The Early Church Fathers on various topics: This was a 3700 hour project which included going through 22896 pages of the 38 volume set called Ante Nicene, Nicene, Post Nicene Fathers. I compiled 255 pages of quotes showing that the Early Church was always and completely Catholic. All of these quotes can be verified and found from the source which is free online.
Clement of Rome Recognitions book 10 ch 68 (27-97 ad)
Laodicea, Peter ordered the people to meet on the following day; and having ordained one of those who followed him as bishop over them, and others as presbyters, and having baptized multitudes, and restored to health all who were troubled with sicknesses or demons
Clement of Rome Recognitions book 6 ch 15 (27-97 ad)
and baptized them; and celebrating the Eucharist with them, he appointed, as bishop over them, Maro, who had entertained him in his house, and who was now perfect in all things; and with him he ordained twelve presbyters and deacons at the same time. He also instituted the order of widows, and arranged all the services of the Church; and charged them all to obey Maro their bishop in all things that he should command them
Ignatius of Antioch Epistle to the Magnesians ch 2 [50-117 AD]
"Now, therefore, it has been my privilege to see you in the person of your God-inspired bishop, Damas; and in the persons of your worthy presbyters, Bassus and Apollonius; and my fellow-servant, the deacon, Zotion. What a delight is his company! For he is subject to the bishop as to the grace of God, and to the presbytery as to the law of Jesus Christ"
Ignatius of Antioch Epistle to the Magnesians ch 6 [50-117 AD]
"Take care to do all things in harmony with God, with the bishop presiding in the place of God, and with the presbyters in the place of the council of the apostles, and with the deacons, who are most dear to me, entrusted with the business of Jesus Christ, who was with the Father from the beginning and is at last made manifest"
Ignatius of Antioch Epistle to the Magnesians ch 13 [50-117 AD]
"Take care, therefore, to be confirmed in the decrees of the Lord and of the apostles, in order that in everything you do, you may prosper in body and in soul, in faith and in love, in Son and in Father and in Spirit, in beginning and in end, together with your most reverend bishop; and with that fittingly woven spiritual crown, the presbytery; and with the deacons, men of God. Be subject to the bishop and to one another as Jesus Christ was subject to the Father, and the apostles were subject to Christ and to the Father; so that there may be unity in both body and spirit"
Ignatius of Antioch Epistle to the Trallians ch 2 [50-117 AD]
"Indeed, when you submit to the bishop as you would to Jesus Christ, it is clear to me that you are living not in the manner of men but as Jesus Christ, who died for us, that through faith in his death you might escape dying. It is necessary, therefore-and such is your practice that you do nothing without the bishop, and that you be subject also to the presbytery, as to the apostles of Jesus Christ our hope, in whom we shall be found, if we live in him. It is necessary also that the deacons, the dispensers of the mysteries [sacraments] of Jesus Christ, be in every way pleasing to all men. For they are not the deacons of food and drink, but servants of the Church of God. They must therefore guard against blame as against fire"
Ignatius of Antioch Epistle to the Trallians ch 3 [50-117 AD]
"In like manner let everyone respect the deacons as they would respect Jesus Christ, and just as they respect the bishop as a type of the Father, and the presbyters as the council of God and college of the apostles. Without these, it cannot be called a church. I am confident that you accept this, for I have received the exemplar of your love and have it with me in the person of your bishop. His very demeanor is a great lesson and his meekness is his strength. I believe that even the godless do respect him"
Ignatius of Antioch Epistle to the Trallians ch 7 [50-117 AD]
"He that is within the sanctuary is pure; but he that is outside the sanctuary is not pure. In other words, anyone who acts without the bishop and the presbytery and the deacons does not have a clear conscience"
Ignatius of Antioch Epistle to the Philadelphians ch 7 [50-117 AD]
"I cried out while I was in your midst, I spoke with a loud voice, the voice of God: 'Give heed to the bishop and the presbytery and the deacons.' Some suspect me of saying this because I had previous knowledge of the division certain persons had caused; but he for whom I am in chains is my witness that I had no knowledge of this from any man. It was the Spirit who kept preaching these words, 'Do nothing without the bishop, keep your body as the temple of God, love unity, flee from divisions, be imitators of Jesus Christ, as he was imitator of the Father'" (Letter to the Philadelphians
Ignatius of Antioch Epistle to the Smyraeans ch 8 [50-117 AD]
See that ye all follow the bishop, even as Jesus Christ does the Father, and the presbytery as ye would the apostles; and reverence the deacons, as being the institution of God. Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop. Let that be deemed a proper Eucharist, which is [administered] either by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it. Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude [of the people] also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church. It is not lawful without the bishop either to baptize or to celebrate a love-feast; but whatsoever he shall approve of, that is also pleasing to God, so that everything that is done may be secure and valid.
