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Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. XIV:
The Canons of the Councils of Ancyra, Gangra, Neocæsarea, Antioch and Laodicea, which Canons were Accepted and Received by the Ecumenical Synods.: Canon X

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Canon X.

If any one of those who are living a virgin life for the Lord’s sake shall treat arrogantly the married, let him be anathema.


Ancient Epitome of Canon X.

Whoso treats arrogantly those joined in matrimony, let him be anathema.

On this point the fathers had spoken long before, I cite two as examples.

St. Clement.

(Epist. I., 38, Lightfoot’s translation.)

So in our case let the whole body be saved in Christ Jesus, and let each man be subject unto his neighbour, according as also he was appointed with his special grace.  Let not the strong neglect the weak; and let the weak respect the strong.  Let the rich minister aid to the poor and let the poor give thanks to God, because he hath given him one through whom his wants may be supplied.  Let the wise display his wisdom, not in words, but in good works.  He that is lowly in mind, let him not bear testimony to himself, but leave testimony to be borne to him by his neighbour.  He that is pure in the flesh, let him be so, 158 and not boast, knowing that it is Another who bestoweth his continence upon him.  Let us consider, brethren, of what matter we were made; who and what manner of beings we were, when we came into the world; from what a sepulchre and what darkness he that moulded and created us brought us into his world, having prepared his benefits aforehand ere ever we were born.  Seeing therefore that we have all these things from him, we ought in all things to give thanks to him, to whom be the glory for ever and ever.  Amen.

St. Ignatius.

(Epist. ad Polyc. 5, Lightfoot’s translation.)

Flee evil arts, or rather hold thou discourse about these, Tell my sisters to love the Lord and to be content with their husbands in flesh and in spirit.  In like manner also charge my brothers in the name of Jesus Christ to love their wives, as the Lord loved the Church.  If anyone is able to abide in chastity to the honour of the flesh of the Lord, let him so abide without boasting.  If he boast, he is lost; and if it be known beyond the bishop, he is polluted.  It becometh men and women, too, when they marry to unite themselves with the consent of the bishop, that the marriage may be after the Lord and not after concupiscence.  Let all things be done to the honour of God.

This canon is found in the Corpus Juris Canonici, Gratian’s Decretum, Pars I., Dist. xxx., c. iv.



Lightfoot adopts Laurents’ emendation and reads ήτωΣιγάτω has also been suggested and Hort’s thinks στήτω to be the genuine reading.  It all comes to the same thing, however, the meaning being perfectly clear.

Next: Canon XI

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