V. THE COUNCIL OF CHALCEDON. – 62. -A Council is assembled in Chalcedon, under the Emperor Martian, and the Pope St. Leo. 63.-The cause of Dioscorus is tried in the first Session. 64.-He is Condemned. 65. -Articles of Faith defined in opposition to the Eutychian Heresy, according to the Letter of St. Leo. 66.-Privileges granted by the Council to the Patriarch of Constantinople. 67-Refused by St. Leo. 68.-Eutyches and Dioscorus die in their obstinacy. 69.-Theodosius, head of the Eutychians in Jerusalem. 70.-His Cruelty. 71 .-Death of St. Pulcheria and of Martian. 72.-Timothy Eleurus intruded into the See of Alexandria. 73.-Martyrdom of St. Proterius, the true Bishop. 74.-Leo succeeds Marcian in the Empire. 7o.-Eleurus is expelled from the See of Alexandria, and Timothy Salofacialus is elected. 76.-Zeno is made Emperor; he puts Basiliscus to death. Eleurus commits suicide. 77.-St. Simon Stilites. 78.-His happy Death. 79.-Peter the Stammerer intruded into the See of Alexandria.


  1. Marcian was proclaimed Emperor on the 24th of August, in the year 450, and on assuming the Imperial power, recognizing in his elevation the work of God, he, at once, began to advance His glory, and try every means to banish heresy from his dominions. With that intention, he wrote two letters to Pope Leo, praying him to convoke a Council, and preside at it in person, or, at all events, to send his Legates, and strive to give peace to the Church. St. Pulcheria wrote to St. Leo, likewise, and informed him of the translation of the body of St. Flavian to Constantinople, and, also, that Anatolius, the Patriarch of that city, had already subscribed the letter he, the Pope, had sent to St. Flavian, against the heresy of Eutyches; that all who had been banished were now recalled; and she prayed him, to do what was in his power to have the Council celebrated (1). The Pope was highly delighted that what he sought for so anxiously, during the reign of Theodosius, was now in his power, but he requested that the Council should be put off for a time, for the Huns, under Attila, overran Italy, and the Bishops could not, with safety, proceed to the place of meeting.

(1) Fleury, t. 4, l. 27, n. 48, in fin.

The barbarians were soon after defeated by the Franks, and St. Leo now set about convening the Council, and, at once, sent as his Legates to Constantinople, Pascasinus, Bishop of Lilibeum, in Sicily, Julian of Cos, Lucentius of Ascoli, and Basil, and Boniface, Priests of the Roman Church (2). The Emperor, at first, was desirous that the Council should be held in Nice, but, for just reasons, he was satisfied afterwards that it should be transferred to Chalcedon. This Council was celebrated in the year 451, in the great Church of St. Euphemia, Virgin, and Martyr; and St. Leo (3) says, it was attended by six hundred Bishops; but Liberatus and Marcellinus (4) tell us, the number was six hundred and thirty; and Nicephorus (5) raises it to six hundred and thirty-six.

  1. The first matter the Council deliberated on in the first Session, held on the 8th of October, 451, was the examination of the conduct of the impious Dioscorus. He went to the Synod with the hope that his party would be still all-powerful through the Bishops who subscribed the acts of the Cabal of Ephesus, but Pascasinus standing up, said that Dioscorus should not take his seat in the Council, but should present himself as a criminal, to be judged; and seeing him then seated among the Bishops, he called on the Judges and the Senate to have him expelled, otherwise he and his colleagues would leave the Council. The Imperial ministers demanded from the Legate his reasons for calling for the expulsion of Dioscorus, and then Lucentius, another of the Legates, answered that he had dared to summon a Synod, without the authority of the Apostolic See, which never was lawful, nor ever before done (6). Dioscorus then took his seat in the middle of the church, and Eusebius of Dorileum, likewise, as his accuser, on account of the sentence pronounced against himself and against St. Flavian, and he demanded that the Acts of the Council of Ephesus should be read. The letter of the Emperor for the convocation of the Council was first read, and Theodoret, on account of his writings against St. Cyril, was at first prevented from taking his place among the Fathers, but as St. Leo and the Emperor Marcian, had re-established him in his See, he was introduced as one of the members.

(2) Orsi, t. 14, l. 35, n. 28 & 29. (3) St. Leo, Epis. 52. (4) Lib. Brev. c. 13, & Mar. in Chron (5) Vide. Nat. Alex. t. 10, c.4, a. 13, s. 17. (6) Acta, Con. Chal.

