Chapter XIV.—Epiphanius is asked to meet John; on refusing he is admonished concerning his Anticanonical Proceedings; alarmed at this he leaves Constantinople.
John was not offended because Epiphanius, contrary to the ecclesiastical canon, had made an ordination in his church; 873 but invited him to remain with him at the episcopal palace. He, however, replied that he would neither stay nor pray with him, unless he would expel Dioscorus and his brethren from the city, and with his own hand subscribe the condemnation of Origens books. Now as John deferred the performance of these things, saying that nothing ought to be done rashly before investigation by a general council, Johns adversaries led Epiphanius to adopt another course. For they contrived it so that as a meeting was in the church named The Apostles, Epiphanius came forth and before all the people condemned the books of Origen, excommunicated Dioscorus with his followers, and charged John with countenancing them. These things were reported to John; whereupon on the following day he sent the appended message to Epiphanius just as he entered the church:
You do many things contrary to the canons, Epiphanius. In the first place you have made an ordination in the churches under my jurisdiction: then without my appointment, you have on your own authority officiated in them. Moreover, when heretofore I invited you hither, you refused to come, and now you take that liberty yourself. Beware therefore, lest a tumult being excited among the people, you yourself should also incur danger therefrom.
Epiphanius becoming alarmed on hearing these admonitions, left the church; and after accusing John of many things, he set out on his return to Cyprus. Some say that when he was about to depart, he said to John, I hope that you will not die a bishop: to which John replied, Expect not to arrive at your own country. I cannot be sure that those who reported these things to me spoke the truth; but nevertheless the event was in the case of both as prophesied above. For Epiphanius did not reach Cyprus, having died on board the ship during his voyage; and John a short time afterwards was driven from his see, as we shall show in proceeding.
See above, chap. 12 and note 1.