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

BOOK XVII

THE TIME FROM THE END OF THE SIXTH ŒCUMENICAL COUNCIL TO THE BEGINNING OF THE DISPUTE RESPECTING IMAGES

SEC. 325. The Synods between A.D. 680 and 692

AS we know, shortly before the opening of the sixth Œcumenical Council, a Roman Synod, in October 679, had decided in favour of S. Wilfrid, the banished archbishop [bishop?] of York, and Pope Agatho had sent envoys to England in order to bring about the reinstatement of Wilfrid and the pronouncing of anathema on Monothelitism at an English general Synod (vol. iv. p. 492). In order to respond at least to a part of the papal request, as far as it concerned Monothelitism, Archbishop Theodore of Canterbury held the Synod of Heathfield, already mentioned (p. 140); but he remained, as before, prepossessed against Wilfrid, and when he, after being present at the Roman Synod at Easter 680 (p. 140 f.), returned home, Theodore did so little for him, that, on the contrary, King Egfrid of Northumbria was able, unhindered, to assemble the grandees and prelates of his kingdom in a kind of Synod, A.D. 680 or 681, and to condemn Wilfrid to a hard imprisonment. He remained nine months in prison, until, at the intercession of the Abbess Ebba, a relation of the King, he was set free on the condition that he would not enter Northumbria. He now became the apostle of the still heathen inhabitants of Sussex, and after King Egfrid’s death (685), and after Archbishop Theodore had, in a remarkable manner, become reconciled to him, he became, under King Alfrid of Northumbria, reinstated in his property, his monasteries, and bishoprics—Hexham, Lindisfarne, and York. That he soon became involved in new disputes, we shall find out later on.

When we last encountered (A.D. 675) one of the numerous Synods of Toledo, the eleventh, the great King Wamba sat upon the Spanish throne, and Archbishop Quiricius upon the metropolitan throne of Toledo. The year 680 brought great changes. The archbishop died in January and S. Julian became his successor, and King Wamba resigned. One of his palatines, Count Ervig, a very able man but extremely ambitious, made an effort to reach the throne, and brought to the old King, October 14, 680, a bad draught, to deprive him, not of life, but of reason. Wamba immediately fell into a state of stupefaction, and, after the fashion of the time, they cut his hair off, as from a dying man, in order to remove him into the order of penitents (vol. iv. p. 79). By means of powerful restoratives, Wamba, after twenty-four hours, came back to his senses, but voluntarily remained among the penitents, retired into the monastery at Pampliega, and, not suspecting Ervig’s guilt, recommended him as his successor. The grandees agreed, and Archbishop Julian anointed the new King, October 22, 680. To secure himself in the possession of the throne, as what he had done had partly got abroad, Ervig convoked the bishops and grandees of the kingdom to a national Synod, the twelfth of Toledo. It lasted from January 9 to 25, 681, and there were present,—in the Church of SS. Peter and Paul,—under the presidency of Julian of Toledo, 35 bishops and archbishops, 4 abbots, 3 representatives of absent bishops, and 14 secular viri illustres officii palatini. The King opened the assembly in his own person with a short speech, in which he thanked the bishops for their presence, and requested them to find out remedies for the evils of the times. After he had withdrawn, by his command a lengthy royal address, a tome, was read to the Synod. In this the bishops were requested to establish good ordinances in general, but specially to examine two laws: (a) the new law in reference to the Jews by King Ervig; and (b) the older law of Wamba, that all (noblemen) who withdrew from service in war, or deserted (in Wamba’s war against his General Paul in Navarre, who had rebelled), should be declared civilly degraded. As by this means nearly half of all the Spaniards, says the tome, are affected and incapacitated from bearing witness and the like, the bishops were requested to consider whether an alteration of this law was not necessary. Generally, they were required to examine and improve all the laws of the State, and the rectores provinciarum and duces Hispaniæ then present should introduce in their provinces the improvements recognised by the Synod.

(1) In the first of their 13 Capitula the Synod declared, first of all, their agreement with the faith of the Councils of Nicæa, Constantinople, Ephesus, and Chalcedon, and recited the Creed which, as they remarked, is also used in the Mass (the Niceno-Constantinopolitan with the filioque). It is the same which the eighth Synod of Toledo also placed at the head of their decrees (vol. iv. p. 470). Moreover, in this chapter the elevation of King Ervig was confirmed and all the people required to be loyal to him, after the Synod had seen the original documents, in which the grandees of the kingdom testified that King Wamba had received the sacred tonsure, and had himself, with his own hand, selected Ervig as his successor, and requested Archbishop Julian to anoint him. The subsequent chapters run as follows:—

(2) It has often happened that those who in health have desired the fruits of penitence have become so sick that they could no longer speak, and have lost their senses. Out of compassion, those belonging to them then took the vow in their stead (fraternitas talium necessitates in fide sua suscepit), so that they might be able to receive the viaticum. When, however, they recover their health, they defend themselves against the act of their friends, so as to make themselves free again from the tonsure and from the religious habit, asserting that they were not bound by that vow, because they had not themselves asked for penance and had not received it knowingly. They ought, however, to consider that they did not ask for baptism, nor did they receive it knowingly, but only in fide proximorum (i.e. since those belonging to them made the promise for them). As, then, their baptism is valid, so also is the donum pœnitentiæ (cf. cc. 7 and 8 of the Synod of Toledo, vol. iv. p. 471). Whoever, then, has received penitence in any way may no more return ad militare cingulum (said with reference to King Wamba, in case he should regret what had been done). The cleric, however, who gives penance to anyone who is not in his senses, or unless, at least, he has requested penance by clear signs, is excommunicated for one year.

(3) In accordance with the ancient canons, the right to pardon civil offenders stands only with the King. Whoever, then, is pardoned by the King shall be received back into Church communion.

(4) Archbishop Stephen of Merida complains that King Wamba compelled him to raise the monastery of Aquis, where the body of S. Pimenius reposes, to be a bishopric. The bishops declare that Wamba (of whom they use strong language) had allowed several similar acts of violence, and they resolve, with reference to older canons, that the new bishopric shall fall into disuse, and that Aquis shall remain a monastery. The Bishop Cuniuldus of Aquis, who was uncanonically elevated, shall not, however, be punished, because he did not seek the bishopric, but only accepted it from obedience to the King. In requital, another vacant bishopric shall be given him.

(5) Some priests, when they offer the sacrifice (of the Mass) several times in one day, receive the holy communion only at the last celebration. This must no longer take place, under penalty of excommunication for a year for every omitted communion; and as often as a priest offers the sacrifice he must receive. (On the saying of several Masses in one day, cf. Binterim, Denkwürd. Bd. iv. Thl. iii. S. 261.)

(6) If a bishop dies, the see often remains vacant for a very long time, until the King hears of the death, and the other bishops can give their assent to the new election made by the King. Therefore, in future, the archbishop of Toledo, saving the rights of the other metropolitans, may place in his see (ordain) any bishop newly named by the King, to whatever ecclesiastical province he may belong, if he holds it to be necessary. The bishop ordained must, however, present himself before his own metropolitan within three months, under penalty of excommunication, in order to receive instructions from him. The like applies also in regard to the other rectors of churches.

(7) The too severe law of Wamba in regard to those who avoid service in the army shall, with consent of the King, be softened, so that those who have thereby lost the qualification of being able to testify, in case they have offended in nothing else, may again become capable of testifying.

(8) Whoever separates from his wife, except for the cause of fornication, will be excommunicated until he returns to her. If he does not do so after repeated admonition from the bishop, he shall lose his dignity of palatine and noble so long as he remains in his fault.

(9) The twenty laws put forth by King Ervig against the Jews (received into the Leges Wisigoth. tit. 12, 3) are approved, and shall henceforth have validity forever, namely, (a) The law in regard to the renewal of the old laws against the Jews; (b) The law against the blasphemers of the Trinity; (c) That the Jews shall withdraw neither themselves nor their sons and servants from baptism; (d) That they shall not celebrate the Passover after their manner, practise circumcision, or dare to alienate a Christian from the faith; (e) That they may not celebrate their Sabbaths and feasts; (f) They must abstain from work on Sundays; (g) They must make no difference between meats; (h) nor marry relations; (i) nor attack our religion, nor defend their sects, nor go abroad that they may be able to apostatise again; (k) That no Christian may receive from a Jew a gift that is injurious to the faith; (l) That no Jew may read the books which are rejected by the Christian faith; (m) nor have any Christian slaves; further, (n) The law relating to the case that a Jew gives himself out for a Christian, and therefore will not emancipate the Christian slave; (o) The law relating to the confession of faith of converted Jews, and the oath which they have to take; (p) The law relating to those Christians who are slaves of Jews, and do not confess themselves as Christians; (q) That no Jew, unless he have authority from the King, may rule or punish a Christian; (r) That slaves of Jews, if they become Christians, shall be free; (s) That no Jew may rule as villicus or actor (steward) over a Christian family (of servants); (t) That every Jew who comes into the kingdom must present himself immediately before the bishop or priest of his locality, and that the bishop shall call the Jews before him on appointed days, and so forth.

(10) With assent of the King, the right of asylum in churches is renewed, and thirty steps before the gates of the church declared to belong to the place of asylum.

(11) The relics of heathenism shall be rooted out. Servants who still addict themselves to idolatrous worship shall be beaten and placed in irons. If their masters do not punish them, these shall be excommunicated. If a freeman practises idolatry, he must be punished with excommunication and severe banishment.

(12) In every province the bishops shall annually assemble, on the 1st of November, in a provincial Synod.

(13) These decrees shall for ever remain in force. May God the Lord, to whom be honour, and who inspired the Synod, grant to the King a happy reign!

King Ervig confirmed and subscribed the Acts of the Synod on January 25, the closing day of the assembly, with the remark, that all their decrees, from that day onwards, should come in force.

The biographer of S. Ansbert, archbishop of Rouen, the monk Aigrad assigns to the year 682 a Synod held at Rouen (Rothomagensis), under the presidency of the said archbishop, which drew up many beneficial decrees, and accorded to the monastery of Fontenelle a privilege with regard to the free election of its abbot. Nothing is known more exactly on the subject; and moreover, the date of this assembly is very doubtful. Sirmond assumed the date of 682, which certainly is only interpolated in the old biography of Aigrad; Labbe, on the other hand, decided for 692; Mabillon, for 689; Bessin, the editor of the provincial Synods of Rouen, wavered between 689 and 693.

Still less do we know of a Synod at Arles, which Mansi, reckoning from probability, ascribed to the year 682.

