Constantinople, Councils of (2)
Constantinople, Councils OF
(Concilium Constantinopolitanum). The large number of these, and the great importance of several of them, justify a fuller treatment, which we give from Landon, Man. of Councils, s.v., and Smith, Dict. of Christ. Antiq. s.v.
I. Held A.D. 336, by the Eusebians, under Eusebius of Nicomedia, at which Athanasius was exiled to Treves, Marcellus of Ancyra, with several other bishops, deposed, and Arius ordered to be received into communion by the Alexandrian Church. According to Ruffinus (Hist. 1:12) it was convened by order of the emperor, viz. Constantine the Great; and according to Emusebins, the historian (Confra Marcell. 1:4), it was exclusively gathered together from the neighborhood of the capital. It seems to have met in February, and not separated till the end of July. See Mansi, Concil. 2:1167-1170.
II. Held A.D. 339 or 340, by order of the emperor Constantius II, to depose Paul, the newly elected bishop there, whose orthodoxy displeased him, and translate Eusebilus, his favorite, from Nicomedia to the imperial see. See Mansi, Concil. 2:1275.
III. Held A.D. 360, composed of deputies from the Council of Seleucia, just ended, with some bishops summoned from Bithynia to meet them, about fifty in all. Most of the former were partisans of the metropolitan of Csesarea, whose name was Acacius, and semi-Arians. A creed was published by them, being the ninth, says Socrates, that had come out since that of Nicea. It was, in fact, what had been rehearsed at Rimini, with the further declaration that neither substance nor hypostasis were permissible terms in speaking of God. The Son was pronounced to be like the Father, according to the Scriptures, and Aetins, who maintained the contrary opinion, was condemned. A synodical epistle to George, bishop of Alexandria, whose presbyter he was, conveyed the sentence passed upon him and his followers. Several bishops were deposed at the same time, among them Cyril of Jerusalem — all for various causes. Ten bishops, who declined subscribing to these depositions, were to consider themselves deposed till they subscribed. Ulphilas, bishop of the Goths, who had hitherto professed the Nicene faith, was one of those present, and joined in their creed. See Mansi, Concil. 3:325.
IV. Held A.D. 362 or 360, in which sixty-two bishops excommunicated and deposed Macedonius, bishop of Constantinople, for his errors in faith concerning the Holy Spirit. See Mosheim, Eccl. Hist. cent. 4, part 1, chapter 5.
V. The second general council, met in May, A.D. 381, to reassemble the following year, for reasons explained by the bishops in their synodical letter. Owing to this circumstance, and to the fact that its acts have been lost, its proceedings are not easy to unravel. Socrates begins his account of it (Hist. 5:8) by saying that the Emperor Theodosius convened a council of bishops of the same faith as himself, in order that the creed settled at Niczea might prevail, and a bishop be appointed to the see of Constantinople. That the bishops met at his bidding is testified by themselves in their short address to him subsequently, to confirm what they had decreed. Whether they reassembled at his bidding we are not told. Of their number there has never been any dispute, this council having, in fact, gone by the name of that of "the one hundred and fifty fathers" ever since. There were thirty-six bishops of the Macedonian party likewise invited, but they quitted Constantinople in a body when they found that it was the faith of the Nicene fathers to which they would be called upon to subscribe. Of those present, Timothy, bishop of Alexandria, Meletius of.Antioch, who presided at first, Cyril of Jerusalem, with the two Gregories, of Nazianzum and Nyssa, were the most considerable, Nectarius and Flavian being added to their number before they separated. The names of all who subscribed have been preserved (Dionys. Exig. ap Justell. Bibl. Jur. Canon. 2:502).
The first question considered was that relating to the Church of Constantinople, and it was declared that Maximus, called the Cynic, had not been lawfully made bishop; that his ordination, and all that he had since (done in his pretended character of bishop, was null and void, and that, in fine, he was a usurper of the see of Constantinople. Then they proceeded to elect to the see Gregory Nazianzen, and eventually, notwithstanding his entreaties and tears, obliged him to accept the office. During these proceedings Meletius died, and Gregory of Nazianzum succeeded him as president of the council. He endeavored with all his powers to induce them to leave Panlinus in the see of Antioch. with the view of appeasing the divisions of that Church; but his efforts were ineffectual. The bishops of Macedonia and of Egypt (who had now arrived) vehemently opposed his designs, objecting also to his election, upon the ground that, being already bishop of another see, he ought not to have been translated to that of Constantinople. In consequence of this, Gregory formed the resolution to entreat the fathers to permit him to resign the see of Constantinople, which he in the end did, and Nectarius was elected in his room. During this interval Timothy, bishop of Alexandria, presided over the council; but Nectarius, immediately after his election, took that office upon himself. Now, Nectarius had been a priest in the latter city, but so far from having passed through the inferior degrees, as the canons direct, he had not been even baptized. Seven canons and a creed appear to have been submitted to the emperor by the assembled fathers for confirmation, at the close of their labors. Whether any canons have been lost seems to admit of some doubt. Socrates speaks of the establishment of patriarchs as one of the things done by this council; and the Arabic paraphrase, under a separate heading, "concerning the order of the prelates, and their rank and place," explains this as follows: "Honor besides, and the primacy, was granted in this council to the bishop of Rome, and he was made first, the bishop of Constantinople second, the bishop of Alexandria third, the bishop of Antioch fourth, and the bishop of Jerusalem fifth" which is the more remarkable as neither it nor Socrates omits the canon ordaining special prerogatives for new Rome. It is one difficulty connected with these canons, that in all probability they were not all passed. at the same council.
1. Confirms the faith of the council of Nicea, and anathematizes ("extrema execratione ac detestationem") all who deny it, especially the Arians, Eunomians, Eudoxians, Sabellians, Apollinarian, and others.
2. Forbids bishops to go beyond their borders, and to trouble other dioceses. Orders that the bishop of Alexandria shall have the sole administration of Egypt, and that the privileges given to the Church of Antioch by the Nicene canons shall be preserved. Orders that the affairs of the Asian, Politic, and Thracianu dioceses shall be severally administered by their respective bishops, and that the synod of each province shall administer the affairs of the province, according to the cannon of Nicaea.
3. By this canon the primacy of honor is given to the bishop of Constantinople after the bishop of home, on account, as it states, of the former being "the new Rome."
4. Declares the nullity of the consecration and of the episcopal acts of Maximus.
5. As regards the books of the Western Church, we have also received those in Antioch, who confess one and the same divinity in the three persons of the Holy Trinity.
6. Lays down a rule for ecclesiastical judgments, and permits all persons whatever to bring an accusation against a bishop or any other ecclesiastic on account of any private injury or wrong said to have been received: but in Church matters it directs that no accusation shall be received coming from heretics or schismatics, or from persons excommunicated or deposed, or accused of any crime, before they shall have justified themselves.
7. Gives direction as to the manner in which heretics ought to be received into the Church; Arians, Macedonians, Sabblatians, Novatians, Qnartodecimani, and Apollinarians were simply to be required to renounce their errors in writing, to anathematize all heresies, and to be anointed witi the holy chrism on the forehead, eyes, nose, mouth, and ears, that they might receive the Holy Spirit. Others, such as the Eunrmians (who baptized with one immersion), Montanists, Sabellians, etc., were to be received as heathens, i.e., to be catechised, exorcised, and baptized. See Labbe, Concil. 2:911. Of the heretics named in canon 1 the Semi-Arians engaged most attention by far here, from the further error into which they had fallen of late respecting the divinity of the Holy Ghost. All that was ruled by this council on doctrine was directed against them exclusively. By the word "diocese," in canon 2, is meant a tract embracing several provinces.
Most probably, the third canon, ordaining that in future the see of Constantinople should take honorary precedence next after Rome, was intended to prevent the bishops of Antioch and Alexandria from ever attempting to take such liberties with it again.
Dionysius Exigunus ends his canons of this council with the fourth. Traces of a new series appear with the fifth. It runs as follows: "Concerning the tome of the Westerns, we, too, have received those who professed their belief, at Antioch, in one Godhead of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost." What was this tome of the Westerns? Some think it was the synodical epistle received from pope Damasmus by the Easterns at their second meeting, A.D. 182, to which they wrote their own in reply. Others, with better reason, hold that it was a synodical letter of pope Damasus, addressed to the synod. Of Antioch A.D. 378 or 379. A third view is, that it was another of his to Paulinus of Antioch some years before. Athanasius sent a letter, in the name of his synod at Alexandria, A.D. 362, to the Church of Antioch, which he calls "a tome" himself, to which Panlinus is expressly said to have subscribed, and in which the indivisibility of the Holy Ghost from the substance both of the Father and the Son is as distinctly set forth as it ever was afterwards. Through Eusebius of Vercelli, to whom it was addressed, and by whom it was in due time subscribed, it would find its way into the West and to Rome, as the rallying-point of the orthodox, and a boiad of union, under existing circumstances, between the sees of Alexandria, Antioch, and Rome, whose acceptance of its doctrine can scarce have become known to each other before Macedonimus, the ex- patriarch of Constantinople, commenced assailing the divinity of the third person in the Godhead. On this, it would immediately give rise to, and be the foundation of, a series of "tomes" or epistles of the same kind between them, in which Constantinople, being in Arian hands, would take no part, nor Alexandria much, owing to the banishment of its orthodox prelate, Peter, from A.D. 373 to 378, under Valens. Meletius had also been driven from Antioch a year earlier; but his orthodox rival, Paulin us, was allowed to remain; and this would account for the correspondence that went on between him and pope Damasus uninterruptedly while Meletins was away, and of which the prominent topic was the divinity of the Holy Ghost. Now, the synods of Antioch and Rome are confusedly given about this time, yet several were probably held at each place. One thing, may well be thought to have been agreed upon at the first synod of Antioch, and possibly Rome too, which was afterwards confirmed in the second, and is evidently referred to by the Constantinopolitan fathers in their synodical letter, namely, the creed, in its enlarged form. Admit this form to have been agreed upon at the synod of Autioch, in conjunction, or not, with that of Rome,: A.D. 372, and the use of it in the year following by Epiphanius, bishop of Salamis in Cyprus, as the authorized creed of the Church, is explained; nor is there any reason why Gregory Nyssen, if he composed it at all — as stated by Nicephorus alone — should not have composed it there. But Valens coming to Antioch in April, to persecute the orthodox, the probability would be that this synod was hastily broken up, and remained in abeyance till A.D. 378 or 379, when its proceedings were resumed under Meletius, and confirmed by one hundred and sixty-three bishops, and with its proceedings this creed. All, at tine same time, then and there subscribed to the Western tome or letter of pope Damasus. Hence, both the language of the fifth Constantinopolitain canon above mentioned, and of the fathers who framed it, in their synodical letter, where they say that "this, their faith, which they had professed there summarily, might be learned more fully by their Western brethren, on their being so good as to refer to 'the tome' that emanated from the synod of Antioch, and that set forth by the ecniumenicail council of Constantinople the year before, in which documents they had professed their faith at greater length." Now, what they had set forth themselves was their adherence to, the Nicene faith and reprobation of the heresies enumerated in their first canon; what they had received from Antioch and accepted must have been the creed which has since gone by their name, but was certainly most their composition; and whatever else was confirmed there, A.D. 378, including the Western tome. The letter of pope Damasus to Paulinus was written A.D. 372, when there was nobody left at Antioch but Panlinus to write to. The letter addressed in his own name and that of the ninety-three bishops with him, "to the Catholic bishops of the East," was "the men" received by the synod at Antioch A.D. 378-9; to which they replied the same year. Both letters being on the same subject-as were the synods of 372 and 37 — it was easy to confuse them.
We now come to the synodical letter of the reassembled Council of Constantinople, A.D. 382, and their proceedings generally. Most of the bishops who hard met at Constantinople, A.D. 381. returned thither the following summer.
