaries, and, generally speaking, the outward honor, and nothing more. Hence how can it be said that this one Canon alone of Neocaesarea is in conflict with and contrary to six other Canons and two Ecumenical Canons, namely, cc. III and XXVI of the present Council, cc. I and II of Ancyra, c. I of Antioch, and c. XX of Basil? But, at any rate, there can be no antinomy and strife between erudite men of the Spirit on account of the absurdity. So the one Canon ought to be understood in accordance with the six Canons. But as for the view that the expression “let him offer” used in c. IX of Neocaesarea includes every sacerdotal function and service, and that the expression “the rest” used therein denotes sitting and honor, even Balsamon took it thus in interpreting the present Canon of the 6th, but as for the “sacred Canon” which it mentions, he thought that this referred to c. IX of Neocaesarea, and that the present Canon of the 6th is consistent with that one. These things having been thus stated, I marvel whence the present-day custom has arisen of letting priests degraded from holy orders pronounce blessings and conduct sanctifications, at a time when neither the Canons say this nor do the exegetes themselves. But even though it is true that Novel 79 of Leo the Wise says for presbyters, deacons, and subdeacons married and on this account deposed from office are not to get the mundane guise, or to be condemned to be denied the right to perform other service in the church that it is not illicit (or, in other words, that is not unlawful and contrary to the Canons) for them to undertake, yet the fact remains that it says that this service is something else — that is to say, suited to servants, and to ecclesiastics (and see the Footnote to c. XV of the 6th), and not blessing and sanctification, and the sacred acts of holy orders which it is illicit for such persons to undertake and contrary to the Canons. I realize that when these facts are stated, they appear severe and grievous to priests who have been deposed or have resigned on account of some sin of theirs. But once we have taken in hand to interpret the Canons, we are determined to tell whatever is pleasing and right of all that is in the Canons, and those who possess fear of God and a good conscience owe it to themselves to take cognizance of the truth and to correct themselves accordingly. These things are what spiritual fathers ought to tell those in holy orders who have not been duly taken to task and censured; and they should do this not by way of reprimand but by way of advice, leaving everything to their conscience, so that if they wish to do so of their own accord, they may either resign from the duties of holy orders or not resign.


[154] Hence both priests and prelates must employ some shift in time of a plague to enable them to administer communion to the sick without violating this Canon; not, however, by placing the Holy Bread in currants, but in some sacred vessel, so that the dying and the sick may take it thence with tongs or the like. The vessel and the tongs are to be placed in vinegar, and the vinegar is to be poured into a funnel, or in any other manner that they can that is safer and canonical.


[155] Holy Communion must be administered or imparted not only separately from the grapes, but also separately from the fragments (of holy Bread). That is why Symeon of Thessalonica (ch. 94) says that priests must be very careful not to administer the communion to Christians by giving them these fragments (more usually called, in Greek, antidora), but must be sure to give them pieces of the very body of the Lord itself. If those who are about to commune are not numerous (as happens especially on Great Thursday, during the Christmas festival, on the occasion of the feast of the Holy Apostles, and of that of the Theotoke), let them not place the fragments in the Holy Chalice, in order to avoid making a mistake and administering the communion to anyone by giving them the fragments: instead, let them leave them on the Holy Disc, and after administering the communion to the Christians, then let them put them forth and let them celebrate the holies, just as it is the custom to do so in the monasteries of the Holy Mountain. For notwithstanding that the fragments were united with the blood and the body of the Lord, they did not actually become a part of the Lord’s body.


