THE EMPEROR FLAVIUS JULIUS CONSTANTIUS PERSECUTES THE CATHOLICS.


THE EMPEROR CONSTANTIUS PERSECUTES THE CATHOLICS.

30. Eusebius of Nicomedia is translated to the See of Constantinople ; Synods in Alexandria and Antioch. 31. Council of Sardis. 
32 Council of Aries
33. Council of Milan, and Exile of Liberius. 
34. Exile of Osius. 
35. FalI of Osius. 
36. Fall of Liberius. 
37. First Formula of Sirmium.
38. Second Formula of Sirmium. 
39. Third Formula of Sirmium. 
40. Liberius signs the Formula, &c. 
41, 42. -He signs the first Formula. 
43. Return of Liberius to Rome, and Death of Felix.
44. Division among the Arians. 
45 48. Counoil of Rimini. 
49. Death of Constantius. 
50. The Empire descends to Julian. The Schism of Lucifer. 

30. Eusebius of Nicomedia is translated to the See of Constantinople ; Synods in Alexandria and Antioch.

30. St. Alexander, Patriarch of Constantinople, died about the year 340, at the age of ninety-eight, and Paul of Thessalonica was chosen his successor ; but Constantius, who now publicly professed himself an Arian, being absent during the election, was highly indignant on his return to Constantinople, and, pretend ing that Paul was unworthy of the bishopric, joined with the Arian party, and had a council convoked, in which he procured the deposition of Paul and the appointment of Eusebius of Nicomedia, now, for the second time, translated to a new see, in opposition to the laws of the Church. About the same time another council was assembled in Alexandria, consisting of about a hundred bishops from Egypt, the Thebaid, Libia, and Pentapolis, in favour of St. Athanasius, in which he was declared innocent of the calumnies laid to his charge by the Eusebians ; but again, the following year, 241, a council was assembled in Antioch on the occasion of the dedication of the church of that city commenced by Constantine and finished by Constantius, consisting of ninety bishops ; this was planned by Eusebius of Mcomedia and his partizans, and St. Athanasius was again deposed, and Gregory of Cappadocia, infected with the Arian heresy, was intruded into his place (1).

(I) Fleury, N. Alex. & Bar. loc. con. 

31. Council of Sardis. 

31. In the year 357, another council, consisting of many bishops, was assembled in Sardis, the metropolitan city of Dacia in Illiria, in which the Nicene Creed was confirmed, and St. Athanasius was again declared innocent, and restored to his see. There is no doubt but that this was a general council, as (in opposition to Peter of Marca) Baronius, Noel Alexander, Peter Annatus, Battaglini, and many others prove. St. Athanasius says that one hundred and seventy bishops were assembled, but among them were more than fifty orientals, and as these left Sardis to avoid the condemnation which they knew awaited them for their excesses, only about one hundred remained. It had, besides, all the requisites for a general councillor the convocation was general, as appears from the circular letters, and Archimides and Philo- senus, priests, together with Osius, who was before president of the Council of Nice, presided as legates of Pope Julius. The Arians being aware that many well founded charges would be brought against them in the council, demanded that the bishops condemned in their synod should be expelled from the assembly of the prelates, otherwise they said they would go away them selves. This audacious proposal was universally rejected, so they fled to Philipopolis, and drew up a formula of faith, adapted to their errors, and this was afterwards promulgated as the formula of the Council of Sardis. Eight bishops of the Eusebian party were convicted of the crimes they were charged with, by the true Council of Sardis, and were deposed and condemned, for it is but just, said the fathers, that those should be separated from the Church who wish to separate the Son from the Father (2).

(2) Orsi,Fleury, St. Ath. Apol loc. cit. 

