Before healing can begin for Kelli and Heather, they need to believe they are worth cherishing.
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Kelli London once dreamed of being a songwriter. As crazy as it seemed, she hoped that God would use the lyrics that came to her even while she slept.
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Cydney Sanders thought she knew God's plan for her life. She'd marry, have kids, and then snap her body back into shape by doing Tae Bo.
But she's celebrating her fortieth birthday as the maid of honor at her little sister's wedding Treva Langston's life has suddenly been turned upside down. She lost her high-powered job, her family has returned to a town that brings only memories of heartache, and she's beset with uncertainty about what makes her worthy. Back Novels Cling Books and Resources. Though I Stumble. If I Believe.
If You're With Me. When I'm Tempted. Hence We order that if any necessity should arise in a matter in which the interests of the Church are involved, those persons charged with the conduct of ecclesiastical affairs who are called apocrisiarii or others of the clergy appointed for that purpose, or the stewards themselves, can notify Us or Our ministers, and receive proper attention ; and hence there will be no occasion for bishops to absent themselves, for they will injure their churches by their absence, and through the great expense incurred by them as well as by their sojourn in foreign countries, thus not only good will not result, but the holy churches will sustain great loss.
A bishop cannot visit this Most Fortunate City without first receiving letters addressed by the archbishop to the government, and which, according to the canons of the Church, disclose a good reason for his presence. If an archbishop wishes to travel, he must obtain letters from the patriarch, stating that his absence is necessary, and the Emperor should order him to be presented, for an ecclesiastic must not rashly, and without the knowledge of the archbishops or patriarchs go upon journeys, as this is prohibited by the divine rule; and having arrived, he shall not, at his own instance, presume to present himself to the government, but must first apply to the patriarch, or to those charged with the administration of the diocese, and explain to them the reasons which have induced him to come, and, after having done this, he can enjoy the sight of the Emperor.
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After he has been presented, the said bishop can either by means of those who were styled referendarii of the Most Holy Principal Church, or by the agency of the apocrisiarii in charge of the holy patriarchate, make application to the government and be insured a speedy reply; so that if his demands are just, they will be complied with, or if they are not, he may return quickly to the place from whence he came. After having, in conformity with the sacred canons, disposed of the preceding matters relating to bishops, We now decree, in compliance with the same canons, that no one can be ordained an ecclesiastic until after a careful examination, and that the candidate must be of good character, and by all means conversant with letters, and proficient in the doctrines of the Church.
For We are unwilling for persons who are ignorant of letters to be ordained under any circumstances, that is to say, as clerks, priests, deacons, readers of the service, or of ecclesiastical or canonical books. Anyone, however, who is meritorious and blameless, and against whom no complaint or opposition has arisen, and who has given neither money nor other property, shall be eligible. We are unwilling that any officials charged with the administration of the affairs of a curia should be ordained, unless in accordance with the laws which We have already promulgated with reference to this matter, and which We now confirm.
Persons who are ordained shall be instructed in the sacred precepts in the presence of the entire people, for the same reasons for which We have directed this to be done in the case of bishops. We do not permit anyone to be ordained who is either a deacon or a priest who has either had a second wife or has one now, or is married to a woman who has left her husband, or is living with a concubine, but only where he married a wife who was chaste and a virgin.
For, when ordinations take place, We delight in nothing so much as to know that the candidates are living a chaste life; and that they are not living with their wives, and have not been married : more than once to a woman who is chaste, which, according to the sacred canons, is considered as the principal and true foundation of durable virtue.
But if any priest, deacon, or sub-deacon should afterwards marry, or keep a concubine either openly or secretly, he shall immediately be expelled from his order and become a layman. If a reader should, for any reason, marry a second time, and this was caused by inexorable necessity, he can never attain to a higher rank in the clergy, nor enjoy a position of greater dignity, but he shall always remain in the same rank, and shall not contract a third marriage, for two are sufficient.
If, however, anyone should do this, and after having contracted a second marriage, be promoted, he shall thereafter become a private person and a layman, and be absolutely deprived of his sacred office. For it is proper, above all things, for Us to live chastely, and if those who become members of the priesthood are such when they are ordained, it will be easy for them to attain to the episcopate, and many of their number will be found eligible to the highest rank of the priesthood.
We desire that everything which We have decreed concerning ecclesiastics shall be observed with reference to deaconesses, and they shall not violate these provisions.
