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. 99 Canon XVI.
If, under any pretence of piety, any children shall forsake their parents, particularly [if the parents are] believers, and shall withhold becoming reverence from their parents, on the plea that they honour piety more than them, let them be anathema.
Ancient Epitome of Canon XVI.
If children leave their parents who are of the faithful let them be anathema.
Zonaras notes that the use of the word “particularly” shews that the obligation is universal. The commentators all refer here to Matt. 15, where our Lord speaks of the subterfuge by which the Jews under pretext of piety defrauded their parents and made the law of God of none effect.
Of the last clause this is the meaning; that according to the Eustathians “piety towards God” or “divine worship,” or rather its pretence, should be preferred to the honour and reverence due to parents.
This canon, in Isidores version, is found in the Corpus Juris Canonici, Gratians Decretum, Pars I., Dist. xxx., c. i. The Roman correctors advertize the reader that the version of Dionysius Exiguus “is much nearer to the original Greek, although not altogether so.”
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