Acacius, Bishop of Berea
In the 370s, a priest of Aleppo
named Acacius corresponded with St.
Epiphanius of Salamis about how to keep straight
the ever-proliferating heresies afflicting the Church,
and with St. Basil the Great about maintaining Orthodoxy
in the face of opposition. Increasingly, the heresy which
Acacius found the most problematic was
he would journey to Rome to testify on the subject
before Pope Damasus.
As bishop of his diocese, Acacius was famous for his
personal integrity and holiness. However, he gradually
came (like many veterans of the struggle with Apollinarianism)
to hold views close to those of Nestorius. When the
Nestorian crisis reached full seriousness, Acacius was one
of the oldest and most respected bishops in the East,
reputedly more than 100 years old; he attempted to use
his seniority to bring about a compromise solution.
This arguably succeeded in the short run, but not in the long.
Acacius' reputation is also somewhat marred by his strong opposition
St. John Chrysostom, perhaps motivated by personal rather than
theological disagreements, and by his involvement in the
chaotic Meletian schism in Antioch.
Norman Hugh Redington
- WORKS: Read with caution.
St. Epiphanius wrote his famous Panarium
in response to these letters, which he reproduced in the preface.
- Epistolæ 1-2 Acacii et Pauli
ad S. Epiphanium, initio Panarii,
(Two Letters of Acacius and Paul to St. Epiphanius).
- Epistola ad Cyrillum Alex.
- Epistola ad Alexandrum Hierapolitanum.
- Propositiones directæ ad Cyrillum.
- Confessio fidei,
(Confession of Faith).
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