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A Hstory Of The Councils Of The Church Volumes 1 to 5 by Charles Joseph Hefele D.D.

SEC. 312. The Emperor Constantine Pogonatus wishes for a Great Conference of Easterns and Westerns

WITH the beginning of the reign of the Emperor Constantine Pogonatus there commences a turning-point in the history of Monothelitism. The new Emperor had no intention of sustaining the Typus of his father by force, and this encouraged Pope Vitalian to break his previous silence and publicly to make a stand for orthodoxy. That he did so we see from this, that the Monothelites at Constantinople, after his death, took the trouble to remove his name again from the diptychs. Vitalian died in January 672, and after Adeodatus had reigned, without any remarkable incidents, for four years, under his successor, Donus or Domnus (676–678), the Emperor came forward with the plan of restoring again the broken peace of the Church by an assembly of the East and the West. Leisure for this work of union was given to him by the advantageous peace which, in the year 678, he had concluded with the Calif Muavia, and immediately afterwards with the King of the Avari (in Hungary). That he at that time regarded himself as completely orthodox and a decided friend of Dyothelitism, cannot be proved. On the contrary, at that time he professed to belong to neither of the parties, and even allowed himself to be misguided to several false steps by the Monothelites.

In Constantinople, Bishop Peter, whose acquaintance we have already made, was followed by the Patriarchs Thomas, John, and Constantine, in respect to whom the thirteenth session of the sixth Œcumenical Synod decreed that their names should be left in the diptychs, because their synodal letters contained nothing heterodox. The succeeding Patriarch, Theodore (since 678), showed that he was so, by the fact that he wished to strike the name of Pope Vitalian entirely from the diptychs (see below, p. 139), as a friend of heresy. He also hesitated to send his Synodicon or Enthronisticon to the Pope, fearing that, like those of his predecessors, it might not be received, and preferred to despatch to Rome a προτρεπτικὴ ἐπιστολή, i.e. an exhortation to the restoration of ecclesiastical communion.

Immediately afterwards the Emperor himself addressed Pope Donus in a very courteous letter, of August 12, 678, in the introduction of which he entitled him οἰκουμενικὸς πάπας. He tells him in this letter how, from the beginning of his reign, he would have gladly brought about the union between Rome and Constantinople by means of a universal conference (καθολικὴ συνάθροισις) of both thrones, but had been hindered in this by passing events, and then relates what we have already brought forward on the letter of the Patriarch Theodore to the Pope. After the despatch of this patriarchal letter, he (the Emperor) had questioned Theodore and Macarius, Patriarch of Antioch, as to the foundation of the disunion between Rome and the East, and had learnt that some expressions which had not formerly been customary were to blame for all.… There should be no perpetual disunion on account of such lamentable disputes, so that the heathen and heretics might not exult. Because, however, no time could be found for the holding of an Œcumenical Synod, the Pope should send deputies, well instructed and armed with all authority, to Constantinople, that they might have a peaceful examination in communion with Macarius of Antioch and Theodore of Constantinople, and, under the protection of the Holy Spirit, discover and accept the truth. As security, this imperial Sacra should avail. He himself, the Emperor, was thoroughly impartial, and would compel the papal plenipotentiaries to nothing; but, on the contrary, would receive them with all distinction, and in case no union should come to pass, would let them depart in peace. In respect to the deputies to be sent, he proposed, if the Pope so pleased, to select three or more clerics from the Roman Church (in specie), from the rest of his patriarchal diocese some twelve archbishops and bishops, and add to them four monks from each of the four Greek monasteries (in Rome). Thus, he hoped, would truth come to light, and he should have held it a great sin to be silent when he considered the disunion among the bishops. Macarius of Antioch and Theodore of Constantinople had pressed him earnestly to have the name of Pope Vitalian struck from the diptychs, that Honorius should remain there in honour of the Roman see, but that his successors should not be mentioned until both thrones had come to an understanding with respect to the contested expressions. He, however, the Emperor, had not consented, because he regarded both parties as orthodox, and because Vitalian had supported him greatly in his victory over the usurper. Finally, he had given orders to his exarch in Italy to support the deputies of the Pope in question in every way, with ships, money, and all that they wanted, and, if necessary, to let them have fortified (armed) ships καστελλάτους καράβους) for security.

When this imperial letter was despatched, Pope Donus was no longer alive (†April 11, 678), and Agatho was already elected (June 27, 678). He without delay fell into the plan of the Emperor, and made the preparations necessary for carrying it out. He wished the whole of the West to express itself on the controversy, and that this should be done especially by the bishops in the districts of the barbarians,—Lombardi, Sclaves, Franks, Goths, and Britons,—that they might not afterwards bring reproaches, and that controversies might not break out in the West itself. The delay rendered necessary for the sending of the papal deputies was made use of by Theodore of Constantinople and Macarius, and finally they requested the Emperor to give his assent to the blotting of Vitalian out of the diptychs. Probably they represented the matter as if Rome wanted no arrangement and would send no deputies.

SEC. 313. Western preparatory Synods, especially at Rome, A.D. 680

The Pope, in order to draw in the whole of the West to this affair, summoned bishops from all countries to Rome. This we learn from his letter to the Emperor, and from the Synod which he himself held at Rome. Similar assemblies were also to take place in the provinces, so that the episcopate everywhere might speak its mind. From such a Synod at Milan, under Archbishop Mausuetus, we still possess a letter to the Emperor, in which Constantine the Great and Theodosius the Great are presented to him as models; at the same time, adhesion to the five Œcumenical Councils is declared, and the orthodox doctrine is set forth in a new creed, at the close of which they speak of the two natural wills and operations of Christ. Paul the deacon mentions the priest Damian, afterwards Bishop of Pavia, as having composed this creed.

Another Synod of the same kind was held, A.D. 680, by the celebrated Theodore of Canterbury with the English bishops at Heathfield. The orthodox faith, with adhesion to the five Œcumenical Councils, as well as the Lateran Synod under Pope Martin, was pronounced, and Monothelitism condemned. At the same time the Synod expressly confessed the doctrine of the procession of the Holy Ghost also from the Son. That a Gallican Synod also took place at the same time, many inferred from the words with which the Gallican deputies accompanied their subscription at the Roman Synod held by Agatho, e.g. Felix humilis episcopus Arelatensis, legatus venerabilis synodi per Galliarum provincias constitutæ. But under synodus per Galliarum provincias constituta is here meant, as Hardouin rightly perceived, the collective Gallican episcopate, and not a Gallican Synod. It is the same with the subscription of Archbishop Wilfrid of York, who was also present at the Roman Synod, and designated himself as legatus venerabilis synodi per Britanniam constitutæ. The only difference is that Felix of Arles was really a deputy of the French [Frankish] episcopate, whilst Wilfrid was at Rome on his own business (see vol. iv. p. 492), and was qualified to testify to the faith of England, but not as deputy of the English episcopate.

Following the lead of Pagi (ad ann. 679, 15), many transfer to the year 679 the Roman Council of 125 bishops, which Pope Agatho held, in accordance with the wish of the Emperor, in order that they might send fully instructed deputies to Constantinople. Pagi saw rightly that this Council was different from the one which restored S. Wilfrid of York (see vol. iv. p. 492), and followed soon after this. He also rightly showed that it took place at Easter, but his reason for preferring the year 679 is no other than this, that an old document says that the Synod at Heathfield was held in the year 680 after the return of Wilfrid (from Rome), and he had been present at the Roman Synod of the 125 bishops. But this document, containing the Privilegium Petriburgense, is of very doubtful authority, and in any case considerably interpolated. Its statement respecting Wilfrid, therefore, cannot be accepted as historically true. According to this, Wilfrid was present at the Synod of Heathfield as restored Bishop of York, whilst, as a matter of fact, he was put in prison after his return, and subsequently was banished, and did not return to his diocese until the year 686. Our reason for placing the Roman Synod of Agatho, this precursor of the sixth Œcumenical Council, rather at Easter 680 than in 679 is the following: (a) The Pope and the bishops assembled around him say themselves that at the opening of the Synod they waited for a long time in the hope that more bishops would arrive; (b) the deputies whom this Synod sent to Constantinople arrived there on September 10, 680, so that we naturally refer the Synod that sent them to the same year.

SEC. 314. The Deputies from Rome and the Letters with which they were furnished

The deputies were furnished with two letters. The one, very comprehensive, was from Pope Agatho alone, was addressed to the Emperor and his two brothers whom he had raised to be his co-regents, and was intended to form a counterpart to the celebrated Epistola of Leo I. to Flavian. The Pope in his letter above all commends the zeal of the Emperors for the true faith, and that they wished to secure its universal acceptance not by violence and by terrorism. Christ did not use violence, but demands voluntary confession of the true faith from His people. He, the Pope, soon after the reception of the imperial letter addressed to his predecessor Donus, had begun to look round for suitable men, in order that he might be able to respond to the command of the Emperor. But the wide extent of his diocese (concilium) had caused delay, and a considerable time had elapsed before the bishops had come from the different provinces to a Synod at Rome, and he had selected the proper persons partly from the city of Rome subject to the Emperors, and partly from the neighbourhood; moreover, he had waited for the arrival of others from distant provinces to which his predecesssors had sent missionaries. He had now selected three bishops, Abundantius of Paterno, John of Reggio, and John of Portus, also the priests Theodore and George, the deacon John, and the sub-deacon Constantine from Rome, also the priest Theodore as deputy of the Church of Ravenna, as envoys, more in order to fulfil the will of the Emperors than from any special confidence in their learning. With people who live among the barbarians (nationes), and have to earn their maintenance by bodily work, and this in great uncertainty, comprehensive learning cannot possibly be expected. But that which former Popes and the five holy Synods had expressed is held fast by them in simplicity. He had communicated to them also the testimonies of the Fathers, together with their writings, so that, with the Emperor’s permission, they might be able from these to prove what the Roman Church believes. Moreover, they had the necessary authority, but they must not presume to increase or diminish or alter anything (in the faith), but must simply explain the tradition of the apostolic see, which came down from the predecessors of the Pope (ut nihil profecto præsumant augere, minuere, vel mutare, sed traditionem hujus apostolicæ sedis, ut a prædecessoribus apostolicis pontificibus instituta est, sinceriter enarrare). The Emperors would be pleased to receive them graciously. That, however, the Emperors might know what the faith of the Roman Church is, he will explain it as he has received it through the tradition of his predecessors (Honorius also?), and he does it in the form of a symbol, at the end of which the doctrine of two natural wills and operations is asserted. This is the apostolic and evangelical tradition, which the apostolic (Roman) Church holds fast, this the Holy Ghost taught by the prince-apostles, this S. Peter handed down under whose protection this apostolic (Roman) Church never swerved from the way of truth (nunquam a via veritatis in qualibet erroris parte deflexa est). This is the true rule of faith which the apostolic Church, the mother of the empire, in good and bad fortune has always held fast, which by the grace of God has never erred from the way of the apostolic tradition, now submitted to heretical innovations. As she received from the beginning the pure doctrine from the apostles, so it remains until the end unfalsified, according to the promise of the Lord: “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan asked to have you, that he might sift you as wheat: but I made supplication for thee, that thy faith fail not; and do thou, when once thou art turned again, stablish thy brethren” (S. Luke 22:31, 32). This the predecessors of the Pope, as every one knew, had always done, and so will he also do. Since the Bishops of Constantinople had endeavoured to introduce the heretical innovation, the predecessors of the Pope had never failed to exhort them, and to adjure them to keep away from the heretical dogma, or at least to keep silence, so that there should be no assertion of one will and one operation of the two natures in Christ, by which discussion should arise in the Church. In that which follows, the Pope explains the orthodox doctrine of two wills and two operations in Christ in detail, and adduces in support many Scripture passages with their exposition by the Fathers of the Church. He shows also that the will is a matter of nature, and that one who denies the human will of Christ must also deny His human soul; he further shows that Dyothelitism is contained already in the decrees of the faith of Chalcedon and of the fifth Œcumenical Council, that the Monothelite doctrine offended against these decrees, and took away the diversity of natures in Christ. To this Pope Agatho adds many patristic testimonies for Dyothelitism, partly the same which had already been adduced by the Lateran Synod (sec. 307), and, again imitating the Lateran Council, selects several passages from the books of older heretics in order to prove that Monothelitism has a relationship with these. He also gives a short history of the new controversies, and shows how the innovators, Sergius, Pyrrhus, Paul, and Peter of Constantinople, had often contradicted themselves, sometimes maintaining one will and one energy, and sometimes forbidding to speak of one or two energies and wills. From the error of these teachers the Church must be delivered, and all bishops, clerics, and laymen must accept the orthodox doctrine which is founded on the firm rock of this Church of S. Peter quæ ejus gratia atque præsidio ab omni errore illibata permanet. For this Emperors should be active and drive away the heretical teachers. If they were, God would bless their government. If the Bishop of Constantinople received this doctrine, then there would be one heart and one mind; but if he preferred to hold by the innovation against which the previous Popes had given warning indesinenter, he would take upon himself a huge responsibility before God. At the close, the Pope again entreats and adjures the Emperors to bring the matter to a good end.

In this letter there are three points quite specially worthy of consideration: (1) The certainty and clearness with which Agatho sets forth the orthodox Dyothelitic doctrine; (2) the zeal with which he repeatedly declares the infallibility of the Roman Church; and (3) the strong assurance, many times repeated, that all his predecessors had stood fast in the right doctrine, and had given exhortation to the Patriarchs of Constantinople in the correct sense. Agatho was then far removed from accusing his predecessor Honorius of heresy, and the supposition that he had beforehand consented to his condemnation entirely contradicts this letter.

