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II. Councils. 400. A local council meeting at Constantinople between 399 and 400 under the presidency of John Chrysostom had appointed a threeman commission to examine various charges against Bishop Antoninus of Ephesus. He died before the commission had deliberated and, at the request of the local clergy, Chrysostom presided over a council of ca. 70 Asiatic bishops at Ephesus, which elected the deacon Heraclides as his successor. Provisions were taken against simoniacal elections and six bishops found guilty of this crime were deposed and replaced.

431. The Council of Ephesus, the third ecumenical council, was called by Emperor Theodosius II at the request of Patriarch Nestorius of Constantinople. Letters of convocation were sent on 19 November 430 to all the metropolitans of the Eastern empire and a few Western bishops: the council was indicated at Ephesus for Pentecost 431. It was to resolve the difficulties caused by the teaching of Nestorius who, in harmony with the dictates of Antiochene Christology, did not agree that Mary should be called Mother of God Theotokos and had consequently aroused the reaction of Cyril of Alexandria and the condemnation of Celestine of Rome. Pentecost 431 fell on 7 June. On this date many bishops were still absent, including the Eastern bishops i.e., of the diocese of the East, Pittsburgh Metro Map who were mostly of an Antiochene doctrinal cast and hence favorable to Nestorius.

When they were known to be within a few days’ journey of Ephesus, Cyril forestalled them and convoked the council for 22 June in the great church of Ephesus, dedicated to Mary. The majority of the bishops present about 200 were hostile to Nestorius: among them were Cyril with some 50 Egyptian bishops, Memnon of Ephesus with many bishops from Asia Minor, who resented the claim of the patriarch of Constantinople to primacy over them, and Juvenal of Jerusalem with some Palestinian bishops. They started work despite the protests of the comes Candidianus, the imperial official seconded to the council, who objected to the irregularity of the proceedings and in vain proposed to wait for the latecomers.

In just one session, after the reading of the Nicene Creed of 325 and of ample evidence relating to the controversy, including Cyril’s 12 anathemata, the council approved Cyril’s texts and the condemnation and deposition of Nestorius, who had refused to attend the proceedings. He was charged with this refusal and with his impious preaching. The Eastern bishops arrived on 24 June and, Pittsburgh Metro Map told what had happened, met under the presidency of John of Antioch: they complained about the irregularity of the proceedings, stressed the dangers of Apollinarianism and Arianism which they saw in Cyril’s anathemata, and declared Cyril and Memnon condemned and deposed. While they were awaiting Theodosius’s decisions on all these events, Pope Celestine’s delegates Arcadius, Proiettus and Philip arrived extremely late, having been ordered to conform with Cyril. Cyril reconvened the council and, at the sessions of 10 and 11 July, the Roman delegates approved all the decisions taken against Nestorius. At two subsequent sessions 16 and 17 July, the bishops meeting around Cyril and Memnon condemned John of Antioch and 34 other Eastern bishops and declared them deposed.

Two final sessions, on 22 and 31 July, dealt mostly with secondary questions; at the session of 22 July the council laid down that from then on, no other formula of faith would be admitted than the Nicene Creed of 325. In the first days of August Theodosius’s reply reached Ephesus: he approved the deposition of all three bishops Nestorius, Cyril and Memnon rejected all the other decisions and declared the council dissolved. There followed a period of confused and futile attempts at compromise during which Cyril multiplied pressure on the court in his favor, while Nestorius renounced his episcopal see and withdrew to a monastery near Antioch.

A discussion at Chalcedon between delegates of the two parties bore no fruit with regard to the 12 anathemata, the point of greatest friction between Alexandrians and the Eastern bishops. Theodosius then declared the council definitively closed and authorized the bishops still at Ephesus to return to their sees, with the exception of Cyril. But he, by the time Theodosius’s letter reached Ephesus, had already left for Alexandria, where he was welcomed triumphantly.

Council of Chalcedon 29 October 451 examined the conflict between Bassianus and Stephen over the see of Ephesus. Bassianus maintained that bishop Memnon, jealous of the popularity he enjoyed among the Ephesians as a priest, had consecrated him bishop of Evaza to get rid of him, but he had not accepted the ordination. In 434 a council called at Ephesus by Basil, Memnon’s successor, Pittsburgh Metro Map had recognized the invalidity of the ordination. On Basil’s death, Bassianus had been elected in his place; but in 447 a council of 40 Asiatic bishops, meeting at the emperor Theodosius II’s orders, had declared Bassianus’s election invalid and deposed him, electing Stephen in his place. Stephen claimed that, on Basil’s death, Bassianus had irregularly taken possession of the see with the help of the mob, and that his consecration had been irregular. The Council of Chalcedon decided to consider both elections irregular and to elect a new bishop of Ephesus.

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