The Emperor Theodosius And The T
The Emperor Theodosius was appointed colleague of Gratian and Valentinian
II, 378. He issued in conjunction with these emperors an edict (Cod.
Theod., XVI, 1, 2; cf. Cod. Just., I, 1, 1, v. infra, § 72, b,
e), requiring all subjects of the Empire to hold the orthodox faith in
the Trinity. He then called a council of Eastern bishops to meet at
Constantinople in 381 to settle the question as to the succession to the
see of that city and to confirm the creed of Nicaea as the faith of the
Eastern half of the Church. Gregory of Nazianzus was appointed bishop of
Constantinople, but was forced to resign, having formerly been bishop of
Sasima, from which he had been translated in violation of the Nicene
canons. As soon as it was apparent that the bishops would have to accept
the Nicene faith the thirty-six Macedonians withdrew. Their opinion as to
the Holy Spirit, that He was not divine in the same sense that the Son was
divine, was condemned, without express statement of the point condemned,
as was also the teaching of Apollinaris as to the nature of Christ. The
council was not intended to be an ecumenical or general council, and it
was not regarded as such even in the East until after the Council of
Chalcedon, A. D. 451, and then probably on account of the creed which was
then falsely attributed to the Fathers of Constantinople. In the West the
council was not recognized as an ecumenical council until well into the
sixth century. (See Hefele, § 100.) The council issued no creed and made
no additions to the Nicene creed. It published a tome, since lost, setting
forth the faith in the Trinity. It enacted four canons, of which only the
first three are of general application.
Additional source material: Percival, Seven Ecumenical Councils
(PNF); Theodoret, Hist. Ec., V, 6-9; Socrates, Hist. Ec., V,
8; Basil, De Spiritu Sancto (PNF), Hefele, §§ 95-100.
(a) Council of Constantinople, A. D. 381, Canons, Bruns, I, 20. Cf.
Kirch, nn. 583 ff.
The text of the canons of the council may be found in Hefele, §
98, and also in Bruns. The Translations and Reprints of the
University of Pennsylvania give translations. For the address of
the council to Theodosius, see § 72, b. The fourth canon is of a
merely temporary importance.
Canon 1. The faith of the three hundred and eighteen Fathers who were
assembled at Nicaea in Bithynia shall not be set aside but shall remain
dominant. And every heresy shall be anathematized, especially that of the
Eunomians or Anomoeans, the Arians or Eudoxians, the semi-Arians or
Pneumatomachians, the Sabellians, Marcellians, Photinians, and
Canon 2. The bishops are not to go beyond their dioceses to churches lying
outside of their bounds, nor bring confusion on churches; but let the
bishop of Alexandria, according to the canons, alone administer the
affairs of Egypt; and let the bishops of the East manage the East alone,
the privileges of the church in Antioch, which are mentioned in the canons
of Nicaea, being preserved; and let the bishops of the Asian diocese
administer the Asian affairs only; and the Pontic bishops only Pontic
matters; and the Thracian bishops only Thracian matters. And let not the
bishops go beyond their dioceses for ordination or any other
ecclesiastical ministrations, unless they be invited. And the aforesaid
canon concerning dioceses being observed, it is evident that the synod of
each province will administer the affairs of that particular province as
was decreed at Nicaea. But the churches of God in heathen nations must be
governed according to the custom which has prevailed from the time of the
Canon 3. The bishop of Constantinople, however, shall have the prerogative
of honor after(123) the bishop of Rome; because Constantinople is New
(b) Cyril of Jerusalem, Creed. (Cf. MSG, 35:533.) Cf. Hahn, § 124.
The clauses which are here given are the headings of the sixth to
the eighteenth Catechetical Lectures of Cyril of Jerusalem in
which the writer expounded the baptismal creed of Jerusalem. This
creed is approximately reconstructed by bringing together the
headings. Its date is circa 345. It should be compared with the
creed of the church of Salamis, in the next selection. They are
the precursors of what is now known as the Nicene creed,
incorrectly attributed to the Council of Constantinople A. D. 381.
We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and
of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the only begotten, begotten
of the Father, true God, before all the ages, through whom all things were
Incarnate and made man; crucified and buried;
And rose again the third day;
And ascended into heaven;
And sat on the right hand of the Father;
And shall come again in glory to judge the quick and the dead, of whose
kingdom there shall be no end.
And in one Holy Ghost, the Paraclete, who spake by the prophets;
And in one baptism of repentance for remission of sins;
And in one holy Catholic Church;
And in the resurrection of the flesh;
And in the life eternal.
(c) Epiphanius, Ancoratus, chs. 119 f. (MSG, 43:252.) Cf. Hahn, §
Epiphanius, bishop of Salamis, was the most important of the
hereseologists of the Fathers, gathering to form his work on
heresies some scores of heterodox systems of teachings. His
passion for orthodoxy was taken advantage of by Theophilus of
Antioch to cause trouble for Chrysostom and others; see
Origenistic controversy, § 87. The Ancoratus, from which the
following creed is taken, is a statement of the Catholic faith
which, amidst the storms of the Arian controversy, should serve as
an anchor of salvation for the Christians. The date of the
following creed, which has come to be known as the Salaminium, is
374. It is evidently based upon that of Jerusalem given by Cyril.
We believe in one God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth and
of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, begotten of
the Father before all worlds, that is, of the substance of the Father,
light of light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one
substance [homoousios] with the Father; by whom all things were made, both
those in heaven and those on earth; who for us men and for our salvation
came down from heaven and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost and the Virgin
Mary, and was made man; He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and
suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the
Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the
Father; and He shall come again in glory to judge the quick and the dead;
of whose kingdom there shall be no end.
And in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and giver of life, who proceedeth from the
Father, who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and
glorified, who spake by the prophets; and in one holy Catholic and
Apostolic Church; we acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins;
and we look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to
But those who say there was a time when He was not, and He was not before
He was begotten, or He was made of nothing, or of another substance or
essence [hypostasis or ousia], saying that the Son of God is effluent or
variable--these the Catholic and Apostolic Church anathematizes.
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