First Council of Constantinople

The First Council of Constantinople (Greek: Πρώτη σύνοδος της Κωνσταντινουπόλεως commonly known as Greek: Β΄ Οικουμενική, "Second Ecumenical"; Latin: Concilium Constantinopolitanum Primum or Latin: Concilium Constantinopolitanum A) was a council of Christian bishops convened in Constantinople in AD 381 by the Roman Emperor Theodosius I.[1][2] This second ecumenical council, an effort to attain consensus in the church through an assembly representing all of Christendom, except for the Western Church,[3] confirmed the Nicene Creed, expanding the doctrine thereof to produce the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed, and dealt with sundry other matters. It met from May to July 381 in the Church of Hagia Irene and was affirmed as ecumenical in 451 at the Council of Chalcedon.

First Council of Constantinople
Date381
Accepted by
Previous council
First Council of Nicaea
Next council
Council of Ephesus
Convoked byEmperor Theodosius I
PresidentTimothy of Alexandria, Meletius of Antioch, Gregory Nazianzus, and Nectarius of Constantinople
Attendance150 (no representation of Western Church)
TopicsArianism, Apollinarism, Sabellianism, Holy Spirit, successor to Meletius
Documents and statements
Nicene Creed of 381, seven canons (three disputed)
Chronological list of ecumenical councils
Homilies of Gregory the Theologian gr. 510, f 723
9th century Byzantine manuscript illumination of I Constantinople. Homilies of St. Gregory of Nazianzus, 879–883.

Background

When Theodosius ascended to the imperial throne in 380, he began on a campaign to bring the Eastern Church back to Nicene Christianity. Theodosius wanted to further unify the entire empire behind the orthodox position and decided to convene a church council to resolve matters of faith and discipline.[4]:45 Gregory Nazianzus was of similar mind, wishing to unify Christianity. In the spring of 381 they convened the Second Ecumenical Council in Constantinople.

Theological context

The Council of Nicaea in 325 had not ended the Arian controversy which it had been called to clarify. Arius and his sympathizers, e.g. Eusebius of Nicomedia were admitted back into the church after ostensibly accepting the Nicene creed. Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria, the most vocal opponent of Arianism, was ultimately exiled through the machinations of Eusebius of Nicomedia. After the death of Constantine I in 337 and the accession of his Arian-leaning son Constantius II, open discussion of replacing the Nicene creed itself began. Up until about 360, theological debates mainly dealt with the divinity of the Son, the second person of the Trinity. However, because the Council of Nicaea had not clarified the divinity of the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, it became a topic of debate. The Macedonians denied the divinity of the Holy Spirit. This was also known as Pneumatomachianism.

Nicene Christianity also had its defenders: apart from Athanasius, the Cappadocian Fathers' Trinitarian discourse was influential in the council at Constantinople. Apollinaris of Laodicea, another pro-Nicene theologian, proved controversial. Possibly in an over-reaction to Arianism and its teaching that Christ was not God, he taught that Christ consisted of a human body and a divine mind, rejecting Christ having a human mind.[5] He was charged with confounding the persons of the Godhead, and with giving in to the heretical ways of Sabellius. Basil of Caesarea accused him of abandoning the literal sense of the scripture, and taking up wholly with the allegorical sense. His views were condemned in a Synod at Alexandria, under Athanasius of Alexandria, in 362, and later subdivided into several different heresies, the main ones of which were the Polemians and the Antidicomarianites.

Geopolitical context

Theodosius' strong commitment to Nicene Christianity involved a calculated risk because Constantinople, the imperial capital of the Eastern Empire, was solidly Arian. To complicate matters, the two leading factions of Nicene Christianity in the East, the Alexandrians and the supporters of Meletius in Antioch, were "bitterly divided ... almost to the point of complete animosity".[6]

The bishops of Alexandria and Rome had worked over a number of years to keep the see of Constantinople from stabilizing. Thus, when Gregory was selected as a candidate for the bishopric of Constantinople, both Alexandria and Rome opposed him because of his Antiochene background.

See of Constantinople

The incumbent bishop of Constantinople was Demophilus, a Homoian Arian. On his accession to the imperial throne, Theodosius offered to confirm Demophilus as bishop of the imperial city on the condition of accepting the Nicene Creed; however, Demophilus refused to abandon his Arian beliefs, and was immediately ordered to give up his churches and leave Constantinople.[7][8] After forty years under the control of Arian bishops, the churches of Constantinople were now restored to those who subscribed to the Nicene Creed; Arians were also ejected from the churches of other cities in the Eastern Roman Empire thus re-establishing Christian orthodoxy in the East.[9]

