The Emperor’s Reflection on Day 3

Good gentlemen of the council,

After reflecting on the progression of our deliberations from the first day of this council to the last and on the final text of our creed, I have come to ever more firmly believe that this council is truly blessed by God. You will all recall that as I opened this council I spoke with some trepidation and even fear that bitter divisions would make completing the tasks before us impossible. After the first day, my worries were confirmed as I watched petty fighting block meaningful discussion.

But, enlightened by Christ, you chose, sometimes at significant personal cost, to put your individual interests aside for the sake of unity. While during the most recent deliberations Ossius and I were occasionally required the intervene and remind you of this goal, we alone could not have brought you to a unanimous consensus, and for that I am deeply thankful, both to you and to God. And while I am not in the position to comment on the specific theological renderings that form the final product, I would nevertheless like to express my pleasure with your language choices. At several points during the deliberations, I cautioned the two sides both against unnecessary technical wordiness and the insertion of overly specific theological language, both of which threatened to promote controversy in the future. I believe that the final creed is moderate in character and likely to appeal to many as Christianity continues to spread throughout the empire. This is precisely the outcome I hoped for, and for that, again, I am thankful.

At the beginning of the last session, I reminded you as participants that in order to achieve unity, balancing a variety of interests will be necessary. I pray that we will continue into the second half of the council with the same spirit of compromise in our hearts that I witnessed during our last meeting together. I do, however, feel obligated to say, that writing the canons may prove to be more challenging, as factional lines shift and individuals seek to have their unique interests represented. Nevertheless, I believe that it is now clear that when one compromises, he encourages others to do so, which ultimately benefits us all. May we always remember that we are guided by Christ, and that in order to ensure his reign forever, we must work to reach wide agreement on the important questions before us.

May God bless the work of this council and the Roman Empire!

Emperor Constantine