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Atticus

Patriarch of Constantinople (d. 425)

Atticus, Patriarch of Constantinople (406-425), b. at Sebaste in Armenia; d. 425. He was educated in the vicinity of his native town by Macedonian monks, whose mode of life and errors he embraced. When still young he went to Constantinople, abjured his heretical tenets, and was raised to the priesthood. He and another ambitious priest, Arsacius, were the chief accusers of St. Chrysostom in the notorious Council of the Oak, which deposed (405) the holy patriarch. On the death (406) of the intruder Arsacius, he succeeded him in the See of Constantinople, and at first strove hard, with the help of the civil power, to detach the faithful from the communion of their lawful pastor. But finding that, even after the death of St. Chrysostom, they continued to avoid his own spiritual ministrations, he reinserted the name of his holy predecessor in the diptychs of the churches. This change of attitude and his charity to the poor gradually made him less unpopular, and he at length managed to have himself recognized as patriarch by Innocent I. Intent upon enlarging the prerogatives of his see, he obtained from Theodosius the Younger two rescripts which placed Bithynia and Illyria under his jurisdiction. Rome resisted these encroachments, and the rescripts, thanks to the intervention of Honorius, were recalled. Atticus in some measure atoned for his ambition and the irregularity of his promotion by his zeal in the cause of orthodoxy. He drove the Messalians from Pamphylia, and his opposition to the Pelagians caused him to be praised by Celestine I as “a true successor of St. Chrysostom”.

A.J.B. VUIBERT


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