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Home > Fathers of the Church > Letters (Theodoret) > Letter 158

Letter 158

Report of (the Bishops of) the East to the Very Pious Emperor, which they delivered with the preceding Report to the Right Honourable Count Irenæus.

On receiving the letter of your piety we entertained hopes that the Egyptian storm which has lately struck the churches of God would be driven away. But we have been disappointed. Those men have been made even yet more daring by their madness; they have given no heed to the sentence of deposition justly and in due forth passed upon them, nor have become any more moderate in consequence of the rebuke of your majesty. They have trampled down alike the laws of your piety, and the canons of the holy Fathers, and, some of them being deposed and some excommunicated, keep festivals, and celebrate communion, in Houses of Prayer. And we, as we have already informed your Christ-loving majesty, on the receipt of your clemency's kindly letter, though our only desire was to pray in the church of the Apostles, have not only been prevented, but actually stoned, and chased for a considerable distance, so that we were compelled to effect our safety by flight at full speed. Our opponents on the contrary think that they may act just as they please. They have declined to make investigation of the questions at issue, and to undertake the defence of Cyril's heretical Chapters, rejecting the plain proofs of the impiety which they contain. They are impudent from mere impudence, while the examination of the questions before us requires not impudence, but calmness, knowledge, and skill in matters of doctrine.

Under these circumstances we have been under the necessity of sending forward the most honourable Count Irenæus, to approach your piety, and to explain the position of affairs. He has accurate information concerning all that has occurred, and has learned from us many modes of cure, whereby it may be possible to bring about the restoration of tranquillity to the holy churches of God. We beseech your clemency to grant him patient audience, and to give orders for the prompt carrying out of whatever measures may seem good to your piety, that we be not here crushed beyond all endurance.

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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/2707158.htm>.

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