At the invitation of King Ervig of Spain, already mentioned, a great special national Synod, the thirteenth of Toledo, was opened on November 4, 683, again in the Church of SS. Peter and Paul. Like the twelfth, this was also a concilium mixtum, Synod and Parliament (Diet) at once. Under the presidency of Julian of Toledo, there were present 48 bishops and archbishops from the provinces of Toledo, Braga, Merida, Seville, Tarragona, and Narbonne, 27 representatives of bishops, several abbots, and 26 secular grandees. Again the King began with a short address, and then presented to the Synod a tome, in which the points were indicated which he wished to be handled. In particular, he laid before the Synod, for its advice, several sketches of laws respecting matters of State. The Synod, first of all, again recited the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Symbol, and then drew up the following thirteen Capitula:—

(1) In regard to those who, under King Wamba, attached themselves to the rebellion of General Paul (p. 208), and therefore were punished with loss of position and confiscation of goods, the Synod decrees, in agreement with King Ervig, the restitution of them and their children. Also, the goods of which the royal exchequer took possession shall be restored to them, with the exception of those which the King has already presented to others. The same avails for those declared to be degraded under King Chintila.

(2) In agreement with the King, it is ordained that no palatine and no cleric shall be deprived of his office, chained, flogged, or deprived of his goods and thrown into prison, as has often happened hitherto, by an arbitrary act of the King. On the contrary, he must be placed before the assembly of bishops, seniors, and guardians (belonging to the highest officials of the palace; see Du Cange, Gloss., s.v.), and be judged by these. Also, the other nobles, who have not the dignity of palatine, are to be judged in a similar manner; and even if the King, as is the custom, strikes them, they shall not for that reason be deprived either of honour or of goods. If in future a King violates this decree, he becomes liable to excommunication.

(3) The Synod confirms the royal edict by which the taxes long due to the State, up to the first year of the reign of Ervig, are remitted. (The royal decree referred to is given as an appendix to the synodal Acts.)

(4) On the second day the Synod confirmed the edict of Ervig for the safety of his own family; and decreed: Eternal anathema shall strike him who shall persecute, rob, strike, injure, or forcibly remove into the state of penance, the sons of the King, the Queen, or any one belonging to the royal house.

(5) No one, not even a King, may marry the widow of the departed King, or have intercourse with her, under penalty of exclusion from all communion with Christians and eternal damnation; for the Queen, who was mistress, shall not serve the desire of one of her subjects; and as wife and husband are one body, the body of the dead King must not be defiled in his widow.

(6) As it previously happened that slaves and freedmen were raised to the office of palatine, through favour of the King, and then persecuted their former masters, such elevation may not take place in the future. Only the slaves or freemen belonging to the exchequer may henceforth be promoted to such offices (because they previously had no other master than the King, and were not in the position of private servants).

(7) Some clergy have a mind to revenge themselves on those who oppose or injure them by stopping divine service, stripping the altars, extinguishing the lights. This (and so an interdict) is henceforth forbidden, under penalty of degradation and deposition. Only one who does so (stops divine service) from fear of the desecration of the sanctuary, or on account of hostile attacks or siege, or because in his conscience he knows himself to be unworthy to celebrate divine service, is free from such penalty.

(8) If a bishop is summoned by the metropolitan or King, whether to the celebration of a festival, as Easter, Pentecost, or Christmas, or for the transaction of business, or for the ordination of a new bishop, etc., and does not appear on the appointed day, he will be excluded from the communion of those whom he neglected (King or metropolitan). If he was sick or the roads impassable, he must prove this by witnesses.

(9) The decrees of the twelfth Synod of Toledo are confirmed anew, particularly also that de Concessa Toletano pontifici generalis synodi potestate, ut episcopi alterius provinciæ cum conniventia principum in urbc regia ordinentur (see above, p. 209).

(10) On the third day it was decreed: If a bishop or priest has, in a sickness, entered the state of penitents, but in so doing has known himself guilty of no crimen mortale, he shall, after recovering again, return to the priestly office, after he has received, through the metropolitan, the usual reconciliation of penitents.

(11) If any one receives a foreign or escaped cleric or monk, remotum se a suis officiis noverit esse (i.e. he falls under the suspensio latæ sententiæ. Cf. Kober, Die Suspension, 1862, S. 48 f.).

(12) If any one takes proceedings against his own bishop, he may appeal to the metropolitan. A bishop, however, who thinks himself aggrieved by his metropolitan, may bring his cause before a strange metropolitan. If two strange metropolitans have refused him a hearing, he may appeal to the King.

(13) These decrees shall remain permanently in force. Honour to God. Thanks to the King.

All present subscribed the minutes, and the King confirmed the Synod in a document of Nov. 13, 683.

Pope Leo II. died, after reigning not quite a year, on July 3, 683, and his successor, Benedict II., immediately instructed the notary Peter to require the Spanish bishops, as Leo II. had recommended, to recognise and subscribe the decrees of the sixth Œcumenical Council. As we saw above (pp. 185, 201), it is possible that the letter which is generally ascribed to Leo II. may belong to Pope Benedict. King Ervig did not remain inactive. It was not, indeed, possible to convoke a Spanish general Synod, as Ervig wished; but he requested the particular metropolitans to respond to the wish of the Pope at provincial Synods. The ecclesiastical province of Toledo (here called Carthagenian; see vol. iv. sec. 239) was commanded to take the lead, the other provinces were to accept the decrees of Toledo, and for this reason every metropolitan had to send a vicar to the Synod of Toledo. This was done, and the fourteenth Synod of Toledo assembled in November 684. There were present seventeen bishops of the province of Toledo (Archbishop Julian at their head), six abbots, and the vicars of the metropolitans of Tarragona, Narbonne, Merida, Braga, and Seville, also representatives of two absent suffragans of Toledo.

(1) In the first Capitulum the bishops mention the convocation of this Synod by King Ervig, ob confutandum Apollinaris dogma pestiferum (thus they describe Monothelitism).

(2) That Pope Leo had sent them a transcript of the gesta synodalia of the Council of Constantinople (the sixth Œcumenical) with a letter, and had requested their recognition of these gesta.

(3) That the documents sent from Rome had reached them, when they had ended a general Synod (the thirteenth). This and the bad weather had rendered an early new generel Synod impracticable. But they had, in separate assemblies, read those documents, and had approved the doctrine contained in them of two wills and operations in Christ.

(4) That a Spanish general Synod should have examined and adopted these gesta synodalia.

(5) As, however, such a Synod was not possible, another way had been chosen; and first, the bishops of the Carthagenian (Toledan) province, in presence of the vicars of the other metropolitans, had compared those gesta with the decrees of the earlier Councils, and found them fully, and almost literally in agreement with the faith of Nicæa, Constantinople, Ephesus, and Chalcedon.

(6, 7) The Acts of the new Council were therefore, in so far as they agree with the old Synods, honoured by them, and the new Synod placed in order after that of Chalcedon (the fifth Œcumenical Synod was not at that time fully recognised by the Spaniards: see vol. iv. p. 365).

(8–11) The bishops exhort their flocks immediately to acknowledge in simplicity the true faith in regard to the natures and wills in Christ, which they present in brief, neque enim quæ sunt divina, discutienda sunt, sed credenda.

(12) Glory be to God. God save the King!

To the same year, 684, belongs another Irish Council, of which we merely know that (but not why) it was held, and an English at Twyford, under the presidency of Archbishop Theodore of Canterbury. At the latter, Bishop Trumbert of Hexham was deposed, for reasons not known to us, and the pious hermit, Cuthbert of Farne, who long resisted, was raised to be his successor. At a French [Frankish?] Council at Villeroi (Villa Regia), in the year 684 or 685 (according to others, 678), several bishops were deposed through the violence of the Major Domus Ebroin. S. Leodegar (Léger) of Autun did not dare to appear at the assembly, but was separated by King Theoderic, tried, and condemned to death.

An old authority in Galanus gives a short notice of an Armenian Conciliabulum at Manaschierte which sanctioned monophysitism, about the year 687.

In the year 687 died King Ervig of Spain, and on his deathbed designated as his successor his daughter’s husband Egiza, a nephew of Wamba. The palatines consented, and Egiza was solemnly anointed by Archbishop Julian on November 20, 687. He convoked the fifteenth Synod of Toledo, a Spanish general Council, at which sixty-one bishops, several abbots and representatives of bishops, also seventeen secular grandees, were present. The assembly, presided over by Julian of Toledo, was celebrated in the principal Church of SS. Peter and Paul, and began on May 11, 688. King Egiza opened it in his own person, spoke a few friendly words, and presented a tome, and then departed. This tome represented to the Synod that the King had taken two oaths, which, he feared, could not be kept together. First, he had sworn to his predecessor Ervig, when he gave him his daughter Cixlona to wife, in all things to protect the sons of Ervig. But a second oath Ervig had exacted from him on his deathbed, namely, to be just towards every one. But the case might arise that he, in order to be just to every one, might have to decide here and there against Ervig’s sons. On this subject, and also on other points, the Synod was requested to give its advice.

After the reading of the tome, the Synod again recited the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed, and then passed on to some doctrinal points. In order to declare their agreement with the orthodox doctrine of the sixth Œcumenical Council, the Spanish bishops had, two years before, sent to Rome a memorial drawn up by Archbishop Julian of Toledo (Liber responsionis fidei nostræ, also entitled Apologia, now lost). It consisted of four chapters, and Pope Benedict II., who thought he discovered some objectionable expressions in it, requested an alteration of the passages in question. The Spaniards, however, showed so little inclination to respond to this wish, that, on the contrary, they defended the inculpated expression in a manner by no means courteous. In the first chapter of their memorial, the Pope had found fault with the words: Voluntas genuit voluntatem. They now say, he had read it too hastily, and had had too much in view the analogy of man. In the case of a man, certainly, we could not say, The will begets the will, but The will goes forth ex mente. With God, however, it is otherwise, as His will and thought, etc., are one. Athanasius and Augustine too had similarly expressed themselves.

In the second chapter of their apology, they had spoken of three substances in Christ, and the Pope had found fault with this. Evidently he was wrong, they said. Every man consisted of two substances, body and soul; but in Christ there was a third substance, the divine nature. Here, too, the Fathers and the Holy Scriptures also were on their side. Finally, they said, they had taken the third and fourth chapters almost literally from Ambrose and Fulgentius; and these Fathers no one would find fault with. If anyone should not be in accord with their doctrine, taken from the Fathers, they would have no dispute with him: their answer could displease only ignorant rivals.

The Synod then gave their judgment in regard to the two oaths, that in cases of collision the second should take precedence of the first. As, however, Egiza wished information respecting a third oath which Ervig had required from the whole people for the securing of his sons, the Synod examined also this subject, and found nothing in it which was doubtful or unrighteous. Archbishop Julian now drew up a second apology, in order to remove all the doubts of the Romans with respect to the orthodoxy of Spain, and sent it to Rome, when Pope Sergius (687–701) declared himself in full agreement with it. Soon afterwards, A.D. 690, S. Julian died, and the former Abbot Sisebert became archbishop of Toledo.

