The Sixth Nicene Canon and the Papacy
THE SIXTH NICENE CANON AND THE PAPACY by Fr. James F. Loughlin, from the American Catholic Quarterly Review (volume 5, 1880), pages 220-239 -- copyright (c) 1997, Classica Media, Inc.
APPENDIX: CANONS OF NICAEA
Ta archaia ethe krateito ta en Aigupto kai Liboe kai Pentapolei, hoste ton Alexandreias episopon panton touton echein ten exousian, epeide kai to en te
Let the ancient customs in
"Those holy and venerable Fathers of Nicaea," said St. Leo I the Great,"  who, after having condemned to eternal infamy Arius and his blasphemies, enacted a series of church canons destined to have force to the end of times are not dead; for, both here at Rome and throughout the whole world they are judged to be still living in their immortal decrees."
We feel this undying influence of the three hundred and eighteen bishops just as vividly today, though nearly sixteen centuries have passed since they met in
Canon VI is an instance of this latter class. The main object of the decree is to confirm the time-honored privileges of the See of Alexandria. From time immemorial the bishops of that city had claimed and exercised supreme jurisdiction over the churches of
This Meletius, as we learn from Socrates,  having been degraded by St. Peter of Alexandria in consequence of many heavy charges, the most grievous of which was that during the persecution he had denied the faith and sacrificed, would not submit to the sentence of his superior; and not content with renouncing all allegiance to the Alexandrian See, he arrogated an equal right with the patriarch to ordain bishops and convene synods throughout Egypt. By attaching to his cause all the disaffected elements through the country, he sowed religious dissension in every parish, and soon was leader of a numerous and devoted faction, which obtained quite a formidable accession of strength by coalition with the partisans of Arius. Indeed the desire of putting an end to the Meletian schism was one of the chief motives which impelled
The great synod decreed "that the ancient order of things in
The decree thus far is perfectly clear and reasonable; but it is not, to use St. Leo's term, diaionizon. Its importance has not survived the ravages of time. Many an age has rolled by since those brilliant luminaries of ancient Christendom --
This canon, therefore, owes its perennial interest to its incidentally alluding to the Roman Pontiff; for any scrap of ancient parchment upon which his name has been written cannot fail to interest Christians so long as the Vicar of Christ shall have friends or enemies. The importance of the document before us is greatly enhanced by the fact that it was the very first utterance by the
Now if we sincerely desire to know what the Council really said, we must first of all discard translations and comments, and allow the canon to speak for itself. The endless controversies which our canon has given rise would, in great part at least, have been avoided if this course had been pursued. Indeed, one of the main objects of this paper is to convince theological students, by an apt illustration, how necessary it is to study ecclesiastical documents in their authentic source and original dress of language. There is an impression abroad that in this day of elaborate translations there no longer exists a necessity for submitting to the drudgery of acquiring dead languages and poring over barbarous glossaries, and very many prefer the more facile method of transcribing the assertions of their predecessors to the laborious task of hewing their own inferences out of the original text. Now a translation is necessarily a poor substitute for the original; for if it were faithful and perfect in other respects, it must, like a false diamond, be lacking in weight and lustre. 
Besides, whoever quotes from a translation quotes at second-hand, for a translation is nothing but the translator's expressed opinion of the sense of his text; and, in consequence, is essentially an inference. And then, no matter how adequately the translator may have, himself, seized the meaning of his text, there will still remain room for doubt whether the words lie has selected adequately embody that meaning. But what assurance have we that the version we are to rely upon is faithful? Will the fact of its being generally received as such vouch for it? Certainly not. An error, be it ever so common, is an error still; and an erroneous translation is all the more dangerous for having obtained universal currency, because one is the less inclined to suspect it.
Now applying these remarks to the subject we have taken in hand, let us put the question to prominent writers: What said the Council of Nicaea regarding the Roman Pontiff?
First. The Protestant historians and controversialists, with a few honorable exceptions, will reply that whereas the Bishop of Rome, from being a simple bishop, like any other, had succeeded, before the date of the Council, in imposing his authority upon the bishops in his vicinity, the Council thought it proper to permit him to retain his usurped dominion; a course which they are free to deplore, since it encouraged the "ambitious Pontiff" to persevere in his fixed design of enthralling the Christian world.
Hear Calvin on the subject:
"In regard to the antiquity of the primacy of the Roman See, there is nothing in favor of its establishment more ancient than the decree of the Council of Nice, by which the first place among the Patriarchs is assigned to the Bishop of Rome, and he is enjoined to take care of the suburban churches. While the Council, in dividing between him and the other Patriarchs, assigns the proper limits of each, it certainly does not appoint him head of all, but only one of the chief." 
