The Fourth General Council of Constantinople, under Pope Adrian II and Emperor Basil numbering 102 bishops, 3 papal legates, and 4 patriarchs, consigned to the flames the Acts of an irregular council (conciliabulum) brought together by Photius against Pope Nicholas and Ignatius the legitimate Patriarch of Constantinople; it condemned Photius who had unlawfully seized the patriarchal dignity. The Photian Schism, however, triumphed in the Greek Church, and no other general council took place in the East.Preview This Lesson
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The Eighth Council opened on October 5, 869, in the cathedral of Hagia Sophia. The legates had decreed that only those that signed the Libellus could attend the conference. The Libellus was a declaration of faith and based on the Regula fidei of Pope Hormisdas. It was expanded to include a condemnation of Photius with an additional emphasis on the importance of the Pope. It read, in part:
Desiring… never to be separated from this faith, and following in everything the decisions of the Fathers, and especially of the prelates of the Apostolic See, we anathematize all heresies, the iconoclasts, and Photius, as long as he shall remain disobedient to the decrees of the Roman pontiffs, and refuse to anathematize the acts of the so-called council (conciliabulum), which he had gathered together, outraging the Apostolic See. We follow the synod held by Pope Nicholas, and subscribed by you, 0 supreme Pontiff Hadrian, and the one which you yourself have lately held. And we will hold to all that has been therein decreed, and condemn all those who have been there condemned — viz., Photius, his partisans, and the robber-synods which he held against Ignatius and against the principate of the Apostolic See.” With regard to Ignatius and those of his party, “we follow devoutly what the authority of your Apostolic See has decided.
from The Popes during the Carolingian Empire Leo III to Formosus A.D. 795–891 in The History and Lives of the Popes in the Early Middle Ages by Horace K. Mann, pg. 6019, Kindle Edition
Both Emperor Basil and Patriarch Ignatius were concerned since a requirement to sign the Libellus was a new procedure for a Council. They might even have questioned the need for a Council since Photius and his followers had already been condemned in Rome. The attendance at the first session was very small — the three legates (Bishops Donatus, Stephen and Deacon Marinus), Ignatius, the returned Patriarch, Thomas, the Archbishop of Type, a priest name Elias who represented the Patriarch of Jerusalem and 12 Bishops from Constantinople who had remained loyal to Ignatius. By the end of the Council 102 Bishops had signed the Libellus and attended the last session.
The first session of the Council opened with the papal legates reading their credentials from Pope Hadrian. Baanes, a Byzantine high official, asked the legates why Photius was condemned without a hearing. The legates explained that Photius had received a hearing based on the repres... Please purchase this lesson to continue learning.
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