Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 1.djvu/340

This page needs to be proofread.
300

ALEXANDRIA 300 ALEXANDRIA Eutychianism appeared and the native popula- tion saw in it an excellent means of freeing them- selves from Byzantium. Their zeal for this heresy transformed tiie town into a battle-field where blood was shed more than once during the fifth, sixth, and seventh centuries. At last the patnarchal Church of St. Mark found itself divided into two communions: the native Copts bound to error, and the foreign Greeks faithful to orthodoxy. After the .rabian conquest, the Greek patriarchate re- mained vacant for many years; at the time of the Byzantine emperors and under the Ottoman sultan its holders were obliged to Uve habitually at Con- stantinople. On the other hand, the Copt patri- archate transferred itself to Cairo and saw most of its disciples become Mu.ssulmans. To-day, owing to its commercial importance, Alexandria possesses within its walls every tongue and Christian race: Copts, Greeks, Latins, Armenians, Maronites, Syr- ians, Clialdeans, Protestants. ,. -j j (1) The Copts, a small community, are divided into Monophysites and Catholics; the chief of the first is the Patriarch of Alexandria and resides at Cairo; the chief of the latter is also Patriarch of Alexandria since Leo XIII created this title in favour of Mgr. Macaire, 19 June, 1899. (2) The Greeks also form two groups, the so-called Ortho- dox and the Melchites. The Orthodox, separated from Rome, are divided into two factions which differ in language and origin, and live in enmity: on one side, the Hellenophones, many of whom are natives of the Greek kingdom; on the other, the Arabophones, subject to the khedive or natives of Syria; all these have a patriarch of Greek tongue and race whose official residence is in the town, near the church of St. Sabas. The Melchites, united to Rome, are natives of Egypt and Syria; they are under the Patriarch of Alexandria, Antioch, Jeru- salem, and all the East, but, as the prelate resides at Damascus, they are governed by a bishop who is vicar of the patriarchate. (3) The Latins have no patriarch. A Latin patriarchate was created by the Crusaders who took Alexandria in 1202 and in 1367; but this patriarchate, established residentially from 1859 to 1866, is become again merely nominal. Now, nothing but an apostolical vicariate exists; the vicar, a member of the Friars Minor of St. Francis has specially under his direction the Europeans of foreign colonies. (4) The Armenians are divided into Gregorians and Catholics; the latter have a Bishop of Alexandria who resides, however, at Cairo; the Gregorians are subject to a simple vartabet. (5) The Maronites, whose number is increasing every day, wish to constitute a diocese. In the meanwhile they are governed by priests appointed by the Patriarch of the Lebanon. (6) To the 300 Syrian Catholics of Alexandria and Cairo, a chorepiscopus who resides in the latter town is given. (7) Still less numerous, the United Chaldeans possess no special organization. (8) The Protestants are repre- sented at Alexandria by numerous sects: the Angli- can Church has a commvmity since the middle of the nineteenth century and a school; the Scotch Free Church has a church since 1867 and a school; the Evangelical Church of Germany, established in the town since 1857, opened a churcli in 1866 and a little school. But these are for foreign residents; the mission of the United Presbyterian Church of the United States has a church and two schools for the Copts (about 100 members). Moreover, most of the Protestant missions which work among the Copts of Upper ICgypt liavc stations or lodgings at Alexandria. We must say the same of every religious order of Catholic mi.ssionaries in Egypt. Several of these orders have scholastic establish- ments. The Jesuits direct the college of St. Francis Xavier. The Brothers of the Christian Schools conduct a college to which a school of arts and trades is attached. They have also free classes and different schools in various parts of the town. The education of young girls is conducted by different religious congregations, such as the Sisters of Charity, the Sisters of the Mother of God, and the Sisters of the D^livrande. Jules Pargoire. Alexandria, Councils of. — In 231 a council of bisliops and priests met at Alexandria, called by Bisliop Demetrius for the purpose of declaring Origen unworthy of the office of teacher, and of excommunicating him. In 306, a council held under St. Peter of Alexandria deposed Meletius, Bishop of Lycopolis, for idolatry and other crimes. The schism then begun by him lasted fifty years and w;is the source of much sorrow for the Church of Egypt. In 321 was held the council that first condemned Arius, then parish priest of the section of Alexandria known as Baucalis. After his condemnation Arius withdrew to Palestine, where he secured the powerful support of Eusebius of Cwsarea. At the Council of 326, St. Athanasius was elected to succeed the aged Alexander, and various heresies and schisms of Egypt were denounced. In 340, one hundred bishops met at Alexandria, declared in favour of Athanasius, and vigorously rejected the calumnies of the Eusebian faction at Tyre. At a council in 350, St. Athanasius was replaced in his see. In 362 w-as held one of the most important of these councils. It was presided over by St. Athanasius and St. Euse- bius of Vercelli, and was directed against those who denied the divinity of the Holy Ghost, the human soul of Our Lord, and His Divinity. Mild measures were agreed on for those apostate bishops who re- pented, but severe penance was decreed for the chief leaders of the great heresies that had been devastat- ing the Cliristian Church. In 363, another council met under St. Athanasius for the purpose of sub- mitting to the new Emperor Jovian an account of the true faith. Somewhat similar was the purpose of the Council of 364. That of 370 approved the action of Pope Damasus in condemning Ursacius and Valens (see Arianism), and expressed its surprise that Auxentius was yet tolerated at Milan. In 399, a council of Alexandria condemned, without naming himself, the writings of Origen. In 430, St. Cyril of Alexandria held a council to make known to the bishops of Egypt the letter of Pope Celestine I (422- 432), in which a pontifical admonition was conveyed to the heresiarcli Nestorius. In this council the bishops warned him that unless he retracted his errors, confessed the Catholic faith, and reformed his life, they would refuse to look on him as a bishop. In 633, the patriarch Cyrus held a council in favour of the Monothelites, with which closed the series of these deliberative meetings of the ancient Church of Egypt. Hefei.e, Conrilirnnrsrhichle. 2d eti., I. II, III, paaiim; Neai.e, The Holy Ensltrn Church: The Patriarchate of Alex- andria (London, 1847); Mansi, I-X, passim. Thomas J. Shah.wj. Alexandria, The Catechetical School of. See Catechktics. Alexandria, The Church of. The Church of Alex- andria, founded according to the constant tradition of both East and West by St. Mark the Evangelist, was the centre from which Christianity spread throughout all l.gypt, the nucleus of the powerful Patriarchate of .Vlixandria. Within its jurisdiction, during its most flourishing period, were included about 108 bisliojis; its territorj' embraced the six provinces of Upper Liljya, Lower Libya (or Pentap- olis), the Thebaid, I'^-gypt, Arcadia (or Ileptapolis), and Augustamnica. In the beginning the successor of St. Mark was the only metropolitan, and he gov- erned ecclesiastically the ent-re territory. As the