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Canons of the seven ecumenical councils

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30.

 Whereas the most reverent Bishops of Egypt postponed subscribing to the epistle of the most holy Archibishop Leo for the present, not because they opposed the catholic faith, but on the allegation that it is a custom in the diocese of Egypt to do nothing of this sort without the consent and formal approval of their Archbishop, and therefore request to be excused until the one who is to be the Bishop for the great city of the Alexandrians has been ordained: it has appeared to us reasonable and consonant with the spirit of philanthropy that they be excused and allowed to remain upon the like habit in the Imperial City till an Archbishop has been ordained for the great city of the Alexandrians. Let them therefore give security that they will not leave this city till the city of the Alexandrians has been accomodated with a bishop.

 

Interpretation.

It has been written in Act 4 of the present Council that after the deposition of Dioscorus, the Patriarch of Alexandria, ten (or, as others say, thirteen) bishops of the same Patriarch of Alexandria anathematized Eutyches and Dioscorus himself, and their dogmas; but they could not be prevailed upon to subscribe to the letter of St. Leo, the Pope of Rome, which he had sent to the Patriarch of Constantinople St. Flavian (and which, as we have said, was called a pillar of Orthodoxy because it contained all the Orthodox belief of the faith), not because he was opposed to the Orthodox dogma which it contained, but because they asserted that it was a custom in the diocese (or see) of Alexandria’s Patriarch for his bishops[114] not to make any move without first consulting him and obtaining his consent and approval. Yet the prelates in the Council would not believe these things even after they had heard them asserted by the Alexandrians, but, on the contrary, they even suspected the latter to be heterodox heretics and sought to depose them. But the ruler and the Senate, having conceived something more humane as regarded these men, advised the Council not to depose them, but to give them time within which to remain as they were, undeposed, that is to say, in the Imperial City until another Archbishop of Alexandria could be ordained (for, as we have said, the Archbishop of Alexandria Dioscorus had previously been deposed). Yielding to the advice of the rulers, the Council decreed that they should remain as they were and demanded security that they would not leave the city of Constantinople until the Archbishop of Alexandria had been ordained. The one who became ordained Archbishop of Alexandria as the successor of Diocorus was Apolinarius (though this name is commonly spelled Apollinaris in English), and the latter was succeeded by Proterius (see p. 241 of the second volume of the Collection of the Councils.[115] See also Ap. cc. XX and XXXIV.

 

 




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