Paul I of Constantinople

Last updated
Paul I of Constantinople
Archbishop of Constantinople
Installed337
Term ended350
Personal details
Denomination Early Church
From Menologion of Basil II Paul the Confessor, bishop of Constantinople (Menologion of Basil II).jpg
From Menologion of Basil II

Paul I or Paulus I or Saint Paul the Confessor (died c. 350), was the sixth bishop of Constantinople, elected first in 337 AD. Paul became involved in the Arian controversy which drew in the Emperor of the West, Constans, and his counterpart in the East, his brother Constantius II. Paul was installed and deposed three times from the See of Constantinople between 337 and 351. He was murdered by strangulation during his third and final exile in Cappadocia. His feast day is on November 6.

A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight.

Constantinople capital city of the Eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire, the Latin and the Ottoman Empire

Constantinople was the capital city of the Roman Empire (330–395), of the Byzantine Empire, and also of the brief Crusader state known as the Latin Empire (1204–1261). It was the capital of the Ottoman Empire (1453–1923). In 1923 the capital was removed and the name changed to Istanbul. The city was located in what is now the European side and the core of modern Istanbul.

Constans Roman emperor

Constans or Constans I was Roman Emperor from 337 to 350. He defeated his brother Constantine II in 340, but anger in the army over his personal life (homosexuality) and favouritism towards his barbarian bodyguards led the general Magnentius to rebel, resulting in the assassination of Constans in 350.

Contents

Biography

He was a native of Thessalonica, a presbyter of Constantinople, and secretary to the aged bishop Alexander of Constantinople, his predecessor in the see. Both the city and its inhabitants suffered much during the Arian controversies. No sooner had Alexander breathed his last than the Arian and Orthodox parties came into open conflict. The Orthodox party prevailed; in 337 Paul was elected and consecrated by bishops who happened to be at Constantinople in the Church of Peace, close to what was afterwards the Hagia Sophia. [1]

In the New Testament, a presbyter is a leader of a local Christian congregation. The word derives from the Greek presbyteros, which means elder or senior. The Greek word episkopos literally means overseer; it refers exclusively to the office of bishop. Many understand presbyteros to refer to the bishop functioning as overseer. In modern Catholic and Orthodox usage, presbyter is distinct from bishop and synonymous with priest. In predominant Protestant usage, presbyter does not refer to a member of a distinctive priesthood called priests, but rather to a minister, pastor, or elder.

Alexander of Constantinople was a bishop of Byzantium and the first Archbishop of Constantinople. Scholars consider most of the available information on Alexander to be legendary.

Episcopal see the main administrative seat held by a bishop

An episcopal see is, in the usual meaning of the phrase, the area of a bishop's ecclesiastical jurisdiction.

First exile

The Emperor Constantius II had been away during these events. On his return he was angry at not having been consulted. He summoned a synod of Arian bishops, declared Paul quite unfit for the bishopric, banished him, and transported Eusebius of Nicomedia to Constantinople. This is thought to have been around 339. Paul, seeing himself rendered useless to his flock, while Arianism reigned in the East under the protection of Constantius, took shelter in the West, in the dominions of Constans. He went to Rome where he met Athanasius, who also had been expelled from his see. [2]

Constantius II Roman emperor

Constantius II was Roman Emperor from 337 to 361. His reign saw constant warfare on the borders against the Sasanian Empire and Germanic peoples, while internally the Roman Empire went through repeated civil wars and usurpations, culminating in Constantius' overthrow as emperor by his cousin Julian. His religious policies inflamed domestic conflicts that would continue after his death.

Synod council of a church

A synod is a council of a church, usually convened to decide an issue of doctrine, administration or application. The word synod comes from the Greek σύνοδος (sýnodos) meaning "assembly" or "meeting", and it is synonymous with the Latin word concilium meaning "council". Originally, synods were meetings of bishops, and the word is still used in that sense in Catholicism, Oriental Orthodoxy and Eastern Orthodoxy. In modern usage, the word often refers to the governing body of a particular church, whether its members are meeting or not. It is also sometimes used to refer to a church that is governed by a synod.

Eusebius of Nicomedia was the man who baptised Constantine the Great. He was a bishop of Berytus in Phoenicia. He was later made the Bishop of Nicomedia, where the imperial court resided. He lived finally in Constantinople from 338 up to his death.

Athanasius of Alexandria was then in exile from Alexandria, Marcellus from Ancyra, and Asclepas from Gaza; with them Paul betook himself to Rome and consulted Pope Julius I, who examined their cases severally, found them all staunch to the creed of Nicaea, admitted them to communion, espoused their cause, and wrote strongly to the bishops of the East. Athanasius and Paul recovered their sees; the Eastern bishops replied to Pope Julius altogether declining to act on his advice. [1]

Alexandria Metropolis in Egypt

Alexandria is the second-largest city in Egypt and a major economic centre, extending about 32 km (20 mi) along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in the north central part of the country. Its low elevation on the Nile delta makes it highly vulnerable to rising sea levels. Alexandria is an important industrial center because of its natural gas and oil pipelines from Suez. Alexandria is also a popular tourist destination.

Marcellus of Ancyra was a Bishop of Ancyra and one of the bishops present at the Council of Ancyra and the First Council of Nicaea. He was a strong opponent of Arianism, but was accused of adopting the opposite extreme of modified Sabellianism. He was condemned by a council of his enemies and expelled from his see, though he was able to return there to live quietly with a small congregation in the last years of his life.

Gaza City Municipality A in Gaza, State of Palestine

Gaza, also referred to as Gaza City, is a Palestinian city in the Gaza Strip, with a population of 515,556, making it the largest city in the State of Palestine. Inhabited since at least the 15th century BCE, Gaza has been dominated by several different peoples and empires throughout its history. The Philistines made it a part of their pentapolis after the Ancient Egyptians had ruled it for nearly 350 years.

Second exile

Paul returned to Constantinople. Eusebius died in 341, and Paul was reinstated as bishop. [3] The Arians seized the occasion; Theognis of Nicaea, Theodorus of Heraclea, and other heterodox bishops, consecrated bishop Macedonius in the church of St. Paul; and again the city became the prey of a civil war. [1]

Theognis of Nicaea was a 4th-century Bishop of Nicaea, excommunicated after the First Council of Nicaea for not denouncing Arius and his nontrinitarianism strongly enough.

Macedonius was a Greek bishop of Constantinople from 342 up to 346, and from 351 until 360. He inspired the establishment of the Macedonians, a sect later declared heretical.

The Emperor Constantius was at Antioch when he heard of this, where he ordered Hermogenes, his general of cavalry, to see that Paul was again expelled. The people would not hear of violence being done to their bishop; they rushed upon the house where the general was, set fire to it, killed him on the spot, tied a rope round his feet, pulled him out from the burning building, and dragged him in triumph round the city. [1] Constantius was not likely to pass over this rebellion against his authority. He rode on horseback at full speed to Constantinople, determined to make the people suffer heavily for their revolt. They met him, however, on their knees with tears and entreaties, and he contented himself with depriving them of half their allowance of corn, but ordered Paul to be driven from the city. [1]

Antioch ancient city in Turkey

Antioch on the Orontes was an ancient Greek city on the eastern side of the Orontes River. Its ruins lie near the modern city of Antakya, Turkey, and lends the modern city its name.

Third exile

Paul seems to have retired to Triers, but returned to Constantinople in 344, with letters of recommendation from Constans, the emperor of the West, who wrote to Constantius, that should Paul not receive his patriarchal see, he would attack him. Constantius only allowed Paul's re-establishment for fear of his brother's arms, and the saint's situation in the East continued very uneasy, for he had much to suffer from the power and malice of the Arian party. [3]

Constans died in 350. Constantius, in Antioch, ordered Philippus, prefect of the East, to once more expel Paul and to put Macedonius in his place. At a public bath called Zeuxippus, adjoining a palace by the shore of the Bosphorus, Philippus asked bishop Paul to meet him, as if to discuss some public business. When Paul arrived, he showed him the emperor's letter, and ordered him to be quietly taken through the palace to the waterside, placed on board ship, and carried off to Thessalonica, his native town. Philippus allowed him to visit Illyricum and the remote provinces, but forbade him to set foot again in the East. [1]

Paul was later loaded with chains and taken to Singara in Mesopotamia, then to Emesa, and finally to Cucusus in Cappadocia. [1] Here he was confined in a close, dark place, and left to starve to death. After he had passed six days without food, he was, to the great disappointment of his enemies, found alive. Upon which they strangled him, and gave out that he died after a short sickness.

The body of St. Paul was brought to Ancyra in Galatia, and, by the order of Theodosius the Great, was thence translated to Constantinople in 381, about thirty years after his death. It was buried there in the great church built by Macedonius, which from that time was known by no other name than that of St. Paul. His remains were removed to Venice in 1226, where they are kept with great respect in the church of St. Laurence.

