Reflection: Council Day 6

Members of the Church of Alexandria,

I write to you, on my way home to Alexandria, to inform you that the Council of Nicaea has concluded. I write with news that will be received with all types of emotions.

It is with a heavy heart that I write to inform you that I was unsuccessful in my attempt to produce and pass an Alexandrian creed with specific language about the co-existence and co-eternality of Jesus Christ and God. However, the creed that was agreed upon unanimously is vague enough to where it allows interpretation that God and Jesus exist in the heavenly realm as one, as you will see once the creed reaches the Church. Because of the vague language, it was very difficult to discredit the Arians in front of Constantine. I must inform you that I was not alone in my efforts to pass an Alexandrian creed that explicitly states the nature and relationship of God and Jesus. Throughout this section of the council, I had many great companions that shared the same views as myself. Athanasius, my dearest companion, was aligned with me until the bitter end, especially on the final day of the council in which we pleaded for Alexandrian language in the creed, but were unjustly rejected even the chance to argue it. Vito, now head Bishop or Pope of Rome, was a loyal ally and strove to ensure that the creed included the homoosious relationship between God and Jesus. Ossius was also an ally during the creed portion, however it was at the very end that he did not want to go back to debate the creed but was satisfied with what all had already been agreed upon. Theclus also served as an uncommon ally and supported the Alexandrian position, as he was impartial to the language.

It is with a happy heart that I write to inform you of my success in establishing the authority of Metropolitan Bishops. In the canon that was passed, the language states that the Metropolitan Bishops are to be the authority of all church doctrine and of their region—including traditional large regions that existed before 290 CE, which in my favorite gave me control over all of Africa. Additionally, in regards to Metropolitan Bishops, the metropolitan control of Palestine was transferred to the Bishop of Jerusalem, stripping the Bishop of Caesarea, an Arian ally, from his power. The authority of Metropolitan Bishops includes approving and re-ordaining bishops who had been ordained without the consent of the Metropolitan—thus falling under this requirement is Meletius and all of the followers he ordained. In addition to establishing the authority of Metropolitan Bishops, we were able to succeed in eliminating the need for future councils, as the Head Bishop and Metropolitan Bishop will make all decisions for the Church. Additionally, the prospective clergy members of the Church will not have to go through a waiting period in order to be higher members of the Chruch. Throughout most of these declarations, I had the support of Athanasius, Vito, Ossius, and Marcarius.

I am pleased to inform you that I was also successful in ensuring that the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus was synchronized with the Jewish lunar calendar determination of Passover. And with that synchronization, I will be able to calculate the accurate time of the celebration of the resurrection, as the Jews are challenged in their astronomical observations and dating. I found unlikely allies during this section of the council. My allies included Eusebius of Caesarea, Arius, Marcarius, and of course Athanasius.

In regards to the lapsed, the council agreed to allow the lapsed back into the church without any punishment, but with the requirement that lapsed clergy lose their appointments and train their successors. I had much support during this decision as many of the council members did not think that we as human beings had the right to judge others and deny them access to attain salvation from the Savior.

I was impartial and indeterminate towards other issues discussed at the council, such as the role of women, which I voted to uphold that women not be allowed any position in the church. Also discussed was the celibacy of clergy, to which I voted to not mandate whether clergy be celibate, as I did not think it was supported by scripture or by what Jesus had preached.

As I make my journey home, I hope that this letter finds you all well. I hope you will all support my efforts during the council. Know that I worked hard to ensure that the teachings and spirit of Christ were present during all of my days away from home. I look forward to returning home to you all.

Peace be upon you all,