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Eutychius, Patriarch of Constantinople, opposed it likewise, and laboured in vain to undeceive the Emperor. He was driven from his See and another put in his place, and all the patriarchs and many other bishops refused to sign their approbation (26). When the Oriental bishops were required to subscribe, they said they would follow the example of Anastasius, Patriarch of Antioch, and Justinian, therefore, used every effort to induce him to agree to it, but he sent the Emperor an answer in which he learnedly proved that the body of Christ, as to the natural and innocent passions, was corruptible, and when informed that it was the Emperor's intention to banish him, he prepared a sermon to take leave of his people, but he never published it, as Justinian died at midnight, the 13th of November, 566, the eighty-fourth year of his age, after a reign of thirty-nine years and eight months (27). a

10. Cardinal Baronius (28) says that the Emperor's death was sudden and unexpected, but it was most serviceable to the Einpire, which was daily falling from bad to worse, God revenging the injuries inflicted on the bishops of his Church, and preventing, by

, his death, that fire from spreading, which he enkindled. Evagrius and Nicephorus (29) remark, that he died just at the time he had decreed the exile of St. Anastasius and other Catholic priests, although the order had not been yet promulgated. This Evagrius, a contemporaneous author, as Örsi (30) remarks, gave it as his deliberate opinion that Justinian, having filled the world and the Church with tumult and confusion, only received from God, in the end, that condign punishment his crimes deserved. Baronius adds (31), that although the name of Justinian was not removed from the Ecclesiastical Registers, like that of other heretics, and though the sixth Council and several Pontiffs had entitled him Pious and Catholic, we should not be surprised if his falling off from the Faith was not published in any public decree. However, his other crimes, the banishment of so many bishops, his cruelties to so many innocent persons, his acts of injustice in depriving so many of their properties, prove that he was, at all events, unjust and sacrilegious, if not a heretic.

11. Besides these sects of the Acephali, another sect of the Acemetic* monks sprung up in this century. This was another sprout of Nestorianisın, and it was thus discovered. During the reign of Pope Horinisdas, the Scythian monks took on themselves

(26) Eragr. l. 4, n. 33. (27) Fleury, l. c. n. 11. (28) Baron. Ann. 565, 9. 1. (29) Evagr. 6. 4, c. 40; Niceph. h 16, c. 31. (30) Orsi, l. 19, b. 42, n. 84. (31) Baron. loc cit. n. 3.

* Acemetic, or sleepless monks, were a celebrated order in the East. They were called the sleepless, because night and day they kept up Divine psalmody without intermission ; the community was divided into three sections, and each spent eight hours out of the twenty-four singing the praises of God. --TRANS.

to sustain, as a necessary article of Faith, that one of the Trinity was made flesh, and they sent a deputation to Rome to get a decreo from the Pope to that effect; he, however (32), refused to accede to their wishes, dreading that some leaven of Eutychianism might be concealed in the proposition, and that they wished besides to throw discredit on the Council of Chalcedon and the Epistle of St. Leo, as deficient in the definition of the expressions necessary to condemn the Nestorian and Eutychian heresy. On the other hand, that proposition was embraced by all the Oriental Churches as a touchstone against the Nestorian heresy, and was impugned by the Acemetic monks alone, who, it is true, in the time of Zeno and Anastasius, had fought strenuously against the heresy of Eutyches, but becoming too warm against the Eutychians, began to agree with the Nestorians, not alone denying that one of the Trinity was made flesh, but that the Son of God suffered in his flesh, and that the Blessed Virgin was really and truly the Mother of God (33).

12. The Emperor Justinian undertook the defence of the proposition upheld by the monks of Scythia, and wrote to Pope John II, for his approbation, and gave his letter in charge to two bishopsIgnatius, Archbishop of Ephesus, and Demetrius of Philippi. When the Acemetic monks got a knowledge of this proceeding, they sent two of their body to Rome-Cyrus and Eulogiusto defend their cause (34); so Pope John had the matter most particularly examined. We know, for certain, that Anatolius, deacon of the Roman Church, wrote to Ferrandus, a deacon in Africa, a man of most profound learning and of great sanctity, who, having previously expressed a doubt as to whether this proposition was admissible or not, now, after a rigorous examination, answered that there should be no hesitation in admitting it. Among other proofs, he adduces the words of St. Paul: “ Take heed to yourselves and to the whole flock wherein the Holy Ghost hath placed you bishops, to rule the Church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood” (Acts, xx. 28). Now when the Apostle says that God hath shed his blood, every one must understand that he shed the blood of the flesh he had taken from the Virgin, and that it is not God the Father, nor God the Holy Ghost, but God the Son, who has done so, as the Scripture declares in several places: "For God so loved the world as to give his only begotten Son” (John, iii. 16): “ He hath spared not even his own Son, but delivered him up for us all" (Rom. viii. 32): if, therefore, we can say that God has shed his blood for us, we can also say that one of the Persons of the Trinity shed his blood and suffered in the flesh. After a rigorous examination, therefore, Pope John answered the Emperor, and authentically gave his approbation to the proposition, that one of

