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Supr., p. 302. But if the fact be so that the Fathers were not unanimous, is the definition valid? This depends on the question whether unanimity, at least moral, is or is not necessary for its validity. Vid. also p. 303.

It should be borne in mind that these letters of mine were not intended for publication, and are introduced into my text as documents of 1870, with a view of refuting the false reports of my bearing at that time {371} towards the Vatican Council and Definition. To alter their wording would have been to destroy their argumentative value. I said nothing to imply that on reflection I agreed to every proposition which I set down on my primâ facie view of the matter.

One passage of it, perhaps from my own fault, Mr. Gladstone has misunderstood. He quotes me, Vat., p. 13, as holding that a definition which the Pope approves, is not absolutely binding thereby, but requires a moral unanimity, and a subsequent reception by the Church. Nay, I considered that the Pope could define without either majority or minority; but that, if he chose to go by the method of a Council, in that case a moral unanimity was required of its Fathers. I say a few lines lower down, waiving the difficulty altogether, Our merciful Lord would not care so little for His people ... as to allow their visible head and such a large number of Bishops to lead them into error. Père Ramière, in his very kind review of me in the Études Religieuses for February, speaks of the notion of a moral unanimity as a piece of Gallicanism; but anyhow it has vanished altogether from theology now, since the Pope, if the Bishops in the Council, few or many, held back, might define a doctrine without them. A council of Bishops of the world around him, is only one of the various modes in which he exercises his infallibility. The seat of infallibility is in him, and they are adjuncts. The Pastor Æternus says, Romani Pontifices, prout temporum et rerum conditio suadebat, nunc convocatis œcumenicis conciliis, aut rogatâ Ecclesiæ per orbem dispersæ sententiâ, nunc per synodos particulares, nunc aliis, {372} quæ Divina suppeditabat Providentia, adhibitis auxiliis, ea tenenda definiverunt, quæ sacris Scripturis et Apostolicis Traditionibus consentanea, Deo adjutore, cognoverant.

Nor have I spoken of a subsequent reception by the Church as entering into the necessary conditions of a de fide decision. I said that by the Securus judicat orbis terrarum all acts of the rulers of the Church are ratified, p. 303. In this passage of my private letter I meant by ratified brought home to us as authentic. At this very moment it is certainly the handy, obvious, and serviceable argument for our accepting the Vatican definition of the Popes Infallibility.

Supr., p. 306. I said in my first edition, at this page, that the definition at Ephesus seemed to be carried by 124 votes against 111; as this was professedly only an inference of my own, I have withdrawn it. Confining myself to the facts of the history, which are perplexed, I observe:—The Council was opened by St. Cyril on June 22 of the current year, without waiting for the Bishops representing the great Syrian patriarchate, who were a few days journey from Ephesus, in spite of the protest on that account of sixty-eight of the Bishops already there. The numbers present at the opening are given in the Acts as about 150. The first Session in which Nestorius was condemned and a definition or exposition of faith made, was concluded before night. That exposition, as far as the Acts record, was contained in one of the letters of St. Cyril to Nestorius, which the Bishops in the Council one by one accepted as conformable {373} to Apostolic teaching. Whether a further letter of St. Cyrils with his twelve anathematisms, which was also received by the Bishops, was actually accepted by them as their dogmatic utterance, is uncertain; though the Bishops distinctly tell the Pope and the Emperor that they have accepted it as well as the others, as being in accordance with the Catholic Creed. At the end of the acts of the first Session the signatures of about 200 Bishops are found, and writers of the day confirm this number, though there is nothing to show that the additional forty or fifty were added on the day on which the definition was passed, June 22, and it is more probable that they were added afterwards; vid. Tillemont, Cyril, note 34, and Fleury, Hist., xxv. 42. And thus Tillemont, ibid., thinks that the signatures in favour of Cyril altogether amounted to 220. The Legates of the Pope were not present; but they had arrived by July 10. The Syrian Bishops arrived on June 26th or 27th. As to Africa, then overrun by the Vandals, it was represented only by the deacon of the Bishop of Carthage, who sent him to make his apologies for Africa, to warn the Council against the Pelagians, and to testify the adherence of the African Churches to Apostolic doctrine. The countries which were represented at the Council, and took part in the definition were Egypt, Asia Minor, and Thrace, Greece, &c. The whole number of Bishops in Christendom at the time was about 1800; not 6000, as St. Dalmatius says at random. Gibbon says, The Catholic Church was administered by the spiritual and legal jurisdiction of 1800 bishops, of whom 1000 were seated in the Greek, and 800 in the Latin provinces of {374} the empire. He adds, The numbers are not ascertained by any ancient writer or original catalogue; for the partial lists of the eastern churches are comparatively modern. The patient diligence of Charles à S. Paolo, of Luke Holstein, and of Bingham, has laboriously investigated all the episcopal sees of the Catholic Church.

To the same purport Fr. Ryder of this Oratory wrote, after my first edition, in answer to Fr. Botalla, S.J., as follows:—

As regards the Council of Ephesus, there are few points on which learned men are less agreed than its precise numbers. The names given at the opening of the first Session (June 22, 431) in which Nestorius was condemned and St. Cyril approved, amounted to 159; standing aloof from those and protesting against this precipitation in not waiting for the Antiochenes, were sixty-eight ... Five days afterwards the Antiochenes with the Patriarch John at their head, about twenty-seven in number, arrived, and then and there anathematized St. Cyril and all his adherents, declaring null and void all they had done. This condemnation is signed by forty-three. The forty-three consists, besides the Antiochenes, of some who had signed the deposition of Nestorius and some of the sixty-eight protesters. The larger part of the sixty-eight, we may presume, went to swell St. Cyrils party, for we find 198 signatures to the deposition of Nestorius. Subsequently to this, in various official documents the majority refers to itself as about 200, over 200; but we have no signatures beyond the 198. On the other hand, we possess a document of the minority of July 17, containing fifty-three {375} signatures. Afterwards the proportions of the schism were still more serious ... John of Antiochs twenty-seven were delegates and representatives of the whole Antiochene Patriarchate, except Cyprus. Thus, on leaving Ephesus, John was able to hold a Council at Antioch, and condemn Cyril with far larger numbers than before ... They cannot be well set at less than 100 ... [And elsewhere,] large portions of the Episcopate had no knowledge, or an utterly confused one, of what had been going on at Ephesus. St. Isidore, one of Cyrils own clergy, expostulates with him for his tyranny; and the works of Facundus and Liberatus show how deeply seated was the opposition of the African Church to the doctrine of Cyril.








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