APOSTOLIC CANON 31
If any Presbyter, condemning his own bishop, draw people aside, and set up another altar, without finding anything wrong with the Bishop in point of piety and justice, let him be deposed, on the ground that he is an office-seeker. For he is a tyrant. Let the rest of clergymen be treated likewise (i.e., be deposed), and all those who abet him. But let the laymen be excommunicated . Let these things be done after one, and a second, and a third request of the Bishop.
Council of Carthage's Canons, see especially Canon XI:
If any Presbyter that has been condemned by his own Bishop, peradventure for having become inflated with pride and arrogance, conceives that he ought to offer the elements to God separately or presumes to erect another altar in defiance of ecclesiastical organization, let such person be anathema.
If any Presbyter be denounced for his conduct or behavior, such a one should notify neighboring Bishops, in order that they may give the matter a hearing, and through them he may become reconciled with his own Bishop. If he fail to do so, but instead, what is to be deprecated, being inflated with superciliousness, he should separate himself from communion with his own bishop, and while at odds with him should create a schism along with any other persons, and offer sacrifice to God, let such a person be considered anathema, and let him lose his position, it being assumed that he has never had any just complaint against the Bishop.
St. John the Faster's CANON XIX
A boy who has been ruined in front of any man cannot come into holy orders. For although on account of his immature age he did not sin himself, yet his vessel was rent and became useless in connection with sacred services. If, however, he received the ejaculation between his thighs, after being suitably penalized he shall not be barred from preferment to holy orders.
The present Canon decrees that if perchance anyone when he was a boy seven years old was ruined by any man, although at that time he was not guilty of sin because of the immaturity of his age and knowledge, yet he cannot become a priest, since the vessel of his body was sundered and became useless for services in connection with the priesthood. But if he received the ejaculated semen only in the fork of his thighs, without, that is to say, having the member entering his anus, which is the same as saying if he merely suffered wallowing, he is to be penanced first with the proper canon, and then, if he wishes to be made a priest, he is not barred.29 As to the fact that one can no longer regain his virginity after he has once lost it, that is avouched by Basil the Great in his discourse concerning virginity, and see the last Footnote to the Epistle of St. Athanasios to Ammun.
St. Basil's CANON VII
Sodomists and bestialists and murderers and sorcerers and adulterers and idolaters deserve the same condemnation, so that whatever rule you have as regarding the others observe it also in regard to these persons. But as for those who have been for thirty years repentant for an act of impurity which they committed unwittingly, there is no ground for our doubting that we ought to admit them. Both the fact of their ignorance renders them worthy of pardon, and so do also the voluntary character of their confession, and the fact that they have been exhibiting good intentions for such a long time; for they have surrendered themselves to Satan, for nearly a whole human generation, in order to be educated not to indulge in shameful acts. So bid them to be admitted without fail, especially if they have shed tears that move you to compassion, and are exhibiting a life that deserves sympathy.
The present Canon condemns to the same chastisement and sentence both those who are guilty of the crime of sodomy and those who are guilty of the crime of bestiality (concerning whom see c. XVI of Ancyra), and murderers (see Apostolic Canon LXVI), and sorcerers (see c. LXI of the 6th), and adulterers (see Apostolic Canon. XLVIII, and c. LXXXVII of the 6th), and idolaters, by which terms are meant, according to Balsamon and Zonaras, magicians, because of their invoking the demons, or, according to others, those who have on some occasion or under some circumstance denied Christ and have sacrificed to idols (and see c. XI of the 1st). All these persons are condemned to the same chastisement, not according to the years of sentence, because some of them are sentenced to more years and others to fewer, as is to be seen in their particular places and Canons; but in respect that all of them are subjected to sentences of many years, according to Zonaras, and in respect that all of them used to be assigned to the four stations of repentance, according to Balsamon. All those, on the other hand, who have been repentant for thirty years on account of the carnal impurity they committed unwittingly (possibly by indulging in sexual intercourse with some female relative without being aware that she was a relative, or something else of the kind), they ought undoubtedly to be admitted to the communion of the Mysteries, because of the tears. and the life deserving of mercy which they are exhibiting, and on account of the many years' sentence they have had to serve out. Because they have given themselves up to Satan for nearly a whole human generation, after being separated from communion with the faithful, like that Corinthian who gave himself up to Satan, in order that they too, like hint, might learn not to do such impure acts.
