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have sinned, let them be admitted to the Communion only at their departure from life.
XVII. Concerning those who have been guilty of bestial lust, and lepers, or have infected others with the leprosy, the holy Synod orders, that they shall pray amongst those penitents who stand exposed to the weather.
XVIII. If any having been appointed Bishops, and not having been received by the Parish to which they were named, wish to invade other Parishes, and to do violence to those who are appointed in them, and stir up seditions against them, they are to be excommunicated. If, however, they wish to sit in the Presbytery where they were formerly Presbyters, they are not to be deprived of that honor; but if they stir up seditions against the Bishops who sit there, the honor of the Presbytery is to be taken away from them, and they are to be expelled.
XIX. Whatever persons make profession of virginity, and make void their profession, are to fulfil the term of digamists (1). But we prohibit virgins from living with men as brothers.
XX. If any man's wife commit adultery, or any man commit adultery, they are to be admitted to Communion in seven years, after passing through the several degrees of penance.
XXI. With respect to those women who commit fornication, and destroy that which they have conceived, and who employ themselves in making drugs for procuring abortion, it was formerly decided, that such persons should be prohibited from communicating until the time of their death. We agree to the propriety of this decision; but being disposed to adopt a more lenient resolution, we decree, that they shall complete a period of ten years of penitence through the established degrees. (See Can. 9.)
XXII. With respect to cases of involuntary homicide, a former decree orders that the penitent shall be admitted to Communion in seven years, passing through the established degrees : but this second that he shall complete a period of five years.
XXIII. In cases of wilful homicide, the penitent must continue amongst the prostrators, and be admitted to Communion at the close of life.
XXIV. They who use soothsaying, and follow the customs of the Gentiles, and bring persons into their houses for the framing of charms, or for lustrations, are to be subjected to the Canon of five years of penance, according to the established degrees, i. e. three years of prostration, and two of prayers without the oblation.
XXV. A certain man who had betrothed a virgin corrupted her sister, who conceived a child. After this he married his betrothed, but the one who had been corrupted hung herself. They who were privy to this transaction were commanded to be received amongst the co-standers in ten years, passing through the established degrees.
NOTES. i Canon I. 1. Offer or preach.] The distinction between the officers of Presbyter and Deacon is clearly marked in this and the following Canon by the different words applied to them. The Presbyter was ordained προσφέρειν και ομιλεϊν, to offer and preach, that is, to consecrate the elements in the Eucharist, and to preach to the people. The Deacon was only dvapépet kai knpucoelv, that is, to bring the bread and wine to the Presbyter, and to make certain proclamations respecting prayers, in various parts of the Liturgy. This was their ordinary office, and though Deacons were sometimes permitted to preach, they were never allowed to consecrate the elements. (See Bingham, b. ii. c. xx. s. 5, 8, 11.)
IV. 1. Hearers.] For the account of the various orders and degrees of penitents in this and the following Canons, see the note on the 8th Nicene Canon.
2. Communion.] rò rédelov, the perfection. This name is very frequently given to the Holy Eucharist in the ancient Canons, as being “ that sacred mystery which unites us to Christ, and gives us the most consummate perfection that we are capable of in this world.” (Bingham.)
VI. 1. The great day.] That is, Easter day. The great reverence which the Primitive Church, from the very earliest ages, felt for the holy festival of Easter, is manifested by the application of the epithet Great, to everything connected with it. The preceding Friday, i. e. Good Friday, was called the Great Preparation, Tapaokevn, the Saturday, the Great Sabbath, and the whole week, the Great Week.
XIII. 1. Chorepiscopi.] This Canon in its present form, as it exists in all the Greek copies, is utterly unintelligible, and the Greek commentators do not give us any assistance, excepting that John of Antioch reads in each Parish, instead of another. The old Latin interpreters, however, furnish us with what appears certainly to have been the true reading. - The Chorepiscopi are not to be allowed to ordain Presbyters or Deacons, nor the Presbyters of a City to do anything without the permission of the Bishop in writing in each Parish.” This is the interpretation of Isidore Mercator, of Hadrian I. in the Epitome of Councils which he sent to Charlemagne, and also of Fulgentius Ferrandus, Deacon of Carthage. (v. Bev. in Can.)
XIX. 1. Digamists.] According to some of the Ancient Canons, Digamists were to be suspended from Communion for one or two years, though Beveridge and others doubt whether the rule was not meant to apply to such marriages only as were contracted before a former one was dissolved. Bingham thinks that it was intended to discountenance marrying after an unlawful divorce. It is clear from Tertullian's arguments in his treatise de Monogamia, that the Primitive Church did not censure second marriages when the first was cancelled by death. (See Bingham, b. xv. c. iv. s. 18.)
THE CANONS OF NEOCÆSAREA.
The Synod of Neocæsarea in Pontus was held in the same year with that of Ancyra, or the following one, and therefore, also before that of Nice. It was attended by. about the same number of Bishops as that of Ancyra, and several of the same Bishops.
Canon I. If a Presbyter marry, let him be removed from his order ; but if he commit fornication or adultry, let him be altogether cast out, and be brought to penance.
II. If a woman marry two brothers, let her be cast out even unto death, if she will not be persuaded to dissolve the marriage: but for lenity's sake she shall be admitted to repentance at the time of death, if she says that in the event of her recovery she will dissolve the marriage. If, however, a woman or her husband die in such a marriage, penance is not to be easily allowed to the survivor.
III. With respect to those who fall into many marriages, the prescribed time is well known, but their repentance and faith may shorten the term.
IV. If any man lusting after a woman purposes to lie with her, but his intention does not come into act, it is manifest that he has been saved by grace.
V. If a Catechumen has entered into the church and stood in the station of Catechumens, and yet be guilty of sin; if he be a kneeler, let him become an hearer upon desisting from his sin ; but if he continue to sin when an hearer, let him be cast out. (See note on Nic. Can. xiv.)
VI. With respect to a woman who may be with child, it is decreed, that she is to be baptized whenever she will: for the woman has not any communion with the child in this matter, because each person's particular purpose is shown by his own profession.
VII. A Presbyter must not be a guest at the wedding of a person who is marrying a second time; for whereas
the digamist needs to undergo penance, what a Presbyter · must he be who sanctions the marriage by his presence at the feast?
VIII. If the wife of any one has been clearly convicted of adultery whilst he was a Layman, a man so circumstanced cannot be admitted to the Ministry. But if she has committed adultery after his ordination, he ought to put her away. If, however, he continues to live with her, he cannot retain the ministry which had been committed to him.
IX. If a Presbyter who had formerly sinned with his body should be promoted, and should confess that he sinned before ordination, let him not make the offering. Let him, however, continue in the rest of his offices on account of his diligence in other respects. For many have asserted that ordination remits sins. But if he does not confess, and cannot be convicted clearly, he is to act upon his own responsibility.
X. In like manner a Deacon, if he has fallen into the same sin, may retain the rank of Minister.
XI. Let not a man be ordained Presbyter under thirty years of age, notwithstanding he may be in every respect