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Council Of Ephesus Pdf Download
A Synod of priests gives witness to the presence of the Holy Spirit. For true is that which we read, since the Truth cannot lie, to wit, the promise of the Gospel; Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. And since this is so, if the Holy Spirit is not absent from so small a number how much more may we believe he is present when so great a multitude of holy ones are assembled together! Every council is holy on account of a peculiar veneration which is its due; for in every such council the reverence which should be paid to that most famous council of the Apostles of which we read is to be had regard to. Never was the Master, whom they had received to preach, lacking to this, but ever was present as Lord and Master; and never were those who taught deserted by their teacher. For he that had sent them was their teacher; he who had commanded what was to be taught, was their teacher; he who affirms that he himself is heard in his Apostles, was their teacher. This duty of preaching has been entrusted to all the Lord's priests in common, for by right of inheritance we are bound to undertake this solicitude, whoever of us preach the name of the Lord in various lands in their stead for he said to them, Go, teach all nations. You, dear brethren, should observe that we have received a general command: for he wills that all of us should perform that office, which he thus entrusted in common to all the Apostles. We must needs follow our predecessors. Let us all, then, undertake their labours, since we are the successors in their honour. And we show forth our diligence in preaching the same doctrines that they taught, beside which, according to the admonition of the Apostle, we are forbidden to add anything. For the office of keeping what is committed to our trust is no less dignified than that of handing it down.
I exhort you, most blessed brethren, that love alone be regarded in which we ought to remain, according to the voice of John the Apostle whose relics we venerate in this city. Let common prayer be offered to the Lord. For we can form some idea of what will be the power of the divine presence at the united intercession of such a multitude of priests, by considering how the very place was moved where, as we read, the Twelve made together their supplication. And what was the purport of that prayer of the Apostles? It was that they might receive grace to speak the word of God with confidence, and to act through its power, both of which they received by the favour of Christ our God. And now what else is to be asked for by your holy council, except that you may speak the Word of the Lord with confidence? What else than that he would give you grace to preserve that which he has given you to preach? That being filled with the Holy Ghost, as it is written, you may set forth that one truth which the Spirit himself has taught you, although with various voices.
Therefore we put off the assembling [of the council] after the appointed day of the Holy Pentecost for sixteen whole days; in the meanwhile many of the bishops and clerics were overtaken with illness, and much burdened by the expense, and some even died. A great injury was thus being done to the great Synod, as your holiness easily perceives. For he used perversely such long delay that many from much greater distances arrived before him.
But when all with zeal had come together, Nestorius alone was found missing from the council, thereupon the holy Synod sent him admonition in accordance with the canons by bishops, a first, second, and third time. But he surrounding his house with soldiers, set himself up against the ecclesiastical laws, neither did he show himself, nor give any satisfaction for his iniquitous blasphemies.
19. In November of 430, Emperor Theodosius formally announced his final approval to call for an ecumenical council to consider the whole issue of the Nestorian controversy. He decided that the council would be held at Ephesus on the Pentecost of 431 (which was on June 7th that year). He appointed Count Candidianus as the head of the imperial palace guard to represent the Emperor, to supervise the proceedings of the Council, and to keep good order in the city of Ephesus. However, the Emperor instructed him not to interfere in the theological proceedings. Although Candidianus was instructed to be neutral, he proved to be biased towards Nestorius.
4. On Sunday, June 21, 431, Saint Cyril sent an invitation to all the bishops, who had already arrived, to start the council meetings. Count Candidian protested along with 68 bishops led by Theodoret of Cyrus. But Saint Cyril proceeded with preparation for the opening of the council which took the whole day of Sunday the 21st. A special delegation was sent to Nestorius to summon him as the defendant.
4. Nestorius sent a formal appeal to the Emperor complaining and protesting about what happened in the Council and asked the Emperor to dissolve the Council and call another council to be held near in or near Constantinople, which would only have one or two expert theologians from each province, who could debate issues of Faith calmly and without prejudice.
