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 XXI
Concerning women who commit fornication, and destroy that which they have conceived, or who are employed in making drugs for abortion, a former decree excluded them until the hour of death, and to this some have assented. Nevertheless, being desirous to use somewhat greater lenity, we have ordained that they fulfil ten years [of penance], according to the prescribed degrees.
Ancient Epitome of Canon XXI.
Harlots taking injurious medicines are to be subjected to penance for ten years.
The phrase “and to this some have assented” is the translation of Hervetus, Van Espen, and Hefele. Dr. Routh suggests to understand ἁι and translate, “the same punishment will be inflicted on those who assist in causing miscarriages,” but this seems rather an unnatural and strained rendering of the Greek.
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