Eusebius of Dorylaeum


Eusebius of Dorylaeum

Eusebius was a 5th century bishop of Dorylaeum in Asia Minor. He was the prime mover on behalf of Catholic orthodoxy against the heresies of Nestorius and Eutyches.

During the earlier part of his life he followed the profession of an advocate at Constantinople, and was already known as a layman of considerable learning when he protested publicly in 423 against the doctrine of Nestorius, which emphasized the humanity of Christ. During a discourse by Nestorius himself, Eusebius interrupted with the exclamation that "the eternal Word had undergone a second generation" — expressing the orthodox view that Christ's was both fully human and fully divine. After the Council of Ephesus in 431 at which the teaching of Nestorius was condemned, a document attributed by general consent to Eusebius was made public, in which the doctrine of Nestorius was shown to be identical with that of Paul of Samosata.

When Eutyches advanced opinions which, though directly opposed to those of Nestorius, were equally contrary to the faith of the Church, Eusebius, now Bishop of Dorylaeum, brought a formal charge of false teaching against Eutyches, before Patriarch Flavian of Constantinople, who was then (448) presiding over a synod at Constantinople. Eutyches was condemned and deposed; he immediately wrote a letter to Pope Leo I, complaining of Eusebius's proceedings, which he attributed to the instigation of the devil.

In the following year (449) at Constantinople, an examination was held, by imperial authority, of the acts of the synod which had condemned Eutyches, which acts he alleged to have been falsified. On the assembly of the council then summoned at Ephesus, Eusebius was forcibly excluded by the influence of Dioscorus of Alexandria, who had obtained the support of the emperor. Flavian and Eusebius were deposed and banished, and Flavian only survived for three days the physical injuries he had received in the tumultuary council.

Eusebius wrote to the Emperors Valentinian III and Marcian, asking for a fresh hearing; and both Eusebius and Flavian sent written appeals to Rome. Eusebius fled to Rome, where he was kindly received by Pope Leo I.

Eusebius took part in the Council of Chalcedon, at which he appears as the accuser of Dioscorus. He was one of the commission which drew up the definition of faith finally adopted. The council annulled his condemnation, and made special mention of the fact in the letter to the pope in which it sought his confirmation of its acts. The rescript of the emperor Marcian (451), issued to clear the memory of Flavian, declares the reputation of Eusebius to be uninjured by the sentence of the Second Council of Ephesus ("injusta sententia nihil obsit Eusebio"). He was one of the bishops who signed the 28th canon of Chalcedon giving patriarchal rights over Pontus and Asia to Constantinople.

Flavian said of Eusebius at Constantinople that "fire seemed cold to his zeal for orthodoxy", and Leo wrote of him that he "had undergone great perils and toils for the Faith".

References

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  • Dorylaeum — • A titular see of Phrygia Salutaris, in Asia Minor Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Dorylaeum     Dorylaeum     † …   Catholic encyclopedia

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