The second document which the deputies at Constantinople had to present was the synodal letter of the Roman Council. It is also addressed to the Emperor Constantine Pogonatus and his two brothers and co-regents, sent by Pope Agatho cum universis synodis (= provinces) subjacentibus concilio apostolicæ sedis, and subscribed by all present, the Pope and one hundred and twenty-five bishops. At the beginning these speak as though they were all subjects of the Empire; but the subscriptions show that there were present also a good many bishops from Lombardy, two bishops and a deacon as plenipotentiaries of the Gallican episcopate, and Wilfrid of York from England. By far the majority came from Italy and Sicily, and they subscribed, as it seemed, without any definite order. In their synodal letter they thank the Emperors for the trouble they take to help the true faith to full splendour, and hope that the rare fortune may be allotted to the government of the Emperors, that through them the light of “our Catholic and apostolic true faith (the Roman) might shine in the whole world, which light, rising from the source of all light, was preserved by the prince-apostles Peter and Paul, and their disciples and apostolic successors up to the present Pope, nulla hæretici erroris tetra caligine tenebratum, nec falsitatis nebulis confoedatum, nec intermissis hæreticis pravitatibus velut caliginosis nebulis perumbratum,” etc. They then speak of the difficulty of the present times of confusion and war, when the provinces were everywhere attacked by the barbarians, and the impossibility, when the Church had lost her property and the clergy had to earn a living by manual labour, of finding among the clergy men of learning, eloquence, etc. But they were strong in the faith, and that was their best possession. This faith they now declare in a formal creed, in which also the doctrine of two natural wills and operations is received. This creed, they proceed to say, the Lateran Synod under Pope Martin proclaimed. The Emperors should make this creed prevail everywhere, and take care that the tares were rooted out. The originators of the tares were Theodore of Pharan, Cyrus of Alexandria, Sergius, Pyrrhus, Paul, and Peter of Constantinople, and all who had remained likeminded with them to the end (of their life). They had not only swerved from the truth, but had also spoken against it. The Synod further excused itself for sending the deputies so late. In the first place, the sees of many members of the Synod were far removed, by the ocean, and therefore the journey to Rome had required much time. Moreover, they had hoped that Theodore of Canterbury, the archbishop and philosopher of the great island of Britain, and other bishops of that region, would arrive and join the Synod. So also they had been forced to wait for many members from different districts of the Lombards, Sclaves, Franks, Gauls, Goths, and Britons, that their declaration might go forth from them collectively, and not merely from one part of them and remain unknown to the other, especially as many bishops, whose sees were among the barbarians, were much interested in this matter. It would be a great gain if they were to agree. On the other hand, it would be very bad if they, taking offence at a point of faith, should assume a hostile attitude towards the others. The Synod wished and strove that the Empire in which the see of S. Peter, which all Christians venerate, is set up, should, for Peter’s sake, have a rank above all other nations. The Emperors would please to receive the deputies graciously, and, when the business was completed, let them return again peacefully to their home. Thus would they reap glory, like Constantine the Great, Theodosius the Great, Marcian, and Justinian. They should labour for this, that the true faith, which the Roman Church had preserved, should prevail universally. Whoever of the bishops should acknowledge this faith was to be regarded as a brother; whoever should refuse it should be condemned as an enemy of the Catholic faith. The adoption of this faith would bring a great blessing.

When the Western deputies arrived in Constantinople, they were received by the Emperor with great honour, and exhorted to settle the controversy in a peaceful manner, without dialectic, purely according to the utterances of Holy Scripture. Their maintenance they received from the Emperor, and the Placidia Palace was assigned to them as a residence. On a Sunday they took part in a very solemn procession to S. Mary’s Church in the Blachernæ suburb.

If the chronological statement in the imperial edict now to be described is correct, Constantine Pogonatus, on the same day on which the deputies landed at Constantinople, published a Sacra to the Patriarch George (μακαριωτάτῳ ἀρχιεπισκόπῳ καὶ οἰκουμενικῷ πατριάρχῃ), who in the meantime had succeeded the banished Theodore, to the effect that he meant to summon all the metropolitans and bishops belonging to his jurisdiction to Constantinople, that, under God’s assistance, the dogma on the will and the energy of Christ might be carefully examined. He would also make Archbishop Macarius of Antioch acquainted with it, that he too might send metropolitans and bishops from his diocese to Constantinople. For the same purpose the Emperor himself had, a considerable time ago, applied to the most holy Pope Donus of Old Rome, and his successor, the holy Agatho, had sent as his representatives the priests Theodore and George, together with the deacon John. On the part of the Roman Council, there were three bishops with other clerics and monks appointed. They had arrived in Constantinople, and had delivered to the Emperor the letters which they had brought with them. The Patriarch George should now make haste to summon his bishops.

In the old Latin translation, but not in the Greek original, this decree bears the date: iv. Idus Sept. imperante piissimo perpetuo Augusto Constantino imperatore anno xxviii., et post consulatum ejus anno xii. But Pagi showed that, instead of xxviii. we must read xxvii. (ad ann. 680, 4). Constantine became co-regent with his father before the 26th of April 654, so that his twenty-seventh year began in April 680, and in fact the Acts of the sixth Œcumenical Council also give the number xxvii. The imperial edict was accordingly published on September 10, 680. This also agrees with ann. xii. post consulatum, for Constantine became consul perpetuus towards the end of the year 668, so that the 10th of September 680 falls into the twelfth year of his consulate.

SEC. 315. First Session of the Sixth Œcumenical Synod

As we saw, the Emperor, at first, having regard to the circumstances of the time, had intended no Œcumenical Synod; but that which actually took place, at its first session and with his consent, called itself an οἰκουμενική. How this alteration took place is unknown. Perhaps it arose from the fact that, contrary to expectation, the Patriarchs of Alexandria and Jerusalem also sent their representatives, and thus had given the possibility of an Œcumenical Council. The Acts are still preserved for us in the Greek original, and in two old Latin translations, printed in Mansi, t. xi. pp. 195–736, and pp. 738–922. Hardouin, t. iii. pp. 1043–1479 and 1479–1644. The question, whether these Acts were falsified, we shall discuss later on. The collective meetings of the Synod were held, as the Acts state, ἐν τῷ σεκρέτῳ τοῦ θείου παλατίου, τῷ οὕτω λεγομένῳ Τρούλλῳ. Pagi (ad ann. 680, n. 8) knew that the splendid cupola which covers the church of S. Sophia at Constantinople, a work of the Emperor Justinian, was called sometimes τρούλλιον, sometimes trullum or trulla. He concluded from this that the sixth Council had been held in eo ædificio. But trulla or trullum (= mason’s trowel, scoop) was terminus technicus for all cupolas or domes, and the words of the Acts point to a hall (or chapel), with a vault like a cupola, in the imperial palace. With this also Anastasius agrees in the Vitæ Pontificum, when he says that the Synod had been held in basilica quæ Trullus appellatur, intra palatium. The transactions lasted from November 7, 680, to September 16, 681, and the sessions are said to have been eighteen. The number of persons present during this long period differed; at the beginning it was smaller, subsequently larger. The minutes of the last session were signed by 174 members, and first by the three papal legates, the Roman priests Theodore and George, with the deacon John. After them came the Patriarch George of Constantinople, and the other Patriarchs or their representatives, then the metropolitans and the rest of the bishops. The bishops representing the Roman Council were placed among the metropolitans and after the Patriarchs. The minutes of the other sessions enumerate considerably fewer numbers, so that at the first session there were only 43 bishops or episcopal representatives and a few abbots. Theophanes, however, speaks of 289 bishops being present. Besides the Roman clergy, the legates of the Pope in specie, and the three Italian bishops, there appeared also several Greek bishops as legati of the Roman Synod. John, Archbishop of Thessalonica, subscribed as βικάριος τοῦ ἀποστολικοῦ θρονοῦ Ῥώμης καὶ ληγατάριος, Stephen of Corinth as ληγάτος τοῦ ἀποστολικοῦ θρονοῦ Ῥώμης, Basil of Cortina in Crete as ληγάτος τῆς ἁγίας συνόδου τοῦ ἀποστολικοῦ θρονοῦ τῆς πρεσβυτέρας Ῥώμης. These three bishops belonged to Illyricum Orientale, and so, until the year 730, to the Roman patriarchate and the Synodus Romana; and even if they did not personally appear at the Roman Synod of the year 680, yet they could have obtained full authority from this Synod. Moreover, the Archbishop of Thessalonica had been for a considerable time vicar of the Pope for Illyricum, and when the Emperor Justinian I. separated the provinces of Achaia and Hellas from Illyricum, they received a Roman vicar of their own in the Archbishop of Corinth.

The place of president was occupied by the Emperor in proper person, surrounded by a number of high officials (patricians and ex-consuls). On his left the deputies of the Pope had their place, then the priest and legate Theodore of Ravenna, Bishop Basil of Gortyna, the representative of the patriarchal administrator of Jerusalem, the monk and priest George, and the bishops sent by the Roman Council. To the right of the Emperor sat the Patriarchs George of Constantinople and Macarius of Antioch, next the representative of the Patriarch of Alexandria, the monk and priest Peter, with all the bishops subject to Constantinople and Antioch. The Holy Gospels were placed in the midst. At the end of the eleventh session, the Emperor declared that business of the Empire would prevent his being henceforth personally present, but that he would send representatives. He was again personally present only at the last session.

As to the presidency of the Emperor and his representatives, the case is the same as at the fourth Œcumenical Synod (see vol. iii. sec. 188). Their conduct of the business had to do only with the external, with, so to speak, the economy and business of the Synod. With the inner affairs they did not mix, but left the decision of these to the Synod alone, and distinguished steadfastly and expressly between themselves and the Synod. In the minutes of each session the Emperor and his attendants or representatives are first mentioned, and then they go on with the words: Conveniente QUOQUE sancta et universali synodo, etc. At the head of the latter, the Synod proper, stood the papal legates; therefore they subscribed before all the bishops, but the Emperor after all the bishops; and the Emperor, not with the formula employed by all the members of the Synod, ὁρίσας ὑπέγραψα, but with the words, ἀνέγνωμεν καὶ συνηνέσαμεν (legimus et consensimus), clearly showing that he did not regard himself as a member, much less as the proper president of the Synod. His attendants, and his representatives who presided at sessions 12 to 17, did not subscribe at all.

After all the members had taken their places at the first session, November 7, 680, the papal legates opened the transactions with the request: As the new doctrine of one energy and one will in the incarnate Lord Jesus Christ, one of the Holy Trinity, had been introduced for about forty-six years by the Bishops Sergius, Paul, Pyrrhus, and Peter of Constantinople, in union with Cyrus of Alexandria and Theodore of Pharan, and all the attempts of the apostolic see to remove the error had hitherto proved ineffectual, it should now be shown, from the side of the Constantinopolitans, whence this innovation came. They clothed this demand in the form of an address to the Emperor, and all the speakers proceeded in the same manner, just as in many parliaments the speakers address their words to the president. The Emperor, as director of the business, then invited the Patriarchs George of Constantinople and Macarius of Antioch to answer the papal legates; and Macarius, the monk Stephen, and the Bishops Peter of Nicomedia and Solomon of Claneus (in Galatia), declared in the name of the two patriarchates: “We have not invented these new expressions, but have only taught what we have received by tradition from the holy Œcumenical Synods, the holy Fathers, from Sergius and his successors, and from Pope Honorius and from Cyrus of Alexandria, in regard to the will and the energy, and we are ready to prove this.” At their request the Emperor had the Acts of the older Synods brought from the patriarcheion, and the monk and priest Stephen, a disciple of Macarius of Antioch, read aloud the minutes of the third Œcumenical Synod at Ephesus. When he came to the passage in the letter of Cyril to the Emperor Theodosius II., in which it is said of Christ, “His will is almighty,” Macarius endeavoured to discover a testimony for Monothelitism there; but the Roman deputies, and with them some bishops of the patriarchate of Constantinople, and also the imperial commissioners (judices, cf. vol. iii. sec. 188), replied promptly, that Cyril was speaking here only of the will of the divine nature of Christ, and in no way of the one will of the two natures. The other Acts of the third Synod were read by deacon Solomon without any remark being made.

SEC. 316. From the Second to the Seventh Session

At the second session, November 10, the Acts of the fourth Œcumenical Council were read, and among them the celebrated Epistola dogmatica of Pope Leo. When they came, in the letter, to the well-known words, Agit enim utraque forma eum alterius communione, quod proprium habuit: Verbo quidem operante quod Verbi est, carne autem exsequente quod carnis est, et horum unum coruscat miraculis, aliud vero succumbit injuriis (see vol. iii. sec. 176), the papal legates remarked, “Leo here teaches clearly two naturales operationes inconfuse et indivise in Christ, and this letter of his was declared by the fourth Œcumenical Synod for the firmamentum orthodoxæ fidei. Macarius of Antioch, and those who held his opinions, should express themselves on this subject.” Macarius replied: “I do not speak of two energies, and even Leo has not used this expression.” The remark of the Emperor, “Do you mean then that Leo in those words asserted only one energy?” brought him into a corner. He slipped out, however, with the words: “I use no word of number (one or two) in regard to the energy, but teach, with Dionysius the Areopagite θεανδρικὴν ἐνέργειαν” (without a word of number). In the same way he evaded the second question of the Emperor, “How do you understand the θεανδρικὴ ἐνέργεια?” by saying, “I form no judgment on the subject,” i.e. I do not endeavour to define this notion more closely.

After this digression, the reading of the Chalcedonian Acts was again continued, and brought to an end at this session. In the third, November 13, the Acts of the fifth Œcumenical Council came in their turn. At the head of the first book of these there was found the often-repeated λόγος of Mennas, then Patriarch of Constantinople, to Pope Vigilius, in regard to the ἓν θέλημα in Christ (see vol. iv. sec. 267). The papal legates immediately protested against the reading of this document, remarking, “This first book of the Acts is falsified: the λόγος of Mennas was in no way entered upon their Acts by the fifth Synod: this was done at a later period, at the beginning of the present controversy.” A more careful examination of the Acts, accomplished by the Emperor, his officials, and some bishops, showed, in fact, that there had been introduced, before the first book of those Acts, three unnumbered quaternions (parts of four sheets), and that the fourth (originally the first) quaternion was still marked No. 1, and the fifth, No. 2, etc. Moreover, the handwriting of those quaternions inserted at the beginning was quite different from that of the rest. The Emperor therefore ordered this document to be left out, and the rest of the Acts of the fifth Council to be read. No further opposition was made to any part of the first book. When, however, in the second book, two pretended letters of Pope Vigilius to the Emperor and Empress were brought forward, which were said to belong to the minutes of the seventh session of the fifth Œcumenical Council, and contained the doctrine of una operatio (see vol. iv. sec. 267), the papal legates exclaimed: “Vigilius did not teach that, and this second book of the Acts has been falsified like the first; those are not letters of Vigilius. As the fifth Synod recognised him, then that must have taught, as he is supposed to have done, unam operationem. But read only its Acts further, and nothing of the kind will be found.” So it was also in fact, and the Emperor ordered a search to be made for the pretended letters of Vigilius. He also proposed to the Synod and the Judices the question: Whether anywhere in the Acts of the Synod, which were read, the doctrine of one will and one energy was found, as Macarius and his friends had asserted. The Synod and the Judices answered in the negative, and demanded of Macarius and his companions to bring forward, at a later session, the second part promised of their patristic proofs for Monothelitism, from the writings of the Fathers. At the close, the Patriarch George of Constantinople and his suffragans petitioned that they should have read the letters sent forth by Pope Agatho and his Synod, and the Emperor promised that this should be done at the next session.