[156] Hence we inferentially conclude that this custom of breaking the fast on the occasion of Great Thursday came to prevail in Africa, or even in other parts of the earth, at a time before the Second Ecum. Council had yet been held, since the custom is censured in this Canon by the Council which was held in Laodicea before the Second Ecumenical Council was convoked. But one might wonder why c. LXXXIX of the 6th says for us to celebrate the Great Week (i.e., Passion Week) with fasting. And the first Canon of Dionysius asserts that some Christians pass these six days without eating any food at all, while others pass four of them, and others three, and others two in that fashion. Moreover, the Injunctions of the Apostles (book V, ch. 18) expressly say that on these days of the Passion one must not eat anything else but bread, water, salt, and vegetables, without tasting wine or meat. This is further corroborated by c. L of Laodicea and c. XXIX of the 6th, as we have said. Why, I ask, do these Canons say these things, whereas the Rituals permit one to break the fast on Great Thursday by partaking of oil and wine? (though it must be noted that the more accurate manuscript rituals of the Imperial and great Monasteries of the Holy Mountain permit the fast of Great Thursday to be broken only in respect of wine, and not also in respect of oil; and it is they which we ought to follow. For it is thus written in them: “We partake of wine, and of a stew without oil.”) It seems to me that this is due to two opposite opinions having come into vogue as respecting Great Thursday. Accordingly the Canons of Carthage allowed the eating of only dry things to be abolished on that day; whereas all these other Canons, as we have said, decree that only dry things are to be eaten on that day. For this reason and on this account the God-bearing Fathers who compiled the rituals, plodding the middle path, so to speak, between these two opinions, decreed that on that day the fast might be abolished, or rather abated, only in respect of oil, having decided to make this concession in honor of the Lord’s Supper, which took place in the first instance on that day of the week. Nevertheless, one would do better to fast even on Great Thursday both from wine and from oil. But as for those persons who right after the liturgy of Great Saturday indulge in wine and oil, are obviously breaking the law. For the divine Apostles in their Injunctions (book V, chapters 18 and 19) command Christians to fast throughout Great Friday and Great Saturday, just as they themselves were accustomed to fast on those days, since fasting on these two days is laid down as a law by Christ Himself, who said: “But days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast” (Matt. 9:15). Now, it was on Great Friday and Great Saturday that the Lord was in fact taken from the Jews and crucified and buried, for our salvation. But if anyone should offer an objection to this view by citing the statement in the Ritual to the effect that on the evening of Great Saturday the Cellarman comes and gives a piece of bread and glass of wine, we reply to this objection, that this glass of wine and this piece of bread are not ordinary wine and ordinary bread, but, on the contrary, are bread and wine that have been blessed by the priest: 1) because further above it says for the bread to be blessed, and further below it mentions this; 2) because in most of them it is found written in the following fashion, to wit, — with a single piece, not of bread, indefinitely, but of the bread, definitely and relatively, of the above blessed bread, that is to say; and 3) because this glass of wine was the blessed wine, which, after being mixed with water, was wont to be given to the brethren for the purpose of sanctification, and especially to those who had communed in order to rinse, that is to say, in other words, in order to wash out their mouth, just as it is the custom to do right after divine Communion. Many persons fast for three days during Holy Lent. Accordingly, why should they not fast also for the two days of Great Friday and Great Saturday, which is more necessary? Indeed, if they cannot do both fasts, it is better for them to fast on these two days, than to do so on the three days in question. For divine Chrysostom says, in his Homily on the Great Week, that just as the Great Week is the head and greater than all the other weeks in the year, so again is Great Saturday the head of the Great Week. The fact that the above blessing of the bread is that which is the customary solemnization carried out by breaking the five loaves is more plainly and more explicitly presented by the manuscript Ritual of the Monastery of the Pantocrator. It says, however, also this, that of the blessed loaves of bread a sufficiently large piece must be given to each brother, and similarly as regards the blessed wine. Hence it is to be inferred that the loaves of bread must be of a large size, and the wine must be of a correspondingly large quantity, in order to suffice for all.


[157] Photius notes (Title III, ch. 14) that if anyone should celebrate a liturgy in a private place (meaning a common place, and not a prayerhouse, as some interpret the word), in a barn, or in a farmhouse, or allows others to celebrate it than those who have been appointed to do so by the prelate, the particular place in which the liturgy was held with the landlord’s knowledge, shall be dedicated to the church of that village, through the bishop and steward and ruler. But if the landlord had no knowledge of the affair, he is not liable to punishment, but those who knew about it are to be exiled and their property is to be confiscated and dedicated to the church of the locality in question. Balsamon, on the other hand, asserts that antimensia are consecrated by the prelate to this end that they may be laid on the holy tables of prayerhouses and be considered, in accordance with the meaning of their name as being employed instead of a consecrated holy table (this is understandable in view of the fact that the Latin word mensa signifies table, and so mensalia too is the name for the cloths spread over the tables); and the priests who receive these from prelates, it would appear, by implication receive at the same time also permission from them to celebrate the liturgy with them in such prayerhouses. John of Kitros, on the other hand, in his Reply 13, asserts that a priest is sinning who celebrates a liturgy or performs a baptism with an antimension in a special place in a house or boat separated with holy icons, as also the priests of kings and emperors perform sacred rites out in desert plains in rush huts. Balsamon also says this same thing in his Reply 14, and one who officiates in such places without an antimension is to be deposed. These antimensia must have portions of the relics of martyrs sewed to them in order to be able to fulfill the function of a Consecrated Table truly, as is required by the ordinance concerning antimensia in the Euchologian. That is why they never use antimensia in Moscow without any relics of martyrs. See the Footnote to c. VIII of the 7th.


