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The Encyclical Letter of

St. Marc of Ephesus
To All Orthodox Christians on the Mainland and in the Islands.


OSTON !"#$

The Encyclical Letter of

St. Marc of Ephesus
To All Orthodox Christians on the Mainland and in the Islands.

OSTON !"#$


The Encyclical Letter of Marc of Ephesus

JULY 1440

To All Orthodox Christians on the Mainland and in the Islands.


Mark, Bishop of the Metropolis of Ephesus—Rejoice in Christ!

To those who have ensnared us in an evil captivit

—desirin! to lead us awa into the Ba" lon of #atin rites and do!mas—could not, of course, completel accomplish this, seein! immediatel that there was little chance of it$ %n fact, that it was simpl impossi"le$ But havin! stopped somewhere in the middle—"oth the and those who followed after them—the neither remained an lon!er what the were, nor "ecame an thin! else$ For havin! &uit 'erusalem, a firm and unwaverin! faith—and et "ein! in no condition and not wishin! to "ecome and to "e called Ba" lonians—the thus called themselves, as if " ri!ht, ()reco*#atins,+ and amon! the people are called (#atini,ers$+

-nd so these split people, like the m

thical centaurs, confess to!ether with the #atins that the .ol /pirit proceeds from the /on, and has the /on as Cause of .is e0istence, and et to!ether with us confess that .e proceeds from the Father$ -nd the sa to!ether with them that the addition to the Creed 1of the Filio&ue2 was done canonicall and with "lessin!, and et to!ether with us do not permit it to "e uttered 1Besides, who would turn awa from what was canonical and "lessed32$ -nd the sa to!ether with them that unleavened "read is the Bod of Christ, and et to!ether with us do not dare to accept it$ %s this not sufficient to reveal their spirit, and how that it was not in a &uest for the Truth—which, havin! in their hands, the

"etra ed—that the came to!ether with the #atins, "ut rather from a desire to enrich themselves and to conclude not a true, "ut false, union3

But one should e0amine in what manner the

have united with them4 for ever thin! that is united to somethin! different is naturall united " means of some middle point "etween them$ -nd thus the ima!ined to unite with them " means of some jud!ment concernin! the .ol /pirit, to!ether with e0pressin! the opinion that .e has e0istence also from the /on$ But ever thin! else "etween them is diver!ent, and there is amon! them neither an middle point nor an thin! in common$ 'ust as "efore, two diver!ent Creeds are uttered$ #ikewise, there are cele"rated two #itur!ies, diver!ent and discordant one with the other—one with leavened "read, the other with unleavened "read$ 5iver!ent also are "aptisms—one performed with triple immersion, the other with (pourin!+ over the head from a"ove4 one with anointin! chrism, the other completel without$ -nd all rites are in ever thin! diver!ent and discordant one with the other, alon! with the fasts, church usa!es, and other, similar thin!s$

6hat kind of unit

is this, when there is no apparent and clear si!n of it3 -nd in what manner have the united with them, desirin! also to preserve their own—for in this the were unanimous—and at the same time not followin! the traditions of the Fathers3

But what is their own (wise+ opinion3 (7ever,+ the

sa , (has the )reek Church said that the .ol /pirit proceeds from the Father alone$ /he has said simpl that .e proceeds from the Father, thus not e0cludin! the participation of the /on in the procession of the .ol /pirit$ Therefore— the sa —"oth "efore and now we e0hi"it unit $+

-las, what a"surdit

! -las, what "lindness! %f the )reek Church—havin! received it from Christ .imself and the .ol -postles and Fathers—has said that the /pirit proceeds from the Father, "ut has never said—for she has received this from no one—that the .ol /pirit proceeds from the /on, then what else does this si!nif than that she affirms that the .ol /pirit proceeds from the Father alone3 For if .e is not from the /on evidentl , .e is from the Father alone$


ou know what is said concernin! the (!eneration3+8 +Be!otten of the Father "efore all a!es$+ 6ould an one add here (of the Father alone3+ 9et it is precisel thus, and in no other wa , that we understand it, and—if need "e—will e0press it$ For we have "een tau!ht that the /on is "e!otten of none else, "ut onl of the Father$ Therefore, too, 'ohn of 5amascus sa s— on "ehalf of the whole Church and all Christians—+6e do not sa that the .ol /pirit is from the /on$+ -nd if we do not sa that the /pirit is also from the /on, then it is apparent that we thus sa that the /pirit is onl from the Father4 therefore, a little "efore this he sa s8 (6e do not call the /on :Cause,;+ and in the ne0t chapter, (The sole Cause is the Father$+

