Ok, been doing some reading, and found this. Here is why Dioscorus was really deposed. From A Dictionary of Christian Biography and Literature to the End of the Sixth Centry AD:
This article presents such an out-dated and already debunked perspective of St Dioscorus and Ephesus 449. I will deal with the one-sided claims made nonetheless:
1) The false charge concerning violence and aggressiveness:
Military officers, soldiers with swords and sticks, even the proconsul with chains, entered at his call. He peremptorily commanded the bishops to sign the sentence, and with a fierce gesture of the hand exclaimed, "He that does not choose to sign must reckon with me." A scene of terrorism followed.
Flavian's own fate was the special tragedy of the Latrocinium. He had lodged in the hands of the Roman delegates a formal appeal to the pope and the Western bishops (not to the pope alone; see Leo, Ep. 43, Tillemont, xv. 374). It was nearly his last act. He was brutally treated, kicked, and beaten by the agents of Dioscorus, and even, we are told, by Dioscorus himself (see Evagr. i. 1; Niceph. xiv. 47).
Trevor Gervasse Jalland’s evaluation of the second council of Ephesus is worth noting (The Life and Times of St. Leo the Great
, (S. P.C. K., l941) pages 252-253). He admits that “most of our evidence regarding the council and its proceedings is from prejudiced sources
”, and that although “Leo lays the chief blame for its misdeeds on DioscorusÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¦it is more than doubtful how far he was really responsible
.” The real conduct of the council’s proceedings were in the hands of the imperial commissioners. Jalland further remarks concerning the Chalcedonian charge of tumultuous behaviour at Ephesus 449, that Chalcedon was no exception
(A similar view is expressed by Honigman also about the council of 449. See Juvenal of Jerusalem, Dumbarton Oaks Papers, No. 5, Harvard University Press, 1950, p. 236). According to the Coptic Synaxarium, the blessed St Dioscorus was smitten at Chalcedon; he was struck on his mouth, and the hairs of his beard were plucked out. He took the hair and the teeth that were knocked out and sent them to Alexandria saying, "This is the fruit of Faith."
There is simply no reliable evidence of thiis alleged violence or aggressiveness. Any evidence we have in fact suggests the opposite. For example, despite St Dioscorus’ resistance to that blasphemous Tome of Leo, he nonetheless adopted a very friendly stance towards Leo of Rome, who was described at Ephesus 449 as a “lover of God”; Domnus of Antioch was titled “lover of God” as well. When Leo of Rome requested that the emperor of the West Valentinus, his mother, and his sister Pulcheria, intercede before Emperor Theodosius II in order that another council may be summoned, Emperor Theodosius responded with a letter praising the Council of Ephesus and stating that it was “controlled by the fear of God.” He also declared that he had himself examined the council and found it satisfactory, and asserted that “the members held fast to the true faith and the Fathers’ canons.”The only violence in fact noted by Emperor Theodosius II was that of the Nestorians
, which is why Emperor Theodosius II prevented the attendance of Theodoret of Cyrus because of the pains that believers — even in the villages — suffered from the Nestorians. Eutyches in his appeal to the Bishops, also revealed the violent nature of the Nestorians, asserting “that during the trial he had expressly stated that he was ready to follow what these should determine, but that Flavian had refused to accept this appeal; and he protested against the violence with which he had been treated both at the Synod and afterwards by the populace
.” (Sellers, The Council of Chalcedon
, page. 70)
Any reliable evidence available to us in fact suggests that this alleged aggressiveness was the very opposite of St Dioscorus’ character and person. For example, in rebuking Domnus of Antioch’s encouragement of Theodoret of Cyrhus, Domnus is said to have responded to St Dioscorus by “telling him that he enjoyed his letter because of his love and openness.” (Mar Sawirius Yacoub Thomas, Damascus and its Connections for the Syrian Orthodox: The History of the Syrian Antiochene Church
, Vol. 2, page 15) Even Theodoret himself, “whose testimony in [St Dioscorus’] favour cannot be suspected, declared in a letter to Dioscorus, soon after his consecration, that the fame of his virtues, and particularly of his modesty and humility, was widely spread (Ep. 60)” (Wace, H, in the article to which I am responding.)ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š J. Neale offers a balanced depiction of St Dioscorus, as a “man of excellent disposition and much beloved for his humility. These virtues were adorned with his fiery zeal for the faith and his presence of mind” (History of the Holy Eastern Church, Vol. 1, page 278, 301).
2) The false charge concerning the blank papers:
Those prelates who were reluctant to take part in the deposition were threatened with exile, beaten by the soldiers, denounced as heretics by the partisans of Dioscorus, and by the crowd of fanatical monks (ib. vii. 68) who accompanied Barsumas, until they put their names to a blank paper on which the sentence was to be written (ib. vi. 601 seq. 625, 637, 988). They afterwards protested that they had signed under compulsion. Basil of Seleucia declared that he had given way because he was "given over to the judgment of 120 or 130 bishops; had he been dealing with magistrates, he would have suffered martyrdom." "The Egyptians," says Tillemont, "who signed willingly enough, did so after the others had been made to sign" (xv. 571; cf. Mansi, vi. 601).
