'''Deposition''' is the removal of a man from [[clergy|clerical]] office and return to the rank of [[laity|layman]]. When a cleric is deposed, he is no longer a member of the clergy and may not function in that role. Deposition is performed only by the [[bishop|episcopacy]], and it is often the [[canon law|canonical penalty]] for committing acts of immorality or disobedience.
Clerics may be deposed by means of a formal, canonical process via a [[spiritual court]], but they may also be deposed by more "existential" means, e.g., by [[apostasy|leaving the Church]]. In either case, any action on the part of the episcopacy is really just a recognition of the self-deposition that a man has taken upon himself by means of his actions.
Orthodox theology of [[ordination]] does not teach that an "indelible mark" is conferred as in [[Roman Catholic Church|Roman Catholicism]]. Rather, because the function of the clergy is only within the context of the Church community and as an extension of the authority of the [[bishop]] (or in the case of a bishop, of the whole episcopacy), when a cleric is deposed, he is really no longer a clergyman.