Pope Liberius

Infobox Pope
English name=Liberius

term_start=May 17, 3521
term_end=September 24, 366
predecessor=Julius I
successor=Damasus I
dead=dead|death_date=death date|366|9|24|mf=y
footnotes=1The "Liberian Catalogue" lists the date of Liberius's consecration as May 22. "Catholic Encyclopedia" gives May 17, noting that the 22nd was not a Sunday. The date could also be June 21, a Sunday, which differs from May 22 by only one letter in the Roman calendar (XI Kal. Jun/Jul.)
infobox popestyles
papal name=Pope Liberius
dipstyle=His Holiness
offstyle=Your Holiness
relstyle=Holy Father

Pope Liberius, pope from May 17, 352 to September 24, 366, remains the earliest pope not yet canonized as a saint (however, he is canonized in the Eastern Orthodox ChurchFact|date=June 2008). The successor of Pope Julius I, he was consecrated according to the "Catalogus Liberianus" on May 22. His first recorded act was, after a synod had been held at Rome, to write to Emperor Constantius II, then in quarters at Arles (353-354), asking that a council might be called at Aquileia with reference to the affairs of Athanasius of Alexandria; but his messenger Vincentius of Capua was compelled by the emperor at a conciliabulum held in Arles, to subscribe against his will a condemnation of the orthodox patriarch of Alexandria.

In 355 Liberius was one of the few who, along with Eusebius of Vercelli, Dionysius of Milan, and Lucifer of Cagliari, refused to sign the condemnation of Athanasius, which had anew been imposed at Milan by imperial command upon all the Western bishops; the consequence was his relegation to Beroea in Thrace; Antipope Felix II being consecrated his successor by three "catascopi haud episcopi" (spies, in no way [are they] bishops), as Athanasius called them.

At the end of an exile of more than two years, the emperor recalled him; but, as the Roman See was officially occupied by Antipope Felix, a year passed before Liberius was sent to Rome. It was the emperor's intention that Liberius should govern the Church jointly with Felix, but on the arrival of Liberius, Felix was expelled by the Roman people. Neither Liberius nor Felix took part in the Council of Rimini (359).

After the death of the emperor Constantius in 361, Liberius annulled the decrees of that assembly, but, with the concurrence of bishops Athanasius and Hilarius, retained the bishops who had signed and then withdrew their adherence. In 366 Liberius gave a favourable reception to a deputation of the Eastern episcopate, and admitted into his communion the more moderate of the old Arian party. He died on September 24, 366.

External links

* [http://www.documentacatholicaomnia.eu/01_01_0352-0366-_Liberius,_Sanctus.html Opera Omnia by Migne]
* [http://www.fourthcentury.com/index.php/liberius-regesta Translation of Jaffe-Kaltenbrunner's Register of the Roman Pontiff.]



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