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Dioscorus of Alexandria

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'''Dioscorus I of Alexandria''' was the [[Patriarch of Alexandria]] (from 444-to 451). His actions during the continuation of the Christological controversies following the [[deposition]] of [[Nestorius]] resulted in his deposition at the [[Fourth Ecumenical Council]] in Chalcedon in 451 which led to the later [[schism]] in the [[Church of Alexandria]].
==Controversy==
Dioscorus I of Alexandria is considered a [[saint]] by the [[Coptic]], [[Syriac Orthodox Church|Syriac]], and other [[Oriental OrthodoxyOrthodox]] churches. He is generally considered a [[heretic]] by the [[Eastern Orthodox Church]], though some commentators like Anatolius and [[John S. Romanides]] think that Dioscorus was not deposed at [[Council of Chalcedon|Chalcedon]] (in 451) not because of the faith, but for his grave administrative errors at the [[Robber Council of Ephesus]] (449), which included restoring [[Eutyches]] the heretic and the attack on [[Flavian the Confessor|Flavian]], and because he (Dioscorus) had excommunicated Pope [[Leo the Great|Leo I of Rome]], and also because at [[Chalcedon ]] he refused to appear in front of the Council although he was summoned to it three times.<ref>[http://www.romanity.org/htm/rom.06.en.orthodox_and_oriental_orthodox_consultation.htm Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox Consultation: Leo of Rome's Support of Theodoret, Dioscorus of Alexandria's Support of Eutyches and the Lifting of the Anathemas] by John S. Romanides</ref>
His character and stance are subject to contravention between the Oriental Orthodoxy Orthodox churches on one side and the [[Eastern Orthodoxy]] Orthodox and [[Roman Catholic|Catholic]] churches on the other.
The Oriental Orthodoxy Orthodox churches are generally accused by other churches of accepting the [[Eutychianism|Eutychian doctrine]] of [[Monophysitism]]&mdash;this is denied by these churches as they consider Eutyches a heretic as the other churches but to have redeemed himself by retrieving this heresy in the Second Council of Ephesus,<ref>Story of the Coptic church by [[w:Iris Habib Elmasry|Iris Habib Elmasry]] Volume I</ref> but figures large in the differences between those churches and most other populous Christian churches, as well as in the civil strife and friction of the era and afterwards within the [[Eastern Roman Empire]].
Hence, in the mess typical of [[schism|schisms]]s, according to mainstream Christian sects, he was merely a [[Patriarch of Alexandria]] turned heretic, who in a preemptive power-play characteristic of megalomania attempted to excommunicate many other influential bishops in opposition to his belief in Monophysitism, including Pope Leo I. <!-- ref:see [[ Second Council of Ephesus ]], the historical documentation is rather telling. --->
He was subsequently [[excommunication|excommunicated]] by the Roman Catholic Pope Leo I, most likely in very early 450 during the aftermath of the controversial [[Second Council of Ephesus]], which he was charged by the Emperor to preside over with the concurrence of Pope Leo I.
It was supposed to be the fourth [[ecumenical council]] and can only be described as in effect and bizarre in it's rubber stamping character wherein giants of the orthodox sects were slain ''in absentia'' by excommunication and which findings were all subsequently negated and annulled by Pope Leo I as well as the succeeding [[ecumenical council]] in 451, the [[Council of Chalcedon]] (Widely accepted as the Fourth Ecumenical Council, by most mainstream Christian Churches. In contrast, the Oriental Orthodox Churches listed above accept the Second Council of Ephesus as canonical, and do not accept the Council of Chalcedon, nor the [[Chalcedonian Creed]].)
The other person involved in this controversy apart from Dioscorus I is Pope Leo I with each side considering the other person a heretic. The main factors behind this are still present and it is subject to discussion between the churches.<ref>[http://sor.cua.edu/Ecumenism/20000509oomtg3.html Syriac Orthodox Church]</ref>
In recent research it was suggested that both Leo and Dioscoros are Orthodox because they agree with St.[[Cyril of Alexandria]], especially with his Twelve Chapters, even though both had been considered heretical by the other side <ref>[http://www.romanity.org/htm/rom.06.en.orthodox_and_oriental_orthodox_consultation.htm Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox Consultation: Leo of Rome's Support of Theodoret, Dioscorus of Alexandria's Support of Eutyches and the Lifting of the Anathemas] by John S. Romanides</ref>.
In May 1973 After fifteen centuries, Pope [[Shenouda III (Gayyid) of Alexandria]] visited Pope [[Paul VI of Rome|Paul VI]] of Rome and declared a common faith in the nature of Christ, the issue which caused the schism of the church in the [[Council of Chalcedon]].<ref>[http://www.coptic.net/articles/MonophysitismReconsidered.txt Coptic.net Monophysitism Reconsidered]</ref> However, this is disputed, due to the fact that the main leaders of the Non-Chalcedonian schism specifically condemned St. Cyril's agreements with St. John of Antioch. For example, Timothy Ailouros Aelurus (Dioscorus' disciple and successor, wrote: "Cyril... having excellently articulated the wise proclamation of Orthodoxy, showed himself to be fickle and is to be censured for teaching contrary doctrine: after previously proposing that we should speak of one nature of God the Word, he destroyed the dogma that he had formulated and is caught professing two Natures of Christ."<ref>Timothy AilourosAelurus, "Epistles to Kalonymos," ''Patrologia Graeca'', Vol LXXXVI, Col. 276; quoted in The Non Chalcedonian Heretics, p. 13. See also [http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/mono_history.aspx "The History of the Persistant Monophysite Rejection of St. Cyril of Alexandria's Teaching on the Two Natures of Christ"]</ref>
A similar declaration was reached between the Oriental Orthodoxy churches and the Eastern Orthodoxy churches in the 1990s. In the summer of 2001, the Coptic Orthodox and Greek Orthodox Patriarchates of Alexandria agreed to mutually recognize baptisms performed in each other's churches<ref>[[Church of Alexandria (Coptic)#Council of Chalcedon]]</ref>.
