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Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. XIV:
The Canons of the Synods of Sardica, Carthage, Constantinople, and Carthage Under St. Cyprian, Which Canons Were Received by the Council in Trullo and Ratified by II. Nice.: Canon XXXII

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Canon XXXII.  (Greek xxxv.)

If any poor cleric, no matter what his rank may be, shall acquire any property, it shall be subject to the power of the bishop. 434

It also seemed good that bishops, presbyters, deacons and any other of the clergy, who when they were ordained had no possessions, and in the time of their episcopate or after they became clerics, shall purchase in their own names lands or any other property, shall be held guilty of the crime of intrenching upon the Lord’s goods, unless, when they are admonished to do so, they place the same at the disposal of the Church.  But should anything come to them personally by the liberality of anyone, or by succession from some relative, let them do what they will with it; if, however, they demand it back again, contrary to what they proposed, they shall be judged unworthy of ecclesiastical honour as back-sliders.


Ancient Epitome of Canon XXXII.

Whoso after his ordination although he has nothing yet buys a field, shall give it to the Church, unless he got it by succession from a relation or by pure liberality.

In this canon there is difficulty about the meaning of the phrase “quod eorum proposito congruat.”  Hardouin suggests that “propositum” is the same as “profession,” or “calling,” and the meaning, were this the case, would be that he must employ it as befits his clerical calling.  Van Espen follows Balsamon and Zonaras in understanding it to mean that if he has proposed to employ a part for the Church or for the poor, and changes his mind, he is to be deposed; and this meaning I have followed.



“Of the Church” in Dion. Exig.

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