Part Three: The Pelagian Crisis (411–430)
Article 254: Conference of Jerusalem
Conference of Jerusalem
No doubt rumors were cropping up in Palestine concerning Pelagius; these rumors led to the conference of Jerusalem. Apparently the conference had been requested by the priests of the diocese.1 It was held on July 28, 415 forty-seven days before the feast of the dedication of the church of the Resurrection on Sept 13, 415.2
John, bishop of Jerusalem, presided at this conference;3 no other bishop was present. The assembly was composed of priests, among whom were Orosius, Avitus, Vital, and Passerus. An unknown translator was present and doubtless a number of heretical brethren who according to Orosius were present on the side. Dominus, perhaps a duke and leader of a special unit of officers4, was present. He had been raised to the rank of vicar by a personal privilege of Arcadius in a January 16, 408.5 Dominus and Passerus were esteemed in both divine and secular affairs because of their faith and experience.6 Since both knew Greek and Latin, the priests in Jerusalem had asked them to take part in the assembly as translators. The priests had brought them there and John of Jerusalem found them useful because of their linguistic capabilities. We have no detailed knowledge of Vital—perhaps he is the recipient of Jerome’s Letter 132 circa 395. Avitus may have been a Spanish priest in Jerusalem. Orosius was obliged by the priests to leave his solitude in Bethlehem and come to Jerusalem. When he...