« Menander Mennas Merlinus »


Mennas, patriarch of Constantinople, 536–552. On the deposition of ANTHIMUS, Mennas, superior of the great convent of St. Samson at Constantinople, was elected to the see. Pope Agapetus was then at Constantinople, having presided at the council there which dealt with the case of Anthimus, and himself consecrated Mennas. Mennas accepted the council of Chalcedon; he was a Catholic, well known for his knowledge and integrity. On May 2, 536, he presided at a council assembled by Justinian at Constantinople at the request of 11 bishops of the East and of Palestine, and of 33 other ecclesiastics, to finish the case of Anthimus, and to decide those of Severus of Antioch, Peter of Apamea, and the Eutychian monk Zoara. The request had been made to pope Agapetus, who had died on Apr. 22, before the council could be held. The result of the council was that, Anthimus having been sought for in vain, he was forbidden to resume his episcopate of Trapezus and deposed from his rank; the others were anathematized. Mennas obtained from Justinian the passing of a law, dated Aug. 6, 536, confirming the Acts of this council. He also sent them to Peter of Jerusalem, who held a council to receive them. On Sept. 13, 540, pope Vigilius wrote to Mennas and to the emperor Justinian, by the hands of Dominicus the patrician. He endeavoured to carry on the influence which Agapetus had over the affairs of the church of Constantinople. He confirmed the anathemas pronounced by Mennas against Severus of Antioch, Peter of Apamea, Anthimus, and other schismatics, offering communion again to all who should come to a better mind. Mennas died on Aug. 5, 552, just before the second great council of Constantinople, called the fifth general. It was in the midst of the angry discussions about the "Three Chapters." Mennas had signed the declaration of faith addressed to pope Vigilius by Theodore of Corsaria and others to satisfy his protests and to preserve the peace of the church.

In the controversies which gave rise to the Lateran council in 649, a Monothelite writing was brought forward by Sergius patriarch of Constantinople as a genuine work of Mennas, supposed to be addressed to pope Vigilius. But in the third council of Constantinople, Nov. 10, 680, this document was proved to be the composition of the monk George, who confessed himself its author.

Mansi, viii. 869, 870, 960, ix. 157, etc., x. 863, 971, 1003, xi. 226, etc.; Liberatus, Brev. xxi. in Patr. Lat. lxviii. 2039 (see also the dissertations at the end of that volume); Vigil. Pap. Ep. in Patr. Lat. lxix. 21, 25; Agapet. Pap. Ep. in Patr. Lat. xlviii.; Evagr. iv. 36 in Patr. Gk. lxxxvi. Pt. 2, 416, etc.; Ceillier, xi. 121, 194, 968, xii. 922, 947, 953.


« Menander Mennas Merlinus »
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