Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. XIV:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
The Third Ecumenical Council: The Council of Ephesus.: Extracts from the Acts. Session III.
Extracts from the Acts.
(Labbe and Cossart, Concilia, Tom. III., col. 621.)
Juvenal the bishop of Jerusalem said to Arcadius and Projectus the most reverend bishops, and to Philip the most reverend presbyter; Yesterday while this holy and great synod was in session, when your holiness was present, you demanded after the reading of the letter of the most holy and blessed bishop of Great Rome, Cœlestine, that the minutes made in the Acts with regard to the deposition of Nestorius the heretic should be read. And thereupon the Synod ordered this to be done. Your holiness will be good enough to inform us whether you have read them and understand their power.
Philip the presbyter and legate of the Apostolic See said: From reading the Acts we have found what things have been done in your holy synod with regard to Nestorius. We have found from the minutes that all things have been decided in accordance with the canons and with ecclesiastical discipline. And now also we seek from your honour, although it may be useless, that what things have been read in your synod, the same should now again be read to us also; so that we may follow the formula (τύπῳ) of the most holy pope Cœlestine (who committed this same care to us), and of your holiness also, and may be able to confirm (βεβαιώσαι) the judgment.
[Arcadius having seconded Philips motion, Memnon directed the acts to be read which was done by the primicerius of the notaries.]
Philip the presbyter and legate of the Apostolic See said: There is no doubt, and in fact it has been known in all ages, that the holy and most blessed Peter, prince (ἔξαρχος) and head of the Apostles, pillar of the faith, and foundation (θεμέλιος) of the Catholic Church, received the keys of the kingdom from our Lord Jesus Christ, the Saviour and Redeemer of the human race, and that to him was given the power of loosing and binding sins: who down even to to-day and forever both lives and judges in his successors. The holy and most blessed pope Cœlestine, according to due order, is his successor and holds his place, and us he sent to supply his place in this holy synod, which the most humane and Christian Emperors have commanded to assemble, bearing in mind and continually watching over the Catholic faith. For they both have kept and are now keeping intact the apostolic doctrine handed down to them from their most pious and humane grandfathers and fathers of holy memory down to the present time, etc.
[There is no further reference in the speech to the papal prerogatives.]
Arcadius the most reverend bishop and legate of the Apostolic See said: Nestorius hath brought us great sorrow.…And since of his own accord he hath made himself an alien and an exile from us, we following the sanctions handed down from the beginning by the holy Apostles, and by the Catholic Church (for they taught what they had received from our Lord Jesus Christ), also following the types (τύποις) of Cœlestine, most holy pope of the Apostolic See, who has condescended to send us as his executors of this business, and also following the decrees of the holy Synod [we give this as our conclusion]: Let Nestorius know that he is deprived of all episcopal dignity, and is an alien from the whole Church and from the communion of all its priests.
Projectus, bishop and legate of the Roman Church said: Most clearly from the reading, etc.…Moreover I also, by my authority as legate of the holy Apostolic See, define, being with my brethren an executor (ἐκβιβαστὴς) of the aforesaid sentence, that the beforenamed Nestorius is an p. 224 enemy of the truth, a corrupter of the faith, and as guilty of the things of which he was accused, has been removed from the grade of Episcopal honour, and moreover from the communion of all orthodox priests.
Cyril, the bishop of Alexandria said: The professions which have been made by Arcadius and Projectus, the most holy and pious bishops, as also by Philip, the most religious presbyter of the Roman Church, stand manifest to the holy Synod. For they have made their profession in the place of the Apostolic See, and of the whole of the holy synod of the God-beloved and most holy bishops of the West. Wherefore let those things which were defined by the most holy Cœlestine, the God-beloved bishop, be carried into effect, and the vote cast against Nestorius the heretic, by the holy Synod, which met in the metropolis of Ephesus be agreed to universally; for this purpose let there be added to the already prepared acts the proceedings of yesterday and today, and let them be shewn to their holiness, so that by their subscription according to custom, their canonical agreement with all of us may be manifest.
Arcadius the most reverend bishop and legate of the Roman Church, said: According to the acts of this holy Synod, we necessarily confirm with our subscriptions their doctrines.
The Holy Synod said: Since Arcadius and Projectus the most reverend and most religious bishops and legates and Philip, the presbyter and legate of the Apostolic See, have said that they are of the same mind with us, it only remains, that they redeem their promises and confirm the acts with their signatures, and then let the minutes of the acts be shewn to them.
[The three then signed.]
Next: The Canons of the Two Hundred Holy and Blessed Fathers Who Met at Ephesus.
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