32 Council of Aries.

32. Constantius showed himself more favourable to the Catholic bishops after this council, and permitted them to return to their churches ; he received St. Athanasius most graciously in Antioch, and gave an order in his favour, and allowed him to return to Alexandria, where he was received by the bishops of Egypt and by the people and clergy with the greatest demonstrations of joy. The Arians soon again, however, obtained the favour of Constantius, and St. Hilarion relates that Pope Liberius, who succeeded St. Julius in 342, wrote to him that the Eusebians wished to cheat him out of a condemnation of St. Athanasius, but that, he having received letters signed by eighty bishops, defending the saint, and, as he would not conscientiously act in opposition to the Council of Sardis, he had declared him innocent. In the meantime, he sent to Constantius, who held his court at Aries, two legates, Vincentius of Capua and Marcellus, bishop in the Campagna, to implore of him to summon a synod in Aquileia to settle finally the cause of St. Athanasius, finally determine the articles of faith, and establish the peace of the Church. Constantius, we know not why, was highly offended at this request, and convoked a synod in Aries, and when the legates arrived there, they found that St. Athanasius had been already condemned by the synod, and that Constantius had published a decree of banishment against the bishops who refused to sign the condemnation. He then insisted that the legates should sign it likewise. Vincentius of Capua refused at first to do so, but he was beaten and threatened, so he yielded, and his colleague followed his example, and both promised to hold no more communication with St. Athanasius (3).

(3) Orsi, cit. St. Hilar. Fragm. 5. Severus, Sulpiei. His. /. 2 & seq. 

33. Council of Milan, and Exile of Liberius. 

33. The Emperor now intended to crush the Catholic party for ever, and with this intention, assembled a council in Milan. Pope Liberius was anxious for the celebration of this council, as he thought it would unite the Church in the profession of the faith of Nice, but the Arians worked hard also to have it assembled, as they expected to obtain a general sentence of condemnation on St. Athanasius, and to establish their heresy ; so in the year 355, there were assembled over three hundred bishops in Milan. St. Eusebius of Vercelli, was also summoned, but endeavoured to absent himself, knowing the plans of the Eusebians ; he was, however, constrained to attend, and the Pope s legates them selves, Lucifer, Pancratius, and the Deacon Hilary, solicited him to come to Milan. On his arrival, the Arians endeavoured to induce him to sign the condemnation of St. Athanasius, having again renewed the fable of the broken chalice, &c. But St. Eusebius said, the first thing to be done was, that all should subscribe the formula of the Council of Nice, and then that other matters could be taken into consideration. St. Dionisius, Bishop of Milan, immediately prepared to subscribe to it, but Valens of Murcia snatched the pen and paper out of his hands, and said, that nothing ever would be concluded if that course was followed. When this came to the knowledge of the people, they murmured loudly, and complained that the bishops themselves were betraying the faith ; so the Emperor, dreading a popular tumult, transferred the council to the church of his own palace, and told the assembled bishops that they should obey his edict in the affair, and sign a profession filled with all the errors of Arianism. He called especially on the Legate Lucifer, St. Eusebius, and St. Dionisius, and ordered them to subscribe the condemnation of St. Athanasius, and when they determinedly refused to do so, as being against the laws of the Church, he answered: "Whatever is my will is law, obey me or you shall be banished." The bishops then told him that he would have to answer to the Almighty if he used any violence towards them ; but he became so indignant at being remonstrated with in this manner, that he actually drew his sword on them, and gave orders that they should be put to death, but when his passion cooled a little, he was satisfied with sending them into banishment, and they were sent off from the council, loaded with chains, under a guard of soldiers, to the place of their exile, where they had to endure a great deal of harsh treatment from the heretics. At the same time, Hilary, one of the legates, was stripped naked and cruelly flogged on the back, the Arians all the while crying out to him : " Why did not you oppose Liberius?" Constantius then appointed Ausentius in the place of St. Dionisius, and obliged Liberius to come to Milan. The Emperor, on Liberius s arrival, ordered him to condemn St. Athanasius, and, on his refusal to do so, gave him three days for consideration, and told him that if he refused he would also be sent into exile. Liberius persevered in his refusal, and was accordingly banished to Berea, in Thrace, of which Demophilus, a perfidious Arian, was bishop (4). 

(4) Sozyraen, I. 4; Soc. I 2; Fleury, Orsi, Ser. Snip. /. 2.

