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Home > Fathers of the Church > Letters (Theodoret) > Letter 152

Letter 152

Report of the (Bishops) of the East to the Emperor, giving information of their proceedings, and explaining the cause of the delay in the arrival of the Bishop of Antioch.

In obedience to the order of your pious letter we have journeyed to the Ephesian metropolis. There we have found the affairs of the Church in confusion, and disturbed by internecine war. The cause of this is that Cyril of Alexandria and Memnon of Ephesus have banded together and mustered a great mob of rustics, and have forbidden both the celebration of the great feast of Pentecost, and the evening and morning offices.

They have shut the sacred churches and martyrs' shrines; they have assembled apart with the victims of their deceit; they have wrought innumerable iniquities, trampling under foot alike the canons of the holy Fathers, and your own decrees. And the action has been taken in face of the order given both in writing and by word of mouth by the most excellent count Candidianus, envoy of your Christ-loving majesty, that the council must await the arrival of the very holy bishops, coming from all quarters of the Empire, and then and not till then formally assemble in obedience to your piety's commands. Moreover Cyril of Alexandria had written to me, the bishop of Antioch, two days before the meeting of their synod, that the whole council was awaiting my arrival. We have therefore deposed both the aforenamed, Cyril and Memnon, and have excluded them from all the services of the church. The rest, who have participated in their iniquity, we have excommunicated, until they shall reject and anathematize the Chapters issued by Cyril, which are full of the Eunomian and Arian heresies, and shall, in obedience to your piety's command, assemble together with us, and shall in an orderly manner and with all exactitude, together with ourselves, examine into the questions at issue, and confirm the pious doctrine of the holy Fathers.

As to the delay in my own arrival be it known to your piety that, in consideration of the distance of the way by land—and this was our route,— I have come very quickly, I have travelled forty stages without pausing to rest on the way; so your Christian majesty may learn from the inhabitants of the towns on the route. Besides this I was detained many days in Antioch by the famine there; by the daily tumults of the people; and by the unusual severity of the rainy season, which caused the torrents to swell, and threatened danger to the town.

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Source. Translated by Blomfield Jackson. From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Vol. 3. Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1892.) Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. <http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/2707152.htm>.

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