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NPNF2-14. The Seven Ecumenical Councils
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Canon XLIX.

Renewing also the holy canon, we decree that the monasteries which have been once consecrated by the Episcopal will, are always to remain monasteries, and the things which belong to them are to be preserved to the monastery, and they cannot any more be secular abodes nor be given by any one to seculars.  But if anything of this kind has been done already, we declare it to be null; and those who hereafter attempt to do so are to be subjected to canonical penalties.

Notes.

Ancient Epitome of Canon XLIX.

Monasteries built with the consent of the bishop shall not afterwards be turned into secular houses, nor shall they pass into the hands of seculars.

Van Espen.

This canon renews canon xxiv. of Chalcedon.  And here it may be observed that the canons even of Ecumenical Synods fall into desuetude little by little, unless the care of bishops and pastors keeps them alive, and from the example of this synod it may be seen how often they need calling back again into observance.

Nor can there be any doubt that frequently it would be more advantageous to renew the canons already set forth by the Fathers, rather than to frame new ones.

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