The reading of these two extensive documents, which we already know (see above, sec. 314), occupied the whole of the fourth session, November 15. At the fifth, December 7, Macarius and his friends presented two volumes of patristic testimonies for the Monothelite doctrine. In accordance with their request, the Emperor allowed these to be read, and sanctioned their being permitted subsequently to bring forward further proofs from the Fathers if they wished. Accordingly, at the sixth session, February 12, 681, they presented a third volume, and after it had been read aloud, and they, on being interrogated, declared that there was nothing more that they wished to add, the Emperor had all the three volumes sealed up by the Judices and by a deputation of the Council and the papal legates. The latter hereupon declared: Macarius of Antioch, his disciple Stephen, Bishop Peter of Nicomedia, and Solomon of Claneus, have in no way, by the patristic passages collected by them, proved anything in regard to the one will or the one energy. On the contrary, they have mutilated these passages, and that which was said of the unity of the will in the Trinity they have referred to the incarnate Christ. We pray, therefore, to be allowed to bring from the patriarcheion of this residence city genuine copies of the Fathers in question, so that we may be able to prove the deception. Moreover, we have prepared a collection both of passages from the Fathers who speak of two wills, and of passages of heretics who, agreeing with Macarius, teach one will and one operation. We pray your Piety (the Emperor) that these also may be read.

On the following day, at the seventh session, the Roman deputies presented their collection with the title: Testimonia sanctorum ac probabilium patrum demonstrantia duas voluntates et duas operationes in Domino Deo et salvatore nostro J. Ch.; and those patristic passages, together with the heretical passages opposed to them, were read aloud by the priest and monk Stephen (from the monastery domus Arsicia), who belonged to the suite of the legates. George of Constantinople and Macarius of Antioch received transcripts of this collection, in order that they might be able to examine the testimonies adduced in it more thoroughly. The original presented by the papal delegates was sealed up in a similar manner with the three volumes of Macarius.

SEC. 317. The Eighth Session

At the eighth session, March 7, 681, the Emperor requested the two Patriarchs, George of Constantinople and Macarius of Antioch, to express themselves on the two letters of Agatho and the Roman Synod. The Patriarch George declared that he had compared the patristic passages therein adduced with the copies of his own patriarchal archives, and found them fully in agreement; and therefore he came over to them and to the doctrine (Dyothelitism) pronounced in them. The same thing was asserted by all the bishops subject to him, one after another. An interruption of the vote was occasioned only by Bishop Theodore of Melitene (on the borders of Cappadocia and Armenia), who, declaring himself to be a χωρικός (= a rustic, not scientifically educated), presented a writing, and requested that it should be read. It contained this thought: Since both parties brought forward patristic passages on their side, and since by the five Œcumenical Synods, in the doctrine of the Incarnation, no number was determined except the duality of natures and the unity of the person, they ought to stand fast here, and neither side make the other heretical, whether they teach two energies and wills or only one. To a question of the Emperor, Bishop Theodore declared that the Abbot Stephen of Antioch, the disciple and most zealous friend of Macarius, had delivered this writing to him, and that, besides, the Bishops Peter of Nicomedia, Solomon of Claneus, and Anthony of Hypæpa (in Asia), with five clerics of Constantinople, had taken part in the composition of it. After the disavowal and acclamation was over, these three bishops and five clerics declared the statement of Theodore in respect to them to be an untruth, since the writing in question had been prepared without their knowledge; and the Emperor required them, as they had come under suspicion, to present a written declaration of faith at the next session.

The Patriarch George of Constantinople then prayed the Emperor to be allowed to restore the name of the former Pope Vitalian to the diptychs, from which he had been recently struck out, on account of the late arrival of the Roman legate, on the proposal of Theodore of Constantinople and Macarius of Antioch (see sec. 312). When the Emperor immediately gave his assent, the Synod exclaimed: “Long live (many years to) the preserver of the orthodox faith, to the new Constantine the Great, to the new Theodosius the Great, to the new Marcian, to the new Justinian many years. We are δοῦλοι of the Emperor. To the orthodox Pope Agatho of Rome many years, to the orthodox Patriarch George many years, to the holy Senate (the imperial Council) many years!” At the wish of the Synod, the Emperor requested the Patriarch Macarius of Antioch to give a more definite explanation of his faith; and, whilst several bishops of the Antiochene patriarchate publicly declared for Dyothelitism, Macarius renewed his opposition to the doctrine of two wills in Christ. The Emperor now caused to be brought forward the three collections of patristic testimonies presented by Macarius, which had been sealed up, and Macarius acknowledged that they had remained without falsification. Before, however, they were read and examined, Macarius put forth his view in a short formula of confession, in which he repeated the doctrine of Chalcedon with the addition of one will, because there could be in Christ no sin and no sinful (= human) will. As he at the same time referred to a lengthy confession, already drawn up by him in writing, that had also to be read.

This confession bears, in the Acts of the Synod, the superscription: “Ecthesis or Confession of Faith of the Heresiarch Macarius,” and it unfolds with considerable fulness the orthodox doctrines of the Trinity, the Incarnation, the Eucharist. In connection with the doctrine of the Incarnation, in particular, those points are also brought forward of which Dyothelitism is the consequence, namely, that the Logos took from Mary a flesh quickened by the ψυχὴ λογικὴ and νοερά; that the difference of the natures (ἡ διαφορὰ τῶν φύσεων) was not taken away by their ἕνωσις in Christ, but, on the contrary, that the peculiarity (ἰδιότης) of each nature was preserved in the unity of the person. That which prevented Macarius from advancing from these propositions to the orthodox doctrine was the spectre of Nestorianism. The admission of two wills and energies, he thought, would have for its inevitable consequence the rending of the one Christ in two. He is right when, in opposition to all Nestorianism, he holds fast to the proposition: “All godlike and all manlike actions went forth from one and the same Christ”; but he concludes from this erroneously and inconsequently the μία ἐνέργεια θεανδρική. He is right when he denies the possibility of admitting two self-contradictory wills in Christ, but he then wrongly rejects the duality of the wills generally. We can see that all the explanations which Sophronius had long ago given on the subject were by him not known or ignored. The principal proposition in his confession runs: “Christ has worked οὐ κατὰ θεὸν τὰ θεῖα, οὐδʼ αὖ κατὰ ἄνθρωπον τὰ ἀνθρώπινα, but the Incarnate God the Logos showed καινήν τινα τὴν θεανδρικὴν ἐνέργειαν (the words of the Areopagite), and this is ὅλη ζωοποιός” (the words of Cyril of Alexandria: see above, sec. 292).… One and the same has worked our salvation, and one and the same has suffered in the flesh, and one and the same has worked miracles. Suffering is a matter of the flesh, but this was not thereby separated from the Godhead, although suffering is not a matter of the Godhead” (quite correct, but here follows the false conclusion): “the energy of God has, although through the medium of our manhood, accomplished all this through the one and only divine will, since in Him (Christ) there was no other will striving against and opposing His divine and powerful will. For it is impossible that there should be in the one and the same Christ our God at the same time two mutually contending or even similar wills (ἐναντία ἦ καὶ ὅμοια ὑφεστάναι θέληματα). For the saving doctrine of the holy Fathers teaches us that the flesh of the Lord, quickened by a rational soul, never fulfilled its φυσικὴ κίνησις for itself alone and from its own impulse (κεχωρισμένως καὶ ἐξ οἰκείας ὁρμῆς), in opposition to the Logos which was hypostatically united with it, but only at the time and in the manner and strength in which He as God willed.” This is, he says, the doctrine of the holy Fathers, and of the five Œcumenical Councils; this he accepted. On the other hand, he rejected all the heresies from Simon Magus up to the present time, particularly those of Arius, … Nestorius, Eutyches, … Origen, Didymus, and Evagrius, and those also whom the fifth Œcumenical Synod anathematised, namely, Theodore of Mopsuestia, the accursed teacher of the heresy of Maximus (he thus sees in the father of Nestorianism at the same time the father of Dyothelitism, for he means here our holy Abbot Maximus), certain writings of Theodoret, and the letter to Maris; finally, also the accursed Maximus, with his impious disciples and his impious doctrine of the separation. “This doctrine,” he proceeds, “our holiest Fathers have already rejected before us: Honorius, Sergius, Cyrus, and their successors.” The Emperor Heraclius also condemned the heresy of the Maximians, and the same was done, by command of the previous Emperor, by the Synod under Peter of Constantinople, Macedonius of Antioch, and Theodore the administrator of Alexandria (sec. 310), since they anathematised Maximus and banished him with his impious disciples.

When Macarius, in answer to repeated questions from the Emperor, rejected most decidedly the doctrine of two natural wills and energies, adding that he would rather be torn in pieces and cast into the sea than admit such a doctrine, the Emperor ordered the collections of the patristic passages presented by him to be read and examined. The first passage was taken from Athanasius (Contra Apollinar. lib. ii. cc. 1, 2), proved not the least against Dyothelitism, and could only be so far used by Macarius when, along with the duality of wills and energies, there seemed to him to be introduced a dividing of Christ. The passage says, “Christ is at the same time God and man, but not by the division of the Person, but in indissoluble union.” Without discussing minutely the meaning of this passage, the Synod explained that it was torn from its connection, and set another passage from c. 6 of the same book over against it, in which it is said: The sinful thoughts (i.e. the evil will which opposes the divine) of man are only a consequence of original sin, but Christ assumed incorrupt human nature as it was before original sin, therefore His manhood was without evil thoughts (i.e. without a human will opposing the divine). This declared plainly against Macarius, and when the Emperor asked him why he had not brought this forward, he replied that he had naturally collected only the passages which suited him.

The second passage was taken from cc. 9 and 10 of the same treatise of S. Athanasius, and runs: “God, who originally created man, has assumed humanity, as it was originally, Flesh without carnal desires and without human thoughts, for His will was only that of the Godhead (ἡ γὰρ θέλησις θεότητος μόνης).” This appeared to testify on the side of Macarius. But the Synod placed the words of the saint immediately following over against them, in which it is said: “The new Adam possessed all that the old possessed (therefore also a human will), but from all that was sinful HE had been free, and therefore there could be manifested in Him the καθαρὰ δικαιοσύνη τῆς θεότητος.” Athanasius by this intended only to say: “In the God-man ruled only the divine will, and not also the sinful will of the flesh”; but he does not deny the natural human will of Christ, rather his words involve it: “that which was in the old Adam was also in the new.” Macarius and his pupil Stephen then had their attention drawn to this, but they would, even in the case of Adam, admit of no natural will, but maintained that, before the Fall, man had been συνθελητής (of like will) with God. Several bishops and also the papal legates declared this to be blasphemy, adding: “The divine will was creative: if then Adam was συνθελητής with God, he also created the world with Him.” We see that Macarius interchanged the moral unity of the will of Adam with the divine for a natural unity; and inasmuch as he would not acknowledge a natural will in Adam, he gave his opponents a right and reason to reproach him with the folly named. They could also show from patristic passages that will is a matter of nature, and that Adam had a natural will.

Two other passages in the collection of Macarius and Stephen, taken from Ambrose (Ad Gratianum), certainly spoke of one will in Christ, but it meant the identity of His divine will with that of His Father. The Synod showed this from other words of Ambrose, in which also it was said that Christ had assumed a human will, and a reference was made to this in the words: “Not what I will, but what Thou wilt.”

One passage which Macarius had taken from Dionysius the Areopagite (De div. nom. c. 2, sec. 6; see above, sec. 291) spoke of the “human God-working” (ἀνθρωπίνη θεουργία) of Christ, and thus seemed to point to a mixture of the divine and human energy; but the Synod directly ordered the words of the Areopagite immediately following to be read, and these showed that he quite distinguished the operation of the Logos from this ἀνθρωπίνη θεουργία, and thus made two kinds of operations in Christ, and that by the latter, the ἀνθρωπίνη θεουργία, he understood the human operation of Christ which allows the divine to shine through (see sec. 291). The eighth session was closed by the reading of a passage from the discourse of S. Chrysostom on “Father, if it be possible,” etc., in which he certainly speaks of one will, but, as above with S. Ambrose, of the unity of will of the Son with the Father. The Synod sets forth another fragment from the same sermon, in which the discourse is of the human affections of Christ, of His hungering, eating, sleeping, and of His (human) wish not to die (transeat calix iste).

SEC. 318. Ninth and Tenth Sessions

In the ninth session, on March 8, the reading was continued; and then came, in the series, a passage from the treatise of S. Athanasius, περὶ τριάδος καὶ σαρκώσεως Λόγου. We know this treatise under the title, De Incarnatione contra Arianos; and it may surprise us that Macarius should borrow a passage from it (c. 21) which, in plain words, speaks of two wills, which came out distinctly in the cry: “Not My will be done, but Thine.” But Macarius must have transformed this as if, in the opinion of Athanasius, Christ had spoken here, not in propria persona, but ex mente of His adherents. But the Synod had the following sentence read, which, in opposition to this assumption, ascribes the reeusare of the cup to the proper human will of Christ; and Bishop Basil of Cortina remarked that the passage of S. Athanasius adduced by Macarius spoke clearly against him and of two wills.

Before they went on to further reading, Abbot Stephen, the disciple of Macarius, appealed to Gregory of Nazianzus, who spoke of a “quite deified” will of Christ. But Bishop Basil, just mentioned, replied rightly that the predicate “deified” could only refer to the human will of Christ, and not to His will which was already in itself divine, and therefore it was a testimony in favour of Dyothelitism.

An earlier fellow-disciple of Stephen, the monk George, now expressed his conviction, in answer to the Emperor, as follows: “The assertions of Stephen (and Macarius) are in conflict with the Fathers.” Then a passage from Cyril, in the collection of Macarius, was read, in which he seemed to teach a transformation of the human will of Christ into a πνευματικὴ εὐτολμία.

An expression of Cyril’s, which was presented to the Synod, testified, however, to the two wills, and the Synod now gave the sentence: “You two, you Stephen and your master Macarius, have, by your collection, not proved Monothelitism, but have brought forward passages which speak plainly of two wills, although you have mutilated them. Because you are proved to have falsified the dogma and the teaching of the Fathers, and also to have adhered to the statements of heretics, we depose you from all priestly dignity and function. Those, on the contrary, who amend their previous error, and agree with us in the faith, shall remain in their offices, and shall present the promised written confessions at the next session.” By this were meant Theodore of Melitene and the bishops and clerics denounced by him, whose case, was considered before (p. 157), and who, at the beginning of this session, had asked and obtained permission to appear again. The session closed with acclamations in honour of the Emperor, and to the execration of Stephen and Macarius.

