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A History Of The Church In Nine Books by Sozomen

WITH the view of reforming the life and conduct of those who were admitted into the churches, the synod enacted several laws which were called canons. Some thought that a law ought to be passed enacting that bishops and presbyters, deacons and subdeacons, should hold no intercourse with the wife they had espoused before they entered the priesthood; but Paphnutius, the confessor, stood up and testified against this proposition; he said that marriage was honourable and chaste, and advised the synod not to frame a law which would be difficult to observe, and which might serve as an occasion of incontinence to them and their wives; and he reminded them that, according to the ancient tradition of the church, those who were unmarried when they entered the communion of sacred orders were required to remain so, but that those who were married were I net to put away their wives. Such was the advice of Paphnutius, although he was himself unmarried, land, in accordance with it, the synod refrained from enacting the proposed law, but left the matter to the decision of individual judgment. The synod, however, enacted other laws, regulating the government of the church; and these laws may easily be found, as they are in the possession of many individuals.








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