Part Three: The Pelagian Crisis (411–430)
Edited By Frederick Van Fleteren
Article 263: Council of Carthage (416)
Council of Carthage (416)
Orosius gave Heros’ and Lazarus’ letters to the bishops of Carthage who held their assemblies annually in and around June.1 At that time provincial councils of Proconsular were held in Carthage. Orosius’ return and the entire course of history leave no doubt this council took place in 416. Innocent’s responses occurred January, 417.
Sixty-eight bishops were present at the Council of Carthage (416).2 Their names, as well as others, are indicated in the manuscripts. The most famous bishops attending were Aurelius of Carthage, Mundius (Numidus) of Maxula, Vincent of Culusa, and Theasius of Memblone. Garnier has researched the sees of other bishops of this and various other Numidian councils.3 Noris indicates several errors in his tedious and rather unimportant report.4 The various reasons this council gathered together are not known today. Heros’ and Lazarus’ letters reproaching Pelagius and Caelestius concerning their detestable errors worthy of the Church’s anathemas were read.5 Likely Augustine had already received Pelagius’ abridgement of the proceedings of the Council of Diospolis.6 The bishops believed they should not delay use of their episcopal authority to defend the Church’s cause. They re-read the acts against Caelestius from five years previously. Subsequently Caelestius had been ordained in Asia. The council resolved both he and Pelagius would be anathematized if they did not clearly and distinctly condemn their teaching.
The council fathers believed this severity necessary to heal the minds of people who had been...