There ensued a contest to control the newly recovered see. A group led by Maximus the Cynic gained the support of Patriarch Peter of Alexandria by playing on his jealousy of the newly created see of Constantinople. They conceived a plan to install a cleric subservient to Peter as bishop of Constantinople so that Alexandria would retain the leadership of the Eastern Churches.[10] Many commentators characterize Maximus as having been proud, arrogant and ambitious. However, it is not clear the extent to which Maximus sought this position due to his own ambition or if he was merely a pawn in the power struggle. In any event, the plot was set into motion when, on a night when Gregory was confined by illness, the conspirators burst into the cathedral and commenced the consecration of Maximus as bishop of Constantinople. They had seated Maximus on the archiepiscopal throne and had just begun shearing away his long curls when the day dawned. The news of what was transpiring quickly spread and everybody rushed to the church. The magistrates appeared with their officers; Maximus and his consecrators were driven from the cathedral, and ultimately completed the tonsure in the tenement of a flute-player.[11]

The news of the brazen attempt to usurp the episcopal throne aroused the anger of the local populace among whom Gregory was popular. Maximus withdrew to Thessalonica to lay his cause before the emperor but met with a cold reception there. Theodosius committed the matter to Ascholius, the much respected bishop of Thessalonica, charging him to seek the counsel of Pope Damasus I.[12]

Damasus' response repudiated Maximus summarily and advised Theodosius to summon a Council of Bishops for the purpose of settling various Church issues such as the schism in Antioch and the consecration of a proper bishop for the see of Constantinople.[13] Damasus condemned the translation of bishops from one see to another and urged Theodosius to "take care that a bishop who is above reproach is chosen for that see."[14]

The proceedings

Gregor-Chora
Gregory of Nazianzus presided over part of the Council

Thirty-six Pneumatomachians arrived but were denied admission to the council when they refused to accept the Nicene creed.

Since Peter, the bishop of Alexandria, was not present, the presidency over the Council was given to Meletius as bishop of Antioch.[15] The first order of business before the Council was to declare the clandestine consecration of Maximus invalid, and to confirm Theodosius' installation of Gregory Nazianzus as Bishop of Constantinople. When Meletius died shortly after the opening of the council, Gregory was selected to lead the Council.

The Egyptian and Macedonian bishops who had supported Maximus's ordination arrived late for the Council. Once there, they refused to recognise Gregory's position as head of the church of Constantinople, arguing that his transfer from the See of Sasima was canonically illegitimate because one of the canons of the Council of Nicaea had forbidden bishops to transfer from their sees.[16]:358–9

McGuckin describes Gregory as physically exhausted and worried that he was losing the confidence of the bishops and the emperor.[16]:359 Ayres goes further and asserts that Gregory quickly made himself unpopular among the bishops by supporting the losing candidate for the bishopric of Antioch and vehemently opposing any compromise with the Homoiousians.[17]:254

Rather than press his case and risk further division, Gregory decided to resign his office: "Let me be as the Prophet Jonah! I was responsible for the storm, but I would sacrifice myself for the salvation of the ship. Seize me and throw me... I was not happy when I ascended the throne, and gladly would I descend it."[18] He shocked the Council with his surprise resignation and then delivered a dramatic speech to Theodosius asking to be released from his offices. The emperor, moved by his words, applauded, commended his labor, and granted his resignation. The Council asked him to appear once more for a farewell ritual and celebratory orations. Gregory used this occasion to deliver a final address (Or. 42) and then departed.[16]:361

Nectarius, an unbaptized civil official, was chosen to succeed Gregory as president of the council.[17]:255

Canons

Seven canons, four of these doctrinal canons and three disciplinary canons, are attributed to the Council and accepted by both the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches; the Roman Catholic Church accepts only the first four[19] because only the first four appear in the oldest copies and there is evidence that the last three were later additions.[20]

The first canon[19] is an important dogmatic condemnation of all shades of Arianism, and also of Macedonianism and Apollinarianism.

The second canon[19] renewed the Nicene legislation imposing upon the bishops the observance of diocesan and patriarchal limits.

The third canon reads:

"The Bishop of Constantinople, however, shall have the prerogative of honour after the Bishop of Rome because Constantinople is New Rome."[21][20][19]

The fourth canon decreed the consecration of Maximus as Bishop of Constantinople to be invalid, declaring "that [Maximus] neither was nor is a bishop, nor are they who have been ordained by him in any rank of the clergy".[19][22] This canon was directed not only against Maximus, but also against the Egyptian bishops who had conspired to consecrate him clandestinely at Constantinople, and against any subordinate ecclesiastics that he might have ordained in Egypt.[23]

The fifth canon[19] might actually have been passed the next year, 382, and is in regard to a Tome of the Western bishops, perhaps that of Pope Damasus I.

The sixth canon[19] might belong to the year 382 as well and was subsequently passed at the Quinisext Council as canon 95. It limits the ability to accuse bishops of wrongdoing.

The seventh canon[19] regards procedures for receiving certain heretics into the church.

Dispute concerning the third canon

The third canon was a first step in the rising importance of the new imperial capital, just fifty years old, and was notable in that it demoted the patriarchs of Antioch and Alexandria. Jerusalem, as the site of the first Church, retained its place of honor.

