Wednesday, June 27, 2012



Vatican City, 27 June 2012 (VIS) - The Letter to the Philippians which, the Holy Father said, is in some way St. Paul's "spiritual last will and testament", was the theme of his catechesis during the general audience, which was held this morning in the Paul VI Hall.
The Apostle of the Gentiles dictated this Letter from jail, when he felt death approaching, yet nonetheless it closes with an invitation to be joyful. Joy, the Holy Father explained, "is a fundamental characteristic of being Christian. ... But how can one be joyful in the face of an imminent death sentence? From where, or better from whom, does St. Paul draw his peace of mind and the strength and courage to face martyrdom?"
The answer is to be found in the middle of the Letter to the Philippians, in the so-called "carmen Christo" or "Christological hymn", which "summarises the Son of God's divine and human itinerary". It opens with these words: "Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus". This, the Pope said, "means not only following Jesus' example, ... but also involving the whole of our lives in His way of thinking and acting".
This hymn to Christ begins by saying that He is "'in the form of God'. Yet Jesus, true God and true man, did not experience this condition ... in order to triumph and to impose His supremacy", but to take "'the form of a slave', the human form marked by suffering, poverty and death. He assimilated Himself fully to mankind, except in sin".
St. Paul continues by outlining the historical context of Jesus' earthly life, up to the cross where He "experienced the greatest degree of humiliation, because crucifixion was the punishment reserved for slaves, and not for the free". Yet it is "in the cross of Christ that man is redeemed and Adam's experience is transformed ". If the first man sought to be like God, "then Jesus, though 'in the form of God', lowered Himself and immersed Himself in the human condition, ... to redeem the Adam within us and to restore to man the dignity he had lost".
"Human logic", Benedict XVI went on, "often seeks realisation in power and domination. ... Man still wants to build the Tower of Babel with his own strength, to reach the heights of God, to be like God. The incarnation and the cross remind us that full realisation lies in conforming our human will to that of the Father, in emptying ourselves ... of selfishness in order to fill ourselves with the love of God and thus to become truly capable of loving one another".
The Pope then noted that, in the second part of the Christological hymn, the subject changes: no longer Christ but God the Father. "He Who abased Himself by taking on the form of a slave, is exalted and raised above all things by the Father, Who gives Him the name of 'Kyrios', 'Lord'. ... The Jesus Who is exalted is the Jesus of the Last Supper Who ... bends to wash the feet of the Apostles. ... It is important to remember this always during our prayers and our lives".
"This hymn in the Letter to the Philippians contains two important indications for our own prayers. The first is the invocation of 'Lord' addressed to Jesus Christ Who, ... amidst so many 'dominators' who seek to rule, remains the one Lord of our lives. ... Therefore it is important to maintain a scale of values in which the first place belongs to God".
"The second indication is prostration, ... the 'bending of every knee in heaven and on earth', ... the adoration that all creatures owe to God. Genuflection before the Blessed Sacrament or kneeling in prayer express the attitude of adoration before God. ... When we kneel before the Lord we confess our faith in Him, we recognise that He is the one Lord of our lives".
"At the beginning of this catechesis we asked ourselves how St. Paul could be joyful when faced with the risk of imminent martyrdom", the Holy Father concluded. "This was possible only because the Apostle never removed his gaze from Christ".