Teachings of the Apostles Syriac
The city of Rome, and all Italy, and Spain, and Britain, and Gaul, together with all the rest of the countries round about them, received the apostles' ordination to the priesthood from Simon Cephas, who went up from Antioch
Teachings of the Apostles Syriac
And by ordination to the priesthood, which the apostles themselves had received from our Lord, did their Gospel wing its way rapidly into the four quarters of the world.
Irenaeus of Lyons Book 4 ch 8.3 (120-180 ad)
And all the apostles of the Lord are priests, who do inherit here neither lands nor houses, but serve God and the altar continually.
Clement of Alexandria The Paedagogus Book III [150-215 AD]
"A multitude of other pieces of advice to particular persons is written in the holy books: some for presbyters, some for bishops and deacons; and others for widows, of whom we shall have opportunity to speak elsewhere"
(Clement of Alexandria The Stromata Book VI ch 13 [150-215 AD]
"Even here in the Church the gradations of bishops, presbyters, and deacons happen to be imitations, in my opinion, of the angelic glory and of that arrangement which, the scriptures say, awaits those who have followed in the footsteps of the apostles and who have lived in complete righteousness according to the gospel"
Hippolytus Appendix Cannons of Hyppolytus 31 (170-236 ad)
31. That a deacon may dispense the Eucharist to the people with permission of a bishop or presbyter.
Hippolytus Appendix Cannons of Hyppolytus 28-29 (170-236 ad)
Canon Twenty-eighth. That none of the believers should taste anything, but after he has taken the sacred mysteries, especially in the days of fasting. [+] Canon Twenty-ninth. Of the keeping of oblations which are laid upon the altar,--that nothing fall into the sacred chalice, and that nothing fall from the priests, nor from the boys when they take communion; that an evil spirit rule them not, and that no one speak in the protection, except in prayer; and when the oblations of the people cease, let psalms be read with all attention, even to the signal of the bell; and of the sign of the cross, and the casting of the dust of the altar into the pool.
Hippolytus Appendix can 37 [170-236 AD]
As often as a bishop takes of the sacred mysteries, let the deacons and presbyters be gathered together, clothed in white robes, brilliant in the view of all the people; and in like manner with a reader.
Origen on Prayer ch 18 (185-254 ad)
So, too, the apostles, and those who have become like apostles, being priests according to the Great High Priest and having received knowledge of the service of God, know under the Spirit’s teaching for which sins, and when, and how they ought to offer sacrifices, and recognize for which they ought not to do so
Cyprian of Carthage Epistle 75 par 3 [200-270 AD]
3. Wherefore, since the Church alone has the living water, and the power of baptizing and cleansing man, he who says that any one can be baptized and sanctified by Novatian must first show and teach that Novatian is in the Church or presides over the Church. For the Church is one, and as she is one, cannot be both within and without. For if she is with Novatian, she was not with Cornelius. But if she was with Cornelius, who succeeded the bishop Fabian by lawful ordination, and whom, beside the honour of the priesthood, the Lord glorified also with martyrdom, Novatian is not in the Church; nor can he be reckoned as a bishop, who, succeeding to no one, and despising the evangelical and apostolic tradition, sprang from himself. For he who has not been ordained in the Church can neither have nor hold to the Church in any way.
Cyprian of Carthage epistle 74 par 16 (200-270 ad)
But what is the greatness of his error, and what the depth of his blindness, who says that remission of sins can be granted in the synagogues of heretics, and does not abide on the foundation of the one Church which was once based by Christ upon the rock, may be perceived from this, that Christ said to Peter alone, "Whatsoever thou shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever thou shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." And again, in the Gospel, when Christ breathed on the apostles alone, saying, remitted unto them, and whose soever sins ye retain they are retained." Therefore the power of remitting sins was given to the apostles, and to the churches which they, sent by Christ, established, and to the bishops who succeeded to them by vicarious ordination. But the enemies of the one Catholic Church in which we are, and the adversaries of us who have succeeded the apostles, asserting for themselves, in opposition to us, unlawful priesthoods, and setting up profane altars, what else are they than Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, profane with a like wickedness, and about to suffer the same punishments which they did, as well as those who agree with them, just as their partners and abettors perished with a like death to theirs?