On November 1, 691, at the command of King Egiza, the bishops of the Spanish ecclesiastical province of Tarragona assembled in a provincial Synod at Saragossa (Cæsaraugustana III.), and decreed:

(1) The old law, that churches, like clerics, may be consecrated only on Sundays, remains in force.

(2) So also the law that bishops residing near at hand shall at Easter have recourse to their primate (metropolitan), and celebrate the festival in common with him.

(3) Secular persons may not be received in monasteries as guests, except in houses specially destined for that purpose.

(4) If a bishop has emancipated slaves belonging to the Church, they must, after his death, present their letters of emancipation to his successor.

(5) The ordinance of the thirteenth Synod of Toledo in regard to widowed queens not only remains in force, but is extended to this: that every widowed queen shall, immediately after the death of her husband, put off her secular habit, and put on the religious, and enter a monastery; for it is intolerable, what often happens, that former queens should be insulted, persecuted, and badly treated.

SEC. 326. Examination of the Acts of the sixth Œcumenical Council

In the year 685 died the Emperor Constantine Pogonatus, and was succeeded by his son, Justinian II., who, in the second year of his reign (687), convoked a great assembly of clerics and laymen, in order to protect the Acts of the sixth Œcumenical Council from falsification. We learn this from his letter to Pope John V. in reference to this subject, which certainly is extant only in a bad and in many parts scarcely intelligible Latin translation. Pope John V. had himself, as Roman deacon and legate, been present at the sixth Synod; but now, when the Emperor wrote to him, he was already dead, but the news of this had not reached Constantinople. The Emperor’s letter was received by his successor, Pope Conon. The Emperor says: “Cognitum est nobis quia synodalia gesta eorumque definitionem, quam et instituere noscitur sanctum sextum concilium … apud quosdam nostros judices remiserunt. Neque enim omnino prævidimus, alteram aliquem apud se detinere ea, sine nostra piissima serenitate, eo quod nos copiosa misericordia noster Deus custodes constituit ejusdem immaculatæ Christianorum fidei.” This means: “I have learnt that the Acts of the sixth Œcumenical Synod have been sent back by some to the Judices who had lent them to them. I did not, indeed, foresee that anyone would venture to have these Acts without my permission; for God, in His abundant mercy, has appointed me to be the keeper of the unfalsified faith of Christ.” The Emperor proceeds to say that he has now convoked the patriarchs, the papal deputy, the archbishops and bishops, and many officials of State and officers of the army, in order to have the Acts of the sixth Synod read to them and have them sealed by them. He had then taken them out of their hands, in order to prevent all falsification, and he was desirous, by God’s assistance, to carry the matter through. He communicated this to the Pope for his information. This matter is also mentioned in the Vita Cononis Papæ (in Mansi, t. xi. p. 1098), with the words: “Hic (Conon) suscepit divalem jussionem (i.e. an imperial decree) domni Justiniani principis, per quem significat reperisse acta sanctæ sextæ synodi, et apud se habere.” The Acts (certainly the originals) had thus been previously imparted to others, but now had come again into the hands of the Emperor.

SEC. 327. The Quinisext or Trullan Synod, A.D. 692

A little later, the Emperor Justinian II. summoned the Synod which is known under the name of the Quinisext. It was, like the last Œcumenical Synod, held in the Trullan hall of the imperial palace in Constantinople, and therefore is also called the second Trullan, often merely the Trullan tear κατʼ ἐξοχήν. The name Quinisexta, however, or πενθέκτη, it received for the reason that it was intended to be a completion of the fifth and sixth Œcumenical Synods. Both of these had drawn up only dogmatic decrees, and had published no disciplinary canons; and therefore these must now be added to them, and the complementary Synod, summoned for that purpose, should also be called Œcumenical, and should be regarded and honoured as a continuation of the sixth. Undoubtedly it was for this reason that it was held in the same locality as that was. So the Greeks intended, and so they regard it to this day, and designate the canons of the Quinisext as canons of the sixth Synod. The Latins, on the other hand, declared from the beginning, as we shall see, against the Quinisext, and called it, in derision, erratica.

Three views have prevailed as to the time of the holding of this Synod. The Patriarch Tarasius of Constantinople asserted, at the seventh Œcumenical Synod at Nicæa: “Four or five years after the sixth Œcumenical Synod had the same bishops, in a new assembly under Justinian II., published the (Trullan) canons mentioned.” Following him, the seventh Œcumenical Synod repeated the same assertion. Supporting themselves on this, several decided to ascribe the Quinisext to the year 686. This assumption is disproved, however, by the chronological date given by the Synod itself in its third canon, where it speaks of the 15th of January of the past 4th Indiction, or the year of the world 6109. The Indict. iv. in no way agrees with A.D. 686; it must therefore be read Indictio xiv. Besides, it is quite incorrect to assert that the same bishops were present at the sixth Œcumenical Synod and at the Quinisext. A comparison of the subscriptions in the synodal Acts of the two assemblies shows this at the first glance.

That the number of the year, 6109, is incorrect, and the number 90 has dropped out, so that 6199 must have been read, the advocates of the second and third view are agreed. But the former reckon the 6199 years after the Constantinopolitan era, according to which they coincide with A.D. 691; whilst, according to the third hypothesis, we should refer to the Alexandrian era, and therefore to A.D. 706. The latter is certainly incorrect, for after the close of the Trullan Synod, the Emperor sent its Acts, as we shall see (at the end of this section), for confirmation to Pope Sergius; but he had died in the year 701. So, too, the Patriarch Paul of Constantinople, who presided over the Trullan Council, died in 693. There remains, then, only the second theory. The year 6199 of the Constantinopolitan era coincides, as we have said, with the year 691 after Christ, and the 4th Indiction ran from September 1, 690, to August 31, 691. If, then, our Synod, in the 3rd canon, speaks of the 15th of January in the past. Indiction iv., it means January, 691; but it belongs itself, accordingly, to the 5th Indiction, i.e. it was opened after September 1, 691, and before September 1, 692.

What we possess of the Acts of this Synod consists in its address to the Emperor, and in 102 canons with the subscription of the members. In the former it is said: The evil enemy always persecutes the Church, but God ever sends her protectors, and so the present Emperor, who wishes to free his people from sin and destruction. As the two last Œcumenical Synods, under Justinian I. and Constantine Pogonatus, gave no disciplinary ordinances, the moral life has in many ways fallen into decay. Therefore the Emperor has convoked “this holy and God-chosen Œcumenical Synod” in order to bring the Christian life again into order, and to root out the remains of Jewish and heathen perverseness. At the close, the bishops called out to the Emperor the words which formerly the second Œcumenical Synod addressed to Theodosius: “As thou by the letter of convocation (to this Synod) hast honoured the Church, so mayest thou also seal up that which has been decreed.”

(1) At the head of their canons—as they must begin with God—the Synod placed the declaration of their adhesion to the apostolic creed, and to the declarations of faith and anathematisms of the six Œcumenical Councils. Among other things, the anathema pronounced by the sixth Synod on Pope Honorius is renewed. Moreover, with genuine Greek flattery, it is said that the decree of the faith of the sixth Œcumenical Synod has so much more force as the Emperor has subscribed it.—After this follow the proper disciplinary ordinances.

(2) The 85 apostolic canons shall remain in force and be confirmed, as having been already received by the Fathers, with the exception, however, of the apostolic constitutions, although these are named in the apostolic canons. But they were early corrupted by the heretics. Further, there shall remain in force the canons of the Synods of Nicæa, Ancyra, Neo-Cæsarea, Gangra, Antioch, Laodicea, of the second, third, and fourth Œcumenical Synods, of the Synods of Sardica, Carthage, Constantinople under Nectarius (A.D. 394), Alexandria under Theophilus. So also the canons of Dionysius the Great of Alexandria, of Peter of Alexandria, of Gregory Thaumaturgus of Neo-Cæsarea, of Athanasius, Basil, Gregory of Nyssa, Gregory of Nazianzus, of Amphilochius of Iconium, Timothy of Alexandria, and the canon of Cyprian and his Synod, which had validity only in Africa.

(3) In regard to the purity and continence of the clergy, the Romans have a more stringent, the Constantinopolitans a milder canon. These must be mingled. Thus: (a) All clerics married a second time, who do not reform before the 15th of January of the expired 4th Indiction, or of the year 6109 (more correctly 6199, as we saw), shall be canonically deposed. (b) Those, however, who, before the publication of our decree, have given up that unlawful union, done penance, and learnt continence, or their wives of the second marriage have died, shall, if priests or deacons, be removed from the divine service, but may, when for some time they have done penance, maintain the place belonging to their rank in the Church, and must be contented with this place of honour. (c) Priests, deacons, and sub-deacons, who marry only once, but a widow, or marry after ordination, shall, after having done penance for a time, be restored to their office, but may obtain no higher degree. (d) In future, however, in accordance with the ancient canons, no one may become a bishop, or a cleric in general, who has married twice after his baptism, or has had a concubine, or married a widow, or one divorced, or a prostitute, or a female slave, or an actress (see Can. Apost. 17 and 18).

(4) A cleric who has had intercourse with a woman dedicated to God is deposed. A layman who has done so is excommunicated.

(5) No cleric may have in his house any woman except those allowed in the ancient canons (Nicæn, c. 3). The eunuchs also are bound by this rule.

(6) The ordinance of the apostolic canons (No. 27), in consequence of its being often disobeyed, is renewed, namely, that only lectors and cantors, but not sub-deacons, may marry after receiving the dedication to their office.

(7) A deacon, whatever his office may be, must never have his seat before the priests, unless he is acting (e.g., at Synods) as representative of his patriarch or metropolitan; for then he takes his seat (cf. Nicæn c. 18).

(8) At least once a year a Synod shall be held in each province, between Easter and the month of October.

(9) No cleric may be an innkeeper.

(10) No bishop, priest, or deacon may take interest, on penalty of deposition if he does not desist (cf. vol. i. pp. 145, 190, 424, 476).

(11) No Christian, whether layman or cleric, may eat the unleavened bread of the Jews, have confidential intercourse with Jews, receive medicine from them, or bathe with them. The cleric who does so is deposed, the layman excommunicated.

(12) In Africa, Libya, and elsewhere, it comes to pass that bishops, even after their ordination, still live with their wives. This gives offence, and is henceforth forbidden under penalty of deposition.

(13) In the Roman Church, those who wish to receive the diaconate or presbyterate must promise to have no further intercourse with their wives. We, however, in accordance with the apostolic canons (No. 6), allow them to continue in matrimony. If anyone seeks to dissolve such marriages, he shall be deposed; and the cleric who, under pretence of religion, sends away his wife, shall be excommunicated. If he persists in this, he is to be deposed. But sub-deacons, deacons, and priests, at the time when they have to celebrate divine service, must refrain from their wives, since it has already been ordained by the Synod of Carthage, that he who ministers in sacred things must be pure.

