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Second Ecumenical Council

02 Second Ecumenical Council First Council of Constantinople 381ad

Canon I.

The Faith of the Three Hundred and Eighteen Fathers assembled at Nice in Bithynia shall not be set aside, but shall remain firm.  And every heresy shall be anathematized, particularly that of the Eunomians or [Anomaeans, the Arians or] Eudoxians, and that of the Semi-Arians or Pneumatomachi, and that of the Sabellians, and that of the Marcellians, and that of the Photinians, and that of the Apollinarians.

Canon II.

  The bishops are not to go beyond their dioceses to churches lying
  outside of their bounds, nor bring confusion on the churches; but let
  the Bishop of Alexandria, according to the canons, alone administer the
  affairs of Egypt; and let the bishops of the East manage the East
  alone, the privileges of the Church in Antioch, which are mentioned in
  the canons of Nice, being preserved; and let the bishops of the Asian
  Diocese administer the Asian affairs only; and the Pontic bishops only
  Pontic matters; and the Thracian bishops only Thracian affairs.  And
  let not bishops go beyond their dioceses for ordination or any other
  ecclesiastical ministrations, unless they be invited.  And the
  aforesaid canon concerning dioceses being observed, it is evident that
  the synod of every province will administer the affairs of that
  particular province as was decreed at Nice.  But the Churches of God in
  heathen nations must be governed according to the custom which has
  prevailed from the times of the Fathers.

Canon III.

  The Bishop of Constantinople, however, shall have the prerogative of
  honour after the Bishop of Rome; because Constantinople is New Rome.

Canon IV.

  Concerning Maximus the Cynic and the disorder which has happened in
  Constantinople on his account, it is decreed that Maximus never was and
  is not now a Bishop; that those who have been ordained by him are in no
  order whatever of the clergy; since all which has been done concerning
  him or by him, is declared to be invalid.

Canon V.

  (Probably adopted at a Council held in Constantinople the next year,
  382.  Vide. Introduction on the number of the Canons.)

  In regard to the tome of the Western [Bishops], we receive those in
  Antioch also who confess the unity of the Godhead of the Father, and of
  the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

Canon VI.

  (Probably adopted at a Council held in Constantinople the next year,
  382.  Vide Introduction on the number of Canons.)

  Forasmuch as many wishing to confuse and overturn ecclesiastical order,
  do contentiously and slanderously fabricate charges against the
  orthodox bishops who have the administration of the Churches, intending
  nothing else than to stain the reputation of the priests and raise up
  disturbances amongst the peaceful laity; therefore it seemed right to
  the Holy Synod of Bishops assembled together in Constantinople, not to
  admit accusers without examination; and neither to allow all persons
  whatsoever to bring accusations against the rulers of the Church, nor,
  on the other hand, to exclude all.  If then, any one shall bring a
  private complaint against the Bishop, that is, one relating to his own
  affairs, as, for example, that he has been defrauded, or otherwise
  unjustly treated by him, in such accusations no examination shall be
  made, either of the person or of the religion of the accuser; for it is
  by all means necessary that the conscience of the Bishop should be
  free, and that he who says he has been wronged should meet with
  righteous judgment, of whatever religion he may be.  But if the charge
  alleged against the Bishop be that of some ecclesiastical offence, then
  it is necessary to examine carefully the persons of the accusers, so
  that, in the first place, heretics may not be suffered to bring
  accusations touching ecclesiastical matters against orthodox bishops.
  And by heretics we mean both those who were aforetime cast out and
  those whom we ourselves have since anathematized, and also those
  professing to hold the true faith who have separated from our canonical
  bishops, and set up conventicles in opposition [to them].  Moreover, if
  there be any who have been condemned for faults and cast out of the
  Church, or excommunicated, whether of the clergy or the laity, neither
  shall it be lawful for these to bring an accusation against the bishop,
  until they have cleared away the charge against themselves.  In like
  manner, persons who are under previous accusations are not to be
  permitted to bring charges against a bishop or any other clergyman,
  until they shall have proved their own innocence of the accusation
  brought against them.  But if any, being neither heretics, nor
  excommunicate, nor condemned, nor under previous accusation for alleged
  faults, should declare that they have any ecclesiastical charge against
  the bishop, the Holy Synod bids them first lay their charges before all
  the Bishops of the Province, and before them prove the accusations,
  whatsoever they may be, which they have brought against the bishop.
  And if the comprovincials should be unable rightly to settle the
  charges brought against the bishop, then the parties must betake
  themselves to a greater synod of the bishops of that diocese called
  together for this purpose; and they shall not produce their allegations
  before they have promised in writing to undergo an equal penalty to be
  exacted from themselves, if, in the course of the examination, they
  shall be proved to have slandered the accused bishop.  And if anyone,
  despising what has been decreed concerning these things, shall presume
  to annoy the ears of the Emperor, or the courts of temporal judges, or,
  to the dishonour of all the Bishops of his Province, shall trouble an
  Ecumenical Synod, such an one shall by no means be admitted as an
  accuser; forasmuch as he has cast contempt upon the Canons, and brought
  reproach upon the order of the Church.

Canon VII.

  Those who from heresy turn to orthodoxy, and to the portion of those
  who are being saved, we receive according to the following method and
  custom:  Arians, and Macedonians, and Sabbatians, and Novatians, who
  call themselves Cathari or Aristori, and Quarto-decimans or Tetradites,
  and Apollinarians, we receive, upon their giving a written renunciation
  [of their errors] and anathematize every heresy which is not in
  accordance with the Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church of God.
  Thereupon, they are first sealed or anointed with the holy oil upon the
  forehead, eyes, nostrils, mouth, and ears; and when we seal them, we
  say, "The Seal of the gift of the Holy Ghost."  But Eunomians, who are
  baptized with only one immersion, and Montanists, who are here called
  Phrygians, and Sabellians, who teach the identity of Father and Son,
  and do sundry other mischievous things, and [the partisans of] all
  other heresies--for there are many such here, particularly among those
  who come from the country of the Galatians:--all these, when they
  desire to turn to orthodoxy, we receive as heathen.  On the first day
  we make them Christians; on the second, catechumens; on the third, we
  exorcise them by breathing thrice in their face and ears; and thus we
  instruct them and oblige them to spend some time in the Church, and to
  hear the Scriptures; and then we baptize them.

(Gleaned from: