The Synod of Neocaesarea
The Synod of Neo-Caesarea was a church synod held in Neocaesarea, Pontus, in 315 A.D. It primarily instituted several disciplinary canons, which would be subsequently accepted as ecumenical by the Council of Chalcedon in 451 A.D. (ecumenical meaning accepted by the universal church). Among these disciplinary canons were included the removal of priests who marry after ordination and forbidding a priest to be present for a Christian’s second marriage.
The Synod of Neocaesarea
The Canons of the Council of Neocæsarea (A.D. 315)
Source: Translated by Henry Percival. From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Vol. 14. Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1900.)
If a presbyter marry, let him be removed from his order; but if he commit fornication or adultery, let him be altogether cast out [i.e. of communion] and put to penance.
If a woman shall have married two brothers, let her be cast out [i.e. of communion] until her death. Nevertheless, at the hour of death she may, as an act of mercy, be received to penance, provided she declare that she will break the marriage, should she recover. But if the woman in such a marriage, or the man, die, penance for the survivor shall be very difficult.
Concerning those who fall into many marriages, the appointed time of penance is well known; but their manner of living and faith shortens the time.
If a catechumen coming into the Church have taken his place in the order of catechumens, and fall into sin, let him, if a kneeler, become a hearer and sin no more. But should he again sin while a hearer, let him be cast out.
Concerning a woman with child, it is determined that she ought to be baptized whenever she will; for in this the woman communicates nothing to the child, since the bringing forward to profession is evidently the individual [privilege] of every single person.
If the wife of a layman has committed adultery and been clearly convicted, such [a husband] cannot enter the ministry; and if she commit adultery after his ordination, he must put her away; but if he retain her, he can have no part in the ministry committed to him.
A presbyter who has been promoted after having committed carnal sin, and who shall confess that he had sinned before his ordination, shall not make the oblation, though he may remain in his other functions on account of his zeal in other respects; for the majority have affirmed that ordination blots out other kinds of sins. But if he do not confess and cannot be openly convicted, the decision shall depend upon himself.
Likewise, if a deacon have fallen into the same sin, let him have the rank of a minister.
If any one be baptized when he is ill, forasmuch as his [profession of] faith was not voluntary, but of necessity [i.e. though fear of death] he cannot be promoted to the presbyterate, unless on account of his subsequent [display of] zeal and faith, and because of a lack of men.
The chorepiscopi, however, are indeed after the pattern of the Seventy; and as fellow-servants, on account of their devotion to the poor, they have the honour of making the oblation.