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A History Of The Church In Nine Books by Sozomen

AFTER these transactions, Nectarius and the other priests assembled together, and decreed that the faith established by the Council of Nicæa should remain inviolate, and that all heresies should be condemned; that the churches should be governed according to the ancient canons; that each bishop should remain in his own church, and not go elsewhere under any light pretext, or perform ordinations in which he had no right to interfere, as had frequently been the case in the Catholic church during the times of persecution. They likewise decreed that the affairs of each church should be subjected to the investigation and control of a Council of the province, and that the bishop of Constantinople should rank next in point of precedence to the bishop of Rome, as occupying the bishopric of New Rome; for Constantinople was not only favoured with this appellation, but was also in the enjoyment of many privileges—such as a senate of its own, and the division of the citizens into ranks and orders; it was also governed by its own magistrates, and possessed contracts, laws, and immunities, similar to those of Rome in Italy.

The council also decreed that Maximus was not a bishop, and that those individuals whom he had ordained were not of the order of the clergy; and that all that had been done by him, or in his name, was null and void. Maximus was a native of Alexandria, and by profession, a cynical philosopher; he was zealously attached to the Nicene doctrines, and had been secretly ordained bishop of Constantinople by bishops from Egypt.

Such were the decrees of the council. They were confirmed by the emperor, who enacted that the faith established at Nicæa should be preserved inviolate, and that the churches should be placed in the hands of those who acknowledged one God in three Persons of equal honour, and of equal power, namely—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. To designate them still more precisely, the emperor declared that he referred to those who held communion with Nectarius, at Constantinople, with Timothy, bishop of Alexandria in Egypt, with Diodorus, bishop of Tarsus, with Pelagius, bishop of Laodicea in the East, and with Amphilochius, bishop of Iconium in Asia: to those in Pontus and Bithynia who held communion with Helladius, bishop of Cæsarea in Cappadocia, with Gregory, bishop of Nyssa; and with Otreius, bishop of Melitine; and to the inhabitants of Thrace and Scythia, who held communion with Terence, bishop of Tomis, and with Martyrius, bishop of Marcianopolis. The emperor was personally acquainted with all these bishops, and had ascertained that they governed their respective churches wisely and piously. After these transactions, the council was dissolved, and each of the bishops returned homewards.








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