One of their number, Ascholius, bishop of Thessalonica, and Epiphanius and Jerome with him, had gone meanwhile to Rome. Being at Constantinople, they received a synodical letter from the West, inviting them to Rome, where a large gathering was in contemplation. This letter having been lost, we can only guess at its contents from what they say in reply to it, coupled with their fifth canon, which was evidently framed in consequence. The affairs of the East being in imminent peril and confusion, they beg to be excused from going rawty so far from their sees. The most they could do, would be to send deputies into the West Cyriacrus, Euisebiru, and Priscianus are named, to explain their proceeding's, which they then epitomize, commencing with what has been anticipated above about their faith, and ending with the statement that Nectarins and Flavianus had been appointed canonically to their respective sees, while Cyril was recognised by them as bishop of Jerusalem for the same reason. Thus this letter explains the framing of their fifth canon, and attests its date. The same date is assigned to canon 6, restricting the manner of instituting proceedings against bishops, and reprobating appeals to the secular power. But canon 7, prescribing the distinctions to be observed in admitting heretics into communion, is shown not to belong to this camncil at all. It is almost identical with the ninety-fifth Trullan canon. Of the creed, little more need be hadded. It was in existence A.D. 373, having probably been framed at Antioch, in conformity with the synodical letter of Athanasius, A.D. 372, where it was doubtless confirmed A.D. 378-9, and received more probably by the fifth canon of this council A.D. 382, than promulgated separately by the council of the year preceding. Possibly this may have been the creed called by Cassian, as late as A.D. 430, "peculiarly the creed of the city and Church of Antioch." From the portion of it given by him it is as likely to have been this as that of A.D. 363, or any other between them. That there is a family likeness between it and the creed of the Church of Jerusalem, commented on by Cyril, will be seen on comparing them. On this hypothesis alone we can understand why no notice should have been taken of it at the Council of Ephesus, A.D. 431, and in the African code, namely, because it had originated with a provincial, and only been as yet received by a general council. It was promulgated as identical with that of Nicaea for the first time by the fathers of the fourth council.
The dogmatic professions of the council of 81 were confirmed by Theodosius in a constitution dated July 30 of the same year, and addressed to Antouinius, proconsul of Asia, by which the churches are ordered to be handed over to the bishops in communion with Nectarins and others who composed ft, the Eunosmians, Arians, and others having been deprived of their churches by a constitution issued ten days earlier. It was also received by pope Damasus, and has been regarded in the West ever since, so far, as oecumenical. Its first four canons, in the same way, have always been admitted into Western collections. But what passed at the supplemental council of 382 never seems to have been confirmed or received equally. It was in declining to come to this last council thrat Gregory Nazianzen said, in his epistle to Procspius, "that he had come to the resolution of avoiding every meeting of bishops, for he had never seen any synod end well, or assuage rather than aggravate disorders." His celebrated oration, known as his "farewell" to the council of 381, is inspired by a very different spirit. See Mansi, Concil. 3:583.
VI. Held A.D. 382, in order to appease the divisions of Antioch, to which see Flavianus had been nominated in the preceding council. during the lifetime of the actual bishop, Paulinus. Most of the bishops who were present at that council also attended here. Nothing certain is known of the proceedings, except that the election of Flavianus was confirmed, and a letter to the Western Church written, to excuse the Orientals from attending the council at Rome held at the same time. A declaration of faith was added on the subject of the Blessed Trinity as well as of the Incarnation.' This council further declared that Nectarius had been duly elected to the see of Constantinople, according to the Nicene canons, and it also recognised the election of Flavianus to Antioch. See Labbe, Concil. 2:1014.
VII. There was a meeting of bishops held at Constautinople, by command of Theodosius, A.D. 383, under Nectarius, to devise remedies for the confusion created by so many sees passing out of the hands of the heterodox into those of the orthodox party. The Arian, Eunomian, and Macedonian bishops were required to attend there with confessions of their faith, which the emperor, after examining carefully, rejected in favor of Nicera. The Novatians alone, receiving this, were placed by him upon equal terms with the orthodox. It is said to have been on this occasion that Amphilochius, bishop of Iconium, on entering the palace, made the usual obeisance to Theodosius, but took no notice of Arcadius, his son, standing at his side (Socrates, Hist. 5:10).
VIII. Held A.D. 394, Sept. 29, on occasion of the dedication of the church of the Apostles Peter and Paul, built by Ruffinus, praefect of the Prmetorium. The dispute concerning the bishopric of Bostra was brought before this council. Nectarius of Constantinople presided, in the presence of Theophilus of Alexandria, Flaviansus of Antioch, Gregory of Nyssa, Palladius of Cresarea in Cappadocia, and many other bishops of note. It was determined, that although three bishops are sufficient to consecrate, a larger number is required in order to depose. See Labbe, Concil. 2:1151.
IX. Held A.D. 399, attended by twenty-two bishops under Chrysostom, to inquire into seven capital charges brought against Antoninus, bishop of Ephesus. As he. died before the witnesses could be examined, Chrysostom, at the request of the Ephesian clergy, went over thither, and, at the head of seventy bishops, appointed Heraclides, a deacon, in his place, and deposed six bishops who had been ordained by Antoninus. Their proceedings contain a reference to the canons of the African Church. Strictly speaking, this last was a synod of Ephesus. See Mansi, Concil. 3:991.
X. Held A.D. 403, by forty or sixty bishops, in support of Chrysostom, unjustly deposed by the pseudo council, "ad Quercum," because of his non- appearance there. Although Arcadius had weakly confirmed this deposition, and banished him into Bithynia, his exile lasted but for one day, for the empress Eudoxia, frightened by a terrible earthquake which happened at the time, sent after him to recall him, and he re-entered Constantinople in triumph. See Labbe, Concil. 2:1331.
XI. Held in the same year. After the restoration of Chrysostom to his bishopric, he ordered those priests and bishops who, upon his condemnation, had intruded into the sees and benefices of his followers, to be deposed, and the rightful pastors to be restored; he then demanded of the emperor that his own cause should be considered in a lawful synod. Sixty bishops assembled, who came to the same conclusion with the last council, viz. that Chrysostom had been unlawfully deposed in the council "ad Quercum," and that he should retain the bishopric. See Socrates, Hist, 8:19.
XII. Held A.D. 404, to sit in judgment on Chrysostom, who had been recalled from exile by the emperor and retaken possession of his see, from which he had been deposed by the synod "ad Quercum." Theophilus of Alexandria was not present on this occasion, having had to fly Constantinople on the return of his rival. Still, he was not unrepresented; and Chrysostom had by this time provoked another enemy in the empress Eudoxia, whose statue he had denounced, from the games and revels permitted to be held round it, in offensive proximity to his church. At this synod he seems to have given attendance when the question of his former deposition was argued. Thirty-six bishops had condemned him; but sixty- five bishops, he rejoined, had, by communicating with him, voted in his favor. It is not implied in these words that a synod was actually sitting in his favor now, any more than during the synod "ad Quercum," the deputies from which found him surrounded, but not synodically, by forty bishops, in his own palace. The fourth or twelfth canon of the Council of Antioch was alleged by his opponents: his defence was that it was framed by the Arians. As quoted by his opponents, it was differently worded from what either the fourth or twelfth are now; possibly there may have been an Arian version of these canons, against which his objection held good. The synod, however, decided against him, and his banishment, to Comnana, on the Black Sea, says Socrates to Cucusus, in Armenia, say others followed, where he died.
XII. Held A.D.426, on the last day of February, when Sisilnnius was consecrated bishop there, in the room of Atticus. Afterwards, the errors of the Massalians, or Euchites, were condemned, at the instance of the bishops of Iconium and Sida. A severe. sentence was passed on any charged with holding them after this denunciation. See Mansi, Concil. 4:543.
XIV. Held A.D. 428, on the death of Sisinnius, when the well-known Nestorius was consecrated. See Mansi, Concil. 4:543.
XV. Held A.D. 431, October 25, four months after Nestoritus had been deposed, to consecrate Maximian in his place., This done, Maximian presided, and joined in a synodical letter, enclosing that of the Council of Ephesus, with its first. six canons, as they are called, to the bishops of ancient Epirus, whom attempts had been made to detach from orthodoxy. Letters were written likewise by him and by the emperor to pope Celestine, Cyril, and other bishops, to acquaint them with his elevation, at which all expressed themselves well pleased. Another synod appears to have been held by him the year following, for restoring peace between his own church and that of Antioch. See Mansi, Concil. 5:257-292, 1045-1050.
XVI. Held A.D. 443, probably to consider the case of Athanasius, bishop of Perrhe, on the Euphrates, afterwards deposed at Antioch under Domnus. See Mansi, Conci. 6:463.
XVII. Held A.D. 448, November 8, under Flavian, to inquire into a dispute between Florentus, metropolitan of Sardis, and two of his suffragans; but while sitting, it was called upon by Eusebius, bishop of Dorylaeum, one of its members, who had, as a layman, denounced Nestorius, to summon Eutyches, archimandrite of a convent of three hundred monks, and as resolute an opponent of Nestorius as himself, on a charge that he felt obliged to press against him. The charge was that he recognised but one nature in Christ. Messengers were despatched to invite Eutyches to peruse what Eusebius had alleged against him. A reply was brought subsequently from Eutyches, that he refused to quit his monastery. A second and third citation followed in succession. Then he promised attendance within a week. At last he appeared, made profession of his faith, and was condemned thirty-two bishops and went — three archimandrites subscribing to his deposition, from the priesthood and monastic dignity. The proceedings occupied altogether seven sessions, the last of which was held November 22. Its acts were recited in a subsequent council of the year following at Constantinople; at Ephesus, also, the year following, under Dioscorus; and again, in the first session of the Council of Chalcedon. See Mansi, Concil. 6:495, 649; Labbe, Concil. 3:1466.
XVIII. Held A.D. 449, April 8, of thirty bishops under Thalassius, archbishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia, by order of the emperor, to re- consider the sentence passed on Eutyches by the council under Flavian, on a representation from the former that its acts had been falsified. This, however, was proved untrue. Another session was held April 27, on a second petition from Eutyches, to have the statement of the official or silentiary, who had accompanied him to the council under Flavian, taken down. This officer declared to having seen the instrument containing his deposition before the session was held at which it was resolved on. The acts of this council are likewise preserved in the first session of that of Chalcedon. See Mansi, Concil. 6:503, 753.
XIX. Held A.D. 450, at which Anatolius was ordained bishop; and at which, some months afterwards, at the head of his suffragans and clergy, he made profession of his faith and subscribed to the celebrated letter of Leo to his predecessor Flavian, in the presence of four legates from Rome, charged to obtain proofs of his orthodoxy. See Mansi, Concil. 6:509. All the bishops, abbots, priests, and deacons at the time in Constantinople were present. Nestorius and Eutyches, together with their dogmas, were anathematized. The pope's legates returned thanks to God that all the Church was thus uianimous in the true faith. Several of the bishops who had yielded to the violence of Dioscorus in the Latrocinium were present in this assembly, and having testified their sorrow for what they had done, desired to condemn the act with its authors, in order to be received back into the communion of the Church; they were subsequently received into communion, and restored to the government of their respective churches. See Labbe, Concil. 3:1475.
XX. Held A.D. 457, under Anatolius, by order of the emperor Leo, whom he had just crowned, to take congnizance of the petitions that had arrived from Alexandria for and against Timothy AElurus, who had been installed bishop there by the opponents of the Council of Chalcedon, and to consider what could be done to restore peace. The council anathematized Elurus. and his party. See Mansi, Concil. 7:521, 869.
XXI. Held A.D. 459, under Gennadius. Eighty-one bishops subscribed to its synodical letter, still extant, in which the second canon of the Council of Chalcedon is cited with approval against some simoniacal ordinations recently brought to light to Galatia. See Mansi, Concil. 7:911.
XXII. Held A.D. 478, under Acacius, in which Peter, bishop of Antioch, surnamed the Fuller, Paul of Ephesus, and John of Apamea, were condemned; and a letter addressed to Simplicus, bishop of Rome, to acquaint him with, and request-him to concur in, their condemnation. A letter was addressed at the same time by Acacius to Peter the Fuller himself, rebuking him for having introduced the clause "Who was crucified for us" into the Trisagion, or hymn to the Trinity. This letter has been printed as issued from a synod five years later, when, in fact, there was no such synod. See Mansi, Concil. 7:1017 sq.
XXIII. Held A.D. 492, under Euphemius, in favor of the Council of Chalcedon; but as he declined removing the name of his predecessor, Acacius, from the sacred diptychs, he was not recognised as bishop by popes Felix and Gelasius, to whom he transmitted its acts, though his orthodoxy was allowed. See Mansi, Concil. 7:1175.