(32) Orsi, t. 17, 1. 39, n. 123. Orsi, ibid. n. 24.

(33) Orsi, loe. cit.

(34) Fleury, t. 5, 1. 32, n. 35 ;


the Trinity suffered in the flesh. He then strove to get the Acemetic monks who had come to Rome, to accept his definition, but they obstinately refused, and he was obliged to separate them from the communion of the Church (35). We should remark that the letter of Pope John did not contradict the letter of Pope Hormisdas, for this Pope did not condemn the proposition, but only withheld his approbation for just causes, lest, as Roncaglia says, a hasty definition at the time might divide some from the unity of the Church (36).



13. Condemnation of the Three Chapters of Theodore, Ibas, and Theodoret. 14, 15. De

fended by Vigilius. 16. Answer to the Objection of a Heretic, who asserts that one Council contradicts another.

13. It was during this sixth century that the controversy about the Three Chapters was carried on. These, were: First. - The books of Theodore of Mopsuestia, in which it was clear he taught the heresy of Nestorius (supra, cap. v. n. 48); Second.—The letter of Ibas to Maris of Persia, in which he condemned alike St. Cyril and Nestorius, and praised Theodore of Mopsuestia : and, Thirdly. - The writings of Theodoret, Bishop of Cyrus, against the twelve anathematisms of St. Cyril. This controversy grievously disturbed the Church, but it was put at rest by the condemnation of these Three Chapters, in the year 553, in the fifth General Council, the second of Constantinople. The Emperor Justinian hurried on the condemnation of Theodore and his writings, the letter of Ibas to Maris the Persian, and the writings of Theodoret against St. Cyril, and finally, the sentence received the approbation of Pope Vigilius, in his famous Constitutum. Danæus (1) says that Vigilius was op

. posed to the celebration of this Council, but as he had not the power to prevent it, and foresaw that a ruinous schism would spring from his objection, he gave his assent, and, confirmed by the assent of the Holy See, it now

ranks among the Ecumenical Councils. 14. Pope Vigilius was blamed for his conduct in regard to this Council, and for so frequently changing his judgment regarding the condemnation of the Three Chapters, but Cardinal Norris (2), after relating all his changes, defends him-as does Peter of Marcaand says that his inconstancy was not weakness but prudence.

Vigilius," he says, “ was a most tenacious upholder of Pontifical authority, even setting at defiance the Sovereign himself, as appears from his actions. He is reproached with inconstancy of mind, and too great a facility in changing his opinions, for in the case of the


(35) Fleury, t. 5, l. 32, n. 39 ; Gotti, t. 2, loc. cit. c. 77, l. 1. 3; Orsi, loc. cit. n. 128. (36) Roncaglia, Not. apud. ; Nat. Alex. t. 11, c. 3, ar. (1) Danes. ; Nat. Temp.

(2) De Norris ; Diss. Histor. de Syn. v. c. d.

p. 255.

Three Chapters he was often inconsistent, and more than once was opposed to his previous opinions. In the beginning, while he was yet in Sicily, he defended the Three Chapters; but, if we are to believe Victor, he had already promised to Theodora Augusta that he would condemn them. When he came to Constantinople he suspended Menna for condemning the Three Chapters; but he was soon after reconciled to him, and juridically condemned them himself. Three years after he revoked his judgment, published a new Constitution, and denied that they could be condemned; but he held this opinion for only a few months, for he forwarded an epistle to Eutyches, declaring the Constitution of no effect, and coming to the Synod, he proscribed the Three Chapters." That most

learned man, Peter of Marca (lib. ii., De Concordia Sacerdotii & Imperii, cap. 13), testifies that this inconstancy of Vigilius has been considered prudence by the learned; he calls it dispensation, for at one time he acted up to the rigour of law and canons, and then again dispensed with them for the sake of Faith and public tranquillity.

