THE CANONS OF THE 318 HOLY FATHERS ASSEMBLED IN THE CITY OF NICEAE, IN BITHYNIA.
An Older Translation with Commentary

Definition of "canon" Canon 2

Rapid promotion of clergy

 

Canon 3

Women living with clergy

Canon 4

Election of bishops

Canon 5

Synod as court

Canon 6

Patriarchal primacy

Canon 7

Primacy of Jerusalem

Canon 8

Heretical ordinations and chorbishops

Canon 9

Ordination of clergy without examination

Canon 10

Lapsed Catholics shall not be ordained

Canon 11

Lapsed Christians

Canon 12

Military Service

Canon 13

Eucharist at death

Canon 14

Lapsed catechumens

Canon 15

Translations of clergy

Canon 16

Translation and ordination

Canon 17

Usury

Canon 18

Deacons and the Eucharist

Canon 19

Deaconesses and Paulists

Canon 20

Liturgical rule on standing

Deaconesses Translations of Bishops Usury

Main Page for Nicaea 325

CANON I.


IF any one in sickness has been subjected by physicians to a surgical operation, or if he has been castrated by barbarians, let him remain among the clergy; but, if any one in sound health has castrated himself, it behoves that such an one, if [already] enrolled among the clergy, should cease[from his ministry], and that from henceforth no such person should be promoted. But, as it is evident that this is said of those who wilfully do the thing and presume to castrate themselves, so if any have been made eunuchs by barbarians, or by their masters, and should otherwise be found worthy, such men the Canon admits to the clergy.

NOTES.

ANCIENT EPITOME(1) OF CANON I.

Eunuchs may be received into the number of the clergy, but those who castrate themselves shall not be received.

BALSAMON.

The divine Apostolic Canons xxi., xxii., xxiii., and xxiv., have taught us sufficiently what ought to be done with those who castrate themselves, this canon provides as to what is to be done to these as well as to those who deliver themselves over to others to be emasculated by them, viz., that they are not to be admitted among the clergy nor advanced to the priesthood.

DANIEL BUTLER.

(Smith & Cheetham, Dict. Christ. Ant.)
The feeling that one devoted to the sacred ministry should be unmutilated was strong in the Ancient Church .... This canon of Nicaea, and those in the Apostolic Canons and a later one in the Second Council of Arles(canon vii.) were aimed against that perverted notion of piety, originating in the misinterpretation of our Lord's saying (Matt. xix. 12) by which Origen, among others, was misled, and their observance was so carefully enforced in later times that not more than one or two instances of the practice which they condemn are noticed by the historian. The case was different if a man was born an eunuch or had suffered mutilation at the hands of persecutors; an instance of the former, Dorotheus, presbyter of Antioch, is mentioned by Eusebius(H. E. vii., c. 32); of the latter, Tigris, presbyter of Constantinople, is referred to both by Socrates(H. E. vi. 16) and Sozomen(H. E. vi. 24) as the victim of a barbarian master.

HEFELE.

We know, by the first apology of St. Justin(Apol. c. 29) that a century before Origen, a young man had desired to be mutilated by physicians, for the purpose of completely refuting the charge of vice which the heathen brought against the worship of Christians. St. Justin neither praises nor blames this young man: he only relates that he could not obtain the permission of the civil authorities for his project, that he renounced his intention, but nevertheless remained virgo all his life. It is very probable that the Council of Nicaea was induced by some fresh similar cases to renew the old injunctions; it was perhaps the Arian bishop, Leontius, who was the principal cause of it.(1)

LAMBERT.

Constantine forbade by a law the practice condemned in this canon. "If anyone shall anywhere in the Roman Empire after this decree make eunuchs, he shall be punished with death. If the owner of the place where the deed was perpetrated was aware of it and hid the fact, his goods shall be confiscated."(Const. M. 0pera. Migne Patrol. vol. viii., 396.)

BEVERIDGE.

The Nicene fathers in this canon make no new enactment but only confirm by the authority of an Ecumenical synod the Apostolic Canons, and this is evident from the wording of this canon. For there can be no doubt that they had in mind some earlier canon when they said, "such men the canon admits to the clergy." Not, outos ok?nwn, but o kanwn, as if they had said "the formerly set forth and well-known canon" admits such to the clergy. But no other canon then existed in which this provision occurred except apostolical canon xxi. which therefore we are of opinion is here cited. [In this conclusion Hefele also agrees.]

This law was frequently enacted by subsequent synods and is inserted in the Corpus iuris canonici, Decretum Gratiani. D.55 c.7.


EXCURSUS ON THE USE OF THE WORD "CANON."

(Bright: Notes on the Canons, pp. 2 and 3.)
Canon, as an ecclesiastical term, has a very interesting history. See Westcott's account of it, On the New Testament Canon, p. 498 if. The original sense, "a straight rod" or "line," determines all its religious applications, which begin with St. Paul's use of it for a prescribed sphere of apostolic work(2 Cor. 10:13, 15), or a regulative principle of Christian life (Gal. 6:16). It represents the element of definiteness in Christianity and in the order of the Christian Church. Clement of Rome uses it for the measure of Christian attainment(Ep. Cor. 7). Irenaeus calls the baptismal creed "the canon of truth"(1:9, 4): Polycrates(Euseb. v. 24) and probably Hippolytus(ib. v. 28) calls it "the canon of faith;" the Council of Antioch in A.D. 269, referring to the same standard of orthodox belief, speaks with significant absoluteness of "the canon"(ib. vii. 30). Eusebius himself mentions "the canon of truth" in iv. 23, and "the canon of the preaching" in iii. 32; and so Basil speaks of "the transmitted canon of true religion"(Epist. 204-6). Such language, like Tertullian's "regula fidei," amounted to saying, "We Christians know what we believe: it is not a vague 'idea' without substance or outline: it can be put into form, and by it we 'test the spirits whether they be of God.' "

Thus it was natural for Socrates to call the Nicene Creed itself a "canon," ii. 27. Clement of Alexandria uses the phrase "canon of truth" for a standard of mystic interpretation, but proceeds to call the harmony between the two Testaments "a canon for the Church," Strom. vi. 15, 124, 125. Eusebius speaks of "the ecclesiastical canon" which recognized no other Gospels than the four(vi. 25). The use of the term and its cognates in reference to the Scriptures is explained by Westcott in a passive sense so that "canonized" books, as Athanasius calls them(Fest. Ep. 39), are books expressly recognized by the Church as portions of Holy Scripture. Again, as to matters of observance, Clement of Alexandria wrote a book against Judaizers, called "The Churches Canon"(Euseb. vi. 13); and Cornelius of Rome, in his letter to Fabius, speaks of the "canon" as to what we call confirmation(Euseb. vi. 43), and Dionysius of the "canon" as to reception of converts from heresy(ib, vii. 7). The Nicene Council in this canon refers to a standing "canon" of discipline(comp. Nic. 2, 5, 6, 9, 10, 15, 16, 18), but it does not apply the term to its own enactments, which are so described in the second canon of Constantinople(see below), and of which Socrates says "that it passed what are usually called 'canons' "(i. 13); as Julius of Rome calls a decree of this Council a "canon"(Athan. Apol. c. Ari. 25); so Athanasius applies the term generally to Church laws(Encycl. 2; cp. Apol. c. Ari. 69). The use of kanwn for the clerical body(Nic. 16, 17, 19; Chalc. 2) is explained by Westcott with reference to the rule of clerical life, but Bingham traces it to the roll or official list on which the names of clerics were enrolled(i. 5, 10); and this appears to be the more natural derivation, see "the holy canon" in the first canon of the Council of Antioch, and compare Socrates(i. 17), "the Virgins enumerated," and(ib. v. 19) on the addition of a penitentiary "to the canon of the church;" see also George of Laodicea in Sozomon, iv. 13. Hence any cleric might be called kanonikos, see Cyril of Jerusalem, Procatech.(4); so we read of "canonical singers." Laodicea, canon xv. The same notion of definiteness appears in the ritual use of the word for a series of nine "odes" in the Eastern Church service(Neale, Introd. East. Ch. if. 832), for the central and unvarying element in the Liturgy, beginning after the Tersanctus(Hammond, Liturgies East and West, p. 377); or for any Church office(Ducange in v.); also in its application to a table for the calculation of Easter(Euseb. vi. 29; vii. 32); to a scheme for exhibiting the common and peculiar parts of the several Gospels(as the "Eusebian canons") and to a prescribed or ordinary payment to a church, a use which grew out of one found in Athanasius' Apol. c. Ari. 60.

In more recent times a tendency has appeared to restrict the term Canon to matters of discipline, but the Council of Trent continued the ancient use of the word, calling its doctrinal and disciplinary determinations alike "Canons."  Return


CANON II.

FORASMUCH as, either from necessity, or through the urgency of individuals, many things have been done contrary to the Ecclesiastical canon, so that men just converted from heathenism to the faith, and who have been instructed but a little while, are straightway brought to the spiritual layer, and as soon as they have been baptized, are advanced to the episcopate or the presbyterate, it has seemed right to us that for the time to come no such thing shall be done. For to the catechumen himself there is need of time and of a longer trial after baptism. For the apostolical saying is clear, "Not a novice; lest, being lifted up with pride, he fall into condemnation and the snare of the devil." But if, as time goes on, any sensual sin should be found out about the person, and he should be convicted by two or three witnesses, let him cease from the clerical office. And whoso shall transgress these[enactments] will imperil his own clerical position, as a person who presumes to disobey fie great Synod.

NOTES.

ANCIENT EPITOME OF CANON II.

Those who have come from the heathen shall not be immediately advanced to the presbyterate. For without a probation of some time a neophyte is of no advantage(kakos). But if after ordination it be found out that he had sinned previously, let him then be expelled from the clergy.

HEFELE.

It may be seen by the very text of this canon, that it was already forbidden to baptize, and to raise to the episcopate or to the priesthood anyone who had only been a catechumen for a short time: this injunction is in fact contained in the eightieth(seventy-ninth) apostolical canon; and according to that, it would be older than the Council of Nicaea. There have been, nevertheless, certain cases in which, for urgent reasons, an exception has been made to the rule of the Council of Nicaea--for instance, that of S. Ambrose. The canon of Nicaea does not seem to allow such an exception, but it might be justified by the apostolical canon, which says, at the close: "It is not right that any one who has not yet been proved should be a teacher of others, unless by a peculiar divine grace." The expression of the canon of Nicaea, yukikon ti amarthma, is not easy to explain: some render it by the Latin words animale peccatam, believing that the Council has here especially in view sins of the flesh; but as Zonaras has said, all sins are yukika amarthmata. We must then understand the passage in question to refer to a capital and very serious offence, as the penalty of deposition annexed to it points out.

These words have also given offence, ei de proiontos tou krono,n; that is to say, "It is necessary henceforward," etc., understanding that it is only those who have been too quickly ordained who are threatened with deposition in case they are guilty of crime; but the canon is framed, and ought to be understood, in a general manner: it applies to all other clergymen, but it appears also to point out that greater severity should be shown toward those who have been too quickly ordained.
Others have explained the passage in this manner: "If it shall become known that any one who has been too quickly ordained was guilty before his baptism of any serious offence, he ought to be deposed." This is the interpretation given by Gratian, but it must be confessed that such a translation does violence to the text. This is, I believe, the general sense of the canon, and of this passage in particular: "Henceforward no one shall be baptized or ordained quickly. As to those already in orders(without any distinction between those who have been ordained in due course and those who have been ordained too quickly), the rule is that they shall be de posed if they commit a serious offence. Those who are guilty of disobedience to this great Synod, either by allowing themselves to be ordained or even by ordaining others prematurely, are threatened with deposition ipso facto, and for this fault alone." We consider, in short, that the last words of the canon may be understood as well of the ordained as of the ordainer.

CANON III.

THE great Synod has stringently forbidden any bishop, presbyter, deacon, or any one of the clergy whatever, to have a subintroducta dwelling with him, except only a mother, or sister, or aunt, or such persons only as are beyond all suspicion.

NOTES.

ANCIENT EPITOME OF CANON III.

No one shall have a woman in his house except his mother, and sister, and persons altogether beyond suspicion.

JUSTELLUS.

Who these mulieres subintroductae were does not sufficiently appear . . . but they were neither wives nor concubines, but women of some third kind, which the clergy kept with them, not for the sake of offspring or lust, but from the desire, or certainly under the pretence, of piety.

JOHNSON.


For want of a proper English word to render it by, I translate "to retain any woman in their houses under pretenee of her being a disciple to them."

VAN ESPEN

translates: And his sisters and aunts cannot remain unless they be free from all suspicion.
Fuchs in his Bibliothek der kirchenver sammlungen confesses that this canon shews that the practice of clerical celibacy had already spread widely. In connexion with this whole subject of the subintroductae the text of St. Paul should be carefully considered. 1 Cor. ix. 5.

HEFELE.

It is very terrain that the canon of Nicaea forbids such spiritual unions, but the context shows moreover that the Fathers had not these particular cases in view alone; and the expression sunisaktos should be understood of every woman who is introduced(sunisaktos) into the house of a clergyman for the purpose of living there. If by the word sunisaktos was only intended the wife in this spiritual marriage, the Council would not have said, any sunisaktos, except his mother, etc.; for neither his mother nor his sister could have formed this spiritual union with the cleric. The injunction, then, does net merely forbid the sunisaktos in the specific sense, but orders that "no woman must live in the house of a cleric, unless she be his mother," etc.

This canon is found in the  Gratian's Decretum, D. 22 c.16.

CANON IV.

IT is by all means proper that a bishop should be appointed by all the bishops in the province; but should this be difficult, either on account of urgent necessity or because of distance, three at least should meet together, and the suffrages of the absent[bishops] also being given and communicated in writing, then the ordination should take place. But in every province the ratification of what is done should be left to the Metropolitan.

NOTES.

ANCIENT EPITOME OF CANON IV.

A bishop is to be chosen by all the bishops of the province, or at least by three, the rest giving by letter their assent ; but this choice must be confirmed by the Metropolitan.

ZONARAS.


