Dictionary of Christian Biography and Literature to the End of the Sixth Century/Dorotheus (10), bp. of Thessalonica
Dorotheus (10), bp. of Thessalonica 515-520. He wrote on April 28, 515, to pope Hormisdas, urging him to labour for the peace of the church. He testifies respect for the see of Rome, and wishes to see the heresies of Nestorius and Eutyches everywhere condemned.
But in the spring of 517 we find him a Eutychian schismatic, seeking to exercise over the province of Thessalonica the rights which belonged to its metropolis when in communion with the Catholic church. He persecuted John bp. of Nicopolis, employing the secular arm and persuading the emperor Anastasius to support his faction. Complaints were brought to pope Hormisdas, who pointed out that he might regain his rights if he rejoined the Catholic church; but the papal legates Ennodius and Peregrinus were to bring the affair before the emperor, if bp. Dorotheus should persist. The emperor Anastasius refused the message of the legates, tried to corrupt them, and wrote to the pope saying that he could suffer insults, but not commands (July 11, 517). The death of the emperor almost exactly a year afterwards altered the balance against the Eutychians. Justin I., the Thracian, wrote, on his accession, to the pope, expressing his own wish and that of the principal Eastern bishops for the restoration of peace between East and West. Hormisdas, with the advice of king Theodoric, sent a third legation to Constantinople, Germanus bp. of Capua, John a bishop, Blandus a presbyter, and others. To these men at Constantinople Hormisdas wrote to inquire personally into the doings of the Eutychians at Thessalonica, and to cite bp. Dorotheus and his abettor Aristides the presbyter to Rome, that they might give account of their faith and receive resolution of their doubts. Two days before the arrival of the legates, Dorotheus baptized more than 2,000 people, and distributed the Eucharistic bread in large baskets, so that multitudes could keep it by them. On their arrival, the populace of Thessalonica, excited, as the legates thought, by Dorotheus, fell upon them, and killed John, a Catholic, who had received them in his house. News of these outrages arriving at Constantinople, the emperor Justin promised to summon Dorotheus before him. The pope wrote to his legates, saying that they must see Dorotheus deposed, and take care that Aristides should not be his successor. Dorotheus was cited before the emperor at Heraclea; he appealed to Rome, but the emperor thought it unadvisable to send him there, as his accusers would not be present. He was suddenly sent away from Heraclea, and the pope's legates, bp. John and the presbyter Epiphanius, who had remained at Thessalonica in his absence, wrote in alarm to the remaining legates at Constantinople lest Dorotheus and others should re-establish themselves in their sees by liberal use of money.
Dorotheus was now obliged by the emperor to send deputies to Rome to satisfy the pope. He accordingly wrote an agreeable letter, saying that he had exposed his life in defence of bp. John, when the populace had fallen upon him. Pope Hormisdas wrote back, saying that the crime was known to all the world, and required clearer defence; he remitted its examination to the patriarch of Constantinople. Hormisd. Epp., Patr. Lat. lxiii. pp. 371, 372, 408, 445, 446, 452, 468, 473, 481, 499, etc.; Ceillier, x. 616, 618, 619, 625, 626, 628, 632, 633.