(14) In accordance with the ancient laws, no one shall be ordained priest before thirty years, or deacon before twenty-five. A deaconess must be forty years old.

(15) A sub-deacon must be twenty years old. If anyone is ordained too early to any degree, he shall be deposed.

(16) The Synod of Neo-Cæsarea ordained (c. 15) that only seven deacons should be appointed to one city, however large it may be, because in the Acts of the Apostles mention is made only of so many. But the seven deacons of the Acts did not serve at the mysteries, but only in the administration of caring for the poor.

(17) No cleric may, without written consent of his bishop, go over to another church, under penalty of deposition for him and for the bishop who receives him.

(18) If clerics have gone abroad on account of the incursions of the barbarians, they must, when peace is restored, come back again.

(19) The higher functionaries of the Church must daily, but especially on Sunday, instruct the people, and explain the Scriptures according to the exposition of the Fathers (cf. Can. Apost. 58).

(20) A bishop may not teach in a strange city.

(21) Those who by offences have been degraded to the status laicalis, if they voluntarily forsake their sin, may cut their hair after the manner of clerics. In the other case, they must wear their hair like laymen.

(22) If anyone has obtained ordination for money, he must be deposed, together with him who ordained him.

(23) No cleric may demand money for the administering of holy communion (τῆς ἀχράντου κοινωνίας), under penalty of deposition as a follower of Simon.

(24) No cleric or monk may take part in horse-races or theatres. If he is at a marriage, he must depart when the games take place.

(25) Renewal of canon 7 of Chalcedon: see vol. iii. p. 392.

(26) A priest who, through ignorance, has contracted an irregular marriage, retains (c. 3) his place of honour, but may discharge no spiritual functions. The unlawful marriage must, of course, be dissolved.

(27) Both at home and when travelling, the cleric must wear his clerical dress, under penalty of excommunication for a week.

(28) In some churches it is the custom for the faithful to bring grapes to the altar, and the priests unite them with the unbloody sacrifice and administer them at the same time with that. This is no longer allowed, but the grapes must be specially blessed and distributed. Cf. Can. Apost. 4; vol. ii. p. 399, c. 23.

(29) The African practice of receiving the eucharist, on Maundy Thursday, after a meal, is disapproved (see vol. ii. p. 399, c. 28). Thereby injustice is done to the whole of Lent.

(30) If priests, in the lands of barbarians, think that they should transgress the apostolic canon (No. 6), which forbids the sending away of a wife under the pretext of religion, and abstain from their wives with their consent, we will allow this to them, but only to them, in regard to their anxiety and their strange manners; but in that case they may not live again with their wives.

(31) Divine service may be held in private oratories, or baptisms celebrated, but only with the consent of the bishop.

(32) The use of the Armenians, to employ only wine without water at the holy sacrifice, is forbidden under penalty of deposition.

(33) So also the other custom of the Armenians, to ordain only descendants of the families of priests as clerics, and to appoint untonsured men as cantors and lectors.

(34) Renewal of canon 18 of Chalcedon (see vol. iii. p. 404).

(35) No metropolitan, when a bishop of his province has died, may appropriate anything from his private property, or from the property of the church vacated, but a cleric belonging to the Church must administer everything until the election of a new bishop. Cf. c. 22 of Chalcedon.

(36) Renewing the decrees of the second and fourth Œcumenical Synods, we decide that the see of Constantinople shall enjoy the same rights (τῶν ἴσων ἀπολαύειν πρεσβείων) as that of Old Rome, shall be highly regarded in ecclesiastical matters as that is, and shall be second after it. After Constantinople comes the see of Alexandria, then Antioch, and next that of Jerusalem. Cf. vol. ii. p. 357 ff.; vol. iii. p. 411 ff.; and Assemani, l.c. t. i. p. 426 sqq.

(37) It has happened that bishops have been unable to enter upon the sees for which they were consecrated, because of the incursions of the barbarians (especially of the Saracens). This shall not be a disadvantage to them (cf. c. 37 Apost. vol. i. and c. 18 of Antioch, vol. ii. p. 71); but their rank remains to them, and their right to confer orders. (Beginning of bishops in partibus infidelium.)

(38) If a city is renewed by imperial command, its ecclesiastical position is regulated, according to ancient law, by its new civil rights (c. 17 of Chalcedon, vol. iii. p. 402 ff.).

(39) The archbishop of Cyprus, in consequence of the incursions of the barbarians, has gone abroad into the province of the Hellespont, into the city of New-Justinianopolis. He shall retain the rights there which the Synod of Ephesus conceded to the archbishop of Cyprus (vol. iii. p. 71) (that he should not be subject to the patriarch of Antioch). He shall have the right of Constantinople (τὸ δίκαιον τῆς Κωνσταντινουπόλεως), shall take precedence of all bishops of the province of the Hellespont, and also of those of Cyzicus, and shall be consecrated by his own bishops.

(40) If anyone will enter the monastic life, he must be at least ten years old.

(41) If anyone wishes to inhabit a cell of his own, he must have previously lived three years in a monastery. If he has then taken possession of the cell, he may not afterwards leave it.

(42) As there are hermits who frequent the streets in black clothes and with long hair, and have intercourse with men of the world, it is ordained that they must go into a monastery with short hair and in the habit of their order. If they will not do so, they must be driven out of the cities.

(43) Anyone may become a monk, however he may have hitherto lived.

(44) A monk who is guilty of unchastity, or takes a wife, is punished as unchaste.

(45) It comes to pass that women who wish to go into a convent are led to the altar covered with gold and precious stones, in order to strip off all their splendour and exchange it for the black robe. This must in future no longer happen, so that it may not appear that they only unwillingly forsake the vanities of the world.

(46) Nuns may not leave the convent without the permission and benediction of the superior, and then only in company with other women of the convent. Otherwise they may not sleep outside. So likewise monks may not go out without the benediction of the superior.

(47) No woman may sleep in a men’s monastery, and conversely, under penalty of excommunication.

(48) If anyone is consecrated bishop, his wife must go into a convent at a considerable distance. But the bishop must provide for her. If she is worthy, she may become a deaconess.

(49) Monasteries which have once been consecrated with the permission of the bishop, may not be turned into secular dwellings. Moreover, what has once belonged to them, may never be given to seculars.

(50) To clerics and laymen, playing at dice is forbidden; under penalty of deposition to the former, of excommunication to the others.

(51) This holy and Œcumenical Synod forbids actors and their plays, the exhibitions of hunts, and theatrical dances. Whoever gives himself to these things, if a cleric, shall be deposed, if a layman, excommunicated.

(52) On all days in Lent, except Saturdays, Sundays, and the Annunciation of the Virgin, there is held only a liturgia præsanctificatorum.

(53) Those who are sponsors to children may not marry their mother. The spiritual relationship is higher than the bodily.

(54) Incestuous marriages are forbidden, under penalty of excommunication for seven years, and dissolution of the marriage.

(55) In Rome they fast every Saturday in Lent. This is contrary to the 66th apostolical canon, and may no longer be done. If anyone does so, he will, if cleric, be deposed, if layman, excommunicated.

(56) In Armenia and elsewhere, on Sundays in Lent, they eat eggs and cheese. But these kinds of food come also from animals, and ought not to be partaken of in times of fasting, on penalty of deposition for clerics, of excommunication for laymen. In the whole Church one kind of fasting must prevail.

(57) Honey and milk may not be offered on the altar. Cf. Can. 3 Apost. vol. i. ad fin.

(58) If a bishop, priest, or deacon is present, no layman may administer holy mysteries (communion) to himself, under penalty of excommunication for a week.

(59) Baptism is not allowed in private oratories. Cf. above, canon 31.

(60) Those who represent themselves as demoniacs should be subjected to the same pains (macerations and the like) which are imposed upon those who are really demoniacal, in order to deliver them.

(61) If anyone consults a soothsayer or so-called hecatontarch, in order to find out the future, he shall be subject to the penalty appointed for six years by the Fathers of Ancyra (canon 24 of Ancyra, vol. i. p. 221). So also those who take about bears and similar animals to the injury of the simple, who show men’s destiny, cast their nativity, drive away the clouds, give out amulets, etc.

(62) The remains of heathen superstition of all kinds are forbidden, the festivals of the Kalendar, the Bota (in honour of Pan), the Brumalia (in honour of Bacchus), the assemblies on the 1st of March, public dances of women, clothing of men like women, and inversely, putting on comic, satyric, or tragic masks, the invocation of Bacchus at the winepress, etc.

(63) False histories of martyrs, invented in order to insult the martyrs and to mislead the people to unbelief, shall be burnt.

(64) No layman may publicly, in religious services, come forward as speaker or teacher, under penalty of excommunication for forty days.

(65) It is forbidden, on the new moons, to light fires before the dwellings or workshops, and leap upon them (as the impious Manasseh did, 2 Kings 21.).

(66) The whole week after Easter, until the next Sunday, must be kept as an ecclesiastical festival. All horse-races and public spectacles in this week are forbidden.

(67) The eating of the blood of animals is forbidden in Holy Scripture. A cleric who partakes of blood is to be punished by deposition, a layman with excommunication.

(68) No one may annul or cut up a book of the Old or New Testament, or of the holy Fathers, or sell it to others (e.g. vendors of salves), who annul it and sell it, when it has become useless through moths, etc., on penalty of excommunication for a year. The like punishment is pronounced on anyone who buys such a book in order to annul it.

(69) No layman must enter the place where the altar stands, except, according to ancient tradition, the Emperor when he brings an offering.

(70) Women are not allowed to speak during divine service (1 Cor. 14:34 f.).

(71) Those who receive instruction in the civil laws (the young jurists) may not allow themselves in heathen usages, nor appear at the theatre, nor wear strange clothes, and the like, under penalty of excommunication.

(72) Marriages between the orthodox and heretics are forbidden, under penalty of excommunication, and must be dissolved. It is otherwise when both sides were formerly unbelieving (heretical), and one became orthodox. Here applies 1 Cor. 7:12 ff.

(73) Reverence for the holy cross requires that the form of the cross shall never be found on the floor, so that it may never be trodden under foot.

(74) Love feasts (ἀγάπαι) within the churches are forbidden.

(75) Psalm singing shall not be disorderly or noisy.

(76) In the neighbourhood of the church there shall be no wine-shops, cook-shops, or booths, etc., allowed.

(77) No man, whether layman or cleric, may bathe with a woman. Cf. c. 30 of Laodicea, vol. ii. p. 316.

(78) The catechumens of the first class must learn the Creed, and recite it on Thursday before the bishop or the priests. Cf. c. 46 of Laodicea, vol. iii. p. 319.

