Fathers of the Church

Letter CXX: to Meletius, Bishop of Antioch

Description

Basil speaks of the efforts to unify the Churches, and mentions that the threates and slanderous charges made against him Antioch may be over soon.

Provenance

St. Basil's correspondence is a copious and invaluable store of information for the history of the Eastern Church in the fourth century, particularly in Cappadocia. Since he never found a real biographer, his letters represent the best source for his life and times, for his many activities and far-reaching influence, especially for his personality and his character. (Quasten)

by Basil the Great in 357-370 | translated by Blomfield Jackson, M.A

I HAVE received a letter from the very God-beloved bishop Eusebius, in which he enjoins that a second letter be written to the Westerns about certain Church matters. He has expressed a wish that the letter should be drawn up by me, and signed by all those who are in communion. Having no means of writing a letter about these wishes of his, I have sent on his minute to your holiness, in order that, when you have read it and can give heed to the information given by the very dear brother Sanctissimus, our fellow presbyter, you may yourself be so good as to indite a letter on these points as seems best to you. We are prepared to agree to it and to lose no time in having it conveyed to those in communion with us, so that, when all have signed it may be carried by the messenger, who is on the point of starting on his journey to visit the bishops of the West. Give orders for the decision of your holiness to be communicated to me as quickly as possible, that I may not be ignorant of your intentions.

As to the intrigue which is now being devised, or has already been devised against me, in Antioch, the same brother will convey intimation to your holiness, unless indeed the report of what has been done does not anticipate him and make the position clear. There is ground for hope that the threats are coming to an end.

I wish your reverence to know that our brother Anthimus has ordained Faustus, who is living with the pope as bishop, without having received the votes, and in place of our right reverend brother Cyril. Thus he has filled Armenia with schisms. I have thought it right to tell your reverence this, lest they should lie against me, and I be responsible for these disorderly proceedings. You will of course deem it right to make this known to the rest. I think such irregularity will distress many.

Taken from "The Early Church Fathers and Other Works" originally published by Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co. in English in Edinburgh, Scotland, beginning in 1867. (PNPF II/VIII, Schaff and Wace). The digital version is by The Electronic Bible Society, P.O. Box 701356, Dallas, TX 75370, 214-407-WORD.