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 XIX
A bishop shall not be ordained without a synod and the presence of the metropolitan of the province. And when he is present, it is by all means better that all his brethren in the ministry of the Province should assemble together with him; and these the metropolitan ought to invite by letter. And it were better that all should meet; but if this be difficult, it is indispensable that a majority should either be present or take part by letter in the election, and that thus the appointment should be made in the presence, or with the consent, of the majority; but if it should be done contrary to these decrees, the ordination shall be of no force. And if the appointment shall be made according to the prescribed canon, and any should object through natural love of contradiction, the decision of the majority shall prevail.
Ancient Epitome of Canon XIX.
If there be no synod and metropolitan, let there be no bishop. If on account of some difficulty all do not meet together, at least let the greater number, or let them give their assent by letter. But if after the affair is all settled a few are contentious, let the vote of the majority stand firm.
p. 118 Zonaras.
In the first place it must be noted that by “ordination” in this place is meant election, and the laying on of the bishops hand.
The method of choosing a bishop is laid down in the canons of Nice, number iv., but the present canon adds the provision that an election which takes place in violation of the provisions of this decree is null and invalid: and that when those who are electing are divided in opinion as to whom to choose, the votes of the majority shall prevail. But when you hear this canon saying that there should be no election without the presence of the Metropolitan, you must not say that he ought to be present at an election (for this was prohibited, as is found written in other canons) but rather say that his presence here is a permission or persuasion, without which no election could take place.
Compare Apostolic Canon number j.
This canon is found in the Corpus Juris Canonici, Gratians Decretum, Pars I., Dist. LXV., can. iij. Gratian has chosen Isidores version, and the Roman Correctors point out that Dionysius is preferable.
Next: Canon XX
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