34. Exile of Osius. 

34. The great Osius was, next to Liberius, the great prop of the Faith in the West, both on account of the holiness of his life, and his learning ; he was at this time sixty years Bishop of Cordova, in Spain, and he showed his constancy in the persecution of Maximilian, by publicly confessing the faith. Constantius had him brought before him, and advised him to communicate with the Arians, and condemn St. Athanasius, but he resolutely refused to do either one or the other. Constantius allowed him to go away for that time ; but soon after wrote to him, and threatened to punish him if he refused any longer to obey his will. Osius answered him with even greater firmness : If you are resolved to persecute me, said he, I am prepared to shed my blood sooner than betray the truth ; you may then save yourself the trouble of writing to me on the subject again. Tremble at the last judgment, and do not intermeddle with the affairs of the Church ; God has given you the Empire, the government of the Church he has committed to us. Constantius sent for him once more, to induce him to yield, but, finding him inflexible, he banished him to Sirmium ; he was then nearly in the hundredth year of his age.
 
35. FalI of Osius. 

35. We now have to treat of, first, the fall of Osius, and next of Liberius. The principal author of Osius s fall was Potamius, Bishop of Lisbon ; he was at first a defender of the Faith, but Constantius gained him over by giving him possession of an estate of the Chancery ; he, therefore, joined the Eusebians, and Osius, burning with zeal, denounced his impiety through all Spain. Fotamius, thirsting for revenge, first got him banished to Sirmium, and then finding the Emperor there, he induced him to use such violent measures with him, that he broke down his resolution, and caused him to fall. The poor old man was weakened with torments; he was beaten so violently that his flesh was all torn, and he endured a long and violent torture ; his strength failed him, he could suffer no more, and he unfor tunately signed the second formula of Sirmium, condemning St. Athanasius, and holding communion with the Arians. Sozymen particularly mentions that Eudosius saw the letter of Osius, in which he disproves of both the word consubstantial, and the words like in substance. He now was permitted to return again to Spain, but Gregory, Bishop of Alvira, refused to communicate with him on account of his prevarication. Two authors, followers of Lucifer, Faustus and Marcellinus, write that Osius died an unhappy death ; but St. Athanasius, who, as Cardinal Orsi justly remarks, deserves more credit, says that at his death he declared he was subdued by violence, and thus fell into error, and that he anathematized the heresy of the Arians, and besought all who heard him to hold it in horror (5).

(5) Senates, Sozymen, St. Hilary

36. Fall of Liberius. 

36. We now come to speak of the fall of Liberius. It is said by some that Osius subscribed the second formula of Sirmium ; now, to understand the fall of Liberius, it is necessary to have a knowledge of the three formulas of faith composed in Sirmium. Noel Alexander says that there was but one formula of Sirmium, and that the others were published elsewhere ; but Baronius, and the generality of writers hold that the whole three formulas were promulgated in the councils, or rather cabals, of Sirmium. There is no probability of the truth of what Socrates says, that the whole three formulas were promulgated in one and the same council. The Arians, when they got Liberius to sign one of the formulas, boasted, as Orsi says, that there was a union of faith between them, and that Liberius professed their faith. On the other hand, Orsi persuades himself that Liberius was innocent altogether, and supposes that he was liberated and allowed to return to Rome, on account of a promise made by Constantius to the Roman ladies, or to put an end to the disturbances which at that time distracted the city. The most generally received opinion, however, is that Liberius committed a great error, but that he did not fall into heresy. To make the matter clear we must investigate the Sirmium formula which he subscribed (6).

(6) Socrates, Orsi, Sozymen ; Nat. Fragni. 2; St. Athanasius, His. Alex. St. Athan. His. Arian. Arian; St. Augus. 1. con. ; Parmen. Nat. Alex. Fleury, loc. cit.