John of Antioch arrived in Ephesus on Friday, June 26. He was very disappointed when he heard about the opening of the Council and its resolutions. He called his bishops to meet with Nestorius and his own bishop. A total of 43 bishops attended. The Council of Ephesus sent a delegation to John and his bishops informing them about the meeting of the Council and its resolutions. John and his bishops refused to receive the delegation and he proceeded in his own council. Count Candidian read the official letter of the Emperor, but John of Antioch considered his little council (of 43 bishops) as the legal council of Ephesus. The little council accused Cyril and Memnon of causing disorder in the city. The meeting focused on the 12 Anathemas of Saint Cyril. Theodoret of Cyrus criticized the Anathemas. The bishops of the Little Council also declared that the 12 Anathemas were in agreement, in the main, with the wickedness of Arius, Apollinarius and Eunomios. They excommunicated and deposed Saint Cyril and Bishop Memnon of Ephesus. Letters were prepared to be sent to the Imperial Court and the people of Constantinople. The people of Ephesus rejected the decree of the Little Council and resisted the attempt of John of Antioch and his bishops to consecrate a new bishop in Ephesus to replace Memnon.
2. Palladius returned to Constantinople with a delegation from the council of the majority, who presented their case to the Emperor. Count Irenaeus made a personal visit to the Royal Court on behalf of his friend, Nestorius. By this time, the Emperor received the acts of the Little Council. Theodosius decided to ratify the resolution of the two councils and accept their respective depositions of Nestorius, Cyril and Memnon.
Three authors in a 2006 chapter use Chalcedon as a case study in how the church councils were unruly and violent affairs, and kept under Imperial control. Take the link to the bookChristianMartyrdom, Persecution, and Orthodoxy, sign in with your UTL credentials, and look for the chapter on the Council of Chalceodn.
From about 350 to 451, theologians and leaders of Eastern Christianity were absorbed in oftentimes fierce controversies about the relation of the divine and human natures in the person of Jesus Christ. In 451 the Emperor convened an ecumenical council at Chalcedon (now a district of the city of Istanbul, east of the Bosporus) which published a defining statement on the issue.. Like most conciliar statements, however, this one didn't solve the issue for everyone. Instead, it led to schisms which have never been healed. Thus the year 451 doesn't represent the end of quarreling, but a landmark turning-point. In modern ecumenical conversations many have concluded that the schisms weren't so much about theological differences as about the highly political and sometimes brutal way that the Byzantine Empire tried to enforce Chalcedon.
Since Christianity by the fifth century had become the Imperial religion, theological debates that divided the Church also divided the Empire, and were a political threat. So the Emperor called an ecumenical council in 431 at Ephesus, marked by a bit of theological reflection and a whole lot of political manuevering. It condemned Nestorianism.
Quarreling continued, and the Emperor called another council at Ephesus in 449 which fully accepted the mainline Alexandrian position. Eastern Orthodoxy and western Christianity have never accepted this council as a legitimate ecumenical council.
There then occurred one of those apparently random events that change the course of church history. The Emperor, Theodosius II, seen here on one of his coins, fell from his horse and died. His sister Pulcheria (shown on the coin to the right), who was sympathetic to the Anticoochenes, became Empress. Since she was the first woman to ascend the Roman throne, her position was tenuous, so she married. In 451 she and her husband convened a council at Chalcedon, which was near enough to Constantinople to be safely under their control. It defined as orthodox the position that Jesus Christ has two natures, human and divine, in one person, without confusion and without separation. Note the negative character of the definition: without confusion and without separation. The Chalecedonian definition didn't define how the two natures of Christ were related but how they were not. Take the link to read the Chalcedonian definition.
For western Christians, the first four ecumenical councils – Nicea 325, Constantinople 380, Ephesus 430, Nicea 451 – are the most important ones, since they establish the foundational doctrine of the Trinity and of the natures and person of Jesus Christ. For mainline Protestants, they are often serve as the only recognized ecumenical councils. 350c69d7ab