Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. II: The Ecclesiastical History of Socrates Scholasticus.: John is expelled from his Church by a Synod held at Chalcedon on account of his Dispraise of Women.Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
Chapter XV.—John is expelled from his Church by a Synod held at Chalcedon on account of his Dispraise of Women.
When Epiphanius was gone, John was informed by some person that the Empress Eudoxia had stimulated Epiphanius against him. And being of a fiery temperament, and of a ready utterance, he soon after pronounced a public invective against women in general. The people readily took this as uttered indirectly against the empress and so the speech was laid hold of by evil-disposed persons, and reported to those in authority. At length on being informed of it the empress immediately complained to her husband, telling him that the insult offered to herself was equally an insult against him. The emperor therefore authorized Theophilus to convoke a Synod without delay against John; Severian also co-operated in promoting this, for he still retained his grudge against Chrysostom. Not long time accordingly intervened before Theophilus arrived, having induced several bishops from different cities to accompany him; these however had been summoned by the emperors orders also. Many of the bishops in Asia John had deposed when he went to Ephesus and ordained Heraclides. Accordingly they all by previous agreement assembled at Chalcedon in Bithynia. Cyrinus was at that time bishop of Chalcedon, an Egyptian by birth, who said many things to the bishops in disparagement of John, denouncing him as the impious, the haughty, the inexorable. They indeed were very much satisfied at these denunciations. But Maruthas bishop of Mesopotamia having involuntarily trod on Cyrinus foot, he was severely hurt by it and was unable to embark with the rest for Constantinople, but remained behind at Chalcedon. The rest crossed over. Now Theophilus had so openly avowed his hostility to John, that none of the clergy would go forth to meet him, or pay him the least honor; but some Alexandrian sailors happening to be on the spot—for at that time the grain transporting vessels were there—greeted him with joyful acclamations. He excused himself from entering the church, and p. 149 took up his abode at one of the imperial mansions called The Placidian. Then on this account a torrent of accusations began to be poured forth against John; for no mention was now made of Origen, but all were intent on urging a variety of criminations, many of which were ridiculous. Preliminary matters being thus settled, the bishops were convened in one of the suburbs of Chalcedon, a place called The Oak, 874 and immediately cited John to answer the charges which were brought against him. He also summoned Serapion the deacon; Tigris the eunuch presbyter, and Paul the reader, were likewise summoned to appear there with him, for these men were included in the impeachments, as participators in his guilt. And since John taking exception to those who had cited him, on the ground of their being his enemies, refused to attend, 875 and demanded a general council, without delay they repeated their citation four times in succession; and as he persisted in his refusal to meet them as his judges, always giving the same answer, they condemned him, and deposed him without assigning any other cause for his deposition but that he refused to obey the summons. This decision on being announced towards evening, incited the people to a most alarming sedition; insomuch that they kept watch all night, and would by no means suffer him to be removed from the church, but cried out that his cause ought to be determined in a larger assembly. A decree of the emperor, however, commanded that he should be immediately expelled, and sent into exile; which as soon as John was apprised of, he voluntarily surrendered himself about noon unknown to the populace, on the third day after his condemnation: for he dreaded any insurrectionary movement on his account, and was accordingly led away.
Hence this is called the Synod at the Oak (Synodus ad Quercum). See Hefele, History of the Church Councils, Vol. II. p. 430.149:875
For a similar action of Athanasius based on the same reason, see I. 31.
Next: Sedition on Account of John Chrysostom's Banishment. He is recalled.
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