It was excommunication all together for many in the fourth century who joined such things as secular government, acting, and other polarizations of Christian community and sanctification. Certainly, with the lack of Sobornost in our day, we should not even think to be this strict. But the equity of these laws must remain. In other words, should secular government, for instance, be high on the list of our occupational choices? How about acting? Things to ponder and pray about.
|Ancient Source:||Select manuscripts from various collections of canon law, including the Corbie, Diessen, Koln, and Rheims collections, and others.|
|Modern edition used:||C. Munier, Concilia Galliae a.314-a.506, (Turnhout: Brepols 1963), pp. 9-13|
Note: In the manuscript tradition there is slight variation in the numbering of canons 9-17, as noted below.
The assembly of bishops who were gathered at the town of Arles, to our lord and most holy brother Sylvester:
That which we in common council have decreed, we hereby make known to your most esteemed person, so that also <all> the bishops might know what ought to be observed in the future.
1. In the first place, concerning the celebration of Easter Sunday: That it be observed by us on one day and at one time in all the earth, and that you should send out letters to all, as is the custom.
2. Concerning those who have been ordained ministers in certain places: They are to continue to serve in those same places.
3. Concerning those who lay down their weapons in peacetime, be it resolved that they be excluded from fellowship.