37. First Formula of Sirmium.

37. The first formula of Sirmium was adopted in the year 351, and in this, Photinus, Bishop of Sirmium, was again condemned, for he denied to Jesus Christ not only consubstantiality with the Father, but his Divinity, likewise ; asserting, with Cerinthus, Ebion, and Paul of Samosata, that the Son of God had no existence before Mary. Photinus was previously condemned in the Council of Sardis ; but he obtained from the Emperor the right of appeal to this Council of Sirmium, at which Constantius himself was present. Here his doctrine was condemned a second time, even by the Arians themselves, and the first formula, relating to the Arian heresy, was drawn up in Greek, and two anathemas were attached to it, as Noel Alexander tells us, on the authority of St. Athanasius and St. Hilary. The first was to this effect : " The Holy and Catholic Church does not recognize as belonging to her, those who say that the Son existed from any creation or substance, and not from God, or- that there was a time when he did not exist." The second was that " if any one denied that Christ-God the Son of God was before all ages, and by whom all things were made, and that it was only from the time he was born of Mary that he was called Christ and the Son, and that it was only then his Deity commenced, let him be anathema." Noel Alexander thus Latinises the original Greek. "Eos qui diciint: ex non ente, aut ex alio subsistente, et non ex Deo Filium extitisse, aut quod tempus, aut aetas fuit, quando ille non erat, alienos a se censet sancta, et Catholica Ecclesia. Si quis Christum Deum, Filium Dei ante secula, administrumque ad universitatis opificium fuisse neget ; sed ex quo tempore e Maria genitus est, Christum, et Filium appellatum fuisse, et principium suae Deitatis turn accepisse dicat, anathema esto." Thus in this formula, it is laid down that the Son is God to all eternity, and that his Divinity is from eternity. St. Athanasius looked on this formula as impious. St. Hilary considered it Catholic ; the truth is that, if it be considered absolutely in itself, it is Catholic, but, taken in the sense of the Arians, it is Arian (7).

(7) Auctores, citati ; Nat. Alex. I. cit.   

38. Second Formula of Sirmium. 

38. The second formula was published also in Sirmium, but in the year 357, and it was written in Latin, and was subscribed by Potamius and Osius. This was totally Arian, for the words consubstantial, and like in substance, were rejected, as there was nothing about them in the Scriptures, and they were unintelligible to the human intellect. This was not the only blasphemous error introduced into this profession; for it was, besides, asserted, that the Father was, without any doubt, greater than the Son in honour, dignity, and Godship, and that the Son was subject to the Father, together with all things which the Father subjected to the Son. This formula St. Hilary calls blasphemous, and, in his Book of Synods, he thus describes it : " Exemplum blasphemiae apud Sirmium, par Osium et Pota- mium, conscripts (8)."

(8) Nat. Alex. ; Fleury, I. 13 

39. Third Formula of Sirmium.

39. The third formula was likewise composed in Sirmium, but not for eight years after, that is in 359, and this was also in Latin, and St. Athanasius informs us, in his Book on Synods, that it was this one which was presented to the Council of Rimini, by Valens and Ursacius. In this the word substance is rejected, but the Son is recognised as equal to the Father in all things : " Vocabulum porro substantive, quia simplicius a Patribus positum est, et a populis ignoratur, et scandalum affert, eo quod in Scripturis non contineatur, placuit ut de niedio tolleretur. Filium autem Patri per omnia similem dicimus, quemadmodum sacrae Litter se dicunt, et decent." In the first formula, then, the word consubstantial is omitted, but the word substantial is retained. In the second, no mention is made of either word, nor even of the words like unto ; and, in the third, the words like unto is retained and explained.
 
40. Liberius signs the Formula, &c. 

40. We now come to the case of Liberius. Constantius had promised the ladies of Rome that he would restore him again to his see ; but had also promised the Eusebians that he would not liberate him till he communicated with them. He, therefore, laid his commands on Demophilus, Bishop of Berea, where Liberius was exiled, and on Fortunatus, Bishop of Aquilea, another apostate, to leave no means untried to make Liberius sign the formula of Sirmium, and the condemnation of St. Athanasius. Liberius was now three years in exile, broken down by solitude and flogging, and, above all, deeply afflicted at seeing the see of Rome occupied by an antiPope, the Deacon Felix, and thus he had the weakness to yield, and subscribed the formula, condemning, at the same time, St. Athanasius, and communicating with the Arian bishops.

41, 42. -He signs the first Formula. 

