Heresy Of Macedonius.
Heresy Of Macedonius
69. As Arius uttered blasphemies against the Son, so Macedonius had the temerity to speak blasphemously of the Holy Ghost. He was, at first, an Arian, and was deputed to the Council or Cabal of Tyre, as legate of the Emperor Constantius. He was then intruded by the Arians into the see of Constantinople, as Socrates informs us, though Paul, the lawful bishop, was then alive, and he received ordination at the hands of the Arians. A horrible circumstance occurred at his induction into the Metropolitan see. He went to take possession in a splendid chariot, accompanied, not by his clergy, but with the imperial Prefect by his side, and surrounded by a powerful body of armed troops, to strike terror into the people. An immense multitude was assembled, out of curiosity to see the pageant, and the throng was so great, that the church, streets, and squares were all choked up, and the new bishop could not proceed. The soldiers set about clearing the way ; they first struck the people with the shafts of their spears, and whether it was by orders of the bishop, or through their own ferocity, they soon began to wound and kill the people, and trampled on the slain and fallen ; the consequence was, that three thousand one hundred and fifty dead bodies lay stretched in gore in the street ; the bishop passed through, and as his entrance to the episcopal throne was marked by blood and slaughter, so his future government of the See was distinguished for vengeance and cruelty. In the first place, he began to persecute the friends of Paul, his competitor in the See; he caused some of them to be publicly flogged, confiscated the property of others, more he banished, and he marked his hatred of one in particular by causing him to be branded on the forehead, to stamp him through life with a mark of infamy. Several authors even say that, after he had banished Paul from the See, he caused him to be strangled at Cucusus, the place of his exile (1).
(1) Bernin. t, \ ; Coc. /. 1, c. 25 ; Daneus and Theod.
70. His rage was not alone directed against the friends of Paul, but against all who professed the faith of the Council of Nice ; the wretch made use of atrocious torments to oblige them to receive communion from him. He used, as Socrates informs us, to have their mouths forced open with a wooden tongs, and the consecrated particle forced on them, a punishment greater than death to the faithful. He used to take the children from their mothers, and have them most cruelly flogged in their mothers presence ; and the mothers themselves he used to torture by squeezing both their breasts under the lid of a heavy chest, and then caused them to be cut off with a sharp razor, or burned them with red coals, or with red-hot balls, and left them to die in prolonged tortures. As if it was not enough to torture and destroy the Catholics themselves in this manner, he vented his rage on their churches, which he destroyed to the very foundations, and their ruins he had scattered abroad.
71. One would think that these sacrilegious excesses were quite enough. But he was determined to do something more, and this was the last act he was permitted to perform as bishop. He had the audacity to disinter the body of Constantino, and transfer it from one tomb to another ; but Constans could not stand this, so he ignominiously deposed him from the bishopric. While he was Bishop of Constantinople, he was only remarked for being a very bad man, and a Semi-Arian ; but after his deposition, the diabolical ambition seized him, of becoming great in impiety, and the chief of a heresy; so, in the year 360, considering that preceding heresiarchs had directed their attacks against the Father and the Son, he determined to blaspheme the Third Person, the Holy Ghost. He, therefore, denied that the Holy Ghost was God, and taught that he was only a creature like the angels, but of a higher order.
72. Lambert Danasus says that Macedonius was deposed in the year 360, and was exiled to a place called Pila?, where, in his old age, he paid the penalty of his crimes. But his heresy survived him : he had many followers, and the chief among them was Marantonius, Bishop of Nicomedia, and formerly his disciple, and, what was remarkable, he was distinguished for the regularity of his life, and was held in high esteem by the people. This heresy had many adherents in the monasteries of Monks, and among the people of Constantinople, but neither bishops nor churches till the reign of Arcadius, in the Arian domination. The Macedonians were principally scattered about Thrace, in Bithynia, along the Hellespont, and in all the cities of Cizica. They were, in general, people of moral lives, and observers of almost monastic regularity ; they were usually called Pneumatomachi, from the Greek word signifying enemies of the Spirit (2).
(2) N. Alex. Bernin. t. 1, &c.
