The Long Formulary and the Enactments Issued by the Synod of Sardica. Julius, Bishop of Rome, and Hosius, the Spanish Bishop, Deposed by the Bishops Of
Three years afterwards, the bishops of the East [1245] sent to those of the West a formulary of faith, which, because it had been framed with verbiage and thoughts in excess of any former confession, was called makrostichos ekthesis. [1246] In this formulary they made no mention of the substance of God, but those are excommunicated who maintain that the Son arose out of what had no previous existence, or that He is of Another hypostasis, and not of God, or that there was a time or an age in which He existed not. Eudoxius, who was still bishop of Germanicia, Martyrius, and Macedonius, carried this document, but the Western priests did not entertain it; for they declared that they felt fully satisfied with the doctrines established at Nicæa, and thought it entirely unnecessary to be too curious about such points.

After the Emperor Constans [1247] had requested his brother to reinstate the followers of Athanasius in their sees, and had found his application to be unavailing, on account of the counteracting influence of those who adopted a hostile heresy; and when, moreover, the party of Athanasius and Paul entreated Constans to assemble a Synod on account of the plots for the abolition of orthodox doctrines, both the emperors were of the opinion that the bishops of the East and of the West should be convened on a certain day at Sardica, a city of Illyria. The bishops of the East, who had previously assembled at Philippopolis, a city of Thrace, wrote to the bishops of the West, who had already assembled at Sardica, that they would not join them, unless they would eject the followers of Athanasius from their assembly, and from communion with them, because they had been deposed. They afterwards went to Sardica, but declared they would not enter the church, while those who had been deposed by them were admitted thither. The bishops of the West replied, that they never had ejected them, and that they would not yield this now, particularly as Julius, bishop of Rome, after having investigated the case, had not condemned them, and that besides, they were present and ready to justify themselves and to refute again the offenses imputed to them. These declarations, however, were of no avail; and since the time they had appointed for the adjustment of their differences, concerning which they had convened, had expired, they finally wrote letters to one another on these points, and by these they were led to an increase of their previous ill-will. And after they had convened separately, they brought forward opposite decisions; for the Eastern bishops confirmed the sentences they had already enacted against Athanasius, Paul, Marcellus, and Asclepas, and deposed Julius, bishop of Rome, because he had been the first to admit those who had been condemned by them, into communion; and Hosius, the confessor, was also deposed, partly for the same reason, and partly because he was the friend of Paulinus and Eustathius, the rulers of the church in Antioch. Maximus, bishop of Treves, was deposed, because he had been among the first who had received Paul into communion, and had been the cause of his returning to Constantinople, and because he had excluded from communion the Eastern bishops who had repaired to Gaul. Besides the above, they likewise deposed Protogenes, bishop of Sardica, and Gaudentius; [1248] the one because he favored Marcellus, although he had previously condemned him, and the other because he had adopted a different line of conduct from that of Cyriacus, his predecessor, and had supported many individuals then deposed by them. After issuing these sentences, they made known to the bishops of every region, that they were not to hold communion with those who were deposed, and that they were not to write to them, nor to receive letters from them. They likewise commanded them to believe what was said concerning God in the formulary which they subjoined to their letter, and in which no mention was made of the term "consubstantial," but in which, those were excommunicated who said there are three Gods, or that Christ is not God, or that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are the same, or that the Son is unbegotten, or that there was a time or an age in which He existed not. [1249]


[1245] Athan. de Synodis, 26, in ten heads, and given by Soc. ii. 19, and with like introduction.

[1246] For the whole section, Soc. ii. 19, 20; Athan. de Synodis, 26. Cf. Hil. Frag. ii. and iii.; Sulp. Sev. H. S. ii. 36.

[1247] Soc. ii. 20, but Soz. has other details.

[1248] He was bishop of Naïssus in Moesia Superior.

[1249] This section concerning the Synod of the Eastern bishops is probably from Sabinus. Cf. Hil. Frag. iii.

chapter x the bishop of rome
Top of Page
Top of Page