41.
It is a question among authors, which of the three formulas was subscribed by Liberius. Valesius says it was the third; but this has no foundation, for the third was not drawn up till 359, and St. Athanasius tells us that Liberius was then after returning to Rome. Blondel and Petavius say it was the second he signed, and this is the general opinion followed by- heretics, who strive thus to prove that the Catholic Church may fail. The Protestant Dana3us numbers Liberius among the bishops who joined the Arians, and says that all historians are agreed that he signed this formula, and after that, he says, no one can deny that the Roman Church can err. But the general opinion held by Catholics, and which is, also, the most probable, and in which Baronius, N. Alexander, Graveson, Fleury, Juenin, Tournelly, Berninus, Orsi, Hermant, and Selvaggi, the learned annotator of Mosheim, join with Gotti, who gives it as the general opinion of Catholic authors, is, that it was the first formula he signed. There are very weighty reasons to prove that this opinion is founded on fact : First The formula subscribed by Liberius was the one drawn up at the time Photinus was condemned, and this was, indubitably, the first and not the second. Secondly The formula he signed, and which was laid before him by Demophilus, was not drawn up by the Anomeans, or pure Arians, but by the Semi- Arians, to which sect Demophilus, Basil of Ancira, Valcns, and Ursacius belonged. These did not admit that the Son was consubstantial with the Father, because they would not approve of the Nicene Creed, but said he was of the substance of the Father ; and this was expressed in the first formula alone, but not in the second, in which both the words substance and like unto were omitted. These very bishops even who subscribed the first rejected the second in a synod purposely convoked in Ancira. Nor does it militate against this opinion, that the formula subscribed by Liberius was also subscribed by the Anomeans, for Constantino, who, as Socrates informs us, favoured the Semi-Arian party, obliged them to subscribe to it. Another proof is from Sozymen, who quotes a letter of Liberius, written to the Semi-Arians, in which he declares, that those who assert that the Son is not like unto the Father in all things, and of the same substance, do not belong to the Church. From all this it is proved that Liberius signed the formula, from which the word consubstantiality was omitted, but which approved of the words substantiality and like unto (9).

(9) Tournelly, Theol. t. 2; Blondell. de Primatu, p. 48; Petav. in obserr. St. Epiphan. ; Danaeus, Opus, de Her. ; Baron. An. 357; Nat. Alex., Fleury, Graveson; Juenin, Tlieol. 40, 3 ques. ; Bern in. ; Hermant, t. 1; Orsi, I. 14; Gotti, de Vcr. Rel. ; Selvaggi, not. 52, ad Mosh.

42. Because St. Hilary calls the formula signed by Liberius a perfidy, the argument is not weakened, for Noel Alexander supposes, that these words, and the anathema hurled against Liberius, in St. Hilary s fragments, were foisted in by some other hand, for these fragments were written after the return of Liberius to Rome, when he most strenuously refused to approve of the formula of the Council of Rimini ; others again, as Juenin, imagined, that St. Hilary called the formula perfidious, taking it in the perverse sense as understood by the Arians, since speaking of it before (considered absolutely in itself), he called it a Catholic formula. Another argument is deduced from the Chronicle of St. Jerome, for he writes, that Liberius, conquered by a weary exile, subscribed to heretical pravity, and entered Rome almost like a conqueror. Noel Alexander says, that St. Jerome means by this, not that he signed a formula in itself heretical, but that he communicated with heretics, and although the communion with heretics was an error, it was not heresy itself. Another answer is, that St. Jerome might have written T this under the belief that it was true, since, as Sozymen informs us, the heretics spread every where abroad, that Liberius, in subscribing the formula, not only denied the consubstantiality, but even the likeness of the Son to the Father ; but, withal,- we do not justify Liberius for condemning St. Athanasius and communicating with heretics. He afterwards refused to sign the formula of Rimini, and was, in consequence, obliged to conceal himself in the catacombs, till the death of Constantius (10).

(10) Nat. Alex. & cit.    

