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If any Metropolitan of a Province, forsaking the holy and Ecumenical Synod, has
joined the assembly of the apostates, or shall join the same hereafter; or, if
he has adopted, or shall hereafter adopt, the doctrines of Celestius, he has no
power in any way to do anything in opposition to the bishops of the province,
since he is already cast forth from all ecclesiastical communion and made
incapable of exercising his ministry; but he shall himself be subject in all
things to those very bishops of the province and to the neighbouring orthodox
metropolitans, and shall be degraded from his episcopal rank.
If any provincial bishops were not present at the holy Synod and have joined or
attempted to join the apostacy; or if, after subscribing the deposition of
Nestorius, they went back into the assembly of apostates; these men, according
to the decree of the holy Synod, are to be deposed from the priesthood and
degraded from their rank.
If any of the city or country clergy have been inhibited by Nestorius or his
followers from the exercise of the priesthood, on account of their orthodoxy, we
have declared it just that these should be restored to their proper rank. And in
general we forbid all the clergy who adhere to the Orthodox and Ecumenical Synod
in any way to submit to the bishops who have already apostatized or shall
If any of the clergy should fall away, and publicly or privately presume to
maintain the doctrines of Nestorius or Celestius, it is declared just by the
holy Synod that these also should be deposed.
If any have been condemned for evil practices by the holy Synod, or by their own
bishops; and if, with his usual lack of discrimination, Nestorius (or his
followers) has attempted, or shall hereafter attempt, uncanonically to restore
such persons to communion and to their former rank, we have declared that they
shall not be profited thereby, but shall remain deposed nevertheless.
Likewise, if any should in any way attempt to set aside the orders in each case
made by the holy Synod at Ephesus, the holy Synod decrees that, if they be
bishops or clergymen, they shall absolutely forfeit their office; and, if
laymen, that they shall be excommunicated.
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 Faith as a
rival to that established by the holy Fathers assembled with the Holy Ghost in
Nicća. 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.
The Judgment of the same Holy Synod, pronounced on the petition presented to it
by the Bishops of Cyprus:
Our brother bishop Rheginus, the beloved of God, and his fellow beloved of God
bishops, Zeno and Evagrius, of the Province of Cyprus, have reported to us an
innovation which has been introduced contrary to the ecclesiastical
constitutions and the Canons of the Holy Apostles, and which touches the
liberties of all. Wherefore, since injuries affecting all require the more
attention, as they cause the greater damage, and particularly when they are
transgressions of an ancient custom; and since those excellent men, who have
petitioned the Synod, have told us in writing and by word of mouth that the
Bishop of Antioch has in this way held ordinations in Cyprus; therefore the
Rulers of the holy churches in Cyprus shall enjoy, without dispute or injury,
according to the Canons of the blessed Fathers and ancient custom, the right of
performing for themselves the ordination of their excellent Bishops. The same
rule shall be observed in the other dioceses and provinces everywhere, so that
none of the God beloved Bishops shall assume control of any province which has
not heretofore, from the very beginning, been under his own hand or that of his
predecessors. But if any one has violently taken and subjected [a Province], he
shall give it up; lest the Canons of the Fathers be transgressed; or the
vanities of worldly honour be brought in under pretext of sacred office; or we
lose, without knowing it, little by little, the liberty which Our Lord Jesus
Christ, the Deliverer of all men, hath given us by his own Blood. Wherefore,
this holy and ecumenical Synod has decreed that in every province the rights
which heretofore, from the beginning, have belonged to it, shall be preserved to
it, according to the old prevailing custom, unchanged and uninjured: every
Metropolitan having permission to take, for his own security, a copy of these
acts. And if any one shall bring forward a rule contrary to what is here
determined, this holy and ecumenical Synod unanimously decrees that it shall be
of no effect.
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