Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. III:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
The Ecclesiastical History, Dialogues, and Letters of Theodoret.: Stephanus Deposed.
Chapter VIII.—Stephanus Deposed.
After the judges had heard these replies, they ordered the youngest of those who had been arrested to be brought before them. Before he was subjected to the examination by scourging, he confessed the whole plot, and stated that it was planned and carried into execution by Onager. On this latter being brought in he affirmed that he had only acted according to the commands of Stephanus. The guilt of Stephanus being thus demonstrated, the bishops then present were charged to depose him, and expel him from the Church. By his expulsion the Church was not, however, wholly freed from the plague of Arianism. Leontius, who succeeded him in his presidency, was a Phrygian of so subtle and artful a disposition, that he might be said to resemble the sunken rocks of the sea 497 . We shall presently narrate more concerning him 498 .
φασὶ δὲ καὶ νήεσσιν ἁλιπλανέεσσι χερειους
τὰς ὑφάλους πέτρας τῶν φανερῶν σπιλάδων
—Anth. Pal. xi. 390.73:498
Leontius, Bishop of Antioch from a.d. 348 to 357, was one of the School of Lucianus. (Philost. iii. 15), cf. pp. 38 and 41, notes. Athanasius says hard things of him (de fug. §26), but Dr. Salmon (Dict. Christ. Biog. s.v.) is of opinion that “we may charitably think that the gentleness and love of peace which all attest were not mere hypocrisy, and may impute his toleration of heretics to no worse cause than insufficient appreciation of the importance of the issues involved.” Vide infra. chap. xix.
Next: The Second Return of Saint Athanasius.
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