The Council of Nicaea seems to have extended further the principle here laid down. This ruling of the Council of Nicaea did not remove all difficulties nor at once win universal acceptance among the Syrians.
In this way the date of Easter as kept at Alexandria and Antioch did not always agree; for the Jews, upon whom Antioch depended, adopted very arbitrary methods of intercalating embolismic months (see CALENDAR, Bol. 158) before they celebrated Nisan, the first spring month, on the fourteenth day of which the paschal lamb was killed.The second stage in the Easter controversy centres round the Council of Nicaea (A. The text of the decree of the Council of Nicaea which settled, or at least indicated a final settlement of, the difficulty has not been preserved to us, but we have an important document inserted in Eusebius's "Life of Constantine" (III, xviii sq.). And first of all it appeared an unworthy thing that in the celebration of the Jews, who have impiously defiled their hands with enormous sin. The important Church of Antioch was still dependent upon the Jewish calendar for its Easter.The emperor himself, writing to the Churches after the Council of Nicaea, exhorts them to adopt its conclusions and says among other things: "At this meeting the question concerning the most holy day of Easter was discussed, and it was resolved by the united judgment of all present that this feast ought to be kept by all and in every place on one and the same day. The Syrian Christians always held their Easter festival on the Sunday after the Jews kept their Pasch.Irenæus, while condemning the Quartodeciman practice, nevertheless reproaches Pope Victor (c.189-99) with having excommunicated the Asiatics too precipitately and with not having followed the moderation of his predecessors.Please help support the mission of New Advent and get the full contents of this website as an instant download.
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But it seems to be clearly established by the most recent researches (see Schwartz, op. 28-29) that the lunar cycles were never understood to be more than aids towards ascertaining the correct date of Easter, also that where the calculations of Rome and Alexandria led to divergent results, compromises were made upon both sides and that the final decision always lay with accepted ecclesiastical authority.
It was to the divergent cycles which Rome had successively adopted and rejected in its attempt to determine Easter more accurately that the third stage in the paschal controversy was mainly due.
Upon this point also our date do not admit of a very positive answer.
It has been very strongly urged that the writers of the first two centuries who speak of the Pasch have always in view the , the Crucifixion Day, when Jesus Christ Himself was offered as the Victim, the antitype of the Jewish paschal lamb.
63), the Syrian bishops loyally co-operated in carrying into effect the decision of the Council of Nicaea.