Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. XIV:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
The Third Ecumenical Council: The Council of Ephesus.: The Definition of the Holy and Ecumenical Synod of Ephesus Against the Impious Messalians Who are Also Called Euchetæ and Enthusiasts.
p. 240 The Definition of the Holy and Ecumenical Synod of Ephesus Against the Impious Messalians Who are Also Called Euchetæ and Enthusiasts.
(Found in Latin only. Labbe and Cossart, Concilia, Tom. III., col. 809.)
When the most pious and religious bishops, Valerian and Amphilochius had come to us, they proposed that we should consider in common the case of the Messalians, that is the Euchetes or Enthusiasts, who were flourishing in Pamphylia, or by what other name this most contaminating heresy is called. And when we were considering the question, the most pious and religious bishop Valerian, presented to us a synodical schedule which had been drawn up concerning them in the great city of Constantinople, under Sisinnius of blessed memory: What we read therein was approved by all, as well composed and as a due presentation of the case. And it seemed good to us all, and to the most pious bishops Valerian and Amphilochius and to all the most pious bishops of the provinces of Pamphylia and Lycaonia, that all things contained in that Synodical chart should be confirmed and in no way rescinded; also that the action taken at Alexandria might also be made firm, so that all those who throughout the whole province are of the Messalian or Enthusiastic heresy, or suspected of being tainted with that heresy, whether clerics or laymen, may come together; and if they shall anathematize in writing, according to the decrees pronounced in the aforesaid synod [their errors], if they are clergymen they may remain such; and if laymen they may be admitted to communion. But if they refuse to anathematize, if they were presbyters or deacons or in any other ecclesiastical grade, let them be cast out of the clergy and from their grade, and also from communion; if they be lay-men let them be anathematized.
Furthermore those convicted of this heresy are no more to be permitted to have the rule of our monasteries, lest tares be sown and increase. And we give command that the most pious bishops Valerian and Amphilochius, and the rest of the most reverend bishops of the whole province shall pay attention that this decree be carried into effect. In addition to this it seemed good that the filthy book of this heresy, which is called the “Asceticon,” should be anathematized, as composed by heretics, a copy of which the most religious and pious Valerian brought with him. Likewise anything savouring of their impiety which may be found among the people, let it be anathema.
Moreover when they come together, let there be commended by them in writing such things as are useful and necessary for concord, and communion, and arrangement (dispositionem vel dispensationem). But should any question arise in connexion with the present business, and if it should prove to be difficult and ambiguous, what is not approved by the most pious bishops Valerian and Amphilochius, and the other bishops throughout the province, they ought to discuss all things by reference to what is written. And if the most pious bishops of the Lycians or of the Lycaonians shall have been passed over; nevertheless let not a Metropolitan be left out of whatever province he may be. And let these things be inserted in the Acts so that if any have need of them they would find how also to expound these things more diligently to others.
Next: Note on the Messalians or Massalians.
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