« Flavianus (8), bp. of Constantinople Flavianus (16), bp. of Antioch Florentius, chief minister of state at Constantinople »

Flavianus (16), bp. of Antioch

Flavianus (16) II., bp. of Antioch, 458-512, previously a monk in the monastery of Tilmognon, in Coelesyria (Evagr. H. E. iii. 32), and at the time of his consecration "apocrisiarius" or nuncio of the church of Antioch at the court of Constantinople (Vict. Tunun. Chron.; Theophan. Chronogr. p. 122). Before his consecration Flavian passed for an opponent of the decrees of Chalcedon, and on his appointment he sent to announce the fact to John Haemula, bp. of Alexandria, with letters of communion, and a request for the same in return (Evagr. iii. 23). He speedily, however, withdrew from intercourse with the patriarchs of Alexandria, and joined the opposite party, uniting with Elias of Jerusalem and Macedonius of Constantinople (Liberat. c. 18, p. 128). Flavian soon found a bitter enemy in the turbulent Monophysite Xenaias or Philoxenus, bp. of Hierapolis. On Flavian's declaring for the council of Chalcedon, Xenaias denounced his patriarch as a concealed Nestorian. Flavian made no difficulty in anathematizing Nestorius and his doctrines. Xenaias demanded that he should anathematize Diodorus, Theodore, Theodoret, and others, as necessary to completely prove that he was not a Nestorian. On his refusing, Xenaias stirred up against him the party of Dioscorus in Egypt, and charged Flavian before Anastasius with being a Nestorian (Evagr. iii. 31; Theophan. p. 128). Anastasius used pressure, to which Flavian yielded partially, trusting by concessions to satisfy his enemies. He convened a synod of the prelates of his patriarchate which drew up a letter to Anastasius confirming the first three councils, passing over that of Chalcedon in silence, and anathematizing Diodorus, Theodore, and the others. Xenaias, seeking Flavian's overthrow, required of him further a formal anathema of the council of Chalcedon and of all who admitted the two natures. On his refusal, Xenaias again denounced him to the emperor. Flavian declared his acceptance of the decrees of Chalcedon in condemning Nestorius and Eutyches, but not as a rule of faith. Xenaias having gathered the bishops of Isauria and others, induced them to draw up a formula anathematizing Chalcedon and the two natures, and Flavian and Macedonius, refusing to sign this, were declared excommunicate, a.d. 509 (Evagr. u.s.; Theophan. p. 131). The next year the vacillating Flavian received letters from Severus, the uncompromising antagonist of Macedonius, on the subject of anathematizing Chalcedon, and the reunion of the Acephali with the church (Liberat. c. 19, p. 135). This so irritated Macedonius that he anathematized his former friend, and drove with indignation from his presence the apocrisiarii of Antioch (Theophan. p. 131). On the expulsion of Macedonius, a.d. 511, Flavian obeyed the emperor in recognizing his successor Timotheus, on being convinced of his orthodoxy, but without disguising his displeasure at the violent and uncanonical measures by which Macedonius had been deposed. This exasperated Anastasius, who readily acceded to the request of Xenaias and Soterichus that a council should be convened, 370ostensibly for the more precise declaration of the faith on the points at issue, but really to depose Flavian and Elias of Jerusalem; but it was broken up by the emperor's mandate, to the extreme vexation of Soterichus and Xenaias, without pronouncing any sentence (Labbe, Concil. iv. 1414, vii. 88; Theophan. u.s.; Coteler. Monum. Eccl. Graec. iii. 298). Flavian's perplexities were increased by the inroad of a tumultuous body of monks from Syria Prima, clamouring for the anathematization of Nestorius and all supposed favourers of his doctrines. The citizens rose against them, slew many, and threw their bodies into the Orontes. A rival body of monks poured down from the mountain ranges of Coelesyria, eager to do battle in defence of their metropolitan and former associate. Flavian was completely unnerved, and, yielding to the stronger party, pronounced a public anathema in his cathedral on the decrees of Chalcedon and the four so-called heretical doctors. His enemies, determined to obtain his patriarchate for one of their own party, accused him to the emperor of condemning with his lips what he still held in his heart. The recent disturbances at Antioch were attributed to him, and afforded the civil authorities a pretext for desiring him to leave Antioch for a time. His quitting Antioch was seized on by the emperor as an acknowledgment of guilt. Anastasus declared the see vacant, sent Severus to occupy it, and. banished Flavian to Petra in Arabia, where he died in 518. Eutych. Alex. Annal. Eccl. p. 140; Marcell. Chron.; Theophan. p. 134; Evagr. H. E. iii. 32.


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