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NPNF2-14. The Seven Ecumenical Councils
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Canon V.

Of Avarice.

Aurelius, the bishop, said:  The cupidity of avarice (which, let no one doubt, is the mother of all evil things), is to be henceforth prohibited, lest anyone should usurp another’s limits, or for gain should pass beyond the limits fixed by the fathers, nor shall it be at all lawful for any of the clergy to receive usury of any kind.  And those new edicts (suggestiones) which are obscure and generally ambiguous, after they have been examined by us, will have their value fixed (formam accipiunt); but with regard to those upon which the Divine Scripture hath already most plainly given judgment, it is unnecessary that further sentence should be pronounced, but what is already laid down is to be carried out.  And what is reprehensible in laymen is worthy of still more severe censure in the clergy.  The whole synod said:  No one hath gone contrary to what is said in the Prophets and in the Gospels with impunity.

Notes.

Ancient Epitome of Canon V.

As the taking of any kind of usury is condemned in laymen, much more is it condemned in clergymen.

This canon is made up of Canons x. and xiij. of the Synod of Carthage held under Gratus in a.d. 345–348.  This synod was held to return thanks for the ending of the Donatist schism; and indeed for some time the evil did seem to have been removed.  Donatist worship was prohibited by the imperial law and it was not until the times of Constans and Constantius that it again openly asserted itself.  The synod while in session also took advantage of the opportunity of passing some useful general canons on discipline.

Johnson.

See Canon of the Apostles 36 (44); Nic., 17.

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