[158] I said “except in case of great necessity” because according to St. Basil the Great (in Epitome by Definition What) one must neither eat an ordinary supper in church, nor the Lord’s Supper in an ordinary house, unless it be in case of necessity that one chooses a cleaner place and house. That is why even in time of persecution command the bishop to have a gathering in houses in order to avoid having any pious person go to church or to a gathering of the impious. In fact, many noteworthy things appear to have occurred in ecclesiastical history under the stress of necessity. For we read that the sacred martyr Lucian, a presbyter of Antioch, when in prison, conducted divine services upon his breast, having the clergymen and faithful ones present stand in a circle to serve as a temple. Moreover, Theodoret the Bishop of Cyprus, when in the desert and at an unsheltered place, used the hands of the Deacon instead of a holy table and performed the divine liturgy upon them, because the breast and hands and arms of the priest are more precious and more sacred, according to St. Chrysostom, than a stone table and the inanimate vessels thereon. But such cases are altogether rare. For oratories, however, and any other place where it becomes necessary to perform sacred rites, the so-called antimensia are indispensable. If anyone wonders, on the other hand, what becomes of that house wherein Mysteries were offered, when it comes to be enslaved by wars — whether it remains sacred, that is to say, or becomes ordinary, let him consider the Footnotes to c. XIV of the 4th, which may be read with due regard for what Synesius says to the effect that that house or place in which men assembled and prayed as usual in time of an incursion of heathen does not become sacred on that account; for all the private houses that afforded a reception to prayers and Mysteries in the time when Arianism was rife remained again private and ordinary dwelling places just as they were previous thereto.


[159] Though the present Council in this c. XXXI allows a baptism to be performed in a prayerhouse with the permission of the bishop, yet in its c. LIX it appears to prohibit altogether any performing of a baptism within a prayerhouse, just as Zonaras says, not that it is conflicting with itself, but perhaps on account of these supporting points, in order that a large number of Christians assembled in common churches may stand as witnesses to the baptism on every occasion and in order that the name and date of those baptized may be recorded in the archives of the catholic church, thereby preventing the occurrence of the unlawful anomaly of a person’s having been baptized twice over owing to the circumstance that there are no witnesses to the fact that he was baptized at any previous time, according to c. LXXX of Carthage and according to c. LXXXIV of the present Council likewise, and in order that the sponsor (or godfather) of the one baptized may be known to all, and therefore that the spiritual relationship thus resulting may not be ignored when it comes time for the one baptized to get married. Both the foregoing possibilities could easily occur if a person were to be baptized in a prayerhouse when no such number of Christians were assembled there. Perhaps, however, it prohibits baptism in oratories (only) when it is performed without the consent of the bishop, precisely, that is to say, as it prohibits also the holding of liturgical services in a house of prayer without his consent and approval. There is, however, also a third reason why baptism should be performed in churches, and not in oratories; to wit, that the priest must first make the offertory and afterwards, wearing all the sacerdotal vestments, must come out and baptize the child, and after the baptism must commence the divine liturgy, and at the end of it must administer communion to the child baptized. For just as nature had milk ready for the nourishment of the body of the infant directly when it was born corporeally, so and in like manner grace prepares divine communion ready for the spiritual nourishment of the infant directly when it is reborn spiritually through baptism. If, however, the infant is in danger, it may be baptized at any time, and at any place it happens to be.


[160] The Aquarians — those, that is to say, who offered water instead of wine — had as the leader of their heresy Tatian, who had formerly been a disciple of St. Justin. (Theodoret, Cacomythy of Heretics, Book I, ch. 20).