6hat more3
(7ever,+ the sa , <have we considered #atins :heretics,; "ut onl :schismatics$;+ But this too the have taken from the #atins, for the latter— havin! nothin! with which to accuse us in our doctrine—call us schismatics "ecause we have turned awa from the o"edience to them which, as the think, we should have$ But let us e0amine the matter$ 6ill it "e just for us likewise to show them kindness and place no "lame on them in matters of the Faith3


was the who !ave !rounds for the schism " openl makin! the addition =the Filio&ue> which, until then the had spoken in secret, while we were the first to separate ourselves from them, or rather, to separate and cut them off from the common Bod of the Church$ 6h , ma % ask3 Because the have the ri!ht Faith or have made the addition =to the Creed> in an ?rthodo0 fashion3 /urel whoever would "e!in to talk like that would not "e ri!ht in the head3 But rather "ecause the have an a"surd and impious opinion and for no reason at all made the addition$ -nd so we have turned awa from them, as from heretics, and have shunned them$

6hat more is necessar


The pious canons speak thus8 (.e is a heretic and su"ject to the canons a!ainst heretics who even sli!htl departs from the ?rthodo0 Faith$+ %f, then, the #atins do not at all depart from the correct Faith, we have

evidentl cut them off unjustl $ But if the have thorou!hl departed =from the Faith>—and that in connection with the theolo! of the .ol /pirit, "lasphem a!ainst 6hom is the !reatest of all perils—then it is clear that the are heretics, and we have cut them off as heretics$


do we anoint with chrism those of them who come to us3 %s it not clear that it is "ecause the are heretics3 For the seventh canon of the /econd Ecumenical Council states8 -s for those heretics who "etake themselves to ?rthodo0 , and to the lot of those "ein! saved, we accept them in accordance with the su"joined se&uence and custom8 -rians, and Macedonians, and /a""atians, and 7ovatians, those callin! themselves Cathari 1(@uritans+2 and -risteri 1(Best+2, and the Auartodecimans, otherwise known as Tetradites, and -pollinarians we accept when the offer li"elli 1recantations in writin!2, and anathemati,e ever heres that does not hold the same "eliefs as the Catholic and -postolic Church of )od, and are sealed first with hol chrism on their forehead and their e es, and nose, and mouth, and ears, and in sealin! them we sa 8 <The seal of the !ift of the .ol /pirit$< 5o ou see with whom we num"er those who come from the #atins3 %f all those are heretics, then it is clear that these are the same$

-nd what does the most wise @atriarch of -ntioch, Theodore Balsamon,
sa of this in repl to the Most .ol @atriarch of -le0andria, Mark38 (%mprisoned #atins and others comin! to our Catholic churches re&uest communion of the 5ivine /acraments$ 6e desire to know8 %s this permissi"le3+ [Answer:] (.e that is not with Me is a!ainst Me4 and he that !athereth not with Me scattereth a"road 1/t$ Matt$ BC8DE4 /t$ #uke BB8CD2$ Because man ears a!o, the cele"rated Roman Church was separated from communion with the other four Most .ol @atriarchs, havin! apostati,ed into customs and doctrines forei!n to the Catholic Church and not ?rthodo0—it was for this reason that the @ope was not deemed worth of sharin! in the commemoration of the names of the Eastern @atriarchs at 5ivine /ervices$ Therefore, we must not sanctif one of #atin race throu!h the 5ivine and most pure )ifts " priestl hands, unless he shall first resolve to depart from #atin do!mas and customs and shall "e catechi,ed and joined to those of ?rthodo0 $+



