The second marriage of the clergy in Orthodox perspective (2)

The church sees a lack of abstinence in remarriage. This defect also affects the person with whom you marry. That is why this rule protects the shepherd from such a reflection and does not allow those who are married to a widow or who have left (divorced) to be accepted in the sacred hierarchy. There was a similar law in the Old Testament church – Judith 16: 22-23: “She was longed for, but the man did not know her until the end of her days, from the day her husband Manasseh died. She became very famous and grew old in her husband’s house.” (cf. Luke 2: 36-38). Priests in the Old Testament era, with the exception of the high priest, were only allowed to remarry a priestly widow or a virgin from the house of Israel (cf. Ezek. 44:22). The high priest himself could not marry a widow (Lev. 21:14), and there is information that he was a widow, he had no right to remarry at all. Justinian’s Novel 22, chapter 42, warns of the priest’s wife with the same requirement of the 18th Apostolic canon:

“If any of the clergy already appointed over a reader and a singer enters into any form of marriage, we enact our constitution and wish one to be deprived of the priesthood … And if a layman wishes to be ordained a subdeacon or deacon , or a presbyter, and then it turns out that there is a woman who is not married to a virgin or divorced from her husband, or living with him illegally, or he himself is married a second time, then such a person does not receive the priesthood, got to him, to be completely deprived of him.”

Restricting marriage to a slave is not relevant today, nor is the prohibition of the bishop’s wife’s remarriage, because the episcopal rank is assigned to unmarried clergy. Theater in Greco-Roman antiquity (in apostolic times) had a definite religious function and therefore it is forbidden to marry an actress who performed a kind of idolatry of the polytheistic pagan pantheon with her participation in theatrical performances. The Old Testament priests are forbidden in the Book of Leviticus (21: 7-8) to marry a harlot, a woman defiled or rejected by her husband, because they are holy to the Lord. Otherwise, second marriage was known among the Jews, for example, the historian Josephus testified for himself that he had entered into a second and third marriage (cf. H. Sachsse, Die Lehre vom Defectus sacramenti, Berlin-Leipzig, 1881, p. 17). ).

Separated in the question of who is more faithful and suitable for a priest – the one who has two duly concluded church marriages and has divorced according to the church canons or the one who has remained in fornication and has not even bothered to seek heavenly blessing over the created from his family. Otherwise, second marriage was known among the Jews, for example, the historian Josephus testified for himself that he had entered into a second and third marriage (cf. H. Sachsse, Die Lehre vom Defectus sacramenti, Berlin-Leipzig, 1881, p. 17). ).

The absence of a legal ecclesiastical marriage in such cases is the formal reason for the diocesan metropolitans to introduce such candidates into the sacred rank, especially if they have considered them worthy according to the other required conditions for the candidate priests.

It is not right for this restriction on second marriages to be applied to monks who have started a family in their worldly life. On the one hand, the prohibition is for the one who resides in the second marriage. Haircuts in monasticism with the acceptance of vows and a sacred name are a turning point in the life path of the Christian who approaches them, who adopts an angel-like way of life, equivalent to even a martyr’s deed. There are many examples of men and women endowed with Christian holiness, endowed by God with one grace or another and blessings, regardless of their behavior in the previous worldly life. There are among them robbers, thieves, fornicators, murderers, who have not been forbidden by deeds in the world to serve God and to accept sacred dignity. And the Eucharistic-centric character of the ecclesiastical punishments expresses the spiritual and soteriological content of the ecclesiastical law, because it was for the restoration of the human person that Christ gave His life. Therefore, the goal of the church canons is not the punishment itself, but to cause a person to be cleansed from defilement through spiritual struggle in repentance, to become again a healthy member of the church body, in which to be satiated, mature and function through sacramental empathy. in the Holy Eucharist. But the canons of those who have already accepted a sacred rank are extremely harsh: “Priests and clergy for fornication are overthrown by a sacred rank” (Apost. 25; St. Basil. Canonc 3, 7, 32, 51; Neoces. 1) IV Ecumenical Council deprivation of church communion for a monk or nun, if they marry, and the marriage of such to be considered null and void (cf. Basil the Great 6, 51). Of particular importance in this matter is Justinian’s short story CXXIII, called by Petrus de Marca compendium juris canonici (Petrus de Marksa, De Concordia sacerdoti et imperii, lib. IV, p. 1, pag. 339), which in 44 chapters is indeed a set of extensive ecclesiastical legislation on the procedure for replacing the episcopal office and on monasticism and monastic life. (cf. Charles Deal, Justinian and Byzantine civilization in the VI century, St. Petersburg, 1908, pp. 326-327). Imperial ecclesiastical laws were issued without prior conciliar activity, but not without the participation of individual representatives of the ecclesiastical hierarchy.

It follows from the special position of the emperor in the church that he also had the legislative power over church affairs. It goes without saying that the emperor, as a church legislator, was obliged to legislate in the spirit of the church, according to its tradition and not in contradiction with church dogmas. The binding force of imperial laws was recognized unconditionally if the laws were in sync with the canons, or if the ecclesiastical rules did not specify anything about the subject, which was regulated by law. Thus, the legislation of Emperor Justinian the Great on the dissolution of marriage, set forth in his novella XXV, became a guiding norm in the ecclesiastical practice in the East on the grounds for divorce, insofar as no deliberate rules were adopted by the ecumenical councils(cf. Mortreuil, Histoire du droit byzantin, Paris, vol. I-II, 1853; Azarevich, History of Byzantine Law, Yaroslavl, 1876-77). In addition to the Codex repetita praelectionis, published on November 16, 534, the laws on the marriage of clergy are found in three “novellas,” in the 6th of March 10, 535, in the 22nd of 536, and the 123rd. from March 18, 546. They are also mentioned in 137 short stories.

Novella 6, Chapter 5: “One should not be ordained a deacon or presbyter who is in a second marriage or is in a marriage with a divorced and abandoned wife or having a concubine (concubine), but only the one whose wife is taken pure and virgin. Thus one should not be admitted to the priesthood except one who lives in chastity, or does not communicate with women, or belongs (or belongs) to a woman and has chosen chastity, which is, according to divine rules, the first and basic of all other virtues… “(Codex iuris civilis, III, Novelae recognovit Adolfus Schoell, Berolini, 1895: “Neque autem secundus habentem aut eum, qui habuit, nuptias ordinary diaconum aut presbyterum, neque si mulieri coniungitur seiunctae et prorium virum derelinquenti, neque si concubinam habeat, sed et ipsam uxorem si cum castitate viventem, aut uxoribus non cohabitantes, aut unius uxoris virum qui vel fuerit vel sit, et ipsam castitatem eligentem, primum principium et fundamentum manifestum secundum divinas regulas et residuae virtutis constitutam. Si autem et aliquis presbyter aut diaconus aut subdiaconus postea ducat uxorem aut concubinam aut palam aut occulte ducat, sacro statim cadat ordine et deinceps idiota sit”.)

The teachings of St. Scripture is expressed by St. Apost. Paul in 1 Tim. 3: 2, which states that the bishop must be “the husband of a woman,” and in Titus. 1: 6 repeats the same prescription for elders, and again for those receiving the rank of deacon. The phrase “man of one woman” repeated each time (gr. “mias gynekas andra”) acquires the character of a technical formulation, which according to its content can be called a sacred formula.





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