Pope Honorius I

Pope Honorius I (died 12 October 638) was Pope from 27 October 625 to his death in 638.[1]

Honorius, according to the Liber Pontificalis, came from Campania and was the son of the consul Petronius. He became pope two days after the death of his predecessor, Boniface V. The festival of the Elevation of the Cross is said to have been instituted during the pontificate of Honorius, which was marked also by considerable missionary enterprise. Much of this was centered on England, especially Wessex. He also succeeded in bringing the Irish Easter celebrations in line with the rest of the Catholic Church.

Pope

Honorius I
Pope Honorius I - Apse mosaic - Sant'Agnese fuori le mura - Rome 2016
Mosaic of Pope Honorius I - Sant'Agnese fuori le mura, Rome
Papacy began27 October 625
Papacy ended12 October 638
PredecessorBoniface V
SuccessorSeverinus
Personal details
BornCampania, Byzantine Empire
Died12 October 638
Other popes named Honorius

Papacy

Honorius became involved in early discussions regarding the doctrine of Monothelitism, which is the teaching that Christ has only one energy and one will, in contrast with the teaching that He has two energies and two wills, both human and divine.[2] Patriarch Sergius I of Constantinople wrote an initial letter informing Honorius of the Monothelite controversy, asking Honorius to endorse a position that Church unity should not be endangered by having any discussions or disputes over Christ’s possessing one energy or two. Sergius added that the doctrine of two energies could lead to the erroneous belief that Jesus has two conflicting wills.[3] Pope Honorius’ reply in 635 endorsed this view that all discussions should cease, and agreed that Jesus does not have two conflicting wills, but one will, since Jesus did not assume the vitiated human nature tainted by Adam's fall, but human nature as it existed prior to Adam's fall.[4]

He was apparently aware of the rise of Islam[5] and viewed this new religion's tenets as closely resembling those of Arius.[6]

Anathematization

More than forty years after his death, Honorius was anathematized by name along with the Monothelites by the Third Council of Constantinople (First Trullan) in 680. The anathema read, after mentioning the chief Monothelites, "and with them Honorius, who was Prelate of Rome, as having followed them in all things".[1]

Furthermore, the Acts of the Thirteenth Session of the Council state, "And with these we define that there shall be expelled from the holy Church of God and anathematized Honorius who was some time Pope of Old Rome, because of what we found written by him to [Patriarch] Sergius, that in all respects he followed his view and confirmed his impious doctrines."[7] The Sixteenth Session adds: "To Theodore of Pharan, the heretic, anathema! To Sergius, the heretic, anathema! To Cyrus, the heretic, anathema! To Honorius, the heretic, anathema! To Pyrrhus, the heretic, anathema!"[7]

However, Pope Leo II's letter of confirmation of the Council authoritatively alters the Council's condemnation so as to criticize Honorius not for teaching or committing heresy, but for "imprudent economy of silence".[8] Leo's letter states: "We anathematize the inventors of the new error, that is, Theodore, Sergius, ... and also Honorius, who did not attempt to sanctify this Apostolic Church with the teaching of Apostolic tradition, but by profane treachery permitted its purity to be polluted."[1] The New Catholic Encyclopedia notes: "It is in this sense of guilty negligence that the papacy ratified the condemnation of Honorius." Persons such as Cesare Baronio and Bellarmine have challenged accusations that Pope Honorius I taught heresy.[9]

This anathema against Honorius was later one of the main arguments against Papal infallibility in the discussions surrounding the First Vatican Council of 1870, where the episode was not ultimately regarded as contrary to the proposed dogma. This was because Honorius was not considered by the supporters of infallibility to be speaking ex cathedra in the letters in question and he was alleged to have never been condemned as a Monothelite, nor, asserted the proponents of infallibility, was he condemned for teaching heresy, but rather for gross negligence and a lax leadership at a time when his letters and guidance were in a position to quash the heresy at its roots.