XXIV. Held A.D. 496, by order of the emperor Anastasius I, in which t.he Henoticon of Zeno was confirmed, Euphemius, bishop of Constantinople, deposed, and Macedonius, the second of that name who had. presided there, substituted for him. See Mansi, Concil. 8:186.
XXV. Held A.D. 498, by order of the emperor Anastasius I, in which Flavian, the second bishop of Antioch of that name, and Philoxenus of Hierapolis, took the lead: condemning the Council of Chalcedon and all who opposed the Monophysite doctrine, or would not accept the interpolated clause "Who was crucified for us," in the Trisagion. But it seems probable that this council took place a year later, and that another had met a year earlier, under Macedonius, less hostile to the Council of Chalcedon than this, and of which this was, the reaction. See Mansi, Concil. 8:197.
XXVI. Held A.D. 518, July 20, by order of the emperor Justin, at which the names of the councils of Nicsea, Constantinople, Ephesus, and Chalcedon; of Leo of Rome, with Enuphemius and Macedonius of Constantinople, were restored in the sacred diptychs; and Severaus and all other opponents of the fourth council anathematized. Count Gratus was despatched to Rome by the emperor with letters from himself and the patriarch to pope Hormisdas, hoping that peace might under these circumstances be restored between them. The Easterns had to anathematize Acacius of Constantinople by name, and to erase his and the names of all others, Euphemius and Macedonius included, who had not erased his previously, from the sacred diptychs, before the pope would readmit them to his communion. See Mansi, Concil. 8:435 sq.; Labbe, Concil. 4:1586.
XXVII. Held A.D. 531, under Epiphanius, who was then patriarch, to inquire into the consecration of Stephen, metropolitan of Larissa, within the diocese of Thrace, which had been made without consulting him. Stephen, having been deposed by him on these grounds, appealed to Rome; but the acts of the synod held there to consider his appeal are defective, so that it is not known with what success. See Mansi, Concil. 8:739.
XXVIII. Held A.D. 533, between the Catholics and followers of Severus; the latter were silenced, and many of them returned into the Church. See Labbe, Concil. 4:1763.
XXIX. Held A.D. 536. According to some, three synods were held in Constantinople this year:
(1) In which pope Agapetus presided and deposed Anthymus, patriarch of Constantinople; but this the emperor Justinian had already done, besides confirming the election of Mennas in his stead, at the instance of the clergy and people of the city. Agapetus, who had come thither on a mission from Theodatus, king of the Goths, having previously refused his communion, had unquestionably procured his ejection; and he afterwards consecrated Mennas, at the request of the emperor.
(2) In which a number of Eastern bishops met to draw up a petition to the pope, requesting him to call upon Anthymuls, subsequently to his deposition, but previously to his going back to Trebizond, from which he had been translated, for a retractation of his denial of two natures in Christ; but this can hardly be called a council; and the death of the pope stopped any definitive action on his part.
(3) Under Mennas, after the death of the pope, consisting of five actions, the first of which took place May 2, Mennas presiding, and having on his right, among others, five Italian bishops, who had come to Constantinople from the late pope. The first thing brought before the council was a petition from various monastic bodies in Constantinople, Antioch, Jerusalem, and Mount Sinai, to the emperor, begging that the sentence, stayed only by the death of the pope, against Anthymus, might be carried out; a general account of what had passed between them and the pope followed; their petition to him was produced by the Italian bishops present and recited; after it another petition to him from some Eastern bishops on the same subject; and his own letter to Peter, bishop of Jerusalem, in reply. Desirous of following out his decision, the council sent deputies to acquaint Anthymus with its proceedings, and bid him appear there within three days. The second and third actions passed in sending him similar summonses, but, as he could not be found, his condemnation and deposition were at length decreed in the fourth action by the council and its president, and signed by seventy-two bishops or their representatives, and two deacons of the Roman Church. At the fifth and last action a number of documents were recited, mainly referring to Peter, bishop of Apamea, Severus, and other Monophysites. All these having been read, an anathema was passed upon Peter, Severus, and Zoaras, one of their followers, by the council now sitting, and then by Mennas, its president; according to the order observed in the fourth action in passing sentence upon Anthymns. Eighty-eight bishops or their representatives, and two deacons of the Roman Church, as before, subscribed on this occasion. A constitution of the emperor addressed to Mennas confirmed their sentence. See Mansi, Concil. 8:869 sq.; Labbe. Concil. 5:1 sq.
XXX. Held A.D. 538 (541, or 543), under Mennas, by order of the emperor Justinian, in support of his edict against the errors of Origen, denounced to him in a petition from four monks of Jerusalem, placed in his hands by Pelagius, a Roman envoy, whom he had sent thither on a different errand, with the express object of injuring Theodore, bishop of Caesarea, in Cappadocia, surnamed Ascidas, who defended Origen. His edict is in the form of a book against Origen, and addressed to Mennas. It was communicated to the other patriarchs and to pope Vigilius. The council backed it by fifteen anathemas against Origen and his errors, usually placed at the end of the acts of the fifth general council, with which this council came to be subsequently confused, in consequence of their respective acts having formed one volume. See Mansi, Concil. 9:487 sq.
XXXI. Held A.D. 546, under Mennas, to assenta to the first edict, now lost, of the emperor Justinian against the three chapters the year before. Some authors pass over this council, and substitute for it another. supposed to have been held by pope Vigilitus the year following after his arrival in February (A.D. 547), at which it was decided to refer passing sentence upon the three chapters to the meeting of the general council about to take place. See Mansi, Concil. 9:125; Labbe, Concil. 5:390.
XXXII. Held A.D. 553, the fifth general council, by order of the emperor Justinian, with Eutychius, patriarch of Constantinople, for president; pope Vigilius being on the spot all the time, but declining to attend: indeed, he was not even represented there. The council opened on May 4, in the cathedral. In the first and second sessions, which were styled conferences, Eutychius, the patriarch of Constantinople, Apollinaris of Alexandria, and Domnus of Antioch were present, together with three bishops, deputies of Eustachius, the patriarch of Jerusalem; there were in all one hundred and sixty-five bishops, among whom were five Africans, the only bishops who attended from the West. The following is a summary of its causes and proceedings, with their results:
As far back as his election, A.D. 537, Vigilins had been secretly pledged to the empress Theodora, who favored the Monophysite party, to assent to the condemnation of the three chapters; and this step had been pressed upon the emperor all the more warmly since then, in consequence of the condemnation of the Origenists in a council under Mennas the year following. Theodore, bishop of Csesaren, a devoted Origenlist, and friend of the empress, pointed it out, in fact, as a means of bringing back a large section of the Monophysites to the Church. Their opposition to the fourth generally council, he averred, lay in the countenance supposed to be given by it to these writings:
1. The works of Theodore, bishop of Mopsuestia;
2. The letter of Ibas, bishop. of Edessa, to Maris; and 3, what Theodoret, bishop of Cyrrhns, had published against Cyril — the third, however, he forbore to name — all held to be tainted with Nestorianism. By condemning them, he seems to have expected that the authority of the council that had treated their authors so favorably would be undermined. Justinian, acting on his advice, had already condemned them twice (A.D. 545 and 551), and the first time had been followed by Vigilius, whose Judgment, published at Constantinople, A.D. 548, is quoted in part by the emperor in. his address to this council on its assembling. But Vigilius had (A.D. 547) declared against coming to any decision on the subject till it had been discussed in a general council; and to this he went back on ascertaining' what indignation his Judgment had caused in Africa and in the West, and excommunicated Maennas and Theodore for having gone further. Accordingly, the emperor decided on summoning this council to examine and pronounce upon them; and Entychius, the Constantinopolitan patriarch, addressed a letter to Vigilins, which was read out at its first session, May 5, requesting him to come and preside over its deliberations. Vigilins assented to their joint examination by himself and the council, but was silent about his attendance. Three patriarchs and a number of bishops accosted him personally, with no better success.
At the second session or collation, a second interview with him was reported, in which he definitively declined attending; and even on a message from the emperor he would not undertake to do more than examine the chapters by himself, and transmit his opinion on them, not to the council, but to him. Some bishops of Africa and Illyria excused themselves to the deputation sent to invite their attendance.
At the third collation the fathers commenced the real business for which they had been convened. They pledged themselves to the exact doctrine and discipline laid down in the four general councils, each and all, preceding their own; one and the same confession of faith had sufficed for them in spite of all the heresies they had met to condemn, and should suffice now. All things in harmony with it should be received; and all things at variance with it rejected. Having thus pledged themselves to the fourth council among the rest, the fathers proceeded to the examination of the three chapters in their fourth collation. This was on May 12. Extracts having accordingly been read out from various works of Theodore, both he and they were judged worthy of condemnation.
The next day, or the fifth collation, passages for or against Theodore, Cyril, and others, were produced and weighed; and authorities, particularly Augustine, cited in favor of condemning heretics, although dead. At the close of the sitting, extracts from the writings of Theodoret, against Cyril, were recited; on which the fathers remarked that the fourth council had acted wisely in not receiving him till he had anathematized Nestorinus. The sixth collation took place May 19. During the interval Vigilius issued his Conbstitutum, dated May 14, in the form of a synodical letter addressed to the emperor, answering and condemning a number of the positions of Theodore, but pleading for Theodoret and Ibas, as having been acquitted by the fourth council. However, the council at its sixth collation found the letter of Ibas in question contrary to the Chalcedonian definition, and anamthematized it accordingly; but its author escaped.
At the seventh collation, May 26 or 30, a communication was read from the emperor in deprecation of the Constitutumr, addressed to him by the pope, May 14, and on which there had been a good many messages between them, in vain, since. No less than six documents were recited, proving that Vigilius had expressly condemned the three chapters as many times; the last of them, a deposition signed by Theodore, bishop of Casesarea, and a lay dignitary, to the effect that Vigilius had sworn to the emperor in their presence to do all he could for the condemnation of the three chapters, and never say a word in their favor. Next, an inquiry, by order of the emperor, respecting a picture or statue of Theodoret, said to have been carried about at Cyrrhus in procession, was reported. Lastly, the imperial mandate, which ordained that the name of Vigilius should be removed from the sacred diptychs for his tergiversations on the subject of the three chapters. Unity with the apostolic see would not, he adds, be thereby dissolved, inasmuch as neither Vigilius nor any other individual could, by his own change for the worse, mar the peace of the Church. To all this the council agreed.
Finally, reviewing at its eighth collation, June 2, in a singularly well- written compendium, all that it had done previously, and vindicating the course about to be pursued, the council formally condemned the three chapters, and with them the author of the first of them — Theodore — promulgating its definitive sentence in fourteen anathemas, almost identical with those of the emperor, and in which the heresies and heresiarchs thus condemned are specified; Origen among the number, in the eleventh, thoigh not in the corresponding one of the emperor. He had been previously condemned in the council under Mennas A.D. 538, as we have seen. Of these anathemas the Greek version is still extant: of almost every other record of its proceedings the Latin version alone remains. Vigilins, after taking some time to consider, announced his assent to them in two formal documents: the first a decretal epistle, dated December 8 of the same year, and addressed to the Constantinopolitan patriarch, in which, as he says, after the manner of Augustine, he retracts all that he had ever written differently; and the second, another Constitutum of great length, dated February 23 of the year following, but without any heading or subscription in its present form. He died on his way home, amid Pelagius, the Roman envoy who had been instrumental in condemning Origen, had thus, on becoming pope, to vindicate the condemnation of the three chapters by this council, in the West, where they had been defended all but unanimously, and were upheld obstinately by more than three parts of Italy still. The second Pelgius, twenty-five years later, in his third letter to the bishops of Istria, said to have been written by Gregory the Great, then his deacon, apologized for the conduct of his predecessors and his own therein, by referring to the occasion on which Peter was reproved by Paul (Ga 2:11). Gregory, when pope, settled the matter by affirming that he venerated the fifth council equally with the four preceding.
No canons seem to have been passed by this council: many points connected with it are still doubtful: and the documents published as belonging to it greatly need rearranging. See Mansi, Concil. 9:151-651; Labbe, Concil. 5:411, sq.