43. Return of Liberius to Rome, and Death of Felix.

43.
When Liberius returned to Rome, in the year 358, or the following year, according to Baronius, he was received, Orsi says, with the liveliest demonstrations of joy by the clergy and people ; but Baronius says, that there was a large section of the people opposed to him on account of his fall, and that they adhered to Felix II., who, in the commencement, was a schismatic, and unlawfully ordained by three Arian bishops, to whose sect he belonged at the time. Nevertheless, when he learned the lapse of Liberius, he joined the Catholics, and excommunicated the Emperor; and he was thenceforth looked on as the lawful Pope, and Liberius as fallen from his office. However, as Baronius tells us, it appears from the Book of the Pontiffs, that he was taken and conveyed by the Imperial Ministers to Ceri, seventeen miles from Rome, and beheaded. The schismatic Marcellinus, quoted by Fleury, says, that Felix lived eight years after the return of Liberius ; but Sozymen, on the contrary, tells us he died almost immediately after that event. Benedict XIV. says, that there is no doubt about the sanctity and martyrdom of Felix, but the learned are divided as to whether he died by the sword or by the sufferings he endured for Christ. Baronius says, that there was a doubt in the time of Gregory XIII. as to whether the name of Felix II. should be expunged or not from the Martyrology, in which he was enumerated among the saints, and he was himself, he confesses, of the opinion that it should be done, on account of his illegal intrusion into the Popedom ; but soon after he says, a marble sarcophagus was casually discovered buried in the earth, with some relics of saints on one side, and the body of St. Felix on the other, with this inscription, " The body of St. Felix, Pope and Martyr, who condemned Constantius ;" and this discovery was made on the 19th of July, 1582, the day preceding the festival of St. Felix, and, on that account, his name was left undisturbed in the Martyrology. Baronius is opposed by N. Alexander, who denies that Felix II. ever was a true Pope ; but Roncaglia, in his notes, and both the Pagi, contend for the contrary, and the Pagi prove, in opposition to Noel Alexander, that the Pope Felix commemorated in the Martyrology, must necessarily be Felix II., not Felix I. (11).

A (1 lL Na ^ AlcX " I ? iss> 32 ; Sozymen, loc. cit, ; Theolog. /. 2, c. 2 ; Baron. An. 359; Orai, t. (>, /. 14 ; Baron. An. 357, & se<i; Sozymen, Bened. XIV., de Canon. S.S. t. 4.    

44. Division among the Arians. 

44. We now come back once more to the Arians. When Osius and Liberius fell, they were already split up into a great many sects : some who followed the party of Acasius, Eudoxius, Eunomius, and Aesius, were called Anomeans those were pure Arians, and they not alone rejected consubstantiality, but even the likeness of the Son to the Father ; but the followers of Ursacius and Valens, though called Arians, did not follow the opinion of Arius in every thing. Finally, those who followed the opinions of Basil, of Ancyra, and Eustatius of Sebaste, were called Semi- Arians ; these condemned the blasphemies of Arius, but did not admit the consubstantiality of the divine per sons (12).

(12) N. Alex. t. 9; Hermant. t. 1, c.    

45 48. Council of Rimini. 

45. We have now to relate the events of the Council of Rimini, of sorrowful celebrity, in which, as St. Jerome says, the Nicene faith was condemned, and the whole world groaned, finding itself Arian. When the whole Church was in confusion about the articles of the faith, it was considered that the best way of arranging every thing quietly, would be to hold two councils, one in Rimini in Italy, the other at Selucia in the East. The Council of Rimini was held in 359, and was attended by more than four hundred bishops from Illiria, Italy, Africa, Spain, Gaul, and Britain, and among those there were eighty Arians, but the rest were Catholic. When they came to treat of matters of faith, Ursacius, Yalens, and other heads of the Arian party produced a writing, and proposed that all should be satisfied with signing that, in which was laid down the last formula of Sirmium of the same year, in which, it is true, the word substance was rejected, but it was allowed that the Son was like unto the Father in all things. But the Catholic Bishops unanimously answered that there was no necessity for any other formula, but that of the Council of Nice, and decreed that there should be no addition to or subtraction from that formula ; that the word substance should be retained, and they again condemned the doctrine of Arius, and published ten anathemas against the errors of Arius, Sabellius, and Photinus. All the Catholics subscribed to this, but Ursacius. Valens and the Arians refused, so they themselves were judged heretics, and Ursacius, Valens, Caius, and Germinius, were condemned and deposed by a formal act (13).

