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NPNF2-14. The Seven Ecumenical Councils
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Canon XXII.

Concerning wilful murderers let them remain prostrators; but at the end of life let them be indulged with full communion.

Notes.

Ancient Epitome of Canon XXII.

A voluntary homicide may at the last attain perfection.121121    That is, receive the Sacraments.

Van Espen.

It is noteworthy how singularly appositely [Constantine] Harmenopulus the Scholiast in the Epitom. Canonum., Sect. v., tit. 3, tells the following story:  “In the time of the Patriarch Luke, a certain bishop gave absolution in writing to a soldier who had committed voluntary homicide, after a very short time of penance; and afterwards when he was accused before the synod of having done so, he defended himself by citing the canon which gives bishops the power of remitting or increasing the length of their penance to penitents.  But he was told in answer that this was granted indeed to pontiffs but not that they should use it without examination, and with too great lenity.  Wherefore the synod subjected the soldier to the canonical penance and the bishop it mulcted for a certain time, bidding him cease from the exercise of his ministry.”


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