Second. Now turn to those Catholic writers of the Darras and Rohrbacher stamp, who seem to think that the office of the historian is to copy bodily the assertions of his predecessors. According to these slashing authors, the Synod declared, totidem verbis, that "the primacy has always resided in the Church of Rome (Canon of the Council of Nicaea). Let the ancient custom, then, be vigorously maintained....for so the Roman Bishop orders." 
To tell the truth, I have less sympathy with the second class of unscrupulous writers than with the first. Protestant writers, when they undertake to combat the Papacy, are struggling "with the sun in their eyes." Their position is obviously disadvantageous and paradoxical, and it is not to be marvelled at if they should grow desperate. But a Catholic writer, who is full certain that Truth and Catholicism are synonyms, ought to make every endeavor to find out the truth, and when he has found it to present it to his readers unvarnished; for every victory gained by our adversaries over the indolent stragglers from our ranks is accounted as a triumph over our sacred cause.
II. Now let us approach this famous document, and translate it as we should a passage from Thucydides:
ENGLISH: "Let the ancient usage throughout
GREEK: Ta archaia ethe krateito ta en Aigupto kai Liboe kai Pentapolei, hoste ton Alexandreias episopon panton touton echein ten exousian, epeide kai to en te
Confining our attention to the clause (epeide....touto sunethes), let us at the outset assure ourselves that our translation faithfully represents the original. The term (sunethes), according to Hedricus, denotes consuetus, familiaris, and is translated by Liddell and Scott, habitual, customary. The phrase (sunethes tini estin) is equivalent to the well known Latin expression familiare orconsuetum est mihi: it is my custom. It cannot be rendered, "It is the custom of others regarding me." Hence Hefele's rendering, "There is a similar custom for the Roman Bishop," is evidently incorrect. (Da auch fnr den r-mischen Bischof em gleiches VerhSltniss besteht, Conciliengeschichte, volume i, page 389, new edition).
In fact, Hefele was influenced by the old version of Dionysius the Less, who has rendered the clause thus: Quia et Urbis Romm Episcopo parlis mos est. This is unsatisfactory; for there is no equivalent for parilis in the Greek text, and there is no equivalent in the Dionysian version for the Greek (touto). The earliest Latin version -- that which was read in the Council of Chalcedon -- is more to the point: Quoniam et Romano Episcopo hmc est consuetudo; which coincides with our own. Protestant writers have also rendered the text as we have done, though naturally they strive afterwards to blunt the edge of it. Thus Sheppherd  translates it: "Since this is also the Roman Bishop's custom." Neander:  "Since this is the custom also with the Roman Bishop." Schaff: "Since this also is customary with the Bishop of Rome." We are justified, then, in assuming that our translation is a faithful reproduction of the text;  and may safely make it the basis of our further remarks.
III. After having determined with the greatest possible precision what the Council said about the Roman Pontiff, our next step is to investigate the meaning, the scope and bearing, of the words of the canon. "Let the ancient usage throughout
Rufinus wrote a History of the Church in continuation of the immortal work of Eusebius, and inserted in it a Latin translation of the Nicene Canons. But his character of rhetorician did not permit him to give the decrees to his readers in the plain, unambitious style of the good Fathers of the Council. He was fain to embellish them and give them a high-sounding, antithetical form. The result of his lucubration upon our canon is the following sententious effusion: "Et ut apud Alexandriam, et in Urbe Roma vetusta consuetudo servetur, ut vel ille Egypti, vel hic Suburbicarum Ecclesiarum sollicitudinem gerat." 
Now this "translation" ought to be brushed aside as undeserving of notice, and it is pitiable to see how much time and pains have been wasted by eminent scholars upon the barren task of determining what Rufinus meant by his "suburban churches." What did he mean by his whole translation? Did he understand it himself? As every one knows, Rufinus was the prince of bunglers. He was notoriously ignorant, and just as rash and stubborn as he was unskilful. His knowledge of the Greek was scanty, having been picked up without system or teacher. As for his Latin, the above specimen convinces us that he richly deserved
The kernel of the difficulty is the demonstrative (touto), this. "This is the custom of the Roman Bishop." What does this refer to? "Let the Bishop of Alexandria retain his ancient sway over these three provinces, for this is also the Roman Bishop's custom." According to Bellarmine and others, (touto) refers to the Patriarchate of Alexandria, and is to be expounded thus: "Let the Bishop of Alexandria continue to govern these provinces, because this is also the Roman Pontiff's custom; that is, because the Roman Pontiff, prior to any synodical enactment, has repeatedly recognized the Alexandrian Bishop's authority over this tract of country." 
