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Lorenzo

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Non Christians
« on: August 13, 2007, 06:39:12 PM »
Okay, I have a sincere question regarding non-christians. The reason why I'm asking is because I'm interested in knowing what your opinion is on what happens to those who do not accept and recognize Jesus Christ as the Son of God and Saviour of the World. I have friends who practice a different religion--particularly a good friend of mine, Moin, who's Indonesian and is Muslim. We've had conversations concerning the fate of those who do not believe in God--and he says that in Islam, those who believe in Allah shall be judged accordingly and that Allah shows compassion for the "People of the Book"--regarding the Jews and the Christians. However, in christianity--the Lord said it himself "No one can come to the father but me". Unless one believes in the father, the son, and the holy spirit--he or she cannot enter the kingdom of God.

So what does mean on the fate of Muslims, Jews--who both do believe in GOD--by the fact that all three faiths are Abrahamic--and trace their line back to the talmud and the old testimony. Yet in Judaism--Jesus isn't even considered a prophet or a holy man--and in Islam--he is considered a prophet, not a Son of God--and do not recognize the Holy Trinity.

What about those who are born to and practice Hinduism? Buddhism? Shintoism? Animism? I understand that the bible states this about the non-christians:
"If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers; Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you ... Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him: But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die." -- Dt.13:6-10

"Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? ... Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord." -- 2 Cor.6:14-17

Does this mean that those who were born in a different region--and born to a different faith--shall perish in the lake of fire? Despite the fact that they were kind, loving, compassionate and religious in their own faith in their respective lives?

What do catholics believe in this situation? When I researched the writings of the catholic church--His Holiness Pope Boniface VIII, who wrote "Unam Sanctum" and promulgated the Papal Bull even stated:
"Urged by faith, we are obliged to believe and to maintain that the Church is one, holy, catholic, and also apostolic. We believe in her firmly and we confess with simplicity that outside of her there is neither salvation nor the remission of sins...In her then is one Lord, one faith, one baptism [Ephesians 4:5]. There had been at the time of the deluge only one ark of Noah, prefiguring the one Church, which ark, having been finished to a single cubit, had only one pilot and guide, i.e., Noah, and we read that, outside of this ark, all that subsisted on the earth was destroyed....Furthermore, we declare, we proclaim, we define that it is absolutely necessary for salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff."

Sometimes I do feel confused--and wonder what your views are on this?

Linkback: https://tubagbohol.mikeligalig.com/index.php?topic=3343.0

Ligalig-Mike

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Re: Non-Christians
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2007, 06:48:48 PM »
Acts 4:12. Neither is there salvation in any other. For there is no other name under heaven given to men, whereby we must be saved.

The name is Jesus Christ.
Romans 10:9
"That if you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you shall be saved."

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Barbaro

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Re: Non Christians
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2007, 08:27:24 PM »
It's obvious that jesus travelled and studied many ways of life and different religious teachings; incorporating all of it into his thinking. His ideals were beautiful.

What I don't like is how his teachings have been twisted by power/money hungry people for their own benefit.
" with great power comes great responsibility.." -- "Spiderman"

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Re: Non Christians
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2007, 09:27:30 PM »
hmmmmmm.... dont like to discuss about religion... ;D

anyway, peace for everyone!!!
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Re: Non Christians
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2007, 10:48:56 PM »
We shall be judged according to our deeds...Religion can not save us! All religions are good if we are following its teachings!
"All that is needed for evil to succeed is, that decent human beings doing nothing". (Edmund Burke)

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Re: Non Christians
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2007, 12:16:25 AM »
There is only one God, but has different names in different religions.. and each believers do different kinds of worship.
"There's no perfect life, but we can let God fill it with perfect moments"

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Re: Non Christians
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2007, 09:55:42 AM »
Sometimes I do feel confused--

dont feel confused Oni ;)

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Re: Non Christians
« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2007, 04:23:57 AM »
There's only one God!

Lorenzo

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Re: Non Christians
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2007, 12:58:49 PM »
It's obvious that jesus travelled and studied many ways of life and different religious teachings; incorporating all of it into his thinking. His ideals were beautiful.

What I don't like is how his teachings have been twisted by power/money hungry people for their own benefit.
[/i]

What I dont really like are the rising and extremist evangelicals here in the United States. Its also ironic how they themselves preach the teachings of Christ--yet at the same time horde millions of dollars from followers and supporters--then again there are extremist christian protestants such as the Westboro Baptist Church--here in the United States--who actually have the audacity and disgust to protest the deaths of American soldiers in Iraq as 'punishment' from God. These groups claim that 911 is a gift from God and that God is punishing America for the homosexual acceptance in our society and in other societies that promote or accept it. It is almost disgusting that these people preach such hatred. These so called 'evangelicals' claim that those who are Catholic are followers of the 'anti-christ' and declare that catholics do not read proper scripture. All of this disgusts me--and I've had multiple encounters with evangelical protestants that have attacked my faith and the Holy Roman Catholic church.

When I talked to a fellow priest about this--he mentioned to me about what the cardinal said about teachings of 'new' evangelical preachers who so call themselves the 'true' followers of christ. Indeed--they are wolves in sheeps clothing. They are the examples and epitomes of the thousands of heresies and blasphemies committed everyday in the name of Jesus Christ and his flock--so twisted are they in their translation of the bible--that they even forget the decree of Jesus Christ to St. Peter.

"You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it" (Matt. 16:18).

"The Lord says to Peter: ‘I say to you,’ he says, ‘that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not overcome it. And to you I will give the keys of the kingdom of heaven . . . ’ [Matt. 16:18–19]. On him [Peter] he builds the Church, and to him he gives the command to feed the sheep [John 21:17], and although he assigns a like power to all the apostles, yet he founded a single chair [cathedra], and he established by his own authority a source and an intrinsic reason for that unity. Indeed, the others were that also which Peter was [i.e., apostles], but a primacy is given to Peter, whereby it is made clear that there is but one Church and one chair. . . . If someone does not hold fast to this unity of Peter, can he imagine that he still holds the faith? If he [should] desert the chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, can he still be confident that he is in the Church?" (The Unity of the Catholic Church 4; 1st edition [A.D. 251]).

"There is one God and one Christ, and one Church, and one chair founded on Peter by the word of the Lord. It is not possible to set up another altar or for there to be another priesthood besides that one altar and that one priesthood. Whoever has gathered elsewhere is scattering" (Letters 43[40]:5 [A.D. 253]).


"There [John 6:68–69] speaks Peter, upon whom the Church would be built, teaching in the name of the Church and showing that even if a stubborn and proud multitude withdraws because it does not wish to obey, yet the Church does not withdraw from Christ. The people joined to the priest and the flock clinging to their shepherd are the Church. You ought to know, then, that the bishop is in the Church and the Church in the bishop, and if someone is not with the bishop, he is not in the Church. They vainly flatter themselves who creep up, not having peace with the priests of God, believing that they are
secretly [i.e., invisibly] in communion with certain individuals. For the Church, which is one and Catholic, is not split nor divided, but it is indeed united and joined by the cement of priests who adhere one to another" (ibid., 66[69]:8).

++++

Ephraim the Syrian



"[Jesus said:] ‘Simon, my follower, I have made you the foundation of the holy Church. I betimes called you Peter, because you will support all its buildings. You are the inspector of those who will build on earth a Church for me. If they should wish to build what is false, you, the foundation, will condemn them. You are the head of the fountain from which my teaching flows; you are the chief of my disciples’" (Homilies 4:1 [A.D. 351]).

 
Optatus



"You cannot deny that you are aware that in the city of Rome the episcopal chair was given first to Peter; the chair in which Peter sat, the same who was head—that is why he is also called Cephas [‘Rock’]—of all the apostles; the one chair in which unity is maintained by all" (The Schism of the Donatists 2:2 [A.D. 367]).

 
Ambrose of Milan



"[Christ] made answer: ‘You are Peter, and upon this rock will I build my Church. . . . ’ Could he not, then, strengthen the faith of the man to whom, acting on his own authority, he gave the kingdom, whom he called the rock, thereby declaring him to be the foundation of the Church [Matt. 16:18]?" (The Faith 4:5 [A.D. 379]).

"It is to Peter that he says: ‘You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church’ [Matt. 16:18]. Where Peter is, there is the Church. And where the Church is, no death is there, but life eternal" (Commentary on Twelve Psalms of David 40:30 [A.D. 389]).


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Re: Non Christians
« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2007, 10:41:02 PM »
Onic...Are you a roman catholic? Do you have any idea about the "Council of Nicaea"?

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Re: Non Christians
« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2007, 11:02:49 PM »
Hi folks!

God is God! And we are all the same one creature. Religion is a theme just like the Environmental problems which is actually centered in Media discussions. Religion- it depends upon its personal interpretation. Please..... let Religion remains holy and sacred but let it not be ended into a "HOLY WAR". God bless us all!

Lorenzo

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Re: Non Christians
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2007, 12:20:21 AM »

I would humbly state that I am a faithful Roman Catholic, and I know of the Council of Nicea.

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Re: Non Christians
« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2007, 12:25:37 AM »
kana man council of nicaea maoy naghimo ug mga crucial changes sa roman catholic church

Lorenzo

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Re: Non Christians
« Reply #13 on: August 22, 2007, 12:25:58 AM »

That is true, Bambi, however, we must keep into consideration that in times of strif and in the current--so strong is the powers of the most unclean, the liar of the world, the great deciever, the great protester--Lucifer. The one that was cast down--with his lot--by the Arch angel of the Lord, Michael and the hosts of heaven.

There are multitudes of rising 'evangelical' , 'protestant', 'new' churches all over the world--that claim to preach the teachings of Christ--but in turn and in reality are making blasphemic rhetoric. Woe unto those who are wolves in sheeps clothing--woe unto those who do not recognize the trueness and righteousness of the Holy Roman Catholic Church---the Lord himself saideth it to St. Peter--the First Pope of Rome--nay..he declared it.

There is only one Church--and outside of the Catholic Church--there is neither salvation or redemption. The Lord himself declared it to Peter that the road to salvation is but narrow--and only few will be saved. The catholic church is over 2000 years old--and has seen the rise and fall of empires, kings, emperors, teachings and wars. The audacity of new evangelicals to attack the church--from which they sprang forth--and from whose teachings they claim yet twist in their own transfiguration. I agree with my local pastor in this--radical evangelicalism is nothing but heresy, an example of false prophetry. Woe to them--for they have neither salvation nor redemption in the eyes of the Lord.

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Re: Non Christians
« Reply #14 on: August 22, 2007, 12:28:28 AM »
The Council of Nicaea and the Bible

There seem to be a number of legends about the First Council of Nicaea (325AD) in circulation on the internet, presented as fact.  Some people seem to think that the council, which was the first council of all the Bishops of the Christian Church, either invented the New Testament, or edited it to remove references to reincarnation (or whatever) or burned large numbers of heretical works, or whatever.  These are in error.  This page documents the problem and provides links to all the ancient source material in order to allow everyone to check the truth for themselves.
   

Here's my first example, from usenet:

    >    In tracing the origin of the Bible, one is led to AD 325, when
    > Constantine the Great called the First Council of Nicaea, composed of
    > 300 religious leaders. Three centuries after Jesus lived, this council
    > was given the task of separating divinely inspired writings from those
    > of questionable origin.
    >    The actual compilation of the Bible was an incredibly complicated
    > project that involved churchmen of many varying beliefs, in an
    > atmosphere of dissension, jealousy, intolerance, persecution and
    > bigotry.
    >    At this time, the question of the divinity of Jesus had split the
    > church into two factions. Constantine offered to make the little-known
    > Christian sect the official state religion if the Christians would
    > settle their differences. Apparently, he didn't particularly care what
    > they believed in as long as they agreed upon a belief. By compiling a
    > book of sacred writings, Constantine thought that the book would give
    > authority to the new church.

Here's a second version of the same idea:

    > The references in the Christian religion of reincarnation, I am told,
    > were removed by the Council of Nicea. (See Note A)

Here's a third version of this idea:

    >    Also, we do know that there were many books of supposed prophets
    > floating around up until 312 CE when the Council of Nicea decided
    > which books were scripture and which ones were burned. Thanks to
    > the notorious habit of early Christian leaders of destroying
    > books/scrolls, we may never know what doctrine existed before the
    > Council of Nicea.

And another even more extreme example:

    Author: Laulak Siddique <laulak@home.com>
    Date: 2000/12/06
    Forum: alt.religion.islam
    In article <USiX5.110265$a7.1794610@news1.rdc1.il.home.com>,
    "Laulak Siddique" <laulak@home.com> wrote:

    > Christianity consisted of many sects. By converting Constantine
    > (The Great) the Paul heresy triumphed as the concept of trinity and the ending of the
    > Mosaic law (which made swine flesh permissible) brought this version of
    > Christianity very close to the Hellenic paganism that was practiced in Rome
    > and Greece. At Nicea Constantine had 300 versions of the Bible burnt, thus
    > legitimising and patronizing only the Paulic heresy.

And another (I'm not making any of these up):

    Subject: Re: Snipper continues trying to shift the burden of proof to the atheists
    From: "St. Clarence" <kschneid@students.uiuc.edu>
    Date: 2001/01/07
    Newsgroups: alt.atheism,alt.agnosticism,alt.christnet.atheism,alt.christnet.calvinist ...

    >Actually, legend has it that at the Council of Nicea, Constantine was
    >unsure of what else to include as a holy scripture (which later the batch
    >became the Bible). He threw the batch that he was to choose from onto a
    >table. Those that remained on the table were in, those that fell off were
    >out.

    (See Note B)

   The most
common source
of the misinformation
at the moment is the Da Vinci code:

A new version of the story (June 2001), which also includes a very confused version of the 'Secret Mark' theory of Morton Smith (not 480, obviously):

    Dave Crisp <...> wrote in message news:<thi0ufl82rj0b3@corp.supernews.co.uk>...

    > There are one or two places where there is evidence of which is 'right',
    > the most famous example perhaps being the account of the raising of Lazarus
    > which was removed from Mark on the instructions of the Council of Nicea as
    > it hat overtones of a 'mystery cult'.

    [source queried - answer:]
    > If you could give me a couple of days, I could probably dig out the entire
    > text, which was contained in a letter sent in 480 by the Bishop of
    > Alexandria to one of his underlings; who was involved it trying to stamp
    > out a group of 'Heretics' who were still using the original version.

And another:

    Newsgroups: soc.culture.jewish, (etc)
    Date: 1996/05/08
    > The Roman Catholic Church created the canon of Christian
    > scripture at the Council of Nicea, at the same time that they determined
    > the doctrine of Trinity (through the assasination of a few of the voting
    > bishops, by one vote). (See Note D)

And the legend reappears in the Da Vinci Code.

These all sound individually quite confident and authoritative.  But how do we find out if they are true?  The answer must be to assemble all the primary data; any documents issued by the council, and any ancient accounts of its proceedings.

Documents Issued by the Council

The 318 bishops issued a creed (Symbolum), 20 canons, and a letter to the church of Alexandria.  An English translation of these is available from http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/3801.htm

Ancient Accounts of the Council

I admit that I was a little stumped as to what these might be.  However I searched the internet.  I also went through Quasten's Patrology looking for any references, and drew up a table of references from that.

From http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11044a.htm :

    The adhesion [to the creed] was general and enthusiastic. All the bishops save five declared themselves ready to subscribe to this formula, convince that it contained the ancient faith of the Apostolic Church. The opponents were soon reduced to two, Theonas of Marmarica and Secundus of Ptolemais, who were exiled and anathematized. Arius and his writings were also branded with anathema, his books were cast into the fire, and he was exiled to Illyria.

    But the accounts of Eusebius, Socrates, Sozomen, Theodoret, and Rufinus may be considered as very important sources of historical information, as well as some data preserved by St. Athanasius, and a history of the Council of Nicaea written in Greek in the fifth century by Gelasius of Cyzicus.

    (Leclerq, H)

Other information about the council is available from the church historians, which also detail action taken by the Emperor Constantine to enforce uniformity after the council.  (The works of many of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers are available online at http://www.ccel.org/fathers2)  I have these references for accounts of the council, all of which I have read (see Note C):

    * Theodoret, Historia Ecclesia, Book I, ch.6-13.  This mentions that the definitions of Nicaea were drawn up with reference to Scripture; and the argument about whether phrase x or y was or was not in scripture formed the basis of much of the argument.
    * Socrates, Historia Ecclesia, Book I, ch.8.  This mentions that Constantine exiled Arius and some of his supporters for refusing to submit to the decisions of the council.  It also quotes an letter by Constantine ordering the destruction of all works composed by Arius on pain of death to any found holding them, and referring to a similar past order regarding the works of Porphyry.
    * Sozomen, Historia Ecclesia, Book 1,  ch.21.  This describes the results of the council.  (Chapter 17 onwards describes the council).  Constantine writes to all the cities ordering the destruction of the works of Arius and his followers, and the penalty of death for any who refused to destroy them.  The letter is not quoted.  There is also an anecdote where a Novatianist bishop is interviewed by the emperor.  The bishop agrees to sign the creed but not to resume communion with the Catholics.  Constantine tells him to get a ladder and ascend into heaven alone, then; but there is no mention of action against the Novatianists.
    * Eusebius, Vita Constantini, Book III, ch.6ff.  This describes the council without mentioning Arius and concentrates on the harmonisation of the date of Easter.  Later it gives the text of an edict by Constantine against heretics and schismatics, 'Novatians, Valentinians, Marcionites, Paulians, you who are called Cataphrygians', banning their meetings and confiscating their buildings.  Eusebius goes on to say without quoting that a search was also decreed for their books in order to identify the heretics (although no details are given of what happened to the books).
    * Eusebius, On the Feast of Easter/De solemnitate paschalis/Peri\ th~j tou~ pa&sxa e(orth~j, 8 (PG. 24.701) Checked.  According to Quasten 3 p.339 the work is not extant but a substantial fragment exists in the Catena on Luke by Nicetas of Heraclea.  The text of this appears in Migne, 24, cols. 693-706, and so, in Latin translation, which I have.  It does not seem to exist in English, but a kind gentleman has made us a translation from the Greek, which is now online.  As can be seen, chapter 8 does mention the decision of the synod about Easter, but says nothing of interest to us.  The text contains no other references.
    * Athanasius, De decretis synodis, A general discussion of some of the issues, rather than the acts of the council, and the arguments about whether the council exceeded what scripture says.
    * Athanasius, Ep. ad episcopos Africae, 5.ff.  More about Arius at Nicaea and against the Council of Sirmium.
    * Epiphanius, Haereses or Panarion, 69, on Arius.  Nothing more than we have from other sources.  Since this text has only just been translated into English, it isn't in the online collection of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, so I've placed all the material online myself.
    * Philostorgius, HE I.7, 7a.  Checked.  This writer is only extant in fragments in Photius and the Suida.  Apparently he was an Arian, born in 368.  There is an English version; E. Walford, The Ecclesiastical History of Sozomen ... also the Ecclesiastical History of Philostorgius as epitomized by Photius,[ONLINE] London (1855).  However it contains nothing new about the council.  I have a copy of this and hope to place it online sometime.  It would seem to derive from a single MS.  The Nicaea portions are now online.
    * Rufinus, Historia Ecclesiastica 10,1-6 Checked.  Only recently put into English: The Church History of Rufinus of Aquileia by Rufinus, Philip R., S.J. Amidon (Translator), September 1997, Oxford Univ Press; ISBN: 0195110315.  Reviewed in Journal of Early Christian Studies 7.1 (1999) by C.H.Gowans.  I have now seen this, and this also has no discussion of the canon of scripture.  (It does contain the fascinating description of the destruction of the Temple of Serapis at Alexandria).  I just wish the volume was cheaper.  There is a useful bibliography.  The Nicaea portion is now online.
    * Gelasius of Cyzicus, Historia Concilii Nicaeni.  This does not seem to exist in English, but is in J.P.Migne, Patrologia Graeco-Latina, vol. 85, cols. 1185-1360, in Greek and Latin.  There are three books; book I deals with the historical events leading to the accession of Constantine, book II with the council and its canons, and book III with letters issued by Constantine to various persons.  The work seems to date from about 480-500, so is rather late, and some of it appears to be fictionalised.  The debates are given verbatim, and, as the introduction notes, issues that contemporary writers explicitly deny are an issue (e.g. the Holy Spirit, as seen by the pneumatomachoi in the 5th century) are given as part of the heresies of the Arians.  However it still makes no reference to decisions about books of the bible.  The work is said to use the now lost text of Gelasius of Caesaria, which continued the HE of Eusbius.
    * NEW: Jerome, Biblical Preface to Judith.  No English translation of this has been published, but it reads as follows:
              "Among the Jews, the book of Judith is counted/considered [legitur] among the apocrypha; the basis for affirming those [apocryphal texts] which have come into dispute is deemed less than sufficient. Moreover, since it was written in the Chaldean [he means Old Aramaic] language, it is counted among the historical books. But the Nicene Council is considered to have counted this book among the number of sacred Scriptures, I have acquiesced to your [pl.] request (or should I say demand!): and, my other work set aside, from which I was vehemently restrained, I have given a single night's work (lucubratiuncula), translating according to sense rather than verbatim. I have cut back the most error-ridden of many codices: I was able to discover only one with coherent expression in Chaldean words, to be expressed in Latin. ..." 
              However, this only indicates that people at the Council had an idea that books might be considered scripture, or not.  This is not different from the use of works in the fathers, discussing individual works rather than canon as a whole.  It does not state that lists were drawn up, or necessarily that any debate on canon went on.  But it does suggest some action by the council in discussing whether the Old Testament apocrypha were canonical.  Or is Jerome merely confused here with the Council of Laodicea?  If the Council did discuss books in general, why do none of the councils like Laodicea which include canon lists mention it?  It is possible that the wide circulation of this preface is responsible for the idea, though.

[The following authors do not mention the council at all, although I checked them in case they might: Zosimus, The New History(Byzantina Australensia 2, tr. Ronald T. Ridley, 1982); Aurelius Victor, De Caesaribus (ed. H.W.Bird, 1994, Liverpool University Press); Eutropius, Breviarum (ed. H.W.Bird, 1993, Liverpool University Press)]

From all of which we learn that the council made a ruling on the date of Easter and condemned the views of Arius.  After the council, Constantine ordered the burning of the works of Arius and his sympathisers, and the exile of himself and his supporters, and followed this later in his reign by action against Christian schismatics and gnostic heretics.

From these there appears almost no evidence that the council of Nicaea made any pronouncements on which books go in the Bible, with the ambivalent exception of Jerome, or about the destruction of heretical writings, or reincarnation.   However it did condemn Arius and his teachings, and the Emperor Constantine did take the usual Late Roman steps to ensure conformity afterwards.  However these were not put into effect; and Arianism made an almost immediate comeback.  Even Arius was recalled by Constantine.

Bibliography

1.  Those who wish to check further may wish to consult the standard reference collection (in Latin) of all the known documentation of councils of every kind:

    Mansi, J.D., Sacrorum Concilium Nova et Amplissima Collectio, 31 volumes, 1759-98.  Reprinted and continued 1899-1927.  Not checked.

This includes not merely general councils but local ones also.

2.  Hefele, C. and Leclerq, H., Histoire des conciles, I, Paris 1907. Not checked

3.  Barnes, T.D., Constantine and Eusebius, Harvard 1981.  This does discuss the council of Nicaea.  Checked.

4.  Tanner, Norman P., SJ, ed., Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils, (London: Sheed and Ward; Washington. D.C: Georgetown University Press. 1990).  2 vols.  v. 1. Nicaea I to Lateran V -- v. 2. Trent to Vatican II. -includes the documents in the original Greek and/or Latin text, a reproduction of Conciliorum oecumenicorum decreta, and English translations. Checked.

Here is a short bibliography of useful material assembled by the author of the Medieval Source book:

        Denzinger, Heinrich, ed., Enchiridion Symbolorum Definitionem et Declarationum de Rebus Fidei et Morum. Editio 37. (Friburgi Brisgoviae :
        Herder, 1991) -often cited as just "Denzinger" this includes both conciliar and papal pronouncements. The new edition is easier to use than older
        versions.

    For conciliar decrees in particular see:-

        Conciliorum oecumenicorum decreta, ed. Josepho Alberigo et al, 3rd edition, (Bologna: Istituto per le scienze religiose, 1973) -this covers all Ecumenical councils including Vatican II. The older 1962 edition is useful for the councils before this.

    Some libraries may not have [Tanner] yet, in which case the much older Schroeder edition may be used:-

        Disciplinary Decrees of the General Councils: Text, Translation, and Commentary, by Rev. H. J. Schroeder, O.P., (St. Louis, Mo.: London: B. Herder, 1937) -this gives the Greek and Latin texts and should be available in any Catholic university library, but may be a little hard to find elsewhere.

    An easily available, and trustworthy, English translation of the various canons and decrees of the first seven councils usually called "ecumenical",
    along with the full texts of a number of other important early councils is available in:-

        Henry R. Percival, ed., The Seven Ecumenical Councils of the Undivided Church, their canons and dogmatic decrees, together with the canons of all the local synods which have received ecumenical acceptance, in Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers 2nd Series, Vol. XIV, general editor Philip Schaff, (Edinburgh: T&T Clark; Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, repr. 1988) -despite its long title and citation this book is easily available at a very reasonable $24.95, sometimes less.  (And is online at http://www.ccel.org/fathers2).

    The following councils' documents are included:-

    "ECUMENICAL" "LOCAL"
    1. Nicea I 325AD
        Ancyra 314AD
        Neocaesarea c. 315AD
        Gangra c.325-381AD
        Antioch in Encaenis 341AD
        Laodicea c.343-383AD
    2. Constantinople I 381AD
    3. Ephesus 431AD
    -- these three only accepted by the "monophysite" churches
    4. Chalcedon 451AD
    -- these four accepted by Anglicans [?]
    5. Constantinople II 553AD
    6. Constantinople III 680-681AD
    *Council in Trullo/Quinisext 692AD
    -This supplies canons missing from the 5th and 6th councils. Its decrees were accepted at the 7th, and form the basis of Orthodox canon law. Not strictly an "ecumenical" or "local" council.
         Sardica 343 or 344AD
         Code of African Church/Carthage 419AD
         Constantinople 394AD
         Carthage 257AD
         [Canons received by Quinsext and Ratified by Nicea II] Canon 2 of the Quinsext also accepted disciplinary rulings of a number of fathers - these also are printed.
    7. Nicea II 787AD

Footnotes

Note A.  This idea may derive from some confused statements in Shirley MacLaine, Out on a Limb, Elm Tree Books, London (1983), ISBN p-241-11106-6.  Unfortunately the book seems to be a  fictionalised autobiography, so all the personae are more or less fictional, as a note on the frontispiece makes clear.  (MacLaine is apparently a New Age propagandist).  The book is without any footnotes, index or bibliography.  Quotations are typed from the original.

        "So, are you religious, Kevin?" I asked.
        He choked involuntarily on his tea.  "Are you kidding?  What church would have me?  I'm treading on their territory.  I say folks have God inside them.  The Church says it has God inside of it.  There's a phrase in the Bible which states that one should never countenance spiritual entities other than God.  Most Christians go by that.  But then the Bible says nothing about reincarnation either and it's quite well known that the Council of Nicea voted to strike the teaching of reincarnation from the Bible."
        "How do you know that?" I asked.
        "Well, most serious metaphysical students of the Bible know that.  The Council of Nicea altered many of the interpretations of the Bible.  The man Jesus studied for eighteen years in India before he returned to Jerusalem.  He was studying the teaching of Buddha and became an adept yogi himself.  He obviously had complete control over his body and understood that the body was only the house for a soul.  Each soul has many mansions.  Christ taught that a person's behavior would determine future events--as karma, as the Hindus say.  What one sows, so shall he reap."
        I didn't question these rather sweeping assumptions.  I offered Kevin a cookie.  He seemed to like sugar.  He ate it in two bites.  (p.182. 'I' is MacLaine's persona - 'Kevin' is a medium).

And another later on:

    "... He said that when Christ returned to Israel he taught what he had learned from the Indian masters, that is, the theory of reincarnation.
        "But David," I said, "why aren't these teachings recorded in the Bible?"
        "They are," he said.  "The theory of reincarnation is recorded in the Bible.  But the proper interpretations were struck from it during an Ecumenical Council meeting of the Catholic Church in Constantinople sometime around 553 A.D., called the Council of Nicea.  The Council members voted to strike those teachings from the Bible in order to solidify Church control.
        "The Church needed to be the sole authority where the destiny of man was concerned, but Christ taught that every human being was responsible for his or her own destiny -- now and future.  Christ said there was only one judge--God--and he was very opposed to the formation of a church of any kind, or any other kind of ceremonial religion that might enslave man's free will or his struggle for truth."
        This confirmed what Kevin had said, but it seemed logical that anyone heavily into reincarnation would have read about that famous Council.
        The sun began to set behind the waves now, sweeping a pink-purple slash across the clouds above the Pacific.  (pp.236-7.  'David' is another persona, identified  earlier only as 'a painter and a poet').

The occasion referred to here is clearly not the First Ecumenical Council - the First Council of Nicaea - but the Fifth Ecumenical Council (the Second Council of Constantinople).  This council condemned the propositions known as Origenism, and with them the pagan idea of the transmigration of souls (not reincarnation), which some writers had picked up as a technical idea from Greek philosophy without realising all the implications.  The idea that the bible  was edited to remove the idea in 553 is not consistent with the extensive manuscript evidence for the text (including complete codices) from the 3rd century onwards.

It would seem reasonable to propose that a hazy recollection of these passages lies at the root of this legend.

Note B.  I have managed to trace the source of this strange idea a bit further, to Voltaire, in fact.  In his Dictionnaire Philosophique, in the section Conciles, we find what must be the original.  (The work is online - here is a link to the page on Councils).  The idea is repeated in each of the three sections of this article, of which these are extracts:

    Section I ...

    "Heureusement, pour remplacer leurs signatures et conserver le nombre mystérieux de trois cent dix-huit, on imagina de mettre le livre où étaient ces actes divisés par sessions, sur le tombeau de Chrysante et de Misonius, qui étaient morts pendant la tenue du concile; on y passa la nuit en oraison, et le lendemain il se trouva que ces deux évêques avaient signé(59).

    "Ce fut par un expédient à peu près semblable que les Pères du même concile firent la distinction des livres authentiques de l’Écriture d’avec les apocryphes(60): les ayant placés tous pêle-mêle sur l’autel, les apocryphes tombèrent d’eux-mêmes par terre.(etc)

        Note_59 Nicéphore, livre VIII, chapitre xxiii. Baronius et Aurelius Peruginus sur l’année 325. (Voltaire.)
        Note_60 Conciles de Labbé, tome I, page 84. (Voltaire.)

    Section II ...

    "En 325, grand concile dans la ville de Nicée, convoqué par Constantin. La formule de la décision est: « Nous croyons Jésus consubstantiel au Père, Dieu de Dieu, lumière de lumière, engendré et non fait. Nous croyons aussi au Saint-Esprit(65). »

    "Il est dit dans le supplément, appelé appendix, que les Pères du concile, voulant distinguer les livres canoniques des apocryphes, les mirent tous sur l’autel, et que les apocryphes tombèrent par terre d’eux-mêmes.(etc)

        Note_65 Voyez l’article Arianisme. (Voltaire.)

    SECTION III.

    (70)Tous les conciles sont infaillibles, sans doute: car ils sont composés d’hommes.

    Il est impossible que jamais les passions, les intrigues, l’esprit de dispute, la haine, la jalousie, le préjugé, l’ignorance, règnent dans ces assemblées.

    Mais pourquoi, dira-t-on, tant de conciles ont-ils été opposés les uns aux autres? C’est pour exercer notre foi; ils ont tous eu raison chacun dans leur temps.

    On ne croit aujourd’hui, chez les catholiques romains, qu’aux conciles approuvés dans le Vatican; et on ne croit, chez les catholiques grecs, qu’à ceux approuvés dans Constantinople. Les protestants se moquent des uns et des autres; ainsi tout le monde doit être content.

    Nous ne parlerons ici que des grands conciles; les petits n’en valent pas la peine.

    Le premier est celui de Nicée. Il fut assemblé en 325 de l’ère vulgaire, après que Constantin eut écrit et envoyé par Ozius cette belle lettre au clergé un peu brouillon d’Alexandrie: « Vous vous querellez pour un sujet bien mince. Ces subtilités sont indignes de gens raisonnables. » Il s’agissait de savoir si Jésus était créé ou incréé. Cela ne touchait en rien la morale, qui est l’essentiel. Que Jésus ait été dans le temps, ou avant le temps, il n’en faut pas moins être homme de bien. Après beaucoup d’altercations, il fut enfin décidé que le Fils était aussi ancien que le Père, et consubstantiel au Père. Cette décision ne s’entend guère; mais elle n’en est que plus sublime. Dix-sept évêques protestent contre l’arrêt, et une ancienne chronique d’Alexandrie, conservée à Oxford, dit que deux mille prêtres protestèrent aussi; mais les prélats ne font pas grand cas des simples prêtres, qui sont d’ordinaire pauvres. Quoi qu’il en soit, il ne fut point du tout question de la Trinité dans ce premier concile. La formule porte: « Nous croyons Jésus consubstantiel au Père, Dieu de Dieu, lumière de lumière, engendré et non fait; nous croyons aussi au Saint-Esprit. » Le Saint-Esprit, il faut l’avouer, fut traité bien cavalièrement.

    Il est rapporté dans le supplément du concile de Nicée que les Pères étaient fort embarrassés pour savoir quels étaient les livres cryphes ou apocryphes de l’Ancien et du Nouveau Testament, les mirent tous pêle-mêle sur un autel; et les livres à rejeter tombèrent par terre. C’est dommage que cette belle recette soit perdue de nos jours. (etc)

        Note_70 Ce fut dans l’édition de 1767 du Dictionnaire philosophique que parut un article Conciles, composé de ce qui forme aujourd’hui cette troisième section. (B.)

The substance of these is the same; "Il est rapporté dans le supplément du concile de Nicée que les Pères étaient fort embarrassés pour savoir quels étaient les livres cryphes ou apocryphes de l’Ancien et du Nouveau Testament, les mirent tous pêle-mêle sur un autel; et les livres à rejeter tombèrent par terre." -- "It is reported in the Supplement of the Council of Nicaea that the Fathers were very embarassed to learn that there were secret or apocryphal books of the Old and New Testament, putting them on a altar; and the books to be rejected threw themselves to the ground".

The source of this remarkable story is given as an appendix in Fr. Labbé's Conciles vol I, p. 84, which I gather first appeared ca. 1690. [It would be nice to place this online also].

The story preceding it in Section I rather gives the game away - that two bishops died, and the Fathers, not wishing to alter the miraculous number of 318, placed the creed for signature in their tombs overnight, whereupon miraculously their signatures were also added.  None of this is in the primary material, and sounds rather like folklore of the middle ages, as indeed does the story about the apocrypha.

'Chinese whispers' no doubt accounts for the rather different tone of the two reports.

See also Note E, which discusses Voltaire's source.

By chance I came across this remark about Voltaire in the Collected Essays and Addresses of Augustine Birrell (London, 1922), vol. 1 p.49; "Voltaire, who knew Pope, asserts that he could not speak a word of French, and could hardly read it; but Voltaire was not a truthful man, and on one occasion told lies in an affidavit." 

Note C.  This page is a work in progress, although I had not intended it so when I originally wrote it on 26th August 2000.  Some time later I obtained a copy of T.D.Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, which made mention of other writers who are not in the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers collection and may have said something about Nicaea.  These are difficult of access, often late or fragmentary.  As I have obtained access to them, I have made it available.  I add all the information I have, to assist recovering the data.

These are the additional possible references:

    *

      [None, currently]

I have received an email pointing out that, since I have not been able to consult these works, it is untrue to say that I have read all the evidence that exists.  Obviously this may be true - provided that these writers do in fact have anything to say!  However as may be seen most of the references so far have been trivial or repetitive, and I really do not believe that we will find anything in these scraps, where the contemporary writers are silent.  I would be delighted to have the opportunity to learn otherwise, of course.

Note D.  This idea - that the bible contents were voted on at Nicaea - seems to be derived from the 18th century writer Thomas Paine.  A series of statements on this subject -- apparently from his imagination -- appear in his work The Age of Reason.  Of course it would be unfair to pillory a writer of the pre-scientific era, relying on memory of other mens' books while in prison.

It would seem that Paine is still remembered in the United States as a propagandist in their revolution.  No doubt this accounts for the continued dissemination of the idea.  The relevant section of his work is online here.

Note E.   Andrew R. kindly sent me a further note on the origins of the legend:

    Andrew Hunwick, in his critical edition of Ecce Homo by Baron D'Holbach (Mouton de Gruyter, 1995) seems to have made an exhaustive effort to unwind this tangled thread (pp. 48-49, footnote 25):

    QUOTE: "The question of authentic and spurious gospels was not discussed at the first Nicene Council: the anecdote is fictitious. It occurs in the clandestine text La Religion chretienne analysée ('Christianity Analyzed', ascribed to Dumarsais, and published by Voltaire in an abridged form in the Recueil necessaire ('Essential Collection,' 1765), where the source is given as the Sanctissima concilia (1671-1672, Paris, vol II, pp 84-85) of Pierre Labbe (1607-1667), which purports to follow the Year 325 § 158 of the Annales ecclesiasti (1559-1607) of Baronius (1538-1607), though be it noted that Baronius, while recording the adoption of certain gospels, and the rejection of others as spurious, does not recount by what means the distinction was made.

    Voltaire repeated the fictitious anecdote several times, giving Labbe as his source: see B. E. Schwarzbach, p. 329 & n. 81. Doubts had earlier been expressed, notably by Tillemont (see L. S. Le Nain de Tillemont, Memoires pour servir a l'histoire ecclesiastique ['Memoirs by way of church history', 1701-14, 2nd ed., Paris, Robustel - Arsenal 4° H.5547], vol VI, p .676.)

    In fact the anecdote pre-dates Baronius by over six hundred years: it occurs in an anonymous Synodikon containing brief surveys of 158 Councils of the first nine centuries. Brought from Greece in the sixteenth century by Andreas Darmasius, this document was purchased and edited by the Lutheran theologian Johannes Pappus (1549-1610). It was subsequently reprinted, notably in the Bibliotheca graeca… of Fabricius, the first edition of which was published in 1705-1707, and which D'Holbach may well have consulted. The anecdote may be found in Synodicon vetus section 34, 'Council of Nicaea' (Johannes Albert Fabricius, Biblioteca graeca… [1790-1809, Hamburg: Bohn], Vol XII, pp. 370-371.)" -END QUOTE-

This is very interesting, although I have not as yet looked at these references.  However, the Vetus Synodicon has been issued in a critical edition recently, with notes and English translation, based on manuscripts rather older than those written by the notorious trickster Darmarios:

    John DUFFY & John PARKER (ed.), The Synodicon Vetus. Washington : Dumbarton Oaks, Center for Byzantine Studies  (1979). Series: Dumbarton Oaks texts  5 / Corpus fontium historiae Byzantinae. Series Washingtonensis 15. ISBN 0884020886. 

The Vetus Synodicon dates from after 887 AD, the latest events recorded in it.  The work lists every ecclesiastical synod that has ever been held from the beginning, giving a chapter to each.  Early material is derived from Eusebius, and then from other church historians.  However the compiler adds small details not recorded by these historians -- the number of bishops attending synods, etc -- which the editors suggest he invented himself.  Some of the synods are doubtful or imaginary. "In his zeal ... the writer was anything but a careful researcher, and although in places his sources or copyists may be at fault, he himself must be held responsible for most of those numerous errors which in the past have prevented scholars from treating the SV as a historical document above suspicion." (p. xv)

Here is the section on Nicaea, chapter 35 (p.29.)

    35. The divine and sacred First Ecumenical Council of three hundred and eighteen God-inspired fathers was convened at Nicaea, metropolis of the province of Bithynia. Its presiding leaders were the presbyters Vito and Vicentius taking the place of Rome's Pope Sylvester and his successor Julius, Alexander of Alexandria, Macarius of Jerusalem, Eustathius of Antioch, the presbyter Alexander representing Metrophanes of Constantinople, Hosius the bishop of Cordoba, and Constantine the apostle among Christian emperors. This holy council attached the term "consubstantial" to the Holy Trinity, fixed the time of the divine and mystical Passover, and set forth the divinely inspired teaching of the Creed against all heretics, Arius, Sabellius, Photinus, Paul of Samosata, Manes, Valentinus, Marcion, and their followers. It condemned also Meletius of Thebais, along with those ordained by him, and Eusebius of Nicomedia. The canonical and apocryphal books it distinguished in the following manner: in the house of God the books were placed down by the holy altar; then the council asked the Lord in prayer that the inspired works be found on top and--as in fact happened--the spurious on the bottom.36

    36 Since the story is related only by SV, it is not possible to know if it belongs to an older tradition or where our author might have come across it.

Note that 'Apocryphal' (a)pokru&fouj) and 'spurious' (kibde&louj) works in Eusebius HE do not mean heretical ones -- they refer to works which are orthodox but not part of the canon.  The footnote tells us that the story is first recorded here, in the late 9th century.  Is this perhaps the origin of the whole fairy-tale?


Bambi

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Re: Non Christians
« Reply #15 on: August 23, 2007, 12:29:57 AM »
Hello Onic and M.B:!
 
Guys...guys.... i think you are both in a wrong choice of professions?  The God the Father, Spirit and the Son might need u b4 as the l3th and l4th Apostles...Peace be both with you.!...both of you has right to present his own definition. I respected both your side and opinions. I remain God is God and we are only a passing scene and all Bol-anons! MABUHAY!

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« Reply #16 on: August 23, 2007, 06:52:16 AM »

I welcome your post--Bambi--and God Bless you for your faith! I do respect other's opinions, pre, it is just that I've witnessed many people attack the Holy Roman Catholic Church--and as a humble Catholic--who loves and fears my God--I am pose to defend the Church. I merely wanted to share my views--and the views of the billions in this world who are part of the Holy Roman Catholic Family--with full communion with God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit--through the Guidance and shepparding of His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI--Heir of St. Peter here on Earth.

I pray for all of you and that your faith never wanes. And for our Bohol island.

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« Reply #17 on: August 24, 2007, 06:51:39 AM »
To clear up any misconceptions:

First Ecumenical Council of the Catholic Church, held in 325 on the occasion of the heresy of Arius (Arianism). As early as 320 or 321 St. Alexander, Bishop of Alexandria, convoked a council at Alexandria at which more than one hundred bishops from Egypt and Libya anathematized Arius. The latter continued to officiate in his church and to recruit followers. Being finally driven out, he went to Palestine and from there to Nicomedia. During this time St. Alexander published his "Epistola encyclica", to which Arius replied; but henceforth it was evident that the quarrel had gone beyond the possibility of human control. Sozomen even speaks of a Council of Bithynia which addressed an encyclical to all the bishops asking them to receive the Arians into the communion of the Church. This discord, and the war which soon broke out between Constantine and Licinius, added to the disorder and partly explains the progress of the religious conflict during the years 322-3. Finally Constantine, having conquered Licinius and become sole emperor, concerned himself with the re-establishment of religious peace as well as of civil order. He addressed letters to St. Alexander and to Arius deprecating these heated controversies regarding questions of no
 practical importance, and advising the adversaries to agree without delay. It was evident that the emperor did not then grasp the significance of the Arian controversy. Hosius of Cordova, his counsellor in religious matters, bore the imperial letter to Alexandria, but failed in his conciliatory mission. Seeing this, the emperor, perhaps advised by Hosius, judged no remedy more apt to restore peace in the Church than the convocation of an ecumenical council.

The emperor himself, in very respectful letters, begged the bishops of every country to come promptly to Nicaea. Several bishops from outside the Roman Empire (e.g., from Persia) came to the Council. It is not historically known whether the emperor in convoking the Council acted solely in his own name or in concert with the pope; however, it is probable that Constantine and Sylvester came to an agreement (see POPE ST. SYLVESTER I). In order to expedite the assembling of the Council, the emperor placed at the disposal of the bishops the public conveyances and posts of the empire; moreover, while the Council lasted he provided abundantly for the maintenance of the members. The choice of Nicaea was favourable to the assembling of a large number of bishops. It was easily accessible to the bishops of nearly all the provinces, but especially to those of Asia, Syria, Palestine, Egypt, Greece, and Thrace. The sessions were held in the principal church, and in the central hall of the imperial palace. A large place was indeed necessary to receive such an assembly, though the exact number is not known with certainty. Eusebius speaks of more than 250 bishops, and later Arabic manuscripts raise the figure to 2000 - an evident exaggeration in which, however, it is impossible to discover the approximate total number of bishops, as well as of the priests, deacons, and acolytes, of whom it is said that a great number were also present. St. Athanasius, a member of the council speaks of 300, and in his letter "Ad Afros" he says explicitly 318. This figure is almost universally adopted, and there seems to be no good reason for rejecting it. Most of the bishops present were Greeks; among the Latins we know only Hosius of Cordova, Cecilian of Carthage, Mark of Calabria, Nicasius of Dijon, Donnus of Stridon in Pannonia, and the two Roman priests, Victor and Vincentius, representing the pope. The assembly numbered among its most famous members St. Alexander of Alexandria, Eustathius of Antioch, Macarius of Jerusalem, Eusebius of Nicomedia, Eusebius of Caesarea, and Nicholas of Myra. Some had suffered during the last persecution; others were poorly enough acquainted with Christian theology. Among the members was a young deacon, Athanasius of Alexandria, for whom this Council was to be the prelude to a life of conflict and of glory (see ST. ATHANASIUS).

The year 325 is accepted without hesitation as that of the First Council of Nicaea. There is less agreement among our early authorities as to the month and day of the opening. In order to reconcile the indications furnished by Socrates and by the Acts of the Council of Chalcedon, this date may, perhaps, be taken as 20 May, and that of the drawing up of the symbol as 19 June. It may be assumed without too great hardihood that the synod, having been convoked for 20 May, in the absence of the emperor held meetings of a less solemn character until 14 June, when after the emperor's arrival, the sessions properly so called began, the symbol being formulated on 19 June, after which various matters - the paschal controversy, etc. - were dealt with, and the sessions came to an end 25 August. The Council was opened by Constantine with the greatest solemnity. The emperor waited until all the bishops had taken their seats before making his entry. He was clad in gold and covered with precious stones in the fashion of an Oriental sovereign. A chair of gold had been made ready for him, and when he had taken his place the bishops seated themselves. After he had been addressed in a hurried allocution, the emperor made an address in Latin, expressing his will that religious peace should be re-established. He had opened the session as honorary president, and he had assisted at the subsequent sessions, but the direction of the theological discussions was abandoned, as was fitting, to the ecclesiastical leaders of the council. The actual president seems to have been Hosius of Cordova, assisted by the pope's legates, Victor and Vincentius.

The emperor began by making the bishops understand that they had a greater and better business in hand than personal quarrels and interminable recriminations. Nevertheless, he had to submit to the infliction of hearing the last words of debates which had been going on previous to his arrival. Eusebius of Caesarea and his two abbreviators, Socrates and Sozomen, as well as Rufinus and Gelasius of Cyzicus, report no details of the theological discussions. Rufinus tells us only that daily sessions were held and that Arius was often summoned before the assembly; his opinions were seriously discussed and the opposing arguments attentively considered. The majority, especially those who were confessors of the Faith, energetically declared themselves against the impious doctrines of Arius. (For the part played by the Eusebian third party, see EUSEBIUS OF NICOMEDIA. For the Creed of Eusebius, see EUSEBIUS OF CAESAREA.) St. Athanasius assures us that the activities of the Council were nowise hampered by Constantine's presence. The emperor had by this time escaped from the influence of Eusebius of Nicomedia, and was under that of Hosius, to whom, as well as to St. Athanasius, may be attributed a preponderant influence in the formulation of the symbol of the First Ecumenical Council, of which the following is a literal translation:


We believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of all things visible and invisible; and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten of the Father, that is, of the substance [ek tes ousias] of the Father, God of God, light of light, true God of true God, begotten not made, of the same substance with the Father [homoousion to patri], through whom all things were made both in heaven and on earth; who for us men and our salvation descended, was incarnate, and was made man, suffered and rose again the third day, ascended into heaven and cometh to judge the living and the dead. And in the Holy Ghost. Those who say: There was a time when He was not, and He was not before He was begotten; and that He was made our of nothing (ex ouk onton); or who maintain that He is of another hypostasis or another substance [than the Father], or that the Son of God is created, or mutable, or subject to change, [them] the Catholic Church anathematizes.
The adhesion was general and enthusiastic. All the bishops save five declared themselves ready to subscribe to this formula, convince that it contained the ancient faith of the Apostolic Church. The opponents were soon reduced to two, Theonas of Marmarica and Secundus of Ptolemais, who were exiled and anathematized. Arius and his writings were also branded with anathema, his books were cast into the fire, and he was exiled to Illyria. The lists of the signers have reached us in a mutilated condition, disfigured by faults of the copyists. Nevertheless, these lists may be regarded as authentic. Their study is a problem which has been repeatedly dealt with in modern times, in Germany and England, in the critical editions of H. Gelzer, H. Hilgenfeld, and O. Contz on the one hand, and C. H. Turner on the other. The lists thus constructed give respectively 220 and 218 names. With information derived from one source or another, a list of 232 or 237 fathers known to have been present may be constructed.

Other matters dealt with by this council were the controversy as to the time of celebrating Easter and the Meletian schism. The former of these two will be found treated under EASTER CONTROVERSY; the latter under MELETIUS OF LYCOPOLIS.

Of all the Acts of this Council, which, it has been maintained, were numerous, only three fragments have reached us: the creed, or symbol, given above (see also NICENE CREED); the canons; the synodal decree. In reality there never were any official acts besides these. But the accounts of Eusebius, Socrates, Sozomen, Theodoret, and Rufinus may be considered as very important sources of historical information, as well as some data preserved by St. Athanasius, and a history of the Council of Nicaea written in Greek in the fifth century by Gelasius of Cyzicus. There has long existed a dispute as to the number of the canons of First Nicaea. All the collections of canons, whether in Latin or Greek, composed in the fourth and fifth centuries agree in attributing to this Council only the twenty canons, which we possess today. Of these the following is a brief résumé:

Canon 1: On the admission, or support, or expulsion of clerics mutilated by choice or by violence.
Canon 2: Rules to be observed for ordination, the avoidance of undue haste, the deposition of those guilty of a grave fault.
Canon 3: All members of the clergy are forbidden to dwell with any woman, except a mother, sister, or aunt.
Canon 4: Concerning episcopal elections.
Canon 5: Concerning the excommunicate.
Canon 6: Concerning patriarchs and their jurisdiction.
Canon 7: confirms the right of the bishops of Jerusalem to enjoy certain honours.
Canon 8: concerns the Novatians.
Canon 9: Certain sins known after ordination involve invalidation.
Canon 10: Lapsi who have been ordained knowingly or surreptitiously must be excluded as soon as their irregularity is known.
Canon 11: Penance to be imposed on apostates of the persecution of Licinius.
Canon 12: Penance to be imposed on those who upheld Licinius in his war on the Christians.
Canon 13: Indulgence to be granted to excommunicated persons in danger of death.
Canon 14: Penance to be imposed on catechumens who had weakened under persecution.
Canon 15: Bishops, priests, and deacons are not to pass from one church to another.
Canon 16: All clerics are forbidden to leave their church. Formal prohibition for bishops to ordain for their diocese a cleric belonging to another diocese.
Canon 17: Clerics are forbidden to lend at interest.
Canon 18: recalls to deacons their subordinate position with regard to priests.
Canon 19: Rules to be observed with regard to adherents of Paul of Samosata who wished to return to the Church.
Canon 20: On Sundays and during the Paschal season prayers should be said standing.
The business of the Council having been finished Constantine celebrated the twentieth anniversary of his accession to the empire, and invited the bishops to a splendid repast, at the end of which each of them received rich presents. Several days later the emperor commanded that a final session should be held, at which he assisted in order to exhort the bishops to work for the maintenance of peace; he commended himself to their prayers, and authorized the fathers to return to their dioceses. The greater number hastened to take advantage of this and to bring the resolutions of the council to the knowledge of their provinces.

+++++++++

THE DECREE OF THE HOLY, GREAT, ECUMENICAL SYNOD, THE SECOND OF NICEA
. (Found in Labbe and Cossart, Concilia. Tom. VII., col. 552.)
The holy, great, and Ecumenical Synod which by the grace of God and the will of the pious and Christ-loving Emperors, Constantine and Irene, his mother, was gathered together for the second time at Nice, the illustrious metropolis of Bithynia, in the holy church of God which is named Sophia, having followed the tradition of the Catholic Church, hath defined as follows:

Christ our Lord, who hath bestowed upon us the light of the knowledge of himself, and hath redeemed us from the darkness of idolatrous madness, having espoused to himself the Holy Catholic Church without spot or defect, promised that he would so preserve her: and gave his word to this effect to his holy disciples when he said: "Lo ! I am with you always, even unto the end of the world," which promise he made, not only to them, but to us also who should believe in his name through their word. But some, not considering of this gift, and having become fickle through the temptation of the wily enemy, have fallen from the right faith; for, withdrawing from the traditions of the Catholic Church, they have erred from the truth and as the proverb saith: "The husbandmen have gone astray in their own husbandry and have gathered in their hands nothingness," because certain priests, priests in name only, not in fact, had dared to speak against the God-approved ornament of the sacred monuments, of whom God cries aloud through the prophet, "Many pastors have corrupted my vineyard, they have polluted my portion."

And, forsooth, following profane men, led astray by their carnal sense, they have calumniated the Church of Christ our God, which he hath espoused to himself, and have failed to distinguish between holy and profane, styling the images of our Lord and of his Saints by the same name as the statues of diabolical idols. Seeing which things, our Lord God (not willing to behold his people corrupted by such manner of plague) hath of his good pleasure called us together, the chief of his priests, from every quarter, moved with a divine zeal and brought hither by the will of our princes, Constantine and Irene, to the end that the traditions of the Catholic Church may receive stability by our common decree. Therefore, with all diligence, making a thorough examination and analysis, and following the trend of the truth, we diminish nought, we add nought, but we preserve unchanged all things which pertain to the Catholic Church, and following the Six Ecumenical Synods, especially that which met in this illustrious metropolis of Nice, as also that which was afterwards gathered together in the God-protected Royal City.

We believe ...life of the world to come. Amen.[The Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed]

We detest and anathematize Arius and all the sharers of his absurd opinion; also Macedonius and those who following him are well styled "Foes of the Spirit" (Pneumatomachi). We confess that our Lady, St. Mary, is properly and truly the Mother of God, because she was the Mother after the flesh of One Person of the Holy Trinity, to wit, Christ our God, as the Council of Ephesus has already defined when it cast out of the Church the impious Nestorius with his colleagues, because he taught that there were two Persons [in Christ]. With the Fathers of this synod we confess that he who was incarnate of the immaculate Mother of God and Ever-Virgin Mary has two natures, recognizing him as perfect God and perfect man, as also the Council of Chalcedon hath promulgated, expelling from the divine Atrium [aulhs] as blasphemers, Eutyches and Dioscorus; and placing in the same category Severus, Peter and a number of others, blaspheming in divers fashions. Moreover, with these we anathematize the fables of Origen, Evagrius, and

550

Didymus, in accordance with the decision of the Fifth Council held at Constantinople. We affirm that in Christ there be two wills and two operations according to the reality of each nature, as also the Sixth Synod, held at Constantinople, taught, casting out Sergius, Honorius, Cyrus, Pyrrhus, Macarius, and those who agree with them, and all those who are unwilling to be reverent.