XXXIII. Held A.D. 565, at which the emperor Justinian endeavored to get the errors of Julian of Halicarnassus, a well-known Monophysite, who maintained the incorruptibility of the body of Christ antecedently to his resurrection, approved by banishing those who opposed them. See Mansi, Concil. 9:765.
XXXIV. Held A.D. 587, at which a foul charge brought against Gregory, patriarch of Antioch, by a banker of his diocese, was examined. He was honorably acquitted and his accuser punished. This may have been the synod summoned as a general one by the Constantinopolitan patriarch John, in virtue of his assumed title of ecumenical patriarch, and for which he was so severely taken to task by pope Pelagius II; but for this no direct proof is adduced. This is referred to in a letter of Gregory the Great to that patriarch, and a further letter of his some time later, when Cyriacus was patriarch, whose plan of holding another synod for the same purpose he would seem to have anticipated. Mansi conceives this synod to have been held A.D. 598 (Concil. 9:481).
XXXV. Held A.D. 626, under Sergins, to consider the question raised by Paul, a Monophysite of Phasis, in Lazica, and Cyrus, its metropolitan — afterwards translated to Alexandria — before the emperor Heraclius, whether one or two wills and operations were to be ascribed to Christ. Sergius pronounced in favor of one operation and one will; thereby founding the heresy called Monothelism. The question may have originated with Athanasius, patriarch of the Jacobites in Syria, on his promotion to the see of Antioch by Heraclius four years later. See Mansi, Concil. 10:585.
XXXVI. Held A.D. 639, under Sergius, and continued — unless there were two distinct councils this year — under Pyrrhus, his successor, at which the exposition of faith by the emperor Heraclius, favorable to Monothelism, was confirmed. Parts of its acts, with the "exposition" in full, were recited in the third sitting of the Lateran, under Martin I, A.D. 649. See Mansi, Concil. 10:673.
XXXVII. Held A.D. 665, by order of the emperor Constans II, at which Maximus, the great opponent of the Monothelites, was condemned. See Mansi, Concil. 11:73.
XXXVIII. Held A.D. 666, under Peter, patriarch of Constantinople, and attended by Macedonius of Antioch and the vicar of the patriarch of Alexandria, at which Maximus was condemned a second time, with his disciples. See Mansi, Concil. 11:73.
XXXIX. The sixth general council, held in the banqueting-hall of the palace, called Trullus from its domed roof, and lasting from November 7, A.D. 680, to September 16 of the ensuing year. It was convened by the emperor Coinstantine Pogonatus, in consequence of a request made to him by the patriarchs of Constantinople to permit their removing from the sacred diptychs the name of pope Vitalian, lately deceased, while they were for retaining that of Honorius. In short, they wished to commemorate none of the popes after Honorius till some disputes that had arisen between their own sees and his had been settled, and some newly-coined words explained. Donus dying before this letter could reach Rome, it was complied with at once by his successor, Agatho, who sent three bishops, on behalf of his synod, and two presbyters, and one deacon named John — who subsequently became pope as John V — in his own name, to Constantinople, "to bring about the union of the holy churches of God." On hearing from the "oecumenical pope," as he styles him, to that effect, the emperor issued his summons to George, patriarch of Constantinople — whom he styles oecumenical patriarch — and through him to the patriarch of Antioch, to get ready to come to the council with their respective bishops and metropolitans. Mansuetus, metropolitan of Milan, who had formed part of the Roman synod under Agatho, sent a synodical letter and profession of faith on behalf of his own synod, and Theodore, bishop or archbishop of Ravenna, who had formed part of the same synod, a presbyter, to represent him personally. The number of bishops actually present, it is said, was two hundred and eighty-nine, though the extant subscriptions are under one hundred and eighty. Thirteen officers of the court were there likewise, by command of the emperor, who attended in person, and were ranged round him — on his left were the representatives of the pope and his synod, of the archbishop of Ravenna, and of the patriarch of Jerusalem, then Basil, bishop of Gortyna, in Crete, and the remaining bishops "subject to Rome" — his right being occupied by the patriarchs of Constantinople and Antioch, a presbyter representing the patriarch of Alexandria, the bishop of Ephesus, and "the remaining bishops subject to Constantinople." The business of the council was concluded in eighteen actions or sessions, as follows:
1 (November 7, 680). The legates of Agatho having complained of the novel teaching of four patriarchs of Constantinople, and two other primates, that had for forty-six years or more troubled the whole Church, in attributing one will and operation to the Incarnate Word, Macarius, patriarch of Autioch, and two suffragans of the see of Constantinople favorable to this dogma, briefly replied that they had put out no new terms, but only believed and taught what they had received from general councils and from the holy fathers on the point in question, particularly the patriarchs of Constantinople and Alexandril, named by their opponents, and Honoriis, formerly pope of elder Rome. Whereupon the chartophylax, or keeper of the archives of the great Church, was ordered by the emperor to fetch the books of the oecumenical councils from the library of the patriarch. As nothing was said of the acts of the first and second councils on this occasion, we must infer they had been lost previously. The chartophylax was told to produce what he had brought; and immediately two volumes of the acts of the third council were recited by Stephen, a presbyter of Antioch in waiting on) Macarius, who forthwith contended that some of Cyril's expressions were favorable to him.
2 (November 10). Two volumes of the acts of the fourth council were read, when the legates of Agatho pointed out that two operations were attributed to Christ by pope Leo.
3 (November 13). Two volumes of the acts of the fifth council were read, when the legates protested that two letters of pope Vigilins, contained in the second volume, had been interpolated, and that a discourse attributed in the first to Menuas, patriarch of Constantinople, was spurious. This last having been proved on the spot from internal evidence, its recital was stopped, the emperor directing further inquiry to be made respecting the letters of the pope.
4 (November 15). Two letters from Agatho were recited — one to the emperor, in his own name, the other to the council, in his own name and that of a synod of one hundred and twenty-five bishops, assembled under him at Rome, previously to the departure of his legates. The burden of both is the same, namely, that that had been defined as of faith by the five general councils preceding it was the summit of his ambition to keep inviolate. Several passages in the Latin version of these letters, on the prerogatives of the Church of Rome, are not found in the Greek. Either, therefore, they have been interpolated in the one, or suppressed in the other.
5 (December 10). Two papers were exhibited by Macarius, and recited, of which the first was headed, "Testimonies from the holy fathers confirmatory of there being one will in Christ, which is also that of the Father and the Holy Ghost."
6 (February 12, 681). A third paper from Macarius to the same effect as the other two, having been read, the sealimng of all three was commanded by the emperor, and intrusted to his own officials and those belonging to the states of Rome and Constantinople. On the legates affirming that the quotations contained in them had not been fairly made, antheintic copies of the works cited were ordered to he brought from the patriarchal library to compare with them.
7 (February 13). A paper headed "Testimonies from the holy fat hers demonstrating two wills and operations in Christ" was produced by the legates, and read. Appended to it were passages from the writings of heretics, ill which but one will and operation was taught. This paper also was ordered to be sealed, by the emperor.
8 (March 7). The passages adduced by Agatho from the fathers, and by his synod, in favor of two wills and operations, having been examined and confirmed, were pronounced conclusive by all present except Macarils; and the petition to have the name of Vitllian erased from the diptychs was withdrawn by George, the existing patriarch of Constantinople, amid great applause. Macarius being then called upon to make his profession, proved himself a Monothelile; and was convicted of having quoted unfairly from the fathers in his papers, to support his views.
9 (March 8). Examination of the papers of Macarius having been completed, he and his presbyter Stephen were formally deposed as heretics by the council.
10 (March 18). The paper exhibited by the legates was taken in hand; and after a most interesting comparison between it and the authentic works in the patriarchal library, was declared thoroughly correct in its citations; a profession of faith was received from the bishop of Nicomnedia and some others, in which Monothelism was abjured.
11 (March 20). A long and remarkable profession of faith, contained in a synodical letter of Sophronius, late patriarch of Jerusalem, and the first to oppose Monothelism, was recited; and after it, at the request of the legates, some more writings of Macarius, since come to hand, that proved full of heresy.
12 (March 22). Several more documents belonging to Macarlins having been received from the emperor through one of his officers, which he professed not to have read himself, some were looked through and pronounced irrelevant, but three letters were recited at length, two from Sergins, patriarch of Constantinople, and one from pope Honoriun in reply to one of these. Search in the patriarchal archives and proper investigation placed the genuineness of all three beyond doubt. A suggestion brought from the emperor, that Macarius should be restored in the event of his recalting, was peremptorily declined by the council.
13 (March 28). Both the letters of Seragius before mentioned and that of Honorius to him were declared heterodox; and he and his successors, Pyrrhns, Peter, and Paul, Cyrus of Alexandria, and Theodore, bishop of Pharalnoil all of whom Agatho, had passed sentence previously with Honorius, whom Agatho had passed over, were definitively cast out of the Church — the only sentence of the kind ever decreed against any pope. Finally, search having been made for all other works of the same kind in the archives, all that could be found were brought out and recited. A large number were pronounced heretical, and burned as such Letters of Thomas, John, and Constantine, patriarchs of Constantinople, were read likewise, but their orthodoxy was allowed.
14 (April 1). Returning to the letters of pope Vigilius that had been called in question, it was ascertained by careful inquiry that each of the volumes of the fifth council had been tampered with; in one case by inserting the paper attributed to Mennas, in the other by interpolating the letters of Vigiliis, in support of heresy. The council ordered both falsifications to be cancelled, besides anathematizing them and their authors. A sermon of Athanasius was produced by the bishop of Cyprus, in which the doctrine of two wills in Christ was clearly laid down. At this sitting Theophanes, the new patriarch of Antioch, is first named among those present.
15 (April 26). Polychronius, a presbyter, undertaking to raise a dead man to life in support of his heretical views, and failing, was condemned as an impostor, and deposed.
16 (August 9). Constantine, another presbyter, affecting to have devised some formula calculated to reconcile Monothelism with orthodoxy, was proved in agreement with Macarins, and similarly condemned. In conclusion, all who had been condemned were anathematized, one after the other, by name, amid cheers for the orthodox.
17 (September 11). The previous acts of the council were read over, and its definition of faith published for the first time.
18 (September 16). The definition having been once more punished, was signed by all present, and received the assent of the emperor on the spot, amid the usual acclamations and reprobations. It consisted of three parts:
a. An introduction, proclaiming entire agreement on the part of the council with the five previous councils, and acceptance of the two creeds promulgated by them as one.
b. Recital of the two creeds of Niceea and Constantinople in their pristine forms.
c. Its own definition, enumerating all previously condemned for Monothelism once more by rlinme, and mentioning with approbation the declaration of pope Agatho and his synod against them, and in favor of the true doctrine, which it proceeded to unfold by course: then reiterating the decree passed by previous councils against the framers and upholders of a faith or creed other than the two forms already specified; and including finally in the same condemnation the inventors and disseminators of any novel terms subversive of its own rulings.
Proceedings terminated in a remarkable address to the emperor on behalf an all present, which was read out, showing that the doctrine of the Trinity had been defined by the first two councils, and that of the Incarnation by the next four, of which this was the last, and a still more remarkable request was appended to it — that he would forward the definition, signed by himself, to the five patriarchal sees of Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem; which we are told expressly was done. In conclusion, a letter was despatched to the pope in the name of the council, informing him that he would receive a copy of its acts through his legates, and begging, that he would confirm them in his reply. The emperor, on his part, exhorted all .to receive them, in a special edict; and, as he had promised, addressed a letter in his own name to the Roman synod, dated December 23, A.D. 681 (Agatho dying, according to Cave, December 1), and another to Leo II, soon after his accession, the year following, bespeaking their acceptance. This the new pope granted without hesitation in the fullest manner, even to the condemnation of Honorius as having betrayed the faith; all which he repeated to the bishops of Spain, in sending them a Latin translation of the acts of this council.
