Constantinople, Councils of
Four general councils of the Church and several particular councils were held in this city
Constantinople, COUNCILS OF.-
A. GENERAL COUNCILS
Four general councils of the Church were held in this city.
I. THE FIRST COUNCIL OF CONSTANTINOPLE (Second General Council)
…was called in May, 381, by Emperor Theodosius, to provide for a Catholic succession in the patriarchal See of Constantinople, to confirm the Nicene Faith, to reconcile the Semi-Arians with the Church, and to put an end to the Macedonian heresy. Originally it was only a council of the Orient; the arguments of Baronius (ad an. 381, nos. 19, 20) to prove that it was called by Pope Damasus are invalid (Hefele-Leclercq, Hist. des Conciles, Paris, 1908, II, 4). It was attended by 150 Catholic and 36 heretical (Semi-Arian, Macedonian) bishops, and was presided over by Meletius of Antioch; after his death, by the successive Patriarchs of Constantinople, St. Gregory Nazianzen and Nectarius. Its first measure was to confirm St. Gregory Nazianzen as Bishop of Constantinople. The Acts of the council have almost entirely disappeared, and its proceedings are known chiefly through the accounts of the ecclesiastical historians Socrates, Sozomen, and Theodoret. There is good reason to believe that it drew up a formal treatise (tomos) on the Catholic doctrine of the Trinity, also against Apollinarianism; this important document has been lost, with the exception of the first canon of the council and its famous creed (Nicaeno-Constantinopolitanum). The latter is traditionally held to be an enlargement of the Nicene Creed, with emphasis on the Divinity of the Holy Spirit. It seems, however, to be of earlier origin, and was probably composed (369-73) by St. Cyril of Jerusalem as an expression of the faith of that Church (Bois), though its adoption by this council gave it special authority, both as a baptismal creed and as a theological formula. Recently Harnack (Realencyklopadie fur prot. Theol. and Kirche, 3rd ed., XI, 12-28) has maintained, on apparently inconclusive grounds, that not till after the Council of Chalcedon (451) was this creed (a Jerusalem formula with Nicene additions) attributed to the Fathers of this council. At Chalcedon, indeed, it was twice recited and appears twice in the Acts of that council; it was also read and accepted at the Sixth General Council, held at Constantinople in 680 (see below). The very ancient Latin version of its text (Mansi, Coll. Conc., III, 567) is by Dionysius Exiguus.
The Greeks recognize seven canons, but the oldest Latin versions have only four; the other three are very probably (Hefele) later additions. The first canon is an important dogmatic condemnation of all shades of Arianism, also of Macedonianism and Apollinarianism. The second canon renews the Nicene legislation imposing upon the bishops the observance of diocesan and patriarchal limits. The fourth canon declares invalid the consecration of Maximus, the Cynic philosopher and rival of St. Gregory of Nazianzus, as Bishop of Constantinople. The famous third canon declares that because Constantinople is New Rome the bishop of that city should have a preeminence of honor after the Bishop of Old Rome. Baronius wrongly maintained the non-authenticity of this canon, while some medieval Greeks maintained (an equally erroneous thesis) that it declared the bishop of the royal city in all things the equal of the pope. The purely human reason of Rome‘s ancient authority, suggested by this canon, was never admitted by the Apostolic See, which always based its claim to supremacy on the succession of St. Peter. Nor did Rome easily acknowledge this unjustifiable reordering of rank among the ancient patriarchates of the East. It was rejected by the papal legates at Chalcedon. St. Leo the Great (Ep. cvi in P. L., LIV, 1003, 1005) declared that this canon had never been submitted to the Apostolic See and that it was a violation of the Nicene order. At the Eighth General Council in 869 the Roman legates (Mansi, XVI, 174) acknowledged Constantinople as second in patriarchal rank. In 1215, at the Fourth Lateran Council (op. cit., XXII, 991), this was formally admitted for the new Latin patriarch, and in 1439, at the Council of Florence, for the Greek patriarch (Hefele-Leclercq, Hist. des Conciles, II, 25-27). The Roman correctores of Gratian (1582), at dist. xxii, c. 3, insert the words: “canon hic ex its est quos apostolica Romana sedes a principio et longo post tempore non recipit.”
