The Canons of the Qinisext Council at Trullo
1 That order is best of all which makes every word and act begin and end in God.
2 Wherefore that piety may be clearly set forth by us and that the Church of which Christ is the foundation may be continually increased and advanced, and that it may be exalted above the cedars of Lebanon; now therefore we, by divine grace at the beginning of our decrees, define that the faith set forth by the God-chosen Apostles who themselves had both seen and were ministers of the Word, shall be preserved without any innovation, unchanged and inviolate.
3 Moreover the faith of the three hundred and eighteen holy and blessed fathers who were assembled at Nice under Constantine our Emperor, against the impious Arius, and the gentile diversity of deity or rather (to speak accurately) multitude of gods taught by him, who by the unanimous acknowledgment of the faithful revealed and declared to us the consubstantiality of the Three Persons comprehended in the Divine Nature, not suffering this faith to lie hidden under the bushel of ignorance, but openly teaching the faithful to adore with one worship the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, confuting and scattering to the winds the opinion of different grades, and demolishing and overturning the puerile toyings fabricated out of sand by the heretics against orthodoxy.
4 Likewise also we confirm that faith which was set forth by the one hundred and fifty fathers who in the time of Theoriesins the Elder, our Emperor, assembled in this imperial city, accepting their decisions with regard to the Holy Spirit in assertion of his godhead, and expelling the profane Macedonius (together with all previous enemies of the truth) as one who dared to judge Him to be a servant who is Lord, and who wished to divide, like a robber, the inseparable unity, so that there might be no perfect mystery of our faith.
5 And together with this odious and detestable contender against the truth, we condemn Apollinaris, priest of the same iniquity, who impiously belched forth that the Lord assumed a body unendowed with a soul, there also inferring that his salvation wrought for us was imperfect.
6 Moreover what things were set forth by the two hundred God-bearing fathers in the city of Ephesus in the days of Theodosius our Emperor, the son of Arcadius; these doctrines we assent to as the unbroken strength of piety, teaching that Christ the incarnate Son of God is one; and declaring that she who bare him without human seed was the immaculate Ever-Virgin, glorifying her as literally and in very truth the Mother of God.
7 We condemn as foreign to the divine scheme the absurd division of Nestorius, who teaches that the one Christ consists of a man separately and of the Godhead separately and renews the Jewish impiety.
8 Moreover we confirm that faith which at Chalcedon, the Metropolis, was set forth in accordance with orthodoxy by the six hundred and thirty God-approved fathers in the time of Marcian, who was our Emperor, which handed down with a great and mighty voice, even unto the ends of the earth, that the one Christ, the son of God, is of two natures, and must be glorified in these two natures, and which cast forth from the sacred precincts of the Church as a black pestilence to be avoided, Eutyches, babbling stupidly and inanely, and teaching that the great mystery of the incarnation was perfected in thought only.
9 And together with him also Nestorius and Dioseorus of whom the former was the defender and champion of the division, the latter of the confusion [of the two natures in the one Christ], both of whom fell away from the divergence of their impiety to a common depth of perdition and denial of God.
10 Also we recognize as inspired by the Spirit the pious voices of the one hundred and sixty-five God-beating fathers who assembled in this imperial city in the time of our Emperor Justinian of blessed memory, and we teach them to those who come after us; for these synodically anathematized and execrated Theodore of Mopsuestia (the teacher of Nestorius), and Origen, and Didymus, and Evagrius, all of whom reintroduced feigned Greek myths, and brought back again the circlings of certain bodies and souls, and deranged turnings [or transmigrations] to the wanderings or dreamings of their minds, and impiously insulting the resurrection of the dead.
11 Moreover [they condemned] what things were written by Theodoret against the right faith and against the Twelve Chapters of blessed Cyril, and that letter which is said to have been written by Ibas.
12 Also we agree to guard untouched the faith of the Sixth Holy Synod, which first assembled in this imperial city in the time of Constantine, our Emperor, of blessed memory, which faith received still greater confirmation from the fact that the pious Emperor ratified with his own signet that which was written for the security of future generations. This council taught that we should openly profess our faith that in the incarnation of Jesus Christ, our true God, there are two natural wills or volitions and two natural operations; and condemned by a just sentence those who adulterated the true doctrine and taught the people that in the one Lord Jesus Christ there is but one will and one operation; to wit, Theodore of Pharan, Cyrus of Alexandria, Honorius of Rome, Sergius, Pyrrhus, Paul and Peter, who were bishops of this God-preserved city; Macarius, who was bishop of Antioch; Stephen, who was his disciple, and the insane Polychronius, depriving them henceforth from the communion of the body of Christ our God.
13 And, to say so once for all, we decree that the faith shall stand firm and remain unsullied until the end of the world as well as the writings divinely handed down and the teachings of all those who have beautified and adorned the Church of God and were lights in the world, having embraced the word of life. And we reject and anathematize those whom they rejected and anathematized, as being enemies of the truth, and as insane ragers against God, and as lifters up of iniquity.
