Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. XIV:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
The Canons of the Councils of Ancyra, Gangra, Neocæsarea, Antioch and Laodicea, which Canons were Accepted and Received by the Ecumenical Synods.: Canon IV
If any one shall maintain, concerning a married presbyter, that is not lawful to partake of the oblation when he offers it, let him be anathema.
Ancient Epitome of Canon IV.
Anathema to him who hesitates to receive communion from presbyters joined in matrimony.
As is well known, the ancient Church, as now the Greek Church, allowed those clergy who married before their ordination to continue to live in matrimony. Compare what was said above in the history of the Council of Nicæa, in connection with Paphnutius, concerning the celibacy and marriage of priests in the ancient Church. Accordingly this canon speaks of those clergy who have wives and live in wedlock; and Baronius, Binius, and Mitter-Müller gave themselves useless trouble p. 94 in trying to interpret it as only protecting those clergy who, though married, have since their ordination ceased to cohabit with their wives.
The so-called Codex Ecclesiæ Romanæ published by Quesnel, which, however, as was shown by the Ballerini, 157 is of Gallican and not Roman origin, has not this canon, and consequently it only mentions nineteen canons of Gangra.
Vide their edition of Opp. S. Leonis M., Tom. III., pp. 124, 685, 755.
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