Sunday, May 7, 2023

Dom C.L. Spiessens: Apostolic Succession in the Patriarchate of Antioch (II)

 Part I

Part III

Translated from: Dom C.L. Spiessens, o.s.b., "Les patriarches d'Antioche et leur succession apostolique," Orient Syrien 7.4 (1962), 389-345 (in this post, pp. 404-419).


III. Succession and Legitimacy: The Patriarchates.

1. The Syrian Jacobite Patriarchate

It is, historically, the first patriarchate to form outside the single Patriarchate of Antioch. The qualification “Jacobite”, taken from the name of the bishop Jacob Baradaeus, only appeared in 575 to designate a party within the Monophysite Church of Syria, a party opposed to the Monophysite Patriarch Paul the Black.[1] It is thus posterior to the creation of the Monophysite Patriarchate of Antioch. For too long the bishop Jacob Baradaeus has been regarded as the true founder of the splitting in two of the Patriarchate of Antioch. This split into a Chalcedonian hierarchy and a Monophysite hierarchy dates to before him, as our study shall clearly demonstrate.

The true founder of the Syrian Monophysite church, whom all the “Jacobites” hold as such, is the Patriarch Severus of Antioch (512-518, in the series of patriarchs of Antioch). It is with him that our study of the legitimacy of the commonly-called “Jacobite” patriarchate should begin.

But first, a few words of history.

In 484, Pope Felix of Rome broke relations with Patriarch Acacius of Constantinople. This schism would last until 519 (Emperor Justin I). It was during that period of schism between the West and the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, which was already the real ecclesiastical head of the East, that the “monophysitization” of the patriarchal territory of the Patriarchate of Antioch and the establishment of the Monophysite Church of Antioch took place.

The patriarch of Antioch, Peter the Fuller, a former monk of Chalcedon and an avowed Monophysite, had prepared the way for Monophysitism in the East when, during his fourth patriarchate (484-490), he had incited the Emperor Zeno to run several bishops of Eastern Syria who had shown themselves to be too Chalcedonian out of their sees, giving himself the task of replacing them with men of his choosing. Thus he contributed to the election of the monk Xenaias (Philoxenus)[2]  as bishop of Mabbug (Hieropolis) in 485. Philoxenus showed himself to be one of the most zealous adversaries of Nestorianism and opposed the Council of Chalcedon solely because he found too many traces of Nestorianism in it.[3] Peter the Fuller had, moreover, established as the basis for the official doctrine of the Patriarchate of Antioch the Henotikon, the “Charter of Monophysitism”.[4]

The Patriarch Palladius (490-498), himself also a Monophysite, only reinforced the situation during the eight years he occupied the see.

Flavian II (498-512) who, after having subscribed to the Henotikon, showed too much reserve in anathematizing Chalcedon and was finally outflanked by Philoxenus of Mabbug and forced to resign.

To replace him, they elected as patriarch in 512 Severus, a former monk of the Monastery of Saint Hilarion in Maiouma, but who had lived in Constantinople from 508 to 511. A true theologian in the line of the Henotikon, he had worked, together with Philoxenus of Mabbug, for the propagation of the Monophysite doctrine. Twelve metropolitans and bishops attended his installation and in doing show showed their agreement to his election. His patriarchate (512-518) would consist of a relentless struggle against the Chalcedonians; first against the bishops—driving them off if necessary—; also against the monks, whom he managed to convince by weapons often stronger than mere theological convictions. According to the letter that the monks of Syria Secunda later sent to Pope Hormisdas, he massacred hundreds.[5]

But, in 518 Justin I became emperor in Byzantium. He was originally from Illyricum. From his accession to power, he notified Pope Hormisdas and promised to work for the union of the Christian East on the basis of the decisions of Chalcedon. The union between the Roman and Byzantine patriarchates was in fact reestablished and the Henotikon abandoned. The hunt for Monophysites began already in 518. At a synod held in Constantinople, Severus of Antioch and more than fifty bishops were anathematized and declared deposed from their sees.