This exposition is unpalatable to the adversaries of Roman supremacy; hence they offer us a different interpretation. They make (touto) refer to patriarchates in general and expound the sentence as follows: "Let Alexandria have jurisdiction over these provinces, because the Roman Bishop has also a Patriarchate." "It illustrates the sort of power by referring to a similar power exercised by the Roman prelate in his province." 
IV. Although this second exposition might strike the reader at first sight as being possibly, correct, yet I trust I shall be able to prove that it is inadmissible; and that Bellarmine's is the only unexceptionable interpretation.
Let me, at the risk of being tedious, state, first of all, my understanding of the passage. The supremacy of the Bishop of Alexandria had been contested by the Meletian bishops. They had, asked him, if not in words at least in facts, upon what warrant he based his claim to rule over and depose his fellow-bishops. If he had a title let him produce it. Now the Alexandrian prelate had no written document of any kind to produce. The Council of Nicaea, therefore, came to his assistance, by decreeing that the Patriarch's  authority must be respected, and that for two reasons: first, because it was (archaia), immemorial, aboriginal; and second, because it was sanctioned by constant recognition on the part of the Roman Pontiff. Two very good reasons.
The first argument in favor of this interpretation is drawn from the grammatical structure of the text. (a) Take the pronoun (touto) and see what it obviously refers to. Surely to this subject in hand, to wit, the ancient privileges and boundaries of the Alexandrian Patriarchate. It seems impossible, without quibbling, to refer the (touto) to anything else. The only objection which can be urged against this is the (kai), also. What is the use of the (kai) in this interpretation? This objection is readily answered. The (kai) introduces a new and stronger reason why the Patriarch's authority should be respected. "Let the custom prevail, not only because it is ancient, but especially because it has Roman usage in its favor;" or, "Since even the Roman Bishop constantly recognizes it." (b) The word (sunethes), customary, is intelligible in our interpretation, but in the alternative it becomes absurd. "It is customary with the Bishop of Rome to recognize the Bishop of Alexandria as Patriarch," is clear and sensible; but, "It is customary with the Bishop of Rome to be a Patriarch," is devoid of sense.
A second argument in support of our interpretation is elicited by considering the logical sequence of the passage. "This is the Roman Bishop's custom," is the Council's reason for supporting the Alexandrian claims. If it is a reason, we must reverentially presume that it is a valid one. The ancient fabric of the Patriarchate was tottering; the Nicene Fathers prop it up with this clause, which, therefore, contains a reason strong enough to sustain a Patriarchate. Now imagine Meletius demanding wherefore Lycopolis should be subject to
Now take Bellarmine's view of the canon. "Why shall Meletitis and all the other bishops of
What could Meletius reply to this? If he and the Council admitted the Catholic doctrine of Papal supremacy his mouth was closed. Here was a reason strong enough to sustain not
We are now led to the threshold of a third argument which I shall forthwith proceed to develop. The Council was evidently desirous of establishing the Patriarchates on the firmest possible foundation. Hitherto the Bishop of
As one secure Sat on his throne, upheld by old repute, Consent, or custom. But "old repute" can uphold a throne so long as things go smoothly; but if there be no "strength concealed" within, the throne will fall to the ground at the first touch of a skeptical hand. Now, knowing as we do, that, so far as divine right was concerned, the Bishop of Lycopolis was the peer of the Bishop of Alexandria, upon what principle of ecclesiastical law could the latter base his claim to judge and depose the former? In other words, what was the original source of that patriarchal authority which the Alexandrian wielded? Every Catholic must answer that, whereas, per se, the bishops are mutually independent within their proper jurisdiction, they, of divine right, have no other superior than the successor of St. Peter, and, in consequence, a bishop who shall claim any legitimate sort of precedence or authority over a fellow-bishop, must of necessity found his pretension upon the expressed or tacit consent of the Roman Pontiff.
In the Catholic system, then, "
It may be objected that this argument would have no weight with Protestants. What of that? Are we to abandon our old standard of interpretation, our "Catholic analogy," because, for-sooth, we cannot induce "those who are without" to view things from our standpoint? Let our adversaries prove that our interpretation is false; for the burden of proof is upon them.
But we have a fourth argument, of which every historian must feel the force. I refer to the establishment of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. In my last argument, I took for granted that the only foundation upon which a Patriarchate could legitimately rest was the consent of the Roman Pontiff This assertion we are able historically to make good, by observing a Patriarchate in process of crystallization.
