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NPNF2-14. The Seven Ecumenical Councils
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Canon XVIII.

That women ought not to live in bishops’ houses, nor in monasteries of men.

Be ye without offence to those who are without,” says the divine Apostle.  Now for women to live in Bishops’ houses or in monasteries is ground for grave offence.  Whoever therefore is known to have a female slave or freewoman in the episcopal palace or in a monastery for the discharge of some service, let him be rebuked.  And if he still continue to retain her, let him be deposed.  If it happens that women are on the suburban estates, and the bishop or hegumenos desires to go thither, so long as the bishop or hegumenos is present, let no woman at that time continue her work, but let her betake herself to some other place until the bishop [or hegumenos542542    Not found in Bev.] has departed, so that there be no occasion of complaint.

Notes.

Ancient Epitome of Canon XVIII.

It is not fitting that women should be kept in episcopal houses or in monasteries.  If anyone shall dare to do so, he shall be reproved; but if he persists, he shall be deposed.  No woman is allowed to serve or even to appear where a bishop or a superior of a monastery is present, but let her keep herself apart until he be gone.

Van Espen.

Every woman the present canon expels from the Episcopium or bishop’s house, agreeably to Novel CXXIII, chapter 29, of the Emperor Justinian, which, (although the Nicene canon on the subject makes a mother, sister, daughter and other persons free from all suspicions, exceptions), admits no exceptions in the case of a bishop, but says, “We allow no bishop to have any woman or to live with one.”

For as bishops are set in a higher grade above the rest of the clergy, and ought to be like lights set on a candlestick to give light, rightly they are ordered more than others to take care to avoid all appearance of evil, and to remove all from them that might cause suspicion.

With regard to monks and their houses see Justinian’s Novel CXXXIII., Cap. IV.


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