Historian Jaroslav Pelikan notes: "It is evident, as Maximus noted in exoneration of Honorius, that his opposition to the idea of 'two wills' was based on the interpretation of 'two wills' as 'two contrary wills.' He did not mean that Christ was an incomplete human being, devoid of a human will, but that as a human being he did not have any action in his body nor any will in his soul that could be contrary to the action and will of God, that is, to the action and will of his own divine nature."[10]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c Wikisource-logo.svg Chapman, John (1910). "Pope Honorius I" . In Herbermann, Charles (ed.). Catholic Encyclopedia. 7. New York: Robert Appleton Company. |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  2. ^ *Catholic Encyclopedia: Monothelitism and Monothelites
  3. ^ Hefele, pg 25
  4. ^ Hefele, pg 29-30
  5. ^ Muhammad Ata Ur-Rahim; Ahmad Thomson (2003). Jesus: Prophet of Islam. TTQ, INC. p. 148. ISBN 9781879402737.
  6. ^ Ata Ur-Rahim, Thomson 2003, p. 148., quote: "Pope Honorius was aware of the rising tide of Islam, whose tenets very much resembled those of Arius. The mutual killing of Christians by each other was still fresh in his memory, and perhaps he thought that what he had heard about Islam might be applied in healing the differences between the various Christian sects. In his letters he began to support the doctrine of 'one mind' within the doctrine of Trinity. He argued that if God had three independent minds, the result would be chaos. This logical and reasonable conclusion pointed to the belief in the existence of One God."
  7. ^ a b Percival, Henry Robert (1900). The Seven Ecumenical Councils of the Undivided Church. A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church (second series). XIV. James Parker & Co. p. 343. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
  8. ^ Bury, pg 252
  9. ^ Perlant, M. Jean-Andre (June 1994). "The Sullied Reputation of a Holy Pope". The Francinta Messenger.
  10. ^ Pelikan, Jaroslav (1977-07-15). "The Spirit of Eastern Christendom (600-1700)". The Christian Tradition. 2. University of Chicago Press. p. 151. ISBN 978-0-226-65373-0.

Bibliography

External links

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Boniface V
Pope
625–638
Succeeded by
Severinus

Original text taken from a paper copy of the 9th edition Encyclopædia Britannica (1881) and the Catholic Encyclopedia

638

Year 638 (DCXXXVIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar. The denomination 638 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.

Bertulf of Bobbio

Saint Bertulf (died 640) was a German who converted to Christianity. He was the son of a pagan nobleman and was a near relative of Arnulf of Metz, whose example had such an influence on Bertulf that he became a Christian and in 620 entered the monastery of Luxeuil.

A few years later he became acquainted with Abbot Attala, who had come to Luxeuil on a visit, and, with permission of Abbot Eustace of Luxeuil, joined Attala's community at Bobbio in Italy. Upon the death of Attala in 627, Bertulf was elected by the monks of Bobbio as their abbot. Like his predecessor, he insisted on the observance of the austere rule introduced by St. Columban, the founder of Bobbio Abbey, and preached fearlessly against Arianism, which had gained a firm foothold in Italy under the Lombard kings.

When the Bishop of Tortona endeavoured to bring Bobbio under his own jurisdiction, Bertulf hastened to Rome, where Pope Honorius I received him kindly and granted the monastery entire exemption from episcopal jurisdiction. Jonas, a monk of Bobbio, who accompanied Bertulf on his journey to Rome, relates that, while returning to his monastery, Bertulf was attacked by a deadly fever, and cured miraculously by St. Peter. The same author ascribes a few other miracles to the prayers of St. Bertulf. Most martyrologies give him the title of saint. His feast is celebrated on August 19.

Ceccano

Ceccano is a town and comune in the province of Frosinone, Lazio, central Italy, in the Latin Valley.

Disputationes

Disputationes (full title: Disputationes de Controversiis Christianae Fidei adversus hujus temporis Haereticos, also referred to as De Controversiis) is a work on dogmatics by Robert Bellarmine. It has been described as "the definitive defence of papal power". After its publication, Bellarmine was regarded as Rome's foremost apologist on doctrine and papal power.It was written while Bellarmine was lecturing at the Roman College, and was first published at Ingolstadt in three volumes (1581, 1582, 1593) or four. This work was the earliest attempt to systematize the various controversies of the time, and made an immense impression throughout Europe, the strength of its arguments against Protestantism so acutely felt in Germany and England that special chairs were founded in order to provide replies to it. Thomas Hobbes, Theodore Beza and John Rainolds were among those who wrote counter-arguments against the work.

The first volume treats of the Word of God, of Christ, and of the pope; the second of the authority of ecumenical councils, and of the Church, whether militant, suffering, or triumphant; the third of the sacraments; and the fourth of Divine grace, free will, justification, and good works.As much as Protestants disliked Bellarmine's theories, he was in fact moderate in his defence of papal power. In 1590, Pope Sixtus V had, or very nearly had, the first volume placed on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum for denying temporal hegemony to the papacy. Bellarmine's reasoning was that though the pope is the vicar of Christ, since Christ did not exercise his temporal power, nor may the pope.The most important part of the work is contained in the five books regarding the pope. In these, after a speculative introduction on forms of government in general, holding monarchy to be relatively the best, Bellarmine says that a monarchical government and the related temporal power are necessary for the Church, to preserve unity and order in it.

Such power Bellarmine considers to have been established by the commission of Christ to Saint Peter. He then proceeds to demonstrate that this power has been transmitted to the successors of Peter, admitting that a heretical pope may be freely judged and deposed by the Church since by the very fact of his heresy he would cease to be pope, or even a member of the Church.

The third section discusses the Antichrist. Bellarmine gives in full the theory set forth by the Church Fathers, of a personal Antichrist to come just before the end of the world and to be accepted by the Jews and enthroned in the Temple in Jerusalem—thus endeavoring to dispose of the Protestant exposition which saw in the pope the Antichrist.

The fourth section sets forth the pope as the supreme judge in matters of faith and morals, though making the concessions that the pope may err in questions of fact which may be known by ordinary human knowledge, and also when he speaks as a mere unofficial theologian. Bellarmine took in particular the example of Pope Honorius I, who had been anathemized by the Third Council of Constantinople as holding to monothelitism. He claimed that although monothelitism had been rightly condemned, Honorius was however orthodox as he had not really held these views, and that papal authority did not extend itself to the factual interpretation of what was to be found in Honorius or not.

Ecthesis

The Ecthesis (Greek: Ἔκθεσις) is a letter published in 638 CE by the Byzantine emperor Heraclius which defined monotheletism as the official imperial form of Christianity.

Good King Dagobert

Good King Dagobert (French title: Le bon roi Dagobert; in Italian: Dagobert) is a 1984 French-Italian film directed by Dino Risi.

Honorius of Thebes

Honorius of Thebes, a possibly mythical character from the Middle Ages, is said to have authored The Sworn Book of Honorius, although the first printed manuscript of this work did not appear until 1629. Considerable mystery still exists about the identity of Honorius, both Pope Honorius I and Pope Honorius III have been linked to the character. Honorius of Thebes is also claimed to be the creator of the Theban alphabet, in Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa's De Occulta Philosophia (1531) and Johannes Trithemius's Polygraphia (1518).

According to the Sworn Book of Honorius, he is supposed to be "the son of Euclid, master of the Thebians". But the book delivers no source to whom this might be.

Monoenergism

Monoenergism (Greek: μονοενεργητισμός) was a notion in early medieval Christian theology, representing the belief that Christ had only one "energy" (energeia). The teaching of one energy was propagated during the first half of the seventh century by Patriarch Sergius I of Constantinople but opposition to Dyoenergism would persist until Dyoenergism was espoused as Orthodoxy at the Sixth Ecumenical Council. Ultimately, monoenergism was rejected as heresy, in favour of dyoenergism.

After the failure of Emperor Justinian I and the Second Council of Constantinople to mend the Chalcedonian schism and unify main Christian communities within the Byzantine Empire by a single Christology, similar efforts were renewed by Heraclius (610–641) who attempted to solve the schism between the Eastern Orthodox Chalcedonian party and the monophysite non-Chalcedonian party, suggesting the compromise of monoenergism. This compromise adopted the Chalcedonian dyophysite belief that Christ the Incarnate Logos of God is of and in two natures, but tried to address monophysite misgivings by the view that Christ had one "energy" (energeia), a term whose definition was left deliberately vague. Monoenergism was accepted by the Patriarchs of Constantinople, Antioch, and Alexandria, as well as by the Armenians and was not clearly criticized by Pope Honorius I of Rome in his 635 epistle. However, it was rejected by Athanasius I Gammolo and the strong opposition of Patriarch Sophronius of Jerusalem won wide support. This led Heraclius to abandon the teaching in 638 (though still condemning Dyoenergism) and to attempt to enforce instead the doctrine of monothelitism, opposed most notably by Maximus the Confessor. This too failed to heal the schism and theologically unite the empire.

Both monoenergism as well as monotheletism were condemned as heresies by the Sixth Ecumenical Council, held in Constantinople in 680.

Monothelitism

Monothelitism or monotheletism (from Greek μονοθελητισμός "doctrine of one will") is a particular teaching about how the divine and human relate in the person of Jesus. The Christological doctrine formally emerged in Armenia and Syria in 629. Specifically, monothelitism is the view that Jesus Christ has two natures but only one will. That is contrary to the Christology that Jesus Christ has two wills (human and divine) that correspond to his two natures (dyothelitism). Monothelitism is a development of the Neo-Chalcedonian position in the Christological debates. Formulated in 638, it enjoyed considerable popularity, even garnering patriarchal support, before being rejected and denounced as heretical in 681, at the Third Council of Constantinople.

Patriarchate of Old Aquileia

The Patriarchate of Old-Aquileia were claimants to the title of Patriarch of Aquileia.

Pope Boniface V

Pope Boniface V (Latin: Bonifatius V; d. 25 October 625) was Pope from 23 December 619 to his death in 625. He did much for the Christianising of England, and enacted the decree by which churches became places of sanctuary. Boniface V was a Neapolitan who succeeded Pope Adeodatus I after a vacancy of more than a year. Before his consecration, Italy was disturbed by the rebellion of the eunuch Eleutherius, Exarch of Ravenna. The patrician pretender advanced towards Rome, but before he could reach the city, he was slain by his own troops.The Liber Pontificalis records that Boniface made certain enactments relative to the rights of sanctuary, and that he ordered the ecclesiastical notaries to obey the laws of the empire on the subject of wills. He also prescribed that acolytes should not presume to translate the relics of martyrs and that, in the Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano, they should not take the place of deacons in administering baptism. Boniface completed and consecrated the cemetery of Saint Nicomedes on the Via Nomentana. In the Liber Pontificalis, Boniface is described as "the mildest of men", whose chief distinction was his great love for the clergy.The Venerable Bede writes of the pope's affectionate concern for the English Church. The "letters of exhortation" which he is said to have addressed to Mellitus, Archbishop of Canterbury, and to Justus, Bishop of Rochester, are no longer extant, but certain other letters of his have been preserved. One is written to Justus after he had succeeded Mellitus as Archbishop of Canterbury in 624, conferring the pallium upon him and directing him to "ordain bishops as occasion should require." According to Bede, Pope Boniface also sent letters to King Edwin of Northumbria in 625 urging him to embrace the Christian faith, and to the Christian Princess Æthelburg of Kent, Edwin's spouse, exhorting her to use her best endeavours for the conversion of her consort (Bede, H.E., II, vii, viii, x, xi).Boniface V was buried in St. Peter's Basilica on 25 October 625. He was succeeded by Pope Honorius I.

Pope Honorius

Honorius has been the name of four Roman Catholic Popes and one Antipope. The name is of Latin origin, derived from honōrō ("honor, respect").

Pope Honorius I (625-638)

Antipope Honorius II (1061-1072)

Pope Honorius II (1124-1130)

Pope Honorius III (1216-1227)

Pope Honorius IV (1285-1287)

Romanus (bishop of Rochester)

Romanus (died before 627) was the second bishop of Rochester and presumably was a member of the Gregorian mission sent to Kent to Christianize the Anglo-Saxons from their native Anglo-Saxon paganism. Romanus was consecrated bishop around 624 and died before 627 by drowning. Little is known of his life beyond these facts.

San Pancrazio

The church of San Pancrazio (English: St Pancras; Latin: S. Pancratii) is a Roman Catholic ancient basilica and titular church founded by Pope Symmachus in the 6th century in Rome, Italy. It stands in via S. Pancrazio, westward beyond the Porta San Pancrazio that opens in a stretch of the Aurelian Wall on the Janiculum.

The Cardinal Priest of the Titulus S. Pancratii is Antonio Cañizares Llovera. Among the previous titulars, Pope Paul IV (15 January-24 September 1537) and Pope Clement VIII (18 December 1585-30 January 1592).

Sant'Agnese fuori le mura

The church of Saint Agnes Outside the Walls (Italian: Sant'Agnese fuori le mura) is a titulus church, minor basilica in Rome, on a site sloping down from the Via Nomentana, which runs north-east out of the city, still under its ancient name. What are said to be the remains of Saint Agnes are below the high altar. The church is built over the Catacombs of Saint Agnes, where the saint was originally buried, and which may still be visited from the church. A large basilica with the same name was built nearby in the 4th century and its ruins can be seen near Santa Costanza, in the same site. The existing church was built by Pope Honorius I in the 7th century, and largely retains its original structure, despite many changes to the decoration. In particular the mosaic in the apse of Agnes, Honorius, and another Pope is largely in its original condition. The current Cardinal Priest of the Titulus S. Agnetis Extra moenia is Camillo Ruini.

Santa Lucia in Selci

The Church of Saint Lucy in Selci (Italian: Santa Lucia in Selci, also known as Santa Lucia in Silice or Santa Lucia in Orfea (in Orphea, in Orthea)) is an ancient Roman Catholic church, located in Rome, dedicated to Saint Lucy, a 4th-century virgin and martyr.

Sergius I of Constantinople

Sergius I (Greek: Σέργιος Α΄, Sergios I ; d. 9 December 638 in Constantinople) was the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople from 610 to 638. He is most famous for promoting Monothelite Christianity, especially through the Ecthesis.Sergius was born of Syrian Jacobite heritage. He first came to power as Patriarch of Constantinople in 610. He was also a known supporter of Emperor Heraclius, crowning Heraclius as Emperor himself in 610. Sergius also provided support to Heraclius throughout his campaign against the Persians. Sergius also played a prominent role in the defense of Constantinople against the combined Avar-Persian-Slavic forces during their invasion of Constantinople in 626. Sergius' connections to both political and religious authorities gave him to his influence in both the religious and political communities to further Monothelitism as the primary formula of Christ within the church. This was met with much opposition, especially from that of the Chalcedonian supporters, Maximus the Confessor and Sophronius. In response to their resistance to accept the ideas of Monothelitism, Sergius responded with the Ecthesis, a formula which forbade the idea that the Person of Christ had two energies in favour of the idea that the Person of Christ had two natures that were united by a single will. The Ecthesis was signed by Heraclius in 638, the same year that Sergius died.

The Ecthesis would only be seen as an accepted doctrine for two years; the death of Pope Honorius I resulted in a significant reduction in Monothelitism support. The Ecthesis was condemned in 640 by Pope John IV. Additionally, both Sergius and Pope Honorius I were condemned as heretics by the church in 680-681 by the Third Council of Constantinople.

Type of Constans

The Type of Constans (also called Typos of Constans) was an imperial edict issued by Byzantine Emperor Constans II in 648 in an attempt to defuse the confusion and arguments over the Christological doctrine of Monotheletism. For over two centuries, there had been a bitter debate regarding the nature of Christ: the orthodox Chalcedonian position defined Christ as having two natures in one person, whereas Monophysite opponents contended that Jesus Christ possessed but a single nature. At the time, the Byzantine Empire had been at near constant war for fifty years and had lost large territories. It was under great pressure to establish domestic unity. This was hampered by the large number of Byzantines who rejected the Council of Chalcedon in favour of Monophysitism.

The Type attempted to dismiss the entire controversy, on pain of dire punishment. This extended to kidnapping the Pope from Rome to try him for high treason and mutilating one of the Type's main opponents. Constans died in 668. Ten years later his son, Constantine IV, fresh from a triumph over his Arab enemies and with the predominately Monophysitic provinces irredeemably lost, called the Third Council of Constantinople. It decided with an overwhelming majority to condemn Monophysitism, Monotheletism, the Type of Constans and its major supporters. Constantine put his seal to the Council's decisions, and reunited such of Christendom as was not under Arab suzerainty.

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