14 But if any one at all shall not observe and embrace the aforesaid pious decrees, and teach and preach in accordance therewith, but shall attempt to set himself in opposition thereto, let him be anathema, according to the decree already promulgated by the up-proved holy and blessed Fathers, and let him be cast out and stricken off as an alien from the number of Christians.
15 For our decrees add nothing to the things previously defined, nor do they take anything away, nor have we any such power.
1 It has also seemed good to this holy Council, that the eighty-five canons, received and ratified by the holy and blessed Fathers before us, and also handed down to us in the name of the holy and glorious Apostles should from this time forth remain firm and unshaken for the cure of souls and the healing of disorders. And in these canons we are bidden to receive the Constitutions of the Holy Apostles [written] by Clement.
2 But formerly through the agency of those who erred from the faith certain adulterous matter was introduced, clean contrary to piety, for the polluting of the Church, which obscures the elegance and beauty of the divine decrees in their present form. We therefore reject these Constitutions so as the better to make sure of the edification and security of the most Christian flock; by no means admitting the offspring of heretical error, and cleaving to the pure and perfect doctrine of the Apostles.
3 But we set our seal likewise upon all the other holy canons set forth by our holy and blessed Fathers, that is, by the three-hundred and eighteen holy God-bearing Fathers assembled at Nicea, and those at Ancyra, further those at Neo-Caesarea and likewise those at Gangra, and besides, those at Antioch in Syria: those too at Laodicea in Phrygia: and likewise the one-hundred and fifty who assembled in this heaven-protected royal city: and the two hundred who assembled the first time in the metropolis of the Ephesians, and the six-hundred and thirty holy and blessed Fathers at Chalcedon.
4 In like manner those of Sardica, and those of Carthage: those also who again assembled in this heaven-protected royal city under its bishop Nectarins and Theophilus Archbishop of Alexandria. Likewise, too, the Canons [i.e. The decretal letters] of Dionysius, formerly Archbishop of the great city of Alexandria; and of Peter, Archbishop of Alexandria and Martyr; of Gregory the Wonder-worker, Bishop of NeoCaesarea; of Athanasius, Archbishop of Alexandria; of Basil, Archbishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia; of Gregory, Bishop of Nyssa; of Gregory Theologus; of Amphilochius of Iconium; of Timothy, Archbishop of Alexandria; of Theophilus, Archbishop of the same great city of Alexandria; of Cyril, Archbishop of the same Alexandria; of Gennadius, Patriarch of this heaven-protected royal city.
5 Moreover the Canon set forth by Cyprian, Archbishop of the country of the Africans and Martyr, and by the Synod under him, which has been kept only in the country of the aforesaid Bishops, according to the custom delivered down to them. And that no one be allowed to transgress or disregard the aforesaid canons, or to receive others beside them, supposititiously set forth by certain who have attempted to make a traffic of the truth.
6 But should any one be convicted of innovating upon, or attempting to overturn, any of the aforementioned canons, he shall be subject to receive the penalty which that canon imposes, and to be cured by it of his transgression.
1 Since our pious and Christian Emperor has addressed this holy and ecumenical council, in order that it might provide for the purity of those who are in the list of the clergy, and who transmit divine things to others, and that they may be blameless ministrants, and worthy of the sacrifice of the great God, who is both Offering and High Priest, a sacrifice apprehended by the intelligence: and that it might cleanse away the pollutions wherewith these have been branded by unlawful marriages: now whereas they of the most holy Roman Church purpose to keep the rule of exact perfection, but those who are under the throne of this heaven-protected and royal city keep that of kindness and consideration, so blending both together as our fathers have done, and as the love of God requires, that neither gentleness fall into license, nor severity into harshness; especially as the fault of ignorance has reached no small number of men, we decree, that those who are involved in a second marriage, and have been slaves to sin up to the fifteenth of the past month of January, in the past fourth Indiction, the six-thousand and nineth year, and have not resolved to repent of it, be subjected to canonical deposition: but that they who are involved in this disorder of a second marriage, but before our decree have acknowledged what is fitting, and have cut off their sin, and have put far from them this strange and illegitimate connection, or they whose wives by second marriage are already dead, or who have turned to repentance of their own accord, having learnt continence, and having quickly forgotten their former iniquities, whether they be presbyters or deacons, these we have determined should cease from all priestly ministrations or exercise, being under punishment for a certain time, but should retain the honor of their seat and station, being satisfied with their seat before the laity and begging with tears from the Lord that the transgression of their ignorance be pardoned them: for unfitting it were that he should bless another who has to tend his own wounds.