The present Canon might seem to be opposed to the first canon of the Holy Apostles, for the latter enjoins that a bishop ordained by two or three bishops, but this by three, the absent also agreeing and testifying their assent by writing. But they are not contradictory; for the Apostolical canon by ordination (keirotonian) means consecration and imposition of hands, but the present canon by constitution (katastasin) and ordination means the election, and enjoins that the election of a bishop do not take place unless three assemble, having the consent also of the absent by letter, or a declaration that they also will acquiesce in the election(or vote,(yhfw) made by the three who have assembled. But after the election it gives the ratification or completion of the matter--the imposition of hands and consecration--to the metropolitan of the province, so that the election is to be ratified by him. He does so when with two or three bishops, according to the apostolical canon, he consecrates with imposition of hands the one of the elected persons whom he himself selects.

BALSAMON

also understands kaqistasqai to mean election by vote.

BRIGHT.

The Greek canonists are certainly in error when they interpret keirotonia of election. The canon is akin to the 1st Apostolic canon which, as the canonists admit, must refer to the consecration of a new bishop, and it was cited in that sense at the Council of Cholcedon--Session xiii.(Mansi., vii. 307). We must follow Rufinus and the old Latin translators, who speak of "ordinari" "ordinatio" and "manus impositionem."

HEFELE.

The Council of Nicaea thought it necessary to define by precise rules the duties of the bishops who took part in these episcopal elections. It decided(a) that a single bishop of the province was not sufficient for the appointment of another;(b) three at least should meet, and(c) they were not to proceed to election without the written permission of the absent bishops; it was necessary(d) to obtain afterward the approval of the metropolitan. The Council thus confirms the ordinary metropolitan division in its two most important points, namely, the nomination and ordination of bishops, and the superior position of the metropolitan. The third point connected with this division--namely, the provincial synod--will be considered under the next canon.

Meletius was probably the occasion of this canon. It may be remembered that he had nominated bishops without the concurrence of the other bishops of the province, and without the approval of the metropolitan of Alexandria, and had thus occasioned a schism. This canon was intended to prevent the recurrence of such abuses. The question has been raised as to whether the fourth canon speaks only of the choice of the bishop, or whether it also treats of the consecration of the newly elected. We think, with Van Espen, that it treats equally of both,--as well of the part which the bishops of the province should take in an episcopal election, as of the consecration which completes it.
This canon has been interpreted in two ways. The Greeks had learnt by bitter experience to distrust the interference of princes and earthly potentates in episcopal elections. Accordingly, they tried to prove that this canon of Nicaea took away from the people the right of voting at the nomination of a bishop, and confined the nomination exclusively to the bishops of the province.

The Greek Commentators, Balsamon and others, therefore, only followed the example of the Seventh and[so-called] Eighth(Ecu-menical Councils in affirming that this fourth canon of Nicaea takes away from the people the right previously possessed of voting in the choice of bishops and makes the election depend entirely on the decision of the bishops of the province.
The Latin Church acted otherwise. It is true that with it also the people have been removed from episcopal elections, but this did not happen till later, about the eleventh century; and it was not the people only who were removed, but the bishops of the province as well, and the election was conducted entirely by the clergy of the Cathedral Church. The Latins then interpreted the canon of Nicaea as though it said nothing of the rights of the bishops of the province in the election of their future colleague(and it does not speak of it in a very explicit manner), and as though it determined these two points only;(a) that for the ordination of a bishop three bishops at least are necessary;(b) that the right of confirmation rests with the metropolitan.

The whole subject of episcopal elections is treated fully by Van Espen and by Thomassin, in Ancienne et Nouvelle Discipline de l' Eglise, P. II. 1. 2.
This canon is found in the  Gratian's Decretum, 64 c.1.


CANON V.

CONCERNING those, whether of the clergy or of the laity, who have been excommunicated in the several provinces, let the provision of the canon be observed by the bishops which provides that persons cast out by some be not readmitted by others. Nevertheless, inquiry should be made whether they have been excommunicated through captiousness, or contentiousness, or any such like ungracious disposition in the bishop. And, that this matter may have due investigation, it is decreed that in every province synods shall be held twice a year, in order that when all the bishops of the province are assembled together, such questions may by them be thoroughly examined, that so those who have confessedly offended against their bishop, may be seen by all to be for just cause excommunicated, until it shall seem fit to a general meeting of the bishops to pronounce a milder sentence upon them. And let these synods be held, the one before Lent, (that the pure Gift may be offered to God after all bitterness has been put away), and let the second be held about autumn.

NOTES.

ANCIENT EPITOME OF CANON V.

Such as have been excommunicated by certain bishops shall not be restored by others, unless the excommunication was the result of pusillanimity, or strife, or some other similar cause. And that this may be duly attended to, there shall be in each year two synods in every province--the one before Lent, the other toward autumn.
There has always been found the greatest difficulty in securing the regular meetings of provincial and diocesan synods, and despite the very explicit canonical legislation upon the subject, and the severe penalties attached to those not answering the summons, in large parts of the Church for centuries these councils have been of the rarest occurrence. Zonaras complains that in his time "these synods were everywhere treated with great contempt," and that they had actually ceased to be held.

Possibly the opinion of St. Gregory Nazianzen had grown common, for it will be remembered that in refusing to go to the latter sessions of the Second Ecumenical he wrote, "I am resolved to avoid every meeting of bishops, for I have never seen any synod end well, nor assuage rather than aggravate disorders."(1)

HEFELE.

Gelasius has given in his history of the Council of Nicaea, the text of the canons passed by the Council; and it must be noticed that there is here a slight difference between his text and ours. Our reading is as follows: "The excommunication continues to be in force until it seem good to the assembly of bishops (tw koinw) to soften it." Gelasius, on the other hand, writes: mekris an tp koinp h tp episkopw, k. t. l., that is to say, "until it seem good to the assembly of bishops, or to the bishop (who has passed the sentence)," etc.

...Dionysius the Less has also followed this vacation, as his translation of the canon shows. It does not change the essential meaning of the passage; for it may be well understood that the bishop who has passed the sentence of excommunication has also the right to mitigate it. But the variation adopted by the Prisca alters, on the contrary, the whole sense of the canon: the Prisca has not ew koinp, but only episkopw: it is in this erroneous form that the canon has passed into the Corpus jurisc an.
This canon is found in the  Gratian's Decretum, Pars II., Causa XI, Quaest. III., Canon lxxiij., and the latter part in Pars I., Distinc. XVIII., c. iij.

EXCURSUS ON THE WORD Prosferein.

(Dr. Adolph Harnack: Hist. of Dogma [Eng. Tr.] Vol. I. p. 209.)

The idea of the whole transaction of the Supper as a sacrifice, is plainly found in the dache, (c. 14), in Ignatius, and above all, in Justin (I. 65f.) But even Clement of Rome presupposes it, when (in cc. 40-44) he draws a parallel between bishops and deacons and the Priests and Levites of the Old Testament, describing as the chief function of the former (44.4) prosferein. This is not the place to enquire whether the first celebration had, in the mind of its founder, the character of a sacrificial meal; but, certainly, the idea, as it was already developed at the time of Justin, had been created by the churches. Various reasons tended towards seeing in the Supper a sacrifice. In the first place, Malachi i. 11, demanded a solemn Christian sacrifice: see my notes on Didache, 14.3. In the second place, all prayers were regarded as a sacrifice, and therefore the solemn prayers at the Supper must be specially considered as such. In the third place, the words of institution touto poieite, contained a command with regard to a definite religious action. Such an action, however, could only be represented as a sacrifice, and this the more, that the Gentile Christians might suppose that they had to understand poiein in the sense of quein. In the fourth place, payments in kind were necessary for the "agapae" connected with the Supper, out of which were taken the bread and wine for the Holy celebration; in what other aspect could these offerings in the worship be regarded than as prosforai for the purpose of a sacrifice? Yet the spiritual idea so prevailed that only the prayers were regarded as the qusia proper, even in the case of Justin (Dial. 117). The elements are only dpra, prosforai, which obtain their value from the prayers, in which thanks are given for the gifts of creation and redemption, as well as for the holy meal, and entreaty is made for the introduction of the community into the Kingdom of God (see Didache, 9. 10). Therefore, even the sacred meal itself is called eukaristia (Justin, Apol. I. 66: h trofh auth kaleitai par hmin eukaristia. Didache, 9. 1: Ignat.), because it is trafh eukaristhqeisa. It is a mistake to suppose that Justin already understood the body of Christ to be the object of poiein,(1) and therefore thought of a sacrifice of this body (I. 66). The real sacrificial act in the Supper consists rather, according to Justin, only in the eukaristian poieinwhereby thekoinos artos becomes the artos ths eukaristias.(2) The sacrifice of the Supper in its essence, apart from the offering of alms, which in the practice of the Church was closely united with it, is nothing but a sacrifice of prayer: the sacrificial act of the Christian here also is nothing else than an act of prayer (See Apol. I. 14, 65-67; Dial. 28, 29, 41, 70, 116-118).

Harnack (lib. cit. Vol. II. chapter III. p. 136) says that "Cyprian was the first to associate the specific offering, i.e. the Lord's Supper with the specific priesthood. Secondly, he was the first to designate the passio Domini, nay, the sanguis Christi and the dominica hostia as the object of the eucharistic offering." In a foot-note (on the same page) he explains that "Sacrificare, Sacrificium celebrare in all passages where they are unaccompanied by any qualifying words, mean to celebrate the Lord's Supper." But Harnack is confronted by the very evident objection that if this was an invention of St. Cyprian's, it is most extraordinary that it raised no protest, and he very frankly confesses (note 2, on same page) that "the transference of the sacrificial idea to the consecrated elements which in all probability Cyprian already found in existence, etc." Harnack further on (in the same note on p. 137) notes that he has pointed out in his notes on the Didache that in the "Apostolic Church Order" occurs the expression h prosqora tou swmatos kai tou aimatos.


CANON VI.

LET the ancient customs in Egypt, Libya and Pentapolis prevail, that the Bishop of Alexandria have jurisdiction in all these, since the like is customary for the Bishop of Rome also. Likewise in Antioch and the other provinces, let the Churches retain their privileges. And this is to be universally understood, that if any one be made bishop without the consent of the Metropolitan, the great Synod has declared that such a man ought not to be a bishop. If, however, two or three bishops shall from natural love of contradiction, oppose the common suffrage of the rest, it being reasonable and in accordance with the ecclesiastical law, then let the choice of the majority prevail.

NOTES.

ANCIENT EPITOME OF CANON VI.

The Bishop of Alexandria shall have jurisdiction over Egypt, Libya, and Pentapolis. As also the Roman bishop over those subject to Rome. So, too, the Bishop of Antioch and the rest over those who are under them. If any be a bishop contrary to the judgment of the Metropolitan, let him be no bishop. Provided it be in accordance with the canons by the suffrage of the majority, if three object, their objection shall be of no force.

Many, probably most, commentators have considered this the most important and most interesting of all the Nicene canons, and a whole library of works has been written upon it, some of the works asserting and some denying what are commonly called the Papal claims. If any one wishes to see a list of the most famous of these works he will find it in Phillips's Kirchenrecht (Bd. ii. S. 35). I shall reserve what I have to say upon this subject to the notes on a canon which seems really to deal with it, confining myself here to an elucidation of the words found in the canon before us.

HAMMOND, W. A.

The object and intention of this canon seems clearly to have been, not to introduce any new powers or regulations into the Church, but to confirm and establish ancient customs already existing. This, indeed, is evident from the very first words of it: "Let the ancient customs be maintained." It appears to have been made with particular reference to the case of the Church of Alexandria, which had been troubled by the irregular proceedings of Miletius, and to confirm the ancient privileges of that see which he had invaded. The latter part of it, however, applies to all Metropolitans, and confirms all their ancient privileges.

FFOULKES.

(Dict. Christ. Antiq. voce Council of Nicaea).

The first half of the canon enacts merely that what had long been customary with respect to such persons in every province should become law, beginning with the province where this principle had been infringed; while the second half declares what was in future to be received as law on two points which custom had not as yet expressly ruled. ... Nobody disputes the meaning of this last half; nor, in fact, would the meaning of the first half have been questioned, had it not included Rome. ... Nobody can maintain that the bishops of Antioch and Alexandria were called patriarchs then, or that the jurisdiction they had then was co-extensive with what they had afterward, when they were so called. ... It is on this clause ["since the like is customary for the Bishops of Rome also"] standing parenthetically between what is decreed for the particular cases of Egypt and Antioch, and in consequence of the interpretation given to it by Rufinus, more particularly, that so much strife has been raised. Rufinus may rank low as a translator, yet, being a native of Aquileia, he cannot have been ignorant of Roman ways, nor, on the other hand, had he greatly misrepresented them, would his version have waited till the seventeenth century to be impeached.

HEFELE.

The sense of the first words of the canon is as follows: "This ancient right is assigned to the Bishop of Alexandria which places under his jurisdiction the whole diocese of Egypt." It is without any reason, then, that the French Protestant Salmasius (Saumaise), the Anglican Beveridge, and the Gallican Launoy, try to show that the Council of Nicaea granted to the Bishop of Alexandria only the rights of ordinary metropolitans.

BISHOP STILLINGFLEET.

I do confess there was something peculiar in the case of the Bishop of Alexandria, for all the provinces of Egypt were under his immediate care, which was Patriarchal as to extent, but Metropolical in the administration.

JUSTELLUS.

This authority (exousia) is that of a Metropolitan which the Nicene Fathers decreed to be his due over the three provinces named in this canon, Egypt, Libya, and Pentapolis, which made up the whole diocese of Egypt, as well in matters civil as ecclesiastical.

On this important question Hefele refers to the dissertation of Dupin, in his work De Antiqua Ecclesoe Disciplina. Hefele says: "It seems to me beyond a doubt that in this canon there is a question about that which was afterward calm the patriarchate of the Bishop of Alexandria; that is to say that he had a certain recognized ecclesiastical authority, not only over several civil provinces, but also over several ecclesiastical provinces (which had their own metropolitans);" and further on (p. 392) he adds: "It is incontestable that the civil provinces of Egypt, Libya, Pentapolis and Thebais, which were all in subjection to the Bishop of Alexandria, were also ecclesiastical provinces with their own metropolitans; and consequently it is not the ordinary fights of metropolitans that the Sixth Canon of Nicaea confers on the Bishop of Alexandria, but the rights of a superior Metropolitan, that is, of a Patriarch."

