Chrysostom: The church as “a hospital for sinners and not a court of law”

St. John Chrysostom (344/354 – 407) -Born in Antioch into an aristocratic family, John bore witness to God as the ‘friend of humankind’ and to an uncompromising ethic of social service.  Known as ‘golden-mouthed’ (Chrysostom) because of his ability as a speaker and preacher, he became Archbishop of Constantinople in AD 397.  He was deposed in 404 for attempting to reform the higher clergy and for preaching against the luxury and depravity of the court of Roman Emperor Arcadius, which earned him the enmity of empress Eudoxia.  He died in exile in 407.  The principal Liturgy of the Eastern Orthodox Church is named in his honor; The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom.

Dover Beach

John Chrysostom

“Enter into the church and wash away your sins. For there is a hospital for sinners and not a court of law.”

– John Chrysostom

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  1. #1 by on June 14, 2014 - 2:18 PM


  2. #2 by Rick on June 15, 2014 - 7:24 AM

    Interesting thought iff you identify the “church” is the body and not an institution.

    • #3 by Dallas Wolf on June 15, 2014 - 9:35 AM

      It even might be more illuminating if you look at Chrysostom’s comment from the standpoint of the “church” as the institution. In that light, the institution does not fare very well.

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