It is admitted on all hands that no canons were passed. Several anecdotes of this council found their way into the West. Bede tells us, for instance, that such was the honor accorded thereto to he legatnes of Agatho that one of them, the bishop of Oporto, celebrated the eucharist in Latin on Low Sunday, in the Church of St. Sophia, before the emperor and patriarch. Cardinal Humbert asserts it was then explained to the emperor thant unleavened bread was enjoined by the Latin rite. But the two striking incidents of this council were:
1. The arrangement of the "bishops subject to Rome," and those "subject to Constantinople" on opposite sides; and,
2. The anathemas passed on pope and patriarch alike. See Mansi, Concil. 11:189 sq.; Labbe, Concil. 6:587 sq.
XL. Held A.D. 691, in or not earlier than September. The fathers composing it, in their address to the emperor Justinian II, say that they had met at his bidding to pass some canons which had long been needed, owing to the omission of the fifth and sixth councils, contrary to the precedent of the four first, to pass any, whence this council has been commonly styled the quini-sext, or a supplement to both. It is, indeed, best known as the Trullan, from the hall of the palace in which it was held, although the sixth council had met there also. The number of bishops subscribing to its canons is two hundred and thirteen, of whom forty-three had been present at the sixth council, and at their head, instead of after them, as at the sixth council, the emperor, who signs, however, differently from the rest, as merely accepting and assenting to what had been defined by them. A blank is left immediately after his name for that of the pope, showing clearly that the pope was not represented there; and blanks are subsequently left for the bishops of Thessalonica, Heraclea, Sardinia, Ravenna, and Corinth, who might, had they been present, have been supposed to be acting for him. Basil, indeed, bishop of Gortyna, in Crete, is set down as subscribing on behalf of the whole synod of the Roman Church; but then he is similarly set down among the subscriptions to the sixth council, not having been one of the three deputies sent thither from Rome, and afterwards, in the letter addressed to Agatho by the council, only signing for himself and his own synod. Hence there seems little ground for supposing him to have represented Rome there in any sense. Anastasius, in his life of Sergius I, who was then pope, says that the legates of the apostolic see were present, and deluded into subscribing; but there is nothing in the subscriptions to confirm this, and of the acts nothing further has been preserved. Great controversy prevails as to the extent to which this council has been received in the West: oecumenical it has never been accounted there, in spite of its own claim to be so; and when its canons were sent in six tomes to Sergius, himself a native of Antioch, for subscription, he said he would die sooner than assent to the erroneous innovations which they contained.
John VII, the next pope but one, was requested by the emperor to confirm all that he could, and reject the rest; but he sent back the tomes untouched. Constantine is supposed to be the first pope to confirm any of them; but this is inferred solely from the honorable reception given to him at Constantinople by Justinian. Adrian I, in his epistle to Tarasius, read out at the seventh council, is explicit enough: "I, too, receive the same six holy councils, with all the rules constitutionally and divinely promulgated by them; among which is contained" what turns out to be the eighty-second of these canons, for he quotes it at full length. The first canon of the seventh council, confirmed by him, is substantially to the same effect. But the exact truth is probably told by Anastasius. the, librarian. "At the seventh council," he says, "the principal see so far admits the rules said 'by the Greeks to have been framed at the sixth council, as to reject in the same breath whichever of them should prove to be opposed to former canons, or the decrees of its own holy pontiffs, or to good manners." All of them, indeed, he contends had been unknown to the Latins entirely till then, never having been translated; neither were they to be found even in the archives of the other patriarchal sees where Greek was spoken, none of whose occupants had been present to concur or assist in their promulgation. This shows how little he liked these canons himself, nor can it be denied that some of them were dictated by a spirit hostile to the West.
1. The council declared its adherence to the apostolic faith, as defined by the first six ecumenical councils, and condemned those persons and errors which in them had been condemned.
2. The canons which they received and confirmed were set forth, viz. the eighty-five canons attributed to the apostles, those of Nicmea, Ancyra, Neo-Caesarea, Gangra, Antioch, Laodicea, and those of the oecumenical councils of Constantinople, Ephesus, and Chalcedon, also those of the councils of Sardica and Carthage, and those of Constantinople, under Nectarius and Theophilus; further, they approved the canonical epistles of Dionysius of Alexandria, of Athanasius, Basil of Cwesarea, Gregory of Nyssa, Gregory the Divine, Amphilochius of Iconium, of Timothy, Theophilus, and Cyril of Alexandria, of Gennadius, and, lastly, a canon of Cyprian.
3. Enacts that all priests and deacons who, being married to a second wife, refuse to repent, shall be deposed; that those whose second wives are dead, or who have repented, and live in continence, shall be forbidden to serve at the altar, and to exercise any priestly function in future, but shall retain their rank; that those who have married widows, or who have married after ordination, shall be suspended for a short time, and then restored, but shall never be promoted to a higher order.
7. Restrains the arrogance of deacons; forbids them to take precedence of priests.
9. Forbids clerks to keel-taverns.
11. Forbids familiarity with Jews.
13. Allows (notwithstanding the decrees of the Roman Church to the contrary) that married men, when raised to holy orders, should keep their wives and cohabit with them, excepting on those days on which they are to celebrate the holy communion; and declares that no person otherwise fit and desirous for ordination shall be refused on account of his being married, and that no promise shall be extorted from him at the time of ordination, to abstain from his wife, lest God's holy institution of matrimony be thereby dishonored; orders further, that they who shall dare to deprive any priest, deacon, or subdeacon of this privilege, shall be deposed, and that, also, any priest or deacon separating from his wife on pretence of piety, shall, if he persist, be deposed.
14. Enacts that men be not ordained priests before they are thirty years of age, or deacons before twenty-five. Deaconesses to be forty.
15. Sub-deacons to be twenty.
17. Forbids clerks to go from one church to another.
19. Orders those who preside over churches to teach the people at least every Sunday; forbids them to explain Scripture otherwise than the lights of the Church and the doctors have done in their writings.
21. Orders that deposed clerks, who remain impenitent, shall be stripped of every outward mark of their clerical state, and be regarded as men of the world; those who are penitent are permitted to retain the tonsure.
22. Against sinmony.
23. Forbids to require any fee for administering the holy communion.
24. Forbids all in the sacerdotal order to be present at plays, and orders such as have been invited to a wedding to rise and depart before any thing ridiculous is introduced.
32. Declares that in some parts of Armenia water was not mixed with the wine used at the altar; condemns the novel practice; sets forth the foundation for the catholic use, and orders that every bishop and priest Who refuses to mix water with the wine, "according to the order handed down to us by the apostles," shall be deposed.
36. Decrees that the see of Constantinople, according to the canons of Constantinople and Chalcedon, shall have equal privileges with the throne of old Rome.
40, 41. Of those who shall be admitted into the monastic state.
42. Of hermits.
48. Orders that the wife of one who has been raised to the episcopate, having first separated from her husband of her own free-will, shall be kept, at the bishop's expense, in a monastery far from him, or shall be promoted to the deaconate.
53. Forbids a man to marry her to whose children by a deceased husband he has become godfather.
55. Forbids any to fast on Saturdays and Sundays, even during Lent.
56. Forbids to eat eggs or cheese in Lent.
57. Forbids to offer milk and honey at the altar.
58. Forbids a lay person to administer to himself the holy mysteries, when there is a bishop, priest, or deacon present: offenders to be separated for a week, "that they may be thereby taught not to be wiser than they ought to be."
64. Forbids lay persons to teach, and bids them rather learn of others who have received the grace to teach.
66. Orders all the faithful, for seven days after Easter, to occupy themselves at church in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.
67. Forbids to eat the blood of any animal; offenders, if clerks, to be deposed.
68. Forbids injury to any of the books of the Old and New Testament.
69. Forbids lay persons to enter the altar-rails.
72. Forbids marriage with heretics.
73. Forbids the use of the cross-lying upon the ground, lest by treading on it men should dishonor it.
74. Forbids to celebrate the Agapae in churches.
75. Relates to the manner of singing psalms to be observed.
83. Forbids to administer the holy eucharist to dead bodies.
84. Orders the baptism of those of whose baptism there exists any doubt.
88. Forbids to take any beast into a church, unless in case of great need a traveller be compelled to do so.
89. Orders the faithful to observe Good Friday with fasting and prayer, and cmnpunction of heart, until the middle of the night of the great Sabbath.
90. Forbids to kneel at church from Saturday night to Sunday night.
111. Of penance and absolution. This council receives all the apostolical canons, eighty-five in number, though at that time but fifty were received in the Roman Church, but rejects the apostolical constitutions as having been interpolated, and containing many spurious things. Accordingly, the code of the Eastern Church was authoritatively settled, apart, of course, from the one hundred and two canons now added to it, which were formally received themselves, as we have seen, by the second council of Nicaea, and reckoned ever afterwards as the canons of the sixth council. Their general character is thoroughly Oriental, but without disparagement to their practical value. See Mansi, Concil. 11:921 sq.; 12:47 sq.; Labbe, Concil. 6:1124 sq.
XLI. Held A.D. 712, in the short reign of Philippicus or Bardanes, and under the Monothelite patriarch of his appointment, John VI; at which the sixth council was repudiated and condemned. The copy of its acts belonging to the palace was likewise burned by his order, as we learn from the deacon who transcribed them, and the picture of it that hung there removed. On the death of the tyrant, indeed, John addressed a letter to pope Constantine, to apologize for what had been done; but its tone is not assuring. He testifies, however, to the authentic tomes of the sixth council being safe still in his archives. See Mansi, Concil. 12:187 sq.
XLII. Held A.D. 715, August 11, at which the translation of Germanus from the see of Cyzicus to that of Constantinople was authorized. He had been a party to the Monothelite synod under John three years before; but immediately after his translation he held a synod most probably in 714, of which this was a continuation in which he condemned Monothelism. See Mansi, Concil. 12:255 sq.; Labbe, Concil. 6:1451.
XLIII. Held A.D. 730, or, rather, a meeting in the imperial palace, at which the emperor Leo III, better known as the Isaurian, called upon Germanus, the aged patriarch, to declare for the demolition of images, which he had just ordered himself in a second edict against them. The patriarch replied by resigning. See Mansi, Concil. 12:269 sq.; Labbe, Concil. 6:1461.
XLIV. Held A.D. 754, from February 10 to August 8, by order of the emperor Constantine Copronymus, and styling itself cecumenical, or the seventh council, though its claim to both titles has since been set aside in favor of the second council of Nicaea, in which its decrees were reversed. There is no record of its acts extant but what is to be found in the sixth session of that council, where they were cited only to be condemned. As many as three hundred and thirty-eight bishops attended it, but the chief see represented there was that of Ephesus. Their proceedings are given in six tomes, as follows:
1. They deduce the origin of all creature-worship from the devil, to abolish which God sent his Son in the flesh.
2. Christianity being established, the devil, they say, was determined to bring about a combination between it and idolatry; but the emperors had opposed his designs. Already six councils had met, and the present one, following in their steps, declared all pictorial representations unlawful, and subversive of the faith which they professed.
3. Two natures being united in Christ, no one picture or statue could represent Christ as he is; besides, his only proper representation is in the eucharistic sacrifice, of his own institution.
4. There was no prayer in use for consecrating images, nor were representations of the saints to be tolerated any more than of Christ, for Holy Scripture was distinctly against both.
5. The fathers, beginning with Epiphanius, having been cited at some length to the same purpose, the council decreed unanimously that all likenesses, of whatsoever color and material, were to be taken away, and utterly disused in Christian churches.
6. All clergy setting up or exhibiting reverence to images in church or at home were to be deposed; monks and laymen anathematized. Vessels and vestments belonging to the sanctuary were never to be turned to any pur pose in connection with images. A series of anathemas was directed against all who upheld them in any sense, or contravened the decrees of this council. Germanus, the late patriarch of Constantinople, George of Cyprus, and John of Damascus, or Miansur, as he was called by the Saracens, were specially denounced as image-worshippers. The usual acclamations to the emperor followed. Before the council separated, Constantine, the new patriarch, was presented to it and approved. See Mansi, Concil. 12:575; 13:203 sq.; Labbe, Concil. 6:1661 sq.
XLV. Held A.D. 786, Aug. 2, by the Iconodulists, but broken up by the violence of the opposite party. See Ignatius of Constantinople, Vita Tarasii.
XLVI. Held A.D. 815, by the Iconoclasts, under the emperor Leo; the abbots of Constantinople excused themselves from attending, and the monks deputed to bear to the council their reasons for so doing were driven from the assembly; also, those of the bishops who differed in opinion from the dominant party were trampled upon and maltreated. The council condemned the acts of the second council of Nicsea, A.D. 787, and decreed that all paintings in churches should be defaced everywhere, the sacred vessels destroyed, as well as all Church ornaments. This council has never been recognized by the Western Church. See Labbe, Concil. 7:1299.