Severus, without waiting for the decree to be enforced, fled to Egypt, a safer country where “he would lead the opposition, waiting for circumstances to become less unfavorable.”[6] In practice, Syria could not return all at once to Chalcedonian theology: Severus had exerted himself too much during the six years of his patriarchate. The purge of the episcopal body, envisaged by Constantinople could only—if it was applied in all severity—empty Syria of its bishops. The greatest number of them, in fact, men chosen by Severus and Philoxenus, refused to subscribe to the new Constantinopolitan measures. Severus’ activity had even gone beyond the boundaries of the Patriarchate of Antioch: in all the provinces of Asia and Cappodocia they found “Severians” to eliminate. From that moment, some Monophysite bishops organized themselves into sorts of independent churches, opposed to the Chalcedonian Church, and succeeded in maintaining this situation for a number of years. This was the case, in particular, in Mesopotamia. The bishop John of Tella was delegated by Severus to undertake the ordinations that he deemed necessary.

In most of the regions and at Antioch itself, there were riots and protests when it was necessary to impose upon the faithful the new titularies of the episcopal sees. Most of the proscribed bishops, along with their faithful, continued to regard Severus as the true “orthodox” patriarch and regarded the Chalcedonian successor, the Patriarch Paul, as a “Melkite”,[7] a collaborator with imperial policy, a politician.[8]

The deposition of Severus of Antioch by the Synod of Constantinople (July 518) was nevertheless entirely legitimate, not only from the theological point of view, but also canonically. From the theological point of view, in fact, it was recognized that bishops, as successors of the Apostles, have the obligation to preserve the deposit of faith, not only in their local church, but also in the universal Church. They are part of the apostolic collegiality, established by Jesus Christ to carry the Gospel “unto the ends of the earth.” As such, it is a duty for every bishop to repel from the apostolic communion church officials who proclaim a heretical faith. One can find numerous examples in the history of the Patriarchate of Antioch itself to illustrate this point of view of the universal Church. It is moreover the responsibility that Severus of Antioch himself took up when, as soon as he acceded to the patriarchal throne, he anathematized Nestorius and all Nestorians, the Council of Chalcedon and the Tome of Leo. The same sense of their responsibility for the purity of the Christian faith led the bishops gathered in Constantinople to proceed as they did against Severus and his partisans.

Canonically as well, the deposition was legitimate. The Constantinopolitan synod could judge the Patriarch Severus, as we have seen above, on account of the supremacy of Constantinople recognized by canon 3 of the Council of Constantinople (381) and by the Council of Chalcedon (451) at its fourth session.[9] It is known, in fact, that the Synodos endemousa, which was recognized by eastern jurisprudence as having the right to judge questions under debate in the eastern provinces, functioned with the Ecumenical Patriarch.[10] The Synodos endemousa of July 518 brought together forty-four bishops who were present at that moment in Constantinople to examine the complaints brought by monks and by the people of Constantinople against Severus and the letter of the clergy of Antioch accusing Severus of having anathematized the Council of Chalcedon.[11] A copy of these synodal decrees was sent by the patriarch of Constantinople to the metropolitan of Tyre, Epiphanius, who brought them to the attention of at least five bishops of the Patriarchate of Antioch.[12] The procedure was thus entirely legitimate.

But, as we have already remarked, the deposition of Severus of Antioch and his replacement with a Chalcedonian patriarch did not put an end to the struggles in the church of Oriens. Severus of Antioch, contrary to all canons, continued to be involved in the affairs of Antioch and proceeded to perform ordinations. The canons forbid him from this,[13] but he could rely on sentiments that were increasingly hostile to Byzantine decisions which animated the Syrians, particularly those of the eastern part of the patriarchal territory. The continual wars that the Byzantine Empire had had to deal with in the 5th century contributed to this for their part. In the Syrian desert, in Mesopotamia, in Osrhoene and in Armenia, the Monophysite bishops and monks, proscribed by the ordinances of Justin I, formed veritable “states” according to the words of Zacharias the Rhetor. When, in 527, Justinian ascended to the imperial throne, he had to recognize, in one of his first decrees, that in the provinces, all the regions not controlled directly through the military occupation of the cities had become “properly uninhabitable” for the Byzantines. This is why, little by little, the Byzantine state saw itself obliged to make a deal with the Monophysites and to return to a policy of conciliation. Justinian called back from exile (starting in 530) the Monophysite bishops and monks driven away by Justin’s decrees. He even went so far as to invite Severus to Constantinople to work on union there. The latter had moreover been received into the communion Anthimus of Constantinople and Theodosius of Alexandria.

