Julius I, Pope

Julius I, Pope, a native of Rome, succeeded Marcus († Oct. 7, 336) on the 6th of Feb. 337, after the papal chair had been vacant for four months. We know hardly anything of him beyond the part he took in the Athanasian controversy. He sided with Athanasius, and convoked a synod to be held under his presidency; but the Eastern churches were not inclined to admit the right of arbitration and decision of the Roman bishop in such matters (see Epist. Synodalis Syn. Sardicensis ad Donatum, in Mansi, 3, 136), and declared to Julius that they did not admit his superiority to any other bishop, even though his was the largest city; yet they would continue in friendly relation with him if he would renounce the plan of subverting their decisions. Julius persisted in holding the synod despite the absence of the Eastern bishops, and Athanasius was declared the lawful bishop. He also took part, through his legates, in the Synod of Sardica. The Eastern bishops of this council, after their withdrawal to Philippopolis, excommunicated Julius. But this continued opposition did not prevent him from writing in 349, on the return of Athanasius to Alexandria, to the Church of that city an autograph letter of congratulation. This letter, and the one mentioned above, are all that we have from the pen of Julius (see Socrates, Hist. Eccl. 2, 23; Athanasius, Apol. 2, p. 770). He died April 12, 352, and is commemorated in the Roman Catholic Church on that day. The Eastern Church erroneously considers Julius as the author of one of its liturgies. See Socrates, lib. 2 and 3; Baronius, Ann. Ecclesiastes; Tillemont, Memoires; Sozomen, De Sect. art. 8; Dupin, Bibliotheque des Auteurs Ecclesiastes; Baillet, Vies des Saints, April 12; Herzog, Real- Encyklopadie; Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Générale, 27, 157.

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