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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 IX

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Canon IX.

If any one shall remain virgin, or observe continence, abstaining from marriage because he abhors it, and not on account of the beauty and holiness of virginity itself, let him be anathema.


Ancient Epitome of Canon IX.

Whoso preserves virginity not on account of its beauty but because he abhors marriage, let him be anathema.

The lesson taught by this canon and that which follows is that the practice of even the highest Christian virtues, such as the preservation of virginity, if it does not spring from a worthy motive is only deserving of execration.


Virginity is most beautiful of all, and continence is likewise beautiful, but only if we folp. 96 low them for their own sake and because of the sanctification which comes from them.  But should anyone embrace virginity, because he detests marriage as impure, and keep himself chaste, and abstains from commerce with women and marriage, because he thinks that they are in themselves wicked, he is subjected by this canon to the penalty of anathema.

This canon is found in the Corpus Juris Canonici, Gratian’s Decretum, Pars I., Dist. xxx., c. v., and again Dist. xxxi., c. ix.

Next: Canon X

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