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The Canonical Answers of Timothy

The Most Holy Bishop of Alexandria, Who Was One of the CL Fathers Gathered Together at Constantinople, to the Questions Proposed to Him Concerning Bishops and Clerics.1


The Canonical Answers of Timothy

The Most Holy Bishop of Alexandria, Who Was One of the CL Fathers Gathered Together at Constantinople, to the Questions Proposed to Him Concerning Bishops and Clerics.1

If a lad of seven years old, or a man, being a catechumen, being present at the oblation, does eat of it through ignorance, what shall be done in this case?

Answer. Let him be illuminated, i.e. baptized, for he is called by God.

If baptism be desired for a catechumen that is possessed, what shall be done?

Answer. Let him be baptized at the hour of death, not otherwise.

Ought a communicant to communicate, if he be possessed?

Answer. If he do not expose or blaspheme the Mysteries, let him communicate not always, but at certain times.

If a catechumen be sick, and in a frenzy, so that he cannot make profession of his faith, can he be baptized, at the entreaty of his friends?

Answer. He may, if he be not possessed.

Can a man or woman communicate after performing the conjugal act over night?

Answer. No. 1 Cor. vii. 5.

The day appointed for the baptism of a woman; on that day it happened that the custom of women was upon her; ought she then to be baptized?

Answer. No, not till she be clean.

Can a menstruous woman communicate?

Answer. Not until she be clean.

Ought a woman in child-bed to keep the Paschal fast?

Answer. No.

Ought a clergyman to perform the oblation, or pray, while an Arian or heretic is present?

Answer. As to the divine oblation, the deacon, after the kiss, makes a proclamation, "Let all that are not Communicants walk off;" therefore such persons ought not to be present, except they promise to repent, and renounce their heresy.

Is a sick man obliged to keep the Paschal fast?

Answer. No.

If a clergyman be called to celebrate a marriage, and have heard that it is incestuous; ought he to comply, and perform the oblation?

Answer. No; he must not be partaker of other men's sins.

If a layman ask a clergyman whether he may communicate after a nocturnal pollution?

Answer. If it proceed from the desire of a woman, he ought not: but if it be a temptation from Satan, he ought; for the tempter will ply him when he is to communicate.

When are man and wife to forbear the conjugal act?

Answer. On Saturday, and the Lord's day; for on those days the spiritual sacrifice is offered.

Shall there be an oblation for him, who being distracted, murders himself?

Answer. Not except the case be very clear that he was distracted.

If one's wife be possessed to such a degree, as that she be bound with irons, and the man cannot contain, may he marry another?

Answer. I can only say it would be adultery so to do.

If a man in washing or bathing, swallow a drop of water, may he communicate after it?

Answer. If Satan find an occasion of hindering us from the communion, he will the oftener do it.

Are they, who hear the Word, and do it not, damned?

Answer. If we neither do it, or repent that we have not done it.

At what age are sins imputed to us by God?

Answer. According to every one's capacity and understanding; to one at ten, to another when older.

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