Pope Felix III

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Pope Saint

Felix III
Bishop of Rome
Pope Felix III.png
Pope Felix III as depicted in the Nuremberg Chronicle
Papacy began13 March 483
Papacy ended1 March 492
PredecessorSimplicius
SuccessorGelasius I
Personal details
BornRome, Western Roman Empire
Died1 March 492
Rome, Kingdom of Odoacer
Other popes named Felix
Papal styles of
Pope Felix III
Emblem of the Papacy SE.svg
Reference styleHis Holiness
Spoken styleYour Holiness
Religious styleHoly Father
Posthumous styleSaint

Pope Felix III (died 1 March 492) was Pope from 13 March 483 to his death in 492. His repudiation of the Henotikon is considered the beginning of the Acacian schism, he is commemorated on March 1.[1]

Biography[edit]

Felix was born into a Roman senatorial family - possibly the son of a priest, he was married and widowed before he was elected as pope. He fathered two children, and through his son Gordianus (a priest) was thought to be great-great-grandfather to Pope Gregory I, and possibly related to Pope Agapetus I.[2][3]

It was also said that Felix appeared as an apparition to another of his descendants, his great-granddaughter Trasilla (an aunt of Pope Gregory I), and asked her to enter Heaven , and "on the eve of Christmas Trasilla died, seeing Jesus Christ beckoning".[4]

Eutychian heresy[edit]

Eutyches was a archimandrite at Constantinople. In his opposition to Nestorianism he seemed to have taken the opposite view to extremes. In an effort to diffuse controversy regarding the teachings of Eutyches, in 482 Emperor Zeno, at the suggestion of Acacius, the Patriarch of Constantinople, had issued an edict known as the Henoticon; the edict was intended as a bond of reconciliation between Catholics and Eutychians, but it caused greater conflicts than ever, and split the Church of the East into three or four parties.[2] The Henotikon endorsed the condemnations of Eutyches and Nestorius made at Chalcedon and explicitly approved the twelve anathemas of Cyril of Alexandria, but in attempting to appease both sides of the dispute, avoided any definitive statement on whether Christ had one or two natures.

Felix's first act was to repudiate the Henoticon, he also addressed a letter of remonstrance to Acacius, Bishop of Constantinople. The latter proved refractory and sentence of deposition was passed against Acacius. [5]

As the Catholics spurned the edict, the emperor had driven the Patriarchs of Antioch and Alexandria from their sees. Peter the Tanner, had intruded himself into the See of Antioch, and Peter Mongus, had seized that of Alexandria. In his first synod, Felix excommunicated Peter the Fuller, who had deposed Martyrius of Antioch and assumed his See in 470. In 484, Felix also excommunicated Peter Mongus, who had taken the See of Alexandria, an act that brought about a schism between East and West that was not healed until 519.[2]

Aftermath of the Vandals[edit]

In Arian Africa the Vandal persecutions of Genseric and his son Huneric had driven many Catholics into exile. Huneric was a fervent adherent to Arianism;[6] when peace was restored, numbers of those who through fear had fallen into heresy and had been rebaptized by the Arians desired to return to the Church. On being repulsed by those who had remained firm, they appealed to Felix who convened a synod in 487, and sent a letter to the bishops of Africa, expounding the conditions under which they were to be received back.[7]

Felix is often quoted as saying “Not to oppose error is to approve it; and not to defend truth is to suppress it, and, indeed, to neglect to confound evil men—when we can do it—is no less a sin than to encourage them.”[citation needed]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://catholicsaints.info/pope-saint-felix-iii/
  2. ^ a b c Coleman, Ambrose. "Pope St. Felix III." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 6. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1909. 6 Apr. 2013
  3. ^ R.A. Markus, Gregory the Great and his world (Cambridge: University Press, 1997), p. 8
  4. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Sts. Trasilla and Emiliana" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  5. ^ Monks of Ramsgate. “Felix III”. Book of Saints, 1921. CatholicSaints.Info. 26 February 2017
  6. ^ Victor of Vita, History of the Vandal Persecution, 2.3-6 (John Moorhead, trans.), Liverpool: University Press, 1992, p. 25
  7. ^ “Pope Saint Felix III”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 2 October 2015

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainColeman, Ambrose (1909). "Pope St. Felix III" . In Herbermann, Charles (ed.). Catholic Encyclopedia. 6. New York: Robert Appleton.

Sources[edit]

External links[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Simplicius
Pope
483–492
Succeeded by
Gelasius I