There only remains to see what were the bounds of the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Antioch. The civil diocese of Oriens is shown by the Second Canon of Constantinople to be conterminous with what was afterward called the Patriarchate of Antioch. The see of Antioch had, as we know, several metropolitans subject to it, among them Caesarea, under whose jurisdiction was Palestine. Justellus, however, is of opinion that Pope Innocent I. was in error when he asserted that all the Metropolitans of Oriens were to be ordained by him by any peculiar authority, and goes so far as to stigmatize his words as "contrary to the mind of the Nicene Synod."(1)

EXCURSUS ON THE EXTENT OF THE JURISDICTION OF THE BISHOP OF ROME OVER THE SUBURBICAN CHURCHES.


Although, as Hefele well says, "It is evident that the Council has not in view here the primacy of the Bishop of Rome over the whole Church, but simply his power as a patriarch," yet it may not be unimportant to consider what his patriarchal limits may have been.

(Hefele, Hist. Councils, Vol. I., p. 397.)

The translation of this [VI.] canon by Rufinus has been especially an example of discord. Et ut apud Alexandriam et in urbe Roma vetusta consuetudo servetur, ut vel ille Egypti vel hic suburbicariarum ecclesiarum sollicitudinem gerat. In the seventeenth century this sentence of Rufinus gave rise to a very lively discussion between the celebrated jurist, Jacob Gothfried (Gothofredus), and his friend, Salmasius, on one side, and the Jesuit, Sirmond, on the other. The great prefecture of Italy, which contained about a third of the whole Roman Empire, was divided into four vicariates, among which the vicariate of Rome was the first. At its head were two officers, the proefectus urbi and the vicarius urbis. The proefectus urbi exercised authority over the city of Rome, and further in a suburban circle as far as the hundredth milestone, The boundary of the vicarins urbis comprised ten provinces--Campania, Tuscia with Ombria, Picenum, Valeria, Samnium, Apulia with Calabria, Lucania and that of the Brutii, Sicily, Sardinia, and Corsica. Gothfried and Salmasius maintained, that by the regiones suburbicarioe the little territory of the proefectus urbi must be understood; while, according to Sirmond, these words designate the whole territory of the vicarius urbis. In our time Dr. Maasen has proved in his book,(2) already quoted several times, that Gothfried and Salmasius were right in maintaining that, by the regiones suburbicarioe, the little territory of the proefectus urbi must be alone understood.

Hefele thinks that Phillips "has proved" that the Bishop of Rome had patriarchal rights over places outside the limits of the ten provinces of the vicarius urbis; but does not agree with Phillips in thinking Rufinus in error. As a matter of fact the point is a difficult one, and has little to do with the gist of the meaning of the canon. One thing is certain: the early Latin version of the canons, called the Prisca, was not satisfied with the Greek wording and made the Canon read thus: "It is of ancient custom that the bishop of the city of Rome should have a primacy (principatum), so that he should govern with care the suburban places, AND ALL HIS OWN PROVINCE."(1) Another interesting reading is that found in several MSS. which begins, "The Church of Rome hath always had a primacy (primatum)," and as a matter of fact the early date of this addition is evinced by the fact that the canon was actually quoted in this shape by Paschasinus at the Council of Chalcedon.

Hefele further on says, "The Greek commentators Zonaras and Balsamon (of the twelfth century) say very explicitly, in their explanation of the Canons of Nicaea, that this sixth canon confirms the rights of the Bishop of Rome as patriarch over the whole West," and refers to Beveridge's Syodicon, Tom. I., pp. 66 and 67. After diligent search I can find nothing to warrant the great amplitude of this statement. Balsamon's interpretation is very vague, being simply that the Bishop of Rome is over the Western Eparchies (tpn esperiwn eparkiwn) and Zonaras still more vaguely says that tpn esperiwn arkein eqos ekrathse. That the whole West was in a general way understood to be in the Roman Patriarchate I have no doubt, that the Greek scholiasts just quoted deemed it to be so I think most probably the case, but it does not seem to me that they have said so in the particular place cited. It seems to me that all they meant to say was that the custom observed at Alexandria and Antioch was no purely Eastern and local thing, for a similar state of affairs was found in the West.

CANON VII.

SINCE custom and ancient tradition have prevailed that the Bishop of Aelia [i.e., Jerusalem] should be honoured, let him, saving its due dignity to the Metropolis, have the next place of honour.

NOTES.

ANCIENT EPITOME OF CANON VII.

Let the Bishop of AElia be honoured, the rights of the Metropolis being preserved intact.
There would seem to be a singular fitness in the Holy City Jerusalem holding a very exalted position among the sees of Christendom, and it may appear astonishing that in the earliest times it was only a suffragan see to the great Church of Caesarea. It must be remembered, however, that only about seventy years after our Lord's death the city of Jerusalem was entirely destroyed and ploughed as a field according to the prophet. As a holy city Jerusalem was a thing of the past for long years, and it is only in the beginning of the second century that we find a strong Christian Church growing up in the rapidly increasing city, called no longer Jerusalem, but aelia Capitolina. Possibly by the end of the second century the idea of the holiness of the site began to lend dignity to the occupant of the see; at all events Eusebius(2) tells us that "at a synod held on the subject of the Easter controversy in the time of Pope Victor, Theophilus of Caesarea and Narcissus of Jerusalem were presidents."

It was this feeling of reverence which induced the passing of this seventh canon. It is very hard to determine just what was the "precedence" granted to the Bishop of AElia, nor is it clear which is the metropolis referred to in the last clause. Most writers, including Hefele, Balsamon, Aristenus and Beveridge consider it to be Caesarea; while Zonaras thinks Jerusalem to be intended, a view recently adopted and defended by Fuchs; [3] others again suppose it is Antioch that is referred to.

EXCURSUS ON THE RISE OF THE PATRIARCHATE OF JERUSALEM.

The narrative of the successive steps by which the See of Jerusalem rose from being nothing but AElia, a Gentile city, into one of the five patriarchal sees is sad reading for a Christian. It is but the record of ambition and, worse still, of knavery. No Christian can for a moment grudge to the Holy City of the old dispensation the honour shewn it by the Church, but he may well wish that the honour had been otherwise obtained. A careful study of such records as we possess shews that until the fifth century the Metropolitan of Caesarea as often took precedence of the Bishop of Jerusalem as vice versa, and Beveridge has taken great pains to shew that the learned De Marca is in error in supposing that the Council of Nicaea assigned to Jerusalem a dignity superior to Caesarea, and only inferior to Rome, Alexandria, and Antioch. It is true that in the signatures the Bishop of Jerusalem does sign before his metropolitan, but to this Beveridge justly replies that the same is the case with the occupants of two other of his suffragan sees. Bishop Beveridge's opinion is that the Council assigned Jerusalem the second place in the province, such as London enjoys in the Province of Canterbury. This, however, would seem to be as much too little as De Marca's contention grants too much. It is certain that almost immediately after the Council had adjourned, the Bishop of Jerusalem, Maximus, convoked a synod of Palestine, without any reference to Caesarea, which consecrated bishops and acquitted St. Athanasius. It is true that he was reprimanded for doing so,(1) but yet it clearly shews how lie intended to understand the action of Nicaea. The matter was not decided for a century more, and then through the chicanery of Juvenal the bishop of Jerusalem.

(Canon Venables, Dict. Christ. Biography.)

Juvenalis succeeded Praylius as bishop of Jerusalem somewhere about 420 A.D. The exact year cannot be determined. The episcopate of Praylius, which commenced in 417 A.D., was but short, and we can hardly give it at most more than three years. The statement of Cyril of Scythopolis, in his Life of St. Euthymius (c. 96), that Juvenal died "in the forty-fourth year of his episcopate," 458 A.D., is certainly incorrect, as it would make his episcopate begin in 414 A.D., three years before that of his predecessor. Juvenal occupies a prominent position during the Nestorian and Eutychian troubles towards the middle of the fifth century. But the part played by him at the councils of Ephesus and Chalcedon, as well as at the disgraceful lhstrikh of 449, was more conspicuous than creditable, and there are few of the actors in these turbulent and saddening scenes who leave a more unpleasing impression. The ruling object of Juvenal's episcopate, to which everything else was secondary, and which guided all his conduct, was the elevation of the see of Jerusalem from the subordinate position it held in accordance with the seventh of the canons of the council of Nicaea, as suffragan to the metropolitan see of Caesarea, to a primary place in the episcopate. Not content with aspiring to metropolitan rank, Juvenal coveted patriarchal dignity, and, in defiance of all canonical authority, he claimed jurisdiction over the great see of Antioch, from which he sought to remove Arabia and the two Phoenicias to his own province. At the council of Ephesus, in 431, he asserted for "the apostolic see of Jerusalem the same rank and authority with the apostolic see of Rome" (Labbe, Concil. iii. 642). These falsehoods he did not scruple to support with forged documents ("insolenter ausus per commentitia scripta firmare," Leo. Mag. Ep. 119 [92]), and other disgraceful artifices. Scarcely had Juvenal been consecrated bishop of Jerusalem when he proceeded to assert his claims to the metropolitan rank by his acts. In the letter of remonstrance against the proceedings of the council of Ephesus, sent to Theodosius by the Oriental party, they complain that Juvenal, whose "ambitious designs and juggling tricks" they are only too well acquainted with, had ordained in provinces over which he had no jurisdiction (Labbe, Concil. iii. 728). This audacious attempt to set at nought the Nicene decrees, and to falsify both history and tradition was regarded with the utmost indignation by the leaders of the Christian church. Cyril of Alexandria shuddered at the impious design ("merito perhorrescens," Leo. u. s.), and wrote to Leo, then archdeacon of Rome, informing him of what Juvenal was undertaking, and begging that his unlawful attempts might have no sanction from the apostolic See ("ut nulla illicitis conatibus praeberetur assensio," u. s.). Juvenal, however, was far too useful an ally in his campaign against Nestorius for Cyril lightly to discard. When the council met at Ephesus Juvenal was allowed, without the slightest remonstrance, to take precedence of his metropolitan of Caesarea, and to occupy the position of vice-president of the council, coming next after Cyril himself (Labbe, Concil. iii. 445), and was regarded in all respects as the second prelate in the assembly. The arrogant assertion of his supremacy over the bishop of Antioch, and his claim to take rank next after Rome as an apostolical see, provoked no open remonstrance, and his pretensions were at least tacitly allowed. At the next council, the disgraceful Latrocinium, Juvenal occupied the third place, after Dioscorus and the papal legate, having been specially named by Theodosius, together with Thalassius of Caesarea (who appears to have taken no umbrage at his suffragan being preferred before him), as next in authority to Dioscorus (Labbe, Concil. iv. 109), and he took a leading part in the violent proceedings of that assembly. When the council of Chalcedon met, one of the matters which came before it for settlement was the dispute as to priority between Juvenal and Maximus Bishop of Antioch. The contention was long and severe. It ended in a compromise agreed on in the Seventh Action, meta pollhn filoneikian. Juvenal surrendered his claim to the two Phoenicias and to Arabia, on condition of his being allowed metropolitical jurisdiction over the three Palestines (Labbe, Concil. iv. 613). The claim to patriarchal authority over the Bishop of Antioch put forward at Ephesus was discreetly dropped. TIle difficulty presented by the Nicene canon does not appear to have presented itself to the council, nor was any one found to urge the undoubted claims of the see of Caesarea. The terms arranged between Maximus and Juvenal were regarded as satisfactory, and received the consent of the assembled bishops (ibid. 618). Maximus, however, was not long in repenting of his too ready acquiescence in Juvenal's demands, and wrote a letter of complaint to pope Leo, who replied by the letter which has been already quoted, dated June 11, 453 A.D., in which he upheld the binding authority of the Nicene canons, and commenting in the strongest terms on the greediness and ambition of Juvenal, who allowed no opportunity of forwarding his ends to be lost, declared that as far as he was concerned he would do all he could to maintain the ancient dignity of the see of Antioch (Leo Magn. Ep. ad Maximum, 119 [92]). No further action, however, seems to have been taken either by Leo or by Maximus. Juvehal was left master of the situation, and the church of Jerusalem has from that epoch peaceably enjoyed the patriarchal dignity obtained for it by such base means.


CANON VIII.

CONCERNING those who call themselves Cathari, if they come over to the Catholic and Apostolic Church, the great and holy Synod decrees that they who are ordained shall continue as they are in the clergy. But it is before all things necessary that they should profess in writing that they will observe and follow the dogmas of the Catholic and Apostolic Church; in particular that they will communicate with persons who have been twice married, and with those who having lapsed in persecution have had a period [of penance] laid upon them, and a time [of restoration] fixed so that in all things they will follow the dogmas of the Catholic Church. Wheresoever, then, whether in villages or in cities, all of the ordained are found to be of these only, let them remain in the clergy, and in the same rank in which they are found. But if they come over where there is a bishop or presbyter of the Catholic Church, it is manifest that the Bishop of the Church must have the bishop's dignity; and he who was named bishop by those who are called Cathari shall have the rank of presbyter, unless it shall seem fit to the Bishop to admit him to partake in the honour of the title. Or, if this should not be satisfactory, then shall the bishop provide for him a place as Chorepiscopus, or presbyter, in order that he may be evidently seen to be of the clergy, and that there may not be two bishops in the city.

NOTES.

ANCIENT EPITOME OF CANON VIII.

If those called Cathari come over, let them first make profession that they are willing to communicate with the twice married, and to grant pardon to the lapsed. And on this condition he who happens to be in orders, shall continue in the same order, so that a bishop shall still be bishop. Whoever was a bishop among the Cathari let him, however, become a Chorepiscopus, or let him enjoy the honour of a presbyter or of a bishop. For in one church there shall not be two bishops.
The Cathari or Novatians were the followers of Novatian, a presbyter of Rome, who had been a Stoic philosopher and was delivered, according to his own story, from diabolical possession at his exorcising by the Church before his baptism, when becoming a Catechumen. Being in peril of death by illness he received clinical baptism, and was ordained priest without any further sacred rites being administered to him. During the persecution he constantly refused to assist his brethren, and afterwards raised his voice against what he considered their culpable laxity in admitting to penance the lapsed. Many agreed with him in this, especially of the clergy, and eventually, in A.D. 251, he induced three bishops to consecrate him, thus becoming, as Fleury remarks,(1) "the first Anti-Pope." His indignation was principally spent upon Pope Cornelius, and to overthrow the prevailing discipline of the Church he ordained bishops and sent them to different parts of the empire as the disseminators of his error. It is well to remember that while beginning only as a schismatic, he soon fell into heresy, denying that the Church had the power to absolve the lapsed. Although condemned by several councils his sect continued on, and like the Montanists they rebaptized Catholics who apostatized to them, and absolutely rejected all second marriages. At the time of the Council of Nicaea the Novatian bishop at Constantinople, Acesius, was greatly esteemed, and although a schismatic, was invited to attend the council. After having in answer to the emperor's enquiry whether he was willing to sign the Creed, assured him that he was, he went on to explain that his separation was because the Church no longer observed the ancient discipline which forbade that those who had committed mortal sin should ever be readmitted to communion. According to the Novatians he might be exhorted to repentance, but the Church had no power to assure him of forgiveness but must leave him to the judgment of God. It was then that Constantine said, "Acesius, take a ladder, and climb up to heaven alone."(2)

ARISTENUS.