2 But those who have been married to one wife, if she was a widow, and likewise those who after their ordination have unlawfully entered into one marriage that is, presbyters, and deacons, and subdeacons, being debarred for some short time from sacred ministration, and censured, shall be restored again to their proper rank, never advancing to any further rank, their unlawful marriage being openly dissolved. This we decree to hold good only in the case of those that are involved in the aforesaid faults up to the fifteenth (as was said) of the month of January, of the fourth Indiction, decreeing from the present time, and renewing the Canon which declares, that he who has been joined in two marriages after his baptism, or has had a concubine, cannot be bishop, or presbyter, or deacon, or at all on the sacerdotal list; in like manner, that he who has taken a widow, or a divorced person, or a harlot, or a servant, or an actress, cannot be bishop, or presbyter, or deacon, or at all on the sacerdotal list.
1 If any bishop, presbyter, deacon, sub-deacon, lector, cantor, or door-keeper has had intercourse with a woman dedicated to God, let him be deposed, as one who has corrupted a spouse of Christ, but if a layman let him be cut off.
1 Let none of those who are on the priestly list possess any woman or maid servant, beyond those who are enumerated in the canon as being persons free from suspicion, preserving himself hereby from being implicated in any blame. But if anyone transgresses our decree let him be deposed. And let eunuchs also observe the same rule, that by foresight they may be free of censure. But those who transgress, let them be deposed, if indeed they are clerics; but if laymen let them be excommunicated.
1 Since it is declared in the apostolic canons that of those who are advanced to the clergy unmarried, only lectors and cantors are able to marry; we also, maintaining this, determine that henceforth it is in nowise lawful for any subdeacon, deacon or presbyter after his ordination to contract matrimony but if he shall have dared to do so, let him be deposed. And if any of those who enter the clergy, wishes to be joined to a wife in lawful marriage before he is ordained subdeacon, deacon, or presbyter, let it be done.
1 Hosius, bishop of the city of Corduba, said: A prevalent evil, or rather most mischievous corruption must be done away with from its very foundations. Let no bishop be allowed to remove from a small city to a different one: as there is an obvious reason for this fault, accounting for such attempts; since no bishop could ever yet be found who endeavored to be translated from a larger city to a smaller one.
2 It is therefore evident that such persons are inflamed with excessive covetousness and are only serving ambition in order to have the repute of possessing greater authority. Is it then the pleasure of all that so grave an abuse be punished with great severity? For I think that men of this sort should not be admitted even to lay communion.
3 All the bishops said: It is the pleasure of all.
1 Bishop Hosius said: A prevalent evil and mischievous corruption must be done away with from its foundation.
2 Let no bishop be allowed to remove from his own city to another. For the reason of such attempts is manifest, since in this matter no bishop has been found who would remove from a larger city to a smaller one.
3 It is therefore evident that these men are inflamed with excess of covetousness, and are serving ambition and aiming at the possession of power. If it be the pleasure of all, let so great an evil be punished right harshly and sternly, so that he who is such shall not even be admitted to lay communion.
4 All with one accord answered: Such is our pleasure.
1 Bishop Hosius said: But if any such person should be found so mad or audacious as to think to advance by way of excuse an affirmation that he had brought letters from the people [laity], it is plain that some few persons, corrupted by bribes and rewards, could have got up an uproar in the church, demanding, forsooth, the said man for bishop. I think then that practices and devices of such sort absolutely must be punished, so that a man of this kind be deemed unworthy even of lay communion in extremis.
2 Do you therefore make answer whether this sentence is approved by you. They [the bishops] answered: What has been said is approved of.
1 Bishop Hosius said: Even if any such person should show himself so rash as perhaps to allege as an excuse and affirm that he has received letters from the people, inasmuch as it is evident that a few persons could have been corrupted by rewards and bribes -- [namely] persons who do not hold the pure faith -- to raise an uproar in the church, and seem to ask for the said man as bishop;
2 I judge that these frauds must be condemned, so that such an one should not receive even lay communion at the last. If you all approve, do you decree it.
3 The synod answered: We approve.
1 Bishop Hosius said: This also it is necessary to add that no bishop pass from his own province to another province in which there are bishops, unless indeed he be called by his brethren, that we seem not to close the gates of love.
2 And this case likewise is to be provided for, that if in any province a bishop has some matter against his brother and fellow-bishop, neither of the two should call in as arbiters bishops from another province.
3 But if perchance sentence be given against a bishop in any matter and he supposes his case to be not unsound but good, in order that the question may be reopened, let us, if it seem good to your love, honor the memory of Peter the Apostle, and let those who gave judgment write to Julius, the bishop of Rome, so that, if necessary, the case may be retried by the bishops of the neighboring provinces and let him appoint arbiters; but if it cannot be shown that his case is of such a sort as to need a new trial, let the judgment once given not be annulled, but stand good as before.
