A heretic Eudoxiu was the Bishop of Constantinople during the middle of the fourth century, from 360 to 370. He was also Bishop of Antioch before going to Constantinople. He was a member of the Anomoeans party during the time of the Christological dispute with the followers of Arius.
Little is known of the early life of Eudoxius. Between 324 and c.331, when St. Eustasthius was Bishop of Antioch, Eudoxius approached him seeking holy orders. Upon examination of Eudoxius’ doctrine, Eustasthius found it unsound, that is non-orthodox, and refused him. Eustasthius, unpopular with the Arian leaning bishops of the East, was deposed by a synod of bishops about the year 332. Later, Eudoxius was accepted by the Arian bishops, admitted to the holy orders by Leontius of Antioch, and consecrated Bishop of Germanicia, a position he held for about seventeen years. This was the period of intrigues by the Arians against St. Athanasius of Alexandria and the reigns of the sons of Constantine I.
In 341, Eudoxius participated in a dedication council convened by Placillus at Antioch. At the time Eudoxius was a disciple of the Anomoean Aëtius, an extreme Arian. The council produced four versions of the creed that the semi-Arians, under Eusebian, succeeded in modifying the Creed of Nicea to dilute the homoousios doctrine of Nicea. The second of these versions, called the Creed of Dedication, Athanasius reported that Eudoxius, with Martyrius and Macedonius, took to Italy, but which was not acceptable to the Roman priests. In 358, Eudoxius participated in the semi-Arian dominated council of Phlippopolis, and signed an Arian version of the creed produced there. Upon hearing of the death of Leonitius, Eudoxius excused himself from the council, pleaded business in his diocese, and proceeded to Antioch. There, he represented himself as the Emperor’s nominee and became Bishop of Antioch, having deserted his diocese. His representation was disowned by Emperor Constantine II.
In Antioch, Eudoxius openly preached Arianism and persecuted the Orthodox. At the Arian dominated Council of Seleucia in September 359, Eudoxius, who was present, was deposed by the semi-Arians. He then appeared to have sought shelter in Constantinople with the imperial court. In 360, the Bishop of Constantinople, Macedonius, an Arian, was deposed by the Acacian party of Arians and selected Eudoxius as the Bishop of Constantinople.
As the bishop of Constantinople, Eudoxius consecrated his fellow, strict Arian Eunomius to the see of Cyzicus, but soon had to persuade him to retire as an up cry of complaints reached the emperor, who ordered Eudoxius to depose Eunomius. In 365, a group of semi-Arians, called Macedonians (followers of Macedonius I of Constantinople), convened a meeting at Lampsacus at which they signed the “Creed of the Dedication” and requested that Eudoxius and his party present themselves at the meeting. Failing to attend the semi-Arian’s meeting they sentenced Eudoxius and party to deprivation, a sentence that Emperor Valens did not confirm.
In 367, Eudoxius baptized the Eastern Roman Emperor Valens, as he set out for the Gothic War. Valens also issued a order, apparently with the advice of Eudoxius, that those bishops who were exiled by the emperor Julian, and had returned after his death, should again be sent to exile. The years that Eudoxius and Valens acted together were troubled years for the Church as Valens banished all bishops who would not admit Eudoxius to their communion.
Eudoxius died in 370, earning the characterization given him by Baronius of, “the worst of all the Arians.”
Eudoxius of Antioch
|Bishop of Germanicia
|Bishop of Antioch
|Bishop of Constantinople
- [http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/26012.htm Catholic Encyclopedia: Socrates Scholasticus Church History, Book II
- [http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05605a.htm Catholic Encyclopedia: Eunomianism
- [http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10161b.htm Catholic Encyclopedia: Meletius of Antioch
- [http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01707c.htm Catholic Encyclopedia: Arianism