Baronius asserted that the third canon was not authentic, not in fact decreed by the council. Some medieval Greeks maintained that it did not declare supremacy of the Bishop of Rome, but the primacy; "the first among equals", similar to how they today view the Bishop of Constantinople. Throughout the next several centuries, the Western Church asserted that the Bishop of Rome had supreme authority, and by the time of the Great Schism the Roman Catholic Church based its claim to supremacy on the succession of St. Peter. When the First Council of Constantinople was approved, Rome protested the diminished honor to be afforded the bishops of Antioch and Alexandria. The status of these Eastern patriarchs would be brought up again by the Papal Legates at the Council of Chalcedon. Pope Leo the Great,[24] declared that this canon had never been submitted to Rome and that their lessened honor was a violation of the Nicene council order. At the Fourth Council of Constantinople (869), the Roman legates[25] asserted the place of the bishop of Rome's honor over the bishop of Constantinople's. After the Great Schism of 1054, in 1215 the Fourth Lateran Council declared, in its fifth canon, that the Roman Church "by the will of God holds over all others pre-eminence of ordinary power as the mother and mistress of all the faithful".[26][27] Roman supremacy over the whole world was formally claimed by the new Latin patriarch. The Roman correctores of Gratian,[28] insert the words: "canon hic ex iis est quos apostolica Romana sedes a principio et longo post tempore non recipit" ("this canon is one of those that the Apostolic See of Rome has not accepted from the beginning and ever since").

Aftermath

It has been asserted by many that a synod was held by Pope Damasus I in the following year (382) which opposed the disciplinary canons of the Council of Constantinople, especially the third canon which placed Constantinople above Alexandria and Antioch. The synod protested against this raising of the bishop of the new imperial capital, just fifty years old, to a status higher than that of the bishops of Alexandria and Antioch, and stated that the primacy of the Roman see had not been established by a gathering of bishops but rather by Christ himself.[29][30][note 1] Thomas Shahan says that, according to Photius too, Pope Damasus approved the council, but he adds that, if any part of the council were approved by this pope, it could have been only its revision of the Nicene Creed, as was the case also when Gregory the Great recognized it as one of the four general councils, but only in its dogmatic utterances.[32]

Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed

Traditionally, the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed has been associated with the Council of Constantinople (381). It is roughly equivalent to the Nicene Creed plus two additional articles: an article on the Holy Spirit—describing Him as "the Lord, the Giver of Life, Who proceeds from the Father, Who with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified, and Who spoke through the prophets"—and an article about the Church, baptism, and the resurrection of the dead. (For the full text of both creeds, see Comparison between Creed of 325 and Creed of 381.)

However, scholars are not agreed on the connection between the Council of Constantinople and the Niceno–Constantinopolitan Creed. Some modern scholars believe that this creed, or something close to it, was stated by the bishops at Constantinople, but not promulgated as an official act of the council. Scholars also dispute whether this creed was simply an expansion of the Creed of Nicaea, or whether it was an expansion of another traditional creed similar but not identical to the one from Nicaea.[33] In 451 CE, the Council of Chalcedon referred to this creed as "the creed ... of the 150 saintly fathers assembled in Constantinople",[34] indicating that this creed was associated with Constantinople (381) no later than 451 CE.

Christology

This council condemned Arianism which began to die out with further condemnations at a council of Aquileia by Ambrose of Milan in 381. With the discussion of Trinitarian doctrine now developed and well under agreement to orthodox and biblical understanding, the focus of discussion changed to Christology, which would be the topic of the Council of Ephesus of 431 and the Council of Chalcedon of 451.

Shift of influence from Rome to Constantinople

David Eastman cites the First Council of Constantinople as another example of the waning influence of Rome over the East. He notes that all three of the presiding bishops came from the East. Damasus had considered both Meletius and Gregory to be illegitimate bishops of their respective sees and yet, as Eastman and others point out, the Eastern bishops paid no heed to his opinions in this regard.[35]

The First Council of Constantinople (381) was the first appearance of the term 'New Rome' in connection to Constantinople. The term was employed as the grounds for giving the relatively young church of Constantinople precedence over Alexandria and Antioch ('because it is the New Rome').

Liturgical Commemorations

The 150 individuals at the council are commemorated in the Calendar of saints of the Armenian Apostolic Church on February 17.

The Eastern Orthodox Church in some places (e.g. Russia) has a feast day for the Fathers of the First Six Ecumenical Councils on the Sunday nearest to July 13[36] and on May 22.[37]

Notes

  1. ^ In opposition to this view, Francis Dvornik asserts that not only did Damasus offer "no protest against the elevation of Constantinople", that change in the primacy of the major sees was effected in an "altogether friendly atmosphere." According to Dvornik, "Everyone continued to regard the Bishop of Rome as the first bishop of the Empire, and the head of the church."[31]

