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Ecclesiastical Empire

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    THE SECOND SESSION, OCTOBER 10

    33. As soon as the council had been opened, the direction was given by—ECE 166.8

    The imperial commissioners.—“Let the synod now declare what the true faith is, so that the erring may be brought back to the right way.”ECE 167.1

    The bishops protesting.—No one can venture to draw up a new formula of the faith, but that which has already been laid down by the Fathers [at Nice, Constantinople, and the first of Ephesus] is to be held fast. This must not be departed from.”ECE 167.2

    Cecropius, bishop of Sebastopol.—“On the Eutychian question a test has already been given by the Roman archbishop, which we [that is, he and his nearest colleagues] have all signed.”ECE 167.3

    All the bishops, with acclamation.—“That we also say, the explanation already given by Leo suffices; another declaration of faith must not be put forth.”ECE 167.4

    The imperial commissioners.—“Let all the patriarchs [the chief bishops] come together, along with one or two bishops of their province, and take common counsel respecting the faith, and communicate the result, so that, by its universal acceptance, every doubt in regard to the faith may be removed, or if any believe otherwise, which we do not expect, these may immediately be made manifest.”ECE 167.5

    The bishops.—“A written declaration of faith we do not bring forward. This is contrary to the rule” [referring to the command of the first Council of Ephesus].ECE 167.6

    Florentius, bishop of Sardes.—“As those who have been taught to follow the Nicene Synod, and also the regularly and piously assembled synod at Ephesus, in accordance with the faith of the holy fathers Cyril and Celestine, and also with the letter of the most holy Leo, can not possibly draw up at once a formula of the faith, we therefore ask for a longer delay; but I, for my part, believe that the letter of Leo is sufficient.”ECE 167.7

    Cecropius.—“Let the formulas be read in which the true faith has already been set forth.”ECE 167.8

    34. This suggestion was adopted. First the Nicene Creed, with its curse against the Arian heresy, was read, at the close of which,—ECE 167.9

    The bishops, unanimously.—“That is the orthodox faith, that we all believe, into that we were baptized, into that we also baptize; thus Cyril taught, thus believes Pope Leo.”ECE 167.10

    35. Next was read the Creed of Constantinople, and with similar acclamations it was unanimously indorsed. Then were read the two letters which Cyril had written, and which were a part of the record of the Inquisition upon Eutyches. Lastly there was read the letter of Leo. When Leo’s letter was read, it was cheered to the echo, and again roared—ECE 167.11

    The bishops.—“It is the belief of the Fathers—of the apostles—so believe we all! Accursed be he that admits not that Peter has spoken by the mouth of Leo! Leo has taught what is righteous and true, and so taught Cyril. Eternal be the memory of Cyril! Why was not this read at Ephesus! It was suppressed by Dioscorus!”ECE 167.12

    36. The bishops of Illyricum and Palestine, however, said that there were some passages—three, it proved—in the letter of Leo of which they had some doubts. The truth of those passages was confirmed by statements which Cyril had made to the same effect.ECE 168.1

    The imperial commissioners.—“Has any one still a doubt?”ECE 168.2

    The bishops, by acclamation.—“No one doubts.”ECE 168.3

    37. Still there was one bishop who hesitated, and requested that there might be a few days’ delay that the question might be quietly considered and settled; and as the letter of Leo had been read, that they might have a copy of the letter of Cyril to Nestorius, that they might examine them together.ECE 168.4

    The council—If we are to have delay, we must request that all the bishops in common shall take part in the desired consultation.”ECE 168.5

    The commissioners.—“The assembly is put off for five days, and the bishops shall, during that time, meet with Anatolius of Constantinople, and take counsel together concerning the faith, so that the doubting may be instructed.”ECE 168.6

    38. As the council was about to be dismissed, some bishops entered a request that the bishops who had taken a leading part in the late Council of Ephesus, should be forgiven!ECE 168.7

    The petitioning bishops.—“We petition for the Fathers that they may be allowed again to enter the synod. The emperor and the empress should hear of this petition. We have all erred; let all be forgiven!”ECE 168.8

    39. Upon this “a great commotion again arose, similar to that at the beginning of the council over the introduction of Theodoret:”—ECE 168.9

    The clergy of Constantinople shouted.—“Only a few cry for this, the synod itself says not a syllable.”ECE 168.10

    The Orientals cried out.—“Exile to the Egyptian!”ECE 168.11

    The illyrians.—“We beseech you, pardon all!”ECE 168.12

    The Orientals.—“Exile to the Egyptian!”ECE 168.13

    The Illyrians.—“We have all erred; have mercy on us all! These words to the orthodox emperor! The churches are rent in pieces.”ECE 168.14

    The clergy of Constantinople.—“To exile with Dioscorus; God has rejected him. Whoever has communion with him is a Jew.”ECE 168.15

    40. In the midst of this uproar, the imperial commissioners put an end to the session. The recess continued only two days instead of five, for THE THIRD SESSION WAS HELD OCTOBER 13.ECE 169.1

    41. The first step taken at this session was by Eusebius of Dorylaeum, who proudly stepped forward to secure by the council his vindication as the champion of orthodoxy. He presented a petition to the council in which, after repeating his accusation against Dioscorus, he said:—ECE 169.2

    “I therefore pray that you will have pity upon me, and decree that all which was done against me be declared null, and do me no harm, but that I be again restored to my spiritual dignity. At the same time anathematize his evil doctrine, and punish him for his insolence according to his deserts.”ECE 169.3

    42. Following this, Dioscorus was charged with enormous crimes, with lewdness and debauchery to the great scandal of his flock; with styling himself the king of Egypt, and attempting to usurp the sovereignty. Dioscorus was not present, and after being summoned three times without appearing, Leo’s legates gave a recapitulation of the crimes charged against him, and then pronounced the following sentence:—ECE 169.4

    “Leo, archbishop of the great and ancient Rome, by us and the present synod, with the authority of St. Peter, on whom the Catholic Church and orthodox faith are founded, divests Dioscorus of the episcopal dignity, and declares him henceforth incapable of exercising any sacerdotal or episcopal functions.” 21[Page 169] Bower, “History of the Popes,“Leo, par. 40.ECE 169.5

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