Shortly after the date of the Nicene Council, the little town of
But this canon never obtained the (bebeiosis kai sugkathesis) -- the confirmation and consent-of the Roman Bishop, without which even the Byzantine was conscious that his authority was founded on the sand. Hence, in the fourth Council, taking advantage, as St. Leo has remarked, of the prostrate position of the churches of
The Council wrote to Leo, so did the Emperor, so did the Patriarch; all begging the same favor, and all acknowledging that the validity of the act depended on his confirmation. "We make known to you furthermore," wrote the Fathers of Chalcedon to the successor of St. Peter, "that we have made still another enactment which we have deemed necessary for the maintenance of good order and discipline, and we are persuaded that your Holiness will approve and confirm our decree.... We are confident you will shed upon the
Anatolius writes to the same purpose: "The holy Synod and I have submitted this canon to your Holiness in order to obtain your assent and confirmation, which I beseech your Holiness not to withhold." 
And in a later epistle he assures the Pope that "the whole efficacy and ratification of the decree had been reserved to the authority of his Holiness." 
We have also two letters of the Emperor Marcian to Pope Leo, in which he acknowledges that the Pope's sanction is absolutely necessary to the validity of the canon.
"Since it has pleased the Synod to grant the Bishop of Constantinople the post of honour next after the Apostolic See, I pray your Holiness to give assent to this arrangement."  And a few months later he writes endeavoring, with evident anxiety, to hurry on the cautious Pontiff
"I am puzzled beyond measure to know wherefore your Holiness, although fully informed by the bishops assembled at
St. Leo readily assented to the emperor's request and ratified all the dogmatic decrees of the Council. But he and his successors resolutely condemned this surreptitious canon in favor of New Rome. In consequence the political Patriarchate of Constantinople lacked ecclesiastical confirmation; and this 28th canon of
Bring this analogy of a Patriarchate in fieri to bear upon the subject under discussion, and my former argument returns in a new shape. The Nicene Council desired to confirm the Patriarchate of Alexandria. Now the only way of accomplishing this was to show that the Bishop of Rome had "shed a ray of apostolic splendor upon his favored child." Therefore the clause, "Since this is the Roman Bishop's custom," must mean, "Since this is the Roman Bishop's will as expressed by custom."
Another powerful argument in support of our interpretation of this sixth Nicene canon, is that the ancients saw in it a plain and formal acknowledgment by the Fathers of Nicaea of the primacy of the Apostolic See. Indeed, Pope St. Gelasius proclaims it an invictum et singulare judicium. "By what process of reasoning can you persuade yourselves," he writes to the Eastern bishops, "that the rights of the other Sees will be respected, if due reverence be not paid to the supreme See of Blessed Peter,-that See which has ever been the support and bulwark of all sacerdotal dignity, and to which the unique and irrefragable testimony of the three hundred and eighteen Fathers acknowledges immemorial veneration."  Hence, if we believe Gelasius, the Roman Pontiff's name was made use of by the Nicene Fathers to serve as a support and bulwark for the privileges enjoyed by "
Now the "sacred council," so far as we know, had no other occasion of introducing the subject of Roman supremacy than this Alexandrian question, and to this sixth canon, therefore, as all admit, the Emperors were alluding. True, it may be objected that the Emperors' argument is based not upon the original text, but on the old Latin version, which contained the famous additamentum. "Quod Ecclesia Romana semper habuit Primatum." (The Bishop of Rome has ever been head of the Church.)  It seems quite probable that such was the case, for the edict emanated immediately from the Western Emperor, and at the suggestion of St. Leo. But we cannot suppose, for a moment, that it was the Pope, or any of his clergy, who drew up the document, because the Roman Church would have vehemently denied that any synod did or could confirm its primacy. A score of years before, Bonifacius, in the epistle already quoted from, had expressed the views of the Apostolic See upon the attitude of the Nicene Council regarding the prerogatives of the Roman Pontiff. "Non aliquid super eum ausa est constituere." It follows, that the Latin version had passed the critical examination of the imperial lawyers, who would have been quick to detect an interpolation in the document, had there been one. But they took the additamentum for what it really was -- a title; and their understanding of the clause, Episcopo Romano hmc est consuetudo, was the same as the original translator's, the same as Pope Gelasius's, the same as Bellarmine's.