Vatican City, 27 June 2012 (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office today issued a note explaining the new form of the rite for imposing the pallium on metropolitan archbishops, which takes place annually on 29 June, Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul Apostles.
"Things will remain substantially the same", the note reads, "but this year, following a logic of development in continuity, it has been decided simply to move the rite itself, and it will now take place before the Eucharistic celebration.
"The modification has been approved by the Holy Father and is motivated by the following reasons:
"1. To make the rite shorter. The list of new metropolitan archbishops will be read out immediately before the entry of the opening procession and the singing of 'Tu es Petrus', and it will not be part of the celebration. The rite of the palliums will take place as soon as the Holy Father reaches the altar.
"2. To ensure that the Eucharistic celebration is not 'interrupted' by a relatively long rite (the number of metropolitan archbishops now stands at around forty-five each year), which could make attentive and focused participation in the Mass more difficult.
"3. To make the rite of imposing the pallium more in keeping with the 'Cerimoniale Episcoporum', and to avoid the possibility that, by coming after the homily (as happened in the past), it may be thought of as a Sacramental rite. Indeed, the rites which take place during a Eucharistic celebration following the homily are normally Sacramental rites: Baptism, Confirmation, Ordination, Matrimony, Anointing of the Sick. The imposition of the pallium, on the other hand, is not Sacramental in nature".
The following metropolitan archbishops will receive the pallium in this year's ceremony:
- Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki, archbishop of Berlin, Germany.
- Cardinal Francisco Robles Ortega, archbishop of Guadalajara, Mexico.
- Archbishop Francesco Moraglia, patriarch of Venice, Italy.
- Archbishop Alfredo Horacio Zecca of Tucuman, Argentina.
- Archbishop Mario Alberto Molina Palma O.A.R. of Los Altos, Quetzaltenango-Totonicapan, Guatemala.
- Archbishop Charles Joseph Chaput O.F.M. Cap. of Philadelphia, U.S.A.
- Archbishop Luc Cyr of Sherbrooke, Canada.
- Archbishop Salvador Pineiro Garcia-Calderon of Ayacucho or Huamanga, Peru.
- Archbishop Francesco Panfilo S.D.B. of Rabaul, Papua New Guinea.
- Archbishop Ulises Antonio Gutierrez Reyes O. de M. of Ciudad Bolivar, Venezuela.
- Archbishop Stanis?aw Budzik of Lublin, Poland.
- Archbishop Wilson Tadeu Jonck S.C.I. of Florianopolis, Brazil.
- Archbishop Paul-Andre Durocher of Gatineau, Canada.
- Archbishop Luis Antonio G. Tagle of Manila, Philippines.
- Archbishop Patrick D’Rozario C.S.C. of Dhaka, Bangladesh.
- Archbishop Wiktor Pawel Skworc of Katowice, Poland.
- Archbishop Jose F. Advincula of Capiz, Philippines.
- Archbishop Filippo Santoro of Taranto, Italy.
- Archbishop Jose Francisco Rezende Dias of Niteroi, Brazil.
- Archbishop Esmeraldo Barreto de Farias of Porto Velho, Brazil.
- Archbishop Jaime Vieira Rocha of Natal, Brazil.
- Archbishop Joseph Harris C.S.Sp. of Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.
- Archbishop Waclaw Depo of Czestochowa, Poland.
- Archbishop Ignatius Chama of Kasama, Zambia.
- Archbishop Pascal Wintzer of Poitiers, France.
- Archbishop John Moolachira of Guwahati, India.
- Archbishop William Charles Skurla of Pittsburgh of the Byzantines, U.S.A.
- Archbishop Joseph Coutts of Karachi, Pakistan.
- Archbishop Romulo Geolina Valles of Davao, Philippines.
- Archbishop Airton Jose dos Santos of Campinas, Brazil.
- Archbishop Timothy Costelloe S.D.B. of Perth, Australia.
- Archbishop Jacinto Furtado de Brito Sobrinho of Teresina, Brazil.
- Archbishop Thomas D’Souza of Calcutta, India.
- Archbishop Arrigo Miglio of Cagliari, Italy.
- Archbishop John F. Du of Palo, Philippines.
- Archbishop Paulo Mendes Peixoto of Uberaba, Brazil.
- Archbishop Christian Lepine of Montreal, Canada.
- Archbishop William Edward Lori of Baltimore, U.S.A.
- Archbishop Mark Benedict Coleridge of Brisbane, Australia.
- Archbishop Jesus Carlos Cabrero Romero of San Luis Potosi, Mexico.
- Archbishop Andrew Yeom Soo jung of Seoul, Korea.
- Archbishop Benedito Roberto C.S.Sp. of Malanje, Angola.
- Archbishop Alfred Adewale Martins of Lagos, Nigeria.
- Archbishop Samuel Joseph Aquila of Denver, U.S.A.
The following two archbishops will receive the pallium in their metropolitan sees:
- Archbishop Gabriel Justice Yaw Anokye of Kumasi, Ghana.
- Archbishop Valery Vienneau of Moncton, Canada.