Cyprian of Carthage epistle 68 par 4 (200-270 ad)
Christ, who says to the apostles, and thereby to all chief rulers, who by vicarious ordination succeed to the apostles: "He that heareth you, heareth me; and he that heareth me, heareth Him that sent me; and he that despiseth you, despiseth me, and Him that sent me." (lk 10:16)
Cyprian of Carthage epistle 67 par 5 (200-270 ad)
For which reason you must diligently observe and keep the practice delivered from divine tradition and apostolic observance, which is also maintained among us, and almost throughout all the provinces; that for the proper celebration of ordinations all the neighbouring bishops of the same province should assemble with that people for which a prelate is ordained.
Cyprian of Carthage epistle 14 par 2 (200-270 ad)
I wrote letters in which I recalled by my advice, as much as possible, the martyrs and confessors to the Lord's commands. To the presbyters and deacons also was not wanting the vigour of the priesthood; so that some, too little mindful of discipline, and hasty, with a rash precipitation, who had already begun to communicate with the lapsed, were restrained by my interposition.
Cyprian of Carthage epistle 2 par 1 (200-270 ad)
We have been informed by Crementius the sub-deacon, who came to us from you, that the blessed father Cyprian has for a certain reason withdrawn; "in doing which he acted quite rightly, because he is a person of eminence, and because a conflict is impending," which God has allowed in the world, for the sake of cooperating with His servants in their struggle against the adversary
Cyprian of Carthage epistle 30 par 5 (200-270 ad)
However, what you also have yourself declared in so important a matter, is satisfactory to us, that the peace of the Church must first be maintained; then, that an assembly for counsel being gathered together, with bishops, presbyters, deacons, and confessors, as well as with the laity who stand fast, we should deal with the case of the lapsed
Cyprian of Carthage epistle 67 par 2 (200-270 ad)
On which account it is fitting, that with full diligence and sincere investigation those should be chosen for God's priesthood whom it is manifest God will hear.
Cyprian of Carthage epistle 54 par 14 (200-270 ad)
After such things as these, moreover, they still dare--a false bishop having been appointed for them by, heretics--to set sail and to bear letters from schismatic and profane persons to the throne of Peter, and to the chief church whence priestly unity takes its source; and not to consider that these were the Romans whose faith was praised in the preaching of the apostle, to whom faithlessness could have no access.
Eusebius of Caesarea Life of Constantine book 1 ch 32 (265-340 ad)
Moreover, he made the priests of God his counselors, and deemed it incumbent on him to honor the God who had appeared to him with all devotion
Eusebius of Caesarea Church History book 6 (265-340ad)
But the bishops of Cesarea and Jerusalem, who were especially notable and distinguished among the bishops of Palestine, considering Origen worthy in the highest degree of the honor, ordained him a presbyter.
Eusebius of Caesarea Church History book 6 ch 18 (265-340ad)
Greece on account of a pressing necessity in connection with ecclesiastical affairs, and went through Palestine, and was ordained as presbyter in Caesarea by the bishops of that country.
Peter of Alexandria Fragments 1 (260-311ad)
Since I have found out that Meletius acts in no way for the common good,--for neither is he contented with the letter of the most holy bishops and martyrs,--but, invading my parish, hath assumed so much to himself as to endeavour to separate from my authority the priests, and those who had been entrusted with visiting the needy; and, giving proof of his desire for pre-eminence, has ordained in the prison several unto himself; now, take ye heed to this, and hold no communion with him
Liturgy of the Blessed Apostles par 6
The Priest says this secret prayer in the sanctuary:- O Lord God Omnipotent, Thine is the Holy Catholic Church, inasmuch as Thou, through the great passion of Thy Christ, didst buy the sheep of Thy pasture; and from the grace of the Holy Spirit, who is indeed of one nature with Thy glorious divinity, are granted the degrees of the true priestly ordination;
Aphrahat Demonstrations 8 Of the Resurrection of the Dead par 8 (280-367 ad)
Then Moses wished by his priestly power to absolve Reuben from his transgression and sin, in that he had lain with Bilhah, his father's concubine; that when his brethren should rise, he might not be cut off from their number.