His enemies, however, immediately began tumultuously to oppose his admission, so the Imperial Officers ordered him to sit also in the middle as an accuser, but without prejudice to his rights, and he was afterwards re-established in his See by the Council itself, after anathematizing the errors of Nestorius, and subscribing the definition of Faith, and the Epistle of the Pope, St. Leo (7). The Acts of the Latrodnium of Ephesus were next read, and the Profession of Faith of St. Flavian, and the Imperial Judges asked the Council if it was Catholic. The Legates answered in the affirmative, as it coincided with the letter of St. Leo. Many of the Bishops then, who sat with Dioscorus’s party, went over to the other side, but he, though left alone almost, as only a few Egyptian Bishops held on to him, still persevered in maintaining the Eutychian errors, and asserting that after the union of the Divinity with the humanity of Christ, we should not say those were two Natures, but only one in the Incarnate Word. When the reading of the Acts was finished, the Imperial Minister declared that the innocence of St. Flavian and Eusebius of Dorileurn, was fully established, and that those Bishops who had caused them to be deposed, should undergo the same sentence themselves, and thus the first Synod was concluded (8).

  1. The second Synod was held on the 10th of October, to decide on the Faith that should be held; the two creeds of Nice and Constantinople, the letter of St. Leo, and the two letters of St. Cyril, were read, and the Bishops then exclaimed : ” We all believe the same. Peter has spoken by the mouth of Leo; anathema to him who does not believe likewise.” A petition, presented by Eusebius, against the injustice practised by Dioscorus, was then read, but he had left the church. Three Bishops were sent to summon him before the Council, but on various false pretences he refused to appear, though cited three times. The Legates, then, in the name of the Pope, declared him excommunicated and deposed from his Bishopric, and all the Bishops, both verbally and in writing, confirmed the sentence, which was sanctioned, likewise, by Marcian and St. Pulcheria (9).

(7) Orsi, l. 23, n. 45, 47 & 70. (8) Orsi, ibid, l. 49. 17; Orsi, ibid, . 50 & 55. (9) Nat. Alex. t. 10, c. 3, ar. 13, s.

Some monks of the Eutychian party now presented themselves before the Synod; the principal among them were Carosus, Dorotheus, and Maximus. When these and their party entered the church (and among them was Barsumas, at whose appearance the Bishops all cried out : ” Out with the murderer of St. Flavian”, they impudently demanded that Dioscorus and the other Bishops who came with him from Egypt, should be admitted as members of the assembly, and in case this demand was rejected, they would separate themselves, they said, from the communion of the Council. They received for answer, that in that case they would be deposed, and that if they persevered in disturbing the Church, they would be punished, as creators of sedition, by the secular power; but as they pertinaciously persevered, the Council gave them thirty days to consider themselves, at the expiration of which they would be punished as they deserved (10).

  1. After this, the Bishops subscribed the Dogmatical Epistle, of St. Leo, and set about definitively arranging the articles of Faith in opposition to the heresy of Eutyches; a formula composed by Anatolius, Patriarch of Constantinople, and some other Bishops, was read, but was not received by the Pope’s Legates (11), for it said that Christ was in two Natures, but it did not say that he was of two Natures. The Bishops, who pertinaciously declared that nothing should be added to the ancient Symbols, were thus reasoned with by the Judges; Dioscorus, said they, is satisfied that it should be declared that Christ is in two Natures, but will not allow that he is of two Natures; on the other hand, St. Leo says, that there are in Christ two Natures united, without confusion or divisibility; whom then will you follow, Leo or Dioscorus? Then all cried out: ” We believe as Leo believes; he has properly expounded the Faith; whosoever contradicts it is an Eutychian.” The judges then added : “So you agree to the definition, according to the judgment of our Holy Father, that there are in Christ two Natures, united without confusion or division.”

(10) Orsi, t. 14, l.33, n. 59, 60. (11) Orsi, t, 14, 1. 33, n. 62. Orsi, loc. cit. n. 61. (12) Fleury t. 4, l. 28, n. 21;