Vatican City, 27 June 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father:
- Appointed Fr. Jose Eudes Campos do Nascimento of the clergy of the archdiocese of Mariana, Brazil, pastor of the parish of "Santa Efigenia" in Ouro Preto and episcopal vicar, as bishop of Leopoldina (area 8,491, population 595,000, Catholics 416,000, priests 63, religious 20), Brazil. The bishop-elect was born in Barbacena, Brazil in 1966 and ordained a priest in 1995. He has worked in the pastoral care of youth and as spiritual director of the local major seminary.
- Appointed Bishop Eduardo Carmona Ortega C.O.R.C. of Puerto Escondido, Mexico, as bishop of Parral (area 43,674, population 323,000, Catholics 293,000, priests 52, permanent deacons 10, religious 70), Mexico.
- Appointed Msgr. Peter Brignall, vicar general of the diocese of Wrexham, Wales, as bishop of the same diocese (area 8,361, population 715,000, Catholics 38,706, priests 60, permanent deacons 10, religious 140). The bishop-elect was born in London, England in 1953 and ordained a priest in 1978. He has worked as a pastor in a number of parishes, and as chaplain in universities and hospitals. He succeeds Bishop Edwin Regan, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
- Appointed Fr. Sergio de Deus Borges of the clergy of the diocese of Cornelio Procopio, Brazil, pastor of the parish of "Imaculada Conceicao" in Jataizinho and president of the interdiocesan ecclesiastical tribunal of Londrina, as auxiliary of the archdiocese of Sao Paulo (area 1,645, population 7,685,000, Catholics 5,611,000, priests 867, permanent deacons 4, religious 273), Brazil. The bishop-elect was born in Alfredo Wagner, Brazil in 1966 and ordained a priest in 1993. He studied in Rome, and among his other functions, is professor and director of studies at the theological institute of Londrina.


LOMÉ, June 26, 2012 (CISA) -Togo’s bishops decry police raid on a church in Lomé, the nation’s capital, after protesters took refuge there.
In a statement sent to Fides, the Bishops condemned the action carried out by police who threw tear gas canisters in the church.
The bishops termed the act as “sacrilegious and desecration of the Lord’s house.” They called on all citizens and the police to refrain from acts of violence.
The people took to the streets in past days to express dissatisfaction with the electoral law passed during the National Assembly.
A coalition of opposition parties and civil society groups, called “Save Togo”, says it will continue to protest, accusing the government of having “trampled the rule of law.”
According to the opposition, the government reformed the electoral law without consultations. Togo is scheduled to go for general elections in October 2012, although the actual polling date has not yet been announced officially.


by Joseph Yun Li-sun
With a solemn Mass Msgr. Andrew Yeom Soo-jung became the 14th Metropolitan of the Korean capital. Friday he will receive the pallium from Benedict XVI. The new shepherd asked the faithful "for help to carry on the great challenges that the Church has before her: we will always fight for human life and for the reunification of Korea." The prelate also wants to transform into a site of pilgrimage the place where the first Korean martyrs were killed, including some of his direct ancestors.

Seoul (AsiaNews) - Thousands of faithful, priests and consecrated people gathered around the new archbishop of Seoul, Msgr. Andrew Yeom Soo-jung, who with a solemn Mass has become the 14th Metropolitan of the Korean capital. The new archbishop takes the place of Cardinal Nicholas Cheong Jin-suk, who next June 29 will say farewell to the Catholic community with a solemn Mass in the cathedral of Myeongdong. Immediately after the celebration, Msgr. Yeom left for Rome, where, on the feast of Saints Peter and Paul, he will receive the pallium from Benedict XVI.

