Friday, August 07, 2009

Origen Is Not A Church Father

Having previously pondered this question without reaching a definite conclusion, I now say that Origen is not a Church Father because in 553 the Fifth Ecumenical Council (Constantinople II) condemned not just his heterodox works, but his very person, in Canon 11 [Mansi ix:384AB]. Many Doctors of the Church praised Origen{1} and the produced several excellent works, but that alone does not justify calling him a Father of the Church. Origen fails the criteria of orthodox doctrine (he held many heretical opinions, which were anathematized in 15 canons of the papally-approved [PL 68:1046C; 70:1111CD] Local Council of Constantinople in 543 under Patriarch St. Mennas [8/25]),{2} so the Fifth Ecumenical Council, owing to the influence of the zealous Emperor St. Justinian I the Great (11/14), disapproved of him as a teacher of the Catholic faith, and the Sixth and Seventh Ecumenical Councils reiterated that Origen was heterodox.{3}Notes & References
{1} In the East, Origen received the praise of Bishop St. Firmilian of Caesarea, Bishop St. Alexander the Martyr of Jerusalem, Bishop St. Anatolios the Confessor of Laodicea [PG 10:210C], Patriarch St. Dionysios I the Great of Alexandria [Bibliotheca 232 of St. Photios in PG 102:1105A], Bishop St. Gregory the Wonderworker of Neocaesarea [PG 10:1049-1104], Priest St. Pamphilos the Martyr of Caesarea [PG 17:541-616], Patriarch St. Athanasios I the Great of Alexandria (Doctor) [PG 25B:465B; 26:649BC], Patriarch St. Gregory I the Theologian of Constantinople (Doctor), Bishop St. Basil the Great of Caesarea (Doctor), and Bishop St. Gregory of Nyssa [PG 46:905D]. The Latin admirers of Origen were St. Hippolytus the Martyr of Rome [PL 23:673A], Bishop St. Eusebius of Versailles, Bishop St. Hilary of Poitiers (Doctor), Bishop St. Ambrose of Milan (Doctor), and Bishop St. Victorinus the Martyr of Pettau.
{2} See the Greek of the 15 anathematisms in Mansi ix:396-400.
{3} In 681, the Sixth Ecumenical Council (Constantinople III) condemned Origen as heterodox in Session 18 [Mansi xi:631E], and in 787 the Seventh Ecumenical Council (Nicaea II) condemned Origen as heterodox in its Decree [Mansi xiii:377B].

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