In 553, discussions between Chalcedonians and Monophysites took place in Constantinople, discussions which, in the emperor’s mind, should have “re-established unity”, but which, in fact, came to nothing. Indeed, in 556 Pope Agapetus arrived in the Byzantine capital and put an end to these meetings between bishops and theologians, inciting Justinian to act with less compromise. Starting in the year 557, they returned to persecutions. In the Patriarchate of Antioch, it is the “Melkite” Ephrem who took up the task of leading them. Former Comes Orientis, he must have known about it in retaliation. He travelled about the whole of his territory. The persecution proved to be very violent: the chroniclers speak of “bloodbaths”.[14] Certain Monophysite bishops, like the famous John of Tella, already mentioned, risked their life to consecrate bishops clandestinely. They even had recourse to Persian bishops, like the bishop Cyrus of Sinjar.[15] But under the effects of the persecution, the Monophysites lost more and more ground and, according to John of Asia, in 543 there were only three Monophysite bishops still in possession of their sees.[16]

In the meantime (in 538), Severus of Antioch died in Egypt, where the Coptic Church canonized him immediately. Sergius, a native of Tella, succeeded him as patriarch of Antioch for the Monophysites, against the “Melkite” Ephrem. He resided in Egypt and one could suppose that the election and the consecration were performed by Monophysite bishops of the Church of Alexandria. Several Egyptian bishops were in communion with the Monophysite patriarch of Alexandria, Theodosius, who had been exiled to Derkos.

The existence of the Patriarch Sergius is attested, among other documents, by the De opificio mundi of the Alexandrian philosopher John Philoponus, a Syrian by original and long connected by bonds of friendship with Sergius of Tella, to whom he had already dedicated one of his treatises.[17]

In 563 at the latest, Sergius of Tella had died, with his successor said to have been Paul the Black of Beit Ukama (564-581). He was consecrated bishop by Jacob Baradaeus, Eugene of Seleucia and Eunomius of Amid. Under this Monophysite patriarch, several schisms divided the Monophysite community of Antioch. One of these schisms was the origin of the name “Jacobite” given to the Monophysite church of Syria. For reasons outside the scope of our study, Jacob Baradaeus, the uncontested leader of the church after Severus, deemed it necessary to anathematize Paul the Black.

A certain number of bishops and priests took Jacob’s side against the patriarch. They were known under the name of the “Jacobite party” as well as the “Jacobite church”. But this church was far from bringing together the totality of the Monophysites of Syria. Paul the Black had his own partisans and they were numerous.

That schism did not last. In 581, Paul the Black died and the college of Monophysite bishops of all parties gave as his successor Peter of Callinicum (581-591).[18] The Jacobite Church had survived, but the name stuck and expanded considerably. Despite all the efforts of the hierarchy, which only wanted the name “Syrian Orthodox Church”, the term “Jacobite” was attached not only to the Monophysites of Syria, but also those of Egypt, Ethiopia and Armenia.

Peter of Callinicum was consecrated at the Monastery of Mar Hanania by the Monophysite patriarch of Alexandria, Damian.

Despite several subsequent schisms, in the Monophysite church of Syria, especially from the end of the 13th century to the mid-15th century, the succession of patriarchs was continued.

What should we think of the legitimacy of this episcopal succession to which is attributed the title “Patriarch of Antioch”?

All the occupants of the see of Severus: Sergius, Paul the Black, Peter of Callinicum, Julian and the others, certainly validly received episcopal consecration.

Were they thus legitimate patriarchs, having taken this name? It is in a case like this and like that of the Arian patriarchs of the 4th and 5th centuries that this question is raised in all its sharpness.