During his homily, the new pastor said he "felt all the responsibility of this position, to lead the country's largest diocese. I ask you all for help to carry on this mission." Afterwards he wanted to clarify what are the biggest challenges of his job: "We must keep human life foremost in society. The Church will fight for this without any compromise."

But after human life, for a Korean bishop, comes the unity of his country. Archbishop Yeom wanted his installation Mass to be celebrated on June 25 - the 62nd anniversary of the Korean War - and asked everyone to "pray for the reunification of the two Koreas, a goal shared by both peoples". In the Catholic hierarchy, the Archbishop of Seoul is also Apostolic Administrator of Pyongyang.

The Mass was attended by Cardinal Cheong, the Korean Minister of Culture Choe Kwang-shik, Msgr. Osvaldo Padilla and several political leaders including Sohn Hak-kyu, Kang Ki-gap and the Governor of Gyeonggi, Kim Moon-soo. 27% of the population of Seoul is Catholic, and the press and politicians are increasingly interested in the world of the Church: in South Korea, 10.3% of the population (more than 5 million individuals) is Catholic and the country confirms itself each year as one of the most active in the fields of the apostolate and the social commitment of its faithful.

Msgr. Yeom, 68, chose as his episcopal motto: "Amen, Veni Domine Jesu"(Amen, come Lord Jesus) to emphasize his "total submission to the decisions of the Lord." The prelate is known for his proximity to the young priests: he launched "Kakao Talk", a diocesan program in which older priests are paired with the newly ordained to sustain them on their way, and play tennis with them once a month.

The archbishop, who comes from a family of Catholics from the early days of Catholicism in Korea, is engaged in a particular way in getting the government to grant the Seosomun area in downtown Seoul, which should soon become a place of pilgrimage. Here, in the late Joseon era (ca. 1800), various Catholics were martyred: among them were also two direct ancestors of Msgr. Yeom - Yeom Seok-tae and his wife Maria Kim - who were arrested and sentenced to death in 1850. The new pastor of the capital intends to preserve the memory of the martyrs and relaunch devotion to them.



Homelessness: a continuing challenge for Australians

Monday 25 June 2012

By Denis Fitzgerald, Catholic Social Services Victoria

ON THE evening of Thursday 21 June 160 business and community leaders slept out at Etihad Stadium in an awareness-raising and fundraising event organised by the St Vincent de Paul Society.

The sleepout involves a very basic evening meal – a cup of soup, a bread roll and a piece of fruit, prepared and served by volunteers from one of the St Vincent de Paul soup vans - and very basis sleeping conditions: three sheets of cardboard to be deployed to soften the impact of a concrete floor, and to keep out the high level of ambient light. Participants sleep out in the terraces around the arena. There is a roof, but the wide spaces are open to the night air.

June 21 was a bleak, wet Melbourne winter day, with temperature around 10C for most of the day and evening, falling to 8C at 6 am Friday morning. Given adequate resources and notice, you can prepare for the cold, with adequate clothing and sleeping gear. But it's harder to prepare for the hard ground, and for the light and sound that form part of the background. Everyone is up before 6am, and most seem to be stiff, and to have slept poorly.

Raising awareness of homelessness

A key aspect of the event was awareness raising. This was achieved in various ways, and not least though the media coverage that was generated, and the dialogues that were triggered by the participants as they sought sponsorship support.

My own experience was that quite a number of people engaged with me on various aspects of homelessness. There were 4,567 donors who supported Victorian participants, and each of them was engaged to some extent.

On the night itself, leaders from St Vincent de Paul and VincentCare addressed the group, with wide-ranging presentation on homelessness: what are the pathways into homelessness; what impact does it have on people? What are the pathways out? This was followed by talks by three people who have been homeless, and who now participate in the peer education support program conducted by the Council to Homeless Persons. It was a powerful combination: informative about people who are homeless, and about the services provided by St Vincent de Paul and VincentCare.

The human dimension of the basic facts is staggering

The Australian Bureau of Statistics reported in March this year that in 2010, 1.1 million adults in Australia had experienced homelessness at some time in the previous 10 years. There were a similar number of men and women in this group.

