When the Emperor Constantine issued his famous Edict of Milan in 313 A.D., granting Christians the right to freely practice their Faith, it would have been logical to assume that the Church would finally enter a period of peace and tranquility. Who could have known that the inner turmoil that would soon shake the Church to its very foundation posed a greater danger to this sacred institution than any persecution the Roman government could unleash!
Since its inception, the Church taught that Jesus Christ was both GOD and Man. When Arius, an Alexandrian priest began teaching that Jesus was merely a "creation" of God the Father, the dogmatic integrity of the Church was threatened by this heresy. It was necessary for the FIRST ECUMENICAL COUNCIL to be convened to deal with Arius and his growing band of followers.
Many brilliant theologians took part in these historic deliberations in Nicea in 325 A.D. One of the leading spokesmen for the Church's position on the two natures of Christ was ALEXANDER, Patriarch of Constantinople. As the personal representative of the Emperor, Alexander, along with famous church fathers like St. Nicholas and Athanasius the Great, spoke out eloquently concerning Christ being "of one essence with the Father, by Whom all things were made." After careful study and heated arguments, the 318 Bishops attending the Council condemned Arius and his teachings. The doctrine defining what Christians were to believe concerning Christ was set down and formulated in the Nicene Creed. Alexander's efforts helped preserve the "orthodoxy" of the early Christian Church.
The Orthodox Weekly Bulletin – Cliffwood, NJ