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Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. XIV:
The Seventh Ecumenical Council.  The Second Council of Nice.: Canon XIX

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Canon XIX.

That the vows of those in holy orders and of monks, and of nuns are to be made without the exaction of gifts.

The abomination of filthy lucre has made such inroads among the rulers of the churches, that certain of those who call themselves religious men and women, forgetting the commandments of the Lord have been altogether led astray, and for the sake of money have received those presenting themselves for the sacerdotal order and the monastic life.  And hence the first step of those so received being unlawful, the whole proceeding is rendered null, as says Basil the Great.  For it is not possible that God should be served by means of mammon. 543   If therefore, anyone is found doing anything of this kind, if he be a bishop or hegumenos, or one of the priesthood, either let him cease to do so any longer or else let him be deposed, according to the second canon of the Holy Council of Chalcedon.  If the offender be an abbess, let her be sent away from her monastery, and placed in another in a subordinate position.  In like manner is a hegumenos to be dealt with, who has not the ordination of a presbyter.  With regard to what has been given by parents as a dowry for their children, or which persons themselves have contributed out of their own property, with the declaration that such gifts were made to God, we have decreed, that whether the persons in whose behalf the gifts were made, continue to live in the monastery or not, the gifts are to remain with the monastery in accordance with their first determination; unless indeed there be ground for complaint against the superior.

p. 568 Notes.

Ancient Epitome of Canon XIX.

Whoever for money admits those coming to Holy Orders or to the monastic life, if he be bishop, or superior of a monastery or any other in sacred orders, shall either cease or be deposed.  And the Superior of a monastery of women shall be expelled [if she have done so] and shall be given over to subjection.  The same shall be the case with a superior of monks, if he be not a priest.  But the possessions brought by those who come in, let them remain, whether the persons remain or not, provided the superior be not to blame.


But someone may ask how it is that canon V., orders that he that performs an ordination for money is eo ipso to be deposed, whereas this canon provides that he who receives a cleric or monk on account of a pecuniary gift is to cease or else to be deposed.  The answer is, that whenever anyone performs an ordination for money, according to canon V., he is to be deposed; but when it was only a reception of a person which took place, whether into the list of the clergy or into a monastery by reason of money, who did this is only to be deposed, if after being denounced he persists in this evil.  The canons therefore are diverse in their scope.  The fifth treats of unlawful ordination, but this one of improper receptions.



Bev. “To serve God and mammon.”

Next: Canon XX

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