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Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol VIII:
The Decretals.: Taken from the Decretal of Gratian.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

p. 640 Decrees of Fabian.


Taken from the Decretal of Gratian.


That the man who refuses to be reconciled to his brother should be reduced by the severest fastings. 2876

If any injured person refuses to be reconciled to his brother, when he who has injured him offers satisfaction, he should be reduced by the severest fastings, even until he accepts the satisfaction offered him with thankful mind.


The man is rendered infamous who knowingly presumes to forswear himself. 2877

Whosoever has knowingly forsworn himself, should be put for forty days on bread and water, and do penance also for the seven following years; and he should never be without penance; and he should never be admitted to bear witness.  After this, however, he may enjoy communion.


A man and a woman subject to madness cannot enter into marriage. 2878

Neither can a mad man nor a mad woman enter into the marriage relation.  But if it has been entered, then they shall not be separated.


Marriage relations in the fifth generation may unite with each other; and in the fourth generation, if they are found, they should not be separated. 2879

Concerning relations who enter affinity by the connection of husband and wife, these, on the decease of wife or husband, may form a union in the fifth generation; and in the fourth, if they are found, they should not be separated.  In the third degree of relationship, however, it is not lawful for one to take the wife of another on his death.  In an equable manner, a man may be united in marriage after his wife’s death with those who are his own kinswomen, and with the kinswomen of his wife.

To the immediately preceding notice. 2880

Those who marry a wife allied by blood, and are separated, shall not be at liberty, as long as both parties are alive, to unite other wives with them in marriage, unless they can plead the excuse of ignorance.


Blood connections alone, or, if offspring entirely fails, the old and trustworthy, should reckon the matter of propinquity in the synod. 2881

No alien should accuse blood connections, or reckon the matter of consanguinity in the synod, but relations to whose knowledge it pertains,—that is, father and mother, sister and brother, paternal uncle, maternal uncle, paternal aunt, maternal aunt, and their children.  If, however, offspring entirely fails, the bishop shall make inquiry canonically of the older and more trustworthy persons to whom the same relationship may be known; and if such relationship is found, the parties should be separated.


Every one of the faithful should communicate three times a year. 2882

Although they may not do it more frequently, yet at least three times in the year should the laity communicate, unless one happen to be hindered by any more serious offences,—to wit, at Easter, and Pentecost, and the Lord’s Nativity.


A presbyter should not be ordained younger than thirty years of age. 2883

If one has not completed thirty years of age, he should in no way be ordained as presbyter, even although he may be extremely worthy; for even the Lord Himself was baptized only when He was thirty years of age, and at that period He began to teach.  It is not right, therefore, that one who is to be ordained should be consecrated until he has reached this legitimate age.




Dist. 90, Si quis contristatus.  Basil, in Reg., c. 74.


6, Q. 1, Quicunque sciens.  Regino in the Book of Penance.


32, Q. 7, Neque furiosus.  And in the Decret. Ivo., book vi., Regino adduces it from the law of Rome.


35, Q. 2 and 3, De propinquis.  From the Pœnitentiale of Theodorus.


From the same.


35, Q. 6, Consanguineos extraneorum.  And in the Decret. Ivo., vii.


De Consecr., dist. 2, Etsi non.  And in the Decret. Ivo., i.


Dist. 78, Si quis, 30; and in the Decret. Ivo., iii.; from Martin Bracar, ch. 20.

Next: The Decrees of the Same, from the Codex of Decrees in Sixteen Books, from the Fifth Book, and the Seventh and Ninth Chapters.

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