15. Peter of Marca, therefore, says that the Popes at all times, in questions relating to discipline, have acted according to the rules of prudence; sometimes, when necessary, using all the rigour of the canon, at other times the dispensing power-called by the Greeks, Economy, by the Latins, Dispensation—to preserve the union of the faithful and the peace of the Church. Cardinal Orsi (3) remarks, besides, that it was the last Constitution or Judgment alone that was proposed to the Church by Vigilius as a peremptory decree, and, theologians say, pronounced ex Cathedra. He was unwilling, at first, to condemn the Three Chapters, because he feared to give a handle to the Nestorians to throw discredit on the Council of Chalcedon, which, it was said, approved of the Three Chapters; but when, on one hand, he perceived that the Eutychians more vigo. rously attacked the Council of Chalcedon, which they said (though it was not the case) had approved of these Chapters; and, on the other, the Nestorians, laying hold of that, boasted that this Council was favourable to the doctrine of Nestorius; then, indeed, he was convinced that it was necessary to condemn them absolutely, and he accordingly gave a decree to that effect, in unison with the Fathers of the Council of Constantinople, which is, therefore, as Tournelly says (4), considered one of the Ecumenical Councils, as it was approved of by Vigilius, and also by some of his successors, as Pelagius II., Leo II., &c., and Photius, according to Orsi, mentions the same thing in his writings.

16. How does it happen though, says Maclain, the annotator of Mosheim (5), that in the Council of Chalcedon the writings of Ibas and Theodoret were not condemned, and they themselves were


(3) Orsi, t. 7, 1. 39, n. 84. (4) Tournelly, Theol. Comp. t. 3 ; append. a. 2, de Con. Constan. 2, p. 998. (5) Mosheim, Hist. Eccles. Centur. 6, par. 2, c. 3, p. 839.

praised for the purity of their Faith, and, for all that, the Council of Constantinople condemns their writings ? the decision of the Council of Constantinople then is, he says, opposed to that of Chalcedon, and is a proof that both the Councils and the Doctors differ among themselves. Thus, he endeavours to prove the fallibility of General Councils of the Catholic Church, as these two Councils were opposed to each other. But as Selvaggi, in his sixteenth note, very fairly remarks, this is altogether false, for the Three Chapters were not approved of by the Council of Chalcedon ; in fact, as Tournelly also remarks, they were neither approved nor rejected; they were altogether passed over in that Council, lest, by condemning them, more disturbance would be raised in the Church, already distracted by the Nestorians. Peter of Marca explains the omission of the condemnation, on the authority of St. Cyril (6). Cyril, he says, prudently teaches that rigorous rules must sometimes be tempered by dispensation, as people at sea frequently throw some of their merchandise overboard to preserve the rest; and in his Epistle to Proclus of Constantinople, he tells hin that the Council of Ephesus acted in this manner, for the Synod, indeed, condemned the heretical impiety, but in this condemnation prudently abstained from mentioning the name of Theodorus, lest many, led away by their respect for his person, would forsake the Church itself.

17. Juenin (7) tells us that the books of Origen were demned in this Council, and the following errors of his especially were noted: First.—That the souls of men are created before they are united to their bodies, and that they are joined to the body as a place of punishment. Second.—That the heavens, the sun, the moon, the stars, and the waters above the heavens, are animated and reasoning powers. Third.—That in the general resurrection, our bodies will arise all in a round form, and that the pains of the damned and of the devils will have an end some time or other. Fourth.—That in some future ages Jesus Christ will be again crucified for the devils, and that the wicked spirits who are in heaven will inflict this suffering on him. Juenin also remarks that the condemnation of these erroneous doctrines does not appear clearly, from the original Acts of the second Council of Constantinople, as in the edition of L'Abbe, but that Cardinal Norris clearly shows that they were condemned there, though Garner maintains that it was not in this Council they were condemned at all, but in the Constantinopolitan Council, celebrated under Menna.


(6) Mos. loc. cit.

(7) Juenin, Theol. t. 1, ar. 5, s. 2, ver. Quinto.

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