Letter to Chrestus of Syracuse

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Constantine Augustus to Chrestus, bishop of Syracuse. [1]

Already on a former occasion, when some in a base and perverse manner began to create divisions with regard to the worship of the holy and heavenly power, and the catholic religion, in my desire to cut short such dissensions among them, I had given orders Lo the effect that certain bishops should be sent from Gaul, nay further, that the opposing parties, who were contending stubbornly and persistently together, should be summoned from Africa; that so, in the presence also of the bishop of Rome, this question which appeared to have been raised might through their coming receive a right solution by means of a careful examination in every particular.

But since, as it happens, some, forgetful both of their own salvation and of the reverence they owe to their most holy religion, even now do not cease to perpetuate their private enmities, being unwilling to conform to the judgement already passed, and affirming that after all it was a few persons who gave their opinions and decisions, or that they were in a hurry to pass judgement very speedily and sharply without having first accurately examined all those matters that ought to have been investigated ; and since, as a result of all this, it has come to pass that even those very persons who ought to be of one mind in brotherly concord are separate from each other in a disgraceful, nay rather in an abominable, fashion, and give to those men whose souls are strangers to this most holy religion an occasion to scoff, it became incumbent upon me to provide that that which ought to have ceased by voluntary agreement, after the judgement already passed, may even now, if possible, be ended by the presence of many persons.

We have therefore commanded that very many bishops from various and numberless places should assemble at the city of Aries by the first of August.

  1. Eusebius, Historia Ecclesia. Caput 5:21 at http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/250110.htm