1 Bishop Hosius said: This also it is necessary to add that bishops shall not pass from their own province to another province in which there are bishops, unless perchance upon invitation from their brethren, that we seem not to close the door of love.
2 But if in any province a bishop have a matter in dispute against his brother bishop, one of the two shall not call in as judge a bishop from another province.
3 But if judgment, have gone against a bishop in any cause, and he think that he has a good case, in order that the question may be reopened, let us, if it be your pleasure, honor the memory of St. Peter the Apostle, and let those who tried the case write to Julius, the bishop of Rome, and if he shall judge that the case should be retried, let that be done, and let him appoint judges; but if he shall find that the case is of such a sort that the former decision need not be disturbed, what he has decreed shall be confirmed. Is this the pleasure of all?
4 The synod answered, It is our pleasure.
1 Bishop Gaudentius said: If it seems good to you, it is necessary to add to this decision full of sincere love which you have pronounced, that if any bishop be deposed by the sentence of these neighboring bishops, and assert that he has fresh matter in defense, a new bishop be not settled in his see, unless the bishop of Rome judge and render a decision as to this.
1 Bishop Gaudentius said: It ought to be added, if it be your pleasure, to this sentence full of sanctity which you have pronounced, that, when any bishop has been deposed by the judgment of those bishops who have sees in neighboring places, and he [the bishop deposed] shall announce that his case is to be examined in the city of Rome, that no other bishop shall in any wise be ordained to his see, after the appeal of him who is apparently deposed, unless the case shall have been determined in the judgment of the Roman bishop.
1 Bishop Hosius said: Decreed, that if any bishop is accused, and the bishops of the same region assemble and depose him from his office, and he appealing, so to speak, takes refuge with the most blessed bishop of the Roman church, and he be willing to give him a hearing, and think it right to renew the examination of his case, let him be pleased to write to those fellow-bishops who are near the province that they may examine the particulars with care and accuracy and give their votes on the matter in accordance with the word of truth.
2 And if any one require that his case be heard yet again, and at his request it seem good to move the bishop of Rome to send presbyters a latere, let it be in the power of that bishop, according as he judges it to be good and decides it to be right, that some be sent to be judges with the bishops and invested with his authority by whom they were sent. And be this also ordained.
3 But if he think that the bishops are sufficient for the examination and decision of the matter let him do what shall seem good in his most prudent judgment.
4 The bishops answered: What has been said is approved.
1 Bishop Hosius said: Further decreed, that if a bishop is accused, and the bishops of that region assemble and depose him from his office, if he who has been deposed shall appeal and take refuge with the bishop of the Roman church and wishes to be given a hearing, if he think it right that the trial or examination of his case be renewed, let him be pleased to write to those bishops who are in an adjacent and neighboring province, that they may diligently inquire into all the particulars and decide according to the word of truth.
2 But if he who asks to have his case reheard, shall by his entreaty move the Bishop of Rome to send a presbyter a latere it shall be in the power of that bishop to do what he shall resolve and determine upon; and if he shall decide that some be sent, who shall be present and be judges with the bishops invested with his authority by whom they were appointed, it shall be as he shall choose.
3 But if he believe that the bishops suffice to give a final decision, he shall do what he shall determine upon in his most wise judgment.
1 Bishop Hosius said: If it happen that in a province in which there are very many bishops one bishop should stay away and by some negligence should not come to the council and assent to the appointment made by the bishops, but the people assemble and pray that the ordination of the bishop desired by them take place -- it is necessary that the bishop who stayed away should first be reminded by letters from the Exarch of the province (I mean, of course, the bishop of the metropolis), that the people demand a pastor to be given them. I think that it is well to await his [the absent bishop's] arrival also. But if after summons by letter he does not come, nor even write in reply, the wish of the people ought to be complied with.
2 The bishops from the neighboring provinces also should be invited to the ordination of the bishop of the metropolis.
3 It is positively not permitted to ordain a bishop in a village or petty town, for which even one single presbyter is sufficient (for there is no necessity to ordain a bishop there) lest the name and authority of bishop should be made of small account, but the bishops of the province ought, as before said, to ordain bishops in those cities in which there were bishops previously; and if a city should be found with a population so large as to be thought worthy of an episcopal see, let it receive one. Is this the pleasure of all?
4 All answered: It is our pleasure.
1 Bishop Hosius said: If it shall have happened, that in a province in which there have been very many bishops, one [i.e., but one] bishop remains, but that he by negligence has not chosen [to ordain] a bishop, and the people have made application, the bishops of the neighboring province ought first to address [by letter] the bishop who resides in that province, and show that the people seek a ruler [i.e., pastor] for themselves and that this is right, so that they also may come and with him ordain a bishop. But if he refuses to acknowledge their written communication, and leaves it unnoticed, and writes no reply, the people's request should be satisfied, so that bishops should come from the neighboring province and ordain a bishop.