Athanasius Life of St Anthony par 67 (296-373 ad)
Added to this he was tolerant in disposition and humble in spirit. For though he was such a man, he observed the rule of the Church most rigidly, and was willing that all the clergy should be honoured above himself . For he was not ashamed to bow his head to bishops and presbyters,and if ever a deacon came to him for help he discoursed with him on what was profitable, but gave place to him in prayer, not being ashamed to learn himself.
Athanasius Letter 49 par 4 (296-373 ad)
For if all were of the same mind as your present advisers, how would you have become a Christian, since there would be no bishops? Or if our successors are to inherit this state of mind, how will the Churches be able to hold together?
Hilary of Poitiers On the Trinity book 8 par 1 (300-367 ad)
THE Blessed Apostle Paul in laying down the form for appointing a bishop and creating by his instructions an entirely new type of member of the Church, has taught us in the following words the sum total of all the virtues perfected in him:--Holding fast the word according to the doctrine of faith that he may be able to exhort to sound doctrine and to convict gainsavers. For there are many unruly men, vain talkers and deceivers. For in this way he points out that the essentials of orderliness and morals are only profitable for good service in the priesthood if at the same time the qualities needful for knowing how to teach and preserve the faith are not lacking, for a man is not straightway made a good and useful priest by a merely innocent life or by a mere knowledge of preaching.
Ephriam of Syria on Epiphany (RESP.--Blessed be He Who was baptized that He might baptize you, that ye should be absolved from your offences.) par 19 (307-373 ad)
to the priest who has toiled in baptizing,--let there come the crown of righteousness!
Cyril of Jerusalem Catechetical Lecture 23 par 4 (315-386 ad)
After this the Priest cries aloud, "Lift up your hearts." For truly ought we in that most awful hour to have our heart on high with God, and not below, thinking of earth and earthly things. In effect therefore the Priest bids all in that hour to dismiss all cares of this life, or household anxieties, and to have their heart in heaven with the merciful God. Then ye answer, "We lift them up unto the Lord:" assenting to it, by your avowal.
Cyril of Jerusalem Catechetical Lecture 16 par 22 (315-386 ad)
Consider, I pray, of each nation, Bishops, Presbyters, Deacons, Solitaries, Virgins, and laity besides; and then behold their great Protector, and the Dispenser of their gifts;--how throughout the world He gives to one chastity, to another perpetual virginity, to another almsgiving, to another voluntary poverty, to another power of repelling hostile spirits.
Council of Nicaea under Sylvester I par 4 (325 ad)
It is by all means desirable that a bishop should be appointed by all the bishops of the province. But if this is difficult because of some pressing necessity or the length of the journey involved, let at least three come together and perform the ordination, but only after the absent bishops have taken part in the vote and given their written consent. But in each province the right of confirming the proceedings belongs to the metropolitan bishop.
Council of Nicaea under Sylvester I pa 18 (325 ad)
It has come to the attention of this holy and great synod that in some places and cities deacons give communion to presbyters, although neither canon nor custom allows this, namely that those who have no authority to offer should give the body of Christ to those who do offer. Moreover it has become known that some of the deacons now receive the eucharist even before the bishops. All these practices must be suppressed. Deacons must remain within their own limits, knowing that they are the ministers of the bishop and subordinate to the presbyters. Let them receive the eucharist according to their order after the presbyters from the hands of the bishop or the presbyter.
Gregory of Nyssa Against Eunomius book 1 ch 10 (325-386 ad)
the man who ungrudgingly spent upon the poor his patrimony even before he was a priest, and most of all in the time of the famine, during which he was a ruler of the Church, though still a priest in the rank of presbyters
Basil Letter 188 par 1 (329-379 ad)
The Cathari are schismatics; but it seemed good to the ancient authorities, I mean Cyprian and our own Firmilianus, to reject all these, Cathari, Encratites, and Hydroparastatae, by one common condemnation, because the origin of separation arose through schism, and those who had apostatized from the Church had no longer on them the grace of the Holy Spirit, for it ceased to be imparted when the continuity was broken. The first separatists had received their ordination from the Fathers, and possessed the spiritual gift by the laying on of their hands. But they who were broken off had become laymen, and, because they are no longer able to confer on others that grace of the Holy Spirit from which they themselves are fallen away, they had no authority either to baptize or to ordain.
Basil Letter 6 par 2 (329-379 ad)
We do not, however, give up the body of the deaconess to the use of the flesh, as being consecrated.