If any of them be bishops or chorepiscopi they shall remain in the same rank, unless perchance in the same city there be found a bishop of the Catholic Church, ordained before their coming. For in this case he that was properly bishop from the first shall have the preference, and he alone shall retain the Episcopal throne. For it is not right that in the same city there should be two bishops. But he who by the Cathari was called bishop, shall be honoured as a presbyter, or (if it so please the bishop), he shall be sharer of the title bishop; but he shall exercise no episcopal jurisdiction.
Zonaras, Balsamon, Beveridge and Van Espen, are of opinion that keiroqetoumenous does not mean that they are to receive a new laying on of hands at their reception into the Church, but that it refers to their already condition of being ordained, the meaning being that as they have had Novatian ordination they must be reckoned among the clergy. Dionysius Exiguus takes a different view, as does also the Prisca version, according to which the clergy of the Novatians were to receive a laying on of hands, keiroqetoumenous, but that it was not to be a reordination. With this interpretation Hefele seems to agree, founding his opinion upon the fact that the article is wanting before keiroqetoumenous, and that autous is added. Gratian(1) supposes that this eighth canon orders a re-ordination.

EXCURSUS ON THE CHOREPISCOPI.

There has been much difference of opinion among the learned touching the status of the Chorepiscopus in the early Church. The main question in dispute is as to whether they were always, sometimes, or never, in episcopal orders. Most Anglican writers, including Beveridge, Hammond, Cave, and Routh, have affirmed the first proposition, that they were true bishops, but that, out of respect to the bishop of the City they were forbidden the exercise of certain of their episcopal functions, except upon extraordinary occasions. With this view Binterim(2) also agrees, and Augusti is of the same opinion.(3) But Thomassinus is of a different mind, thinking, so says Hefele,(4) that there were "two classes of chorepiscopi, of whom the one were real bishops, while the other had only the title without consecration."

The third opinion, that they were merely presbyters, is espoused by Morinus and Du Cange, and others who are named by Bingham.(5) This last opinion is now all but universally rejected, to the other two we shall now devote our attention.
For the first opinion no one can speak more learnedly nor more authoritatively than Arthur West Haddon, who writes as follows;

(Haddon, Dict. Christ. Antiq. s. v. Chorepiscopus.)

The chorepiscopus was called into existence in the latter part of the third century, and first in Asia Minor, in order to meet the want of episcopal supervision in the country parts of the now enlarged dioceses without subdivision. [They are] first mentioned in the Councils of Ancyra and Neo-Caesarea A. D. 314, and again in the Council of Nicaea (which is subscribed by fifteen, all from Asia Minor or Syria). [They became] sufficiently important to require restriction by the time of the Council of Antioch, A. D. 341; and continued to exist in the East until at least the ninth century, when they were supplanted by exarkoi. [Chorepiscopi are] first mentioned in the West in the Council of Riez, A. D. 439 (the Epistles of Pope Damasus I. and of Leo. M. respecting them being forgeries), and continued there (but not in Africa, principally in France) until about the tenth century, after which the name occurs (in a decree of Pope Damasus II. ap. Sigeb. in an. 1048) as equivalent to archdeacon, an office from which the Arabic Nicene canons expressly distinguish it. The functions of chorepiscopi, as well as their name, were of an episcopal, not of a presbyterial kind, although limited to minor offices. They overlooked the country district committed to them, "loco episcopi," ordaining readers, exorcists, subdeacons, but, as a rule, not deacons or presbyters (and of course not bishops), unless by express permission of their diocesan bishop. They confirmed in their own districts, and (in Gaul) are mentioned as consecrating churches (vide Du Cange). They granted eirenikai, or letters dimissory, which country presbyters were forbidden to do. They had also the honorary privilege (timwmenoi) of assisting at the celebration of the Holy Eucharist in the mother city church, which country presbyters had not (Conc. Ancyr. can. xiii.; Neo-Caesar. can. xiv.; Antioch, can. x.; St. Basil M. Epist. 181; Rab. Maur. De Instit. Cler. i. 5, etc. etc.). They were held therefore to have power of ordination, but to lack jurisdiction, save subordinately. And the actual ordination of a presbyter by Timotheus, a chorepiscopus, is recorded (Pallad., Hist. Lausiac. 106).

In the West, i.e. chiefly in Gaul, the order appears to have prevailed more widely, to have usurped episcopal functions without due subordination to the diocesans, and to have been also taken advantage of by idle or worldly diocesans. In consequence it seems to have aroused a strong feeling of hostility, which showed itself, first in a series of papal bulls, condemning them; headed, it is true, by two forged letters respectively of Damasus I. and Leo. M. (of which the latter is merely an interpolated version of Conc. Hispal. II. A.D. 619, can. 7, adding chorepiscopi to presbyteri, of which latter the council really treats), but continuing in a more genuine form, from Leo III. down to Pope Nicholas I. (to Rodolph, Archbishop of Bourges, A.D. 864); the last of whom, however, takes the more moderate line of affirming chorepiscopi to be really bishops, and consequently refusing to annul their ordinations of presbyters and deacons (as previous popes had done), but orders them to keep within canonical limits; and secondly, in a series of conciliar decrees, Conc. Ratispon. A.D. 800, in Capit. lib. iv. c. 1, Paris. A.D. 829, lib. i.c. 27; Meld. A.D. 845, can. 44; Metens. A.D. 888, can. 8, and Capitul. v. 168, vi. 119, vii. 187, 310, 323, 324, annulling all episcopal acts of chorepiscopi, and ordering them to be repeated by "true" bishops; and finally forbidding all further appointments of chorepiscopi at all.

That chorepiscopi as such--i.e. omitting the cases of reconciled or vacant bishops above mentioned, of whose episcopate of course no question is made--were at first truly bishops both in East and West, appears almost certain, both from their name and functions, and even from the arguments of their strong opponents just spoken of. If nothing more could be urged against them, than that the Council of Neo-Caesarea compared them to the Seventy disciples, that the Council of Antioch authorises their consecration by a single bishop, and that they actually were so consecrated (the Antiochene decree might mean merely nomination by the word ginesqai, but the actual history seems to rule the term to intend consecration, and the [one] exceptional case of a chorepiscopus recorded [Actt. Episc. Cenoman. ap. Du Cange] in late times to have been ordained by three bishops [in order that he might be a full bishop] merely proves the general rule to the contrary)--and that they were consecrated for "villages," contrary to canon,--then they certainly were bishops. And Pope Nicholas expressly says that they were so. Undoubtedly they ceased to be so in the East, and were practically merged in archdeacons in the West.

For the second opinion, its great champion, Thomassinus shall speak.

(Thomassin, Ancienne et Nouvelle Discipline de l'Eglise, Tom. I. Livre II. chap 1. iii.)

The chorepiscopi were not duly consecrated bishops, unless some bishop had consecrated a bishop for a town and the bishop thus ordained contrary to the canons was tolerated on condition of his submitting himself to the diocesan as though he were only a chorepiscopus. This may be gathered from the fifty-seventh canon of Laodicea.
From this canon two conclusions may be drawn, 1st. That bishops ought not to be ordained for villages, and that as Chorepiscopi could only be placed in villages they could not be bishops. 2d. That sometimes by accident a chorepiscopus might be a bishop, but only through having been canonically lowered to that rank.

The Council of Nicaea furnishes another example of a bishop lowered to the rank of a chorepiscopus in Canon viii. This canon shows that they should not have been bishops, for two bishops could never be in a diocese, although this might accidentally be the case when a chorepiscopus happened to be a bishop.
This is the meaning which must be given to the tenth canon of Antioch, which directs that chorepiscopi, even if they have received episcopal orders, and have been consecrated bishops, shall keep within the limits prescribed by the canon; that in cases of necessity, they ordain the lower clergy; but that they be careful not to ordain priests or deacons, because this power is absolutely reserved to the Diocesan. It must be added that as the council of Antioch commands that the Diocesan without any other bishop can ordain the chorepiscopus, the position can no longer be sustained that the chorepiscopi were bishops, such a method of consecreting a bishop being contrary to canon xix. of the same council, moreover the canon does not say the chorepiscopus is to be ordained, but uses the word genesqai by the bishop of the city (canon x.). The Council of Neocaesarea by referring them to the seventy disciples (in Canon XIV.) has shown the chorepiscopi to be only priests.

But the Council of Ancyra does furnish a difficulty, for the text seems to permit chorepiscopi to ordain priests. But the Greek text must be corrected by the ancient Latin versions. The letter attributed to pope Nicholas, A.D. 864, must be considered a forgery since he recognises the chorepiscopi as real bishops.
If Harmenopulus, Aristenus, Balsamon, and Zonaras seem to accord to the chorepiscopi the power to ordain priests and deacons with the permission of the Diocesan, it is because they are explaining the meaning and setting forth the practice of the ancient councils and not the practice of their own times. But at all events it is past all doubt that before the seventh century there were, by different accidents, chorepiscopi who were really bishops and that these could, with the consent of the diocesan, ordain priests. But at the time these authors wrote, there was not a single chorepiscopus in the entire East, as Balsamon frankly admits in commenting on Canon xiii. of Ancyra.

Whether in the foregoing the reader will think Thomassinus has proved his point, I do not know, but so far as the position of the chorepiscopi in synods is concerned there can be no doubt whatever, and I shall allow Hefele to speak on this point.

(Hefele, History of the Councils, Vol. I. pp. 17, 18.)

The Chorepiscopi (kwrepiskopoi), or bishops of country places, seem to have been considered in ancient times as quite on a par with the other bishops, as far as their position in synod was concerned. We meet with them at the Councils of Neocaesarea in the year 314, of Nicaea in 325, of Ephesus in 431. On the other hand, among the 600 bishops of the fourth Ecumenical Council at Chalcedon in 451, there is no chorepiscopus present, for by this time the office had been abolished; but in the Middle Ages we again meet with chorepiscopi of a new kind at Western councils, particularly at those of the French Church, at Langres in 830, at Mayence in 847, at Pontion in 876, at Lyons in 886, at Douzy in 871.


CANON IX.

IF any presbyters have been advanced without examination, or if upon examination they have made confession of crime, and men acting in violation of the canon have laid hands upon them, notwithstanding their confession, such the canon does not admit; for the Catholic Church requires that [only] which is blameless.

NOTES.

ANCIENT EPITOME OF CANON IX.

Whoever are ordained without examination, shall be deposed if it be found out afterwards that they had been guilty.

HEFELE.

The crimes in question are those which were a bar to the priesthood--such as blasphemy, bigamy, heresy, idolatry, magic, etc.--as the Arabic paraphrase of Joseph explains. It is clear that these faults are punishable in the bishop no less than in the priest, and that consequently our canon refers to the bishops as well as to the presbuteroi in the more restricted sense. These words of the Greek text, "In the case in which any one might be induced, in opposition to the canon, to ordain such persons," allude to the ninth canon of the Synod of Neocaesarea. It was necessary to pass such ordinances; for even in the fifth century, as the twenty-second letter to Pope Innocent the First testifies, some held that as baptism effaces all former sins, so it takes away all the impedimenta ordinationis which are the results of those sins.

BALSAMON.

Some say that as baptism makes the baptized person a new man, so ordination takes away the sins committed before ordination, which opinion does not seem to agree with the canons.

This canon occurs twice in the Decretum D.24 c.7 and D.81 c.4.


CANON X.

IF any who have lapsed have been ordained through the ignorance, or even with the previous knowledge of the ordainers, this shall not prejudice the canon of the Church for when they are discovered they shall be deposed.

NOTES.

ANCIENT EPITOME OF CANON X.

Whoso had lapsed are to be deposed whether those who ordained and promoted them did so conscious of their guilt or unknowing of it.

HEFELE.

The tenth canon differs from the ninth, inasmuch as it concerns only the lapsi and their elevation, not only to the priesthood, but to any other ecclesiastical preferment as well, and requires their deposition. The punishment of a bishop who should consciously perform such an ordination is not mentioned; but it is incontestable that the lapsi could not be ordained, even after having performed penance; for, as the preceding canon states, the Church requires those who were faultless. It is to be observed that the word prokeirizein is evidently employed here in the sense of "ordain," and is used without any distinction from keirizein, whilst in the synodal letter of the Council of Nicaea on the subject of the Meletians, there is a distinction between these two words, and prokeirizein is used to signify eliger.

This canon is found in Corpus Juris Canonici. Decretum. D.81 c.5
.

CANON XI.

CONCERNING those who have fallen without compulsion, without the spoiling of their property, without danger or the like, as happened during the tyranny of Licinius, the Synod declares that, though they have deserved no clemency, they shall be dealt with mercifully. As many as were communicants, if they heartily repent, shall pass three years among the hearers; for seven years they shall be prostrators; and for two years they shall communicate with the people in prayers, but without oblation.

NOTES.

ANCIENT EPITOME OF CANON XI.

As many as fell without necessity, even if therefore undeserving of indulgence, yet some indulgence shall be shown them and they shall be prostrators for twelve years.

On the expression "without oblation" (kwris
prosforas) see the notes to Ancyra, Canon V. where the matter is treated at some length.

LAMBERT.

The usual position of the hearers was just inside the church door. But Zonaras (and Balsamon agrees with him), in his comment on this canon, says, "they are ordered for three years to be hearers, or to stand without the church in the narthex."
I have read "as many as were communicants" (oi pistoi) thus following Dr. Routh. Vide his Opuscula. Caranza translates in his Summary of the Councils "if they were faithful" and seems to have read ei pistoi, which is much simpler and makes better sense.

ZONARAS.