At the tenth session, March 18, 681, the rich collection of patristic and heretical passages for and against Dyothelitism presented by the Roman envoys was unsealed, read, compared with the copies of the works quoted which were found in the patriarchal archives at Constantinople, and discovered to be correct and unfalsified. These were, in the first series, extracts from Leo the Great, Ambrose, Chrysostom, Athanasius, Gregory of Nyssa, Cyril of Alexandria, Epiphanius, Gregory of Nazianzus, pseudo-Justin (see p. 107), the Emperor Justinian, Archbishop Ephræm of Antioch, Anastasius of Antioch, and John of Scythopolis.

The second shorter division contained extracts from writings of heretics: Themistius, Anthimus, Severus, Theodosius, etc., in order to show that Monothelitism had been already held by these false teachers, and had already been condemned in them. We recall only that the Lateran Synod of A.D. 649 made a similar collection in two parts, and embodied it in their Acts (see p. 107 f.). The present naturally has much in common with the earlier collection, but is more extensive, and gives the particular passages in proof with less abruptness, but more in connection with what went before and followed.

At the conclusion, the Roman legates wished that an expression of the heretic Apollinaris from a manuscript in the patriarchal library, which was lacking in their collection, should be read. It was done, and the passage showed that Apollinaris had taught only one energy in Christ.

After this was finished, Bishop Theodore of Melitene and his associates presented the confession of faith required of them, which declared Dyothelitism decisively, and their agreement with the doctrinal epistle sent by Pope Agatho.

SEC. 319. Eleventh and Twelfth Sessions

At the request of the monk Gregory, who was representative of the patriarchal administrator of Jerusalem, there was read, at the eleventh session, March 20, 681, the celebrated synodal letter of S. Sophronius of Jerusalem to Sergius of Constantinople, to which we referred above in sec. 297. The Emperor then asked the papal legates what further had now to be done, and they wished that some of the writings composed by Macarius and his disciple Stephen, which were in the patriarchal archives of Constantinople, should be communicated. The Emperor ordered them to be brought by the deacon George, the keeper of the archives (χαρτοφύλαξ); and they were:

(a) A letter of Macarius to the Emperor, which was already known to the Synod from the previous transactions (a copy of the confession of Macarius addressed to the Emperor; see p. 158);

(b) A λόγος προσφωνητικὸς of the same to the Emperor, which, however, he had not received;

(c) A letter of Macarius to the priest and monk Luke in Africa, in which the Dyothelites are described as new Manichæans;

(d) A further treatment of the same subject.

Some pieces were, at the request of the Synod, read entire, others only partially, the objectionable passages brought out of them, and compared with utterances of acknowledged heretics. In one of these passages, Macarius reckoned the departed Pope Honorius as decidedly belonging to the Monothelites. At the close the Emperor communicated to the Synod that business prevented his personally taking part at the further sessions; but the two Patriarchs, Constantine and Anastasius, as well as the two ex-consuls, Polyeuctus and Peter, should be present, in his stead, at the transactions of the Œcumenical Council. The principal matter was, however, transacted.

Immediately after the opening of the twelfth Synod, March 22, 681, an imperial court official, the patrician John, by commission of his master, brought over several further documents which Macarius had presented to the Emperor, but which he had not read. The first of these was only another copy of the λόγος προσφωνητικὸς read in the previous session. In the appendix to this there was found the relation of several Isaurian bishops which Macarius had sent to the Patriarch of Constantinople. Being unimportant, they were not read in full. The manuscripts of Macarius contained a series of other pieces known to us:

(1) The letter of the Patriarch Sergius to Bishop Cyrus of Phasis in Colchis;

(2) The alleged letter of Mennas to Pope Vigilius, found to be spurious at the third session, which, on the repeated protests of the papal legates, was not read;

(3) The Acts of the seventh and eighth session of the Œcumenical Council, at which the imperial representatives (Judices, see p. 153) and the Synod remarked that the two letters contained therein of Pope Vigilius to the Emperor Justinian and the Empress Theodora were later insertions (see pp. 154 and 170). Next followed:

(4) The letter of Sergius to Pope Honorius (p. 22); and

(5) The first letter of Honorius to Sergius (p. 27).

In order to thoroughly understand the case, these documents presented by Macarius were, as far as possible, compared with the originals, which were found in the patriarchal archives, and Macarius himself was asked whether the letters of his which were found there really proceeded from him. The deputies of the Synod met him in a chamber of the Patriarch’s abode, and he acknowledged the genuineness of all the documents. Moreover, the comparison of some of them with the originals in the patriarchal archives led only to favourable results. Finally, the imperial representatives asked whether Macarius, if he repented, could again be restored to his dignity; and after the Synod had answered this in the negative, the bishops of the Antiochene patriarchate petitioned that the plenipotentiaries of the Emperor would prevail with their master, so that another bishop might be appointed for Antioch. They promised this, and requested the Synod to give its judgment, at the next session, on Sergius, Honorius, and Sophronius.

SEC. 320. Thirteenth Session

This was done in the thirteenth session, March 28, 681, and the Synod declared: “After we had read the doctrinal letters of Sergius of Constantinople to Cyrus of Phasis and to Pope Honorius, as well as the letter of the latter to Sergius, we find that these documents are quite foreign to the apostolic dogmas, also to the declarations of the holy Councils, and all the Fathers of repute, and follow the false teachings of the heretics; therefore we entirely reject them, and execrate them as hurtful to the soul (hasque invenientes omnino alienas existere ab apostolicis dogmatibus et a definitionibus sanctorum conciliorum et cunctorum probabilium Patrum, sequi vero falsas doctrinas hæreticorum, eas omnimodo abjicimus, et tamquam animæ noxias exsecramur). But the names of these men must also be thrust forth from the Church, namely, that of Sergius, who first wrote on this impious doctrine; further, that of Cyrus of Alexandria, of Pyrrhus, Paul, and Peter of Constantinople, and of Theodore of Pharan, all of whom Pope Agatho rejected in his letter to the Emperor. We anathematise them all. And along with them, it is our unanimous decree that there shall be expelled from the Church and anathematised, Honorius, formerly Pope of Old Rome, because we found in his letter to Sergius that in all respects he followed his view and confirmed his impious doctrines (Cum his vero simul projici a sancta Dei catholica ecclesia simulque anathematizari prævidimus et Honorium, qui fuerat Papa antiquæ Romæ, eo quod invenimus per scripta, quæ ab eo facta sunt ad Sergium, quia in omnibus ejus mentem secutus est, impia dogmata confirmavit). We have also examined the synodal letter of Sophronius, and have found it in accordance with the true faith and the apostolic and patristic doctrines. Therefore we received it as useful to the Catholic and apostolic Church, and decreed that his name should be put upon the diptychs of the holy Church.”

If we examine this decree more closely, it is clear that the Synod could appeal to Agatho only for the anathema on Sergius, Cyrus, Pyrrhus, Paul, Peter, and Theodore of Pharan, for only of these had he spoken with condemnation (p. 144). The anathema on Honorius was the exclusive act of the Council, and at this place, at least, was not influenced by an appeal to Agatho. Certainly the Council expressed itself differently, as if Pope Agatho had taken the lead in the condemnation of Honorius; so particularly in the letter of the Council to Agatho, in which it is said that, in accordance with the sentence previously given by the Pope, they had anathematised Theodore of Pharan, Sergius, Honorius, etc., etc. (see p. 188). As Pope Agatho had condemned the Monothelites in general, the Council assumed that Honorius was also among them, although Agatho had not at all mentioned his name.

The imperial Judices (representatives) hereupon declared: “The Council has responded to our request (at the twelfth session), that they would give judgment on Sergius, Honorius, and Sophronius; but there is also a question about Pyrrhus, Paul, and Peter of Constantinople, as well as about Cyrus of Alexandria and Theodore of Pharan, therefore let the deacon George bring the writings of these men from the patriarchal archives, so that we may be able to gain an insight into them. With regard, however, to the petition (also presented at the twelfth session) for the filling again of the see of Antioch, the Emperor has commanded that a ψήφισμα (a motion carried by a majority of votes) be taken.” The bishops replied that the presentation of the writings of Pyrrhus, etc., was superfluous, because their doctrine of one will was universally known, and Pope Agatho had already exposed their error, had shown their agreement in opinion with Sergius, and had condemned them in his letter. There were now read aloud:

(1) The first letter of Cyrus of Phasis to Sergius (see above, p. 12);

(2) The much more important second letter of Cyrus to Sergius, after his elevation to the see of Alexandria, in reference to the union brought about by him there, communicating the nine Kephalaia of union (see above, p. 18 ff.);

(3) Passages from the Logos of Theodore of Pharan to the former Bishop Sergius, of Arsinoe, in Egypt, containing the doctrine of one energy and one will;

(4) The dogmatic tome of Pyrrhus against Sophronius, asserting that Cyrus (in κεφάλαιον 7), in the passage of the Areopagite, καινὴ θεανδρικὴ ἐνέργεια, had not deceitfully, but merely as explaining the sense, put μία instead of καινὴ;

(5) A letter of Paul of Constantinople to the former Pope, Theodore, from which a passage with a Monothelite sound is made prominent;

(6) A letter of the Patriarch Peter of Constantinople to Pope Vitalian (see p. 135), in which different patristic passages were brought forward. As the papal legates declared these to be mutilated, the reading of the letter was not further continued. The Judices were satisfied with the proof alleged, and drew attention to the successors of Peter, the Patriarch of Constantinople, Thomas, John, and Constantine. Of these, too, letters and synodal epistles were presented (they are not received into the Acts), but the Synod found in them nothing contradictory to the orthodox doctrine, and George, the keeper of the archives at Constantinople, finally declared that he had discovered in the archives no document which could make the bishops named suspected of Monothelitism. It was therefore resolved to retain their names in the diptychs. Finally, the keeper George made over all further documents found in the patriarchal archives, letters and confessions of several, among them the Latin original of the second letter of Honorius, from which some fragments were now communicated (see above, p. 49). Further, there was a fragment from a letter of the Patriarch Pyrrhus to Pope John, and something else read, and the Synod caused all these documents, even the letters of Pope Honorius, to be burnt, as hurtful to the soul.

SEC. 321. From the Fourteenth to the Seventeenth Session

At the fourteenth session, May 5, 681, the new Patriarch, Theophanes of Antioch, assisted, and the examination of the genuineness of the Acts of the fifth Œcumenical Council, begun at the twelfth session, was now resumed, in order to discuss the matter thoroughly. Hitherto the Synod had used only two copies of the Acts, taken from the patriarchal archives, namely: (1) a parchment MS. in two books; and (2) a paper MS., which contained only the seventh session of that Synod. The keeper of the archives, George of Constantinople, now presented a third codex, which in the meantime he had found also in the patriarchal archives, and swore upon the Holy Gospels that neither himself nor any other, with his knowledge, had made any alteration in these three MSS. The bishops then compared these three MSS. with one another, and with others at their disposal, and it was found:

(a) That the two first agreed with one another, and uniformly contained the pretended letter of Mennas to Vigilius, and the two books of the latter to Justinian and Theodora;

(b) That, on the other hand, in the newly discovered third MS. these documents were lacking.

The Synod now gave the sentence: “These additions, as the papal legates correctly remarked before, were not written at the time of the fifth Œcumenical Council, but were inserted by a later hand, and in the first book of the parchment MS. three quaternions, in which was the letter of Mennas; and in the second book, between the fifteenth and sixteenth quaternions, four unpaged leaves, containing the two pretended letters of Vigilius. In the same manner, the second codex had been falsified in the heretical interest. These additions must be quashed in both MSS., and marked with an obelus, and the falsifiers smitten with anathema” (cf. vol. iv. sec. 267).

In order to indicate the persons and the party who had dared to falsify the documents, Bishop Macrobius of Seleucia in Isauria related: “The Magister Militum Philip made over to me a MS. of the Acts of the fifth Œcumenical Council. I found that it was falsified in regard to the seventh session, and I learnt from Philip that he had lent it to the Abbot Stephen, the friend of the Patriarch Macarius, and that the forged passages were from the hand of the monk George, another scholar of Macarius. Upon this I visited my Patriarch Macarius himself, found the monk George with him writing, and satisfied myself by multiplied comparison that he had also written that.” The monk George, who was already at the Synod, and now was asked for an explanation, told them: “When Macarius and Theodore of Constantinople had negotiations together respecting the faith, there were MSS. which contained the letters of Vigilius, brought from the patriarchal archives of Constantinople, copied by us, and sent by Macarius and Stephen to the Emperor. Soon afterwards the Magister Militum Philip, already mentioned, showed to Abbot Stephen a MS. belonging to him of the fifth Œcumenical Council, and asked whether it was good. Stephen replied, there was something lacking in it; and, at the request of Philip and at the command of Stephen, I was required to insert the letters in question of Vigilius. The like happened with all the other copies which Macarius and Stephen could bring forward. But what was the case with respect to a Latin MS. which they bought, the priest and Latin grammarian Constantine would know better.” At the request of the Synod, the latter asserted: “At the time of the Patriarch Paul, Bishop Fortunius (Fortunatus) came from Carthage (a Monothelite; see p. 90) hither to Constantinople, and the question arose whether he should have his seat before or after the other metropolitans present. As then the Patriarch Paul sought in the library for the Acts of the fifth Council, in order to learn from them the order of sitting, he found, among other things, a Latin translation of the synodal Acts, and commissioned me to compare this MS. in regard to the seventh session with the authentic copy and to supply what was lacking, in union with the deacon Sergius, who was a good writer. What we then added were the two letters of Pope Vigilius translated from the Greek into the Latin.”

This statement was confirmed by the deacon Sergius mentioned, who was also present, and the bishops exclaimed: “Anathema to the pretended letters of Mennas and Vigilius; anathema to the forger of Acts; anathema to all who teach one will and one energy in the Incarnation of Christ, who is One of the Trinity! Eternal honour to the four holy Councils; eternal honour to the holy fifth Council; many years to the Emperor Constantine!”

Finally was read a discourse of S. Athanasius in a MS. brought by the Cypriote bishops as proof for Dyothelitism, and information was given by Bishop Domitius of Prusias, that the priest and monk Polychronius, an adherent of Macarius of Antioch, had seduced many of the people to heresy. The examination of his affair was put off to the next session; before, however, this took place, the honour was done to the papal legates, that one of them, Bishop John of Portus, was allowed to celebrate divine service in a solemn manner, according to the Latin rite, in the Church of S. Sophia at Constantinople, in presence of the Emperor and the Patriarch, at the Easter Festival, (April 14) 681. At the same time, the Emperor reduced the tax which the Popes had to discharge at their ordination, did away with the practice according to which the imperial exarchs of Ravenna claimed to confirm the papal election, and required that the petitions in reference to this should henceforth be laid before the Emperor himself.