Ambrose of Milan on Repentance book 1 par 6-7 (340-397 ad)
They affirm that they are showing great reverence for God, to Whom alone they reserve the power of forgiving sins. But in truth none do Him greater injury than they who choose to prune His commandments and reject the office entrusted to them. For inasmuch as the Lord Jesus Himself said in the Gospel: "Receive ye the Holy Spirit whosesoever sins ye forgive they are forgiven unto them, and whosesoever sins ye retain, they are retained," Who is it that honours Him most, he who obeys His bidding or he who rejects it?
The Church holds fast its obedience on either side, by both retaining and remitting sin; heresy is on the one side cruel, and on the other disobedient; wishes to bind what it will not loosen, and will not loosen what it has bound, whereby it condemns itself by its. own sentence. For the Lord willed that the power of binding and of loosing should be alike, and sanctioned each by a similar condition. So he who has not the power to loose has not the power to bind. For as, according to the Lord's word, he who has the power to bind has also the power to loose, their teaching destroys itself, inasmuch as they who deny that they have the power of loosing ought also to deny that of binding. For how can the one be allowed and the other disallowed? It is plain and evident that either each is allowed or each is disallowed in the case of those to whom each has been given. Each is allowed to the Church, neither to heresy, for this power has been entrusted to priests alone. Rightly, therefore, does the Church claim it, which has true priests; heresy, which has not the priests of God, cannot claim it. And by not claiming this power heresy pronounces its own sentence, that not possessing priests it cannot claim priestly power.
John Chrysostom Homily 2 on Second Timothy (347-407 ad)
I am about to say what may appear strange, but be not astonished nor startled at it. The Offering is the same, whether a common man, or Paul or Peter offer it. It is the same which Christ gave to His disciples, and which the Priests now minister. This is nowise inferior to that, because it is not men that sanctify even this, but the Same who sanctified the one sanctifies the other also. For as the words which God spake are the same which the Priest now utters, so is the Offering the same, and the Baptism, that which He gave….
Jerome Against Jovinianus book 1 par 34 (347-420 ad)
All that goes for nothing, says Jovinianus, because even bishops, priests, and deacons, husbands of one wife, and having children, were appointed by the Apostle.
Jerome Against Jovinianus book 1 par 35 (347-420 ad)
You see then that the blessedness of a bishop, priest, or deacon, does not lie in the fact that they are bishops, priests, or deacons, but in their having the virtues which their names and offices imply
Jerome dialogue against the Luciferians par 21 (347-420 ad)
Since Hilary when he left the Church was only a deacon, and since the Church is to him, though to him alone, a mere worldly multitude, he can neither duly celebrate the Eucharist, for he has no bishops or priests
Jerome Letter 82 par 4 (347-420 ad)
Before my brother's ordination he said nothing of any dogmatic difference between himself and pope Epiphanius
Jerome Letter 146 par 2 (347-420 ad)
In fact as if to tell us that the traditions handed down by the apostles were taken by them from the old testament, bishops, presbyters and deacons occupy in the church the same positions as those which were occupied by Aaron, his sons, and the Levites in the temple.
Jerome Letter 146 par 1 (347-420 ad)
I am told that some one has been mad enough to put deacons before presbyters, that is, before bishops. For when the apostle clearly teaches that presbyters are the same as bishops, must not a i mere server of tables and of widows be insane to set himself up arrogantly over men through whose prayers the body and blood of Christ are produced?
John Chrysostom Homily 18 on Acts ch 7 (347-407 ad)
Think, how good it is, when with all quietness the priest presents himself in the Church, that he may draw near unto God, and say prayers for the village, day by day, and for its owner! Say, is it a small matter, that even in the Holy Oblations evermore thy name is included in the prayers, and that for the village day by day prayers are made unto God
John Chrysostom Homily 3 on Philemon (347-407 ad)
And thou too, therefore, when thou goest to the priest, and he shall say to thee, "The Lord will have mercy on thee, my son," do not confide in the word only, but add also works. Do acts worthy of mercy, God will bless thee, my son, if indeed thou doest things worthy of blessing. He will bless thee, if thou showest mercy to thy neighbor.
John Chrysostom On Priesthood book 3 pa 6 (347-407 ad)
The Jewish priests had authority to release the body from leprosy, or, rather, not to release it but only to examine those who were already released, and you know how much the office of priest was contended for at that time. But our priests have received authority to deal, not with bodily leprosy, but spiritual uncleanness--not to pronounce it removed after examination, but actually and absolutely to take it away. Wherefore they who despise these priests would be far more accursed than Dathan and his company, and deserve more severe punishment.