[161] The miracle of the Lord’s indefectible body was a double one, not only because of the fact that it spurted blood and water, the blood like that of a human being but the accompanying water like that of a supernatural source, according to St. Gregory the Theologian, but also because it spurted them warm and alive, as though that side of the body were living, and life-producing because of the substantial union therewith of the life-producing Divinity, according to Symeon of Thessalonica. Hence, in order to represent the first miracle, it was made a law for blood and water to be placed in the holy chalice; and in order to represent the second, it was ordered from above and in the beginning, as Balsamon and Germanus of Constaninople say, that this water be poured in hot and boiling at the time of the communion troparion (or hymn), not cold, or lukewarm, in order that the priest himself and the others, by partaking of the blood and water while thus hot, may be disposed to think that they are partaking of them just as they came out of the Savior’s life-producing flank. So those priests who are neglectful in this regard are making a mistake, a great mistake, when they fail to heat the holy element to boiling, but pour it lukewarm into the holy chalice. For it must be boiled and be bubbling hot when it is poured in (so that the holy chalice itself will be heated by it to the boiling temperature), as the name of it denotes. For zeon, in Greek, signifies boiling water. That is why divine Nicephorus in his c. XIII says that a presbyter must not conduct the liturgy without boiling hot water. The Latins, on the other hand, who conduct their mass with water that is not hot, represent the living Divinity as dead, as well as the Savior’s divine flank which is vivified by that Divinity. But priests must be careful and put less water in the chalice when first pouring water in at the time of the prothesis, but later they must pour in more of the hot water for two reasons: both in order to heat up the previous combination in the chalice, and in order that the mixture of wine and water may be moderate, and not become the contrary, and afford the Latins occasion to accuse us of corrupting the mixture in the chalice with excessive water. It is fitting in regard to the present Canon and most necessary to priests that we add in this Footnote what ought to be done if the divine Mysteries should happen to be spilled or be eaten by insects or other small animals. In this connection Symeon of Thessalonica (Question 81) says that if they happen to be spilled when the Great Entrance is ended (which is the same as saying before the sanctification and transessentiation), or the bread happens to be eaten by rats or mice during the preparative (called in Greek proscomide, or proskomide, according to a different system of transliteration), or prothesis, and this fact is not perceived until after the Great Entrance, the priest must make a second union (i.e., mixture) in the chalice, and bring forward other bread with the prophetic words, and adding, or saying in addition thereto, the prayer of the prothesis. Afterwards he must begin saying the prayers that follow the Great Entrance, as lustrative (for those said before the Entrance need not be repeated, as not being lustrative). The spilled holy elements, on the other hand, must be gathered up together with the dirt and other matter by the priest in a holy vessel, and be thus reserved or placed aside in the crucible, or in some other sacred place that is safe and not liable to be stepped upon, lest they be trodden underfoot or suffer anything else that is unbecoming. Accordingly, if the place where the holy elements were spilled is strewn with small and easily removable pieces of marble, he must take them away entirely and put them in a separate place; if, on the other hand, they are big and cannot be moved, let him not take them away, but he must excavate them deep with a chisel over all the surface where the holy elements may have spread, and he deposit all the particles of marble chipped off and the accompanying marble dust in the crucible, after cleaning all the region as thoroughly as he can. If not all the holy elements were spilled, but a part of them remained, he must add some more, as much as may be needed for the sacred rite. If, however, before the sanctification is finished the holy elements be spilled upon the sacred vestments of the priest, which are luxurious and costly, they must be washed out well in a separate vessel, so as to leave nothing of them in the vestments; and the wash-water must be thrown into the crucible. But if they are spilled upon the vestments after the finish and transessentiation, that part of the raiment on which they spilt must of necessity and indispensably be cut away and be made a sacred wrapper or cover by being washed out in that place in which the holy chalices are washed. As for the priest who spilled the elements, he must first confess the sin to the bishop. Then, if it appear that this was a result of his negligence and carelessness, he must be canonized (i.e., penalized canonically) sufficiently and be suspended for a time, unless a priest is not available to replace in that territory; for in that event he is not suspended, but penanced (by way of reprimand) with fasting, prayer, and genuflections. Balsamon, in Reply 20, according to the manuscripts, though in his published Replies this is not found, that if the Holy Elements are spilled before the sanctification, the matter may be remedied by means of a moderate penance. But if they are spilled after the transessentiation, in case it be due to the priest’s negligence, he is to be canonized with a severe penance, and with suspension from his holy orders, or priesthood; but in case it be due to some demoniacal complicity, his static sin is to be penanced more lightly with a canonical penance, lest the Devil appear with that method and complicity to be gaining an advantage by preventing the priest from officiating uninterruptedly, or, in other words, in order that the Devil may not be furnished an occasion to prevent the priest from exercising the liturgical function continuously. This very same identical thing is said also by John of Kitros in his Reply 11, preserved in manuscripts. Manuel Charitopoulos, on the other hand, of Constantinople, in a synodical decision, decreed that if the presaiictified bread be eaten by cats or rats, the priests are to be penanced because they failed to keep them safe and in a secure place (page 239 of Juris Graecorom). All priests that are celebrating in chapels must be very careful lest any rat snatch a piece of the prepared bread from the holy paten. Hence they ought to wrap up the paten well with its cover and have a servant to watch over the holy prothesis, or they themselves must take care of it, lest on account of their carelessness the divine bread be devoured and consequently they themselves be penanced on this account. If, on the other hand, the holy pieces of bread should get mouldy (in the accidents only, that is to say, of the bread, and the dampness inhering in the accidents, according to Coresius), the priest ought not to burn them up or throw them in the crucible, but ought first to dry thoroughly at the fire of a coal fire, with proper skill, according to the directions of Nectarius of Jerusalem; afterwards, he ought to work them up with sweet wine and eat them, as is prudently recommended by those who are possessed of experience and discernment in such matters. Nevertheless, in order to prevent the occurrence of such moldiness, the priests ought to let the holy bread be aired enough until the dampness of the accidents thereof be dried out. Or better, as others more discerning say, the priests ought more safely and more easily exsiccate the holy bread at the fire of a coal fire of burning coals with great skill, and thus preserve it. Symeon of Thessalonica (Reply 83) says that if the priest happens to forget to make the union, and covers the chalice when it is empty, but discovers this during the Great Entrance, he must at once make the union on the holy table, and read the prayer of the prothesis, and thus finish the liturgy. But if he discovers it when he is to commune, he must make a union, and say the prayer of the prothesis, and repeat from the beginning all the prayers from the time of the Great Entrance, and at the invocation of the Holy Spirit he must seal the chalice, and do whatever follows, and thus commune.


