Monday, April 18, 2011

Antioch - Canon 20

With a view to the good of the Church and the settlement of disputes, it is decreed to be well that synods of the bishops, (of which the metropolitan shall give notice to the provincials), should be held in every province twice a year, one after the third week of the feast of Easter, so that the synod may be ended in the fourth week of the Pentecost; and the second on the ides of October which is the tenth [or fifteenth] day of the month Hyperberetæus; so that presbyters and deacons, and all who think themselves unjustly dealt with, may resort to these synods and obtain the judgment of the synod.  But it shall be unlawful for any to hold synods by themselves without those who are entrusted with the Metropolitan Sees.

So that there were appropriately placed synods through the year, two per year were established—six months apart—guaranteeing that matters requiring a synod would be judged and not allowed to languish.  In many ways this provided a spiritual "city of refuge" system to ensure all matters were addressed.

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