2 But permission is not to be given to ordain a bishop either in any village, or in an unimportant city, for which one presbyter suffices, lest the name and authority of bishop grow cheap. Those [bishops] who are invited from another province ought not to ordain a bishop unless in the cities which have [previously] had bishops, or in a city which is so important or so populous as to be entitled to have a bishop. Is this the pleasure of all?
3 The synod replied: It is our pleasure.
1 Bishop Hosius said: Our importunity and great pertinacity and unjust petitions have brought it about that we do not have as much favor and confidence as we ought to enjoy.
2 For many of the bishops do not intermit resorting to the imperial Court, especially the Africans, who, as we have learned from our beloved brother and fellow-bishop, Gratus, do not accept salutary counsels, but so despise them that one man carries to the Court petitions many and diverse and of no possible benefit to the Church, and does not (as ought to be done and as is fitting) assist and help the poor and the laity or the widows, but is intriguing to obtain worldly dignities and offices for certain persons.
3 This evil then causes enfeeblement [better, murmuring], not without some scandal and blame to us. But I account it quite proper for a bishop to give assistance to one oppressed by some one, or to a widow suffering injustice, or, again, an orphan robbed of his estate, always provided that these persons have a just cause of petition.
4 If, then, beloved brethren, this seems good to all, do you decree that no bishop shall go to the imperial Court except those whom our most pious emperor may summon by his own letters.
5 Yet since it often happens that persons condemned for their offences to deportation or banishment to an island, or who have received some sentence or other, beg for mercy and seek refuge with the Church [i.e., take sanctuary], such persons are not to be refused assistance, but pardon should be asked for them without delay and without hesitation. If this, then, is also your pleasure, do you all vote assent.
6 All gave answer: Be this also decreed.
1 Bishop Hosius said: Importunities and excessive pertinacity and unjust petitions have caused us to have too little favor or confidence, while certain bishops cease not to go to the Court, especially the Africans, who (as we have learned) spurn and spurn the salutary counsels of our most holy brother and fellow-bishop, Gratus, so that they not only bring to the Court many and diverse petitions (not for the good of the Church nor, as is usual and right, to succor the poor or widows or orphans), but even seek to obtain worldly dignities and offices for certain persons. This evil therefore stirs up at times not only murmurings, but even scandals. But it is proper that bishops should intercede for persons suffering from violence and oppression, afflicted widows and defrauded orphans, provided, nevertheless, that these persons have a just cause or petition.
2 If, then, brethren dearly beloved, such be your pleasure, do we decree that no bishops go to the Court except those who may have been invited or summoned by letters of the God-fearing emperor. But since it often happens that those who are suffering from injustice or who are condemned for their offences to deportation or banishment to an island, or, in short, have received some sentence or other, seek refuge with the mercy of the Church, such persons should be succored and pardon be begged for them without hesitation. Decree this, therefore, if it be your pleasure.
3 All said: It is our pleasure and be it decreed.
1 Bishop Hosius said: This also let your sagacity determine, that, inasmuch as this was decreed in order that a bishop might not fall under censure by going to the Court, that if any have such petitions as we mentioned above, they should send these by one of their deacons.
2 For the person of a subordinate does not excite jealousy, and what shall be granted [by the Emperor] can thus be reported more quickly.
3 All answered: Be this also decreed.
1 Bishop Hosius said: This also your forethought should provide for-inasmuch as you have made this decree in order that the audacity of bishops might not labor [or, be observed] to go to Court.
2 Whosoever therefore shall have or receive petitions such as we have mentioned above, let them send these [each] by a deacon of his, because the person of a minister is not an object of jealousy, and he will be able to report more quickly what he has obtained
1 Bishop Hosius said: This also, I think, follows, that, if in any province whatever, bishops send petitions to one of their brothers and fellow-bishops, he that is in the largest city, that is, the metropolis, should himself send his deacon and the petitions, providing him also with letters commendatory, writing also of course in succession to our brethren and fellow-bishops, if any of them should be staying at that time in the places or cities in which the most pious Emperor is administering public affairs.
2 But if any of the bishops should have friends at the Court and should wish to make requests of them as to some proper object, let him not be forbidden to make such requests through his deacon and move these [friends] to give their kind assistance as his desire.
3 But those who come to Rome ought, as I said before, to deliver to our beloved brother and fellow-bishop, Julius, the petitions which they have to give, in order that he may first examine them, lest some of them should be improper, and so, giving them his own advocacy and care, shall send them to the Court.
4 All the Bishops made answer that such was their pleasure and that the regulation was most proper.
5 This also seems to follow, that from whatever province bishops shall send petitions to that brother and fellow-bishop of ours who has his see in the metropolis, he [the metropolitan] should dispatch his deacon with the petitions, providing him with commendatory letters of like tenor to our brethren and fellow-bishops at that time resident in those regions and cities in which the fortunate and blessed Emperor is ruling the State.
