Dear Members of the Church of Jerusalem,
I am pleased to tell you that the Council has finally come to a close and since I know all of you have been anxious to hear all about it, I write to you before I prepare my journey back home.
First and foremost, as you may all know how deeply we all resented the fact that the leadership of Palestine was moved from Jerusalem to Caesarea many years ago, I am beyond delighted to tell you that the council has passed a canon to return jurisdictional authority for Palestine back to the Bishop of Jerusalem! As a result of this decision, I am no longer a minor Bishop but rather a Metropolitan Bishop who, with this greater power, will be able to further ensure the restoration of Jerusalem and will have greater authority when it comes to making decisions within our Church! I am extremely grateful for the majority support of my fellow council members, especially Alexander, Athanasius, Vito, and Theclus! In succeeding in acquiring jurisdictional authority over Palestine, I was further delighted with the support of the majority of my fellow council members on the view that a hierarchy of clergy should be established with Metropolitan bishops at the top. With this authority, all Metropolitan bishops will be able to overlook all other bishops in order to help solve any conflicts amongst bishops within certain areas. This hierarchy is vital to the success of establishing a long lasting, unified church so that conflicts get resolved immediately without affecting the unity of our Church. Although I am slightly disappointed that I was not able to gain further favor in being elevated as equal or higher than the Bishop of Rome because the members were more focused on achieving their main goals that we did not have enough time to discuss this matter. However, I promise that I will continue to push for this authority but no matter what, we are going to work together to restore our city of Jerusalem immediately!
On the note of unity, I am extremely pleased to tell you all that all the members of the council agreed to sign the final creed which meant that none were excommunicated from the church! I truly respect that all of the council members recognize that the way to unity is through compromise. Since compromise is a necessity it was important to understand that not everything can be favorable to one person. With that being said, I believe that the language terms in the creed are general enough to allow people of varying beliefs to interpret it the way they desire. However, I believe there are important language terms that also ensure that the core of the Christian beliefs is kept intact. As my main goal in writing this creed was to achieve unity within the Church, with no desire in eliminating any particular group for any reason, I am pleased to inform you that we were able to successfully achieve that goal by writing a very inclusive creed.
In regards to the idea of forming a rigid code of celibacy for all clergy, most of the members either opposed this view or were indeterminate to begin with. However, I strongly held to the view of forming a rigid code for celibacy for the better wellbeing of our Church because we all know that it has been a long time tradition in Jerusalem for the Bishop to follow in the path of James the Just and his successors by embracing celibacy! I believe it is vital to keep our traditions but also I believe that those who have a higher calling of God should certainly be held on higher standards to ensure that they are purely focused on serving God. With further debates and discussions, I am proud to say that I, with the help of Arius and a couple others, was able to convince the majority to pass a canon requiring celibacy for all clergy. However, I further was willing to compromise on the view that those who are already married and part of the clergy may wish to retain their position but only new members of the clergy must not be married. I think this was a great compromise which allowed more people to support this canon.
I am also pleased to inform you all that I was also successful in ensuring that a canon be passed to set the date of the Resurrection of Jesus on the first Sunday following the start of the Jewish Passover! This was vital to our core beliefs as Christians because the Resurrection of Jesus must remain synchronizes with Passover and the Jewish Calendar! To remove this critical symbolism of Christ’s death as the Lamb of God who saves all from Death would be to abandon the core of our beliefs!
In regards to some other issues that were discussed in the Council, I was impartial with a lot of the matters. Some of these matters included the view on the lapsed, the role of women, and future councils. On the matter of the lapsed, the council agreed to allow the lapsed back into the Church without any punishment with the exception that lapsed clergy lose their positions. I was able to agree with this view on the lapsed because we as humans, have no authority in judging who gets to come back to the church and who doesn’t, but at the same time it holds people who have the higher calling as a clergy on a higher standard. As for the role of the women, the majority decide that the women should not be allowed to have authority within the Church so that they do not distract the men from their duties. Although we all know that women are a vital part of our lives, I believe that they have other callings that are not associated with being with the Church. And finally, in regards to the view on having future councils, since the Primary Bishop and Metropolitan Bishops will manage the conflicts that arise within the Church, we decided that future councils were not necessary.
As time dwindled, many people brought up many petitions and not everyone had an opportunity to voice their opinions at the very end. Unfortunately, I was not able to officially pass a canon establishing a waiting period for the full membership in the Church and the ordination of the clergy but I am going to bring this matter up to the Primary Bishop as soon as I get home because he also agrees with me on this view. On the other hand, I was able to talk amongst my fellow Council in regards to the scriptures, and all of us, although informally, agreed that no changed be made in the accepted scriptures.
Most importantly, I promise you all that initiatives are being taken to restore Jerusalem! As I supported Constantine in the majority of his views, I believe that I have certainly gained favor from him and I am sure that he is going to help us in our process of restoration!
As it is apparent, the council was a great success for us overall! I leave you with this letter in the time that remains before I arrive back to my motherland. I hope and pray that you all may find my hard working efforts in this Council to be pleasing to you all. I am purely here to ensure unity and am willing to work with all of you for the good of our community. Thank you all for your prayers and support. I greatly look forwards to see you all in the near future.