Thus the clamours were finally stopped, and a formula adopted (12), in which it was declared, that the Fathers took for the rule of their definition, the Symbols of the two Councils of Nice and Constantinople, which were also the rule for that adopted in the Council of Ephesus, in which Pope Celestine and St. Cyril presided; in continuation it was said, that although the forementioned Symbols were sufficient for the full knowledge of the Faith, nevertheless, as the inventors of new heresies had adopted new expressions, and corrupting the doctrine of the Mystery of the Incarnation, some of them denied to the Virgin the title of the Mother of God, and others taught, that the nature of the Divinity and of the humanity were one and the same, and, that the Divine Nature was passible in Christ, therefore the holy Council confirmed both the Faith of the three hundred and eighteen Fathers of Nice, and of the one hundred and fifty Fathers of Constantinople; and, as the Council of Constantinople has added some words to the Creed of Nice, not because it was deficient in anything essential, but more clearly to explain the doctrine regarding the Holy Ghost, in opposition to those who denied the Divinity of the third Person of the Trinity, thus, with a similar intention, the Council of Chalcedon, in opposition to those who wish to corrupt the doctrine of the Incarnation, and say, that one Nature alone was born of the Virgin, or deny two Natures to Christ, besides the two forenamed Symbols admits the Synodical letter of the Blessed Cyril, and lastly, the letter of St. Flavian, against the errors of Eutyches, which corresponds with the letter of St. Leo, in which these are condemned, who divide the ” Only-begotten” into two Sons; and those who attribute the Passion to his Divine Nature; and those who, of the Divinity and the humanity, make one Nature alone; and those, who say the flesh of Christ is celestial, or of any other substance than flesh; and those, who blasphemously teach, that before the union there were two Natures in Christ, but only one after the union. The Council, therefore, teaches that there is only one Lord Jesus Christ, in two Natures, without division, without change, and without confusion; that the difference of the two Natures was never removed on account of the union, but that each remains properly the same, both one and the other concurring in one person alone, and in one substance, so that Jesus Christ is not divided into two persons, but is always the same, only Son, and only-begotten Word, God.

The Council finally prohibited the teaching or holding of any other Faith, or any other Symbol to be composed for the use of the Catechumens, renewing after this manner the order of the Council of Ephesus, notwithstanding the abuse Dioscorus made of it. When the definitive decree was read, it was uniformly received by all the Fathers, and first the Legates, and next all the Metropolitans, put their signatures to it (13).

  1. When all these matters had been defined, the Council made other regulations, and, especially in the sixteenth and last Session, by the twenty-eighth Canon, the privilege of ordaining the Metropolitans of Pontus, of Asia, and of Thrace, who were, before, subject to the Patriarch of Antioch, was confirmed to Anatolius, Patriarch of Constantinople. This privilege was already granted to the Bishop of Constantinople, by a Council of one hundred and fifty Bishops, held in that city, in the time of Theodosius the Great, on the plea, that as Constantinople had become the seat of Empire, and the second Rome in the East, it was only proper that it should be decorated with the Primacy of honour, second only to Rome itself, especially as it was already in possession of the honour for sixty or seventy years past. The Legate Pascasinus, Bishop of Lilibeum, opposed this Canon. It was, he said, contrary to the ancient Canons of the Church, and especially to the sixth Canon of the Council of Nice, in which it was recognized that the Church of Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem, took precedence of Constantinople, not to speak of the Church of Rome, which always enjoyed the Primacy; but notwithstanding the opposition, the Fathers remained firm to the arrangement they decreed (14).
  2. The Bishops then wrote to St. Leo, giving him a statement of all that was done in the Council, and asking for his confirmation of their proceedings. In the Synodical Epistle, they recognize the Pope as the faithful interpreter of St. Peter, and acknowledge that he presided at the Synod as the head over the members. They first praise his Epistle, and next inform him of the sentence fulminated against Dioscorus, on account of his obstinacy, and the re-union of the repentant Bishops, and all these things, they said, were effected with the assistance of the Pontifical Vicars.

(13) Orsi, t. 14, I. 33, . 66. (14) Orsi, t. 14, l. 33, n. 78 & 79.

They made some other regulations, they said, on the presumption that his Holiness would confirm them, and, especially, they confirmed the Primacy of honour to the Archbishop of Constantinople, for the reasons already stated (15). Besides this Synodical letter, the Emperor Marcian, St. Pulcheria, and Anatolius, wrote without the least delay to St. Leo, begging him, notwithstanding the opposition of the Legate, to confirm the twenty-eighth Canon of the Council, in favour of the See of Constantinople (16); but, although he was extremly desirous of obliging Marcian and St. Pulcheria, still, he never would agree to the violation of the Canons of the Council of Nice, and he answered them, that the prerogatives of the See of Antioch should be preserved (17).