References

  1. ^ Socrates Scholasticus, Church History, book 5, chapters 8 & 11, puts the council in the same year as the revolt of Magnus Maximus and death of Gratian.
  2. ^ Heather, P. J.; Matthews, John (1991). Goths in the Fourth Century. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press. p. 136. ISBN 0-85323-426-4.
  3. ^ Richard Kieckhefer (1989). "Papacy". Dictionary of the Middle Ages. ISBN 0-684-18275-0.
  4. ^ Ruether, Rosemary Radford (1969), Gregory of Nazianzus: Rhetor and Philosopher, Oxford University Press
  5. ^ McGrath, Alister (1998). "The Patristic Period". Historical Theology, An Introduction to the History of Christian Thought. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers. ISBN 0-631-20843-7.
  6. ^ McGuckin, p. 235
  7. ^ Onslow 1911 cites Socr. H. E. v. 7.
  8. ^ Alban Butler (May 2006). The Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Other Principal Saints; Compiled from Original Monuments, and Other Authentic Records. Kessinger Publishing. pp. 280–. ISBN 978-1-4286-1025-5. Retrieved 22 October 2011.
  9. ^ Onslow 1911.
  10. ^ The Church standard. Walter N. Hering. 1906. pp. 125–. Retrieved 21 October 2011.
  11. ^ McGuckin p. 318
  12. ^ Venables 1911 cites Migne, Patrologia Latina xiii. pp. 366–369; Epp. 5, 5, 6.
  13. ^ Christopher Wordsworth (bp. of Lincoln.) (1882). A Church history. Rivingtons. pp. 312–. Retrieved 21 October 2011.
  14. ^ Joseph Marie Felix Marique (1962). Leaders of Iberean Christianity, 50–650 A.D. St. Paul Editions. p. 59. Retrieved 23 October 2011.
  15. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia. Retrieved 10 September 2013.
  16. ^ a b c McGuckin
  17. ^ a b Lewis Ayres (3 May 2006). Nicaea and its legacy: an approach to fourth-century Trinitarian theology. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-875505-0. Retrieved 21 October 2011.
  18. ^ PG, 37.1157–9, Carm. de vita sua, ll 1828–55.
  19. ^ a b c d e f g h "NPNF2-14. The Seven Ecumenical Councils | Christian Classics Ethereal Library". Ccel.org. 2005-06-01. Retrieved 2013-08-25.
  20. ^ a b "NPNF2-14. First Council of Constantinople | Christian Classics Ethereal Library". Retrieved 2015-08-24.
  21. ^ "NPNF2-14. Canon III | Christian Classics Ethereal Library". Ccel.org. 2005-06-01. Retrieved 2011-10-27.
  22. ^ Venables 1911 cites Philippe Labbe, Concilia, ii. 947, 954, 959.
  23. ^ Carl Ullmann (1851). Gregory of Nazianzum, tr. by G.V. Cox. pp. 241–. Retrieved 21 October 2011.
  24. ^ Ep. cvi in P.L., LIV, 1003, 1005.
  25. ^ J. D. Mansi, XVI, 174.
  26. ^ The Canons of the Fourth Lateran Council, 1215
  27. ^ J. D. Mansi, XXII, 991.
  28. ^ (1582), at dist. xxii, c. 3.
  29. ^ Henry Chadwick (2001). The church in ancient society: from Galilee to Gregory the Great. Oxford University Press. p. 429. ISBN 978-0-19-924695-3. Retrieved 25 October 2011.
  30. ^ Nichols, ''Rome and the Eastern Churches'' (T & T Clark 1992 ISBN 978-1-58617-282-4), pp. 202-203. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2011-10-27.
  31. ^ Dvornik, Francis (1966). Byzantium and the Roman primacy. Fordham University Press. p. 47. Retrieved 17 October 2011. Pope Damasus offered no protest against the elevation of Constantinople, even though Alexandria had always been, in the past, in close contact with Rome. This event, which has often been considered the first conflict between Rome and Byzantium, actually took place in an altogether friendly atmosphere. Everyone continued to regard the Bishop of Rome as the first bishop of the Empire, and the head of the church.
  32. ^ "Thomas Shahan, "First Council of Constantinople" in ''The Catholic Encyclopedia''". Newadvent.org. Retrieved 2011-10-27.
  33. ^ "Encyclopædia Britannica". Retrieved November 9, 2012.
  34. ^ Tanner, Norman; Alberigo, Giuseppe, eds. (1990). Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press. p. 84. ISBN 0-87840-490-2.
  35. ^ David L. Eastman (21 March 2011). Paul the Martyr: The Cult of the Apostle in the Latin West. Society of Biblical Lit. p. 103. ISBN 978-1-58983-515-3. Retrieved 27 October 2011.
  36. ^ "Menaion — July 13" (PDF). Retrieved 25 August 2013.
  37. ^ "Sunday of the Fathers of the First Six Councils". OrthodoxWiki. Retrieved 25 August 2013.

Further reading

External links

Ammon, bishop of Hadrianopolis

Ammon (Greek Ἄμμων) was a bishop of Hadrianopolis in the year 400, and wrote the tract (in Greek) On the Resurrection against Origenism, which is no longer extant. A fragment of Ammon, from this work possibly, may be found in ap. S. Cyril. Alex. Lib. de Recta Fide. He was present at the First Council of Constantinople around the year 383, held on occasion of the dedication of Runnus's church, near Chalcedon.

