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Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. XIV:
The Canons of the Councils of Ancyra, Gangra, Neocæsarea, Antioch and Laodicea, which Canons were Accepted and Received by the Ecumenical Synods.: Canon XI

Early Church Fathers  Index     

p. 68 Canon XI.

It is decreed that virgins who have been betrothed, and who have afterwards been carried off by others, shall be restored to those to whom they had formerly been betrothed, even though they may have suffered violence from the ravisher.


Ancient Epitome of Canon XI.

If a young girl who is engaged be stolen away by force by another man, let her be restored to the former.


This canon treats only of betrothed women (of the sponsalia de futuro) not of those who are married (of the sponsalia de præsenti).  In the case of the latter there could be no doubt as to the duty of restitution.  The man who was betrothed was, moreover, at liberty to receive his affianced bride who had been carried off or not.


Here Balsamon puts in a very proper cave, viz.:  If he to whom she was espoused demand her to be his wife.

Compare St. Basil’s twenty-second canon in his letter to Amphilochius, where it is so ruled.

Next: Canon XII

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