6 If however a bishop who seeks to obtain some petition (a worthy one, that is) has friends in the palace, he is not forbidden to make his request through his deacon and to advise those who, he knows, can kindly intercede for him in his absence.
1 Bishop Hosius said: This also I think necessary. You should consider with all thoroughness and care, that if some rich man or professional advocate be desired for bishop, he be not ordained until he have fulfilled the ministry of reader, deacon, and presbyter, in order that, passing by promotion through the several grades, he may advance (if, that is, he be found worthy) to the height of the episcopate. And he shall remain in each order assuredly for no brief time, that so Iris faith, his reputable life, his steadfastness of character and considerateness of demeanor may be well-known, and that he, being deemed worthy of the divine sacerdotal office [sacerdotium, i.e., the episcopate] may enjoy the highest honor.
2 For it is not fitting, nor does discipline or good conversation allow to proceed to this act rashly or lightly, so as to ordain a bishop or presbyter or deacon hastily; as thus he would rightly be accounted a novice, especially since also the most blessed Apostle, he who was the teacher of the Gentiles, is seen to have forbidden hasty ordinations; for the test of [even] the long period will not unreasonably be required to exemplify the conversation and character of each [candidate].
3 All said that this was their pleasure and that it must be absolutely irreversible.
1 Bishop Hosius said: This also I think it necessary for you to consider most carefully, that if perchance some rich man or professional advocate or ex-official be desired for bishop, he be not ordained until he have fulfilled the ministry of a reader and the office of deacon and presbyter, and so ascend, if he have shown himself worthy, through the several grades to the height of the episcopate.
2 For by these promotions which in any case take a considerable length of time can be tested his faith, his discretion, his gravity and modesty. And if he be found worthy, let him be honored with the divine sacerdotal office [i.e. The episcopate]. For it is not fitting, nor does order or discipline allow, that one be rashly or lightly ordained bishop, presbyter or deacon, who is a novice, especially since also the blessed Apostle, the teacher of the Gentiles, is seen to have expressly forbidden it.
3 But those [should be ordained] whose life has been tested and their merit approved by length of time.
4 All said that this was their pleasure.
1 Bishop Hosius said: This also we ought to decree, that when a bishop comes from one city to another city, or from one province to another province, to indulge boastfulness, ministering to his own praises rather than serving religious devotion, and wishes to prolong his stay [in a city], and the bishop of that city is not skilled in teaching, let him [the visiting bishop] not do despite to the bishop of the place and attempt by frequent discourses to disparage him and lessen his repute (for this device is wanting to cause tumults), and strive by such arts to solicit and wrest to himself another's throne, not scrupling to abandon the church committed to him and to procure translation to another.
2 A definite limit of time should therefore be set in such a case, especially since not to receive a bishop is accounted the part of rude and discourteous persons. You remember that in former times our fathers decreed that if a layman were staying in a city and should not come to divine worship for three [successive] Sundays [that is], for three [full] weeks, he should be repelled from communion.
3 If then this has been decreed in the case of laymen, it is neither needful, nor fitting, nor yet even expedient that a bishop, unless he has some grave necessity or difficult business, should be very long absent from his own church and distress the people committed to him.
4 All the bishops said: We decide that this decree also is most proper.
1 Bishop Hosius said: This also you ought to determine. If a bishop comes from one city to another city, or from his own province to another province, and serving ambition rather than devotion, wishes to remain resident for a long time in a strange city, and then (as it perchance happens that the bishop of the place is not so practiced or so learned as himself) he, the stranger, should begin to do him despite and deliver frequent discourses to disparage him and lessen his repute, not hesitating by this device to leave the church assigned him and remove to that which is another's -- do you then [in such a case] set a limit of time [for his stay in the city], because on the one hand to refuse to receive a bishop is discourteous, and on the other his too long stay is mischievous. Provision must be made against this.
2 I remember that in a former council our brethren decreed that if any layman did not attend divine service in a city in which he was staying three Sundays, that is, for three weeks, he should be deprived of communion.
3 If then this has been decreed in the case of laymen, it is far less lawful and fitting that a bishop, if there be no grave necessity detaining him, should be absent from his church longer than the time above written.
4 All said that such was their pleasure.
1 Bishop Hosius said: Since no case should be left unprovided for, let this also be decreed. Some of our brethren and fellow-bishops are known to possess very little private property in the cities in which they are placed as bishops, but have great possessions in other places, with which they are, moreover, able to help the poor.
2 I think then permission should be given them, if they are to visit their estates and attend to the gathering of the harvest, to pass three Sundays, that is, to stay for three weeks, on their estates, and to assist at divine worship and celebrate the liturgy in the near church in which, a presbyter holds service, in order that they may not be seen to be absent from worship, and in order that they may not come too frequently to the city in which there is a bishop. In this way their private affairs will suffer no loss from their absence and they will be seen to be clear from the charge of ambition and arrogance.