At the close of the council Emperor Theodosius issued an imperial decree (30 July) declaring that the churches should be restored to those bishops who confessed the equal Divinity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and who held communion with Nectarius of Constantinople and other important Oriental prelates whom he named. The ecumenical character of this council seems to date, among the Greeks, from the Council of Chalcedon (451). According to Photius (Mansi, III, 596) Pope Damasus approved it, but if any part of the council were approved by this pope it could have been only the aforesaid creed. In the latter half of the fifth century the successors of Leo the Great are silent as to this council. Its mention in the so-called “Decretum Gelasii”, towards the end of the fifth century, is not original but a later insertion in that text (Hefele). Gregory the Great, following the example of Vigilius and Pelagius II, recognized it as one of the four general councils, but only in its dogmatic utterances (P. G., LXXVII, 468, 893). (See SEMI-ARIANISM; MACEDONIANS; GREGORY OF NAZIANZUS, SAINT; LEO I, SAINT, POPE; THEODOSIUS THE GREAT.
HEFELE, Conciliengesch. (Freiburg, 1875), II, 1-33; Eng. tr. (Edinburgh, 1876), vol. II; and LECLERCQ’s Fr. tr. (Paris, 1908), II, 1-48. Non-Catholic: BURN, Introduction to the Creeds and The Te Deum (London, 1899); HORT, Two Dissertations, etc. (London, 1876) : II, The Constantinopolitan Creed and Other Creeds of the Fourth Century (London, 1876) ; BRIGHT, Canons of the First Four General Councils (Oxford, 1892); BETHUNE, The Homoousios in the Constantinopolitan Creed (London, 1905).
II. THE SECOND COUNCIL OF CONSTANTINOPLE (Fifth General Council)
…was held at Constantinople (5 May-2 June, 553), having been called by Emperor
Justinian. It was attended mostly by Oriental bishops ; only six Western (African) bishops were present. The president was Eutychius, Patriarch of Constantinople. This assembly was in reality only the last phase of the long and violent conflict inaugurated by the edict of Justinian in 543 against Origenism (P. G., LXXXVI, 945-90). The emperor was persuaded that Nestorianism continued to draw its strength from the writings of Theodore of Mopsuestia (d. 428), Theodoret of Cyrus (d. 457), and Ibas of Edessa (d. 457), also from the personal esteem in which the first two of these ecclesiastical writers were yet held by many. The events which led to this council will be narrated more fully in the articles VIGILIUS, POPE and in THREE CHAPTERS; only a brief account will be given here.
From 25 Jan., 547, Pope Vigilius was forcibly detained in the royal city; he had originally refused to participate in the condemnation of the Three Chapters (i.e. brief statements of anathema upon Theodore of Mopsuestia and his writings, upon Theodoret of Cyrus and his writings against St. Cyril of Alexandria and the Council of Ephesus, and upon the letter written by Ibas of Edessa to Maris, Bishop of Hardaschir in Persia). Later (by his “Judicatum”, 11 April, 548) Vigilius had condemned the Three Chapters (the doctrine in question being really censurable), but he expressly maintained the authority of the Council of Chalcedon (451) wherein Theodoret and Ibas-but after the condemnation of Nestorius-had been restored to their places; in the West much discontent was called forth by this step which seemed a weakening before the civil power in purely ecclesiastical matters and an injustice to men long dead and judged by God; it was ‘all the more objectionable as the Western mind had no accurate knowledge of the theological situation among the Greeks of that day. In consequence of this Vigilius had persuaded Justinian to return the aforesaid papal document and to proclaim a truce on all sides until a general council could be called to decide these controversies. Both the emperor and the Greek bishops violated this promise of neutrality; the former, in particular, publishing (551) his famous edict, `OµoXoyla rijr alo-rews, condemning anew the Three Chapters, and refusing to withdraw the same.
For his dignified protest Vigilius thereupon suffered various personal indignities at the hands of the civil authority and nearly lost his life; he retired finally to Chalcedon, in the very church of St. Euphemia where the great council had been held, whence he informed the Christian world of the state of affairs. Soon the Oriental bishops sought reconciliation with him, induced him to return to the city, and withdrew all that had hitherto been done against the Three Chapters; the new patriarch, Eutychius, successor to Mennas, whose weakness and subserviency were the immediate cause of all this violence and confusion, presented (6 Jan., 553) his profession of faith to Vigilius and, in union with other Oriental bishops, urged the calling of a general council under the presidency of the pope. Vigilius was willing, but proposed that it should be held either in Italy or in Sicily, in order to secure the attendance of Western bishops. To this Justinian would not agree, but proposed, instead, a kind of commission made up of delegates from each of the great patriarchates; Vigilius suggested that an equal number be chosen from the East and the West; but this was not acceptable to the emperor, who thereupon opened the council by his own authority on the date and in the manner mentioned above. Vigilius refused to participate, not only on account of the overwhelming proportion of Oriental bishops, but also from fear of violence; moreover, none of his predecessors had ever taken part personally in an Oriental council. To this decision he was faithful, though he expressed his willingness to give an independent judgment on the matters at issue. Eight sessions were held, the result of which was the final condemnation of the Three Chapters by the 165 bishops present at the last session (2 June, 553), in fourteen anathematisms similar to the thirteen previously issued by Justinian.
