Facundus

Facundus bishop of Hermiane, in Africa. He took part in the conference held at Constantinople in 547 by pope Vigilius (q.v.), to discuss the tria capitula, SEE CHAPTERS, THE THREE, and sustained the side of Theodore and Theodoret against the emperor's view. Vigilius demanded that he (with other opposing bishop ) should sign the condemnation of Ibas, Theodore, and Theodoret. He refused absolutely, and bore with firmness the persecution and banishment which followed. He "is supposed to have died about A.D. 553. His treatise Pro defensione trium Capitulorum, lib. 12, will be found in Sirmond, Opera Varia, 2:297 (Venet. 1728, 2 volumes, fol.); in Bib. Max. Patr. 10; in D'Achery, Spicalegum, 3:307, of the first edition, and in 3:106, edit. of 1723; and in Migne, Patrologic Latina, 67:527 sq. His Contra Mocianum Liber, condemning Mocianus and Vigilius for their course with regard to the "Three Chapters," is also given in Migne (67:853).

Neander says that the writings of Facundus "are characterized by qualities seldomn to be met with in that age — a freedom of spirit unshackled by humas fear, and a candid, thorough criticism, superior in many respects to the prejudices of the times. Nobly did he protest against the uncalled-for dogmatism which had ever been the source of so much mischief to the Greek Church, these useless disputes having in fact proceeded from no other cause. 'While,' he said, 'in all other arts and occupations, no one presumed to pass judgment on what he had never learned; in matters of theology, on the contrary, they who learned the least were the most arrogant and peremptory in their judgments. When the civil power overstepped its province, it might indeed plunge numbers in ruin by misleading them to deny the truth with their lips, but still it could never effect its object, for it could not instil into the minds of men other convictions than they had: its power reached only to what was outward, not to the soul.' He spoke eith scorn of those bishops who accused themselves in pleading, in excuse of their behavior, the constraint under which they were placed; for it was not even the force of torture, but only the fear of the emperor's displeasure, which had brought them to yield (Const. Mocianum, f. 595). 'As if,' said he, 'we had been ordained bishops for no other purpose than to be enriched by the presents of princes, and to sit with them among the high authorities of the state. But if, amidst the many cares of the state, through the deceitful arts of the wicked, of which there is never any lack, anything has been admitted by them which tended to injure the Church or to disturb its peace, as if it were not our duty to set before them the truth for their own benefit, and, if it be necessary, to resist them with the authority of religion, and patiently endure their displeasure if we must incur it. If God should now raise up an Ambrose,' said he, 'there would not fail to be a Theodosius'" (Church History, Torrey's, 2:544). There is a remarkable pas.sage in the Defensio showing that Facundus did not hold the Romanist doctrine as to the corporeal presence in the Eucharist: "Potest sacramentum adoptionis adoptio nuncupari, sicut sacramentum corporis et sanguinis ejus, quod est in pane et poculo consecrato, corpus ejus et sanguinem dicimus: non quod proprie corpus ejus sit panis, et poculum sanguis sed quod in se mysterium corporis ejus et sanguinis continent" ("The sacrament of adoption may be called adoption itself, as we term the sacrament of his body and blood, which is in the bread and the consecrated cup, his body and blood; not that the bread is properly his body and the cup his blood, but because they contain within them the mystery of his body and blood" (9:5, Migne, 67:762). — Neander, Ch. History, 2:544; Neander, History of Dogmas (Ryland), 1:278; Cave, Hist. Liter. 1:520; Ceillier, Auteurs Sacres (Paris, 1862), 11:285 sq.; Waterland, Works (Oxford), 4:599, note.

 
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