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In order for them to be ordained, they must be neither too old nor too young, and not liable to temptation, but they should be of middle age, and, in accordance with the sacred canons, about fifty years old, and, having arrived at that age, they shall be eligible to ordination, whether they are virgins, or have previously been married to one man; for We do not permit women who have contracted a second marriage, or who as We have already stated , have led a vicious life, to be ordained, but they must be free from all suspicion in order to be admitted into the holy service of the Church, to be present in baptism, and assist in the celebration of the mysterious and sacred rites which form part of their duties.
When, however, it is necessary for a woman under the age of fifty to be ordained a deaconess, ordination can be conferred upon her in some convent where she must reside; for she can by no means be permitted to mingle with men, or to live where she chooses, but by her withdrawal from society she must give evidence of her retirement and the simplicity of her life. Moreover, We are not willing that deaconesses who have once been ordained — whether they be either widows or virgins — to live with any of their relatives, or with such persons as they may select, for, under such circumstances, they will be liable to criticism, but they can either reside alone or with their fathers and mothers, children, or brothers, who are persons that if anyone should suspect them of criminality, he will be regarded as either foolish or impious.
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If any disparaging statement should be made with reference to any woman who desires to be admitted to the order of deaconesses, to the effect that she has lived with someone under an assumed name, and this should give rise to evil suspicions, the woman shall, by no means, be ordained a deaconess. And if she should be ordained, and then commit an act of this kind and cohabit with anyone under another name, she shall be expelled from the diaconate, and both the parties shall suffer the penalties prescribed by this law and others for persons of corrupt morals. All women who are ordained deaconesses must, at the time of their ordination, be instructed in the duties of their office, and have the precepts of the sacred canons communicated to them in the presence of the other deaconesses, in order that they may fear God and have confidence in their holy order; and they are hereby notified that if they should regret having received ordination, or, having abandoned their sacred office, they should marry, or choose any other kind of life, they will render themselves liable to capital punishment and the confiscation of their property by the holy churches or monastaries to which they are attached.
Any persons who may be so bold as to marry or corrupt them shall, themselves, be liable to the penalty of death, and their property shall be confiscated by the Treasury. For if, by the ancient laws, capital punishment was inflicted upon virgins who permitted themselves to be corrupted, how much more reason is there for Us to impose the same penalty upon those who are dedicated to God; and why should We not wish that modesty, which is the greatest ornament of the sex, should be preserved, and be diligently practiced by deaconesses, in accordance with what is becoming to Nature and due to the priesthood?
Those who have once become deacons or priests can, under no circumstances, relinquish their sacred duties. We decree that this rule shall not only be applicable to priests and deacons, but also, where any sub-deacon or reader renounces his former condition and embraces another life, he is notified that if he does anything of this kind as has already been stated by Us , he shall either be assigned to his curia along with his property, or, if he is without resources, shall be devoted to this service.
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It is proper that the ordinations of ecclesiastics should not be multiplied, and what has been done up to this time must be corrected. We, however, permit it to exist temporarily, but for the future it must not be repeated in such a way as to cause injury to the holy churches. Therefore, as it is necessary to establish certain regulations with regard to the Principal Church of this Our Royal City, and others subject to it, We have included these provisions in this special law.
With reference to all churches situated outside the city We decree that, if anyone should found or build a church, and specify the number of ecclesiastics to be attached thereto, as well as the sum to be expended for its maintenance, no one can be ordained in that church in excess of the number originally established. When, however, this has not been done, the Principal Church shall provide for it, as well as for other churches under its control; and, in this instance, the number of the clergy shall not be increased, nor shall the Principal Church be burdened with the expense of bestowing any privileges or benefits upon it for this is neither pious nor becoming to priests , but those charged with the financial situation shall give what it is possible out of what God has bestowed, or observe the ancient custom without making any innovations whatever.
The patriarchs and archbishops should see that the ecclesiastics estimate the resources of each church, and only confer ordinations in proportion to the revenues of the same; and the archbishops, warned by the Holy Patriarchs, shall pursue the same course, and compel the bishops of their dioceses to preserve the fixed number of clergy, and to avoid not granting ordinations beyond what the revenues will justify, for We know how many holy churches have become impoverished by reason of ordinations of this kind, and the payment of other expenses.
And as We have with difficulty relieved some of these churches of their burdens, and others are still oppressed by theirs without being able to discharge their obligations, the Holy Patriarchs, archbishops, and bishops must in the future take measures against the recurrence of such an evil; so that We, having learned of what they have done, may approve of those who have used every effort to cause this Our law to be obeyed.
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