[162] Note from the present Canon that the Liturgy of the Brother of God is acceptable which was formerly celebrated in Palestine, but has now fallen into desuetude, and is performed only in some places at some times. Balsamon, however, though seeing that an Ecumenical Council accepts it, says nevertheless in Question 1 of Marcus of Alexandria that it is not acceptable, perhaps because it appears to be adulterated at some points. For the hymn “He rejoices in Thee,” which he says is to be chanted after the one commencingExceptionally of the All-holy Virgin Intemerate,” is not an old one, but a later one, and see the Catechism. But then again Emmanuel Malxus in ch. 220 of the Nomocanon records the historical fact that the Church uscd the Liturgy of St. James down to the time of St. Basil the Great.


[163] Note that, according to Book II, ch. 57, of the Apostolic Injunctions, the Anagnost used to read the other words of the Divine Scriptures to the laity while standing on a high place in the middle; but as for the Gospels, the deacon or the president read them, according to St. Gregory the Theologian, or, as some say, the anagnost reads also the Gospels. For he himself appears to say, in his Stricture No. 1 against Julian: “But what, was not the one who was once the reader (or lector) of the divine words, and the one deemed worthy of the honor of the great Bema (i.e., Julian), going to know these things (sc. the Evangelical commandments) exactly?” But perhaps the divine words which he used to read were other Scriptures, but not the Gospels, which the saint indeed says that he used to read, without, however, asserting that he read them as a lector, though the context would seem to indicate this to be the meaning of his words. Or it may be that the Theologian said this because of the fact that in the reading done by lectors in church, or anagnosts, there are also many passages of the Gospel interspersed therein.


[164] The privileges of the Bishop of Constantinople being enviable, they have been disregarded by many at times. But inasmuch as they are canonical, they were renewed by many at various times. Thus, for instance, Dioscorus placed the Bishop of Constantinople fifth in order, and disregarded and violated c. III of the 4th. But the Fourth Council renewed it. When Basiliscus the tyrant disregarded these privileges with his golden-seal edict (called in Greek chrysoboullon), though he himself again restored them with antencyclical letters, Justinian renewed them. Afterwards when the tyrant Phocas accorded the primacy to the Bishop of Rome (though Heraclius annulled it), the present Trullan Council, laying claim to being an Ecumenical Council, restored them again. Hence it did not sin in doing this, as the Papists are moved by envy to prate. For it did not do this on its own authority, but pursuantly to the lead of previous Councils. See concerning the privileges of the Bishop of Constantinople in the Volume of the Atonement (or Catallage), ch. 19, page 29, where it has Zeno instead of Justinian.


[165] What is called a throne is not any and every parish, or district, in general, but only one that is populated by Christians and clergymen. So that those who are ordained to the name of certain cities which cannot be regarded as other than spots uninhabited by Christians and clergymen, are themselves among the absolutely ordained, as not being in charge of any aggregation (or body) of faithful believers and clergymen, according to the Popish idolatry of the Patriarchs of the East — a thing which is contrary to the Canons, according to c. VI of the 4th. On this account such persons ought not to be honored with the presidency of the bishop. For the end of such persons is not the protection of the laity, but ambition and greed; and see in the Footnote to the Letter of the Third Council. Notwithstanding that Balsamon asserts that an order was given by Emperor Alexius for prelates to be elected by vote in the Eastern churches even though they cannot go there because of the incursions of heathen, it must be stated that he does not say for them to be ordained in places that are devoid of believers and clergymen, as we say, but in those places that are populated by Christians and clergymen but yet are occupied and held by barbarians and heathens, as this Canon of the Council decrees. For it is inconsistent for a shepherd (or pastor) to be without a flock, and a bishop without a bishopric.


