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Home > Fathers of the Church > Letters (Theodoret) > Letter 176

Letter 176

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Letter to the same Alexander after he had learned that John, Bishop of Antioch, had Anathematized the Doctrine of Nestorius.

Be it known to your holiness that when I read the letter addressed to the emperor I was much distressed, because I know perfectly well that the writer of the letter, being of the same opinions, has unwisely and impiously condemned one who has never held or taught anything contrary to sound doctrine. But the form of anathema, though it be more likely than his assent to the condemnation, to grieve a reader, nevertheless has given me some ground of comfort, in that it is laid down not in wide general terms, but with some qualification. For he has not said We anathematize his doctrine but whatever he has either said or held other than is warranted by the doctrine of the apostles.

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Source. Translated by Blomfield Jackson. From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Vol. 3. Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1892.) Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. <>.

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