3 All the bishops said: This decree also is approved by us. (Latin.)
1 Bishop Hosius said: Since no case should be left unprovided for [let this also be decreed].
2 There are some of our brother-bishops, who do not reside in the city in which they are appointed bishops, either because they have but little property there, while they are known to have considerable estates elsewhere, or, it may be, through affection for kith and kin and in complaisance to these.
3 Let this much be permitted them, to go to their estates to superintend and dispose of their harvest, and [for this purpose] to remain over three Sundays, that is, for three weeks, if it be necessary, on their estates; or else, if there is a neighboring city in which there is a presbyter, in order that they may not be seen to pass Sunday without church, let them go there, so that fin this way] neither will their private affairs suffer loss from their absence, nor will they, by frequent going to the city in which a bishop is resident, incur the suspicion of ambition and place-seeking.
4 All said that this was approved by them.
1 Bishop Hosius said: Be this also the pleasure of all. `If any deacon or presbyter or any of the clergy be excommunicated and take refuge with another bishop who knows him and who is aware final he has been removed from communion by his own bishop, [that other bishop] must not offend against his brother bishop by admitting him to communion. And if any dare to do this, let him know that he must present himself before an assembly of bishops and give account.'
2 All the bishops said: This decision will assure peace at all times and preserve the concord of all.
Bishop Hosius said: Be this also the pleasure of all. If a deacon or presbyter or any of the clergy be refused communion by his own bishop and go to another bishop, and he with whom he has taken refuge shall know that he has been repelled by his own bishop, then must he not grant him communion. But if he shall do so, let him know that he must give account before an assembly of bishops.
All said: This decision will preserve peace and maintain concord.
1 Bishop Hosius said: I must not fail to speak of a matter which constantly urgeth me. If a bishop be found quick to anger (which ought not to sway such a man), and he, suddenly moved against a presbyter or deacon, be minded to cast him out of the Church, provision must be made that such a one be not condemned too hastily and deprived of communion.
2 All said: Let him that is cast out be authorized to take refuge with the bishop of the metropolis of the same province. And if the bishop of the metropolis is absent, let him hasten to the bishop that is near, and ask to have his case carefully examined.
3 For a hearing ought not to be denied those who ask it.
4 And that bishop who cast out such a one, justly or unjustly, ought not to take it ill that examination of the case be made, and his decision confirmed or revised. But, until all the particulars have been examined with care and fidelity, he who is excluded from communion ought not to demand communion in advance of the decision of his case.
5 And if any of the clergy who have met [to hear the case] clearly discern arrogance and pretentiousness in him, inasmuch as it is not fitting to suffer insolence or unjust censure, they ought to correct such an one with somewhat harsh and grievous language, that men may submit to and obey commands that are proper and right.
6 For as the bishop ought to manifest sincere love and regard to his subordinates, so those who are subject to him ought in like manner to perform the duties of their ministry in sincerity towards their bishops.
1 Bishop Hosius said: I must not fail to speak of a matter which further moves me.
2 If some bishop is perchance quick to anger (which ought not to be the case) and, moved hastily and violently against one of his presbyters or deacons, be minded to cast him out of the Church, provision must be made that an innocent man be not condemned or deprived of communion.
3 Therefore let him that is cast out be authorized to appeal to the neighboring bishops and let his case be heard and examined into more diligently. For a hearing ought not to be denied one who asks it.
4 And let that bishop who cast him out, justly or unjustly, take it patiently that the matter is discussed, so that his sentence may either be approved by a number judges] or else revised.
5 Nevertheless, until all the particulars shall be examined with care and fidelity, no one else ought to presume to admit to communion him who was excluded therefrom in advance of the decision of his case.
6 If, however, those who meet to hear it observe arrogance and pride in [such] clergy, inasmuch as it surely is not fitting for a bishop to suffer wrong or insult, let them correct them with some severity of language, that they may obey a bishop whose commands are proper and right.
7 For as he [the bishop] ought to manifest sincere love and love to his clergy, so his ministers ought for their part to render unfeigned obedience to their bishop.
1 Bishop Januarius said: Let your holiness also decree this, that no bishop be allowed to try to gain for himself a minister in the church of a bishop of another city and ordain him to one of his own parishes.
2 All said: Such is our pleasure, inasmuch as discord is apt to spring from contentions in this matter, and therefore the sentence of us all forbids anyone to presume to do.
1 Bishop Hosius said: And let us all decree this also, that if any bishop should ordain to any order the minister of another from another diocese without the consent of his own bishop, such an ordination should be accounted invalid and not confirmed. And if any take upon themselves to do this they ought to be admonished and corrected by our brethren and fellow-bishops.