John Chrysostom On Priesthood book 6 pa 2 (347-407 ad)
hedging themselves round on every side, and studying both to speak and to act with great circumspection, so that to the utmost extent of human power they may draw near to God with assurance, and with unstained purity, what power and strength, thinkest thou, does the ordained Priest need so as to be able to tear his soul away from every defilement, and to keep its spiritual beauty unsullied?
John Chrysostom On Priesthood book 3 pa 5 (347-407 ad)
For transparent madness it is to despise so great a dignity, without which it is not possible to obtain either our own salvation, or the good things which have been promised to us. For if no one can enter into the kingdom of Heaven except he be regenerate through water and the Spirit, and he who does not eat the flesh of the Lord and drink His blood is excluded from eternal life, and if all these things are accomplished only by means of those holy hands, I mean the hands of the priest, how will any one, without these, be able to escape the fire of hell, or to win those crowns which are reserved for the victorious?
John Chrysostom On Priesthood book 3 pa 9 (347-407 ad)
The divine law indeed has excluded women from the ministry, but they endeavor to thrust themselves into it; and since they can effect nothing of themselves, they do all through the agency of others; and they have become invested with so much power that they can appoint or eject priests at their will: things in fact are turned upside down, and the proverbial saying may be seen realized--"The ruled lead the rulers:" and would that it were men who do this instead of women, who have not received a commission to teach. Why do I say teach? for the blessed Paul did not suffer them even to speak in the Church.
John Chrysostom Homily 5 on First Timothy (347-407 ad)
THE office of a Teacher and that of a Priest is of great dignity, and to bring forward one that is worthy requires a divine election. So it was of old, and so it is now, when we make a choice without human passion, not looking to any temporal consideration, swayed neither by friendship, nor enmity. For though we be not partakers of so great a measure of the Spirit as they, yet a good purpose is sufficient to draw unto us the election of God. For the Apostles, when they elected Matthias, had not yet received the Holy Spirit, but having committed the matter to prayer, they chose him into the number of the Apostles.
John Chrysostom Homily 1.1 on Philippians [347-407 AD]
"[In Philippians 1:1 Paul says,] 'To the co-bishops and deacons.' What does this mean? Were there plural bishops of some city? Certainly not! It is the presbyters that [Paul] calls by this title; for these titles were then interchangeable, and the bishop is even called a deacon. That is why, when writing to Timothy, he says, 'Fulfill your diaconate' [2 Tim. 4:5], although Timothy was then a bishop. That he was in fact a bishop is clear when Paul says to him, 'Lay hands on no man lightly' [1 Tim. 5:22], and again, 'Which was given you with the laying on of hands of the presbytery' [1 Tim. 4:14], and presbyters would not have ordained a bishop"
John Cassian Institutes Book 11 ch 14 (360-435 ad)
BUT sometimes it creates a wish to take holy orders, and a desire for the priesthood or diaconate. And it represents that if a man has even against his will received this office, he will fulfil it with such sanctity and strictness that he will be able to set an example of saintliness even to other priests; and that he will win over many people, not only by his manner of life, but also by his teaching and preaching.
Augustine of Hippo City of God Book 20 ch 10 (354-430 ad)
To the words, "In them the second death hath no power," are added the words, "but they shall be priests of God and Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years;" and this refers not to the bishops alone, and presbyters, who are now specially called priests in the Church; but as we call all believers Christians on account of the mystical chrism, so we call all priests because they are members of the one Priest.
Augustine of Hippo Confessions Book 3 Ch 7 par 21 (354-430 ad)
Thou didst grant her then another answer, by a priest of Thine, a certain bishop, reared in Thy Church and well versed in Thy books.
Augustine Letter 43 ch 3 par 8 (354-430 ad)
When that has been done, and these men have been separated from the whole
Church, we shall without fear ordain another bishop over the community in Carthage; whereas, if now another bishop be ordained by us, communion will most probably be withheld from him by the Church beyond the sea, because
they will not recognise the validity of the deposition of the bishop, whose ordination was everywhere acknowledged, and with whom letters of communion had been exchanged; and thus, through our undue eagerness to pronounce without deliberation a final sentence, the great scandal of schism within the Church, when it has rest from without, may arise, and we may be found presuming to set up another altar, not against Caecilianus, but against the universal Church, which, uninformed of our procedure, would still hold
communion with him."
