…leaving scapegoats to take the blame….
The lack of real agreement at the council of 451 with reference to the Alexandrine emphasis is linked with the council’s treatment of Theodoret and Ibas.
The Council of Chalcedon Re-Examined, by V.C. Samuel
It will be recalled that these two were condemned at the Second Council of Ephesus – a council rejected by Pope Leo and repudiated at Chalcedon. At the same time, many at Chalcedon believed the judgment against these two was sound – the two were, in fact, Nestorians. A resolution exonerating them should not be passed unless the two explicitly reject Nestorianism.
First, Theodoret of Cyrus. He was introduced at Chalcedon with no reference to his earlier condemnation. This was justified – overriding the more than 100 bishops of the earlier council – by the plea that he had been restored single-handedly by Leo of Rome.
As [Theodoret] came in, the bishops of Egypt, Illyricum and Palestine voiced their strong protest. ‘Have mercy on us,’ they shouted. ‘The faith is destroyed! The canons cast him out! Cast out the teacher of Nestorius!’
Shouts went back and forth, one side in opposition, the other in support. In the end, the commissioners ruled that Theodoret would stay in the capacity of a petitioner. His case was brought up eighteen days later. Ignoring the action of Leo, the bishops in opposition proclaimed ‘Theodoret is still under excommunication.’
Theodoret wished that his petitions to the emperor and the Roman legates be read. The opposing bishops wished not for this, but only that Theodoret anathematize Nestorius directly and openly. He said a few words, unsatisfactory to these bishops.
‘Speak plainly,’ demanded the bishops, ‘anathema to Nestorius and his doctrine; anathema to Nestorius and those who defend him.’
Theodoret would attempt to explain his position. He would condemn Nestorius, but this was not sufficient – he must anathematize him. Instead of doing so, Theodoret once again attempting to defend his position, the bishops exclaimed ‘He is a heretic! He is a Nestorian! Away with the heretic!’
With this, Theodoret made a clear statement: anathema to Nestorius, to him who does not confess that Mary is Theotokos and who divides the one and only Son into two sons. He also reminded that he had signed the Tome of Leo. With this, the bishops agreed and restored Theodoret to the communion of the Church.
Samuel notes of this entire episode – of Theodoret and Nestorius:
Here we want to observe that Leo of Rome, in declaring Nestorius a heretic on the one hand, and supporting Theodoret who had been an ally of Nestorius and who had not condemned the man on the other, maintained a double standard in the Christological controversy.
Whatever Leo did, he did it single-handedly as opposed to the one hundred and more bishops who had earlier condemned Theodoret.
Next, to Ibas of Edessa. In the so-called robber council of 449, he was deposed on a charge of heresy and of mismanaging ecclesiastical properties. Samuel presents a summary of the history leading to Chalcedon. He concludes his summary: