Fourth Ecumenical Council, Canon 25.previous | next
Whereas some Metropolitans, as we have been informed, neglect the flocks committed to their care, and postpone the ordinations of Bishops, the holy Council has decreed that they must perform ordinations within three months, unless some unavoidable necessity require the time to be lengthened. If they fail to carry out this rule, they shall be liable to ecclesiastical penances; and the means profits of the widow church shall be preserved to be retained by the Steward (or Oeconomus) of the same church.
(Ap. c. LVIII; c. XIX of the 6th; c. XVI of the lst-&-2nd; cc. XI, XII of Sardica; cc. LXXIX, LXXXII, LXXXVI, CXXXI, CXXXI, CXXXII of Carthage, and c. X of Peter.)
The present Canon prescribes that Metropolitans must not neglect their flocks, and postpone the ordination of the bishops subject to them; but, on the contrary, after the death of the bishop who has passed away, they must ordain another bishop for the vacant bishopric within three months, unless there be some unavoidable necessity forcing them to prolong the time of postponement (for perhaps that particular bishopric may have been captured by barbarians, or some other woe may have befallen it, and for this reason no one can go there). Any Metropolitan that is remiss in this respect, becomes liable to canonical penances. The income, however, from the affairs of that bishopric must be kept by the steward safe and intact until he surrenders it to the bishop-to-be. See also Ap. cc. LVIII and XL.
 This means anyone.