(13) S. Hieron., Dialog., ad. Luci- 102. fer. Fleury t. 2. Orsi cit. S. Athan. de Synode. Sozymcn, /. 2.    

46. Ten bishops were now sent as legates from the council to the Emperor, bearers of the letters of the council, giving him notice that the fathers had decided that there should be nothing added to or taken from the council of Nice, and that they regretted to find that Ursacius and Valens wished to establish another formula of faith, according to the document they presented to the council. The ten legates accordingly went, but the Arians sent ten likewise, along with Ursacius and Valens, and these arrived first and prejudiced the Emperor against the council, and presented him with the formula of Sirmium, which was rejected by the Council of Rimini. When the legates sent by the council arrived, they could not obtain an audience from the Emperor, and it was only after a long delay, that he sent an answer to the council, that he was about to proceed against the barbarians, and that he had given orders to the legates to wait for him in Adrianople, where he would see them on his return, and give them his final answer. The fathers of the council wrote again to Constantius, telling him that nothing would ever change them, and begging therefore that he would give an audience to the legates and let them depart. When the Emperor came to Adrianople, the legates followed him, and were taken to the small town of Nice, in the neighbourhood ; and there they began to treat with the Arians, against the express orders of the council, which particularly restricted them on this point. Partly by deception, and partly by threats, they were induced to sign a formula, worse even than the third formula of Sirmium ; for not only was the word substance omitted, but the Son was said to be like unto the Father, but leaving out in all things, which was admitted in the Sirmium formula. They were, likewise, induced to revoke the deposition of Ursacius, and his companions, condemned by the council ; and they signed the formula with their own hands (14).

(14) Thood. /. 2. c. 19 ; Soz. /. 4 ; Soc. /. 2,    

47. The legates having put things in this state returned to Rimini, and Constantius then gave orders to his Prefect Taurus, not to permit the council to be dissolved, till the bishops had signed the last formula of Nice, and to send into banishment any bishops refusing their signature, if their number did not exceed fifteen. He likewise wrote a letter to the fathers of the council, prohibiting them from using any more the words substantial and consubstantial. Ursacius and Valens now returned to Rimini, and as their party was now in the ascendant, they seized on the church, and wrote to the Emperor that he was obeyed, and that the expressions he objected to were not allowed to be used any more. The Catholics, at first, made a show of constancy, and refused to communicate with the legates, who excused their error by alleging all they suffered at the Court of the Emperor ; but by degrees they were tired out, their constancy failed, and they subscribed the same formula as the legates (15).

(15) St. Hilar-.Tragmen. p. 453. Sulp. Ser. /. 2.    

48. We cannot deny but that the bishops of Rimini com mitted a great error, but they are not so much to be blamed for bad faith, as for not being more guarded against the wiles of the Arians. This was the snare that was laid for them : They were wavering as to whether they should sign the formula or not, and when they were all assembled in the church, and the errors attributed to Valens, who drew up the formula, were read out, he protested that he was not an Arian. " Let him be excommunicated," he exclaimed, " who asserts that Jesus Christ is not the Son of God, born of the Father before all ages. Let him be excommunicated who says that he is not like unto the Father, according to the Scriptures; or, he who says he is a creature, like all other creatures (how he conceals the poison, for he taught that Christ was a creature, but more perfect than all the others) ; or that he is from nothing, and not from the Father ; or that there was a time when he was not ; or that any thing was before him ; he who teaches any of those things let him be excommunicated." And all answered : " Let him be excommunicated." These denunciations of anathema, so fraudulently put forward, threw the Catholics off their guard. They persuaded themselves that Valens was not an Arian, and were induced to sign the formula ; and thus the Council of Rimini, which opened so gloriously, was ignominiously terminated, and the bishops got leave to return to their homes. They were not long, St. Jerome tell us, till they discovered their error ; for the Arians, immediately on the dissolution of the council, began to boast of their victory. The word substantial, said they, is now abolished, and along with it the Nicene faith ; and when it was said, that the Son was not a creature, the meaning was, that he was not like the other created beings, but of a higher order, and then it was that the world, St. Jerome says, groaning, found itself Arian. Noel Alexander proves, from St. Jerome, St. Ambrose, and others, and with very convincing arguments, too, that the bishops of Rimini, in subscribing that formula, did not violate the faith ; for, taken in its obvious sense, it contained nothing heretical. While the Council of Rimini was in progress, there was another council held in Seleucia, at which many Arian bishops were present ; but it was soon dismissed, for the bishops were so divided, that they could not agree to any formula (16).