2 All said: Let this decree also stand unalterable.
1 Bishop Hosius said: This also we all decree, that if any [bishop] should ordain the minister of another from another diocese without the consent and will of his own bishop, his ordination be not ratified.
2 And whoever shall have taken upon himself to do this ought to be admonished and corrected by our brethren and fellow-bishops.
1 Bishop Aetius said: You are not ignorant how important and how large is the metropolitan city of Thessalonica. Accordingly presbyters and deacons often come to it from other provinces and, not content with staying a short time, remain and make it their permanent place of residence, or are compelled with difficulty and after a very long delay to return to their own churches. A decree should be made bearing on this matter.
2 Bishop Hosius said: Let those decrees which have been made in the case of bishops, be observed as to these persons also.
3 Bishop Aetius said: You are not ignorant how large and important is the city of Thessalonica. Presbyters and deacons often come to it from other regions, and are not content to remain a short time, but either make their residence there or at least are with difficulty compelled to return after a long interval to their own place.
4 All said: Those limits of time which have been decreed in the case of bishops ought to be observed as to these persons also.
1 At the suggestion moreover of our brother Olympius,we are pleased to decree this also: That if a bishop suffer violence and is unjustly cast out either on account of his discipline or for his confession of [the faith of] the Catholic Church or for his defence of the truth, and, fleeing from danger, although innocent and devout [or, innocent and being under charge of high treason], comes to another city, let him not be forbidden to stay there until he is restored or until deliverance can be found from the violence and injustice that have been done him.
2 For it would be harsh indeed and most oppressive that one who has suffered unjust expulsion should not be harbored by us; as such a man ought to be received with the greatest consideration and cordiality.
3 All said: This also is our pleasure.
1 At the suggestion of our brother Olympius, we are pleased to decree this also: That if any suffer violence and is unjustly cast out on account of his discipline and his Catholic confession or for his defense of the truth, and, fleeing from dangers, although innocent and devout, comes to another city, let him not be forbidden to stay there until he can return or his wrong has been redressed.
2 For it is harsh and unfeeling that he who is suffering persecution should not be received; indeed, great cordiality and abundant consideration should be shown him.
3 All the synod said: All that has been decreed the Catholic Church spread abroad throughout all the world will preserve and maintain.
4 And all the bishops of the various provinces who had assembled subscribed thus: I, N., bishop of the city of N. And the province of N., so believe as above is written.
1 Bishop Gaudentius said: You know, brother Aetius, that since you were made bishop, peace has continued to rule [in your diocese]. In order that no remnants of discord concerning ecclesiastics remain, it seems good that those who were ordained by Musaeus and by Eutychianus, provided no fault be found in them, should all be received.
1 Bishop Hosius said: This is the sentence of my mediocrity [i.e., unworthiness], that, since we ought to be gentle and patient and to be constant in compassion towards all, those who were once advanced to clerical office in the Church by certain of our brethren, if they are not willing to return to the churches to which they were nominated [or, espoused], should for the future not be received, and that neither Eutychianus should continue to vindicate to himself the name of bishop, nor yet that Musaeus be accounted a bishop; but that if they should seek for lay communion, it should not be denied them.
2 All said: Such is our pleasure.
1 After the words ["honor and dignity"] according to Balsamon and Zonaras, as also Gentian Hervetus, there follows the approbation of the synod in these words: "All answered, This opinion is becoming and well-pleasing to us," which indicate this to be the end of the canon; and therefore the Greeks make of this two distinct canons.
2 Dionysius and Isidore make but one canon,... And this appears to be more congruous on account of the subject-matter of the first part, and will be manifest by connecting the two parts together.
3 Van Espen follows Zonaras and Balsamon in understanding "Bishops in Canali," as such as were set on the public roads and public highways, or rather "in cities which are on the public highways, or `Canals,' by which they that pass go without labor, as in a canal or aqueduct the water flows, for aqueduct and canal are the same thing in the Roman tongue."
4 Bishop Gaudentius said: These things wholesomely, duly, and filly decreed, in the estimation of us the bishops such as are pleasing both to God and to man will not be able to obtain due force and validity, unless fear [of a penalty] be added to the decrees proclaimed.
5 For we ourselves know that through the shamelessness of a few, the divine and right reverend title of bishop has often come into condemnation.
6 If therefore any one, moved by arrogance and ambition rather than seeking to please God, should have the hardihood to pursue a different course of action, contrary to the decree of all, let him know beforehand that he must give account and defend himself on this charge, and lose the honor and dignity of the episcopate.
1 Bishop Hosius said: But some discretion is here requisite, brethren dearly beloved, in case some should come to those cities which are on the highway still ignorant of what has been decreed in the council.
2 The bishop of such a city ought therefore to admonish him [a bishop so arriving], and instruct him to send his deacon from that place. Upon this admonition he must, however, himself return to his diocese.