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Vojvoda
Tuesday, September 7th, 2004, 07:20 PM
1. On Christianity

First, concerning Christianity. In this manner shall Christianity be purged.

2.

No lords or any other persons shall marry without the blessing of their own archpriest, or of those chosen and appointed as priests by the archpriests.

3.

And no wedding shall take place without nuptials. If any marry without the blessing and permission of the Church, such persons shall be legally separated.

4. On Spiritual Matters

And in spiritual matters, every man shall show submission and obedience to his archpriest. And if any person be found committing a sin against the Church, or transgressing against any rule of this Law willingly or unwillingly, such a one shall yield and submit himself to the Church. But if he disobey and evade the discipline of the Church and be not willing to follow the orders of the Shurch, he shall be excommunicated.

5.

The bishops shall not curse the Christians for spiritual sins: but shall send twice and thrice to reproach him who has sinned. And if he does not obey and shows himself unwilling to correct himself in accordance with the spiritual instructions, he shall then be excommunicated.

6.

And concerning the Latin heresy: Christians who have turned to the use of unleavened bread shall return to the Christian observance. If any fail to obey and do not return to Christian Orthodoxy, let him be punished as is written in the Code of the Holy Fathers.

7.

And the Great Church shall appoint head priests in all market towns to reclaim front the Latin heresy those Christians who have turned to the Latin faith, and to give them spiritual instructions, so that each one of them return to Christianity.

8.

And if a Latin priest be found to have converted a Christian to the Latin faith, let him be punished according to the Law of the Holy Fathers.

9.

And if a half-believer be found to be married to a Christian woman, let him be baptized into Christianity if he desires it. But if he refuse to be baptized, let his wife and children be taken from him, and let a part of his house be allotted to them, and let him be driven forth.

10.

And if any heretic be found to live among the Christians, let him be branded on the face and driven forth, and whoever shall harbour him, let him too be branded.

11. On Clergymen

And bishops shall appoint clergymen in all of their parishes, both in towns and in the villages. And these clergymen shall be those who have been blessed by their archpriests to become clergy, to bind and to set free. And they shall be obeyed by everyone according to the law of the Church. Whereas those clergymen who are not appointed as clergymen shall be driven away and punished by the Church according to the law.

12. On Jurisdiction

And no laymen shall judge in a clerical matter. And should any layman be found to have judged
an ecclesiastical matter, let him pay 300 perpers. Only the Church shall judge.

13. On Bishops

Neither metropolitans, nor bishops, nor priors shall be appointed by bribery. And from now on whoever shall appoint a metropolitan, or bishop, or prior by bribery, let him be accursed and anathematized. And if anyone be found appointed by bribery, let them both be deposed from their rank, the one who made the appointment and the appointed one.

14. On Priors

Priors shall not be removed without an ecclesiastical reason.

15.

As priors in monasteries good men shall be appointed who will exalt the house of God.

16.

Priors shall live in monastic communities according to the law, and shall confer with the elders.

17.

And for each thousand houses let there be fed in the monasteries 50 monks.

18. On Monks

And monks and nuns who are tonsured and live in their own homes, shall be expelled and shall live in the monasteries.

19.

And monks native of the region in the church in which they were tonsured, may not live in that church, but shall go to other monasteries, and food shall be given them.

20.

A monk who abandons his habit shall be kept in prison until he return again to obedience, and let him be punished.

21. On Heretics Who Burn the Bodies of the Dead

And take people out of graves by sorcery and burn them, any village that does this shall pay a fine, and if any priest shall come to it, let his priesthood be taken from him.

22.

And whoever shall sell a Christian into another and false faith, let him be crippled and his tongue cut out.

23. On the Church`s People

And serfs who live in Church villages and summer pasture huts, let them each go to his own lord.

24.

Church shall not be bound to supply transport, save when the Tsar himself is travelling somewhere, then the churches shall provide for the transport.

25.

And if any Church principal be found to have taken bribes, let all his property be taken away from him.

26.

Churches shall be governed by the Lord Tsar, and the Patriarch, and the Logothete, and by none other.

27.

All churches situated in the lands of my Empire, my Imperiality releases from all labour, both great and small.

28.

The imperial churches shall not be subject to the great churches.

29.

And in all churches the poor shall be fed, as is written by the church founders. Should any metropolitan, or bishop, or prior fail to feed them, he shall be deprived of his rank.

30.

And monks shall not live outside the monastery.

31.

And henceforward no authority may molest a monk or a man of the Church; and whoever shall transgress against this in the course of my lifetime or after the death of my Imperiality, he shall not be blessed. If anyone be guilty towards another, let him sue through the court and by justice, according to the law; whoever shall molest or hinder anyone without judgment, let him pay sevenfold.

32. On Priests

And priests with patrimony shall have their patrimonial estate, and be free, and those priests who have no patrimonial estate, to them shall be given 3 fields according to the law, and the priest who have no patrimonial estate, to them shall be given 3 fields according to the law, and the priest`s cap shall be free of tax. If he take more, he shall do labour for the churches for these lands according to the law.

33.

No priest shall leave his master. If his master does not feed him according to the law, let him go to his archpriest, and the archpriest shall tell that lord to feed the priest according to law; but if that master does not obey, let the priest be free to go wherever he wishes. If the priest be the owner of a patrimonial estate, the master shall not be authorized to drive him away, but he shall be free.

34. On People of the Church

People of the Church who hold Church villages and Church lands and have driven the Church serfs or Vlachs away, those who have driven the men away shall be bound, and their land and men taken from them, and let the Church keep them until they have restored the men whom they drove away.

35.

People of the Church shall be judged for every plea before their own metropolitans, and before bishops, and priors. And if both litigants are people of the same church, they shall be judged before their own church; but if the two men who litigate are of two churches, they shall be judged by both churches.

36.

And as for villages of the Church and people of the Church, let them not go into the villages of my imperial estates, neither for haymaking, nor for ploughing, nor for the vineyards, nor for any labour small or hard. My Imperiality has exempted them from all labour; let them work for the Church only. Whoever shall be found to have driven the serfs of the Church into an imperial estate, and to have disobeyed the imperial law, all property of that self-willed owner shall be taken away from him and he shall be punished.

37. And more on Priors

And my Imperiality has granted churches to the priors, that they may dispose of the whole house, of the mares and the horses, and sheep, and of everything else, and that they be authorized to do whatever is deemed suitable, appropriate and lawful, as is written in the chrysobull of the holy founders.

38.

And let them establish in the churches the rules for monastic communities for the monks and in the monasteries too, as may be suitable for each monastery.

39.

And laymen may not be exarchs; metropolitans shall not send them to priests, but they shall send one monk with another from priest to priest, to perform the duties of the Church and to take from the priests the Church revenue derived from the patrimonial estate.

40. On Chrysobulls

And all the chrysobulls and charters which my Imperiality hath granted and shall grant to anyone, those patrimonial estates shall be confirmed, as those of the previous Orthodox Tsars, and they shall have full authority over them: either to give them to the Church, or bequeath for the soul, or sell to anyone.

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