MARY AND THE COUNCIL OF EPHESUS 431 AD - THE ANTI MARY MOTHER OF GOD COMMENT THAT SPARKS A RIOT IN EPHESUS


Why was she called the Theotokos the Mother of God?

“If anyone does not confess that Emmanuel is God in truth, and therefore that the holy virgin is the mother of God (for she bore in a fleshly way the Word of God become flesh), let him be anathema.” - the Council of Ephesus 431 AD- approved by Pope Sixtus III

Mary was called the Mother of God from very early in the Church’s history. One of her earliest titles in the liturgy is Theotokos which translates “God-Bearer”. From this title she began to be called “Mother of God”. Among those who objected to this title was Nestorius, whose false ideas on the nature of Christ is labeled Nestorianism. Nestorius claimed instead that Jesus was born of Mary as human and not as Divine, thereby doctrinally dividing the nature of Christ. St. Cyril defended the title by affirming with the Church fathers that Mary did indeed give birth to the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, who is called Jesus, who is simultaneously and completely both God and man from his birth. The Council of Ephesus (431 A.D.) was called to settle the dispute between Nestorius and St. Cyril. The council rightly affirmed St. Cyril and declared Nestorius a heretic.

The Council of Ephesus was a council of Christian bishops convened in Ephesus (near present-day Selçuk in Turkey) in AD 431 by the Roman Emperor Theodosius II. This third ecumenical council, an effort to attain consensus in the church through an assembly representing all of Christendom, confirmed the original Nicene Creed , and condemned the teachings of Nestorius, Patriarch of Constantinople that Virgin Mary may be called the Christotokos, "Birth Giver of Christ" but not the Theotokos, "Birth Giver of God". It met in June and July 431 at the Church of Mary in Ephesus in Anatolia.

Approximately 250 bishops were present. The proceedings were conducted in a heated atmosphere of confrontation and recriminations and created severe tensions between Cyril and Theodosius II. Nestorius was decisively outplayed by Cyril and removed from his see, and his teachings were officially anathematized. This precipitated the Nestorian Schism, by which churches supportive of Nestorius, especially in Persia, were severed from the rest of Christendom and became known as Nestorian Christianity, the Persian Church, or the Church of the East, whose present-day representatives are the Assyrian Church of the East, the Chaldean Syrian Church, the Ancient Church of the East, and the Chaldean Catholic Church. Nestorius himself retired to a monastery, always asserting his orthodoxy.

THE COMMENT THAT SPARKS A RIOT IN EPHESUS 

"We should call Mary the Mother of Christ, not the Mother of God. She was the mother of his human nature, not the mother of his divinity."- Patriarch Nestorius

His comment sparked a riot. And the dispute rocked not only the congregation, but the entire empire. Cyril, patriarch of Alexandria, Egypt, immediately recognized that Nestorius’ Marian theology was a symptom of a much deeper problem, a problem with the incarnation itself. For to deny Mary the title “Mother of God” makes of Jesus a dichotomy, a split personality. It would mean that God had not really embraced our humanity so as to become human. Rather, the humanity of Christ is hermetically sealed off from the divinity, as if Jesus were two persons, as if human nature was so distasteful that God, in Christ, had to keep it at arm’s distance. It is OK, according to Nestorius, to say that in Jesus, God raised Lazarus, or multiplied the loaves, or walked on water. But it is not OK to say that in Jesus God is born or that God died.

The Council denounced Nestorius' teaching as erroneous and decreed that Jesus was one person, not two separate people: complete God and complete man, with a rational soul and body. The Virgin Mary was to be called Theotokos a Greek word that means "God-bearer" (the one who gave birth to God).

The Council declared it "unlawful for any man to bring forward, or to write, or to compose a different (ἑτέραν) Faith as a rival to that established by the holy Fathers assembled with the Holy Ghost in Nicæa". It quoted the Nicene Creed as adopted by the First Council of Nicaea in 325, not as added to and modified by the First Council of Constantinople in 381

In addition to its condemnation of Nestorianism, the council also condemned Pelagianism. were passed:

Canon 1-5 condemned Nestorius and Caelestius and their followers as heretics

Canon 6 decreed deposition from clerical office or excommunication for those who did not accept the Council's decrees

Canon 7 condemned any departure from the creed established by the First Council of Nicaea (325), in particular an exposition by the priest Charisius.

Canon 8 condemned interference by the Bishop of Antioch in affairs of the Church in Cyprus and decreed generally, that no bishop was to "assume control of any province which has not heretofore, from the very beginning, been under his own hand or that of his predecessors ... lest the Canons of the Fathers be transgressed"

The bishops at Cyril's council outnumbered those at John of Antioch's council by nearly four to one. In addition, they had the agreement of the papal legates and the support of the population of Ephesus who supported their bishop, Memnon.

However, Count Candidian and his troops supported Nestorius as did Count Irenaeus. The emperor had always been a firm supporter of Nestorius, but had been somewhat shaken by the reports of the council. Cyril's group was unable to communicate with the emperor because of interference from supporters of Nestorius both at Constantinople and at Ephesus. Ultimately, a messenger disguised as a beggar was able to carry a letter to Constantinople by hiding it in a hollow cane.

Although Emperor Theodosius had long been a staunch supporter of Nestorius, his loyalty seems to have been shaken by the reports from Cyril's council and caused him to arrive at the extraordinary decision to ratify the depositions decreed by both councils. Thus, he declared that Cyril, Memnon, and John were all deposed. Memnon and Cyril were kept in close confinement. But in spite of all the efforts of the Antiochene party, the representatives of the envoys whom the council was eventually allowed to send, with the legate Philip, to the Court, persuaded the emperor to accept Cyril's council as the true one. Seeing the writing on the wall and anticipating his fate, Nestorius requested permission to retire to his former monastery. The synod was dissolved in the beginning of October, and Cyril arrived amid much joy at Alexandria on 30 October. Pope Celestine had died on July 27 but his successor, Sixtus III, gave papal confirmation to the council's actions.

The dogma of Mary as the Mother of God was established at the Council of Ephesus. From the decree: “If anyone does not confess that Emmanuel is God in truth, and therefore that the holy virgin is the mother of God (for she bore in a fleshly way the Word of God become flesh), let him be anathema.” Pope Sixtus III.

THE CELEBRATION OF THE PEOPLE

The people of Ephesus jumped dance with joy and celebrated with festivities for days after the Council of Ephesus declared that Mary must be aptly called the the Theotokos, the Mother of God...

* THE FOLLOWERS OF NESTORIUS FINALLY RECONCILED WITJ THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN 1994 AFTER 1563 YEARS 

In 1994, the Common Christological Declaration between the Catholic Church and the Assyrian Church of the East marked the resolution of a dispute between those two churches that had existed since the Council of Ephesus. They expressed their common understanding of doctrine concerning the divinity and humanity of Christ, and recognized the legitimacy and rightness of their respective descriptions of Mary as, on the Assyrian side, "the Mother of Christ our God and Saviour", and, on the Catholic side, as "the Mother of God" and also as "the Mother of Christ"
MARY AND THE COUNCIL OF EPHESUS 431 AD - THE ANTI MARY MOTHER OF GOD COMMENT THAT SPARKS A RIOT IN EPHESUS MARY AND THE COUNCIL OF EPHESUS 431 AD - THE ANTI MARY MOTHER OF GOD COMMENT THAT SPARKS A RIOT IN EPHESUS Reviewed by Francisco Nascimento on 12:14 Rating: 5

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