THE EIGHT CANONS OF THE THIRD ECUMENICAL COUNCIL
THE COUNCIL OF EPHESUS.

Canon I.

Since those who for any reason, whether of an ecclesiastical or of corporeal nature, are absent from the holy Council and have remained in their own town or district, ought not to be left in ignorance of the Council's regulations regarding them, we make known to your holiness and love that if any Metropolitan of the province has apostatized from the holy and ecumenical Council and joined the convocation of the apostasy, or has joined it thereafter, or has adopted the sentiments of the Celestius or intends to adopt them, he shall have no power whatsoever to perpetrate anything against the Bishops of the province, being already expelled and bereft of every function and of all ecclesiastical communion by the Council here. Moreover, he shall be liable in any case, to be expelled from the rank of the episcopate by the very Bishops of the province and by surrounding Metropolitans who adhere to the beliefs of Orthodoxy.

Canon II.

If on the other hand, any provincial Bishops have failed to attend the holy Council and have joined the apostasy, or should attempt to do so, or even after subscribing to the deposition of Nestorius have receded to the convocation of apostasy, all such persons, in the judgement that has seemed best to the holy Council, have alienated themselves from holy orders and have forfeited their rank.

Canon III.

If some of the clergymen in any city or district have been shorn of holy orders by Nestorius or his party on account of their believing rightly, we have adjudged it right and just that they be restored to their own rank. We collectively bid the clergymen who agree in their beliefs with the orthodox and exumenical Council not to submit in any way whatever to the Bishops who have apostatized or have deserted us.

Canon IV.

If any of the clergymen should apostatize and dare, either publicly or privately, to hold the beliefs of Nestorius or of Celestius, the holy Council has deemed it just and right that these men too should be deposed from office.

Canon V.

And for all those who have been condemned by the holy Council, or by their own Bishops, for improper acts, and to whom Nestorius and those sharing his views and beliefs have sought, or should seek; to give back communion or rank, uncannonially and in accordance with the indifference shown by Nestorius in all matters, we have deemed it right and just that they too remain without benefit and that they be left nevertheless deposed from office.

Canon VI.

Likewise in regard to any persons who should wish to alter in any way whatsoever anything that has been enacted in the holy Council in Ephesus concerning anyone, the holy Council has prescribed that if they be Bishops or clergymen, they are to lose their own rank entirely (deposed), while if they be laymen, they are to be excluded from communion (excomminicated).

Canon VII.

These things have been read aloud, the holy Council then decreed that no one should be permitted to offer any different belief or faith, or in any case to write or compose any other, than the one defined by the Holy Fathers who convened in the city of Ncaea, with Holy Spirit. As for those who dare either to compose a different belief or faith, or to present one, or to offer one to those who wish to return to recognition of the truth, whether they be Greeks or Jews, or they be members of any heresy whatever, they, if Bishops or Clergymen, shall be deprived as Bishops of their Episcopate, and as Clergymen of their Clericate; but if they are Laymen, they shall be anathematized. In an equally applicable way, if any persons be detected or caught, whether Bishops or Clergymen or Laymen, in the act of believing or teaching the things embodied in the exposition (or dissertation) presented by Chasisius the Presbyter concerning the inhomination (i.e. incarnation) of the Only-begotten Son of God, or, by any chance, the unholy and perverse dogmas of Nestorius, which have even been subjoined, let them stand liable to the judgement of this holy and Ecumenical Council. As a consequence, that is to say, the Bishop shall be deprived of his Episcopate, and be left deposed from office, while the clergymen shall likewise forfeit his Clericate. If, on the other hand, any such person be a Layman, let him to be anathematized, as foresaid.

Canon VIII.

Our fellow Bishop Reginus, most beloved by God, and with him the most God-beloved Bishops of the province of the Cypriotes Zeno and Evagrius, has announed an innovation, a thing which is contrary to the eclesiastical laws and the Canons of the Holy Apostles, and one which touches the freedom of all. Hence, since common ailments require more drastic treatment, on the ground that they do greater damage, and especially in view of the fact that the Bishop of Antioch, far from following the ancient custom, has been performing the ordinations in Cyprus, according to information given in libelli and by oral statements made by most pious gentlemen who have approached the Holy Council; therefore those who preside over the churches in Cyprus shall retain heir privilege unaffected and inviolate, according to the Canons of the Holy Fathers and ancient custom, whereby they shall themselves perform the ordinations of the most reverend Bishops. The same rule shall hold good also with regard to the other diocese and churches everywhere, so that none of the Bishops most beloved by God shall take hold of any other province that was not formerly and from the beginning in his jurisdiction, or was not, that is to say, held by his predecessors. But if anyone has taken possession of any and has forcibly subjected it to his authority, he shall regive it back to its rightful possessor, in order that the Canons of the Fathers be not transgressed, nor the secular fastus be introduced, under the pretext of divine services; lest imperceptibly and little by little we lose the freedom which our Lord Jesus Christ, the Liberator of all men, has given us as a free gift by His own blood. It has therefore seemed best to the holy and Ecumenical Council that the rights of every province, formerly and from the begining belonging to it, be preserved clear and inviolable, in accordance with the custom which prevailed of yore; each Metropolitan having permission to take copies of the proceedings for his own security. If, on the oher hand, anyone introduce any form conflicting with the decrees which have now been sanctioned, it has seemed best to the entire holy and Ecumenical Council that it be invalid and of no effect.

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2005 Most Rev. Victor Prentice
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