Apollinaris of Laodicea

Apollinaris the Younger, also known as Apollinaris of Laodicea, (died 382) was a bishop of Laodicea in Syria. He is best known, however, as a noted opponent of Arianism. Apollinaris's eagerness to emphasize the deity of Jesus and the unity of his person led him so far as to deny the existence of a rational human soul in Christ's human nature. This view came to be called Apollinarism. It was condemned by the First Council of Constantinople in 381.

Catholic ecumenical councils

Catholic ecumenical councils include 21 councils over a period of some 1900 years. While definitions changed throughout history, in today's Roman Catholic understanding ecumenical councils are assemblies of Patriarchs, Cardinals, residing Bishops, Abbots, male heads of religious orders and other juridical persons, nominated by the Pope. The purpose of an ecumenical council is to define doctrine, reaffirm truths of the Faith, and extirpate heresy. Council decisions, to be valid, are approved by the popes. Participation is limited to these persons, who cannot delegate their voting rights.

Ecumenical councils are different from provincial councils, where bishops of a Church province or region meet. Episcopal conferences and plenary councils are other bodies, meetings of bishops of one country, nation, or region, such as the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. This article does not include councils of a lower order or regional councils. Ecumenical in the Catholic view does not mean that all bishops attended the councils, which was not even the case in Vatican II. Nor does ecumenical imply the participation of or acceptance by all Christian communities and Churches. Ecumenical refers to "a solemn congregations of the Catholic bishops of the world at the invitation of the Pope to decide on matters of the Church with him". The ecumenical character of the councils of the first millennium was not determined by the intention of those who issued the invitations. The papal approval of the early councils did not have a formal character, which was characteristic in later councils. The Catholic Church did not officially declare these councils to be ecumenical. This became theological practice. Different evaluations existed between and within Christian communities. Today 21 councils are accepted in the Catholic church as ecumenical councils.Not all of the twenty-one councils were always accepted as ecumenical within the Catholic Church. For example, the inclusion of the First Lateran Council and the Council of Basel were disputed. A 1539 book on ecumenical councils by Cardinal Dominicus Jacobazzi excluded them as did other scholars. The first few centuries did not know large-scale ecumenical meetings; they were only feasible after the Church had gained freedom from persecution through Emperor Constantine.

Christianity in the 4th century

Christianity in the 4th century was dominated in its early stage by Constantine the Great and the First Council of Nicaea of 325, which was the beginning of the period of the First seven Ecumenical Councils (325–787), and in its late stage by the Edict of Thessalonica of 380, which made Nicene Christianity the state church of the Roman Empire.

Consubstantiality

Consubstantiality (Latin: consubstantialitas), or coessentiality (Latin: coessentialitas), is a notion in Christian theology referring to the common properties of the divine persons of the Christian Trinity, and connotes that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are "of the same substance" (consubstantial), or "of the same essence" (coessential). The notion of consubstantiality or coessentiality was developed gradually, during the first centuries of Christian history, with main theological debates and controversies being held between the First Council of Nicaea (325) and the First Council of Constantinople (381).

Council of Constantinople

Council of Constantinople can refer to a church council (synod) convened at Constantinople:

Council of Constantinople (360), a local council

First Council of Constantinople, the Second Ecumenical Council, in 381

Council of Constantinople (383), a local council, rejected teachings of Eunomius

Council of Constantinople (394), a local council, produced several canons

Synod of Constantinople (543), a local council which condemned Origen

Second Council of Constantinople, the Fifth Ecumenical Council, in 553

Third Council of Constantinople, the Sixth Ecumenical Council, in 680

Council of Constantinople (692), also called in Trullo or Quinisext Council

Council of Constantinople (754), the Council of Hieria

Council of Constantinople (815), a local council that restored Iconoclasm

Council of Constantinople (843), a local council, restored the veneration of icons

Council of Constantinople (861), a local council, confirmed the deposition of Ignatius and election of Photius

Council of Constantinople (867), a local council convened by Photius to discuss Papal supremacy and the Filioque

Fourth Council of Constantinople (Catholic Church), also called the Photian Council, in 869

Fourth Council of Constantinople (Eastern Orthodox), considered the Eighth Ecumenical Council by some Orthodox, also called the Photian Council, in 879

Council of Constantinople (1082), a local council convened to deal with John Italos

Council of Constantinople (1094), a local council convened to deal with Leo of Chalcedon

Council of Constantinople (1285), a local council that rejected the Union of the Churches at Lyons

Fifth Council of Constantinople, considered the Ninth Ecumenical Council by some Orthodox, concerning Hesychasm, in 1341-1351

Synod of Constantinople (1484), condemned the Council of Florence

Council of Constantinople (1583), decided not to accept the Gregorian calendar

Council of Constantinople (1593), approved the creation of Moscow Patriarchate

Council of Constantinople (1722), condemned all forms of catholicisation

Council of Constantinople (1756), affirmed rebaptism for Roman Catholics converting to Christian Orthodoxy