After the close of the festal days of Easter, the Polychronius mentioned above was, at the fifteenth session, on April 26, 681, placed before the Synod. He engaged to prove the truth of his teaching in this way, he would lay his written confession of faith on a dead person, and would thereby call him back to life. If this did not succeed, then the Council and the Emperor might deal with him at their pleasure. His confession of faith, drawn up in the form of a letter to the Emperor, declared that the doctrine of one will and of one divine-human energy had been revealed to him twice in a vision. The Judices as well as the Synod gave permission that he should make the proposed trial outside the palace in the open air, and in the presence of them and of the people. A corpse was brought on a bier. Polychronius laid his confession upon it, and for two whole hours whispered all kinds of things into its ears without producing the least effect. The people present exclaimed: “Anathema to the new Simon (Magus); anathema to the seducer of the people!” The Judices and bishops returned into the hall of session; and, after the Synod had again exhorted Polychronius in vain to the acceptance of the orthodox doctrine, he was deposed from his dignity and his office as priest, and along with Macarius and Stephen smitten with anathema.

In the sixteenth session, on August 9, the priest Constantine of Apamea in Syria prayed for admission, and laid before the Council with great personal feeling a mediation doctrine invented by himself, to the effect: “That there were two energies, since these belonged to the properties of the two natures of Christ; but there was in Christ only one personal will, that of the Logos, and with this a natural will, the human; and the latter the Lord had drawn out, when HE drew out flesh and blood on the cross” (an entirely new heresy, which denies the perpetuity of the God-man). He thought that this was also the doctrine of Macarius; but the Synod exclaimed: “That is Manichæan and Apollinarian: Anathema to the new Manichæan; anathema to the new Apollinarian!” He was expelled.

As they were about to proceed to the customary acclamations and anathemas, the Patriarch George of Constantine wished that, in the latter, they would pass over the names of his predecessors, Sergius, Pyrrhus, and Paul; but he was outvoted, and the Synod exclaimed: “Many years to the Emperor, … many years to the Roman Pope Agatho, many years to the Patriarch George of Constantinople, many years to the Patriarch Theophanes of Antioch, many years to the orthodox Council and Senate; anathema to the heretic Sergius, to the heretic Cyrus, to the heretic Honorius, to the heretics Pyrrhus, Paul, Peter, Macarius, Stephen, Polychronius, Apergius of Perge, and to all heretics and their friends!” The drawing up of a declaration of faith was to be reserved for the next, the seventeenth session.

This did not take place until September 11, and the short minutes of the session are extant only in Latin. The decree of faith, which had in the meantime been drawn up, was read, and was adopted in the following and last session.

SEC. 322. The Eighteenth Session

At the eighteenth session, on September 16, 681, the Emperor was again personally present, and, at his command, a notary read the full decree of faith, which was subscribed by the papal legates, by all the bishops and episcopal representatives, 174 in number, and, last of all, also by the Emperor (see p. 151). The Synod declares in this, before all, its adhesion to the five earlier Synods, repeats the symbols of Nicæa and Constantinople, and proceeds thus: “These creeds would have sufficed for the knowledge and confirmation of the orthodox faith. As, however, the originator of all evil always finds a helping serpent, by means of which he can diffuse his poison, and therewith finds suitable instruments for his will, we mean Theodore of Pharan, Sergius, Pyrrhus, Paul, Peter, the former Bishops of Constantinople, also Honorius, Pope of Old Rome, Cyrus of Alexandria, Macarius of Antioch and his disciple Stephen, he did not delay, through the trouble in the Church, by the dissemination of the heretical doctrine of one will and one energy of the two natures of the one Christ, who is one of the Holy Trinity, to assert that which agrees with the heresy of Apollinaris, Severus, and Themistius, and thus serves to take away the full Incarnation of Christ, and to represent His rationally quickened flesh as without will or energy. But Christ our God awoke the faithful Emperor, the new David, … who did not rest until this assembly found the perfect proclamation of orthodoxy. This holy and Œcumenical Synod has received πιστῶς, and with uplifted hands has greeted the letter of the most holy Pope Agatho to the Emperor, in which are particularly brought forward and condemned, those who taught one will and one energy. So also they accepted the synodal letter of the 125 bishops assembled under the Pope (see p. 145), since the two letters agree with the holy Synod of Chalcedon, the tome of the holy Leo to Flavian, and with the synodal letters of Cyril against Nestorius and the bishops of the East. Following the five holy and Œcumenical Synods and the Fathers of repute, and confessing that our Lord Jesus Christ, one of the Holy Trinity, is perfect in the Godhead and perfect in the manhood, etc. (Repetition of the creed of Chalcedon; see vol. iii. p. 346 ff.). We also declare that there are two natural θελήσεις or θελήματα and two natural energies, ἀδιαιρέτως, ἀτρέπτως, ἀμερίστως, ἀσυγχύτως, in Christ, according to the teaching of the holy Fathers. And the two natural wills are not opposed to each other,—God forbid,—as the impious heretics said, but His human will followed, and it does not resist and oppose, but rather is subject to the divine and almighty will. The will of the human nature (σάρξ) necessarily moved, but also subjected itself to the divine, as the most wise Athanasius says: As the flesh (manhood) of God the Logos is called flesh, and is, so also is the natural will of His flesh the proper will of the Logos, as He Himself said: “I came down from heaven, not to do Mine own will, but the will of the Father who sent Me.” He calls here the will of His σάρξ His own, since the σάρξ was also His own. Just as His all holy and blameless (sinless) σάρξ (humanity) was not taken away by the deifying, but remained in its limitation and fashion, so also His human will is not taken away but divinised, it rather remains, as Gregory the theologian says: His will, namely that of the Saviour, is not opposed to God, but quite divinised. We teach further, that there are two natural energies, ἀδιαιρέτως, ἀτρέπτως, ἀμερίστως, and ἀσυγχύτως, in our Lord Jesus Christ, namely the divine and the human energy, as Leo says: Agit enim utraque forma, etc. (vol. iii. p. 230). We do not allow that God and His creature (the humanity of Christ) had one and the same energy, so as not to introduce the creature into the divine substance (ουσία), and press down the transcendent to the creaturely. As well the miracles as the sufferings we ascribe to one and the same, each according to the difference of His natures; and we assert two natures in one hypostasis, of which each in communion with the other wills and works what is proper to itself. Therefore we confess also two natural wills and operations (energies) going together harmoniously for the salvation of the human race. A different faith no one may proclaim or hold; and those who venture to do so, … or will introduce a new formula for the destruction of our definition of the faith, shall, if bishops or clerics, be deposed from their clerical office, but if monks or laymen, shall be anathematised”

The question of the Emperor, whether this decree had received the assent of all the bishops, was answered with loud acclamations; so also his declaration that, in the summoning of the Synod, he had had in view only the purity of the faith and the restoration of unity. Then the λόγος προσφωνητικὸς of the Synod, drawn up in the usual manner, was read to the Emperor. It contains, first, the praise of the Emperor, especially for the calling of this Synod. The Pope of Rome and the other bishops had followed his command, and had appeared, some personally and some by representatives, in Constantinople. As the earlier five Œcumenical Synods had become necessary on account of heresy, so also the present; and in agreement with the letters of Pope Agatho and his Roman Synod of 125 bishops, the Synod taught, that one of the Trinity, our Lord Jesus Christ, was made man, and is to be worshipped in two perfect natures undividedly. “If, however, we assume,” it goes on, “two natures, we must also recognise two natural wills and two natural energies of the same; for we do not venture to declare one of the two natures in Christ to be without will and without energy, lest in taking away the properties we take away the natures themselves. We do not deny the natural will of His humanity or the energy which corresponds with this will, while at the same time we also do not deny τὸ τῆς σωτηρίας ἡμῶν οἰκνομικὸν κεφάλαιον, or ascribe the sufferings to the Godhead, as was attempted by those who confessed only one will and one energy, in unholy innovation, renewing the heresies of Arius, Apollinaris, Eutyches, and Severus. If we were to assume the human nature of our Lord as without will and without energy, where would then be His perfect humanity? For nothing else makes the human substance (ουσία) perfect, but τὸ οὐσιῶδες θέλημα, whereby the power of liberty is stamped upon us. So it is with regard to energy. How can we ascribe to Him (Christ) perfect humanity, if He did not work and suffer in a human way?… Therefore we punish with excommunication and anathema Theodore of Pharan, Sergius, Paul, Pyrrhus, and Peter, also Cyrus, and with them Honorius, formerly Pope of Rome, as he followed them (ὡς ἐκείνοις ἐν τούτοις ἀκολουθήσαντα), but especially Macarius and Stephen, … also Polychronius, the childish old man, who wanted to awaken one who was dead, and because he could not, was derided; and all who asserted or assert one will and one operation (energy) in the Incarnate Christ. And no one must blame the zeal of the Pope and of this Synod, for we did not begin the conflict, but, on the contrary, have only offered opposition to the aggressors.… On our side fought the Prince of the Apostles, for his imitator and successor is our patron, and declared to us in his letter the secret of theology.” The close is composed of commendations of the Emperor, and good wishes for him.

This λόγος προσφωνητικός was also subscribed by the members of the Synod, the papal legates at the head; and they requested the Emperor to give his subscription and his confirmation of the decrees. He immediately consented, and wished that Archbishop Citonius of Sardinia, who had come into suspicion of high treason, but had been acquitted, should now also be received by the Synod, and allowed to subscribe its decree. After this was done, the Synod requested that the Emperor would be pleased to send five attested copies of the decree of the faith, signed by himself, to the five patriarchal sees, which also was immediately accomplished.

Finally, the Synod addressed another letter to Pope Agatho, “the physician for the present sickness of the Church,” leaving to him as the πρωτόθρονος what was to be done—to him who stood upon the firm rock of the faith. The Synod, they said, had destroyed the tower of the heretics, and killed them by anathemas, in accordance with the sentence given before by the Pope (κατὰ τὴν τοῖς ἱεροῖς ὑμῶν γράμμασιν ἐπʼ αὐτοίς προψηφισθεῖσαν ἀπόφασιν), namely, Theodore of Pharan, Sergius, Honorius, Cyrus, Paul, Pyrrhus, and Peter. Besides these, also Macarius and Stephen. Enlightened by the Holy Ghost, instructed by the Pope, and protected by the Emperor, they had rejected the impious doctrines, and pronounced the dogma of two wills and energies. The Pope would be pleased to confirm their decrees in writing.

SEC. 323. The Pope and the Emperor confirm the sixth Œcumenical Synod

Immediately after the end of the Synod, the Emperor caused to be posted in the third atrium of the great church in the neighbourhood of Dicymbalon the following edict: “The heresy of Apollinaris, etc., has been renewed by Theodore of Pharan and confirmed by Honorius, who contradicted himself (ὁ τῆς αἱρέσεως βεβαιοτὴς καὶ αὐτὸς ἑαυτῷ προσμαχόμενος). Also Cyrus, Pyrrhus, Paul, Peter; more recently, Macarius, Stephen, and Polychronius had diffused Monothelitism. He, the Emperor, had therefore convoked this holy and Œcumenical Synod, and published the present edict with the confession of faith, in order to confirm and establish its decrees. (There follows here an extended confession of faith, with proofs for the doctrine of two wills and operations.) As he recognised the five earlier Œcumenical Synods, so he anathematised all heretics from Simon Magus, but especially the originators and patrons of the new heresy, Theodore and Sergius; also Pope Honorius, who was their adherent and patron in everything, and confirmed the heresy (τὸν κατὰ πάντα τούτοις συναιρέτην καὶ σύνδρομον καὶ βεβαιωτὴν τῆς αἱρέσεως); further, Cyrus, etc., and ordained that no one henceforth should hold a different faith, or venture to teach one will and one energy. In no other than the orthodox faith could men be saved. Whoever did not obey the imperial edict should, if he were bishop or cleric, be deposed; if official, punished with confiscation of property and loss of girdle (ζώνη); if private person, banished from the residence and all other cities.

Pope Agatho had survived until the end of the sixth Œcumenical Council, but the news of his death (†January 10, 682) reached Constantinople before his legates had left the city, and the Emperor therefore gave them, at their departure, a letter to the new Pope, Leo II., who was elected soon after the death of his predecessor, but was not ordained until August 17, 682. The Emperor relates in this letter the whole progress of the affair, how all the members of the Synod had assented to the doctrinal letter of Pope Agatho, with the exception of Macarius of Antioch and his adherents. These had been deposed by the Synod, but had requested in writing that they should be sent to the Pope, which the Emperor now did, and left the decision of their affair to his Holiness. The Pope would now take the sword of the Word, and with it beat down all heresy, etc. Finally, he was requested to send the representative already promised to Constantinople.

A second imperial letter was addressed to all the ecclesiastical provinces (Concilia) of the Roman patriarchate, and similarly related how all the bishops, Macarius excepted, had assented to the orthodox doctrine of Pope Agatho. The persons anathematised by the sixth Council are not named in either of these letters of the Emperor, and thus not Honorius.

Pope Leo II. responded to the wish of the Emperor in a letter addressed to him, which at the same time contains the papal confirmation of the sixth Œcumenical Synod. The Pope in this letter first commends the Emperor as indeed worthy of commendation, and then remarks that the legates who had been sent by Agatho to the Synod had arrived in Rome in the July of the past 10th Indiction, i.e. in the July of 682. From this it is clear that the concluding note of this letter, as found in one of the two old Latin translations, representing it as written Nonis Maii Indict. x., i.e. on the 7th of May 682, cannot possibly be genuine; for the Pope wrote after the return of his legates.

Further, Leo II. says that the legates had brought the letter of the Emperor and the Acts of the Council with them. He had carefully examined the latter, and found them quite in agreement with the declarations of faith of his predecessor Agatho and the Roman Synod. He confirmed and recognised, therefore, the sixth Œcumenical Council in the same way as the five preceding, and anathematised all heretics, Arius, etc.; also the originators of the new heresy, Theodore of Pharan, Cyrus, etc.; also Honorius, qui hanc apostolicam sedem non apostolicæ traditionis doctrina lustravit, sed profana proditione immaculatam fidem subvertere conatus est (according to the Greek, παρεχώρησε = subverti permisit), et omnes, qui in suo errore defuncti sunt. Finally, of Macarius and his adherents it is said, that the Pope has given himself much trouble to lead them again into the right way, but hitherto they have remained stiff-necked. The close of the letter is composed of laudations of the Emperor.

