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Date 335
Ancient Source(s) Theodoret HE 1.29; Eusebius, Vita Const. IV.42

Constantius Augustus to the holy council assembled in Tyre.

In the general prosperity which distinguishes the present time, it seems right that the catholic Church should likewise be exempt from trouble, and that the servants of Christ should be freed from every reproach.

But certain individuals instigated by the mad desire of contention, not to say leading a life unworthy of their profession, are endeavoring to throw all into disorder. This appears to me to be the greatest of all possible calamities. I beseech you, therefore, in post haste, as the phrase goes, to assemble together, without any delay, in formal synod; so that you may support those who require your assistance, heal the brethren who are in danger, restore unanimity to the divided members, and rectify the disorders of the Church while time permits; and thus restore to those great provinces the harmony which, alas! the arrogance of a few men has destroyed. I believe everyone would admit that you could not perform anything so pleasing in the sight of God, so surpassing all my prayers as well as your own, or so conducive to your own reputation, as to restore peace.

Therefore do not delay, but when you have come together will all that sincerity and fidelity which our Savior demands of all His servants, almost in words that we can hear, endeavor with redoubled eagerness to put a fitting end to these dissensions.

Nothing shall be omitted on my part to further the interest of our religion. I have done all that you recommended in your letters. I have sent to those bishops whom you specified, directing them to repair to the council for the purpose of deliberating with you upon ecclesiastical matters. I have also sent Dionysius, a man of consular rank, to counsel those who are to sit in synod with you, and to be himself an eye witness of you proceedings, and particularly of the order and regularity that is maintained. If anyone should dare on the present occasion also to disobey our command, and refuse to come to the council, which, however, I do not anticipate, an officer will be dispatched immediately to send him into banishment by imperial order, that he may learn not to oppose the decrees enacted by the emperor for the support of truth.

All that now devolves upon your holinesses is to decide with unanimous judgment, without partiality or prejudice, in accordance with the ecclesiastical and apostolical rule, and to devise suitable remedies for the offenses which may have resulted from error; in order that the Church may be freed from all reproach, that my anxiety may be diminished, that peace may be restored to those now at variance, and that your renown may be increased.

May God preserve you, beloved brethren.

Translation from NPNF2 vol. 3, chapter 27, pp. 61-2

Adapted by SMT

Last updated: 2-4-2011

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