In the spirit of the Monophysites of Syria, who considered themselves to be and called themselves “the orthodox”, that Severus had been illegitimately deposed and, they claimed, “the one who was exiled took legitimacy with him and remained the authentic patriarch.”[19]

Severus’ accession to the patriarchal throne had been done in a legitimate fashion. But as regards the faith, there is always the question of his orthodoxy and that of the men who appointed him. They were Monophysites who did not submit to the doctrinal decisions of the Fourth Ecumenical Council. They were thus heretics. He himself also was.[20] Was this an impediment to legitimately occupying the See of Antioch? Without a doubt. A bishop can be validly consecrated and validly receive the order of episcopacy but lose the licit exercise of that order if he does not keep orthodoxy of faith. The ancient discipline, in Antioch as in the other churches, was identical in all cases of this sort. Paul of Samosata (260-268) was deposed from his episcopal office for being a heretic; the bishops who deposed him wrote to Rome and Alexandria: “We have been obliged, after having excommunicated this adversary of God… to put in his place, for the catholic Church, another bishop in order to be obedient to divine providence…”[21] Meletius of Antioch (360/1- 381) was regarded as Arianizing by Rome and thus was not recognized by her, nor by Alexandria, as a real patriarch.[22]

Rome refuses her communion to a patriarch if there are doubts about his orthodoxy. The other patriarchates act likewise. It requires a true case of force majeure, as often was the imperial policy and the faith professed by the basileus of the moment, for a heretical patriarch to be kept in place. But the other churches would not enter into communion with him. Canons 1 and 2 of the Council of Ephesus (431) stipulate the privation of jurisdiction from apostate bishops, as well as the exclusion of all communion with them and their suspension. Canon 3 of the same council stipulates that “clergy who have remained faithful… should in no way submit to bishops who have apostatized.”

The heretical bishop is thus excluded from the Church; he has no more power over the faithful and they are dispensed from the submission that they ordinarily owe him.

The deposition of Severus of Antioch was thus a normal behavior of orthodox bishops to preserve the faithful of the Patriarchate of Antioch; the election of a Chalcedonian bishop was the normal order and the only legitimate procedure. The Monophysite Church of Antioch that derived from it is the fruit of a schism.

We think that it would be going to far to affirm that the Syrians were sincerely convinced that Severus had brought the patriarchate with himself, that the patriarchate was inherent to his person. They knew very well that the patriarchal office was an office imposed upon a bishop for the good of the community, an office that the catholic community had to remove if the shepherd fell into error. They provided proof of this a few dozen years later in the case of Paul the Black. They knew very well the ancient discipline of the Church which establishes that the episcopal office does not itself preserve the shepherd in his faith. Proof of this is their hatred for Nestorius. They also knew that the shepherd could not dispose of the episcopal office as he pleases and that, even on his deathbed, a bishop could not name his successor (canon 14 of Antioch).

Once the Monophysite heresy had been propagated during so many years, it was difficult to return to orthodoxy in an instant. Hatred toward the Byzantine occupier was another argument that weighed heavily against the reestablishment of true doctrine, since it could only come from the Byzantine capital. But that in no way changes the judgment pronounced by history against Severus and against his successors.


2. The Syrian Catholic Patriarchate

Since the Crusades, there have been several attempts at union with the Church of Rome on the part of the leaders of the Syrian Church. Thus, in 1237, then in 1247, between the Syrian patriarch and the Dominicans of Jerusalem. The Syrians seemed pushed to a political agreement with the Crusaders on account of the Tatar invasion rather than motivated by desire for orthodoxy. In any case, nothing would last from these attempts which were repeated over the centuries. In 1444, on September 30, the metropolitan of Edessa, Abdallah, came to Rome as the delegate of his patriarch and signed, in the patriarch’s name, the decrees of union of the Council of Florence. The same happened in 1581, when the nomination of the Patriarch David-Ignatius was affirmed in Rome. But all these unions were only passing.

