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Third Ecumenical Council

03 Third Ecumenical Council at Ephesus 431ad

Emperors.--Theodosius II. and Valentinian III.

  Pope.--Celestine I.

Canon I.

  Whereas it is needful that they who were detained from the holy Synod
  and remained in their own district or city, for any reason,
  ecclesiastical or personal, should not be ignorant of the matters which
  were thereby decreed; we, therefore, notify your holiness and charity
  that if any Metropolitan of a Province, forsaking the holy and
  Ecumenical Synod, has joined the assembly of the apostates, or shall
  join the same hereafter; or, if he has adopted, or shall hereafter
  adopt, the doctrines of Celestius, he has no power in any way to do
  anything in opposition to the bishops of the province, since he is
  already cast forth from all ecclesiastical communion and made incapable
  of exercising his ministry; but he shall himself be subject in all
  things to those very bishops of the province and to the neighbouring
  orthodox metropolitans, and shall be degraded from his episcopal rank.

Canon II.

  If any provincial bishops were not present at the holy Synod and have
  joined or attempted to join the apostacy; or if, after subscribing the
  deposition of Nestorius, they went back into the assembly of apostates;
  these men, according to the decree of the holy Synod, are to be deposed
  from the priesthood and degraded from their rank.

Canon III.

  If any of the city or country clergy have been inhibited by Nestorius
  or his followers from the exercise of the priesthood, on account of
  their orthodoxy, we have declared it just that these should be restored
  to their proper rank.  And in general we forbid all the clergy who
  adhere to the Orthodox and Ecumenical Synod in any way to submit to the
  bishops who have already apostatized or shall hereafter apostatize.

Canon IV.

  If any of the clergy should fall away, and publicly or privately
  presume to maintain the doctrines of Nestorius or Celestius, it is
  declared just by the holy Synod that these also should be deposed.

Canon V.

  If any have been condemned for evil practices by the holy Synod, or by
  their own bishops; and if, with his usual lack of discrimination,
  Nestorius (or his followers) has attempted, or shall hereafter attempt,
  uncanonically to restore such persons to communion and to their former
  rank, we have declared that they shall not be profited thereby, but
  shall remain deposed nevertheless.

Canon VI.

  Likewise, if any should in any way attempt to set aside the orders in
  each case made by the holy Synod at Ephesus, the holy Synod decrees
  that, if they be bishops or clergymen, they shall absolutely forfeit
  their office; and, if laymen, that they shall be excommunicated.

Canon VII.

  When these things had been read, the holy Synod decreed that it is
  unlawful for any man to bring forward, or to write, or to compose a
  different (heteran) Faith as a rival to that established by the holy
  Fathers assembled with the Holy Ghost in Nicaea.

  But those who shall dare to compose a different faith, or to introduce
  or offer it to persons desiring to turn to the acknowledgment of the
  truth, whether from Heathenism or from Judaism, or from any heresy
  whatsoever, shall be deposed, if they be bishops or clergymen; bishops
  from the episcopate and clergymen from the clergy; and if they be
  laymen, they shall be anathematized.

  And in like manner, if any, whether bishops, clergymen, or laymen,
  should be discovered to hold or teach the doctrines contained in the
  Exposition introduced by the Presbyter Charisius concerning the
  Incarnation of the Only-Begotten Son of God, or the abominable and
  profane doctrines of Nestorius, which are subjoined, they shall be
  subjected to the sentence of this holy and ecumenical Synod.  So that,
  if it be a bishop, he shall be removed from his bishopric and degraded;
  if it be a clergyman, he shall likewise be stricken from the clergy;
  and if it be a layman, he shall be anathematized, as has been afore

Canon VIII.

  Our brother bishop Rheginus, the beloved of God, and his fellow beloved
  of God bishops, Zeno and Evagrius, of the Province of Cyprus, have
  reported to us an innovation which has been introduced contrary to the
  ecclesiastical constitutions and the Canons of the Holy Apostles, and
  which touches the liberties of all.  Wherefore, since injuries
  affecting all require the more attention, as they cause the greater
  damage, and particularly when they are transgressions of an ancient
  custom; and since those excellent men, who have petitioned the Synod,
  have told us in writing and by word of mouth that the Bishop of Antioch
  has in this way held ordinations in Cyprus; therefore the Rulers of the
  holy churches in Cyprus shall enjoy, without dispute or injury,
  according to the Canons of the blessed Fathers and ancient custom, the
  right of performing for themselves the ordination of their excellent
  Bishops.  The same rule shall be observed in the other dioceses and
  provinces everywhere, so that none of the God beloved Bishops shall
  assume control of any province which has not heretofore, from the very
  beginning, been under his own hand or that of his predecessors.  But if
  any one has violently taken and subjected [a Province], he shall give
  it up; lest the Canons of the Fathers be transgressed; or the vanities
  of worldly honour be brought in under pretext of sacred office; or we
  lose, without knowing it, little by little, the liberty which Our Lord
  Jesus Christ, the Deliverer of all men, hath given us by his own Blood.

  Wherefore, this holy and ecumenical Synod has decreed that in every
  province the rights which heretofore, from the beginning, have belonged
  to it, shall be preserved to it, according to the old prevailing
  custom, unchanged and uninjured:  every Metropolitan having permission
  to take, for his own security, a copy of these acts.  And if any one
  shall bring forward a rule contrary to what is here determined, this
  holy and ecumenical Synod unanimously decrees that it shall be of no

(Gleaned from: