Concerning the excommunicated, that they must not be received by others; and concerning the duty to hold synods twice a year

5. Concerning those, whether of the clergy or the laity, who have been excommunicated, the sentence is to be respected by the bishops of each province, according to the canon that forbids those expelled by some to be admitted by others.  But let an inquiry be held to ascertain whether anyone has been expelled from the community because of pettiness or quarrelsomeness or any such ill nature on the part of the bishop.

Accordingly, in order that there may be proper opportunity for inquiry into the matter, it is agreed that it would be well for synods to be held each year in each province twice a year, so that these inquiries may be conducted by all the bishops of the province assembled together, and in this way by general agreement those who have offended against their own bishop may be recognized by all to be reasonably excommunicated, until all the bishops in common may decide to pronounce a more lenient sentence on these persons.

The synods shall be held at the following times:  one before Lent, so that, all pettiness being set aside, the gift offered to God may be unblemished; the second after the season of autumn.


Concerning the forms of primacy belonging to some cities; and that bishops may not be created without the consent of the metropolitan

6. The ancient customs of Egypt, Libya, and Pentapolis shall be maintained, according to which the bishop of Alexandria has authority over all these places, since a similar custom exists with reference to the bishop of Rome.  Similarly in Antioch and the other provinces the prerogatives of the churches are to be preserved.

In general the following principle is evident: if anyone is made a bishop without the consent of the metropolitan, this great synod determines that such a one shall not be a bishop.  If however, two or three, by reason of personal rivalry dissent from the common vote of all, provided it is reasonable and in accordance with the church's rule (regula), the vote of the majority shall prevail.

  Concerning the bishop of Aelia (Jerusalem)

7. Since there prevails a custom and ancient tradition to the effect that the bishop of Aelia is to be honored, let him be granted everything consequent upon this honor, saving the dignity proper to the metropolitan.

Concerning the so-called Cathars

8. Concerning those who have given themselves the name of Cathars, and who from time to time come over publicly to the Catholic and Apostolic Church, this holy and great synod decrees that they may remain among the clergy after receiving the imposition of hands.  But before all this it is fitting that they give a written undertaking that they will accept and follow the decrees of the Catholic Church, namely that they will be in communion with those who have entered into a second marriage and with those who have lapsed in time of persecution, and for whom a period of penance has been fixed and an occasion for reconciliation allotted, so as in all things to follow the decrees of the Catholic and Apostolic Church.

Accordingly, where all the ordained in villages or cities have been found to be men of this kind alone, those who are so found will remain in the clergy in the same rank; but when some come over in places where there is a bishop or presbyter belonging to the Catholic Church, it is evident that the bishop of the church will hold the bishop's dignity, and that the one given the title and name of bishop among the so-called Cathars will have the rank of presbyter, unless the bishop thinks fit to let him share in the honor of the title.  But if this does not meet with his approval the bishop will provide for him a place as chorepiscopus or presbyter, so as to make his ordinary clerical status evident and so prevent there being two bishops in the city.


Concerning those who have been promoted to the rank of presbyer without examination

9. If any have been promoted presbyters without examination, and then upon investigation have confessed their sins, and if after their confession men have imposed hands upon such people, being moved to act against the canon (canon), the canon (regula) does not admit these people, for the Catholic Church vindicates only what is above reproach.

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