As Pope Leo II. in this document confirmed the sixth Œcumenical Council, so did he zealously endeavour to bring about its recognition throughout the entire West. We see this from his letters to the Spanish bishops still extant, to Bishop Quiricius in particular, to the Spanish King Ervig, and to Count Simplicius. As the whole Acts of the Council had not yet been translated into Latin, the Pope could send to the Spaniards only some principal parts of them, with the request that the decrees of this Synod should be received and subscribed by them all. The Roman notary Peter was commissioned to deliver these letters, and to urge on the affair; that he accomplished his end we shall learn later on, when we consider the thirteenth and fourteenth Synods of Toledo.

SEC. 324. The Anathema on Pope Honorius, and, the genuineness of the Acts of the sixth Œcumenical Council

If we have so far given extracts from the Acts of the sixth Œcumenical Council, we are now required to examine more closely the question respecting the anathematising of Pope Honorius. It is in the highest degree startling, even scarcely credible, that an Œcumenical Council should punish with anathema a Pope as a heretic! In order to get rid of all the difficulties resulting from such a fact, Baronius and his followers have maintained that the Acts of the Council which speak of the anathema on Honorius are forged, whilst others have thought that the Acts indeed are genuine, but that the Council condemned Honorius, not for heresy, but for negligence (because he was silent at the wrong time). Both of these attempts at explanation have recently been quite decidedly opposed by Professor Pennacchi in Rome, the most distinguished of the later defenders of Pope Honorius. He has most distinctly maintained that the Acts of the sixth Œcumenical Council are genuine, and that in them Pope Honorius was anathematised as a real heretic (formalis).

That, however, the sixth Œcumenical Synod actually condemned Honorius on account of heresy, is clear beyond all doubt, when we consider the following collection of the sentences of the Synod against him.

(1) At the entrance of the thirteenth session, on March 28, 681, the Synod says: “After reading the doctrinal letter of Sergius of Constantinople to Cyrus of Phasis (afterwards of Alexandria) and to Pope Honorius, and also the letter of the latter to Sergius, we found that these documents were quite foreign (omnino alienas) to the apostolic doctrines, and to the declarations of the holy Councils and all the Fathers of note, and follow the false doctrines of heretics. Therefore we reject them completely, and abhor (βδελλυττόμεθα) them as hurtful to the soul. But also the names of these men must be thrust out of the Church, namely, that of Sergius, the first who wrote on this impious doctrine. Further, that of Cyrus of Alexandria, of Pyrrhus, Paul, and Peter of Constantinople, and of Theodore of Pharan, all of whom also Pope Agatho rejected in his letter to the Emperor. We punish them all with anathema. But along with them, it is our universal decision that there shall also be shut out from the Church and anathematised the former Pope Honorius of Old Rome, because we found in his letter to Sergius, that in everything he followed his view and confirmed his impious doctrines (κατὰ πάντα τῇ ἐκείνου [of Sergius] γνώμῃ ἐξακολουθήσαντα καὶ τὰ αὐτοῦ ἀσεβῆ κυρώσαντα δόγματα).”

(2) Towards the end of the same session the second letter of Pope Honorius to Sergius was presented for examination, and it was ordered that all the documents brought by George, the keeper of the archives in Constantinople, and among them the two letters of Honorius, should immediately be burnt, as hurtful to the soul (see p. 169).

(3) Again, the sixth Œcumenical Council referred to Honorius in the sixteenth session, on August 9, 681, at the acclamations and exclamations with which the transactions of this day were closed. The bishops exclaimed: “Many years to the Emperor, many years to the Roman Pope Agatho, many years to the Patriarch George of Constantinople, etc. Anathema to the heretic Sergius, to the heretic Cyrus, to the heretic Honorius, to the heretic Pyrrhus,” etc., etc. (see p. 173).

(4) Still more important is that which took place at the eighteenth and last session, on September 16, 681. In the decree of the faith which was now published, and forms the principal document of the Synod, we read: “The creeds (of the earlier Œcumenical Synods) would have sufficed for knowledge and confirmation of the orthodox faith. Because, however, the originator of all evil still always finds a helping serpent, by which he may diffuse his poison, and therewith finds fit tools for his will, we mean Theodore of Pharan, Sergius, Pyrrhus, Paul, Peter, former bishops of Constantinople, also Honorius, Pope of Old Rome, Cyrus of Alexandria, etc., so he failed not, by them, to cause trouble in the Church by the scattering of the heretical doctrine of one will and one energy of the two natures of the one Christ” (see p. 173 f.).

(5) After the papal legates, all the bishops, and the Emperor had received and subscribed this decree of the faith, the Synod published the usual λόγος προσφωνητικός, which, addressed to the Emperor, says, among other things: “Therefore we punish with exclusion and anathema, Theodore of Pharan, Sergius, Paul, Pyrrhus, and Peter; also Cyrus, and with them Honorius, formerly bishop of Rome, as he followed them” (see p. 176 f.).

(6) In the same session the Synod also put forth a letter to Pope Agatho, and says therein: “We have destroyed the fort of the heretics, and slain them with anathema, in accordance with the sentence spoken before in your holy letter, namely, Theodore of Pharan, Sergius, Honorius, Cyrus,” etc. (see p. 178).

(7) In closest connection with the Acts of the sixth Œcumenical Synod stands the imperial decree confirming their resolutions. The Emperor writes: “With this sickness (as it came out from Apollinaris, Eutyches, Themistius, etc.) did those unholy priests afterwards again infect the Church, who before our times falsely governed several churches. These are Theodore of Pharan, Sergius the former bishop of this chief city; also Honorius, the Pope of Old Rome (ἐτὶ δὲ καὶ Ὀνώριος ὁ τῆς πρεσβυτέρας Ρώμης πάπας γενόμενος), the strengthener (confirmer) of heresy who contradicted himself (ὁ τῆς αἱρέσεως βεβαιωτὴς, καὶ αὐτὸς ἑαυτῷ προσμαχόμενος).

“We anathematise all heresy from Simon (Magus) to this present, … besides, we anathematise and reject the originators and patrons of the false and new doctrines, namely, Theodore of Pharan, Sergius, … also Honorius, who was Pope of Old Rome, who in everything agreed with them, went with them, and strengthened the heresy (ἐτὶ δὲ καὶ Ὀνώριον τὸν τῆς πρεσβυτέρας Ῥώμης πάπαν γενόμενον, τὸν κατὰ πάντα τούτοις συναιρέτην καὶ σύνδρομον καὶ βεβαιωτὴν τῆς αἱρέσεως” (see p. 178 f.).

From all this it cannot be doubtful in what sense Pope Honorius was anathematised by the sixth Œcumenical Council, and it is equally beyond doubt that the Council judged much more severely respecting him than we have done above. We were obliged to allow that Honorius disapproved of the Monothelite term ἕν θέλημα, uttered literally nude crude, and the orthodox term δύο ἐνέργειαι; but we also proved and showed from his own words that it was only in the expression that he erred, whilst in truth his opinions were orthodox. The Council, on the contrary, simply gave attention to the incriminated, unlucky expressions, which were misused by the Monothelites, and pronounced its sentence on these, on their sound, on the mere fact that Honorius had so written.

With greater precision than the Synod, however, Pope Leo II. pointed out the fault of Honorius, when, in his letter to the Emperor, confirming the decrees of the sixth Œcumenical Council, he says: “Pariter anathematizamus novi erroris inventores, id est Theodorum Pharanitanum episcopum, Cyrum Alexandrinum, Sergium, Pyrrhum, Paulum, Petrum Constantinopolitanæ Ecclesiæ subsessores magis quam prsesules, necnon et Honorium, qui hanc apostolicam ecclesiam non apostolicæ traditionis doctrina lustravit, sed profunda proditione immaculatam fidem subvertere conatus est (in the Greek, subverti permisit, παρεχώρησε), et omnes qui in suo errore defuncti sunt” (see p. 180). From this it is clear that Pope Leo II. also anathematised Honorius, because he did not bring the apostolic doctrine to light, i.e., did not speak out as a teacher, and so, by the violation of his sacred duties, allowed the falsification of the faith (the Greek, τῇ βεβήλῳ προδοσίᾳ μιανθῆναι παρεχώρησε, etc., is not only milder, but also more accurate, and consistent with the expression of Leo in his letter to King Ervig, whilst the Latin text (a mere translation from the Greek) plainly does wrong to Pope Honorius).

In like sense, Pope Leo II. expressed himself in his letter to the Spanish bishops: “Qui vero adversum apostolicæ traditionis puritatem perduelliones exstiterant … æterna condemnatione mulctati sunt, i.e. Theodorus Pharanitanus, Cyrus Alexandrinus, Sergius, Pyrrhus, Paulus, Petrus Constantinopolitani, cum Honorio qui flammam hæretici dogmatis non, ut decuit apostolicam auctoritatem, incipientem extinxit, sed negligendo confovit.” (See p. 182.) And so, in fact, it was. Honorius ought to have suppressed the heresy at its beginning by a clear exhibition of the orthodox doctrine, but he fostered it by his negligence, by his unhappy words to Sergius (in his first letter especially).

Once more Leo II. speaks of the anathematising of Honorius, in his letter to the Spanish King Ervig, thus: “Omnesque hæreticæ assertionis auctores venerando censente concilio condemnati, de catholicæ ecclesiæ adunatione projecti sunt, i.e. Theodorus Pharanitanus episcopus, Cyrus Alexandrinus, Sergius, Paulus, Pyrrhus, et Petrus, quondam Constantinopolitani præsules; et una cum eis Honorius Romanus, qui immaculatam apostolicæ traditionis regulam, quam a prædecessoribus suis accepit, maculari consensit” (i.e. he allowed the maculari, (a) from negligence, since he did not come forward against it, and (b) since he used an expression which the heresy turned to its own use). Whether this letter proceeded from Pope Leo himself, or from his successor Benedict II., is here indifferent.

Of the fact that Pope Honorius had been anathematised by the sixth Œcumenical Synod, mention is made by the Quinisext or the Trullan Synod, which was held only twelve years after. The Synod says in its first canon: “Further, we confess the faith which the sixth Synod proclaimed. That taught that we must accept two natural wills and operations in Christ, and condemned (καταδικάσασα) all who taught only one will, namely, Theodore of Pharan, Cyril of Alexandria, Honorius of Rome, Sergius, etc., etc.”

Like testimony is also given repeatedly by the seventh Œcumenical Synod; especially does it declare, in its principal document, the decree of the faith: “We declare at once two wills and energies according to the property of the natures in Christ, just as the sixth Synod in Constantinople taught, condemning (ἀποκηρύξασα) Sergius, Honorius, Cyrus, etc., etc.” The like is asserted by the Synod or its members in several other places.

To the same effect the eighth Œcumenical Synod expresses itself: “Sanctam et universalem sextam synodum suscipientes … anathematizamus autem Theodorum, qui fuit episcopus Pharan, et Sergium, et Pyrrhum, … atque cum eis Honorium Romæ, una cum Cyro Alexandrino”

That the name of Honorius was found among those anathematised in the Roman copy of the Acts of the sixth Œcumenical Council, is also quite clear from Anastasii Vita Leonis II., in which he says: “Hic suscepit sanctam sextam synodum … in qua et condemnati sunt Cyrus, Sergius, Honorius, et Pyrrhus, Paulus et Petrus, nec non et Macarius cum discipulo suo Stephano.”

In the Liber Diurnus, i.e. the Formulary of the Roman Chancery (from the fifth to the eleventh century), there is found the old formula for the papal oath, probably prescribed by Gregory II. (at the beginning of the eighth century), according to which every new Pope, on entering upon his office, had to swear that “he recognised the sixth Œcumenical Council, which smote with eternal anathema the originators of the new heresy (Monothelitism), Sergius, Pyrrhus, etc., together with Honorius, quia pravis hæreticorum assertionibus fomentum impendit.”

Finally, not to mention still later witnesses, e.g. Bede, Pope Hadrian II. (867–872) writes: “Licet enim Honorio ab orientalibus post mortem anathema sit dictum, sciendum tamen est, quia fuerat super hæresi accusatus, propter quam solam licitum est minoribus, majorum suorum motibus resistendi, vel pravos sensus libere respuendi, quamvis et ibi nec Patriarcharum nec ceterorum antistitum cuipiam de eo fas fuerit proferendi sententiam, nisi ejusdem primæ sedis Pontificis consensus præcessisset auctoritas.”

This utterance of Hadrian was read and approved at the seventh session of the eighth Œcumenical Council; but Pope Hadrian started with the opinion that the anathematising of Honorius by the sixth Œcumenical Council had been preceded by his condemnation by Pope Agatho. Hadrian was here misled by some turns of speech of the sixth Œcumenical Council, where it is said: “The Synod has destroyed the fortress of the heretics, and slain them by anathemas, in accordance with the sentence previously given by the Pope, namely, Theodore of Pharan, Sergius, Honorius, etc., etc.” (p. 178). Here it was quite natural to infer that Agatho had condemned Honorius as well as Sergius. Similarly in the thirteenth session (see above, p. 167). In fact, however, so little had Pope Agatho condemned Honorius as a heretic, that he, on the other hand, maintained, as we have seen (p. 167), that all his predecessors had held fast the true doctrine in opposition to the Constantinopolitans.

We have explained above (p. 185) the startling phenomenon, that a Pope (Honorius) was anathematised by an Œcumenical Council for heresy, in this way, that the Synod attended to the incriminated passages in the letters of Honorius, which certainly had a heterodox sound (particularly in the first), and to the fact that Honorius had thus written and given great help to the heresy, and for these reasons pronounced their sentence.

Another solution of the difficulty was attempted by Pennacchi in his often quoted work, De Honorii I. Romani Pontificis causa in Concilio VI. (see p. 37 and 181).1

(1) He maintains, first of all, that the letters of Pope Honorius were put forth auctoritate apostolica, or, as we say, ex cathedra (Pennacchi, l.c. pp. 169–177); and have come down to us unfalsified (ibid. p. 75 sqq.), that they are thoroughly orthodox, and that when Honorius said unam voluntatem fatemur Domini nostri Jesu Christi (see above, p. 27), he meant only the will of the uncorrupted human nature of Christ (as Pope John IV. asserted, p. 52), and that he dissuaded from the use of the orthodox term δύο ἐνέργειαι only because it became a stumbling-block to many, and might be misunderstood in a Nestorian sense (ibid. pp. 112–169).

