The adherents of Hosius, 1250 in the meantime, assembled together, and declared them innocent: Athanasius, because unjust machinations had been carried on against him by those who had convened at Tyre; and Marcellus, because he did not hold the opinions with which he was charged; and Asclepas, because he had been re-established in his diocese by the vote of Eusebius Pamphilus and of many other judges; that this was true he proved by the records of the trial; and lastly, Lucius, because his accusers had fled. They wrote to the parishes of each of the acquitted, commanding them to receive and recognize their bishops. They stated that Gregory had not been nominated by them bishop of Alexandria; nor Basil, bishop of Ancyra; nor Quintianus, bishop of Gaza; and that they had not received these men into communion, and did not even account them Christians. They deposed from the episcopates, Theodore, bishop of Thrace; Narcissus, bishop of Irenopolis; Acacius, bishop of Cæsarea, in Palestine; Menophantus, bishop of Ephesus; Ursacius, bishop of Sigidunus in Mœsia; Valens, bishop of Mursia in Pannonia; and George, bishop of Laodicea, although this latter had not attended the Synod with the Eastern bishops. They ejected the above-named individuals from the priesthood and from communion, because they separated the Son from the substance of the Father, and had received those who had been formerly deposed on account of their holding the Arian heresy, and had, moreover, promoted them to the highest offices in the service of God. After they had excided them for these perversions and decreed them to be aliens to the Catholic Church, they afterwards wrote to the bishops of every nation, 1251 commanding them to confirm these decrees, and to be of one mind on doctrinal subjects with themselves. They likewise compiled another document of faith, which was more copious than that of Nicæa, although the same thought was carefully preserved, and very little change was made in the words of that instrument. Hosius and Protogenes, who held the first rank among the Western bishops assembled at Sardica, fearing perhaps lest they should be suspected of making any innovations upon the doctrines of the Nicene council, wrote to Julius, 1252 and testified that they were firmly attached to these doctrines, but, pressed by the need of perspicuity, they had to expand the identical thought, in order that the Arians might not take advantage of the brevity of the document, to draw those who were unskilled in dialectics into some absurdity. When what I have related had been transacted by each party, the conference was dissolved, and the members returned to their respective homes. This Synod was held during the consulate of Rufinus and Eusebius, and about eleven years after the death of Constantine. 1253 There were about three hundred 1254 bishops of cities in the West, and upwards of seventy-six Eastern bishops, among whom was Ischyrion, who had been appointed bishop of Mareotis by the enemies of Athanasius.
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