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To: annalex; boatbums; The Theophilus; metmom; Dr. Eckleburg
There was no Canon Law for more than 1,000 years

On that, you are quite wrong. This is the relevant canon from c. AD 400:

35. The bishops of every country ought to know who is the chief among them, and to esteem him as their head, and not to do any great thing without his consent; but every one to manage only the affairs that belong to his own parish, and the places subject to it. But let him not do anything without the consent of all; for it is by this means there will be unanimity, and God will be glorified by Christ, in the Holy Spirit.

36. A bishop must not venture to ordain out of his own bounds for cities or countries that are not subject to him. But if he be convicted of having done so without the consent of such as governed those cities or countries, let him be deprived, both the bishop himself and those whom he has ordained.

(Apostolic Constitution Book VIII)

Oh come now, I find it difficult to understand how it is possible for anyone to claim the Apostolic Constitution ever purported to be Canon Law.

Further, and probably more important, the Apostolic Constitution is agreed upon as a forgery by both Catholic and Protestant scholars.

Even the "friendly" Catholic Encyclopedia finds it necessary to acknowledge this in it's opening pagagraph:

"A fourth-century pseudo-Apostolic collection, in eight books, of independent, though closely related, treatises on Christian , worship, and doctrine , intended to serve as a manual of guidance for the clergy , and to some extent for the laity."


I repeat; There was no Canon Law in the early Church!

Please make an effort to support your arguments with historical fact.

7,293 posted on 03/02/2011 11:56:04 AM PST by OLD REGGIE (I am a Biblical Unitarian?)
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the Apostolic Constitution is agreed upon as a forgery by both Catholic and Protestant scholars.

They believe fables and lies.

7,294 posted on 03/02/2011 12:07:39 PM PST by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: OLD REGGIE; boatbums; The Theophilus; metmom; Dr. Eckleburg
From your link:
Only that portion of it to which has been given the name "Apostolic Canons" was received; but even the fifty of these canons which had then been accepted by the Western Church were not regarded as of certain Apostolic origin. Where known, however, the Apostolic Constitutions were held generally in high esteem and served as the basis for much ecclesiastical legislation.

What forgery? An "apostolic constitution" is a certain type of papal document; the term is in use today. It does not pretend to be written by the Holy Apostles. The issue you raise is, was there a canon law and the answer is that most certainly there was such as soon as the Councils were able to convene. This particular document, Book 8, speaks to the issue in focus, jurisdictional authority, and is written in the form of legislation: it is meant to be law, and it was law.

Nor is it the oldest; here is a similar canon of the Synod of Ancyra (AD 314), even though it does not speak directly to the issue of jurisdiction among installed bishops. This surely shows that -- again, as soon as the Church could assemble openly as a single body, -- the Church legislated, just as Christ wanted her to (Acts 20:28, Matthew 18:18).

Canon 18

If any who have been constituted bishops, but have not been received by the parish to which they were designated, shall invade other parishes and wrong the constituted [bishops] there, stirring up seditions against them, let such persons be suspended from office and communion. But if they are willing to accept a seat among the presbyterate, where they formerly were presbyters, let them not be deprived of that honour. But if they shall act seditiously against the bishops established there, the honour of the presbyterate also shall be taken from them and themselves expelled.

Council of Ancyra (A.D. 314)

7,295 posted on 03/02/2011 5:33:53 PM PST by annalex (
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