To make our confession short, we keep unchanged all the ecclesiastical traditions handed down to us, whether in writing or verbally, one of which is the making of pictorial representations, agreeable to the history of the preaching of the Gospel, a tradition useful in many respects, but especially in this, that so the incarnation of the Word of God is shown forth as real and not merely phantastic, for these have mutual indications and without doubt have also mutual significations.

We, therefore, following the royal pathway and the divinely inspired authority of our Holy Fathers and the traditions of the Catholic Church (for, as we all know, the Holy Spirit indwells her), define with all certitude and accuracy that just as the figure of the precious and life-giving Cross, so also the venerable and holy images, as well in painting and mosaic as of other fit materials, should be set forth in the holy churches of God, and on the sacred vessels and on the vestments and on hangings and in pictures both in houses and by the wayside, to wit, the figure of our Lord God and Saviour Jesus Christ, of our spotless Lady, the Mother of God, of the honourable Angels, of all Saints and of all pious people. For by so much more frequently as they are seen in artistic representation, by so much more readily are men lifted up to the memory of their prototypes, and to a longing after them; and to these should be given due salutation and honourable reverence (aspasmon kai timhtikhn proskunh-sin), not indeed that true worship of faith (latreian>) which pertains alone to the divine nature; but to these, as to the figure of the precious and life-giving Cross and to the Book of the Gospels and to the other holy objects, incense and lights may be offered according to ancient pious custom. For the honour which is paid to the image passes on to that which the image represents, and he who reveres the image reveres in it the subject represented. For thus the teaching of our holy Fathers, that is the tradition of the Catholic Church, which from one end of the earth to the other hath received the Gospel, is strengthened. Thus we follow Paul, who spake in Christ, and the whole divine Apostolic company and the holy Fathers, holding fast the traditions which we have received. So we sing prophetically the triumphal hymns of the Church, "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Sion; Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem. Rejoice and be glad with all thy heart. The Lord hath taken away from thee the oppression of thy adversaries; thou art redeemed from the hand of thine enemies. The Lord is a King in the midst of thee; thou shalt not see evil any more, and peace be unto thee forever."

Those, therefore who dare to think or teach otherwise, or as wicked heretics to spurn the traditions of the Church and to invent some novelty, or else to reject some of those things which the Church hath received (e.g., the Book of the Gospels, or the image of the cross, or the pictorial icons, or the holy reliques of a martyr), or evilly and sharply to devise anything subversive of the lawful traditions of the Catholic Church or to turn to common uses the sacred vessels or the venerable monasteries,[1] if they be Bishops or Clerics, we command that they be deposed; if religious or laics, that they be cut off from communion.

[After all had signed, the acclamations began (col. 576).]

The holy Synod cried out: So we all believe, we all are so minded, we all give our consent and have signed. This is the faith of the Apostles, this is the faith of the orthodox, this is the faith which hath made firm the whole world. Believing in one God, to be celebrated in Trinity, we salute the honourable images ! Those who do not so hold, let them be anathema. Those who do not thus think, let them be driven far away from the Church. For we follow the most ancient legislation of the Catholic Church. We keep the laws of the Fathers. We anathematize those who add anything to or take anything away from the Catholic

551

Church. We anathematize the introduced novelty of the revilers of Christians. We salute the venerable images. We place under anathema those who do not do this. Anathema to them who presume to apply to the venerable images the things said in Holy Scripture about. idols. Anathema to those who do not salute the holy and venerable images. Anathema to those who call the sacred images idols. Anathema to those who say that Christians resort to the sacred images as to gods. Anathema to those who say that any other delivered us from idols except Christ our God. Anathema to those who dare to say that at any time the Catholic Church received idols.

Many years to the Emperors, etc., etc.

References: Holy Roman Catholic Church/ Catholic Encyclopedia.

Blessed are the faithful and followers of Christ. Blessed are those who revere and follow the teachings of St. Peter and his blessed heir; the Vicar of Jesus Christ. Amen

ms da binsi

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Re: Non Christians
« Reply #18 on: August 29, 2007, 07:14:42 AM »
 "You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it" (Matt. 16:18). [/b]

"The Lord says to Peter: ‘I say to you,’ he says, ‘that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not overcome it. And to you I will give the keys of the kingdom of heaven . . . ’ [Matt. 16:18–19]. On him [Peter] he builds the Church, and to him he gives the command to feed the sheep [John 21:17], and although he assigns a like power to all the apostles, yet he founded a single chair [cathedra], and he established by his own authority a source and an intrinsic reason for that unity. Indeed, the others were that also which Peter was [i.e., apostles], but a primacy is given to Peter, whereby it is made clear that there is but one Church and one chair. . . . If someone does not hold fast to this unity of Peter, can he imagine that he still holds the faith? If he [should] desert the chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, can he still be confident that he is in the Church?" (The Unity of the Catholic Church 4; 1st edition [A.D. 251]).

"There is one God and one Christ, and one Church, and one chair founded on Peter by the word of the Lord. It is not possible to set up another altar or for there to be another priesthood besides that one altar and that one priesthood. Whoever has gathered elsewhere is scattering" (Letters 43[40]:5 [A.D. 253]).


"There [John 6:68–69] speaks Peter, upon whom the Church would be built, teaching in the name of the Church and showing that even if a stubborn and proud multitude withdraws because it does not wish to obey, yet the Church does not withdraw from Christ. The people joined to the priest and the flock clinging to their shepherd are the Church. You ought to know, then, that the bishop is in the Church and the Church in the bishop, and if someone is not with the bishop, he is not in the Church. They vainly flatter themselves who creep up, not having peace with the priests of God, believing that they are
secretly [i.e., invisibly] in communion with certain individuals. For the Church, which is one and Catholic, is not split nor divided, but it is indeed united and joined by the cement of priests who adhere one to another" (ibid., 66[69]:8).

++++

Ephraim the Syrian



"[Jesus said:] ‘Simon, my follower, I have made you the foundation of the holy Church. I betimes called you Peter, because you will support all its buildings. You are the inspector of those who will build on earth a Church for me. If they should wish to build what is false, you, the foundation, will condemn them. You are the head of the fountain from which my teaching flows; you are the chief of my disciples’" (Homilies 4:1 [A.D. 351]).

 
Optatus



"You cannot deny that you are aware that in the city of Rome the episcopal chair was given first to Peter; the chair in which Peter sat, the same who was head—that is why he is also called Cephas [‘Rock’]—of all the apostles; the one chair in which unity is maintained by all" (The Schism of the Donatists 2:2 [A.D. 367]).

 
Ambrose of Milan



"[Christ] made answer: ‘You are Peter, and upon this rock will I build my Church. . . . ’ Could he not, then, strengthen the faith of the man to whom, acting on his own authority, he gave the kingdom, whom he called the rock, thereby declaring him to be the foundation of the Church [Matt. 16:18]?" (The Faith 4:5 [A.D. 379]).

"It is to Peter that he says: ‘You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church’ [Matt. 16:18]. Where Peter is, there is the Church. And where the Church is, no death is there, but life eternal" (Commentary on Twelve Psalms of David 40:30 [A.D. 389]).




I stopped going to the church... buttom line, KINDNESS really matters... sa kanta pa ni Jewel...
The best sermons are lived not preached.http://www.facebook.com/daBinsi

Lorenzo

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Re: Non Christians
« Reply #19 on: August 31, 2007, 12:38:52 AM »
Ngano ning stop man ka? O bitaw kindness is important--pero you should at least go even once a month--to recieve the sacrament of communion and confession. Ning mingaw man jud ang dios sa nimo.

I wish you the best.



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