Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. XIV:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
The Third Ecumenical Council: The Council of Ephesus.: Canon VII
When these things had been read, the holy Synod decreed that it is unlawful for any man to bring forward, or to write, or to compose a different (ἑτέραν) Faith as a rival to that established by the holy Fathers assembled with the Holy Ghost in Nicæa.
But those who shall dare to compose a different faith, or to introduce or offer it to persons desiring to turn to the acknowledgment of the truth, whether from Heathenism or from Judaism, or from any heresy whatsoever, shall be deposed, if they be bishops or clergymen; bishops from the episcopate and clergymen from the clergy; and if they be laymen, they shall be anathematized.
And in like manner, if any, whether bishops, clergymen, or laymen, should be discovered to hold or teach the doctrines contained in the Exposition introduced by the Presbyter Charisius concerning the Incarnation of the Only-Begotten Son of God, or the abominable and profane doctrines of Nestorius, which are subjoined, they shall be subjected to the sentence of this holy and ecumenical Synod. So that, if it be a bishop, he shall be removed from his bishopric and degraded; if it be a clergyman, he shall likewise be stricken from the clergy; and if it be a layman, he shall be anathematized, as has been afore said.
Ancient Epitome of Canon VII.
Any bishop who sets forth a faith other than that of Nice shall be an alien from the Church: if a layman do so let him be cast out.
The heading is that found in the ordinary Greek texts. The canon itself is found verbatim in the Acts—Actio VI. (Labbe and Cossart, Concilia, Tom. III., col. 689.)
“When these things had been read.” Balsamon here makes an egregious mistake, for it was not after the reading of the decree of this council and of the Nicene Creed, that this canon was set forth, as Balsamon affirms; but after the reading of the libellum of Charisius, and of the Nestorian Creed, as is abundantly evident from what we read in the Acts of the p. 232 council. From this it is clear that Balsamon had never seen the Acts of this council, or at least had never carefully studied them, else he could not have written such a comment.
[With regard to Charisius, Balsamon] makes another mistake. For not only did this presbyter not follow the evil opinions of Nestorius, but as a matter of fact exhibited to the synod his libellum written against Nestorius; in which so far from asserting that Nestorius was orthodox, he distinctly calls him κακόδοξος.
Photius has included this canon in his Nomocanons, Title I., cap. j.
Next: Excursus on the Words πίστιν ἑπέραν.
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