Sentence First, Verdict Afterwards
`Let the jury consider their verdict,’ the King said, for about the twentieth time that day.
`No, no!’ said the Queen. `Sentence first–verdict afterwards.’
`Stuff and nonsense!’ said Alice loudly. `The idea of having the sentence first!’
About five hundred delegates assembled in the great church of St. Euphemia, and the first session of the council was held on 8 October, 451.
The Council of Chalcedon Re-Examined, by V.C. Samuel
This is where and when the Council of Chalcedon began. It was not initially intended to be held in Chalcedon, an ancient maritime town less than two miles opposite Constantinople. It was first planned to be held in Nicea, about sixty miles away. However, invasions necessitated the attention of emperor Marcian. Thus, holding the council near the capitol allowed the emperor to look after both state duties and the council.
There was unprecedented imperial interest in this council. It should be remembered that it was Pulcheria who gained the throne upon her brother’s death; Marcian was her consort. Pulcheria was determined to support Rome against Alexandria in this council, but also did not want Rome to achieve too high a position. She wanted Constantinople to come out as equal to Rome.
Eighteen high-ranking state officials presided over the meetings of this Council.
Their seats were fixed in the church, directly facing the alter, and on either side were the delegates to be seated.
To the left were delegates from Rome, Constantinople, Antioch, Caesarea in Cappadocia, Ephesus, and elsewhere; to the right, Alexandria, Jerusalem, Thessalonica, Egypt, Illyricum, and Palestine. At the center: the Holy Gospel.
The most important decisions of the council which have a bearing on the present study are (i) the deposition of Dioscorus; (ii) the acceptance of the Tome of Leo; (iii) the adoption of a definition of faith; and (iv) the exoneration of persons like Theodoret of Cyrus and Ibas of Edessa.
It is this first point that is the subject of this post. Dioscorus was from Alexandria, the bishopric that Pulcheria wanted to take down a notch. Immediately on the seating of the delegates, the Roman legate demanded that Dioscorus be excluded from the council. The charge:
‘he had seized the office of judge and dared to conduct a council, without the authorization of the apostolic see, a thing which has never happened and which ought not to
Article from LewRockwell