(2) He maintains, further, that Honorius was anathematised at the sixth Œcumenical Synod in the proper sense as hærcticus formalis (ibid. p. 177 sqq.), and that the Acts of the Council, as they lie before us, are unfalsified (ibid. p. 193).

(3) But that sentence pronounced against Honorius rested upon an error in facto dogmatico (ibid. p. 204 sqq.), since the Fathers of the Council had erroneously regarded the letters of Honorius as heretical; and therefore that

(4) This sentence was not that of an Œcumenical infallible Council, but that of a number of Orientals, prejudiced beforehand, on the character of the letters of Honorius. That this sentence stands (a) in contradiction with the decree of the contemporaneous Pope Agatho and his Western Synod, who maintained of all previous Popes, that they had not erred in fide (see above, pp. 143 and 146). Thus only the Orientals, and not the Pope and the Westerns, had declared Honorius to be heterodox. (b) The papal legates had certainly subscribed the decree of the Synod against Honorius, but they had no authority to do so (ibid. p. 220 sqq.), and it was (c) their own step, so far that the sentence of the Synod was not confirmed by the Pope, not by Pope Agatho, who died before receiving the Acts of the Synod, nor yet by his successor, Pope Leo II. On the contrary, the latter abrogated the sentence of the Synod, and replaced it by another, in which Honorius is condemned, not for heresy, but on account of negligentia (ibid. pp. 235–252. (d) If Pope Hadrian II., in the passage quoted above (p. 187), maintained that Honorius had been censured by the Orientals for heresy, after the auctoritas primæ sedis Pontificis had preceded, this rests simply upon an historical error, and Hadrian was misled by the Acts of the Council.

The last point we have ourselves often maintained (p. 187), and will not now discuss whether the papal legates had authority to subscribe the sentence of Honorius. We cannot, however, agree with the principal points in Pennacchi’s argument. As is clear from all that has been said, we find the letters of Honorius by no means so correct as he represents them, and just as little do we hold ourselves justified in denying to the sixth Council, in its sentence on Honorius, the character of an Œcumenical Council. The opposition which, according to Pennacchi, Pope Leo. II. is supposed to have made against the Synod, is not confirmed by this Pope’s own letters, but contradicted. In the letter to the Emperor, in which Leo II. confirmed the doctrine of the sixth Synod, he calls it repeatedly, “sancta et universalis et magna sexta synodus, sancta et magna synodus, sanctum sextum concilium.” He then says of Honorius: “Pariterque anathematizamus novi erroris inventores, i.e. Theodorum Pharanitanum, etc., necnon et Honorium, qui hanc apostolicam ecclesiam non apostolicæ traditionis doctrina lustravit, sed profana proditione immaculatam fidem maculari permisit, et omnes qui in suo errore defuncti sunt. Similiter anathematizamus et abominamur imitatores eorum et complices, … i.e. Macarium, etc., quos et sancta universalis supra memorata sexta synodus abdicavit.” Thus, with direct reference to the sentence against Honorius, etc., he calls the Synod Œcumenical.

So also Pope Leo II., in his letter to the Spanish bishops, entitles the Council the universale itaque sanctum sextum, and informs them that the Council had condemned Theodore of Pharan, etc., cum Honorio, qui flammam hæretici dogmatis non, ut decuit apostolicam dignitatem, incipientem extinxit, sed negligendo confovit, and requests of the Spanish bishops that they will subscribe, in a translation, the definitio venerandi concilii (i.e. the decree of the faith of the eighteenth session, in which the anathema on Honorius is contained). The same is further contained in Leo’s letter to the Spanish King Ervig (see above, p. 185). He transmits therewith to the Spaniards the definitio of the Council and the λόγος προσφωνητικὸς, both of which contain the anathema on Honorius, and requires the subscription of the definitio sacræ synodi. How any one can say, on the ground of these documents, that Pope Leo II. did not (in all respects) confirm the sixth Œcumenical Synod, but, on the contrary, abrogated its sentence on Honorius, is to me not intelligible; on the contrary, it is true that Pope Leo II. estimated with greater precision the fault of Honorius, and thus gave the sense in which the sentence of the Council published against him is to be understood.

But is it then correct to say that the sixth Œcumenical Synod pronounced anathema on Honorius? Following Pighius and others, Baronius negatived this question with a great expenditure of words, and some have followed him.

The passages in which the sixth Œcumenical Synod pronounces anathema on Honorius, are partly such as consist of only a few words, partly longer and made up in part from several propositions. To get rid of the first of these, Baronius assumed that some words had been erased from the genuine minutes, and others introduced in their place. In order, however, to set aside the longer passages, he united with the first hypothesis a second, that several forged leaves had been inserted in the genuine minutes. Erasure and interpolation were assumed, and Archbishop Theodore of Constantinople was declared to be the author of this great falsification.

If we put the scattered fragments of Baronius closely and clearly together, we get the following result: Shortly before the beginning of the sixth Œcumenical Council, Theodore of Constantinople, on account of his leaning to Monothelitism, was cast from the patriarchal chair, and George was raised to it (see p. 148). But after George’s death, soon after the end of the sixth Council, Theodore succeeded in getting reinstated, after he had set forth a confession which—in appearance—was orthodox. Certainly this Theodore was not passed over in silence by our Synod, but, like his predecessors, Sergius, Pyrrhus, etc., he was smitten with anathema. Only three among the later patriarchs of Constantinople, Thomas, John, and Constantine, were exempted from anathema in the thirteenth session; from which it follows that they pronounced the same upon Theodore, whom they did not exempt. But after Theodore had again become Patriarch, he naturally planned to remove his name from the Acts of the Synod, and as he had control of the original of the Acts, he was in a position to carry out his plan. He found, then, his own name anathematised along with that of Sergius in four places: in the minutes of the sixteenth and eighteenth sessions, in the λόγος προσφωνητικὸς, and in the letter of the Synod to Agatho (see above, p. 183, Nos. 3–6). As there were only a few words which testified against him, he erased these from the original, and instead of his own name inserted the name of Honorius, which was about the same size, and in the uncial writing looked very much the same, ΟΝΩΡΙΟΝ instead of ΘΕΟΔΩΡΟΝ. He could at the same time, by this means, give satisfaction to his hatred against Rome. But the anathema on Honorius must not be allowed to fall into the Acts like a Deus ex machina. On the contrary, as foundation and introduction, a kind of examination must be inserted before it, and with this end in view Theodore invented the fiction, that, in the twelfth session, the letters of Honorius were presented for examination (read), and then the condemnation followed at the thirteenth. This fiction could best be introduced into the minutes of the eleventh session, for towards the end of this session a passage was read from a writing of Macarius, the Monothelite patriarch of Antioch, in which he declared that the departed Pope Honorius held his opinions. Against this assertion the papal legates certainly protested immediately; but Theodore struck out this protest, re-wrote the Acts of the twelfth and thirteenth sessions, added his fiction to the genuine part thus treated, and then inserted the new leaves or sheets in the synodal Acts, instead of the genuine ones which he cut out.

Thus Baronius. But, apart from the synodal Acts, as we know, many other ancient documents testify of the anathema on Honorius. And these, too, must be set aside. First of all, among these are found the two edicts of confirmation, the imperial and the papal (see pp. 184 and 185). Of the former, that of the Emperor, Baronius says not a syllable; he seems not to have known it. That of Pope Leo, on the other hand, he declares spurious, and in the same way all the other letters of Leo that refer to this matter (see above, p. 185).

But the Quinisextum also, of A.D. 692, the seventh and the eighth Œcumenical Councils, and different Popes and other authorities, speak of the anathema on Honorius (see p. 186). Certainly, says Baronius; but Theodore practised his deception so early, that even the first copies of the synodal Acts which were sent out from Constantinople were falsified, particularly the copy which the papal legates took back to Rome. Thus those later Synods and Popes had merely falsified Acts before them, and, not suspecting the deception, they drew from these the information respecting the anathema on Honorius.

I admit that one might believe that not Baronius, but a great master of the new critica mordax, must have invented this highly complicated and more than bold hypothesis, this great and heavy structure standing upon such weak feet. A series of learned men of name have already exposed its groundlessness, particularly Combefis, Pagi, Garnier, Natalis Alexander, Mamachi, the Ballerini, Joseph Simon Assemani, Palma, Chmel, and others. On account of the importance of the subject, however, the following new examination may not be superfluous, which will make use of the material brought together by previous scholars, bring out that which is important and striking in a condensed form, point out the objections with greater exactness, and add some useful new contributions.

(1) To begin, it is suspicious that Baronius is unable to bring forward a single witness from antiquity on his side. In no single Greek MS. of the Acts of the sixth Council, in no single ancient version, are the passages relating to Honorius lacking, and not one scholar, not one critic, not one prince of the Church, not one defender and commender of the Roman see, before Baronius and Pighius, has even dreamt that the Acts of the sixth Synod and the letters of Leo II. have all, conjointly and severally, been shamefully falsified.

(2) The foundation-stone on which Baronius builds is not merely rotten, it is only apparent; for the assertion that “the letters of Honorius are thoroughly orthodox, and therefore an anathema upon them would not be possible,”—this fundamental assumption is inadmissible, and we have already pointed out the truth of this matter (see above, p. 55).

(3) Apart from this, Baronius opines that, on the old principle, Prima sedes non judicatur a quoquam, such a condemnation, especially of a Pope who was dead, could only be the result of an extended and thorough examination. Even in the case of Theodore of Mopsuestia, it was thought necessary to hold an Œcumenical Synod (the fifth), and to have very full discussion at this, before they pronounced anathema upon him after his death. As, however, the matter is represented in the Acts of the sixth Œcumenical Synod, Honorius appears to have been condemned almost en passant, after his letters had been read, and without careful examination of their contents. Indeed, the first anathema on him was pronounced in the thirteenth session, even before his second letter had been presented. Besides, it was not credible that the Roman legates should have concurred in the condemnation of a Pope without protest. That would certainly have rendered necessary lengthy negotiations, at least between them and the holy see, of which there is nowhere any trace. Besides this, the Synod, in the thirteenth session and in the letter to Pope Agatho, as well as the Emperor in his letter to Leo II., represented the matter as though, with the exception of Macarius, only those men had been anathematised whom Pope Agatho had designated in his letter as deserving condemnation, and among those the name of Honorius was certainly not found. On the contrary, Agatho said that his predecessors had semper strengthened their brethren in the faith, and when some bishops of Constantinople had introduced the innovation, they had never failed (nunquam neglexerunt) to admonish them.

To this we answer—

(a) That the proposition Prima sedes, etc., which occurs in a forged synodal Act of A.D. 303, had universal prevalence in antiquity, is a statement which is greatly in need of proof. Pope Hadrian II. himself allows that in the matter of heresy the higher may be judged by the lower (see p. 187); and there has actually happened, in the course of centuries, much which does not agree with that principle. How they thought and acted in this respect at Pisa and Constance, it is not necessary to discuss.

(b) When Baronius speaks of a condemnation of Honorius en passant, he forgets that the public sessions, whose Acts we possess, were preceded by many preliminary discussions. The result of these appeared in the public sessions. Thus there was certainly much debate held on the subject of the decree of the faith, which seems to have been accepted at the eighteenth session without any consultation, and in consequence of this the formula, on which they agreed, was presented in the public session. This was the practice at many Synods, and, as is well known, at Trent.

(c) Baronius maintains that the papal legates at the sixth Synod could not possibly, without. permission from Rome, have consented to the condemnation of Honorius; but it does not follow, because the synodal Acts give us no information on the point, that the legates had no authority. In fact, several scholars are of opinion that Pope Agatho had, in his private instructions to the legates, imparted to them this authority. Moreover, as is well known, it has often happened that papal legates overstepped their authority, thus, e.g., in a very remarkable manner in the negotiations with Photius, A.D. 861, and in the case of the marriage of King Lothar of Lotharingia, A.D. 863, nay, only a few years before the sixth Œcumenical Council, Roman legates twice overstepped their powers, A.D. 649 and 655 (see pp. 118 and 128 f.). If, however, the legates made no attempt to ward off the anathema from Honorius, that probably was because the Greeks had also wanted to free from anathema their departed patriarchs, who were more guilty than Honorius. They certainly attempted this at the sixteenth session.

(d) Moreover, it is by no means surprising, as Baronius thinks, that the name of the deposed patriarch, Theodore of Constantinople, is not found among those anathematised by the Synod. This anathema extended nominatim only to the dead, and to those among the living who now still decidedly opposed the orthodox doctrine. Who can, however, assert this of Theodore, of whom we know that soon after this he was restored to the patriarchal chair, and gave in an orthodox confession of faith? The Emperor declares, in his letter to Leo II.: “Solus cum iis, quibuscum abreptus est, defecit Macarius”; thus only Macarius of Antioch and his associates fell decidedly away. The names of the latter are repeatedly specified, also by Anastasius, in his Vita Agathonis (Mansi, t. xi. p. 168), to which Baronius willingly appeals. But Theodore’s name is not found there. They were sent to Rome, and delivered to the Pope for their improvement, as the same Anastasius tells us; and again, Theodore is not there. We may surely assume that the former patriarch of Constantinople, being higher in rank, would hardly have been included among the mere adherents of one lower in rank, the (former) patriarch of Antioch, without special mention of his name.

(4) The assumption that several leaves or sheets were inserted between the minutes of the eleventh and fourteenth sessions is thoroughly arbitrary, a mere imitation of that which happened with the Acts of the fifth Œcumenical Synod. Into these, two entirely or partially forged letters of Pope Vigilius, representing them as favourable to the Monothelites, had been inserted by later hands. Although so long a period as one hundred and thirty years had elapsed since Vigilius, the papal legates protested directly at the sixth Council quite energetically against these two letters, and obtained their rejection. The same would certainly have happened at the seventh Œcumenical Synod in regard to the documents regarded by Baronius as spurious; for

(a) The honour of Pope Honorius was thereby much more assailed than the memory of Vigilius by those two letters; and nevertheless the papal legates at the seventh Œcumenical Council did not raise the slightest scruple against them when the anathema on Honorius was renewed. If they had not been convinced of the historical fact, they would certainly have contested, they would have been obliged to contest, the statement, that a hundred years ago even a Pope was anathematised.