Stephen of Ephesus was one such proponent of the charge of the blank papers. Upon investigation of his testimony, we find that he is inconsistent in his claims. The first of Stephen’s stories alleged that followers of St Dioscorus had visited him at his residence, and did not let him leave the church until he recorded the decrees made by St ‘Dioscorus, Juvenal, Thalassius and the other bishops’. An interesting thing to note relating to Stephen’s credibility in the first place is the accusation brought against him at Chalcedon later on (Oct. 29th), concerning his plot against Basanius of Ephesus which consequently got him arrested such that Stephen could secure the See for himself. The council consequently deposed both Stephen and Basanius. Given his history of deception
[In his Patristic Studies (173), Honigman refers to the story of how Stephen had concocted the legend of the seven sleepers in order to divert people’s attention from his crime and avoid detection ], suspicion against the credibility of an already inconsistent testimony
, is more than reasonable.
A more striking claim also suggesting the fallacy of the claims made by Stephen of Ephesus, concerning Theodore of Claudiopolis’ statement that everything reported at Ephesus was performed by St Dioscorus, Juvenal and the early signatories. This implicitly contradicts
Stephen’s denial of ever agreeing to and consequently signing the decrees of Ephesus 449 when one considers that Stephen himself can reasonably be considered one of these “early signatories.” [Stephen was one of the leading men at the council of 449, occupying the sixth place among the delegates. Regarding the decision to read the minutes of 448 before presenting the Tome of Leo, he was the second speaker after Juvenal (ACO. II, I, page 97); of acquitting Eutyches, he was the third speaker after Juvenal (ibid , page 182) of condemning Flavian and Eusebius, he was the fifth speaker after Juvenal (ibid., page 192). On all these occasions Juvenal had in fact spoken first. Stephen was the fourth—in the order of Dioscorus, Juvenal, Domnus and Stephen— to sign the decisions of the council at the close of the first session (ibid.,pages194 1067).] Furthermore, Theodore’s claim that St Dioscorus and “his party” conducted private meetings at which Theodore and others were not present, only to be handed blank papers by St Dioscorus and Juvenal themselves , simply challenges common sense
which dictates that had the whole blank paper plan actually been enacted, that St Dioscorus and Juvenal would have employed other identities to extend the blank papers to Theodore and company, as opposed to extending it to them personally as if to expose themselves so stupidly.
In responding to the very principle of this claim, the Egyptian priests cried out saying: “A soldier of Christ fears no worldly power; light a fire and we will show you how martyrs can die.” St Dioscorus quietly added that, “It would have been more compatible with a bishop’s dignity to refuse signing what he knows not specifically when it is that which concerns the majesty of the Faith”.
The subject was then diverted but later revisited when the continued reading of the minutes of Ephesus 449 revealed that those present believed the theological basis of the council to be that of the fathers. (Samuel, Fr. V.C., op. cit., page 45) The Oriental Bishops then realizing the untenability of their claims
against the council, the minutes of which reveal was once upheld by them, claimed that such a statement was later recorded on the blank papers. “‘Everyone wrote with the help of his notary’, answered Dioscorus. Juvenal also confirmed the words of the patriarch, and added that his secretaries took down the minutes with the others. Take the report of Juvenal’s notary, said Dioscorus, or that of Thalassius, or for that matter of the bishop of Corinth, and see whether theirs is a copy of my minutes.” (Samuel, Fr. V.C., op. cit., page 45) In contradiction to his original testimony
that the false records were a result of St Dioscorus writing on signed blank papers, Stephen of Ephesus in an attempting to counter the common sense objection of St Dioscorus to the claim of the Oriental Bishops, asserts that St Dioscorus in fact had his secretaries coerce the notaries of the other bishops to write what was written by them. (ACO, II, I, pages 87-88 130-32) “All these allegations were answered by Dioscorus
.” (Samuel, Fr. V.C., op. cit., page 46) “Let the account in the possession of Stephen himself be read”, he said, “to see whether I forced him to copy anything” (ACO. ii, i. p. 88: 33.). But no one responded to him
Even assuming any truth to the story of the blank papers for arguments sake, the fact remains that those who asserted it (Stephen of Ephesus and Theodore) had claimed that St Dioscorus carried out this crime with the participation of others, hence contradicting the position of the Roman legates and Eusebius of Dorylaeum who attempted to place full responsibility for any alleged error or crime committed at Ephesus 449 on St Dioscorus alone.
Furthermore, “Eusebius of Dorylaeum was present at the council of 449. But in his petition read to the council of 451 on 8 October, which in all probability was the same as his appeal to emperor Theodosius II soon after the council of 449, he did not mention the story of the blank papers
, although he noted it as an incident which had actually happened in his second petition submitted on 13 October. Is it, then, that the man who should be an eyewitness to the alleged story had to wait for over two years
to hear it for the first time on 8 October 451 from the men who had signed the Tome of Leo and agreed to support it?” (Samuel, Fr. V.C., op. cit., page 46)
In ridiculing their consistent denial of those present at Ephesus 449 regarding the fact they had willingly stated all that was read in the minutes of the Council, St Dioscorus responded: "They want to deny all that is confessed to be the factÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¦let them next say they were not there." (Wace, H., op. cit.)