(16) S. Hieron ad. Lucif. n. 17

49. Death of Constantius. 

49. After the Council of Rimini was dissolved, the Arians of Antioch, in the year 361, not satisfied with the formula adopted at the Council, drew up another in which they said, that the Son was in every thing unlike the Father, not alone in substance, but also in will, and that he was formed out of nothing, as Arius had already taught. Fleury counts sixteen formulas published by the Arians. Liberius, however, after his first error in subscribing the formula of Sirmium, as we have already related (No. 41), constantly refused, after his liberation in 360, to sign the formula of Rimini, and, as Baronius relates in his Acts of Pope Liberius, he was obliged to leave Rome and hide himself in the catacombs, where Damasus and the rest of his clergy went to see him, and he remained there until the death of Constantius in 361. St. Gregory of Nazianzen says that Constantius, just before his death, repented, but in vain, of three things : Of the murder of his relatives ; of having made Julian, Cassar ; and of causing such confusion in the Church. He died, however, in the arms of the Arians, whom he protected with such zeal, and Euzoius, whom he had made Bishop of Antioch, administered him baptism just before his death. His death put an end to the synods, and for a time restored peace to the Church ; as St. Jerome says, " The beast dies and the calm returns" (17).

(17) Baron. An. 359; St. Athan. Nat., Meury & Orsi, loc. con; N. de Synod; Ffeury, /. 14, n. 33; St. Alex. Dis. 33, t. 9. Greg. Naz. Oral. 21; Soc. /. 2, c 47.    
 
50. The Empire descends to Julian. The Schism of Lucifer. 

50. On the death of Constantius, the impious Julian the Apostate took the reins of empire, and, professing idolatry, commenced a most fierce persecution against the Church, not out of any liking for the Arians, but through hatred of Christianity itself. Before we speak of the other persecutions the Catholics had to endure from the Arians, we will relate the schism caused by the wretched Lucifer, Bishop of Cagliari, who after all his labours and fortitude in defence of the Catholic Church, vexed because St. Eusebius would not approve of his having consecrated Paulinus Bishop of Antioch, separated himself from the communion, not only of St. Eusebius, but also of St. Athanasius and Pope Liberius; he was thus the founder of anew schism, and, in despite, retired to his see in Sardinia, where he died in 370, without giving any proof of returning once more to ecclesiastical unity. He was followed in his secession by some people in Sardinia and other kingdoms, and these added error to schism, by re-baptizing those who had been baptized by the Arians. It is worthy of remark that Calmet in his Sacred and Profane History (Book 65, No. 110), tells us that the Church of Cagliari celebrated the feast of Lucifer as a saint or holy personage, on the 20th of May. Benedict XIV., in his work de Sanctor Canon, tome 1, lib. 1, cap. 40, says, that two Archbishops of Sardinia having written for and against the sanctity of Lucifer, the Sacred Congregation of the Roman Inquisition, in the year 1641, imposed silence on both parties, under severe penalties, and decreed that the veneration of Lucifer should stand as it was. The Bollandists (die. 20 Maii, p. 207) strenuously defend this decree of the Sacred Congregation. Noel Alexander (sec. 4, cap. 3, art. 13) and D. Baillet (in vita Luciferi, 20 Maii) maintain, that the Lucifer whose feast is celebrated in the Church of Cagliari, is not the personage we speak of, but another of the same name, who suffered martyrdom in the persecution of the Vandals.


THE HISTORY OF HERESIES, AND THEIR REFUTATION.ST. ALPHONSUS M. LIGUORI

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