A struggle occurred between Eutyches and [[Theodoret]]. Eutyches was an [[archimandrite]] of a [[monastery]] in Constantinople. He defended the formula "one nature" against that of "two natures." He concluded that the Godhead absorbed the manhood of Christ. Theodoret accused Eutyches and Cyril, and published a long attack on them. The council of Constantinople was held in 448, and Eutyches was condemned and exiled.
Pope Leo I of Rome originally wrote to Eutyches praising his zeal in opposing the Nestorian dualism. But Leo he later changed his mind; perhaps when he heard that the emperor wrote to Dioscorus calling him to a council to be held to discuss that matter. Leo, who was not part of the conflict between the Alexandrian and the Antiochian [[Christology]], sent the his famous Tome (letter) of Leo to Constantinople -- not to work for reconciliation of the parties, but to defame the Alexandrian theologians.
==Second Council of Ephesus==
Then Emperor Theodosius II convened the [[Second Council of Ephesus]] (called the "Robber Synod") in 449 and asked Dioscorus to exercise supreme authority over it as president. Eutyches was rehabilitated because he offered to repent and also because Leo, Bishop of Rome wrote to Flavian saying that he should be kind to him, and to accept him if he repented.
==Council of Chalcedon==
Then on [[July 28]], 450, Emperor [[Theodosius II|Theodosius]] died and his sister [[Pulcheria the Empress|Pulcheria]] and her consort [[Marcian]] were declared emperors. Pulcheria supported Rome against Alexandria. She gathered signatures for the "Tome" of Leo to be introduced as the basic paper for a new council to be held at [[Chalcedon]]. At the same time, she decided not to let Rome hold supreme authority in the church. She refused Leo's demand to hold the council in Italy, but insisted that it would be held in the East. Although the [[council of Chalcedon]] is believed to have condemned Eutyches, the man with whom it really dealt was Dioscorus, for Eutyches was already in North Syria, where he had been exiled before the council met.
During the council, Dioscorus explained why the Orthodox faith they should adopt retain the formula "one incarnate nature of God the Word" (a formula which had already been vindicated and defined at the [[Third Ecumenical Council|First Council of Ephesus]])." On hearing "one nature," some bishops in the council shouted, "Eutyches says these things also." Here Dioscorus clarified the Alexandrian view, saying, "We do not speak of confusion, neither of division, nor of change." Dioscorus tried to make his position clear: that he did not accept "two natures after the union," but he had no objection to "''from'' two natures after the union."
When the judges started the order of the acts of the Council, Paschasinus, the Roman delegate, said, "We have orders from Rome that Dioscorus should not have a place in this council. If this is violated he should be cast out." When the judges asked about what Dioscorus did, the Roman delegate replied, "He has dared to conduct a council without the authorization of the apostolic see in Rome, a thing which has never happened and which ought not to have happened."
It was the emperor's favor that the council had to draw out Alexandria and declare a new formula to bring the entire Church in the east under the leadership of Constantinople. They used Leo as a tool to accomplish their objective through his enmity to Alexandria, looking upon it as an obstacle in realizing his papal authority on the Church over the world.
The verdict of the commissioners was announced: Dioscorus of Alexandria, [[Juvenal of Jerusalem]], Thalassius of [[Caesarea]], Eusebius of Ancyra, Eutathius of Berytus, and Basil of Seleucia&mdash;these were the men who had been responsible for the decisions of the second council of Ephesus, and should as such all be deposed. Thus the Patriarch of Alexandria was exiled to Gangra Island. In fact, Dioscorus was not condemned by name at Chalcedon because of his theological heresy, but specifically due to his canonical violations at the Robber Synod of Ephesus.
==New formula of faith==
==Exile of Dioscorus==
After those incidents, a messenger from Constantinople arrived in Alexandria announcing the exile of the Patriarch Dioscorus, and the appointment of an Alexandrian priest named [[Proterius of Alexandria|Proterius]] as an imperial, i.e., alien/foreign/non-Egyptian, patriarch over Alexandria, with the approval of the emperor. He threatened whoever dared to show disobedience. The [[MelchiteMelkite]] patriarch who was appointed by the emperor became surrounded by soldiers willing to punish those who might resist the imperial command.
In the year 457 Patriarch Dioscorus died in exile, and when the Copts heard that, they met with the clergymen and elected Timothy, the disciple of Dioscorus, to be the new Patriarch. This became a regular practice of the Coptic Church, who have not been reconciled to the Orthodox Patriarchates to this day.
title=[[Patriarch of Alexandria]]|
years=444-451|
after=Proterios [[‎Proterius of Alexandria|Proterius]] (Chalcedonian succession)<br>Timothy II ([[List of Coptic Popes|Non-Chalcedonian succession]])|}}
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[[Category:Egyptian Saints|Dioscorus, Pope of Alexandria]]
[[Category:Heretics]]
[[Category:Non-Chalcedonian Saints]]
[[Category:Patriarchs of Alexandria]]
[[ar:ديوسقورس الأول]]
[[ro:Dioscor al Alexandriei]]
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