73. The Macedonian heresy was condemned in several particular Councils. In the year 362, after the return of St. Athanasius, it was condemned in the Council of Alexandria ; in 367, in a Council in Illyria ; and in 373, in a Council held in Rome, by St. Damasus, for the condemnation of Apollinaris, whose heresy will be discussed presently. In the year 381, Macedonius was again condemned, in the Council of Constantinople (the first Constantinopolitan), and though only an hundred and fifty bishops were present, and these were all Orientals, this Council was recognized as a general one, by the authority of St. Damasus, and another Council of Bishops assembled in Rome immediately after, in 382. N. Alexander says : " This was a Council of the Oriental Church alone, and was only, ex post facto, Ecumenical, inasmuch as the Western Church, congregated in the Synod of Rome, under Pope Damasus, held the same doctrine, and condemned the same heresy, as the Oriental Church." And Graveson says : " This Council of Constan tinople was afterwards reckoned a general one, for Pope Damasus, and the whole Church of the "West, gave it this dignity and authority." An anonymous author says the same thing (Auctor Lib. Apparat. brev. ad Theol. Jus Canon). This Council is considered a General one, because it followed in everything what was previously denned in the Roman Council, to which the Eastern bishops were convoked, by letters of St. Damasus, presented to the bishops assembled in Constantinople, and what was decreed in that Council was confirmed in the other Synod, held in Rome, in 382. The Fathers of the Council wrote to St. Damasus, that he had, by his fraternal charity, invited them, by letters of the Emperor, to assist as members of the Council, to be held in Rome. The reader will find in the third volume the refutation of the heresy of Macedonius.
74. In this Council of Constantinople, besides the condemnation of the heresy of Macedonius, the heresies of Apollinaris and Eunomius were also condemned ; and Maximus Cinicus, who seized on the See of Constantinople, was deposed, and St. Gregory of Nazianzen was confirmed in possession of it, but he, through love of peace, afterwards resigned it, and Neptarius was chosen in his place by the Council. Several canons, regarding the discipline of the Church, were passed, and the Nicene Creed was confirmed by the Council, and some few words were added to it concerning the mystery of the Incarnation, on account of the Apollinarists and other heretics, and a more ample explanation of the article regarding the Holy Ghost was added, on account of the heresies of the Macedonians, who denied his Divinity. The Nicene Creed says, of the incarnation of Jesus Christ, these words alone : " Qui propter nos homines, et propter nostram salutem descendit, et incarnatus est, et homo factus. Passus est, ft resurrexit tertia die ; et ascendit in ccelos ; et iterinn ventures est judicare vivos, et mortuous ; et in Spiritum Sanctum, $c." But the Symbol of Constantinople goes on thus : " Descendit de ccelis, et incarnatus est de Spiritu Sancto ex Maria Virgine, et homo factus est. Crucifixus etiam pro nobis sub Pontio Pilato, passus, et sepultus est ; tertia die resurrexit a mortuis secundum Scripturas, fyc. Et in Spiritum Sanctum Dominum et vivificantem, ex Patre procedentem, et cum Patre et Filio adorandum et conglorificandum qui locutus est per PropJietas, #c" (3). Nicephorus (4) relates, that St. Gregory of Nyssa laid down the declaration of the Council in these words : " Et in Spiritum Sanctum Dominum et vivificantem, ex Patre proceden tem, cum Patre et Filio coadorandum et conglorificandum, qui locutus est per Prophetas" (Act. Cone. Const.) When this was read in the Council, all the bishops cried out : " This is the faith of all ; this is the orthodox faith ; this we all believe" (5).
(3) Cabassutius, Not. Concil. p. 136; Orsi, t. 81 18, n. 71, & seq. ; Fleury, I 18, n. 1, & seq. ; Nat. Alex. t 1. diss. 37, ar 2.
(4) Nicef. l. 12, c. 2.
(5) Bernini, t. 1, p. 316. rsi, t. 81 18, n. 71, & seq. ;
THE HISTORY OF HERESIES, AND THEIR REFUTATION.ST. ALPHONSUS M. LIGUORI