  1. Before we go any further, we shall relate the fate of Eutyches and Dioscorus. Eutyches was banished by order of the Emperor, in 450, but being confined in the vicinity of the city of Constantinople, St. Leo (Ep. 75, edit. Rom.) wrote to St. Pulcheria (18), and afterwards to Marcian (Epis. 107), that he heard from Julian of Cos, that even in his exile, he continued to infect the people with his pestilent doctrines, and continued to disseminate his errors; he, therefore, besought the Emperor to banish him to some deserted neighbourhood. The Emperor complied with this request of the Pope; Eutyches was banished to a distant place, and there died as he lived, in sinful obstinacy (19). Dioscorus was banished to Gangres, in Paphlagonia, and soon after died without repentance, on the 4th of September, 454, leaving some impious writings, composed by him, in favour of the Eutychian heresy, which were afterwards condemned to be burnt by the Emperor Marcian (20).
  2. The followers of Eutyches and Dioscorus continued for many ages to disturb the Church, and there were several among these leaders of perdition, who excited others, and caused a great deal of harm. The Council of Chalcedon was scarcely over, when some monks from Palestine, who refused submission to the decree of the Council, excited several other monks of that country to join them, proclaiming that the Council had taken the part of Nestorius, obliging the faithful to adore two Persons in Christ, as they had decided on two Natures.

(15) Orsi, l. cit. n. 84. (16) Orsi, l. cit. n. 82 & 63. (17) Fleury, t. 14, l. 28, n. 33; Orsi, n. 86. (18) Orsi, t. 14, l. 33, n. 4; Fleury, ibid. l. 28, n. 55. (19) Berni. t. 1, c. 6, p. 534. (20) Orsi, t. 14, l. 33, n. 55, in fin. 133.

The chief of these was a monk of the name of Theodosius (21), who was expelled by his Bishop from his monastery, on account of his vices, but still retained the monastic habit. He succeeded in gaining over to his side a great many monks in Palestine, through favour of Eudoxia, the widow of the Emperor Theodosius, who after his death retired to that country, to spend the remainder of her days (22). I have said he gained over a great many monks, but not all of them, for, as Evagrius (23) relates, there were very many among those solitaries, who led a most holy life, and we cannot, therefore, believe that all followed the impious Theodosius. When Juvenal returned from the Council, to his See of Jerusalem, he strove in vain to bring these blinded men to reason, but instead of succeeding, they not only did not repent, but had the audacity to attempt to force him to anathematize the Council and St. Leo, and on his refusal, collected a mob of the most depraved characters, and took possession of Jerusalem; they burned several houses, killed a number of persons, opened the prisons, and closed the gates of the city, to prevent the escape of Juvenal, and then proceeded to elect the wretch Theodosius Bishop of the See (24).

  1. When Theodosius was thus so iniquitously placed in the Episcopal throne of Jerusalem, he endeavoured to have Juvenal assassinated, and employed a wretch for that purpose, but this assassin, as he could not come at Juvenal, who escaped to Constantinople, joined some other wretches along with him, and killed St. Saverianus, Bishop of Schytopolis, (commemorated in the Roman Martyrology, on the 21st of February), and some of his adherents. He next set about establishing himself in his usurped See, by persecuting all who opposed his tyranny; some he caused to be cruelly tormented, he burned the houses of others, and, in particular, he put to death a Deacon of the name of Athanasius, and not satisfied with his murder, had his body dragged through the city, and cast to the dogs. Athanasius is commemorated in the Martyrology, on the 5th of July (25). He next set out on a visitation through the Dioceses of the Patriarchate, accompanied by the monks of his party, and many others of dissipated characters, who spread desolation and destruction wherever they went.

(21) Evag. 1. 2, c. 5. (22) Ap. Orsi, t. 14, L 35, n. 91. (23) Evag. l. 1, c. 31. (24) Orsi, l. cit. n. 90. (25) Orsi, t. 14, /. 33, n. 94.

He drove several Bishops from their churches, and he even had some of them killed, and put his own partisans in their Sees; one of these, Theodotus, he ordained Bishop of Joppa, and another, Peter of Iberia, Bishop of Majuma, and, it was from one of these afterwards, that the impious Eleurus, the usurper of the See of Alexandria, received consecration (26). When Marcian was informed of the tyranny and insolence of Theodosius and his monks, he appeased the sedition, by proclaiming a pardon to all who would return to the obedience of the Church, and when he saw himself abandoned by his followers, he privately fled. After various wanderings, he came to the Convent of Sinai, and begged the monks to receive him, but they refused, so he fled on to Arabia, and concealed himself in the solitudes of that region. His usurpation lasted only a year and eight months, from the beginning of the year 452, till August, 453, when Juvenal returned to Jerusalem, and again took possession of his See (27).