Council of Constantinople (1848), issued the Encyclical of the Eastern Patriarchs

Council of Constantinople (1872), condemned Phyletism, as a schismatic movement

Council of Constantinople (1923), a major council, introduced several reforms

Council of Constantinople (360)

In 359, the Roman Emperor Constantius II requested a church council, at Constantinople, of both the eastern and western bishops, to resolve the split at the Council of Seleucia. According to Socrates Scholasticus, only about 50 of the Eastern bishops, and an unspecified number of the western ones, actually attended.Acacius of Caesarea declared that the Son (Jesus Christ) was similar to the Father (God) "according to the scriptures," as in the majority decision at the Council of Ariminum and close to the minority at the Council of Seleucia. Basil of Ancyra, Eustathius of Sebaste, and their party declared that the Son was of similar substance to the Father, as in the majority decision at Seleucia, a position known as homoiousia. Maris of Chalcedon, Eudoxius of Antioch, and the deacons Aëtius and Eunomius declared that the Son was of a dissimilar substance from the Father, a position known as anomoeanism or heteroousia.The Heteroousians defeated the Homoiousians in an initial debate, but Constantius banished Aëtius, after which the council, including Maris and Eudoxius, agreed to the homoian creed of Ariminum with minor modifications.Wulfila also attended the council and endorsed the resulting creed.After the Council of Constantinople, the homoiousian bishop Acacius deposed and banished several homoousian bishops, including Macedonius I of Constantinople, Basil, Eustathius, Eleusius of Cyzicus, Dracontius of Pergamum, Neonas of Seleucia, Sophronius of Pompeiopolis, Elpidius of Satala and Cyril of Jerusalem.At the same time, Acacius also deposed and banished the Anomoean deacon Aëtius.

Council of Rome

The Council of Rome was a meeting of Catholic Church officials and theologians which took place in 382 under the authority of Pope Damasus I, the current bishop of Rome. It was one of the fourth century councils that "gave a complete list of the canonical books of both the Old Testament and the New Testament."The previous year, the Emperor Theodosius I had appointed the "dark horse" candidate Nectarius as Archbishop of Constantinople. The bishops of the West opposed the election result and asked for a common synod of East and West to settle the succession of the see of Constantinople, and so the Emperor Theodosius, soon after the close of the First Council of Constantinople in 381, summoned the Imperial bishops to a fresh synod at Constantinople; nearly all of the same bishops who had attended the earlier second

re assembled again in early summer of 382. On arrival they received a letter from the synod of Milan, inviting them to a great general council at Rome; they indicated that they must remain where they were, because they had not made any preparations for such long a journey; however, they sent three—Syriacus, Eusebius, and Priscian—with a joint synodal letter to Pope Damasus, Ambrose, archbishop of Milan, and the other bishops assembled in the council at Rome.

Creed of Jerusalem

The Creed of Jerusalem is a baptismal formula used by early Christians to confess their faith. Some authors (like Philip Schaff) believed that it was one of the sources of the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed, drawn up at the First Council of Constantinople in 381 and date it to 350 AD.

In the original form, given by Cyril of Jerusalem, it says:

I believe in the Father, and in the Son, and in the Holy Ghost, and in one Baptism of repentance.

First seven ecumenical councils

In the history of Christianity, the first seven ecumenical councils include the following: the First Council of Nicaea in 325, the First Council of Constantinople in 381, the Council of Ephesus in 431, the Council of Chalcedon in 451, the Second Council of Constantinople in 553, the Third Council of Constantinople from 680–681 and finally, the Second Council of Nicaea in 787.

These seven events represented an attempt by Church leaders to reach an orthodox consensus, restore peace and develop a unified Christendom. Eastern Orthodox Christians, Oriental Orthodox Christians, the Church of the East, Anglican, Old Catholic, and Roman Catholics, all trace the legitimacy of their clergy by apostolic succession back to this period and beyond, to the earlier period referred to as Early Christianity.

This era begins with the First Council of Nicaea, which enunciated the Nicene Creed that in its original form and as modified by the First Council of Constantinople of 381 was seen by all later councils as the touchstone of orthodoxy on the doctrine of the Trinity.

The Eastern Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church accept all seven of these councils as legitimate ecumenical councils. The Oriental Orthodox Churches accept only the first three, while the Church of the East accepts only the first two. There is also one additional council (the Quinisext Council), which was held between the sixth and seventh ecumenical councils (in AD 692), and which issued organizational, liturgical and canonical rules but did not discuss theology. It is accepted as ecumenical by the Eastern Orthodox Church alone, however the Eastern Orthodox do not give it a number, but rather count it as a continuation of the sixth council. The Catholic Church does not accept the Quinisext Council, but both the Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church consider that there have been more ecumenical councils after the first seven (see: Eighth ecumenical council, Ninth ecumenical council, and Catholic ecumenical councils).

Four Marks of the Church

The Four Marks of the Church, also known as the Attributes of the Church, is a term describing four distinctive adjectives—"one, holy, catholic and apostolic"—of traditional Christian ecclesiology as expressed in the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed completed at the First Council of Constantinople in AD 381: "[We believe] in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church." This ecumenical creed is today recited in the liturgy of the Catholic Church (both Latin and Eastern Rites), the Eastern Orthodox Churches, the Oriental Orthodox Churches, the Church of the East, the Moravian Church, the Lutheran Churches, the Methodist Churches, the Presbyterian Churches, the Anglican Communion and by members of many Reformed Churches.While many doctrines, based on both tradition and different interpretations of the Bible, distinguish one denomination from another, largely explaining why there are so many different ones, the Four Marks, when defined the same way, represent a summary of what many clerical authorities have historically considered to be the most important affirmations of the Christian faith.

History of Oriental Orthodoxy

Oriental Orthodoxy is the communion of Eastern Christian Churches that recognize only three ecumenical councils — the First Council of Nicaea, the First Council of Constantinople and the Council of Ephesus. They reject the dogmatic definitions of the Council of Chalcedon. Hence, these Churches are also called Old Oriental Churches or Non-Chalcedonian Churches.

History of papal primacy

The doctrines of Petrine primacy and papal primacy are perhaps the most contentiously disputed in the history of Christianity. Theologians regard the doctrine of papal primacy as having developed gradually in the West due to the convergence of a number of factors, e.g., the dignity of Rome as the only apostolic see in the West; the tradition that both Peter and Paul had been martyred there; Rome's long history as a capital of the Roman Empire; and its continuing position as the chief center of commerce and communication.

The doctrine of the primacy of the Roman Bishops, like other Catholic Church teachings and instructions, has gone through a development. Thus the establishment of the Primacy recorded in the Gospels has been gradually more clearly recognized and its implications developed. Clear recognition of the consciousness of the Primacy of the Roman Bishops, and of the recognition of the Primacy by the other churches appear at the end of the 1st century…St. Ignatius elevated the Roman community over all the communities using in his epistle a solemn form of address. Twice he says of it that it is the presiding community, which expresses a relationship of superiority and inferiority.

Homoiousian

Homoiousios (Greek: ὁμοιούσιος from ὅμοιος, hómoios, "similar" and οὐσία, ousía, "essence, being") is a Christian theological term, coined in the 4th-century by a distinctive group of Christian theologians who held the belief that God the Son was of a similar, but not identical, essence (or substance) with God the Father. Homoiousianism arose as an attempt to reconcile two opposite teachings, homoousianism and homoianism. Following Trinitarian doctrines of the First Council of Nicaea (325), homoousians believed that God the Son was of the same (ὁμός, homós, "same") essence with God the Father. On the other hand, homoians refused to use the term οὐσία (ousía, "essence"), believing that God the Father is "incomparable" and therefore the Son of God can not be described in any sense as "equal" or "same" but only as "like" or "similar" (ὅμοιος, hómoios) to the Father, in some subordinate sense of the term. In order to find a theological solution that would reconcile those opposite teachings, homoiousians tried to compromise between the essence-language of homoousians and the notion of similarity, held by homoians. Their attempt failed, and by the First Council of Constantinople (381) homoiousianism was already marginalized.

Proponents of this view included Eustathius of Sebaste and George of Laodicea.

Nicene Christianity

Nicene Christianity as a set of Christian doctrinal traditions upholds the Nicene Creed, traditionally formulated at the First Council of Nicaea in AD 325 and amended at the First Council of Constantinople in AD 381. Nicene Christianity can equate to mainstream Christianity.The main rival doctrine of Nicene Christianity at the time of Nicaea, Arian Christianity, became eclipsed during the 7th century AD with the conversion of the Gothic kingdoms to Nicene Christianity. The main points of dissent centered on Christology. Nicene Christianity regards Christ as divine and co-eternal with God the Father, while Arian Christianity treated Christ as the first created being and inferior to God the Father. Other non-Nicene currents have been considered heresies since the early medieval period.Present-day mainstream Christian Churches - including all of the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Assyrian and Ancient Churches, Lutheran and Anglican churches, together with most Protestant denominations - adhere to the Nicene Creed and thus exemplify Nicene Christianity.

Chalcedonian Christianity forms a large subset of Nicene Christianity. In addition to subscribing to the Nicene Creed, Chalcedonian Christians also subscribe to the decisions of the First Council of Ephesus in AD 431 and of the Council of Chalcedon in AD 451. The great majority of Nicene Christians are also Chalcedonian Christians. However, some portions of Eastern Christianity such as the Oriental Orthodox Churches and historically the Church of the East adhere to the Nicene Creed but not to the Chalcedonian Definition and are therefore part of Nicene Christianity but non-Chalcedonian. (The Church of the East also rejected the outcome of the 431 Council of Ephesus.)

Examples of non-Nicene Christianity today include the various either Protestant or non-Protestant non-trinitarian groups like most of the Latter Day Saint movement (with the exception of the Nicene Mormon group the Community of Christ - formerly known as the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints), the Unitarian Church of Transylvania and the Oneness Pentecostals.

Nicene Creed

The Nicene Creed (Greek: Σύμβολον τῆς Νικαίας or, τῆς πίστεως, Latin: Symbolum Nicaenum) is a statement of belief widely used in Christian liturgy. It is called Nicene because it was originally adopted in the city of Nicaea (present day İznik, Turkey) by the First Council of Nicaea in 325. In 381, it was amended at the First Council of Constantinople, and the amended form is referred to as the Nicene or the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed.

The Oriental Orthodox and Assyrian churches use this profession of faith with the verbs in the original plural ("we believe"), but the Eastern Orthodox and Catholic churches convert those verbs to the singular ("I believe"). The Anglican and many Protestant denominations generally use the singular form, sometimes the plural.

The Apostles' Creed is also used in the Latin West, but not in the Eastern liturgies. On Sundays and solemnities, one of these two creeds is recited in the Roman Rite Mass after the homily. The Nicene Creed is also part of the profession of faith required of those undertaking important functions within the Catholic Church.In the Byzantine Rite, the Nicene Creed is sung or recited at the Divine Liturgy, immediately preceding the Anaphora (Eucharistic Prayer), and is also recited daily at compline.

Religion in Crimea

The majority of Crimean population adheres to the Russian Orthodox Church, with the Crimean Tatars forming a Sunni Muslim minority, besides smaller Roman Catholic, Ukrainian Greek Catholic, Armenian Apostolic and Jewish minorities.

The Crimean peninsula was Christianised at an early time, via Gothic Christianity, in the 4th century.

According to a 9th-century tradition, Pope Clement I (ruled 88–98) was exiled to Chersonesos (near what is now Sevastopol) in 102, as was Pope Martin I in 655. A representative from the Black Sea area, the "head of the Scythian bishopric", was present at the First Council of Nicaea in 325, as well as the First Council of Constantinople in 381; it has been surmised that this representative would have to have been Bishop Cadmus of the Bosporan Kingdom. Ostrogoths, who remained on present-day Ukrainian lands after the invasion of the Huns, established a metropolinate under the Bishop of Constantinople at Dorus in northern Crimea around the year 400.

The Goths initially adhered to Arianism, but by the 9th century, with the establishment of the Byzantine Cherson theme, the Goths in Crimea turned to the Greek Orthodox Church, under the Metropolitanate of Gothia.

A bishop's seat had also existed since 868 across the Strait of Kerch, in the city of Tmutarakan. In the mid-10th century, the eastern area of Crimea was conquered by Prince Sviatoslav I of Kiev and became part of the Kievan Rus' principality of Tmutarakan. In 988, Prince Vladimir I of Kiev also captured Chersonesos where he later converted to Christianity.

Meanwhile, the Khazars, who occupied the northern parts of the peninsula, converted to Judaism. Both the date of the conversion, and the extent of its influence beyond the elite, are disputed; the conversion must have taken place at some point between AD 740 and 920.

Islam in Crimea begins with the presence of Islamized Turco-Mongol populations following the Mongol invasion of Rus' in the 1230s. Islam becomes the state religion of the Golden Horde in 1313 with the conversion of Öz Beg Khan (Crimea's first mosque was built in Qırım in 1314).With the annexation by Russia in 1779, Crimea was again Christianised, this time under the Russian Orthodox Church, but most Crimean Tatars remain Muslim to the current day.

In 2013 Orthodox Christians made up 73% of the crimean population, followed by Muslims (15%) and Believers in God without religion (5%).

Trinitarianism in the Church Fathers

Whether the earliest Church Fathers believed in the Trinity or not is a subject for debate. Some of the evidence used to support an early belief in the Trinity are triadic statements (referring to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit) from the New Testament and the Church Fathers. The view that the Son was 'of the essence of the Father, God of God...very God of very God' was formally ratified at the First Council of Nicaea in 325 AD. The Holy Spirit was included at the First Council of Constantinople (381 AD), where the relationship between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as one substance (ousia) and three co-equal persons (hypostaseis) was formally ratified.

Trinity

The Christian doctrine of the Trinity (Latin: Trinitas, lit. 'triad', from Latin: trinus "threefold") holds that God is one God, but three coeternal consubstantial persons or hypostases—the Father, the Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit—as "one God in three Divine Persons". The three Persons are distinct, yet are one "substance, essence or nature" (homoousios). In this context, a "nature" is what one is, whereas a "person" is who one is. Sometimes differing views are referred to as nontrinitarian. Trinitarianism contrasts with positions such as Binitarianism (one deity in two persons, or two deities) and Monarchianism (no plurality of persons within God), of which Modalistic Monarchianism (one deity revealed in three modes) and Unitarianism (one deity in one person) are subsets.

While the developed doctrine of the Trinity is not explicit in the books that constitute the New Testament, the New Testament possesses a "triadic" understanding of God and contains a number of Trinitarian formulas. The doctrine of the Trinity was first formulated among the early Christians and fathers of the Church as early Christians attempted to understand the relationship between Jesus and God in their scriptural documents and prior traditions.

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