In the meantime Vigilius had sent to the emperor (14 May) a document known as the first “Constituturn” (Mansi, IX, 61-106), signed by himself and sixteen, mostly Western, bishops, in which sixty heretical propositions of Theodore of Mopsuestia were condemned, and, in five anathematisms, his Christological teachings repudiated; it was forbidden, however, to condemn his person, or to proceed further in condemnation of the writings or the person of Theodoret, or of the letter of Ibas. It seemed indeed, under the circumstances, no easy task to denounce fittingly the certain errors of the great Antiochene theologian and his followers and yet uphold the reputation and authority of the Council of Chalcedon, which had been content with obtaining the essentials of submission from all sympathizers with Nestorius, but for that very reason had never been forgiven by the Monophysite opponents of Nestorius and his heresy, who were now in league with the numerous enemies of Origen, and until the death (548) of Theodora had enjoyed the support of that influential empress.
The decisions of the council were executed with a violence in keeping with its conduct, though the ardently hoped for reconciliation of the Monophysites did not follow. Vigilius, together with other opponents of the imperial will, as registered by the subservient court-prelates, seems to have been banished (Hefele, II, 905), together with the faithful bishops and ecclesiastics of his suite, either to Upper Egypt or to an island in the Propontis. Already in the seventh session of the council Justinian caused the name of Vigilius to be stricken from the diptychs, without prejudice, however, it was said, to communion with the Apostolic See. Soon the Roman clergy and people, now freed by Narses from the Gothic yoke, requested the emperor to permit the return of the pope, which Justinian agreed to on condition that Vigilius would recognize the late council. This Vigilius finally agreed to do, and in two documents (a letter to Eutychius of Constantinople, 8 Dec., 553, and a second “Constitutum” of 23 Feb., 554, probably addressed to the Western episcopate) condemned, at last, the Three Chapters (Mansi, IX, 414-20, 457-88; cf. Hefele, II, 905-11), independently, however, and without mention of the council. His opposition had never been based on doctrinal grounds but on the decency and opportuneness of the measures proposed, the wrongful imperial violence, and a delicate fear of injury to the authority of the Council of Chalcedon, especially in the West. Here, indeed, despite the additional recognition of it by Pelagius I (555-60), the Fifth General Council only gradually acquired in public opinion an oecumenical character. In Northern Italy the ecclesiastical provinces of Milan and Aquileia broke off communion with the Apostolic See; the former yielding only towards the end of the sixth century, whereas the latter (Aquileia-Grado) protracted its resistance to about 700 (Hefele, op. cit., II, 911-27). (For an equitable appreciation of the conduct of Vigilius see, besides the article VIGILIUs, the judgment of Bois, in Diet. de theol. cath., II, 1238-39.) The pope was always correct as to the doctrine involved, and yielded, for the sake of peace, only when he was satisfied that there was no fear for the authority of Chalcedon, which he at first, with the entire West, deemed in peril from the machinations of the Monophysites.
The original Greek Acts of the council are lost, but there is extant a very old Latin version, probably contemporary and made for the use of Vigilius, certainly quoted by his successor Pelagius I. The Baluze edition is reprinted in Mansi, “Coll. Conc.”, IX, 163 sqq. In the next General Council of Constantinople (680) it was found that the original Acts of the Fifth Council had been tampered with (Hefele, op. cit., II, 855-58) in favor of Monothelism; nor is it certain that in their present shape we have them in their original completeness (ibid., pp. 859-60). This has. a bearing on the much disputed question concerning the condemnation of Origenism at this council. Hefele, moved by the antiquity and persistency of the reports of Origen’s condemnation, maintains (p. 861) with Cardinal Noris, that in it Origen was condemned, but only en passant, and that his name in the eleventh anathema is not an interpolation.
