However irregular this sentence may have been from the canonical point of view (for the accusers do not seem to have actually proved the crime of heresy, which was necessary, according to most scholars of the period, to justify the deposition of a sovereign pontiff), the condemned pope was not long in confirming it.
The organization must have been strong in numbers, but only those who were seized for heresy are known by name, and it is only from the indictments of their accusers that their opinions can be gathered.
It is said that the foreign office had then in print a series of despatches which would have answered its accusers had they been presented when the debate began, as for some unexplained reason they were not.
Rhodes himself was not removed from the privy council, as his more extreme accusers demanded; but he had to abandon his career in Cape politics for a time, and confine his energies to the development of Rhodesia, which had been added to the empire through his instrumentality in 1888-1889.
Athanasius stood firm, but many accusers soon rose up against one who was known to be under the frown of the imperial displeasure.