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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 XVII

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Canon XVII.

If any one having received the ordination of a bishop, and having been appointed to preside over a people, shall not accept his ministry, and will not be persuaded to proceed to the Church entrusted to him, he shall be excommunicated until he, being constrained, accept it, or until a full synod of the bishops of the province shall have determined concerning him.


Ancient Epitome of Canon XVII.

Whoso has received orders and abandoned them let him be excommunicated, until he shall have repented and been received.


If any one called to the rule of the people refuse to undertake that office and ministry, let him be removed from communion, that is separated, until he accept the position.  But should he persist in his refusal, he can by no means be absolved from his separation, unless perchance the full synod shall take some action in his case.  For it is possible that he may assign reasonable causes why he should be excused from accepting the prelature ofp. 117 fered him, reasons which would meet with the approbation of the synod.

Balsamon explains the canon in the same sense and adds that by “ordination” here is intended ordination proper, not merely election, as some have held.

Compare with this Apostolic Canon XXXVI.

This canon is found in the Corpus Juris Canonici, Gratian’s Decretum, Pars I., Dist. XCII., C. vij.  The Roman Correctors note that Dionysius’s version is nearer the Greek.

Next: Canon XVIII

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