The prostrators stood within the body of the church behind the ambo [i.e. the reading desk] and went out with the catechumens.

EXCURSUS ON THE PUBLIC DISCIPLINE OR EXOMOLOGESIS OF THE EARLY CHURCH.

(Taken chiefly from Morinus, De Disciplina in Administratione Sacramenti Poenitentioe; Bingham, Antiquities; and Hammond, The Definitions of Faith, etc. Note to Canon XI. of Nicaea.)
"In the Primitive Church there was a godly discipline, that at the beginning of Lent, such persons as stood convicted of notorious sin were put to open penance, and punished in this world that their souls might be saved in the day of the Lord; and that others, admonished by their example, might be the more afraid to offend."

The foregoing words from the Commination Service of the Church of England may serve well to introduce this subject. In the history of the public administration of discipline in the Church, there are three periods sufficiently distinctly marked. The first of these ends at the rise of Novatianism in the middle of the second century; the second stretches down to about the eighth century; and the third period shews its gradual decline to its practical abandonment in the eleventh century. The period with which we are concerned is the second, when it was in full force.
In the first period it would seem that public penance was required only of those convicted of what then were called by pre-eminence "mortal sins" (crimena mortalia(1)), viz: idolatry, murder, and adultery. But in the second period the list of mortal sins was greatly enlarged, and Morinus says that "Many Fathers who wrote after Augustine's time, extended the necessity of public penance to all crimes which the civil law punished with death, exile, or other grave corporal penalty."(2) In the penitential canons ascribed to St. Basil and those which pass by the name of St. Gregory Nyssen, this increase of offences requiring public penance will be found intimated.

From the fourth century the penitents of the Church were divided into four classes. Three of these are mentioned in the eleventh canon, the fourth, which is not here referred to, was composed of those styled sugklaiontes, flentes or weepers. These were not allowed to enter into the body of the church at all, but stood or lay outside the gates, sometimes covered with sackcloth and ashes. This is the class which is sometimes styled keimozomenoi, hybernantes, on account of their being obliged to endure the inclemency of the weather.
It may help to the better understanding of this and other canons which notice the different orders of penitents, to give a brief account of the usual form and arrangement of the ancient churches as well as of the different orders of the penitents.

Before the church there was commonly either an open area surrounded with porticoes, called mesaulion or atrium, with a font of water in the centre, styled a cantharus or phiala, or sometimes only an open portico, or propulaion. The first variety may still be seen at S. Ambrogio's in Milan, and the latter in Rome at S. Lorenzo's, and in Ravenna at the two S. Apollinares. This was the place at which the first and lowest order of penitents, the weepers, already referred to, stood exposed to the weather. Of these, St. Gregory Thaumaturgus says: "Weeping takes place outside the door of the church, where the sinner must stand and beg the prayers of the faithful as they go in."

The church itself usually consisted of three divisions within, besides these exterior courts and porch. The first part after passing through "the great gates," or doors of the building, was called the Narthex in Greek, and Faerula in Latin, and was a narrow vestibule extending the whole width of the church. In this part, to which Jews and Gentiles, and in most places even heretics and schismatics were admitted, stood the Catechumens, and the Energumens or those afflicted with evil spirits, and the second class of penitents (the first mentioned in the Canon), who were called the akowmenoi, audientes, or hearers. These were allowed to hear the Scriptures read, and the Sermon preached, but were obliged to depart before the celebration of the Divine Mysteries, with the Catechumens, and the others who went by the general name of hearers only.

The second division, or main body of the church, was called the Naos or Nave. This was separated from the Narthex by rails of wood, with gates in the centre, which were called "the beautiful or royal gates." In the middle of the Nave, but rather toward the lower or entrance part of it, stood the Ambo, or reading-desk, the place for the readers and singers, to which they went up by steps, whence the name, Ambo. Before coming to the Ambo, in the lowest part of the Nave, and just after passing the royal gates, was the place for the third order of penitents, called in Greek gonuklinontes, or upopiptontes,and in Latin Genuflectentes or Prostrati, i.e., kneelers or prostrators, because they were allowed to remain and join in certain prayers particularly made for them. Before going out they prostrated themselves to receive the imposition of the bishop's hands with prayer. This class of penitents left with the Catechumens.

In the other parts of the Nave stood the believers or faithful, i.e., those persons wire were in full communion with the Church, the men and women generally on opposite sides, though in some places the men were below, and the women in galleries above. Amongst these were the fourth class of penitents, who were called sunestwtes, consistentes, i.e., co-standers, because they were allowed to stand with the faithful, and to remain and hear the prayers of the Church, after the Catechumens and the other penitents were dismissed, and to be present while the faithful offered and communicated, though they might not themselves make their offerings, nor partake of the Holy Communion. This class of penitents are frequently mentioned in the canons, as "communicating in prayers," or "without the oblation;" and it was the last grade to be passed through previous to the being admitted again to full communion. The practice of "hearing mass" or "non-communicating attendance" clearly had its origin in this stage of discipline. At the upper end of the body of the church, and divided from it by rails which were called Cancelli, was that part which we now call the Chancel. This was anciently called by several names, as Bema or tribunal, from its being raised above the body of the church, and Sacrarium or Sanctuary. It was also called Apsis and Concha Bematis, from its semicircular end. In this part stood the Altar, or Holy Table (which names were indifferently used in the primitive Church), behind which, and against the wall of the chancel, was the Bishop's throne, with the seats of the Presbyters on each side of it, called synthronus. On one side of the chancel was the repository for the sacred utensils and vestments, called the Diaconicum, and answering to our Vestry; and on the other the Prothesis, a side-table, or place, where the bread and wine were deposited before they were offered on the Altar. The gates in the chancel rail were called the holy gates, and none but the higher orders of the clergy, i.e., Bishops, Priests, and Deacons, were allowed to enter within them. The Emperor indeed was permitted to do so for the purpose of making his offering at the Altar, but then he was obliged to retire immediately, and to receive the communion without.

(Thomassin. Ancienne et Nouvelle Discipline de l'Eglise. Tom. I. Livre II. chap. xvj. somewhat abridged.)

In the West there existed always many cases of public penance, but in the East it is more difficult to find any traces of it, after it was abolished by the Patriarch Nectarius in the person of the Grand Penitentiary.
However, the Emperor Alexis Comnenus, who took the empire in the year 1080, did a penance like that of older days, and one which may well pass for miraculous. He called together a large number of bishops with the patriarch, and some holy religious; be presented himself before them in the garb of a criminal; he confessed to them his crime of usurpation with all its circumstances. They condemned the Emperor and all his accomplices to fasting, to lying prostrate upon the earth, to wearing haircloth, and to all the other ordinary austerities of penance. Their wives desired to share their griefs and their sufferings, although they had had no share in their crime. The whole palace became a theatre of sorrow and public penance. The emperor wore the hairshirt under the purple, and lay upon the earth for forty days, having only a stone for a pillow.

To all practical purposes Public Penance was a general institution but for a short while in the Church. But the reader must be careful to distinguish between this Public Penance and the private confession which in the Catholic Church both East and West is universally practised. What Nectarius did was to abolish the office of Penitentiary, whose duty it had been to assign public penance for secret sin;(1) a thing wholly different from what Catholics understand by the "Sacrament of Penance." It would be out of place to do more in this place than to call the reader's attention to the bare fact, and to supply him, from a Roman Catholic point of view, with an explanation of why Public Penance died out. "It came to an end because it was of human institution. But sacramental confession, being of divine origin, lasted when the penitential discipline had been changed, and continues to this day among the Greeks and Oriental sects."(2) That the reader may judge of the absolute can-dour of the writer just quoted, I give a few sentences from the same article: "An opinion, however, did prevail to some extent in the middle ages, even among Catholics, that confession to God alone sufficed. The Council of Chalons in 813 (canon xxxiij.), says: 'Some assert that we should confess our sins to God alone, but some think that they should be confessed to the priest, each of which practices is followed not without great fruit in Holy Church. ... Confession made to God purges sins, but that made to the priest teaches how they are to be purged.' This former opinion is also mentioned without reprobation by Peter Lombard (In Sentent. Lib. iv. dist. xvij.)."


CANON XII.

As many as were called by grace, and displayed the first zeal, having cast aside their military girdles, but afterwards returned, like dogs, to their own vomit, (so that some spent money and by means of gifts regained their military stations); let these, after they have passed the space of three years as hearers, be for ten years prostrators. But in all these cases it is necessary to examine well into their purpose and what their repentance appears to be like. For as many as give evidence of their conversions by deeds, and not pretence, with fear, and tears, and perseverance, and good works, when they have fulfilled their appointed time as hearers, may properly communicate in prayers; and after that the bishop may determine yet more favourably concerning them. But those who take [the matter] with indifference, and who think the form of [not] entering the Church is sufficient for their conversion, must fulfil the whole time.

NOTES.

ANCIENT EPITOME OF CANON XII.

Those who endured violence and were seen to have resisted, but who afterwards yielded go wickedness, and returned to the army, shall be excommunicated for ten years. But in every case the way in which they do their penance must be scrutinized. And if anyone who is doing penance shews himself zealous in its performance, the bishop shall treat him more lentently than had he been cold and indifferent.

LAMBERT.

The abuse of this power, namely, of granting under certain circumstances a relaxation in the penitential exercises enjoined by the canons--led, in later times, to the practice of commuting such exercises for money payments, etc.
In his last contests with Constantine, Licinius had made himself the representative of heathenism; so that the final issue of the war would not be the mere triumph of one of the two competitors, but the triumph or fall of Christianity or heathenism. Accordingly, a Christian who had in this war supported the cause of Licinius and of heathenism might be considered as a lapsus, even if he did not formally fall away. With much more reason might those Christians be treated as lapsi who, having conscientiously given up military service (this is meant by the soldier's belt), afterwards retracted their resolution, and went so far as to give money and presents for the sake of readmission, on account of the numerous advantages which military service then afforded. It must not be forgotten that Licinius, as Zonaras and Eusebius relate, required from his soldiers a formal apostasy; compelled them, for example, to take part in the heathen sacrifices which were held in the camps, and dismissed from his service those who would not apostatize.

BRIGHT.

This canon (which in the Prisca and the Isidorian version stands as part of canon 11) deals, like it, with cases which had arisen under the Eastern reign of Licinius, who having resolved to "purge his army of all ardent Christians" (Mason, Persec. of Diocl. p. 308), ordered his Christian officers to sacrifice to the gods on pain of being cashiered (compare Euseb. H. E. x. 8; Vit. Con. i. 54). It is to be observed here that military life as such was not deemed unchristian. The case of Cornelius was borne in mind. "We serve in your armies," says Tertullian, Apol. 42 (although later, as a Montanist, he took a rigorist and fanatical view, De Cor. 11), and compare the fact which underlies the tale of the "Thundering Legion,"--the presence of Christians in the army of Marcus Aurelius. It was the heathenish adjuncts to their calling which often brought Christian soldiers to a stand (see Routh. Scr. Opusc. i. 410), as when Marinus' succession to a centurionship was challenged on the ground that he could not sacrifice to the gods (Euseb. H. E. vii. 15). Sometimes, indeed, individual Christians thought like Maximilian in the Martyrology, who absolutely refused to enlist, and on being told by the proconsul that there were Christian soldiers in the imperial service, answered, "Ipsi sciunt quod ipsis expediat" (Ruinart, Act. Sanc. p. 341). But, says Bingham (Antiq. xi. 5, 10), "the ancient canons did not condemn the military life as a vocation simply unlawful. ... I believe there is no instance of any man being refused baptism merely because he was a soldier, unless some unlawful circumstance, such as idolatry, or the like, made the vocation sinful." After the victory of Constantine in the West, the Council of Aries excommunicated those who in time of peace "threw away their arms" (can. 2). In the case before us, some Christian officers had at first stood firm under the trial imposed on them by Licinius. They had been "called by grace" to an act of self-sacrifice (the phrase is one which St. Augustine might have used); and had shown "their eagerness at the outset" ("primum suum ardorem," Dionysius; Philo and Evarestus more laxly, "primordia bona;" compare thn agaphn sou thn prwthn, Rev. ii. 4). Observe here how beautifully the ideas of grace and free will are harmonized. These men had responded to a Divine impulse: it might seem that they had committed themselves to a noble course: they had cast aside the "belts" which were their badge of office (compare the cases of Valentinian and Valens, Soc. iii. 13, and of Benevoins throwing down his belt at the feet of Justina, Soz. vii. 13). They had done, in fact, just what Auxentius, one of Licinius' notaries, had done when, according to the graphic anecdote of Philostorgius (Fragm. 5), his master bade him place a bunch of grapes before a statue of Bacchus in the palace-court; but their zeal, unlike his, proved to be too impulsive--they reconsidered their position, and illustrated the maxim that in morals second thoughts are not best (Butler, Serm. 7), by making unworthy attempts--in some cases by bribery--to recover what they had worthily resigned. (Observe the Grecised Latinism benefikiois and compare the Latinisms of St. Mark, and others in Euseb. iii. 20, vi. 40, x. 5.) This the Council describes in proverbial language, probably borrowed from 2 Pet. ii. 22, but, it is needless to say, without intending to censure enlistment as such. They now desired to be received to penance: accordingly they were ordered to spend three years as Hearers, during which time "their purpose, and the nature (eidos) of their repentance" were to be carefully "examined." Again we see the earnest resolution of the Council to make discipline a moral reality, and to prevent it from being turned into a formal routine; to secure, as Rufinus' abridgment expresses it, a repentance "fructuosam et attentam." If the penitents were found to have "manifested their conversion by deeds, and not in outward show (skhmati), by awe, and tears, and patience, and good works" (such, for instance, Zonaras comments, as almsgiving according to ability), "it would be then reasonable to admit them to a participation in the prayers," to the position of Consistentes, "with permission also to the bishop to come to a yet more indulgent resolution concerning them," by admitting them to full communion. This discretionary power of the bishop to dispense with part of a penance-time is recognized in the fifth canon of Ancyra and the sixteenth of Chalcedon, and mentioned by Basil, Epist. 217, c. 74. It was the basis of "indulgences "in their original form (Bingham, xviii. 4, 9). But it was too possible that some at least of these "lapsi" might take the whole affair lightly, "with indifference" adiakorws-not seriously enough, as Hervetas renders--just as if, in common parlance, it did not signify: the fourth Ancyrene canon speaks of lapsi who partook of the idol-feast adiakorws as if it involved them in no sin (see below on Eph. 5, Chalc. 4). It was possible that they might "deem" the outward form of "entering the church" to stand in the narthex among the Hearers (here, as in c. 8, 19, skhma denotes an external visible fact) sufficient to entitle them to the character of converted penitents, while their conduct out of church was utterly lacking in seriousness and self-humiliation. In that case there could be no question of shortening their penance, time, for they were not in a state to benefit by indulgence: it would be, as the Roman Presbyters wrote to Cyprian, and as he himself wrote to his own church, a "mere covering over of the wound" (Epist. 30, 3), an "injury" rather than "a kindness" (De Lapsis, 16); they must therefore "by all means" go through ten years as Kneelers, before they can become Consistentes.

