The Emperor’s Reflections

I am pleased to read the dissatisfaction many of the bishops experienced with the last debate – I was worried that they had thought it was productive. Some important things happened: The issues were discussed, and the problems the two sides had with each other were clearly brought to life. However, even with this happening, the two sides struggled to present a strong argument against the other side. The repetition the same statements and sources indicated that neither faction had taken the time to thoroughly map out the others argument in comparison to their own, nor found a constructive way to discuss the differences.

I wonder if we needed to find the similarities at the outset of the council. I wonder if that time that was spent arguing could have rather been used in an organized manner to figure out exactly what ideas were different and exactly why each group supported them. I am disappointed that no one was able to foresee that sort of strategy, and that we needed to resort to taking the time to make the scribe consolidate the differences. The longer we spend in the council meetings figuring out such strategy, the less time we will be able to spend on unifying the church. I have come forth and demanded that the bishops learn to compromise and come to agreement. I have been fair, I have been kind, I have listened, and I have not become involved in the theological debate where I have no authority. It should not be left to me to determine how to carry such demands out.

As this council continues into the third day, I hope to see some bishops take the initiative to make something happen. They cannot rule the game. But if they understand how to make this empire more Christian and less schismed, they must be prepared with thoughts and actions on how to make that happen. God be with us all as this conversation continues tomorrow.