ou hear how the have departed not onl in customs, "ut also in do!mas forei!n to those of ?rthodo0 —and what is forei!n to ?rthodo0 do!ma is, of course, heretical teachin!—and that, accordin! to the canons, the must "e catechi,ed and united to ?rthodo0 3 -nd if it is necessar to catechi,e, then clearl it is necessar to anoint with chrism$ .ow have the suddenl presented themselves to us as ?rthodo0, the who for so lon!, and accordin! to the jud!ment of such !reat Fathers and Teachers, have "een considered heretics3 6ho has so easil made them ?rthodo03 %t is !old, if ou desire to acknowled!e the truth, and our own thirst for !ain$ ?r, to e0press it "etter8 %t did not make them ?rthodo0, "ut made ou like them and carried ou into the camp of the heretics$ (But if,+ the sa , (we had devised some middle !round "etween do!mas, then thanks to this we would have united with them and accomplished our "usiness super"l , without at all havin! "een forced to sa an thin! e0cept what corresponds to custom and has "een handed down$+ This is precisel the means " which man , from of old, have "een deceived and persuaded to follow those who have led them off to the steep precipice of impiet , "elievin! that there is some sort of middle !round "etween two teachin!s that can reconcile o"vious contradictions—the have "een e0posed to peril$

%f the #atin do!ma is true that the .ol

/pirit proceeds also from the /on, then ours is false that states that the .ol /pirit proceeds from the Father— and this is precisel the reason for which we separated from them$ -nd if ours is true, then without a dou"t, theirs is false$ 6hat kind of middle !round can there "e "etween two such jud!ments3 There can "e none, unless it were some kind of jud!ment suita"le to "oth the one and the other, like a "oot that fits "oth feet$ -nd will this unite us3

But, someone will sa

, how shall we re!ard those moderate )reco*#atins who, maintainin! a middle !round, openl favor some of the #atin rites and do!mas—favor, "ut do not wish to accept others—and entirel disapprove of others3 ?ne must flee from them as one flees from a snake, as from the #atins themselves, or, it ma "e, from those who are even worse than the —as from "u ers and sellers of Christ$ For the , as the -postle sa s, (suppose that !ain is !odliness+ 1B Tim$ F8G2, of whom he adds, (flee these+ 1B Tim$ F8BB2, for the !o over to them not in order to learn, "ut for


!ain$ (6hat communion hath li!ht with darkness3 -nd what concord hath Christ with Belial3 or what part hath he that "elieveth with an infidel3+ 1C Cor$ F8 BHIBG2$

Behold how we, to!ether with 5amascene and all the Fathers, do not sa
that the /pirit proceeds from the /on4 while the , to!ether with the #atins, sa that the /pirit proceeds from the /on$ -nd we, to!ether with the divine 5ion sios, sa that the Father is the sole /ource of the supernatural 5ivinit 4 while the , to!ether with the #atins, sa that the /on also is the /ource of the .ol /pirit, and " this clearl e0cludin! the /pirit from the 5ivinit $


we, to!ether with )re!or the Theolo!ian, distin!uish the Father from the /on in .is capacit of "ein! Cause4 while the , to!ether with the #atins, unite them into one in the capacit of "ein! Cause$ -nd we, to!ether with /t$ Ma0imos and the Romans of that time, as well as the 6estern Fathers, (do not make the /on the Cause of the /pirit+4 while the , in their Conciliar 5ecree, proclaim the /on (in )reek, :Cause,; and in #atin, :@rinciple;+ of the /pirit$

-nd we, to!ether with the @hilosopher and Mart

r 'ustin affirm, (-s the /on is from the Father, so is the /pirit from the Father+4 while the , to!ether with the #atins, sa that the /on proceeds from the Father immediatel , and the /pirit from the Father mediatel $

-nd we, to!ether with 5amascene and all the Fathers, confess that it is not
known to us in what consists the difference "etween !eneration and procession4 while the , to!ether with Thomas and the #atins, sa that the difference consists in this8 that !eneration is immediate, and procession mediate$