Later on in the proceedings when the case of Flavian’s excommunication was being discussed, the oriental party who had accused St Dioscorus of having collected blank papers with their signatures, and hence attempting to relieve themselves of responsibility for any of the decrees of Ephesus 449 including that of Flavian’s excommunication, had followed up the matter crying, ‘we all have sinned, we ask for pardon’
(ACO, ii, I, page 94:181). In response, the commissioners then asked, ‘Did you not complain that you had been forced to sign on blank papers the excommunication of Flavian?’(ACO, ii, I, page 94:182) In answer they repeated the words, ‘We all have sinned; we ask for pardon’
(ACO, ii, I, page 94:183) Thus they apologized
both for agreeing to excommunicate Flavian and for fabricating the story of the blank papers.
Regardless of the efforts ofÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š the Roman legates, Eusebius of Dorylaeum and the Oriental Bishops to exclude St Dioscorus as solely responsible for the decisions of Ephesus 449, the initial verdict of the commissioners admitted to the Conciliarly nature of the decisions made, hence calling for the deposition of all the leading figure of Ephesus 449.
To say that Dioscorus was legalistically desposed on the basis of not answering a summons three times is at best a half-truth.
No, not really. I never meant to imply that his failure to answer the three summons was the exclusive
justification by the Chalcedonians of his ex-communication, but merely that considering that none of the other matters were conclusively investigated, the canon regarding the three summons was used to seal the deal on such matters, and hence to justify the execution of the ex-communication of St Dioscorus.
I will nonetheless answer all of the charges given:
The Roman delegates proposed a sentence, to this effect: "Dioscorus has received Eutyches, though duly condemned by Flavian, into communion.
Ephesus 449 was a valid Orthodox Council and its decisions overturning the false decisions made at Constantinople 448 were hence valid, and such validity was never investigated objectively at Chalcedon. If you want to dispute this with me, you can try. But until then, the above attempted justification of St Dioscorus’ ex-communication has no valid basis.
In fact, the above attempted justification of St Dioscorus is not only baseless, but it is hypocritical. As proven, Theodoret of Cyrrhus was under anathema yet he was taken into communion by Leo of Rome. By the Chalcedonians own reasoning therefore, Leo of Rome should be ex-communicated. The case with Leo of Rome is in fact much worse, for unlike St Dioscorus who restored Eutyches to communion by virtue of his Orthodox confession of faith, Leo restored Theodoret aware that he had yet to anathematise Nestorius. Furthermore, Theodoret implicitly though clearly upon his own admission, never renounced his heresies.
The apostolic see excuses those who were coerced by Dioscorus at Ephesus, but who are obedient to archbp. Leo
The charge of co-ercsion has been debunked above.
On a sidenote, this quote is a nice representation of the attempt to push forth the papal supremacy of the Bishop of Rome.
He prevented Leo's letter to Flavian
Actually, he didn’t:
Although this document was not read at Ephesus 449, it must be allowed that “Dioscorus made more than one attempt to give the papal letters a hearing
” (Tixorent, History of Dogmas
, Volume 3, page 81), a point that St Dioscorus himself made at the Council of Chalcedon: “What has happened is clearÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¦I asked twice for the reading
of the writing of the most revered bishop of Rome” (ACO. II, i. pages 84, 93 and 99). The first instance at which St Dioscorus allowed for the reading of Leo’s tome, was after the reading of the imperial letter of convocation by John the chief notary. “As soon as the reading ended, the delegates of the West declared that they carried a message from their Prelate. At this declaration, Abba Dioscorus exclaimed: ‘Let the message of our brother and Co-bishop Leo to this Council be read.’ The chief notary, however, declared that there were other letters from the Emperor which should be read first. The delegates from the West acquiesced.” (El Masri, The True Story of the Copts
, page 291)
In any event, there was no valid reason necessitating its being read in the first place
; it “was not [even] written as a document to the council, but as a letter to the emperor and a copy had been sent to the council handed by the delegates.” (Malaty. T. Fr., The Coptic Orthodox Church As a Church of Erudition and Theology (preparatory edition), page 126) Metropolitan Methodios of Aksum states: “the fact that the letter was submitted to the Synod was enough. Leo’s representatives were present and they could have made his view known. Even to-day, circular letters are submitted to the Synods, but not necessarily read.” (Fouyas, Methodios, Theological and Historical Studies
(Athens: 1985), Volume 8, page 14 (n. 3))
He has presumed to excommunicate Leo
Leo of Rome falsely ex-communicated St Dioscorus 6 months prior to the day that this charge against the latter was made (ACO. II, i, p 43). If St Dioscorus did this therefore, it was simply a reciprocal action, and therefore justified.
+Irini nem makarismos