There is great difficulty about the last phrase and Gelasius of Cyzicus, the Prisca, Dionysius Exiguus, the pseudo-Isidore, Zonaras and most others have considered the "not" an interpolation. I do not see how dropping the "not" makes the meaning materially clearer.

CANON XIII.


CONCERNING the departing, the ancient canonical law is still to be maintained, to wit, that, if any man be at the point of death, he must not be deprived of the last and most indispensable Viaticum. But, if any one should be restored to health again who has received the communion when his life was despaired of, let him remain among those who communicate in prayers only. But in general, and in the case of any dying person whatsoever asking to receive the Eucharist, let the Bishop, after examination made, give it him.

NOTES.

ANCIENT EPITOME OF CANON XIII.

The dying are to be communicated. But if any such get well, he must be placed in the number of those who share in the prayers, and with these only.

VAN ESPEN.

It cannot be denied that antiquity used the name "Viaticum "not only to denote the Eucharist which was given to the dying, but also to denote the reconciliation, and imposition of penance, and in general, everything that could be conducive to the happy death of the person concerned, and this has been shown by Aubespine (lib. 1, Obs. cap. ii.). But while this is so, the more usual sense of the word is the Eucharist. For this cannot be denied that the faithful of the first ages of the Church looked upon the Eucharist as the complement of Christian perfection, and as the last seal of hope and salvation. It was for tiffs reason that at the beginning of life, after baptism and confirmation, the Eucharist was given even to infants, and at the close of life the Eucharist followed reconciliation and extreme unction, so that properly and literally it could be styled "the last Viaticum." Moreover for penitents it was considered especially necessary that through it they might return to the peace of the Church; for perfect peace is given by that very communion of the Eucharist. [A number of instances are then cited, and various ancient versions of the canon.] Balsamon and Zonaras also understand the canon as I have done, as is evident from their commentaries, and so did Josephus AEgyptius, who in his Arabic Paraphrase gives the canon this title: "Concerning him who is excommunicated and has committed some deadly sin, and desires the Eucharist to be granted to him."

This canon is found in the  Gratian, Decretum Pars. II. causa xxvi, Quaes. VI., c. ix.

EXCURSUS ON THE COMMUNION OF THE SICK.

There is nothing upon which the ancient church more strenuously insisted than the oral reception of the Holy Communion. What in later times was known as "Spiritual Communion" was outside of the view of those early days; and to them the issues of eternity were considered often to rest upon the sick man's receiving with his mouth "his food for the journey," the Viaticum, before he died. No greater proof of how important this matter was deemed could be found than the present canon, which provides that even the stern and invariable canons of the public penance are to give way before the awful necessity of fortifying the soul in the last hour of its earthly sojourn.

Possibly at first the Italy Sacrament may have been consecrated in the presence of the sick person, but of this in early times the instances are rare and by was considered a marked favour that such a thing should be allowed, and the saying of mass in private houses was prohibited (as it is in the Eastern and Latin churches still to-day) with the greatest
The necessity of having the consecrated bread and wine for the sick led to their reservation, a practice which has existed in the Church from the very beginning, so far as any records of which we are in possession shew.
St. Justin Martyr, writing less than a half century after St. John's death, mentions that "the deacons communicate each of those present, and carry away to the absent the blest bread, and wine and water."(1) It was evidently a long established custom in his day.

Tertullian tells us of a woman whose husband was a heathen and who was allowed to keep the Holy Sacrament in her house that she might receive every morning before other food. St. Cyprian also gives a most interesting example of reservation. In his treatise "On the Lapsed" written in A.D. 251, (chapter xxvi), he says: "Another woman, when she tried with unworthy hands to open her box, in which was the Holy of the Lord, was deterred from daring to touch it by fire rising from it."
It is impossible with any accuracy to fix the date, but certainly before the year four hundred, a perpetual reservation for the sick was made in the churches. A most interesting incidental proof of this is found in the thrilling description given by St. Chrysostom of the great riot in Constantinople in the year 403, when the soldiers "burst into the place where the Holy Things were stored, and saw all things therein," and "the most holy blood of Christ was spilled upon their clothes."(2) From this incident it is evident that in that church the Holy Sacrament was reserved in both kinds, and separately.

Whether this at the time was usual it is hard to say, but there can be no doubt that even in the earliest times the Sacrament was given, on rare occasions at least, in one kind, sometimes under the form of bread alone, and when the sick persons could not swallow under the form of wine alone. The practice called "intinction," that is the dipping of the bread into the wine and administering the two species together, was of very early introduction and still is universal in the East, not only when Communion is given with the reserved Sacrament, but also when the people are communicated in the Liturgy from the newly consecrated species. The first mention of intinction in the West, is at Carthage in the fifth century.(1) We know it was practised in the seventh century and by the twelfth it had become general, to give place to the withdrawal of the chalice altogether in the West.(2) "Regino(De Eccles. Discip. Lib. I. c. lxx.) in 906, Burchard(Decr. Lib. V. cap. ix. fol. 95. colon. 1560.) in 996, and Ivo(Decr. Pars. II. cap. xix. p. 56, Paris 1647) in 1092 all cite a Canon, which they ascribe to a council of Tours ordering 'every presbyter to have a pyx or vessel meet for so great a sacrament, in which the Body of the Lord may be carefully laid up for the Viaticum to those departing from this world, which sacred oblation ought to be steeped in the Blood of Christ that the presbyter may be able to say truthfully to the sick man, The Body and Blood of the Lord avail thee, etc.'"(3)

The reservation of the Holy Sacrament was usually made in the church itself, and the learned W. E. Scudamore is of opinion that this was the case in Africa as early as the fourth century.(4)
It will not be uninteresting to quote in this connection the "Apostolic Constitutions," for while indeed there is much doubt of the date of the Eighth Book, yet it is certainly of great antiquity. Here we read, "and after the communion of both men and women, the deacons take what remains and place it in the tabernacle."(5)
Perhaps it may not be amiss before closing the remark that so far as we are aware the reservation of the Holy Sacrament in the early church was only for the purposes of communion, and that the churches of the East reserve it to the present day only for this purpose.

Those who wish to read the matter treated of more at length, can do so in Muratori's learned "Dissertationes" which are prefixed to his edition of the Roman Sacramentaries(chapter XXIV) and in Scudamore's Notitia Eucharistica, a work which can be absolutely relied upon for the accuracy of its facts, however little one may feel constrained to accept the logical justness of its conclusions.


CANON XIV.

CONCERNING catechumens who have lapsed, the holy and great Synod has decreed that, after they have passed three years only as hearers, they shall pray with the catechumens.

NOTES.

ANCIENT EPITOME OF CANON XIV.

If any of the catechumens shall have fallen for three years he shall be a hearer only, and then let him pray with the catechumens.

JUSTELLUS.

The people formerly were divided into three classes in the church, for there were catechumens, faithful, and penitents; but it is clear from the present canon there were two kinds of catechumens: one consisting of those who heard the Word of God, and wished to become Christians, but had not yet desired baptism; these were called "hearers." Others who were of long standing, and were properly trained in the faith, and desired baptism--these were called "competentes."
There is difference of opinion among the learned as to whether there was not a third or even a fourth class of catechumens. Bingham and Card. Bona, while not agreeing in particular points, agree in affirming that there were more than two classes. Bingham's first class are those not allowed to enter the church, the exwqoumenoi, but the affirmation of the existence of such a class rests only on a very forced explanation of canon five of Neocaesarea. The second class, the hearers, audientes, rests on better evidence. These were not allowed to stay while the Holy Mysteries were celebrated, and their expulsion gave rise to the distinction between the "Mass of the Catechumens"(Missa Catechumenorum) and the "Mass of the Faithful"(Missa Fidelium). Nor were they suffered to hear the Creed or the Our Father. Writers who multiply the classes insert here some who knelt and prayed, called Prostrati or Genuflectentes(the same name as was given to one of the grades of penitence). (Edw. H. Plumptre in Dict. Christ. Antiq. s. v. Catechumens.)

After these stages had been traversed each with its appropriate instruction, the catechumens gave in their names as applicants for baptism, and were known accordingly as Competentes sunaitountes. This was done commonly at the beginning of the Quadragesimal fast, and the instruction, carried on through the whole of that period, was fuller and more public in its nature (Cyril Hieros. Catech. i. 5; Hieron. Ep. 61, ad Pammach. c. 4:). To catechumens in this stage the great articles of the Creed, the nature of the Sacraments, the penitential discipline of the Church, were explained, as in the Catechetical Lectures of Cyril of Jerusalem, with dogmatic precision. Special examinations and inquiries into character were made at intervals during the forty days. It was a time for fasting and watching and prayer(Constt. Apost. viii. 5; 4 C. Carth. c. 85; Tertull. De Bapt. c. 20; Cyril. 1. c.) and, in the case of those who were married, of the strictest continence(August. De fide et oper. v. 8). Those who passed through the ordeal were known as the perfectiores teleiwterotthe electi, or in the nomenclature of the Eastern Church as baptizomenoi or fwtizowenoi, the present participle being used of course with a future or gerundial sense. Their names were inscribed as such in the album or register of the church. They were taught, but not till a few days before their baptism, the Creed and the Lord's Prayer which they were to use after it. The periods for this registration varied, naturally enough, in different churches. At Jerusalem it was done on the second(Cyril. Catech. iii.), in Africa on the fourth Sunday in Lent(August. Serm. 213), and this was the time at which the candidate, if so disposed, might lay aside his old heathen or Jewish name and take one more specifically Christian(Socrat. H. E. vii. 21). . . .It is only necessary to notice here that the Sacramentum Catechumenorum of which Augustine speaks(De Peccat. Merit. ii. 26) as given apparently at or about the time of their first admission by imposition of hands, was probably the eul<s228giai or panis benedictus, and not, as Bingham and Augusta maintain, the salt which was given with milk and honey after baptism.


CANON XV.

ON account of the great disturbance and discords that occur, it is decreed that the custom prevailing in certain places contrary to the Canon, must wholly be done away; so that neither bishop, presbyter, nor deacon shall pass from city to city. And if any one, after this decree of the holy and great Synod, shall attempt any such thing, or continue in any such course, his proceedings shall be utterly void, and he shall be restored to the Church for which he was ordained bishop or presbyter.

NOTES.

ANCIENT EPITOME OF CANON XV.

Neither bishop, presbyter, nor deacon shall pass from city to city. But they shall be sent back, should they attempt to do so, to the Churches in which they were ordained.

HEFELE.

The translation of a bishop, priest, or deacon from one church to another, had already been forbidden in the primitive Church. Nevertheless, several translations had taken place, and even at the Council of Nicaea several eminent men were present who had left their first bishoprics to take others: thus Eusebius, Bishop of Nicomedia, had been before Bishop of Berytus; Eustathius, Bishop of Antioch, had been before Bishop of Berrhoea in Syria. The Council of Nicaea thought it necessary to forbid in future these translations, and to declare them invalid. The chief reason of this prohibition was found in the irregularities and disputes occasioned by such change of sees; but even if such practical difficulties had not arisen, the whole doctrinal idea, so to speak, of the relationship between a cleric and the church to which he had been ordained, namely, the contracting of a mystical marriage between them, would be opposed to any translation or change. In 341 the Synod of Antioch renewed, in its twenty-first canon, the prohibition passed by the Council of Nicaea; but the interest of the Church often rendered it necessary to make exceptions, as happened in the case of St. Chrysostom. These exceptional cases increased almost immediately after the holding of the Council of Nicaea, so that in 382, St. Gregory of Nazianzum considered this law among those which had long been abrogated by custom. It was more strictly observed in the Latin Church; and even Gregory's contemporary, Pope Damasus, declared himself decidedly in favour of the rule of Nicaea.

This canon is found in the Corpus Juris Canonici. Decretum, Pars II. Causa VII, Q. 1,
c. xix.

EXCURSUS ON THE TRANSLATION OF BISHOPS.

