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378Chapter III.—Concerning St. Meletius and Paulinus, Bishop of Antioch. Their Oath respecting the Episcopal See.

In consequence of this law, Meletius returned about this period to Antioch in Syria; and his presence gave rise to great contention among the people.15191519    Soc. v. 5; Ruf. H. E. ii. 21; Theodoret, H. E. v. 3. Paulinus, whom Valens, from veneration for his piety, had not ventured to banish, was still alive. The partisans of Meletius, therefore, proposed his association with Paulinus, who condemned the ordination of Meletius, because it had been conferred by Arian bishops; and yet the supporters of Meletius went forward by force into the work they had devised; for they were not few in number, and so placed Meletius on the episcopal throne in one of the suburban churches. The mutual animosity of the two parties increased, and sedition was expected, had not a remarkable plan for the restoration of concord prevailed. For it seemed best, to take oaths from those who were considered eligible, or who were expected to occupy the episcopal see of that place. Of these there were five besides Flavian. These promised that they would neither strive for, nor accept the episcopate should an ordination take place among them during the life of Paulinus and Meletius, and that in the event of the decease of either of these great men, the other alone should succeed to the bishopric. On their ratifying this promise with oaths, unanimity was restored among almost all the people; a few of the Luciferites still diverged because Meletius had been ordained by heretics. On the termination of this contest, Meletius proceeded to Constantinople, where many other bishops had assembled together to deliberate on the necessity of translating Gregory from the bishopric of Nazianzen to that of this city.


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