This holy and ecumenical synod altogether forbids those who are called “players,” and their “spectacles,” as well as the exhibition of hunts, and the theatrical dances. If any one despises the present canon, and gives himself to any of the things which are forbidden, if he be a cleric he shall be deposed, but if a layman let him be cut off.
Ancient Epitome of Canon LI.
Whose shall play as an actor or shall attend theatrical representations or hunts shall be cut off. Should he be a cleric he shall be deposed.
Some one will enquire why canon xxiiij. decrees that those in holy orders and monks, who are constantly attending horse-races, and p. 389 scenic plays, are to cease or be deposed: but the present canon says without discrimination, that those who give themselves over to such things if clergymen are to be deposed, and if laymen to be cut off. The solution is this. It is one thing and more easily to be endured, that a man should be present at a horse-race, or be convicted of going to see a play; and another thing, and one that cannot be pardoned, that he should give himself over to such things, and to exercise this continually as his business. Wherefore those who have once sinned deliberately, are admonished to cease. If they are not willing to obey, they are to be deposed. But those who are constantly engaged in this wickedness, if they are clerics, they must be deposed from their clerical place, if laymen they must be cut off.