The chief sources are the writings of the contemporary Western (African) FACUNDUS OF HERMIANE, Pro defens. trium capit.; Liber contra Mutianum; and Epist. fidei cath.-all in P. L., LXVII, 527 sqq.; and the Carthaginian deacon FULGENTIUS FERRANDUS, Epist. ad Pelagium et Anatol. in P. L., LXVII, 921 sqq. See PUNKES, Papst Vigilius and der Dreikapitelslrcit (Munich, 1864); VINCENZI, In S. Greg. Miss. et Origen scripta et doctr. nova recensio, cum. append. de actin Vicecum concilii (Rome, 1865); DUCHESNE, Vigile et Pelage in Revue des quest. hilt. (Louvain, 1884), XXXVI, 369, with reply of CHAMARD, ibid., XXXVII, 540, and the counter-reply of DUCHESNE, ibid., 579; LfvEQUE, Etude sur le pape Vigile (Amiens, 1887); KNECHT, Die Religionspolitik Kaiser Justinians I. (Wurzburg, 1896); DIEKAMP, Die origenistischen Streitigkeiten im VI. Jahrhundert (Munster, 1899).
III. THE THIRD COUNCIL OF CONSTANTINOPLE (Sixth General Council)
…was summoned in 678 by Emperor Constantine Pogonatus, with a view of restoring between East and West the religious harmony that had been troubled by the Monothelistic controversies, and particularly by the violence of his predecessor Constans II, whose imperial edict, known as the “Typus” (648-49) was a practical suppression of the orthodox truth. Owing to the desire of Pope Agatho to obtain the adhesion of his Western brethren, the papal legates did not arrive at Constantinople until late in 680. The council, attended in the beginning by 100 bishops, later by 174, was opened 7 Nov., 680, in a domed hall (trullus) of the imperial palace and was presided over by the (three) papal legates who brought to the council a long dogmatic letter of Pope Agatho and another of similar import from a Roman synod held in the spring of 680. They were read in the second session. Both letters, the pope’s in particular, insist on the faith of the Apostolic See as the living and stainless tradition of the Apostles of Christ, assured by the promises of Christ, witnessed by all the popes in their capacity of successors to the Petrine privilege of confirming the brethren, and therefore finally authoritative for the Universal Church.
The greater part of the eighteen sessions was devoted to an examination of the Scriptural and patristic passages bearing on the question of one or two wills, one or two operations, in Christ. George, Patriarch of Constantinople, soon yielded to the evidence of the orthodox teaching concerning the two wills and two operations in Christ, but Macarius of Antioch, “almost the only certain representative of Monothelism since the nine propositions of Cyrus of Alexandria” (Chapman), resisted to the end, and was finally anathematized and deposed for “not consenting to the tenor of the orthodox letters sent by Agatho the most holy pope of Rome“, i.e., that in each of the two natures (human and Divine) of Christ there is a perfect operation and a perfect will, against which the Monothelites had taught that there was but one operation and one will (Isla ivgpyeia BeasapLK) quite in consonance with the Monophysite confusion of the two natures in Christ. In the thirteenth session (28 March, 681) after anathematizing the chief Monothelite heretics mentioned in the aforesaid letter of Pope Agatho, i.e. Sergius of Constantinople, Cyrus of Alexandria, Pyrrhus, Paul, and Peter of Constantinople, and Theodore of Pharan, the council added: “And in addition to these we decide that Honorius also, who was Pope of Elder Rome, be with them cast out of the Holy Church of God, and be anathematized with them, because we have found by his letter to Sergius that he followed his opinion in all things and confirmed his wicked dogmas.”A similar condemnation of Pope Honorius occurs in the dogmatic decree of the final session (16 Sept., 681), which was signed by the legates and the emperor. Reference is here made to the famous letter of Honorius to Sergius of Constantinople about 634, around which has arisen (especially before and during the Vatican Council) so large a controversial literature. It had been invoked three times in previous sessions of the council in question by the stubborn Monothelite Macarius of Antioch, and had been publicly read in the twelfth session together with the letter of Sergius to which it replied. On that occasion a second letter of Honorius to Sergius was also read, of which only a fragment has survived. (For the question of this pope’s orthodoxy, see Pope Honorius I; Infallibility; Monothelites.)