-nd we affirm, in a!reement with the Fathers, that the will and ener!

of the uncreated and divine nature are uncreated4 while the , to!ether with the #atins and Thomas, sa that will is identical with nature, "ut that the divine ener! is created, whether it "e called divinit , or the divine and immaterial li!ht, or the .ol /pirit, or somethin! else of this nature—and in some


fashion, these poor creatures worship the created (divinit + and the created (divine li!ht+ and the created (.ol /pirit$+


we sa that neither do the /aints receive the kin!dom and the unuttera"le "lessin!s alread prepared for them, nor are sinners alread sent to hell, "ut "oth await their fate which will "e received in the future a!e after the resurrection and jud!ement4 while the , to!ether with the #atins, desire immediatel after death to receive accordin! to their merits$ -nd for those in an intermediate condition, who have died in repentance, the !ive a pur!atorial fire 1which is not identical with that of hell2 so that, as the sa , havin! purified their souls " it after death, the also to!ether with the ri!hteous will enjo the kin!dom4 this is contained in their Conciliar 5ecree$


we, o"e in! the -postles who have prohi"ited it, shun 'ewish unleavened "read4 while the , in the same -ct of Jnion, proclaim that what is used in the services of the #atins is the Bod of Christ$ -nd we sa that the addition to the Creed arose un*canonicall and anti* canonicall and contrar to the Fathers4 while the affirm that it is canonical and "lessed—to such an e0tent are the unaware how to conform to the Truth and to themselves!

-nd for us, the @ope is as one of the @atriarchs, and that alone—if he "e
?rthodo04 while the , with !reat !ravit , proclaim him (Kicar of Christ, Father and Teacher of all Christians$+ Ma the "e more fortunate than their Father, who are also like him$ For he does not !reatl prosper, havin! an anti*pope who is the cause of sufficient unpleasantness4 and the are not happ to imitate him$

-nd so, "rethren, flee from them and from communion with them, for the
are false apostles, deceitful workers, transformin! themselves into the -postles of Christ$ -nd no marvel, for /atan himself is transformed into an an!el of li!ht$ Therefore, it is no !reat thin! if his ministers also "e transformed as the ministers of ri!hteousness, whose end shall "e accordin! to their works 1C Cor$ BB8BDIBG2$ -nd in another place, the same -postle sa s of them8 (For the that are such serve not our #ord 'esus Christ, hut their own "ell +4 and " !ood words and fair speeches, the deceive the

hearts of the simple$ 7evertheless, the foundation of )od stands sure, havin! this seal 1Rom$ BF8BL4 C Tim$ C8BM2$ -nd in another place8 (Beware of do!s, "eware of evil workers, "eware of the circumcision+ 1@hil$ D8C2$ -nd then, in another place8 (But thou!h we, or an an!el from heaven, preach an other !ospel unto ou than that which we have preached unto ou—let him "e accursed+ 1)al$ B8L2$ /ee what has "een propheticall foretold, that (thou!h an an!el from heaven,+ so that no one could cite in justification of himself an especiall hi!h position$ -nd the "eloved 5isciple speaks thus8 (%f there come an unto ou, and "rin! not this doctrine, receive him not into our house, and !ive him no !reetin!4 for he that !iveth him !reetin! is partaker in his evil deeds+ 1C 'ohn BEIBB2$

Therefore, in so far as this is what has "een commanded

ou " the .ol -postles, stand ari!ht, hold firml to the traditions which ou have received, "oth written and " word of mouth, that ou "e not deprived of our firmness if ou are led awa " the delusions of the lawless$


)od, 6ho is all*powerful, make them also to know their delusion4 and havin! delivered us from them as from evil tares, ma .e !ather us into .is !ranaries like pure and useful wheat, in 'esus Christ our #ord, to 6hom "elon!s all !lor , honor, and worship, with .is Father 6ho is without "e!innin!, and .is -ll*hol and )ood and #ife*!ivin! /pirit, now and ever and unto the a!es of a!es$ -men$

+ Mark, Bishop of the Metropolis of Ephesus