HOME CHAT NAB PRAYERS FORUMS COMMUNITY RCIA MAGAZINE CATECHISM LINKS CONTACT
 CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
 CATHOLIC SAINTS INDEX  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
 CATHOLIC DICTIONARY  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Home
 
Bible
 
Catechism
 
Chat
 
Catholic Encyclopedia
 
Church Fathers
 
Classics Library
 
Church Documents
 
Discussion
 
Mysticism
 
Prayer
 
Prayer Requests
 
RCIA
 
Vocations
 
Ray of Hope
 
Saints
 
Social Doctrine
 
Links
 
Contact
 







A History Of The Church In Nine Books by Sozomen

WHEN Constans was apprised of what had been enacted at Sardica, he wrote to his brother to request him to restore Paul and Athanasius to their own churches. As Constantius seemed to hesitate, he wrote again, and threatened him with war, unless he would consent to receive the bishops. Constantius, after conferring on the subject with the bishops of the East, judged that it would be foolish to excite on this account the horrors of civil war. He, therefore, recalled Athanasius from Italy, and sent public carriages to convey him on his return. homewards, and wrote several letters requesting his speedy return, Athanasius, who was then residing at Aquilea, on receiving the letters of Constantius, repaired to Rome to take leave of Julius. This latter parted with him with great demonstrations of friendship, and gave him a letter addressed to the clergy and people of Alexandria, in which he spoke of him as a wonderful man, deserving of renown by the numerous trials he had undergone, and congratulated the church of Alexandria on the return of so good a priest, and exhorted them to follow his doctrines.

He then proceeded to Antioch in Syria, where the emperor was then residing. Leontius presided over the churches of that region; for, on the exile of Eustathius, those who held heretical sentiments had seized the government of the Church of Antioch. The first bishop they appointed was Euphronius; to him succeeded Hacillus; and afterwards, Stephen. This latter was deposed as being unworthy of the dignity, and Leontius obtained the bishopric. Athanasius avoided him as a heretic, and met for worship in a private house with those who were called Eustathians.

Constantius received him with great kindness and benignity, and Athanasius requested to be restored to his church. The emperor, at the instigation of the heterodox, replied as follows, “I am ready to perform all that I promised when I recalled you; but it is just that you should in return grant me a favour, and that is, that you yield one of the numerous churches which are under your sway to those who are averse to holding communion with you.” Athanasius replied, “What you have promised, O emperor, is so just and so necessary, that I can offer no opposition to it. But, as in the city of Antioch there are many of us who eschew communion with the heterodox, I also entreat that one church may be conceded to us, whither we may resort in safety.” As the request of Athanasius appeared reasonable to the emperor, the heterodox deemed it more politic to take no further steps; for they reflected that their peculiar opinions could never gain any ground in Alexandria, on account of Athanasius, who was able both to retain those who held the same sentiments as himself, and to attract and lead those of contrary opinions; and that, moreover, if they gave up one of the churches of Antioch, the Eustathians, who were very numerous, would assemble together, and probably introduce innovations without incurring the danger of detaching any of their adherents. Besides, the heterodox perceived that, although the government of the churches was in their hands, all the clergy and people did not conform to their doctrines. When they sang hymns to God, they were, according to custom, divided into choirs; and, at the end of the hymns, each one declared what were his own peculiar sentiments. Some offered praise to the Father and the Son, regarding them as co-equal in glory; others glorified the Father by the Son, to denote that they considered the Son to be inferior to the Father. Leontius, the bishop of the opposite faction, who then presided over the church of Antioch, did not dare to prohibit the singing of hymns to God which were in accordance with the Nicene doctrines, for he feared to excite an insurrection of the people. It is related, however, that he once raised his hand to his head, the hairs of which were quite white, and said, “When this snow is dissolved, there will be plenty of mud.” By this he intended to signify that, after his death, the different modes of singing hymns would give rise to great seditions, and that his successors would not show the same consideration to the people which he had manifested.








Copyright ©1999-2018 e-Catholic2000.com