XLVII. Held A.D. 842, by the emperor Michael and Theodora, his mother. This council confirmed the second council of Nicuea, anathematized the Iconoclasts, restored images to the churches, deposed the patriarch John, and elected Methodius in his stead. In memory of this council the Greek Church still keeps the second Sunday in Lent (the day on which it was held) holy, as the festival of orthodoxy. See Labbe, Concil. 7:178.2
XLVIII. Held A.D. 858, by the bishops of the province of Constantinople, first, on account of the banishment of Ignatius, the patriarch of Constantinople, by the emperor Bardas, to whom he had justly refused communion after having charitably warned him of the scandal occasioned by his irregular life. They deposed Photius, who had been intruded into the see, with anathema, as well against himself, as against all who should dare to acknowledge him to be patriarch. This Photius was one of the most learned and able men of his age; but, led astray by his boundless ambition, by his artifices he procured his election to the patriarchate, although a layman, and was consecrated by Gregory Asbesta, the deposed bishop of Syracuse, December 25, 857.
Forty days after his consecration he held a council, on which sentence of deposition and anathema was pronounced against Ignatius and his followers; and in 861 he convoked another council, at which three hundred and eighteen bishops (including the pope's legates) attended, together with the emperor Michael and a large number of lords and people. To this council Ignatius, having been cited, refused to come, protesting against its irregularity, but some days afterwards he was seized and forcibly brought before it. After a sort of mock trial, he was condemned, and sentence of deposition passed upon him; he was then imprisoned, and subjected to great cruelties. The pope, it should be added, had been deceived into sending legates to this council, and the latter, when at Constantinople, by threats were forced to yield an assent to its proceedings. Ignatius subsequently, in order to deliver himself from the cruelties which he endured, signed (or rather was forced to sign) a confession declaring that he had been unlawfully elevated to the see; after this he was delivered from prison, and escaped from Constantinople. Photius then wrote all artful letter to pope Nicholas, to induce him to recognise his elevation to the patriarchate, which he, however, refused to do, and held a council at Rome (863), in which Zachens, one of the legates who attended the pseudo- council of 861, was excommunicated, he other remanded, and Photius himself condemned and deposed. Upon this the latter, in 866, called together another assembly, wherein the emperors Michael and Basil presided, together with the legates of the three great Eastern sees; and this, after hearing witnesses against Nicholas, the pope, pronounced sentence of deposition and excommunication against him. Twenty-one bishops signed this sentence, and about one thousand false signatures were said to have been added. After so bold a step it was impossible to keep up appearances with Rome any longer, and Photius wrote a circular letter to the Oriental bishops, in which he dared to charge with error the whole West. Among other accusations, he charged the Latin Church with adding the word "Filioque" to the original creed. See Labbe, Concil. 8:651, 695, 735.
XLIX. Held.A.D. 867. In this council Photius was deposed and driven into banishment, Ignatius, by a decree of the emperor Basil,. having been restored to the see.
L. Sometimes called the eighth general council, held A.D. 869, by the emperor Basil, and attended by about one hundred Eastern bishops, and by three legates from pope Adrian I I.
The council was opened (October 5) in the Church of St. Sophia. The pope's legates, who had been received by the emperor with the most marked attention and honor, had the first seats assigned to them; the legates of the patriarchs of Antioch and Jerusalem were also present. The first bishops who entered the council chamber were the twelve who had suffered persecution from Photius in the cause of Ignatius; then the pope's letters to the emperor and to the patriarch were read, also the form of reconciliation which the Roman legates had brought with them.
In the second session (October 7) the bishops, priests, deacons, and sub- deacons who had yielded to Photius appeared and testified their repentance, urging, at the same time, in excuse, the evils that they had been made to suffer. In the third and fourth sessions (October 11 and 13) Theophilus and Zachary were questioned. The legates from Antioch declared that Photius had never been acknowledged by the Church of Antioch. Also, a letter from the pope to the emperor Michael was read.
Fifth session (October 20). Photius himself was brought before the council and questioned. Being required to submit to the council and to Ignatius, in order to be received into lay communion, he refused to give a definite answer, and was withdrawn.
In the sixth session (October 25) the emperor Basil was present, and occupied the chief place. Several bishops who had taken part with Photius were introduced, and exhorted to renounce their schism; they, however, continued firm in their fidelity to him, and Zachary, bishop of Chalcedon, in a long oration, defended Photius from the charges brought against him. The emperor himself, at some length, endeavored to persuade them to renounce Photius and to submit to Ignatius, but they resolutely refused. Ten days were granted them in which to consider the matter.
In the seventh session (October 29), Photius again appeared, and with him Gregory of Syracuse; an admonition to himself and his partisans was read, exhorting them, under pain of anathema, to submit to the council. Photius merely answered that he had nothing to say in reply to calulmnuies, whereupon the legates directed the sentence of excommunication against Photius and Gregory to be read.
In the eighth session (November 5) the acts of the council against Ignatius, and several of the books written by Photius, were burned; anathema was pronounced against the Iconoclasts, and finally, the sentence of anathema against Photius was repeated.
In the ninth session (February 12, 870), false witnesses whom the emperor Michael, at the instigation of Photins, had brought forward to give evidence against Ignatius, were put to penance. In this session the emperor was not present, but the legate of the patriarch of Alexandria attended.
In the tenth and last session (February 28) the emperor Basil attended, with his son Constantine, twenty patricians, the three ambassadors of Louis, emperor of Italy and France, and those of Michael, king of Bulgaria; also a hundred bishops were present. They acknowledged seven preceding (ecumenical councils, and declared this to be the eighth. The condemnation pronounced by the popes Nicholas and Adrian against Photius was confirmed.
Twenty-seven canons which had been drawn up in the previous sessions were read; they were chiefly directed against Photius:
3. Enjoins the worship of the sacred image of our Lord equally with the books of the holy Gospels (cequo honore cuan libro S.E.); also orders the worship of the cross and of images of saints.
7. Forbids persons laboring under anathema to paint the holy images.
11. Anathematizes all who believed with Photius that the body contains two souls.
12. Forbids princes to meddle in the election of bishops. 13. Orders that the higher ranks in each Church shall be filled by the ecclesiastics of that Church, and not by strangers.
16. Reprobates the sacrilegious use made of the holy vestments and garments by the emperor Michael, who employed them in profane shows and games.
21. Enjoins reverence to all the patriarchs, especially to the pope, and declares that even in an ecumenical synod, any matter of complaint or doubt involving the Roman Church should be treated with suitable reverence, without presuming to pass any sentence against the supreme pontiffs of old Rome.
Further, a definition of faith was published in the name of the council, with anathema against all heretics, especially naming Monothelites and Iconoclasts.
The acts of this council were subscribed, in the first place, by the three legates of the pope (the emperor, through humility, refusing to sign first), then by the patriarch Ignatius, and after him by Joseph, legate of Alexandria, Thomas, archbishop of Tyre, who represented the vacant see of Antioch, and the legate of Jerusalem, then by the emperor and his two sons, Constantine and Leo, and, lastly, by one hundred and one bishops.
This council has not the slightest claim to be considered oecumenical; it was, indeed, annulled in the following council, and has always been rejected by the Eastern Church. See Labbe, Concil. 8:962.
LI. Sometimes styled the ninth general, was held A.D. 879, by the emperor Basil, upon the restoration of Photius to the patriarchate of Constantinople, vacated by the death of Ignatius. The legates of pope John VIII and of all the Eastern patriarchs attended, with not less than three hundred and eighty bishops.
In the first session Photius presided; the legate of John, cardinal Peter, declared the pope's willingness to recognise Photius as his brother, and produced the presents which he had brought for the latter from Rome.
Much was said by Zacharias, bishop of Chalcelon, and others, in praise of Photius, which was greatly applauded by the assembly.
In the second session (November 16) the letter of the pope to the emperor, translated into Greek, was read, those parts which were unfavorable to Photius having been altered. The council received the pope's letter relating to union with the latter, but rejected that which claimed Bulgaria as belonging to the Roman obedience. The letter of the pope to Photius was then read, that part, however, being suppressed which declared that Photius ought to have consulted him before returning to the see of Constantinople, and to have asked pardon in full council. The bishops declared that no force or violence had been used by Photius, in order to procure his reestablishment in the see, and that all had been done quietly and in order: afterwards, he himself spoke, declaring that he had been elevated to the patriarchate against his own will, to which the whole council assented. This done, the letters of the eastern patriarchs to the emperor and to Photius were read, being all highly favorable to the latter, acknowledging him to be the lawful patriarch of Constantinople, and inveighing against the synod of 869.
In the third session (November 18) the letter of John VIII to the Church of Constantinople was first read, then the acts of all previous councils condemning Photius were annulled, the council declaring, "We reject and anathematize that pretended council (the preceding) in uniting ourselves to the patriarch Photius." In the fourth session (Christmas Eve) the letter of the patriarch of Antioch to Photius was read; it was approved by the council, which declared that the eastern sees had all along recognized Photius. Afterwards, the articles of union were discussed; they were five:
1. Respecting Bulgaria, concerning which nothing was determined;
2. Relating to the consecration of laymen to the see of Constantinople:
3. Forbidding the election of any person to the patriarchate of Constantinople from another Church;
4. Condemning all the councils held against Photius;
5. Excommunicating all who refused to communicate with Photius. The last four were unanimously approved.
In the fifth session (January 26, 880) the second council of Nic-ea was approved, and received as ecumenical. After the publication of certain canons, the bishops present proceeded to subscribe the acts of the council, the Roman legates being the first, who declared that they acknowleged Photius to be the legitimate patriarch, that they rejected the council of Constantinople in 869, against him, and that if any schismatics should still separate themselves from Photius, their lawful pastor, they ought to be excluded from communion, until they should return to obedience.
The sixth session was held (March 10) in the palace, the emperor Basil being present. Here it was agreed to follow the decisions of the seven ecumenical councils in drawing up a profession of faith; thereby, in fact, condemning the addition of the "Filioque." In the seventh and last session, held on Sunday, March 13, in the church, the definition of faith, agreed to in the former session, was read and subscribed, after which the council was dissolved. The acts of this council were subscribed by the emperor. It was rejected by the Western Church. John VIII very shortly after sent Marinus, his legate, to Constantinople,, to revoke his consent to its proceedings, and to declare his concurrence in the sentence of excommunication previously passed against Photius. It does not seem to have been universally received in the East. See Labbe, Concil. 9:324-329.
LI. Held A.D. 1054, by the patriarch Michael Cserularius. In this council the great schism between the Greek and Roman churches was (as it were) consummated. Cserularius had previously written a letter in his own name and that of Leo. archbishop of Acrida, to John, bishop of Trani, in Apulia, in which he publicly accused the Latin Church of error. Among other things laid to their charge was the use of unleavened bread in the holy communion; single immersion in holy baptism; the use of signs by bishops, etc. To this letter Leo IX returned an angry answer, and held a council at Rome, in which the Greek churches were excommunicated. The emperor, however, was anxious to appease matters, and, by his order, Leo sent three legates to Constantinople, Humbert, Peter, archbishop of Amalfi, and Frederick, chancellor of the Church of Rome (afterwards Stephen IX), who by their own conduct fully seconded the arrogance of the pope, and, in 1054, in the church of St. Sophia, solemnly excommunicated Michael Caerulariuls and Leo of Acrida, with all their adherents ; and, leaving a written document to this effect upon the altar, departed, shaking off the dust from their feet. Upon this, Michael called together this council, in which he excommunicated the three legates, with all those who adhered to their views. The jealousy with which the bishops of Rome regarded the claim of the patriarchs of Constantinople to the supremacy over the churches of their own obedience was the true cause of this rupture.
LIII. A council was held by Nicholas III, the patriarch, about the year 1084, in which the decree made in the Council of Constantinople, A.D. 842, in favor of the use of images, was confirmed. Simeon, patriarch of Jerusalem, twenty-three archbishops and bishops, together with many heads of monasteries, were present. The case of Leo, archbishop of Chalcedon, was discussed, and his opinion unanimously condemned, which was to the effect that an absolute worship, and nor merely relative, was due to the holy images. Leo himself submitted to the decision of the council, retracted, and was admitted to communion.
