Ephesus, Council of

Ephesus, Council of,

431, 3d ecumenical council, convened by Theodosius II, emperor of the East, and Valentinian III, emperor of the West, to deal with the controversy over NestorianismNestorianism,
Christian heresy that held Jesus to be two distinct persons, closely and inseparably united. In 428, Emperor Theodosius II named an abbot of Antioch, Nestorius (d. 451?), as patriarch of Constantinople.
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. Adherents of both parties attended; St. CyrilCyril, Saint
(Saint Cyril of Alexandria) , d. A.D. 444, patriarch of Alexandria (412–44), Doctor of the Church, known for his animosity toward heretics and heathens. He drove the Jews from Alexandria, and under his rule Hypatia was killed.
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, patriarch of Alexandria, had the support of Pope Celestine ICelestine I, Saint
, d. 432, pope (422–32), an Italian; successor of St. Boniface I. The opposition of St. Cyril of Alexandria to Nestorianism inspired both sides to appeal to the pope, who judged that Nestorius should be excommunicated if he refused to retract.
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 and most of Christendom; Nestorius was backed by Theodosius and the Antiochene hierarchy. The council, late in starting, was opened by St. Cyril before the Antiochene bishops arrived. It anathematized Nestorius and his views. The Antiochenes arrived and, accusing Cyril of deliberately rushing the vote, deposed him. Soon afterward the papal legates arrived and the council reconvened, reaffirmed its position, and excommunicated the Antiochenes. The controversy continued until Theodosius held a hearing at Chalcedon between the disputants. He exiled Nestorius and ordered the consecration of a new patriarch of Constantinople; the council then broke up. Its chief dogmatic pronouncement was that from the very words of the Nicene Creed it follows that Mary may be called Mother of God, for the perfect coherence of godhead and manhood in Christ prevents any separation of natures such as Nestorius implied. This doctrine was later defined further (see Chalcedon, Council ofChalcedon, Council of,
fourth ecumenical council, convened in 451 by Pulcheria and Marcian, empress and emperor of the East, to settle the scandal of the Robber Synod and to discuss Eutychianism (see Eutyches).
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). For the Robber Synod (Latrocinium) of Ephesus, see EutychesEutyches
, c.378–c.452, archimandrite in Constantinople, sponsor of Eutychianism, the first phase of Monophysitism. He was the leader in Constantinople of the most violent opponents of Nestorianism, among whom was Dioscurus, successor to St. Cyril (d.
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