Roman Emperors Require All Bishops & Priests be in Communion With List of Accepted Bishops

Roman Emperors Require All Bishops & Priests be in Communion With List of Accepted Bishops

Emperor Valentinian II
Source: portableantiquities

Emperors Gratian, Valentinian II, and Theodosius I issue a new decree requiring all bishops and priests to be in communion with a list of acceptable, orthodox bishops.

Those who don't must turn control over their congregations to another bishop and are forbidden from ever leading any other congregations.

The new decree states:

"All churches must be surrendered immediately to those bishops who confess that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are of one majesty and virtue; to those bishops who produce no dissonance by unholy distinction, but who affirm the concept of the Trinity by the assertion of three Persons and the unity of the Divinity.

To those bishops who appear to be in the communion of: Nectarius, Bishop of the Church of Constantinople, Timotheus, Bishop of the City of Alexandria in Egypt, Pelagius, Bishop of Laodicea, Diodorus, Bishop of Tarsus, Amphilochius, Bishop of iconium, Optimus, Bishop of Antioch, Pontus, with Helladius, Bishop of Caesarea, Otreius of Melitene, Gregorius, Bishop of Nyssa, Terennius, Bishop of Scythia, Marmarius, Bishop of Martianopolis.

Bishops who are in communion and fellowship with acceptable priests must be allowed to work in the Catholic churches. All who dissent from the communion of the faith of those who have been expressly mentioned in this special enumeration must be expelled from their churches as heretics and hereafter must be denied the right or power to obtain churches.

In this way, the priesthood of the true Nicene faith will remain pure and there will be no chance for malicious subtlety." [CT 16.1.3]

The enforcement of Christian orthodoxy has become an important task for the Roman government. Christian leaders themselves can't do it, in part because they can't impose any real penalties on those who dare to choose their own beliefs.

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Emperors of Rome: Valentinian II

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