The same St. Basil in his c. LXII canonizes sodomists to fifteen years, as well as adulterers. St. Gregory of Nyssa in his c. IV canonizes them to eighteen, remarking that this is alien and that it is contrary to nature. The Faster in his c. XVIII excludes the sodomist from communion for three years, with the additional penalties of fasting, xerophagy, and penalties. In his c. XIX he says that if a child has been violated by someone he cannot become a priest, unless he received the semen only between the thighs. But God commands in Leviticus that sodomists be put to death: “And if any man sleep with a male person in lieu of a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; they are guilty”(Lev. 20:13).21
St. Basil's CANON LXII
As for any man who uncovers his nakedness in the midst of males, he shall be allotted the time fixed for those transgressing in the act of adultery.
(c. VII of Basil; c. IV of Nyssa.)
The present Canon canonizes anyone guilty of sodomy, i.e., sexual intercourse between males, like an adulterer or fifteen years. See also c. VII of the same St. Basil.
St. John the Faster's CANON XVIII
It has seemed advisable to exclude any man who has been so mad as to copulate with another man from Communion for three years, weeping and fasting, and towards evening confined to xerophagy, and doing two hundred metanies. But as for one who prefers to relax, let him fulfill the fifteen years.
The present Canon canonizes any man guilty of arsenocoetia (i.e., sexual intercourse between males) not to partake of Communion for three years, but during this time to weep over his sin and to fast until evening, to content himself with xerophagy, and to do two hundred metanies daily. But if he does not care to observe these regulations, let him abstain from communion for fifteen years, just as c. LXII of Basil canonizes those guilty of arsenocoetia, which you may read for yourself, as well as his c. VII.28
APOSTOLIC CANON 25
Any Bishop, or presbyter, or Deacon that is taken in the act of committing fornication, or perjury, or theft, shall be deposed, but shall not be excommunicated, for Scripture says: “You shall not exact revenge twice for the same offense.”The same rule applies also to the rest of clergymen.
St. Basil's CANON III
A Deacon who commits fornication after coming into the diaconate, shall be ousted from the diaconate, to be sure, but yet after being expelled into the status of laymen, he shall not be excluded from the right of communion. For it is an ancient Canon that those who have forfeited their rank shall be subject to only this form of punishment, on the principle, as I think, on following the original dictate of that law which says: “You shall not take vengeance a second time for the same offense”(Nahum 1:9). (Note of Translator.–This passage is quoted as it appears in the Septuagint, and is translated in conformity therewith; in the A. V. and R. V. it is worded differently and conveys no such meaning.) Also for another reason, that those who are in the lay order and expelled from the status of the faithful, may be taken back into the status from which they fell and which they forfeited, whereas a Deacon sustains once for all a permanent sentence to deposition. On the ground, therefore, that the diaconate cannot be given back to him, they took their stand upon this punishment alone. So much for the matter of forms. On the whole, however, a truer remedy is repudiation of sin. So that one who has disregarded grace for the sake of pleasure of the flesh may afford a perfect proof of his being cured by showing contrition of the heart and by refraining from being submissive to any enslavement by observance of continence with respect to pleasures of the flesh by which he was destroyed. It is necessary for us, therefore, to know both, namely, what strictness demands and what custom requires, but to follow the form traditionally taught us in regard to those who do not deserve extreme treatment.
St. John the Faster's CANON XII
Upon every Monk or layman that has committed fornication we impose exclusion from Communion for two years, provided he consents to submit to xerophogy after the ninth hour and to do two hundred and fifty metanies; but if he neglects to do so, let him fulfill the whole term fixed by the Fathers.
The present Canon canonizes every monk or layman that fornicates even once to abstain from Communion for two years and every day to do two hundred and fifty metanies, and after the ninth hour of every day to confine himself to xerophagy, or eating bread drinking of water alone; but if he should neglect or refuse to do this, let him abstain from Communion for as many years as the divine Fathers have fixed.21 See c. XLIV of the 6th, c. XXII of Basil, and c. XVI of the 4th.
St. John the Faster's CANON XXV
If a Nun becomes aware that other Nuns are guilty of adultery or of child destruction, and fails to reveal the fact to her Superior, she is to get the same penance as the one who actually committed the offense, according to c. LXXI of Basil the Great.
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