4. Of CONSTANTINOPLE (2). Macedonius, the second patriarch of Constantinople of the name, was nephew of Gennadius I., who was patriarch from A. D. 459 to 471, and by whom he was brought up.
He held the office of Sceuophylax, or keeper of the sacred vessels, in the great church at Constantinople, and, on the deposition of the patriarch Euphemius or Euthymius, was nominated patriarch by the emperor Anastasius I., who probably appreciated the mildness and moderation of his temper. His appointment is placed by Theophanes in A. M. 488, Alex. era,=496 A. D. Though he himself probably recognised the council of Chalcedon, he was persuaded by the emperor to subscribe the Henoticon of Zeno, in which that council was silently passed over, and endeavoured to reconcile to the church the monks of the monasteries of Constantinople, who had broken off from the communion of the patriarch from hatred to the Henoticon; but he met with no success, although, in order to gain them over, he persuaded the emperor to summon a council of the bishops who were then at Constantinople, and to confirm, by a writing or edict, several of the things which had been sanctioned by the council of Chalcedon, without, as it appears, directly recognizing the authority of the council. Macedonius, thus baffled in his designs, still treated the monks with mildness, abstaining from any harsh measures against them. Macedonius distinguished himself by his generosity and forbearance towards his predecessor Euphemius, and towards a man who had attempted to assassinate him.
But the same praise of moderation cannot be given to all his acts, if, as stated by Victor of Tunes, he held a council in which the supporters of the council of Chalcedon were condemned.
He occupied the patriarchate for sixteen years, and was deposed by the emperor, A. D. 511 or 512.
According to Theophanes, the cause of his deposition was his maintenance of the authority of the council of Chalcedon, and his refusal to surrender the authentic record of the acts of that council. Anastasius urgently pressed him to disavow its authority, and when he could not prevail on him, suborned witnesses to charge him with unnatural lusts (which, from self-mutilation, he could not indulge), and with heresy.
He was prevented by the fear of popular indignation from instituting an inquiry into the truth of these charges, and therefore banished him without trial, first to Chalcedon, and then to Euchaita; and appointed Timotheus bishop or patriarch in his room; and, having thus exiled him without any previous sentence of condemnation or deposition, he endeavoured to amend the irregularity of the proceeding by appointing a day for his trial, when he had him condemned in his absence, and by judges who were themselves accusers and witnesses. Many ecclesiastics, however, throughout the empire, refused to admit the validity of his deposition ; and his restoration to his see was one of the objects of the rebellion of Vitalian the Goth (A. D. 514), but it was not effected, and Macedonius died in exile, A. D. 516. Evagrius assigns a different cause for the emperor's hostility to him, namely, his refusal to surrender a written engagement not to alter the established creed of the church, which Anastasius had given to the patriarch Euphemius, and which had been committed to the care of Macedonius, then only Sceuophylax, and which he persisted in retaining when the emperor wished to recover it.
He is honoured as a saint by the Greek and Latin churches. (Evagrius, H. E.
3.30, 31, 32; Theodor. Lector. H. E.
2.12-36; Theophan. Chronog.
pp. 120-138, ed. Paris, pp. 96-110, ed. Venice, pp. 216-249, ed. Bonn; Marcellin. Chronicon;
Victor Tunet. Chronicon;
100.19; Le Quien, Oriens Christianus,
vol. i. col. 220; Tillemont, Mémoires,
vol. xvi. p. 663, &c.)