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 XVI
p. 70 Canon XVI.
Let those who have been or who are guilty of bestial lusts, if they have sinned while under twenty years of age, be prostrators fifteen years, and afterwards communicate in prayers; then, having passed five years in this communion, let them have a share in the oblation. But let their life as prostrators be examined, and so let them receive indulgence; and if any have been insatiable in their crimes, then let their time of prostration be prolonged. And if any who have passed this age and had wives, have fallen into this sin, let them be prostrators twenty-five years, and then communicate in prayers; and, after they have been five years in the communion of prayers, let them share the oblation. And if any married men of more than fifty years of age have so sinned, let them be admitted to communion only at the point of death.
Ancient Epitome of Canon XVI.
Whoever shall have commerce with animals devoid of reason being younger than twenty, shall be a prostrator for fifteen years. If he is over that age and has a wife when he falls into this wickedness he shall be a prostrator for twenty-five years. But the married man who shall do so when over fifty years of age, shall be a prostrator to his lifes end.
It is interesting to compare with this, as Van Espen does, the canon of the Church of England set forth in the tenth century under King Edgar, where, Part II., canon xvi., we read—
“If any one twenty years of age shall defile himself with a beast, or shall commit sodomy let him fast fifteen years; and if he have a wife and be forty years of age, and shall do such a deed let him abstain now and fast all the rest of his life, neither shall he presume until he is dying to receive the Lords body. Youths and fools who shall do any such thing shall be soundly trounced.”
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