Sozomen Ecclesial History Book 2 Ch 2 (375-477 ad)
DURING the consulate of Constantine Caesar and Crispus Caesar, Silvester governed the Church of Rome; Alexander, that of Alexandria; and Macarius, that of Jerusalem. Not one, since Romanus? had been appointed over the Church of Antioch on the Orontes; for the persecution it appears, had prevented the ceremony of ordination from taking place.
Sozomen Ecclesial History Book 2 Ch 23 (375-477 ad)
While they were deliberating about this, some thought that a law ought to be passed enacting that bishops and presbyters, deacons and subdeacons, should hold no intercourse with the wife they had espoused before they entered the priesthood; but Paphnutius, the confessor, stood up and testified against this proposition; he said that marriage was honorable and chaste, and that cohabitation with their own wives was chastity, and advised the Synod not to frame such a law, for it would be difficult to bear, and might serve as an occasion of incontinence to them and their wives; and he reminded them, that according to the ancient tradition of the church, those who were unmarried when they took part in the communion of sacred orders, were required to remain so, but that those who were married, were not to put away their wives.
Sozomen Ecclesial History Book 2 Ch 19 (375-477 ad)
And the event has exceeded my prayer, in that so many priests of Christ have been conducted into the same place; now, it is my desire that you should be of one mind and be partakers of a consentient judgment, for I deem dissension in the Church of God as more dangerous than any other evil.
Sozomen Ecclesial History Book 7 Ch 21 (375-477 ad)
On his arrival in the Roman territories, he was placed in the ranks of the clergy, and advanced to the office of presbyter. Addas married and rendered great service to the Church.
Council of Laodicea Canon 11 (390 ad)
Presbytides, as they are called, or female presidents, are not to be appointed in the Church.
Council of Laodicea Canon 55 (390 ad)
Neither members of the priesthood nor of the clergy, nor yet laymen, may club together for drinking entertainments.
Theodoret Letter 81 (393-457 ad)
Was it that I ordained to the priesthood men of character and of honourable life?
Theodoret Ecclesial History book 5 ch 23 (393-457 ad)
For a dying bishop is not permitted to ordain another to take his place, and all the bishops of a province are ordered to be convened; again no ordination of a bishop is permitted to take place without three bishops.
Leo the Great Letter 6 ch 6 (395-461 ad)
Priests and deacons may not be ordained on weekdays any more than bishops
Apostolic Constitutions book 8 par 23 (400ad)
And I James, the son of Alphaeus, make a constitution in regard to confessors: A confessor is not ordained; for he is so by choice and patience, and is worthy of great honour, as having confessed the name of God, and of His Christ, before nations and kings. But if there be occasion, he is to be ordained either a bishop, priest, or deacon.
Apostolic Constitutions book 2 par 25 (400ad)
You, therefore, O bishops, are to your people priests and Levites, ministering to the holy tabernacle, the holy Catholic Church; who stand at the altar of the Lord your God, and offer to Him reasonable and unbloody sacrifices through Jesus the great High Priest.
Apostolic Constitutions book 3 par 9 (400ad)
For if the "man be the head of the woman," and he be originally ordained for the priesthood, it is not just to abrogate the order of the creation, and leave the principal to come to the extreme part of the body. For the woman is the body of the man, taken from his side, and subject to him, from whom she was separated for the procreation of children. For says He, "He shall rule over thee." For the principal part of the woman is the man, as being her head. But if in the foregoing constitutions we have not permitted them to teach, how will any one allow them, contrary to nature, to perform the office of a priest? For this is one of the ignorant practices of the Gentile atheism, to ordain women priests to the female deities, not one of the constitutions of Christ.
Apostolic Constitutions book 6 par 17 (400 ad)
But if they entered into the clergy before they were married, we permit them to many, if they have an inclination thereto, lest they sin and incur punishment. But we do not permit any one of the clergy to take to wife either a courtesan, or a servant, or a widow, or one that is divorced, as also the law says.
Gregory the Great Letters Book 4 letter 35 (540-604 ad)
Lastly, in order with most wicked audacity to drive catholic priests from their churches
Constantinople/Trullo/Quinisext canon 6 (692 ad)
And if any of those who enter the clergy, wishes to be joined to a wife in lawful marriage before he is ordained subdeacon, deacon, or presbyter, let it be done.