Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. III:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
The Ecclesiastical History, Dialogues, and Letters of Theodoret.: Of the Council held at Seleucia in Isauria.
Chapter XXII.—Of the Council held at Seleucia in Isauria.
After a time, at the suggestion of the accusers of Eudoxius, Constantius ordered the synod to be held at Seleucia. This town of Isauria lies on the seashore and is the chief town of the district. Hither the bishops of the East, and with them those of Pontus in Asia, were ordered to assemble. 575
p. 87 The see of Cæsarea, the capital of Palestine, was now held by Acacius, who had succeeded Eusebius. He had been condemned by the council of Sardica, but had expressed contempt for so large an assembly of bishops, and had refused to accept their adverse decision. At Jerusalem Macarius, whom I have often mentioned, was succeeded by Maximus, a man conspicuous in his struggles on behalf of religion, for he had been deprived of his right eye and maimed in his right arm. 576
On his translation to the life which knows no old age, Cyrillus, an earnest champion of the apostolic decrees, 577 was dignified with the Episcopal office. These men in their contentions with one another for the first place brought great calamities on the state. Acacius seized some small occasion, deposed Cyrillus, and drove him from Jerusalem. But Cyrillus passed by Antioch, which he had found without a pastor, and came to Tarsus, where he dwelt with the excellent Silvanus, then bishop of that see. No sooner did Acacius become aware of this than he wrote to Silvanus and informed him of the deposition of Cyrillus. Silvanus however, both out of regard for Cyrillus, and not without suspicion of his people, who greatly enjoyed the strangers teaching, refused to prohibit him from taking a part in the ministrations of the church. When however they had arrived at Seleucia, Cyrillus joined with the party of Basilius and Eustathius and Silvanus and the rest in the council. But when Acacius joined the assembled bishops, who numbered one hundred and fifty, he refused to be associated in their counsels before Cyrillus, as one stripped of his bishopric, had been put out from among them. There were some who, eager for peace, besought Cyrillus to withdraw, with a pledge that after the decision of the decrees they would enquire into his case. He would not give way, and Acacius left them and went out. Then meeting Eudoxius he removed his alarm, and encouraged him with a promise that he would stand his friend and supporter. Thus he hindered him from taking part in the council, and set out with him for Constantinople.
“Now that the Semiarians were forced to treat with their late victims on equal terms, they agreed to hold a general Council. Both parties might hope for success. If the Homœan influence was strong at Court, the Semiarians were strong in the East, and could count on some help from the Western Nicenes. But the Court was resolved to secure a decision to its own mind. As a Council of the whole Empire might have been too independent, it was divided. The Westerns were to meet at Ariminum in Italy, the Easterns at Seleucia in Isauria.” “It was a fairly central spot, and easy of access from Egypt and Syria by sea, but otherwise most unsuitable. It was a mere fortress, lying in a rugged country, where the spurs of Mount Taurus reach the sea. Around it were the ever-restless marauders of Isauria.” “The choice of such a place is as significant as if a Pan-Anglican synod were called to meet at the central and convenient port of Souakim.”
Gwatkin “The Arian Controversy.” pp. 93–96.
The Council met here a.d. 359.87:576
He appears to have been less conspicuous for consistency in the Arian Controversy. At Tyre he is described by Sozomen and Socrates as assenting to the deposition of Athanasius but Rufinus (H. E. i. 17) tells the dramatic story of the successful interposition of the aged and mutilated Paphnutius of the Thebaid, who took his vacillating brother by the hand, and led him to the little knot of Athanasians. Sozomen (iv. 203) represents him as deposed by Acacius for too zealous orthodoxy, and replaced by Cyril, then a Semiarian. Jerome agrees with Theodoret, and makes Cyril succeed on the death of Maximus in 350 or 351. (Chron. ann. 349.)87:577
Sozomen and Socrates are less favourable to his orthodoxy. In his favour see the synodical letter written by the bishops assembled at Constantinople after the Council in 381, and addressed to Pope Damasus, which is given in the Vth book of our author, Chapter 9. He was engaged in a petty controversy with Acacius on the precedence of the sees of Cæsarea and Ælia (Jerusalem), and in 357 deposed. On appeal to the Council of Seleucia he was reinstated, but again deposed by Constantius, partly on the pretended charge of dealing improperly with a robe given by Constantine to Macarius, which Theodoret records later (Chap. xiii.) Restored by Julian he was left in peace under Jovian and Valentinian, exiled by Valens, and restored by Theodosius. He died in 386, and left Catechetical lectures, a Homily, and an Epistle, of which the authenticity has been successfully defended, and which vindicate rather his orthodoxy than his ability. cf. Canon Venables. Dict. Ch. Biog. s.v.
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