from Communion for five years; except there be need through sickness of a more speedy reconciliation." Elvira is in Spain, Neocæsarea in Pontus; these marriages were therefore condemned at that time from one end to the other of the Christian world.
St. Basil in the Eastern Church, about A.D. 373, laid it down, (Can. 23.) “That a man ought not to marry two sisters, nor a woman two brothers: that he who marries his brother's wife be not admitted to Communion till he dismiss her.” And again, (Canon 78.) “He who successively marries two sisters, must do the penance of one who divorces his wife and marries another:” which latter by our Lord's own judgment is an adulterer.
The same St. Basil, in a well-known letter to Diodorus, a Priest of Antioch, who was by some thought to be afterwards Bishop of Tarsus, argues the point at large from the chapter in Leviticus. And these Canons of his have been ever since received as the regular law of the Eastern Church, nor are they ever in any case there dispensed with.