It has, of course, been insinuated by hostile writers, though somewhat timorously, that the Latin variation was a deliberate interpolation by the Romans with a view of extolling their chief; nay, some have even laid the blame of it upon the "ambitious Popes" themselves. I do not propose to enter largely into the uninvestigable question of determining the intentions of people who lived and died ages ago. The Bishops of Rome have ever been distinguished for scrupulous attention to the genuineness of their documents. From the earliest ages, the fact of a text proceeding ex scriniis Ecclesiam Romanum, was the best witness to its accuracy. The version of our canon which was read by Parchasinus at
Now, therefore, the inference drawn from the text by the Latin translator was, that it acknowledged the primacy of the Apostolic See. This is all that we can expect to find in this title, and it is all that we seek to find in it. I have no doubt but the author of the translation considered himself justified in giving the canons what he judged to be the most appropriate headings, for the original had none. And what more felicitous heading than this could a Latin have selected? It was pithy and contained the very soul of the decree. "Let
Dr. Schaff contends that this "interpolation" was rejected by the Greeks at
The question then before the Fathers was whether
V. These five arguments -- drawn respectively from the grammatical structure of the sentence, from the logical sequence of ideas, from Catholic analogy, from comparison with the process of formation of the Byzantine Patriarchate, and from the authority of the ancients -- seem to me an overwhelmingly abundant confirmation of our understanding of the canon before us. True, a very formidable array of mighty names can be marshalled against us; but the number of these will be decimated by considering how few of the eminent authors who have interpreted the canon in a different sense from ours had consulted the original text. We are not inquiring in this paper whether our interpretation be the most obvious one on the basis of the Dionysian version.
We started out with asserting the right of investigating the document for ourselves, which, surely, is the most direct method of ascertaining the truth. With Dionysius we are not concerned. His version may have represented to himself the idea which we have extracted from the Greek; in fact, Bellarmine and Baronius have interpreted his translation as we have interpreted the original. But at the outset, not every translator who has seized the true sense of his text embodies that sense clearly in the words he selects. This has probably been the misfortune of Dionysius in the present instance.
As an appendix to our discussion, I beg leave to suggest to those who still cling to the idea that in the clause, "Since this is also the Roman Bishop's custom," the Council meant, "Since it is also the Roman Bishop's custom to be a Patriarch," that there is a grave difficulty inherent in this interpretation. To be frank, I do not believe that, in the age of the Nicene Council, the Pope was a Patriarch. When was his patriarchate founded? What were its boundaries? What special prerogatives did the Pope claim or exercise in virtue of this adventitious dignity? The chief office of the ancient patriarchs was to ordain, judge, and depose bishops and metropolitans, and to convoke and preside over synods.
The Bishop of Alexandria had been, from time immemorial, every inch a patriarch throughout his vast domain. The Bishop of Antioch enjoyed a similar authority throughout the great diocese of Oriens. Their jurisdiction was immediate and ordinary, and there no difficulty in defining its nature and the limits within which it was exercised. If, therefore, the Council had "illustrated the sort of power," which it accorded to the Bishop of Alexandria, "by referring to a similar power exercised by the "Bishop of Antioch, then the term of comparison would be clearly intelligible; because both were patriarchs, with pretty much the same sort of power and the same extent of territory. But who has ever defined satisfactorily the limits and nature of
Protestant writers have circumscribed this "Roman Patriarchate," some with the radius of a hundred miles, others within the confines of the urban vicariate.  Catholic writers are more generous, and make the "Patriarch of Rome" a donation of the entire Western World. But, on both sides, there is difficulty; for the Protestants have to explain how it is we find the Pope exercising great authority beyond the boundaries in which they have hemmed him; whilst the Catholics have to explain how it is that the Roman Pontiffs are not found to have ordained Bishops in Milan, or presided over synods in Carthage. In both cases the patriarchal roes they have made for the Pope do not fit him; the first is entirely too small, the second too large. And as neither party will abandon its unproved assumption, that the Pope was, in the technical sense of the word, a patriarch, the Protestants have to fall back upon the easy doctrine of Papal aggression, and the Catholic controversialists are obliged to contend that "the Pope had authority over the whole West, but did not exercise it equally in all places." Surely the Pope had authority over East and West, as Head of the Church; but when we ask what particular part of the Church he exercised that authority, in immediately performing in person the routine work, it will not do to make distinctions between the having, and the exercising, of authority.
The Egyptian Bishops at
The notion, then, that the Bishops of Rome,
I hope that my readers will not consider that my investigation of this subject has been excessively minute. Should they be inclined to think so, let them take up any of the heterodox historians who have treated of Papal supremacy, and see how prominently this Nicene Canon figures in their pet theory of the gradual aggrandizement of the Bishop of Rome. To that theory it is essential to assume that at the epoch of the Council of Nicaea the authority of the Roman Pontiff was circumscribed by very narrow limits. Unless Protestants make good this assertion, no force of rhetoric can avail to establish their system.
Never mind, then, their voluminous rhetoric; shake this one column and their oratorical edifice will tumble upon their heads. When the Bishop of Rome first met the assembled
 Translation from NewAdvent.org -- the rest of the canon deals with matters which do not here concern us.  Ep. 106, ad Anatolium.  Lib. i., c. 6.
 Nec prmter illam petram quam Dominus in fundamento posuit, stabilis erit ulla constructio. Ep. 104.
 What a world of wisdom is condensed into that little phrase of
 Institutes, b. iv., c. 7,
 Darras, vol. i., p.387. Compare Rohrbacher (livre xxxi.).
 History of the Church of Rome, p. 63. It is about the only grain of truth I have discovered in his violent diatribe.
 Church History, vol. ii., p. 162.  History of the Christian Church, vol. ii., p.275.
 There is an untranslatable grace and force in the article prefixed to [
 Hist. Eccl., lib. i., c. 6. For the benefit of those readers who may find it an arduous task to follow our sublime author through the upper air, I shall attempt a translation, though in the process much of the Rufinian froth must go to waste. The Synod decrees also (the rhetorician expects his readers to supply this) "that as well at Alexandria as in the city of Rome the ancient custom be preserved, that either the former (probably he means the Bishop of Alexandria) shall bear the solicitude of Egypt, or the latter (most likely the Pope) of the suburban churches."
 The saint has exhausted his copious vocabulary of vituperation upon his unfortunate adversary. He compliments his style as slovenly, barbarous, unintelligible, solecistic. "Such is thy skill in the Greek and the Latin, that when thou speakest in Greek the Greeks take thee for a Latin, and when thou speakest Latin, the Latins take thee for a Greek." Apologia adv. Rufinum.
 Vera expositio est, Alexandrinum debere gubernare illas provincias, quia Romanus Episcopus ita consuevit; idest, quia Romanus Episcopus ante omnem Conciliorum definitionem consuevit permittere Episcopo Alexandrino regimen Egypti, Libym et Pentapolis; sive consuevit per Alexandrinum Episcopum illas provincias gubernare. Bellarmine De Rom. Pont., lib. ii., c. xiii. He says there is no other plausible interpretation.
 Sheppherd ubi supra. " Since this also is customary with the Bishop of Rome (that is, not in
 The word Patriarch is of late origin, but must serve in default of an equivalent.
 "Since this also is customary with the Bishop of Rome [that is, not in
 When Pentapolis was devastated by the Sabellian heresy, Dionysius, Bishop of Alexandria, exercised his patriarchal authority in extinguishing the evil. He was in consequence accused at
 "As to the new honors conferred upon my see by the late Council, let me assure your Holiness that I am not to blame in this matter. A man am I fond of retirement and quiet; from my earliest days content with a lowly station. But my reverend clergy are very eager for the advancement of their Church, and the prelates of the vicinity encourage and abet them." Anatolius to Pope Leo. Opp. S. Leonis, Ep. 132.
 [Ton mentoi Konstantinoupoleos episkopon echein ta presbeia tes times meta ton tes Romes episkopon, dia to einai auten nean Romen].
 Dioseorus of Alexandria had been deposed, and Maximus of Antioch was a creature of Anatolius.
 Cunsensiones episcoporum. . . . in irritum mittimus et per auctoritatum beati Petri apostoli generali prorsus definitione cassamus.-St Leo to Pulcheria, Ep. 105.
 There is grave reason to suspect that the Acts of Chalcedon have been tampered with by the schismatical Greeks. But since this cannot be fully demonstrated there is no use of making the charge. Even as the documents stand they furnish abundant evidence of the unquestioned supremacy of the Bishop of Rome.
 "Qua ratione vel consequentia aliis sedibus deferendum est, si primm Beati Petri sedi antiqua et vetusta reverentia non defertur, per quam omnium sacerdotum dignitus semper est roborata atque firmata, trecentorumque decem et octo Patrum invicto et singulari judicio vetustissimus judicatus est honor." Apud Natal. Alexand.
 "Cum igitur sedis apostolim primatum sancti Petri meritum, qui princeps est episcopalis coronm, et Romanm dignitas civitatis, sacrm etiam synodi firmarit auctoritas," etc. Opp. S. Leonis, Ballerini, ep. xi.
