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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. II: The Ecclesiastical History of Sozomen.: Marcellus Bishop of Ancyra; his Heresy and Deposition.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter XXXIII.—Marcellus Bishop of Ancyra; his Heresy and Deposition.

At the same period, Marcellus, bishop of Ancyra, 1205 in Galatia, was deposed and cast out of the Church by the bishops assembled at Constantinople, because he had introduced some new doctrines, whereby he taught that the existence of the Son of God commenced when He was born of Mary, and that His kingdom would have an end; he had, moreover, drawn up a written document wherein these views were propounded. Basil, a man of great eloquence and learning, was invested with the bishopric of the parish of Galatia. They also wrote to the churches in the neighboring regions, to desire them to search for the copies of the book 1206 written by Marcellus, and to destroy them, and to lead back any whom they might find to have embraced his sentiments. They stated that the work was too voluminous to admit of their transcribing the whole in their epistle, but that they inserted quotations of certain passages in order to prove that the doctrines which they had condemned were there advocated. Some persons, however, maintained that Marcellus had merely propounded a few questions which had been misconstrued by the adherents of Eusebius, and represented to the emperor as actual confessions. Eusebius and his partisans were much irritated against Marcellus, because he had not consented to the definitions propounded by the Synod in Phœnicia, nor to the regulations which had been made in favor of Arius at Jerusalem; and had likewise refused to attend at the consecration of the Great Martyrium, in order to avoid communion with them. In their letter to the emperor, they dwelt largely upon this latter circumstance, and brought it forward p. 282 as a charge, alleging that it was a personal insult to him to refuse attendance at the consecration of the temple which he had constructed at Jerusalem. The motive by which Marcellus was induced to write this work was that Asterius, who was a sophist and a native of Cappadocia, had written a treatise in defense of the Arian doctrines, and had read it in various cities, and to the bishops, and likewise at several Synods where he had attended. Marcellus undertook to refute his arguments, and while thus engaged, he, either deliberately or unintentionally, fell into the opinions of Paul of Samosata. He was afterwards, however, reinstated in his bishopric by the Synod of Sardis, after having proved that he did not hold such sentiments.


Footnotes

281:1205

Soc. i. 36. Soz. has more detail as to Asterius, and better order; both probably took from the same source. Compare the attitude of Athan. toward Marcellus.

281:1206

Hil. Fragm. ii. 22, gives the title of this work as de Subjectione Domini Christi. Eus. Pamp. wrote a refutation of this book.


Next: Death of Constantine the Great; he died after Baptism and was buried in the Temple of the Holy Apostles.

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