Concerning catechumens who have lapsed

14. Concerning catechumens who have lapsed, this holy and great synod decrees that, after they have spent three years as hearers only, they shall then be allowed to pray with the catechumens. 

Concerning a cleric who transfers from city to city

15. On account of the great disturbance and the factions that are caused, it is decreed that the custom, if it is found to exist in some parts contrary to the canon, shall be totally suppressed, so that neither bishops nor presbyters not deacons shall transfer from city to city.  If, after this decision of this holy and great synod, anyone shall attempt such a thing, or shall lend himself to such a proceeding, the arrangement shall be totally annulled, and he shall be restored to the church of which he was ordained bishop or presbyter or deacon.


Concerning those who do not remain in the churches in which they were promoted

16. Any presbyters or deacons or in general anyone enrolled in any rank of the clergy who depart from their church recklessly and without the fear of God before their eyes or in ignorance of the church's canon (regula), ought not by any means to be received into another church, but all pressure must be applied to them to induce them to return to their own dioceses, or if they remain it is right that they should be excommunicated.  But if anyone dares to steal away one who belongs to another and to ordain him in his church without the consent of the other's own bishop among whose clergy he was enrolled before he departed, the ordination is to be null.

 Concerning clerics who practice usury

17. Since many enrolled among the clergy have been induced by greed and avarice to forget the sacred text "who does not put out his money at interest [Psalms 15:5]" and to charge one percent a month on loans, this holy and great synod judges that if any are found after this decision to receive interest by contract or to transact the business in any other way or to charge a flat rate of fifty percent or in general to devise any other contrivance for the sake of dishonorable gain, they shall be deposed from the clergy and their names struck from the roll.


That deacons should not give the Eucharist to presbyters or be seated above them

18. It has come to the attention of this holy and great synod that in some places cities deacons give communion to presbyters, although neither canon nor custom (nec regula nec consuetudo) allows this, namely that those who have no authority to offer should give the body of Christ to those who do offer.  Moreover it has become known that some of the deacons now receive the Eucharist even before the bishops.  All these practices must be suppressed.  Deacons must remain within their own limits, knowing that they are the ministers of the bishop and subordinate to the presbyters.  Let them receive the Eucharist according to their order after the presbyters from the hands of the bishop or the presbyter.  Nor shall permission be given for deacons to sit among presbyters, for such an arrangement is contrary to the canon and to rank.  If anyone refuses to comply even after these decrees, he is to be suspended from the diaconate.


Concerning the followers of Paul of Samosata who come over

19. Concerning the former Paulinists who seek refuge in the Catholic Church, it is determined that they must be rebaptized unconditionally.  Those who in the past have been enrolled among the clergy, if they appear  to be blameless and irreproachable, are to be rebaptized and ordained by the bishop of the catholic church.  But if on inquiry they are shown to be unsuitable, it is right that they should be deposed.

Similarly with regard to deaconesses and all in general whose names have been included in the roll, the same form shall be observed.  We refer to deaconesses who have been granted this status, for they do not receive any imposition of hands, so that they are in all respects numbered among the laity.

Return to canons


Return to a Short History of Canon Law