I would disagree that the canon of Penthekte "introduces" a new practice of celibate episcopacy and separation of married clergy from their wives when consecrated as bishops; it only normalizes/standardizes it. It was present before, but a few refused to follow.
Interestingly enough though, this Quintisext canon did not limit the episcopacy to celibate priests, but asked those who aren't celibate to give up their wives to convents if they seek the episcopacy. That's quite a harsh statement to make that seemed to solidify the celibacy of bishops, if not introduced it.
I always thought personally it was a slow evolution into celibate episcopacy for reasons that include larger responsibilities (thus less time to tend to families) and heir scandals.
It was a slow evolution. The canon refers to it implicitly, stating that it was a custom which some decided not to follow (i.e. some of the married folks did not separate with the wives going into monasteries), but was by the canon being mandated.
The EO's do not see any mandate from Nicea I (325) for celibate clergy... in fact, there was an infamous case of St. Paphnoutios (a celibate) advocating for the permission of married clergy when the case was argued.
Precisely what I thought as well, although no one can confirm the story of St. Paphnute either. Nevertheless, it would seem the Coptic Church had no canon of such either until after the certain Bishop Isaac.
You're right - the story of St. Paphnoutios cannot be confirmed (at least not the 4th century bishop that the story revolves around.. there are other "St. Paphnoutios'" in the EO calendar), at least not in my experience.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2009, 09:37:32 PM by cleveland »
"O Cross of Christ, all-holy, thrice-blessed, and life-giving, instrument of the mystical rites of Zion, the holy Altar for the service of our Great Archpriest, the blessing - the weapon - the strength of priests, our pride, our consolation, the light in our hearts, our mind, and our steps"
Met. Meletios of Nikopolis & Preveza, from his ordination.