Roman Emperors Order No Bishop be Made to Appear Before Secular Judges Hot

Roman Emperors Order No Bishop be Made to Appear Before Secular Judges

Emperor Constans

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Emperors Constantius II and Constans order that no bishop should be made to appear before secular judges; instead, they must be accused in front of other bishops.

According to this new decree:

"We prohibit bishops to be accused in the secular courts lest this create an opportunity for fanatical spirits to accuse them, while the accusers assume that they will receive kindness from the bishops.

Therefore, if anyone lodges any complaint, it must be examined before other bishops, so that a suitable hearing can be arranged for the investigation of all concerned." [CTh 16.2.12]

This is part of an extended process of removing ecclesiastical structures and authorities from general control of the secular government. Exempting the church from generally applicable laws and regulations gives Christians much more power and advantages that are unavailable to every other religious group in Roman society.

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Emperors of Rome: Constans

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