Letter to the Bishops of Macedonia by Pope Liberius

The following letter comes from Pope Liberius. Socrates Scholasticus indicates that it was written in response to a profession of faith by the bishops of Macedonia. The letter is preserved in Socrates Scholasticus' Church History Book 4 Chapter 12. I've segmented the letter into smaller paragraphs and numbered the paragraphs to make this letter easier to cite.

Letter to the Bishops of Macedonia by Pope Liberius

1. To our beloved brethren and fellow-ministers, Evethius, Cyril, Hyperechius, Uranius, Heron, Elpidius, Maximus, Eusebius, Eucarpius, Heortasius, Neon, Eumathius, Faustinus, Proclinus, Pasinicus, Arsenius, Severus, Didymion, Brittanius, Callicrates, Dalmatius, Ædesius, Eustochius, Ambrose, Gelonius, Pardalius, Macedonius, Paul, Marcellus, Heraclius, Alexander, Adolius, Marcian, Sthenelus, John, Macer, Charisius, Silvanus, Photinus, Anthony, Aythus, Celsus, Euphranon, Milesius, Patricius, Severian, Eusebius, Eumolpius, Athanasius, Diophantus, Menodorus, Diocles, Chrysampelus, Neon, Eugenius, Eustathius, Callicrates, Arsenius, Eugenius, Martyrius, Hieracius, Leontius, Philagrius, Lucius, and to all the orthodox bishops in the East, Liberius bishop of Italy, and the bishops throughout the West, salutations always in the Lord.

2. Your letters, beloved brethren, resplendent with the light of faith, delivered to us by our highly esteemed brethren, the bishops Eustathius, Silvanus, and Theophilus, brought to us the much longed-for joy of peace and concord: and this chiefly because they have demonstrated and assured us that your opinion and sentiments are in perfect harmony with those both of our insignificance, and also with those of all the bishops in Italy and the Western parts.

3. We knowledge this to be the Catholic and Apostolic faith, which until the time of the Synod at Nicæa had continued unadulterated and unshaken. This creed your legates have professed that they themselves hold, and to our great joy have obliterated every vestige and impression of an injurious suspicion, by attesting it not only in word, but also in writing.

4. We have deemed it proper to subjoin to these letters a copy of this their declaration, lest we should leave any pretext to the heretics for entering into a fresh conspiracy, by which they might stir up the smouldering embers of their own malice, and according to their custom, rekindle the flames of discord.

5. Moreover our most esteemed brethren, Eustathius, Silvanus, and Theophilus, have professed this also, both that they themselves, and also your love, have always held, and will maintain unto the last, the creed approved of at Nicæa by 318 Orthodox Bishops; which contains the perfect truth, and both confutes and overthrows the whole swarm of heretics.

6. For it was not of their own will, but by Divine appointment that so great a number of bishops was collected against the madness of Arius, as equaled that of those by whose assistance blessed Abraham through faith destroyed so many thousand of his enemies. [Genesis 14:14]

7. This faith being comprehended in the terms hypostasis and homoousios, like a strong and impregnable fortress checks and repels all the assaults and vain machinations of Arian perverseness.

8. Wherefore when all the Western bishops were assembled at Ariminum, whither the craft of the Arians had drawn them, in order that either by deceptive persuasions, or to speak more truly, by the coercion of the secular power, they might erase, or indirectly revoke what had been introduced into the creed with so much prudence, their subtlety was not of the least avail.

9. For almost all those who at Ariminum were either allured into error, or at that time deceived, have since taken a right view of the matter; and after anathematizing the exposition of faith set forth by those who were convened at Ariminum, have subscribed the Catholic and Apostolic Creed which was promulgated at Nicæa. They have entered into communion with us, and regard the dogma of Arius and his disciples with increased aversion, and are even indignant against it.

10. Of which fact when the legates of your love saw the indubitable evidences, they annexed yourselves to their own subscription; anathematizing Arius, and what was transacted at Ariminum against the creed ratified at Nicæa, to which even you yourselves, beguiled by perjury, were induced to subscribe.

111. Whence it appeared suitable to us to write to your love, and to accede to your just request, especially since we are assured by the profession of your legates that the Eastern bishops have recovered their senses, and now concur in opinion with the orthodox of the West.

12. We further give you to understand, lest ye should be ignorant of it, that the blasphemies of the Synod of Ariminum have been anathematized by those who seem to have been at that time deceived by fraud, and that all have acknowledged the Nicene Creed. It is fit therefore that it should be made generally known by you that such as have had their faith vitiated by violence or guile, may now emerge from heretical darkness into the Divine light of catholic liberty.

13. Moreover whosoever of them, after this council, shall not disgorge the poison of corrupt doctrine, by abjuring all the blasphemies of Arius, and anathematizing them, let them know that they are themselves, together with Arius and his disciples and the rest of the serpents, whether Sabellians, Patripassians, or the followers of any other heresy, dissevered and excommunicated from the assemblies of the Church, which does not admit of illegitimate children.

14. May God preserve you steadfast, beloved brethren.

Source: http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/26014.htm