[166] Note that although the prelates of thrones captured by barbarians cannot go to them for fear of exposing themselves to foreseeable and manifest dangers, which is to tempt God, according to St. Chrysostom (Homily 26 on the Epistle to the Hebrews), yet even while standing afar off they ought to bolster up their flock by means of letters or in other ways, until the barbarians depart.


[167] Inasmuch as Justinian II, called Rhinotmetus (i.e., “having had his nose cut off,”) was himself the one who assembled the present Sixth Council, and who had liberated Cyprus from slavery, and who had called this city Justinianopolis after his own name, therefore and on this account the Fathers of the Council by way of honoring and thanking the Emperor made the eparchy of the Hellespont subject to Cyprus. But Zonaras says that whether the Bishop of Cyzicus was once subject to the Bishop of Cyprus or not is something that he does not know, but that it is not subject thereto now lie knows full well. The Anonymous commentator says that after Cyprus was liberated from the heathen, and the Bishop of Cyprus returned to his throne, the provinces of the Hellespont also returned to the Bishop of Constantinople.

[168] Let no one be surprised to see that while St. Basil the Great, on the one hand, asserts, in his c. XVIII, that completion and discretion of the reasoning faculty is attained in virgins over sixteen or seventeen years of age, the present Council, on the other hand, in the Canon in hand, says that it is attained in the tenth year of one’s age, since such maturity of the reasoning faculty is attained in some persons more quickly, and in others more slowly. For some persons, being of an acuter and finer nature, acquire more rapidly than others the power of discerning and distinguishing what is good and what is bad, according to Balsamon. Hence it is that sacred Timothy in his c. XVIII says that sins of some persons are judged by God beginning with the tenth year of their age, while those of others are not judged till later years. But if sins are judged by God beginning with the tenth year of a person’s age, it is manifest that these sins are done after the attainment of the age of discretion, or of the complete development of the reasoning faculty. For divine Basil (in Definition 15 in extenso) says that “after the perfect development of the reasoning power both honors and punishments are bestowed on those sinning or those succeeding by the righteous Judge according to the merit of their works.” Divine Chrysostom, too, would have it (in his sermon to a faithful father) that young people ought to wrestle with their passions and vice beginning with the tenth year of their age and ought to be punished for the sins they commit from then on. Hence John of Kitros, in his c. IV, says that male children ought to confess their sins to confessors from the fourteenth year of their age and up, whereas female children ought to do so beginning with their twelfth year. I need scarcely remark in passing that some modern teachers would have it that in the present wicked generation girls should begin confessing their sins when six years old, and boys when eight years old, “because iniquity increased (Matt. 24:12), and “because the imagination of man’s intellect is assiduously inclined to evil things from his youth (Gen. 8:21). But others again, being of a denser and more sluggish nature, acquire the discernment of what is good and what is bad later and at a more advanced stage in their life, i.e., when they come to be older. Hence God says that the Israelites could discern good and evil when over twenty years old. “And the Lord’s anger was kindled in that day, and he swore, saying, Surely none of the men that came up out of Egypt, from twenty years old and upward, shall see the land which I swore unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, knowing as they do well enough what is good and what is evil (Num. 32:10-11). Canon CXXXV of Carthage, on the other hand, says that virgins are to take the habit when they become twenty-five years old, except only in case there should arise any necessary circumstance, such as that of rapine or danger of death. And, generally speaking, to repeat what the said c. XVIII of Timothy asserts, the perfect and complete development of the reasoning faculty of everyone, and consequently the ability to discern good and evil, is to be judged in accordance with his natural knowledge and prudence. And if we care to tell the truth, with the advancing years of our period, children constantly grow more and more wicked and evil-minded, and consequently even before the tenth year of their age some of them are able to discern what is good and especially what is evil. On all these grounds, therefore, the present Council, not only for the advancement of the Church and of Christians, as it itself says, but also for the acuter discernment of good and evil as a result of natural processes of the mind, which it does not say, would have them become monks beginning with the tenth year of their age, since it is told by Solomon that prudence (Note of Translator. — Because the English language possesses no word exactly equivalent to the corresponding Greek word, most persons try to express the idea by means of the English word wisdom, instead of prudence, but by doing so they deprive the language of word signifying what the Greeks call sophia, usually translated into English by the word wisdom) in men is gray hair and agedness, wisdom is gray hair unto men (Wisd. Sol. 4:9); and by Elijah in Job: “It is not the aged that are wise, neither do old men know how to judge; but it is a spirit in mortals, and a breath of the Almighty that teacheth (Job 32:9-10). Besides, since this Council did not stand upon ten years as the limit, but gave the prelate leave to increase them, while the lst-&-2nd decrees that those wishing to become monks or nuns should try it out for three years, in its c. V, herein, behold, you can see for yourselves that again the number of years becomes nearly enough to coincide with the sixteen years specified by St. Basil, during which the one about to become a monk or nun being adolescent, and consequently able to discern whether he can maintain virginity or not, his or her confession (Note of Translator. — Here, as also often elsewhere, by the termconfession” is meant, in reality, what is denoted in English by the word promise or vow) is to be considered reliable and authenticated. But we ought to note here in addition that it would in truth be an exceedingly fine thing if, in accordance with this Canon, “young and beardless men” became monks as soon as they passed the tenth year of their age, or even the thirteenth year thereof (allowing three years, that is to say, for trial), and started at this tender and gentle age of theirs contending and fighting against their passions, and against the ruler of the world (usually called the “Devil” in English, a Greek word which in reality meanstraducer”), and were introduced directly in the beginning to the exercise of all good things (or, in plainer English, all virtues), according to St. Basil the Great (Definition 15 in extenso). “For,” says Jeremiah, “it is a good thing for a man when he lifts up a yoke from his youth (Jer. 2:20). But inasmuch as this generation of ours has become prone to passions, the bishop, as is commanded by this same Canon, ought to increase the number of years in regard to those about to adopt the monastic style of life until they reach the point of growing a beard, since this is also more to the interest of the very persons themselves who are going to become monks, in order that the judgment of their reasoning faculty may be rendered more perfect (i.e., more maturely developed), and consequently the trial likewise, and in order to preclude their becoming a cause of scandalization and perdition to the monks dwelling with them, as a result of their beardless and girlish face. And see in the Footnote to c. III of the First, and c. XVI of Gangra.


[169] The example of the widows and deaconesses which the Canon adduces here is not inept, as some have said, in view of the fact that the reference is to widows in the one case and to deaconesses in the other. But neither is it with regard to temperance in marriage, which the deaconesses are able to exercise in their fortieth year, and the widows in the sixtieth year, of their age, that the Canon introduces these women into the midst of the argument. But then, on the same ground, neither is it that which Zonaras asserts, to the effect that the deaconess, being a virgin and never having tasted of pleasure (of the sensual kind, one must add in English, which language lacks a word corresponding to the more intelligible Greek word hedone, whence we have the useful term hedomism), if she has succeeded in preserving her chastity up to the fortieth year of her age, shall be convinced that she can safely remain a virgin henceforth, whereas the widow, having tasted of the pleasure (of the sensual kind) afforded by her husband, needs all the sixty years to complete a more satisfactory test by trial to ensure that henceforth she shall be able to abstain from it: for these two hypotheses are inconsistent with the meaning and acceptation of the present Canon. Reconciling as much as possible the example, we say that the widow whom St. Paul mentions, notwithstanding the fact that she used to be enrolled in the Widowed Battalion without any ritual imposition of hands, according to chapters 1 and 2 of Book III of the Apostolic Injunctions, in order to be ministered to by the Church, according to c. XXIV of St. Basil, and to be furnished with a sufficiency to supply her with the necessaries of life. Just as St. Paul himself goes on to say by adding: “If any man or woman that believeth have widows, let him or her relieve them, and let not the Church be burdened, so that she may relieve those women who really are widows (1 Tim. 5:17). Although, I say, this widow used to be enrolled in the Widowed Battalion, and not in the Battalion of Deaconesses, yet, in spite of this fact, since deaconesses were also ordained also from these once-married (or monogamous) widows, it is obvious that these deaconesses used to be ordained when sixty years old. And the reason is that if the lower battalion of widows were enrolled after so many years, i.e., at such an advanced age, in order to preclude their slipping away from Christ, how much the more ought not the widows, and deaconesses by virtue of an imposition of hands, to be ordained after so many years, whose marriage after ordination would have been incomparably more unlawful than the marriage of (unordained) widows, and consequently the fear engendered on this account, by comparison, would have been greater? Not only, however, is this shown by argument, but also by the facts. For Sozomen (Book VII, ch. 17) bears witness to the fact that Emperor Theodosius made a law (before the Fourth and the present Council were held) that no woman should receive any ministration (i.e., relief or assistance) unless she had children or unless she had become sixty years old. “This is the cause that led Emperor Theodosius to provide for the (enhancement of the) good report and decency of the Churches by making a law that women should not be allowed God’s relief unless they had children and became over sixty years old, in accordance with St. Paul’s express command.” But the Fourth Ecum. C. reduced these sixty years of deaconesses to forty, by decreeing in a general and indefinite manner that no deaconess should be ordained until forty years of age, irrespectively, that is to say, of whether she was one of the virgins or one of the once-married (or, in Greek, monogamous) widows. So for the reasons reckoned up here the example of the widows and deaconesses which the Canon cites is germane to the issue and is eminently consistent with its meaning. For it compares deaconesses with deaconesses that have been drawn from the ranks of the widows. As for the fact that deaconesses actually were ordained from among these once-married widows, that is corroborated: a) by the Apostolic Injunctions, which say, in Book VII, ch. 17: “Let a chaste virgin become a deaconess; or, otherwise, one that is a believer and honest”; b) c. XLVIII of the present 6th, which says that the wife of one destined to become a bishop, may, if she be worthy, become a deaconess; and c) that famous Olympias who, though a widow, was a deaconess. The fact, too, that the marriage of deaconesses was more unlawful than the marriage of widows is shown by reference to c. XV of the 4th and c. XXIV of Basil: for the former anathematizes any deaconess that has married together with the man who married her; while the latter, of Basil, only excommunicates any widow that has married by denying her Communion until she ceases from her dirtiness. This too is perfectly reasonable in view of the fact that the widows were wont to promise and solemnly undertake not to get married a second time, just as did Anna the daughter of Phanuel, and in accordance with ch. 1 of Book III of the Apostolic Injunctions, and in accordance with that which St. Paul says, to wit: Having been damned because they disregarded their first faith (1 Tim. 5:12). See also the Footnote to c. XIX of the First.