(79) It is in some places the custom for the people, on the day after the birth of Christ, to send presents of food to each other in honour of the childbed (τὰ λοχεῖα) of the blessed Virgin (childbed presents). As, however, the child-bearing of the blessed Virgin was without childbed (i.e. without bodily weakness and pains), because miraculous, we forbid this custom.

(80) If a cleric or layman, without great hindrance, or without being of necessity on a journey, fails to go to church for three successive Sundays, the cleric shall be deposed, the layman excommunicated. Cf. canon 11 of Sardica, vol. ii. p. 143.

(81) It is not allowed to add to the Trisagion the words: “Who was crucified for us.” Cf. vol. iii. pp. 454, 457; vol. iv. pp. 26, 29; and Asseniani, l.c. t. v. 8, p. 348 sqq.

(82) For the future, in pictures, instead of the Lamb, the human figure of Christ shall be represented (ἀναστηλοῦσθαι).

(83) The Eucharist may not be given to a dead man. Cf. vol. ii. p. 397, canon 4.

(84) If, in the case of a child, it is not certain that it has been baptized, baptism must be administered to it. Cf. vol. ii. p. 424, canon 7; vol. iii. p. 3.

(85) The emancipation of a slave should take place before three witnesses.

(86) If anyone keeps a brothel, he shall, if a cleric, be deposed and excommunicated, if a layman, excommunicated.

(87) If anyone forsakes his wife and marries another, he shall (according to the 57th canon of S. Basil) remain for a year in the lowest, two years in the second, three years in the third, and one year in the fourth grade of penitence.

(88) No cattle may be driven into the church except in the greatest need, if a stranger has no shelter and his animals would otherwise perish.

(89) The fast in Passion Week [Holy Week] must last until midnight of the great Saturday.

(90) From Saturday evening to Sunday evening no one may bend the knee. Only at Compline on Sunday may the knees again be bent.

(91) Whoever gives or receives medicine for destroying the fruit of the womb, shall be punished as a murderer. Cf. canon 21 of Ancyra, vol. i. p. 220.

(92) Whoever ravishes a woman, in order to marry her, or assists in such rape, shall, if a cleric, be deposed, if a layman, excommunicated. Cf. c. 27 of Chalcedon, vol. iii. p. 410.

(93) If a wife marries before she has sure intelligence of the death of her husband, who has disappeared, or gone off on travel, or is absent in war, she is guilty of adultery. Yet is her act excusable, because the death of her husband had great probability. If a man, deserted by his wife, has married another woman without her knowing of his first marriage, she must give way, if the first wife returns; and she has committed fornication, but in ignorance. She may marry again, but it is better if she does not. If a soldier returns after a long time, and his wife in the meantime has married another, he may, if he will, take his wife back to him, and forgive her, as well as him who married her.

(94) If anyone takes a heathen oath, he is to be excommunicated.

(95) In reference to the baptism of returning heretics, the 7th canon of the second Œcumenical Synod is repeated, and an addition made, of which a double text is presented. The ordinary one, as it stands in the collections of the Councils, gives this sense: “The Manichæans, Valentinians, Marcionites, and all similar heretics, must (without being rebaptized) present a certificate, and therein anathematise the heresy, together with Nestorius and Eutyches and Dioscorus and Severus, etc., and then receive the holy communion.” This text is undoubtedly false, for (a) the baptism of the Gnostics was, according to the recognized ecclesiastical principle, invalid, and a Gnostic coming into the Church was required to be baptized anew; (b) besides, it would have us first to require of a Gnostic an anathema on Nestorius, Eutyches, etc.—More accurate, therefore, is the text, as it is given by Beveridge, and as Balsamon had it, to the effect that: “In the same way (as the preceding) are the Manichæans, Valentinians, Marcionites, and similar heretics to be treated (i.e. to be baptized anew); but the Nestorians must (merely) present certificates, and anathematise the heresy, Nestorius, Eutyches,” etc. Here we have only this mistake, that the Nestorians must anathematise, among others, also Eutyches, which they would certainly have done very willingly. At the best, we must suppose that there is a gap in the text, and that, after καὶ τοὺς ἐκ τῶν ομοίων αἱρέσεων, we must add, “the later heretics must present certificates, and anathematise Nestorius, Eutyches,” etc.

(96) If anyone plaits and adorns his hair in an exquisite manner, in order to mislead others, he is excommunicated.

(97) Those who visit their wives in sacred places or otherwise, dishonour those places, and shall, if clerics, be deposed, if laymen, excommunicated.

(98) If anyone marries the betrothed of another during his life, he must be punished as an adulterer.

(99) In Armenia it happens that some within the altar (in the sanctuary) boil meat and give pieces of it, in Jewish fashion, to the priests. The priests are no longer allowed to receive this. Outside the church, however, they may be contented with that which is willingly given to them.

(100) Indecent pictures are forbidden. If anyone makes them he is to be deposed.

(101) Whoever wishes to receive the holy communion must come with his hands in the form of the cross. Some bring golden and other vessels, in order to receive the Eucharist (the bread) in these, instead of immediately in the hand, as if a lifeless matter were better than the image of God (the human body). This must no longer take place.

(102) Those to whom the power of binding and loosing is committed must endeavour to heal individual sinners with prudence and with regard to their peculiarities.

These decrees were subscribed first by the Emperor, and this with vermilion. The second place was reserved for the Pope, and left empty. Then followed the subscriptions of Paul of Constantinople, Peter of Alexandria, Anastasius of Jerusalem, George of Antioch (he subscribed here, remarkably, after the patriarch of Jerusalem), in the whole by 211 bishops, or representatives of bishops; only Greeks and Orientals, also Armenians. According to an expression of Anastasius, no other Oriental patriarch besides the bishop of Constantinople appears to have been present (see below, p. 241); but in his biography of Pope Sergius (in Mansi, t. xii. p. 3), he himself mentions that the decrees of this Synod were subscribed by three patriarchs, those of Alexandria, Constantinople, and Antioch, as well as by the other bishops, qui eo tempore illic convenerant. Noticing only the expression of Anastasius mentioned above, Christian Lupus maintained that the names of the patriarchs of Alexandria and the rest had been added by a deception. Assemani partly agrees with him, and tried to show (l.c. t. v. pp. 30, 69) from Greek authorities that, at the time of our Synod, the patriarchal sees of Alexandria and Jerusalem were not occupied, on account of the incursions of the Saracens. On the other hand, like Pagi (ad ann. 692, 8), he rejects the statement of Baronius, that Callinicus had then taken possession of the see of Constantinople. Callinicus followed after Paul’s death, A.D. 693.

As for the Pope, so also room was left for the subscriptions of the bishops of Thessalonica, Sardinia, Ravenna, and Corinth. Archbishop Basil of Gortyna, in Crete, added to his name the words: τὸν τόπον ἐπέχων πάσης τῆς συνόδου τῆς ἁγίας ἐκκλησίας Ῥώμης. He had signed in a similar manner, at the sixth Œcumenical Synod; and we have already there remarked that the island of Crete belonged to the Roman patriarchate, and that Archbishop Basil seems at an earlier period to have received a delegation on the part of the Roman Synod in the year 680. Whether this, which gave him authority as representative at the sixth Synod, still continued, or whether he only continued it arbitrarily, is uncertain. To the gross blunders of Balsamon, however, belongs his assertion (Beveridge, l.c. t. i. p. 154) that, besides Basil of Gortyna, other legates of the Pope, the bishops of Thessalonica, Corinth, Ravenna, and Sardinia, had been present at the Quinisext and had subscribed its Acts. He transferred them into the places left vacant, marked with τόπος τοῦ θεσσαλονίκης; etc, with real subscriptions.

But we learn from the Vita Sergii Papæ of Anastasius (Mansi, t. xii. p. 3), that the legati of Pope Sergius by the Emperor decepti subscripserant.—Certainly; but by legati are here to be understood the permanent papal representatives at Constantinople, and not those specially sent to the Synod, and the instructed legati a latere. It was natural that these representatives, having no authority for that purpose, should not be personally present at the Synod. The fact, however, that they allowed themselves to be deceived by the Emperor, and induced to subscribe, suggests to me the following theory. Pope Nicolas I. 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 had either made those who wanted to save them partakers of their error, as at the time of Pope Conon, or had persecuted them.” Here it is indicated that the Emperor Justinian II. had won over the papal representatives to his error. As no such occurrence is known of the brief pontificate of Conon (687), and Sergius was the successor of Conon, that which happened under Sergius might, by a slight lapsus memoriæ, quite easily be transposed to the time of Conon, and certainly then with right, since it was Conon who had sent these respresentatives to Constantinople. If it is objected to this, that the representatives of Sergius, when they subscribed the Trullan canons, agreed to no heresy, it must be considered (a) that the Emperor Justinian II. is designated as entirely orthodox by the ancients, as, e.g., by Anastasius in his Vitæ Pontificum, and thus the error to which, according to the statement of Pope Nicolas I., he misguided the representatives, can have been no heresy in the ordinary sense; (b) but also, if Nicolas I. spoke of heresy, this would not be too strong, for the Trullan canons (13, 60, 36, 55) come very near to heresy, since they place Constantinople on an equality with Rome, thus certainly deny the primacy, and threaten several points of the Roman discipline with anathema.

SEC. 328. Judgment of Rome on the Trullan Canons

The Emperor Justinian II. immediately sent the Acts of this Synod to Rome, with the request that Pope Sergius would subscribe them at the place left vacant for him. But Sergius refused to do so, because quædam, capitula extra ritum ecclesiasticum fuerant in eo (the Council) annexa, did not accept the copy destined for him, rejected the synodal Acts as invalidi, and would rather die than novitatum erroribus consentire. In order to constrain him, the Emperor sent the Protospathar (officer of the imperial bodyguard) Zacharias to Rome, in order to bring the Pope to Constantinople. But the armies of the exarch of Ravenna and of the duchy of Pentapolis took the side of the Pope; troops of soldiers drew to Rome, in order to prevent his abduction, and surrounded the Lateran. Immediately on hearing of the arrival of the soldiers, the Protospathar had fled to the Pope and implored his help; now he even crept into his bed; and the Pope quieted the soldiers by going out to them and talking with them in a friendly manner. They withdrew again; the Protospathar, however, had to leave the city in shame. Thus relates Anastasius, and in agreement with him, more briefly, Bede and the deacon Paul. Justinian either could not or would not take revenge on account of what had happened. Soon afterwards he was deposed and banished, with his nose slit (hence his surname, Ῥινότμητος). When he came again to the throne (705), Sergius was already dead († 701), and Justinian now sent two metropolitans to John VII. (the second successor of Sergius), with the request that he would arrange for a Council of the apostolic Church (i.e. a Roman Council), in order to efface those of the Trullan canons which were unacceptable, and confirm the others. The Pope, a timid man, would neither strike out nor confirm. He simply sent back again the copy which he had received.

