Part Three: The Pelagian Crisis (411–430)
Edited By Frederick Van Fleteren
Article 256: Orosius’ Apologia
The conference of Jerusalem closed.2 The feast of the dedication of the church of the Resurrection took place on September 13, 415. Orosius came as usual to accompany John to the altar. Instead of greeting him John said: “Why do you come to find us, you have blasphemed?” Orosius was surprised and knew he was guilty of nothing. He asked of what blasphemy John accused him, when, and before whom he claimed he had said it. “I have heard you say that man, even with the help of God, can not be without sin.”
Orosius could have made this statement and would have meant it in an entirely orthodox sense. However this proposition could also have a heterodox sense—the expression itself is odious as it limits God’s power. Orosius had neither said nor willed the proposition in a hetorodox sense. Taking the priests and others present as his witnesses, Orosius protested he never proferred these words. If he had said them in the conference, as John claimed, John would have reprehended him on the spot and admonished him paternally not to let his language proceed into dangerous discourse. It was not proper for John to reproach him first after forty-seven days had elapsed. There were no witnesses. John made those present at the conference the accusers and judges of a crime of which he was the only witness. Pelagius spoke in Latin and John, not knowing that language could...