There has been in the past, owing to Gallicanism and the opponents of papal infallibility, much controversy concerning the proper sense of this council’s condemnation of Pope Honorius, the theory (Baronius, Damberger) of a falsification of the Acts being now quite abandoned (Hefele, III, 299-313). Some have maintained, with Pennacchi, that he was indeed condemned as a heretic, but that the Oriental bishops of the council misunderstood the thoroughly orthodox (and dogmatic) letter of Honorius; others, with Hefele, that the council condemned the heretically sounding expressions of the pope (though his doctrine was really orthodox); others finally, with Chapman (see below), that he was condemned “because he did not, as he should have done, declare authoritatively the Petrine tradition of the Roman Church. To that tradition he had made no appeal but had merely approved and enlarged upon the half-hearted compromise of Sergius. . . . Neither the pope nor the council consider that Honorius had compromised the purity of the Roman tradition, for he had never claimed to represent it. Therefore, just as today we judge the letters of Pope Honorius by the Vatican definition and deny them to be ex cathedra, because they do not define any doctrine and impose it upon the whole Church, so the Christians of the seventh century judged the same letters by the custom of their day, and saw that they did not claim what papal letters were wont to claim, viz., to speak with the mouth of Peter in the name of Roman tradition” (Chapman).
The letter of the council to Pope Leo, asking, after the traditional manner, for confirmation of its Acts, while including again the name of Honorius among the condemned Monothelites, lays a remarkable stress on the magisterial office of the Roman Church, as, in general, the documents of the Sixth General Council favor strongly the inerrancy of the See of Peter. “The Council “, says Dom Chapman, “accepts the letter in which the Pope defined the faith. It deposes those who refused to accept it. It asks [the pope] to confirm its decisions. The Bishops and Emperor declare that they have seen the letter to contain the doctrine of the Fathers. Agatho speaks with the voice of Peter himself ; from Rome the law had gone forth as out of Sion; Peter had kept the faith unaltered.” Pope Agatho died during the council and was succeeded by Leo II, who confirmed (683) the decrees against Monothelism, and expressed himself even more harshly than the council towards the memory of Honorius (Hefele, Chapman), though he laid stress chiefly on the neglect of that pope to set forth the traditional teaching of the Apostolic See, whose spotless faith he treasonably tried to overthrow (or, as the Greek may be translated, permitted to be overthrown).
The Acts of the Council are in the eleventh volume of MANSI, Coll. Conc. The most complete presentation of its history is in HEFELE, Conciliengeschichte (2nd ed., Freiburg, 1877), III, 249-313, see also the English tr. (Edinburgh, 1876-), and for the later bibliography the French tr. of LECLERCQ (Paris 1907); SCHNEEMAN, Studien caber die Honoriusf rage (Freiburg, 1864); PENNACCHI, De Honorii I Rom. Pontif. causd in Conc. VI (Rome, 1870); HERGENROTHER-KIRSCH, Kirchengesch. (4th ed., Freiburg, 1904), I, 633-38• MARSHALL, Honorius and Liberius in Am. Cath Quarterly Rev. (Philadelphia, 1894), XIX, 82-92; BOTTALLA, Pope Honorius before the Tribunal of Reason and History (London, 1864); DOLLINGER (Old Catholic), Fables respecting the Popes in the Middle Ages, American ed. of the Papstfabeln (New York, 1872), 223-48; CHAPMAN, The Condemnation of Pope Honorius in Dublin Review for 1907, and reprinted by the LONDON CATH. TRUTH SOCIETY, 1907; GRISAR in Kirchenlex., VI, 230 sqq. For the extensive Honorius literature, see CHEVALIER, Bio-bibl., s.v.
IV. THE FOURTH COUNCIL OF CONSTANTINOPLE (Eighth General Council)
…was opened, 5 Oct., 869, in the Cathedral of Saint Sophia, under the presidency of the legates of Adrian II. During the preceding decade grave irregularities had occurred at Constantinople, among them the deposition of the Patriarch Ignatius and the intrusion of Photius, whose violent measures against the Roman Church culminated in the attempted deposition (867) of Nicholas I. The accession in that year of a new emperor, Basil the Macedonian, changed the situation, political and ecclesiastical. Photius was interned in a monastery; Ignatius was recalled, and friendly relations were resumed with the Apostolic See. Both Ignatius and Basil sent representatives to Rome asking for a general council. After holding a Roman synod (June, 869) in which Photius was again condemned, the pope sent to Constantinople three legates to preside in his name over the council. Besides the Patriarch of Constantinople there were present the representatives of the Patriarchs of Antioch and Jerusalem and, towards the end, also the representatives of the Patriarch of Alexandria. The attendance of Ignatian bishops was small enough in the beginning; indeed there were never more than 102 bishops present.