Justinian opened new negotiations with Pope Constantine, and invited him to come to him at Nicomedia, without doubt on account of the Trullan canons. In the retinue of the Pope was also the Roman deacon Gregory, subsequently his successor, as Gregory II., and Anastasius relates of him, that he had then inquired of the Emperor de quibusdam capitulis (the objectionable canons of the Trullan) optima responsione unamquamque solvit quæstionem. That he and Pope Constantine succeeded in pacifying the Emperor, without his quite forgiving the matter, we see from the honours and favours with which he loaded the Pope. The process by which they came to an agreement is not recorded, but undoubtedly Constantine already struck that fair middle path which, as we know certainly, John VIII. (872–882) subsequently adhered to, in the declaration that “he accepted all those canons which did not contradict the true faith, good morals, and the decrees of Rome.” That John VIII. had drawn up this decree, we learn from the Præfatio which Anastasius prefixed to his translation of Acts of the seventh Œcumenical Council. He there addresses Pope John VIII. thus: “Unde apostolatu vestro decernente non solum illos solos quinquaginta canones (the first fifty apostolic, which Rome had hitherto recognised, whilst they rejected the remaining thirty-five) ecclesia recipit, sed et omnes eorum utpote Spiritus Sancti tubarum (i.e. the Apostles), quin et omnium omnino probabilium patrum et sanctorum conciliorum regulas et institutiones admittit; illas dumtaxat, quæ nec rectæ fidei nec probis moribus obviant, sed nec sedis Romanæ decretis ad modicum quid resultant, quin potius adversarios, i.e. hæreticos potenter impugnant. Ergo regulas, quas Græci a sexta synodo perhibent editas (i.e. the Trullan, which the Greeks liked to call canones sextæ synodi), ita in hac synodo principalis sedes admittit, ut nullatenus ex his lilæ recipiantur, quæ prioribus canonibus vel decretis sanctorum sedis hujus pontificum, aut certe bonis moribus inveniuntur adversæ; quamvis omnes hactenus ex toto maneant apud Latinos incognitæ, quia nee interpretatæ, sed nec in ceterarum patriarchalium sedium, licet Græca utantur lingua, reperiantur archivis, nimirum quia nulla earum, cum ederentur, aut promulgans aut consentiens aut saltern præsens inventa est.”

Pope Hadrian I. seems to have been somewhat less prudent than John VIII. was ninety years before. When the latter refers to the Trullan rules with the words, “Quas Græci a sexta synodo perhibent editas,” and thereby gives expression to the justifiable doubt, Hadrian accedes to the Greek tradition, without any such critical addition, in his letter to Tarasius of Constantinople (among the Acts of the second session of the seventh Œcumenical Council): “Omnes sanctas sex synodos suscipio cum omnibus regulis, quæ jure ac divinitus ab ipsis promulgatæ sunt, inter quas continetur, in quibusdam venerabilium imaginum picturis Agnus digito Præcursoris exaratus ostendi” (82nd Trullan canon). And in his letter to the Frankish bishops in defence of the seventh Œcumenical Synod he says, c. 35: “Idcirco testimonium de sexta synodo Patres in septima protulerunt (namely, c. 82 of the Trullan Synod), ut clarifice ostenderent, quod, jam quando sexta synodus acta est, a priscis temporibus sacras imagines et historias pictas venerabantur.” Probably Tarasius of Constantinople had also written to the Pope what he persuaded the second of Nicæa to, that the same Fathers who held the sixth Synod had added the appendix four or five years later (see above, p. 22). This historical and chronological assertion, Hadrian, as well as the members of the seventh Œcumenical Council, seem. to have believed. That, however, the Pope would not approve of all the Trullan canons, we read in his words quoted above: He approved those “quæ jure ac divinitus promulgatæ sunt.” Hadrian I. seems here to have done as subsequently Martin V. and Eugenius IV. did in the confirmation of the decrees of Constance and Basle. They selected such expressions as did not expressly embrace the confirmation of all the canons, but—properly explained—excluded a certain number of the decrees in question from the papal ratification (see vol. i. pp. 51, 60).

That the seventh Œcumenical Synod at Nicæa ascribed the Trullan canons to the sixth Œcumenical Synod, and spoke of them entirely in the Greek spirit, cannot astonish us, as it was attended almost solely by Greeks. They specially pronounced the recognition of the canons in question in their own first canon; but their canons have never received the ratification of the holy see.

SEC. 329. The last Synods of the Seventh Century

Almost at the same time as the Quinisext falls a great English Synod under the excellent King Ina of Wessex, in A.D. 691 or 692. It is mentioned by Bede (Hist. v. 9) and S. Aldhelm (Epist. ad Geruntium regem). Its decrees were transferred into Ina’s Book of Laws, and we learn from this that, besides the King and the secular grandees (aldermanni et seniores), the Bishops Heddi of Winchester and Erconwald of London multaque congregatio servorum Dei were present. Certainly the holy Abbot Aldhelm of Malmesbury, this friend and counsellor of the King, especially in ecclesiastical affairs, was not absent. They decreed:—

(1) The clergy shall observe their rule of life.

(2) A child must be baptized within thirty days after its birth, under penalty of thirty solidi. If it dies (after thirty days) unbaptized, expiation must he made with all the property of the parents.

(3) If a slave works on Sunday, by command of his master, then the slave goes free, and the master is fined thirty solidi. If the slave works on Sunday without the master’s command, he must be scourged or pay quit money for his skin. If a freeman works on Sunday, be must lose his liberty or pay thirty solidi; a priest double.

(4) The dues to the Church must be paid on S. Martin’s Day.

(5) If anyone takes refuge in a church, he may be neither killed nor beaten.

(6) Prohibition of duels and private feuds.

(7) Witnesses and sureties who lie are fined one hundred and twenty solidi.

(8) The first-fruits must be given from the property which is inhabited at Christmas.

(9) If anyone kills a child to whom he has been sponsor, or one who has been sponsor to him,—except in necessary defence,—he must atone for this as for the murder of a relative. The expiatory fine is determined by the position of him who is killed. For the son of a bishop must half as much be paid as for a King’s son.

In Spain, so rich in Synods, on May 2, 693, was opened the sixteenth Synod of Toledo, in the Church of SS. Peter and Paul. There were present fifty-nine bishops out of all the ecclesiastical provinces of Spain, besides five abbots, three representatives of bishops, and sixteen secular counts. King Egiza appeared personally and presented to the bishop, in the usual manner, the tome, in which the points were enumerated on which he thought an ordinance of the Synod to be necessary. First of all, the orthodox faith was to be proclaimed; and then discipline was to be improved in many points. Specially, greater care was necessary for the bishops on behalf of the rural churches and the appointment of priests over them, that the Jews might not be able to say in scorn: “They had well done in shutting up and destroying their synagogues; but they did no better with their Christian churches.” Further, there was pressing need to root out the remains of heathen superstition, and also Judaism; and to punish pæderastians and conspirators against the King and State. Further, the bishops, when private cases were laid before them for judgment, must not be partial or corruptible.

King Egiza had in view, in the last two sentences, the case of Archbishop Sisbert of Toledo, who had hatched a conspiracy to murder the King and his whole family, and probably to raise to the throne one of his own relations (he sprang from a high Gothic family). The matter was betrayed; Sisbert was thrown into prison, and placed before the present Synod, to be tried. Ferreras, the historian of Spain, thinks that it was for this very matter that the Synod was called, and we find, in fact, at the end of its Acts, a letter from the King, in which the Synod is requested to deliver its judgment as to the punishment of treason against the King.—Like other Synods at Toledo, this also placed at the head of its minutes a full confession of faith, in which especially the orthodox Dyothelite doctrine was suitably unfolded. Then followed 13 Capitula:—

(1) The old laws against the Jews, in order to force them to conversion, shall be exactly followed; and every Jew, who sincerely converts, shall be free from all taxes to the exchequer which the Jews are required to pay, and shall be regarded as quite equal to the other subjects of the King.

(2) Bishops, priests, and judges must be zealously concerned to root out the remains of heathenism—the venerating of stones, trees, fountains, the kindling of torches, soothsaying, magic, etc., under penalty of a year’s deposition and excommunication. Those, however, who practise such superstition and do not amend, shall, if of high rank, be fined three pounds of gold, if of lower, shall receive one hundred lashes.

(3) The prevalence of sodomy makes severe punishments necessary. If a bishop, priest, or deacon commits this sin, he shall be deposed and banished for life. Moreover, the old law remains in force, according to which every such sinner is excluded from all communion with Christians, scourged with rods, deprived of his hair in disgrace, and banished.—If they have not sufficiently done penance, the communion is not to be administered to them even on their deathbed.

(4) If anyone has attempted to commit suicide, and has been prevented, he is to be excluded for two months from all fellowship with Catholics and from the holy communion.

(5) Some bishops burden too much the churches subject to them with taxes, and let many of them go to ruin. Therefore the bishops shall spend the third part of the income of the church, which by old law belongs to them, when they have obtained it, on the restoration of decayed churches. If they prefer, however, to return that third, then those who are connected with the church must attend to the repairs. Besides, the bishops may demand nothing of the parishioners, and must give away nothing of the property of the Church to others. Moreover, several churches may not be given over to one priest. A church which possesses ten mancipia (farmhouses) must have a priest of its own; if fewer, it is to be united with another church.

(6) It sometimes happens that clerics at Mass do not employ specially prepared Breads, but cut a round piece from their house-bread (de panibus suis usibus præparatis, and so probably leavened) and use it for the sacrifice. This may no longer be done. Only whole bread, not pieces cut off, and whole bread prepared with care, not too large, but a modica oblata, may be placed for consecration upon the altar.

(7) Six months after the holding of a provincial Synod, every bishop assembles the abbots, clergy, and laity of his diocese, in order to communicate to them the decrees.

(8) On account of the great merits of the King in respect to the Church and in respect to the people, shall all clerics and laymen be sworn to be faithful to his posterity, and to support no plan for removing them from the throne. Moreover, for the King and his family the holy sacrifice shall be offered daily at every episcopal and rural church, and prayers shall be offered, except on Good Friday, when no Mass may be said.

(9) Archbishop Sisbert of Toledo wished not merely to deprive the King of the kingdom, but also to murder him and his children, Flogellus, Theodemir, Liubilan, Biubigithon, and Thecla. We have therefore already deposed him, and this sentence must remain in force. Moreover, in accordance with the ancient canons, he must be banished, excommunicated, and deprived of all his property. Only at the end of his life can he again receive the communion.

(10) As conspiracies and treasons are so frequent, they must be threatened with heavy penalties.

(11) Thanks be to God! God save the King!

(12) To the archiepiscopal see of Toledo we remove, with assent of the people and clergy, Felix, previously archbishop of Seville, to whom the King has assigned the temporary administration of the see of Toledo. For Seville we appoint Faustinus, archbishop of Braga; for Braga, Felix, bishop of Portucala (a port on the Douro).

