Part Three: The Pelagian Crisis (411–430)
Edited By Frederick Van Fleteren
Article 261: Pelagius’ Works
Pelagius could have taken some advantage from what had occurred at the Council of Diospolis.1 If the council had truly justified him it would have been in his best interest to publish the acts and send them to the pope and other principal bishops together with letters from the bishops absolving him. However Pelagius delayed publication. When he did publish the acts he prefaced them with a circular letter.2
Inter alia he wrote that fourteen bishops in a solemn judgment had approved his teaching that man could be sinless and easily observe the divine commandments if he so willed. “This judgment had covered the faces of our adversaries with confusion and dissipated the conspiracy by which they had united to fight truth.”3 Pelagius did not mention divine grace which he had been obliged to confess. Instead, he gave the complete victory to human pride and added the word “easily” which had never been mentioned in the council. How Heros and Lazarus could apparently have forgotten the word “easily” in their memorandum is unknown although Pelagius’ letter contained it. What was said in the council on this article was repugnant to this claimed facility and was even expressly excluded. Pelagius wrote this letter in response to a priest-friend who had charitably admonished him to be careful lest someone separate himself from the body of the Church because e of him.