The legates were asked to exhibit their commission, which they did; then they presented to the members of the council the famous formula (libellus) of Pope Hormisdas (514-23), binding its signatories “to follow in everything the Apostolic See of Rome and teach all its laws . . . in which communion is the whole, real, and perfect solidity of the Christian religion”. The Fathers of the council were required to sign this document, which had originally been drawn up to close the Acacian schism. The earlier sessions were occupied with the reading of important documents, the reconciliation of Ignatian bishops who had fallen away to Photius, the exclusion of some Photian prelates, and the refutation of the false statements of two former envoys of Photius to Rome. In the fifth session Photius himself unwillingly appeared, but when questioned observed a deep silence or answered only in a few brief words, pretending blasphemously to imitate the attitude and speech of Christ before Caiphas and Pilate. Through his representatives he was given another hearing in the next session; they appealed to the canons as above the pope. In the seventh session he appeared again, this time with his consecrator George Asbestas. They appealed, as before, to the ancient canons, refused to recognize the presence or authority of the Roman legates, and rejected the authority of the Roman Church, though they offered to render an account to the emperor. As Photius would not renounce his usurped claim and recognize the rightful patriarch Ignatius, the former Roman excommunications of him were renewed by the council, and he was banished to a monastery on the Bosporus, whence he did not cease to denounce the council as a triumph of lying and impiety, and by a very active correspondence kept up the courage of his followers, until in 877 the death of Ignatius opened the way for his return to power. Iconoclasm, in its last remnants, and the interference of the civil authority in ecclesiastical affairs were denounced by the council. The tenth and last session was held in the presence of the emperor, his son Constantine, the Bulgarian king, Michael, and the ambassadors of Emperor Louis II.
The twenty-seven canons of this council deal partly with the situation created by Photius and partly with general points of discipline or abuses. The decrees of Nicholas I and Adrian II against Photius and in favour of Ignatius were read and confirmed, the Photian clerics deposed, and those ordained by Photius reduced to lay communion. The council issued an Encyclical to all the faithful, and wrote to the pope requesting his confirmation of its Acts. The papal legates signed its decrees, but with reservation of the papal action. Here, for the first time, Rome recognized the ancient claim of Constantinople to the second place among the five great patriarchates. Greek pride, however, was offended by the compulsory signature of the aforesaid Roman formulary of reconciliation, and in a subsequent conference of Greek ecclesiastical and civil authorities the newly-converted Bulgarians were declared subject to the Patriarchate of Constantinople and not to Rome. Though restored by the Apostolic See, Ignatius proved ungrateful, and in this important matter sided with the other Eastern patriarchs in consummating, for political reasons, a notable injustice; the territory henceforth known as Bulgaria was in reality part of the ancient Illyria that had always belonged to the Roman patriarchate until the Iconoclast Leo III (718-41) violently withdrew it and made it subject to Constantinople. Ignatius very soon consecrated an archbishop for the Bulgarians and sent thither many Greek missionaries, whereupon the Latin bishops and priests were obliged to retire. On their way home the papal legates were plundered and imprisoned; they had, however, given to the care of Anastasius, Librarian of the Roman Church (present as a member of the Frankish embassy) most of the submission-signatures of the Greek bishops. We owe to him the Latin version of these documents and a copy of the Greek Acts of the council which he also translated and to which is due most of our documentary knowledge of the proceedings. It was in vain that Adrian II and his successor threatened Ignatius with severe penalties if he did not withdraw from Bulgaria his Greek bishops and priests. The Roman Church never regained the vast regions she then lost. (See PHOTIUS; IGNATIUS OF CONSTANTINOPLE; NICHOLAS I.)
HERGENROTHER, Photius (Ratisbon, 1867-69), I, 373 sqq., 505 sqq., and vol. II; IDEM, Monumenta Grccca ad Photium ejusque historiam pertinentia (Ratisbon, 1869); Tosxi, Storia dell’ origin dello scisma greco (Florence, 1856); HEFELE, Conciliengesch. (2nd ed., Freiburg, 1877), IV, 436 sqq.; MILMAN (Protestant), History of Latin Christianity, Bk. V, ch. iv; NoRDEN (Protestant), Papsttum and Byzanz (Berlin, 1903); FoRTESCUE, The Orthodox Eastern Church (London, 1907), 156-61.
