In 325, the
Abraham-like old man, Hosius, bishop of Cordoba, drew the conference of Nicea,
held at his instigation, to a successful conclusion. The Church had decided the nature of God. The emperor banished and burned what she now deemed unacceptable. She had wed the state.
Then over thirty years later, that emperor’s son harried the
now a hundred years old Hosius to go back on Nicea’s decision. Holding out, the old bishop wrote …
God has put into your hands the kingdom; to us He has entrusted the affairs of His Church; and as he who would steal the empire from you would resist the ordinance of God, so likewise fear on your part lest by taking upon yourself the government of the Church, you become guilty of a great offence. It is written,Render unto Cæsar the things that are Cæsar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s… Neither therefore is it permitted unto us to exercise an earthly rule, nor have you, Sire, any authority to burn incense
fallen into dotage, he broke and went over to
the unfaithful party. Did he regret mingling Church and state?