~  CIX  ~

S. P. Scott, The Civil Law, XVII, Cincinnati, 1932 ).

  The Emperor Justinian to John, Most Glorious Praetorian Prefect of the East, twice Consul and Patrician.
  We are convinced that Our sole hope of the permanency of the Empire during Our reign depends upon the favor of God, for We know that that hope is the source of the safety of the soul, and the preservation of the government. Wherefore Our laws should be based upon it, and constantly take it into consideration, for it is their beginning, middle, and end. Everyone is aware that those who have ruled before Us, and especially Leo, of pious memory, and Justin, Our Father, of pious memory, in their constitutions, forbade all heretics to have any share in public employments or offices, in order that they might not have an opportunity to make use of them against the Holy and Apostolic Church of God. We, also, have forbidden this, strengthening it in every way by the authority of Our Constitution. Our predecessors denned as heretics, and We also designate as such those who are the members of different heterodox sects, and among the latter We include persons who adopt the insane Hebrew doctrines of Nestorius the Eutychian, the Acephali, who endorse the evil dogmas of Dioscorus and Severus; those who renew the impiety of Manichseus and Apollinaris; as well as all such as are not affiliated with the Catholic and Apostolic Church of God, in which the most holy bishops, the patriarchs of the entire earth, of Italy, of Rome and of this Royal City, of Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem, along with all the holy bishops subject to their authority, preach the true faith and ecclesiastical tradition. Hence We very properly call persons heretics who do not receive the holy sacraments from the reverend bishops in the Catholic Church; for although they may give themselves the name of Christians, still they are separated from the belief and communion of Christians, even when they acknowledge that they are subject to the judgment of God.
  Therefore the provisions enacted with reference to heretics are well known to all. But as We desire that persons who embrace and defend the orthodox faith shall have greater privileges than those who hold themselves aloof from the flock of God (as it is not just for heretics to enjoy the same advantages as the orthodox), We now address Ourselves to the present law. For as We have granted the privilege of the dowry to women, in order that they may be preferred to prior creditors, and that their claim shall be first in order and not liable to be barred by prescription, nor be pleaded with reference to ante-nuptial donations, according to the times for which they were made, We now, by this Imperial Law, decree that this privilege, tacit hypothecation, and all other rights which were granted by Our laws to women to enjoy and make use of, shall be conceded to those alone who profess Our adorable faith (We mean that of the Catholic and Apostolic Church), and who participate in its salutary communion. We also absolutely forbid women who are separated from the Holy Catholic Church, and are unwilling to receive the Holy Communion from the hands of priests, beloved of God, to enjoy such privileges. For if they renounce the favors of God, and absent themselves from the Holy Communion, there is all the more reason why they should not enjoy them, and that We should not permit them to participate in the benefits of Our laws; hence they are declared incapable of doing so, and shall be deprived of all the advantages of Our Constitution.
  Women, however, who embrace a better doctrine and acknowledge the true faith, shall be permitted to share in the above-mentioned benefits. These provisions must be observed throughout the entire Roman Empire, and their execution shall generally be promoted by the bishops and ecclesiastics beloved of God, by Our magistrates and superior and inferior judges, as well as by Your Highness, to whom they are addressed. Hence judges, before whom cases are brought against women, or by women who desire to avail themselves of any privileges, shall conform to the spirit of this law; and if it should be ascertained that the said women do not profess the orthodox faith, or receive the adorable communion in the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, at the hands of the reverend clergy, they shall not be permitted to enjoy the privileges conferred by Our Constitution.
  Therefore Your Highness, as soon as you have been advised of what it has pleased Us to promulgate by means of this law, will take measures to have it applied to all cases brought before you, and render it operative and effective; publishing it by means of solemn edicts and precepts, so that it may be brought to the knowledge of all, and that Our subjects in this Most Fortunate City, as well as in the provinces, may become aware of how great Our solicitude is for the preservation of the faith of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and the welfare of the people of the Empire.
  Given at Constantinople, on the second of the Kalends of May, during the fourteenth year of the reign of Our Lord the Emperor Justinian, and the Consulate of Basil.