There are few points upon which the discipline of the Church has so completely changed as that which regulated, or rather which forbade, the translation of a bishop from the see for which he was consecrated to some other diocese. The grounds on which such prohibition rested were usually that such changes were the outcome of ambition, and that if tolerated the result would be that smaller and less important sees would be despised, and that there would be a constant temptation to the bishops of such sees to make themselves popular with the important persons in other dioceses with the hope of promotion. Besides this objection to translation, St. Athanasius mentions a spiritual one, that the diocese was the bishop's bride, and that to desert it and take another was an act of unjustifiable divorce, and subsequent adultery.(1) Canon XIV. of the Apostolic Canons does not forbid the practice absolutely, but allows it for just cause, and although the Council of Nicaea is more stringent so far as its words are concerned, apparently forbidding translation under any circumstances, yet, as a matter of fact, that very council did allow and approve a translation.(2) The general feeling, however, of the early Church was certainly very strong against all such changes of Episcopal cure, and there can be no doubt that the chief reason why St. Gregory Nazianzen resigned the Presidency of the First Council of Constantinople, was because he had been translated from his obscure see Sasima(not Nazianzum as Socrates and Jerome say) to the Imperial City.(3)

From the canons of some provincial councils, and especially from those of the Third and of the Fourth Council of Carthage, it is evident that despite the conciliar and papal prohibitions, translations did take place, being made by the authority of the provincial Synods, and without the consent of the pope,(4) but it is also evident that this authority was too weak, and that the aid of the secular power had often to be invoked.
This course, of having the matter decided by the synod, was exactly in accordance with the Apostolic Canon(no. xiv.). In this manner, for example, Alexander was translated from Cappadocia to Jerusalem, a translation made, so it is narrated, in obedience to heavenly revelation. It will be noticed that the Nicene Canon does not forbid Provincial Councils to translate bishops, but forbids bishops to translate themselves, and the author of the tract De Translationibus in the Jus Orient.(i. 293, Cit. Haddon. Art. "Bishop," Smith and Cheetham, Dict. Chr. Antiq.) sums up the matter tersely in the statement that h metabasis kekwlutak,ou mhn h metaqesis: i.e., the thing prohibited is "transmigration"(which arises from the bishop himself, from selfish motives) not "translation"(wherein the will of God and the good of the Church is the ruling cause); the "going," not the "being taken" to another see. And this was the practice both of East and West, for many centuries. Roman Catholic writers have tried to prove that translations, at least to the chief sees, required the papal consent, but Thomassinus, considering the case of St. Meletius having translated St. Gregory of Nazianzum to Constantinople, admits that in so doing he "would only have followed the example of many great bishops of the first ages, when usage had not yet reserved translations to the first see of the Church."(1)

But the same learned author frankly confesses that in France, Spain, and England, translations were made until the ninth century without consulting the pope at all, by bishops and kings. When, however, from grounds of simple ambition, Anthimus was translated from Trebizonde to Constantinople, the religious of the city wrote to the pope, as also did the patriarchs of Antioch and Jerusalem, and as a result the Emperor Justinian allowed Anthimus to be deposed.(2)
Balsamon distinguishes three kinds of translations. The first, when a bishop of marked learning and of equal piety is forced by a council to pass from a small diocese to one far greater where he will be able to do the Church the most important services, as was the case when St. Gregory of Nazianzum was transferred from Sasima to Constantinople, ?eta,s215>esis; the second when a bishop, whose see has been laid low by the barbarians, is transferred to another see which is vacant, metabasis; and the third when a bishop, either having or lacking a see, seizes on a bishopric which is vacant, on his own proper authority anabasisit is this last which the Council of Sardica punishes so severely. In all these remarks of Balsamon there is no mention of the imperial power.

Demetrius Chomatenus, however, who was Archbishop of Thessalonica, and wrote a series of answers to Cabasilas, Archbishop of Durazzo, says that by the command of the Emperor a bishop, elected and confirmed, and even ready to be ordained for a diocese, may be forced to take the charge of another one which is more important, and where his services will be incomparably more useful to the public. Thus we read in the Book of Eastern Law that "If a Metropolitan with his synod, moved by a praiseworthy cause and probable pretext, shall give his approbation to the translation of a bishop, this can, without doubt, be done, for the good of souls and for the better administration of the church's affairs, etc."(3) This was adopted at a synod held by the patriarch Manuel at Constantinople, in the presence of the imperial commissioners.

The same thing appears also in the synodal response of the patriarch Michael, which only demands for translation the authority of the Metropolitan and "the greatest authority of the Church."(4) But, soon after this, translation became the rule, and not the exception both in East and West.
It was in vain that Simeon, Archbishop of Thessalonica, in the East raised his voice against the constant translations made by the secular power, and the Emperors of Constantinople were often absolute masters of the choice and translations of bishops; and Thomassinus sums up the matter, "At the least we are forced to the conclusion that no translations could be made without the consent of the Emperor, especially when it was the See of Constantinople that was to be filled."
The same learned writer continues: "It was usually the bishop or archbishop of another church that was chosen to ascend the patriarchal throne of the imperial city. The Kings of England often used this same power to appoint to the Primatial See of Canterbury a bishop already approved in the government of another diocese."(1)

In the West, Cardinal Bellarmine disapproved the prevailing custom of translations and protested against it to his master, Pope Clement VIII., reminding him that they were contrary to the canons and contrary to the usage of the Ancient Church, except in cases of necessity and of great gain to the Church. The pope entirely agreed with these wise observations, and promised that he would himself make, and would urge princes to make, translations only "with difficulty." But translations are made universally, all the world over, today, and no attention whatever is paid to the ancient canons and discipline of the Church.(2)


CANON XVI.

NEITHER presbyters, nor deacons, nor any others enrolled among the clergy, who, not having the fear of God before their eyes, nor regarding the ecclesiastical Canon, shall recklessly remove from their own church, ought by any means to be received by another church; but every constraint should be applied to restore them to their own parishes; and, if they will not go, they must be excommunicated. And if anyone shall dare surreptitiously to carry off and in his own Church ordain a man belonging to another, without the consent of his own proper bishop, from whom although he was enrolled in the clergy list he has seceded, let the ordination be void.

NOTES.

ANCIENT EPITOME OF CANON XVI.

Such presbyters or deacons as desert their own Church are not to be admitted into another, but are to be sent back to their own diocese. But if any bishop should ordain one who belongs to another Church without the consent of his own bishop, the ordination shall be cancelled.
"Parish" in this canon, as so often elsewhere, means "diocese."

BALSAMON.

It seemed right that the clergy should have no power to move from city to city and to change their canonical residence without letters dimissory from the bishop who ordained them. But such clerics as are called by the bishops who ordained them and cannot be persuaded to return, are to be separated from communion, that is to say, not to be allowed to concelebrate sunierourgein with them, for this is the meaning of "excommunicated" in this place, and not that they should not enter the church nor receive the sacraments. This decree agrees with canon xv. of the Apostolical canons, which provides that such shall not celebrate the liturgy. Canon xvj. of the same Apostolical canons further provides that if a bishop receive a cleric coming to him from another diocese without his bishop's letters dimissory, and shall ordain him, such a bishop shall be separated. From all this it is evident that the Chartophylax of the Great Church for the time does rightly in refusing to allow priests ordained in other dioceses to offer the sacrifice unless they bring with them letters commendatory and dimissory from those who ordained them.

Zonaras had also in his Scholion given the same explanation of the canon.
This canon is found in the  divided into two. Decretum. C.7 q.1 c.23 and D.71 c.3.


CANON XVII.

FORASMUCH as many enrolled among the Clergy, following covetousness and lust of gain, have forgotten the divine Scripture, which says, "He hath not given his money upon usury," and in lending money ask the hundredth of the sum[as monthly interest], the holy and great Synod thinks it just that if after this decree any one be found to receive usury, whether he accomplish it by secret transaction or otherwise, as by demanding the whole and one half, or by using any other contrivance whatever for filthy lucre's sake, he shall be deposed from the clergy and his name stricken from the list.


NOTES.

ANCIENT EPITOME OF CANON XVII.

If anyone shall receive usury or 150 per cent. he shall be cast forth and deposed, according to this decree of the Church.

VAN ESPEN.

Although the canon expresses only these two species of usury, if we bear in mind the grounds on which the prohibition was made, it will be manifest that every kind of usury is forbidden to clerics and under any circumstances, and therefore the translation of this canon sent by the Orientals to the Sixth Council of Carthage is in no respect alien to the true intent of the canon; for in this version no mention is made of any particular kind of usury, but generally the penalty is assigned to any clerics who "shall be found after this decree taking usury" or thinking out any other scheme for the sake of filthy lucre.

This Canon is found in the  in the first part of the Decretum, in Dionysius's version. Dist. xlvii, c. ii, and again in Isidore's version in Pars II, Causa xiv. Quaes. iv., c. viii.

EXCURSUS ON USURY.

The famous canonist Van Espen defines usury thus: "Usura definitur lucrum ex mutuo exactum aut speratum;"(1) and then goes on to defend the proposition that, "Usury is forbidden by natural, by divine, and by human law. The first is proved thus. Natural law, as far as its first principles are concerned, is contained in the decalogue; but usury is prohibited in the decalogue, inasmuch as theft is prohibited; and this is the opinion of the Master of the Sentences, of St. Bonaventura, of St. Thomas and of a host of others: for by the name of theft in the Law all unlawful taking of another's goods is prohibited; but usury is an unlawful, etc." For a proof of usury's being contrary to divine law he cites Ex. xxii. 25, and Deut. xxiii. 29; and from the New Testament Luke vi. 34. "The third assertion is proved thus. Usury is forbidden by human law: The First Council of Nicaea in Canon VII. deposed from the clergy and from all ecclesiastical rank, clerics who took usury; and the same thing is the case with an infinite number of councils, in fact with nearly all e.g. Elvira, ij, Arles j, Carthage iij, Tours iij, etc. Nay, even the pagans themselves formerly forbid it by their laws." He then quotes Tacitus(Annal. lib. v.), and adds, "with what severe laws the French Kings coerced usurers is evident from the edicts of St. Louis, Philip IV., Charles IX., Henry III., etc."

There can be no doubt that Van Espen in the foregoing has accurately represented and without any exaggeration the universal opinion of all teachers of morals, theologians, doctors, Popes, and Councils of the Christian Church for the first fifteen hundred years. All interest exacted upon loans of money was looked upon as usury, and its reception was esteemed a form of theft and dishonesty. Those who wish to read the history of the matter in all its details are referred to Bossuet's work on the subject, Traite de l'Usure,(2) where they will find the old, traditional view of the Christian religion defended by one thoroughly acquainted with all that could be said on the other side.
The glory of inventing the new moral code on the subject, by which that which before was looked upon as mortal sin has been transfigured into innocence, if not virtue, belongs to John Calvin! He made the modern distinction between "interest" and "usury," and was the first to write in defence of this then new-fangled refinement of casuistry.(1) Luther violently opposed him, and Melancthon also kept to the old doctrine, though less violently(as was to be expected); today the whole Christian West, Protestant and Catholic alike, stake their salvation upon the truth of Calvin's distinction! Among Roman Catholics the new doctrine began to be defended about the beginning of the eighteenth century, the work of Scipio Maffei, Dell' impiego dell danaro, written on the laxer side, having attracted a widespread attention. The Ballerini affirm that the learned pope Benedict XIV. allowed books defending the new morals to be dedicated to him, and in 1830 the Congregation of the Holy Office with the approval of the reigning Pontiff, Plus VIII., decided that those who considered the taking of interest allowed by the state law justifiable, were "not to be disturbed." It is entirely disingenuous to attempt to reconcile the modern with the ancient doctrine; the Fathers expressly deny that the State has any power to make the receiving of interest just or to fix its rate, there is but one ground for those to take who accept the new teaching, viz. that all the ancients, while true on the moral principle that one must not defraud his neighbour nor take unjust advantage of his necessity, were in error concerning the facts, in that they supposed that money was barren, an opinion which the Schoolmen also held, following Aristotle. This we have found in modern times, and amid modern circumstances, to be an entire error, as Gury, the famous modern casuist, well says, "fructum producit et multiplicatur per se."(2)

That the student may have it in his power to read the Patristic view of the matter, I give a list of the passages most commonly cited, together with a review of the conciliar action, for all which I am indebted to a masterly article by Wharton B. Marriott in Smith and Cheetham's Dictionary of Christian Antiquities(s. v. Usury).
Although the conditions of the mercantile community in the East and the West differed materially in some respects, the fathers of the two churches are equally explicit and systematic in their condemnation of the practice of usury. Among those belonging to the Greek church we find Athanasius(Expos. in Ps. xiv); Basil the Great(Hom. in Ps. xiv). Gregory of Nazianzum(Orat. xiv. in Patrem tacentem). Gregory of Nyssa(Orat. cont. Usurarios); Cyril of Jerusalem(Catech. iv. c. 37), Epiphanius(adv. Haeres. Epilog. c. 24), Chrysostom(Hom. xli. in Genes), and Theodoret(Interpr. in Ps. xiv. 5, and liv. 11). Among those belonging to the Latin church, Hilary of Poitiers(in Ps. xiv); Ambrose(de Tobia liber unus). Jerome(in Ezech. vi. 18); Augustine de Baptismo contr. Donatistas, iv. 19); Leo the Great(Epist. iii. 4), and Cassiodorus {in Ps. xiv. 10).

The canons of later councils differ materially in relation to this subject, and indicate a distinct tendency to mitigate the rigour of the Nicene interdict. That of the council of Carthage of the year 348 enforces the original prohibition, but without the penalty, and grounds the veto on both Old and New Testament authority, "nemo contra prophetas, nemo contra evangelia facit sine periculo"(Mansi, iii. 158). The language, however, when compared with that of the council of Carthage of the year 419, serves to suggest that, in the interval, the lower clergy had occasionally been found having recourse to the forbidden practice, for the general terms of the earlier canon, "ut non liceat clericis fenerari," are enforced with greater particularity in the latter, "Nec omnino cuiquam clericorum liceat de qualibet re foenus accipere"(Mansi, iv. 423). This supposition is supported by the language of the council of Orleans(A.D. 538), which appears to imply that deacons were not prohibited from lending money at interest, "Et clericus a diaconatu, et supra, pecuniam non commodet ad usuras"(ib. ix. 18). Similarly, at the second council of Trullanum(A.D. 692) a like liberty would appear to have been recognised among the lower clergy(Hardouin, iii. 1663). While, again, the Nicen canon requires the immediate deposition of the ecclesiastic found guilty of the practice, the Apostolical canon enjoins that such deposition is to take place only after he has been admonished and has disregarded the admonition.

Generally speaking, the evidence points to the conclusion that the Church imposed no penalty on the layman. St. Basil(Epist. clxxxviii. can. 12), says that a usurer may even be admitted to orders, provided he gives his acquired wealth to the poor and abstains for the future from the pursuit of gain(Migne, Patrol. Groec. xxxii. 275). Gregory of Nyssa says that usury, unlike theft, the desecration of tombs, and sacrilege ierosulia, is allowed to pass unpunished, although among the things forbidden by Scripture, nor is a candidate at ordination ever asked whether or no he has been guilty of the practice(Migne, ib. xlv. 233). A letter of Sidonius Apollinaris(Epist. vi. 24) relating an experience of his friend Maximus, appears to imply that no blame attached to lending money at the legal rate of interest, and that even a bishop might be a creditor on those terms. We find also Desideratus, bishop of Verdun, when applying for a loan to king Theodebert, for the relief of his impoverished diocese, promising repayment, "cure usuris legitimis," an expression which would seem to imply that in the Gallican church usury was recognised as lawful under certain conditions(Greg. Tur. Hist. Franc. iii. 34). So again a letter(Epist. ix. 38) of Gregory the Great seems to shew that he did not regard the payment of interest for money advanced by one layman to another as unlawful. But on the other hand, we find in what is known as archbishop Theodore's "Penitential"(circ. A.D. 690) what appears to be a general law on the subject, enjoining "Sie quis usuras undecunque exegerit . . . tres annos in pane et aqua"(c. xxv. 3); a penance again enjoined in the Penitential of Egbert of York(c. ii. 30). In like manner, the legates, George and Theophylact, in reporting their proceedings in England to pope Adrian I.(A.D. 787), state that they have prohibited "usurers," and cite the authority of the Psalmist and St. Augustine(Haddan and Stubbs, Conc. iii. 457). The councils of Mayence, Rheims, and Chalons, in the year 813, and that of Aix in the year 816, seem to have laid down the same prohibition as binding both on the clergy and the laity(Hardouin, Conc. iv. 1011, 1020, 1033, 1100).

