Church, State, And Society in Eastern Europe by Miklos Tomka

By Miklos Tomka

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Ecclesiastical discipline was forward-looking. In the words of St. ”67 Penance, then, was the ecclesiastical discipline imposed upon sinners so that through “sorrowful groans” and a contrite heart they might be “admonished . . 69 Debates arose, for instance, over the number of times a Christian might undergo penance. Some held that a Christian could only undergo penance once in a lifetime. Others insisted that confession and penance had to be performed publicly. Moreover, there was as yet no agreement on the formal procedures for administering penance, whether done privately or openly.

In this respect, they expect more of the legislation than its issuers did. The Codex Theodosianus was not promulgated until 438, four decades or more after many of the historical instances of sanctuary found in the patristic sources. , organized into topical books and rubrics, arranged chronologically, and, in many cases, edited. Only the particular tasks put to the compilers of the Codex Theodosianus in the decade leading up to 438 made those pronouncements resemble generally applicable laws intended to bring a uniform sanctuary policy upon the empire.

29 Indeed, despite the penitential thrust of his own defense of sanctuary protections, Chrysostom might have understood the protection he bestowed on fugitive wrongdoers such as Eutropius to be of a kind with the protection offered by his own benefactor. ”30 Whether the order was an instance of political calculation or piety or simply a literary trope later authors employed to glorify the church, it is significant that Alaric’s actions were made to conform to ancient traditions of noble forbearance.

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