 This variation is found in all the ante-Dionysian versions, as may be seen by consulting the Ballerini-Quesnel edition of St. Leo's works, vol. 3. Were this the proper place, it would be an instructive and amusing occupation to trace the process of corruption which our canon underwent as it passed through the hands of the successive editors. The additamentum was, doubtless, in the first instance, the title selected by the earliest Roman translator. Next, in the Antiquissima, the Quod was dropped. Then the following editors, thinking it necessary that each canon should have an appropriate title, and believing that the sixth had none, added the words "De Primatu Ecclesim Romanm." The editor of the Prisca, to make confusion worse confused, introduced the Rufinian jargon into the text, making the canon read thus "De Primato Ecclesim Romanm vel aliarum civitatum Episcopis. Antiqui moris est ut urbis Romm episcopus habeat principatum, ut suburbicaria loca, et omnem provinciam suam, sollicitudinem gubernet.
 "Trecentorum decem et octo Patrum Canmi sextus; Quod Ecclesia Romana semper habuit Primatum; Teneat autem et Aegyptus ut Episcopus Alexandrim omnium habeat potestatem, quoniam et Romano Episcopo hmc est consuetudo. Similiter autem," etc., ap. Nat. Alex., Smc. iv. Prop ii., Disser. xx. The canon proper begins manifestly with Teneat. Aegyptus probably represented to a Latin mind that large extent of territory which the Orientals divided into
 Southern and Central
APPENDIX: Canons of
Canon 1: If any one in sickness has been subjected by physicians to a surgical operation, or if he has been castrated by barbarians, let him remain among the clergy; but, if any one in sound health has castrated himself, it behooves that such an one, if [already] enrolled among the clergy, should cease [from his ministry], and that from henceforth no such person should be promoted. But, as it is evident that this is said of those who willfully do the thing and presume to castrate themselves, so if any have been made eunuchs by barbarians, or by their masters, and should otherwise be found worthy, such men the Canon admits to the clergy.
Canon 2: Forasmuch as, either from necessity, or through the urgency of individuals, many things have been done contrary to the Ecclesiastical canon, so that men just converted from heathenism to the faith, and who have been instructed but a little while, are straightway brought to the spiritual laver, and as soon as they have been baptized, are advanced to the episcopate or the presbyterate, it has seemed right to us that for the time to come no such thing shall be done. For to the catechumen himself there is need of time and of a longer trial after baptism. For the apostolical saying is clear, "Not a novice; lest, being lifted up with pride, he fall into condemnation and the snare of the devil." But if, as time goes on, any sensual sin should be found out about the person, and he should be convicted by two or three witnesses, let him cease from the clerical office. And whoso shall transgress these [enactments] will imperil his own clerical position, as a person who presumes to disobey the great Synod.
Canon 3: The great Synod has stringently forbidden any bishop, presbyter, deacon, or any one of the clergy whatever, to have a subintroducta dwelling with him, except only a mother, or sister, or aunt, or such persons only as are beyond all suspicion.
Canon 4: It is by all means proper that a bishop should be appointed by all the bishops in the province; but should this be difficult, either on account of urgent necessity or because of distance, three at least should meet together, and the suffrages of the absent [bishops] also being given and communicated in writing, then the ordination should take place. But in every province the ratification of what is done should be left to the Metropolitan.
Canon 5: Concerning those, whether of the clergy or of the laity, who have been excommunicated in the several provinces, let the provision of the canon be observed by the bishops which provides that persons cast out by some be not readmitted by others. Nevertheless, inquiry should be made whether they have been excommunicated through captiousness, or contentiousness, or any such like ungracious disposition in the bishop. And, that this matter may have due investigation, it is decreed that in every province synods shall be held twice a year, in order that when all the bishops of the province are assembled together, such questions may by them be thoroughly examined, that so those who have confessedly offended against their bishop, may be seen by all to be for just cause excommunicated, until it shall seem fit to a general meeting of the bishops to pronounce a milder sentence upon them. And let these synods be held, the one before Lent, (that the pure Gift may be offered to God after all bitterness has been put away), and let the second be held about autumn.
Canon 6: Let the ancient customs in
Canon 7: Since custom and ancient tradition have prevailed that the Bishop of Ælia [i.e.,
Canon 8: Concerning those who call themselves Cathari, if they come over to the Catholic and
Canon 9: If any presbyters have been advanced without examination, or if upon examination they have made confession of crime, and men acting in violation of the canon have laid hands upon them, notwithstanding their confession, such the canon does not admit; for the Catholic Church requires that [only] which is blameless.
Canon 10: If any who have lapsed have been ordained through the ignorance, or even with the previous knowledge of the ordainers, this shall not prejudice the canon of the Church; for when they are discovered they shall be deposed.