The 2006 census data on people who were homeless (see Counting the Homeless) reveals that 20,500 people were homeless in Victoria on census night 2006. Eleven percent, or 2,255 people, were in improvised housing or sleeping out - the others lived in boarding houses (22%), with friends or relatives on a temporary basis (36%), or in emergency or transitional accommodation (31%). Australia-wide, 12% of those who were homeless that night were under 12, and a further 21% were aged 12-18. The rate of homelessness in Victoria, at 432 per 10,000 of population, was, with NSW, equal lowest of the Australian states.

The human experience, and the dynamics of becoming homeless and getting out of homelessness are much more difficult to convey. The Road Home, the Australian Government’s 2008 White Paper on homelessness, is an accessible entry point to the literature.

Pathways into homelessness include domestic violence, alcohol and substance abuse, mental health problems, disengagement by young people, and financial vulnerability. Preventing homelessness requires that these complex causal factors be addressed.

Pathways out can be just as complicated. Access to affordable, secure housing is clearly necessary, and there is a significant shortage of such housing in Victoria. But that is not sufficient.

Support programs that help people to address the causes of their homelessness are also needed. This is a long term endeavour, but we know that it can work. VincentCare CEO John Blewonski spoke movingly of the success of the support programs associated with the Quin House residential rehabilitation program – 51% of participants had moved to long term, and 31% to transitional housing.

At 24 June, the event had raised over $600,000 in Victoria, while across Australia the Sleepout has raised more than $5 million to assist homeless services.

Experiencing homelessness?

Everyone involved understand that homelessness is not something that you can experience for one night.
You can approximate some of the physical aspects of homelessness, but the fact that you have a home to go to makes this a fundamentally different experience from homelessness.
Nor does a night such as this expose you to the risks of violence, or the risks to physical and mental health associated with homelessness.
Many headed home for a shower and a nap – I was lucky to be able to sleep from 7 – 9am to prepare for the day ahead.
But the element of experience was there to some extent. The discussion with staff and volunteers from St Vincent de Paul and from VincentCare, and with the other participants, combined with the speakers, the physical setting and the relative discomfort, certainly focused the senses and the mind.

The overall experience was one of engagement with homelessness – awareness of our personal distance from the reality, but awareness too of the many ways that people in our community can slide into homelessness, of the importance of services for people at all stages of engagement with homelessness, and of the inadequacies of our collective response.

Next steps
The formula for engagement followed by the Sleepout, and by many of our members at Catholic Social Services Victoria, is to invite us to learn more about the facts and the people involved, and then to contribute our own resources through advocating for action or change, through volunteer and other engagement, and through financial contributions.

More information:

Denis Fitzgerald is Executive Director, Catholic Social Services Victoria

Photos by Casamento Photography.


Agenzia Fides REPORT- The Episcopal Conference, through the Office for relations with the State, has negatively assessed the procedures for approval of the reform of justice and called on members of Congress who participated in this work to take political responsibility .
"The Bishops have repeatedly invited the representatives of various public authorities to favor a climate of dialogue so that the reform of justice would be the result of consensus" underlined Father Pedro Mercat Cepeda, Adjunct Secretary of the Episcopal Conference, in charge of relations with the State. At the same time he recalled that "the main purpose of the reform should be to establish a rapid and effective justice, able to safeguard the rights and interests of all citizens, especially the poorest and most disadvantaged"
The Colombian Bishops believe that the text approved by Congress presents unrelated themes to the authentic and the general welfare of the Colombian people. In the text sent to Fides Agency says that, in their opinion, "the Reform contains measures that weaken criminal and disciplinary controls and decision-making power of those present at the Congress." Besides there was no consensus on various matters, among public authorities; it contains provisions concerning the principle of separation of powers, such as autonomy and independence of the judiciary, in particular concerning self-government, administrative, technical, planning and budgeting. Finally, not much attention was obtained from the legislator, the measures to make justice in Colombia more rapid and effective, the primary purpose of the Reform.
The Episcopate asks the main public authorities to assume their political responsibility towards Colombian people. "The seriousness of what has happened must urge our leaders to act with more rigor and political respect for the Constitution. In addition it makes public opinion become aware of the urgent need to take a more participatory role regarding the decisions of the State" the statement concludes. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 27/6/2012