(13) Because the bishops of the province of Narbonne were unable to come to the Synod, in consequence of a sickness that had broken out among them, they shall hold a provincial Synod in Narbonne, and there adopt and subscribe the decrees here recorded.

A conspiracy, in which the Spanish Jews with their co-religionists in Africa took part, gave occasion for King Egiza holding another Spanish general Council in the following year, 694. Many bishops and secular grandees (number and names are unknown to us, as the subscriptions have not been preserved) assembled on November 9, 694, in the Church of S. Leocadia, in the suburb of Toledo (seventeenth Synod of Toledo), and after having, in the customary manner, recited the confession of faith, drew up 8 canons or Capitula:

(1) At the beginning of a Synod all the sacerdotes (bishops) shall fast for three days in honour of the Holy Trinity, and in this time, without the presence of the laity, hold converse on the doctrines of the faith and on the improvement of the morals of the clergy. After that they shall proceed to other subjects.

(2) At the beginning of Lent, since from that time there are no more baptisms, except in case of extreme necessity, the font shall be sealed by the bishop with his ring, and so remain until the stripping of the altar at the feast of the Cœna Domini.

(3) The washing of feet at the feast of the Cœna Domini, which has fallen into disuse in some places, must be observed everywhere.

(4) The holy vessels and other ornaments of the Church may not be expended by the clergy for themselves, nor sold, etc.

(5) Some priests hold Masses for the dead, on behalf of the living, that these may soon die. The priest who does this, and the person who induced him to do it, shall both be deposed and forever anathematised and excommunicated. Only on their deathbed may the communion be again administered to them.

(6) All the year through, in all the twelve months, shall Exomologeseis (= Litaniæ, see Du Cange, s.v.) with intercessions be said for the Church, the King, and the people, that God may forgive them all.

(7) The older laws for ensuring the safety of the royal family are renewed.

(8) As the Jews have added to their other crimes this that they endeavoured to overthrow the country and the people, they must be severely punished. They have done this after they had (in appearance) received baptism, which, however, by faithlessness they have again stained. They shall be deprived of their property for the benefit of the exchequer, and shall be made slaves forever. Those to whom the King sends them as slaves must watch that they may no longer practise Jewish usages, and their children must be separated from them, when they are seven years of age, and subsequently married with Christians. The King ratified these decrees.

In the same year, 694 [692?], King Withred [Wihtred] of Kent held an assembly at Beccancelde [Bapchild], which is called a Synod, but in character was a parliament, at which resolutions were taken also with regard to the privileges of the Church. The King himself presided. There were also present the two bishops of the kingdom of Kent, namely, Archbishop Brithwald [Bertwald] of Canterbury, successor to Theodore, and Tobias of Roffa (Rochester), with five abbesses, several priests, and many secular grandees. The King spoke thus: “In the name of God and all the saints, I deny to all my successors, to all prefects and laymen forever, authority over churches and their property. If a bishop dies, or an abbess, this shall be announced to the archbishop, and with his counsel and assent a worthy successor shall be elected. This in no way concerns the King’s government. It belongs to him to nominate counts, dukes, princes, judges, etc.; but it is the business of the archbishop to govern the churches, to appoint, confirm, and admonish bishops, abbots, abbesses, etc., that no one may stray from the flock of Christ.” Finally, he granted the churches freedom from taxes and other burdens, and they were required only to bring voluntary contributions to the State, if they held it necessary.

The same King Withred arranged for (A.D. 697) the Synod at Berkhampstead [Barsted] under Archbishop Bertwald of Canterbury and Gybmund, bishop of Rochester. There were, besides, many clerical and lay dignitaries present. The 28 canons, called also Judicia Withredi regis, decree:—

(1) The churches are free from taxes, and shall offer prayers for the King.

(2) If anyone violates the rights of the Church, he will be fined fifty solidi, just as if he had violated the rights of the King.

(3) Adulterers must correct themselves by penance, or they will be excommunicated.

(4) Foreigners who conduct themselves unchastely will be driven out of the country.

(5) If the prefect of a pagus (cf. Du Cange, s.v. Paganus, is guilty of unchastity, he shall be fined one hundred solidi.

(6) The colonus is fined fifty solidi.

(7) If a priest has allowed this sin, or deferred the baptism of a sick person, or has been so intoxicated that he cannot fulfil his duty, he is deposed.

(8) To a tonsured person, who travels about, lodging may I be given only once.

(9) If anyone has liberated his slave at the altar, he is free; but his inheritance belongs to his liberator, and the æstimatio capitis.

(10) If a servant, by command of his master, works between the (first) vespers of Sunday and that of Monday (i.e. between Saturday evening and Sunday evening), the master must expiate this by a payment of fifty solidi.

(11) If the slave does it voluntarily, he must pay his master six solidi, or be flogged.

(12) If a freeman works at the forbidden time, he is to be put in the pillory (collistrigium).

(13) If anyone sacrifices to the devil, he is to be punished with confiscation of goods and the pillory.

(14) A slave who does so is fined six solidi or beaten.

(15) If anyone gives his slave meat on a fast day, he must redeem himself from the pillory.

(16) If the slave eats meat on his own accord, he must be fined six solidi or beaten.

(17) The word of the bishop or King is as valid as an oath.

(18–24) Prescriptions on oaths of purification.

(25) If anyone kills a layman in the act of stealing, he has no fine to pay in expiation.

(26) A freeman who is caught with stolen property in his hand, may be either put to death by the King, or sold over the sea, or he must redeem his life from the King. Anyone who has informed upon him receives half of the money; but if anyone kills the thief, he must compensate by payment of seventy solidi.

(27) A slave who steals must have his offence expiated by payment of seventy solidi (by his master), or must be sold over the sea.

(28) A stranger who roves about (a tramp) is to be regarded as a thief.

To these canons there are, in the old MSS., ten more ordinances or compensations for offences against the Church and clergy, without any intimation of the source from which they proceed.

A Synod at Auxerre (A.D. 695) arranged the order in which the clergy of particular churches and monasteries were to hold divine service in the cathedral church of S. Stephen. The Council of Utrecht of A.D. 697, however, is a falsification of pseudo-Marcellinus. The Synod of Aquileia, about the year 700, we have already noticed, vol. iv. p. 355.

SEC. 330. The Western Synods in the first quarter of the Eighth Century

At the beginning of the eighth century (about 701) falls the eighteenth and last Synod of Toledo, under King Witiza and Archbishop Gunderic of Toledo. Its Acts are lost. Witiza, who had recently come to the throne, was at that time still zealous for good; but soon afterwards fell into the grossest excesses, so that he not only dishonoured many wives and maidens, but also, in a special law, allowed to husbands concubines in any number they pleased, and declared the law of celibacy for priests abolished. When Archbishop Gunderic made representations to him, he was deposed, and Sindered, the King’s friend, who greatly oppressed the better clergy, raised to the metropolitan see. Crime and incontinence spread more and more; but at the same time the discontent with the bad King grew to such a pitch that a party raised Prince Rodrigo, a son of Duke Theodofrid, to be King. An end was put to the civil war which sprang out of this by the death of Witiza, A.D. 710; but his sons, driven from the throne by Rodrigo, called the Saracens into the country, and thus brought it for many centuries under the power of the infidels.

A good many, if not very important Synods meet us now in England. We saw above (p. 207) that Archbishop Wilfrid of York, after having become reconciled with Theodore of Canterbury, had been restored to his bishopric. But his enemies did not cease to stir up the Northumbrian King Alfrid [Alchfrid] against him. So it came that the King, by his own authority, separated the monastery of Ripon from the bishopric of York, and made it a bishopric by itself; and Wilfrid, from fear of the King, thought it well to flee into Mercia, where the bishopric of Lichfield was conferred upon him. King Alfrid now got together the Synod, or more exactly the parliament, of the kingdom (Witenagemote) at Nesterfield [Easterfield] in Northumbria, under the presidency of Bertwald of Canterbury, who likewise belonged to the enemies of Wilfrid. He had been persuaded, by the promise of a fair trial, to appear at the Synod; but from the very beginning he was deluged with bitter words and reproaches, especially by the two bishops, Boso and John, who had as dioceses the pieces rent away from the bishopric of York, but which they had been forced to give up again to Wilfrid. When he was asked whether he would obey the ordinances of the departed Archbishop Theodore of Canterbury, he answered suitably: “Yes, to those which agreed with the holy canons”; for he saw well that they wanted to bring the earlier unfair decrees of Theodore into exercise (vol. iv. p. 491), but not the later ones. As he further opposed them in a violent disputation, and remarked that for twenty-two years the ordinances of three Popes, Agatho, Benedict, and Sergius, had been disregarded by them, and forever only that brought forward which Theodore had done in the time of their disunion, King Alfrid became enraged, and declared that he would forcibly deprive Wilfrid of all his possessions. Archbishop Bertwald was in agreement with this; but to the other enemies of Wilfrid this seemed too hard in regard to a man so famous, and they endeavoured to persuade him that he should content himself with the monastery of Ripon, so as to live in peace there, and voluntarily, by a written document, resign his bishopric and all his other possessions. Wilfrid rejected this proposal with decision, saying: “How can you expect me to draw the sword against myself, and condemn myself?” Should I not by that means brand my episcopal honour which for forty years I have preserved unspotted?” He reminded them at the same time of his deserts, how he was the first to introduce in Northumbria the correct Easter festival, the singing of antiphons, and the rule of S. Benedict. Now, as a man of seventy years, he should condemn himself. He appealed to the Pope.

In fact, supported by King Ethelred of Mercia, he now hastened to Rome, where Pope John VI. immediately held a Synod (703 to 704) for the examination of his case. In the letter which he presented to the Pope, he relates briefly what had occurred, and prays the Pope to examine the matter, and give him a letter to take with him to King Alfrid of Northumbria, so that he might be restored to his possessions. If, however, his reinstatement in the bishopric of York were too disagreeable to the King, they might leave him the two monasteries of Ripon and Hagulstad [Hexham], which he had himself founded in that diocese. Finally, he declared that he would obey all the ordinances of Archbishop Bertwald which were not opposed to those of the earlier Popes in regard to him.