LIV. Held A.D. 1118, under John IX, in which the sect of the Bogomili was condemned, and its leader Basilius anathematized and sentenced to be burned. This sect took its rise in Bulgaria. Like the Massalians, in earlier times, they attributed an excessive importance to prayer, and walked about perpetually muttering prayer to themselves; the Lord's prayer they repeated seven times every day, and five times in the night, many of them very much more frequently. From this habit of much praying they derived the name of Bogomili, which, in the Sclavonic language, means, "God have mercy upon us." In their heretical notions they resembled the Manichaeans and Paulicians, which last sect arose about the same time. They affected an appearance of extreme sanctity, and wore the monkish dress. Their leader Basilius, a physician, had twelve principal followers whom he designated his apostles, and also some women, who went about spreading the poison of his doctrine everywhere. Basilius, when before the council, refused to deny his doctrine, and declared that he was willing to endure any torment, and death itself. One peculiar notion of this sect was, that no torment could affect them, and that the angels would deliver them even from the fire. Basilius himself was burned in this year. Several of his followers, when seized, retracted; others, among whom were some of those whom he called his apostles, were kept in prison and died there. Several councils were held upon this subject.
LV. Held A.D. 1143, August 20, by the patriarch Michael Oxytes, in which the consecration of two bishops, Clemens and Leontis, performed by the metropolitan alone, was declared to be null and void. They were further condemned as favorers of the sect of the Bogomili. See Leo Allat. Constit. 1, t. 11, cap. 12, page 671.
LVI. Held about A.D. 1143. Nyphon, a monk (who had been sentenced in a previous council to be imprisoned until further evidence could be procured against him), was condemned for blasphemy; among other things, for saying, "anathema to the God of the Hebrews." He was put into prison, and remained there during the patriarchate of Michael. See Leo Allat. Constit. page 681; Mansi, Concil. 18; Baronius, Annal. A.D. 1143.
LVII. Held A.D. 1156, under the patriarch Lucas Chrysoberges; in which the errors of Soterichus Pantengenus, the patriarch-elect of Antioch, and of some others, were condemned. They asserted that the sacrifice upon the cross was offered to the Father and to the Holy Spirit alone, and not to the Word, the Son of God. The origin of this error seems to have been the fear of admitting the Nestorian doctrine of two persons in Jesus Christ. In a subsequent sitting Soterichus confessed his error, but was judged unworthy of the priesthood.
LVIII. Held A.D. 1261, by the emperor Michael Paleologus, to deliberate upon the recall of Arsenius I, the patriarch, who had withdrawn from Constantinople. The circumstances of the case were as follows: Arsenius (Antorianus) was a monk of Mount Athos, who had been raised to the office of patriarch of Constantinople by the emperor, Theidortas-Lascaris II, 1:1257. Upon the death of the latter, Michael Paleologus was, in the absence of Arsenius, appointed regent, and shortly after having been associated in the imperial dignity with the young emperor John, Arsenius was obliged, against his own wishes, to crown him; this, however, he did only upon condition that John should hold the first rank. Subsequently, seeing that this condition was not fulfilled, and that Michael was going on in an ill course, he withdrew from his see; to which Michael immediately appointed Nicephorus of Ephesus, in 1260, who died within a few months, when Michael convoked this council to consider about the expediency of recalling Arsenius. After some debate, in the course of which some of the bishops present maintained that Arsenius had not lawfully and canonically vacated the see, and others that he had sufficiently signified his abdication by his words and actions, it was resolved to send a deputation from the council to Arsenius to entreat him to return, which he subsequently did, the emperor promising to forget all that had passed.
LIX. Held A.D. 1266, by the same Michael Paleologus, in which the patriarch Arsenius was deposed and banished. Arsenius, after his recall in 1261, had given offence to the emperor by refusing to acknowledge the consecration of Nicephorus to the patriarchate during his absence; and subsequently learning that Michael had cruelly put out the eyes of the young emperor John, he had boldly excommunicated him; and, upon his continuing obstinate, he had, in a council held three years afterwards, entirely cut him off from the Church. Upon this Michael grievously persecuted him; and upon a false charge of having administered the holy communion to a Turkish prince, lie was in this synod excommunicated, deposed, and banished, and Joseph set up in his place. This caused a schism among the Greeks of Constantinople, most of them refusing to acknowledge Joseph. Arsenius died in banishment in 1273.
LX. Held about A.D. 1277, in which John Veccus, or Boccus, who succeeded Joseph I in the patriarchate, made profession of the faith as held by the Church of Rome, arid excommunicated those of the Greeks who refused to return into union with that Church. A long synodal letter was written to the pope, humbly deploring the division of the two churches, acknowledging the primacy of Rome, and confessing the Latin faith. This, however, was not done without great opposition; and a new schism arose. See Labbe, Concil. 11:1032-1037.
LXI. Held A.D. 1280, May 3, by the same patriarch, John Veccus, at which eight metropolitans and eight archbishops were present. A passage was read from the writings of Gregory of Nyssa (beginning with these words, "Cum addluceret magnus Moyses"), in which the following words occur: "Spiritus vero Sanctus et a Patre dicitur et ex Filio esse affirmatur." The word "ex," it appeared, had been wilfully erased, and thus the sense lf the passage was altered, which otherwise would have assisted towards the re-establishment of union between the churches, since it tended to prove that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Son as well as from the Father. 'The zeal of Veccus for a reunion with Rome, and in favor of the Latin faith, brought upon him the ill-will of the Greeks. See Labbe, Concil. 11:1125.
LXII. Held A.D. 1283, in which the patriarch Veccus was condemned; and at a council held the following year, in the palace of Blacquernae, the celebrated treaty of union agreed upon at the Council of Lyons in 1274, and publicly ratified by Veccus, was annulled, and Veccus himself exiled.
LXIII. Held A.D. 1341, under John XIV, patriarch, who presided, the emperor, Andronicus III, being present. To this council Gregory Palamas, the chief of the Quietists or Hesycastse, of Mount Athos, was cited to answer the accusation of Barlaam, a Calabrian monk (afterwards bishop of Giersece, in Calabria). These Quietists believed that by intense and constant contemplation it was possible to arrive at a tranquillity of mind entirely free from perturbation; and, accordingly, they used to sit in one fixed posture, gazing at the pit of their stomach (hence the title Umbilicani, given them by Barlaam), and pretended that, when so occupied, they could see a divine light beaming forth from the soul, and that this light was the glory of God and the same that illuminated Christ during the transfiguration. The event of the council, however, was that Gregory triumphed, and Barlaam was condemned, and made to ask pardon for his hasty accusation. He subsequently returned to Italy. See Labbe, Concil. 11:1872. Five other councils were held upon this same subject within the nine following years.
LXIV. A council was held about A.D. 1345, at which the two legates from Rome-Francis, archbishop of Bosphorus, and Richard, bishop of Chersonesus, an Englishman were present. Their object was to enter into a negotiation for a union of the two churches. As neither the patriarch, John XIV, nor his bishops were capable of managing the business, Nicephorus Gregorius, a learned layman, was called in, by whose advice they avoided all discussion with the legates, and the matter fell to the ground.
LXV. Held about A.D. 1450, upon the subject of the union of the Greek and Latin churches, agreed upon at Florence in 1439. Gregory III, patriarch of Constantinople, was deposed, on account of the consent which he had given, as he allowed, willingly, to that union, and Athanasius elected to his place. This was done in the first session. In the second the unfair means used by the Latins at Florence, in order to effect the union, were dilated on. In the third the question of the procession of the Holy Spirit was argued. and the Latin doctrine on that subject endeavored to be refuted. In the fourth they discussed the following subjects:
1. The authority claimed by the pope over the Oriental and all other churches.
2. The fire of purgatory.
3. The fruition of the saints.
4. The words of consecration.
In all of these they differed from the view taken by the Roman Church.They then added twenty-five articles of complaint against the Latin Church:
1. That they did not paint the images like the archetype.
2. That they adapted secular tunes to ecclesiastical psalmody.
3. That they permitted men and women to sit together in their churches.
4. That they forbade marriage to the clergy.
5. That they did not pray towards the East.
6. That they used unleavened bread in the holy sacrifice.
7. That they asserted whatever is in God to be substance.
8. That the pope had that cross depicted upon his feet which Christ carried on his shoulder.
9. That they allowed the bed-ridden (cubantem) to participate in the holy mysteries, and that not with sufficient reverence.
10. That they accepted money from harlots.
11. That they fasted on Saturdays.
12. That they, contrary to the decree of the seventh synod made paintings to represent the Father.
13. That in crossing themselves they began on the left.
14. That the pope usurped a secular authority.
15. That the pope, for money, absolved Christians from the obligation to fast.
16. That, contrary to holy Scripture, they permitted parents to make their eldest sons sole heirs.
17. That they gave to the image of Christ and to the cross the worship of Latria, which is due only to the Word.
18. That they adored images.
19. That they permitted priests, iu a state of fornication, to celebrate mass.
20. That they did not at once anoint the heads of the baptized.
21. That they did not pray standing on Saturdays and Sundays.
22. That they ate of things suffocated.
23. That they punished with temporal fires those who erred in the faith.
24. That they did not enjoin those who had done any injury to any one to seek forgiveness of him. The synod, which was numerously attended, ended with the fifth session. See Labbe, Concil. 13:1365.
LXVI. Held A.D. 1593. A great synod., in which Jeremiah II, patriarch of Constantinople, and Meletius of Alexandria presided. All things relating to the foundation of the new patriarchate of Moscow were confirmed in this council. Up to the end of the 16th century Kieff, which was then the metropolis of Russia, was under the jurisdiction of the patriarch of Constantinople; but about that time Jeremiah II, being at Moscow, the monks of that city earnestly besought him that the people and empire of Moscow might be subjected to an archbishop, αὐτοκέφαλος, "qui sui jaris esset;" subject, that is, to no superior. This petition the patriarch at once, of his own accord, granted, and confirmed his promise by an oath, at the same time giving a deed drawn up in the Sclavonic tongue, by which the new patriarchate of Moscow was erected; which deed was subscribed by all the priests and monks who were present with him. Having executed this deed, Jeremiah convoked a synod on January 26, 1589, in the imperial city of Moscow, composed of all the bishops and abbots of the empire; in which, the liturgy having been first said in the presence of the emperor, his wife, and the whole senate, Job, archbishop of Rostof, was elected, and declared the first primate and patriarch of the empire of Moscow. Upon the return of Jeremiah to Constantinople, a numerous council of bishops was assembled in the month of February 1593, by which the erection of the new patriarchate of Moscow was confirmed; and it was declared to be just and right that the state of Moscow, strictly orthodox, etc., should receive ecclesiastical honors in accordance with the spirit of the twenty-eighth canon of Chalcedon, and for other sufficient reasons there stated. Then it was settled and decreed that the Church of Moscow should be thenceforward a patriarchate; that all Russia, with its tributaries northwards, should be subject to it in all matters ecclesiastical; and that the patriarch of Moscow should rank next after the patriarch of Jerusalem, and take precedence of all metropolitans, archbishops, and bishops throughout the whole Catholic and Orthodox Church of Christ. It was further decreed that the election of the patriarch of Moscow should be confirmed by the patriarch of Constantinople, to whom a fixed tribute should be paid. Job, archbishop of Rostof, was then consecrated primate of the empire of Moscow, and patriarch.
LXVII. Held A.D. 1638, September 24, by Cyril of Bercea, patriarch of Constantinople, for the purpose of anathematizing the memory of Cyril Lucar, his predecessor, who died about three months previously, and who was accused of holding many of the peculiar tenets of Calvin. It was decreed that Cyril Lucar should be publicly denounced, and delivered over to an anathema, as well as all those who received his vain dogmas. Thirteen anathemas were then published against him, of which the following is a summary:
1. To Cyril, surnamed Lucar, who has falsely asserted that the whole Eastern Church is of the same belief as Calvin, anathema.
2. To Cyril, who teaches and believes that the holy Church of Christ can lie, anathema.
3. To Cyril, who teaches and believes that God has chosen some to glory before the foundation of the world, and predestinated them without works, and has reprobated others without cause, and that the works of none are sufficient to demand a reward before the tribunal of Christ, anathema.
