Council of Ephesus

431. Summoned by Emperor Theodosius II to solve the problems raised by the Nestorian controversy, it has become known as the Third General Council. With sixty bishops present, it was opened by Cyril,* bishop of Alexandria. Neither the Syrian bishops (who were expected to support Nestorius) nor the representatives of the bishop of Rome were present. Nestorius was deposed from his see and excommunicated; his theology was condemned, the faith of Nicea reaffirmed. Theotokos was approved as a right title for the Virgin Mary; Pelagianism, the Western heresy that had been gaining ground in the East, was anathematized; and Chiliasm was condemned. When the Syrian bishops arrived they held a rival meeting where Cyril and Memnon, bishop of Ephesus, were excommunicated. But it was Cyril's assembly that was eventually endorsed by the papal legates when they arrived. John of Antioch (the Syrian leader) and Cyril were reconciled two years later, but the Nestorian schism gained momentum and led to the separate Nestorian Church, although the emperor tried to prevent this.