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Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. XIV:
The Canons of the Synods of Sardica, Carthage, Constantinople, and Carthage Under St. Cyprian, Which Canons Were Received by the Council in Trullo and Ratified by II. Nice.: Canon L

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Canon L.  (Greek liv.)

How many bishops should be added to the number of those ordaining, if any opposition had been made to the one to be ordained.

But this should be decreed, that when we shall have met together to choose a bishop, if any opposition shall arise, because such things have been treated by us, the three shall not presume to purge 452 him who was to be ordained, but one or two more shall be asked to be added to the aforesaid number, and the persons of those objecting shall first be discussed in the same place (plebe) for which he was to be ordained.  And last of all the objections shall be considered; and only after he has been cleared in the p. 466 public sight shall he at last be ordained.  If this agrees with the mind of your holiness, let it be confirmed by the answer of your worthiness.  All the bishops said, We are well pleased.


Ancient Epitome of Canon L.

If any controversy arise concerning a bishop who has been elected by three bishops, let two others be coöpted, and so let there be an examination made of his affairs; and if it shall appear that he is pure, let him be ordained.

This canon is Canon iij., of the Synod of Carthage, Aug. 28th, 397.


Here the bishops meet to choose a new one, and it is evident by the foregoing canon, that they met not in the vacant church, but in that of the Primate; and that therefore not the people, but the bishops had the chief share in the election.  The people might make their objections, which supposes they knew who their intended bishop was; but the bishops were the judges of the cause.  And it seems probable, that if there were any dispute, some of the bishops went to the vacant church to hear the allegations against the person that was elected, or proposed.



The Greek reads “to depose him,” and varies considerably from the Latin.  I have followed the Latin but confess that in part I have failed to catch a meaning.  The Greek is perfectly clear, as usual.

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