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 XIV
If any woman shall forsake her husband, and resolve to depart from him because she abhors marriage, let her be anathema.
Ancient Epitome of Canon XIV.
Women who keep away from their husbands because they abominate marriage, anathema to them.
This canon cannot in any way be employed in opposition to the practice of the Catholic Church. For though the Church allows one of a married couple, with the consent of the other, to give up matrimonial intercourse, and to enter the clerical order or the cloister, still this is not, as is the case with the Eustathians, the result of a false dogmatic theory, but takes place with a full recognition of the sanctity of marriage.
It would seem that the Eustathians chiefly disapproved of the use of marriage, and under pretext of preserving continence induced married women to abstain from its use as from something unlawful, and to leave their husbands, separating from them so far as the bed was concerned; and so the Greek interpreters understand this canon; for the Eustathians were never accused of persuading anyone to dissolve a marriage a vinculo.
This canon is found in the Corpus Juris Canonici, Gratians Decretum, Pars I., Dist, xxx., c. iii., but in Isidores version, which misses the sense by implying that a divorce a vinculo is intended. The Roman Correctors do not note this error.
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