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She who has left her husband is an adulteress if she has come to another, according to the holy and divine Basil, who has gathered this most excellently from the prophet Jeremiah:  “If a woman has become another man’s, her husband shall not return to her, but being defiled she shall remain defiled;” and again, “He who has an adulteress is senseless and impious.”  If therefore she appears to have departed from her husband without reason, he is deserving of pardon and she of punishment.  And pardon shall be given to him that he may be in communion with the Church.  But he who leaves the wife lawfully given him, and shall take another is guilty of adultery by the sentence of the Lord.  And it has been decreed by our Fathers that they who are such must be “weepers” for a year, “hearers” for two years, “prostrators” for three years, and in the seventh year to stand with the faithful and thus be counted worthy of the Oblation [if with tears they do penance].


Ancient Epitome of Canon LXXXVII.

She who goes from her husband to another man is an adulteress.  And he who from his wife goes to another woman is an adulterer according to the word of the Lord.

Compare with this canon lviij. of St. Basil.

The words in brackets are found in Beveridge, but were lacking in Hervetus’s text.


Here discipline is relaxed; formerly an adulteress did fifteen years’ penance.  See Can. Bas., 58.  No wonder if in 200 years’ time from St. Basil, the severity of discipline was abated.

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