Starting in the 17th century, through the intermediary of Capuchin missionaries, unionist activity developed and Syrian communities of Catholic faith were created alongside Jacobite communities. This did not go without formal opposition from the Jacobite Church and there was no question of the entire community passing over to union with Rome.

Thanks to the missionaries’ zeal, and thanks as well to the chaos in which the Syrian Jacobite Patriarchate found itself, where three prelates—Gregory Shukrallah, Shem’un of Tur Abdin and Yeshu’ bin Qamseh—disputed the title and pursued each other, the Syrian Catholic community of Aleppo increased considerably and became important enough to have a shepherd. The Latin missionaries of the city, in agreement with the French consul, François Piquet, sent to Lebanon Andrew Akidjân with an urgent request to His Beatitude the Maronite Patriarch John Bawâb es-Safrâoui begging him to confer the episcopacy upon him. In fact, Andrew Akidjân had already been ordained a priest by the Maronites, among whom he was well-known and very well-regarded; he had been sent by them, shortly after his ordination, to the Maronite seminary in Rome to complete his studies there. Thus recommendations were not lacking. Es-Safrâoui consulted his bishops then, after some hesitation, consecrated Andrew Akidjân on June 29, 1656 as Syrian bishop of Aleppo, under the condition that he “not interfere in the affairs of the Maronites of Aleppo.”

The French consul quickly obtained a firman from the Sublime Porte in his protégé’s favor, a firman in which it was notably stated that “Whosoever does not recognize André as a bishop will be considered an enemy of the State.” This official document allowed the new prelate to take possession of the Syrian church which had, up until then, belonged to the Jacobites.

Five years later, one of the three rival patriarchs, Shem’un, who was not in any case the legitimate titulary of the see, died. The notables of the Syrian Catholic community held an assembly in which the missionaries of the city took part. They decided that it would be extremely useful for the good of the Syrian Church in general for a man such as the bishop of Aleppo to be elevated to the patriarchal see. A berat was requested from the Sublime Porte in his favor. At the same time, the Patriarch Gregory Shukrallah requested the same berat for himself. The sultan didn’t cause any difficulties in giving satisfaction to both candidates. Shukrallah had his registered by the wali of Diyarbakr, while Akidjân had his registered in Aleppo, where the wali actively and sympathetically lent him a helping hand. On August 20, 1662, Bishop Akidjân was enthroned as patriarch of the Syrians and the Sovereign Pontif confirmed his election right away and sent him the pallium.[23]

This Aleppine “patriarch” of the Syrian Catholics can neither be considered patriarch of Antioch nor the real founder of the current Syrian Catholic Patriarchate. According to the legislation of all the patriarchates, like the Jacobite Patriarchate of Antioch, patriarchal elections must take place in a synod.

Nevertheless, the cause of union gained more ground from day to day, despite the opposition and persecutions conducted by the Jacobite patriarchate. Even some bishops allowed themselves to be won over by the Latin missionaries and by the Maronite clergy and converted, resigning their episcopal office or keeping it, as the missionaries often suggested. Among others, this was the case of Michael Jarwé, the Syrian archbishop of Aleppo, who was officially Jacobite but secretly a convert.

Before dying, the Jacobite patriarch, Gregory III, asked the maphrian and the bishops around him to give him as his successor the archbishop of Aleppo, Michael Jarwé. At the death of the patriarch (1781), the latter was elected in Mardin by the bishops who were present, among the bishop of Jerusalem, the maphrian, and by the clergy and a large participation of the faithful of the city. He took the name Ignatius Michael IV, made a Catholic profession of faith—this time openly—and asked Rome for confirmation of his election. It was granted to him, and Michael Jarwé thus became the first Syrian Catholic patriarch of Antioch and the beginning of the line of patriarchs that continues until today in the person of His Beatitude Ignatius Gabriel cardinal Tappouni.

Was this succession legitimate and should Michael Jarwé be considered the successor of Severus of Antioch?

We should first of all say that Michael Jarwé’s reconciliation with Rome “was not followed by a corporate return of the Monophysite Syrian Church”[24] and that, from the moment of his proclamation of Catholic faith, the archbishop of Mosul, Matthew, was given as a rival, himself obtaining the berat of investiture of the Ottoman Porte.