4. To Cyril, who teaches and believes that the saints are not our mediators and intercessors with God, anathema.
5. To Cyril, who teaches and believes that man is not endued with free will, but that every man has the power of sinning, but not of doing good, anathema.
6. To Cyril, who teaches and believes that there are not seven sacraments, but that only two, i.e., baptism and the eucharist, were handed down to us by Christ in his gospel, anathema.
7. To Cyril, who teaches and believes that the bread offered at the altar, and also the wine, is not changed by the blessing of the priest, and the descent of the Holy Ghost, into the real body and blood of Christ, anathema.
8. To Cyril, who teaches and believes that they who have fallen asleep in piety and good works are not assisted by the alms of their relations and the prayers of the Church, anathema.
9. To Cyril, a new Iconoclast, and the worst of all, anathema.
The 10th and 11th are merely an amplification of the 9th, and the 12th and 13th a recapitulation and enforcement of the whole.
The acts of the council are signed by three patriarchs, viz. Cyril of Constantinople, Metrophanes of Alexandria, and Theophanes of Jerusalem; also by twenty-four archbishops and bishops, and by twenty-one dignitaries of the great Church of Constantinople. See Neale, Hist. of the Oriental Church.
LXVIII. Held A.D. 1641, by Parthenius; eight prelates and four dignitaries of the Church attended. The teaching of Cyril Lucar was again condemned, and the use of the word μετουσίωσις authorized to express the change in the elements after consecration; but this was not done without opposition, as it was a term unknown to the fathers, and the offspring of Latin scholasticism. See Neale, Hist. of the Oriental Church.
LXIX. (COUNCIL OF JASSY), A.D. 1642. Held at Jassy, in Moldavia, but commonly named the synod of Constantinople. Parthenius, the aecumenical patriarch, presided; and the acts of the council (which are incorporated with and authenticated by those of the Council of Bethlehem, A.D. 1672) are signed by twenty-three archbishops and bishops, among whom was Peter Mogilas, archbishop of Kieff, the author of the Confessio Orthodoxae Ecclesiae Cactholiae et Orientalis, which, as revised by Meletius Syriga, was formally approved. Most of the signatures, however, appear to have been added subsequently, the number of prelates actually present being small.
The decrees of this synod are contained in seventeen chapters, and the condemnation of Cyril Lucar is more fully expressed than it had been in the synod of 1638. All the chapters of Cyril, except the seventh on the incarnation, are condemned. See. Neale, Hist. of the Oriental Church; Labbe, Concil. 15:1713.
LXX. Held A.D. 1718, April 12; the patriarch, Jeremiah of Constantinople, Samuel of Alexandria, and Chrysanthus of Jerusalem being present, with the clergy of the Church of Constantinople. Ion this council the twelve proposals of the Scotch and English nonjuring bishops upon the subject of a union between the Greek Church and the nonjuring British churches was considered. The circumstances which led to this scheme were as follows: In 1716 Arsenius, metropolitan of the Thebaid, in Egypt, was inn London, and the Scotch bishop, Campbell, forming an acquaintance with him. was led to mention the subject of a union to him. Arsenius entered warmly into the matter, and undertook to forward to the Orientals any proposals upon the subject which the British bishops might agree upon. In consequence twelve proposals were drawn up, which were translated into Greek by bishop Spinkes, and to them was added a declaration expressing wherein they agreed and disagreed with the Oriental Church. The five points of disagreement were as follows:
1. That they denied to the canons of ecumenical councils the same authority with holy Scripture.
2. That they could not pay any kind of worship to the Blessed Virgin.
3. That they could not pray to saints or angels.
4. That they could give no religions veneration to images.
5. That they could not worship the host in the eucharistic sacrifice.
In 1721 "The answer of the orthodox in the East to the proposals sent from Britain for a union and agreement with the Oriental Church" was transmitted through Arsenius, who was then at Moscow. This answer was the synodical judgment agreed upon in this council; it was contained in a long paper, in Greek, accepting the twelve proposals and the articles of agreement, under certain explanations, but warmly defending the Greek Church on the subject of the five articles of disagreement, and insisting upon an entire conformity in each of these particulars. At the same time they forwarded the two declarations of their Church drawn up in the synod of Constantinople (or Bethlehem), under Doritheus, in 1672, and in that under Callinicus, in 1791. See Skinner, Eccles. Hist. of Scotland, 2:634.
LXXI. Held A.D. 1723, in September, upon the same subject as the preceding — Jeremiah of Constantinople, Athanasius of Antioch, Chrysanthus of Jerusalem, Callinicus of Heraclea, Auxentius of Cyzicum, Paisius of Nicomedia, Gerasimus of Nicaea, Parthenius of Chalcedon, Ignatius of Thessalonica, Arsenius of Prusa, Theoctistus of Polypolis, and Callinicus of Varna being present. Upon the receipt of the synodical judgment of the last council, the English bishops, in a synod held at London, in May 1722, drew up a reply defending their former position by appropriate passages from Holy Scripture and from the fathers, and concluding with the following proposal:
"If our liberty, therefore, is left us in the instances above mentioned; if the Oriental patriarchs and bishops will authentically declare us not obliged to the invocation of saints and angels, the worship of images and the adoration of the host; if they please publicly and authoritatively, by an instrument under their hands, to pronounce us perfectly disengaged in these particulars, both at home and abroad in their churches and in our own: these relaxing concessions allowed, we hope, may answer the overtures on both sides, and conciliate a union." In the present council this second communication of the British bishops was considered, and a final answer drawn up and forwarded, telling the Anglican prelates that they had nothing to say different from their former reply; and, far from acceding to any compromise, they boldly declare that "These doctrines have been long since examined, and rightly and religiously defined and settled by the holy and (ecumenical synods, so that it is neither lawful to add anything to them, nor to take anything from them; therefore, they who are disposed to agree with us in the divine doctrines of the orthodox faith must necessarily follow and submit to what has been defined and determined by the ancient fathers and by the holy and aecumenical synods, from the time of the apostles and their holy successors, the fathers of our Church, to this time; we say they must submit to them with sincerity and obedience, and without any scruple or dispute, and this is a sufficient answer to what you have Written." To this epistle they added the confession of faith agreed upon in the synod of Bethlehem, in 1672. See Skinner, Eccles. Hist. of Scotland, 2:637. In addition to the foregoing, Richard et Giraud (Bibliotheque Sacrae, 8:158 sq.) give several less important councils held at Constantinople, as follows:
I. In 351, against Athanasius. II. In 438, in favor of the Catholic faith.
III. In 439, on the pretended primacy of the Church at Antioch.
IV. In 451, on the conversion of the Eutychians.
V. In 497, in which Macedonius condemned the defenders of the Council of Chalcedon.
VI. In 520, by Epiphanius, patriarch of Constantinople, concerning his ordination. The council wrote a letter to pope Hormisdas on the subject.
VII. In 560, a synod of Eutychians, followers of Julian of Halicarnassus.
VIII. In 806, by order of Nicephorus, successor to ConstantineVII, in which Joseph (Economos of Constantinople was restored, whom the patriarch Tarasius had degraded for having, crowned Theodora, concubine of Constantine.
IX. In 808, in which Constantine's marriage with Theodora was ratified, and several eminent persons were exiled.
X. In 814, by Nicephorus, patriarch of Constantinople, with sixty-six bishops. Antonins, an iconoclastic bishop of Pamphylia, was excommunicated. Mansi places three councils in this year (Concil. 1:80).
XI. In 821, in which the Catholic bishops refused to unite in council with heretics, as the emperor Michael II had proposed.
XII. In 832, against image worship.
XIII. In 854, in which Gregory, bishop of Syracuse, was deposed by Ignatius of Constantinople. Mansi assigns this to the year 847 or 848 (Concil. 1:930).
XIV. In 856, during the absence of the patriarch Ignatius, in which the adherents of Gregory of Syracuse were condemned (Mansi, 1:947).
XV. In 901, in which Nicholas the Mystic, patriarch of Constantinople, condemned the marriage of the emperor Leo with his fourth wife (Labbe, 9).
XVI. In 944, to depose Trypho, whom Constantine VIII had intruded into the patriarchate of Constantinople until his own son, Theophylact, should be of sufficient age for the office (Labbe, 9; Hardouin, 6).
XVII. In 963, to absolve the emperor Nicephoras Phocas from the ban which the patriarch Polyeuctes had imposed upon him for having two wives; the emperor taking oath of his innocence.
XVIII. In 969 a celebrated dispute was held at Constantinople between the, Catholics and the Jacobites, by order of the emperor Nicephorus (Renaudot, Liturgies Orientales, 2:489; Assemani, Bibliotheque Orienltale, 2:133; Mansi, Concil. supplement, 1:1159).
XIX. In 975, when the patriarch Basil, convicted of crime, was deposed, and Antonius Studites put into his place (Baronius, Annales, s. an.).
XX. In 1026, when the patriarch Alexis excommunicated the seditious (Mansi, Concil. append. 1:74).
XXI. In 1027, when the same patriarch condemned the sale or transfer of monasteries.
XXII. In 1028, when the same patriarch made certain rules concerning bishops.
XXIII. In 1052, when the patriarch Michael Caerularius defended the marriage of relatives in the seventh degree.
XXIV. In 1066, when the patriarch John Xiphilin declared that there was no difference between marriage and regular betrothal as to the impediments between the parents.
XXV. In 1067, on the same subject.
XXVI. In 1081, when the marriage of two cousins, one of them to a mother, and the other to a daughter, was annulled.
XXVII. In the same year, when the emperor Alexis Comnenus was forbidden to dismember episcopates.
XXVIII. In 1166, when Demetrius Lampenns and others were exiled for having falsely accused the Germans of heresy respecting the divine nature.
Marriage was also allowed to the seventh degree of relationship inclusively (Manlsi, 2).
XXIX. In 1168, when the Greek Church was entirely separated from the Roman.
XXX. In 1285, on a passage in book 1, cap. 5, of John of Damascus's biook on the orthodox faith (Hardouin, 7).
XXXI. In 1297, concerning the anathema hurled by the patriarch Athalnasius against the emperor (Mansi, 3).
XXXII. In 1299, in which the marriage of prince Alexis was judged valid, although contracted against the consent of his uncle the emperor.
XXXIII. In 1443, when the patriarch Metrophanes, who had been very zealous for the union of the Greek and Anglican churches, was deposed (Elatius, De Concensione, 3). XXXIV. In 1565, when the patriarch Joshaphat was deposed for simony. Constantinus is the name of several early saints and prelates besides those given below and under CONSTANTINE:
1. Bishop in the Romagna in the 4th century, addressed by Ambrose, A.D. 379 (Epistles in Migne, Patrol. Lat. 16, page 878, 1245; Ceillier, 5:480).
2. Bishop of Laodicea, originally a magister nilitum, consecrated in 510 bishop of Laodicea. He was a leading Monophysite, and as such was deposed by Justin I in the year 518. He is commemorated by the Jacobites on June 26 (Assemani, Bibl. Orient. 2:327; Le Quien, Oriens Christianus).
3. Abbot of Monte Cassino after the death of St. Benedict. He ruled the monastery from A.D. 543 to cir. 560. He was one of the four whom St. Gregory consulted as witnesses to the life and works of their founder (Ceillier, 11:634).
4. Saint, is said in the breviary of Aberdeen to have been the son of Paternus, king of Cornwall. He went as a missionary to Scotland, where he was martyred in Cantire, about the end of the 6th century (Forbes, Kal. of Scot. Saints, page 311-314; Butler, Lives of the Saints, 3:148, 149; Lanigan, Eccl. Hist. of Ireland, 1:486; 2:165).
5. Surnamed, or perhaps christened, Silvanus, the founder of the Paulicians, was born in Armenia in the latter half of the 7th century. By order of the emperor Constantinus Pogonatus, he was stoned to death. SEE PAULICIANS.
6. Bishop of Nacolia, in Phrygia, about A.D. 727, the principal supporter, among other bishops, of the emperor Leo III, the Isaurian, in his polemic against images.
7. Constantinus and Peregrinus, Saints, were two bishops whose relics were found in the church at Gemirge, in Normandy, but it is not known when or where they lived. They are commemorated in that church June 15.