Muratori, in his dissertation on the subject (Antichit, vol. i.), observes that "we do not know exactly how commerce was transacted in the five preceding centuries," and consequently are ignorant as to the terms on which loans of money were effected.


CANON XVIII.

IT has come to the knowledge of the holy and great Synod that, in some districts and cities, the deacons administer the Eucharist to the presbyters, whereas neither canon nor custom permits that they who have no right to offer should give the Body of Christ to them that do offer. And this also has been made known, that certain deacons now touch the Eucharist even before the bishops. Let all such practices be utterly done away, and let the deacons remain within their own bounds, knowing that they are the ministers of the bishop and the inferiors of the presbyters. Let them receive the Eucharist according to their order, after the presbyters, and let either the bishop or the presbyter administer to them. Furthermore, let not the deacons sit among the presbyters, for that is contrary to canon and order. And if, after this decree, any one shall refuse to obey, let him be deposed from the diaconate.

NOTES.

ANCIENT EPITOME OF CANON XVIII.

Deacons must abide within their own bounds. They shall not administer the Eucharist to presbyters, nor touch it before them, nor sit among the presbyters. For all this is contrary to canon, and to decent order.

VAN ESPEN.

Four excesses of deacons this canon condemns, at least indirectly. The first was that they gave the holy Communion to presbyters. To understand more easily the meaning of the canon it must be remembered that the reference here is not to the presbyters who were sacrificing at the altar but to those who were offering together with the bishop who was sacrificing; by a rite not unlike that which to-day takes place, when the newly ordained presbyters or bishops celebrate mass with the ordaining bishop; and this rite in old times was of daily occurrence, for a full account of which see Morinus De SS. Ordinat. P. III. Exercit. viij . . . . The present canon does not take away from deacons the authority to distribute the Eucharist to laymen, or to the minor clergy, but only reproves their insolence and audacity in presuming to administer to presbyters who were concelebrating with the bishop or another presbyter.

. . .
The second abuse was that certain deacons touched the sacred gifts before the bishop. The vulgar version of Isidore reads for "touched" "received," a meaning which Balsamon and Zonaras also adopt, and unless the Greek word, which signifies "to touch," is contrary to this translation, it seems by no means to be alien to the context of the canon.
"Let them receive the Eucharist according to their order, after the presbyters, and let the bishop or the presbyter administer to them." In these words it is implied that some deacons had presumed to receive Holy Communion before the presbyters, and this is the third excess of the deacon which is condemned by the Synod.
And lastly, the fourth excess was that they took a place among the presbyters at the very time of the sacrifice, or "at the holy altar," as Balsamon observes.

From this canon we see that the Nicene, fathers entertained no doubt that the faithful in the holy Communion truly received "the body of Christ." Secondly, that that was "offered" in the church, which is the word by which sacrifice is designated in the New Testament, and therefore it was at that time a fixed tradition that there was a sacrifice in which the body of Christ was offered. Thirdly that not to all, nor even to deacons, but only to bishops and presbyters was given the power of offering. And lastly, that there was recognized a fixed hierarchy in the Church, made up of bishops and presbyters and deacons in subordination to these.
Of course even at that early date there was nothing new in this doctrine of the Eucharist. St. Ignatius more than a century and a half before, wrote as follows: "But mark ye those who hold strange doctrine touching the grace of Jesus Christ which came to us, how that they are contrary to the mind of God. They have no care for love, none for the widow, none for the orphan, none for the afflicted, none for the prisoner, none for the hungry or thirsty. They abstain from eucharist(thanksgiving) and prayer, because they allow not that the Eucharist is the flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ, which flesh suffered for our sins, and which the Father of his goodness raised up."(1)

In one point the learned scholiast just quoted has most seriously understated his case. He says that the wording of the canon shews "that the Nicene fathers entertained no doubt that the faithful in the holy Communion truly received 'the body of Christ.'" Now this statement is of course true because it is included in what the canon says, but the doctrinal statement which is necessarily contained in the canon is that "the body of Christ is given" by the minister to the faithful. This doctrine is believed by all Catholics and by Lutherans, but is denied by all other Protestants; those Calvinists who kept most nearly to the ordinary Catholic phraseology only admitting that "the sacrament of the Body of Christ" was given in the supper by the minister, while "the body of Christ," they taught, was present only in the soul of the worthy communicant(and in no way connected with the form of bread, which was but the divinely appointed sign and assurance of the heavenly gift), and therefore could not be "given" by the priest.(2)

This canon is found in the  Decretum. D.93 c.14.


CANON XIX.

CONCERNING the Paulianists who have flown for refuge to the Catholic Church, it has been decreed that they must by all means be rebaptized; and if any of them who in past time have been numbered among their clergy should be found blameless and without reproach, let them be rebaptized and ordained by the Bishop of the Catholic Church; but if the examination should discover them to be unfit, they ought to be deposed. Likewise in the case of their deaconesses, and generally in the case of those who have been enrolled among their clergy, let the same form be observed. And we mean by deaconesses such as have assumed the habit, but who, since they have no imposition of hands, are to be numbered only among the laity.

NOTES.

ANCIENT EPITOME OF CANON XIX.

Paulianists must be rebaptised, and if such as are clergymen seem to be blameless let then, be ordained. If they do not seem to be blameless, let them be deposed. Deaconesses who have been led astray, since they are not sharers of ordination, are to be reckoned among the laity.

FFOULKES.

(Dict. Chr. Ant. s.v. Nicaea, Councils of.)
That this is the true meaning of the phrase oros ekteqeitai, viz. "a decree has now been made," is clear from the application of the words oros in Canon xvii., and wrisen, in Canon vi. It has been a pure mistake, therefore, which Bp. Hefele blindly follows, to understand it of some canon previously passed, whether at Aries or elsewhere.

JUSTELLUS.

Here keiroqesia is taken for ordination or consecration, not for benediction, . .. for neither were deaconesses, sub-deacons, readers, and other ministers ordained, but a blessing was merely pronounced over them by prayer and imposition of hands.

ARISTENUS.

Their (the Paulicians') deaconesses also, since they have no imposition of hands, if they come over to the Catholic Church and are baptized, are ranked among the laity. With this Zonaras and Balsamon also agree.

HEFELE.

By Paulianists must be understood the followers of Paul of Samosata the anti-Trinitarian who, about the year 260, had been made bishop of Antioch, but had been deposed by a great Synod in 269. As Paul of Samosata was heretical in his teaching on the Holy Trinity the Synod of Nicaea applied to him the decree passed by the council of Arles in its eighth canon. "If anyone shall come from heresy to the Church, they shall ask him to say the creed; and if they shall perceive that he was baptized into the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost, (1) he shall have a hand laid on him only that he may receive the Holy Ghost. But if in answer to their questioning he shall not answer this Trinity, let him be baptized."

The Samosatans, according to St. Athanasius, named the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in administering baptism(Oral. ii, Contra Arian. No. xliii), but as they gave a false meaning to the baptismal formula and did not use the words Son and Holy Spirit in the usual sense, the Council of Nicaea, like St. Athanasius himself, considered their baptism as invalid.
There is great difficulty about the text of the clause beginning "Likewise in the case, etc.," and Gelasius, the Prisca, Theilo and Thearistus,(who in 419 translated the canons of Nicaea for the African bishops), the PseudoIsidore, and Gratian have all followed a reading diakonwn, instead of diakonisspn.
This change makes all clear, but many canonists keep the ordinary text, including Van Espen, with whose interpretation Hefele does not agree.

The clause I have rendered "And we mean by deaconesses" is most difficult of translation. I give the original, 'Emnhsqhm<c210>n tpn en tp skhmati exetasqeispn, epei <s218.> <s235.> <s221.>. Hefele's translation seems to me impossible, by skhmati he understands the list of the clergy just mentioned.

EXCURSUS ON THE DEACONESS OF THE EARLY CHURCH.

It has been supposed by many that the deaconess of the Early Church had an Apostolic institution and that its existence may be referred to by St. Paul in his Epistle to the Romans(xvi. 1) where he speaks of Phoebe as being a diakonos of the Church of Cenchrea. It moreover has been suggested that the "widows" of 1 Tim. v. 9 may have been deaconesses, and this seems not unlikely from the fact that the age for the admission of women to this ministry was fixed by Tertullian at sixty years(De Vel. Virg. Cap. ix.), and only changed to forty, two centuries later by the Council of Chalcedon, and from the further fact that these "widows" spoken of by St. Paul seem to have had a vow of chastity, for it is expressly said that if they marry they have "damnation, because they have cast off their first faith"(1 Tim. v. 12).

These women were called diakonissbi, Presbutides(which must be distinguished from the presbuterai, a poor class referred to in the Apostolic Constitutions(ii. 28) who are to be only invited frequently to the love-feasts, while the presbutioes had a definite allotment of the offerings assigned to their support), khrai, diaconissoe, presbyteroe, and viduce.
The one great characteristic of the deaconess was that she was vowed to perpetual chastity.(1) The Apostolical Constitutions(vi. 17) say that she must be a chaste virgin(parqenos agnh) or else a widow. The writer of the article "Deaconess" in the Dictionary of Christian Antiquities says: "It is evident that the ordination of deaconesses included a vow of celibacy." We have already seen the language used by St. Paul and of this the wording of the canon of Chalcedon is but an echo(Canon xv). "A woman shall not receive the laying on of hands as a deaconess under forty years of age, and then only after searching examination. And if, after she has had hands laid on her, and has continued for a time to minister, she shall despise the Grace of God and give herself in marriage, she shall be anathematized and the man who is united to her." The civil law went still further, and by Justinian's Sixth Novel(6) those who attempted to marry are subjected to forfeiture of property and capital punishment. In the collect in the ancient office there is a special petition that the newly admitted deaconess may have the gift of continence.

The principal work of the deaconess was to assist the female candidates for holy baptism. At that time the sacrament of baptism was always administered by immersion(except to those in extreme illness) and hence there was much that such an order of women could be useful in. Moreover they sometimes gave to the female catechumens preliminary instruction, but their work was wholly limited to women, and for a deaconess of the Early Church to teach a man or to nurse him in sickness would have been an impossibility. The duties of the deaconess are set forth in many ancient writings, I cite here what is commonly known as the XII Canon of the Fourth Council of Carthage, which met in the year 398:
"Widows and dedicated women(sanctimoniales) who are chosen to assist at the baptism of women, should be so well instructed in their office as to be able to teach aptly and properly unskilled and rustic women how to answer at the time of their baptism to the questions put to them, and also how to live godly after they have been baptized." This whole matter is treated clearly by St. Epiphanius who, while indeed speaking of deaconesses as an order(tagma), asserts that "they were only women-elders, not priestesses in any sense, that their mission was not to interfere in any way with Sacerdotal functions, but simply to perform certain offices in the care of women"(Hoer. lxxix, cap. iij). From all this it is evident that they are entirely in error who suppose that "the laying on of hands" which the deaconesses received corresponded to that by which persons were ordained to the diaconate, presbyterate, and episcopate at that period of the church's history. It was merely a solemn dedication and blessing and was not looked upon as "an outward sign of an inward grace given." For further proof of this I must refer to Morinus, who has treated the matter most admirably.(De Ordinationibus, Exercitatio X.)

The deaconesses existed but a short while. The council of Laodicea as early as A.D. 343-381, forbade the appointment of any who were called presbutides(Vide Canon xi); and the first council of Orange, A.D. 441, in its twenty-sixth canon forbids the appointment of deaconesses altogether, and the Second council of the same city in canons xvij and xviij, decrees that deaconesses who married were to be excommunicated unless they renounced the men they were living with, and that, on account of the weakness of the sex, none for the future were to be ordained.
Thomassinus, to whom I refer the reader for a very full treatment of the whole subject, is of opinion that the order was extinct in the West by the tenth or twelfth century, but that it lingered on a little later at Constantinople but only in conventual institutions.(Thomassin, Ancienne et Nouvelle Discipline de l' Eglise, I Partie, Livre III.)


CANON XX.

FORASMUCH as there are certain persons who kneel on the Lord's Day and in the days of Pentecost, therefore, to the intent that all things may be uniformly observed everywhere (in every parish), it seems good to the Holy Synod that prayer be made to God standing.

NOTES.

ANCIENT EPITOME OF CANON XX.

On Lord's days and at Pentecost all must pray standing and not kneeling.

HAMMOND.

Although kneeling was the common posture for prayer in the primitive Church, yet the custom had prevailed, even from the earliest times, of standing at prayer on the Lord's day, and during the fifty days between Easter and Pentecost. Tertullian, in a passage in his treatise De Corona Militis, which is often quoted, mentions it amongst other ohservances which, though not expressly commanded in Scripture, yet were universally practised upon the authority of tradition. "We consider it unlawful," he says, "to fast, or to pray kneeling, upon the Lord's day; we enjoy the same liberty from Easter-day to that of Pentecost." De Cor. Mil. s. 3, 4. Many other of the Fathers notice the same practice, the reason of which, as given by Augustine; and others, was to commemorate the resurrection of our Lord, and to signify the rest and joy of our own resurrection, which that of our Lord assured. This canon, as Beveridge observes, is a proof of the importance formerly attached to an uniformity of sacred rites throughout the Church, which made the Nicene Fathers thus sanction and enforce by their authority a practice which in itself is indifferent, and not commanded directly or indirectly in Scripture, and assign this as their reason for doing so: "In order that all things may be observed in like manner in every parish" or diocese.

HEFELE.

All the churches did not, however, adopt this practice; for we see in the Acts of the Apostles(xx. 36 and xxi. 5) that St. Paul prayed kneeling during the time between Pentecost and Easter.
This canon is found in the Decretum, De Con. D.3. c.10.