Nothing permits doubt about the legitimacy and canonicity of the election of Michael Jarwé as patriarch of Antioch for the Syrians. According to the ancient canons of the first councils, a patriarch, like a metropolitan, should be elected in the synod of bishops of the region. Likewise according to the canons of the Jacobite Church, the election of the patriarch should take place within the synodal assembly. “One should only confer the patriarchate to one who has been accepted by a certain number or by a majority of the metropolitans.”[25] According to the Council of Tabriz, which bases itself explicitly on earlier legislation, the patriarchal election “takes place by the acceptance of the faithful and of the Fathers, by their counsels and their writings.”[26] “The patriarch is only constituted by the election or by divine inspiration, or else the Fathers, the monks, the priests and the notables gather together and examine the person who is worthy of this high office.”[27]

Moreover, also with regard to patriarchal elections among the Syrians, the custom and legislation of that church required the enthronement of the new patriarch to be conducted by the maphrian of the Syrian Church. Thus the Council of Kfartuta (869) declares, “The patriarch shall not be consecrated without the participation of maphrian, if he is alive.”[28]

In fact, the election of Michael Jarwé, as we have already said, was done in complete agreement with all these canons cited. The maphrian, the archbishop of Jerusalem, was one of those who participated in his election and in his enthronement as Syrian patriarch.

There remains only the question of civil recognition by the berat of the Sublime Porte. Was this recognition necessary? It certainly was in order for the patriarch to be able to fulfill his functions under the Ottoman Empire, as civil head of the “Syrian nation”, as the official representative of his people to the Turkish authorities.

But the absence of this recognition in no way calls into question the spiritual authority with which the holder was invested by the fact of his canonical election and his consecration or his enthronement. It only had significance on account of the civil effects that it entailed, such as the taking possession, by the one to which it was granted, of churches and of the patriarchal or episcopal palace. It was moreover often given to more than one bidder and the Sublime Porte was not at all embarrassed to grant it, over the course of the same year, to the legitimate bishop and to two or three of his rivals, so long as they were capable of paying. Already around 1083, Yahya ibn Jarir wrote, “In our times, this canon (on patriarchal elections) has lost its value and only the one who can rely on kings is able to obtain this dignity.”[29] The Syrian Catholics would wait until 1830 for this official recognition from the Turkish authorities, establishing them as a separate “nation” civilly separate from the Jacobites, but that in no way prevented the Syrian Catholics from recognizing Michael Jarwé and his successors and their true spiritual leader, nor Syrian Jacobites from coming to join his flock.

What should be made of the title “Patriarch of Antioch” which the Syrian Catholic patriarch bears?

When they asked Rome to recognize Patriarch Ignatius David as the Jacobite patriarch in 1583, a consistory specially studied the question of titulature.[30] The delegate of Patriarch Nemetallah had already, under Pius IV, requested that the patriarch be able to style himself “patriarch of Antioch”. From that moment, they straightforwardly realized that the Syrian patriarch was a “national” patriarch, a “patriarch of the nation of the Jacobites or Syrians” like the “patriarchs of other nations, such as the Armenians and the Maronites” and they did not wish for him to be given any title other than “Patriarch Syrians, called or declared of Antioch.”

In 1636, Rome would have the time to examine the question more deeply and took more precise decisions when it had to respond to an identical request, this time coming from the Maronite patriarch, as we shall see below.

In conclusion, we can thus say that the Syrian Catholic patriarch should be considered the true successor of Severus, the schismatic patriarch of Antioch, after his deposition in 518. He should be considered a “national” patriarch, the religious leader of the Syrian nation.

[1] Michael the Syrian, Chronicle, ed. Chabot, p. 324; cf. also Jean d’Asie, ed. Brooks, 4, 21; all in the CSCO scriptores syri.

[2] Xenayas is a version of the Syriac name given by the Syrians to Philoxenus: Aksenâya, the Stranger.

[3] Cf. Introduction aux Homélies de Philoxène, by Eug. Lemoine, Sources Chrétiennes no. 44.

