A Canonical Approach to Holy Canon 89 of St. Basil the Great

  • Elena Giannakopoulou
Part of the Pathways for Ecumenical and Interreligious Dialogue book series (PEID)


The importance of Holy Canon 89 of St. Basil the Great (hereafter “Basil 89”) lies in the fact that Basil 89 is the only Canon that sets the framework for responsibilities and jurisdiction of “chorepiscopi”1 regarding the emergence of “servants” of the Church. Additionally, this canon contributes substantially to the definition of the concept of these “servants” and to canonical procedure to be observed for their becoming members of the lower clergy. These focal issues and related problems that occurred in the wider region of the diocese (Metropolis) of Caesarea, in Cappadocia, presented St. Basil with an opportunity to express his opinion generally on the value and importance of Holy Canons of the Church and on the great damage caused to the Church through their ignorance. The treatment of the whole problem by St. Basil is exemplary and shows the necessity for a relevant approach to many similar problems through the application of the Holy Canons. All this acquires even greater importance because of the fact that Basil 89 was confirmed and accepted by the second Holy Canon of the Ecumenical Council in Trullo (Constantinople, 691/692) and, therefore, constitutes to this day a part of the Holy Canons—that is, the current Canon Law in this council. This article should be considered a small contribution to the issues it researches; it should also be viewed as another example of the contribution of the Fathers of the Church to Orthodox Canon Law.


Military Service Greek Text Canonical Approach Great Concernment Bear Witness 


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  1. 2.
    For instance, the related article by Clemens Scholten, “Der Chorbischof bei Basilius,” Zeitschrift für Kirchengeschichte 103, no. 2 (1992): 149–73, focuses on determining if chorepiscopi were bishops or not according to the letters of St. Basil. See alsoGoogle Scholar
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© Elena Giannakopoulou 2016

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