Mgr Stephen Robson was ordained auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh on June 9
By Staff Reporter on Wednesday, 27 June 2012
Cardinal Keith O’Brien presides at the ordination ceremony at St Mary’s Cathedral  (Photo: Paul McSherry)
Cardinal Keith O’Brien presides at the ordination ceremony at St Mary’s Cathedral (Photo: Paul McSherry)
Mgr Stephen Robson was ordained auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh on June 9 at St Mary’s Cathedral, Edinburgh.
During the homily at the ordination Mass, Cardinal Keith O’Brien of St Andrews and Edinburgh said: “I myself have known our soon-to-be Bishop Stephen for some 35 years and he knows me equally well.
“Some of you here today have known him for a longer time – and it must be a great joy for our new bishop to have both his parents here with him today for this ordination.
“I do commend him to you.”


Matthew 7: 15 - 20
15 "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.
16 You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles?
17 So, every sound tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears evil fruit.
18 A sound tree cannot bear evil fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.
19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
20 Thus you will know them by their fruits.


St. Cyril of Alexandria
Feast: June 27

Feast Day: June 27
Born: 376 at Alexandria, Egypt
Died: 444 at Alexandria, Egypt
Patron of: Alexandria, Egypt
Doctor of the Church. St. Cyril has his feast in the Western Church on the 28th of January; in the Greek Menaea it is found on the 9th of June, and (together with St. Athanasius) on the 18th of January.
He seems to have been of an Alexandrian family and was the son of the brother of Theophilus, Patriarch of Alexandria; if he is the Cyril addressed by Isidore of Pelusium in Ep. xxv of Bk. I, he was for a time a monk. He accompanied Theophilus to Constantinople when that bishop held the "Synod of the Oak" in 402 and deposed St. John Chrysostom. Theophilus died 15 Oct., 412, and on the 18th Cyril was consecrated his uncle's successor, but only after a riot between his supporters and those of his rival Timotheus. Socrates complains bitterly that one of his first acts was to plunder and shut the churches of the Novatians. He also drove out of Alexandria the Jews, who had formed a flourishing community there since Alexander the Great. But they had caused tumults and had massacred the Christians, to defend whom Cyril himself assembled a mob. This may have been the only possible defence, since the Prefect of Egypt, Orestes, who was very angry at the expulsion of the Jews was also jealous of the power of Cyril, which certainly rivaled his own. Five hundred monks came down from Nitria to defend the patriarch. In a disturbance which arose, Orestes was wounded in the head by a stone thrown by a monk named Ammonius. The prefect had Ammonius tortured to death, and the young and fiery patriarch honoured his remains for a time as those of a martyr. The Alexandians were always riotous as we learn from Socrates (VII, vii) and from St. Cyril himself (Hom. for Easter, 419). In one of these riots, in 422, the prefect Callistus was killed, and in another was committed the murder of a female philosopher Hypatia, a highly-respected teacher of neo-Platoism, of advanced age and (it is said) many virtues. She was a friend of Orestes, and many believed that she prevented a reconciliation between the prefect and patriarch. A mob led by a lector, named Peter, dragged her to a church and tore her flesh with potsherds till she died. This brought great disgrace, says Socrates, on the Church of Alexandria and on its bishop; but a lector at Alexandria was not a cleric (Scr., V, xxii), and Socrates does not suggest that Cyril himself was to blame. Damascius, indeed, accuses him, but he is a late authority and a hater of Christians.

Theophilus, the persecutor of Chrysostom, had not the privilege of communion with Rome from that saint's death, in 406, until his own. For some years Cyril also refused to insert the name of St. Chrysostom in the diptychs of his Church, in spite of the requests of Chrysostom's supplanter, Atticus. Later he seems to have yielded to the representations of his spiritual father, Isisdore of Pelusium (Isid., Ep. I, 370). Yet even after the Council of Ephesus that saint still found something to rebuke in him on this matter (Ep. I, 310). But at last Cyril seems to have long since been trusted by Rome.

