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Acacius, Bishop of Berea

IV/V Centuries
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 Apollinarianism; 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 to 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


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