  1. About this time, that is, in the year 453, St. Pulcheria died; though the learned have agreed as to the year, they have not as to the day of her death; but the Greeks in their Menelogues, and the Latins in their Martyrologies, celebrate her festival on the 10th of September. St. Leo, in one of his Epistles (Ep. 90), says in her praise, that she was possessed of the Royal power, and the Sacerdotal learning and spirit, with which she offered to God a perpetual sacrifice of praise; and to the zeal of this holy Empress he ascribed the stability of the Faith against the heresies of Nestorius and Eutyches. She preserved her virginity in marriage, and by her example, induced her sisters also to consecrate themselves to God. She built many hospitals, founded several monasteries, and erected a great number of churches, especially in honour of the Divine Mother, and the Church soon venerated her as a Saint (28). Four years after, in the year 457, the Emperor Marcian died. St. Leo calls him a Prince of blessed memory, and the Greeks celebrate his festival on the 17th of February.

(26) Orsi, n. 111. (27) Orsi, cit. loc. 33, n. 131. (28) Orsi, t. 15, l. 34, n. 12 & 13.

We have already seen how great was his piety, and with what fervour he opposed every enemy of the Faith (29).

  1. We shall now speak of the principal followers of Etityches. The second hero of iniquity was Timothy Eleurus, a priest, but who, before his ordination, wore the monastic habit, though merely as a mask of piety. He was of a most ambitious character, so that scarcely had he heard of the deposition of Dioscorus when he considered he had pretensions to the Diocese of Alexandria, but when St. Proterius was elected in place of Dioscorus, he was filled with rage, and began to declaim against the Council of Chalcedon. He succeeded in gaining over to his side four or five Bishops and some monks, infected, like himself, with the errors of Apollinares, and thus had the boldness to separate himself from the communion of Proterius. When Marcian was informed of this schism he endeavoured to extinguish it, but could not succeed, so St. Proterius assembled a Synod of all Egypt, and condemned Eleurus, Peter Mongos his companion, and these few Bishops and Monks who adhered to him. With all that, St. Proterius was obliged to be constantly on his guard against him, although he was sent into banishment by the Emperor, and only with difficulty saved his life during the reign of the Emperor Marcian (30). At the Emperor’s death he renewed his pretensions, set at nought the decree of banishment he laboured under, returned to Egypt, and endeavoured to drive St. Proterius from the Church of Alexandria. He concealed himself in a Monastery of Alexandria, and to induce the Monks to join his party he used to go about their cells in the night time, telling them in a feigned voice that he was an angel sent from heaven to admonish them to separate themselves from Proterius, and elect Timothy Eleurus for their Bishop. Having by these schemes gained over many Monks to his side, he sent them into Alexandria to excite the people against St. Proterius and the Council of Chalcedon. When all was prepared, and the people sufficiently excited, he came forth into the city, accompanied by his schismatical Bishops, Peter Mongos, his Monks, and several other Monks, accomplices of his schism, and caused himself to be proclaimed Bishop in the church.

(29) Orsi, t. 15, 1. 34, n. 12 & 13. (30) Orsi, t, U, I 33, n. 105.

Here then, are the very words of Nestorius himself, and nothing can be more clear than that he means to say that Christ is only the temple of God, but united to God in such a manner by Grace, that it might be said that the Divine nature appropriated the qualities proper to humanity. Now, Basnage does not deny that these are the letters and expressions of Nestorius, and how then can he say that he spoke in a pious and Catholic sense, and that the Council of Ephesus, by his condemnation, filled the world with tears, when Sixtus III., St. Leo the Great, and the fifth General Council, together with so many other doctors and learned writers received the Council of Ephesus as most certainly Ecumenical, and all have called and considered Nestorius a heretic. Basnage, however, prefers following Calvin and his adherents, instead of the Council of Ephesus, the fifth Council, the Pope, and all the Catholic doctors. Selvaggi, the annotator of Mosheim, is well worthy of being read on this question (73), he has six very excellent reflections, and makes several useful remarks about Luther and the other modern heretics, who seek to discredit St. Cyril and the Council of Ephesus. It is the interest of all heretics to weaken the authority of Councils, that there may be no power to condemn them, and expose their errors to the world. But I remark that the devil has made it a particular study to ruin, by his partisans, the credit of the Council of Ephesus, to remove from our sight the immense love which our God has shown us, by becoming man and dying for our love. Men do not love God because they do not reflect that he has died for love of them, and the devil endeavours not only to remove this thought from our minds, but to prevent us from thinking it even possible.

(73) Selvag. in Mosheim, Part II. n. 82. p. 729.