Canon 11: Concerning those who have fallen without compulsion, without the spoiling of their property, without danger or the like, as happened during the tyranny of Licinius, the Synod declares that, though they have deserved no clemency, they shall be dealt with mercifully. As many as were communicants, if they heartily repent, shall pass three years among the hearers; for seven years they shall be prostrators; and for two years they shall communicate with the people in prayers, but without oblation.
Canon 12: As many as were called by grace, and displayed the first zeal, having cast aside their military girdles, but afterwards returned, like dogs, to their own vomit, (so that some spent money and by means of gifts regained their military stations); let these, after they have passed the space of three years as hearers, be for ten years prostrators. But in all these cases it is necessary to examine well into their purpose and what their repentance appears to be like. For as many as give evidence of their conversions by deeds, and not pretence, with fear, and tears, and perseverance, and good works, when they have fulfilled their appointed time as hearers, may properly communicate in prayers; and after that the bishop may determine yet more favourably concerning them. But those who take [the matter] with indifference, and who think the form of [not] entering the Church is sufficient for their conversion, must fulfil the whole time.
Canon 13: Concerning the departing, the ancient canonical law is still to be maintained, to wit, that, if any man be at the point of death, he must not be deprived of the last and most indispensable Viaticum. But, if any one should be restored to health again who has received the communion when his life was despaired of, let him remain among those who communicate in prayers only. But in general, and in the case of any dying person whatsoever asking to receive the Eucharist, let the Bishop, after examination made, give it him.
Canon 14: Concerning catechumens who have lapsed, the holy and great Synod has decreed that, after they have passed three years only as hearers, they shall pray with the catechumens.
Canon 15: On account of the great disturbance and discords that occur, it is decreed that the custom prevailing in certain places contrary to the Canon, must wholly be done away; so that neither bishop, presbyter, nor deacon shall pass from city to city. And if any one, after this decree of the holy and great Synod, shall attempt any such thing, or continue in any such course, his proceedings shall be utterly void, and he shall be restored to the Church for which he was ordained bishop or presbyter.
Canon 16: Neither presbyters, nor deacons, nor any others enrolled among the clergy, who, not having the fear of God before their eyes, nor regarding the ecclesiastical Canon, shall recklessly remove from their own church, ought by any means to be received by another church; but every constraint should be applied to restore them to their own parishes; and, if they will not go, they must be excommunicated. And if anyone shall dare surreptitiously to carry off and in his own Church ordain a man belonging to another, without the consent of his own proper bishop, from whom although he was enrolled in the clergy list he has seceded, let the ordination be void.
Canon 17: Forasmuch as many enrolled among the Clergy, following covetousness and lust of gain, have forgotten the divine Scripture, which says, "He has not given his money upon usury," and in lending money ask the hundredth of the sum [as monthly interest], the holy and great Synod thinks it just that if after this decree any one be found to receive usury, whether he accomplish it by secret transaction or otherwise, as by demanding the whole and one half, or by using any other contrivance whatever for filthy lucre's sake, he shall be deposed from the clergy and his name stricken from the list.
Canon 18: It has come to the knowledge of the holy and great Synod that, in some districts and cities, the deacons administer the Eucharist to the presbyters, whereas neither canon nor custom permits that they who have no right to offer should give the Body of Christ to them that do offer. And this also has been made known, that certain deacons now touch the Eucharist even before the bishops. Let all such practices be utterly done away, and let the deacons remain within their own bounds, knowing that they are the ministers of the bishop and the inferiors of the presbyters. Let them receive the Eucharist according to their order, after the presbyters, and let either the bishop or the presbyter administer to them. Furthermore, let not the deacons sit among the presbyters, for that is contrary to canon and order. And if, after this decree, any one shall refuse to obey, let him be deposed from the diaconate.
Canon 19: Concerning the Paulianists who have flown for refuge to the Catholic Church, it has been decreed that they must by all means be rebaptized; and if any of them who in past time have been numbered among their clergy should be found blameless and without reproach, let them be rebaptized and ordained by the Bishop of the Catholic Church; but if the examination should discover them to be unfit, they ought to be deposed. Likewise in the case of their deaconesses, and generally in the case of those who have been enrolled among their clergy, let the same form be observed. And we mean by deaconesses such as have assumed the habit, but who, since they have no imposition of hands, are to be numbered only among the laity.
Canon 20: Forasmuch as there are certain persons who kneel on the Lord's Day and in the days of Pentecost, therefore, to the intent that all things may be uniformly observed everywhere (in every parish), it seems good to the holy Synod that prayer be made to God standing.