Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. XIV:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
The Fourth Ecumenical Council. The Council of Chalcedon.: Canon XXXI
Since the most religious bishops of Egypt have postponed for the present their subscription to the letter of the most holy Archbishop Leo, not because they oppose the Catholic Faith, but because they declare that it is the custom in the Egyptian diocese to do no such thing without the consent and order of their Archbishop, and ask to be excused until the ordination of the new bishop of the metropolis of Alexandria, it has seemed to us reasonable and kind that this concession should be made to them, they remaining in their official habit in the imperial city until the Archbishop of the Metropolis of Alexandria shall have been ordained.
And the most religious Bishop Paschasinus, representative of the Apostolic throne for Rome 298 ], said:
If your authority suggests and commands that any indulgence be shewn to them, let them give securities that they will not depart from this city until the city of Alexandria receives a Bishop.
And the most magnificent and glorious judges, and the whole Senate, said:
Let the sentence of the most holy Paschasinus be confirmed.
And therefore let them [i.e., the most religious Bishops of the Egyptians] remain in their official habit, either giving securities, if they can, or being bound by the obligation of an oath.
Ancient Epitome of Canon XXX.
It is the custom of the Egyptians that none subscribe 299 without the permission of their Archbishop. Wherefore they are not to be blamed who did not subscribe the Epistle of the holy Leo until an Archbishop had been appointed for them.
As in the case of the last so-called “canon” I have followed a usual Greek method, the wording departs but little from that of the acts (Vide L. and C., Conc., Tom. IV., col. 517).
This paragraph, like the previous one, is not a proper canon, but a verbal repetition of a proposal made in the fourth session by the imperial commissioners, improved by the legate Paschasinus, and approved by the Synod. Moreover, this so-called canon is not found in the ancient collections, and was probably added to the twenty-eight canons in the same manner and for the same reasons as the preceding.
The council could insist with all plainness on the duty of hearing before condemning (see on Canon XXIX.); yet on this occasion p. 292 bishop after bishop gave vent to harsh unfeeling absolutism, the only excuse for which consists in the fact that the outrages of the Latrocinium were fresh in their minds, and that three of the Egyptian supplicants, whom they were so eager to terrify or crush, had actually supported Dioscorus on the tragical August 8, 449. It was not in human nature to forget this; but the result is a blot on the history of the Council of Chalcedon.
These words do not occur in the Acts.291:299
i.e., a conciliar decree.
Next: Extracts from the Acts. Session XVI.
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