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To: annalex; 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)

Please pay attention. The meaning of words is important and the misuse of these words, whether intentional or not, is dangerously misleading.

1. The first paragraph of the Catholic Encyclopedia link I provided:

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

2. ( pseu·do   /ˈsudoÊŠ/


1. not actually but having the appearance of; pretended; false or spurious; sham.

3. The so-called Apostolic Constitutions were "pretended", "false", "spurious". ie. a forgery.

I invite you to provide documentation concerning the authenticity of "The Apostolic Constitutions". Failing that it is disingenuous to quote them as "proof" of any argument.

4. The "Canons" of any Council, are not, and never have been, Canon Law. They are two different animals.

5. I believe it is important for you to learn the distinction between "Canon Law" and a Canon of a Council whether fake or real. Failing that I have no interesting in pursuing this dead end.

6. I repeat: There was no Canon Law for more than 1,000 years.

7,297 posted on 03/03/2011 2:08:10 PM PST by OLD REGGIE (I am a Biblical Unitarian?)
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To: OLD REGGIE; boatbums; The Theophilus; metmom; Dr. Eckleburg

No one pretends the Apostles wrote the Canons themselves.

The word “pseudo” is often used to qualify instances of unstated authorship in order to distingush them from literal authroship. We have, for example, “Pseudo-Chrysostom”. That is someone whose writings were attributed to St. John Chrysostom but he was not him. This in no way diminishes the value of the writing itself; Pseudo-Chrysostom, despite his unknown identity, is frequently and admiringly excerpted in Caten Aurea, for example. You can ascertain that for yourself by reading at random at the URL which is near my signature.

It helps to be familiar with the terminology of the field in which you attempt to opine.

If you have in mind some distinction between a council promulgating canons for people to obey and Canon Law, please explain what the distinction is. As you see from the documents I showed you, interference across bishoprics was against the canons in the Early Church.

7,300 posted on 03/03/2011 5:47:13 PM PST by annalex (
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