(b) In the case of Vigilius, the question was concerned with two brief letters, each with one false word, unam operationem, with letters written far away (at Constantinople), and yet they knew at Rome, after one hundred and thirty years, so many had elapsed between the fifth and sixth Œcumenical Synods, that these had been falsified. Now, however, the question had regard to a quite different and more significant fact, whether the Pope had been anathematised; and, in connection with this, is it possible that so soon they should have been without accurate information at Rome? Baronius supposes that the falsification of the Acts took place soon after the close of the sixth Œcumenical Council, and that falsified Acts were even given to the Roman legates to take home with them. Certainly the oral testimony of the returned legates would immediately have brought the forgery to light; but no! the Romans believed the falsified Acts and not the legates, and good-naturedly accepted the hoax, that last year the Pope had been anathematised! What would Baronius have said if anyone had in the same way expected him to believe that Pope Leo x. was anathematised at the Council of Trent?

(5) As it is with the insertion of Acts, so also is it with the pretended erasures. The one is as pure an invention as the other, and nowhere is there even the slightest trace of a proof or testimony for it. Here, too, the oral information of the legates must have discovered the deceit.

Besides, the erasure would not have extended merely to a single word, as Baronius represents the matter, but to sentences. In the eighteenth session we have it once, ἐτὶ καὶ τὸν Ὀνώριον τὸν γενόμενον Πάπαν τῆς πρεσβυτέρας Ῥώμης; in the other passage, καὶ σὺν αὐτοῖς Ὀνώριον τὸν τῆς Ῥώμης γενόμενον πρόεδρον, ὡς ἐκείνοις ἐν τούτοις ἀκολουθήσαντα; and in the edict of confirmation of the Emperor, “he anathematised the originators and patrons of the new heresy, … ἐτὶ δὲ καὶ Ὀνώριον τὸν τῆς πρεσβυτέρας Ῥώμης πάπαν γενόμενον, τὸν κατὰ πάντα τούτοις συναιρέτην καὶ σύνδρομον καὶ βεβαιωτὴν τῆς αἱρέσεως.” Almost the same words are found in this letter of confirmation once more (see p. 177). Here an alteration from ΘΕΟΔΩΡΟΝ to ΟΝΩΡΙΟΝ was by no means sufficient.

(6) In the interest of his hypothesis, Baronius makes the falsifier Theodore to be restored to the chair of Constantinople about a year earlier than this actually took place (682 instead of 683), so that he may have time to exercise his act of erasure and interpolation before the departure of the papal legates. If this chronology is incorrect, and it is so according to the testimony of the Chronography of Theophanes (ad ann. 676, secundum Alexandrinos), which relates that the Patriarch George lived after the sixth Œcumenical Synod; even into the third year, and so into the year 683, then the hypothesis of Baronius falls of itself. The papal legates returned to Rome with the Acts of the Council in the year 682, before the restoration of Theodore. But even if the chronology of Baronius were true, the oral testimony of the legates would have brought the falsification to light. Yes, even if the legates had all been faithless, and had helped the deception, information as to the truth would have found its way into the world by the many other members of the Synod, Greeks and Latins. Or if they all, about two hundred, and also the excellent Emperor, had unanimously agreed to the deception, that would not have availed them! Even if the truth had found nothing but enemies, and the falsifier nothing but friends and helpers of helpers, not only in all Asiatics, Egyptians, Greeks, etc., but even in the Latins present! Combefis, moreover (l.c. p. 145), attaches importance to this, that even before the multiplication of the whole contents of the Acts of the sixth Synod, five copies of its decree of the faith were signed in the presence of the bishops by the Emperor, and were sent to the five patriarchs (see above, p. 177). These copies, however, were older than the restoration of Theodore, and yet there is found in them the anathema on Honorius.

(7) Baronius was not acquainted with the ἐπίλογος of the Constantinopolitan notary and deacon Agatho, first published by Combefis (see p. 177, note
This official declares that, about thirty-two years before, he had served the sixth Œcumenical Synod as secretary, and had written the minutes and the five copies of the decree of the faith intended for the five patriarchs. He is now urged to draw up this paper by the rage with which the new Emperor, Philippicus Bardanes, persecuted orthodoxy and the sixth Œcumenical Synod. He had also ordered that the names of Sergius and Honorius, and the others anathematised by the sixth Œcumenical Synod (καὶ τῶν λοιπῶν σὺν αὐτοῖς ὑπὸ τῆς αὐτῆς ἁγίας καὶ οἰκουμενικῆς συνόδου ἐκβληθέντων καὶ ἀναθεματισθέντων), should be restored to the diptychs. This notary who drew up the minutes of the sixth Œcumenical Synod must have known whether the Synod anathematised Honorius or not. His book was composed long after the death of Theodore, and so was certainly not falsified by him.

(8) A principal evidence against the theory of Baronius is given by the letters of Leo II. He was obliged, therefore, to declare them to be falsified, piling up chance upon chance, castle in the air upon castle in the air. Why he also objected to the letter of the Emperor against Leo is not quite clear. There is nothing said there of Honorius, and it could embarrass him only so far as the letter of Leo to the Emperor, which he was positively obliged to set aside, is an answer to it. Against the letter of Leo to the Emperor, however, the passage in which testifying against Honorius we gave above (p. 179), Baronius (683, 13–17) brings two objections:

(a) In a Latin translation from the Greek text of the letter there is added at the end the chronological note: Datum Nonis Maii indictione x. (= May 7, 682). In the letter itself, however, it is said that the papal legates who were at the Synod had come back in July 682 to Rome. This is a plain contradiction, and therefore the letter is spurious. But it is more probable that there is a slip of the pen in that chronological note, and that Indict. xi. should be read instead of x.; indeed, it were better to pay no attention to it, as it stands only in one translation.

(b) In the same letter it is twice said: “We anathematise Honorius, etc., and all who died in their error.” This, exclaims Baronius, is clearly a mark of falsification, for that Honorius did not die in heresy is proved by the solemn celebration of his funeral in Rome. But Honorius died before the final decision on the theological controversy was arrived at: he died as legitimate Pope, accused of heresy by no one; on the contrary, justified and commended by his contemporaries, especially in Rome (see pp. 52–60).

(9) Against the Epistola Leonis II. ad Hispanos (see p. 185), Baronius remarks (638, 18): The Pope says therein: “Archiepiscopi sunt a nobis destinati,” in order to be present at the sixth Œcumenical Synod. As a matter of fact, however, it was Agatho, and not Leo, who sent the legates, and among these there was no archbishop. We answer: (a) Nobis is not to be translated, “I in my person,” but, We = the Roman see. Quite in this manner does Gregory II. write to the Emperor Leo the Isaurian: “The Emperor Constantine Pogonatus wrote to us on the holding of the sixth Synod. (b) It is incorrect to say that no archbishop was present as deputy of the Pope and of the West at the sixth Synod. Among the legates proper there was certainly none such, but besides them Archbishop John of Thessalonica and Stephen of Corinth subscribed the Acts, the former as βικάριος and ληγατάριος, the latter as ληγάτος τοῦ ἀποστολικοῦ θρόνου Ῥώμης; and Archbishop Basil of Gortyna in Crete subscribed as ληγάτος τῆς ἁγίας συνόδου τοῦ ἀποστολικοῦ θρόνου τῆς πρεσβυτέρας Ῥώμης. All these three bishops belonged to Illyricum Orientale, thus to the patriarchate of Rome, and therefore to the Roman Synod (until Leo the Isaurian), and if they did not personally appear at the Roman Synod of 680, which preceded the sixth Œcumenical Council and appointed legates for it, yet they might have received authority either from this Synod or from the Pope in specie. In the case of Basil of Gortyna, the former seems to have been the case, hence his subscription, ληγάτος τῆς συνόδου, the latter with the two others, particularly as, without this, they were permanent vicars of the Pope, the archbishop of Thessalonica a long time back for Illyricum, the archbishop of Corinth for Hellas and Achaia, since the Emperor Justinian I. had separated those provinces from Illyricum. The statement objected to is now freed from all fault, if we will only read: “Archiepiscopi et episcopi.” If we do not, we may either hold that archi is an addition of the librarius, or assume that the title of archbishop is not used here in the sense of metropolitan, but in the wider meaning, and one which at an early period was very common, of a specially venerable bishop. To this day there is a clear distinction in the Greek Church between archbishop and metropolitan. The former is only a title of honour.

Baronius further (693, 22) throws suspicion upon the letter of Leo ad Hispanos, for this reason, that in it is said that the Pope temporarily sent to the Spaniards only some passages of the Acts of the sixth Council, the decree of the faith, the λόγος προσφωνητικός, and the Emperor’s edict of confirmation. The rest was not yet translated into Latin. The fourteenth Synod of Toledo, however, says distinctly: The Pope sent a transcript of the gesta synodalia.—But might not the three principal documents of the sixth Œcumenical Council be named the gesta synodalia? There is nothing said of “integra gesta” although Baronius represents the matter as though the Synod of Toledo had used that expression.

(10) Finally, the letter of Leo II. to the Spanish Ervig is declared to be spurious by Baronius (ad ann. 683, 20, 21), because it asserts that the Emperor wrote in Indiction ix. to Pope Agatho respecting the summoning of the sixth Œcumenical Synod. It was not to Agatho, but to his predecessor Donus that the imperial letter was addressed, and it belonged, not to the 9th, but to the 6th Indiction.—This objection has already been answered by Combefis and Pagi: (a) The chronological error is easily explained by a slip of the pen; (b) the naming of Agatho, however, instead of Donus is only a so-called compendium historicum, since Donus was no longer alive when the imperial letter was despatched, so that it was delivered to Agatho, and by him answered.

(11) Assemani is surprised that Baronius has not brought in a striking utterance of Pope Nicolas I. in defence of his hypothesis. Nicolas writes, in his eighth letter to the Emperor Michael III. of Constantinople: “His (the Emperor’s) predecessors had for a long time been sick with the poison of different heresies, and in regard to those who wanted to bring them deliverance, they had either made them participators in their error, as at the time of Pope Conon, or had persecuted them.

The allusion here made by Pope Nicolas, Assemani supposes, must have been to the Synod of Constantinople held by Justinian II., in the year 686, at which Justinian, in the presence of the papal representative and many patriarchs and archbishops, etc., had the original minutes of the sixth Œcumenical Synod read, and sealed by them. On this occasion, Assemani supposes, a deception might well have been practised, as Baronius assumes.—But Baronius saw quite correctly, when he did not use this as favouring his hypothesis; for a falsification of the Acts in the year 686 was for him about four years too late. He would then have had to allow that the genuine Acts had come to Rome before, even four years before,—that is, he would have annihilated his own hypothesis.

(12) What has so far been said in opposition to Baronius is also partially valid against Boucaut, who felt compelled to introduce a modification into the hypothesis of Baronius. After the eleventh session, he supposes, the Synod ceased to be a legitima, and therefore the condemnation of Honorius did not result from the sentence of a valid Œcumenical Synod. In proof he adduces these facts: (a) After the eleventh session the papal legates left; and (b) after the end of the eleventh session, one of the papal legates, Bishop John of Portus, in the presence of the Emperor, etc., celebrated in the Church of S. Sophia a solemn Mass, according to the Latin rite, in thanksgiving for the happy ending of the Synod.

Both assertions are entirely groundless; for (a) it is a fact, and a glance at the synodal Acts show, that the papal legates were also present at the twelfth, thirteenth, fourteenth, in short, at all the eighteen sessions until the close of the Synod, and at the last subscribed the Acts; (b) what Boucaut says of the high celebration of the papal legate John, he borrowed from the Vitæ Pontificum of Anastasius; but here it is expressly said that the solemn service was celebrated at the Easter festival, and thus, not after the eleventh, but after the fourteenth session. That it was supposed to be a service of thanksgiving for the happy ending of the Synod—of this Anastasius knows not a syllable; but he certainly says: In order to do honour to the Roman legates, one of them was permitted to celebrate the Easter festival divine service.

(13) More recently, Damberger has suggested a way of his own, yet one which in its chief principle is akin to that of Baronius, in his synchronistic history of the Middle Ages (Bd. ii. S. 119 ff.). The first half of the synodal Acts, he says, which are fairly (!) beyond suspicion, extends only to the ninth session inclusive. The Acts of the later sessions have been falsified. The Greeks could not bear that a number of patriarchs of proud Constantinople should be anathematised, and therefore in order, so to speak, to restore the equilibrium, plainly without the knowledge of the papal legates (!), inserted the name of Honorius into the anathematisms of the Acts. As the Acts now lie before us, they show, onwards from the tenth session, everywhere “the cunning of the Byzantine spirit of falsehood,” and Damberger “is astonished that Western Church writers, and not mere compilers of compendia but genuine investigators, accepted the Acts in question as genuine.” Only Gallicans, he thinks, have contended for the genuineness of this “Greek chaos of Acts,” because they could nowhere else find proof for the superiority of an Œcumenical Council over the Pope. In the further development of his view, Damberger departs very widely from Baronius, maintaining that (a) the genuine Acts of the sixth Synod were certainly sent to Rome, but the present Acts are a falsified extract from the genuine; (b) the seventh and eighth Synods, and the Popes Leo II. and Hadrian II., had certainly lauded the Acts of the sixth Œcumenical Council, i.e. the genuine Acts which lay before them; of this, however, that the sixth Œcumenical Synod had pronounced anathema on Honorius, nothing was known to them; (c) indeed, this was never mentioned until Michael Cerularius renewed the schism in the eleventh century; (d) the genuine Acts have been lost in Rome; but Leo II. and Hadrian II. still possessed them.

We have now a series of surprises.—The seventh and eighth Œcumenical Synods knew nothing of the anathema on Honorius! But in the decree of the faith of the seventh Synod, it is said: “We therefore declare two wills and energies according with the properties of the natures in Christ, as also the sixth Synod in Constantinople taught, anathematising Sergius, Honorius, Cyrus, etc.” (ἁποκηρύξασα Σέργιον, Ὀνώριον, Κῦρον, κ.τ.λ.). And the eighth Œcumenical Synod says: “Sanctam et universalem sextam synodum suscipientes … anathematizamus … Theodorum, qui fuit episcopus Pharan, et Pyrrhum, et Sergium, … atque cum eis Honorium Romæ, una cum Cyro Alexandrino, etc.”

Whether Pope Leo II. and Hadrian II. knew anything or nothing of the anathema on Honorius, everyone can answer who has read their utterances (pp. 180–185). They speak in the most forcible manner of the anathematising of Honorius, and lived several hundred years before Michael Cerularius. If Damberger finally asserts that Leo II. and Hadrian II. had before their eyes the genuine Acts of the sixth Council, Baronius will never forgive him, for everything in the past has taught us that, if Leo II. and Hadrian II. possessed the genuine Acts of the sixth Synod, then not the slightest doubt can be raised as to the anathema on Honorius.








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