Nymphoeum, Council of

Nymphoeum, Council Of

(Concilium Nymphcense), an ecclesiastical council of some importance, was held in April, 1234,; under the emperor John, who was then at Nympheum. In 1233 Gregory IX had sent four legates to Germanus, the patriarch of Constantinople, in order, if possible, to effect a union between the churches. 'he legates, who did not arrive before the beginning of the year 1234, were received with much honor, deputies from the emperor and the patriarch meeting them on the road. They first held a disputation with the Greeks at Nicaea, after which they proceeded to Constantinople to abide the issue of a conference between the four Oriental patriarchs. They were then invited to a conference at Nymphaeum, where a discussion was again opened upon the two subjects of the procession of the Holy Spirit and the use of unleavened bread in the holy eucharist. The legates insisted that the words "filio que "were used rather in explanation than as an addition, showing both from Holy Scripture and the writings of the fathers that the Holy Spirit proceedeth from the Son as well as from the Father. The Greeks did not accuse the Latins of error in doctrine, and the legates therefore maintained that it was lawful for the Latin Church to confess with the mouth what it was lawful for her to believe. The emperor, in order to effect a union, proposed that each party should give way on one point that the Greeks should approve the Latin use of inconsecrate, and that the Latins should expunge from the creed the words "filio que," which gave offense to the Greeks. This, however, the legates refused to do. "If you ask us," said they to the emperor, "how peace is to be made, we will answer you in a few words: concerning the body of Christ, we declare that you must firmly believe, and moreover preach, that it may be consecrated either in leavened or unleavened bread; and we require that all the books written on your part against this faith shall be condemned and burned. Concerning the Holy Spirit, we declare that you must believe that the Holy Spirit proceedeth from the Son as well as from the Father, and that you must preach this faith to the people. We do not say that the pope will compel you to chant these words in the creed, if you object to do so, but all books written against this doctrine must be burned." When the emperor heard these words, he answered angrily that he had expected to receive from them some propositions more likely to lead to peace, but he would repeat what they had said to the Greek bishops. The latter were moved with great indignation at the proposal, and all further negotiations upon the subject were broken off. See Labbe Conc. 11:460.

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