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NPNF2-14. The Seven Ecumenical Councils
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Canon XVII.

That he shall not be allowed to begin the building of an oratory, who has not the means wherewith to finish it.

Certain monks having left their monasteries because they desired to rule, and, unwilling to obey, are undertaking to build oratories, but have not the means to finish them.  Now whoever shall undertake to do anything of this sort, let him be forbidden by the bishop of the place.  But if he have the means wherewith to finish, let what he has designed be carried on to completion.  The same rule is to be observed with regard to laymen and clerics.

Notes.

Ancient Epitome of Canon XVII.

Whoever wishes to build a monastery, if he has the wherewithal to finish it, let him begin the work, and let him bring it to a conclusion.  But if not, let him be prohibited by the bishop of the place.  The same law shall apply to laymen and monks.

Van Espen refers to Gratian’s Decretum, Pars. III., De Consecrat., Dist. I., canon ix., et seqq.

Balsamon also refers his readers to the Fourth Book of the Basilica, title I., chapter I., which is part of Justinian’s cxxiij.  Novel, also to the first canon of the so-called First-and-Second Council held at Constantinople in the Church of the Holy Apostles.

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