[170] Note from the present Canon that monks living in monasteries and coenobitic communities must cut their hair symmetrically; for it appears that monks affect a symmetrical haircut both from this Canon and from the discourse of Athanasius the Great concerning virginity, and also from the first sermon on Peace by St. Gregory the Theologian, and from many historical narratives of Lausaicus. Since the present time is (considered to be) a time of mourning among monks, according to divine Chrysostom (Homily on the Gospel of St. Matthew No. 56) and John Climax. God, by the way, says through Isaiah that shaving the head is a sign of mourning and weeping and of beating the breast (Isa. 22:12). And if, as St. Paul says, any man in general is ugly when he has hair (and see the Footnote to c. XCVI of the present (C.), how much more ugly monks are who grow hair! But if all monks in general ought to cut their hair symmetrically, how much more ought young monks living in monasteries or cells, and deacons, to cut their hair! For such persons scandalize others with their beardless face as much as they do with their long combed hair. Against these incongruities those living in cities, and especially those living in the imperial capital city ought to be on their guard at all times.


[171] By tonsure here the Canon means the great and angelic habit, since, according to Balsamon (in his Interpretation of c. II of St. Sophia), tonsure properly speaking is the garb of the great and angelic habit. We must know, too, that in the beginning and originally the habit of monks was but one, to wit, the “greathabit, as St. Theodore the Studite refers to it in writing in his will. You cannot give anyone that which is called the small habit (or little habit), and afterwards the great habit; for there is but one habit, precisely as there is but one baptism, in the sense in which the Holy Fathers employed the word. And divine Gregory Palamas in a letter written to a monk by the name of Paul says: “This is the great and monachal habit. The Fathers know of no little habit of monks, though some of the later writers appear to have sundered it two; but since they ask the same questions and make the same replies and promises both in regard to the little and in regard to the great habit, they again restore it to a single habit.” And Symeon of Thessalonica (ch. 20) says that just as baptism is one and one only, so too is the habit of monks. For the little habit is an earnest, or pledge, and preamble to the great habit, and was invented by certain later Fathers on account of men’s weakness (or even negligence). Both the Euchologion and Balsamon (in his Interpretation of c. II of St. Sophia) call the little habit an earnest of the great habit. But Job, surnamed the Sinner, in his discourse on the Mysteries (included in the Syntagmation of Chrysanthus of Jerusalem), adds also a third habit, saying thus: “The monachal habit advances from the lesser to the more perfect one, from that of the person called a microscheme (or “little-habited”) and rasophore (or “wearer of the monk’s black outer garment”) to th