Related Research Articles

Arianism is a nontrinitarian Christological doctrine which asserts the belief that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who was begotten by God the Father at a point in time, a creature distinct from the Father and is therefore subordinate to him, but the Son is also God. Arian teachings were first attributed to Arius, a Christian presbyter in Alexandria of Egypt. The term "Arian" is derived from the name Arius; and like "Christian", it was not a self-chosen designation but bestowed by hostile opponents—and never accepted by those on whom it had been imposed. The nature of Arius's teaching and his supporters were opposed to the theological views held by Homoousian Christians, regarding the nature of the Trinity and the nature of Christ. The Arian concept of Christ is based on the belief that the Son of God did not always exist but was begotten within time by God the Father.

Athanasius of Alexandria Patriarch of Alexandria

Athanasius of Alexandria, also called Athanasius the Great, Athanasius the Confessor or, primarily in the Coptic Orthodox Church, Athanasius the Apostolic, was the 20th bishop of Alexandria. His intermittent episcopacy spanned 45 years, of which over 17 encompassed five exiles, when he was replaced on the order of four different Roman emperors. Athanasius was a Christian theologian, a Church Father, the chief defender of Trinitarianism against Arianism, and a noted Egyptian leader of the fourth century.

The 330s decade ran from January 1, 330, to December 31, 339.

The 340s decade ran from January 1, 340, to December 31, 349.

The 350s decade ran from January 1, 350, to December 31, 359.

Year 346 (CCCXLVI) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Constantius and Claudius. The denomination 346 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.

Year 339 (CCCXXXIX) was a common year starting on Monday of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Constantius and Claudius. The denomination 339 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.

Eudoxius was the eighth bishop of Constantinople from January 27, 360 to 370, previously bishop of Germanicia and of Antioch. Eudoxius was one of the most influential Arians.

Hosius of Corduba, also known as Osius or Ossius, was a bishop of Corduba and an important and prominent advocate for Homoousion Christianity in the Arian controversy that divided the early Christianity.

The Councils of Sirmium were the five episcopal councils held in Sirmium in 347, 351, 357, 358 and finally in 375 or 378. The third—the most important of the councils—marked a temporary compromise between Arianism and the Western bishops of the Christian church. At least two of the other councils also dealt primarily with the Arian controversy. All of these councils were held under the rule of Constantius II, who was sympathetic to the Arians.

Semi-Arianism was a position regarding the relationship between God the Father and the Son of God, adopted by some 4th century Christians. Though the doctrine modified the teachings of Arianism, it still rejected the doctrine that Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are co-eternal, and of the same substance, or consubstantial, and was therefore considered to be heretical by many contemporary Christians. Semi-Arianism is a name frequently given to the Trinitarian position of the conservative majority of the Eastern Orthodox Church in the 4th century, to distinguish it from strict Arianism.

Auxentius of Milan or of Cappadocia, was an Arian theologian and bishop of Milan. Because of his Arian faith, Auxentius is considered by the Catholic Church as an intruder and he is not included in the Catholic lists of the bishops of Milan such as that engraved in the Cathedral of Milan.

Gregory of Cappadocia served as Patriarch of Alexandria between 339 and 345. The appointment was made due to political pressure on Emperor Constantius II by Bishop Eusebius of Nicomedia, who had been one of the strong opponents of Patriarch Athanasius I and a supporter of Arianism from the very beginning.

The Arian controversy was a series of Christian theological disputes that arose between Arius and Athanasius of Alexandria, two Christian theologians from Alexandria, Egypt. The most important of these controversies concerned the substantial relationship between God the Father and God the Son.

The Pneumatomachi, also known as Macedonians or Semi-Arians in Constantinople and the Tropici in Alexandria, were an anti-Nicene Creed sect which flourished in the countries adjacent to the Hellespont during the latter half of the fourth, and the beginning of the fifth centuries. They denied the Godhood of the Holy Ghost, hence the Greek name Pneumatomachi or 'Combators against the Spirit'.

Eusebius was a high-ranking officer of the Roman Empire, holding the position of praepositus sacri cubiculi for all the rule of Emperor Constantius II (337-361).

Censorius Datianus was a politician of the Roman Empire, very influential under the rule of Emperor Constantius II (337-361).

References

Attribution
Titles of the Great Christian Church
Preceded by
Alexander
Archbishop of Constantinople
337339
Succeeded by
Eusebius
Preceded by
Eusebius
Archbishop of Constantinople
341342
Succeeded by
Macedonius I
Preceded by
Macedonius I
Archbishop of Constantinople
346350