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Fathers Of The Church, Catholic Edition

If a presbyter marry, let him be removed from his order; but if he commit fornication or adultery, let him be altogether cast out [i.e. of communion] and put to penance.

Ancient Epitome of Canon I.

If a presbyter marries he shall be deposed from his order. If he commits adultery or whoredom he shall be expelled, and shall be put to penance.

If a woman shall have married two brothers, let her be cast out [i.e. of communion] until her death. Nevertheless, at the hour of death she may, as an act of mercy, be received to penance, provided she declare that she will break the marriage, should she recover. But if the woman in such a marriage, or the man, die, penance for the survivor shall be very difficult.

Ancient Epitome of Canon II.

A woman married to two brothers shall be expelled all her life. But if when near her death she promises that she will loose the marriage should she recover, she shall be admitted to penance. But if one of those coupled together die, only with great difficulty shall penitence be allowed to the one still living.

Concerning those who fall into many marriages, the appointed time of penance is well known; but their manner of living and faith shortens the time.

Ancient Epitome of Canon III.

The time of polygamists is well known. A zeal for penance may shorten it.

If any man lusting after a woman purposes to lie with her, and his design does not come to effect, it is evident that he has been saved by grace.

Ancient Epitome of Canon IV.

Whoso lusteth but doth not accomplish his pleasure is preserved of God.

If a catechumen coming into the Church have taken his place in the order of catechumens, and fall into sin, let him, if a kneeler, become a hearer and sin no more. But should he again sin while a hearer, let him be cast out.

Ancient Epitome of Canon V.

If a catechumen falls into a fault and if while a kneeler he sins no more, let him be among the hearers; but should he sin while among the hearers, let him be cast out altogether.

Concerning a woman with child, it is determined that she ought to be baptized whensoever she will; for in this the woman communicates nothing to the child, since the bringing forward to profession is evidently the individual [privilege] of every single person.

Ancient Epitome of Canon VI.

If a woman with child so desires, let her be baptized. For the choice of each one is judged of.

A presbyter shall not be a guest at the nuptials of persons contracting a second marriage; for, since the digamist is worthy of penance, what kind of a presbyter shall he be, who, by being present at the feast, sanctioned the marriage?

Ancient Epitome of Canon VII.

A presbyter ought not to be present at the marriage of digamists. For when that one implores favour, who will deem him worthy of favour.

If the wife of a layman has committed adultery and been clearly convicted, such [a husband] cannot enter the ministry; and if she commit adultery after his ordination, he must put her away; but if he retain her, he can have no part in the ministry committed to him.

Ancient Epitome of Canon VIII.

A layman whose wife is an adulteress cannot be a clergyman, and a cleric who keeps an adulteress shall be expelled.

A presbyter who has been promoted after having committed carnal sin, and who shall confess that he had sinned before his ordination, shall not make the oblation, though he may remain in his other functions on account of his zeal in other respects; for the majority have affirmed that ordination blots out other kinds of sins. But if he do not confess and cannot be openly convicted, the decision shall depend upon himself.

Ancient Epitome of Canon IX.

If a presbyter confess that he has sinned, let him abstain from the oblation, and from it only. For certain sins orders remit. If he neither confess nor is convicted, let him have power over himself.

Likewise, if a deacon have fallen into the same sin, let him have the rank of a minister.

Ancient Epitome of Canon X.

A deacon found in the same crime shall remain a minister (huperetes).

Let not a presbyter be ordained before he is thirty years of age, even though he be in all respects a worthy man, but let him be made to wait. For our Lord Jesus Christ was baptized and began to teach in his thirtieth year.

Ancient Epitome of Canon XI.

Unless he be xxx. years of age none shall be presbyter, even should he be worthy, following the example of the baptism of our Saviour.

If any one be baptized when he is ill, forasmuch as his [profession of] faith was not voluntary, but of necessity [i.e. though fear of death] he cannot be promoted to the presbyterate, unless on account of his subsequent [display of] zeal and faith, and because of a lack of men.

Ancient Epitome of Canon XII.

One baptized on account of sickness is not to be made presbyter, unless in reward for a contest which he afterwards sustains and on account of scarcity of men.

Country presbyters may not make the oblation in the church of the city when the bishop or presbyters of the city are present; nor may they give the Bread or the Cup with prayer. If, however, they be absent, and he [i.e., a country presbyter] alone be called to prayer, he may give them.

Ancient Epitome of Canons XIII. and XIV.

A country presbyter shall not offer in the city temple, unless the bishop and the whole body of the presbyters are away. But if wanted he can do so while they are away. The chorepiscopi can offer as fellow ministers, as they hold the place of the Seventy.

The chorepiscopi, however, are indeed after the pattern of the Seventy; and as fellow-servants, on account of their devotion to the poor, they have the honour of making the oblation.

Ancient Epitome of Canon XIV.

The deacons ought to be seven in number, according to the canon, even if the city be great. Of this you will be persuaded from the Book of the Acts.

Ancient Epitome of Canon XV.

Seven Deacons according to the Acts of the Apostles should be appointed for each great city.

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