B. PARTICULAR COUNCILS OF CONSTANTINOPLE
I. In the summer of 382 a council of the Oriental bishops, convoked by Theodosius, met in the imperial city. We still have its important profession of faith, often wrongly attributed to the Second General Council (i.e. at Constantinople in the preceding year), exhibiting the doctrinal agreement of all the Christian churches; also two canons (v and vi) wrongly put among the canons of the Second General Council [Hefele-Leclercq, Hist. des Conciles, Paris, 1907, II (i), 53-56]. In the summer of the next year (383) Theodosius convoked another council, with the hope of uniting all factions and parties among the Christians on the basis of a general acceptance of the teachings of the Ante-Nicene Fathers. He met with a qualified success (Socrates, V, 10; Hefele-Leclercq, op. cit., 63-65) ; among the most stubborn of those who resisted was Eunomius (see Eunomianism).
II. The council, held in 692, under Justinian II is generally known as the Council in Trullo, because it was held in the same domed hall where the Sixth General Council had met (see above). Both the Fifth and the Sixth General Councils had omitted to draw up disciplinary canons, and as this council was intended to complete both in this respect, it also took the name of Quinisext (Concilium Quinisextum, Divo-Sos 7rEPegKTn), i.e. Fifth-Sixth. It was attended by 215 bishops, all Orientals. Basil of Gortyna in Illyria, however, belonged to the Roman patriarchate and called himself papal legate, though no evidence is extant of his right to use a title that in the East served to clothe the decrees with Roman authority. In fact, the West never recognized the 102 disciplinary canons of this council, in large measure reaffirmations of earlier canons. Most of the new canons exhibit an inimical attitude towards Churches not in disciplinary accord with Constantinople, especially the Western Churches. Their customs are anathematized and “every little detail of difference is remembered to be condemned” (Fortescue). Canon iii of Constantinople (381) and canon xxviii of Chalcedon (451) are renewed, the heresy of Honorius is again condemned (can. i), and marriage with a heretic is invalid because Rome says it is merely unlawful; Rome had recognized fifty of the Apostolic Canons; therefore the other thirty-five obtain recognition from this council, and as inspired teaching (see Apostolic Canons).
In the matter of celibacy the Greek prelates are not content to let the Roman Church follow its own discipline, but insist on making a rule (for the whole Church) that all clerics except bishops may continue in wedlock, while they excommunicate anyone who tries to separate a priest or deacon from his wife, and any cleric who leaves his wife because he is ordained (can. iii, vi, xii, xiii, xlviii). The Orthodox Greek Church holds this council an ecumenical one, and adds its canons to the decrees of the Fifth and Sixth Councils. In the West St. Bede calls it (De sexta mundi aetate) a reprobate synod, and Paul the Deacon (Hist. Lang., VI, p. 11) an erratic one. Dr. Fortescue rightly says (op. cit. below, p. 96) that intolerance of all other customs with the wish to make the whole Christian world conform to its own local practices has always been and still is a characteristic note of the Byzantine Church. For the attitude of the popes, substantially identical, in face of the various attempts to obtain their approval of these canons, see Hefele, “Conciliengesch.” (III, 345-48).
III. In 754 the Iconoclast Emperor Constantine V called in the imperial city a council of 338 bishops. Through cowardice and servility they approved the heretical attitude of the emperor and his father Leo III, also the arguments of the Iconoclast party and their measures against the defenders of the sacred images. They anathematized St. Germanus of Constantinople and St. John Damascene, and denounced the orthodox as idolaters, etc.; at the same time they resented the spoliation of the churches under pretext of destroying images (see Iconoclasm).
IV. For the three Photian synods of 861 (deposition of Ignatius), 867 (attempted deposition of Nicholas I), and 879 (recognition of Photius as lawful patriarch), recognized by the Greeks as Eighth General Council in opposition to the council of 869-70, which they continue to abominate, see Photius.
V. In 1639 and 1672 councils were held by the Orthodox Greeks at Constantinople condemnatory of the Calvinistic confession of Cyril Lucaris and his followers. [See Semnoz, “Les dernieres annees du patr. Cyrille Lucar” in “Ethos d’Orient” (1903), VI, 97-117, and Fortescue, “Orthodox Eastern Church” (London, 1907), 267].
THOMAS J. SHAHAN