20. Since there are some who kneel on Sunday and during the season of Pentecost, this holy synod decrees that, so that the same observances may be maintained in every diocese, one should offer one's prayers to the Lord standing.
The Letter of the Synod in Nicaea to the Egyptians
The bishops assembled at Nicaea who constitute the great and holy synod, greet the church of the Alexandrians, by the grace of God holy and great, and the beloved brethren in Egypt, Libya, and Pentapolis.
Since the grace of God and the most pious emperor Constantine have called us together from different provinces and cities to constitute the great and holy synod in Nicaea, it seemed absolutely necessary that the holy synod should send you a letter so that you may know what was proposed and discussed, and what was decided and enacted.
First Arius' impiety and lawlessness and that of his followers was discussed in the presence of the most pious emperor Constantine. It was unanimously agreed that anathemas should be pronounced against his impious opinion and his blasphemous terms and expressions which he has blasphemously applied to the Son of God, saying "he is from things that are not," and "before he was begotten he was not," and "therefor once was when he was not," saying too that by his own power the Son of God is capable of evil and goodness, and calling him a creature and a work. Against all this the holy synod pronounced anathemas, and did not allow this impious and abandoned opinion and these blasphemous words even to be heard.
Of that man and the fate which befell him, you have doubtless heard or will hear, lest we should seem to trample upon one who has already received a fitting reward because of his won sin. Such indeed was the power of his impiety that Theonas of Marmarica and Secund of Ptolemais shared in the consequences, for they too suffered the same fate.
But since, when the grace of God had freed Egypt from this evil and blasphemous opinion, and from the persons who had dared to create a schism and a separation in a people which up to now had lived in peace, there remained the question of the presumption of Meletius and the men whom he had ordained, we shall explain to you, beloved brethren, the synod's decision on this subject too.
The synod was moved to incline towards mildness in its treatment of Meletius, for strictly speaking he deserved no mercy. It decreed that he might remain in his own city without any authority to nominate or ordain, and that he was not to show himself for this purpose in the country or in another city, and that he was to retain the bare name of his office.
It was further decreed that those whom he had ordained, when they had been validated by a more spiritual ordination were to be admitted to communion on condition that they would retain their rank and exercise their ministry, but in every respect were to be second to all the clergy in each diocese and church who had been nominated under our most honored brother and fellow minister Alexander. They were to have no authority to appoint candidates of their choice or to put forward names or to do anything at all without the consent of the bishop of the catholic church, namely the bishop of those who are under Alexander.
But those who by the grace of God and by our prayers have not been detected in any schism, and are spotless in the catholic and apostolic church, are to have authority to appoint and to put forward the names of men of the clergy who are worthy, and in general to do everything according to the law and rule of the church.
In the event of the death of any in the church, those who have recently been accepted are thereupon to succeed to the office of the deceased, provided that they appear worthy and are chosen by the people. The bishop of Alexandria is to take part in the vote and confirm the election. This privilege, which has been granted to all others, does not apply to the person of Meletius because of his inveterate seditiousness and his mercurial and rash disposition, lest any authority or duty should be given to one who is capable of returning to his seditious practices.
These are the chief and most important decrees as far as concerns Egypt and the most holy church of the Alexandrians. Whatever other canons and decrees (regula vel decretum) were enacted in the presence of our lord and most honored fellow minister and brother Alexander, he will report them to you in greater detail when he comes, for he was a leader and a participant in the council.
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