Apropos to the feast of St. Photius the Great

…you, who bring forth the fathers as being pridefully against the dogmas of the Master, recall the violence of the ecumenical councils which proclaimed godly doctrine throughout the whole world, are you neither troubled nor humbled by the threat? You make these your fathers without living the life in yourselves; you neither reverence the incorporeal nature, not hold the common devotion to the Master. This allows no occasion of appeal, because the earthly is included in the same anathema. You call Ambrose, Augustine and other good men your fathers. But does this make it any more tolerable, since you suppose them to be armed against the Master’s teacher, to draw the condemnation on yourselves and also on these men? For you certainly assign your own evil reward to the fathers. But it is only the offspring of this novelty which is evil. Your anathema will not pass through you into those blessed men, because not one of your godless and senseless sophism will be found with them. You presume that they partake in your ungodliness. With bright works, however, and with their whole voice they cry against the anathema which you would bring upon them.

But I do not affirm that all the things that you assert are taught by those blessed men. Even so, if any among them has fallen into something unseemly – for they were all men and human, and no one composed of dust and ephemeral nature can avoid some step of defilement – then I would imitate the sons of Noah. I would cover up the shame of my father with silence and gratitude, instead of garments. I would not have followed Ham as you do. Indeed, you follow him with even more shamelessness and impudence that he himself, because you expose the shame of those whom you call your fathers. Ham is cursed: not because he uncovered, but because he did not cover, his father. You, however expose your fathers and glory in your vanity. Ham exposes the secret to his brothers; you tell yours not to one or two brothers, but in your rash and reckless abandon, proclaim it to the whole world, as if it were your theater. You behave lewdly toward the shame of their nakedness and with luxury toward their dishonor, violently pursuing them, and rejoicing when you expose their nakedness to the light!
St. Photius the Great


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