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Anatolius, Bishop of Constantinople

Papal Authority, The Roman See

“As there was no doubt that your holiness and your church possessed still higher honour, the synod willingly confirmed the canon of the 150 fathers that the bishop of Constantinople should have the next rank after the most holy Roman see, since Constantinople is new Rome. And they further decreed that he should ordain the metropolitaiis of the provinces of Pontus, Asia, and Thrace, the bishops under them being ordained by their own metropolitans, a decree by which the see of Constantinople lost several rights of ordination which it had exercised for sixty or seventy years. But when all things were going well, and were joyfully concluding, the most pious bishops Paschasinus and Lucentius and the most reverend presbyter Boniface (who had often been informed by us about this same matter), not knowing thc intention of your holiness which you have towards the holiest church of Constantinople, after the sacred synod had signed and by subscription confirmed this decree, scorn the synod, and without cause throw the assembly into confusion, setting this see at nought, and bringing much occasion of insolence on me and on this most holy church of Constantinople. Moreover these decrees had been drawn up in. accordance with the will of our most pious emperors, the most magnificent and glorious judges of the council assisting by pronouncing the definition of the holy synod to be secure. . . . God is witness that we on our part, both before and after their arrival, were careful in all things which pertain to your glory and honour, and this being clear, it is also evident that similar honour and reverence was accorded to them. And in accordance with your dignity, the sacred synod has remitted this decree to your holiness, that we may obtain approval and contrmation from you; and we implore you, 0 most holy one, that this be made effective by you. For the throne of Constantinople has your apostolic throne as its father. . . . (Letter to Pope Leo I [A.D. 451].

“As for those things which the universal Council of Chalcedon recently ordained in favor of the Church of Constantinople, let Your Holiness be sure that there was no fault in me, who from my youth have always loved peace and quiet, keeping myself in humility. It was the most reverend clergy of the Church of Constantinople who were eager about it, and they were equally supported by the most reverend priests of those parts, who agreed about it. Even so, the whole force of confirmation of the acts was reserved for the authority of Your Blessedness. Therefore, let Your Holiness know for certain that I did nothing to further the matter, knowing always that I held myself bound to avoid the lusts of pride and covetousness.” (On the subject of Canon 28 of Chalcedon, an apology by Patriarch Anatolius of Constantinople to Pope Leo for trying to make Constantinople the 2nd See after Rome, Ep 132, [A.D. 453]).

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