It was in the winter of 427-28 that the Antiochene Nestorius became Patriarch of Constantinople. His heretical teaching soon became known to Cyril. Against him Cyril taught the use of the term Theotokus in his Paschal letter for 429 and in a letter to the monks of Egypt. A correspondence with Nestorius followed, in a more moderate tone than might have been expected. Nestorius sent his sermons to Pope Celestine, but he received no reply, for the latter wrote to St. Cyril for further information. Rome had taken the side of St. John Chrysostom against Theophilus, but had neither censured the orthodoxy of the latter, nor consented to the patriarchal powers exercised by the bishops of Constantinople. To St. Celestine Cyril was not only the first prelate of the East, he was also the inheritor of the traditions of Athanasius and Peter. The pope's confidence was not misplaced. Cyril had learnt prudence. Peter had attempted unsuccessfully to appoint a Bishop of Constantinople; Theophilus had deposed another. Cyril, though in this case Alexandria was in the right, does not act in his own name, but denounces Nestorius to St. Celestine, since ancient custom, he says, persuaded him to bring the matter before the pope. He relates all that had occurred, and begs Celestine to decree what he sees fit (typosai to dokoun--a phrase which Dr. Bright chooses to weaken into "formulate his opinion"), and communicate it also to the Bishops of Macedonia and of the East (i.e. the Antiochene Patriarchate).

The pope's reply was of astonishing severity. He had already commissioned Cassian to write his well known treatise on the Incarnation. He now summoned a council (such Roman councils had somewhat the office of the modern Roman Congregations), and dispatched a letter to Alexandria with enclosures to Constantinople, Philippi, Jerusalem, and Antioch. Cyril is to take to himself the authority of the Roman See and to admonish Nestorius that unless he recants within ten days from the receipt of this ultimatum, he is separated from "our body" (the popes of the day had the habit of speaking of the other churches as the members, of which they are the head; the body is, of course the Catholic Church). If Nestorius does not submit, Cyril is to "provide for" the Church of Constantinople. Such a sentence of excommunication and deposition is not to be confounded with the mere withdrawal of actual communion by the popes from Cyril himself at an earlier date, from Theophilus, or, in Antioch, from Flavian or Meletius. It was the decree Cyril has asked for. As Cyril had twice written to Nestorius, his citation in the name of the pope is to be counted as a third warning, after which no grace is to be given.

