Eusebius, however, could by no means remain quiet, but as the saying is, left no stone unturned, in order to effect the purpose he had in view. He therefore causes a Synod to be convened at Antioch in Syria, under pretense of dedicating the church which the father of the Augusti had commenced, and which his son Constantius had finished in the tenth year after its foundations were laid, but with the real intention of subverting and abolishing the doctrine of the homoousion. There were present at this Synod ninety bishops from various cities. Maximus, however, bishop of Jerusalem; who had succeeded Macarius, did not attend, recollecting that he had been deceived and induced to subscribe the deposition of Athanasius. Neither was Julius, bishop of the great Rome, 267 there, nor had he sent a substitute, although an ecclesiastical canon 268 commands that the churches shall not make any ordinances against the opinion of the bishop of Rome. This Synod assembled at Antioch in presence of the emperor Constantius in the consulate of Marcellus and Probinus, 269 which was the fifth year after the death of Constantine, father of the Augusti. Placitus, otherwise called Flaccillus, successor to Euphronius, at that time presided over the church at Antioch. The confederates of Eusebius had previously designed to calumniate Athanasius; accusing him in the first place of having acted contrary to a canon which they then constituted, in resuming his episcopal authority without the license of a general council of bishops, inasmuch as on his return from exile he had on his own responsibility taken possession of the church; and then because a tumult had been excited on his entrance and many were killed in the riot; p. 39 moreover that some had been scourged by him, and others brought before the tribunals. Besides they brought forward what had been determined against Athanasius at Tyre.
The word canon here is evidently used in its general sense. There is no record of any enactment requiring the consent of the bishop of Rome to the decisions of the councils before they could be considered valid. There may have been a general understanding to that effect, having the force of an unwritten law. In any case the use of the word by Socrates is quite singular, unless we assume that he supposed there was such an enactment somewhere, as is implied by its use ordinarily.38:269
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