Jerusalem, Councils of
Jerusalem, Councils Of (Concilia Hierosolymitana). Much depends, in determining the number of councils held, on the significance of the name. SEE COUNCIL. We have room here only for the principal councils held at Jerusalem. They are,
I. The first ecclesiastical council mentioned in Acts 15, which is believed to have been held during the year 47, under James the Less, bishop of Jerusalem, in consequence of the dispute in the Church of Antioch on the propriety of dispensing with circumcision (probably provoked by Judaizers). By the decisions of this council, the faithful were commanded to abstain
(1) from meats which had been offered to idols (so as not" even to appear to countenance the worship of the heathen),
(2) from blood and strangled things (probably to avoid giving offense to the prejudices of the Jewish converts), and
(3) from fornication (the prevailing vice of the Gentiles). SEE COUNCIL, APOSTOLICAL, AT JERUSALEM.
II. In 335, when many bishops had met in the sacred city to consecrate the church of the Holy Sepulchre, Constantine directed that an effort should be made to heal the divisions of the Church. It was by this council that Arius was restored to fellowship, and allowed to return to Alexandria. Eusebius (Vit. Const. 4, 47) pronounces it the largest he knew next to the Council of Nice, with which he even compares it.
III. One in 349, by Maximus, bishop of Jerusalem, and some sixty bishops upon the return of Athanasius (q.v.) to Alexandria, after the death of Gregory. They rescinded the decree which had been published against him, and drew up a synodal letter to the Church in Alexandria.
IV. Held in 399, in consequence of a synodal letter from Theophilus of Alexandria on the decrees passed in council against the Origenists. They concurred in the judgment, and stated their resolution not to hold communion with any who denied the equality of the Son and the Father. SEE ORIGEN; SEE TRINITY.
V. In 453, on Juvenal's restoration, by the emperor Marcian, to the bishopric of Jerusalem (from which he had been deposed on account of his concurrence in the oppression of Flavianus in the Latrocinium at Ephesus), and the expulsion of Theodosius, a Eutychian heretic, who had become bishop by prejudicing the empress Eudoxia and the monks against Juvenal (q.v.).
VI. Held in 518, under the patriarch John III, and composed of thirty- three bishops. They addressed a synodal letter to John of Constantinople indorsing the decisions of the council of that city, and condemned the Severians and Eutychians.
VII. About 536, under patriarch Peter, attended by forty-five bishops. They indorsed the acts of the Council of Constantinople (536) concerning the deposition of the Monothelite patriarch Anthymus and the election of Menai in his stead. The Acephalists were also condemned by them.
VIII. Held in 553, where the acts of the fifth ecumenical council of Constantinople were received by all the bishops of Palestine with the exception of Alexander of Abilene, who was therefore deposed.
IX. In 634. In this council the patriarch Sophronius addressed a synodal letter to the different patriarchs, informing them of his election, and urging them to oppose the Monothelites.
X. In 1443, under Arsenius of Caesarea, ordering that no ordination of a clerk should be considered valid if performed by a bishop in communion with Rome, unless the clerk proved to the orthodox bishops his adhesion to the faith of the Greek Church.
XI. By far the most important council held there was that of 1672. It was convened by Dositheus, at that time patriarch of Jerusalem. There were present fifty-three prelates of his diocese, including the ex-patriarch Nectarius; six metropolitans, archimandrates, presbyters, deacons, and monks. The council called itself ἀσπις ὀρθοδοξίας ἣ ἀπολογία. Its main object was to eradicate Calvinism, which threatened to find many adherents amongst this branch of the Eastern Church, into which it had been introduced by Cyrillus Lucaris. The declarations of belief put forth by this council gave rise to considerable trouble in the Eastern Church. Many charged it with Romanistic tendencies, especially because it avoided all utterance on points of difference between the two churches; and it was claimed, also, that their confession directly opposed the confession of Cyril. (Consult Harduin, 11, 179; Kimmel, Libri Symbolici eccles. Orient.) See Mansi, Suppl. 1, coll. 271; Baronius, 4, Conc. p. 1588; 5, Conc. p. 275, 739; Mansi, note to Raynaldus, 9, 420; Landon, Man. Councils, p. 271 sq.; Herzog, Real-Encyklopadie, 6, 501 sq.