St. Cyril summoned a council of his suffragans, and composed a letter which were appended twelve propositions for Nestorius to anathematize. The epistle was not conciliatory, and Nestorius may well have been taken aback. The twelve propositions did not emanate from Rome, and were not equally clear; one or two of them were later among the authorities invoked by the Monophysite heretics in their own favour. Cyril was the head of the rival theological school to that of Antioch, where Nestorius had studied, and was the hereditary rival of the Constantinopolitan would-be patriarch. Cyril wrote also to John, Patriarch of Antioch, informing him of the facts, and insinuating that if John should support his old friend Nestorius, he would find himself isolated over against Rome, Macedonia, and Egypt. John took the hint and urged Nestorius to yield. Meanwhile, in Constantinople itself large numbers of the people held aloof from Nestorius, and the Emperor Theodosius II had been persuaded to summon a general council to meet at Ephesus. The imperial letters were dispatched 19 November, whereas the bishops sent by Cyril arrived at Constantinople only on 7 December. Nestorius, somewhat naturally, refused to accept the message sent by his rival, and on the 13th and 14th of December preached publicly against Cyril as a calumniator, and as having used bribes (which was probably as true as it was usual); but he declared himself willing to use the word Theotokos. These sermons he sent to John of Antioch, who preferred them to the anathematizations of Cyril. Nestorius, however, issued twelve propositions with appended anathemas. If Cyril's propositions might be might be taken to deny the two natures in Christ, those of Nestorius hardly veiled his belief in two distinct persons. Theodoret urged John yet further, and wrote a treatise against Cyril, to which the latter replied with some warmth. He also wrote an "Answer" in five books to the sermons of Nestorius.
As the fifteenth-century idea of an oecumenical council superior to the pope had yet to be invented, and there was but one precedent for such an assembly, we need not be surprised that St. Celestine welcomed the initiative of the emperor, and hoped for peace through the assembly. (See EPHESUS, COUNCIL OF.) Nestorius found the churches of Ephesus closed to him, when he arrived with the imperial commissioner, Count Candidian, and his own friend, Count Irenaeus. Cyril came with fifty of his bishops. Palestine, Crete, Asia Minor, and Greece added their quotient. But John of Antioch and his suffragans were delayed. Cyril may have believed, rightly or wrongly, that John did not wish to be present at the trial of his friend Nestorius, or that he wished to gain time for him, and he opened the council without John, on 22 June, in spite of the request of sixty-eight bishops for a delay. This was an initial error, which had disastrous results.
The legates from Rome had not arrived, so that Cyril had no answer to the letter he had written to Celestine asking "whether the holy synod should receive a man who condemned what it preached, or, because the time of delay had elapsed, whether the sentence was still in force". Cyril might have presumed that the pope, in agreeing to send legates to the council, intended Nestorius to have a complete trial, but it was more convenient to assume that the Roman ultimatum had not been suspended, and that the council was bound by it. He therefore took the place of president, not only as the highest of rank, but also as still holding the place of Celestine, though he cannot have received any fresh commission from the pope. Nestorius was summoned, in order that he might explain his neglect of Cyril's former monition in the name of the pope. He refused to receive the four bishops whom the council sent to him. Consequently nothing remained but formal procedure. For the council was bound by the canons to depose Nestorius for contumacy, as he would not appear, and by the letter of Celestine to condemn him for heresy, as he had not recanted. The correspondence between Rome, Alexandria, and Constantinople was read, some testimonies where read from earlier writers show the errors of Nestorius. The second letter of Cyril to Nestorius was approved by all the bishops. The reply of Nestorius was condemned. No discussion took place. The letter of Cyril and the ten anathemaizations raised no comment. All was concluded at one sitting. The council declared that it was "of necessity impelled" by the canons and by the letter of Celestine to declare Nestorius deposed and excommunicated. The papal legates, who had been detained by bad weather, arrived on the 10th of July, and they solemnly confirmed the sentence by the authority of St. Peter, for the refusal of Nestorius to appear had made useless the permission which they brought from the pope to grant him forgiveness if he should repent. But meanwhile John of Antioch and his party had arrived on the 26th and 27th of June. They formed themselves into a rival council of forty-three bishops, and deposed Memnon, Bishop of Ephesus, and St. Cyril, accusing the latter of Apollinarianism and even of Eunomianism. Both parties now appealed to the emperor, who took the amazing decision of sending a count to treat Nestorius, Cyril, and Memnon as being all three lawfully deposed. They were kept in close custody; but eventually the emperor took the orthodox view, though he dissolved the council; Cyril was allowed to return to his diocese, and Nestorius went into retirement at Antioch. Later he was banished to the Great Oasis of Egypt.

Meanwhile Pope Celestine was dead. His successor, St. Sixtus III, confirmed the council and attempted to get John of Antioch to anathematize Nestorius. For some time the strongest opponent of Cyril was Theodoret, but eventually he approved a letter of Cyril to Acacius of Berhoea. John sent Paul, Bishop of Emesa, as his plenipotentiary to Alexandria, and he patched up reconciliation with Cyril. Though Theodoret still refused to denounce the defence of Nestorius, John did so, and Cyril declared his joy in a letter to John. Isidore of Pelusium was now afraid that the impulsive Cyril might have yielded too much (Ep. i, 334). The great patriarch composed many further treatises, dogmatic letters, and sermons. He died on the 9th or the 27th of June, 444, after an episcopate of nearly thirty-two years.

(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)


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