[4] Mgr. Devreesse, “Les premiers années du Monophysitisme,” Rev. Sc. phil. et Theol. (1930), pp. 257-265.

[5] Letter in coll. Aveil., 139, ed. Guenther, pp. 565-571.

[6] Mgr Devreesse, Le patriarcat d’Antioche, p. 71.

[7] From the Syriac word malka, king, emperor.

[8] The successors of Paul sometimes were, without any doubt, such as the Patriarch Ephrem, the former Comes Orientis.

[9] See Héfélé-Leclerque, Histoire des Conciles, II, 2, p. 715.

[10] See J. Hajjar, “Recherches sur le Synodos endemousa,” Proche-Orient Chrétien 5, pp. 113-118 and 216-239; and also Dom E. Lane in Irénikon (1961), pp. 503ff.

[11] Mansi, VIII, 1041-1049.

[12] Mansi, VIII, 578.

[13] For example, canons 4 and 5 of the Council of Antioch (341) which forbid a deposed bishop from any further engagement with the affairs of his territory and from performing sacramental acts for the faithful.

[14] Ps. Zacharius, chapters 9 and 10.

[15] Michael the Syrian IX, 29.

[16] Ibid., 37.

[17] Mgr Devreesse, “Anciens commentateurs de l’Octateuque,” Revue Biblique (1936), 364-365 and notes.

[18] 578-591 according to Assemani, Bibliotheca orientalis and Duval, Littérature syriaque, p. 96.

[19] Mgr Devreesse, Le patriarcat d’Antioche, p. 96.

[20] We do not have to take account of the orthodoxy that is currently being discovered in the writings of Severus of Antioch. For his contemporaries, he was an adversary of the faith of Chalcedon. He contested the council until his death, accusing the doctrine of Chalcedon of Nestorianism, perhaps due to a lack of understanding, but this in no way changes his disobedience. In any case, it is now quite clear that Severian Monophysitism is a purely verbal Monophysitism.

Moreover, here is the text of His Holiness Piux XII on this topic: “It is indeed sad that the ancient adversaries of the council of Chalcedon (also called Monophysites) should have rejected this doctrine, so lucid, so coherent and so complete, on the strength of certain badly understood expressions of ancient writers… For the reason just given there are today some separated bodies in Egypt, Ethiopia, Syria, Armenia and elsewhere, who go wrong mainly in their use of words in defining the doctrine of the Incarnation. This may be demonstrated from their liturgical and theological books… let those whom with sorrow and love we have mentioned above, consider whether it is right and expedient that, principally on account of the original ambiguity of certain words, they should still hold apart from the one Holy Church… (Encyclical for the Fifteenth Centenary of the Council of Chalcedon, September 8, 1951).

[21] Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, 7, 30, 17.

[22] Cf. for more details, G. Bardy, “Le Concile d’Antioche (379),” Revue Bénédictine (1933), pp. 196ff.; idem, “Alexandrie, Antioche, Constantinople,” in L’Eglise et les Eglises, I, pp. 190ff.; D. David Amand, “Damase, Athanase, Pierre, Mélèce,” in ibid., pp. 261ff.

[23] Cf. Naccaché, Divine Providence in the Conversion of the Syrians [Arabic], Beirut, 1910, pp. 36-69.

[24] R. Aubert, Le Pontificat de Pie IX, coll. Fliche et Martin, 21, p.

[25] Yahya, al-Murshid, 31.

[26] Council of Tabriz, ms Charfet 4/6, pp. 61-62, cited in Mgr Paul Hindo, Disc. Antioch ant., II, Rome, 1951, p. 100. Paul Hindo, op. cit., pp. 99-100.

[27] Anonymous canon, ms Vatican Syriac 159, cited in Mgr Paul Hindo, ibid.

[28] Ibid., p. 102. This canon was inserted in the Nomocanon of Barhebraeus.

[29] Yahya, al-Murshid, 31, On the Priesthood.

[30] See in Mgr Paul Hindo, op. cit., pp. 79-83, the text of the Diario consistoriale of Cardinal Santoro.


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