The deputies of Bertwald, who were likewise present at the Roman Synod, had represented that Wilfrid, at the English Synod at Nesterfield [Easterfield], had refused obedience to Archbishop Bertwald; but he was able to prove the falseness of this accusation. The Romans remarked that, by all right, accusers, whose first charge was shown to be groundless, should no longer be heard; but, out of respect for Bertwald, they would make an exception and examine specially all the particular points. This took place in seventy sessions, carried on for four months, and resulted entirely in favour of Wilfrid. We learn this from the letter of Pope John VI. (not VII., as it is given erroneously in the Collections of Councils) to the Kings Alfrid of Northumbria and Ethelbert of Mercia, in which, among other things, he says: “As the two bishops, Boso and John, whose claims were chiefly in question,—in opposition to Wilfrid,—had not appeared in Rome, they had arrived at no quite definite decision, but recommended Archbishop Bertwald, in communion with Alfrid, to hold a Synod, and to summon Boso and John also to it, in order to bring about an adjustment of the opposed claims: if this did not succeed, they should all come to Rome for a further examination of the matter.”—Wilfrid wished to remain in Rome, in order there to close his days in peace, giving way to his opponents, but the Pope ordered his return. Wilfrid obeyed, and immediately after his arrival, Archbishop Bertwald was reconciled to him. He then went to Mercia, and found the friendliest reception with Ethelred, formerly King, who in the meantime had exchanged the crown for the monk’s habit, as well as with the new King Coenred. King Alfrid [Aldfrid] of Kent, however, agreed to the papal ordinances only in consequence of a serious illness, of which he died, A.D. 705.

Immediately afterwards, when the usurper Edulf was defeated, a Synod was held somewhere on the river Nidd in Northumbria, in the reign of King Osred (son of Alfrid) of Kent, a minor, by Archbishop Bertwald, A.D. 705 [or 706]. According to the papal letter, which was now made public, Bishops Boso and John were offered the alternative, either to give up their dioceses to Wilfrid or to go to Rome and there defend their cause. But if they did neither the one nor the other, they should fall under excommunication. When both resisted, the Abbess Elfleda of Streneshald [Strenæshalch or Whitby], the sister of Alfrid, interposed and explained: “Here is the testament of my brother: in my presence he declared that, if he got well again, he would instantly fulfil the ordinances of the Pope, and if he died before doing so, he would commit that work to his successor.” Prince Bertrid, the guardian of the young King, entirely agreed with this. The opponents had to yield, a general reconciliation took place, and Wilfrid received back his two best monasteries, Ripon and Hexham (the latter also a bishopric). Four years afterwards he died, A.D. 709.

Of less importance are six other English Councils of this period, of which only very slight intelligence has reached us. The first of these, in Mercia, A.D. 705, gave to the learned and holy Abbot Aldhelm of Malmesbury the commission to prepare a memorial against the false Easter festival of the ancient Britons (see vol. i. p. 330). Reference is made to a Synod held on the river Noddre (now Adderburn) only in a document of Donation of S. Aldhelm. In a third, held in Wessex under King Ina, after the death of Bishop Hedda, who had the whole of Wessex under him (with the see at Vintonia = Winchester), his diocese was divided into the bishoprics of Vintonia, which was given to Daniel, and Scireburnia (Sherborne), which was given to Aldhelm.

With this Synod we must not confound one under King Ina which again undertook a division of the bishopric of Vintonia (Winchester). Bede tells us of this (lib. v. c. 18). In consequence of the occurrences in war, the East Saxons were deprived of their own bishopric (London), and were placed under the bishop of the West Saxons at Vintonia (Bede, iv. 15). This union was now again dissolved by a Synod which undoubtedly belonged to the year 711. Another English Synod, under King Ina, about the year 708, was occasioned by the sudden breaking out of a riot, and was, of necessity, held in such haste that it was impossible to invite Archbishop Bertwald to it. In order to supply this defect, the King and the Synod sent the monk Winfrid (the future apostle of the Germans [Boniface]) to the archbishop to inform him of it. The Synod at Alne, finally, in the year 700, confirmed the gifts made to the monastery of Evesham.

More recent writers mention also a Synod quite unknown to the ancients, at London, A.D. 712, by which the veneration of images was introduced into the English Church. Bishop Egwin of Wigornia (Worcester), from a divine vision, set up an effigy of the Virgin in his church. The matter had created a sensation, was carried to Rome, and thereupon a legate was sent by Pope Constantine to England in order to hold our Synod. They pronounced in favour of the veneration of images. But before this, the apostle of England, Augustine, according to the testimony of Bede, practically introduced the veneration of images, since he had carried before him and his companions a picture of the Saviour painted upon a panel.—Quite as uncertain is the English Synod which is said to have been celebrated on the occasion of the fancied marriage of Ina with Guala, and permitted marriages between Anglo-Saxons, Britons, and Scots.

To the realm of fable belong four German Synods, two at Tungern and two at Liège, which Bishop S. Hubert is said to have held between the years 708 and 726. It is known that Hubert removed the seat of the bishopric of Tungern, which was formerly at Maestricht, to Liège. The short and little authenticated information respecting these pretended German Synods was collected by Harzheim (Concil. Germ. t. i. p. 31 sqq.). Binterim also speaks of them (Deutsche Concilien, Bd. ii. S. 11 ff.); but the definite declaration of S: Boniface, the apostle of the Germans (Ep. 51, ad Zachar.), that for eighty years no Synod (provincial Synod) had been held in the country of the Franks, testifies against the existence of these pretended Councils at Liège and Tungern, as they made a claim to be more than mere diocesan Synods. At the second at Tungern, e.g., no fewer than thirty bishops are said to have been present; the second and last, at Liège, A.D. 726, is very suspicious, for this reason, that it was summoned on account of the stories about images, which Bishop Hubert (already?) had found in his diocese. Also it is said to have repeated the decrees of a Roman Synod (under Gregory II.), which is itself highly dubious.

The only subject before the Synod at Vicovalari, in the Lombard kingdom, A.D. 715, was a dispute about boundaries between the bishops of Arezzo and Siena; but that is very improbable which is related by pseudo-Marcellinus, that, after the death of the Frisian King Rathod (719), S. Boniface, with Willibrord, Suidbert, and other bishops and priests, held a Synod at Utrecht.

A Roman Synod under Pope Gregory II., on April 5, 721, celebrated in S. Peter’s Church, drew up 17 canons for the improving of Church discipline: (1) If any one marries the wife (widow) of a priest (presbytera, see vol. ii. p. 421, c. 18); (2) or a deaconess; (3) or a nun; (4) or his spiritual Commater (see Schulte, Eherecht, S. 190); (5) or the wife of his brother; (6) or his niece; (7) his stepmother or daughter-in-law; (8) his first cousin; (9) or a relation or the wife of a relation, let him be anathema. So also (10) if a man marries a widow, or (11) ravishes a virgin who was not his betrothed, in order to take her as his wife—even when she consents; (12) or if he is guilty of superstitious usages, or (13) violates the earlier commands of the Apostolic Church in regard to the olive-yards belonging to it; (14) Let Hadrian, who married the deaconess Epiphania, be anathema; (15) so also Epiphania, and (16) whoever helped her; finally, (17) every cleric who lets his hair grow.—It is subscribed by the Pope, nineteen Italian bishops, and three strange ones; by Sindred of Toledo, of whom we have heard (p. 251), now a fugitive because of the Moors; by Sedulius from Britain, and Fergustus from Scotland; also by many Roman priests and deacons.

Under the same Pope, Gregory II., came Corbinian, the founder of the bishopric of Freisingen, to Rome, and prayed for permission to resign. A Roman Synod, however, which the Pope assembled in 724, and at which Corbinian himself was present, found it necessary that he should continue his office longer; and he consented to their decision. So relates his biographer Aribo.

SEC. 331. In the East, Monothelitism is renewed and again suppressed

Important changes took place in the East in 716, described to us by the chief witness, the deacon and librarian Agatho of Constantinople, whom we already know, as follows:—“By the sixth Œcumenical Council rest and order were restored. But Satan did not long endure this. The Emperor Justinian II. was murdered at Damaticum in Bithynia by his rebellious army, and a certain Bardanes, who had been exiled to that place because of usurpation, was proclaimed Emperor by the rebels. He called himself Philip. As he himself said, he was by his parents, and still more by the infamous Abbot Stephen, the scholar of Macarius, educated in Monothelitism. When he went to Constantinople, before his entrance into the imperial palace, he caused the picture of the sixth Council, which hung in the vestibule of the palace, between the fourth and sixth schola, to be taken away; the names of Sergius, Honorius, and the rest of those who were excommunicated with them by the Synod, had to be replaced in the diptychs, and their pictures brought back again to their old places. The copy of the Acts of the sixth Council, written by deacon Agatho, and preserved in the palace, he caused to be burnt, and persecuted and exiled many orthodox men, especially those who would not subscribe the tome which he had drawn up for the rejection of the sixth Synod. Deacon Agatho here refers to the Conciliabulum which the new Emperor held in the year 712. He had deposed the orthodox patriarch of Constantinople, sent him away into a monastery, and given his see to John. In union with this man and some other bishops, particularly Germanus of Cyzicus, Andrew of Crete, and others, Philippicus procured that the spurious Synod mentioned should formally reject the sixth Œcumenical Council, and sanction the Monothelite doctrinal system in a special tome. Many Oriental bishops, alas! were so weak that they acceded to the disgraceful decree.

The Emperor Philippicus, in a Sacra, requested from Pope Constantine his consent to the new decrees, but the Pope rejected them cum apostolicæ sedis consilio, as Anastasius says (in Mansi, l.c. p. 179). Perhaps on this occasion he held a Synod at Rome. Anastasius adds: As the Roman people, full of zeal for orthodoxy, set up in S. Peter’s Church a picture representing the six Œcumenical Councils, on the other hand, they held in abhorrence all the pictures of the Emperor, as of a heretic. His picture was also removed from the churches, and his name was no longer read from the diptychs.

The Monothelite intermezzo lasted only two years, for on Whitsunday, 713, Philip, entirely unprepared for it, was deposed by a military rising, and his eyes put out. Next day, however, Philartemius, who called himself Anastasius, a friend of orthodoxy, was proclaimed Emperor. The Patriarch John crowned him. At this solemnity the sixth Synod was again solemnly acclaimed by clergy and laity, its picture restored, and the likenesses of Philip and Sergiu again removed. Moreover, the Patriarch John again united with Rome, and sent to the Pope the synodal letter preserved in the ἐπίλογος of Agathon, in which he represents his previous behaviour as mere economy, i.e. a prudent yielding, affirms his orthodoxy, and adds that the Emperor had certainly burned the copy of the synodal Acts kept in the palace, but that he (John) had preserved the one belonging to the patriarchal archives.

The news of the deposition of Philippicus and of the elevation of Anastasius caused great joy in Rome, especially as the latter, by his exarchs (of Ravenna), sent the Pope a Sacra, in which he expressed his adhesion to the orthodox doctrine. When, soon afterwards, the Patriarch John died, A.D. 715, Germanus, previously bishop of Cyzicus, who had now come over to the side of orthodoxy, was elected, at a Synod at Constantinople, as his successor; and did not fail, at another Constantinopolitan Synod (of the year 715 or 716), to pronounce the doctrine of two wills and energies, and to anathematise Sergius, Cyrus, Pyrrhus, Peter, Paul, and John.








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